the push-me pull-you, cast iron and coconut oil

Dr. Doolittle will always be in my brain naming the odd creature the “push-me pull-you” so matter-of-factly. While Lyme disease for a long time pulled me down, while family and supports pulled me up, or along, I was grateful. Now, as life is rolling once again, the directions have scattered and expanded. And when I’m not careful, fatigue and lack of rest set in and pull me back into symptoms. God be praised I learned that quickly! Now, by His grace, may I implement the sacred times of Sabbath. Rest. Nothingness for my brain and body.

In other news, coconut oil and cast iron are two winners of the “best things I learned about while sick” award. Heavy enough to knock out a horse, but worth their weight, my cast iron pans have proven themselves above the “non-stick” pans, even the new fandagled healthy ones. Plus they are just cool. And indestructible (always a bonus with a klutz like me). And coconut oil remains a staple in my baking (instead of shortening or butter), cooking (in the pan, for greasing with, on toast…), and remedies (homemade vapor-rub, deoderant, lip balm, lotion…) and makes me happy.

So there we go, I hope to have Thanksgiving week be full of rest, and I look forward to having time to cook on my cast iron, with my coconut oil -they fix everything, right?. And hopefully gain some insight and focus so that this next season is less reactive and more following with purpose the passions and pursuits God instills in me. It’s a trick I’d forgotten: this ability or organize a busy life. And there’s one I’ve never been good at: keeping the lines drawn for what is most important, and maintaining boundaries so that time is not stolen from that. I had thought I learned it well while sick, as my energy units were precious and few. I was good at it then –and priorities were clearer. Being busy means sorting out a lot more going on in the brain and out in the world! How do you “normal, healthy people” keep it up?!?!? I think I need more coconut oil….

 

Who Cares

Posts are fewer now, and farther between. Mostly for great reasons: namely, that I no longer have much to say about Lyme disease’s effect on me! Lymestop seems to have lived up to it’s name and stopped it in me, my husband, and my kids. Also, because I have been so busy with other things in life that I haven’t had time to post. How awesome is that!?!

If you’re reading this, you are one of those magical people in my world who cares. Thank you. ❤  Now that I am out among people every day again, I see how many people do not care, or think about, the gift of health or how fragile it is.

Last week we visited a church –yes, that’s right, we are going to church again! Commotion, noise, lights, socializing and all! The journey to find a church home is just as complex as the journey to find wellness from illness. So victory has new meaning once again. Praising God for the choices in our area, while trying to discern what we need, where we can fit and contribute and grow,  is more challenging than we realized. At this church the pastor mentioned how we humans are not durable. That is, we are not ever-lasting. We will one day cease to be beautiful, and functional. We lose our physical strength and and ability to be productive, as well as what the world considers aesthetic beauty. This brought to my mind my post on my favorite attributes of objects: Durability, Functionality, and Beauty. How fresh in my history is the tale of me losing those attributes! Yet already, daily, I expect them of myself again, and of others (and of things) around me. I get so frustrated when my expectations are not met. I fall into the trap of the temporary:  think of it as permanent, because it is the now. Like a cat, I do not think about past or future. Or at least, my thoughts are consumed with the now and I do not have room for thoughts of past or future. It is healthy, to a degree, to focus on the now, so as not to be consumed by regret or over-analysis of the past, and also not to be consumed by worry for the future. But it too needs put in check.

I sense the need to put it in check -it is what is keeping me up tonight, and writing rather than sleeping! I need to take time to process, to pray, and to plan. To step out of the present and it’s activities and to-do lists and demands. To reflect. To dream. Or I might just lose my victory, though I may have conquered my case of Lyme.

For that reason, I am so grateful for the truth in this simple Proverb: We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go.

Feeling: Precarious

Dizzy off and on, again. arches-national-park04That feeling that I could easily tip, topple over. The ground beneath isn’t always steady. I knew the feeling so well as soon as I felt it. Then I tried really hard not to think much about it. Then began to admit it was happening, told a few people, and both my primary doctor and the doctor in Idaho. Got some blood-work done, and an answer from Lymestop. Dizziness is normal in the detox process. Common. Eating clean is my number one defense against any symptoms right now, keeping detox pathways clear.

This would make sense for the stomach aches our whole family has experienced, and the extra aches my husband has again –we got too free with our foods too quickly. Lesson learned! Detox is a long process, dead Lyme bacteria and gunk will take time to cleanse from. So, dialing back toward the detox diet we go.

Meanwhile, I’m realizing that precarious is precisely the word for feeling. A feeling is real, true enough. But is a real feeling, not a real experience. I feel the ground lurch beneath my feet. But it doesn’t. Recent conversations over emotionally tough situations clarified to me just how precarious it is to feel something so strongly. Reality is perceived askew: words are heard and meaning is placed on them far beyond their speaker’s intent, movements and actions or in-actions are imbued with motives. The tricky bit is that very few of us can simply stop feeling for the sake of living only in reality (and I don’t think I could trust those who can or d0). We have to somehow acknowledge and live with what we feel, while also acknowledging what is and wisely maneuvering through them both. I suppose that is part of why fasting with prayer is so effectual, as it causes us to purposefully acknowledge the feeling of discomfort and direct the hunger toward prayer instead of satisfaction and the end of the discomfort. It teaches us to maneuver feeling.

Be very careful, then, how you live -not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. -Apostle Paul (Ephesians 5:16-18) I continue to learn to be more careful in how I live (Lyme may be dead but healing still takes time!). I want to be wise, to make the most of every opportunity. Every meal. Every conversation. Every time I discipline a child or spend a dollar or hear someone speak or type a word. When the Lord’s will is fully accomplished, that is, He is glorified in all the earth, we will even feel it. Until then, feeling will be in the position of being easily toppled and constantly requiring balance: precarious.

Amazed

I am truly that. Amazed. At the healing God has given to my body, and my whole family. At victory over Lyme -it felt so impossible for so long. At mountains, lakes, new places to see. At Dr. Smith’s technique, and how it really does work to kill Lyme, bring healing, bring instant relief. At the help we have received. At the faithfulness of God. At the new -and yet not new- message from Him for my life: Bring Me Glory and Pursue Me. Victory = glory -for when God is glorified by all the earth, ultimate Victory is here. When God is glorified in me, I have victory.

This last trip to Idaho was brief – the layover in Seattle was longer than the first day there, and the second day went so fast, yet we packed in a lot of sun-catching, scene-beholding and enjoyment, so it truly felt like a vacation. And the doctor’s appointment was surreal once again. Dr. Smith found me clear of all 19 nasties he’d treated me for three months ago. I’m well! He found a lyme virus in my husband’s joints, which explains the pain he’s had over the summer. And literally, my husband felt a jolt (like licking a 9-volt battery, he described it. And yes, he’s done that.) go through his body, and the aches in his hands, hips, back, feet, and neck all went down immediately. Woah. Dr. Smith found something still in each of the kids’ tummies, and in my son’s brain (and we thought the ADHD and anxiety were just ramped up again. Silly us!) We will keep tabs on Dr. Smith, and be writing our family’s testimonial for his office. He will be featured in a book in January, a new and updated book to follow “Insights into Lyme disease” by Connie Strasheim. He’ll be in the L.A. news soon too, and I hope to have the video link for that once it comes out. I will absolutely share his information with anyone I hear about with Lyme disease!

Now that we are feeling so good, and released from our detox diet, I felt myself losing something. Focus. I have been so determined to “beat this thing” and so much of my life was focused on diet, healing, medicine, and how to get those things, that now, I wondered how to proceed. What food rules to follow. What to do, what to focus on. And at church this morning (we are attending regularly again! Amazed! Blessed! Excited!) the pastor, a friend of ours, said something that filled my questions with one answer. The answer I got years ago when I got sick and wondered what to do, how to keep going, and what to make of my situation then. “Bring glory to Me.” When I got sick, so many people tried to figure out how to “fix” it. Giving, helping, cooking, praying. So great. But I knew it was not to be fixed. I  knew I had to walk through it. Amazed at the peace I felt, I have done that. I’ve literally been afraid of what being well would be like. And now I’m here, and how amazing -God still has the answer, and oddly enough, it’s still the same: Bring glory. That’s still my mission. My purpose. My goal. So, whether I buy a six-dollar loaf of gluten free bread, or I buy a one-dollar loaf of wheat bread and give the other 5 bucks to someone who needs it, or whether I buy a food because it’s a good deal, or because I know the producers treat the earth, their animals, and most importantly their workers not just humanely but well, will have to depend on which one will bring glory to my loving Provider. I like rules, goals and schedules and lists. This one is so short, it’s hard to live by. But that, I suppose is my challenge.

“For whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.”

I Corinthians 10:31

Coeur D’Alene, Idaho is so beautiful I could live there to the end of my days and still gape in awe at its beauty. But I realized I could not move there unless God sent me to do something there for His Kingdom. I pray that’s why I’m here now, where I am. And that my wander-lust doesn’t return and cause me to begrudge where I do live. For in His presence is fullness. And if I’m there (in His presence), I will always be in awe of beauty, always be at home, always be filled with my heart’s desire.

So here goes nothin’ …I’m going to go live this life:01cc3048b796249a497332f12e576b4f79b01d2d1b014c4d640c2a6d4906a8b138cebed6b9539399b9e8 Amazed.

Memories

I just began reading the book “Bite Me” by Ally Hilfiger (yes, Tommy’s daughter), thanks to my aunt who has been an amazing support through my whole Lyme journey, and hos33f4534400000578-3581802-ally_hilfiger_details_how_the_debilitating_disease_affected_her_-a-62_1462829383545ted me many times as I went to see my doctor in Maryland. While I’ve not read enough of it yet to give a review, I’ve been reflecting on what she says in the beginning about memory. As I am now well enough to do things again, and am taking my kids places, I am waking up to the realization that I have forgotten so much. Lost Christmases, birthdays, and many in between ordinary days besides. I do not remember going places my kids insist I’ve been. It’s funny to me now, in a scary sort of way. I am well, so I laugh. But for Ally, her childhood is gone. Not so laugh-off-able. For all those who experience years of life lost to the fog, I am sorry. God bring you healing, and grace, to forgive what is forgotten.

 

A few tidbits

I got a call this evening from a friend who was in the ER all night having a scary episode that turns out to be Lyme disease. Her doctor was so proud of himself for diagnosing it. She is freaked out about having it. BUT the saving grace to it is, she remembers the tick bite, went into the ER with a rash, and they were able to diagnose it. All of those things mean GOOD for her: her body is actively fighting it. It has not been there long enough to go too deep. Insurance should cover the meds she needs since ER diagnosed it. And, the meds should help since it is early yet.

My husband was in the ER a week ago with raging fevers and pain, and turns out he had a kidney infection, caused by the passing of a kidney stone that got stuck for long enough to cause the infection, then he passed it. Miserable. Poor man. It’s been a long week. He’s finally perking up now. Detox shook up stones. He’s not loving detox these days.

On another note, another friend and I were talking about homemade and natural deoderants the other day. Detoxing is another step in living clean for me, and the deoderant front is one I have wanted to take on for a while. I did, and then went back to my Degree for Men (I’m a sweaty girl, not one of those dainties who “glows”).

So, for my friends, some tidbits:

Eat clean. Be clean. Smell clean.

Detox by drinking lemon-lime water. Lots of it. (Shake up those kidney stones!) Get the bugs out -dead or alive!

Detox your pits: mix kaolinic clay (I ordered in on Amazon for pretty cheap, and it came from Greece!) and white vinegar, enough to make a paste. Apply to pits. After 5-20 minutes then wash off. DO THIS before switching to natural or homemade deodorant. A couple times over the first week. It truly helps -after all, storebought stuff clogs up the pathways (so you don’t sweat or stink), but having them open is really healthier and cleaner in the end. It’s the in-between that stinks. literally. And, when making to using natural deoderant, you HAVE to have an anti-fungal like tea-trea oil, or I used a mix of clove and lavender (my go-to oils), or you will still stink.

My last thing is, I am so crazy delighted to be finished with a writing project (I hope to share it with the world once it’s published!) and to be driving, and for it to be summer, my kids are out of school, and I didn’t even dread it this year. We are actually looking forward to it! And they go to a new school in the fall, so this is a time to be intentional and love on them, quell fears, and build up community…I hope we settle into going to church again and find a “home” community. Detox our souls through open sharing with honest relationships.

Be well.