Confession: I told the Lord the other day that I believe myself to be giving about 70% of my time and emotional energy to my children.
This is harder than it looks on paper.
Another 20% I am spending on my community – that is, the extended family, friends, and professionals who make up my circle.
From the remaining ten, I am giving my husband a measly 6% –
And the final squeaked-in-at-the-last-minute 4%, I am giving to relationship with God.
It’s not a great place to be with relationships, but it’s where I am right now.
Tonight I would like to think of anything but urgent demands and emotional rollercoasters, and so for an interesting little exercise, I have a fanciful question for you.
Do you ever wish for an utterly new and unknown food flavor – perhaps an exotic fruit from Tahiti or a mysterious concoction created in a small French kitchen – a smooth, exciting, completely novel experience? I do. There’s a name I’m giving it tonight – the flavor is called feliz. As in Spanish for happy, but it’s a real flavor. And you can buy feliz ice cream, feliz lollipops, feliz scones. You can make feliz cheesecake or pie or a great big layered dessert.
(Just by way of backstory, one of the worship habits I have borrowed from another tradition is giving up an item in my life for Lent. In theory, I have found no better way to trim the old man down to size, strip my heart of its selfish props, and build the longing for my favorite event of the Christian year: Easter. In practice, it is awfully hard to do foster care without personal snacks, which is the item I chose to give up this year. It is especially hard to do foster care without chocolate snitched in a quiet corner when everything hits the fan. I don’t know what I was thinking. But I am going to finish it all the same.)
(Finish the Lenten commitment, I mean; not the bar of chocolate, which is patiently waiting for me.)
(And also I’m not trying to brag about my self-control or holiness, especially since my abstinence so far has turned me into more sinner than saint. So I’m just admitting that.)
Would you try the feliz flavor if I offered you a scoop cold from the freezer? Or a slice warm from the oven?
What would it taste like? Describe it for me, please – where is it from? what would it be?
This is not a trick question. This is all I got, and it’s just for joy. I will not be telling you tomorrow how we should stop craving anything but more time with God. Mmm.
Bless you! Or should that say “bendiciones a ti!” Just watched a little feature about cuisine in Mexico City. Oh how I love the flavors of Mexican food. That is, real, Mexican food. North American knock-offs are good too, in their own un-Mexican way. Feliz? Hmmmm… Can’t decide if it goes savory or sweet. If it’s savory, then it’s complex but simple flavors all combined to take you to the perpetual south where fresh food is readily available year round, and it’s a little spicy, but not agonizingly so, it has the fresh burst of lime, and the earthiness of cilantro, and the satisfaction of frijole beans, with the salty kick of some cheese, topped off with some wow of amazing sauce combinations otherwise known as guacamole or salsa, but again, remember these are REAL flavors, not our northern, shelf-stable counterparts. And if that all goes over the top of some slow-smoky-cooked meat, then ohhhhh FELIZ! My dos pesos worth. 😉
There are two flavors I can think of right now that would be feliz for me… one a flavor similar to yom gai saap, a Thai dish. (my mouth waters just thinking of it.) There would be the flavor of spicy Thai chilies, with lime and cilantro and fish sauce, and onions and mint mixed with flavorful fried chicken over rice. If you could transfer this flavor into a pretzel, so that we could have the crunch along with the spice, that would be feliz.
Then there’s another feliz flavor, one that I haven’t completely found yet. That’s the flavor of the perfect latte. Not bitter, but flavorful, somewhere in the middle of strong and weak, with a hint of creamy milk, and best of all isn’t too hot or too cold, but stays the same temperature for one hour. This kind of feliz will not give you jitters at night, but you can drink it in the evenings while wrapping your hands around a mug to keep them warm while snow falls outside.
Something cool and fluffy, laced with chocolate, caramel, and coffee. But on second thought, maybe I’ll just go with the white mocha my niece handed over on the coast last summer. Then she took off for another one for herself. Maybe it was just her act of generosity that made it so good, but on the whole, it would be hard to beat.
I’m pretty sure Feliz is the word to describe the marriage between chocolate and peanut butter. Smooth. Creamy. Baked into a Cheesecake? Yes. Frozen in ice cream? Yes. With crunch of a pretzel or crisp rice? Yes. Eaten in solitude in the pantry? Yes.
Ok. So the chocolate and peanut butter flavor combo is as old as the hills. But at least we have a word for it now.
I’m bypassing the flavor question to comment on your first few sentences… If you’re giving 70% of your time to your children, 20% to your community, and 6% to your husband, you certainly don’t sound like a selfish person; and I believe that time invested in others is time given to God. “Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these… ye have done it unto me”. I know it doesn’t feel that way, but it’s what you as wife and mother are called to right now. Keep fighting the good fight…
As to the “Feliz” it would have to be bright and tropical – the perfect blend of sweet and tart and it will taste just like it smells! My former boss used to tell me that in heaven coffee will taste as good as it smells 😉 Isn’t that a rapturous thought?!
An Amen from me on Ruthie’s comment!
Sorry, it’s me again. 🙂 I had wanted my comment (Amen) to come under Ruthie’s comment where she blessed you, Shari!:)
I can’t move it because Ruthie replied first to her own comment. 🙂 But I hear you. Thank you!
Thank you, Ruthie. Your words are life-giving.
In my own life right now, Feliz wouldn’t be found in a food. Because food just does not satisfy when there are deep heart longings and struggles. I have found this to be true in humbling ways. Yes, that chocolate is good but there’s still this ache in my heart. And coffee is so comforting. Only it just… isn’t. I hope you can find your flavor. Mine would be called inner peace.
Something sweet and salt, but mostly salty. And from an easily accessible place like Costco. ?
I had to go back and read the last paragraph. I thought you were going to tell us tomorrow how to satisfy that God craving! ?
But take heart, because He promises a blessing to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness…He says you will be filled! He will satisfy your craving for Him, even if the perecentages don’t add up!! ♥️♥️
And I’m just wondering if you could be convinced to post the recipe for that amazing looking dessert-torte? cake?
I’m with you in the percentages. Have been trying to up the God percentage, or at least give Him firsts, like some prayer time before a rest or reading during naptime at our house. I’d love to hear some ideas for upping the hubby percentage too.
But you weren’t really posting to discuss those things, were you?
Feliz might have different tastes different days. 🙂
Sure! It’s called a Hot Chocolate Torte, and it’s lovely, but not as fancy or homemade as it looks. 😉 It’s a Kraft recipe I made once for my birthday. http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/hot-chocolate-torte-185214.aspx
I like your request for ideas; I think I will follow up on that.
I’m skipping feliz, too, to comment on your first sentences. When I have given myself to God, all my time is His. My hands are His. Washing muddy jeans and sweeping the floor after a messy lunch are acts of worship just as surely as the equal time spent in prayer. The time I spend buying, wrapping, and taking a gift to my child’s teacher is time spent and a gift given to Him. Visiting with the talkative old man in the grocery store is as important as anything I do. My constant need is a constant prayer. Of course I am not discounting worship. Time alone with God is incredibly important. But so is the work and so are the people He has given us.
I feel silly commenting on this when there are so many other posts I could have commented on, but I couldn’t help it. You are a gorgeous writer, and I enjoy every blog post I read. Write on. Mother on. Worship on.
Thank you for your kind words. Tears.
Feliz would be the ability to eat Anything with gusto no matter if it was from the freezer or hot from the oven or nine days old. Having just come thru weeks of morning sickness, that would be ‘feliz’ to me!
I know I’m a little late in commenting but I keep thinking about Feliz and what that would mean to me right now. Feliz would be every flavor my taste buds enjoy, proceeding down through the intestines with the same bliss and delight as when on my tongue. No sensitive grouchy gut. No weight gain. No ill affects from delightful food. Yes! That would be Feliz!!? (Or heaven.)
A fun thing to turn over mentally! A priority at this point of preschoolers ever with me eating and be fed is texture: nothing very smearable and not too crumbly; toothsome but not too dry; something whose eating experience potentials match its pleasurable taste. I can’t decide between the energizing explosion of citrus or something warm and comforting like buttery cinnamon brown sugar.