Tuesday, June 26, 2012

EXCITED about Allergies???

So a few months ago I had an allergy test taken.  Here is what I learned that was so incredibly helpful for me:

There are 2 types of "allergies" the IgE allergies which are TRUE allergies - these are things that can cause serious life thretening and sudden reactions like anaphlactic reactions.  Then there are IGg "allergies" which are actually not true allergies at all - they are food sensitivities which are more transient than true allergies.  The reactions IgG sensitivities cause can take longer to show up - a few days, and they can be a wide range of symptoms.  They can even cause inflamation that doesn't seem to have immediate symptoms but that can make your body have a heavy load of inflamation over the years. 

All these years I though that if I ate a food I was "allergic" to and didn't have a reaction that I could tell was a reaction than it wasn't a big deal if I ate that food.  When my doctor sat down and explained how even the inflamation I have that might be caused by auto-immune disease (which they have now confirmed by blood tests I do have some type of issue with my immune system) can be made worse by eating the foods I have sensitivities to - it was a lightbulb moment for me.  I did have three true allergies (which are not too hard to avoid considering one is shellfish which I hate anyway) but I had some other IGg sensitivities too.  So I began avoiding my allergies and sensitivitives religiously.  And I have noticed a BIG difference in how I feel - in particular in my fatigue and achiness and joint pain. 

I was perfect on my allergies for about 2 months before I let myself think that the change in how I was feeling was because of avoiding them.  I have "cheated" a few times lately - and I definately feel it when I do!   I'm not saying that following a strict allergy diet will take away every problem with my health, but I am just so thankful that I have one very good tool to help manage everything and feel a LOT better!   It feels so freeing to know that I can control some of my symptoms somewhat through what I eat.  This couldn't have come at a better time as my work and home responsibilities are a lot right now.  I thank God for leading me to a doctor who was willing to take the time to explain in detail how things like different allergies can affect the inflamation level in my body.

So, if you have had allergies tested and don't feel like eating the foods on your list makes you feel a lot worse - remember that it may be that eating your food sensitivities is building up in your system and causing things or making them worse that you think are just a "normal" part of your life!  Take the test seriously and see what happens!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Father's Day and Growing Carrots

I have heard a lot of talk around Mother's Day about people who are infertile and how hard it is for the woman longing to be a mother to handle Mother's Day.  While I will admit that I do long to be a mama - Mother's Day is really not that painful to me.  I focus on celebrating my wonderful (best EVER!) Mama and my sisters who are also amazing moms.  I do long for the day when I can be in this exciting miraculous club of motherhood - but Mother's Day isn't the hardest for me.  Father's Day is much harder.  Maybe it's because I am the reason my Farmer Boy is not a Daddy.  Maybe it's because I see him playing with our nieces and nephews and I know he would be an incredible father.  Maybe it's because I am overwhelmed with his love - that he would choose to give up ever having a biological child to be my faithful husband.  Maybe it's because sometimes, when he doesn't think I am watching, I see that look in his eye when my nephew lays his little head on his shoulder, or when our godchildren run up and hug him.  I know he is experiencing pain and the uncertainty we are facing.  I know he wants to be a Daddy.

And I hope he will be.  I do feel that in his heart he already is a father - he loves our Someday Babies so deeply, and he reminds me so often that he is thinking of them, praying for them, and working hard to find them and bring them home.  He deserves to be honored on the holiday dedicated to fathers.  So this year I went shopping and found something just to let him know that I appreciate the love he is giving already to our unknown children.   I didn't know what to get - but when I found a tiny board book that was published in 1948 - I knew it was perfect.  It was called "The Carrot Book" and told the story about a little boy who planted a carrot seed.  Everyone told him it would never come up.  But he faithfully watered and weeded the garden.  Everyone discouraged him and kept saying it would never grow.  But he didn't give up.  And then one day - it came up!  He had never given up and he grew a beautiful big carrot.  Silly story maybe - but I thought it fit and described everything I was feeling about my brave and determined Husband. 

He will be an amazing Daddy someday.

Oh and have I mentioned lately how head over heels in love I am with my Farmer Boy?  :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Living for Jesus

The style of this hymn shows how unpopular it is in current circles - I literally couldn't find a more modern version on UTube.  When I was little my parents used to introduce us kids to a new hymn every week.  I chose this one as my life hymn.  I think it was because my name means "truthful one" so the fact that this hymn says: "a life that is true" felt like it was made for me.  I remember dusting the living room in our little house when I was about 12 and singing this hymn and feeling so close to Jesus. 

Somehow with adulthood it is harder to hold onto that childlike simple faith.  Things get busy, responsibilities weigh so heavily sometimes I feel like I will break under to weight, the pain of those around me weighs me down ... But i want that childlike simple faith.

Recently my sweet Farmer Boy played this hymn for me on his guitar and it reminded me of that childhood feeling of deep faith and simple trust in my Lord and Savior.  And I realized that it isn't just a child that can have that kind of faith.  The important thing is to let go and trust.  A child doesn't have as many things to let go of - so maybe faith and simple trust comes easier.  As an adult I have to decide to let go of my concerns and worries and trust that the most important thing I can do with my time is to live for Jesus a life that is true.   I'm learning that if I don't put that as my top priority I don't have the strength and peace to get through the rest of the messy adult stuff.  

My greatest treasure the light of His smile.  That's the focus I need every day.

Monday, June 4, 2012

How God used a baby girl to teach me His love

I was overjoyed to be out of the house and at our wonderful church service with my Farmer Boy, the sermon was great, the songs were worshipful, even the announcements made me smile.  One second I was singing: "He Loves me, oh how He loves me ..."

...and then I saw her.  

She was about as far from where we were sitting as she could be - all the way on the opposite side of the sanctuary - and she was so tiny in a room so full of people it's crazy that I even noticed her.  A perfect baby girl - she looked only about 2 weeks old.  Her mama was supporting her little head with her hand as she slept on her shoulder - all wrapped up in pink and looking so peaceful.   And suddenly I couldn't seem to swallow.  I am ashamed of the first thought that popped into my head as I kept trying to sing the words that now felt like they were choking me: "He loves me ..." - but in my mind I heard: "He doesn't love me because He hasn't given me a baby". 

I knew immediately that that lie was not from God but from the enemy and the father of lies.  I know that God's love is not limited or only expressed through the gifts He gives to His children.  I know fully that sometimes God's love is even experienced best through times of suffering or loss.  I know all of this, but that didn't stop that lie from resting for a moment in my mind.  I choked back tears through the rest of the service.  Partly because I couldn't stop looking at that baby but mostly because I was sorry that that thought had even crossed my mind.  I was frustrated that seeing a beautiful baby from a distance could bring back so much grief - shouldn't I be over that now?   I want to be done. 

And maybe it was more powerful last night because over the past few weeks God has been doing something new in my heart.  Ever so gently over and over I have heard Him say: "Would you follow Me wherever I ask you to go, even if you didn't have a guarantee of there being a baby at the other end?"  For so long I used my infertility as an excuse - like because God allowed me to loose my one deepest desire on earth, that I could hold it over His head - "God you can't be asking me to go there because You after all know that my main goal now is to become a mama", "You know that I can't do that because it would be putting off what we've already put off and I don't want to have kids when I'm much older than I am now!"  Now, while I do believe God guides me through circumstances sometimes, I also believe that if we get to attached to our plan we can miss out on what He has for us that might be so much better than anything we could imagine! 

So last night God used a tiny pink baby to pry my fingers off the last thread of my own plans.  To test the truth that He loves me even if I never do have a baby to call my own.  To make me believe all over again that He loves me even if life doesn't go my way.  His love is not less when His blessings are deeper than what we can see at first glance. 

None of this means we are stopping our pursuit of adoption - but just that we are seeking His plan and not holding Him hostage or putting Him in our box of how the next 5 years should look.  This doesn't change the longing in my deepest heart for a baby.  It doesn't take away the feeling that I'm a mother without a child. 

But -

"He love me, oh how He loves me."
I believe this with all of my being tonight.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The HIKE! (a photo journey)

A couple posts ago I mentioned the great hike my Sweetness and I went on - that was a little piece of heaven in the midst of a chaotic and upside down month.  I wanted to share some photos so you can see for yourself what a wonderful day it was!
A distant view of our destination: The ice caves at the base of the Big Four.

He was so happy to go on a hike - made me determined to keep up!

Getting closer to the ice caves and having fun just being alone with my best friend along the way.  We spent time singing: "Lucky to be Loved by My Best friend, lucky to have been where we have been, lucky to be coming home again ..."  It was SO much fun!

Too beautiful for words.

Thankful for a dum dum in the bottom of Joshua's backback after hiking for 2 hours I needed some sugar!  At this point we were higher up the hills and the cool of snow was refreshing.

Made it!  (although the actual ice ceaves we burried under the snow).  It was amazing and breathtaking. 
Closest I'd ever been to a mountian (other than in a car driving through). 


My Rock on top of another rock.  Love my outdoorsy Farmer Boy!

One moment I was snapping above pic - and the next I was in a hole.  Narrowly missed the undersnow creek to my left and landed on a bunch of rocks.  I know I'm nuts but all I kept thinking was that I had fallen into some kind of undergound bear cave ... hence the look on my face.

After this my Husband picked me up out of the hole and I literally ran down the hill for fear of the bears in my imagination.

If you take a map to: "the middle of nowhere"  this is where you would end up.  And it's pretty amazing as long as you're with the Love of your life.

The path.

Well, that was our amazing hike!  We hiked for 4 hours and covered six miles!  Pretty good for a little non-hiker wimpy type right?  Watch out I'm getting tougher by the second!