Yesterday while driving home from school the kids asked me what we were having for dinner. After telling them, I heard a woo-hoo and saw a happy dance from the rear view mirror. They were definitely excited. And, we were just having Tuna Melts. Plain old Tuna Melts, ceasar salad, and watermelon. At first I was a little shocked they were so excited but then realized they love all three of those things. Of course they’re excited! Minutes before I had two tired kids who really weren’t interested in talking about their day. Now, all of a sudden, they had energy and couldn’t quit talking. Wow. Food – and just the idea of food – has the power to greatly change our mood. I don’t know why I was surprised by this. My mood is often swayed by food. It’s no different for James and Anna.
That night after dinner James hugged me and thanked me for the great dinner. So sweet. After they were in bed I checked the forecast for the next day (Thanks, Dad, for training me to be on top of the weather!) and was delighted to see a cooler day – a high of 71 degrees! My turn to say woo-hoo! I LOVE that kind of weather. I quickly decided to change up my plan for today – instead of cleaning I would bake. I’d open the windows, let the cool air in and bake.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a baking day – mainly because it’s been so hot and also because I’ve been light headed for so long. I’m feeling better now and am so enjoying having energy again. As I thought about spending the morning in the kitchen I was so excited. Not only do I enjoy baking, but I knew the kids would love the result. Of course I can’t make their favorite foods every day, but I can strive to do it more often. This past month I’ve made more easy meals just getting by. Today, I put forth a little more effort and Kenny and the kids loved it. They all expressed their thanks and that made it all worth it.
So, this morning I made two loaves of banana bread – one for breakfast this week and one for the freezer – and peach crisp and biscuits to have with our meatloaf and roasted carrots for dinner. Another meal the family loves. It felt so great to have the energy to do all of that – thank you Lord.
My decisions about the food I make for our family has the power to draw everyone in with happy hearts around the table or have them sluggishly slump into their chairs. Okay, that’s a bit extreme, but you get the picture. Such a difference in everyone’s attitudes around the table. Of course, making a feast every night isn’t possible and also keeping everyone happy is difficult too. James likes many things Anna doesn’t and vice versa. It’s good for them to try things they don’t love because their palate changes often as they grow. But this week has taught me that if I have the time and energy, putting forth a little more effort will always bring smiles. One of the ways I love and serve my family is providing meals for them. How much more enjoyable for everyone when I’ve taken the time to include someone’s favorite or set the table nicely.
I like to joke with my Dad that his love language is food. He LOVES to cook and bake food that others will completely enjoy. He spends much time pouring over new recipes he’d like to try and making menus when company is in town. Weeks before house guests come, Mom thinks about what needs done around the house, and Dad thinks about what he’s going to cook. It’s wonderful. And delicious. One of the ways he shows love to others is through food. (Mom enjoys cooking too and is a master in the kitchen, but doesn’t take food quite as seriously as Dad does.) 🙂
While I enjoy baking most, typically I cook because we have to eat something nutritious before we can get to the dessert. Sometimes sitting down to make a menu and grocery list for the week is torture. It gets old so fast and sometimes takes an event like this to jump start some variety in the kitchen for me. So, I’m grateful for the kids’s excitement with dinners this week and am praying that I can spend a bit more time – now and again – in creating delicious and exciting dinners for my family.