365 Raw: Days 124-140 with “Life”

A few days before my last 365 Raw post, I sustained another head injury. At first, I thought it just a bump, but I’m convinced it was another mild concussion. It disrupted everything (still not feeling 100%), and I find my short-term memory has taken a bit of a hit. It took a really long time for me to feel “normal” after the last concussion, so you can imagine my frustration over going through this again (albeit, milder). The morning of the accident, I had even prayed for God to protect me that day. I had an overwhelming sense that I was under attack (physical and spiritual). When I crawled into bed (mid-day) after getting home, I was prompted to look at my prayer journal entry from that morning. Sure enough, there it was, my petition for protection. With my head pounding, eyes screaming for total darkness, and nausea waving through my stomach, I tearfully asked God why He hadn’t protected me. To which He spoke to my spirit that it was intended to be worse. Think on the magnitude of such a revelation. You can imagine that I immediately became uncharacteristically silent. I had to accept that I am not in control, God is.

I truly believe the enemy has been “out to get me” since I was a small child. For years I harbored anger toward God, believing that He hadn’t protected me during my most vulnerable times. But, you know what, I was wrong. Satan’s intentions were for harm, but God kept it contained to what His plan could use in my life. Satan has wanted to “take me out” from the beginning, and yet I’m still on this planet for some purpose… God’s purpose. I may not know that purpose this side of heaven, but for now, it’s enough to know that despite the enemy’s attacks, Christ came that I may have life to the fullest. Praise God that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life! Even when this life seems paved with trials, attacks, and heartache, God has a plan for my future that is filled with hope. I will continue to call upon the Lord… until He calls me home.

Yes, this journey goes far beyond food. My life is transforming…

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365 Raw: Days 117-123 with “Potatoes”

This week I did have plain baked potatoes. I thought I’d say that right up front because I think a lot of times, when embarking on dietary changes, people believe they must be “perfect”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m not on this raw journey to be picture perfect. I’m on this raw journey to distance myself from the toxins that draw me into an addictive relationship with certain foods. I’m on this raw journey to remove my focus from certain foods and place it on Christ instead. I’m on this journey for physical, spiritual, and emotional healing. Now, I’m not sure eating a baked potato on day 10 would have been wise for me, as I wasn’t that far removed from my french fry addiction at that point. However, I’m now solidly over 100 days into this, and I felt like I could handle a couple of potatoes. Will I make potatoes a regular part of my diet now? Probably not, but I don’t feel badly about having them because my reasons for the journey are still intact. I did consult the Lord before having them, and He didn’t indicate to me that I should refrain.

I do believe that raw food is ideal for the human body, that belief hasn’t changed. I also believe that we cannot take a legalistic approach to food or it will become an idol. Perhaps the prompting to eat the potatoes was actually to prove to myself that I wasn’t trading one idol for another. I’ve bowed to food in various forms. I’ve bowed in the name of overindulgence and in the name of restriction… that “feast or famine” mentality I’ve mentioned out here numerous times. Both mind-sets are a form of captivity and idolatry (when sought above God). I don’t want to become subservient to raw or cooked food.

To me, this was confirmation that my journey really isn’t about food any longer. It’s about seeking God’s face. Yes, I will continue to eat as close to 100% raw as possible for the remainder of the year, and I do expect to continue to benefit from it. As I type this, I’m munching on a large bowl of sliced oranges (yum). I feel that God is calling me to take the emphasis off of “eating raw” and place it more on taking care of myself as a whole, and reliance on Him for results, which is one reason I’m not posting daily on this topic any longer.

I am thoroughly enjoying the study on Daniel I’m doing. There will be more posts coming on that I’m sure!

This week’s chronological journey through the Bible: Psalm 73, 77-78; 1 Chronicles 6; Psalm 81, 88, 92-93; 1 Chronicles 7-10; Psalm 102-104; 2 Samuel 5:1-10, 1 Chronicles 11-12; Psalm 133; Psalm 106-107

365 Raw: Days 110-116 with “Captivity”

Yes, I’m still on this raw food journey. My “food focus” has decreased so much, praise the Lord! It hardly seems accurate to even associate “food” with the journey any longer. Food is what I eat to stay alive… in other words, I eat to live, not live to eat these days. Of course, it used to be the other way around.

A while back I planned to do Beth Moore’s study of Daniel, but I allowed life to get in the way again. You see, the Husband bought this study for me for Christmas in 2009. I started it at the end of that year, but I only made it through the first week before becoming distracted. Well, I’ve started over. I can see why the enemy did not want me to do this study. I can also see why the timing of doing it now is so ideal. As many of you already know, Daniel is a book that testifies to the fulfillment of prophecy (the capture of Israel by the Babylonians), but it’s also a book of prophecy in it’s own right (which I have so missed studying this topic).

The message that spoke to me most during the first week was one of “friendly captivity”. This was the environment that Daniel and his friends found themselves in. No, it wasn’t friendly to their personal religion, but it was a society of overindulgence, fulfilling desires, education, knowledge, enlightenment…etc. They were given rich foods from the king’s table and an education like no other. Many would just meld into their captivity situation and say, “this isn’t so bad”. Sound familiar? So many of us have lived in captivity to something (culture, television, political correctness, food, bitterness…etc) for so long, that we don’t even recognize it as such anymore. Now it is just “who we are”. We accept it as normal, but not Daniel.

Personally, I reflected on the elevated position I’d given food in my life. I bowed to it with virtually every thought. It held me captive in so many ways, when truthfully, it shouldn’t have the power to do so. I began to think about how freedom was available to me from the moment I accepted Christ as my Savior, but that I didn’t live free. Why? Because captivity was friendly (at times anyway) to me. It was what I knew, what I understood. Walking in freedom required faith. It required turning control over to someone else (God). It required letting go of pride… because after all, pride is at the root of all sin. If I allowed God to apply to my addiction the power that raised Christ from death, wouldn’t that same power be sufficient to break those chains too? Absolutely! It still requires something on my part though. It requires me to turn over control, to be vigilant to recognize attacks from the enemy, and to walk in freedom.

Turning over control sounds rather easy, but it’s not always. I’ve found that, especially in the beginning, I had to “let go and let God” multiple times per day. I would catch myself trying to “control” my weight with a diet-mentality, and I’d have to stop, take those thoughts captive and hand over the reins again. Oh it was so exhausting during those initial months, but it became easier and easier as time went on.

Of course, releasing control doesn’t automatically keep the enemy at bay. No, he keeps looking for a way in. He’s used all kinds of triggers to get me thinking back in that old mindset of captivity. You see, just as is evidenced by Daniel’s captivity, the enemy is always looking for a way to take us back to the pit we came from. As Beth pointed out, Daniel’s people we taken right back to where Israel started. They were taken back to the place where God mixed up the languages. They were taken away from their promised land and sent back in the direction from which God originally called Abraham to leave. They were set back so many generations because they didn’t keep their focus on God. So, to combat the enemy’s fiery darts, we need to walk with the Lord at all times. We need to put on the full armor of God.

Lastly, girded with armor, we need to walk as free people. It is really pointless to be free, but to have the mentality of a slave. In fact, it’s an utter waste! It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. When we continue in the captive mind, we are saying that the benefit of captivity far outweighs what we believe we’ll gain from walking in freedom… it’s a great lie, one that has been perpetuated since the moment the serpent hissed his deception to Eve.

I am keenly aware, so many months into this journey, that I could go back to that pit in a heartbeat. Perhaps that’s really what so many captives fear… losing ground. I know I feared it for years. Being “successful” came with the risk of losing that success, and that was humiliating. I developed a “what’s the point” attitude because I rarely witnessed anyone living and staying free. People have become cynical of “positive life changes” because most of the time, they land right back where they started. They lose weight, only to gain it all (plus some) back. They get out of debt, only to get right back in. They get sober, only to find themselves bar hopping again. Well, that doesn’t have to be the pattern. There are people out there living True freedom, precious few that they are. The thing that they have in common is a complete reliance on God. There are no magic pills, chants, contraptions… the power is in the Blood of Jesus… period. That’s where true freedom from captivity can be found… and never lost.

Chronological Bible Reading: Psalm 11, 59; 1 Samuel 21-24; Psalm 7, 27, 31, 34, 52, 56, 120, 140-142; 1 Samuel 25-27; Psalm 17, 35, 54, 63; 1 Samuel 28-31; Psalm 18, 121, 123-125, 128-130; 2 Samuel 1-4; Psalm 6, 8-10, 14, 16, 19, 21; 1 Chronicles 1-2; Psalm 43-45, 49, 84-85, 87; 1 Chronicles 3-5

365 Raw: Days 102-109 with “Novel Ideas”

It’s been about a week since I’ve been out here. I’ve had a lot going on and blogging was lower on the priority list. The kids’ lessons are quickly drawing to a close (hooray), and yet I’m already planning for the 2013-2014 school year. I’m still plugging along with the raw thing, although I did get a bit tired of it this week. Honestly, I think I just need some more physical activity. The Husband and I both have been stressed and busy, and haven’t exercised like usual. I think I’ve got some pent up energy screaming to be let out. I’m hopeful that I can resume running at least this coming week.

Summer break is coming up and I’m rather excited about it. Several of our activities will take a hiatus, which is always nice. In the meantime though, I’m trying to stay focused on finishing them strong. Another think I’ve been working on is re-writing/editing one of my novels. I wrote the original draft in 2007, but haven’t taken the time to go back through it. I really want to get it “submission ready” because I’m tired of saying, “I want to be a writer.” So, I made a deal with my mom to have her read it as I ready each chapter. This is a huge deal for me as I haven’t let anyone read it yet. I did read most of it to my kids, but of course, they think everything I do is marvelous… well, almost everything – ha! After taking a writing course last year, I am really unhappy with the original version. It needs a major overhaul. I’m basically ripping it out to the studs. The framework seems ok, but the “skin”, not so much. I’ve written several novels over the years. The problem is, that once I finish one, I’m tired of it and ready to move on to another story. Editing isn’t the part I particularly enjoy. I much prefer the discovery of the story. I think much of the reason for this is that I’ve never made a habit of editing as I go. Jerry Jenkins says that he reviews the pages he wrote the previous day before starting on his page quota for that day. Oh how I wish I had done the same when writing this book. Of course, that’s rather difficult when you’re trying to write an entire novel in 30 days (NaNoWriMo). I’ve been told that a good writer is a good re-writer, so I’m finally working on that skill. So far, I’ve screamed at my computer screen, I’ve groaned, I’ve shut the thing off in frustration… and yet, I keep coming back to it. I really want to officially finish this one.

I’m one of those people who can pick up an accent when hanging around others. My audible voice will begin to change depending on who I’m talking to. Well, my writing voice is the same way. So, I must be careful what/who I read while writing. I’ve found that whoever I’m reading at the time often influences my voice, so I’d like a positive influence. I need to find a really good fiction book to read while I’m editing, one that has a writing style I find fascinating.

Now, as far as the raw thing, I really do feel that my focus is better since I’m no longer obsessed with food, calories, weight…etc. Perhaps that’s how I can even think of attempting a book edit at this seasons of my life when my schedule (and my kids’ schedules) are so crazy. The Husband and I went out with another couple recently too, it was so nice to visit with them and not be thinking about food. I ordered my favorite salad from Salsa Brava (yes, the one they make special for me), and didn’t give the meal another thought. So, that’s my update. Almost 110 days in, and I’m quite fine with eating raw.

Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 7-23

365 Raw: Day 101 with “Chores”

chores-kids-can-doSeveral years ago, we implemented a program with our kids that would teach them to manage money, and required daily chores. Well, recently, a friend dropped by, and despite the amount of chores the four kids do, my house was a mess. I began to think, “how on earth can my home look like this with the number of chores being done around here?” So, I prayed about it, and this last week we put into action a new plan.

For starters, I decided to return to some of the FlyLady concepts (zones in particular). Next, I decided that we would have a family meeting to discuss the problem and hash out the details of the solution. The kids helped me divide the house into five zones (one for each of us). Then they helped come up with a list of daily, weekly, and monthly chores. We also decided that all zones should be picked up every evening so we can start the next day without clutter. We decided that we would have our assigned zone for three months and then rotate. Part of your zone would be your own bedroom. None of the kids wanted their siblings cleaning their bedroom (understandable).

Once we came up with the zone and chore lists, I created chore charts for each of us for the first month. One week in and my house is cleaner than it’s been in a while. My office was an utter mess again, but I’m spending 15 minutes a day in there re-organizing it. I need to purchase a couple of file cabinets though.

The beauty of putting one person in charge of a zone is that it is very obvious if they are keeping it up or not. No one else can be blamed, it’s entirely on them. This first week, the chores have taken a bit longer to complete because we’ve had to do some deep cleaning. Hopefully, up-keep will be far less time consuming.

Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 2-6

Are you looking to make some changes in 2013? Check out The Journey for more information.

365 Raw: Day 100 with “TKD”

brown beltYes, it is day 100!!! I’m quite shocked to have made it this far on raw fruits and veggies. It seems rather appropriate that I would reach 100 days on the day that I test to move into the “advanced belt” stage of my tae kwon do journey.

At this point, our belt certificates become a lot more ornate and are from Korea. More is also expected of us. Two of my kids are already on Brown Sr (I’m brown), and in three months (when they are scheduled to test for red) they’ll likely get to place their black belts on the wall in anticipation of “the big one”. During last night’s test, the husband said I looked a lot lighter on my feet. I felt a lot lighter too. I also didn’t get winded. Sure, I was breathing heavier (especially during sparring), but that would subside as soon as we stopped moving. Oh and it was really warm in there, but I didn’t overheat. It was like my body’s natural cooling system actually worked. This is a great thing, especially when wearing the uniform (with a t-shirt under) AND a hogu (chest protection). You can get pretty toasty with all of that on.

Since I’m now 100 days in, I don’t think I’m going to post what I eat each day for a bit. It’s basically the same thing every day, which is rather boring to re-post. If I eat something out of the ordinary, I’ll probably talk about that, but food really isn’t a focus of my day anymore. I get hungry, I eat fruit or veg. It’s really quite simple. I’m also not going to re-post my original symptom list any longer so if you want to see that, you can go to posts prior to 100 days.

Today’s Bible Reading: Judges 21, Ruth 1-4, 1 Samuel 1

Are you looking to make some changes in 2013? Check out The Journey for more information.

365 Raw: Day 99 with “Calm”

One of the biggest changes since eating raw has been how calm I am most of the time. This doesn’t mean that I never get emotional, I do, but it seems to take a lot more to rile me. I know this isn’t entirely diet related, but it certainly helps not to have toxins pumping through my body throwing things off. It’s interesting to me that along with the calm, comes a stronger awareness of when God is speaking to my heart. It’s as though much of the “white noise” has been turned off in my head.

calm

Are you looking to make some changes in 2013? Check out The Journey for more information.

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What I read: Judges 17-20

What I ate:

  • 6 bananas, 2 oz Kale, 2 oz spinach, 17 oz strawberries, 34 ml wheatgrass juice, 8 oranges juiced, a couple of Kale chips, 1 pickle, apple juice

What I did: co-op all morning

Here are the notes I made regarding my symptoms throughout Day 99:

  • slowed digestion (gas, abdominal pain, bloating)
  • headaches
  • puffy hands, feet, and face
  • sinus congestion
  • dry/itchy eyes, skin, and scalp
  • acne
  • aching muscles and muscle spasms
  • foggy brain
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • blood sugar fluctuations
  • fatigue
  • unable to sleep well
  • unquenchable thirst
  • cravings
  • chest pain
  • cold soreslast one 1/13/2013
  • kidney stones – eliminated when we went vegan Oct 2011
  • tooth pain – root canal 3/22/2013
  • sensitive teeth