September 17, 2012

* 38 Weeks Pregnant - Not on GAPS at all

Here I am at 38 weeks pregnant and I am not on GAPS, Feingold Diet, or even Gluten Free.  I have not had any pre-term contractions, as I had with all of my other pregnancies.  In fact, I have hardly had any pregnancy complaints at all.  Truly a miracle has taken place.  I expect to carry my baby to his due date.  I feel absolutely wonderful!  I can do anything.  I have no trouble getting in or out of bed.  I have no trouble getting down on the floor and back up to help my kids with anything they might need, like putting on their shoes or putting a puzzle together.  I feel so good, even at 38 weeks, that I even forget at times that I am expecting a baby so soon.  That IS amazing!

While I was so grateful to God for leading us to the GAPS diet, because I was finally able to DO SOMETHING to help my family feel better, I am even more grateful to have been miraculously healed by Jesus and set free from the bondage of having to DO SOMETHING to help my family feel better.  We are finally free, truly free, and this pregnancy has been the ultimate in evidence of the complete healing that we have received.  NOTHING is impossible for God!

Many of the later posts in this blog have transitioned to our healing, not due to the GAPS diet, but by faith in God, who is Mighty to Save!  I have also started a new blog to document my walk in faith with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  The address is

The address is 'I in Him and He in Me', but all lower case letters and no spaces, which makes it hard to read.

The idea for the address comes from 1 John 3:21-24, which says, "If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.  And these are His commands: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ and to love one another as He commanded us.  Those who obey His commands live in Him and He in them.  This is how we know that He lives in us, we know it by the Spirit He gave us."  (Written from memory, so you might want to look it up to be sure that I got it right)

Now, the only thing I have to DO to help my family feel better is to believe Jesus and love them as God commands me to do.  Amen and amen!

September 7, 2012

We Can Eat Anything

We can and do eat anything!  We went out to eat with the grandparents tonight to a place where the food was served buffet style or you could get Hibachi grilled on the spot after picking out the foods you wanted to cook.  It was pretty unhealthy, nasty stuff from a health food perspective, but we are happy to be free to share in fellowship with the ones we love.  My kids had never seen anything like it and were amazed at all of the choices.  The grandparents had fun seeing their reactions to everything.  Overall it was gross: too much fried foods, too much sugar, too much processed foods, unhealthy fats, table salt, etc., etc., but we had a great time, and I didn't have to cook or do any dishes.

But I do not need to fear, because it was not the GAPS diet that healed us; it was God who healed us!  The kingdom of God is not about food or drink, but about righteousness, and about peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!  The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in me!  He gives life to my mortal body!  He healed us!  God set us free from the bondage of having to follow a strict diet in order to be well.  Not only did He save us from our sin, He saved us from our sickness, too.  We are well because God is love, and Love heals!

I am walking in faith everyday and seeing miracles everyday, because God is good all the time, His love endures forever, His faithfulness continues through all generations, nothing is impossible for God, He rewards those who earnestly seek Him, and His WORD is TRUE!  I have come to a place where I believe His word over my past experiences.  His word trumps my experience.  According to our faith, it will be done to us.  Fear is the opposite of faith, and I have let go of fear and choose to walk in faith.

My other blog is about my current walk with the Lord.  He is amazing!  Check it out!

My children and I are all healed of multiple GAPS symptoms: anger, frustration, eczema, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, anxiety, ADD, reactions to most foods and chemicals, and much more.  I am nearly 37 weeks pregnant with my sixth child and this is the first pregnancy without pre-term contractions or any of the pregnancy complaints that plagued my earlier pregnancies.  God is good.  I am truly healed!

It is Good News!  Jesus is Good News!  Seek Him!

July 1, 2012

Vitamin D, Exercise, and a Heart Full of Joy

I walk almost every day.  I walk in the sun, so I get Vitamin D and I get exercise.  I think this may be the reason that all of my kids have been sick, but I have stayed well.  I have had a few slight symptoms and some fatigue, as if my body were indeed fighting something off, but my kids have been outright sick over the past four weeks.

First it was my younger three, with the youngest, unvaccinated child, being the least sick, having the fewest symptoms and the shortest duration of symptoms.  Coincidence? Then we had a break for a few days and the oldest two children got sick.  They were absolutely wiped out.  It has been nearly two weeks without having the help of my older two with chores and childcare.  My eight year old has graduated to big kid status, and she is very proud of herself, so this has been a good thing, all in all.

My heart is so full of joy as I realize all of the things I have to be thankful for.  Things just get better and better all the time!

This past week I realized that the urgency that my 3rd and 4th children had with needing to go to the restroom is gone, and has been for a while.  We can drive across town and back without having to make an emergency stop.  They can actually hold it for a bit when asked, but often, they do not even have the strong urge to go.  Amazing!

I also found that these same two children are having more dry beds in the mornings, meaning fewer nighttime accidents.  In fact, this morning I had absolutely NO laundry to do!  Amazing!

Last week our three year old finally decided it was time to start using the potty and wear underwear.  He is putting pee and poo in the potty everyday, and to top it all off, his poos are normal, brown, fully digested poos (little brown logs), which is a first, as his poos have always been a sloppy, undigested mess, hence my procrastination to spend any time working on potty training, as the messes are just too messy to deal with.  That was a really long sentence.  I hope it made sense.  Also, this week he decided to start using the big potty, instead of the little potty seat.  Praise the Lord!

Our five year old discovered the Hooked on Phonics curriculum, as I have been rearranging things to prepare for next year's schooling.  (I am turning the two bedrooms into study rooms during the day for the two big kids, so they can concentrate better when they need to get away from the chaos of living with so many younger siblings.)  So, CKS is flying through the curriculum and is having a blast earning new books and stickers everyday.  SSS, our three year old, also wants to learn to read, so he is learning his letter sounds with ABC the KEY and loving it.  Every time he learns all of the sounds a letter can say, he earns a new letter bag, which I created for him.  He is so proud.  He knows the four sounds that "a" says, and he knows the sound that "b" says.  I'm so proud of my boys!

My youngest three have been taking ISR swim lessons for the past 4-5 weeks.  My eight year old graduated in 4 weeks after she passed her test of swim-float-swim in winter clothes.  My boys are close to testing in summer clothes.  They can both swim and roll to a float.  They can both float and roll to a swim.  They need a little more time to put it all together and get themselves to the edge or the steps.  They were really scared at first, but now they love it and they are so very proud of themselves.  Our non-GAPS selves celebrate their hard work in the pool with an ice-cream treat everyday.  They love that!  Bonus: washing their hair, or any part of their body, is no longer a struggle because they love the water now and they are not afraid to get water in their ears or on their faces.  WooHoo!

I also noticed that there are absolutely NO traces of autism left in my 4th child!  His eye contact is brilliant.  He loves to look at me and tell me all kinds of amazing things that only a five year old could come up with.  He figures things out!  He also cares deeply for others.  I asked him to sign a card for his favorite babysitter, who was graduating, and he asked me what kinds of things she liked.  I told him animals and horses.  He decided to draw her a picture of a horse.  I quote, he said, "I love drawing what other people like."  Is that not the coolest thing ever!!!  I just do NOT take these things for granted anymore!

Along the same lines, our oldest, who fit the Asperger's Syndrome description quite well for years, is now volunteering his time to help others.  He helps me with the little ones and with chores, cheerfully when asked, and sometimes he even offers when he notices that I could use some help.  This past week, his sister was sicker than him and he asked her if he could get her something.  He did this regularly.  This coming from the same kid who, as a little guy, pulled his sister's finger out of the VCR causing her skin to be peeled back creating a large gash gushing lots of blood, put his hands over his ears and screamed for me to make her stop crying because it was too loud and it hurt his ears.  Now, he sees when others are hurting or are in need.  Now, he figures things out and acts appropriately, more often than not.  Amazing!  Praise God!!!

I also noticed that when the kids were sick, they were mentally fine.  My older girl used to get really anxious and she would look pained and miserable as she pushed her legs against the couch cushions.  She needed to push against something.  She needed that tactile input to help put her at ease.  I noticed that she handled being sick with a positive attitude.  All of the kids were fine, sick, but fine.  Praise the Lord!  Yet another sign that we have been healed.

I continue to praise God for an amazing pregnancy.  I am now 27 weeks pregnant and I am not having all of the strong, even painful, Braxton Hicks contractions that I had with all of my other pregnancies.  I also am not suffering from other common pregnancy ailments.  I have varicose veins, but they no longer cause me pain or trouble.  They may gross people out, but they do not bother me, all glory to my Heavenly Father, who has heard my prayer and relieved me from the pain.

Because of all of the sickness, my house is a wreck, but I am not.  That is amazing!

There may be more, but that is all of the big stuff.  Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!!  Praise the Lord!!!  He is worthy of our praise!  He is love, and my love for Him just grows and grows and grows, as I learn to trust in Him.  My heart is full of joy!

June 21, 2012

Eating Off GAPS - Effects of Diet Change

In November of 2011, we quit the GAPS Diet and started to eat a more conventional diet.  We did so because I began to seek the Lord and discovered in God's word that when Jesus healed people, he often said that it was their faith that healed them or according to their faith it would be done to them.  He also said that anything is possible for Him who believes.  ( I was reading through the Gospels.)  I read God's word and I prayed for faith to believe.  God gave me faith and I took us all off of the GAPS diet.  Not only did we not see regressions, but we began to improve.  We could eat anything!  Now, all five of my children and I have regular bowel movements everyday.  Eczema is gone!  (with the exception of two tiny patches, one on each girl)  Eye contact is great in all of my kids.  No signs of autism in any of my kids.  Everyone is happy and engaged in family life.  Everyone is growing and developing and learning on or above level.  Praise the Lord!  It is a true miracle.  One day we were reacting to everything and were imprisoned by a very strict diet and fear of chemical exposure everywhere we went.  The next day we were free from fear and were not reacting to anything.  All glory to God, we are free!

Granted, this is the simplified version of our story.  The details and the journey are not quite that simple.

Since having been healed, we have had to figure out how to eat, what to spend our time and money on, and what is important in life.  We continue to take some probiotics.  We continue to include homemade sauerkraut with our meals daily.  We continue to have broth, but not everyday, mostly because it takes effort to make it and now that we are off GAPS no one want to eat boiled meats.  Hmm.  We continue to buy mostly organic and natural.  We continue to buy pastured eggs and meats.  However, we also eat out and buy packaged foods.  Lately, we have had lots of ice cream, sometimes ice cream with corn syrup or HFCS.  (YUCK!)  I aim to buy packaged products with a short list made up of mostly organic ingredients.  But, we had been eating out a lot and have been purchasing more and more convenience foods.

I have to say this.  It just isn't satisfying.  Now that we can eat anything, we waste a lot of food, mostly because we eat a bit and then do not want the rest.  The leftovers do not seem to appeal to anyone.  I can't get anyone to eat the leftovers, and I don't want them.  Therefore, we move on to the next food, which does not get finished, and no one wants those leftovers either.  Such waste!  While we were eating whole foods only, we enjoyed every bite, ate more than seemed humanly possible, and never let any of it go to waste.  Leftovers were eaten as is or were remade into something new.  We did not have lots of bottles, jars, and boxes to recycle.  I kind of miss the GAPS/whole foods way of life, but I do not miss being bound by it.  It was a lot of work and it controlled our lives.  I loved the way everything got used and little was wasted.  I loved being satisfied by the food and not feeling hungry all the time.  I loved being able to create new dishes when we added a new food and the excitement that everyone felt when we made something for the first time.  It is amazing how fast we gave up the excitement of eating out.  Nothing sounds very good or appetizing.  Hmm.

Also, I know that we are truly healed because everyone is growing and learning and because everyone is happy and on level in every area of development.  Empathy and caring for the needs of others has blossomed at our house.  When everyone was sick, they just cared that someone would meet their own needs, but now they care about the needs of others, and that is so awesome.  However, when we were on the GAPS diet, we rarely got sick.  Now that we are eating rice, bread, crackers, sugar, etc., we have been sick a lot.  These last few weeks have been really intense.  Three bugs in three weeks.  I know it is a bug because the symptoms go from one kid to the next to the next.

So, no more signs of auto immune deficiency or autism, but our immune systems seem to be less effective to fight off normal bugs due to the high sugar content of our diet.  Hmm.  It seems that it is still wise to make healthy choices about foods and supplements.  It matters what we put into our bodies.  It matters what we put into our minds.

Read God's Word.  Ask God to help you understand it and to give you faith to believe it.  He will answer you if you cry out to Him.  He will give you wisdom if you ask for it.  He will teach you if you ask Him.  His Word says so, and I have experienced it or myself.  Ask, and you will receive.

May 24, 2012

'Tis So Sweet

Praise Jesus!  It is so wonderful to get up in the morning and hop out of bed without the fear of pain.  The varicose veins on my legs do NOT hurt me anymore and my tummy is soft, soft, soft.  It is also big, big, big!  I am only 21 weeks along in this pregnancy, but comparing myself to pictures of myself from the past two pregnancies, and I look like I am 9 months pregnant!!!  Granted, I have always carried small, but for me, this is huge.  We had an ultrasound last week and found only one baby boy.  Healthy - YAY!!!  Praise God for such great mercies!

I continue to marvel that I am not having all of the contractions that plagued my other pregnancies.  It is all for the glory of God!  I just have to express my joy and shout out praise to the One who healed me.

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
just to take Him at His word,
just to rest upon His promise,
just to know, "Thus saith the Lord."

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
how I've proved Him o'er and over.
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus,
oh, for grace to trust Him more.

Hymn from 1882.  Words written by Louisa M. R. Stead
Music composed by William J. Kirkpatrick

I love this hymn.

Since my focus has shifted from GAPS to faith in the One who made me, I have started a new blog called Walking in Faith.  The address is

I will likely start posting more on my new blog and less here.  We shall see.

May 12, 2012

Do We Still Eat GAPS Food?

YES!  We do.  I really like to choose plain and simple "healthy" food, and I find that I am most satisfied by simple whole foods.

But...we also eat everything else!  We had Taco Bell the other day.  Yuck!  I do like the tostadas, but everything else just grossed me out.

We eat bread or rice every day now.  I like the Whole Foods brand sourdough bread the best, but we eat my husband's local grocery store bread, too, without fear.  I buy 365 unsweetened peanut butter, but we will also (at times) eat my husband's local grocery store peanut butter, too, without fear.

We share in a potluck style dinner every Sunday with our small group, as we take turns bringing the main dish, sides, and desserts.  My kids look forward to having dessert at small group every sunday night.  My kids eat one, while the other kids just eat and eat.  I still believe in moderation.

My father-in-law likes chinese food.  My husband and oldest son were out of town and several days went by when my father-in-law did not come over to our house, because I was just too busy/lazy to go and get him.  I wanted to spend some time with him after church on Sunday, so we went out for chinese food and then played at our house all afternoon.  It was a great day!

I mentioned being pregnant in a previous post.  This baby loves Mexican food (we live in Houston)!  I want to eat Mexican food all the time, but my oldest daughter "really" doesn't like mexican food.  Alas, I manage to work it in every now and then.

Oh, oh, oh!!!  I never mentioned this!  My husband and my oldest son were out of town for a week because...My oldest son is on a LEGO Robotics Team called Epic Team 2.0, and the team won 2nd place in Regionals and were invited to the LEGO Robotics World Invitational at LEGOland in Florida.  WooHoo!  Because Jesus healed us, we are no longer restricted by the GAPS Diet and he was able to go with his team.  He met other teams from Japan, Brazil, New York, Florida, and from other states and countries.  He had a great time!  They won 2nd place for teamwork!  Congratulations to the Epic Team 2.0!

We still eat sauerkraut and/or yogurt everyday and we like to have broth on a regular basis.  I have come to find broth and homemade chicken soup to be very comforting.

Healed is healed!  Life is such a joy!  That gives a pretty good idea of what we do for meals these days.  We are free and living without fear of food!

May 11, 2012

Another Child Healed Because of the GAPS Diet

Read the comments under Healed Because of the GAPS Diet!  Another little child (age 3) is talking and progressing and eating food off of the GAPS Diet!  Rejoice in the Lord always!  I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4 something)

May 7, 2012

* A Gift - Update

I mentioned on a previous post, called "A Gift", that I began to suffer pain and discomfort from varicose veins in the same places that they had popped up in the last half of my last pregnancy.  I have been seeking the Lord and praising Him, for He is definitely worthy of our praise, and I have been thanking Him for all of the healing that He has given us.  I have asked the Father, in Jesus' Name, to heal my varicose veins completely, and I have been thanking Him for the healing.  I confessed sins that I was aware of having committed, and I thanked God that He does not let me continue in sin and that He guides me in paths of righteousness.  I have asked Him to enable me to forgive others in the same way that He has forgiven me, and He is faithful to have filled my heart with love and compassion for those who have done me wrong.  Yesterday, I had very little pain in my leg and in my pelvic area.  I did not need to wear the support hosiery.  At the end of the day, still little to no pain.

Today, I woke up and praised God for all of the good things that He has done.  I got up out of pain.  I went to the pain.  I got dressed (no support hosiery) and went for a 30 minute pain.  I keep praising God for this kindness to His child.  I have been on my feet doing chores and caring for children all morning...still no pain.  I have sat at the computer for a little bit to write, and...still no pain. Praise the Lord!!!  There is no explanation for such a sudden and complete improvement, except to acknowledge that God has heard my prayer and has answered with a resounding "YES".  I give God the glory for His healing touch!

Also, I mentioned that I have been on bed rest for all but one of my children's pregnancies because of pre-term contractions.  In the past, I have had lots of strong contractions starting as early as 15 weeks.  I was put on meds and bed rest at 24 weeks for my first pregnancy, 21 weeks for my second pregnancy, 20 weeks for my 3rd pregnancy, self-imposed bed rest (on and off) for my 4th viable pregnancy, and at 30 some weeks for my 5th viable pregnancy.  My contractions were strong and came every 5-15 minutes even when on meds and bed rest.  I am currently 19 weeks pregnant (today) and I am not having contractions.  My tummy is pretty nearly always soft and squishy.  I declared, in Jesus' Name, that contractions were not going to be a problem in this pregnancy and I have been thanking God for no pre-term contractions.  Praise the Lord - indeed, contractions are not going to be a problem in this pregnancy.

I was walking and talking with the Lord this morning, with my Bible, and the Lord showed me these verses.  John 16:23-24, 26-27 "I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name...Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be will ask in my name.  I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.  No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God."

God is not a Genie-in-a-Bottle that He will just give us everything we ask for in Jesus' Name.  We must seek Him, believe in Him, obey His command to love others as He loves us, and keep His words in us by spending time with Him in His word and in prayer.  I have so much more to learn, but this is some of what God has taught me so far through His word.

Seek the Lord!  His word tells us that if we seek Him, we WILL find Him!  He has given us His word.  He wants us to seek Him.  He wants us to find Him.  He rewards those who earnestly seek Him!  He saves those who believe in His Son, Jesus!

* Healed Because of GAPS Diet

I was just thinking about what brought about our healing.  I have prayed for years that God would heal me so that I could live a normal life like everyone else, but to no avail.  My children also seemed to have many of the same issues that I did.  Then, several of my children exhibited severe symptoms after a vaccine given in May of 2009.  We started the GAPS Diet to bring healing to our guts, and we saw much progress.  My children were recovered from many of the issues that caused us such concern and grief.  We were overjoyed to have an answer and a plan of action.  We praised God for leading us to the GAPS Diet.

However, we were only recovered and not healed.  We had to stick to the diet, which had become very limited and restrictive, and we had to avoid pretty nearly every toxin, which is virtually impossible to accomplish, in order to stay well.  Being on the GAPS Diet became a prison for us.  While it was difficult and tiresome, I was willing to follow it strictly, because life off of the GAPS Diet was so much more difficult and tiresome and stressful.

I learned so much about the body, detox, toxins in the world around us, hormones, vitamins, alternative therapies, energy healing, homeopathics, etc., etc.  I learned that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  I learned that mankind has only begun to discover all that there is to know about the body and how it works.  I learned that if we fix one thing, we might be messing up some other thing.

I became overwhelmed at the amount of information and the impossibility of being able to piece it all together and know that I was doing the right thing for me and for my children.  It was all guessing and hoping that I had found and implemented the right information.  Trial and Error led to progress.  It was better than accepting the doctor's conclusions that nothing could be done but to treat symptoms, and in some cases that nothing could be done but to accept the reality of the situation.  I saw results, but any exposure to toxins or new foods led to regressions, and we never knew when everything would fall apart.  I became very depressed after two years and hitting yet another big regression.

That was when I gave it all to the Lord.  It is quite a remarkable story of seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.  In the end, the Lord healed us miraculously from all of our big issues.  There are a few lingering issues, for which we continue to pray for healing, and they are being resolved one by one.  God is amazing and loving and powerful.  He wants us to believe Him and love Him.  He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).  The GAPS Diet drove me to the One who could and would heal us!  Praise the Lord!

Read the Comments below to hear the testimony of another child healed and off of GAPS!

Update:  Three years later, we are still healed in body and soul!  God is good!  He is love, and love heals!  Praise the Lord!  Go to to find links to walk you through our whole story (without having to read every post of a multi year blog).  We are free!  You, too, can be free from the fear of food and toxins!

Be sure to read "What Are We Doing?" and "Why Are We Doing It?"

Also, The GAPS Diet Did NOT Heal Us!

May 5, 2012

* CKS's Eczema Completely Gone!

Did I ever post about this?  When we stepped out in faith and got off the GAPS diet (basically cold turkey), I believed that the rash on CKS's backside, on the backs of his hands, and on his face would heal.  Immediately, the rash on his backside healed and has never returned (maybe briefly just once).

The eczema on his hands and face were slower to resolve, but we continued to pray for complete healing.  The eczema on his hands went away and has not returned, but his face continued to flare up.  I would pray for it daily and I could see it visibly improve, but it did not ever go completely away.

I became discouraged and stopped praying.  It became so bad that it cracked and bled and peeled.  It was gross.  We began to pray again and it improved, but it did not go away.  We went through this cycle several times.  Finally, convinced that God could and would heal him, we praised God daily for healing the eczema, even though it was still there before our eyes.  We just kept praying and praising God!

Finally, it healed up completely!  We did not change his diet or treat the eczema with anything.  The only thing we did was pray and give glory to God, Our Healer.  It has been months and it has not returned.  His skin is so soft and smooth.  I love to kiss his cheeks and I praise God every time I do.

Also, every time he looks me in the eyes, which he does so often now, I praise God!  I can not take any of it for granted anymore.  What a gift when everything works the way it is supposed to work.  To God be all the glory!!!

Bloating and Constipation

I used to think that my bloating and constipation were food reactions.  Indeed, I suppose they are, but I have found that my bloating and constipation are directly related to my mood.  I thought that the bad mood, bloating, and other symptoms were a direct result of a reaction to food., instead of changing my diet, I change my mood and, indeed, the bloating and the constipation is resolved.  WooHoo!  What a discovery!  God is so good!  His word is true!

Proverbs 3:5-8 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart...fear the Lord and shun evil.  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones."

* Spending Time in God's Word

Not so much a GAPS issue, but relevant in the life of this GAPS Mamma, is the issue of time spent seeking the Lord, because He is the One who saved us.  Not only did God save our souls from the consequences of His wrath because of man's sin, but He saved us from GAPS.  We were captive to it.  Life was hard on GAPS, but harder when not on GAPS, so we stuck with it, but...oh, it feels so good to be free.  Now I tell you, there is a battle going on and sometimes/often our faith is tested, but God has proved faithful.  God is more powerful than food!  Nothing is impossible for God!

So, when I began to seek the Lord, it was towards the end of the school year.  I shared everything I was learning during my Bible reading and quiet time with my children.  OK, not everything, but everything that jumped out at me and excited me.  I figured that getting to know God was more important than anything else (and I was right).  We finished up for the year and took a much needed summer break from academics.  We usually study through the summer, but...well...given everything we had been through in the past few years it just seemed the right thing to do (and I was right).

There has been a drought here in our part of Texas (and all around) and so we passed through the summer with virtually no rain.  This made it possible for me to establish a set time to go outside (too many distractions in the house)  and spend time reading God's word and talking to God.  I would garden, ponder what I had read, ponder what I was observing in creation, and I would talk to God about all of it.  I told my kids what I was doing.  I shared with them what I was learning.  I encouraged them to read their Bibles, too, and even had my oldest commit to reading at least 10 minutes and log what he had read (because he was not inclined to do so on his own).  My now 11yo girl wanted to have her own quiet time, so we scheduled it in before her chores.  My now 8yo girl also wanted some quiet time, so we scheduled it in for her as well.  I had to schedule their times, because in order for me to get any quiet time, someone had to be in the house prepared to comfort and help the two little ones when they woke up in the morning (if they woke up before my quiet time was over, which sometimes did happen).  I did not require my girls to read their Bibles or have a quiet time, and they had to wake up early in the morning to have it, but because of the changes they were seeing in me, they got up and voluntarily had their own quiet times.  I was so blessed.

Then, school started and Fall Back (Daylight Savings) made it too dark to read outside in the morning, and it was incredibly difficult to drag ourselves out of bed an hour earlier by our biological rhythms.  I put off  my quiet time for a few weeks (which dragged into many, many weeks) in order to get school off on the right foot.  Big mistake!  Everything fell apart.  I began to spend time with the Lord again, but my children never got back into the routine of it.  So sad.

Ah, but I do share what I am reading and learning and we started reading missionary stories during lunch, which has really encouraged us and strengthened us in our faith.  Because I was asked about all of this, I mentioned it to my girls and encouraged them to read God's word for themselves and to spend some quiet time with God to see what He will teach them, so we shall see.  They seemed very receptive.

I could insist that my kids have a quiet time, but I can't really make them have a relationship with God.  That will only come if they begin to seek the Lord on their own.  I hope and pray that they will.  Our lives depend on it!

April 30, 2012

* A Gift

First things first: The Lord is blessing us with another child. We are delighted! I am 18 weeks along and all is going well. I am learning to walk with the Lord, in faith, and I am learning to trust in Him above anything else.

Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And He will make your paths straight.
Be not wise in your own eyes.
Fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
And nourishment to your bones.

I am learning to trust Him. God gave me this child. He will keep this baby safe. He keeps me safe. I will not lean on my own understanding. I will not be wise in my own eyes.

My own wisdom and experience tells me to worry about yeast infections, athletes foot, UTIs, constipation, painful and constant Braxton Hicks contractions, painful varicose veins, headaches, stuffy nose, ligament pain, leg cramps, and more, including the increased risk of complications and abnormalities due to my maternal age (41-42).

But know this! God commands me to rejoice in Him always! He commands me, "Do not be anxious about anything!" He tells me to pray and make my petitions, with thanksgiving, and He promises me peace (Philippians 4:4-7). Fear, anxiety, and worry are not from God. I know because 1 John 4:8,16 say that "God is Love." and 1 John 4:18 says, "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." Galatians 5:22-23 says that "the fruit of the Spirit is Love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."

God tells me in Proverbs 3 that if I stop trusting in my own self to figure things out based on my own knowledge and experience, and if I put my trust in Him alone, then my body and my bones will be healthy and nourished. I have found this to be true. Indeed, my children and I are healed.

When I begin to doubt or worry, I have to remind myself what God has done for us and I begin to praise God for all that He has done! How can I doubt when He has already shown me such great love. Why would He be any different than He says He will be? God is not a man that He should change His mind (Numbers 23:19). When God wants to bless His people, He blesses them with health, fruitful crops, and babies. When He cursed His people, He allowed sickness, famine, fear, and destruction(Leviticus 26). God is good. He wants to bless us. He wants me to believe Him. I do! He wants to bless me. He does!

Ok. So we are in a spiritual battle. The Enemy does not want to lose territory. I begin to trust God and...WHAM! Morning sickness!!! Do I eat a cracker or praise God for His strength and provision? I did not have any morning sickness during the first trimester of this pregnancy, except when I gave into my own wisdom and understanding. When I trusted Him to give me strength that I might rise up on eagle's wings, I had awesome days.

I praise God for keeping me well and...WHAM! Athlete's Foot pops up on my foot, in the same place that plagued me throughout my last pregnancy!!! I said, "NO!!! In Jesus Name, NO!!!" I thank God daily that it is not going to be a problem for me during this pregnancy. The itching was minor and in a few weeks it was gone. The redness lasted for several months. Yesterday, I noticed that it is completely gone!!! Praise the Lord for what He has done! I did nothing but pray with thanksgiving.

At around 12-13 weeks...WHAM! Painful varicose veins on my right leg, in the same places where they popped up at the end of my last pregnancy!!! I prayed, but they continued to hurt, so I wear support hosiery. However, I have been walking and talking with God (literally). As I talk with Him about who He is and all that He has ever done, and as I remember all that He has done for me, I reason that He can and will heal this, too. Yesterday and today, I have had no need for the support hose. I notice the veins every now and then, but they do not hurt or really bother me. I expect that, like the morning sickness and the athlete's foot, it, too, will go completely away!  Resist the Devil and he will flee from you! Greater is He who is in me than the one who is in the world.

Oh, experience from five previous pregnancies tells me that constipation is an issue for me that leads to too many contractions which leads to fear of pre-term labor, hospital visits, and medications. So...WHAM! Constipation! Braxton Hicks contractions! Yes, as early as 15 weeks. But this I have learned, God wants me to trust in Him. When I get stressed about it, I get more constipated and I get tired and uncomfortable from contractions. When I give it up to Him and praise Him, I relax, I go, uterus relaxes, and all is well. Yes, as my constipation is being relieved, I am looking up to the heavens and I am praising God out loud!!!

I had some issues with not being able to sleep well, but now I am sleeping comfortably most every night. He says that He gives rest and sleep to those He loves. So, I ask Him for sleep.

God is my Healer! He is my Provider! He is my Savior! He is my All in All! He is my Everything! He can be your Everything, too! Ask God for faith to believe in Jesus!