You’ve probably heard the old proverb, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” FOOD – there is something intriguing about it. It meets a physical need by nourishing the body, but it also touches a deeper place in us. We as women are called to be homemakers, to make our homes a haven. Food is a big part of it! It is an exciting adventure to be the chief cook and bottle-washer for our husbands, our children, and others God brings into our lives.
I’m inspired by the compassion Jesus had for the multitude that had nothing to eat. He said, “If I send them away fasting…they will faint by the way.” He knows our need for food and created us with amazing senses of taste and smell so we can enjoy it.
The contented sigh of my husband when he sits down to eat after a day’s work and stress, the bright smile on my starving teenager’s face when I tell him I made lasagna, the words of gratitude from a friend when I’ve shared a meal…. These are the perks in my occupation, which is really more of a ministry.
I found cooking to be a real ministry when our family lived in Puerto Rico, which we called home for eight and a half years. The hours of food preparation in a hot kitchen were at times exhausting, but it drew people to our church and to our home. It ministered to the needs of the sick, the poor, and the lonely. The neighbor girls loved coming to my kitchen to bake, and it provided me with the opportunity to share Jesus with them. We cared for many guests in our home in those years. If you would have dropped in on me, you may have found a baby in one arm, a mop in the other and a big pot of beans and rice on the stove. My life was full of demands and people in need. I learned to simplify. Cheap paper supplies and cafeteria lines became my lifesaver when serving a crowd. I did what I could to serve my guests well. Clean beds, bouquets of tropical flowers from our yard, fresh roasted Puerto Rican coffee, authentic Caribbean food, fresh tropical fruits, and piña coladas were all on the menu! But shhhh…you would have found dirty corners and mold growing! Yes, ants and roaches, unorganized drawers and messy closets were all a part of it!
Raising families and hosting guests don’t always seem like the perfect fit, do they? But wait – both are mandates from the Lord! They are a beautiful combination in His eyes. Bodies are strengthened and refreshed. Friendships are established and made better. God’s love is shared. Hearts are touched. And you know what? My children thrived on guests! Real life (dirt, babies, and all) is the best way to allow Jesus to be seen in me and you. Embrace your calling – it is precious! And time is running out!
God has blessed my life richly with my calm husband, Norvan, and our six rewards: Carver, Raquelle, Autumn, Monti, Sienna and Cheyanne, ages four to seventeen. We are a part of Ebenezer Mennonite Church. Peanut butter cups, coffee with cream, fresh flowers, chapstick, clean spots and quiet nooks are a few of my favorite things. The outdoors and beautiful music inspire and soothe my soul. Jesus is my Anchor.