Monday, August 29, 2011

Warding off the Plague

My daughter just finished her first day of second grade! Along with all the excitement of the new school year and new adventures, I have this recurring thought at the beginning of EVERY school year: "We have GOT to keep these kids healthy!"

It seems like once school is in full swing, the plague starts passing from one home to the next. Have you noticed?! A few years ago, I got fed up and did something about it.

The two best things I have ever done for my children's health are:

1. Give them daily probiotics.

Whey my kids were very little, I used powdered probiotics and just mixed it in with their milk or whatever they were drinking.

They never even knew it was in there! And, the benefits of probiotics are HUGE! Your gut needs good bacteria in it to keep you healthy. The bad bacteria are what make you sick and diseased, and you definitely don't want that. That's why your doctor will prescribe ANTIbiotics - to kill the bacteria. However, once you finish a round of antibiotics, your gut is wiped out of all its bacteria - good ones, too. You have to take steps to replenish the good ones. Eating yogurt with live cultures is a great way to do that. But, just to be sure, adding probiotics into your vitamin/supplement regimen will DRASTICALLY improve your health.

When my daughter was 3 1/2 and my son was a baby, they both had gotten a "cold" that we just weren't able to shake. My heart ached for them as I would hear their sad little coughs and moans. I just knew there had to be SOMETHING that could help them. So, we started probiotics...and in a couple of weeks, they were well. They haven't been sick like that in over three years now!

Now that they are a little older, I have switched to chewable tablets for convenience. I don't know if the tablets are any better or any worse than the powdered version. We seem to be maintaining our same level of good health since we switched, though. These are the ones my kids like:

You can find both of these products online in many locations via, or you can check your local health food store. I get mine at Central Market and/or Sprouts.

2. Give them Black Elderberry syrup.

In the crisis point of our sickness, a person at the health food store showed me this wonder-syrup that helped kick the crud in our kiddos' little bods. There are two brands that I have used and liked equally:

Here are the benefits of elderberries according to Methods of Healing (

"You have probably heard that consuming berries, particularly the dark colored ones can help boost your immunity because they contain powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals that prematurely age your body or cause disease. The same principle applies with the dark colored elderberries. They contain the same source of anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant.

Elderberry is primarily used to combat flu and colds because of their antioxidant properties as well as their high amounts of potassium and vitamin C. These berries also have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties which greatly help in the fight against colds and flu. Together with the potassium and vitamin C, they help shorten the duration of colds and flu and may even help prevent them too."

I get these elderberry syrups at my health food store, too. Or, if you're so inclined, a google search will produce results out the waz for you.

I just wanted to pass along these secrets to all you baby-mamas out there who are struggling to fight off the funk. You can do it! Your kids will definitely benefit from these immunity boosters, and so will you. Take good care of yourself, woman!

And, before I forget...

If you know me, then it goes without saying, but since some of you don't know me I'm going to say it. I SPEAK health over my kiddos in the name of Jesus. He is the Healer and He is the one who holds everything together. He is the Word. And His covenant with us is one of New Creation. I ACTIVELY proclaim good health over my children - that is my offensive attack, as well as my first line of defense! Then, I use the noggin God gave me to do the things I need to do: feed them good, nutritious food...limit sugar...make sure they get enough sleep...pump them with vitamins and supplements like I showed you above...and so on.

You are a good mom and you can partner with the Healer to turn your kids' health around! Go get 'em, Tiger!

I'd love to hear some things you do to keep your kids healthy...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Toxic Atmosphere

Have you ever spent a little "too much time" with a person...or persons...or family??? If you have, then I'll bet you totally understand what I mean by the term "toxic atmosphere." Where every breath is a struggle. Where, no matter what you do, you can't seem to escape the looming, poisonous cloud.

If you ask me how I know so much about this, I'll just tell you I have no idea what you're talking about.

BUT, I will tell you some survival tips for the next time you find yourself in this situation.

1. Never leave home without your oxygen mask. Oh, yeah. You own one. It's the collection of Scriptures with your name on them, that the Spirit has breathed on you in your times alone with Him. It's all those words of destiny spoken over you by trusted, faithful friends. It is knowing who you truly are - who God says you are.

2. Put your mask ON. It's one thing to own the mask. It's another thing entirely to put it on. When you go into a toxic situation, you MUST PUT YOUR MASK ON. Don't breathe in the toxic fumes, or you will be affected. Simple as that.

3. Lead with love. The best opener is always a gesture of love. The toxic parties may or may not receive it, but you have set the stage, nevertheless.

4. Pray for compassion and understanding. It can be SO hard to figure out what the issues are when dealing with toxic people. They don't even know what their issues are, believe me! So ask the Spirit to put compassion in your heart for them. Ask for insight so that you can communicate in a way they understand.

5. Laugh a lot. When things aren't going well, just laugh. Laugh about everything. Laugh at the ridiculosityness of the situation...and make up words that reflect it.

6. Set the boundaries. You don't have to let someone else's attitude, demeanor, way of doing things, negativity, lunacy or otherwise...get inside the boundaries you have made. The other person doesn't even have to know the boundary exists. But YOU do. You know where the line is and when to let certain comments fall to the wayside. When to ignore and when to address. You don't have to let someone keep hurting you or crossing the line.

7. See beyond. Keep your eyes focused on something greater. See the toxic person with spiritual eyes so that you can pray for them, encourage them and bring truth (lovingly, in secret code) into their reality. AND, you must see beyond your encounter in the toxic atmosphere. You need to look forward to something else so that you keep hope alive! Plan something else to look forward to before you even enter the situation!

You can't live in a toxic atmosphere. It will kill you. If you feel like your everyday existence is toxic, then you MUST make some changes. Ask the Holy Spirit what to do. Ask Him to shine light into your darkness. One word from the Lord is like a thousand lighthouse beacons in the dark night. Pray for clarity in your confusion. One whisper from the mouth of the Lord can silence all the other voices.

Dear, sweet one, you are too precious to your Father to settle for begging the crumbs at His table. Let Him lift you and set you in your rightful seat at the banquet. Stop accepting the lie that you're too far gone for Him to truly love you. He has a feast beyond your wildest imagination prepared just for you. He's calling you up out of the fumes and into the sweet fragrance of His presence. He is inviting you to come out of survival mode and into relaxing, joy-filled living mode.

Sometimes we must take a trip into toxic territory. Sometimes we can even find ourselves stuck there. Either way, it's not home. Jesus is inviting you to come back home. Say yes.

"So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared with the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets they eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever."

2 Corinthians 4:16-18, MSG

Monday, August 15, 2011

Don't Mess With Texas

I am on a California trip right now and really enjoying the mountains and gargantuan swaths of nature that surround us. I love swimming in a lake that is hugged by mountains. I love REALLY tall trees. I love being close enough to drive to the coast...and then taking a day to drive out there and enjoy it.


There are just some things about Texas that I love, too. I am a Texan by birth, and it will always be a part of me. My Texas roots always get tender when I am away, so I just thought I'd bring you along on my list of Texas-ness today. (that rhymes)

1. Boots. Just take a quick look around the room in Texas and you'll find some. Something comforting about that.

2. Longhorn steers. I mean, who doesn't love a cow with ginormous horns??!!

3. Tex-Mex food. Mexican food is not enough. Mexicans could learn a few tricks from us.

4. The friendliest people on the planet. Southern hospitality is pretty amazing, but Texans take the cake. The most fiercely loyal friends I have ever met are Texans.

5. The accent. It's pretty unique...and it used to annoy me when I was younger. I tried so hard to mold my speech into something more proper. Now, I like it. It's home-y to me. Texan will always be my native language.

6. Football and cheerleading. No one gets it like Texans. And don't get me started on homecoming. Mums are the coolest.

7. Gateway Church. My favorite place to connect with God's people and join them in expanding God's Kingdom here on earth. There are lots of great churches in Texas, but this one's my favorite! And my home!

8. Big jewelry. I love me some big silver hoop earrings, girl! While I lived in Tennessee for several years, I purposely toned down the size and sparkle of my jewelry. But, since then I've been set free. Bring on the bling!

9. Big hair. It didn't stop in the '80's, oh no. And that works for me, because no matter what I do, my hair always ends up back in the wavy lion's-mane style I'm currently sporting. My hair fits in Texas. It's my hair home.

10. Big bigness. Everything truly IS bigger in Texas. Food, cars, guns, egos...

Well, thanks for enduring my country-song reminiscence of my homeland. Feel free to brag about your own...