Holiness, Dinner and Dishes

You might laugh when you hear what I’m reading these days; it’s basically a home management book called How Do You Find the Time, by Pat King–copyright 1975!  (So nothing about computers, email, or even homeschooling.)  But she did have 10 kids, all living at home for awhile, and I am not only enjoying the book, but finding many helpful tips.

In the chapter I read today, she talks about dinner–planning it, preparing it, and then cleaning up.  My first thought was , “Oh, I’ve got a lot of experience with that, and I think I’ve got it down pretty well.”  But she calls it “The 4:30 Syndrome” because 4:30 pm rolls around, and none of us want to stop what we’re doing to make dinner.  How right she is–at least about me!  (I usually push it off until 5/5:30!)

So I read on…

Mrs. King, the author, never planned to do anything after 4:30 pm except spend time with her children (now home from school) and make dinner.  She puts it this way…

“It’s a combination of listening to someone’s reading, giving spelling words, sharing a cup of tea with my daughters, making cookies or a salad, or peeling potatoes.  I don’t plan housework, telephone calls or even work at my desk.”

I began to picture my kitchen filled with children during supper-prep-time, all doing various activities; some helping me with food prep, some doing dishes (so there are less after supper), and some just quizzing each other on spelling or listening to them read aloud.  (By this time in the day, all of my kids have had some good free time.)  So the supper-prep hour becomes a family time where everybody helps–not just the one or two kids who want to help me that day.

After many more practical tips about dinner, the chapter concludes with this…

“Each of us is called by the Lord to holiness.  Isn’t it amazing that so many of us answer that call through something as everyday as dinner and the dishes?  The evening meal is the paradox of our homemaker lives.  It looks, at a glance, so unimportant when we consider all that there is to be done for the cause of Christ.  But when we answer this calling to lay down our lives every day at 4:30 with a conscious love for the Lord, it is not only helpful beyond all understanding to those we love, but when it is done for Jesus how can it be anything but important and utterly worthwhile?”

Anyone have any helpful tips for the “4:30 syndrome”–otherwise known as “Dinner Prep”?

(Ironically, we’re ordering pizza tonight for Barrett’s 11th birthday!)


2 responses to this post.

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I really needed it. I’m unsure how I’m going to do this, since I teach piano from 4 until 6 or 6:30 most days. Maybe I can “lay down [my] life every day” at an earlier hour, to have dinner ready to go when it’s needed. Thank you again for this attitude adjustment.


    • Crock pots work great for this! Even if you have just part of dinner in the crock pot, the rest is easier to finish! (But it’s still hard to stop what you’re doing!”)


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