Alternate title: My place is in the kitchen
Damion* is one of my young friends at Trinity. He’s 5 years old.
The day he left the communion rail bawling because he could not have communion, his mom and I decided it was time for Damion’s communion education. Sitting in the pew, after the service, we started talking. I told Damion about how Jesus called himself the Bread of Life, and how he promised that every time we ate bread as the family of God, he would be there.
“Damion,” I asked. “Why do you think Jesus used bread?”
Damion looked up from his swinging feet with his big smiling eyes and said, “Because it’s YUMMY!”
Psalm 34:8-Taste and see that God is good.
For me the spiritual disciplines that have always rooted me are the ones that I have stumbled upon. Daily offices, for example, are what I am supposed to do. Sometimes they are meaningful, but more often they are a chore. Meditation, the rosary, blogging, leading worship and, now, preparing food. These are my disciplines.
I’ve been trying to be more disciplined about meal planning, simply from an organizational and economic standpoint. But here’s what would happen. I would buy all my groceries. I would plan out my recipes for the week. Then, I would get home. Look at the recipe. And because I was late, or just a long day, we would end up eating at 8 pm, or I would ditch the plan (ditching plans has always been a special gift of mine) and order out. I would throw out a lot of food.
A few weeks ago, I had a day off. A Monday. All to myself. So I decided to try preparing as much of the week as I possibly could in one shot. I started at around 10 am with the grocery shopping. I finished about about 8 pm. And I loved every second of it. I loved the cutting, the preparing, touching, smelling. Marc kept coming upstairs and saying, “This house smells amazing right now!” The aches in my back were the satisfying aches of a day of work, not the stiffness of sitting in a chair.
I decided to try it again last week. I made a point of looking at my calendar for the week to see what nights we had company, whether or not I would eat at our weekly community meal, if I had meetings in the evenings.
Along with all the nutritional and economic advantages of this meal planning, Mondays are becoming not just a day off, but a retreat day. I am on my own in my kitchen with my list, my music and the purest most beautiful form of God’s provision. I am creative and creating. It is an act that is completely gratifying, without being self-indulgent because I am being a good steward of my body and feeding those I love. I feel very much in the company of women through centuries, feeding their families. It is serving myself as well as others, and connecting with those who provide for me.
Taste and See that God is Good
By opening my heart in gratitude and praise
for all the gifts of life.
By focusing on the astounding intricacy of the world.
By attending to the still small voices of healing and renewal
which save me in times of trouble.
And by loving life and honoring that gift,
speaking truth, doing good, seeking peace.
When I serve the highest I know
I serve whatever God there is.
The joy of this, no matter what my troubles, will keep me whole.