Last night we rang in the new year with a family of very good friends. The minute I walked in their door I heard little voices, "Miss Jenni!" "Aunt Jenni, look at what I got for Christmas!" "Miss Jenni, I have a surprise for you!" Even two year old Elliot demanded my attention with a more garbled version of "Miss Jenni," mostly wanting me to watch him play drums, guitars, and his harmonica, and I must say, he is destined to be a musician. Johnny said that Elliot holds his drum sticks better than most of his students.

I quickly empathized with my friend, Amy, as she juggles those four cute kids every single day. I arrived at their house sleepy and honestly, I could not wait for the kids' bedtime. Then the adults talked, drank, laughed, snacked, listened to good music, and waited until the clock struck midnight. I enjoyed a nice Sauvignon Blanc! Did I mention that white wine (in moderation) is on my new doctor's diet? Or did I even mention that I have a new doctor?

It's a long story, but the past month or two I felt so weak that walking and standing were very uncomfortable, and my muscles were twitching all over. It kept getting worse, and as we prayed, we felt led to visit Dr. John Mathias, a gastro-neurologist. His test results showed that it's highly suggestive I have endometriosis caused by insulin sensitivity. My GI tract was spasming, like little seizures. So now I'm on two conventional medications, that new diet, liquid minerals, fish oil gel caps, a super duper multi vitamin, and yes, I swallow tablespoon-shots of olive oil three times a day. It's a good thing I adore olive oil. I don't feel 100% yet, but walking and standing feel much more normal and the twitching has definitely improved. People tell me I look pretty and healthy and those are positive signs, too.

As for the diet, the downside is no caffeine. No coffee. No red wine. No chocolate. Nothing with tyramine which excites the nervous system. The absence of coffee has been the hardest adjustment for me, but praise be to God for Teeccino who make a dark roast herbal coffee that tastes amazing poured from a French press. And thank God for herbal teas such as Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, Roastaroma, and True Blueberry. I'm kind of on a Celestial Seasonings kick lately. The sugar cookie tea is something else; it smells and tastes exactly like a sugar cookie - some kind of wicked, tea-brewing magic.

The upside to my diet are things I've missed terribly like cottage cheese, oatmeal, Fage Greek yogurt, brown rice, goat cheese, Kashi TLC crackers, and spelt bread. I can even try Gouda cheese now - can you believe I never have?

I still recommend the Hotze clinic to anyone - we know people who healed quickly on their program. But we are all created uniquely; it's about what God is doing - how He wants to heal us. At this point, I'm still following the Hotze nurses' protocol for my hormones. Well, except for one hormone that Dr. Mathias wants me to gradually discontinue. But we're headed in the right direction, hallelujah.

Now, I didn't mean to ramble about all of that medical jibber-jabber - it was just an update as I hope you'll keep praying for my body to become hospitable for babies this year.

So, back to last night . . . We fell asleep very late and woke up late today, but not as late as my in-laws. We let them sleep a long time upstairs while we filled our respective French presses with Christmas Blend (Johnny) and Teeccino (me). We fixed breakfast and talked quietly. Johnny hopped out to his drum studio and I stayed inside and poked around the virtual world. I was very inspired by Lindsay's 365 project. I pondered diving in, but I'm not sure that project is for me this year. However, I suddenly missed our trusty little camera hibernating in its case. I pulled it out and snapped the peace and beauty that I spied in our house this morning.

[merry 8th day of Christmas!]

Then I marveled over the arrival of a new year. 2010! I have no idea what it will hold. The past few years I thought I knew what would happen in our lives. Last year, my to-do list was way too ambitious, but I did accomplish some things and I have the rest of my life to cross off the other items. It is never futile to dream big in faith.

So this year I am clueless, but hopeful. I want to be attentive to God's voice. When He whispers to turn right or left, I pray for the grace to follow His lead. This makes my goals for 2010 fairly simplistic:

1. My body seems to wake up at 7:30 am these days, so I want to cooperate and get up and at 'em.

2. Read a Psalm or some other portion of Scripture before breakfast or anything else. But I might have a mug of that dark roast herbal coffee in hand.

3. Pray the Morning Prayer and/or Evening Prayer liturgy with my husband every day.

4. Get the Art House project finished and launched. It's a beauty so far; I can't wait to share.

5. Write more. A lot more. And meet deadlines like a good girl.

6. Monday - Saturday, take a long walk and jump on the mini trampoline. (Did you know the latter resets your nervous system?)

7. Read a book every week this year. In fact, you should, too!

8. Organize our home - not frantically, but one space at a time.

9. Listen well.

10. Write in my journal every day.

11. Practice the guitar and sing with my husband.

12. And last but certainly not least, love my husband better. The most important things we will ever do start in our homes, in our families, and spread outward like wildfire to our city, and to our culture.

Anything else that happens this year will be a blissful surprise causing me to jump and shout and laugh and praise my Maker "Who gives songs in the night."

P.S. ~ Oh, and I'm finally going to the Glen in August! I registered for the Spiritual Writing workshop with Lauren F. Winner, one of my favorite authors. I'll be rooming with Alissa Wilkinson, so I'll finally get to meet her in person, hooray! Now that's something to look forward to.


Lindsay said...

This was beautiful, Jenni. I am so sorry for your suffering and will continue to pray for you. It looks like you're on the track, though I'm sure that's easier to say than for you and Johnny to walk through. It sounds like you couldn't have a better partner.

I like your list, and I don't think it's overly ambitious. This will be a good year, friend. Wait and see.

Happy 2010!

kate o. said...

i like your line about being clueless but hopeful. good words.

and welcome back to the world of brown rice and greek yogurt and wine. i'm a bit intrigued by this sugar cookie tea...

now go get yourself some gouda.

jenni said...

I am now a fan of Gouda, even in scrambled eggs. Yum.

jenni said...

And thanks, Lindsay! :)

B said...

Oh - good to hear how you are doing and I'm soooo jealous of your workshop with Lauren Winner. She's one of my favorites, too. Thanks for sharing and encouraging and inspiring. Blessings to you and health for 2010 ~B