Monday, May 16, 2011

Bruised Bananas

No one likes bruised bananas. You know what I'm talking about. The bananas whose peels have turned 50% brown and are slightly mushy to the touch. They never get eaten and usually sit in the fruit bowl until someone decides its time to throw them away. Yet it's the bruised bananas that you want if you're going to make banana bread. 

There were some bruised bananas in the kitchen a few days ago. My mom told me to throw them out and as I was walking to the trash can the idea of banana bread came to me. In case you don't know, banana bread recipes call for mashed bananas, and its a lot easier to mash bananas that are already soft. Another fact, the bananas usually aren't bruised below their peel. 

So I made banana bread (or attempted to, I'll explain later). As I was mixing and baking, the idea came to me that Christians are quite similar to bruised bananas. We are battered, soft-[hearted], and people may not like us. Yet God sees us as a key ingredient to do awesome things. He uses us to reach other bruised, broken people because we all struggle with the same things. We may stand firm at the beginning of the day, but it only takes a few hardships before we look like everyone else.

The banana bread batter closely resembles baby food when it goes in the oven. But what comes out is this great smelling, warm, delicious bread that makes people happy. We may enter challenges and hardships as one person but when we get through them we have been changed for the better by God's love and grace. 

The next time you notice your bananas aren't as yellow as you would like, google a banana bread recipe and bake some happiness :) Just don't fill the pan too full or it will overflow like mine did.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day Weekend

My family loves camping. So much so that they get together with friends each fall to plan the following summer's camping schedule. This year, we planned the first camping trip the same weekend as Mother's Day. With my final exam schedule it happened that I would be coming home the same day that we would be leaving to head to Mississinewa Reservoir. So in a matter of 4 hours I unloaded my very full car, sifted through my stuff in order to find appropriate camping gear, and was ready to leave for the weekend. It was a little wet and muddy, but we were able to keep the fire going enough to have a great time.
My dad has quite the reputation as a camp cook. We always eat well and enjoy trying new recipes.

In case you don't recognize what's cooking, they are wild mushrooms. Where I come from, a wet spring means mushroom hunting. It's a big deal, with everyone having their favorite (top secret) hot spots. In case you don't believe me about its popularity, the local radio station is currently accepting entries into its "Mother of all Morels" giant mushroom contest. This is real, folks.
Hungry yet? We had some killer fajitas too.
Girl's best friend   
This neat pond was right behind our campsite