Breaking the Habit Cycle

Time for some real talk…

Back in September, I was diagnosed gluten sensitive. After nearly 2 years of not knowing what was wrong – I have an answer. (One I don’t like, but an answer).

So, for more than 6 months, I’ve known the biggest cause of my stomach woes. Yet, I keep in this cycle of gluten free, and then allowing some back in my diet (and then suffering because of it, so back to gluten free).

With this cycle comes all the horrific side effects: headaches, irritability, increased anxiety, major digestive issues, and more.

Each time I say I won’t do it again, then, a week or two later, there I go on a gluten binge again.

Monday night, as I found myself desperately in the presence of my Abba, in a world of pain after a stressful and heartbreaking day, which followed one of these binges (due to lack of time/access to better choices), realizing how often we are like this in our spiritual lives.

I was so desperate for His word & comfort because of the magnitude of my negative feelings – a terrible day at the office. But what of the rest of my recent times?

Well, netflix, work, & other “obligations” have kept my attention.

And, it’s this way with our sins, too, big or small. We think “never again”, and then the enemy comes in and tempts us once again. And, we cave. We give in & feel the convictions followed by “never again” promises that fall flat.

Though, it isn’t always just sin. Notice I put netflix first on the list? It’s where all my time seems to have been going when time isn’t accounted for by something else. Then again, that makes it an idol, huh? Now, we’re right back at the sin…

So, how do we get out of the cycle?
Well, obviously, I’m not good at that part yet. But, I can tell you:

  • First, we decide – really decide never again. We make a real, conscious choice to actually change the behavior.
  • We repent. This means a complete 180. A turn from what we once did, and to a new way of behaving.
  • pray. On our own, the cycle never ends. He is our strength. He is the only way the cycle ends.
  • We surround ourselves with Godly accountability. Again, we cannot do this alone. Godly accountability relieves some of the pressure, and gives us people to rely on.
  • We extend and accept grace for ourselves. Not as something to take for granted or take advantage of, but to genuinely extend ourselves grace and accept His grace. We will mess up. It will happen (especially early on). So, we pick up & we move forward.

Hopefully, I can do this – both in my physical need (gluten-free) & in my spiritual needs (God always priority).

And, if you find yourself stuck in that cycle, I pray you can also break it and really put God as your priority.

Let me know below if there are any ways I can pray with/for you in this area. 

A Lenten Challenge

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Ok, I know, Lent is longer than 30 days…but as part of this Lent season, I am doing my very best to give up Soda…for me that means straight up, full sugar, Coca-Cola classic (or, a Dr. Pepper, if Coke isn’t available).

To be honest, for me, a lot of it is the caffeine in it – I don’t do coffee or tea. So, it’s my old reliable.
But, it’s also the comfort. It’s what I turn to when I should be relying on Him, so it’s out.

Only, this year, as opposed to previous years, I hope not to return to reliance on it.

So, I’ve decided (beginning last friday, March 17) to track the next 30 days…because apart from strictly spiritual reasons, we hear so much what Soda does to our bodies – the amount of sugar and the empty calories. I want to know if that’s true.

Changing nothing else in my life, just cutting out soda, what will the difference be in 30 days?

I’ve replaced soda with water (and once a day: Lemon/Peppermint water (or just Lemon, or just Peppermint, or Lime/Peppermint) using my lovely Young Living oils):

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This is an example – love my lemon/peppermint mix. Typically, I use a metal cup. If using citrus continually, don’t use a plastic cup like this, as the citrus will corrode plastic over time (I poured the water from the bottle into my cup).

So, no extra exercise (which, for me pretty much is only whatever happens for work & house keeping, and, recently, downsizing/packing…), no change in diet. Just eliminating soda.

Now, I am not doing this to look better or live a healthier lifestyle, though, I do plan to continue moving that direction once I get this no soda thing down.

It’s one thing to be able to look down and love the body you have (which is where I am); it’s another thing entirely to be treating that body with respect & care (which is what I am working towards).

So, there is no end “goal” for me in this, except to cut out soda. No final weight or measurements, though I have taken starting weight and measurements (which I am not comfortable sharing, but will share the differences at the end).
I simply want to be able to eliminate my reliance on something that threatens God’s place in my life, and be at a healthier place than when I started.

Two caveat’s to this:

  1. Last september, I was diagnosed gluten free…since then, I have already made some changes to diet, namely: no wheat products. However, I still don’t eat the healthiest…I eat a lot of snack foods for meals, eat processed food, and a lot of dairy. So, though gluten is out, it hasn’t changed my weight much – being sick often has left me several pounds lighter over the past several months, but that has leveled off in the past month.
  2. Recently (for the past month or so) I have been drinking Zeal by Zurvita once a day to get my vitamins, as I am unable to take multi-vitamins. I will continue this as I go forward. Once a day, a serving of Zeal, which does give a natural caffeine boost & may skew results slightly:
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Zeal is actually a great addition to my life, since I cannot process most multi-vitamins…I don’t think any skew it may have will be enough to be much difference.

 

Why I Should Probably Work Part-Time When I’m a Mom Someday…

So, I have a few days of #SingleLife to make up for that I missed during October. So, here goes one:

Today, I was struck by the thought: When I become a mom, I should probably work part-time…

And, I’ll tell you why.

If I work full time:

  • Forget getting breakfast in the morning; my kids won’t even be on time to school, like, ever…I will not be able to get up early enough to get them off to school on time, much less fix them the breakfast they need as growing kiddos. For instance, this morning? I woke up 20 minutes before needing to leave the house, & I ate a previously cooked egg as my breakfast. That’s right. Egg. Singular. So, no, that’s not going to work…
  • Speaking of food, I really do enjoy cooking. I mean, did you see the lovely meal I cooked yesterday? (See it here). But, I can’t be Suzy Homemaker every day when I work 10 hours a day (I know, that’s  more than full time – welcome to the educational, mental health, and medical fields…) So, tonight’s dinner? Left over chili, chips, and chocolate. I can’t feed that to my family every night. I mean, I could, the chili was great, gluten free, & I made it from scratch. But, still, my future family deserves more. I’d like to be able to cook more than once a week for them.
  • Time. I have a tendency to be a work-a-holic who has trouble saying no or putting boundaries on my work time. But, when I work part time – talking like, 30 hours or less, I’m much better at it. I want more time with my family when I get one. I feel it’s best for them, and I know it will be best for me.
  • My creativity & passion severely suffer with a full time job. I face a greater threat of burn out & stress, losing myself in helping others & realize how hard this world has it. Thank God He’s in control and I’m not…now, if only I could tap that creativity & passion, brining back my motivation to write a story to completion.

If I’m a stay at home mom:

  • I’ll. Get. Bored. Now, I’ve worked with kids all my life. Kids of literally all ages. I know that they are entertaining, a handful, a full time job in and of themselves. But, I also know, without adult interaction, I will get bored. My co-workers & I sometimes go into one another’s offices to have conversations once the kiddos head home, simply because we’ve spent all day talking to kiddos. So, I need a grown up outlet.
  • It’s kind of impractical in today’s world for everyone to be a one income household, and I suspect, we will not be a family blessed with that ability. I know my husband will likely need some support from me, financially, even if just to help pay off my student loan debt.
  • I have student loan debt. That’s not my future husband’s responsibility, it’s mine. I followed God’s call, and I bear that weight. If he want’s to help, great, but it’s my responsibility and mine alone.
  • I have student loan debt from getting a degree. One I’ve worked my entire life for. I can’t imagine living a life where that get’s pushed to the side, never used again.

So, the answer seems to me: part time working mom. It’s really the only way for me, I’d guess.

So, now, the prayer begins that I can be that kind of mom when the time comes. Balancing work & life. Bringing Glory to God by the life I live, and honor to my husband in all I do.

Final note: For all you rockin’ moms out there: Keep up the good work! I read your blogs, I see how hard you are all working. Breast feeding moms & formula moms. Working moms & stay at home moms. Home cooking moms & eat out moms. Crunchy, traditional moms & techno, modern moms. Creative arts moms & sports moms. You’re all working really hard for your loved ones, and it’s great! I genuinely can’t wait to be in the mom club one day.

I’ve had a lovely Halloween night.

Made this gorgeous dinner:

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Hung out with Little Seester, passed out candy to the few trick or treaters, watched Halloween movies, cleaned the kitchen, and packed my work bag for tomorrow.

Honestly, though, I have to say good riddance to October. It’s been a heck of a month & I’m ready to say goodbye &

Hello to more of my favorite time of year. Colder weather, cuter clothes, & more motivation for my dreams (fall and winter always seem to wake my sleeping heart).

See you all in November 🙂

…But, the Joy of the Lord is My Strength

I usually try to keep it pretty positive here in this space…even when talking about my struggles. Some days, it’s harder to stay positive than others. Today is one of those days…

Today, I’m not a happy camper…

For about a year or two, I have had some issues with my GI system – and, honestly, the issues could have started sooner, I just never paid attention…

but, in the past two years I have had no, or inadequate, healthcare.
Until recently.

Now, I have begun to get it figured out; and, the answers aren’t my favorite & solutions have yet to be found or actually work.

While I’m going through all of this, so is Baby Seester, but on a greater scale…And no one seems to be able to figure out what’s wrong with her. Her pain is near intolerable.

As the big sister, I want to do whatever I can to help…but, I often have to say, “sorry, I need to go home to take care of xyz first”…
having to try to eradicate my own pain and ill-health, because you can’t care for others if you are unable to care for yourself.

I work in a helping profession – long hours focused on others. And, recently, I’m not even sure how I’m making it through my days.

I’m tired of waking up feeling less than my best, but knowing I need to give my best.

I am doing what is asked of me so far:
cut out gluten? Check.
Take an iron supplement? Check.
Go see a GI specialist? Check.

I just hope they figure it out soon.

But, I have learned a few things during this time:

  • Our bodies really are temples. Designed to run in specific ways given specific fuels. It’s our job to take care of them – and that means eating well, sleeping, exercising, and caring for our mental well-being. Many days, I’m not very good at any of these things.
  • Self care is so important. This goes along with not being able to care for others if I can’t care for myself. I have to make sure I am not dragged into an anxious panic, a depressed slump, or a combo tornado of doom (and, yes, though it has been a very long time since, this has been known to happen). But, I have to be clear, so I can show up & help others. Sometimes, that means taking a day, or an hour, or even 5 minutes driving around with a Christmas song playing in October.
  • I am so glad I live near all my work locations. I can go home to eat & take meds. I get the comforts of home, even if just for 5 minutes, to reset.
  • I’m a bit indecisive: I am so thankful to be single, so as not to have to worry about anyone else at this time, or have anyone worry about me/see me like this. BUT, at the same time, I feel like it would be nice to have a partner in all of this…I know, it’s a crazy catch-22, but I’m a girl, and that’s how we roll sometimes…
  • The Joy of the Lord really is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 28:7). Because, even when I say I don’t know how I make it through the day, I know. It is His strength in me. It is His peace & assurance. It is the people He has placed in my life & the work He has blessed me with. Without Him, I am nothing, and my ill-working body would be my undoing. It really is in Him that I live & breathe & have my being (Acts 17:28). So, I show up & work with all that I have, because it is Him that I am working for; not me, not others (Ecclesiastes 9:10; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:23; Philippians 2:14-16).

So, yeah, today, I’m not a happy camper…

But, the Joy of the Lord is my strength.
My life: struggles, failures, and all, is for HIS Glory, and His alone.

And, Tomorrow, I may have more answers after the GI dr…until then, feel free to leave some of your favorite gluten free/iron rich food tips below (if you have any).