Lifegiving Table: Living Out Grace (Chapter 8)

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Fondue Snack Meal (Low Prep Feasting)

” A wise discipler must make space for rest and beauty in the midst of life.”

 

There was a time in my life when I was so overwhelmed with all that had to be done that I basically ‘outlawed’ all of the beautiful things that add such depth and warmth to our lives. I said no to planting flowers, no to decorating for most holidays (except Christmas I never did give up Christmas), and no candles burning warmly. I was trying to find peace and calm in the midst of working, starting a home business, raising two children, helping with a church plant and more. Fast forward a few years and I’ve learned that while we do need to prioritize and sometimes simplify, we can have beauty without a lot of added stress.  Now we plant flower bulbs (work once and get years of enjoyment),  my daughter has made beautiful place mats that grace our table in different seasons but also wash easily and don’t add to my workload, and most days you will find flowers either in a pot on a vase on our table. That $3.99 on flowers every few weeks is well spent for all of the smiles and beauty they add to our house.  These things add beauty to our lives but don’t’ steal our peace.  (A post for another day but getting rid of things that you don’t need and don’t’ add beauty can add space and margin for those things that do add beauty.)

During that busy time when I outlawed all of those ‘extras’ I was living in survival mode. I really love Sally’s words about sustainability in the midst of life’s crazy times. What can we do in the midst of it all to bring peace and comfort to ourselves and our family? How can we live out our ideals in ways that work for the season that we are living in right now? Maybe this week that means that instead of feasting on a five course dinner you eat Chic-fil-a with a smile and a good conversation. Maybe it means that we make a large pot of soup and eat that for several meals this week. Or we utilize our crock pots to have dinner ready instead of cooking during the ‘witching’ hour. That can be particularly helpful if you have small children that tend to melt down during that time you would normally cook dinner. Spend a few minutes this week thinking of ways that you can make life sustainable for your family during this season.

The section on being prepared is a great one because it makes such an impact in our day to day lives. There was a time when I didn’t think I had time to be prepared and I was living day by day and hour by hour. However, I’ve found that a little time spent in preparation saves a lot of time later and adds a huge amount of peace and sustainability to our lives.  She used examples like keeping bread in the freezer and having cookie balls ready to be popped in the oven as needed.  She also talked about snack meals which were simple, low prep ways to feed your family on those crazy evenings when you are exhausted. It worked out well that on Friday we had our own version of a snack meal. My daughter loves fondue but my husband dislikes how long it takes to cook and eat it at home. So, we came up with a compromise that was so easy and so fun. We did cheese fondue with a tray of sliced cured meats (think don’t need to be cooked). It only took about 15 minutes of preparation and we had a tasty meal that delighted the children.

Sally talks towards the end of the chapter about “Living Well in the Midst of Life”. It is so important to remember that many seasons are going to be busy and each time brings its own challenges, whether it is the midnight feedings of a new born, the insatiable energy of a toddler, schooling and activities with an elementary school student, puberty, friends and emotions with pre-teens and teen. Each season of parenting has joys and challenges.  While it will look different in each season, we can’t wait to start living out our ideals until things slow down or things are easier. We are only promised today and we need to use the time we have to the best of our abilities. This doesn’t mean we beat ourselves up when things aren’t perfect or that we have to put five course meals on the table each night (or any night). We simply need to find and share beauty and peace in our day to day and make the most of whatever we have be that a piping hot homemade meal, chicken nuggets or trays of snacks.

“Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.” Mark 6:31

I think it is comforting to remember that even Jesus and the apostles went through busy times when they felt like they didn’t have time to eat and that Jesus took them off to a quiet place to rest. We need to make our times in our homes that quiet in the midst of the busyness of life.  This week I’d like us to take these two action steps and share with us in the comments what you are trying:

  • What single step can you take right now to reduce stress or make schedule more meaningful?
  • Make a list of  simple ways you can create spaces of peace and beauty in your life.

I’d also like to leave you with a bit of practical help, if you are looking for recipes for cookies that can be frozen, ideas for meal planning, cake mixes you can make and keep in the pantry, or other ideas for your kitchen check out our Homeschool in the Kitchen page. We are adding links and ideas each week to make that a great resource for our kitchen.

Also check our free resource library for two new Christmas freebies, Christmas Traditions and a Christmas Bucket List. These are great ways to help plan and prepare for some simple holiday fun!

When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Schoolhouse Teachers has a great Flash Sale going on right now! This is HUGE.. This sale is a $139 BOGO! Buy one year, get one year free – so essentially, $69.50 per year! That is less than a $100 per year for curriculum for your whole household. This deal is only good through Nov. 17th so act fast!

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