The Simplest Gift

The following post is from Rachel of The Minimalist Mom:

simple meal
source: visualpanic

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
~Virginia Woolf

We’ve received some lovely little clothes for our second son since he arrived. Lovely notes in the mail and hugs and texts and emails of congratulations.

Along with the thoughtful notes and tiny clothes, we’ve received meals.

We had a weekend of incredible dinners brought to us, enough for a feast and leftovers for lunch the next day. It was a bounty of salads, beautifully prepared meats and vegetables and fresh berries for dessert that left all of us very full and very happy. It was not only delicious but also unexpected and so very appreciated.

One afternoon I sent my husband a message saying I was very tired and that I would defrost something from the freezer for dinner instead of cooking. He replied that a coworker had brought in a meal for us that he was bringing home for dinner. Fortuitous timing that I was so grateful for. As we tucked into a hearty Thai inspired stir-fry that evening, I felt so much gratitude for the kindness of friends.

Every meal that has been made for us has been a delight in so many ways: a much needed reprieve from cooking, great fuel for the long nights of being up with a newborn and an inspiration as we tasted flavor combinations and cooking methods that were new to us. It’s fed us far beyond our bellies.

Giving a meal is such a simple gift and yet it has such a big impact.

A meal gives the gift of rest and nourishment. It’s fuel, kindness and a break in a Pyrex container.

It’s also the start of a chain of giving. Having a meal brought in a time of need reminds the recipient to pass it on and give the gift of a meal to others when they are able. I’m looking forward to returning the favor to these friends and also paying it forward to others.

A meal is also an easy gift to give: double tonight’s dinner or pull out that container of soup you just froze. It doesn’t have to be a meal you spent hours on or used expensive ingredients for.

It also doesn’t have to be the traditional gift of a casserole to feed the whole family.

Here are several ways to give the simple gift of a meal:

  • Bring lunch for a coworker.
  • Pick-up the tab when you’re out for a meal with a friend.
  • Pack a thermos of coffee and snacks to share with other parents at the afternoon soccer game.
  • Add dinner onto the next after-school play date.
  • Donate time or funds to an organization that feeds those in needs.

The gift of a meal is clutter-free, easy and one of the simplest ways to show you care.

Next time you are thinking of ways to help a new parent, someone recovering from an illness or a family struggling, consider bringing them a meal. It’s nourishment not only for the body but for the mind and heart.

P.S. Becky just wrote a helpful guide to organizing meals for those in need.

What are easy ways you have found to help those in need?

Rachel Jonat is a world medalist rower turned marketing professional turned SAHM/writer. At The Minimalist Mom, Rachel writes about living a rich life with less stuff. Currently living on a windswept island in the middle of the Irish Sea, Rachel owns two pairs of jeans, loves taking the bus and is attempting to become a tea drinker.
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