../ Is It Lupus? http://www.isitlupus.com/ en danikastokes@gmail.com Copyright 2012 2012-02-15T14:42:35+00:00 Hope Restored http://isitlupus.com/lupus/hope-restored/ http://isitlupus.com/lupus/hope-restored/#When:14:42:35Z Today I’m headed in for a trans…something arather liver biopsy. They will send a catheter down my jugular vein into my liver to extract a part of me.  Simply a part of my “normal”.  Tests. Today I’m headed in for a trans…something arather liver biopsy. They send a catheter down my jugular vein into my liver to extract a part of me.  Simply a part of my “normal”.  Tests. I praise Him because my time with Him this morning was such a blessing.  I woke up early to a verse repeating in my head, “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  So I got up and went to Jeremiah 29 and felt the Lord asking me to read more, so I spend a good amount of time reading over chapter 29 and 30 and what a blessing it was. It was like a hope restorer… I started out with lupus 19 years ago and today have 2 additional autoimmune diseases and over the past year my hope feels like it has been chipped away at by man and I can honestly say that loosing hope is like a pit in your stomach that gets deeper and deeper, takes the joy of your day at times, it’s like you just can catch your breath…but as I read through these chapters God reminded me of those he sent into exile to Babylon, a place they didn’t want to go or be, a place of pain and ugly and confusion…a place of hopelessness. But God had a plan to restore them, give them a future and hope…. after these 70 hard years.  He reminded me that even though it has been 19 years, that doesn’t mean things will only get worse and worse.  It’s easy for me to look at my circumstances and think there is no way I could be healthier now then in the past but how little faith I have in the God who knows.  Chapter 30 verse 24 says, “The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart.” The later part of this verse struck me…“until He fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart”.  I think the 19 years has felt like an eternity and I’m sure those in exile felt the same and maybe didn’t feel like it would ever get any better, but after 70 years God had big plans. Like Job, years of sickness, pain, suffering and God blessed the later part of his life more than the first part….How little I believe, how much I trust in what makes “sense” and forget it is his purposes that are the priority!  I was encouraged and reminded this morning that it is His plan that needs to be accomplished, not mine. I literally took a deep breath this morning, like a relief that He has given me hope again… Journal 2012-02-15T14:42:35+00:00 In Awe of Who God Is http://isitlupus.com/lupus/in-awe-of-who-god-is/ http://isitlupus.com/lupus/in-awe-of-who-god-is/#When:13:41:13Z This morning I was awaken by the terrible stench that has overtaken my house as a result of my forgetfulness…..at 11:30 pm last night we were awakened by our smoke alarm. Having it go off in the past as a result of a dying battery, we didn’t move to quickly to respond, until my 6 year old came running into our room.  My husband got out of bed to see what was going on and all I could hear was “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh”.... This morning I was awaken by the terrible stench that has overtaken my house as a result of my forgetfulness…..at 11:30 pm last night we were awakened by our smoke alarm. Having it go off in the past as a result of a dying battery, we didn’t move to quickly to respond, until my 6 year old came running into our room.  My husband got out of bed to see what was going on and all I could hear was “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh”...in shear panic and my head spinning trying to find the phone to call 911 amidst the thick clouds of smoke throughout the house, my husband screamed out, “no flames, it’s ok”....my sweet memory had failed me once again as I left eggs boiling on the stove for the kids breakfast today….and now begins the tedious job of ridding my house of this awful smell!  So here I sit, 5:30 am…my time with the Lord….all the windows and doors open (wrapped in a heavy blanket), bowls of distilled vinegar throughout the house and baking soda on my grocery list (for carpet cleaning later today)!  And yes, I did plead with the Lord to help me rid this awful stench from the fibers of my carpets and the textures of my walls…I felt silly at first asking for such a request but my God is personal and cares on a level I have hardly scratched to understand.  I sat in Job 38 this morning and just marveled at the God we serve.  Have you ever felt so small or so insignificant, have you ever wondered if God really cares about the small things in life…the things that maybe aren’t a salvation issue but are a simple care of your heart?  Job 38 is a beautiful depiction of who God is, the power He holds, the care that He has for the things and beings that He’s created… He spends 41 verses telling Job of all He has done, explaining all the control He has and does have by asking Job questions…“who has marked off the seas dimensions, who gives orders to the morning and shows the dawn it’s place, who sends the lightening bolts on there way…”   As I read through verse after verse, I was struck with awe at the vastness of who God is, the control He holds over all creation, the care and concern He places over what He has made…but the verses that sunk to the depths of my soul were 25-27… “Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm, to water a land where no man lives, a desert with no one in it, to satisfy a desolate wasteland and make it sprout with grass?” God cares about satisfying a desolate wasteland, where no one lives…not only does He care about this desolate place but He even cares enough about it to bring beauty to it, covering it with grass that no man may ever see…but God sees and cares because He created it.  Look at all He did and allowed so that this desolate place could be satisfied…He sent torrents of rain and thunderstorms, which will affect many lives along the way so that this desolate place can be cared for….in awe of who God is!  Have my eyes and heart lost the ability to see and recognize who He is and where He is? One of the most frustrating parts of my christian walk is knowing my God, a God of wonder and power, having His power abiding in me through His Spirit, and yet not seeing His wonder and power in my day…is He not acting or have my eyes and heart lost the ability to see and recognize who He is and where He is on a daily basis?  I encourage you to read through all of Job 38 to be reminded of the vastness of our God, to be reminded of the care He has for His creation… Does God care about my house smelling like smoke?  Probably not a major issue to him…but He goes to the ends of the earth for the desolate wasteland….He will go to the ends of the earth for me….he cares far more for us than the land and ravens.  He is my dad, He is my friend….He delights in me and when you delight in someone all the cares and concerns of that very person matter to you…. Journal 2011-11-04T13:41:13+00:00 Protecting your Gut! http://isitlupus.com/lupus/protecting-your-gut/ http://isitlupus.com/lupus/protecting-your-gut/#When:11:50:19Z For years, I’ve been a firm believer in the use of probiotics. Research over the past two decades has revealed that gut health is critical to overall health, and that an unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases.  One of the best things we could do for our health is to restore the integrity of the gut barrier and continue to nourish it and protect it against the very things that break down this barrier. For years, I’ve been a firm believer in the use of probiotics. Research over the past two decades has revealed that gut health is critical to overall health, and that an unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases.  One of the best things we could do for our health is to restore the integrity of the gut barrier and continue to protect it against the very things that break down this barrier. What causes our gut to be compromised and in turn open us up to chronic disease and infection?  Several factors - chronic infection, use of antibiotics, refined sugars, flours and carbohydrates, stress, low fiber diets, processed foods and toxins and chemicals found in and on our food supply.  If our gut becomes compromised (which is extremely common due to the Standard American Diet alone), food particles and toxins leak out of the gut wall and into the blood stream, where they were never meant to be.  Picture a straw, it’s your gut. When it is healthy, things travel fine from one end to the other, our mouths to our bowl movements…however, when our gut becomes compromised, its like a straw with holes throughout it…as you put things in one end, some comes out the other end as well as out all the little holes…entering into our body and blood stream where they were never suppose to be.  Over time, disease sets in as the body becomes toxic from all these particles that are running a muck throughout it. And that’s where probiotics come in…putting the good flora back into the body helps repair the holes that line the gut, healing it and allowing the leaks to stop.  My most favorite product I’ve come across lately is VSL #3.  It was recommended to me by my nutritionalist.  I had been taking a good quality probiotic at the time of her recommendation which was giving me 3 billion strands of good bacteria…however, this VSL #3 contains 450 billion strands…extremely more potent than what I was taking. It is pharmaceutical grade and the way I was recommended to take it was as a therapeutic treatment, where I took it for 30 days and then continued back on my good quality Favorite Flora by Dr. Fuhrman. The week I started taking VSL #3, I ran into the Northern California rep for this product in my son’s doctors office.  I preceded to share with her my new found love for her product and she shared with me something fascinating.  Hospitals are now using it in new borns who are born C-section because they are exposed to so many bacteria in the delivery, as well as with babies that have digestive problems.  She also shared that one of her doctors uses it in her office for patients with constipation issues, Chrones Disease and IBS….but most amazing is this very doctor has given it to her own children since they were born and not one of her children has ever had the flu, problems with constipation or diarrhea or had any gut issues.  My kids have been on probiotic since they were infants and both my boys have only thrown up once…we’ve had our share of colds but praise God, we’ve been blessed with hardly any gut issues!  Children and adults can benefit greatly by adding a good quality probiotic to their diets! Health 2011-10-29T11:50:19+00:00 Ear Ache Pain Reliever http://isitlupus.com/lupus/ear-ache-pain-reliever/ http://isitlupus.com/lupus/ear-ache-pain-reliever/#When:04:07:12Z My son has a tendency to get ear aches whenever he comes down with a cold, runny or stuff nose.  At one point the doctors had wanted to put tubes in his ears and possibly remove his adenoids.  My husband and I were just not ok with that so I was on a mission to find some relief without the repeated antibiotics… My son has a tendency to get ear aches whenever he comes down with a cold, runny or stuff nose.  At one point the doctors had wanted to put tubes in his ears and possibly remove his adenoids.  My husband and I were just not ok with that so I was on a mission to find some relief without the repeated antibiotics…Don’t get me wrong, there is a time when antibiotics are necessary and he’s had his share of them, but I never easily give in to giving them to him without at least attempting some home remedies and this one has worked (not every time but enough to always use it as a first try at the very first sign of a runny nose).  First I chop up about 1/4 onion and crush about 5-6 cloves of garlic.  I add this to a small sauce pan with enough olive oil to generously cover the onion and garlic. I simmer this mixture for about 5-7 minutes, strain through cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer. Let cool and put a few drops in the aching ear. I have my son remain on his side for about 20 minutes with a sack of warmed rice covering his ear (about a cup of rice in one of dad’s socks, heated in the microwave and cooled enough so it doesn’t burn him).  Garlic and onions both have anti-inflammatory properties and work great at fighting infection. Health 2011-10-27T04:07:12+00:00 Do I trust Him? http://isitlupus.com/lupus/do-you-trust-him/ http://isitlupus.com/lupus/do-you-trust-him/#When:05:37:16Z My Lord.  I have forsaken you.  To trust is to be committed into the care of another, to have or place reliance on; depend, hope, to have confidence in. I recently had some swollen lymph nodes on my neck, they became this way about two months ago as I’ve been fighting a severe sinus infection since last November.  After a round of antibiotics, the enlarged lymph nodes didn’t change in size.  My mind began to race. This just so happened to play out shortly after lent started this year and what I had given up for the 40 days was to not go on the internet regarding any health questions or concerns because this was a real temptation for me given my health issues.  I obstained from doing so until one day, about three weeks in, I chose to let my mind feel numb. My Lord.  I have forsaken you.  To trust is to be committed into the care of another, to have or place reliance on; depend, hope, to have confidence in. I recently had some swollen lymph nodes on my neck, they became this way about two months ago as I’ve been fighting a severe sinus infection since last November.  After a round of antibiotics, the enlarged lymph nodes didn’t change in size.  My mind began to race. This just so happened to play out shortly after lent started this year and what I had given up for the 40 days was to not go on the internet regarding any health questions or concerns because this was a real temptation for me given my health issues.  I obstained from doing so until one day, about three weeks in, I chose to let my mind feel numb and I raced onto the internet, where, within a few minutes I had found my diagnosis, I must have lymphoma.  Thus began two of the worst weeks of my life, riddled with worry, fear, anxiety and flat out “satan having a grip on me” experience.  All the information I had taken in had done what it always did and led me running from God into the comfort of my fears and lies that I try so hard to keep at bay.  My doctor finally decided to get a biopsy ordered, mostly for my peace of mind, he said.  My biopsy was scheduled for yesterday at 8:30 am.  Up until this point, I had felt forgotten by God, left and forsaken.  I knew that wasn’t true, I knew what the word said but my feelings were drastically experiencing the opposite.  I got on my knees and begged the Lord speak to me, begged the Lord show up in mighty way before entering this appointment.  At this point, all I wanted to experience was His peace.  I got up from my knees early yesterday morning and opened “My Upmost for His Highest”, dated April 29th.  And this is what is said…. Gracious Uncertainty “...it is not yet revealed what we shall be…” (1 John 3:2) Naturally, we are inclined to be so mathematical and calculating that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We imagine that we have to reach some end, but that is not the nature of spiritual life. The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty, consequently we do not make our nests anywhere. Common sense says - “Well, supposing I were in that condition . . .” We cannot suppose ourselves in any condition we have never been in. Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness, it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. Immediately we abandon to God, and do the duty that lies nearest, He packs our life with surprises all the time. When we become advocates of a creed, something dies; we do not believe God, we only believe our belief about Him. Jesus said, “Except ye become as little children.” Spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next.We are not uncertain of God, but uncertain of what He is going to do next. If we are only certain in our beliefs, we get dignified and severe and have the ban of finality about our views; but when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. “Believe also in Me,” said Jesus, not - “Believe certain things about Me.” Leave the whole thing to Him, it is gloriously uncertain how He will come in, but He will come. Remain loyal to Him. The Lord had spoken so gently to me.  How awesome that the God of creation would speak to me this morning in my anguish and fear.  I’ve been very humbled through this, seeing so much of how I don’t trust Him and His good for me…that I have not placed my confidence or hope in the very one who made me and knows me.  After reading this, it renewed my hope, it reminded me of the journey that God has me on, that it is good, and can be full of joy and the awesomeness of God if I would surrender and abandon myself to Him, allow Him to do His work in me so He can be glorified and others would know that He is the one true God.Allow Him to do His work in me so He can be glorified and others would know that He is the one true God. The pathologist was awesome, sweet and kind and gentle.  She did the biopsy and left the room with the slide, came back and she said she was 90+% sure it was benign and saw NO CANCER CELLS!!!!!  I immediately covered my face and cried..one of the most humbling moments in my life…to realize just how little I trusted Him…how little I believe in His goodness and faithfulness. God has revealed several things in my life that are hindering me from trusting Him and I’m praying that He weed those things out of my life. I really do desire to be used for His glory but I’m realizing that prayer is quite loaded….but as He reminded me through this devotional, that “loaded”  is full of surprises and can be exciting, I guess it’s all on how I choose to perceive things….from an eternal perspective or from my own common sense…(or of course the internet)! I’m just a mess of a sinful being that God is making whole day by day.  Praise Him for His grace and mercy!   Journal 2011-05-01T05:37:16+00:00 Supplements http://isitlupus.com/lupus/supplement-foundation/ http://isitlupus.com/lupus/supplement-foundation/#When:00:09:35Z After 17 years of dealing with illness, I’ve always had my hands in some sort of supplement regiment.  When choosing my supplements, I wanted to focus on creating the healthiest balance in my gut, as that is where 80% of disease starts, as well as do as much as I can to keep my immune system up, fighting and functioning at its best.  Last week I visited my naturopathic endocrinologist whom I hadn’t seen in a few years and she asked what I was taking.  When I told her what I had come up with she was extremely pleased and had nothing to add. When choosing the supplements, I wanted to focus on creating the healthiest balance in my gut, as that is where 80% of disease starts, as well as do as much as I can to keep my immune system up, fighting and functioning at its best.  She is the third doctor to concur with my regiment so I thought I’d share… After 17 years of dealing with illness, I’ve always had my hands in some sort of supplement regiment.  When choosing my supplements, I wanted to focus on creating the healthiest balance in my gut, as that is where 80% of disease starts, as well as do as much as I can to keep my immune system up, fighting and functioning at its best.  Last week I visited my naturopathic endocrinologist whom I hadn’t seen in a few years and she asked what I was taking.  When I told her what I had come up with she was extremely pleased and had nothing to add. When choosing the supplements, I wanted to focus on creating the healthiest balance in my gut, as that is where 80% of disease starts, as well as do as much as I can to keep my immune system up, fighting and functioning at its best.  She is the third doctor to concur with my regiment so I thought I’d share… Multivitamin Probiotic - reinforces the intestinal flora balance and boosts the immune system DHA Purity (vegan omega 3) - beneficial omega–3 fatty acids, plays a crucial role in brain function,                               reduces risk of heart disease, reduces inflammation and risk of chronic diseases Vitamin D3 - promotes the absorption of calcium, boosts immune system, builds bone Calcium with magnesium + Vit. D3 - all need to be taken together in order to absorb the calcuim,                               promotes bone health and growth Alpha Lipoic Acid - antioxidant, converts glucose to energy, boosts immune system This past year has been my healthiest since my diagnosis.  I have been very consistent with my supplements and have had my D3 monitored regularly, maintaining it at a level of around 60.  I had one cold this past winter that was my mildest one I’ve had.  Hope this helps. Journal 2010-06-19T00:09:35+00:00 What is Humility? http://isitlupus.com/lupus/what-is-humility/ http://isitlupus.com/lupus/what-is-humility/#When:14:19:22Z Humility is Christ… “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.” Phil. 2:6 Humility is Christ… “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.” Phil. 2:6 Today this verse stood out to me more than ever before.  Can you imagine?  Jesus was by nature God but He didn’t even consider being equal to Him when he lived on earth?  When he came to walk with man He denied all rights, privileges and benefits of being God.  He chose to spend his life serving others rather than being served himself.  He wasn’t prideful of his heritage, didn’t walk around bragging about the benefits of being of God…but rather took on man’s identity and all that encompasses it…He submitted to God the Father. What is my attitude to look like as a follower of Christ?  It is to look like His.  This means surrendering my rights.  I can’t serve others if my rights take precedence in any part of my life.  If Christ can deny the pride of who he was, (being equal with God) while on earth, then I can surely deny my rights as a sinner saved by grace.  But why is this so hard?  I was convicted of this because I find myself feeling like I have a lot of rights concerning my health especially.  “I deserve to live a long life, feeling well and active…I deserve to watch my kids grow up and marry…I deserve to find the best doctors and treatments…”  Of course I’d love to have these things but Christ would probably have loved to use His “rights as God” while on earth…But out of humility he chose to relate to man, to serve others and surrender to God’s will over his own.  “...in humility, consider others better than yourselves.”  Phil. 2:3 Journal 2010-06-12T14:19:22+00:00 What does fear look like? http://isitlupus.com/lupus/what-does-fear-look-like/ http://isitlupus.com/lupus/what-does-fear-look-like/#When:13:32:18Z For me, fear is a sin I am familiar with. I have to choose to deny myself the “pleasure” of camping in it.  If I don’t, it consumes me and swallows me whole at times. What is it?  According to the dictionary, fear is to be afraid or feel anxious or apprehensive about a possible or probable situation or event.  Basically living in a mental state of “what if”.  This is what my mental state had become. For me, fear is a sin I am familiar with. I have to choose to deny myself the “pleasure” of camping in it.  If I don’t, it consumes me and swallows me whole at times. What is it?  According to the dictionary, fear is to be afraid or feel anxious or apprehensive about a possible or probable situation or event.  Basically living in a mental state of “what if”.  This is what my mental state had become.  And where did it leave me?  In a place of self focus, self centeredness and distant from the very creator of my being.  Fear is the opposite of faith.  When I was reading through some of the definitions I came across one mans description of fear and it was, “The whole secret of existence is to have no fear.”  At first I thought, “No it’s not, the secret is to know and love Jesus.”  But then as I thought about it, really, it’s true.  Knowing and loving Jesus requires faith and fear is the opposite of faith.  So existing without fear is existing in faith…the secret to existing for HIm… believing in Jesus, who He is and believing in what He can and will do to bring Himself glory.  Over the past year I’ve come to the realization that those that have not walked through chronic pain and illness cannot empathize with those that have.  Accepting this has allowed me to let go of my expectations of others…I say this because those that have not sat through a few months of medical appointments like I just have wouldn’t have the experience of understanding where this fear comes from. Over the past few months I’ve been told I need to take my poisonous medication (which causes heart attacks and cancer), I’m heading into premature ovarian failure, my bones are becoming brittle and I need to think about osteoporosis medication, I need to have a mammogram and skin exam to get a baseline because of my risk of cancer (from the meds), I need to start seeing a cardiologist in case I begin to experience signs of a heart attack…I’m 33!  As I write this I am laughing, it has become quite humorous!  It is so over the top to me that all I can do is laugh at this point.  All this is falling on the ears of someone who feels great, experiencing no symptoms of anything!  So from the worlds stand point, I have a good excuse for camping out in fear all day long.  And there are times when I do and the immediate result of this is distance from my God and that makes me sad.  At these moments I plead to experience His presence again but fear and faith cannot co-exist. For me, walking in faith at times is a choice regardless of how I feel.  I know circumstances don’t define who we are or determine if or when God will use us.  But fear of these circumstances will keep us from experiencing life with Christ and the freedom we can have in Him.  Doctors can instill a tremendous amount of fear in a sick person.  But they are man.  The do not know what my God knows.  Nor can they do what my God can do.  They are physicians but my God is the Great Physician. “Thou they slay me, yet will I trust Him.”  Job 1:4-5 Journal 2010-06-09T13:32:18+00:00 Transparent http://isitlupus.com/lupus/transparent/ http://isitlupus.com/lupus/transparent/#When:17:08:05Z Hi to everyone…it’s been a while.  I’ve been in a different season over the past 6 months or so and decided to take some time away from writing as I let the Lord sift me.  For the past month or so, the Lord has continued to put writing on my heart but with one condition…only if I’m transparent.  Lives can’t be changed, including my own, if we can’t be transparent with the Lord and with those around us.  I’m not saying everyone needs to know every detail of your life but there’s something about being the same person, being authentic, regardless of who you’re around (Jesus, family, friends, readers…).  Hi to everyone…it’s been a while.  I’ve been in a different season over the past 6 months or so and decided to take some time away from writing as I let the Lord sift me.  For the past month or so, the Lord has continued to put writing on my heart but with one condition…only if I’m transparent.  Lives can’t be changed, including my own, if we can’t be transparent with the Lord and with those around us.  I’m not saying everyone needs to know every detail of your life but there’s something about being the same person, being authentic, regardless of who you’re around (Jesus, family, friends, readers…).  Transparency scares me.  There’s a real vulnerability that comes with it.  It’s a hard trait to expose if you’re a people pleaser or struggle with being concerned with what others think of or about you.  However, as I was reading the definition of the word, it took away the hesitation inside me.  Transparent - allowing light to pass through, transmitting light, able to be seen through with clarity. My desire is to surrender my life and my desires everyday so that I can be a vessel for Christ to use.  Christ is light. If I’m always being translucent (can’t be seen through clearly), Christ can’t be seen, given glory or recognized for all that He is.  Transparency is part of being a follower of Jesus.  When I die to the fear of what I may look like,  His light can be seen.  My job…be real…and Christ is seen!!!  It takes my efforts out of it…and the result…He gets the glory! Over the past month or so, despite my lack of writing on my site, I’ve continued to receive emails from people desperate to be released from the idol of what their disease has/can become so that they can live for Christ.  Paul was given a thorn in his side that God chose not to remove and that didn’t stop him from being the vessel God needed.  He learned to be content with the life God had chosen for him. But how do you do that, how do you get to that place?  I wish I had the answers.  But I don’t.  But I do know that His word says that we are to “deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.”  In order to follow Him, the first step each day has to be to deny ourselves.  So, all that to say, my site will be making a few changes.  My desire is to come along side others hurting and wanting to be freed from the mental anguish that a chronic illness can have on you.  If God chooses not to take illness from our earthly bodies, He hasn’t forgotten us or found us unfit for His use.  Sometimes I find it a privilege to have a daily reminder (my illness) that I’m not my own, that I was bought with a price and that my purpose in life is to join God’s work, not have Him meet me in mine.  So, as often as I can, my site will be dedicated to sharing with you my journey, day to day, with Jesus.  As He speaks to me, I want to share with you.  As my hard days come, I will share those too.  God has work to do through us.  My life has been filtered through loving hands that are aware of everything that is going on.  I know that He didn’t allow all this for me to sit here and wait for the day to come when I’m healed. So this is me.  I’m learning and still being refined everyday.  I’m praying for you. Journal 2010-06-06T17:08:05+00:00 Part Two - Lunch http://isitlupus.com/lupus/part-two-lunch/ http://isitlupus.com/lupus/part-two-lunch/#When:05:29:54Z How are your kids holding up with feeding them more healthy foods?  Here’s some ideas, pretty basic, for lunches.  Kids Lunch Ideas - 1. 100% Whole Wheat/Grain bread with raw almond butter and agave nectar or low sugar jelly. 2.  Raw Organic Firm Tofu (on occasion) 3.  Left overs from the day before. 4.  Homemade soup 5.  Organic Chicken Dogs (on occasion) 6.  Brown rice pasta noodles with homemade marinara sauce 7.  Black bean and cheese quesadilla (on occasion because we’re not big dairy people) 8.  Plain black or pinto beans 9.  Nitrate & Nitrite free lunch meat (rare occasion) 10. Whole Wheat Pita filled with tuna or other protein plus grated veges and hummus (still trying to get him to eat this one..some day) I serve every lunch with one of the above proteins, along with tons of raw veggies such as bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, avocados, celery, snap peas.  I usually offer a fruit option towards the end as well.  Again, I try to make sure there’s protein, healthy fat and vegetables with all my lunches. Crackers or carb stuff is offered if all the other parts have been eaten and they’re still hunger. Hang in there and keep at it. My son never liked to drink water but I persisted enough and withheld diluting it with juice and now he drinks it no problem… it just took a while and it took me sticking to it. They eventually come around:)  Kids 2009-11-13T05:29:54+00:00