Monday, September 14, 2009

Blogging Break

I've had some things take place in my personal life in the last few weeks that I need to deal with. I'm going to spend the time I normally would blogging in more prayer time for vision. I want to see what God sees in my situation. Plus, while Shawn is out of town this week, I will have more time to devote to being solo mommy for a few days. I plan to only be out of touch for a week or two at this point. If that changes I'll keep you up to date. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's No Procrastination Day Again

It’s time once again for another No Procrastination Day. Today is going to be one of those days when it’s going to be hard to fulfill my commitment. Some things have taken place in the last couple of weeks that have turned part of my world upside down. And, it all came to a head yesterday. I can feel the motivation draining from my brain, one little drop at a time. I want to put everything off and just do nothing today, but despite what I want life must go on (Ob-la-di, ob-la-da…). I really have to ask myself if I’m going to let these things in my life keep me down, or am I going to keep trudging forward through the muck.

There are things that must be done before they get out of hand. I’ve gotten a bit behind on the dishes (it’s hard to keep up with the “no dishes in the sink before bed” rule when I have an extremely busy day and my husband is out of town), the house is bit of a cluttered mess, there’s “artwork” on the walls thanks to Sadey, there are clothes that need to be put away, and there’s a load of towels that needs to be washed. So the accomplishment of those aforementioned tasks is my goal for today. And I have to do it, not because someone is coming over, or my husband is coming back home (he won’t be back for a couple more days), but because I have to do it – the least motivating reason of all. I will do it though, and I will do it “with all [my] heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Col 3:23 NIV).

How do you overcome the challenges that drain your motivation?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Becoming Better

As part of today's Fight Back Friday I wanted to talk about how we're becoming better with our nutrition. I’ve known for years that my nutrition is less than adequate, yet strangely enough, I didn’t feel compelled to do anything about it. As I mentioned before, I did the South Beach Diet for a while a few years ago, but that was the biggest effort I had made up until recently to improve my health. I have a very hard time with delayed gratification. I knew that if I didn’t improve my health that I would be paying for it down the road, but somehow that didn’t seem very real to me. I like my sweets and changing our lifestyle seemed way too complicated. But this summer has been a hard one for me. For several weeks in a row I was so fatigued I could accomplish very little of what needed to be done. I’ve gained weight, I’m cold when everyone else is hot, and so on. When I decided to start making bread to help save us money, I began reading about bread making on the internet which in turn lead to other articles related to nutrition. I’ve become fascinated. I came across the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Bread Beckers website, and I was astounded to find out that a lot of the information that I thought I knew about nutrition was false, but I wasn’t offended. The explanations behind what I was learning made a lot of sense and I have become motivated to make some changes. My in-laws have followed the Hallelujah Acres diet for several years, and my mother-in-law is always very quick to share what they have learned, but I was never convinced. But now that I’m taking my own journey of discovery, I’ve decided to make some changes.

A few weeks ago, shortly after I started learning the real truth about nutrition (not the version the media, drug companies, food industry, & even the US government want you to believe), I came across this passage in my daily devotional, Come Away My Beloved, by Frances Roberts:

My people are hungering…. I would that you feed them. Give no inedible substitutes…. Why should you hunger when plenty is at hand? And why should you be deprived of… nourishment when a table is spread before you? Some of the foods may be strange to you. Despise nothing that I offer you. You need it, or else I would not provide it. Partake of it, even if it is strange to your taste. You will soon come to relish it with delight, and even more so because it is a new experience for you. (p. 242, emphasis mine)

Obviously since this passage comes out of a devotional it’s intended for spiritual application (and the parts I left out were the overtly spiritual parts), but just as practical things have a spiritual application, I believe spiritual things can have a practical application as well. (By the way, that book is amazing, and I highly recommend it.) I believe the timing of me coming across this passage was no coincidence and that it was confirmation that God wants us to pursue a lifestyle that is rich in nourishment.

I want to reverse this trend in my body, I want my husband and children to have the utmost nutrition, and I want to conquer ADHD without drugs. I mentioned yesterday that nutrition is a powerful tool in the battle against ADHD. One of the nutritional approaches I’m taking is getting processed foods out of our diet. There’s a lot of food additives out there that contribute to ADHD: red food dye, yellow food dye, MSG, and high-fructose corn syrup, just to name a few. Plus, processed foods tend to be stripped of the nutrients that our brains need to function properly. I feel like most processed foods are “inedible substitutes” that fill our stomachs, but contain none of the real nutrition that God designed our bodies to require.

My husband is on board with these changes, too, which helps a lot with the motivation thing. The implementation of what we are learning is very challenging, though. We’re nowhere close to rich (at least not in the financial department), so we can’t just go out and replace all the food in our pantry and refrigerator. There are a lot of different approaches to take, so it’s hard to know just where to start. And some of the changes have large upfront costs, and require that we save money over a period of time. It’s good to know that these things will save us money in the long run, but in the meantime there’s not a lot we can do till we have the money saved. I’m hoping to meet someone in our area who is like-minded that can help me get started. We want to save up for a freezer, a grain mill, and a side or quarter of beef. We’ve started eating less meat, white sugar, and processed foods, and when we went to our in-laws we scored a bunch of deer meat, courtesy of my brother-in-law. We want to join a CSA or a co-op and shop at the Farmers Market more often. We want to stop getting “conventional” meats, eggs, and produce from the grocery store and start getting more local and organic goods. We want to grow a garden next spring, start using coconut oil, and my husband hopes to get a deer this coming hunting season. And the proposed changes go on and on… The trick, I think, is to implement these things slowly so we don’t burn out our wallets, and ourselves, adopting changes one at a time until they become second nature. It’s amazing the awareness I have now. I’ll go to the store, or look at the school lunch menu, or pull something out of the pantry and wonder how much real nutrition is in my hand. So, I’m thankful for this newfound awareness and the new challenge we face. The trick is coming up with a strategy to make all this reality, but as we do, step-by-step, we are taking charge of our lives and our health, and we are becoming better!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

No Procrastination Day

I had originally planned for Wednesday to be "No Procrastination Day,” but I was so exhausted from having such a busy day on Tuesday that I ached from head to toe yesterday. I’ve never experienced anything like that before in my life! So yesterday I had to revert to doing just the basics, as well as a little laundry, and taking a nap. So, I’m going to make today “No Procrastination Day.”

I think “No Procrastination Day” is starting to become part of my life every day (just as I'd hoped). Monday I got a lot accomplished, including things that I’ve often put off in the past. And, even though Tuesday was so busy, I still got some laundry folded and made sure the sink was empty before I went to bed. In the past I’ve explicitly told Shawn, “I don’t do housework in the evening.” God is definitely renewing my mind and changing my attitude on that point! Yesterday bears the impact of “No Procrastination Day,” too, even though I had to put some things off. You see, in the past I would’ve used the exhaustion as an excuse to fore go everything but the bare minimum, but instead I worked fairly diligently on the laundry. Now, did I get any laundry folded and put away? No. But the fact that I worked on it at all really is a departure from the past.

“Gee, Stephanie, you’re really making it sound like you were a lazy housewife.”

Well, to be honest, sometimes I was. I also struggle with ADHD, which lends to the laziness (I haven’t been formally tested, but from my counseling background I know what it looks like, and a former therapist felt like I most likely have ADHD as well.) That means, not only am I distractible, but I also get easily overwhelmed with projects that contain a lot of steps, so I go into avoidance mode. I look at something that requires a lot of me and my mind starts swimming. I can’t figure out where to begin, so I shut down. And, if I get bogged down in something, I’ll just stop doing it. On top of that, my personality tendency is not to start something that I don’t have time to finish, so there’s a lot of times that I’ll tell myself, “I’ll do that later,” because I don’t want to start it.

The thing is, I do not want to be defined by these things. I want to be an overcomer. I do not want the things I listed above to be excuses for failures. On the other hand, if I don’t acknowledge the challenges I face I cannot defeat them. So, I recognize my flaws. I will not let ADHD keep me from God’s best life for me! And, I plan to do it without drugs. Nutrition and behavior modification are powerful tools in the battle against ADHD, so I plan to use them to their fullest extent. I’ve prayed many times that God would heal me of it, but I feel that He desires that I overcome it through His grace and strength. So, I will!

So, my “No Procrastination” goals for today are to fold and put away the laundry, empty the suitcases (it didn’t happen last week because I got sick), work out, and make bread. So what are your goals for today?