My Story: Get Out of the Pool!

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swimming in pool Remember this scene in the movie Erin Brockovich? It’s a beautiful sunny day, and children are gaily splashing in the pool in the background. Julia Roberts, playing the title role, has just explained to the mother suffering from cancer that the water is tainted with toxic, cancer-causing chemicals from the local plant.

I first watched the movie as a single person, and I could feel the palpable terror in the mother’s heart as she digested the information…she suddenly screams at her children to get out of the pool immediately and nearly has a breakdown. Nothing had changed about her world except the information she had just been given. The water had always been harmful, even though it looked crystal clear and good for drinking. This mother can do nothing about the water her children had played in for the past hour, nor about the water they’d consumed in all their years in that home.

When I watched the movie after becoming a mother, this scene became wholly terrifying in the depths of my soul. My mouth went dry, my heart palpitated, my hands were chilled, and I emphasized with that mother to the nth degree.

If you read the last installment of my journey (which was last summer – I’ve been distracted!), you know that I became a bit overwhelmed when confronted with a wealth of new information about hazards in our world. This scene depicts exactly how I felt as I gazed around my house at that time (and still do sometimes).

What toxins are in my water? What pesticides might be on that lettuce? If I push the “start” button on my microwave, how does it affect my food? My children’s brains? It takes all my willpower not to run outside screaming, “Get out of the pool, NOW!!!!”

If I did that in my situation, we’d have nothing to eat, so it wouldn’t be very practical. You can’t just “get out of the pool” of the world of food: purchasing, preparation and storage. You can’t just quit taking showers and drinking the water.

When confronted with conflicting information, there’s nothing to do but make a choice, even when all you want to do is…nothing. Ignorance isn’t bliss, unfortunately, and once you have the knowledge you can only pray and do what you can. It’s a frustrating venture and tempting to fall into paranoia and paralysis. I’m hoping that writing this blog will both help me navigate the perilous waters of nutrition information, and give others an easy source of information with which to make their own good decisions, learning from my mistakes (but not taking everything I say as gospel).

Do you ever feel like crying, “Get out of the pool!”? Next week I’ll get to the part where I started coming out of the paralysis and making small, simple changes, baby step style to ease my stress and improve my family’s health.


You can see the rest of My Story starting here.

Don’t forget to try your chances at winning a super cool stainless steel lunchbox through next Friday!

Want to hear my voice?  I’m doing a blog talk radio show with the author of Making the Best of Basics, James Talmage Stevens.  You can find him at Family Preparedness Guide.  I think it’s on Monday, January 11th at 8:00 P.M. CST.  I just have to confirm that “next Monday” means “this Monday”!  Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when it’s happening when I know for sure!

I’m participating in Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.

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13 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    Yes! This is how I often feel – I really just want to scream and pull out my hair and jump up and down like a toddler throwing a tantrum sometimes because it makes me so absolutely crazy!! :)

    But, then I calm myself down and remember that this earth is not my home anyway, we are just here for a short time, and God is always in control.

    I actually recently posted about something similar to this on my blog:
    I am taking baby steps too, and looking forward to hearing more of your journey!

  2. says

    Sometimes I do just want to scream…. Especially with my daughter’s allergies, made worse by drinking city water. I just can’t believe what is legal — and isn’t! How can they allow pharmaceuticals in the water, and neurotoxins in the food, and irradiation and GMOs, etc. yet they outlaw raw milk?! It just boggles the mind. But then I think, we just need to get more serious with our grass-roots efforts towards changing it. Informing people, asking chemicals to be banned, asking raw milk to be legalized, etc. I hope we can make a difference, like Erin Brockovitch did!

  3. karyn says

    I feel this way, especially when I can’t afford something other than “the pool”. Sometimes we can’t buy the organic cheese and I sometimes our milk is the regular kind instead of raw, etc. I don’t know if I read it here or elsewhere, but a mother offers up a prayer that God will “take care of the rest”. And so when I have to give regular chicken to my kids, I pray for God to “make up the rest”.

  4. tina says

    I have gone crazy thinking about all the dangerous toxins in our environment. I’ve had some serious anxiety about it. Now, I do what I can to rid my house of toxins and eat the best food we can afford and thank God for protecting us from what I have no power to change. My life has been better they way…

  5. says

    Yes, I often feel this way. But Katie, you have actually helped. I take a deep breath, tell myself I’m doing the best I can with the knowledge/finances/time/energy that I have and I offer the rest up to God. That has really helped me when I’m overwhelmed.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Made from Scratch =-.

  6. says

    Well, Nourishing Traditions (I love that book!) points out that if you are nourishing your body well, it can deal with an awful lot of toxins. I mean, after all, people who eat nothing but junk still manage to live, and some of them to ripe old ages. If you make a few changes here and there, you’re already ahead of the game. The human body is an amazing thing and can deal with a huge amount of strain. So, that’s not saying we should get careless, because every healthy change helps, but it’s a reminder to trust our bodies to cope with those toxins or unhealthy things we can’t help.
    .-= Sheila´s last blog ..Cooking lessons from my husband =-.

  7. Jessica says

    I definitely connect with this! Thanks so much for sharing your journey of navigating things. There is so much information out there and it is paralyzing and overwhelming (and that even feels like an understatement sometimes). Just this morning God pointed me to several Scriptures that reminded me of how I often make idols of food and health. This life is just a mere breath and I want to spend my time and energy doing exactly what God wants, not what my fear is driving me to do. Does that mean I won’t make healthy choices? Of course I will. But my first and really only priority is to walk minute by minute in the Spirit. Ok, what next God? Take a step. Ok, what next God?

    • Sarah says

      Oh Jessica,

      That is such a great point. I’ve recently been reminded over and over that God has not given me a spirit of fear. Educating myself and trying to make good choices for my family is a good thing, but fear and despair is never, never, never from God.

      Thanks for the reminder.

  8. sara says

    My thoughts exactly! I love you blog and was just reading to learn more about you, im also in mighigan, not sure where you are but im near flint. You are an amazing writer!

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