When spring climbs her way into the north Georgia mountains sprinkling her colors, her drops of green and blackberry-foam purple on violets, her salmon and sangria on the tulips, I like to be present. I do not want to miss one millimeter of growth, of new life exploding as she passes by. I have a routine.
Look out the window and thank God for another day.
Acknowledge Nathan. (who is already awake no matter how early I rise)
Make coffee. (I'm not telling you how many cups. I already told you about the Metamucil)
Get the dog leash. (By now, Jango is shoving me out the door)
Walk Jango . . . while sipping coffee.
View Spring as she drips and drops about the hills . . . while sipping coffee.
Examine her work closely in my garden . . . while sipping coffee.
That's it. The rest of the day may not commence until I've done this routine.
So I am sure you will understand my dilemma when I tell you that the first month of my personal SEVEN is food. (If you're wondering what in the world I'm talking about, read my blog post from a couple days ago.) And guess what God just insisted I give up first? Yeah, redundant, I know. Coffee.
Hence the first sentence of this little post. I'm in an extremely agitated-would-bite-someones-head-off-if-I-wasn't-also-in-deep-brain-fog-due-to-caffeine-withdrawal state. Did I mention I have a headache?
For seven months I will commit to seven different themes. The purpose will be in essence a fast with the chief aim being to empty myself that Christ might fill me with His thoughts, His desires, His plans, His goals. Because I really feel strongly about being characterized by what I do and not what I don't do, I've phrased my list for this first month--The Food Month--in this slant. These are things that, after some prayer and good old fashioned honesty with myself, (Yes, self, you are indeed a greedy glutton.) I want to commit a month to pursuing.
1. Do eat organic/unprocessed foods (With a budget that lacks wiggle room, the organic part is going to have to be a little flexible, but I will give it a hearty attempt. Does anyone know if Ramen Noodles come unprocessed and organic?)
4. Do walk away from caffeine. (I’m going to die, starting now.)
5. Do walk away from all sweeteners. (This month has nothing to do with dieting for me. There have been times--like when Cort left a few of his infant pounds in my stomach after he was born--when I needed to kick sugar to the curb from a calorie standpoint. This is different. I'm leaving sweetness, period. I think to live in hunger must be a very bitter thing, and I don't want to sweeten this month artificially, organically, or any other way. I love sweets. Have you ever seen my pictures? My profile picture on facebook was a cake for 2 months for crying out loud! Ignoring that box of Krispy Kremes, the homemade sour cream coffee cake, and the two logs of double chocolate cookie dough in my freezer will be a very...VERY constant reminder of the blessings I have, and the hunger of over 85% of the world.)
6. Do eat before 7PM (I chose 7 PM for obvious reasons—seven. Also, because it gives us time to get late dinners in. We aren't much of a schedule family so I’m not going to be legalistic about supper. The real reason I'm choosing to do this is because I want to cull the savory snacks I treat myself to when the boys have finally settled under their IKEA comforters for the night. I hesitated on this particular one because I didn't want it to be about not eating after seven. You always hear you shouldn't do that if you are dieting. But this is NOT a diet. The bottom line is this is a snack I don't need--a luxury--and there are children in the world who don't get snacks period. I want to feel that. I want to go to bed a little bit hungry. I want, somehow, in some small, microscopic, way to understand what it means to go without something I want.)
7. Do read either In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto or Animal Vegetable Miracle: A year of Food Life (I did the Omnivore's Dilemma thing and it was great for about the first three chapters. Then I started falling asleep. He made his point . . . more than once. I'm hoping these books will give me a little more understanding of the reality of what we eat and its impact on the world as a whole and on my family's bodies too.)
I also hope to visit or view online a processing plant for meat. And I intend to take one day each week and attempt to eat like the poor of Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala and Ecuador. These are four countries that pinch at my heart. This part I will do with the boys; we'll go online to learn more about the conditions of these particular nations. And speaking of the boys, so far, they've been very kind. I had anticipated them giving me the mom, you are going to slowly torture us for an entire month? look, but they haven't. Already, they're willing to quit the processed/fast food stuff for the month, though one of them is begging for the remaining Dr. Bob (I know, I'm cheap) that's been sitting on the counter over a week.
A theme for me this month will be this verse.
I do live in North America ,and I have so many choices that I no longer understand what it means to live without any choices. Here we are in what some call Holy Week . . . those sacred days that we've placed on the calendar to remind us of the brokenness of Christ. Surely Jesus ached with thoughts of what He would face, what He would endure that we might have life.
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." (II Cor. 8:9)
He became poor. Gave up. Sacrificed. Relinquished.