Mar 4, 2010

Giving Thanks

Hello dear friends. I've been absent for awhile - it's hard for me to write when my heart isn't at rest. I'm just now feeling calm enough to be able to sit and write about matters close to my heart. Lately, anytime I even approach ANY matter close to ANYONE'S heart it brings me to tears. One thing I have learned during this sad time (something I thought I already knew) is just a renewed sensitivity to other's hurts...no matter how big or small. I've been made extremely aware of others and their feelings...not just my own rocky world. I'm very thankful that God has shown this to me...that He has changed my attitude or at least "sharpened" my senses enough to really feel for others. Like I said...something I thought I was good at but have become more aware of through this time of grieving.

With that said....today I would love to just talk(type) a little about my thoughts on my family's lifestyle...at least the lifestyle that I am trying so desperately to create for my littles. I think it starts with just slowing down. I feel like this world is just moving at such an incredibly fast rate...is spinning out of my control really. It seems like most people just don't have time to notice little gifts as they should - as I should. Simple things like leaves crunching under feet...the smell of sun on pine, fresh coffee in the morning.....sitting and just staring into someone's eyes that you love with all of your heart and taking in the moment....working side by side and accomplishing things with you HANDS...not with your computer or the dishwasher or the vaccuum. With your HANDS. Just feeling life, smelling life...tasting life. Meals seem to be gulped down in five minutes and taken in just to sustain not to be enjoyed for it's wholesomeness. And that is where I've begun in this whole whole striving for the simple things in life....with our food that really has been a huge part of changing our lifestyle.

Food is something that I have always thought a lot about. When I was growing up i would LIVE for the day the plane would bring our mail with the newest addition of Cooking Light tucked away in the mail bag. My mom would look through it and then when she was done she gave it to me so I could clip out any recipes i would like and store them away in my recipe box - how many 13 year old girls do you know with a recipe box? I LOVED thinking and dreaming about my future family and the homey meals i would prepare for them. It wasn't neccessarily thinking about the taste of the food so much as thinking about the warm and caring atmosphere... putting together different textures and colors on a plate that would really be...art. Being active in working and creating something that would draw people closer together.

God did not give us the ability to taste just to sustain. If that were true I think He would have made a huge tree with little leaves on it like "Garden of Eden One a Days." Instead He created grains and plants...lovely apples and berries, golden squash and bright green zuccinni's...He made bees that would create sweet honey, chickens for laying eggs. Why would He have been so proactive in creating such a huge variety of foods if He didn't want us to enjoy?

So, food is to be enjoyed...it is also for nourishing our bodies. As much as possible I try my best to eat foods in their original forms. I like to combine things and season dishes, but i really want to give my family the original foods that God made...beans and grains, eggs and nuts, fruit and honey, sometimes meat. I do not think it is wrong to eat man made foods...I just feel that they are not as healthy or as good for our bodies.Lets face it - nothing man can do is as good as what God can do, even creating food. Most of what you see on the shelves of a super market are all man made foods. I find so much joy working in my kitchen with fresh herbs...learning combinations of which flavors go with which....I love baking bread and filling the house with that delicious aroma that is so...welcoming? One man said " tasting homemade wheat bread is like tasting the earth...the sun...the river" they are all intertwined. Store bought white bread really is nothing but "fluff." If you tear the crust off of a piece you can roll the dough into something the size of a marble. Plus, have you looked at the ingredients on the package? if you can't pronounce it...don't eat it.

Do we sometimes NOT eat this way. Absolutely. When I'm at someone else's house I do not expect them to serve me the kind of meal that I would generally make for my family...if we are traveling i DEFINTILY don't expect it. A good rule of thumbs is to just try to eat that way at home if that's where you consume most of your meals. That's all I'm going to say on nutrition. I really just enjoy whole foods and I like to avoid things that are canned or processed. I'm not on some type of "diet"...it really is our lifestyle and i LOVE it.



It's so fulfilling to live simply. To notice things...to take pleasure in a carrot or a slice of cheese. To think of the Creator that made that tiny plant just for me. I love this picture of Brady because of how much enjoyment he got out of something like a clump of fresh snow...scooped into a piece of paper and drizzeled with maple syrup. Something so plain yet so good. One reason i also love simplicity is because it usually involves being active...using your hands. Have you ever noticed the sense of accomplishment and fullfillment that rises up in you when you actually make something or clean something...when you dip your hands in warm sudsy water and clean away grime. I love the feeling of my hands in bread dough, kneading and rolling, kneading and rolling...knowing that I am doing something of purpose. God created all of the different place of acupunture on your hands for a reason...you whole body delights when your hands are at work.

I love surfing the web...I like the convience on a busy day of filling up my dishwasher. However, I have felt the happiest on the days when I washed the dishes myself, made something that I could have bought....I love the feeling of sweeping a hardwood floor and then mopping it...seeing it shine - I like it better then the clean lines on carpet that a vaccuum makes.It feels better. I'm thankful that God has given me a desire to live this way...I think my kids will have very happy memories when they are older and they will have some skills that maybe other people their ages won't have.

Thanks for listening. I hope maybe some of what I wrote helps someone out there to just actually look at the sky today and marvel....or turn their computer off and read a book or cut some fabric and sew...if you can't sew use your hot glue gun. Just be. And with that, I think I'll do just the same. A cup of hot tea is calling me.


3 comments:

Josh and Rachel said...

Awesome blog Alyssa...I love your heart and the sincerity that you bring to the table. I KNOW that your family will have fond memories of growing up because you TRY to give them that opportunity. Thanks for sharing your heart.

CorleyAunt said...

AMEN, SAY IT AGAIN!

MOM said...

You are precious. IT amazes me how you are able to write what you think; I get so garbled that nothing make sense. I love simplicity, too. Being back in my simple mountain adobe brick home has been such a blessing that I pray I never take for granted.

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