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 me...it 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.
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.