I love doing things home made, from scratch, simple, environmentally friendly, and God honoring. Yet, there are times, (more often than I'd like to admit) when my dream life and my reality collide. In fact, in our home we have a phrase said often, “It’s another reality meets bliss moment.” You know those moments don’t you? It’s when you’re adoring an infant and realize they’re not smiling at your silly faces they’re about to get sick… only problem is you realize it one millisecond too late. Or what about when you stay up all night making home made soap to surprise the family only to have it fail… yet again. To make matters worse, before you can warn the family, someone thought you had made brownies and takes a bite of the lethal product and goes screaming and gagging through the house to the bathroom. Of course there are the reality/bliss collisions half way through the year when you realize your dream garden is actually worse than a nightmare. Despite all the money and time you’ve invested you won’t have much more than a bowl of greens to offer the family. Then there are the moments when you’re sure you can do something but then have the realization that you’re not as fit as you once were. Again, the realization never seems to come before you find yourself in a painful position you can’t get out of. Oh, the list of my ‘reality meets bliss moments’ are abundant.
Here are three things I have learned over the years to prevent these train wreck moments:
1. Prudent Preparation is critical- To have healthy food on hand is something I have to prepare for it’s not just going to happen at the last minute. I need to have my yogurt made, my bread starter growing, cheese making, kefir grains living, and my garden plotted, tilled, and soil tested. For our family we’ve found a schedule to be very effective. Monday is cheese making day (actually includes all kinds of dairy products), Tuesday, bread baking, Wednesday, is weeding the garden day, Thursday, we deep clean the house, Friday, we organize the barn and so on. I can’t think of one time that I have ever done something on a whim and found it to be successful. I must be wise to consider details, time, financial resources, and my skills.
2. Know (and accept) my limitations- I can’t do everything that everyone else is doing. I can only do what God has for me at this very specific time of my life. In fact I find there are times I can make homemade bread without skipping a beat and other times it gets put on the back burner. If I have limited resources our menu must adjust. I can’t try to buy the ‘goodies’ that we don’t’ have the resources for. I need to carefully evaluate what the budget is and then buy healthy food within the means of those blessings. I don’t buy into the concept that healthy food isn’t affordable. I believe it is very reasonable and practical even in a large family like our own. It’s just that adjustments might be needed. If I have time limitations, like this year. I might find that buying my starts from Sarah’s Starts is a much more practical idea than starting all our own seeds (even though we’ve started our own for years). When I ignore my limitations I often find the reality meets bliss trains heading full steam ahead for the train wreck of a lifetime!
3. Back up plans are essential- I don’t typically buy store bought cereal for my family however, when reality moments have prevented me from having home made granola on hand I have back up plan. One back up plan, pulled out only in morning emergencies, is a variety of the organic cereals that Azure offers. When I accidently ‘murder’ my kefir grains I provide them with Nancy’s Kefir (which they all LOVE). If I had a baby in cloth diapers and found the experience to not be what I had wanted or what I have time/energy for my back up plan would be non chlorine, hypoallergenic diapers. If I found that my schedule didn’t allow any time for my home made laundry cleaner I would reach in the cabinet and pull out some environmentally friendly detergent and use it without guilt! When I have moments that keep me from having home made bread I pull out a loaf of Ezekiel bread or maybe a loaf of Rudi’s 14 grain bread. Is it my first choice, no. It’s my back up plan that keeps my family from slipping into the pit of the SAD (Standard American Diet) all over again.
Reality meets bliss moments are sure to happen. I just need to make sure I don’t find myself going the wrong direction when all the debris settle.
Until our next chat…
Mrs. Joseph Wood