Hey there friends!
How often do you have the chance to be a blessing to someone else? I feel like it's something that I don't get to do often enough, even in small ways. It's certainly something I don't work hard enough at in the major ways. That's why I love it when I have the chance to bless someone else. It brings them joy, which brings me joy.
Growing up, one of the most common ways I saw people blessing others was through giving meals. There is just something about bringing someone else a meal that speaks love. I've seen meals shared in times of grief and crisis, and I've seen them shared in times of joy. In both situations the meals, and the people who lovingly prepared them were a tremendous blessing. Just this week I got the chance to be one of those blessings!
Just this past weekend I was a leader of the team that puts on our annual women's overnight retreat at my church. My friend, Hilary, was also part of the team, and was 37 weeks pregnant. Yes, she's a saint! We had this crazy, meticulous, minute-by-minute schedule and would joke about the fact that somewhere in there we should tuck in "Hilary leaves to have a baby."
Well guess what? That's just what she did!
At about 9pm Hilary decided that she wasn't feeling well and was going home to get a good night's sleep. By 9am sweet Cora was here! 3 weeks early, but healthy and beautiful. Such a miracle!
Of course, my brain went into meal mode. This is their first baby, and I know how overwhelming that can be. I wanted to bring them something that was simple, but didn't need to be eaten right away. Something that could go in the freezer until after the wave of new baby meals subsides if they wanted it to. I immediately went to my all time favorite meal to share, Baked Ziti. A quick trip to Meijer and I had all that I needed!
1 lb ground meat
1 bag shredded cheese
1 box pasta
1 jar pasta sauce
Here's how it comes together:
1. Brown your meat. Once it is cooked, simmer it with your pasta sauce. Cook your pasta about half way, as this will eventually go into the oven and no one likes soggy pasta! I like to use whole wheat pasta for this recipe since it tends to hold up better.
2. Add your pasta, sauce, meat, and about half the cheese into a tray. I like foil for sharing meals. No worries about getting pans back to where they belong!
3. Mix it all up and top with the rest of the cheese.
4. Write reheating instructions on some foil and wrap everything up tight.
See? I told you it was easy!
I wasn't able to get this meal to their house, but I was able to bring it to church on Sunday. It went into the fridge in the kitchen and Hilary's Mother-In-Law was able to grab it and take it over. That's what I love about being in community! When one person can only make it so far, another person is there to finish the job. Amazing!
Being a blessing doesn't have to be complicated. Changing the world starts one small action at a time. What if that action could be as easy as buying a different pack of gum?
Project 7 makes it that easy! Their vision is simple. Use products that people are already buying to make a difference around the world. Here is what they have to say about it. I don't think I could say it better!
“If people are going to buy things. Lots of things. Then let’s use those things they purchase to help change the world around us. Let’s make everyday products for everyday people to solve everyday problems around the globe.”
Easy, right? I grabbed these packs at Meijer while I was grabbing the ingredients for dinner. I often feel like because our budget is so tight that I can't contribute in any significant way. But you know what? I can buy a pack of gum. Lots of people doing little things can be just as effective, if not more, than a few people doing big things. Do we need the big things? Of course! But don't discredit the little things you can do every day!
Take a moment to learn a bit more about Project 7 and their mission:
Keep up with Project 7 here:
Be blessed, and be a blessing!