Thursday, October 23, 2008

...blown and tossed by the wind

Last night, I took Vienne on our usual evening walk, at sunset.  It is always a quiet walk.  A time to reflect and decompress.  The air was crisp and still and so we ventured down onto the sand and walked the line of the rhythmic waves.  The last glimpse of the sun revealed a stunning pink-orange hue that shed a calming blanket of light over the ocean.  The waves were reserved last night, shushing and lulling back and forth.  The water had that beautiful silver almost lavender sheen dancing across it.  Lovely. I thought to myself "wow.  I live here."  I had almost forgotten.  I realized that I have let myself get tossed around...not only in the bustle of life, but in my faith as well.  
As most can attest, being a new mom is all-consuming, to say the least.  Recently, I have started to feel such pride for finally finding the ability to calm down and discover myself interests, my passions.  But, last night, I realized that I have neglected to uncover the depth of my spirit and renew my passion for Christ.  Motherhood hit me hard in the first 3-4 months.  I will not lie - I almost didn't like the new role.  It hit me by surprise like a sneaker wave.  There were literal times where I would yell and curse and cry.  Shameful. And, not once, no not once did I call upon the Lord.  You know why?  Because I was so down deep in my own self pity, letting myself get tossed around, that I didn't even believe that He wanted to help me out.  It was one of the first times in my life that I found myself doubting. What a low point.  I realized that I had taken credit for all 'my' success during the pregnancy and labor that I subconsciously thought I could handle the rest on my own.  Oh, foolish child.  
I have just acknowledged all of this in the past month.  It is a humble reality.

I am starting a study on James today.  How applicable it is going to be.  The moment that I admitted my ugly pride and doubt, the Lord has finally been welcome to come in and get to work. We shall see what this journey will reveal.
"But when (s)he asks, (s)he must believe and not doubt, because (s)he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

First Foods

This week we embarked on the adventure of solid foods for Vienne! After much research we decided to start with avocados. Avocados are considered nature's 'perfect food' - a food in which we could lively solely off of. The high healthy fat content is perfect for babies...especially for our little one who is a bit small.
But, why not start her off with cereal? Well after much reading, especially in Sally Fallon's 'Nourishing Traditions', I learned that cereal is actually the worst food to start baby off with. What?!! I know, I was confounded, as well. As it turns out, grains are actually the hardest food for humans to digest! (for more info on this read here)  Hhhmmm...makes some sense when you think about all the gluten-sensitive people you know out there, huh? Well, I guess that grains naturally have an acid on them called 'phytates'. Phytates are what make them so difficult on our digestive system. We, adults, have an enzyme, 'amylase', that helps us to digest these phytates...but it's still difficult even on our adult systems. I guess that babies do not have enough of this amylase to break down the phytates...making the acid wreak havoc on their poor little bodies. Feeding grains to babies too early may lead to grain allergies. I know that most babies seem fine when they do eat cereals...but it's all about prevention. Symptoms develop over time. Don't we want to lay down good foundations for our little ones? I learned that it is best to wait until your baby reaches 12+ months of age to feed them grains.
So, what should I feed her in the meantime? After much searching and reading, Nourishing Traditions and La Leche League both recommend animal proteins as healthy foods to start baby on because of the high protein and iron content. Softly cooked egg yolks have been strongly recommended. For me, personally though, I felt weird feeding her pureed chicken as her first introduction to foods. First off, it just sounds GROSS and secondly I have often felt that meat was a bit hard to digest as least for myself. So, I opted for fruits. Avocado first and then banana. I can't wait to introduce her to more yummy goodness and watch that beautiful little mouth work and squish it all around!
And, now I'm done with my nerdy science to good eatin' and more exciting things!

All Hallow's Eve

Now that I have a child I keep getting asked "what is Vienne dressing up as for 
Halloween?"  Well, here is yet another 'radical' thing about me:  I do not celebrate Halloween.  Explaining this to other moms has proven to be a bit 'difficult'.  I often sense that others feel, shall I say, put off...while that is not what I intend.  They often respond in frustration and maybe say to me:  "it is just fun and it never hurt anyone".  I know.  I know.  I don't judge you.  And, this post is not written for that.  This post is to just explain where I'm coming from.  I don't expect others to agree.  I feel that everyone needs to make their own decisions based on their own personal convictions....though, I do believe that it is highly important to be fully informed before ignorantly making decisions.
So, why don't I celebrate this very popular 'holiday' that is a favorite in many households? Well, first off, here is just one of the many informative links out there that explains the history of Halloween.  But if you want a short version for my own personal convictions, here it is:
I remember being shown a Chuck Smith video a LONG time ago that researched the history of Halloween.  Their research was so thorough and informative that I immediately felt convicted if I ignored it.  Knowledge can do soooo many things.  So, I learned, (as most of you have probably heard on a simplified level) that Halloween is basically considered Satan's holiday.  Witches and satanists and other practitioners of evil LOVE this day and spend the year counting down to this one day.  It is the day that they believe that the evil spirits fully come out...the day that they can come fully in contact w/these spirits.  They perform rituals and sacrifices....YES, these things STILL go on around us.  In present day.  
There is also interesting history behind the all innocent 'trick or treating', carving 'jack o' lanterns', and wearing costumes.  Things that we typically find harmless.  Trick or treating originates from the belief that on this night spirits of the dead would rise out of their graves and come back to haunt their old homes.  In fear of this, the people would set out 'treats' to appease the spirits.  If a 'treat' was not set out, then a 'trick' or curse was believed to be put on them.  They also believed that this night opened the doors of hell for any and all evil spirits to emerge on this night and to wreck havoc.  The superstitious people would then masquerade as 'devils' or 'ghouls' or 'witches' to try and blend in with these lurking demons. If they went unnoticed, then they believed that they would not get hurt by these spirits.  Silly and superstitious, I know...but nonetheless, that's how people were way back then.  
The tradition of carving pumpkins or gourds was also an effort to thwart the demonic spirits. They, oddly, believed that if they carved out an ugly demonic face on a vegetable and placed it in front of their home, that they might scare off these demons.  Weird...but...

Thus, this explains the tradition of 'dressing up in costumes...primarily witches and goblins' and the tradition of trick or treating and carving faces in pumpkins.
Now, don't get me wrong...I must clarify that I LOVE the fall.  Love love love it.  I LOVE harvest.  And, quite honestly, I love pumpkin patches and dressing up in costumes...who doesn't?  But, on this day especially, I am convicted to not take part.  I still go to pumpkin patches....I don't think I've missed going for one single year of my life.  Pumpkins mean harvest to me.  I decorate my home w/lovely little punkins and dried leaves to celebrate the beauty of this season.  If I ever carve a pumpkin, though, I do not carve faces anymore.  I might carve a scene or a leaf or something natural...or a scripture verse.  If I attend a costume party, I make sure that it is a 'clean' one and that it is primarily not on Halloween night.  I have a child now.  I know this will be difficult when she is older.  And, I do not believe in totally sheltering your children.  We will let her attend Harvest parties and discuss fun alternatives with the intention of bringing honor to Christ.  I just don't like the idea of participating in trick or treating.  Now that I've known the history behind it all, I just cannot compromise.  I feel like if I give in, I am believing what Satan wants me to believe about this day - 'that it is just pure clean innocent fun'.  I believe, though, that he has pulled a black veil over our eyes and dances in glee at our ignorance while his followers are out there worshipping him in horrific ways on this particular day.  For me, it has become a solemn day. Sometimes, I think about kids' lives and/or animals that might be sacrificed while everyone is out having their fun.  I often tell myself that I should be especially praying on this day....and I need to stay more committed to that.  

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Journey Begins

Well, actually, I've already been on the journey....but, now I am ready to start documenting it.  I am excited to start this blog.  I have no idea what I'm getting myself into but the unknown is so thrilling.  I have soooooooo many ideas stockpiled in this brain of mine, just waiting to get out....and I've been way too lazy to put any of it on paper.  If you choose to join me as I journey along, bear with me as I plow through with all the initial topics in my head.  I hope for this to be a journal of my walk as a wife, a mother, a homemaker, a steward of this planet, and a child of God.
*I must make one disclaimer, in the beginning though, and make it clear that I am, in no way, a professional of anything.  If I write about a new and interesting topic that I am passionate about, I will be careful to provide links and cite my sources.

I am excited to get started and I look forward to meeting new people along the way.