Saturday, December 24, 2011

Acknowledging My Weaknesses, and His Grace

I'm not a perfect parent. I don't do paleo perfectly (whatever that means, depends on who's been asked!).

I'm not a perfect Christian. I'm a less than perfect wife.

By now you've guessed I'm a less than perfect blogger (hellloooooooo, backup of Advent and lunchbox posts...).

I'm awful at some things, like keeping up with laundry. I'm terrible at loading the dishwasher efficiently (my husband manages to pack in at least 50% more dishes, and they still get cleaner).

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly
about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses,
in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I am full of frailties and contradictions. I'm impatient with my kids and my kitchen projects. I'm at one turn legalistic, the next turn, irreverent. A reluctant believer and a born skeptic. Easily distracted yet capable of hyperfocusing on the things that matter least. Irritable, yet also tenderhearted to a fault.

I am a human. My personal character weakness and my biochemistry all but predestine me to overeat hyperpalatable processed foods. Due to their engineered combinations of sugar, salt, fat, and easily-broken down carbohydrates, they are biochemically addictive and they feed something else deep in my psyche.

I grew up overweight, and after some slimmer high school years, I continued to battle weight on and off through adulthood, but especially after my pregnancies. If you have been overweight as a child, you know the pain that comes with the endless teasing. The awful moment when you realize that your gym class is picking teams again.  The panic attack that results when some school authority determines that heights and weights need to be taken, or that the skin calipers are coming out, in front of all of your classmates.

It is for these reasons - my childhood pain from being overweight and athletically inept, and my acknowledgment of my ongoing biological and emotional vulnerabilities to processed foods - that my husband and I have chosen to generally follow the paleo lifestyle for our family. I see favoring a nourishing whole foods lifestyle as giving us the best chance to sidestep that fate as my girls grow up.

Do I know for sure that paleo is the perfect way to health? No, but I can continue my research - doing my best to counter bias by reading opposing studies and viewpoints - and allow my choices to be shaped by an evolving knowledge of how human metabolisms react to certain foods. Will a paleo lifestyle forever guarantee myself and my family members everlasting health, fitness, and wellness? Nope. I could still develop cancer (as a matter of fact, I already have, prepaleo). We could meet an untimely death through an auto accident or some other tragedy. Though no fate in this life is guaranteed - except, ultimately, death - my main comfort is that I am working toward avoiding health calamities as logically as I can, which results in our paleo-style framework, based on the evidence I've read from peer reviewed studies published in various medical journals.

In the meantime, I treasure the grace promised in Jesus' arrival here on Earth - because my efforts are human and imperfect, and thus my results will never be perfect. I am so thankful that it is not me, but He who bridges that gap instead, sustaining us all along!

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear by Sixpence None the Richer on Grooveshark

Merry Christmas to you all!


  1. Know this; with each of your sharings, someone out here is getting help from your knowledge.

    Happy Holidays to you and yours. I appreciate your blog very much.

  2. Merry Christmas! I recently discovered your blog..LOVE IT!! As my husband and I are trying to go primal during the Christmas season with all of our German treats filling the house (your advent calendar was such a joyful treat :)), we hope to go fully primal by the new year. Thank you for what you do for all of us newbies!!

  3. REAL humans are my favorite kind, and you are genuine and real! Knowing your not perfect, and being able to say it says so much about your beautiful character! This is a beautiful post, and thank you for sharing all that you do! God bless.<3

  4. I really appreciate this post. Sometimes I wonder the super-fit Paleo types really have different biochemistry & experiences. I think coming from always overweight my whole life is different than someone who just gained a bit of weight after baby.

  5. Thank you for your honesty & openness on your blog! It is refreshing to read from another mom who is just trying to make do with what I have as an imperfect human :) I have also LOVED your whole foods advent blogs. They were extremely encouraging during this Christmas Season. I am excited to find another Christian mom who is also trying nourish our families through the Paleo diet.

  6. Thank you for being passionate about health and Jesus. Makes me happy to have somewhere to turn for great ideas :)

  7. Yeah! This is my first time reading your blog. I was looking for paleo/primal kids lunch ideas and you have tons! My husband started eating a somewhat paleo diet back in 2009 and now the kids and I are finally on board to start eating the same. BONUS- you are a Christian too.

  8. I enjoy your blog, and especially enjoyed your post above. Thank you.

  9. I have NEVER ever found a Primal CHRISTIAN blogger. Praise the Lord :) I love what I've seen here so far :) Nice to meet you! MY name is Meagan!! And I follow Christ as well!

  10. Wow, I am truly heartened to hear from so many of you! It's good to read from others who see the paleo (or paleo-ish) lifestyle as a way to work with our human tendencies and vulnerabilities - a tool against the abuse of food and our bodies. I don't do paleo because I'm perfect with food...I do it precisely because I'm NOT perfect (and have in fact failed many times) with food!

    THANK YOU to you all for leaving these comments! They made. my. DAY!

  11. Finally taking a minute to say that I appreciate your authenticity and willingness to share. Amen sister!

  12. Thank you for writing this post. So many things struck a chord in me. Thank you for blogging and being an openly Christian Paleo blogger!


I cherish your comments, each and every one!

Please note that comments that are off-topic or of a gratuitously promotional nature will not be published. Also, for reasons of privacy, comments with my name or family members' names will not be published.

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