My children voice concern when the refrigerator begins to look empty and I tell them all is well.
In an effort to help them understand how blessed they are, and to reduce wastefulness, I’ve stopped shopping for groceries regularly. I now wait until there is literally nothing left to eat, until they’ve emptied the freezer, the cabinets and their minds of creative ideas of what to make. There have been some atrocious meals lately, not without complaint, but they were eaten regardless.
One Saturday as I was working my youngest son came to me frustrated. He tried to make eggs for everyone to realize there were only two. He scrambled them anyways but because there was no butter they stuck to the pan so he threw them out. He then opened the cabinet to find tuna (for breakfast). Opening the cans and emptying the contents into a bowl he realized there was no mayo, so threw the tuna away. There were pancakes he could make but there was no syrup. He stood next to me and sobbed at his plight. I think he genuinely felt fear. I took him to the kitchen, opened the cabinet and told him he could make oatmeal and put apples and the blueberries on their last leg on top and he was a brand new child. Grateful for the oatmeal that normally he would frown at.
Now when I return from places like Costco my oldest son greets me in a long embrace and a smile from ear to ear, for I’ve gifted him with the tools of his artistry that before he had taken for granted.
I too have at times taken my abundance for granted. Finding myself depleted and in hunger, I have asked to be fed from people and places which have had no nourishment to give. I found myself feeling hurt, having opened to vulnerability and receiving nothing in return. I learned that some people and some places simply do not have what it is I need and therefore cannot give what it is I ask for.
I was then forced to search the pantry of my heart to prevent a famine. Always, I found something to keep me nourished. Sometimes it was only for a few hours, sometimes a day and sometimes longer. Often, it happened that someone unexpected would come into my life to help me see the ‘meal’ that was always there but had failed to appreciate.
The lesson I hope to instill in my lovely children, is to maintain faith, especially in times when we cannot see the food or the forest for the trees. I want them to know beyond knowing, that we will always receive what we need as it is needed.
This is the promise made to me, fulfilled daily, and this is the promise I make to them.