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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Christmas food

Well, this year I was able to have a bit more foods than last year, which was a very good thing!  Even though I made some yummy treats for everyone else, I kept myself away from them pretty well.  Yes, I did lick the spoon when I made cheesecake, possibly ate a titch of frosting and dough from sugar cookies, and ate a bite of ham made totally a non-SCD way.  Overall though, I did okay.  And my gut reacted pretty good with all of it as well, which is the best part of all!

So what did I eat?  I made a big batch of cauliflower mashed potatoes.  I ate those with just about everything!  Meatballs, roast, turkey, chicken, cheese….it all was delicious in those mashed ‘taters!  I also had apple crisp.  I made a big 9×13 pan of it.  I intended for more of it to be eaten by others, but a bunch ended up in my fridge for leftovers.  Heaven for me!  I ended up eating it, along with homemade SCD-legal whipped cream, for 2 days.  I loved it!  I didn’t see any increase in symptoms (always possible when you eat a lot of one thing), and I’m so thankful for that!

I had also made cinnamon rolls for myself, which was a great treat before Christmas.  Oh, and chocolate cake.  Yes, I made chocolate cake, and it was to die for (at least, to my new taste buds!).

I knew I would need some sweet “treats” during the holiday season to help me avoid the regular treats.  Not that I would eat much of them, but I just didn’t want the temptation, so made stuff I could gorge on and not be in trouble.  🙂

Overall, it was a great holiday season for food for me.  Family and friends was also great…..I’ll maybe post on that later.  🙂

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Posted by on December 29, 2010 in Crohn's Journal

 

Thankfulness (by Jacob, age 6)

I recently found something that my son, a first grader, wrote in school for Thanksgiving.  I had unpacked it from his bag and set it on the counter, meaning to read it sometime soon.  A few weeks later, as I was decorating for Christmas, I found it, and what he wrote blessed my heart so much I wanted to share.

Jacob was supposed to write about the things he is thankful for.  Among the normal things a 6 year-old boy would say like candy and toys, he put some deep heart things in.  He said he was thankful for his shelter and food, his teacher and school.  And his last line says, “But most of all, I am thankful for my family.”

Even now, reading it here, I almost cry thinking of his little heart writing these things.  We have not shared a lot with the kids about our money issues right now, but we’ve told them some.  They know things are tight, but that God keeps giving us what we need, like a roof over our head and food in our bellies.  And they know, from their experiences in Mexico helping the kids this summer, that they are truly blessed.

I know plenty of first grade kids that would list their XBox, their IPod, their new scooter, the exact pillow pets they wanted…..all these material things that they are thankful for.

Yet, my son can see the blessing of a warm house and food in his belly and a family who loves him beyond measure.  Simple things that many people take for granted.

Our Christmas will be a good one this year.  Not because our tree is full of presents.  It’s not.  But because we have family.  We have food.  We have a house.  We have a Savior who was born for us.

I’ve learned a lesson from my 6 year-old this week: to look beyond the material, and see all that we have been blessed with.

What are the blessings you’ve been given?

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2010 in Crohn's Journal

 

Challenged to Give

Okay, this is a post I’ve been wanting to write, but haven’t had a chance to sit down and get the thoughts out.  Already, this is the 6th start to this post this afternoon.  I don’t want to sound too polished, or lofty, or proud, or…..anything else except being real.  So, here goes:

Recently I have been challenged by some circumstances to give more.  I know that in the past, I’ve been a generous giver.  I’ll give you my time, my money, my food….whatver you need, I’ll be open to giving it to you.  It’s something I love to do.  I love to bless people out of the abundance that God has given me.

But what happens when you feel you don’t have anything to give, yet God asks you to anyway?

I heard a story about giving, and my initial gut reaction shocked me, and made me think about my motivations and my beliefs in this area.

A group in my church goes out each week and serves food to the people in a poor neighborhood.  They also take meals to the homeless people living beneath the bridge.  They go out each week, without fail, regardless of sun or rain or snow.  We recently had a patch of cold weather, with snow and below freezing temperatures.  This group went out during that storm, and served food.  At the end of their evening, they started to give away more.  They gave shoes, socks, even jackets to the people they were serving, simply because they saw someone in need.

When I heard this story, my initial reaction was to say, “Well, I couldn’t give away my new jacket.  It’s the only one I have, and I don’t have money to buy a new one.”

Ouch.  Even admitting I said those words is hard.

It’s true, my jacket is the only one I have that fits.  I have the one I bought last year, when I weighed 60 pounds more.  I guess I could wear that one.  But this new jacket was given to me, and it was a blessing that I needed at that moment.  It fits perfectly, and will serve my needs during this winter.  I’m sure there will be many snow days where I will want to go outside and play with the kids, and this will keep me nice and warm, and look good in the process.  I love it, simply put.  And I don’t have the spare money to go out and buy myself another one.

But where is God in all of this?  He’s the one who gave me this brand new, designer label jacket.  If he could give me this one, couldn’t he also give me another, possibly even better one?  Why should I worry about how I’m going to stay warm on the drive home?  I have a home.  I have a warm home.  I have a warm bed.  I have food.  I am blessed.  God has taken care of me so far.  Am I so weak that I can’t believe in him for a simple thing like a warm jacket?

Yikes.  It certainly got me to thinking……

I am generous in the things I am comfortable being generous with.  Now, it’s time to go deeper.  To look harder, and listen more closely.  I have been give much.  And I can give much away.  It might not be what I envision, but that’s not what matters.  I’m not God, and I don’t sit on the throne.  I don’t have a crystal ball into other people’s lives, and I don’t know what they need.  But next time, if God puts it on my heart to give, you better believe I’m going to be listening.  And I’m not going to question it.  I either trust that God will take care of me,  ALL of my needs, or not.  If I truly believe that he will, then………what do I have to fear?

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2010 in Crohn's Journal

 

Not smart….

Well, shoot.  I blew it.  Not too bad this time, really.  Because of money and time I’ve just not kept up on my thyroid meds.  A week here, a week there….I thought it was fine.  Really….I thought I could get away with not having those two drugs any more because my latest blood work showed my thyroid was all leveled out.

Wrong!!!

I’ve been about a week without the drugs, and I think I can feel it.  I haven’t been sleeping well, for one.  But I am getting tired really quickly again.  Like, so tired I can barely see straight let alone try to work and be a good mom.  I press on, but…..it has not been easy this week.  My daughter’s birthday was on Monday, along with her family night, and it was all I could do to muster then energy and enthusiasm that my heart desired for that evening because my body felt so drained.

So, I guess I better call the pharmacy and get back on those drugs.  I really had hoped I could go off of them, but I might be mistaken.  Those might be some drugs that I will need for a long, long time.

It’s worth it, though.  If this is my thyroid again, and not just me being tired with work and life, then once it’s back where it needs to be I think I will have the energy I need in order to get things done.

Lesson learned, hand spank done, moving on…..

🙂

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Crohn's Journal

 

WFD: Vanilla Cupcakes

Yes, that’s right.  For dinner tonight I had Vanilla Cupcakes.  Now, before you go and shake a finger at me :), hear me out.  It was my daughter’s 8th birthday party, and 15 minutes before the 7 girls were to arrive I realized that I had NOTHING that I could eat to keep me going through the 4-hour party.  I had a recipe from http://www.elanaspantry.com for Vanilla Cupcakes that I wanted to try and it looked super easy, so I put it together for my “dinner.”  I hoped that it would be a good “grab and go” food for the night, and I was not disappointed!

My first impression is that these are a cross between a muffin flavor and a cupcake.  Not a true cupcake in my mind because they just were not sweet enough.  Regardless, they were super easy to eat, and kept me going.  Each muffin had the equivalent of a 1/2 egg, plus honey and almond flour, so I figure I was eating pretty healthy.  🙂

Here’s the recipe of what I did:

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 almond flour

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

6 eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup-ish (add more for more sweetness) honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

I simply mixed this all together and poured it into my cupcake tin.  You’ll want to grease the tin very well, or use cupcake liners (papers?  little baking cups?  sorry….brain freeze on the name!)  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  I would think you could frost these with some sweet concoction, and they almost would make you think you were eating “real” cupcakes.  Regardless, they were a great treat for me tonight when I needed something to put in my belly.  🙂

 

Changing my words, changing the heart

Okay, today has been a GOOD day.  God knew exactly the kind of classroom I needed to be in today.  I trusted him to place me where I was needed, and where I could feel some “happiness” in my “happening.”  I just wanted to write a follow-up to my last blog about this……

When you let words of despair or defeat enter into your thoughts, they can quickly and easily sink into your heart.  I didn’t know that I had been doing that over the past 2 months.  But they slowly and quietly took residence, to where my joy had been taken away from me.

Starting this morning, I am going to CHOOSE joy. 

You see, my belief is that, once those things take root, they can still be ripped out.  But it first starts with your words, either spoken silently in your heart, or out loud.  I found myself getting ready this morning and starting to gripe and complain.  As soon as I realized those words coming forth, I changed direction.  I spoke life and worth into my day, which sunk into my heart.

It won’t happen overnight.  But it will happen.  By changing my words about our current life circumstance, my heart will be changed also.  Life will be good. 

Didn’t you know that about me?  I’m a fighter.  I’m not going to let anyone come in and steal my joy!  Watch out baby, I’m back.  🙂

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2010 in Crohn's Journal

 

Fighting for Joy

Or I could call this one, “Changing my words.”  Either way, it works just fine.

I was challenged yesterday in church to change the way I’m thinking about some things.  The fact is, I’m a good teacher.  I love the challenge that some days of teaching can give me.  But I’d rather be teaching in some other format.  As a substitute, I get in the classroom and do it well, to the best of my ability, but if you ask me if I want to be a substitute for the rest of me life, the answer would be a quick “no.”  I’ve hesitated in saying anything about this because I have a good job that is fairly easy, and I don’t want to sound ungrateful.

But what I love to be is a mom to my family.  When I get up at 4:45 am, start looking for jobs, and find one, it does a couple of things to me.  First, I miss family time in the morning with my kids.  I LOVE starting my day around the table, reading to them from the Bible and Narnia series.  I love being able to make them breakfast, and then take them to school.  I find some of our best teaching moments have occurred around the breakfast table.  Teaching is taking that time away from me because I have to be gone usually before they even wake up, and I haven’t figured out how or where to make that time up.  When I get home each day I give all that I have to being mom, which means oftentimes the house gets ignored.  I don’t like a cluttered house, but when I work and then give all that I have to my kids and still don’t get enough sleep, I simply can’t keep up on the housework.  My insides, for some reason, start to feel undone when my house is a mess.  I’d love to say that I can do it all, but I just can’t.  I don’t have the energy I used to.  I push myself beyond what I can do already, and at times it feels like it’s killing me inside.  It feels like I’m pouring out, pouring out, pouring out….without anything pouring in.

This life right now feels scattered and undone, and it seems that I’ve allowed it to steal my joy.  The “happenings” in life have affected my “happiness.”

So, my challenge to myself is….to fight for joy again.  I’m not talking about being depressed….I’m not there.  I just need to find that balance of gratefulness and joy in all that I’m doing, regardless of if it’s what I want to be doing or not.

My pastor yesterday said it this way.  “If your child is in danger, you would fight tooth and nail to save her.  Same with anyone important to you.  So is your joy so unimportant to your life that your willing to just roll over and let it go away?  Stand up and fight for the joy that is rightfully yours as a child of God!  Plant your feet, dig in, go to battle, and stop letting the happenings of your life steal your joy!”

Deep sigh…..

I guess where it starts for me is to stop saying, “I hate this” about how life is right now.  When I use those words, it is adding fuel to the fire, and will likely make things worse.  That’s my first stop in changing my words, and fighting for joy.

The second is to start looking again at the blessings given each day.

This is hard for me right now.  My insides don’t want to accept that there might be a blessing in me leaving the house before the kids even get up.

This is going to be a fight.

But, God’s got us here in this season for a reason.  It’s not outside of his plan and purpose for our lives.  He’s still got it under control.  He hears my groanings and my cries.  He has not turned his back on us.

So…..I guess it’s time to plant my feet, and start fighting for joy.

One step and one day at a time.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2010 in Crohn's Journal