So many colors, textures, flavors, combinations, and opportunities!
And it's functional.
Food nourishes the grown up bodies and the tiny bodies in our homes. It helps them go (and grow!).
God could have packaged up our fuel in freeze-dried, flavorless form, but He made it so full of variety and gave us the pleasure of creating with it, sharing it, enjoying it, and being nourished by it! (Thank you, Lord!)
How many meaningful conversations have been had over a meal? Mealtime is an ingenious conduit of togetherness and fellowship.
Food... what a literal treat!
In our family, one of my responsibilities and privileges as a mother is to ensure my family is getting properly nourished by providing healthful meals each day.
After all, our children are growing mentally, but equally physically. In the same way I want to feed their minds with good books, thoughts, and opportunities, I also want to ensure that their calorie craving bodies and lengthening limbs are getting the proper building blocks of nutrition that they need.
As for my wonderful husband Erik, he has no expectations for me to cook amazing food, but he does appreciate a good meal at the end of his day. A good meal is a great way to encourage him!
However, I was finding that I was repeating many of the same meals, which ultimately lacked variety both nutritionally and flavorfully... Or worse, I was finding myself at five pm staring into an improperly stocked refrigerator wondering what I could make from odds and ends while hungry children waited patiently.
I felt like my days as a Mom with four little children were tremendously demanding - sometimes just going from one part of the day to the next - which left me no time to properly plan, shop, and nourish my family with a good meal at the end of the day. I was struggling with the apparent conflict of my responsibilities as a mother.
I was discouraged that such a significant, regular, and presumably delicious part of our lives was, well, BLAND.
I wished that I could not only be productive in the kitchen for the sake of our own family, but also that we could capitalize on the multiple benefits of sharing a meal with friends from our community and town.
Can you relate?
Do you feel a desire to love your family by providing a variety of nutritious meals for them, but find that your meals are "repeats" from week to week? Do you desire to make good food, but when it comes down to it, the ingredients aren't there when you need them? Do your minutes matter and you find yourself at the end of the day without enough time to think through a menu and decide on ingredients and then go shopping? I think this may be true for a few mamas reading this.
May the Lord guide you and help you with the desire to care for your family in this way.
For me, I expressed my heart to Erik, who is not only such a wonderful husband, but also friend who knows me well and cares about my concerns and wants to support me in any way he can. I feel that God often shows me things about myself through the eyes of my man, and I am so glad for this. Erik reminded me that I frequently do well - both in preparing a project and feeling satisfied at the end of it - if I've made a list.
From this concept, the month long menu was born and has been developing over the past five months.
I spend about an hour each month "refreshing" each month's menu, but the pay off is that I have a variety of meal ideas, the ingredients I need, and the joy of knowing my family is being well-fed.
One of the highlights of feeling more confident about mealtime due to our menu is that we are able to have more people into our home, especially for dinner. I am not only able to care for my family, but also welcome students, staff, and neighbors from our community into our home regularly. What a blessing this is!
Even Jesus nourished the hungry tummies with loaves and fish while teaching them of the Bread of Life. It is a privilege to serve my family in this way, and I am grateful for this tool to help me with my responsibilities at this stage in our family's life.
Lord, thank You for making us body, soul, and spirit
and for abundantly providing everything they need to be sustained.
Sustain our families as we share Your food,
both bread for the body and the Bread of Life for the soul.