Feed that family!

A cook sautees onions and peppers.
Image via Wikipedia

News alert! Prior to marriage and kiddos, I lacked basic cooking knowledge.  Surprised?

I remember our wedding and the many gifts given, but one stands out like a lightbulb in the darkness, a cookbook. I was offended and hurt!  What were they trying to say here?  It was almost the turn of the millennium, I was a forward thinking woman.  I knew how to order meals in multiple languages.  I had some handy side abilities.  On my cooking repertoire I proudly claimed spaghetti, hamburgers, and stir-fry.  I could cook rice, with only the occasional burn and I could eat peanut butter in multiple ways.  Who gives a young happening couple a cookbook?  REALLY!?!

Our house was conveniently located near my many meal planning sources:  Burger King, Jack in the box, Kentucky Fried Chicken.  This is what I knew, how I’d been brought up.  (sorry mom, you know it’s true.)

Initially, it worked like perfection.  Tim and I enjoyed each other’s companionship in multiple eating facilities.  Not knowing where to return the book, it claimed a useless spot on the shelves for its decorative value.  We ate at amazing restaurants, we enjoyed trying each others samplings of food.  I especially enjoyed Tim’s cooking experimentation.  One meal included cioppino (from Trader Joes) covered in Tai peanut sauce over spaghetti noodles, yum. It required great restraint to not vomit on my loving, hard-working, young husband.

Then, things changed.  Baby number one didn’t like going out, she cried incessantly.  I felt fatigued just looking at her, she needed so much from me.  Baby number two would eat all of two things, bananas and crackers.  They removed the joy from restaurant visits.  I suddenly saw the lack of nutritional value in fast food places.  Tim lost his job, I lost mine, expenses rose.  Dang, even pizza costs seemed unreasonable.  Can you guess which book started looking interesting?

I’ve scoured that Fanny Farmer Cookbook cover to cover.  Almost fourteen years later, it bears the marks of frequent use with dog-eared pages, soup stains and multi-colored book marks.  I find my original hurt feelings being replaced with a sense of blessing. 

Now, I eat better and so does my family.  There is still so much for me to learn, but I’m opening the book and doing my best. 

God has this capacity for preparing us for facing life but we have to choose to accept His gifts and direction in the same way I needed to accept and use what had been given to me.  Until we accept His offer, remove it from the shelf, opened it and use it, it’s just a little something to decorate the shelves of our life.  Let’s remember to open his book and feed ourselves and our family each day.  We’ll find ourselves well nourished and much more content.

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