Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Transparent Tuesday

On Tuesdays I want to make myself transparent and share something that God has been working on my life, whether it be small (like cleaning my Suburban so I'm not humiliated when I open the door at the grocery store and trash falls out) or big, like submitting to my husband on an issue that needed to be addressed for many years.  You don't have to share this as many of these matters may be very private, but I encourage you to participate privately if you so choose.

Psalm 51:1-4
1)Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
2)Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
3)For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
4)Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

Transparent Tuesday 7/12/11

Oh the issues I have in my brain. I've long known that I have OCD tendencies...back when I was a little kid, I would arrange my stuffed animals *just so*, then in high school it was my clothes, hung up in color order and sleeve length. The OCD things died down quite a bit when I came to Jesus at 19, but I still struggle with them. Sunday, a heart to heart with my husband (I've mentioned him before right? And how awesome he is at talking me down from crazy? I really appreciate that he is willing to confront me, gently, and tell me the hard things I need to hear) revealed that I am still struggling with some OCD things, just not in the way I was on the look out for.
Food. It's food. Food. I was a vegetarian from 13-21. I didn't like meat (though I realized that when it's cooked properly, some of it IS yummy...just my family liked to over cook and over season things to the point that they were just not delicious) and I didn't like that animals were dying. Animals became an idol to me, being a vegetarian was a prison. For almost a whole year I felt a strong calling to put down my chains and eat freely, and I finally submitted to that calling. Am I saying it's wrong to be a vegetarian? Absolutely not...in fact, I appreciate the health benefits of being a food-savvy vegetarian. What I'm saying is that it was wrong for ME at that time. It was keeping distance between myself and God, and myself and my husband. It was also holding back my son's development in theory(at that time he was about 18mo). I didn't want him to eat meat. Turns out that didn't really matter because now at almost 8, he doesn't really like meat and will eat it VERY sparingly when we make him.
Fast forward a few years and my almost 5yo is just born. We decide to start cleaning up our poor diet (literally poor, when I was pregnant with her, we had to budget to the penny and our food choices were not that great as I didn't realize that cooking from scratch was healthful and frugal). We finally had moved to the next phase in life (husband graduated, new job with better pay started), and it felt great to eat healthy. We lost weight, we lost our taste for things like corn syrup, and when we'd eat out occasionally with family, we'd be ill that night because our bodies weren't used to junk food. Then we got lazy and slipped into eating just regular. Fast forward a bit to just before getting pregnant with our 2 1/2yo. We were researching autism spectrum disorders at the counsel of some trustworthy friends and really came to believe that our oldest and I both were most likely in the range of Asperger's Syndrome (along with my father and brother). We decided to try a gluten-free casein-free (gfcf) diet and did really well with it for 4 months. It was hard though, and very time consuming. And limiting. We abandoned it when I became pregnant because I could not bring myself to eat any of it. Since then we've tried to eat healthy and evaluted and reevaluted what we eat...mostly just to the point of making me crazy and changing our eating habits for a few weeks at a time and reverting back to just a general healthy eating (fruits and veggies, yogurts, mostly whole wheat, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial coloring, no corn syrup/hfcs, no packaged food-except for Annie's mac n'cheese and their bunny crackers). I guess reading that it sounds pretty good, but I always find some way to beat myself up about it. For instance, the kids and I really just don't like meat. My 4yo will eat it willingly sometimes, occasionally she'll ask for chicken and excitedly devour an ounce or two, and my 2yo will also eat it *usually* when we give it to him, he'll also eat more of a variety of meat too. But we could easily take it or leave it. It bothers me to no end that my husband, who very much likes meat, has had to change more to fit us than the other way around. I guess I feel like he eats "normal" and we don't. So I try to change the 4 of us and try to force us circles to fit in a square hole, and it never lasts...and it causes a lot of heartache too sometimes.
We were just about to go gf again this week, but on the second day breakfast failed and I was upset. I was lamenting to my husband and he saw the opportunity to help me sort through all the stuff, and wow. I can see now that I DO beat myself up about our food choices. We eat things like sweet potato or pumpkin pancakes with real maple syrup, or homemade tortillas topped with beans and avacado and cheese, and we're drinking raw milk now. I hide things like butternut squash in macaroni and cheese and broccoli in "alfredo". We eat green eggs (spinach), and I always have something healthy in our muffins that are sweetened with sucanat. I make our toothpaste (and now mouthwash). I breastfeed for a long time (I am so blessed in this area and have not had any real struggles since we finally mastered it when my oldest was about 6 weeks old). All these things I do, consciously, prayerfully, and I still try to tear myself down. I'm always comparing myself to other moms who I just feel like do a better job than I do, or their kids are less picky, or x, y, z...and honestly, it wouldn't really bother me so much, but my husband said it hurts my kids when I do that, and I can't hurt them! So here is one step in the right direction. I've been bound by all this self-imposed legalism in our eating, and I need to just let it all go.
My husband read Galatians 5:1-6 to me. Verse 1 says "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."
I'll never be perfect, and my kids are never going to like everything I want them to. My oldest is probably going to always have dental issues (like me, and both my parents), and THAT sucks. But he'll be ok, just like I'm ok. I will just do my best and not rage at myself for not being able to do more than my best. I had a moment of clarity yesterday after our talk. God gives us endless opportunities to benefit and bless our family...and I was beating myself up for not taking advantage of every single one of them. He didn't create 3766340963467 ways for me to fail...because that's what it feels like, he created 3766340963467 ways to bless our families so that when I cast my net wide, I can catch onto the ways that work for our family. If I succeed at 4 things, great. That doesn't mean I failed because there are 3766340963463 ways that I missed or that simply don't work for us. I'm not cured of my crazy OCD "must be in absolute control of our eating"ness, but I'm feeling better about my outlook. I don't feel hopeless now. I don't feel like there is no way on earth I'll ever succeed, because I'm succeeding daily. I just need to reasonable.

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