Wednesday was one of those days. It was after supper, the children had gone outside to play, and Joshua was extra fussy.

This handsome little boy with bright blue eyes, a pet by all, was having a rough day with teething. Wearily, I glanced across the messy house, wondering just how much management I had left.

Stepping in the living room with Joshua in my arms, I glanced at the western sky and noticed a beautiful sunset. A fleeting thought crossed my mind, “What if God had sent that sunset for me?”

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Allowing it to drift to the back of my mind, I headed for the kitchen and met Daniel, who came in with our mail, much later in the day than we usually fetch it.

Leafing through it, I pulled out two envelopes, one from a reader and the other from a dear friend, Hannah, and her family. They have personally experienced the joy of adoption, as well as a highly traumatic foster situation.

Sitting in the hammock, hanging from the kitchen ceiling, gently rocking Joshua, I tore open the envelope, “Perhaps I can glean a tidbit of encouragement through this,” I told myself. I glanced over the gorgeous card, then looking up, my eyes caught sight of the sunset, which was now lined up from my perch on the hammock.

Surely it couldn’t be true! No, how could it? The sunset which had caught my attention a few minutes earlier was almost identical to the one on the card I held in my hands!

In my skepticism I noticed a small pink spot right above the sun on the card, looking a bit different from the actual sunset. Then, the words, “Do you want me to make that part like the card, as well?” came to my mind. “Yes Lord!” came my quick response.

“Daniel, Daniel! Come quick! You need to see this if you have a minute- that is.” Getting up from his desk in the office, he joined me. Now it was his turn to take a look, then another one.

He agreed. There was no mistaking it; it looked as if a painter had simply painted tonight’s hues of blue and pink, and bright sun rays right on the card.

After a few minutes, I felt drawn to go back to the living room and take a closer look. My eyes bulged, “Daniel, come look at this — you won’t believe it — beyond the pink and blue sunset, the clouds on the card have the exact same pattern as the actual clouds!”

Several minutes later a rich pink spot could be seen above the sun — just like the card. We marveled together, savoring the moment and the awesome handiwork of God. It was too rich to tell.

When the children came in from their play, I told them about it. In awe, they listened, knowing how much Mom enjoys sunsets. Sometimes they summon me to the living room as the sun sets to show me the pretty colors.

Hannah, who had sent the sunset card, used to live in our community some years ago. We enjoyed having them as neighbors and friends. She would make this amazing mashed potato casserole. The meatloaf layer was always perfectly moist and absolutely delicious.

On several occasions, she served it when they hosted church services. Hannah would often bake the meatloaf the day before then cool it, and the following day, add mushroom soup and mashed potatoes.

Delicious Mashed Potato Casserole

Meat mixture:

  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup tomato juice

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup catsup
  • 1 tablespoon mustard,
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Cream of mushroom
  • 3 quarts mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 pound melting cheese (like Velveeta)

Combine meat mixture ingredients and pack into 9- by 9-inch pan. Whisk together catsup, mustard, and brown sugar. Next, spread over meat. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Spread mushroom soup over baked meat, layer mashed potatoes on top, next place slices of cheese over mashed potatoes and return to oven until heated through.

Gloria Yoder is a young Amish mother, writer and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room schoolhouse. Readers with culinary or culture questions or stories to share may write Gloria directly at: Gloria Yoder, 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.

Citrus County is filled with great home cooks and we know you would love to share your recipes with our readers. Please click "Submit Your Recipe " to send us your recipes.

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