Take-out Guilt

I have a confession: sometimes I bring home takeout.

And usually I feel guilty about it. After all, the whole point of menu-planning and cooking from scratch and coupon-clipping is to save money on my grocery bill and to provide better food for my family. Stopping by a fast-food restaurant and picking up food I know to be terrible for me seems like a slap in the face to all the work I do to prepare homemade meals the rest of the time. But this weekend, I gained a new perspective on the whole take-out situation, and I thought I’d share it with you.

This weekend was hectic for me and Jason. Friday night, Jason spoke at the youth service for our church’s Pacific Islander congregation. Saturday morning we had to be at church at 6:30 to go to a youth fine arts competition, which lasted all day. By the time we got home that evening, I was exhausted, mentally and physically.

Normally, I would have agonized over whether or not to pick up some take out, waffling because I know I should make dinner, but not really feeling like making anything. We had food at our house. I could have made several different things for dinner without having to pick anything up from the store. But I didn’t want to. I was tired.(By the way, I’m not saying that we should only have to make dinner when we feel like it. If I only did things when I felt like it, my house would get vacuumed once a year and I’d have to throw away any dirty dishes that needed to be washed by hand.) In the end, I’m usually plagued by guilt when I decide to pick up takeout. I feel like, by giving in to the lure of fast food, I have somehow failed to adequately “measure up” as a wife.

But by the grace of God, my attitude this Saturday was different. It occurred to me that I only had a couple of hours at home with my husband that evening, and I wanted to spend them with him, instead of in the kitchen making food for him.

Sometimes, I realized, what you gain by ordering takeout is well worth the few dollars you loose by not making dinner from scratch. So I picked up a pizza from Little Caesar’s – I even splurged an extra couple bucks for Crazy Bread. And it was delicious.


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