Monday, January 25, 2010

Heeding a Warning

I love it when God nudges me in a direction and then reaffirms His prodding at every turn. Recently I was talking to a friend about natural living and nutrition. Her family's experience helped us to decide to switch to home-milled, whole grains. She hooked us up with both our beef and milk providers. I pray I've passed on even a tenth as much good information to her as she has to me. About a year ago (maybe more? I don't remember) her daughter contracted a nasty chronic disease and they made some huge lifestyle and diet changes to support her body in fighting this illness. I do not fault her for anything she's doing; she is keeping her children and husband healthy and providing for them in a very appropriate way. But when I talked to her last, she reported (as though it were totally normal and even to be praised) that her family can no longer eat out at all, cannot have any white sugar or processed food, and must take their own food to any carry-in or when traveling to see family. Otherwise they become very, very ill when eating foods their body can no longer process due to their dietary changes. Basically this extends to anything not completely natural, whole grain-based, and completely free of any preservatives, and about a million other things. While I would love to be as healthy as her family, I cannot imagine not being able to enjoy myself when I wish to visit family or go to a restaurant as a treat occasionally. That may make me weak, I'll give you that. But if Brian looks at me and tells me he desperately wants the Cajun chicken pasta at Red Lobster (for which his little heart pines about once every three months or so and makes him soooooo happy), I'm not going to tell him that I can't eat there because they use junk flour and fake cheese in their cheddar biscuits. Heck no, I'm going to be too busy getting in the car to say much of anything. I totally embrace the changes we've made, but moderation in all things, you know?
Along the same vein, when talking with friends or family about our decisions or facts we've gathered in our research, I often feel like they think I'm judging them. That would never, ever be my intent. I never want to say that my choices are better than yours, or that you are somehow a horrible parent if your fully-vaccinated child is munching on Doritos for breakfast with her coffee. Your kid is your kid, your family is your family, and your health is your health. I am responsible for absolutely no actions other than my own. I am far (far far far) from perfect and never want to judge anyone for their own decisions. is terribly easy for us to cast disparagement on someone else's practices, isn't it? Of course we're the best, smartest, most healthy people ever, right? Certainly we're assured a special seat in Heaven because we've been such awesome stewards of what God gave us, yeah? No. Not one bit. I don't want to even sort of sound like I'm judging someone else for their decisions, so I need to learn to hold my tongue. It is not my job to preach. I need to learn to trust that if someone wants the knowledge I've gained, they'll ask for it.
I was thinking about these things already. And then the other night a Facebook friend posted a link to a very good blog post about natural living becoming an idol. Whoa. I feel that nudge, God. Gotcha. Definitely check out that link and search your own hearts. I know I'll be searching mine. Will I suddenly revert to my old ways of sulfate-laden shampoos, fake body washes full of fragrances and chemicals, harsh cleansers for my house, processed convenience food and flu shots? Not a chance. We've seen too many good results from the changes we've made to ever go back or stop learning for the future. But I will take careful stock of where my heart lies and make sure that I'm only being a good steward of the body God gave me and the health of those he puts in my care, as well as our resources. What a fine line there is between being careful and worshiping one's own green-ness.


Gorby family blog said...

Hi Andrea,
We discussed this in Sunday School on Sunday so I'm (probably) going to link to the natural living post on my blog soon. Thanks!

Andrea said...

Absolutely!! I definitely needed a little smack on this one, and figure others may hear the same thing. Sad how the most ordinary things can become idols so fast, isn't it?