This series, “A Time for Everything,” will focus on the changes happening in my life, how the Lord has prepared me, and is continuing to do so, and what I’m learning about Ecclesiastes 3.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Sometimes it feels as though you are just sailing along peacefully in life, feeling perfectly content with where you are and what is happening in your family, work, home, marriage, and health. Now, the likelihood of all those areas in your life moving along without interruption all at the same time is not great. But we have probably all experienced seasons of rest in our lives where not much change is taking place (nor required).
We have been in this stage for the last 2.5 years or so. Granted, I gave birth twice in that time and there has certainly been a great deal of change in the dynamic or our household because of that. But those were expected changes. Challenging, but wanted and cherished changes.
In January of 2010, we bought our first home – a real fixer-upper. It took us (and by us, I mean my husband and lots of help from family and friends with a little help from me, being that I was pregnant during this whole renovation) five months to make it livable for us, and moved in the evening of July 4. We’ve enjoyed this season of making this house our home, learning how to parent these girls (this one is ongoing, of course), soaking up the fleeting moments of these days with little ones (also plenty of times of frustration, how-in-the-world-am-i-supposed-to-do-this moments, exhaustion, impatience, and the like). We have both been sensing that the winds of change are blowing our direction though. Part one of this “A Time for Everything” series will focus on the major diet change in our home starting TODAY!
NEW DIET = NEW GROCERY SHOPPING/FOOD PREP PLAN
I know that little by little, God has been working on me (and my husband) in preparation for what lies ahead. On Monday, Josh will be starting the GAPS diet in hopes to heal ulcerative colitis, which he was diagnosed with this past August. The most basic summary of the diet is that it’s grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free (in the beginning), and soy-free. I won’t get into all the details and stages, but suffice it to say that it is a major change that will require a great deal of learning on my part as the primary cook of the house, and his part, as he will be taking on a bigger role in that regard since the food preparation that is required will likely be more than I can handle by myself while taking care of three little ones as well.
The GAPS diet requires eliminating all toxins that enter the body, so our grocery budget will need to expanded significantly to allow us to purchase all organic produce and meats without additives/hormones/antibiotics. I have always been frugal, but took it to another level when I started couponing a year and a half ago. I have spent a lot of time and energy into saving money on our grocery budget, so I felt a bit defeated when learning that all my efforts would seem to be for naught now that we aren’t able to eat anything that I can find coupons for! However, I soon realized that all of the other money-saving techniques I’ve learned (buying in bulk, advance food prep/freezing in bulk, learning to find and compare the best price/oz or lb) would indeed be very valuable to us now. God has been so graciously teaching us and making a way for us before we even knew that we would need it.
Being the wonderful provider that He is, the Lord had already taken it upon Himself to make a way for us to afford this increase in food budget. After being at the same company for the last 3.5 years (seeing countless others laid off in the departments around him and seemingly no hope for a promotion), Josh learned of an unexpected opening in his department that would result in a fairly substantial pay raise. He applied for the position, and was encouraged by nearly all of his co-workers that he was the obvious choice for the job — and he got it! We have just been so thankful for the Lord’s *perfect* timing in this.
One thing that is really helping us face this adjustment is the fact that we have prepared ourselves for this learning curve. I have admitted that it’s likely we’ll have some less-than-delicious meals as I try out new recipes every single day, and Josh has graciously assured me that we’ll work together and do the best we can – and just learn as we go. Of course I want him to like every meal I make, but by pretty much starting from scratch building a repertoire of “GAPS legal” recipes, there are bound to be some flops…especially when sugar (other than natural fruit and raw honey) is not allowed! We are okay with that.
I am also anticipating multiple runs to the grocery store for a while until we get used to this diet. It’s hard to know exactly how much we’ll need of any certain food – even if I plan ahead – I know there will be missteps and forgotten ingredients or spoiled produce from time to time. For the past year and a half, I have typically gone to the store once a week or less. But I know I can’t realistically expect that in this season. Once we get a good system down for meal planning and know what recipes we like, we can probably get back to once-a-week shopping.
I’ve also prepared myself for the additional time I will need to spend preparing food each day. On an average day I probably spend an hour or less in the kitchen. It’s likely I’ll be in the kitchen closer to two hours per day for a while until I learn more efficient methods for everything. We’ll have to make practically ALL our food from scratch – no bottled condiments, canned foods, store bought yogurt, cereals, lunch meat, etc. This will take time. I really enjoy cooking, but the challenge for me will be managing the girls during the day and balancing my time with them when I also need to be in the kitchen frequently. I do look forward to the day when they are all old enough to cook with me!
All-in-all, I am ready for this challenge – thankful for God’s provision thus far, and hopeful that Josh will find healing as we enter this new season of life.