Early Monday morning, I listened to Abby Rike, a previous contestant of the Biggest Loser, recall the moment she found out her husband, 5-year-old daughter, and 2-week-old son were killed in a car accident. I can not imagine surviving this tragedy, especially with the unwavering faith Abby held onto.
I want this type of faith. The kind that withstands the test of any circumstance, no matter how terrifying it may be.
Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Made to Crave, is teaching me the beauty of doing exactly that. Choosing Him above all else. She talks about carrying out Afternoon Acts of Kindness, where she fills that time “with His thoughts of love towards others.”
I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa:
This, combined with Abby’s tragic story, convinced me to choose my precious family as the recipients of my afternoon acts of kindness.
I am not a cook. We eat out at least 5 to 6 times a week. I always have the best of intentions, but dinner time rolls around and we end up heading for the car.
This week has been different. I made a plan. Monday morning after I read my chapters and decided my family’s nourishment would be my afternoon priority, I headed to the grocery.
Meal planning truly makes all the difference. As Proverbs 21:5 wisely teaches, hurry and scurry just put us further behind. Taking some time every week to write out our nightly dinners and create a grocery list can trigger beautiful change in our homes.
I made dinner Monday and Tuesday night and have all the ingredients ready for Thursday and Friday. Tonight we ordered pizza. Progress, not perfection.
At the beginning of the week, our kitchen table was not even usable. It took some clearing of coats, purses, backpacks, books,… to be able to sit and eat there.
Our time this week around my grandmother’s old wooden table has been more than I could ever have imagined. These are precious moments. Unforgettable moments. My daughter will be 20 next week and before I know it, she will have a family of her own to feed at her kitchen table.
We still get to talk, laugh, and spend time together when we eat out, but it is different. I don’t know if it’s the satisfaction of preparing the food or the memories of my grandmother feeding me as a child at that same table, but the time in our kitchen is special. Extraordinarily special.
Eating out has been a strain on our finances and health. If we had the money from every meal out during this year alone, I’m sure we could take a nice vacation somewhere tropical. Our menu choices have been far from nutritious. Rarely has a vegetable appeared on any of our 4 plates.
I must confess my home-cooked meals include unhealthy processed foods like frozen garlic bread and white pasta, but there has been a fruit or vegetable on every plate. Having a plan has helped me trade in my 4pm snack binge for a moment of thanks as I begin preparing dinner as a daily afternoon act of kindness for the people I love most in the world. I receive far more than I give.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”