Monday, January 26, 2015



Used to hate 'em – now I love 'em.


Brussels sprouts.  (Which, for most of my life I thought were actually called brussel sprouts.  But no!  Brussels sprouts is correct, for they are thought to have originated in Brussels, Belgium).

I digress.

I have always hated Brussels sprouts.  

And lima beans.

And creamed corn.

I am actually gagging a bit even as I type their names.  Evidently they hold the power of suggestion over my gag reflex.

All the other squishy vegetables that I hated as a child?  I now love them! Zucchini is my best friend.  Butternut squash?  A winner!  I have even made peace with peas.  ("Give peas a chance…")

But not those three.

So, here's the deal, though.

My dad loved these vegetables, and he insisted on my mom fixing them all the time.


And the worst was when my mom got sick, and had to stay in bed.  Which never, ever happened.  So that's probably why I remember the one time it actually did happen.

And Dad cooked.

And yes, you guessed it.  Brussels sprouts galore.

My dad was a big guy, too – 6'3" and over 200 pounds.  So, not only did we have the dreaded Brussels, we also had Dad-sized portions.

We sat at that table for like two hours.

"You are not leaving that table until you've cleaned your plates."


"And I'd better not hear the garbage disposer turned on."

Tears and gagging.

I don't know how I survived that night.

I do know how somebody survived – my sister.  You see, she had discovered that an old electrical outlet had been removed and papered over in the kitchen nook.  And she had wiggled a small opening in said wallpaper, and managed to hide unwanted food in there!

I'm not sure that I can describe the stench after several weeks.

Mom discovered it – thank goodness!

Otherwise, my dad might have punished us by serving Brussels sprouts, with a creamed corn sauce, and lima bean ice cream for dessert.


I'm not really sure what triggered this blog post.

Perhaps a subconscious childhood flashback?

Table trauma?  Dinner despair?  Food fear?

Maybe someone's delicious blog recipe for Brussels sprouts?  (If you have a delicious recipe, I apologize.  But, for me, delicious and Brussels sprouts will never, ever fit in the same sentence.  Culinary oxymoron for me…)

Regardless, I'm thinking right now about how to derive a devotional from this!!

And, it's this.

Sometimes life is a bowl of Brussels sprouts.

Not cherries – but maybe the pits!!


Things that we don't like at all.  

Oh sure, these things might be good for us, but they are not palatable to our innate desire for a comfortable and *tasty* life!

We want an ice cream life, I think.

Sugary and sweet.

Dessert and sodas and candy all the time.  

Here's the thing, though.  Empty calories will not nourish.  Not in real life, nor in our spiritual lives.

So sometimes it's necessary for us to experience things we don't like.

Because sometimes, the very things that we don't like are the very things that we most need.

Testing, refinement, character-building.

God knows this.

He knows exactly what *food* our souls need to survive, and to thrive.  And He is absolutely dedicated to "serving this up" in our lives.

Dessert?  Sometimes.  Fruits and Vegetables?  Often.

Yucky Brussels sprouts, lima beans, and creamed corn?

Oh yes, most certainly.

Life is a bowl of Brussels sprouts at times, whether we like it or not…

But dear Lord, I still want a balanced spiritual life.  I want to be fed well. So, bring to my life the things that aren't necessarily *tasty* and palatable to the comfortable life I want to live.

Serve up the stuff that is nutritious.

And good for me.

For this one thing I believe with all of my heart…

Father knows best!

Do you see Mr. Lima Bean
right smack dab
in the middle of this photo???

"You gave your good Spirit to instruct them.  You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst."(Nehemiah 9:20, NIV)

"All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water.  For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:3-4, NLT)

"When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty." (Jeremiah 15:16, NIV)

"I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." (Job 23:12, NASB)

"How sweet are Your words to my taste!  Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" (Psalm 119:103, NASB)

"The laws of the LORD are true...They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb." (Psalm 19:9-10, NLT)

"Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.  Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness." (1 Peter 2:2-3, NLT)

"'Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you'...'Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'  Jesus then said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.'  They said to him, 'Sir, give us this bread always.'

Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst...I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.  This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.  And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.'" (From John 6, ESV)

"He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it.  Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.'" (Luke 22:19, NLT)

"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!" (Psalm 34:8, ESV)

"Give us today the food we need..." (Matthew 6:11, NLT)

Do you have a vegetable that you just can't stand?  What is it?

Linked with:


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. i will definitely take ice cream over anything. Pizza is my second go to food. however, i do like creamed corn (especially over mashed or baked potatoes) and I like lima beans. I concur on the BS (oops that is not what you think). LOL I used to feel that way about vegetables as a kid but have grown to like many (except raw carrots). Cooked yea. Raw no. i digress. Good application Sharon. I'll take Him any day, any time of the day, any day of the week.

  2. As usual, Sharon, love your sense of humor :) Actually walked past some brussel sprouts this weekend and thought "Oh, we need to make them, haven't had them in ages." I'm trying to think of some vegetable I don't like. I'm going to have to go wit okra, not that we had a lot of it, but when out and about and trying it, it never appeased to me.

    I am glad God gives us everything in life. The hard things, the times of rest, the good times, etc. We do indeed need a balanced diet.


  3. Peas, peas, peas, peas (not please but NO, thank you) ... and all 3 of yours and more! Unbelievable that you could actually pull out a spiritual application from veggies and so wonderfully humorous as you dish them up, Sharon. Your wit and humor in writing mighty be a bit "corny" at times but they still make me laugh, chuckle, or at least smile. And actually I do like corn, but you are referring to a style of making it and I totally agree -yuck! Although I have gotten better with some "veggies", I am the worst when it comes to eating, with many childhood "flashbacks". I use to detest even mashed potatoes, but have gotten to like them, but never peas {and most meals had them both} nor lima beans and thank goodness, I don't recall having "brussels sprouts" ever ... much prefer a bowl of cherries and a "life as a bowl of cherries". It's easier for me to understand God including the disciplines and character building "ingredients" in our less spicy life then "veggies". Don't get me wrong, I do eat a few, but it's the same few. I'm not big on the balanced diet and nutritious parts. "Because sometimes, the very things that we don't like are the very things that we most need." wondering if God is speaking to me?

    All in all, I agree with you that "Father knows best". {really loved that} however some earthly dads are not as delightful and being forced to eat anything disliked is just not right {taste it, try it} but no force, with tears and trauma ... who knows maybe I'd like more veggies with "Veggie Tales" and the way the Holy Spirit serves it up, with gentle prompting and kind encouragement, inviting us ... yeah, I know that there are times we need the balance and refining, realizing that the "proof is in the pudding" after testing and discipline, however, "taste and see that the Lord is good" is what keeps coming to me ... and He never forces us, although we learn the hard way, many of times, and it'd be better if we listened and learned the first time, but God is ever so faithful and loving as He trains us.
    I'll take the Bread of Life and Living Water, any time over the veggies ... but I must get an adequate amount of all that He provides and dishes up as long as He's there to see me through.

    Sharon, you truly amaze me with your writing! Thank you for serving up a not so delicious subject in the Light of Jesus and the nourishment. I think I might need some healing in this area and plenty of grace!

    Love to you and a blessed week (((hugs)))

  4. Sharon~How I've missed you! And this lighthearted post is filling my way, too early morning with the humor I needed. I never would have imagined you wondering where you were going with a post, but it is soooo real and delightful. Now, all I need are some words from Marty (please send me the dates of those posts) and a visit from you. One in real life would be ideal.
    Thank you for reminding me that the spiritual disciplines we dislike the most are the most needed in our lives--just like those vegetables.
    My least liked vegetables are definitely Brussels Sprouts (thank you for the English lesson here--also thought it was just "Brussel" Sprouts), canned spinach and canned wax beans. The only way I can tolerate the sprouts is with a healthy layer of melted cheddar cheese. Popeye can have the canned spinach. I'll eat the fresh stuff. And I never even heard of wax beans until I married hubby!
    Delightful post. Looking forward to a visit from you.

  5. You've done it again, girlfriend. I didn't like my veggies as a kid either but I'm actually quite surprised what I find myself putting in my mouth these days...peas, oh yes, please...they are among my faves...and I have even been known to swallow a Brussels sprout every now and then if it was cooked the right way! The lime beans are big no-no! Even though I do love my ice cream and sweets, I know I cannot make a steady diet of that or I will be in BIG trouble...just as I'd be if I wasn't made to swallow a few (sometimes many) unappetizing things. We all know what happens to those who always get their own way...they turn out to become shallow, spoiled brats who don't think they need God or anyone else. Thanks for this great reminder!

  6. Me too, I never liked Brussels Sprouts or Lima Beans. I have not made peace with Lima Beans or Peas but I do love vegetables! I have enjoyed a few recipes that I have made for Brussels Sprouts but they sure do smell up the house! We do need to eat what God has provided for us and stay away from the processed foods.

  7. Only someone from our generation can identify with that table scene. I was there. Lima beans and peas -- still not giving them a chance. I have conceded to broccoli which mom used to mash up and try to pass off as spinach (my favorite). There were the mornings when the uneaten veggies from the night before appeared on the table for breakfast as promised. How did we survive!

    But, life lesson learned and continuously lived in real life. So, mom and dad raised us real. We learn to deal with Brussels Sprouts days (nice fun fact on that) and what a sigh of relief when my blood type diet has forbidden them, AND lima beans and kidney beans, too!

    Knew it all the time!

    Great metaphor and biblical principle shared, milady! You are too amazing!

  8. Such a wonderful story, Sharon, I'm sure there's any need to turn it to a devotional! Thanks for sharing it!

  9. I love this post. It is very true. Sometimes life IS a bowl of Brussels Sprouts.
    visiting from Playdates With God

  10. I actually love brussels sprouts, lol. Even loved them when I was a kid. Yes, I had quite strange culinary habbits for a child, lol
    But I get the gist. Life is often pea soup (which I did not enjoy as a child), or lumpy oatmeal. Very extremely healthy and nourishing but horrible to swallow and digest.
    And very the best things happen to us in life when we do clean our plates and swallow it all.
    And sometimes we even learn to enjoy the oatmeal and pea soap, even long for it. But not very often, just enough to help us grow.

  11. I enjoy peas now, but not as a child. Mother had two vegetables in her garden that I hated and vowed I would NEVER serve them to my children. Parsnips and Rutabaga were two I hated and to this day have never served them at our table. I think turnips are in that family. the rest of her garden was fine including beets we shredded into a salad. I was thinking today that Paul said "I wanted to feed you meat, but all you could handle was milk." Sometimes we need to study for the meat of God's word and chew on it to get it down. Thank you for sharing at Tell Me a Story, Your stories are delightful!

  12. I can't remember Mom ever serving Brussels Sprouts, but Robert cuts them in half and coats them with butter and crumbs and bakes them. He also loves cabbage, which is similar. Just saying!

  13. Yes, our Father knows best...and He realizes, in His infinite wisdom, that what we need is a balanced diet, spiritual brussels sprouts and all! I have come to like a lot of things I didn't like as a child, but can't say that I have ever mastered the art of enjoying brussels sprouts! Definitely not one of my favorites, but I can tolerate them...because I know they're good for me. Same with our trials, sometimes we can come to a place of acceptance, because we realize we NEED the lessons we are learning from them. Thanks for sharing your stories with us, sweet friend. Much love to you!

  14. I popped over from Titus 2 Tuesday to read your post; it caught my eye because I can't stand brussels sprouts! Which I thought was brussel sprouts, so thanks for informing me. (I'm not crazy about lima beans or creamed corn, either.) Your story was hilarious and I like your spiritual application. :)

  15. I love the story and the spiritual analogy. The food in the wall, I bet your mama was fit to be tied when she discovered that!

  16. Ha ha! Girl you brought a smile to my face. And although I Iove limas and corn, I am with you on the brussels sprouts! Thanks for sharing. Great analogy. ~visiting from Testimony Tuesday

  17. It's good I love my husband because that is the only reason I would cook Brussels sprouts. Thanks God he is not offended if I don't eat them. Great application.

  18. Eggplant is my answer! Love your humor, my friend!

  19. I learned something new from the get-go: "Brussel" sprouts. :)

    I got the same lecture (You're not leaving this table until...) with sweet potatoes. But my mom finally had mercy on me after 30 minutes and let me go. I still haven't touched them. ha.

  20. Only you could weave a devotional out of unloved vegetables, but you did. And it's given me food for thought (0:

  21. So true! God uses our challenges and trials to make us better people the same way those yukky veggies are good for our health! You made me smile, and I didn't know it was supposed to be BrusselS sprouts!!! Learned something today!!! :^) God bless you! patsy

  22. LOL Food for thought! Yes, the Father knows what we need. I am going to enjoy thinking more on this post. Thanks for sharing at So Much At Home.
    Love, Chris

  23. I know my husband has his share of stories about sitting around the table until all seven boys (yes seven!) ate all their food. LOL. (But I do beat him with a family of 10 kids.) Hubs does make AWESOME Brussels spouts, I must say too. :) Love the devotional that came from vegetables!! You make me smile. And maybe it's always been there, but I spent time checking out your fabulous side bar to my right with all sorts of good stuff. :)))

  24. What a fun post. I had Brussels spouts for the first, actually, not too long ago. They were part of a delicious meal someone else cooked. So, of course, I will never try to recreate that! :) Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  25. Ahh, we are kindred spirits in the veggie world. I strongly dislike brussels sprouts and lima beans. I'm pretty indifferent about creamed corn. Anyway, I love almost everything else! I hear you - sometimes we just have to suck it up. And realize that somehow, it will be okay.

  26. Got logged out and can't remember all the old passwords… Fourth time's a charm!

    Great point about the senses and the pleasure and comfort we seek are seldom the best thing for us…

    Thanks too for the reminder of when my sister tried to hide a baked potato under her plate...

  27. I love this blog post! Thanks. I needed a laugh today!! Actually I don't like lima beans either, but I'll eat them if hidden in soup. But I love brussel sprouts. This was such a fun devotional to read!

  28. It took me a long time to learn to love brussels sprouts! I prefer them fresh and roasted now not frozen and steamed.

  29. Great post and I love how you tied it all together! I hated Brussels sprouts before I tried them! I roast mine with mini carrots, onions, garlic and Italian herbs and it is delicious! I can't even look at okra!! And yes, we have to take the bad vegetables (trials) with the good, otherwise we'd all be spoiled, useless brats, right?

  30. My friend and I have started to notice that there is soul-filling rest (reading the Bible or a spiritual book, talking to encouraging friends) and there is soul-depleting rest (scrolling through Facebook or playing mind-numbing games on the computer or tablet). Your post further clarifies this idea for me. God provides for us what our soul needs in life. It's not healthy for us to be gorged on ice-cream moments all the time. Thank you for your wise insights. So grateful!

  31. You crack me up. I am not a fan of brussel sprouts either... but I will eat a lima bean if it's in a yummy soup. Hugs

  32. OH SNAP, (peas, that is!) dear Sharon. Love this post. Although I have found one thing we differ in... I do enjoy creamed corn. I can choke down brussels sprouts, but yes, lima beans were definitely my issue growing up.

    I agree-- I often want life to be a bowl of ice cream, not things that make us sweaty and stressed. But hey... Glad God is our Holy Chef, right?

    Thanks for the laugh and the "FOOD" for thought (I couldn't resist.) :-)

  33. LOL. I think all kids have dinner time traumas. Mine would be liver and onions with beets. Gag!

  34. Great sense of humor :)
    Visiting from Friday linky

  35. Dropping by from Spiritual Sundays and my entry is: Not giving up?
    I do love you post. It is both funny, but inspiring.
    A word that I need today.
    Yes, God's word is everything that we needed for!

  36. Good fun Sharon! I love it! Mine were peas. We still talk about the night I had to sit at the table until they were gone. I love them now. Brussels sprouts are okay too. You can have my butternut squash though. :-) I laughed at your sisters solution. It's interesting isn't it that some of those things we don't want are good for us. Thankful the Lord knows what I need. Thanks for linking up at CMB.

  37. LOL I love this -- "Give peas a chance"! LOL You always put a huge smile on my face! Your so have a balanced diet, we sometimes need to eat things that aren't our favorite. To have a balanced spiritual life, we need to also have nourishing things for our soul! God knows what is best for us...and I'm trusting Him! I promise not to hide what He offers me in the light socket...

    Blessings, Joan

  38. Love this, great post, thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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