Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Blessing of Health ~ A Visit from Bronwyn

Good morning, everyone ~ look who's here! This is a dear friend of ours, Bronwyn. Wife of Heiko, mother of five, health-food authority, flower arranger, artist...she wears many hats {and aren't they all pretty?}. I'll be quiet now, though, and let her talk.

Everyone, meet Bronwyn.

Hi, I'm Bronwyn from over at CleanGreenStart, and I'm super excited and honored to be a guest blogger here for Sarah's Bloggy Birthday Party! Since Sarah's theme this week is Blessings, I decided to write about the blessing of health because, ahem, I do write a healthy home blog (sometimes masquerades as a Paleo recipe blog). I tend to think about healthy stuff a lot. :-)

Have you ever pondered the blessing of good health? If you're youngish, it may be something you've never considered, since we tend to take it for granted until we lose it. It tends to be the older generation, or those with chronic disease, who extol the joys of the health they once possessed. They will tell you that it is the basis for enjoying most of life's other blessings.

Health As A Blessing
Health is a blessing which is bestowed upon us, given to us, without our effort or merit.

Kind of makes me think of some other blessings. Salvation. Earth's beauty. Children. Grace.

If we arrive at adulthood in good health and with all our parts and pieces, we can hardly take much credit for it. Good genes, sufficient nutrition, and shielding from toxic exposure are gifts our parents, especially our mothers, bestow upon us before our birth. Our habits of diet, hygiene, and exercise, and our preventive and interventional medicine as children are directed by our caregivers.

To be alive, is to have some measure of health. We should be filled with gratitude to our parents and to God for the measure of health that we have.

Health As A Stewardship
But, not unlike some other blessings, health is entrusted to us as stewards. It does take effort to keep it. To nurture it, and at times to restore it.

This takes knowledge. And wisdom. Especially when several conflicting paradigms of knowledge compete in our health decision-making.

To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate? Herbs or medicine? How to stretch a family budget for the best food choices?

So we ask, we seek, we knock.

God, what is Your design?
Doctor, what are the options? The side effects?
Grandma, how do you prepare food in traditional healthy ways?
Friend, how do you budget organic? Where do you shop? Got some recipes?
Chemist, what chemicals should we avoid on our skin and in our homes?
Husband, is this a priority for our family?
Farmer, what are your growing practices? Your chicken feed? Your fertilizers?
Dentist, what are whole-body impacts of this treatment?
Nutritionist, how do you read a supplement label? Can this be obtained in food?
Midwife, how can I work towards a healthy birth?
Salesman, will this product off-gas into my home?

It takes time. Diligence. Missteps, and backtracks, and learning. Stewardship always does.

And again, I'm brought back to gratitude for those who have invested in me (and continue to do so) by book or in person to make their knowledge available to me. I'm grateful to God for planting some of them in my path even before I asked Him! Whether by diligence on our part, or by unmerited favor, health is a gift He bestows.

A Blessing We Pass On
If you are a parent, you recognize that stewardship of your child's health is part of your role as parent.

If you are not yet a parent, that stewardship has already begun in the choices you make. A study done in recent years found that the most significant factor in the health of infants was the nutrition which the mother received in the ten years prior to their birth.

How cool is that? To have a part in passing on one of God's blessings to another; our own child!

The Blessing of Disease
Huh? Wait...we were talking about health. It was all rainbows and ponies. Can disease be a blessing too?

I didn't think so. Not with chronic fatigue as a young was zapping the life out of my life. How could God bless me through that?

But it was illness that made me ask why, to read, to seek help, and make changes, and my husband and children have all benefited. I've met so many people in clinics, at nutrition meetings, on farms, on my blog. They help me, and sometimes I help them, and sometimes I get to witness to them of God's other blessings. God used illness to stretch my faith in His promises, and I learned to rely on His strength in a new way.

I'm really, really grateful my health has returned, because it wasn't fun to be without it. But I can attest that God can even use disease as a blessing.

How has God blessed you with health (or disease)? What are you learning right now that makes you a better steward of this precious gift?


  1. What a great article, Bronwyn. I appreciate how balanced it was--you never once implied an over-emphasis on health, which can so easily turn into idolatry for some people. Thanks for making me think about health from such a Biblical perspective!

  2. I agree with Mikaela 100%. It is very easy to let poor health become an idol. I also appreciate that you gave such a good Biblical perspective on pursueing health and cherishing it. God as used my past illness and injuries to bring me to my knees. He knew that the only way to slow me down was to physically slow me down. I am grateful that He did what He needed to do to show me "I am not strong w/o Him." I appreciate how you let me pick your brain on various topics. You are a wonderful resource to many!