Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Whole 30: Day 1

I'm not sure if I will blog about this every day of the challenge, but I kind of want to capture this journey.

Day one of The Whole 30 done! I'm combining it with some additional supplements and a Facebook break, too. This 30 day (I may go longer) challenge is exactly what I needed to break my current food habits and build some new ones to start eating more real, whole, healthy foods. It's my crunchy boot camp to get me eating the way I know I should be but haven't taken the time to put into practice yet. I'm also trying to break some unhealthy time-management habits-- too much Facebook!

I've been preparing the last week or so. I have a plan for meals and I did my grocery shopping yesterday based on that plan. I know what I'm going to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Sooo hoping that this habit carries over once the challenge is done! It's so helpful!) That made day one pretty easy meal-wise. I had some snack cravings after lunch, but otherwise, I've been feeling full and feeling good.

I also made two "food discoveries" thanks to the Whole 30 stretching me to look for approved meal options.

First, on my salads, I tried a mixture of mostly white wine vinegar and a little red wine vinegar, as well as olive oil. It tasted just like the vinegar at Subway! (Found the "recipe" earlier this week through a google search, here.) I was pretty pumped that it was legit! It really does taste just like Subway!

I also had spaghetti squash for the first time today-- easy "noodles!" So fun! Glad I had learned of these through my mama group on Facebook. It was about time I finally tried it! I'll have to see if I can find a Whole 30 approved marinara sauce and try that out on it.

The hardest part, honestly, was staying off Facebook today! I was not expecting that. I was surprised by the urge to constantly check for notifications, on my phone or on the computer. The addiction is strong, people! And also realizing how much time I had been spending that I was able to spend with my boys, preparing my whole food meals, or other things today. I love all my Facebook friends and the groups I participate in on there, but I also spent too much time browsing and then getting sucked into random links and videos. Breaking that habit now! When I go back I hope to have some healthy boundaries set so that my time spent on Facebook will be about connecting and not just wasting time. That's the goal anyway!

So that is day one! Blessings!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Testimony of Transitions

I've been away from this blog for a few months. Let me tell you the testimony of God's faithfulness and provision in my season of transitions.

Back in September, I attended the first annual picnic at the Morning Star birth center and mentioned to the director my dream of becoming a midwife. She informed me of a midwife's assistant workshop that was happening in a couple months and encouraged me to go for it soon if I wanted to go the apprenticeship route. It was a spark that lit a fire in me that became a blaze!

It seemed impossible, but I wanted more than anything to attend and start pursuing this heart dream. The morning of the 21st, I laid my requests before God (Phil 4:6). I wanted to go to a Graham Cooke conference, attend the Prepare Ministries' Passion & Purity weekend, and attend the midwife's assistant workshop, if this was indeed His timing for me to pursue becoming a midwife. We only had one car, so transportation was an issue, as well as cost (about $1500 total!) and childcare. It all looked impossible.

That evening I saw this on Facebook:

Then, the very next day, I received a reply from the Duluth News Tribune to an email I had sent weeks before and forgotten about regarding paper routes. The biggest route available was in Woodland (my first choice) and over the course of three months or so on that route, I would make enough to cover everything I had asked for and more! Suddenly, things weren't looking so impossible!

God began speaking to my heart that I was in a season of transition. I would be transitioning back to work and using this season of transition to launch into my dream. We were (and still are) working on potty training and weaning, more transitions there, and schedules were transitioning as Nathaniel began reffing football in the evenings.

But God had a double meaning in choosing that specific word to speak to this aspiring midwife's heart. You see, if you know birth, transition has a very specific meaning in that context. It's when a woman is dilating from 8 to 10 cm and it marks the shift to the pushing stage. It's a challenging and emotional period of intensive stretching right before birth. God was speaking to my heart that this was the season of transition and next would come the time to PUSH for the birth of my dream!

So I was using all of my birth thinking to get me through that tough season. I knew words and how I thought about it were important. In birth, I refused to speak in terms of pain, but rather spoke of the hard work of contractions, and I focused on the prize of the coming birth. I did the same for this season, choosing positive words and focusing on why I was doing it. Transition is hard, but worth it. It's necessary to get to the birth. I even modified one of my birth mantras to help me remember. Instead of "Every contraction brings me closer to my baby" it was "Every paper brings me closer to helping those mamas and babies!"

In early October, God also resolved my transportation issue through the generosity of my parents. I told my dad that we were looking at getting a second car, because he has helped my sisters find really great used cars at good prices. Within a week, he had discussed it with my mom and they offered us her car for about half it's value! And just like that, we had a much nicer second car than we could have hoped or asked for! Now I could get where I needed to go!

With provision and transportation taken care of, child care was easy! My mom or my husband were able to take care of the boys for each event. I got to go to the conference, the ministry weekend, and the workshop. I also got certified in CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation.

I'll be honest, it was a tough, intense season like transition is in birth. Plus I faced interrupted sleep, illness, and injury. It was a battle. And if I had known everything about what goes into a paper route before hand, I probably wouldn't have done it. But God kept giving me just enough information to take the next step and then He carried me through when I learned the rest and thought it was too much. I had asked and He provided a way. It was not easy, but it was worth it because I was pressing on toward a prize, my dream! "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4)

I presented my requests to God and He truly did immeasurably more than I could have asked or imagined (Eph 3:20). I watched as every seemingly impossible obstacle melted away. He provided and arranged for everything and I saw that "Nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:37) as I moved toward the beginning of this dream.

Now I am done with my paper route, my season of transition is over, and it's my time to push into the birth of my dream as I reach out to midwives and seek a place to start as an apprentice or an assistant. Once again, I am laying my requests before Him and I am waiting and watching with confident expectation to see how He provides and where He leads. (Psalm 5:3, Hebrews 11:1, Psalm 130:5-6)

The One who calls me is faithful, and He will do it. (1 Thess 5:24)