Don’t Cry Over Uncooked Chicken


Bad days. We all have them. Even me – the chick who’s always talking about happiness. And this past week has been filled with them. One, especially, was a doozy! It began badly and escalated into something even worse. By the time I made it home after work that day, all I wanted to do was vent to my husband and curl up in my bed. But one of my husband’s co-workers was at the house. Venting was out of the question. So I ended up in the kitchen with a new recipe in front of me and a determination to cook away my problems.

I’ve said this before: it is so very strange that I find solace in cooking since I have no idea what I’m doing! It could be that the challenge of learning (and conquering!) something new creates a distraction from the worries of life. Or the appeal may be the creativity involved – gathering all the separate ingredients and putting everything together to produce something wonderful in the end. No matter the reason, cooking has become my emotional outlet.

So with the weight of the day on my shoulders, I set out to cook a chicken, bacon and ranch casserole. I prepared the ingredients as instructed – cut up the chicken into cubes, cut up the broccoli, cooked and crumbled the bacon and mixed it all together with cream cheese, ranch dressing and shredded cheddar. Then I checked the last bit of instructions to see how long the casserole was to cook:

“Bake until hot about 35 minutes.”

Until hot? Wait. That seemed like very strange wording for cooking instructions. I scrolled back to the top of the recipe to see if I had missed something. And there it was – the very first ingredient on the list:

“1.5 lb. cooked chicken, cubed”

COOKED? Really?

I looked at my casserole dish filled with the gooey combination of raw cubes of chicken, ranch dressing, cream cheese and all the other fixings. I almost lost it. I had just spent over an hour thawing out the chicken (cause I never remember to take the meat out of the freezer), cutting the raw chicken into small chunks (which really grosses me out and almost causes me to never eat chicken again), thawing and cooking the bacon (cause I like crispy bacon) and figuring out if I could substitute ranch dressing for the mayo and spices the recipe called for (Why not just call for ranch dressing in a chicken, bacon and ranch casserole?). It was all I could do to hold back the tears.

This cooking therapy session was doing me no good at all!

My initial response was to throw the whole thing out and order a pizza. Actually, throwing it across the room was my first impulse but then I would’ve had to clean up the mess. I certainly didn’t want to do that! So I decided to fish out all the pieces of uncooked chicken and brown them in a skillet. (I may have been able to cook the casserole as it was but I didn’t want to take any chances with chicken.) After the chicken was cooked, I mixed up the casserole a second time and put it in the oven. The finished product was delicious.

We ate. The family was satisfied. My bad day still loomed.

bad days

(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

It bothers me to stress over my bad days. I know that there are so many who have worse problems than I. But there are times when the bad seems to latch on and not let go. I went to bed troubled and praying.

The next morning I awoke with a song in my heart:

“Oh, my soul,
You are not alone.
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know.
One more day, He will make a way.
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone.”¹

God is good, isn’t He? He is always with us, even on the bad days. He walks right beside us and He’ll even carry our burdens – if we let Him. He is big enough to handle every problem, every worry, every sorrow, every question, every fear, everything.

You see, God is pretty creative, too. And just like gathering all the ingredients of a recipe and combining them into something wonderfully delicious, He has no problem gathering all the pieces of our lives, the good days and bad, the triumphs and failures, the joys and sorrows, and fashioning these pieces into something wonderful. It may take some adjustments to the recipe – fishing out what is wrong, reworking it or even throwing it out altogether – but in the end, the results of God’s handiwork are always beyond compare.


Have you found yourself crying over uncooked chicken lately? Have you experienced any bad days? Maybe you’re experiencing a string of bad days. If you are, please remember, you don’t walk through these bad days alone. God is with you and He is waiting for you to hand Him your burdens. So, go ahead, hand ’em over and watch God’s creativity at work.

¹”Oh, My Soul” by Casting Crowns


A Year of Smiles – Day 196

Reason to SMILE #196: HEAVEN

My Nana used to tell me a story from when I was very young. I hadn’t started walking, yet, though it was long past the developmental stage when I should have. I would watch other children, my brothers and sister, running, jumping and playing and I longed to be able to do the same. “Want walk,” I’d cry to my Nana. She would grab me up and place me in a bouncy swing where my feet were able to touch the ground and the swing held my weight just enough for me to feel as though I was walking. “How you’d smile and laugh in that swing,” my Nana would say.

I finally walked to the surprise of my doctors. And I am still surprising the doctors today. When reviewing my muscle disorder and my scoliosis, a later development, the doctors are astonished that I get around as well as I do. I’m sure God laughs every time he hears their words of amazement. To me, their words are surreal for I realize the severity of my situation but stand in awe of how God has blessed me all these years.

As I grow older and have neglected to care for this body I’ve been given, I feel the effects of my muscle disorder more and more every day. I find it harder to walk from point A to point B. And as I am walking, I find that I have to keep reminding myself to pick up my feet so I won’t trip and fall. Simple things like carrying groceries or lifting books are becoming more difficult and I certainly can’t carry these things up stairs. It’s hard enough to carry me. All of the difficulties our bodies experience with age seem to be augmented by my muscle disorder and I find myself dwelling on the problems instead of on the blessings. It’s a struggle.

But one day, this physical body of mine will be no more. I will no longer struggle to climb a staircase or worry that I may be pushed down in a crowd or be embarrassed because I cannot stand up from a seated position without extra help. I won’t be concerned with how others perceive my labored and waddling gait or whether my clothing has successfully hidden my body imperfections caused by my scoliosis. None of that will matter because I will one day be made whole. You better believe that I am looking forward to that day!

But until then, I search for ways to SMILE to keep me from dwelling on my problems. I hold on to the promise that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that God can use all things, even my disability, even my physical abnormalities, for something good… for His good. I only have to keep my ears closed to the lies of Satan who constantly tells me I have limits that will prevent me from an abundant and happy life. I have to keep my eyes open to the opportunities God places before me to use my God-given talents and skills to make a difference in this world and open to the blessings He gives me every day. And I must hold on to the hope of heaven where there’ll be no more tears, no more sorrow and no more pain, where I’ll stand perfect in the presence of my Creator.

Yeah. I can’t wait for that heavenly SMILE!