Settling In.

Ah, it feels like home. The Christmas tree was the first to go up, the beds are made and the fire has been roaring. Somehow, I’ve been able to keep the house mostly tidy, but I think I’m attributing that to the fact that we’ve spent less than half of our waking hours IN the house. I am so happy to be settling in to our farm house, and farm life, but let me suggest that moving the week before Christmas is not the best plan. In our case, it was mostly unavoidable. Lease terms and home rental legalities reigned in our decisions, but honestly?….

Sparing the rant, the past two weeks have been fueled by coffee and support from the incredible people in my life, including Sterling, my threenager. Yes, he has had his moments and napping has been sparse but I’m genuinely impressed with how well he has handled this extreme change in life style, and how much he is thriving! I shouldn’t be so surprised, but it’s been a joy watching him love this new season of life as much as I do.

We’ve overcome impressively low temperatures and serious snowfall on moving day, maintaining a 40 hour work/preschool week while adding in about half of our committed farm chores, last minute Christmas shopping and gift crafting, Staying up until all hours of the morning to finish the days’s “to-do” list, all while navigating life in a new town. It’s been awesome to see what I am capable of in an adaptive capacity, and has revealed strength in an area I should have been expecting to be challenged. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and its only been 12 days.

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Helping Ms. Beckie collect eggs

The end of December is a naturally reflective time of year. I do my best to live a thankful life and have found this wild, busy season to still be overwhelmed with things, moments, and people to be thankful for. In this moment I am incredibly thankful for learning to go to bed even if I haven’t put that rewarding check mark next to every task on my list for the day. Personal fact, I have a hard time going to sleep before tidying my room. Most nights, if I haven’t already, I’ll even make my bed before crawling in. I’m not so uptight about everything, but one of my quirks is obsessively tidying my room. I’ve even come to appreciate letting go of that.

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Peacocks on the roof.

In learning to stretch my adaptability, I’ve discovered a deeper thankfulness for the serenity prayer, and applying it a little more practically (as opposed to theoretically) to my life. Parenthood, and adulthood alike, demand people take more responsibility in life and I think I’ve been mistaking that as demand to be in control. I do not have control, nor do I need to take control of many aspects of life. I believe that to be a vital differentiation. Control puts the outcome of all things on your shoulders while responsibility only requires you to manage how you respond to the world and events around you. Many things are outside my control, but I can take responsibility for how I respond to those things and stop holding myself accountable to the things in which I have no sway anyway.

Danny Silk speaks about relationships in his teaching called Loving On Purpose and it struck me when he said, in regards to a parent responding harshly to a child’s poor choice,

” you say, “I do this because I love you” but that’s not true. You’re doing it because you want to control me.”

Two days later, I should have remembered this a little better, but thankfully I have someone I love to gently remind me.

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Perhaps his favorite, the baby chicks.

Sterling was eating cereal for a quick snack before a VERY late attempt at a nap. I was exhausted and wanted a nap myself. I sat on the couch while he finished up and as his hunger was quickly appeased he turned into his over-tired-silly-self. He started shoving his whole face into the bowl and looking up at Alex and I with the drippiest milk goatee and cheerio ‘stache I have EVER seen…. The grin on his face was adorable but my exhaustion lead me to tired-plea with him to stop goofing around, making a mess, and just eat. Without missing a beat Alex leans over and kindly reminds me to let him be 3.

I supposed in this situation I could have (and would have) tried to control Sterling, and hurry him off to a nap. I guarantee it would have led to a stressful fight toward the bed and absolutely no nap. Instead, we laughed at his silly personality, celebrated his goofiness and then he bounced off to a brief nap. I had no business controlling him, nor do I want to teach him that he should be controlled. I did take responsibility for how I responded, and turns out, we all had a better day for it. I wanted a peaceful surrounding, and went about it by trying to control my son, when instead I was much more successful by instead taking responsibility for my reaction, my inside world.

“If you put a pauper in a palace he will turn the palace into a prison. If you put a prince in into a prison he will turn the prison into a palace. That’s the story of Joseph. You always reproduce the environment around that you cultivate within you. ”
– Kris Vallotton

There is so much more to that quote, but for now, I’ll leave it at this.

It’s All In Your Head

I’m comforted to know that my heart is in the right place. There’s a guy who works at the restaurant with me and every time we interact, or I even walk near him, I have to seemingly restrain my body from reaching out to grab him while my mind screams “SEXXXXX!!!” That’s where the thought ends, immediately, And the red flags go up so I re-center my thoughts to a more productive frame. I am fully aware that this is not what I’m really looking for, and though I’ve been here before I’m certain that I’ve learned from my mistakes. Carnal instincts can be strong but my mind and spirit have grown stronger. Knowing too intimately the consequences of even entertaining these thoughts, it’s a lot easier to move away from this state of mind than it has been in the past.

Other times I am sitting alone and a group of young men walk past. They seem nice and I can’t help but acknowledge that I am deeply hoping they will strike up a conversation, sit for a moment – or a while and even if we don’t exchange names….maybe we could just exchange a few thoughts? It never happens. Not more than a single “hello” anyway. I don’t mind, I’m used to unfulfilled hopes at this point.

Occasionally I’ll meet someone who really sparks my interest. Maybe he’s a musician, dancer or some other kind of artist and I am intrigued. Maybe he has traveled to, or has a passion for the same countries as I. Maybe he’s just a genuine person and his transparency grabs my attention. In these sort of encounters I often imagine what It could be like to simply be taken to dinner and treated well for a change. Most of the time this happens when I see how happy my other friends are, in their adoring relationships that round out a lovely, happy family where even their new baby is smiling in the photo. I’m not ignorant to the natural challenges and struggles of relationships, but I do know that despite the rainy days, the rainbows are worth it.

Sometime a it’s as simple as sitting around a campfire with my whole family, having known all of these people since the day I was born, and still feeling un-known. Are you picking up in the theme? Intimacy, in any instance outside that of a mother and her son, is about as vivacious as the high desert.

No matter which of these circumstances I find myself in, numerous times each day, I always come to this thought: that my longing is so misplaced. I want to be in a place where I want nothing more than to know the presence of my God. He is so good and adores me more than any human is capable. I so want this, but the struggle come when from all the way back to the begining of creation. God himself said it was not good for man to be alone. Clearly He knew that man was not ALL alone, and yet for the first time in history He still said it was not good. Where is the healthy balance for me? I do deeply long for community with God, and while I know I could put more effort into making a place for that, it’s in my nature to long for a companion and father for my son. I can’t fight the longing, so how do I balance it and what do I counter balance it with?

And lastly, why am I asking the blogging community this instead of takin it to God himself, who holds all the answers and wisdom?

Your Alkaline Body

Do you know if your diet is alkaline?

In 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for discovering that cancer cannot thrive in an alkaline environment. Isn’t that encouraging in an age when cancer is so prevelant? This concept shows up all over the place. We clean our pet fish tanks and spend plenty of money on pool chemicals because when the waters PH isn’t balanced, fish die and pools start growing “foreign” things. 

The list of things that can throw off your bodes PH balance is extensive but the one of the greatest factors is diet. When your body is at its proper pH,you will feel better, function better, be less likely to hold on to extra weight, and be less prone to illness and disease.

How do you get to your proper pH? Here are 9 easy things you can do to start getting closer to your body’s perfect pH!

1). Drink warm lemon water throughout the day
Although lemons intuitively seem like they’d be an acidic food to avoid, they actually have an extremely alkalizing effect on the body. Drinking warm water with organic lemon juice (especially first thing in the morning) is a great way to get your pH level balanced as soon as you wake up. Not only that, but warm lemon water aids in digestion, kick starts your metabolism, boosts your immune system, and acts as a natural diuretic.

2). Start a juicing regimen
Juicing is one of the quickest and most effective ways to fill your body with an array of essential nutrients. Most fruits and vegetables are alkaline, though green leafy vegetables tend to be the most alkaline and nutrient dense of all—start your day with a tall glass of green juice every morning for an alkaline effect and tons of energy all day long.

3). Stop drinking soda and other sugary drinks
Pop and sugary juices are full of empty calories that do nothing for your body nutritionally but make it more acidic and more prone to weight gain. Sugar (along with other artificial sweeteners like Splenda, Sweet N’ Low, etc.) are extremely acidic and should be avoided at all costs. If you do need to use a sweetener, try using raw organic stevia, as it’s much more alkaline than standard sugar and has a lower glycemic index.

For those of you who aren’t big on drinking water, slowly add more and more to your alkaline diet until it becomes a habit to drink it all day long. If you’re looking for something a little more flavorful, add organic lemon or other fruit to your water and let it “infuse” overnight for a low-calorie but delicious drink.

4). Start taking a probiotic
Probiotics help regulate your GI system by balancing the amount of healthy bacteria in your gut. If you have issues going to the bathroom, probiotics are a definite must, though we always recommend them for anyone because they also help regulate your immune system and keep other bodily functions in check. If you’re not already taking a probiotic, our new and improved Greens now contains lactospore, one of the best probiotics on the market! You can read more about this particular probiotic here.

5). Cut down on dairy consumption
Dairy is extremely acidic and causes allergies in a lot of people. Even if you don’t want to cut out dairy completely, there are plenty of non-dairy options for regular favorites that make cutting down your consumption fairly easy. Coconut oil is a great substitute for butter while almond, rice and coconut milks are a great substitute for cow’s milk.

6). Eat more meatless meals
Meat (like all animal products) is also very acidic, so it’s good to give your body a break a few times a week if you frequently eat meat-heavy meals. Some people worry that they won’t get enough protein or other essential nutrients if they eat a meal without meat, but everything our body needs can be found in plant foods if you are intentional about choosing the right veggies! Leafy greens, especially, are extremely nutrient dense and can be added to almost any meal easily to give your body what it needs to function at its best!

7). Drink less alcohol
Although wine can be good for you in small amounts, most alcoholic beverages provide very little nutritional value (if any!) and have an acidic effect on the body. This leads to weight gain and a greater likelihood of illness or disease. If you’re not willing to cut it out completely, try drinking lemon water in between drinks to stay hydrated and counteract the acidity.

8). Cut out refined sugars and flours
Refined sugars like high fructose corn syrup and refined flours like enriched white flour are in countless products today, yet offer little to no nutritional value and produce an acidic effect on the body. If you need to use a sweetener, use organic raw sugar or stevia, as your body handles it much better than refined sugars. As far as flours go, always look to see if it’s whole wheat rather than “enriched” or “refined.” Gluten-free diets are becoming more and more popular because wheat has a high glycemic index, so if you’re willing to give up bread and other items that include gluten, it can help regulate your body’s inflammation and pH levels.

9). Eat more vegetables 
If nothing else, eat more vegetables! Green vegetables are especially important, as they are typically the most alkaline and nutrient dense. They are generally high in fiber, as well as other important antioxidants and nutrients that will keep your body working at its best. While it’s great (and ideal) to include a portion of vegetables in every meal, most people do not eat the recommended amount of vegetables in a normal day.

If you’re one of those people who is a picky veggie eater or constantly on-the-go, our Greens powder is an amazingly easy way to get your full serving of fruits and vegetables for the day in one simple drink. If you want to learn more about it, you can check it out HERE