Monday, February 27, 2012

Fat is Where it's At (and a Fat Cookie Recipe)

Well, I have found that my body MUST have fat. I need to have a much closer ratio of protein to fat, or maybe even higher fat percentage overall. I haven't actually measured by any stretch. 

But, I have found that my constipation has finally corrected itself, as long as I don't consume much milk products, except cream.  And, if I go easy on the meats, but pump up extra broth with fat dissolved in it. So, I only have a little kefir smoothie with the kids every day, but I try and get 1/4 cup of kefir cream and 1/4 cup of yogurt cream every day.  It's tough to come up with that much cream without taking it away from the family, but so far, we have managed.  We also consume approx. a quart of coconut oil every week, as a family.  Some in smoothies, but mostly I cook with it.

The rest of the family does not seem to have that problem. I hope that it is simply because I have been lacking in fat for so long, that my body is desperate for it, and is making up for lost time, or calories.

I am very conscious of getting fats and cultured foods in every meal, so I think over-all, we are doing fine.  And I'm soo glad to have an answer to my constipation.  I haven't had an enema in over 3 months!  Woo hoo!  But it's very obvious if I have not had my fats the day before, or if I had too much milk or kefir or even meat.

I have noticed that this is the first winter for as long as I can remember, that I have not had dry, cracking lips. I started with a bit in December, but it never progressed and it actually totally gone now.  Both of the kids have had dry, cracked lips for most of the winter, past and present.  They both had their bottom lips cracked and bloody for some time.  I made a recipe from the GAPS cookbook Internal Bliss, and withing 2 days, Myia's lips totally healed.  Samuel, on the other hand, threw up after eating too many and hasn't been able to bring himself to eat more.  And, go figure, his bottom lip is still cracked and bloody. Although it does not bother him anymore, it just looks terrible.  A note: your body can not digest more good fats then it needs, so excess 'healthy' fats will not turn into adipose tissues, but will just be thrown up.  Fat does not make you fat!!  Well, rancid oils like canola and corn and most vegetable oils on the market do, but not good, saturated ones.

Of course, you can consume all of the fat you need and still not have it do you any good if your liver is too clogged to release the bile necessary to break the fat down.  But we have been eating a lot of fat, taking swedish bitters daily and having kombucha daily, and those thing, over time, are supposed to clean up the liver.  Plus I've done a number of liver cleanses.  Probably time for another one or two...  But I do have good reason to believe that our livers are mostly strong and working well for us. 

The cookie is simple:

1/2 Cup of softened butter
1/2 Cup of melted coconut oil
1/4 cup of honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbls cocoa powder or 1 tsp cinnamon

Mix together and drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.  Let harden in fridge and put into a container.  Store in fridge and eat at will.  They have been a huge blessing to us this past 2 weeks!  The cinnamon ones taste like cookie dough, and the others taste like chocolate frosting.  Yum!! 

The body is so amazing!  I am in awe of a God who was able to just 'create' such a complex structure with a word!  And so thankful to him for allowing me to get to know it just enough to start healing me and my family's bodies.

Praise be to Him!!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Dreams for My Kids

I have gotten a bigger, fuller picture lately of what I want for my children, as we 'homeschool' (I've come to hate that term for some reason) and as we prepare them for adulthood.  I have also been reminded that I can not live vicariously through them.  So I need to be always in prayer and always open to where the Lord leads.  And also, fully aware of my motives in all I do.

While we can not know for sure, what the Lord has planned for the kids' future, I believe we can prepare them for most any possibility that may come up.  Giving them a truly 'liberal education' will prepare them for whatever the future may hold.  I also want to make sure we give them the tools necessary to meet their personal needs: spiritual, emotional, mental and physical.

The kids were such a mess for so long, that I think I gave up hope of ever really affecting them in any lasting way.  I remember Samuel screaming his first few years of life, literally for hours.  And when he was 2, he didn't know his colors.  We were appalled and embarrassed, but yet, we realized that he spent so much time screaming, that it was not possible for us to teach him anything.  Myia spent her first 6 years over-stimulated and angry over everything in life, so teaching her was next to impossible.  It was depressing, esp as I came to realize the important role I played in their lives.  How could I mold them, when I couldn't even control them?  And my own emotional life was too chaotic to really accomplish much outside of survival.  So, for years, we survived, barely, and nothing else.

The last few years I have seen us slowly, painfully, come out of that mode, and finally, recently, to actually start to thrive.  I feel like we are finally caught up to where we should be, instead of sadly behind in life.   Oh wow, does that feel good!

And, the last few months, I would even say that I have seen the kids 'soar' in so many areas of their lives.  Their imaginations have become more vivid.  Which has helped greatly in their book reading.  You can't follow even relatively complicated books without being able to visualize the story in your head.  And now, they stop me all the time, in our daily readings, to show me what the book just described or explained.  It's so cute!  And they ask far less frequently, what words mean that they don't understand. I am hoping/assuming that is because they are figuring it out in context more, which is also an important skill for more complicated reading material.  They have both become more aware of the needs of others lately, instead of just being wrapped in their own little selves (they are by no means perfect, btw, I just see improvement in that area-and we had a LONG ways to go in it!).  I have seen more natural respect for adults.  And more self-control in their lives in many areas, esp day-to-day ones.  They seem more in touch with their bodies, as to what they need and when.  We have a long ways to go, but I am finally able to find joy in that instead of dread, since I have seen huge changes, and know they are possible!

Because of all of that growth, my own mind has started to 'run', and I have gotten excited about the things I want them to learn.

Here is my 'vision' for their education that brings them into adulthood, ready to serve the Lord in any capacity He calls them to.  I know the reality will change over time, which is fine.  But it's still fun to dream.  And I like having them in written form, so I can look back on them later and see how we have grown and how the Lord has guided our course.

Sure beats survival!

Until they are approx 12 years old, I hope to continue with our overall current schedule, but adding in new things as I see the need, improving, expanding, growing along with us. But, basically, reading lots and lots of books that stimulate us to grow and think, along with our Saxon math, memorizing math facts and doing lots of hands-on learning. I also plan to do the CAT5 in 3rd, 6th and 9th grade, although that can change. Just to see where we stand in the bigger picture.

I hope/plan to make the next 4-6 years a time of mostly focusing on their physical growth (eating lots and lots of good foods for proper growth and development, and healing our digestive systems, and lots of time spent outside in fresh air and exercise), spiritual growth (Egermeiers, Scripture reading and memorization, and mostly my own daily devos which God uses to change me, and then filter that to my kids-I love that part!), mental growth (reading good books that challenge us to think and gives us heroes to emulate, and lots of time spent outside, observing and really learning to see what is around us, and to work on our concentration skills, and learning special crafts like carving and sewing), and relational growth (family relationships, respect for adults, manners, putting others first, service projects).

For the next stage, I hope and pray they will spend 40+ hours each week reading books on various subjects and doing projects that help them to better understand the various subjects they are reading about.  Also, I plan on us having 'cottage industries' that will help us raise money, so we can traipse all over the world and see what we've learned about in our reading, first hand.  To visit places of interest, people we have met and beautiful sights all over the world.

Also, I really like the idea of my kids not leaving the house before having attained these skills: cooking/nutrition, healing naturally/doctor, meal planning, budgeting, building a house,(or here in Minnesota) maintaining a house, survival skills in the wilderness and in an urban setting in case of disaster, learn at least 2 other languages-well, to know how to care for a baby, to know how to love and/or respect their spouse, how to choose a spouse and friends in general, how to know themselves well, how to study Scripture daily and hungrily, how to manage themselves in a corporate setting, how to set and achieve goals, how to maintain self-control (the last 2 are tied into 'know themselves'), how to run a farm, how to care for animals of all types, to be amazing readers of all genres, understand the government and be able to take any office and do it well, car mechanics and maintenance, hair cutting, music appreciation, play at least one instrument (hopefully more though), lifeguard training, the ability to sew their own wardrobes, a love of art, a love of poetry, writing skills, be good spellers and have good handwriting, be dreamers, have electrical and plumbing skills, know how to grow their own food in any environment, have good work ethics, good speaking skills.

I expect by high school, they will be earning college credits with their work.  And if the Lord leads them into any fields that need more technical knowledge, that they will search out apprenticeships/universities/tech schools for those.

I realize these are my 'dream' goals, although I do think they are pretty wide in scope and yet very doable also.  I confess I'd much rather my kids become farmers or missionaries then CEOs, but I can love them even if they are rich. ;)  I really desire to send them out into the world, as equipped as possible.
Of course, if I find they are adults and the only 2 skills they have are to Love the Lord their God  with all their hearts, and to Serve Others, well, I'd still not be disappointed, much...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chronic Fatigue Be Gone!

I do believe I have finally kicked my adrenals back into high gear.  And it feels sooo good not to be tired all the time.

I have always been an active person.  ADHD just might apply to me, although I can sit relatively still for long periods of time if I find something entertaining.  I am a go-getter and generally very motivated.  But there has always been a side to me that was exhausted often also.  I remember when I was 12, I came down with a nasty case of mono.  And it seemed to come back now and then and just smack me upside the head.  Being pregnant was basically 9 months of that.  And then when the babies were born, they didn't sleep for a year, so my energy never came back.  I just blamed that on lack of sleep, stress, etc.  Finally a few years ago it seemed that I was just tired all the time.  And it was after I started feeding myself well, and the kids were sleeping well and my stress was mostly under control.  It was discouraging.

But, after doing some research on my own body and in books, I came to the conclusion that my adrenals were shot after years of running on adrenaline to get anything done.  Plus I came to the conclusion that my body was in constant detox mode.  Which was depressing.

However, this past summer I started noticing that my energy levels were returning.  And this winter, I have noticed that I do have times when I am 'smacked upside the head' and can barely move.  But, rather then lasting a few days and getting me utterly depressed, they last a few hours and my mood doesn't change much.

I have also lost quite a bit of fat/bloating all around.  I was a size 12/14 3 years ago and now I'm an 8/10.  Plus, I am finding my overall moods to be more stable.

I know it's because I have been following the principles from the GAPS diet for the last few years and slowly building my body back up with super nutrient dense foods.  And I've made sleep a priority.  And... because I have learned to, mostly, stop freaking out about things that just aren't worth freaking out about.  Stress is as hard on the body as smoking, perceived or real.  And most of mine was perceived.  What a waste!  :) 

I still have some pretty serious issues to work on (digestive and hormonal-while much better ,are still not where they need to be), but it sure is fun seeing progress!  And this particular area makes it hard to work on the others, so if I was to choose one symptom to lose first, it definitely would have been my chronic fatigue.

Praise be to God for his wonderful blessings!  I hope and pray that I will use this new found energy to bring glory to him

Friday, February 17, 2012

Filling up On Junk

This summer I was singing worship songs in church and feeling a bit irritated by the lack of depth and 'meat' in the songs.  I realize we don't have to have meat in all of our songs.  It's ok to sing the same 5 words 20 times in a row-now and then.  But, something about it was bugging me.  I finally put my finger on it.  It wasn't that I had a problem with the worship songs as much as I had a problem with the fact that it took time away from singing more deep songs.  Songs that taught me things about God, that reminded me of his awesomeness and power.  It's ok to drink 'milk' and to sing more 'shallow' songs, but we have to make sure it is not filling us up so we don't get the more 'nutrient dense' meat.

The same goes for 'Bible studies' and even more so actually.  How many people read study after study, but fail to get into the Word itself.  I did for 10 years!   It's great to read what others learn from Scriptures, but don't let that take the place of your own personal time in it.  It simply can't.  Both are fine, but if you only have time for one, then it ought to be the one that will really help you to grow.

And then, my brilliant head detected another area that it is easy to crowd out the good with mediocre.  Nutrition.  Stunned, aren't you?  Now, there are a lot of franken foods that I don't think a human body has any business ingesting, such as GMO anything, food colorings, MSG, etc.  However, I believe the bigger problem lies in the fact that those foods fill us up just enough that we don't crave the real foods that our bodies need.   If you've met your nutritional requirements for the day, then go ahead and enjoy that ice cream and piece of cake.

If we get just enough of the worship, 'bible studies' and foods to take the edge off of our physical, mental and spiritual hunger, then we won't go searching for the deeper things in life.  Because let's be honest, that is hard work!  And one must be really motivated to do so. 

And that is where I think the rubber meets the road.  If we dig deep and study and meet our needs and live life to the fullest, then we can enjoy everything else in-between.  But I think Satan is having a heyday in America today.  Making us just content enough that we sit on our tushies and do nothing more.

As strange as it sounds, I pray often that the Lord would not allow me to get too comfortable in any area of my life, because then I get lazy, and it's all downhill from there.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Deodorant Update

Blogger changed it's format and now I can see how many 'views' are on each of my past posts.  I really only write for my own sake, but it's interesting none-the-less.  My post on deodorant in July of 2010 has 950 views.  Crazy! Who the heck reads this blog?

Anyway, I thought after a year and a half of using it, I should update how it's going. 

*drum roll*  I LOVE it!!  I haven't used deodorant in over a year and never once have I missed it.  I did end up getting a small spray bottle from Target that I keep filled up with HP.  I keep one in my SS box, one in the car and one in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom.  It's great for cuts and scrapes if we're out or any other worry of germs.  And, no matter where I am, there is some handy for if I smell any body odor.  I just spray each armpit a few times and the smell is gone entirely.

I do have to put it on often if it's hot or I'm sweaty.  Although by often I mean every 3 or 4 hours.  But, now, when it's cold, I will go a day or 2 without it sometimes and don't notice any smell.  Yes, it could be that I'm used to it, but my odor sensitive daughter will tell me if I smell-very quickly.

One thing that I love about the deodorant is that almost every household has it.  There have been a number of times that I found myself at someone else's house and smelling.  So far it's always been people I can be honest with, so I ask if they have some hydrogen peroxide, and they always have, and I just put some in my hand and splash it on. Takes seconds and is super cheap and immediately helpful.

I would prefer hydrogen peroxide, as it's supposed to kill the bad germs but not the good.  Whereas rubbing alchohol kills both. But, I just did not find it to work as well.  Compared to the nasty deodorants, I figure this is waaay better anyway.

I also find that there are times when I just smell for a few days, and have to put the stuff on every hour or so.  I finally realized after this happened 2 or 3 times, that I was detoxing during that period.  All the more reason to not use deodorant then!  That hasn't happened since this summer, but I was glad to finally have a reason for it.

In the other post, a commentor mentioned that putting HP on after shaving would be painful. Agreed!  I would not recommend doing it.  However, what I find works beautifully is to spray my armpits and my razor before shaving, so there is no bacteria there.  And I have not gotten a single bump since doing that.  The bumps are caused by knicks that get infected by the armpit bacteria.  But, if you kill them right away, knicks or no knicks, they won't get infected.  It's a beautiful thing!

Drew is back to his deodorant unfortunately.  But, he is naturally worried about smelling at work.  But, if he is smelly, he does use the HP to get rid of the smell before putting his deodorant and he appreciates that it works so quickly.

I'm very happy with my deodorant alternative 18 months later.  I think I can safely say that it's a keeper!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Concentrate on the Good, not the Bad

One of the things that God has been slowly teaching me over the last few years, is to concentrate on the good in life, and do the best I can with the bad.  Now that is a lot easier said then done.  Esp since I'm such an organized, type-A, planning type of person.  I find out what I'm supposed to do, and I do it.  That's that.

But, of course, life and reality hit and it's not really that easy.  Although, I think if it was just me, I could still plow along that way for a long time. But, with Drew and the kids, I am learning that slow is better, esp for real, long-term changes.

And those are the kinds that I want.  Not shallow ones that only last a short time and then fade.  But real, life-long, God-honoring changes that affect every aspect of our lives.  Sin infiltrates so subtly, it's hard to see it's affects on us sometimes.

The first place that the Lord really taught me to go slow and steady, and concentrate on the getting the good into my life, as opposed to getting the bad out, was in my own spiritual life.  He generally, ok, always, works there first.

I was really wanting to get into the Word more.  I wanted to grow spiritually, but just wasn't.  I was sketchy with my daily Scripture reading/devotions, but pretty good about reading Godly authors.  But, the message I got from them (the good ones anyway), was that I needed to be in the Word.  Myself, me, Sarah.  It's great that these guys are in the Word, and can help and encourage others.  And even answer some deeper questions that I will never be able to fully answer on my own.  But that was no substitute for studying the Scriptures on my own.  Daily, regularly and preferably, eagerly.  But so many things were getting in my way and I found it discouraging.  I worked hard at getting out the things that got in the way.  But I found myself constantly forgetting or not feeling like reading.  And feeling really guilty about all the other things that I did in place of reading the Bible.
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

So maybe that verse is taken out of context here.  But, it really was one of the things that God used in my life to help me to focus on the positive and not the negative.  Rather then concentrating on my lack of Scripture studying, I tried to concentrate on what I did read and know, and how much I would grow from making it a priority.  Ditch the guilt, so to speak. It sounds like semantics I guess . But it seemed to work.  And I have been mostly faithful for 3 years now!  Yeah for progress!  I now appreciate anytime I get in the Word, and don't stress or feel guilty if I miss a long stretch of time.  And there have been months where I was very 'light' on time spend in the Word.  But I knew I would eventually get back in faithfully.  And I do.

Food is another area that I have come to believe that concentrating on the good and not the bad is super important.  Rather then freaking out about what not to eat, I have begun, using the principles I've found through GAPS, etc, to concentrate on making sure me and my family get the good foods in on a regular basis.  We still avoid the bad as much as possible. Esp for Myia and I, as we really seem to react to foods intensely. But, for long-term healing and growth, it is my desire to concentrate on getting in the nutrition that our bodies and minds need, to heal and then to stay healthy.

Vegetarians/vegans/weight watchers/Zone/GF-CF/SCD/Atkins/Paleo and most every other popular diet out there, concentrate mostly on what NOT to eat, as opposed to what to eat.  Don't eat fat, carbs, meat, sugar, etc.  It's the American way these days apparently.

And, I'm not disagreeing that it's best to avoid a lot of foods included in the current SAD died.  Doing so might cause you to detox, which is good. But it can't help your body to heal and regenerate itself.  The body needs nutrients to work properly.  Every part of our bodies, every organ and action in the body needs 'organic' substances (i.e. proteins, fats, enzymes, minerals, vitamins) to work properly.  So both detox (vitamins) and regeneration (minerals) are necessary on a daily basis and both need outside support.

And it's a lot more fun, for me, to concentrate on the good, then the bad.  So I work hard every day to include the most regenerating, nourishing foods that I can, in our diets.  Grass-fed meats, eggs, butter, raw milk and fermented products made from it, and fermented cod liver oil and swedish bitters and lots and lots of broth, and as much celtic sea salt as I can squeeze in and lacto fermented veggies.  We eat lots of veggies and drink fresh carrot juice and kombucha every day to encourage the detoxing functions as well.

But, overall, for us, and most people, I am begining to realize/believe that concentrating on getting the healing foods in every day is going to help long-term way more then concentrating on getting the bad out.

Plus, as a bonus, I've found that if we are filled with the good (good foods and Scripture) stuff, then we aren't as hungry for the bad. It's a win-win.

God is finally starting to apply that lesson to my heart in regards to relationships.  Woo hoo!!!  It's been a long time in coming and I've been praying for it steady for 2 years now.  It's sure fun to see progress.  Rather then harping on the 'wrong' things my husband or children do, I'm starting to see the positive ones more easily.  Rather then getting annoyed with people who don't do or think what I do, I'm starting to be able to concentrate on the fact that they are made in God's image and He loves them and wants me to do the same.  No matter what they do or say.  It's not been tested much yet, and I fear if it is, I would show great immaturity still.  But, as I now know, I learn painfully slow and there is nothing that can be done about it, except to plug on in prayer and Scripture and just do the right thing when I know what it is.  The rest comes eventually.  So, I am concentrating on the good and praising God that he is doing a work in my life, instead of concentrating on the bad that still needs to change.

Moving forward.... I think the 'religious-speak' of that is Sanctification.  Even if it's two steps forward and one step back, at least the overall progress is forward.  We can do it Carrie and Robin!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Progress in the Little Things

The kids and I went to the library this evening, and as usual, we came home with 2 bags full of books. I have NO self control when I'm there. 

But I realized as I was carrying the books up the steps, that I wasn't tired.  But I remember not that long ago, that every trip to the library was tiring, and carrying the books from the car to the living room was downright exhausting.  And I realized, with great joy, that it's not been an exhausting exercise for some time.

And it's not because we get less books anymore, and it's definitely not because I have started exercising more and have stronger muscles. 

Praise be to God for his gracious strengthening and healing!!!

Oh man does it feel good to finally be going forward instead of backward!  It's been hard, hard work, but I am so thankful to have the patience and knowledge to stick with it.  I was speaking with a good friend today about that very thing, and we both agreed that even knowledge and patience are gifts from the Holy Spirit.  Why He chose to give them to us, we don't know, but we are so thankful for them! 

Paleo/Primal Cookbooks

I've come to realize lately, that the 'Paleo' and 'Primal' way of eating is very similar to GAPS.  So I decided to check some cookbooks out from the library. 

Great choice!  I needed the inspiration without the temptation.  So P/P was the perfect choice! 

Paleo/primal is generally free of grains, and heavy on meats and veggies and coconut oil.  I have found some great inspiration for sauces and dips and grain-less meals.  They are also not big on dessert, which is nice.  The over-all food rules are low-carb, grain-free, dairy-free and gluten free.  Granted gluten is in grain, so that is a bit redundant.  I can't say I know the difference between paleo and primal though. 

The basis for this way of eating in general is faulty from the beginning, so I could not suggest a person 'go paleo' simply because it would be basing your diet on a lie.  However, it does make sense in a lot of practical ways, and it most definitely far and away better then the SAD (Standard American Diet) of today.

The paleo and primal diets are based on evolution and believing that humans have 'evolved' from caveman/hunter-gather to our current agricultural society.  However, being a Christian who believes the Bible is the truth, I do not believe that.

Since I believe the God created Adam and Eve, and that he wrote the Bible to be our final authority, I like to watch out for what people eat as I read through the Scriptures.  And people most definitely eat and drink milk and dairy products and meat.  They also consume grains and fish and herbs and veggies and honey.  They ate only what they could grow themselves for the most part.  And their land was much more rich with nutrients and their bodies much less ravaged by generations of sin and genetic loss.

But, I am happy not to give up my dairy. :)

The 2 books I read and enjoyed are:

Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield

The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, by Mark Sisson

A few of the more popular blogs on Paleo/primal are:

Mark Sisson's Daily Apple, which I have read off and on for a few years and enjoyed.  He's a bit cocky, but funny and interesting. 

Robb Wolf, he's a personal trainer and lab geek, but also has a great sense of humor. 

So, if you are trying to eat less grain in a week, but don't know what to prepare in it's place, I would highly recommend checking out any paleo/primal cookbooks at your local library for some inspiration.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Nature versus Nuture

I've had this topic come up in conversation a lot over the last 6 months.  And it's been good for me to mull it over.

I have 2 children.  One was blessed with a mostly great disposition.  Easy going and loves to have fun.  He can be a pill, but mostly, he doesn't hold grudges and he's just fun to be with. He is most decidedly a follower, which freaks me out a bit.  But as long as his needs are being met, he's pretty easy. 

My other precious gift from God, however, is not so easy going.  She holds grudges and sees the glass half empty, pretty much all the time.  She is always finding the negative in life.  And bossy, phew-ee!  And I think the hardest part for Drew and I, is that no matter how much we 'pour' into her, it's never enough. 

And, she was born difficult. The poor kids was born screaming and didn't stop for 3 years!  *shudders*  Now, granted, her brother took just about as long to stop screaming.  But at least in between, he'd snuggle.  Even today, he's my snuggle bug.  But Myia can't snuggle, she just can't do it.  Touch bothers her. Oh heck, everything bothers her!

To be fair, they both tend to flip flop roles in social situations.  She loves to be distracted by others (when she is doing well and getting her way) and Samuel freaks out.

Drew and I have struggled with Myia from birth.  I rotate between being annoyed with her for being a certain way, and annoyed with God for giving me such a difficult child to raise.

But you know, recently, as God has softened my heart and helped me to stop being so ego-centric (a child like Myia is NOT good for the ego, in case you're wondering), I have started to see my own part in making Myia who she is.

In talking with someone about the nature versus nature debate.  We discussed how 2 people who were born into difficult circumstances, both turned out so differently.  One was easy going about it and moved on, but the other couldn't let his past go and wound up bitter and angry.  And it dawned on me that while nature (God) gives us one thing, it doesn't mean it has to stay that way.  We CAN nurture the bad out and replace it with good. As a matter of fact, that is basically the role of a parent-with the Holy Spirit's help of course.

But, it must be a conscious, daily, prayer-bathed training and raising.

If Samuel was left to himself, he'd be fine.  He could be abused and abandoned, and still probably turn out pretty easy going.  Not that we do either to him, except in a ticklish sort of way, which he eats up. :)  But Myia, if left in that same situation (which thankfully God saw fit NOT to put her in), would most likely end up being a bitter, nasty mess.  And somehow it looks worse in a woman then a man to me.

Myia isn't a 'lost cause' as I used to find myself thinking so often.  God has given her to Drew and I because he knows that we are the perfect parents (?) to nurture the sin qualities out of her, and nurture her already existing good qualities to the forefront.

But boy is that a lot of work!  I must remind myself that it's not about me, but about God being glorified and honored.  And I also am finding that it goes against my own nature, as I have to be more 'strict' with her.  And more on my toes at all times.  If I give her an inch, she'll run a mile before I've blinked.  I'm just not like that, so I find it harder to deal with I think.  But, none of those are reasons that I can bring before God someday and use as excuses for not doing the job he has called me to do. 

And, I know that the very qualities about her that make her difficult to raise and nurture are the ones that God often uses most in places of leadership and change.  She'll be a mover and a shaker someday.  If we can nurture her right!

And for that, I know that ultimately, God is in charge, so the pressure to be perfect is taken off my shoulders, and the pressure to please God is the only one that remains.  Phew, I can handle that! 

For the little man, he needs nurturing also, of course.  But the process is generally easier.   And I wonder if his ply-ableness means we can easily nurture his nature out of him.  That's a scary thought! Being a follower I can also see that he could bring us more heartache in the future, and we have to esp teach him to watch who he hangs out with .

It's a sobering reminder that this job of parenting is not something to be taken lightly, but with much prayer and humbleness! 

And no matter what the 'nature' a child is born with.  God expects us to 'nurture' them into the adults that God can use for his glory.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mini GAPS Intro

Well, we had 2 weeks of intro at the start of January.  And pretty much just went back to how we were eating before that.  Following the GAPS principles, but with allowances that help us to carry it on long-term. I struggled with going back, but I know my main struggle was with my pride.

One thing that Drew and I agreed to do (and the kids by proxy of course), is to try having a mini-intro once a month until we are healed. And then, when we are sick or in particular need of healing.

We had our first mini-intro from Jan 30 to yesterday.  We had kefir, egg yolk and carrot juice for breakfast, and soups with meats and easy to digest veggies, and spices and herbs for all 3 meals, for 3 days.  We put kefir sour cream in our soup and had yogurt plain for a snack for probiotics.  It went really well overall.  Drew, Myia and I definitely detoxed.  It's amazing how the body can do that! We eat this same food every day, but somehow eating only soups for a few days really pushes our bodies to heal.  Craziness!

I need to work on some drinks we can have with our meals, as we miss the kombucha and should not drink water with our meals.  This time we squeezed some lemon into water, but it's not great, esp without honey.  I also don't feel we get enough probiotics, so I want to maybe try beet kvass next time. The kids and Drew hated it last time, but they might be ok with having it for 3 days only.  We'll see.

It's really not too hard to 'sacrifice' for 3 days only.  Drew didn't have a hard time with not smoking or eating 'junk', knowing he can go back in 3 days.  :)

I am going to work on finding 3 'favorite' soups for that time also.  So far, we love beet sausage basil soup.  And a mexican soup, with meatballs, onions, mushrooms, cilantro, salsa, cumin, onion and garlic powder. Yum! Cilantro just makes everything yummy.  We had sausage broccoli mushroom and that was yummy also.  I might tweak them a bit, but hopefully we'll keep those as our main ones and really look forward to eating them once a month for a day.  

So, along with following the general principles of healing, I hope to have us do the mini intro monthly for the rest of 2012, or until we heal.  I'll update on how it goes later in the year.  If we get sick, we'll do it then, if not, we'll arrange it when we have 3 days that won't be a big deal.  And at the beginning of the month is when we'll do it for the most part.  I love that we are getting lots of fatty broth in for every meal!  And it is tasty.  The summer could be tough with lots of hot soups...  We'll take it one month at a time.