Friday, January 1, 2010

Leftovers Soup

Several years ago, while visiting my grandmother who was ninety at the time, I came across an interesting concoction in her freezer. Earlier that morning I had poured myself a bowl of translucent Rice Krispies. I don’t eat Rice Krispies often, but I was pretty sure they should at least have a golden tinge to them, so I checked the expiration date on the box. Grandma’s Rice Krispies were five years old!

I decided that Grandma’s kitchen may be harboring some other not so timeless treasures, so I began going through cupboards, drawers, and finally the refrigerator and freezer, purging and refreshing as I went. I was pretty sure the layered concoction I found in her freezer was scraps she intended to throw away, and I announced my intentions to follow through. By this time Grandma was getting a little edgy about me poking around. “That’s not garbage, it’s Leftovers Soup,” she snapped. “ I think we’ll have it for lunch.”

Despite its appearance, Grandma’s “Leftovers Soup” was delicious! It actually amounted to a combination of Grandma’s leftovers from her past several weeks of meals. She had merely collected leftovers until her freezer container filled up (hence the layered effect). A full container indicated that it was time to cook and eat the soup, and with the next meal, a brand new batch of Leftovers Soup would be started. Brilliant!

A year ago today I started my blog, “Dancin’ On Rainbows.” I had two thoughts in mind when I started it. First, I like to write, and writing is more fun if someone reads what you write. Secondly, nearly all my writing friends have blogs, so I thought it must be the thing for a writer to do. I honestly had no clear goals or preconceived notions of grandeur in mind. That is probably a good thing, because a year later I am not disappointed. Like Grandma’s soup, I added a little bit of this and little bit of that, and it turned out to be more enjoyable than I could have guessed.

My blogging philosophy isn’t something I worked out in advance, either. It has evolved over time, which also reminds me of Grandma’s Leftovers Soup. Each ingredient adds its own distinct flavor, but in the end, it all blends together into one non-reproducible masterpiece.

Here are some of my key ingredients:

• I take each day, week, month as it comes. If I am inspired to write or share something, I do it. If not, the world continues to spin, and my blog soup is simply frozen in time until the next addition.

• Variety is truly the spice of blogging. In the course of one year I have: made tributes to loved ones, mourned the loss of friends, revealed my silly side, recorded my travels to Africa, and shared deep spiritual thoughts. In so doing, I have given my readers and even myself a pretty good slice of my everyday life. I remember thinking as I ate Grandma’s soup that it was like sampling all the meals from which her leftovers came. Looking back over my blog posts, I feel much the same way.

• No recipe exists for Leftovers Soup; no two batches will ever be alike. Similarly, my blog posts are original. Several years ago, when forwarded e-mails began frequenting my inbox, this thought occurred to me: If I’m going to share something with people I care about, I want it to be my own original words and ideas rather than something that is canned.

• I’ve discovered that those who regularly read my blog aren’t necessarily those I care the most about -my family, that is! It’s not surprising -they would probably turn up their noses at Leftovers Soup, too.

• I am thrilled that ANYBODY takes the time to read my blog -EVER! I’ve become very fond of my followers and all of my new blogging friends.

• Comments are the toasted croutons on top! They make the whole thing worthwhile.

• Grandma was selective as to which leftovers were saved for soup. In the same way, all of my ingredients are run through the sieve of Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

• Just as leftovers such as pizza and applesauce would not be suitable ingredients for soup, so I have determined that anger and cynicism have no place in my blog. “Righteous anger,” which seems to be very much in vogue lately, is in my opinion overrated, and often “tastes” too much like sour grapes.

Grandma said that eating her Leftovers Soup always made her aware of how richly God had provided for her. As I look back over my blog posts from 2009, I, too, am reminded of how gracious and plentiful God’s blessings have been. His mercies are new every morning; how great His faithfulness is to me! (Lamentations 3:22-23)

As a way of welcoming 2010 and celebrating one year of blogging, I have given my blog a facelift! I am also excited to host my first ever give-away. The winner will receive two books! All you have to do to enter is leave a crouton (a comment) on this post. The winner will be chosen by random drawing, so any comment will qualify as an entry, but I would be especially blessed if you would tell me one thing about yourself that I don’t know (perhaps your favorite kind of soup), and one thing about my blog that has blessed you. Next Saturday, January 9th, I will announce the winner!

If you haven’t yet signed up to follow my blog, please take a moment to do that, too. Thanks for stopping by, and may 2010 be a year of wonder and discovery of God’s purpose in your life.


  1. Shari
    Your 'blog' looks fantastic! and I love your 'key ingredients' to leftover soup. I love to read your written word. You are very gifted!

  2. Snazzy new blog format...and I love your "leftover soup" analogy! Perfect for blogging the way we do it.

  3. Your blog look is beautiful and your words always touch my heart.
    I pray you will have a wonderfully blessed New Year and that GOD will pour HIMSELF out to you and through you like never before.
    Blessings and hugs,

  4. I love your posting on Grandma's leftover soup. I love that croutons on top of the soup is like receiving comments on your posts.. So true..
    I was drawn to your post as it was about soup, something I have been making more and more these past few years. But I was blessed by your story of your grandma and her influence on you. A lil' something about me, is that my Grandma (nanie) was the greatest example of a woman after God's heart and I strive to be so like her. For Nanie thought of others before herself and had that "God inspired" spirit that always reached out to those in need just when they needed it. Miss ya Nanie. Thanks for the bringing back good memories and thoughts. GOd bless, Deb

  5. I loved your story about Grandma's leftovers soup. I hope that we can leave our children and grandchildren with lessons and memories.

  6. Love your blog so ready to change mine...Wow...can it really be 2010....So glad I found your blog and look forward to many reads in 2010..Happy New Year..

  7. Shari: I really enjoyed Leftover Soup. As you can imagine, it brought back memories since Grandma was also my grandma. In my Precious Moments collection a special one is called Grandma's Prayer. It reminds me of our grandma who raised 3 children on her own during the Depression, and prayed for them as well as all her grandchildren. I don't remember the leftover soup, but sure do remember her cornflake chicken! Thanks for bringing back special memories of Grandma today!

  8. Fun new blog look! Leftovers Soup sounds so much better than Turkey Carcass Soup! I'm going to have to give that a try even though we don't have many left overs around here.
    I've been blessed and encouraged reading your thoughts and getting to know you better. Keep it up!

  9. This fits me to a tee, Shar. I loved this the first time I read it and one learns something new with each read.
    I so want a new look too and have yet to figure it out so I guess the new year will be spent with some new challenged learning.
    So yes, you keep writing too. Your blog posts are always a blessing in someway.
    I learned a few years ago that 'One is as important as ninety-nine.'
    So whether only one -- or ninety-nine -- read our posts, each one is important.
    Hugs to you my friend,

  10. What a nice story and a beautiful blog you have.

    God's richest blessings for 2010 and beyond.


  11. Hi Shari!

    I found your blog today via your son's Twitter. Glad to see that all is well with you and John lately. No need to enter me in the drawing, but I can tell you something you might not have heard yet (we're expecting baby #3 next summer).


  12. Shari,

    I have never commented on the blog before but I love everything you write. You, your words, and your life are an inspiration and blessing to me. I am thrilled to watch how God is using you and yours!



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