Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one. ~Nicholas Berdyaev
When we worked at Faith Mission Church, the other co-associate's pastor's wife and I received an incredible gift--every week. The senior pastor's wife, Janet, fixed Sunday dinner for us. Now that would be a special gift if the food was just good. But anyone who has tasted Janet's cooking will agree that her menus are the best! Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. Rump roast, ham, fordhook lima beans and cheesy potatoes. Hot buttery rolls and coleslaw...you get the picture!
Janet worked as a nurse practitioner and maintained a busy practice throughout the week. Add to that her caring ministry in the church as well as wife, mother and grandmother, and you know Sunday dinner preperation was not an easy gift.
Why did she do this for us? Her simple answer, "It's my gift to you." Beth and I were mothers with small children. Getting out the door for Sunday morning services took a lot of energy. My mind was usually on Children's church and making sure I had all the visuals, game parts, story pictures, etc. I would need. Janet's gift was one I could never repay--Sunday dinner for my family and me. Inviting our families to dinner added eight extra people to her table. But what a blessing it was.
Not only that, but it gave the pastorial families an opportunity to discuss the day's happenings. It also gave us time to tease poor Leonard if he had twisted his words while preaching. We shared burdens, laughed and sometimes cried.
Janet is retired now, Beth and her husband work with a mission group in Mexico, RB and I moved from Bedford ten years ago. But those almost nineteen years have stayed with us in the following ways:
When someone drops a piece of ice on the floor we always yell, "Beth!"
My girls think a cake isn't good without TWO cans of icing.
Cottage Cheese is on the table no matter what else is.
Every meal tastes better if you top it off with ice cream, chocolate sauce (Hershey brand only) and peanuts.
Sankey ice cream bowls are larger than Cessna ice cream bowls.
Three people can clean up a meal in ten minutes.
As for me, I've remembered those words, "It's my gift to you." Peter added "Amen" to his words: "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling...If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever." And I, too, say "Amen."
Janet's Chicken Paella
Dice into small bite size pieces and saute in 2 T of oil:
2 bonelss chicken breasts and 1 pkg of elkrich original sausage links
Cook over median heat for 20-25 minutes
Add and bring to a boil for 15-20 minutes:
2 pkgs. of Uncle Ben's long-grain and wild rice with herbs
2 cans of stewed tomatoes and 1 can of water
When most of water is absorbed and rice is cooked:
Add 1 pkg of frozen peas and cook for 5 more minutes.