Are You Too Busy?

Are You Too Busy?

Family. Work. Church. Activities. Kids. Meetings. We all know how busy life can be. But how do you know if you’re TOO busy? My friend taught me an important lesson. A very convicting, honest lesson. As a minimalist, my attitude about basic abundance extends to my calendar. I say ‘no’ quite frequently to events or activities and guard my family time fiercely. Even so, the ‘Mom’s Calendar‘ on my fridge fills up quite easily. How do you choose what to say ‘no’ too? Do you compose a family mission statement? This is a great idea I’m currently working on, from Kristen Welch in her book, ‘Rhinestone Jesus‘. The idea behind it is FOCUS. Does going to this activity/event/meeting fulfill my mission statement? If you know your purpose, the fullness of your calendar will be irrelevant. My friend is a prime example of this. Her heart is big. She exudes God’s love in all that she does. A few weeks ago, she was driving near our church when she noticed an elderly woman struggling to shovel the end of her driveway. A frail, old woman, shoveling our heavy, Canadian snow. Even though my friend was on her way to drop some of her kids off at a sporting event, she pulled over and went back. Turns out the woman was desperately trying to get to the store to renew her heart medication prescription. Hello? The kids piled out of the truck and together helped the sweet, old lady to get out of her driveway. My friend also offered her phone number, in event of future snowstorms. That’s showing God’s love....
Give Me My Safe Christianity

Give Me My Safe Christianity

I attend church regularly. My husband is a deacon. I host a Bible study group and read my Bible on a regular basis. My  close circle of Christian friends wear no masks. We are pretty open with each other. We often share prayer requests with one another over Facebook or e-mail. Sometimes, my family volunteers for the Salvation Army to ring the Christmas kettle bell. We donate clothing to the homeless. We sponsor children through Compassion International and missionaries through Gospel for Asia. Occasionally I’ll write a blog post or two about God.  And even though I’m pretty nervous about it, and worried about what to say, I’m always ready to share about Jesus with anyone who asks. It rarely happens though, so I don’t really worry. The point is, I’m ready. I’m very Christian and I think most people who know me would agree. I try my best to follow God’s law and I’m careful about what I read or watch on television. I homeschool my kids and am raising them to love God. But there’s a problem with all this. It’s all safe. And I like it. The truth is, the more I’m learning about ‘real’ Christianity, the more I realize I’m not living it. Being a follower of Jesus in New Testament times was not an easy road to travel. Christians met in secret to avoid persecution. They prayed fervently with, and for, one another. Many of them lost their families. Many of them lost their lives. They loved Jesus and desperately tried to get others to listen. To point them towards hope. Salvation. In many...
Why I’m Rethinking Everything

Why I’m Rethinking Everything

My heart weighs heavy. This. This is what I want my kids to know: Power of The Meek I want them to know God’s power. I want them to know how much He loves and how much He wants to use us to help others. Have I done my job as a homeschool mom if they have learned reading, writing and arithmetic, but haven’t learned of God’s love? How to love others? How to love Him above all else? But how can I teach them something I don’t truly know myself? Do I love Him above all else? Do I show His love to others? To my kids? Didn’t I just snap at them for interrupting me as I’m concentrating on writing this? Thank God for grace, mercy and forgiveness. Thank you for second chances. For third. For ten million and twenty-third. Guide us. LEAD us. Take us on your journey.   These thoughts brought to you by the stirrings in my heart from reading Kristen Welch’s Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith Is No Longer...
To Wheat or Not to Wheat? That is the… Privilege?

To Wheat or Not to Wheat? That is the… Privilege?

The last couple months have been a blur of trials and titles. Wheat-free, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free. It all started with this post. I’ve scoured blogs, articles, medical resources and Pinterest for information, recipes and the truth about the foods we eat. But I’m shocked with what God showed me… So what is the truth? There are tons of articles claiming one side of the story, and just as many articles refuting them. There are people who blog passionately on both ends of the spectrum, and many who meet in the middle and tend to be a bit more balanced. But who’s right? In the end, I can only go by the testimonies of people I know who have shared with me about their families. Like the kind-hearted lady whose whole family has been able to go off of all kinds of medications for different maladies by going wheat-free and grain-free. Or my new friend who shared how her husband’s blood pressure and cholesterol has dropped to normal levels after only two months of removing wheat from his diet. They still eat fatty foods like bacon and butter, yet his own father continues to struggle with the same issues despite being on all kinds of medications and eating ‘low fat’, but still eating wheat. And then of course, there’s one of the most wonderful women I know, who has dropped her insulin from 60 mg a day to just 20 mg because removing wheat and sugar has made all the difference in her diabetes. I have no doubt that going wheat-free and gluten-free can definitely make a HUGE difference to...
Wheat Free? Not Me! Here’s Why…

Wheat Free? Not Me! Here’s Why…

Two, very-long weeks after we started, our family’s wheat-free experiment has come to an end. The goal was to increase our quality of life – to be healthier, more alert and fit. So yes, those things might have occurred. But at what cost? Call me a quitter. Call me a failure. But I have my reasons… We don’t have to – None of us are Celiacs. Although I can’t deny that wheat does affect our bodies in other ways, there is no physically violent reaction to it that forces us to stay away from it. I don’t like being in the kitchen for most of my day – Going wheat-free requires an awful lot of work. I don’t mind cooking, but I don’t love it enough to do it four hours a day. Yes, there are great recipes to be found but each requires a lot of preparation. I not only had to cook a full-on supper every night (no easy nights like pancakes) but I also had to cook at lunch time every day too. There is no plopping a loaf of bread on the table and having the kids make their own sandwich. Lunches had to be prepared meat, salads and other sides. We like to eat out – One thing about being a minimalist means finding a few things you really enjoy and focussing on them. Our family really enjoys eating out – not at fancy sit-down restaurants, but at take-out places where you bring your food down to the river and enjoy the scenery while you laugh and eat and enjoy each other. Sure, there...
Wheat Free Week 1: The Good, The Bad and the Oh, So Ugly

Wheat Free Week 1: The Good, The Bad and the Oh, So Ugly

Our family is in the middle of our first week going ‘wheat free’ according to the diets listed in Wheat Belly and Grain Brain.  Read about our decision to change our diet in last week’s post, Goodbye Wheat, Goodbye Anxiety? I’m About to Find Out. Week 1. Oh… it’s been interesting! It was full of surprises from the store, my kids, my plate and my body. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on Pinterest and the internet, gathering recipes and looking at menu plans. I knew before I started this change that I would have to invest that time and prepared for it, so at first it didn’t seem too overwhelming. I brought some new foods into the house to try, and didn’t replace any of the bad foods. After a week of gathering recipes, I wrote out the ‘plan’ for Week 1 and went grocery shopping. Surprise #1 – You can spend A LOT of money in the bulk food store even when you’re NOT buying candy. Almond flour is how much? Ouch. Surprise #2 – For the first time ever, I kind of wanted people to notice the foods in my cart while at the grocery store. Surprise #3 – The kids rooted through the grocery bags when I got home. They loved the different smells of things and begged me to shop ‘wheat free’ all the time. Coconut – yay! Lots of nuts – yay! Dark chocolate – double yay! Not-So-Surprise #1 – The enthusiasm lasted all of five minutes until Oldest Daughter realized ice cream is now a forbidden food and there is an ice...