life giving home . august

29 days ago I began whole30. IF you had asked me 62 days ago the likelihood that I would “do whole30” I would have told you, no… probably not… no. And, if you would have asked me about whether or not I listen to podcasts or sermons or really if I listen to anything other than music, I would have told you “I’m not a good listener; I’m not that cool…

well. give it (almost) 30 days, I suppose.

As I shared with you in my last post, on that long (or maybe to you, short) list of books I recently read through, I read one book about Lent. And as I read it I wanted to figure out a way to engage Lent even though clearly I am behind, calendar year – wise. I was sharing about this book and some of its wealth with my sister, Noelle, and sharing with her specifically that I wanted to try to fast in some way but I really did not know how.

I mean, I am a mom of three little boys, I reasoned. How does one fast?!

She offered up whole30. She said, “Rachel, you can do it.”

And honestly I felt like, well golly, if she thinks I can, well, I think I can. Noelle knows me. and she has done whole30 before. And if she can do it, and she thinks I can do it, well, then, I think maybe she is right.

The other person who motivated me toward whole30 is my mom. A lady who doesn’t typically like a salad, she had just finished a whole30-like re-set diet plan with a coach. Seriously – if she can do it – a person who isn’t into lettuce and doesn’t usually cook, well, I can 😀

Challenge accepted 🙋🏼

I borrowed her book and I made a plan.

I was very motivated because my WHY was not to figure out if  gluten bothered me or if I have a hidden allergy to dairy, but to recalibrate.

recalibrate – to make small changes to an instrument so that it measures / works correctly

We have engaged a couple of major transitions in our life this year and I felt the tug of the Holy Spirit to consider my life. Now my life is not just “having babies” but raising little men. My life is not just “we travel” but we are ministers of the gospel.

The heart, the mind, and the body are inextricably connected, and at all levels I desired recalibration.

Sure, we are already a healthy family. And I was not living in any major, known sin. I didn’t know of any – and still don’t – upsettingly primary theological error in my thinking.

But I needed – and still need – some fine tuning.

Not only have we been through transition, but through His Word and Spirit I sense that we are moving into new seasons of life. And I want to be ready.

I pray for an undivided heart that fears His name. I pray that I actually mean it when I pray for His glory and not my own. I want to sing and say and speak and share the gospel in ways that I have been too afraid, too complacent, too disconnected, caught up into too much sin, self, and stupid to do in the past.

So, I needed recalibrating. It’s funny, because in so many of the books I was reading, the word “recalibrate” would show up. It’s a good verb, after all. And it was the Lord speaking to me through every little jot and tittle. The more-funny thing is that about a year and a half ago I went with a friend to a Beth Moore conference and the theme of the time was “Recalibrate.” It was a powerful event and I can vividly remember many of the scenes from the sessions. However, at the time, a little over a year ago, the message did not deeply resonate with me. To the point, I am pretty sure, because I went looking for them and couldn’t find them, that I tossed my notes (which  now I am sad about, and wish I hadn’t done,..).

But the thematic word stuck with me and here I am a year and a half later, in need of a recalibration, and the Lord is giving it to me in His own way, through other means than my saved notes.

OK so I planned and prepared and entered whole30 day one.

Well, days one through the first weekend were pretty rough. I knew to relax, to not plan to do a lot outside of our home, and I knew that I might feel bad. I did, but not too bad. The hard part were  Tyler’s and my own personal misgivings about whole30 at large.

The thing is – though I was, and still am, happy to employ their method to my own end, we don’t agree with their overall philosophy and this makes it tricky waters.

There’s also the fact that I was tired and grouchy, that I was cooking every complicated recipe I could find, and that my boys watched ALOT of TV in those first four days.

Now, you know what kids and the TV look like, but you may be wondering about our misgivings. or maybe not. But I am going to share them anyways.

In short, the program offers a way to get out of food-enslavement into food-freedom. The pages spell out physiological issues that many people face with food and then propose that one uses food to get themselves out of the problem, out of the enslavement. Well, here’s the thing. Some food cannot save you from other food. You are bigger and better than food and your problems run deeper and are much graver than food. You need something outside of yourself – something amazingly bigger and deeper and grander and something far-better than you are. You don’t need food to save you from food. You need Jesus to save you from sin, self, and Satan… sometimes which emanates itself in psychological food issues and even in being overweight, or too thin. You need the spotless Lamb sent from the Good Father, who Created and who Sustains the Universe. You need someone not to give you a good meal, but to die of your dead soul,… and to come back to life. and that Someone you need is Jesus. Not whole30.

It’s not that you need to stop eating donuts and start eating carrots.

It’s that you need to be saved.

And I needed some soul-sanctification and in order to put my face like a flint to the Lord’s, in order to recalibrate before the Lord, I employed the whole30 method to fast.

Because I don’t not need donuts. I do. not. need. idols. I need the one true God to be The One True God in my life.

and that means me owning up to Reality and bowing down to the Real God.

and this time that means fasting. and this time that means with whole30.

So, like I said. the first few days were rough. rough rough rough. But then I stopped cooking complicated dishes that kept my in the kitchen all day, and I found this helpful blog post – The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Whole30. A nursing mom with a little newborn, she offers up her helpful advice. And I thought, thanks for the advice… and from you. Because, if you can do it, maybe I can, too.

I got through the initial system shock of no sugar and praised God because I actually did have more energy. And when I get hungry, it doesn’t show up in the tunnel-visioned sugar crash of the past (a few weeks ago), but a more “normal” feeling that told me ‘you should eat’. I like water. I like apples. I like almond butter. I don’t miss Coke; I don’t miss pasta. I do miss donuts. Honestly. donuts.

And I understand that in Christ there is freedom to enjoy all food. And I understand that food is a gift to be stewarded, to engage temperately typically, and on occasion, special occasions like birthdays and Christmas, with all of the gusto that the Lord says is only a foretaste of heaven itself! Golly I love a birthday – for celebrating a life and for savoring the cake!

The other practical resource that helped me is the timeline that whole30 provides. I referred to this article so many times in the first two weeks. it’s sort of like having a map for the first time you go somewhere. It’s nice to know that the headache and no-energy will pass and whatever comes next is only for a day… and then hopefully smooth sailing. Even knowing that day 21 can be a time of “food boredom” was helpful, and I planned an extra yummy supper that night. Now, on day 29, I have a gritted-teeth mentality to finish. and to finish strong. and then eat a donut!

(I do want to do the re-introduction, and my plan is to eat a donut, go on a bonafide date with my husband, return to whole30 for a few days, and then do a proper re-introduction like the book outlines.)

Two side notes in my experience with whole30.

  1. girlweek was better this month than the last two months of postpartum girl week. seriously, praise the Lord.
  2. because of girlweek falling right on top of when I was supposed to begin to feel ah-mazing! (According to the timeline) I was tired. but not horribly tired and horribly ornery and hoping to hide in a hole until I was all better. … like I had been the last month. And the month before.
  3. Ok one more. this makes three side notes. once girlweek was over, my energy level (is there a scale?)  was super HIGH! I mean not weird. I was not bouncing off the wall. But I have better, and better sustained, energy throughout the day.
  4. For me, weekends were the hardest. I think it’s mental, and I think there’s in me a deeeeeeply ingrained idea that the weekend is for relaxing, and for treats. Self-indulgent treats.  I have a few thoughts on this. One, that food is a gift, meant yes for nutritional benefit, and also to taste and see that the Lord is good – through wine and chocolate and cake and pasta 🙂 – and I think that self indulgence shouldn’t have a place in the life one confessing to live for Christ. Lord, I confess this to You. Help!

There have been a few helpful products that I have loved to eat during whole30.

  • nut pods unsweetened creamer from amazon . this was a game changer as i planned for whole30. i thought i was going to give up coffee altogether for this month. i cannot think about drinking it black. i am too committed to the creaminess of coffee with cream. So nutpods was grace.
  • trader joes almond butter . i eat an apple with almond butter almost every day.
  • la croix sparkling water . maybe this is why i don’t miss coke. it’s not like coke, for sure, but maybe it’s why.
  • peppers and onions in my scrambled eggs. yum.
  • RXBars. bless you who did whole30 pre-RX bars.

The one big con with whole30 = it’s expensive. so expensive.

maybe not compared to the months before when we were getting food out and grabbing starbucks and eating donuts. 🙂 but it feels so expensive when i go to the grocery store. on the other hand, you can argue the cost benefit, and so i get it and i can, too. but seriously. nutpods and whole30 approved bacon will not be part of our day to day post-whole30 lifestyle because… money.

As I am coming to the end of the 30 days, I want to say to the first four rough ones – it was  worth it. Through misgivings and the weekend, and even through the headache and tired-ness, I am so glad I did it.

I am glad because:

… I do before the Lord sense I am beginning to be recalibrated and set up for the next season the Lord has for my family and me. – to be Home. To be Home in Him. To be in His Word. With His people. Raising my sons. Loving my husband!! Shining brightly His life and love in our home, that it may shine far to the ends of the earth.

… I swelled a lot during my pregnancy with Haddon and ever since, my feet have ached when I get out of bed. The ache is GONE! That is practical reason enough. Praise the Lord.

… My sustained energy level is better. I don’t sugar crash if I am not maintaining my strung out sugar addiction. I think I sleep more deeply … (at first, I slept worse. I don’t know why or if it is related. But it’s true. I was like “huh?!”)

… Because since I started I am glad to finish well.

There is a whole host of tiny and big other reasons I am glad, some I’m sure to find out even through August as I engage the reintroduction.

So in a long post but also in a quick photograph of the last (almost) 30 days, there you go.

As to the “listening to podcasts and sermons” in the first words of this lengthy conversation, I am walking (most) mornings. And when my great neighbor friend Emily isn’t walking with me, I listen to a sermon or lecture. Can you believe it?! Me!! – cool enough to listen to a sermon.

Seriously, who would have thought!? #neversaynever #glorytoGod 💕💕💕

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