Monday, June 17, 2013

What Renewal Looks Like

When I began 2013 with my "word" being renewal, I had no idea just how broken I would become. I had grandiose plans of what my plan of renewal would like...basically a plan that would put me in better control of everything.  I wanted to find ways to tighten my iron grip on life since living and learning with six children can be rather daunting.

We brought in the New Year with my husband and I suffering from the flu.  A full week of awful. Together. And from there the sickness train kept chugging through our lives until May. No less than eight illnesses struck our home.  The moment we experienced wellness we would go right back under again.  This threw off all of our household and learning rhythms and I have not yet found equilibrium.

In mid-March I awoke one morning with my chest heavy and with shortness of breath.  This has continued for three months.  Many doctor's appointments, tests, 24 hours in the ER, and anxiety through the roof.  I finally met with a pulmunologist a few weeks ago to find that I have adult-onset asthma!  I was very relieved to have a diagnosis at last (the anxiety dropped away quickly!) but then grieved that it looks as if I will have this as a chronic condition.  I was saddened at the thought of taking twice-a-day inhaled steroids (meds are always a very last option for me) and wanted to get around that.  A dear friend saw me in Target though and said, "But Aimee, you need to get this managed and you need to breathe!"

So I began the steroids, but at the same time have been doing research on diet and vitamins and healing.  I am pursuing those as wholeheartedly as I can along with taking these medications.  I was in such an emotionally and physically low place so to take on a new style of living felt very overwhelming, but I also remembered that "I can do hard things!"

So what has renewal looked like for the first 6 months of this year?

Surrender.  Giving God my life, my fears, my homeschool, my sicknesses.  Learning to live daily to trust Him.  Steeping my mind and soul in the Truth of Scripture.  Asking for prayer from others. Seeking wise counsel. Letting go of what I thought life would look like for me right now.

Daily walks. Getting outside does wonders for the spiritual, emotional and physical parts of my being. I feel a sense of healing every day when I step outside whether it's five minutes or an hour.  Most days I walk 1-2 miles.  I hope this is a habit that I keep for a lifetime.

Shelving Homeschooling.  With so much healing that needs to happen, I felt the Lord whisper that I needed to shelve all homeschooling and thoughts on homeschooling (and reading about it!) until July.  Just put that responsibility aside and just be wife, mother and homemaker.  Trust Him that He will lead me and give me wisdom when the time comes.  This was very hard for me but has made for a peaceful mind this June.

Paleo. As I read a lot about inflammatory diseases, I came to see that going gluten-free would be good for would probably help with my asthma and with my IBS.  Dairy is another area that I knew I probably needed a break in order to heal those two conditions.  As I found many testimonials of people reversing their asthma symptoms by eating a Paleo-inspired diet, I decided to jump in.  I have NEVER had any "rules" about food my whole life and don't buy into that kind of thinking, but when your body feels like it is breaking down in so many ways, it seems to be a better choice than medicines.  I have been doing it for two weeks and can't believe how better I feel in my gut and energy. Although it is challenging, it really is giving me some hope.


No caffeine and sugar.

Taking Fish Oil, Vitamin D and Magnesium.

Using doTERRA essential oils.

Reading a lot of fiction.


Saying No to outside responsibilities and paring down our weekly schedule.

Playing games with my children.

Reading to my children.


When money allows, hiring house cleaning help.

Being compassionate to myself.

Drinking more water.

Little by little, decluttering our home again.

Practicing gratitude.


Most of it is just finding rest in the Lord. Every day. Lowering expectations. Relinquishing control.
The path to renewal has been a path to brokenness, but I walk by faith that the path of brokenness bears fruit for His glory and will be a gift to give to others.


Anonymous said...

y;ears ago my mother had adult onset asthma. after several years we noticed that her attacks were often associated with her menstrual cycle. a very good friend of mine, who is also a chiropractor suggested to me that she should try taking calcium (2 500 mg tabs) 2-3 times a day. it did wonders!!! you may ask your local chiropractor for assistance.

Lori Alexander said...

I believe you are on the right path. My daughter and I have been on the Paleo diet and have seen an improvement in our gut. Dr. Marshall believes all asthma and allergies come from bad guts. Eating a lot of good probiotics helps also. My daughter has a blog with amazing recipes for Paleo if you are interested ~

I would also love to know what you use the essential oils for.

kristinwithani said...

Oh, I love it when you blog. Thank you for sharing.

I'm so curious to know how this journey proceeds - the paleo with inflammation. A good friend who has been gluten free for 20 years (Celiacs diagnosis when we were in college - so before it was "trendy)) suggested I cut back on gluten for all my inflammation. I can't even imagine. Would love to talk more.

Amber Joy said...

I am sure it must be hard to give up your idea of what you thought this time in your life would look like, but it seems like it is enabling you to slow down and invest in yourself and your family in such a real way. Going through the fire is painful, but it gives us such growth and an intimacy with our loved ones and God. I hope that you continue to heal and find peace in the coming months. Thank you for sharing your struggles. It encourages me to stay the path and do what I know is best for my family, even when things are difficult and painful.

Aimee said...

Thank you! Your words really encouraged me.

ruthidejong said...

You have such a way of looking at life. Thank you for sharing the journey you are on and in such a practical way. I especially love the photo of your journal with Elisabeth Elliot's words. Surrender is something God is teaching me about right now. I pray God renews you in His perfect time. Thank you for giving us a peek into your life and encouraging us. Blessings!

Tina said...

Well thank goodness that you at least have a diagnosis and know what you're dealing with. Keep up those walks - nature is such a great stress reliever.

Stephanie Stevens said...

All of the things you mentioned are things that have helped me...getting outside, letting go of heavily structured homeschooling, and diet (we did Paleo and GAPS). Another big help for us has been Protandim supplement. I don't sell it, it has just made a huge difference in healing. Hope you are feeling better. I know how frustrating it is to suffer chronic illness!

Sandi from Faraway said...


What a timely article. I've been experencing a lot of these same things.

God is good. And your brokeness actually sounds like wonderful sigh of relief.

I'll be following the blog. Keep us all updated.

Thank you for sharing this, Aimee!

Anonymous said...

Your little man is so cute in that photo! I wanted to squeeze his pudgy hands! I am visiting for the first time via Elizabeth Foss. You have a lovely blog. Interested by the Paleo diet, I have adult onset asthma, just under control. I wonder if diet changes would help me?..