Perfect World

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There is an article making it’s way around Facebook recently. You should read it.

Here’s a quote.

“We call it PerfectWorld,” says a friend from the women’s ministry. “Only Molly lives there. The rest of us get to learn spiritual lessons.”

We all know “Molly”… maybe we have been “Molly” from time to time.

Molly says things like this on Facebook,

“My hot husband is also my most cherished friend!”

Or this classic,

“Precious time with the Lord today,” she wrote recently. The next day it was, “Blueberry scones, hot cocoa, a warm fire and my favorite devotional = Perfect morning.”

We present the perfect snippets of our life to the world. Pinterest worthy moments for all to see.

You’ve seen my birthday parties and holidays, new hair cuts, date nights, neatly clean and decorated rooms, trips to the zoo or the park, and yummy food pictures.

What is the world NOT seeing in your life as you engage in the affair called “social media”?

I’ve tried through this blog and on Facebook to present a “real me”… but let’s be honest, even the “real me” I present is not the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.

Allow me to shatter the glass house and stomp on the rose colored glasses…….

Marriage: It’s hard work. We’ve been through a heap load of stuff that no one should have to walk through, but we did. We decided to stick it out. We worked hard for what we have. We still get caught up in life and neglect each other’s hearts from time to time. We have fights…. not as often as we did years past, but still we fail each other.

Parenting: We have no idea what we are doing. Some of our kids are very rude and self absorbed at the moment. I have no idea how to teach them manners. I pray one day that they decide to be kind to each other because right now they are a bunch of meanies. We did ok with the first three, but we acknowledge that they will most certainly need therapy because of our short comings. We shake our heads and marvel that they turned out so cool and actually like us.

Church and God: We have been to church 2x this year. Maybe. The last time I had hot cocoa by a warm fire with my Bible was….. well I can’t remember. I don’t have daily devotions, but I talk to God all day long. I’m pretty sure He’s listening even though I’m not sitting down eating a scone. I love God, but I do not like a lot of what I see people doing who claim to follow Him. I think there are a lot of things that people are getting wrong, and I think He’s most happy when we love and serve each other.

Adoption: Adoption is flipping hard. Parenting broken kids is hard. Separating your heart from the actions of a broken child is hard. Sometimes I get mad at a child when it’s not really their fault at all. Sometimes I forget the story. Sometimes I lose my temper. I forget to get mad about the crap my kid when through and I get mad at my kid instead.

The Daily Grind: I get in a tizzy a lot. You know what a tizzy is, right? When you get all worked up, hot and bothered because well just because. I do that. Yep, I’m the queen of the tizzy. I swear sometimes. I’ve slammed a few doors and stormed out of a room. I’m not patient. I’m not organized. My desk is almost always a mess except for when I clean it every two weeks or so. I have corners of clutter in my house. When I clean one out, another one pops up.

You get it?

I’m not perfect. I could go on and on and on.

Even when I share “real stories” about bad stuff, you still MOSTLY see the pretty moments of my life.

You see the Instagram with the soft filter.

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And you don’t typically see  the unfiltered, make up half way off version of me.

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So tonight it’s the real me with all my faults and weaknesses. Sharing with the real you, accepting you for who you are.

Knowing that He who loves us is full of grace and mercy.

Knowing that  sharing the real me will help more than it will hurt.

So if your kid pooped in the tub or threw a tantrum the size of Texas.

If you fought with your  husband and said mean words to your kids.

If you fed everyone Kraft Macaroni and Cheese because you were too tired to cook.

If you made a boxed cake mix for your kids party.

If you used paper plates all week for dinner.

If you have worn the same sweat pants for 3 days (and you slept in them too).

Just know you are beautiful and loved and precious.

You don’t have to be “Pinterest” perfect or “Facebook” fake.

Just be you.

It’s ok. We’ll all probably like you better that way anyway!

The Whole Story

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I often get in conversations with people who have goals and dreams for their future.

They share those with me, but sometimes chose to preface them with the list of failures or struggles they’ve had in their life.

I get it. Let’s lay it out there. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

That’s fine.
BUT……

Here’s the bottom line. The blunders, off track moments, struggles, and outright failures of our lives are just part of the story.

They are part of what makes us who we are.

Part of the story.

Part. Not the whole.

We are not the equivalent of our failures.

We are not defined by the things we struggle with over and over again.

We are not marked by the off track moments of our lives.

Those things shape us.

And if we allow them, they will mold us to become more loving, more giving, and more compassionate.

Those things will allow us to serve with understanding. Holding each other up with grace.

The people who have loved me the best are the ones who have failed the most.

The people who have given me the most hope have had to release the most shame.

You are not equal to your sin, YOU are who HE created you to be. You are the story HE wrote about your life.

It’s a story. It is not a single event. It is the whole beautiful story… the valleys, the mountain tops, face to the dirt, arms raise to the heavens.

The whole journey. Not a moment.

YOU are so beautiful and wonderful and so intricately designed, and your story is being told day by day.

Let it be woven together with grace.

 

 

Happy Emma. Happy Momma.

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About a year after adopting Emma, some of her behavioral issues caused us to seek professional help. We took her to a physician who specialized in behavioral and mental disorders, along with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, she was diagnosed with ADHD. She was put on medications. Her behavior had become out of control, and her ability to focus was slim to none. It was affecting the family and her ability to enjoy life. 

Just over a year ago we hit one of the roughest times in our life with Emma. We hit the bottom. She began to have severe behavioral outbursts that resulted in violence. It was not easy.  She was admitted for further psychiatric evaluation. They changed some meds, increased some meds and sent us home. We were back a month later. They changed some meds, increased some meds and sent us home.

So our daughter was medicated. Behaviors became less severe but her JOY for life was almost none. We were all frustrated. She was not happy. 

Something needed to change. Enter our big family health makeover in the summer of 2013. 

I had already noticed very CLEARLY that sugar was not something Emma could tolerate at all. Any sugar that entered her body caused behavioral melt down for about 48 hours. So we had already eliminated sugar from her diet.

As John and I started our health changes with Isagenix, doing a 30 Day Cleanse, it was clear that I was NOT going to prepare different food for my children than I was for us. So we all slowly got rid of processed foods, gluten, and other toxic foods from our cupboards. 

After our 30 Day Cleanse, we started giving the kids IsaLean shakes with IsaFruits and IsaGreens every morning. 

I then discovered a protocol by Dr. John Gray on treating ADHD through nutrition and mineral supplements, and we decide to start Emma on his protocol and slowly wean her from her prescriptions. Keep in mind I decided to just do this on my own. I was the one WITH my daughter, observing her daily, and I felt fully confident that I could manage this transition slowly and carefully. So we did.  And we were able to totally eliminate 2 prescriptions completely and cut the other 2 back to very low doses. (note: Dr. Gray is part of the Isagenix family)

Emma’s behavior is the best it has ever been. Sure she has meltdowns, as a matter of fact, she had one last night. But what we do know is that having a HAPPIER, more focused Emma 95% of the time, is a HUGE WIN for the team! 

I just came back from Emma’s Behavioral/Developmental Clinic appointment this afternoon. I haven’t been in 6 months or so. I went over all of the changes with her doctor and after her exam, she looked at me and said, “Well, Mom, you’ve done a great job. She’s doing great! You look great, she looks great.” I asked her recommendation on further weaning, and she replied, “I’m glad you asked! You have her on the lowest possible does of medication ‘x’, so you can stop that one now. Give it a couple of weeks and see how she does and then you can start weaning the final medication.” She gave me a suggested weaning schedule for that and sent us off with a huge smile on her face. She said, “It would make me so happy to see her off these medications.” 

Do you have any idea how HAPPY that makes ME? 

Emma will have her issues. It is what it is, but we are so grateful for a new approach to her care both mentally and physically. I am so grateful for good nutrition in the form of Isagenix and for the lifestyle change it has made in our family. 

Loux Family 101

For more information on Isagenix, please email me at teamlouxisagenix@gmail.com or send me a message on Facebook

To listen to the four part series by Dr. John Gray on ADHD, please click HERE

What About Love?

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“What about love
Don’t you want someone to care about you….”

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“What about love
Don’t let it slip away….”

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What about love
I only want to share it with you.”

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“What about love?
Love, love, love
What about, what about love?”

 (Brian Allen and Sheron Alton)

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…..and if you’re a proper child of the 80′s, you are singing along with me now. Belting it out at the top of your lungs like Ann and Nancy Wilson. 

WHAT ABOUT LOVE? LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

We wrapped up Valentine’s Day and all of my children thanked me for making it magical and fun. Well, most of them thanked me, the rest will “get it” in a few years when they start to connect the dots and realize that Valentine’s Day is a day where momma spends hours thinking of ways to express her love for her children. 

John and I celebrate our love all year long. Sorry, not trying to sound corny or clique but we do. We’ve worked to hard and have been through way to much not to guard, protect and cherish every moment of our relationship. I promise you, it hasn’t been all hearts and rainbows either. It’s been work. We’ve hurt each other plenty. Misunderstood each other. We’ve both gotten caught up in ourselves a time or two and have forgotten to listen to each other’s hearts. 

But we have continued to press through because marriage is hard work….

And it’s worth it. 

We’ve kept going when others  might have quit. 

And now almost 24 years into this thing called marriage, we’re getting pretty good at it. 

And it’s just getting better and better because we celebrate LOVE every day.

 

Photos courtesy of Sara LePage Photography

 

Getting My Life Back

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I know I’ve been quiet on here, but I really do have a lot to say, so expect more to come.

I remember a day when I kept up with peoples lives, mostly through blogs. People I loved. People I admired. People who encouraged me, inspired me, and challenged me.

And then Facebook came into our lives and it was easier to give people one liners, snapshots, or short blurbs about life.

I’m pretty real on Facebook, but there is nothing more real than sitting down and letting words flow out that truly express your heart.

I’d like to think that I’ve been vulnerable with you who read this blog, that I’ve been real and transparent. I have sure tried.

The reality of it all is that the past 5 years have been hard. If you’ve read this blog for that long, you know what I’m talking about.

Two simultaneous international adoptions in 2009, acclimating two beautiful children to a life that was big and scary.

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Walking them through grief and fear and pain.  It is not a pretty picture. Redemption is not a fairy tale. It is nose to the grid stone, cry out to God in the night, messy and hard. Plain hard. Healing happens slowly sometimes and with our children it was  years of loving that brought (and is bringing) healing.  Parenting children from hard places brings on a weariness that is hard to compare to anything else. Yes there is joy in seeing redemption slowly unfold but it is slow. Just plain slow.

And sometimes LOVE is hard work.

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Then Derek’s death. A tragedy like that sets your world upside down. I told someone today, “Grief has no rule book.” Grief happens. It happens in the immediate loss and in lingers and linger and lingers and seeps into all of the corners and crevices of life. Our hearts ached, our spirits were wounded, we were forced to make sense of something that could not possibly make sense. The weight of grief can be crushing.

10 months later, Mattie was born.  Little did we know….

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Our beautiful son would spend the next year of his life in the hospital.

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We would rally around him time and time again. We would love him from death to life. We would whisper into his ear, “You are brave. You are strong! You will LIVE and not DIE!”

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There was so much joy. So much to be grateful for. We were so blessed.

 

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And there were terrifying moments when you can only whisper out a “HELP GOD” kind of prayer.

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And incredible celebrations! Of new life and hope!

 

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And so much deep pain. Unspeakable pain. Valley of the Shadow of Death kind of pain.

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And then more joy! More LOVE! More to CELEBRATE!

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So when I attempt to share how I was feeling in June of 2013 after Mattie’s worst hospital stay ever, I can hardly find the words.

I was a dead woman walking. I was moving one foot in front of the other, but I was not well. Emotionally, physically and spiritually.

My heart loved the One who created me. I knew that He had been faithful to heal my son. But I was broken down so much emotionally and physically that finding a place for my spirit to be at peace was impossible. I needed something to change.

Just before I turned 45 in July, I ended up in bed, completely shut down with a migraine that lasted for nearly a week. I saw a doctor and taking stock of my health was very frightening. So when my friend Carolyn shared with me about a health program that could help me feel better, I was desperate and I just jumped in. Believe it or not, I didn’t research it, or study or anything, I just trusted her and dove in. I was too tired to do more than say yes.

And I got my life back. My body woke up. I lost weight. And I was feeling strong and alive again.

Funny thing how the spirit, mind and body are so interwoven. We were created that way. One impacting the other, impacting the other.

So as my body began to heal, my mind became clearer and my spirit was open to hear and learn and grow again too.

This whole Isagenix thing isn’t about me. It’s not a “look what I did” kind of thing for me. Yes, I set goals. Yes, I am achieving them. This whole journey has been about me breaking free of old mindsets, conquering fears, taking care of myself so that I can love deeply, serve well, and give in big ways.

Those are my goals.

Love

Serve

Give

That being said, I want to offer you hope. Hope for a stronger, healthier you. Hope to be your very best. There is HOPE! The inner workings that have occurred in my life as I have chosen to take care of this body that I’ve been given are unbelievable. My relationships are better because my mind is not caught up with discouragement and depression. My spiritual life is growing deeper as my mind is being set free. It’s cyclical: Body, Mind, and Spirit. Each impacting the other.

Getting FREE feels so good! This 30 day cleanse has cleansed me of more than “environmental toxins” in the physical sense.

It has cleansed me of toxins that plagued my mind and my spirit.

And it’s not about ME because my deepest heart desire is to use what I have learned to challenge, inspire and help YOU!

 

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Don’t Forget to Dream

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Last year, this one phrase carried me through on of the hardest years of my life. (Who am I kiding, the past 4 years have all been hard!)

Mid-year I made some changes and I decided it was time to take care of myself. (Read more about that here.)

A new year is upon me, and I am determined to live more freely and more strongly than ever before.

My reminder for this year is “Don’t Forget to Dream”. (And no, I do not have a tattoo planned for my other arm…. at least not yet)

When I look back on much of the past few years, I think to myself, “Well, we survived.”

As we hit 2014, my thought was, “Thank you, Jesus, we are thriving!”

I cannot tell you how good this feels.

This whole journey I’ve been on for the past 5 months has been about me breaking free of old mindsets, breaking off lies, conquering fears, and taking care of myself so that I can love deeply, serve well, and give in big ways.

Those are my goals this year:

To Love

To Serve

To Give

And they key to achieving them is to give myself free reign to DREAM.

and to DREAM big!

I’m dreaming big for myself, my husband, my children, for family and friends, for YOU!

 

Give the Gift of LIFE!

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I know! I know! I need to do some serious blog catching up on family life! I promise that’s coming but in the mean time….

THIS! THIS! Is very important to our family this year and we’d love to have you join us.

I’ve already shared about the work that Village of Hope is doing in Guatemala.
Two amazing families Todd & Amy Block and Kiel & Carolyn Twietmeyer have chosen to pour their lives into serving families in Guatemala. (click on links to read more)

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Our family has committed to sending food to Guatemala on a monthly basis. This month, in the spirit of Christmas, we are inviting you to join us!

We will be sending some awesome nutrition (Isagenix superfood shakes, fruits, veggies and vitamins) to women and children in Guatemala through the Village of Hope missions base. If you are interested in doing something really out of the box this year as a family, or in giving a gift in honor of someone you love, please click the DONATE button in my side bar and mark your donation FOOD DRIVE FOR BABIES!!!

These foods will do wonders to help these precious ones who are malnourished and have compromised immune systems

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Imagine my delight, after sending our last shipment, when I received this photo of a precious little one whose body desperately needs quality nutrition, sipping down this big shake!

GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE!!!

Help our family send FOOD to GUATEMALA this Christmas!!