Today Katie Fox is chatting with us about being green, nurturing stewardship in your kids, and pursuing your dreams. She's the editor of Simple Organic, so has a bit of experience with balancing a family, home and work; she touches a bit on that as well. Good advice for anyone, no matter what you're trying to balance, because inevitably we all end up with so much on our plates! Welcome, Katie!
It's hard for me to separate these two in my head (my faith and my commitment to green living). I was raised in the Catholic church, and some of my most fundamental values were instilled as part of church teaching: for example, stewardship and social justice issues. My parents were environmentally responsible way back before the green trend became popular, and that really impacted me. As an adult, I made the decision to join the Protestant church, and while it is now the best fit for me, I really struggled at first (and sometimes still do) with the incongruity that often exists between the Evangelical Christian church and the lack of concern for the Earth, to steward it and care for it. It is unfortunate that environmentalism has been such a politicized issue because I truly believe that we are all called to "creation care" - that, in fact, it is one of our main jobs as humans. For this reason, I am so glad to see that the green movement has become more mainstream, but there is still a long way to go. I think churches should be spearheading efforts to care for and steward the planet. That would be pretty cool!
You have a secret dream to write books some day (me too!). What do you want to write about and what are you doing to nurture that dream?
Oh, that's a tough question! What
do I want to write about? Lots of things: novels for junior high age
kids. A memoir. Essays for magazines. Devotional and theological
material. Right now I am in a writer's group that meets every other
week, and it's a wonderful group of women. It helps keep me
accountable to be writing other material besides what I write for
Simple Organic. But I appreciate the discipline of writing for SO; as
a writer it is a very good practice to have deadlines. I can't always
wait for inspiration to strike. That's a good thing.
You mentioned that your parents had a big influence on you "being green before green was cool." What are some of the things that made a particular impact on you? How do you think parents can teach their children stewardship of the earth and their bodies without seeming preachy?
I grew up in the suburbs of Houston and there was no curbside recycling back then. My parents collected the items for recycling and drove them into town to a city recycling center every few weeks. It was a huge haul; it filled up the whole trunk of our Buick LeSabre! I don't know anyone else who did that at the time. My father also volunteered for the Sierra Club. Both of my parents are people of very high integrity and they always put actions behind their words; observing the efforts they expended to live out what they believed was very powerful for me.
What sorts of things (these can be surprising facts, or emotional, spiritual, nutritional ideas etc.) did you learn as you searched for solutions to your thyroid disease? What is the major difference between your approach to health now and before the diagnosis?
As I began making dietary and lifestyle changes, I started to experience healing, but there was still something missing. It took a long time to find a doctor who knew to look beyond the basic lab results, and address my whole entire person. I am still struggling with health issues, but now I have a great doctor (actually, she's a P.A.) and a wonderful nutritionist who understand that symptoms can't be treated in isolation, but that everything is interconnected. Now we use a lot of herbal and natural remedies, as well as looking at nutrition and lifestyle issues for healing. Medicines and drugs are a rare and last resort, although right now I do have to take thyroid hormone everyday. Hopefully not forever.
You create such great content for Simple Organic and keep the rest of us organized, in line and inspired; what are your tips for moms trying to juggle working from home while also doing the work of running a home?
Meal planning is pretty crucial, too - when I don't do it, we all suffer. But we clean the house on a "need-to-clean" basis, which usually means people are coming over and the toilet needs to be scrubbed before they show up! Then we all pitch in and clean like mad. Luckily, we enjoy having people over often, so it never gets TOO too dirty. :) I always remember that Erma Bombeck quote: "Cleaning the house while the children are growing is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing." It's so true. My house will be clean someday...but for now, I try not to stress about it too much.
Thanks for visiting with us Katie, keep in touch!