Saturday, June 28, 2008

Becoming a Healthier Family Challenge #1

As promised here is the first challenge in my new series Becoming a Healthier Family.

For the next couple of weeks I want you to work on buying as much locally grown produce from sustainable farms as possible. I am allowing two weeks for some of the challenges because I know how overwhelming it can be to change a family's eating habits. A great place to find locally grown organic food is Local Harvest.

*Plan a menu for the week. Remember to include an array of fresh fruits and vegetables that are currently in season in your area.
*Make a list of the fruits and vegetables you will need.
*Visit your local farmer's market and see how many items you can find that are on your list.
*Take time to talk with the farmers about their farming practices. You will probably make some new friends while you are there. I value the friendship we have made with a local sustainable farming couple that we met at our local market. We purchased a CSA share with them this year.
*Visit your local farmer's market and buy lots of fresh produce and then come home and plan your meals around your finds.

Here is an article about why eating organic food may be especially beneficial to children.

Here is a guide that lists the dirty dozen. These fruits and vegetables should be purchased organically whenever possible.

Here is the website to the book I have recently finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. This is the account of a family who made a commitment to eat only what they could grow or buy locally for one year.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Little Background On the Why of Our Eating

Because of some recent conversations on the choices we have made in the area of eating, let me offer a little background.

Chris has had stomach issues for the last several years. Frequent heartburn, nausea, bloating plagued him severly for months on end. He would stop eating this or that to see if the symptoms could be relieved. He visited doctor after doctor. He had an upper GI, colonoscopy, gallbladder scan all to no avail. He was frequently perscribed heartburn medication. One doctor even suggested depression, as it could cause stomach problems. I picked up a book called The Maker's Diet and so our journey began.

This book made me think a lot about the foods I was preparing for my family. Was I really providing the very best for them in terms of quality and nutrition? After reading this book, I bought Nourishing Traditions and began reading its information and trying a few recipes.

This led me to the Weston A. Price Foundation, Real Milk, Eat Wild, and the traditional food message board of Mothering. My search for understanding continued here as well as in God's Word. After much research I have formulated my own set of guidelines for the way I provide for the health of my family.

*As a wife and mother it is my responsibility to provide the most nutritious and appealing food for my family.
*Because my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and the my families bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit we feel it is vital to treat the Spirit's temple with care. We would never abuse the spirit's temple with addicitons to alcohol or tobacco, so why would we abuse his temple by being addicted to sugar, processed foods, or carbonated beverages.
*We believe that as humans we should not try to improve upon what God has created. So we do not rely on processed or dead foods for our nutrition.
*The healthiest things we can eat are "whole" as close to the way God provided as possible-fresh fruits and vegetables, meat raised humanly and eating the diet that God intended for them, fresh raw milk and milk products, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains.

These are the convictions that we as a family have as we seek to be good stewards of the lives God has so graciously blessed us with. We do not believe that we will attain any sort of perfection from a life lived in this way. We understand that God is the giver of life and we live in a fallen world. We are simply striving to take care of the life that God has so graciouly given us. We believe that salvation comes by God's grace through out faith, it is not because of any thing we have done.


After reading and researching and Chris suffering on and off for years we finally discovered that Chris was palgued by low stomach acid. The symptoms mimic that of too much stomach acid, thus the many heartburn perscriptions through the years. We finally figured this out because milk helped Chris symtoms and the doctors said milk should worsen the symptoms if too much acid was the problem. Because Chris lacked acid which aids in the digestion of food, the raw milk he drank with his meals provided valuable enzymes that helped digest his meals. So Chris is doing wonderfully now with the raw milk, garlic tablet and disgestive enzymes he takes daily.

I am continuing my study in taking care of my family by taking the Naturally Healthy Family Study Course and reading The Animal Vegetable Miracle and Real Food.

I am continually learning more through much study and prayer. I want to share what I have learned with others. I will begin issuing a weekly challenge aimed at providing the very best of what God has provided for our nutrition.

Still Learning...

His Never Ending Gifts

*Boo...excited artist...peanut butter rainbow on the bathroom mirror.
*The air heavy...the smell of rain thick and fresh.
*Tiny caterpillar...growing bigger...preparing to change
*Boo...excited over God's creation..."Come see the spider, Mama, isn't God amazing"
*Laying on the reading blanket...quiet time with Bo...snuggling...reading...giggling
*Shater's first words..."dadada"..."uh-oh"..."mamama"
*Shater's closing eyes tight...silly grin...pudgy cheeks...adorable baby face

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Obama won't get my vote...should he really get yours?

I am not the best at keeping up with politics, but Obama is a very scary candidate to me. Why? Check out this blog post.

No, Mr. Obama children are not a punishment. They are:

a blessing and a reward!

Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. As arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.
Happy blessed and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them!
Psalms 127:3-5a

Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved of you and before you were born I separated and set you apart...
Jeremiah 1:5

For you did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother's womb. I will confess and praise you for you are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are your works and that my inner self knows right well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret, intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery].
Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there were none of them.
Psalms 139:13-16

And he made from one [common origin, one source, one blood] all nations of men to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation.
So that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him, although he is not far from each one of us.
Acts 17:26-27

The children God allows to be born into this world are not mistakes or punishments. When you hold fast to the word of God which is absolute truth, you will soon realize that each life has a purpose and plan. In the above verse, why does God determine the exact time and place in which we should live? So that we will seek Him and find Him! Whatever home or situation a child is born into, is so they will seek God or cause that particular family to seek God. God's ultimate will is always our spiritual condition. How many families have not turned their hearts to God because they have aborted the child that God had purposed to bring that family close to Him?

Here's another video that I have heard was chilling. Haven't watched it yet because we are on dial-up. Beware the discussion comments below this video are argumentative and use strong, offensive language.

Think long and hard...

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Rare Treasure...Seek One...or...Be One?

I taught a lesson last Wednesday night in the mothering class that I am teaching on the Proverbs 31 woman. I wanted to post some of that lesson here with some further thoughts.

As the mother of two young sons, I can identify with the advice King Lemuel's mother gave him when he was a boy. I can just picture her taking him onto her lap and ruffling his hair as she kisses him on top of the head. She begins to offer him some nuggets of wisdom. She tells him to avoid loose women, avoid strong drink, and speak up and defend those who cannot defend themselves. The advice is not unlike what Chris and I have already had to discuss with our sons. Just within the last couple of weeks we have already had the alcohol and tobacco discussion complete with pictures on how they can ravage the body.

In verse 1o Lemuel's mother begins her discussion on the type of woman Lemuel should search out as a wife. She dedicates the remaining 21 verses to a description of a wife who would benefit and uplift her husband.

"A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman-who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. Prov. 31:10"
As a future King, Lemuel had no doubt been exposed to kingly riches. But a wife who is capable of running his household, wise enough to be a trusted advisor and godly in character would no doubt be his most treasured possession.
The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.
She comforts, encourages and does him only good as long as there is life within her."
Proverbs 31:11-12

Am I Chris' most treasured possession? I pray that I am. I am amazed at the change that God has worked in my own heart and mind since we married almost eleven years ago. My heart's desire had always been to be a wife and mother, but God continually works on me, refining me into the woman his inspired word has commanded me to be.

As I read the above verse, I am compelled to examine my life. Does Chris confidently trust in me? Does he trust my commitment to him and our marriage? Does he believe in my commitment to be a wise manager of the living he brings home? Does he trust in my ability to train and nurture our children day by day? Does he trust that I will prepare the very best food and clothing for us that his money will provide?

I think he does. I so desire to bring him comfort and encouragement. I pray that each day I live I will do him more good than the day before. But this takes me dying to myself daily. If I am not extremely careful I can let pride take hold and I begin to live for myself. As soon as I become focused on my own self, my own desires and my own needs, I begin to resent serving others.

I'm not implying that I do not enjoy the occasional break, but when I begin searching for it day in and day out, I begin to resent the family that God has entrusted to my care. I'm reminded of Christ and his disciples withdrawing occasionally for some time alone. Many times the crowd followed and Jesus was always moved with compassion to begin ministering once again. When Christ is my example, I will always strive to minister and serve no matter how weary I may become in my own strength because

"My grace is enough for you; ...for My strength and power are made perfect and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 Amp

Proverbs 31 continues with brief glimpses into the life of a woman who is a true treasure.
is a willing worker
provides the best for her household
is an entrepreneur
is productive when she needs to be
she makes cloth and readies her grain
is prepared for the future
she reaches out to the needy
makes garments and sell them
opens her mouth in wisdom and kindness

A life lived in this manner will be cause for our children to rise and up call us blessed. Our husbands will praise our efforts.

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised!"
Proverbs 31:30

Do I fear the Lord enough to live the life he has commanded that I live?

I not only have two sons that I should encourage with these verses as they seek a wife one day, but I have a daughter that I must prepare to be some special man's treasure.

This was the part that made me think the most. I am afraid many parents are not preparing their daughters to be a treasure one day, instead they are preparing their daughters to seek earthly treasures.

You see, our culture today promotes preparing daughters to go to college and establishing a successful career as goal number one. . This mentality is preparing the daughters of today to believe that college and career are the real treasures in life and marriage and family are only secondary. I have major objections to this line of thinking, because it is simply not in keeping with God's word.

Did I go to college? Yes

Do I think it is wrong for a girl to go to college? Not necessarily. But I would caution parents of daughters today to think about the ramifications of countless dollars and hours spent preparing for a career outside the home. Let's teach our daughters that being a Keeper of the Home has great value because they are not only investing in this life, but eternity as they raise Godly children.
How will we raise Shater to embrace the high calling of being a wife and mother? We are still not entirely sure but living and loving my high calling in front of her will speak much louder than any words.

Still Learning...