Time, Money, Health
When it comes to the way we feed our families, those three words create a juggling act that every homemaker does her best to perform well.
I'd like to examine our attitudes toward each of those juggling balls, but before I do, allow me to give a little introduction.
Food, especially as it relates to “health food”, is a touchy subject. I know this because I've experienced both sides of the “touchiness”. On one hand, I've felt like I didn't measure up to others' standards of what I should be feeding my family. On the other hand, I've also been criticized for not having my priorities right and spending too much money on eating healthy. (“I mean, we're all going to die anyway. Everybody's going to end up with cancer anyway. Why spend all that extra money on food when it could be used for the Lord's work?”) Those weren't the exact words, but that was the gist of what was being said.
I've had to come to terms on both counts with the fact that the only person to whom I'm accountable when it comes to what I feed my family is God.
I can't worry about what anybody else thinks.
When I fully embraced that thinking, I was free to make decisions for our family that, in other's eyes, may or may not be “healthy enough” or that may or may not cost me too much money and time, but that are the right choices for us and for our particular situation.
With that being said, I want everyone to understand that I'm not here to tell you what you should eat or to tell you how much money or time you should spend purchasing and preparing your food. I want to be an encouragement to everyone no matter what your particular circumstances to continue doing your best to balance these resources (all of them – time, money, and health) for the benefit of your family and the glory of God.
Now, let's take a quick look at these different juggling balls:
1. Time. We all have different responsibilities in life, but there is no denying the fact that we are all busy. Our days are filled to the brim with completing one responsibility after another, and time in the kitchen is yet another activity to add to our already full schedule. It's not a wonder that when dinner time comes we want to prepare whatever is going to be the quickest and easiest so we can get that obstacle out of our way and continue on with our day.
2. Money. There may be a few people in this world who have more money than they know what to do with, but I don't personally know any. We all want to use our money wisely and not spend any more than is absolutely necessary – especially on something boring like the grocery bill. While some are better at it than others, I would think that every family desires to trim down their eating expenses as much as possible so that there is more money left over for other needs and desires.
3. Health. This is usually the juggling ball on which we focus the least of our attention. We've exerted our effort so much on trimming down time and money spent on eating, that we lose control of that third ball. Since we've done so well on managing the “time” and “money” balls, we feel as if we can relax a bit and not worry too much if our “health” ball becomes a little unsteady.
Folks, that was me not too long ago. I had the “time” and the “money” ball flowing in a steady rhythm, and I thought I was doing pretty well on the “health” part too. Until I started feeling like dirt all the time.
I had to take a step back and really examine what we were eating and what nutritional value it was providing for us. I did a lot of research on various foods because many times what appears to be healthy on the surface is not really so healthy. There was a lot of nutrition my body was missing out on.
Can I tell you something? If you know any of “those people” (you know, the health food “nuts”?), don't knock their beliefs if you've never researched them. Don't get the attitude that their ideas are a bit over-the-top if you've never taken the time to find out exactly why they do and don't eat certain things. I would have never become convinced if someone had simply told me that I should or shouldn't feed my family certain things, but after doing my own research and finding things out for myself, I am quickly becoming persuaded that certain things just shouldn't be consumed by anybody, no matter how inexpensive they may be and how little money you may have.
In the next post, I'll be sharing some of the changes we made in our diet as well as other shifts we made to keep the “time” and “money” juggling balls from faltering.
In the meantime, I hope you'll take a little time to think through your handling of these juggling balls. Have you relaxed a little on the “health” ball due to the fact that time and money are tight? I challenge you to take the time to do some personal research on just one thing this week . Maybe it's an ingredient in your food that you don't know what it is, or maybe you wonder why people would want to pay extra money to buy raw milk.
I hope I can be a help to you through this blog. I'll be sharing our family's personal experiences of what we're learning about being healthy while simultaneously managing our time and money wisely.