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!
I can just see it. A small gathering of whole food mamas browsing through the bulk bins at the local health store discussing, politely but with a hint of superiority, their healthy eating practices and mantras. “Oh really? This flour has low gluten content?” One may ask. “Oh why yes, I like to use it, but only on the rare occasion I don’t have time to grind my own flour.” The other replies.
Dreads pipes up with her own two cents, “Have you tried sprouting your grains before grinding them? I find them much more easy to digest that way.” The others scrunch their faces in consideration of how to respond; how to one-up. “Oh,” another offers the last word, “I just avoid wheat all together.” She is surely the “wholiest” of us all. I glance into my cart, and covertly nudge a head of cabbage over to hide a bag of organic tortillas. They don’t look so whole anymore.
It’s a silly scenario perhaps, and a bit exaggerated, but sometimes we need a bit of Hyperbole to get a point across. I see the underlying message of this scenario played out all the time in the conversations we hold surrounding food. Food has become a very passionate and political topic.
My silly health food store scenario reminds me of a story found in the Bible, when Jesus’ disciples were discussing which of them was the greatest.
On the outside looking in, it seems outrageously pious, actually asking your friends if they think you are the greatest of your peer group. But there is an underlying truth here that I believe runs through our attitudes and conversations surrounding food. There is a hierarchy, a ranking system, determined by dedication, practices, self-control, and knowledge. And all the time the question hums above us, who is winning at this game?
But I look at how Jesus addressed His disciples in response to their haughty attitudes. He told them, “He must be last and a servant of all.”
I must become a servant of all. I must aim to serve my family, for this is the whole point of all of my efforts in our whole food Endeavor. A servant of all. Yes, I also want to spread knowledge, offer advice, and share what we have learned with others, but only ever with the heart of a servant; not superiority and never with a holier-than-thou attitude. The whole point is service.
In our food culture today we have created a tone of condemnation. We one-up each other by indirectly boasting our newest food explorations, our disciplines in avoiding certain foods, and by underhandedly tearing each other down by the way we talk about our personal dietary food choices. Too few build up these days. I want to build up.
Us whole food moms, us “foodies”, us “crunchies”, whatever we are–we are passionate about what we eat and what we feed our families. But we need to aim that passion at serving our families, not tearing down the food creeds of others. We all have our own personal research, understanding, preferences, tolerances and intolerances, schedules, and convictions to hold to. This is a personal issue, and we need to be so very careful about the tone we hold in communicating with others about the way we eat.
Feeding our families well is not a competition. It is a personal responsibility. It is a personal calling. And even though it is all good and helpful to trade knowledge, stories, and recipes, at the very core it is a personal issue built of personal decisions.
And so I challenge you to think before you speak regarding your diet and food. Pay attention to your tone and what words you use, and always be sensitive to the fact that each of us is on a personal journey, and every one of us is at a different stage of that journey.
Ask questions. Learn from others for the sake of learning, not sharing your own opinion. Pursue sound knowledge from reliable sources that you can incorporate into your own kitchen, with your main focus being to serve your own family.
Most importantly: Feed yourself well. Feed your family well. Feed your friends and neighbors well. Just understand and cook good, real, whole food, and feed it to others. That will be the most affective way to share your beliefs and passions about what you believe about food.
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!