Getting back on track

17 03 2009

I was on bed rest for almost 5 months last year. From July to November, I was not able to grocery shop for or prepare healthy foods. Our whole family ate a lot more packaged and fast food than usual. Family and friends brought many meals. While these meals were delicious and much appreciated, they were also typically “comfort food”. When I was on bed rest in the hospital, I had very little to do but eat – granted eating was important. We wanted our son to grow as quickly as possible. The hospital food was not awesome, but I did discover a few favorites: garden burgers, BLT sandwiches, soup – and especially all the dessert. There was a snack cart that visited my room three times every day.

After Zephan was born, he spent one month in the NICU at Evergreen Hospital. While he was there, we ate a lot of fast food. The hospital is amazing in almost every way, however they don’t feed nursing moms who have babies in the NICU. So we ate a lot of McDonalds and Taco Time. I drank a lot of lattes and ate too many scones and donuts from Starbucks. And we hit up the late happy hour at McCormick and Schmick’s in Bellevue more than once. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much friend food in my life.

Since Zephan came home around Christmas, we’ve been trying to get back on track. This is a long process! It is hard to grocery shop with three little kids. It is equally hard to spend much time cooking healthy food. But it is important – and so little by little we’ve been trying to get back to healthy routines.

Over the last three months, I have started to meal plan and cook healthy dinners again. Going into the spring, I want to focus on cooking and eating healthier breakfasts, lunches and snacks. To get a head start on that, today I made banana bread and carrot apple muffins with whole grain flour and other healthy ingredients. I also made a pot of bean soup that will make easy lunches. I also am going to start to pay attention to my food allergies again – this means no dairy. And getting out of the latte habit.

Change is hard. I always want to accomplish too much. I am a perfectionist and I get frustrated when I am unable to change as quickly as I want to. But little by little, God is teaching me to persevere. He is also teaching me to keep things in perspective. The bigger picture is that I am called to be a steward – of our health, money and time. By God’s grace I want to be wise, not foolish.

When it comes to stewardship of my body, I often run into a few issues. First, I am proud. Sometimes I think I’m hot – other times not so much. But either way I sin by being arrogant in believing the lie that my outward appearance matters more than it does. Second, I am inpatient. I don’t really want to work hard over a long period of time. I like it when things come easily and when they don’t, I get frustrated. Third, I lack self control. In some ways, one of my deepest idols is comfort. I want to sleep in, not get up and exercise at 6:00 a.m. I want to drink wine and eat chocolate while watching TV, not drink tea and read my Bible before bed.

If I wasn’t a Christian, I think my life would be one of extremes. I would work hard and party harder. I would hardly sleep. I would exercise too much. I would live on coffee and wine. I would not rest. I would not be content. I would be striving to be beautiful, succesful, thin, perfect, respected – and never living up to my own standard.

One thing that is difficult about being a Christian is that we are told to be content. Jesus promises to give us peace. We know that striving is nothing but chasing the wind. We should work hard, but at the end of the day we must sleep. In our sabbath, we must trust God. For those of us who are natural overachievers, this breeds humility. I have to realize that at the end of the day, I cannot do it all. There will always be something that is undone and yet, I must rest in God.

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