The foundation of Kitchen Stewardship is simple: God gave us everything we have and asks only that we take good care of it. God gave us our health, our earth, our time and our money.
For those of us who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we are met with challenges in all four areas a daily basis. It can be daunting to try to do our best to be good stewards of them all, especially as science finds out more about how we harm our bodies and environment with chemicals and the world tempts us to live beyond our means in many ways. Kitchen Stewardship is about finding the balance, doing the right thing to give glory and honor to God, becoming more prayerful in the kitchen, and rejoicing in the accomplishment of baby steps on the road to perfect stewardship.
Ultimately, it could hurt your family not to. Ignorance is not bliss in our world. We’re dependent upon our bodies to keep us alive, and those bodies depend on us to make the right choices about what we put into them. Even the little nasties we can’t see, like pesticides on our food and chemicals in our plastic water bottles, can be slowly damaging some of the finer things God entrusts to us: our bodies and our families.
It’s a tough call, spending more to get what feels like the same thing. But it’s kind of like making sure you buy smoke detectors and insurance. In our family, we were convicted to increase our number of smoke detectors after a terrible tragedy struck a family in my hometown. The same week a news story where we live now, five hours south, demonstrated the limitations of standard smoke detectors for just the sort of fire that took the lives of the family in my hometown. We went out and spent over $100 (this is a big deal for us penny-pinchers!) on photo-ionic smoke detectors and upped the safety factor within our home. God hit us on the head with that one. What will it take to convict your family to move toward buying more organic foods or safer containers?
Some Kitchen Stewardship decisions are like throwing out questionable food. Imagine you accidentally left some food out on the counter while you were sleeping. Do you throw it away or put it in the refrigerator? It smells fine, it might be safe to eat, and (if you’re penny-pinching frugal like me) you HATE to waste the money and food, but you have to do it. You can’t risk food poisoning to save a few cups of leftover chicken noodle soup. I once discovered a package of bacon in the fridge that had opened itself. I was so upset – it had been a luxury to buy, but I threw it out because I didn’t know how long it had been open. You have to make tough decisions sometimes.
I was struck by a phrase my friend used when discussing an upcoming medical procedure. She’s a nursing mom, and the procedure would affect her breastmilk such that she would have to pump and dump (discard the milk) for an entire day. I sympathetically cried, “Oh, it will be so hard to pour all that liquid gold down the drain!” If you’ve ever pumped milk for your child, you know what I mean. My friend quickly replied, “But it would be POISON!” Hmmm. Yes, that would make it easier to dump out.
I think of that when I consider some of the unhealthy foods that we eat. No, we don’t need to finish our white flour cake so we don’t waste. It’s closer to poison than food, most likely. Maybe buying the super-cheap grapes from Chile or the potato chips that are BOGO this week aren’t such a good deal; I don’t want to spend money on poison. An overblown, metaphorical example…but with a hint of truth, too.
The foundation of KS may be simple, but the decisions along the way are far from it.
Why do it?
To protect our families, entrusted to us by God. Because we could be hurting them if we don’t do our best.
Please join us for a four-week series detailing the four pillars of Kitchen Stewardship: God’s gifts of our earth, family’s health, budget and time. Read them all here and the basis for my personal Kitchen Stewardship here.
Do visit Amy’s Finer Things Friday for examples of the finer things we are working to protect – beautiful photos of children playing and more! She has a great post in Frugal Fridays as well, so I thought this one would fit right in.
Other Mary and Martha Moments:
- Capturing Kitchen Prayer Moments
- Trust in the Promise of Your Meal Blessing
- Baby Steps
- Soul First, Body Second
- Kitchen Stewardship = Pray Constantly
Other Interesting Posts: