Thank You, Jesus, for my Crohn’s Disease – Part 7

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If you haven’t read my latest flair-up journey, you should start here to get the full picture.

Sometime during my flair-up, I told Brett, “Well, I better start praising Jesus for this Crohn’s attack because there has to be something he wants to teach me!” Here are a few things that He did show me through this experience, and I hope it blesses you too.


  1. I can be a better dietitian by experiencing different diets and digestive issues.

Let me be honest.  As a dietitian, I’m not a fan of fad diets, the newest diet book, whatever is being shared most on Facebook, etc.  If you want to know why, you can watch my video on why fad diets don’t work.  Therefore, I actually was against trying Whole30 at first.  No way, I’m not going to try something because everyone is doing it. And if you know me at all, I usually do the opposite of what everyone is doing. However, after listening to my sister-in-law, Ashley, tell me about the success she had with acid reflux, I knew it couldn’t hurt to give it a try.

Why was I still resistant though? Jesus showed me that I had a pride issue.  Deep down, I struggle with people asking my opinion on a nutrition topic, yet, then say, “Well, I read…”  My pride says, “Then why did you ask my opinion? I guess that article on Facebook written by who knows who is more important than my Purdue University degree, plus continuing education on the most updated food and nutrition research?”  Ok, that sounds harsh, and that’s my pride talking, but I probably can get an AMEN from many of my dietitian colleagues. I mean…our competition is…Facebook?  Yeah, kinda a low blow. However, I do NOT know everything, and I’m not afraid to tell people that. But I also needed a reminder that just because I’m not familiar with something doesn’t mean it couldn’t work for people.

I had to let go of my pride, and once I did, I actually got excited for this experience and the possibility of my health improving through changing my diet. (Note: For those wondering what my diet was like before Whole 30, I was not perfect, but I aimed daily to live by the guidelines from MyPlate.)   Before starting, I came to the conclusion that whether Whole 30 worked or didn’t work, I knew that I would gain valuable insight.  If a client asks me my opinion on Whole 30 now, I can give them an honest review of my experience. If they choose to try it, I can understand their struggles, successes, and even give them recipe tips!

Further, not only can I relate to others but I can sympathize with other people with bowel disease, disorders, allergies, etc.  I’ve been on the patient end too many times, and knowing that my medical provider can actually understand what I’m going through?  That’s a win-win for provider-patient. I can provide not only my dietitian expertise but my personal experience with others who are struggling too.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10

I have realized that God gave me this “gift” of a bowel disease to serve others. My role is to be a faithful steward of showing people God’s grace in this various form of….well….poop.


2. What works for you, may not work for me. And what works for me, may not work for you.

Another reason why fad diets don’t work for everyone. Every body is different. There is no cookie cutter approach.  Whole 30 worked for my sister-in-law and a host of other people; it did not work for me.  And guess what? I’m OK with that!!  If you have truly put your effort into something to improve your health that you felt worked for “everyone else” and it didn’t work, don’t get discouraged.  Because honestly, it didn’t work for EVERYone else. Your body is unique and will respond differently depending on what’s going on.  Accept that and don’t give up trying something else or in my case, get medical help. Which leads me to….


3. There is a place for natural remedies AND medicine.

In the mommy world, I feel like this is a really hot topic.  There is a lot of guilt and finger pointing for not eating all organic, giving children vaccines, using essential oils vs. over-the-counter meds, and now that it’s summer, the TOXIC sunscreen issue. I skip over all the articles on these topics. I know my convictions and I’m not going to let someone’s convictions make me feel guilty.  I encourage you to do the same. If you feel so strongly about no medicine and using only natural remedies, good for you!  I commend you! I agree that we should use God’s resources that our at our disposable. I tried to go the natural route, and I really did not want to seek medical attention since the solution is always drugs. However, as you read in the previous post, I was getting so sick.  And since my body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit living inside me, I am responsible for taking care of it the best that I know how.

I have been on medication for about 3 weeks now, and I have seen great improvement with my symptoms.  I don’t have the urge to go as often, and when the urge comes, I don’t have to literally run. I can actually tell my children, “Mommy will be back. I have to go potty.” Rather than leaving them in the dust.  As far as my diet?  I’m eating similar to how I was before I tried Whole 30, except I do eat less grains and I don’t eat much dairy.   I may introduce dairy later to see if there is an effect, but for now, I am doing very well and want to keep up what I’m doing.


4. “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Honestly, I love blogging because the Lord teaches me as I write out my story, thoughts, and emotions. As I wrote the details of this journey in my previous post, I kept asking myself why I was in such denial of my condition?  Why did I keep saying, “NO!”, every time Brett told me to call my doctor? Now, I realize it was fear. I feared that I was out of remission, that I would have to be on drugs the rest of my life, that I will eventually be part of the 75% of bowel disease patients who will have surgery to remove diseased sections and yes, maybe the entire colon. Then, when my doctor took out 2 large polyps, I couldn’t help but fear the ugly c-word…cancer.  Praise Jesus they were benign, but now what?

Do I live in constant fear of the future? No, I choose not to because fear is not from God. I feared that God never really did heal me. But who am I to know the ways of God? I will trust that His ways are higher than my ways. And as I sit here writing this, I had 2 people message me regarding my previous post and share with me their struggles with ulcerative colitis. It is encouraging that I am not alone. If I can walk along someone else with this struggle, and even point them to the One who heals not only the body but more importantly our sick souls?  Then it will be worth every pill I take. Every bathroom run. Every procedure, and yes, even possibly surgery.  Will it be hard? Of course. I don’t know the future, but I know that Jesus is holding my hand and whispering, “watch what I can do again when you are weak, and I am strong.”

 

Varvelicious ~ A Dream Come True

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12095033_10103026907275558_8949120545046425010_oMy mind began to zone out the speaker in front of me as my hand quickly jotted in my notebook the ideas rapidly forming…

I was 21 years old, engaged, and in the midst of my dietetic internship attending the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

I don’t remember who the speaker was but I do remember he/she was listing the devastating facts on childhood obesity.  I sat their burdened by the next generation who will not outlive their parents if they keep up their unhealthy behaviors.  And that burden spurred a new dream of mine.  When it would happen, I didn’t know but someday…someday this would be cool…

To use Brett’s talent in video production with my knowledge in nutrition. As a soon-to-be dietitian, I had no idea what God had in mind for my life, but I was very interested in nutrition education for children and even more important, their parents (since they are the ones feeding the children).

As I sat there in my seat, I noted different ideas like cooking shows with children, tips for parents on what and how to feed their children, teaching healthy foods and food groups, recipes…

IMG_1977And now, it’s been 8 years almost exactly since that dream popped in my head and that someday is here…

When I first started dating Brett 13 years ago, I’ll be honest, I was intimidated by Brett’s family.  As I got to know them throughout the years, I fell in love with them. Yet, I don’t think it really hit me until after we got married how I was a little different than his family.  They ALL are creative while I don’t have much creativity in me at all.   I avoid Pinterest if I can help it because…WOW…talk about overwhelming! My mind cannot handle all those ideas and creativity.   Please, just tell me what to do and how to do it…I promise it will get done in an organized and timely manner.

This sums up the difference between Brett (and his family) and me…

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Brett’s family is made up of a cartoonist, graphic designer, two filmmakers, and a mom who pretty much can create anything with her hands, whether it is food, clothes, pillows, curtains, a stair slide for the grandkids… you get my point.  This family of 5 grew into a family of 8 as the three kids married, and they have added a dietitian (me), a pastor, and a musician (phew…more left brains)!

I quickly learned that God had placed me in a family that needed my talents and left brain.

So how is my dream becoming a reality?  What do we, the Varvel family, have to offer?

A brand new YouTube channel! This channel will provide a variety of different playlists including (but not limited to) Comedy, Filmmaking How To videos, Behind the Scenes on future film projects, more Comedy, etc while incorporating Biblical Truth.

And how do I fit in? Varvelicious: videos on nutrition advice for your body and soul.

More to come next Friday, October 23rd when we launch!  Until then, join us on our journey:

www.facebook.com/varvelinsider
https://twitter.com/VarvelInsider
https://instagram.com/varvelinsider/

I’ll also be incorporating more nutrition advice that follows along with my videos here on my blog. So if you want more info on Varvelicious, sign up on the left to follow this blog!

Get excited! It’s going to be Varvelicious!

Varvelicious Begins

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Welcome to Varvelicious.  My name is Christina and I am married to my wonderful husband, Brett.  We’ve been married for 5 years now, yet together as a couple for 11 years. Yes, high school sweethearts going strong!  We currently have one daughter, Kherington Mae (2), and another child on the way due in May 2014!  We live in Indianapolis, making Brett an IU basketball fan (insert puke here from me…the Purdue graduate), and of course committed Colts fans (while still rooting for Peyton Manning…except when Broncos play Colts)!

I am a Stay-at-Home Mom and wouldn’t change it. Do we make sacrifices to do so? You bet. Still wouldn’t change it.  While “Mommy” may be one of my most important and time-consuming roles, I am also a Registered Dietitian (RD), passionate about nutrition and helping people glorify God through eating.  I currently am the Nutritionist/Wellness Advisor for the Peru Community School Corporation in Peru, Indiana. I love this job because it is very part-time (I control my hours) and can do most of it from home (working before Kherington wakes up in the morning or during nap time).

I’ll tell you a little about Brett since I’ll be posting a lot on what he does. He is the Executive Director of House of Grace Films, Inc., a non-profit organization. House of Grace Films is dedicated to producing biblically based films with excellence to further the Great Commission. More on this in posts to come. Lots of big things happening!  Until then, check out the website and/or Facebook page.

Well, I could keep going, but I guess you will have to continue to come back to check out what’s happening in the Varvelicious household. (Sign up to receive email updates on the left).

Will I have a theme in this blog? Probably not. Our life is random as we “run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  And a very creative writer once said, “You write what you know.”  So that’s my theme; I’ll write about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, my family, and my passions, because that’s what I know best.