CRUNCH with CHEW explained

The so-called Mommy Wars shouldn’t exist in our churches. But let’s be real—though you and I may never get into a heated debate with another sister over what we feed our kids or which vaccines are necessary, we erect our pillars of silent opinions as miniature idols in our minds. Or we cover our eyes and ears and go with the flow of whoever and whatever influences us the most. Why all the fuss?

We all have appointments with death. God knows the when, where and why. But during our little blinks of life He puts health and lifestyle choices in front of us EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Some could determine how you and I function from day to day–hindering or helping us as we run our race of faith and seek to keep the gospel the “main thing.”

My goals for this blog?

  • To help clear away muddy presuppositions, so that we as Christian moms might replace fear with love and pride with peace.
  • To promote Christian unity and inspire thoughtful discussion.
  • To offer simple, healthy, and realistic suggestions for Christian moms looking for balanced answers.
  • To post experiences, discoveries, and mistakes of my personal lifestyle choices and challenges in my family. If anything I share ever helps another mom, I would be truly blessed.
  • To look at what God has to say–or doesn’t say–about specific health and lifestyle choices.

I know very few Crunchy Legalists or Munchy Extremists. Most of us fall somewhere in-between, consider ourselves moderates one way or the other, or may be in both categories depending on the topic of discussion. Let’s consider where the extreme versions of either lifestyle would take us…

Crunchy Legalism
*I sometimes struggle with Crunchy Legalism on very specific issues.*
We start with great, possibly biblical intentions for ourselves and our families–sometimes triggered by a new stage of life (having a baby) or a debilitating physical problem in our family with no modern medical explanation or effective conventional treatment. We begin researching holistic or functional medicine, whole food diets, essential oils, natural birth & parenting, or [insert your list here]. Our families begin to experience the benefits of starting XYZ or eating XYZ, so we share our discoveries with our closest friends and eventually form alliances within the so-called “crunchy” living sphere.

But then You and I get caught up spending all our time, energy, and resources to cook and eat organic whole foods, argue and blog about the woes of modern medicine, buy the best supplements and natural health remedies, and ensuring our kids stay untainted by the junk food offered at school and church activities. At the end of the day, we have no money, time, or emotional energy left to share Christ with our neighbor, buy groceries for a needy family, or encourage a sister in suffering. Our thoughts and personal “worship” morph into “God, I thank You that I do not EAT or LIVE like _______. Thanks for helping me KNOW BETTER. Thank you for MY happy, healthy life.” Our lifestyle has turned into a badge of pride and an idol in our hearts. We eventually mentally add to the gospel: “To be a good Christian, I must do/eat/live like XYZ. And so do you.” We care more about converting our friends and family to our ways of living, rather than pointing them to Christ and bringing glory to God. We divide the Body of Christ into those who “get it” and the “ignorant sheep”…and look down on latter.

We might live pain and cancer-free for 50, 80, 100 years, only to die with just our badge of healthy, holistic living to flash at Jesus when we meet Him. But we’ve missed out on eternal benefits and sacrificed earthly relationships along the way. As Paul told Timothy,

Train yourself in godliness, for the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (HCSB, emphasis mine)

Munchy Extremism
*I was a Munchy Extremist in my late teens and college years.*
Life is short, we’re gonna die anyway. God gave us food and drink to enjoy…so we eat whatever we want, whenever we want. And honestly—it’s wicked hard to make a 2-yr old love to eat vegetables, so let’s not bother trying. We give him the bread and sugar he craves. As long as he’s getting enough calories, everything will be ok. We’ll make him eat vegetables when he turns 10 and can be reasoned with logically.

It’s too inconvenient to research our family histories to understand whether or not XYZ medication or vaccine (yes, just went there) would be safe or even effective for our newborns, so we elevate the recommendations of the FDA and CDC as infallible gospel. Anyone who questions medical science listens to discredited morons like Jenny McCarthy and Dr. Wakefield. We dismiss anything that smells remotely alternative or unconventional, unwilling to try anything that might aline us with those Crazy Crunchies.

So we, proud of our “normal” mainstream lives, may eventually find ourselves dreading each new day. We pop pills for our daily headaches or anxiety, don’t understand why our bodies ache at 25 years old, and barely manage to perform simple tasks at work, home, and in raising our children. Our bodies SCREAM that something is wrong. But instead of trying to understand the root of our problems, we’re content with a generalized diagnosis and the drugs that come with it (and I will make this clear right now–I am not anti-medicine or anti-doctor…I come from a family overflowing with MDs, PAs, and RNs).

At the end of the day, we’re too worn and cranky from the pain in our bodies or the side effects of the drugs to get off the couch and disciple our children, spend time with our unbelieving neighbors, cook a meal for the new mom at church. Just like our counterparts, we neglect what’s important–though not on purpose.

I’ve spent the last few years seeking a balance, learning the why behind others’ perspectives, finding little ways to improve the health of my family without breaking the bank, trusting the Lord with outcomes, and understanding that at some point in life, personal pain and suffering is completely unavoidable and should be expected. It’s time for me to share what I’ve learned!