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God’s Authority for this “Mom-Entreprenuer “

Today, so far, I have had to have two awkward conversations in order to keep my commitment to keep my son as a priority. I had to cancel a health coaching appointment for the second time knowing that I may not get this client to stay with me as a result…and I had to withdraw my spot from a free class on how to open a restaurant business…Even when we are in a season financially where one would think making money should be at the top of my list…I have to force myself to trust God and allow Him to keep me in proper alignment with His will for me as my son’s mom…THEN He will bless me. THEN He will take care of me. I actively resist myself. I say no to “self-support” and YES to “God-support”.

None of this is comfortable, none of this agrees with my pride, but my son is worth more than my pride. My submission to God’s authority is worth more than my way. I will allow what feels like a loss to happen in my life in order to gain that which is more important: a son whose mom makes him a priority.

“Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.

It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.”

Psalm 127:1-3

I will choose to remain open to God having the supreme voice in my life to call me out when I need to be called out. I prefer to be put in my proper place by God so that HE can be the Gardner in my life, so that HE can be the one that cultivates the fruit in my life.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
James 1:17

I want God to put me in my place because I want to be where He is. He is the prize. His fruit is so beautiful, the fruit of the Spirit. I truly want to bear His fruit in my heart, in my mind and in my life.

I want to actively abide in His presence – as a mother, as His daughter, as His friend and as His bondservant. At every moment and in every aspect of my life my prayer is for God to constantly be bringing me into proper alignment with Him so that I can enjoy Him and His presence and so that He can bless me. It is much better to be blessed by God than to be trying to live on our own merit, strength or faulty thought patterns.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5


*There are cases in life where God calls us to walk away even from our children, for example when I left an abusive situation I put at risk my ability to be my son’s mom everyday. However, I know God told me to walk away…God cares about my health too and wants me to put my health as a priority. I would like to be around for a long time as a shining light and a model of Jesus (by His grace) for my children, grandchildren and Lord willing great grandchildren…and part of that light is modeling not allowing myself to be abused. Additionally, when someone is abused their physical and mental health are detrimentally impacted…if I do want to take steps to live long for my children then walking away must become something I do, for them and for me. It is a lie from the enemy to say that I am being selfish by getting away from an abusive relationship, my son needed me to get away. Children may follow the same pattern and allow themselves to be abused if they grow up in that cycle. God will take care of my son even when I can’t, He will take care of my son even after He has grown and flown the nest. God will take care of Him more than I can because my son belongs to God…I am but a steward. 

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Genesis 50:20

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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 an ultra-marathoner. That means He has ran 100 mile races and is still currently at age 59 training for a 50 miler next year. When he does an ultra-marathon he can not literally run the entirety at once. He has 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

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Remember How Beautiful You Are

I want to be beautiful…for my future husband and for God. So when God called me this year into being a eunuch for Him for seven years I have been really struggling with something…with my desire to be beautiful for my husband. I will have lost all of my “most beautiful years” according to the world’s standard of beauty and aging before I even marry the man that the Lord has destined for me to marry….and my heart is truly broken over this loss of my “most beautiful years”. I am asking the Lord for me to still be so beautiful for my husband when I become his and for me to not follow the “normal” aging process of this day and age. When the Lord decides it is time for my husband and I to become one I want to just take my husband’s breathe away! I want to be a gift for my husband. A gift of beauty not only in my mind and heart but with my body too! I feel like this desire for our husband as women, to be beautiful for them, is from God. Marriage is a supposed to be a picture of Christ and the church. We are waiting for our Bridegroom (Jesus) to return and in the meantime God is sanctifying us or making us beautiful. My deep desire to be beautiful for my husband I feel like is a picture of this as well.

When I first voiced my brokenness over this to God, months ago, He brought me to 1 Peter 3 which talks about true beauty being in the conduct of a wife rather than her appearance:

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands.” I Peter 3:3-5

No matter how hard I fight it someday I will not be as physically beautiful as I am today, although I will be doing everything within my might to preserve my physical beauty for my husband for as long as I can! However, true beauty is most certainly in the heart. I could be breathtaking externally and repulsive internally. I want to first and foremost be beautiful in my heart which is a beauty that will never fade.

Still, as I struggle with my heart’s desire to be physically beautiful as well God has been telling me something. He has been telling me I am beautiful! My heart so deeply desires to be beautiful for my husband, but right now I do not have a husband…but I do have God and He is my stand-in husband during this time of singleness. Several times in the Old Testament God refers to Himself as being a husband to His people. Whether you are single or not, if you have a relationship with God, rest assured He wants to have a tender, intimate relationship with you and He wants to make you beautiful with His Spirit and with His word.

I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

God telling me I am beautiful has been restorative because for the last few years I have felt anything but beautiful. I have felt violated and stripped. I literally felt physically ugly. Finding out how fungus overgrowth had led to a body that was not fertile made me feel so gross physically inside too, that plus the extremely limited diet which led to hypothyroidism and fatigue, limited time for self-care and more things than I’d like to remember…I just felt ugly. I felt gross…and I felt stripped. The journey had revealed to me how I couldn’t eat bread, I couldn’t eat potatoes, I couldn’t eat sugar without breaking out in acne, experience extremely painful periods and not being able to have babies. My cultural heritage felt stripped away as I had to accept the fact that I might never eat a tamale ever again, or indulge in a sopapilla. I felt like the last part of my culture was being stripped away as I had left home years ago and no longer was physically present where mariachi music can be found on the airways or where I hear my dad speaking in Spanish even though I don’t really understand much of what he is saying to me. I just felt stripped. I had stopped wearing makeup because I didn’t want to get anything into my body that could somehow affect my son’s milk since he was so extremely sensitive. I stopped wearing my contacts because I was up around the clock pumping and making food from scratch. I just stopped…I stopped feeling beautiful. I was feverishly fighting for my son and beauty didn’t really have a place in my life. Other emotionally draining situations in my life further destroyed any sense of beauty that I had left. I felt like nothing but God was left for me to stand on, He was my Rock and my Fortress, but I felt stripped of everything but my Rock and I felt like there was no hope or reason for ever trying to be beautiful physically ever again.

Have you ever felt that way?

Our God can restore what has been taken from You. He can restore our sense of beauty. Zephaniah 3:17 says that God sings over us with loud singing and quiets us with His love. Let Him quiet you today with His love and let Him tell you that you are beautiful. We must receive this from Him. We can either keep our walls of lies up saying there is no reason to even try to be beautiful anymore or we can listen to our Bridegroom’s love song.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Recently a friend came over for lunch and on the way she bought the cutest little bouquet of flowers for me with a note that read “Just a reminder of how beautiful you are!”. This was so encouraging. Just like God sings over us with His love we can “sing” over one another with compliments of love too. I have been ministered to with compliments recently and it has been amazing how restorative they are. Compliments from friends, from fellow church members and even from complete strangers! Yesterday at Goodwill I was at the checkout and the cashier told me how beautiful my hair was. This was so nice of her, and timely because I had seen a picture of a friend’s daughter on Facebook whose hair had been professionally done and really was so beautiful. I had started to feel like my naturally wavy hair wasn’t all that great and then this cashier just genuinely told me what she was thinking in her mind. I think we need to start doing more of that. If we think another lady’s hair or face or outfit or whatever looks nice, tell her! I think we assume that since we can see how beautiful she is that she must be aware of it herself, but this is not always true!

I recently went on a trip to Alaska. several people took the time to tell me how beautiful I am and a  week later as I sat on my therapist’s couch my therapist told me how beautiful I am and I could tell she was heart-felt in her expression as well. As I went to the car after therapy that day I sat there for a moment and thanked God for these people who took a moment to tell me how beautiful I am. As I drove away from my therapist’s work that day, feeling beautifully encouraged and beautifully restored a song came on the Christian radio station saying “you are beautiful” over and over again. I felt like God was telling me He finds me to be beautiful too, just like that man at church and just like my therapist. I paused and I took a picture at the stop light, but I’m not going to share that picture here because that picture, that specific moment was between me and God. I don’t have to tell people which picture of me that was. I don’t have to herald it as proof of the moment. God and I have intimate moments, where He can tell me I am beautiful and it means the world to me but that moment doesn’t belong to the world. It belongs to me and Him.

I have actually felt convicted about this as I have take a few selfies where I felt I looked extra-beautiful in that moment and then posted them as my public profile picture. I just felt like in particular a few of these photos were so beautiful that they needed to belong only for the eyes of my future husband and for God so I actually went back recently and deleted the photos I felt this way about.

I started this blog out posting about how I want to be beautiful for two men – for God (Yes, I know He is technically not a man) and for my husband (who I will not be joined with for some time)…but I don’t want to just be beautiful for them I want to honor them. I want to honor them with my beauty and to steward the measure of beauty that God has entrusted to me in a way that honors my husband and honors my God. Even though my husband is not my husband right now, he is still my husband, just not yet…and I can still honor him with how I steward my beauty right now. Someday when I am married I will be able to unleash my beauty upon my husband during those intimate moments that do not belong to the world, but until that day comes I need to tend to it in a way that is holy and pure. Will I sometimes miss the mark as I make the decision to post a photo and later regret it, probably, but I will be trying my best to be holy, pure and honorable while at the same time contending for my beauty by doing all that I can to be beautiful for my husband when we are made one, and for my God both now and forever.

In the end any beauty we have is a gift from God and for God and His glory. May He be glorified and honored in any measure of beauty that He gives me grace to have. Honestly, I feel like God wants to help me to be beautiful for my husband too! I feel like He wants me to honor Him and my husband by taking care of the gift of beauty that God has entrusted me with. We each have been given a measure of a variety of things and we are called to be stewards of that measure. Do things happen that are beyond our control? Absolutely. Do we live in a fallen world? Absolutely. But to not take care of what God has given us with excellence is to treat lightly that which was a gift from the Lord Himself.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
“Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.”
I Corinthians 6:19-20 AMPC

So beautiful, remember Whose glorious and gorgeous image you bear today and let Him beautify your heart, your mind and your body for His glory…Remember how beautiful you are!

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Have More Fun

What is one of the best medicines to reduce stress? Having more fun.

God recently took extreme measures to council me in this area. I have recently felt the need to be a “super mom times ten million” given some life circumstances that have left me as a single mom who would love to be able to stay at home with my son still*, but also am having to face the reality of provision for my son and I. God refers to Himself several times throughout scripture as being a “Husband to his people”. I have sought for Him to be as a Husband for me to help me provide for my son while also making my son’s life and well being as blessed and as healthy as possible. Unfortunately I was allowing myself to let the pressure for provision to override everything else. If I am staying at home with my son, but am putting all that pressure on myself we are not going to win at this thing called life. I cannot do it all myself. I need God’s help and I also need the help of my community (not as in financial assistance, but as in me relying on help, for example God has provided someone who can watch my son and who is willing to let me pay her with things such as Well Beyond healthy chocolate that I already own). Throughout this time I have been hearing God talk to me about the importance of having fun and the importance of cultivating relationships, but I wasn’t really practicing it. While I could hear him I just felt too overwhelmed with my health coach certifications, my online teaching, my to-do list for getting my sourdough business going and just life in general which is a lot when taking care of a toddler (that alone feels like a full time job sometimes)! I also found myself neglecting friendships God has provided for me, neglecting fun time and play dates as I was trying to do too much at once.

Building takes time, I can’t build a new life over night. I have to surrender to the process, the time it takes to build. To lay the foundation and to lay one brick at time. If I focus just on my to-do list then the most important parts of life get missed. My relationships with my family, my son, my friends, myself and with God. A big part of having relationships is having fun. So what were those extreme measures God took to get through to me? Well He stopped just talking to me and took action. I ended up in a position where I had a plane ticket to Albuquerque, New Mexico for some appointments…and they all got cancelled at the last minute. I had not paid insurance for the ticket. I was really tempted to pay the $200 transfer fee but the Lord had brought me to a verse about a time of refreshing in the wilderness. When I read it I had thought, hmmm, I’m getting ready to go to the wilderness (NM is most certainly a wilderness compared to where I am — at least in the valleys!). Because of that verse I got on the plane. I ended up landing in NM on grandparents day. I got a rental, drove over 3 hours from the airport to where my family lives (which I would not have originally gone down to see them with the appointments) and I got to see my grandma on grandparents day! What a huge blessing! I got to have fun with my family and visit with them and tell them I love them. It was a beautiful time. What did we do? We had fun! Everyone piled into cars at the last minute and we drove out for a beautiful sunset evening of play. It was so beautiful and it was so fun at the same time!

It was such a tender gesture of love from God. He also gave me the desire of my heart for a fresh fig (which I hadn’t had in 12 years). He showed me how important it is in His eyes for me to see my family and to cultivate relationships with them. I hadn’t seen my grandma in over 3 years! He ministered to me during this stressful time in my life by letting me just have fun for an evening with my family.

When I got on the plane I thought I was going to have to pay for the plane ticket since the appointments were cancelled late Friday. After I got back from my quick trip, later that week I got a call from the non-profit that was going to reimburse my travel and they said that although it was a bit of a gray area, that because I did not have control over the last minute cancellation that they were still going to reimburse the cost of my ticket!! ❤ God gave me a free flight home!!!! He is so good.

Before I knew that I would be reimbursed the Lord spoke to me. I drove over 3 hours and 24 hours later I drove over 3 hours again, plus the money. But, He counseled me that it was worth the time and the high price for me to let myself have fun and to cultivate important relationships in my life. God also laid on my heart that He is willing to pay a high price to express His love toward me. Just as man buys a woman a ring to secure her to himself as a wife, Jesus paid the highest price to secure me as His own on the cross. Even beyond the initial price though, God loves to lavishly love on us with gifts like this gift I had to see my family and to have fun with them. Not only is He willing to pay a high price for us, but He is also willing to go through the high  effort required to love on us, to go through any “inconvenience” like driving 3 1/2 hours when there is an airport only 90 minutes away. It says in the Song of Solomon that God is willing to leap over mountains to get to us.

“Listen! My beloved! Look! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.” Song of Solomon 2:8

Having fun is not just important for sustaining and growing our relationships with important people in our lives, but fun is important for our physical health as well. Physically, mentally and spiritually we are blessed when we have more fun. As a health coach I focus on how we can achieve health optimally in all three areas of our life. I believe we cannot really be healthy unless we are focusing on all of these areas and that they are deeply intertwined with one another. As a Christian health Coach I also believe that all three of these areas have to come under authority and balance with the Holy Spirit.

There are many physical health benefits to having fun and laughing. Dr. Sears recommends you “incorporate laughter into your daily exercise routine” (1) because the scientific evidence for how having more fun positivity impacts your body is so overwhelming. For example laughter has been scientifically proven to help bodies recover from chronic disease, to rewire brains with “happy” pathways, to relax you, and to give your body an inner workout. (1)

We don’t stop playing because we grow old;
we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw

Want a resource to help you have more fun? Check out Mandy Arioto’s (current MOPS CEO) “Have More Fun Challenge” and get an email for 5 days with a challenge for incorporating more fun into your life today.


Cultivating and honoring relationships is an important part of life and health, fun is a way God created for us to do that. Another important part of life is honoring our relationships with family and friends. Even after they have passed. Not only did I get to visit my living grandmother, but I also got to honor my deceased grandparents for grandparents day. My paternal grandmother taught me a lot about honoring those that have gone before us. She lost a son to SIDS when he was just 8 months old. For my grandmother Memorial Day wasn’t as much about the military members that had lost their lives (although they deserve honor too) but more about her baby she had lost so many years before. She brought me one time when I was a girl to visit his grave on Memorial Day and to place an arrangement at his grave. Her heart was the heart of a mother, her baby was always her baby. When my grandfather passed she would regularly wash his headstone and pull weeds from around his grave. I felt it was only appropriate for me to do the same for her on grandparents day. I love you my grandma, I will never forget you either…Just like your son was always in your heart, you will always be in mine!

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In the process of pulling the weeds that become tumbleweeds at my grandparents resting place.


* Some would think it is foolish that I am trying to be a stay at home mom and make a sustainable income but what I am doing is contending for my destiny. I have known since I was a little girl that I am supposed to be a wife and a mother. My heart has always been to be a mother, at home with my children, intentionally raising them to be men and women of God. I am fighting for my destiny and I am seeking God to help me to do that. I have faith that He will. For more on contending for our destinies read my blog post called “Bagworms“.

Naomi is incredibly blessed to be the mother of a precious lively two-year old boy and to be an adopted daughter of the Lord. She is a certified health coach with a passion for how real food, real light and really addressing the body, the mind and the spirit can lead to lasting transformation. She has personally found that the holistic approach to health plays a critical role for helping her to live a victorious life. She can help you by providing you with tools for success to reach your own health goals, to encourage you and to keep you accountable, as you move toward and lead a vibrant, healthy life! Reach out to her today for a free coaching consult and to get 10% off our first coaching session, just mention “Proclaim His Whisper” to her for your discount!

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment

Sources

  1. https://www.drsearswellnessinstitute.org/healthy-living/healthy-tips/family-stress/laughter-heals/?fbclid=IwAR1uwRnHA2Y15DMSKOm4hhwIO6L166wkdYWTYZK6yaVdJ3vit-ydIhJXTNoWe don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
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Peace

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Today I am thankful for God’s gift of peace to me. As His daughter HIS Peace is part of my heritage. It is part of what Christ won for me on the cross. HIS peace is a peace that passes all understanding. When I spend time with Him and become one with Him through the Holy Spirit His peace ministers to me even when life whirls around me.

Recently I took my eyes off of my Beloved and let the pressures of this world get to me. I felt stressed out and overwhelmed. I even began to feel like it was physically hard to breathe! Stress literally makes our blood vessels constrict and makes it harder for oxygen to freely flow throughout our body!

The Lord rescued me from myself, caught my gaze again and Has me safely wrapped up in His arms again. He is so Big and Mighty. He is Our Beloved. He is our peace in the midst of the storm. Lean on Him, release everything to Him. Delight in Him. He gave so much so You could be His and so He could be Your peace.

#GiveThanksWithAGratefulHeart

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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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Healing a Tongue Tie

Rehabilitation from tongue tie can take time. For many, true healing requires a team of people to support them at a physical, spiritual and relational level.

The Trauma

For some, one of the hardest things to heal from a tongue tie is the trauma. Between my son’s traumatic birth, the far reaching negative affects of the tongue tie on our life including his hospitalization in the PICU at 7 days of age, and all of the food reactions due to the medical damage and the resulting limited diet that my son and I have been on now for over a year I have had a pretty traumatic introduction to motherhood (I am still pumping breastmilk for him so my diet has been deeply affected as well). At first I didn’t recognize the trauma for what it was but have since been able to identify the trauma as well as some of the triggers. When my son first advanced past gagging on contact with a spoon and started gagging with food in his mouth during occupational therapy I would sometimes have to leave the room because my heart would begin to race and the fear and the panic felt like a wave hitting me out of nowhere. This was in a safe environment under the care of a therapist that helps with feeding and gagging all of the time. This is trauma. Mournful tears welling up uncontrollably just from driving by the hospital where Caleb was born a few weeks before his first birthday is trauma. My son’s first birthday was a particularly hard trigger for me because it is a natural time of reflection on everything that you and your baby experienced together during their first year and the trauma from everything that was taken from us by misguided medical and nutritional care came to head in the weeks leading up to his birthday. I have joked in passing with my son’s occupational therapist that I needed a therapist too…and I actually am getting ready to go visit a Christian counselor to help me even further as I pursue complete healing and rehabilitation in the Lord. I am really thankful that Dr. Ghaheri, an ENT that specializes in tongue tie, speaks to the emotional impact that tongue tie can have on both mothers and babies.

“Mom has an inherent instinct to nourish her child, and a disruption in that desire can have profound psychological impacts.” Dr. Bobby Ghaheri (1)

I can attest to this statement one hundred percent, not only in the context of tongue tie inhibiting the ability to breastfeed but the detrimental affect it has had on my ability to feed my son in general. Our problems transferred from the breast to the bottle and then to solids not just with gagging but picky eating and texture aversions as well. While we have a lot to be thankful for and God has been so good to us, this struggle to do the most basic thing: to nourish my son, certainly has taken a toll on me as a person and on the quality of life that our family experiences. Something as simple as sharing our regular meals together as a family has become a mountain. Praise God that we can say to that mountain move and it will move…and believe me, I am telling that mountain MOVE! in Jesus name and I know it will!

I am supposed to be able to instinctually nourish and care for my baby with my body starting in utero and then at birth with breastmilk and tongue tie has the capacity to attack a mom in this arena (remember not all tongue tied babies have trouble nursing). When a mother is attacked in this way so is her baby, at their most vulnerable time in life and at their most basic instinct at birth, which is to suckle at their mother’s breast for nourishment, as Dr. Ghaheri valiantly points out for infants:

 “I maintain that babies who have difficulty with breastfeeding are actively in distress, similar to the abandoned baby. A basic human function (like parental proximity during sleep OR breastfeeding easily) becomes disrupted, and cortisol levels can rise…It’s time that medical professionals start to look at breastfeeding as an important developmental process rather than a stair step to getting a baby to grow physically…We need to focus on the neurologic and psychiatric well being of infants in addition to their moms. Our current system is failing the dyad from the emotional aspect, and we need to examine what happens as a result of that failure.” Dr. Ghaheri (1)

Taking Off the Trauma

Earlier this year God revealed to me that part of my continued feeding struggle with Caleb was indeed linked to trauma. He showed me that Caleb had a mask of trauma around his mouth and face. I asked God what I should do. He told me “Take it off”. God’s power can do that and He is leading me in the charge to stand against trauma in the name of Jesus and in defense of my son’s well being. A weighty thing about being a mother or a father is that God has given us spiritual authority over our children and with the Holy Spirit residing in me I can be led by God to bless my child and be given power and authority to remove things like trauma from my baby’s face, from his mouth, from his mind and from his heart. Praise the Lord, my GOD is BIGGER.

I also praise the Lord with all my heart that He has provided for Caleb a team of people that respect me, respect my intuition and decisions for my son, and who take tongue tie seriously. As I mentioned in my last two posts, we went through a lot of medical professionals before discovering the tie and while many were truly kind and caring some of them were very degrading. What makes matters worse for many tongue tie mothers is that they face this kind of degradation not only in the doctor’s office but away from it as well, even from people they should be able to trust at their most vulnerable times. I have found that being around people that act from a place of misunderstanding and lack of empathy compounds the trauma I experience and increases the curve for healing. I noticed a few months back that when I leave my son’s Occupational Therapy session that I feel uplifted, positive and happier because just talking to his therapist each week reminds me that I am not alone, she sees what I see. She is so valuable not only for my son’s physical rehabilitation but also for my emotional healing. Surrounding yourself with therapists, medical professionals and people in general that are of the same mind helps to heal trauma. I also thank God for the godly friends that He has given me, friends that love me and who have not dismissed me or my experiences, who have been there for me and even those that God has been so kind to provide that can relate because of their similar experiences. Praise God.

Physical Healing

Healing of course must be supported physically as well. That is where our “dream team” shines. Through both the first and second frenectomy Caleb’s improvements have been aided along by his valuable team of medical professionals that God has assembled for my precious little one. Having an experienced release provider in our same city was a Godsend as well as my son’s physical therapist, occupational therapist (who also is his cranial sacral therapist), and his chiropractor all of whom have helped Caleb to physically be set free from tongue tie. I also thank the Lord for the primary care doctor God provided for Caleb who not only takes his gut health very seriously but who also encouraged me to face my fears and get Caleb’s tongue tie revised when I was having doubts.

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We visited Caleb’s holistic dentist recently for his regular check up and she got really serious when we were talking about Caleb’s occupational therapy. She told me that Caleb’s occupational therapist had changed his life for the better in ways we can’t even begin to imagine and that she is having to regularly work with adults who did not get such early intervention and have suffered a lot of the consequences of an untreated tongue tie, untreated tongue thrust, sleep apnea, etc. I truly agree with Caleb’s dentist. Caleb’s occupational therapist has dedicated herself to the hard work of addressing his ultra-sensitive gag reflexes, his food trauma, his low facial muscle tone, his highly uncoordinated suck-swallow-breathe pattern, tongue thrust and more through occupational and cranial sacral therapy techniques which have been a life-changing blessing.

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Caleb with his Christian chiropractor. 

Caleb didn’t roll until 8 months, just after his frenum was first lasered which included multiple chiropractor visits. He also began climbing the stairs within 24 hours of his first or second chiropractic visit. As mentioned in past posts Caleb felt like a loose noodle immediately after his first frenectomy because of the tightness the restricted oral tissues caused in his body. The tongue muscles stretch surprisingly far into the neck, and tongue tie has a surprising affect on the body via fascia. These muscle and fascia tensions pull on bones and muscles in ways that contribute to imbalance. I do believe that the combination of a frenectomy, physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments are what helped Caleb finally roll at 8 months. He didn’t stay on the ground much longer after that though ’cause he also started walking just a month or so later at an early 9 months 3 weeks! Go Caleb!

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God knew that Caleb needed physical therapy early on and he provided this therapist in Caleb’s life through a special connection. The early intervention has made a huge difference in the quality of Caleb’s life. One of the very first interventions was the introduction of a Nuk pacifier to help him strengthen his facial muscles (Caleb was identified as having low facial muscle tone by both his PT and OT). Caleb could not use a soothie because it so easily fell out of his mouth and if he did manage to keep it in he would swallow so much air from using it that he would scream and scream. The Nuk also helped shape his palate which was identified as being high-arched by the lactation consultant very early-on. Since his tongue had not been in proper contact with his palate in utero the palate formed wrong and the Nuk was able to do what Caleb’s tongue couldn’t do, make full contact. When we finally made it to the release dentist just shy of 8 months he praised the fact that we had been using the Nuk because of it’s help to the palate formation. A person’s palate continues to grow and develop through toddlerhood, a tongue is supposed to play the most vital part in shaping it correctly, that is why so many kids and adults that have tongue tie also have sleep-disordered breathing (apnea) and/or nasal airways. Many of these kids and adults end up having to get nasal surgeries to try to open airways and reduce sinus infections, adenoids removed, use of a CPAP machine at night and more. Caleb’s physical therapist also addressed his torticollis at a very early age and supported the dentist’s frenectomy by supporting proper positioning of the jaw and helping to both address the tone of the tongue base as well as release the tight base of his posterior tongue. The physical therapists also spend a lot of time working on Caleb’s hips because just like “what you get at the lips you get at the hips” is applicable during birth it is true for babies while eating as well. A tight mouth and a tight pelvis go hand in hand. Releasing the pelvis helps release the mouth. Vestibular insecurity was something else that both Caleb’s PT and OT identified and have worked on with him using various swings and physical maneuvers to strengthen him in this area since he was a late roller and also experienced high cortisol levels and fight or flight throughout infancy due to the tongue tie and invasive medical treatments which resulted in traumatic food reactions on top of the choking and gagging etc. that he already experienced from the ties. There is a lot more that both Caleb’s occupational and physical therapists have accomplished for Caleb through early intervention, more than I will ever know I am sure. As one of my son’s physical therapists puts it “the baby’s mouth is the first place a child learns motor skills, and sensory skills. If this is compromised due to positioning problems or timing, or strength problems it can have an impact on further development” (2).

And the Spiritual: Ka-POW! Take that Tongue Tie.

In addition to a team of medical professionals that take me, my son and his tongue tie seriously God also provided for Caleb and I a prayer team that I could turn to for help even when I felt I couldn’t turn to anyone else. I have been at the precipice of hopelessness in our medical or feeding situation, I email this team and within 24 hours, boom God moves. I can never thank God enough for them or their prayers. The prayers from this anointed team have been critically important to Caleb’s healing and victory over all that the enemy has thrown at him already in his first 21 months (Caleb’s guardian angel sure hasn’t been bored, I can say that for sure!). From God healing Caleb’s oxygen saturation issues before things got even more invasive to Him giving one of the member’s a vision of Caleb with Jesus standing over him with His hand on Caleb’s chest, protecting his oxygen and airways before the healing…I should mention I was praying specifically for his oxygen that morning and I hadn’t talked to this member since before Caleb was born and that afternoon she gets a vision and emails me. God is amazing. God has given these prayer team members words of command from God, words of encouragement, all very timely in miraculous ways. I am in complete awe still at these experiences, humbled and so thankful.

Jesus Heals a Tongue Tie

While Jesus may not have healed Caleb’s tongue tie in the same manner that he did for the man in the gospel of Mark…I can truly say Jesus has healed my son’s tongue tie. If it were not for Him I would never have known Caleb was tongue tied to begin with! If it wasn’t for Him I would not have won the Owlet oxygen monitor on Instagram right before Caleb was born, if it was not for him…the list goes on and on (See my post Dayenu for more of the great things God has done for Caleb). The Holy Spirit victoriously led me to find out about a generational birth defect that has gone undetected for almost one hundred years on my mother’s side (See my post Great and Hidden Things). I just thank and Praise the Lord everyday that He is has been there with me through it all, encouraging me, sustaining me and guiding Caleb and I up out of the pit. He was there every time Caleb’s medical grade oxygen alarm went off in the middle of the night, He was there as Caleb continued to not sleep day after day after week and He alone understands the severity of sleep deprivation I was facing as I began to cry out for help only to be misunderstood by multiple people. He was there every time Caleb choked, gagged, or projectile vomited and He is the Cleft in the Rock Who loves me more than life itself. I hide myself in Him. I hide myself in His love for me and in His love for others. He will contend with those that contend with me and HE will save my children. In Jesus’ name, so be it.

“And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.” Mark 7:31-35

Blessed be the name of the LORD.



Resources:
1. BREASTFEEDING PROBLEMS CAN AFFECT THE EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF MOM AND BABY
https://www.drghaheri.com/blog/2014/11/14/breastfeeding-problems-can-affect-the-emotional-health-of-mom-and-baby-1

2. Considering Breastfeeding/Early Infant Feeding a Developmental Milestone by Karen Adams

3. Tongue-Tied: How a Tiny String Under the Tongue Impacts Nursing, Speech, Feeding, and More by Dr. Richard Baxter
https://www.amazon.com/Tongue-Tied-String-Impacts-Nursing-Feeding/dp/1732508208

4. When Did It Become OK to Stop Listening to Mothers?
https://www.facebook.com/DrGhaheriMD/posts/when-did-it-become-ok-to-stop-listening-to-mothersan-integral-part-of-any-patien/923606461134064/

5. BREASTFEEDING DIFFICULTY AND FAMILY SUPPORT
https://www.drghaheri.com/blog/2014/2/10/breastfeeding-difficulty-and-family-support