Thursday, October 22, 2009

So, that's what God was up to...

For months, God has put it in my heart to dig deeper into His Word. Not just the surface reading I do everyday but to really dig deeper. I have this desire to have the scriptures come alive. I don't want to just read it, I want to live it!

The search began...

It just so happened a few weeks ago that the leader of our small groups was giving away her old books. The one I picked was Kay Arthur's book, How to Study the Bible. I looked into her Precepts Ministries and their Inductive Study Bible. But God knows that with my perfectionism, it may not work for me because: 1) I have to find the right bible because somehow the 6 I have at home wouldn't work, 2) I would get hung up on the perfect markers to use that would not bleed onto the back page, 3) the perfect color ink, 4) the perfect pen, 5) am I using the right symbol? or 6) how come I can't draw a decent flame? (Welcome to my mind.) God wanted me to dig deeper NOW, not the forever it would take me to find the right components.
Well, remember the day I got sick and went home? Now I know why it happened.

Here's the rest of the story.

The next day I woke up still feeling a bit icky so I called in sick. I also debated whether to take my son to school or have him stay home with me. Realizing that he's better off learning than hanging around with whatever germs I may have, we both got up and I took him to school.

By mid-morning, and after one more serving of the chicken soup, I was 100% better. Then I remembered that renowned bible teacher, Dr. Chuck Missler of the Koinonia Institute, was coming to our church at lunchtime. So, I went there.

Oh, my. Talk about divine appointments.

His message pierced my heart. You are here because God called you. His questions reverberated in my head: What is God calling you to do? Why has He called you?

He also urged us to raise the bar in our personal walk with God and to commit to a systematic program to learn the Bible.

At the end of the session, I just knew. This is it! This is why I got sick yesterday. This is why I had a miraculous recovery today! I needed to be here, not at work.

So I stood in line to enroll. All the while the enemy whispered in my ear: Hey, is it wise to spend $100 when you have huge monthly college tuition payments to make? You know you're not going to do it.

Well, I did it anyway.

And you know what? When I got home, I received an e-mail from my husband saying that the reimbursement from his Canada business trip from months ago finally came in - for $139. Praise God, I even got an extra $39!

So now I am officially enrolled in the Koinonia class on track for a bronze medal. I'm not really after the medal, I'm after something much valuable.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ah, the irony of it all

I have a confession to make: I hate to cook.

That's not very Christian-like, is it? But it is what it is. I would rather work on our budget spreadsheet or do school stuff with my children than plan what to have for dinner. Clearly, cooking and housekeeping are not among my gifts.

To complicate things further, my husband loves to eat. But not leftovers. (I, on the other hand, am a big fan of leftovers.) I remember when we were newlyweds, he always raved about his grandmother's cooking. Well, being the perfectionist that I am, I know I am never going to attain the culinary expertise of his late beloved grandmother.

Nevertheless we have managed to stay married for 23 years despite my dislike of cooking and his love of eating. And I figured if we're all still alive after my years of imperfect cooking, we're good.

He travels a lot for business. It's not easy for us but one of the perks of having him gone is I can make simple meals. Or just eat leftovers.

He left yesterday for a trip overseas. My older son is away at college. So it's just me and my 9 year old. Ah, leftover heaven!


This morning I woke up with a headache. Got up, took my son to school and went to work. Headache still lingered but this time joined by chills and soon after, nausea. I tried to ignore it but by lunchtime I knew I either had to leave and pick up my son immediately or he will have to spend the night at school.

One thing I know: I cannot get sick. Who is going to take him to school? My sister just had a baby and can't get around. My Dad is having dizzy spells. I have no back up so I have to get better.

I know what I had to do. I need chicken soup. And no, the Campbells variety won't do it. I need this:

The ultimate comfort food from my childhood. It's called chicken tinola - and it is goooooood! (Photo courtesy of the internet.)

Either this or get the ready made Pho Ga from the Vietnamese restaurant.

Problem #1: We're out of chicken and I only had $10 in cash left until Friday. So the ready made Pho Ga is out. I had to stop by the grocery store and get the chicken plus the other ingredients (ginger and papaya).

Problem #2: My son has food allergies on top of being a very picky eater. He won't be able to eat that with all the ginger I am planning on using.

So there I was, in the grips of some virus which I hope is just the 24-hour variety, in my kitchen cooking not one, but TWO chicken dishes. Yes, TWO! I never did this when there were four of us in the house. I just had to shake my head and laugh at this turn of events.

Don't you just love God's sense of humor?

Here I am seven hours later and feeling much, much better. The soup did its job. The headache is gone, so is the nausea and I can even sit here in front of the fan and not shiver. My son also had his favorite dish, so we're both happy.

Thank you, Lord, for the chicken soup and for giving me the strength to cook not just one, but two dishes.

The menu for tomorrow night? Leftovers, of course.