I have often wondered this past week if our commitment to natural food is worth all the time and effort. I’ve wondered, “Am I sacrificing too much time from nourishing relationships to nourish bellies and health?” We’ve had a week filled with activity from entertaining others to going to appointments to attending events- and, in the midst of it, I’ve had all my food projects going on. For instance, I made stock, yogurt, mayo, and piima cream (similar to sour cream) during a visit from my family. I made all of it during our down time in between sightseeing and shopping with them. By the end of the weekend I was exhausted and wondering, “Is this even worth it?”. The meals we prepared during our crazy week were not even labor intensive. I think it was just poor planning on my part because I ran out of everything I make from scratch all at once. I am so used to it just being the three of us that I did not consider how much extra food (and, hence, planning) we would need when guests come over- lesson now learned.
As crazy as it was to make all of those things with family in town, there was some satisfaction in knowing that I did not cave and send Ryan to the store for something I could make myself. We spent much less money than we usually do when we have visitors. Plus, when we travel, we usually end up eating take out or eating out- whether with the family we are visiting or during the trip there and back. By the end of our visit, Ry and I typically end up having upset stomachs and/or headaches because of all the processed foods and junk foods we’ve eaten. This alone makes traveling not so fun. I was encouraged to know that the people visiting our home were eating primarily wholesome foods. I was also encouraged because the things that I spent time making while we had people visiting were things that made my life easier later on after everyone had left. For instance, I made stock while my family was here (grumbling in my mind while doing so), but I used it yesterday to make a wonderful, easy-to-prepare dinner that required hardly any preparation. This was a blessing because Ryan surprised me by coming home early and sending me on a surprise trip to a spa yesterday afternoon. I left the house without having to worry about dinner. It’s times like that when all the prep work really pays off.
In the future, I think I’ll keep better tabs on our supply of homemade foods so I won’t have to worry about running out of things when guests come to visit. Although I usually don’t mind mixing up a batch of yogurt and keeping tabs on it, it does get to be a chore when it is more than one or two things that I need to make when we have guests for a few days. I will admit that it was fun to show my family how to make things and see their facial expressions when they tasted something homemade. I loved watching the surprise on their face when they realized how tasty homemade foods can be.
So, we are going to keep plugging along learning as we go. As the leader of our ladies Bible study said recently, “It’s learning how to balance.” How true that is in every area of our life! If we spend too much time on one thing, then something else gets neglected. I’m going to continue to pray that the Lord gives Ry and I wisdom with how to balance all of our work, home and food projects with nurturing our relationship with each other, those around us, and, most importantly, with our Lord.
P.S. Here are two encouraging things (relating to our wholesome living decision) that happened this week in the midst of all the craziness of life:
1. Our garden is coming in strong- lots of little plants popping up.
2. We’ve had a terrible time with ants and I read somewhere about a natural, homemade solution- mix equal parts of borax and sugar and sprinkle a trail around the outside of your house. We tried it and it worked! Hurray!