Meals for a Month: May [Finding What Works for You]

Isn’t it amazing how God created each of us?  I think so. We all have unique gifts, talents, strengths, and weaknesses. No two people are exactly alike. Each of us has different gifts (natural and spiritual), personality types, and comfort zones in which we operate. In several organizations where I have been on staff, we were given various personality tests to better understand ourselves and to determine how to work together as a team.

In the last few years, I’ve been learning to “lean into” my unique self, and how God created me to be. Understanding how to implement this information not only into my work life, but into the inner-workings of my home and family.  So what does this have to do with meal planning and managing a home?  Quiet a lot, actually.

In the last few years, I’ve had friends ask me to help them organize their kitchens, develop a system for menu planning or home care. Yet, I have realized, although I can offer tips and suggestions, my methods probably won’t work for them because they are not exactly like me, an ESTJ (Meyers-Briggs) and High D with C (DISC Profile). And that’s okay because we don’t need to be clones of anyone else, especially not me. We need to be comfortable with the person God created us to be, learning about our unique selves, and how our strengths and talents can best function in the many roles we have as wives, moms, friends, employees, students, etc.

My organizational methods work for me because I have [finally] accepted who I am, the good parts and the not so good parts. How I organize my life, manage my home and family, and handle my work responsibilities, just might drive another person crazy (and vice versa). But for me, it really helps to have a plan, even if I deviate from it. I don’t know about y’all, but “life happens” around our house. Kids get sick (parents, too!). Plans change. Meetings are re-scheduled. That’s where flexibility and spontaneity come in to play. And having a plan helps to make things run a bit more smoothly…at least for me

Take meal planning, for instance. Cooking is my hobby, so I really enjoy the planning and the preparation. However, on the days I work late and my husband prepares the meal, it’s nice to offer him a few suggestions, since he just wants to get food on the table. This is where I have learned to “lean into” my unique personality, and to effectively use my strengths and skill-set to serve my family. I can create lists and links for meals and recipes making it easier  to get a meal on the table.

Over the years, I have tried various methods for meal planning. In the past, I would print off monthly calendars, writing in the menus and posting it on the refrigerator. Recently, I’ve transitioned to paperless menu planning. Personally, I like being able to link recipes to the day I am making a particular dish.  However, I’ve discovered I really prefer a more traditional calendar form. Voila! A couple of days ago, I came across an amazing resource from Confessions of a Homeschooleran editable monthly meal plan calendar. YEA! My ESTJ brain was thrilled to find this little gem.

Last night, I spent an hour, or so, working on May’s meal plan. This month, I included breakfast, which I usually don’t. Lunch is still predominantly leftovers around our house. If not, the kids (with my help) make something themselves like soup, mac ‘n cheese or a snack plate. Most evenings, making dinner is my “cave time,” so I really enjoy planning the meals and scouring the web for new ideas for yummy foods to share with family and friends. But some nights, I just need to “get ‘er done”!

So, here’s my new meal planning tool May2012 [click on link] It may work for you. Or it may not. And that’s okay. Don’t try to work against how God uniquely created you. Instead, discover who you are, how you are uniquely wired and gifted, and go from there. There are many ideas and options on the web. I am sure you will find one that works for you and with your particular strengths and preferences.

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