When Your Greatest Weakness is Strength

When Your Greatest Weakness is Strength

I couldn't stop looking at his ankles. Scrutinizing. Wondering if they were slightly bigger or slightly smaller. Was the edema coming back with a vengeance like it did in January? Were his protein levels elevated? Or was this because of something else? Because, we are finding, autoimmune diseases can be quite the puzzle. We began going over everything: exercise, nutrition, weight, water intake. And with everything, I kept scrutinizing. Wondering. Looking.

Stressing.

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Marriage Meltdown: When Your Marriage Loses its Identity

After almost 18 years of marriage, we still get our minds blown by new concepts that can radically impact our marriage. 

This idea that our marriage has its own identity, that it’s a living and breathing thing that has its own set of needs, adds a whole new component to what it means for two to become one. 

This weekend we thought about what needs our marriage has, how the needs of our marriage sometimes need to supersede our individual needs, and what continually gets in the way of us meeting those needs.

You can also view the video on YouTube here.

 
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The Marriage Check-Up

I know. You might think a "marriage check-up" is cheesy. But can we pause for a moment?

Craig went to the doctor last June for his yearly physical. He had no symptom anything was wrong. But lurking underneath the outward appearance was evidence of beginning stages of a liver issue and the reoccurrence of a past kidney issue.

Sometimes you don't realize there's a problem until you get a check-up. I fully believe that busyness can blind us to the real state of our relationship. So what if you take 20 minutes with your spouse this week and take stock? You can use this printable to guide you. 

To get the printable shown above, just grab it off the google drive here.

When there's Nothing Left to do but Embrace

When there's Nothing Left to do but Embrace

As I'm typing this, I'm sitting in a hard hospital chair while Craig recovers from a kidney biopsy. Medical machines beeping, nurses soft-soled shoes squeaking on the tile floor, the murmur of hushed voices. It's been a long stretch of days filled with unknowns. 

One morning this week, I thought about how long we're going to continue on this roller coaster of despair. As many of you know, this summer was filled with loss of loved ones. And the start of Craig's health issues. One thing after the other and my continual question seemed to be: When will we catch a break?

I just longed for the season to be over.

When we found ourselves confronted with this round of health issues, I started to ask the same question. But mid-sentence, I stopped. In an act of somewhat pissed-off surrender, I said something like, "You know, what God? I'm just going to embrace it. Bring it all and I'm going to walk through it. Be in it. Sit in it. Wrestle with it. Help me learn whatever You want me to learn."

My conclusion is this: I am where I am and that is where Jesus is.

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Taming Distractions: My Break-up Letter to Beer

Taming Distractions: My Break-up Letter to Beer

Some of you are aware of the news about my health we received in July.  If you're not, before you assume the worst-case scenario, I’m fine.  It all started when I scheduled my annual physical this year in the hopes of getting a doctor’s note for our hot tub.  Yeah, feel free to laugh, but it saved us over $700 in taxes! 

I digress. 

The blood work came back with an elevated liver enzyme in the results.  After a retest and a sonogram, I was finally diagnosed with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.  Think of it as a pre-pre diabetes.  Needless to say, I wasn’t too thrilled about it.  The good news was I could get rid of it by losing weight, which is something I’ve been playing around with for years.

Another tidbit about me is that I love to do research.  Seriously, I need to find a job in which I can do that full time.  Me, a library, and a problem to solve?  Heaven.  During my research, I came across the Ketogenic Diet.  What is it the Ketogenic diet?  Well, if you take the normal American diet, it consists of a high intake of carbohydrates, a medium intake of protein and a low to medium intake of fat (or high if you eat out a lot).  The Ketogenic diet consists of a high intake of fats (focusing on the “good fats”), a medium intake of protein and low intake of carbohydrates.  This diet puts your body in ketosis where you body seeks out fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. 

It’s pretty restrictive, but when looking at the foods that I could eat versus the foods I couldn’t eat on the diet, I was thrilled. All I had to do was cut out the sugary stuff and the carbs. As I continued to scan down the list of accepted and barred foods, I came to the alcohol portion of the list. 

And that is when it hit me. 

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Wanna Get Away? (new video)

Wanna Get Away? (new video)

In Texas during the summer, the meteorologists are always talking about "high pressure systems." Sure, it makes for nice sunny days, but when it's 100+ degrees outside, one likes the "high pressure system" to move over a bit so we can have rain. Rain in the summer provides respite from the intense heat. It brings much needed moisture to a crispy, dry ground.

High pressure systems typically stay awhile, while the low pressure ones move out relatively swiftly. It makes me think about daily life. Do you ever feel like we live in a "high pressure system?" The days might be sunny and filled with joy, but it's also intense. The daily demands bear down like a hot sun and we start praying for respite. We're dry and thirsty and longing for relief.

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