I’m what people around here call “crunchy”. It’s a synonym of “granola”, used to describe a lifestyle that revolves around natural things. That includes a whole host of different things, such as natural medicine, natural baby feeding (breastfeeding and baby led weaning), natural eating (anything from clean eating, whole foods, organic, to gardening and fermenting), natural birth, attachment parenting, babywearing, cloth diapering, et al. There are differing degrees of “crunchiness”. There are some of us who do a few things, but not that many. Some are more middle of the road, and others still are all out full crunchy. Some people like to call us “hippies”. I’ve never liked that word personally, because it evokes in my mind visions of the 1960s, with all the “make love not war”, free love, dope smoking crowd. That’s not me. At all. So I much prefer crunchy over hippie. Sometimes my husband calls me a hippie just to get a rise out of me. He’s a big agitator, that man!
Something I have really noticed here in this small town is that there aren’t a whole lot of people who share my crunchiness, nor do they really understand it. So, I’m starting a series of blog posts that deal with several of these topics. I really want to raise awareness of some of these things, because many people don’t even know that they are options that might work for their family. Many things are not “mainstream” and they may have negative reactions from people. I, in fact, had negative reactions to some of these things when I first heard about them, in part because I wasn’t used to them and in part because my pediatricians were mainstream and told me not to do some of them. I took them at their word and didn’t give it a second thought…until my son was diagnosed with autism. That was truly the catalyst that caused me to search for alternatives.
I had to answer a question for myself, just one question: What did God intend when He created us? I prayed and prayed, and researched for hours at a time, for months and now years. I sought to determine if He had a way that was better than the way I had been doing things. I don’t claim to have all the answers, and I don’t claim that what works for my family is the way that every other person on earth should do things. With that being said, here are some of the things I felt God was laying on my heart.
1. God created our bodies fearfully and wonderfully. He made us with an immune system, with a reproductive system, and hormones and chemicals that work a certain way. He created a beautiful way for us to feed our babies, and He gave us the earth and everything in it to nurture our bodies. This realization has shaped my views on natural childbirth, breastfeeding, baby led weaning, vaccines, co-sleeping, clean eating, natural medicine, natural cleaning, and chemical use.
2. God gave me the responsibility over HIS children…they are temporarily in my care, and I am charged with raising them in a manner that He laid out for me. This has affected my decision to be a stay-at-home-mom and homeschool my children. It also has an impact on how I discipline and train up my children, and what values and morals I am striving to instill in them.
3. God placed upon my heart the fact that I need to be content in Him, and that when the focus is not on him, then I am holding some other idol ahead of Him. This makes a difference in the lifestyle I’m trying to live. I’d like to live simply. This is certainly a work in progress for me. It’s a journey I’ve barely started. This involves gardening, raising animals, cooking from scratch, and the parenting issues that revolve around not indulging my children and helping them find contentment in the simple things in life. It’s the idea of getting back to nature, being still and quiet and enjoying creation, and not being obsessed with the latest and greatest gadget, among other things.
This is not an exhaustive list, and it’s ever evolving as I open my heart to listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in my life. It will be interesting, I’m sure, to look back upon this post one day and see how far I’ve come. Join me on my adventure!