One of the side dishes I served for Christmas dinner was Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction and Cranberries. They were delicious, and this is coming from the girl who hated them so much, growing up, that she faced down her father at dinner and was left sitting at the table, long after everyone else had finished, until she ate them.

Last night, I reheated some to go with the chicken I made for dinner. The kids were THRILLED to see them again! They fell at my feet and WORSHIPED my culinary prowess! They promised to love me FOREVER if I would but serve them Brussels sprouts EVERY NIGHT!

Lilli: “I don’t want Brussels sprouts today, or Thursday, or Friday!”

Brody: “…or Father’s Day!”

How do you really feel, kids?

Now, while they have grown up refusing most any type of vegetable, over the last few months they’ve begun a foray of sorts into the world of greens. Broccoli, for instance, has been a recent winner, and, believe it or not, Brussels sprouts has been accepted on one occasion, which is why I had decided to include them in the Christmas menu. Thinking that maybe it was just the fact that they were served as a leftover, and I was pressing my luck, I didn’t think much of it.

Until I noticed Brody’s tongue was blue, and, upon further investigation, saw that Lilli’s lips had somewhat of a blue tinge.

Ruling out oxygen loss, I sought to question.

“Brody, why is your tongue blue?”

(It’s always a good idea to ask Brody first, as he is two and the truth is the only thing in his playbook.)

“I eat candy off the ginger house! Lilli, too!”

(Like I said, the ABSOLUTE TRUTH, which includes tattling.)


(I was met with a silent, sheepish, curly-headed grin.)

“Mimmie, my belly hurts. I done eating.”

With that, Brody excused himself from the table, untouched Brussels sprouts left lonely on the plate. As I picked him up to put him back in his chair, I chanced a look at the gingerbread houses, noticing one entire side of each was bereft of decoration.

Isn’t it interesting that we always seem to choose what temporarily satisfies a desire, instead of what nourishes a need? And why do we always seem to binge on the former, so there’s no room left for the latter?

We need the greens of life, folks. We need to focus on nourishing what we really need, what is going to help us grow, and feed us with eternal perspective, as the crap that fills our desires very often leaves us with a belly ache, then an emptiness that leaves us wanting.

The gingerbread houses are headed for the bin, today, and I’m not giving up. I think broccoli might be on tonight’s menu. The kids are going to be SO excited!


So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. ~ Colossians 3:2 MSG