That time in the evening when my family starts to assemble in the kitchen is always one of my favorites times of the day.
Josh has come home from work and is often beside me in the kitchen helping me prepare our meal, and the kids are scurrying around grabbing placemats to set the table, assisting with dinner, and helping Christian (our two year old) decide which bib he wants to wear (because he’s opinionated).
We thank God for His many blessings before we dig in, and then the conversation goes from this to that.
We start off by talking about the day, and at least a few times a week, we go over a couple of tests Josh graded for Grace. As a family we explore what she did right, where she went wrong, and we all learn together.
Recently, we received a little magazine from Samaritan’s Purse called Prayer Point and have begun reading it after we’re halfway through our meal. The magazine focuses on highlighting areas around the world and specific people to pray for. We’re given their story and a picture of them so we know who we’re reading about, and it’s become a beloved event every week.
I’ve loved getting to know these believers and how I can specifically pray for them. Even more, I’ve loved how my kids have taken to remembering their names, asking questions about where they live, and what their environments are like.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, the day of love.
When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind.” But He piggybacked on that commandment and said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22: 36-40
Share Some Love
In the same way that Valentine’s Day should merely be a day to celebrate the love we show year-round, we should also love our neighbors daily.
Not just the neighbors next door, or the neighbors in our community, but also our neighbors from afar. Sometimes we can show our love by donating money, sometimes by donating time and volunteering, and sometimes simply by sharing encouragement and praying.
When we feel like we have nothing else to offer, we can always offer up our prayers. And when we know specific needs that we can picture with a name and face, I think the prayer is even more heartfelt (also, I think, easier for our children to understand and visualize).
You can also share some love with your sweetie by serving these Whole Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce for breakfast in bed Saturday morning . . . or perhaps serve a Valentine’s Day Brunch. . . and invite one of the widows in your church or neighborhood over to share in the meal . . . or your kids could make personalized Valentine’s cards and give a bouquet of flowers away!
*This Valentine’s Day, what are some ways you can show Christ’s love to your neighbors?
(For anyone who would like a copy of the Prayer Point magazine I referenced above, I found a form on Samaritan’s Purse’ UK website where you should be able to sign up.)
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups low fat buttermilk
- 1 cup skim milk
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 16 oz strawberries, quartered
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat oven to warm (170 to 200 degrees).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In another large bowl, beat together buttermilk, eggs, milk, honey, and vanilla.
- Preheat a large non-stick griddle or skillet to medium heat (medium-low on a gas range).
- Gently stir or whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine them. The batter will be lumpy.
- Add a small amount of vegetable oil to the griddle or skillet and spread it around evenly.
- Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to ladle the batter onto the griddle or skillet. Flip the pancake when the top is bubbly and it is golden brown on the bottom.
- Cook until the other side is golden brown. Hold on a cookie sheet in the oven until the entire batch is ready.
- Serve stacked topped with strawberry sauce.
- Puree strawberries in a blender to a smooth, slightly chunky consistency.
- Heat the puree in a small saucepan over low heat, until they are just warm.
- Stir in lemon juice and maple syrup and serve immediately.