It’s Sunday night and I’m sitting in bed, not really tired yet becuase it’s Sunday – which means I got to sleep in until 10am before going to church, (happy sigh). I’m drinking a cup of decaf coffee- not bad at all actually. And I just finished reading Isaiah so I moved on to Mark tonight.
This weekend I got to spend a lot of time with Jon (more happy sighs). It felt really special to just be together so much, getting to talk about all the changes going on. We spent a couple hours in the afternoon today and yesterday laying on the beach. I never really go to the beach as much as I thought I would when I first moved here, but being pregnant has given me a great excuse to relax a little.
Anyway, I’m rambling, but I was just thinking today about a few ways that God has worked in my life lately. Some really cool ways that I thought were worth sharing.
#1 - About three and a half weeks ago, I suddenly decided to stop taking Nexium. I don’t know why or where that thought came from, but it crossed my mind and a few seconds later I was convinced that starting the very next day I was going to stop taking it for good.
Backstory: for the past five years I’ve dealt with a whole cornucopia of lovely digestive issues. For a while I was told I had IBS. Then it “morphed” into lactose intolerance. Then that seemed to fade and instead I started having intense cramping and burning in my stomach all the time. A doctor stuck a camera down my throat and into my stomach to see if I had an ulcer, but I didn’t have that. I got a bunch of blood work done earlier this year. Nothing there. So to deal with the burning in my stomach I started taking Nexium. I guess it’s a fairly common drug. And it worked. However, the thought of taking a prescription drug for the rest of my life: yuck! I’m only 24!
Jon was a little surprised with my decision to stop taking it because he had experienced, or rather watched me experience, what it was like for me to deal with constant burning and pain in my stomach. But he supported it. My doctor told me that most people get even worse pain for a couple weeks when they first stop taking it, so I braced myself for the worst and waited for the discomfort to set in. It never did. Whew! I only experienced an occasional light burning, but it was better than it had been before.
That week I also sat down in front of a computer and researched whether or not it was okay to take Nexium while pregnant. I guess I was just curious. Most accounts said it was fine, but with researchers constantly changing their minds about such things, I decided that whenever I did get pregnant, it would probably be better not to be taking anything like that.
Little did I know that I was already pregnant.
#2 - Last weekend, while away celebrating my 1 year anniversary to Jon Kidwell, I suddenly had the thought to text my former roommate, Danielle, to see if she still wanted to buy the twin bed that hangs out in our guest room. The thought was totally random because a month or so earlier we had discussed the possibility of selling that bed to Danielle, but then backed out because we thought it was a nice accommodation to have for when people come to stay with us.
However, last Saturday morning I blurted out to Jon, “Hey, I’m gonna text Danielle and see if she still wants the bed because as soon as we have a baby we are going to have to get rid of it anyway, so we might as well just give it to her now since she needs one.”
Danielle stopped by last night to check the bed out one more time and shared with me the story of what had happened. The day before I texted her she was at a mattress store, ready to buy a new mattress. But at the last minute, she decided to wait. She put $10 down just to hold it, but when she left, she said she prayed to God, just asking him to provide something better for her that week. The very next morning is when I texted her, asking if she still wanted ours.
I found out three days later that I actually did need to get rid of that twin bed anyway.
#3 - On Friday afternoon my coworker and I were chatting about my health at the water cooler. The people I work with know that I deal with my cornucopia, because every Wednesday our staff gets together to pray for our listeners and each other. (I work at a Christian radio station.) I was telling him how my stomach was doing a bit better lately, but I was still seeing the Chiropractor for my neck and my jaw was still locked up and it hurt to chew.
Anyway, long story short, he went over to his desk and came back with a book that he handed to me and told me I could keep. When I got home from work I threw it in the pile of baby books that my neighbor had lent me and I assumed I’d get to it eventually. However, on Saturday I grabbed it and started reading it in the car to Jon and we drove to the beach.
Jon and I only made it through half of the book this weekend, but at this point I honestly think this book was a gift from God. It’s called ”The Maker’s Diet.” It’s not a crash diet book, it’s more like a way of life, healthy living and eating diet.
Reading this book made me realize how so much of my life since college consisted of eating predominently unnatural things. I dealt with an eating disorder up until a couple years ago so I spent a huge chuck of my life consming artificial sweeteners, diet sodas, fat-free processed foods, low calorie processed snacks amongst other things that were never living. I did eat some salads and fruit from the dining centers, but besides that, Balance Bars were considered a meal. Then, when I overcame my eating disorder and began to embrace “normal” eating I started enjoying more burgers and fries, pizza, red meat and all things delicious and fried. Freedom tasted good! However, what was good for me phychologically, wasn’t necessarily any more healthy than what I was eating before.
For the past few years I have been plagued with this reality: I’m young. I’ve excercised regularly my entire life. My family is pretty healthy. WHY, WHY, WHY do I have all these health problems that no medical professional can seem to give a name to or fix?!!!
Well, to be honest, a likely answer didn’t really hit me until I started reading this book. Now don’t worry, I’m not trying to push this book on anybody or tell you that you need to jump on board and read it. But when I read this man’s story, it really was like a light bulb went on in my brain and I felt like God was showing me some of the answers that I’d been praying for all this time. I’ve continued to pray for God’s miraculous healing, but when the problems have only gotten bigger I’ve also just decided to trust him and pray that my character would be strengthened through the test.
I won’t go too much into it, but the man who wrote the book has a story about having all sorts of problems and diseases, mostly digestive, but also other seemingly unrelated problems. And after experiencing every kind of drug, antibiotic, supplement, treatment and natural remedy, he eventually turned to the Bible and found wisdom and instruction from God about what kinds of foods God had intended for us to eat. Apparently all those seemingly religious and unnecessary commands in Leviticus and Deuteronomy weren’t just religious rules, but rather God was telling his people which parts of his creation he intended for us to eat and enjoy, and which ones weren’t good for us.
The author also explains that the foods that God created for us to eat are full of essential nutrients that our bodies need to function properly. However, in our society today, most of the pre-packaged foods contain more ingredients that were created or altered in a science lab, than they do natural ingredients. And of course, the punchline: more Americans suffer from digestive problems and other degenerative problems than ever before.
Parts of the book are overwhelming because to be honest, I’d rather not concern myself about this kind of stuff. I mean, how come it has to take so much energy and effort to live a healthy lifestyle and enjoy good health today? It’s frusterating. Why did our fast-paced, consumer-driven society have to take convenience too far by sacrificing the quality of people’s lives and gambling with our health? I wish it was different. But, seeing that it’s not different right now, I feel hopeful that there are things I can do to get back to a more natural way of eating and living.
I know that there is no kind of miracle health plan or way to ensure that my health will always be as I want it to be. God already has my days numbered and accounted for. I don’t want my life to center around healthy-living because that’s a dead end if that’s what I’m putting my hope in. However, I feel like God might have put this book in my hands for a reason so that I could discover that the instructions he gave the people of Israel a long time ago can still bless my life today if I will trust that God, the Creator, actually does know something about the best way for me to live.
So I am praying that I would be able to put the things I’m learning into practice. If simply changing some of the ways I eat is possibly going to help me feel better than I’m definitely willing to make the effort! And even if these changes don’t actually ”fix” me, I still think they may be worth it in the long run. Jon says he’s up for the change too. Last night he said, “I know it may not seem like it, but somewhere inside of me there is a health nut trying to get out.”
So we are starting small at first: We already switched over to hormone-free organic milk and cage-free eggs a couple months ago - that hasn’t been too difficult. Tomorrow night I am attempting to make homemade whole wheat pasta. We decided to switch to hormone free meats even though they’re more expensive, (with smaller portions of meat we may not even notice the high price as much). I bought some fruit and veggie wash from Trader Joes. And maybe the most interesting thing we are trying is to start making homemade fermented beverages such as fermented ginger ale and kefir. It’s supposed to help with digestion and we both like trying new things. Other than that we are bumping up our intake of locally grown fresh fruits and veggies.
So yep, the Kidwells have gotten a bit more “earthy.” My whole world got flipped upside down last week so I might as well throw another change in just for fun!
I’m thankful that God is my Father who cares for me. I’m thankful he will speak to me about the big and the little things and that he is always working for my good.
***If you end up researching the book, I’m not sure why because the content is so good, but they have ended up marketing it like it’s some of kind of Super-Diet. The book itself isn’t written like that, so if you can ignore the marketing, I think you will like the book itself.