Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So, You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore?

**WARNING** THIS POST NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART & NOT FOR THE CLOSE-MINDED** YOUR LIFE COULD VERY WELL BE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN**

Ever tired of just going through the motions of Christianity and want to mine the depths of what it REALLY means to live deeply in Christ? Well, we have come to this stark realization over the past few years. We have asked ourselves difficult questions, asked God those difficult questions, and found some far-reaching answers. You might say that our world has been turned upside down - for the better! As I've talked about in previous posts, we made a choice to follow where God was leading and not man - it has forever changed our lives!

We read through Jacobsen's & Coleman's book, "So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore; an unexpected journey" several months ago, and I am getting ready to go through it again. Now, before I continue, I must state that I am not replacing this book as my "bible" and I'm not saying that I agree with every single word that is in it. I DO however, believe that this has some KEY truths and elements about how GOD sees our relationship with Himself and what He intended from the very beginning. I am not saying that I think the church is null and I am not saying that you shouldn't go to church - there is a healthy balance between what is being spoken about in this book that I will leave for you to read for yourself, if you choose.

What has been so refreshing and therapeutic for me is the freedom in knowing that I do not have to belong to a church in order for God to move in my life, speak to me, and grow in Him. I do not have to submit to a pastor as if I would my God. (I am NOT saying that we shouldn't respect our leaders, etc. What I AM saying is that God is my God and not another man; and when I say 'man' I am referring to humankind). Yes, I believe God puts pastors/leaders in authority to speak into our lives -what I don't believe is that just because a leader says you must do this or that or else you won't experience this or have that - that I must except that as the inherent truth and word of God. Anyone else who says this isn't right is essentially manipulating/controlling you to some extent so that you can help benefit their own personal agenda and not God's.

This story refers to the church as 'the institution', which I do agree with. Once you have a payroll and a group of leaders governing the overall decisions, you have an institution. There is no such mention of this in the Bible anywhere. God intended for us to be in relationship with Him - yes, have fellowship with other believers - but no in the sense that this one reason would keep you from being in fellowship with Him. This is a concept that I struggled with after we left our church a few years ago. We knew that we couldn't walk in the lies anymore with them, yet we felt like we had no worth, so to speak without being in a church. Now you mustn't confuse this by me saying we shouldn't have fellowship with other believers. The whole idea behind this is that God never said "if you don't go to a church and follow the prescribed formula, you will never be able to have relationship with me." When talking about approval, the book quotes:
"Do what they want and they shower you with affirmation. Cross them and they'll crucify your reputation, with or without the facts." ... "it's a lot easier for you to get out of the system than it is to get the system out of you."
See, we went through the martydom by leaving the church we were at - as if we had some sort of disease and had lost our salvation. We took a stand on what we believed to be wrong and what we believed to be the Truth and chose to follow the Truth. No more approval once we disagreed with what the "masses" told us to believe. At another section of the book, they have a discussion on guilt and how it is used to gain the desired outcome by controlling a situation:
"Guilt does that. It shoves us away from God in our time of need, instead of allowing us to run to him, presenting our greatest failures and questions so that we might receive his mercy and grace....we use guilt to conform people's behavior, never realizing the same guilt will them far from God."
See, it's a dangerous scary game. And we still get caught up in now that we're gone, just because it is human nature and when these things have been literally ingrained/indoctrinated in us since becoming a Christian, it's hard to just 'stop' all of a sudden. But thanks be to God that He is the ultimate in charge and that when we truly choose to follow HIM and not man, it will happen automatically. Your life is turned upside down without you even knowing it because you have been choosing to put God first and not the approval and guilt-driven system of man.

Weather you agree or not, this book is definitely worth reading. If you disagree, this is great material to debate and argue your points with :) - if you agree with stuff inside, then you're in for a whole new ride as well!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Incorporating Medium Chain ‘fatty acids’ into Your Diet Helps Lose Body Fat

I am not a diabetic, but I think this is great to think about weather you are or aren't! I really like this company's products and the coconut oil is quite tasty! I can add this to oatmeal, and Kaileigh eats it right up. Virgin Coconut Oil is an extremely versatile and wonderfully delicious tasting oil. Good quality coconut oil is one of the most stable cooking oils, plus it's highly resistant to rancidity. There are many ways to incorporate coconut oil into your diet. It could be used anywhere you currently use any of the "seed" oils (soybean, corn, canola, safflower, sesame seed, sunflower seed); used as a butter for spreads, over popcorn, or for baking; used in soups or 'smoothies'; eaten right off the spoon; eaten as a "candy" or "white chocolate" when refrigerated or frozen; put in coffee or tea; mixed with peanut butter; etc. I can add this to oatmeal, and Kaileigh eats it right up.

A new study demonstrates that a diet rich in coconut oil protects against ‘insulin resistance’ (an impaired ability of cells to respond to insulin) in muscle and fat. The diet also avoids the accumulation of body fat caused by other high fat diets of similar calorie content. Together these findings are important because obesity and insulin resistance are major factors leading to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

The study is also interesting because it helps explain human studies showing that people who incorporate medium chain ‘fatty acids’, such as those found in coconut oil, into their diets can lose body fat.

Dr Nigel Turner and Associate Professor Jiming Ye, from Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, compared fat metabolism and insulin resistance in mice fed coconut oil and lard based diets. Their findings are now published online in the international journal Diabetes.

Unlike the long chain fatty acids contained in animal fats, medium chain fatty acids are small enough to enter directly, where they can then be converted to energy.

Unfortunately the downside to eating medium chain fatty acids is that they can lead to fat build up in the liver, an important fact to be taken into consideration by anyone considering using them as a weight loss therapy.

Fat storage is determined by the balance between how much fat is taken in by cells and how much of this fat is burned for energy. When people eat a high fat diet, their bodies attempt to compensate by increasing their capacity to oxidise fat. The medium chain fatty acid (coconut oil) diet was more effective at increasing the oxidative capacity of muscle than the long chain fatty acid (lard) diet leading to less fat storage in muscle and better insulin action.

The lard-based diet used in this research is similar to the diet eaten by people in the Western world. Its fatty acid composition is about 40% saturated fats, 40% monounsaturated fats and 20% polyunsaturated fats, of which the vast proportion is omega-6, rather than omega-3.

So at any rate, that is my 2 cents worth! You can check more out here. I just got a BUY 1 GET 1 FREE @ 12.95 special!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Drinks for Your Spirit!

So it's 18 degrees at our house today and we have had nothing but freezing drizzle and sounds like that's the plan for the rest of the weekend! Here at the Davis household, we love seasonal drinks - both non-alcoholic and adult - and ALL of these recipes can be made with alcoholic substitutes with just the same great flavor! Today we made some Hot Buttered Apple Rum! Ah..

Hot Buttered Apple Rum

Ingredients

* 4 inches stick cinnamon, broken
* 1 teaspoon whole allspice
* 1 teaspoon whole cloves (I've also used ground cloves too which works)
* 7 cups apple juice
* 1-1/2 to 2 cups rum
* 1/3 to 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* Butter
( If you want to have this drink alcoholic, alter this slightly by adding everything - except only cook about 1/2cup rum for flavoring. Then add a shot into the mug when serving.) The above recipe is great if you want a great flavored hot rum drink with the alcohol cooked out.

Directions

1. Tie cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a spice bag. In a 3-1/2-, 4-, 5-, or 6-quart slow cooker combine spice bag, apple juice, rum, and brown sugar. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours.

2. Discard spice bag. Ladle hot punch into cups; float about 1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine on each serving. Makes 10 (6-ounce) servings.

Another favorite fall/winter drink of ours:

"Coffee Alfredo"
3/4 oz. each Kahlua, Amaretto, fill with coffee and top with whip cream. (for non alcoholic, use Choco & Amaretto coffee syrups)

"Hot Apple Pie"
Sparkling Cider, 1 1/4 oz heated Tuaca, topped with whip cream.

"Hot Angel"
Steamed milk (foam or not) with shot Frangelica. (for non-alcoholic, use hazelnut syrup in place of the Frangelica)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Another Year, Another Adventure

The past month I have been focusing primarily on building my consulting business specializing with Social Media. I have really enjoyed working with some clients and watching their business grow, while having such a blast. Another great avenue that's presented itself has been handling a great deal of translation for a government agency that deals with lots of Georgians. How I love to be involved with aspects of international business and Social Media and still have playdough and coloring sessions with Kaileigh at my kitchen table!

So I have begun yet another adventure. This road is a bit more unknown and unpredictable, but the joy, fun, and peace has returned and that my friends, IS WHAT MATTERS!

I've literally been so busy that my own blog and social "fun" networking as slacked. I also realize that I like to keep my profiles up to date so that I can have somewhat of a "living" portfolio for clients to view as well so they can see things working. At any rate, my goal is 3 posts a week here until I get into a my new groove! I've currently been working on re-designing my own website for KMD, so I will post that too when it's done - hopefully this week!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm A Survivor

The last several months have been something else for me. I didn't even know where to start when someone asks how things were going, etc. How do you tell someone that "yea pretty much life just sucks right now"? Well, since this is me that we're talking about, that's just about how it would come out! :) Nothing was going the way I'd wanted or planned and I was tired of not being able to cope - survive - function - without the help of sleep aids, relaxants, and screwing vitamins and 'all things natural'. Everything that I stood for and believed in began to fall down the drain in a hopeless feeling of exhastion and defeat.

I would find that at the end of my days, the last thing I wanted to do was get back online and share my thoughts and 'jordanisms' with people when I'd spent my entire day defending myself and just surving to get to the end of the day without being lectured and scolded. My passion for sharing on things and issues near and dear to my heart began to fade in the light of other things claiming priority in my life by means of necessity. There was no joy and energy left in me at the end of the day and the despair of the next coming day were enough to make me sick and I'd once again, neglect something that I once loved and looked forward to - blogging and keeping up on the latest herbal health trends and information.

But alas! There was a cloud with a silver lining in it on my horizon and I have embraced it full force! For the first time in 2 years, I am truly able to be a true Mommy and a real Independent Contractor. It has been a breath of fresh air to have set deadlines and projects and know that who cares when it gets done, as long as it's done and done well. There's no more being tied to my house and my phone in fear that I won't be available when I'm 'supposed' to be available and that I can run my own schedule and take time for my daughter.

I have GREATLY appreciated all of your emails and posts encouraging me to continue to share information and stories with you all. You are wonderful readers and I love you too!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Letting Go

The past year, or bit more, we have been in the process of processing, dealing, grieving, and letting go. I have been learning that there comes a time in life where you must decide what is "right" for your family and what is Truth and what you are OK with being "gray". I just never thought that we would hit something like this so soon. I know that as a parent, I am responsible for the influences and examples that Kaileigh grows up with and adapts as her own eventually, but I never really thought about the fact that making decisions based on all of these things starts now - that we are sowing seed into not only our lives, but Kaileigh's, and into all of our futures.

We came to a cross roads awhile back where we had to choose between what we felt God was telling/leading us and where man was telling us we should go. (you can read in-depth on that here) Well, we chose to take a step of faith and follow where we felt God leading. And in this process we have lost friends, but we have also made new ones - and kept some who have chosen the same path. We have learned that forgiveness isn't always what it looks like

But the hardest part of all this? LETTING GO. Letting go of the idea of friendship(s) that never really were - authentic. Letting go of an idea that was never really real to begin with - that truth wasn't The Truth. Letting go of the fact that we were strung along to follow something that was not for our spiritual gain, but for personal, human gain. Letting go of a memory that never really was what it looked like. And letting go of all the emotions and experiences and wondering, was it really what it seemed and realizing that nothing will ever be the same again.

When people talk with us, I often relate to the passage in Genesis where Lot and his family leave Sodom & Gomorrah. God tells them not to look back. Oh boy - "don't look back God?" Well, that is what it has been. Learning to let go and to not look back - on something that never was Truth. To know that God said "go, take your family, and run and do not look over your shoulder."

Now, I am not saying that I am looking back and regretting. What I AM saying is that I continue to go through this grieving process of realizing that we have left an "old way", so to speak and have started a "new route" and as we continue to experience God's blessing and excitement, I grieve from time to time for those who I was close to, no longer share those same values and convictions or share the same goals and it is sometimes more than my heart can handle.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Fun

So a few weeks ago, we got out the little play pool for Kaileigh. Though we enjoy going to the neighborhood pool, this is great for when I need to get work done and can sit at the table on the patio and let her go to play! Below is a video of her first summer 'swim'.
video


While watching her play in the pool, I was once again I was so reminded of the adventures in mothering. It's these little things of her giggles and just pure joy and excitement to do the simple things like play in a swimming pool. I just pray that I remember these little squeals and joys as she gets older. I'm so blessed that I can be around to watch this!

Monday, June 1, 2009

I have decided to talk about the big "M" word - I've had more than my share of girlfriends who have shared their stories and I think that it's worth sharing my golden nugget of all natural health when it comes to that dreaded monthly curse of menstration! Because I've had such a history of issues, I have had to discipline and work on some alternative medical routes to deal with - not just treat - the symptoms.

You've heard from me before, and I'll boast again at how great the products from Native Remedies.

Mens-Reduce is especially formulated for women and contains a combination of herbal ingredients well-known for their positive and tonic effects on female hormonal balance as well as their benefits in maintaining a regular menstrual cycle with normal menstrual flow.

Everything is completely 100% natural in gredient:

  • Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is a traditional herb commonly used for supporting menstrual health, soothed nerves and trouble-free periods, especially during the perimenopausal period.
  • Sheperd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) is another female tonic herb which also has added benefits in supporting overall hormonal health as well as a variety of other health supporting properties.
  • Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis) is recommended in naturopathic medicine to maintain regular periods and to soothe common menstrual cramps and research has highlighted the role of Calendula in cellular health.
  • Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus) is known to ease common nervous tension as well as relax the uterus, thereby also soothing common menstrual cramps.
  • China is used to maintain healthy levels of iron in the blood and is also recommended to support physical stamina and energy.
  • Calc carb is used to support normal menstrual flow. It is also often recommended for women who experience common tender breasts during menstruation
  • Sepia is recommended to maintain hormonal balance, regular normal periods and balanced mood.
  • Belladonna is very useful for the maintenance of regular periods and balanced mood.

There is not much else I can say, as I just believe this product sells itself. But I would encourage you to give it a whirl. The key to this product is to really be consistent with it, so you can't just take it during each cycle - it really has to be a part of your daily intake.

You can read in-depth on Mens-Reduce below!





Mens-Reduce for Heavy Menstrual Flow & Menorrhagia

Mens-Reduce for Heavy Menstrual Flow & Menorrhagia


Promotes healthy menstruation and helps maintain a normal menstrual flow














Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stars Hollow Syndrome

For those out there who are Gilmore Girls junkies (and yes, I include myself in this!),I must admit that I have some 'Stars Hollow Syndrome'. For awhile now, a group of us girlfriends get together and have our 'Gilmore Girls Night In'. We eat junk food and laugh and watch through the series until we can't stay awake any longer and then we pick up again the next week. We all end up talking about the same things (though most of us have seen these now how many times), 'Will Luke and Lorali ever get together?' and 'how about all those fast 1-liners!' and then always, always, always 'oh, i want to live in Connecticut in Stars Hollow. How fun..' and the comments go on and on and on.

Now, for those who have never seen the Gilmore Girls, I will give you a quick inside:
Stars Hollow is a fictional New England town of aprx. 9,973 people in Connecticut. If you are familiar with the show, please skip the direct quotation from Wikipedia below:

Stars Hollow was inspired by and is loosely based on the real town of Washington Depot, Connecticut (located in the middle of the western half of the state, about 45 minutes from both Hartford and New Haven) which writer Amy Sherman-Palladino once traveled through. But at

There are many clues given during the course of the show as to its location in Connecticut, but unfortunately no one town fits all clues. Hartford is supposed to be within 30 minutes and New Haven is allegedly 22.8 miles away. Towns mentioned as being close include Woodbury and Beacon Falls (generally in the central south west of the state), Litchfield, Groton and New London (in the south east). This information can't be reconciled any better.

Washington Depot, the town Amy Sherman-Palladino mentioned as inspiring Stars Hollow, also uses a town meeting-style government and was founded in 1779. The homes and buildings in the town all match the style of that in Stars Hollow and the archetype New England town. In real life Woodbury is very close to Washington Depot. It should be noted that plenty of other Connecticut towns have village greens, gazebos or small quaint shops and give a feel much like Stars Hollow to a visitor.

Greg Morago of The Hartford Courant writes, "...... the Stars Hollow of The Gilmore Girls rings true. The town's antiques shops, small businesses, schools, government and infrastructure look the part. But where Sherman-Palladino has truly excelled, despite her Clueless origins, is in her drawing of colorful Connecticut characters. The populace of Stars Hollow, from the town busybody to the town troubadour, is familiar to any Nutmegger who ever attended a town meeting."

Now I post all of that above because of the point that I want to make: at some point I think many of us long for such a 'place'. It's this everyday, yet whimsical and magical small town that makes you feel like everything is just going to be ok and that people are just the nicest and best that there ever was. And even though life gets tough, there is always someone there to have your back.

When things start to get tough or begin to change, I naturally gravitate towards moving and changing atmospheres. I have been like this since I can remember and there are days where all I want is to live in my 'Stars Hollow' and go to town meetings and have a town troubadour sing while I walk down the street. Course, for right now, I guess that my Harry Connick Jr and Coldplay will just have to do the trick, eh?!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

That 'Still, Small, Voice': Caffeine or Jesus?

Caffeine. Ah...that is literally the first thing I do each morning. I grab a fresh brewed latte and sit down on the couch and try to quickly 'wake' myself up. Usually I am watching Kaileigh go directly to her toy box and begin her "busy" day and wondering how someone who only slept for 4-5hrs the night before can be so bubbly without the latte! And here's the thing - my body depends on this every morning and usually more than one is consumed by days end. Yes, "hello, my name is Jordan and I'm a coffee addict. It's been 6 seconds since my last drink." :)

Jesus. Ah.....that is not the first thing I do each morning. I've never been one for the traditional "personal devotional time" every morning, but I have ALWAYS had a daily relationship with the Lord; sometimes it's a prayer, other times it's a scripture, and still other times it's the everyday tasks where He meets me at. But, the past few weeks I haven't had the time of seeking and conversing with Him that I usually do. That 'still, small, voice' hasn't been as clear and obvious. You know, the one where you think to yourself "is that me or is it the caffeine talking?"

I had several experiences this past week where there was no doubt it was the Holy Spirit talking to me and I just chose to ignore that 'voice'. Here I am asking the Lord to show Himself to me and to 'be near to me' as I grieve, process, and move forward and I'm not evening listening! Ha! And afterwards, I literally would shake my head and say, 'yep. you tried to tell me and I just ignored.'

I have been going through a study on A Call for Character by Greg Zoschak. The idea of love relationship with the Father and living in constant communion with Him in the everyday tasks - not just on Sundays and not just at the start or end of our days. What a concept. One that I desire to continually cultivate. This is what I have been deep in thought over the past 4 weeks. What does it mean to have - to cultivate - a love relationship with the Lord. To know who He is and how He speaks to me. It has been a very refreshing and healing time for me. The very fact that fear dissipates and joy overflows by simply cultivating a relationship with the Lord- and if I'd been through more than 2 chapters, I'm sure I'd have more!

So next time you hear that 'still, small, voice', it may not be the 4th latte of the day talking - it could just be your Heavenly Father desiring to converse! Because how nice would it be for my body to 'depend' upon that daily relationship just as it depends on the coffee I immediatly feed it each morning!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Five Cents on Herbal Supplements & Immune System

For the past 6 years or so, I have been seeing a holistic doctor. Now, this doctor is not my primary physician , nor do I see him for everything. However, I have found that this system has immensely helped my body personally. Yes, I still see a regular doctor and yes, I still take antibiotics from time to time. BUT...there are times where my body corrects itself simply by me feeding it the proper nutrients. For me, my Thyroid is completely healthy by following a holistic approach - I've never had to take steroids and I actually am healthier and have a higher level(healthy/normal level) of progesterone in my body because of this. 98% of Americans have a deficient thyroid because our diets in this country do not support the supplements of other countries - we have preservatives! So, I have found these things below to be very helpful and accurate for me.

Your body’s immune system, which includes the thymus, bone marrow and lymphoid tissues, produces immune responses to protect the body from foreign substances and pathogenic organisms.

It is imperative that the immune system be strong enough to perform the function of the body’s own natural physician. A weak immune system does not work to its optimum capability - it fails to recognize foreign invasions and can even start to destroy the normal cells of the body.

While an illness does not indicate a weak immune system, persistent fatigue, swelling of glands, recurrent colds and sore throat do indicate deterioration in the immune system health . The immune system is well organized and focused in its functions. It is also a complex system that can be impaired by simple factors like excessive physical or emotional stress, reckless recourse to the antibiotic alternative and a non-nutritional diet.

The immune system uses up lot of reserves in the body in the process of producing antibodies and white blood cells. These reserves need to be replenished regularly so that the immune system continues to work at optimum levels. Herbal antibiotics and herbal supplements can play an important role in this.

You would have noticed that every time you have a cold the doctor prescribes a vitamin C supplement along with other medications, when a if prescription is needed. Vitamin C restricts the growth of viruses and bacteria. However, the vitamin needs flavanoids for easy absorption by the body.

These are plant based substances that should be consumed with vitamin C daily for strengthening your immunity against disease. Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C and therefore help in keeping the immune system in a healthy condition. Herbs for immune system contain complex compounds that bacteria are unable to break. This means that they cannot use simple compounds for their own metabolism. And this is the main reason why the there is no possibility of bacteria developing resistance to herbs. Many herbal supplements have antibiotic properties along with the capacity to spruce up your immune system’s health.

Exercising the antibiotic alternative every time you fall ill can destroy the friendly bacteria as well. These friendly bacteria are of utmost utility for the healthy functioning of various systems in the body. For example, antibiotics disturb the intestinal flora making elimination of solid wastes difficult.

Herbs like stinging nettle, dandelion, watercress, Echinacea, Korean white ginseng and shoots of conifers like fir and pine help in the detoxification process. They also purify the blood and boost immune system health especially if consumed in juice form. Echinacea stimulates white blood cells that aid in the break down and elimination of solid waste and toxins.

A supplement prepared from roots of licorice, couch grass and lovage herbs helps in supercharging the immune system along with eliminating toxins that may have accumulated in the body.It should be kept in mind that herbs for immune system are not a panacea that will cure all diseases by improving immune system health.

Some herbs can be toxic in nature if they are not properly diluted or if they are administered in a manner different from the instructions provided by an expert.

When not ordering from Health Quarters, I order the remainder of my supplements from Native Remedies. They not only have the products, but also the forums and the information to help you out as well! I just got a whole bunch of things with their current sale! If you're so inclined, you can check 'em out at this link right here: Buy 2 Get 1 Free on ALL products from Native Remedies - natural, proven and safe remedies for the whole family!

All this said to say that if you're experiencing any kind of issues, it may be worth it in the long run to check out some holistic and herbal approaches!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Memories and Smells



Tonight I was doing my nightly ritual of face washing, teeth brushing, etc. Since we are staying at my in-laws house currently, I had left my lotion downstairs and used some of the lotion by the sink for my hands.

Immediately I was taken back to Coventry, England 2001. All because of a lotion. The same brand of lotion that I used for 4 months while living in a tiny bedroom on the 3rd floor of a very damp and cat-smelling home. I can see the fluffy, single bed up against the wall right below the tiny long and narrow window - that I left cracked 24/7 to help with the cat dander & just stale stuffy air of the February winter inside. I am back in the room standing next to the narrow closet, looking at my huge forest green & maroon backpack that has 7 months worth of clothes, bedding, and school supplies stuffed into it. As I open the bedroom door, I can see the narrow hallway with the tiny, but beautiful Victorian style bathroom - with the hot water heater to the right as it kicks on loudly warning us all of the 10pm shut down time of the city water for each night. And not only do I see my home for that time, I see faces of my college friends and the cobblestone and brick roads outside. I can see the buses, train, and people sitting at the internet cafe and those on benches. I see the huge Cathedral and people walking around with backpacks and laughing at the tourists; the outdoor escalators and the amazing 3 story mall. I can smell the rain; I can smell the smog & exhaust; and I can see the green countryside outside of the city. Everything - every memory- about that time I am taken back to by the smell - the smell of lotion - the memories that I created 8 years ago during my Senior year of college. And I miss those memories -those experiences. So in honor of Coventry, England and all the wonderful people, my host family, and my friends & teachers, I have posted just a few pictures. I will have to go through my albums and post some more later!

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to live over there for a brief time and I would definitely go back in a heartbeat!




Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lipstick and God

So it has been so busy here the past few weeks! My daughter and I got to travel with my husband to the State High School basketball tournament to watch him ref and spend time with family. We are finally getting back into a groove here at the Davis household! And believe it or not, I actually did not have content pre-written to post while away.

The past weeks I have been enjoying a book, Sex God. This book frequently brings tears to my eyes and touches my soul. I think that anyone should check it out - the title is only the beginning! This author has amazing podcasts as well and are definitely worth checking out as well. One of the chapters that I most recently read was entitled "God wears lipstick". I have found this chapter to be very applicable for where I am currently in my walk with God and our stage as a family right now. The entire context of the chapter was centered around a story of a British Lieutenant Colonel who was part of liberating a German concentration camp.

Bell quotes in this chapter:
"How you treat the creation, reflects how you feel about the creator. When a
human being is mistreated, objectified, or neglected, when they are treated
as less than human, these actions are actions against God. Because how you
treat the creation reflects how you feel about the Creator."

he goes on to say...
"When I respect the image of God in others, I protect the image of God in
me. When Jesus speaks of loving our neighbor, it isn't just for our neighbor's
sake. If we don't love our neighbor, something happens to us. And in trying to
protect the image of God in them, we just might be protecting the image of God
in ourselves in the process. Because with every decision, conversation, gesture,
comment, action, and attitude, we're inviting heaven or hell to earth."

This concept really hit home for me. I have watched and listened and known of so many things where people have been mistreated by those who claim to love our Creator the most. And what has grieved me the most is that they are hurting themselves so much more. They are not just hurting the other, but themselves- their families - their relationship with the Maker.

At the end of this chapter Bell finishes the story of the British officer saying that one afternoon a huge shipment of food and medicine arrive - and boxes full of lipstick. The officer states that people were walking around with 'scarlet red lips' and walking around 'with pieces of lipstick clutched in their hands'. The officer states "at last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm....that lipstick start to give them back their humanity."

Bell finishes by saying,
"...sometimes, the difference between heaven and hell may be a bit of lipstick."

My husband and I have chosen a path that we want to protect the image of God in ourselves - we want to invite heaven to earth - to our home - to our in and outs of daily life - to our hearts and minds. I don't ever want to say that I was known for taking away from a person's humanity - their image in Christ and in so doing, do the same thing to myself.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (aka Panic Disorder)

I hate how this is referred to as a disorder - because it is curable - not treatable.

I have spent the last 10 years working on nutrition, vitamins, exercise to take care of my body in what the physician world recognizes as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I was doing really well until after Kaileigh was born. As I continued to breastfeed, I struggled to manage my weight and couldn't take half of the supplements, etc. And I found my anxiety returning. Because of the extensive surgery I had to undergo after delivery, I had almost 4 months of recovery time. This is what ultimately got me into a different pattern of life and eating habits. All this to say, I have finally been getting back into a "groove", if you will, for how I was operating pre-birth!

I see a holistic doctor monthly and take supplements, along with diet, exercise, and massage therapy as well twice a month. Since re-starting my regiment, I have not had to take one prescription pill to 'treat' my anxiety.

I wanted to share with everyone some of the things I have learned and discovered for myself that has truly cured the anxiety. Keep in mind that not all these things work for everyone, but a huge majority of people do find this to be true and work.
  1. Some explainable causes for anxiety & panic can be low blood sugar - you can just eat something and find yourself calming down.
  2. Scent/Aromatherapy also work with others - baby powder, lavender, hyacinth, & peppermint are just a few of the scents that aid in relaxation of the brain.
  3. Acupressure - I myself am very responsive to this technique and is why I have a massage 2x a month. There are specific pressure points that actually release a "euphoric adrenaline" that will literally relax and calm your whole body. I also use "neck wraps". You don't even have to go out to the store to buy one, you can take a clean sock with some rice and just tie it up and then heat in the microwave. If you want to add aroma, go to your local health store and get the desired oil to put on the rice. This can be a really cheap way to have some nice 'spa' therapy! I love the Lemongrass Spa products; not expensive, but very effective
  4. Diet - foods that are low in caffeine and sugars are huge. Adding in a vitamin drink or EmergenC to a glass of water will actually calm your body.
  5. Vitamins - B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and Adrenal health are definitely key.

Though these are just a few options, if you are faithful and get yourself into a routine, you will not help but notice a difference.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cooling Off With Cloth

Summer is - almost here - though lately here in Colorado with 70 degree weather at the beginning of March - it does feel like summer! Obviously, with summer comes the higher temperatures. Disposable diapers, like anything lined with non-breathable plastics, are HOT!

The Summer heat can also contribute to diaper rashes. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, 54% of one-month old babies using disposable diapers had rashes, with 16% being severe rashes. Diaper rashes are caused by a several different issues, but a hot, dirty diaper is one of the most common causes. Cloth Diapers are much cooler than disposable diapers, and necessitate more frequent changes; keeping your baby cool and dry for these hot summer months. Course, I have come to realize now that Kaileigh is older, we are not changing her diaper near as much as when she was a newborn.

When shopping for the right diaper for your child, some good pointers to keep in mind.
  • Look for a fitted diaper - this is the diaper inside a cover. You don't have pin or fasten! It's just like using a disposable diaper.

  • You can choose from all sorts of varieties of diapers: organic cotton, fleece knits, or milled cotton. My favorite brands of fitted diapers are the Bum Genius & Bummis Super. And really,anything in the Bummis line is just amazing -fitted & with covers. Bummis covers are waterproof, but are EXCELLENT for breathing! Kaileigh has never once gotten a rash when wearing the cloth diapers

  • All fitted covers work with prefold diapers. Chinese prefolds are definitely top of the line, but I have found normal prefolds to work just as well.
If you are looking to start cloth diapers for the first time, or aren't quite sure, you should check out all that the Nurtured Family has to offer. You can order most of your supplies from them and they are quite competitive with other companies that carry the same brands of power washers, diapers, covers, etc.

Nurtured Family also has supplies and tips from maternity to toddlers! So, not just diaper products are here. I have ordered from them several times and will continue to use them!!
Cloth Diapers, Nursing Bras & Baby Slings - NurturedFamily.com

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Nanny Is For Anyone

We are not rich. We are not poor. We just are!


My freelance work is such that there are times I must have quiet and concentration. I am either making phone calls or needing to develop something that requires no interruptions. Up until about 6 months ago, I was doing great: wake up, feed Kaileigh, feed myself, dress Kaileigh, maybe dress myself, start working. While Kaileigh was awake, I could work in 30-45min "intervals", if you will; she could watch a veggie tales or other movie in the pack'n'play and I could get phone calls made. Then, she could sit in her exersaucer in the office and play around, which usually lasted about another 30min or so and then I would have enough work done so that I could play with her and attend to her until morning nap. PERFECT routine & schedule!


Then the walking happened - then running - then the need to constantly be moving. No longer were there exersaucers and pack'n'plays to keep her contained. Yikes! Then maybe she'd take a morning nap, maybe not. Yikes, Yikes! How am I going to get all this work done that has to be completed at specific times?? I was starting to slack in the areas that some of my clients depended on me most. And we honestly, just couldn't afford to lose them right now. So, my husband and I got creative. We started putting local ads in Craigslist for PT babysitters/nanny's, but nothing was really exciting us. I then got an email from MOPS International saying that they had a site they trusted and recommended -Care.com. It was very cheap to join; though they do have free memberships as well. With the paid membership of $18/month, I was able to search for sitters in our zip code, the price range I was willing to pay, run background checks, and get references from them! We found a PT nanny within 2 weeks of signing up. It was amazing! And not only can you find nanny's, but you can also search for Senior Care Specialists, Pet Sitting, Housekeepers, AND even tutors!


I tell EVERYONE about this place because I have found great happiness! I now crank my work out in 2 days and have the nanny come to play with Kaileigh & she also helps with household tasks as well. It has been a HUGE blessing. She lives only blocks away from our house and is also available for us at other times as well. Talk about a perfect service that lets you be in control and find exactly what you're looking for!I also liked the fact that you don't have to sign up for several months at a time - you can go month by month and cancel at any time without any penalties, while still maintaining a free membership after that.


So if you are in need of childcare, special needs, senior specialized care, pet sitting, tutoring, housekeeping, and more , check them out today!



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"What Is This?"

'Oh, what is this!?'

Though it is not that clearly articulated, this is Kaileigh's favorite phrase lately. She walks around pointing at everything and saying 'oh! what is this!?' The excitement in her voice and just the pure "wow" and "wonder" of everything that she sees and touches. And I never get tired of hearing her ask this phrase and watching her eyes light up.

I am learning so many things through my daughter. She reminds me daily of the love that God has for me and how he never tires of hearing us say 'Oh, what is this!?' Yet, how often do we pause in wow and wonder at what God has surrounded us by-by what He is doing in us and for us? It seems that at some point we stop looking and asking 'Oh, what is this!?' and just go about our day, when all He is wanting and waiting for us to do is ask this question and watch our eyes light up as we get all excited at His marvelous hand and work in our lives.

I have been in such awe these past months as I notice all around me things that God has done and is doing and it does cause me to get excited and say 'Oh, what is this!?'

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Flax Seed & Oil

Well, I might as well just come out and say it - my daughter is always constipated; until recently.

When first starting solid foods, bananas would always "plug" her up, so I would only feed her bananas if she could eat prunes. Well, once she wasn't eating baby food all the time and started eating whatever it is that we have for breakfast every morning, she started to have the same problem - hard or no movements. Well, though she does still love prunes and will eat them in her Super Porridge, let's face it: who wants to eat that every morning or even every other morning?!

Refusing to use the so called laxatives and other agents, I decided that there had to be another way to help "ease/soften" her exercises! So I got to thinking, I put flax seed oil into my protein shakes in the mornings because it adds a nice 'sweet' flavor to it and it helps me get that "omega 3" in. However, only flax oil can be taken by toddlers. This has a much more pungent smell and isn't quite as sweet tasting! BUT, it does naturally help soften a child's stool. One agent that I'd started to not have in Kaileigh's diet as much was the malt-barely and millet grains that help naturally aid in digestion and stool movements. I never thought about it until looking further into the benefits of Flax.

Flax oil not only softens and aides the intestines, but it is also a nutrient that facilitates absorption of the vitamins that the child is eating. Plain mineral oil (which some do use for laxative properties in toddles, just slides through and has no nutritional value).

A toddler can have up to 2 teaspoons of flax oil a day OR a tablespoon of flax seed meal (ground flax seeds). Flax seed meal is great because it not only aides in the digestion for the toddler, but it also contains FIBER. And fiber is also key for that little kiddos intestinal tract!

You can also mix up blueberries, strawberries, and other fruits with flax oil and/or meal with yogurt (or soy properties for non-dairy) and this is a great way to help get those nutrients down the child.

I am simply amazed at how intricate God has made our bodies and how there is always something natural to solve an issue with our bodies!

Monday, March 2, 2009

"Mrs Davis? Hi, Kaileigh's Appointment Was at 2:15 this Afternoon..."

......

"Really," I said. "I never got a confirmation call."

"I have you down here as confirmed on Friday at 2:35pm."

"Really. Who did you talk to?!"

"I don't have the name written down, but I did speak with someone and they confirmed your appointment."

"Well, I wasn't around on Friday and we have no messages or any record on our caller ID. This is really frustrating cause I would've been there had this 'ghost' confirm er told me I had an appointment."

"I'm truly sorry Mrs. Davis, but we had you confirmed and we will need to re-schedule and get your no-show fee."

"Ok, so I can come in anytime this week that you pick, but I'm still going to say that there is no message, caller ID, or call to our cell phones, and I'd really rather not pay the $50 for an appointment that I was unaware about. I can bring phone records if you'd like"

"Very well Mrs. Davis. We will see you later this week."

"Thanks. Bye"


So either the lady was like 'gosh this mom is crazy' or she was like 'this is a hole I will not be able to get out of with this mom, so I'm going no farther.' Regardless, I'm sure I will have to end up paying the $50 for not showing up and just deal with it. Though to me, $50 IS a huge deal when I truly didn't get a phone call of any sorts and am now saying 'good bye' to our March date night to pay for my lack of responsibility that I had no clue I was being.

Last week at our MOPS group, we talked about perspective - in parenting and viewing life as a whole in a larger picture. We looked at a piece of art that was "pointillism". The closer you looked at the picture, the more dots you could see and not the entire piece of art - the dots were more accented and the painting was blurred, but the farther away you held it, the more defined the picture become and the dots were blurred. The whole point being, when we can step back and look at the whole picture, the dots aren't as big and defined. The closer in we look and pick away, all you see are the dots and not the art.

So back to my conversation above with the nurse earlier. Really, in the grand scheme of things, it's not that big of deal - or "dot" - should I say. Inconvenient? Definitely. But at least Kaileigh has a doctor to go to and has a good one that can fit us in again in the same week and have a nurse that can deal with my irritable voice over the phone. What a way for me to be reminded that there is a bigger picture in this adventure!

And so, here is one more way that I choose to 'own my adventure'.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Healthy Toddler - My Monthly Cooking Spree!

Today was my day to cook all of the vegetables and fruits for Kaileigh. I've been using the Super Baby Food book since she was about 5months old. When I first started this "cause", if you will, it was merely out of the need to save expenses in the purchase of jarred baby food. Even with a 4oz jar at .49 each, you figure you end up buying almost $50-85 in baby food a month - not including any cereals or other foods for them. So, I decided that I was going to make my own baby food! I spend at least half of that each month and I'm able to buy fresh, organic, produce and fruits and grains that ended up lasting longer than a month ; especially the grains. All I needed was a food processor and a blender (if not grain grinder).

At first I was overwhelmed and thought that I would never be able to keep up with it. However, it took me one month of this system and after that I had it down to a 2x/mo routine. And naturally, as Kaileigh got older, the amount of 'pureeing' went down and the amount of work I had to do. At this point, Kaileigh still LOVES her "super porridge" and has it about 3 times a week. And, though I try to get her to eat "chunks" of the same vegetables, she will only eat them mashed. So, at this point I am willing to still mash up the veggies if it means she eats them! And now that we are definitely in the snacky stage of life, this book is just on the counter all the time!

Now all of that said to say this:

In addition to saving money, Kaileigh has been exceptionally healthy and is eating the same way that Greg & I do. Not EVERYTHING is 'organic', but it is always fresh and we try to buy as natural as possible. And I have had such a rollarcoaster with my own hormones since High School, that diet is everything in this house. Why not just start right away with our child?

The more reading I do, the more I realize how important it is to help shape a child's diet before the age of 2. Not saying that Kaileigh will not like things from time to time, but she will always try something once.

What started as a necessity to save money, became a true belief and lifestyle in organic & natural nutrition for not just my husband and I, but for our 1 1/2yr old daughter.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Owning My Adventure

I must concur that it has been way too long since I last was blogging. However, I found myself not liking the old blog and wasn't sure what I wanted out of my new one. Then it hit me - adventure. Not just any adventure, but the adventure of being Mommy AND Me. What does it mean to own our adventures?


It has been quite a rollarcoaster the past 18 months - I have been responsible for another human being other than myself! And in the process of becoming a mommy, I began to wonder where 'me' was in all of this. I went from full time work, traveling, adventures - to, well.... motherhood. And all of a sudden I found myself wondering "what now?" Oh Jordan, Jordan, Jordan...if only I'd known that I'd just traded one adventure for another - an adventure that I'd begin to cherish every moment of every day!



Owning my adventure - I love the fact that this new adventure is still ME. Yes I have the daily routine tasks, but there is ME in those daily tasks and I have learned so much about myself. I love the fact that since having my daughter and being at home with her that I still get to develop my skills, passions, and learn new things. I love the fact that I can laugh when - once again - I've left the house with no diapers, but diaper wipes; no wallet, but purse; left with a pajama shirt still on with jeans that has breakfast all over it; that 'late' is all relative - I'm owning my adventure. I love the fact that I've continued to bring some much-needed income into the family through freelance work and that it can be done while my daughter builds with blocks and watches "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" - I'm owning my adventure.






Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Healing in Transition

We have been in quite the transition period over the past year. Facing our fears and listening to the Lord, we embarked to go where God was leading rather than where man was telling us was the right path. I myself had been looking for a place to connect and be fed and encouraged through The Word and with like-minded friends.

I say this all, because at some point, God always brings me back to my "roots of influence/growth". I would have to say that there are many people who have shaped what I am today and what I believe, but those that have, I am ever so grateful for God bringing them across my path. And to those of you - my friends - at The Navigators, Charis Bible College, & my FBC MOPS ladies - may the Lord bless you just as you have blessed me and my family!

I have gone from a place of grieving and feeling inadequate and exhausted; to feeling refreshed, encouraged, and capable. There have been friends and people who have come alongside and offered a helping hand - many without knowing it - and helping me steer through these past months of transition; and not just me, but to my husband as well. To feel again the ability and the capacity to reach out and give back as I once felt before is invigorating. And though the waves are still rolling high, I now feel encouraged and prepared. I am reminded that I am not alone; that there are others.

There is a song that I have never once not gotten goose bumps while listening to/singing. It still grabs a hold of me and ministers to me and I am so excited to feel the passion that was once so strong long ago, has returned!


Trees of life are blooming Your word plants the seed and we feel it
growing. Your kindness leading to repentance, We see traces Of deliverance Lord, thank You for mercy


Oh, can you hear it?It's the song of the redeemed; The pursuit of
passion for the one who set us free.


Oh, can you hear it? We're crying out for
more. Listen to our song, It's turning into a Holy Roar


Rivers of renewal Spirit whisper a revival And send us rushing Open hearts with hopes of unity Servants to love in lost humanity. Lord, send us reaching.


Oh, we come rejoicing and singing and
crying out to you, Lord Can you hear the Holy Roar



- Christy Nockles, Watermark

I am so thankful for the Lord's leading and for His voice and for those who listened to Him simply by reaching out and extending a hand. There truly is healing in transition.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Total Money Makeover

I'm sure that no one has to be told to turn around and look at what's been happening in our economy these days! I honestly have to say that it is right now where I sit on our not so new couch, looking at the spotted carpet and think to myself "I am so thankful just for a house that we can come home to everyday and have food on the table".


As soon as Kaileigh was born last September, we had to make some MAJOR life adjustments as far as finances and lifestyle went. We went from having a 2 income household to a 1 income household much sooner than expected because of pregnancy complications causing me to resign my job 2 months before my due date. In the following months, we went from getting the bills paid and having a 'little' left over, to paying the mortgage and then deciding what bills we paid first and what ones we paid late. I've never been so depressed and angry with myself. Until I was able to get my freelance business up and running full time, we went to the "cash only"budget - if we couldn't pay cash, we didn't buy it. WOWZERS. Never had ever done this before!


Going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University: The Total Money Makeover, as well as seeking counsel from our financial advisor at Freedom Financial Services, we buckled down and started to plan out an attack towards our debt and spending.


18 months later, we have paid off all 3 credit cards, re-tracked our student loans, and have only one other "payment" minus our mortgage. We follow Dave Ramsey's plan to a 'T' and we only spend cash and are still in the stage of "purging and selling" anything we don't need and/or use. Two years ago I would've told you there was no way that I would be able to stay home with our daughter and have our debt almost paid off - but it IS possible. In this entire process, we have never stopped our tithing and finally are back in a place where we can give what we consider "above and beyond".


I want to hear "Well done good and faithful servant; you were faithful with the little that I gave you and managed well." And I want my daughter to see that we were wise with what God has given us so that she can then grow up and apply the same principles.