I love to bake. I love to cook. I love to do just about anything in the kitchen. It makes me happy. Therefore, one of the ways I feel I can love and serve others is through creating in the kitchen. Often I find myself signing up for meals or dropping by with an unexpected baked gift for a friend. It's just my way.
However, this sort of thing takes time, effort and money. And when it comes to my own family, sometimes, I don't want to indulge. I come up with all kinds of excuses. Part of me reminds myself that I simply don't want the dessert around because then I'll eat it. This can be true. I have a horrible sweet tooth and if I don't keep my happy feet pounding the pavement, this sweet tooth can catch up to me. So sometimes I'll skimp on them because I don't want to be tempted and need to have self control. Other times I tell myself that they're little and don't eat a lot so, I don't want to waste. This can be true as well. But really, when it truly comes down to it, if I am being honest, I simply just don't want to take the time.
I can hear all of you gasping! How horrible!! I know, I know. It is horrible. How is it that I can take all sorts of time to lavish culinary gifts on others but I'm not as much inclined to do it for my own family. Now don't get me totally wrong. I do make them special treats often. But it's more about my heart.
Sometimes, I simply want to bow out just because I don't feel like it. I've already been up to my elbows in flour for something else, I don't want to bake another thing. This attitude comes out more around the holidays when it seems like all I am doing is cooking and baking. But when I really think about it, the fact that I can cook and bake in the first place is evidence that God has been generous to me. First I should be thankful and then second I should put this bounty to use. It should overflow to my own and then to others and should NOT be impeded by my laziness. This truth is something I've been convicted about lately.
It started with this scenario. On Sunday we had a Thanksgiving feast at church. It was wonderful, yummy and full of amazing food. I brought an apple pie and mashed potatoes. So, so good. My kids watched me make that apple pie and they saw it go on the table bursting with food on Sunday. And they were so patient. But we had to leave early. Both Joshua and Elliana were at their end and needed naps. So we left without getting dessert. The older boys were devastated. But because they are good kids, they lifted up their countenance and submitted to us leaving without much fuss. Later Caleb said, "Mommy, we didn't get any apple pie." Normally my go-to response would have involved reminding him that they get desserts quite often and that he needed to be thankful. But then I started thinking about it a bit more. How often do they see me pouring myself out for other families (which is great to do!) with yummy desserts and everything, without them getting a little bit of the prize? Sometimes I can be too practical. So what if they won't eat the whole pie. Aren't my little ones worth it? Shouldn't I splurge on them first, lavishing them with all the goodness I have to offer and then lavish others.
So, instead of thinking about the work or how much it would cost, I decided this time to do something different. I decided, it was going to be about them this time because it's Thanksgiving and they're my children and before anyone else, they need to be blessed by their mom unexpectedly every once in awhile. Doesn't God do this for us? Doesn't He lavish us with goodness just because we're His?
Of course it's good for them to see me giving to others. But I want them to know they're important. And I know that can get lost in there sometimes. So this time, just because, I made them a pie. A whole pie. And even though they're going to be getting more desserts this week, I'm going to let them eat it (within reason of course) so that they know they're loved, they're important and they're worth it.
So when you think about Thanksgiving and all of the work you're going to put into it, think about lavishing your family, not about the messes and money. Of course it's work. Of course it's tiring. But it's worth it. It's good work. Get into that flour. Make a mess and laugh about it (as much as you can). Fill your children up with good things. For when we fill up our little ones' bellies, we fill up their souls as well.
I am Nikki Dauphin, wife to Steve since July 2002, and mom to four boys and one little girl. Currently my husband is pursuing his PhD in mathematics, so as you can imagine, with five kids in tow, there are many adventures to behold! I'm learning how to raise a brood of boys and one precious princess, be a homemaker, how to be a lovely wife to my handsome and dashing husband and how to love those around me. Stop and stay awhile. Family stories, recipes, musings on life and lessons I'm learning are all a part of this blog. I love the life I've been given and thank God for His many blessings.
Steve-My amazing, fix-it, brilliant, math-loving, puzzle-solving husband is a Math PhD student pursuing his graduate degree through Colorado State University. He is also a Year Round Graduate Intern for Sandia National Labs researching and working on projects related to national security and preparing for his dissertation. We met at Cal Poly, SLO and were married in 2002. Seriously, he's my best friend.
Isaac-Laughter. My precious firstborn. Blue-eyed, blondie, logical, lefty. Particular, orderly, courageous, funny, and intelligent. Sees the world in patterns, numbers, colors and shapes. My first son. My joy.
Caleb-Brave. My mischevious secondborn. Brown-haired, coal-eyed, soldier. Needs explanations about how the world works. "Mathy", inquisitive, architectural and mechanical. Silly, passionate, tough, long-suffering and smart. My second son. My love.
Joshua-Saved by the Lord. My irreplaceable thirdborn. Bubbly, gregarious, social and playful. Loves to be surrounded by his family. Cuddly, kissable, chubby and charming. Life of the party, full of joy, overflowing with humor and laughter. My third son. My light.
Elliana-The Lord Has Heard. My long-awaited daughter. Petite, dark-eyed, beauty. Strong, coordinated, cheeky and spunky. Sharp as a tack and a flitting socialite. Loved by every member of her family. My fourth born. My only daughter. My treasure.
Nathan-God Has Given. My fourth son. Yet, it never gets old. My youngest little gift. Gentle, strong, sweet, angelic. Blonde and light-eyed. Littlest of them all but full of life and love. My fifth born. My littlest man. God's given. My gift.
Hot Providence (too bad it's out of print) America's Test Kitchen Anything Williams Sonoma King Arthur Flour