Like many mothers out there, I feel like food is always on my brain. There are meals to prepare, groceries to order, and then with school having started up, the packed lunch assembly is in full swing!
Charlie and I, at the end of last year, also committed to try incorporating exercise, working out, and eating well into our lifestyle. And in regard to food, we’ve been more thoughtful at what we are eating and how much of it. But in order to eat healthily, it has taken a while to realise how much time is needed for me to prepare all of the good foods we want to eat. Too bad food can’t prepare itself!
If I’m really honest, packing lunches for my family can often feel less than thrilling, especially late at night when I’m tired. Washing and drying little containers and lids for the kids, chopping endless amounts of fruit and vegetables, preparing a pasta salad and then repeating it all the next day! The job seems endless.
But often when I start to get annoyed with yet another lunch to make, God helps remind me to understand that simple, sometimes mundane activities like food preparation are opportunities to be a blessing to my husband and kids as well as learning to have a grateful heart. What I often deem as a chore has value and importance in the everyday life and well-being of my family. Charlie can get on with his work day and not worry about finding something to eat between various job sites. For the children, they can feel secure knowing that they have enjoyable food to eat, in the middle of their long days of learning. And I’ve even started preparing some bits for me so I don’t have to worry about my lunch either!
My new challenge is to be more thoughtful as I make packed lunches. While I’m chopping strawberries and thin slices of apple, I am starting to pray my ‘packed lunch prayers’ over my loved ones. As I begin to thank God for the provision of our food, I then value what a blessing it is to be able to provide for our kids. While assembling an egg and cheese bagel or boiling rice, I can start praying into the days ahead for my children and husband. I can’t prevent them from having challenges at work and school, but I can ask God to help prepare them for what is ahead and that His grace would surround them.
There’s also value in nourishment. Not only can I show care through providing food for my family’s physical needs but also tangibly showing love for their emotional needs. I’m not just serving my husband and kids, but God himself. Beyond satisfying physical hunger, I hope Charlie, Anna, & Luke’s souls are nourished in knowing I do what I do because I love them dearly, as does Jesus.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.1 John 3:18
Satan delights in putting us down. By whispering lies (John 8:44), he tries to make us believe our role as mothers (especially those of us at home) isn’t as valuable as other jobs in society. If we give in and accept the lie that we aren’t valuable, we can spiral into a pit of bitterness, sometimes doing tasks begrudgingly.
Colossians 3:23-24 reminds us that whatever we do, we should give it all we’ve got and remember we are really serving God through the big and also little things we do each day. Even if no one else sees your hard work, God sees you. You are indeed important and He knows the love, kindness, and effort you put into whatever work you do for your family.