Big Plan

Home. Our vacation was wonderful… I’d have been happy to have stayed on, but I’m thankful to be home too. We leave again soon to sprinkle ashes near my parent’s favorite summer spot.  So many changes, so much up in the air (like what’s next for us…) and yet, I’m feeling content.

I look around the house and see lots of things I need to accomplish. We have decisions to make but aren’t getting any clear answers from God. I should feel turmoil, yet I know (after too many years of pushing!) that God has His plan and His own timetable. My loving Heavenly Father, Who knows my name and cares  -is in control. He will direct today, tomorrow and beyond. His dreams are so much bigger than mine. Those are the dreams I want to know, because He can make them happen!

For me, there’s no more “my way” (how foolish), there’s just “His Way” (so Glorious!). And to think I get to come along with Him for the ride. Everyday, each moment, watching as He answers with “awesome deeds” (Psalm 65:5), changing hearts right in front of me, working things together for a greater good. I can count on it! Even in the midst of world chaos or the confusion of social issues –God is at work!

You have your own ministry and so do I. We are fellow heirs (Gal. 4:7) to God’s Kingdom; being fitted together into a holy temple (Eph 2:22). We serve God just as we are, wherever we are as we commit ourselves to Him. Our prayers matter… our concern matters… our hearts feeling “pulled” by another’s life matters.  He is molding us to be more like His Son.

Because He promised.

Because we ask.

Because He wants it more than we do.

So today, I’ll make my list of “to dos,” and lay out the bills to pay. I’ll fill up my calendar with necessary appointments and sit at my desk and work hard, but I won’t forget The One with the Plan. He’s busy where I can’t see. If I listen closely I can hear Him calling, “Walk with Me,” “Be with Me,” “Know Me, because I long to be known by you,” -I am the God, Who loves you with an everlasting love.

Sunset Art by God

Sunset Art by God

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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When?

When I have a house to clean, people to feed, wash to do, hair to cut, long list of folks to pray for.

 When diapers need changing, someone needs bathing or feeding, medicine regulating/ordering/dosing… (all past duties…). 

When there’s shopping to complete,  then more shopping, returns, carpools, moving, packing, searching, wishing, planning, dreaming, hoping. 

A confrontation, an ugly reflection, bills or a difficult person, a correct scale :/ improvements to be made,  …results delayed.

Waiting, successes and failings, disappointments, regrets, illness, sunshine and rain, dispair, repair, a new dress, PMS

Sore muscles, wakefulness, wrinkles, mold, warts…. teaching, changing, on vacation and at home, admiring, loving, playing, enjoying, prayers answered, a tender word.

This is when God has said to “Be Thankful” – IN everything (1Thess. 5:18), FOR everything (Eph. 5:20)

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭18‬ AMP)

ForGlorySake! –thankfully– Anna

  


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It Is Well

Rest. Peace. Quiet. 

Some words that come to mind since my mom passed mid-May. Yesterday, the last day before leaving town for a few weeks, I went kayaking alone on a nearby creek. Normally I would have been a flutter with last minute cleaning and organizing but instead I forced myself to paddle slowly, float a little and look around me. 

Breathe. 

Pretty cool all the wildlife I saw as I rowed along. Usually hard to spot, turtles were right and left. Maybe it’s just taking the time to watch for them. They are surprisingly fast in the water! I wondered if they laugh at humans and how slow we are on their turf? 

God amazed me with His intricate detail to creation… so many tiny things. Spiders that walk on water. Groups of minuscule gnats flitting and hovering in clouds just above the surface. Why did He do all this? I wondered if it was more fun to create these treasures or reveal them to us?

I left refreshed. God is so big, yet He felt close and personal. He made a Universe and still had interest in small bugs.  He always seems to take the time with me when I stop and take the time for Him. 

May was a whirlwind of activity for us. We celebrated my mom’s safe passage to Heaven, 2 birthdays, a graduation, several graduation parties and the final days of school for 5 kids! Whew, my mom always said May stood for Mayhem.

Every death brings with it many details to be tied up… but for now  my husband has planned an escape for just the 2 of us. He wants time with me  and I agree it’s the best way for us to regroup and rejuvenate.

ForGlorySake! -Anna 

 

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It is finished

After a harrowing week of watching another of my parents slowly succumb to death’s tight cords, my mom died May 17th, 2015. I have been caring for her and my dad since 2010.

Death, my dear reader, is not pretty. There was no dignity in what I saw (either time). Without the experienced aid of Hospice staff, I would’ve sunk into utter helplessness. It was a long slow wait for relief that really started as soon as my dad passed February 1.

And then, as quickly as it had descended it was over. Freedom, fresh air, and the beauty of knowing my mom had been released from this world into God’s Glorious Kingdom. I wanted to cry because because it had been a hard birth for her, but just like a new mother forgets the pains of labor in the face of their newborn… I just kept smiling to know she was finally free!

That last week, I told her, her dying was the last “labor” she’d have to deal with. This was the biggie, she was the “baby” and Jesus was just on the other side to receive her. I was only there to assist her as far as I could. She wasn’t able to talk at that point, but she squeezed my hand. 

I think she did a valiant job and I’m so thankful she’s on the other side! With my dad. Some may feel I’m lacking the proper emotions for the death of a parent. Some have even said all I’ve lost hasn’t hit me yet. They may be right. Only time will tell. But today I have Joy overflowing for so many reasons!!!

My parents have run their race and finished well. They left us a good heritage and lots of laughter! They worked hard and provided us with a path to follow Home. We have fun memories and wonderful family connections (if not too many nicknacks :). I have seen death face to face and KNOW for certain it is NOT the victor! 

Life is good- Jesus wins.

ForGlorySake! -Anna 

 

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Death’s Door

I’ve posted a lot of nutrition info lately… It’s been good to have something to obsess over besides my mom’s health!. She’s been bringing us a good deal of concern since back in December of 2014.

We really believed for several weeks following my dad’s death in February, that she might join him at any moment. Our kids gathered several times to tell her goodnight and goodbye, thinking we wouldn’t see her in the morning. However morning after morning came and finally my husband said for us all to stop. Hanging on the edge, waiting for someone to pass in this way is emotionally draining  -and unhealthy. Life had to continue. Especially the daily joys over things like growing up!

It’s been a special privilege to house and care for my parents in their last months, but as I’ve mentioned before it is also been exhausting.  We now find ourselves again at (the strong possibility of) “death’s door” -waiting and wondering what each moment will bring.  Yet in the midst of this struggle, there are birthdays and a learner’s license, a graduation and many exciting future plans being made!

I feel somewhat emotionally yanked around by the neck -accompanied with literal pain. My only solid ground is in the LORD. He encourages me again and again to ask Him for wisdom, err on the side of mercy and find my peace and Joy in Jesus.  Many times throughout the day I run to Him and ask for a refocus.

This has all been considerably more than I bargained for, but I pray it will be used in our children’s lives… (far more than I could ask or think). Until then I’m testing the depths of God’s great grace. -For the record I haven’t touched bottom yet!

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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Feeding Your Endocrine

How fascinating that we can help our bodies shed excess weight by eating instead of starving and over exercising. I love knowing that what I’m putting in my body has benefit. It’s guilt-free nourishment! …And there are so many good things out there to try. It’s very important according to all the sources I read, to eat things in their most natural state. No salt, sugar or chemicals added (No GMOs). Nuts and dried fruit for instance, should be eaten in the Raw ;)

I posted my favorite recipes a few blogs earlier: Fuel Bites and Energy Bars. Recently I tweaked them to be more thyroid-friendly versions (Nutra Balls & Granola Squares). I eat these every day!

Nutri Balls (great before a workout): 2T. Sunflower Butter, 1T. *Flax, 1T. *Chia, 1T. Hemp, 1T. raw Sesame Seeds, 1T. chopped raw Pumpkin Seeds, 1T. chopped raw Almonds, 1T. Molasses, 2 chopped Dates, 1T. Yerba Mate Tea (run through coffee grinder), 2T. plain dried Coconut. 1T. chopped raw Cashews, 3 chopped raw Apricots. Mix. Roll into 12 balls- store in fridge. 63 calories each. *Grind the fax & chia seeds.

Granola Squares : 1C. Oats, 1/2 C. Coconut flour, 2T. ground Yellow Peas, 1T. *Flax, 1T. *Chia, 1tsp. Cinnamon, mix with: 2T. Molasses, 4T. Yacon Syrup, 3T. Sunflower Butter, 1T. coconut oil, 1T. Hemp oil, 1T. Maca Powder, 1T. plain dried Coconut, 1T. chopped raw Almonds, 1T. chopped raw Sesame Seeds, 2 chopped Dates, 3 chopped raw Apricots.  Press into a sprayed square pan. cook 350 for 15 mins. CUT into 16 bars. Store in fridge. 96 calories each. *grind the flax & chia seeds.

Besides these yummy treats, I promised to share more from the “Do Eat” list for thyroid health. For the record I tried to add all the daily needs to the 2 above recipes :) The thyroid craves Iodine and Selenium and the list that follows has those covered:

Flax seeds, Chia seeds, Hemp seeds (oil and protein), all Coconut, raw dairy products (haven’t been heated to 180*), hormone-free chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef, wild saltwater fish and seafood (shellfish), eggs (with yolk), seaweeds, almost all nuts (especially 2 Brazil nuts daily) and all seeds (especially sunflower & sesame seeds), mushrooms (especially crimini), onions, winter squash, parsley, garlic, celtic sea salt, molasses, apricots, prunes, dates and all Gluten-free grains.

If you haven’t had time to look up Goitrogenic foods (ones that enlarge the thyroid and generally aggravate the gland), these are items that should be cooked!:  peanuts, peaches, pears, strawberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, spinach, mustard and mustard greens, turnip greens, radishes, rutabagas, pinenuts, millet, kohlrobi, linseed and cassava (known as Yuca, arrowroot, tapioca, manioc).

As far as I’ve read- there were only a few Goitrogenic Foods to avoid as they impede the bodies ability to absorb iodine: Sweet Potato, Bamboo shoots, Soybeans and soy related products, Canola oil, Horseradish, Bok Choy, any Gluten grains, Garden Kris, Tempeh, and Babassu. ***Caffeine, fluoride and plastics with PBA -as with all chemicals are considered aggravators as well.

Next time I’ll share some of my favorite recipes -like yummy Bean Burgers and my daughter’s Trail Mix. Until then, eat something healthy :)

ForGlorySake! -Anna

Yumminess!

Yumminess!

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Fat Vegan

Three weeks ago as the warm weather arrived… I pulled the old shorts from my closet. I was horrified to find that that they didn’t fit! What??? I fluctuate a bit over the month :/ but have weighted relatively the same since my last pregnancy 13 years ago. I hadn’t been on a scale since my Dr. appointment last summer, so I decided to find one and jump on. Shock & dismay… 15lbs!!! How in the world can an exercising vegan gain 15lbs?!

I Googled “fat vegan” and surprisingly it’s a common topic. The more I read the more I realized my thyroid was sluggish and of course I was to blame for not supporting its amazing functions. The thyroid is the seat of the metabolism and without getting too technical about it, we can eat to encourage all it is intended to do. Gooo Thyroid!!!

I set off on a quest reading about anything pertaining to health of the endocrine system, including all the receptors in the body that take our fabulous little hormones and convert them to fat burning tools. I’ll just say, without ANY crash dieting or extreme exercise, I’ve lost 13 of the unwanted pounds in about 3 weeks! Now that’s really crazy. This was solely my body doing what God had already designed it to do (stabilize) as I cleared the path instead of being a roadblock!

(After everything I read-) Here’s how I began:

  1. Drink a mug of hot water and 2T. of lemon juice each morning, 1st off.
  2. Add a 50 Billion Probiotic daily to detox. Pricey, but really worth the money for at least one go-round.
  3. Eat 4 to 5, 300 calorie meals a day. This is what the thyroid likes best- small doses of nutrition at a time. Pick your own number of meals.
  4. Make sure each meal has about 3 oz of protein included. Yes, I’ve been eating hormone-free meat, fish, seafood. Yellow peas ground to flour (per VEGA) also make an excellent protein powder. Stay at 300 calories however!
  5. Sprinkle food (even smoothies, etc.) with cayenne pepper. About 1/16 tsp daily.
  6. Add 1 T of Apple cider vinegar somewhere. I usually hide it in my fruit smoothie.
  7. Search out these strange and exotic Superfoods that stabilize blood-sugar, and naturally support thyroid function: Yerba Mate Tea, Maca Powder, Sacha Inchi Seeds, Yacon Syrup, Goji Berries. I ordered mine through AmazonSmile. Each was a little pricy, but you’ll only eat a little of them every day… so maybe go in with a friend.
  8. Drop the gluten, white sugar and caffeine from your diet. This was definitely the hardest. Thankfully I had already done the work. For the record, I  only cut-back on coffee! I still drink 1 cup a day with coconut milk… You do what you can :)
  9. Add in any coconut products. Coconut is another Superfood Coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut meat, coconut water, coconut flour, coconut sugar. Just make sure to count the calories!
  10. AVOID all raw Goitrogenic foods. This made the biggest difference for me! This list is easily Googled and includes; kale, spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, mustard greens, cauliflower, millet cabbage, peaches, strawberries, pears, pine nuts, radishes, Bok Choy, cabbage, peanuts- etc. (ALL of which should be cooked instead). Soy was the only “Don’t Eat” I could find….I’ll keep looking.

There’s a lot on the “Do Eat” list, but I’ll save that for next time. Here’s a link if you’d like to start your own research. [https://experiencelife.com/article/repair-your-thyroid/]

In the meantime some raw sunflower seeds, seaweed, eggs, molasses and 2 Brazil nuts a day will hold you. Happy thyroid and happy health!

ForGlorySake! -Anna

Another great resource

Another great resource

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