936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
For those of you who came to know Christ as your Lord and Savior as a child, you may identify with my first motivation to “pray the prayer”: a great fear of Hell. Growing up in church, I had heard the stories of this fiery, dark, lonely existence, and would do anything in my little 4-year-old ability to avoid this scary place. And so, when my parents explained to me that all I had to do was pray and ask Jesus to forgive my sins, I was all in! Of course, as the years went on, and I came to know more and more about my Savior, I realized (and continue to realize every day) the great benefits of knowing Christ, and living life in His grace! Fear is not the best motivator, and there is so much more beyond avoiding Hell. For my past, I am forgiven and freed from wrong done. In my present, I am forgiven and freed to live an abundant life, always accepted in Christ. For my future, I am forgiven any sin I will ever commit, and freed in the knowledge that I will be with Christ in eternity!
I have found that the same analogy can be applied to Grayson and my journey for health. This all began with fear. It started with viewing a few documentaries on health and nutrition.(“Food Inc.”, “Forks Over Knives”, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”, “Food Stamped” to name a few). As we viewed these, the reality began to sink in of how great the effect is on our lives from that which we eat, or don’t eat. And so, in fear of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, obesity, chronic fatigue, and other illnesses often caused by poor nutrition, we set out on our journey. As I have explained before, I fully acknowledge that a poor diet is not the sole offender or cause of these diseases. The world is fallen. People become ill, sometimes even very fit and healthy people. I also acknowledge that a wholesome diet on its own will not protect us against disease. God protects my family, and may His will be done in our lives. As we live in His grace, we accept whatever may come our way in full appreciation of His sovereignty, love, grace, and promise of an eternal future with Him! However, I do firmly believe that a nutritious diet and exercise can indeed improve our quality of life, and ability to serve one another and the Lord.
I have a chronic disease which developed in my body simply by fluke. My immune system, at some point, became a tad bit confused. It caught a glimpse of my adrenal glands, and mistook them for a foreign object, set its little lasers and it, and pow! Non-functioning adrenal glands not only means that my body produces no adrenaline; adrenals have a much broader job than only adrenaline. And so, beyond an absence of adrenaline, I experience various symptoms on a day-to-day basis. The most prominent of these is fatigue. Now, for a mother of an eight-month-old, a healthy energy level is a must. Since we have begun adapting our eating and exercise, I have experienced a notable increase of energy. Eating well and exercise cannot in itself guard against chronic illness. It cannot correct my chronic disease. However, it can help us to thrive in whatever health we encounter. It will keep us well even when unwell. And hey, it does give us a better chance against chronic illness.
Our journey for health has moved beyond initial fear of disease and premature death. We are learning, and experiencing every day great benefits of eating nutritiously, and exercising. Beyond an increase of energy, I have lost 5 pounds, have healthier skin, and have much better focus and alertness.
One of the most helpful things we have done to transform our diet is introduce a lot more fresh produce. At the market on Saturday, as I glanced over our items on the checkout belt, I was very pleased to realized that the bulk of our purchase was twisted into many little produce bags. Instead of trying to fit more veggies into our recipes, we are instead fitting our recipes around our veggies. We buy whatever produce is on sale, and then figure out what to do with it, and before it sits on the counter too long! It is a challenge, and one I am enjoying. I hate to waste food, and so it is my mission to use up our produce before we have to toss it. This is causing us to rethink how and what we cook.
Although many of our recipes are vegetarian, we have not (and do not plan to) eliminate meat from our diet. Take, for instance, last night’s dinner. It is rare these days that we base a meal around a protein. However, during our family date on Saturday, we were browsing through Whole Foods, and noticed that they had all-natural, hormone free whole chickens on sale. We have never cooked a whole chicken, sadly. And so I introduce to you, Pat!
Now, I can take absolutely no credit for this delicious-looking bird. I was a bit intimidated by the task of cooking a whole chicken. And so instead, I handed the job over to a wonderful chef I know, the one who taught me most of what I know in the kitchen: my husband! Yesterday afternoon Grayson brined the bird, and and then rubbed it with a Tuscan seasoning, Herbes de Provence, and garlic. He placed Pat into a pan with some onions and fresh orange slices. We set out on our family walk. About a hour and a half later, we walked back into our home and were met by a indescribable, magnificent aroma! It was Pat! We served him up with some sweet corn and organic potatoes.
My husband is a brilliant man.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!