I've been devouring this book over the past few weeks.
Immersing myself in the idea of a slower, more intentional way of life has been on my heart for a while. When I collapsed in a parking lot from a panic attack and had to spend the night in the ER while Jordan and I were engaged, it was a wake up call to start living differently. Since then I've been on a very bumpy, messy and grace-filled journey of learning to say "no" to the things that don't fill me up, and yes to what God is calling me to.
It's hard. In a world that values the "bottom line" and self over others, it's hard to be others-focused, slower paced and not as accomplishment-driven. Especially for a girl who gets satisfaction from producing and accomplishing, it's just hard!
I want to make strides towards a slower life though, day by day. One way I've been trying to cultivate this in our lives is by finding ways to slow down our food.
Slow food became a beautiful thing to me, a lofty-yet-noble goal for my growing young family. Originating in Italy, the birthplace of pasta and old women who insist you eat more than your stomach can hold, the Slow Food movement is alive and well. The organization’s logo is a snail, and the explanation for their name is that it’s an ironic way of saying no to fast food—
Slow Food means living an unhurried life, beginning at the table.
Oxenreider, Tsh (2014-02-04). Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World
I saw the value of slow food while I was in Italy and my heart longed for that culture to permeate my own busy American way of life. I craved walking the streets for fresh, only in season finds and meats hung outside for the picking. Fresh breads without preservatives and the beauty of knowing where and from whom your food was coming.
Since I can't get the Italian markets to come to Texas, this morning I loaded the baby in the car and headed only 5 minutes down the road to a little elementary school to pick up our produce for the week. Here's a sampling of my bounty. I love the idea of getting my produce from local farmers and co-ops. I came home, put the baby back in her crib for a much needed 30 minutes alone and prepared my finds. Washed, chopped, and stored away in the kitchen. Later, I'll plan this weeks menu based on what we received. Last week I picked up pantry items and locally raised meat from my birth center's co-op and have been enjoying fresh almond milk, granola, spices and dinners from those pickings.
Food that takes time to prepare. Patience and resourcefulness and then joy when you savor the food you've waited to receive. Food becoming more of a gift than a given.
I'm currently sitting at my kitchen table, morning light streaming in, eating a fruit of which I'm actually not sure what it is, and soaking up the stillness before the day begins. A day filled with baby loving, cleaning, planning and relaxing with family.
This is one small step for me. What small step can you take to create a more intentional life?