Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Good-bye to a great year for the Innis family.  And hello to, hopefully, another equally great year for us.  God has worked in our hearts, minds and bodies so much this year, it's exciting to see.  To Him be ALL the glory!!

I really enjoy recording our resolutions for the new year, and looking back on last year's resolutions, to see how we progressed as a family and as individuals. And posting on here is just convenient.

Our 2010 Goals

Our 2011 Goals

Looking back at 2011's goals:

Spiritually-My own prayer life hasn't improved unfortunately, but I continue to be faithful to the Word and more in love with my Savior every day.  One goal I had last year was that we would understand what motivates us, so we can learn to make better choices. While I wouldn't say we are 'there', I can see definite improvement in this area. 

Emotionally-All 4 of us have improved in our over-all grumpiness, thankfully!  Still room to grow, but I love seeing us move forward.

Marriage-I do feel the Holy Spirit has helped me make HUGE strides in the area of true, deep respect for my husband.  I'm in awe!  We still don't have a devo together of any sort. Maybe this year...

Parenting-Same as the others.  I see progress in this area and am happy about it, but look forward to improving more. 

Education-Well, we did get through Egermeier's and loved it.  I have had no luck with one-on-one time with the kids though. 

Financial-our debt is going down, slowly, but surely.  And we have improved in our ability to live within our means.  Still not perfect, but definite improvement!

Nutrition- We are doing better with bringing good foods for social occasions, that are healthy and 'real'.  We do eat fermented foods with every meal. woo hoo!!  The kids and I take FCLO daily, and I did find a source of grass fed beef at amazing prices!  We are doing great on grain free foods.  No luck on the fish broth or salmon though.  All in all, I'm so excited about where we are this year, compared to last. 

Looking forward to 2012:

Spiritually-I'd like to see me continue to grow and stay in the Word daily. So just overall improvement in that area.  Prayer is the area I'd really like to see improvement, or actual change, in.  But I just have no idea how.  So I am going to assume it's something the Holy Spirit will show me as He thinks I am ready.  My SIL is graciously helping to pay for me to take a class called Perspectives, which is coming to our church in January.  We have to work out child care, etc, but we are praying it will work itself out, and that I will learn a ton that I can use in my own life, and that I can pass along to Drew and the kids.  I am looking forward to some heart surgery and focus-changing, as I take the class and interact with others who are on fire for the Lord. I am currently feeling a 'dry spell' in my spiritual life, but I've noticed they come and go.  And staying faithful to the Word seems to keep me from making bad decisions in between.  Focusing on truth and just 'surviving'.  But I've also noticed that the bad times seem not so bad, and the good times seem a bit better also.  So that is encouraging.  I'd say I go through the spells every few months, or at least I seem to have this year.  Rollercoaster is how I'd describe them, in nature. From what I've read, that seems to be natural in the life of any believer. 

Emotionally-I hope to see improvement in all of our moods. Less swings and more stability.  I hope we can all mature in this area, as we experience life together, with more open minds and hearts.  Our brains have definitely stabilized a lot this past year, so now I feel we need to concentrate on changing our automatic habits and emotions towards circumstances and one another.  And that takes practice and patience. 

Marriage-Wow, I'm SO impressed with how far this area of our lives has developed and grown in 2011.  Amazed and in total awe of what God has done!  We still have a lot to work on, but, like the emotional goals above, it's more habits at this point then actual heart attitudes.  So, once again, I hope this year brings Drew and I closer as we experience the day-to-day things in life, and chose to change our automatic habits and feelings toward them, and create new, healthier, holier habits. 

Parenting- I hope to figure out how to invest in more one-on-one time with the kids.  I hope to take one weekend a month and take one of the kids into the city.  We can get in and out for free, so that really helps!  And we can do whatever we like, while the other child is home with daddy.  I hope God will really use that to help us to get to know and love the kids better.  I also hope that this is the year of me being more consistent with the kids.  That is our biggest road block at the moment in the area of parenting, and I am praying that the Lord will help me in this area.  It's a serious problem, even though I am giving it my all.  I hope to see a lot of victory in that area in 2012.  I know if we do, a lot of the other issues will resolve themselves naturally. I also hope this is the year of more 'board games' with the kids, and more weekend time spent reading as a family.

Education- I am loving our current schedule, and hope to change and grow, as we change and grow.  I do want to do more in the afternoons with them.  And to be more emotionally involved with them when we are doing school.  Some days I am, some days I'm not.  :)  I also want to work on our penmanship this summer with a specific program.  And I want to add in Scripture memory and other memory work, esp math facts.  So those will be my goals for 2012, although my education goals tend to go more with the school year then the calendar year. The board games fit into this goal as well.  Basically, I hope to just hope to 'enjoy' the kids more this year.  And that is more possible now that we are not all bickering and grumpy together all the time. :)

Financial- We are slowly chipping away at our debt.  Two more years and we will be debt free.  Woo hoo!  We need our car to last that long!  :)  Drew has slowly taken over the money matters in the house over the last 6 months.  I can see God's hand in it, thankfully.  And it is a huge burden off my shoulders to not be responsible for it.  We are still working on the details of our new roles in this area, and again, we need to set up new habits.  But I hope this year will find us more confident overall in our new ways of handling finances.  Maybe this year we'll start tithing!  :) 

Nutrition-Well, I am hoping, planning and praying about doing gaps fully in January.  I can't get my poor hubby fully on board, so I am struggling with the idea for the rest of us, until he is on board.  But I am praying that if we need to modify it for Drew, that the Holy Spirit would show us how to do it exactly.  But I am definitely planning on the kids and I starting with stage one on Sunday or Monday.  I hope to introduce things one at a time and see how they affect us.  I also hope that we will continue our kefir, egg yolks, fclo, bitters, ferments and soups daily for the rest of our lives.  I feel they have helped us so much.  Myia's breathing has been great since we went stricter in March, so that has taken a big burden off my shoulders.  Otherwise, I'm really happy with where we are.  I feel that we can move forward with the knowledge I have, and live a happy, healthy, productive life, able to serve the Lord with our bodies and minds instead of being distracted by simply surviving.  It's a great place to be!  Oh, I do hope to become an even better cook this year. And I would like to start studying cultures in-depth and esp their food customs from their early days.  And learn to cook foods from different cultures, using their ferments, spices, techniques, etc.  But, that may not happen this year...


And, like last year and the year before, my Number One goal for 2011-and life-is to glorify God in all we do.  Ultimately, that is all that matters.  The rest is just extra.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Why Sugar is Bad for Your Teeth

Brushing teeth does not keep them from rotting when consuming large quantities (and for some, small quantities, based on their heritage, etc.) of sugar, because sugar needs minerals to be digested, and if the minerals are not in the food itself, then it searches for it in the teeth, bones and eventually organs.  And it steals it away from them.  It esp likes the calcium, phosphorus and other minerals that the teeth are mainly made up of.  So, while brushing your teeth after eating sugar might help an itty bit, it won't help much, since the damage is being done internally.

Which is why I use unrefined sugars such as honey, maple syrup and rapadura with their minerals in tact, the way God intended.

For that matter, any refined foods, salt, flour, etc, with the minerals stripped away, do the same thing.  Not only do we need to consume these minerals for overall health, but we need to  consume them for proper digestion as well.

Just saying....

Merry Christmas, and enjoy the celebration of our Savior's birth.  I might even indulge in a bit of sugar, with it's minerals intact.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Boredom, a Wonderful Thing

I am amazed at how my children, and myself, transform after a few days of 'boredom'.  If we run around too much, if I let them be 'entertained' too much, I find they get ornery and can't get along with one another, and esp that they don't use their imagination much.  .But, when we have stayed home for a few days and had no tv, computer games, etc, they amaze me at what they start to do.  Esp Samuel.  He lives for entertainment.  I seldom hear those dreaded words from Myia 'Mommy, I'm bored'.  But from Samuel it's an almost daily occurrence.  As a matter of fact, after a video, I can almost be guaranteed that he'll say that immediately.

I have worked hard at surrounding my kids with good quality 'toys' and books.  But, given the option, they would 9 out of 10 times, choose to be entertained in some way.  So it makes me really happy to see them picking up some obscure book or imaginative toy, like legos or blocks.  They seldom chose those for some reason. 

Necessity is the mother of invention.  I see that to be true, even in a 6 year old!  His brain opens up and he starts asking the neatest questions.  I love it!!

Myia thrives on distractions in her own way.  I have seen, from the time she was a baby, that the best way to 'deal' with her is to keep her busy and distracted.  If I do that, then I don't have to deal with anything with her.  I can just sweep her issues under the rug instead of looking them square in the face and giving them to God to help us overcome.  Really, distractions are so much easier!

And even in myself, I have noticed that if I'm busy for a few days, I not only get behind on house work, but I also start to despise it and feel sorry for myself.  But when it's a part of my routine, I find it gives me pleasure (for the most part) and is meaningful, and I can truly do it in a spirit of praise and service to God.  But, if I'm busy and running around, then I find I just hate doing it all.

Even Drew,  I have noticed, if he's allowed enough time to actually relax, starts to actually get productive.  *gasp*  I personally derive pleasure from productivity.  The same can not be said of my husband.   Unless... he's bored.  You know, that relaxed bored.  All of a sudden, messes that have been there for months get picked up in an afternoon!   

But, if I let us get too busy and distracted, all of the little issues turn into big ones.  And I find myself getting irritated with the kids and housework, instead of seeing them as ways to draw the kids and myself closer to God.  And the kids' issues especially just compound and get out of control, until we live from one 'distraction' to the next. 

That is esp true in this busy holiday season.  There is no shortage of entertainment and toys and distractions for people of all ages.  Most of them very good things.

I have to remind myself often to not let myself get caught up in the busyness of life, but to chose our outside appointments carefully.  They can most definitely enhance our learning and training and overall quality of life, but they can easily overshadow it as well.  There is a fine line somewhere there I'm sure.  I just never seem able to find those!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Revisiting Eat Fat, Lose Fat

Great book!  I have read it numerous times through and get something new everytime. I was surprised this time around to realize that their 'Health Recovery' diet is very similar to GAPS.

I love my coconut oil, and use it for everything under the sun.  But I could not have told you where the ideas came from. After re-reading the book, I have to assume that many of them came from this book.  Although I do have to hear things 10 times for it to sink in.  So this was ONE of those 10 times I guess.  Well, 3 of them, since I'd read it 3 times before picking it up yet again.

Coconut oil is 'anti' everything bad, and 'pro' everything good.  It's great for topical application as well as internal.

It's great for speeding up your metabolism, fighting infections on the skin and internally, for moistening dry skin, for first aid purposes-esp bites and cuts.  If the kids have a rash, they complain to me and I send them to the coconut oil jar.  We use it for K-Y jelly, and for whole body rubs while we're at it.  It's good for every part of the body, so why not?!?  We put it on blisters and bruises and dry scalps and dry lips. I use it for rubbing the neck/lymph nodes to help drain ear, nose and throat infections.  I use it for frying, since it's stable at high temperatures.  It's great for thyroids and adrenals.  I buy the 5 gallon expeller pressed coconut oil from Tropical Traditions approx every 6 months.  It ends up costing approx $30 for a gallon, which is a great price for a good quality fat.  And I esp love that it does not need refrigeration or any special storage.  I just switch it to my gallon glass jars for storage and keep a quart of it on my stove at all times.  It's great stuff and we use it for everything in this house! 

But, all of that took time to figure out, and after re-reading EFLF, I realized how much that book taught me.  I am so thankful for the habits set into place now, and it's fun to look back and see how far I've come in that direction.  I remember reading that book for the first time and not even knowing what coconut oil looked like!

It's a great, simple, short book on how eating real food, esp good fats, is important to overall health, as well as specific health conditions.  I've read tons of books on health, each one contributing to my over-all knowledge.  But for someone who doesn't have a lot of time or patience for reading about health, but yet wants to learn the over-all facts, this is a great book.  The first approx 100 pages is what is read, and the rest is just meal plans and amazingly delicious and simple recipes (most of them using, what else, coconut).

I am toying with the idea of figuring out a way to get Drew to consume 2 tbls of CO before every meal, to see if it can jumpstart his metabolism, esp before we start GAPS in January. So far, it's just an idea, but, we'll see....

They even talked about how losing hair can be prevented by coconut oil. Of course, I suspect that is more for women and those who do not have a genetic disposition for hair loss. My hubby would love to grow more hair back, but I'm pretty sure it won't happen.  Esp considering we consume approx one cup a month each of coconut oil, and have for a year and a half now.  :)  But, it can't hurt to try!

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Role as a Wife-Submisison

Ouch, submission. In this day and age, that is considered so degrading and unacceptable.  I certainly thought that for years.  And to be honest, still often do.

However, God has graciously shown me over the last few years, that when I accepted the role of 'wife' to Drew, He expected certain things of me, whether I knew it at the time or not.

God, for some reason or other, chose the family as the means of carrying on civilization.  And within that family, he placed various roles to be played, to facilitate 'His story'.  Because we are all sinners, we mess up lots, which gives Him more chances to show his mercy and grace and love and forgiveness.  But, let's face it, life is easier if we stick to the natural laws as closely as possible.

Well, I 'knew' about submission, but really had no desire to actually do it.  Nor, frankly, did I have the ability to do it.  It wasn't who I was.  I married as 'little miss independent' and had every intention of staying that way.  My husband didn't really mind either, for the most part.   But, it just doesn't jive well, long term.  And when life got rough, marriage started to get really rough.  And slowly, ever so slowly, I started to get the 'big picture' of why God designed marriage the way he did.

I started seeing how I messed things up, when Drew's way would have been better to begin with.  That was humbling at first, but when things got really messed up, my pride was so low, it didn't really hurt it much to admit that.  Not AS much anyway.  And the disease became worse then the cure.  That is always a good thing.

As God slowly opened my eyes to see Drew's natural abilities of leadership, as well as his God-given role of authority in the home, I started to get the vision and got quite excited about it all. Of course, things would happen to test my resolve and as often as not, I'd take the reigns of our life back again.  But I almost always messed things up, and I DO learn-after awhile.  About 10 times I'm finding I need, to really grasp a lesson.

Money has been one of our biggest issues.  As it is in the vast majority of marriages from what I hear.  And we fell deep into credit card debt.  I, of course, blamed my sweet hubby and wouldn't let him anywhere near the finances.  And he really didn't mind that, so it worked for 10 years.  Well, sort of.  $25,000 debt later, we were barely holding our noses above water.  So, once again, God showed me that it was time to let the reigns go.  I didn't want to, but I finally got to a point where I couldn't handle the stress of logging onto our bank account and seeing if we were overdrafted.  So... I handed it over to Drew. By dribs and drabs at first, but for the most part, I've given it up and Drew has taken over.  And you know something really weird?  We have actually had money for the bills and groceries since he started.  It makes no sense. His paycheck hasn't gone up any, and our expenses certainly have not dropped.  But every month he tells me what I have to spend on groceries, and I'm amazed!

I think, somehow, this is God's way of 'blessing' us, as we seek to fulfill our roles in our marriage, and in his overall plan of redemption in general.  It's small, and a bit strange.  But, I'll take it!

And, to test my resolve, Drew bought something that in the past has driven me bonkers to find out about.  My first thought was that I must take over the finances again.  Obviously HE wasn't capable of doing them if he spends money on THAT!  But, the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that Drew had just paid all the bills AND told me how much money I had for groceries for the month.  Obviously he was capable of spending our money well.  And, even if I don't think that was a good purchase, it was obvious that God is blessing us as we make the 'hard' choices to live life the way He has asked us to.  I processed the purchase, and the blessings and was able to give thanks to God for taking care of us  and let it go.  First time EVER!!!!  Woo hoo!!!

Another blessing that we are still reaping, when I submitted to Drew, happened 2 years ago.  I had been asking (read: nagging) him to cancel the credit card ever since we got married.  And he came close, but never could actually say yes.  I came close, numerous times, to just doing it without his permission, but thankfully never actually did it.  Well, he was vacillating for over a year, and it was killing me!  Just.say.yes!!!  But, finally, he decided he was ready.  I hadn't even been nagging him about it for some time!  We talked about the possibilities, whats, whys and hows, and he told me to cancel it.  Quickly before he changed his mind.  I waited a few days, and verified again before calling them.  When I told them what I was doing, they switched me over to some other part of their vast infrastructure.  The person actually spoke English, and while I was waiting to find out what interest rate they would offer me, the woman came on the line and said she had set us up for a zero percent interest loan!  I had to have her repeat it a few times, I couldn't believe it.  Zero percent, nothing, nada.  We wouldn't have to pay a single penny of interest on it again!  After recovering from my shock and hanging up, I did a happy dance, thanked the Lord, and promptly called my mother, who did a happy dance and prayer in Iowa for us.  :)  We still talk about it.  But that was a huge confirmation to me, that handing over the reigns to Drew, even though I seemed more competent in the money area on the outside, was what was honoring to God. 

And that is, after all, what Christians should strive for in their daily life.  Honoring God is ALL we do.  And sometimes that means letting go of 'reality' and doing things God's way.