Things I don’t say often: ‘praise the Lord- it’s Monday!’
I mean, I don’t hate Mondays … my small group meets on Monday nights, and that is one of the highlights of life. But they aren’t necessarily my favorite days, either. Who likes a day that starts early, usually has you running late, and signals the return to a job you probably don’t like?
In this case, however, I’m loving Monday. Partially because I got to have lunch with my sister and the cutest kiddos around; (plus it was at chick-fil-a … let’s be real, that’s always going to make a day a good one) partially because I do have small group tonight!; but mostly because it means that last week is over. The weekend has been nearly perfect, which was balm on the open wound that was last week. Last week was full of goodbyes, anniversaries of deaths, lots of waiting and unanswered questions, and events that dug up old hurts and broke them open all over again. There were many tears, plenty of angry rants that definitely don’t qualify as prayers, and to top it all off, it rained half of the week.
The weekend, however, was all grace. Friday night was cooking and dinner with dear friends- chicken picatta pasta and margaritas (yes, we know … margs don’t really go with this dish, but we do what we want) and laughs and stories and hugs and apron-wearing. Then the addition of another friend, with hot tea and standing in the kitchen hugging out some of the pain and talking through how we see God at work in the other’s life. Saturday morning was more hot tea and more musing, this time in the comfort of my cozy orange armchairs with a cuddly puppy. Saturday night was butternut squash and sweet potato soup (seriously one of my favorite things I’ve ever made) with grilled white cheddar, bacon & granny smith apple sandwiches and wine and laughing and soul talks. Sunday was one of the best sermons I’ve ever heard, and fritters made with sweet potato, kale, and quinoa, and then topped off with four hours of coffee and discipleship with a dear friend.
The things that hurt last week still hurt. I don’t anticipate some of those things ceasing to be painful in the foreseeable future, but the weekend acted like a breeze through the gloomy corridors in my heart- just strong enough to make the air move and bring fresh air, but not strong enough to knock me over or chill me through; just enough to make the sunrise today into a fresh start and for me to really believe that maybe He actually does make all things new.
Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup
- 1 med butternut squash
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 cups half & half
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- Curry powder
- 4 cups apple juice or cider
Wash and peel squash and sweet potatoes; cut into chunks (be sure to remove the seeds from the squash). Set to simmer in the apple juice for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Add cinnamon, honey and curry to taste. Use immersion blender to puree (or use blender pitcher in batches) until completely smooth. Mix vegetable stock and half & half and add slowly to soup, stirring constantly, until desired consistency is reached.
Eat it, and promptly die in bliss. Revive yourself for seconds. Move yourself to the couch to recover. Give thanks to the Lord for such deliciousness. Make it for everyone you love, even the vegetarians.