When I was pregnant with Ian, I was on bedrest for preterm labor from 21 weeks until I delivered him at 38 weeks. And when I say bedrest, I mean flat on my back on the couch only allowed up to use the bathroom and get a shower every couple of days.
During this time, we were blessed beyond measure by several women in the church who faithfully brought us meals. And I will always remember dear Fran lending me her Anne of Green Gables DVD collection which I SO enjoyed watching over and over.
Thankfully this was our first child so I didn't have other children to worry about while flat on my back! Brad would set me up with some breakfast in the morning before work and then my mom would check in on me periodically throughout the day, making me lunch and keeping the laundry under control and the dishes clean. (Even these years later, I am still so thankful for that, mom!)
Then after Ian was born, there were ladies from church who brought us dinner for those few weeks immediately following our return home. And this was repeated again after the birth of Lily, and a couple of people even did this when we returned from Ukraine with Sergei. And there have been other instances when dear friends have provided meals for us during various difficult, challenging seasons of our lives.
And I'm sure that any of you who have ever received a meal will agree with me when I say what a HUGE blessing it is!
Taking meals to neighbors, friends, family, or church family during a time of distress, busyness, or illness is an awesome way to bless others.
Recently a friend from church had surgery on her foot and was going to be laid up for several weeks. As I was preparing meals to take to her and her family, I was inspired to write a blog post on the subject matter.
Here are some pointers when taking meals to others. Of course, the meal in and of itself is a huge blessing so if you can't do any of these others things, don't let that keep you from taking the meal! These are just a few things I've found helpful...
1. Send your foods in disposables. Of course, there have been times when it's been a last-minute decision to take food to someone, and I haven't had the disposable pans on hand. However, if possible, it makes it much easier on the person receiving the meal to just dispose of the dishes rather than having to wash them and then return them. In fact, when I bought disposables for my friend's meals, I stocked up with extras to have in the future.
2. Send along disposable plates and forks. Of course, this isn't a necessity, however, it cuts back on the clean-up that the receiver has to do afterwards which is always a big blessing in my book!
3. If possible, send multiple meals. Maybe one to be eaten that day and then another that the family can freeze to eat the following week.
4. If you send multiple meals, include a menu so the family knows what food goes with what meal.
5. Take charge of planning multiple meals for the family for several weeks or however long they will need them. I recently did this for my friend who had the foot surgery. I printed calendars for May and June off the internet, called around to ladies in the church and got enough volunteers for my friend to have three to four meals each week. I marked this on the calendar (which dates and who was bringing the food) and then photocopied it. When I delivered my food, I gave the schedule to my friend's husband so they would know which days food would be delivered to their door.
6. When you are planning meals from multiple people, try to get an idea of what they will take, if possible. That way the receiving family will not be receiving three lasagnas or two meatloaves in the same week. When you're recruiting volunteers, give them ideas of what others are bringing so that they won't duplicate those meals.
7. Depending on the circumstances, send a few extras. For example, I sent some chicken salad and rolls for my friend to have for lunch as well as some blueberry muffins and a loaf of sweet bread for her to snack on throughout the day. It's also a blessing to send along a beverage.
8. Send a long a few magazines or lend some books or movies to the recipient if they are ill or confined to bed. I really did appreciate the DVDs from Fran and the books our pastor's wife lent to me while I was on bedrest!
9. While you're preparing the food, think upon the privilege God has given you to bless the receiving family. Even something as small as delivering a meal to someone in need is an opportunity to live out the Gospel. We should consider it a great blessing to be able to help those God has placed in our lives, even though it means taking time out of our already busy schedule.
Have a blessed day!
I'm linking up here today...