Okay, here's the thing. I love setting pretty tables.
Or fun tables.
Or elegant tables.
Or funky mismatched tables.
I love pulling out a table cloth and setting everything just so to create whatever atmosphere I want. I think you can serve hot dogs and mac-n-cheese like it's a four course meal in a five star restaurant.
And if you come across a recipe that allows you to cook something in a really fun and funky way? I am all for it.
Mini sweet potato casseroles in an orange half? I'll try it!
Dinner in a pumpkin? I'll give it a go.
But there is something critical to know ahead of time. Apparently the pumpkin is not as free standing as one would think.
Dinner in a pumpkin should actually read dinner in a pumpkin in a dish.
For those of you who are saying anything along the lines of "D'uh. Of course it needs to be in a dish!"...whatever.
I'm just saying that if we have to have a label on a hair dryer telling us not to use said hair dryer while sitting in a tub of water then it can't be totally off the chart to expect a recipe to say place your pumpkin in a dish to prevent the bottom from cooking to your oven rack and then coming apart from the rest of the pumpkin shell and letting all its insides spill out like a giant pumpkin explosion.
Because burnt pumpkin stinks.
But you know what? This all happened on Saturday and it was good. Because, while my pumpkin was imploding on itself in my oven, I was sitting around my kitchen table visiting with my four bestest girlfriends ever. And they were all there cracking up with laughter as we tried to scoop and scoot the mutilated pumpkin out of the oven.
It was the first time I've had all of these women who mean so much to me...that God has used so mightily in my life...all together at the same time.
It. Was. Amazing.
I felt like it was my birthday.
Lori...I've known her the longest. I've never met anyone with the same the level of perseverance. Everything she does, she does all the way. And if she messes it up and falls down she gets right back up and keeps going. She forgets what lies behind and strain(s) forward to what lies ahead, press(ing) on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. She pushes me to not give up...to always remember what lies ahead of me.
Then there is Melynda. She is so...unflappable. She takes everything in stride and figures out a way to make it work no matter the circumstances. Bottom fell out of your pumpkin? Scoop out the dinner from inside, put it in a casserole dish, melt some cheese on top and you're good to go. She is willing to try anything once, especially if it can benefit her family. She is such an example of a woman who looks well to ways of her household and I don't think I've ever seen her even munch on the bread of idleness. She spurs me toward greater devotion for my family.
The baby of the bunch is Lauren. She is wise beyond her years and it is more often the case that I am learning from her rather than the other way around. But there she is...always asking to be taught and to understand something. She seeks wisdom as a precious jewel and knows that it is life. Her asking me about various things causes me to evaluate and search out things that I will sometimes forget need to be evaluated.
Last, I have Susan. If ever there was a woman who exemplified a gentle and quiet spirit it is her. She has helped me through some of the most painful and difficult situations I've ever experienced in my life. She has given godly counsel and been an enemy to my sin.
So burnt pumpkin does stink. But with friends like these who cares?