Gobbledy Gook, Cupboards, and Sabbath Preparation

Last week was the first time I have {ever} prepared Sabbath lunch before sunset on Friday. 

While I usually clean something Friday, cooking is the last thing on my mind when it comes to Sabbath preparation. Eating is essential (unless I went on a weekly fast, but I don't think that'd fly with the kids), so cooking seemed like an ox-in-the-ditch sort of excuse for it to be done on Sabbath. Jesus and His disciples were challenged for their Sabbath food prep {Matthew 12:1-3} which seems to add to the justification.

But what about the whole manna-in-the-wildness scenario {Exodus 16:22-30}? There was a definite reason God instructed the Israelites to gather more manna in preparation for the Sabbath {Exodus 16:4-5} and a recent read (Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner) inspired me to take Sabbath preparation a little more seriously and experience that reason firsthand.

So, I prepared Sabbath lunch before sunset last Friday. Doing extra cleaning, preparing an extra meal, and picking up my traveling husband from the airport is no small feat to fit into an already full day of taking care of two kids. (Definite props to all those moms who do that and more with 3 or more kids!!)

So what are the kids doing while I'm whipping up a casserole, apple cake (which didn't turn out), and twice-baked potatoes?

3-year-old in the Kitchen

Throw a little cornstarch and some water in a bowl and let her sink fingers in--she figured the rest out on her own :)

Seriously, that easy. She loved it!

Gobbledy Gook (the name I knew it by as a kid), Goo, Goop, Oobleck. Whatever name you choose to give it, it's fun for all ages. I even took a break from my cooking frenzy to play :) We didn't have any food coloring on hand, but the fun texture completely makes up for the lack of attractiveness.

Also, don't worry about exact measurements. I sprinkled probably about a half cup of cornstarch in the bowl then added a little water and mixed it with my hands to check consistency. It was pretty solid, so I added a little more (your fingers should be able to sink into it). As Brylee played, it started getting tough so I added a little more which extended it's life a bit.

9-month-old in the Kitchen

Clear toxic chemicals out of cupboard that shouldn't be stored there anyway and instead throw in some measuring cups, sealed containers and other baby-proof kitchen finds. Just the allure of opening the cupboard is enough to entertain this little guy.

Okay, so there is the probability he'd pinch his fingers. But that is actually a greater risk when I keep closing the cupboards trying to keep him out of them. When I let him open them, he sits and plays for a while and it's no longer an issue.

Friday in the Kitchen

I absolutely loved this experience of cooking our Sabbath meal ahead of time! Lauren Winner wrote about her own questioning of whether this "rushing to beat the Sabbath" routine was really worth it, and she was right on when she concluded the relaxation come sundown Friday evening is all worth it.

We had a very full day Friday, but the trade off was amazing--a quiet Friday evening and a quieter Sabbath morning. Rushing to put together a casserole in between getting ready for Sabbath School and church was replaced with a little more leisure (and less arguing about which of us would make us late this time). After church, the prepared casserole and potatoes were thrown in the oven for 15-20 minutes and veggies steamed in the microwave. Amazingly, lunch was ready 5 minutes before I said it would be :)

And the "reason" God instructed preparation for the Sabbath?

He knew we needed rest and, in turn, we get special time to refocus on him.

This is what the LORD has said: "Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil." {Exodus 16:23}

I wonder what other ways I can do a little extra preparation to get a little more rest and give a little more of my focus back to God?