One thing that I can truly say I have learned since Sienna's birth eight months ago is that giving and recieving are important to learn. I am not talking about a giving or recieving a normal baby gift. I am talking about giving of ourselves... our service to one another and ultimately to God... sharing our abilities and talents to help another in need (or in want... sometimes a person just wants to feel the love!).
Growing up I can say that I learned a lot from my mother about giving. She gave her everything to her kids. And sometimes I forget that.... I get caught up in what she did not give me. I have to remind myself that she gave all she knew how to give and she has loved my wholeheartedly. She always gave to me and my brother and she always wanted more for us than she ever dreamed of having. She taught me the importance of being a stay at home mother and that it was never a "lowly" job to choose to be with your children. Okay... but that is not what I am writing this post about, although I do want to brag on her some before it appears that I bash her a bit. Just so we are clear I am not writing this to bash her. I simply want to say that I did not learn from her how to be a giver outside the home. And I would guess that it was because she probably was never taught that either. I want to do that different.
In the last couple of years I have been introduced to the concepts presented in Titus 2. I have witnessed this idea of "teaching the younger women how they are to behave" much more among the homeschool community (simply because a vast majority or devout Christians) and in the church we switched to almost three years ago. We made this change in churches and this switch to homeschooling in the same year. I began to notice the outpouring of service specifically among my ladies Sunday School class. And I felt very imtimidated. Strange, right?! Well, it is because I have no idea how to begin giving to others like that. It seems simple, but for me it is just not part of my norm. Anything outside our norm is often hard to change. But I want to do that. I have sat back and observed. Curious that this is such a hard concept for me.. odd... I know... weird, right?! I have watched in awe of it from the sidelines. But recently that has changed. Before Sienna's birth I had a couple of meals brought to my home. Then, afterwards I had offers to have meals brought. Sadly, I did not accept them all because I just felt weird doing so. I had people offer to set it up so that someone would provide meals everyday for the first couple of weeks, but I just felt so unworthy of all that. I did accept some meals from individual ladies who offered. Wow! That was very humbling to see ladies go out of their way to cook for my family. To GIVE to me... me! I never feel worthy of such things. And the amazing thing that it truly did was light a fire in me to want to do the same for them or someone else... and to teach my children to do it, also.
BUT I feel so insecure. And people who know me well would never guess that this would be a problem for me, but I am so unsure of myself. I feel so inadequate. Many times I feel I have nothing to give or that what I do give will not be good enough for others. I worry that they will not like my cooking or that their kids will be hungry after I leave because my food is not up to par with what they are accustomed to. So, tonight I took meal to a friend. I worried about it, but I took it. I mean, I worried like in an abnormal way. I guess that will get better in time. Maybe one day I will learn to relax.... but this lesson is not about learning to relax... Ha! This is one is about learning to give.
So, I thought I would share what I took. Not to show off what I did or anything like that, but before I made the meal I googled "what meal to bring to a new mother"... as if I would no know that, since I am a new mother to an eight month old... duh! I came up with little on the internet to help me out. Also, I had to keep in mind that this meal was a for a large family just a bit larger than mine. Dead end on the internet. So, I thought about it. What was a meal I recieved that we enjoyed? Also, I wanted it to be mostly healthy and nutrient packed. I also know that this family eats meals cooked from scratch and bring over a box of Hamburger Helper would not likely suit their tastes. One recent meal we recieved was baked chicken breasts. The family I was cooking for eats mostly dark meat, so I would consider that also. So, this is what I brought and I think it went over well.
Baked Chicken Thighs/Drumsticks in a thin gravy
Green Beans and New Potatoes (seasoned with salt, pepper, bacon drippings)
Salad (Leaf Lettuce, Iceberg Lettuce, Tomatoes, Carrots, Brocolli, Celery)
The chicken: I placed about a dozen pieces of chicken in a roasting pan and drizzeled it with EVOO, sprinkled it with salt, peper, garlic powder, oregano, and parsley flakes. I added a package of Onion Soup Mix and a cup of water. I covered it with foil and baked at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, then turned it once. Once it looked done I turned it top side up and removed the foil and turned the heat up to 475 for about 5-10 minutes to finish it off.
Normally, I would drop off this meal like is customary, but I decided to stay and serve them each their plates. Keep in mind this lady has several children, so I know that it is nice to have an extra set of hands. ;) I told her I would serve as her "waitress". I did not linger and watch them eat. I moved about doing other things and when the meal was done I cleared (with some help) the table, helped put away the leftovers, and washed up the dishes (mostly pots and pans as I did bring paper plates). By the way, one of the best gifts a new mom can get is paper plates! Ha!
So, I am learning to be a giver in this way. So, tell me what is it that you think is the perfect meal to bring over after a new baby has arrived in the home?