Give us this day our daily bread

Preparing 3 meals a day for my family, day after day got me thinking, what sorts of lessons could kids (of any age) learn from pitching in, or even taking over a meal here and there?! Sure, its quicker, cleaner and safer to have the kids out of the kitchen, but here’s a list of things anyone, but especially kids can learn from cooking.  

  • Life can be a challenge.
    It is hard and messy sometimes. And it doesn’t always turn out the way you hoped even when you do everything just right. The good news is most kids and food are resilient, forgiving and adaptable.
  • Work together.
    As with most things, its better to work together. Some of my favorite memories were created in the kitchen while helping my grandma and my mom on various meals and treats.
  • Have fun.
    Its easy to get lost in the mundane, sometimes monotonous steps of cooking, and in the repetition of the day to day. Including kids is a remainder that it can and should be a joy!
  • Food brings people together.
    So much of life’s sacred moments are shared around a table and a meal, especially right now. Food always seems to taste better when there’s someone to share it with.
  • There is magic in the mundane.
    Putting seemingly uninteresting things together can create a wonderful (yummy) result if you mix in a bit of creativity.
  • Be proud of yourself.
    When kids make something and serve it to their family, there’s a huge sense of importance and a pride that comes from contributing to the whole.
  • There’s a whole world to discover.
    Trying new recipes, making something up from your own head, “traveling” the globe through different cuisine gives a sense that the possibilities are endless and there is so much to discover in food and culture, in taste and variety.
  • Its ok to make mistakes.
    Cooking can be messy, and things invariably go wrong once in a while. The kitchen is a great place for kids to see adults goof up, correct, and improvise. (Sometimes cereal for dinner is creative problem-solving.)
  • God is with us.
    Its important to remember is that our most central act of worship is based around a meal. In the ordinary of bread and wine, of a meal shared, Christ is present. Our family tables are now the altars in which we worship the living God, right in our own homes.

So, if you’re the chef in your house, step aside here and there and let these lessons be made real for others in your family. Youth, if given the opportunity, might be thrilled to menu plan and execute a meal of their very own creation to serve to your family. (It can also be counted as culinary arts class time 😉 )Using their creativity, their taste and their open schedule right now could just be the best thing for everyone! A break for you, and a boost of confidence and creativity for them.

Bon Appétit!

Attitude of Gratitude

As our rhythms change and things feel big, I have to ask myself, “what’s really happening here”? Do you? Is it helpful for you to stop and take a minute to find your center? Writing down the things that we’re grateful for can help us to reorient ourselves in a time of chaos and uncertainty. Print this out and hang everyone’s on the fridge, screenshot it and post it to your Facebook or Instagram story, use it at the dinner table, however its helpful to keep you centered and your tweens/teens talking or writing!


There’s a lot of talk about hands these days, huh?

Do you think about your hands? If I’m honest, I don’t think of them a whole lot. Until recently! Are they clean, am I touching my face, what have I touched, who else has had their hands on it, etc. but also, what is it that my hands are capable of? My hands are so powerful in my daily life, they can be helpful and they could be hurtful too. The way we understand being God’s hands (and feet) in the world shifts a bit and causes us to get creative, in a lot of ways.

As we refrain from touching hands, touching things, from being physically connected it can feel like our hands are idle and we are helpless. Instead I’d invite you to think of all the things you can do with your hands that are helpful and not helpless in this time of distancing. Here are a few ideas, and we’d love to hear some of your ideas too! Post them in the comments to add to the list.

  • write a note to someone
  • pick up the phone and check in on someone
  • wave at someone while out for a walk
  • learn to crochet or knit
  • put on a puppet show
  • teach our kids how to sew on a button, or iron, or scrub a toilet 😉
  • take pictures
  • text someone that you’re thinking of them
  • finger paint
  • do a puzzle
  • pray!

Finally, give yourself a pat on the back, you’re getting creative and re-patterning some of the ways you do life. Its hard work, but we can do hard things!
My friend Jewel (and God) reminds us:

If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we’re all OK
I won’t be made useless
I won’t be idle with despair
I will gather myself around my faith

For light does the darkness most fear

It feels like we’re not OK, because we are not all OK, but we will be OK. God is with us always but, especially when we’re not OK. In the end, kindness toward our neighbor matters. Stay home, stay connected, we’re in this together!
Be sure to tell us how you’re being God’s hands in the world this week, how your hands are being helpful and what you’re learning about your hands!