Exposed

Exposed. My skin is exposed, and when it is covered with adult acne, I feel exposed. Like these adorable banana men we made at Wednesday night kids’ church, I feel as exposed and vulnerable as this banana man.

banana man

Stress. Lack of sleep. Changing my eating habits…a little more rice and gluten-free bread than normal and less meat. Travels. My skin is a direct reflection of my inward GI health. I have greatly reduced the amount of chocolate I have eaten, but I decided for a week to take brown rice and black beans which I love to work for lunch. I guess my body prefers more protein. I am not a huge fan of meat. My nutritionist says my blood work indicates I have a lower level of hydrochloric acid in my stomach which makes breaking down meat more difficult. Thank you….evidence based truth to why I love chicken more than any other meat much to my family’s chagrin. She who cooks determines the dinner course.

But, I digress….my skin is broke out and my hair does not feel as healthy. I am on vacation right this very moment as I write this at 6 a.m. and my family sleeps peacefully…I do not feel stressed, maybe tired of riding in the car, but not stressed.  So why is my skin so stressed?

I am 35…at what age will this acne stop? Is it chocolate? Coffee? Lack of sleep? Stress? Too many grains even if they are gluten-free? Dairy?

I had success with clear skin when I first went from a typical American diet to a cleaned upped diet with way less processed food. I’m still eating like that. I do confess…I quit coffee for a week, and my skin did start to clear up. Like I said, I am on vacation right now meaning I have no routine. When I return…hopefully relaxed and refreshed, I plan to experiment some more…I will wean myself from coffee and make some bone broth which also seemed to help my skin in the past.

Exposed. The skin speaks, exposes my food issues. I already am mistaken as being much younger than I am…the infamous red dots do not help! I do not want to see them staring back at me in a mirror. Life experiences have matured me as a person…I want my skin to reflect the same. I know my self-worth is not measured by the appearance of my skin, but I can not help but feel exposed. And, that I do not like that.

Anything you have found helpful for this issue?

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The Simple Things

Life can get so complicated and busy. I think it’s important to pause and reflect on the simple things. The simple things help me put my life in perspective, focus on what truly matters, and to demonstrate true gratitude.

So, what simple things do I mean?

A hot cup of tea and a stack of books I look forward to reading

Books

Really good dark chocolate

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Warm fuzzy socks

fuzzy socks

Waking up with a smile on my face when I remember it’s my day off work

Listening to my 11-year-old son sing along to the songs on K-Love

Listening to my 17-year-old daughter share her newest mission minded idea

Enjoying a delicious meal from Chipotle Mexican Grill (my favorite!)

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Pausing to reflect on the beauty around me

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The calm, quiet of morning

Coffee with a good friend

Coffee

Yes, the simple things are worth pausing to embrace. Don’t let the noise of the world drown out the joy of everyday moments.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Sometimes, these desires are wrapped up in the simple moments of every day life.

What are your simple things, your simple moments? Take time today to to embrace them.

Faith, Hope, Love, & Food….Explained

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

It’s one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

Faith…in God, family, friends, and that goodness still exists in the world. Hope…in things greater than I can see. Love…of God, family, friends, my country…and food!

So what does food have to do with these three words? So much! Food…truthfully, I love good food….homemade, healthy, and wholesome food enjoyed with a cup of coffee and with great company.

Food is also the source of a lot of turmoil in my life. After a lengthy battle with my health, I now live with a host of food allergies and intolerances. I went from super skinny (due to unplanned weight loss as part of my illness) to being just normal. I’m human-I love chocolate, and I overeat sometimes. I have “fat” jeans, and I don’t always like what I see in the mirror.

But…I am learning that God loves me as I am. He cares about the big issues in my life and the small issues in my life. My illness has forced me to re-evaluate my life on so many levels. I am learning to trust God, to trust that He loves.

Join me in this devotional journey. Together as women of Christ, we can truly learn to embrace the women we are in God’s eyes, not the world’s definition of the ideal woman. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join me!

Coffee

Devotional thought for the day:

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

1 Corinthians 10:31

Wow….God really does care about the little things in our lives. Everything we eat, everything we drink….should be for the glory of the One who loves us. The Bible talks about our bodies being temples…we shouldn’t put things into them that damages our bodies. But what about looking at it another way? We should enjoy eating. We should enjoy fellowship with others over a good meal.  (Really, really looking forward to Thanksgiving!) The pressure I  put on myself to be the same size as my “sick self”  isn’t fair to me or the One who created me. He healed me of my scariest  health ailment so why am I wishing that I was that Hollywood stick thin size? I  want to honor Him in all I say, think, and do. I am definitely a work in progress, but I will enjoy my turkey, sweet potatoes,  gluten free pumpkin pie, and cranberry salad this Thanksgiving  with my family!

Any thoughts?