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Today is my Friday, Praise God! I started my new job Monday and am blessed to work 4 10 hour shifts and get Friday’s off.  I can sure get used to that.  Things are still a bit nuts, we are trying to get all our gardens and farms done and planted.  Hubby is struggling with his back.  I am exhausted from my new job and all the learning.  I can really understand why we educate children and not adults, I can’t believe how tired I am from just learning a new computer system and office policies!

Quick update to say I’m still here and still alive.  Weight is actually staying pretty reasonable.  We were blessed to find a used steam sauna on craigslist for a CHEAP $150 rather than $1400, which is what it started out at, but the man was so desperate to sell it he dropped the price every other day.  But the time we found it, it was $150.  It’s a small capsule that one person sits in and it works similar to an electric kettle, the element heats the water and it steams up.  You can see out but hard to see in and there is a place to put essential oils (amazing for colds). So we are still taking good care of our bodies although I haven’t juiced since Monday, I’m just too tired. 

My Grandma went to heaven recently.  She had been living in a body that wasn’t working for many hard years, my Grandpa passed away several years ago and I know she was miserable without him.  I can imagine the beautiful reunion they had!  Although sad, it is a blessing she is no longer in pain.  Her memorial is at the end of the month, my Aunt has asked me to read one of the poems she wrote.  I knew she painted but never did know she wrote poetry.  It’s about the potter and clay and being molded for God’s use.  I shared her love of poetry but mine was more “poor me” type stuff.  It is interesting how much we learn about someone when they are no longer here.  I do remember going swimming in her pool, she taught me how to crochet and knit, I remember crawling into her huge bed and watching morning tv shows together, and I remember her passion and love for Jesus.  I look forward to the day I am reunited with her again.  I was not the best Granddaughter though, not visiting her much in her assisted living home.  When she started to get sick and older there was a time I was a kid and I had to help her pull up her pants in the bathroom of a restaurant.  It was hard for me as a youngster to understand that, Grandma’s where supposed to help you not the other way around.  I pray for the guilt I do feel and trust it will be forgiven.  I do think it will make me act differently if another family member goes into a “home.” 

Make sure to tell those you love how much they mean to you, this is a short life my friends and you never know when you won’t have another chance to say “I love you.”

xoxo

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Whew!  Life gets away from us sometimes, doesn’t it?  I want to thank Miss Debra for checking up on me after me being absent, it is sweet to know bloggers really do care!  My life has become quite crazy, I will start with the biggest change and also the most sad I suppose… my job.  If you’ve followed me for some time you have heard of my questions if I should stay or go here and God has finally given me the final answer, it’s time to move on.  Today is my final day working here and it comes bitterly because it turns out that all employees here truly care about the doctor we work for but he doesn’t care about us.  I am a horribly loyal employee so it stings a bit to learn that after five years of dedicated loyal service to my boss, he doesn’t care about his employees.  Sometimes God makes us uncomfortable when it’s time to move, I found a new job (PRAISE GOD!) and even get a week off between the two jobs which I will be paid for because I have unused sick and vacation time.  My commute which is normally an hour to work and anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours  will be drastically cut, I lose 26 miles a day in my commute!  Most of that is the most congested freeways of Portland, so I am grateful.  I am sad that I will be leaving my coworker to deal with the mess that has become this office, I have grown to care about her very much and it is hard for me to leave her here, but I pray for her and pray that she finds something quickly so she can also leave.  I am hurt and that is coming out in anger…I know I need to let go of the anger and when today is over and I am away from this place I do believe I will get over the anger/hurt. I found this great song though, so wanted to share it does express how I feel today.

Hubby has also found a job.  That is a blessing, I am grateful and so is he.  The environment is very “worldly” and often times he finds himself being pulled in to that negative environment.  He actually LOVES his job but not the environment or the people, so maybe God will provide another job for him in the same field soon.

As for diet, interesting things have happened.  I went back to a fairly regular eating plan, meat and dairy and sugar all included.  I had a wake up call and it scared the mess out of me!  I started to feel like I was getting a cyst back that I had 12 years ago, and with the job change I’m losing my insurance so I went to urgent care Tuesday to get checked out.  The gave me some antibiotics and said the cyst had not formed yet but if it did take the antibiotics.  This time I’m not a 20-year-old ignorant girl so I was right on top of the pain, knew the pain and tried to get it under control before I lost my insurance.  We have been doing sits bath’s with comfrey and plantain herbs and epsom salts, rubbing DMSO on the area daily and also did castor oil packs.  I was under the impression these things don’t come back once you had surgery but after looking it up online I found that many people believed that too.  I believe I have it under control but did relate some of it to the change in diet.  I have since got back on track with juicing and plan on having meat maybe once a week and cutting dairy out.  There will be times to splurge, like this weekend we celebrate my Gramp’s 90th birthday by dancing at the Moose Lodge, he dances 3 times a week at 90 years old can you believe that!?  I am sure I will have a couple of drinks and a chicken fried steak in celebration of my sweet Gramps.  🙂

So I am still here, we are in gear to get our garden going.  A few set backs there but our potatoes are going nuts, corn is popping (LOL), tomatoes and peppers are surviving our colder than normal start to summer, and we have trays of seeds starting including some stevia, and I saw yesterday the stevia is growing!! 😀

God is good even when the world isn’t… Isa 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Just for kicks :

XOXOXO

Corri

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English: A Burger King bacon cheeseburger.

English: A Burger King bacon cheeseburger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First thing I want to say is I am TRULY sorry for being very absent lately.  My life has taken quite the crazy turn, mostly at work where I find the most time to blog.  I no longer have that time, which is a good thing and a bad thing.  I have absorbed another person’s job and am swamped, but the trade-off is that they days fly by, even if I am stressed the whole day.

Monday (yesterday) was the first day off my fast.  I am truly proud of myself for sticking with this for 40 days, there were a few days I didn’t think I could or wanted to.  My cravings sometimes were too much and there were days I wanted to throw in the towel.  I haven’t been much of a finisher, so this was a good thing to prove to myself that I could (with God’s help of course) follow through with something I started.  I am happy to say I have lost 23lbs!  All my clothes fit amazingly, in fact I have found things that I still had tags on in my closet.   I bought some “birthday” clothes for myself last year, my birthday is in June so almost exactly a year ago, I thought I was a certain size bought that and went home without trying them on.  I remember going home trying on the pants that didn’t fit, then the top, throwing them all back in the bag and on to the top shelf of my closet.  I was so mad.  Now I get the joy of trying them on to have them be baggy.  What a joy!

I have seen others start their juicing journey because of my energy and excitement for it.  I have been told by people I know, as well as complete strangers at the grocery store that my skin glows, and I see that in myself too.  I’ve had good and bad days.  Over all, this journey has been really amazing and I am happy that I started on it, and even more happy I finished and can feel the results.

Yesterday Hubby got the good news that he got a job, that and it being the official day I could eat anything I wanted, we went out to celebrate.  However, the joys that we had yesterday were almost robbed from us with some car problems I had on the way home.  Satan didn’t win, he wasn’t allowed to rob us that joy.  We went out to a local restaurant, they serve the best burgers, and I have wanted a cheese burger for 40 days!  It’s funny, looking at the menu it was almost overwhelming.  I hadn’t had so many choices in food in a long time it seemed, there were almost too many choices.  We settled on a bacon cheeseburger and split it, when it came out it looked great, smelled great.   The first bite?  You know, it was just ok.  I know the hamburger was more than just ok, but my taste buds have actually changed.   We finished our meal and went home, soon to discover that burger sat like a brick in our stomachs.  Hubby even said we should have just went and spent that money on produce to juice, in a strange way I felt the same way.  It wasn’t the awesome meal I thought I was about to have.  I feel good about it, honestly, it helps me to know that I don’t need certain things in my life food wise, that I thought I did.  I can be content and full and satisfied with a much more simple diet.

So what’s next?  I see myself having meat every once in a while, maybe once a week, maybe not even that.  I see a mostly vegan diet with yummy vegan cheeses and stir fry and homemade black bean burgers.  I see soaked nuts on my counter every day, with homemade sourdough bread cooling on the rack.  Basically a whole foods diet, I don’t need processed garbage, tons of cheese (if you know me this is a really shocking statement, I used to adore cheese), or meat.  I have to admit, I’m changed.  I never want to go back to feeling the way I used to, to looking the way I used to… I pray that Corri is gone forever.  I promised photos… I have them, but they will have to be posted another day.  I’ve been too busy to load them onto a disc to bring to work and I never have enough time in the evenings, that is my Hubby time.

So the bottom line is, if you are considering a juice fast of any kind, I highly recommend it!  God’s nutritious foods are amazing life givers.  Praise God for his blessings!

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Does anyone remember the old song “It’s me, Oh Lord standing in the need of prayer”?  I remember some old cassette tapes that I used to listen to had this song on it… “It’s me, it’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.  Not my brother, not my sister but it’s me oh Lord standing in the need of prayer.”  I guess that is where I am today.

Things just aren’t going my way recently.  I suppose I am on the down side to the cycles of Christian growth.  It is in these times that God works in us to make and mold us into the people he wants us to be, but *whining* why does it have to be so hard!?

Financially things are just out of control and there is a part of me that worries I will run out of money before this fast is over.  I have left that in God’s hands, if in fact we run out of funds to buy produce then I have to just trust that is the way God wants it to be.  So my disclaimer to my readers, I am sorry if I am unable to continue the juice fast until the whole 40 days.  If that happens, do know I am fully content with the outcome thus far, and I will eat vegan/raw until the 40 days are up.  I have buckets of beans and rice at home and I refuse to worry myself sick if I am unable to buy enough produce to finish.  I have enough stress right now.

Then my job.  This has been the subject of a few blogs recently, I don’t know what that means but I don’t feel it can be good.  I am over the top stressed.  I work in a very small doctors office, with two other coworkers.  We have all we need, a medical assistant, front desk and biller, but our front desk gave two weeks notice and surprise surprise the doctor has done nothing since then.  Well, to be fair it’s not nothing, but there has been zero progress on getting a replacement person.  His worries are only the things that really affect him, rather than listening to the fears and worries of his two remaining employees.  I actually took time to sit down and talk to him over a week ago and still nothing has changed.  At this point I am covering two jobs, plus doing a whole new set of duties that could really mess someone up if I forget a step or something.  There has been no choice on a person to replace our front desk, and all the people that he is talking to need to give two weeks notice wherever they are.  So unless he makes a choice this week we are looking at probably three weeks of me doing this.

I feel the weight of my little world right now.  So it’s me in need of some prayer, if you find yourself talking to The Big Guy (aka God) please mention my needs and if nothing else pray for the peace that passes ALL understanding to fall into my heart and life.

Hugs

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I wish you could see me now, I wish I could show you how I’m not who I was.  I used to be mad at you  A little on the hurt side too  But I’m not who I was, I found my way around to forgiving you Some time ago But I never got to tell you so.  I found us in a photograph I saw me and I had to laugh You know, I’m not who I was” –Brandon Heath

The words above are words to a song by Brandon Heath called I’m Not Who I was.  It’s a fairy popular song on contemporary Christian radio, but it really strikes a chord in my life.  See friendships have always been very important to me, they are deeply rooted relationships I don’t take lightly.  When I started dating Hubby, it wasn’t a popular decision in my group of friends or even my family.  I don’t like conflict so it became a huge weight on me during those years.  One of my best friends actually wrote me a “Dear John” email to end our friendship because of him.  I was heart-broken!  All I wanted was for everyone to get along, why couldn’t everyone see in Hubby what I saw?  Why would a friend end a very personal, very deep and long friendship over my choice in a boyfriend?  Why would it cause so much conflict with my family and why would I go months without speaking to my own Mom?

Sometimes we have to wait for answers in life… mine have finally come.  See after my last failed boyfriend (yes, I’ve had several) my Mom asked me if I had ever asked God to approve a boyfriend.  A strange request at the time to me, but I thought I hadn’t been doing my best on my own so why not.  I did.  When I met Hubby, I asked God and waited.  I remember the day I heard “yes,” I remember like it was yesterday, what I was doing, what I was watching… So I went forward with the relationship having no idea what was coming next.  I suppose when we are doing God’s will in life, Satan hates that and throws as many road blocks at us.  I’m actually surprised I managed through all of them.  There were times I would just cry and cry not understanding why we were the focus of so much gossip and drama.  My heart ached.

When I got the “Dear John” email from Alecia, it hurt deeper than anything I’d gone through.  Boyfriends sure, they come and go right? But friendships are supposed to last forever.  She had been with me through some of the darkest, hardest parts of my life and all of a sudden because of who I chose to date she no longer wanted to be my friend?  I was hurt and angry for a very long time.  I tried to be “Facebook friends” with her but that back fired when everyone in my family was invited to her wedding, everyone but me of course.  Now in all fairness she was marrying my sister-in-law’s brother, but that also made it worse!  I wrote her a note saying how I couldn’t be a distant viewer of her life and I wished her well and deleted her, and later deleted my whole Facebook account.

From time to time she passes my mind.  What is she doing?  How is she?  Is she happy?  What is new in her world?  Does she think of me?  No matter how much time passes, friendships are friendships and she made a lasting impression on my life.  Today I randomly searched her name and saw her Facebook photo, it looks like she and her husband now have a baby.  Then I go to thinking about this Brandon Heath song, and the lyrics really hit my heart… I’m not who I was.  The friendship was not meant to survive because of who God has been working to change me into.  She no longer fits into my life, as well as the other friends I lost during those years.  God was slowly removing the people from my life that were not going to be fitting anymore, and as painful as it was for me then, it helps me now.  She also isn’t who she use to be and at this point we probably wouldn’t have much in common anymore.  I didn’t understand why I went through all of that, but today I have a better grip on why God allowed some friends to leave and some to stay.  For example, one of my DEAREST friends in the world, Erin (Hi Erin!).  She and I used to be pretty different.  There were a few years in middle school I thought she was stuck up and didn’t want to be her friend.  But God knew what we would be going through in life and he allowed us to stay together and become close friends.  She is now the only friend I call when I have issues with my marriage or something I need a good solid Christian woman’s opinion about.  She has replaced that missing piece that I lost with some of those friends, and in such a better way!  I am blessed to have her as a friend.

As God transforms my life it is nice to be able to look back and see where I came from, and yes sometime reminisce about old friends and old paths.  But I am grateful for the path I am on.  I wish those who have left my life nothing but God’s grace and love.  I am good with them being gone now, they don’t fit in my life.  I’ve forgiven them and that has healed my heart a lot.  I am grateful I am not longer who I was, I am so much better now!

Colossians 3:13

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Deep in thought.......... Separate from the re...

Deep in thought………. Separate from the remainder of the herd but with a wonderful view. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If this fast has been anything it has been eye-opening.  Not only am I blessed to share my experience with others, but God is really using it to change my views on things, particularly myself.  As God’s children we are not supposed to be so down on ourselves all the time, we are supposed to have the joy of the Lord.  Sometimes I feel like when I don’t have that joy I am doing something “wrong” and God isn’t blessing me.  I follow a particular ministry online and they did a video on The Cycles of Christian Growth, I realized as I was listening that I am not alone in my thinking.  Sometimes God uses the lower times to build us up to the higher times.

We ALL struggle with some form of self-worth.  Even people we consider “beautiful” admit to struggling with the thought of their fat thighs or round tummy.  This weekend God opened my eyes to some very interesting things…me and my constant struggle with my body.  See, I’ve pretty much always thought I was “fat.”  Even though I look back at photos of me in high school and I think “What was I thinking!?! I wasn’t fat!!”  But in my head I was.  That same mental block has been around my entire life, I can’t think of one time in my life where I thought I was ‘thin’ or ‘beautiful’ or whatever the world tells us we must be.  I don’t remember a single time!  Ugh there is something seriously wrong with that.

In a computer change over I lost all our photos prior to probably 2010.  This means all the memories from Florida, our drive back to Oregon, friends weddings, OUR wedding, our reception… all gone.  Hubby is a sweet man, he tells me his memories are in his heart and he doesn’t have to have a photo to remember those things.  I finally got over the “loss” and started to move on, we will make more memories I can document.  This weekend God showed me that these memories were not lost, I had a back up disc from 2008 and I had all the memories from our wedding on a Walgreens CD.  I was giddy as I started to load these old memories on the computer!  Hubby and I started to scroll through them and then…horror! (a little dramatic?lol)

There on the screen staring back at me was me, horribly over weight, so fat!  I have to tell you it came as quite a shock.  I didn’t know how big I actually was until looking back now, and in a different place in my own body.  Even the photos of Hubby… wow! We were some chubby folks!  As time got closer to 2009 and our wedding things slimmed down drastically but still not more than right now.  Looking back sometimes can really show you where you came from and how you are getting to where you are going.  God also showed me how we used to be and that life was not glorifying to God in any way shape or form.

After going through those photos I stood in front of the mirror and looked at myself now.  I am not the same person, not physically, not spiritually, not anything… honestly I don’t know what kind of conversation that Corri and this Corri would even have.  There have been some times during this fast I have felt that maybe I was “cheating” because I was eating some nuts or beans or rice.  I can say honestly that if something made me feel guilty (corn bread comes to mind) I wouldn’t go near it.  Everything I have put in my mouth for the past 27 days I have felt good about, even if I was really craving a cheese burger.  I am really proud of where I have come from, and what God is transforming me into.  Not only physically but so deeply in my heart God is changing me from the inside out.

I plan on the final post about this fast to pull some of the “fat Corri” photos and post a little timeline from then to now.  My journey of before to after.  If only I could post photos of my heart changing… although I don’t know how much of the “before” I would like to share, now the after?  That is ALL God’s handy work and I am more than blessed to be changed by the hands that formed the world.

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/CFCi_UAmFS0&#8243; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Enjoy the Cycles of Christian Growth, I do hope you find the time to give it a listen.

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From what I hear, it’s “cold” in Oregon.  I’m so used to the weather here I don’t notice, but compared to the humidity of Florida… I can see how it’s “cold.”  We have had some really amazing days.  Hubby and I are excited to be experiencing our yard and trees for the first time.  Now that everything has bloomed we are ready for the fruit to come!  We have a plum tree and SEVERAL cherry trees, we are really big on canning, dehydrating and freezing food for later use and it looks like God has provided us with some amazing food this year.

This cherry tree doesn’t seem to be producing fruit anymore.  We had that happen at a rental house with a plum tree, however after our garden, plenty of chicken and bunny poo, that plum tree started to produce again! Maybe we’ll be blessed with this cherry tree and it will do the same.

Praying for some plums!

Jack playing in the creek.  He LOVES his ball!

Jack & Lyla in the creek.  She wouldn’t go near the water when we first got her, she has come a LONG way!

Can you tell I love my dogs? He’s just so handsome!

She is certainly “my” dog.  She is a blessing!

One of our desires in our house was to have a creek, God provided everything we asked for!

Hubby went to visit his Grandma for her birthday.  She lives in the Columbia Gorge (one of the most amazing places on earth!) he came home with mushrooms!  Here are some coral mushrooms he picked up.  He made some Chinese food with these last year, looking forward to that again!

He also came home with fresh Morrells! We enjoyed them last night, and they were SOOOO tasty! Yay for mushroom season!  I love spring in Oregon!

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