Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Confessions of a Lazy Mom

When I think of bringing simplicity into my meal planning, some of the first things that come to mind are:
- having the kids help me make salads from our backyard garden
- trying out vegetarian recipes from fancy organic living magazines
- using more locally produced foods
- checking lables to ensure all food ingredients are things I understand

These are all wonderful goals, and some days I can pull off one or two of them, and then I feel so good about myself. Last night, I opted for a very different kind of simplicity - one that doesn't make me sound so impressive, but one that is equally important, I believe. So here goes.

Last night for dinner, I opened two cans of Harris Teeter's Beef Ravioli, put it into three bowls, and tossed them into the microwave. I got out a bag of baby carrots, (I'm sure they weren't grown locally), and I placed them on the table with a bottle of Italian salad dressing (not made from scratch, and probably containing many ingredients I couldn't pronounce -- I didn't check). It didn't matter, because the kids filled up on ravioli and didn't even touch the carrots - and I didn't insist. Then I brushed their teeth, and with a completely clean conscience, I put them to bed. So what do you think?

I think that we western competitive over-achievers are capable of messing up any good thing, and Simplicity is no different. While I know that my friends will not judge me for frequently missing the mark, sometimes it's hard to quiet the critical voices inside my own mind. As we explore options for doing things in better ways, we must acknowledge that each choice requires tradeoffs (time/money/earth-friendly/healthy). We won't ever get it all right at the same time, and that's probably great, as it will keep us from thinking too highly of our awesome selves.

I guess I'm just trying to say that the freedom that comes with living simply comes ONLY when we let go of our ego's need to overachieve in this area, and practice grace, extending it to ourselves as freely as we know God does. I know we are all in agreement that it is God, and not Simplicity, whom we worship!! I am learning that it's crucial give myself a break (ok, many breaks) along this journey.

Much Love,
Shelly :o)


  1. Shelly,
    Thanks so much for your post and witness to a different kind of simplicity! I struggle with some of the same desires to meet all our goals of simplicity all the time, but it's just not always possible or healthy like you said! One desire that I've realized lately that does not bring me freedom is my need to not repeat meals more than once every few weeks. Theoretically I know it does not need to be this way, and in Honduras we even ate the same dinner every night for 9 months more or less. But somehow I've slipped back into old habits, so thanks again for sharing. I think we may be having rice and beans a bit more often again :)

  2. Shelly,

    We were in sync last night. I haven't been to the grocery store in two weeks, so I gave my family microwave popcorn, which is neither healthy nor enviromentally sound...but it was easy.
    Today, I was blessed to receive my first box from the Produce Box. If you haven't heard of this, I highly recommend it. Each week you receive a box with fresh vegetables and fruit from your local farmers. The box costs $22 and it is delivered right to your door. My box included: strawberries, lettuce, daikon radish, onion, new potatoes, squash and zuchinni. The box also comes with recipes. If you are interested go to


  3. The produce box sounds awesome! Much easier on my budget than paying a few hundred dollars up front for a CSA, and more time convenient than multiple trips to the farmers' market every week. I'll check it out!