Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Buying a Cow and Putting it in the Garage

I think we might be buying a cow and putting it in our garage.

Well, not a whole cow, just a half a cow....and not really a live cow, just the beef from the cow...and not really in our garage, but in a freezer in our garage.

It all started a few weeks ago when we started to watch Food Inc., a documentary on how our food gets from the field to the table. We finished watching it on PBS this past week. You can still watch it in its entirety on PBS' website. (Click here to start watching.) I highly suggest you do this, but be aware, it will impact your appetite and it just might change what you eat.

I know it has changed me and how I think about the food we are eating. While I consider us fairly healthy eaters, limited processed food, limited eating out, lots of home grown veggies, I now realize there is a side of what we eat that I had not considered before.

What we eat is not only a health issue, but a moral issue.

I am not the first to realize this. Paul in 1 Corinthians says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." When the food I eat is made by people who are exploited, I am not glorifying God. When the food I eat is made from God's creatures who spend most of their life in suffering, I am still not glorifying God.

Now, I am not trying to go all PETA on you. I fully believe that God has provided vegetables AND meat for us to eat. Still, this movie has caused me to prayerfully consider a huge part of my life that I really haven't prayed about before. What I eat is such an everyday occurrence, I never really stopped to think, "Is what I am eating what God wants me to eat and feed my family?" I just went along with our culture, went to the grocery store and bought what was there (trying to save some money in the mean time.)

I no longer want to go along with our culture, just because it is "what you do." I want to prayerfully consider this aspect of life...just as Paul suggested.

While I ask daily for God to bless my food and the hands that have prepared it, I have just now started to think about what that means.

For our family, it now means...
...trying to get as much food as we can locally- whether it means our own garden, a local farmers' market or meat from a local farmer.
...trying to eat organically prepared meats and veggies- this will have a large impact on the food budget, but I think it is worth it.
...thinking twice before eating out at restaurants or buying food from companies that practice the exploitation of their workers.

For your family, it might mean something totally different. I would not be so proud to suggest that this is the only way or best way for a family to eat. What I would be as so bold as to suggest is that you prayerfully explore what you are eating and the impact it has on your family and this world.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Worse-Case-Scenario-Planning

I think I might be a worrier by nature. Well, not exactly a worrier, but a worse-case-scenario-planner kind of person. While I do not spend inordinate amounts of time worrying over things that could happen, I am really good at imagining bad things that could happen and what I would do if those things occurred.

For example, when I was 12 or 13, I decided I would sleep on my bed facing the wall every night in case someone came in to rob or kill me. If I was facing the wall, I wouldn't see them and it wouldn't be as bad. (This somehow made sense to a sleepy pre-teen.)

Now, some night as I try to fall asleep, I find myself thinking about what I would do if something should happen to David. (Not the most comforting of ways to fall asleep.) Sometimes as I am driving up to my house, I wonder about what I would do if there was a police car there (with bad news) when I get home. (Again, not the most comforting things to think on.)

Truly, I don't spend a lot of time thinking on these things, but it has happened enough times for God to start working on my heart about it. God doesn't desire us to waste our time worrying or being a worse-case-scenario-planner kind of person. Instead, He tells us that worrying will never add an hour to our lives (Matthew 6:27) and instead of worrying we are to think on good things, things that are pure, lovely and excellent (Philippians 4:8).

I know this in my head, but my heart is sometimes (ok, often) slow to catch up and I still find myself worse-case-scenario-planning more than I should.

So God, in His infinite patience, continues to work on me. Recently, He kindly brought me to a verse that I am trying to latch onto and live out. "He will have no fear of bad news; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112:7 This verse has come to have three different, but equally important meanings to me.


1. I will not live in fear of bad news coming. Life is too short to waste time focusing on what could be. We all live one phone call or email away from huge life changing events, but worrying or worse-case-scenario planning will change nothing. Instead, my heart must be focused and steadfast on the the One who orchestrates it all together. This has taken even greater meaning for me this week as I know someone who is going through some medical tests that could shake our lives to the core, depending on the outcomes. As I told him last night, I will not borrow trouble before it comes, I will not live in fear of bad news coming...and I will pray- I will most definitely pray.

2. I will not live in fear when bad news comes. I will trust that God loves me. I will trust that He knows what is best for me and I will trust that ultimately He is in sovereign control. The news that I consider bad, He means for good and through it, I will hopefully bring Him glory and be a little more like Him on the other side.


3. Worse-case-scenario planning is a sin. When I go down this path of thinking, I am no longer trusting or depending on God. I spend the time figuring out what *I* would do to meet a certain situation. Worse-case-scenario planning and worrying are the opposite of faith. Not having faith is equal to not believing God and totally misses the mark from where He wants me to be.


I have to admit that learning these lessons has been hard. I still find myself falling into the thought processes that I am trying to avoid. I am still learning, but I do know that with God's help, I will be that Psalm 112:7 woman, whose heart is steadfast on the Lord, who trusts in Him, who has no fear of bad news and who has no need of worse-case-scenario-planning.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Time Vortex

Somewhere, deep in the recesses of my home is a time vortex. I kid you not. It is there and I have proof.

How else could you explain the fact that time around here sometimes seems to draaaggg so slowly, while other times it speeds up so quickly that I am left in a whirlwind, wondering what in the world just happened?

Time vortex I am telling ya.

Nathan's changing schedule might have something to do with it. He is no longer taking two naps, but naps for about an hour and a half to two hours each afternoon. Caleb doesn't really nap at all, but gets a rest period for at least an hour during Nathan's nap time. This means I get roughly an hour to myself to do my Bible Study, read email, blog, research things (that is surf the Internet for whatever interests me for the moment.) I would also like to workout and sometimes start dinner during this time, but this hour goes so fast that I never get everything done.

Time vortex I am telling ya.

Then there is the late afternoon time period. The waiting for daddy/need to cook dinner/want to play outside hour. It seems to C.R.E.E.P by most days. Maybe it is the whining and fussing (mostly mine) that makes it go slower? Maybe it is the expectation that our favorite person is going to be home soon that makes it go slower? Or maybe, it is simply the time vortex.

Yup, you guessed it. Time vortex.

It's get ya every time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It Won't Always Be This Way

Late last week, I had one of THOSE days. The kids were in moods, whining~complaining~fussing. I was in a mood, whining~complaining~fussing. My temper was short and my words were sharp. Not a good day for anyone at all really.

It is on days like this that I quickly turn to my trusty mantra, "It won't always be this way."

Nathan won't always use crying and whining as a main form of communication. There will be a day when he learns to talk and will let me know what he needs with words, not acts of frustration.

Caleb will not always depend on me to be his number one playmate. There will be a day when he learns to entertain himself or is able to imagine and play with his little brother.

As my heart took comfort in those thoughts, there was also a little niggling feeling of disappointment.

For "It won't always be this way" also means...

There will be a day when the boys no longer fight over who gets to sit in my lap while we read a book, either because both of them will be too big or it will no longer be the cool thing to do.

There will be a day when I say "Give me a hug" and instead of running and flinging themselves into my arms, my boys will most likely shrug and hesitantly place their arms around me, quickly pulling away, worried that someone might see them.

As the hard parenting days seem to out number the easy ones, it becomes all to easy to wish the time away. When they are newborns, we wish they would sleep through the night. When they are toddlers, we wish they would learn to communicate clearly. When they are preschoolers, we wish they would learn to entertain themselves.

I don't want to be this way. I do not want to wish this precious time away. Even on the hardest days, when I am struggling as a mom, wife and daughter, I hope to cherish and love each moment and hold it precious for all that it is worth.

This is not something that comes naturally to me at all. So now, as I turn to my trusty mantra "It won't always be this way," I am trying to add, "So enjoy it while it lasts." That is really hard, since there are some moments as a mom that I just truly do not enjoy, but honestly I know, it is worth the effort.

I can only pray that God will teach me to enjoy and cherish every moment I have with my boys~ for it won't always be this way.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poetry

"Do not hit your brother
And do not throw things at your mother's udders."

-Caleb's first attempt at original poetry.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

5 States, 1100 Miles, 2 Days

What I learned traveling through 5 states for 1100 miles in 2 Days:
(to attend the funeral of a dear friend's father)

1. West Virginia has a lot of mountains- (No making fun of me for noticing this obvious fact.) Seriously, WV is one big mountain with a couple of rivers flowing through it. It is really beautiful in a rugged, mountainy kind of way.

2. Driving 550 miles with no antenna, no Cd's and no other means of music is no fun...just imagine endlessly scanning for a radio station, joyously finding one and then losing it after two miles...now imagine this over and over and over again for 550 miles.

3. Ohio is very flat. WV took all the mountains and Ohio is now one big farm with some really big farming equipment. Although the farming equipment was seriously impressive, I enjoyed the mountains far more than the flat farm land.

4. Indiana is also very flat and one big farm. Indiana also has a really LARGE cross as you enter the state and lots of people loving their RV's...especially the RV store that has 25 HUGE billboards in a row for 5 miles as you cross the state line.

5. Shock Jock lawyers who make racial comments and would never suggest you to commit fraud *wink wink nod nod* make for interesting radio listening, but also make me hit the dash board really hard, yelling, "No, he did not just say that!"

6. My husband is awesome, amazing and truly loves me for driving that long distance in that short amount of time. He really takes care of me that awesome man of mine.

7. Dayton, OH is the center of the Bermuda Triangle. I kid you not that city moves all over the place. We would see a sign, "Dayton 72" miles, drive for 25 and then see a sign "Dayton 62 miles." This happened a couple of times, so either Dayton moves or Ohio is practicing the new math and didn't tell anyone.

8. God is in the business of finding antennas and riding 550 miles with an antenna is much more enjoyable. The car we rented was new and no one had thought to screw in the antenna. David found it still in plastic in the trunk.

9. Driving 400+ miles on 9 gallons of gas is really fun. Averaging over 50 miles a gallon the entire trip makes us really want to think about buying a Prius.

10. Good friends are worth driving through 5 states for 1100 miles in 2 days. The funeral was beautiful, God was glorified and we made it home safe.

Road trip, anyone?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Good Problem

So, I have this problem. But it is a good problem...or at least I think it is. I simply have too many books...well, if one really thinks it is possible to have too many books...which I do not think it is really possible to have too many books. So, maybe I don't have a problem after all.

Anyone who has been over to my house knows I have a lot of books. Well, now I have even more. Last week I hit on a GREAT deal through Craigslist. I bought 4 Sonlight Instructor Guides (Grades K, 1, 3 and 4) and 4 boxes of books, many which go with the guides, for about the cost of one new guide. The guides are all older, and while Sonlight has updated them a couple of times since these were published, I really think these are VERY usable as a starting point. I will need to add Math and Language Arts, but would have to add that to a normal SL core. As I looked through the Kindergarten IG, I got really excited (and a little scared) about the idea of teaching all of it to Caleb in the next couple of years.

Anyway, I guess I still do have one little problem, but it is a good problem. Since I don't have too many books (since we already covered it is impossible to have too many books), I just have too few shelves for all these books. A little creative rearranging will fix that quick enough.

Now that is a good problem to have!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Living Easter

What a busy and fun Easter! Last week we kicked off the celebrations with some friends who came over and dyed some Easter eggs with us. Nathan even got into the act...


...A little too much though, because as soon as I took this picture, he proceeded to use the blue egg dye to dye his pants, the floor and his socks.

Easter morning, we woke up early and went to the Sunrise Service at our church. It was an amazing time of worship with a very challenging and thought provoking message. Both boys enjoyed the service. There is something special about going to church outside with the birds just a chirping.

Easter day was spent at home, mostly outside enjoying the beautiful weather. Nathan was tired from being up early that he actually fell asleep eating his lunch. (Kind of funny watching him doze and catch his head trying to eat a strawberry. ) After lunch we hid Easter eggs and found Easter eggs and hid Easter eggs and found Easter eggs. You get the picture.



Last night, David asked me what my favorite part of the day was and I listed a couple of things, but I think I am going to need to change my answer.



My favorite part of the day was living it. You see, Easter is all about celebrating the fact that Jesus is not a dead, out of touch kind of Savior. Instead, He is living and active and wants to be intimately involved in our lives. Our Easter week celebrated this fact as it simply celebrated life. By living and loving to the fullest, we drank in the truest essence of Easter.

I simply loved it all because I am loved by the One it is ALL about.
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