Sunday was a bitterly cold, clear day. Driving the kids to church, the temperature was only thirty-one degrees but it had looked so nice out that I'd only put them in sweaters and we were all freezing the second we stepped out the door.
After we got home, Steven built a fire and we all put on pajamas and ate hot soup and bread. We warmed up so fast. I couldn't stop thinking about those people who don't have a place to go on the cold days. Do you ever do that? Get a thought in your head that you can't seem to forget about? Not that I want to forget about anyone - not at all. Just that it seemed to consume my mind the whole day.
We are so blessed to have a roof over our heads, warm clothes, plenty of food, clean water, access to medicine and doctors, friendly neighbors, running vehicles, and so much more.
Sometimes when I'm slicing bananas or dishing out crackers for my kids' snacks, I feel this overwhelming guilt that we just have so much when others have so little.
"Because I have been given much, I too must give."
I think that's the answer.
I'm grateful for the abundance in my life - the abundance of love and family and affection, but also the abundance of comforts and temporal things. We will probably never be millionaires, I don't think we want to be. I'm sure we'll live in a modest house for our whole life and never buy new cars or those purses that cost a billion dollars and smell like leather. Does anyone really want more than that? I think at the heart of it, we all just want love and simplicity. But we have more than enough, always have, even when we had twelve dollars in the bank account and an empty fridge ;). I'm thankful for this life that I have - a life of more than enough, a life of simple pleasures.
Now, on the topic of food... that hot soup that warmed us up on Sunday? My own concoction of broccoli cheese. Both Steven and I love it (KJ too, but Gage not so much), but every recipe I'd looked at either had a ridiculous amount of cheese or was far too labor intensive for a lazy cook like me. This is the final product of a few tries, and we absolutely love it:
2 heads of broccoli (I've only used fresh, not frozen, but I'm sure two packages of frozen broccoli would work)
2 large potatoes
1/2 cup shredded carrots
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 block of cream cheese
1/4 cup cheese, grated (we have used mozzarella and cheddar)
Salt & pepper
Chop broccoli into small pieces, peel and dice potatoes. Place in crockpot with broth, add salt (about 3 tsp) and leave on high for about 3 hours, until broccoli and potatoes are well-cooked. Add cream cheese and carrots and turn to low for about 1/2 hour. Add more salt to taste (if you don't add it early on, the vegetables don't absorb it well and it ends up bland). Stir until melted cream cheese is well incorporated, then stir in the grated cheese.
I love to serve it with a fresh baguette and a green salad.