Friday, November 16, 2012

Two weeks down.

We are at over two weeks now.  No eating out, no fast food.  Yay!  Working hard at being obedient.

We are contemplating going on a date tonight and we were talking about eating food at the movies.  Do we, don't we, etc.  For me, I can't.  I can't go down the slippery slope like that again.  So I will be eating before I go and I am contemplating turning into that person.... bringing my own snacks to the movies.  I'm torn between the "don't bring your own food" policy and the need to not fall off the wagon.  I'm sure I will have peace as the movie time gets closer, so we will see.

On another note, getting ready for Thanksgiving!!! My favorite of favorite holidays!  We hosted last year and we are doing it again.  It's an easy way for us to spend time with both sides of the family.  Because we all know it's hard to split time between two families.  Do ya feel me?

That's all for now.  Back to a fun project that I can't wait to complete.  I will post pictures.  =)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Meditation

I made it a week!  I can't believe it.  There were many, many, MANY times I thought I would cave and give in.  The only way to make it through to deliverance of a stronghold (especially one that's left, regrouped, and returned) is submission to God.  Continual submission.  I can't do this in my own strength at all.

This week made me realize how weak and vulnerable I am and have become over the past few months.  I have come to the revelation that I have allowed myself to meditate on 1.) what other's thought of me and 2.) my negative thoughts of myself.  I could link to every post I have ever written about emotional eating and my own struggle with poor self esteem, but you would be reading for hours.  

I had gained a measure of freedom in the realm of fear of rejection/praise of man, but I didn't know how deep it went until I went a little deeper with the Lord.  Oh my, the root is deep and the anxiety it produced was paralyzing.  I couldn't go anywhere without meditating on and tearing apart each conversation/awkward look I got from every person I encountered.  

It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I really saw the need for deliverance.  I am still in that place of anxious mediation and I'm seeking the Lord for freedom.  I need to replace improper meditation with meditating on what the Lord thinks, feels, and says.  Prayers are appreciated for sure if you are lead to pray.

We have a long way to go and I don't think it's a coincidence that we reentered this lifestyle change right before the holidays.  I feel that the Lord will guide each and every step of the journey back to the fasted lifestyle.  

  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Reboot-Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, Take 2, Pt. 1

Today is our first day back on the journey.  Officially.  We had tried several times to get back on track, but have failed again and again.

I must say this time around is EXTREMELY difficult!  We had defeated a big demon in our lives.  Then we caved and it is bigger and badder than ever.  The hubby and I were talking about how difficult it was when I was dropping him off at work.  Bottom line, we allowed something back in our lives and it brought seven more of it's friends.  So now we are fighting off a slew of demons instead of one, see Matthew 12:43-45.

The entire summer and early fall has been horrendous.  We have spent and ate way more than just a tree.  Obedience and discipline are hard, but it's a choice.  We were choosing to disobey and do our own thing for convenience sake.

The price of disobedience is way too high.  Physically (see my post about PRICE), emotionally (I was eating to comfort myself due to some really wicked anxiety attacks), and spiritually (we are so distant from the Lord, that I'm desperately lovesick).

Today we started again.  We are rebooting our walk.  I cannot tell you what a struggle it was.  I went to visit a friend this evening and she called as I was pulling onto her street to see if I could stop and get her a soda.  I was really glad I was already too close to turn around.  The temptation would have been too great.  I was already white knuckling it to get to her house, gripping the steering wheel with everything I had to keep myself from turning into a fast food place to get a "quick bite".

So now we detox.  The cravings will subside.  The attacks will come less and less.  Our all around health will improve.  We will sit in the Word and soak in it's goodness.

Today- I choose obedience.  I choose discipline.  I choose God's best for me and my family.  I choose God as my audience. (I will repeat this everyday if I have to, several times a day if need be.)    


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Price

I have been under the weather for about two weeks. Not many people know because I have not wanted to talk/complain about it.

I have had a localized abdominal pain that has been slowly getting worse over the past few weeks.  I did nothing about it because "it will go away".  Well it didn't.  I was in such pain this past Friday that I went to the doctor.

She said that I have diverticulitis (not a new diagnosis) and that I'm experiencing a flare up.  FUN!  Not so much.  I'm on two antibiotics and I LOATHE antibiotics.  I haven't had a flare up in a long time, so it caught me off guard.

If you have never heard of diverticulitis, it's a chronic condition that creates pockets on the intestines and they can occasionally become inflamed and infected.  Nothing contagious mind you, just nasty nagging pain all day and night.

How does one get this condition?  I'm so glad you asked.  It's because of eating processed food.  It is a newer condition.  It did not show up until the early 1900's because that's when processed food was introduced to our way of life.  Our processed food has no nutritional value and no fiber so our intestines become malformed and things can get ugly pretty fast.

I feel I could be the poster child for "Don't feed your kids processed food" or "Eat organic or pay the price".  I have had so many stomach/digestive issues all because of food.  Nothing hereditary.  Nothing genetic.  All food!  I didn't eat the best growing up.  Lots of sugar, canned veggies, and pre-made stuff.  Now I'm literally paying the price of poor eating habits.

The hubby and I were on a good path at the end of Spring and over the summer we got WAY off track.  We ate horribly and spent what we didn't need to spend.  The Lord told us how He wants us to live and we have been in rebellion.  I know the Lord is not punishing me, but that He can't move in power in my life if I'm not doing what He wants me to do.  He sometimes has to step out of the way and give us over to the consequence of our sin for things to change.

"The wages of sin is death".  I don't feel I will literally die.  But I'm having physical manifestations of my sin played out.  The fruit of what He has for me is dying on the vine while I take my time on my way to obedience.

So that's where I'm at.  Frustrated with myself and deeply desiring to quit this cycle of defeat.  Prayers are appreciated.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Stomach Bug 2012

The resting I talked about in the last post... well didn't happen as much as I would have liked.  The tiredness I was feeling last Monday was the start of a kidney infection brought on by extreme intact of caffiene and sugar to keep me going (and you guessed it, stress).

I was out of commission for about 3 days.  Drank nothing but water and a little bit of organic no sugar added cranberry juice.  That stuff is NASTY!

My little girl came down with a yucky stomach bug that's been going around.  She threw up a total of 10 times over the course of about 4.5 hours.  We stayed up and watched corny movies, tried to sleep on the couch together (she did, I didn't) and got up at around 5 AM.  I had to go get the hubby at about 6 AM because I just couldn't stay awake any longer.

I napped from about 6:30 to about 8:30. I literally dreamed my husband came to wake me up because he needed me for something.  I went out and he said, "why are you awake?"  I said you just came to get me.  Oh tricky sleep deprived mind.

So today we have been napping, feeding our girl very little but with lots of water and pedialyte, cleaning/disinfecting, slathering ourselves with essential oils to prevent us from getting it as well.  Both the hubby and I have had some tummy twitches, but we are praying they pass quickly.  We don't need to have a full blown stomach bug later in the week because of my sweet cousin's wedding.

That's where we are right now.  Have a healthy week everyone!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Breathing

I have made it to the third week of September intact!  I really was wondering if I would make it.  I kept saying "if I can make it through September" every time I would feel overwhelmed.

But by grace I have made it to a plateau.  Which is a seriously good thing.  I was beginning to stress so bad that shingles was threatening to return and my hair was falling out.

I feel for the sweet friends and family that have seen me wide eyed and frantic.  And I appreciate those who prayed for me both in person and from afar.  Thank you all so much.

The stress was worth it though.  I have spent some great time with friends and family every weekend.  I have celebrated with my best friend.  I have grown closer to people I had hoped I would grow closer to for years.  I had my first night/weekend away from my daughter and I did not freak out (I actually did great) and it gave me a sweet renewing that I needed.  I have had great encouragement in a new endeavor.

Our view from the Gristmill in Gruene, TX.
We went to Gruene for my cousins Bachelorette
Weekend.  It was a very relaxing weekend!
I'm glad to be on the other side of the bulk of the chaotic schedule, but I can look back and see the blessings in each portion of the last few weeks.

For today, I'm taking a break and breathing a little bit.  I'm not going to worry that the house is messy, that I have fall decorations to put up, that I have a mountain of things to get done that have been pushed aside.  I'm going to take it slow, enjoy the day with my hubby and daughter and see what the Lord has for us.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week 21: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 29

Not quite there, but still close.

There is so much to say, but I'm really struggling to determine what to type.  Let's just say that my heart is heavy and burdened, but I can't put it into words.  I think I will have to save it for another post or two.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Almost there, weeks 19 & 20: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 28

We are almost back on track fully.  We ate out only once this past week and it was truly due to extenuating circumstances.  We had a gas leak in the house and we snacked, but couldn't get into the fridge or cook until after the gas guy left.  Well by that time we were on our way to church and absolutely had to eat something.  That was our one and only time to eat out this week.

It makes me so happy to even type that!  The previous week was very hard and we had to have some serious discussions about our discipline and obedience.  Our finances are extremely tight yet again due to eating our money.  It has been for the past two and a half months since falling off the wagon.

We talked about how when a demon is kicked out we have to be on guard to not let it and seven of it's friends back in.  We were discussing how this time was so much harder and it's because we let our guard down.  Are we gonna let satan get the best of us?  No!  So we have to pick ourselves back up and do it and not just talk about it.

Last week's message at church, our pastor talked about doing our part.  I can pray to be healthy and fit all day, but am I doing my part.  No, I haven't been.  I've been eating junk but expecting a miracle to change my situation.  How can He give me such a great blessing if I'm just going to throw it away?

So that's the main theme of the past two weeks, doing our part.  The Lord will do His.  Here we go!  Thanks Lord for getting us back on track!

Zoe at a park feeding the ducks.  She loved it!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Week 17 & 18: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 27

Not much change in our eating/spending from the previous month.  Which makes me sad.  The Lord is good because He has been so gracious to us and provided despite our disobedience.

I did have a lot of revelation the last few days specifically on the topic of obedience.  I went to Texas Homeschool Coalition Convention here in The Woodlands.  I know our girl is 19 months old, but I wanted to get a foundation for preschool.

I had grand plans, but saw that I could be easily overwhelmed when I started looking at the seminars available.  I wanted to go listen about things that are so great, but not really what I was needing at the moment.  So I asked the Lord what I should do.  He guided me to the seminars and areas that were PERFECT for me.

I sat in on seminars dealing with child training, toddlers, and discipline.  Basically, the Lord was telling me about myself.  Of course!  My heart was so convicted about how lack of discipline trickles down to our little ones.

I know that my discipline to the Lord is between Him and I, but our kids do observe and if we are disobedient, then our kids will be too.  One woman defined obedience in her home.  Basically obedience is supposed to be done 1.) cheerfully, 2.) completely, and 3.) immediately.  She explained that if your child does something immediately and completely but is complaining, then they are rebellious in their heart.

Talk about heart piercing.  When I obey the Lord, it isn't always done cheerfully.  So I'm still rebelling in my own heart.  It's so like the Lord to impart knowledge and wisdom for my situation as a parent, but also as His child.  For that I'm truly grateful.  It showed me that I want to obey the first time, to the fullness, and with a smile on my face and song in my heart.

Thank You Lord that I could go for these divine appointments.  You guided me as to what I needed to hear and what will get us back on track.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Week 16: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 26

This week has been amazing, sad, joyful, heartbreaking, encouraging, humbling all wrapped up into one.  We are feeling the stirrings of revival in our church.  Lots of stuff in my heart is coming to the light and being swept away.

I made some hard admissions and felt things that I thought were gone, but they were just buried and festering.  I had my whole being shaken in ways I never knew existed.

I prayed and the answer was no and then I was left wondering why?  I prayed and the answer was yes, but I was left wondering why now? 


The biggest thing that came out of this week is a closer relationship with Jesus.  When I was asking my "why's" to the Lord, He showed me Job 40:2a- Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? 


I'm having to learn that the why's don't matter, but that His judgments and timing are perfect.  With the why's I was telling God how to do His job.  Not my place.  Just my place to trust.  


That's where I'm at, I will elaborate more as the Lord leads.  
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."-Matthew 7:7

Image courtesy of Bliss Photography

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rest

The day is hectic.  Rain off and on for days can make things feel a little closed in.  While I'm thankful for the rain, I'm ready to go back out into the world.

I get my opportunity and it starts raining yet again.  I come home feeling slightly defeated.  My daughter is sleepy, I am too.  I go put her in her crib for a nice afternoon nap and she cries.  She keeps crying.

I go back to her and think, "you are tired, just rest already".  The conditions are perfect for a nap: rainy weather, light thunder, dark afternoon, cozy sleeping arrangement.  What else do you need?

I begin to rock her and hold her like a little baby.  The baby she no longer is.  I'm holding a toddler.  She drifts off and I don't really notice because I'm rocking and singing.  I look down and there is my little baby again.  Her weight, features, and length completely different, but the look is the same as the day she was born.  The look of peace, comfort, and rest.

How I remember those days rocking, nursing, or snoozing together on the couch when she was little.  Those times are few and far between now.  She wants her independence and most times fights to stay awake until she is in her own bed.  But looking at her peaceful countenance I flashback to one and half years ago and play all those memories back like a movie.  I cannot fathom the precious gift each one is.

I long to have that comfort, peace, and rest in my life.  It is free to obtain, but my independence is in the way.         I can run to my Father and lay in His lap, but I don't.  I fight to stay awake.  I fight to handle things my own way.

Why can't I rest?  He knows I'm tired and the conditions are perfect:  I'm thirsty for the Word, I have wounds that need healing, and I want to know Him more.  Why do I think I know better?

He longs for me to rest in His arms.  To see peace wash over my face.  To know that I know that I'm protected, safe, and completely comfortable in His presence.  Yet I don't.  Stubborn as a mule, I don't budge closer than I dare.

Am I afraid? Sometimes.  Do I trust Him? Yes and no.  I'm sometimes afraid that if I trust Him, He will give me more sorrow or anguish than I can bear.  So I hold Him at an arms length.  And for that I'm sorry Lord.

I look down at my daughter again and I think of how she trusts me wholeheartedly.  I know that the feelings she has for me are a picture of what I should have for the Lord.  And the love I feel for her is just a fraction of what the Lord feels for us.  I want to be wholeheartedly trusting of the Lord.  Even now, my heart breaks at just the thought of loving on the level I need to love.  I long for it as He longs for my heart.

Zoe asleep on Mommy, 1 Month
I know He won't leave me where I am.  "He won't relent until He has it all."  Remove the things that hinder love, Lord.  I want to dance after You with joy, fall into Your arms and rest in perfect peace.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Week 15: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 25

We are slowly but surely making it back to the right path.  We ate out twice this week which is getting closer to the mark.

We learned a lot this week through warfare, repentance, and pressing.  

1.  Things will come at you when you least expect.  The enemy can attack in any way, shape, or form.  
2.  Eating your emotions is not a healthy way to deal with your circumstance (one of the times we ate out).  
3.  Close friends and family are priceless!  A friend who will pray for you is invaluable.
4.  There is a definite need for people who will mirror a healthy, honest image of you back to yourself.  If you have mud on your face and you don't have a mirror who will tell you?  A true friend.
5.  Meditate on the Lord's thoughts for you and no one else's.  
6.  Bitterness hinders revival (and miracles).  Turn from it, repent, and you will see true freedom.
7.  A snippet from the message at church today:  Prayer and fasting is not a substitute for obedience.  (Will expand on that in a little bit).
8.  There is no Junior Holy Spirit.  Some kids will blow you away with their knowledge and wisdom.
9.  You don't know your strength until you are tested.
10.  Envy causes the Lord to crush the object of envy in order to produce compassion. (Finished up reading Envy by Bob Sorge.  LOTS of wisdom and revelation!)

We have so much to learn about God's will.  That's the ultimate lesson this week.  

As for the snippet from the message- The revelation is that we can fast and pray but if we are not obedient, then the fasting and praying won't produce what we are desiring.  The Lord cannot move without obedience.  
Another pastor wrote on his facebook status:  "If your intentions don't lead to obedience then your good intentions are just hidden rebellion"-Luke Holter.  Yikes!  So I'm really rebelling when I don't walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit.  How many times have I said, "Lord, I will get to it" and never really do.  So today, I'm restarting this whole thing.  

As I'm walking out obedience, I'm contending for many things, but mostly I contend for a transformed life.  A life that brings glory to God.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Week 14: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 24

This week was somewhat better, but we are still off track.  All three of us came down with a bug.  Daughter-Ear infection, Husband-Strep Throat, Me-Pink eye that turned into bronchitis (huh?).  So this week was more about convenience than anything.

However, I did conquer the storage room purge so YAY!  Got alot done around the house too.  In between coughing fits I would clean until I got too tired.  Then sit for a little bit.  So our house is looking pretty good at the moment.  Which makes me feel pretty good mentally.  Clutter everywhere makes me insane.

Also, yesterday we visited the lovely new Trader Joe's in our area for the first time.  LOVE IT!  I think this will be instrumental in getting us back on track.  We have been spending lots of money on fresh organic food at the store and here comes Trader Joe's with fresh organic food at a much lower price.  Hooray!

Onward we march!  Have a great Sunday tomorrow everyone!

Zoe touching the cheetah statue at the Zoo.  That's one big kitty cat!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Naturally Frugal, pt. 1

For the past year or so, I have been experimenting with natural cleaners, health, and beauty products.  It was mostly born out of my vehement dislike of bleach (the smell makes me sick), the concern about what our cleaners do to our bodies, and the desire to spend a lot less at the grocery store.

Lots of research and prayer has gone into this.  It was really a 180 from where I used to be.  All this organic, natural business was "hippy dippy crap" in my opinion a few years ago.  (Sorry for the use of crap, I'm trying not to but I needed it for emphasis.  Sorry again for using it twice.)

As of now, I make our own laundry soap, all purpose cleaner, dish detergent, window cleaner, grease cutter cleaner, soft scrub, and some beauty masks for myself.  I also want to try making our own soap, lotion, sunscreen, bug repellent (personal and household), and deodorant.  I'm going to try to include a recipe a week so you can see what we have been up to.

This week I will talk about our All Purpose Cleaner.

Recipe:
- 3 Tablespoons vinegar
- 1/2 Teaspoon washing soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon castile soap
- 2 Cups hot water

- A few drops of essential oil for scent and disenfectant properties (make sure it is very diluted.  Too much can harm the spray mechanism.)

This ingredients for this 409 replacement cost about 20 dollars up front, but you can use them many, many times and in other recipes.  I love Lavender scented castile soap and lavender essential oil for the antibacterial and antiviral properties.  All in all, I would say it's about $1.50 for a very large bottle (4 cup bottle).  And it lasts forever!  Ok, not forever, but a really long time.  I have three huge bottles: one in each bathroom and one in the kitchen.

A lot of my recipes and tips I have found on Pinterest.  That site has EVERYTHING!  Some I already knew from grandparents teaching.

I hope that I can pass on any tips and tricks to help your family stay healthy and stretch your dollar.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

Hello all,

Happy Independence Day!  Hope you are spending it with the ones you love and in the manner you choose. We are home (for the most part) still recovering from illness.  Hubster has strep throat, Zoe has an ear infection, and I have pink eye.  We have been on antibiotics for a couple of days so it's getting better and we hope to be able to rejoin the world tomorrow.  We are sad that our plans were sidelined, but we know the Lord is using this to teach us something.  We are praying for revelation.  


I'm also praying for revelation for this upcoming political year.  Lord reveal to me what you would have me seek you for this year.  I need peace about the way our country is going.  I'm praying for our nation to turn and seek you.  To repent from wickedness and proclaim righteousness over our land.  To go back to the beginning when this land loved You.  


God bless America through her collective repentance and submission to You.  Lord show America what it truly means to be the "land of the FREE and home of the BRAVE."

Pray with us for our nation.

Blessings,

The Niemeyers


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Encouragement in the nick of time

Yes, I just posted, but I just read a blog post from David Wilkerson's Devotionals that his son keeps updated after he went to be with the Lord.  It's called Hunter and you can read it here.

Seeing as how I have felt so beaten up by satan lately this really helped.  He hunts us down because of God's love for us.  We have the authority to make him flee!  So right now "I claim the Blood of Jesus over our lives!"  Hear that satan, time to go!

Week 13: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 23

So yeah, this week was not much better.  =(  I have learned though that in our "busiest" months, we need to plan, plan, plan.  I feel brokenhearted, but I know I will get back on track.

Tomorrow starts a new chapter in the journey.  That means diving back in and going deeper than before.  We are going to purpose to eat right and not spend anymore.

As of now, we have gone off the deep end with eating out and need to get back to the beginning.  We are resubmitting to the Lord's will for our lives.  The comfort I have is knowing He is moved by our repentance.  He is so faithful even in our disobedience.

To date we have paid off around $2,500 worth of debt.  We have the two credit cards and the two items of debt on my credit report to pay.  Of course there are the student loans, but those are going to be around for awhile and we have peace about that at the moment.

This has been a hard fought battle in our lives and we are ready to defeat this once and for all.

This quote spoke to me this evening:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." Teddy Roosevelt


I feel like we have been in the arena the past few months and have been slugging it out.  There has been tons of grace and freedom from temptation which we are so thankful for, but the past 3 weeks have been so tough.  I feel like we were knocked down and we kept trying to stumble back up, but would be knocked down by the slightest breeze.  

I'm tired of being satan's punching bag!  He only has the power that we allow him to have.  Which by our disobedience, he was having a field day.  If there is no ground for him to stand on, then he has no right to our lives.  We need to get back in the game, reclaim our ground and stand it.

At VBS, the theme this year was Daniel's courage in Babylon.  Daniel had the courage to stand firm for the Lord.  I want to have that same stance.  I don't want to soften my stance at the first sign of stress.  Our chant this year was "S-T-A-N-D, I will stand won't bend my knee".  I'm done bowing to food and money.  It's time to stand up and move on from this.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Less is more: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 22

Today I decided "this is it! I'm going to buckle down and do it!"  What is this it?  It's reorganizing and cleaning out our storage room.  Our fourth bedroom has been deemed the storage room.  We have excess craft stuff, medical supplies, food storage, and emergency preparedness stuff in there.  Basically anything that we need to store in a more climate controlled environment, i.e. not the attic or garage.

I was going through all this stuff and thinking, man how did it get like this?  I mean the room was a mad house.  I have not been able to touch it in months.  Between busyness and the crushing "where do I start" feeling, it was just easier to shut the door and walk on.

This room has been the bane of my existence for the past few months.  I call it our hub of chaos.  The chaos spills out into the rest our home, making it a cluttered mess. When we can't get to the shelves in the room, the overflow takes up residence wherever it may land in the rest of the house.  Remember our tiny kitchen?  Well our tiny kitchen has a tiny pantry and right now our tiny pantry looks ridiculous because the majority of that stuff should be on the shelves in the storage room.  Which then leaves a bunch of stuff to gather on the kitchen counter because there is no more room in the pantry.  And the cycle just keeps going.  

The accumulation of stuff over time is overwhelming.  Do we need it all?  Could we bless someone with it?  Then the, but-what-if-I-need-its starts.  You never know when a huge case of stamp ink pads is going to come in handy.

In reality, will I need 5 million (exaggeration) sticker letters for projects I truly don't intend to do for years?  Could I get rid of it, then buy new ones in the future?  Most likely yes.  

A wise friend once said "if you want to see a picture of someone's spiritual life, look at their garage".  Well our garage in this instance is our storage room.  We have been dumping things in there that we don't want to deal with "right now" and shut the door.  Out of sight, out of mind.  We have done that with so many issues in our own hearts.  "Well I will work on that later."  "I'll get to that when I have more time."

I told my husband a few weeks ago that our storage room is a reflection of our hearts and he asked how so. Well we can tidy up the area that everyone sees, but we throw as much overflow back into the room and shut the door when company comes.  That way no one sees our mess (our sin).  Those things that nag at us, but we are afraid to admit them openly.  Then the but-what-if-its-too-hard-to-change starts.

We are holding onto things we can give to the Lord and be delivered from, but it's so comfortable to hold onto it because it's all we have known.  Sometimes our thought processes and even sin can be comfortable to the point of routine.  We keep tripping over the same stuff because we are afraid of a new way.  This way seems easier because it's what I've always done or been taught to do.

So as I'm cleaning and purging this area of our house, I'm asking the Lord to highlight the junk in my heart that I need to get rid of.  What can be pruned so that new abundant fruit can grow?  What is keeping me from the fullness of my destiny?  Lord reveal it in Jesus name!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

7 Things I Have Learned From My Daughter

Over the past year and a half, I have learned so much.

1.  Having a toddler is scary.  I feel like I may have a heart attack at any moment.  She likes to take risks like walking on the couch, climbing on things she shouldn't, sneaking up behind me and yelling, even her toys are scary.  Just the other day, I was putting away her toys and pushed down on stuff to make more room.  All of a sudden I hear a muffled "Hello, I love you".  This is in the middle of the night and it's just me at home with my daughter asleep in her room.  I almost jumped out of my skin!  It was just her Leap Frog dog toy.  Nothing sounds more evil than a little giggly toy "sweetly" saying "I love you" in the middle of the night.  That's the stuff horror movies are made of.

2.  Your child will reflect the stuff you don't like about yourself and make you deal with it.  I can be super stubborn and defiant when I want to be.  Well so can my daughter.  She wants what she wants, when she wants it.  Sadly I say about myself "I want things done yesterday".  Geeze Louise! You mean I have to deal with my own stubbornness in order to deal with my daughter's?  I know that if I want her to have righteous characteristics I must lead by example.

3.  Having a toddler can be painful.  I mean physically painful.  Stepping on sharp hard plastic toys, slaps, kicks, head butts, tripping you up because they are right under your feet.  I think I need full on hockey gear just to make it through the day sometimes.  It doesn't help that I'm super clumsy on top of it all.

4.  Having a child highlights the selfishness in your heart. If you look at your life pre-child, you will see what you spent your time and money on.  Yourself.  Doing the things you want to do, buying the things you want to buy, hanging out whenever and wherever you want.  Not so much with a kid in the mix.  Now it's thinking of others before yourself.  It's making sure a more meaningful agenda is met before your own.

5.  Dealing with your kid's gross stuff is different than dealing with someone else's kids gross stuff.  I'm talking mucous, puke, spit up, blow outs, etc.  I'm not easily squeamish.  I don't faint at the sight of blood nor do I gag if someone is having digestive distress.  Snot is my Achilles Heel.  It makes me gag. With my daughter it does not phase me a bit.  Oh here wipe your nose on my shirt honey, you have a boogie.  Another person's kid, don't touch me, your nose is runny.  I'm being overly dramatic of course, but you get my drift.  It's so funny how we can totally handle our own kid's gunk, but not someone else's.  Wonder what that is?

6.  It's cliche, but it's the most rewarding job in the world!  It's old, cheesy, and 100% true.  It's in the first time your baby says "I love you".  It's in seeing them grow and learn.  The first time I truly saw my daughter hear a new noise for the first time, I was deeply moved.  She was a few days old and nursing in the silence of her nursery.  Outside there was a bird chirping.  She stopped and turned her head to hear better.  I was in awe of this little life that is a clean slate, discovering everything for the first time.  I have a million more memories and moments that I cherish deeply and hold close to my heart.

7.  Motherhood has completely changed my world.   It is so amazing and I will take every bit of it even with the challenges that are presented everyday.  I want to raise godly children who seek Jesus and to serve others.  I want to see them grow and flourish.  I want to be the best helpmeet I can be to my husband.  4+ years ago these things were nowhere near on my list of "wants".  My wants were so ridiculous and self serving.  Now I have a new set of wants and I'm so thankful.

Zoe in the bounce house at her cousin's birthday party. 

Weeks 11 & 12: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 21

...Or as I like to call it, falling off the wagon.  Yes, we failed to plan the past two weeks.  In week 11 we ate out here and there because we were so busy.  Week 12 was ridiculous.  We had VBS and ate out 4 of the 5 days. Ugh! One of those times was Chic-fil-a! Double ugh!

So where do we go from here?  We get back on the wagon and press on toward the goal.  The wagon doesn't leave us behind.  It waits for us to dust ourselves off and mount up and go on.  

We did learn some valuable lessons.  Next year, premade meals at home.  Something either in the crock pot or easily heated up.  There is no backing down again.  

We did however get to celebrate father's day at the Astros game this past Friday.  It was so much fun!  Zoe loved the game and the fireworks afterwards.  We couldn't have asked for a better night!

Sadly that's all I have for the past two weeks.  We were just so darn busy to do much of anything else.  


My two loves! I'm so glad she enjoyed watching Daddy's favorite sport!

Purity of the Body: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 20

This post could also be called "Guarding the Gates".  As in guarding the gates into your body which then leads to your soul, then onto your spirit.  This is eyes, ears, and mouth.  "Speak no evil, hear no evil, and see no evil."

Mouth
When we fail to capture thoughts, we speak what we feel rather than what we know.  We have knee jerk reactions and don't filter through a Biblical perspective.  "From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."-Matthew 12:34  "The power of life and death is in the tongue."-Proverbs 18:21  Are we speaking life over people or death?  When we use condemning words like "never", we are dooming that person in our own eyes and dooming ourselves to judgmental attitudes that are spirit crushing.

Another aspect of guarding our mouth is guarding what we are putting into it.  A few weeks ago, my husband and I watched a documentary about food and how the western diet destroys you from the inside. Through a plant based diet we can undo damage wrought by heavy meats and animal proteins.  Something resounded in our spirits when we saw this (hence the vegan announcement a few weeks ago).  So we have taken steps on the journey.  We look at Biblical examples throughout Genesis and Daniel and know this to be the right path for us.  If we are going for purity we want it on the cellular level!

Ears
Oh be careful little ears what you hear.  We must be vigilant against false teaching and unfruitful things.  Faith comes by hearing.  What you listen to, increases your faith.  But what faith is increasing?  If you are listening to self promoting, moral relativistic jibber jabber, you will only produce a boastful spirit.  If you are listening to gossip, slander, and bitterness, your faith in your own self sufficiency will increase.  If you are listening to Truth, you will wash yourself in holiness and increase your faith in the Lord.

I know that when my daughter hears us, she repeats us.  As a 1.5 year old, she has picked up the words, "no", "don't" and "stop" because those are said all the time.  When we are told or hear something over and over we begin to repeat it then believe it.  I only want what is pure, righteous, and holy to be repeated and believed in my spirit.

Eyes
One of the easiest ways to allow sinful influence into your life.  The vast majority of people operate visually. It's easy for a visual image to roll around in our brain all day, doing damage.  How do we guard what we see in a society inundated with sinful images?  For us, it was getting rid of TV.  Internet is difficult for us too.  Sometimes staring at the screen is so mind numbing that it feels like you are taking a break from the stresses of life.  It's taking time away from what we need to be looking at, the face of God.

So at the end of all of this, am I seeing, speaking, eating, hearing things that will kill me physically and spiritually or give me life?  I can say I'm not anywhere near the "give me life" answer at this point in time.  I know that with discipline it will get better.  The path to purity starts here at the gates.  If I can begin here, the other's will be less hard.

Purity of the Soul: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 18

You know the saying "Speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil"?  (Not sure if they are in the right order) Well I'm going to add one, "think no evil".

What does that even mean, think no evil? How hard is it to purify your thought life?  To answer those two questions there are two answers:  1.)It means to capture your thoughts before your brain runs with it and 2.) leaning not on our own understanding and trusting the Lord's ways.  And yes it is very hard.

Defining impure thoughts.
Any thought that comes to prick the area of your heart and mind that causes you to stumble.  My sin has been laid out in small measures in the past few posts.  I sin with food.  But also several other things that I will share in the future.

Capturing your thoughts
I was looking through some old notes from a women's group I was in.  One line said "the mind set on flesh is hostile to God."  All the thoughts that I struggle with on a daily basis are about me.  Me me me me me me.  I want that food item that's bad for me.  Why did that person say that to me?  What does he/she mean by it?  What did I do wrong?   I want you to do that the way I want you too.  Etc.  I get so sick of me!

How do you capture thoughts?  When something pops up, think of the Truth.  It may take a million and two times before it goes away, but it will go away.  I sometimes struggle with old ugly memories (see last purity post) and I wrestle with them.  When those things come up, I speak the Truth that I'm saved, redeemed, and made clean.  Be gone, in Jesus name! When insecurity pops up, the Truth is that the Lord made me wonderfully and He loves me.  The Creator of the Universe loves me!  Kinda overwhelming.

Trusting the Lord
As these things pop up I typically try to work out on my own.  Which leads to failure.  Why? Because I'm leaning on my own understanding.  I think the Bible says explicitly not to do that!

After all is said and done and I've exhausted my thought process by letting my imagination run rampant, I look to the Lord.  Why didn't I do this from the beginning?  Because of trust.  Do I trust God as much as I need to? If He has an answer for everything and will work things for the good of His people, why can't I lay down my own understanding about things and give it to the Lord?  Do I think I know better?

The reality of it is, I do think I know better.  Not conciously, but subconciously.  That is a thought I would never have at the forefront of my mind.  When I place trust in myself over the Lord, I'm telling the Lord, it's ok, I got this.

Trust is a very soulish battle waged in "logic", which is past experiences, facts and figures taught by human teachers, and the culture you live in.  Logic is focused on the here and now.  Trust is focused on eternity.  Peace comes from an eternal perspective.

When we get these two areas, trust and capturing thoughts, in submission to your spirit, you become freer and freer.  It will take awhile because it always does.  I always feel like I'm at the beginning until I come to something that makes me look back to how far I've come.

For me it was this past week at VBS.  I was so worried about temptation and wrestling with memories, but the Lord is so gentle and good that He showed me "look, it's not even there anymore".  What a freedom!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Week 10: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 19

Has it been ten weeks?  Hmmmm...

I wanted to talk first about one draw back to eating at home, every meal, every day.  Dishes.  Lots of dishes.  And a messy kitchen.  All the time.  If we don't stay right on top of it, it gets insane.  We have a very small kitchen so it's easy for it to get out of hand.  A messy or cramped kitchen can be a big deterrent when you are trying to cook or prepare every meal at home.  Any suggestions on time saving methods to keep a constantly used small kitchen clean?

All in all every dirty dish is worth it! Abundantly worth it.

By not eating out unless on a special occasion we have been able to pay off around $2,000 worth of debt in two and a half months!  What a huge blessing!  It feels great to have that weight off our shoulders for sure.  All it took was a little obedience.  And lots of grace and favor!  Our part in all this is very minuscule when compared to the Lord's great works.

Funny little story about a debt that we paid on Friday.  So we were praying as to which bill to pay off.  We have two medical bills from the last year and a half that are not a negative mark on our credit score, three that are already on my credit score from years ago, and two credit cards (one small and one large).  So we both felt we should pay off the higher medical debt.  I start looking for the number and lo and behold the creditor called me in the middle of my search. Hahahahaha.  Funny when that happens.

On the flip side of that coin, we were kicking ourselves Friday night.  We went to celebrate my mom's birthday with her, which meant a meal out.  Well we failed to plan properly and had to get something for lunch as well.  Two meals out in one day.  Ugh!!!  Goodbye money, hello heartburn.  That was a big kick in the pants to make sure we are always prepared.  My grandmother used to say "failing to plan is planning to fail."  So true!

It was a great testament to how our paradigm has shifted over the last ten weeks though.  We would not have thought twice about eating out twice in a day 3 months ago.  We now felt awful.  Definitely don't want to do that again!

After the pool at Nene's house
As we enter the 11th week, we have gone to a new depth with our food fast.  We are walking more steadily toward the Levitical diet and have made steps to eat vegan.  Yes, eat vegan.  Some of you may be having a heart attack right now.  I apologize.  ;-)

We are weaning ourselves off meat, dairy and eggs.  We will have meat at holidays and special occasions, but our diet will consist of a very small percentage of animal protein.

Pretty eventful week huh?  I would say so.  I will publish the other two portions of my purity posts soon.

Purity of the Spirit: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 17

A few weeks ago I posted that the husband and I had gone on a date.  This is pretty rare for us, but if we ever want to go to a movie we try to work it out to go back to our college town and go to the theater there.  Because it is SUPER cheap.  Especially matinees.

So we went to a movie, enjoyed our time together, and then drove around our old stomping grounds to reminisce.  We saw our old dorms, apartments, hangouts, etc.  I started having mixed emotions about everything.  I look fondly on some of those things, but mostly I felt shame.

We were not saved in college and were very worldly.  We lived together prior to marriage.  I was promiscuous, into witchcraft, drank heavily, and many other things that grieve the heart of the Lord.  The list is so long.  I was feeling very unclean because of my memories.

I began praying on my inner man, asking the Lord "if we desire purity, how do we get there when we have been in this disgusting hole?"  I have all these memories of impurity, how in the world do I attain purity?  Psalm 24:3-4 says "Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts." Well Lord, my heart is not pure.  Just look at what I've done!  I have defiled myself in many ways.  How could I ever ascend the hill of the Lord?

The Lord spoke to me and said "it's never too late for purity."  He began revealing to me how He can recreate ANYTHING.  He also showed me that the key to purity is forgiveness.  Not just His, but also our own.

Forgiveness comes when we ask for it and turn from our wicked ways.  The Lord then throws out that record of our wrongdoing.  We on the other hand keep a running tally.  We beat ourselves up over and over.  We in turn never forgive ourselves which binds the hand of the Lord from forgiving us (Luke 6:37).  We put ourselves in a shame cycle that can be broken with the one thing that we don't want to do.  Forgive ourselves for our past wrongs.

Then we can see true freedom on the path to purity.  We can break the chains of bondage and begin to not hold all these mistakes against ourselves.  What we once saw as impurity and defilement can now be grafted into our testimony as the marking points of God's glory in our lives.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Week 9: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 16

We made it through 9 weeks.  I can't believe it either!  

Yet another hard week.  Harder than the previous week.  Mostly because there was a lot of turmoil and warfare this week.  A couple of extended family members were in the hospital this week.  Lots of intercession and calling and checking and not sure if we need to go visit right now...  It was crazy.  Great report at the end of the week though because both people are doing really well!  Praise the Lord!

I have learned this week that cooking for your family (just like any other "chore") is a sacrifice.  Do I like cleaning? No.  Do I like a clean house? Yes.  So when I put away my selfish attitude of "why can't you do it" or "I just don't want to" and put on a joyful countenance, I'm dying to my flesh and that is pleasing to the Lord.  He delights in sacrifice no matter what the circumstance, be it monetary, physical, emotional, attitude, or time.  

So I'm learning a lot about sacrifice this week as I move into this new arena (see previous post) and how it requires submission.  

Overall update- 9 weeks (starting week 10 tomorrow).  Out to eat meals:  4 (1 bridal shower, 2 mother's day outings, and 1 visit with family this week after a hospital visit).  Meals cooked or prepared at home: 185 (not including snacks).  

There are a few more testimonies I can't wait to share, but it's not time yet.  I can't wait!  Have a blessed week everyone!
This kid is so cute!  This was a month or so ago and she already looks different.  How is that possible?

Submission: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle pt.15

I have been struggling with this for a long time.  Not only is food a problem, I have a more specific problem the Lord is addressing.  Sugar.  I LOVE SUGAR!

The Lord has been trying to get me to stop slowly killing myself for a long time, but I have had the hardest time saying no to myself.  Thus far on the journey, I have been able to confidently say "Jesus, I love You more!" when it comes to eating fast food or at a restaurant, not spending a crazy amount of money for stuff we don't need, and various things.  Sweets is my Achilles Heel.  I still use my allowance money to get junk.  So basically I'm saying "cake, I love you more", "candy bars, I love you more", "Dr. Pepper, I love you more", etc...

My heart wants to submit everything to Him.  And it seems so odd that a sweet snack would be my stumbling block.  It seems so small when I look at it with logical eyes, but when I'm upset or stressed, sugar is my comfort.  How silly does that seem?  The Lord should be my comfort.  Why can't I get this one right?

I need a lot of time with the Lord for this one.  Being obedient in the food arena has been a huge deal to my husband and me.  We have had such grace and favor.  I'm asking the Lord to pour it out more as we go further.  I won't make it without it.

My husband and I have been discussing these past few months and how we would not be this far without the Lord's guidance and grace.  We talk about how we would have failed under our own strength.  So as I move into this new arena, I'm gonna need some serious support.

I will be totally honest, I'm having a problem publishing this post as I'm highly embarrassed by this subject matter and feel absolutely ridiculous for struggling with this.  But to that I say "get thee behind me satan!"

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memory: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 13

A couple of weeks ago at the teacher's meeting at church, our pastor talked about a sermon he saw on the internet about what it takes to have revival in your community.  In it the teacher talked about having the memory of a miracle versus an imagination about one happening.

What would it be like if we all had memories of miraculous healings, people being raised from the dead, lives changed forever under an open heaven?  The thought makes me shudder with excitement.

The next Sunday, Mother's Day, pastor talked about and showed the clip of the video he had talked to us about a few days prior.  It was so powerful!  The small spark of excitement now was bursting in my heart longing to see these things through the filter of memory instead of imagination.

I can honestly say I never thought of myself as "healthy".  I told a friend recently, I don't know what a healthy day looks like.  A day free of pain, stomach issues, headaches, nagging tiredness.  I have a mountain of medical debt that we are chipping away at from when I was in college.  I was in the hospital or doctors office every week sometimes 2-3 times per week, for over 6 months.

We had an altar call for the moms.  Pastor asked us to ask the Lord for the memory instead of the imagination of what we were seeking Him for. I wept long and hard.  I want to know what it's like to be healthy.  I don't want to wonder what a healthy day looks like.  I cried out to the Lord to heal me.  I have been healed by the Lord before so I know what it's like to have a memory of a miraculous healing.  It is indescribable!  But I want the fullness.  You can read some portions of the story HERE, HERE and HERE.

I know the Lord did not set me hear to be in pain, He set me here to have life and life abundant.  I have memories, but I want more.  I want to see lives radically altered.  I want to see demons flee.  I want to feel the presence of the Lord fall on a city and see it transform EVERYTHING!  I want these things ingrained in my mind and not a wistful imagining of someday.

What are longing to see become a memory?


Week 8: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 14

This week was hard.  I mean really really hard.  It was a loose spending week.  We didn't adhere to our allowances very well.  We treated ourselves way too much.  Lots of little things add up over time. Thank the Lord it wasn't so bad that we had already spent our paycheck, like we used to.

We do have many great financial testimonies from this week though.  May was an odd month paycheck wise.  We ended up having a check that wasn't specifically designated for anything in particular.  That is a first!  First time ever that we could sit down and really allocate funds to digging out of debt and fixing stuff up around the house.

We have a long list of medical debt (mine from college), house repairs, and other things here and there that we have on our plate.  A lot of the house stuff is technically a need, but if it functions even a little, we will wait till we have more money.

Well, with this paycheck we knocked a couple of projects (supplies that is) off the list, paid the 2 remaining bills for the month, got a tire because we were riding on the donut, paid 3 co-pays before they went to collections, 1 debt item off my credit report from a few years ago, got a new DVD player because the last one was broken, got a pool membership for our neighborhood pool, and actually had a date night for the first time in months!

Can you believe it?  All that and we still have some left over.  We are trying to figure out what to do with the rest.  Save half for a bigger house project and use the other half to payoff another bill?  Use all of it to pay off a bill?  Use all of it to complete a house project?  Save all of it?  We are praying for guidance on this one for sure.  We don't want to be foolish and every option we have discussed seems like it would be a wise choice.  It's wise to save it, it's wise to pay off debt, it's wise to get our house in order.  Just which one is the best?  We have no idea.

Oh and another praise report, the tire that we had budgeted into our spending only cost us around $17!  It was under warranty!!!! Hallelujah!

This is my step-dad hanging out with Zoe.  They just love each other.  If he is around, Mommy and Daddy are chopped liver.  Which is totally fine with me.  I love how they love each other!

Lesson learned this week:  Freedom comes out of obedience and submission.  Freedom can come in many forms and we are seeing the freedom in our finances.  We are not eating our money the way we used to even though this was a hard week.  The Lord had such grace for us and this just gives us encouragement to dive back in, resubmit and press on toward the goal which is the Lord's presence.

Shift: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 12

The tides are changing around here.

Throughout this fast the Lord is pouring out revelation about where our lives are headed.  A long time ago the Lord showed us what our fasted life would look like, but it has taken a long time to be obedient.  We were in some pretty heavy rebellion about it.

About three years ago, the Lord showed us what our fasted diet would be.  It is the Levitical diet laid out about what is good to eat and what isn't.  Of course back then we tried to jump in cold turkey and it failed miserably. We weren't ready.

About two years ago, He showed us where our lives were headed as in where we are going to live.  It's in the country living off the land in community with others.  This vision has had to unfold slowly, but the burning desire in our hearts to live this out is now at a fever pitch.  Every time we drive out to visit friends or family or watch a movie with people living in the country we want it so bad we can taste it.  We aren't ready.

About that same time, He showed us our what financial freedom looked like.  What it would mean to be debt free.  We couldn't even wrap our brains around what that it would be like to not have to worry about creditors calling.  It felt as if the weight of loans, medical debt, and credit cards would crush us.  We weren't ready.

I can now see what the Lord has been doing these past few years.  He has slowly shifted us into position to handle each aspect of the life He wants us to lead.  We are becoming more obedient and disciplined.  We are becoming harder workers.  We are becoming more frugal.  We are letting go of things that have hindered our progress in the past.  We are becoming ready.

I know now why things don't happen over night.  Why we can't live the vision the second we get it.  We have to be prepared.  We have to shift our way of thinking to line up with the Word.  We have to be equipped with the tools we will need.  The things we have tried to live out too quickly we have failed at.  The Lord had to bring us to a place of total dependence on Him.  In this place, He is giving us our armor for battle.  He is the one supplying absolutely everything.

In this place of dependence, we walk under His covering.  He is showing us that we have full authority as long as we are under His covering.  When we step out too soon or to the wrong place we get some pretty heavy consequences.  So some areas we are finally moving forward in (financial and food) and some we are having to back track to get back on the right path.

I have had to let go of something I wanted so desperately.  I said goodbye to the crafting business for the time being.  I was spinning my wheels getting nowhere.  What I'm commissioned to do is to raise my daughter and be a homemaker at the moment.

I know the vision of a craft business won't die because I believe that is another step in the journey, but I think I stepped out into it too soon.  I wanted it to be now and my impatience cost us a lot.  It costs me so much time with my daughter, health, and a sizeable chunk of change.

Do I regret it?  No, because there was so much I needed to learn and apparently this was the only way I could learn it.  Trial and error.

So now I'm shifting my focus.  I'm looking to the Lord to guide my steps.  I don't want to be like the child that's so excited to get to where they're going that they run out into traffic only to get hit by a bus, all the while my parent (the Lord) was telling me to stop.  Graphic I know, but that's what came to me.

I feel like I have let a weight off my chest just typing this out.  Whew!

Kindred Spirit: My best friend's bridal shower

Do you have a best friend in the entire world?  One that has been with you through thick and thin?  One that is both your longest and closest friend?  Well I have one and she just happens to be my cousin.  I was 6 almost 7 when she was born and we have been best friends ever since.  BFF's from the womb, lol.



































The theme of the shower was "Sew in Love" and was based on the paraphrased anecdote about love being like a piece of fabric.  "A wise pastor once said at a wedding that a marriage is like a piece of fabric.  A plain piece of fabric is prone to unraveling at the edges, just like any marriage.  What holds a piece of fabric together is the “little stitches” that hem the edges.  The “little stitches” are the little ways you love each other that prevents your marriage from unraveling.  Always remember to love one another in the small, everyday moments that seem so insignificant at the time because when you look back in 50 years you will see that those little ways and moments hemmed your marriage and held your hearts together."  I heard this at a wedding a few years ago and just thought about how true a statement that is.  

It's very hard to put into words how much I love this girl!  Or how happy I am for her.  Literally, I'm usually really good at expressing myself via the written word, but words fail me.  I'm so privileged to be her matron of honor and I wish her nothing but joy in her life and marriage.  Love you Jennifer! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Week 7: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 11

Instead of Week 7, this could be called Chaos in a Bottle.  I had a very full week preparing for my cousin's bridal shower (will post separately about that) that we had a lot of quick pre-made meals.  I'm not a fan of that, but we had to do what we had to do.  =/

On Tuesday I had to run errands out of town for the shower, so I had to take my husband to work as we share a car.  Yes we have only one car.  Yes it is challenging.  So many people ask me, how does that work?  You just make it work.

Well on our way to drop him off, he realized he forgot his lunch and we are running late.  Frustration!!! I was plotting in my brain ok, I will run here, here and here, and speed back by this time and bring you something.  The thought stressed me out, but I had purposed to be able to make it back.  He called a little later while I was out and said that he still had his allowance and would have a co-worker pick him up something.  This relieved the time constraint stress.  Plus I was able to visit with some friends in their area that I hadn't been able to come out and visit for a little bit longer.  =)

The rest of the week was so busy it just flew by.  We went to our friends house for a small group gathering on Friday.  We are on month 2 of trying to meet once a month for dinner and fellowship.  It is so great!  We left late and had to drive to my parents' house so I could stay the weekend.  The shower was being held in their area and I had stuff to accomplish down there the day before the shower.

Saturday while running errands I decided to take my mom out for a belated Mother's Day lunch since we didn't get to see each other the day of.  She wouldn't let me pay and got the ticket before me which frustrates me.  Love you Mom, but let me bless you for a change! Lol.  We went to one of our all time favorite places in my hometown.

Well after over 7 weeks and 6 days of eating out only once and the previous place was not very greasy, you can imagine what I was in for.  I felt awful most of the afternoon.  You see, I have acid reflux and gastroparesis.   See a few posts that I imported from my Adventures in Eating blog for the full story.  Basically I don't digest food well.  Especially greasy food.  I was in some serious pain.  So in the future our "special occassion" days will not be the food we once loved and would crave.  We have stayed away from truly bad-for-us food for so long now that we can't go back without some major consequences.  Which is a blessing in disguise.  So thanks Lord!

The bridal shower on Sunday was great! So glad I got to see my favorite lady have so much love displayed for her.  Seeing those closest to you be happy makes you happy as well.  So I left a busy week/weekend with a big smile on my face.  There are two other posts from this past week that I will share so stay tuned.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bloggy News

I've combined my two blogs Adventures in Eating and The Fasted Life (formerly Galatians 5:22-23) into one.  Trying to have a singular focus.  I will continue the Adventures in Eating, but as a series not it's own blog.  Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Week 6: Our journey to the fasted lifestyle, pt. 10

Week 6 has been tough! This post will probably read like I'm all over the place, but it is kinda update-y.

I have noticed a cycle with ourselves and our daughter.  First off, our daughter will be super happy baby for a week to two weeks, then for like 3 or 4 days she is the moodiest little one ever.  Fussy, throwing fits, does not want to be away from us even for a second.  So we started the week off that way.  When she is like this it makes it difficult to get anything accomplished.  It really put a damper on wanting to cook.  My desire to get fast food was through the roof!  She came out of her funk mid-week.

The cycle that I noticed with ourselves is that we were slowly replacing out to eat with "quick, small trips" to the  grocery store.  We would go get something that we needed accompanied by a few things that we didn't.  Which would tally up in our bank account.  So we had to put our foot down.  Two trips per paycheck which is essentially once a week.  If we don't have it, we don't have it.  It makes it more pressing to really go over your menu and see what you have before you go.

Yesterday (Friday) was the night we celebrated Mother's Day.  My husband works Sundays so we celebrated early.  He has been conspiring with a friend's husband for a few weeks.  He told me over a week prior that there was a surprise and to prepare myself, we are going out to eat for the first time in 6 weeks and 5 days.  EEEEP!!!!

I started crying.  Yes, I did.  Sad I know.  I told him, I'm not sure I'm ready for this.  Can't I just cook for everyone?

You see, I don't handle sudden change well.  When it's thrust on me, I tend to stress.  So he totally did the right thing telling me early to get my panic out of the way.  It also gives me time to accept and pray about it.  It doesn't seem like a big deal to most, but to us, with our commitment to the Lord it really is.  But it did meet our one requirement for eating out, it has to be a special occasion.  And Mother's Day is special right?

Trust me I'm painfully aware that I was not very nice to my husband about this.  I didn't yell or anything, but my turmoil upset him because he was doing a sweet thing for me.  I felt awful!  I also had to clarify, that if I say the next day that "let's just get donuts or Whataburger" that he will have to firmly tell me no.  What I feared most was the slippery slope which I think is easier to fall into if it's fast food rather than a restaurant.

We went out last night and it was awesome!  Dinner at a surf and turf place with our friends.  The guys had told us to dress in something we wouldn't mind getting dirty.  We had no idea what to expect.  We came up with various scenarios that it could be.  Survival obstacle course, gun range, diamond mining expedition, being dragged behind a boat, Hunger Games death match, etc.  Of course they were outlandish, lol.

We actually went to paint pottery with our little girls.  It was so much fun!  The husband and I did it when we went on vacation a few months ago and we loved it.  I painted an angel with Z's hand print.  It was so sweet.  We pick up our items in a week.  What a sweet Mother's Day gift and dinner with some great friends!  I just love my guy!

I do have a few items to share health wise.  Husband went to give blood for the first time in a while.  He used to do it all the time, but with the chaos of the past year it was hard to schedule anything.  When he went in his blood pressure was 120/80!  The last few times he went to the doctor it was elevated.  I think the previous one on record was 130/90.  Also his cholesterol was 206!!!!!  It has been high in the past and it has been on it's way down since we stopped eating out.  YAY!  We know that the fast isn't about health or weight loss, but there is a cause effect thing going on, plus the blessings of the Lord pouring out.  Basically you eat junk, you have high blood pressure and cholesterol.  You don't eat junk, you have lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

That's our lives for the last week.  Lots of ups and downs and ended on a high note.  Lord, thank You for my sweet family and friends who are kind, generous, and supportive!