Can’t Measure My Happiness

I guess the hours I spent glued to the Food Network channel finally have paid off. I’m having a ball cooking for the School of Frontier Media and School of Cartooning and Animation for Missions students. Who knew serving the Lord could be so much fun?

God has known for a long time how much I love to cook, but until He sent us venturing off to Thailand, I really did not have anyone I could lavish all this love upon. I mean, I love cooking for my kids, but when one of them is three hours away at college, and another one doesn’t like onions or vegetables or fruit, and the other one doesn’t like, well, anything, it’s kind of hard to put my love to work in the kitchen as much as I’d like.

I often sat watching “30-Minute Meals” and Paula Deen on Saturday mornings, wishing I could whip up one of their creations, but at the same time knowing if I did I would be the only to enjoy it.

So getting to take my place in the kitchen for the SFM and SoCAM is yet another awesome example of how God works all things for good for those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I guess my purpose, for at least two weeks, is to cook! Hallelujah!

I can’t lie. It’s nice to hear the words, “You’re such a blessing to us,” but the truth is, cooking each day this week has been an even bigger blessing to me. Anyone who has ever joined us for a meal (cue the nudge to JD’s friends), knows I can’t just make “a serving size” of any one thing. No, I have always felt like I need to cook for an army. It’s the family way.

My grandmother cooked for her army of 10. She passed down her Hungry-Man recipes to my mom, who in turn, taught us the great American way – do everything in excess! So, it really has not been a challenge to plan meals for 14 to 30 people at a time. Finally, I can fill up the pot and not worry about eating leftovers for a month and a half!

The menu this week began with a steaming pot of beef stew. Tuesday we celebrated America’s Independence Day with pulled pork sandwiches and grandma’s potato salad (perfected by my mother and passed on to me). Wednesday was pasta primavera and a yummy salad complete with fresh market vegetables. (Don’t ask me what kind of spinach that was. All I know is that I hope it’s exported to America.) We had old-fashioned chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes and corn on Thursday, and we ended the week with enchilada casserole, cucumber and tomato salad and fresh guacamole.

On a side note, I found four of the biggest avocados I’ve ever seen at the street market for a sum of 60 baht ($1.89). That’s 47 cents PER avocado, people! Last time I bought an avocado, it cost me $2.50 for one. Ugh. Budgeting for meals is also part of my job, so I’m enjoying putting menus together based on monies allowed. It’s like putting a puzzle together every day. Plus, I get to shop. J

Next week’s menu consists of ham and macaroni and cheese with steamed broccoli, cheesy potato soup, spaghetti casserole, smothered pork (with mashed potatoes, of course), and I’ll wrap up our time here with an Indian chickpea soup I discovered after we arrived in Thailand. I also prepare breakfast, but that’s just your pretty standard stuff, and some days, we just have cereal and toast.

I can’t believe our time here is almost finished. I feel God will bring us back here one day, though. I look forward to that day.

Until then, we will enjoy our time ministering and serving the Lord in England for a few weeks and then in the U.S. for as long as God wants us there.

Any way God serves up our future, we are blessed!

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