Monday, August 16, 2010

mission statement

after reading a post on another blog about how a mission statement and defining core values helped define the bloggers purpose and goals, i decided it might be something i should do too. if you know me at all, or have been following the blog for a while, you can probably see a thread of aimlessness and lack of concrete direction in my life. there are so many things i am passionate about and so many things that i would love to do. i feel oppressed by the daily grind and the obligation to hold down a regular job in order to pay bills and such. there will always be bills to pay, and there will always be opportunities to serve others. so how do i find a balance? how do i know which opportunity or obligation i should follow first? how do the demands of everyday life line up with meeting my goals, and what do they look like against the priorities and values i know God has placed in my life?

so far, other than prayer and reading scripture, i haven't had a way to say 'yes, this lines up with my goals and values' or 'no, this doesn't have a place in my life right now because it does not line up with my goals and values' because i hadn't evaluated my goals and values! of course i believe that every decision we make should be bathed in prayer; but there are some times (i believe) when God says 'I have told you what you should be doing, you don't need to be asking me. I have made it clear'. it would be like noah asking God 'so, God, should i go to the lumber store today or should i hang out at starbucks?'. noah should know the answer. God gave him very clear directions. i feel like this is what my vision and mission statements are, as well as defining those core values that really get to the core of the passions God has placed in my heart. the importance of these statements is also why i say 'matter' after each of my core values. to me, it reinforces the notion that these things are big, substantial, meaningful, leading, defining statements. there is no guessing what i value.

please remember that these are things God has laid on MY heart. i am not saying that you should do this very exercise tonight and it should be just like mine. of course i think some of them would be beneficial for all people since they are rooted in scripture, but i am not here to convict you or put words in God's mouth.

without further ado:

vision statement:
to live a simple, intentional, outwardly facing life in order to share God's love, healing, truth and plan with the world.
1 Thess 4:11, 1 Tim 2:2, Micah 6:8, Titus 2:3-5, 11-13

mission statement:
living simply through wise financial stewardship and self sustainability; being intentional in hospitality, giving, and disciplined in time management; giving to people and organizations out of my abundance or sacrifice, that they may have the tools they need to change their life or others'; pursuing education in order to develop skills that will help others, leading them to the saving knowledge of Jesus through his physical and spiritual healing.

core values:

Personal Time Matters (Ps. 23:2; Zeph. 3:17; 1 Peter 3:3-5)
  • Must happen every day
  • Separate from devotions
  • For reflection, relaxation and decompression

Hospitality Matters (Prov. 31:20, Rom 13:8)
  • Friends, family, ministry
  • Open door philosophy

Home Organization and Routine Matter (Prov. 6:6-8, 21:5, 31:21-22 & 27; 1 Thes 4:11)
  • Lessens anxiety by providing a framework for home management
  • Creates an inviting environment for hospitality
  • Prepares for marriage and family management

Giving and Social Justice Matters (James 1:22; Prov. 31:8-9, 20, Ps 10:17-18, 33:5, 140:12; Micah 6:8, Lev. 19:9-18; Deut. 24:17)
  • Giving of finances, time, materials or other support to individuals or organizations
  • Supporting those who stand up for justice (voting, prayer)

Health Matters (Gen. 1:26-27; Ps. 139:13-14; Prov. 3:5-7)
  • Diet, exercise, sleep
  • Honoring God and seeking Him first in medical treatment

Stewardship Matters (Matt. 6:24; Prov. 14:29, 21:20, 22:7, 31:27; 1 Cor. 13:11; Gen. 1:31)
  • Financial
  • Time
  • Earth 
some of the verses, if you looked them up, would seem a little 'odd' to be placed with their particular subjects. that's okay, because i know why i put it there :) that's the benefit of it being mine!

i already feel much more calmed in my spirit, knowing that i have some foundations laid for myself. i feel like i can really establish myself as an individual with a great calling and purpose, not a wanderer.

i am so thankful that God laid this out, and that he guided my thoughts as i worked through this. i hope to revisit this once a year and add, tweek, remove whatever needs changing in order to bring it in line with where God has me at that time. 

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    experiments in fermentation

    thanks to nourishing traditions and wild fermentation, i got up the courage to do my first lacto-fermentation projects! i had extra cabbage and beets from my csa, so i decided to make kimchi (korean sour kraut) and sour beets.

    a primer in lacto-fermentation:
    lacto-fermentation is a food preservation method that our ancestors used before conventional hot water bath/pressure cooker canning methods came to be. it uses an acid in the form of whey, vinegar, kefir or salt to inhibit the growth of bad bacteria while allowing good bacteria such as lactobacilli to grow and preserve the food. lactobacilli and his gang of bacteria friends are a wonderful bunch. they promote a healthy immune system, improve digestion and help to keep the balance of good/bad bacteria and yeasts in check in our bodies. God designed our bodies to be a certain pH level and have enough good bacteria in our GI tract to fight disease and keep us healthy. a conventional western diet, unfortunately, does not provide the opportunity for good bacteria to gain the advantage and the pH level gets to levels that are unhealthy (side note: we are talking about tenths of a percent difference here. it might not seem like much of a difference to go from 7.45 to 7.55, but a change like this can have huge consequences for the human body. THIS is how intricately God designed our bodies!). add in our frequent use of antibiotics in health care and in food (this article shows the usda and fda have recently conceded that antibiotics used in livestock DOES effect humans upon consumption), we are constantly killing our bodies natural defenses against disease and discomfort.

    since increasing the amount of probiotics in my diet through raw milk, raw homemade yogurt and milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha and cultured butter, my former (almost debilitating) GI health issues are gone! i feel so much better and can eat so many more foods than i used to be able to. my former gallbladder issues have vanished. i can consume dairy without the lactose intolerance problems i used to battle. i feel like a freed woman! praise God!

    okay, on to the food.

    i looked up the kimchi recipe in wild fermentation and went to work getting everything chopped and ready. tell ya what, cooking sometimes calls for getting creative with 'working with what you have'. this pic is my bowl of produce weighing down the kimchi vegetables in their brine so that they could get soft. they have to stay under the brine for a few hours to overnight. mine took about an hour actually.

    after the vegetables were soft, they could be packed into jars for fermentation and storage. my batch made exactly two quarts worth of kimchi. here's what one looked like:
    i didn't get any pics of the beets and carrots that i did, because by that time my kitchen was a mess and my hands looked like i had just committed a felony (i was covered in purple-red beet juice which, to my surprise, did not stain my skin or counter top). i can give you a short recap though. i shredded my beets (yellow and red) along with several carrots. these got mixed with about a tablespoon of salt and then were pounded with a kitchen utensil to get the water out of them. the water mixed with the salt became the brine in which the vegetables would sour/pickle. i added carraway seeds for some flavor then packed it into a small pint sized jelly jar.

    i have been tasting the kimchi every day, and i think i like it at day 4. you can ferment it for a week (some koreans ferment it up to six months. no thank you.). it is slightly sour, very tangy and still a bit crunchy. stinky? yes. it's fermented cabbage and onions and garlic. but it's really good if you have a taste for tangy foods.

    i have a feeling that there will be more vegetable fermentation in the future. there are recipes for fermented salsas and chutneys that i'd like to try. and of course there will be plenty of beverage fermentation too!

    a fun, easy way to get probiotics in your diet...and try a science experiment at the same time :)