Friday, July 31, 2009


On July 1, 2009, my grandmother turned 79-years old.

Today, she leaves for Nicaragua on her very first missions trip.

My Grandma second guessed this trip many times. She thought she was too old to do anyone any good and was afraid she hold the rest of the group back. But, then she heard about the poverty level of the villagers of this country. Her heart was broken. She stepped out in faith and signed up for the trip.

She started packing. She cleaned her closet out of all clothing she no longer wears. She shopped for additional clothing items to augment the ones she pulled from her closet. She purchased used luggage from the Hubbard House thrift store, and packed all the items away.

Today, she'll board a plane with two very full suitcases. Her goal - to come home empty handed, as she intends to give everything away including the clothes she brought for herself on the trip.

My Grandma decided not to let the physical obstacle of her age stand in the way of her ability to be a blessing.

My opinion, she may come back empty-handed, but her heart will be very full!

Have a great trip Grandma. You will be continuously in our prayers.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

There Shall Be No Wheat in the Kitchen

This summer, I have discovered that my children and I are allergic/intolerant to wheat.

Oddly enough I’m thrilled over this discovery. Why? Because it’s an answer to a question that has gone unanswered for years.

We have known we have allergies. We’ve been to doctors and to an allergist. There’s been skin tests and blood work, but everything comes back inconclusive.

Over the years we have found a few triggers. I am severely intolerant of all artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame. Our daughter is intolerant of dairy and our son can’t eat certain preservatives or artificial colorings. However, none of these were a conclusive answer to our problems since on any given day, between me and the kids we dealt with many symptoms including:

· Chronic fatigue
· Headaches/migraines
· Mental fogginess
· Congestion/nasal issues
· Inability to focus
· Eczema

Our only other option, according to the doctor was a complete elimination diet of all known allergens with a reintroduction of singular food groups to test for reactions. To be honest, the idea of accomplishing this with two small children loomed over me like Mt. Everest would to an amateur mountain climber. And so, I put it off.

However, this summer I was done! I was done fighting the battle of one or all of us not feeling well. But this time, I went to the cross first. I asked my prayer group to join with me to seek the face of God on these issues. In prayer, I heard the same word whispered to me three times….wheat.

Wheat? I really couldn’t believe wheat had anything to do with what we were going through, but I started researching none the less. In my research, I found a book released just this year titled Healthier without Wheat by Dr. Stephen Wangen.

Reading the book was like reading a biography of my medical history. Pretty sure I was on to something, I put myself on an elimination diet to test the theory. Three days into the gluten free diet (I chose to eliminate all gluten instead of just wheat), I started noticing a difference. After two weeks on the diet, all my symptoms were disappearing.

My transformation was so amazing my husband and I decided to include the kids. This took a lot of planning and preparation. I talked at length with the kids regarding the diet changes, and made sure I had plenty of alternative snack ideas on stand-by. And then, we took the plunge and changed their diet.

Our son’s transformation has been amazing. He no longer suffers from headaches or fatigue. He no longer craves wheat (which was a clue to his pediatrician as to the allergy) and he’s trying, and liking most of the time healthier food options. In fact, his quality of life is so improved that he voluntarily does NOT want to eat wheat. That says a lot coming from a 5-year old.

Our daughter, on the other hand, misses wheat. At one point during the first few days of the diet, she grabbed my leg and started crying and begging for some cheddar goldfish. But, she made the transition and is doing much better.

So, needless to say, our summer has consisted of converting our kitchen to a gluten-free zone. It’s been an interesting journey, which means I’ll have plenty of stories and recipes to throw out to bloggy world, but it has been well worth it.

Here’s to a wheat-free future!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hiatus Adieu

I drift from thought to thought as I re-familiarize myself with the silver keys of my laptop whose touch is now more sterile than intimate.

Has the summer been so jammed pack that I have not blogged or written since early June? Where has the time gone?

Perhaps one day I shall find an adage regarding “missing” time in a fortune cookie that will give me the key to the vault where all the wasted minutes are locked away. Then, I shall dive into those minutes and roll around as if bathing myself in unending possibilities of what can be accomplished in an infinite amount of time. But alas, such a Fort Knox of treasured time does not exist, and so I must continue to ponder what can be accomplished in 24 hours, and where did the last 24 hours go?

Which brings me back to summer. What a wonderful and busy time it has been. There have been many adventures, revelations and changes in our household. (Too many to talk about here and so I’ll save them for future blogs.) But now, it draws to a close. School is fast approaching. Extracurricular activities are starting back up, and daily schedules and events beckon to be organized.

The time off this summer has been very refreshing. It was needed and appreciated, but now it is time to bid farewell to my summer hiatus.

So…hello blog, hello work and hello again to the purposes of Adonai. May the work of my hand please you Lord.

On a PS note…the Proverbs 31 SheSpeaks conference is taking place this coming weekend. To everyone attending, I prayerfully hope it is an amazing time and that God is glorified continuously.