Recently, my husband and I had a few quiet moments together to talk and plan for the future. Our conversation turned to our culture, to the unstable economic landscape of industrialized nations, to the rumors of wars, and to our frustrations in politics.
We also thought of our personal dreams, of ways we want to invest our lives in service to the King of Kings. We discussed hindrances, such as sin, health problems, lack of financial resources, and clutter in our lives.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
Sometimes we look around at our home, our time, and our thought lives, and all we can see is the clutter that accumulates when we get too attached to this temporary life and too preoccupied with it to remember eternity.
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:13-16).
Toward the end of our thought-provoking conversation, I took out a pen and wrote down some of the ideas we had for changing things. The list was quite long, but here are some specific resolutions we made in the area of health alone:
- To grow a garden this year. In the style of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1-4), we want to recognize the benefits of a garden, even a small one. A garden teaches us to have proper dominion over our little corner of the earth. We learn that it’s nicer to relax outside with dirt under our fingernails than inside by the TV. We learn to acknowledge God as the giver of all things and the One who causes all things to grow. We humbly ask Him to bless the work of our hands. Finally, a garden gives us an opportunity to work alongside our children, starting up conversations that point them to their Creator.
- To support local farmers. I don’t have the land, the resources, or the knowledge to grow all of my food myself. I live in town, with zoning regulations that prevent chickens or cows. However, we are resolving to drive out into the countryside, to support local farmers who have a commitment to taking care of God’s world and His creation. Read more…
- To preserve food the old-fashioned way. I was reading a blog by a woman who lives in Israel, in an especially war-torn area, yet instead of living in dread of the occasional power outages and bomb scares, she quietly preserves her food the old-fashioned way, without dependence on electricity, refrigerator, or freezer space. How does she do it? She dries food and herbs, uses a root cellar, and cans with lacto-fermentation rather than a pressure cooker. She recommends the book Wild Fermentation, so I’m resolving to pull it off my shelf, dust it off, and try more ideas from it this summer.
- To learn how to use plants for healing. I’ve been working on this for many years now, but I was recently introduced to the world of essential oils. I love being a “newbie” at it, because everything is fresh and exciting. I’ve ordered several new reference books, I’m made new friends, and I’m discovering some very effective uses of plants. God created this world for our benefit, and I’m convinced that the best cures for disease are quietly growing from the ground. This summer, I intend to read a lot, experiment as I can, and prepare for the winter with all its accompanying colds, viruses, and sicknesses.
- To use resources wisely. My husband and I both noticed that we’ve been leaving lights on in empty rooms, running the water too long when we do the dishes, and making unnecessary trips to town. We’re making a concerted, family-wide effort to use God’s resources more wisely. This world is His, and He certainly owns the cattle on a thousand hills — yet we want to be faithful stewards of all that is His.
- To be anxious for nothing. I know that, personally, anxiety ruins my health quicker than any other thing. It can also ruin my day, ruin my testimony, ruin dinner, and ruin a good night’s sleep. As a family, we’re resolving to pray more together, to sing more together, to hug each other more often, and to fight off fear. (See Matthew 6:19-34.)
These were our health resolutions. (Maybe I should share some of the other things we wrote down, too. Maybe another time…)