Sometimes stirring the soup is really yukky

The smell of incense was cloying, especially when it was coupled with the smell of hot grease, but it didn’t matter. We were in our very favorite Chinese restaurant in the whole world. (Well, all of Chinatown, anyway.)

The table linens were pure white, and the napkins were blood red. The glasses had….(gasp) STEMS and there was no silver ware, just chop sticks. “Kids, we’re going to have something very special tonight. I want you to try it and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat any more, BUT I will serve it to you, okay?” We all agreed – hey, we had our drinks with little paper umbrellas and maraschino cherries in it, why wouldn’t we agree?!!!

Dinner came and the very special food arrived, as well. It was in a beautiful, large blue and white tureen. Around the tureen were glass spoons with large flat bottoms to them. The waiter threw in a handful of rice noodles, which snapped, crackled and popped so much Kelloggs would have been green with envy.

My Dad scooped each of us a small bowlful of soup – which we ate with some hesitancy. (Keep in mind this is the same Dad who used those same words, “very special food”, the time that he had brought home chocolate covered grasshoppers. No, I’m not kidding!) This time, however, it wasn’t bad. The broth was very much like a light chicken broth and the rice noodles were fun to eat. I ate my entire bowl and then attacked my sweet and sour chicken with a vengeance.

At some point during the meal, my little brother needed to use the restroom, so he and Dad disappeared for a few minutes. While they were gone, I decided that some more soup was in order. (Must have been a growth spurt.) So, like any wise young lady – I mean doesn’t EVERYONE know that all the good things sink to the bottom of the tureen?!! oysters being the exception – I stirred the soup.

I don’t know if I really screamed or not. I know that I sure felt like it, as there, floating to the top of the soup – the soup I had ALREADY eaten – was bird feathers, bugs and small sticks. I thought I was going to be sick. “MOM!!” was all I’m CERTAIN I screamed said. She had been helping my little sister with her food, so she missed my big girl attempts to serve myself. As I recall, she laughed until I thought she was going to be sick too. (My Dad, upon his return was no better. It’s a wonder I don’t have more emotional issues from my youth and childhood.) 🙂

I am finding that this process of becoming an entrepreneur is a lot like stirring the soup. There has been so much nasty stuff that has risen to the top, in this process. Jeff and I are finding that the Lord is using this process to further cleanse us from unrighteousness and to refine us deeper and deeper. I say, without hesitation that this has been hard….very hard. I can also say without hesitation that I’m grateful…very grateful for all that Father is teaching and working in us and our lives.

For those of you that are following even remotely in our footsteps, please know that there is a special gracing for this time, but it is hard, nonetheless… and it will stretch you and work deeper in you than you could ever imagine. But the joy of seeing this birthed is a amazing, as well. Especially when you are doing so, with your eyes focused on the importance of seeking first the Kingdom of God.

It is then that we are able to receive all that Father has for us, including all the sticks, feathers and bugs – the yukky stuff. And just for the record, should you ever find yourself being served Bird’s Nest soup – take my word on this and DO NOT STIR IT! It’ll put a real damper on your meal. It might even cause emotional issues that will need to be dealt with later. 😉

4 Responses to “Sometimes stirring the soup is really yukky”
  1. Violet says:

    That reminds me of my first dinner out shortly after I arrived in Hong Kong as a single missionary. My roommate took me (she had been there a year) and did the ordering. She asked for the “soup of the day”. It wasn’t Bird’s Nest soup, but rather Chicken’s Feet soup! The naked, fatty chickens feet were floating around on top – no need to stir. The “gracious” waiter served us, making sure to add a foot per bowl. As all the waiters stood around waiting to see what these westerners were going to do, I proceeded to make a courageous attempt at picking up the foot with my chopsticks. Midway to my mouth, the chopsticks crossed themselves and the foot went flying to the floor. I was saved from taking another one in the flurry of cleaning up.

    I’m just now reading through Job and am impressed again with God’s providence in our lives when we don’t have a clue as to the reasons behind it all. It is enough to know that He is in the business of refining us so that we come forth as gold. Yes, it is stretching and hard, but it is sooooo worth it! Hangeth thou in there.

  2. javadawn says:

    Mmmm, chicken feet. Our dog, Lucy LOVES them, does that count?? 😆

    Violet, after I wrote this blog look what was in my inbox this morning:

    A Heavenly Strategic Planning Session
    by Os Hillman, November 29, 2007

    And the Lord said, “Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?” One suggested this, and another that. – 1 Kings 22:20

    There are few times we get a glimpse of what goes on in Heaven. Here is one instance when the angels were conferring with the Lord about the judgment of King Ahab for his sin and who was going to set up Ahab for this judgment.

    If God wanted to use you to impact your world for Jesus Christ, what circumstances would have to be created in order for you to respond to His call? Would prospering you materially encourage you to this end? Would a major change in what you are presently doing be necessary? What would your response be should God and the angels conclude that the only way to move you into a position of fulfilling God’s purposes was to remove some things that might be very dear to you? Would you agree with their plan if you knew this would be the only way you would achieve the purposes for which God made you? Hard questions, aren’t they?

    This is the very thing God does in many who have been called for a special mission. Moses had to be stripped of his royal position in the family of Egypt and sit in the desert for 40 years. The apostle Paul had to be knocked to the ground, blinded, and receive a personal visitation from Jesus. The 12 disciples had to leave their jobs for three years to follow Christ. Imagine what kind of disruption this had on their lives. There are many examples of God bringing major upheaval in the lives of those He called for His purposes. Why?

    The reason is that we do not seek God with a whole heart in times of prosperity and comfort. Prosperity and comfort tend to breed complacency and satisfaction. It is rare to find the man or woman who seeks God with a whole heart who does so simply from a grateful heart. We often must have pain or crisis to motivate us. Eventually, that crisis bridges us to a new calling, and we embrace that calling if we are open to the Holy Spirit’s work in us. We can actually thank God for the change that was required to get us to this place, but it is not without anguish of heart.

    Would you be willing to sit in the strategic planning session for your life and agree with the plans God has for your life? Could you give God complete freedom to implement that plan, no matter the cost? Ask God to give you the grace and trust in His love for you to say “yes.”
    This is from Os Hillman’s daily devotional “Today God is First” I can not recommend this enough for those who are even considering entrepreneurialism – or those who are employed outside the home. For those, I would say it’s a must-read.
    For the rest of you, I’d just say it’s a “you’ll be really blessed if you read it” thang.
    Here is the website:

    (AND I just noticed they’re giving away a free ebook for signing up for the devotional. Kewel)

  3. Violet says:

    Thanks, Dawn, for this link and sharing the devotional. I just signed up.

    The last paragraph of the devotional is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? Who knows better than God, what His specific plan for me is, not to mention how that fits with His eternal plan for all of us. My arrogance in thinking I might have a better plan (or even significant input!) never ceases to amaze me. Beyond that, His loooooooong suffering toward my arrogance amazes me even more!

  4. javadawn says:

    Violet, I think you will enjoy it. Many mornings, I find that when I sit down at my computer, it’s a duplicate of the very things that Father was leading me to read in my quiet time. 🙂 I enjoy that.

    That final paragraph is quite a doozy, I agree. (nods emphatically!)

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