Last week I fed my dogs made-from-scratch Chicken and Dumplings.
Oh, this was not the intention of the meal, but it was the result of the leftovers.
I LOVE Chicken and Dumplings. I fell in love with them several years ago one summer when we were doing a lot of traveling. When the fast food got old, it was Cracker Barrel all the way. Those Chicken and Dumplings called to me from the highway!
I also LOVE to cook and I enjoy trying new recipes. I’m a couponer and I make our menu for the week based on what’s on sale. So, when the whole chickens were on sale…you guessed it…. Chicken and Dumplings time!
I found an old-fashioned recipe and did EVERYTHING from scratch. I didn’t even use canned chicken broth!
Check out this goodness:
That’s the cooked chicken in the background, with the homemade dough for the dumplings.
Here’s what they looked like after cutting the dough into individual dumplings, before they were cooked in the homemade broth:
Don’t get me wrong, my family and I were able to enjoy this meal. But, you have to understand that I LOVE leftover night almost more than I love chocolate. I call leftover night “Mom’s Buffet”, which is wording I stole from a friend of mine.
All the taste.
None of the work.
You just heat up all those Tupperwares from the fridge, lay them out on the kitchen counter, and have your family go through the “buffet” line. It’s an amazing thing. Truly. And my people love it!
But I digress.
So, the next morning after this goodness was cooked, I went out to the garage where the dog food bin is stored to fill the dog bowls for their meal.
Ants, ants and more ants were everywhere. Like. every. where.
Since the dog food bin was nearly empty, we had bought a new bag at the grocery store the night before. I was so grateful for this, since there was NO WAY I could feed my four-legged babies food that was covered in ants.
You guessed it…the ants had found a way into that brand-new bag of food. I was sick to my stomach. That discovery was like throwing money straight into the trash.
Now, look at these precious faces:
I couldn’t let them go hungry. This was a Sunday morning, where there is never any extra time in the routine to make a run to the store, so I racked my brain about the most mild food we had on hand, to not upset their delicate stomachs.
(Translation: I didn’t want to come home to doggie messes made by upset stomachs.)
Yep, you guessed right again…the Chicken and Dumplings. Those little pieces of goodness went straight into the dog bowls. Where they lasted exactly 10 seconds.
You guys, they didn’t even savor the love that went into that meal! They didn’t take pause to look at me with grateful eyes. Those little rascals devoured them exactly like they devour their dry, tasteless dog food! At least my family had the decency to rave the night before when they were eating that meal made with so much love.
Now I know why there is no sense in feeding our animals Five Star cuisine. They wouldn’t know the difference from a fast food cheeseburger and a steak from a Five Star restaurant. It really doesn’t matter to them because they are unaware as to what they are missing out on.
Experiencing my dogs’ total lack of appreciation for my made-from-scratch-dumplings made this message from Jesus come alive for me:
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”
People who are hostile to the message of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, do not know what they are missing, therefore, are not ready to hear it. This fact proves to be troublesome to my “fix-it” personality, and my desire to broadcast to everyone I encounter the Good News of Jesus—that He died for US, and that He is SO WORTH knowing.
This is why it is SO important for me to not make ONE STEP ahead of the Holy Spirit. For, when I do, it’s like giving dumplings to dogs, or in Jesus’ example, pearls to pigs.
Seeing my sweet, precious dogs not enjoy all the love, time and energy I put into making those dumplings was heart-breaking. Just as I’m sure it’s heart-breaking to my Savior watching me put way too much time and energy into someone/something who/that is just not ready to receive Him. For, He knows just the right timing, and He’ll let me know when He’s ready for me to pour into someone, or spend time on a project/event.
It’s a waste to make “dumplings for dogs” and to throw “pearls before pigs”. These are the things that distract us, or keep us busy, from doing what the Lord actually wants us to do.
And goodness knows we need to cut out as much busywork as we can!
Let’s evaluate the things that are keeping us busy and make sure that they are in line with what God would have us do during this season in our lives. Perhaps we are working ourselves to the bone trying to make something happen, where if we would just put those things down, and instead pick-up what God would have us pick-up, our garden of effort would burst forth in soil that has already been tilled by the Holy Spirit!
And, that, my friends, is where our “dumplings” would be savored!