A Promise Kept

So often teens are stressed about Valentine’s Day and the pressures such a holiday bring, thanks to Hallmark and our modern culture.

Having three teens of her own, Daja decided that this Valentine’s Day, she would counter the angst.  Inspired by the book A Promise Kept by Robertson McQuilkin, and armed with formidable cooking skills, Daja planned a very special night for area teens. The night before Valentine’s Day, about twenty local teenagers gathered at Grace Academy to explore the true meaning of love. The atmosphere was very grown-up: semi-formal attire, candles and cloth napkins, fancy china. And a Six-Course. French. Gourmet. Dinner. Teens enjoyed one another’s company–no dates allowed–over this sumptuous dinner, and had arrived prepared for a mature discussion of McQuilkin’s book, required reading for the event.

It was a resounding success.

Much earlier that day, Daja and KelLee had taken to the kitchen for the extensive preparations (Grace’s new oven, donated recently by C. Caprara, had been delivered and hooked up only the day before!).  A small cadre of sous chefs, prep cooks, and dishwashers arrived later to assist.

The menu included:

  • Le Apéritif-Olives, Candied Nuts, and Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Sparkling Cider  
  • Le Entrée-Homard En Croute (lobster pie), Wedge Salad with Maple Balsamic and Sparking Lemonade 
  • Le Plat Principal-Coq Au Vin (chicken with wine) and Sparkling Water    
  • Le Fromage-Cheese Plate
  • Le Dessert-Ile Flottante-(Meringue floating in Creme Anglaise) with blood orange reduction
  • Le Café-Espresso or Hot Tea and Dark Chocolate 




The evening began with a small reception and light conversation. As teens gathered to dine, they began discussing the book.  A Promise Kept is a powerful true story of a husband caring for his ailing wife and the love and devotion he has for her.  McQuilkin allows us to experience their struggles, and awards us the opportunity to glean the value of true love through the remarkable lessons they learned about God’s infinite love.


The analysis of the book and the exchange of ideas about what it really means to love was a refreshing departure from what you see most teens doing and discussing today. The evening was a success on so many levels and one that the teens won’t forget for some time.

Thank you, Daja and KelLee, and all the assistants, for devising the concept and creating a beautiful evening for these precious souls. 

Fun times all around!



Executive Director Grace Academy

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