Everything in Moderation?

Everything in Moderation? Should we partake in everything with moderation? #moderation #temptation #encouragement www.ruckusandrubies.comHow do you feel about this old adage: “Everything in moderation”? What is moderation? The online definition of moderation is “the avoidance of excess or extremes”. So essentially it means permit everything in the avoidance of excess or extremes.

Should we partake in everything that is permissable? 1 Corinthians 6:12 states “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything.

Many people practice “everything in moderation” because they are experiencing a craving or temptation and they simply want to permit the craving, but avoid extremes of partaking in it.

Pondering this addage, I’ve come to realize we abuse the old “everything in moderation” mentality. We would never advise others to use moderation when tempted to lie, cheat, steal, murder, gossip, drunk driving.

For some reason, we don’t apply this rule only to what we as a society term as “bad sins”, probably because we would never do those things. However, we do use them for what we consider to be “little white lies” or other actions against the laws and convictions of God that we justify?

Predominantly, I hear this old addage being spoken when it comes to food–“everything in moderation”. We treat food differently than we treat anything else because eating is a necessity of life. However, many of the things we claim to eat “in moderation” aren’t basic necessary foods. They are indulgences. Should we indulge in moderation? Should we give in to a little temptation to head off an ever bigger temptation?

I’ll be honest. Everything in moderation would make me sick. I have many food intolerances that exacerbate my health issues. I also know God’s Word states NOT to give in to temptation even in avoidance of an even bigger temptation.

When I give in and eat even a little something with sugar (which I am addicted to), then I am feeding my addiction, making myself sicker, and disobeying God’s Word to take care of my temple so that I can serve Him better. Sugar also affects my thyroid and digestive system, causing me to feel ill.

This is a difficult concept for me to grasp. We always want to make exceptions in society. I’ve learned I cannot make exceptions in this area. It leads to more compromises which leads to trouble. Just because something is acceptable doesn’t mean it is beneficial.

Do I want the permissable to run my life or the beneficial? I want the decisions of my life to be beneficial for God, others, and myself.

When God advises us to take care of our temple, it helps to remember food is NOT for pleasure. It is for nourishment. Thankfully, The Lord’s created foods are pleasurable and healthy for us, but they are not meant to be abused to avoid deeper temptation. We don’t have to belief the lie of the enemy that we should partake in the permissable to avoid the impermissable. Not only are many of the foods we eat today distorted from God’s original creation, but they are also abused by us.

We are meant to seek and utilize God’s power to resist temptation. We tarnish our witness when we make exceptions. Everything we partkae of, say, think, do should bring honor and glory to God. Remember it may be permissable but it might not be beneficial. If it’s not beneficial, we should avoid it altogether using God’s power as our strength and witness.

Fighting My Health Battle – Part 2

Fighting My Health Battle Part 2 #hypothyroisim #adrenalfatigue www.ruckusandrubies.com

Thanks for hanging in there with me for the second part of my story. If you missed part 1, you can read it here.

After 2 years of normal blood work, feeling rundown, and dealing with a myriad of symptoms I was desperate but did not know where to turn. On her way to work, a sweet friend noticed a billboard for a physician who specialized in holistic medicine and hormones. Passing the information on to me, she encouraged me to call. I had nothing left to lose, so I made an appointment.

Surprising and relieving is the best way I can describe the appointment. I finally found a medical doctor who sat down and spoke with me face to face without rushing to the next patient. She requested I fill out a packet of information on my history, symptoms, physical and spiritual wellness. She went through every word with me asking questions and actively listening.

Mentioning some suspicions she had she first addressed some lifestyle changes I needed to make regardless of any diagnosis she might make. Then she began to address my symptoms. The doctor prescribed a regimen of natural supplements to address some small vitamin deficiencies most people have. Then over the course of several appointments she administered tests.

Some of the results were no surprise to me. I had suspected for a long time that I had adrenal fatigue. I am the type of person that pushes my mind and my body to the uttermost limits of its ability. I go, go, go, all of the time, functioning on very little sleep, taking on way too many responsibilities, and regretfully rarely saying no.

I also suspected I might have hypothyroidism connected to the adrenal dysfunction. The thyroid controls hormones. Hormonal imbalances can affect heart rate and rhythm, weight loss, ability sleep, handle stress, and multiple other functions.

What I didn’t know was that I have the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene mutation, which affects the body’s ability to absorb B12 and folate. It causes one to be more likely to have anxiety and increases risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and prohibits the body from being able to detox from toxins in food and the environment.

In a nutshell, all this time I had these weird sensations of something filling up to the brim and then pouring over into anxiety or even a tachycardic episode. Foods that never bothered me before began to give me all sorts of digestive problems and give me an anxious feeling in my stomach. All of the symptoms I was having are connected. The thyroid is connected to the adrenals which are connected to hormones which affect every system in the body.

Feeling relieved, I finally had answers to so many questions and prayers. However, that was just the beginning of my journey. I had a long road of lifestyle changes ahead of me.

  • I still spend time in prayer and reading my Bible each morning, but now I incorporate more praise, worship, and Christian meditation focusing on connecting to and listening to God while I take time to do deep breathing to de-stress.
  • I take about a dozen herbs, vitamins, and natural supplements each day, and I have always hated taking anything resembling medicine.
  • I no longer eat cheat meals or foods. I rarely did anyway, but those few times when I ate gluten or sugar before resulted in anxiety, illness, fatigue, and a buildup of toxins in my system.
  • I take a detox bath at least twice a week to rid my body of toxins.
  • I drink more water to flush out toxins.
  • I am much more intentional about how I spend my time. I have learned I cannot do everything everyone expects or asks of me. I prioritized and removed some tasks from my busy schedule. I’ve learned to say no.
  • I am much more in tune with my body and how it responds to certain foods or stress.
  • I’ve learned how detrimental it can be to tax your body with high impact exercise. I still exercise 3-4 times a week, but it’s in a gentle form. I go for a low impact walk or do Christian yoga, spending that time concentrating more on my relationship with God than my physical body.
  • I’ve come to realize how I react to things affects my health. Instead of reacting negatively, I purpose to react positively and to not allow my stress level explode as it did before.
  • I’ve learned that many of the cleaning products and beauty products I was using contain toxins that are dangerous for everyone, but especially for those who do not naturally detox. I have begun slowly, but surely changing from conventional products to natural ones.
  • Most importantly, I’ve begun teaching my children these techniques so they can avoid becoming victims of their genetics.
  • I began studying healing in the Bible and books by Christian authors, and learned how physical healing is connected to your spirit. One book I highly recommend is Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf.

This is not the end of my battle story or my journey. Every day is a choice to choose to live better spiritually and physically so I can serve my Heavenly Father, my family, my community, and myself better. I’m grateful The Lord has helped me with the opportunity to share this journey with all of you. After researching, I realized I am not alone. There are so many of you out there with the same or similar experiences.

My prayer is that my journey will encourage you. No one wants to go through these struggles, but if I’m going to endure something I want it to count. I want it to be an encouragement or even help with prevention in some way.

The enemy would love nothing better than to see us discouraged and debilitated. I’m not going to let that happen in my life. I want my children to have a better example. Let’s rally together, encourage one another, and heal our bodies and spirits.

Fighting My Health Battle

fighting my health battle - health, encouragement ruckusandrubies.comWell, I’m back!! With the exception of a few posts here and there, I’ve been taking a long vacation from the blog. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but something I had to do. For the past few years, I’ve been fighting a small battle. It actually probably began a long time before that, but I wasn’t aware. At a time when my family has needed me most to help contribute financially and be present during the crucial teen and adult years, I have been encountering health issues. The blog hasn’t been a “best yes” for me as I had to limit my responsibilities and prioritize.

For a few years I had been having multiple health symptoms all at once on a regular basis each month. Most of these symptoms seemed to hit around the same time each month and lasted anywhere from a day to a week. Plagued with indigestion and digestive issues, migraines, fatigue, palpitations, tachycardia, pain in my chest and left rib cage around to my mid back, hair loss, inability to exercise, irritability, emotions from one extreme to the next, back pain, achy joints, dry skin, sleeplessness, and more, I felt like my body was falling apart. I knew I was over 40, but it was more than just age. I wasn’t able to serve God, my family, my church family or friends like I used to. I had been clean eating and taking care of myself for several years prior to all of this. I had even lost close to 70 pounds so I was completely baffled that this was happening.

Two years ago I finally gave in and visited my primary care physician’s office. I saw his nurse practitioner for my gyn appointment. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to understand what I was going through. “Normal” blood work resulted from that visit. She was very concerned about the pain in my chest and my history of tachycardia. She sent me to my cardiologist, who put me on a monitor for a whole month. She once again assured me there is absolutely nothing wrong with my heart. She confirmed again that for some reason I was having irregular electrical pulses that caused the tachycardia. She stated the pain was probably from indigestion and/or musculoskeletal pain.

My cardiologist sent a report to my primary care physician, and nothing was done. They didn’t call me back for a follow up, and even though I know it’s my responsibility to be my own advocate, I was exhausted financially and physically. I fought through another year of the struggle. Then it was time for another checkup…

I was desperate and decided I was going to push harder this time. Returning to the office of my primary care physician, they scheduled me for a checkup with the nurse practitioner. I went in and told her about all the symptoms I had been having since our last visit and for the year prior. I reminded her of everything that transpired from the visit the year before and told her nothing had changed and it seemed to be getting worse. She proceeded to ask me what I was taking for all of the symptoms. I told her nothing except some essential oils. I reminded her that I can’t take many medications because of the side effects and how they bring on tachycardia.

I requested a saliva test for my hormones and thyroid. Reviewing the chart, she confirmed that the thyroid test was normal the year before and advised me they wouldn’t do a saliva test, but would do another blood test and that if it wasn’t conclusive they would then send me to a pharmacy for saliva test which of course I’d be paying for. I mentioned I heard blood tests weren’t as accurate and I’d rather cut out that step and go straight to the saliva test, but she said that wasn’t procedure so they weren’t going to do that.

She also advised me to take a different medication for each of my symptoms, telling me to take a pill for migraines, another pill for indigestion, another one for sleep, go back on the beta blocker I had been off of several years per the orders of my cardiologist, and another pill for general aches and pains. Even though I reminded her how long I had been plagued with all of these symptoms, more than two years, she still told me to come back if I wasn’t better after trying out all of the medications. She also ordered blood work which once again came back normal…

This is a really long story. I just don’t believe it is the best idea to detail it all in one long blog post. I’ll be sharing with you over the couse of a few posts.

My main reason for sharing is to encourage you. If you are going through some of these same types of physical issues please don’t be discouraged. Comment and let us know. There is nothing more discouraging than feeling like you are the only one going through unanswered ailments. You aren’t alone. We’re here to pray for you and offer encouragement.

Women’s Day – Just How Far Have We Come?

As we return home from a trip, I’m deep in thought today reflecting on this International Women’s Day. Just how far we have actually come as women?

 

As a woman and a mom, I see men who have been turned into couch potatoes and women trying to wear way too many hats trying to do things they were never meant to do. I see some women who are taking the “easy way out” by not fulfilling their calling but the calling of someone else.

 

I’m not looking to raise strong “women” or strong “men” for that matter. I’m looking to raise godly Christians who know where true strength comes from—God. That includes raising my children to know they are so very different from one another with different responsibilities and abilities.

 

As a woman and a mother, I’m raising my son to love and respect women like Christ loved the church, to value their contribution as well as the contribution of a woman. I want my son to realize and appreciate that he cannot make it without the gift of women in his life. I want him to not take advantage of, but to live in the fact that we women need his strength and leadership as he becomes the leader God called him to be. Realizing his potential as a God fearing man with different and wonderful qualities that are not always going to be equal to that of women…that’s one way we can move forward. I also want son to be sure not to let any woman or anyone walk all over him. He is a child of God, a son of The King. God has called him to be a warrior not a wimp.

 

I’m raising my daughters to be strong in their God-given abilities and gifts, to be smart enough to know that they also have qualities that are not always going to be equal to men. There will be things that realistically they can’t do and some things that they shouldn’t do whether they can or not. Then there are things they can do that no man will ever truly be able to accomplish. However, women need men and we can’t make it in this life without their contributions either.

 

Realizing how magnificently God created them as women and that it takes more strength living out the call of God than they will ever have living out the call of worldly feminism. They have a special place in God’s plan and nothing will ever change that. They can live in the plan or they can live outside the plan, but the plan will never change and living outside the plan is the easy way out.

 

My daughters and I don’t need a special day or special treatment to celebrate ourselves or to tear others down while the world attempts to lift us up, because everyday living for God is a day to celebrate men and women and the freedom He brings and to actually step into reality acknowledging our own strengths and weaknesses and the way men and women were not created to be equal in ability, but created in different ways that complement each other.

 

As a woman, I’m offended that my gender claims to be equal and in most cases superior to men. I’m ashamed that instead of rising above a high standard that my gender has stooped so low as to try to tear men down first so they can then climb all over them on their way to the top of something that is not even the goal or in the right direction. We claim we don’t need head starts or legs up, but we use our conniving minds to attain special treatment and to try to be our own gods. Women use their bodies to exploit their sexuality toward men to get what they want, yet we blame men for falling into our trap.

 

Let’s stop all of this ridiculous, tasteless, and divisive celebration of nonsense. It doesn’t make us more powerful, stronger, or better. It just makes us foolish and unintelligent because it shows how we’ve learned nothing from Eve. I’m so sad to say that we haven’t come a very long way. We’ve oppressed ourselves more than we will ever know, and we are so weak we can’t even see it.

 

Personally, I’ve never felt more oppressed than I have in the past several years in my life. This isn’t a result of my choicses but the way my gender has attempted to reshape God’s plan. It has affected my life and drug me kicking and screaming down a path I was not intended to go.

 

Thankfully I have God on my side. Nothing this world ever does can ultimately change His plan and His blessing for those who choose to walk in His way. I will always walk against the crowd and will not succumb to this chaos, and I’ll be stronger and better than you can ever dream. I’m just brokenhearted for my fellow women who have followed in the footsteps of Eve-I hate to see how weak they are becoming. God help us all.

Decorating and Preparation Tips for a Christ-centered Christmas

Do you feel that you are having a difficult time celeratingt he true meaning of Christmas? Do you ever get tired of the more secular decorations? Over the years as we have grown in our relationship with The Lord, He has convicted us about secular traditions and celebrations of Christmas. After all, The whole reason Christmas exists is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The word CHRISTMAS comes from Old English Cristes-messe, meaning Christ’s Mass.

We have secular Christmas ornaments that we have collected over the years that help remind us of family and friends, vacations, special memories. We still display those on our Christmas tree in our family room. We also display ornaments of scripture, angels, and those focusing on Jesus. It’s a way for us to merge the two as important parts of our lives here on earth and our hope for eternity.

In a wooden box in our kitchen, we also have a box of 24 ornaments we use for the advent season that we have made. We handglittered the inside of some of them. Others are filled with trinkets that coincide with names of Jesus, and we have used vinyl to add the names of Jesus on the outside of the ornament. We study a scripture for each name of Jesus that we have compiled over the years. You can find a set of 12 of these ornaments here

 

Traditional, timeless, natural, sentimental those are words I would use to describe our style in decor. That makes it easy to find decorations in green, red, white, and gold. We use these colors to represent the colors of the gospel.

  • GREEN represents God as everlasting and our growth in relationship with Him.
  • RED represents the blood of Jesus shed for us.
  • WHITE represents the pure, sinless life of Christ and our journey of holiness with His help.
  • GOLD represents our hope and assurance of Heaven and eternity with our God.

It’s impossible to escape some of the typical symbols of Christmas. Thankfully, some have an origin of faith but some do not. It doesn’t take much to put a faith-based spin on them, though. Learning to do this not only at Christmas time, but all the time is a good way to teach your children that God is in everything. It demonstrates and includes Him in every aspect of life. That is the way it should be. Here’s a list of typical Christmas symbols that we have connected to God:

  • SANTA CLAUS – Of course the most obvious secular symbol this time of year is Santa Claus. We don’t have many Santa decorations at all, especially those that portray him as a cartoon or some magical character. We have a few old world decorations of him that display him in the way that he truly lived. We have taught our children about the real Saint Nicholas, his life, and his mission. We don’t celebrate him during this time, but we do discuss how his mission on earth was to remind others of Christ’s birth and how he came to save his people. We appreciate and try to honor and carry on his mission and use him as an example of someone who tried to be like Christ. Suggestions: Santa figure with cross
  • GIFTS – Reminders of the greatest gift of all: Jesus. They teach us it is better to give than receive, the generosity of Christ. Suggestions: personalized and jewelry clothing, personalized tumblers, 
  • BELLS – We use bells to remind us to ring out and boldly declare the good news of Christ. Suggestions: Bell with date.
  • GREENERY – Represents the beautiful creation of God, His eternal being, and our growth in Christ. Suggestions: Prelit garland with pinecones, berries.
  • BOWS – Remind us to bind our lives and hearts to God and His Word to our hearts. Suggestions: Bows
  • SNOWFLAKES – Represent the purity of Christ and God’s beatiful and unique creation. Suggestions: Snowflake ornaments
  • WREATH – Remind us of the never ending life and love of Christ. Suggestions: Boxwood, Pine
  • LIGHTS AND CANDLES – Help us remember that Jesus is the Light of the World and remind us also of the great commission to be a light and share the gospel to the world. Suggestions: Window candles
  • STARS – Point us to the Jesus just as the wisemen were directed to Him by His star. Suggestions: Gold stars
  • HOLLY AND POINSETTIAS – Beatiful plants created by God with the gospel colors of green and red. Suggestions: Holly.
  • BIRTHDAY DECORATIONS – Yes–birthday decorations. They help us celebrate the birthday of or Savior just as we celebrate the birthdays of our loved ones. Suggestions: Wall decor, Tablescape and paper supplies
  • ANGELS – Remind us of those precious messengers on the night of the birth of Jesus and many other Biblical events. Angel ornaments.
  • CANDY CANES – Represent the “J” of Jesus, or flipped around the crook of the Good Shepherd, and of course the white is the purity of Christ and red His shed blood.
  • NATIVITY – Of course the nativity is the direct representation of the night of the birth of Jesus. 

These reminders and representations help us keep the true meaning of Christmas alive and help us to celebrate in a way that draws us closer to Him. Praying you have a Christ-centered Christmas!