If I Could Turn Back Time…

Welcome  Well, here in the Midwest, we got to set our clocks back an hour a week ago, so I guess you could say we “turned back time.” And yes, I did see the Cher memes going around connecting her song with this event. Yes, I laughed. But that’s not what I’m talking about today. I actually was thinking about if I could turn back time, would I really make use of that privilege? Would you? Thanks for joining me today. Note–I may receive a small compensation from affiliate links found on this blog post. For further information, please see my Terms and Disclosure page.

Food For Thought  Life is a constant series of choices and decisions, some minor and some life changing.  Through the gift of free will we are allowed to make these choices, leading to great steps in faith and service or hard lessons and learning experiences.  We may look at some of our choices and say, “Wow, that was the best decision I ever made.”  Then there are the times we look back and question our decisions, wondering if we chose the wrong path or how our life could have turned out differently if we had picked the “right” or better path.  Personally, I really start running these questions in my mind when life gets hard or struggles come up.  Some of life’s difficulties are out of our control, like serious illness or death of a loved one.  But when we face challenges due to our own choices, it is easy to begin questioning our decisions.

In the past few years, in the midst of emotional and occupational struggles, I was increasingly concentrating on these past decisions, questioning so many paths I took and wondering what might have happened if I had gone down a different path.  One of the phrases I began saying quite a bit was, “If I had known what would become of public education, I would never have gone into teaching.”  Well, the decision to be a teacher was a seed that was planted when I was probably only four or five years old.  And even then, I liked to plan everything and set goals.  So I spent the next 14 years working toward going to college on academic scholarships to become a teacher.  And the decisions all stem from that…where I would go to college, attending a job fair, accepting a position at an inner city school, and then 15 more years teaching in a suburban school district.  But would I go back and change that decision, even after all of the frustration and downward spiral of events of this past year?  As hard as it is to even believe myself, I would change almost nothing!  If I had not taken the inner city job I would not have moved to the city.  If I hadn’t move to the city, I would not have met my husband.  If I hadn’t met my husband I would not have my daughter.  If I hadn’t taken the job in the suburb, my daughter would likely not have gone to her church daycare and preschool that was so wonderful for her and our family.  If I hadn’t met some of the people I did along the way, my life would look very different and I would not have achieved some of the goals and successes I’ve had.  So, while my adult life may not be turning out exactly as I had planned or expected, the choices I’ve made are deeply connected to the blessings I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving season.

Paths of Choice
From “If I Could Turn Back Time” on faith-family-food.com

And what about the decisions and/or mistakes made during my last couple years of teaching?  I don’t think I would change those either, and I’m able to say that because I have a renewed faith and belief in God’s plan for me, as one of His blessed children.  Yes, it was me making the choices, but God knew what was taking place in my life.  God knows the desires of my heart and the limits I can handle, physically and spiritually.  God gave me an “out,” a detour, a side path.  As I see it, God has provided me lots of different paths that will lead to His true calling for me.  Not a single path in the group is straight or flat or easy.  They are all winding and full of peaks and valleys and even detours.  But the paths are ONE WAY.  There is no time travel or back-tracking, just moving forward, with more paths and more choices, and plenty of beauty to see along the way.  And along the path, I will consult with Him and ask for guidance to show the way.  I will pray for wisdom when choices are to be made, so I never need to say, “If I could turn back time…”

Today’s Prayer  My Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that my choices I’m making are pleasing to you.  But for those times when I falter, I ask forgiveness and ask that you guide me back to the path that will be most productive.  I pray for wisdom and discernment that I can see clearly the choices that lie in front of me and where they may lead.  Lord, I ask for help so that I do not dwell on the past or grieve choices that I may have considered failures, but that I can continue to look forward and persevere in this life You have blessed me with.  In Jesus Holy Name, Amen.

Today’s Scripture  Earlier this week I found this passage in Isaiah and it helped me in my contemplation of this topic.

Isaiah 43:18-19  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the watershed.”

Today’s Recipe  Well, one thing that’s good to look back on are “classic” recipes.  There are just some foods that seem to remain timeless…deviled eggs, BLT’s, German Chocolate Cake, Chicken tetrazzini, meatloaf, I could just go on and on!  Well, let’s turn back the clock and enjoy a Retro Tuna Noodle Casserole. It may be “retro” but this is absolutely one of my daughter’s very favorite meals!

Retro Tuna Noodle Casserole (6-8 servings)

  • 1 16-oz pkg rotini noodles
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 large celery stalks, sliced
  • 6 green onions, greens and tops, sliced
  • 8 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 1/2 cups reserved pasta water
  • 2 cups shredded Colby Jack or Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cans tuna (in water), drained
  • 1 can peas, drained
  • fresh shaved parmesan (optional)

Fill a large stock pot with water and salt moderately; bring to a boil.  When water is boiling add rotini noodles and cook “al dente,” about 8-10 minutes, reserving 1-2 cups of the pasta water.  In large skillet, melt butter and add celery, green onions, and mushrooms, salt and pepper, cooking until soft and fragrant.  Add flour and stir, scraping any brown bits from bottom of pan.  Slowly pour in cream and stir.  Add reserved pasta water, 1 cup at a time, to loosen the sauce a bit.  Stir in cheese until nice and melty.  Add tuna, peas, and cooked (drained) pasta, mixing until well combined.  If desired, serve with some fresh shaved parmesan.

I may not be sponsored by Calphalon (yet?), but I know how much easier these products make my meal prep.  Here are three products I used to prepare this meal.  If interested in purchasing, click the links below (11/15/17; 3:25 p.m. CST):