Pasteurized Almonds | a personal story

I have been on a quest lately to find my youngest son almonds processed in a peanut free facility, because he is allergic to peanuts and I don't want to take a chance with cross contamination. During my search, I became seriously discouraged by what I found. Because of two minor outbreaks of salmonella from almonds, the FDA mandated that all almonds from the US be pasteurized. Pasteurization in theory is good...it kills all of the bad bacteria...but unfortunately in getting rid of the bad, it also kills the good stuff.  When pasteurizing almonds, the two most common methods are using a high temp steam on the almonds or spraying the almonds with a nasty chemical called propylene oxide or PPO (which is a highly flammable, carcinogenic toxin...sounds tasty). Many almond growers can't afford the steam method, so they are forced to spray this crap on your "raw" almonds....thanks FDA.  So now, not only do I have to make sure the almonds I buy are peanut free, I have to try and find ones that aren't sprayed with PPO...and they aren't cheap, but what is these days? And wouldn't you know it, God would take my research about almonds and lay on my heart an area in my life that needs some work: How I talk to my children.

I want my children to be "good", to be respectful and to listen. If you are a parent, you know this can be a daunting task, especially when they have siblings to fight with. When they don't make wise choices, I tell them how they should behave...in a sense, like pasteurization, I want to wipe out their bad behavior...I mean, who wants to have spoiled nuts kids?!  But, there are times that I don't talk to them in love....I talk AT them...showing no patience, no peace...just frustration and anger. Sometimes I say things I don't mean and I'm ashamed of myself... it's like word puke coming out of my mouth and I can't stop once I start. So, in my attempt to make them "better" behaved, I've actually been making them worse by not showing them the grace that God shows me everyday.  I never imagined parenting would be so hard....that these beautiful little beings could make me laugh with indescribable joy and cry with my face in a pillow all in one day. They are my everything, and I want to build them up, to give their sweet souls peace..not tear them down because they didn't brush their teeth long enough or pick up their ten million Lego's on the floor. 

God, please forgive me for not taking every opportunity to show them your love and mercy. Help me to daily speak love into their lives and be an example of patience and grace. I don't want to just  focus on their outward actions; I want to focus on the state of their hearts. Amen.

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