Lessons in Soup
I’ve been a little restless lately.
I’m too old to try to be figuring out what my purpose is (I have flashbacks to a younger me, with huge hair and too bright lipstick, sitting in my college advisor’s office, insisting a little too emphatically that I did not want to go to law school. Hmmmm.). I’m too young (and too awake in Spirit) to just hang it up and say, “Well, that was a good life. Well done.”
Even with all of our hurdles lately—for those not following along at home: stomach bug for four, appendicitis for one, and now, some sort of respiratory crud for three—I’ve felt a little too comfortable. (I can’t believe I just dared to type that out loud. Don’t be surprised if tomorrow I report that rabid squirrels have nested in my attic, a meteor hit my parked car and my right arm just fell clean off.)
So I’ve got my eyes, my ears and my heart open to whatever is next, and in the meantime, I’ve got one goal: obedience.
One day at a time, one step at a time, one moment at a time. As my bestest of friends says, “Just do the next good thing.”
It was out of obedience yesterday, that I decided to crawl out of this fog of hospital discharge instructions and Vapo Rub that I’ve been living in and just
Friends just brought their new adoptive son home this week, and though it may not have been the most convenient time for me life-wise to make a meal to share, all I really had to do was say “yes.”
Because my hygiene (and not so coincidentally, my love life) has been suffering for all the aforementioned reasons, I determined that before I hit the kitchen, I needed to hit the showers. I should actually wear real pants for the first time in six days, and darn it if I wasn’t going to put on a little lip gloss and even some shoes.
Afterward, I set out to make my own loosely based version of Lasagna Soup. Two massive batches, one for a new, sweet family and one for my own. It was delicious. And as I carefully placed the two pots in the fridge, I felt proud. I had said “yes.”
And then I said something that sounds nothing like “yes.”
Yup, that happened.
Do you see that clear streak of clean floor to the right of the lid? That streak was me. Covered in Lasagna Soup up to my knees. Friends, it was in my shoes. Up my pant legs. Under my refrigerator. Under my dishwasher. And perhaps most painfully, not in my belly after a long, gratifying day.
And all I could do was strip down to my skivvies, grab some towels, clean up this crime scene I had created and laugh at what this all must have looked like. (Well, really, given my health status, I’d call what I did “claughing” (coughing + laughing).)
Thank God for garage towels and Hefty bags and Swiffer Wet Jets.
Thank God it was just our soup and not the Eriksens’.
Thank God there is a Trader Joe’s pizza in the freezer for dinner.
I was totally comfortable with that ending to the story. Too comfortable. And so I decided to do the hard thing. (Yes, even harder than getting tomato soup out of what can only be the most absorbent shoe inserts ever made.)
I picked my pot up off the floor. I got out my can opener. Pulled my spices from my cupboard. Rolled up my sleeves, and did the next good thing.
What I’m called to do won’t always look like what I think it should.
Maybe it won’t be as intimidating as international adoption, maybe it won’t require me to sell everything I own and move across the globe, and many days, it won’t even require me to leave my computer or my kitchen. Or even put on real pants.
But I’ll answer that call. Even when I get knocked down, even when it means doing something I really don’t think I have in me to do (again), even when it means I’m going to have to mop up a mess, pick up my weary pot and claugh out a faint “yes,” I will.
Then when my work is done, hopefully I will be able to look back, with His arm around my tired shoulders and we’ll be able to say together,
“Well, that was a good life. Well done.”
More soup for you (my favorites):