Here we are, gently into 2019, and most likely thankful that the busyness of the holiday is over. I realize that this Ladies’ paper routinely and consistently encourages the SAME principles over and over for women. I don’t think there is a wife or mother out there who wouldn’t honestly say, “There are some things that I need to do better.” Let’s take a 2019 look at things we might need to change—for the better—in the area of “nourishing.”
What is nourishment? It’s often thought of as food to nourish the body. But books can nourish our mind; minerals can nourish soil; love and care can nourish feelings. Nourishment can be so many things. This word has a positive tone to me. One can nourish, and one can be nourished.
I think there are five main areas in our lives that can be nourished. These are not the ONLY areas, but the ones that I think deserve thought and some repetitious mentions.
OUR SOUL: There is plenty of Scripture that would indicate we are to NOURISH our soul. Nourishment starts with reading God’s word—daily. Oh, I know, we are all busy. We are. If we do not daily Bible reading a priority, it often doesn’t happen, right? Ask yourself what you can do to make this time with the Lord a daily priority. When you have littles in the house, maybe it is that quick trip to the bathroom with a daily devotional in hand! Maybe, it will mean that you need to rise a little early, brew that cuppa and be with the Lord for even 15 minutes all by yourself. It might mean writing down several verses on a card and carrying with you, so that you have it ready to bless your heart or direct your thoughts. It means being in church whenever the doors are open. It means hooking up electronically, when you or a child are home sick. Like anything worthwhile, it means making this a priority. See Hebrews 4:12, Proverbs 6:23, Romans 10:17.
OUR HUSBANDS: This is a great place to consider nourishing. Who is more important in your life to nourish than your husband? Let’s start with making nutritious meals daily. I believe that there is almost nothing better than for a husband to come home from a hard day’s work and walk into a house smelling like Texas Roadhouse—aromas galore. All the things he loves. This plan should really be routine, and not just a “special occasion.” How about thoughtfulness and kindness as nourishment? In this category, I see you taking care of his needs. Simple (yes) things like having the house picked up, clothes washed and put away, lunches made, car washed, inside of car cleaned, garage swept—all those kinds of things that lessen his workload each day. You may have to THINK about what you could do to be pleasing to him. Sometimes we wives think one thing, when our husband would be happier with something else. Do you know what that is? My husband appreciates dinner around 5:00 each day. This is simple for me…and wonderful for him. Work hard at nourishing his spirit: let him know how much you love him, how much you appreciate that he works hard for your family; don’t ever miss an opportunity to tell him how much you appreciated him doing something for you—ADMIRE, ADORE, LOVE! Eliminate the nag. Watch your tone. Men respond!
OUR CHILDREN: Nourishment here is needed in abundance. Do you nourish your children with good foods? Do you make it a point to have well-balanced meals on a regular schedule? Do you sit down with them and have conversations at meal-times? Taking opportunity to teach is a type of nourishment. Kids are like sponges and will learn, so talk to them about the things you want them to know! This is a time to train (nourish) their self- confidence; nourish their willingness to do right; nourish their self-control. Again, there are so many areas that need to be “nourished.”
Do you know that sometimes “bad behavior” in a child can be from not enough “nourishment?” If all they hear all day long is “Don’t do this, do that, quit that”…and then are disciplined, how is that nourishing? As a mother with smaller children, involve them in daily tasks; nourish their little minds, hearts and souls. Let them fail. Let them succeed. Let them KNOW you love them no matter what. Do you read to them frequently? Can you do a simple craft on occasion? I love seeing fathers with sons going to Menards or them “helping” Dad with projects! Nourishment is so important in little lives.
YOUR FRIENDS: If you have a few good friends, nourish those relationships. You’ve most likely heard that if you have a handful of friends—true blue friends—in your life, you are blessed. Nourish them with kindness and thoughtfulness. Always let your friend know that you have appreciated what they have done for you, either through a meal, a coffee date, a complement, etc. Don’t let those things go by without acknowledgement. It is still right to send Thank You notes after receiving gifts: birthday, baby shower, wedding, etc.
I am constantly concerned when I see brides or new mothers never acknowledge a gift or kindness. Whether you want it to or not, not responding sends the message that maybe you weren’t thankful, or that you didn’t care for the gift. Perhaps you are communicating that you are lazy and don’t understand the dynamics of appreciation. Nourish your friends with gratitude. Nourish your friends with appreciation. It’s good for you and it’s wonderful for a friend, to hear such things. Encourage your friends to do right, to make the “hard” choices sometimes. Be a little bit of “iron sharpening iron,” as the Bible says.
OURSELVES: Now, I am not suggesting that we make ourselves #1. That, unfortunately, happens too often anyway. However, I am suggesting that you nourish yourself. I love to see women who can somehow get away from the daily grind to go for a 15-20 minute walk 3-4x a week. It’s so good for the body AND it’s a time to refresh the brain! You can walk and talk to the Lord. You can take note cards with Scripture and be blessed. You can cry. You can vent. You can come home MUCH refreshed! Consider this.
Nourish yourself with good food. Some will say, “I can’t afford good food.” I am not even talking about organic foods. I am talking about fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, etc. Think about a bag of Doritos at $4.29 (I think) and that’s also the price of a bag of apples. This is about choices. Make “nourishing” choices for yourself. Read a bit— either something that will uplift and direct you spiritually, or help your marriage, or in raising children, or even maybe read for inspiration on a new DIY project. Being equipped with basic painting, staining, and crafting skills is a great benefit to making your home as wonderfully decorated as possible. Be willing to learn.
However you look at it, there are many areas in our lives that need nourishment. And the results will be positive and in many ways, measurable. Slow down and think about how you might be able to nourish in every one of these areas. Be proactive, and hopefully look back, next year at this time, and be able to say, “I have nourished those things in my life that I love!”