1000 Gifts Photo Essay

Posted by Aarti on February 8th, 2011 . Filed under: Uncategorized .

I’ve blogged before about how much I love Angie Smith’s blog, Bring the Rain. Her honest, humble and humorous (hey HEY! Alliteration! (Dork)) thoughts on God have influenced my own stuttering blurt-outs so much.

Angie started writing from a place of deep grief; the death of near newborn daughter, Audrey.  You can read her story here. To see her praising God despite what she’s gone through… well it reddens my cheeks in embarrassment over my own cheap whining and complaining.

Over the years of checking in, I’ve watched as Angie has poured her story into a well-received book, a column at (in)courage (a collection of thoughtful, female writers) and perhaps my favourite thing… Bloom, her book club, which has now joined forces with (in)courage.

Every month, she encourages readers to get stuck into good (read: not boring!) Christian books. And even though she’s been doing it for a while, I’ve never been tempted to jump in… until this month.

See, there’s been a lot of static on the line between me and Heaven. Every time I pick up the phone, I can’t seem to hear Him. I would get frustrated, knowing that it had to do with me, that I shouldn’t need to have a supernatural experience every single time I pray, that I had to walk by faith, not by sight (or hearing)… that I was being needy.

But I also knew there was another reason I probably wasn’t hearing from him. So I’ll sheepishly admit that I was worried that I was turning into one of “those” people who harp on and on about God, often to weary ears that eventually tune out. Were people tiring of reading about Him when all they wanted was a recipe, a cooking tip or a peek into the life of a new Food Network host? Should I cool it?

In realising that I was (gasp) ashamed of my relationship with Him, another wave of shame would wash over me.

This book came at just the right moment.

It’s Ann Voskamp’s “1000 Gifts”. From the first page, I was struck through the heart by her writing; it’s beautiful, literary, the work of a poet. Then, I was struck by her own heartbreak, roiling her at such a young age. I don’t want to ruin it for you. You can read an excerpt from the first chapter here.

Ann writes about fully living your life, enjoying, exploring the heights and depths of God’s grace, despite the sting of monotony or tragedy. It’s a dare. And I’m totally stepping up to it.

Ann uncovers the power of gratitude — something we take for granted these days. Not that we don’t know that we should be grateful, but I don’t think we understand its power, that it’s the key to living a truly joyful life. She begins writing a list of little things, little reminders of God’s love for her, of His fingerprint on every single aspect of our lives.

Inspired, I took a few photos the other morning of things I’m grateful for.

The echo of a rainbow in my red onion…

New shoots unfurling on the curry leaf plant…

The morning light in our bedroom…

Hugs…

More hugs…

Those are just a few small things I’m grateful for at the moment. If you have a blog, do the same thing, and I’ll put ‘em up in another post!

(Small geek note: a little while ago, I emailed Angie, just to tell her how much I love her writing, how much she’s inspired me… and not only did she write me back, she knew who I was! WOOHOO! I’m so excited!! That’s been one of myriad cool things about this job — getting in contact with people who I admire and finding out that they’ve been watching me show. BEYOND cool. Oh, and yes I’m grateful for that. Yes ma’am.)

-x-
aarti

72 Responses to 1000 Gifts Photo Essay

  1. gina

    Beautifully written, Aarti. And wonderfully transparent. I haven’t read 1000 Gifts yet, but I love Ann’s blog and her book is right up there on my list. How fortunate we all are these days, to be encouraged and inspired by so many people, all over the globe! Glad you are noticing and enjoying beauty in the everyday.

  2. rebecca m

    While I am not religious, spiritual only in an Eastern Philosophy sort of way, and don’t believe in God in the same sense that most people do, I have never once thought you should cool it. Most of all, I admire that you put it all out there (it is YOUR blog afterall!), that you seem to write for yourself first and foremost, and that you’re confident enough to share so much of yourself. I used to blog openly and honestly, but was always so scared about who might be reading it (and who WAS reading it), and what they’d think of me, that I no longer include personal posts on my blog. Interestingly enough, reading yours has begun to inspire thoughts that perhaps I should get back in that game.

  3. Cindy

    I love this post. I have really been trying to focusing on gratitude this year. I started a gratitude journal that has really made me focus on the sunshine of the day and not the rain clouds. I will have to check out that book. I love your blog and how transparent you are. Blessings to you!

  4. Caroline @ chocolate and carrots

    I have this book in my wish list for my nook and now I am definitely going to have to buy it. I’ve been struggling with my relationship with God lately. My little sister-in-law has a rare bone cancer for the 3rd time (she’s only 14) and it makes me so angry that God could allow this to happen again. But, I bet Ann’s words are just what I need to not focus on the negative, and be grateful for the time we have with her and learn to be happier and more supportive. :-D Thank you for the recommendation and inspiration Aarti!

  5. Jami Leigh

    Love it! Great post. I’ll definitely check that book out.
    I’ve been overwhelmed with a heaviness of gratitude in the last few months. I had brain surgery in October and have come into this new year fully healed and fully aware of how very blessed I am. Besides the fantabulous family and friends I’m been awestruck by the little things as well. I cried last week when I realized I could actually taste sweet basil again. I’d lost my sense of taste for over a year! As I plucked a few leaves off the plant I was quite sure God created basil just because he loves me. Don’t worry though, I’ll share it with the rest of you ;)

  6. Tonya Dieterlen

    Aarti,

    This post is precious! Thank you for sharing and may you cuddle up with the Lord and good book every single day;) Growing along beside you, sister :)
    love and blessings,
    Tonyad

  7. Things I’m grateful for at the moment…. | Our Fostering Adventure

    [...] I’m linking up with Aarti Sequeira (of Aarti Paarti blog & show)…. [...]

  8. Mary Lynne Jones

    I linked up with you & posted what I am grateful for at the moment (sadly I can’t put pictures up of our little foster babies or I would, so my blog’s not quite as cute as yours! )

    http://ourfosteringadventure.wordpress.com/

    A friend gave that book to me a couple of weeks ago, now I’m gonna work harder at taking time to finish it! her writing is very beautiful.

    Your blog encourages & inspires me so much Aarti!

  9. Sarah

    Aarti, I am loving your blog, and show, these days! Your amazing attitude on life is really inspiring. I keep a blog and try very hard to create something worthy of a read ~ and not to mention maintaining followers (mainly just my family and closest friends)! This post in particular, http://sunshinesplendor.blogspot.com/2010/12/obsession-uhb-sesh-uhn-noun-domination.html , demonstrates exactly what I am thankful for each and every day, my family… But, I should definitely post more about other things that I am thankful for and my new found obsessions (like cooking and my photography)!

  10. JG

    Thanks for the inspiration! I will DEFINITELY be doing this on my blog soon! And I’ll be honest, I love reading about your faith at least as much as (sometimes more than) your ninja cooking skills, even though that’s what first drew me to you. Thanks for letting us see your testimony and not just being a character on TV.

  11. Krista

    I love this book as well…it’s changing my life. I love your honesty about God. Think about how much influence you have with those who initially stop by here only to connect with your recipes–you might point someone to Christ who wasn’t necessarily looking for Him.

    Oh, and I LOVE that you posted a picture of your unmade bed on the internet. In fact, I might add that to my own list of things I am grateful for! ha ha Silly how easy it is to find things that cause your heart to leap with gratitude toward God.

  12. Denise

    Several of my friends are reading this book and love it. I am reading one I think you would love as well – A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller. Just started it but it is sooo good!

  13. Mrs. A

    I love her blog, too! I think your reflections are just right- just enough to demonstrate your dedication to Christ, but not too much that people are turned off.

    And for what it’s worth, we tried for a baby for 3 years and just in January decided that maybe God was calling us to expand our family another way. Every time I prayed for some sort of direction, I heard static. It was very frustrating. Until we found out at the end of January that He has blessed us with becoming pregnant- a true miracle baby! No wonder He wasn’t providing guidance on other ways to expand our family! So hang in there with the static- you never know what He is working in the background :)

  14. Karen

    Your blog is just that – *your* blog, and while your blog is mainly about food and cooking, it’s also about you, and your spirituality is part of whom you are. It feeds your soul just like the food and cooking does. Why not share that? Your blog, your rules, right? Of course, right!

    I’m Unitarian Universalist, but came from a Christian background originally, and very firmly believe that God exists – he’s just way too big to fit in just one religion. I don’t read your blog just for the cooking and the fun videos you’ve posted. I read to see what’s happening in Aarti’s world.

    In the immortal words of Tim Gunn….carry on.

  15. Denisa

    love.this.post!!!! i hope you don’t ever lead this blog to a place where it is only about food! i love your spirituality and how honest you are.

    i found angie’s blog after audrey was born and poured myself into it one evening reading it from beginning to end. like you, i love her faith and her love for her Creator while walking through such a dark valley. i just finished angie’s book and it was wonderful!

    i have added 1000 gifts to my “to read” list

  16. Susie's Homemade

    Beautiful post! You are definitely not one of “those” bloggers:-)

  17. Jyothi

    I don’t think you should cool it ever! Even though i’m not religious the way you are, what I love about your blog is that its wonderfully transparent, and that you are not embarassed to talk about stuff you really care about!

    And loved the pics! Especially the one of the curry leaf plant, which reminded me of home SO much! :(

  18. Adelina

    I so enjoy reading your posts. They are inspirational in many ways. I will definitely look up Angie.

    Congratulations on your 3rd Season!!!! Yay! I am grateful for that.

    I am actually reading a book called The Power which is an inspirational/motivational book that tells you to list all the things you are grateful in your life. I feel like it’s been helping me. But we all need constant reminders. We’re only human.

  19. hanna

    aarti!!! i love angie’s blog (i recently cried through her new book, i will carry you) AND i love yours! a perfect post to lift up my day. i’m always encouraged to see you persevering in the faith and be bold about it because you prove that people in the show biz can be solid! keep hanging in there!!

  20. Dulany Lingo

    Aarti, Your ‘blog’ is perfect because it seems so natural and easy for you to tell us how you feel and what you are doing. I do try to keep up everyday for inspiration.
    
I love every TV show you have done (I have seen all of them from The Food Network Contest through last week end with your lovely chicken soup) . My personal celebration of your success has been to make a set of Measuring Cups and Spoons in your honor. I’m a polymer clay artist and I have used several of your shows graphics to design and decorate the handles of the stainless steel utensils. Please go to my web site and check under heading ‘Commissions and Such’ and you can see them there. I would love to send them to you, but hours and hours of searching has not produced an address I’m comfortable with just blindly sending them to. Help !!

  21. Meredith

    I suspected that comment some rude person left (“Unfollowing…” as I recall it) would probably not sit well with you. It was the last thing on that thread when I read that on Facebook, and I briefly considered saying something. However, I didn’t know what would be the best thing to say. WWJD? He’d turn the other cheek. What did the martyrs do? They stuck to their guns on their faith. I just couldn’t come up with the best words to remove the sting I felt upon reading that comment. Worse yet, I could tell it would leave a sting with you. You don’t just watch someone talk to a confessional on national TV without gaining at least a shred of incite as to how their minds work, you know. I’m glad that today you are sharing all those beautiful things to be grateful for. My husband has once said to me that atheists are here mainly to remind us why we’re faithful. It seems counterintuitive, but I see the truth in his words! =)

  22. Union College

    We love your blog and your show! Hope you will come to Schenectady, NY to share your talents and experience with the students here, we would love to have you as a speaker!

    PS: Congrats on winning the Next Food Network Star!

  23. Kathy B

    Hi Aarti – I haven’t posted before, but I’ve followed your blog for several months. Love your show! (I just wish they hadn’t moved it to 11:30 Eastern on Sundays – if Deacon Mike is giving the homily at 10:30 Mass there’s no way I can make it home in time for the start of your show!) And I really admire your ability to write about your faith and spirituality. I’m a catechist, teaching (or trying to teach) 6th graders about Hebrew scripture. I guess it’s a way of sharing my faith – but I can never make it as personal as you can.

  24. Not Ibid.

    For me, the biggest gift in love is finding someone who encourages you to never ever give up on your dreams. If you’re lucky to have found that person…make sure he/she knows how much you appreciate it. Here’s my Valentine’s post on it: http://notibid.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/the-luckiest-dreamer/

  25. Keli

    Aarti, you are awesome! Thank you for sharing your reflections on faith and life! I love your show and I really enjoy reading your sweet, insightful posts. Keep up the good work! Praying that the Lord uses your words to touch others with His love. :) Proverbs 8:19

  26. Linda

    I am kind of where you are right now—-thanks for sharing the book title with us–I will look at it….I am learning too on remembering to give thanks for all the little things…thanks for the joy you put into your show—love your show…..

  27. Robin in New Jersey

    Hi Aarti!

    My daughters and I watched you on Next Food Network Star. We rooted for you!

    I love this post. I have been following Ann for a couple years now. I have read her book from cover to cover and am on my second time through. What a blessing it is~~life changing really.

    Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Let it shine!

  28. djpeaker

    Aarti,
    Don’t change a thing. Don’t change to fit into any “mold” that the world would have you to believe. The reason I first found your blog was that your faith radiated when you were first competing to be the Food Network Star. You really inspire me with your “human-ness” in the times of trial and triumph. You are very eloquently spoken and written – once again, don’t change unless the Lord prompts you to- you are a beautiful platform for Him to show his mercy and grace is greater than anything or anyone!

    PS Isn’t it wonderful how he does show his presence to us all over creation – read Isaiah 40!

    Debby

  29. Hannah

    I lost my grandma last weekend– the day before my 30th birthday. It’s been a hard week, but I’ve been thinking about this verse:

    Psalm 107:1
    Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

    The day my grandma fell a few weeks ago (which led to her death), I spent the day at the hospital trying to think of that verse. I made a mental note to look it up that night, but I didn’t have to. When I put my 4 year old to bed that night and read her preschool devotional, that was the verse for the day. God is so good. :-)

    So, it’s been a hard week without my precious grandma, but God’s love endures. I have been thanking God for such an amazing woman and the 30 years I spent with her. I have been so blessed. I know I’ll see her again.

    Awesome post, Aarti. I’m so glad to have found your blog. You are an inspiration and God’s love shines through you. Hugs from Georgia!

  30. Tracy

    Your blog is wonderful! Don’t change a thing. If people don’t want to read about your faith, there are plenty of other blogs they can read. And keep up the good work on your show!

  31. Lindsay

    your faith is a big reason of why i became such a fan of yours during TNFNS, and a big reason why i’m such a fan of your show and blog. tv needs more people like you, unashamed of His name, confident in Spirit, and encouraging. keep up the good work, and if you ever get discouraged, just look at Him, and He will eclipse everything else :0)

  32. SarahinOK

    I love that you’re so transparent and just put it out there. So many people aren’t genuine/vulnerable about their motivations, and it’s just sooo refreshing to come across people who are. Thank you!

    I went ahead and blogged my gratefuls too. I’ve been snowed in with my kids off and on for nearly 2 weeks, so at this point, I need to be focused on the gratefuls and stop thinking so much about my need for personal space. :)

    http://unfamiliarpaths.blogspot.com/2011/02/gratitude-and-purple-potatoes.html

    Love your blog and your show. Keep it coming.

  33. Susie

    I started reading your blog when you were on NFNS – but I keep reading your blog because of posts like this one! I’m working in my dream field – ordained ministry serving children and youth – and still find plenty to complain about, yadda yadda yadda. Thanks for sharing who you are!

  34. Taryn

    This was a wonderful post! Thank you.

  35. Brie

    Thank you for saying what you said. I have so many testimonies of miracles in my life and so afraid to share them…

  36. Wendy

    That is so interesting that the thing that you are worried the most about is what I love about you!! I love your recipes but I also love the way you feed my soul with your thoughts and insights.

  37. lynn @ the actor's diet

    it IS exciting reaching out to peeps who you follow/respect – aarti, oh aarti, won’t you respond to me?!? i heart your show/blog. such an inspiration!

  38. Patty Knox

    Aarti, you inspire me in the midst of my own sorrow! My Dad is in hospice, dying soon but still hanging on. A devout (read:strict) Catholic all his life, and an example to me in making faith in Jesus Christ the top priority of life in this world. He is unconscious but no longer in pain & appears peaceful. I knew when I checked into your blog that I could count on you to cast a warming, joyful light on living out faith day by day, as well as help me cook something that tastes amazingly new to my bored tastebuds, & you came through as always. As for whining, many Psalms do the same. You’re in good company. But always, in His time, God comes through. Thanks for your faithfulness, Sistah Aarti.

  39. Deepa

    I am absolutely NOT tired of reading about Him, rather inspired that you have found a way to praise God through your everyday work. How awesome! Please keep it up and continue to seek His gifts in the everyday stuff He places in our lives. But, of course, keep posting those recipes too!!! :) Philippians 1:6

  40. Sar

    Deepa, go home and do your taxes.

  41. Danielle

    I come here for your thoughts on your relationship with Him AND for your food tips. You’re a loveable soul, and I’m so glad to be able to read your blog.

    P.S. Wherever did you get the hugging salt/pepper shakers? Hugs are just about my favorite thing on Earth.

  42. mary

    I just found your blog, how exciting! I watched you on the show & you were my pick. I adore Indian food & love learning how to do it & how to stock my kitchen. I am a stumbling cook, but I do try. I had a feeling you were Christian by some of the things you said on the show. How wonderful. I shall continue to read about you here. You are adorable.

  43. Lindsay Heinzen

    okay sooo.. just wanted to let you know that i tried parsnips because of you. thank you.. they were MOST enjoyable. mmmm. i SHALL have them again. you rock my socks, aarti. i know you probably never even see these comments but i just wanted to let you know that you are kinda my “famous adopted friend”… in my mind we are friends and you are teaching me how to cook. okay.. that’s good. i’m sure i’ve creeped you out good and plenty. :)

  44. Y.M.

    Aarti:

    Love your blog! Love your show! I haven’t missed an episode yet thanks to Tivo and would love to interview you for my blog.

    Wishing you all the best and if you want a really great gospel album track down a copy of Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace or Mississippi Mass Choir Greatest Hits.

  45. Heather

    I came upon your blog just before you announced you were going to be on FN. I’m happy to see that winning a chance-of-a-lifetime opportunity hasn’t changed you into someone else, it’s only enhanced you and given yet another branch to your tree. I still enjoy watching the show, when I can catch it between the kids and chores :) Bless your heart Aarti!

  46. Andrea AG

    I just tried your pea-lafel! (seriously about ten minutes ago) but I scrapped the edamame (my doctor told me to have less soy) and put in a cooked small sweet potato instead and it was great! The spices were dead on and delicious. I kept the fenugreek from the 2009 version of the recipe and I really liked the outcome.

    I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. It’s insightful, witty and in a slightly creepy but awesome manner you somehow manage to write what I am feeling at the time. I have started and stopped blogs since high school but alas none have come close to yours.

    your fan,
    aag

  47. Erin

    I love reading your blog and watching your show, but I have a request for an RSS feed so that I can check if you’ve updated without loading the whole thing again!

    I am a big fan and enjoy reading your thoughts, inspirations and about your food creations. Keep on rockin’!

  48. Gregory Huff

    Bravo, Aarti! Great post! And I made your Chicken & Corn Soup last night. It was so good, I ate 3 bowls of it in one sitting! It has such a fresh, light taste to it. I always wondered how Chinese soup had the consistency and the egg wisps in it; you made it easy for me to create and the results were delicious! Keep up the great work!

  49. rebekah (clarity in creation.)

    beautiful one – i have commented before, just i just wanted to chime in with a resounding voice, along with all the other “comrades” who read your blog.

    you should never, never feel ashamed of your heart for the Savior. you are such an encouragement to myself and my mom (she’s a huuuge aarti fan!), and i know to many others. i often think “if someone in the limelight won’t renounce her faith, God really is a big God, isn’t He?” you remind me that life isn’t about the temporary.

    bottom line? you rock, and i will continually be praying that God uses you as a light at FN kitchen.

  50. ButterFlyTeaChic

    Aarti,

    Simply put…YOU ROCK! I love that you won the food network star competition, I love your new T.V. show and I loooooove your blog! You have inspired me tremendously.

    Thank you!
    I’m a fan forever!
    God Bless!
    Keep rockin in the free world! =)
    Peace & Love
    The ButterflyTeaChic

  51. Gluten Free Diva

    Yes, it is gratitude that I try to wake up to every day. Isn’t always easy. Sometimes I forget in my sleepy stupor, but then I splash cold water on my face and I remember how lucky I am. To be alive. To have children. To have a loving husband. To be a fulltime children’s musician. To be able to cook and teach and blog about being gluten free. To have my hair grow back after going gluten free. All of it. Good and wonderful and amazing. Thank you for yet another reminder to count our blessings!

  52. Terri

    Aarti – Never forget that you are where God wants you for His purpose. As Spurgeon says, “He is everything, or He is nothing at all.” Shine brightly, sister!! You feed our hearts and our tummys beautifully. We are grateful for you!!!

    love you,

    Terri

  53. amy

    where did you get the curry plant from?

  54. deniseclaire1

    Aarti, I love your blog for its mix of food for the soul and food for the physical body! Don’t ever change that!

    Perhaps your talent for cooking is only the avenue God decided to use to bring Glory to his Precious Son and introduce Him to people who have not known Him. Kind of like Eric Liddell in “Chariots of Fire”. Have you ever read a biography of Eric’s life? He became a missionary in China after the 1924 Olympics. Not suggesting you become a missionary, just that you are accomplishing more than cooking lessons.

    I love that you are so real and down to earth!

  55. Michelle

    I love this post and love that you are being unashamed to live your everyday life for God! Thanks for sharing your real, vulnerable heart!

  56. Michelle

    I love that blog too and I love your blog because you are vulnerable and real about where you are – and that is what people want to hear. You make people curious about why you are different – because of God’s love inside of you! Thanks for stepping up to this incredible challenge and privilege! I am blessed by you. :)

  57. Ruth

    I am also doing the Bloom bookclub! I LOVE both Angie and Ann’s blogs and 1000 Gifts is doing heart surgery on me in the most beautiful way!! So awesome to see you post about this!

  58. kika

    I’ll be vulnerable here and say this is my first time reading the blog. I came for the food and not the Christian viewpoint. It’s made me less of a fan. I can choose to turn the other cheek too.

  59. Donna

    Aarti, I watched you all through Food Network Star (and rooted for you!) and knew I could see Jesus shining in you. Don’t ever feel bad about that. It’s one of the reasons I loved you and connected with you and your love of food from the start. Bless you and keep on keeping on for Him!

  60. Paul

    Aarti-you are amazing!! Love your show. You crack us up with your light hearted humor. The food is just a bonus!!

  61. Kathryn

    Aarti-

    Any plans for a cookbook? It be a lot easier to keep track of all your recipes. :-) I have some printed out, some saved on foodnetwork.com, others stashed in this adorable new (proper) recipe notebook I found. REALLY enjoying Season 2 of Aarti Party, by the way! You’ve written about your gluten ______ (intolerance?) many times, but I wonder why you don’t address it more on your show? (It’s because of Food Network isn’t it? I’m sure you can’t comment.) I just want you to know, you’re an inspiration to gluten free, aspiring home cooks everywhere.

    Thank you,

    Kathryn

  62. Jill

    Haven’t visited your blog lately, and now I know why I randomly checked in today. I’ve been looking for a project for Lent, and now I have the perfect idea. I’m going to write 1000 things I’m grateful for – it works out to 25 per day for the 40-day period. I’ve been bogged down lately both spiritually and mentally because of issues with my job taking over my life, but when I truly stop and think about it, I have everything I need – my health, my loved ones’ health, the PERFECT husband, an extended family I adore, a warm home, and I don’t worry about money. This will be the perfect way to focus my thoughts during the time of Lenten reflection on what God has given me. Maybe I’ll even start my own blog to record my thoughts about the project and the 1000 items. Once again, I’m very glad NFNS brought you into my life…perfect timing on this inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring, Jill

  63. M@

    Aarti,
    I have been rooting for you since NFNS. Our curry leaf plant is even named after you. My wife and I have enjoyed you and your blog. I also watch Bren on YouTube on occasion. You both are very encouraging and my wife and I have talked about how you and your husband are the kind of people we’d like to think we’d be friends with if we had ever had a chance to meet. You’re real and that is hard to find in a world that is so often plastic. Several of your struggles are mine as well and while I hate that someone is struggling, what can I say? Misery loves company and I get some comfort from having good company in the boat I’m in. Thank you for this post and, if I may be a prayer-whore, ask that you and whoever sees this to toss my wife and I on their prayer list as we face a buttload of challenges.
    Stay God’s and Keep Cooking!

  64. Kelly

    I’m super delayed in making this comment… mostly because I tell myself that amidst allll of your fans, you probably don’t need to hear from me :) But just in case you do… I want to thank you for blogging Aarti! I discovered you on Next FN Star and fell in love with your joy and spirit… only to find on your blog that the source of your joy is the Lord. Thank you for speaking about Him and your faith and doing it so well. You don’t speak in weirdo, crazy Christian talk… and your open and honest about your questions, doubts… and assurances. We so appreciate your heart and your blog – so please continue on. :)
    PS – huge fan of Angie Smith too! 1000 Gifts is on my list, after I finish “Made to Crave” which I highly recommend!

  65. sangeeta

    Hi Aarti … loved your writing and all these pictures ….those hugging shakers are so so pretty…

    One can smell real genuine writing from a mile you know…off to read more of you.

  66. Gratitude and Purple Potatoes « Unfamiliar Paths

    [...] made one of Aarti’s recipes tonight, and then read her most recent blog post. She was talking about gratitude, and mentioned a book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp [...]

  67. Cathy B

    Aarti, when I first saw you on food network, I knew you were special! Now, reading your blog, I understand why . The joy you give off has a deep inner source! I am broken thinking of you and the testimony you are of His great loving kindness. When I, too, first heard about little Aubrey Smith and listened to her dads song about the gift she was from Heaven, my soul was stirred. They are truly an amazing family whose lives testify of His Amazing Love.
    If you ever come back to Florida would love to have lunch with you!
    Can you let me know how to get in touch with you via email? Thanks so much!
    Praying you receive this note!

    ( and ps, if you EVER come across a recipe for GLUTEN-FREE, YEAST-FREE Naan, PLEASE let me know! Thank you!!

    Cathy B
    pbprojecthope at yahoo dot com
    http://palmbreezeliving.blogspot.com
    http://bamboopink.net/palmbreezeliving
    http://twitter.com/projecthope7

  68. Jules

    I love Ann Voskamp, her book and her blog. I find myself there quite a bit and have started my own 1000 gifts list. It’s amazing how my attitude changes during the day when I stop to notice all the little blessings that I have.
    Thanks for mentioning Angie. I’ve been to her blog, but it’s been awhile. I will revisit.
    Love your honesty here, Aarti.

  69. Ann

    Aarti,

    My husband and I rooted for you on NFNS and we love your food (Bombay Sloppy Joes are absolute genius).

    This is the first time I’ve looked at your blog. I came to read about your food and found much about religion. I’m an atheist so all the god stuff here has definitely made me less of a fan. It is your blog so naturally you can do whatever you want. And I could choose to skip over the god stuff to find the food writing but realistically I probably won’t visit again.

  70. Marcus

    Aarti,

    I love your show and I think you are so gorgeous and beautiful!!!!!! I love your food and your smile. keep up the good work.

  71. Kevin

    Aarti,

    Just when I had given up hope that any television celebrity (sorry sister, you are) couldn’t openly & lovingly convey to the world the blessings of God, you & Bren come along. I am inspired by your stories of Bren’s fasting in the woods, and am so full of joy to see believers walking their faith in boldness, in humility, and in love.

    May God who is above, through, in, and over all, bless you & Bren abundantly, now and always.

  72. Bianca Castafiore

    Drat. I thought I might escape the Gratitude Urge with a bit of Indian haute cuisine… No such luck.

    It’s following me. Everywhere.

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