making healthier choices for my family

As Zane gets older, I have more time on my hands to make healthier decisions… Not! 😉 I just felt like writing that for kicks. Regardless of time, lately I’ve been exploring different ways to be healthier in our lives. Interestingly, my decision to make the following changes is not because I’m extreme with health or preserving the Earth, but rather, makes sense to me and the needs of our family. So what have I been up to these days in this realm of motherhood and family life??

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Making healthy muesli balls for morning tea.

A. Cloth diapering: Up until several months ago, I had bought two cloth diapers and used it here and there when I felt like it. To save on a disposable diaper made me feel good. I knew much about cloth diapers since I have friends who utilize them full-time but couldn’t be inconvenienced, nor committed to the additional washings. Well, one thing led to the next (with coming across some exceptional deals on cloth diapers), and now I am a cloth diaper user (except at night). Aside from the health benefits of going this route on Zane’s bum, the money we save and will recoup in the future if I sell them, far exceeds disposable diapers. For me, there’s something fulfilling about being kinder to the environment by reusing diapers and seeing his diapers hang dry. (I know, I’m weird ;)) I plan on using them on baby #2.

B. Cooking from scratch and limiting our consumption of processed foods: When I tried figuring out what irritated Zane’s tummy at night, thus causing wake ups, I’ve deduced that it has largely to do with dairy and processed foods intake. No, I haven’t had him tested, but I’ve co-slept with him and live and breathe him 24-7 to know what goes in and out, and his aches and pains. Since I’ve eliminated cow’s milk from his diet and only feed him foods that I either make from scratch or have tested out slowly, he sleeps through the night and is less sick. No more upset stomachs, chronic ear infections, and body rashes. I discovered one of the culprits was processed chicken nuggets from the supermarket, even the organic kind. So now I use my Philips air fryer and make my own free range chicken nuggets. Always a winner! In general, I do a lot more cooking and trying new recipes so that I can ensure we have yummy, healthy food. My boys are happy. :-)

C. Essential oils: Up until Zane was close to two, he was sick at least twice a month. Often I’d take him to the doctors and feed him all the antibiotics they instructed me to give him. Looking back, I believe it wasn’t all necessary. Especially now that I’ve come across essential oils. Again, I have many friends who use this stuff and never was fully interested or committed. It seemed so fluffy to me. Well, one thing led to another (of course I came across an exceptional deal) and now I  own eleven DoTerra oils. I started researching their uses and after each application when an ailment arose, the specific oil remedied it. It was quick and magical! Even Daniel agrees it’s effective! Since using these oils, our family is healthier in terms of less sicknesses (if at all) and we haven’t consumed pharmaceutical drugs for stomach aches, canker sores, colds, etc. I even use it in our laundry, cleaning supplies, and as a sleep aid. I highly recommend you check it out!

So there you have it, a little bit of what I’ve been up to. We are all doing well and it seems life just passes way too quickly. I’m 30 weeks pregnant!! I hope to blog more in the coming weeks. Write to you then. Xx

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walking in God’s will

When I’ve taken tests to evaluate how I operate, time and time again, I’ve been termed a “doer,” or “action-oriented.” The results haven’t surprised me, but have given me a label I can use for myself. These labels are very true. More often than not, my desires and plans come into fruition. For example, when I said I was going to study abroad in Australia, I made it happen. Saved enough money, enrolled in productive courses, bought my own airfare, and was on my way. When I’m thinking of buying a specific product, I will do it. I’ll do my research, shop around, and make the purchase. Or, if I want to be part of a Christians mom group, I will find one to be a part of. What Daniel and I have in common is that we don’t just talk fluffy about our grand plans in life, or in general, make a desirable statement or commitment we don’t follow through on. We are doers and we do well. 😉 We did well when we weren’t walking intimately with Christ, but now we doing even better as Christians. How’s that possible though?!
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Let me explain to my best of abilities. Before I truly knew Jesus, I worked hard. I mapped out my goals, wrote down accomplishments that would get me there, had a timeline, etc. I was an extreme doer who felt I needed to take control of my life in order for it to be successful and to become the life I dreamt for myself. All this controlling and working from my own strength (and I’m a strong gal!!) exhausted me, left me empty, lonely, unhappy, purposeless, and the like. Yes, I had all the accolades and experiences to assign to my name, but had I grown from life lessons? Had I truly loved and served others? Had I enjoyed my life journey and been present? No, no, no. Putting my faith in God and seeking His will has been a life changing process. It’s no longer about me and my selfish desires. (I still forget this sometimes). I pray to try to discover what God wants me to do in each situation, person, and the future. Yes, Daniel and I make our plans, but they are drenched in prayer before, during, and afterwards in thanksgiving. I also don’t “work” as hard being a doer. God guides me with prompts regarding new challenges for personal growth, knowledge about Him and His word, and how to serve others. And don’t get me wrong, walking in His will has many down moments. But regardless, I’m a lot more peaceful, content, and rested as a result. And furthermore, I’m very happy. I know it’s not on me to make this life of mine worthwhile; I’ve got a Heavenly Father who is leading the way. I just have to believe and obey. His ways are better than my ways.

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i think a lot

I am fully aware I think a lot. For the good, and for the bad. Interestingly, when I was a young girl/ teenager, I didn’t know what to make of this typical behavior I partook in a lot. It did me good when I’d counsel adults and peers with their life dilemmas, but it did me bad when sometimes people didn’t know how to respond to my depth and reflections. I’d be told I was a “deep thinker,” but was left just with that description. What was an unguided gal to think of herself? Is it OK to have depth, to ask meaningful questions, to want to know the rationale behind actions and words? And why couldn’t people answer my questions or engage in deep conversation?! No one actually helped me to understand who I was through the lens of being a person who “thinks a lot.” Therefore, as I got older, I thought the best way to self-protect myself was by just keeping my thoughts to myself. Thus, I wrote poetry, wrote in my diary, and stored them in my head. Could you imagine how suppressing that was over the years?
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It was not until my early 20s did I have opportunities to unveil some of my thoughts (bravely). The first was through online journaling during my Masters program in school counseling. Weekly I’d have to journal and I didn’t think twice about what I wrote. My professor who read my entries apparently saw a “human” side to me he had never known. I had depth that he didn’t see from interacting with me frequently. That was a big eye opener for me because I realized my suppression of that side of me hindered others from getting to know the real me. Instead, all they knew was the business, “let’s get things done,” part of me in a school or work setting. That day forward, I had to make an intentional effort to share more of me and my thoughts with others. The second opportunity, which has been a significant and brave move for me, was when I started this blog. For many years I felt called to create it, but postponed it because I was fearful of judgment, felt insecure, and in general, thought, “who cares what I think!!” Thankfully I did moved forward. It’s been nearly three years! This opportunity has released me to grow more into who I am, my calling, and best of all, influence others. Finally, I see good in my tendency to “think a lot.” People write me to say they can relate, that my transparency spoke to them, is used as a devotional, etc. How humble and blessed it makes me feel! So, yes, sometimes I need to tone down my excessive thinking (especially if it isn’t productive), but overall, I need to remind myself that God created me this way and if utilized effectively, it can bless others.

If you think a lot too, I encourage you to find the most fitting avenues to express all your thoughts. Don’t suppress them. Be thankful for this characteristic about yourself. Others do want to hear your thoughts. :-)

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