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.  Gapsfamily.blogspot.com

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!