It just seems to happen that way.

The list of things that can fall under this category is unending, or so it seems. Like children growing up in a blink of an eye. Summer going by faster than any other time of year. Time off never lasts long enough. Are you getting the idea?

This is one summer that I wish would last a bit longer. Yes, it has almost everything to do with my dear daughter going away for school. Yet there’s more to it than that alone. It also means that I only have two more school years with darling daughter #2 and four more years with my son. I’m quickly working myself out of a job that at one time seemed like would go on forever. Right before my eyes, are amazing human beings growing up and becoming young adults.

I enjoy the conference season I work for Lamplighter and seeing old friends and making new ones. The working three weekends in a row makes for a busy July, but I love it! I enjoy the travel and time with my girls as they attend with me. Walking through the doors after being gone is the wonderful reminder that there is nothing like coming home.

The time with friends during the summer months are some of the most carefree and precious. Funny stories and jokes, silly phrases we carry with us for the rest of the year are all part of the memories. After a night like tonight, when we were doing something as simple as watching a movie outside under the stars and singing along, I offer up a prayer of thanks. It’s a prayer of gratitude that God would surround me with so many people to share life with. I am once again reminded that I am indeed blessed. That, however, just didn’t happen that way…gifts are given purposely and with intent. I will not take them for granted. I adore each blessing.

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Eating wrong or right?

I’m hungry! Well not really hungry, I just have cravings for some things that aren’t exactly “good” for me…

That’s how this post started when I sat down to write it a month ago with intentions about finishing it many times since then. To say it has been a busy month, well just ask the kids.

But I am thinking it was better for me to write it now instead of then because of a whole month’s worth of perspective to draw on. So let me back the story up a bit…

While at my girls’ weekend at my mom’s, I had severe neck spasm.  Severe meaning I was unable to lift myself up out of bed or a chair.  Grateful for my dear friend who happens to travel with a pharmacy in her bag, I endured.  Once home and a conversation with my hubby had me doing what I knew I need to do a long time ago. If you don’t know it , my husband is a vegetarian almost completely vegan. It really goes deeper in that he is very conscientious of the benefit and  how the food is grown (genetically modified foods). He really is a wealth of information on nutrition.  So when he suggested I consider doing a detox, I knew he was the verbal voice I had been trying to quiet in my head for several months.

I’d done a detox diet before and knew how good it made me feel. I had followed the guidelines of the Daniel Fast.  So once again, I cut it all out: whites, yeast, sugar, dairy and meat. Many people look at the list of “don’t” s and wonder what is left to eat. And I’ll admit, in the beginning, I tend to think the same thing. And that thinking of “woe is me” last for about a week and I find it gets easier.

I’ve kept it up for over a month and I do feel pretty darn good. I’ve “cheated” here and there.  I am trying to change my way of thinking, and since I’ve been accuse of being hard-headed, this won’t be easy. I have lots of reasons for changing the way I eat, arthritis at an early age for one. Secondly, both of my parents have had cancer. Praise God both are cancer free now. The cancer is on both sides of my family as well. I’m surviving without the meat and I’m doing alright with the dairy part, but can I tell you how much I miss the sugar. I think it’s my drug. I love to bake and eat what I bake. I miss it and so do my kids.

I think my push is to go all organic. My plan is to go to baking all my own bread including grinding the wheat. I’ve learned that even the whole wheat flour sitting on the store shelves have lost all their nutrients. I love to eat, but the time has come to eat to live. I want to do all this though without making it an idol. So quickly and as easily we can turn our health into an idol. It can consume our thoughts and plans. God has given us so many wonderful things to eat and enjoy.  And the same time, when you know better about what and how your food is grown or manufactured, you need to not ignore the facts. Unless of course, ignorance is bliss. For me, I need to take the time to set up my boundaries and then live within them (enter the hard part).

The obvious benefit of all this “eating right” is losing a few pounds and the jeans fit better. My skin looks better, too.  My arthritis has not bothered me either. Yes, it does cost more to eat organically, however, in the end it just might be cheaper. You tend to eat at home more and in the long haul, less visits to the doctor’s office. If you are at all interested in knowing what you are eating or how it is grown, start with an easy find and watch Food, Inc. You can find it off of Netflix if you have a subscription. From there you can move on to King Corn.

Our church as actually just entered the 21 day Daniel Fast leading up to Easter.  So at least for a while, I have plenty of friends eating the same way so we can enjoy lunches and dinners together.  The fast start of jumping into this strict way of eating is difficult, in truth, removing one thing at a time would be much easier and would lead to a lifestyle change.  Which is exactly how my husband did it. I don’t plan on giving up meat completely, but I do plan on eating much less.  I’ve not made up my mind on dairy, although I suspect it is the trigger to my arthritis pain. I’m hoping my changes will lead to a healthier lifestyle for me and for my children.

 

A week off…

Well, a week of some refreshment and relaxing followed by a conference all of which went very well, now have me still trying to get back into the groove of our routine.  I trust I am not alone in the struggle to resume normal life after a reprieve from reality.  I think I prefer the reprieve.  I long to be sitting next to the camp fire and reading a novel.  I long to watch my kids running around getting dirty.  I already miss my friend and our time together, nothing like a friend you’ve had for almost 25 years! 

My heart gave way to a pang of longing to stay right where we were in Kernville along the river.  Duty called me farther north to the Northern California CHEA conference in Santa Clara.  I truly cherish the opportunity to partner in ministry with Lamplighter Publishing.  I enjoy the chance it gives me to share a passion for excellent literature and meet and talk with other homeschoolers. 

So…I will continue to tame the laundry pile and the work left undone in our absence.  I am looking towards the finish line of the end of May.  I don’t wish it here a day sooner than it ought to be, as it has been a good school year and quite honestly, I desrie that the days would slow to a snail’s pace so that my children won’t grow up a day sooner than they have to.

 

Blessings,

Jennifer

Summer days…

How do they go so quickly when they’ve only just begun?  It has been quite sweet I must say to enjoy the days of school books to open or papers to grade, rather to enjoy a few novels. 

Our family has already enjoyed a family vacation that took us from our home in So. CA through Arizona on to Colorado through Wyoming to the beautiful Yellowstone National Park and back home through Utah.  Wow!  What a fabulous time we had and we treasured it, as it was the first time we had ever had more than four days just the five of us.  My hubby’s job makes it very difficult to have a vacation so 11 days on the road in our new motorhome was just a treat and a memory I will never forget!  Thank you, Lord! (And thanks to my husband for all he did to make it possible!)

The kids have spent time with my parents for a week so that we had a week for just my hubby and I.  That was a treat!  With all the driving we’ve done, one would think we were pumping oil in our own backyard to pay for all the gas.  We have another road trip to Oregon coming up in a few weeks, and the oldest is headed to church camp for the week.  And least anyone forget, the CHEA convention here in So.CA is next week, July 12-14!  Oh joy!

Convention is always a big deal for me.  Mostly because I attend with three other dear sisters in the Lord and we have the greatest time eating out, laughing, sharing, and just enjoying one another.  One time of the weekend is always most precious to me and that is on the last morning of the weekend we gather and pray for one another’s year and any other family concerns/issues.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that is as precious as the time we share together lifing one another up to the Lord and all that would try to wear us down.  How sweet it is to go before the throne room of God with other like-minded believers. 

I hope many of you will be or have already attended convention.  Go with friends and make a weekend of it and refresh yourself for the new year.  May your summer days be sweet with the sound of laughter coming for the mouths of your babes.  Blessings of joy to you.

 

Jennifer