Love, Loss and the Power of a Bowl of Soup

{Giveaway is Closed} Winners are Joan M and Arlene and they have been emailed.

Today, I’ve got a special treat! My long time blog friend, Edie, who write the beautiful blog, Life in Grace,  has written a wonderful book. I haven’t read it yet, but will as soon as it arrives. I know without a doubt that the book is good because I’ve seen a lot of gushing online about the book and that folks couldn’t put it down so I can’t wait to read it too.

I’ve shared Edie’s home and a bit of her story here on my Feature Friday series, when I featured her new home, built after a devastating fire at the end of 2010.  Her family lives in Tennessee on a pretty lake and experienced a horrible fire that took everything they had.  They rebuilt, from ashes to beauty, and Edie is a wonderful story teller and a conveyor of faith so I know this book will be a wonderful read. We have all gone through loss in one form or another, I sure have and lived to tell about it.  It’s how we handle those trials and losses in life that define us and boost our faith.

Here is part of Edie’s story, in her words below…..


Three days before Christmas in 2010, our house caught fire in the middle of the night. Before morning light, everything we owned was gone. Only by the grace of God did any of us make it out alive.

I sat numb and cold watching the sidewalls crack and roof give way.

How ironic that after all those years of hearing crazy stories about my Daddy burning things down, fire was now my legacy too. Sister found me on the frozen ground when she drove up with Mama. I rose to greet them and then fell into their arms, letting the heartache of forty years have its way.

When I looked back on it, my whole life had been preparing me for this day.

When I was six, my Daddy was taken to jail for throwing a cinderblock through the back window of our car. My sister and I were sitting in the back seat when it happened. Nobody was hurt but nothing would ever be the same either. When I was eight, I began weekly visits to Brushy Mountain prison to see my cousin who’d been arrested for armed robbery. Then at twelve, I drove my Daddy home from a bar one night when he was too drunk to see straight.

By the ripe old age of 27 when I was in medical school, my Daddy died of lung cancer and something in me broke—like a dam too fragile and cracked to keep back the constant beating rains. And here I stood again, watching my life literally burn down around me—the kind of profound loss that had come to feel inevitable to me.

By late morning, only the chimney was swaying in the wind. Everything was gone—everything except for the turquoise chair that stood untouched by the stove, glimmering beautiful in a sea of charred life.


It was my own rainbow—the slightest hint of hope. Maybe all was not lost.

A few days later, I was in Knoxville with my sister getting the bare essentials. Things that would make me feel like me again—makeup and cowboy boots and a computer. I shudder when I look back at the photos. I had a black eye from jumping out of my two story window, wore ill fitting borrowed clothes for days, but I think it was the lack of hair products that made me look the most pitiful.

We walked by Williams Sonoma and I went in to look at their soup pots. I had spent the last few years since quitting my job as a family doctor trying to figure out how to be at home and soup taught me the way. My sister very kindly and tenderly said, “Um, you don’t even have a stove.”

Oh yeah, the little detail of my house just burning down.

I bought the soup pot anyway.

Days after everything I owned burned to the ground, I was now the proud owner of a computer, some cowboy boots, and a dutch oven, while my stove and a lifetime of memories lay in an ashy heap.

People fed me for weeks, God bless them every one, but I found my way back to life again by making soup, by feeding my people.


That very same dutch oven sits on my stovetop everyday and reminds me that my calling is to serve and love and feed and I can do that no matter what burns down around me.

That soup pot gave me something tangible to do, someone to feed, someone to think about besides myself. It’s teaching me still that there’s always some one right in front of me who has needs that I am perfectly suited to meet, regardless of my education level, my current job, or the circumstances in my life.

Just a simple pot of soup. A bowl of hope and nourishment and life.

A reminder of the great blessing it is to have a home and stove and people to feed.


Edie’s spiritual memoir, All the Pretty Things, releases September 2oth. It is her hard fought memoir—a story of fatherlessness, of being untethered and unspoken for; the story of how her life burned down around her in a million little ways and how she sometimes set fire to it; the story of how she finally found redemption among life’s ruins in the love of a Father who never lets go.

Edie Wadsworth is a speaker, writer, and blogger who has been featured in various print and online media. She writes at lifeingrace on a variety of topics that center themselves on home—including vocation, hospitality, faith, parenting, cooking, and life in the Appalachian South. She and her husband Steve live in East Tennessee with their kids.

Fun news for my readers! Edie is giving away 2 copies of her books to 2 of my readers, so if you’d like to win a copy, please leave a comment on this post. Just tell me why you’d like to read Edie’s book. I know it’s full of faith and hope, so that is reason enough!

Speaking of soup, this cheese tortellini soup that Edie posted is on my list to try. She swears by it and it looks delicious!

If you’d like to buy Edie’s book for a gift or for yourself, you can get it here (affiliate link):

- Rhoda


  1. This excerpt from Edie’s book has certainly whetted my appetite to read more….thank you for sharing it Rhoda!

  2. I would love love to have a copy of Edie’s book because we share southern Appalachian roots!

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