Maybe because they were so close in age, my husband and I referred to our three as “the babies” and the affectionate term stayed. Now that they are 18 and 19 and 19, well, they are are still “the babies” – I guess they always will be!
When the babies first started helping in the kitchen, we started what we called “family dinner” once a week. For “family dinner”, everyone made whatever their own favorite dish or dessert was at the time, or the most recent item they had learned to cook. No rules – everyone added the ingredients they needed for their contribution to the grocery list, and we all cooked together. Got to admit it – we had some weird combinations at those “mini-potluck” meals! (Maybe this explains why you’ve never seen a picture of my dinner posted on Facebook, LOL! I would have gotten some raised eyebrows at the answer to the “what’s for dinner?” question if anyone outside of my 5 asked!). Maybe they were combos that one wouldn’t see at a restaurant, there was no “theme” to the meal, but we loved it. The theme, I guess if you need one, was “things we loved”. Remembering how picky the twins were in those days, it honestly worked out well – everyone cleaned their plate at the “family dinner”!
Had to smile when someone at church asked me today what was for Christmas lunch at our house… Want to know? Michael and I had white chicken chili, and the babies had chicken alfredo (with angel hair pasta instead of alfredo noodles, naturally). When the garlic toast went in the oven, Jacob asked if he could make “pigs in a blanket” to go along with lunch. Of course, he can! What else would go along with a lunch of chili and alfredo if not “pigs in a blanket”? 😉 So, that was Christmas lunch – everyone had their favorite, and we loved it.
It’s a silly tradition, but it brought an unexpected lesson: we all have gifts to share. We didn’t put “rules” on their offering, we just let it be. (Sometimes, the meal was brownies, crescent hot dogs, green bean casserole, and bacon. Weird, but we rolled with it and we enjoyed it. Maybe I could have done without the “beanies weenies and clam chowder” night, TBH 😉 ). What we learned (completely by accident) is that all of our offerings are valuable. When we share those gifts, they all fit together somehow. Just like our gifts in the body of Christ – here’s what Paul wrote:
So here’s what I want you to do. When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight. (1 Cor. 14:26 MSG)
You might be asking yourself: What is my gift? What is my talent? Where do I fit in? My advice: just get started! Do what you can with what you have. You’ll see that God will bless it. He will grow you and He will grow your gift and He will bless others around you with your gift. You might think it’s silly, but you never know who might just need it…… Just like we needed Jacob’s “pigs in a blanket” to go along with our chicken alfredo 🙂
Realizing you have a gift to share, and recognizing the opportunity to share it? That’s a treasure, and I’m praying that you find a place where your gift fits today! (hint: it very nearly fits anywhere!)