Cemented Heart.

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The ice princess, now cemented heart, about to freak out on the innocent and the translucent. I just want some relief, whatever that may look like. I don’t know if it is near or far, but the feelings of a trapped animal are all too familiar. I want out. I want out of the pain, the grief, the disturbance of this reality that I did not ask for. I want out. There is no way out, only in and through. Do I have the energy or stamina to commit to this process? In the natural, no freaking way, however, I chose a path in which I wanted the supernatural for everything, so this is absolute reliance on the Creator, not me. I can’t. I just can’t. I have nothing, but in Him, I have everything. I submit, I surrender, I give up. I really do. I don’t have one ounce of any thing, but nothing to give. I am D. O. N. E. Seriously. My hair is always clean, but there just might be one day it aint. That’s right, I just used improper English. Do I care? No. I don’t. My house may have lego here and there. Yesterday that would have made my whole world crumble…today…I don’t care. I really don’t. Step on it. That is what I am doing. Stepping on lego bodies, lego cars, lego pieces, I DON”T CARE! I am not in the head space to clean, to sweep, sweep, sweep, I am freaking done. Let this process begin. I have nothing to lose. I have already lost what meant so much to me. Let’s get down to business Jesus. I am ripped, wrecked and ready to roll. Despite it all, as Sean would have said to me at one time, I am still the greatest.

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Avocado Black Bean & Chipotle Burger

Everyone has a favorite food. We just do. Think about it for a moment and imagine just now what that favorite food is….is it Pizza? Sushi? Mexican? Well, mine, believe it or not has always…since I was little….been a burger. Oh man. Seriously, thinking back to Popeye’s friend, Wimpy, who loved burgers, maybe that is when the burger fascination began, or Jughead and his love for burgers, yet his skinny frame screamed anything but that…if I ate burgers as much as those cartoons did, I would be in a heap of trouble. I haven’t had red meat for nearly five years, I have had to revamp a few recipes in order to find my go to. This would be one of them. Since our family had not had much meat in the house for nearly 9 months now, this is a reliable burger that even our kids enjoy…We don’t even have to bribe with this one! Seriously! Hope you like!

Avocado Black Bean & Chipotle Burger

Inspired By: Thrive

– tbsp coconut oil
– 1 black bean veggie burger
– 1 sprouted grain burger bun…we use Silverhills
– 2 Tbsp chipotle lime aioli
– sliced tomatoes
– pea or sunflower sprouts
– 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced and peeled
– 1 large romaine or red leaf lettuce leaf

How To Make the Veggie Burger

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked or canned black beans
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cups cooked whole grain rice
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large handful cilantro leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp ground corriander
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
2 Tbsp tamari sauce
1-2 cups fresh bread crumbs made from Silver Hills bread
Coconut oil
A couple of pinches of salt

How To Play:

In a medium bowl, combine the black beans, oats, rice, and nutritional yeast.
Mix thoroughly with hands. In a blender, combine the onion, cilantro, coriander, paprika,
mustard, and tamari. Blend until just mixed.

Add the onion mixture to the bean mixture and mix well, adding salt. Add bread crumbs and mix with your
hands until the mixture is firm to the touch and no longer sticky.

Form the mixture into 2cm thick patties.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a little coconut. Fry patties until lightly brown, about 1 minute or so per side.

Chipotle Lime Aioli:
Roast 1 bulb of garlic. Add the roasted garlic with 1/4 cup veganaise. Add 1 small handful of fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
and 1 1/2 finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobe sauce with 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice. Add 1tsp maple syrup, 1 tsp of sea salt
and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk all until smooth.
Enjoy.

Keep moving to be stable.

This song means more to me than any other during this journey we are walking through. That is just it…walking through. One of the most amazing lyrics in it is ‘I’ll keep moving to be stable.’ This song takes me back to Ft. Langley days, Trinity days, Southgate days and rapidly transforming itself currently into the present moment of this day…running around doing the things I need to – to be stable. I hear this throughout my morning, afternoon, and into the early evenings…I just can’t stop moving. It is what seems to keep me stable during the time in my life which seems the most unstable I have ever known.

First Aid Kit.

I am continually impressed by how music plays can on the stings of my heart when welcomed. How it can pull out the lyrics hidden beneath the fibers of my very being, gently unwinding, politely exposing and then reminding me of the current chord I seem to have immersed myself in. A few years ago I was introduced to The First Aid Kit and I thought their album was nice. However, that was where I left it at. Nice. Today, though, I had the children shushed in the vehicle and told them I love this song before it even finished. Then I took ownership, which can be so annoying to some, by telling my kids, THIS IS MY SONG!!! They weren’t allowed to talk or move as I drove down King Ed in absolute awe of how a song could pin point so preciously the moment within the moment. To keep on keeping on and not taking the easy road. Hopefully there are others too, who find songs to the soundtracks of their lives. To remind or to encourage what they are going through or coming out of. May none of us choose to take the easy roads paved temptingly before us. May we keep on keeping on. There is just no time to give in or to give up.

For whom the bell tolls.

The monk by the sea

Will there ever be relief? My suffocated heart, a weathered compass, blindly guides me into the radical-ness of this storm. Salt water on my tongue, salt water in my troubled eyes. It is salt water who grips me, grieving me endlessly. To be body-less in its entity would be escapism beyond my reach. To morph myself- I the water, the water I. Perhaps with a systematic grace and grit, a southern kind of graciousness this north western girl could mimic. Yet I hear in the distance the ringing of a bell, for whom does this bell toll? Is it for me? I whisper. Emptied of all control.

Photo credit: Caspar David Friedrich – Der Mönch am Meer

Immune Boost.

 

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In this season of chill….this is the greatest juice to rid those nasty flu like symptoms. The cayenne pepper gives it a nice kick. I am all about kicks…maybe it stems from my early years of kickboxing, either way, this is a nice juice to spar life with a partner you love.

His and Hers: Immune Boost Juice

Inspired by Kris Carr

Ingredients:

4 Large carrots

2 Navel Oranges, peeled

½ inch piece of turmeric root

Pinch of cayenne pepper

How To Play:

Wash and prep all ingredients. Juice all ingredients,  and sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne pepper

Note: If possible, try to use all organic ingredients to protect the body from unwanted toxins.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

Deep waters.

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It is unfortunate a month goes by and the words and motions that I have gone through are trapped underneath the blankets of every smile, kind gesture, innocent prayer, loving embrace, and unimaginable compassion given to us by so many. Perhaps trapped is not the best word to use, but these very things have indeed been stored deep inside my heart, protecting, encouraging, and equipping me. There have been hours in which I have had Mahalia Jackson playing throughout my house while sobbing at the kitchen sink. There have been moments when in the shower I have burst out in tongues, praising God for His goodness despite not understanding the reports or the results in our hands. As I have layed on the hard tiles of our floor, and stared aimlessly, praying my children to never find me in such a place of vulnerability, absolute loss, or in a state of complete devastation. There have been times of such darkness in which I prayed for the Rescuer to rescue, the One who guides to just guide.

It was July 24th, exactly four months ago we found out it was cancer and three weeks later told it was not only a large mass in the colon, but had spread to the liver and the lungs making it stage IV colon cancer.

After getting off the phone with our naturopath, I stared out the kitchen window and realized that life was going to be forever different. A movie I would have turned off or a television show I would have switched. In life, we can’t turn it off nor can we switch it. We just do it. As I looked down at my hands, I took a mental photograph of them, for they were going to experience a new way of life, as well. Chopping, juicing, beet and carrot stained side effects, only one in a place of transition can get. Sean came down the stairs and I looked at him from the kitchen sink and told him what Mrs. Ewing had said. She said, “Until we are able to see him, juice vegetables, minimum fruits, mostly greens, go vegan, stay away from sugar and anything processed.”

Morning juice, afternoon juice, snack juice, dinner juice, evening juice, something just because juice, we juiced like crazy the first three months. Sean began to lose weight, but this was solely because he was no longer stopping off at Tim Hortons for a large double-double with Timbits or at the 7 eleven for a Coke is it and a package of superior Joe Louie’s. His skin began to clear, his energy levels completely changed, and his eye whites were whiter than I had ever seen them to be. He began to grow hair on his face, which was thick and bristly, and hair began to grow thick on his legs and lower back. What was happening? In absolute amazement of these sudden changes taking place in his body in only two months, we thought for sure his body was on the road to healing. We met with the cancer clinic oncologist who didn’t seem too concerned about his new found energy, happy spirit, or furry body, but more interested in getting him on the highest dose of chemotherapy right away and having an appointment to have a port put in his body. Two years. With chemo, he would only have two years. Um. This didn’t really seem to make any sense to me. Was I sad? No. In shock? No. I believed God was in control and leading us somewhere, but not too sure of where. We told the oncologist we were going to be doing an integrated approach with natural medicines as well. He right away shook his head and couldn’t understand why we would spend such money on things not proven to help extend a person’s life, when all the chemo and drugs were free. After much more blood work, Sean’s numbers were showing the cancer was aggressive and the doctor from Integrated Health phoned recommending he begin the vitamin C Intravenous treatments that day, so he did.

September 22nd Sean had his port installed. It was a crazy day. I remember feeling queasy about what was going to be surgically placed in his body. To this day, I still have no idea what it looks like or how it functions, because just the thought of it causes my legs to go numb and I want to faint. SO….the next day was his three hour stint of chemo. He was quite sick and vomited throughout the process, while a woman beside him having chemo too ate a chocolate bar. Sean walked home to a mess. A dishwasher was being installed and one problem after the next, the kind gentleman didn’t leave our house until quite late. We ended up ordering in food. Sean was able to eat toast and miso soup, but weakly made his way up to our room to sleep with his chemo baxter bottle hooked up to him, pumping faithfully every hour into his body. The next few days were absolutely insane, no in fact, the next few weeks were the most difficult I have ever endured. Do I remember them? Yes. I have a photographic memory, but what my memory chooses to remember is another thing. I remember the mouth like Cameron Diaz’s on the “substitute” doctor as she showed kindness to Sean when after two rounds of chemo saying she recommends he takes a break from chemo to get his mind right. He was unrecognizable spiritually to me and emotionally. Physically he was my corpse husband barely holding on to anything, but the blanket around his body. I remember the smell of the hospital entrance and the hand sanitizer that only draws be back to any previous times of entering a hospital and the nameless faces of those of hopelessness waiting in the room with us, as if we were all cattle going in for the slaughter. I remember the sounds of my shoes walking in the changing of the season. The dewy sound of my distressed oxfords as they hit the pavement and the squishing of soggy leaves that had fallen from the night before. The driest summer to be recorded, fall was welcomed with a faint embrace. My sister and I had joked how it was such a summer of sadness and shortly before hand Sean had preached that last year was such a time of death for us, with so many loved ones passing, that this year was going to be a year of life. I began to question this with his diagnosis. However four months later, we have experienced more life than we have ever in the last 10 years we have been married. There has been a unity in which man made strength could not possess. We have been blessed by a community we have loved, but have never known how love expresses itself in such a mosaic kind of way. The love of God, the love of man, the love of a brother, a sister, a stranger, has reshaped our whole way of thought and existence. This love is bringing life and healing in areas where there was no life or health. After one bad report of the next, I began to wonder if I was experiencing -on an incredibly small scale-post-traumatic stress disorder. I could not handle one more report; I could not face whispering one more prayer of hope, or anticipating the words that were going to spill out of the doctor’s mouth after he took a deep breath with a report of some sort of Sean’s in his hands giving a finite prediction of his timeline.  I really couldn’t handle the thoughts that raced through my head and swallowed me whole as I drowned in endless negative reports and contradictions of what I believed to be truth.

But Jesus, He does things in ways that benefits us and gives Him the glory. There has been a mirage of events, God happen chances in the last months in which I am endeavoring to record, for it is important for us to not forget His benefits, however the decisions we have chosen together to make, make sense for us. We are seeing results that are bringing hope and faith and our belief still remains the same, that there is a bigger picture. What that looks like, we don’t know yet, however, what we do know, is God’s hand is at work and we continue to remain His humble servants doing all things unto Him. His promise says when we go through deep waters, He will be with us. As we go through rivers of difficulty, we will not drown. When we walk through the fire of oppression, we will not be burned up; the flames will not consume us.

 

 

 

Silence.

Well, it wouldn’t be very consistent if I were to blog more than a month at a time. I can’t understand the speed of time and the slowness of an hour. I am in the process of gathering new recipes and experimenting with them to see what happens when I add or take something away from them. As I have been doing so, I have stumbled across this song by Lucia, an 18 year old Romanian girl. She reminds me a bit of Tori Amos mixed with Patrick Watson. Enjoy.

30 Day Challenge: Day 11

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Day: 11

Since Sean has been out of town, this little challenge has been challenging me in more ways than one. I have been finding it difficult to find time to write, time to eat, time to think, and time to work out, because there are so many different things happening in the day! By the time night rolls into town, I want to head to bed with the kids. Last night while they were eating their leftover chicken paprikash and dumplings, I ate Gwyneth Paltrow’s Millet and Chickpea Falafels and Tomato Avocado Salsa. I had it again today for lunch. SO GOOD! I have been happy with the results of my restricted eating compared to when I just ate chocolate whenever I wanted. My tight pants are beginning to feel slightly normal again, Phewie! It is amazing how after one week of strictness, our bodies are able to adjust to the sudden changes halfway into the second week. I am looking forward to Sean’s return and for my return back to spin class, also for the use of his phone so I can take photos of my meals. Oh trashed camera…how I miss thee. I can just imagine a few friends under their breath saying, “Well, if you would just get your own phone….” Any ways….that is not going to happen, but what is going to happen is 19 more days of this challenge and a possible weigh in, but scales scare me, so truly doubt it.