I have a temper. I’m sometimes not “reasonable.” There, I admit it. I’m pretty sure I’ve admitted it before, but there it is again.
So imagine the scene. Me, irritated and storming through the house, cleaning up messes that I didn’t make, getting very little help from the boys, who were the only kids at home at the time.
Then…it happened! I saw a partially eaten banana just laying there on the couch. UGH! Really?? Why can’t they throw their trash away. Why would anybody in their right mind just leave a used banana on the couch?? I knew it was Jack’s banana.
So in my anger, I yelled/barked/growled the single word, “Banana!!!” to Jackson and violently pointed at it. I was really mad…until the word fell out of my mouth and I realized how ridiculous I was being.
Then I smiled and winked at Jackson. He was so confused. He had no idea what to do. He said, “Are you mad??” This morning we were telling Phillip about it and Jack was laughing so hard about the whole thing. He said, “That was so funny…and terrifying.”
My poor family.
I don’t know where to begin or why I think anyone would even care what I have to say about it. Sad, hopeless, worried, ashamed, fearful…those are just a few words in my head this morning in the wake of the re-election of Mr. Obama. And as much as I would really like to blame the Democrats, or the Republicans for not pulling it out, I feel shame in myself.
I sat last night, as it was called, and just thought, “I’m not even that surprised. We are not a Christian nation.” But then those thoughts led to, “Are we even a Christian home??” Are we really? Maybe in our good moments, but more often than not, we are a selfish, indulgent, Godless home. And I am chief.
If I profess to be a follower of Jesus, and my life looks as unchanged and secular as it does, then how can I expect anything else from the Church or our Nation? It’s absurd.
Right now I don’t feel much of anything except fear and sadness. I believe God is removing His hand from our nation. I believe he’s given us the will to turn away from Him and we have in a big way for a long time. And along the same lines, I believe that our family has also been very busy about living this life without the image of Jesus. And for that, I’m ashamed. And I think if many of my brothers and sisters in Christ truly look at their lives and their families, they can say the same.
We are not a Christian nation. Our President reflects that. And all I know is that I have some heavy soul searching and praying to do.
I’m not a big political person. I’ve been more informed this election than in years’ past, but there are topics that I remain uneducated about. When I voted, there were LOTS of candidates for non-presidential offices that I know nothing about. I just say this because I don’t want to give the false impression that I’m something I’m not.
I’ve involved Jackson in as much as the process this election as I reasonably could. He watched two of the debates with me. We’ve talked a lot about the election process over the last few weeks. He went in with me to vote and pushed the final “submit my vote” button. And he wants to stay up with me tonight and watch the election coverage. He’s very interested in the whole thing. But he really doesn’t know a whole lot about what each candidate stands for. He is innocent to the most pressing “issue” on my heart, which is abortion. I thought about how to bring it up to him in a way that he could somewhat grasp it and I decided that that’s not a load for him to have to bear yet. But in spite of his lack of understanding, he still wants my candidate to win.
I started to feel a bit burdened by that this morning as I heard my boys state my opinions as their own regarding the candidates. I felt a bit guilty…for about five minutes. But it’s a natural thing for us as parents to project our beliefs and preferences onto our kids. I think that’s a good thing. We put team jerseys on our kids…well, we don’t, but most people do…, we tell our kids that such and such college is better than another, we tell our kids what music is worth listening to and what shows are worth watching. Our kids are filled up with their parents’ opinions. That’s just the way it is.
The problems lies when our kids reach the age or maturity level where they decide that perhaps they don’t share their parents’ opinions. It becomes a problem if the parents are disappointed that their child’s views are different. At this point, my kids hold my political opinions because I’m their biggest influence. But I’m also being careful to give them the tools to make their own decisions as they grow. That’s why Jack watched the debates. That’s why I tried very hard to keep my biased opinions to myself. That’s why when I voted with him I said, “Now when you’re old enough to vote, do you have to vote republican?” That’s why I was proud of the answer he gave, “No. I can vote for whoever I want.”
And whoever they grow into, regardless of religion, career, university, sexual orientation, or political affiliation, whoever they decide they need to be, they will always have my respect and adoration. I’m not raising clones. I’m not raising me. My hope is just that they will make wise decisions and be respectful of the opinions of others who are different than their own.
So I’m almost to the four week point. I started this adventure the evening of Sunday, October 7th. I’ve made a few mistakes. I’ve bought a few things accidentally that contained dairy or eggs. I licked my fingers once after cutting up sausage for my kids. But I have not intentionally eaten meat/eggs/dairy for almost four weeks!
A few people have asked how I feel. I feel good. I’ve had a nasty cold for the last two weeks so it’s hard for me to tell if I have more energy or not. I’ve been extra tired from this bug. But my stomach issues have almost disappeared. Without getting into details, I’ve had IBS for about ten years or more, ever since Jackson’s birth. It doesn’t take much to send me literally run hobbling to the bathroom. I have had about two bad bathroom instances in the last four weeks, which is WAY less than my normal. If that’s TMI, I’m sorry, but I’m excited about this problem leaving my life.
Also, as of today, I’ve lost about ten pounds! I’ve been working out less, eating more, eating later, snacking more…and still losing weight. I’m not counting calories. I’m not really even eating in moderation. It’s just that everything I’m eating is naturally low calorie and pretty darn healthy. I’ve even been enjoying ice cream again, which I haven’t done in years due to being lactose intolerant. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to buy soy ice cream before now, but it’s great and I’m enjoying treating myself. If I do decide to give up on this diet, I’ll have to use much more restraint or I’ll gain lots of weight very quickly, mostly because I’m eating so much more often. And really I’m eating more often not because I’m hungry. I’m just eating more often because I can. I have not felt hungry or deprived much at all since I’ve been doing this.
So in the last four weeks, I’ve…
– made homemade hummus twice
– cut up and cooked all of a real pumpkin, including the seeds, which I didn’t like
– made a vegan “meatloaf” that I really enjoyed. Phillip was not a fan though.
– cooked lots of tofu! Some I liked and some I didn’t
– made homemade butternut squash from a real live butternut squash
– made gluten free/dairy free/meat free pizza that was really good
– eaten Seiten, which is known as “wheat meat” and I wasn’t a fan
– eaten more black beans than I probably have in the rest of my life
And just tonight, I made this and it was so good! The sauce is so amazing!
So, almost four weeks down and I have no plans on turning back any time soon. Food prep has definitely been more complicated and grocery trips have been more expensive as I buy new staple items. But I think we’ll find our groove and make this work for me and our family. As of now, Phillip and the kids are still eating animal protiens. Phillip has cut back a lot on meat and just calories in general. That man has lost 27 pounds in 3 months! I’m so proud of him!