Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My first half-marathon

Cody and I ran the Mt Lyford Lodge to Lodge half-marathon on the 26th of October.  It was great to have a goal and achieve it.  The scenery was beautiful, although sadly I was in my own world for most of the run desperately trying to focus on making it to the end so I wasn't paying too much attention to this aspect. We were lucky to have some supporters too! Thanks Mum, James, Betsy and Haddy for cheering us on!!!

Here are some pics:

 On our way

 before the race

 half way!!!

 "Hi James!"

 slight deviation to give my boy a big sweaty smooch

the scrumptious Hadassah

Betsy with the double cousins 

 shot taken from the car (at this pointed I wanted dive through the car window)

what a cool cat

 nearing the finish line!

 mid-run shots are particularly funny!

 our support crew

And done!  The closest thing I could find to a 'post-run' shot (don't know where Cody is, maybe taking the shot??)

Time for food!

It was a fun day.  Not sure if I will do another, but I'm glad I did it.  Running can become a bit of a chore when you have to do it.  That's just my opinion at this point....it may change!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

my not so gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, grain-free, nut-free, raw, vegan life

Disclaimer: I am in no way slamming those that choose to lead a 'clean-eating' lifestyle.  In fact, I admire it wholeheartedly and am on my own journey towards maintaining a cleaner and healthier diet. I understand there are many cases where people are forced to dramatically change their diet for medical reasons. This is simply a testimony aiming to laugh at the mistakes I have made whilst fumbling through this area.

I have a tendency to be attracted to every idealistic way of living (that falls within my moral framework).  Like most attributes, this has its strengths and weaknesses.  I understand the good sides but for the sake of this post I will mostly be highlighting the not-so-good.  I tend to create a very high standard for myself in all areas of my life and therefore can identify well with the feeling of 'falling short'.   Why is it when I reduce life to a bunch of formulas, my nature is to passionately embrace them (at first) but then to eventually recoil from them? Lets cut to the chase.

To some extent, health and nutrition has always captured my interest, yet it has been in the past year that my level of intrigue has risen.  I remember in my early 20s I would aim to resist the dreaded fats like chocolate and butter yet would have no qualms about indulging in a giant size bag of sugary sweets.    Fast forward and my views on health and what that practically looks like have dramatically changed.  I am genuinely interested in natural health and enjoy learning about new ways to do things,  however this interest can also lead me astray.  Through my explorations I have discovered a huge community of people out there whose lives seem to revolve around meeting the highest level of nourishment possible from every bite that enters their mouth.  They would describe themselves as 'clean eaters' which could accompany all sorts of definitions such as sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, 100 % organic etc etc.  My desire to provide my family with healthy food as well as other personal health factors has pushed me in this direction.  Unfortunately these factors have at times pushed me into the grasps of fear.  "Eat this so you can avoid this disease....don't eat that so you can avoid that ailment."  And this is a place I do not want to operate from.  At times, my husband will find me turning into one big ball of knots as I am glued to my iPad googling all kinds of views on natural health and nutrition.  I have found myself despairing over not being able to afford a completely organic diet or certain products that someone has emphatically recommended, or that a certain something isn't available in New Zealand and so on and so forth.  I despair when I can't maintain a level of perfection that meets my standard of living.  "Waaaaa why did I just eat that?!?! Where has your level of discipline gone?" I know my thinking to some of you is probably flat out ridiculous and some of you won't be able to relate to this kind of thing at all.  Trust me, I have my moments of embarressment toward my set of struggles and have to tell myself to relax and not take everything so seriously.  At times I realise ironically that my pursuit of health has slowly become not so healthy.  This passion has now become the root of my pain.  It is STRESSFUL!!! In this world of health there are rules for everything.  Do not use sunscreen (you can make your own natural stuff that is less laden with chemicals), use only glass and avoid plastics, do not buy canned foods, cook with this oil, but not that, take this supplement but only use this brand (which happens to be a trillion times more expensive than all the rest), don't wear the toxic purfume or make-up, eat raw dairy, only buy honey that used heat in the process etc ETC!!!! I could go on and on.  I know, I know I have my moments when I regret even starting this journey since I do recognise the truth in the saying 'ignorance is bliss'.

We live in a world full of do's and don'ts which are most often deep-rooted in fears and even as a christian it is so easy to adopt these without realising it.  I don't want fear to be my motivator for the way I live and I know I am not called to this.  So where does God stand in all of this?  As a christian I want to involve God in every area of my life including this one.  Knowledge isn't the enemy here so I don't think the answer is to 'throw the baby out with the bath water'.  I know that I get myself wrapped up in a knot when I haven't turned to the Author of truth (on every subject) first.  Instead I look to the google god.   I assume that I know what is best for me and my family and create my own set of rules and standards that are simply unattainable.  I have a picture of knowledge as a weighty sword and it is only through His grace that I will be able to have the strength to wield it.  It is from His voice that I want to live from so that when I do wield this sword it will be because the command has come from His mouth.  This is where the peace lies and the fretting dissipates.  The commands that fear dictate result in a burdened, uptight and fearful mother.  This means that there will be a time to employ google and a time to refrain.  I want my children to have fond memories of their mother as someone who was full of life and joy.    It comes back to trust.  Trust that God has my family's health in His hands.  A part in Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts has always stuck with me is when she talks about grace filling the gaps.  Since I enjoy learning about natural health I will remain on this journey.  All the while turning to God and trusting His leading, knowing that when I do mess up or I simply don't know the answer I can trust that God's grace is big enough to fill those gaps.

Monday, June 10, 2013


I've jumped back on the blogging train once again.  Its been almost a year since my last post.  A lot has happened but I can sum it up using those handy bullet points:

  • My baby boy is approaching 17 months (!!!).  He is perfect.  To give you a very limited snapshot of what he is like (at this point in time), I will throw you some personality traits that he seems to possess so far in his very short life.  DETERMINED!!! Independent.  Intense.  Snuggler.  Focused.  Unpersuasive (that's a word right?).  Fast learner.  Cheeky.  Expressive. Cautious.

  • We have our own place!!!!!!! We moved out of my parents home (after almost a year and a half) and into a perfectly cosy house in a semi-rural area just outside of Christchurch.
  • We live at a Christian Camp...a stark contrast to the kind of life we were prepared for when Cody was in the band.  Cody works as the camp host and activities director.  He runs a variety of activities for groups of kids mostly between the ages of 7-13.  He is amazingly adaptable and has thrown himself into this job and loves it. 

Since our wedding 2 1/2 years ago Cody and I have bounced from place to place ending up back here in NZ only 8 months after our wedding.  Unexpectedly this has become a permanent situation.   During these first 2 years I have experienced the most difficult times so far in my 28 years through various circumstances.   It was very much a 'wilderness' season.  I would love to testify of my steadfast, hopeful, thankful attitude which remained with me throughout this time, but lets just say I would be fibbing...to put it mildly.  There were a few tantrums (on my end), there were moments of despair, hopelessness, giving up, anger etc etc.  I had feelings toward God that I had NEVER felt before! Looking back, these were critical points in my life and in our family.  I may not be able to testify about my perfect christian responses but I can testify about how God came through despite my defiance.   I can testify of the strong foundation that the Lord has established and continues  to establish in our family.  I can testify of the amazing man God has given me for a husband and how proud I am for allowing God to mold him (without the resistance that I put up).   The way he reflects the love and grace of Christ to me is unfathomable.

God has finally brought us into a season that I have been desiring for what feels like a very looooong time.  We have our own home (hooray!) where I have the freedom to be the wife and mother I want to be.  We have enthusiastically embraced the comforts that come with having our own home...fave TV show dates, eating when we want to (well sort of...a baby can dictate that a bit), time together, having people over for meals.  We live where Cody works, so Charles and I get to see him all the time (btw this is an answer to a specific prayer request of mine).  I have much to be thankful for.

In many ways life right now is simple.  Neither flashy nor glamorous.  We do not have too much and we do not have too little.  We do not live without our personal struggles, however we have time for each other, little Charlie and others.   I'm pretty sure we have been given this time to learn and embrace those things that truly matter in life.  For this I will be forever thankful. 

p.s I'd like to introduce my pretty outrageous (for me anyway) new shoes. My many pairs of black shoes...step aside!