Waste Not, Want Not

bare table

My table is clear of holiday food and decor. Not only my table, but my house also. My husband and children had the ornaments off the tree and into the box before I was even dressed for the big Saturday cleaning. Sometimes this post holiday cleaning ritual brings a little melancholy; other years I plunge in head first without a look behind me. This year I face the New Year with a helping of both, a look at the past and a look at the future.

In years past, entertaining was my way to give. I filled my table generously for my family and friends. I loved to cook plenty of whatever was rich and tasty and offer more options and choices to whomever I served. I loved with food.

In the last couple of years, I realized that I do not have enough resources—time, energy and money—to sustain that kind of giving from my kitchen or from my heart. In 2009, particularly during the last months, I pulled way back. I gave less, but what I did give, I gave in faith.

Still, I hesitated. Would it be enough?

I hosted one holiday event outside my immediate family, a breakfast for my seminary students. I made orange rolls, bacon, scrambled eggs and juice. When I mixed the dough for the orange rolls, the urge to double the recipe grabbed me. If I did, I would have more than enough and some leftover. Yes?

No. I put down my internal battle and made the one batch of orange rolls. The next morning, the youth in my class and my family enjoyed as much as they could eat. I cleaned up the dishes and made myself a plate from what was left–the last two orange rolls, one final helping of scrambled eggs and the last of the bacon. After I ate and was filled, these words came to mind—waste not, want not.

In the past I always made and gave way more than enough, thinking that if I gave more, my offering would be worth more. Now, I know that I do not have to over give for my service to be enough. It took clearing my table to the barest of essentials to know that I can always give from an empty table. And so I welcome that opportunity to give in a new way in 2010.

But it must needs be done in mine own way; . . . For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

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