Thursday, April 28, 2016

Attend! Serving Others

This winter and spring, on Instagram, I've often been posting our breakfasts -- when I've cooked. For several weeks, I consistently posted ideas or suggestions, then I stopped.

Because I stopped making breakfast. 

Admittedly it was because I got sick, but I didn't pick the habit back up when I felt better.

I started back up this week -- and am working on lunches, too. Instagram makes for good accountability: to come up with new, appealing ideas and share them. I'm not trying to be all "look at me" rather to force myself to consciously think about serving my children and encouraging my readers to do likewise.

I'm thinking about how I serve my children because over this period of waxing (preparing meals) and waning (not doing so), I've noticed some things.

  1. Our day goes better on full, nutritiously filled bellies. It just does. An infusion of both protein and carbohydrates in the morning affects all of our attitudes.
  2. When I'm bustling about in the kitchen - emptying the dishwasher, cooking, cleaning up - models better than sitting on the couch reading a book or surfing the web.  Showing that I'm serious about getting ready for the day, that I'm prepared to do the work of the day, matters to all of us.
  3. My kids feel loved when I make breakfast. Even if it's just oatmeal. They know I've taken time to consider them and their needs.They miss it - and not just the food - when I slack. They're capable of making breakfast - scrambled eggs, cereal, even oatmeal - on their own, they just like it when I take the time. In Cincinnati, Sarah Mackenzie reminded us to "Always choose your child." over challenges, difficulties, and our own wants.
  4. The whole household runs more smoothly the more often I'm in the kitchen. For me to want to cook breakfast and lunch, the kitchen has to be clean the night before. The pots and pans and knives are washed (and my CiRCE coffee mug). The coffee maker is prepped and set so I get up to brewed coffee (which entices me to get up at 6!) If I'm cooking breakfast and lunch, the dishwasher needs to be run so there's room for dinner dishes. Our dishwasher can hold a large capacity, but does better with lighter loads. While I'm in the kitchen, the counter and table are cleared more completely. Oh, and I eat meals rather than snacking on whatever I find.
  5. My attitude about serving is so much better when I'm in the habit. I'm more satisfied by the job I'm doing as a wife and mother when I'm actually doing the work and not having the children fend for themselves. My children are more encouraged to participate in meals, straightening the house, and the work they need to accomplish when I'm not slacking on my own work. That makes a happier mama.
I'm certain there are more benefits to serving others better. These are just off the top of my head.

We don't only serve because of these benefits. Our world encourages us to think we want to be served, not to serve.

Our example, Jesus came not to be served but to serve. I have to pay attention to that. Our culture ought to.

The Online Etymology Dictionary says 'attend' means "to direct one's mind or energies" and the Latin meant "stretch toward." In the early 14th Century it came to mean "take care of, wait upon." There is a sense of Attend! that means to serve.

Of the 9 uses of the term "attend" (not attended, or attention, but simply attend) in the scriptures (in the ESV), three of them are used in the sense of service. There is instruction to attend to the tabernacle, the sons of the Aaron, or Queen Esther.  They were to care for, do the bidding of, in some way serve some object or person.

We are called to Attend! to our duties. We pay attention to them and stretch our minds and energies to do the work before us. 

To Attend! means to serve others.

3 comments:

  1. I typed a comment but I think something messed up...sorry if it double posts.

    I enjoy your #uppingmybreakfastgame posts. I know Mystie says to plan ALL the meals, but we generally do "every man for himself" at breakfast and lunch. There are always several easy options available, and that way everyone can choose what they want. So do you require the kids to eat what you make at each meal? If you make, say, scrambled eggs for breakfast, do they all eat scrambled eggs? Or are they free to get cereal if they prefer? I'm just wondering how much push back I'd get if I decided on all the meals. I do plan dinner. This is something I've been considering for awhile, and I've been curious how other moms handle it.

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    1. Nope. No double posts. For breakfast and lunch, I've had some complaints, but they can make themselves something else if they don't want what I cook. I will do slight modifications: for grilled cheese, they can choose their kind of cheese, for example. They all prefer scrambled eggs to fried eggs while I prefer fried, so I will mix and match if needed. But, yeah, there's always cereal or granola and there's always pb&j if they don't want what I'm cooking. Fruits & Veggies are mom-mandated, though.

      I expected more pushback than I've gotten so far.

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  2. You are making many good memories of home and meals. xoxo

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