Today, for the first time, I deliberately cooked vegan.
Hold your applause.
I have an aunt, visiting from Oregon, who just became vegan 3 weeks ago in order to lower her cholesterol. On our Rockaway trip, she subsisted on peanuts and peanut butter sandwiches, plus watermelon for color. Since she and her husband planned to pass through on their way back, I said I’d make something she could eat for lunch today.
I made a Mexican quinoa casserole-chili thing. To be fair, I didn’t quite have all the ingredients (nutritional yeast) or the correct amounts. And at the end of the day, it tasted mighty fine with avocado, cilantro and real cheese on top and, I suspect, would be even better with chicken in it. I thought it was only okay. Everyone else seemed to like it except the kids. The only obstacle involved with vegan and vegetarian cuisine is that the main event becomes the vegetables instead of the meat. Kids kinda balk at that. At least my kids do.
However, change can be good. Trying something new opens your eyes to possibilities and new combinations. I discovered I do like quinoa, though I’m the only one in this family who does. I like testing out new recipes. Some succeed and others fail. But I learn something from each one.
The next big change: Jonathon got a new job. He’s worked at the AOC in Olympia for just over 2 years now. A good position there, with decent pay and benefits. This was his first experience with working in a cubicle. He found it constrictive. The cubicles became a symbol of what the job entailed: not a lot of room to flex his intellectual muscles or improve product (software) or the training of software, despite his advanced training in the area. For those of you who don’t know, he’s part of a group of court educators who train the court employees – including judges – on software and other things. His group creates and implements software as well. In the end, it became a bit soul-sucking and discouraging. Other than that, it was great.
“So, what do you want in a job?” I asked one night after dinner.
He thought about it for a moment.
“I want to be a part of a company or educational institution where education is their main product. I want that to be priority. I would really like to work from home. I’d like to be part of a Christian college or university. ”
See, sometimes God plants restlessness in us because he has something else for us to do. Then, the restlessness drives us to start seeking His face for the next piece. Meanwhile, we expressed gratefulness for what we did have: stable income from his employment. We started praying along those lines, Jonathon’s wish list.
Rewind to June of this year. An instructional design position opened up at Concordia University, formerly Concordia College, down in Portland. A Lutheran school, they needed another instructional designer to start ASAP. It met the requirements, right? In Portland – relocation required. Big sticking point. After much discussion and prayer, he turned it down. Living in Portland amounts to 70-80% more expensive than living in Shelton. We couldn’t afford it.
Yesterday, Jonathon got a voicemail from Concordia saying they “wanted to work with him”. Giddy at the prospect, he called back at the appointed time. Over the last several weeks, Concordia acquired 2 more colleges and needed someone to oversee them right away. The dean of the college, who wanted to hire Jonathon back in June, started praying he hadn’t found another gig yet. She specifically asked God if she could have Jonathon work for them. She called him as soon as she could to offer him this new position he could do…remotely.
Prayer answered. Restlessness put to rest. Change, here we come.