Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What To Do With Inadequacies?

One morning as I was meditating on all the Lord has shown me these past few months I was struck with the magnitude of them. Some are so huge to me and I could not imagine how to be different or make the changes I needed to. Once again, looking within myself for the ability to do it.;-)

I stopped my 'old pattern' of thinking and began to praise Him for showing me these things and thanking Him because I knew if He revealed them to me He was going to show me how to 'live' it. I didn't need to fret, I just needed to keep my eyes on Him and let Him lead me, in His timing. Yeah me!

This is the devotional I read directly after the above interaction.

Never let your inadequacies be a handicap. Give them to Me, and they will become My opportunity to demonstrate My power operating through you. I would never have a chance to help you if you were always self-sufficient and capable of meeting every challenge.

Be ready to move in faith every time you sense inadequacy, and in each experience, as you trust Me, you will experience what is meant by the 'larger life'. I will fill all your lack with My divine undertaking and bring you out with testimony unto My name.

(Frances J. Roberts, Progress of Another Pilgrim)

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefor will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

(2 Corinthians 12:9)

All He asks is that we give them to Him and they become an opportunity for HIM to demonstrate His power. I can do that. Can you? Why not take some time alone with Him and take all those weaknesses and inadequacy and give them to Him.

Here was the list I came up with that morning, not exhaustive, I assure you ;-)

*lack of strength and health

*lack of wisdom

*lack of ability to know how to live the new 'restful' life You are calling me too

*school . . .training . . .discipling

*being loving, listening

*sowing into relationships with the children

*living in 'unity' and with one mind and heart

*finding rest for my soul

*living in the moment

*paying attention

*not looking within me for the how-tos

*finding rest in YOU ALONE

*not running off on my own, ahead of You

*not being so 'driven'

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dependence On Myself

One very difficult afternoon, I was crying quite hard and having an argument with my husband and my doctor. Well, not really with them, I was alone. It was an argument in my head. Tell me you have those too?

I was very weary with the symptoms of this adrenal fatigue and was trying to figure out just how to word things at my next doctor appointment. I was making threats like, 'if you don't give me such and such I'm going to go somewhere else.' Or, 'do you know how serious this is?' (he does, and is treating me very well) I was 'telling' my husband that if he doesn't get behind me on this and explain what has been going on well enough, well, I'm going to just push through! I'll show you, forget my health, fine!' What is hilarious is that, one, my husband is incredibly supportive and my number one advocate. Two, I couldn't 'push through' if I tried. Trust me I have tried!

I calmed my mind and fell asleep. When I woke up I began to thumb through a book I am re-reading called, Jeanne Guyon An Autobiography. (Very good book by the way, have read and re-read it many times over the years.) This is what I read. It was a story about a time when the stagecoach in which she was in was in danger of sinking in a river and she remained calm and able to rest in the Lord's will for her life. Here are the words that struck my heart.

"I was quite content to be drowned, had He permitted it. . .I rather chose to perish, trusting in God, than make my escape in dependence on myself. My pleasure is to be indebted to Him for everything. This renders me content in my miseries, which I would rather endure all my life long, in a state of resignation to Him, than to put an end to them in dependence on myself."

Do you see it? It hit me because that is exactly what I was trying to do. Make my escape in dependence on myself or put an end to my miseries in dependence on myself! I don't want that! I want out when and only when He wants me out. I don't want to depend on me to find a way to wiggle my way out of the hedges and afflictions He has clearly brought about in my life. I was gently put back in my proper submissive position, desiring nothing but His will. (even if it seems to be taking awhile ;-)

How about you? Are there areas you are trying

to 'get out of' in dependence on yourself?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Health Update

I went to the doctor today for the first time in three weeks. (He was out of the country) He said there is improvement enough in my adrenals to lesson the supplement for them. My thyroid is now coming to the forefront and he is addressing that with adding iodine back in. He hopes, as do I, that the iodine will make enough of a difference to see improvement, and it should happen within a week! I like that.

It is so neat to see how God designed our bodies and how my doctor recognizes that and acts accordingly instead of just a standard protocol. For the first weeks he spent each appointment adjusting my supplements to get my adrenals 'out of the basement' as he said. It was obvious that my pituitary was a player, but my body would not 'show' it. So he only addressed what my body was calling for. After a few weeks on that treatment my body started to 'show' pituitary, so we addressed that.

Thyroid is also a player in adrenal fatigue, but up until today it has not been to the forefront. It was so neat to see how my body is directing the order of treatment. It knows what I need most and what should be addressed first. I know this probably doesn't make sense to someone who is unfamiliar with natural medicine, but trust me, it is real.

I struggle with wanting my doctor to move faster. I sometimes fell like he moves so slowly, but I know the Lord has put me in his hands, and there have been a couple of instances that if he had moved at my speed it would have been very detrimental to my health. I am so glad we have God to order our steps and give wisdom where needed.

Adrenal fatigue is very complex with many systems involved. It's not as simple as take something for your adrenals and you're better. There is something called the adrenal/pituitary/thyroid axis. Our bodies are so fearfully and wonderfully made. There is also the ovarian/thyroid/adrenal axis. All of these rely on each other to do their thing. At my worst, many systems were shutting down. One of which was the ovarian part of the axis, my cycles stopped. I have said for weeks that I would be encouraged if my period came back, because at least that meant something was getting better. Well, this weekend I started my period, well, sort of, it is starting slowly and with much pain (which is unusual for me) but at least it is trying to start. Sorry if this is TMI! I am choosing to believe it is a sign of healing, even if I don't feel better yet.

It is my understanding that much healing needs to go on inside the body before you actually 'feel' it. This is what I am believing is happening. Just seriously looking forward to 'feeling' it!

A dear sister has been in contact with me and had asked for some links that I thought I had provided. I am including them in here because there are others out there who need to know about this and maybe you can direct them. I am amazed at how many people have told me that what I am experiencing is what they have experienced and they didn't know it had a name until they read this blog.

Here is the link to an awesome website by a Dr. Lam. You could spend hours, literally, reading all he has to say on adrenal fatigue as well as many other health issues. In all my reading, this is probably the most informative.

Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome is the best book I have read on the subject.

I don't want this blog to be all about this adrenal fatigue, but about how big my God is and how He uses everything for our good and His glory, but many are praying and asking so I will update occasionally. Thank you again, so much for your prayers and comments, they encourage and bless me.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone

My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.

This verse caught my attention yesterday and won't leave my mind. I strive and strain in pursuit of something. I grasp at ideas of how to reign this in or how to pull it together. I feel like I'm chasing something, something I can't see. I just have to have it.
I realize this 'it' is rest; rest for my soul. This craving for rest for my soul is so strong. It's a longing deep within me, an ache I can almost feel.
I study verses about rest.
I cry out for rest.
I respond to the invitation for ‘all those who are weary to come to Him and find rest for their souls’.
I'm weary, pick me!
I'm heavy laden, I say, ‘pick me.’
Show me this rest. I see rest is what I need.

Not rest in the sense of inactivity or lying down, though my physical body does need rest.
No, it's a deep inner rest.
A rest from all the expectations I put on myself.
A rest from all my thoughts.
A rest from trying to be someone I am not.
A rest from the striving against my Maker.
A rest from trying to somehow have my hand in this sanctification process.
A rest from my works.
A rest in the finished work of the cross.
A rest from always thinking I need to do more, be better, try harder.
A rest from self and all of self's efforts.
A rest from the “I shoulds.”
A rest from me, quite frankly.

So back to the verse
My soul finds rest in God alone.

See the profundity of it? So simple, one could almost miss it. I have many times. I have loved this verse for years. I think I would read and breathe it in for a moment, get up and go about my life, my way, in my strength. Somehow I must have missed the word “alone” at the end.
My soul will only find its true rest in God ALONE!
Not God and self,
not God and my works,
not God and my striving and effort,
not God and me – nope, only in God alone!

So I say to my soul, 'Find your rest in God alone, my hope comes from Him.'

I really think that this might just be the 'kingpin' in this affliction. As I look back over the years I see that 'rest for my soul' is what I have been chasing, I just didn't know it. I thought maybe more schedules and charts, more quiet time, more effort, something to fill what was missing. I don't think I have even come close to what He is teaching me in this area. Like I said above, it is almost an ache to know the truth of rest. And so the pursuit continues.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Spirit is Willing

Recently, I was once again beating myself up for not doing something 'good enough'. Don't worry, God has been working mightily on this in me these past few weeks and I am confident we will get to the bottom of this and healing and restoration will take the place of condemnation.

This time it was over not suffering or enduring this affliction 'good enough'. I know, it sounds a bit crazy to me too, now. My heart is to 'patiently endure'. I want to be able to praise Him and thank Him in ALL things. I want to say with Job, "The Lord giveth the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord" (and mean it ;-) I want to be like the saints of old who went to the stake praising Him. And most of all, I want to be like Jesus, 'who for the joy set before Him endured the cross" . . . and who said, "not My will but Yours be done".

I had this picture in my mind that when I suffered I would be smiling and joyful, almost laughing at the affliction. I would be happy, even on the outside.

One day when I was lamenting about this to God He showed me two verses that brought perspective and peace.

". . .the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak"

My spirit was indeed praising Him, enduring joyfully and loving Him through all of this, it was my flesh that was in a heap on the shower floor weeping. It is my flesh that questions and cries out for answers. It is my flesh that is depressed. (with actual physical reasons) I had never thought of this verse in this way before.

"For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful. . ."

The light bulb went off! Discipline is grievous and painful! It doesn't seem to bring joy. I was looking on the outside for some sort of joy. It is not supposed to 'feel' good!

I, of course, cried and cried. (That's just what I do right now ;-) I share this with you in the hope that if you are struggling with life and on top of that, struggling with yourself, that you might see what I saw.

We are so hard on ourselves; expect so much. Brian keeps telling me that I am the only one on my back. Nobody else is thinking these things, certainly not my Father. He loves me, accepts me, knows that I am but dust, is not surprised by my weaknesses and my flesh does not scare Him a bit! He sees my heart, He knows me, really, really knows me, and loves me just the same.

It's the same with you. Do you believe me? He loves you, accepts you and thinks you are so great. He is pleased with you, not because of what you do or how well you do it, but because of Jesus.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Look at what glorious sight I saw when I first opened my eyes this morning! Are there any more glorious pictures than those painted by the hands of our God?

THE HEAVENS declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork.
(Ps. 19:1)

Inspire me with the knowledge that a person may sometimes be called to serve by doing nothing, by staying still, or by waiting. I will not complain that sometimes the Spirit allows me not to go.
(George Matheson)

When I cannot understand my Father's leading,
And it seems to be but hard and cruel fate,
Still I hear that gentle whisper ever pleading,
God is working,
God is faithful,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Surrender = Contentment

The Lord has been revealing to me many “little foxes that spoil the vineyard.” There have been many, but this doesn't discourage me a bit, because He is graciously showing me that all these “little foxes” have been robbing me of the joy, peace, and rest I have desperately sought after for years.
They all seem to have some common ground.




This has to do with being content in this moment. Being fully present and content with what He has given me right here, right now. Being content with whatever it is he has ordained for this very moment.

Below is a quote from Jeanne Guyon from her autobiography.

While the soul faithfully gives itself up to Providence, it will do all things right and well, and will have everything it needs without its own care, because God, in whom it confides, will make it every moment do what He requires, and will furnish it for the proper occasions. . . But why is it such souls commit any faults? Because they are not faithful in giving themselves up to the present moment. Often too eagerly bent on something, or wanting to be over-faithful, they slide into many faults, which they can neither see nor avoid. . . so many troubles in life come from the soul not abiding it its place, and not being content with the order of God and what is afforded in it from moment to moment. If men rightly knew this secret, they would all be fully content and satisfied . . . But alas! Instead of being content with what they have, they are always wishing for what they do not have . . . It is because the man who is not content with what he has, will never be without craving desires, and he who is the prey of an unsatisfied desire, can never be content. . .but he who rests in the divine will is infinitely more content and glorifies God more.
(emphasis mine)

Maybe it is weakness, physical or spiritual, it matters not. Can I just surrender to Him in this moment, see this as from His hand and just be content in it, instead of fighting against it?

Can I get to the point where I just can sink down into His blessed will in that moment? To stop and praise Him in all things, knowing He is my wise and loving Father?

. . . Always wishing for what they do not have – Ouch! How often is this case with me? Always wishing for health, more strength (doesn't He give the amount of strength I need for His will?), to be gentler, a better mama, more holy. It’s never good enough. I always want more.

There's no peace and rest in that. If I could be thankful and content with right where He has me, trusting I'm the mama He has made me to be right here, right now in this moment of time.

Can it be that I am at the exact level of holiness because it is where He has me right now, in this moment?! I can't be any more, “fill in the blank” by my own striving. Yes, I obey and seek Him, but I can't do anything in and of myself to produce this fruit, only He can.

Only as I abide in Him – rest in Him – be content in Him.

What would it look like if I went through my day being content, just really accepting who I am, where He has me spiritually and physically, what kind of mama I am, accepting what the house looks like? Seeing His hand in everything—meaning if I am sick, it’s by His hand, I can rest and trust Him in it. If I am not as joyful as “I” think I should be, then I can look to Him and accept this is the level of joy He has given me in this moment.

She who rest in the divine will is infinitely more content.

For me, surrender equals contentment. I need to surrender to Him, His will every moment. Surrender my ideas of how things should be. Surrender my desires for His. When I really surrender, contentment fills my heart.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sweet Sleep!

When you know how crucial sleep is to healing adrenal fatigue it is easy to be discouraged when you never sleep more than 2-4 hours at a time.

Yesterday was, as my daughter might say, 'simply horrid'. I was very discouraged by the end of the day. Today is one of my daughters birthday and I so wanted to do something special with her, but looking at my day, I wasn't all that hopeful. I prayed that I would be able to do something special with her today.

Well, I slept for SIX hours straight! I can honestly say that I have not slept more than five hours straight, which was probably drug induced, in over six or seven years! It might be longer, that is as far back as I can remember.

I am not sure I 'feel' any better this morning physically, but it sure has breathed hope into my spirit! Amazing how a little gift like sleep can do that for me.

I do have to admit that it is hard for me to have faith that the sleep will continue because I have been disappointed so many times. But I am choosing to praise Him for TODAY, and last night ;-)

Thank you for your prayers and your sweet encouraging comments, they really lifted my spirit. I treasure the 'friends' I have in blogworld.

I am off to spend a few hours of precious alone time with my daughter! Her name is Isabella, I have called her 'Belly' since she was a baby. And I call her my little 'BusyBelly' when I am feeling especially silly.

I leave you with this quote I read today, it is amazing how a glance at Christ and the Cross brings such perspective.

"But these strange ashes, Lord? This nothingness,
This baffling sense of loss?

"Son, was the anguish of My stripping less
Upon the torturing Cross?"
(First line from a poem by A. W. C.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

He Maketh Me Lie Down . . .

While this illness definitely is physical and has very real symptoms, I am beginning to wonder if it is “all in my head, or my heart.” Bear with me on this one. I believe with all my heart that this affliction has the fingerprints of my loving Father all over it, and it is my head or heart that needs healing, even more so than my body.

As I look back over the years I see Him, one way or another, trying to get my attention. I am not saying we were not in a living breathing daily relationship. He has spoken volumes to me over the years; literally, I have volumes of journals filled with love letters directly from His heart to mine. No, it’s not that. It is just a sense of Him having something for me and it just being out of my grasp. Or I think I ‘get it’ only to walk away unchanged.

There were plenty of times the advice was to ‘slow down’. ‘You are doing too much’. This always confused me because it was so hard to reconcile how to be the wife, mama and manager of this home, yet slow down. During difficult pregnancies my doctors would advise me to take it easy, rest more, and stop pushing. Even when it was first discovered that I had mild adrenal fatigue years ago, the advice was the same. It never did make sense to me. I would look around me and try to figure out just what to cut out or back on. Somehow it just never made sense.

I have often felt that any of the physical afflictions the Lord has brought into my life have been hedges of sorts. Hedging me in from chasing ‘my lovers’, perhaps. Again, I sense something there, yet it is always out of my grasp.

He has now made me to lie down, literally! No choice on my part. I simply cannot push through no matter how hard I try. Not only that, I have nothing in me to try. This is when I knew He meant business. I remember laying on my bed, my mom caressing my shoulders. I just started weeping. I said, “Mom, this is serious, I can not do it anymore. I have always been able to push through, I just can’t”. She immediately sensed the seriousness of the situation. She has watched me over the years. She knows me.

He maketh me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside still waters,

He restores my soul.

He has my full attention now. I see now that I was looking in the wrong places for ‘slowing down’. I see that I was looking within myself for the answers. Yes, He has my attention, and I believe it is a deep work He is doing.

He is beginning to reveal a great many things to me that I had never seen before. They were always there, I just never saw them. Others did, just not me. This time of affliction has been and continues to be so precious.

Before I was afflicted I went astray . . .It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes. . . in faithfulness You have afflicted me.

(Ps. 119:67,71,75)

I am so excited for all He is showing me and pray I not only gain head knowledge from this experience, but deep abiding change through and through.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Who Keeps Putting These Walls Here?

Okay, you might not want to come over to my house anytime soon. Apparently there are invisible walls that get put up right in front of me just when I think I might get to do something!

Saturday, I woke up feeling somewhat better than I have and was able to do some organizing and cleaning with the rest of the gang. At 11:00 am we were about to head downstairs, I stopped as I felt something not right inside of me, dear husband noticed and said when we get downstairs you are going to SIT!

Well, we went downstairs and within minutes I hit a wall! I mean slammed right into it, not literally, mind you. It is the weirdest feeling. Nothing in me was able to push through and immediately the tears start. I am not sure if the tears are part of the physical exhaustion or the reality that I can't do what I want to do. Probably both.

My dear husband says, 'this is enough, we should have saw this coming, off to bed for you!' He tucked me in and I slept soundly for about two hours.

Today, I was maybe feeling okay and was going to do some light exercises. Nope, hit that same dad-blasted wall! I don't see it there, I just slam right into! So, you might not want to come over here, you never know when you might hit the wall.

Oh, and by the way, I am fully aware of Who keeps putting the walls there! My Papa. I'm learning to surrender, s - l - o - w -l - y.

One more thing.

Yesterday we decided to take the children to the park, pick up some ice cream and have a little fun. It wouldn't take too much energy for mom and the kids could get out and have some fun.

All was well until my competitive husband decided to race the older boys. I was the 'on your mark, get set, go!' girl. As soon as my arm went down, I had the thought, 'you better not pull anything.' Before I could speak it out my dear husband stopped and grabbed his leg. I could see the agony on his face. Yep, he pulled something, his hamstring. Pretty bad too. So, after walking around for a bit to try to 'walk it off' we were off to rest, ice, compress and elevate his leg.

While he was laying on the floor he pulled out his bible and read to the littles. He confided in my later that he has felt the pull to be reading the Word to them more, but with all that is going on and all the extra on his plate due to my health, he does other things first.

I think he hit the same wall I have been hitting! God sure has His ways of getting us where He wants us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Breakfast Challenge Winners!

We have decided to award two winners for the Nourishing Breakfast Challenge!

Meg (Gombojav Tribe) is one of the winners. She impressed us all with her amazing skill and zeal in the kitchen for someone at the tender age of eight!


Nicole is the other winner! She gave this her all and her husband graciously tried things he didn't even like, what a trooper. Thanks Nicole's husband for your support!

Please email me with your email so I can have Stephanie send you the link to your new ebook!
Healthy Homemaking:
One Step at a Time

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sweet Moments

I don't know if you can see how tired this mama is. My sweet husband knows that nothing can breathe life into this mama like a cuddly baby who isn't so cuddly most of the time. Nearly every morning during my quiet time Brian will bring Elijah in to cuddle. He sees it in my eyes; the joy of cuddling with my baby. Such a sweet man.

Uncle Josiah, age 5, Uncle Elijah, age 21 months (both to the left) and nephew Levi ,1 years old (on the right) Elijah wasn't so sure about this nephew guy!

First grandchild's first birthday!

* Sometimes little ones just can't stay awake for the whole sermon!

*Thirteen year old daughter says,
"Mommy, I had a 'perfectly horrid' dream".
I smiled and said,
"Darling, have you been reading Anne of Green Gables?"

*Sweet five year old son says,
"Daddy, can we use a grumpy towel to play with?"
"A what?" we said.
"A grumpy towel."
"Oh, a grubby towel", we realize.
(meaning a rag towel)

*Swimming in Michigan on September 19th! (the pool is usually covered on Labor Day, but due to my health we haven't gotten to it, the kids are thankful)

*Lots of hugs from a very tenderhearted and intuitive 7 year old. She seems to know when a pint-sized hug makes everything all better. She sneaks up without a sound, wraps her arms around me, tightly. After she senses all is well, she scampers off without a word.

*A nineteen year old son who has wanted a job for so long is actually praying about turning an offer down as he contemplates, 'maybe 'home' is where God wants him in this season of life.'

*Sweetness of an older sister reading to a little brother.

Life can be so hard sometimes, isn't God so gracious to let us see the sweet things in life? They are always there, the sweet moments, my eyes just aren't always open to see them.

Open my eyes, Lord Jesus to see the sweet moments of life.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm Still Here!

Hi Ladies,
Sorry I haven't been able to keep up with the video posts, I know Meg was a bit disappointed. ;-) I have had another crash with this adrenal exhaustion, it has been a rough couple of days.
I am so pleased with what you all are doing. I know some of you aren't doing the 'challenge' but are still enjoying making recipes. Thank you for your posts and emails, they are such an encouragement.
Tomorrow is Yummy Granola! We had this yesterday as I was not up to anything else! It is so good to have something nourishing and yummy all made up in the pantry.
One thing I have learned with switching over to more nourishing ways of feeding my family is that planning ahead is key! You can't decide at 4:00 pm to have Bean and Greens soup for dinner that night, that is if you are committed to making it nourishing. You need to have prepared at least 24 hours in advance to soak those beans and cook them. It can sound so overwhelming, but when you have a system in place, it does the work for you and makes life so easy.
I hope you found that to be the case this week with this challenge.
Let me know how you like the Yummy Granola!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Breakfast Challenge: Leftover PB Bars

This recipe uses up the leftover, cold and slimy oatmeal that you went through the trouble of seeking out organic steel cut oats, soaking your precious oats, and then cooking them. I found this recipe at Seeking the Old Paths.

Leftover Peanut Butter Bars

2 cups leftover oatmeal, cold and slimy is fine

1/2 cup butter, softened (coconut oil is also yum)

1 cup sweetener…sugar, sucanat, etc….

1 egg
1 cup whole grain flour…wheat, spelt, etc….(Yes, these work with rice flour if you need!)

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2/3 - 1 cup peanut butter (the original recipe calls for1/3 cup)

1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter, sweetener and eggs in a bowl. Add oats and other ingredients; mix well. Spread into greased 9×13″ baking pan. Bake at 350′ for 10-15 minutes. Cool on wire rack; cut into bars. Yield 18(small) servings.
We ALWAYS double, triple or even quadruple this recipe, depends on how much cold, slimy oatmeal we have collected over the week.;-)
We bake it on 1/2 sheet pans. Like I said, we usually make a ton of this. We love it for breakfasts and snacks or just munching on all day if nobody puts it away and it just sits on the counter!
We have also served this hot, scooped into bowls with cold milk either on top or in a glass beside. It is so yummy for breakfast. The texture seems to be a bit different each time we make it.
Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Breakfast Challenge: Easy Egg Frittata

This is a simple egg dish that can be changed and added to easily. It is a method more than a recipe. The options are endless! You can add different varieties of cheeses and veggies.

Be sure to use a frying pan that can go in the oven. If it has silicone-type handles you can wrap them with foil to protect them. Worst case scenario, you could cook the eggs part way and put them in a baking pan, or even just bake it in a baking pan.

Easy Egg Frittata

12 organic free-range eggs (more or less depending on family size)

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 lb. or more organic spinach, chopped finely (easier to get by the kids;-)

splash of milk or cream

1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

butter for pan

Salt and Pepper to taste

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

*Crack and scramble the eggs in a bowl and add milk or cream. I let the children help with this.

*In a 12 inch or so frying pan, saute the onions until beginning to get translucent.

*Add finely chopped spinach and saute until pretty wilted.

*I add more butter to help with sticking, (might not be necessary) then add egg mixture and stir to scramble the eggs until they are half cooked.

*Stir in most of the cheese, and sprinkle the rest on top and place in preheated 350 degree oven.

*Bake until eggs are set and cheese is melty and beginning to brown.

This is my best attempt to write a recipe. I am notorious for not following recipes and making things up as I go along. If this does not make sense, please ask for clarification. Also, maybe do a search for frittata recipes and either make your own or read a 'professional' recipe!! ;-) Actually, here is a link for 'how-to' frittata, maybe that will help if you are completely unfamiliar with making them.

Nourishing Breakfast Challenge: BAKED OATMEAL

Okay, this is the recipe for our Baked Oatmeal and Yummy Granola. It is so easy to mix most of it together the night before and finish it in the morning and bake it. We love this. The children like it with no additions, but Brian and I really like it with dried cranberries and almonds in it. I just sprinkle the cranberries and nuts on a small corner for us. Raisins are good in this too, making it taste like an oatmeal cookie.

The recipe below makes a 1/2 sheet pan size. They are thin bars that some of the children put in a bowl and pour raw milk over and some of them eat them like a bar, though they don't hold together all that well.

Now this could be tricky. I double this because we make the Yummy Granola out of this recipe, as will you for this challenge. (more on this lower in this post) That is for our family of 10. So, we eat about 3/4 of one pan the first morning for breakfast, then the rest we crumble and dry for granola. We get about 1 gallon of granola after it has dried. This might be a ton for you if you have only a few children, so you are going to have to adjust accordingly. Please email if you have questions on the amount. We think the granola is delicious and it does last a few weeks. Well, technically it does, just not around my husband and children.;-)

Remember, you have to double this recipe because you are going to use it for Yummy Granola, or if you have a small family, you might be able to get by with a single batch.

Baked Oatmeal
(Soaked recipe)

Mix in a large bowl and soak overnight:

1 cup softened butter ( I use 1/2 butter and 1/2 coconut oil, but I didn't want you to have to mess with coconut oil)
1 Cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)
6 cups Rolled Oats
1 tsp. Salt
1 T. Cinnamon
2 cups yogurt or Kefir ( I use Kefir)

In morning add:

4 eggs
4 tsp. Baking powder
1 T. vanilla

It is easier to just use your hands to mix this together. Spread into prepared cookie sheet (½ sheet pan) and bake @ 375 for 30-40 minutes

You can add dried fruit or nuts. Serve with milk, raw if possible. This recipe can be easily doubled.
If this is not clear, please ask!

Yummy Granola

After you have served breakfast from the Baked Oatmeal(you bake both pans), when it is cool, have your children help you crumble it all up. Spread it out on as many baking sheets as necessary to get roughly a single layer.

Turn your oven back on to around 200 degrees and put the pans in. It does take a long time at this low temperature to 'dry' the granola. Possibly several hours.

If you are tempted to turn it up to make it go faster, just know that I have burned it every time I have done this. If you decide to bake at a higher temp., proceed with caution and be very attentive. Check frequently and stir it often if you go higher.

When it is completely dry and cooled, put it away in air-tight containers. That's it! Super easy, super nourishing. Most granola recipes are made with raw oats, which, as we are learning, have nasty phytates in them!

When you serve the Yummy Granola, I obviously recommend raw milk. Now I realize this is not feasible for all of you, so regular milk is fine for this challenge. Or, better yet, serve it with organic plain yogurt and some fruit.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grocery List for Nourishing Breakfast Challenge

These are the items you will need for next week's breakfast menu.
Sucanat (see below)*
Rolled Oats
Steel Cut Oats
Organic Yogurt or Kefir (Plain!) (large container)(see below)**
Organic Free Range Eggs (see below)***
baking powder and baking soda
Organic natural peanut butter
Organic dried cranberries or raising and/or nuts to your liking.
greens of some sort, organic spinach or swiss chard
real shredded cheddar cheese
*Sucanat is a less processed form of cane sugar. It is usually by the other baking ingredients in the grocery store or a health food store. If you cannot find it, or choose to not use it, brown sugar will work. I won't dock points for not using the ingredients exactly, this is more about learning a new method. ;-)
**I use Kefir that we make from our own raw milk, but store bought PLAIN yogurt will work fine. I buy Stonyfield Organic Yogurt, whole milk. Please don't buy the fat-free, yuck!
***Buy the best eggs you can, please! You will need enough for a breakfast of eggs for the size of your family as well as 5 (five) for the recipes. (probably 1 1/2 or 2 dozen)
I hope I have not forgotten something!
Our Menu:
Monday: Oatmeal (Soaked of course)
Tuesday: Baked Oatmeal
Wednesday: Egg Frittata
Friday: Yummy Granola (just page down)

Nourishing Breakfast Challenge


One week of nourishing breakfasts!

I think that once you find out just how easy it is to incorporate 'soaking' grains, beans and nuts into your life you will be more apt to do it. The concept seems huge at first, 'how in the world am I going to add one more thing into my already busy schedule?'

I am going to attempt to make it easy and fun for you. All this week I will post breakfast recipes that incorporate soaking practices. I will also post a grocery list of items you may not have on hand so you can be prepared for next week. I will also post a schedule to follow telling you when to soak something and when to prepare it. You print up the recipes, study them, prepare for them and make them next week according to schedule!

Just to make it even more fun I thought I would have a 'give-away'! I would like to give away Stephanie's (from Keeper of the Home) ebook
Healthy Homemaking:
One Step at a Time
A 52 Week Journey of Baby Steps to Help You Move Towards More Natural, Nutritious and Sustainable Living!

Here are the rules.
*commit to follow along each day next week

*make the assigned breakfast

*leave a comment and/or post about it on your blog, telling of your experience

For each day you make the breakfast and post/comment about it your name gets entered into the drawing. If you make all five of the breakfasts, you get your name entered in an extra three (3) times! As a bonus, if you post about the Nourishing Breakfast Challenge on your blog this week encouraging others to join in, you will get your name entered in another three (3) times!

I hope this will be a fun way to challenge you to start incorporating these nourishing methods into your diet. By the way, if your morning schedule is too crazy for this type of change just make them for lunch, it still counts!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Marriage Monday: Love

I wondered if the Lord would give me something to share today, and as I read this devotional out of Springs in the Valley, I felt it was perfect for Marriage Monday. I feel the truth revealed in this story would work on any hardened heart or strained relationship. I have often thought of this concept being used on one of my children at a difficult stage, but today, let's think of our husbands, and winning them with love.
"The greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)
"I'll master it!" said the axe; and his blows fell heavily on the iron. And every blow made his edge more blunt till he ceased to strike.
"Leave it to me!" said the saw; and with his relentless teeth he worked backward and forward on its surface till his teeth were worn down and broken, and he fell aside.
"Ha, ha!" said the hammer, "I knew you wouldn't succeed! I'll show you the way!" But at the first fierce stroke off flew his head, and the iron remained as before.
"Shall I try?" asked the still, small flame.
They all despised the flame, but he curled gently around the iron and embraced it, and never left it till it melted under his irresistible influence.
Hard indeed is the heart that can resist love.
"And now abideth faith, hope, love. . . the greatest of these is love."
(Springs in the Valley, compilied by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman)
I so can see myself in the axe, the saw and the hammer! Trying with all my might to soften the hardened heart or change the situation. How much more effective to 'curl gently around and embrace. . .until it melted under the irristible influence'?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your love that has been shed abroad in our hearts. By Your grace, enable us to love those around us, especially our husbands.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Blessings Amidst The Struggle

Thank you so much for your prayers and sweet comments. I am beginning to feel a little better. I feel as though I turned a corner this week. Small amounts of strength and joy have made an appearance this week.
My dear friend came to our house and spent the day with the children on Monday and Wednesday so I could go to my mom's house (who was gone for the week) and just rest and be quiet. I can rest, for the most part, at home, but as you can imagine the quiet part of it is a bit difficult. My friend adores my children and rarely has opportunity to "soak them up", as she says, and my children thoroughly enjoy her.
It does not take a great deal of stress or physical exertion to bring me to a heap on the floor, but I do feel as though it is getting better.
I think the real struggle is about to begin for me. While these last 3-4 weeks have been miserable, I have not had to decide how much I could or could not do. It was impossible to do too much because I have been unable to do much of anything. My history with adrenal fatigue has always been to 'push through' and pay for it later. I am determined not to do that this time as I do not want to go through this again! I have to be keenly in tune with the Holy Spirit because I really don't know when I have gone too far until, well, I have gone too far! Please pray for me in this area.
*Being 'down' has provided me an opportunity to reconnect with my 21 month old. He has needed some one-on-one with me because of some training issues. While dealing with a screaming 21 month old was a bit stressful, it was something I needed to do. We are buddies again.
*Before this all started, our prayer was for more family unity. For a family who learns and plays together 24/7, Brian and I felt there was a general lack of unity and some smoldering selfishness. Having to pull together for the purpose of keeping this house running and taking care of mom seems to have brought the best out in everybody and united our family.
*Some of the younger children have had to take on more responsibility, which is so good. It can be easier to just let the littles promotions in responsibility slide, and this has given them a promotion right quick.
*I have always begged God to make me 'quieter and gentler', especially with my voice, and this has caused me to speak softer and more slowly. My prayer is that new habits will be made through all of this.
*Things that would normally ruffle my feathers, I am learning to just let go, as it is not worth the damage it does to my body. Again, please Lord, let this be a new trend.
*My fellowship with the Lord has been especially sweet as I can literally feel Him carrying me at times. My awe of His providence and love for me has grown a hundredfold.
*I am slowly learning how many "things" I must have taken on because 'I' wanted to instead of being sure it was what God wanted me too.
*My eyes have been opened to my propensity to push, strain and strive, all of which are the furthest thing from the REST I so long for.
I could go on, and I am sure there are many more blessings only the Lord knows about, but I'll end here. Again, thank you for your prayers and kindness.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Breakfast for a Well Nourished Mama

Farm raised eggs, scrambled in real butter with lacto-fermented salsa, topped with real cheddar cheese, served on a sprouted wheat tortilla.

Let's dissect the nourishing breakfast and see just why it is so healthy!

First, let's start with the eggs. Store bought eggs are just plain awful for you. They come from chickens who eat pesticide laden grains and are given hormones and kept in cages. Not at all the way God intended it! Research your eggs! This link from Stephanie will get you started. Grass-fed, organic and hormone free eggs are extremely easy to find in most places and are quite reasonably priced for the high protein you get. We raise our own chickens for eggs, but a local farm around us sells them for around $2.00 a dozen. Considering the protein potential,this is cheap!

I won't go too much into this, but you even need to consider what you are cooking your food in! We have banished all Teflon from our home and only use cast iron, stainless steel and glass at this time. I think even more important than Teflon being banished is getting rid of all aluminum cookware.

I keep my sprouted grain tortillas in the freezer with wax paper in between them so they don't stick together. I then place them on top of the splatter guard to thaw/warm them while the eggs are cooking. You can find these tortillas at a health food store or you can make your own. I bought these.

Let's recap this short lesson. There is so much more I could write about, but let's keep them simple and short.

**Use only high quality grass-fed, hormone free eggs whenever possible.

**Do not cook with Teflon or aluminum.

In future posts I hope to share my lacto-fermented salsa recipe and what lacto-fermentation is. Also, the importance of sprouted or soaked grains, raw milk/cheese and real butter. Phew, all from one nourishing breakfast. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Have You Surrendered All?

How to recognize an area of your life that is not surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Does the area cause anxiety, fear, and even frustration?

If this area causes you to sin,

if it causes you to worry and wonder, often times consuming your mind and thoughts,

if you are afraid that if it doesn’t change or go a certain way, the way you think it should,

it is probably not surrendered.

Does this area frustrate you, cause you to become angry and sin?

Do you hold on to it so tightly because you just “know” how it is supposed to be?

(Why don’t others see it?!)

Are you so sure that you know exactly the truth in this situation?

Do you know better that your sovereign God Who apparently has ordained this for you?

Do you find yourself almost chiding God? "come on already, why aren’t You doing something here?"

Can you honestly look at every area, every prayer, every desire,

every need or perceived need and calmly echo your Savior's words,

“Not my will but Thine be done”?

It is one thing to say we are fully surrendered to God and His will. Actually it is very easy to say it and even really believe we are in our hearts.

But you know what, sometimes God comes along and says

“Are you really surrendered to My will?”

and we often times respond in the spirit of Peter,

“Oh, yes Lord, I am, my life is Yours, do as You please.”
Should we wonder then, when a little ways down the road, we find ourselves frustrated, afraid or even angry when something is not going our way?

Could He be purifying our hearts?

Exposing areas we cling to so desperately for various reasons.

Areas, that once surrendered, would be beautiful gardens of peace and hope.

Take some time to reflect. What areas in your life are upsetting peace and rest in your heart?

Could they be things you refuse to surrender to God for fear they won’t come to pass or won’t change?

Aren’t you weary of holding on so tightly?

Be courageous; let it go, surrender it entirely into the Almighty’s hands.

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
(Isaiah 40:26)

Be still, my soul:
the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul:
thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
(Be still my soul by Ka­tha­ri­na von Schle­gel)

Can you leave to thy God to order and provide?