Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Enjoy Your Noodles: A Story of Thankfulness

#thankfulness #noodles #Godisgood

America's Best Stew
The sign on the counter clinched my decision: “Our chicken stew voted one of America’s Top 10 Best Chicken Dishes by Redbook magazine.”  My imagination salivated. Plump chicken breast slices bumped into carrots. Potato and celery chunks jostled for position to the top of the bowl, showing off their muscles.
It was our first visit to this celebrated deli recommend by our friend, James.  We’d taken three wrong turns before we finally found it. But I knew my frustrations would melt away when that first bite of chicken stew hit my tongue.  I congratulated myself on my healthy selection, compared to my husband’s choice of a pastrami sandwich. Until I stared into my bowl. 
Nothing but noodles. 
Okay, that was a lie. Scraps of chicken and a slice or two of carrot hid next to scrawny excuses for celery. Apart from that, the noodle family and their one hundred and six shirttail relations swam in a lake of broth.
Pastrami piled high
Kevin charged into his five-inch mound of pastrami on rye, the spicy mustard dripping onto his moustache to mock me. “How is your sandwich, honey?”
“It’s great! I’m so glad we came here, Jeanette.” He wiped his mouth between bites. “It was worth all the trouble of finding it. You know, there aren’t many places that serve pastrami like this anymore. And just look how they piled it on.” How could he manage to get all those words out and all that food in at the same time? “I’m thankful to James for recommending this restaurant. Would you like a bite?”
“Oh, no, that’s okay.” I pretended not to mind that his taste buds were dancing in pastrami heaven while mine languished in…well.
His eyes closed in bliss while he took another bite. “How is your stew?”
“Well, I would hardly call it stew,” I whined. “I expected tons of veggies and huge chunks of chicken. This is barely more than a bowl of noodles splashed with chicken, and carrots tossed in for color.”  I kept my voice calm despite the stress of my enormous disappointment, so he wouldn’t feel badly.
Pastrami-induced joy
I needn’t have worried. No amount of discontent on my part could quench his pastrami-induced joy. 
After fishing every sliver of chicken and shadow of veggie in the pond of noodles while listening to the virtues of the best pastrami on earth on the freshest rye in the universe, I excused myself. Perhaps on my way to the ladies room I’d happen by a table recently vacated by people who left half a sandwich untouched. I could sneak it into my purse then eat it behind the stall door—with a napkin on my lap, of course. I’m no lowbrow, after all.
But my conscience—and the empty plates I passed—made my decision for me.  It seems the Lord had taken seriously my plea of “lead me not into temptation” 
While alone in the bathroom, I silently complained to the Lord about my stew. As He often does when my attitude is tacky, He spoke to me. I didn’t hear an audible voice, but way down on the inside of my insides, I sensed His kind, Daddy tone. 
My little talk with Jesus

“Enjoy your noodles,” He said. As flat and matter-of-fact as someone saying, “Here’s a napkin to wipe your chin.”
I blinked.  Well, of course. This is what I have in my bowl. Just because I expected a different meal, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy these noodles. I should be thankful for food in my belly, not miffed because I didn’t get my way.
I returned to the table, inspired by my little bathroom talk with Jesus, and slurped down the
remainder of my lunch.  I grinned at Kevin and said, “This deli was an excellent choice! Thanks for paying, honey.”
“You’re welcome.” Even his pastrami breath didn’t faze me. Too much.       
Be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”  (Hebrews 13:5, NIV).

The above is a chapter from my book,
Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!


  1. I enjoyed reading this again. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Love and blessings.

  2. Wonderful, and so very true! We always have that choice to be content...or not. And now, I'm craving a warm chicken stew!

    1. Shelly: I hope yours has more veggies in it than mine did that day!

  3. A very good message. I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.


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