Sunday, March 1, 2009

Company's Coming and the Lights Are Out!

Sometimes when the doorbell rings, don't you just want to turn out the lights and pretend that no one's home? Maybe I am alone in this, but sometimes home just has to be home....not necessarily company ready. Oh, I've heard lots of hints for a company ready home such as how to pick up quickly by running through the house with a laundry basket to stow away all the clutter, toys, and shoes...there's never any clutter at my house, not mine.

Company comes knocking when we aren't always ready. Every time I change a light bulb, I think of a time that company came knocking at my door. I was a young mom of two, 6 and 3. One Saturday evening, we had settled in, baths had been given, children were dressed in PJs, clothes were laid out for church the next morning, and pink sponge rollers hung from blonde locks...yes, yours...daughter of mine. We were not at all expecting company, but yet there was a knock on the door.

Hurry, turn out the that won't work, most of them were already out. Grab the it won't all fit. Face the music...and open the door.

We had recently visited a new church and the welcoming committee was standing at our door....on a Saturday evening. Here we were in all of our glory. They had friendly faces. Oh my goodness, what they must have thought!

Greetings were shared and they were asked to be seated. I began turning switches on lamps only to find that everyone of them in our humble living room were...yes, you guessed it...burned out and not an extra one to be found. Every other room had ceiling fixtures and the ladder was in the garage. Imagine...toting a ladder through the house to retrieve a light bulb from a ceiling fixture in a bedroom or hallway. Next best thing was to invite them into our newly renovated "family room"....a one car garage conversion. The only furniture in that new room was a pair of Lazyboy recliners and a couple of child-size bean bag chairs. Remember, we weren't expecting company and I had not quickly filled a laundry basket with toys and shoes to stow away!

I guess I could have claimed...we are ahead of our time in going green and saving energy...or...we like watching our children running around in their light up tennis shoes...or...oh, never mind!

I was mortified and embarrassed beyond belief. Smiling faces that I did not know were sitting in my semi-dark house, dodging shoes and toys, and sitting on the only two chairs available. They looked like the king and queen sitting on their thrones and we were their subjects.

Needless to say, I had difficulty stepping foot in that church the next morning, but I did. We arrived early enough to attend Sunday School...dressed in our finest and our hair out of rollers. We were escorted to the children's area to drop off the children. Wouldn't you know that the lady that greeted my daughter was...the same one that visited our home the night before? She had the same smiling face as if she never noticed the lack of light bulbs or the abundance of toys and shoes on the floor of my house. I will be forever grateful to that sweet lady not only for overlooking what I now know are the little things in life, but for teaching my daughter "Trust and Obey".

Light bulb moment...As I think of the words to this old hymn, I know how she was able to overlook the lack of light in my home.....she was carrying His light.

Trust and Obey

When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will
He abides with us still
And with all who will trust and obey.

It has been 25 years since that knock was heard throughout my home. Now, extra light bulbs have a special place for easy retrieval. If by chance, you come by my house, the lights won't be out, toys have been stored away in the attic, and the shoes are in clear plastic boxes, so come on in, stay awhile, and I will serve you a dose of His light and perhaps one of today's Sunday Dinner recipes... Company Chicken or Poor Man's Beef LightsOff Stroganoff

Company Chicken

1 jar Hormel dried beef
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 cans cream of chicken mushroom soup (less sodium is best)
1 8 oz. sour cream

Line 9X13 baking dish with dried beef. Place chicken breasts over beef. Mix mushroom soup and sour cream. Spoon over chicken. Cover and bake at 325 for 3 hours. Serve over rice.

Poor Man's Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. ground beef
3 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 T. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
Dash of pepper
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream

Brown beef and bacon. Add onion. Spoon off grease. Blend flour and seasonings into meat mixture. Combine soup and milk. Add to meat mixture. Cook uncovered 15-20 minutes. Stir in sour cream continuing to cook until sour cream is heated. Serve over extra wide egg noodles prepared according to package directions.

If the shoe fits, wear it well!