Sunday, August 30, 2015

Food for the Body, Food for the Soul #3

After the stress of the first week of school and the resuming of most after school activities, I am preaching to the choir with this post.  But I figure, what better way to remind myself to be kind and cheerful than to write it out.  So this one's from the heart...

Over the summer, our church did a series called Staycation.  During this series, pastors from other campuses delivered the message.  It was really neat to hear from other leaders in our church and be reminded of the amazing talent we have at Elevation.  One of my favorite sermons was one given by Jonathan Josephs, the Uptown campus pastor.  It was titled: "Inadequacies: Do Your Thing."

He shared from Joshua 1:1-9.  You can read the whole passage, but here are the parts to which Pastor Josephs drew our attention:

“Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 
No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

The big idea here is, God said he would be with Joshua, just like he was with Moses.  But, Joshua had to be Joshua in order to do the things God called him to do.

And then Pastor Josephs posed the question: Who is God calling you to be?  He didn't ask what is God calling me to do.  God is more concerned with who we are than in what we do.  Then he encouraged us to make a to be list.  Sometimes we are so busy making our to do lists that we forget who we are supposed to be.

So the boys and I came home and did just that.  We made our to be list.  We already had our summer to do list, but this one seemed even more important.

This week, I have found myself being frustrated by a lot of things.  The unending paperwork from school that has to be filled out during the first week.  The increased number of knocks on my door by neighborhood kids who want to play.  The rushing through dinner to get to the ball field on time.  As I look back on my frustrations, I realize that embracing all the things I set out to be would have served me well.

I want to be accepting of unending paperwork--this is just a fact of life at the start of school, and thank goodness they'll know who to call if I can't be reached and one of my kids needs me.

I want to be generous and loving towards the kids knocking--I am thankful we are surrounded by friends who enjoy playing with my boys.

I want to be sensitive and caring when I consider the reason we are rushing through dinner--playing baseball allows Jonah to do something he really loves and means good exercise for him (and his brothers since they usually end up playing a pick-up game on another field).

We hung our to be list in the mudroom, where the boys will see it every day as they are grabbing their shoes for school.  I pray that it is a constant reminder of who they want to be each and every day.

And now it's time for food for the body!

I posted this picture on Facebook last week and got lots of questions about it.  So I am sharing the recipe today.  It is so, so easy, and delicious too!

Here's the recipe, from Real Simple's archives:


  1. 115-ounce container ricotta
  2. 4cups baby spinach, chopped (about 4 ounces)
  3. 2cups grated mozzarella (8 ounces)
  4. 1/4cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)
  5. kosher salt and black pepper
  6. 124-ounce jar marinara sauce (2 3/4 cups)
  7. 6no-boil lasagna noodles


  1. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, 1 ½ cups of the mozzarella, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  2. In the bottom of a microwave-safe 8-inch square baking dish, spread ½ cup of the sauce.
  3. Top the sauce with 2 lasagna noodles, ½ cup of sauce, and half the ricotta mixture. Repeat.
  4. Top with the remaining lasagna noodles, sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
  5. Cover with wax or parchment paper, then a plate. Microwave on high (power level 10) until the noodles are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy.

Happy Monday, everyone!!!

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