Cooking is enjoyable if, and only if, the cook has a reasonable expectation that the people being cooked for will eat with appreciation & enjoyment.--Keeping House
Is it any wonder why mothers don't enjoy the cooking process? Or that they become short order cooks, in order to hear some form of thankfulness pouring out of their children's mouths? Or the single person who has no one to cook for but themselves--no one to bestow jewels of gratitude.
When I cook, I do it for Ben. He's my sole purpose of taking time & energy into the meal prep to table service. I know after he has dealt with more than enough stress at the office, I can offer him a well cooked meal. Some of these meals look better than others: but, for the most part, he is getting something hot to eat. When it comes to Saturday morning baking (which is pretty scarce around here of late), I do it primarily for my little girls. I know the squeal of delight, which follows the tromping down the stairs and the, "Mama, what's that yummy smell?"
Oh to be five again, awaking to the smell of yummy.
It's no wonder I don't really enjoy lunch meals. They're not that intentional, more of a chore to check off the list. These days it's a smidge of this and a dab of that for Tay. I feel like I'm not cooking for anyone as the appreciation factor isn't huge from my recipients. How then do we garner our children into being appreciative of what we serve without coaxing or cajoling them into eating?
Teaching children to cultivate a thankful heart. Receiving a gift!
I know this is harder than it appears, because I speak from experience. I went through a period where V would respond to dinner with an, "Ewww, this is yucky!" What did I do? I was shockingly fairly calm and non-chalant in response, "Oh, that makes me feel sad when you say 'ewww' to my gift to you."
As we cultivate these hearts of thankfulness & teach our children to do the same, we may become better able to respond to God with pleasure and gratitude as he invites us to his table.
As I pray for the thorn to be removed again and again, I'm beginning to understand Paul as he boasts not in himself, but in Christ. The thorn of anxiety & fear will continue again and again in my life. Is it there because it's my punishment? No. I believe it's there, because it humbles me to lead a life of thanksgiving even when life appears thankless.
So, when my table seems rather dry, my cupboards barren, and my belly ripe with sourness, I will choose to cook for someone greater than me as he teaches me a thing or two on what it means to cultivate a table of invitation & thankfulness in one. And maybe, just maybe, it will pour forth without any coaxing like a two year old and broccoli.