March 17, 2015 § Leave a comment
I really don’t talk much about my other side on this blog. In fact, I hardly talk about anything anymore on this blog! I happily blame the two little people that have invaded all our time, space, mental and emotional capacities. Most of the time, words remain on the tip of my tongue, I forget things I write down to remember and I don’t recall the last time my room was clean. This is a truly joyous, crazy time in life that if I don’t live it now, I’ll miss it completely. I know many of you know exactly what I’m talking about.
But, I do have something to confess. No, I’m not pregnant (glory, glory hallelujah), but I have been cheating on you… with another blog. You see, there’s a side to me that I don’t much talk about here. I’ve been wanting to talk about it, but I just couldn’t see how I could fit that side of me into this blog, so I started a new one. And it’s all about… health. Yep. I’m a secret lover of all things healthy and have spent the past few years diving into a healthy lifestyle change that involves clean eating, essential oils, alternative natural medicines, yoga and running.
You see, when Jordyn started eating solids, I became hyper-aware of everything that goes into her precious little body (as I’m sure many parents do). I started researching what’s in processed foods, children’s medications and so on. In doing so, Chris and I have made many changes to our own lifestyle.
I’m sharing recipes, knowledge and firsthand experiences with Young Living Essential Oils (I’m also a distributor!), God-stories and anything motivational I can get my hands on. We are on a road to better health and I’d love to share my findings with you!
Come follow me at Run Your Path.
January 1, 2015 § 7 Comments
Happy New Year!
Chris and I are sitting on our couch, watching a movie and relishing the peace that comes with an early bedtime for the babes. We partied hard last night, like all parents of little ones do (…barely made it ’til midnight…) but we did hear fireworks and knew that somewhere a giant ball was dropping. Despite our party animal antics, we’ve still found the time over the past few days to hash out some dreams, make pancakes for breakfast and workout at the Y. In fact, that last one (workout at the Y) is what inspired me to write tonight. This time of year, a lot of people are making new health and fitness goals. Some may have weight loss goals and are starting a new diet. If that’s you, then I have a story to share with you. I believe God sets us free so A) we can be free and B) so we can set others free. I hope (believe) my story will set you free.
I have been an athlete my whole life. I played multiple sports growing up, lettered in varsity swimming and fastpitch in high school, then went onto get a scholarship for fastpitch in college. Although I was always very physically active, I still struggled with the normal woes of body image that many girls do. I started thinking I was fat in 7th grade (12-13yrs old). I stole my parent’s metabolife pills in high school. I used the “infatuation” stage at the beginning of a relationship to curb my appetite and lose weight. I binged at night when I’d get home from partying. I distinctly remember snarfing down a pb&j at midnight while watching the news of Princess Di’s fatal accident unravel. I thought about food all the time. I even threw up my food on a number of occasions…
I went off to Vanguard University and gained the Freshman 15 my first year. I then added a few more pounds my sophomore year. I was 150lbs at my heaviest and couldn’t get ahead of this thing. It was a horrible cycle. I’d overeat, then feel awful. I’d feel awful, then overeat. I couldn’t say “no” to food. Once again, I’d think about it all the time. How I hated it. How I wanted to be skinny. How I wanted to not want to eat all the time!
The summer after my sophomore year I came home fed up. I went to the library and checked out 10-12 books on dieting, calorie counting and meal plans. But, I also prayed. I asked God to help me and one of the books I found while scouring the library shelves was “Rise Above: God Can Set You Free from Your Weight Problems Forever” by Gwen Shamblin. It turned out that “Rise Above” was her follow-up book to “Weigh Down Diet”, which I bought and devoured. (Ha! Devoured… )
Her words made sense to me more than anything else I had read or heard about dieting. She claimed that diets don’t work because they put all the focus on making the food behave vs. having self control. She claimed that our hearts are hungry and sometimes we mistake that for actual hunger. In fact, she boldly proclaimed that we might be so used to overeating and emotional eating that we’ve forgotten what it even feels like to feel true hunger pangs.
What. The. Crap.
It’s like she knew me.
And she kinda did… because she’d been there too.
(I swear I’m not getting compensated from Gwen or her publisher or anyone BUT, she was a huge part of my journey towards freedom so, SHOUT OUT TO YOU, GWEN! WHOOPTY WHOOOOOOOP!!!!!)
I read her book. I highlighted and underlined the crap out of it. Then read it again. And again. And again. Anytime I started to struggle, I’d read the parts I highlighted to get myself back on track. And my problem was breaking bad habits – not bingeing, not purging. Stopping all the unhealthy ways I thought about food… hell, stopping thinking about food altogether. You see, one thing that i still call upon from Weigh Down Diet was when Gwen said that we should only think about food when we’re hungry. We only think about using the bathroom when we have to go, right? So why isn’t it the same with food? Why do we dream about food when we’re not even hungry? RIGHT?!??
So, I’d have a thought about food and I’d ask myself Am I truly hungry? If the answer was no, I’d think about something else… anything else. I had to retrain my thoughts! One day, after class, I was driving home and I knew if I went straight home, I’d binge on the frozen cheese cake bites I’d recently bought. So, I drove to a church and sat in the parking lot until my stomach growled. I’m not even joking. Do I sound crazy? Breaking the bad habits was hard. Changing my thinking patterns was hard. But, I did it. When I wanted to eat (when I wasn’t truly hungry), I’d pray. And God helped me. He honored my efforts and He was always there.
It has been over 10 years since then. I am healthy! I am the size God made me to be. I am happy. I have a healthy body image. I love my body. I love myself.
Do I have a perfect body? Um, according to whom? Do i have flaws? Duh! Do I love food? Yes, but in a respectful way. More so, I love the Provider of the food. I love that He gives us delicious strawberries in the summertime and dark chocolate with sea salt. And scallops and mussels and guacamole and sushi! Okay, I love food too, but it no longer rules me. It has no control over my thoughts. I work out because I love it. (I am one of those weirdos that loves running). I don’t work out to counteract what I eat, because I don’t overeat (too often, anyway). Do I still slip up and overeat? Yep. What do I do then? Move on with grace. I don’t bash myself over the head. I simply start anew again.
I thought it would be hard to write this, but it wasn’t. I believe that God set me free and because of that, I know He can set you free too. If you’re tired and worn out from battling an unhealthy relationship with food, there is hope. You can and will find freedom – and it’s not in a diet, a supplement or a merciless workout regimen. Remember, it’s an upside-down Kingdom we serve. We don’t play by the rules of the world. Our freedom and healing come from The Lord, then we turn around and share it with the world. So, go ahead and exhale. There is freedom and rest waiting for you. You can enjoy food again. You can stop the cycle of working out to compensate for overeating. Indulge in His goodness. Who the Son sets free is free indeed. Ask Him. Pursue Him. It isn’t easy, but you can overcome this. Your heart is worth the fight.
I will help in anyway I can. If you have any questions, post them in the comments below.
You’re not alone. We’re all in this together.
November 20, 2014 § 1 Comment
Oh, how we forget.
In the busy-ness.
In the chaos.
In the groceries, the dishes, the toys on the floor, the 2 year olds in the cribs, the 7 month olds on the play mat.
The heart breaks, the health scares, the arguments, the mundane, the comparisons.
The River that flows endlessly and grace-FULLy through our own veins. From our hearts, to the outer most places and beyond.
And back again.
And all we have to do is flow with it.
Step in and let go.
Become one with and flow with the River.
When so often, we think…
We think too much. At least I do.
When all we need is to let go
and go with the River.
O, Calloused Heart,
You do not have to callous yourself. You can be vulnerable. You can breathe deep and exhale. You alone are not at war, although sometimes it feels like it. You can trust the River to take you where you need to go. To carry you. You can let go there. You can find freedom in It’s depths.
The Night is dark, but trust the River.
The panic is scary, but flow.
The world has many troubles, but He has overcome the world.
Let go of your defenses.
Open up once again.
July 7, 2014 § 1 Comment
Wowza. Blog posts are few and far between these rambunctious days of mothering two babies. Jordyn is many brilliant colors all bursting out of her little 20 month old body. She does everything boldly, loudly and with every ounce of her lioness-heart. And then there’s sweet Jeremiah, who is the star of this post. With rainbow-shaped eyes and a smile that’ll bring you to your knees, this little man has flipped our world upside down and filled our hearts with wonder once again.
Rewind almost seven years ago.
A man of 24 years was riding on a bus deep in the mountains of China. He was leaving one city where he served in a restaurant with a team on a trip called The World Race. It was on that bus ride that he was praying about nothing of great consequence when the Lord interrupted him and said,
“You’ll have a son named Jeremiah”.
He hadn’t really thought about kids or even a wife and suddenly the Lord is telling him his son’s name?
That 24 year old man was Chris.
And almost seven years later he’s in a hospital watching his son, Jeremiah, take his first breath.
Chris told me about his encounter with the Lord sometime after it happened. I don’t remember if we were married yet or not, but I know it immediately settled in my heart. One day, I’d have a son named Jeremiah.
When we found out I was pregnant this second time around, Jordyn was 8 1/2 months old and I’d just gone through two weeks of motherhood that would make even Mother Teresa consider birth control. But there it was, on all 4 hpt’s I took that day, the little “plus” sign.
I came out of the bathroom to tell Chris. He was standing at the living room window holding Jordyn and watching the crazy thunderstorm outside.
“Chriiisss?!” I called. My voice sounded shaky, uncertain in my own ears.
“Um, I’m pregnant”.
Ha. I wish I could adequately transcribe the next few minutes for you. To sum it up there were a lot of “What’s?!” “No ways!” and “Are you serious?”‘s. I took another test to verify. Yep. Yes way. Totally serious. We were having another baby!
It probably took me 3 days to not be anxious about it. As I said before, I’d just gone through two weeks of some tough motherhood. How was I going to do this? Could I? One was proving to be a handful for me. Could I really be a “good” mom to TWO?
So I prayed a lot. And reminded myself that God was in control and that He’d planned this from the beginning. He knew this little one already forming inside me and everything would be ok.
Once again, everyone knew it would be a boy before we did. And when we went in for the ultrasound, there was no mistaking. We were having a boy!
Chris and I had the conversation sometime later if we thought this was Jeremiah. In hindsight it’s kind of funny that we even had to ask, because now knowing this little guy, he is soooooo Jeremiah.
Michael is a family name on Chris’ side. On his Scottish side (whoa- Chris is Scottish?! Yep, half) it’s a tradition to give the firstborn son his grandfather’s first name as his middle name. Unfortunately, not all the men kept this tradition, so Chris decided to pick it back up giving Jeremiah his Grandpa’s first name. And his Grandpa’s name was Michael.
Jeremiah means God will uplift
Michael means Who is like God?
As I look over at this baby boy sleeping in his “Little Beach Bum” yellow onesie next to me, I’m overcome with gratitude. Once again, I am the blessed one. I am the one who gets to know this boy for the whole of the rest of my life. I am the chosen woman who gets to call this boy “son”. He is oh so sweet. The way he raises his eyebrows when he looks at you will melt your heart. It sure melts mine.
He is a leader. A warrior. A prince.
He is full of truth and light and will be able to call them both out in situations and in people.
And he’s perfect 🙂
Without further ado I introduce to you, Jeremiah Michael.
February 24, 2014 § 1 Comment
There is something so beautiful and untouchable about the magic of childhood. Little eyes discovering things for the first time – and those things take on a life of their own at the hand of their imagination. Being Jordyn’s mom, this is one aspect of her life I’m the most excited for and it’s already begun.
We have a giant flower pot in our backyard filled to the top with loose soil. Jordyn discovered it about a week ago when we were outside playing on a warmish Winter day. At first she just kind of traced her fingers through it. Then she discovered the coolness of the dirt and the way it tickled her hands as she ran them through it. She was soon dipping both hands in as far as she could (nearly up to her elbows) and pulling them out. (Much like sticking your hands into a barrel full of uncooked beans at the grocery store). Her eyes were huge with wonder and a slight smile played at her mouth. Then she’d take a handful, walk over to the concrete patio and drop the dirt onto it. The way it sprayed and scattered as it hit the hard surface made her laugh. She’d do these two things over and over again, neither getting old. Pretty soon dirt was everywhere; down her boots, smeared on her face – I even found some in her diaper!
A part of me kept thinking about how I’d get the stains out of her white pants. The other part of me slapped that part and told it to shut up. Let the wild girl be covered head to toe in dirt and wonder! Let her touch, taste (which was inevitable), feel, smell, see and listen! Stain-schmain. This sweet little girl is touching the world.
She has this head full of wild hair too. Right now, it goes in every direction. There’s no combing it into order, so we just go with it. Sometimes we rock the top-of-the-head pony tail (until she rips it out) and sometimes I can sneak a barrette in while she’s distracted. But it’s that hair. That wild, every-which-way hair that I love.
I find myself as a parent sometimes wanting to bring order to the chaos. Whether it’s keeping her clean while she’s playing in dirt or combing her hair into submission, there’s this thing inside me that wants to make it look nice. But, I’m afraid that the looking nice will stifle the wild and I don’t want that.
I often wonder how Jesus does it. How he lets us be wild, get dirty and experience the world, but also brings order to the chaos. In His wisdom, He knows what battles are worth fighting, what boundaries are worth laying and then lets us run. Oh to tap into that wisdom! To swim in that river of His knowing! To foster my children’s process of discovery and wonder in such a way that their little hearts grow and flourish and feel safe and confident all at once…
He’s so good at it. And nothing has shown me how much I need Him like motherhood. Especially now that we have a baby boy due in 7 weeks. 7 WEEKS! A BOY! Yikes! But also, hallelujah!
Life is crazy here in our big world as I’m sure it is in yours, too. But no matter how crazy the crazy gets, the sun still shines, summer is only a few months away and TJ Maxx and Target are just down the street. But more importantly, we have each other. So, lets all be free and let others be free too. Let’s make a mess and call it beautiful, because there’s also no shortage on laundry detergent. Let’s dive into life. Taste it, smell it, feel it, see it and listen to it’s rhythm.
December 28, 2013 § Leave a comment