image“Oh I wish I hadn’t nibbled while cooking dinner!  Now I’m no longer truly hungry enough to eat!  Why didn’t I wait?  Why didn’t I plan better?  It won’t really matter.  I’ll just eat a few bites with my family.  No harm done.”

Too often those are the thoughts spinning through my head after a long day at work and I begin the meal preparations.  It’s especially bad if making a family dessert where I’ve been known to lick the spoon a time or two, always resulting in a curbed appetite.

One of the “Essential Reminders” of Thin Within is to realize that beverages (including coffee, tea, soda, milk, sports drinks, and juices), mints and hard candy, and chewing gum all change your hunger number.  So how much more nibbling while I’m preparing a meal!  For heaven’s sake, to live responsibly I need to remember the importance of my choices to our Lord Jesus.  Mealtime nibbles affect my hunger number, which in turn affect the choice I’ve now confronted myself with.

Thankfully, these times are few and far between.  However, the fact that they are still occurring at all makes me aware there’s still work to be done.  Not a day passes, that I don’t need the Lord’s help and today’s no different.  What a blessing that He’s faithful to remind me of this.

When these times do occur what’s surprising to me is how spiritually determined I feel starting my day but depending on my focus and the choices I make it can feel tanked before close of business.  The cold hard truth is that the spiritual component I sense I’ve lost is still there.  However, somewhere I chose to focus on myself, my wants, my will, my desires, my, my, my.  Instead, had I collaborated with God throughout the day, working hand-in-hand with Him particularly before preparing my meals He would have remained center in my heart and mind where he was at the start of my day.

And so this is a good reminder to me and to others hopefully, that the spiritual determination we start with at the onset of the day is designed to fix our eyes and our hearts on the onlyimage One who can help us through the dailiness of this journey.  We’ve got to keep Him in the loop moment by moment, especially when we are monitoring our hunger numbers in an effort to honor Him in our eating.  I know when dinner is coming.  I know what I’ll be fixing.  And I know if I’ll be hungry or not.  The choice is mine, as are the consequences of those choices.

“Lord, help me choose You, over and over and over again today!  Thank you for food to prepare.  May it be a blessing to those who partake of it.  And may I enjoy it with them with all the integrity and authenticity of knowing my body is ready to receive from Your kind hand of provision.  Amen.”

imageSome tips I use for managing the mealtime preparations, especially if approaching zero:  Pray!  Pray!  Pray!  Before you enter your kitchen.  Eat a small snack prior to the cooking.  Sometimes this might mean eating a banana or a handful of almonds on my way home from work.  Do a heart-check beforehand and submit myself and my appetite to the Lord.  Pour myself a glass of iced tea or juice to sip on during mealtime preparation.  Pray for those I’ll be serving and eating with.  Give some special attention to their place setting.  Remind myself that if I choose to nibble while I cook I need to commit to bypassing dinner. In fact, don’t even set a place for myself.  It doesn’t mean I’m being deprived of anything.  It just means I chose to eat my meal earlier than originally planned.  The choice is mine to make.  And the consequences are mine as well.  Perhaps tell myself how delicious this meal will taste when I can sit down to relax and enjoy it, instead of tasting a little here and there while standing over the stove.

What about you?  Are mealtime preparations a struggle for you?  What can you do to plan better so that you don’t waste your hunger level standing over a stove and nibbling?   Let’s remember to keep God in the loop throughout our day.  He loves be invited into our private world where we can collaborate together.