Well Worth All the Waiting

Today I enjoyed a strawberry, cucumber, and lemon infused water! Great for detoxifying the body (aka, living a healthy lifestyle without depriving my tastebuds haha). I recently did a Daniel fast and it ended almost two months ago.  Since then, I’ve seen how my eating habits contribute to so much of how I’m feeling on a daily basis. Meat, breads, and pasta being the top three issues for me. When I eat those three things, I experience inflammation in my joints and feel depressed, I feel achy, I feel bloated, and I feel run down and fall asleep in the middle of the day.

When I don’t eat those foods, I sleep better at night and I feel great. It’s so hard to say bye to certain foods that I love the taste of (grilled cheese sandwiches, buffalo chicken pizza, and baked mac n’ cheese just to name a few), but I really do love my bean burritos, salads of course, tostitos with homemade guacamole (I loooove avocados), clementines, and trail mix (just to name some things I get to enjoy).

Being a vegetarian was something I felt led to do when I was a teenager, but it was something I never had real understanding in, health-wise, so it only lasted a few months, and that was 15 years ago now. Nine years ago I felt led by the Holy Spirit to do as Daniel did in the Bible for a few days, then again for two weeks about seven years ago, and then again for 40 days around five years ago. Now having done it again for 40 days a couple months back, and knowing my body well enough, I see that I’m not deprived of anything while I’m on the Daniel plan… I’m fulfilled when I take care of myself and I enjoy life more when I feel better.

My youngest is 4½ months old now and I’ve lost 55lbs. I have to do some exercises to get my muscles back on track due to the diastasis recti, but I feel really successful in what I’ve been able to accomplish. It can be easy to be discouraged in seeing the number on the scale, or see my belly bump, or not be able to fit in the size I used to wear, but I don’t want to see any of those things as marks in my value or worth. I don’t want to view beauty as our culture views it. I don’t want to beat myself up when the reality is, I’m making smart choices and I’m taking care of myself. My heart desires to do good to others, to grow in maturity and love, to be healthier and stronger, and to become more and more intimate with Jesus as I walk this life out with my family. Those are the markings of beauty, and our worth and value, as the Lord has so clearly shown me these last few years, was created at the beginning of time in the heart of my Daddy God.

Next month we’re moving. We’re beginning our homesteading journey and over the next year we’ll be preparing to become more self-sustaining. We’ll have a garden, chickens, goats, and rabbits. We’ll work with my in-laws and be active, productive, and healthy. Our children will grow up living off the land, knowing what it’s like to get their hands dirty, exploring in the woods, and learning from their grandparents. I couldn’t be more excited! God is so good. So I’m sipping on my sweet water and thinking of all the amazing things we have to look forward to. Let’s do this, Lord. I’m ready to take this amazing next step on this journey. It’s been well worth all the waiting. It really has.

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My Strivings in Being a Fruitful Vine

Hey friends! As I began processing through my sexual abuse a few years ago, this blog and my facebook page temporarily became a landing drop for the struggles I was having and information I was discovering along the way to overcome what I had been oppressed by for so long. God’s grace helped me through all of that and while I’m still working on things and still deal with anxiety and PTSD, I’m experiencing new victories every day and experiencing healing in different areas the more I allow myself to work through things.

I hope this blog and my page has been a place to find encouragement despite what hardships we face and I hope that it will continue to be so as I venture into other areas of my life! You see, I’m about to embark on a new journey – homesteading! My husband and I, with our seven children, are moving next month and will be building our home on an acre of property near my in-laws. We are thrilled to be taking this next step forward toward victorious living and this is what I created this blog for almost a decade ago now! To log my strivings in being a fruitful vine in my home!

I don’t know how much I’ll be posting, my goal is to do so regularly, but I hope that no matter what it appears to be, if anyone ever wants to reach out, please know I’m here and I’d love to hear from you! You can email me anytime as I check it daily/weekly. I’m never too busy to be there for others. Ever! It’s an honor to hear from you about what you’re working through and the Words you receive from the Lord as you experience your own victories in life! You are so wonderful and I’m so very grateful for all your support through these last few years!
God bless you! You’ll be hearing from me soon! 🙂

Peace, Joy, Love…

15 years since we said ‘I do!’
That’s 5,475 days; 131,400 hours; 7,884,000 minutes; 473,040,000 seconds and counting!
We have 7 children, we’ve had 10 addresses, and we’re moving again soon!
We’ve enjoyed many vacations; driving halfway across the country,
and our kids have loved 2 cats, 3 kittens, and 2 lizards.
Our house has it’s chaos, but it is full of love, hugs & kisses!

I’m so thankful for this man in my life and the Daddy he is to our children.
He’s my best friend, he’s loyal, and he works hard to support us in every way.
We haven’t always had it easy, but I am so thankful we grew together through it all.

Happy Anniversary, Chris!

Birth Story of Chelubai Theodore

Fifth UP/UC, Third Son (Seventh Child) born on 01/07/2018!

Despite being our seventh babe, the pregnancy came as a surprise. Once the original shock wore off, we were so thankful for the newest babe growing in my womb. We shared the news with my oldest daughter first, who then wanted to tell her siblings through the game hangman. As they solved the puzzle, their faces lit up with excitement once they learned the news. Another babe was joining our family!

It was an uneventful pregnancy but I got quite big and it was more and more uncomfortable getting around. By the end of it, I had gained over 70lbs to my dismay. I took a poll asking friends to guess the reason for my extra large belly: lots of fluid? big baby? twins? haha

At 2:56pm on January 6th, I noticed a change in the contractions I’d already been having for a couple weeks. The intensity was changing and began taking my breath away and made it a little more difficult to talk or walk through. I watched them for an hour, asking my husband when he’d be home from work, and informing him that the contractions were 7-15mins apart and increasing in intensity. I made a guess based on history that he should be home in under 4 hours to be on the safe side and I’d let him know if anything changed that needed him to come home sooner.

Not much changed by the time he got home so we just hung out. I let my friend know that it might be the real thing and to keep her phone on. I went to lay down around 8 to see if the contractions would stop or wake me up when I laid down. Each one woke me every 7-15mins over the next hour. It wasn’t comfortable so I got up and went to sit with my husband in the living room. I decided to call my friend and let her know that she could come in about an hour or so but that it could still subside at any time. She came and we chatted between contractions until about 3am but while why were increasing in intensity, they were still 7-15mins apart. Since she lived close by, I suggested she get home and we get some sleep and I’ll call her when I think it’s time.

I went to bed and woke up with each contraction, still maintaining about 10mins apart and chose to get up around 6am as the contractions were too much for in bed. My husband also got up to help with the kids as I worked through the contractions and rested. My friend joined us around 10am or so and we enjoyed each other’s company between contractions. With each contraction, depending on where my husband was, I’d call to him and he’d sit with me as I breathed through it.

I would begin to question whether I was truly in labor, and then I’d have a strong and intense contraction and we’d all laugh that it obviously was. I noticed with a couple of the contractions that my body began bearing down so I was trying to decide where to ultimately labor and birth the baby. In the past, I’d ended up in the bathroom and that was where I stayed until baby was born, but I was a bit apprehensive of the intensity and wanted something a bit more comfortable. My husband brought our mattress into the living room and covered it with the shower curtain we had bought, to protect it. I climbed onto the bed and started out on all fours for several contractions and then turned around for a bit. As I labored in a sitting position, my water broke at 1:45pm. Lots of water kept coming and coming, so my friend helped my husband to get some towels underneath me.

I decided I wanted to be on all fours again and turned around. I labored there and more water kept coming. It was quite surprising just how much water there was, actually. haha I continued to labor and the intensity was too much for the strength I had left. My legs were shaky and I chose to turn around. I am unsure whether I regret this or just think it would have been easier if I just held out a little longer. I didn’t know at the time that baby was going to be born very soon.

I sat on my bottom and had my husband sit behind me so I could push off on him. With each contraction, now much closer together, I allowed my body to bear down as my husband reminded me to breath and follow my body. I could hear myself hollering and roaring with each push so between contractions, I looked to my 13yo daughter to remind her that I was okay and not to worry. Her and my 11yo daughter was present, awaiting the arrival of their youngest sibling.

I checked to see if I could feel the baby’s head and I felt it, all squished and coming down. I continued to bear down, and felt myself poo. I was thankful that I was covered in a blanket for my personal comfort of modesty. It was around this time that I could hear voices surrounding me and I realized someone was praying. I found great comfort in it and I was so thankful that I had my friend and her daughter along with my two daughters present. I continued to push and felt the baby descend, I could feel the baby’s head all squished as it crowned and asked my friend to check to make sure it was the head and not the bottom (though in hindsight, labor would have been more intense for my back and hips if that had been the case). She assured me it was the head and I relaxed despite the burning sensation.

I heard myself say to my husband that it was too hard and he encouraged me and reminded me of what I’m capable of. I began to roar again and pushed the baby’s head out. I was shocked how big his head was, as it was bigger than the size of the birth canal. I said the head was out and was facing down. I breathed and continued following my body’s lead and pushed the rest of the body out with another roar, feeling arms crossed at the chest. I breathed a sigh of relief for a moment before uncovering the baby from under the blanket at 2:20pm. I saw he was a boy, noticed poo up his back, then I saw his arms flop, and his face was purple.

I noted to my husband that he was purple and I needed a towel. I wiped his face, wiped his back, and rubbed his back and chest to encourage him to breath. Ready to take the next step, he made a little squeak and his color began to pink up, then he began to cry.

I looked up at that point to see everyone tearful. He was here. He was here after 24hrs of labor, all 11lbs of him with that 15″ head! I laid back with him and could feel all the work I had done and felt tired. Not long after, I delivered the placenta, thankful to find that I hadn’t torn at all. My husband then cut the cord, helped me wash up, and cleaned up from the birth, then helped me to bed so I could sleep and nurse the baby. I slept for the rest of the day and through the night as he took care of the rest of the kids.

Chelubai Theodore (whole hearted gift of God) has been nursing like a champ and is a sweet addition to the family. It’s as if he was here all along. Life has been pretty normal considering another person being added to our crew. The Lord knows good gifts and this boy is a great gift indeed.

<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#3>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#4>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#5>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#6>>
<<Kristi’s Freebirth Story of Baby#7>>

The Start of the School Year

Well, the kids had expressed interest in year-round homeschooling (days off and vacations through out the year instead of chunks in the summer and such), but it just didn’t work out for us this year. Maybe next year! Then we planned to have the start of the school year begin in early August, but I was struggling! I had to attack our schedules and get my health in order, so I attacked my coffee drinking first as well as getting Craeghar’s nap time sorted so I could get more sleep at night.

I am finally starting to feel a bit more energized, despite no coffee, but I still have some organizing to do. School is ready to start once our junk is not stealing our time! lol So I’m packing all things we own that we don’t use, don’t need, and don’t love. Then next spring, I’ll go through and decide what of it all we want to keep or want to get rid of. This will save us the time of organizing and the time of having to continue to clean it! So I’m very thankful for a shed that we can store things in.

So we’ll be starting school on Tuesday, August 29th. We have some workbooks for Language Arts and Math; we’ll be using All-in-One Homeschooling Curriculum for Geography, Zoology, and Health/PE; we’ll be part of a Homeschool Co-op for Library Skills, Maine Studies, and Fine Arts; and I’m trying out a new curriculum that will get us through all the books of the Bible in a year. I’m really excited. My kids love school and can’t wait for it to start, and I can’t wait for them to start either because their excitement for learning gives me so much joy. I’m so proud of them!

This year Katlyn is in 8th grade, Karyn is in 6th grade, and Christopher is in 4th grade.  Kathryn isn’t registered but is working through Kindergarten and 1st grade, and Kimberlyn is working through Pre-Kindergarten. So exciting! I’ll probably be blogging a bit more about it once we start since it will be what fills our days very soon.

Also something I have to plan around, is halfway through the year, we’ll have a new little Whitten to be mindful of! So amazing… a new little baby!!! So please keep us in your prayers as we dive into this new season and new adventure! God is so good. ♥