Did you get enough?

It was the question that was asked almost every time we gathered around the table to eat together. Was there enough to take away your hunger? Did you get to try a bit of everything? At meal’s end, are you satisfied? The question may be about food on my plate, but it was also about so much more.

If I could travel back in time and talk with my four year old self, visit my teenage self, spend time with my new mother self, and ask “who will you be, what will you be doing, where will you live, and who will share your life?, I doubt the answers would look much like my current life. At four, I wanted to be a waitress; as a teen, I planned on a career in science; as a new mother, I was living in New York City with my husband, finishing up a dissertation in Theology and looking toward teaching in seminary.

I don’t think there was anything wrong with my plans or assumptions, but they were limited to my particular age and stage. The same is true of my current ideas and assumptions. There are so many could-have-beens in life, paths not taken for one reason or another. Had I not met this particular mentor, had I moved to another town, had I developed other gifts than the ones I chose to foster. Such might have beens are an interesting topic of conversation, perhaps, but only if they aren’t mistaken for should have beens.

If I really could go back in time and talk with my younger self [even better, talk with my grandfather’s twenty year old self or my grandmother’s thirty year old self], I wouldn’t ask any of the questions I listed two paragraphs ago. Instead, I’d ask the question I’ve heard or said so many times around the table: did you get enough?

From my four year old self dreaming of waiting tables to my fifty-five year old self writing this blog from my back yard, the answer is the same:

Yes. More than enough.

My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Ps. 23: 5b-6, KJV

2 thoughts on “Enough

  1. Robin Nielsen

    My dear mother in law who was an amazing Italian cook would quite often ask that question “did you have enough?” Very common in her household to have an abundance of delicious prepared food to serve. However on the other hand my own mother’s first prepared food with her almost new family with her soon to be husband after arriving from post war Germany in 1947 was Thanksgiving dinner! Wow! She could not believe the amount of food and really did not know what to make of it, as she was not used to so much food! Food was not always readily accessible during war time. My mother always had difficulty overall but never really said but you could tell with Thanksgiving dinner preparations. Thank goodness for my aunt Sissy also from Germany who loved organizing in the kitchen. My father not so much but he always enjoyed the meal and definitely having enough!

    1. Johnna Post author

      Thanks for sharing, Robin. It’s amazing how different people have very different ideas of food preparation – and amount. If we have enough on our plates, we are truly blessed. peace, Johnna


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