Almost every day there is a little song and dance we do in the Cone household and it is called mealtime (or supper in our Southern speaking household). When the usual players are present, Act 1 goes something like this: the loving and hard working mother (that's me) carefully plans, chops, dices, and cooks a delicious, balanced, and nutritious meal. Act 2 involves some manner of getting the remaining players (that's the kids and the hubby) to the table within the same hour and thanking God for the food.
Then we are on to the main stage performance of "Supper-The Meal". Here are some famous lines from the show, maybe you've seen parts of it in your own home:
"Uggh, Mom, are those tomato chunks in the sauce? You know I hate the chunks!", "Are there onions in this? 'Cause if there are onions, I'm not eating it." And the oft quoted line: "Didn't we have burritos last week?"
In theatre, we call this the introduction of the "problem". At home, I just call it, "Mom Goes Insane and Must Control Her Desire to Throttle Her Children". Don't worry. I am not a violent woman.....yet.
It's just that I put a good amount of time and effort into meal planning, prep, and cooking. I actually like to do it. I used to LOVE to do it. But let's say I've grown a little weary.
For me, cooking a good meal is a physical and tangible "I love you" message. I am caring for your physical and emotional needs when I bring everyone together around the table for a great meal. We all get fed and we get to relate. That may not happen any other time in the day, but it will happen at the table. However, all the griping and complaining and lack of appreciation has me ready to throw in the kitchen towel.
This morning I read in Numbers 21 about the Israelites and how they grew impatient wandering in the desert so they spoke against God and against Moses and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!"
Did you hear that? They were complaining about the food! I thought, "Wow, God I can so relate to what You are going through! Here You are providing and taking care of these people and instead of thanks, they choose to bad mouth what You have done and are doing for them. Manna and water from the rock aren't impressing them. What a bunch of ingrates!"
But God said in His quiet voice, " I think you might relate more to the Hebrew children, Karen. I hear you complain about the portion I have given you. Isn't it a generous portion? Isn't it a good portion? Do you think I haven't thought through what you need and how to care for you? I know what you need before you speak it. I am good. I am God and I prepare a table for you. Don't scoff at the food I have given you, but receive it with a joyful and thankful heart like the heart you want to see in your children when you are providing for them."
As always His voice leaves my soul quiet and contemplative. And I know He is right. I am like those children of Israel and I am like my own children. I demand, I complain, and I make much of what is not here instead of expressing thanks for the many gifts He gives me each day. I am not who I want to be.
I want to be one who is grateful and appreciative of all that God has done and is doing for me. I want to have a voice that is known for praising Him and thanking Him for His goodness because it is right and it is true. And I want to remember that He is good and He is for me. Change my heart, O God.
Lamentations 3:24 I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for Him."