5 Things for Friday + some BIG News

So it's been a while (1 whole month to be exact) since I've written a blog post. I haven't forgotten about it, I promise. We've just been a little busy this summer between potty training, birthday parties and 3 trips back and forth to Indiana planning my sister's wedding.

On top of that, God's been teaching me through his word, but mainly through people, about the value of cutting away some good, but maybe unnecessary things in order to make room for the new thing he's doing in THIS season. 

For me, that's meant stepping back a little on the weekly blog posts, so that I can put my energy into what he's calling me to right now (SPOILER ALERT: you'll find out about some of that in this post). But don't worry, you won't get rid of me that easily. After all, blogging is still one of my favorite mediums for teaching and sharing, and I won't be giving it up anytime soon.

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Since I've been MIA for a month, I thought I'd give you all an update on what I've been up to + share some fun things and exciting news. Without further ado, here's 5 things for Friday:

1. Upcoming Mexico Trip & Swim Suit Season

In T-8 days Dwayne and I will be flying to Mexico to spend a week with my family for my sister's wedding. Judah will not be coming with us. I have mixed feelings about this. It's the first time we'll be apart for more than 2 days. Plus, he just turned 2, and I've decided to use the time we're gone to completely wean him, which is a whole separate emotional roller coaster on its own.

On the bright side, it will be the first trip alone with my husband since we got married...SIX YEARS AGO. So yea, we're pumped. However, I am NOT crash dieting, detoxing, or exercising like a crazy person to try to lose weight or somehow make my body "beach ready". Because the truth is all bodies are "beach ready" and restriction and overexercising almost always results in weight GAIN in the long run. AND I have too many other things going on right now to worry about that stuff.

Something I DID do in preparation (aside from all the maid of honor duties) is buy two new swim suits from Cup She that fit me well and make me feel comfortable in this post-baby body. I talked about this on my Instagram stories. But the gist is this: bodies change and that's normal, you still deserve to be comfortable and clothed in something to your taste & style.

2. Toddler Sleep Chronicles

This last month has been a big one in the world of parenting for Dwayne and I. We successfully potty trained Judah, which of course led to me getting buck wild excited over ALL the toddler training to-dos. I started slashing away at that to-do list with vengeance, the next items on the list: get rid of the pacifier, transition to a toddler bed, night time potty train, sleep train and wean. 

If you're an experienced parent, you're probably laughing and rolling your eyes simultaneously right now. The results of my rampage: we did successfully get rid of the pacifier (YAY). We converted his crib to a toddler bed for two weeks and attempted night time potty training and night time weaning. As you probably guessed, a lot of sleep was lost, tears were had (mostly mine), and pee soaked sheets were washed until we came to the shocking realization that we were doing WAY too much at once.

So we decided to put the pull-up back on at night and reassemble the crib. While I of course think my toddler is a boy-wonder genius (as any good parent would), the impulse control to STAY IN BED is not there. We reevaluated what was most important at this stage and came to the conclusion that sleep and weaning were numbers one and two. We've been plugging away at those things and it's going way better!

I can't help but think about all the parallels between motherhood and letting go of restrictive eating/dieting. Both of them are lessons on releasing control and giving it over to God. When we get ahead of Him --trying to do everything on our own and at record pace--we usually end up pretty frustrated and burnt out. But when we look around at what He is already doing and do that or when we take time to listen for him and lean on him--well ,we're usually a whole lot happier.

PS if you're a tired, stressed out mom whose child never seems to sleep or maybe just ISN't right now, listen to this podcast from Risen Motherhood. This isn't a podcast to tell you how to sleep train your child, just a ridiculously refreshing application of the gospel of grace to motherhood and sleeping--helped me so much this past week!

3. Intuitive Eating, variety, & Seasonal Foods

Do you want to know an interesting observation I've made since practicing intuitive eating? K good, because I'm going to tell you anyway. I used to eat from a very limited group of foods: i.e. certain fruits, vegetables, starches, fats and lean meats, but I would eat A LOT of these foods (because that was all I "could" eat). Now, I find myself eating a much larger variety of foods and needing way less (of each food, not calories). For example, I would eat meat or "lean protein" almost every meal, no matter what season it was or what cravings I had, because it was the "right" way to eat. Now, I crave meat a whole lot less overall. Sure, there are times when I want more of it, like in the winter and during certain times of the month, but then there are times where I don't. 

The seasons affect me in other ways too, for example, all winter long I barely craved fruit and wanted more potatoes, rice, etc. Maybe I'd eat a banana every once in a while and a few oranges, but I just didn't feel like fruit often. Whereas, in my "controlled eating" days, fruit was one of the limited foods I deemed "good" and I had at least 4-5 servings a day (which by the way would sometimes lead to stomach aches). Now, summer is here and I'm back to craving fruit, but mainly what's in season (strawberries and watermelon right now). 

The interesting part is none of these choices to eat or not eat meat, fruit, etc. are really conscious decisions on my part. I have no issues with meat or fruit. I think they're nutrient rich food groups, just let my body tell me when it wants them. If you do like eating a lot of them, do what's best for you! Also, if I'm being honest I've never really made a concerted effort to eat seasonally, but naturally, my taste buds know and my body knows what foods are in season and it craves them!

This doesn't mean my body is right and yours is wrong if you're experiencing something different. It's just to point out that when we give space for all foods to fit, when we make peace with food and listen to our bodies, we often end up incorporating a lot more variety, which we know is indicative of improved health. Any food eaten in excess can cause sensitivities and intolerances in the body, but restricting more and more foods is RARELY the answer. Actually, allowing yourself more and more foods IS! 

If you've been making peace with food and have some insight on this phenomenon, I'd love to hear!

4. Instagram Live Bible Study

This week on Instagram, I announced that I will be leading and writing a bible study on grace and food in the gospel. It'll be run through a separate, private instagram account, so you can join no matter where you live.

You can check out the original post here for details. Over the past few years, God 's shined a light on several passages of the bible (ones I'd read countless times before) in a new way. Through them, he's revealed his grace more completely and shown me the freedom we have in Him to eat, and live and be transformed. I can't wait to dive into these passages with those of you in the bible study. If you're interested, check out the original instagram post for details or contact me here.

I'm limiting the group to 12 people this time around, to maintain a somewhat intimate community setting, so please don't hesitate if you're interested. We start June 30th!

5. Some Big News

Finally, if you made it this far, congratulations. If you skipped to the bottom of this post, well, I guess I can't blame you, because it's probably what I'd do. Promise me you'll go back and read the rest though? I would hate to think I wasted some great self-deprecating humor on a blog that no one read! One more thing, I'll just go ahead and get it out of the way, for all of you who think you know what the surprise is, I am NOT PREGNANT.

Okay, okay. Now that that's clear.  Here's the big, exciting, nerve-wracking news: I'm writing a book. It's coming Christmas 2018. And while at times I feel like the least likely and most unqualified person to do it, God has put it back on my heart over and over again. And He's been faithful to pour out the words thus far. 

So there it is. I can't give you much more right now, but I will ask something of you: Would you pray with me over this book and the people it will reach? Would you pray that it would reach those who need it? Would you pray that it would reach people with the name of Jesus, that it would proclaim his grace in a bigger way, that it would call his people into total freedom and a deeper knowledge of him? That's what I'm praying, and that's what I'm believing. 

Thank you friend, thank you for being here and being a part of Grace Fueled. Until next time, stay nourished, body & soul!