After so many hard days, I sit here thinking about how what has changed in me so quickly. I am most amazed about what has given me the most pleasure this week, and what I have been the most thankful for that I would never have stopped long enough to notice before. Here a just a few…
• A warm jacket coming out of the dryer that feels like a hug from one of my girls to my body that is soooo chilled from the inside out.
• The taste of a juicy, delicious, organic, bright, orange carrot after being unable to eat for so many days.
• The warm afternoon sun shining down on me as I sit and enjoy just being outside.
• The gift of mint…I must explain!
When I began treatment, one aspect that is so important to helping me get well is my diet. So on day one of treatment, I began a very strict and rigorous diet that took out everything that might cause inflammation in my body. Below are the foods and drinks that are allowed during the first weeks of treatment…
Unsweetened juice (blah!!!)
Limited Fruits (only 3/week)
More Green Vegetables
More Green Vegetables
Still More Green Vegetables
Rice (can’t have – allergic)
Eggs (can’t have – allergic)
Fish (can’t have – allergic)
Much to my dismay, coffee was not on the list. What? No coffee?!?! And only 3 fruits a week?!?!? As many green vegetables as I want?!?!? Let’s just say that when I am sick, green veggies, like kale and leeks, are not the first thing I crave. Better yet, they are not even the last thing I crave. It is all I can do to get those down on a good day, much less a sick day. Where on the list are my favorite comfort foods from childhood…baked potato soup or a large Wendy’s Frosty, which my Dad brought me every time I was sick even since I’ve been married and had my girls?
Instead, every morning, I wake up to a hot cup of plain water. I will say, there is something comforting about holding that warm cup in your hands first thing in the morning, but it doesn’t come close to holding a hot cup of my favorite Peruvian Dark Roast. Then for the rest of the day and night, I must drink as much plain filtered water as I can get down.
Before I began this treatment, I would say that I liked water a lot, and it was most often my drink of choice. But after so many days of nothing but water, I would give anything for anything but water!!! So as I sat looking at the list of my allowed foods, one that I had never noticed jumped off the page at me….fresh mint! I could have mint in my hot water in the morning!!! I could have mint!!! I woke up with a pep in my step thinking that I was about to enjoy a hot cup of mint water to start my day. The three minutes to boil the water seemed to take a very looong time. Once finished, I took my cup, sat down on the sofa, covered myself in my favorite blanket, so that everything was just right, and took my first sip. There will never be words to describe how delicious that hot cup of mint water was. I think I had tears in my eyes as I savored each and every drop! Then, I made another cup!
Amazing that such a small thing like three leaves of mint, notice I did not say a new pair of shoes or an expensive dinner out but instead just three small leaves, would bring me so much joy! It also made me realize how many times before I have taken such small gifts for granted and not even stopped to acknowledge them. Ohhhhh, how ungrateful I have lived my life!!!
Not surprisingly, a dear friend sent this verse on the morning I was enjoying my first cup of mint water…
<strong>“I have learned to be content with whatever I have.” Philippians 4:11
I know that I am still not completely content in every situation with whatever I have, but I yearn to be. So I pray…
“Help me be content in all situations, Lord. Help me to look at each day of this struggle as a continual offering of praise for all the little things, like mint, that You have given me. When I am weak today, Lord, make me strong. I’m also praying from Streams in the Desert that You will ‘not only deliver me from this situation but will impart a lesson that I will never forget.’”
This week’s lesson that I hope to never forget is…
The Gift of Mint – Be Grateful for All the Little Things