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!
Some days seem unfruitful. Unproductive. So swallowed up in distractions that I have no time to even begin writing out my to-do list, let alone cross anything off of it. But then I stop, and it’s with this cease to push and strive that something far greater results– I realize that the distractions are actually the blessings. And the blessings are wrapped up in moments of celebration.
Ellis sits up for the first time. Celebrate. Zeke stops his play to walk over and hug me. Kiss me. Celebrate. I step outside of my own agenda in order to enter into the world of my husband. How can I serve him? Celebrate. At the end of the day, these are the victories.
What I thought was the big picture–a list of responsibilities crossed off before my head hits the pillow at night–was never the big picture after all, at least not the picture that I want to look back on. All along the big picture is instead a portrayal of what matters most; an impression of the moments gathered, moments of gratitude, of blessing, of gifts, of victories, of the small steps to be celebrated.
When did the little things cease to matter? When did they lose their beauty? It is in the small victories that we see the evidence of God’s grace in our life. For what are we apart from Him? What is any victory outside of Him but futile; but dust? Every small step is His breath, His gift, His beauty in our existence.
It is in the small steps, the small victories which are His gifts which is His grace and to His glory, that we see big growth.
Without these small victories in mind, without stopping to recognize and celebrate them, setbacks can be devastating. They can stop us in our tracks and threaten to paralyze us. In our journey of eating whole foods, I have faced these setbacks.
I faced one such setback when I was pregnant with my second son. The morning sickness of first trimester overtook any hopes I had for nourishing a growing fetus through whole foods. I could hardly tolerate even the thought of a fresh fruit or vegetable, and instead had to rely on processed foods just to get something to stay in my stomach. (Click here to read more about my whole food challenges during pregnancy)
And again another setback during our recent move. Moving two times in a month (one of those across several states) can leave one vulnerable to the lure of convenience. The hectic cycle of simply surviving in the midst of chaos left us grappling for simple solutions to “What’s for dinner?” The quick fixes of eating out and driving thru took a toll on our budget and our bodies.
Yet even during these setbacks, these time of a less-than-ideal diet, there were many small victories to be celebrated. Although my first trimester pregnant with Ellison was rocky and full of ice cream, I bounced back during my second trimester to a whole food diet. I invested in a gym membership and continued to exercise regularly throughout most of the pregnancy. When I delivered Ellison, I was 20 pounds lighter than when I delivered my first son, Zeke, two years prior. Celebrate.
The setbacks we faced during our move were insignificant in comparison to the triumphs we celebrated together. We became locals at the farmer’s market. We found a farmer with delicious, affordable grass-fed meat. We located where to buy butter made from cream of grass-fed cows. We found a local coffee roaster.
We discovered a restaurant that makes their own corned beef (now that’s something to celebrate!) We bought chestnuts that now eagerly sit in our fridge waiting to be roasted. I learned how to cook almost anything in a toaster oven (read more here). We became avid Kombucha drinkers, and registered for a class to learn how to make it! (What is kombucha? click here!) We still haven’t located quality cheese from MO, but we did find where to find some of our favorites from Wisconsin!
We also began buying local, pasture eggs (eggs from hens raised on pasture). Now in my opinion, this was a pretty big thing to celebrate. For a long while I have been convinced of the significant benefits of eating local, farm-fresh, pasture eggs. However, they were a bit pricier back in Wisconsin, and despite my convictions, we just couldn’t make them fit into our grocery budget. (Although, with my recent research into eggs, we regret that this switch took us so long to make!)
That’s why when we first visited the farmer’s market here in Kansas City, I was thrilled to find eggs at a much more tolerable price ($3.50 / dozen instead of $4.50 – $5 a dozen in WI). $3.50 a dozen is a steal in my opinion for the superior taste and health benefits of these eggs.
With so many labels adorning eggs cartons these days, simply buying eggs isn’t so simple any more. Organic. Cage-free. Pasture. Vegetarian. Omega-3. Free-range. How do we determine which eggs are the best choice, and why?
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!