No More Saturday Date Nights?

I just pulled out of the parking lot at my work ready to head home last Thursday evening when my husband called to check on me. It was another snowy day with about 6-7 inches of snowfall and he wanted to know how I was, and at the same time, to remind me to drive slow and carefully. Yes, he is always very sweet and thoughtful that way, and it feels great to have someone who thinks and cares about you. What makes it even more special is how he adds humor to a lot of things, and so we had another one yet of those silly phone conversations in the midst of the bitter cold that surrounded me while driving on a very slippery road…

M: Hello.

G: Hi, I am wondering where my wife is right now. Do you have any idea?

M: Well, she just pulled out of the parking lot by her work and she should be on her way home right now.

G: Great! Do you happen to know what her ETA is?

M: What is ETA?

G: Estimated Time of Arrival.

M: Ahh. With the weather condition and traffic situation, probably about half an hour or so.

G: Thank you for the information. I appreciate it.

M: No problem. What about my husband, where is he?

G: Your husband is on the roof.

M: On the roof? And what is he doing on the roof?

G: He has binoculars on his eyes searching for his wife. He needs to make sure she comes home safe.

Omg. What a goofy guy! But I love him with all my heart for all that he is. He is truly an amazing person.

Further into the conversation when we got a little serious, I inquired what he was doing. He said he was reading a passage in the Bible before he decided to call me. He was reminded of the life of the apostle Paul and how he suffered tremendous persecution for preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the midst of persecution, Paul prayed for more spiritual things than material things to get him through the situation. Two weeks ago, we signed up for our church’s re-launch of small group discipleship program dubbed as “Connections – Connecting to God and His People.” Our group will meet every Saturday evening, and my husband and I are excited and confident that this is God’s pleasing and perfect will for us. With a reminder from His word,  the Lord had even emphasized and confirmed that this is what He wants us to do on our Saturdays from now on and continue to grow in our knowledge of who He is from the passage that my husband read in Philippians 1:9-11…

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.”

My husband and I already hung up on the phone but I was still thinking through about these verses. If my husband is sweet, God is ultimately the sweetest to continue to encourage us and affirm our desire to be a part of a small group discipleship even after we already signed up for it. I thought that was really a sweet message from the Lord and I felt like His hand just gave me a pat on my shoulder. At first, I was wishing we had a different day that is available because we’ve always wanted Saturday to be a full day that is exclusively only for my husband and I. So no more Saturday date nights then? But God reminded me of the great sacrifice that Paul had to endure to know God personally and spread His word. So yes, we will still have Saturday date nights, and this time, I know it is going to be a more purposeful and meaningful Saturday nights for me and my husband.

The rest of my drive home was slow and peaceful. I sensed peace in my heart for our small group schedule on Saturdays now after realizing how small this sacrifice is compared to what Paul went through. What a stubborn heart I have sometimes and I am thankful beyond words for God’s gentle reminder and timely encouragement through His Word and through my husband.

I parked my car in front of my house and jumped out with a new heart ready to accept this new challenge of changing the course of our Saturdays. As soon as I walked in the door, the smile on my husband’s face and the fragrant smell of the chicken chili in the crockpot greeted me. Before I left for work in the morning, I prepared a southwest chicken chili in the slow cooker and programmed it tobe just in time for dinner. What a perfect soup to have on a cold, snowy day. Although I still make this dish even during the hot summer days here in Chicago and my husband would eat it like we’re having a 0 temperature. My husband is head over heels in love with my version of chicken chili and I know part of him calling me on the phone earlier is so that he can know what time he can start slurping on the chili. He would always ask for more after his first bowl and would enjoy the leftovers the next day like it was freshly made. He loves to eat the soup as it is, but he also enjoys topping it on a pure beef hotdogs with cheese and avocado. I like mine the way it is too and I top it with a little bit of sour cream. It is yum-O!

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What a cold but lovely night to share with my husband with God’s Word that warmed our hearts and the chicken chili that warmed our tummies. Every night is really a date night anyway. My husband tried to be funny again by calling it a godly chilly night, and we just laughed the night away.

Maybe you, or someone you know, are having a cold heart or night in your end and I hope the passage I shared earlier will bring warmth to yours like it did to ours as we seek to know God more through the study of His Word. Or maybe you want to try my chicken chili recipe to warm your tummies as well. Let me share with you how to make it. It is easy and simple especially if you have a crockpot or a slow cooker. If not, you can always use the stove top for it. Enjoy, and God bless you!

Ingredients:

1 ½ – 2 lbs of chicken breast or you may use ground chicken. I’ve always made mine with chicken breasts cut in cubes.2015-02-14 18.25.21

About 3-4 tbsp of chili powder – adjust according to how hot you want it to be. I always go for medium hot

A mix of red and white kidney beans. I like to use those that are in cans so its ready. All you have to do is pour it in.

1 can of diced tomatoes

A cup of low sodium chicken broth

Chopped onions

Minced garlic

Chopped green bell peppers

Dried oregano – pour about half a teaspoon on your palm

1 tsp cumin

A dash of ground cinnamon

Procedure:

  1. Saute onion, garlic and chicken in a pan. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until chicken is no longer pink
  2. Transfer the sautéed chicken into a crockpot and add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Cook on low for about 6-61/2 hours.
  4. Serve warm and top with cheddar and avocado, or sour cream or eat it just the way it is.

Enjoy! See you next time.

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