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Church and Chicken Cutlets

Life is never quite the way you imagine it to be.  At least it’s never quite the way I imagine it.

Case in point…

When I think of dinner, I think of all my family sitting around the dinner table; and of course, it’s no later than a descent and respectable hour – like7pm.  I NEVER visualize myself beginning to cook dinner at 10pm, especially on a weeknight, which is exactly what happened last Thursday.

This haphazard catastrophe occurred because I try to make it a point to attend church, aka mid-week service, more often than not.  But this is a really tough thing to do – to cram everything into a few short hours after school, i.e.: HW, relaxation, dinner and small talk – just to pack up and head out when almost all of my energy is gone and everything in me says to run for my bed, curl up into a fetal position and suck my thumb like a baby.  (What?  You don’t do that?)

However, I do it for several reasons:

1It refuels my spiritual batteries. Even though I’m ridiculously tired when I leave to go, I’m always radically refreshed and encouraged once I’m there.

2 I want to be faithful to God’s house. I don’t want to be a “Sunday only” Christian.  I want to connect mid-week with the saints.  Small group and/or mid-week services often encourage intimacy with other believers.  The Bible says, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” (Psalm 122:1)

3I want to be a soldier for the Lord. I want to teach my kids that our faith takes priority in our life and that we don’t worship God out of convenience.  We serve God based on principle, not our feelings.  This means that we go more often than we don’t go.  Scripture says to, “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. (2 Timothy 2:3-5)

Ok, so I realize that I’m blaming a mid-week church service for the fact that I sometimes begin to cook dinner at 10pm, instead of fairly attributing it to my lack of time management skills.  But I write this blog, so it’s my story and I get to slant the truth when necessary to make me look spiritual (note the reasons cited above) instead of making me look like a cook-less mom who could be credited with single handily keeping Oscar Myer in business.

However, in keeping with this line of reasoning…

My credible, believable and verifiable story is that when I walked through the Church door, I thought I was in heaven, but it actually had nothing to do with spiritual matters.  I smelled meat!*  And not luncheon meat, but the kind that’s battered and coated and fried.

It was all I could do to focus on the sermon, which by the way was quite edifying (my Pastor, aka P.J., preached on not being like the world and living a life that is separated unto God.  His text came from 1 John 2:15-17, which reads…

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.)

Now, back to the food…

After service, I cleverly and indirectly, yet underhandedly asked Maggie (my Pastor’s wife) what was that awesome smell wafting through her home.  She said that she had cooked breaded chicken cutlets and quickly proceeded to change the topic.  Dang!  I thought an offer for dinner was going to follow.

Actually, it turns out that Maggie is a very hospitable and gracious woman who is not yet skilled in the art of hiding her leftovers from ravenous church goers who don’t cook before coming to her home.  So, eventually she genuinely offered, and before she could finish her sentence, Angel and I were fighting over the cutlets and scarfing them down like the carnivores we both are.  It was really embarrassing.  Not me, Angel!  (Again, it’s my story.)

Oh, how I love Thursday night service!

Back at the ranch, I declared right there and then that if the cutlets I had defrosting in my fridge for the past week had not yet turned black and wreaked of putrid meat, that I would cook them as soon as we arrived home.  And sure enough that’s exactly what I did; with a side of mash potatoes from the box (hey, don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it!).

As I hustled to prepare the cutlets I thought to myself: Tiff, look at this insane hour your cooking dinner.  What happened to the planned out, 7pm dinners you envisioned? The only thing I can say to save myself is that the kids didn’t have school the following day because of the Jewish holiday.  (Yippie!)

Since this is a faith based website I guess I should make some spiritual application.

Here goes…

I guess what’s important to remember is that life if not perfect, and it’s definitely not always the way we imagine it to be.  What’s important is that we imagine it to be “something” at all: that we have a vision for what we want our home life to be like.  We don’t always hit the mark, but at least we have one and we do strive to hit it.  And even when we don’t hit the mark, if we can remember to laugh at ourselves along the way and enjoy the climb, we’ll be better wives and moms for it.

(How’d I do?)

Words to Live By…

From the Scriptures: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27)

From The Lion King: “Hakuna Matata” (Swahili for “no more worries”).




*Note: I smelled cooked food because we worship at my Pastor’s home for mid-week service.

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  1. I’m glad you didn’t do too much blogging last week! It means I didn’t miss out while I was on vacation and only able to access the Ice Age Internet that my dad uses (i.e. “I am going to click on this link and then go make some coffee and read the paper while I wait for the page to load – remember those days?). In part, this is in response to your earlier post about not writing that much. I bet when you look back in a year and see how much you’ve written, you’ll be stunned. It adds up faster than you think! That’s one thing I think we women often forget – we get so bummed out by all the things that don’t happen that we often fail to see what does happen. Thank you for reminding us in today’s post that things DO happen, and often it’s the most important things, like realizing our spiritual commitments, as you did by attending church on Thursday night after a long day.

    • I know there are only three people who read my blog: me; my hubby; and you – Jenny.

      Yeah, Jenny’s back! The world was so quiet without you.

      Okay, make that eight people who read my blog because I have to include five of my six kids, including Alexis, the 3 year old, but excluding Ashley, the soon to be 23 year old. The fact that Alexis can’t read yet does not exempt her. Ashley on the other hand has moved out and is no longer intimidated by my threats of no food, clean laundry, being eternally grounded, or water boarding.

      Now, how have you already secured enough wisdom to make the following comment above…

      “That’s one thing I think we women often forget – we get so bummed out by all the things that don’t happen that we often fail to see what does happen.”

      You’re way to young to know things like that. I think you have a wisdom here that excedes your years. That, or you have excellent observation skills. Or both!

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