I’m in Trouble

I’m in the doghouse tonight because I totally messed up the plan for today and created chaos. I have no time, but I went to read:

Prov. 15: 1

1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

I’m feeling mad instead of humble, even though I know it was my own fault. More Proverbs 15:

“A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” (although I’m secretly using this to justify why it’s not my problem, but a certain other person’s.)

ALSO:

  • He that regardeth reproof is prudent
  • The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
  • He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding
  • The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

Humility is in order.

HAS THIS POST BEEN HELPFUL TO YOU? Consider sharing with a friend who may benefit from the discussion. You’re also invited to share in the conversation and comment with your thoughts.

My conversion to (family-centered) child slavery

Since I’m traveling and on vacation, I am reminded that when my children are out of their routine and spoiled rotten with endless activities and generous granparents, their behavior goes down the toilet. Since my vacation leaves me short on blogging time, I decided I’d repost an old, relevant post from my family blog from last September. Enjoy!

I see HUGE improvements with Ben when he is put to work vs. when he just is playing and being entertained. Case in point, at the end of a super fun-filled, totally child-centered day last week when I said it was time to go home, I got this conversation:

MOM: It’s time to go, get in the van please.
BEN: Why do we have to go? I never get what I want. Why can’t I get what Iwant just once in my life?
MOM: Today we went to the park, had a play date, ate lunch at Del Taco, watched a movie, and went to the park again. You’re fine. Sophie, get in the van.
SOPHIE: I don’t want to go, why do you always make us have to go? I want to stay!
MOM: We need to eat dinner, get in the van.
SOPHIE: You’re the worst mom EVER. What’s for dinner, anyway?
BEN: Probably something gross, as usual.

I’ll take the fifth on my response to these comments. So, there’s my life. Amused or disgusted? Perhaps you blame lack of discipline. Well, perhaps it is that I alternate days of complete play and freedom with drudging slavery.

An amusing side note, I said to Ben after this, “You know, on these play days, you guys act entitled and bratty, on work days, you are pretty much well behaved, thankful and respectful. I’m thinking play days are not working out for us.” To which Ben replied casually, as he looked out his van window, “Yeah, I guess we should probably have more work days.”

So, my huge epiphany lately has been child slavery. Spencer W. Kimball (and many other wise men and women) say it is the key to character, and we should create work for our children. I think the truth of that is made clear rather quickly, as I see the huge difference in attitude at the end of a work day vs. a play day.

My sister in law, shared a quote from a conference she attended which said it was the lazy parent who did everything for their children. I understand that now, that it takes much more work to expect much, explain how things should be done, follow up, retrain, follow up again. I know when I send Ben in to clean a bathroom with a list of instructions, that it won’t be done properly and he’ll probably come out covered in germs, but I do it, and weirdly, he thinks it’s fun.

And the bathroom is at least better than before. However, he just may play with the plunger on the back of the toilet, and the large, porcelain lid to the back of the toilet just may get suctioned up by said plunger just long enough to be lifted up before losing its suction and falling to the floor very, very loudly in a million billion pieces. And I may think that I’m such a nice parent that I handled it so calmly, but then I might totally lose it when I walk in 10 minutes later and the plunger is now attached to the vanity mirror. These things may happen. But the work pays off regardless.

My conversion to (family-centered) child slavery

Since I’m traveling and on vacation, I am reminded that when my children are out of their routine and spoiled rotten with endless activities and generous granparents, their behavior goes down the toilet. Since my vacation leaves me short on blogging time, I decided I’d repost an old, relevant post from my family blog from last September. Enjoy!

I see HUGE improvements with Ben when he is put to work vs. when he just is playing and being entertained. Case in point, at the end of a super fun-filled, totally child-centered day last week when I said it was time to go home, I got this conversation:

MOM: It’s time to go, get in the van please.
BEN: Why do we have to go? I never get what I want. Why can’t I get what Iwant just once in my life?
MOM: Today we went to the park, had a play date, ate lunch at Del Taco, watched a movie, and went to the park again. You’re fine. Sophie, get in the van.
SOPHIE: I don’t want to go, why do you always make us have to go? I want to stay!
MOM: We need to eat dinner, get in the van.
SOPHIE: You’re the worst mom EVER. What’s for dinner, anyway?
BEN: Probably something gross, as usual.

I’ll take the fifth on my response to these comments. So, there’s my life. Amused or disgusted? Perhaps you blame lack of discipline. Well, perhaps it is that I alternate days of complete play and freedom with drudging slavery.

An amusing side note, I said to Ben after this, “You know, on these play days, you guys act entitled and bratty, on work days, you are pretty much well behaved, thankful and respectful. I’m thinking play days are not working out for us.” To which Ben replied casually, as he looked out his van window, “Yeah, I guess we should probably have more work days.”

So, my huge epiphany lately has been child slavery. Spencer W. Kimball (and many other wise men and women) say it is the key to character, and we should create work for our children. I think the truth of that is made clear rather quickly, as I see the huge difference in attitude at the end of a work day vs. a play day.

My sister in law, shared a quote from a conference she attended which said it was the lazy parent who did everything for their children. I understand that now, that it takes much more work to expect much, explain how things should be done, follow up, retrain, follow up again. I know when I send Ben in to clean a bathroom with a list of instructions, that it won’t be done properly and he’ll probably come out covered in germs, but I do it, and weirdly, he thinks it’s fun.

And the bathroom is at least better than before. However, he just may play with the plunger on the back of the toilet, and the large, porcelain lid to the back of the toilet just may get suctioned up by said plunger just long enough to be lifted up before losing its suction and falling to the floor very, very loudly in a million billion pieces. And I may think that I’m such a nice parent that I handled it so calmly, but then I might totally lose it when I walk in 10 minutes later and the plunger is now attached to the vanity mirror. These things may happen. But the work pays off regardless.

Mormons and Meat

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/89

When I am grateful for my food, I will eat prudently, and likely less, than if I’m just mindlessly eating. With gratitude, I recognize that my life has been sustained through the grace of God, and will not be inclined to be wasteful.

Especially in terms of meat, gratitude means I fully, consciously understand that another living thing has ended it’s life so I may continue mine.

To quote Kahlil Gibran:

When you kill a beast, say to him in your heart:
By the same power that slays you, I too am slain, and I too shall be consumed.
For the law that delivers you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand.
Your blood and my blood is naught but the sap that feeds the tree of heaven.

For most Americans there is inherently something spiritually corrosive about our eating of most things, but particularly meat. I believe we want to imagine subconsciously that the tidy, lean, plastic-covered protein packets came from a wholesome chicken tree. Most of us say, “I could never do that” when considering slaughtering our own livestock for meat, yet by not even witnessing any routine harvesting of animals ourselves, we are able avoid the truth about the sacrifice of life that we required, albeit one that is ordained for us. It is a life we are justified in taking with prudence and gratitude if we need it to save our own. If we are cold, hungry, and plants are not in season to eat. Can we be fully grateful without really thinking of the sacrifice of another living thing?

Michael Pollan:
More than any other institution, the American industrial animal farm offers a nightmarish glimpse of what capitalism can look like in the absence of moral or regulatory constraint. Here in these places life itself is redefined—as protein production—and with it suffering. That venerable word becomes “stress,” an economic problem in search of a cost-effective solution . . . . The industrialization–and dehumanization–of American animal farming is a relatively new, evitable, and local phenomenon: no other country raises and slaughters its food animals quite as intensively or as brutally as we do.”

How does that align with our view of animals as fellow spiritual and physical creations of our same Heavenly Father? A proverb observed that “a righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (Prov. 12:10.)

In March 1831, it was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that though vegetarianism was not to be enforced as a doctrine for mankind, men were still responsible for their killing of animals.
“And whoso forbiddeth to [says you may not] abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;
“For, behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.
“And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.” (D&C 49:18–19, 21.) (Emphasis added, full article is great reading: source)

From the same article:

During the Zion’s Camp expedition in the summer of 1834, an incident occurred that allowed a practical application of concern for animal life. As related by the Prophet Joseph Smith in his history:
“In pitching my tent we found three massasaugas or prairie rattlesnakes, which the brethren were about to kill, but I said, ‘Let them alone—don’t hurt them! How will the serpent ever lose his venom, while the servants of God possess the same disposition, and continue to make war upon it? Men must become harmless, before the brute creation; and when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the sucking child can play with the serpent in safety.’ The brethren took the serpents carefully on sticks and carried them across the creek. I exhorted the brethren not to kill a serpent, bird, or an animal of any kind during our journey unless it became necessary in order to preserve ourselves from hunger.” (Documentary History of the Church, vol. 2, pp. 71–72.)

Brigham Young said:

The more purity that exists, the less is the strife; the more kind we are to our animals, the more will peace increase, and the savage nature of the brute creation will vanish away.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 203.)

Same article as above:

“… The unnecessary destruction of life is a distinct spiritual loss to the human
family. Men cannot worship the Creator and look with careless indifference upon
his creations. The love of all life helps man to the enjoyment of a better life.
It exalts the spiritual nature of those in need of divine favor. “Every moving
thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. … And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands.” (JST, Gen. 9:9–11.)

Just because we cannot see the source of what we eat in our Taco Bell taco, and what happened during the life and death of that animal, does not mean we are not accountable and spiritually effected.

To eat meat to save our lives in cold, winter or famine with prudence and thanksgiving means that we ensure that the animal was treated as every creation of God deserves to be treated, even if ordained for our use.

This seems almost impossible in our time, but we don’t need to allow the status quo of inhumanity in our own consumption. We can find humane sources and pay the higher prices that go along with it, we can find creative sources and means to eat meat in accorance with this law, and we can choose not to participate and condone the lack of prudence and thanksgiving by not supporting with our money those who take part in it.

Mormons are not asked to be vegetarian unless there is no way to eat meat in the authorized way: with prudence, thanksgiving, without waste or extortion, sparingly, and preferably only in winter or famine.

HAS THIS POST BEEN HELPFUL TO YOU? Consider sharing with a friend who may benefit from the discussion. You’re also invited to share in the conversation and comment with your thoughts.

Time to Eat: Word of Wisdom

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/89

PLANTS: All are good for us in season, must be used with prudence and thanks.

  • All wholesome herbs (plants) are to be eaten in season are ordained for “the constitution, nature, and use of man” “to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.”
  • The fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground, is good for the fruit of man.
  • All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life. It is “good for the food of man.”

FLESH: Beasts of field may be used sparingly, preferably only in times of winter/cold/famine.

  • Flesh of beasts (of the field) and fowls of the air “ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving” “to be used sparingly. It pleases the Lord if they are not used except “in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.”
  • Wild animals that run or creep on the earth are “for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.”

Good reading: http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=728c1f26d596b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

THOUGHTS/NOTES

The “Staff” scriptural references imply that this staff of life is what separates us from famine and death. When the “staff” of bread is broken by the Lord, the people will hunger. To be the staff of life means that it will stave off hunger. In a practical sense, fruits and vegetables are nutrient-dense plants but do not hold off hunger for long, whereas whole-grain bread does. It does not necessarily mean that it is the bulk of our diet, but the core of our diet–the energy that keeps us going (yay, carbs!).

HAS THIS POST BEEN HELPFUL TO YOU? Consider sharing with a friend who may benefit from the discussion. You’re also invited to share in the conversation and comment with your thoughts.

Mommy the Food Facist

Before you go all judging me to be a crazy hippie freak who is determined to deprive her children of everything an American child deserves, please know that we are on vacation and my children had pop-tarts and sugar-in-a-bag instant oatmeal for breakfast. See, I love America just like you.

I have been studying a lot about food lately, you can check out the Suburban Harvest suggested reading list for the titles I have most appreciated. Information about food and our food supply can be alarming, and then paralyzing, and it’s tempting to stop up your ears with marshmellows (secret ingredients: beef and petroleum products) and say, “Hey, I don’t want to know.”

And of course ignorance is bliss, unless your ignorance makes you, your husband and your kids sick, fat and dead too early. Refusing to know the facts doesn’t make you immune from the consequences. Try it with the law of gravity sometime.

But then, what do you do with all that knowledge? You feel stuck and confused. You start feeling like nothing is safe, you don’t know who to trust, simply making dinner seems a psychologically overwhelming task, plus you don’t want to be the neighborhood food weirdo (like that crazy MamaMelodrama).

Then, after a few weeks (or days) of trying to feed your family “healthy” foods, you just bag it all and fall back on what you know: spaghetti, burritos, hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, quesadillas, mac and cheese, repeat. Cold cereal, toast, instant oatmeal, cold cereal, toast, pancakes, repeat. Sandwich, sandwich, sandwich, sandwich–well, you get it.

What I like about these books is that they don’t just freak a person out, they give practical, normal-people answers and solutions. They get me excited about making feeding my family part of my parenting and teaching, instead of a solitary, unappreciated chore. (A chore that’s normally done while barking threats and orders from the kitchen demanding that, for the last time, they stop playing Shark in the living room because the floor is where feet belong, sharks or no, and there can be no more jumping from chair to couch.)

My children already think I’m a food facist because of such family rules as “No candy with breakfast” and “Three rolls do not count as dinner.” So you can only imagine how they feel about my new rule: “Our family eats food.”

From the time my kids are babies tootling around on all fours, they start eating garbage off the floor. Even when I think my house is clean they locate some yucky, hairy ball of discarded nastiness and assume it is for their dining enjoyment. I also have older children who continue to be orally fixated, who crave tactile sensory stimulation in the form of chewing random things, in particular, water bottle lids, chomping them into what appear to be owl pellets. My constant mantra as I reposses these items from children small and large is, “That’s – not – FOOD!”

As you may be aware, our bodies are designed to eat food in order to function. As you may or may not be aware, there are increasing items in what we call our food, often in alarming amounts, which are not food at all, and our body doesn’t always know what to do with them. Sometimes they get flushed away, sometimes the body is very busy, and it has no idea what to do with the garbage it was just handed, so it just shoves it away in various places so it can go on with its work. (It’s the same as you and I do when we get mail that we’re not sure is garbage or filing.) Stuff piles up, then it gets ugly.

Because this is a family/parenting blog and food is a big part of raising a healthy family, I’ve decided to dedicate my Thursday posts to the subject of “That’s not food!” Where I can share what I’m learning about food (and things that aren’t food, that we eat anyway).

In the meantime, the short answer is, as much as possible, eat what your great-grandma ate. Because she probably ate food, and I’m confident that she wasn’t a crazy hippie freak at all.

For a wonderful, quick education on the subject, please take the time to read Michael Pollan’s article, Unhappy Meals.

PS. For those of you who don’t know me and already know this, I really am a crazy hippie freak. Had you going there thinking I was normal though for a second, didn’t I? Please still come visit me anyway. A crazy rant every now and then won’t hurt you.

Mommy the Food Facist

Before you go all judging me to be a crazy hippie freak who is determined to deprive her children of everything an American child deserves, please know that we are on vacation and my children had pop-tarts and sugar-in-a-bag instant oatmeal for breakfast. See, I love America just like you.

I have been studying a lot about food lately, you can check out the Suburban Harvest suggested reading list for the titles I have most appreciated. Information about food and our food supply can be alarming, and then paralyzing, and it’s tempting to stop up your ears with marshmellows (secret ingredients: beef and petroleum products) and say, “Hey, I don’t want to know.”

And of course ignorance is bliss, unless your ignorance makes you, your husband and your kids sick, fat and dead too early. Refusing to know the facts doesn’t make you immune from the consequences. Try it with the law of gravity sometime.

But then, what do you do with all that knowledge? You feel stuck and confused. You start feeling like nothing is safe, you don’t know who to trust, simply making dinner seems a psychologically overwhelming task, plus you don’t want to be the neighborhood food weirdo (like that crazy MamaMelodrama).

Then, after a few weeks (or days) of trying to feed your family “healthy” foods, you just bag it all and fall back on what you know: spaghetti, burritos, hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, quesadillas, mac and cheese, repeat. Cold cereal, toast, instant oatmeal, cold cereal, toast, pancakes, repeat. Sandwich, sandwich, sandwich, sandwich–well, you get it.

What I like about these books is that they don’t just freak a person out, they give practical, normal-people answers and solutions. They get me excited about making feeding my family part of my parenting and teaching, instead of a solitary, unappreciated chore. (A chore that’s normally done while barking threats and orders from the kitchen demanding that, for the last time, they stop playing Shark in the living room because the floor is where feet belong, sharks or no, and there can be no more jumping from chair to couch.)

My children already think I’m a food facist because of such family rules as “No candy with breakfast” and “Three rolls do not count as dinner.” So you can only imagine how they feel about my new rule: “Our family eats food.”

From the time my kids are babies tootling around on all fours, they start eating garbage off the floor. Even when I think my house is clean they locate some yucky, hairy ball of discarded nastiness and assume it is for their dining enjoyment. I also have older children who continue to be orally fixated, who crave tactile sensory stimulation in the form of chewing random things, in particular, water bottle lids, chomping them into what appear to be owl pellets. My constant mantra as I reposses these items from children small and large is, “That’s – not – FOOD!”

As you may be aware, our bodies are designed to eat food in order to function. As you may or may not be aware, there are increasing items in what we call our food, often in alarming amounts, which are not food at all, and our body doesn’t always know what to do with them. Sometimes they get flushed away, sometimes the body is very busy, and it has no idea what to do with the garbage it was just handed, so it just shoves it away in various places so it can go on with its work. (It’s the same as you and I do when we get mail that we’re not sure is garbage or filing.) Stuff piles up, then it gets ugly.

Because this is a family/parenting blog and food is a big part of raising a healthy family, I’ve decided to dedicate my Thursday posts to the subject of “That’s not food!” Where I can share what I’m learning about food (and things that aren’t food, that we eat anyway).

In the meantime, the short answer is, as much as possible, eat what your great-grandma ate. Because she probably ate food, and I’m confident that she wasn’t a crazy hippie freak at all.

For a wonderful, quick education on the subject, please take the time to read Michael Pollan’s article, Unhappy Meals.

PS. For those of you who don’t know me and already know this, I really am a crazy hippie freak. Had you going there thinking I was normal though for a second, didn’t I? Please still come visit me anyway. A crazy rant every now and then won’t hurt you.