Making meals is something I love to do. I love cooking. Little by little I am still learning to have meals ready at a certain time. My husband feels so much love when he walks into the door from a long tiresome day at work, to the smell of food cooking. He has never made me feel badly all the years he came home and had to help me figure out what we were going to eat at the last minute.
I have been working on having breakfast each morning for my family. My kids are old enough to make their own, but it sure is nice to have a meal waiting on the table. If there is a meal, their is a prayer, and that is a wonderful start to our day. Fresh buttermilk biscuits and eggs never get old. Making a practice of setting the table for a nice meal is such a good thing. Everyone feels relaxed and ready to get more things done in their day.
Here is our Talk Show all about this verse…
The simple task of planning ahead saves a lot of frustration. Before bed I am determined to think about what we are having for breakfast. After breakfast I determine to think about what I will make for lunch. After lunch, I determine to figure out what we are going to make for supper. Sometimes I make enough food for lunch that there is plenty to eat for supper. When I make a BIG meal, I try to make it stretch for another meal or two. If I make a chicken dinner one evening, I fix a shepherd pie for the following day. I have enough meat left to layer into the bottom of a baking pan with gravy poured over and mashed potatoes spooned on top. I store it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, I put it into the oven an hour before meal time. I reserve the bones for soup the following day. It is really easy when you plan ahead.
The early bird gets the worm
This is an old saying. My dad was always an early riser and taught me the wisdom of waking early. When you wake early, you have more time in the day. It sounds crazy, but it is true. For most of my life I have lived by this wisdom and it has proven to add a lot of productivity to my days. The days feel less rushed and I have more TIME. Time is precious. I want to wake early, give a portion to my dear husband and my children. I want them to remember me like I remember my mother, as a woman who was always ready and willing to serve.
“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” Psalm 143:8
“They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” Lamentations 3:23-25
Meal Planning 101
Since this has been an enduring problem for me, I decided to make myself a 14 day meal plan that I could follow. It has revolutionized my world. To think it was as simple as having a game plan. I just open my cupboard door to reveal my meal plan and I know what we are having for each meal. I picked out meals that everyone likes and would not mind repeating 2 times each month. I mean, who could say no to pizza 2 days out of the month?
If you struggle with “What are we having for dinner?” questions, maybe you should jump on my band wagon and make a meal plan. I am sick of having a blank face when I am called to give an account. No more of this in my home. I am getting control over the meals. Since I have been on our 14 day meal plan, there has been a renewed sense of direction, peace, contentment, and order. Instead of scrambling around in the pantry trying to throw something together, I am ready an hour ahead of time and the table is set!
My husband has been so blessed. He likes coming into a home filled with the aroma of food. With regular meals, I am able to teach my girls how to prepare each of the entrées with success. When I am busy, I can refer my girls to the list, they know we have the ingredients, and they happily make a meal. What a victory for me! If I could get a hold of this principle, there is hope for anyone!
How to make a meal plan
Making a meal plan is simple. Just sit down some afternoon and start thinking about all the meals you have ever made. Scribble down all the meals that stand out in your mind as successful. Successful would mean that it went over well. The husband likes it. The kids like it. Then, if you have a computer with a calendar program, you can type in your meals into each day of the week just like I did. If you do not have a computer, take a ruler and make a calendar on a sheet of paper. Fill in your meal ideas by hand and you are now in business!
If you do not remember how to prepare each meal, you need to grab your recipe cards and have them handy. You could even put them in a photo album to keep them safe from mess and in a place where you can get them FAST! If you like what I have on my meal plan, use it, by all means! I know everyone has their own tastes.
The shopping list
When you have a meal plan, shopping is more productive because you know what is actually needed. Whatever is on your 14 day meal plan, you can add the ingredients you need by food group so it is easy to find at the supermarket. Here is my Week #1 Grocery List for an example: