Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Food, weight, pregnancy.

I'm now at the point that I start packing on weight like nobody's business. Trying to keep a healthy perspective is a challenge, especially when every "pregnant" model you see looks suspiciously like one of those teeny bopper models with a pillow stuffed under her shirt. :OP

With my first pregnancy, I gained 50lbs. (You're free to gasp. It's shocking, I know.) I lost it all within 6 months. With my second, I gained 60. (Gasp #2.) I lost it all in 6 months. I could have cut back a *few* treats, but don't entertain the mental image of me lounging in the couch eating 2,000 dingdongs. I didn't. I just tend to gain while playing the preggie.

So, my plan this time is to eat reasonably, exercise decently (30min a day), and to not let the scale get to me. I can do that. If I can come out of a pregnancy with a baby built on a healthy diet and a body that has retained some amount of flexibility and muscle tone, I'll count it a success, no matter what the number says. In the end, I think that's my best bet for being somewhat energetic and in a good mindset for regaining a more active lifestyle. (Self talking here)

Soo, a genuine sampling of my pregnancy diet:


-Breakfast: smoothie with yogurt, oatmeal, berries, banana, raw coconut flakes almonds, celery, liquid chlorophyll and stevia
-some hummus and baby carrots
-Lunch: a bowl of healthy choice canned tortilla soup (yucko!! I need groceries.)
-a apple and half a banana, a couple of swiped bites of my toddler's berry yogurt
-Dinner: my husband's amazing baked spaghetti with whole wheat pasta and Parmesan. The man is amazing. <3

-Breakfast: Smoothie with fresh mango (which hides the metallic taste of liquid iron surprisingly well!), frozen peaches, banana, couple TB of cooked oatmeal, raw almonds, liquid chlorophyll, floradix with iron and flax seed oil.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Trail of Tears according to Mirth

Guess what, bean? We're going to Red Clay State Park. It's part of something called 'The Trail of Tears'.

"What's the Trail of Tears?"

Well...when people from Europe were settling in America, there were already people here called the Cherokee nation. The Europeans made the Cherokee people move off their land because they wanted it instead. It was very sad for the Cherokee people, and they path they walked away from their home is called the trail of tears. (pause, wondering how much of that she absorbed...)

"That was VERY rude!!! People should NOT treat each other that way! That makes me sad. They need to learn better MANNERS, and learn not to chase people away from their land!"

Wow, honey. I agree. That wasn't a kind thing to do at all.

"I think those mean people had too much sugar. Sometimes, too much makes it hard to control your body."

And there you have it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Being Receptive to the Moment

I've been appreciating stillness this week. It's a practice in guard dropping, and embracing the good things that are available for me if I do so. For whatever reason, it's an incredibly difficult act for me. I'm out of practice.

During prayer and silent reflection time at church, His presence was so gentle and available, it took my breath away. The simple act of allowing my heart to be searched and fully present in that moment brought almost instantly the state of my heart into focus: I need to tweak my heart's "filter" to allow the good in, to accept what I know is genuine love in the moment with others without suspicion, and receive God's kingdom like a trusting child by accepting the grace extended to me. It was as is a dark and blurry vision became focused and bright instantaneously. The palpable warmth of that gentle, concerned love was almost startling.

And, I have to correct myself and say that it wasn't *God's* presence that made the difference, but my own. I was present in the moment, God had always been there.

As a mother, I'm an instrument of perpetual motion-planning, comforting, working, being bigger than my children's fears and emotions, providing security. In relationship, I sometimes tend to shut out or deflect caring moments for others. I do this because they come too far in between for me to trust them in our isolated society, perhaps, or because I'm afraid that if I once let go of the carefully held tension, I'll spill out all over the place like a burst water balloon.

I, like anybody, have my reasons for filtering out the good along with the bad, at times, because I don't want to take a chance on losing that feeling of safety once it's gone. Sometimes, I do it because I don't want to show my cards. Sometimes I feel it's the only way I can keep myself together and functioning. Perfect love and peace can scare me, because I fear their absence. I think almost everyone in our breakneck society sets their own pace in how they experience love to some degree.

Slowing down and participating fully in the joy and peace of a an unpredictable moment becomes unfamiliar, even though our bodies and souls crave it like water. Sitting down and taking a more receptive stance to the world isn't something that comes naturally. We can control everything else. I know I do.

I love that Jesus says in Mark, "anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And then he took them in His arms. I think that's interesting, because my own little children have almost no ability to look to the future. Everything they do is fully in the present. The squish, climb, roll, smell, taste, eat, dance in and actively receive and partake in the present. That's their domain. It's were they live.

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

Journeys aren't always about walking. Sometimes we're already were we need to go, and we don't even notice it. We act as if we're Alice running along beside the tree in Wonderland with the Red Queen, running till breathless just to stay were we are, and having to run twice as fast to actually get somewhere else. Realizing that the journey is all around us already us for us to explore and receive is difficult.

This weekend our family went hiking near a canyon covered in gorgeous autumn trees. We, the parents, walked along, pressing towards the end of the trail, commenting at how magical the woods seemed this time of year, and dragging the littles along behind us, encouraging them to hurry up and keep walking. They wanted to go off the path, stick their fingers into things, pick things, smell them. I wanted to capture it all in photos, and was busily snapping away, stuffing beauty in my box without really partaking in it.

My youngest child in my belly finally slowed me down, quite literally. I needed to slow my heart rate, so we decided to rest in the comfortable roots of a giant cyprus tree. I had no choice. And my children were happy to finally do what they'd been trying to do all along: enjoy that moment in that place.

I began to unwind, to unfold my soul under the stained glass leaves that were making a colored sunset canopy above us, and to enjoy listening to my girls playing pretend as they climbed and hopped around the giant roots. I noticed how peaceful the woods were, and how sweet the air smelled. We stayed there for half an hour. I could see it on Nate's face, too. We had been transported somewhere else. Rather than trying to capture the moment in every way possible, the moment was actively sinking into us.

Our souls were being fed by stillness. The kingdom of heaven was near.