I used to be better about meal planning – back when life was a little slower, a little calmer, there were fewer children and fewer activities.
I used to plan my meals before my shopping trips, double up and throw together a few freezer meals. I used to make homemade bread and yogurt.
And then life got busier. And the planning that was supposed to serve me so well as a busy mom went by the wayside.
Recently in the very real struggle to get my people fed between soccer practice and church activities, after ballet and piano lessons, I wondered why I stopped meal planning. When exactly did I start flying by the seat of my pants? I have blank planning calendars all printed out. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to sit down and fill in the boxes with meals I know my family likes. So why did I stop filling them out?
And the truth hit me. I don’t want to put hot dogs on my pretty calendar.
I mean that figuratively and quite literally as well. I don’t want nachos or Bagel Bites on my calendar. I want roasted potatoes and grilled chicken breast, steamed asparagus and a side salad. I want lean meats and proteins, fresh vegetables and balance.
So I’d rather look the other way, turn a blind eye, than fill out a calendar of truth.
Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s just my meal planning that lands me there. The whole “if I can’t do it awesome, I just won’t do it all” mentality sinks us in many areas of our lives – housekeeping, parenting, marriage, friendships, dinner parties, exercise, Bible studies. Take your pick. It’s all exhausting, it rarely looks like an Instagram image and if I can’t do it half as well as the other moms all seem to, why even try?
Awesome marriages are overrated, so are healthy dinners, a trim figure and fun birthday parties. Except, they’re not. How often do we minimize and trivialize and marginalize when we feel like we just can’t keep up. But we aren’t called to that. We are called to steward.
Can we level for a minute? None of us need another guilt trip to add to the list. There are seasons of life that demand our time and energy in different ways. For me, right now, it’s called soccer season – the season that messes up dinner plans and schedules and leaves me shoving food into a kid’s hand on their way out the door or in the car.
Thankfully this season is only 6 weeks long. And you know what, we will survive it just fine. Even if we eat hot dogs occasionally.
We are called to be stewards of what we have, right where we are at. Today. We are called to make the best meals we can, in this season. And you know what? That may very well be hot dogs. But I can own that, bravely, rather than wallowing in self-doubt, rather than being too chicken to put that on my meal planning calendar.
How about we try this out for once? Simply own the season you’re in. Own the season of too many diaper changes and not enough sleep. Own the taxi cab stage of motherhood or long days and late night talks with teenagers. You are in this season for a reason. Own it. It’s okay to cut a few corners if you need to. You won’t be parked here forever and the seasons will change right before your very eyes. Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is to own that very spot where God has you and do the very best you can to steward what God has given you. Today.