In July, we moved to a new city and joined an amazing parish. Less than three weeks ago, I had our fifth child. While I was still in the hospital, the head of the mother’s group at our parish sent out a meal calendar for others to sign up to bring us a meal. By the time I was discharged from the hospital two days later, our meal calendar was full and women from our parish, our home school co-op, and women we had never even met before had signed up to bring us meals for the next two weeks! It was so amazing! It was such a relief to not have to even think about making dinner for two weeks after my baby was born. It was also wonderful to have visitors stop in for just a quick visit each day, to say hello and get to show off my newborn while having some quick adult conversation.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and because I am so thankful for the generosity others showed toward our family, I want to encourage you to bring someone a meal.
Of course, it’s wonderful to provide families meals when they have a newborn. It’s also a great idea to provide meals for mothers who are suffering from first trimester nausea. But we shouldn’t stop there: do you know a mother who has recently miscarried? I’m sure she could use a meal. Or a single mother or mother whose husband works out of town during the week? Maybe a family who has recently lost a loved one or who has a family member battling cancer. Maybe an elderly neighbor or a single friend. No matter our walk in life, I’m sure we all know someone who would appreciate a meal.
Bring something that you can easily make ahead of time and preferably bring cooked and warm, ready to serve. If there are other children in the home, try to bring something you know the children will eat. Lasagna, chili, spaghetti and meatballs, baked ziti, chicken pot pie, fajitas, enchiladas, pizza, and BBQ chicken are some simple suggestions. In addition to dinner, so many ladies brought us cookies, cake, or candy for dessert, which was a big hit, especially for the children. A few friends also brought us banana bread, muffins, or donuts for breakfast along with the dinner they brought, which was really extraordinary. Some women brought cards, others brought flowers, someone gave us a giant container of peanut butter, all going above and beyond but brought so much joy to us! We were so grateful for so many thoughtful gifts, it was such a blessing.
Where, When and How?
Bring the meal to the family’s home if possible. Find out what time they usually eat dinner and try to have the meal there about a half hour before that. The last time I brought a meal to a family, I failed to account for traffic and didn’t arrive until 5:45. Plan ahead! Keep in mind that this family just had a new baby and don’t stay to visit too long.
Being pro-life means so much more than protecting the unborn child in the womb. It means protecting and caring for every human life from conception through natural death. One great way we can do that is by bringing someone in need a meal. A family with a newborn baby, a family who has just lost a baby through miscarriage, a single mother, a widow, a lonely friend or neighbor. Today, we enjoy our bountiful Thanksgiving meals with our extended families. Maybe tomorrow, we could each think of someone in need and offer to bring them a meal in the coming weeks.