For the next two weeks my family will be playing a fun game called, “guess what’s in this dish?!” (I’m confident that this is a well-known game for most moving families.) The rules are simple, just try and figure out how many ingredients Mom was able to pull from her pantry, freezer or fridge and mix together to form an edible (if not imaginative) meal. The winner gets seconds..and thirds…and maybe fourths because we have to eat all this up before moving day!!
Thankfully we are at the beginning of the two weeks so last night’s meal was fairly straightforward. Who knows what the coming weeks hold though.
So yes, we are 14 days away from pulling out of the driveway and beginning the 11+ day journey up to Anchorage, Alaska. We still don’t have official orders or packing day (what?!) but everything else seems to be settling into place here in Dayton. And when I say, “settling into place” I simply mean, “all the balls that should be up in the air are up, and all the plates that should be spinning are spinning and all of adults that should be stressed out are stressed-but-trying-not-to-lose-their-minds during this period of chaos.” : )
It’s hard to pin down exactly how I feel at this moment. I’m very limited in what I can currently do (as another military moving friend frustratedly stated, “I’m a planner unable to make a plan!!”) so I’m left with a strange combination of anxiety and excitement over the impending packing, driving, house hunting (no, my recent trip didn’t net me a home…but it did give me a renewed appreciation for snow tires and heated seats!), schooling, job hunting, and the odd worry that I might encounter a bear or moose during my first week up north.
But there is another phrase that another friend of mine (who is also moving on short notice) and I have been sharing lately. The phrase is simply, “God’s got this.”
Like a giant packing blanket, or huge sheet of bubble wrap, my confidence that God is in control and has all areas of my current situation firmly wrapped up and accounted for gives me peace. Granted, the peace is fleeting (often preceded by panic) but I come back to it over and over and over each day.
God’s got this.
It’s a simple statement but has a whole semi-truck sized moving van full of implications for my everyday life.
For me, right now, it means that my worry is not needed. I do not need to be creatively imagining all the horrible things that could go wrong in the next two months. I do not need to be allowing fear over future unknowns crowd out the joys of the known and immediate (spending time with good family and friends, for example.) God is going before me and my family…the steps that we take will have already been crossed by his sovereign tread (Deut 31:8). What we see as mishaps he will have orchestrated (amazingly) for our good, so that we will have the opportunity to become more like Jesus through them (Rom 8:28). It’s a win/win situation…even though sometimes, admittedly, it FEELS like a lose/lose one.
Anyway, I’m (we’re) hanging in there, fighting the good fight of faith. Life with God is an adventure. I wouldn’t trade it away for anything.
Still….between moments of panic and peace, we do need to eat. So I’m sharing a recipe that I used last night because it is A-MAZING. The origin of this soup recipe is Scottish. I first tasted it while on a college trip to the UK and I haven’t altered it much since that cold, dreary evening when we all came into the warm inviting kitchen of a Scottish couple. It’s sweet and spicy and delicious. They encouraged our hearts (as fellow believers) and filled our bellies (as professional chefs.) I’ve since made this too many time to count and it is always good. Perfect on cold, winter night (of which I’ll have plenty in the coming years : )
I hope that you enjoy it. This recipe will serve approximately 8-10 people. As with most of my meals, it is very tweak-a-ble. Fiddle around with it until you find the combination of flavor and texture that you love.
- 2 lbs of ground beef or ground sausage (or any combination of these. I like spicy sausage myself.)
- 1 small sweet onion, diced (optional)
- 2 small cans of baked beans (any flavor but I prefer brown sugar)
- 2-3 cans of other favorite beans, undrained (use more or less given you bean preference : )
- 2-3 cups of beef broth
- 1/3 cup of molasses (more or less to taste)
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar (more to less to taste)
- Half a box of noodles, cooked al dente (too soft and they’ll get mushy in the soup.)
- 1 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Chili powder or red pepper powder to taste
- Brown the beef/sausage over medium heat, drain and set aside.
- In the same pot, using some leftover fat from the meat, sauté onion until translucent and slightly golden brown.
- Add the beef/sausage back into pot.
- Turn heat to medium-low and add beef broth, all the (undrained!!) cans of beans, molasses, and brown sugar.
- Add pepper, chili powder and red pepper to taste. Don’t add salt! You will be adding lots of bacon – which is salty : )
- Once the soup is slightly thickened and the beans are cooked through, add the noodles and the crumbled bacon.
- NOW you can add salt to taste.
- Cook for 3-5 minute longer or until satisfied with taste and consistency. The soup will continue to thicken if you leave it on the heat so don’t let it thicken too much! (But if you do, you can always add a little more broth….these are things I’ve learned the hard way : )