Monday, March 21, 2011

Loss is a tough thing

Today is the anniversary of a dear friend of mine who lost her son at 13 weeks. This friend is an inspiration in how she lives and handled those difficult times in her life. Not only did she lose her son, but also had an early miscarriage and had a 39 week old stillbirth daughter. Wow. Talk about grief. She now has 2 beautiful girls, who I hope will marry into my family someday :) But the way she talks and glorifies the Lord through her pain blows me away. I never thought I would have to walk that path. Until 3 weeks ago...

3 weeks ago tomorrow my husband and I lost the precious baby living inside of me. That day was probably one of the hardest of my life. Knowing what was happening, and knowing there was nothing I could do to change it. Gut wrenching are the only words to describe the feeling of grief that comes over you. That type of cry that comes from the deepest part of your soul. How and why did this happen? This has never happened to me before. I have had 3 healthy pregnancies and 3 amazing little boys to show for it. God why?!?

After the birth of Joshua, our 2nd son, we felt the Lord asking us to trust Him with the size of our family. "Ummm, excuse me Lord? You SURE about that??" I mean, I don't want to be the Duggers with 20 kids right?! This is where the Lord in His tender loving kindness chastised us. Do we really believe God's word when He proclaims children are a blessing from Him? How can we say we trust the Lord with our WHOLE life then not lay down this part at the cross? So that September of 2008 we decided to give that part to Jesus, and would except whatever He had for us. Even if it meant having 20 kids. Yep, I said it. SHOCK AND AWE! Fast forward to February 2011. I take a pregnancy test because I am 4 days late, and I'm NEVER late unless it's for a reason :) YAY! Pregnant with number 4! And as fast as it happened it was ending. But Lord, I don't understand!! I gave this part of our life to You, expecting children from it! I NEVER expected death. Never. With my heart ripped open, sore and tattered I went to the Lord in worship and prayer. The enemy tried to attack so hard, to bring fear and depression. Fear of being intimate with my husband for fear of becoming pregnant again. Depression over feelings like I caused it. It has been a really hard, hard journey, but the Lord has been so faithful to treat me gently as He heals my heart and soul.

1 in 5 women miscarry. Some never know it and some do. I think unfortunately it's one of those "hush hush" things in our culture. But it NEEDS to be talked about. Cried over with your closest girlfriends. Dealt with before the Lord. That's how healing comes. I'm so blessed to have some amazing women that surrounded me when I lost my baby. One of my friends came soon after it started, and just sat crying with me. The day after several of my friends came together to love on me and cook meals for our family. One of my best friends took me to the chiropractor so I could get adjusted and acupuncture to help the healing process. My amazing chiropractors cried with us and held me as we all wept. Then that bestie took me out for a stiff drink and dinner :) They would call persistently when I wouldn't answer my phone, even find tricky ways to stop by my house to check on me. My friend with teenage daughters lent her girls to us for a date night so Keith and I could go out and talk and reconnect. Because lets face it, for guys it's a totally different experience. And they might not be sensitive to that. But they come around :) Promise.

Through this I have learned alot. First and foremost, as always, God is sovereign. He IS GOOD! He is kind. And that's a hard thing to believe when your in the midst of pain. I have learned that we aren't guaranteed tomorrow. Heck we aren't guaranteed the next second! Enjoy what God has given you. I look at my babies and will NEVER take pregnancy for granted again. I didn't think I did before but I did. And yes, I am still the mom who losses patience and yells at her kids, or tells them to go play so I can get one last thing done, but I am looking more carefully at that these days. Can the chores wait? Yes. Your kids will be grown up before you know it. Or they could die tomorrow. Enjoy the time you have been blessed with. And as moms I think we are to hard on ourselves. We live in a "suck it up and get over it" type of world. Well I have decided not to embrace that ideal anymore. I cried ALOT when this happened, and still cry. And will probably still cry years from now at our loss. Because it's just that, a loss. They will never be replaced. And yes our baby is dancing with Jesus, but in my selfish flesh I wanted that baby to be with me. To birth that baby, nurse and sleep with that baby, watch that baby grow into a child, then an adult, get married and give me some grandbabies! But that will never happen with that child. So I sit here and grieve my baby, rejoice in the ones I have, thank the Lord that He is good in the midst of life hurting, and look forward to the rest of the journey, whatever that is.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Foodie Fun

So sorry it's been a week. I'm very tired tonight and am making myself do this since I've made the commitment to. It's been a long week!

I have some new and exciting recipes for ya'll! This week I discovered my love for sprouting grains and beans. So far this week I made some sprouted spelt flour and sprouted lentils, which I then turned into a salad and a peanut curry. YUM! In our family we try to stay away from gluten. Our oldest has a pretty serious sensitivity to it, but after staying away from it for years, we have been able to slowly reintroduce it back into his diet by soaking and sprouting. If your new to this, doing either soaking or sprouting helps to predigest the enzymes in the grain or bean, making it easier for your body to digest and absorb the nutrients. There is actually an anti-nutrient called phytic acid present in grains and beans, and soaking and/or sprouting helps to neutralize this acid. I truly believe so many of our health problems today come from not soaking and sprouting our grains/beans. I have been soaking for over a year now, but am even loving sprouting more! Sprouting actually increases the nutrient content of what you are eating! For example, with sprouting spelt, it then contains up to 5 times the vitamin C and increases the complex B vitamins substantially! To me this is very important, my adrenals crashed last summer and B vitamins are so important to healing adrenals and other hormonal imbalances. I know you are now thinking "that sounds WAY to complicated!!" But trust me, it's really not! I used to think the same exact thing, which is why I never did it. But here is a great video that shows just how easy it is. So now here are some recipes you can use with some of your sprouted things!

Sprouted Lentil Salad
1 cup Sprouted Lentils (I used the red lentils)
1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil

Toss together and enjoy! Even the oh so picky man of the house loved it!

Thai Peanut Curry

1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 cans coconut milk
1 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar
3 cups sprouted lentils
2 red peppers diced

Heat skillet with coconut oil and saute onion until soft. Add the red curry paste and cook for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add coconut milk, peanut butter, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Mix well and let simmer 10-15 minutes, until flavors begin to mingle. Turn heat to low and add diced peppers and lentils. Serve over Thai rice noodles or jasmine rice.

So I tried to take some pictures of all this goodness but honestly my camera stinks for food shots. Sorry, I'm just not cool like all the other bloggers out there :) Hope you enjoy the yumminess as much as I did!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Here I am, and it ain't pretty

Hi, my name is Shannon Carter and I'm a sinner. First things first. I gave my life to the Lord when I was 21, after years of trying to fill it with the things of the world. Drugs, drinking, sex, all trying to dull the pain of a very tumultuous childhood. I grew up with very little stability, abuse, and alot of things children should never go through. I HATED God. Hated Him. I thought if there was a God, and He allowed the things that happened to me happen, He wasn't a God worth loving or giving my time to. Fast forward years later, after all the things I tried to find peace and hope in were going to cut my life short. The Lord in His grace and loving kindness brought me to a place of despair, and revealed He was the only one who could bring peace and hope. I sat as a heartbroken 21 year old, listening to a sermon on how God can restore families, with the mother I had barely known. I sobbed. And that day in hot Missouri August I gave my life to the Lord and have NEVER looked back. That started the journey of where I am today.

Without that day I would not be married to the most amazing man for me out there. My husband has been the Lord's heart, hands and feet to me since the day we met. The Lord has used Keith to facilitate so much healing to my heart and soul. And without Keith I would not be mother to the most amazing gifts one can ever have, the sweet 3 little boys sleeping as I type this. Without those little boys I wouldn't have realized my passion for so many things. For pregnant mommas and mommas in general. The Lord used my boys to lead me to some of my many callings : a labor doula, childbirth educator, breastfeeding counselor, and a student midwife. My boys, especially my Isaiah, have taught me so much about surrender to the Lord. Without Isaiah we would all still be in bad health as a family due to eating habits. When he was 2 he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Thus began the journey to heal him, through lots of being on my face before the Lord, food and alternative medicine. But that is for another post :)

So that is a snippet of who I am. So topics on this blog will range from my faith, to my family, childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting decisions/choices, to food and health. I promise to always be kind, and if there is ever a controversial subject I discuss, please know my heart. And that it's not to judge, but to inform and educate. It's something I feel very strongly about, and have put in lots of hours of prayer and research into. I'm super excited about this journey, so please come along for the ride!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ok ok, enough of the peer pressure!!

Ok, so for months my friends have been pressuring me into starting a blog. As a momma of 3 children 4 and under, I felt like it was just one thing to add to the hectic-ness of life. But then a friend from church's blog spoke to me . I have never been a crafty type. EVER. And probably will never be. I admit (as much as it makes me feel like a huge slacker mom), I have never, nor will I probably ever scrapbook or do baby books. Just not my thing. But my friend Jami's blog really convicted me about how I am the keeper of my families memories. Wow. A job I have really been slacking at. I take lots of pictures, but I don't write down those really cute and wonderful things that happen day to day. And I also don't write of those hard, gut wrenching things we go through either. So hats off to you friends, your peer pressure has worked!

So my friend Jayna is the genius behind my blog name. For those of you who don't know me that well, you will be surprised to learn of my love of fermentation. Dairy products, condiments, salsa, breads, anything and everything! Our family follows a Weston Price/traditional diet (more on that here), and a cornerstone of the diet is fermented foods. My husband has actually been known to question my tactics, declaring "Do we have to ferment EVERYTHING!?!?". Yes sweet man. Yes we do :)

That is all for now. My goal is to introduce myself later this week, and also my amazing family. Hope you all have a blessed week!