Life on a stroll…

“It is always the simple things that change our lives.  And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen.  Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so.  You feel like running, but life is on a stroll.  This is how God does things.”  Donald Miller, “Blue Like Jazz”

When I was a teenager, I ran the hurdles for our track team. I had some concern about the pace of the race and the hurdles… I wondered, “Could I run fast enough…would I jump high enough to clear them?” The trainer encouraged me that if I would keep striving, in time my jump would come naturally and the hurdles would not be so scary.

I was well into my 30’s before I realized that I was still living life at a running pace.  I have since discovered the kindness and rest of living life on a stroll with time to breathe deeply the beauty and goodness of the gifts of Love in the simple things.

Today, I am enjoying the simplicity of making Tuscany Chicken Artichoke Soup as my I-pad plays some of my favorite songs.  These are the lyrics to one that has invited me to rest instead of running…


by Audrey Assad

You’ve drawn so close
That it’s hard to see you
And you speak so softly
That it’s hard to hear you
And I guess that’s what I get
For inviting you in
Because you took me at my word
And now I know

Faith is not a fire
As much as it’s a glow
A quiet lovely burning
Underneath the snow
And it’s not too much
It’s just enough to get me home
Cause love moves slow
Love moves slow

You run so deep
That it’s hard to miss you
And you come so near
That it’s hard to feel you
Oh, and I guess that’s how it is
When I let you move
Because you take me at my word
Oh, and now I know

That faith is not a fire
As much as it’s a glow
A steady humble lamplight
In the window
And it’s not too much
It’s just enough to get me home
‘Cause love moves slow
Love moves slow

I heard that faith moves mountains
I know it moves my feet
To follow you
And maybe I’m a mountain
Because it’s moving me
To follow you

My faith is not a fire
As much as it’s a glow
A little burning ember
In my weary soul
And it’s not too much
It’s just enough to get me home
Because your love moves slow
Yeah, your love moves slow

So I move slow
Because you move slow
Love moves slow
Let’s move slow

Yes. A stroll Home with Love, giving and receiving in the simple things…

One of the simple ways I offer love is through the gift of food.  This is one recipe that is a favorite of mine…I hope you enjoy it…slowly!


Tuscany Chicken and Artichoke Soup


4 celery ribs, diced
1 red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups (64 oz) chicken broth
16 ounces quartered artichoke hearts
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 pounds cooked chicken breasts – chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup lemon juice

Saute’ celery, onions, and garlic in olive oil until tender.

Add chicken broth, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, chicken, bay leaves, thyme, oregano and parsley and bring to a boil.  Turn heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.  Mix flour and wine and add to soup, stirring well.  Add lemon juice.  Yields 8 to 10 servings.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  James 1:17

Ellen Oelsen lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband of 24 years. She is a mother of 4 children and loves their 2 dogs and 1 cat. Her hobbies include cooking, nature, reading, plays, and two stepping. She delights in offering hospitality of the heart and creating spaces of care, rest, play and reflection to inspire hope. She is beginning to expose the writer within her.