Monday, September 16, 2013

Earlier this summer, I tried Paleo with my husband. It wrecked my stomach. I've got tummy issues, and too much of anything, even vegetables, is no good for me. I've also got high cholesterol and an indecisive brain. Paleo claims it will help the underlying inflammation that contributes to both of my issues, but uuhhhh . . . that's a lot of red meat and eggs. Really?

I decided to go to the bookstore and find a book that would answer all my questions. Bad move. What I found was a wide array of books that claimed to answer all my questions in totally different ways: Go Vegan! Eat Vegetarian! Carbs are BAD! Carbs are GOOD! The French Diet! The Asian Diet! Good gracious.

I walked away empty handed and decided to ask my doctor. Good move.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking about what was really happening in that bookstore. I was looking for a book to reassure me that a modified Paleo diet was okay. I often look to books to reassure me, and fit my particular mood. In fact, it just happened again.

Jim and I decided that the boys do not have to do church choir this fall. The practice time is difficult for us, and they don't love it. Something had to give in our overwhelmed schedules, and that was it.

{Insert ridiculous amount of Mommy Guilt.}

But they're so cute when they get up there and sing! And they've revamped the program this year! It includes Bible study!!!

Yes, but the boys have flat out said they don't want to. And Wednesday nights are the only night we never have anything else scheduled. We need that night at home, together.

{Lingering Guilt . . . }

And so, I turned to Katrina Kenison and her book, Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry, for reassurance. Having read and loved her second book about her boys' teenage years, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir, I knew that her first book about slowing down their childhood would be just what I needed. I'm only on Chapter 4, but already my highlighter is in overdrive:
We mistake activity for happiness, and so we stuff our children's days with activities, and their heads with information, when we ought to be feeding their souls instead . . . 

So often we bemoan our children's hyperactivity and short fuses. But what kind of example do we set for them as we race from here to there ourselves, trying to accomplish more, have more, experience more, in the course of a day? My rambunctious five-year-old actually craves stillness, embraces it gratefully, whenever I stop long enough to create it with him.

Regular rest for the spirit is as necessary for their healthy growth as sleep, fresh air, and good food. And just as our children depend on us for three meals a day, they also need us to prepare peaceful spaces for them in the midst of this busy world.
Just the reassurance I needed.
Do you read books for reassurance? Any recommendations?
How do you decide which activities to cut?

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2 Responses to “Reassurance”

  1. farewell, guilt trip! it never did a thing for us!


  2. I agree, I really over-scheduled this fall and today about broke me! Sometimes we feel like if we don't do something that is good, that missed opportunity is bad. I always have to remember that something they miss this season, they can try again next season. Thank you for your wise words!!