About 18 – 20 years ago, when I was a young, single mom without a clue as to how to actually do more in the kitchen than read directions on a box, I had the opportunity to have someone visit my home on a weekly basis to show me how to cook and help me learn to do it on a budget. I still have a binder with many of the recipe handout sheets, which I found again last week during an initial de-cluttering purge. Of course I kept the binder, however, until the purging and reorganizing is complete, it is buried with my few remaining books in a stack of crates.
Beginning the purge process was something I haven’t been able to face on my own, for a lot of reasons – many of them physical and logistical. However, when I thought we might be preparing to move, I decided I needed to do a serious purging and contacted a group of local and distant friends in my online community for prayer, encouragement and practical assistance. One lady specifically volunteered to come over and help me clear the clutter and get organized.
It took a couple of weeks for our lives and schedules to connect, but we finally got together for our first face-to-face meeting. The synergy between us was incredible and energizing to me. She’s got some very exciting opportunities coming up where I can use my passions strengths and skills to work with another singer who is going to be launching her music ministry career. I love this idea of exchange of services.
As we were working through the various crates and boxes, consisting mostly of books and papers, there were a large number of Christian living and education kinds of books. There were also a few non-Christian spiritual self-help and exploration books. Probably half to two-thirds of them were books I’d gotten with the intention of becoming a better Christian and more spiritually connected person. Many of those were process or practice oriented and included workbook or response sections. If I had ever begun them, I had seldom, if ever actually made it all the way through.
As I was deciding what to keep and what to let go of, one of the themes was me wondering if I should go back and make the effort to go through some of these books as part of my current healing and recovery journey. At one point she looked at the book in question, then looked back at me and said something along the lines of, “I don’t know how to say this, but it seems like this is about figuring out where to start and …”
“And I’m beyond that point now?”
I think I’ve spent a lot of the last 27 years believing I didn’t know where to start on improving, fixing, growing and healing in my life: as a mom, a friend, a contributing member of society, a Christian, a spouse, and any other role I’ve played. This is partly because I am one of those people who focus on how much further I need to go and how much more needs to get done instead of recognizing, acknowledging, accepting and celebrating how far I’ve come.
I have come a long way, baby.
I cooked this chicken and rice dish without a recipe or a plan. I looked in the freezer thinking I had a bag of skinless, boneless chicken breasts. It turns out they were skin-on thighs. The cupboard held a bag of long grain brown rice and a container of organic chicken broth, as well as various spices, Italian spice infused olive oil, and olive-oil based non-stick spray.
1 C Brown Rice
2 C Chicken Broth
2 Frozen Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 – 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Seasonings: Italian herb blend, garlic powder, onion powder.
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F
2. Spray glass casserole baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
3. Spread rice evenly on the bottom of the dish
4. Season with Italian seasoning, seasoning salt, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper.
5. Add two cups organic chicken broth
6. Place frozen chicken on top if rice mixture
7. Drizzle with olive oil
8. Add herbs and seasonings to taste (rosemary, thyme, poultry seasonings, etc.)
9. Cover with foil
10. Place in oven
11. Bake for two hours
11b. If skin on, remove foil and bake uncovered for additional 15 min
12. Serve with steamed veggies