Chicken Nuggets and Reality TV

I'm still in the middle of my recovery-from-surgery process, and have a couple of more weeks before I return to work and regular life. One of the things I've decided to do over the next couple of weeks is to cook. I'm not talking about the normal, weekly, tried-and-true dinners my boys all love. I'm talking about weird (for the Bentons) food. Things with fish sauce and fresh cilantro and mango and red curry and weird pasta and a variety of herbs and spices and meats. Over the weekend I bought at least a dozen things at the grocery store that I've never even dreamed of before. I've made two amazing dinners so far and what's even more amazing is that my family gobbled them up! Don't worry--I'm not going to go all "Julie and Julia" on you, but it's something I've been wanted to do and so I'm doing it.

I've been reading this book. Many of you have probably already read it but I feel the need to mention it here, because it has come at the perfect time for me. My dad has been bugging me to read this since Christmas. You know if you've read any earlier posts that I've really struggled with what my life is going to look like from here on out, with my kids growing up and leaving home. The book is called A Million Miles In A Thousand Years and it's written by this guy named Donald Miller who talks about editing his life into a great story. He talks about how God is trying to write our lives into these great stories and we keep ignoring it. Anyway, I could go on and on, and I probably will in future posts. But it has profoundly affected the way I plan to proceed. If you want to be challenged, if you're too comfortable or slightly bored with your life, if you need to do something scary, buy it now.

Now back to the food thing. My 15 year old son Ellis stayed up after David and I went to bed last night because he wanted to make omelets for breakfast. He is not really a morning person so he cooked them late last night and put them in the fridge to reheat this morning. My husband and I ate them together this morning before David left for work and we were surprised at the cool, creative things I recently bought that he put in them. Weird and wonderful stuff. Yummy. It makes me smile. I don't know if he would have made these creative omelets if I had not made creative dinners, but I like to think that had something to do with it.

All of this to say: the world is full of wonderful weird food. Yet many times we're just content to snack on chicken nuggets and sit on our couches and watch TV or sit at our desks and waste hours online. Life is full of weird wonderful stuff. I think I was made for more than chicken nuggets and reality shows. We have the ability to record our favorite TV programs and spend entire chunks of time 'catching up' like we think we're accomplishing something of value. We engage in online social networks to 'reconnect' with people, but most of the time it's safe, neatly packaged connections instead of real messy living-life-together connections. We attend churches with 'pre-packaged' services and wonder why we're bored with 'religion'. I'm tired of living that way.

I'll end with a quote from Donald Miller's book. It's the last paragraph on the last page. I don't really have permission from him to do that, but there are just a handful of you who read my blog and I'm hoping he won't visit any time soon...
"We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn't mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It's a good calling, then, to speak a better story. how brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them." -Donald Miller


  1. Jenna, my dear, you are amazing!! Inspirational!Long ago, when i was reading fervently, I read a book by Phillip Yancy that "Rocked my world", What's So Amazing about Grace! So, i completely understand what you are going through and what you mean...
    GOD is so good to us and I love that GOD gently stretches us and moves us in ways that we could not imagine (even for those of us with great imaginations)! You are gifted girl! Truly anointed and thank you so much for opening up your heart and sharing it with us, for it is precious and wonderful!
    I thank GOD that HE has reunited us once again my friend!!


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