I've been inspired by Joanne's theme of economy and then I read Holly's post about meal planning last week, and I decided that maybe I have some things I can throw into the mix. I am by no means an expert, but I have learned a few things that might help someone else.
So I'm rolling with it. Before I begin though, I want to give you a little background.
A few years ago, John came in from work and asked me what we were having for dinner. It was a summer evening, and I'd been at home with the kids all day doing much of nothing. I answered him honestly, "I don't know". I realized that "I don't know" was a frequent response of mine. He'd walk in the door (hungry) after working hard all day and I was very unprepared to meet an immediate need of his.
I felt very convicted in that moment. My hard-working husband asks very little of me. My kids were old enough that life didn't feel so labor intensive all the time. I was at home all day every day and yet I still struggled with getting a meal on the table.
I didn't really know what to do with that conviction, so I started praying about it. I didn't love cooking (at all) and saw it as a necessary evil. I began asking God to change my heart and to give me a desire to minister to my husband and family in this way.
That may sound like a strange thing to pray about, but I really wanted to change my ways and my attitude, and I can say with all honesty that God did begin to grow that desire in me. I purposed for a month to look at preparing dinner as my "job". If I only accomplished one thing every day, I wanted it to be dinner. I can be pretty determined when I want to be and I was VERY determined to follow-through on this.
So, if you're new to meal planning, I guess the first place to start is to ask yourself what your purpose in doing this is. Is it to minister to your family? To save money (a great by-product of planning!)? To meet a physical need? To eat healthier? To spend time quality time together as a family over dinner? Determine your purpose and go from there.
Next up: The technical stuff