Archives for November 2014

Walking The Rough Roads

So a few weeks ago I posted a recipe. I felt like I was getting my groove back after a year of grieving the loss of my dad. Then BOOM….my brother and his wife lost their precious, beautiful daughter just a short time after birth. We made the 15+ hour drive to my hometown for the funeral only to leave my grieving family and trek back a couple days later.

Fast forward two weeks… I get a phone call… it’s my sister…she asks if I’m home and sitting down…it’s my brother…he’s been in a car accident…he didn’t survive. Three deaths. One year.

Each loss compounds the other. Each loss brings more tears and heartache…sometimes finding yourself crying and unsure of which person you’re missing or if it’s all three of them? Each one waking you in the early morning hours unable to sleep so instead you find yourself praying and weeping for your mom who has seen her son leave before her, her husband leave before their 50th wedding anniversary, a grandchild leave before she could snuggle her. Your sister in law and brother losing their daughter before she even had a chance to live…before they could see her smile or sit up or laugh. Your future sister in law losing the passionate, sincere love they both found in each other…losing their dream of moving to Alaska, having a family, traveling…

I am forced to face the reality that this life is full of pain. God never promised us we would be spared from it. Think of Job in the Bible…losing everything. Think of Moses…wanders 40 years only to die shortly after seeing but not entering the land promised to him. And I think of my family…who love each other so much and reach out to others not out of obligation but out of a heart of compassion that only comes from the One who loved us first. The One who died to provide a way for us to join Him one day.

What I do know is that the Bible is filled with stories of Christ hurting over those who hurt, showing compassion on others, and even weeping over those who passed on. It doesn’t show Him vindictively inflicting pain left and right just so we can “learn to be tough”. It shows Him walking alongside the hurt and downtrodden…hurting as they hurt and walking alongside them.

So I see myself as having two choices…believing in a God who impersonally looks down from above and watches us hurt…or believing in a God who loves us and longs to have us be without pain one day but for now…for now… He will be the Comforter through His spirit, through memories of my family members, through the love and generosity of friends, family, and strangers, and through His word…the Bible as it daily soothes my soul.

Tom Kha Gai Soup (Thai Chicken Soup)

It’s cold and flu season. My boys are not huge fans of chicken noodle soup. I keep trying recipes and they just don’t like the standard flavors. So I default to my successful Thai Chicken soup. This is full of healthy cold fighting powerhouses and since we have our first head cold of the school year it’s the perfect soup to make tonight.

Tom Kha Gai Soup

Tom Kha Gai Soup

I use my own chicken bone broth so we get the benefits of all the minerals from the bones that our bodies crave. If you don’t have that any organic chicken stock will do. For the Asian spices look in your grocery store in the “Asian food” section or order online at Amazon.

Tom Kha Gai Soup

2 quart bags frozen chicken broth
1 quart bag chicken shredded from whole chicken (about 3-4 cups)
12 Kaffir lime leaves 4 TBSP. lime juice
4 dried pieces of lemongrass (from the Thai Kitchen brand in the Asian food aisle)
4 TBSP. Fish sauce
2 cans full fat coconut milk
1 cup grape tomatoes minced
1 cup mushrooms sliced or minced
1 cup total red and orange bell pepper minced or chopped (depends on the kiddos)
2 tsp. ginger powder
2 tsp. onion powder (my kids are suspicious of onions)
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

minced cilantro and minced green onion for garnish before serving

This has so much packed into it! It’s gluten free. It’s gut healing. It’s cold fighting with the minerals, veggies, and spices. It settles stomaches with the ginger. But most of all it’s a twist on your average chicken soup for colds and a bit exotic. Enjoy!

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