Right now I'm making a fresh batch of rice in my cooker. I've always liked rice. I always wanted rice as a side option when I was growing up and my brother never wanted rice as an option. The steamed smell reminds me of my time over seas last year (in SE Asia). It's hard to believe that I returned a year ago this coming week. I was ready to be home and see friends & family. Now I live 10 hours by car from my family & am lucky to see them more than just the major holidays. I'm lucky if I even am able to make it home for the major holidays actually. It's funny to think how such a simple thing like cooking rice can bring so many memories.
As a kid I was incredibly picky & also on chemo so I had cravings for a lot of mashed potatoes and plain cheese nachos or cheesy broccoli rice. I still really enjoy good mashed potatoes (really what makes them bad?) and plain cheese nachos are a guilty snack on a rare occasion. However, I'm not sure the last time I had cheesy broccoli rice. I have grown to really enjoy plain steamed rice. I don't think this says anything about my personality since I've recently learned that one's personality doesn't change as we grow, but our character can. I think this is an example of my ever changing pallet.
There are 3 weeks left in the semester and I should be reading till my eyes bleed right now, but here I am talking to you about my love for rice. Recently I took part in the Strength Finders 2.0 workshop for one of my classes. I learned that my top 5 strengths are woo, communication, positivity, arranger, and developer. I like to win people over & make connections every where I go. I like to tell stories to relate to people. I tend to always see the glass half full, am organized & flexible, and do what I can to lift others up. It is interesting working with these & the truth that they hold. Just because I know & was not super surprised with the answers (many people aren't) doesn't mean there isn't room to work on my strengths. This study was started because so often in our world we make each other work on the things we aren't good at. Not that it's bad to improve on things, but we'd all be a bit happier if we helped each other work on what we're good at, what makes us thrive inside.
What is it that makes you thrive? What is it that makes you so happy that you know the presence of the Holy Spirit is with you? Rice makes me happy, amidst many other things. Today I was overwhelmed in worship by the presence of the love from the community in that church body as well as where they're taking it. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love that my boyfriend constantly gives me; the outpouring of love that I've always received from my family & friends. Like I said, it's the end of the semester & I'm stressed. I should be a lot more stressed. However, when I focus on knowing that I've gotten to where I am I know that I will continue to go further. The biggest catch is letting God lead the way ALL the time. As I learn how to better do this I'll keep making my rice & working on the things that make me thrive (relationships, travel, international ministry, health). Despite if we are feeling our strengths or not we will never be given anything that we cannot figure out because "[We] can do anything through Christ who strengthens us." (Phil 4:13) Yes, we need Christ, the risen Lord, we need to acknowledge the Spirit who is with us daily leading & surrounding us & the God who created us & continues to love us despite our short comings. We cannot find the joy in things like fixing rice on our own. This may seem silly, but the rice came from farmers (fellow brothers & sisters) who Jesus loves, who God loves, just as much as anyone else, We are called to do as Jesus has done & love all things because they have been given to us by God the Father.
food for thought.