Last week was one of those weeks. You know, the kind that stretch your faith and test your sanctification. The kind that come around every once in a while to see if what you say to everyone else about trusting the Lord is something you really believe after all. We were caught by surprise by an exorbitant utility bill that came in last week and received some other news from back home that was unpleasant and unexpected and promises to bring us some challenges after the new year. Some new challenge or disappointment seemed to pop up each day threatening to pull me into a pit of worry and doubt. It is easy to get discouraged when we put our focus on ourselves. Then today I read an update from a dear friend who is literally fighting the battle for his life and my own little hiccup in life pales completely in comparison. And yesterday we had the privilege of sharing the Good News of the gospel with a new friend using this incredible tool which is the reason why we are here in Spain in the first place. And God has done other things just today and even last week sprinkled in between the tough days to remind us that He really does care for us. He showed us His love through our church family, supporters back in the States, our Pastor, and even through our neighbor, who showed up Sunday night with some fresh picked egg plant and a couple pomegranates. This is the same neighbor who just a few years ago seemed to be in a perpetual state of anger at us for all the excessive noise we apparently generated on a daily basis. The only time we ever saw or heard from him was when he would come upstairs and yell at us. Saturday he even asked my husband if they could meet regularly to give him English conversation practice.
Today I was trying to come up with a plan for meals that would work with our schedule this week and be possible to carry out without a trip to the store, at least for a few more days. I pulled together this dish grabbing ingredients that were in the freezer, pantry and fridge. There wasn´t really enough chicken for a whole meal by itself but diced up and added to steamed broccoli and some cooked ¨ble¨ (cracked wheat that is cooked kind of like rice but is more filling and more nutritious than white rice -- at least I think so. please don´t burst my bubble if I am wrong) and covered with a gravy made from chicken broth it became a hearty filling meal. I decided to coin a phrase for this kind of thrown together improvised meal. I am calling it ¨Pantry Manna¨ from Exodus 16:15 When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.
I read that verse to the family as I explained the way I named our ¨casserole¨ and it was a reminder that The Lord has given us our food to eat not just today but every day. We can either look at it and say "What is that?" or we can be thankful to Him for once again giving us just what we need (and most of the time SO MUCH MORE). One great thing about this "manna" verses the kind in Exodus is that the 3 servings that were left in the pan can be stored in the fridge in tupperware and brought to school for the kids´ lunches tomorrow. No waste. :-)
Pantry Manna version 1.0
Snacking meal -- peanut butter on integral Maria cookies (kind of like graham crackers)
fruit: apples, bananas or pomegranate that the neighbor brought to us last night.
Tuesday 10/23 (parent meeting after school)
lentil soup with Spanish chorizo
Ikea meatballs in crockpot
Baked sweet potatoes
broccoli, ham and cheese quiche (modified from this recipe)
Friday 10/26 (youth group party at the house)
ham and cheese sandwiches
pepperoni pizza puffs
chips and onion dip
veggies and ranch dip
Saturday 10/27 (Major fund-raising event for ds#1's senior class fund)
midday meal clean out the fridge of leftovers
evening: hotdogs and "fair food" at the school Fall Festival
Swiss Steak (in the crockpot)
whatever veggie is a good price at Wednesday´s market (broccoli, cauliflower or maybe brussel sprouts)
Needing some menu inspiration? Head on over to Laura´s for Menu Plan Monday and see tons of great Menu plans for the week.