Carrot Souffle. Perhaps the name is a little off-putting. Don’t let it be. It’s one part carrot, one part egg, one part butter, one part sugar, and all parts amazing to eat. It doesn’t taste like carrots, it’s like an orange-colored creme brulee. I have a close friend who introduced me to this delightful delicacy, and I must admit I thought it was a well-kept family secret, but it turns out that even Emeril has his own recipe for it. Still, after a taste of the spongy orange concoction, I couldn’t believe how good it was. Very unexpected. Imagine.
So, that’s life – how very unexpected. Unexpected love, unexpected friends, unexpected deaths, unexpected living arrangements, unexpected job opportunities, unexpected layoffs, unexpected babies…you get the picture. I had a great life plan in my head 20 years ago, and so far about 1.5% of my life looks like my original plan, thankfully. God’s plan for my life has been incredibly better than the one I would have chosen. I have come to really look forward to discovering those little unexpected things that God has in store for us.
Two years ago we were preparing for our first Thanksgiving here in Colorado, and we were expecting it to be our first in a decade of married life without any family to celebrate with. I was pretty disheartened at the prospect. At the same time that I had hunkered down in an old-fashioned pity party, we got news from my sister-in-law, Christina, who lives in California, that she would be flying out with her soon-to-be fiance, Jason W. And, it turned out that Jason W’s sister, Kati, and her husband actually lived only about 10 miles away from us here in Colorado. So, we made plans for everyone to come and celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with us – Christina, Jason W, and his whole family(parents, siblings, all). Our Thanksgiving table had just gone from five to thirteen. At this point I would like to mention that Jason W and his siblings are all originally from Ohio. Have I lost you yet?? Bear with me, I’ll break it down later, and all non-relations, relations, and last initials will be made clear.
Thanksgiving was a blast. We had a wonderful time with Jason W’s family. Carrot souffle was served, and demolished. Everyone loved it. We also enjoyed getting to know Jason W’s sister, Kati, and her husband, Jason P. (now you understand the last initial) In the months that followed Thanksgiving we began seeing a lot of Kati and Jason P. Soon after the holidays they found out they were expecting their first child and we were privileged to walk through their pregnancy and the birth of their first child with them. The past two years we have shared a lot of life with them, and have grown to cherish them. We call them our framily. We’re more than friends, and we love them like family, but there wasn’t a name to call them, so we made one up. Framily.
So, what is so unexpected about a girl raised in Georgia and a boy raised with parents in both Tennessee and California meeting in college, getting married, and eventually moving to Colorado? Not much. What is so unexpected about a family raised in Ohio with two of the children going to college in California and meeting their spouses there, then one of those couples moving to Colorado? Not much. The fact that my Tennessee husband’s California sister married Ohio Kati’s Ohio brother, though, and then we move to a home that ends up being 10 miles away from them, AND, it’s nowhere near Georgia, California, Tennessee, or Ohio. AND, we like each other! Unexpected. I don’t believe in coincidence that big. I do believe in God. He works in amazing and unexpected ways. Ways that teach me that unexpected gifts come in unexpected packages like framily and carrot souffle. Don’t be afraid to give them a taste, you might miss something delicious.