God-Crafted Family (dinner).

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“We’ve walked a lot of earth together.”

The table has seen so many family dinners over the years. We’ve celebrated birthdays and anniversaries and pregnancies and new jobs there. We’ve wept over layoffs and prayed for healing and against pain. We’ve held hands so many times.

The originals

There are actually three families at the table. The first dinner was in the spring of 2007. I remember setting the table and pouring the wine and wondering if it would be the only one. We were a most unlikely group – we didn’t live in the same neighborhood or have kids at the same school. We would have never been in the same graduating class.  But we were all hungry for something greater than the meal we were preparing to eat. We longed for deep, abiding community. We’ve had more folks at the table over the years, but we keep coming back to us. The originals.

Seven years later, we are different people in so many ways. We’ve experienced life’s best and it’s most tragic. And even now life is juggling us all about a bit. We held hands and bowed our heads, and with every word my husband Brad prayed, those hands held more tightly as if to join in a chorus of “we’re still in this, still walking, still together.” The prayer was about strengthening our marriages against the raging storms, helping us be good parents and grandparents, and it was about protecting Ryan as he donated his kidney so his godchildren could hold hands with their mom a while longer. And there was gratitude for being with family crafted by God Himself. Courtney and I have used that phrase, “God-crafted family,” for years now to describe what the Lord has done for us in giving us all each other. And the words keep getting sweeter, the more earth that passes under our feet.

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When was the last time you were hungry for something greater than a meal at your table? When was the last time you held hands tightly and prayed with friends, letting the tears fall without shame? You’re invited to the table. For good conversation. For good food. For community. And maybe even – on occasion – for the celebration of a guy who says because Jesus died for him, giving a kidney to help someone else live is the least he can do.

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Ryan wanted Salt-Crusted Tenderloin for family dinner. We had herbed Cracked Potatoes and Brown Butter Green Beans too. And we had a wonderful salad inspired by a cooking show I watch on BBC called Saturday Kitchen. For dessert? Ryan loves bananas, so a recipe from Paula Dean put a little Deep South goodness on the table. Enjoy these recipes as you enjoy God-crafted family.

Fresh Melon Salad

makes six side servings

 

1 Tuscan canteloupe, peeled seeded and sliced into 1″ cubes (you may use a regular canteloupe if you can’t find Tuscan)

1/2 English cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2″ slices

3 ripe and beautiful tomatoes, cut into 1/2″ slices

Mild, creamy goat cheese

Lightly sweetened red wine vinaigrette or raspberry vinaigrette (Bolthouse Farms makes a lovely Raspberry Merlot dressing if you don’t want to make your own)

 

Layer ingredients on a platter and serve with the dressing on the side.

 

Not Your Mama’s Banana Pudding

makes 12 good servings
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk

1 t. Mexican vanilla
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

 

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve. NOTE: This pudding is better if it’s had about a day to chill. And it’s excellent frozen – it tastes like banana ice cream.

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What does God-crafted family look like to you? What would you serve at family dinner? And most importantly, how may I pray for you – because I want to hold your hand and let some earth pass under our feet too. Oh, and by the way, the transplant went well! The doctors said Ryan gave a most beautiful kidney to his recipient.

This entry was posted in Community, family, food, Prayer and tagged , , , , , , , , , by Ronne Rock. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ronne Rock

Ronne Rock’s heart finds its strongest beat where beauty and pain collide – because hope always finds us in the shattered places. There’s more than 30 years of marketing and communications experience in her bones, and she finds great joy in sharing leadership wisdom as a regular contributor to Orange Leaders and QARA. But more often than not these days, she's with the vulnerable in difficult places around the world, gathering stories that change stories. Find Ronne's words in "For You, Love" the prayer journal that invites you to respond, and in Everbloom, a collection of stories from the Redbud Writers Guild. She is currently writing, "Building Eden: Principles of a Grace-Filled Leadership that Restores and Redeems." 

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Comments

9 thoughts on “God-Crafted Family (dinner).”

  1. God-crafted family… I love that term, because that’s what we have. For us, our God-crafted family looks like holding our hands as we walk through illness and searching in ways that are not temporary. It looks like not letting those hands go as we are so tired that we can’t hang on. Because of my husband’s illness, food is never center for us, but it looks like a buffet of desserts (including his favorite, Banana Pudding), and us all collapsed into a comfy couch with a plate of goodness while we pour out our hearts.

  2. Ronne I love how you bare your soul with beautiful words! This so inspires me to build genuine community with others, and to be a risk taker for the sake of love. I love you and so thankful I get to call you friend!
    Dawn

  3. I consider you part of my God-crafted family. I love when God brings people together at the right time with different backgrounds. I’m inspired each time I read your blog and I feel like it’s my afternoon java. p.s. I’ve been looking for some unique salads so I will definitely try your melon salad.

  4. Mark 10:29-30 “God Crafted Family” Is what I felt around my table on Thanksgiving this year – as I shared our life-long traditional recipes with friends new and old brave enough to engage in something they’d only ever seen in movies and loving enough to puzzle through our very imperfect grammar and not nearly expressive enough vocabulary explanations on the history of the holiday. And, tonight we despedir (say goodbye) to one of those family members as God moves her on to new opportunities. I think I’ll try your melon salad as my addition to the meal!

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