. . . In the kitchen
This is a revised version of a post first published in February 2015.
I am a servant mother. I love to eat, good food. I love to cook, good food. I bond with my children through personalized meals, in the kitchen. I open lines of communication, in the kitchen. I develop relationships, in the kitchen. I express my love, in the kitchen. I listen and learn, in the kitchen. Therefore, meals are a big deal in my home, Nyleve’s Haven. Now, you can make and eat a sandwich at the Haven but for it to be an official Haven sandwich, I must prepare it for you. This became a Haven tradition after it was discovered and discussed, by several of those I had served a sandwich, how long they stayed full after eating it. My call to service made me aware that many of those who find their way to me, may only get one meal in a day’s time. Eating at my house is the only place they can truly afford to eat. And so, as a part of my lifestyle choice of service, I often go into the kitchen only because one of the young people currently in my house is hungry and broke. I know that they may not be able to freely eat, any more that day.
My response to this awareness is to enter the kitchen with the intent to fill that child up, and I cook to sustain them for a period. I prepare a healthy, nutritious filling meal. I love using fresh vegetables, premium cheeses, and good cuts of meat to fill the belly of a hungry child of mine. Feeding my children well, makes me feel good about myself, as a mother, as a servant. In order to freely offer meals to those I choose, I fill my freezer with easy to heat meals. Fast food at the Haven could mean an individual portion of seafood quiche or 4 layer lasagna, or a bowlful of love – an amazing soup created from a generous donation of fresh vegetables.
Above is an example of fast food at Nyleve’s Haven. Those bags contain individual -seafood (salmon, shrimp, scallop); chicken and broccoli; shrimp, prosciutto, and spinach; Ground beef and Italian sausage – quiches.
I live to support college students. College students are always hungry. And usually broke. Education is expensive. With a small salad and measured sandwich running $8.00 on a college campus, meals can get expensive, quickly. My desire is that any and all of my children rest assured in the knowledge that they can always eat, at The Haven. I want them to be able to reach into the fridge or freezer and find good food, that is easy to prepare.
It is my pleasure to cook in bulk and leave containers of sauteed mushrooms, onions, seasoned peppers that can be added to a chicken breast, salmon burger or hamburger from the freezer. I am most at ease when I hear the key turn in the front door lock, if there is a large selection of deli meat and cheeses in the fridge. No butter in my freezer means I am on hard times for sure and feeling so very low. I experience a warm God-hug while listening to a daughter experiment with different and interesting condiments. I get joy from their experience of new or different food choices. Because my children are constantly on the run, I intentionally prepare gourmet meals that travel well. It is so hard to concentrate when you are hungry.
There is a ministry in the community that regularly fills my freezer with bread. From a prayer, my parents taught me, “Give us this day our daily bread. . . ” I believe in a providing God. Yep, that’s Bible, Matthew 6:11, to be exact. Blessings such as these are how God supplies my needs and allows me to freely share what my God has provided.
Again, I spent one day, January 15, 2015 in the kitchen, cooking, to feed my two daughters, who are college students. As I type this, on February 19, 2015 there is one quiche left in the freezer.
This post is an explanation of what I mean when I say, “God is the Source of my supply.” According to God’s promise, God does provide. I believe that God will and God does. My God continues to show up and show out in my life. I have, here, responded honestly to a question that was asked of me recently, on a government form. This is my truth, but there is no space on the form for my honest response.