Today is Sunday, and this post is dedicated to GRATITUDE. Since I have started this journey of getting healthy, and especially since starting my juice feast, I have been the recipient of outrageous kindness and acts of generosity which have left me with such feelings of gratitude, I don't have the words to adequately express them. That is saying a lot for the girl who never lacks for something to say! I am still working on the rare art of knowing when to shut up! lol
But honestly, I cannot help but believe I am on a divinely appointed path, when every step of the way, I am loved, supported, and lifted up. It started when I joined RFR and I got plugged into all the amazing resources in the Rooms. I wanted support to be a Christian vegan; I found it in the Media Room and in the Chapel. I wanted to know more about my curing my health conditions; I found it in the Wellness Center. I needed recipes to support my journey: there was the Kitchen and the Culinary Center. I needed to stay accountable: I immediately locked myself in the Vault and got real with my weight. Every day, Penni's message seemed to be something I really needed to hear. Susan's inspiring blogs left me scribbling down notes in my notebooks, and going around saying, "Yes!" at random times.
Most of all, the love and support I have gotten through blogging and reading others' blogs has been tremendous. Never underestimate what your taking the time to comment really means to someone. For me, it has lifted me up and made me say, "Yes, I can do this. I WILL do this. And actually, I AM DOING THIS." It even gave me the courage to do a crazy thing like decide to live on veggie juice for almost 6 weeks!
This is the hardest part to talk about, but I gotta do it. When I took time off to take care of Joe after his surgery, I was out of paid ill-time at work. I had known his surgery was coming, and horded all my ill and vacation time, but then, I got terribly sick myself in January and had emergency abdominal surgery in February and used it all up. I had no idea how we were going to get through a month with no pay coming in; I only knew that Joe needed the surgery and we had already been on the waiting list for 8 months and I couldn't change the date. I saved as much as I could from February to June, and I am proud to say, we made it through ok. But things are still really tight; I knew that I wasn't going to be able to spend money except food and rent and what my kids needed. I thought I would have to go without the Vault. But then Darlene Knight created her scholarship, and I got to be in the Vault after all! (Thank you, thank you, thank you, Darlene!) You guys, the Vault has been incredible this time; Penni's materials were so helpful and the recipes so good. The conversations and support in the Vault just exploded this time--there has been so much participation and actively helping one another and accountability. There have even been prizes, really nice ones, which has just been the icing on the cake. I would have missed out on all that without Darlene. Bless you and your huge heart Darlene!
Later on I heard Penni talk about juicing and checked it out, and I thought, oh that sounds HARD but interesting. Hmm. Then I met Dave the Raw Food Truck Driver and he inspired me so much (I dare you to talk to that man and not get inspired) and he said, "Hey, I still have some more weight to lose, let's go on a juice feast together!" So before I knew it, I had agreed to go on a juice feast without knowing really what that meant. I needed info fast: then Penni decided to release her book, Real Juice Daily. It was so inspiring and so full of great info and recipes. I was psyched!
Then I came back to reality: this juice feasting is expensive! Can I really afford to spend all of this on just ME? I am a single mom; I have responsibilities. I have fabulous teens who do great things, great things that cost mucho dinero. Plus, my juicer I had seemed to barely be getting any juice out of stuff. My kale would come out looking almost like it went in--I used the so called "pulp" to make kale chips for the kids!
Like an answer to unspoken prayer, someone I only know from Raw Food Rehab got me a NEW JUICER. Like, a nice one! A great one that I love and adore, and one that you know, GETS JUICE OUT OF THINGS! I was floored! I mean, who does such a nice thing for someone they've never met in real life? Who has a heart like that? I won't say, because the person asked me not to. But know that I still get tears in my eyes and a giant face-cracking grin when I make my juice. I know that juicer puts LOVE in my juice, because of the loving energy that came from that incredible person when they did that for me. I hope that person receives a thousand percent return in blessings. I love them and I will never forget them.
Then Annette told me she can get me my veggies at wholesale, and suddenly, I can not only afford my veggies, I realize I am going to save money in the long run after I am off the juice feast! Not to mention that Annette is an incredible lady who has been raw over 10 yrs and has done crazy cool things like climbing giant mountains and doing races from Portland to the Coast. Not only that but she doesn't even live in Portland--she drives more than an hour each way to get the veggies and make sure I get mine. I have offered to come to her, but she always says, no, it's no trouble.
Just yesterday--it happened again. Someone, I don't even know who, this time, donated some money for me for my juice feast! Not only did it come when I really need it--back to school time is here with all the huge costs of having active kids in high school: activity fees, senior pictures, college entrance exam fees, school clothes, school supplies, yearbook, dance team, etc, etc until you can actually hear the wallet screaming. But now, I've got a little bit of money to get what I need and not worry--which is such a huge relief. But even more than that--I have been so inspired again, and walking on a cloud of pure appreciation so complete I feel it at a cellular level. "Some one cares about me that much!" I marvel. "I've gotta see this through. So much love coming my way!" It just blows me away.
So, this post is just going to be thank you.
-Thank you, Penni, for having RFR, for your encouragement, and for being the amazing, inspiring woman that you are.
-Thank you, Susan, for your inspiring posts, and for all the copious amounts of information you add to this website that has made it such a huge boon to my health
-Thank you, anonymous friend, for the wonderful juicer, I love it, and I love you. I think about you every day, and I bless you and remember you in every prayer.
-Thank you, Dave, (though you'll probably never see this, lol) for being my mentor and coach and inspiration. You know how much I love you, and I've got your back, always!
-Thank you, Darlene, for letting me be in the Vault. I want you to know what it has meant to me, what a wonderful lady you are, and also that I think of you and try harder. I really do! I want to make you proud for what you did for me!
-Thank you, Annette, for giving me so much support along with the kale and cucumbers, and most of all for being my friend, and being in this juicy boat with me. We will do it my friend! You rawk hard!
-Thank you, other anonymous friend, for the money, and even more than that, for thinking of me, and helping me, and for your loving spirit. I am so grateful!
-Finally, thank you to you, if you've ever left me a comment, or written me a note, or said a prayer for me or for Joe. Thank you so so much. You inspire me, you feed me on your loving energy, and I feel a thousand hands, supporting me and lifting me up. I love you all!