Taking Stock

GirlsI’m stealing this from my cousin who stole it from a blog who stole it from another blog. After something’s been stolen at least three times it’s fair game, right?

Making: progress on settling into our apartment. (Yeah…it’s taking me awhile.)
Eating: belated ice cream cake for my patient hubby.
Drinking: freshly-squeezed orange juice made from organic California oranges!
Reading: Stepping Heavenward, The Maze Runner, The Unfinished Church, and about four other books.
Wanting: this amazing stage of pregnancy to take its time.
Looking: for a changing table on Craigslist.
Playing: Dots. It’s a game that I tell myself keeps my “baby brain” sharp.
Wasting: the homemade gluten free mac n cheese I didn’t quite finish eating in time to save.
Wishing: I could share the gospel with our baby and have him understand and embrace it right now.
Enjoying: a quieter week with no vacant apartments to rent!
Waiting: to hit the road for a weekend in San Jose with the fam!
Cherishing: last memories with a dear seminary friend who will be moving away in two weeks.
Liking: our air conditioning.
Wondering: what baby Caleb will look like.
Loving: The Valley of Vision and Isaiah in the mornings.
Missing: everyone we love back home.
Hoping: the baby comes a week ahead of schedule.
Marveling: at the tiny hands and feet that are poking and kicking me throughout the day.
Needing: a long-overdue pedicure.
Smelling: nothing in particular, which is just fine with me.
Wearing: an elastic-wasted skirt and one of just a few shirts that still fits right.
Following: the Seattle Mariners and their sudden burst of momentum.
Noticing: how much I have to do before we leave on that little road trip tomorrow…
Knowing: that I am pardoned and loved by an amazing Savior.
Thinking: about which corner of the living room will become baby’s nursery.
Feeling: hot and sleepy.
Craving: more orange juice. One can never have enough.

My Journey to Better Health {Part 1}

1459967_10152490236018109_7490556494908558576_nThere’s a lot of controversy these days about gluten free, paleo, and healthy eating in general. Many swear by these lifestyle changes, while others claim that their apparent effects are mostly if not entirely placebo. I think this is a case-by-case issue, and while many people (celiac, for example) are dangerously allergic to gluten, there are also thousands of self-proclaimed gluten intolerant people who have no real sensitivity.

I thought I would take a few posts to tell my “story” in case any of the things I used to experience might help someone else pinpoint and cure their problems. I’m an entirely different person from who I was about a year-and-a-half ago, and I believe it is mostly due to some major diet changes. At the same time, I know that the mind is incredibly powerful and is directly linked to our bodies and their well-being, so I’m willing to recognize that some of my improvements may have been due to the placebo effect, although I doubt it. Quite frankly, I don’t really care, because placebo or not, I feel like a new person.

Warning: I am going to spare few medical details, so if you are easily grossed out or don’t want to hear about my past physical ailments, read no further. 

I visited a naturopath in September of 2012. I was originally going because my cycle was virtually nonexistent. I could go months without a period (as in six or more), and then have two heavy periods back to back in the span of a few weeks. This caused a number of hormonal irregularities and frustrations. As I spoke with my naturopath about other symptoms in my life and began verbalizing how I felt a lot of the time, I realized I had a lot more problems that I just thought were normal.

I felt sick almost every single morning, and the earlier I got up, the worse it was. It wasn’t exactly a nausea, in fact it’s very hard to explain. It was like a really heavy gut feeling and a yucky taste in my throat. Let’s just say getting out of bed was extremely difficult. Diarrhea in the morning was normal for me, and if not, it meant I was constipated.

I was also low on energy, and I felt lethargic and sort of foggy-brained most afternoons. But all of these symptoms had come on so gradually over the course of a few years, that I had come to accept them as normal and just thought everyone must feel like crap in the morning and deal with constant digestive trouble.

Happily, I was wrong, and there was no reason for me to continue living this way. Enter God’s gracious care by way of a naturopath.

To be continued…

Prayer for the Philippines Day 9

Photo courtesy of theguardian.com.

10 Days of Prayer for the Philippines

Day 9

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Dear Lord, we continue to pray for Filipinos who are in just the beginning stages of the long road to restoration after Typhoon Haiyan. We pray that You would help believers around the globe to reach out in prayer and other means of support. Give US churches who support missionaries in the Philippines opportunities to use that connection as a way of helping some of the families affected. Please give wisdom to pastors as to how to most effectively use the resources donated for their congregations and other people nearby. Please encourage the Filipinos with letters and emails from people elsewhere who are praying for them. Thank You for modern technology and how it enables us to stay connected.

Prayer for the Philippines Day 8

10 Days of Prayer for the Philippines

Day 8

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Romans 3:23-25)

Dear Lord, thank You for Your mercy toward sinners and Your incredible offer of forgiveness and grace through Jesus Christ. Thank You that Your gift of salvation is available to everyone, regardless of age, race, or socioeconomic status. Thank You that You have the power to reach each heart that You choose to, know matter where it is. We pray for those who You physically rescued from Typhoon Haiyan, that You would bring the gospel to them and give spiritual salvation. We pray that this tragedy would cause Your truth to spread throughout the Philippines, and that it would fall on hearts that are ready to repent and turn to You.  

Prayer for the Philippines Day 7

Photo courtesy of www.timeslive.co.za.

Photo courtesy of http://www.timeslive.co.za.

10 Days of Prayer for the Philippines

Day 7

Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose. Isaiah 46:9-10

Dear Lord, we continue to lift up the people ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan. Please be with those working through the rubble, recovering survivors and bodies. Give them stamina and emotional strength as they do this heartbreaking work day after day. We pray that you would provide wisdom and efficiency to the crews working on the restoration process. We also pray that as much as possible, you would protect little eyes from the gruesome sights being uncovered, and that you would shelter them from some of the devastation. Thank You for caring about each person involved. We continue to pray that the gospel would go forward in the midst of this tragedy.

Prayer for the Philippines Day 6

Photo courtesy of mashable.com.

Photo courtesy of mashable.com.

10 Days of Prayer for the Philippines

Day 6

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15)

Dear Father, we know that some of the people who lost their lives due to the typhoon are now with you, experiencing perfection and complete joy. We thank You that for the believer, to live is Christ and to die is gain. We pray that you would minister to church bodies who have lost precious brothers and sisters. Comfort them with the reality that Heaven is for all of Your children. Give them an eternal mindset even as they grieve, and use their loss to spark anew a desire to glorify You every day, knowing that our time here on earth is short. Inspire them to more faithful evangelism and give them boldness to share the hope You have given them. 

Prayer for the Philippines Day 5

Photo courtesy of www.nydailynews.com.

Photo courtesy of http://www.nydailynews.com.

10 Days of Prayer for the Philippines

Day 5

We’re halfway through our 10 days of prayer for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. I hope God has used this as a tool to remind some of us to be in prayer for people who are experiencing great trials. It is a blessing to bring these requests to Him.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

Dear Lord, today we pray for the people who are grieving the loss of family. For parents who have lost their children, for men and women who have lost their spouses, for boys and girls who have lost their parents or siblings. For those who do not know you, we pray that their grief would drive them to You, the only source of real hope and comfort, and that they would surrender their lives to You. For Christians who have experienced tragic loss, we ask that You enable them to mediate on what is true in the midst of their sorrow. Please keep them from doubting your faithfulness and love. May they cling to You and Your Word during this difficult time, and may others who watch their response to tragedy be drawn to the gospel because of their example. 

Prayer for the Philippines Day 4

Photo courtesy of www.theguardian.com.

Photo courtesy of http://www.theguardian.com.

10 Days of Prayer for the Philippines
Day 4

You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. (Nehemiah 9:6)

Dear Lord, we praise You for Your amazing creation and how You use it to bless us with food and many good things. Today we pray for the Filipinos who are without food. Poverty was already so prevalent in the Philippines, and now after the typhoon there are even more people in need of basic provisions. We pray that those who have would share, and those who do not would find their way to aid. Please be with fathers and mothers who are desperate to nourish their children, and give them wisdom in where to go to find help. Please help believers there to show the love of Christ by sharing what they can and reaching out wherever there is opportunity. We thank You that not one person in need has escaped Your sight. 

Prayer for the Philippines Day 3

Photo courtesy of www.telegraph.co.uk.

Photo courtesy of http://www.telegraph.co.uk.

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. (Proverbs 21:1)

Dear Lord, we thank You that You are sovereign over everything in life. Even rulers and authorities can do nothing apart from Your control. We pray that You would move in the hearts of those in the Filipino government at all levels, that each one would have wisdom in the aftermath of the typhoon. Please give them genuine care for those under them and help them to make compassionate choices in the best interest of their people. Cause them to use their resources wisely and implement practical plans for restoration and rebuilding of communities in the Philippines. Please work in their hearts, as well, and show them their need for a Savior so that they might love and serve their country to Your glory. 

Prayer for the Philippines Day 2

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Photo courtesy of RedCross.org

10 Days of Prayer for the Philippines

Day 2

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)

Dear Father, we thank You that You know each person caught in Typhoon Haiyan’s turmoil. While the Red Cross and many other organizations work for weeks and will never get an accurate head count, You see each individual right where they are at this moment and You have specific plans for them. I pray that You would encourage the workers who are handing out supplies or digging through rubble for survivors and bodies. If they know You, remind them of Your love and care. If they do not, please work through this experience to bring them to Yourself. Give them much grace and comfort as they witness the devastation first hand, and please use them to bring relief and love to the Filipinos who are suffering.