So I’ve had one of those weeks where it was time to make a family adjustment. You know that moment when you realize, “This is NOT working.” The newest aha moment involved our family system surrounding food. The shopping, eating and complaining about food specifically. In truth, I’m not sure we had a definite system before that anyone was aware of, except me.

Essentially, I do all the meal planning, shopping and preparing of food. Everyone else eats, and my husband does dishes most nights. The reason it wasn’t working was there was a general self-preservation attitude going on that played out like this: After I spend 3-4 hours planning meals, checking coupons, shopping and putting everything away the “best” food would begin disappearing within 2-3 days, thereby prompting 4-5 days of complaints about how there isn’t anything “good” to eat in our house, thereby prompting me to begin looking like one of those cartoon characters whose face turns red and literal steam begins to pour out of my ears. (Not a pretty picture and not my favorite.)

  So, tonight as we all sat around the table eating the random odds and ends of leftovers, and cereal and fried egg sandwiches, I laid out my new plan:
1. From now on the meals for the week will be posted on the fridge. So, no one needs to come ask me “what’s for dinner” and I don’t have to see the “yuck! I don’t like that meal” face. They can adjust their attitude on their own, which we all have to do from time to time, but it’s best for me not to have to see it.
2. I have created a list of acceptable snacks for anyone to help themselves to. Hungry in between meals? Check the list and help yourself with no complaining. Not on the list? Don’t eat it and no complaining. This should eliminate the running out of “good” food and general negativity issues.
3. Anyone can make a suggestion for a meal choice, or snack choice they’d like to be added for next week. In fact I’m hoping they will, as I get overwhelmed trying to come up with creative food choices all the time.

That’s it. Fairly simple tweaking of our current system, and hopefully it will reduce some of my recent angst. My other hope is in all things we do as a family, we are honoring to God. Being considerate of one another, using self-control and having/expressing gratitude are all ways we can reflect who God is in our family. Ultimately any lesson I teach my kids, in the end should point them back to God, and even in something as basic as food, we can find Him there. If you think about it, lots of important lessons in the Bible occurred through, in and around food: manna, miracle loaves and fish, the Last Supper. I love how God always uses the practical to teach the abstract.

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