Saturday, 27 December 2008

A Letter From God . . .


I've come down with a bit of a head cold, which is rather annoying. I have not had a cold in a very long time, but there seems to be a particularly virulent bug going around right now, several of our friends have it and, well . . . it would seem that I now have it too. I am supposed to be giving a talk in church tomorrow so I had really hoped that this bug would have held off until after that, but oh well, I will try my best to do my best, regardless.

I received this lovely e-mail a time back. I have a folder that I keep special things like this in because I often like to go back and read them. I thought I would share this one with you today as I am a bit fuzzy headed. It's well worth the read. As the owner of a beautiful Border Collie, it really touched my heart and, as I know a lot of you are also pet owners and lovers, I thought you would really appreciate it as well. It’s possible you may have already read it, but this is so heart-warming it deserves to be read more than once. It just makes you feel so good to know that there are kind people like this out in the world, and don’t we all need to hear a little good news for a change??

“This is one of the kindest things I've ever experienced. I have no
way to know who sent it, but there is a kind soul working in the dead
letter office of the US postal service.

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died,
my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much
she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that
when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I
thought we could, and so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with
you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have
her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her.
She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of
her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really
miss her.
Love, Meredith.

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith
and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then
Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because
she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to
heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post
office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet.
I told her that I thought He had.



Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front
porch addressed, "To Meredith" in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened
it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, "When a Pet Dies." Taped
to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its
opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey &
Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I
recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit
is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being
your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any
pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in
this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey
by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping
you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have.
I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and
remember that I love you very much.
By the way, I am wherever there is love.
Love, God “

Isn’t it great to know that there are such kind and thoughtful people in the world? What a beautiful blessing this must have been both to Meredith and her mom, and also to the special person that thought to do such a kindness for an unknown little girl . . .I, personally, think they were inspired. God does work in mysterious ways His wonders to perform . . .

As you know I like to eat Vegetarian from time to time. This tasty dish is very similar to a war-time dish called “Woolton Pie”, but I like to think I have improved upon it somewhat.

*Winter Garden Pie*

Serves 6

This all vegetable pie might be filled with humble ingredients, but there’s nothing humble about the taste. This makes a delicious lunch or supper dish. It’s also a great accompaniment to roast beef or lamb if you really must have some meat, but trust me when I say that it is truly satisfying on it’s own.

FOR THE FILLING:

1 kg (2.2 lb) assorted mixed winter vegetables (an onion, a celery stick, a large carrot, a large piece of swede, ½ a cauliflower, a couple of Jerusalem artichokes, a small celeriac, sweet potato, etc. whatever is available)

2 TBS olive oil

Vegetable Stock

Salt and black pepper

½ tsp summer savoury or mixed herbs

FOR THE TOPPING:

2 pounds of floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

(use a King Edward, Maris Piper, or good Idaho potato)

2 ounces butter

¼ cup of sour cream

1 TBS finely grated onion

Salt and pepper to taste

4 ounces grated strong cheddar cheese

A little warmed milk if necessary

Pre-heat the oven to 220*C/450*F.

Peel and chop the onion. Peel and dice all the other vegetables into a uniform dice. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and vegetables and cook them over medium high heat, stirring from time to time until they just start to colour. Add enough stock to just barely keep them from sticking to the pan and reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are still crispy tender. Season them to taste with some salt and a good grinding of pepper. Stir in the herbs, and then pop the whole mixture into a pie dish. It may seem a bit dry, but not to worry, the final baking in the oven will release all those delicious vegetable juices.

For the topping put the potatoes into a pan of salted boiling water and cook them until they are fork tender. Drain well and return the potatoes to the pan. Give them a good shake over the still warm burner to dry them out a bit and then mash them well along with the butter and sour cream. Stir in the cheese and grated onion. Add only enough milk to make them nice and fluffy. You don’t want the mixture to be too loose. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Pile the fluffy mash on top of the cooked vegetables and bang the pie dish into the heated oven. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the topping is nicely browned. Serve hot.




13 comments:

Grammy Staffy said...

I love the precious story. It warms my heart to know that there are such good and thoughtful people in the world. You are one of them. I am sorry that you are sick with a bad cold. I hope that you will recover enough to be able to go to church and give your talk without coughing and sniffing all through it. I am praying for you to feel better....at least long enough to give your talk.

Last Sat. eve. Claire was suppose to sing two solos in a Christmas program but Fri. she came down with a cold, sore throat and cough. She could hardly speak. Mindy doctored her up and we all prayed that she would get better. Sat. Mindy did not have her practice so she could rest her voice. We were concerned when she got up to sing because the songs were quite long with lots of high notes. She got up and sang both songs clearly and perfectly. After the program we all rushed up to hug her and congratulate her on doing such a nice job. She could hardly speak to us. She was coughing and had no voice to even speak....but for the time she was singing...she was fine. Afterwards she said in her whispered voice that she knew God had blessed her. She said that she knew before she started singing that Heavenly Father would answer her prayers and she would be fine. Ahh... how sweet is the faith of a little child. Her faith and this experience touched my heart and strengthen my testimony.

I will pray that He will do the same for you my sweet friend. I know that all will be blessed by the message you will bring them. I wish that I could be there to hear it.

Good luck with lots of love, Lura

Grammy Staffy said...

ps... I just made a comment on your yesterday's post but I forgot to tell you that I am the "Gingerbread Grammy" Thanks for a new gingerbread recipe.

About five years ago I made each of my kids a quilt covered with gingerbread people. I quilted around each one and then embroidered on each quilt block. It took me all year to make the quilts. I entered one in a local fair and got first place. I was happy that they turned out so cute. The following year I made a matching pillow. The next year I made matching Christmas tree skirts. Every year since then I give the kids some kind of gingerbread gift. This year it is...upps I can't tell you because they might read it...we are having our belated Christmas gift exchange tomorrow or Sunday. I think that I should make your sticky top gingerbread to go with this year's ginerbread gift... don't you??? ... so....you will be a part of our little gingerbread celebration... it will almost be like you are here with us... how I wish that it could be so. Well maybe someday.

Meanwhile...rest today and get well my friend. XOXXO Lura

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Get well soon Marie, it's a nasty bug that's going round and it seems to last for quite a while. Lots of TLC!

Lovely story too.

The Blonde Duck said...

Great story!

Yea, the phone thing was a mess. Ben worked for an hour on it and found out that we had to have an international calling plan to dial out on my cell phone. So you can call me, but I can't call you. We're back in SA, and Ben and the Babies have never been happier.

I hope you feel better! I'm sorry everyone bailed on you!

Ruthanne said...

Ruthanne of Magnolia Blossom Home -
You are so sweet. I have already began to pray for your healing to come quickly. I know God will touch you as you give your talk in the morning. So many will be very blessed to hear what He has put in you to say.
If you can have Todd to go and get some Muscelex that is what seems to be helping those of us in the US. with that nasty bug. Makes breathing very much better and clears that nasty mucus. My sister gave me mine as soon as she realized I was not doing well. Over here we call it "the crudd" - I think that is an apt name.
Thank you for your lovely doggy story - I think we all love our pets at that little girl. You know that postal worker must have known such also to share so sweetly with a child.
May you be blessed in all you do to day and be blessed as you are such a blessing to so many others.
Love and hugs,
Ruthanne

LYN said...

Hi hope you're feeling a bit better... I spoke to my brother on Christmas day and he sounded awful...said it's going around their village too...

Raquel said...

Awwwww, that is so sweet! We had a Corgi that we felt that way about, Mac. And I feel that way about my kitty. Great recipe, I think Honey would like that one! Much love, Raquel XO

Joan said...

love that Story Maria sorry to hear you are under the weather hope it does not turn into flu. Love Joan

Linda's World said...

You are so right~what a wonderful caring person that was who intercepted that letter from the little girl. So often those types of letters get discarded because there's not enough help to read each one. I love the sound of your Winter Garden Pie. I've copied it & printed it out. Have a wonderful weekend Marie and I hope that cold of yours gets better. Can you get saline nasal spray there? I use it all year round and it's especially helpful in killing the bad bugs if they do get thru. Linda in snowy & slushy Washington

Megan said...

What a truly inspiring story! You brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing. :)

Reeni said...

What a sweet, heartwarming story. Your pie looks delicious! I hope you are feeling better.

Gloria said...

Sorry Marie, you have a cold!! well I hope Todd take care you a lot!!Is time you are take care!!Nice Post Marie, send you kisses and huggs!! Gloria

Gloria said...

Sorry Marie, you have a cold!! well I hope Todd take care you a lot!!Is time you are take care!!Nice Post Marie, send you kisses and huggs!! Gloria