Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy ME Day!! Last Year of my 30's...

Today has been such an amazing day! Here's why:
-Started my day with a walk and some great quiet time. 
-I was inundated with calls/texts/FB messages/emails and of course lots of love and affection from my family all day long. 
-I spent the better part of the morning being ridiculously productive at home. I know what you're work on your birthday? Really? Yes, really and I was thankful and happy to do it. 
-After dropping the kids at tutoring had some hubby time at the bucks and then did a little shopping. 
-Dinner with amazing friends followed by cake and ice cream. And just to brag on B, he went all out and ordered me a flourless cake (which was delish) and got me dairy free coconut ice cream. Am I blessed or what?
I love birthdays and believe everyone should do it up BIG no matter the age. I don't even know how to articulate just how thankful I am. Dare I say it, I am looking forward to next year. Its gonna be the biggest one yet and I'm excited I'll be sharing it with not only my hubby and three sons but hopefully a daughter too. God is good ALL the time. 

Absolute Randomness and Turning 29...AGAIN!

29 years ago plus 10 (hee hee) I was born. I was born during a time when dad's were not allowed back with their wives during delivery. WOW. That really makes me feel old. Especially since a mere 2 years later my dad was allowed back with my mom when my sister was born. 

This past weekend Brian took me to Raleigh for shopping, dining and basically chilling out. I don't ever want to take for granted my amazing husband. He is THE most selfless man I have every met. He is all about me and wanting things to always be perfect. And he isn't just like this on my birthday. I love Brian so much and am so thankful for a God fearing man who loves and leads his family. 

Today is such a great day and not just because its the anniversary of the day I was born. Its an amazing day because I am alive. I have family and friends. I am sustained by my creator daily. I am in awe of my God and the amazing life He allows me to lead. I love knowing I can't live one day without His awesome presence and how I never want to see anything else but His truth in my life. I am so thankful to be on this adoption journey and can't wait to enter this next phase. I am resting in His promises and praying daily not only for our journey but for all those I know also walking this road. He is able and He will do all He promised. 

Below are just a few random photos I pulled off my phone that I wanted to share but haven't made the time to blog about. Enjoy!

Jayden performed at a local coffee shack a couple of months back. He brought in quite the crowd of friends and we were so proud. He did very well. 

I took this picture of Jared and Rachel (his girlfriend) b/c I thought it was funny they were wearing similar socks. I am so out of it style wise. :0)

Jared and his adorable gf, Rachel.

The most recent pic of the boys. Jayden is the only one not taller than me but that is about to change. 

Brian's mom just visited and we took her to New Bern to see some sights. 

Brian and I. I just love this man more than I know how to express. 

Jackson and his basketball trophies. 

Jackson and his bball team. They won the league championship. We are so proud of him and well he does in basketball. 

Brian bought a jon (sp?)boat so he and the boys can go fishing on the creek behind our house. I think he's turning into a redneck. HAHA!

B and I redecorated our laundry room after inspiration found on pinterest. Laurie and I painted and he hung the cabinets, the shelf, made the laundry sorter and even picked the chandelier. He is so talented. 

When the boys and I were in Sarasota, FL we went and played Lunar Golf. We had fun!

My newest favorite addiction is Bananagrams. I make the boys play with me as often as they'll let me. 

It has been kind of an expensive year between the adoption and braces. Jackson gets his off in two months and Jayden just got his last week. Here are some funny pics while he was getting prepped. 

And finally just a funny one of me and B. This was Sunday morning. We were kid free for the second day in a row and loving it!!!!

See, I told you this post was totally random. One thing really had nothing to do with the other. I love it!!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Got Truth?

Hebrews 4:12

Amplified Bible (AMP)
12For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the [a]breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

New Living Translation (NLT)
12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Hebrews 4:12

English Standard Version (ESV)
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The last few months my personal prayer has included David's prayer found in Psalm 51:10. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. And asking God to expose my heart to me. I began praying this after hearing it in a sermon and the pastor challenging us to pray it. So I did. The pastor told us it was a dangerous prayer to pray and we better be ready if we were courageous enough to pray it with sincerity. I was. I wasn't scared. I was aware it would be painful at times. I was right.

The past few days have been a little rough emotionally, I was internalizing some stuff and just wasn't sure if my perspective was on target or way off. I just want to say I LOVE GOD! He always meets me where I am and even catches me off guard. His answers are always timely and He never ceases to amaze me. Case in point. This morning I was praying on the way to church. Truth: it was kind of a mundane prayer. Thank you for this day, thank you for my health yadda yadda yadda. Then I began to pray for all the leaders in the service I was about to attend and for all the people in attendance. For their hearts, eyes and ears to be open. Then, the scripture you see above came into my mouth and I wasn't really sure where it was found so I looked it up. Go and read it again.
This is a really powerful scripture. I mean really powerful. But here's the part that was for me. Just 30 minutes later as I was singing in church God brought the scripture back to me specifically the part about discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. God's truth does this. God's truth pierces and divides me and exposes the good, bad and ugly of my heart. But, and here's the best part, the nugget of gold. He doesn't do it to condemn me, or make me feel guilty, He does it to set me free!!!! He does it to bring life to the dead parts in me. Do you understand that? He exposes me, He takes His light and shines it in those dark places in my heart, the things in me that slow me down and make me ineffective for Him so that I can make the necessary changes and go shine the light of Jesus!
Want truth? Pray David's prayer and just watch God's truth be spread abroad in your heart!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The (COM)Plain Truth!

Its day 12. Things are going well. Well, things are going. I don't have time to be fake and unreal.

Yes, things really are going well but heres the other side.

I don't want to do this.

I want to eat whatever I want whenever I want. I know, for anyone who has struggled with eating issues or being over weight (even if its just 10 pounds) they can relate to this statement. But it goes way deeper than that for me. Can you imagine what its like to wonder every single time you put something in your mouth, "Is this gonna make me sick?" Its exhausting. Its overwhelming. And the 8 out of 10 times that I do get sick its awful! And to add fuel to an already existing forrest fire I have a food addiction. Whew, there I said it. Maybe I said it earlier and just forgot but there now I know I really said it.

I need to back up for a minute. This whole thing really started about a month and a half ago when a friend and I really looked at our eating issues and got really honest about our struggles. I'm sure most of you are thinking skinny girls don't have eating issues. I am here to assure you they do. Mine wasn't anorexia/bulimia etc., not that I didn't think about it mind you. Mine was an inability to exercise any self control with regard to what I ate/when I ate etc. I had even begun hiding food and purposely eating things I knew would make me sick. That really spoke to me once I realized what I was really doing. At first I tried to convince myself I was just doing it so the kids wouldn't eat all my favorite treats. But when I found myself sneaking in there for "just one" several times a day I knew I was in trouble.

I had heard of the book Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst and picked one up for me and my friend and also got the devotional. They are both great and we are working through them together. The focus of the book is that we are made to crave...God not food or really whatever addiction you have in your life. You can fill in the blank anyway you want. I really like the book and look forward to reading it everyday, it highlighted and underlined and its really helped me to re-think why I make the choices I do regarding food and how I can alter my thinking. So, whats the (com)plain truth?

I'm jealous. I am mad that I have to do this juice thing. I am mad that all these people around me can eat whatever they want and not get sick. Maybe I am mad at the doctors that they couldn't fix me with a pill I could take daily so I wouldn't get sick and could eat whatever I want everyday. I am mad that I am mad instead of just putting on my big girl panties and walking through this juice fast/feast with a good attitude instead of struggling every step. BREATHE...

The word struggle means to make forceful or violent attempts to get free of restraint or constriction. I also looked it up in the greek. The word in the greek is agonizomai and it means to strive or to contend for a prize.
When I think about it I am making a pretty forceful attempt to heal my body and feel better.
I have been too caught up in the negative meaning of this word struggle when its actually a positive thing. Now the truth is I can struggle well which is what I need to work towards since this is a life style change and not just a 21 day juice fast and then back to the same old same old.
I am striving for something better. I am contending for a prize. The prize, first and foremost a better relationship with my creator and secondly health and wellness. Those are pretty amazing prizes. Hebrews 12:1 says to throw off every weight that hinders us and to run the good race.
I can't run a good race being sick all the time or allowing my addictions to win. I have to make forceful and violent attempts to break free. And that is just what I am going to do!

Thank you Jesus for pointing the way. For your truth in the midst of battle. And for the reminder that you love me the way I am but love me too much to leave me that way. Amen.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Friday the 13th.

Yes, today is not Friday the 13th. Its Saturday but its time to vent.

I have never believed bad things happen because its Friday the 13th until yesterday. Day 7 was one of the worst days so far. Worse than day 2 even. I felt like I was starting all over. Detox is not fun. Here are some things I've discovered since being home.

Its much harder doing this alone. When I was in Florida with my Aunt, yes I had to shop and cook for my boys but come meal time I wasn't alone drinking my juice. Holly was right there with me.
Going grocery shopping was horrible, the more I walked around the more of a fog I was in.
I have no one to sit and talk to about this. B is great and is very patient listening but I can tell when his eyes glass over he's thinking, are you talking about this again?
This is much more emotional than I realized and I don't even have the words to articulate why.
I've only been home a day but yesterday I went non-stop until dinner. I need to rest more.
I'll say it again, detox is hard. I can't even imagine what is going on inside my body but based on the way I feel I'd say cleaning house is an understatement.

Just to be brutally honest, I wanted so badly to give up yesterday. Especially when our friends came for dinner and I sat there watching everyone eat homemade pizza. And also because of the way my stomach hurt I just thought, I could eat a big mac and feel this way. Why am I doing this again?

As I sought the Lord, He heard me and answered me and said "My joy is your strength." Beautiful.
But honestly, its so hard to be joyful when you feel lethargic and puny and for the record I still don't believe bad things happen on Friday the 13th.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Negativity, Vanity and Day Seven.

Today is the start of day 7! WOW. So do you want the bad or the good news first?

I think the bad. It's nicer to end on a positive note.

Like I said I started this thing very quickly and having educated myself only slightly. Probably not always the best idea. However, as my good friend Julie said "you jumped when God said jump!" and that is the greatest reminder I can have as I go through this. I have no doubt I was supposed to do this, however the internet can be a bad thing just as much as a good one. Last night after reading some negative stuff on the dangers of what I'm doing I got a little nervous and doubted if I'd heard God right. Plus add to that I wasn't feeling well (duh, I'd just gotten off a 13 hour road trip) and my mind began playing tricks on me.

Don't get me wrong here, I believe you should read all kinds of articles and ideas from different sources and should have a balanced view so you can make the right choices. I also believe that when you have several websites (unrelated) saying the same thing thats a good sign. Not to mention but unfortunately there are lots of doc out there who don't want people to believe in stuff like this because it puts them out of a job. That said my own results are already speaking for themselves.

Now for the good news. Well, first of all I made it to day seven!!! Thats huge, for me anyway. I'll be honest here, I'm not feeling on top of the world yet but its been nice not to have any stomach aches for a week. There have been some unpleasant side effects but thats normal when your body is detoxing. I also have to remind myself I didn't get to this point over night so the changes aren't going to happen over night. Patience will be the best virtue I can exercise during this time.

I mentioned in my last post I hadn't told many people but of course once I blogged about it and put it on Facebook I opened myself up to whoever wanted to read me. So far I haven't experienced too much negativity and being that its early days for me thats good.
I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate the positive comments and support. I need them. This is very hard. Take last night. Just getting in after 13 hours on the road and I was a little cranky. My house smelled like burgers just off the grill and there sitting on the table was just that! WOW! I wanted to charge over there and just have one bite. But I didn't, I got out my veggie juice, sat down with Jared and chatted while he ate. At the end of the day I have to keep my eye on the prize, which is health and wellness.

Want some more good news? I've lots 5 pounds and my stomach is shrinking for the first time since having babies. OK, I know what you're thinking...where did you need to lose 5 pounds and what stomach? Yes, I have always been little and no I didn't have an enormous amount of weight to lose however, after having my last 2 babies and 2 c-sections my stomach has been very bloated looking/feeling. (Sorry for the visual) Oh sure I look skinny in clothes but sitting down, I am constantly tucking it in my jeans. Don't judge, I have several friends who do the same.
We all have areas where the weight goes right? Well this is the area mine goes and its not fun. I'm sure part of it also has to do with all my digestive/intestinal issues too.
Yesterday, when I really looked and paid attention I noticed it had shrunk. I couldn't believe it. This is HUGE for me HUGE! Can I say it again? HUGE!!! I never thought my belly fat would go away. I can handle side effects like that.

Now, let me stop here and say something. I love what the scale says and that is great motivation but thats not what this is about. This is not about vanity and looking good. That would be great icing on the cake but that is not the boast here. The boast here is about God and what He is doing. He is here for me everyday, like when I wanted a bite of that burger. When the first half of my 13 hour road trip sucked and I thought if I eat I'll feel better. When I had doubt last night in making this decision in the first place. If it weren't for God in His glory giving me what I need and might I add accepting it from Him I couldn't be doing what I'm doing.
My ultimate goal is to tell others about this and hopefully help them choose health and wellness.

There are several website that have aided in my journey so far. The main one is Hallelujah Acres. These guys are amazing and the information they have on their site is what I will use for my exit plan. (I'll talk about that another day.)
Another great site is All About Juicing. I've found recipes, what to expect when juicing, how to prepare for a juice fast and so much more.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman is the doc from the Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead documentary so I would recommend checking out his site too.

And on an unrelated note, might I add our paperwork is off to our agency for final approval and should be on its way to China in the VERY near future. Big sigh of relief. Once major hurdle jumped.

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting and thanks for all your encouragement and prayer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Extremely Necessary but Incredibly Difficult.

Today is day 4!
Of what you may ask.
Of something so extreme I am beyond shocked I can say I am at day 4.
Am I intriguing or enticing you to read on?
Truthfully this blog entry is really more for me than you but hey if you're gonna read it and say some nice encouraging things then that works for me.

If you've known me any length of time you know that I have frequent stomach ailments and have seen a couple of docs, endured some not so pleasant tests and have virtually NO answers. You would also know I am OVER IT!

The straw that broke the camels back came last Tuesday when we had family in town and went to eat at Carolina Ale House. By the way, LOVE their food. Knowing how good my choices had been for several weeks in a row and the probiotics I have been taking for about 4+ months I figured a little treat would be harmless. So, I ordered their turkey club wrap which comes with fries.
Do I know anything fried usually makes me sick? Yes. Should I have made this choice? Probably not. Did I take into consideration the good eating/probiotics and think I would be OK? YES!!!
By the time we arrived at Toys R Us to spoil my niece I was in agony. I headed straight to the bathroom where I stayed for a good 10 minutes. Ok fine, right? No. After re-joining my family and the excited 2 and 1/2 year old for a grand total of 1.5 seconds I was headed back to the bathroom where I stayed for the reminder of visit there. Ok, so that was only another 10 minutes but still...
The next morning I made homemade pancakes for everyone and we all enjoyed some mini cadbury eggs.
Well, that was the icing on the cake and I was sick the rest of that day and on into Thursday to the point I could barely eat.
That was it. I was tired, cranky, sick to my stomach and convinced gall bladder issues were part of the equation also.

Something needed to change and it needed to be soon and drastic. As I prayed that morning I remembered my Aunt Holly telling me about a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and because she had been so inspired by that (among other things) she had just begun a 30 day juice fast.
The guy doing it is Joe Cross and when he began to juice he was 100 pounds overweight and on all kinds of meds for an auto immune disease and his blood work was a mess. By the end of a 60 day juice fast he had lost all his weight, was no longer on medication and all his blood work was normal. It also chronicled another guy named Phil Staples but I'm not going to give that part away but lets just say his transformation is off the charts so go and watch it!
For my Aunt a juice fast is no big deal, she's done a one several times. After watching the documentary I was completely challenged. Challenged for my health and for my future. I don't want to be sick with stomach issues every other day and no my blood tests are not messed up and I don't take lots of meds every day but there's no doubt about it something is wrong and I'm not willing to get to that point.

So, I did something drastic. Joe recommends getting away, if you are able, for the first little while in order to kick start the fast. Something about being away from the norm. So, me, Jack and Jay hopped in the car Friday morning at 5am and made our way to Sarasota, FL to hang with my Aunt while I got this started. Now bear in mind I only saw the documentary Thursday morning. But after really praying and asking God what to do and then talking to B, we both felt it was time to go and really try this thing. No time like the present right? I had to shift some things around but B assured me nothing was more important than my health and at the end of the day I've tried everything else so I know this can't hurt.
So, here's the goal. 10 day juice fast. Possibly extended to 30 and if things are going really well, 60 days. That is what Joe Cross did and it changed his life.

When we arrived Friday evening we were exhausted and I knew sleep was first on my priority list since Saturday morning the fast would begin. I hadn't done much homework up to that point so my Aunt educated me as we sat on the porch to bring me up to speed. Because I am relatively healthy I didn't feel I needed medical approval to do this but, I should state it is recommended.
Also, I didn't tell anyone what I was doing beforehand (not that there was a lot of time anyway) because I don't need a lot of opinions or negativity.

On to the fast. We began juicing Saturday morning bright and early. Carrots, kale, celery, cucumbers, apples, pineapples, pears, ginger, strawberries, grapes, and spinach to name a few. Of course not all at the same time. :0)
I have to tell you, after that first taste I just knew this would be a long 10 days and forget about 30 let alone 60. But the taste grows on you and being the age I am I recognize tastes can change and you can re-train your palate to like anything. Still, I knew it would probably take awhile.

Day one was Ok. We went to the beach for a couple of hours and then just chilled the rest of the day.
Day two was harder. I felt sick and headachy, lethargic and just wanted to lay around.
Day three was better. We went to the beach and I stayed under an umbrella the entire time. I wasn't as tired and began enjoying the fruit juice more. The veggie, not yet. The beach was hard only in that everywhere I turned people were eating all the junk food I craved. Then when we got home I cooked dinner for the boys. Spagetti. One of my favorite dishes. WOW, that was tough. But I managed.
The hunger pains have been rough.
Day four (today) has been ok. The hunger pains aren't as bad but still there. I think I drank too much fruit juice today so that wasn't very fun, if you get my drift. ;0)

I'll be driving home on day six and all the information I've read agrees that by then I should be feeling amazing. Lots of energy and raring to go. I'm not worried about it. God has been part of this since its inception and He won't be leaving anytime soon.

Something cool happened tonight, not that I should really be surprised. He's just that amazing of a God.
I sat playing Bananagrams with the boys in my Aunt's lanai after cooking them one of my and their fave dinners (rave 'n' ravioli). I was trying to be social all the while my body is screaming for the left overs which, may I add would no doubt make me sick. God, in His goodness gave me a revelation.
Doing this juice fast/life style is kind of like believing in God.
I can't see God, I can't see inside my body.
But I see unbelievable results in my life as a result of believing in and serving/seeking God.
I will see unbelievable results if I continue to seek out and choose a healthy life style.

God is at work. I don't know if I'll make it 10 days, 30 or 60 days. But He knows. And knowing He has the answers before I even ask the questions is good enough for me.

Keep checking in because I plan to document how this whole thing goes in effort to encourage myself and hopefully others.
Feel free to leave any encouraging comments.

1 Corinthians 10:13
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.