Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My First GF (gluten free) update

Well, friends, I have survived almost a week since I started my gluten free (GF) diet. I gave away all of our foods with gluten in them. I gave away most of our sugar and HFCS foods too - because I figured, why not? At the time it seemed like the thing to do. The new doc is pretty radical about sugars and starches (there is a poster in his office that calls soda a "poison." And this is a mainstream doc!) I am also strictly limiting carbs.

After just 4 days I had lost 8 pounds and 3 inches on my waist! Seriously... I had some serious bloating apparently. (Paul has lost 7 pounds, and the big two kids have lost pounds too). Nelson's face is thinning out. I think both Nelson and I are both less irritable. And, I think we are slower-to-anger. No joke, there is a big difference in the amount of annoyedness in our home! (Spellcheck does not think annoyedness is a word. Yes it is. I just made it up.)

But, the biggest news is Lydia! She has not been napping at all!!! She is staying up and playing all day. She still has some gas, but her stools are much more normal (and less frequent).

I am only a little ashamed that I did not give this diet a go before now. But, honestly, I couldn't have done it before. I was not ready. Now I am ready. And, wow!, the cookbook aisle at my library is packed with GF cook books! And, I already have some "raw" cookbooks (so-called un-cookbooks), so I am doing okay.

The first four days went great! But something clicked Sunday night into Monday morning... and now I am struggling. Paul is being our chef - since he is home anyway - so that takes a huge burden off of me. I could not do this without him. He has been the support in my times of what-am-I-going-to-make-for-dinner-panic. (Que the "Wind Beneath my Wings" music.)

Regarding Paul's health - I was wrong about the date of his evaluations. His evaluation with physical therapy was today and his evaluation with the chiropractor is Friday. Then we have our official answer. But, it looks like he will be in another round of therapy and will likely be sent to an orthopedic doctor. No talk of surgery yet. From my perspective, I don't see how he will ever work at UPS again. Some may call this faithless... so, I should clarify. Short of miraculous healing - I do not know how Paul can work with big boxes again. (I'm not exactly an optimist though... so take the above paragraph as you wish.)

To add a depth to this post that I did not intend - let me tell you this: If you want to know who your god is, try losing your job/career, health, comfort foods, caffeine, sugar, etc all in the same month. I told my mom yesterday that I am "glad" that these things have happened, because now we are in a position of leaning solely on the Lord. (And, as a side note, going GF is kind of like fasting for the rest of my life. Right?)

In my weakness - He is made strong. And, when all fleshly comforts are taken away - I know that my Help comes from the Lord.

OH - one more thing - I want everyone one of you to watch the documentary about Billy Graham called Billy Graham: God's Ambassador. It is awesome! If this movie doesn't get you fired up to go where the Lord leads... well, you may need prayer for a softened heart.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Big Update

I have a few big pieces of news. (No, not a new baby... what would make you think such a thing? *winks*)

1- I have a new doctor to help me with my hypothyroid condition. This new doc is a radical. I like a lot of what he has to say. But, the biggest news here is that I am going to be going gluten free (again). My doc says that everyone with my condition is gluten intolerant. And I am willing to give it a try to be whole and well! I am getting better all the time spiritually, emotionally, and physically. But, honestly, the physical part seems to be the slowest. I am more than willing to try this lifestyle change. I know I can do it. Two years ago I could not. Six years ago it would have killed me. But I have evolved enough in my cooking that I know I can do this now! (I went "raw" all summer, remember?) I can do this. And, I am excited about it! I think that this will be an answer to our prayers for Lydia too. I look forward to updating you soon.

2 - Bigger news... The Lord has been at work talking to Paul and me. (By talking, I mean that he is awakening our hearts to be sensitive to all kinds of things like the Bible, our circumstances, and words of friends.) In short, we see that we have been growing complacent. We have been merely "marking time." Our chief aims of late have been to put food on the table and pay rent. We were looking at our lives only and ignoring that there is a much greater world out there. To sum it up, God hit us upside the head and said something to the effect of, "Hey, what are you doing for my kingdom?"
Paying bills is great. Working at UPS is fine. But, we were making these things an end in themselves. And, we were not asking God very often if this is His plan. Maybe it is... we are still not sure about UPS. Paul will be re-evaluated (for his disc condition) today. We should know today if he can go back to work anytime soon. And, I cannot imagine that he can. But, I will let you know something when I can.

So, what does this mean? Well, everything. And yet, maybe nothing. We might just stay right where we are and keep doing what we are doing for years to come. Paul and I have been asking some tough questions.
I asked Paul, "Of all the people we know of, who do you most want to be like?" And, "Are you working towards that goal?" Paul thought that he would never want to preach/pastor again because of the great wounds we encountered at our last church. And, we were about to leave the so-called "institutional church" forever because of the wounds inflicted upon us by one church with big "issues."
But, when we ask what the Lord wants we see something else. We remember that Paul has a calling on his life to preach and to teach. He has an anointing in these areas, He has God-given gifts. So, what do we need to do to be good stewards of these gifts?

These are all thoughts and questions... no decisions have been made. We just want to be aware of what God is doing and keep going in that direction rather than just marking time.

Please keep our family in your prayers.

Monday, January 7, 2013

God's Pruning = New Opportunities!

Serious health update for y'all: Paul has a herniated disc in his back and other damaged discs! He cannot work at UPS for 4 weeks. He has physical therapy 3 times a week and chiropractic appointments 2-3 times a week.

So, Paul is at home during the day now.

I love having Paul at home! But, it is impossible to keep to our normal routine! So we are going to shake some things up!

For the next four weeks Paul is going to teach school and I am going to put a lot of focused time into writing one of my books. I haven't mentioned my book lately... this particular one is Christian-living, non-fiction. I have more written in this book than any of my others. And, it is the first one the Lord put on my heart. So it makes sense that I would focus my time on it. (Yes, I know I am being vague. It is deliberate.)

Paul is STRONGLY backing me in this venture! And, a few of my most trusted real-life friends have told me that this may well be the Lord's way of nudging me into writing. We feel strongly that this is the season for me to get serious about writing!

Keep us all in your prayers!