Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weathering the Storm

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed. 

We’re into Day 3 of Tropical Storm Debby and still stuck in our neighborhood due to high water. Day 1 (Sunday) was a rainy, restful break from a busy week.  Day 2 (Monday) was a disappointing day of cancelled plans--but with guarded hope that conditions would improve.

Day 3 is a day for taking stock:  how are our food supplies?  how are our neighbors doing?  will our patience run out? 

When I looked out the window this morning at the scudding clouds, wind-whipped trees, and whitecaps in the canal, it brought to mind the hymn I quoted above.  Debby’s center is far away and yet we feel it’s power, and that’s just a fraction of God’s power displayed in creation.

The weather forecast does not look promising. Debby’s stationary position in the Gulf of Mexico means that we’re due for SW winds for at least another day.  Those strong SW winds push water into Tampa Bay, which means higher than normal tides in our part of town. The water backs up the drains into the streets and, as the drains are full, rainwater collects on top.  So it might be Wednesday night or Thursday morning before we can safely drive anywhere. And that’s assuming that TS Debby moves ashore and the winds shift.

At least one more day with no trips to town, no Vacation Bible School, no morning paper delivery, no US Mail. But these are, at best, inconveniences that remind us of all that we take for granted. The waters will recede (eventually) and we’ll resume our regular schedule. We just need to be patient.

Mom sent me a quote today that was shared at a cancer survivor’s meeting, but it’s particularly appropriate as our current situation challenges our attitudes and patience. 

“It’s not about waiting for the storm to pass--its about learning to dance in the rain.”

Shalom, y’all.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Book Review: Busy Mom’s Guide to Family Nutrition

I feel a bit guilty at how long it took me to review this book, but that’s because I’m a busy mom.  So there we go.

Busy Mom’s Guide to Family Nutrition is a brief overview of nutritional topics:  controlling sugars, what vitamins are essential,  weight management, dieting, and helping children with weight problems.

What does this book have to offer that you can’t just get off the web?  Nutrition is a vast topic so there’s quite a bit to wade through and evaluate. Rather than being a complete guide to anything, this book briefly addresses topics that arise when trying to plan meals for families and when trying to evaluate what is/isn’t healthy or helpful for raising healthy children.  It provides the vocabulary and concepts that are useful for doing deeper research.

I have a basic knowledge of most of the bigger topics in this book (gained from pediatricians, nurses, and reading web and magazine articles).  However, I found the discussion on sugars and sugar substitutes useful and I refer back to it often as I navigate the changing nutritional labels on packaged foods (though I tend to avoid sugar substitutes more than the author advises).   I also found the history and comparison of different diet trends fascinating (Pritikin, Atkins, Raw Foods).  That chapter is useful for evaluating diet claims. 

Is this a useful book?  Yes.  Is this an essential book?  Hard to say since this book is poorly indexed and you have to dig through each chapter to look for answers.   It is, however, a good overview and would be useful as a starting point for discussing nutrition with your (or your child’s) doctor.

Recommended for families to read and teens to read themselves if they're interested in nutrition.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complementary copy of this book.