faith-family-food–a place for devotionals and recipes
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Food For Thought When I was in my teens and early twenties, I desperately wanted to be in a romantic relationship. It was my all-consuming desire. I became extremely depressed and frustrated when this wasn’t happening in my life, even when I was praying what I believed to be “Godly prayers,” throwing in phrases such as, “Bring me a strong Christian man so I can grow closer to You in my faith walk” or “Allow me to be of service to You by being a Christian wife and mother.” My faith waivered and I considered myself unwanted and unlovable. This caused a downward spiral in my other social interactions. I concluded something must be wrong with me.
As I was living single in the big city for the first time, I thought this relationship I was seeking might come easier, but it did not. I am thankful now that I stuck to my “picky” standards, but at the time I wondered if someone “like me” would need to just settle for anyone. I tried to use church as my dating spring board, but rather than finding a potential mate I found lessons in faith, prayer, patience, and perseverance. And stillness.
God had a plan for me. I didn’t understand it all then, but it needed to happen in the right place, at the right time, and it certainly needed to be the right person. The man I married in 2004 is still my husband today, 14 years later, and I have never once doubted that he is my soul mate. But I had to learn to be still before God would bring us together.
I believe we are soul mates because we needed each other, for different reasons, and we truly balance one another. But he had some things to work out before he was ready to be my husband. And I obviously had some things to work out before I could be the Christian wife I had longed to be. I had to learn to let some things go and build my trust and faith in God. I had to learn to be still and patient, letting God handle the biggest transitions in my life. There isn’t an area of our lives we shouldn’t trust to HIM, but if any rank at the top of the list, marriage should be there!
I look back now on all those times I tried to control, force, and manipulate the situation. I tried to make relationships happen that were not meant to be. I now realize I was working too hard for something this amazing. I found out through experience that the best things come to those who are STILL. When did I finally meet my soul mate? When I learned to relax and not stress over my singleness. When I learned to embrace the season of life I was in, accepting the notion that there was something bigger and better waiting for me. When I finally learned to be content and still, God worked some amazing circumstances in my life.
I am so glad I went through that stage of my life. I am happy I experienced a period of waiting, learning patience and contentment in that place, because now I reflect on those lessons and what I learned, knowing what I have to do now, as well.
Being still and patient is one of the hardest things we will ever do. Being still is a necessary part of our journey. Being still is certainly not for the weak. In fact, being still can only make us stronger in our faith.
If you would like to read the longer story of how God brought me and my husband together, please read my post Lady in Waiting.
Today’s Recipe Do you want an easy fall comfort food that requires few ingredients and little hands-on cooking time? If so, this Slow-Cooker Beef and Bacon “Chili” is just the right dish for you! This is another tomato-free dish I have created to avoid my food allergies. If you prefer, you can always add a couple of cans of diced tomatoes when you add the canned beans. I list four cans of beans as part of the ingredients, without being specific. I know kidney or pinto are typical chili beans, but we often mix varieties of beans in our chili dishes. Stores usually run sales on all the beans at the same time, so I stock up on a variety. Then I just pull what sounds good from the cabinet when ready to prepare a bean dish. And, of course, we serve this version of chili with classic cornbread.
Slow-Cooker Beef and Bacon “Chili”
- 8 slices bacon
- 1 lb ground beef (93/7 is what I prefer)
- 2 TBS chili seasoning (I use Chili 9000 from Penzey’s Spice Company)
- 1 large onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
- 4 15-oz cans of beans, drained
- 3 cups beef broth
- a few dashes of hot sauce
Cook bacon in large skillet. Remove, drain, and cool. In same skillet, brown hamburger and onion. Drain off any extra fat. Add chili seasoning, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce and stir. Dump the hamburger mixture into a large slow cooker. Add the beans, broth, and hot sauce to the slow cooker and stir. Crumble bacon on top. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Stir well before serving. Serve with cornbread, if desired.
Today’s Recommended Products from Amazon that I use in my own kitchen: