Something to Write About

Chemicals and ToxinsSomething To Write About

I am on a journey that is teaching me a lot of things about chemicals and how they effect our health. It goes far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I have started looking at things a little differently. This is the first post in what I plan to be a series to share this journey with you.

I’m sure some of you have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in almost a year. To be honest, I have started so many posts that are still sitting in “draft” mode and hopefully I will find the inspiration to finish them all. Some amazing, and terrifying things have happened in our family over the year. Some of them I really need to share. God has shown me some wonderful things over this past year.

However, right now I have something else I want to write about. I have been on a journey over the last few years. It is a journey to work toward living as chemical-free as I can. The more I learn about toxins in our world and how they affect us and our loved ones, the more passionate I become to educate others on what God has been showing me.

We all need to really start thinking about what the consequences are to us and the people we love if you don’t start educating ourselves on the dangers around us. Lets start with cleaning products. If you go pull out any cleaning supply that you use in your home, turn the bottle over, and google some of the ingredients, the results will not be pretty.

You may be thinking, “Well, people have been using these things for years and no one I know has died from using them.” Really? Let me ask you something? Do you know anyone personally who has or has had cancer? IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)? Unexplained aches and pains?

Root Cause Analysis

Here is an analogy that will sum up what I have been learning in a nutshell:

At my new job, one of the things that we work on in the world of IT is referred to as RCA (Root Cause Analysis). Something BIG happens to disrupt the production of the company that has to do with the computers not working right. It gets fixed either temporarily (It gets a bandage on it, if you will) or permanently. Let’s say a computer gets rebooted and the problem goes away. The company is able to function again, but we still need to find out WHY the problem occured to begin with so we can prevent it from happening again.

So what does this have to do with what I have begun to understand about the toxins in our world? The medical community is a treasure that God has given us. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has dedicated their lives to healing people. However, I think we all, medical providers included, want to fix  what ails us, but we don’t think about the RCA . Instead, we stay on medications for extended periods of time; sometimes for the rest of our lives.

Some medications are administered through patches, nasal sprays, ointments, neutralizers? They are very effective. On the flip side, t chemicals that are in ANYTHING that we smell or that touches our skin. These all play a part in our overall health!

The CDC put out a good explanation. Check out their online PDF booklet called How Chemical Exposures Happen. Here is a snippet from the last page of the booklet:

How do chemicals get into your body?
To be exposed to a harmful chemical, you must breathe, eat,
drink, or touch it
  • Breathing (or inhalation): Chemicals are found as gases, vapors, aerosols, and fibers that you breathe in with air. When chemicals reach the lungs, they can affect the lungs directly or travel to other parts of the body through the blood stream.
  • Eating and drinking (or ingestion): Food or drinks may have chemicals on or in them that can enter your body. These chemicals are absorbed, or taken in, by the digestive system.
  • Touching: You can have contact with chemicals through
    • Chemicals can enter your bloodstream through the pores, small cracks, or cuts in your skin. Other chemicals may just irritate or burn your skin, exposing it to infection.
    • Some chemicals may burn or irritate your eyes. Some chemicals may enter your body through the eye.
Remember: For a chemical to make you sick, it must first enter your body.
I am not a doctor or a scientist. I can tell you, however, that since I have started this journey, my health has improved significantly. Sick visits are non-existent.  I have more energy. I have almost no fatigue (unless I stay up too late).
The more I learn, and the better I feel, the more I think about my kids, my grandchildren when they come, and YOU. I see so much heartache around me from cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and watching loved ones suffer.
Let’s take the time to learn as much as we can about these things together. I am going to try to get at lest one post out a week with information I have learned along the way. If you  have any specific questions for me, feel free to email me at amy@amylsutton.com. Subscribe to the blog for notifications of future posts.

Communication: Bridging the Gap

Communication: Bridging the Gap
Communication Gap

The Problem with Communication

Communication word picture:  You are standing on a bridge that spans a great chasm. Your spouse is standing in front of you, facing you. A hundred or so feet separate the two of you and the bridge is completely missing in between. No matter how loudly you try to talk, your spouse cannot hear you. You get so frustrated because you can hear them just fine.

This “word picture” reminds me of the communication gap that a lot of us find ourselves in these days in our marriages. The reason for divorce is often rooted in this issue. The problem isn’t that our spouse doesn’t hear us. It’s that neither one  of us are truly listening.

The Reason

Why do we do this? It’s because we are so scared that our own needs won’t be heard and met that our whole focus is consumed with getting our message out instead of giving at least equal attention to the message our spouse needs us to receive. We have been hurt and/or offended, and it makes us feel insignificant; like we don’t matter.

No matter how much we have been hurt by our spouse, they have also been hurt by us. It is so hard to see this through our own pain and frustration.

We live in a world that is filled with narcissism. A large portion of our young adults seem to have this sense of entitlement. Book shelves are filled with SELF help books. Our entire social media world is founded on SELFies.  In this world, it is pretty easy to think of ourselves as less self-centered than society as a whole, but are we really?

SELF assessment is not the easiest thing to accomplish. Putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes takes objectivity when the situation involves us. This is hard to do. But it is completely necessary to remedy this problem.

Perfect Example

My husband and I will be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary this November, and we have been together for  25 years. In the midst of five children, we are just now really starting to grasp the communication thing.

A couple of days ago I was having an unusually stressful day: A very close friend of mine was at the hospital with her son who was admitted for some very serious symptoms, one of my children had accidentally charged an item to a wrong account and caused an overdraft, I was in the midst of preparing for a rather large event our family has coming up, and it is officially August, so as a school teacher my mind starts racing about the upcoming school year.

My husband and I were texting and I was telling him all of my woes. His response was “Welcome to my world. We need to stop worrying somehow.” Although I have always felt like I was a pretty empathetic person, this really gave me new insight into what life was like from his perspective. He has always been a worrier by nature. I am not, so this was a relatively unfamiliar experience to me. The knot in my stomach, the restlessness, the muscle tension.

I told him that for me, having a few minutes each day to talk to him about it would be really helpful. His reply was “K. I have so many chores to do when I get home. Then I am exhausted and just want to veg.”

The Solution

Shortly after this exchange, I was out running some errands and listening to my favorite Christian radio station (Family Life Network) in the car. The daily broadcast of Focus on the Family was on and it was uncanny how applicable it was to our situation. Going from ME focus to WE focus. I STRONGLY encourage you to listen to this broadcast:

Working Together as a Team in Your Marriage

 

Moving away from the ME mentality toward the WE mentality makes all the difference in the world.  Bridging the gap takes working together and actively listening; not just hearing.

The broadcast linked above talks about taking 10 or 15 minutes a day just to connect with each other. Like many other things in our lives, motivation is the biggest problem. It’s not that we don’t want to spend time talking to each other. Frankly it is that there is no energy left at the end of the day. All we want to do is vegetate, right? But taking that 10 to 15 minutes a day to really connect can make all the difference in the world.

 

The couple being interviewed, Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley, have what they call an E-nuptual agreement. It is a mutual understanding that they will not let electronics interfere with their WE time. This goes beyond just the 15 minutes that they are talking each day. It extends to the time they are watching their favorite program together. I would venture to guess it includes date nights and any other time they have set aside to connect with each other. Technology is a wonderful tool, but just like any other tool, it can be grossly misused and cause tumultuous impact on our relationships.

Most of what has been said in this blog entry and in the broadcast linked above is probably not anything new to most of us. But it is always a good reminder and something we need to focus on more deliberately in our day-to-day relationships, especially our marriages.

 

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