Sunday, May 31, 2009

Renovating from the inside out

We are a month into living in a new house and well into the renovation process as well. With our stuff still mostly packed away and sharing the space with my sister-in-law and father-in-law, I am finding it difficult to get settled. After experiencing a bit of a bump with my hubby this week (renovations can bring out the best in us hehe) I have come to realize that defining what is "home" for me is very important and in that definition is the environment that my family will thrive in.

I cried out for "home" and the answer came in a song."......Oh Lord you know, I have no friend like you, if Heaven's not my home, then Lord what will I do....." My heart sang out to Heaven and to God to bring that feeling of home to my heart. Peace, love, unity....these bring the comfort of home to my mind and that is the environment I will seek to encourage here in the house we live in. My focus was renewed as my priority was set on nurturing my family with the love that God blesses me with day in and day out. I do get comforted when I am distressed or discouraged, and I am surrounded by encouragement always as I go throughout my day. My needs are taken care of and even when I am fearful, I look to God and proceed with faith as I know he has put me in the life I am living to bring glory to him. Even in the heart of opposition, I know that God will not only help me to survive, but to thrive. That all my dreams will come through as I share them and present them in prayer. I am growing as I persevere, I am strengthened through adversity, and I am encouraged as my prayers are answered.

As the work continues in the house to get it complete, the work in my character and heart goes on as well.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow?

I cuddled under the blankets a lot longer this morning until my brain woke up and started its daily work of planning and so I decided to join in on the wake up flex with my body. I silently made my way out of the bedroom, walked into the kitchen and looked out the big window to see that there was a blanket of snow cover over everything. At first I slapped myself mentally for not having covered the garden as now the flowers and plants are likely to suffer a bit of damage, and then I felt a sinking feeling. At this time of year I really enjoy the separation of the season and this long weekend in May usually marks that line. Waking up to the green of the grass and the colours in the flowers in so encouraging and uplifting, especially to my gardening heart and this year I have really felt that experienced shortened. The trees have barely let open their buds to encourage their leaves to grow. Growth seems to be slowly and maturity stunted in the plant department, but I must say, the dragging on the snow can either crush the spirit or strengthen the character. And of course, I am going to choose for character building whenever possible.

Now, how to put a positive spin on a cold and snowy day in the middle of spring with a full schedule. First of all, our heat is turned off for the season, or at least until we finish the repairs and renovations that are currently underway. Bundling up the children will be the first priority. My friend was eager to come over with the three girls in her care today, but with the house currently at 12 degrees Celcius, that won't work too well. The option would be to get out and head to the mall, however I have a service call with a technician coming to the house today, so I need to be present. Today would best be served in the throws of hard labour, working up a sweat while doing some demolition :D. And the food? Something that offers warmth and "comfort"......CURRY CHICKEN!!

Taking a moment to reflect on how to make the most of a situation that you weren't aware of or to stay positive in the unexpected or unprepared days makes such a difference and really helps in keeping focused on the priorities and achieving your goals. My daily goal is to stay positive and productive and living my life out in the best way I can. If I can maintain and thrive in this it makes doing everything else much easier.

Now, to get down to work!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I LOST something! I need to find it!

Of course, since we have moved, things have been turned on its ear. I would LOVE to find the time where I get to sit down with my thoughts and have them out in a complete stream. I had this routine, and it was recognized by all, but now the lines and boundaries have been left at our former address and I need to go back, pack them, and bring them to our new home.

Why is it important to me? Because it helps define who I am and I do not get dismembered into a piece of me all over the house meeting other people's needs. I need to define ME! An individual among the family. A woman that has a desire to help and share her life with others. A woman that love to encourage others with the life God has blessed me to live and the talents he has put in my heart to have. Many mothers get lost in the to-do lists and needs to be met, becoming chaulk boards written by their family members, and not identified as the women that contribute to the running of the family on a day-to-day basis.

I know that there are a lot of things that need to get done in our lives at this moment and we all need to work together in doing the work, but our individual needs to be respected, encouraged, honoured, engaged in and recognized by all. Cooperation will help to get it all done and all needs met as they are voiced and heard...especially in our newly expanded family.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bring on the LONG weekend!!

Here it is! The first long weekend enjoyed in the midst of warmer weather. The activities that usually come to mind are barbeques, picnics in the park, camping, and getting together with family and friends. For our family it is all about the moving and renovations. We have been fully blessed with the opportunity to move into a new home in a neighbourhood that we were hoping to live in. Our condo will be rented within the week and the repairs and deficiencies in the neighbouring condo will be given the due attention required. Balance, love, respect, and attention have been given and in that peace has been gained.

In addition to the move to a new home, my sister-in-law, her son, and my father-in-law made the drive across country and are now here as well. It will be a great experience for all of us as we all have our strengths for each other to learn from.

For use the long weekend is finished off with a cold, snowy forecast, and we will be "chillin" out inside. I am going to keep a list of tasks handy so that I can stay productive and focused and work on getting back into a routine. Colder weather inspires a desire for warm, comfort foods and this is not the time of year to be turning to comfort foods with all the potential of fresh produce and new seasonal tasties around. The BBQ is out and fueled up ready for the next grilled entree. Veggies have been the bulk of our meals and soups will be the warmth we turn to.

Off to share in the fun!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Can you say OUCH!

I had a wonderful day planned....after picking up my son from school, we were to head back to the condo to finish cleaning after a quick trip to the grocery store. It was 15% off Tuesday! My favorite grocery shop of the month. I was at the customer service counter getting a quarter and as I turned around I felt a sharp pain in my gut. OUCH! I couldn't walk without the sharp pain jabbing felt like labour pains and severe hemorrhoids at the same time. I made my way to the bench to sit it out, hoping the pain would pass and after 15 minutes it was time to call for help. I hobbled back to customer service to call my answer. I then decided to call my hubby as it was close to him being off work and I was in no condition to look out for my kids...their care was compromised at this point. When he arrived, he walked me to the car and we headed to the hospital. I was crying when the pain would surge through my body. I was doing the breathing I learned in the prenatal classes. As we waited almost 3 or so hours in the waiting room, the pain had gotten better, but was still enough to hinder how I walk. They ran tests and at the end of an 8 hour stay in the hospital, they said I would need to return tomorrow for ultrasound, but it seems as though it may be my gall bladder.

I woke up early the next day feeling better and decided to look up natural ways to clear gallstones. The doctor did mention surgery and my goal is to avoid removing anything functional from my body. The gall bladder is where the body stores extra bile that is used to aid in the digestion of fats. The body is usually secreting bile as we are digesting, but if we happen to eat more fat, the stored bile is then released in a gush for when it is needed. Sometimes we can get gallstones that block the release of bile and can cause a gall bladder attack, which is quite painful. In my research I found two methods (of course there were more) that caught my interest. The first gall bladder cleanse I read about from Natural Cure alternatives involved a 4 day fast of apple juice and beet juice that ends with consuming olive oil and grapefruit juice. Very simple to apply, BUT being a mother of 2 active boys this process would leave me drained, but also I don't do well with grapefruit juice. The second cleanse at Health, Wealth, and Happiness involved 2 days and no grapefruit juice. Again a simple process to go through, involving a quick fast, consuming some more olive oil and then of course passing the stones with your stool. By consuming the olive oil you are triggering the release of bile in mass and it's such a simple idea of helping your body to clear the gallstone. I LOVE it! And all without the complications of surgery.

I went back to the hospital for the ultrasound and the doctor said that there were no gallstones to be found, but the experience helped me to really look into an uncommonly thought-of organ, the gall bladder, and how to keep it healthy. Got a pint of olive oil?