Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Every Baby Comes with a Loaf of Bread

Don't worry, this isn't a soap-box on having as many children as you can! If you were hoping for a soap-box, here's all I've got for you: I've known many families who have had surprise babies and I think in those circumstances this little phrase is easiest seen. God loves babies. If he gives you one, He also provides - perhaps not what you want or the way you want it - but rather what He knows you need. 'Nuff said.

I just want to briefly mention an example of how I've seen this "truism" in our life and also what I felt called to do for Lent this year. Yes, they're related.

What I've noticed quite distinctly is that with every child added to our family, my cooking skills take a step up. Yeah, sounds kinda trivial doesn't it? I have to laugh when I think that our little "loaf of bread" is a momma who gets more and more competent in the kitchen.

Considering the various food allergies each of my kiddos has, not to mention my own recent foray into a gluten-free lifestyle, this increase in kitchen competence is no small grace!

So, for Lent this year, I felt called to do something that didn't seem particularly Lenten: to really engage in an effort to cook meals that could be eaten by every member of our family. Previously, I had been making variations on a theme to suit everyone's needs - and there are times that's the best I can do - but to make those 4 different meals every. single. day. was wearing on me. I must admit, it seemed like cheating to take on something for Lent that would (hopefully) make my life easier. But I suppose our Lenten sacrifices are meant to lead us to deeper freedom, so I guess this counts, right?

I knew that it was truly the Lord's inspiration when it started happening so easily! I would stumble across blogs that had recipes for all sorts of things I would never had thought I could make for everyone - like creamy sauces! These recipes have been springboards for all sorts of allergen-free possibilities.

My fear - really the fear that had held me back from doing this earlier (aside from the fear of bland food, which also turned out to be baseless!) - was that our grocery bill would be through the roof. In reality I've found this isn't the case. I'm more aware of what ingredients I use, but that hasn't translated to increased expense, at all!

So, this Lent has provided me with an increased repertoire of family-friendly meals. Cost hasn't increased, and at almost every meal I've heard my picky eaters exclaiming, "This is my favorite meal ever, can we have this again?!"

If you're interested in some of the recipes I've been using, you can find them at the recipe blog I share with my sisters: Three Cooking Sisters.

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