Relationships, part 3

“Our parents care for us as children and we care for them in their old age but we always know that there will come a day when they will see Jesus long before we do.” (July 2, 2013)

As  parents age and move closer to the end of their lives many adult children may find themselves stepping into the role of parent, care-giver, and nurse while trying their best to honor their parents.

When in this position, it’s necessary to try balance parents, spouse, children, and grandchildren too. Throw in work and church, it  feels as if there is absolutely no time to take care of oneself.

Some days it may feel as if one is walking a high tension wire and just about to go crashing to the ground.

There seems to be no time for exercise. It may even seem selfish for wanting an hour to take a walk or go to the gym.

Comfort foods are used as a stress-reliever. Indulgences become a reward.

And it’s about so much more than finding balance, dealing with stress, or being bone-tired. Caring for our parents comes with the childhood wounds, family tensions, and the building frustration of the unfairness of it all. Brothers and sisters seem to go on with life as normal. While they were only there for a few hours to visit,  parents go on and on for days about how good it was to see him or her. To add insult to injury, the absent brother or sister is the parent’s favorite child who does no wrong.

If you are in this position, then I want to tell you that you absolutely, positively need to begin caring for yourself. You can’t on like this indefinitely! If you continue to try to balance it all, you will come crashing to the ground sooner rather then later. And then what? Who will step in and pick up the pieces?

Not only will it all come crashing down but you may find that you’ve put yourself in a place where someone needs to take care of you.

It’s time to ask for help! You’re not weak because you can’t keep it all balanced and you’re not selfish because you need a few hours a week to take care of yourself…..

(Disclaimer: Due to distance, I am the kid who shows up for a few days to help out and then leaves. My husband, Hank, tries to pick up his mom and takes her out of town for a few days so that Judy can get a break. Thank you Judy and Rhonda for all that you do to take care of our parents! )

thinking about food

A verse from my daily reading….

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?

When we read this verse we tend to think of those who are going without, don’t we? But what about those of us who have become consumed about what and how much we eat, about the size of our hips, and getting some spanx to make us look thinner.

We’ve kept food journals, measured serving sizes, and counted calories. Instead of saying our nightly prayers, we tried to recount everything we ate throughout the day. We start each Monday on a diet. And end each Friday rewarding ourselves with food for making it through the week.

We’ve spent countless hours thinking about food, haven’t we? And in doing so, we have been in direct disobedience to Christ. (OUCH!)

Isn’t time that we break this vicious cycle? Don’t you think we be concentrating more on God and his kingdom, family, and friends than we are going to eat or what we shouldn’t have eaten?

Now this doesn’t mean that we should just eat absolutely anything our heart desires because then we’ll wake each day more disgusted with ourselves than we were the day before.

It means that we should be eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. We should be eating the foods that God placed in the Garden of Eden and not what we find at the food courts in our local mall.

ImageLet’s stop looking for the magic pill that will allow us to eat those things that got us into this shape, stop paying Jenny Craig for her advice, and begin following the plan of the ONE  who designed and provided the perfect meal plan for us during creation.

 

 

 

Relationships – Kids

Spending some time with Hannah on the beach before she moves to Ohio.

Let’s talk about our kids….I’ve said things like I’d take a bullet for my kid, I’d die for my kid, my kid is my life. And now I’ve discovered that I’m willing to live for my kid!

By taking care of my body, I’m actually choosing to live for my kid and I’m investing in her future peace of mind.

I love my daughter more than words can ever express and I don’t want her to bear the burden of having to care for me when I’m old. I don’t want her to have to make difficult decisions about my health and well-being.

Choosing to eat well and exercise are the only things that I can physically do to ensure that I’ll be able to live on and take care of myself as I age.

And it’s my gift to Hannah.

I’ve watched illness and disease destroy more than one life…. I’ve watched countless adult children fall into the position of nurse and care-taker. I’ve seen adult children torn between taking care of their own children and caring for their parents.

I’ve also seen the toil that it’s taken on the finances. If you think you have to get sick to die then you must also realize that it’s the most expensive way to go. It takes more than your money, it steals your children’s inheritance.

I’m not going to do that. By taking care of myself I’ll be able to fulfill the scripture that instructs us to leave an inheritance to our children’s children. (Proverbs 13:22)

So, on those days when I feel guilty about taking care of myself that’s when I  remind myself that I’m also taking care of that kid I love so much!

Okra Fries

I just had to eat this fresh okra that I got at the Farmer’s Market but didn’t want to fry it like the southern girl I am….

So I tried this recipe and it’s wonderful!

Roasted Okra Fries

  • Yield: 2-4 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. okra, trimmed
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Fat pinch of Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Sprinkle of curry powder (I used garlic/jalapeno powder)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450.Okra Fries
  2. Toss okra in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and seasoning powder.
  3. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet (make sure they’re not touching) and roast for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Serves 2-4.

Nutritional Analysis

For half the recipe –> Calories: 102; Total Fat: 4.7g; Saturated Fat: 0.8g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Carbohydrate: 14.8g; Dietary Fiber: 6.4g; Sugars: 2.4; Protein: 4g

Waterfront Farmer’s Market

Pirate's Cove
Fresh, organic produce. Great flavor with even better prices!

The rains have finally stopped for a few hours and the Waterfront Farmer’s Market was open for business this morning. Oh my gosh! The fruits and vegetables were beautiful, the people friendly, and the experience awesome.

I met this wonderful couple from Israel who own an organic farm in Thomasville, Georgia. They have been married for 47 years and lived in the states for 23. From my short little conversation with them I could tell that they truly love each other and are passionate about organic farming. I picked up some yellow zucchini, sweet potatoes, okra, peaches, and tomatoes.  Plus, they were making falafel sandwiches with fresh veggies and green chile! As the gentleman was making it, he told me that “if this is are not the best you’ve ever had, don’t come back.” I gotta admit it… it was the best I’ve ever had and I’ll take Hannah there next week so she can try it.

While talking with these guys I was reminded the God of Israel created the perfect diet for  us before He ever created Adam….. seed bearing plants, fish, fowl, and livestock. Nothing was processed and everything was “organic.”

If you want to align spirit, soul, and body with God’s original plan then it’s time to go back to the beginning and eat what He created it for us!