We are two weeks into my grocery fast (see the intro post here), and I already have unique situations and “special” circumstances to navigate. But like I always told my kids as I was raising them to do what they had to do every single day: “Every day is special, but every day can’t be a special day!” In other words, when we look at everything that comes up as an occasion to skip our school plan, not do our cleaning, or eat sweet treats, we will not be successful.
The same is true with my grocery fast. I could easily say a week or so in that I can’t keep it because we’re having movie night with the kids; I need to spend more because some of the kids are coming for Sunday dinner; I need to take some food to my step-mom; I need to make something for our ballroom dance; and on and on….
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In a previous podcast episode called Simplified Menu Planning, I encouraged listeners to not overthink meal planning. (You may listen to that episode here.)
In this audio, I described how my original freezer cooking, in which I plugged all of my entrees into categories (based on meat types), led me to look at meal planning in a more simplified way. I made my master list of most of the entrees that I fix under each category, and then I can see what meats are on sale, scan my master entrée list, and choose meals to make.
I talk often about setting a timer for a designated amount of time and getting as much done as a family as you can get done. I also talk a lot on the blog (and in podcast episodes) about various types of lists. A lot of times we use one or the other.
For example, I have always been a task list maker. I have my weekly list, my school schedule lists, my daily list, my project list, and my daily duties.
I also have always used the timer extensively.
However, once I began combining the two, I found my work level increasing greatly and the work level of our children getting better as well.
The first day was a bust. The first week was less glamorous, productive, and family-unifying than you envisioned it. So what is the natural reaction to that?
The natural reaction is to doubt. Doubt that God called you to this. Doubt that you can do it—regardless of the calling. Doubt that you are the best teacher for your children. Wowsie, even doubt that you are a good parent at all!
But how does God want us to react to less than perfect beginnings? Knowing the character of God—merciful, wisdom, loving, kind, instructive—we can know that there are probably two reactions that God would have us ponder: