Sunday, December 15, 2013

Notice Anything Different?

This crazy blog was started to journal my journey from a fast food momma feeding her kids processed foods to a more organic, whole food lifestyle.  That's where it started.  However, the more we changed our diet the better we felt.  The better we felt the more I researched the impact of food on our health.  The more I learned the more changes we made.

Our lives and diets took a huge turn when I learned about the ELISA blood test and got my family tested for food allergies.  We had no life threatening allergies Praise God!  We did however have many other allergies that were causing stomach aches, headaches, GI problems, hives, ear infections and a host of other ailments.  After removing dairy from our diets, sinus infections and my son's constant ear infections vanished.  After removing gluten from our diet the headaches, hives, constant fatigue, stomach aches and GI issues disappeared.  When the remaining foods were eliminated and we began to heal, our new lives started.  My foggy brain disappeared and I finally felt free to be who God intended me to be. That's where the new title of my blog comes into play, Lovin' Livin' Free.  We are now lovin' livin' free of all the foods that caused us to miss out on all the joy and blessings this life holds.

During this process of cleaning up our diets, every area of my life improved by leaps and bounds.   I began to reevaluate all of the other areas in my life that were "fast food" living.  So much has changed in these two and a half years.  And all for the better.  I feel so free.  Free to stop living life just managing illness and free to start exploring, inventing, imagining, and finally DOING all the things I always hoped to do.  Free to embrace all of my passions.  Free to live life with no regrets.  Free to be the kind of person that can provide rich experiences for my family.  My family feels this freedom too.

There are days this freedom has a high price and I feel totally overwhelmed.  This freedom is worth the fight.



PS. This post is not to judge or condemn anyone who eats fast food.  It is just to tell my story of how eliminating foods that were toxic to my body and those of my family changed our lives.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gift for the King

video
A group of third grade girls is working to raise money to help support an orphanage in Uganda. To donate, click here. Below is the story of how this got started:



Last year one second grade girl wanted to give a GIFT TO THE KING. She wanted to build an orphanage and clean water wells in Africa. With your help she raised $4200 for World Vision. This year 7 third grade girls and their siblings joined the mission to help orphans in need. We are teaming up with Fair Haven Ministries to help the 50 children in Agnes Child Care Orphange in Jinja, Uganda. We found out about this orphanage through our preschool teacher who helps run the orphanage and visits Uganda every summer to love on the children she sees as her own. Here is her story. We hope to one day join her and hug all the sweet faces we have seen in the pictures the children are holding in this video. Praise God for children that are so pure in heart and willing to listen to God's voice to love on HIS children! Please join this precious group of third grade girls and their siblings in this priceless gift to our King for Christmas by blessing Orphans in Uganda. The donation is tax deductible.  The girls want to write you personalized thank you cards too. Thank you so much and GOD BLESS YOU!! MERRY CHRISTMAS! To donate, please go to: https://secure.qgiv.com/cps_donors/?key=fairhavensministries. If you check, "yes, Fair Havens Ministries can contact me," you will receive a tax receipt via email. Choose "donation", then "gift for the King" enter your amount.


Ways to help:

Sponsor a child:
$30 per month; $360 per year

Food:
$150 for 100 kilos of rice
$110 for 100 kilos of beans
$80 for 100 kilos of maize flour

School:
$10 each for uniforms for school (50 students)
$30 each for uniform school shoes (50 students)
$15 school lunches for the 3 older children (not going to school at the orphanage) (3 month terms)
$150 Transportation to secondary school for the 3 older children (3 month terms)
$100 per month teacher salary for elementary school at orphange (3 teachers)

Other:
$40 per month for night watchman ($480 per year)
$40 for soap to last a few months



Please "Like" our Facebook page, and share this with anyone who you think would like to help.

Fair Havens Ministries is committed to feeding the hungry and helping those in need. One branch of this ministry supports Agnes' Children's Care, an orphanage in Jinja, Uganda. To donate, please go to: https://secure.qgiv.com/cps_donors/?key=fairhavensministries. If you check, "yes, Fair Havens Ministries can contact me," you will receive a tax receipt via email. Choose "donation", then "gift for the King" enter your amount.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Gift of Forgetting

I Forgot.

It breaks my heart.  I forgot your birthday.  In my mind, I always have grand ideas to celebrate your day. I desperately want something special to make you a part of our lives.  I wanted my kids to write you letters we would attach to balloons and send off into the heavens in hopes of them reaching you.  It never happened.  I forgot.  I am typing this at 1a.m., the day after your birthday, crying because I forgot.  I'm sorry.

Tonight I was struck by this thought: On the day we should have been celebrating your birth and giving  you gifts, you and God have lavished me with so many gifts. I was just a typical 19 year old girl trying to make her way in the world the day you left. Your death made me rethink everything I thought was important. My soul was crushed, my spirit broken and I was completely lost. Your death shaped me and for a long while hardened me.  

So vividly I recall being absolutely positive I would only feel pain never feel joy again and so certain I would only live in fear with peace just a distant memory. I remember vowing never to marry or especially have any children. I couldn't stand the thought that I may once again have to walk this road.  I was wounded and walled off. I remember wanting to die along with you.

Thank God for His faithfulness.

The number one gift you left me is joy. Yes, I said joy. That sounds so crazy to say but through the tear stained years I spent feeling so desperate and confused, God slowly healed my heart. It was so gradual and all the while I thought I would never smile a genuine smile again it was almost there. I thought I would never know the feeling that swells up in your heart and comes out as sparkles in your eyes. But it happened. That feeling goes with me everywhere now. It is more intense than I can describe. I hold tightly to that joy God has placed in my heart.  There are seasons in which it has been dimmed. However, it is stronger than I thought possible.

The gift of vulnerability.  I didn't want this gift.  I desperately fought to protect myself but again God's love softened my heart slowly over time.  I have that husband I vowed never to have and those children I swore off at 19.  I remember finally praying to God to bless me with a baby but on these terms: healthy baby with a lifetime guarantee.  That baby never came.  My prayer changed to no matter what I have to endure with this child, God, PLEASE never leave my side.  You see I came to realize that sometimes it's more painful to stop living, to hide, to be filled with fear than it ever possibly could be to be vulnerable and open to all the emotions that go along with really experiencing life. It has made me more compassionate, more passionate, more patience. I'm not perfect and this life is not perfect but I'm out there loving this life I've been given.

You gave me the gift of legacy living. I am so very aware that we are not promised tomorrow.  It makes me love my kids, teach my kids, interact with my kids so very differently.  As a family we try new things, we aren't afraid to be different, to make our own way.  We explore, we play, we encourage each other.  We are a team.  I am so much more gentle, tender and graceful than I could have ever hoped to be without this gift.  I want them to know deep down in their souls, in their bones that they are loved, cherished, and fought for by their momma!  To see themselves if even
just a glimpse as God sees them.  To know their worth and to believe it.  And in wanting that so badly for them I have had to learn it and start to believe it for myself.  It has helped me find my voice and lead me to my many passions.  It's been a really fun way to live and I'm so very grateful!

Daddy, your death broke me and God changed me.  It made me see myself finally through the eyes of God.
It took years for me to accept your death. My goodness, it took almost 20 years to realize that you left me with gifts that are being passed down to my children every day, not just on your birthday. Happy birthday a day late.  I forgot.  Through forgetting I remembered the gifts from you and God.