A young wife was in the kitchen cooking her first Easter meal. Before placing the ham in a large roasting pan, she cut off an ample section from one of the ends.
“Why did you do that?” her husband asked.
“Well, I really don’t know why but that’s the way my mother did it.”
Determined to get an answer for her husband, the young wife called her mother who said, “That’s the way my mother did it.”
A call to Grandma revealed the answer. “My dear, the reason I cut the end off of the ham was because I didn’t have a pan big enough to hold it.”
That has always been a favorite story of mine, and it’s often used to illustrate why we shouldn’t use unfounded traditions of the past. But now, as a mom of three young boys, I’m starting to see the great importance of building meaningful traditions.
My own mother was a pro at creating meaningful traditions! The evening meal, where our family sat together at the dinner table, was a tradition in our home. Mom worked hard to make each mealtime a ministry.
Whether it was a Texas-themed table setting to celebrate our roots on “Alamo Day,” green milk on St. Patrick’s day, heart-shaped meatloaf and mashed potatoes for Valentine’s Day, or just the calm assurance that at the end of the school day I knew our family would stop everything to sit down and eat together… mealtime was a good time for me. It was a time I listened to my dad’s prayers, laughed and shared, learned life’s lessons, and felt heard and loved and cared for.
These are the times I know helped shape my godly understanding, build strength of character, and bind our family tightly together like no other time. Before we left the table, we participated in a short devotional time that I now realize was specifically child-centered. Mom took cooking and serving from being routine chores to being an avenue for ministry through her planning, preparation, presentation, and prayers. Every time she served us, she was also serving the Lord (Col. 3:23).
I haven’t quite mastered the art of preparing the gourmet meals each evening as my mother did, but I haven’t lost the concepts she showed me … creating time each day to show my family a deep love not only by meeting a need of satisfying a physical hunger for food, but creating time to show love, care, understanding, and talking about God’s truth. Whether it’s picking a dinner that my child knows was made especially because it is his favorite, or everyone sharing a favorite memory for each piece of pizza they eat, I hope my children will feel the same sense of security of family that those times created for me.
So, on this Mother’s Day, I’d like to thank my mom for helping me to see the importance of making mealtime a ministry. I raise my glass of green milk to you!
Deedra Scherm has been married for 14 years to Kris and Mom to David (6), Keifer (4), and Charlie (21 months.)
Deedra is an author, producer, inventor, and President and CEO of Lemon Vision Productions (www.lemonvision.com) a company that creates inspired media for kids. Deedra loves fun games, great food, and fantastic movies, but her most cherished times are those surrounded by family.