Back in the Saddle!

Hi! It’s been way to long since I’ve blogged and believe me, I’VE MISSED IT! With the craziness of summer and just life in general, I don’t know if I’m coming or going! And can someone please tell me how on earth Augsut 1st is this Friday??? Yikes! Summer is almost over, and school is just around the corner!

 

It’s been a good summer so far, though not as relaxing as I’d like it to be. Yes, I do want some lazy dog days of summer, please! June was filled with two of my older kids being involved in summer camps, along with some evangelism outreach events. In July, hubby and the kids went on their annual father/kids camping trip with our church, while I stayed home and began planning school for our upcoming home school year. I can’t believe this will be our 11th year of homeschooling!

 

 

 

Though it’s been a good summer, it’s had it challenges as well. I have begun to have more and more food sensitivities, to the point where I’m bloated and miserable quite a bit of the time. Not fun. My food issues started last year, when I developed an anaylphalactic allergy to both milk and gluten, causing me to make some drastic changes to my diet. Good-bye bread and ice cream! Since that time, other grains, such as rice, corn, and oats have begun to cause me some issues, leading me to seek out some counsel and do some serious research.

 

After consulting with a holistic wellness coach, we’ve come to the conclusion that I have leaky gut syndrome (sounds lovely, doesn’t it?) as well as inflammation which is being caused by the foods my body is rejecting(such as grains and refined sugar). Leaky gut syndrome is hard to explain, but if you’re interested in knowing more about it, you can find more info (here..). Basically, the bottom line is this: the leaky gut is causing chronic inflammation in my body, which if it’s not taken care of, can lead to other chronic illnesses, such a diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other autoimmune diseases. And with Alzheimer’s being what took my dad’s life, this is something I don’t want to mess around with.

 

 

 

And so, I am now on a quest to heal my body. Only there’s one problem. I don’t want to give up foods I love (such as refined sugar, which I’m clearly addicted to), and it’s been quite a struggle for me to start a healing regimen and stick with it. Stupid, right? I mean seriously, I KNOW that it’s imperative that I heal my body, yet I seem to want the sugar more than the healing at times. Ugh. It’s a vicious cycle.

 

One regimen that I’ve tried (one that I’ve started and stopped 3 times) over the past two months is the Whole 30 challenge. If you’ve heard of Paleo, then you may be familiar with the Whole 30. Basically, the Whole 30 is a 30-day food elimination diet, where you basically eat meats, veggies, minimal fruit, and nuts. Which means absolutely no refined or natural sugar, none at all, for 30 days. The point of doing this for 30-days is to help break the sugar addiction, as well as to give the lining of the gut some time to heal without the inflammatory foods interfering. If you want more info on the Whole 30, you can read about that (here). Once you get through the Whole 30, you will be more prepared for the changes that come with the Paleo lifestyle.

 

 

 

I’ve read so many testimonies of people who have been healed of different types of illnesses and skin conditions by following the Paleo lifestyle, so you’d think it would be easy for me to just jump right in and do the Whole 30, right? Yeah, you’d think so. But no, not me. I’ve been whining and moaning and complaining (just ask my friends and family) about how I don’t want to give up the junk, a.k.a., sugar. Over the course of the past few weeks, I have felt the Lord nudging me and pointing me to this Whole30 challenge. Seriously. And I’ll think about it, try it for 3 days, and then give up and binge on sugar. Well, God isn’t One to be ignored, and He hasn’t given up on me. He keeps lovingly pushing me towards this challenge, and I know it’s because this is what I need in order to heal.

 

 

 

Well, God in his kindness, has brought along a sweet friend who, unbeknownst to me, had been struggling with the same thing, AND she also deals with leaky gut syndrome. Coincidence? I don’t think so. It’s God. And like me, she has struggled to stick with a healing plan for her body. After talking with her for a couple of weeks, and also finding out that the Whole30 site is hosting a 30-day challenge starting August 1, her and I have decided to do this thing! And we’re going to support and encourage each other along the way. And if/when we fail, we’re going to get back up and start again. It’s also cool that the Whole30 facebook page is going to be offering support and encouragement along the way, for the whole 30 days of the challenge.

 

I’m going to be blogging about the challenge as I go along, so I’ll ask for forgiveness in advance for any whining that I might do along the way. Feel free to tell me to pull up my big girl panties and STOP WHINING!

 

**Do you struggle with food sensitivities? Are you addicted to sugar, like me? I’d love to hear what helps you!

 

 

The Mystery of Grief

Grief. It’s a mysterious thing, really; not handled the same by any two alike.

 

it comes in waves— sometimes expected, sometimes not, and it can shake you to the very core.

 

It’s unpredictable, life-altering, and life-changing, all wrapped up in one.

 

Though I had walked through the deaths of extended family members here and there, nothing quite prepared me for the loss of my dad two and a half years ago, followed by our daughter walking out two months later.

 

It was then that grief took on an all new meaning for me; changing my heart–and life–forever.

 

My dad’s death didn’t come as a big surprise, as he’d walked through Alzheimer’s for nine years prior, and went downhill fast;

 

By my daughter leaving….that rocked me to the very core.

 

I grieved the loss of my dad, but the grief came and went, leaving me with bittersweet memories, and a thankfulness that my dad is now in heaven, where we’ll one day be reunited again.

 

But the loss of my daughter has a produced a grief that has been never-ending. A grief that rears it’s ugly head when I least expect it; bringing me to my knees, and leading me to plead with God once again.

 

Though my daughter didn’t die, I feel as though she did. There’s an emptiness in my heart, and an aching to be with her once again.

 

There’s a sadness that never goes away; and tears hidden behind smiles, in hope of masquerading the pain.

 

How does a mom accept the loss of a child–living or dead–and fully recover, free of pain?

 

How does a mom handle her adult child walking away, informing her to never contact them again?

 

And how, pray tell, does a mom move on, letting go of the one she bore so many years ago; one who is a part of her—her very own flesh and blood?

 

I don’t have the answers to all these questions, and there’s a possibility I never will.

and there are so many uncertainties and unknowns, with no way of ever predicting the outcome of the trials we face.

Through these past two years, there have been many times when I’ve wondered if I’d make it through; times when I’ve doubted if I’d ever know joy or happiness again….

 

And it’s in those times, that the sweet Spirit of God reminds me ever so gently Who’s I am, and where my joy comes from.

 

I am reminded that God sees my every tear, and that he will one day bring beauty from these ashes in my life.

 

 

 

And while I know that troubles will come and the future may seem unclear, I can rest in the safety of God’s sweet love for me, knowing that no matter how painful the trial, He will carry me all the way.

Mother’s Day can bring both joy and tears….

  Mother's Day has many meanings for many different people….   For some, Mother's Day stirs up warm feelings as they remember their sweet mom, and the tender care she showed them throughout their life;   For others, they may mourn the loss of their sweet mother, and long to […] Read more »