Thursday, October 28, 2010

One of those moments...

No matter how ya slice it, it's just this kinda moment right now. Next moment is as follows:
Yup, enough said.

well, here I go...

So, new thing occupying my brain and life lately. Guess we'll see where the trail leads, as I attempt to follow this kooky bunny down the rabbit hole. Too soon to call it? Well, we'll see...

BTW, prayers out there are appreciated- thanks!

Monday, October 25, 2010

D is for Divine!

One little vitamin. It’s just one little vitamin, represented by one little letter. But let me tell you, man oh man, it makes a world of difference!!! I’m talking about vitamin D! Why am I talking about Vitamin D? It’s because overlooking this little vitamin may be adding further complications to your well being. Discovering and treating my vitamin D deficiency has unlocked a great mystery for me; it has me feeling better, to say the least!

This recent discovery about my low vitamin d levels from my  doctor has shed more light and health into my life. Who knew that my insomnia and mood swings could be alleviated by this one little letter: D! D is, indeed, Divine!
 I’m no medical expert, so, I’ll let some internet research about vitamin D do the talking for me.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Early signs of deficiency include sweating, trouble sleeping, lower back and leg pain. More serious symptoms include bone deformities due to the softening of bones over long term deficiency. This includes difficulty in walking, climbing stairs, and susceptibility to fractures. Lack of this nutrient in infants is likely to cause poor development of bones, resulting in rickets and other deformities.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms are often confused with another condition known as hypoparathyroidism, when the parathyroid glands are not producing enough hormones for healthy body function. These hormones help to regulate the body’s calcium levels, which works together with vitamin D to maintain normal mineralization of bone.
What Is Vitamin D?
Not naturally found in many foods, Vitamin D is generally added to products, like milk, as a supplement. Your body absorbs this nutrient from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, through a process known as vitamin D synthesis. This fat-soluble vitamin must go through two processes (hydroxylations) in order for the body to process it, through the liver and the kidney, ultimately to form calcitriol. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption to maintain normal mineralization of bone. It helps prevent hypocalcemic tetany, rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis. It is also involved in modulation of immune function, such as inflammation reduction. It also helps prevent colon cancer. Some believe that vitamin D may also help prevent type 1 and type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, glucose intolerance and hypertension, though evidence for these claims is still under debate.
A deficiency of vitamin D can be caused by lack of sun exposure, as well as nutritional neglect. Rickets in children is a common condition related to a vitamin D deficiency, which involves the development of soft bone tissue and deformity. Often related to calcium, osteoporosis is also contributed to by a lack of vitamin D. This condition generally occurs with old age, due to the skin being unable to effectively absorb vitamin D from the sun’s rays. By ensuring that you have enough vitamin D in your diet, you can prevent osteoporosis and other conditions from occurring later in life.
Where To Find It?
  • A variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
  • Lean meats, beans, nuts, poultry, eggs, and fish.
  • Added to some brands of butter.
  • Nutritional supplements and other fortified foods.
  • Milk is fortified with vitamin D, as well as cheeses, and many cereal products.
  • Sunlight!

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked With Depression

Could Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Depression?

By Mark Stibich, Ph.D., Guide
Updated July 22, 2008 Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board
Vitamin D deficiency is being linked with bone trouble, lower back pain, heart trouble and now depression. Linking vitamin D deficiency and depression makes a certain intuitive sense to me. Vitamin D is produced in your body when your skin is exposed to light. During winter, many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) because of lack of exposure to sunlight. It kind of makes sense to me that there would be a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression (though, as we will see, researchers aren’t certain if vitamin D deficiency causes depression or is a result of depression).
Vitamin D Deficiency in Older Adults
Over 1,200 men and women between the ages of 65 to 95 were participating in a long-term study of aging. As part of that study, they had extensive blood work done include vitamin D levels. Turned out that about 40% of the men and 57% of the women had vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D Deficiency and Depression
Of all the people in the study, 169 were suffering from minor depression and 26 from major depression. On average, those suffering from depression had vitamin D levels about 14% lower that the others in the study. Now it gets a bit more complicated. The level of a hormone called parathyroid hormone was elevated in those with depression –- 5% higher in the case of minor depression and 33% higher for those with major depression. Parathyroid hormone often increases as vitamin D levels decrease.
Could Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Depression?
It could, we just don’t know for sure. It could also be true that depression causes low vitamin D levels. There could also be something more complicated going on. If vitamin D deficiency caused depression, that would be fantastic news because vitamin D deficiency is easy to treat with increased exposure to sunlight and supplementation.
Witte J. G. Hoogendijk, MD, PhD; Paul Lips, MD, PhD; Miranda G. Dik, PhD; Dorly J. H. Deeg, PhD; Aartjan T. F. Beekman, MD, PhD; Brenda W. J. H. Penninx, PhD. Depression Is Associated With Decreased 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Increased Parathyroid Hormone Levels in Older Adults. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008;65(5):508-512.
If you see yourself in these symptoms, whether or not you deal with eating disorders, in any way, get some blood work done; check out your levels. It may be a missing puzzle piece needed. You may feel so much better with just a little vitamin D tweaking!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Scary Candy?

It’s that time of year again-the official start of the “candy holidays,” kicked off by Halloween. It can be sheer torture, facing the overwhelming displays of treats now. There seems to be candy everywhere! And, for a lot of us out there, it can trigger disordered eating patterns.
So, what do we do? We can’t stop Halloween- and all “candy holidays” from coming. No, it’s not an easy situation. But, we can look for God’s perspective and help, even considering the temptations and issues we face, dealing with candy and “trigger” situations.
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”
1 Corinthians 10:23
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
1 Corinthians 6:12
Candy, by itself, is neither evil, nor good. It’s inanimate. It has no nutritional value; and yes, it’s loaded with sugar, other preservatives and colors. The “moderation” issue, therefore, comes into play. You and I will not die or have the worst case scenario, (whatever we define that to be for our lives, such as the notoriously dreaded “getting fat” fear) if we eat some candy, from time to time, in our lives.
However, we need to look at eating candy as a choice; it has no nutritional value.  So, according to 1 Corinthians, it’s “lawful,” but does it “edify?”
Candy will not harm us, if, the constant staples in our lives are healthy choices: healthy food, balanced exercise, sleep, relationships, support and numerous daily spiritual, emotional and physiological choices. It’s about an overall healthy lifestyle, not whether or not we ate some candy corn today.
And let’s not forget, each of us has help for our individual, unique lives.
 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalms 46:1
Yes, it’s challenging, facing the overwhelming  flavors, colors, choices- and emotional ties that Halloween candy can represent to us. But remember, God has called us to a life that includes enjoyment.
“…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”’
John 10:10
Are you and I taking time to enjoy our lives? For some of us out there, that may mean having  some candy today; for others, it may mean choosing another option.
Regardless of what you choose today, “to candy or not to candy” (forgive me, Shakespeare), God is in control and loves each of us unconditionally. He’s there, helping us, wanting us to succeed and to experience His love and blessings.
So, look at candy with some newer eyes today. It’s not your best friend or your worst enemy. It’s candy; that’s all. And God is more powerful than it- and every trigger/disorder/issue surrounding it.
Go to God, then, no matter what you face concerning your struggles/disorders/issues with candy- or any other food, for that matter. He IS there, now, for you! He will be, long after the candy- and the candy holidays- are gone!
“…I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Matthew 28:20

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Feel like Frankenstein’s monster? Feel that you look like Frankenstein’s monster? Or, are you secretly trying to be your own mad scientist, carefully constructing your ”perfect” body, your “perfect” life, your “perfect” heart’s desire? Recognize yourself here? I know that I sure do. Disorders and addictions thrive on the hope of the “perfect” result of that certain something that’s “missing.” It leaves us chasing after more. And the more we chase, the more of an unwanted monster we seem to get. So, in your life, what are you creating? Are you happy, really happy, with the results you’re seeing?

In this famous story of the monster, a scientist thought that he was creating a desired life and specific result, never again threatened by death or loss. And so, the monster was formed. However, this educated expert, convinced that he knew exactly what he was doing, could not control the result of the formed monster. Check out Mary Shelley’s work, watch the film adaptations; you’ll see how the results were disastrous.

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Proverbs 14:12

And so it is with disordered eating, addictions, self-injury and image obsessions. You can start out with one reason and soon see the monster take on a destructive life of its own. You can convince yourself that you’ll just do something “only once” or “just once more.” You can convince yourself that you’ll just lose five or ten more pounds. You’re just going to keep at it until you get this “perfect” result. Then, you say, you’ll be happy. Then, you say, you’ll stop. That’s what I’ve said. But, in the meantime, I lost track of my “creation.” Before I knew it, just like Shelley’s tale, my monster came after me with a vengeance.
We are creative beings, taking after God, the Creator. So, of course, we’re going to create something. But what is it? Is it a monster? A disorder? An obsession? When creating or desiring anything for our lives, we need to be respectful of the power of our creativity and of our longings. They can be healing or they can be harmful.

Regardless of our creativity and goals, we need to remember that God, the Creator, is in control; He has the final say. He purposed each one of us.

“Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
Isaiah 43:7

That means, in spite of our discontent, God still sees our value; we were created for His Love and Glory. We can have our “bright ideas,” but we are not omnipotent. That becomes especially clear, if/when we deal with an untamed, unplanned monster of our own making.

Yes, it comes back to God, even with our formed and yet unformed monsters. Regardless of our sins, mistakes and harmful choices, we can stop and ask for help. We can stop and ask GOD for help. Monster or no monster, God already IS our help!

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalms 46:1

So, the challenge for each of us is to check our monsters and present them, honestly, to God. What are they? Where are they? Go to God with them, even when it seems that they are overtaking you. You are not Frankenstein; you are not a monster. You are not your own creation either. You belong to God. You are His Child, spectacular and wonderful!

“…I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”
—Psalm 139:14

Remember that when a monster comes up in your life!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Objects in the Mirror

Ever look at the smaller side mirrors on a vehicle?
These mirrors often state the words,” objects in the mirror may appear closer than they are.” Modify that statement to yourself, personally, when you deal with your reflection in the mirror. Could it possibly be “Objects in the mirror may appear larger than they are?”
When you look in your mirror, what do you see? Do you only see a gargantuan monster? And why do you automatically associate a larger body with an unacceptable state of being?
Distorted body image is the name of the game with eating disorders and self- esteem issues. But are you really seeing what’s there? Are you seeing your body through a distorted, self-imposed, oppressive mirror?
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
1 Corinthians 13:12
God, indeed, knows your real state of being right now: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Perhaps, trauma, pain, rejection and perfectionism are some of the things that have distorted who- and how- you are currently. But God does desire and call each one of us to health:
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
3 John 1:2
And He sees each of us as valuable, worthwhile; that includes, yes, our form, at it really exists, right now. Can you accept that? What do you think about that?
“O my dove…let me see your form…for your form is lovely.”
Song of Solomon 2:14:
Remember, what does desires; he desire to love and bless you, not hurt you (Jeremiah 29:11). So, can you challenge yourself, your perception right now? Don’t argue about and fight your body, your image, yourself; God doesn’t. He, instead, loves and accepts. Period.
Try this next time you look in the mirror: modify the statement even further to the following:
“I am more loved and valued by god than I may appear to be.”
See yourself through God’s loving vision, not your harsh distortion.
“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”
Isaiah 43:4
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9
You’re more valuable than you appear! There’s more to you than meets the ye- or the mirror!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Grace, Grace and MORE Grace!!!!

 “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”
Acts 4:33
Yep, I’m dragging my cat, Gracie into the picture again. Gracie is a little love bug of a critter. She’s obsessed with playing fetch, mainly with the ring from a frozen juice can; (can’t make pineapple juice without her, at the sound of the opened freezer door, stretching and grasping for the “ringie”).

Gracie is also a master at being the most stealth little ninja. How do I know this? Because, many times, in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning, and even in broad daylight, she has been there, for me to stumble into.

I haven’t stepped on her yet, thankfully, probably because, before the moment of “impact,” she squeaks a Gracie “Hi/Hey!” There’s no escaping Gracie; she SEEMS to be everywhere!!!!
That started me thinking about her very name: Grace. And before there was even a Gracie blessing our lives now, there was GOD’S Grace!!!  
“Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,”
2 Thessalonians 2:16
God’s Grace, also everywhere, in abundance is very stealth as well.
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:8
 “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”
Acts 4:33
So, spiritually speaking, whether or not we know it, like my small cat, Gracie, we’re being ambushed, blessed and showered by the loving, wonderful, merciful Grace of God!!! Like Gracie, God’s trying to get our attention in everyday situations.

God and His Grace are there, everywhere. Let’s seek Him and not just stumble into Who He is. And if you have a ninja cat like our Gracie, invest in a hallway nightlight; it has prevented A LOT of trips and falls!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Last Supper

The Last Supper: sound familiar? Perhaps, it’s not because of the Biblical account of Jesus, but because of our repeated attempts to “never do that again,”  “never eat again” in our lives? How many times can we swear of this vice or that vice, this addiction, that addiction, only to binge on it- again?
“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice: but what I hate, that I do.”
The Apostle Paul in Romans 7:15
What’s been your “last supper” lately? Have you invited Jesus to be there with you, concerning it? If not, why not? Look at what Jesus wants to do with each of us, in spite of any issue we experience:
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Revelations 3:20
Next time we’re tempted to swear something off forever, only to be our flawed human selves, yet again,  let’s allow God to really come in.
“The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17
God is right there with you, in the middle of your struggle, your failure, your success. Let this be your lasting thought!

Friday, October 1, 2010

RAWRRRRH- Life Lessons from Two Kittens

Rawrrrh!!!! That sums it up when our cats get their “fiercies” on. Glory is notorious for being our “fiercy girl.”
Just look at this photo of both Glory and Grace as kittens, day 2 with us.
They both weighed a few pounds and were about 6 weeks old. Yet we were struck at the magnitude of the fierce lil “rawrrr” attitudes. They were obsessed with conquering my hubby’s shoes, hopping all over him, a giant, at 6’ 1!

But they never saw themselves as tiny, weak; they knew they were capable of killing those shoes. Glory, especially, felt like an undefeatable warrior (she still does with her cat dancer toy today).
We can all learn a lesson from these little felines. They didn’t see themselves as insignificant grasshoppers. We, however, do, don’t we?
“And there we saw the giants…were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”
Numbers 13:33
It’s easy to see ourselves as defeated, instead of being victorious. But God wants us to win, even in the middle of our struggles, struggles such as eating disorders, addictions, depression, hey, life!
1 Samuel 17:41-45;47:
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 "Come here," he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!"
45 David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel... 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."
God wants us to know that, as we face whatever Goliaths in life, He’s helping us, empowering us! How? Because of Jesus! Who is Jesus to you, in your life, fighting your Goliath?
Matthew 16:15-16:
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
You are more fierce than you feel; you have Jesus working in you and in your life!
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
1 John 4:4
Go on then, take a lesson from God’s Word- and our cats! Go on and Rawrrrh! You are victorious!!!