To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Complicated Simplicity

If there is one thing that I'd like people to know about me it's that I love family and home. And when I say home I'm not talking about the brick and siding dwelling that is our physical address. Don't get me wrong, I love this new house that we have moved into...the openness, the extra space, the wonderful natural light. But I'm talking about that intangible home that we create for our families no matter where we live. That unseen home that we feel deep in our bones. The one where we belong and those we belong to. The home is where the heart is kind of home.
I think that the intangible affects the tangible and the tangible affects the intangible though. If your intangible home is marred by messy relationships, the disorder of unforgiveness, and  the chaos of an undiscliplined life then it is probably showing up in the physical home. I realize this may not always be the case but it does tend to be true for the most part. I can say this because I've conducted some very real non scientific experiments with the flip side of the coin. The decluttering of the tangible home, the putting to rights and getting everything squared away, as my Mother says, has an impact on the intangible home. Try it. If things in your life seem a little crazy, or just off and not in order go clean out the garage. Organize a linen closet or clean out the junk drawer. You may be surprised by how much better things seem.
Why, you may ask, do these two things go hand in hand? I have found what seems to me to be the answer.
Simple is good.
When we simplify things life gets easier, more peaceful. When the concrete is manageable we can breathe and deal with the abstract. And when the abstract is in order we feel capable of dealing with the concrete.
With the holidays approaching at a breakneck speed I want to keep this in mind. Honestly, I want to just remember it period because life, both the tangible and intangible parts of it, gets messy. I need to keep it peel back the layers and strip away all the things that really aren't that look for and treasure the eternal things.
I have no idea where this post came from. I planned to share a recipe with you. I'm still going to, but I do what to say one more thing. I don't want there to be any misunderstanding, I think simple is good. But the reason for simple isn't just so things can be simple. There is a place for complicated things. There's a time and place for the quick and easy recipe that just won't suit for a grand celebration of a holiday dinner. But when the underlying simplicity of knowing who we are, how we live and what governs our life, and what our purpose is, is settled then we can handle the more complicated tasks and circumstances that come our way with the grace that befits a child of God. (Have you noticed that living to be an intentional Christian is often a paradox of words and ideas? Kind of like that whole dying to have life concept.)
Like I said, this isn't the post I intended to write but maybe somebody needs to hear it. Maybe I just need to be reminded of it but either way, there you have it. Do with it as you will.
Now about that recipe. A good recipe box is going to be full of delicious handed down through the generations recipes, tried and true favorites, and complicated and elaborate how to fare. But it should also include the quick and easy, and yes, simple recipes that we can whip up on short notice and a slim budget. I can't attest to the budget part of this one because frankly it looked so yummy when I found it I didn't much pay attention to what it cost, I just knew that I needed to make it and soon. However, I can say that it is super simple and quite delicious.
Ingredients: can of biscuits, bacon bits, shredded cheddar cheese and sliced mozzarella cheese.

Place biscuits in pan and cover with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with bacon bits and cheddar cheese. Bake at 350* for 15 minutes or until biscuits are done. (I cooked mine for about twenty to twenty-five minutes to make sure the biscuits were cooked all the way through. I used a glass baking dish so I could check the bottom and not let them burn.)

I did come up with a variation idea to use flaky biscuits so I can pull them apart, add the slice of mozzarella and bacon bits, stack it back together again and top it with the cheddar cheese. I also think that using real bacon and crumbling it up would be good too. Maybe I'll try that next time. What do you think?


paula said...

A good post, Marty -- thanks.