Saturday, February 17, 2018

To Be Revived I Must Be Healed

I asked God to revive me this year. Revive. The word I chose to transform my life in 2017. I did not realize to be revived I would need to be broken or allow what has been broken to be exposed.

Revive - to give new strength. 

He will renew our strength. Isaiah 40:31...As if we have lost it...

I thought being strong meant I don’t fall apart. There are no cracks in my faith. Everything looks good from the outside so everything on the inside must be good. 

Strong...because God will keep me strong. Those who trust in the Lord will not grow weary. They will stay strong.  I am growing weary, losing my strength. However, I still believe God will keep me strong enough to not grow weary to the point I cannot persevere. I think...  What if cracks begin to form in my trust and my joy begins to crack? Doubt begins to seep in, am I too far past the point of perseverance? What if healing is what I need to persevere? To be revived?

As I have asked God to bring me revival I expected him to bring a fire to my faith. Instead, it has brought me to my knees, broken with no words, calling out Lord, Lord. 

I’ve spent years praying for physical healing but never have I thought to pray for emotional healing. Illness has taken a toll not only on my body but on my mind as well. And surely the cracks are now clearly evident. I may greet you with a smile, but I find myself retreating. I haven’t been in a church service in months. As the music begins the tears flow and I retreat. My heart was not prepared for the emotional trials we are now facing because I have not allowed healing to take place. I ignored my emotional health while urging my body to fight. The ups and downs of life with a chronic illness leave scars not only on my body but in my mind as well. It has taken a family trial to bring these scars to light.

And where light is allowed healing will begin. This is where I will find my revival, healing. It is here I will gain new strength, it is here I am challenged to allow Him to heal my heart.

...if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.   2 Corinthians 5:17 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

When Lupus Tries to Interrupt a Whole30

I am officially halfway into my first Whole30 and it has been full of highs and a few lows.

I’ll share my lows first but I have a hard time labeling them lows because there are valuable lessons in each one.

It is not a magic cure. I know not everyone has the same results but I was hoping the amazing energy would last. I started off feeling great but my Lupus decided despite my healthy choices to take me down. 

Overcoming food issues is not easy. I have dealt with eating disorders in the past and I did not expect the fear. Fears of eating too much, not knowing my weight. I have some work to do.

Highs, these are awesome!

My celiac disease is completely nonexistent. Eating clean whole foods takes away the majority of the risk of being glutened.

Sleep is great!

Learning to notice my non scale victories. I am totally loving The Whole30 Day By Day by Melissa Hartwig. Each day I find encouragement and I am reminded to look for my non scale victories. If you are thinking of planning a Whole30 this is an excellent tool.

Trying new recipes. The Whole30 is one man show at our house, except dinner. Although my family seems to be eating a 2nd dinner, usually consisting of cereal and oatmeal pies, they are served a delicious Whole30 compliant dinner. But 2nd dinner is a real thing at our house without a Whole30. No one has complained. Roasted broccoli and cauliflower rice are now a family favorite. I have accepted I cannot control all the food that is brought into the house or how many dinners some people may eat. I can control saying no. 

Saying no is big for me, especially when it comes to food. Food is my comfort when I am sick. So the fact that I’ve felt like I was hit by a truck for the past week and have not focused on food is a giant step.

There are definitely more highs than lows but even my lows are highs. They have opened my eyes to emotions that are just below the surface. Emotions that are ready to be exposed. It will be difficult but I am being  given the chance to see if I can really put these lessons into practice. My ability to say no is going to be challenged. I am currently sitting in my doctors office and the visible signs of Lupus are present. Puffy hands that barely move and the no denying butterfly rash. I am officially no longer in remission. Prednisone burst starts today. Prednisone and food control have never been compatible for me. I will be relying heavily on prayer partners and bible verses, along with the lessons I’m learning through my non scale victories. I think I’m going to be alright, but I do wonder how my family will feel about a lock on the pantry. 

Here is one of my favorite easy go to meals. Sautéed Salad and Chicken Sausage.

• 2 t Garlic Ghee

• 1/2 Cup Beets

• 3 Cups Kale & Shredded Brussel Sprout 

               Salad mix

• 1 Chicken Sausage Link

Melt Ghee in frying pan then add remaining ingredients. Sauté until salad mix cooks down about 4 minuets. *Always remember to check your labels for Whole30 compliance.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Allowing My Body To Heal

I’ve been planning on completing a Whole30 since my Celiac diagnosis last March. It was suggested by my nutritionist to see if there are other foods that don’t like me even though they taste so yummy. I’ve also had enough of being sick and tired. I know this won’t be a fix all, but if there is one thing I can pinpoint and say - you make me feel terrible, are you really worth eating? I’m good with it. A Whole30 basically consists of vegetables, most fruits, lean meats, and healthy fats. So, real food. 

I kept pushing my start date back mainly because my life is hectic and partly because of procrastination. An Asperger teen, a Type 1 Diabetic, who is graduating (a whole other post!), and life with Lupus and Celiac is enough normal I can handle. When our world turned upside down a few months back I really thought no way, I can’t do a Whole30 now. But honestly, would there ever be a good day to start. When January 1 came I decided it was time, I’m doing this. 

Day 10 is where I stand today. It’s hard. The food I have struggled with is cheese. I love cheese. I also love cupcakes, of course they need to be gluten free, but they’re not Whole30 compliant either. While cupcakes may be a favorite, dairy is my first love. There are many stories of food raids during my toddler years. I would often be found with a stick of butter or chunk of cheese. Luckily, I’ve overcome the urge to eat sticks of butter but cheese, well just thinking of it makes my mouth water. On day 6 when the kid’s pizza came out of the oven in all its bubbly, cheesy goodness, I lost my mind. I have no idea where this deep feeling of anger and jealousy came from and it was intense. Over cheese. 

Hopefully dairy will still love me when I reintroduce it. This is what is great about the Whole30 it’s not a diet. It’s a time to allow my body to heal. At the end of my Whole30 let’s hope there will be a cauliflower cheese pizza in my future. In the meantime I’m going to enjoy my chicken curry lettuce wraps and butternut squash with ghee. Ghee is my new love!

Friday, December 8, 2017

When the Other Shoe Drops

I'm normally pretty optimistic but I sometimes find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop...the next life struggle. My life has been filled with shoes. I’ve seen my mom battle cancer, move with my family across the country after we lost everything, lose my sister to Lupus, develop Lupus symptoms myself...and that was the first 14 years of my life.

I will tell you that despite all those struggles there are blessings...remission, family and friends grow close, my perspective changes. I learned to see the blessings despite the struggles. And yes, you grow stronger and perseverance builds character.

This past month the other shoe dropped. Our family hit by the unthinkable. These things only happen to other people but it doesn’t. This is life. Real life is broken, full of tragedies, and struggles amongst the blessings.

When the other shoe drops where do I find myself? I want to think positive and  hold on to the lessons I’ve learned. Sometimes before I get there I end up here - tired of being strong. Those sayings - what breaks you only makes you stronger, perseverance builds character. I really don’t want to hear them. I’m tired of being strong, trying to persevere. I can read optimistic words about strength and perseverance. Tell myself it will be okay again. It doesn’t change my hurting heart. 

What does bring me strength and perseverance? I stop being strong alone. I begin with God. I take time to sit and just be in his presence. I dwell. Allowing myself to first rest in Him, I begin to see moments of peace. Find strength to get through today. I have the gentle reminder life isn’t meant to live alone.

I do believe we grow stronger through our struggles, perseverance builds character. They’re more than cheesy sayings. They are truth. Maybe not what I want to hear when I’m in the struggle. When life is going well I store up truths so when the shoe drops I remember where to dwell. Find my strength, just not alone.

**Currently our family is facing a mountain of a struggle. Part of finding strength is reaching out to others. We are keeping the details of this mountain private. We could use your prayers during this journey. Our family believes whole heartedly we serve a mighty God who will bring peace, justice, and healing. Thank you. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Rescue Us

This verse came up today.

But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
Exodus‬ ‭14:13-14‬ ‭

I thought about how our family so badly needs the Lord to rescue us and the words of Moses hit my heart hard. These words are spoken as the Israelites were about to cross the Red Sea. They have come upon a battle they feel they can not fight, not knowing this will be one of many as they wander the desert.

This journey God has brought my family into is not a one battle fix. We will have to go wander our desert, which I hate because I want a one battle kind of life. It’s not the path he’s put us on. So, I thought about this verse and it reminded me there will be small rescues in the horrible situations. God will only bring us to something if he is planning on bringing us through. In the meantime stay calm, be still, and look for the rescue, the little victory you see today. Our rescue, my son smiled and laughed like he hasn’t in months... for us that was as big as God splitting the Red Sea.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Remember What Makes You Smile

When someone you love or you live with a chronic illness there are times that feel as if you are frozen. Motivation slows down. Thoughts don’t connect as quickly as they should. 

This is where I am. This is where I’ve been. 

I can blame how my kids are dealing with their issues, Lupus fog, a Celiac attack, or depression. Although it may help distinguish what is going on in my body and mind, blame does not help. My mind is not at ease. So how do I move forward. 

There isn’t one solution but here are a few of  the strategies I use to keep moving forward:

Give myself a break. Take time to shut down. Read. Netflix binge. Make no apologies for what needs to be done and remains undone. 

Move slowly. Choose one thing to do today. Do it. Be thankful I can.

Choose five things. Before I go to sleep I write down five things that made me smile today. Even if it’s just a little. 

Assess my body. What physical symptoms am I feeling? Do I need to contact a doctor?

Assess my emotions. Where are they coming from? Am I dealing in a healthy manner.


Repeat my mantra. When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Give myself grace. 

Living with an illness is hard. Living with children with illness is hard. Sometimes it’s harder than others. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. 

In those moments I’m overwhelmed, I can take a deep breath. Remind myself this is just a moment. I’ll get through it. Good moments will come too. 

As this past month has taught me, I may have to take A LOT of deep breaths. Take a few breaks, see my doctor, help my kids process their struggles, visit with friends and talk deeply. Most of all give myself the grace I need. Lower my expectations and remember what made me smile.

What made you smile today?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Couch Is Calling

Every year my plan is to start the school/work year off with a clean house. For myself a clean house is a happy place. I 100% believe the rest of my family find their happy place in piles and chaos. Binders make me happy. Binders contain my mess. My life, like my binders, can not always be kept neat and tidy. So, I am doing everything that needs to be done to start a neat and tidy school year. Care plans, behavior plans, 504 reviews, doctors appointments. As I type, I'm on the phone rescheduling appointments to fit another in. Just a note, taming my compulsion to constantly multi-task is on my list to improve on my mess.

I am surrounded by my mess and I HATE messes, but I may have made a breakthrough. This mess, that is my life, I am pretty proud of it. These kid's, who are strong, fight everyday. Overcoming battles I can only walk alongside. This husband, who works long hard hours, stands by my side as I complain how crummy I feel.

This mess is my life.

This mess is what it takes to make sure my kids have the best fighting chance. It is what allows me to have time with my husband. There will always be laundry and dishes. Paperwork and doctor's appointments.

Time will not always be. So, I am going to go lay on the couch. I'm going to rest in the midst of my mess. Tomorrow the school year begins for me then this weekend our annual Acts 2:42 Camping trip. I am out of time. I could allow myself to be overwhelmed by all that still needs to be done. I could also recognize my limitaions as a fighter of Lupus and Celiac Disease. Recognizing my limitations gives me time. Time with family. Time with friends.

Yep, the couch is calling.