Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chew and stress less.

I'm currently reading Dr. Don Colbert's book, Stress Less.  I really appreciate his understanding of the stress process in the body.  Within the book are multiple "tools" to help the reader stress less, as well as stories of lives he has seen changed because of making simple changes.  One of his stories includes a patient of his that was healed of fibromyalgia simply because she stopped saying negative/critical things, and took Dr. Colbert's advice to say encouraging things.  Her decision to focus on the positive manifested healing her body.  Amazing.  Yeah God!  In his book, Dr. Colbert emphasizes knowing Jesus as first priority in life, and thanksgiving.  One of his "tips" inspired me to write this blog because it touched on things I am passionate about.  The following is one of Dr. Colbert's tips to stressing less by gaining control over your time...

"Make dining an experience by tasting, smelling, and savoring every bit of food instead of wolfing it down.  (This is the main reason why the French people have significantly fewer problems with obesity than Americans even though they eat small portions of rich desserts and pastries.)  I recommend that you give yourself at least thirty minutes to connect with family members.  Do not scold or reprimand your children at mealtime.  Also, avoid arguments and stressful topics at mealtime.
 Avoid eating on the run or as you drive your car.  You need to be able to relax, chew every bite thirty times, and give your body's digestive system an opportunity to do it's work.  A great deal of stress can be eliminated if a person will simply use mealtimes as opportunities to relax, daydream a little, and rest
." Don Colbert, MD (2008) Building "Margin" into your life.  Stress Less. (p.158) Lake Mary, Florida: Siloam.
Dinner time is one of my favorite times at our house.  I like to cook and prepare a nourishing meal, and every evening my husband, daughter and I sit down and enjoy our meal and conversation.  It's a rich blessing in our lives.  Sitting down and eating together gives our family the chance to discover more about each other in our conversation.  I am refreshed when I get up from the table, even if it is only 20-30 minutes together.  In the morning, breakfast time is just as good!  I am passionate about this time because it places value on family.  Healthy family is something we highly value.  It's really important for us to connect at the table, pray together, talk about the day, and encourage and enjoy each other.  I love it.  This time has been a key for us to be a healthy family.

Dr. Colbert points out that chewing our food is key for our health.  A simple thing.  Doesn't it make sense that if we just chew up our food good, our digestive systems would handle it better, and we'd be more comfortable?  Chewing food breaks it down so that enzymes can break it down further for absorption in our intestines.  Inhaling food makes digestion and absorption harder for the body to do well.  I don't like eating on the run.  Not a fan.  Because about an hour or more later I've forgotten that I even ate, and I feel worn out and still hungry.  If I have to eat on the go, I at least sit in my car and take a break.  I can be a fast eater at times, but when I take the time to sit down and eat my lunch, I do my body good.  I relax, chew my food, swallow and give myself time to enjoy it.  20-30 minutes is not a luxury.  Our bodies need to be cared for.  Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.  This is a wonderful way I can honor God with my body.

Great tip, Dr. Colbert.

Chew and stress less.  Enjoy food.  Enjoy family.  Enjoy life.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012



Lately I’ve been realizing how remembering is a major key part of my life.  The word remember has been going through my mind so much.  I keep cards and notes of encouragement, and prophetic words people have given me.  I have kept notes like this for around 10 or 12 years.  This past week while re-organizing our desk, I came upon all these cards and notes.  As I have been sorting through them, I have been so encouraged remembering how blessed I have been over the years with friends and family who have poured into my life, loved me unconditionally, and kept me focused in life.  I have been remembering who I am in a greater, fuller, and deeper way.  I’ve remembered seasons that I have walked through in life and how Jesus has walked with me and spoken to me, and drawn me into His heart.  More than ever, I feel chosen as I remember who He has been in my life.  He really has chosen me, and loved me so well through every season in life.  I am blown away.  Sometimes in everyday routines I can get distracted and forget who this amazing Father is in my life.  But, like David did in the Bible, I am becoming a person that REMEMBERS the works of the Lord.  Last week in Burning Hearts, Nate (my amazing husband) spoke/taught on how the testimony of God releases power and faith for that very thing to happen again.  Something we do every week in Burning Hearts school is share testimonies and goodness of God stories of how God has provided finances, jobs, and resources, miracles of healing, salvation, and restoration.  One of the reasons we do this is to release the power of those testimonies for it to happen again.  For example, when someone shares a testimony about getting a job, that releases faith for others with that same need to experience that.  And it’s almost like a domino effect how things start to happen for others.  The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10).
I feel the power of remembering when I remember how God shows me how He has been faithful in walking me through a season.  When I remember His goodness, I feel a boldness to face what is in front of me, knowing that there is a crown of victory waiting for me.  It’s in the journey where He reveals His heart to me.  God tells His people often in the Bible to remember Him, what He said, who He is, and what He promised.  If you look throughout scripture, bad things happened when people forgot about Him and who He was in their lives.  Deuteronomy 32 is a song Moses sang, remembering the works of God and what happened to the ones who forgot.  Amazing things happened when the people remembered God.  In Psalm 77:11 David says that he will remember the works of the Lord, and miracles from long ago.  He was fixed and set on what the Lord had done.  He wrote songs about what God had done.  When I remember Jesus’ sacrifice for me, and His resurrection from the dead...all for my freedom, I am changed and will never again be the same.  I want my life to be full of remembering His story, and the works and promises of God.  He is so good.  How do you remember?  What do you remember?  Some ways I remember are these...

Songs.  Nate and I have a love for writing songs.  There are songs Nate has written that take me back to a place, and I remember the goodness of God during that time in our lives.  Songs are so powerful.  

Pictures and paintings.  There are countless testimonies of His goodness, and it’s these that I want to be on my mind all the time.  I decorate my house in this way.  We have a painting in our living room that was done during our wedding for us by a friend.  It speaks to us about our life message and stepping into all God has for us as a couple.  I remember God's hand on our lives and the promises He has for us.  
Painting by Portraits by Jen (Jenny Cordas)

In Haeven's room, we have a picture that was given to us by a friend.   I hung it in Haeven's room because when I look at it, I remember when she was born and the miracle of her life.  I start to dream about her life on the earth and who she was born to be.  This painting reminds me that with God, all things are possible.  

This painting below is called "Trust".  I remember how big my Papa is when I look at this.  I remember how He has the whole world in His hands, and He's holding my hand, never letting me go.  I remember how good of a Father He is, and that He doesn't change.

Talks.  I love remembering the goodness of God with friends, family and my husband.  There have been times when I'm talking with a friend or my husband, and I know God has brought healing to my heart and brought me peace.  History is important and a great key for growth.  I love talking with Nate about the goodness of God in our lives and how He has been faithful to us.  It propels us forward into what God has for us next.



Monday, September 17, 2012


I successfully grew alfalfa sprouts just before I had Haeven.  I had started a little blog about it, then I gave birth and totally forgot about it... : )  So I just came back to finish it today!

After learning about the nutritional/health benefits of sprouts, I really wanted to try and grow them.  Here are some of the benefits of sprouts.....

  • biogenic (life-regenerating), meaning the seeds sprout, they generate greater amounts of vitamin E, C and A--powerful antioxidants that preserve your cells and repair your DNA.
  • One of the most alkalizing, easily digestible (being high in enzymes) foods
  • During the sprouting process, new and higher quality proteins are produced.  Nutrients in seeds are anywhere from 50% to 400% greater after sprouting or soaking.
  • They contain caner-fighting compounds (sulforaphane) , and retard the aging process by helping keep hormones in balance.
  • they taste amazing!

How to grow sprouts....
What you need: a jar, paper towel, rubber band, or automatic sprouter.

Soak your desired amount of seeds for 5-12 hours in a jar with a breathable cover.  I used a paper towel with a rubber band around it.  Put the jar in a dark area at room temperature (not in the sun).  After soaking the seeds, drain and rinse them.  Lay the jar on it's side to give the seeds more room to spread out and grow.  Rinse the seeds 3 times a day with lukewarm water.  Drain the water through a strainer.  Rinsing will take care of any risk of bad bacteria or molding.
Over the next 5 days your seeds will sprout.  Keep them out of direct sunlight.  At the end of the last day, take the sprouts out and store in the refrigerator in a glass container or plastic bag.

Sprouts in mid-growth

You can sprout seeds, grains or legumes.  You can buy a mix, or create your own mix.  You just have to make sure the seeds you are mixing sprout in the same amount of time.  I grew alfalfa seeds, and they turned out great.  I ended up having to take out about half of the sprouts half way through their grown and put them in another jar because my jar was so full.  

Here is a video I used as a guide to growing sprouts.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Haeven's Birth Story

Beautiful Haeven Raine graced us with her presence April 24th 2012 at 5:28pm.  She is a happy, brilliant, playful, beautiful 4 1/2 month old baby now!  We love her so much and so enjoy her as she's growing into a beautiful girl!  Before I gave birth I wrote about my birth plans, so here's a brief story of how it went...

My contractions started around 1am on April 23rd.  I had prodromal, or early labor until 4am the next day.  It was a long labor, which made for a longer recovery, catching up on sleep.  Though it was long, I was glad to be at home with people I know and love around me and supporting me.  Nate was the greatest support!  I squeezed his hand through every contraction once active labor started.  He was by my side all during labor.  My mom was also there and a big help to the midwife and to us.  She helped fill the birthing pool and keep the water at the right temperature, supplied Nate with coffee, and encouraged me so much while I was at the pushing stage.  The birthing pool felt so good to me...I was in and out of it throughout labor.  I had planned on giving birth in the water, but I started pushing on land on a birthing stool.  After I started pushing, there was no going back in the water for me.  I wanted Haeven out more than I wanted to get back in the pool.  My friends Bethany and her son, Courage were there also.  I so appreciated the pictures and video Bethany took during my labor and while I was pushing Haeven out.    Her and Courage's smiles literally gave me life, every time I looked at them.  They were full of encouragement that I so needed and appreciated!  My midwife was great, giving me reminders to drink water, eat, change positions, and go to the bathroom, etc.  My midwife had an assistant who came right before I started pushing.   She gave me some advice while I was pushing that was amazing!  With following her amazing advice, I pushed only 45 minutes.  My contractions had slowed while pushing so I was thankful it was only 45 minutes til we saw Haeven face to face!!

Haeven and I moments after she was born
Picture credit Bethany Hall

After a slow labor, Haeven was born and I scooped her up and held her.  Everything seemed to speed up.  I had the after birth, and the cord was cut after it was done pulsating.  Haeven let out her first sounds....such a beautiful voice.  I put her on me to nurse and we all snuggled in towels and blankets for the first time, all 3 of us.  Then Nate held Haeven while the midwife stitched me up for minor tears.  Haeven was weighed at 8lbs 3oz, measuring 21 inches long!

I would describe the atmosphere as very peaceful and quiet during my labor.  I had soft music playing, and dimmed lighting.  There wasn't much talking during active labor!  It was intense and I was focused.  One thing I know--I couldn't have done it without the presence of my husband, of God, and everyone who was at Haeven's birth.  The contractions during labor were so strong and I was so thankful for my husband encouraging me and Papa's presence giving me peace.  That peace literally helped me breathe through the contractions.  It wasn't an easy process, but every moment was worth it and I am so thankful that neither Haeven or I had any complications at all and I successfully gave birth at home naturally!!!  God answered our prayers!!  We have a happy healthy beautiful Haeven!!!!  She is a dream come true.  Papa also kept us strong through labor, and gave us such joy over our baby! We recovered and my stitches healed very quickly...I hardly had any pain with them.  Thank you God!  We are so so grateful!!!

After experiencing natural labor and birth, I know the tangible presence of God in people is so important to me in birth.  I experienced so much of His presence through my hubby, my mom, my friends and my midwife!  I know that God has promised me so much more, and as I grow in faith I'll discover all that He has for me and my family in childbirth.  I can't say that I had a pain-free experience, but I continue to believe God for that because I believe it's my inheritance as His daughter.  It can only get better with Jesus, because He takes me from glory to glory!  Life is so exciting...let the journey continue....

Friday, April 20, 2012

The past 9 months...

The last 9 months have been an exciting time of preparation and excitement for our little girl soon to be born....any day now!  It's been an adventure of learning, excitement, expectancy, joy, and overcoming in preparing for this new season in our lives.  Nate and I have learned to communicate better, love each other  more, and see each other more how Jesus sees us.  I love him more now than ever before.  He is the most amazing husband and already a great father!  More than ever I've learned to listen to the voice of God above any other voice and rest in Him.  There is no other peace like the Prince of Peace!  I love Him.  He, above everyone else knows us so well, and what the best thing is for us.    

Nate and I are so excited to see Haeven, and to be parents!  It's so amazing that He would give us this precious gift to take care of and raise.  We are looking forward to the labor and birth,  which we will be doing in the peace and love of our home.  I had thought of doing a home birth in the past, and I knew for sure that I wanted a midwife for prenatal care.  After learning about water birth, and hearing stories of home births, and having friends that had a home birth recently, I knew that's what I wanted to do.  God was so sweet to us and provided an excellent midwife for us.  Our friends who had a water birth this past September lent us their lovely pool which we are so thankful for!   
Birthing pool

It's been a happy experience with our midwife.  She has been so encouraging and said things to me like "your labor is going to be the best of the best" and "be sure not to base any decision you make on fear"Talk about refreshing!  And freedom!  I am so thankful for her encouragement!  I love that God provided us with her as a midwife.  Her faith,  encouragement and empowerment has been so faith-building.  I have enjoyed and appreciated her positive perspective!  Jesus desires me to live in radical faith, not fear.  To trust Him is real wisdom.  Sometimes in the medical world there is too much fear because of statistics and negative experiences.  Being a registered nurse, I've seen a lot of it in the hospital.  I so aim to impart faith and peace, not fear to anyone making decisions about their life/health.  God doesn't see people as statistics.  He is far above that.  Faith in the promises of God is the way to real joy and real life.  So I've claimed His promises over my body, and my childbirth journey.  Through His death and resurrection on the cross, Jesus paid the price for our redemption, freedom and real healing.  He is the way, the truth and the life! : )  There are times when it's been a challenge to overcome negative emotions, feelings and certain pains, but knowing that they are not from God causes me to look to Him, and He always has given me grace and provision to rise above the negative.  He has overcome every pain, every fear, and I ride on His victory!  I have such amazing friends and family that have prayed with me, and spoken truth over me.  He is always good....He never fails.

I am excited for the birthing process!!  I just think it's so amazing that I was designed for it--it's the most natural thing for a woman to give birth.  I love that--it gives me such life and excitement!  I love running, and have run multiple marathons.  I love to work hard, it feels so good!  I was made to persevere, it's just who I am and I come alive in situations where perseverance is needed.  I can attribute this to my dad. Just ask him about our adventures together at canoe camp in the boundary waters and running! : )  And I love horses,...their beauty, incredible power and strength....I often have pictures of running horses in my head when I run!  Yes, I loved the movie Secretariat!

God is so good, and provides for us in every part of life.  So, I'll share a few of these promises Nate and I are standing on for childbirth....

  • Pain-free childbirth.  Jesus has redeemed me from the curse, from sickness and pain (Galatians 3:13-14, Isaiah 53:4-5).  Part of the curse that Jesus redeemed is pain in childbirth.  I'll explain... In labor, the uterus contracts.  Some call these contractions "labor pains", but in reality, it's muscle contracting.  If you were to contract your bicep right now, it gets hard but it does not hurt.  It's the same in labor.  The uterus contracts, but it doesn't have to hurt.  A big part of it is a mindset issue, not a physical issue.  A natural cause of pain is from hormones released from the brain from negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, stress, etc.  Jesus took away my fear with His perfect love.  Giving birth is one of the most natural things for a woman's body to do!  A labor of love!  This is so freeing!
  • Joyful birth (Proverbs 23:25). Labor might be work, a labor of love to bring Haeven into the world, but it will not be painful, negative, nor will there be any doubt.  God has given us this gift, and we will bring her forth in love, peace and such joy! 
  • Strength.  He will keep me strong through labor. Psalm 92:10 "You have made me as strong as a charging bison, you've honored me with a festive parade".  Psalm 29:11" God makes His people strong, He gives His people peace".  The joy of the Lord is our strength!  It's the most real thing!  What a good Papa!  
  • Protection and rest, a birth free of complications (baby in right position, no tearing, no excessive bleeding...).  Some complications are no doubt from negative emotions and expectations.  But Jesus has taken away fear, anxiety, and doubt from our lives.  He is our hope.  He is the answer.  Psalm 91 and Psalm 23 have been prayers of mine from the beginning of pregnancy.  He has faithfully kept Haeven, Nate and I safe!  I've had a great pregnancy so far with no swelling, or any issues besides sciatic nerve pain, which is totally gone now after prayer, resting and stretching.  God is infinitely good!  Soaking in His promises makes any kind of fear so so small!

For you....Those are some promises I've clung to.  These promises are yours too, and He will give you exactly what you need for childbirth, or whatever circumstance you are in...right now.  God is so sweet, and such a good strong strong Papa.  He created you, made you in His own image.  He loves you!  He so desires us to be specific with Him about things we worry about or fret over....because He has the answer and really wants to give you peace, like He has given me and my family.  I release that over you...the peace of heaven, and encounters with the Prince of Peace...receive His love for you! And whatever measure you have, I pray He gives you MORE.   

Nate and I  


39weeks with Haeven

God has passionately designed every woman for a joyful, wonderful, supernatural childbirth!  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

a search for love

This is a story that is on my heart to share with friends, family.....

A story that fills my heart so much with thanksgiving and ignited passion for those who may seem to have a lot, but are without love, right here in America.

Last week Nate and I went on an amazing adventure in the Los Angeles area for our 1st year anniversary of marriage. We had the best time, worshipping God and thanking Him, who gave us each other for the rest of life and eternity!! It has truly been an amazing week of fun, shopping, biking, exploring, spending time with family, and the OCEAN...!

The story I want to share is an encounter we had with a woman one morning at a local coffee shop the second day of our trip. We stayed in a quaint little town on the beach the first four days. The people were friendly and the culture seemed pretty chilled out and cozy. Nate and I walked in the coffee shop, got our drinks, and sat down at the bar to read, talk and enjoy the morning with some yummy java. I noticed a blonde-haired lady sit down beside us. I took a few glances around the room and also noticed some clearance items on a table, so I got up to check them out. After looking everything over and not seeing anything I really wanted, I turned around to go sit down next to Nate. Nate was talking to the blonde-haired lady, and as I walked over, she looked at both of us, greeted us warmly with a smile, and said "oh, you're from out of town?". This began our conversation, one I will always remember...

This woman, whom I will name Sue, began to tell us her story, and pour her heart out to us. She took out pictures of her relatives' farm in Minnesota that she longed to visit again. She told us of her trip there years ago and what it was like. She said it had been 3 weeks since she looked at the pictures, but she dug them out and for some reason, brought them with her. She touched the pictures, and said to us.."look at their clothes!...real worn clothes....and look, real people....they're real. They have breakfast every morning....they cook, and have the neighbors over . The neighbors come in, and you just hear the door slam,....they don't even have to knock...look, they don't have nice decorations, but they're real....and look, this is their farm, they call it their farmstead (she looked at us with the brightest smile on her face)...they fix machinery, they work...and look at this, she knits...isn't that amazing?".

She said to us..."I see it in your don't have've known don't know what you have....". Then she said..."I'm 50 years old, have lived in this town for years and nobody knows me...". She told us a story of how she was rejected by the church down the road. Sue had tried to be friendly and go to lunch with some of the people in the church after a service one morning. They basically told her that they belong to a country club, and can afford their own meals... "You don't know what you have...", she said.

She said, "people don't even pray for each other here....and when someone gets cancer, they cry out....pray! pray! pray for us!....but why would I want to pray for them when they weren't there for me when I needed them? I almost lost my faith because of the church". She began to explain to us the culture of the city where she lived, and how people have happy faces, compliment each other well, are very professional, but everyone is alone. "Nobody knows how to be a real friend", she said. "Everyone lives by pretense here...they are nice, and say 'nice dog' and, and I mean nice dogs...these aren't muts....they talk about events and the weather, but ask you to come to", she sadly said."They have to go to an appointment, or somewhere....everyone is alone here. They don't even decorate their own houses. They have a designer come in, and do everything, and the people that live there don't even know whats in their own house! And they don't make their own coffee. They come here."

Then she asked us what life is like for us. As we told her our stories, tears came to her eyes....she said "you are so don't know what you don't know what you don't have walls, don't have pretense...oh you don't know what you have!". She told us about a friend she has been "chipping away" at, trying to get to the core of who they are. All she wanted was to know people, and to be have a real friend.

Nate and I felt so blessed to listen to this woman, and to have met her, and love her. We talked for almost 2 hours, easily could have been longer. We prayed for her, blessed her, and encouraged her. We hugged and laughed together. I gave her our number and info, and told her she is welcome to stay with us if she ever wanted to come to Fargo. I pray that she does. You all would love her.

I felt so privileged to meet Sue, that she shared her heart with us, a heart full of dreams, hope and longing for love. My heart has been so stirred with thanksgiving because of this encounter with Sue. I think about our conversation a lot. In America, we have so many dreams, and countless resources at our fingertips. But with out Jesus' love, dreams are broken, unfulfilled, and will not amount to anything, and people end up alone. This nation needs the revelation of Jesus at the core. We need real community, we need love. I am so grateful for the most amazing man on the planet, Nate, to have been blessed with an amazing marriage, and to have friends that will stop what they are doing when I need them because they truly care. That is love. That is a real friend. I'm so thankful to have this culture of love in Fargo. I was reminded again that it really doesn't take much to give to the person sitting next to you at a coffee shop. It's a delight to love. If you've got love to give, He will lead you to the unloved, and they will soak in all the love you can give and be forever changed. Love will change everything. I hope this story stirs in you a greater passion for the lost and unloved as it has for me, and a quest to see love manifest.