I baked the other day. It felt nice to feed the people I love yummy and healthy food.
It is interesting that providing food for our families is one of the most important things that we do, but I don't know anyone who actually got married and "knew" how to cook, or rather, how to appropriately feed others. Feeding people is something that has enormous immediate and long-lasting impacts, and requires much of our time and energy - whether it is gathering the food (shopping), preparing the food, eating the food (and encouraging (or bribing?) our children to eat the food), and cleaning up after everyone has eaten the food - multiple times per day - every single day.
I baked some when I was a teenager. I helped my mom prepare dinner often enough. My mom is a wonderful cook. My sisters are also wonderful cooks. I'm not sure what happened to me. I remember a close friend once said to me (with sincere awe): "I don't understand, your mom and sisters are such good cooks, why aren't you?" I remember that I cried a lot that night. I was determined to become the best cook ever.
That was eight years ago. I still am nowhere near the ability of the women in my family. I blame a lot of it on motivation. It's one of those things that I know I need to do every day, but I slip out of bed hoping that somehow no one will notice that I am not doing it. My older kids are big enough now that they really can feed themselves... but they don't let me get away with it often.
A few days ago my oldest son was complaining of a stomach ache. He said that he thought it was due to a lie he had told just moments before (he told me he didn't hit his sister when he actually had). We talked about how our bodies and our spirits are connected and how the health of one affects the health of the other. It reminded me that feeding people is actually a spiritual responsibility as well as a temporal one.
So, being able to cook yummy and nutritious food is even more important than I ever could have imagined. Not only is it essential for my children and my marriage relationship - as my husband is home very little and is usually very hungry - but for feeding myself and ensuring the strength of my own spirit. My motivation to learn how to cook should be quite high. Maybe for Christmas I will ask for cooking lessons...