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!
During the first week of this year, Grayson and I set aside time to pray over and plan for the coming year. Looking back on some of the health goals we set, I am astonished.
This morning, just for the fun of it, I counted on my fingers the variety of fruits and veggies incorporated into my breakfast. I had just enough fingers. 10. Five fruits (Apple, Avocado, Grape Fruit, Black berries, Banana) and five veggies (Red bell pepper, onion, cilantro, corn, spinach). And that’s not even counting the vegetable juice in my smoothie, which is comprised of 6 additional vegetable juices. And, possibly best of all, this came naturally to me. My thought process was not,
“Hmmm, I need to eat this amount of fruits”, or “how can I squeeze in a serving of vegetables?”
“Hmmm, that sounds good!”
A study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that “when participants were encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables, they consumed 40 percent fewer calories (down from 2,594 to 1,596) without increased hunger” (The Flexitarian Diet, Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN) The key word here is “encouraged“, not forced, not tricked, not deceived, not pressured–but encouraged.
God has brought us a long way. A long way since January, and a long way since I began praying over our health and nutrition desires three years ago.
A good friend recently asked me how I encouraged Grayson to eat healthy with me. My reply to her was, “Pray. Don’t push, don’t prod, don’t nag. Just pray. It may take time, but during that time, just pray.” I could even attest that Grayson has been the one to encouraged me in implementing a healthier way of eating in our home. Yes, it has been a prayer on my heart since we married almost three years ago. However– and I am so very grateful for this– it has very much so been a joint venture.
I am blessed–very blessed–with a husband who values my values. He is incredible. These past three months (have we really been eating this way for only three months?!) have been a great journey and transformation for the both of us. Grayson has been in stride with me every step of the way. He has not complained. He has not murmured, not even when it takes 5 more minutes before we can eat because I am taking countless photographs of our dinner from every angle, just in case it turns out tasty enough to blog about… Even my experiments in the kitchen which ended up on the “never again” list, he tried with enthusiasm and offered his constructive (and gracious) criticism.
We both agree that the primary thrust of this venture was gaining knowledge. We learned together. Together we watched documentaries and read articles. Together we began to grasp the grave danger (literally) of an unbalanced and careless diet. Together we were convicted of our responsibility to take care of the bodies God has given us for this time; to more able serve Him with them. Together we discovered the great benefits of placing thought, consideration, and intention behind what we put onto our plates. Together we began to turn what we were learning into a new lifestyle, and together we are reaping the benefits of doing so!
I’ll spare you another list of the health benefits we have gleaned thus far, although they continue to increase as our waistlines and fatigue decrease! One benefit I will mention, however, has been the unity Grayson and I have shared in this adventure. I have not once felt as thought I am the nagging wife trying to shove veggies down my family’s throats. He encourages me. I encourage him. We share in the experience.
Nutrition is a passion of mine, a driving interest God has placed inside of me. During the past few months, I have deeply appreciated my husband giving of his time, interest, and energy to delve into my passion with me, and see it transform our family. Gray does not simply humor me. He is truly involved. For the most part, I am the one shopping and cooking, but he is there right beside me at the farmer’s market. When I ask him giddily to watch the newest “food documentary” with me on Netflix, he gladly joins me on the couch. He listens and offers his thoughts as I read him excerpts from books and magazines. He even shares health articles with me. Our conversations around our health are not one-sided. He offers his opinions, his ideas, and what he would like to see in our grocery cart and on our plates. He proof-reads and offers helpful suggestions and ideas for my blogs. He enables me to pursue better health for all of us. He is a leader, he is a partner, he is a friend. In every aspect of our marriage. Yes–he’s a keeper!
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!