April 28: Turkey Burgers and a Charred Soul

That's a good collage today, probably because there was a good day to go with it. I was telling my sister about these awesome turkey burgers we make, so of course I had to go home and make them for dinner tonight. They really are good! And even if you turn your nose up at the thought of a "turkey burger," this one might change your mind. Make the patty however you like--I usually add garlic powder, dried chopped onions, dried parsley, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and a little paprika to the ground turkey along with an egg and some bread crumbs. The turkey falls apart easily, and those last few things help it hold together better. Tonight I also added some pork sausage to the turkey, so really make it however you like it.

We don't eat ours with buns, which originally started because I forgot to get them at the store, every time. Now it's because they're extra carbs we don't need, and you couldn't fit all the awesome toppings on it anyways. Smear a little mayo on the top, drizzle with some mustard, add a decent helping of dill relish, and top with a pile of caramelized onions. You will never want another burger again. I promise. 

As I was getting dinner ready, I was thinking about our choice to give up red meat about 6 or 7 years ago. It was the beginning of a new year, and in an effort to "get healthy," I resolved that we were going to give up red meat and pop. My husband wasn't thrilled about the decision, as you can imagine, but he loves me and decided to go along with it, at least for a little while. 

Even though there would be no more burgers. 

Or steak. 

Many a good man would've cracked under such pressure. It was right around the time when all that pink slime stuff started coming out, which made the decision easier for me at least. We could still eat a steak at Outback Steakhouse a couple times a year, I just wasn't going to cook it at home anymore.

I lasted a month or so without pop before I caved and bought some again, but we kept up with the meat part. A few months into it, my husband mentioned that he wanted "beefy spaghetti" for dinner that week, which I hadn't made in a long time, for obvious reasons. I figured, well, he's been a great sport with the whole thing thus far, so I went ahead and got ground beef to make spaghetti with meat sauce. 

As soon as I cracked open the package to cook it on the stove, I was disgusted by the smell of the raw beef. The blood in the package was gross to look at. I gagged a little as it was browning, and the smell didn't go away as it cooked. Right about then my husband walked in the door, and immediately he said, "what is that awful smell?!?!?!" 

Naturally, I told him it was the beefy spaghetti HE wanted for dinner, to which he replied that he figured I'd make the meat sauce with turkey instead of beef. That he didn't actually want beef, just that meal. I suppose I should've clarified. I thought it was safe to assume that "beefy spaghetti" did in fact mean "beefy" spaghetti, but that's the thrill of communication folks--it's not always received how you intended. 

I think we ate it, but neither one of us liked it. We were both kind of amazed that something we thought we couldn't live without just a few months before was almost unbearable to be in the same room with now. That's desensitization for you right there. It's funny how we get in a pattern of doing life--the things we eat, the things we do, the people we hang around--and it becomes our normal. But normal isn't really the goal, is it? The goal shouldn't be to have a  "normal" life, simply surviving day to day and going through the motions. The goal should be to THRIVE! To allow the Lord to strip back what hinders us and weighs us down so that we can run the race of life set before us in freedom, with endurance and perseverance.

So what is that thing in your life that you're holding onto so desperately but might not be very good for you? In fact, it might actually be holding you back from the abundant life the Lord has called you to. And I sincerely apologize to all you steak lovers out there at this point, as I realize I'm making beef the enemy in this analogy… But the point is still a valid one, nonetheless. 

Sometimes we need to make the hard choice to let it go, whatever it is, because although the process of letting go can be very difficult and painful at times, the result is hope, freedom, and new life. Once you allow the Lord to break it's hold on your life and you've created some distance, you may be surprised that you ever liked it so much in the first place. You may even be disgusted by it. You may notice, for the first time, how desensitized you'd become. And that process happens so easily, friends. It's slow and sneaky and you don't even realize it's happening. Like a frog slowly simmering in a pot of water until it boils, our souls are charring and we can't even feel it. 

The more we allow the Lord to strip back the layers of ourselves, the more we will find Him and see His awesome power move in and through us. What might He be calling you to lay down?

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