Friday, October 29, 2010

7 INCHES!!!!!

So, truthfully, I had many reasons to embark on a lifestyle that was more conducive to health and more in-line with how God made a body to be treated.  But, early on, I realized that I needed to make sure that my focus was not on outward appearance, but rather on in-ward healing.  Pride is such a huge struggle with me, there was no reason to add to that.  But I was really, really hoping I'd lose some weight along the way. 

So, 2 1/2 years after realizing we needed a major overhaul in our day-to-day life, I am excited (but hopefully not proud) to say that I have lose SEVEN INCHES off my gut!  Yeah, yippee, hooray! Actually, probably more.  I only measured myself for the first time in January and I have lost 7 inches since then.  

It's quite amusing really.  This year has been the first year that I started actually feeling better (oh so slowly) and looking better.  I was confused with the whole weight loss thing.  I felt and looked better then I had in 5 years, but my clothes size was not (and still has not) gone down.  I did lose about 15 pounds over the summer.  But, it was confusing as to why I wasn't going down any sizes in clothes.  Now, my size 12s are definitely getting big on me, but I would not fit into a size 10.  I was hoping it wasn't muscle and bone loss! 

But, I realized I had measured myself in January. I had taken measurements in my stomach (above the waist), my gut (below the waist) and my actually waist. Ok, so I don't really have one of those. There is a slight indentation, but ever so slight.  Oh, and my thighs.  My upper legs are HUGE.  And they rub together something fierce. Seriously restricting my wardrobe (no shorts or skirt or dresses without something tight to keep my legs from rubbing together and causing intense pain), and making summers in a bathing horribly uncomfortable.  That, is still a problem unfortunately . I do hope over time maybe it will go away. But I'm also thinking it's probably a structural thing and may never go away. *sighs*  But I will keep hoping! 

Anyway, so I took my measurements again to see if they had changed.  And they did.  Well, the gut did. The rest are the same. But I was 42' in January and down to 35' in October. Yeah!!  I realized that explained why the clothes size isn't changing.  My waist is still the same, but I find the pants hang down lower in the crotch (funny word, isn't it?), because they are not supported by my larger gut.  Funny how these things work.

I know I have a lot of detoxing and healing left to do.  But I am definitely on the right track.  And I hope, maybe, I'll lose a few more pounds and clothes sizes.  My husband wants me a size 6 (it's a joke between us-I told him if I get to be a size 6, I'll wear a bikini), but I'd be happy with an 8 or 10. :)  Ok, I'll choose to be happy with a 12, if I'm healthy and energetic.  I know the typical American ideal is not healthy and bigger tends to be better, to a point of course. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Food Thermos for Cold Weather Lunches

Last year we bought a food thermos for Drew to take food to work.  We weren't sure if we were going to like it, but he has used it all year, and now I am going to buy 3 more for the kids and I when we go out.  It's so fabulous I just had to share.

It's perfect for soups.  You can put any warm hotdishy type food in it, or cold things for that matter.  But my favorite thing for it is soups.  They stay warm for hours and are so easy to eat out of it, so filling and nourishing, cheap and simple.

Last fall I remembering desperately wishing to like soups.  By the spring of this year, I was sad to have soup season be done.  Yeah for progress!!  I've already made a number of yummy soups since the weather turned cold 2 weeks ago.

For taking with you, it's so easy to heat up a leftover soup and throw it into the thermos.  Pack a spoon and you're good to go.  You can pack a thing of bread or cheese to go along with it if you like.  Sometimes I'll send a separate container with extras that Drew adds when he eats it, like sour cream or salsa or corn chips. 

And lucky for me, I can eat the same soup 5 days in a row and not find it annoying. :)  My kids do pretty well with it, but Drew definitely needs variety. 

The thermos also works great for fried rice meals, pasta meals and even potato gratin type dishes if the potatoes are cut small enough.

I'd love to buy a stainless steel food container for the meals that Drew doesn't want all mixed together.  And then find an insulated small storage bag that would keep it warm/cold until he ate it.

But for now, I'm very thankful for the Thermos!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Attitude Is Everything

As my journey of learning God's principles for the physical world progressed, I found myself having to learn 'simple' things, that I really should have already known.  Things like how to do dishes systematically, how to make chicken broth, roast a chicken, grow and preserve food, etc.

I felt like I was learning to walk all over again and I found the whole thing very frustrating and discombobulating.  Great word, isn't it?

I started to realize that this knowledge was knowledge that used to be passed down from one generation to the next.  Part of the Titus 2 command to mothers was to pass along just such knowledge.  And it hadn't been passed down to me.

So not long ago, in a conversation with my mom, I asked her why she didn't teach me to do more 'homemaker' things, like cleaning, dishes, cooking, etc.  And her answer really got me to thinking.

'Sarah, you didn't want to learn any of that'.  And I realized she was 100% right.  I had no desire whatsoever, to learn such things.  The few times she forced me to do them, I had the most horrid attitude. I'm sad just remembering it.  I wouldn't have remembered them even if she had tried to teach me.  I had no interest whatsoever in doing such demeaning work.

Well, fast forward 15 years and I find myself with this intense desire to teach my own children such knowledge.  But I'm also faced with the same dilemma.  Even if I were to force my children to learn such things, it won't ultimately do them any good if they don't 'want' to use the knowledge to God's glory when they need it.  It's not enough for force them to learn, I also have a burning desire to help them 'want' to learn and implement these things in their own life.

In a world where godly qualities are looked down upon, where homemaking is considered old-fashioned, where busy-ness and money are far more important then attitude and contemplation, is it possible to raise my children to see the beauty and joy in following God's order for life?  For them to be equipped with skills and attitude necessary for bringing God glory in whatever jobs he gives them, be they exciting or not?

As with everything else in child training, it seems that the best thing I can do is be an example to my kids, sharing my joy and passion for the Lord and the job he has given me.

Lord, help me to train my children in the way they should go.  So when they are old, they will not depart from it.  Thank you for giving me such an awesome job.  Please continue to lead and guide me in the best way to do that job. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Liver Cleanse Experience

I reviewed the Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse book here, and started a record of my personal cleanses.  It's been fascinating!  I thought I would switch my 'log' onto this post instead of the book review post.  I will continue to update this page as I do the cleanses.

Someone posted this forum site for the cleanse also.  Great resource for problem solving, etc.

Also, this blog post really encouraged me to look up the book and do the cleanse finally.  

So here is my journal of cleanses:

**  6/25/10**

I sort of did the cleanse.  I had done the epsom salt/oil pulling for a month and then drank a quart of apple juice every day for 4 days and then I had to stop as the timing wasn't working out.  However, Monday I decided to just do the cleanse without the apple juice.  I followed the instructions above and actually passed at least 100 very small lime green, covered with a mustard yellow, stones.  It was pretty wild and exciting. :)

GRAPHIC:  I had terrible diarrhea shortly after taking the first epsom salt drink and all the next day.  And all I can say is 'owww!'.  I know it was intentional, but I have never really had diarrhea, so I had no idea how to deal with the 'clean up process'. Sorry, gross, I know.  But, if someone can learn from my mistakes, then it's worth sharing.  So, for next time, I am going to simply take a quick shower after every episode so as not to cause excessive wear and tear on the more sensitive parts with the rough toilet paper.  Did I mention 'owww!'?

-GRAPHIC: See here for pictures of something similar to what I had, only mine were smaller.  

-I have always struggled with low blood sugar, but it had gone away most since changing my diet.  However, being gone over the weekend and not eating great, it was back with a vengeance. So fasting for part of the day was rough.  I was very tired Monday night, as I consumed only water after 1:30pm.  I think that would have been fine if I had been eating better before the cleanse.

-The oil/OJ mix was actually quite good.  I was expecting to gag on it, and I did plug my nose for half of it, but then I found it was actually kind of enjoyable.  I measured 1/2 cup of EVVO into a glass measuring cup and squeezed 2 juicing oranges into it and mixed and chugged. 

-I did not start off with the broth/GAPS like I intended. My husband had lunch duty and he is a wicked chef and I simply could not pass up his pork fajitas. I drank some kefir at 10 and had pork fajitas at 1. :)  Along with some yogurt, kombucha and fermented beets.  :)

-I intend to do this every month until I have 2 months with nothing, and then once a year hopefully.

-None of my stones were calcified or bigger then a piece of corn, and most were closer to the size of an ant.  But I still have to be better off without them.

-I did not do an enema, but I really think it would be wise.  I just need to find the equipment and work up the nerve. 

-Tuesday and Wednesday I felt great, but Thursday afternoon I had one of my knock-out detox spells and was out for an hour and a half, dead to the world (well, to my kids at least-but thankfully we had put in a video, which I just ended up sleeping through).  And today (Friday)  I've been mostly laying down with extreme exhaustion.  At least I've come to realize what is going on and learned not to fight my body, but to rest until it passes.

I WILL GET HEALTHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

** 7/15/10**

I did another cleanse, basically same as the last.  Only this time no toilet paper after I started on the epsom salt, so no pain from that.  I did, however, throw up in the middle of the night once, which did not happen last time.  I was worried that since it was mostly oil, it wouldn't work.  But apparently the oil had done it's job and it worked fine.  The book said throwing up was not unusual and nothing to worry about.  Once I did, I felt fine and went right back to sleep.

This time, I got at least 400 stones out, and some were the size of my thumb.  So I had more, and larger ones, then last time.  Still no enema.  Mostly a money thing.  The kids are $20 and we just don't have them .And I've not figured out a way to substitute something cheaper or free yet.

I'll do another one in August.  It's pretty crazy!!!

** 8/1/10**

I have had back pain in my lower back for close to 10 years now.  My chiropractor has been my saving grace and I'm so thankful for him!  This week I knew I needed an adjustment in a bad way.  But it was weird, because it didn't hurt.  I could just tell that I was twisted and a mess. I wonder if getting the stones out has taken some of the pressure off of my lower back.  I don't know for sure.

** 8/7/10**

I did my 3rd cleanse.  I find the salt water harder to take and I once again threw up in the middle of the night.  4:00 actually.  I slept fine most of the night, before and after.  And I picked a bad time, as I had Sunday School the next morning and that was rough. Note to self, pick a morning when you can stay home and take care of business.  The throwing up is no fun. I might try half as much EVVO next time.  I read that the throwing up is the gall stones pushing the EVVO back into the stomach.  And throwing up isn't supposed to be a problem. Other then being horribly unpleasant.  I think while drinking the salt water and throwing up, that I'm definitely not doing it again.  But then when I get hundreds of stones out, I can't help but assume it's helping me.  Chemo makes you throw up for months, so this is much better then that option!  I think I got about 400 stones out, most teeny, but about 20 of them were about the size of my thumb nail, which is big!  They seem to be more green and less yellow coasted.  Not sure if that is good or bad or indifferent.

** 9/9/10**
I did my 4th cleanse and got no stones.  I can't decide if that is bad or good.  My kids love the whole process and my daughter was very optimistic.  "Maybe you don't have any more stones mommy'.  Yeah, maybe...   There was what looked like a few broken stones, so maybe I am cleaned out.  I still feel so yucky at times though.  I'll try it again next month and see what I get and if I don't get anything, then I'll give it 6 months and do another one.  My diet is really cleaned up, so it's possible that I am cleaned out.  I still have to get my gut in order, but progress is good!
I had a really hard time taking the epsom salt and oil this time.  The epsom salt seems to get harder every time, but this is the first time the oil has bothered me.  I had to juice more oranges then normal, and still couldn't get down the last 1/4 cup of the mixture.  So that could have to do with the lack of stones also.  But I didn't throw up this time either. 

I'm due for another one tomorrow, but it won't work out, so hopefully early next week I'll be able to do it, along with enemas as I finally bought a kit.  I'll post afterward as usual.


I did my 5th cleanse.  The salt water wasn't so hard to take, and neither was the oil/juice. Strange.  I did the enema this time, around 9:00 pm the night I took the oil.  It did really seem to help.  I did not throw up either.  Altogether, it was the easist one so far.  I did get approx 400 stones out, all various sizes and colors.  Some were definitely older.  I'm not sure if they are from way back in the liver ducts, or if they were in my colon since the last one and the enema helped to clear them out.  I did an enema the evening after the cleanse and the following evening. Three total.  And I was surprised that even after more then 24 hours and with nothing coming out for some time, after the last enema, more stones were released.  Hum...
Since doing the cleanse, my back has been better then it has in a long time, and my hormones are strong and my bones don't feel 80.  It could be because of anything.  But hopefully my body is detoxing and healing in general.  It's very exciting and encourages me to keep on.  I will feel only my age again someday!!!


I was finally able to do my 6th cleanse.  The results were so/so.  I was doing so well until I went away for a weekend and ate foods I hadn't eaten in a few years.  It seems to have totally messed me up.  My hormones had been wacked for years and were finally starting to get evened out it seemed this summer.  Now I feel I'm back to square one.  My body won't seem to let go of anything.  I was really hoping this cleanse would reset me, which is what seemed to happen with the last one.  But, no such luck. :(  Usually I notice the oil when it comes out and I still have yet to see much of it.  I'm retaining water and can't eliminate hardly at all.  It's VERY frustrating!  But, the cleanse went ok otherwise.  I got out about 200 stones of various sizes and colors.  I did not throw up, but I was neauses all night, which is odd.  I also did an enema Friday night and Saturday morning, which helped some, but not a lot.  I am praying that the Lord will show me what I need to get back into order.  Oh, I also only consumed broth Friday and Saturday until supper. I was absolutely exhausted and depressed.  It's insane how much my mind is affected by my body.  Crazy!  When I ate, I felt better mentally, but the retention/hormones are still wacked.  

Finally, I did another one. Took me long enough!  When I did the GAPS intro in November, I drank a lot of really salty broth for a few days, and I found I actually passed a few green stones, and a lot of, what I believe was, broken stones.  So I have felt like my liver had a cleanse since, and in a very healthy way. Plus I feel my overall diet is very healing for the liver, not too toxic and full of liver cleansing and liver building materials.  But I had found myself not wanting to eat much meat for a few weeks, and my poop was very light, so I decided it was time for an actual cleanse.  My husband and kids were away, so it was perfect timing.  I did the usual, minus the apple juice.  I got out approx 300 itty bitty stones and quite a bit of the broken ones.  It was really yucky to drink the epsom water and the citrus evvo as usual.  I was nauseous all night, but only slightly and it went away after I had some diarrhea in the morning.  I did a coffee enema the night before, and some enemas the morning of, and one the 2nd morning.  Just to make sure.  But no more stones came out after the first morning.  I will assume that is a good thing.  I really don't currently feel like I should do another one next month, so i will play it by ear/feel and do another one when I think I need it.

* August 29, 2016 Phew. I haven't posted on here in forever. But I do want to keep track of my cleanses, and this is the best place for that, since I already have it started. Today I did the cleanse again and am amazed at how many stones have come out, and how big some of them are! My stooles have been a really light color for 5 days, and I didn't want to make myself as uncomfortable as this cleanse makes me. But I knew that the long-term health problems far outweight the short term discomfort. I pretty much did everything the same as I had in the past. No major nausea or vomiting or terrible diarrhea. And hundreds upon hundreds of stones. I did do a coffee enema around 9:30 last night. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Relative Truth

Is there such a thing as truth outside of the Bible?  Maybe not.  I know the Bible is the only source of definite truth.  But is it possible to find truth in areas that are more practical-like child rearing, relationships, eating, time management, money matters, science, etc.

Is it possible to study and learn the natural laws of God's creation and apply them to life? God is a good of order and he made a world that follows natural order and laws. 

I have studied and applied what I consider God's natural laws in many areas of life.  Imperfectly to say the least.  But I really do believe I have found the general ways in which we are to do things such as care for our bodies and raise our children.  But it is contrary to what I see and hear around me. 

So, I have to either believe the principles are true and that I am somehow privileged to learn them.  Or that they really aren't principles but simply preferences and don't really make much of a difference.  Is there such a thing as relative truth?
If the principles I have learned are true and most people don't follow, then what are the consequences today, tomorrow and eternity?

Following said principles is a big deal.  It's not like it's just a little thing for me and my family.  It's earth-shattering and huge.  If they are true, then I have to not only live them out today and teach them to my children, but I also have to do my best to make sure they choose to do so when they are adults and raising their own family.

If they are true, then how do I see all of those around me going against those principles, having to suffer the consequences of them, but always thinking it's God's doing.  He can do a miracle, but He mostly seems to let his creation follow it's natural course and only intervening now and then to bring glory to himself. 

But, just reading that sentence makes me cringe.  Who do I think that I am, thinking I know the truth when so many others don't?

But, one thing that I have used as 'criteria' for believing and knowing said principles is reading older literature, etc. and seeing how things 'used to be'.  And more often then not, it proves those very principles.  We seem to have gotten so far from the truth, from what was considered normal.  Today, it's considered crazy and 'fringe', when only a hundred or so years ago, it would have been considered normal and good.

I don't want to be right or crazy, I just want to do the job God has given me to do, to the best of my ability.  I don't want to stand before the thrown of God and say 'well, I didn't know'.  Will that be an acceptable excuse?  Maybe.  I really don't know

Meanwhile, I'll do the best I can with the knowledge I have, and pray that I can stand before God someday, having done all in my power to stand firm.

And try not to 'judge' others with my relative truth.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Serving the Lord, by Serving my Family

When I first became a mom (7 years ago), I was so unhappy with the 'job'.  I felt guilty not being 'busy' and not being more useful and important.  Burping babies and changing diapers does not come with a lot of prestige (unless of course you're a nanny, then for some reason it's considered perfectly useful to society), and I craved attention and men's accolades.  I didn't admit it at the time. To be fair, I might not have even realized it then.  But over the years, that discontentment grew and drug me down.  I remember standing in my messy living room one day, a few years ago, and wishing I could run an orphange with 30 sick kids.  Granted, I could barely take care of my own 2 sick kids.  But somehow if they weren't my own, and there were more of them, I thought I could handle it.

What I didn't realize at the time was that my lack of contentment and joy in motherhood was based on the world's idea of worthiness and importance.  More is better.  If only I could be affecting the lives of 30 people instead of 2, it would make it all worth it.  I would feel important.  I could change the world.  It would be my 'ministry' to God.  He would be proud of me and I could be proud of myself.

But, what I have come to learn over the last few years is that God does not operate that way.  In his glory and wisdom, he created men to glorify Himself through the roles he gives to them in their daily lives.  Nothing grand is necessary.  Yes, sometimes he does choose to use people in larger venues.  Billy Graham, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield come to mind.  But, after studying the lives of some amazing, effective evangelist, I have come to the conclusion that he has only been able to use them because of their humility and utter trust in God.  I have also come to realize that I am NOT that humble and if God were to use me in the lives of great amounts of people, it would most assuredly go to my head and cause not only myself, but those who witness it, to stumble.  He would, of course, receive no glory in that, and has graciously not allowed me to fulfill my 'dream' of affecting many people for him. 

Paul says that he has learned to be content in whatever state he is in.  I wanted to be able to say that, but truly couldn't.

So God graciously sent me on a journey of learning my 'place in this world' and my 'ministry' of bringing glory to Him.  And of learning his 'plan' for mankind. 

My marriage was the first thing that needed cleaning out.  I was proud and had swallowed the world's agenda for feminist/women.  I was important and intelligent and should not have to suffer for someone else's decisions.  But God showed me how important submission was to his story of 'creation, fall and redemption'.  It wasn't something that was degrading or demeaning.  It was simply His way of unfolding His plan.  Who am I to disagree?  Through many books, conversations (thanks Carrie!!), prayers and meditations, I finally saw God working in my hard, prideful heart, and allowing me to finally have true respect and honor for my husband.  And following that, came the submission somewhat naturally.  Yeah for victory!

Next God worked on my attitude toward my 'home duties'.  Oh, how I remember spending hours at the kitchen sink doing dishes and preparing food and being so bitter.  'Why can't Drew help out with kitchen duties now and then?' 'No one else spends this much time cleaning their dishes/kitchen'.  'Woo is me' 'Poor Sarah'.  Seriously, the whining I used to do in my head, it's downright embarrassing!   But, as God started showing me that my 'ministry' to Him is to take care of the family he gave me, I started finding those same chores a blessing.  I found myself doing dishes and being thankful for God's graciousness in giving me a husband that wants me to stay home and raise our children.  So many people I know would like to stay home and/or homeschool, but their husbands want them to earn money, or their kids to go to school to be 'normal'.  But my husband not only requested that I homeschool, but he has also been open to my unusual methods of homeschooling/eating.  'For such a time as this' did God prepare me to glorify Him and serve Him.  Thank you Lord!!!!  I truly rejoice when I hang my laundry up to dry these days.  I am doing it for the Lord!

Once the Lord worked on the foundation of the marriage, which is so important to a family/child training, he started working on my attitude toward my children.  I've been reading child-rearing tip type books since becoming a mom.  But I've always known that I was missing something.  And now I realize that the something was the foundation of my relationship with my husband and my attitude in general to my 'homemaking'.

Finally I get to attend to the details, which are what I really enjoy.  My control-freakish nature of course, prefers those over the attitudes, which I can't ultimately control.  It's a very exciting place to be. 

And here is my manual for those details:

Proverbs 31:10-31

A wife of noble character who can find?

She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.