Thursday, January 31, 2013

eating healthy for the new year? 5 foods you absolutely must avoid.

"everyone knows that to be healthy you have to avoid eating _____"

how many different foods could you fill in the blank with?  how about meat (especially bacon), white sugar, butter and salt?

'bacon' photo (c) 2006, Mandy Jouan - license:

the more i study nutrition, the more i realize how complex the subject is.  there have been two different times in my life where i have changed the way that i cook and eat pretty dramatically.  the first was when i began to believe the typical low fat/low calorie standard american "healthy" diet.  about three years ago i changed to a traditional diet with emphasis on whole foods, clean meats, and full-fat dairy.

i continue to read and learn.  and the more i read, honestly, the more confused i get.  everyone is trying to figure out what the "bad guys" are in the world of food, but no one has figured out who they are yet. everyone is trying to point the blame on some particular food or food group, and everyone has a story of how their health dramatically improved after they stopped eating ____.

overall i still place a heavy emphasis on nutrient-dense traditional foods (especially bone broth, leafy greens, meat [especially organ meat], coconut oil and grass-fed butter).  and overall, i stick to the 80/20 rule, where i aim for us to eat well 80% of the time (usually when we are at home) and don't worry about the other 20% (usually when we are at a party or out somewhere).  i definitely think that stress is worse for you than the worst food, and being super strict about what you eat is going to cause more stress and harm than good, and can even lead to social isolation when people/places associated with "bad" food are avoided.

another reason that i stick to the 80/20 rule is that the more i learn, the more i realize that there are problems with every type of food.  there is stuff that can be bad for you in vegetables (for example, oxalates and goitrogens), whole grains (phytic acid and arsenic), fish (mercury), fruit (arsenic and citric acid), pork (arachidonic acid) and nuts (phytic acid, linoleic acid).  even water is bad for you if you have too much, which actually may be more common in our country than previously thought.

our country tends to go through fads with nutritional thought.  at different times its been popular to eat low-fat, low-sugar, low-carb, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, everything raw, and gluten free.  i am wary of nutritional fads.  yes, you hear lots of really great sounding testimonials of how people's health has dramatically improved by X diet, but are the health improvement strictly because of the diet change?  do the health improvements last, and are the diets sustainable?  also, super-strict diets can lead to social isolation (since many social gatherings are based around food) which can lead to stress and broken relationships.  having a low-stress life and healthy relationships are definitely an important part of your health, along with healthy food.

so, here are five foods that "conventional wisdom" tells you to avoid in order to be healthy, but some alternative health experts are now promoting as healthy.

meat - this article purports that meat is vital for healthy thyroid functioning.  thyroid issues are becoming rampant among women in the US.  incidentally, women are far more likely than men to avoid meat (thinking that they are making a wise, healthy choice).  could there be a connection?

what we do: yes, we definitely eat meat.  not only is it tasty, but its one of the best ways to get vitamin B-12 and vitamin d, two important nutrients (vitamin d deficiency is especially high in the US right now), as well as saturated fat, which is important in hormone production.

bacon -  did you know that the fat in bacon is primarily monounsaturated? this is the same type of fat that people look for in olive oil.  read on in this article to see why bacon is actually considered a very healthy food by some.

what we do: we eat bacon but only a couple times a year since quality bacon is so expensive and difficult to find.

white sugar - white sugar might actually be helpful in having a high metabolism when used correctly.  when your body has a high metabolism, it has strong immunity, strong bones, low stress hormones and strong circulation, leading to much improved over-all health.

what we do: we have organic cane sugar in our baking cabinet (pretty much the same as white sugar, but non-GMO with slightly more minerals).  i used to avoid this stuff like the plague, but i am less wary than i used to be.  but i still only bake with it once or twice a month.

butter - grass-fed butter is high in vitamin a, d and k, conjugated linolaic acid, and may help promote fertility in women.

what we do: we eat lots of butter.  :)

salt - heart disease has only gone up as people have cut out salt from their diet.  salt may also play an important role in mitigating adrenal fatigue (which is becoming quite common in our stressful, busy society).  sea salt is especially important as it provides the body with tons of trace minerals, minerals that our bodies are often depleted of in this industrialized food world.

what we do: i use a normal amount of salt in our cooking, and always use sea salt (for the trace minerals).  in fact, since i have been breast feeding, my salt craving has skyrocketed for some reason, and i almost always add salt to my food at the table.  and i have a super low blood pressure.

not trying to pick on anyone with this list.  i'm not even saying i believe everything from every article i linked to.  i'm just saying to rethink what you believe about nutrition (its far from being a "hard" science  at this point) and definitely question everything that you hear from mainstream media (they only report what big corporations want them to report).

what do you think?  what do you eat from this list and what do you try to avoid?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

cilantro avocado ranch burgers

i haven't posted a recipe in a while.  i often randomly invent things in the kitchen and want to share them, but i don't usually have time to write them down.

last friday i made up cilantro avocado ranch burgers and they were too delish not to share with the world.  i made them for alex's birthday.

cilantro avocado ranch burgers

1 lb ground beef (we like grass-fed)
1 carrot
1 egg (from our chickens!)
1/2 bunch cilantro (from our box!)
1 onion
1 cup bread crumbs (sourdough!)

6 burger buns (for store bought i like ezekiel sprouted buns, but this time we used sourdough bread slices because we have so much bread around right now)

2 avocados (from our box!)

ranch dressing (homemade is best.  i used this ranch recipe made with this mayonnaise recipe)

a few extra sprigs of cilantro for garnish

1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  put the carrot, cilantro and onion in the food processor and chop until fine.  add the bread crumbs, meat and egg and process until blended.

2. form into 6 patties in a baking pan.  bake at 350 for 15 minutes (plus or minus, depending on how thick you make them).

3.  while the patties are baking, slice up your avocados and chop the cilantro for garnish. during the last few minutes of baking, put your buns/bread in the oven to warm up.

4. top the buns with the burgers, avocado, ranch and finally cilantro.  serve with hot sauce (our fave!), ketchup and mustard.

5. enjoy your nutrient-dense, delicious, low-phytate meal.  yum!

you're welcome, world. :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

january update from our home

God has been good to us this month (as always).

baby girl has seemed to turn a corner with her fussiness.  she now has long periods during the day where she is happy and cooing and playing.  even more fun is to see esther and baby girl interact.  one of esther's favorite things to do with baby girl is to stick her (esther's) fingers into baby's mouth and then in her own mouth and then in baby's mouth, and then in her own mouth... and on and on... its hilariously cute, and both babies have fun with it.

i've been reflecting a lot on our decision to take in another baby while esther was still so young.  sometimes i feel like we are crazy (and if we are out of our minds its for God's sake).  but there are many things i am thankful for in this situation.  i love that esther isn't an only child.  i love that she has a little playmate (although baby doesn't play that much yet... but she does let esther stick her fingers in her mouth :) ).  i love that she is learning to recognize that there are other people in the world with needs besides herself.  i hope it will lead (by God's grace) to her being a selfless person.  i love that we are being stretched in our faith and forced to depend on the Holy Spirit.

its sad to me that esther will probably never remember her first sister (besides stories we tell and pictures we show).  but that too will be worked together for good.

another major theme in our life right now are some major changes at our church.  our former pastor recently accepted a pastorate in mexico city, so we are currently looking for a new lead pastor.  God is doing a lot of cool stuff in the midst of this.  we recently had a workshop with people from our church to identify our mission/vision/values.  God surfaced a lot of things for discussion, both strengths and weaknesses of our church.  we have identified some next steps for growth and even have a very promising potential pastor coming to visit next month.

oh, and my january goal of sourdough bread baking? its going really well.  more on that in another post.

one of the first loaves of bread i made,
a sourdough country loaf
we just got some disappointing news... esther's medicine dosage has been increased for the second in this month (until this month her dosage was initially decreased and then has remained the same since). (read more about her diagnosis here).  this has many implications... more frequent blood draws, which are a tearful, heart wrenching events. this also means that it is less likely that they will ever try a medicine free period when she turns 3.  this could also has implications for ministry locations in the future, if we need to be near a large city for frequent endocrinology appointments throughout her childhood.

in other very important esther hope news, esther learned her first food word... "apu" (apple) and can now eat a whole apple if i hand it to her without slicing it (of course i keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn't choke).

Monday, January 21, 2013

a tribute to a foster daddy

happy birthday month to my love!  my hero :)

alex leading us in prayer before
our wedding ceremony

there are so many things to celebrate and be thankful for in my husband alex.  today i want to write about his faith, especially as it plays out in foster parenting.

when i say "his faith" i don't just mean the fact that he is a christian or that he believes in jesus/spiritual things or that he goes to church.  this is how our society defines faith.

i define faith the way that the bible does.  alex shows his faith by actively living out what the bible says, showing that his trust is in God and not himself.  consider these verses.

"for as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead." (james 2:26)

"pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God our Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world" (james 1:27)

and part of the greatest passage about faith in the whole bible (IMHO).  it never ceases to give me chills every single time i read it:

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city..." (Hebrews 11 ESV)

now let me tell you the story of alex's faith (this is not exhaustive, but a picture into part of it).

by faith alex wanted children from the moment we got married, not seeking to follow the world's standard to "enjoy yourselves" and wait a few years (decades) before having kids, but believing the bible to be true when it says that children are a blessing.

by faith alex wanted to adopt orphans, not believing the world's warning that orphans are damaged goods and someone else's problem, but believing that God had first adopted him and wanting to extend that blessing to children in need.

by faith alex said yes when we were asked to take in our first two foster babies.  and by faith he suggested that we also take in their two older brothers when they needed a home a few weeks later, not listening to the world's warnings that we don't need to take on such a heavy and burdensome task, but believing that God could do more good through us in four lives than in two.

by faith alex faithfully served and poured himself out to these four young kids, especially seeking to help them understand spiritual things, even when it became clear that our hopes of adopting them would not be fulfilled.  by faith he knew that it was more important for them to be a part of our spiritual family and spend eternity with us than to be a part of our physical family and spend a few decades with us.

by faith alex wanted to try for adoption again, and nicely (but passionately) persuaded our agency to allow us to start the process again when esther was 5 months old.  by faith he did not hold our biological daughter on a pedestal and try to protect her from the difficulties that come along with fostering, but included her in on the process from a young age.

by faith alex said yes when we got the call about baby girl, as it seemed she might be adoptable, but having his trust fully in God in the situation, knowing that God would determine whether we would adopt or not.

by faith alex trusts God day by day knowing that God's will for this situation is good, and that even if we pour ourselves out to her for another year and continue to put on hold our desires to grow our family, it is for good.  by faith alex knows that he might be the only daddy that baby girl ever has, and seeks to love her while he can.  by faith he knows that it is more important for her to be a part of our spiritual family and spend eternity with us than to be a part of our physical family and spend a few decades with us.

alex lives by faith: his life is fully dependent on God being the God he reveals himself to be in the bible.  alex is dependent on God to give us the strength and ability to pour our lives out to these kids.  by faith, alex trusts God to bring the children into our home that He knows are best.  by faith, alex lives not for what is easy here and now, but for what will have an impact in eternity.

by faith, alex lives "not for the things that are seen, but for the things that are unseen.  for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal" (2 corinthians 4:18)

Sunday, January 13, 2013


as i have matured as a christian, i have realized that some seasons of life are seasons where we are just called to endure.  "just" enduring in life may sound a bit fatalistic or dramatic, but i think its biblical.  consider these verses (which i have come to love in my seasons of endurance):

"as an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. James 5:10-11 (esv)

"The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD." Lamentations 3:25-26 (esv)

"But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.' Hebrews 10:32-36 (esv)

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (esv)

the pastor of my old church described it best, and i will never forget his words.  he said that most americans (including christians) think that life will be mostly happy and easy with periods of hardship.  the bible, on the other hand, describes that the christian life on this earth will be difficult, but that God promises seasons of rest along the way.

right now is a season of endurance for me.  please don't read this as a complaint- i am very thankful for all the blessings God has given us right now, and he have given me so much joy in the midst of it all.  but the day to day with two babies and the emotional ups and downs of foster care is hard work with no end in sight, and i must endure.

endurance may sound static (and it usually feels static) but it isn't.  it is building to something:

"...we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."  Romans 5:3-5 (esv)

"and after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you". 1 Peter 5:10 (esv)

its hard to see what God is doing during these seasons (but usually months or years later it becomes more clear).  but part of waiting and enduring well is having the faith that he is in control and that he is working good from it all (romans 8:28).

Friday, January 11, 2013

happy birthday month to my hero!

my husband is my hero.  for a number of reasons, but one story in particular i will share with you.

it was about two years ago (almost exactly two years ago, come to think of it).  we had four foster kids aged 11 months, 23 months, 2 year and 4 years old (siblings).  i was driving them home from LA during rush hour from one of the twice weekly visits.  i exited off of the 405 to the lakewood blvd exit.

now if you are not familiar with this highway or this exit, just know that its a very busy highway and this exit is busy all day, especially during traffic hour.  its so busy in fact, that most of the ramp is two lanes, until it narrows to one right before merging onto the street.

right as the exit ramp was ending and we about to merge onto lakewood, i push the gas and nothing happened.  no matter how hard i pushed nothing happened, the engine was dead.  after we glided to a stop i tried to re-start the car, change gears, push on the gas some more but to no avail, the car was dead (later we found out that the transmission was shot).

we were stopped in the middle of the lane.  fortunately, cars were able to squeeze around us to one side, but they clearly weren't happy about it.

i was freaking out.  my mind was racing.  do i get all of us out of the car?  but how could i cross in front of all that traffic with four young kids safely?  i decided to call alex.

as soon as i explained what happened he said "i'm coming".  and i knew we would be safe.

it took about ten minutes for him to get to us from where he was at.  ten minutes wasn't too bad, but it was a long time to wait in a car of nervous children asking lots of questions while people are honking and yelling at you.

but then i saw him.

he had parked his car and ran to come rescue us.

all by himself he pushed our van out of the way of traffic to the side of the road.  my man did that for us! (we are fortunate that he is so strong :) )

after that a few other people offered to help push us to a parking zone where we could leave the van, and we packed all four kids plus alex and i into our little hyundai and went home.

but i will never forget that night... my hero dropping everything to rescue us, the relief i felt when i saw him and my amazement at his strength to push our entire van by himself.

i am so fortunate that God has blessed me with you alex!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

holistic dentistry: my experiences so far

a few months ago, i heard that there was such a thing as holistic dentistry, and i got excited.  i wondered if there were any holistic dentists nearby and was happy to find that there is one just about two miles from our house!  holistic dentists are pretty rare, so i was pretty surprised to find one so accessible.

'Colors' photo (c) 2008, Gunjan Karun - license:
the choice

finding the dentist was just the first step.  the next step was actually figuring out whether or not we would go to him.  you see, this dentist (and many holistic practitioners) does not accept insurance.  the reason is because insurance companies only pay practitioners to do things exactly the way they want them to be done, and insurance companies are businesses- they are looking to cut costs.  on the other hand, most holistic practitioners are very patient-centered, and will spend much more time on each patient than the insurance company is willing to pay for.  furthermore, insurance companies will often only pay a practitioner to treat each condition one specific way, rather than recognizing that different treatments work for different patients.

so, the choice was whether we would pay for dental insurance through alex's work or if we would decide to start going to dr. mcbride (our local holistic dentist).  long story short, we decided to give dr. mcbride a shot.

my experience

so far, i have had 3 appointments with dr. mcbride, all within the last month.  this may sound like a lot of appointments, so let me explain how he does things.

my first appointment was an hour and a half (!) long and almost the whole time i was with the dentist.  for the first half hour, he sat in his office with me and explain one on one his dental philosophy and allowed me to ask questions.  he was unhurried and took time to listen to me and ask questions.  he showed me a couple power point presentations with pictures and research articles backing up what he was saying.  after that he did an extensive exam of my mouth including looking at each tooth and my gums and analyzing my bite and jaw movements, as well as taking a sample of my mouth bacteria and looking at it under a slide (yuck!).

my second appointment was a follow-up from the first: he gathered all the data from the exam and put it together to help me understand the strengths and weaknesses of my dental system and proposed treatment options for some different issues with my teeth.  this was a shorter appointment, about 20 minutes or so, but similar to the first in that he explained things thoroughly, even giving me the risks and benefits of different treatment plans, allowing plenty of time for me to ask questions and learn.

my third appointment was with the dental hygienist.  the first half of the appointment she did an assessment of my dental hygiene, looking more closely at my gums and culturing a sample of my mouth bacteria to see what specific bacteria i have, taking a pH test of my saliva and watching how i bush and floss (and then correcting my technique), as well as showing me how to use a gum stimulator (i have unhealthy gums and will need to start using this regularly).  the second half of my appointment was a cleaning (this is all you get from most "normal" dental appointments is a cleaning).  the hygienist was also very friendly, thoroughly explaining everything that she was doing.  when she polished my teeth she warned me that the polish was a bit salty.  i asked some more questions and found that the polish they use is homemade with sea salt and oregano essential oil (this made me very happy)!  since my gums are not very healthy right now, she wants me back for a cleaning in 4 months (another reason they don't take insurance- most companies will only pay for 2 visits per year even if your teeth need extra help like mine do) but she hopes that if i use the new teeth cleaning techniques she taught me my gums will improve significantly and that i will get onto a normal 6 month routine for cleanings.

the difference and my thoughts

in some ways, our new dentist is like most normal dentists... x rays, teeth cleaning, free tooth brush samples.  but in many ways this practice is different, and it stems from a fundamentally different view of dentistry.

the foundation of dr. mcbride's practice is to educate patients so that they can make the best dental choices for themselves.  remember how i mentioned that he took a half hour to explain his dental philosophy to me the first time i met with him?  no typical dentist does this.  this was to lay the foundation for me to understand what i need to know about my mouth and how it relates to my over all health so that i can make the best decisions for myself.  and when the dental hygienist watched me brush and floss my teeth and showed me better techniques for doing these things it took time (time that an insurance company wouldn't pay for) but my better knowledge about how to care for my teeth is surely going to pay off in the long run.  in fact, i have noticed that my teeth get significantly cleaner using the brushing method that i learned at my last visit.

i also appreciate their emphasis on natural methods and products in dentistry.  of course they use things like x rays and fillings when needed to care for patients, but even knowing that they use homemade polish to avoid yucky chemicals for their patients... that shows me that not only do they care, but they come from a similar health philosophy as me.

furthermore, unlike most conventional dentists, dr. mcbride doesn't just look at the symptoms (cavities, gum loss, inflammation, etc) but he looks for the deeper causes of these things, and looks to treat the cause rather than the symptoms.

is it worth it?

we are paying more for this type of dentistry than if we decided to pay for a PPO or HMO dental plan.  but so far i am VERY pleased and i think we are saving money in the long run by going for the best care now, especially since dr. mcbride is so big on educating his patients, helping us to care for ourselves well.

have you ever tried a holistic dentist?  what are your experiences with dentists in the past?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

rocking jesus to sleep: the motivation for fostering

have you ever rocked jesus to sleep?  have you ever patted jesus on the bottom while he was screaming in your ear?  have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to feed jesus?

i have.

let me explain.  well, first let me share a passage from the bible, and then explain.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’  matthew 25:31-40

" to show hospitality" romans 12:13

the passage from matthew shows that every gift (no matter how trivial) given with the right heart is ultimately a gift given to jesus, and will not be neglected in the last judgement.  furthermore, we see the condition of our relationship with God in our relationship with others (thank you to doug wilson for those insights).

the second passage shows that God wants us to welcome strangers into our homes (the meaning of hospitality when mentioned in the NT is referring to welcoming traveling strangers into your home.  they didn't have a lot of hotels back then.)  these days, its not common to welcome random travelers into your home, but one great way to follow this commandment is by taking in foster kids, strangers who are in need of a warm, loving home.

one of the hard things about foster/adoption is that though our hearts are 100% eager and excited to adopt, so far none of the kids we have welcomed into our home have been adoptable.  so, after it becomes clear that adoption is unlikely, you have a period of time where it feels like you are taking care of someone else's child, when you want to be putting your time/energy/effort/love towards caring for kids who are or will be your own.

sometimes i wonder if i am wasting my time, to spend hours every day rocking a baby that isn't mine, changing her diapers, driving to and monitoring parent visits, and constantly trying to comfort her during fussy times.

the passage that has helped me more than any other is the passage from matthew 25.  ultimately it comes down to this: am i wasting my time? no.  because every act of service done for baby girl (and all of our foster kiddos) is done for jesus.

and it will have eternal impact and rewards.

for this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  2 corinthians 4:17-18 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

top 5 posts of 2012

i thought it would be interesting to go back and look at some of the most viewed post of 2012 from this blog.  i wasn't surprised to see that most of the posts were from my passionate, joyful homemaking series in the winter/spring, which was a bit controversial, though probably needlessly.

something else interesting to note is that all 5 posts have to do with biblical manhood and womanhood. since these are two subjects i care deeply about, i am glad that these were ranked so highly.

#6  passionate, joyful homemaking: the pleasure duty paradox: [whoops, just noticed that this post was actually #6 after i wrote the summary thinking its #5... oh well i guess its a bonus :) ] a few people will admit it, but motherhood can be drudgery at times (which is why many will pay others to do it).  thats why its important to remember the pleasure/duty paradox: how our God-ordained duties (including being household managers) become pleasures when we know Jesus.

#5 Real manhood: the mostly female readers of this blog would do well to understand biblical manhood.  its important for functioning in the church, choosing a husband and praying for your husband.  this post has a few points on this important topic.

#4 passionate, joyful homemaking: why do moms pursue careers at the expense of family?: the title pretty much sums it up.  but one point i do want to make about this post and the others in this series: my tone (from what i gathered from people's comments) was assumed to be harsh and critical.  that isn't the tone that i was writing in.  the motive of my heart was to uplift this important aspect of biblical womanhood that is often maligned and degraded by our society.  i believe that homemaking should be full of joy (hence the title of the series!) and i write with joy at the beautiful role that God created for mothers (while not backing down from pointing out the lies society tries to tell us).

#3 passionate, joyful homemaking: distractions to the stay at home mom: in the midst of the biblical teaching for wives to be homeward focused, we can still fail to fulfill this even if we spend all day inside our house.  this post explores a few things that can keep our eyes off of the best things.

#2 passionate, joyful homemaking: what about _____ situation?: some questions about different situations not addressed in other posts of the series.

#1 passionate, joyful homemaking: should moms pursue a career?: i honestly hesitate to put this post on the list, as it was probably the most controversial of a very controversial series.  but biblical truth is controversial, and i am comforted to know that even jesus said i should expect to be maligned when i speak the truth.

Friday, January 4, 2013

update on baby girl: a huge step back

as i have updated recently, things have progressed with baby girl's family situation since day one, and reunification seems to be in the near future.

until this week.

a few days ago, we got a call that the situation has taken a huge step back, and that things are back to square one.

which brings up so many questions.  what does this mean?  should we get our hopes up for adoption again?  or just prepare our hearts to have a non-adoptable baby in our house much longer that we anticipated?  this could drag on for another two years or more (we know people who this has happened to).  can i pour myself out for another two years for a child who isn't ours?

the answer to most of these things is that we just don't know, but that we will have to wait on and trust in God.  and the answer to that last one is a resounding YES.  by God's grace we can continue to pour out and serve, because he will empower us to do so (he's already given us the grace to be foster parents for this long!).

would you please pray for us?  please pray that our hope would be fully in jesus, and that we will wait well (in a lamentations 3 kind of way).  please pray that we would continue to love and serve on baby girl even if she is with us for another year or two before reunification.  please pray that God will glorify himself in this whole thing.

i really don't know how anyone can do this without deep trust in God's sovereignty.