Stewardship in all areas of life, Part 2

May 1, 2008

It’s a little late, but as promised, here’s the continuation of my series on stewardship.  Again, my pastor has been preaching on this, and this is a combination of his sermon and my thoughts.

Today is about stewardship of your personal possessions.  How can we take care of them in a way to honor God?

Schedule:  Your schedule reveals your priorities in life.  Apparently my priority is to be way too busy! 😦 We all are accountable to God for how we use our 144 hours a week.  Something I have been convicted about is praying over your schedule.  Ask God to show you what you should and shouldn’t do before you make the commitment!

Children:  I would hope this would be painfully obvious!  Children have been given to us from the Lord, and it is our responsibility to train them up as a future godly generation.  If you haven’t, you should read Family Driven Faith.  It’s all about the idea of raising your children to know and glorify God!

Abilities:  God has given us all unique talents and abilities.  Are we sharpening them to be used for God?  Or are we throwing them away on worthless things that will one day burn up before God?

Experiences:  This is something I had never really thought about.  It’s the idea of viewing all your experiences–both good and bad–as something to be managed.  When something bad happens, do you just stew on it, or try to move on quickly?  Or do you see it as something that God can use for a greater purpose in your life, and the lives of others.  It’s important to learn from all experiences, instead of just trying to survive them.  That way we have a future testimony and ministry connection with people.

The Holy Spirit:  Again, this isn’t something I ever thought of “managing” before!  If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have the Holy Spirit living in you.  But what kind of home have you made for him?  Are you filled with the Holy Spirit, or are you grieving him by your actions?  We have an amazing gift of God actually residing in us, and empowering us.  It’s really our most important possesion!   Are we using that to the fullest or are we continuing to walk in our selfish ways?

In closing, I was just thinking about the reason we are alive.  We have all been created to glorify God in everything, and to enjoy Him.  And obviously, if we are not dead yet, then God still has a purpose for us to fulfill here on earth!  So, let’s all commit to build discipline in all areas of life so we can be good stewards of what God has given us, and so we can glorify Him!

Stewardship in all areas of life, Part I

April 22, 2008

Our pastor has started a sermon series at church about stewardship in all areas of life.  I’ve really been enjoying it greatly, as this is one of my great passions.  I thought I would share some of my notes from his sermons, and also share some personal thoughts, since I have been really convicted by what he has said.  If you want to hear the actual sermons, you can click here to see your options and listen to it.  New sermons will be posted a day or two after they are preached.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I like to listen to sermons while I’m cleaning, etc.

Okay, onto what I learned on Sunday.  It is rather long, so I will only do the first half today.  Watch for part 2 later this week.

 First of all, it was a great reminder that our purpose in all things is to glorify God (1 Peter 4:11).  There’s no such thing as a task so small that it cannot glorify God.  And we can glorify God in all things by being obedient and being good stewards of what He has given us.

In our personal lives, this plays out in 5 areas of our being.

1) Motives–God cares about why we do things.  If we do the right things, but have the wrong motive, then it doesn’t glorify God.  So, in everything, we need to be asking if our motives are biblical or if they are worldy.  For me, this practically plays out in the realm of natural living.  My husband and I feel strongly that we can be good stewards of what God has given us by using natural cleaning products, eating well, eliminating waste, etc.  But it can be so easy to get caught up in the world’s motivation behind “going green”–to save the earth from doom.  This is not at all a biblical idea, and I know I personally need to be careful not to fall for it!

2) Body–Stewardship in this area could involve a lot of things–modesty, propriety, developing our strengths, working on our weaknesses.  These are all areas that we can glorify God.  For me, my biggest area of problem is in the area of food.  I have a lot of food restrictions–no gluten, no sugar, etc.–and it is really easy for me to get lazy about it or have a bad attitude.  I often find myself saying in my mind things like “well, I’m not having any symptoms now, so it’ll be okay.”  But what my pastor reminded of was that I need to be thinking down the road.  Sure, there may not be a huge consequence now of eating unhealthy foods (or in my case, foods that might be healthy, but just not for me!).  But what are the long term consequences going to be?  Am I going to be able to dedicate all my energy to raising a future godly generation?  Will I even have energy?  So, I’ve been really convicted that when I have a bad attitude about my food restrictions, I’m really having a problem with the One who created me and allowed me to have these problems.  And I’m rebelling against whatever future plans God might have for me!  Wow! So convicting.

3) Mind–We are called to have the mind of Christ.  So, are we letting things into our mind or out of our mouth that does not glorify God?  God has given us our minds to be used for Him–however He calls us to use them.  So, when we need to use our mind, is it filled with filthy worldy things, or is it set on Christ?

4) Emotions/Responses–God clearly created us with emotions–it’s part of what makes us human.  But far too often we get trapped by our emotions.  We need to control our feelings and how we respond to others instead of being slave to our emotions.  How many times have I snapped at my husband or given in to that chocolate craving just because of “hormones”?  Hmmmm…..

5)  Spiritual–Our pastor pointed out something that really stuck with me.  It is a privilege to get to serve God as a fallen human being.  He puts opportunities before us.  And we can be good stewards by making the most of those opportunities to grow closer to God, and to learn His Word.  Another way we can be good stewards of our spiritual life is to correct any unbiblical thinking and replace it with truth.  We need to eliminate any areas of our lives that are incongruent with our beliefs.  That makes me want to go study the Bible!

Well, as you can see, there are a lot of areas of our lives where we can apply stewardship.  It’s not just for finances!  I hope you got a lot to think about, and sometime later this week, I’ll post part 2, which is about being a good steward with your personal possessions.

 

Birthday Ideas

April 15, 2008

My lovely daughter will be turning one year old here on May 3rd.  My husband and I are going to throw her a little party.  It won’t be an elaborate affair by any means, but I want to have an activity or two for the adults to participate in the party.  It could be a game or a craft activity or something entirely different.  But whatever it is, I want it to be something that communicates how much we cherish our little one.  And maybe I’d like to have something that she can keep to know how much everyone loves her. 

Does anyone have any creative ideas for a baby’s birthday party?  Or do you have stories to share from your own child’s party?

Finally, does anyone have a good “recipe” on how to decorate cupcakes with icing or fondant flowers?  That would help me so much!! 🙂

Mineral Makeup

April 9, 2008

After years of breakouts and a really itchy face, I finally have found something that I consider no less than a miracle.  One night last summer, I was up watching infomercials on TV while I was doing a 3 a.m. feeding.  I saw a commercial for a popular mineral makeup brand, and she was talking about how great minerals are for sensitive skin.  One lady even mentioned how her daughter, who had celiac disease, had seen a major improvement in her skin.  That’s when I started to wonder….hmmm….could my itchy face be due to a sensitivity to something in the makeup because of my gluten problems?!  Afterall, you never really know what goes into store-bought makeup, since you can’t read the tiny ingredient list.

To make a long story short, I started to do some research into the popular mineral makeup brands.  Turns out that a lot of them have bismuth in them, which can be a major skin irritant.  After much searching, I finally found a brand that did not have bismuth in the makeup.  And, the owner had signed on to be part of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.  I was pretty much sold on trying the makeup at that point.  However, the one thing I had trouble with was the price.  Maybe that’s your problem with it, too.

Let me tell you, first of all, the results I have seen since I have switched to mineral makeup have been amazing.  No more little bumps.  I still get the hormonal breakouts every month, but the redness and itchiness have gone away completely.  And I have had so many people say things like, “Your complexion looks healthier or brighter.”  So, I don’t know if there was wheat or gluten in my old makeup, or if I just have multiple chemical sensitivites, but I am so much happier with the mineral makeup.  I would pay more just for the results I have seen.

On the good side, while the makeup costs more than your average WalMart brand upfront, I think it lasts a lot longer.  And since it doesn’t harbor bacteria, your makeup can sit around your house for years without expiring.

So, now you see why mineral makeup works for me!  It’s not only been good to my skin, but it’s been good for my wallet as well.

To read more about mineral makeup ingredients, and see if it might be the solution you’re looking for, read here.  This happens to also be the website for the brand of makeup I buy.  I won’t advertise explicitly for them, however, because although it works great for me, there are many other brands out there that you can try. 

And, finally, if you’re interested in finding out more about the chemicals in your cosmetics and toiletries, visit the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.  It’s very interesting!

 

I didn’t fall off the face of the earth….

April 8, 2008

After three weeks of traveling out state, and two rounds of the flu in my household, I think I’m finally back to where I blog regularly again.  So, I didn’t want my readers to think that I had abandoned this blog!  I hope to be back and blogging tomorrow!

Moldy Produce is Driving Me Nuts!!!

March 19, 2008

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I’ve decided to join up with the rest of bloggerland and do “Works for Me” Wednesdays.  Usually I should be offering you a tip about something that works well for me, but today I am desperate for answers.  So, I am going to be a little rebellious today, and ask you to give me tips!

Here’s the problem… I go grocery shopping every week.  I try to buy the freshest, firmest produce.  And I usually buy organic if I have it in the budget.  I put things like bananas and tomatoes on the counter to ripen, and everything else goes in the fridge.  It doesn’t seem like one week of life is too much to ask from my produce.  But, lately, after only a couple of days, moldy spots appear on the food.  This happens even if the fruit/veggie is still unripe.  Last week, I bought a bag of organic navel oranges.  They were really good!  And they were not over ripe, either.  We went out of town for ONE NIGHT and when I came back, these oranges were covered in green hairy fur and smelled really bad. 

I’ve tried all I know to try at this point.  I keep the fridge at the lowest setting I can before turning it into a freezer.  (Even still, sometimes things at the back of the fridge get a little icy.)  But that hasn’t stopped the moldy problem.  I also started using veggie wash to clean everything before it goes into the fridge.  It seems to have curbed the problem to some small degree, but we’ll see how well it does long term. 

The root cause, I think, is that it’s spring in Oklahoma, and the mold spore count is high.  I think this because we didn’t have problems with this when it was cold outside.  Also, our house backs up to a green belt, so I think we probably have more mold spores entering our house than usual.  Either way, I just want my produce to last a week! That’s all I’m asking…just for a week.   I don’t want to have to go produce shopping multiple times a week, since I have a baby, and shopping really isn’t that fun.

So, now I pass my predicament on to you….. What do you suggest?

Clothing Diapering Part 2: Lots of Details

March 10, 2008

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I got a comment from a visitor to my blog today regarding cloth diapering.  Her question is the same that I hear over and over again from friends and acquaintances that hear that I use cloth diapers on my daughter.  You can read her question in detail, but in essence, her question or comment is “Help!  I’m overwhelmed with the choices.”

While I can’t say that I have tried every brand of diapers, I have tried a lot, so I will give a run down of what I do for my cloth diapering system.  I would say that my philosophy behind cloth diapering is that I want cloth diapering to be economical (definitely cheaper than paper diapers!) but I also want some convenience and fun, too.  So, hopefully if you’re new to cloth diapering, this will help you understand everything a little better.  I know that I wouldn’t have understood cloth diapering if my friends hadn’t walked me through everything first.

To start, let’s talk about how many diapers you’ll need on an average day.  Well, that really depends on how many diaper changes you’ll do.  A newborn may go through 10-12 diapers a day (sometimes more!).  We didn’t start cloth diapering until Isabella was 4 months old, so we missed experiencing the really runny poop stage with cloth diapers.  But I’m estimating that you’ll still need probably 10-12 diapers per day.  With older babies, you  need probably 6-8 diapers per day.  How many diapers you want to buy totally depends on how frequently you can commit to washing your diaper load.  If you can wash every day, then you can probably get away with about 14 diapers.  But if you are like me, and you want to wash every other day, then you need about 24.  I don’t recommend going too much longer than 2-3 days between washings, since that will cause your diapers to stink worse, and you’ll run the risk of stained diapers.

All About Prefolds

Now let’s talk about types of diapers.  The first kind is the prefold and cover.  A prefold is essentially a giant cotton rag.  You can also buy a flat fold, which is a huge, thin cotton rag that you fold over and over again until you get it to the right size for your baby.  This is the old fashion style of cloth diaper.  Some people love these, and some prefer the prefold, which as the name implies, is a flat fold diaper that has already been folded and then sewn together.  A prefold is folded around your baby’s bottom and then fastened together in the front.  You can use special safety pins available on diapering websites.  Or you can use something called a “snappi” which is a rubber stretchy band with claws on the ends that grab the diaper and hold it in place.  This is what I use.  They are convenient, and they don’t poke the baby. 

Prefolds are not waterproof.  They are very absorbent, but they will leak if not covered.  So, you must buy a diaper cover to go over them.  There are many brands of diaper covers.  You can get them with velcro closure or snap closure.  Snaps are superior, in my opinion, because they don’t get caught on the other diapers in the wash, like the velcro does.  However, velcro is so much easier to close on a wiggly baby.  I personally have all velcro closure diaper covers.  My personal favorite brand is Bummi super whisper wrap and Bummi super brite.  I think they are the most generously cut/roomy diaper covers that I have tried. 

The benefits of diapering with prefolds and covers are several.  First, this is definitely the most economical way to diaper.  Secondly, although prefold/covers have a reputation of being “old fashioned” and inconvenient, they really are quite simple, and they hold up really well.  Prefolds are heavy duty, so they can withstand a lot more washing than other kinds of diapers.  There are drawbacks to this system.  The main one is that since you have to be familiar with how to fold and fasten the diaper properly, this may not be the best solution for kids that go to daycare, church nursery, etc.  Also, you have to buy bigger sizes as your child grows.  The good thing is that at least they are not super expensive. 

If you choose to do only prefolds, you’ll need probably 24 prefolds in each size.  And then you just need 2-4 covers.  At each diaper change you switch covers out.  You hang up the wet one to dry out and then use it at the next diaper change.  You continue to alternate covers until they stink or get poopy.

 All About Pocket/All in One (AIO) Diapers

The alternative to prefolds and covers is a diapering system called pocket diapers.  All in one diapers are very similar to pockets, so I’ll discuss them both here.  Pocket diapers look like a prefold cover, and they have a waterproof shell.  The difference is that the inside is lined with a soft fabric–usually fleece or flannel.  And there is a pocket in the back.  The pocket diapers usually come with special inserts that are essentially layers of terry cloth sewn together.  You stuff the pocket with the insert.  Pocket diapers are great for babies that are heavy wetters (like my wonderful child, the Super Soaker Queen Herself).  You can put as many inserts in the pocket as you need.  So, overnight, you can put several inserts, or one heavy duty insert in the pocket.  But, if you want a trimmer fit during the day, you can just put one insert in the pocket.  All in One diapers are like pocket diapers in that they have a waterproof shell and a soft inner lining.  The difference is that the absorbent stuffing is already inside, and there is no pocket.  So, you can’t change the absorbency.  These diapers, like the prefold covers, come in either snap or velcro.  I have some of each, and I like them both.  The velcro does tend to snag the diapers more in the wash.  But the snaps are a little more difficult for me to get on my squirmy 10 month old.

The benefits of using a pocket/all in one diaper is that they go on very much like a disposable diaper.  So a babysitter, dad, or church worker will be more willing to try to change the diaper.  Also, as I said before, with a pocket diaper, you can adjust absorbency for a heavy wetter.  A final benefit is that if you choose these diapers in a one size style, then you can use these diapers from birth to potty training by modifying the snaps in the front of the diaper.

The drawback with these kinds of diapers is their price.  If you must really watch your wallet with cloth diapers, you might feel that these kinds of diapers stretch you too much.  Another drawback with the all in one diapers is that they can take a long time to dry.  (These diapers should be hung out to dry.)

If you use only pocket diapers or AIO’s, then you would need 24 diapers, since the diaper cannot be reused until it is washed.

I have Bum Genius 2.0 and 3.0 one size diapers, Fuzzi Bunz (the older version), a BlueBerry minkee side snap pocket, and a Happy Heiny (not the one size.)  The winner for me is definitely the Bum Genius 3.0.  I like the way it fits and it has stretchy sides.  Fuzzi Bunz are great also, and these diapers are definitely still in the best condition since they have snaps instead of velcro.  The Blueberry minkee diaper is great and is very trim.  But in my honest opinion, it’s not superior enough to warrant the price.  The Happy Heiny is not my favorite.  We have major leaking problems with it.  But that may just be us.  It clearly has great reviews online, and I have friends that have no problems with theirs. 

Conclusion

There are obviously a lot of choices you can make with diapers.  I personally use a mix of the different kinds.  I own 18 prefolds and several accompanying covers.  And the rest of my diapers are pocket diapers.  We use the pocket diapers for overnight, for church, and for long car rides.  But the rest of the time we use the prefolds.

On to Accessories

There are a few accessories that I recommend in addition to the foundational diapers. 

First, I recommend doublers.  These are essentially a small version of a pocket insert.  It’s several layers of microfiber or terry cloth sewn together.  You lay this in the crotch of whatever diaper you’re using to add some extra absorbency.  It’s great for overnight.  If you only use them for overnight and nap times, you probably need 4-6 doublers.  If you have a really big wetter, you might consider doublers and pocket inserts made of hemp rather than cotton.  They are pricey, but we finally broke down and bought some, and Isabella isn’t leaking overnight anymore.

I also recommend diaper liners.  These are thin sheets of a biodegradable material that remind me of dryer sheets.  Some people think these are too rough on babies bottoms, but I have not had any problems whatsoever.  You lay a liner in the crotch of the diaper, and when your baby poops, the solid matter sticks to the liner, while the liquids soak into the diaper.  When you change the diaper, you just lift the liner out and flush it.  This eliminates the need for having to wash or spray the poop off.

You’ll also need a diaper pail and a waterproof bag to line the pail.  The bags are usually made out of the same PUL fabric that the diaper covers are made out of.  You just put the dirty diapers in the lined pail, and every couple of days you dump the whole thing–bag included–into your washing machine.

I already mentioned this, but if you use prefolds, you’re going to need pins or snappis.

Also, you’ll need to consider how you want to store dirty diapers when you’re out of the house.  We use little plastic bags meant for disposing of disposable diapers.  We just put the dirty diaper in the bag to bring it home, and then we dump the diaper into the pail and throw away the little baggie.

You’re going to also need to consider buying a special detergent that is additive free.  This is so important because the additives can build up on the diapers and reduce their absorbency.  Of course, you would never use fabric softener, either.  There are 3 main brands of laundry detergent that I have heard are best on diapers:  Charlie’s Soap, Country Save, and Allen’s Naturally.  I have had experience with all of them, and Country Save is my favorite.  There are people who use major detergent brands like All and Tide on their diapers with success.  I haven’t tried these, since they are not recommended by diaper companies, and I’m not much of a rule breaker. 🙂  You just have to figure out what works for you and with your water with a little experimentation.

To wash, I do a cold rinse first (2 cold rinses if they are especially yucky!).  Then I do a hot wash with 1/2 the recommended detergent.  Then I do another cold rinse.  I hang the covers and pocket diapers up to dry.  The prefold and terry cloth inserts and doublers are dried in the dryer.

Resources

To close, I wanted to share some resources that I have found helpful, or that I think that might be helpful for you readers out there! 

Both blogs that are mentioned in my blogroll are written by cloth diapering moms.  They have had several articles on different aspects of cloth diapering in the recent past.  You might peruse their sites and see if you find anything that is helpful for you.

Diapering Definitions and Helpful Information(this site is also my favorite online diaper store.)

A Work at Home mom that sells just the basics.

Prefold Diaper Folding Techniques.

Well, that’s all I have for now.  If you have any specific issues that I haven’t discussed, please leave a comment, and I’ll try to address those.  Also, some of my readers are my friends who actually taught me how to cloth diaper.  If you have anything to add, please leave a comment, too.

So Convicting!!!

February 25, 2008

I recently was referred to the video, “The Story of Stuff” (which you should definitely watch if you haven’t!!) through several other websites.  After seeing it, I was reminded of an email I received earlier this month.  I thought the email I received went perfectly along with the video.  So, I posted the pictures from the email below.  Just look at how much trash the average westerner would have to throw out with their food packaging, versus other countries.  We really do waste so much!  That’s just one of many reasons that it’s so much better to buy whole, unprocessed foods.  Also, take a look at the differences in family sizes as well.

 

And if the pictures below don’t convince you of the truth behind “The Story of Stuff,” just take a look at this website.  I subscribe to National Geographic.  In a recent edition, they did an article on what happens to trash (particularly old electronics) when we throw them away.  What you see in these photos is heartwrenching.  We are literally destroying the land, and other people’s lives because of our wasteful habits!!

 

Okay, on to the photos from the email….I’m a fan of giving credit where credit is due.  However, because the email was forwarded to me, I don’t know where these photos actually came from.  Just know they didn’t originate with me.

 

(Update:  Thanks to my friend Amanda for telling me that these photos are from a book called Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel.  They were also featured in Time Magazine.  He has another book called Material World that also looks fascinating!  But please note that I am just citing my sources.  I’m not endorsing these books right now because I have not read them.)

 

So, sit back and take a good look at our world!

 

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<<Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily, Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11>>

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<<Mexico : The Casales family of Cuernavaca, Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09>>

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<<Poland : The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna, Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27>>

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<<Egypt : The Ahmed family of Cairo, Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53>>

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<<Ecuador : The Ayme family of Tingo, Food expenditure for one week: $31.55>>

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<<Bhutan : The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village, Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03>>

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<<Chad : The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp, Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23>>

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<<Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide, Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07>>

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<<United States: The Revis family of North Carolina, Food expenditure for one week $341.98>>

A Warning

February 21, 2008

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This post doesn’t really have anything to do with stewardship–except it is about protecting our minds.  I occassionally catch an episode of the Oprah show.  This week I saw that she was advertising about a class that she and Eckhart Tolle will be teaching on their website.  She promises that it will completely change your life.  I’ve done some research into Eckhart Tolle, and his teachings are simply Buddhism and Hinduism repackaged with Christian and western vocabulary.  As a Christian, I find this particularly dangerous–especially to those who are unsuspecting.  Oprah herself adheres to some sort of mystical/New Age/Christianity mixture.  I know Oprah has a lot of Christian viewers, and she also has a lot of people watching that are interested in seeking Truth in their lives.  Oprah has a lot of power in our society, and people who are genuinely seeking Truth are going to be unwittingly misled by this new mystical spirituality class that she will be leading.  So, Christians, guard your hearts and minds!  If you are exposed to this teaching, you might hear things that sound good or “true.”  Just remember, if Tolle’s teaching’s were blatantly false, no one would listen.  This is not Christianity.  In Tolle’s world, you are a god.  So, keep your minds guarded, and measure everything you hear by the plumbline of God’s Word.  And, warn everyone you know!

Farm Fresh Education

February 20, 2008

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The subject of getting your food from local farmers and growers is a subject near and dear to my heart.  I kind of figured that it would be one of the first posts on this new blog, but for some reason, I just kept putting it off.  Earlier this evening, I was reading one of my new favorite blogs, and Stephanie had written a fabulous article on this subject of knowing where our food is coming from.  I agree with everything she wrote, so there’s no need for me to write it out again.  So, you should visit her site.

There are a couple of things that I would like to add from my own personal story.  I am pretty new to the idea of advocating farm fresh foods.  Eating healthy has been a journey for me.  A year and a half or so ago, I found out that I had some ovarian problems that could be managed by eating low glycemic/sugar free foods.  So, I started to focus on complex carbohydrates and less sugar.  That led me into the realm of minimally processed foods and whole grains.  Then, about a year ago, I found out that I have Celiac disease, which means that I cannot have any wheat or cereal grains.  So, I had to throw all the “whole grains” out the window.  I really struggled with finding convenience foods that fit all of my dietary restrictions.  And then I discovered the wonderful book, Nourishing Traditions.  This book is probably the most used book in our house, second to the Bible.  Sally Fallon, the author, points out the value of eating fresh, whole foods, meats that are fresh, and drinking raw milk.  That book really prompted a lot of deep thinking about the food my family puts in our mouths.  And it prompted a lot more research that ultimately changed our family’s food philosophy from “convenience” to “natural.”

Now, every week, I drive out to a fairly local farm, and get raw Guernsey milk.  Besides drinking it, from that raw milk, I have made my own raw butter, cream cheese, yogurt, etc.  Raw milk is highly controversial, but a few things have made me a believer.  First, my husband is lactose intolerant, but because of the live enzymes in raw milk, he is able to enjoy milk again without getting sick.  Second, while raw milk does sour after a week or so, it doesn’t go bad.  Yet why does the milk from the grocery store go bad so quickly?  It just makes you wonder….

Also, I’ve been buying eggs at the farm, when they’re available.  This past week, they had duck eggs, and I bought those instead of the chicken eggs.  Farm fresh eggs taste great.  And I love that they are not all the exact same color and size.  Some are big and some are smaller.  Some are white, some are speckled and some are dark brown.  And I love that these chickens aren’t standing in their own waste in some tiny pen.  Nope, they are free to wander the farm.  Actually, the last time I went out to the farm, they were waddling around my car.

It’s been quite a journey for me.  I’ve gone from being the queen of convenience foods to making everything from scratch and “grocery shopping” at a farm.  But this road has been a gradual one–one paved by education.  Regardless of where you stand on these issues–whether you agree that farm fresh food is valuable, or whether you think that everything needs to be pasteurized and inspected by the FDA–it is important to make those decisions based on education.  Read those books, watch those videos, and check out both sides of the story.  Don’t draw your conclusions based on what you’ve always done or how your family was raised. There’s a ton of misinformation out there.  I’ve always wanted to be a good steward of my health, body, and resources, but it wasn’t until I educated myself (and didn’t let the media educate me) that I was able to develop my convictions.

If you’ve been on a journey to eat more natural foods, I’d love to hear about it.  Or maybe you’re skeptical about all this, and you want to know what resources are good to educate yourself about natural foods.  Nourishing Traditions and the Weston A. Price Foundation is definitely a great place to start reading.  If any of you readers out there have other resources that you use, please leave a comment and share with us!!