Does family really come first at mealtime? Or are we more concerned about perfect nutrients and working hard? Both are important, no doubt. But I’m excited to share some insights into this, given to me by my friend Tasha.
That bread recipe has been life-changing for many of us! Today, I’m sharing a super fun and insightful post she wrote and sent me. Enjoy this, then share your thoughts!!
Does Family Really Come First at Mealtime?
by Tasha Hackett
“See this!? This is feasting with strife.” I all but yelled at my family.
“This isn’t my favorite,” the four-year-old turns up her nose in disgust. The toddler pokes into the meat, scrapes it across his plate, onto the table, and off onto the floor. Then he looks up at me, “Uh-Oh.” No, Son. That phrase only works for an accident AND I SAW YOU DO IT ON PURPOSE.
“I need a napkin.” I hop up to grab the family their napkins. The seven-year-old spills his water because he was trying to grab the ketchup before his sister could. I hop up to grab another towel to throw down on the mess. “Stop kicking me.” “I wasn’t even touching you!” “Would you please, both of you, just eat your food.”
We’d been gathered around the table for ten minutes and I’d had two bites. The bickering goes on. I thought I was in a great mood before this family came in here and ruined it! Then it happens, “Mom, is there anything else for supper?” I stood up so fast my chair fell over backward. The crash of the chair falling got everyone’s attention. I brandished my fork at all of them, husband included: “See this?!” gesturing to the amazing spread of food I had prepared, and looking at each of them in turn. “This is feasting with strife.” I all but yelled at my family. I pointed to the verse, Pro. 17:1 I have taped to the wall and threatened, “Tomorrow, we’re having a dry crust.”
Proverbs 17:1 “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet, than a house full of feasting with strife.”
I looked at my husband. “I’m going to time out.” And I left.
I sat down in the rocker in my room and looked at the fork in my hand and cried. Why couldn’t they all just be nice to each other!? Why couldn’t they eat the stupid food that I made? AND IT WAS GOOD FOOD! I had been in the kitchen since 3:30 pm. First I peeled sweet potatoes, diced them into cubes, I oiled and salted them and set aside. I prepared a salad with fresh romaine and leaf lettuce, chopped a cucumber, a pepper, and sauteed fresh green beans. I made my own Greek salad dressing with Dijon mustard and lemon (SO GOOD), sprinkled on feta cheese.
When the husband came in from work I smile and kissed him and said something like, “Get excited, supper is going to be super good!” And then kept working. Rush rush rush. I was running out of time, the kids kept coming in to ask me questions and tell me stories about their legos and blocks, and to watch them jump on one foot and the baby really didn’t want to be in his play yard anymore. At 5:30 I called in the family to set up the table and I served this amazing and well balanced, whole food, nutritional meal. As I often did many times a week! And by then I was so tired, I had ZERO energy left to enjoy my family.
I had nothing left for them.
As I sat in a self-imposed time out, I heard my family out there eating, they were hushed now… maybe a dry crust would be better.
The next day was Tuesday. At 1 pm I whipped up a double batch of Stir-and-Pour Bread. I let it sit on the counter all afternoon. At 5:00 pm I preheated the oven. I dumped the dough on two large baking stones. Baked at 450* for 20 minutes. While it was baking I set the table with plates, butter knives, napkins, and water. I also set out butter.
When they came to the table, you would have thought it was Christmas. Bread!? Just Bread!? I didn’t even cut it. They had to rip off their own chunks and butter their own “slices.” This has now become a regular meal… not every week, and when I make it as the main dish I usually serve a few carrots and apple slices. I know it’s not the most nutritional and well-balanced meal… but there is peace. And there is quiet (at least peace and joy if not quiet.) And best of all is getting to enjoy my family. I enjoyed them all afternoon, and I enjoyed them through the meal. And you know what? They certainly enjoy being with me when I’m not tossing chairs and brandishing forks on my way to time out.
Your turn: Share your thoughts!
What’s more important, a perfectly nutritious meal or a peaceful family mealtime?