At the start of every new year, we are flooded with social media posts about the best goals and resolutions to set, and how we can maintain them once the first ten days are over. I, for one, have never been a fan of new year’s resolutions because they always seem to be centred around changing something about ourselves that we don’t like. And because they’re often focused on the negative, we very rarely have the motivation to keep them going for more than a couple weeks. I’ve found that when I do things because I’m motivated by negative feelings, it never lasts long and always leaves me in a darker heart space than I was at the start. So instead of setting goals to change me, I set out to soften and reshape myself into someone tender to the Lord’s leading and dependent on Him in all things. This can look very different depending on the year or even the season.
This year I’m focusing on what it looks like to cultivate a culture of home in my life. I’ve always loved home, whether that’s my childhood house, my current home, or those unique places that feel like a home away from home. There are so many emotions and memories surrounding the areas we call home, and I want to build those into how I live my life. This isn’t just something that I want to do for a year and then throw in the trash. This is something that I want to brick into the very core of who I am so that it stays with me for the rest of my life. So I decided what better way to start this soul work than with food.
For generations, preparing food and sharing a meal together have been at the very core of human relationships. It has been a way to show that you care about the other person and trust them enough to share your resources and eat the same food as them. It’s a time to come together and enjoy the company of those around you without any distractions. In the Bible, people shared meals when they welcomed visitors into their homes. Jesus taught people, and then he fed them, nourishing their bodies and souls. We’re told there will be a feast waiting for us when we get to heaven. In Acts 2:42, we see that the early church regularly got together not just to learn more about the Lord but to walk through life together. And they did that by sharing meals with each other. When our stomachs are full, our hearts are more receptive to building relationships.
It doesn’t matter if the meal is store-bought sushi or a handmade turkey dinner. What matters is the culture that you choose to make around it. When laid out on a picnic blanket with nice plates, that grocery store sushi can become an intimate meal where hopes and dreams are shared. Or, when pride takes over, that turkey dinner can turn into an idol of our own self-sufficiency. It all depends on the heart we have while we’re doing it. Just as with anything, the end goal should never be our own glorification but the edification of those we are serving. Ultimately our actions and motives should point back to the Lord and His goodness and provision.
I want to get better at cooking real meals with real food to welcome people into my home and my life with things that taste good and are good for them. I want to show them how much I love them through the food that I make. I bought a cookbook back in December and committed to making one recipe from it a week for this year. I want to learn how to put meals together, what brings the flavours out in certain foods, and what kind of meals bring a spirit of joy and thankfulness. This is a tangible way I’m taking a step towards building a home out of my life. And one day, I hope to welcome people into times of deeper connection over plates of steaming pasta and roasted vegetables. I want my dinner table to feel like a home away from home for everyone who walks through the doors of my house. What kind of home do you want to build out of your life?