Blue Oceans of Unity

“I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.”

Yesterday, I was convicted.  I went to a birthday party for a six year old girl, and God kicked me in the gut.  He put my heart and my mouth in check.  I realized that I was so wrong in my fairness of communication.

When I heard the prompt word for the week as “blue,” I thought…”oh I’ll write something about the blue oceans…the sweet trips our family has taken to the coasts of Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean!”  Then, when I read for inspiration and a Bible verse to go with the word “oceans” I found the passage from Amos above.

It is a poignant one.  It is a hard one.  It is one that made me re-read and ponder.  It awoke me again to what I did yesterday.

When we attended a birthday party at a local park/lake beach yesterday our sons played on an inflatable water slide, did some swinging, some sno cone eating, and they giggled with their friends.  We moms chatted.  I talked to the ones I know for about 50 of the 60 minutes I was there.  Then, I went to give our boys the 10 minute warning being that I needed to leave to get a hair cut.

Hair cuts are precious to a mom folks.  There is no stopping that appointment.  I wait seven weeks between them, and I had arranged my mom to come watch the boys since my husband had a dinner event.  Little did I know that the 10 minutes next conversation would change my perspective on the world.  The oceans that separate us also unite us.
Tangents…I know.  Bear with me.  I spoke with a beautiful woman…a woman that looked different than the rest of us.  She spoke with an accent.  I knew her son from school, but I had never met her, seen her, or talked with her.  I introduced myself, and as we chatted about school and our sons…I asked “Are you Russian?  I notice an accent.”  She laughed…

“I’m not Russian.  I’m from Israel.”

“Israel!  Wow.  I have never met someone from Israel.”

We proceeded to talk about the oceans of life, the history of our heritage, and the oceans of this wide world.  There is a bigger place in my heart today.  I wanted to put a shoe in my mouth after saying she was Russian?!  Whoops.  God woke me up to a woman that is proud of her Israeli family, and who was brave enough to take her children there last summer.  Thirteen years since she had been “home.”  I can only imagine.  There are oceans that separate us, but there is a God who unites us.

Dear God,
You created the Earth and all of us people.
Forgive me when I quickly judge others.  Give me careful words and open ears. 
Extend my prayers beyond myself and my country.
Thank you for the opportunity to travel…even if it is across a birthday party to talk with a mom who looks and speaks differently than myself.
I love you Lord, and I thank you for your Word, your grace, and your gifts.
Written and painted on Arches cold press watercolor paper with watercolor paint.
The text written in English capital letters, between the lines of Hebrew says:
AMOS 5:24

Our Feeding Disorder Journey–Chapter Five “Let Him Eat Whatever He Wants”

When our son hit his fourth birthday, I realized that his eating habits were not improving.  He was still small in stature, and he was a super picky.  He wasn’t eating much more than cereal, peanut butter, milk, and water.  This wasn’t good in my eyes.

I had read books about picky eating, nutrition, etc.  I could not find a pediatric occupational therapist near us that specialized in feeding.  I found one, but she was about an hour away.  That would not work for us as I was a part time working mom. I didn’t want to drag my four year old and his brother then seven years old across town for weekly appointments that far away.  Plus, I wasn’t confident in that OT.  She would not even provide me with literature or research to read.  I was open…she was not.

So, enter in the four year old well check.  I asked the pediatrician for a referral to a nutritionist.  I wanted to know what a professional thought about our son’s diet.  How could we help him?  We received that referral, and I made an appointment at the main hospital in central Florida.  I was asked to keep a week long food diary.  Then, I sat down with the nutritionist one morning to review it.  She was an adult nutritionist primarily, but she was really good.  She sat with me for an hour puzzling over our son’s case.  She had “never seen a diet quite like this.”  Yeah, me either.

The end result was a recommendation to see a pediatric occupational therapist.  I saw that coming.  We were also instructed to up his diet to include more calories.  She recommended us to include milk shakes, more chocolate, more peanut butter, and a return to whole milk.  Basically her best offer was to: “Let him eat whatever he wants.”  Bryan needed more fat and calories in his diet.  I really appreciated her recommendations, time, and the ability to say, “it is ok to let this kid eat whatever he wants…he needs the calories.”  It is a relief to have that freedom to try new foods, but know it is okay to let him have those high fat and calorie items to improve his caloric intake…we need energy to burn!

So we adopted that stance: offer good foods and high calorie foods.  And, we still do that two years later.  Our Bryan, now age (almost) six years old, is allowed to eat pretty much whatever he wants.  We know he needs the calories, and sometimes the food battles are just not worth it.  We always offer him healthy options alternated with treaty options.  He fusses, but we endure.

We did finally find a pediatric occupational therapist within a 20 minute drive, and we started those services.  More on that next time.  That is another chapter of this feeding disorder journey.  Thank you for reading, and remember when you see a mom or dad offer up foods that may seem wild and crazy…it may just be a time when those parents have chosen to “let him eat whatever he/she wants!”