Monday, May 9, 2011

Where Did I Go Wrong?

We've undergone a major food revolution at our house. Gone is the refined sugar and flour. Here to stay are organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains and pastured animal products. I have done a ton of research and experimentation to come to a place where I feel healthy rather than sick all over. Last month, I felt amazing! I was juicing a lot and eating quite a bit of raw fruits and vegetables. Then came Easter time and I started to go downhill. Just a little dessert here, a piece of pizza there but all the health that I had built just came crashing down. I went back to feeling tired, lethargic, headachy, foggy, overly emotional. What a wake up call! So back to whole foods I go and I'm feeling better already. However, something is still not right. I have a sneaking suspicion that candida may be the culprit. Ugh. So not looking forward to a candida-free diet. But, if that's what it takes to be well, so be it. I spent a lot of time yesterday praying and meditating about God's design for food and health. I am continually asking the Maker of this body to show me the path I need to take. The phrase that kept coming back to me is, "God is not mocked." He has given us the foods that we need to be healthy. Then, in our human arrogance, we come along and say "Thanks, God. Now let me just tinker around with it a bit and make it even better!" As if that were even possible. And then we have the audacity to sit down in front of our genetically modified and heavily processed "food" and ask Him to bless it. Do we really suppose He's going to place His blessing upon something that is going to kill us? How foolish we are. Now, having said that, I must admit that not all the foods in my house are organic. As much as I wish I could afford to be 100% organic, I just can't. But we're doing everything we can to get there. We've put in a vegetable garden and I'm planning to do a lot of canning and freezing this summer whenever I can find good prices at the farmer's markets. Amazon Subscribe and Save has been a lifesaver as well. And I'm so thankful for all of the people who have committed to healthy living and blog about their experiences. There is a wealth of amazing recipes out there floating around in cyberspace. I've made a list on the sidebar of some of my favorite healthy blogs. So, my quest for good health continues and I'll be sure to share what I find.

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Poor, Abandoned Blog

Yes, it's been a long time, my friend. I didn't mean to neglect you. Things just got a bit...out of control for a while. To make a long story short, two years ago I was diagnosed with panic disorder. I took the advice of the medical doctors, went on anti-depressants and lived like a zombie for a long time. Thankfully, I serve a mighty and faithful God and He has led me down a path of healing. I am happy to say that I took my last pill several days ago and I feel as though I've been reborn...again. I am full of energy and enthusiasm for life and there are so many things that I can't wait to do. And of course, my faithful blog, I will share them all with you.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Paper Airplanes

I don't know about you, but some of my best devotional times come when I'm in the shower. That might seem a bit strange but it's one of the few times that I have complete peace and quiet. I'm able to praise and pray to my heart's content without interruption. The other day I was doing just that, pouring out my heart to the Lord and begging for wisdom in teaching my boys the importance of spiritual disciplines. And it's not just my boys who need help in this area; I need to be more consistent as well. A friend recently said she felt that the words "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love." could have been written just for her. It could be my theme song as well. My faithful God answered me right away and gave me a wonderful illustration to share with my boys. I used it during our morning worship the other morning and it seems to have stuck. Here's how it went:

I sat down with a piece of paper and said, "What if I gave you a piece of paper and the instructions for folding a paper airplane and asked you to make an airplane that would fly across the room? Suppose you took those materials and decided that you would ignore the instructions and just do it your own way. (At this point I loosely crumbled up the ball of paper.) Would this airplane fly? (I smoothed out the paper and made it flat again.) Now suppose you followed some of the instructions but not others. (I folded the paper in half, down one side, made one wing.) Is this airplane going to fly? (I smoothed out the paper again) What if you followed all of the instructions but you did it half-heartedly and in a sloppy manner? (I did just that, not folding carefully along the correct lines) Do you think this plane is going to fly? (I smoothed out the paper again.) Now what if I follow all of the directions very carefully? Is this plane going to fly? (I flew it to prove that it would.) Can you see how this applies to our spiritual lives?" (We had a bit of a discussion at this point as they processed the information and shared their ideas).

We discussed how important it is to know and follow all of God's instructions as found in the Bible. We also talked about how sometimes we just go through the motions, so to speak, without involving our hearts and how ineffective that is. Now, if I see that they are neglecting personal time with the Lord or are ignoring His commands, I just ask them something like, "How's your airplane flying today? Did you read the instructions? Are you following them carefully?" They have been responding more favorably and I've noticed that their morning prayer time has become more consistent. Sanctification is a process and we all have a way to go. I hope that this illustration will bless others as much as it has blessed us.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Our Week in Review

What a crazy, rollercoaster week this has been! It started off on a high note as we celebrated Nathan's third birthday. In our family, the third birthday is the first theme-oriented, friends over kind of birthday party. Nathan decided on a "fishy party" so we had a fish cake and lots of undersea decorations and games. He really enjoyed it and I think everyone else did too.
On Tuesday it was back to business as usual and I also watched the neighbor girls in the evening. Wednesday found us at Sam's Club and running errands, not to mention dealing with massive storms in the evening. Thursday was more errands and running around (and yes, we did manage to do school in the midst of it all). The boys did not have the best of days and I was at my wits' end by the time Andrew got home. But today Alek and Noah decided on their own to make books about pirates so we had lessons on composition, spelling, handwriting and art all without them realizing it. I love when that happens! Noah helped me make some Rice Krispie treats this afternoon and we ate them during tea time while we read "A Piece of the Mountain". Tonight is small group at the Murphy's house and I'm looking forward to some good conversation and fellowship with friends. A perfect way to end our crazy week!

Friday, February 6, 2009


I hate ironing! (Can I get an amen?) It might not be so bad if my ironing board was not an old, rickety, accident-waiting-to-happen. Regardless, I find it tedious and frustrating trying to smooth out every wrinkle to create a starched and flawless masterpiece. The other day, as I stood doing my wifely duty (admittedly with a grumbling spirit), the Holy Spirit brought two things to my attention. First, my attitude as not one of gratefulness. As I asked for forgiveness and took my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, I was reminded of Ephesians 5:25-27 where Paul explains how Christ gave Himself up for the church so that we would be holy and blameless, without any spot or wrinkle. A whole host of ideas came flooding into my mind at that point: How thankful I am that Jesus fulfilled His purpose in this world so that I might be holy and blameless, how "wrinkly" I still am and how Jesus painstakingly "irons" me out as He continues the work of my sanctification, how that sanctification takes place through the washing with the Word.

Ironing has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Now, as I iron, I recite Scripture to myself and ask God to show me the areas of my life that are wrinkled and need His smoothing touch. Who would have thought that a dreaded chore could become an agent of sanctification?

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Blogging seems to be a "feast or famine" activity for me. I love the idea of writing every day or two, but at this stage of my life, it just doesn't seem to work out that way. Family life comes first, and it often pushes out the opportunity to sit and post my thoughts.

I have been thinking a lot about the art of writing lately. Most specifically, the art of letter writing. I've been reading a biography of Elizabeth Prentiss, the author of Stepping Heavenward. It is filled with the most wonderful letters written to family and friends. At that time, letter writing was in high fashion and friends would write to each other regularly, often about the most mundane of daily events. Reading those letters today, we gain intimate insights into the lives of those who have gone before us. It made me stop and think. In this age of hastily typed e-mails, what kind of record are we leaving behind for our great-grandchildren? Not only is e-mail correspondence quickly sent and just as quickly deleted, it also lacks the well-thought-out phrases found in letters of old. Our predecessors tended to be far more articulate than most of us are today. It makes me sad to think of those losses, and determined to recover some of them in my own life. I have new purpose behind my blogging and I've set a goal to hand write at least two letters each month.

I'm hoping that my commitment to writing will rub off on my children and that it will inspire a love of writing in them as well.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Do you ever have days where you have to stop and pray that God would not give you quite so many opportunities to exercise patience? Today has been one of those days. We've had sibling spats, fits over chores, disrespectful attitudes, and to top it all off my two-year-old tracked Georgia red clay from the front door to the kitchen before I even realized what was happening. Ugh! So I've taken lots of deep breaths, done lots of praying and this is the answer I received: I need to do as I say and not as I tend to do. I need to do what I am constantly telling the kids to do and find something to be grateful for.

I am grateful that my children are healthy and able to run, even if it is with muddy shoes.
I am grateful that God has blessed me with three loving little boys.
I am grateful that He has allowed me to stay home and disciple my children, that I might deal biblically with their heart issues and guide them back to the ways of the Lord.
I am grateful that my children are generally quick to repent when I reprove them.
I am especially thankful that I am never alone in my struggles. My Heavenly Father is always with me, providing a way out, training my heart just like I'm training the hearts of my children.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Day

Yes, I'm quite prolific today. I guess I'm going through blog withdrawals. I just thought I'd share a bit of what I have accomplished today. Aside from the normal school and housework routine, I have also completed some notebooking pages to use with hymn study as well as copywork pages for our hymn of the month. Our church prints a family worship guide in the bulletin each week which includes a hymn of the month. (If you are interested in using it in your own home, you can find it here.) We sing the hymn each morning during worship and use it for copywork and sometimes memorization. Both documents can be found at my Homeschool Launch page.

Also, I thought I'd share another recipe. We've been working on getting healthier and slimming down a bit (a cruise looming on the horizon is great motivation!). I found a great recipe for Harvest Muffins which are very healthy and practically fat-free. Honestly, I was expecting them to be dry and disgusting, but they are surprisingly moist and delicious. Each muffin contains 171 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 5 grams protein, 1 gram fiber.

Harvest Muffins
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
2 1/3 cups oats processed in blender until finely ground
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 jar (4 oz) carrot baby food puree
1 cup grated peeled carrots
1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup water (use a bit less if using agave nectar)
1/2 cup raisins
3 egg whites, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine rolled oats with ground oats, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix well and set aside.
In medium bowl, mix together honey, vanilla, applesauce, carrot puree, grated carrots, juice concentrate and water; pour into oat mixture. Stir to blend. Stir in raisins. Gently mix in egg whites. Do not over mix.
Using nonstick muffin pan, fill each muffin cup with batter
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes and remove muffins from pan.

Catechism Bookmarks

The newest catechism bookmarks are up at my homeschool launch site. If you are working through this book in a different spot and would like bookmarks, please let me know and I will create them for you. Enjoy learning!

A Much-Needed Vacation

If you ask me, one of the best ways to relax is on a beach with your family, and we were long overdue! The last few years we have spent our vacation time in Naples, FL visiting with Andrew's mom as she battled breast cancer. Our vacation this year coincided with the one-year anniversary of her passing, so it was a bittersweet time. We spent five days in Myrtle Beach at the Dunes Village Resort. I highly recommend this hotel! We loved everything about it: the room, the staff, the facilities, the beach, everything. O.K., except for the fire alarm and evacuation at 12:30 in the morning. It was stormy one night and the wind blew so hard that it set off one of the fire alarms. We were very thankful that there was no fire but it was a bit scary nonetheless. Other than that, we had a fantastic time.

We spent most of our time on the beach and at the on-site water park just relaxing and having fun. We did venture out to do some shopping, play some miniature golf at Broadway at the Beach, and attend the local Greek Festival. I love Greek food and pigged out on spanikopita, Greek roasted potatoes, loukoumades, and chocolate baklava. Yum!! I was so in love with the roasted potatoes that I came home and tried to find one just like it. This one is extremely close:

Greek Style Potatoes
3T olive oil
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
3/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp chicken boullion
ground black pepper and salt to taste
1/2 tsp oregano
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, oregano, boullion, salt and pepper.
Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of a medium baking dish. Pour the olive oil mixture over the potates and stir to coat. Cover and bake 1 hour, turning occasionally. Remove cover and continue to bake until potatoes are tender and most of liquid has evaporated. Yum!!

I am so thankful for the time to get away together and enjoy being a family. It was really a blessing and did us all a world of good!