On Stirring Soup: {Or What Jeff Goins’ New Book & My Cheesy Corn Chowder Have in Common}

“Mom? Is it ready yet? I’m sooooooo hungry”, my son called from downstairs where he’d just gotten back from baseball practice.

“It” was referring to my cheesy corn chowder soup. It is my kids’ favorite from-scratch fare that I make. Loaded with Yukon Gold potatoes, crisp corn kernels and chopped-up ham, no pot in my home is large enough to contain a batch the lasts more than two days. When I make it, they {and several of their friends} come running.

But I learned something about my steaming soup one day; something that, if not done properly, will make it less-than-appetizing.

It can’t be rushed.

On a crazy-busy day once I tried skipping a step, the one that reads:

Let simmer on low for another hour to hour-and-a-half to thicken, stirring occasionally.

When I omitted this step, the soup didn’t taste so good.

“Mom, did you do something different to the corn chowder this time?” a darling offspring politely asked, brow furrowed, trying to to hurt my feelings. When I heard his question, I taste-tested it {I’d not while cooking it} and I discovered it was thin and flat, not thick and creamy as usual.

All because I’d skipped the waiting, simmering, stirring, just-let-it-be, step.

I thought it was optional. Turns out it is not. It is crucial to securing the desired culinary outcome.

Life is like this. At times I want to skip the sitting, simmering, just-let-it-be times and get on to the big things. The next thing. A more exciting thing.

And so I rush. Fret. Conspire. Brow furrowed, I try to move life’s conveyor belt along so I can ring up my next important and exciting purchase.

I don’t like to sit still and just let my heart stir. It seems so unproductive to this Type A gal. I like to keep moving. Keep doing. Keep producing. Keep the family rolling.

My slogan? “Don’t just stand there. DO SOMETHING!”

But do you know what God has been tapping on my heart and whispering to me lately?

“Sweetheart. Darling. You fretting, weary, worn-out thing. Don’t just do something…….STAND THERE.”

Stand there and wait.

Stand there and embrace the strange feeling of letting my spirit stir in you while you don’t even move a muscle {as my sweet mama used to say}.

Skipping the stirring and simmering step in cooking makes for not-so-tasty corn chowder. And skipping God’s stirring, simmering steps in life only makes the faithful fretful.

If you need a little….no, a LOT of encouragement to embrace the times of waiting, I’d like to sweetly suggest that you pick up a copy of Jeff Goins’ latest book The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing. Jeff sent me a copy a few weeks ago. Boy did God know I needed this tug on my heart to sit and stir for a while.

Do you need such a tug too?

You can watch the book trailer below.

And you can also try your hand at making my cheesy corn chowder. The recipe is also below.


But remember….do NOT skip the stirring step.

In soup or in life.

{If you are reading this via email, click here to see the video)

Cheesy Corn Chowder

In a large pot combine:

4 cups chicken stock (or 4 cups water with bouillon cubes to taste)

4 cups chopped, peeled Yukon Gold potatoes

1 minced onion

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

Cook, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, adding a little more water if necessary. Then add:

3 tablespoons butter

2 cups finely chopped ham

1 1/2 cups corn kernels (leftover corn on the cob is great for this!)

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

Let simmer on very low for another hour to hour-and-a-half to thicken, stirring occasionally.

Just before serving, add:

8 ounces sour cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

Stir well. Serves 8–10.


  1. I love it! No better place to find an “abundant life lesson” than in the making of a yummy soup….and in the interests of growing in the Lord, I too shall try making this soup right quick! :)

  2. Thank you girl! You are rockin God’s timing here. My head was swirling just today with the frustration of actively trying to pursue social media (which doesn’t come easy) to build my platform, when all I want to do is write and hone my message. I’m a big fan of Jeff Goin’s, but also of you so it was encouraging to hear that some processes (like gaining followers and such) can’t be hurried. A solid tribe takes time to build. I really appreciate this reminder and I love it that you tied it to food. I’m a foodie myself!
    Love ya girl!
    Julie :)

  3. Chowder sounds delicious and the book sounds good too. I’m learning to slowly simmer and just be as I do the current OBS and it is getting more comfortable every day :)

  4. Your post came at the perfect time for me. I am in a time of “waiting”. I have been reminding myself to enjoy this time–your post helped me gain more perspective on this time in my life. I plan to read Jeff’s book. Thanks for the recipe–I plan to try it.

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