Sunday, October 18, 2015

Redeeming Tuna Fish

I remember the first time I made pearl was when both our bank in Ghana and our bank in America lost all our money for the entire month.
God supplied all our needs....for a month.....with no money.
It's an amazing story, but not the one I want to share today.
During this lean time, I had the blessing of being able to thoroughly empty my refrigerator, freezer, and all our cabinets of every last crumb of food we had.
It was a blessing to have a reserve to draw from, but some days the pickings were pretty slim, and other days the combinations had to be a bit "creative."
On one of those days the only things I could find to put together were a jar of frozen chicken broth, some shell-shaped pasta, and a quarter bag of frozen peas.
It was going to make a scant lunch, and truthfully?
I was really discouraged.
We'd seen God take care of us for 20 straight days, but it was getting harder and harder to concoct something decent to eat, and I wasn't too sure my kiddos would go for this meal.
As I was mulling over what to do, an idea struck.
I'd give it a fancy name, and maybe that would win the girls over {because even though my girls knew God was doing miracles for our family, they are still human beings and sometimes picky eaters!}.
As I stared at the pot of food heating up, I decided to call it pearl soup. With those peas floating around with the shell noodles, they reminded me a bit of green pearls.
I set it on the table and removed the lid with a flourish. The girls leaned over and stared for a moment and then asked me it what it was.
"Pearl soup," was my reply.
They got huge grins on their faces and gobbled it down, but deep inside I felt bad about having to feed them such a dish.

The next time we had pearl soup was another trying time for our family.
Lili had just had her heart surgery in Accra, and after two long, hard weeks we were packed and ready to leave the guest house and return home to Kumasi.
John headed out to rent a vehicle for our trip back and told me he'd be back in an hour. That hour turned into four hours {which can easily happen here in Ghana} with all our bags packed, our room key turned in, our bill payed for, and me with four little girls to keep busy.
Lunch time was well past, and I had no idea what to do.
We had a bit of left over food from our stay so I opened the small cooler to see what I could scrounge up.
I saw a bag of noodles, a bag of peas, a half block of butter, and a can of tuna fish.
As I placed the water on the stove to boil, Ella walked into the guesthouse kitchen, looked at the items I had on the table, and exclaimed with a grin on her face, "Mom, pearl soup with fish! It's my favorite!"
I could only watch with relief as my girls gulped down their Super-Special Pearl Soup that Saturday afternoon.

Friday I headed into the kitchen to make lunch.
The morning had not gone as smoothly as I had planned.
I really needed to get lunch together quickly and put Mackay down for her nap, because she needed to sleep {those of you who have ever had a two-year old can understand that statement!}, we still had lots to do to finish our learning for the day.
I opened the cabinet door, and the first thing I saw was a can of tuna and some shell noodles.
A quick glance in the freezer produced a half bag of peas, and I knew what lunch would be.
It might not be the best meal, but it would be quick and would hopefully fill their bellies.
When Carey came into the kitchen to get the lunch dishes, she lifted the pot lid to see what was inside.
"Pearl soup?" she asked.
I replied in the affirmative as she carried the plates out the door.
The girls were all smiles when I set the pot on the table.
As I dished up what was in my eyes a less-than-glamorous-or-nutritious lunch, I listened to my older girls tell the younger two about the amazing meal of which they were about to partake.
I listened in awe and wonder as they told about a special time when we had no food to eat, but God gave us such yummy meals as pearl soup and gold nugget soup {same soup but with corn instead of peas}, and how this version was extra great, because it had tuna fish, too.
All four of my girls gobbled it down with shining eyes and happy smiles.

As we were clearing the table after lunch, all I could think of was the goodness of our God.
Here was a meal I wasn't even thankful for {I mean, really.....noodles, tuna, and peas? Not exactly gourmet fare.}, yet God was using it to draw my girls to Him.
Only our Great Provider-God could redeem tuna fish for His purposes.


  1. Yay for God, and yay for a creative mother who first called it "Pearl Soup." Another wonderful post, Patty!

  2. This post really made me cry from thankfulness and I wondered how many things of significance I've done or passed on, significance unknown to me, that I've viewed with sadness for so many years. I am now old and looking back over many things and feeling so crushed down by it all probably because I'm not seeing the significance from another person's eyes, something human eyes can't see, but God sees. I know someone told me something once and it had helped so much. When I saw him again I told it back to him, thanking him for it, and he hadn't even remembered telling it me, but in deep thought said he that he was going to have to remember it because it was the information he needed about many of his struggles. I said, but you were the one who told it to me. It seemed that sentence didn't penetrate him at all, but that this was the first time he ever heard it. He walked away, still deep in thought, saying, I'll have to remember that, and seemed like he was really applying it to several areas he was struggling with. Other times when I had said something to someone that helped them and they thanked me for it, I'd walk away wondering, How in the world could that have helped them? It didn't sound like anything of importance, yet affected them so greatly. I have been following your blog for a couple years and have gained much encouragement through the way you view the world and it's overwhelmingness. But this time I actually have cried in thankfulness since I read it because the story does not leave my mind. I will have to remember AND THANK GOD that He sees all the little wonderfulnesses about me, while I see mostly the uglinesses. I'm glad I came across your blog and I hope you'll be able to keep writing for years to come. Bless you. I thank God for you.

    1. Dear Soul,
      Thank you for your kind, encouraging, thought-provoking words. Keep looking for the beauty and significance He surrounds us with every single day, even the ones that seem ugly!
      God bless you!