Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Martha, Martha...

Are you familiar with the story of Mary and Martha?  Just in case you aren't, here's the scoop.  These two women were sisters that lived in a village with their brother Lazarus (the guy Jesus brought back to life after he died) and they were dear friends of Jesus.  Martha was a little bossy and wasn't afraid to tell Jesus that He wasn't doing things the way she would do them. She does it in this story and when her brother, Lazarus, died, as well.  In this story, Jesus told Martha off in the kindest of ways, letting her know that the universe did not revolve around her.  Yep...

The story found in Luke 10:38-42 tells about Jesus being welcomed into Martha's home.  Her sister, Mary, was seated at Jesus' feet, listening to Him teach while Martha was focused on putting together a meal that would wow everyone at the table.  She was into the details and everything had to be just right (my interpretation of the situation...from personal experience...).

Well, Martha became frustrated because there was so much to do to pull off this fantastic feast and Mary wasn't helping at all.  She walked into the room where Jesus was talking to Mary and interrupted Him, demanding that He make Mary come help.  Then she inferred that He didn't care because He hadn't already figured out that Martha needed help to pull off the meal she had planned. After all, her hospitality plans were the most important thing happening at her house that day!

 I love Jesus' response to Martha's demands.  I'm sure He chuckled and shook His head as He looked her in the eye.

Martha, Martha,
you are worried and bothered
about so many things;
but only a few things are necessary - 
really only one
for Mary has chosen the good part
which shall not be taken away from her.
"Fume if you want, dear, (I imagine Him saying) but what Mary is doing is more important than your complicated plans for one meal.  I'm not going to tell her to help you, but you can plan something simple for us to eat and come join us as quickly as  you can. I would love to fill you in on what I've been teaching Mary."

There's no record of Martha's response, but I think she adapted her plans quickly and joined them.

The problem was not Martha's heart for hospitality.  The problem was that her plans for the meal became more important than her relationship with Jesus. 

My frustrations usually come when my plans and dreams become more important than my relationship with Jesus...sitting at His feet...learning.

Speaking of quick meals...

Shrimp and Cheesy Grits
Makes 2 servings

I first had this dish at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas, when I went on a business trip with my honey.  It is spicy and delicious and oh so satisfying! And it only takes about 15 minutes to make.

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk (I use almond milk)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup organic corn grits (uncooked polenta)
1/2 cup shredded shard cheddar cheese
2 cups shrimp
1/4 lb organic cooked chorizo sausage, sliced

1.  Saute the sausage until the pieces begin to carmelize (the edges turn golden brown). Using a slotted spoon or a fork, remove the sausage into a small bowl and cover the bowl to keep the sausage warm - leave the oil from the sausage in the saute pan and turn off the heat.
2.  In a saucepan, combine the water, milk, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat just until it begins to boil.  Slowly, whisk in the corn grits.  Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens, turning the heat down a little if the grits start popping out of the pan.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
3.  Saute the shrimp in the sausage oil until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Turn off the heat and add the sausage back into the saute pan.  Stir to mix the sausage and shrimp. 
4.  Divide the cooked cheesy grits into two soup bowls.  Ladle the shrimp and sausage over the grits, drizzling the oil in the saute pan over the shrimp, sausage and grits. 

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