A couple months ago I set the words “You Make Me Brave” on my locksreen.
It was before I was diagnosed, but I knew something was wrong with me. Clark and I were in Oklahoma speaking at a teen camp and in the pit of my stomach I knew I wasn’t okay.
I felt weak.
I could barely stay awake for more than 6 hours.
My left arm had been numb for 2 months.
I had a weird buzzing feeling all over my body.
When I flexed my neck downward an electric shock would shoot down my left side,
and I had lost the clarity and colour in my left eye.
Clearly, something was wrong.
I went to evening service the second night of camp and fell on my knees during worship. “God, how am I supposed to preach if I can’t read my notes? How am I supposed to engage with these students if I’m too weak to stand? How am I supposed to do what You’ve called me to do when I’m not even sure how I’m going to make it through the day?”
See, I knew I was called to preach. I knew part of my purpose was to take girls overseas. I really believed that I had so, so much more to give.
The thought of not being able to do what I felt so strongly I was put on this earth to do terrified me. “God, I’m scared.”
As I sat knelt on the floor a familiar song began to play. The words pierced my heart as the band sang;
“You make me brave.
You make me brave.
You called me out beyond the shore into the waves.
You make me brave.
You make me brave.
No fear can hinder now the promises you’ve made.”
Click on photo to link to “You Make Me Brave” by Amanda Cook
I knew that my strength, bravery and hope had to come from God. I knew that no fear about my health could take away the things that He had called me to and promised me. He would make me brave.
Over the last few weeks I have been absolutely blown away at the support I have received from family, friends, and even strangers. Over and over people have said to be “Kim, you’re so brave” and to that I say “thank you.” But you need to know that my bravery doesn’t come from within me. It doesn’t come from a pep talk I give myself every morning or an optimistic attitude I’ve chose to adopt. Any bravery I possess comes from God in me. He makes me brave. Because I am His I know I can do this. Because of His Spirit in me, I know I don’t have to do it on my own strength.
The “YOU ARE BRAVE” print in the printshop is a daily reminder that in Him, you are brave.
I love Christmas, but I have to admit, my Christmas decorations are pretty minimal. We put up a tree and hang stockings but aside from that, Christmas comes to our house in spirit, not decor.
The exception the last 2 years has been our Christmas wreath! It’s become a new Christmas tradition for us to make a holiday wreath from greenery from a local nursery. I was surprised how easy it was, and how great it looks! Not to mention, you can customize it suit your decor.
Here’s how you can make one for your home!
1. Pick up a basic grape vine wreath. You can usually find these at your local craft store, or you order one online here.
2. Stop by a local nursery and buy a bundle of greenery. We asked them if they had any lose scraps and scored this whole box of cedar, silver fir, pine and holly for $8.
3. Cut off branches about 8 – 12 inches long and weave them into your wreath. It should hold on its own without fastening it with anything, but if you’re struggling to get them to stay in the spot you want, use a little wire to hold them in place.
4. Only go about 3/4 around the wreath and let the last few branches swoop out a little bit.
5. Add a ribbon to hang it, or attach a small wire to the back to hang it from a nail.
Once the season is over, pull out the dried up greenery and use the wreath base again next year!
I’d love to hear how your DIY Christmas wreath turns out!
Is there anything more comforting that a warm cookie and a glass of milk? Or in this case, a vegan cookie and a glass of cold cashew milk?
The most significant adjustment over the past few months has definitely been dietary changes. There are a lot of different opinions floating around about how diet can affect MS, and although I don’t claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I have done a little research and have tried to find the common denominators amongst the sea of suggestions!
One of the goals in treating MS is to reduce inflammation in the body so that the immune system remains calm and refrains from attacking the myelin in the central nervous system. What many people may not realize is that food intolerances can cause chronic inflammation in their digestive system. For the average person this may not be a serious issue, but for someone with MS, or another autoimmune disease, it can be detrimental.
Many MS diets recommend eliminating many of the most common food intolerances such as gluten, dairy, soy and legumes to combat this problem, but my naturopath suggested that instead of blindly eliminating a huge list of food that I have a food sensitivities test to be more specific. I followed her suggestions and a few months ago I had something called an E95 Basic Food Panel done; a test that uses a blood sample to identify the level of food intolerances in your body.
Basically, any above a number of 100 should be avoided, and my numbers came back in the 1500’s for all dairy, and almost 700 for eggs. (Side note: My next highest numbers were for pineapple and garlic, so those are both out too! I’m sure I’ll write a post someday about the other dietary restrictions I have implemented!) Anyway, that’s when my search began for the best dairy-free, egg-free recipes I could find!
Every Sunday afternoon Clark and I run what we call our “Sunday Test Kitchen.” We test, modify and experiment with food to try and come up with the best tasting snacks and meals we can! One of our favourites, Clark’s speciality, are these amazing Vegan Oatmeal Banana Cookies!
The coconut oil, banana, and flax egg eliminate the need for butter or eggs, and honestly, these cookies taste so good, you won’t miss them! If you’ve never used a flax egg before, you simply have to mix together ground flaxseed and water together (1 Tbsp of flax + 3 Tbsp of water = one egg) and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes to thicken. Flax eggs work the best as an egg replacement in baking.
Clark has probably made these cookies every week for the last month, and I can’t say I mind at all! I will gladly devour them every time!
Here’s the final product! A little crispy on the outside – soft and chewy on the inside!
The perfect cookies to leave out for “Santa” with a little glass of your, I mean his, favourite nut milk.
I sat in passenger’s seat with tears flowing down my face faster than I could catch them. I had just left the clinic where my doctor had read me the results from my MRI, “Kim, it looks like you have Multiple Sclerosis.”
I looked over at Clark and in a shaky voice I said to him, “I can curse God and get mad at Him that I have this disease, or I can worship Him anyway because He deserves it.” I leaned over and turned on the song It Is Well by Bethel Music. “I’m going to worship.”
There have been many moments over the past few months that I’ve felt scared, and in many moments of weakness I’ve put this song on repeat and played it over and over until the words sank in. When I’ve had a hard day I rest my phone next to my pillow and fall asleep to it, and when I’ve had a rough night, I listen to it as I put on my makeup in the morning. I let the words play over and over, “Through it all my eyes are on you. Through it all it is well.”
Click the image to hear “It Is Well” on YouTube
This song was the inspiration to one of the prints in the In Everything Shop. You can purchase it here.
In every season of life we have a choice. We get to choose how we want to handle the things that are thrown at us. We get to be angry, hopeful, bitter, or at peace. We get to choose.
I choose daily to keep my eyes on Him and let Him take care of my soul.
Welcome to my newest endeavour, the In Everything Blog!
Last week I shared for the first time on social media about my recent diagnosis with MS (I’m sure I’ll talk about this much more in the future). I was absolutely blown away by the response of friends, family, and even strangers who rallied around me in support. As posts and messages circulated around the web, I realized that while many were becoming aware of my condition, they were really only hearing a small part of the story. The reality is, there is only so much of my journey than I can write in a simple social media post! After a few days a mulling it over, I decided I would share my story, journey and other random pieces of my life with anyone who would read it!
My goal really is to show my passion and purpose in everything I do. I may have multiple sclerosis, but I choose not let it define or determine my life. Instead, I will take advantage of this new opportunity to share my life and the hope I’ve found with others.
Well, I don’t know exactly what I’m going to post on any given day, but I do know that I want my words to be full of hope, encouragement and purpose!