Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Light of the World

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. Ephesians 5:8

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9

I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. Psalm 101:3

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5: 19-22

“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Mathew 5: 13-16
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dairy Free

This summer we realized that Little Man had a bowel problem. We weren't sure what exactly it was but after talking to some friends, we decided to go gluten free and dairy free. After just 1 day of this new diet, he improved 100%. It's hard to argue with that! After weeks on this new diet, we decided to add back in dairy. Day one we had no issues, day two was terrible. Right back to square one. So we went back on the diet. Mr. M and I were really hoping that dairy would be the only problem and that gluten would not. Gluten seemed so overwhelming, but we thought dairy would be easy! He loves both almond milk and coconut milk. We found coconut milk ice cream! He has never liked cheese all that much. So after a few weeks back on the diet, we added back in gluten and he was fine! We were so happy! So now we had our answer, his bowel issues were totally fixed, and life was good! Until the weather started to cool down.

You see, for breakfast, he could have cereal with his coconut or almond milk, toast, oatmeal, eggs, there are many options. I did run into an issue with pancakes since most pancake mixes have dairy in them, but I found one that didn't. For lunch he has homemade bread with peanut butter and homemade jelly, or meat and mayo, coconut yogurt, homemade applesauce, fruits and veggies. Over the summer for dinner we would grill a meat and then have steamed or grilled veggies, a salad (with dairy free dressing), and maybe rice or cut up fruit. Then as the weather started getting cooler, I got out the recipe book and started looking through all our usual fall recipes. Almost every single recipe has some sort of dairy in it. Then I started reading labels at stores...I can't believe some of the things that have dairy in it that I would have never guessed! I mean, you know to stay away from things like cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt, anything you buy in the dairy section! But then I find that there is dairy in chicken broth, in pretty much every snack food, all soups, and many other things that I just didn't know had dairy! Even croutons have dairy in them!!! I find myself still having to shop in the gluten free area since many of their items are also dairy free.

I don't even know how to cook for my family now. I really want to just stick my head in the sand! But I won't. Little Man deserves to eat without issues. And dairy free isn't going to hurt the rest of us...although I think it's against some kind of code being from Wisconsin and all!!

So, now I am on the search, for good, dairy free recipes for dinner! I already found one for pumpkin pie and whipped cream!! So Thanksgiving should be great!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dear Dad

I am so proud of you. You have now reached the 100 lb mark in your weight loss journey, and I know you will just keep on going. I wanted to let you know how much your weight loss has meant to me. I have always dreamed of the day when you are retired and hanging out at the Stout/May family homestead. Putzing around the shop, teaching my sons how to build things and how to fix things. As time went on though, I worried, your health was deteriorating and I wasn't sure if you were going to make it to retirement or if you would be able to enjoy it.

When you first mentioned having the surgery, I was really nervous about it. What if you didn't even wake up from the table? I was not ready to lose my Dad. But the reality was, I was losing you already. Once you made the decision to have the surgery, I decided to support you 100%, because if you didn't have the were going to die. Your weight, diabetes, infections, edema, everything was out of control. This was your only option. As the surgery drew near, I was so scared. I really wanted this for you but I was so scared too. Diabetics take longer to heal, what if he gets an infection, what if his heart stops? I prayed and prayed. 

In the week after your surgery, I know that was one of the hardest weeks of your life. None of us were prepared for how much pain you were going to be in, how hard it was going to be for you. But in time, it got better. You healed, you lost weight, you stuck to your diet, your meds were majorly reduced, and your outlook got better. As time went on, I was so excited to hear about the change in you. I couldn't wait for you to come visit me so I could SEE!

When you walked through security at the airport, I couldn't believe my eyes! You looked SO different!! You had lost 80lbs!! I was amazed and so proud of you! In the 10 days that you were here visiting, I fell in love with my Dad all over again. 

You are a different person! You were engaged in conversation, you played with the kids, you helped me do some shopping and going to get new furniture for the kids bedrooms and helped me move stuff in and out of rooms. You only took 1 nap!!! You used to sit and fall asleep all the time and just watch tv. Now we sat around and talked and laughed and told stories, and hung out and just enjoyed each others company. I SO enjoyed our visit!!

Your surgery has given you a new lease on life! I again can picture our dream of the homestead and having you and Mom there with us. I picture you hanging out with my kids, I picture us having healthy meals together, I picture you being there when my kids get married! 

I wasn't ready to lose my Dad! Now, I don't have to. I am so proud of you, Dad, for taking this step to better your health. You are a great example to us all. I am so happy that this has already affected YOUR life so much! I'm glad that you bought a motorcycle again and are enjoying your life. I'm glad that you don't have to be so tired all the time, and I'm glad that some day you will be off ALL your diabetes medications. 

So on this day, Dad, I want you to know...I want the whole world to know, that I am so incredibly proud of you! You are a great Dad and I love you so much!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Joy from the Lord

My 3 year old, after watching the movie Tangled, walks around saying, "This is the best day ever!!". It's SO cute! All the little things that happen in his day, he proclaims, "This is the best day ever!!" I had posted about this on facebook and a friend had said, "Just think if we all had such a great attitude toward life!"

This got me to thinking, we should have this attitude, I should have this attitude. So I decided that this would be my new motto. This is the best day ever!! Even if it's not, that will be my motto! Fake it till you make it! If you are feeling down in the dumps, and you are wallowing in your self pity, you aren't going to feel any better. But if you are feeling down and you try and change your attitude by being cheerful and thankful...pretty soon you aren't feeling so bad!

Last Saturday morning, we took Mr. M to his ship and he sailed away. He's been gone for 1 week today. It was sad, I miss him. But I am not going to walk around for months feeling like that! Every day is a brand new gift from God!! Every day, there is a blessing to be counted!

On Sunday, we had a bit of a rough morning cause we overslept and were a little late getting to church, I hate being late. I served in JBQ and then helped with check-in in kids church and by the time I went to service, I was feeling great! Every time some one asked me how I was doing...I said, "This is the best day ever!" 

Pastor Joe's message on Sunday was amazing!! It was called Remember, Appreciate, Anticipate. It was all about remembering what God has done for His children (and for me) in the past, appreciating it, and anticipating the blessings that will come in the future. God loves us so much and He will bless us! The whole message was SO in line with what God had been telling me! Even though we are going through a hard time right now, with Mr. M having to be away from us, we can anticipate the blessings that God has for us in the midst of this. Instead of focusing on the hard time we are going through, we need to focus on the positive things. I am so blessed to have such an amazing husband who loves me and is such an amazing Father to our children, I am blessed that my husband will come home again, I am blessed that we have a warm home, food to eat, family and friends who love me and support me, a church where we are free to worship the Lord, and a church family who has come along beside me to walk this road with me. And many more! I am overwhelmed with the blessings that God has given to us!

I went up to the altar to pray and a friend came over and asked what she could pray with me about. I told her that I was filled with so much joy and thankfulness right now and that I pray that God will help me to have that every morning! That when I start to feel like I am going into the pit...that I would remember the joy that God has given me!! While we were praying, Pastor Joe came over and laid his hand on my shoulder and prayed for me, in front of the congregation, with his mic on. Honestly, I'm not even entirely sure what he said. I was so filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit. I just felt surrounded by peace and goodness and joy!! It was an amazing morning!

I have had my ups and downs this week. We started school and the first couple days were a little rough, but then after being able to talk to Mr. M and receiving some great advice from a good friend and fellow homeschooler, the rest of the week went great! Some days have been filled with busyness, others have had a little sadness mixed in. 
Today, I am a LITTLE sad. But I have found I can be a little sad and joyful at the same time! Cause my sadness comes from my human emotions, but my joy comes from the Lord! So even though I miss my honey like crazy, I am filled with so much love for him, and that is something to be joyful about!! I feel very, very blessed that God chose me to be Mr. M's wife. He knew that I could do this! He knew that I would turn to Him for my strength! The joy of the Lord is my strength!


The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.

My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7