My dad always says, "The hardest part about cooking is figuring out what to cook." So, SO true. Cooking is a great joy to me, but also a definite source of stress. The feeling I get from hearing people tell me that they have enjoyed the meal makes me feel so fulfilled. But I live in fear of offending or disappointing others with the food that is placed before them.
A few months ago I was praying about this when God showed me something sad. I have a serious problem when it comes to how I view my relationships with others. My own happiness revolves around how others treat me and respond to me. This is horribly unhealthy. My joy comes from the Lord, not from someone telling me how they like their steak.
I'm prayerfully changing this attitude within me, but the going is difficult. Dinnertime, lunch, breakfast, and snacks are still my responsibility within our home. And of course I want to provide enjoyable and nutritious meals for the people that I love and our guests. But there are some mantras I've taught myself to maintain a good attitude as I prepare a meal.
"Nobody is going to go hungry except by choice." A meal is first and foremost served to provide for our bodies. There is food on my table and the people at the table can choose what or how much they eat.
"You can't please everybody." You might sometimes, even most the time, succeed in pleasing everyone with your cooking. But it isn't going to happen all the time. That is just life.
"You are not responsible for other people's feelings." Empty tummies make for poor attitudes, but when someone whines or complains remember you do not control how they feel. That is their choice.
"You're doing a good job." Lucky me gets to hear that often from my amazing husband, but I still tell it to myself when I am feeling unsure. Remind yourself that you are not perfect, but you are working hard to be a good wife, mother, and friend.
And lastly, most importantly, "My joy and peace comes from God." If you wait for joy and peace to come from the perfect family dinner you may be moping around for a while. So, allow God to lovingly provide this for you too.
Hope this helps you next time you decide what to cook for dinner.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
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"...and God was already there with me."