While I was driving home from the grocery store, it was one of those rare times where James was at home, the baby was at my in-laws, and I was alone in the car with God and my thoughts. I had been struggling with the concept of doing what is best for my family. For those of you who don't know, I am a perfectionist. It is something God has been slowing working on in my heart for years...and unfortunately something I tend to fight Him on way too often. I want to do the absolute best things for my family. I think I know, in many cases, what those things look like but not always how to go about changing and I tend to think in terms of all or nothing.
For example, cooking with Teflon coated pans has been shown to be bad for your health in the long term. To me that means throwing out my Teflon coated pans and cooking with other types of cookware (which I already own). But I also know that eating meat full of hormones and antibiotics is bad for you. So in my mind the answer is to start eating grass-fed, free range meat in addition to throwing out my Teflon cookware.
That even sounds crazy to me! Why, you may ask, don't you take one step at a time. Good question...one God has also been asking. Which brings me to the revelation I had in the car that day.
I need to do what is best for my family at this time with the resources God has blessed us with.
That doesn't mean perfection. It doesn't mean starting over or doing every single thing that I feel needs to be done right now. It means taking into consideration the most important things and changing what I can. For us, in this season of life, that means staying on budget. That is the most important aspect of my daily life...staying within the income God has blessed us with without complaint and while honoring God through my diligence and obedience.
The action plan has taken shape over the last few weeks (with much thanks to the films Food Inc. and Super Size Me for their wealth of information and to my husband for his direction and wisdom). For our family this means we won't eat out at fast food restaurants (which is good for us in LOTS of ways), we will cook as much as we can from scratch, and cooking through our overflowing pantry. It means focusing our grocery budget on fresh produce. With the next step being that once our pantry is depleted, we will restock with foods that are much healthier (i. e. not repurchasing but the occasional can of cream of whatever soup, processed foods, and junk food). I am learning to make more from scratch -- which I have always loved doing -- and I am setting us up for a healthier life. We are also making sure that our son will benefit from healthier foods that will nourish him as he grows and hopefully avoid some of the poor eating habits James and I have had in the past.
I could probably write for hours about the things we are changing and the things I want to work on next, but that would be getting ahead of where we are right now. And thus, challenging the path God has laid before me...to be present in what I am doing right now instead of living in the future. For me, this takes continual trust in God and requires me to seek His guidance and provision every day. I would love to fall back on my own understanding, but that would get me nowhere...fast!