December 19, 2011

* Enjoying Our Freedom

We are still doing well.  Our sound minds come from the Spirit of God.  (2 Timothy 1:7)

Sweets are everywhere!  I allow my children a reasonable ration of sweet treats each day.  They are fine.

A reasonable ration would be a few pieces of candy, or a piece of cake, or a donut.

Plus, we are eating bread and butter almost daily, or white rice, sweet potatoes, etc.

Shopping, cooking, cleaning is less!!!

Beds are most often dry.  Laundry is less!!!

Everyone sleep through the night!!!

I can now experiment with all kinds of ferments!  WooHoo!  I have my first batch of Beet Kvass fermenting right now.  I think my husband has ordered the Wild Fermentation book for me.  Since we can now have whey (and, well, anything), I can try many new ferments.

We have reduced the amount of Bio-Kult by nearly one half and will drop it completely when I get more ferments going and into our regular routine.  We cut our dose of FCLO by about half.  No more Natural Calm Magnesium.  Cost is less!!!

We have stopped juicing regularly and do not have lemon water everyday.  Food prep time is less!!!

My hubby and I have actually gone out on a date: ate at a restaurant and went Christmas shopping.  What fun!  Stress is Less!!!

We participated in a Christmas concert and dinner at church.  Amazingly, all of our 5 children, ages 2-13, sat quietly on the front row for the duration of the concert.  I was impressed.   We ate what was served at the dinner, including something from the dessert table.  Choosing was difficult, as there were so many choices and we limited ourselves to one.  My children were curious why others filled their plates with 3-4 different desserts.  Hmm.  We could actually have true fellowship with others and talk about something other than food.

God is so good!  Praise Jesus, because He is the One who healed us!

Everyone, all six of us, are having normal formed bowel movements every day.

Bloating is gone!!!  I have received so many comments on my slender figure as of late.  Nice!

No one has itchy skin!

Energy and attitudes are high! "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

Eye contact is AWESOME!!!  Love it!!!

The children play well together.  They all play together.  They LIKE playing with each other.

There is a lot of tickling, chasing, laughing, and playing happening at our house.  There is peace at our house.  "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17)

My daughter, KES, has only had one leg cramp once since we started eating off-GAPS.  I prayed in Jesus' Name, and Jesus took the pain away.  I kid you not!  "Christ the Power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24)

My daughter, KRS, has only had one headache since we started eating off-GAPS.  I prayed for her in Jesus' Name, and Jesus took the pain away completely.  I kid you not!  "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you."  (John 15:7)

Search it out!  "Seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  (Matthew 6:33)  Seek Him!  He is the ONLY ONE who has all the answers.  He is the ONLY ONE who can make you righteous.  He is the ONLY ONE who can heal us.

He loves us and He wants to heal us.  He sent His Son to die for us, so that we might be saved, and saved means so much more than an insurance policy to get into heaven.  Saved means saved.  Saved now.  It means saved from sin and saved from the power of sin in our lives.  It means saved from death, eternal life.  It means healed.  There's more.  The Greek word "sozo" means: to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.  It is often translated as heal, save, cured, made well, preserved, recover, restore, etc.

He saved us from our slavery to sin and restored us to what we were always meant to be; sons, who were created in His image for His glory.  He has clothed us in His righteousness.  Wow!

"God is love." (1 John 4:8) "There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)  Oh, YES!

Search it out!  Seek Him!  It's good.  It's all good.

December 14, 2011

* The GAPS diet did NOT heal us

While I am thankful to God for leading us to the GAPS diet and I agree that it is a very healing diet, the GAPS diet did not heal us. God healed us. He did not heal us through the GAPS diet. He healed us by His Word. (Psalm 107:20)

God is love. Love heals. He IS the Great Physician.

I will try to explain what happened, but by no means do I have a formula for receiving healing. It is God who heals. There IS power in the blood and in the Name of Jesus!!!

I was so very depressed after more than one and a half years on the GAPS diet and seeing regressions, yet again. It felt like a prison. There was NO way out!!! A friend counseled me by listening to all that I had to say and by asking me one simple question. The question was, "What are you doing to seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness in your life?"

At first, I was a little bit annoyed because I really thought that I had been seeking God all these years. I couldn't get the question out of my head. I began to wonder what it really meant to seek Him. How does one go about seeking Him? I didn't know.

I came to realize that I knew a lot about God, but I didn't really know God. I read His Word. I listened to the sermons and tried to apply the teachings to my life. I memorized lots of scripture and tried to apply what I knew to my life, but I just could not do it consistently. I participated in Bible studies. I prayed all day everyday, but my prayers were primarily asking God to help me and to help others. I did praise God, I thanked Him, I confessed my sins, and I made my requests, but I was not seeking a relationship with God.

So I did the only thing I knew to do: I humbled myself as a little child and I asked my Heavenly Father to teach me. I figured that He is really the only One who has all the answers. In Jeremiah 33:3, God says, "Ask me, and I will show you great and unsearchable things that you have never known."

I was reading through the Bible so I began to talk to God and ask Him about passages of scripture that didn't make sense to me. Later, I would find the answer in another part of scripture, or in a Bible study, or a sermon. I began to notice that certain topics were very repetitious. I kept reading, "Your faith has healed you." I kept reading, "Love one another," "Love your neighbor as yourself," "As I have loved you, so you must love one another," "a new commandment I give you: Love one another," "The entire law is summed up in this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself," "but the fruit of the Spirit is love..." "These three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love." "Nothing matters except faith expressing itself in love."

If anyone reads this and wants to know the references for any or all of these, I will gladly share. I just want to post this soon. I recommend reading all of Galatians, John 13-17, and all of 1 John.

I have found more, so much more, but it is best if one seeks the Lord for these things so I do not want to give it all away as it would not mean near as much to one who had not searched it out with the Lord. I have simply believed what God has written in His Word.

Note: Previously, I was not confident to read my Bible and try to understand it, because I had been told so many times that you have to understand the history and the context to understand the true meaning of the words. What a lie!!!! I was afraid, but 2 Timothy 1:7 says that "God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind."

I began to read the Word of God and I tried to understand it. I asked my "Abba" to help me understand it and I reasoned that if I guessed wrong (as my children often do) that He would be patient with me and would teach me all things as I become ready to learn it, just as I am patient with my kids and I teach them new things as they become developmentally ready to learn it. God is so good. He is teaching me.

I became convinced that love was more important than anything else I could do for my kids and one day I simply had faith that my daughter could eat honey and would not react. She did eat and she didn't react. I later gave some to CKS, and he did not react. They have been eating fruit and honey ever since. They only had reactions on bad days where love was not reigning in our house. I found that I could make my kids sick in an instant by criticizing them or yelling at them or shaming them in any way. I would love them back to health and, indeed, the reactions would go away. So I concluded that Love heals. However, we all still reacted to everything NOT on the GAPS diet.

I kept reading God's Word, seeking God, His Kingdom, and His Righteousness. He is amazing!!! I can't and won't tell you everything I have learned. I will, however, encourage everyone to "seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness" (Matthew 6:33). Also, check out Matthew 7:7-8. Ask God and He will tell you everything you need to know. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). Don't just read His Word; talk to Him about it and believe what He tells you. It is amazing!!! HE is amazing!!!

I came to a point where I believed that it was indeed God's will to heal us. I prayed for complete healing everyday, believing that He would indeed heal us. I spoke the Word of the Lord (verses I have memorized) all day and talked to God as if He were my daddy in the room with me. At some point, I knew we had to step out in faith (prove our faith genuine) and expose ourselves to the foods/environments that we had been reacting to for so long. We bought some bread at the Farmer's Market and ate it with butter. We were fine. We kept eating bread and butter and added in other non-GAPS food. We were fine.

Note: When I began to eat bread and butter, about a week earlier, the kids had reactions akin to pre-GAPS or early GAPS. CKS regressed. KES became enraged and hateful. It was insane. I'm the one who ate the food and no one else knew of it. The children were still having "reactions" when I gave them the bread and butter, and I believed that they would be fine and would actually improve. They were and they did. Rashes were as bad as they have ever been, but they have been improving.

You see, it was God who healed us, not GAPS. We had been reacting to so many things just a few weeks earlier. Now we are fine. Praise the Name of Jesus!!! All glory to God!!!

We have enjoyed treats at Christmas parties. We had our own special day where we decorated the Christmas tree, watched the Nativity Story, drank hot chocolate, and ate candy canes. We shared a Thanksgiving meal with our family. We ate dinner at church with our church family. We can eat anything. My kids can play with play dough again!!! WooHoo!!! Healed!

The GAPS diet did NOT heal us! God did!!!

[As of 12/20/14, we have been off GAPS for more than three years and are enjoying freedom from the fear of food and toxins.  You can be free, too!  I want you to be free!  Please go to to find links that will guide you through our story.  Be encouraged!]

December 6, 2011

* Healed is Healed!

All glory to God! We are healed! All six of us. Totally healed!

So I want to share what has happened, but I don't know where to start, so I will start with this:

Seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness!

I was so depressed after the holidays last year because we had been on the GAPS diet for over a year and had followed it very closely, as much as we were able, but we were still very limited in what we could eat. Most all of our symptoms were under control and we had indeed added several food items back, but not that many. CKS and KES could still not tolerate any fruit or honey. After the holidays, everyone started to react to everything again. I contemplated starting over, yet again. My heart was screaming, "NOOOOO!!!" I broke down.

What I have learned from the GAPS diet is that we are truly fearfully and wonderfully made, and the only one who really knows what is going in inside of us is God, our Heavenly Father. Only God has the answers. Only God can heal us.

God says to get rid of all bitterness, anger, and rage. If He tells us to do it, then there must be a way. I had reasoned that diet helped me to live a more godly life, but I became a slave to the diet. I could only be godly if I stayed with the diet (kids, too). We would inevitably be exposed to some chemical or food without our knowledge or control and we would react and behave in unreasonable and ungodly ways. We began to fear and detest food. It was such a chore. Even going to church was difficult because the children would react to perfume or chemicals in the church building. I was angry. I would break down and cry. I would get so frustrated. I wanted to quit, but quitting was worse than staying on the diet. There was nowhere to go. We were trapped. There was no way out. (Psalm 107)

I began to communicate back and forth with a godly woman who had such compassion for us and for our situation. She listened to all I had to say about everything and she listened to all my questions. She did not answer any of my questions, but instead she asked me one simple question: What are you doing to seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness in your life?

I balked. "I pray. I read the Bible. I memorize scripture. I praise God for all the good things in my life. I talk to God all day everyday. Of course I am seeking God."

Then I realized that I was always seeking what God could do for me. I begged Him to help me. I begged Him to heal us. I begged Him to change me. It was all about me. I was not seeking His Kingdom and His Righteousness after all.

Now I had a real problem. I had no idea how to go about actually seeking God.

I still can't put my finger on how to do this. I think I asked God to show me and He did.

I found Jeremiah 33:3 and daily I asked God to show me great and unsearchable things that I have never known. He has! I keep asking for more!

James 1:5 says to ask God for wisdom and that He gives it generously to all without finding fault. I asked God to give me wisdom. He did and continues to do so.

Matthew 7:7 says to "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

I asked God to help me in my unbelief. I asked Him to increase my faith. He has!

Everything that I have asked for, He has given me!

There's so much more and I can not sum it up in one post. Over the past eight months, God has changed me completely! I am a new creation. I have been a "Christian" all my life, but I have not been living in victory. I still struggled. I still fell. How could I tell people about the Good News of the Gospel if I wasn't convinced in my own heart that it was really Good News? I couldn't. But now...

Now I know Him. He has pierced my ears!  (Exodus 21:5-6)  I am His, and He is mine! I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. It's true. I was made for this! I am not my own. I was bought with a price. Now I know Him, and I can tell you that He really does love us as much as He says He does!!!

I still haven't written about how it came to be that we are all healed, but really that is secondary anyway. It's all about God, not me. More to come...

Heal us, O Lord, and we will be healed. Save us and we will be saved, for You are the one we praise! This was my prayer for weeks after I came to understand that it was indeed in God's will to heal us. It comes from Jeremiah 17:14.

* Happy Thanksgiving!

Giving thanks to the One who gives all good things.

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! (Revelation 4:8)

You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing! (Revelation 5:12)

Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever! (Revelations 5:13)

Heavenly Father, You are indeed worthy of our praise. We are thankful to You for healing us of ALL of our intolerances. We are thankful to know that You have not given us a spirit of fear, but a Spirit of power, and of love, and of self-control. Because You live in us, we have the power to do what is right. You give us the power to love and the power to be self-controlled. Our sound minds, they come from You! We shared a Thanksgiving meal with our family and surprised everyone by sharing our food with them and by partaking of all the food prepared by them. What a joy to be able to do this. Oh, Lord, Your Word is so precious to me. Thank You for answering my prayers. I asked You for wisdom (James 1:5), and You gave me wisdom. Continue to increase my wisdom, Lord. I asked You to teach me great and unsearchable things that I have never known (Jeremiah 33:3), and You have shown me many great and unsearchable things that I have never known. Continue, Lord, to show me new things everyday. I praise You, for You are the One and Only True God, and You are worthy of our praise!!! Amen.

November 24, 2011

* Healed! Victory in Jesus!

Happy Thanksgiving! We have much to be thankful for. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, has healed us from all of our intolerances. We have been eating off GAPS for 2-3 weeks now with no reactions and we see continued improvement in symptoms that still remain. We have been enjoying bread from the Farmer's Market with butter. We have shared treats with friends at a thanksgiving party. I have celebrated a friend's birthday with a piece of peanut butter pie and enjoyed the fellowship as we "broke bread together". We are celebrating Thanksgiving with our family today. How wonderful to share a meal with all. They were surprised to hear that we can eat anything put before us. They are sure that the GAPs diet had much to do with our healing, but I know differently. The LORD healed us. All glory to God! Details later.

"Praise the Lord, oh my soul, all my inmost being praise His Holy Name. Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives ALL our sins and heals ALL our diseases!" (from Psalm 103)

October 27, 2011

Update: October 27: Almost Done With the GAPS Diet!

We have been very busy trying to figure out how to accomplish Classical Conversations, other homeschooling endeavors, church activities, and GAPS cooking. God is so gracious to provide for us in so many ways. I must always seek Him first above all else.

After school started, I (temporarily) neglected my Bible reading, study, and prayer time in favor of sleep and time spent helping my kids succeed at school. Things became stressful as we tried to get it all done. Gradually, symptoms returned and my children and I became intolerant of food that we have been eating since May/June. For one week, I took out all salicylates, fruit, and honey in order to bring sanity back into our lives as it felt like our whole world was crashing in on us. It was really bad! Tantrums! Rashes! Rigidity! Loss of eye contact! Difficulty concentrating! Meltdowns! Anxiety!

When I say bad, I mean really bad! I thought my husband should want to leave me because I had no time for him and our house was not a fun place to come home to. Everything felt very hopeless.

Then, I realized that I had put school above everything else in my life. It came first before spending time with God in His Word. It came before my relationship with my husband. It was more important than spending quality time with my little ones, or any of my children. Figuring it all out became more important than loving my children as Christ loved me. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." (I Corrinthians 13:4-8) "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." (I Corinthians 13:13) I was no longer very patient or kind, though I tried to be. I was rude, self-seeking, and easily angered. I kept records of wrong. I did not protect, trust, hope, or persevere. I wanted to, but it wasn't in me. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23) The Spirit was not in me. I stopped exhibiting these traits.

Here's why: (John 15:1-14) If a man remains in Christ, and Christ remains in him, then he will bear much fruit, but without Christ, he can do nothing! He can not bear much fruit. No matter how hard I try to be loving and patient and kind, I can not do it when Christ is not in me; when His words are not in me. When I fill myself up with other thoughts, those thoughts rule, and everything I say and do reflects what I am believing.

School had become an idol (anything we devote ourselves to above the Living God). I had sacrificed my relationship with my children on the alter of education. I sacrificed my relationship with my husband on the alter of education. I put education first and stopped seeking first His Kingdom and His Righteousness. I neglected my relationship with God.

When I realized this, I turned away from my sin and confessed it to the Lord, who has removed my sin as far as the east is from the west and who has washed me whiter than snow because when I confess my sins, "He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9) I remember Romans 8:1 which says that "there is now, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

I began to seek Him, His Kingdom, and His Righteousness first. I sought council from the Wonderful Councelor and He answered me. He reminded me of the Truth. His word is True. He reminded me that if I will only ask Him, then He will show me great and unsearchable things that I have never known. (Jeremiah 33:3) It is all in His word! He has been showing me many great and wonderful things in His word. He speaks to me through His word. I now understand how one can have a very real, active, and living relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I now believe Him wholeheartedly! Everything He says is TRUE! He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! (John 14:6)

He wants to heal us! I never KNEW that before. He wants to heal us! Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." We want to be free from anger, anxiety, bitterness, and rage. These things are not from God. God tells us to get rid of it. (Ephesians 4:31) He tells us not to be anxious. (Phillipians 4:6) If He tells us to do it, then there must be a way to do it! He is WAY more powerful than any food or food reaction. When Jesus healed people, he would say that their faith had healed them or "according to your faith, it will be done to you." (Matthew 9:29) I never believed He wanted to heal us. I knew He could, but I never believed He would. Now I know that He can and will. He gave me these words:

Jeremiah 17:14 "Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed. Save me and I shall be saved, for You are the one I praise."

Jeremiah 30:17 "For I will restore health to you and heal your wounds," declares the Lord."

Psalm 107 (all of it, as it describes people suffering because of their sin, they cry out to Him, He heals them from their distress, and they praise Him)

Psalm 107:17-22 "Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. HE SENT OUT HIS WORD AND HEALED THEM, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

Psalm 103:1-5 "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who FORGIVES ALL YOUR INIQUITY, who HEALS ALL YOUR DISEASES, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

II Timothy 1:7 "for He did not give us a spirit of fear, but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of SELF-CONTROL." (some versions say of A SOUND MIND)

Does God want to heal us? Absolutely! He can and He will!

For one week, I pulled all the fruit, honey, and salycilates and things just got worse! Then, I was convicted of my sin (placing school above everything else) and I confessed it to God. Things got even worse, so that we saw tantrums and rages and fits like we saw two years ago before we started GAPS. Believing that God would heal us by His word, we started adding food in. Rashes are healing. Skin on cheeks is smoothing out again. Tempers are more peaceful or with love can be brought back to peaceful. We are now cooking chicken with necks and liver. That's huge! We ate chicken and sausage from Whole Foods Market with spices we had never tolerated before. Yum! I told my daughter to participate in art class no matter what the activity and not to worry about getting color on her skin. She did fine. We had a new babysitter come who wore too much fragrance, but believed everyone would be fine. They were. We ate oranges today. Everyone is sleeping. The children are going to bed on time without complaint. They get up and do their chores and school without complaint. Life is beautiful.

The rashes are not completely gone yet, but they are fading. The little ones get anxious and scream or cry over little things, but are quickly settled with a calm loving approach. We are learning to be calm. (Kirk Martin - Celebrate Calm or Celebrate Christian Calm) Our oldest has finally accomplished the amazing task of completing his schoolwork in record time in the middle of chaos and is understanding it better than ever. Our second child, also, is accomplishing her increased load of schoolwork in record time, amidst chaos, and even includes the little ones in her studies by "teaching" them what she is learning. Our seven year old is now "officially" Mommy's Helper, much to her delight. The little ones play or help all day long. We are laughing more and having a ton of fun. There is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control in our lives at the present time even though we have been eating things we could not tolerate before. God IS healing us! Everyday we now chant, "We're almost off of the GAPS diet, we're almost off of the GAPS diet, we're almost off of the GAPS diet! Praise the Lord!"

October 24, 2011

October Update Coming Soon!

All is well. Life is good. Tolerating many foods. Enjoying every day that the Lord has made! Details in next post. I'm still working on it.

September 12 Update

I have not written in my blog in forever as life has been busy with cooking, church, homeschool, and just living. School started in September and that has taken a lot of our time. Much has happened in that time and much has been learned. The Bio-Kult did change and it was a bit of a transition, but all is well with it now.

The following is an edited update I emailed to a friend on September 12th:

Truth of God's Word Brings Healing

  Seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.  Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.  Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  A new commandment I give you to love one another just as I have loved you.  There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ.  It is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purposes.  We were created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do.  He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it.  He works all things together for good for those who love Him and whom He has called according to His good purposes.  He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may suffer grief in all kinds of trials, these have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may be proved genuine and bring praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Your faith has healed you.  These three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.

God is love.  Love heals.

We are finally on full GAPS after nearly two years.  We are eating bone broths, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, brussel sprouts, asparagus, onions, garlic, parsley, pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, bananas, berries, honey, and more!!!  I have taken communion on 3-4 occasions now with no adverse affects.  CKS (4) drank some juice at VBS by accident and has been fine.

Eczema is gone!  Rashes are gone!  Rosy cheeks are gone!  Echolalia is rare.  Eye contact is usually great!  Tempers and emotional meltdowns are rare!  Development is right on target!  Language is blossoming in all of my kids, on or above level.  Imaginative play rules the day!  Affection and just wanting to be with me is constant.  Joy and peace are present in our home and everywhere we go.  We get compliments on my children's behavior all the time.  Whining and complaining is rare.  My kids are genuinely happy and content, despite the fact that they work harder than any other children I know.

Leg cramps are rare.  Anxiety is rare.  Nightmares and restless sleepless nights are very rare.  Poo is daily, sometimes multiple times a day and is more or less formed and brown.  Smell of pee and poo is much more pleasant.  Still having bedwetting issues, but is now a rare occurrence in our second child.  The two who reacted to the vaccine still have lots of issues with frequency and urgency of urination, but they have more days now where it is less of a problem.  Christopher has actually, on several occasions, made it through the whole day in the same clothes (today was not one of those days).

Since March, I am leading worship with our praise team.  Our children go to Sunday School.  We all are present for all of worship every Sunday.  We participated in VBS and I lead the music and took pictures for the slide show.  My husband put the slide show together.  I led the music for the closing program.  During VBS and this past week, we also babysat my friend's two little boys (both PDD-NOS) because her father, their grandpa passed away.  We also cleaned out the attic, insulated the attic, etcetera, etcetera, and have been renovating the garage to make more room in our small house (which I love because small is so much easier to clean and I know where everyone is pretty nearly all the time).

I tell you all this to give glory to God who worked out all the details and made it all possible and who gave us the strength and ability to do so much.  Six months ago, I could barely get through a day and we never knew if we would make it to church on time (we once went for the last five minutes of service).  My kids reacted to something every time we walked out the door.  I could not even let the littlest ones play at a friend's house.

We are preparing for the start of a new school year.  I have my two girls taking classes at a local homeschool co-op for three hours every Friday.  My oldest two are participating in Classical Conversations on Tuesdays and will be doing much more academics this year.  My littles ones will be home with me except for four hours once a week when they will stay with a friend while I attend the Classical Conversations classes with my daughter (required).  I'm stepping out in faith with all of this.  I can't see how we are going to do all of this, but I know it is what we need to be doing.  I stepped out in faith when I committed to lead the music for VBS and it is amazing how everything came together.  I know that God will work out the details on this one, too.  (The purpose of Classical Conversations is to know God and to make Him known.)

GAPS is a wonderfully healing and nutritious protocol, but what changed was my relationship with God.  He is changing us from the inside out.  He is renewing our minds.  He is filling us with His Spirit.  His Word is powerful and the Truth will set you free.  When I began to seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness and I finally began to spend time with the Lord on a daily basis, reading His Word, studying His Word, and talking to Him, then everything began to change.

I have recently discovered that I can make my kids sick in an instant.  When I am critical, their symptoms return.  The rashes and eczema return.  The leg cramps and tummy aches and diarrhea return.  When I love on them, they bloom.  They can eat fruit and honey!  It is still astounding to me that they can finally eat fruit and honey! We try not to overdo it.  Our bodies are His temple.  Christ lives in us.

We must guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.  We must put on the full armor of God.  We must love like our Savior loved.  God is love and Love heals.  All praise and glory and honor to Jesus my Redeemer.

I could go on and on.  I have alread gone on for an hour here.  I hope it was encouraging.  If you think it would be a blessing to anyone else, feel free to share my story.  You can read more on my blog, too.  Please feel free to send others my way.

My faith has grown as a result of this journey and I want others to know the healing power of Christ.  GAPS is great, but God is greater!

September 6, 2011

Regressions - Things are Looking Up

OK. Still not perfect, but things are getting better. I really am quite convinced that the new Bio-Kult was making an impact.

September 4, 2011

Regressions - What is Going On Here?!?

Our youngest three children are having some issues. Our two older children and I seem to be doing fine. I'm trying to figure out what could have happened to cause our current state of being and I have a few ideas.

First I want to say that there has been so much healing that I don't think anyone would have any idea that anything is wrong unless they know my kids well. Most people would likely call their behavior "normal". I know it is not normal for my children anymore.

Our youngest (2 1/2), who has never had a vaccine and who has been on the GAPS diet from the start (4 months old), has been fussy, emotionally reactive, tactile, and rigid. His poos are a mess and stinky and he has a rash in his diaper area. We have not seen that in forever. He also avoids eye contact and has grabbed at his eyes some like CKS did when he regressed.

Our four year old, the one who regressed into autism after the vaccine just over two years ago, is behaving just like his older brother did at the same age. [The blessing in this is that I get to respond to all of the same behaviors as a New Creation in Christ. They are still difficult behaviors to deal with, but I am able to handle everything with more grace this time around. I believe (I know) that this is only temporary.] He has become very tactile. He's gasping for breath, like he did after Christmas. He is always moving. He's constantly humming, groaning, moaning, crying, or talking; never silent. He asks the same questions over and over and tells us the same stuff over and over. He talks and makes noise WHILE I'm talking to him. He can't focus to accomplish simple tasks and needs step by step help. He's eating messy and making messes in the bathroom. He's touching everything and climbing on everything! He itches in places.

Our seven year old, who also changed after receiving the same vaccine, has been itchy and somewhat emotionally reactive.

So here are my thoughts:

We changed eggs to soy-free, corn-free fed chicken eggs.

We started eating more eggs.

Maybe they caught a bug and the regressions come because they are sick.

Bio-Kult changed their packaging and their formula. They took out the maltodextrin.

I think it is the Bio-Kult.

Hopefully it is die-off from a more potent Bio-Kult probiotic and it is bringing a greater degree of healing which will be revealed to us after they get through this. This theory makes sense because the company who sold us the Bio-Kult told me the new capsule and packaging produces a more consistent and potent product. My littlest ones are the ones reacting. Their bodies are smaller. Usually, when it is a food reaction, everyone reacts.

I think we will press on for a bit. I will back off salicylate foods, fruit, and honey. We will eat fewer eggs for a while. If things do not get better soon, I will find a new source of eggs. Next step, I would back off on the Bio-Kult and/or consider switching to Custom Probiotics.

In the meantime, I will pray and trust God to lead us and provide for us. Please pray for us to get through this period of regressions with grace.

August 22, 2011

More Dry Nights!

Our little CKS has had many dry nights. This morning he woke up in a dry bed and he was so surprised because he did not get up in the night to go to the bathroom. He kept telling me how surprised he was, over and over and over and over.

We celebrate with a nut and a bit of honey for all when either KES or CKS wakes up dry in the morning. It is so much fun to celebrate their progress in their healing.

CKS has been praying for dry nights! We praise God for answering our prayer. Soon, very soon, our little girl, KES, will begin to have dry night after dry night after dry night. We will praise God and celebrate another step forward in her healing.

August 4, 2011

Still Eating Salycilates

When we started the GAPS diet, my older two kids, who remember eating apples before we started the Feingold diet, were on board because they dreamed of eating apples again. September of this year will be our two year anniversary on GAPS. We are eating apples! It is a little bit of heaven on earth. What an wonderful gift to be able to eat apples.

We are also eating berries, nuts, tomatoes, cucumbers and more. After five plus years on the Feingold diet (Stage 1) it is almost to good to be true, but it is absolutely, positively true that we can eat these foods now without reactions! WooHoo!

Always giving thanks to God, who has answered every prayer and has held my hand every step of the way. I truly can rejoice in the trials we have been through. My faith has been proved genuine. May I continue to rest in the knowledge that God has it all in hand and that his plans are good all the time.

Fingers In My Face

One of the signs that my four year old son is reacting to something is that he will always have his fingers in his face. Usually he will have one finger along the side of his nose with the fingertip in between the bridge of his nose and his eye while the other fingers will be curled up in front of or in his mouth. When really distressed, he will pinch the bridge of his nose with his thumb and middle finger and both hands will be in his face.

Today, I realized that it has been several days, at least, since I have seen him do this. Dry nights and fingers away from his face. Also, his eye-contact has been great and his verbal and reasoning skills are excellent! He is so happy and fun and amazing! I thank my God for this amazing kid!

* Park Day

Oh, what fun we had at the park, me with my two little ones (ages 2 & 4). We had fun in the car as we anticipated our arrival and what we would do once we got there. We got out and proceeded to carry out our plans and then we just played a little of this and a little of that, whatever we found interesting to do in the moment. It was hot, very hot, but that didn't stop us from having fun. We got in the van and decided to skip visiting the ducks, but once they had been wiped down with cool wipes they changed their minds again. All the way home, we discussed our plans for cleaning up with a "scrub-a-dub-dub" in the tub and for cooling off with a cup of water and a single ice cube. We decided on a video to watch while I put dinner on the table. I thoroughly enjoyed every stinkin' hot minute of it.

This is in contrast to anything before GAPS. When my oldest was little, he hated to be outside. He complained about everything. Then again, he complained about everything when he was inside, too. I tried to be a good mommy and take my kids to the park to play, but it was an out and out miserable experience for all. For one, I never felt good. I was tired and the heat made me miserable. My children, who were supposed to love running and jumping and playing out in the fresh air, did not enjoy being outside. They were tired and the heat made them miserable.

Oh, oh, oh, we used to get eaten up by mosquitoes, but not anymore! Actually, I think we do get some bites, but we don't react to them so much anymore. If we do get a bite and it itches, then we put some Cortsym homeopathic gel on it and it goes away (works on rashes and hives, too). I go outside every morning to read my Bible, talk to God, and garden. The mosquitoes swarm around me, but they do not land on me. I have noticed that when my thoughts are negative, they bite. (If anyone reading my blog notices this to be true, too, please let me know. I would be very interested.)

One day I went out and the mosquitoes were all over me and I told them to go away and that I didn't want them to bite me. I told them, "I don't need this or want this so go away." They did. When my daughter came out, they were eating her up and I told her to rebuke them and tell them to go away. I told her what I said and she did it. The mosquitoes did not bite her anymore and the bites she got went away and did not itch. Amazing!

I used to be afraid to go outside during the summer because of the mosquitoes and I hated the heat because it sapped my energy away and I hated to sweat. Now I love going outside. I am not afraid of the bugs anymore. The sun does not drain away my energy and I don't mind sweating at all anymore. So much has changed. My thoughts about it all have changed. I now see the sun as healing and nourishing. I now see that sweating is a great way to detoxify. Mosquitoes and other bugs pretty much stay away from, or don't cause reactions in, healthy bodies. I was also scared of the dirt. No more!

At the park, there were bugs. It was hot. We did sweat a lot. We got dirty. Their feet were filthy. We even had a boo boo or two, but it was no big deal. Skinned a knee, but no band aid was needed. Can you believe it?!?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below! Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen!

August 3, 2011

Dry Nights

WooHoo! Our little CKS (4) has had three dry nights in less than one week and two were consecutive!!! He has virtually never had a dry night. KES (7) still has not had a dry night, but on occasion, lately, her bedding is not quite so drenched. SSS (2) is off and on with the dry nights. KRS (10) is usually dry now. Praise God for more healing! Praise Him for more victory!

July 19, 2011

* I Make My Kids Sick

This is truly humbling and empowering. It is humbling because I must take responsibility for the choices I make that affect my children in adverse ways. It is empowering because I can make choices that affect my children in wonderful, nurturing, healing ways.

We had an amazing week of VBS (plus home improvement, plus babysit for friends in need, plus garage sale) and everyone did remarkably well. Attitudes were positive. We tolerated much stress and much exposure throughout the week.

Towards the end of the week, one of our kids caught a cold and it is making it's way around. Currently, three of our kids are sick. Home renovations continue. I was tired after the busy week and didn't want to have to deal with "stuff" and I got a bit irritable and mean on Sunday and Monday. Lo and behold, KES began to itch in certain inconvenient places again and also her eczema returned so that she was beginning to create scabs in her forehead again. I changed my ways and I was as sweet as pie (squash pie sweetened with a bit of honey) and my little girl was as fine as could be today. She even had a little fruit today and everyday. We have not backed off on having some fruit or honey everyday. It is consistently true that when I have a bad attitude, which leads to a grumpy and miserable day, all of the kids have reactions, particularly the ones who get in my way. I am actually making my kids sick. My sin makes my kids sick. Now the cold is simply unfortunate. I'm talking about their reactions to food and the environment and how it is related to our thinking.

God's Word does tell us that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (can't remember the reference at the moment). When we were afraid of food, we seemed to react to just about everything.

Also, consider this...after reading through Matthew, Mark, and half of Luke these past few months I began to see that when Jesus healed someone, He almost always said "your faith has healed you." or something along those lines. In his own hometown it was noted that He could not do any miracles there, "except to lay His hands on a few and heal them and He marveled at their lack of faith." There is definitely a connection between what we believe and the results we receive.

In Psalm 103:2-3 it says, "Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases."

There is a connection between being forgiven and being healed.  We see this daily. When KES feels that she is forgiven and loved, then she does well. When I finally realized that I am truly free from sin and that "there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ," and when I realized that "it was for freedom that Christ has set us free" and that He does not want me to be burdened again by a yoke of slavery, then I stopped living a life full of guilt, shame, obligation, etc. Once I was free of the guilt, I began to heal at an astounding rate. I have tolerated everything I have tried (so far only full GAPS food other than communion) but we will continue to add in new food. I believe it will all go well. We have already added so many new foods. I can take communion!!!

If we are not completely healed in this life, I know without a doubt that we will be whole and perfect when Jesus comes again.

In the meantime, I try to be full of praise and thanksgiving for all of the little things (big things, too, of course) and to keep my thoughts on things that are good.  God is God and He knows what He is talking about when He tells us in His Word to think about things that are good and lovely and right (Philippians 4:8).  He also tells us not to be anxious about anything, but instead we are to talk to Him about everything.  We are to be thankful and we are to ask Him for whatever we need (Philippians 4:6).  Also, rejoice in the Lord, always!  Paul says it again, "Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4-5)  When we do these things, God gives us His peace (Philippians 4:7).

I am so full of joy for all that the Lord has done in our lives through this journey. I want to love the Lord with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, with all my strength and I want to love my neighbor as myself. The benefits of trusting God and obeying His Word are amazing! Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

I make my kids well by loving them the way that my Lord loves me.

July 16, 2011

* What an Amazing Week!

Can I write it all down in twenty minutes or less so I can get to bed by midnight?

This week was our Vacation Bible School week. I lead the music for VBS. I love it! I have the best volunteer job of all. I also take pictures of everything and my husband puts a slideshow together to show at the closing program. It is a lot of fun!

Last year we skipped VBS altogether. It was just too much to think about and too many dangers. Besides the kids rarely felt well and you never knew if it was going to be a bad week or a good week. Everything was always up in the air. We missed it, but it had to be so.

This year, we knew it would be a challenge, but we wanted to give it a try. I stepped out on faith that we could do it, with God's help, and I committed to lead the music. I had no idea how we would be able to do it. It didn't seem possible, but I just had to trust God to work out the details...and boy did He ever!

Not only did we manage to make it through a week of VBS, but we did so with grace. All praise to God, our Heavenly Father, for making it so. We made it out the door on time every morning with smiling faces and lots of excitement. Everyone took a bath in the morning before VBS and another one after VBS. Meals were simple and planned out to every detail. My husband and I did food prep over the weekend and a little every night. They drank water every morning. They took their gut bugs (probiotics), carrot juice, and fermented CLO upon waking and ate pizza eggs in the car on the way to church for breakfast. I made and delivered GAPS snacks to my children during snack time (mango, pear slices with nut butter, banana nut muffins with honey and a nut on top). Lunch was ground meat and onions, veggies, salad, broth, and sauerkraut everyday. Dinner was soup and salad everyday. We usually had a snack in the afternoon, too.

Not only did we manage to make it through a week of VBS with grace, but we also cleaned up the garage, cleared out the attic, insulated the entire attic with fluffy pink stuff, and organized and priced stuff for a garage sale, which I am having tomorrow to fund some renovations. All of this was supposed to happen next week after VBS was over, but my husband misunderstood my plan and I decided to go with it. He is going to build in our garage, add outlets, and insulate it to make a large playroom for the kids since the two small bedrooms are full of beds and clothes. I am so thankful that he is willing to take off of work and spend the time and money it takes to do this. The kids are so thankful to be getting a cool and bug free space of their own.

We had our closing program tonight, where I lead the kids in singing six of our VBS songs and gave a summary of all that we learned this week. After, we had an ice cream social for VBS participants and for our church. We got the kids to bed a bit late tonight so I plan to let them sleep in a bit tomorrow morning. Several of the kids are having reactions to ???, but all in all, it isn't so bad. They will recover. We all will.

Did I mention that I got to meet a whole bunch of really neat kids and did I mention how much fun it was to lead them in worship and to teach them about Jesus? What an amazing week!

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for working out all the details and for making this such an amazing week. Lord I really stepped out on faith, not knowing how in the world we could pull off a week of VBS, but we were able to do so much more than I ever dreamed we could do. It was all you! I am in awe of You! Amen.

July 6, 2011


I have been taking communion once a month with no reactions! WooHoo!

* Love Heals

The healing continues. We are definitely seeing that feeling loved and accepted helps the healing process. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

We are all eating a nice variety of food each day. We love cooking and eating. Since everyone can now tolerate fruit and honey, our snacks and meals have gotten a bit more creative. We made chicken salad yesterday, and because everyone loved it so much we made it again today.

Recipe for dairy free chicken salad: chopped up chicken, chicken patè (in place of yogurt or mayo), chopped raw onion, chopped apple, chopped grapes, salt, and pepper.

God is healing us spiritually! He has freed us from fear, guilt, shame, anger, bitterness, etc. It tries to sneak in here and there, but we are quick to catch it and say, "NO! No more!!!" God is transforming us by the renewing of our minds and we are changing the way we talk and the way we think about things. As a result, we are tolerating everything better. Healing is easier, for sure, when your body is not constantly being pumped full of bad chemicals produced by bad thoughts. Dr. McBride mentions this on her website under the FAQ question under adrenals as quoted below:

"1. What recommendations are there for GAPS patients for boosting their adrenals?
Adrenals love fat and cholesterol. So, as far as the diet is concerned, eat lots of animal fats with every meal and cholesterol-rich foods, such as egg yolks, sour cream, butter and fatty fish. Another essential for the adrenals is sleep! Sleep is really not optional, so organise your life in such a way that you can have a nap every afternoon and a good long sleep at night. Another essential is to lower your stress, which is easier done than you may think. Stress is not the event itself; it is your attitude to this event. Research shows, that people react to stress very differently depending on their attitude to life. The one, who generally has a negative personality and tends to worry a lot, has all the stress hormones and destructive chemicals racing around their bodies. But the person, who has a philosophical and positive attitude to life, will have much less stress chemicals in their blood and will cope much better. It is the first type of people that “burn” their adrenals out. There are excellent books on this subject: you can start from Dale Carnegie’s book “How to stop worrying and start living”, for example."

I had a bad week, feeling irritable and angry, right after the homeschool conference. The children started reacting to the food again, or were they reacting to me?!? Rashes, eczema, and behaviors returned a bit. I immediately changed my thinking and began to act lovingly once again to my children and all of the reactions went away.

This week, my oldest started to sneak food (all GAPS legal and all well tolerated foods). He seemed to be reacting to something, but I could not guess what it could be. He reverted back to old rules. His memory became very poor. He started eating too much food at meals and would shovel it in and swallow without chewing (something he used to do all the time before GAPS). He made poor decisions. He didn't feel well and stopped getting up early in the morning and would move slowly and scuffle his feet while doing chores. I could not figure out why he was acting like this. Then...I discovered that someone had eaten half the bag of grapes in a matter of two days. Then I remembered that there didn't seem to be as many nuts as I was expecting when I put them in jars after dehydrating them. I asked him about these things and he confessed to eating them. I told him that I thought the guilt and the shame of stealing food and hiding it was probably what was making him sick. He agreed. I forgave him and even told him that it would be fine for him to take a nibble here and there throughout the day (keeping it to a minimum). Today was a great day!

I really do believe that fear, guilt, shame, anger, bitterness, and negative thoughts of any kind really do make us sick. Believing that I am truly forgiven by God and knowing that "there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ." is indeed THE reason that I can now eat food that I couldn't tolerate before. Jesus is in me and the fruit of the Spirit is now evident in my life. The fruit is showing in my kids, too.

Not only is God healing us physically and spiritually, but new life is popping up all around us. Did I mention that I am gardening and that I go out and tend my garden and yard every morning after my Bible study? Also, we are caring for and learning about fish and rats and turtles (our pets). I used to think of gardening and pets as too much work, but I am learning so many new and wonderful things from reading God's Word and from observing God's World. It is all very exciting and wonderful! I love it! I enjoy the work so much now.

We are also serving in the body of Christ by leading worship on Sunday morning (I am on the praise team), teaching Sunday School (my dear husband), babysitting the pastors kids from time to time as they make hospital visits and such (as a family), and watching other children when needs arise (as a family). Also, I will be leading music for VBS next week and taking photos for the slide show and my husband will put the slideshow together. I am not bragging! All of this is a joy and comes so easily (totally NOT out of obligation) because God has done a mighty work of regeneration in our hearts. "It is God who works in us to will and to act according to His good purposes." (Phillipians 2:13) It feels so wonderful to use the gifts that we have and to serve in ways that fit our circumstances right now. We are doing what we were created to do, "for we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)

In the book of John, it is repeated over and over again that a new command is given to Love one another. We are to love one another. We are to forgive, just as the Lord has forgiven us. We are to love the Lord with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds, and love our neighbors as ourselves.

Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. What are we to obey? The law of the Old Testament? No. The new commandment to love one another? Yes.

In our house, we are loving one another. Laughter fills the air. We are healing.

Love heals!

June 18, 2011

They Did It, Again!

Wow! Last night my little CKS woke up about 3:30am and threw up. I have no idea why. My oldest two feel a bit under the weather today, too. Detox baths helped. I went ahead and left them with the babysitter so I could participate in the last day of the conference. They did fine.

Almost all of everything got done today. One load of laundry was still waiting to be washed, the dishwasher was not started, and dinner was not on the table when I arrived at home, but everything else was done. Still, pretty amazing. Two loads of laundry were done, beds were made, rooms were somewhat tidy, probiotics were given, juice and cod liver oil were given, lunch and snack were served, eaten, and cleaned up, they played a bunch and everyone was happy. They did it!

June 17, 2011

They Did It!

They did it! The kids had to carry out all of the basic chores all on their own and they did it! We worked hard during the first part of the week to prepare for this weekend. I'm gone all day for three days, my husband is out of town, and a babysitter is staying all day with my kids. Laundry was washed, folded, and put away (only pee pee laundry as we finished the rest of the laundry during the first part of the week). All beds were made with dry sheets. All meals and snacks were served, eaten, and cleaned up. Dishwasher was loaded. Rooms were all tidy when I got home. Dinner was on the table. They played. They read books. They played Wii games, which is a rare treat for my kids. They did art together (my girls are artists and our babysitter is an amazing artist). They did it!

I am so proud of them. They did it because God has been working in us and they wanted to do it and do it well. They knew I was counting on them, but they were not afraid of getting in trouble. In fact, I had expected that a few things might be forgotten and I had made up my mind to overlook anything unfinished and simply praise them for what they did well and encourage them to remember tomorrow, but they did it all. Our babysitter kept telling me over and over how wonderful they were. She had only positive things to say. Mind you she was with them for ten hours from 7:30am to 5:30pm and she still plans to be here again tomorrow. I am so proud of them. All glory to God! He did this.

Side note: I am enjoying my time away and I am learning so much about how to teach my children classically. I am more and more excited about this coming school year. It is delightful to let go and trust God that all is well. I thought to call home a few times to check on the children and to remind them about what to do, but I am so glad I resisted the temptation. It was their opportunity to shine! They DID!

Praise be to God, our Heavenly Father, for His great love for us. It is God who works in us to will and to act according to His good purposes, for we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do. We will be able to do God's work because He is preparing us to do the work. We can not boast in ourselves. It is by grace we have been saved, through faith, and it is a gift from God, bought and paid for by the blood of Christ! I can now say with confidence that Christ lives in me!

June 16, 2011

Quiet Time

What an amazing blessing!!! I am ever amazed at what God is doing in my life and in the life of my family. I have started reading through the Bible and have been working to hide God's Word in my heart by memorizing scripture using the Say and Do method. I am working my way through a Bible study at my own pace and I am really taking it in, stopping to ponder, reflect, and apply what I am learning to my everyday life. I am talking with God every morning and throughout the day about anything and everything. I ask Him questions. I tell Him what I am thinking. I talk to God as if He is right there next to me, and He IS. He is real. He is there. I can't see Him or hear His voice, but He answers me. I read His Word, fully expecting Him to speak to me through His Word. He does. Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Ask me and I will tell you great and unsearchable things that you have never known."

Seek God by reading His Word, talk to Him about everything, and ask Him to teach you great and unsearchable things that you have never known. HE WILL! Seek First His Kingdom and His Righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.


Chapter 4:20-23 - "My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and HEALTH TO A MAN'S WHOLE BODY. Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life."

* My Amazing God

Of course, He's amazing! God has been teaching me so much through His Word and then He keeps confirming the truth of what I am learning. He teaches me something and when I am sure that I know what I know, someone else tells me what I just learned so that I am constantly saying to my children, "That is exactly what I was just telling you about."

It is good for them (and me) to see that God has revealed the same things to others who have also sought out His wisdom. It only makes sense. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. A new revalation for me is only new to me. It makes sense that He would reveal the same things to others.

This morning I wanted to read a short bit of scripture to ponder as I got dressed and ready for my homeschool conference. I read the first part of Ephesians 2 about how we once lived as slaves to sin and while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. It is by grace that we we have been saved, through faith, and it is the gift of God so that no one can boast. By divine decree, the coordinator of our conference began the day with a short devotional based on Ephesians 2:3-5.

During the conference, I was filled with such joy to discover that what the Lord has been teaching me lines up perfectly with the program we are about to commence. He has been preparing us for this. The purpose of Classical Conversations is to know God and to make him known. I have been praying for my children to be mighty warriors in God's kingdom. They will be!

Also, the theme of love keeps coming up again and again, in the Word, of course, and also in other places, like the Son-Rise Program for healing autism, our church during a time of transition, Classical Conversations conference, and in conversations with others. Love is healing me. Love is healing my kids. When they tantrum or cry or whatever, we now respond in love (God has made this possible in me) and peace comes. Still, no eczema. Still doing well.

I truly believe that because I have been set free from guilt, shame, fear, anger, and all kinds of negativity, that my body is healing very fast and is tolerating and accepting all kinds of new foods. I truly believe that because I am now filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control and that I am loving and accepting my children for who they are and where they are and am not placing demands on them to be more than who they are, that they are experiencing freedom from guilt, shame, fear, anger, and all kinds of negativity and, therefore, they are healing very fast and are tolerating and accepting all kinds of new foods. Also, we are not afraid to try new food anymore. We eat all of our food with thanksgiving and rejoice that it is food we can eat.

I am eating nuts and fruit and I am no longer very bloated. Truly, the battle is the Lord's. If he can take 300 men and defeat thousands upon thousands of Israel's enemies, then he can take whatever good gut bugs I have managed to put in my body and multiply them. He will balance everything out. I'm only guessing at what I need. He knows exactly what I need.

Psalm 103 - Praise the Lord, oh my soul! Praise His holy name! Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. Who redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and mercy.

He has redeemed my life from the pit! I rejoice in the trials He has ordained for me because through it He has been refining me and has been making me more beautiful. Jesus is IN me. Really! He really IS in me. Thank You, my Lord!

June 14, 2011

Still No Eczema

We added mushrooms yesterday. Still no eczema. They had some nut butter with honey yesterday. Everyone had a few grapes today. Everyone is just fine.

I have been eating nuts, apples, grapes, strawberries and more, in addition to soups, broths, salads, and ferments. I am on top of the world. I am so full of gratitude towards my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for the change He has brought about in me and in our whole family!

My children listen better. They rarely interrupt anymore. They have stopped commenting on everything all day long. They are figuring out what it is that they want or need and they are finding the words to ask for it, instead of whining, complaining, or throwing a tantrum. When those behaviors do happen, they cease when the children are reminded to think about what it is that they want or need and ask with nice words. They are working cheerfully and quietly. They are working with each other instead of against each other. They have learned to yield to those who are older. (and on and on and on)

OK, my two older boys (4&12) are having a few issues yesterday and today, but we have figured out that they are reacting to their cousin (cologne? deodorant? detergent?). They have been hanging out together in a small bedroom all afternoon for the last three days. MKS had to change his bedsheets because there was such a strong scent in them. He has been anxious and teary. Little CKS, is getting rough red cheeks and his eye-contact is now very minimal. He has been complaining of headaches. He is putting everything in his mouth and has been licking stuff. He has grabbed at my face during prayer for the past two nights. (and on and on) He has not done these things for at least a month or more, and nothing like what he is doing today. He is emotionally reactive, too, but he is a good little boy and he listens when we remind him to think and ask. He tries hard to look at us when we ask him to, but you can tell it is difficult. These are definitely reactions to the scent. We have experienced this before. Bathroom air fresheners, insecticides, fabric softeners, and other scented products do cause regression in our little boy and reactions in all of us. I am thankful that there are only two more days for the cousins to play together. I'm glad they get to have a good relationship with each other and spend this time together, but...

Oh! This makes me think...we ought to let our babysitter know that she will have a better time of it if she skips the deodorant and perfume this weekend. Hmm. Never would have thought of that.

* Victory in Jesus!

Today I nearly melted down on two occasions because I have a lot to do in the next three days to prepare for a homeschool conference that I am going to this weekend. My husband is going out of town this weekend. We have a babysitter coming to watch the kids.

Unexpectedly, my sister's kids came to visit for the week and so we have to get the kids together. Stress for me. My husband is sick, fever included. Stress for me. He's home instead of at work. I thrive on routine, so this is somewhat stressful for me to have all of these unexpected things come up. Also, my oldest daughter has not been feeling well and is unable to help as much as she normally would. I increased my probiotic on Sunday. I have been eating all kinds of new food. These things would have caused me stress in the past.

Today I handled things differently. Because of what God is doing in my heart, I did things differently. I prayed. I explained my fears to my children, making sure they understood that I was not blaming them for my anxiety and asked them for help to figure out how to get it all done. We came up with some great ideas and everyone was agreeable to do what had to be done.

They suggested that we push back the time the cousins would come over to play, in order to give us more time to finish everything before they got here. They suggested that we let KRS take a detox bath and just rest until she felt ready to come and help, if at all. MKS and I would run around super fast trying to do everything ourselves. We prayed together about the day, thanking God for helping us to work things out together in love.

Other things came up, too, but we worked through it all with respect and love. We DID get it ALL done before the cousins arrived. I was able to go to a meeting I had in the evening. My older children put my younger children to bed and put themselves to bed, while their daddy rested in the back. They did not ask for his help. They did it! They did it all by themselves. What great kids! We have come such a long way!!!

Also, we continue to eat the food we added in, including fruit and honey. No eczema! None! Not on anyone! Praise the Lord!

God IS healing us!!! He is healing us spiritually and the physical healing is following. Hate hurts! Love heals!

What is the greatest commandment? To love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus, my faith in You has grown through all of this and I am truly filled with the Spirit, so that I truly love others. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I have to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self-seeking. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It always perseveres. Love never fails.

These three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.

Jesus fulfilled the law and gave us a new commandment to love one another. We are to love each other the way that He loves us. If we love Jesus, then we will follow His commands. Whoever follows His commands loves Jesus. His command is to love.

When I became anxious and afraid today, I responded in love. It is God who works in me to will and to act according to His good purposes. I responded in love. Victory in Jesus!

June 11, 2011

Beautiful Clear Skin

Today we had watermelon for snack. Yum! So refreshing on a hot summer day in Texas to be eating watermelon. I also gave some of the kids some raw local honey with the honeycomb from a local farmer. Delicious! Skin is clear. Behavior is fine. Attitudes are cheerful! Yeast is under control!

We had cauliflower and broccoli again today. It is such a treat to have all of these foods after going without for so long. We feel like we are having a feast at every meal. We have also been making salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrot, and avocado. We mix in some sauerkraut with a little sauerkraut juice as our dressing. It is delightful.

May all who read this post find the same kind of success in their own homes and may they be as delighted as we are to be enjoying the bounty of what God has made for our pleasure and for our nourishment. Let it be so.

June 10, 2011

* No eczema and No other reactions

In the last two weeks we have added tomatoes in for everyone. We had cucumbers once. We are eating broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, brussel sprouts, and asparagus. We've been making soups with bone broths. We are cooking with garlic.

I have been giving the little boys grapes and even apple. Yesterday, I gave my daughter, KES, two bites of apple and a bit of honey. NO eczema! Today, I gave her a few grapes and a bit of honey (not together). NO eczema!!!

My four year old is not having any problems either. His eye-contact is hit or miss, but it is there at least some of the time every day. He smiles a lot. He talks constantly. He plays make-believe. He is very interactive. He begins to freak out over something not being the way he expected or wanted it to be, but he responds well when reminded to stop, think, and use nice words. My actual words with him and his two year old brother are, "Think about what you want or need and ask for it with nice words." He can do this now. He is not sensory seeking. His rashes are gone, except for one in his diaper area because he still wets the bed.

OK, bedwetting is still an issue for us and it has gotten a little worse since we added in all of these new foods, but I believe it will be resolved very soon.

God IS healing us! GAPS helps. Staying away from toxins as much as possible helps. The allergy treatment helped. The drops for parasites might be helping. All of these things help, but it IS God who is healing us.

Did I mention that I have been increasing my Bio-Kult by a half capsule every 2-4 days? I am not getting angry or rigid. I started my last cycle right at 28 days and was so surprised. I had no PMS symptoms at all. I was expecting to start 4 days late, as usual. I'm eating all of the food I mentioned above an I am not having any discernible reaction. God IS healing us!

Here is what is different: My older three children and I get up early every morning and read the Bible and talk to God about everything. It is a great way to start the day, connecting with the Creator of Everything! He has been changing us from the inside out. He is changing our hearts. My oldest girl (10) told me that she thought that God was healing our spirits and as a result He is healing our bodies. I believe that she is exactly right. I was thinking the same thing. Ever since we have made it a priority to Seek First His Kingdom and His Righteousness, things have been changing for us. God is very real and ever present in our lives. He really does speak to us through His Word. He really does answer our prayers. His Word really is the Truth. Jesus gave us a new commandment to love one another. We have been learning how to love, to truly love one another.

To confirm that I was on the right track, I found out about the Son-Rise Program for healing children with autism. Some of the key principles of the program are joining the child, loving and accepting them for who they are right now, and focusing on connecting and building relationships. This is basically what I was beginning to do with my own children. As a result, I now have their hearts. I truly love them and they truly love me. My younger daughter (7) told me yesterday morning that she was glad that God made me to be her mother and that she loved me very much. She has been helping very cheerfully with chores and tells me that she finally feels like a seven year old, which tells me that she feels proud of herself for willingly choosing to do big kid stuff. I knew the moment she told me how much she loved me that she was going to be able to eat some fruit or honey. I just knew it!

Our negative thoughts create a whole cascade of chemical reactions in our physical bodies that are detrimental to our health. Feelings of guilt, shame, fear, anger, hatred, bitterness, or any negative thoughts are detrimental to our physical health. When we get nervous, we get butterflies in our stomachs. When we get angry, we feel hot. When we are hurt and feeling sad or depressed we feel shaky or cold. When we are stressed, we get tense or we get a headache. Negative thoughts or feelings have a negative effect on our physical health. God knows this. He created us!

As we have been reading God's Word and memorizing scripture (hiding God's Word in our hearts) and as we have been talking it over with each other and with God, He has been making His thoughts our thoughts and He has been making His ways our ways. We have made a game out of trying to say everything in the positive. We strive to say only what will bless others. We think about things that are lovely, noble, and right. We praise God and we thank Him for everything. We have stopped looking at both sides of the coin. We have stopped playing the devil's advocate about everything. We have stopped making thoughtless comments all day long. We have started to look for ways to bless each other with our words and with our actions. We respond to each other in love and try to understand each other. Oh, how we have been changed.

It is because God has set us free from guilt, shame, anger, frustration, and negativity in general that we are really beginning to heal. God led us to GAPS. GAPS has been a real help to us and we are still following GAPS. God has used this journey to teach us many things and to bring us back to Him. By believing in Jesus and obeying Him by loving each other, as well as others who are difficult to love, we are being healed. Jesus said many times when he healed people that it was their faith that healed them. I thought I had faith, and I did, but it needed to grow. Now, what I thought I believed, what I wanted to believe, I truly do believe!

I am thankful for everything that we have been through and I gladly take whatever is to come because God knows what He is doing. He has it all in hand. He is good and He is good all the time. He has a plan for us and he plans to give us a hope and a future. I rejoice in my trials, even the trials of these past few years, because my faith has been proven genuine and will bring praise glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

May it be so for all who hear our story that they, too, will rejoice in their own trials and find that they, too, have a genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that will bring Him praise, glory and honor, when He is revealed. Our God reigns!

June 8, 2011

Remembering People

I have had several requests to share what I have learned about learning people's names and remembering important things about them so that when we meet again I can feel confident speaking knowledgeably with them.

I used to forget the names of people I knew that I knew. I would see people week after week at church and be very familiar with their faces, but I would not know their names or remember what has been going on in their lives. This made me very nervous and uncomfortable speaking with them, for I might say something very inappropriate. What if their mother had recently passed and everyone in the church knew this, but I forgot and somehow started talking about how wonderful it is to have my mother so close to be able to spend time with my children? I lived in constant fear of saying the wrong thing. I worried I would call someone by the wrong name and I often did. A number of years back, I just decided to admit my weakness to people and ask them their names over and over again, but it is hard to swallow one's pride so regularly. However, most people in turn confess to me that they also struggle with the same thing.

One thing I would do to avoid feeling embarrassed for not knowing much about someone was to keep talking about things I was familiar with. I would listen for things I could connect with and join in and share on those points, so I wasn't really listening to learn, rather I was listening to connect.

Now I use my mouth and my body to help me remember people's names and remember some of what they tell me. I really listen to what people tell me and I repeat back much of what they tell me. When someone tells me their name, I say their name and I ask them how they spell it. I ask them what their last name is. I say their whole name out loud and ask if I pronounced it correctly. I might tell them what a beautiful name they have and ask how they got such an unusual name or what ethnicity is their name. I ask where they moved from or where they were born or how they came to be in Houston. I confirm what they tell me, which gives me an opportunity to say out loud the very same information I just heard so it has a second opportunity to stick.

When listening only, you have put the information into your mind only once and using only your ears. When repeating what someone has told you, you are using two to four modalities to imprint it into your mind. I say it with my mouth and hear my own voice with my ears. That's two. Often when I talk, I will use my hands and of course my eyes see the other person's face and also what my hand's are doing. I might point to the person or shake their hand when I repeat their name back to them. It all looks and feels natural and the other person is blessed because, admit it, we all love it when someone else takes a special interest in us and really listens to what we have to say. When I repeat something back to someone and confirm what they have just told me, they know that I am really listening and that I really care. It works out great for everyone because I remember what I need to remember and the other person knows that I care enough to get it right.

So here's the deal. I used to listen passively, taking in all manner of information using only my ears while panicking on the inside because I knew I would never remember much, if anything. I listened selfishly, looking for things I could connect with so I could talk about things I felt comfortable talking about, all the while worrying about what the other person thought of me. Now I listen actively, purposing to take in information. I ask lots of questions and confirm the answers in order to make lots of connections in my mind, all the while looking at the face of the one I am talking with. I do not worry what the other person is thinking of me because we are not talking about me and I know that the person will think well of me because I took an interest in them. Pretty cool deal!

Update: The day after I posted this, I was listening to a seminar (about listening being the most important communication skill) by Jeff Meyers and interestingly enough he confirmed that nearly all of what I have learned on my own is true for others as well. We differed on at least one point, plus he knew stuff I had not yet figured out for myself. He said to ask "infrequent" questions. I wrote that I ask lots of questions. I thought I should clarify that I ask lots of questions at the beginning of the conversation to help me remember names and a few details about the individual, but after the initial introduction it is mostly listening. I do interact by confirming that I have heard things correctly and by checking on the meaning of what they are saying. Paraphrasing what someone has said helps the other person to be confident that you heard and understood what they have said, gives them an opportunity to clarify anything that was not understood correctly, and helps you to stay engaged in the conversation, which in turn helps you to remember the conversation.

June 7, 2011

Say and Do

As a homeschooling mama, I want to make the most of every moment. As a mom of at least one child who could not seem to remember directions long enough to carry out the task. Actually, he could not carry out the task because he did not process what he heard correctly. Diet has helped some, but Say and Do, together with diet, has worked very successfully to get information to stick and be useful.

I learned about it from a language arts curriculum I bought for my kids. I could not make the curriculum work for us, but the concept of using four modalities at the same time to imprint information into your brain has been life changing. My oldest could not do it at first, but now he uses it for everything and it makes such a difference.

It works like this: You say what you are doing as you do it in order to learn new information. As you SAY it, you HEAR it. As you DO it, you SEE what you are doing. Say, hear, do, see.

Example: My son could not remember how many days there are in one year after much repetition in his math curriculum. After one ten minute practice with Say and Do, he has never forgotten it. I asked him the question, "How many days are there in one year?" and he had to answer in a complete sentence, "There are 365 days in one year." while doing something with his body to help him remember what he was saying. He could write 365 days in the air, sign for the word day, and hold up one finger, while speaking the sentence. He resisted, but he did it, and he has never forgotten it.

Example: Everytime my little kids go to the bathroom, I sing (in a fun and lively way) "I gotta flush the potty and wash my hands with soap. I gotta flush the potty and wash my hands with soap." They sing it with me as they do it. It imprints the message into their minds so that every time they go to the bathroom the song pops into their minds and the remember what they need to do.

Example: One of my children had troubles remembering not to talk about private things outside of the immediate family. This child might share some embarrassing private bodily issue, like another sibling's bedwetting or details about a rash in some inconvenient place, with others. We purposed to put the statement in the positive and practice it and review it many times so that when the situation arrives where one might be tempted to share such things it will pop into our minds that, "Speaking publicly about private things is always inappropriate." We make our fingers move from our mouths out toward others, we subtly indicate private places, and we give two thumbs down while we practice or review the statement at home. It has indeed helped my children to think first before sharing private matters with others. When little ones rush on with their thoughts, I can stop them by simply calling their name, making my fingers move out from my mouth, and giving one or two thumbs down, depending on how many hands I have free. It is very helpful to reign in all of the inappropriate talk that used to rush on like a runaway horse.

Example: My oldest uses Say and Do to memorize formulas and definitions of technical terms for math and language arts. He can easily tell you the definitions of parts of speech and formulas for working out various math equations. This child could not remember to use capital letters to begin sentences and names. Now he has no issues remembering such things.

It is important to use the exact same words and actions every time you practice and review any information you are trying to learn and imprint in your mind. It is important to Do something while you Say it.

My oldest had much trouble at first. He could not repeat a sentence exactly as I said it and he could not coordinate his body to do something at the same time. He would get very frustrated with me. He would try to say the same thing, but with slightly different words each time. It did not imprint in his mind. He could not remember it the next day or even a few hours later. It actually took several years to convince him that this method worked, because, even though he could remember the things I made him learn using the Say and Do method, he refused to be exact in his wording and actions on other things and therefore could not remember stuff.

When I tell my children something, I now expect them to give me a positive response using the Say and Do method. They do not have to like what I am saying or agree with what I am saying, but they must let me know that they heard and understand what I have told them. If I tell them that they need to remember to put their shoes away in the shoe cubbies when they come into the house, then they say something like, "I understand that you want me to remember to put my shoes in the shoe cubby when I come in from outside." or "Right. I need to put my shoes in the cubby when I come in." or "OK, I will put my shoes in the cubby when I come into the house." If they continue to forget the request, I help them form a positive sentence with actions and we practice it. It might be something like, "When I come into the house, I put my shoes into the cubby." I might have them make a roof shape with their two hands then point to their shoes.

We are having fun with it now, trying to say everything in a positive statement, say everything with as few words as possible, and come up with a few simple actions to help us remember the words.

These are some positive changes that have helped our family to better communicate with one another and to better remember the things we learn from one another so that we get along more peaceably with one another.

My oldest is actually excited about starting a new, more challenging curriculum next fall, because he now knows that he can learn and organize information in a meaningful way and retrieve the information when it is needed, instead of just randomly remembering information when something triggers it and feeling compelled to share it right then and there because he might not remember it when he wants to share it later. Pretty cool stuff!!! I, too, can learn and organize information in a meaningful way and retrieve the information when it is needed. I am remembering the names of people I meet along with interesting or important information about them that will help me to feel comfortable and knowledgeable when we meet again. Very cool! I may share the specifics of my methods in a later post.

Thank You, Lord, for all of the ways that You are growing us and changing us to be more effective witnesses for Your glory. Amen!

June 5, 2011


Things are changing around here. Lots of healing has taken place, yet we have a ways to go. It is still a delicate balance, but it IS wonderful to be in a place where we can make some changes.

I am trying to simplify things and streamline things. I am trying to establish healthy routines to make life easier. There are certain things that have to be done everyday, like it or not. I try to get those things done as early in the day as possible. Wet bedding gets first priority everyday, then the regular laundry. Juicing and lunch prep gets priority, then food prep for dinner and thinking ahead for meals later in the week. On GAPS, I have to plan at least a day or two ahead in order to have meat thawed in time or veggies cut and prepared well in advance so that I can just throw things together at meal time.

One wonderful change we have made is establishing a set bedtime, a set wake time, and a set time in the morning to read the Bible and pray. We are wanting to Seek First His Kingdom and His Righteousness in our lives. Establishing a bedtime has always been difficult because of leg cramps, die-off, rashes, sensory issues, trouble settling, emotional meltdowns, and on my part, just being too tired at the end of the day to pull it all together and make it happen. I have been praying about it, and God, who is very real and ever present in our lives, has been working things out so that it is all falling into place for us. Bonus: I have time to think at the end of the day and time to write in my blog. Yay!!!

I am so enjoying my time spent with God in the morning. Even if I sleep horribly or feel awful when I wake, I am motivated to get up because I do not want to miss spending time with my Lord and my Savior everyday. He is changing me. He is changing my family. I love what He is doing in our lives. Now, my older three children are also getting up early to spend time with God, reading their Bibles and talking to Him as they experience and appreciate His creation. We go outside into our backyard, or front yard, to watch the birds and check on the garden and such. We swing on the swing. We walk about. We garden. We talk to God. It is wonderful!

We do not all go out at the same time. My ten year old and I go out between 6 and 6:30 in the morning. My oldest gets up to read for fun. He keeps his ears open for the little ones, in case they wake up crying as they sometimes do. At 7:15am, my ten year old goes in to get started with chores and to help the little ones get dressed and such, while my six year old joins me outside for her quiet time. We do not talk to each other. We read, pray, think, and garden. At 7:40, I tell her that quiet time is over and we talk and garden together. This is our special time together everyday. My oldest has his quiet time from 7-7:45 in the morning. Then, he starts in on morning chores. My six year old and I go in at 8:00 to get started on morning chores.

Interestingly, we are all motivated to get up in order to have this time with God. Before, I was dragging tired and sick kids from their beds. As a result, they are motivated to go to bed on time so that they will be able to get up in the morning and participate in this special time of communion with God.

So now, my four youngest kids go to bed between 7-7:30pm and my oldest goes to bed between 8-8:30pm. Amazing! Like I said earlier, God, who is very real and ever present in our lives, has been working it all out so that everything is falling into place.

I should also mention that my girls are more willing to go to bed knowing that they will have some guaranteed time with me early the next day, so they are not stalling on bedtime hoping for a little one on one time with Mommy. KES and I garden together in the morning and KRS and I read together in the morning as soon as all of the morning chores are done.

God is healing our minds and our spirits. He is providing sleep, which is so helpful to healing. He is bringing peace. He is bringing quiet, too. We are learning to control our tongues. We are learning to work quietly and cheerfully in the mornings until everything is done. We are learning to work together as a team. We are learning to serve one another.

Quotes you will hear often in my house are as follows:

"Teamwork! It's a beautiful thing!"
"Everyone working until everything is done!"
"In the morning, say only a cheerful 'Good morning!' and do your work quietly, cheerfully, and quickly, yielding to those who are older than you."

The reason I have time to blog is because the children are going to bed so early and all together at the same time, so I sit in the bedroom with the middle three and blog until they fall asleep. Sometimes, like tonight, I stay a little longer. They were all asleep by 8 or so, but I wanted to finish my thoughts. I have time to do this. It used to be that we would still be trying to get kids settled at this time. Ooo, I love it!

This blog is for me to document my GAPS journey and is meant to be a blessing to all who read it. May you be blessed by what God is doing in my life and may He bless your lives richly, too, as you Seek First His Kingdom and His Righteousness.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the trials that have drawn us ever closer to You. You are answering my prayer to make my children Mighty Warriors in Your Kingdom! They are learning to serve, give, love, and trust. You have done, and continue to do, what I could never have done on my own. You, and You alone, are working in us to will and to act according to Your good purposes. You have a plan for us, to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. You are good and You are good all the time, working all things together for the good of those who love You. Those who obey your commands are the ones who love You. Jesus gave us a new command to love one another. We can rejoice in the trials we face, knowing that these have come so that our faith, which is of greater worth than gold, will be proved genuine and bring praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Heavenly Father, thank You for refining us and for making us more and more like You by skimming off the yucky stuff little by little as it comes to the surface. You are making us more and more beautiful. Continue to strengthen our faith that we might bring You praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Amen.