"Life is happening now. Real life can be crazy, messy with peaks, valleys; and it can be overwhelming to start something new. Sometimes we have to step back and ask, “What am I being called to right now?” The answer may be to start a project or may just be adding one new good habit, like taking a walk around the neighborhood or drinking more water during the day. Either is a good decision. These short-term, positive decisions will lead to long-term success, but it starts now. Be purposeful and plant something that will be fruitful in 20 years.
Starting a new project, implementing a change can be hard; some don’t know how to do it. There are many resources out there. For example: People who are willing to help and encourage your journey. Reach out. I submit to you four actions: Prepare, Plant, Water, and Be Patient.
My children envision this huge tree that is full: one they can climb, hang a tire swing, or build a tree house. While the end result is desirable, there is preparation beforehand. We have to prepare the soil, plant the seed, water it daily, be patient and wait to see the growth. New growth might not pop up overnight, but growth is happening. It takes time and it’s worth it.
First step: You must prepare. Sometimes it’s not an ideal season. Hang on, seasons change, prepare for that change. All soil needs nutrients and there are many products out there to help improve your soil. Thank goodness we have choices, because there are some products that might be less expensive. As the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for.’ However, just because a product is expensive and has a fancy label, it doesn’t mean you are getting anything better than the less expensive brand. Do your homework, it’s so easy to research and ask for information from companies. Compare, contrast, and make the best decision for you. I want to make the best decision, so I research and research some more. I have all this information but, if I don’t act on that, what good is it?
The next two steps: You must plant the seeds then water. You can plan until the cows come home, but you have to DO something. 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” You will reap what you sow.
Finally, be patient. Wait and see what the results will be. Some results will be immediate, positive things we see right away. They will spur you forward and help you stay the course. However, some results are long term and we may only see the foundation being laid. It might take time to see the full fruits of our labor. For example, the health choices I make now are going to affect my long-term health. I don’t want to look back with regret that had I only made a few changes twenty years ago; maybe it would have led to be a different quality of life. There is no gluten containing anything that is worth the inflammation it causes in my body. That will take precious time from me being at full capacity for my wonderful life.
What’s your why? Is there something that you want to do? Are there changes you want to make? For me, it’s deeply personal, it’s health through nutrition. I wish I could eat whatever I wanted, with no consequences! That’s just not the case. I struggle with anxiety, and am really sensitive to products, foods and even my environment. After many years of not feeling well and being on medications, I found a doctor who tested me for allergies and sensitivities. What I thought was healthy for me: whole wheat, dairy for protein and calcium, was actually not helping my cause. Seven and a half years ago, I totally overhauled my diet. I prepped and plowed and planted my seeds. I came off all anxiety medication, lost weight I had gained while on previous medications, and felt like myself again. It doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have to manage it. I have regular maintenance to do, but my tree was planted and it’s growing. When I became a mom, it was an answer to many years of prayers. When I started to recognize some of the same gastrointestinal issues, eczema, and sensitivities in my children, I had them tested. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Both my girls and I have to be vigilant about what we fuel our bodies with. All three of us, for different reasons: one has malabsorption, and one we carry an Epi-pen for. I wrote, Gus the Goat GoesGluten Free. The message is simple: Some foods don’t make us feel good. We need to find out what we can eat, celebrate those positive items, know that we are taking care of our bodies, so we can go out and be awesome. Kids love to see themselves in characters in a book and Gus the Goat Goes Gluten Free allows that connection for whatever your food allergy may be. My children notice when they eat something that doesn’t work for their body, they don’t feel well. There are so many yummy foods we have discovered along this journey. As they grow and learn, they won’t have to look back and say, “What if we had planted this tree, way back then?”
I wish I had this information before, but I can’t do anything about that. I do have control of what I choose to do today. I have to maintain it daily, but it has bared good fruit. When I see my girls becoming aware of making the best choices for their body, I am blessed and grateful for the health we have. My tree isn’t completely grown, but almost eight years later, it’s had great growth."
Rebecca Champlin was born and raised in San Diego, California. During her husband's Naval career, they were stationed in Naples, Italy for three years where they traveled all around Europe experiencing a variety of foods and cultures. She is a mommy of two beautiful red heads who happen to have allergies. She has experienced how the foods we eat affect how our bodies function and the difficulties explaining this to children.
She wrote Gus the Goat Goes Gluten Free as a way to explain having and living with food allergies in a simple way children can relate to. She prays you find encouragement to find the right combination of food for your body so you can go out and be awesome! Rebecca currently loves living in Eagle, Idaho with her family and dog, Milo.
You can stay current on Rebecca's book and other family happenings on her Facebook page here.
You can find Jessica's review of Rebecca's book on Amazon here.