Not long ago my children and I met some new friends at the park. As moms getting to know one another typically do, we shared about where we grew up, how we handled the challenges of parenting, what was making us laugh, and little quirks about our kids. As we sat on the bench chatting, my new friend leaned in and with a look of severity said, "I'm sure you can relate to the one thing that I'm really struggling with: my children need to eat. . . . like multiple times every day." Be still my heart. We had only known each other for such a short time, how was she able to see into my soul?
All jesting aside, there are times when my desire to nourish my family with healthy, hearty and beautiful meals can be really overwhelming. In seasons of welcoming a new baby or caring for an aging relative, moving or just getting up to speed with a change in the school schedule, meal planning can feel nearly impossible. As my children have grown older, I have come to realize that there really is no slowing down, there will always be a transition that I must weather well, a crises to avert, a difficulty to overcome- or even just busy seasons with activities to navigate.
There will always be challenges, and yet my desire to light candles, to love on and to connect with the members of my family is unchanging. The most important thing we can bring to the table is a heart for fellowship with one another!
Sitting at the table is one of my favorite times of our day as a family, but often the planning required to get there zaps my joy. I have tried exactly one million and one ways to meal plan and while there have been seasons I have accomplished this task quite well, it mostly just drains me and I am left with questions about how to make meals fit all the needs of our family. When should we have leftovers? Should I have made a double batch of that? Are we eating too many calories? Is there an easier way to do this?
This summer, after an extended period of kitchen blahs, I was determined to bring JOY back to my dinner table. I knew I needed a plan. Without a meal plan, our time at the table falls apart and we end up eating pancakes or scrambled eggs. True story. So, exhausted from travel, lacking inspiration and facing an empty fridge, I decided to start by printing off the Better Mom Whole Food Meal Plan. After a few months of seeing it make a big difference in our home, I wanted to share how it has impacted my family with you, because I know I am not the only woman out there who has no idea how to answer when the kids ask, "Mom, what's for dinner?"
If you feel unorganized like I did and don't know where to begin, if you long to be able to focus on relationships instead of logistics, can I encourage you to give this meal plan a try? There is a sweet offering of grace in this meal ministry and I want to shout it from the rooftops because it has anchored our family to having sweet time together at a time when it seemed like being overwhelmed might just win.
Kelly from The Nourishing Home has put together an absolutely beautiful and entirely FREE meal plan for The Better Mom Readers. Really, absolutely, for always and forever FREE! She has links to all the recipes used for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a pdf shopping list for the week and most of all- a heart for moms. This ministry has freed me to love on my family and not get lost in the logistics of the kitchen. It is practical and so very valuable!
-Every recipe is made with whole food, with gluten free and paleo options.
-Each menu plan utilizes leftovers, and indicates time saving measures for meal preparation (like grilling up extra chicken at dinner time to use in tomorrow's salad).
-Careful thought about balancing out your plate with flavor, color and nutrition abounds in these meal plans!
-Every other Saturday the menus, with full recipe links are posted at The Better Mom. These are absolutely complete and absolutely FREE!
-Subscribers to The Nourishing Home (Also a free service!) additionally receive shopping lists and other recipe extras.
The next Bi-weekly meal plan will be available at The Better Mom tomorrow! I hope it is a practical encouragement to you and that your coming week is filled with yummy food and precious time with your family!