Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Toward a Healthier Lifestyle

Over the last couple of years, I've had a lot of exposure to "crunchy" people--women, especially mothers/homemakers, who are making decisions outside the mainstream, especially when it comes to feeding their families. I've learned a lot; I've made a lot of changes. And I've been intimidated a lot.

Reading about all the things you should or shouldn't be doing--all the scary substances you shouldn't be eating or wearing, all the healthful products you should start using, etc.--can be painfully overwhelming. Wasn't it Solomon who once said, "the more knowledge, the more grief"? I TOTALLY get that.

I'll also be the first to admit that there are major pitfalls in pursuing a crunchier lifestyle. I find it all too easy to swell with pride as I implement changes, judging others who are where I so recently was. And yet I realize my foolishness when I see others so much further along in the journey than I am--so I tell myself that they're just radical weirdos who are going way overboard. Pretty ridiculous, huh?

Earlier today I was filled with smug satisfaction after baking whole wheat hamburger buns from scratch, only to find my head swimming a few hours later as I read about soaking grains. You think you're doing something right, only to find out that there's an even better way of doing it. You can make yourself crazy trying to follow all the advice out there. Conflicting opinions abound, and the Internet makes such a vast flood of information so easily available that I'm often tempted to retreat to shore rather than drown. I'd rather throw up my hands in defeat and decide not to worry about any of it.

Instead, I'm making an effort to follow some of the sanest, most often-repeated advice out there: Start small. Don't try to change everything all at once! Pick one thing, and work on it until it comes naturally. Then address something else.

That's why you'll find both homemade whole wheat bread on my counter and Velveeta in my refrigerator. We're swimming against the current in a lot of ways, but we've got a long way to go. I will do what I can today and keep learning for tomorrow, so that I can serve my family well. Most of all, I'll keep asking God to teach me to walk in humility and to help me remember the MAIN thing: not food or drink, but glorifying Him in this earthly body.


Stephen Gambill said...

The very thing you describe is what I have experienced about my pride over now almost 2 decades. It tempts me to view my present standard/attainment as the standard.

This struck me most powerfullly one day when I was sitting in a seminary class. I happened to be wearing a tie, and I remember looking around to the "non-tie" guys and thinking about how if they really had a high view of the privilege of seminary training, and of the office of the pastor, they would be wearing ties as well. The very next day I was sitting in that class, this time not wearing a tie. As I looked around at the men wearing ties (some of whom had not had them on the day before) I remember thinking "who are they trying to impress?"

It struck me like a mule kick to the chest. My pride is wretched, judgmental, and self-seeking.

This pride has manifested itself in my life in every conceivable way, including the area you mention about health and diet.

May God help us to be good stewards of the things he has given us, always keeping the cross central, working in us humility, patience, and love.

Thanks for a great and honest post Amy.

(looking forward to dinner with your family tonight)


Amy said...

Thanks for sharing. Pride is such an insane and ugly thing! ..."viewing my present standard/attainment as the standard"--that's exactly it, a concise description of what I need to fight against. Oh, the day when I will be finally and forever FREE of it!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing, Amy.

As I've begun reading more and more blogs, I feel many pressures to live differently than I do. I've made some changes and strive to make more, but I know that I'm developing an attitude where I'm trying to please everyone else instead of just being the woman God created me to be.

It's important to find the proper balance. We don't want to have the mentality that everyone driving slower than us is a moron and everyone driving faster than us is a maniac!

zo said...

Excellent post, Amy. I was convicted by the Lord about my moral high brow in the classroom one day shortly after lecturing them on all the excuses they'd given me for not being diligent with their homework. I had quoted Proverbs to them about lazy men coming to poverty and talking to them about how poverty is not only a lack of money. A person can become poor in friends, poor in characgter, poor in grades, poor in work opportunities when he makes laziness a habit.

When I was finished with that lecture, I returned to a lecture from American history. As I wrote on the board, my triceps jiggled. The words "fat shepherd" came to my mind. Immediately I realized I had not only become poor in health from YEARS of making excuses about diet and exercise. It was so easy to see children's immature excuses; mine were no better.

God help us all live Micah 5:8 lives.