Have you heard of Lysa TerKuerst’s new book The Best Yes? Well, I have it and it still didn’t help me today.

A couple of weeks ago I offered to make the main course for the football team’s Thursday night dinner. Around 50 boys. I hated that Lauren did this every single week and I thought I ought to help. After all, I can cook. Plus Matthew specifically requested a family favorite known around here as Train Wreck.

Well, Train Wreck for 50 is slightly more time consuming than Train Wreck for six. But I got it done and delivered, and apparently I haven’t given the whole team food poisoning…yet. They seemed to like it.


But I got home and faced this scene, after having cooked pretty much the entire afternoon. My inner martyr came roaring out. Not. Pretty.

I don’t want my family to feel like I am so burdened and put upon. The fact is that I gladly chose to do this. But right now I’m not so sure I should have! The team is so sweet, and I like the other moms, but I need to consider the next time I step up to do this.

True, I know better now how to cook for fifty boys. But I noticed that many (but not all) of the moms there tonight only have their youngest child at home now. My other three were at home waiting for dinner. This may be the kind of thing that I can do better for my youngest than my oldest. I may need to think about how involved I get right now–and this is exactly the kind of thoughtful choosing that Lysa is talking about in her book.

I think I need to pick it up again!

EDITED TO ADD:  Okay, when I read this I sound kind of crabby. I need to learn to wait to post when I am not falling asleep at the keyboard! Bill said this morning how much he enjoyed seeing the boys eating, how nice they all were, and how fun it was to help out. And he’s right, of course, especially about those sweet boys. So I think maybe instead of regretting my “yes” to Lauren and the boys, I should regret my “yes” to my inner martyr. I should write that down and post it next to the sink…EDIT OVER.

And…here is the recipe for our family favorite. I think it is better known as Chili Mac, but we call it…


Train Wreck for six

1 T. vegetable oil

1 onion, diced small

1 T chili powder

1 T ground cumin


3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 T brown sugar

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 cups water

1 15-oz can tomato sauce

8 oz. small pasta (we like bowties but elbows are traditional)

2 cups shredded cheese, either cheddar or Mexican blend

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onion, chili powder and cumin. Cook until softened, 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in brown sugar and garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add beef and cook, breaking up large pieces, until lightly browned.
  • Stir in water and tomato sauce, and then add pasta.
  • Cover and cook, stirring often, until pasta is al dente.
  • Off heat, stir in one cup of cheese and stir well. Add the second cup of cheese on the top. Cover to let cheese soften, 2 to 4 minutes.