Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

NewsBreak Column: Losing The Weight of The Past January 27, 2009

The following was published in San Clemente Presbyterian’s NEWSBREAK magazine. Editors are welcome to use it as a FREE REPRINT, simply by adding my byline. 
 
In January, most of us strive to become less “sugar plum” and more “fairy.”  This year, what if we lost the weight of our short-comings, our mistakes and past errors in judgment?
 
Over the last few weeks, I’ve determined to let go of everything that happened only a minute before, and release everything that may happen in the next. It’s like looking at the world through a keyhole.
 
At first, it was difficult to let go of my “wisdom,” knowledge gained from the road I’ve traveled. But, considering that I (hopefully!) know twice as much as I did 20 years ago, and may assume I’ll know twice as much in the next 20, what I claim to know right now can’t be the full picture. So, I threw out my own opinions and judgments, and lived in the moment–the holy instant of right now.
 
In this small place, I only have room to listen and respond as God would have me.
 
I thought it might be freeing to forgive and forget the dumb mistakes I’ve made, but surprisingly, the real joy came from letting go of everyone else’s mistakes. When I communicate with my husband, my children, or co-workers, I see only their “loveableness”, forgetting the misunderstanding over dinner, the whining at the grocery store, the unintentionally sharp comment.
 
The results have been astounding. When I look upon others as only loveable, only good, what I receive is love and goodness. Who doesn’t glow around the people who love. forgive and adore them?
 
As Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians, love keeps no record of wrongs. More importantly, Jesus knows all there is to know about us and still loves us unconditionally. When Jesus forgives us our sins, He’s also saying, “We’re done with the past. Stop living in it.” Holding onto shame, regret or anger is the same as holding onto the past. Imagine what a gift it is to be around you who follows His lead, loving and forgiving all?
 
If we want a new beginning, if we hope for transformation of ourselves or our close relationships, we need to agree with the Lord who saved us, and give up the chains of the past. We need to see only the lovable in ourselves and others and put past failings where they belong—in the past. Without the extra “weight” of the past, what is left is the wholly lovable person God Himself created, in His own image.
 
This year, I challenge you to do two things. First, to accept your Father’s forgiveness; To really believe you are washed of your sins, and restored to the truth of your undeniable “lovableness”. The second is a little tougher. I’d like you to forgive everyone else.

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Q and A with Rebecca: My Gluten-Free Toddler January 20, 2009

Got a parenting dilemma? Need more information about something you’ve read on my blog? Just ask!

Reader Question: Our son is 19 months. Last year, right before his first birthday up until August he didn’t gain any weight, and was over-the-top irritable. My naturopath suggested taking him off gluten, which I did, and also had dramatic results. I have him back on gluten so he can be tested (if you take it out they won’t get an accurate result).

Rebecca: Congratulations to you on your commitment to your son’s health. Again and again, I hear from medical professionals that many patients’ complaints can be treated with a change in diet. While signs and symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly from person to person, typically they include:

  • Abdominal cramps, gas and bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue or general weakness
  • Foul-smelling or grayish stools that are often fatty or oily
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stunted growth in children
  • Weight loss, or alternatively, obesity

Celiac disease can also result in malabsorption of nutrients. It is especially critical that your son is diagnosed now so that you can take steps to ensure he receives the nutrients he requires during this time of rapid growth and development.

Reader: Where did you find recipes while doing your toddler’s gluten-free diet? I find it hard to find a good resource with kid appeal menus. It’s a VERY hard diet to follow and because of the amount of work involved I too am hoping his tests are negative! Either way, if that’s what it takes to have a healthier child, then I will be a gluten-free cookin’ mama.

Rebecca: First, I completely agree; a gluten-free lifestyle is in no way “care-free.” One visit to www.Celiac.com, and you learn very quickly that wheat and gluten additives are hidden everywhere, from salad dressing, to egg dishes and sauces, making restaurant eating potentially disastrous. While it can be tough to find foods your little one will enjoy, frankly, it is much easier than being diagnosed as an adult, who already has a lifetime of food preferences and habits to overhaul.

When I first set out to test the gluten-free theory, I simply went to my local health food stores (where I regularly shop) and selected those items specifically marked “gluten-free.”  Most grocery stores now supply a list of all gluten-free products they sell—you just have to ask the store manager for the list.

For me, the experience was confusing and expensive. Some of the products were tasty and worth the extra cost, and some were downright unpalatable and went straight in the trash. We like to eat together as a family, and gluten-free grains are among the highest on the glycemic index–meaning I quickly put on a few extra pounds while trying to encourage my child to try his new foods. The simplest and most logical thing for our entire family is to eat a low-carbohydrate/low GI diet, consisting of lean protein, beans, veggies, fruits, probiotic yogurt, cheese, nuts and seeds. And high-cacao (over 70%) chocolate for treats! My son Joseph also enjoys gluten-free pancakes and breads frequently for breakfast and lunch. My waistline is leaner and Joseph is happy and comfortable, and doesn’t feel deprived. I love to cook and have a separate blog with several amazingly delicious gluten-free and kid-friendly recipes that your whole family will enjoy.

The two biggest hurdles with small children? Goldfish crackers and birthday cake. They are both irresistible magnets. I make my own goldfish crackers at home, and you can buy gluten-free cake mixes, but you will always have difficulty at playdates and birthday parties.

I wish you the best of luck and look forward to learning the results of your son’s GF test. Please check back with me if you have any further questions–I’m here to help!

Want to learn more? Check out these posts:
Gluten-free and Loving It?
My Gluten-free Toddler, Follow up
Gluten-free, Schmooten-free

Hit ”Comments” with your health or parenting question(s), or thoughts about raising a gluten-free child!

 

Christmas With The Lackos January 7, 2009

Here we are in January, and I’m just now posting photos from Christmas. Organizing holiday photos is a little taking down the Christmas lights. If you aren’t careful, it may just be July before you ever get around to it.

Our December was absolutely crammed full of holiday-related activities. My 3-year-old son Joseph assumed a fervor for all things Christmas rivaling my own. The two of us are, without a doubt, Christmas fanatics. He went ice-skating for the first time and while I was bent over the entire time holding him up, as far as he was concerned he was figuring skating like a champ. We went sledding, and he went right to the highest hill, all by himself! (Check out the slideshow!) We read Christmas themed books every night at bedtime, visited the greatest neighborhood lightshow in Southern California (Corona, CA), participated in La Posada, and recycled his old crayons into beautiful flowers and race-car crayons for his friends. We made home-made Christmas cards, his Grandmother sent a home-made Advent calendar, and we listened exclusively to Christmas music all month.  His baby brother Noah joined the fun, pointing and grunting each and every time he walked by our tree, and shouted with joy for every lit up house, reindeer, tree or artificial snowman he came across. Noah seemed to take it all in with joy–that is, until he was set upon Santa’s knee (as you’ll see in the slideshow.)

Just recently, when I packed up all the decorations, books, cards, music and holiday-themed stuffed animals, it was with a bittersweet heart. It is difficult to let go of the magic and wonder, but on the bright side, a New Year brings its own magic and begins a new chapter. Besides, there are only 11 more months til Christmas!

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