WHAT A MESS!

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Man, did I ever make a mess this week!

It was my turn to prepare dinner for our ladies’ Bible study on Monday. Since I am also the teacher, I had planned something easy: grilled chicken and noodles. I could whip it up in no time, but sometimes I made it ahead in the crockpot. I opted for the second method this time so I wouldn’t be rushed on the way out the door.

When I’d planned my meal, I hadn’t realized I’d be babysitting one of our grandsons the same day. He’d spent the night Sunday so he wouldn’t have to get up early to be dropped off by his daddy on the way to work. Since two year olds shouldn’t be left alone for more than ten seconds at a time, I rose extra early to knock some of the “to do’s” off my list before he got up. Things were going perfectly, so perfectly I should have been leery!

I had the chicken grilled, the broth seasoned, and combined both with the noodles in the crockpot. The Jello was chilling, and the strawberries were ready for shortcake. I’d even kept up with the dishes in my meal prep! I’d taken my bath and gotten dressed. All this was done before my little visitor woke up. I admit to feeling rather accomplished in the progress I’d made for the day.

Shortly after getting him dressed and fed for the morning, we sat down to watch “Daniel Tiger” together. We were snuggled together on the couch. Halfway through the show, I decided to check on my entrée.

I was horrified when I lifted the lid off that crock! Not only were the noodles sunk down into the broth, but they had also turned to paste. White, gloppy, disgusting, starchy paste! Not one glob could be distinguished as a noodle. At that point, I remembered using a different type of noodle when I making my chicken and noodles in the crockpot. But remembering, at that point, was useless. I had absolutely ruined the meal.

My husband had the car that day, so going to the grocery was a non-option. I was stuck.

And so were the “noodles.” Stuck to the sides and bottom of the pot and stuck like elementary glue to each chunk of chicken. My mind was blank and racing at the same time. As quickly as options entered my mind, I dismissed them as useless. Somehow, I had to create a digestible dinner out of the gunk staring at me from the pot. I even considered calling it chicken ‘n dumplings, pretending no one would notice. Silly me. No way could I pull that off.

So I decided to attempt”fixing” dinner.

The first thing I did was go fishing for chicken with a serrated serving spoon. Some of the pieces were nice big chunks. I rescued those first. But many of them had broken apart into tiny pieces. At times it was difficult to distinguish chicken from blobs of paste. Tediously, I dragged the spoon through the broth to recover as much as I could.

Guess what I did next?

I washed every itty-bitty piece of chicken. Yes, I rinsed each piece and rubbed the paste off each one. Thankfully, I realized Daniel Tiger was doing an excellent job of babysitting for me. My sweet grandson was mesmerized (I’d rather not use any reference to glue at this point) by the show. So I continued to rub and rinse chicken.

I had no idea what I’d do next, but I knew I needed to save the broth since I didn’t have the ingredients to recreate it. But those disgusting blobs of paste needed to be removed. So I put the serrated spoon back to work. I pulled out as much as I could, but much of it remained in the broth.

Hmmmm. What to do.

Well, isn’t that what a colander is for? I positioned the strainer over a large mixing bowl and poured the broth through it. After a little more sorting, I thickened the remaining broth.

I poured the chicken and broth back into the crockpot to simmer. Later that afternoon, I cooked the noodles (I’m so thankful I’d only used half of them!) in a separate pan and added them to the chicken.

Voila! Chicken and noodles for dinner! Piece of cake! Right? Who would have thought I could make it so difficult?

What started as a good idea that day had quickly disintegrated into a horrible mess. I was so thankful I was able to rescue a usable meal out of it.

I’ve had other “good” ideas that have turned into disasters. Many times I’ve charged into my plans without careful thought and soon regretted my impetuousness. Many times, I have needed rescuing due to not seeking wise counsel or taking time to carefully plan.

As I considered these thoughts, I realized anew how gracious my Lord is. How many times He has rescued me from sticky, messy situations! He first rescued my soul from the mire of sin. Then, time and again, He has gently rinsed the sticky effects of wrong thinking off of me. He is eternally patient with me. I will no doubt never make the “chicken mistake” again. I’ve learned my lesson. Yet many times I find myself failing in other ways over and over. And each time, He forgives me and cleans me up to make me useful once again.

Thank you, precious Savior, for working so patiently with me. Please help me to learn a lasting lesson from my kitchen disaster.

Because I sure can make a mess of things!

“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

Psalm 40:2

 

 

 

 

 

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