Friday, April 19, 2013

Now We See Dimly

I've been thinking a lot about this blog in the past month or so. It's obviously not been full of writing this past year, and I've been wondering what to do, to remedy that, or chalk it up to "all done" as my kids would say.

But as I think back to where I was a year ago, anxiously awaiting the arrival of our precious miracle Emelia Grace, and the fact that it was practically summer already, and here this year we've been "blessed" with at least 9 inches of fresh snow in the past 24 hours, I realize it's time to write. Even if I do use run-on sentences.

Because here's the deal, I am NOT the same person I was a year ago. So much has changed, and not just with the arrival of baby #2. (I choose to call her #2, even though we have 3 in Heaven. It makes it so much easier for those who can only see the 2 that we feed and love everyday.)

Right now, I have a 3 year-old little boy watching the city department clean up all the snow outside our window on the street, and an 11 month-old big girl pushing down balls in her toy over and over again. And laughing. And my heart is full. I woke up with a discontented spirit today, a tad discouraged about a few things in my life. But as I thought about writing, I realized how many blessings I wanted to write about. And I can't help but feel oddly peaceful. So I better write fast or you know the chaos of life will snatch that away. ;) It's all going to sort of spill out versus and organized fashion, because well, it's life, and it's never neat and pretty all the time.

I wrote you about Andrew's station closing and all the chaos in our marriage and life. Well, currently he has a "new" temporary full-time job. It's just north of town about 10 miles and he loves it. I am SO proud of him for getting it, he had to work hard and make some sacrifices, but he got it, and it's such a great fit for him and our family. We're praying and we'd ask you to pray that it would become permanent.

After I wrote in December, that was really the beginning of our lives changing immensely. In January I started some new whole-food natural supplements. And boy, has my life changed. This blog isn't dedicated to selling you on them, but rather to share how they've impacted my life, and I can't share about my life without sharing about them, because I want this great life for everyone.
This was a very risky step for me, money was short, but I was desperate. I trusted my friend that shared them with me, so I went for it. A 30-day money back guarantee helped too. :)
My life is forever changed. It wasn't just that I lost weight, I did, it was that I finally found healthy nutrition in my life. Literally by the 5th day on the products I was craving vegetables and choosing to cook with them, for me, not just my husband! If you know me, you know this is huge. I won't defend myself too much and say "It was a gag reflex, I wanted to eat them!" Or "I am a people pleaser, my entire childhood is marked by feelings of rejection because I didn't eat what my extended family thought I should." Trust me, I wanted too.
The important thing is what I'm learning, so that will be part of the journey and sharing. I'm learning how nutrition is key to our health and weight. Our culture pushes exercise as the perfect solution to our obesity problem, but research shows it just isn't true. We SHOULD exercise and be active and strong, but our core needs are good nutrition. And frankly, I don't care how organic or healthy you eat, our food does NOT have the nutrition it needs to give us what we need. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, needs supplements. "But I grow and raise all my own food!" you say. Great! Good for you! And I mean that, but ever consider how depleted our soil is? I have a friend who's husband's company is working on helping farmers replenish their soils, but oh it's a long process in our world.
So to get personal, what changes have I seen in my family? I have a baby girl who's diaper rash is no more after we tried EVERYTHING to help her. These whole food/vitamins/minerals/probiotics have helped her so much. I have a son who's digestive system is SO much more healthy than it's ever been. It's been a huge struggle eating and bathroom wise and it's finally becoming much less stressful in our lives. I have a husband who's putting on a few pounds. Which is really good news after his battles and weight loss with the stomach flu this winter.
And me? HUGE life-changing differences. Not only have I lost weight, had huge balance in my emotions/moods/seratonin levels, gained muscle, and gained tons of more energy, but my life is finally healthy. I am choosing to make MUCH better food and meal choices for my family. Sugary snacks aren't our go to. Chips are healthier options and less often. Do we still eat pizza and other less-healthy options? Of course! We live in our world after all. But that's the awesomeness. These supplements allow me to live a real life, but by being healthy in it. I could go on and on, but I'll just say my life has been changed, our health is better, and I am so thankful. If you want more info, just contact me, and I'll be sharing more in the future. I'd love to help you make life-changes that really are for life, not a week or month.

These products have also given me the chance to have my own business. Without all the hoops and pressures of other direct-sales companies. I just returned from Orlando from an amazing conference, and what I was thinking about the whole time I was there was about my family and about sharing with you. Because I was overwhelmed by the power of balance, and of goals and dreams. It overwhelms me at times, this desire to help my family. Because that's why I'm doing it. For my family. I honestly struggled last month with knowing how to balance business and family. Because I didn't want to take away from my family, with the pretense of helping my family. And I was honestly so torn about how and what to do. But this one quote keeps reliving in my brain.

"Don't give up what you most want in life for something you think you want now." Richard G. Scott

When I made it home Sunday night Andrew and I had a big conversation. About life, our marriage, our family, and our goals. And we both agreed, we have some goals to achieve. And here's the thing, we believe. We believe that sometimes life has to be out of balance before it can be balanced. That there will be sacrifices. There will be days when our kids come before our marriage, when our marriage comes before our kids, when business/work comes first, when simply putting dinner on the table will be the goal. But the goal overall is balance, and raising our family to know Christ, and to help others a long the way. As you can see, the goals are relative and ever-changing too. :)

The opposite of Faith is Fear. So which side of the fence will I live on? With fear? Or with Faith?

Because I am a Christian, a disciple of Christ, my life needs to always come back to the spiritual. So how does this all connect? How does my daily struggle to build a business, be a great wife, continually be growing our marriage, be a good mom who points her children to Christ, who builds children who know it's all about God's glory, to be a great friend, to run a balanced and healthy home, to be, well everything, how does this all come down spiritually?

I'm doing a study once a week on the basics of the Gospel. And it's not boring, it's not old, it's not the same old same old. Because the Gospel is never-ending. My biggest challenge so far from the study? Redemption. What areas of my life have I not yet let be redeemed? Where am I not letting the Gospel be applied?

My challenge? This quote:

"God isn't interested in making us 'spiritual' if by spiritual we mean detached: Jesus was God stuck in. God isn't interested in making us self-absorbed. Jesus was self-giving personified. God isn't interesed in serenity: Jesus was passionate for God, angry at sin, wept for the city. The word 'holy' means set apart from or different from, our sinful ways. It doesn't mean being set-apart from the world, but being consecrated to God in the world. He was God's glory IN and FOR the world."

We are to reflect God's image to the world, and with sin that mirror image is broken. But now it's as if that mirror is being healed and is slowly reflecting an accurage image again.

So here it is:

"This process - us becoming more like Jesus so we reflect more accurately what God is like - is the number one thing God is ALWAYS up to in our lives."

"A disciple is someone who is learnign to apply the gospel to absolutely every part of life. Discipleship is all about letting God bring about change in our lives from the inside out so we look more like Jesus."

There you have it. That's who I am. A broken mirror that wants to be healed and accurately reflect Christ. A Disciple that is letting God bring about change from the inside out.

And guess what? That isn't just about my soul. Our bodies are truely body, soul/spirit, and mind.
My soul has been redeemed, but our world is cursed, death abounds. God wants to redeem my mind and body too.

So when I lose weight and heal my physical body from the inside and get healthier? God is being glorified.

When I work daily and being a better wife and mother and loving others? God is being glorified.

When I spend time in Scripture everyday studying and soaking up God's promises and being convicted of sin? God is being glorified.

The mirror is being healed. Won't you join me on the journey?
Oh there will be days of failure, days that the image is distorted. I am a sinful creature. But my goal, is to be redeemed in ALL areas of my life.

There's a lot of change to happen, but for the first time of my life, it doesn't overwhelm me. I am learning to set goals, big and small. To do today what will help me get attain my goals tomorrow. To do today what will make me like Christ. And to never again seperate my life. Because it's all interwoven. God's plan for our lives body, soul, and mind is so amazing. He wants to REDEEM all of our life.

Join me as I strive to let him. And as I share about the struggles of doing it. The days when the 3-year-old is driving me nuts and we have boxed mac & cheese for supper. And the days when it's calm and productive and everything is from scratch. Because both days are life. And God's redemption should be reflected in both of them.

Keeping it REAL.

And real was the panic when I thought I lost this entire post and about slammed my computer shut in tears. Praise God He redeemed this post! :)