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The Season of Hagar

“So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.” Genesis 21:15-19

This year I obeyed God’s voice and by faith I left an Egypt behind. I fled a slavery that not only I have been bound to for a long time, but generations of my family. When God’s people fled the slavery of Egypt, they had for generations been abused, mistreated and enslaved. However, in order to flee slavery it meant fleeing into the desert, into the wilderness. When Hagar was thrust into the desert with her son she was cast out. We can enter into a desert either by necessity to leave a situation or because we have been rejected and cast out. Either way we find ourselves in a time in our life when we need food, we need water, we need something to wear, we need a safe place to sleep. We need. We need the basic necessities of life. Earlier, when Hagar was pregnant with her son she had fled Sarai because of Sarai’s harsh treatment of her, but it was not yet time for her to leave so God told her to go back. However, the first time Hagar was in the desert was when she met El Roi, The God Who Sees. He sees you. He sees you in the desert. El Roi is in the desert. He can help you.

I recently attended a women’s coffee connection at church and one of the women at my table’s discussion was talking about how she was studying Genesis with her church and how they had focused on hospitality. In ancient times it wasn’t like today. There weren’t gas stations or credit cards, there wasn’t an Amazon or even cars with paved roads. In ancient times hospitality was not just a nice Christian kindness, it was literally about survival. Hospitality and community become a necessary part of survival in the desert.

I have needed the hospitatlity of believers and my local community like never before as a single mom. It takes time to build a new life and as I desperately am working hard at trying to follow God’s lead for laying the foundations and building the walls of my new life I am realizing how my son and I are not going to survive this desert season without help. Somedays I really do feel like Hagar. I am so thankful God delivered me out of Egypt. I am so thankful to no longer be a slave, but I do get weary and I do get discouraged and at times extremely worried about how I am going to make it through the desert. How can my son and I make it to the promised land? Somedays it feels a lot harder being in the desert than other days. On the days when I feel weary and tired, on the days where I feel like I just don’t know how we are going to make it financially, like I’ve poured myself out to the max and things are still not working. On those days I have to remember all that God has done for me and give thanks. Like when the Israelites went three days without water after God’s amazing deliverance at the Red Sea. They went three days without water only to find bitter water. It wasn’t until afterward that God brought them to Elim, where 12 springs of water were waiting for them in the desert. Going those “three days” and finding “bitter water” can feel debilitating and terrifying…but we have to have faith in the God who has proven Himself faithful over and over again. God knew where the 12 springs of water were and he was leading them to those springs. We have to have faith.

“Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters. Exodus 15:27

What was one of the mistakes that God’s people continually made in the desert? Grumbling. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us that we have divinely spiritual weapons for the destruction of strongholds. One of those weapons is the weapon of thanksgiving. When we find ourselves in a desert place where it seems like we might not make it, thanksgiving can demolish the strongholds that would keep us trapped in that desert. God doesn’t want us to stay in the desert, if we heed His voice and follow Him then He will get us to the promised land. But, it is really important to give thanks instead of grumbling in the desert. Grumbling in the desert can actually cause us to stay there longer!

Personally, it is hard for me to ask for help. I hate to be an inconvenience or a burden, I don’t want to make people angry or annoyed. However, I am realizing that if I don’t ask for help, we are not going to make it through our desert because there will be times when we’ve “gone three days” and we are in need. Sometimes God will provide for us Himself, other times He will use people. Either way God has prepared a place for my son and I in the desert. He will never tell you to flee an Egypt without preparing the way for you first. If you were cast out, God knew you would be and He prepares the way ahead of time for those that love Him (Romans 8:28).

I cannot even begin to list the number of ways and people that God has sent into the life of my son to prepare the way, and in remarkable “God ways” that just testify to His glory and honor. Like the place we fled to, the day I called to tell her we were coming was the very day after her roommate told her she was moving on. Perfect timing happens when God is writing our story. Or the bed I got just this week for my son, a solid wood, hand-made sleigh style toddler bed. I needed one for my son and someone “happened” to ask if anyone needed a toddler bed. Really? Things like that don’t just happen. God is with us.

What it comes down to for each of us is are we really going to rely on El Roi or are we going to go back to Egypt. When the Israelites saw Pharaoh and his armies chasing after them they cried out “…it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness”. In other words “it would have been better to be in my comfort zone, preserve my pride, have more money, all of my Christmas decorations, my beloved possessions and…be mistreated and abused…than to die in the wilderness trying to get away”*. What was Moses’ response?

Do not fear. Stand by. See the salvation of the LORD.

If we choose to continue to follow Jesus to the promised land then it is going to be on His terms and sometimes that means being humbled and accepting something you would never have accepted in Egypt, and other times means being so incredibly blessed that you feel like a queen or a king in the desert!

When we are in need we can cry out to El Roi and stand on precedence in scripture and boldly come before that throne of grace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6”

I think it is important to notate that a person can make a really big difference in our lives even if they only help us one time for our whole life, that was their role that God sent them to play in our lives, that is it. Other people will have much larger roles that last for a longer season or even for a lifetime. However, every single one of them was part of God’s plan in your life to give you a hope and a future as Jeremiah 29:11 talks about. We also get to be a part of other people’s lives, whether it is just for one time or for a lot of times. God gives us a hope and a future, if we surrender to Him and trust Him He will help us.

“You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance. The place O LORD, which You have made for Your dwelling, The sanctuary, O LORD, which Your hands have established.” Exodus 14:17

References and Notes:
*Pharaohs don’t typically just let their people go. The most dangerous time for a woman (not sure for a man) fleeing an abusive relationship is when she leaves. If she is lured back by her abuser’s remorse and sorrow or by the wealth and comfort of Egypt the manipulation and control and the abuse for both a woman or a man is likely to get even worse because the abuser realizes that their prey could get brave enough to leave. It is important to have a plan and to work with a professional or the domestic abuse hotline if at all possible. The Lord is our Deliver but we have to take steps of faith, He meets us there.

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The Detour

I had an appointment two hours away this week and as I was checking the map that morning I saw that there was an hour delay. Thankfully I was able to leave an hour early with no issue and when I got to the detour we were out in the country, I mean like barns and farms, at some points for quite awhile. It was a beautiful autumn morning. Getting off the highway, got me into the trees with all of their beautiful colors. At first I was so preoccupied with my thoughts about the destination, not literally for that day, but for my life as I’m focusing on what is to come next after this season of transition in my life and I was missing all of the beauty around me. I pulled up to a stop light and the road to my right descended down a hill with awesome orange, yellow and red colors bathed in the bright morning sun as it rose  from that same direction in the east. I realized how I was missing the beauty because I was focusing on the destination. I thought about how I had left the highway and was going to drive an extra hour in the country, but I was still going to get to my appointment on time. In fact I got to my appointment literally right on time…We have divine appointments that God has written into our books (see Psalm 139:16, yes we each have a book He took the time to write as He thought about us in His love before we were conceived). He is not only the Author but also the Matchmaker and He has appointments set up for us with our husband or our wife, with our friends, even with our children for when they will be conceived and born. He is the ultimate appointment maker and keeper…but that doesn’t mean we will be continually buzzing along a highway from one divine appointment to another. Instead we will have unexpected detours that His grace has planned for and we will find ourselves driving out in the country.

Some parts of the detour yesterday morning were bathed in sunlight, but other parts were covered in a dense fog where I could not see very far in front of me. The detour signs were kind of far between, and there were a few times I felt a bit nervous, wondering if I had lost my way. I had never driven that way before and I do not fully trust my GPS. I just had to keep on driving in faith that I had followed the path that the last detour sign had pointed out and that I had not missed a new detour sign telling me to turn to the right or to the left. I had to resist the temptation at one point to not take another path at a V in the road, because it seemed to me that the person in front of me that turned that way had been part of the detour “group” of cars. I decided to not follow them and I am glad I didn’t, as eventually the next detour sign came up again, encouraging and reassuring me that I was on the right path.

Some parts of this “drive” we call life will be us taking detours off of the highway. Detours can be bathed in marvelous beauty, while other parts will be covered in a thick fog. We will have to walk by faith and remember the instructions our Shepherd gave us because sometimes we not see or hear from Him for a moment when we feel lost in a dense fog. We will have to stay focused on the path right here, right now, right in front of us so we don’t get lost, so we don’t lose focus, or our way. Other sheep on the trail may need to take a right or a left, but we need to stay where we are walking or running along at the pace God has decided is best for us and on the path that He has designated for us, not that other driver ahead of us. The Lord will speak to us when we need to turn to the right or the left, but until that time we need to keep on the path He placed us on and watch for Him or listen for Him to direct and lead us at those perfect times, whether it be a time of fog or sunlight.

Eventually I made it back to the highway and I was off buzzing along again at a fast speed, straight ahead to my important appointment and like I said, I made it on time. Just like there are times for detours in life there are times to get on the highway and step on the gas, go, go, go, onward into our destiny. We can endanger ourselves and others during our “highway” times in life if we try to stay “in  our country pace” on the highway. When we are on the highway we need to keep up.

My dad is a former ultra-marathoner. That means He would run 120 mile races. When he would do an ultra-marathon he could not literally run the entirety at once. He would have to stop, eat, sleep, and recharge. The Bible talks about us running the race until we get to heaven. We have to stay fit for the race – and interestingly enough, for a truly long distance race like life that means part of staying fit is stopping to rest, stopping to eat, taking it slow, but at other times giving it our all and actually running.

Our Shepherd will help us. He leads us to green pastures and still waters, but also through the valleys and up and over the mountains. It is an ultra-marathon, but He is with us.

I will have to trust God that He will help everyone He wants me to meet up with to make it to our divine appointments on time and in the meantime I will enjoy the drive along the way to my destiny, whether it is belting out praise and worship songs along the highway, gripping the wheel in the fog…or marveling for a moment at the beauty along sunlit country trails.

Life is beautiful and the drive is part of our story, it is part of my destiny too.

What about all of the detours that were not what God wanted for my life, the ones caused by my sin or by sins of others against me, or just the grief and sorrows of life? Well I just have to remember that my destiny as a daughter of God is ultimately to be part of the Bride of Christ and He can take the most broken, the most horrible, the most appalling things in my life and He can heal me, He can bind me up, He can protect me and redeem me. He can restore me and sustain me even when things don’t make sense. My Shepherd is with me and someday I will see Him face to beautiful face as He has adorned me and prepared me for Himself with His love. Even when the detours don’t make sense, even when we are in the deep darkness of the shadow of death God is with us, leading us to Himself.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

The Great Wrestler

You are the Great Wrestler Oh Lord, You wrestle with the sinner’s soul. You don’t grow weary, You don’t give up, Your passion, Your might, Your fury are incredible. Who can stand against You? What weapon of darkness can prevail against You? You wear victory like a crown and by Your touch we are healed. The souls You have secured rejoice, the mighty waters roar, the earth trembles, the heavens declare, Who is Mighty like our God, Who but He is worthy of our praise? Majestic King, Mighty Warrior, Prince of Peace. You reconcile your enemies unto yourself with the blood of Your Son. You call us up from the dead, You place a new heart within us and Your glory upon us. Praise Him together, clap your hands, break forth in song. Worship Him all you nations, shout His name, Victory has come, VICTORY HAS COME!

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Deliverance from Allergies

Be not dismayed whatever betide
God will take care of you
Beneath His wings of love abide
God will take care of you
God will take care of you
Through everyday o’er all the way
He will care for you
God will take care of you
Through days of toil when heart doth fail
God will take care of you
When dangers fierce your path assail
God will take care of you
God will take care of you
Through everyday o’er all the way
He will care for you
God will take care of you (1)

 

As a newborn Caleb was introduced to commercial cow’s milk formula at just 6 weeks of age due to an undetected tongue tie.

Caleb projectile vomited for the first time upon being given caffeine in the pediatric intensive care unit just over a week postpartum. Projectile and excessive vomiting continued at home.

As a newborn the pediatrician told me egg whites in particular were a common allergy for babies, removing egg whites did make a difference in how much Caleb screamed. That was of course until we started to try to bottle feed, thank God for the special needs bottle!

On February 24, 2017 Caleb’s general pediatrician recommended I buy wheat baby cereal and put it in Caleb’s bottles to help his food stay down in his tummy to try to stop the vomiting and silent reflux. When we got home from getting the cereal as I parked the truck a very strong feeling of dread came all over my body. I sat there for a moment analyzing this feeling and thinking about the box of wheat baby cereal we had just went through what felt like climbing a mountain to get. I decided to listen to my God-given mother’s intuition and not add it to the bottles…

On March 15, 2017, Caleb’s Pediatric Gastroenterologist (G.I.) recognized immediately, before anyone else, that Caleb was allergic to corn, within just a few minutes of meeting. He also told me he didn’t think Neocate would work as I had just started the trial the night before. He was right about both!

Between 3 and 5 months of age, Caleb had a constant scaly red patch of skin between his eyes and suffered from silent reflux.

Caleb had a series of x-ray studies done of his esophagus and the opening to his stomach in addition to another series he had been through in February for analyzing his swallow.

At first Caleb’s body accepted Ready to Feed Alimentum (RTF Alimentum), a highly processed commercial formula created by hydrolyzing (pre-digesting) cow’s milk and the red patch and reflux went away…but then they came back and worse. His reflux got to the point that it would come up into his sinuses and out his nose! It was really bad.

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Caleb’s red excema patch between his eyes was accompanied by severe silent reflux, both went away with the removal of cow’s milk protein.

In May 2017 I credit God for helping me to “win the lottery” by getting a diet for myself that worked with Caleb so he could get away from formula, which was obviously not working, and back on his mother’s milk.

On May 25, 2017 Caleb tested positive for wheat, but just a trace positive. If I had been giving him wheat protein every bottle every few hours day and night for 13 weeks as originally instructed to do…that could have been an anaphylactic test result. The more the body is exposed to an allergen, the more sensitive it becomes and the more extreme the immune response. Praise God for our gift of intuition.

During the summer of 2017, since Caleb had tested negative to pork, chicken and cashews I invested in the highest quality corn free soy free local pork and chicken, organically raised and freshly butchered. I also bought organic cashews online and dutifully soaked and dehydrated them…vomiting and hives from the pork, bad poo poo from the chicken and terrible crazy diarrhea that just would not go away from the cashews…Except these symptoms wouldn’t start right away so it would make it confusing. I would think a food was working and after a week add a new food but then all of a sudden symptoms were happening. He was developing new allergies at a delayed rate as I introduced new food proteins into my diet! 

Sometime during that summer I also tried to add chocolate back into my diet, organic dark chocolate of course! Hives. Chocolate was out for mom.

In June or July 2017 I found that I was able to give Caleb, without an issue, egg yolk. Although he gagged on it if it was not watered into a liquid (I now know because of his tongue tie which was finally discovered on July 23, 2017 – a HUGE answer to prayer).

On July 26 I wrote “Allergy update: I tried to eat one cherry and one grape cause I love cherries, he got hives, too early too fast. He is gagging and unable to eat the thick baby food due to the tongue tie so we are going to stick with just broth and breastmilk for awhile longer and I will remain restricted. I also need to avoid chicken I found in addition to the pork, wheat, egg whites, dairy, corn, and salicylates. BUT his stools have improved as long as I keep allergens out and broth going in, he had a thick, creamy and a few “seeds” this past week (thank you LORD). I did try some sheep yogurt after which made sour and runny again, so I just need to be patient, long suffering, trusting, praying and PRAISING the Lord to get us through.”

Sometime in August or September 2017 Caleb had an extreme vomiting reaction to egg yolk. I didn’t realize it was the egg yolk at first as it had been a safe food for us for awhile. When I re-trialed a tiny amount though, the same thing plus diarrhea! Egg yolk was now out too!

As mentioned in my “Healing a Tongue Tie” blog, the Lord provided a prayer team of people to carry Caleb and I through. I got this message right when I needed it in August 2017, a message from a very powerful prayer warrior named Laverne:

“Thank you Lord for Caleb. Thank you Lord for Caleb this child shall be great before You and shall do exploits in Your name. I decree that no sickness or plague will come upon Caleb, in the name of Jesus. I decree soundness, health and wholeness into the spirit, soul and body of Caleb, in the name of Jesus. I speak wholeness, soundness and perfection into the heart, eyes, ears Skin, bones, teeth of Caleb, in the name of Jesus. Let the respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems of little Caleb be normal, strong and healthy, in the name of Jesus. I bind every negative reports from whoever in the name of Jesus. Lord, fill the parents with Your joy, glory, peace and love in the name of Jesus. Lord, keep your covering over this precious child that you love so dearly thank you Lord for hearing this prayer amen. Will keep praying especially over Caleb food.  Naomi, keep asking the Holy Spirit for guidance on what to feed little Caleb.  Blessing upon you and your family! Love Laverne! Hallelujah hallelujah it is well with little Caleb!”

I knew Laverne was right. I needed to ask God for specific guidance. I needed to know very specifically from Him what foods and how to prepare those foods so my son could be blessed by food, not cursed. Sure we could have just let things get to the point where invasive medical procedures began again, but I didn’t want to get there. So I approached God’s throne of grace, petitioning Him for His help daily…and just like He led the way for the tongue tie to be revealed He began to lead the way for how to get Caleb out of this mess. He tenderly and gracefully addressed our needs for health by providing answers for not only our physical needs, but also by providing answers for our mental and spiritual health as well, even with things that were way off my radar as I was very focused working with my son’s therapists each week and on trying to make progress with food. In fact the answers from God came into our lives so intertwined together that the physical I feel is inseparable from the mental or the spiritual answers. We needed them all.

My first clue came through two free DNA stool analyses for Caleb showing a comparison that revealed how vitally important it was for Caleb to have prebiotics (foods that feed probiotics) in his diet since we were relying so heavily on lamb stock and fat. Caleb needed his breastmilk sugars and he needed alternatives as well, complex fibers or carbohydrates of some sort. This was all very encouraging as my mother’s intuition had always told me how important my breastmilk was for my baby and now I had another confirmation of that. I had been struggling with my intuition since some well intentioned women were encouraging me to wean my son, but I just didn’t feel like that was what God wanted me to do. Getting that confirmation through those tests were good for Caleb and I both mentally and relationally as well since breastmilk continued to bond us at a deep level even if it were through a pump and bottle, we were trying back to breast efforts still as well.

God didn’t stop there, His answers continued to come and they came big as we journeyed up and out of the hole we had fallen into…but it did take some time and there were discouraging patches along the way, like in December 2017, right after his first birthday, Caleb ate a crumb of a wheat pretzel. This resulted in mucus for poop. Things kind of stayed discouraging until March when we made some major progress only to have afterwards a step back again. The ebb and flow was real. Like the pushing stage of labor all over again. I was ready for the birth of our deliverance.

On April 2018 after getting some more patch allergy testing I was nervous to try the ones that he tested negative for because of how Caleb had developed new allergies the last time I followed that road. I knew in my mother’s heart there had to be a way to address the root issue of all of this! I didn’t want to create new allergies but I needed a solution, my son needed a variety of foods for a sound nutritional diet. A solution that would feel right to my mommy’s heart. I needed that answer to prayer. I still needed God’s continued guidance. Thankfully juicing vegetables really became a major help and another stepping stone up and out for us. I began introducing all sorts of foods via the juicer which Caleb could swallow without gagging and they were easy and quick for him to digest. I juiced all kinds of veggies to get a power-shot of energy and vitamins into Caleb’s body and to help expand his diet. I started to try to add coconut oil to Caleb’s veggie juice and at first it was fine, but eventually on July 18, 2018 Caleb reacted with vomiting and again with a retrial. I was able to continue the juicing without the coconut oil. But my cry stayed before the throne of the Almighty God.

Summer 2018 rolled around and after relying heavily on lamb stock to supplement breastmilk Caleb’s body became ultra sensitive to meat and meat stock by getting hives from leftovers or from meat and meat stock that was cooked too long. I had started cooking a fresh thing of meat and its stock every night in a dutch oven and then flash freezing his meals every night for the next day and then defrosting for every meal in order to avoid hives. It was a lot to do every day! At the very same time I felt convicted by God to start trying to get out and make other mom friends and Caleb needed to start making friends too. My response to this was “how on earth am I supposed to have time to do that Lord?” I still needed to pump, I needed to do all that cooking, I needed to clean bottles and maintain as much order in my house as possible, and adding “social-time” in didn’t really feel like it was something I could swing or even a priority for that matter! However, the conviction persisted so I obeyed God and reached out to another mom I had met online and who also was following a lot of the same natural food ideas for her children too. She was also a Christian and a military spouse. We could relate on so many levels. She was another Godsend. God began to address mine and Caleb’s health by giving me a friend who was a blessing beyond blessings. Someone who could understand me and who was already there and actually well ahead of me in the trenches. She was another mother-warrior fighting for her children on her knees in prayer and on her bare feet in the kitchen. I just have to take a moment to say I am barefoot and proud. I wear my baby on my hip as a prized jewel. Our babies are precious beyond any paper degree or monetary income. If and when I can I will gladly pour myself out as a mother at home in the kitchen, changing diapers, kissing yayas (Spanish slang for owies) and cleaning up the 10-millionth mess of the day. God bless mother’s of all walks of life, working or stay-at-home, but there is no shame in staying at home.

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Caleb playing in the water mid-July at our first play date with our dear friends (not pictured). Alaska is a beautiful place to have a play date!

Laverne’s prayer was coming to fruition as my new friend introduced me to a fermentation system called Pickl-It. I had seen a brief improvement in Caleb’s situation when in March of 2017 I was able to work up to getting 2-3 tablespoons of commercial unpasteurized sauerkraut juice in him per meal and had been able to introduce a lot of food proteins with no problem, pretty much all vegetables (this was before I started juicing). However, we experienced a major setback when following instructions from some certified GAPS professionals online, I tried a fermented garlic brine recipe they provided and personally guided me through. I used a starter and fermented it for about a week. Caleb really like the brine and wanted a lot of it, but then his poor baby mouth broke out in some sort of reaction causing him to have a painful tongue and mouth. I had to pull that and the kraut juice. We struggled to get back to where we had been and although Caleb had been able to eat broccoli with 2-3 tablespoons of saurkraut juice he was unable to without…this was a clue, he needed ferments, but I needed a better solution, for us the mason jar even with a fancy lid didn’t cut it, we needed something else.

THANK GOD FOR PICKL-IT.

Rutabaga, pumpkin, beet kvass, rainbow carrot, red onion, french fries and pumpkin juice.

Pickl-It. Anaerobic fermentation. Pickl-It garlic cannot even be consumed until it has fermented for 6 months, saurkraut, 3 months (most ferments are moved to a fridge after being on counter for up to a week). Thankfully beet kvass took only only 21 days to prepare. Caleb’s body easily accepted EVERY Pickl-It fermented foodstuff. Pickl-It beet kvass was our game changer. Caleb and I were both able to easily add every food protein his body had not had a reaction to with ease, as long as it was fermented in the Pickl-It jar. Rice, lentils, potatoes, and so much more. I started to ferment everything, even safe foods from before like rutabaga and asparagus to maximize nutrients. Fermentation makes all foods easier to digest and the vitamins and nutrients more bio-available as I’ve learned from reading information from the founder, Kathleen. Her son recovered from having early-childhood schizophrenia and autism…because of prayer and Pickl-It (2). Kathleen has also shared with her customers that she was  unexpectedly rid of her severe cat allergy through Pickl-It fermented foods! The Pickl-It jar is truly airtight as opposed to the mason jar. This creates a higher quality ferment with a higher ratio of lactic acid bacteria versus acetic acid (acetic acid burns).

I should mention that in September 2018, shortly after starting Pickl-It, I introduced home-rendered cow’s ghee. I must not have strained it well enough resulting in traces of cow’s milk protein present in the ghee because Caleb got mucus for poop along with a trace of blood. I withdrew the cow’s milk protein and kept on focusing on what I knew worked, Pickl-It foods and goat ghee plus grass-fed lamb, bison and beef.

On September 28, 2017 I got another clue about Caleb’s physical needs after he got terrible stools from scraping a bowl I used to make fat bombs with honey…I re-trialed by increasing fat alone and got the same results. Ironically in my quest to get as much fattening foods into Caleb as possible too much fat caused problems too! I thanked the Lord for showing me everything I needed to know to custom tailor Caleb’s diet just for his body.

As Caleb and I continued to add more and more foods with Pickl-It. We finally began to feel like life could be a little bit more normal. Still I hated knowing that if I messed up on timing for ferments or if I made a mistake with a staple that we could be left too short on food. Then another friend shared with me a pastor online. She said “God will send you to the right sermon”. I ended up watching several of his sermons, one of them about spiritual warfare. At the end of the sermon the pastor tells about a time that a mom of a four year old boy brought her son to him for prayer because the boy had a LOT of allergies. The pastor followed his simple method for deliverance using spiritual warfare and the little boy went home and was completely delivered from all allergies! I was telling my sister about this on the drive to her house after Caleb and I flew down a few weeks ago and then lo and behold the very first sermon at her church in her little town of only 3,000 people was specifically about the same type of spiritual warfare that the pastor had talked about online, also there had been a sermon recently with the same exact sermon topic at my church in Alaska. I was wondering, “Lord, what are you trying to tell me?”.

The Spiritual. I decided to go visit the pastor that preached the sermon at my sister’s church. He admitted to me that the sermon was out of his comfort zone but agreed to pray for Caleb. He invited me to pray over Caleb too after he was done. I did. I prayed. I followed the advice from the sermon I had watched online and I repented for any authority I had given to anything else when Caleb was in the womb. I had struggled with fear and anxiety about my baby’s well-being throughout my pregnancy because it had taken me 5 years and 3 IUIs to get pregnant. I had a dream the week Caleb was born that a big scary fast black spider crawled onto my belly while I was sleeping and pierced through into my baby, i hit “it away” so hard that I woke myself up by slapping my belly… I repented for any way that this fear and anxiety could have given authority to any other spirit than the Holy Spirit and I prayed for the Holy Spirit alone to have authority in my son’s body and for him to be healed from all his allergies, in the name and by the blood of Jesus! Preparing for my meeting with the pastor I also went through some prayers ahead of time sent to me at the perfect time by another friend without me asking her, they were dealing with topics that the spiritual warfare sermons I had watched online dealt with too.

That spider in my dream the week Caleb was born might have pierced him but Jesus was pierced and hung onto the tree so that Caleb could be delivered from all plans or works of the enemy. (see 1 John 3:8)

Deliverance.

After this prayer time with the pastor I decided to follow the advice I had received from some of Caleb’s doctors to periodically retrial some of his allergens. We went home and I, in faith, ordered some pork, dairy, chicken and eggs to trial, I tried ordering the highest quality possible. I planned to slowly start trialing his allergen foods beginning Saturday. Well we didn’t make it that long. Friday morning I was curling my hair and overheard my niece tattling to her mom/my sister that Caleb was eating her Cap’n Crunch which she eats with cow’s milk!…I literally skidded on the wood floors trying to get to the dining room fast enough, but I was too late Caleb was sitting on the dining room table with highly processed cereal dye-colored cow’s milk running down his chin! I decided instead of running out to buy activated charcoal pills to wait and see what happened since the pastor and I had prayed over Caleb for him to be healed of his allergies with only the Holy Spirit in control. About an hour after eating highly processed cow’s milk infused with Cap’n Crunch he had a beautiful brown stool. He had not had a healthy stool with cow’s milk since he was a 3 months old! So I started feeling a bit braver and while we were at a car dealership for my sister in Louisville I decided to let him have some Dove mint hot chocolate in water (his first direct exposure to chocolate), then at a family fun center later he was refusing his banana I had brought but we were both hungry so I let him have some tater tots, barbecue sauce and a tiny bit of my sister’s Diet Coke…healthy poops continued!! So the next morning I actually let him drink cow’s milk, eat butter, and a little bit of egg and it was fine! He was not reacting! Then he had bacon and chicken! He has now trialed all previous allergens and so far so good! Praise God.

Caleb enjoying cow’s milk.

Deliverance. My son has been delivered. He still has some sensitivities that I have observed from letting him eat too many unfermented factory-processed foods, but he CAN eat them on occasion if he has to and will not have an over-reactive immune response in his intestines or otherwise. Pickl-It began as an answered prayer for Kathleen and her son, then it became our answer to prayer too. We are now successfully even doing Pickl-It Sourdough, pancakes, rolls, and even sourdough banana bread. Amazing. I’m getting ready to make my first batch of sourdough cinnamon rolls, hopefully they come out good! My baby will get to have an actual cake on his third birthday. Hallelujah. We have waited a long time for this. I can even look forward to making sourdough pizza with fermented veggies and fermented marinara sauce along with his favorite meats!

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Caleb enjoying Pickl-It sourdough pancakes and cow’s milk kefir in February 2019.

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This was Caleb’s “cake” from his second birthday. Fermented purple sweet potato never looked so good! Along with dates, honey and a maple syrup drizzle it tasted good too!

Pastor Jared was glad enough to take a photo with Caleb at a potluck event at the church called Kill It and Grill It. Not so sure Caleb felt the same about the photo but he had a lot of fun at the event, we got to taste things like raccoon BBQ, squirrel dumplings, pheasant dumplings and more! Caleb really liked the deer. What a cool event that we would not have gone to if it were not for God’s deliverance for Caleb. May God bless Pastor Jared, his wife and children with an abundance of His Spirit, Power and Might in Jesus’ name.

We are on our way out. We have left allergies behind and in Jesus name we will leave all sensitivities behind too. I continue to claim perfectly beautiful poop as God intended for my son to have at the beginning in Jesus’ name. God fights for my son. He sees inside Caleb’s body. He knows what my son’s body needs. I listen for His answers to prayer. He leads me to friends, to doctors, to therapists and to pastors, He leads me where we need to go. He is the Good Shepherd.

Hallelujah.

My body has been blessed as well. I don’t even have to wash my face and my skin is still clear and beautiful. I have naturally regular cycles for the first time in my life and the debilitating painful menstrual cycles are gone. If I eat too many potatoes the pain and the acne start to come back. These are clues, my body talking to me that my health too is found in a big way through anaerobic fermented food. I have faith that I will be able to conceive again, naturally this time and this time I will be ready. I will be drinking kefir every day and consuming fermented foods every regular meal , Lord-willing. I will bless and honor my body with the food it eats and the bodies of my children with God-honoring foods.

God didn’t just lead me to fermented foods, He led me to Him, He led me to perfectly matched Christian friends and He provided amazing medical professionals to support Caleb’s body with therapy and sound advice. We are made up of body, mind and spirit. I truly believe that we cannot attain true health without the Holy Spirit ruling supreme over our members physical, mental and spiritual. In Christ we are truly balanced. In Him we can truly thrive. My pastor in Alaska taught last summer that we reflect God not only with our physical image but also in that we are tri-part beings made up of the physical, the mind (emotion, imagination and intellect) and the spirit. He taught that it was important for our physical bodies and our minds to come under the authority of the Holy Ghost in order to fulfill God’s plans for us. For Caleb and I, I feel like God’s plan on our lives includes a requirement for a healthy body and a healthy mind under that leadership of the Holy Spirit. For example, my infertility was directly getting in the way of God’s calling on my life to be a mother but I now know that what I eat has a lot to do with how fertile I am! I strongly feel that Caleb and I are called to be as healthy as we possibly can mentally, physically and spiritually as an act of worship toward the One Who gave us life and our body to begin with.

How can God help you today? What are you facing that He can set you free from? He may do it miraculously all at once at the altar…or He may tell you to make a new friend and to try a fermentation system in addition to prayer like he did for me. However it may look like for you, trust Him. Seek Him. Cry out to Him. Bless Him.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11

“But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.” Isaiah 49:25

Caleb enjoying some food while running errands with mom. Freedom!

References:
1. Songwriters: Jeremy Bose / Tiffany Arbuckle Lee

2. Read Kathleen’s (Pickl-It Founder) Story here:

part 1:
https://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapy-soup/2011/10/autism-schizophrenia-and-nutrition-heartbreak-hope/

part 2:
https://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapy-soup/2011/10/autism-schizophrenia-and-nutrition-ants-in-my-brain/

Part 3:
https://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapy-soup/2011/10/autism-schizophrenia-and-nutrition-a-child-thrives/

Part 4:
https://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapy-soup/2011/10/autism-schizophrenia-and-nutrition-an-expert-agrees/

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Great and Hidden Things

I desire only for compassion, love and grace toward every medical professional we have worked with. They were each trying their best for Caleb I hope and I do not want even a hint of bitterness, slander, or unforgiveness to be in my heart or words.

The Generations

In 1936 a baby girl was born in Illinois. Baby thankfully was able to breastfeed because unfortunately for her three siblings mother’s milk was deemed to be “poisonous”.

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Baby bottle from the 1930s. (1)

In 1959 the baby girl from Illinois gave birth to her firstborn in Oklahoma, also a girl. She cried continuously and just wouldn’t sleep. Extreme sleep deprivation set in as baby girl began to starve and finally the doctor discovered that mom didn’t have the milk for baby girl to nurse. Since mother had issues with milk production (her 5 following children were put on formula straightaway) no further investigation was made to see if there were any other underlying factors contributing to the infant’s inability to thrive on the breast.

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“By 1950 over half of all babies in the U.S. were on evaporated milk”…! (2)

By the 1940s formula companies had successfully influenced pediatricians to recommend their products through direct advertising (3). The widespread decline in breastfeeding culminated with breastfeeding commonly being considered unclean in the 1950s and ’60s. In 1959 formula companies began providing formula to hospitals and pediatricians as part of their marketing strategy in order to gain endorsement. (2After taking a hit from organized efforts to save breastfeeding (such as the Nestlé boycott of 1977), formula companies began directly advertising to the public in 1988. (2,3)

In 1986 the baby girl from Oklahoma had grown and gave birth to her firstborn in New Mexico. This baby girl was able to breastfeed, but she screamed…a LOT. Colic nearly drove her parents mad for 9 grueling months, the entirety of her breastfed experience. When babysat she would refuse to eat even if it were an entire day, screaming and starving herself until mom got back. With solids she would eat and then vomit over and over. This little one had tongue thrust and into adulthood she frequently swallowed water “down the wrong tube” resulting in coughing fits as a result. Worst of all her husband had to frantically do the Heimlich on her during her third trimester because her swallowing issues caused her to start choking on a piece of steak. Thankfully her baby had already flipped during this very scary experience and even more thankfully the Heimlich maneuver worked!

Between the 1980s and 2015 babies continued to be born with everything from needing formula supplementation to help with weight, to colic, to slow eating, gaps between the two top teeth as toddlers, food pickiness, recurring ear infections and ergo recurring antibiotics, ear tubes, speech therapy needs, anxiety, mouth breathing at night, and plenty of orthodontic needs.

Then in 2016 a baby boy was born. He had had jaundice and barely avoided supplementation even with feeding every 2 hours. He was sent home with an SNS by labor and delivery nurses because of the difficulty mom and baby were presenting with nursing. He also presented with low oxygen saturation which landed him in the PICU at just a week old. After 2 rounds of antibiotics this full-term baby was diagnosed with “apnea of prematurity”. He quickly fell asleep on the breast and off the breast his sleeping deteriorated to only a matter of minutes, if he didn’t wake right upon being put down. His mother was sent to wound care by a pediatrician for her torn up breast and was instructed to dress her wounds between feedings…except baby would not even sleep long enough for mom to eat or even go to the bathroom! Mom also had chronic plugged ducts and experienced mastitis twice. Mom did find that lying on her back helped with feedings. In addition to the physical trauma on one breast the other side for mom was always creased after feedings. Baby started having watery green stools in addition to periodic projectile vomiting. Extreme sleep deprivation in both mom and baby began to set in and mom began to become unemotional toward her own baby as he kept on crying and not sleeping. Mom resorted to rocking him for hours on the birth ball. Once asleep he would roll to his side scratching and sucking at the walls of his bassinet. Baby grew animalistic during skin to skin, scratching and grasping at the breast. Finally mom realized that what she was going through was not simply the trenches of new motherhood but rather a form of oppression. The multiple doctor visits already had yielded no help and so mom cried out to God for their deliverance. God helped mom figure out that her baby was cutting off his milk supply by pinching her nipple shut (chomping vs sucking) and to get him enough milk as well as to heal her physical trauma mom stopped nursing altogether at 6 weeks. When she started pumping mom barely produced anything and had to supplement in order to keep up with her baby’s hunger (mom’s low supply gave way to an ample supply with regular pumping). With a satiated tummy baby finally started sleeping but he would choke and audibly struggle to breathe all the while. He also “chirped” in his sleep and even snored and whistled sometimes. The bottle feeding honeymoon was short lived because of huge burps, prolonged screaming, excessive leaking milk out of his mouth and the continued projectile vomiting along with choking and gagging. Baby was diagnosed with a “high arched palate” and put in therapy for feeding. His oxygen, sleeping and feeding problems continued. At around 2 1/2 months mom did find the oxygen improved drastically if he was laid on his tummy, however because of SIDS risk a pediatrician advised she continue to lay him on his back even though his airways were struggling to remain open in this position. Baby was diagnosed with silent reflux which resulted in pediatricians advising for his mattress and changing table to be elevated on one side and he was put on omeprazole. He even received a referral for a medical sleeping wedge. Solids went from exciting to gagging, vomiting and aversions to the spoon or food.

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This special needs bottle was the only bottle Caleb could thrive with, otherwise a dish towel had to be wrapped around his neck to soak up the milk that leaked from his mouth and he would scream for hours. God provided these at a pharmacy. They made a mistake and made me pick-up instead of deliver his first refill of oxygen monitoring supplies and viola there was a basket of these bottles ON CLEARANCE! Praise the Lord.

After a series of swallow-study x-rays, upper gi x-rays, a “fluff-to-make-mom-feel-better- x-ray” and a birth x-ray mom really wanted to try to avoid anymore invasive diagnostics…not to mention all the antibiotics, rx caffeine and omeprazole (a proton pump inhibitor) baby had been put on. God had already protected Caleb by providentially securing his medical grade oxygen monitor which had alerted mom to his choking in his sleep (the post Caleb Gabriel tells how this started with winning an Instagram contest) and from being put under to have a camera stuck down his throat by healing his 02 issues and showing mom about his allergies before the doctors (see post Red Lips). Still, with the continued feeding problems mom knew something was there, something elusive, something that none of the doctors, therapists or the lactation consultant were catching. The doctors seemed to favor the theory of it all being neurological, they had even thought the oxygen saturation issues were too…and neurological problems means generational anesthesia and an MRI after the other invasive diagnostics have ruled things out, including being put under for scopes and then all the x-rays and meds and allergy testing we had already started. Mom knew that this path of medical testing was not working, it was not catching the problem, she knew in her heart it was just damaging her baby further.

The Cry

In May 2017 I shared a photo of Caleb’s tongue thrust with prayer partners and asked them to pray for God to show me what was causing it. On May 26, 2017 a prayer partner for Caleb sent me the same image with Jeremiah 33:3 inscribed upon it. What a prophetic word! image1

God had placed that feeling in my heart that there was a root to the problems. Then I was sent that verse. In July I took these things to the mat and grappled in prayer, asking over and over “Lord please open my eyes and help me see, show me that which is hidden!” I could feel it, there was something there, something in the dark that I could not see!

After months of pediatric specialists, therapists, x-rays, medications and more God did tell me great and hidden things…things that I had not known, that my mother, grandmother and great grandmother had not known…almost a hundred years of not knowing. The suffering had come to a head with Caleb and it took an all-out fight in the spirit realm for the light to shine on that which was hidden, but God did shine the light, and now I see. I cannot thank or praise God enough for delivering Caleb from the damaging circus of medical diagnostics and medications, and for showing me what had wreaked so much oppression in our lives.

The Answer

Finally on July 23, 2017 as I was searching for answers in a Facebook forum another mom mentioned I should look into ankyloglossia. I had already been told by the lactation consultant months prior that Caleb did not have ankyloglossia and Caleb’s feeding therapist had reiterated this stating that Caleb could stick out his tongue so I kind of shrugged it off but politely replied by saying thank you for the suggestion and that I would look into it. I didn’t really intend to make a point of remembering to research it since I felt like the medical professionals we had seen had already evaluated that possibility it for us…But then the Holy Spirit deeply convicted me. I would be lying if I did not keep my word and look into it, and in a timely manner! In order to not be guilty of dishonesty I did a quick Google search that very moment and what I found made my mouth drop – literally. A blog with the symptoms of ankyloglossia that felt like a book about what Caleb and I had gone through.

Tongue Tie

Turns out Caleb was both tongue tied and lip tied! After a few days of research I starting wondering about myself…so I decided to check my tongue in the mirror, I couldn’t believe it, I am also tongue and lip tied! Then I asked my mom to show me her tongue, she is tongue and lip tied! The truth is out, no more tongue tie torture for mothers and babies in my bloodline! With awe and amazement I thank God Who so graciously helped me see. I am so eternally thankful to the Holy Spirit Who kept me at it, He helped me wrestle that answer out of darkness into the Light! Goliath fell in the Name of the Lord God Almighty for David and he can fall for us too in that same Mighty and Holy Name.

To God be the eternal glory, honor and praise. Amen.

Stay tuned for my next post which shares how it was possible for Caleb’s ties to have been missed even though we frequently visited many pediatricians, pediatric specialists, therapists, and more.

Footnote:
To finally get the answer it took an act of staying true to my word to the other mom on Facebook even when I wasn’t motivated to make it a priority. This is interesting because when trying to get pregnant I sought a referral to the only local reproductive endocrinologist on the grounds that I wanted to find the root cause of my infertility. When I got to her office and realized she intended try to get me pregnant with hormone manipulation versus uncovering and fixing the root cause of my hormone imbalance I decided to stay the course (and I am forever thankful for her hard work, night and weekends literally for us!). However, this ended up being dishonesty because I had told the referring doctor that I wanted to find the root cause, even if it meant I had to leave the state to see an in-network provider. I was given a rare referral to an out of network provider. If I had decided to stay true to my word even when tempted not to and search out a doctor that would help me find the root then tongue tie may not have even manifested in my child because of its link to nutrition. Our journey with antibiotics etc. which resulted in Caleb’s gut issues certainly would have been very different because I now know that much of the same opportunistic overgrowth (which is caused by overuse of antibiotics and the poor nutrition provided by the standard american diet) was at the root of my infertility.

References:
1. https://goo.gl/images/iUZNoL
2. A History of Baby Formula – How Emergency Baby Food Became an Everyday Meal For Babies In America
http://domesticgeekgirl.com/uncategorized/history-baby-formula-emergency-baby-food-became-everyday-meal-babies-america/
3. A History of Infant Feeding
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articlecs/PMC2684040/
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Bagworms

Growing up in a fruit and nut orchard I spent my time barefoot in the trees, playing in the irrigation water and eating fresh fruit right off the branch. One year a large, old black-walnut tree near our house got infected with bagworms. The worms wove silky-spider-webby-like bags all over the tree and my dad had to take action. If he didn’t then the worms would spread and soon he wouldn’t just have one infected tree he would have a whole orchard and then the next door neighbors would have a problem too. To kill the worms my dad carefully maneuvered the ladder and a wand of fire to burn away each worm bag. It was a bit dangerous and precarious but he had to do it to save the tree and contend for the health of his entire orchard and the orchards around us. Much of cultivation requires nurturing through watering and pruning but when an enemy shows up you have to fight for life and health. Cultivation requires, at times, contention.

In Psalm 139:16 God tells us that before there was even one of them that God ordained each and every one of our days in a book, set apart, holy unto God. From the very beginning, even our first day in utero is holy unto God and God has a plan and a desire for every one of our days no matter how small, how big or how old we are. What does the scriptures tell us about these plans? That they are for our welfare and for our good (Jeremiah 29:11), that every good gift comes from God (James 1:17). God is good period. He does not plan for bad things to happen to us or those we love at any stage of development. However, we need to be aware that God isn’t the only one who has plans for “our orchard”. Just like the bagworms tried to set-in and launched an attack against my dad’s orchard, Satan will launch attacks directly at our ability to fulfill our God-given destiny (both our big life destinies and our destinies of season or a position as a child or as a wife for example). The enemy’s whole focus and agenda is to steal, kill and destroy everything God has a destiny for our children, even babies and more. The enemy doesn’t have a “they are too cute” or “they are too innocent” off-limit line, he will go anywhere a legal foothold is provided to him and do whatever he can to thwart the plans of God in our lives and He won’t wait until we are old enough to know it. That is where the role of a parent moves from the nurturing aspect of cultivation to the contention aspect. We create footholds in our children’s lives either for the Holy Spirit to flourish or for the evil one to set up a stronghold. To cultivate God-given destinies we must contend in prayer, word and deed for ourselves and for our children. When God gives us a glimpse of his destiny for our children or for our own lives whether it be through a prophetic word, a life-verse that jumps out at you in scripture, a God-given passion, however He communicates it we need to hang on to it. We need to write it down. We need to carry it around. We need to remind ourselves about it when things seem to be going awry. We need to speak it over our children, be intentional about cultivating it, and bring it up in prayer over and over again. If God has spoken it we can push for it in prayer, it is His promise for our child. We can push and push in prayer until every stronghold that is in the way is destroyed…and there will be obstacles. We need to pray and ask God to show us where the enemy has legal rights/footholds. Whether we are facing a generational fortress of darkness or a toe foothold we, as followers of Christ, have this promise: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5” God has given us every weapon we need to destroy every “bagworm” in our walnut tree. Even if those bagworms have already spread and have already infested our orchard or the orchards of family members or even generations of family members….OUR GOD IS BIGGER!

I always knew since I was a little girl that I was going to be a mom someday. I now realize that becoming a mom wasn’t just a desire of mine or simply a choice or a preference for me to make, no it was part of my God-given destiny, to cultivate children in the fear of the Lord. This became particularly important for me to realize when after the traumatic newborn phase due to tongue tie I never wanted to have children again. I knew though that what I had just gone through was not from God, it was not good. I also knew that God had given me the desire to have kids so I started praying immediately upon having this realization and asking God to heal me from the trauma and to help me want to have kids again. I was contending for my God-given destiny to motherhood! God did heal me within a few short weeks which is miraculous given the fact that we were still struggling, just not as bad. God wants me to be a mom and the enemy will try to take that desire away.

I didn’t realize that for years I was contending for my God-given motherhood destiny. When my husband and I got married in 2006 I would always talk about “when we have kids” so much so that it led one lady to comment as to why we just didn’t have kids yet. In 2010 we started trying to have kids. We kept on trying in 2011, in 2012, in 2013, in 2014, in 2015 and in 2016…something was clearly wrong. Along the way it was tempting to just let my heart become hardened against the desire to have biological children in order to protect myself from the cruel and unusual emotional roller coaster of hope and heart break that is infertility. I am so thankful that during my journey more than one woman told me to remember that God had given me that desire to become a mother. This gave me strength to keep on trying and most importantly to keep on praying. Finally in 2016 God called me to do a fast starting out with 24 dry, 24-48 hour water only then 21 day juice. Around this time a friend of mine on the prayer team named Laverne had an anointing from God to pray over someone who had a request of prayer for the desire of their heart. I remember that prayer meeting, I was all of a sudden in a surprise and sudden battle for my destiny. On one shoulder thoughts like “oh you have prayed for this so many times at the altar with so many godly women, cried so many tears, you have reached a place of peace and contentment (see my blog post 5 years), is it really worth making a big deal about again today?” On the other hand I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to raise my hand for prayer. I raised my hand. I was contending for my destiny and I listened to God, hallelujah! After the prayer meeting disbanded two of the women took me aside for further prayer. One laid her hands on my womb and was led by the Holy Spirit to sing a song in tongues over my body and I now realize over my destiny. Susie at the same time was given a vision from God of me and my husband playing with a baby boy. Just a short time later and after years of trying my husband and I conceived…our joy and delight, our baby boy Caleb! Incredible! A prophetic vision and a miraculous conception! I also now realize that the fast God called me to was part of the contention for my destiny. Through my experience with Caleb I have found out that the root cause of my infertility is due to a leaky gut and all of the overgrowth of gross things like Candida (a fungus) that go with that. God knew this. I do not believe it was coincidental at all that He called me to do a detox fast right before getting pregnant! Not only did this fast help me conceive but it helped me keep my pregnancy as high toxic load (again linked to leaky gut) has been linked to miscarriage. My heart was so fragile after all of the infertility heart break already and God protected me from the shattering affect a miscarriage would have had on my heart. The fast God called me to do was not easy either. Contention is not easy. It was not easy for my dad to carefully balance himself on a ladder and burn out each bag of worms from the tree in the hot New Mexican summer but he did it. I faced cravings for food to feed the candida etc. that were so vivid and so hard to resist that I thought I would go crazy. It took a lot of determination to obey God and to cry out to him for help to get through that fast. Contention for my destiny through prayer and not letting my God-given dream die led to fasting, led to divine appointments, led to spiritual songs and prophetic visions and to a stronghold that was destroyed enough that it led me to get me pregnant and to a delightful baby boy! Hallelujah! I am now preparing to destroy that generational fortress out of my life all the way, in Jesus name.

Just a few hours before I went into labor God gave me a “jump-out-at-you” Bible verse promise for my labor and delivery: “…I will contend with the one who contends with you, and I will save your children. Isaiah 49:25b”. Less than 24 hours later my baby wasn’t breathing and was being intubated a second time by the ER doctor since the first intubation had failed by the labor and delivery team. God’s promise to me from the night before about saving my children had seemed a bit strange then but all of a sudden I knew this was a promise from God and in that moment it was what I hung on to and it gave me the strength and the faith to contend like I have never contended before in front of God and man in that delivery room. Crying out to God for what seemed like an eternity in front of everyone I prayed earnestly, I cried, I sang, I fought and I stood firm and my baby BREATHED….HALLELULAH (see my blog post Caleb Gabriel). The ER doctor came and saw us the next day and told me he really believed my prayers were the reason my little one had life. God gave me a scripture promise and a song, He gave me tools for the battle that He knew was just around the corner. God has prophetic words for our children all the time for us to use against every bag in every tree in our stewardship. We need to seek close relationship with Him for them and we need to herald them in battle. If the Word of the Lord has spoken it then we need to realize with the fear of God that we are accountable to it and can stand firm in it. It doesn’t mean the fight will be easy, there will be precarious moments but we have to stand firm.

I am still fighting for my son’s God-given destinies. We are up against generational curses related to tongue-tie, candida overgrowth/leaky gut, etc. This fortress is big and it is hard. My life and the fight against the “bagworms” would be a lot easier if I had heeded the Word of God and refrained from giving Caleb omeprazole but it doesn’t mean we are defeated. I did lay “lifeless” on the battlefield, frozen by my broken heart for a time after I realized the scope of the consequences from me discarding the warning of God, but I can stand up again and fight cause the grace of God is part of my heritage as a daughter of God. Grace. So it is not easy, we are still fighting the “bagworms” and I have realized that this “bagworm” infestation is so much bigger than “my orchard”, but we have the victory in Christ Jesus, even if we are surrounded by worms we have the victory. So just like I kept on contending for my destiny to become a mother and just like I kept on contending for my son’s life in the delivery room, and just like I kept on contending for my son’s oxygen which God gave him at 12 weeks of age (hallelujah, see my blog post Red Lips)…just like those and many other times I will keep on getting up and bearing the name and the word of the Lord in battle. Sometimes when I “get hit” in battle I feel like just lying there and crying and sometimes I do just lay there and cry for a bit, but my goal is to get up faster each time because to wallow in despair and discouragement is to wallow in agreement with the enemy. To sacrificially praise God in all circumstances is to agree with God. God deserves my praise no matter what and praise is a weapon of victory in and of itself!

I will praise Him and I will agree with Him that my son’s life, my son’s body, my son’s mouth, throat, stomach and bowels will be a living testimony of:

Jehovah Rapha, The God Who Heals Caleb
of Jehova Nissi, The God Whose Banner over Caleb is Love
of El Roi, The God Who Sees Caleb inside and out
of Jehova Jireh, The God Who Provides for Caleb
of El Shaddai, the All-Sufficent One

That will be and is my son, a living testimony. I am striving to cultivate, in the fear of the Lord, a living testimony of the Lord God Almighty. I am rearing a holy image of God and I am pressing in for my son’s physical body to not only reflect a Good God’s physical image but for his mind, heart and soul to reflect the same Good God, in Jesus’ name.

“Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant,
And Israel whom I have chosen.
 Thus says the Lord who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;
They will spring up among the grass
Like willows by the watercourses.’”

Isaiah 44:1-4

Dayenu

One of the most encouraging and most beautiful blogs that I have ever read is called “It Would Have Been Enough” by Nichole Sawatzky. In it she explains that the Hebrew passover song “Dayenu” declares that it would have been enough even if God had just parted the red sea, or just fed the Israelites manna and nothing more. Each miracle, each provision, each manifestation of His presence during the Exodus into the nation’s God-given destiny was a gift that would have been enough to greatly and deeply praise the Almighty King of the universe even if that was it!

I would like to make my own version of Dayenu:

If He had just healed my broken heart of infertility,
and not allowed me to conceive
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had just allowed me to conceive and to feel the precious kicks of my little one,
and not allowed me to hear my little one cry
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had just allowed my little one to breathe,
and not given me an Owlet Oxygen monitor through an Instagram contest
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had just alerted me to the problem with my newborn’s oxygen saturation which saved his life more than once,
and not led me to discover that my newborn was on the brink of starving
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If he had just helped me find out my newborn was hungry and not getting enough milk,
and not provided the special needs bottle Caleb needed to eat without hours of screaming
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had just led me to the special needs bottle Caleb needed to thrive,
and not warned me against giving my newborn wheat cereal in his bottle as advised
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had just warned me not to give my son wheat cereal in his bottles,
and not told me my son had food allergies before the doctors caught on
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had just revealed to me that my son had developed food allergies before the doctors caught on,
and not healed his oxygen saturation levels

–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had just healed my son’s oxygen levels without invasive medical care after 12 long weeks,
and not revealed to me the generational root to his feeding difficulties

–Dayenu, it would have been enough

If He had just revealed to me the root of our feeding difficulties known as tongue tie,
and not warned me against giving Caleb Omeprazole
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had just stopped at the warning me about the omeprazole when I decided to listen to the doctors instead,
and not led me to a diet that can deeply nourish in spite of and even reverse the scope of food reactions that resulted
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had just led me to the healing and nourishing diet plan,
and not helped me get Caleb back on my breastmilk even with doctors saying it would be like winning the lottery
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had just shown me what to eat so Caleb could drink breastmilk again,
and not provided me with a hospital grade pump

–Dayenu, it would have been enough

If He had just provided me with a free hospital grade breast pump even when no place would take my insurance referral,
and not helped me find the support group I did for Caleb’s healing journey
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If he had just led me to the support group,
and not provided a doctor who takes our insurance and knows how to help Caleb
 –Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If he had just led me to the doctor who understands what is going on in Caleb’s body,
and not shown me the root cause of my infertility at the same time then
–Dayenu, it would have been enough!

And Dayenu continues forever and ever. God’s wonderful miracles and works of provision deserve all of our attention and glory in continual praise. He is the master of the universe, time, and space;  how great and mighty is He that He takes such detailed care for each of us, Who loves us and speaks plans that are good for us. Let us press in to our Good Good Father and contend in prayer for everything He bought for us and for our children on the cross. Let us not forget one of His benefits.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
The Lord performs righteous deeds
And judgments for all who are oppressed.

Psalm 103:2-6