My Father was killed in a ranching accident at the age of 53. He left four children still at home. Of the legacies he left, one I will never forget is his example of offering a prayer of gratitude over his food every time he ate. Often he would eat after the family had eaten so he would warm his plate and sit at the table. He bowed his head and paused to offer a silent petition for nourishment, strength, and gratitude for the means to procure this food and the hands that had prepared it. This simple example speaks volumes to my soul now as I complete this food storage challenge.
God gives us food to assuage our hunger. God also gives us food to teach us how to work, how to be a team, how to have love for each other, how to exercise patience, how to have faith, and how to pray.
The spiritual lessons I am learning as I try and feed my family on a limited budget, with limited spices and foods are far more poignant than the victory of putting another meal on the table. Yesterday one of my children exclaimed "Why can't we go to the store and buy whatever we want. I am tired of living off a budget!" I smiled. Limiting our budget is working. I want my children to learn discipline. We have had ice cream and pop and cookies. We are not suffering. We have plenty. We have nothing about which to complain. I hope each of my children choose live on a budget all their lives. I hope they learn to find joy in the sacrifice for their benefit as well as the benefit of others.
God wants us to love our fellow beings. Love means providing earthly sustenance as well as spiritual nurturing. If our own families have food, clothing, shelter and education, we have the opportunity to give. Our favorite charities have less than a three percent overhead. Where we can, 100% of our donations go directly to relieve the wants of the poor. Such commitment to the needs of others in this world is my greatest aspiration for my children. Is it worth living off my shelves to teach them this? Yes. Is it worth getting up at 6:00 a.m. to bake bread to save a dime so my children learn compassion through our example? Yes.
Now, my formula may not be everyone's formula but cooking family meals is an excellent way that God has prepared for us to learn these values. May we find a way to live a legacy of faith, diligence, and gratitude for those who will come ofter us.
Lunch: Chicken and Dumplings in the crock pot
Dinner: Baked BBQ chicken with mashed potatoes and cantaloupe. This meal seemed simple because I only served one fruit. The cantaloupe is a good source of Vitamin A and C. So I let myself be happy with simple.