Welcome Yes, I bet we all have had our significant other give us advice or words of wisdom at exactly the WRONG time. But in time, we realize they are very RIGHT. Today, I’m going to share one of the wisest things my husband has said to me, even though it bothered me significantly at the time. And since I love my husband, and his “annoying” wisdom, I’m going to share his favorite dish I make, Chile Cheese Chowder. Enjoy! Disclaimer-I may receive compensation from links and advertisements on this blog; for further information please see my terms and disclosure page.
Food For Thought I’m going to share something a little personal today. After all, we can’t have stories of real faith, without the real life events that get us there. Like so many others in the world, I struggle with depression and anxiety disorders. I have “high functioning” disorders, which means I can continue to get up every day and do what needs to be done. I’m lucky…I am still able to take care of my family, even when my mood is at an unbelievable low. But, that doesn’t mean it’s easy and it doesn’t always look pretty. It’s not chronic, but when an episode is really bad, I can be miserable for days, weeks, or months. Unfortunately I can make others around me miserable as well. My husband has learned to deal with these low moods in various ways. I tried to hide this side of my life from him for a while, but really it’s just easier to admit, “I don’t know why I’m sad, I don’t know why I’m crying, and I don’t know how to make it better.” With major depressive episodes, in addition to being very sad, I can get very angry and irritable sometimes. When I hit one of my really low spells a couple years ago, I found myself getting angry with my husband, because he couldn’t help me get better. I love him, he is my prince and knight and all of that other stuff, so why couldn’t he rescue me from this? In the middle of one of my melt-downs, I eluded to the idea that because I’m a “good person” I have the right to be happy. My husband replied with this statement: “God never intended for any of us to be happy all of the time. We lost that privilege in the Garden.” At the time, I hated his words. He wasn’t that spiritual, he didn’t understand what I was going through, and that didn’t sound like support for my point of view. To say I was annoyed is an understatement and I’m sure I let the drama continue.
Likely, he used the best words possible to connect with me, although it’s taken some time to realize it. My husband does know me well, and he knows that I try to seek God’s wisdom in all areas of my life, although it can be hard during those major lows. So I studied and prayed and read and talked and more. And my husband is right (gasp!) First of all, in Genesis 3:16-19, God tells Adam and Eve all of the hardships they will now endure as a result of their dining at the tree of knowledge, including “painful toil.” But there’s more in the Bible about times of hardship and suffering…no one had it easy, NOT EVEN the SON of GOD was spared these hard times on earth! And I’m certainly not better than my savior! I found several more passages in my Bible study referencing hardships and enduring the struggles, which confirms what my husband was saying all along. God knew we were not going to be happy all of the time while walking this earth. So he gave us an instruction manual to teach us how to endure and persevere. I would like to share these words from our message at church this past Sunday, “I can cope with the hardships of life because of the HOPE I have in Jesus Christ.” So whether our hardships be from depression and anxiety, physical illness, finances, or discord in the family, we must pray and keep hope because our redemption is coming!
Today’s Scriptures God has blessed me with the desire to get better, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, which is a key step. I have learned in my recent years that the more time I spend in God’s Word and praying, the easier I can function when low and the shorter my episodes of depression last. That is NOT to say that some people won’t need ADDITIONAL help from medication or therapy, and there is nothing wrong with that! Please understand that God provides for each of us in different ways. I do believe, however, that a spiritual component is very important to balancing our mental health (you can see additional reading for more on this topic.) Here are some passages I have found to be helpful:
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
James 5:10-11 “Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
1 Peter 1:6-7 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
And there was some of my husband’s proof-God does not intend for us to be happy all of the time on earth, but he gives us HOPE in our savior, Jesus Christ, for a day when joy will never end.
Additional Reading (These links were verified on 7/18/17 at 5:30 CDT)
Today’s Recipe Chile Cheese Chowder My husband and I have been married for 13 years and together for 15. He has supported me during so many events in my life. I am thankful for his calm during the storms of life and loving me, even when it’s a challenge. This is one of the very first meals I ever prepared for my husband when we were dating. I’m not sure if the reminiscent factor doesn’t have at least a little bit to do with this being his favorite homemade dish. It is yummy and tasty, too, especially in the cool months. The recipe first came to me in a WebMD newsletter for asthma sufferers, the chiles are great for clearing bronchial tubes! I long ago lost the original recipe and have tweaked it several times over the years.
- Chile Cheese Chowder
- 2 TBS butter
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 7-oz cans of diced green chiles (we use mild chiles, so our daughter will eat it too)
- 4 cups cubed Yukon gold potatoes (I like using golds because the starch sort of melts into the chowder adding to the creaminess of the dish.)
- 5 cups vegetable broth or stock
- 12 oz can evaporated milk (Using evaporated milk in soups prevents curdling of the dairy. You can use other milk, but the texture may be different.)
- 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Red chile pepper flakes, to taste
In large stock pot, melt butter; add vegetables, pepper, and salt, and saute’ over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir until brown and crumbly-this will be your chowder thickener. Add chiles, undrained, and stir to combine. Add potatoes and stock, bringing to boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium low, cooking an additional 20 minutes. When potatoes are soft, add milk, and stir. Stir in cheeses, one cup at a time to be sure they melt evenly. Chowder is thick and creamy and golden. Garnish with red chile pepper flakes, if desired, to up the spiciness, which is great for asthma, sinus, and allergy issues.