It‚Äôs so late….

Last Sunday, I shared about my very bad day that ended with me sick and remembering Who is in control. I never had a chance to sit and write this week. I really missed it. I was really sick. This thing hit me HARD!!! Still not feeling 100%. But I had to “mom” and get back into life and (try to) play catch-up.

This weekend was very busy with Christmas parties and dance recitals and dirty bathrooms and laundry, lots of laundry!!! I had planned on sitting down and writing when we got home tonight. BUT my little guy who loves to be in front of a screen whenever he can wanted to change family movie night to game night. I had to jump on that. What I really wanted to do was veg out on the couch and write while we all watched a movie.

We opened a new game Levi and I bought during Black Friday. We all had a good time. Weeelllll, I’m not sure how much fun Eric had as he is colorblind and this game requires you to stack colored cups to match the card. After several games, Eric and Abby ended up on the couch. I went to fold some laundry and Levi practiced the game so he could beat us next time. Then he asked me…. “Mom, can you play with me?”

I love this kid more than anything but I wanted to do “my thing”. I had to make a decision. I decided to sit down and play with him. How could I not? My kid wanted to play with me. Spending time with our kids is so important. I’m too busy and I lay in bed at night convicted that I chose dishes over quality time. I complain all the time how we are such a technology absorbed family and how I wish we would just sit down together and do more things to build relationships. So yes, Levi, I will play with youūüėĀ

I’m so glad God isn’t too busy. He is ruler of all and yet has time for me. He longs for me to “put down the dishes” and spend time with Him. The Creator of the Universe wants to spend time with me? Think upon that. He knows us… every single detail. He formed us, knitted us together. He knows our every thought. He thinks about us. He knows how many hairs are on our head and that number changes everyday. I’m so thankful He is patient with me as I have to be reminded too often to STOP!!!! To Be still. To know that He is God. To remember that He likes meūüėä

Bad day…

My Advent Sunday post took a turn. ¬†God allowed me to go through a hard week and it ended with a very bad Friday. ¬†This is honest, this who I am. ¬†I share because it’s so helpful for me to see the honesty of others. ¬†Everyday is not sunshine and rainbows!!! ¬†I’m just keeping it real. There is a happy ending though.

Friday. I had a bad day. A stupid day. It was just thing after thing. There was yelling, tears, frustration, self-pity and then a lot of shame. I was tired. I woke up feeling a sinus infection coming on. AND it was a whole day scheduled, full of things.

Levi had been sick for a few days this week which meant lack of sleep for this mama. I already haven’t been sleeping great because our very expensive mattress which has been wonderful for years is not being very kind to my body. I’ve talked about finally being able to sleep after so many years of anxious, sleepless nights BUT now my mattress keeps waking me upūüėě Okay… let me get back on track!!!!

Tired mama taking care of a sick boy = exhaustion = body too tired to fight getting sick. Plus, my body is still going through die-off/detox with Plexus so my immune system is a bit low. So I woke up with the migraine I went to bed with and a lot of pain in my sinuses. I steamed with essential oils, baked cookies for my party that night and we got ready for our long day of holiday cooking workshop, gymnastics, Parkour, Hip-Hop, errands in between and then ladies adult time for mommy. I realized in order to get through this day, I was going to need to go back to bed or give into the drugs. Ibuprofen it was. (Ibuprofen is one of the causes of the damage to my gut). It takes ALOT for me to go the unnatural route.

Let me back track…The deciding factor for drugs for my day was…I was being just plain mean. I didn’t feel good, I hurt my back Thursday so I was in pain and I was mad… again. I have a problem with being mad when things don’t go my way. I’m working on it but let me just say…. my whole morning was a big fat failure!!!! So I needed some relief. I usually just deal with the pain. I’m used to being in pain but that day took its toll and it was only 11am.

Levi and I didn’t have a great morning. He couldn’t go to the cooking class because of his cold so he was acting out. There was yelling and tempers and bad examples…by both of us. I felt so sad and mad because he had to miss another fun activity that week. We took Abby to cooking class and then came home and had a good talk about not sinning in our anger. ¬†We had apologies and forgiveness to each other and lots of kisses and hugs. ¬†He really is such a sweet boy. His sisters would say otherwiseūüėČ

So as the day continued, things just didn’t go right. Fast forward to my final straw before I broke… I went to the store to pick up the movie I ordered for my Christmas Party and they said it was at another location across town. Like 30+ minutes away. I didn’t have any extra time. Yes, no big deal. It’s a movie. All these terrible things are going on in our world but I broke down and cried. I texted Eric. He talked with me, he felt bad, tried to help me feel better.

I was in a battle!!!

I had so many emotions and thoughts going on inside…. Why did God feel it necessary to allow all these stupid things? Why was I questioning God? Why am I so shallow? What was the whole point of this day? Why did I keep failing even though I knew the right way to respond? How do I let my anger and selfishness get the best of me when I desire so badly to be like God? Why can’t I just let the scripture I know rule my heart in these situations? A BATTLE!!!!

We got done with dance classes, Eric picked up the kids so I could go to my party. I had no movie for the present exchange and I felt like crap. Eric drove off and I stayed on the side of the road and cried and talked to God. I told Him how I was feeling. I told Him that I was mad at the day but mostly mad at myself for how I responded to Him, my husband, my kids and the situations of my day. I asked Him for His comfort. I asked Him for understanding. I asked Him for acceptance and contentment for what He allows. I was ashamed. How is it that we can want to be holy and godly and blow it so badly, everyday? Sin!!!

We are sinners!!! ¬†What I didn’t ask Him for was His forgiveness. ¬†Here I have this God who Has saved me. ¬†Who has showed His grace and mercy daily to an undeserving soul. ¬†Who emptied Himself and became man and took on my sin and punishment so I could live with Him forever. ¬†And I didn’t even acknowledge it in that moment. ¬†I just told Him how I was feeling and asked Him for things to make me feel better. ¬†Wretched!!!

So why a bad day??? ¬†A test to see how I would respond? ¬†A reminder that I am a sinner in need of a Savior? A chance to show my kids a godly example or should I say, an example of repentance of a sinner? ¬†Was it so I would reflect on my day and realize my first action should have been repenting to Him? ¬†Pretty sure it was all of the above AND perhaps it was for my husband to show me love. He went to the store where my movie was and brought it to my Christmas Party along with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Awwweeeee!!!!! I didn’t know he was coming. I was completely surprised and blessed. I don’t think he could know how much that meant to me.

Once again, God showed me who is in control…AND IT’S NOT ME!!!!!!! It was a day He felt was needed to be allowed to show me who He is and to bring me closer to Him. He is my comfort, my help, my hope, the Forgiver. ¬†He has His reasons, His plans, His ways. He is the Potter. He is the author of my life. He is God and that’s all I need.

Anxiety…My Story

My original title was Anxiety, Depression and Stress. I have found that people don’t just struggle with one and not the others. We all are very aware of these three evils that creep their way into our lives. ¬†In fact, it is different for us all. ¬†They affect each of us in different ways, to different degrees. ¬†They make it hard to function. ¬†To do life. ¬†To enjoy our kids. ¬†To sleep. ¬†To worship the Lord. ¬†To (fill in the blank)….. ¬†I’m sure you can fill in that blank with how they have affected you! ¬†For me personally, I was at a wall. ¬†I felt like I had no control. ¬†What was wrong with me? Why could I not get a handle on these life destroyers?

As I started writing, I realized this was going to probably take many blog posts so I changed the title and will focus on one at a time.

ANXIETY

I really started to notice the anxiety after my first daughter was born. I became very fearful. I spent countless nights sitting on the couch over her bassinet just crying and scared that she would die. I didn’t want to sleep because I wanted to lay my hand on her chest and feel her heartbeat continually. Eric came in one night and I shared with him what was going on and he prayed with me and tried to encourage me, telling me to trust God. It was hard for me to accept that I wasn’t trusting God. I thought I did trust God. In fact, I was scared because He was the all powerful God and He had complete control of everything. I knew that if He wanted to take her, He could. This fear continued into my second daughter but increased with the fear of myself dying and who would be their mother.¬† I really felt like there were times I had no control over it.

The fear and worry was always there but there were times that it was worse than others. I dealt with it the best that I could. I wrote letters to my kids and husband telling them how much I loved them. Music was helpful …Worship, Susan Ashton, Margaret Becker, Caedmon’s Call. ¬†These brought me such comfort. ¬†I knew all the anxiety verses and prayed for the Lord to take it from me.

After my son was born, I started having health issues. This made things even worse. My letters became more detailed to each of my kids telling them how much I loved them, sharing the gospel with them and encouraging them in their life. I was scared. I was convinced every sharp pain was a heart attack. ¬†I¬†felt trapped in fear. ¬†I was missing my life. ¬†There were times it would take over and I could barely breathe. ¬†I even had a panic attack and ended up in the ER. ¬†I was so consumed by all of it and that’s when I started acknowledging it as sin. ¬†Problem was…I didn’t know what to do about it as sin. I was literally in a battle!!!! ¬†AND I already felt defeated.¬†Phil. 4:6 told me to be anxious for nothing BUT in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make my requests known to God. Okay… So that’s what I did!!!!

The Psalms became a big part of my life. ¬†I began journaling. They were my prayers. I was very honest. I felt like my journal was my Psalms. ¬†David’s Psalms is my favorite book. ¬†It is real and relatable. I love that he is so honest about his fears, his worries, his doubts, questioning where the Lord is, etc. ¬†The thing that helped me most was that after he was done pouring out his heart, he praised the Lord. He acknowledge who God was and gave Him the glory. ¬†I made a point to do this at the end of every journal entry. ¬†This helped put my focus where it needed to be. This was the thanksgiving from Phil 4:6.

I also came across two books that were very helpful to me…Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety became my second Bible.¬†¬†Elyse Fitzpatrick drew me in with the way she wrote. I felt like she wrote the book for me. She made lists of verses and who God is to us. ¬†When I started struggling…I grabbed my Bible, that book, and my journal. ¬†I would just open the pages of the book I had tabbed and copy them in my journal. ¬†After writing these truths down so many times, they became a part of my every thought. ¬†They were being etched in my heart.

Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” became real to me. ¬†All of what I have written is part of my journey. ¬†I see that now. ¬†God knows the whole story of our lives. He is the Potter, I am the clay. God allows things in our lives to bring us closer to Him, to know Him and enjoy Him. ¬†I am still on this journey. ¬†He is continuing to mold me. I still struggle with anxiety but all the years of memorizing and writing God’s truths prepared me to value it, treasure it…To hide it in my heart. ¬†

Psalm 119: 9-16

9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I have told of
All the ordinances of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.
16 I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.

My blog took a different turn than what I had planned to write. ¬†Maybe one day, I‚Äôll share more in the anxiety and I’ll get to depression and stress!!!!

I’m selfish!!! It’s not my life!!!

I know by nature, we are all selfish! I have just noticed over the years that I have become more selfish. I find myself often questioning God and the things He allows in my day, in my life. Who do I think that I am? I must think pretty highly of myself that I would even begin to think I have any sort of control over what my day holds. What brings this whole blog about you ask? Well, I will tell youūüėČ

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Levi woke up sick yesterday and I was mad! I was mad that my little man felt so badly. I was mad because it’s the holidays and we have so many things planned and the last thing I want to do is deal with sickness. I was mad because that meant that he had to miss out on Grama day which he has been looking forward to for a couple weeks. I was mad because that meant he has to miss his music lesson and possibly his one day a week of school that we look so forward to. I was mad that his day at school was the Christmas party and they are putting together a big project we’ve been working on making the human body. I was mad that the day I had planned to watch cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies and decorate the house while the kids were with Grama was now ruined.

I’M PRETTY PATHETIC!!!! How disappointing that so much complaining can go on in just a minute inside my head. Now‚Ķ I had a choice to make. I had all these selfish thoughts plaguing me and I could talk to the Lord about it and ask Him to give me the strength to get through or I could dwell on it and just be mad through the remainder of my day because I wasn’t getting my way. Let’s be honest, that’s what was going on, right? I wasn’t getting my way! SELFISH!!!!

And did you catch the part in the beginning where I refer to this life as being….My life??? Pretty sure it doesn’t belong to me. I gave my life to God! I decided to follow Him. He makes it very clear in Mark 8:34 that following Him means to deny myself, pick up my cross (and follow Him). ¬†I am to live this life that He so graciously gave me and do all things to His glory, not for man’s glory or approval, not for my own comfort, not for loving a life more than I love Jesus. ¬†I am not in charge anymore!!! ¬†I love what John Piper says about this verse, “You are a new self. Act like it. Deny the old, comfort-craving self and embrace the superior joy of knowing Jesus, no matter how high the cost on this earth”.

Am I disappointed with things in my life sometimes…YEP!!! ¬†My sinful brain needs to accept the fact that God, the Master of the Universe, allowed it. ¬†That should be all I need to know. ¬†GOD has His reasons and if I would just take a second to STOP AND BE STILL, meditate on Him, rest in Him…I would learn something. ¬†He doesn’t just allow things because He has nothing better to do, He wants us to grow. He wants us to put our eyes on Him. ¬†He wants us to draw strength from Him.

I have always lived with the saying, “Nothing happens that God didn’t filter through His hands first”. ¬†This has always brought me freedom and relief. ¬†I rested in this truth. ¬†Somewhere along the way, I became mad that He would allow certain things to be filtered into my life. ¬†Wow!!! Did I actually just write that??? ¬†That makes me so sad and disappointed that I would, that I could, even go there. ¬†I am ashamed and want to hang my head but God doesn’t want that. ¬†He wants me to act like the new man I am and embrace Him. ¬†That’s how great He is!!!! ¬†I deserve death and He gives me life!!!!

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Ibuprofen kicked in and he is able to smile.  Yes, I do give into Ibuprofen when they are so miserable and achy.  But he is also taking extra Probiotics and Xfactor.  YAY, Plexus!!!

At least there are a lot more cuddles and snuggling when he’s sick!!! ¬†Won’t pass that up:)

The Lord is my Shepherd…The First Advent Sunday

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I decided I would write something about who God is to me on each Sunday leading to Christmas.  I am starting with one of my favorite passages.  This brings such comfort in all seasons of our walk.

Psalm 23

  1. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
  2. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
  3. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
  4. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
  5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
  6. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

I love Psalm 23. It’s words have brought me comfort since I was a little girl. ¬†Over the course of my life, different verses from it have stuck out depending on what I was going through. This Psalm brings peace and hope. ¬†It is a reminder of who our God truly is.

When David wrote this psalm, he knew exactly what it meant to be a shepherd to the sheep in his care. ¬†After all, this was his lowly beginning before he became king. ¬†He knew the importance of the shepherd being everything to them, protecting them from all harm, guiding them down all paths. ¬†This Psalm is very personal. ¬†David could have said ‘THE¬†Shepherd” but instead he said “MY Shepherd”.¬† Then he wrote how his God cares for him. ¬†He fully understood that without a Shepherd, sheep would wander aimlessly. ¬†They needed someone to guide them.

I believe before this Psalm can mean anything to us, we must see ourselves as “sheep”. ¬†Sheep are completely dependent on their shepherd. ¬†I have read that sheep have a hard time relaxing and lying down unless their conditions are perfect. ¬†Here David shows us that the Shepherd takes his sheep to green pastures and quiet waters. ¬†He leads them back when they wander off, comforts them and guides them. ¬†He protects them from the enemy. ¬†He makes sure they have food when they are hungry and water when they are thirsty. ¬†He is with them from beginning to end meeting their every need.

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How fascinating that the God who created the heavens and earth chose to be our Shepherd.  Meditate on that!!!  Find comfort and security in that.  See yourself as a sheep in need of the Great Shepherd!!!!!

The Lord is MY Shepherd!!!! He is MY leader. He is MY protector. He is My guide.  MY rest.  MY comfort.  MY Savior.  MY everything.

PLUS….It’s pretty cool to think that when Jesus was born, the angels came to the shepherds and their flock. ¬†The sheep may have been one of the first to see baby Jesus….just saying!!!!!

Advent, Passion and God…My brain!

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I was laying in bed last night thinking about three things. ¬†1- Making sure my passion for God is more than my passion for health. ¬†2- Who¬†is God to me? and 3-¬†What does¬†advent mean? ¬†I know. ¬†All random!!!!! ¬†SOOOOOO…… ¬†Let me show you how my brain works: ¬†I was thinking about some things a friend shared with me about my sudden Plexus passion and my new blog which mainly talks of my health journey. ¬†This led me to think of where my relationship with God is and who He is to me. ¬†Is He more to me than “healing my gut”? ¬†I named my blog Journey to ALL¬†Health for a reason….ALL meaning spiritual, physical, mental, and¬†emotional.¬†¬†I want to be healthy in all these areas so I can better serve Him and those around me. ¬†So as I started making a list of things GOD IS, I thought about doing a little blog post every night leading up to Christmas to help keep my focus on Him. ¬†So that obviously led me to think of Advent…LOL!!!!

1- Passion….What does passion mean?¬† There are several definitions but the one that fits what I’m talking about is: a strong liking or desire for or devotion¬†to some activity, object, or concept. ¬†Do I have this passion more for health than God? ¬†Would others say I’m obsessed with health? ¬†I love God with every fiber in my body. ¬†He gives us desires. ¬†He wants us to enjoy Him, enjoy life and enjoy others. ¬†I have always loved learning things about the body and how to treat¬†it and heal it naturally. ¬†I do have a passion for it and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. ¬†I just need to make sure that it never becomes an idol, that it never trumps God. ¬†I decided to ask my kids what came to mind when they thought of me, what kinds of things would they remember about me. ¬†I was thankful when I heard that I loved God and taught them about Him. ¬†None of them said anything about health. ¬†Some other things they said were I love turtles, cuddles, baking with them, best PB&J sandwiches, and that I love chocolate, of course:)

IMG_4382Sea turtle that I really wanted at our fair this year.  Levi won it!!!!

2- Who is God?….I have to admit, I pondered this for awhile. ¬†God is so many things but I really wanted to take a personal look at who He is to me. ¬†These were things that if I did my own “advent” blog each day, what are the things I would talk about? ¬†I read several Christian blogs and I learn so much of who God is by all these deep and wise things they are able to pull from His Word. I became sad as I realized that my knowledge of God and who He is was lacking. ¬†I wondered if I would be able to write even a paragraph. ¬†God and who He is overwhelms me!!!! ¬†He is so magnificent and awesome and BIG and I just can’t comprehend it all sometimes. ¬†Why would He choose to love me? ¬†Why does He continue to lavish His grace on me…a wretched, ungrateful, complaining sinner!!! ¬†Do I even really understand what this grace is? ¬†I did end up grabbing my phone and putting some thoughts down and I plan on sharing them with you through the next couple weeks. ¬†My last thought…..

3- Advent…….We started our chocolate advent calendars yesterday and I am receiving John Piper’s advent devotional each day before Christmas. ¬†But, I really didn’t know the meaning or history behind it. ¬†I googled it and it basically means “coming” in Latin. ¬†It starts four Sundays before Christmas which makes this year start on December 3. ¬†In simple terms…..It’s a time when we, as Christians, focus and commemorate the “coming” of Christ….His birth, and anticipate His second “coming”. ¬†Each day we can reflect upon Christ and His birth to help keep our focus on Him first through the busy holiday season. ¬†Of course, there was so much more that I read and I encourage you to google it. ¬†It was interesting!

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So there you have it!!!!  My random thoughts that all make sense to me.

No Disney Hangover!!!! Feeling accomplished!!!!

So we just spent four days doing amusement parks. One at Universal Studios and three at Disneyland. Insane??? YES!!!! One day at an amusement park is long. I seriously get a “Disney hangover”. I feel like I have been run over by a truck the next day. No joke!!!

I was a little nervous about four whole days because on our passed Disney trips longer than one day, I feel tired and sore and just plain yucky. Then there’s the whole food thing. Food has always been such an issue for me and I would usually walk around bloated and gassy and sick. Then, after we get home, the suitcases sit around for a few days as we slowly pull things out of them. And I won’t even get started on how exhausting it is mentally going on rides with my claustrophobia. If my kids could experience what I truly go through, they would get how much mommy really does love them.

What does this have to do with feeling accomplished? Well, let me tell you. When we got home, we brought everything in and I got to work. Ice chest…..unloaded. Suitcases……unloaded. Extra bags full of food and toys and extras, That’s right!!!!…..unloaded. Laundry piles made and one already in the wash. This is big!!! REAL BIG!!!! I don’t do this. I am dead to life after being away. BUT… that’s not all.

Let’s talk four days of walking 7-8 miles everyday. I did it!!! And I did it well. Let me just list some differences I saw this trip.

  • Cravings…I usually have cravings for dole whip, ice cream and chocolate covered caramel marshmallow rolled in cashews on a stick. I usually have one of these cuz I’m at Disneyland and deserve a treat. I also usually bring Trader Joe’s JoJos and Trader Joe’s gluten free chocolate chip cookies and then some kind of chocolate. Oh and let’s not forget about a Starbucks refresher EVERYDAY. Well this trip I didn’t even think about a refresher, I brought home a closed box of JoJos, the kids had a cookie and I never bought a treat. I did have a couple bites of Abby’s ice cream. It was dripping and I had to help my girl out… HaHa!!!!
  • Energy….I wasn’t dragging. I wasn’t thinking about a nap or sleep that night. I wasn’t fatigued and this was exciting for me. I am usually so frustrated by how tired I am that I just can’t enjoy our day. My body was able to do four days. I’m still amazed by this. By night three, certain joints that already have pain were pretty sore. It was cold and that didn’t help but I did my therapy ball and stretches and was good to go for our last day.
  • Food…We always have one meal a day at the park. Thankfully both places are very helpful in the allergens area. Even so, I usually bloat up, get gassy and feel full and sickish. Not this time. Now, I did have the “This food is not organic, total GMO’s and totally processed” feeling…..but we ate and I was still comfortable.
  • SLEEP!!!! Yes, I’m yelling about it cuz it’s freaking awesome. I never sleep in hotels. I usually lay awake, mind racing, anxiety ridden, miserably tired. Well, guess what???? I slept every night. This is huge. HUGE!!!!

Nothing has changed except Plexus. Yep!!! I’m talking about it again.¬† I can’t help it.¬† I feel like I am getting a life back.¬† We share about the things we love and are passionate about, right?¬† Well that’s me with Plexus.¬† Those who know me know that I’ve always been into the healthy and most natural way.¬† Now I have found the right supplements that are assisting all the other food and life changes I have made.¬† It’s just the next step in MY health journey.¬† I have tried so many different brands of supplements and have never experienced what I needed.¬† That’s why you have never heard me share like this.¬† Like I’ve said before….I had no intention about sharing this.¬† But the changes are just too good not to share.

So as my fourth load of laundry is washing, I am sitting in a hot bath, new candle burning, writing this blogūü§ó

Plus, I got to meet Lucy and Doc!!!!Side note….My 10yo (pic below) asked me why they call Disneyland the happiest place on earth when all she sees are kids crying and having temper tantrums cuz they don’t get what they want. Very observant!!! Cracked me upūü§£