October 19, 2014

I cook.

Ellie made me breakfast in bed this morning, sliced apples, pancakes from scratch, and pure maple syrup.

She used eggs from our chickens (I smiled as I crunched a few shell pieces), apples from a nearby orchard, flour from a local Mennonite store, and even went out in the rain to cut a rose to decorate the plate.  I'm absolutely certain that my kitchen is a whirlwind of a mess.

I felt loved.  I felt fed.  
I loved her more for serving me.

Oh, food-- food!
I really love beautiful, colorful, delicious, healthy food.  I have often said that produce is my antidepressant of choice.  

As much as I intrinsically love food, in all it's variety, I have had to learn to appreciate the repetitive act of feeding myself and others.

Anyone who has been pregnant can attest to the  direct correlation between hunger and emotions.  As one who was pregnant for six full years of my life, I testify that a good nap and a good meal changes things.

My sweet husband learned to feed me or send me to my room for a nap when my emotions would pour out.  He always asks, "What have you eaten?  What can I get you?"  

We need to stop fighting with each other and start feeding each other more!  Believe me- it works.  Make more cookies and your children will squabble less.  Ha!  Do not argue or fight with a cranky child!! Feed them or help them to sleep.  

The stupidest advice we ever give newlywed couples is "Never go to bed angry."  No!!  Go. To. Bed!!!  You are probably not even angry, you're just tired.  (Please excuse my random rant.  Sleep and food are so related in my mind and my role as a wife, mother, and homemaker.)

Regular, healthy, beautiful meals in your home will change things.  

Don't you love John 21:15-17?

15 ¶So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 

How many times did Christ teach that loving and feeding went hand in hand?

Don't you love the parallel between nourishing physical bodies and nourishing souls?  We hunger for both physical and spiritual nourishment.

How many times did Christ TEACH and FEED?  Almost every single time.  Spirits are receptive when bellies are full.

Feeding is divinely repetitive.  I believe our life has purpose and as such, I find purpose and holiness in performing the menial tasks of life.  I believe Naaman was cured from leprosy by washing and washing and washing and washing and washing and washing and washing, seven times in the river Jordan.  (2 Kings 2:5). I also believe that we are bonded together as friends and family, parent and child, as we cook and eat together.  The act of feeding creates loving bonds.  

I struggle to DO what I KNOW to be good.  My meals are not perfectly planned and prepared.  Feeding takes effort and work.  I learned this weekend that work and worship are the same word in Hebrew.  I feel that I worship as I work.  I might not DO things as well as I wish I could, but I firmly BELIEVE that feeding others is a holy act.

We hunger, our children hunger, our neighbors hunger.  Hunger is a gift that helps us to take time to feast upon that which is good.  Hunger draws us together.  Hunger pulls us back to our Heavenly Father as it pulls our children back to us.  Let's kill the fatted calf!  Let's rejoice when our children come to us for food!  Feeding others is a privilege that we would yearn for if our children were lost or wandering.  I hope Heaven feels like a Thanksgiving family dinner.

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. (New Testament, Luke 15)

My relationships are strengthened as I feed others.  

From the moment I first bring my newborn baby to my breast to eat, I am bonding that baby to me.  Children learn early that mother and father equals food, warmth, protection, comfort and love.  I am teaching my children over and over and over again as I nourish them.  I am blessing them with a secure foundation as I consistently feed and serve them.  

As we feed bodies we are loving souls.  Feeding bonds.  It is beautiful.  God must have known this when he created bodies and children that required food.  

We are teaching as we feed.  Lessons of peace and security taught during the first years of our children's lives while they eat hourly are lessons that we will want them to remember into their adult years.  

It is natural for children to learn to feed themselves and in time to learn to feed others.  What a privilege it is to be able to teach our families the joy of feeding others.  I hope my children feel the value of feeding those they love.  I hope they always find joy in nourishing.

My wise cousin adopted a baby.  During the early months with him, SHE fed him.  She wasn't able to nurse, but she created that bond by being the one with the food.  What a smart mother.  What a lucky little boy.

Oh how my mother soul aches for mothers all over the world who cannot feed their children.  We are SO lucky.  We can feed those we love and we have excess to share.  Let us reach out to help others feed their lambs.

My morning time is up although I could testify of the art of nourishing all day long.  

Feeding my husband and children bonds them to me and the act of serving them transforms my soul.  It is an honor to serve.  It is an honor to feed.  It is an honor to be fed.  I feel loved and cared for when I am fed, and I love feeding.

One of the best things I can do as I strive to create a peaceful home, is try to have the kitchen table set and dinner at least planned before my husband comes home for work.  He might not admit it, or even notice it, but he feels peace when he sees the table set.  Our evenings run smoother when I create a healthy meal for our family.  

I try to have dinner cooked before Todd comes home, and my favorite nights I see him pull up the driveway and call to my children, "Come quickly!  Dad's home!  Let's all sit down before he comes inside."  Food cooking on the stove and a table carefully set, symbolizes to my family that all is well.  It just does.

A healthy breakfast starts our days off right.
Holidays are happier with traditions that focus on food.
There is beauty all around when there's FOOD at home!!

A hungry family is a cranky family.

Oh, how wise the plan that makes teenage boys excessively hungry during those transformative years!!  What a gift it is to FEED them.  

We cook!  We serve!  We feed His lambs.
We feed over and over and over again.
Don't you love it?!

Many times I feel like my whole life revolves around planning, buying, preparing and serving food.  I absolutely feel this is a great work!  Yes, feeding and washing dishes is work-- but it is good work. I feel feeding others is perhaps the greatest of all work.  If feeding is not the greatest work-- it is certainly the most foundational of all good works.

I am proud to nourish.

How I cherish the opportunity to feed those I love.  I hope those in my home feel fed, both physically and spiritually.

Let us STOP focusing on the drudgery of dirty dishes and start focusing on the divine opportunity we are blessed with to serve and comfort.  The art of nourishing is a skill and an honor.  
I'm not the best cook-- but I do believe with my whole soul that cooking for those I love is doing something great.

I am thankful I can cook!!
Life is a little better with a full stomach.


David and Melanie said...

So beautiful and full of truth! I couldn't have said it better myself. My sister, Rachel, shared this with me. Thank you for reminding me the honor and privilege I have in feeding my little lambs!

jenifer said...

Just a few more thoughts as I reread this post.
1- there is a difference between feeding and nourishing-- we need to consciously nourish ourselves and others
2- instead of using the example of Naaman washing (should have saved that for my cleaning blog) I wish I'd used Elijah with the widow. Often God uses our willingness to feed His servants as a symbol of our willingness to put Him first in our lives. There are so many instances in scripture where feeding represents love or feasts proceed or facilitate life changing events-- Esther, The Last Supper, Daniel, Joseph of Egypt, etc., etc!!

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