The Darkness Can Thrust Us to the Light

“…there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Ex.10:22-23
IMG_5750

There are storm clouds that can tumble in with fierce abruptness and other storms can creep in with quiet stealth. Either way, these gray-black clouds prevent the light from shining into our day and our vision of light is weak and dreary. There are days this darkness creeps in via trials or circumstances that we cannot control; the person who has stabbed our heart so deep, the loved ones suffering around us, our own physical trials; any one of these and a thousand times more types of clouds come rolling in to our lives and blind us from seeing light. For me, such has been this past month.

Physical weakness, pain, and mental weariness created a thick, ugly fog and sucked the joy from my soul. Oh, I longed to curl up with the Father but found myself battling for words to say. I would open the bible study book I had been going through and I only found a heavier burden to bear. I began to cry out for light, truth, a word, just one word to breakthrough the dark and He spoke, breaking through the heavy clouds,

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” Is. 61:10

It is He alone who can give me joy. My circumstances may be darn right torrential ugliness but I am secure in my Father’s love, saved for eternity and loved passionately. My joy is in His presence (Ps. 16:11) And my circumstances may never change, as a matter of fact, they may get down right tsunami-like but that is just THIS life, not the hereafter or my eternal state. All that I can feel and see is temporary. That which I cannot see, that is eternal.

And then He spoke to my heart again, parting the clouds even farther apart, and light shining through, “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.” Ps. 18:6

He hears our cries and gives sweet promises fulfilled!
IMG_6187-001

He numbers our wanderings and puts our tears into His bottle. When we cry out to Him, the enemies turn back. We know this because God is for us!!!!! We put our trust in Him!!! (Read: Ps. 56:8-11)

God’s heart isn’t for His children to dwell in the dark. It is to bring us through the darkness, to see the constant of the light always surrounding us. Always here. Always there, where you are. Light. The darkness can thrust us to the Light, if only we let it. In the Light we find the only joy that lasts when all else fades away.

He wants to change our vision from this….
IMG_5738

….to this.
IMG_5739

There is such beauty in the Light.
IMG_5674IMG_5699

I am crying out deep for those of you reading this today. I don’t know what dark clouds hover over you today but I do believe they can push you closer to the living God, if you let them. You can also choose to stay in the dark. Let us choose, together, to cry out to the God who knows your pain and hears your cries. You matter to Him and He loves you. You are His treasure. I am walking this journey with you. As we draw near to Him, the darkness fades and Light fills our days.

Dwelling in the Light,
Charise

It’s Been A Long While

We went from the richness of harvest colors to dry, bleak branches. The Harvest season flew by as I celebrated my thirty fourth birthday, my oldest son’s tenth birthday, my second born’s eighth birthday and right before Christmas, my husband’s thirty eighth birthday. Oh, I love celebrating the birth of each one of my loved ones. We celebrate big with home made vegan cinnamon rolls and home made hot chocolate or crispy waffles and diced, baked, seasoned potatoes. We have days full of fun and laughter and celebration but it requires much from this mama to maintain such traditions. I wouldn’t trade it for the world but in the midst of a Thanksgiving get-a-way and Christmas To Do lists, it all caught up to me.

I made the mistake of getting off of my Juice Plus. I was off for about a month and throughout that time the oxidative stress on my body began to build and build and build until I was numb from my feet all the way up to my ribs. Yup. I allowed myself to relapse. I took myself off of the very product that constantly helps my body to detoxify and then added less rest, more sugar and more stress. A learning lesson indeed.

Why is it that we wait until we are in a pit before we do something about it?

IMG_3563
I am now, like these dry winter branches, reaching out for every bit of rain drop and sun that would feed my weariness.

I just finished a four day, at-home therapy of intravenous steroids and now I am on a ten day taper. My body is shaky, my nerves on edge and I feel all too often like She-Hulk wants to bust out of me! Oh, I repent and lay it all down at Jesus’ feet. My family is gracious and they all know I am all too fragile right now. I just take moment by moment. I have more mobility of my legs and I was even able to drive this weekend! Yahoo! You don’t know how freeing that is unless you have had the privilege taken away. I still have quite a bit of numbing/hugging around my ribs and midsection. I am praying that fades quickly.

IMG_3560

You know what it is like when you have worked so hard to do well and then you bend and mess it all up? It is incredibly discouraging. I felt so overwhelmed by this relapse. And I didn’t want to go to my discouraging neurologists either. That was why I waited so long to get treatment. Sad isn’t it? Through it all, I chose not to lose hope. The Father has been so faithful to whisper comfort into my ear. He has encouraged me along the way and now He has brought me a very supportive doctor. This doctor is very happy with my Alkaline and (just recently) gluten free diet! He is happy with my supplements and understands the wonderful benefits of Juice Plus! His goal is to get me through this relapse and then to find out why my body is attacking itself via this particular Auto Immune Disease. He wants to get me better, not just treat my symptoms. Can I say, “Thank you Jesus” enough times? Oh my! I walked away from his office so very thrilled and excited.

I am currently on a cleanse using Juice Plus Complete (plant based)Protein Powder and doubling my Juice Plus capsules. I am also using Immunacore to help decrease inflammation as well. I am flushing my body of toxins and stress and while doing so soaking in all the nutrients from these products and the foods I do put in my mouth.

I am on a renewed mission toward health and helping others. It’s really the little things we allow into our lives that take us down Friends. It’s not just the big, obvious things we see coming to stomp us.

What are you going to do today to guard your mind, your soul and your body? What are you going to put into your life to fill you up with good and all that breeds life? One ray of sunshine and one drop of rain at a time fills and feeds the roots of any tree and in Spring that tree will bear fruit. I am planting my spiritual body in God’s word and truth. And my physical body in real, nutritious food that feeds my cells. If you haven’t fasted or done a cleanse I highly encourage you to do so. It will give your body a good foundation to build on. Once you have done that, pour into yourself like you matter, because YOU DO MATTER!!

Supplements Work with Awesome Results

Vitamins 2014

“And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.” Genesis 1:29

This is long past due as I have been itching to share with you the vitamin and whole food supplements I take and the awesome results I experienced at the beginning of Summer when I added a few to my regiment.

As many of you know, I have been taking Juice Plus Orchard, Garden and Vineyard blend for over two years now and this has enabled me to get extra doses of fruit, vegetables and grains into my diet. These have enabled my body to remain in a minor detox mode. It helps to cleanse my body of the exposure to toxins via the food or chemicals I am exposed to. I take Juice Plus instead of spending mass quantities of time juicing and cleaning up; however, I still eat loads of vegetables and fruit in my diet via salads, smoothies, sandwiches or any other creative way I can implement them into my day. For the first two years I took twice the adult dosage of Juice Plus. I am currently taking one adult dose a day.

I take vitamin B12 because it plays a key role in the generation of myelin. Many people are B12 deficient but M.S. patients are almost always deficient. I currently take 2,500 mcg Sublingual every other day.

Vitamin D is also found to be deficient in many M.S. Patients. I try to get in the sun at least 15 minutes a day to soak in the rays but if it is too hot or too cold I increase my Vitamin D. I currently take a cheaper brand of Vitamin D3 2,000IU. I will soon be investing in a higher quality product as the one I am taking now has an artificial caramel color added to it. I did not catch that before buying it. This is why it is very important to read labels. If you don’t know what an ingredient is look it up and make sure it is good for your cells!

And now…….my Summer story.

Our family moved to a new city at the end of April and we quickly jumped into extracurricular activities, casual home school and adjustment to a new routine. It seems that inflammation in my body and exacerbation of symptoms always kicks up an extra notch during the Spring months and then a whole other side of symptoms are experienced with Summer heat. As the May flowers began blooming so did the inflammation within my body. I began experiencing a lot of numbing in my feet and legs. I had the padded feeling on my feet and the numbing began moving its way up my body. Concern kicked in that I would have to go the hospital again. Fear that doctor would damage my body further with intravenous steroids was on the rise.

It was then that I was reminded by a fellow M.S. patient about a product called Protandim. A stranger had told me about it and I had written the name down and forgot about it. I quickly looked up the main ingredients and ordered a few of them of Amazon. The five main ingredients in Protandim are: Milk Thistle (225mg), Bacopa extract (150 mg), Ashwagandha root (150 mg), Green Tea (75 mg) and Turmeric Curcumin extract (75 mg).

I began taking Green Tea capsules but my eye began to twitch within the first few days and it was driving me nuts so I stopped taking it after a week or so. I do drink decaf and/or caffeinated Green Tea regularly. It helps me to be alert when driving, writing to you fine people 😉 or whatever else I need to be extra alert. It is also full of antioxidants and helps to decrease inflammation in the body.

I was taking Ashwagandha daily but I found that it made me a little too relaxed. This is some info on Ashwagandha that I got from http://www.chopra.com. Ashagandha:
Protects the immune system
Helps combat the effects of stress
Improves learning, memory, and reaction time
Reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
Helps reduce brain-cell degeneration
Stabilizes blood sugar
Helps lower cholesterol
Offers anti-inflammatory benefits
Contains anti-malarial properties
Enhances sexual potency for both men and women

I might start taking it again to see if it was this supplement that relaxed me too much or not. It is very, very good for the body and worth the effort in trying it again or taking it with a light snack before bed. I currently have 570 mg capsules of Full Spectrum Ashawagandha.

At the same time I started the Ashwagandha and Green Tea I started taking two 1,000 mg capsules of Turmeric Curcumin and 1 150 ml of Milk Thistle a day. Turmeric Curcumin has tons of antioxidants in it and in turn enables the body to decrease inflammation.
According to Mercola.com, “In Ayurvedic terminology, turmeric includes the following:
Verdana sthapana — promotes your healthy nervous system and helps you with occasional discomfort*
Sangrahani — supports your absorption of vitamins and minerals*
Anulomana — helps you in purging out wastes and building healthy blood*
Rakta stambhaka — promotes the wellness of your circulatory system*
And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Ayurvedic turmeric uses.”

I bought these on Amazon.com and was very impressed with the Eden Pond brand.. On the box I received I was given an opportunity to receive a free bottle. I contacted the company and after submitting a review I was sent a whole bottle for free! So awesome!

As the week or two went by I wasn’t even paying attention to my body. I was in Mama’s busy mode and unaware of the changes taking place. It wasn’t until my mom asked if there had been any changes that I realized the numbing had gone away. Completely gone. We were in the midst of hot weather but the numbing was gone!

Now, let’s be real. I do still have symptoms. At certain times of the month I have an increase in weakness or nerve craziness. I wake up with an arm that feels dead and I hurry to awaken it. Certain body functions are not normal but for the most part I am doing amazing! Due to my diet, the Juice Plus, the supplements and regularly working out I am moving and functioning almost normal. I have worked my way to riding on average seven miles in twenty minutes or less on my stationary bike. I do whatever I can each day to stay active. Some days I do lots of stretching and Yoga/Taekwando/Pilates type poses and I lift light weights.

The next God given gifts of herbs I will be trying is Essential Oils. I have been using a cheaper grade of oils here and there and have found some results. I will be getting my first shipment of pure, high quality Young Living Essential Oils tomorrow and I can’t wait to implement them into our family’s daily routine. I will let you know what I experience.

Glory be to God for leading our family down this road of natural healing. We are pressing on as a family towards a better quality of life. I am not striving to live a long life but a life well lived.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding these supplements or companies. I would love to help you in whatever way I can. I am not a trained naturopath or physician. I am only sharing my personal experience and the results I have experienced. I am praying for you today.

A Tazo Green Tea alertedness and Jesus filled joyful day to you,
Charise