Saturday, November 05, 2011

Honored and Remembered

Today is the day that our Stephen would have been born. At least, the day he was due, as calculated using our limited human intelligence to determine. But God knew he would never have a home here with us, that his life would be a vapor that lasted only 5 months.

While I've known for a while that we wanted to honor Stephen today, I wasn't sure how we should do it. Until the Holy Spirit brought me the perfect idea, and instantly Dan and the kids were on board . . . we used today as the chance to sponsor a through Compassion.

We searched using Stephen's birthday, June 7th, and found Alexander, a 7 year old who lives in Mexico. Since Elijah is 7, he was adamant that we choose this boy. So this morning, as the family all gathered around the computer, we committed to helping this boy financially, but more importantly, we committed to praying for him.

As tears rolled down my cheeks, Elijah said to me, "At least we know Stephen's death will work out for good - at least I think it will."

Yes, buddy, I think it will, too.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

October Unprocessed

I'm tempted to say that the October Unprocessed challenge was a bust. I'm tempted, because with a death occuring mid-way through the month, which required me to be out of state for 4 exhausting days, and then trying to get back into the groove the following week had us eating most anything that could be prepared quickly and without much thought. That meant that I raided my freezer and pantry, and while it wasn't terrible food, it was far from being unprocessed.

Although I'm tempted to admit failure, the truth is, the month did bestow a few gifts. First of all, I am more aware of what is going in our mouths each day. I'm committed to making healthier choices for all of us, but especially the kids, who are more inclined to snack on highly processed foods than I am. Dan is still a bit of a hold out. He'll eat whatever I serve without complaint, but we still have lively discussions about what constitutes healthy eating.

Secondly, as I type this, I have fresh, homemade crock-pot yogurt in my refrigerator and I must say, I am starting to enjoy the tartness of plain yogurt (okay, with a little homemade granola thrown in) and I think I'm getting my kids to eat it with less sugar than it's highly-processed cousin, Yoplait. I also have resumed making my own bread. And while it is time-consuming, the bread is so delicious and my family LOVES it and it is really hearty and filling. One sandwich goes a lot further on homemade bread than on the air-filled bread we were buying.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about my health this month, and fighting the temptation to think that God owes me a long life if I'm careful about what I eat. But then I'm reminded of a man like Steve Jobs, who was by all accounts a very healthy eater (I think the only meat he ate was fish) and he was stricken with pacreatic cancer and dead by 57. It's been a battle to remind myself that God has my days numbered and while I should be a good steward of my body, and I admittedly feel much better when I'm eating well, it is up to His good pleasure to bring me home when He sees fit. Nothing I do can change that.

So maybe the challenge wasn't a complete bust. I failed it in so many ways, but it didn't fail me in giving me the renewed vigor to make smart choices and to shop differently as we move forward.

I'm hoping to post some of the new recipes I tried this month in the coming days, assuming I have the time. You might have noticed that I don't post as much as I say I will!