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Flanders, Netherlands

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A dry morsel.  That does not sound yummy.  Makes me thirsty just thinking about it.  During my Bible study the other morning, I came across this verse:

Proverbs 17:1 “Better is a dry morsel with quietness,

Than a house full of feasting with strife.”

Huh.  That sure says a lot.

I am definitely not going to get theological and delve into a huge study on this verse.  But, I will tell you what it spoke to my spirit as I read it.  “Don’t let feeding your family stress you out so much that it is unpleasant to prepare and share a meal with you.”   I would love to be able to say that has never been an issue for me.

The reality is that feeding my family causes me much stress.  Planning meals, making grocery lists, buying food, shopping for the best bargains, cooking just about everything from scratch to save money and be healthier – all of this is done as an expression of my love for my family.  But are they really receiving it that way?

My kids are not really old enough to make wise decisions about food for themselves, so if I fed them boxed foods and store-bought sweets everyday, they wouldn’t know the difference.  If nutrition was all equal no matter what we ate, I would be thrilled with the convenience of the box!  But, I do know the difference.

So, if I am not willing to sacrifice nourishment for convenience, then how do I avoid the stress and strife that comes with not-from-a-box cooking?

Proverbs 17:1 doesn’t say that I must feed my family dry crust in order to avoid strife.  It simply says, if serving a feast is going to send me into a tailspin, then I did something wrong.

Meal planning is my saving grace when it comes to maintaining sanity when feeding my family, and I highly recommend you make this part of your goals for 2012. 

It saves me time, money and strife and, as long as I have a system to follow, it is relatively painless!  I have used several systems over the years that served me well for the season in which I happened to be.  In the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of my favorite meal planning systems with you.  Just one small thing you can do to start the year off well!  I guarantee it will have a huge impact.

Do you need help developing a system or maybe tweaking the one you are using now?  Do you just need to commit to actually using the system you have already?   I’d love to hear what your challenges are, so hopefully I can help you find your groove!

Read my second post in this series:  Menu Planning – The Theme System

I am sharing this post at Works For Me Wednesday and Real Food Wednesday today!

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