Thursday, January 30, 2014

A new diagnosis

My dear friends,
What a crazy couple months it's been since i've written! There's so much to write and a lot on my mind but I think i'll start by updating you on the biggest thing. 2 1/2 months ago I was told I had typhoid and parasites and started treatment to get rid of both. After a month I still felt awful but headed to the states for the Holidays and time to recover. There was a part of me that thought" I'll be in the US, I'm sure i'll feel better in no time!" But no such luck. Though being with family and friends was wonderful and kept my spirits high, I still knew something was wrong. After returning to Mexico I got more tests done and it turned out everything was back in full force. I started another round of a different antibiotics but nothing seemed to help.
    I was at the end of my rope. My body was tired, my mind was tired and I didn't want to fight this anymore. We prayed that the Lord would open a door for us, show us what needed to happen and heal my body. Wesley's clients would email to let us know they were thinking about me, and his men's Bible study prayed every week for healing. Though I felt covered in prayer my body still hurt.
      Last week my father-in-law went out on a limb and emailed an acquaintance who has a house here on Cabo. He's a brain surgeon who has gotten into natural healing and is a genius in the medical field. 2 hours later there was an email back saying they had just gotten into town and that he'd like to meet with me the next morning at 9am. We were all shocked. It was truly an act of God.
    The meeting was amazing. My brain was filled to capacity with information. And a new diagnosis was made. He read my test results, listened to my symptoms and asked me detailed questions. It turns out I never had Typhoid. I had Typhus. And I also have what's called Candida. Which is a yeast infection of the body and causes some pretty horrible symptoms. On top of that my parasite count is still very high. The reason the treatments weren't working is because we weren't treating the right disease. Everything he told me made sense and the pieces started falling into place. The best part: He treats everything NATURALLY! No more yucky antibiotic which cause more harm than good.
      I am now on an extremely strict diet which already seems to be helping. Before my diagnosis I was craving sweets, and breads and those "comfort foods." Little did I know, that is a symptom of Candida and when fed those things I got worse and gave the parasites exactly what they wanted.
      My mind is blown. My heart is thankful. And my body is on it's way to recovery!

     The past couple months have been hard. I have forgotten what feeling healthy is like. I miss exercising and thriving. But through all the pain, the days in bed, the tears and the confusion, the Lord never left me. He put things and people in my path to keep me going, to encourage me and I praise him. Don't lose heart my friends, if you're struggling and you can't seem to find the light. The Lord works in mysterious and wonderful ways. He will surprise you when you've reached your limit. He'll NEVER give you more than you can handle but sometimes He wants to show us just how much we can endure.
When we're in our darkest we praise Him. When we are at our highest we praise Him.  

Have a beautiful Thursday!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Picnic in the Mountains!

    Each year our church treks up to the mountains for an afternoon of food and fellowship, as well as hiking and exploring. The kids love to run up and down the arroyos and chase the goats from a nearby ranch while the adults enjoy talking with one another.  It's a peaceful, quiet place and we always come back refreshed. It was a much anticipated day so imagine our surprise when the weather forecast showed Tropical Storm Sonia heading right for us!
    We held out hope that our picnic would still happen and arrived at the church just as the first few drops started falling. Everyone seemed up for an adventure so we loaded up the cars and headed up the 45 min bumpy mountain road. The clouds got darker, the rain continued to pick up but our spirits remained high and hopeful! Once we arrived at our spot and started worship the rain moved on, leaving us with cool air and the fresh smell of rain. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and we couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather!

One thing I love about our church is the spirit of family that surrounds us when we're together. The women in the church are some of the most loving, encouraging and gentle ladies you'll meet. From the beginning I have always felt welcomed and loved. Even though my communication with them is limited ( though my understanding gets better every day) all it takes is a hug or a smile to show how much you appreciate them. Today I felt especially blessed and supported by several ladies who took it upon themselves to teach me how to make handmade tortillas! We all had a good laugh as I made the comment "I'm SO AMERICAN!" It took a few tries but by the end I started getting the hang of it. Husband approved and asked for more!

Once the Tortilla was made it was time to slip it onto the tray sitting over the fire. The ladies taught me the best way to slide it off my hand and then how to pick it up off the hot surface. I got a round of applause after I successfully plated my tortilla! These woman are pro's and I look forward to mastering the art of tortilla making under their guidance.

     It doesn't get much more authentic than today and I'm so thankful I get to experience a new culture and a new way of doing things. The food was amazing, the fellowship sweet and I'm feeling restored as we head into a new week.
     Here are a few more pictures of our time spent in communion with our brother's and sister's in Christ.


Monday, October 28, 2013

A Life of thankfulness

  I've been trudging though October and it's finally coming to a close and soon we will be greeted by a cool November! We will be celebrating my birthday, the birth of my nephew, more birthday celebrations, a visit from Wesley's brother and wife then Thanksgiving! The anticipation of a new month is looming, the excitement is building but I want to take a moment to share my heart and all that this last month has been teaching me, as well as my husband!
   Wes and I have been meditating on Thankfulness. How do we truly give thanks in every day life? How do we give thanks even when we aren't "feeling" thankful.
   A couple weeks ago I was discouraged and lacking joy in my day to day routine, feeling like I wasn't able to keep up with the demands of life and then it struck me! I was feeling this way because I wasn't giving thanks for all the little blessings the Lord showers us with each and every day. I wasn't actively looking for things to give thanks for.  I kept looking at what I didn't have focusing on the areas of my life I wished would change. No wonder I was discouraged! We all have things we wish were different, or wish we had, but those things should NEVER take precedence.
  Our life should be one that looks for all the little things we are blessed with, pray patiently for the things we desire, and WAIT on the Lord and His timing.
  Wes and I have been put in a season of waiting and it has been hard to trust. Plain and simple. It's hard. But we always come back to the promises the Lord makes to us and think back on all the times He has been faithful and trust He will be again. There's hope in waiting. There's hope in knowing that the Lord has been and will always be faithful to us.  If I push for what I want when I want it will be a disaster. No doubt. But the Lord's timing is perfect. And how much more rewarding is it to wait and then see His hand in everything? To know that we've prayed, meditated, waited, and the Lord has answered. He might even answer us in a different way than we expected, in a way that is even better than we imagined!
When we continually offer thanks to God something wonderful happens. Our attitudes change, our focus shifts, and we can clearly feel the JOY that the Lord offers us anytime, anywhere. If our focus is not on the Lord, we will never be satisfied, always wanting, always discontent with what we're given.
Giving thanks always produces JOY. There's joy in trusting and there's joy in the simple things in life that we often take for granted.

Here are a few things that I am thankful for:
Cool mornings
My loving, hardworking husband
The health of our family
An Encouraging hug from church ladies
A roof over our heads
Food in the fridge
Cozy sheets
The smell of fresh laundry
Our growing succulent garden 
Funny Skype sessions
My silly kitty
Children's smiles
The ability to work
Emails from friends
Fresh fish
Date night

Giving thanks is a habit and a choice as well as a mindset that produces thankfulness. And joy is not to be confused with happiness. Our happiness is a product of our circumstances. Joy is a product of our thankfulness and trust in Him.

 Friends, I urge you to give thanks for today and all that He has blessed you with and experience the Joy that comes from having a grateful heart.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sink or Swim

I had been dreading Saturday. I wanted to sleep through the day and wake up on Sunday. I had already anticipated how sad I would be. One of my best friends was getting married and I wasn't able to be there to stand up next to her on a day we had talked about for a long time. My mom was also throwing a baby shower for my sister-in-law where all of the ladies we are close to would gather and celebrate my future little nephew. It was a day I would miss home... A LOT. I was missing the fellowship with my friends, with my family and I was missing two mile stones in two women's life that mean a lot to me. It was a day I needed my husband to hold me up, to listen to me, to hold me and to be the support when I felt so weak and helpless. And he was. He was amazing. He planned a day for us to keep my mind off of everything......

It started out like any ordinary Saturday would. Wes didn't have to work so we slept in, went to breakfast at one of our favorite spots, and then headed to the beach to collect shells.  We spent a couple hours collecting, showing the cool and unusual shells we were finding to each other, and enjoyed the warm sun on our backs. I splashed around in the waves and sat in the sand, letting the water run over me. It was perfect.
Once we were done collecting and we had scoured the whole beach Wes jumped in the water and swam out farther so he could ride over the waves. It seemed gentle and playful but I knew that the waves at this particular beach get big and strong, as well as dangerous so I sat on the beach watching and waving. It was a beach that has the sign "Do not Swim." But I trusted Wes and the waves seems to be ok at the moment.. It was then that he called me in and so, wanting to please him and show that I had an adventurous side I joined him. A few waves went by and Wes showed me how to swim up them. It seemed fine. And then a huge set of waves started rolling in. 8-10ft above our heads. I started to panic. I could no longer feel the sand under my feet and we were getting sucked out farther and each wave that came at us got bigger and bigger.  Wes calmly told me not to panic, usually the waves come in sets of 4-5 so we have to just wait. after 5 waves they kept coming, bigger and bigger. Pretty soon we couldn't ride over the tops and had to dive through them. Wes would grab me, tell me to hold my breath and as the next wave came he would push me under. I'd come up just in time to see the next one but Wes was next to me the entire time. He never let go, he calmly told me what we were going to do, and in the midst of my panic I would do it. After at least 10 waves they started to get a bit smaller, but we were in the white water and everything was getting sucked back in so we had to bide our time and wait to head to the shore. Then we flipped to our backs and kicked as hard as we could and at last I felt sand under my toes but as we turned to look at the ocean a huge wave was already overhead about to break right where we were standing. In a split second I felt Wes grab me around my stomach with both arms and dive back. From there it was a commotion of me falling onto him, doing somersaults in the water and finally being washed up onto the sand. I ran. I ran hard and fast and I didn't look back until I was 100 feet up the beach where I collapsed in a terrified panic, legs shaking and gasping for breath. Wes was right behind, with a big sand burn on his back from taking the brunt of the last wave and grabbed me and held me for a long time. It took me the rest of the day to calm down. I kept having flashbacks, remembering how scared I had been, my legs were like jello for a couple of hours and i was exhausted from the adrenaline and emotion.

On Sunday Wes and I were finally able to really talk about what had happened, and sit down and thank the Lord for not letting anything worse happen. He prayed and I cried and I was able to let go of the fear that was still inside me. As we talked we saw how the whole experience applied to our life. As a married couple and teammates in this thing called life, sometimes we get knocked off our feet. Sometimes it's too much to handle and we feel like we're going to drown. The waves just keep coming and it is all we can do to keep our heads above water and keep on kicking. But we always have the hope that the set will end and things will calm down. At times we don't have the strength, we need help.The Lord is strong and in our completely helpless state. We find strength in Him. When we feel like we're going under His arms are stretched out to us waiting to keep up safe, give us hope and bring peace. In this very scary situation my husband was strong, spoke calmly, never let go, and in the end kept me safe. I couldn't be strong, I was helpless and scared but I wasn't alone. As we sat and talked we thought about how cool it was, that together we are swimming through life and we are there to hold each other up, to encourage each other and to not let the other one sink. There are times when I have to step up and be the one who is strong for him and there are times when he is for me. I am not just talking about life threatening situations. In everyday life if I am homesick, or upset or discouraged, he's the one who brings encouragement, who speaks truth, who prays for me. Times when he is overwhelmed or confused I am the one who holds him up in prayer who comes along side, who encourages him.  And there are times we are swimming together, simply enjoying the peaceful waters. But when those waves do come, I am so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing and strong man by my side.

So my friends, when you are feeling weak, alone, or helpless in tough situations, remember the Lord is right there, waiting to be your strength, to give you peace and to help you ride out the waves that seem too strong to bare.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hello Fall.

                                   Happy first week of fall Friends!

Fall has always been my favorite season. I eagerly waited for the changing leaves, the crisp mornings and the first rain of the season. I loved pulling out all my sweaters, scarfs, boots and pants and taking walks around the neighborhood, breathing in the fresh air, and seeing the trees sparkle and drip with dew. It's the time of year to snuggle, make fires, go apple picking, bake often, watch movies, drink hot cocoa and simply enjoy the beauty of the season.
    Well for me it's different now. The weather is warm and the rainy season is coming to an end but little by little the evenings are cooling and the mornings are peaceful and fresh. Though i've had to adjust to the different climate and change my expectations of what fall should be like I can still enjoy the break in the weather, and the lighter air. My darling husband surprised me with my favorite coffee yesterday saying " you have to have special coffee on the first day of FALL! I know how much it means to you." I married a good one folks! That little thoughtful gesture was the perfect way to start the day and a new season.

There's something about this season that puts me into "nest" mode. Our little home has needed some TLC for some time now and what a perfect time to start some projects and do some clean up! It started with our balcony. We added a succulent garden, a few new plants and a whole new bromeliad trunk! Then i turned my attention to the inside. We have a small studio apartment, which has been great. It's very inexpensive and we are able to save for travel and future, but let me tell you.... it's small! So, being the little housewife that i am, i'm using the space we do have to it's full advantage as well as adding a few new things to make it feel fresh. Today i'm starting to sew new curtains with the help from my mother in law, i've ordered a new bedspread and accent pillows as well as collecting some new decor items!  

I believe that one of the best parts about this season is the Baking and today i want to share with you a new, seasonal, mouthwatering treat that will leave you wanting more! I got the husbands stamp of approval so it's time to share-- Provecho! 

Apple Crisp Muffins with Cinnamon Drizzle

2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Mix together in a large mixing bowl and allow it to sit for 1 hour…then add:
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted
Mix well
Sift together:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Stir into wet ingredients until just mixed
Then carefully fold in 1 apple, cored but left unpeeled and cut into small chunks
Fill 9 jumbo paper lined muffin tins to the top
½ cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup melted butter
Mix well
Crumble over the top of the filled muffins and bake for 25 minutes
½ cup icing sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Enough milk to make a drizzle

                                                                 The finished product!

(recipe from Bite, by Michelle) 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jeremiah 29:11

 Jeremiah 29:11 has always been a favorite verse of mine and has been the theme to Wesley and I's life and marriage for 3 years now. Knowing that the Lord had everything under control, that everything we are going through is for our good and that we can have hope for our future-- doesn't get much more comforting than that!
I was walking with a friend yesterday and we were talking about the Lord being in control and how we have to rest in Him and find peace in HIm during the times where we don't see His plan and we were comforted by the fact that " The Lord Never Changes." He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and He is always faithful to us. At times it may seem like the Lord is far away, but in those times He is asking us to SEEK him. "Seek me and you shall find me." Those are words straight from our Heavenly Father, asking us to set aside our wants, our needs, our complaints and to fully seek Him with a heart that yearns to be closer to our creator! He will pursue us and will always be with us but sometimes He will step aside so we realize our need for that sweet relationship and will pursue it with pure hearts.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

For the last year i have been struggling with my health. That is a known fact and a much talked about topic around here. It started with a parasite 12 months ago, i got Dengue Fever right after and for 8 months i had chronic stomach aches and a few other symptoms to go along with it. In July i had appendicitis and was operated on right away and after my surgery i felt great. I could eat whatever i wanted to (before i couldn't eat meat, dairy or gluten) and i finally felt like i was on top of my game for the first time in months. Wes and I were excited about life, excited for the HOPE we had for the future and then last week the stomach pain returned, the nausea, the headaches, and the tiredness. Even now i am laying in bed trying to move as little as possible. It's discouraging. Plain and simple. I can't keep up our home like i normally do, there's a pile of laundry that still needs to get done and my husband has had to go above and beyond to take care of me. If you know me you know that being a wife and taking care of my home and my husband are my number one priorities, aside from my relationship with the Lord. So when i physically can't do my normal routine I feel a little useless. I don't like being waited on hand and foot and i don't like watching my husband clean house or do the laundry. That is my job! So through all this I have learned to ask for help, to accept what i cannot control and allow my husband to take over "my things" for a little while, without feeling like a useless woman :) What an incredible blessing it is to have a such an amazing man by my side, loving me, taking care of me, encouraging me, and making me laugh, through the good times and the bad times, and in sickness and in health. 

 So now i find myself having to choose how I am going to handle my current circumstances. Well today, in this very moment I am choosing peace. Peace in knowing the Lord has a plan for it all and despite the disappointment I feel there are still so many things to be thankful for-- little blessings He showers over us each and every day. 

Have a sweet Wednesday dear friends! TRUST the Lord's perfect plan, and have HOPE for the future and all that is yet to come! He's got you right where He wants you, seek Him, find Him and HE will blow your mind! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Let's try this again!

Hey, remember me? I used to write about what it was like to live in Mexico, i talked about how awesome our God is and was even promising to share some of my favorite recipes.... well i failed! I got caught up in life and my poor blog got pushed to the side-- but i am BACK! I've been encouraged by some people close to me to start writing and sharing again and as i read back through my older posts and comments i got motivated to continue encouraging others through this blog and to be completely open and vulnerable. I like being transparent with people-- i'm not trying to pretend i've got it all together; because really? who actually has it "all" together?

So here i am, sitting on my couch watching the stormy weather and i don't even know where to begin! So much as happened since i've written and i don't know that i need to recap everything. Here are a few of the major things:

My dear friend Sonia moved away, as well as our dear friends Westley and Estella and also Wes's brother and his wife.

My great Grandma passed away at 94 years old. She was a huge encouragement in my life and someone who i always looked up to and had a high respect for.

Wes and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary.

I got a job working for Baja Babysitting

I got Baptized on Easter!

I rescued a very sick kitty who now lives with us

Wes's business has grown tremendously

Multiple trips to the doctor to try and figure out my health issues

We went on a family camping trip in CA

Got appendicitis and had an emergency surgery, during our trip to CA.  Which has cleared up most of my health issues-- Praise the Lord!

My best friend got married!

There is SO much more but these were a few of the big things. i've traveled to CA a few times in between there to visit family and attend weddings but we are home from a crazy summer and are excited to settle down a bit, work on our apartment and get back into a rhythm. It's summer time so both of our jobs are slow due to the lack of tourists which is because of heat/humidity so we're taking this time to do little projects and get refocused. I ordered a bunch of books so i will beat the heat with reading and the AC on high, as well as BLOGGING more =]

I look forward to sharing more of what the Lord has been doing in our lives SOON!

                                                                           Shark Fishing!
                                          Saying goodbye to my dear friend Sonia
                                                               Anniversary Dinner
                                               The newest member of the family
                                                         My cousins visited!

                                             Appendectomy in Fort Bragg, CA

                                                            Overnight stay on the East Cape