Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stew, Anyone?

On an cold wet day like the ones we've had lately, what could be better than a bowl of hot stew, maybe with a big hunk of crusty baguette? Sounds like comfort food to me. Shall I set a bowl for you?

I think there's another reason I've had stew on the brain the last week or so. The folks over at Smyth & Helwys asked me to write a series of devotionals for their Reflections guide a month or so ago, (yey!) and the ten scripture passages recently arrived in my inbox. I'm LOVING the whole writing process, mostly because it's reminding me of the mysterious way God can teach me when I allow God some thought-time in my day. If I had to invent a name for the method, it'd be easy. STEW!

First and most important step?
Just manage to read the verses at some point each day.
That's like assembling the ingredients, dumping God's words into the crockpot, and setting the switch on low.

On good days, the words stay in the background on the kitchen counter of my brain, and as I go through the hours, their aromas swirl, bringing out the flavors of God's message hidden within conversations and images, within mundane chores or memories. Sometimes even within a story I hear at the grocery store or a random thought in the carpool line.

I wish it always worked that way.

Some days I manage to read, but then I get swept into the tornado of the day. The words sit frozen in the pot. I'm too busy to let myself entertain open passage between my spirit and God's. I focus on my own words and nothing simmers. No aroma. No tender morsels. Just a tough cut of meat and raw potatoes. No comfort there.

Other days I put bad things in the pot. Instead of God's promises, I stew on worries and fears. I pile them on top of each other, and set the temp on high. I stand by the pot and wait for them to bubble up. I breathe in the smell, even when it makes me cough.
When I start dining on fear, I push aside love and don't even know it!
I focus on getting my share. On what if's.
It's not pretty, y'all.

But stew done right?
Tastes great. More filling!
I really must ask God to help me get better at doing this every day. To help me not be so consumed by busyness that I shut out God's voice as He/She tries to speak.

What about you? Is stew part of your daily diet?
I wish God's best love-stew to you!

Photo by Jess Gambacurta, creative commons


Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Stew is a big part of any good day I have. I need MORE stew!

Loved your analogy and kudos to you for devotional writing, Becky.

(One question: where do you find that crusty baguette?)

Karen said...

Oh, yum that stew looks great! And hurray for the writing gig! Stewing is a great word for writing! :)

Unknown said...

I love the days when the stew gets to simmer. It's better the longer it has to blend. Much more flavor with time :).

I'm having fun with this analogy! Good one, Becky!

Adrienne said...

I realized recently I do a lot of "stewing" all night long, so now I make an effort to put some good thoughts in my head before falling asleep.

Amy Sullivan said...

So excited about your devotional writing!

Terri said...

Spiritual Thinking Every Week (STEW)...yeah, some of that exists in my life...LOL

Heidi Mann said...

Beautiful, Becky! A lovely post!! Made me think in a new way about opening the way for God's aroma to swirl through my life all day! AWESOME!

And congratulations on the writing opportunity!!

PeachyCheek said...

Oh I love stew!! Just looking at this post makes me crave it!!!

Thanks for sharing:)

Take care,


MedMissions said...

I'm sorry, still looking at the pic of But'um, good analogy. Blessings sis!


Angie Muresan said...

Yes, I would love a big, steaming bowl of stew, Becky.

Your devotional writing is so beautiful. It makes me all shivery and tearful for all the goodness of God.

Douglas Dahl said...

Great post. Thanks. Yes, what we stew on really seems to direct the day. I wish there was an easy button to push for I would only stew on the good things.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Yes, please!

And, I've found a similar scenario in my own life. Sometimes when I'm immersed in a Bible study, I've found myself so busy trying to get all the work done and the answers filled out in the workbook, that I may overlook the purpose of the study -- which is to grow in my walk with Him. Often, I've noticed that the "lessons" continue long after the study is done. Sometimes, months after the last page has been filled out and the final study session has ended, a light switch of understanding will just click in my mind and the work and words and study notes seem to come together in wonderful way.

Here's to stew-done-right!!

Kelly H-Y said...

After looking at the picture, I think I'm hungry for lunch!
Hope you are doing well and your family is healthy!!

Rachel said...

What a great analogy -- and there is only one stew of those I desire - the sweet aroma of God all day :-)


Terri said...


Mind Movies 2.1 said...

The stew looks delicious! I hope you enjoyed eating your lovely dish.

Attic Rat said...


The stew looks so yummy! It's making me hungry :D


Ronnie said...

I hear you, Becky. I spend too much time in spin mode. Crock potting should be a regular event on my agenda. I feel better already.
Speaking of Crock Pots, I mean crack pots...Dave Ebright has released a second book and is about to release a third. Come by and see what's up. Your energy required!

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rochambeau said...

Just dropping by to wish you a very happy New Year Becky, may each day your stew become richer and more delicious as your add all of life's blessings!!


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