Recently, I came across this talk from Julie B. Beck.
The entire article is good, but I felt especially inspired after reading these paragraphs,
“As a young mother I did not fully understand my power as a nurturer. Though we were a busy family, I considered everyone’s presence at dinnertime nonnegotiable. It was our most consistent gathering time, and everyone planned to eat together before going on to other activities. I learned of the influence of my nurturing when our youngest daughter wrote in a college paper: “Dinner in our home was not just an eating ritual, but a special time for the family to communicate and to share our thoughts and stories of the day. … We often sat together for over an hour as we savored the conversation as much as the food.”
I thought I was just cooking casseroles and soup. But I had created the venue, the reason to gather. Because I prepared a meal to share with my family, something special happened. It was a simple process, and our style changed with the ages of our children. When they were young we could discuss a picture from the Gospel Art Picture Kit (item no. 34735) or memorize a scripture. When they were older we asked more questions and shared experiences. Over the years our children grew and matured, and we loved each other.
Mothers, who are “primarily responsible for the nurture of their children,” can be a powerful force for strengthening families when they use mealtimes to gather loved ones. They follow the example of the Savior to calm, teach, and help their families remember important things as they feed, cultivate, educate, and rear at the consecrated tables in their homes.”
I knew that I needed to step up my game for family dinner time. I’ve always loved dinner time and make it a point to not schedule anything that would interrupt it, but I haven’t always been good at planning out the meal and making it a special reason to gather.
Each Sunday for the last little while, I’ve been meal planning for our upcoming week. What? Me? Meal plan! I’ve avoided it like the plague in the past, but I have diligently carved out an hour or so to do it.
Planning out our dinners for the week has brought me an increase in peace and joy. It’s amazing that as we follow promptings, an added measure of the Spirit can come into our lives. Even in something as temporal as meal planning.