I had something of an epiphany over the weekend. It wasn't a sudden "AHA!" moment, but more of a gradual progression of ideas that led to a realization over a 24 hour period. It all began as I was posting Meal Shortcuts for Baseball Moms Saturday morning. As I linked recipes to each shortcut method, I began to think, "Whoa! I sure do cook a lot of pasta!" and "Whoa! I sure do use a lot of cheese!" Now, I do believe firmly in my menu planning, shopping, and cooking methods, and I've always known that my meals are better alternatives than fast food, BUT I really started worrying Saturday if I am doing what is BEST for my family with the meals I prepare.
Later that afternoon, my husband began feeling "under the weather." He was tired, with little energy and no desire to get out of the recliner. In fact, he ended up napping on and off most of the evening. These symptoms were certain indicators that his sugar was high. You see, he was diagnosed with diabetes about three years ago. He was told at the time of his diagnosis that he could manage the disease with proper diet and exercise. Well, about a year ago, he began taking pills to control his blood sugar - still no need for insulin but in the direction he's headed, it may be just around the corner.
Until now, I have stood firm in my belief that it isn't what he eats, but how much he eats that is the problem. I further justified that it isn't my cooking's fault, instead it is his fault, because he doesn't exercise enough. However, when he wasn't feeling well Saturday, my guilt began to grow. Maybe there are things I can do. I mean, I had already questioned my cooking earlier that day. What if my meal choices are contributing to his downward spiral?
The slow progression toward my epiphany continued that night. He was up watching a movie, and I went to bed. I had trouble falling asleep, so I grabbed my Bible and decided to make my way through the book of Proverbs! (I'm a fast reader, and insomnia is sometimes my greatest enemy, so I made it through the entire book.) When I got to Chapter 31, I took my time - carefully reading line by line. I have read the passage of the "noble wife" every morning for years. This time, I was led back to the first few lines about the "noble wife."
The wife of noble character, who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:10-12 NIV
That last line weighed heavily on me: "Am I bringing my husband "good" or "harm" through the meals I prepare?" As I thought about my good intentions, could I honestly say that our meals do him "good"? The overwhelming answer to this question was a resounding "NO!" I fell asleep in prayer, asking God for guidance.
When I woke Sunday morning, I shared my revelation with my husband. In his usual style, he had very little to say, but he seemed deep in thought. What was he thinking? Did he agree with my realization? That I too had to take some responsibility because of the food I bring into our home and set on our table? We had several hours before time for church, so I pulled out my copy of "Diabetic Cookbook for Dummies" and began reading voraciously. Two hours later, I had made it through the first five chapters. Apparently, there is quite a bit that I can change!
So, here's the next phase in my Busy Mom's Menu for Life! How can I adapt my meal preparation and, really, help the entire family with a significant lifestyle change under the constraints of our busy life? Can I create yummy, quick-n-easy meals that will allow my husband's health to improve and keep him off the path to daily insulin shots? I believe I can, and I will do everything in my power to make this happen, so that he can have full confidence in me - knowing that I bring him GOOD, not HARM every day of his life!