Finding God in the Heart of Your Family
by Mary Kretzmann
Chapter 4: Hidden Blessings
Something happened in the last few years that made me focus even more deeply on the family food, on all levels, including the vibrations. First, as our two older kids entered the teen years, their lives became much busier, and my involvement with the Healing Prayer Ministry also become more intense. Unfortunately, quite a few convenience foods gradually crept into my normal “health food” repertoire, such as frozen pizzas, boxes of macaroni and cheese, white flour pasta, etc. These things appealed to the kids and were easy for them to prepare. I gave in. They weren’t our mainstay, but they helped in a pinch. They also enjoyed whatever vegetarian fast food they happened upon with their friends.
In 2002, our two older offspring, Krishnabai and Peter, were getting ready to leave the home. Krishnabai, then age 22 and already an accomplished violinist and world traveler, was about to marry a wonderful young man, and Peter, 18, was about to graduate from high school, and go off to technical college. Having everyone home had helped me to stay relatively home focused, even though, on a certain level, I felt ready to “graduate” too! But our youngest was only age nine, and I seriously wondered how I would maintain the home-centered feeling with him, that I had when my two older children were school age.
The answer came in a surprising way. Krishnabai, David, and I tested positive for gluten intolerance, or celiac sprue, just a couple of months before the wedding. Celiac is a genetic condition that causes an autoimmune response to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye and oats, and in the derivatives of these foods. Gluten must be avoided for life, and trust me, it’s everywhere. It was a blessing to know about it, though, because some serious health concerns cleared up after finally going gluten-free. One of the problems was exhaustion, and as my energy finally returned, I understood why I had gradually allowed my standards to slip regarding home cooked meals.
However, the days of most convenience foods were seemingly over! All of a sudden, out of necessity, I was cooking most meals from scratch again. It was a big adjustment in time and scheduling, but I was happy to do it, and to find good substitutes for many of my son’s favorite foods using alternative flours. I gradually became a very good gluten free chef, if I do say so myself. I returned to my home-cooking roots, so to speak, and put lots of loving energy into the meals, and even some special desserts from time to time. A certain joy and celebration returned to the table. By giving it enough focused attention, I was able to change something that could have been a great austerity, into an expression of love and joy.
I hope your family does not need to jump over such a hurdle regarding food, but even trying to provide healthy, tasty meals in general can give you enough of a sense of mission so that you’ll feel your aura surrounding the meals in your home.
Another change also come from this switch to a gluten free diet. It became apparent to me that my celiac son would need to learn to cook! I felt this about both of my sons, but now it was crucial. If a person has celiac sprue, the only way to get any real variety or gourmet food, is to make it yourself. The only problem was that if Tim wasn’t cooking much, then neither would David, because he idolized his dad. I presented this realization to Tim. So, for now, Tim makes things like eggs and toast for breakfast, and sometimes includes David. I’ve noticed that Tim’s style and technique have become very particular in order to achieve a certain desired affect with the fried eggs, or scrambled eggs, etc. The eggs are very good, and the joyful attention to detail is another way to keep one’s aura around the food. An added attraction is that the eggs are “home grown” from ducks and chickens that David raised from day-old chicks and ducklings!
It did me no good at all to talk to David logically about this and say, “Well since you need to be gluten free for life, you should learn to cook, and I’m happy to teach you, because then you’ll have more variety, and guys do cook, and even your Dad used to cook …”
That logic was totally ineffective. He had to learn by example. He needed to be at the elbow of his favorite man, Dad, watching him cook the eggs, and this has opened up magnetism for the idea of cooking. Luckily, Tim will also cook a decent gluten-free pasta meal, complete with salad, once or twice a week so that I can have free evening. Now my heart is at peace: at least my son will have eggs and pasta when he leaves home! Well, it’s not really that bleak; we’ve also recently included gluten free baking mixes for things like cake or brownies, etc. I normally cook from scratch , but I’ve found that even if kids are a little resistant to cooking, they will learn to read a package and make a decent item of it.
This experience has been quite graphic in driving home the point of how much children learn from our example! If we really want to share something with them, then we need to find a way to get in there with them in the process. Children will normally do as we do, and not as we say, unless we back that up with action, too!