Natural Living Through the Seasons

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This is a perpetual Hebrew calendar by LuftmenschDesign – go here to purchase

I often see New Year posts about going green. In the spirit of the Biblical new year, in Nisan, I’d like to start a collection of posts about being more natural and intentional in our lives, from month to month.
Each month will have a theme/rhythm, with thoughts, tips, and links I have found helpful through the years.
Eventually, the collection of these posts will be added to my pages, above, to collect it all in one place.

Here’s my tentative themes for each month:

Nisan (March-April) – Cleaning

Iyar (April-May) – Healing

Sivan (May-June) – Giving

Tammuz (June-July) – Worship

Av (July-August) – Home Building

Elul (August-September) – Nourishment

Tishri (September-October) – Home Learning

Cheshvan (October-November) – Parenting

Kislev (November-December) – Rest & Rhythms

Tevet (December-January) – Reduction

Shevat (January-February) – Celebrating

Adar (February-March) – Strength

 

I hope you will join me as I share the things I have learned, and am learning, about being more reliant upon natural things God has provided us and less on synthetics

Tolerating Tolerance

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Through time, I continue to have compassion for women that stay with a man that has confessed to have molested children. My tolerance for their staying, wanes however, even as the love and compassion remains.
Tolerance as we now use the word, is NOT a good thing. It is tolerating something you feel to be wrong. We rarely use this word to mean “I tolerate her chewing her nails at the table” any more.
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Perhaps you are a racist and you “tolerate” people of color, or hate children and “tolerate” the smallest of humanity. Perhaps you support war and violence or theft of property.
Even in the event that you are a racist or you are ageist or some other generalizing-of-hatred thing, the problem with advocating tolerance is that no one has to grow or change or be anything better or different. In our minds, “you do your creepy/weird/different thing there and I will leave you to it, and I will do my good thing here and you leave me to it.”
It really robs us of community in reality.
In the event of a woman staying with a child molester, she is letting him know through the act of staying that he can literally do some of the most heinous acts – betraying a child’s trust through physical exploitation in any sexualized way (a kiss on the mouth, a breast grope, a slide of the hand over the groin, etc) – and she will basically look the other way and “stick it out” with him. I HAVE been there. We tell ourselves this is “God’s way” (nope, it’s not) or “who will love him like I do?” (maybe no one or maybe a thousand others… so?) or even, “if I don’t stay, he will only get worse” (he’s already worse and you enable him to think you’ll be there no matter how sh*tty he choses to be).
I loved a child molester. Without understanding/knowing the end results, I did see his grooming, his mind games, and I downplayed them to myself and to others. The reality was, my love was not actually loving. It takes acknowledging that it is something rotten within us to see it is not actually Christ’s love to be “tolerant” in *many* situations.
Don’t take this as me blaming the female for what her male partner does – it’s all on him that he is doing it. She does not cause him to be a child molester. She is simply deceiving herself in every reason she gives herself for her staying, believing tolerance equals love or that tolerating evil is somehow good and holy.
My tolerance for that tolerance is stretched thin – and I am tired of trying to pretend like tolerance in the way we use it any more is a “good” thing.

There are many social and political situations that I currently see this “tolerance” for evil and harmful practices advocated for, and I am, quite simply, done with it.

Time, Rhythm, and Eternity

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I’ve been very slowly reading my way through Time From Creation by Gael Bataman (it is 99 cents as a Kindle read and way more than worth it!). It’s been an interesting read and, even when I haven’t flowed with all of it, it has definitely helped me find a more sane rhythm to life, seek God through His own creation rather than human creation, and to study a different area of living that I have not taken time to before.

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One of the things I have been encouraged to do is incorporate a phenology wheel into my Bullet Journaling space. This has become multi-purpose for me:

  • I have stopped charting my temperatures for ovulation and menstruation and instead, am watching my body’s signs and rhythms without any devices to “track” for me. Even with a few miscarriages since having Zoe (pretty sure because I “cheated” on Paleo after having her), my cycle is interestingly in sync with the lunar cycle and my heart concerning where I put my energies – sometimes with the new moon and sometimes with the full moon!
  • I have started being mindful of the lunar month lining up with the Biblical Hebrew months and have started learning those months, as well as tracking the Gregorian time keeping system (eventually I want to let go of Gregorian time-keeping, but I don’t know as others would allow that possibility).
  • I continue tracking my moods and energy levels, but in this combined and flowing format instead of a grid tracker that is on a separate page of its own.

Another thing I have decided to do because of reading through this slowly is to stop “scheduling” myself, our home learning, etcetera, and instead create rhythm in our lives. Knowing that through the lunar month, I have different energies/focuses for about 7 days at a time, I create my rhythms of activity through that knowledge. Schedules are rigid and infringe, at least after awhile. Rhythms create peace and allow for freedom and flexibility, for my very type 4 brain.
Rather than fight the natural rhythm of the lunar calendar, the seasons, I want to flow with them…. we are a part of them, after all!

We are starting to honor our desperate need for rest – daily, weekly, seasonally.

I haven’t even gotten through half of this book yet, and it is already inspiring to shift my perception of healthy living and rhythms in pretty noticeable ways.
I will try to follow up when I finish this book and give a review of it in totality.

Here are a few of the resources I use to put together my Bullet Journal phenology wheels:

State Holydays

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Over Memorial Day weekend, Daryl and I met a military family while we were at the rental house. The wife brought up the holyday and I shored up through prayer. But it was in that blessed interaction, I realized again how unfamiliar that average American is with these holydays.
These are moments for reflective sorrow – men lost their lives, believing they ensured your freedoms, believing things men who are unwilling to get their hands dirty themselves told them, believing the blood upon their hands was outweighed by the end result of humans across the sea not doing something anymore – at least, for a little while. Perhaps long enough for their children to move out of the house.
Her heart was troubled by a local store on FB wishing everyone “A Happy Memorial Day!” She couldn’t understand how this had become a day for hot dogs and swimming pools opening and getting tipsy with your neighbors, all while everyone was laughing and celebrating. She contacted the store and told them how horrifying that message is to military families.
These holydays are not for rejoicing. They are, for many people, days for reflection and sorrow that lives were lost… lives that God loves. God doesn’t divide His love between Americans and Brits, or Australians and Kenyans. He loves each one, and murdering a Swede or a New Guinean is as much murder as an American or German. It doesn’t become not murder, not lives stolen, simply because the borders don’t surround you.
I can’t light off fireworks during Independence Day any more than this sweet wife could fathom doing it on Memorial Day. Any war or bloodshed holydays are not a time for rejoicing, but weeping and shame and gnashing of teeth.
The irony of it is, how many people joyfully celebrate state holydays such as Independence Day, in which “our people” rebelled against the governing authority of England, and claimed our own sovereignty. These same people claim that if you don’t like the government here… “if you can’t stand behind the troops” – which is far worse now than what England was doing before 1776 – then you can always leave and “stand in front of the troops.” They clamor at more domination from a government they pretend to celebrate liberated them from the likes of British rule taxing our tea.

It is a depressing irony, rich with more than most will allow themselves to fathom.

Winter Breakfasts & Lunches, With December Dinners

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paleo_diet_foodsHello, friends! It’s been quite awhile since I have shared a meal plan with you all. I have had several people request my meal plan now that my diet is modified AGAIN (Paleo, with no pork, eggs, or bone stock).
Wherever links call for eggs, I use either chia eggs or flax eggs (1 egg = 1tbsp chia meal or flax meal and 3tbsp water, set on the counter for 2-3 minutes).
When it calls for chicken stock, I use vegetable stock.

If I do not link a recipe directly, the recipe is a regular and you can find a wide list of recipes at Second Breakfast. This will also tell you how I set up our meal plan and when I cook. ❤
Winter Breakfasts

M: Baked Breakfast Casserole with Apples
T: Vegan Life Changing Pancakes, Turkey Sausage, enzyme smoothie
W: Avocado Carob Pudding, berries
Th: Sweet Potato Apple Bake – this is new for us, we will see how it goes
F: Enzyme Smoothies, Turkey Sausages
S: Turkey Apple Breakfast Hash – again, a new breakfast!
Su: Sweet Potato Chili

Winter Lunches

M: Egg Roll In a Bowl
T: Super Salad – Daryl found this one and it is a HIT here!
W: Steak & Veggies
Th: Honey-Mustard Drumsticks, Cultured Broccoli Salad with Eggless Mayo
F: Turkey Pepperoni Pizza with Cassava Pizza Crust

 

December Dinners

1: Uncured turkey hot dogs, baked sweet potatoes
2-3: leftovers
4: 3 ingredient Teriyaki Pan-Fried Chicken, Cauli-rice, green beans
5: Citrus and Herb Pot-Roast with Carrots and Parsnips, Paleo Mashed Potatoes
6: Loaded Sweet Potato Soup
7: Baked Salmon; Turnip, Radish, and Fennel Saute
8: Grain-free Spaghetti and Meatballs – with turkey in place of pork
9-10: leftovers
11: Pesto Chicken Pizza – on Cassava Pizza Crust
12: Deconstructed Paleo Beef Burritos
13: Paleo Chicken Noodle Soup
14: Paleo Shrimp Fried Rice
15: Jambalya, Paleo “cornbread”
16-17: leftovers
18: Asparagus Sweet Potato Chicken Skillet
19: Burgers, cultured coleslaw
20: Lemony Chicken & Kale Soup
21: Tomato-Basil MusselsRadicchio Salad With Frisée And Apples
22: Slow Cooker Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce, Indian-Spiced Greens, paleo pitas-as naan
23-24: leftovers
25: Smoked turkey, paleo mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (made with Paleo cream of mushroom soup, gluten-free french-fried onions – in Second Breakfast), cultured cranberry sauce, apple pie tartlets, mulled cider
26: pastured beef stroganoff, peas
27: Turkey Pot Pie Soup, Paleo Biscuits
28: Fish sticks, Cultured tartar sauce, lacto-fermented french fries
29: Vegan Life Changing Pancakes, turkey sausage, enzyme smoothies
30-31: leftovers

Some Kitchen “Befores”

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We are very slowly redoing our mobile home kitchen! It’s a pretty exciting process to see, as I scour the internet for a balance of eco-friendly and our limited budget!

The current plans are:
~ paperbag flooring until the wall at the left of the rolling dishwasher, then painting or tiling the rest (grease does not do well with paperbag flooring!), including paperbag flooring the livingroom (and the rest of the home).
~ refinishing holes and peeled off zero-VOC paint sections
~ chalkboarding the wall behind the rolling dishwasher and building a cabinet to put in place of the dishwasher
~ install dishwasher under the cabinet to left of the sink – this includes having to make a deeper cabinet and replacing the water-deformed pressed wood countertop
~ build a pebble-style rocket mass heater/stove/oven, where the giant picture is, with the mass under the window
~ build false cabinet/counter where the stove/oven currently is

Here are some before photos!

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Rick & Mortification

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rick-is-saying-i-dont-give-a-fuck-what-you-think-jerryI took Melody to the library yesterday and I went to print some stuff off in the computer lab.
I spotted an old friend in there (I’ll call him Rick – he is much like Rick, from Rick & Morty – nihilistic, highly intelligent, thinks he is always right), told him he looked really good and healthy, and asked him how he was doing. Rick looked surprised and whispered, ‘really? Man, I haven’t had a shower in around a week.’ He’s been homeless for a few weeks, the dozenth or more time since I have known him.
Rick used to live with Daryl for awhile, for almost a year before we were married. He is a Believer – a strict one, but one at any rate. The moment Daryl asked Rick why he had told another friend (who had previously been romantically interested in me) that Daryl was awkward with them there (none of us were), Rick bolted.
When Rick lives with women (his strictness is, of course, in areas that don’t rob him of his own desires, like many of us!), the same pattern emerges. His male roommates, too. He sees his children, who all live locally, intermittently, with months going by between visits and no urgency to be with them. I wouldn’t bring this aspect of detachment in, if it didn’t influence the entirety of our interaction with Rick the last 24 hours.
I felt an urgency to bring him home for food and fellowship. I’ve I’ve not felt that with him before, even when asking him over and over to come have dinner with us, go do an activity with us, etcetera, even when he has been frequently homeless before.
Rick left the computer lab before I had a chance to implore him, but I spotted him waiting on a different side of the building as we were leaving.
I got out and told him the pressure, intensity, and urgency I was feeling, and that if he didn’t come with me, even just for dinner, I would be up all night, sick to my stomach, probably crying, and worried for him. After several moments of him saying he was fine, telling me where he was squatting, and reiterating he was going to be fine, I convinced him to come for dinner.
Daryl convinced him to stay the night and I could drive him anywhere he needed today.
He started talking about why he doesn’t go to church anymore – no one “except those adventists” (said with a sneer) “worship’s God on His commanded Sabbath anymore, so I just rest and worship by myself on the real Sabbath.” So, he has made sure he has no church family to be emotionally connected to.

When Rick said this about God’s time and Sabbath, I said, “Oh, there’s a book you might love!” He asked me who wrote it and I barely finished saying the author when he said with a laughing scoff, “No thanks,” cutting me off from finishing (I had no idea if it was because it was an unfamiliar author or a woman and either is a plausible issue for him). I finished with, “it’s about God giving the moon and sun and stars as time measures, and how His calendar is not what we use anymore – the one today deliberately disconnects us from His creation. Basically what you are saying, expounded into how it really robs us in more than a day of church.”

He was mentioning he thought he might have cancer, but was too afraid to see a dr about it, and couldn’t afford medicine anyway. (This isn’t anything that alarmed me, it merely adds to the oddity of this morning.) He talked about the Illuminati with Melody, who is fascinated with how deep that network may reach into society, and he mentioned how they control everything (cool, dude, we’re right there with you). He talked with me about feminism – and was open to learning the differences between liberal feminism and radical feminism.

After Daryl went to bed, Rick stayed up with the kids and I, texting on his phone and chatting with us. Leela turned on some Twenty-One Pilots and Rick said, “Yeah, I don’t listen to satanic music like this, anymore.” Uhhh… okay dude. If that’s the reality of that band situation (and heck, maybe it is), that’s really not the way to help a brother or sister out. {laughs}

 

I just had these things resting in my mind, feeling sad for him that he closed off to learning more of God and trusting that God would protect his heart and mind while learning new things, and feeling sad that he felt a need to elevate himself by pulling others down. It’s not even subtle.

This morning, as I was making breakfast and getting supplements together, including celery juice, Melody made a comment that she wished we could go one morning without the celery juice. Rick made a joke about turning 18 and never having to drink it again. We all laughed a little. Then I said, “well, it’s a helper to kill out the Epstein-Barr Virus, so we take it and other stuff as long as it takes to kill the virus.”

 

{sigh}
I’ve had a big long post waiting in the queue, waiting to post it until it was just perfect, until I had all my thoughts formulated to guard against onlooking Christians who may be horrified and think I am somehow into some sort of spiritual dark art or witchcraft…. but I am not going to wait for that post anymore. I will post it some day, but that is not this day. Think what you may.
Rick said, “So, CELERY JUICE is going to kill a virus? If you have to do it for so long, it’s not effective. How do you know you have Epstein-Barr Virus? What is that?” (Good questions, not the issue here, either.) I told him that it wasn’t just celery juice, that there were many foods and teas and things from God’s earth that could restore a body to its normal healthy state; that if a body has had a virus for a few decades does he expect a week of *anything* to cure it?; I know I have it because I have verifiable “evidence” that my thyroid has been slowly dying and unless there is radioactive thryoid issues – ALL thyroid issues are from EBV, so I can treat the root of EBV rather than life-long try to keep my thyroid working; then I told him what EBV is and how it’s come about.
Then he asked me how I learned all of this (again, good question). I told him who I learned it from – a man that says he speaks with and hears from the Holy Spirit of God, who is offering healing to sick and broken people. Rick rolled his eyes and said, “that’s BS. people who say that are trying to con others.”
I asked him if the Holy Spirit healed people physically. Rick told me no, and I said, “what about the Old Testament?” Rick said, “yeah, but when Jesus came, that didn’t need to happen anymore.”
Me, “Rick, are you forgetting that Jesus made blind men SEE with smearing dirt and water on their eyes? Why are vegetables a sign of witchcraft? Are you remembering that not only did Christ heal people’s spirits and offer them salvation, He healed their emotional hearts and their physical bodies? He told His disciples – that’s all of us – to go out and DO THE SAME.”
He told me, “well, of course Jesus did that, because He’s God, but we don’t do that any more.”
Me, “so… after the Bible was completed in writing, the Spirit of God healing people in all ways imaginable…. died? Or… what?”
“I didn’t say the Holy Spirit died! I said we don’t do it anymore.”
“Rick, you sneered at a person claiming God’s healing for others – is it that we don’t do it anymore… or that we SHOULDN’T do it anymore?”
He couldn’t answer. He just said something about trying to manipulate and con people.
“Sure, Rick, that’s true. Maybe he is! Maybe! He’s no more or less able to do that than the western pharma industrial complex that is impossibly tied to the illuminati and the occult you know is certainly evil – but you called my judgment into suspect if I didn’t go to western medicine to prove something for me…. an entity built on corruption and lies at it’s foundation. Someone claiming God wants to heal people completely… that isn’t a foundation of corruption and evil. So… why are you dismissing him?”Rick took a pause and said, “Oh, I definitely agree that hospitals and big pharma is only at it’s root corrupted. I just know God doesn’t tell His people to heal bodies – only to save souls.”
“Rick, Christ made it abundantly clear that He loves the whole, entire person that He created. He did not just bam! salvation onto people’s spirits and leave their bodies broken and hurting, he gave them psychiatric help casting demons out. He physically healed many, many people, including making disabled people walk. These were not *just* displays of His glory and power – it’s His LOVE for people. He tells us all through Scripture to do as He does, and to do it with faith that He will accomplish healing for others.”
“I don’t believe that happens now. Faith healing is a way to get money from people.”
“Okay, Rick, that’s definitely true for a lot of people – again, lots of people have faith in western medicine that doesn’t even get at the root of an issue, it masks a problem and creates even more problems. Their evaluation, tests, and treatments are all set up for a system of failure, brokenness, and making more money on the same issue later on. Still, people believe and have faith in this THING that is clearly not God’s path. Heck, even you just asked if I had gotten tested and verified by liars and crooks, otherwise anything else would be unbelievable… even though you just agreed that western medicine is evil. Why is western medicine evil, but you prompted that I should seek them out for a problem, but a man who gives out all of his information for free and the treatment is vegetables, fruits, and teas that the Creator of the universe gave to us for healing…. why is he a manipulator to you?”He could never answer it.
“Rick, I believe that healing all aspects of a body has been orchestrated by God, time from creation, and simply because the timeline from Scripture to now has not been chronicled as well as the Scriptures, does not make the Holy Spirit’s voice to us, His healing all parts of our bodies unimportant or dead, now.”
Rick stressed that he never said the Holy Spirit’s work was dead.
“Rick, you never said those words, sure. If He once healed blind men and women bleeding endlessly for decades, and commanded His disciples to (of which we are a part of), but you are saying He doesn’t do that anymore – you are implying that aspect of His divine nature is dead and no longer active and working within US.”
I took a really deep breath because what prompted this conversation wasn’t actually any of what we had just talked about… it was a root issue. And a few years ago, I would have said nothing, for a variety of reasons, all of which deny God’s glory and power in my life.

“Rick, last night we talked excitedly about how males and females are not equal. We have different strengths and weaknesses in our physical bodies, and that the equality is in our value as humans loved by God. That was so awesome. In this same 12 hours you have been in this home that we have invited you into and will continue to, you have talked to and about this family in a way none of us have ever spoken to or of you. I am not angry or even insulted. I am saying something to you because each of these things that happened are because you have judged something as not as good as you or your decisions and you made it very clear.”
“Wait, what? What did I say or do?”
I noted the book dismissal and said, “You know how easy it is to read and disagree with a new author? You can keep a book or website in one ‘hand’ and Scripture in the other, and ask God to keep you aligned with Him. Refusing to read *anything* you don’t currently agree with stagnates growth and prevents us from actually learning more about God’s divine nature and plan. The book I told you about – it’s saying what you were talking about, but you sneered at my suggestion and I didn’t even get to finish the author’s name, man!”
When I mentioned the ‘satanic’ music comment and how it sounded so judgmental, he said he wasn’t judging us. I asked him, “well, then, what did you say it for? No one asked you, did they? It was a very weird thing to say, unprompted. So… why did you say it? To shame me into listening to what you listen to?”
“No, I don’t need to do that.”
“Then why? To let me know your standards are higher and you are better in this area? If so, I am sad for you that you feel the need to lift yourself up by shoving others down. If not… again… why?”
“No, man…. I don’t think I am better…. nawh…..”
“Rick, that isn’t a comment that slips out. Telling someone you don’t listen to satanic music like THIS is not a slip out. I don’t see any profit or love in it, either. Maybe you are right. Maybe this is a satanic group. Do you think saying it the way that you did will help me choose not to listen to it? If you know it’s not going to help me, why say it?
Rick, you stand on a street corner with a sign that tells people to repent and turn to Christ. Do you know that, while Daryl and I do not think that’s nuts – the world around you does? If someone does ANYTHING different from their culture, even if their culture is toxic, they are seen as crazy or kookie. And you are a part of that, because you have faith and hope in God. You stand on a street corner and proclaim a message that is not what most people do including Christians – and I have zero doubt, this is God working out in you. Even though I don’t feel compelled to do that. It’s not His calling in MY life. I don’t think you are a kook for doing it, though, simply because it’s not my calling or passion or learning right now.”

Rick just stood there and looked shocked when I mentioned his holding a sign up on street corners.
“When I mention God at work through HIS creation for body healing, you sneer at me and those that believe and have faith in the God of wonders, that He can move and live and breathe in us, however He wants… that His miracles and healing are not dead and gone, they are present and here right now, and they are in His power and glory! Rick, I have never spoken to you the way that you have since you have been welcomed into this space with us. I have never tried to make you feel devalued or not good enough or some unworthy heathen for the violent, bloody video games you choose to play or any other thing. I just don’t understand why you see this family who loves you, welcomes you into their home with the love of Christ, and feel any need to make the comments you have made. I don’t want to shove you down to make myself feel lifted up – I want to pull others up alongside me as I rise with Christ. Your different beliefs do not make you less worthy or some sort of vile heathen to us, even when you have chosen cutting remarks to us.”

He mumbled something and went into the room he had slept in. I sighed and starting dishing out breakfast. I knew what was coming and said aloud so he could hear through the hall, “I am dishing out breakfast. I know the emotions are high right now, and even I would love to run away, but I am asking you to stay with a family who loves you and build deeper than you are used to.”
He came from down the hall and said, “thank you, I really do have somewhere I need to get to, but thank you for offering to feed me.” He opened my front door and I said, “Rick, God has placed an entire family in your path that loves you. God doesn’t desire for people to be squatting in ________. He has a hope and a future for you, He has connection and family for you. And you can’t build into His community if you hold yourself above it and refuse to have fellowship with people that are more lowly sinners than you are.”
He would say “alright” between sentences.
“I know you are running away right now, but you are not being evicted from here, you are welcome to come back and challenge yourself to relationships that are hard and beautiful and actually meaningful. Please don’t stay away.”
And then he left.

I stood there, with tears in my eyes, for a good solid minute, feeling sad and heartbroken for him, feeling frustrated with myself that I may have said too much or too little or anything in the first place.
Soon, I felt a feeling wash over me that I never have in a circumstance filled with struggle and ache. This is what he needed to be here for.
I haven’t felt…. “good” about that, I haven’t even felt comforted, but I haven’t felt a need to beat myself up over it either. I am just letting it rest within me, that God did call Rick to our home for a reason and that reason might not have been a physical protection for him like I initially suspected. I am also accepting the fact that in God’s plan, ache and pain are often a precursor to growth. I also know that I didn’t say anything untrue, unkind, or vindictive. All I can do, is pray, that whatever God needed him to come for, he received.

This was a good mirror for my own life, my own ways, and this has been good for a “log” moment as much as grieving for a friend. My sins/burdens are not the same as what he was offering into our life, but there are certainly elements that mirror and the essence of sin – rebellion against God’s good ways, His ultimate guidance of Love, has still pricked at my heart.