I have started to do something that I never thought I would see myself doing.
In fact, it really makes me feel like such a grown-up.
You know, when you are younger you always think that there is the magical grown-up age. But, as you grow, you realize that it’s not the age you are === it’s the next big age out there. And then as you reach that age, you realize it’s the next big age.
And, before you know it, you are nearly 80 years old and you still remember having blond hair and smooth skin.
And for some reason, you really feel as if you never really grew up. Or got a chance to do all of those grown-up things.
Sometimes Richard and I even feel as if we are playing house. We live in a foreign country, have started a non-profit, and have 3 children and 3 dogs. And, yet, we feel as if we are still playing house. That we aren’t really old enough yet to have these responsibilities or do these things.
And we’re very nearly 40. That’s Over-the-Hill.
Which means I should really consider myself a grown-up.
Anyhow, back to the grown-up thing that I have started to do: Menu Plan!
Yep. I am 3 weeks down, and I am LOVING it. And my husband is LOVING it, and my children are LOVING it. In fact, my daughter asked the other day for the menu so she could see what her snack options were for that day.
Man, you must live a really boring life, you are probably thinking 😉
Perhaps. It’s a life, that’s for sure.
But this menu thing sure is adding spice to it.
HOWEVER…And my high school English teacher would be greatly disappointed that I just started this sentence with however…However, in my great attempt to menu plan and budget better, I committed a huge No-No! Huge!
So, on my menu the other day was homemade spaghetti sauce. It was great. I sautéed zucchini on the side in a bit of olive oil and garlic. And then the sauce went something like this: heat olive oil, add minced garlic, and then add diced tomatoes (no need to remove the skin), as that all simmers together, add some spices of your choosing (I added some chili flakes, salt, pepper, dried spices), and then I added a huge handful of fresh spinach, and as it began to simmer down and was nearly ready to eat, I picked some of my fresh basil and cut and added that for the final flair.
Oooooh, yum! You shout.
Yes. It was divine. The sautéed zucchini and then the homemade sauce. Both. Both were divine. They were spiced, sautéed and cooked to perfection.
And the finale was a fresh salad with some more of that fresh spinach, other mixed lettuces, and fruity toppings, dried cranberries, tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds, topped with a French dressing.
All is looking and sounding good.
But, ah darn! I went and did something really dense. Really dense.
I bought the on-sale, already cheap spaghetti.
And when it cooked, it clumped. It was mush. And I thought—oh no! This is it. After my beautifully prepared dinner, it is going to be ruined by this horribly lumpy, mushy, cheap spaghetti. Now I know why the Italians buy fresh pasta or make it themselves. After spending so much time and love on a meal, why ruin it in the end?!
But I had nothing else to serve (after all, with menu planning, you grocery shop efficiently). And so divine sauce, flavor-induced zucchini, and beautiful salad ready, I served the mushy, lumpy spaghetti noodles.
Our plates were gorgeous. They looked divine, and the pasta was neatly hidden beneath the beautiful sauce.
But, as I sat to eat, I apologized profusely over and over again. I said, “Oh, I am so sorry for the noodles. I hope that they don’t ruin the meal. I know that I have said it before, but I will say it again and again, I will never buy the cheapest noodles again!”
You know, big sales and cheap products are hard to pass up, especially when you are a family of 5. Good sales are musts. But bad noodles should NEVER be a must.
Yet, once again, here we sat to eat what was suppose to be budget and menu-prepared friendly, good-looking and good tasting meal. Which turned into what appeared to be mushy noodles murder.
My husband. He barely got home from work at 8pm that night. He was gone all day. And he was starving.
Disappointment was etched on his face. It was probably a mixture of hunger, excitement, weariness, and 3 crazy kids. And then your favorite meal killed by the noodles.
But he sat there and said not to worry about it. He was sure my meal was fine. He said “Thank you” over and over again.
And then we all bowed our heads and prayed for our meal together.
As my husband and I began to eat our dinner, we didn’t have a chance to reflect on the mushy noodles-because we devoured our meal.
The flavor of the sauce was so delicious, with the sautéed zucchini on top, with the side salad and creamy French dressing, we didn’t even remember about the murderous noodles until our plates were practically licked clean.
And that’s when my husband said it, “Your spaghetti sauce is like Jesus…”
“Jesus covers a multitude of sins. Just like your spaghetti sauce.”
And with the final lick of my plate, I had to agree with my husband…
Jesus + Forgiveness = Redeeming and Great!
Just like my spaghetti sauce.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)