Making Sense of It All

Thinking back on everything that's transpired in my life just within the past few years, I'm not sure if I could've handle everything all at once. Last night, I was praying and I got this message that if it wasn't in God's timing, that it would've been all just too much to wrap my mind around. Like if someone said to me, "Hey Deb, not only will your mom die from cancer, but you're going to be moving out of your ancestral home too." I don't think I would be emotionally ready to absorb all of that at once, which is why I always trust God's timing---even if it feels like He's taking longer than you'd like. It's important to trust every step of the journey. Sometimes, people pray for things and it never gets answered. They ask, "Why doesn't God answer my prayers?" Maybe God didn't answer your prayer because something bad would happen. Maybe it was to protect you, so instead of fulfilling your prayer request, He gave you something better. It's hard to see the better option when your mind is fixated on what you wanted in the first place. Thank Him in the storms. Thank Him for unanswered prayers---it may have saved your life. I just think about the people who were late for work on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center. Or what about someone who came down with the flu who was home sick whining and moaning that they couldn't make it into work? "Why did I have to get the flu?" Maybe the flu was a better option than what was in store on that dreaded morning.

I don't believe in coincidences. I also believe that you meet people for specific reasons. You either learn from them, or they aid you in some way during an important period in your life, and some stay with you throughout life, which are the rare ones in my opinion. Maybe I'm strange, but I also believe that you meet human angels who help and guide you through life. I remember when my sister and I worked for this medical firm in New Jersey years ago. We would carpool together. On this one road leading up to the highway, an older man with a beige hat, a button down shirt and tan slacks would always be right near the stop light. He'd smile and wave, and then walk away. He did this every single morning. We loved it because he was such a cute little old man who was so incredibly happy---it made us happy as we made our way into work. He never missed a morning. It gave us a smile before entering the building. I asked my friend who also commuted on the same road at the same time.

"Do you ever see that cute little old man by the stop sign at 8:30am? He's always there waving!"

She saw nothing. She didn't see anyone near that light. Maybe coincidence?

There's also something to be said about misunderstood people. Whenever I get a "bad report" about a person, or told to "stay away from that person," I never listen. I want to be the one to find out for myself and not through other people's mouths. I remember working for the phone company, and the manager and I got along so well, that we'd meet up on the weekends to play racquetball, or to have dinner with her family over at her beautiful home. I got a lot of, "How can you be friends with someone who is so mean?" I always kinda give this look around the room, shrugging--- "Who are you talking about?" As soon as they tell me the name, I'm like, "She's the nicest person I've met around here!" I never saw what they saw. As a matter of fact, in my honest opinion, I think a lot of people prefer to be around fake people---people that smile, who are super friendly and "yes" them to death---phonies. For me, I prefer real people who tell it like it is, even if it makes me uncomfortable. I want the type of person who tells me the truth instead of sugarcoating it---a no B.S. kind of friend. I'm not talking about a friend who is going to insult you and tear you down---big difference. I'm speaking about friends who may be a bit abrasive, but a softy at heart. Someone who is not afraid to give a little 'tough love' once in a while.

A friend once told me that she believed that we do things for other people only because we want them to do the same thing back for us. But I asked her, "Don't you get disappointed a lot of the time?" She said, "Always. That's how you know someone is genuine." I disagreed. I think you should give without expectations. Without the expectation, there is zero disappointment. Some people give in different ways. Never expect a return favor, never expect the same treatment, but it's always good to give the benefit of the doubt with everyone you come across. In the Bible, it clearly states that if you lend money to someone, to make it as if it were a gift. You may never see that money ever again. So when I lend, it's purely giving. If I get it back, beautiful. If not, then God needed me to help that person out regardless. No loss.

This world is much different than it used to be. Years ago, people did things for one another, helped them out without asking for money or used their front door to contact them instead of texting them. I remember sitting at dinner with my family and someone would knock on the door. It wasn't an inconvenience. My mom opened the door and let whoever in, along with an extra plate and silverware. When you set your mind that "it's just inconvenient"---then it becomes just that. But when you let people in and share with you, it becomes a beautiful connection in the bigger scheme of things. My dad would plow people out of their driveways with his huge backhoe for free. We lived on a huge mountain that never got plowed. He would crush the ice with his machine, salt and sand and even pulled our neighbors out of ditches. He never asked for a cent. This is what you do for neighbors and friends. You help them when they're in need. But today, that's unheard of really. Everyone wants to help someone for money. I mean, yes it's important to pay your plow services and landscapers, but I'm talking about just a person down the road who decided to help you out. That's just a beautiful thing that you hardly get to see today.

I sometimes wish I could live one week in the 70's or 80's, with no cell phones, no internet, no impersonal texts about whatever and live like we used to. Things were simpler. We saw people in person, we called them up on our rotary telephones and actually had meaningful conversations. We even shared phone lines, if you're old enough to remember party lined phones back in the day. We sent food over to our friends if they were sick. We invited everyone over when we had big BBQs on the 4th of July---the entire neighborhood was invited. We took pride in making people feel at home. That's how I was brought up. I will never conform to this world, ever. And although you never want to "expect" that from people, it's nice when it does happen. And usually, it's another old schooler who understands the meaning of connection---much different and opposite of "networking." It's the difference between a friendship and an acquaintance.

And with that being said, I'm actually still on "staycation" with Madelene. We're about to make some chicken soup and appetizers and enjoy the company of our family. On a dark and rainy day, it's nice to curl up with family and friends with some chicken soup for the soul.

AND, with THAT being said, my cooking blog will start rocking and rolling soon with new recipes. I'm also going to be live streaming my cooking shows sooner than later. I'm sorry I've been absent for quite some time. This move took every bit of energy out of me. But it's getting better! It's starting to look like home.

Enjoy your kind.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit:
or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog at
for some of her famous recipes!