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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sunday Morning Madness

"All I wanted to do was enjoy a lovely sit-down breakfast with my family!  Why is this so difficult?"  Have these words ever crossed your mind in the morning?  I have been trying painstakingly to get into the pattern of making a nice Sunday morning breakfast for our family.  I have this vision of pancakes and eggs, orange juice, and fruit, all of us sitting down with smiles on our faces and laughing as we eat.  But, this just does not ever seem to be the picture that actually happens.  Usually, things are rushed, hair is not brushed, clothes are on backwards, the morning chores are half done, etc, etc, etc.  Although I could write this post about my conviction to be better at keeping things more orderly, or how it is so important to be diligent about time management, which are definitely true and important things, today this post is about the seasons of life.

I had a revelation this past Sunday about this very thing.  To put it bluntly, I am not in the season of in depth meals, gourmet anything, or meals that require excess attention.  More importantly, I have a very specific and special season that I am in right now, and it requires my full attention and energy.  I am in the season of the Littles.  "Littles?" you may ask.  Yes, Littles.  The season of the Littles is when children are still in a specific season of training, discipleship, and discipline that requires a LOT of hands on parenting in preparation for seasons to come.  It is a very hands on season, so when my attention is elsewhere, such as on making breakfast, it is easy for tempers to get flared and trouble to develop, because I cannot split myself in two and help gently guide while ensuring the meal gets made.  This intention to present a wonderful sit down Sunday breakfast has left us late for church on more occasion than one, and has strangled our family peace too greatly.  Something had to give!

Naturally, God was ready to help rectify the situation.  He spoke to my and my husband's hearts on this issue, clarifying that the breakfast beauty was just not meant to be; not because it is inherently sinful to make a lovely Sunday morning breakfast, but because it was distracting from the peace of the morning and hurting our overall intentions of getting to church on time (or preferably EARLY, gasp!)  Ultimately, this breakfast vision was becoming an idol, and that idol had to be torn down!

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that it is not okay to have a nice sit down family breakfast.  There is, of course, absolutely nothing wrong with making a nice meal, enjoying it, etc.  The problem comes in when frustration, short tempers, and stress come about because of everything bending around this vision of things looking a certain way, or going a certain way.  If the breakfast meal is causing more issues than it is helping, than it needs to go and something more simple needs to be figured out until a better time at a later date.

The more important focus of the morning should be for us to enjoy life and togetherness as we give glory to God who provided the day of rest (hasn't been very restful with stress first thing in the day!) A healthy meal of oatmeal or cereal with smiles, excellent time management and big picture goals being met is far more important and valuable than eating a lavish meal while everything else goes to pot!  "Better a dry crust with peace and quiet, than a house full of feasting with strife" (Proverbs 17:1).  The funny thing is, I know exactly where this intention of the "hot meal" came from.  Several years ago a good friend encouraged me to make a hot breakfast for my kids in the morning because a friend of hers had exemplified this to her.  It sure sounded good!  "My kids will really feel loved and special, and doing so will absolutely show to them my extreme love and adoration I have for them!"  At the time I was content to ensure that the kids received a breakfast of cereal or oatmeal with juice or a piece of fruit without much thought.  But, once that idea was in my head, it was hard to shake!  This is something that we must always guard against in our media-infused culture, because the Martha Stewarts and awesome homemaking blogs will present a lot of information, often GREAT, which can easily get twisted into a sinful application if we are not careful to discern its proper use in our lives.  For a time I was good about this and did not fret over my children eating a cold breakfast, but eventually that same lie came back to me, rooted in, and up came the first fruits of its growth.  Thankfully, though, God was ready for the pruning!

In my season with the Littles, though, a lavish breakfast is more trouble than it is worth, as much as I enjoy blessing my family in this way.  The truth is, though, that we are not yet in the season when breakfasts like this will be served, because it is low on the priority list compared to the other character traits we are working to instill into our children (such as diligence, efficiency, and time management in their morning chores).  In this season, cereal, oatmeal, toast with peanut butter, etc. is just fine for the majority of days to allow for the training which will prepare and allow for the season of lavish breakfasts and meals to come.  This is the vision for our family!  There will come a day where my children will have been trained sufficiently in doing their chores that I will not have to be alongside of them in the mornings. There will come a day when my children will have been trained in the kitchen to make a great meal without me having to be in there with them.  Today is just not that day; and in this truth, I have great peace, because the cold breakfasts and quick fix meals of today are giving way to the more enjoyable and valuable fruits of tomorrow.  "Let us not grow tired in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).  Now, that is a promise worth believing!

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