Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Lie #3

This is the third post in a series that I have been writing from the book Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe, by Todd Wilson. (If you haven't read my other posts on the topic, you can find them by clicking on the link in the label at the end of this post.) I have looked forward to getting to this particular lie, because its one I have fallen for again and again, especially in recent weeks.

As we have entered the new year much has been posted in bloggyville regarding healthier cooking and eating. Last week's Works-for-me Wednesday was about eating well, and I happily posted about it on my other blog. I loved reading what others do to eat healthier! As I read the blogs in the CWO blogring, I get wonderful ideas every Monday when I read everyone's Menu Plan Monday posts, hosted by Laura the Organizing Junkie. I love seeing what everyone's cooking, and have printed out some great recipes. But, lately as I've been perusing the menu plans for the week, I have been falling prey to...

Lie #3: Everyone Fixes Better (Healthier) Meals Than You

My posts thus far in the series have not included quotes from Mr. Wilson's book, mainly because I want you to please get this book (it is awesome), and because my purpose is not to replicate the book chapters on a blog. But, this week I will be quoting from him because I love, love, LOVE what he has to say on this topic.

He addresses the fact that in recent years, especially in homeschooling circles, there has begun the belief that what you cook and how you feed your family is somehow tied to your spirituality or the quality of mother you are. What began as an honest attempt to help us become better stewards of our temples (bodies) and help our families do the same, seems to have become increasingly legalistic. More and more moms are talking about how they only eat organic food, feed their families only certain vegetables grown a certain way, grind their own wheat or bake everything from scratch to eliminate preservatives. I went to a Bible Study once where one mom was talking about the "holistic cleansing" she was doing, and that's just about all that was talked about the entire hour.

One of my very favorite quotes from this book is this: "Maybe you do these things that I have mentioned. If you do, that's great... BUT keep it to yourself (Romans 14). "

"Sadly, there are many moms who are scared to death that someone will find out that they buy Twinkies or serve cold cereals that turn the milk blue. They try changing their lifestyle and eating habits, but someone else is always out there to tell them they should be doing more. They go to bed feeling guilty, sure that they have failed their children, husband, and God. They believe THE LIE."

Sure, we should strive to eat healthier and to avoid gluttony, which is certainly a sin. But, there is not an imperative in Scripture that says you should only eat certain types of foods. (I know there are some books to the contrary.) For some, the quest to eat healthy and perhaps even be known for their superior eating habits has become an idol in and of itself, and even a source of pride. I was at a homeschool meeting a few years ago where organic/whole foods, vitamins and supplements were the topic for the evening, and I remember skulking out of there at the end of the meeting thinking about the fried, hormone-laden, solution-injected chicken nuggets I had fed my family that night. It's not that it wasn't an appropriate meeting topic, or that there's not valuable information to be had regarding nutrition, but it must be kept in perspective and not touted as anything other than a choice, preference, or personal conviction. It's certainly not a commentary on one's spiritual standing or as Wilson puts it, a "measure of godliness."

I'll close with his wise words:
"You're a busy homeschooling mom and can't do it all. If you have to buy TV dinners to keep your sanity, then that's OK. You're OK, and lots of other homeschooling moms do the same."



Jennifer said...

Amen, Cyndi!

tonight is actually one of my healthier meals...but the soup I am making is using canned chicken broth, frozen tortellini..and I bought a rotissori chicken to shred and put in it. blush.

i actually don't spend alot of time feeling guilty, I just do the best I can and move on.

good post, food for thought (pun intended) for any poor mom trying to do it all the "correct" way.

Jenny in ca

Anne said...

Isn't it amazing how many creative ways we can find to put guilt on each other as moms? Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate these posts. I really believe these are lies that all moms often tell themselves(my kids are only 2 and 4, so I am not really a homeschooling or public school mom - but I still fall prey to these lies)! Thanks for your insights.

Holly said...


These are words I need to read from time to time.


Jessie's parents said...

After child #4, I have lost all desire to grocery shop, much less cook with my 1 yr. old wrapped around my feet. I figure if we eat organic mac 'n cheese with a Twinkie for dessert, we'll achieve the perfect balance. :)


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