Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Lord's My Shepherd

Recently you may have noticed our family is on a home made kick. Baby girl is 6 months old now, and I'm back to my characteristic level of energy and enthusiasm. We've been spending more at our local farmer's market than at the grocery store, which is a good sign that I've been doing more from scratch. With the exception of one loaf this week, I've made all our bread, pizza dough, and rolls entirely from scratch. Today, with the help of the three big kids (if you can call a 22 month old, a 3 year old and a 4 year old big), we made some beef stock from scratch. With the exception of a little bit of rice or pasta here and there, everything is made fresh from food we're picking up at the market. I don't want any of the busy and harried folks out there to think that I'm badgering you about it, or that I think you absolutely have to do it. First of all, it's not my business what you all do in your kitchens. It's a lot of work, it takes a lot of planning, and really forces a change of diet pretty much immediately if you go all in.

I'm not bragging, trust me. My dedication to our new meal plan really would have waivered and probably failed by now if it weren't for a few circumstances that have forced me to dig in my heels and make it work. First of all, we've gradually emptied our pantry and freezer of processed or ready-to-make foods. It's hard to reach for frozen pizza when there isn't one. With 4 kids and 2 adults, it's not exactly cheap to hit the fast food chains either. With that, I'm left with whatever is fresh that we bought. It's forcing me to follow my meal plan and I must admit I love not having to think about what's on the menu. There's no last minute running to the store for a missing ingredient, which is another bonus. Secondly, baby girl has started on solids, and I absolutely refuse to use bottled or packaged foods for her. Ignoring all the recalls on that stuff lately, I can't get behind all the added preservatives and things. What's wrong with a few sweet potatoes and an ice cube tray?

The biggest reason we haven't been stocking up on frozen pizza, canned goods, and questionable grocery store meats, stems from recent instructions from the dietition trying to help my husband through his stomach issues. He's a type 1 diabetic and has recently been blighted by paralysis of the stomach. It's not a highly common complication, but once the doctor's figured it out, it was like the puzzle pieces of the past 6 or 7 years fell into place. When I met my husband he wasn't well, and was having problems understanding random low and high blood sugars unrelated to meal times. It turns out his stomach has been holding food, and most of the time only allowing it into his intestinal track as much as a week later, which was causing random jumps in his blood sugar. He's been losing weight lately and in terrible pain. Luckily, the doctors have been able to prescribe him a cocktail of drugs that are working together to make his stomach contract so that it can empty. The medications are only one side of his treatment. The other side, the side that is the long lasting treatment, is a drastic change in diet. First on the list was to eat smaller, more nutritious quantities of protein. The second was to reduce the quantity of fiber he was ingesting (these days even most white bread is fortified to have higher fiber content, thus our homemade variety is safer). He also has to stay away from anything with a high fat content. They also suggested he eat more soft cooked veggies, particularly in the blended form in soups, and to avoid processed foods whenever possible. I could be wrong, but to me that sounds a lot like the meal plan my husband and I worked on together. With baby girl well on her way with solids, a lot of these foods were on our list for her too.

Once again I sit in the face of what should have been a sudden and scary situation that would have changed our lives drastically in a matter or days, but instead of fear I'm left with the deep convictions of God's providence. God has once again led us, so gently, so slowly, to exactly where we needed to be, having armed us with the knowledge we need to do what's right. When we first got the phone call about this major dietary change we were scared and upset, but as the days went on we realised we were already there. If I needed any more proof of God's abiding love and faithfulness to us in a time when all else is falling apart, here it is. In every hour, I find God holding me, carrying me through the rough times.

For our wedding mass, we chose the psalm "The Lord's My Shepherd". I feel like we have made that psalm the motto of our marriage. Thank you, God, for leading us gently, and for loving us in times of fear and struggle. Perhaps instead of 40 days and nights in the desert, God is choosing 40 days and night of rain for our lives. Either way I know at the end God's promise stands firm, as a rainbow in the sky and the Cross on a hill faraway.

I will trust in you alone. I will trust in you alone. For your endless mercy follows me. Your goodness will lead me home.


  1. Your story has helped to remind me that God provides for EVERY need! And, of course, it reminds me to quit my needless whining about sleeplessness and just count my blessings. :) God is good - ALL the time.

    1. Thanks Jaclyn! I love writing these blogs because they force me to recognize how good God is to us!