Health, Heartful Reflections & Humble Homes

It’s funny. I feel like I am forever sharing with you the details of my life behind the blog: what I’m cooking, what ails me, what I’m organizing, where I’m traveling, etc. But I now realize I spread my thoughts across the blog, Facebook, IG, and email so it’s impossible to keep up unless you’re a full-time stalker! So today’s Health, Heartful Reflections & Humble Homes shares a health update since followers and friends have kindly filled my inbox with inquiries.

Spring floral arrangement on my kitchen table with blue hydrangea, blush pink roses, and greenery. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

This post contains affiliate links which I hope you will use since they won’t cost you a penny extra yet may earn this blog a small commission.

Health, Heartful Reflections & Humble Homes

The humble homes you’ll see are cute little vintage homes I strolled by in a nearby neighborhood where I went soaking up sunshine and garage sale-ing over the weekend. I should have brought my folding cart like this one since my bag was heavy!

I even toured an open house which was so special – almost everything original remained from the 1920’s.

Lovely vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

As far as illness, I take it one day at a time. Because of a restricted diet, there are days I don’t have a lot of energy and days I struggle with irritability.

Beautiful colorful charcuterie and cheese platters with apples and pears by Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio. See more of my cheeseboards HERE.

I don’t know if it’s because of my French heritage (ha…what’s more pleasant than imagining what we’ll devour at the next meal!?!), emotional eating (I could say goodbye to Pinot Noir forever, but avacados? Cheese? Say it aint so!), or just my inner chubby girl with the bottomless pit, but I have always possessed passion for food and a king-sized appetite.

Beautiful colorful cheese boards and charcuterie platters with wine by Hello Lovely Studio
Oh, cheese, how I miss Thee! Hello Lovely Studio.

So I’m trying to unhook from food and begin to see it more as fuel and less as comfort, less as a reward.

Still life with vintage door, apple, pear, and aqua bottle with branch by Hello Lovely Studio
I can eat these beautiful fat-free gifts! Hello Lovely Studio.

I am journeying with Crohn’s disease and experiencing what may or may not be a wicked flare after 7 years of sweet remission.

Spring floral arrangement on my kitchen table with blue hydrangea, blush pink roses, and greenery. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Crohn’s turned my freshman year of college upside down and nearly killed me. The disease complicated my life thoroughly in my 20’s and 30’s, but was no match for my secret weapons: faith, a wonderful support system of family, and a ravenous appetite even during illness.

Spring floral arrangement on my kitchen table with blue hydrangea, blush pink roses, and greenery. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio
Birch bark wrap for vase
Birch Bark Vase Wrap (Set of 6), PetalandForrest on Etsy

Symptoms were mostly manageable with medicine and diet in my 40’s until a tricky flareup in 2011 when things worsened.

My kitchen. Spring floral arrangement on my kitchen table with blue hydrangea, blush pink roses, and greenery. Hello Lovely Studio.
New cushions for our window seat, RH. Hello Lovely Studio

I was weak and deeply discouraged when my folks gathered a small group of prayer warriors the day before a scheduled colonoscopy in early 2012.

Birch pot with zinc interior, set of 2
Birch Pot with Zinc Interior, Set of 2 and more options HERE.

I woke up from anesthesia screaming bloody murder during that scope, which couldn’t continue since there was an issue with the size of an instrument.

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

The 87 pound me had to forego food another day, and the next day, the scope was successful. Results the GI reported shocked us all: “No sign of disease.”

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Even when I told my family, I am not sure anyone including me believed it! But after all the drama and all that prayer, it was a full remission stretching out for years!

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

What a blessing!

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
AMERICAN FLAG OPTIONS Right Here. Hello Lovely Studio

Last summer was a doozy for stress, and since then, I have struggled to properly digest: foods containing fats (even good fats) and too much food at a sitting.

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

It isn’t unlike what some folks experience after Bariatric surgery or the effect certain weight-loss meds have.

Peaces in dappled sunlight. Hello Lovely Studio.
I can eat these too! Hello Lovely Studio

While my liver and pancreas looked okay after the CT scan, my GB was nasty so we were hoping the surgery in September would remedy the digestion issues. Maybe it will just take more time.

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
AMERICAN FLAG OPTIONS Right Here. Hello Lovely Studio

In early February, painful attacks resumed despite my healthy diet.

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

So now I eat a more restricted diet, eliminating most fat and never eating too much at a time.

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

The sucky part is fats are not only delicious – the good ones do wonderful things for the body!

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Fats help proteins do their job, stabilize blood sugar, help the body stockpile certain nutrients, affect mood, help with immune function, and give us a sense we’re full.

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

So it’s a new normal for me, and I’m clinging to the positive.

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to manage symptoms with diet and lifestyle changes.

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

New boundaries, daily transformation, meditation, eating more plants, caring doctors, letting go, enjoying more sleep, friendship…

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

…therapy, reading poetry, releasing rage, prioritizing self-care, doing zen things, playing piano, spiritual direction, acupressure…

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

…creating art, Bible, supplements, massage, prayer, hugs, laughter, and Big Love…

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

…they all contribute to my healing and to moving through stress right now.

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

If you have been reading this blog for the past few years, then you know I try increasingly to allow reality to be reality, without responding with so much resistance.

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

It’s one of those pathways to peaceful living enfolding in the second half of life. I feel like the culture around me encourages a warrior spirit, and I get it.

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Yet I feel called more often to open up my hands rather than shape them into fists. Welcoming reality scares the pants off of a lot of folks which is why it likely won’t grow in popularity. Here’s Richard Rohr’s take on it:

“To forgive reality is to let go of the negative story line, the painful story line that you’ve created for it. If that story line has become your identity, if you are choosing to live in a victim state, an abused consciousness, it gives you a false kind of power and makes you feel morally superior to others. But let me tell you, it will also destroy you.”

Father Richard Rohr

Charming vintage home exterior in Spring. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

I think that’s why I am hesitant at times to share too much about my health struggles here. Genetic mutation and Jesus freak Crohn’s girl who had the mastectomy and struggles with depression? I’m not sure becoming a victimized persona online and hearing steady echoes of ‘oh, bless her heart’ is helpful when you’re a HEARTFUL MAMA just MUDDLING THROUGH WITH BIG LOVE.

Spring floral arrangement on my kitchen table with blue hydrangea, blush pink roses, and greenery. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Thanks for listening and journeying with me, friends.

What a gift and source of healing to be able to share visual, creative, and heartful topics with a community as tender and open as you. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please click here so you won’t miss one bit of the lovely.

If you missed my last post which was a house tour of a newly built French country home HERE – oh, my word, HELLO LOVELY!

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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32 Comments

  1. Marilyn S.
    May 9, 2019 / 7:15 am

    This lovely post immediately brought this scripture to mind –
    Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid, neither be dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
    2 Chronicles 20:15 .
    And oh so true.

    • Michele
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 9:13 am

      YES! Amen to this reminder that I forget all the time. I need to be in the Word finding my bearings and recovering my Christ consciousness in which there is no fear. I need to allow the battle to belong to God and receive the fullness of that sort of release to Him. You’re a blessing! xox

  2. Teresa C
    May 9, 2019 / 7:16 am

    I so appreciate your sharing. Thank you for opening up your heart. It takes not only openness of spirit but courage. I continue to lift you up in prayer, asking our great God to bless you.

    • Michele
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 9:10 am

      Thanks for affirming me and for your continued prayers – what a blessing to hear from such faithful souls. Peace to you right where you are, friend.

  3. Kathy
    May 9, 2019 / 7:21 am

    Sending boundless love and prayers your way, Michele. God bless you!

    • Michele
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 9:10 am

      Oooooh, I love boundless love! Thank you, friend. The fragrance of your prayer rising to heaven is very much appreciated. xox

  4. Kim
    May 9, 2019 / 7:44 am

    Something you might want to research: Medical Medium and celery juice. Has helped many people with a variety of health issues. Hope you are on the mend soon…

    • Michele
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 9:09 am

      I will definitely research these things and accept the suggestions as gifts. Thank you, friend.

  5. patricia ruggieri
    May 9, 2019 / 7:54 am

    dear michele:
    First: Sorry for my english. ( It´s my third language).
    Just to tell you, I copied your list of “things to do”, from ” new boundaries”.. to ” Big Love”.. in a beautiful piece of paper, decorated with little flowers and hanged it on the wall …. First thing to see when I get home. Well, nothing more to say…Thank you.. thanks for everyday… I do love you…may my hug fly to wherever you are…

    • Michele
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 9:08 am

      What a beautiful heart and soul is yours. Thank you, friend, for your kind words, for your tenderness, for the love. I’m so grateful to have you here. xox

  6. Kathleen Dike
    May 9, 2019 / 9:05 am

    May the days ahead be filled with peace and better health. Digestive issues can be so disruptive to ones life. To be able to eat what you want with no ill effects is amazing to me. Take care.

    • Michele
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 9:15 am

      Thank you so much for the wishes for wellness. I wish the same for you and send peace and thanks for your kindness in visiting me here with mercy. xox

  7. May 9, 2019 / 10:05 am

    My goodness, you are one strong woman. I really admire how you have found so many ways to fight your disease and as tough as it’s been, you keep fighting and keep staying positive. Thanks for sharing your story because I’m sure you are helping others with the same challenges. Best of luck to you!

    • Michele
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 2:15 pm

      My health and spiritual journeys have definitely shaped me and strengthened me – yet it’s God in me moving and loving me as a Source for everything that makes all the difference. Wouldn’t it be great if sharing vulnerable words here brightened someone else’s journey and heart? Oh, I hope so, Celia. Thank you for reading me with tenderness.

  8. sharon
    May 9, 2019 / 12:19 pm

    Hi Michelle,

    Having digestive issues is no fun for sure…..I know first hand and it is frustrating trying to find a clear path to control it. Sending prayers your way today. On another note, it was lovely seeing the many homes in your neighborhood….we used to live in the northern suburbs of Chicago and I sorely miss the great architecture. Here in CA it is a rarity to see great looking homes, even the very expensive ones. Keep up your wonderful blog!

    • Michele
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 2:10 pm

      Folks with G.I. issues seem to have a special bond – we understand how it complicates life and steals joy from so many social eating situations. Thank you for the prayers. I love these sweet old homes that have hardly changed throughout the years! I’m so glad you liked. 🙂

  9. Wendy
    May 9, 2019 / 2:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I’m praying for you.

    • Michele
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 2:08 pm

      I’m humbled and thankful. Peace to you.

  10. gayle olson
    May 10, 2019 / 8:36 am

    Such a good read for me today. My nephew has Crohns and has 3 very serious bouts in the last 7 years. This last one almost took him. He doesn’t use stress relief aides and is careless with food. I am going to write down what you have said and think about how to present it in a loving but not preaching way. Thank you, I will now look for more info from your past blog posts.

    • Michele
      Author
      May 10, 2019 / 12:45 pm

      So sorry to hear about your nephew. Everyone has their own journey, and when I was young I was told diet had little bearing on my disease…can you imagine? Stress exacerbates all diseases and can be a killer so self-care is so important. Sometimes removing gluten from the diet eases symptoms – and even a 3 day fast from a gluten can be telling. Best to him and you, friend.

  11. Amy Saunders
    May 10, 2019 / 2:51 pm

    Michele…you are such a dear soul. I feel like you are a kindred spirit even though we have never met. I am always saying “Amen” to everything you post and say. Reading your blog is one of my favorite things to do in a day. I could comment on each one, but time keeps me from being able to. Your posts uplift, inspire, encourage, inform…I could go on and on. Thanks for openly sharing your life and your knowledge on so many things with us!! Praying for God to sustain you and uphold you with His Strong Arms, and to meet your every need at every turn on your journey!! HE IS ABLE! Knowing God is sovereign over ALL things, is the truth that has carried me through my toughest times. Peace and love to you.

    • Michele
      Author
      May 10, 2019 / 5:37 pm

      Such encouraging, heartfelt gifts for me in your words – thank you. I’m just so grateful to have you here reading with tenderness and somehow feeling joined. It’s what I long for in my own life so I’m so happy to be a vessel. He is able! Yes! And meeting my every need right where I am. Peace to you, friend.

  12. Joanna
    May 10, 2019 / 5:42 pm

    You have so much to bear but still remain positive. I can tell you have heart, soul and humour. Those qualities are keeping you going, in spite of your many health issues.
    Blessings
    ~Joanna

    • Michele
      Author
      May 10, 2019 / 5:53 pm

      It’s funny. At my very worst – when an excruciating attack is happening and I’m in a folded up crazy position getting through it, my true desire comes to the surface into the light and there is no doubt about my longing since my sigh is always the same: I LOVE MY LIFE. Usually I’m crying when the words squeak out, but just like my huge appetite even during Crohn’s flares where I live in the bathroom, there is this strength to overcome that rises. I thank God for that love energy which has kept me alive. I never thought I’d make it out of my 30’s so why the heck do I ever complain about getting older!?! Ha!

  13. May 14, 2019 / 7:24 am

    Michele,
    Oh my dear friend, you are such an inspiration. I know first hand too what problems with G.I. issues. It is hard when you love to eat to control it, but that is what we have to do. You can tell from your words that God walks with you. What a true blessing you are! God has given you a gift that you share with others.
    Hope you days are as wonderful as you are.
    Hugs,
    Bev

    • Michele
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 2:39 pm

      You’re so kind to me, Bev. We all have our battles, and my chronic illness is one that is familiar and a thorn. Thanks so much for your support.

  14. May 14, 2019 / 10:51 pm

    Michele…we share so many of the same issues! Sometime soon I will send you a private email sometime to explain more. I have struggled with many of the same things you have. Thanks for sharing!

    • Michele
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 11:40 pm

      Can’t wait to learn more of your story, Amber. Thanks for reading with such tenderness and for your beautiful blog which inspires so many of us. xox

  15. May 15, 2019 / 7:24 pm

    Michele, somehow I knew we were kindred spirits. I am sorry for your suffering, not that you need my sympathy, but my prayers now include you. I understand. What you may not know about me, I’m a retired nurse, retired by 40! Fatigue and diet are very much a part of my daily plans, as well, but for different reasons. I shared with my readers back awhile my own little confession, https://www.shoestringeleganceblog.com/2013/03/good-morning.html, we do what we need to and God willing we inspire people as we do. You have inspired me and that, I believe, is one of the best gifts a person can give. Thank you for your honesty. thank you for being transparent and authentic and beautiful and encouraging. They all are what I look forward to when seeing your comments or posts. Blessings to you, dear lady. XO
    Theresa

    • Michele
      Author
      May 16, 2019 / 12:57 pm

      Can’t wait to hear more of your story, Theresa. I’m sure we’re kindred – and isn’t it special when those spirits find each other online? I clicked on the link but it didn’t work so not sure? Thank you for reading me with such tenderness and for being such a safe place in to land – it’s encouraging. I’ll be visiting you again at the party today. 🙂

  16. May 16, 2019 / 8:22 am

    Thanks for sharing this journey with us at Thursday Favorite Things! Your peace throughout it all is such an encouragement to me. I have featured it today at the party!

    • Michele
      Author
      May 16, 2019 / 12:54 pm

      I can’t wait to get over to the party, Pam – thanks so much for your support, encouragement, and flow of inspiration on your artful blog. xox

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