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Monday, December 7, 2009

Lunch Box Notes

Ever since our first child started Kindergarten 10 years ago, I've been making school lunches at least three times a week. Now that all four of our children are in school, this lunch box preparation takes more time and planning.

With the exception of a few times, I have always put a little note in each of the kid's lunch boxes. On occassion I will have them write each other a note. It's interesting to ask what they've written to one of their siblings and thankfully it's always been nice - maybe funny, but still nice.

I remember when Lauren (the oldest) was in 6th grade. She had moved up to middle school. After taking her lunch for all of those elementary years, she suddenly became a little embarrassed about taking it. It wasn't that she necessarily wanted to eat the school's food, but it was just that most of the kids in her class didn't take their lunch, so she would have to sit alone while waiting on her friends to go through the line.

Sending our kid's with home-packed lunches serves two purposes: First of all, we want to know for sure our kids are eating healthy (whole wheat/whole grain, fruit, non-fried), but secondly, it saves us money.

A few months later after getting used to the new lunch time routine, Lauren's friends began wishing they had their own home-packed lunches. But, it wasn't the lunch they wanted. They wanted the lunch box notes! They would have Lauren read them out loud so they could hear what I would say to her. It's never a really long note - in fact it's quite short. Sometimes the note has a spiritual message. Sometimes it may refer to a school even that will be during that day. But I always make sure to say something postive to the kids and to tell them that I love them.

Last year, when our youngest went to Kindergarten, I quickly realized he wasn't even looking at his notes. It took him a while to get into the lunch routine, but he had one particular friend who noticed the notes. In fact, that little boy told his mom, "I want you to pack me a note in my lunch box just like Tyler gets." She told me about it later.

Little lunch box notes are just one of the many special ways we can tell our family members that we love them and care about them. It lets them know that, although they are not with us at the time, they are still in our hearts.

We can use scripture for our special little notes. We can post a favorite scripture all around your home. We can stick them on the refrigerator door, write them on a kitchen chalkboard, write them on a mirror, maybe even pack them in your own lunch box...anything to help you remember throughout the day that God is with you. You are in His heart. Little lunch box notes can help us remember that God loves us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

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