Kevin had roses sent to work as a surprise for me. It was soooo sweet! Moonbeam does not want to comment to the press about having her father and siblings care for her during the day.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Kevin had roses sent to work as a surprise for me. It was soooo sweet! Moonbeam does not want to comment to the press about having her father and siblings care for her during the day.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I think this has got to be the most boring post ever. I'm going to post it any way for the sake of keeping track. I've enjoyed a lot of good out door time this week.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Since I am on a sugar fast, and my brain may be functioning slightly below par, allow me some grace to expound. I will now explain why this story is pertinent. If your body was a furnace, wood would be it's medium of energy for producing heat. Paper, gasoline, compressed air, birch bark and host of other highly flammable materials would provide "a fast burn". Logs, however, especially good hardwood would cause a nice slow burn lasting many hours. The bi product of a good burning wood is clean. The bi product of gasoline, some oil rags, and possibly a can of compressed air would be more flammable and explosive in nature. It would also leave a stink in the air. If you put paper and gas in your wood stove every hour, you would constantly be restarting the stove. If you eat sugar cereal for breakfast, frozen pizza for lunch and McDonald's for dinner, you are doing a similar job on your body. It suffers ups and downs all day long. It gets a "fast burn" and has little sustainable. It is also full of hazardous bi products. This is my very limited explanation of the Glycemic Index. If you eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats and dairy products in proper balance, you will have a sustainable burn. This burn is appropriate to health, weight management and over all good mental functions.
Here are some links on the Glycemic Index.
Another Good Reference to learn from is "Feel Great Look Great" by Joyce Meyer.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Well, I'll tell you. Let me start with my testimony. I was getting rather huge a couple of years back and under a lot of stress besides. I had tried many diets to lose weight and they just didn't do a lot for me. I got so desperate, I finally cried out to God and asked Him to help me. Sitting out on the deck that day, looking out at the lake, I heard this distinct inner voice tell me to "take the summer off from sugar". I knew it wasn't my flesh, because it knew better. I thought about binding the devil, but he knows better too. It couldn't be psychosis because, though I was under a lot of stress, I was still in my right mind. Yes, it was the BIG GUY UPSTAIRS giving me this strategy.
Now I had tried this once before for a few days (when I discovered that I was consuming as many calories in desserts as I was in food). This was a horrible reality check for me because I found that way to much of the joy in my life was wrapped up in these foods!
As I said before, I didn't think that this was possible, but I was sure that it was God. We know with Him, indeed, all things are possible.
So I went about fasting from all concentrated sweets. Amazingly, God gave me the grace to do it. I also watched labels. I avoided foods that contained sugar and high fructose corn syrup. You would be surprised how many foods contain sugar!!! I also added exercise, prayer and many more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I was under so much stress and difficulties that I had no control over. I found comfort knowing that though I had no control of my circumstances, I could control what I was putting in my mouth. I also drank mammoth amounts of water. Every time I stepped on the scale, it went down. It was the first time in my life that I was success full at losing weight. After 2 1/2 months, I had lost 30 lbs and another 5 lbs not long after. Before my last baby, I was at a 42 lb weight loss. I have NEVER gained that back. Even at full term with Moonbeam, I was less than I weighed before the first fast. Of course I DO have baby weight to lose. I've never made it to my goal weight, but I am so much closer than I was a few years back.
If concentrated sweets and sugar are not your vice, then by all means find something else to fast from. If it's computers, fast from computers. If it's coffee, then coffee. If it's wearing plaid then go stripes for a while. There's no hard fast rules about what to fast from. It's more when the pleasures we enjoy begin to infringe upon our freedom in Christ, then a fast is in order. For me, I was feeling enslaved by fat. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers were heavy and diabetic. My mother has also wrestled with weight all her life. It's a hereditary curse that I am striving to break free from. I want better for my children.
I learned that my body liked desserts and refined foods because it is lazy. It wants the fast burn. Sustainable burning foods such as whole grains, vegetables and meats make my body work harder to process. Giving it sugar all the time sabotaged any fat loss attempts because it didn't have to work to process complex carbs for energy. Living on a constant sugar high predisposes us to obesity and a host of other health related issues. Not to mention moodiness, depression and anxiety. I was shocked to consistently feel good. I was amazed all arthritic symptoms left my body. Most of all, my favorite thing was how my husband acted around me. I will say no more.
Really, you can execute a sugar fast however you want. I do not believe that all sugar is created equal. I recommend eating fruit. I believe that the fiber is beneficial to a healthy diet. I use stevia, honey, maple syrup, apple sauce, bananas and raisins to sweeten foods. I try not to use excessive amounts of them though.
Ok, well enough of this post. You get the idea. I will also add that I saw God move in many ways for me. When we are weakest in the flesh, we are strongest in spirit :-) When I feel my sugar intake is getting out of control, I begin a new sugar fast. Sometimes all it takes is a week to get back on track. So far, I have found that a month long, once a year is quite beneficial for me. I hope that I can be of some help to someone. I feel excessively grieved to see "fat America" in the emergency room for mental and physical problems related to obesity. I want to make a difference for some one. This is why I decided to blog about it and make my strange traditions public.
Isaiah 61:3-5 (New King James Version)
3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” 4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations. 5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, And the sons of the foreigner Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Of course my imagination ran wild and I wondered what would happen if a family of squatters had already moved into our home. Kevin seeing a light on in the basement didn't help. On and on my imagination shaped a "Chuck Norris type gunfight" accompanied by hand to hand combat. Eventually we chase the would be squatters out of our home, and the perimeter becomes secure. Then the would be squatters become old friends or family who we must dutifully invite to live with us. These crazy ideas go on and on until I have built a fire in the wood stove and fallen asleep.
Well, I am glad to be home, no squatters present. I am thankful for safe travels and wonderful family.
For anyone who wants, I am beginning a month long white sugar fast, and you are welcome to join me :-) I will plot my progress as it comes. This will be my 3rd annual sugar fast. My first one was 2 1/2 months long, then I've done 2 more month long ones. I have also done sporadic week long ones as well. I will be writing more on this in future blog entries along with healthy "hope for the best" recipes. I will also write my testimony about how this has helped me. I will say that I have grown from them spiritually, and lost from them in fat (30 lbs) the first fast. Anyway, my mom is joining me and every one else is welcome too ;-) It is a good time for me to focus on nutrition and also on prayer.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
My mother, who is close to sainthood, in my mind, has some very unique compulsions. As a child, I can remember that for quite some time, I was she and my grandmother’s obsession. I often visited the Doctor for many reasons other than illness. I also frequented the dentist. My childhood was micro managed to the extent that almost every waking and sleeping moment, some one knew what I was doing. For the sake of my sister reading this, I will add that even my toilet behavior was closely monitored.
My grandmother was also quite obsessive. Whenever I asked to go for a walk, she would send me out with a cup full of pepper to throw into anyone’s eyes who might try to harm me. I was only allowed to walk about 2-3 cabins past our property. Then I had to come straight back.
When I was about 12 or 13, my mother “got saved”. She was a single mom, working full time to support us girls. She had been searching for quite some time. She sailed through many new interests prior to this conversion. At the time I thought it was one of her passing trends. After all, not long before this she had gotten into cooking with a wok, taking guitar lessons, and getting her green belt in karate. I still remember the time she said “when I die, bury me in my Ge”.
It is quite extra-ordinary how it all happened now that I think about it. One day my mother prayed the salvation prayer with a carpenter who was working on our house. After that, she suddenly took an interest in this church not far away from our home. It was not unusual for her to be excited about something new, but this new trend didn’t go away easily. My mother blared Christian Radio in the car. She started saying “praise the Lord” all the time. She even began making odd sounds with a new thing she called “praying in tongues”. She carried her bible all over the place with her. If ever there was an excited new convert, it was my mother.
I tolerated all these things for the most part. It was when some well meaning church person told her that she needed to instruct her children in these things that it really affected me. Suddenly, I was not only in school Monday through Friday and Dance Classes every entire Saturday, but we now had a place to be on Sundays. My grandmother rebelled at first, but when she saw that my mother was determined, she eventually gave in and started going along with her. For a while, when she was angry, she would shout on the top of her lungs “You call yourself and Christian and……..” to whatever behavior she didn’t approve of in my mother. We also quit our beloved tradition of going to the local eating establishment (which was a bar). My Grandmother would order a “Harvey Wall Banger” and my Mother would order a “Vodka Collins”. I would play video games, eat greasy food, and be entertained by drunk Minnesotans.
We were quite an amusing scene at the local church. In the morning, I would try to get out of going to church. Eventually I was forced to go. This was the first time ever that my mother made me do anything. My sister would happily go along. In the car, my mother would blast her Christian Radio station saying “praise the Lord” and I would try to change the station. My sister would narc on me. I would come to learn that I could never escape from Christian Radio stations in the years to follow. My grandmother would pack my little sister a container of butter, a knife and some crackers. Every Sunday, my sister would sit underneath the front pew buttering the crackers and happily munching on them. Lively music would play and people would get excited. Quiet music would play and people would raise their arms. The pastor would deliver a message. Some Chinese lady behind me would begin to loudly speak. I never did locate her as many times as I tried to.
This went on for quite some time. Every Sunday I could hear the pastor inviting us to come up and “get saved”. Every Sunday, this invisible force would compel me to the front. Even then, I was terrified of people and the idea of making a spectacle of myself in front of an entire church was enough to make me want to vomit.
I knew it was only a matter of time before this invisible force had its way with me. It never quit compelling me forward. Some times I would grip the sides of the pew to hold myself back. It didn’t just pursue me in the church. It began to follow me every where I went. It was there with me in the morning and at night constantly pursuing me. One day I couldn’t take it. It was an evening service at the church with a special speaker. I was particularly concerned about going up there because I was a 7th grader by then, and a 12th grade boy had taken it upon himself to begin hitting on me. We were sitting together in the back of the church. My mother was oblivious to these things because as a new Christian, everything was wonderful and all that mattered was God. I really wanted to impress this guy. Going up there would commit “cool” suicide. The pull became unbearable though, and up I went along with some others. “Welcome to the kingdom of God” my mother kept loudly telling us all after the service.
Once I said “yes” just once to that invisible force, my life would never be the same. It would pursue me to no end. Everything became fresh and new and I was constantly hungry for more of it. It was there when I woke up in the morning. It was there when I went to bed at night. Reading my Bible, I’d eventually curl up and sleep with it (though I hid this fact from my mother). Though I didn’t want anybody to know, this invisible force consumed me. It took me to places no one could ever understand. It was like having a supernatural best friend. One day all by myself I asked it if I could have that gift my mom had, and just like that, it gave it to me.
The problem was, it was jealous. It wouldn’t let my affections happily pursue much else. I was particularly most miserable trying to get drunk or high. It would loudly ask me “is this really making you happy?”. I couldn’t turn any direction without it being there, waiting for me. Once I gave it first place in my life again, there was a tremendous relief. Perhaps I am a bit neurotic or fixated on Him, but I can’t help myself. He continually demands my eyes fixed on Him. When I look elsewhere, misery is sure to follow. The cool thing about Him, is that He gives me supernatural insight. He tells me which way to go. He gives me vision, passion, and self worth.
As for my families other strange fixations, well there are many of them, though none anywhere near as purposeful. Just the other day my mother and I were discussing some of her fetishes. They involved a chiropractor, a naturopath and a furniture store. It seems there is no end to the experts she consults. She drives her mechanics close to insanity. She can spend many an hour discussing the inherent evils of msg, pork and acidic foods. She lives on goat cheese, organic cherry juice and chocolate. These trends come and go. I can’t remember her cooking with a wok since I was a child. She no longer pursues karate. She doesn’t play her guitar much. As for God, well that fetish has never passed.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Allow me to introduce you to my in laws. They're not quite your average grandparent type figures. My father in law, for example, loves to do really cool things. He can be seen popping wheelies on his motorcycle as he drives by his home in the summer time when the kids are out playing on the front lawn. During the summer, he goes for motorcycle rides with them and takes them fishing. In the winter, he drives them around on his snowmobile and they target practice firearms together. When our oldest daughter was little, she wanted to grow up to be a small engine mechanic just like him. When our oldest son has cool experiences, the first person he wants to call isn't another teen, its his grandfather.
We must not leave out their grandmother. Last night, there was a conversation about target practice. The kids encouraged me to challenge their grandmother to a shooting contest. Kiana figured I shouldn't bother, because, undoubtedly her grandmother would win. I know better, anyway, than to take on someone coined "Dead Eye Debbie". She is also dubbed "The Gift Giver", because she gives more gifts to more people than anyone I know. On Christmas, the entire living room is so full of presents that there is only room for each child to sit in one spot and not move. The presents tower over them so that once they are handed the presents, you can no longer see the child. She also has the incredible knack to find just the right thing for whomsoever she is buying the gift for. She reads the kids stories at night or plays games with them. She encourages most every hobby they pursue. I fear I will never be quite the grandparent that they are when my time comes. The children all think they're the best thing ever.
I have spent many an hour hiking on the frozen swamp behind their house on this visit. My father in law made all kinds of neat trails over the frozen bog. I've been making "swamp bouquets" out of the cedar, balsam, cat tails and other shrubbery and weeds I have found out there. Today it warmed up to 0 or a little above, so we all took a long hike in the swamp. It was so much fun. Karsten and Kaleb watched vigilantly for Sasquatch lingering around, but they didn't see any. We saw a deer and 2 snowshoe hares. The rabbits were so pretty. I tried to photograph them, but my camera batteries refused to be resurrected.
Here are some photos of the breakfast I prepared before we marched across the frozen bog. Cheesy Hash browns, Sausage and Gingerbread Snowman Pancakes as an accompaniment to eggs. It is decorated with one of my "swamp bouquets".
Monday, January 5, 2009
This is how it started..... I was born into a home full of females. 1. My mother of course 2. My grandmother 3. My Aunt. Eventually, my sister, who is 7 years younger than me replaced my aunt. There were never any men in the equation. My experiences in Kindergarten were sketchy. My first distinct recollection of male interaction (other than with uncles and such) was a boy I called "charcoal booger". I called him this because he always had green snot running down his nose and his last name reminded me of charcoal. I will not elaborate any further on him other than to say that he once said to me in gym class "hey baby lets smooch". This was a shocking thing to hear as a kindergartner, particularly because of the green snot visualization. From then on, I developed an aversion to the male species. God does have a sense of humor, and gave me a husband (who came from an all boy family) along with 3 sons. I have since come to appreciate the male species because of this. However, in most of my growing up years, I experienced extreme anxiety around them.
It may have been this random incident, or possibly because of the time I was excommunicated from a church. Regardless of why, people in general at times cause me to suffer extreme anxiety.
Most of the time this is not true working the night shift as an ER nurse. When the nice and normal day shift people have left, all the odd balls come out to work. I relate to these odd balls well, because I am one of them. Working as an ER nurse is not a normal interaction with people anyway. Let me tell you why. Say for instance, you were having a heart attack. Instead of saying "nice to meet you", I am removing their clothing in order to attach a heart monitor and do an EKG. Rather than shake a hand, I am sticking needles into it. It is a very unusual way to interact with a perfect stranger. Only in hospitals is this kind of behavior appropriate. Please don't try it any where else.
When I am forced to interact with people, I sometimes feel I must pretend to be "normal". The problem is, I don't know what "normal" is. I fake it, but I don't pull it off well. After studying other people over time, I have come to the conclusion that many of them are trying to pretend to be "normal" as well. Here's some good scriptures for all of you faking it odd balls.
1 John 3
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us,because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
1 John 1 : 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
We must all embrace our individuality. We must no longer pretend to be normal. Yes, people may think we are weird, but that's o.k., because, after all, we are. Being weird and interacting with people actually provides great blog writing material if you can maintain your sense of humor.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I will spare you the details of my heathen teenage years. Sufficed to say that I found myself in my early 20's married to an atheist, myself a "backslider", fighting to get through college and just trying to get by. We'd had our first baby, Kevin III, and neither of us were particularly ready to grow up just yet, let alone, raise a baby. I was reaping a lot of things I'd sown and I didn't particularly like the harvest I was getting. Its not that I didn't love my family, its more that I did, and I felt guilty for putting myself (and them) in such a home life. I knew better than the choices I had made. As a child, I believed that I was supposed to go to Bible College and become a missionary. I was sure that God had cursed my life and that nothing could possibly go right since I had "unequally yoked".
I tried going to churches after Kevin and I were together, but they didn't sit well with me. The first one I thought I could get away with living a little sinful in. They seemed like the "anything goes" kind of church, and it was. I was awfully bored there. I didn't grow much. I didn't feel God there much either. Its not that He wasn't there, it just wasn't right for me. It could have been that every time I left after a service, the pastors son in law would ask me where my husband was. Instead of saying "He's not a Christian", I found a stupid excuse to tell him. He always shook his head piously and said "How sad, how sad, a woman in church without her husband". Then he would say "how sad, how sad, a baby in church without its father." I got rather tired of this routine and I had the strange sensation to slap him and say "how sad, how sad, a moron in the door of this church every week."
The next church I went to was a little more the kind I had grown up in. The problem was that they were just too nice. They were so nice, unfortunately, that they never let me in the service with my baby. My options were : 1. let a strange woman babysit my child in the nursery, or 2. sit in the nursery with my child the entire service. 1. Was not an option to me, 2. left me wasting my time. I chose option 3. and quit going there.
The last church was kind of crazy. The people were kinda strange, but they were very welcoming and they seemed to genuinely want me there (with or without my husband). They got really excited when I told them my husband wasn't a Christian and decided to take it upon themselves to "pray him into the kingdom". Along with years of my mothers heartfelt prayers, he didn't stand a chance. The first church promised me it was scriptural that my husband would get saved but told me sadly "it may not be until after you are dead". These people were lively in their services, and I could always feel God's Presence there. It wasn't long before I had rededicated my life to God and told Him this time I would never stray again. I gave my husband to Him and told Him that I was serving God no matter what comes. Despite some of the strange things people did in that church, I knew they loved and accepted me.
It wasn't long before things started to change at home. I'm not talking about my husband either. He told me "I noticed you started keeping the house cleaner". I also gave my best attempt at "submission". I'll never forget the time that he told me I couldn't go to church. I went upstairs to pray (a place I'd been frequenting a lot since the submission thing started). I wasn't there long before he sent me off to church. I discovered that when I quit rebelling and started praying, things changed fast. I was actually seeing supernatural changes in my house.
I had borrowed these crazy "Gospel Bill Show" tapes I would bring home from church. At first Kevin wouldn't allow them in the house. Later he started watching them (until the preaching part came on). Then one day, I was in the shower, and I heard Gospel Bill on. He had put it on for out baby himself. This was getting exciting!
My sister, Heather and I had been planning a long awaited get away at a Christian Rock Festival called "Sunshine" in Wilmar, Minn.. We were really excited about it. I did everything possible to try and leave the house in good order for when I would be gone. I didn't want any problems with my marriage. Things were going so much better these days. The day before I was ready to leave, you guessed it, the toilet in our bedroom got plugged. At the time, Kevin was going to college for Aviation. He was gone during the day taking classes. I was home and trying desperately to get the toilet unplugged. I tried plunging for what seemed like an eternity. I tried household unclogging agents (with what money I could scrape together). Nothing worked. To my horror, during the process, I'd flushed the toilet and there was a horrible mess all over the floor. I was feeling rather desperate. I really wanted to escape to that festival and I knew Kevin wouldn't want me leaving that way. Finally in desperation, I laid hands on the toilet and prayed. I'm talking a heart felt fervent prayer asking God to please fix our toilet.
Eventually the time came, and Kevin let me leave without being upset I was leaving the bathroom unusable. On the way out, I left a note on the landlords house saying that the toilet was not working. The concert was fabulous. Heather and I had a blast! Heather was really into the News Boys. "Ratty", Heathers favorite player had a drum set that rotated upside down for his drum solo. I got my picture taken with John James, the lead singer. We had so much fun! Right before they came on, the crowd seemed to part in front of us. Partly because some obnoxious boys were pushing people. We discovered that if we stayed in front of them, they would just push us up there to the front row. When we got up there, a guy said "hey, how'd you get up here?" We just shrugged our shoulders. He said he'd been sitting there all day long. We got to talking and some where in there, he prophesied to me. He said "your husband is getting saved". I nodded my head. I was believing for that to happen. What I didn't understand was that right then, he was indeed, getting saved.
All by himself, he watched a Gospel Bill Show and prayed the salvation prayer at the end of the show. He said He felt this indescribable feeling and knew that everything had changed. Of course he refused to tell me about this experience. He didn't want to admit that I had been right. When I got home, I was shocked to find that the toilet worked. I told Kevin God must have fixed it. He just shrugged his shoulders and smiled. I went back to the landlords house and left another note. "God fixed our toilet" I wrote. The landlord later showed up wondering what kind of tenants he had. "I want to know how God fixed your toilet" he demanded. After checking it out himself, he left, thinking I was a fruitcake.
It wasn't long before Kevin had watched all the Gospel Bill movies in the church. He even started going with me to the church to get more (when the building was empty). I saw him leave some money in the offering plate once. Gospel Bill had taught him about sowing and reaping. Finally I told him "Kevin, all the movies have been watched, you have to start coming to church if your hungry". Another person had also told me that he felt Kevin was getting saved soon. He was the Wednesday Night Speaker. Little did I know, on a Wednesday night about 15 years ago, my husband would come to church with me for the first time ever (as a Christian). That night, he confessed he had gotten saved. I felt like I was walking on air. As for the toilet, well, it never gave us any further difficulties.