Supplements, cha cha cha

Sorry, I am thinking in song today 🙂

So, onto supplements!

I have imbalances that needed attention and have tried the conventional methods as well as more natural methods. Then I give up all together and have to start all over. Well, a few months ago I decided that I needed to stop that, do some research and slowly add supplements until I find what works for my body.

St. John’s Wort – There is a history of depression on both sides of my gene pool and I can be quite anxious at times….I know, you can’t tell beneath my cool exterior 😛 So, rather than jumping on head meds prescribed by my doc, I have chosen to take St. John’s Wort. I started with 300mg a day for a few weeks and am now taking 700 – 800 mg a day, depending on the brand I happen to have on hand. It has really helped. I have definitely felt a balancing in myself. I do not have a severe degree of depression or anxiety so this is a good fit for me. If someone with a more extreme case were to ask my opinion, I would suggest that they talk to their doc before trying anything. I have spoken to my doctor and she is well aware that I am introducing herbal treatments into my life. She was in full agreement 🙂

You can find St. John’s Wort in any health foods store or  Click Here!

Nettle/Quercetin – I suffer from allergies and have also felt off in a hormonal sense since I had my baby. So, after some research I came across Nettle. Nettle has been shown to be a great supplement to use in lieu of over the counter allergy relief medications. I also found out that it has been shown to help with PMS! Bam! Two birds, one stone and all that. I took Nettle about 6 weeks before Spring to ensure it was in my system and it has worked! Recently, when I was looking to order more I found a Nettle- Quercetin combo and decided to give it a try. Why not? Quercetin has been shown to help boost the immune system, fighting allergies, support bone and cardiovascular health. I feel like we’re getting more bang with each capsule now! So far so good, I have not had to take Claratin and by now I am usually dying. I did try Butterbur somewhere in between as well but did not find that to be effective at all. I get mine from Amazon here 🙂

Juice Plus – This is the protein drink that my hubby and I have found to work the best for us. We each have one shake in the morning and I can say for myself, that I am not looking to eat again until around 11 am. Good stuff! Oh, and it tastes good too! You can check it out on here 🙂

So that is all we do for now. I prefer to add one thing at a time and let it work into my system to see how it goes. I start at a low dose and stick to that for a few weeks before changing anything. I think this is part of the reason people don’t use natural supplements more often. It takes time! There are no quick fixes, but it will work if you give it time.

Next! I will be adding Maca Root to my regime. The reason I have chosen this is because it is a super food and can be added to my morning protein shake! Also, it has been shown to help even out hormones. I feel more balanced hormonally, but being a woman and all makes me think that I can use all the balancing I can get! Rich in B vitamins, high in bioavailable calcium (who can’t se some calcium?), magnesium and has been shown to be great for remineralization. Sounds like a good deal to me!

I will keep you all posted and will get into more details on why these things are good for you so that we can learn together in future post! Thanks for coming along on my travels, here is to a happier and healthier life!

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways….

I love God.

I love Jesus.

It boggles my mind that He loves me so.

In the past few days I have had a few things happen that brought to mind just how lucky I am. I mean I always feel like I have a lot to be thankful for. I am healthy, my family is healthy and I am loved.  I could make quite a long list of things to be thankful for but I won’t get into all that right now. I want to focus on the 2 things that have been brought to the forefront as of late.

God loves me. He has always loved me and always will. That love does NOT waiver. My pastor asked us to look back to the person we were when God chose to reveal His Son to us. Think about the life I was living and just how ignorant I was. I mean I still am but I have grown significantly. Perspective is key here. I often find myself being down and out because I am in a place of failure and flesh. I can beat myself up for not being in the word like I said I would be, or for my sinful nature coming out strong. I think I start to feel like God must be keeping His distance in these times when in reality it is me that is pulling away from Him. Why? He knows me through and through and has loved me in the deepest, darkest places. He wants me to bring these insecurities, failures and sin to Jesus. He wants to love me through these times. It’s up to me to allow Him to do so.

Second, my church rocks. I mean really. It is fantastic. The leadership has really kept it real and has maintained a level of awesomeness. They don’t judge, they don’t lie, they are not looking to gain anything and there are no politics to be had. Really. I have waited for almost 6 years for the other shoe to drop and it hasn’t. It’s a church full of people who come in all shapes and sizes. Pastor teaches the Word of God line by line and does not interject his own agenda. It really is refreshing and awesome. I think we sometimes take these great things for granted because we get used to them. We need to take time to sit back and review all the great things we have in this world to be thankful for because we can very often get comfortable and forget just how privileged we are.

Keep it real!

Undecided

I am in a weird place, spiritually speaking. Definitely not a bad place at all just can’t quite put a name to where I am.

Am I in a place of deeper understanding and comfort? Maybe!

I tend to end up in a place of questioning where I am and if I am doing what I am meant to be doing. This questioning typically ends up focusing on my career. Is hospice the place for me still? Is this a job that allows me to do God’s work in the way He has meant for me to? Hospice can be pretty heavy and can way down on a person, this is why we have so many great things in place to help prevent burnout. I am sure this is partially why the questioning starts with my work, because I really do love what I do.

I am consistently concerned with ensuring that I am where I need to be. I have come to a time in my life where I know that it is imperative that I make sure that I am right where God needs me to be. My purpose in this life is to be used by Him in whatever way He needs to.

God is amazing. When in a place of uncertainty and confusion, God tells me what I need to hear. I know for me, when I am in these places of uncertainty, I cannot always feel God’s answer. Typically I can follow my gut feeling and know when things ring true. This is not always he case when I am surrounded by stronger feelings of conflict and questioning. It is almost like I am caught in a whirl wind and can’t quite make out what God is trying to tell me.

God communicates with me in ways I can hear.

I found my answer amongst a string of “coincidences”. The app on my phone shows me a different Bible verse every day, for several days it would change on the screen, but when I opened it the same verse would come up:

Proverbs 16:9 A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps (NET)

This in and of itself brought me comfort when I read it. On the last day that my app insisted on bringing this piece of scripture to me, my audio book also started on a chapter that was entitled “You are exactly where God means for you to be”. Combine this with the fact that my pastor has been talking about the fact that God loves us all individually, He knows us, He chose us, He planned for us to be who and where we are at this very moment. Then add the fact that in our ladies bible study, the same topic has been discussed. Throw in the fact that our music therapist happened to choose a worship song that my daughters and I sing frequently together and all I can say is that I felt a feeling of my understanding deepening.

As I drove home on this day I could feel the knowledge that I am exactly where God means for me to be sink in a little.

The path from the brain to the heart is a long one and I can honestly say that my understanding of God’s love and all-knowing has dropped down a little closer to this heart of mine.

Some of you may think it’s a bit silly to take these coincidences and make them into God showing me just what I needed and just when I needed it most, but I know that these things, amongst man others have brought me to a lace where I am a little closer to allowing myself to rest in the love of my Lord and Savior and it is a wonderful place to be.

Well, that is enough rambling for one day today :0)

God Bless and love to you!

Changing our ways

Here in the Trinci Bunch household we are making those healthy changes that we always talk about….ok, that I always talk about and never follow through in. Scratch that, I have made changes that have stuck, and have failed to try different approaches to those things that my family balked against.

So, back on track. Slow and steady wins the race! One thing at a time is my approach this time. This completely goes against my grain. I am typically the type of person that jumps in, tears down whatever it is that is not working, re-organize and implement the more efficient plan! That works in my professional life, not so much when it comes to a more natural and healthier lifestyle at home.

In the coming weeks I will bring you along on my travels into a healthier and more nutritious life. The projects I have chosen to start with are:

– Making Kombucha (a drink packed in goodness)

– Making our deodorant (we have been using a natural version but we are revamping)

– Making out own toothpaste (and flavoring to the kids specifications :-p)

I have more plans on the back burner but I think the above items are a good place to start for now!

Recipes and experiences to follow 🙂

The need to be healthier

As I have mentioned previously, I am beginning a journey into a healthier me. As far as how unhealthy am I? Well I need to lose a good 60 lbs to begin with. I have tried dome diets but am not the type to try drastic diets. I have always wanted to find a healthy balance. Unfortunately I have yet to find that in my life. Weight Watchers was great when I was following it, the numerous calorie counters I utilized as well. They thing is, anything will work so long as you follow it!

My weaknesses? Doritos! Chips are evil but I love them so, sigh. I just over eat and am not active enough is what it boils down to. I can give a million reasons for why I have no self-control with food, but in reality it won’t help. I am here and it is time to change it.

I always say that I am going to start planning meals for the week and stick to it, but that never seems to happen. I blame my busy life, and it is quite busy, but really is not a valid excuse. I begin to exercise and then fall off of it when a kid gets sick or I get super busy (again).

I am 31 and overweight and am going to put an end to it.

So, I will begin starting small and build up from there. I plan on making it a family project. We have moved into a home that is much larger than our last and we have plenty of room for my fermenting projects that I will be talking about in the upcoming weeks as well as for storing canned goods that we can make. We live within a half mile of 3 parks so walking will become easier for us. I am taking away the excuses I had previously.

Today is a new day. I am not striving for perfection, I am striving to make healthier changes and to break the bonds that unhealthy food and lifestyle practices that have been keeping us captive.

So I thank you all who want to follow along on this journey and hope that you will engage in the process as well! I would love to hear about your thoughts, struggles and the things that have worked for you!

The Power of Jesus

This past week has ben an interesting one…technically I guess this  started two weeks ago, I just decided to face it in the last week.

As I have mentioned previously, we have a wonderful new home that we have been moving into these past two weeks. We have waited for quite some time to be in a place where we could move and it was worth the wait, God has truly blessed our family. I have never seen my family happier than they have been in our bright new home!

From the moment we signed the lease my husband has said that the place was haunted. I never felt anything creepy so I just ignored it and assumed he was just trying to creep me out. When I fell in the basement my husband told me it was the ghost of the house tripping me to get my attention, I told him he was crazy and that it was my own fault I stepped wrong. There are no such things as haunting I kept saying.

I work with a woman who has many gifts, I may not necessarily agree with how she uses them from a Christian perspective, but there is no denying her gifts. She confirms that there is a spirit in my home during a conversation a few days ago. She tells me that he is not a malevolent soul but that he is definitely there. When she told me this, it hit me hard that I have definitely been experiencing things that I was choosing to ignore. This caused me to start thinking about my past experiences with the spirit world. I began to wonder if I was meant to communicate with this spirit, did it have something to tell me? Was this a gift that I was supposed to use in this manner? I needed more information. I spoke with the woman at work who said she would be happy to work with me on this and that I should go into my basement and hold the old cane hanging to see what I see and feel from it.

I am sure you are all reading this thinking, what is wrong with you! Don’t yo know that the Bible tells us to NOT communicate with spirits at all?!?! Well I do. I did. I was in a place of confusion and trying to put together my gifts that I know I possess and wondering if I was missing something. I knew I was missing something. In my heart of hearts, I knew that there was a missing piece to this experience and couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I prayed over it, I did not communicate with the spirit and knew that I would want to talk to my pastor before deciding anything. at one point, in the early morning I heard footsteps coming up my stairs while I was contemplating all this and I simply told it to go away and that I needed to speak with my pastor before I decided what I was going to do with it. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? I felt crazy while it was happening.

Past experiences of my imaginary friends I had when I was growing up that were only at one family members home were playing in my mind. Memories of how I would speak to the earth, the trees and rocks when I was a child, the person I spoke to at the age of 10-11, that only I could see and others made fun of me for. The Ouija board experience that scared the crap out of me and looking back at convinced me that my friend and I were speaking with a dark spirit that must have attached itself to him. He spoke to me of a spirit that followed him home that night, he swore it was sleeping next to him, his life went down hill fast from there and I never put it together. I pray for him now.

There is the fact that I just know things. I can feel other people’s feelings, I can tell the moment a lie comes out of a person’s mouth. I know when things are going to happen, i have dreams that come true. These are gifts from God that I have and I began to wonder why He would allow me to feel spirits, why would I know where they are and when they are around? What is the purpose?!

So I speak to my pastor and after telling him that I was pretty sure he would think I was crazy, I laid it all out and asked for some help! Brilliant man that he is (there is a reason he’s a pastor!), he told me that first of all the Bible tells us that a spirit is and always was a spirit, never a living being.

Hebrews 9:27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, (NLT)

Then why does this spirit portray itself as an old man who lived in the home?

Brilliance again, the spirits are all around us and watch us. They can tell many intimate details about the people they dwell among. The spirits in my life as a child can tell you much about me. This is how they can make us comfortable conversing with them and how they catch our attention. We can verify facts that they offer and that can bring a sense of comfort in this type of thing.

Why was it opening my blinds? Why was it making the sounds of footsteps? By the way, I made sure it wasn’t the cats as they were in my room and everyone else was sleeping. There is a distinct noise my stairs make when someone walks up them. My pastor reminded me of the story of the demon possessed boy.

Mark 9 25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!” 26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?” 29 Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”

He brought to my attention that it was not necessary for the spirit to make the boy convulse and froth at the mouth, just like it was not necessary for the spirit in my home to make footsteps or open blinds. The reason they do these things is to creep us out and cause fear and doubt.

My pastor also reminded me that I could tell it to leave in the name of Jesus….I seemed to forget that part, I was thinking I needed to have someone else do it for me.

This was huge! The missing link! I was ignoring it and hoping it would go away. I needed to acknowledge its presence and tell it to go away. I had to dedicate that home and my family to Jesus and cleans my home. I have the power in Jesus! Jesus is power! How could I forget that? How could I allow this to bring fear into my heart? I know better!

This is why I share this with you. I do know better. I had the answers and God was working in me to show me what needed to be done, I just allowed myself to be blinded to it. This is why fellowship is so important. I felt stupid and crazy but chose to talk about it anyway. I threw it out there and shared my crazy thoughts and feelings with my pastor. I am happy that I did, otherwise I would still be living in wonder and fear.

We need to lean on and open up to each other. We need to be able to share or fears, our experiences and our doubts. We all have them. Only when we can be real and reach out can we truly support and lift each other up in the midst of these trials, both big and small.

Today I encourage us all to open and honest about our struggles. Lean on each other and seek clarity when the darkness seems to ba making it difficult to see clearly. Most of all remember that you have power in Jesus, all you need to do is call on Him and He will be there. He will work through you as powerfully as you expect Him to. The key is to expect Him to do miracles and He will!

In the Power of Jesus I pray you have a blessed day.

Jealousy and Judgement

Jealousy. This topic has come up quite a lot in the past few weeks. Why even my Pastor was talking about it last night at Bible study.

Am I jealous? Not particularly. I do have waves of envy and jealousy at times, I am only human. I definitely wish for things to be different quite often, in the sense that I love my life but would love to not feel like a slave to debt. I know, it takes time to get out of it and we are wading through.

Today I am not talking about my being jealous, it is more along the lines of what to do when I find people are jealous of me. I mean even typing that feels weird to me. Jealous of me?? Who on earth would be jealous of me? I am so flawed! I struggle with so many things! I am dirty, I am poor and I am unworthy. I can be so self-centered and crabby and well just plain ol’ mean and judgemental. Truly, I see not one thing another should covet in this person.

There are quite a few things that make me very happy in my life. The fact that I have found Jesus and have a growing relationship with Him. I have found a wonderful husband, whom despite all my many failings, adores me and I him. We have an insanely busy life as a blended family but 5 beautiful children who are all growing up so quickly and have shown us just how thoughtful and caring they are. Our church family is extraordinary and it is such a HUGE blessing to be able to study God’s word and lean on real people. No religiosity, just real folks looking to come together in fellowship….this I have found to be rare. I am blessed to not only be employed in this economy, but in a field where I am able to make a difference in people’s lives. My work is difficult but can be so fun and rewarding as well!

So, yes there are many beautiful things in my life, but I have worked hard and prayed hard to get them. I have struggled and have been cut down many more times than I can count. I have been in the darkest of places, I just refuse to stay there. I have never settled for what this world has offered, I strive to climb out of the filth and to lead a life of meaning, to be in this world but not of it. I daily beg my Lord and Savior to let me be a light and to use me as His instrument to all of those around me. I generally complete many tasks without complaining too much because I think about the fact that I should just be grateful for the fact that I am alive, breathing and fully functional. I am capable of doing these things because I am blessed with health, so why see them as a burden?

I guess it all boils down to the fact that I look at some people who has shown jealousy through either word or action and think to myself, how on earth can they look at me and covet the things I have while completely ignoring the blessings that have ben bestowed upon them? How can they know my life story, all that I have endured and all that I have lost and really not just be happy for me when things go well? How can people I let in turn around and hate me for accomplishment and growth? I don’t know that I will ever understand it. I am an open book, I share my hurts, my battle wounds, my insecurities, but I don’t wear them on my sleeve for all to pity. I have always avoided pity, I have only craved understanding and love.

Is this my problem? I expect too much? Expectations seem to cause me problems more often than not. I expect that when I am in a place where I can let my walls down and let people in, that they will keep my hurts in mind and be kind when I need them to? I expect them to see the hurt little girl who still lives in here and to be there for me when I fall apart. I expect that they will look past those walls that come up automatically and to see through them. I am beginning to see that there is really only one place I can do this and that is before God. He sees through me to the very center of my being. He knows me better than I know myself.

Maybe it’s me that needs to look past the jealousy and see the hurt and pain that person holds. Perhaps I should be pushing my own hurt aside and look into that person’s life and love them through whatever it is that is causing them to hate my joy. Maybe I should stop being the self-centered person that only thinks about how unfair it is that people close to me don’t meet my expectations and don’t react the way I need them to. I think it is me that needs to hold myself up to those expectations with everyone in my life instead.

This brings me to judgement. Judgement is another thing I have struggled with all my life, mor so since becoming a believer in Christ. All in all, I am typically the type of person that tries to look at all situations from all points of views before even trying to come to some kind of opinion about a person or situation. I know that very rarely are things the way they seem. There is always more to it behind the scenes. I try to keep perspective. The problem is that another expectation rears its ugly head and I expect that others should do the same. I find it difficult to see and hear people blame everyone and everything else in their lives for their situations when you can clearly see that they played the biggest part in it! How can people be so blind?!?

We are all blind, aren’t we? When it comes to ourselves we can be blind to so many things. It is our human nature to look outward and to think about how life would be so much easier if x,y and z didn’t happen to me! If only a particular person didn’t hurt me in such a manner, well then I wouldn’t be where I am right now! How do you tell someone who they should really look at the big part they are playing in their situation as well? I feel so judgemental when all I can think of is “look at what you’re doing! Snap out of it, you’re causing your own issues right now and blaming it on others! How can you do the things you’re doing over and over again?!?!?”

The damage people can cause in our lives is very real and I don’t want to come across as if I think otherwise. I do however think that we can very often get caught up in a vicious cycle and be in a place where we never hold ourselves accountable and choose to use our past hurts as a crutch. People can get in a place where their lives can come crashing down around them and they cannot find the strength to stand up and put an end to it, instead they hide under the idea of “well this is all (insert past hurts)’s fault that this is happening and it’s not fair.”

Is it true that this person or circumstance has caused damage that lead up to this? Probably. How do you gently tell a person that they can’t really possibly be blind to their own course of actions? At what point do you blatantly tell a loves one that they are wrong, so wrong and have been wrong for quite some time now? How do you tell someone in a loving manner that you can see all the things they have been doing that has contributed to their current situation without hurting them? I feel so judgemental in these situations. I feel like I am judging another’s actions but is it judgemental when it is a fact? Am I really the horrible judgemental person I feel like I am when in reality I am just seeing what they can’t see because I am on the outside looking into the places they refuse to see? Am I being a worst friend for not shedding light on the places they need to see in order to truly be where they say they want to be? Do I sit back and continue giving words of comfort and gently nudge them in hopes that they will see those places themselves one day?

What is the right answer? I am not sure I will ever know.

Maybe the only right answer is to pray and leave myself open to God’s will. Let God lead me and beg for Jesus to work through me and use me in whatever way He needs to. I think the answer is to take myself out of the equation all together.

It’s funny, I once would joke that whenever you would ask a Christian their advice as to how you should handle a situation, the stock answer would always be “pray about it”. I am now in a place in my walk that I see why! Prayer is powerful and really is the first course of action we should all take in all things.

John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I  will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in  my name, I will do it.