My daughter has been medically diagnosed with over 50 known allergies. These aren’t life-threatening allergies, but too much exposure, the scales start to tip and she starts to feel lousy. Too many of these allergens can lower her oxygen levels, leading us to the hospital, but we have daily medications that keep that from happening…again. As she has grown older is has become less of a problem and more of just an irritation.
Her allergies started my whole food journey, we searched for foods she could eat. W researched and researched, convinced that the downfall of our society was to blame, we began championing only organic, only this, only that. Our lives became a list of rules for food intake. It was exhausting. Especially since we were also trying to avoid foods she was allergic to, so we were constantly faced with the question, “What do we feed her?”
We got to the place, finally, where we were buying only organic. Organic bread, organic chicken, organic fruits, organic chex mix, peanut butter, organic cereal…fruit snacks. The only thing we didn’t buy organic was Nutella, because who can live without Nutella?
Preaching the Gospel of Food
I was a forerunner, championing this gospel of food. I told everyone all I knew about organic, about eating healthier, getting back to God’s original plan for the earth. Most people jumped, at least theoretically, on the bandwagon with me! But most can’t afford it, heck, we couldn’t afford it! But we were willing to make the short-term sacrifices for the supposed long-term benefits.
Thing is…she still looked horrible. She had puffy eyes, itchy skin and a general malaise, that didn’t seem to affect our other children.
Then, it happened. The next child started to get the same symptoms. This child, who since birth had eaten only organic food, was struggling with the same eczema and the same puffy eyes. And it kept getting worse!
So, what is a parent to think? Is it our house? Immediately, I go to the computer (God love Google) and research off-gassing. We buy organic mattress.
A year later, there is no change. We can’t afford to rip up the carpets which are probably full of mold. We aren’t going to move unless we know it is our house causing the problem. These aren’t life-theatening allergies, but still we were saddened and perplexed every night when toddlers were screaming in soap-less baths. Could it be the chlorine in our water, should we get a whole-house filter? But who can live like this…who can afford it?
God led me to stop buying organic
And because of dwindling finances and a few timely words, the Lord started convicting me that we could not afford it and that I was to stop buying organic. All organic.
I bucked, I whined, I justified. Why would God ask of me such a horrible thing?
Soon, I would find out why God was asking this of me.
As I was shopping one day, I winced as a I put the non-organic snacks in my cart, knowing that each and every GMO’ed tomato was growing the new baby in my pregnant stomach a third-eye. I looked at my pantry and fridge and noticed that except for the “organic” label, everything looked the same.
We still had Frosted Flakes…they weren’t organic, but c’mon Frosted Flakes? Was I kidding myself, in what world, organic or not, are Frosted Flakes healthy? Chex Mix…seriously.
This was the first conviction: That I had been living under the idea that by buying organic I was “safe” feeding my children crappy food.
Before you say, “well of course I know that”, I have to tell you…so did I! It wasn’t like I was letting them eat these crappy snacks all day, I give my children fruit for snacks and monitor their eating carefully for balance. For those of you who didn’t know, I am an ex-bulimic as of 2000, who is food-conscience, health conscience and usually reading some book or another about health and wellness. I’m not some ignorant mama! I know about gluten, the modification of our wheat, watch documentaries like “King Corn”.
I looked at my non-organic fruit and considered it evil. Evil. An apple…evil?
Something just didn’t sit right with all this.
Neglecting the Gospel of Christ
I’m not saying non-organic is just as good as organic. Pretty sure science would prove that idea wrong. But something…just wasn’t right because the topic of whole food, organic, and other diet trends had swallowed up our daily life. It’s what I talked about. It’s what I thought about.
I was championing organic…good eating…focused on my own health, my family’s health, my daughter’s allergies. I was so busy proclaiming the Gospel of Food, I was neglecting The Gospel of Christ!
If you pay close attention to your conversations, you’ll notice that many times current diet trends pervade many conversations between the Christians. It is the “hottest” topic of the day, when really “Christ” should be the “hottest” topic.
Like a well-devised plan from the pit of hell, I got sucked in too! I was off-center, focusing on something that was “good” but not “God.”
Putting Health in Its Place
Nothing in this article is meant to say “eat whatever you want and don’t care about it,” since this revelation I have still had to struggle with my children’s allergies, I still try to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I’m still learning. We have to take care of the temples of the Holy Spirit, we aren’t exempt from being wise about our food intake, but we must prioritize our thought life and make sure that our “first love”, is actually first.
Through this struggle, the Lord has given me this verse:
Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Though I am still learning, I shouldn’t worry. I will try my best to feed my children what I know is good, but I don’t need to labor so hard to do so. When and if the Lord wants to heal my daughters’ issues or reveal the cause of it, he will, in his timing. My goal is to run after his kingdom. To labor for him alone and let him worry about the rest.
I’m sure this is ruffling quiet a few feathers of those whose entire lives are devoted to health and wellness. But believe me, I believe in health and wellness. I believe in the power of food to heal a body. I believe in wisdom. But I’m just saying…I believe in Christ more. And because of that, I will seek him first, in all things.
Head covering Christian woman who loves good wine, coffee, stinky cheese and missionary books. My favorite dessert is Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake. I am a Christian author, blogger, and speaker. I fell in love with my husband because he had rain drops on his glasses (true story). In my spare time I homeschool my six children (5 girls, 2 boys).