Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Weddings, Opportunities, and Redemption Stew

Life has been busy these past couple of weeks... I feel like we've had non-stop "go time" without even a break on the weekends. Such is life during football season I suppose! Last weekend we traveled north (which happens less during the fall than during the spring) to help with a wedding my parents had in their backyard. The wedding was Sunday, so we worked all Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to ready things. Dad performed the ceremony, and Michael was also the wedding photographer. After all the hard work, we were certainly exhausted -- but the wedding was beautiful, and I feel like the happy couple was tremendously blessed. I was thrilled to be a part of it!

We're also thrilled to be a part of a really exciting opportunity that's going on with Michael at work. Details aren't finalized, and it isn't my news to share, but let's just say that I'm excited. I can tell that Michael is too!

And finally... a few weeks ago, when the weather started to pretend to be fall-like, I decided to make a stew. Michael loves any kind of stew. As a general rule, I pretty much hate any tomatoey soup that also has potatoes in it (read: stew). As another general rule, I'm pretty bad at following recipes. I'll read about something that sounds good, and then I'll make something similar. Such is the case with this stew.

In the process of using up some veggies and protein in the fridge, I got a little excited about some of the seasonings. I was using a homemade stock that was well-seasoned to begin with, but then I dumped in something along the lines of 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper. Kids, this was not four alarm. This was like, twenty-four alarm fire soup. And I like things spicy. It was completely inedible. My best efforts to make it edible (pouring an entire soup down the drain seemed VERY wasteful) included adding lemon juice, milk, half and half, another quart of water, etc. But despite my best efforts, it was still terrible. Completely inedible. Frighteningly spicy.

I cried, of course. I'm not used to kitchen failure (although Michael and I often laugh about the Brussels Sprouts incident back in college) , and I feel like kitchen failure is some indictment of my womanhood. Anyway, we let it sit in the fridge overnight while we decided what to do with it. With fresh eyes the next morning, we decided to drain it completely, keep the raw ingredients, and determine if they had been ruined as well. Fortunately they hadn't, so we started over with the meat and veggies, added water, some salt and pepper, and allowed them to hang out together in the slow cooker all day. Wonderful!

The whole event made me ponder redemption. Apart from Christ, we are unusable. Vile. Worthy of being thrown in the garbage. And yet, he takes our lives, redeems them, and makes them new. In Christ, we are wonderful, new creations. I love how the Lord can use something like stew to remind us of truths! Anyway, if I get some more time later today, I'll throw in the recipe for my Redemption Stew. It's delish, and perfect for these fall days!

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