Can You Hear It?

The GEntleBreeze

We live in a world of chaos and noise.. There is so much noise that most of us if we were to be honest with ourselves can’t handle being in silence. In stillness. We become bored and anxious. Our brains have been rewired to be constantly thinking and doing and the sadness of this fact is, we miss it.

What It am I talking about? The voice of God. What is the voice of God? How do we hear it? The best way for me to explain what the voice of God is, is from the Holy Scriptures in 1 Kings 19:9-13. Elijah is in a cave and the Lord tells him to go outside because the Lord is passing by. When Elijah gets outside a fierce wind comes crushing mountains and rocks but the Lord was not in the wind. Then, an earthquake comes shaking the earth and making more noise but the Lord was not in the earthquake. Next, a fire comes and makes all kinds of noise burning all in its path but the Lord was not in the fire. Finally, a soft breeze comes and Elijah hears the voice of God.

There are two ways here we can understand God. Firstly, God doesn’t speak to us in a loud, noisy, chaos filled voice. There will be no “big bang” so to speak. Instead, Gods voice is like that of a gentle breeze. Have you ever sat outside on a beautiful spring day and felt a soft, gentle breeze? It has no sound does it?.. So we learn that God comes softly. God speaks softly and He speaks gently.

Secondly, God comes in silence. He does not try and breakthrough the chaos of the noisy world we live in. He will not shout over the noise of our thoughts. He waits for us to be silent.  In the fast paced, incredibly noisy world we all live in, finding solitude and silence can be a large task but not impossible. We must seek out the silence. We must re-train our minds to be silent because in that silence we will hear the soft, gentle voice of God who wishes to speak with us if only we allow Him too.

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Zucchini Strips With Portobello Bolognese

Today I am sharing with you a recipe I made for my Mr this week. Since changing his diet due to health reasons I have been slowly easing him into a more healthful diet. Mr is an Italian and loves to eat. The problem is he loves to eat all the wrong things but by introducing him to dishes with lots of flavor he’s learning that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean boring or tasteless.  I hope you will also enjoy this delicious healthy meal for yourself and your family. In the photos I share with you the stages of this recipe and down below you will find the complete ingredient list and directions.

Here is what you’ll need to begin.

 

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Pictured here is, minced garlic, minced celery, onion and carrots along with Portobello caps.

After you’ve minced your vegetables, garlic and onion you will also want to finely chop your portobello caps. Add all of these ingredients to a pan and saute. 

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While your veggies are sauteing you will want to strip your zucchini’s. You can spiral them if you choose but since I don’t have a spiraler yet I just used my vegetable peeler and made wide strip zucchini noodles. 

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After you’ve cut your zucchini noodles you’ll want to saute them in olive oil just until soft.

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When the dish is complete it will look beautiful and taste even better!

 

Ingredients List: 

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided

6 Portobello Mushroom Caps, stems and gills removed and finely chopped

1/2 C minced carrot

1/2 C minced celery

1/2 C minced yellow onion

3 large garlic cloves, minced

Salt & pepper (optional)

1 TBSP tomato paste

1 – 28oz can of crushed tomatoes 

2 TSP dried oregano

1/2 C fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, plus a small bit for serving

4 medium Zucchini

Directions: 

Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  When hot add mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion and garlic. You can also add a pinch of salt and pepper if you choose. It will look like a lot of mushroom but these will cook down. 

Cook for 8 – to minutes until veggies are soft and mushrooms have released all their liquid. 

Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes.

Stir in crushed tomatoes, oregano, and basil. Simmer for 15 minutes until sauce has thickened and the flavors have married together. 

While sauce is simmering slice your zucchini noodles or spiral them.

Heat remaining oil in a large skillet. When it’s hot add zucchini noodles. Season with salt & pepper tossing the noodles for about 2 minutes until they are just tender. Immediately remove the noodles from the skillet. You don’t want to overcook them or they will get watery. 

Divine Zucchini noodles onto plate or in bowls, pour bolognese sauce over top.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese.

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Worried

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Yes, that pretty much looks like I do right at the moment.  Just a quick back history for those who aren’t familiar. In April 2016 my husband suffered a heart attack. God decided it wasn’t his time yet and he came out of it pretty well. Fast forward a few months and my Mr began collecting fluid in his feet, ankles and lower legs. 

For almost a year we tried figuring this out. We ran almost every cardiac test you can run with the exception of a catherization because my Mr. didn’t want to undergo that again and honestly, I couldn’t blame him. All tests were showing fine. There was what we have been told a ‘minor’ issue with his heart but nothing dangerous and nothing to worry about. 

Just last month I “thought” we made a breakthrough. His water pill and blood thinner were removed from his medication regiment and suddenly the fluid went away. We could finally see his feet and ankles again.  I was incredibly relieved and incredibly grateful. 

Well, it seems to have been short lived only this time it’s not anywhere near as bad as it was. My husband is now collecting fluid again in his lower legs. Not in his feet yet nor his ankles just a small area in both lower legs with the right one being worse than the left. This is how it’s always been.

Two months ago his blood work showed a slight elevation in his kidney levels so I am going to call our family doctor on Monday to make an appointment and have the test run again. It amazes me that his problems all seem to have begun with the heart attack more than a year ago but we are told the heart attack did not cause any damage to the muscle. 

Once again, I am confused and feeling very worried. Scared actually.  My Mr is my whole world, my life and I have been full of fear and worry for over a year. Every time I think we are on the right track another softball is lobbed straight at my skull. 

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I know I need to trust in the Lord and believe me, I am trying. I am trying incredibly hard but the truth is I am scared and I am frustrated that I can’t seem to give this 100% to the Lord and know that He will take care of things. Again I ask you, please keep us in your prayers. 

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The Decision Is Made

My Decision

As most of my readers will remember, back in April of this year I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Some of you may also know I have been ill for the past 25 years but this is a new diagnoses to go along with many others. My options for treating this new diagnoses are the standard. Methotrexate injections, steroids, and other drugs. 

While I am well aware these drugs are life savers for a lot of people, at this moment in my life I am not willing to subject myself to them. I know some will think I am insane for even thinking this but the truth is, these medicines whilst I understand do help many also cause serious side affects in ones body.

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I have not seen my rheumatologist since April but am due to see him this coming week. Well, after a lot of prayer and soul searching and, after going over my test results I have come to this decision. Whilst I am in pain and I do have swelling in area’s of my body I also realize there are natural ways I may be able to help myself. Possibly through herbs, foods and changing some of my habits. Namely, kicking this sugar binge I have been on for months now. I can tell you this is a major problem for me and it is….making me sick. 

I feel the sickness a few moments after I eat a sugar filled cookie which by the way, I have been binging on for months. I feel the sickness in my body with each potato chip which I have also been binging on for many months. Why have I been eating these foods like they are going out of style? Because I can not swallow 98% of solid foods and I am skinny so, when I find something I can get down I latch on like a german shepherd in heat and don’t let go. The official diagnosis for this is called Dysphagia. 

I have decided that with trusting in God completely and spending a lot more time with Him in prayer, attending Mass again, receiving the Blessed Sacraments and spending time in Adoration,  it is time for me to take the chance and try and introduce good foods into my body even if they have to be pureed. I have to see if I can swallow them (pray I don’t choke) and I have to see if I will be able to digest them. For many years I have seen stomach doctors and always no answers and no real options besides more drugs that may or may not help. I believe, after talking with God, A LOT, it is time I started trying to heal myself with His help. 

In the coming months and weeks I will be scarce on social media with the exception of my blog as I try and learn ways to help and heal myself and I pray and hope to share all this with you here on my blog. I hope you will join me and I ask you to please pray for me. 

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How Did This Happen?

Don't complicate your mind.

Well, honestly I don’t even think it has sunk in yet but it’s here and I can’t deny it any longer. You’re probably wondering what I am speaking of. I am speaking of my youth. Its dwindling and, the proof has been put before me so that even though I see some wrinkles when I look in the mirror and make excuses and I have grey hairs, too many to count now but can cover them with hair dye there are just some things that there can be no excuses for. I am talking about menopause.

Yep, I am wading into that unknown valley. I began my menstrual cycle on June 30th and it didn’t end until July 15th. Yes, you read that right. Somewhere about the 12th I realized that hey, “wait a minute, I still have my period?!?”… Yup, it took me that long to realize it was still there because life gets busy and I was paying no attention to it until I did. I called my doctor that day in a slight panic because while it seemed like it was ending. Late that afternoon it began to pick up speed again and I thought, somethings wrong.

My doctor gave me an appointment for the next day but told me if I felt weak or sick I should go to the emergency room. I had been feeling less than stellar and more tired than usual but with all my chronic conditions it’s not un-normal for me to have times where I feel like this.

But, on the morning of the 13th I awoke feeling so incredibly weak I didn’t know if I my legs would hold me up if I got out of bed. My husband decided we shouldn’t wait for the doctor appointment and took me to the emergency room.

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As you can see in the photo I was not looking my best nor feeling it either.  After having an IV started on me and of course intake by the nurse the doctor came in… He said to me he would run some blood work but after listening to me he believes it’s most likely the beginning of menopause.

Doctor: “how old are you ?”

Me: “47”

Doctor ” Yep, the perfect age, it’s more than likely menopause but lets make sure and see where your blood levels are at”.

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Yes, that’s the look I gave him. Kind of shock, disbelief and “are you freakin kidding me?”

Then they left me sitting there for almost two hours. I’m thinking they wanted to let me stew ruminate on the shining news he gave me which translated to me as, you’re drying up, no babies, weight gain you won’t be able to lose, dryer skin, more physical pain, thinning hair etc etc. All the things that come with getting older.

 Finally the nurse came in to give me my results which were normal, unhook my IV line, release me to go home and to tell me that, she was almost sixty and ‘it’ happened to her the exact same way and “if I was lucky this would be the last one and I would be done”..

Lucky I thought? How is that lucky? This means, no babies, this means an end to, to, well, my youth as I’ve always known it. An end to something although quite more than annoying that has been with me every month for almost my entire life. .What now?

Suddenly, I thought of God.

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And thought well, maybe I am looking at all this the wrong way. Maybe I need to see the positives of all this. While yes, that means, no babies it also means, possibly, no more monthly sickness, maybe no more migraines, maybe no more having to schedule my life around when it was going to hit and block of a week off every month to be more ill than I usually am.

Then God stepped in and showed me, the nurse is right. While this is sad for me in some ways I am truly lucky. There are so many women who have never lived long enough to go into menopause. While it’s not something women look forward to it is a milestone and I know of so many women whose lives were cut short for one reason or another and they never reached this milestone so God said to me, “instead of being ungrateful, be grateful and joyful because I have given you the time to reach this milestone”

And He’s right. So, I am on too the next chapter of my life however long or short that may be and I am going to embrace menopause as much as I can and live each day as much as I can with the knowledge that I am indeed…. lucky and blessed.

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