Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cooking and Pondering

This morning is a good morning. I woke up at 6 to make sure I had time to shower and be ready before having to start my "to-do" list. It is a long one today, but a good one. By 7:30, I had clean hair, fed one baby breakfast, and had two pots of soup on the stove top simmering. I love to cook, and as I was cooking this morning, I had the opportunity to talk with God. As a busy mom, I find myself praying throughout the day at what might seem like the craziest times. I don't have a lot of extra any extra time to make myself sit down and have an actual "quiet time" most days, so I try to make the most of these opportunities when I get them.
Back to the soup...like I said, I have two batches simmering. One for a friend who is having a baby tomorrow, and one for a dear friend who is holding the hand of her husband in the last few days/weeks of his life. My eyes filled up with tears this morning as I was talking with God and thanking him that he is the master who gives and takes away. It is such an ironic feeling to be cooking the same meal as a celebration of new life and a whole different kind of celebration of eternal life. I am so thankful to know that God has everything timed perfectly, and it is HIS plan that is being fulfilled through these situations.

Here is a picture of the yummy soup.  It is my mama's "Trailrider's Stew," and I will share the recipe below.

One of my favorite songs talks about our God giving and taking away. The song seems to fit the death situation better, but I can tell you there are days where a new baby can seem like a "storm" as well! :)

Casting Crowns...Praise You In This Storm
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

I honestly love this song, and I have even told Micah that I want it played at my funeral when I die. Weird to talk about, and he totally blows me off. Seriously though, remind him if I die! :) Ha!
Today I am thankful for my God who gives and takes away. He has given me way more than I deserve and taken away very little. I pray that when my time comes and things are taken that I will praise him through my storms!

My Mama's Trailrider's Stew
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
6 cups water
3 beef bouillon cubes
2 cups sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1/3 cup barley
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup ketchup
28 ounce can diced tomatoes (with juice)
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 can corn (drained)
1 can green beans (drained)
1 can green peas (drained)

In large soup pot, brown ground beef and drain. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Or...until veggies are tender. Remove bay leaves and serve with cornbread!

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