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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Diet - deadline is 8-9-12 9:59 am NY time. (08/02/12)

TITLE: Approval
By Jacque Baker


Diet, that extraordinary word, so short , so powerful.
Me , I started out skinny, really very skinny. I really didn't ever try to loose weight , but I tried oh so very hard to gain approval . Cooking became for me a way to show my Dad I wasn't so stupid after all. At twelve I was promoted to chief cook, even though I had never really helped in the kitchen. My step-mom had left with the step and half sisters. I failed miserably at my first meal , pancakes,(made with just flour and milk.) receiving a great deal of anger from my Dad.
Food preparation became that fixed star that would one day show my Dad I wasn't stupid. So by the time I was thirteen I could bake homemade bread, pies, cakes, cookies. I could put on a whole meal and with the coaching I was getting from a very committed Home Economics teacher was cooking at home and getting graded by my family. I rarely failed after that and became voracious in my appetite for new recipes and information.
Being a teenager in the 60's only confirmed that the way to a mans heart was through his stomach. If being a girl in college was mostly about catching a hubby, why not just go directly past go and collect the prize by cooking instead.
Getting married to my best friends brother, I began to broaden my repertoire. He introduced me to Mexican food in a whole new way. No longer would I be satisfied with the Americanized version of this delicious cuisine. I must dig in and conquer the homemade tortillas, the tacquitos made with tongue, the tamales painstakingly and joyfully assembled in large and happy family parties.
Then came a moment of desperation when my new little son didn't sleep or keep down much for the first 6weeks after he was born, I was handed a book by one of the health guru's of the 70's Adelle Davis , I was smitten and it worked! Following her advice for a baby formula brought immediate relief and blessed sleep. Next was Laurel from Laurels kitchen, and I had found the “way” to nearly perfect health. I began making my own yogurt and breads, canning , freezing,and pickling anything I could get my hands on. No tainted processed foods would touch the bodies of MY precious children! I read voraciously, never refusing to explore any new information on “diet and health”. The more health food books I read ,the more convinced I became and the more obnoxiously radical. Being a Christian certainly took a backseat in these matters. After all it was my duty to succeed and feed my family with all the knowledge and expertise at my disposal. Being home with my children full time gave me the time to happily pursue my dietary calling.
Then again some years down the road life took a very unexpected turn and I found myself the sole support and parent of my four very lively , bright and hungry children. Three strapping boys and one very strong and beautiful daughter. All the focus, energy and passions of a wholesome food way of life were quickly replaced with that frightening diet called survival. So much of what I had been so sure of was being tested to the core. And I found that the choices I was often forced to make had nothing to do with my experiences and ideals of the past. What stood true through the valley was the love and mercy and care of Jesus and our Heavenly Father. So much of what I had gripped so tightly was still being driven by the hope of winning the approval of an unloving and poor earthly Father. I often confused my Heavenly Father and My earthly Father and I know My Heavenly Father wanted me to be sure of the difference. Wanted my grip on winning mans approval switched to faith in the certain love of a Heavenly Father who gave all to save my poor soul.
God in His wisdom blessed me later in life with another beautiful daughter and in the wisdom sometimes given to the young, she said to me, “Mom, it's just food.”
Being content that my Lord will supply all I need to be in His will, what a goal!

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This article has been read 228 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laura Manley08/09/12
Since this is written in the first-person, I am going to presume it is of your life. Your early dad certainly did have an impact on your life; you sound like you were one determined young lady and went above and beyond what he may have expected of you. But later, when you began to realize our Heavenly Father is really the one we need to listen to, you walked through your life with his guidance and that decision changed not only your life, but I'm sure the lives of your children. Very nicely written.
C D Swanson 08/10/12
You have had a journey of self-discovery and growth and it was so well told in this loving entry. I believe it held an "authentic tone" that resonated throughout, so I am going to assume, for now that this is a true story.

I felt the MC's emotions that spoke volumes in actions, and words. I loved the conclusion of "finding peace through our Father in heaven. The one and only who is unconditional in all of which we are and do.

Excellent job. Thank you for sharing this poignant story with a prolific message.

God bless~
lynn gipson 08/13/12
four years ago I was twenty pounds overweight. then I got sick and became a walking skeleton. I am gaining it back now and would take the twenty extra lbs any day! I think this is very good writing and an excellent message.
Keep it up!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/15/12
This is a powerful testimonial. My heart hurt for the little one trying so hard to please her father.

Make sure you use apostrophes for possessive phrases like man's heart. A challenge buddy would help you catch those little errors. Check the message boards for critique groups or you can PM if you'd like.

You covered the topic and really made some powerful thought-provoking statements. I enjoyed reading this and my heart went out to the MC.