It began with disappointed dreams.
My brother, John and his wife, Dara had worked diligently for months to stock their boat for their Pacific Ocean voyage from San Diego to Kauai where John was going to begin a construction job. Their children, Della, 5, Sam, 3, and baby Hudson were excited to see the only home they had ever known launch. They had been preparing their boat, the Islander, for months for this voyage. Additionally, it was a lifelong dream to sail up-and-down the South seas sharing the gospel.
One week into their voyage they struck a massive storm so fierce they were strongly advised to return to shore. They could no longer safely continue their journey because of the time window and expected calamitous weather. They had already shipped their vehicles to Hawaii ahead of them. John had to begin his job December 1st so the painful decision was made to sell the boat and fly to Hawaii instead.
We headed over a week later to check on them and see how everybody was doing. Despite unloading canned goods at a homeless shelter, Dara, who had carefully packed for the four-week voyage, still had bags of food that she needed to give away. With mixed emotions, I accepted much of her produce. Gratitude filled my heart as my pantry was bare. Reluctance too, knowing how carefully it had all been cultivated.
In one of those bags was a pair of leeks. They sat in my refrigerator for about a day before inspiration struck: leek soup…that’s what I needed to make. I gathered the leeks, celery, chicken broth, and the homemade almond milk I had prepared that morning. Soon an alluring fragrance filled the house. My husband popped in and snagged the 1st bowl, topping it with crumbled bacon and shredded cheese. One by one we were enticed by the refreshing aroma into the kitchen. Such a simple meal yet fit for a king. We were thankful.
It was a joy to share with my brother and sister-in-law the absolute delight which emerged from their gift of the leeks and to see even something small like this bring joy and comfort. We were so blessed to witness my brother’s unwavering faith in the journey and that blessing continued on to our dining room table. Yes, a long planned-for dream had died, but he and his family were still seeking God. Their example was a powerful reminder to me that yes, God works all things together for our good and His glory. Even a pair of leeks.
Just the week prior as we were brunching on the Islander, we had shared the divergent trajectories that both our paths were on and painful lessons of letting go and letting God. And now, another dream had been shelved. More letting go. More being still. I was so thankful though, to see them navigate this storm so well and move forward with His plan for their lives. And to see God’s faithfulness through it all from providing a path around the storm to providing dinner for our family, turning one man’s discarded vegetable into another’s discovered dinnertime recipe.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV
Potato Leek Soup
2 full-sized leeks sliced in half and then in half moons
8 small potatoes diced into bite-sized pieces
2 stalks celery sliced
1-quart chicken broth
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Add leeks and celery to a 3-quart pot. Add a few tablespoons avocado oil. Sauté a few minutes. I browned mine.
Add potatoes then broth. Simmer until potatoes are tender and beginning to fall apart. Add almond milk and season accordingly.
Serve with crumbled bacon, shredded cheese or whatever makes you happy!
Optional: Add shredded carrots into the broth
Gluten-free and Dairy-free
Mary has cherished life-long literary dreams coupled with a passion for ministry, all of which lead her to study English literature and later theology and counseling in seminary. She has been designing artisan jewelry for eight years while homeschooling son Ian and daughter Julianna. She and her husband Mark Miller have been in ministry for the past thirteen years in San Diego and temporarily moved to Washington with their cat Lord Peter Wimsey while Mark finalized his dissertation. Dr. Miller is now pursuing ministerial opportunities nation-wide. Mary enjoys off-the-wall humor, gardening, cooking, and curling up with anything penned by Dorothy Sayers, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, or Jane Austen.