Day 23: Dining Happy


One of the most difficult aspects of being home alone for most of these 30 days has been eating dinner by myself. As I’ve mentioned in at least one previous blog post, meal times are very special in our home. We love to enjoy delicious food and drink while savoring the exquisite company of whoever is around our table – whether it’s the usual company, good friends, family members, or a guest we’ve just met. There’s a beauty in lingering over culinary delights, as stories of the past day or clever anecdotes from years gone by are recounted, all sweetly seasoned with laughter and love.

Yesterday evening, after my daily hospital visit with Ge (who’s recovering quite well, thanks be to God!), the thought of returning home to another solo supper was unequivocally uninviting. As in I’d rather starve. So I did something that will surprise those of you who know me well. I went to the mall for dinner. I know, I know. Alarming, isn’t it?


You see, I have this deep-seated, inner repulsion towards shopping malls, albeit the open plan ones here in Portugal are quite beautiful. There’s something about the herds of people, moving forward in a seemingly mindless consumption coma that makes me feel like I’m experiencing a zombie apocalypse. But I braved my terrors and faced Day 23’s edition of My 30-day Challenge: I went out to eat on my own.

I can’t remember when I last did that. Maybe I never have. I was craving Chinese food and not really feeling like choosing just one thing to eat, so I decided to hit up the Happy Family buffet (which also meant going off my grain-free, refined sugar-free diet for the evening).

It was kind of strange dining alone, surrounded by all those families. All those happy families. I did enjoy the food. And I had fun observing the interactions going on around me. Yet it was odd to be in the midst of so many people and yet… still by myself.

I am so grateful to be the wife and mother in a loving family, to cherish a wonderful extended family, and to have been blessed with so many friends around the world who are like family to me. I’m also incredibly thankful for our church family all over the world – such a huge support to us, in the good times and the rough ones.
This, friends, is my Happy Family… and they make my life exceedingly rich.

Two are better than one,
because they have a good reward for their toil.

For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls
and has not another to lift him up!

Again, if two lie together, they keep warm,
but how can one keep warm alone?

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone,
two will withstand him:
a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12





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