I'm late getting the menu up today because I had a most blessed surprise: my dad stopped by!!! It is a blessed surprise because it has been about 9 years since I last saw him. He lives in the Midwest, I live in the West and with life and all else, it has been a long time. Fact is, we were estranged for a few of those years; he's an atheist, I'm a Christian missionary... disagreements on issues in life and next thing you know, we both took a step back. My step-mom passed away in March and since then, I think he has re-assessed and re-valued life. We have talked on the phone more in the last 6 months than we have in the last 6 years! He is still an atheist and I am still a Christian missionary but more importantly; we are father and daughter and today, for the first time in probably 25 years, I felt like that raw truth was all that really mattered to him.
He is an over-the-road truck driver counting down the days till retirement. He would have retired a year ago had it not been for my step-mom's illness. Now he looks to a life ahead minus the wife he had known for 26 years... the one he had hoped to be with for 26 more. My heart aches for this human man. Not super-dad, not atheist, not different. Just, simply, man.
Aren't all those who drift by us the same? Just men, just women. In our rawest, simplest form, that is what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. Yet we want to tack that label on and use it to either divide or draw. But the fact is, labels are what Jesus came to defy. We look at the stories and say adulterous woman or Samaritan or thief but those are merely to give us perspective. To help us understand the gravity of what Jesus did. No. Jesus looks at them and he sees "woman" or "man".
I see Menu Mondays as a tie in to this basic mentality. What greater way to minister to hearts or encourage fellow sojourners than through a good, home-cooked meal. Our stewardship and peace in hospitality allows us to open not just our doors, but also our hearts to those who need it. Today I was able to hug my dad, send him down the road with a warm meal, and sit here this evening smiling as I remember my dad and the shadows of life's recent hurt brightened some today, in his pause along rolling miles, by genuine hearts and good hospitality.... and a sweet song from his oldest grand-daughter played a part too!
This week is a pretty easy week. Brooke has a game Thursday so the slow-cooker will come out. Otherwise, typical Tuesday/Wednesday youth group and just hanging out. Oh... and the best part is Saturday when hubby and I celebrate our wedding anniversary with dinner out - I rare treat!
Menu for this week...
hubby: smoked sausage and rice
me and kids: leftovers, ham sandwiches, black beans
I use a basic pie crust recipe, rolled out into a casserole dish. I make chicken gravy using Wondera (you can also use cream of chicken soup), mix in cubed cooked chicken and a bag of mixed frozen vegies. Bake @ 350-375 for 30-45 minutes or until crust begins to brown on edges. It is a family favorite!
Pork Fried Rice
Mexi-style Chicken in the slow cooker with a side of Salad
Bacon Burgers and Home Fries
Anniversary Dinner out!!!
Kids Pizza In!
I will be grocery shopping this weekend so Sunday's meal is undecided
What are you cooking this week?