Guest Blog, from http://lydslookonlife.wordpress.com
“How can I help?” Did you ever ask yourself this question when someone you love and care about is hurting? For you English teachers out there who are twitching a bit right about now and thinking, “It’s ‘How MAY I help’”, I know how you feel. I experience the same kind of twitching when I hear someone use a double negative – “I DON’T got NOTHING.” I really do ask myself, “How CAN I help?” because I am a person with a disability. I am a woman with cerebral palsy, my right side is weaker than my left and I use a wheelchair to get around. In my younger days, I was able to walk and cook and do all sorts of “independent living skills” which “normal” people enjoy doing and take for granted. In fact, I used to teach “independent living skills” at a private school for disabled children and adults. However, once I hit the “magic number” 50 and beyond, I have lost my ability to walk and stand for long periods of time. But, I have not lost the desire to help others in need.
I recently asked myself, “How can I help?” when my sister had to put her beloved dog to sleep, because he had lymphoma. For almost ten years, (the good) Damon was my sister’s shadow and walking companion. My sister’s grief penetrated my heart and became my grief. I wanted to do something and I wanted to figure it out myself and not ask her to figure out what I could do for her. That would only add to her burden.
I am a person who believes in God. I also believe in talking to God and asking Him for guidance and help. Most people call what I do prayer, if you want to be more descriptive about it, I am talking with God. After I talk to Him, I then wait for Him to answer me. I believe God does talk back, maybe not in an audible voice, but He does answer my “prayers.” Some may call it a “gut feeling” or an “epiphany” or plain old “common sense.” But, I believe God gave me a great idea. Why not make a whole chicken in a crock pot? What a brilliant idea! “Thanks God! I think I can do it with your help,” I said. I had made chicken in a crock pot once before years ago, but this time it would be a little trickier. Now I am in a wheelchair and can not stand for more than ten minutes at a time. Before Jane and her husband went on a long bike ride to “get away from it all” for a while, I told her I wanted to make her and her husband a chicken dinner and I just needed her to put my crock pot on the countertop next to the sink, and I also asked her if she had an onion and stalk of celery, because I was out. My sister lives right above me, in a two family house, so she came down with the onion and celery and moved my crock pot next to the sink. Before she left, she asked me if I was sure I wanted to do this. I said “Yes.” While she and her husband went biking, I “prayerfully” made “CHICKEN IN A POT” with the aid of a rolling cart. I was able to stand long enough to cut up the onion and celery, with a break in between, and I was able to get the chicken from the refrigerator to the sink and stand long enough to wash it and plop it in the crock pot. I used the “gizzards” to make chicken broth and used the rolling cart to get the broth from stove to the crock pot and the same with the “rustic” cut-up onion and celery. Everything went into the crock pot without any spillage, except for a few pieces of onion and celery. I turned on the crock pot and it was good to go. When my work was done, with “a wing and a prayer” (Actually, it was “a leg and a prayer, since I lifted the chicken by the leg from sink to pot). I thanked the Lord for His help and treated myself to the gizzards (I know. For some, eating boiled chicken gizzards is gross, but they are quite tasty.)
“CHICKEN IN A POT” Recipe
1 to 2 carrots, sliced (I didn’t have carrots)
1 to 2 onions, sliced
1 to 2 celery stocks, sliced
2 ½ to 3-pound whole broiler/fryer chicken
1 teaspoon salt [optional]
½ teaspoon course black pepper [or more]
½ cup water, chicken broth or white wine [save the wine to drink with the meal]
½ to 1 teaspoon basil
Put vegetables in bottom of CROCK POT. Add whole chicken. Top with salt, pepper, liquid. Sprinkle basil over top [I also added a few shakes of garlic powder]. Cover and cook on Low 8 to 10 hours. (High: 3 ½ to 5 hours, using 1 cup of liquid).
When Jane and Mark came home from their long bike ride, they came home to the pleasant aroma of chicken (comfort food) cooking downstairs. Jane cooked some rice and green beans and we all enjoyed eating a delicious chicken dinner. We had enough leftovers to make chicken soup and chicken salad.
After work the next day, Jane came down to see me and gave me a big hug. She told me that what I did for her, making that chicken, meant so much to her. She knew how much effort and energy it took for me to do what I did for her. She knew that her “good old sister” was back. You see, last year I suffered with clinical depression for about nine months, partly because of losing so much of my physical abilities and independence. After months of trying different medications and treatments and, yes, much prayer, I finally “found the old Lydia” again. My sister told me, when I made the chicken dinner for her, she knew her fun loving, caring sister was back, and that made her very happy.
Who knew? Personally, I believe God did.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31, The Christian Bible).
(If you want to read more of my writing, check out http://lydslookonlife.wordpress.com.)