Intentional Conversations: Is It Worth It?

Welcome back to another Intentional Conversation! Can you believe it’s that time again – for me to take a break from the written word, and step in front of the camera ? I love getting outside of my comfort zone, to talk with you face-to-face. I think it’s good for both of us.

Today, I want to dialogue with you about decisions that we make at the expense of something else. Yesterday, after many tears shared between Samuel and I, the thought occurred to me, “Why am I doing this? Is it worth it?”

So join me? And please know, I had just finished crying. So I look a hot mess. But this is me. This is an ordinary day in my life, in my thoughts. This is why I do intentional conversations. I really am real, ya’ll…a hot, messy, learning-as-I-go kind of real.

{If you can’t see the video, then please click here: Intentional Conversations: Is It Worth It?}

What about you? What are you doing right now that maybe you should re-evaluate? Do you agree that it may be worth it for us to for-go raw milk for a season?

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24 Comments

  1. Thanks for this post! It is wonderful to have the desire (and the option) to feed our families the best food we can get. BUT, as I have been considering lately, this is an issue that is for THIS world only. Relationships are infinitely more important. (A question I keep asking myself is “What if I were as passionate about spreading the truth of the Gospel as I am about sharing the truth of real food?”) I’m trying to convince my husband step by step to stand with me on cutting out processed food, but thanks for the reminder that it is NOT worth straining our relationship.

    1. Leanne, you are spot on – “A question I keep asking myself is ‘What if I were as passionate about spreading the truth of the Gospel as I am about sharing the truth of real food?'” Very well said, my friend. Very well said.

      Paul says in 1 Timothy 4:8, “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

      I think this is what Paul was referring to. Yes, we need to seek to take care of the temple of God (our bodies), but like you said, this is an issue for THIS world. My relationship with my son is far more important than the food we eat. It’s hard to see that, and even accept it sometimes, but that is the truth.

      My husband is on board with this journey of health, but in the beginning, he was extremely reluctant. I found that if I allowed the Lord to change his heart while I made the changes he was tolerant of and just prayed for change, God was faithful. Over time, and with many short baby steps, my hubby caught on to the benefits (especially when he wasn’t paying my doctor bills anymore, hehe!). I pray your hubby comes around soon. In the meantime, I will surely pray for you.

      Thanks for your input. It was so incredibly helpful for me, and I know it’s encouraged others who have read.

      1. We are kind of in a similar boat, however a friend of mine and I started a milk co-op which only includes 4 mamas. 1 of us 4 goes to the farm every 3 weeks. We buy low-temp, vat pasteurized milk and we drink 4 gallons a week (family of 4). We end up going every 12 weeks and it’s a great solution to our problem. I’m hoping you can find/start a milk coop in your area πŸ™‚

        Blessings mama!

        1. Lacey, I actually did a milk swap group thingamajig before starting my trek to the farm every week. When I lived in a different part of our city, it made sense and worked great. But where I live there is no one getting milk in my area so the farm makes the most sense. However, now it just doesn’t make any sense at all! πŸ™ I’m so glad you found something that works for you. I know a lot of people in our area enjoy taking turns as well.

  2. If your weekly trek were to a hospital for necessary treatments for your boy, then there could be no doubt. I don’t know anything about raw milk, so I can’t speak to that aspect of “worth-it-ness” at all.
    But another thought that comes to mind is all that driving. I’m guessing that your 40-minute drive to this dairy runs around 30 miles each way. From a sheer practical standpoint, that round trip costs you over $30 including gas and wear & tear on the car. Still, if you and your son both enjoyed the outing, that wouldn’t matter. As it is, though. . .
    I like your take on “next best choice.”

    1. Thanks, Janice! I’m always so grateful for your comments. I like your analogy. It really put a lot into perspective. I just keep reminding myself that seasons change. And right now, I’m ok with “next best” because really, it’s God’s best for me, right now!

  3. If your weekly trek were to a hospital for necessary treatments for your boy, then there could be no doubt. I don’t know anything about raw milk, so I can’t speak to that aspect of “worth-it-ness” at all.
    But another thought that comes to mind is all that driving. I’m guessing that your 40-minute drive to this dairy runs around 30 miles each way. From a sheer practical standpoint, that round trip costs you over $30 including gas and wear & tear on the car. Still, if you and your son both enjoyed the outing, that wouldn’t matter. As it is, though. . .
    BTW, I like your take on “next best choice.”

  4. Relation ship is more important. Real food is also important. God intended us to have both. I defiantly have seasons that I wonder if it is worth milking every ones cow twice a day 375 days a year when my babies want me to stay home and rock them. But I always come back to them and I get to spend more time than most with them so in the end yes what I do is worth it. I have taken seasons off (like with a newborn), there are seasons for everything.. I am a full time farmer so I am all about supporting your most local farm but I am also a mother of three, home school teacher and wife. It is not always practical to drive to several farms. Their may be a solution to your problem here soon. Check out http://knoxville.locallygrown.net this group should bring several local farms together to the same spot. This is better for us than farmers markets because we know exactly what to bring you (you order up front), it is good for the consumer because you get to pick from several farmers and pick up everything at one location.

  5. Relation ship is more important. Real food is also important. God intended us to have both. I defiantly have seasons that I wonder if it is worth milking every ones cow twice a day 375 days a year when my babies want me to stay home and rock them. But I always come back to them and I get to spend more time than most with them so in the end yes what I do is worth it. I have taken seasons off (like with a newborn), there are seasons for everything.. I am a full time farmer so I am all about supporting your most local farm but I am also a mother of three, home school teacher and wife. It is not always practical to drive to several farms. Their may be a solution to your problem here soon. Check out http://knoxville.locallygrown.net this group should bring several local farms together to the same spot. This is better for us than farmers markets because we know exactly what to bring you (you order up front), it is good for the consumer because you get to pick from several farmers and pick up everything at one location.

    1. Marcie, this is such wonderful input. I am so glad that you work so hard to make local, real food possible for our community!!! My family has definitely benefited greatly from what you and your family sacrifice.Thanks for the link. I will definitely check it out!

  6. I have been in this place many times. You are wise to look at your season and evaluate. Every time I stand back and look, there is a lot that is unnecessary.

    One of my kids would scream in the car, too. It was horrible. I can’t believe I didn’t have an accident!

    1. Thanks, Stacy! It is so easy to listen to the condemnings of my heart when I know the Lord is calling me to open my hands and let Him take care of my family. This isn’t a forever season. Seasons change. One day, even if it’s not until I’m in heaven, I will drink good ol’ raw milk again! If it’s heaven, it’ll taste better anyways. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your encouragement! I needed it.

  7. I’m a man so I know it may be a little odd for me to chime in here, but I’m glad you brought up this topic. You’re right – we have to evaluate whether or not it is worth it to make “better” choices for ourselves. With a little one, it is sometimes worth picking up something for dinner if she NEEDS to eat, even though it will stretch the budget. Sometimes it is worth it to go to the grocery store instead of waiting for the farmer’s market, even though you know the quality is better at the latter. Sanity is important and you can drive yourself insane if you focus too much on ALL the details of life/health.

    1. Barry, men are always welcome to give their input, especially when it’s great input! πŸ™‚ I’m so grateful for reminders from friends like you that sanity truly is something to be reckoned with! Thanks for taking time to give input on the conversation. I needed the reminder!

  8. Again thanks for your honesty. I have felt like this many times over, even to the point of obsessing about nurturing my family with wholesome real foods. I realized that it was becoming an idol as I was thinking more about this than my relationship with God. As Leanne stated, “”What if I were as passionate about spreading the truth of the Gospel as I am about sharing the truth of real food?” So I repented and pray that He would guide me to the best foods available going forward. Unfortunately, raw milk is illegal in my state, but I do have access to pasteurized, grass-fed cow milk about 35 min away. When I am in that area I will pick it up, but if not, we drink organic. This is the decision I had to make, I am not in a position to drive more than an hour for milk with a 3 and 1 year old every week. I totally understand where you are right now! But, be encouraged! God sees your effort, and I believe He will bless you with other options during this season.

    1. Nisha, I have certainly been where you are – thinking about whole, real foods more than I’m thinking about God. It’s easy to do – easy to replace the most important thing, the whole reason we started this journey of real food in the first place. I love what Leanne said. I think she was spot on – a wonderful reminder.

      Praise God for your humility and repentant heart! I believe God is quick to forgive and to pour out much grace! And thank you for your encouragement. It was much needed! πŸ™‚

  9. Oh Leigh Ann, I have been asking myself similar questions…though not about raw milk (I wish). I have been wondering really how much of my time and energy I should be putting on real food. Am I putting this before Christ? Am I worrying about it too much, when Christ tells us not to worry about what we will eat or drink? (Matt. 6:25 – 34) While I still think it is important to not indulge in that which we know will make us feel awful, I have to wonder if I am choosing to eat this way for the right reasons. I know that, yes, all these studies show that if I eat “real food” I will like live longer…but that should not be the goal…and really it isn’t, but I think I just worry about my family’s day to day health more than anything… I once heard someone say that if we try to control and keep our kids from harm too much then God will let us, but He may also take away their guardian angels as well…. I don’t know if that is true, but it definitely made me think about how much I try to control!

    1. It is easy to get caught up in the real food movement and allow it to become your God. I know. We’ve done it. It’s easy to make it an idol. However, if your motivation for eating real food, apart from the fact that it just tastes better (ha!), is to glorify God and take care of what He’s given you, then that’s all you can do. Each decision we make, regardless of how good our intentions are, is tainted by sin. However, we have a Savior, Jesus Christ – who did EVERYTHING perfectly. The way we eat is not a matter of salvation – praise God! My motto is Romans 14. If you have prayed, and you have peace with what you are doing, then do it to the glory of God. It does us no good worrying about whether or not we are doing the “right thing.” Do what you’re in faith for, love God with all your heart, and trust that He will lead and guide you. Same goes for our kiddos. It’s so hard to surrender that which we love so much to God. It’s hard to imagine that He loves them far more than we ever can! Oh, that we would surrender all to God – our food, our kids, our life. Thanks for commenting, Dusti. You’re not alone, sweet friend!

      1. Thank you Leigh Ann! I appreciate your insight and wisdom. This is, I think, why I appreciate your words so much. First and foremost your blog is about bringing glory to God with a little real food mixed in. And you do it without coming across judgmental at all! Something, I think, happens far too often…though rarely on purpose. So much of my “real food” journey has stemmed from my beliefs of how God has created us and this earth of which He has made us stewards. So it is hard for me to realize when I am making this an idol. I really have to stay connected to Christ, the vine, to keep my motives pure.

        1. Dusti, this could not have encouraged me more. Thank you so much for your words. They truly blessed me today. I pray this is always said of Intentional By Grace.

  10. I think it’s really beautiful that you do this. But it sounds like, however wonderful these products are, that weekly sacrifice is taking a serious toll on you. You did mention the health benefits of raw milk…are they really serious, important health benefits, or would there me much of a toll on your or your family’s health if you stopped drinking raw milk? I admire your efforts in this. We do try to go local, organic, etc., but never took on any major inconveniences to do so. But I would definitely say follow your heart on this. If it doesn’t hurt your health too much, maybe now is not the best time and maybe you could pick this up again later, maybe when Sam is older and either better able to understand or in school or something so you wouldn’t have to take him with. These are tough decisions, and I wish you the best in finding answers.

    1. Thank you for your questions, Jade. The health benefits of raw milk are stellar. But you’re right, now just isn’t the time to do it. I received a kombucha scoby from a friend this past week as a gift. I didn’t realize then how much it was going to benefit us, but now that we will no longer be getting the probiotics and vitamins that raw milk provide, I can make Kombucha instead. It will help populate my gut with probiotics at no inconvenience to us, at least in this season. We’re going to give it a try for a month or two. See how it goes. The good news is … the farm isn’t going anywhere. We can pick right back up if we see that it is in fact something needed for our health. And I can get local milk that is only pasteurized from our health food store that I go to each week. I think we’re going to be ok. πŸ™‚ Oh to see the day that we can get raw milk in the store! πŸ˜›

  11. I totally understand the quandary you’re in – I have been there, although not specifically with raw milk. Balancing my time, budget, and desire to eat healthy foods is a tight-rope walk sometimes!