Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Living without Strife

I have been considering how to make life more "livable" in our home. And, I have been asking this question about almost everything we do -

Does the benefit outweigh the cost?

When you start looking honestly at your life and asking that question with God's Holy Spirit to open your eyes... things will start changing. Some of the below examples are not all from my own life, but rather what I know that other moms are dealing with.

Homeschooling - In my family, the benefits of homeschooling CERTAINLY outweigh the costs on my body and time. It is hard, but it is good. And, I enjoy it. AND, when thinking about the possibility of Christian school - the costs FAR outweigh the benefits. (Driving time!, having to get up earlier and run on a real schedule, packing lunches, financial strain, etc.)

Breastfeeding - For me, this is worth the toll on my body. It was a real challenge while Baby Jeremiah was cutting teeth, but he is back to sleeping through the night now! And I hope/plan to nurse him all the way through his first winter. But, if nursing a baby causes you to live in a constant state of fatigue and sin - then you need to give it a lot of prayer.

Books and Blogs - I really don't have much time for these. I have not been reading for months. And, each blog I post is usually in progress for days or weeks before I publish it. It is far more important that I am with the children. We have periods of free play or rest. But, that is when I choose to nap rather than read or play on the computer.

Animals, Gardening, Homesteading - We still have many goals and daydreams. But, these will have to wait for another season of life. We did not plant a fall garden, because it would have been too much for us. I am happy with this decision. I would rather buy canned veggies than wear myself out gardening and answer my children with malice or wrath because of sheer exhaustion. The goals we have - they do not have to happen over night... or even in one year... It just does not seem that important in the grand picture of life.

Missions/Evangelism/Good activities/Scouts/Homeschool co-op/Etc - Teaching Sunday school is a good thing... but not if it taxes you so much that you sin against your family! If you are too tired to serve in any area of life without continually falling to some of the same pitfalls of sin week after week - then it is probably time to let that activity go. Make it a matter of great prayer! 

Food - I am making some cutbacks in this area. Homemade bread tastes delicious and it is cheaper than store bought, but it far more time-consuming. But, there is more to it than that. The other day we made bread and by the end of the process we were all getting really snippy with each other. Homemade bread is not worth that! Also, I went to Sam's and bought many easy-to-prepare foods... many of them not containing meats, since I still try to steer clear of hormone-tampering meats. Yet, for this season of my life, some less-wholesome foods are allowed.

Here's the thing, Is it better to grow all of your own foods and prepare meals from scratch, but you yell at your kids because you are so tired and overwhelmed? Or, is it better to give them some junk food and put a lid on some of your complaining and fighting?

Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. Proverbs 17:1 (NLT)

Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. Proverbs 15:17 (NIV)

This is just for a season. Life is short. My years with my children at home are short. Yes, I want to instill good eating habits. Absolutely. But it is far more important that I instill in them good character! I realize that there are people reading this who think that I am willingly serving my children cancer-causing foods... I do see where you are coming from. BUT, there is a greater cancer in this life. Open sin that we justify is a cancer. Making excuses for our sin will make us both physically and spiritually sick. Living in guilt over your constant sinning will make you sick. Stress can cause cancer. Being overly worried about foods can cause cancer.

I honestly believe, friends, that I am at a far smaller risk of cancer than some of my cooking from scratch peers (though they may eat all whole foods), because I do not live in stress.

I am truly free from worry about the foods we eat right now! God the Father is far more concerned about His children loving one another than He is about whether or not we are eating the perfect diet.

So - what about you? In your life - are there areas where the costs outweigh the benefits? Pray about it. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the areas that need some attention.

I also blogged about Meals Without Strife on July 15, 2011.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen. Well said, Bethany!