Psalm 37:25-26 (New International Version, ©2011)
A few weeks back, I taught in Sunday school the parable of the widow who gave all she had. (Mark 12:41-44). As I teach 3 to 5 year olds, I spend a lot of time trying to make Biblical applications to daily life, and to really show what each Bible story means. On this particular occasion, I chose four volunteers and gave one young man only about 10 crackers, and I gave another young girl the remaining entire box of crackers. I also cleverly chose these two students based on their characters. I knew the boy's nature and the young girl's nature and used them to my advantage. After giving out the crackers, I said to the boy (who only had 10 crackers) to give his crackers to the person standing across from him. He looked at the crackers and then gave the entire stack to the person across from him. Then I had the young girl also give crackers. She looked at her box and initially only wanted to hand over 1 cracker, but then I asked her to try and give the same amount as the boy did. She proceeded to carefully count out 10 crackers and handed them to the person directly across.
After the kids had watched this demonstration, I asked them, "Who gave more?" Many kids shouted that they had given the same, and I kept on waiting for the answer that I wanted. Finally, a young girl's voice piped up and she said, "The boy did. Because he gave all the crackers." We talked for a moment about this and we discussed the heart of giving - both to others and to God.
The amazing thing about giving is this - what you give out usually comes back at least double. When I give to others, I am always blessed so richly - whether by the person who received my gifts or by some other person who chooses to share back with me. And the thing is, there is always much more generosity to go around than we realize. In the heart of giving, there are always blessing that come back. Even when there is very little to offer, you can still give with that pure heart and know that in the end, God provides so richly for our needs.
This is the month that Jen of Sillie Smile and I have decided to team up and focus on foods as gifts. Whether you are providing for someone who needs it, or whether you just want to give something to someone just because, I promise you that a food that give as a gift will not be ignored nor will it be wasted.
This dish is delicious, packs up well and is great with a variety of proteins. It would be a welcome salad to make for someone so that they can enjoy it for dinner. (We will have more packaging ideas in the immediate future.)
Orzo with Feta, Arugula and Cranberries
adapted from a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis
1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for tossing the pasta
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2/3 cup dried cranberries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
13 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta. Toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and let cool.
Mix together in a bowl, 1/3 cup olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve.
This makes a huge bowl, so you could always make some to give half away.