Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bittersweet

I don't really feel like going into detail seeing as how I am emotionally exhausted, but I wanted to just ask all of my blog readers to keep praying for Tim...Kate's husband.
David and I went down to Franklin to hang out with him last night and truly had a wonderful time. We had dinner out and then hung out at their house for a while. We were priveleged to hear more about Kate and Tim's past adventures, family, etc... It was so enjoyable! The only thing that would have made the night more perfect was if Kate had been with us. I so wish she had been in the back seat with me on the way to the restaurant. I so wish she had been sitting beside Tim while we were eating. I desperately wish I could have hugged her goodbye when we left. However, I know that no matter how desperately I wish for those things, that Tim wishes for them tons more. So...I ask that you continue to pray that his heart will heal sooner rather than later.

Today has been a little rough for me too. Tim told me last night that Kate wanted me to have her pink boxing gloves that a family friend had given to her when she was diagnosed last year. She took them to every single appointment she had and even used them on several occasions. I'm telling you that I fought back tears when he handed them to me and I read the message that they had written on them to me. I have held those things so much since he gave them to me. I have them sitting on my bedside right now and quite honestly every time I see them I can just hear Kate telling me to keep fighting which is what I will do.

When I get my camera working again, I will post a pic of them and another pic of sweet Kate wearing them.

And if I haven't told each of you lately, I love you all and appreciate your prayers for me, my family, and my friends more than you will ever know.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Can God Spread A Table In The Wilderness?

OK, so I am not creative enough to think of that title on my own. Nope, it was the title of a sermon I listened to during my quiet time this morning. It was done by John Piper (whom I am so sad to report is taking an 8 month LOA - for great reason though). Now I know that every single one of you reading this have been through a period of "wilderness walking" where you feel all alone, like God has forgotten you, where life just sucks, etc... Well, please stick with me through this post as this is an entirely new way (for me at least) of looking at the wilderness. You see, the wilderness is NOT the REAL challenge. Nope, the Promised Land is. Keep reading and see what I mean.

So I'm just going to sum up the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt where they were slaves to their Promised Land. Basically, when they left Egypt, God sent them on a detour through the wilderness in order to avoid the Philistines. He knew that if they saw the Philistines that they would freak out and would go back to Egypt. They didn't see the reason for that trip through the wilderness, but God had their best interest at heart. Then they finally reached Mt Sinai where they received the 10 commandments and 2 years of rest, teaching, learning, etc... They saw God provide for their every single need during these 2 years in miraculous ways. HOWEVER, they chose to complain, argue, grumble, etc... which wound them up in the wilderness just wandering around for 40 years!!! And for the whole story, you can read Exodus 14 through the middle of the book of Numbers.
So, why were they led into the wilderness? Was this simply a detour? NO!! They were led to the wilderness to humble them, test them and do them good. It made them intentionally, deeply dependant, and reliant on Him! It was designed to show their helplessness. It was designed to humble them before God so they would know their need. It was designed to show them great wonders so they could learn to trust in God and lean not on their own insight or power.
But get this... the prosperity of the Promised Land is so dangerous to our souls that the recollection of some terrible weakness or some awesome wonder can divert the river of self-reliance and pride in our hearts from flooding our lives and drowning our faith. So you see, the wilderness is really good for us! It's actually safer than the Promised Land. Just thinking back to how difficult things were during that wildnerness walk, and remembering how faithful God was then and how much we HAD to rely on Him is enough to keep our pride, arrogance and independence in check.
So, cancer was my wilderness. My time of realizing that God is the ONLY one in control of my life. That God is Who I depend on instead of depending on myself. That I cannot place all of my hope in modern medicine, but that I must instead place all of my hope in Him. That He is all I really need - every day and in every circumstance.
Now that I have entered my Promised Land (being cancer free) this is where the real test begins. My health is back, my strength is growing each day, and overall I just feel great! I'm seeing that it is really easy to slip back into that self-reliant, prideful attitude, but I am praying that as I continue to grow in my relationship with Christ and am surrounding myself with friends who are doing the same that I will NEVER forget, but instead, always recall my time in the wilderness to keep my faith from being drowned.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hang On Tight...Cause Here We Go!

As I sit here tonight starting this post, I feel extremely unqualified to be writing it. The topic...? Raw Foods and Clean Eating. What am I eating right now...potato chips. Nope, not kidding. I have been doing SO incredibly well with my new lifestyle but for some reason tonight has been difficult. OK, now that the confession is over with (I'm just being real here), let me get on to how I have been eating for the past 2 weeks and how I hope to continue for a lifetime.
Here are some questions I have gotten about this so far...
1. Why are you doing this? Well, the answer to that would be because I have had cancer and I do NOT want it again. One of the major things that I can control is my diet and what I choose to put into my body. The old saying is so so true... we really are what we eat (so why am I eating these dang chips right now?)
2. What inspired this change so suddenly? Easy...my good friend and chemo buddy Kate Clark. She totally believed in eating clean, juicing, and raw foods as much as possible. I have always admired this about her, but I was not mentally ready to make such a change in my own life.
3. How did you get started? Books!! Several books. The Raw Food Detox Diet, What To Eat If You Have Cancer, The Anti-Cancer Diet, Raw Foods for Busy People, and I think that is it. My favorite by far is The Raw Food Detox Diet. It explains everything in just enough detail and then tells you exactly what to do. It is soooo worth the $15 it costs. It even includes shopping lists and recipes that are really really good. And another that is great as it tells WHY we should eat certain foods and what health benefits they each have is The Anti-Cancer Diet.
4. Where do I shop? Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Kroger, and I am getting ready to join a crop-sharing alliance. The CSA works like this...I am joining a farm in Springfield for $100/month for the months of May-October. During those months, I will get a share of the crops that they grow which includes all veggies that are in season, some fruits, and 1/2 dozen eggs each week. By doing this, I will save money on produce, I will be getting locally grown organic produce, and will be supporting this farm in our area.
5. What does my typical day look like? OK, here it is...
Breakfast - fruit. nothing but fruit. Apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes are my favorites so any one of those or any combination works. Water.
Lunch - salad or lightly steamed broccoli, zucchini, peppers, etc... with balsamic vinegar added to them for taste. Lara Bar. Water. OR - I may have a sandwich with advocado, lettuce and tomato on 100% whole grain bread.
Snack - raw walnuts or pecans with dried cranberries or more fruit
Dinner - this is where I will incorporate meat if I am going to have any. Tonight, dinner was pecan crusted tilapia filets, steamed broccoli and steamed sweet potatoes. Water.
Snack - 73% dark chocolate piece.
6. How much weight have I lost? 7 pounds in 9 days (and that does include a tad of cheating)
7. Where should I begin? Begin by reading one of the books I mentioned above and going to the grocery store. Get as much fruits and veggies as you can while staying on budget and then come home and clean out your cabinets. Get rid of the processed crap, anything with perservatives, and anythign containing bleached flour, high-fructose corn syrup, and anything else with a long list of ingredients that you can't even pronounce. For me, I just made my own cabinet space for my healthy foods as my family is not quite as on board with this as I am.
8. What staple items do I have besides fruit and veggies? whole wheat flour, quinoa, lentils, brown rice, whole grain organic pasta, millet, raw honey, agave nectar, goat cheese, almond milk, raw nuts, dried cranberries, and 100% whole grain bread. For meat, I have hormone free chicken and wild-caught mahi mahi and tilapia.
9. Do I make green drinks? Yes, I have but I personally prefer to buy the Naked brand Green Drink. It's super yummy and has tons of fruits and veggies in it. It does have lots of sugars, but I am nearly positive that they are from the fruits and their fructose.
10. Do you have recipes to share? YES!!! And that will come in the next post about food.

Now, leave comments with questions you have, advice you may want, or anything else.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lots of You Have Asked...

I am working on a post about the raw food lifestyle that I have adopted and it is coming sometime this week. This is still very new to me so I want to see how it's all going to play out before I blog about it. Plus, there is just so much information that I want to relay to each of you about the benefits of a mostly raw diet that I need to decide how I want to blog this. Would you be interested in seeing the reasoning behind eating this way and how each type of food is beneficial to our health? Or would you rather just see how this type of lifestyle is changing my life? Or both?

Leave comments and let me know what you would rather me do.