What’s for dinner? Just wait and see.

When I came home at the end of a full day, our children were stalking the kitchen, looking for food. And I had no idea what I would be making for dinner.

It’s a good thing I always have chicken in the freezer, I thought.

As I pulled it out, though, I noticed the date on the package. Hmm.

I called my mother.

“How long can you keep chicken in the freezer?” I asked. “If it says May 2016, is it too old?”

She was still laughing as we hung up.

So chicken was out. Daniel was pleading with me to make soft pretzels from a box mix, and I didn’t have a better idea. We mixed the dough and set it to rise for a few minutes, and I went back to looking for something that seemed a little less like a snack.

In another part of the freezer, I found a package of Italian turkey sausage I bought just a few weeks ago. We happened to have a few leftover hot dog rolls. I pulled out a pan and cooked the sausage with the last onion in the house.

Just when I was trying to convince myself that maybe mustard could count as a vegetable, I remembered we had some cucumbers and carrots in the fridge. I cut them up and threw them on a plate. But as I carried it to the dinner table, I realized our sons were playing an energetic game of Life covering every spare inch. It would take ages to clear that away.

So we ate outside instead—our first dinner on the deck since last summer. It wasn’t the best dinner I’ve ever cooked, but it definitely wasn’t the worst.

Everyone ate.

Everyone had enough.

After dinner, as we were clearing the plates, I thought of how I had felt I was starting with nothing. But of course, there’s almost always something in the freezer or the pantry. It might not be our favorite food. It might require a little more effort than we want to put into it. We might wish we had something else to go with it. But we always have what we need. And I am so grateful for that.

That’s true of life, too. We always have more resources than we realize. Somehow, some way, no matter what problem we come up against in life, God helps us find strengths and talents and energy within ourselves we didn’t realize were there.

And somehow I have faith we’ll put dinner on the table again tomorrow.

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.