Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Month: May 2016

Memorial Day 2016



It’s a lazy Monday. Mr. B made hot dogs for lunch (inside, because weather), but not before we paused to remember those whose sacrifices paid for the freedom we still enjoy.

On Unplanned Breaks & Remembering to Let Go

kitchen-windowSo you may have noticed that I took a little break from blogging. Okay, more than a little break. It wasn’t something I’d planned to do, but things got a bit hectic and overwhelming and I was starting to feel a little too rushed, and when I started this blog I told myself that when things got that way I had permission to take it off of my To Do list for as long as I needed to. So that’s what I did.

That turned out to be a little harder than I thought it would be. See, I have this budding dream of writing Christian-friendly (if not Christian-centric) fiction and, maybe, even Christian non-fiction someday, and there’s a lot of pressure to be constantly building your platform and growing your audience. Not blogging, especially when you actually have a blog, is not generally thought to be a good way to do that. I had to remind myself that this is not why I started this blog in the first place. When I started here, my goal was simply to share my story of what God’s doing in my life in the hopes that it would encourage and inspire other women in their faith. I promised myself (and God) when I started that I wouldn’t worry about stats or visits or subscribers and just leave all of that up to Him, trusting that if someone needed to see a message I posted He would make sure it got in front of them.

So it’s probably a good thing I took that not-so-little impromptu break so I could be reminded of all of that and regain my focus.

At any rate, here’s a random look at what I’ve been up to since my last post:

  • I’ve been a lot more active on Instagram, which has turned into my favorite social media platform. I’ve even been doing some mini-blogging over there, which has been satisfying my desire to blog. Maybe a little too well. If you want to keep up with me even during my hectic not-actually-blogging times, that’s probably the best pace to do it.
  • I revised and re-launched an old novel (I’m currently in the middle of producing a paperback version), and I’ve been plugging away at my current WIP.
  • I had new author portraits done, and I couldn’t be happier with them.
  • Mother’s Day was hard, but I survived.
  • This happened. So did this. And this.

It’s getting to be about the time of month when freelance writing assignments start to come in, so it might be a little premature to say that I’ll be getting back to my semi-regular posting schedule. But I do hope to get back to it soon. Hopefully, this won’t require me to get better at juggling, although it might.

So what have y’all been up to in my absence?


My Whole30 Journey

doing the whole30

Welp, I made it to Day 30 of Whole30, you guys, and I didn’t die, although it seemed touch-and-go for a little while there around the end of Week 3.

Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic. But it was hard going there for a while, and it was around Days 20 – 22 that I was most tempted to quit. Here’s how my experience broke down.

Days 1-7 – I felt pretty good, overall. I had some issues with moodiness and irritability, and low energy around Day 4, but that could’ve been chalked up to hormones.

Days 8 – 14 – This week was pretty uneventful. My mood seemed to even out. My energy was okay — not through the roof or anything, but I didn’t feel draggy and my thinking seemed to be getting clearer.

Days 15 – 21 – The week started well, but by mid-week I was irritable again, and I started having issues with lightheadedness and fatigue. I had a really difficult time waking up and dragging myself out of bed in the mornings. I was frustrated because, according to the Timeline, those issues should’ve happened during the first or second week and by this stage I should’ve been feeling “tiger blood” — a general overall feeling of awesomocity — and I most decidedly was not. This is also the point where chocolate cravings and food fatigue really started to get to me and I was most tempted to quit.

Days 21 – 28 – I pressed on, and after Day 22 or so the dizziness and fatigue passed, and so did the chocolate cravings. I was still pretty tired of the lack of variety in my diet, but by that point I had come too far to actually quit. On our next grocery run I added some new veggies into the rotation and that helped some with the food fatigue. Toward the end of the week I was feeling better overall. My energy levels were up, I had more stamina and I started feeling a lot more clear-headed and focused, but still felt like “tiger blood” was eluding me.

Days 29 & 30 – Yesterday and today I’ve felt pretty energetic and didn’t have any trouble waking up in the morning (well, today I did thanks to a bout of insomnia last night, but I woke up more easily than I expected to and I feel pretty good otherwise), so I think maybe I finally achieved “tiger blood” here at the tail end.


Overall, I’m pleased with the results. I weighed myself this morning for the first time since Day 1, and I actually lost five pounds, which I didn’t really expect or hope for, so that’s a nice bonus. But I achieved a number of non-scale victories, which include:

  • The discipline that came with having to follow the rules for 30 days. This spilled over into other areas of my life, too. I also found myself exercising more consistently, and also doing a better job of sticking to a writing schedule.
  • I broke some bad food habits I’d developed, and I stopped feeling like I’m missing out if my husband eats junk food without me (and he stopped feeling like he’s obligated to share it with me).
  • The aforementioned increased energy, stamina and mental clarity. I no longer feel perpetually like I need a nap.
  • Reduction of chronic pain . . . somewhat. My knees and back feel better, and my wrist tendonitis hasn’t flared up in well over a week, even though I’ve been doing a ton of typing and Photoshop, both of which tend to aggravate it. However, the pain I’ve been feeling in my clavicle for the last year or so hasn’t gotten any better, which leads me to suspect maybe it has more to do with my mattress than with chronic inflammation.
  • Just generally feeling more confident, capable and good about life.

Life After Whole30

So will I be doing this again? Maybe, at some point, if my habits get so derailed again that I need a total nutrition reboot to get everything back on track. But I don’t plan to adopt it as a lifestyle. Going forward, my diet will be a mish-mash of Whole30-inspired meals, the Zone diet, and the PCOS diet. I’ll still avoid gluten, dairy and soy, and keep processed foods to a minimum, but don’t plan to concern myself too much with added sugar, legumes (I really miss peanut butter, y’all) or gluten-free grains in moderation.

One big change that I can attribute to my Whole30 experience is that I won’t be reinstituting cheat days, which just set me up for failure. I plan to follow Melissa Hartwig’s Food Freedom philosophy of consciously deciding whether it’s worth it to eat something that’s “off-plan.” I’ve already made up my mind that things like frozen pizza — even the really good kind from Sprout’s — and Little Debbies aren’t worth it. Actual delivery pizza and home baked chocolatey treats, on the other hand — totally worth it, and also don’t occur often enough to worry about, so I will enjoy them when the opportunity presents itself and then move on without guilt.

So would I recommend it? If you struggle with things like low energy, brain fog, high blood sugar, or chronic pain, definitely. And if you feel like you should be eating healthier but just can’t exercise the self-control to make healthier choices, or if you struggle with food issue like emotional eating, boredom eating, guilt over your choices, etc., I believe this would help break those unhealthy psychological patterns and get you on a road to wellness.

If you do it, just keep in mind that you need to commit to the entire 30 days, because it may take that long to see real results (for some people it takes 40, 50 or 60 days. I’m really glad I didn’t turn out to be one of those people), and there WILL be days when it is HARD and you want nothing more than to quit. It’s an excellent exercise in perseverance and patience, on top of everything else.

Have you done Whole30? Do you have any plans to? Share your experience and feel free to ask questions in the comments!