Yes, I’ve been gone a while. A long while. I never intended to take such a lengthy blogging break, especially so soon after starting up again, but what began as a two-week spring break became a spring and summer hiatus. During that time, I was able to focus on my family and home, two things that were in need of more of my attention, and I’m glad I did. I missed blogging, but family comes first, so no regrets. There were also things that the Lord needed to speak to my heart, that I believe will ultimately make me a better blogger. That said, it’s nice to be back!
So let’s jump right in. I get a lot of questions about “Green” living. You may or may not know much about our lifestyle, so for those of you who don’t let me sum it up. In terms of diet, my husband and I are, when we’re behaving, organic, high-raw vegans. Not militantly so – in other words, if we go out or are at someone else’s house, we do make some concessions, but in our home, this is how we strive to eat. It has been a process of growth for us, and we are still growing, but we’ve found that the closer we stick to our dietary principles, the happier and healthier we are.
On the home front, we are, well, eco-geeks. We recycle, cloth diaper, use reusable cloth shopping bags, strive to reduce waste, and have eliminated almost all paper products from our home. I’m that weirdo who washes out Ziploc freezer bags and reuses them (I don’t buy them, so when I get one from someone, I make it stretch!) and buys nearly everything off of Craigslist or ebay so we aren’t consuming new products. We also try to adhere to what I term a “Chem-Free” lifestyle, using very few purchased personal care or home cleaning products. I make my own laundry soap, shampoo, conditioner, body cleanser, skin care products, deodorant (yes, it really works!), household cleansers and diaper wipes, among many other things. Not only are they extremely inexpensive to make, they also work as well as and often better than their pricey, highly processed counterparts.
I realize it sounds like a lot of work, and may even seem very unappealing to some, but it has proved a tremendous blessing in our lives in many ways:
- Financially – Plainly put, it saves us a lot of money. My husband is an associate pastor still in the “intern” stage, and our income is very small. And because his salary comes from the tithes and offerings of our church members, it’s important to us to practice careful stewardship with those funds. Our lifestyle makes it possible for me to be at home raising our son and still manage to make things work financially. It has meant a lot of sacrifice, but to us, it’s worth it.
- Physically – Through eliminating our exposure to many toxic chemicals found in most purchased products and foods, we have better health. I no longer suffer from severe allergies and we get fewer colds and other illnesses. Organic food tastes better and is better for us, and our son has learned to love a large variety of healthy fruits, vegetable, nuts, seeds and grains. He’s a healthy, happy eater and is developing good dietary habits that will stay with him for life. I also don’t have to worry about him getting into any dangerous household cleaners because, well, there simply aren’t any.
- Environmentally – As Christians, we believe that we are called to be good stewards of the earth, This is the home God gave us, and we want to show our gratitude for this gift by caring for it to the best of our abilities. Not obsessively so, and certainly not in the earth-worshiping tenor of environmental fanaticism, but with a balanced, God-honoring regard for all we’ve been given. Besides, going back to the physical aspects, protecting the environment protects us, too.
- Mentally/Emotionally – I know it sounds strange, but clearing out all the extra stuff and simplifying our lives has mental and emotional benefits, too. When you have less stuff, you have less stuff to worry about. Stepping back and taking stock of what we really need and being willing to get rid of what we can happily live without makes us feel lighter and happier. We are able to give more of ourselves to the things that matter. You don’t need all those half-empty shampoo bottles cluttering up the bathroom cabinet, or three different kinds of facial moisturizer, or so many different hair products. Letting go of them all and replacing them with things that make you feel good and are good for you is freeing. This is one area I don’t hear discussed much in natural living circles, but is important to focus on. Even if you’re not ready to “go green” just yet, you can still benefit from decluttering and simplifying your lifestyle. Additionally, removing those nasty, chemical-laden products really does help clear your brain. 🙂
So, now that you know where I’m coming from, here’s where I’m going – since I get so many questions about healthful eating and green living, I’ll be doing several posts on these topics in a series. I’m currently working on putting together a class for those wanting to learn how to make their own personal and household products, so much of what I post will be material from this upcoming project. If you have specific questions or topics in this area you’d like to see covered, please let me know, and I’ll be sure to address them.
See you soon (no, really… I promise!) 🙂