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Monday, February 1, 2016

Whole30 : Week One Review

So I started the Whole30 diet. I really just want to reset my body, and get myself in prime shape for training season. Plus, my sugar (mostly ice cream) addiction is beyond out of control, and must be tamed. I don't cook for myself much, because it's just me, and cereal or a drive through are just a lot less work. But I do love to cook, and I do want to be healthy. So here we go. 

Basic rules: 
•no sugar
•no dairy 
•no legumes
•no grains
•no alcohol 
for 30 days. There's more to it, including what oils foods can and can't be cooked in, but those are the basics. 

So here's what I ate for Week One. 


Day One: 

breakfast: 
•2 fried eggs (made with coconut oil) 
•handful of baby spinach leaves 
•3 strawberries 
•red skinned potato (diced, boiled, then cooked in skillet)
•2 pieces of bacon 
•black coffee 
•water 



lunch:
•chicken breast (plain)
•4 strawberries 
•small honey crisp apple
•almond butter 
•water

dinner: 
•burger 
•one avocado smashed with handful of chopped yellow onion mixed in 
•handful of mushrooms, grilled on George Foreman
•kiwi sandia La Croix 

snack: 
•2 dried figs with slice of bacon 
•unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon 

I feel like that was easy, so yummy, and now I can conquer the world. 

Day Two: 

breakfast: 
•2 eggs, fried in coconut oil 
red skinned potato (diced, boiled, then cooked in skillet)
•1/2 avocado mashed 
•water 

snack:
•black coffee 

lunch: 
•carrots with cinnamon 
•chicken breast (plain) 
•green beans 
•red skinned potato 
•lime La Croix 


snack: 
•apples and almond butter 

dinner:
•burger 
•green beans
•half of an avocado, mashed 
•grilled mushrooms 
•water 

I had a bit of a headache, and was sooo tired. But loved everything I ate. I also brushed my teeth before leaving at 6:30 at night to prevent any late night snacking. 

Day Three: 

breakfast: 
•2 eggs 
•spinach 
•red skinned potatoes 
•water 


lunch: 
•chicken 
•carrots raw 
•apples and almond butter 
•strawberries 
•la Croix 


snack: 
•banana 
•water
•black coffee

dinner:
•salad (baby spinach, chopped onions, mushrooms, olive oil, balsamic vinegar) 
•1 piece of bacon, 1 red skinned potato, 3 whole carrots, chicken breast (all prepped earlier this week) thrown into cast iron skillet and all cooked and mixed together. 
•water 

I had a wretched headache most of the day. And I was the most tired I've been in years. Like so tired I'm in bed before 8:30, without Netflix or reading. Detoxing from sugar, carbs, and junk is not for the faint of heart. I need to sleep for the next 5 weeks. 

Day Four: 

breakfast: 
•3 eggs, fried
•green beans 

lunch: 
•whole avocado 
•burger 
•green beans 
•salad (spinach, mushrooms, onion, olive oil, balsamic vinegar) 
•iced black coffee



dinner: 
•burger 
•mushrooms
•red skinned potatoes, cooked with onions 
•salad (spinach, onion, olive oil, balsamic vinegar) 
•La Croix 

snack:
•unsweetened applesauce 
•sliced almonds
•water 


Today was probably the worst I've felt so far. I was so surprised. Headache was mostly gone, but today my stomach just felt icky. Nothing was really wrong, but i just felt "ugh", and wanted to lay on the floor. I wanted to cuss the guy out (which I have NEVER done, ever) who messed up my coffee order 3x. I completely get that whole "kill all the things" I've heard about from other whole30ers. No carbs and no sugar sure can make a girl cranky. I wasn't as tired. So I'm thankful for that, but reallllly looking forward to the days where I feel like I can take on the world, and my body loves me again. 
 
Day Five: 

breakfast: 
•2 eggs, fried in coconut oil 
•guacamole on top 
•water



lunch:
•apple slices with almond butter 
•3 eggs with guacamole 
•3 strawberries 
•water 

dinner: 
•chicken
•yellow cherry tomatoes
•sliced portabella mushrooms
•mashed red skinned potatoes 
•water

I was highly emotional this day. No headache, but severe road rage, a lot of anger, and not a lot of patience. 


Day Six: 

breakfast: slept in and skipped 

lunch: first dining out experience on whole30. I went to chipotle and had a salad, with double lettuce, carnitas, pico, and double guacamole. Water to drink. 


dinner: 
•chicken 
•sweet potato fries (made 'em myself!) 
•cantaloupe 
•guacamole (not sure why I put this on my plate)
•little tomatoes 
•water 


Finally feeling energized!! I can even say no to cravings! I picked up Gregg's breadsticks, and drove with them on my front seat for 30 min, without a temptation to nibble. 

Day Seven: 

breakfast:
•chicken 
•banana 
•water

snack:
•lara bar 
•dried mango



lunch:
•chicken sausage 
•green beans 
•cantaloupe 
•water

dinner:
•chicken
•portabella mushrooms
•sweet potato fries 
•water 

Today for certain I feel like a rock star! One week down, and I feel like I'm certainly more energetic than earlier this week, and I'm a heck of a lot kinder. I no longer crave ice cream every moment of every day. I did accidentally have a speck of gluten today. We had communion at church, and I took a small cracker, without much thought. I could feel in my stomach that it wasn't pleased almost immediately. I've also really begun to enjoy the tastes and flavors of real food. 

Week One is in the books.

And I did it. Now 23 more days to go! 

M



Sunday, January 17, 2016

Feelings

I feel like I'm at the end of my rope. 

I'm so tired. My body has been a jerk to me all week. I have a cold. I feel exhausted after 13 scheduled babysitting jobs. I feel so lonely after being so busy, and not really talking with friends all week. I feel like I'm stuck. Honestly, I feel like God isn't going to show up, and I'll be here forever. I feel like the calling on my life maybe isn't everything I thought it was. I feel scared that I've had such big faith for so long, that I've actually tuned into a stupid fool. I feel like a failure when I compare myself to friends and family. I feel like the things I believed God told me were maybe all in my own head. I feel doubtful that these dreams, experiences, passions, and giftings will ever come together for something. 

I feel a lot right now. 

I am so beyond thankful that feelings don't really matter. And I'm so grateful to friends who have reminded me of that this week. 

I am begging God to move on something particular. So I asselmbed a prayer team to help carry me as I seek God's face. I wanted people to be accountable with, and that would pray consistently. 

A dozen girls in a handful of states later, I had my squad. They have been incredible at helping me fight this week. 

My girl, S, has called me almost every night to pray with me over the phone, before bed. I'm not talking about that "whatever is your will" prayer, I'm talking about the "my faith is so small, but I believe you said I can still move mountains, so I'm praying boldly and with gusto" kinda prayers. I am so thankful for her believing with me. 

My friend C has called and texted every day to check in. She has listened to me cry that I can't do this anymore, and how I feel so stuck. She has offered wise, biblical advice every time. So thankful for her wisdom. 

My friend J is a powerhouse. She listens with the best of 'em. She takes my call no matter the time, and has gotten quite excellent at figuring out what I'm saying through the tears and sobs. She's amazing. 

My out of state girl C has been such a blessing. She has been there to help me wisely sort through my pro/con lists, give godly advice, and she sends the BEST mail. Her doodles have been perfectly on time this week, and I'm so thankful for he truth she speaks so freely. 

My girl T has been helpful with pointing me back to scriptures, and reminding me of where I've come from. He's been so faithful. He's been so good. He's not going to stop now. This morning she sent me the link to a blog I wrote 4 years ago, as I was getting ready for Bolivia. It's so applicable today. I'm so thankful for this reminder. 

Here's part of it: 

Good thing my feelings don't matter. God is constant, even when I'm not. Even when I don't feel Him, He is there, working things out. When I don't feel like He is faithful, He still is, regardless of what my head says.

Following my feelings is a troublesome path. I know this. Getting in His word, being in active prayer, and getting enough sleep will help fight this doubt and mediocrity.

I know He is faithful. I know if He called me, He will make a way. I know He restores a weary soul. I know He is preparing me. I know He is with me, and in Him all things are possible. I know that I am His. I know His ways are perfect. 

A sweet friend suggested I read Hebrews 11 tonight. I did, and I was encouraged.

vs 1 - Now faith is being sure if what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

vs 6 - And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

vs 25- He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures if sin for a short time.

vs 40- His had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Feelings vs. Faith. 
Feelings say whatever you feel is true and right in that moment. Faith says the constants are still and always true, even without feeling it.

I am glad I have a God I don't need to feel for Him to be working, or be close. He is faithful, even when I'm not.

Life is uncertain, but my God is not.

I just remember so clearly how He made a way for me to go to Bolivia, by myself, for a few months. I also remember everything that happened there. That's where I first developed a heart and a passion for the homeless, and the woman that was broken. 

I can't wait to see what He's going to do next. 

Love, M

Monday, January 11, 2016

I was recently asked what I want to do with my life. 

I was surprised how quickly the answer came to me. 

I want to •love people •share Jesus •do good. 

I recently read a meme that said, "If it ain't making me money, making me better, or making me happy, I ain't making time for it." 

Those are all good things, but this leaves no room to love people in their brokenness, no time to share Jesus, and no reason to do any good. 

Let's choose our how we live our lives wisely. 

I don't have it all figured out, but I do think living a life only for our own pleasure is a selfish and lonely way to live. 

It's a beautiful life, how can you share it? 

M. 




Thursday, January 7, 2016

Holding Space.

If we're honest with ourselves, we struggle in the uncomfortable moments. We shy away from the awkward. We don't know what to say in the midst of brokenness. 

We want people to know that we love them, we hate whatever is going on, and we hurt with them. But so often, our words fall short. 

We don't know what to say. 

We act like there might be a magical string of words, that if said correctly, will fix the brokenness. 

But that's not the way it works. 

I've learned a lot in the past year. One of the more valuable things I practice as often as I can. 

It's not anything extravagant or difficult, and I'm not an expert, but I think it's better than any awkward fumbling string of words. 

When I get the call, read the text, or hear the words of brokeness, I want you to know: 

"I'm holding space for you."

I'm not making this about me. Im not believing that I need to say a perfect comment to fix things. I'm not forcing the issue. I'm just letting you know there is space for you. There is safety and love here. We can talk or not talk. We can sit. We can drive around. I can listen. I can distract. You can change your mind with what you need. 

But I'm holding space for you, and for whatever you need, whenever you're ready. 

You may not know what you need, or when you'll need it. But there is space for you when it's time. 

I will love you consistently, without opinions. I will love you, even if I don't agree. I will love you even though I am scared and confused, as well. I will love you, even if it's unconventional, inconvenient, or uncomfortable. I will love you without trying to solve anything. 

There is love, there is safety, and there is space for you. 

The world is ugly. 

People are dealing with divorce, cancer, miscarriage, death, chronic illness, bankruptcy, loss of job, homelessness, crisis pregnancies, abuse, depression, singleness, infertility, waiting, and so much more. 

The weight is heavy. 

Just know, I'm standing in your corner. I'll carry you. 

There is space for you here. There is safety for you here. There is love for you here. 

M. 




Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2015

2015 was a full year. 



•I had the privilege to serve and teach at my favorite place, the Hope Warming Center, on numerous Tuesday mornings. 

•I trusted Jesus in the unknown of leaving my church, losing my job, job hunting, still bring single, starting to write my book, and my car dying. 

•I wore the largest flower crowns my little head could hold, and loved every moment. 

•We celebrated my baby sister graduating from high school. 

•I met Miss Phyllis, and she changed my world. 

•I spent a week with my grandparents in Phoenix, and shared my heart over late night chats. 

• I went on a family weekend getaway, and enjoyed a lot of sister time. 

•I met one of my very best friends on the internet, and was able to have some adventures together in Texas. 

•Four of us saw a need, and felt a call, so we started hitting the streets of Pontiac to show the love of Jesus to prostitutes and the the homeless. 

•I help launch Jen Hatmaker's latest book, For The Love, and then went to her house to celebrate. 

•My best friend came home twice this year! 

•I became an abolitionist, and made a stand against human trafficking. 

•My baby girl moved to Wyoming, and I cried for about six months. 

•I raised over $1000 for victims of human trafficking, by wearing a dress every day in December, so I jumped in a lake on Christmas morning. 

•I helped deliver a baby of one of my homeless girls. Best night of my life. 

•I completed a half marathon, and these feet took me to two countries.

Thirteen.

This story is long. 

It is full of plenty of ups, and plenty of downs. It has moments of ugliness, but overall, I think I can confidently say, it is a story of beauty. 

This season was all about waiting and trusting. And letting God show Himself good, and faithful. 

So often when I would beg to hear God's voice for direction, all I would hear is "Be still, and wait on Me." So I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. 

There were so many closed doors. So many opportunities that I really believed were the beginning of the next season. But they weren't. 

I was still here. 

Months and months and months and months of waiting. 

And even though finanically, it was so very hard, in other areas of life, it was absolutely wonderful. 

Waiting and trusting gave me time and space. 

I learned that waiting isn't a passive, boring thing. 

I slept an healthy and appropriate amount every night. I trained for, and completed a half marathon. I advocated for victims of human trafficking, and raised $1,600! I preached the Gospel whenever I was given an opportunity. I help start a street ministry for prostitutes and the homeless. I helped deliver a baby. I spent real time with friends. I help launch a NY Times bestseller. I traveled to Austin, Buda, Houston, and Phoenix. I started training as a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center. I served weekly at a homeless shelter. I started writing my own book. I napped in the sun. I took care of myself. 

It was the perfect way to push "pause" and take care of myself, after years and years of taking care of everyone else. I nannied full time for years, and recently found myself so burnt out. My identity was in raising those babes, and when it was over, it was difficult. 

I figured I would have a new job the week after my nanny job was finished. Or at least that's the way I planned it. I started job hunting months before I was done, to assure the fact that there wouldn't be any wandering or waiting. 

Clearly things didn't work out the way I had planned.

That was a big life lesson to learn. 

"I'm not actually in control, and that's okay." 

So I job hunted, sent out resumes, and prayed for something to pan out. 

All the while I baby sat, dog sat, cat sat, fish sat, house sat, old lady sat, cleaned houses, ran random errands, and did odd jobs. 

Bills were paid. I was okay, but I wanted that next thing. 

Thirteen times I thought the door was going to swing open, the next season was going to begin, and the waiting would end. 

But thirteen times, I was wrong. 

Email after email full of "we are no longer pursuing your application, but good luck with your search!" filled my inbox. Three times God told me "No". A handful of times I never got an answer, even after a follow up. A couple of possibilities had interviews, and I was convinced we were so close. 

But nope.

They were all closed doors. 

Thirteen closed doors. 

Thirteen jobs I wanted, and had daydreamed of, never would be. 

Throughout the long process, I decided what I wanted, more than anything, and then committed to doing it, paid or unpaid. 

I want to do good, love people, and share Jesus. 

The same month I lost my job was the same month I started training for a half marathon. I now can see so many similarities in both situations. 

I remember when I ran my half marathon. The last .1 mile was the LONGEST moment of my life. 

I had just completed 13 miles by running, walking, skipping, jumping, and dancing. But that last .1 mile made me feel like no matter how far I had just come, the finish line would never get there. I wanted to quit more in that last .1, then the entire 13 full miles combined. (And that includes when I was vomiting as I ran into Canada.) 

That last little bit almost slayed my soul. 

I remember how everyone who saw me yelled, "You're almost there! Just a couple more blocks! You're so close!" Like that was supposed to be encouraging. It wasn't. I wanted to give up. I wanted to punch them in the face. 

But then I remember turning the corner, and seeing the finish line, all the balloons, and the stands of people cheering. 


I ran harder than I had all day, and I did it! I crossed the finish line. And I couldn't stop crying. The wait was over. There was a medal around my neck, a chocolate milk in my hand, and I could rest. 



Thirteen point one miles were behind me. 

I did that. 

It was tough. It was ugly at moments. It felt like it was going to last forever. It brought me to tears. It made me sick. The training lasted months and months. 

But. It made me stronger. And it made quite a beautiful story. 

So with thirteen closed doors behind me, I keep on going, praying that finish line shows up soon. Because I'm so tired, and I just can't wait for rest and that chocolate milk. And I know I didn't sign up for a full marathon. 

13 down, .1 to go. 








Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thirty one days of dresses.

December 1

December 2 


December 3 

December 4 

December 5 

December 6 

December 7 

December 8 

December 9 

December 10

December 11 

December 12

December 13 

December 14 

December 15

December 16

December 17 

December 18 

December 19 

December 20

December 21


December 22 

December 23

December 24 

December 25 



December 26

December 27

December 28 

December 29

December 30

December 31 


I can't believe it is the last day of Dressember. 31 days of dresses. Wow. Together, we raised $1,360 for International Justice Mission and The A21 Campaign. I was on the front page of the local newspaper, bringing awareness to the issue and injustice of human trafficking. I was an advocate wherever I went, with the dress as my banner. I was a voice for the silenced and scared. I stood up for the forgotten and frail. I made a difference for the broken and belittled. Just because Dressember is over, and I may not choose to wear a dress every morning, doesn't mean I will stop being an advocate, a modern day abolitionist, a feminist, and a freedom fighter. Thank you to my tribe and my town for cheering me on. #youcandanythinginadress, including change the world. If you would like to help me get to my final goal of $2,000 by midnight, click the link, and give generously.


https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/fundraise?fcid=573098 

Love, M