December 31, 2013


It is the last day of the year and it is inevitable that we take inventory of the year past. What worked and what didn't. What was hard and what was easy. What we learned and what we did or didn't accomplish. Then, usually, we make plans or goals for next year. This year, instead of sharing my goals and plans I am going to share with you my reflections of 2013. At the end of this post I am going to highlight four books that I read this year that were perspective changers for me.

Here are six words that describe my 2013~

The following are things that in no way have I mastered. These are convictions, challenges, motivators and good things that have come from my past 365 days.

Keeping a Thankfulness journal is therapeutic. There were so many days in 2013 that I woke up feeling awful. Feeling like I didn't want to get out of bed. Physically in pain not wanting to move. Depressed at my life's circumstances. Wanting to give up at times. Getting up and coming down to read my bible, do a devotional and write in my thankfulness journal almost always changed my perspective. There were always things to be thankful for. In fact, I live quite a blessed life in spite of autoimmunity and health problems. Those mornings it was challenging to make the choice to be thankful but when I did it forced me to think on the good things.
Philippians 4:8 says Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
There is a reason why God tells us to "Think on these things." They have power to change your mind and thoughts. I really recommend keeping a Thankfulness journal. Record a few thoughts or sentences each day of the things you are blessed by, what you are thankful for, or what you are grateful for. You can also record answered prayers which is a faith builder in and of itself!

My family eats 100% different from the way we did at this time last year. What we eat (or don't) is radically different. This was not by choice, but in hindsight and presently I am grateful for the change. It has been a very long, hard journey (really that started almost three years ago) and there were many days when I didn't want to eat this so different. It can be inconvenient, time consuming, expensive, frustrating and require a lot of self-control. However, rewarding times in our life are never easy. They are always hard. We have seen major rewards from this change of eating an organic diet without grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods and refined sugar. I always eat full Paleo (and started on Intro Gaps early January) and my boys almost always eat Paleo and occasionally have Gluten free items (which include GF grains.) My husband eats Paleo except at various social times. The rewards have been major weight loss, lower blood pressure (in a family history of high blood pressure), great cholesterol labs, spinal inflammation in my husbands back is gone, healing in myself so that I can function daily with a above average energy level most days, & a lot less sicknesses from flu's and colds in our house. These things have made it all worth it. The rewards far outweigh the hardships and inconveniences.

Daily time spent in God's word (The Bible) is vital to my life. This year I have developed a deep hunger and thirst for The Word and for God. I desire to know Him better, to learn from Him, to learn about Him, to trust in Him, to follow Him and to wait in Him and on Him. My desire has deepened - dark valleys do that. The valleys of the past 6 years have been dark, lonely (at times) and depressing but over time, through refinement by God, I desire to earnestly seek Him. I certainly fail still at times but my heart has started to become molded and crafted by His hands. This will take a lifetime and is painful but necessary. Through seeking Him daily, by spending uninterrupted time in His word and praying, I have deepened my relationship and understanding of my best friend- My Lord Jesus.

I learned (once again) not to put anyone pedestal. Family, friends, celebrities, anyone that is a h.u.m.a.n. If we do this, we will always be let down. Always disappointed. We are human. Fallible humans. Not one is better than another. Acts 10:34 says God is not a respecter of persons. Status or worldly success or talents don't matter to Him. Galatians 3:28 says- There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. In other words, we are all equal in God's eyes. God created us equal and sees us that way so why should we hold up and create various "levels" for the human race?

It is not wrong to look up to someone or admire someone but know they are fallible and check your heart as to where you place them in your life. The only person infallible, trustworthy, worthy to be idolized and placed "above" is Jesus. Live for Him. Let Him be what motivates and guides you - not h.u.m.a.n.s.

Don't miss relationship and special moments because of being sucked into a screen. Email, Facebook, blogs, pinterest, surfing the net and time spent with technology which is always ALL around us can be a HUGE distraction and opportunity killer. Balance must be found. Our families lives can fly by (unnoticed) while we are enveloped in technology. Relationship becomes void. Actual time spent is priceless and where relationships are built. Virtual time is so empty and ultimately SO lonely.

Following mainstream societal ways can be a big detriment to our well being (in many ways, but I will be focusing on health here.) Following God's path as opposed to the worlds is what God calls us to do. That means we have to be different. Romans 12:2 says - And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

If I followed my full Western Medicine MD Doctor and her advice (or lack thereof) I would be dead this year. Literally. Either that, or I would be on ten different drugs that would be a mask to the cause of my health issues. These drugs would eventually give me other symptoms that if they didn't kill me then, they would later. A slow death. A life of unnecessary suffering. God did not make our bodies to be pumped full of daily drugs, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. God made our bodies to heal naturally with the good things He has created and given us. So how do we not "conform?" We ask God for direction. Just because it is easy to go to the doctor and get a pill doesn't mean it is the right thing to do. Just because we can call up a friend for advice and it is easy doesn' tmean that is what God wants us to follow. Ask God what His will is for your life, for your health? Ask Him in what direction you should go to feel better? He will make it clear. If I didn't do this I would never have found GAPS. This is what God used to get me on the path to life and vitality rather than a life of merely surviving and going from one ignorant, greedy doctor to the next all the while medical bills piling up higher and higher. (Sorry if you are a doctor but this is my personal experience.) I do have two doctors (who are investigative and functional medicine doctors) that I highly respect and do help out. Anyway, follow God's ways rather than what society or mainstream media or your friends say to do. Pray, Pray, Pray. God has the ultimate wisdom and knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our past, present AND future. What better person is there to seek wisdom from? Please don't get me wrong here. I am not saying that since I use natural healing I am more holy or "better." I am merely saying don't just do something or follow a certain way because someone else is. Our actions in our lives should reflect the beauty of the Lord and His good and perfect will for our individual lives. Seek. HIM. Daily. That is what it means to be "different."

Memorizing Scripture and storing it in our hearts (especially as parents raising children) is imperative. There are so many reasons that memorizing scripture is important. This is how the Holy Spirit can speak to us. Since the Word is truth we can speak truth to our children when needed like in times of discipline or encouragement. We can share the Truth with others. We can help bring unbelievers to the sweet Grace of God. (Hebrews 4:12) The Word is active, it is sharper than any double edged sword. It pierces our hearts. When we store up the scriptures in our hearts, it challenges, convicts, encourages us and give us hope. What if someday we don't have the luxury of having a bible? What verses will you have stored up in your heart?

This last one is the deepest reflection of them all! Always, always, always have bacon and bacon grease on hand! They are the building blocks of life. They are joy. They are love. They are tasty. Bacon makes everything better!

Here are four books that changed my perspective this year and I wholeheartedly recommend to you to read:

This book is written by a former shepherd named Phillip Keller. He has an amazing, eye-opening look at the relationship between a sheep an their shepherd and how it parallels our relationship with Christ (since we are His sheep.) He walks you through Psalm 23 in ways that I have never even understood or considered before. It is a small book and relatively quick read but there are many places you will want to stop and ponder and think on the the thoughts and insights he shares.

This book is written by Phillip Keller as well and is an even smaller book than the first. I literally read it in a few hours. Phillip talks about his relationship in training this wretched outcast of a dog to be an amazing sheepdog. He parallels the training and discipline Christ gives us in our lives and the refinement it brings as well as the discovery of what our true purpose is here on earth. When my oldest gets a little older it is a book we will be reading together. It truly helps the reader to see their relationship with Christ in a different light, through different glasses - through the lens of love.

We read this book by Sam Wellman together as a family this year. It was a life changer for me. I literally found myself thinking about Corrie's life and her faith for weeks and months after we finished reading the book. Corrie's faith in the worst possible conditions of World War II Nazi concentration camps is astounding. You will learn about her family growing up, her sister Betsy who is also an amazing hero of faith, and their victories and trials in their walk with the Lord. Once you have finished the book, I recommend watching the movie The Hiding Place. In the movie you actually get to see her in real life and hear her faithful words. Don't watch the movie first though! The book has way more detail. Corrie's understanding of the Lord will challenge you and at times bring you to your knees. Her endurance and courage are incredible. She is certainly someone to admire and glean from.

This last book by Pam Forster is really more of a devotional or a checklist. It is only about 20 pages long. It is meant to be a continual resource to come too and get back on track with the biblical and Godly way of parenting. There are six areas of focus: Love, Prayer, Instruction, Protection, Provision, and Example. In each section there is a bible verse describing the topic, and a checklist of questions followed by verses to evaluate how you are doing in this area of parenting.  I took a verse each day and read it in the Bible in context, journaled about it and wrote my thoughts and convictions on it. It was a very fruitful time. It is a book I have come back to time and time again for the gentle reminders through scripture of my calling and the Biblical guidance of "how-to" when it comes to my ministry as a parent.

I pray you have a blessed new year and that you might be able to think back on your year personally and reflect on the triumphs, valleys, victories and challenges that came along!  Cheers is too many more reflections to come for the next 365 days!


1 comment:

  1. Love this post. Especially the part about Bacon :) We are beginning to see the difference in our health also as we move more and more towards paleo :)


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For any and all health advice/suggestions and/or posts on this blog, I do not assume any liability for you. The posts and comments on this blog are not meant to be a substitute for your own practicing physician's care in your life. These posts are based on my experience and research in my own healing journey and are placed here to encourage and help those ailing with their health. We are all individuals and there is not ONE pat answer or resolution that applies to everyone across the board.