Saturday, 24 January 2009
God Works In Mysterious Ways . . .
"God answers prayers;
sometimes, when hearts are weak,
He gives the very gifts believers seek.
But often faith must learn and deeper rest,
And trust God's silence when He does not speak;
For He whose name is Love will send the best.
Stars may burn out, nor mountain walls endure,
But God is true, His promises are sure
For those who seek."
That's a picture of my oldest daughter up there, Eileen, when she was about 3 years old. We were living in Suffield, Alberta at the time and she was taking her doll for a walk in our garden. She was such a wee little dear and loved her dolly so . . . I smile when I see this picture and my heart yearns to be able to hold her in my arms once again like I could then, but alas . . . we all grow older . . . and time does pass by.
This is a picture cut from a newspaper of my Eileen from last winter. She's holding the Gold Medals she won in the Canadian Winter Special Olympics Games! What a proud day that was for her and for our family. I was not able to attend, unfortunately and it broke my heart a bit not to be able to do so, but we can't always do what we would like to be able to do . . .
What we didn't know at the time was that by virtue of her having won these Gold medals, she would then be chosen to represent her country, Canada, in the 2009 World Winter Games being held in Boise, Idaho, this February. When we found this out we were amazed and once again so very proud of this daughter of mine! At the time I can remember thinking to myself, how wonderful it would be if I were able to go and watch her compete in Boise and I said a little prayer, that someway, somehow, this might be accomplished . . . and I continued to pray throughout this whole past year . . . a silent secret prayer, known only to myself and to the One who knows and cares about each of us in a very special way.
Prayers are funny things. God always answers our prayers, and quite often in the most unexpected ways and at the most unexpected times. We may not always get the answers we want, but we always get answers . . .
This past week my heart had been a bit heavy because the dates for her competition were looming and I had not sold enough cards or artwork to pay for a ticket to be able to go and see her. Nobody in the family was able to go either, so she would be all alone in Boise, except for her coach . . . quite an adventure for her!!
Last weekend they had a special send off for her in our hometown, and my heart was heavy because I wasn't able to go to that either, but my mom went and she wrote to me how lovely it was. As I read the words in her letter to me, I experienced a whole mixture of feelings, mostly pride, and also a bit of boo hoo as well. These are the times when it's really hard living so far away from my family. These special moments that happen in all of our lives . . .
Imagine then . . . how I felt when just two days ago, completely out of the blue I was given the special opportunity to go see my daughter compete. I cannot tell you how or who my special benefactor is, but I can say that, amazingly enough, my secret prayer was answered in a most unexpected way and at a time when I had given up all hope that I would be able to go.
At first all I could think of was the reasons why I couldn't go . . . I was too fat, I couldn't get the time off work, I didn't want this person to spend this money on unworthy me, etc. you know . . . a myriad of excuses. That evening at work I was listening to my ipod as I puttered away. My heart was heavy and then once again the song played in my ears . . . Steven Curtis Chapman singing . . . "Be still and know that I am God" . . . the words touched my very core. I realized that I was being a little bit like the drowning man in the ocean who prays for God to save him and then refuses help from three boats that pass by, telling them that God is going to save him. He ends up drowning, and when he gets to heaven he questions God on why He (God) didn't save him. God's answer . . . I sent you three ships, but you turned them away. I decided then that I was not going to turn away this saving ship and that someway all the obstacles would be taken care of. Well, all except for the fat one that is. Me somehow morphing into a skinny person overnight is a task that really would take a major miracle!! I was able to find someone to step into the breach for me at work, and I was able to get permission to be away from work for that week . . . one by one all the obstacles I had set up for myself fell away and within a very short span of time.
The past two days have been a minor miracle in the making and I am still pinching myself to see if I am dreaming. It is hard for me to believe that in just a little over two weeks time I will be sitting in Sun Valley Idaho watching my daughter do her best, and cheering her on in a way only a mother can, and my heart is filled with deep gratitude. Gratitude for my mysterious benefactor and the way they were able to become an instrument in God's hands to answer prayers . . . Gratitude for my co-workers and their being able to step into the breach and do my job for me . . . Gratitude for my employers being so understanding and encouraging . . . and Gratitude for my Heavenly Father who listens to and answers prayers, sometimes in the most mysterious and magical ways . . . Boise, Idaho . . . Here I come!!
This is kind of anti-climatic, but I always like to leave you with a recipe and I can't do anything less today. This is one of my favourite ways to prepare chicken when time is short and I want something quick, tasty and just for two.
*Lemony Chicken Escalopes*
Quick, easy and oh so very tasty!
2 TBS flour
salt and black pepper
2 chicken breasts, sliced into
4 thin escalopes each
2 tsp olive oil
1 ounce butter
1 fat garlic clove, peeled and squashed slightly
2 tsp finely chopped sage leaves
the juice of one lemon
Dust each chicken escalope lightly with some salt and pepper and then dredge each in the flour, shaking off any excess. Set aside on a plate.
Heat the oil, along with half of the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the butter begins to foam, add the chicken pieces. Cook until the underside begins to turn golden and then flip them over. Add the squashed clove of garlic, the sage, and one half of the remaining butter. Brown the chicken slightly on the other side and then add the lemon juice and the remaining butter, giving the pan a good shake. Let it bubble up for about a minute or so and then serve immediately, divided amongst two heated plates and with some of the sauce spooned over each serving. Delicious!