Monday, March 29, 2010

I Am A Gluten Glutten!

Over the last several years, I have felt worse and worse, medically speaking. I have been really tired mostly, and have been told I have severe anemia...severe enough that it was suggested that I have a blood thanks!

But in recent months, more symptoms have been added to the tired list: lactose intolerant, severe reflux, diarrhea, irritability and moodiness, bloating...and the list goes on.

One day I was eating a tortilla to stave off extreme hunger (love my breads!) and noticed that my stomach was hurting as I was eating. Of course, I finished eating and then God brought to mind many conversations I have heard over the last months....all about gluten.

I went to the internet to look up gluten, issues with gluten, diagnosis of those gluten issues, and symptoms of having gluten issues...well, well, list of symptoms was right down the line, the same as those on the computer screen! I missed the losing weight part...are you kidding me?, but mostly the exact things I was dealing with. So I read on, and on, and on...

Because I love all of my small intestine, I didn't want to go the biopsy route; so I decided to do my own 21 day elimination diet...eliminating my favorite thing of all...bread, and all things bready. Oh! There's more than bread, but it's a sad, sad list of things I can't have right now. (like pasta!)

I have just completed day 8 of my diet and right now, I feel great! (bittersweet though in my book) I am going to do 13 more days and then do what is called a gluten challenge...7 days of regular gluten eating menus! Those will be glorious even if I am in pain, I tell you. I then figure out based on my reactions to the different menus which was I feel better. Since there is only a test to determine Celiacs Disease and not any to show intolerance or any sensitivity to gluten, I have chosen this route.

I will keep you posted on how I am doing. My symptoms are dramatically reduced at this point.

Monday, March 22, 2010

God in the Spa

A couple of years ago, I was given a trip that included a cruise. While on the cruise, I was given a facial at the spa. I entered that spa, never having had a facial. Never having done much with my face. Never knowing just what my skin should be feeling and looking like.

As the facial went on, the gal working ever so hard was explaining all about my skin, what she was seeing in my skin, how I should be taking care of my skin, etc...

I bonded with that gal. I felt pretty vulnerable and she kept proving herself trustworthy to me. She was gentle and gracious, no matter how horrified she might have been at the sight of my skin! She was kind and caring and I found that I began to like her very much.

She told me to sit up, look in the mirror, and feel my skin. I don't like to look at myself in the mirror, so I tentatively took the mirror, looked at my face, and began to touch my skin. Tears instantly came to my eyes (as they are now just remembering it), and my vision was so blurry that I couldn't even see the mirror in my hand. I had never felt my skin feel that way! I had felt so cared for (dare I say "loved"?). Few had ever been so gentle with me. No one had ever hidden any form of disgust and only revealed grace.

I left that spa feeling like I never had before....or so I thought.

I have been thinking about the experience lately. I am sure that God has brought that to mind for me to dwell on for a purpose. I think I know that purpose! God has done that same thing for me! He has been gracious and kind, hiding any disgust He might feel. He embraces me and has made my life tender and soft, just as my skin felt. He has made me a light to others for His glory, as my skin radiated light after all that care.

Just knowing how God has treated me, makes tears spring to my eyes!

Monday, March 8, 2010


I have been pondering the passing of time recently. My oldest, Bailey, is about to turn 20 in a few short weeks. 20! Wow! If you had asked me within her first year, what our life would have been like when she turned 20, I couldn't have begun to know. It was so far in the future. It was too far away to even be real. Well...I turned around twice and here it is...the future...the reality.

So....I have been thinking about my next daughter, Darby. She just had a birthday and I am, once again, realizing how quickly time goes. She was a difficult baby....thought sleep was overrated...enjoyed hearing her own voice (cried a lot!)....and felt the world revolved around her. The days with her were long. I thought she would never sleep through the night! Many of the days dragged on for several years, I am sure. But I have just figured it up and I have only 206 weeks until she is driving and her world really opens up! 206 short weeks to pour into her all the things I want her to know before she discovers many of these things on her own. 206 weeks to remind her of her place in Jesus.

Not long...not enough time...

How do I redeem the time? How do I make the most of each moment?