Everyday, after the kids are off to school and I’ve had a sufficient amount of coffee and prayer time, I stop everything and make the best possible lunch for my boyfriend.
Yes, I’m corny, yes, it wastes some of my time. And yes, I get excited like a 12-year-old girl meeting her crush to see his face light up as I pull in to see him each morning.
Oh, I could easily save myself the trouble and make his lunch at the same time as I make the kids lunches, hand it to him on his way out the door with a quick kiss and wait the 8 hours he’s at work to see him with no problem.
But alas, the romantic in me does not approve. For one thing, my attention in the morning goes to the two beautiful creatures that have been spoiled to the point of complete dependence on me getting them prepared for school each day. How they ever managed when I was a single mom unable to cater to them this way, I’ll never know. I know I’m spoiling them rotten, and I don’t care.
I love it.
I love making sure their uniforms are clean and neatly folded on the edge of their beds when they get out of the shower. I love making each of them their preferred breakfast (a banana smoothie for Halle, and eggs and peanut butter toast for Ryan) and chatting with them over that first cup of coffee. I love making their lunches, tailored to their tastes – Ryan is a self-proclaimed carnivore and Halle, the ultimate animal advocate, is my “mostly vegetarian” (She makes exceptions for chicken tenders and pepperoni. I know.).
I love the routine of our mornings. The quietness. The dim lighting. The sweet, half-awake chatter we share….it’s precious to me. And a far cry from what our previous mornings looked like. The chaotic running around, arguing, fighting, forgetting my phone, literally every day, frantically searching for clean socks and last weeks science notes.
Ugh. I pray I never have to go back to that.
And I’m getting super off topic here. My bad.
So, yes, I cherish my mornings with my kids and even something as small as Justin’s lunch need not interrupt the spoiling of my children.
When they’re gone however, I fully focus on giving Justin a little highlight to break up his day. Not that kind of highlight, get your mind out of the gutter!
I make him an awesome lunch, every day. Whoever said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach was onto something. Justin loves just about anything I make, from tuna sandwiches to saffron shrimp over angel hair pasta.
I’m passionate about cooking, so I like to be creative with lunches, sprucing up leftovers or making something fun, like today’s english muffin pizzas with toppings galore. He gets some snacky stuff like chips or cookies, or if I remember it, his Mountain Dew we carefully hide from the kids. I am the health guru of the family, so I insist on packing fresh fruit each day as well. The kids get fresh veggies too, but I don’t even bother with that for Justin. It’s just not gonna happen. Sigh….
So I pack up all that deliciousness, throw on some makeup and a shirt that shows a bit of cleavage, and set off to deliver lunch to my honey. We get a few minutes to flirt and chit-chat about how our days are going so far. It’s just a little break that gives us both something to look forward to.
We go back to our days and at 3pm, he comes home, lunch box in hand. Almost everyday, that lunch box is carrying the one healthy item I packed. The fruit.
The delicious entrée is gone, the junk food gobbled up, but the enormous Fuji apple?
“Too cumbersome to eat at work.”
The sweet concord grapes?
“Saved for later.”
The easy peel clementine?
“Too hard to peel.” Really Justin?
Everyday, I playfully yell at him, and threaten not to pack fruit anymore, and everyday he argues that he wants the fruit, he loves it. Ok. It’s become a joke to us, something we already know we’re going to laugh about when he walks in the door. But it got me thinking, how often do we do save God’s greatest, most nutritious blessings in our lives for later?
Stay with me here, I know my analogies suck, but there is a point to all this food talk.
There are so many great and amazing things in this life, blessings we sometimes take for granted, but enjoy nonetheless. Good things, gifts from God. I believe God loves it when I enjoy the treats he packs for me each day. It could be reading a good book, watching a thought-provoking new series on Netflix, listening to music, killing aliens on the Xbox with my family, having a glass of wine with the neighbor after she had a rough day or chatting over coffee with an old friend.
Not the nutrient packed super salad we need but still good in small portions. The cookies of life.
Just like I love that Justin enjoys all the tasty treats I pack him each day, I believe God enjoys it when we appreciate and enjoy the snack food of life.
But here’s where we have a tendency to insult our master chef at times.
We all, myself included, like to enjoy the snacks and save the healthy fruit for later.
I have certainly procrastinated on reading my Bible in lieu of a more entertaining activity. I’ve cut my prayer time to answer the phone and then never returned to that quiet place with God. I’ve reasoned that getting ready for church is too cumbersome many a Sunday morning. I’ve shaved minutes off our family devotion time to finish a movie. I’ve skipped the Bible study because it’s too difficult to stay focused.
Regardless of how spiritually mature we are, we all save the fruit for last and fill up on cookies, at one time or another. Some of us more often than we’d like to admit.
And just like it baffles me that Justin does this everyday, because he loves fruit, I’m willing to bet it baffles God that we do this, because we actually do love the fruit he gives us as well.
We love our quiet time with God. We love the way he speaks to us through the scriptures. We love the understanding we glean from studying the Bible. We love the messages we receive from the pulpit that seem to be written specifically for us. And most of all, when actually do partake in the fruit FIRST, before the cookies, consistently, we love the incredible benefits we reap from it. We love to be spiritually healthy. Filled with joy and purpose.
I know this is sort of a weird metaphor, but I can’t help the way my mind works. I know some of you are like, What on earth is this girl talking about? My apologies, really. All I know is that God spoke to me through the Fuji apple I pulled out of Justin’s lunch box this morning, left over from yesterday, yet again.
And what he spoke to me is that I have been a bit too cavalier about my spiritual health as of late. The hurricane, the clean-up, the mass of rescheduled appointments that all landed in the same week. Excuses. What he spoke was that he wants me to eat the fruit of truth, revelation and relationship that he packs so generously in my life with utmost importance. First, not later.
The cookies can wait. They’re yummy, but they won’t keep my spiritual health at its best. No more than Justin’s junk food will keep him physically healthy.
Today, he got yesterday’s apple as well as a big ol’ bag of grapes. And they better not be in that lunch box when he gets home.
How about you? Do you ever procrastinate on activities that keep you healthy spiritually? Or even just skip them altogether?
Designate specific times in your day to keep the important things…important. What might your day look like if you read a paragraph in your Bible before looking at your phone, or spent 20 minutes in prayer before starting your morning routine?
Out of sheer curiosity, what does your morning routine look like? Mellow and structured or crazy and disorganized?
Thanks for reading guys, my tummy is feeling a bit hungry with all this food talk so I think I’ll snaggle one of them apples! Have a great day everyone! God bless.