Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Taking Things For Granted

Up until recently, i surveyed my life from a very stagnant point of view. It was the same old, same one, new day, same schedule of events. Over the past week, however, i have been taught not to take anything for granted. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, and all you have thought about your future can be questioned.

So i am embarking on a new journey: Daily Appreciation of Life as it Happens.

To do this, i am going to be blogging about our day and what i appreciated about it. This is going to have the side benefit of being something my children and i can look back on for years to come, a reminder of life as we experienced it... the life that was well-lived and not taken for granted.

Today, we began a project with recyclables, little historical action figures, some craft supplies, the woodworking tools, and some fake snow. This project grew in detail over the course of my children's imaginings, so it will likely be days-long. I promise to post pictures. That will help us remember what we've done... where our imaginations took us... and the fun we have together.

Life is not a series of schedules that blend into each other. But it can sure feel that way sometimes! I hope you will consider your own circumstances... do you take things for granted? Do you get ho-hum about certain areas of your life? Are there things you fail to appreciate?

Have a beautiful day, full of joy (because joy is a choice!), appreciation (better than whining, no?), and a life lived to the fullest.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Within the Gray

I've understood that i live within the gray areas of life for some time now. I've even begun to say that out loud in several circumstances. And today, as i am emotionally dealing with a lot of things in my life, i am aware of yet another way i live within the gray: my sick kids.

Okay, so my children don't have cancer. Or leukemia. Or diabetes. Or autism. Or cerebral palsy. And for that, i truly am thankful.

However, my children (and i) are still sick. We are just not overtly sick. We live with inflammation, headaches, nausea, bloody stools, hyperactivity, vaccine intolerance, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities. My kids live with food sensitivities, dietary restrictions, and many issues surrounding food. (And in case you haven't noticed, you can't really cut food out of your life.)

So, while i am not the least bit sad that we are not facing some terminal illness like cancer or some debilitating condition like cerebral palsy, it is sometimes frustrating that the things we are dealing with are invisible to the rest of the world.  Example: if you feed my youngest child commercially available fruit-flavored candy, she will behave like a lunatic who has zero self-control for at least 30 minutes. Another? If my middle child eats too much cheese, he'll not only swell until he looks like he's gained 5 pounds, but he'll poop enough blood to resemble a crime scene. And that is the little stuff!

And this is not a pity party; not in the least! I am just determined that we get the word out in this country that our current food producers are killing us. And the government is standing guard - not over us, though, but over the businesses feeding us the crap that is killing us.

We have GOT to take back control over our health in this country. And it starts with EACH of us. I, for one, and going to grow more of my own food than ever before. And i live in a suburb with a mere 1/4 acre of land!

I really believe that 2013 is the year we take back our health. There is more and more coming out about our food, and we have a choice to make: ignore it all and keep getting sick, or take charge and demand change. But be willing to change what you buy and what you eat if you think you are going to demand change - money talks!

And remember: choices are rich with opportunity, and while change can be frightening, it also brings with it the perfect opportunity for positive growth.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

"Free Book" [a review]

As a member of BookSneeze, I received a copy of Free Book, written by Brian Tome, to read and review. I liked the idea of the book because I believe we Americans have a lot of freedoms other countries don't, and I also believe that we Christians are free from things other religions are not... yet we too often live as if we are bound by rules and stipulations rather than free in Christ.

Overall, I must proclaim that Christ came to set us free, and that is definitely Tome's point. He starts by breaking the ties to "religion" and establishing our "New Identity" in Christ Jesus. With that out of the way, he proceeds through a couple of things that might be hurdles to feeling free: forgiveness and strongholds. These issues are bigger than most people understand fully, even in the Christian world, and he does a good job of breaking them down.

Then he proceeds into the spirit realm, and he talks about all the ways we allow the enemy to muddle our thoughts and plant seeds of destruction with his lies. This was my favorite part of the book. I've long been the victim of toxic thoughts and lies fed to me by the enemy, and with my newfound identity in Christ, it is encouraging to see that it a) is fairly normal, and b) can be overcome!

Finally, the author concludes that God allows our freedom, though consequences exist in response to our choices. He doesn't deny that there are things that will mess up a person's life, but he challenges us to see past the worry, fear, bitterness, anger, resentment, and tangle of rules we live by. To evict the shame and sin that hold us captive. And just be free.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from BookSneeze with the understanding that I would review it honestly. A positive review was not expected or required, just deserved.