Health and Wellness · Thoughts

When things are not ok

I know it has been unusually quiet around here lately! That was never my intent.  When March started I had GREAT plans for the month! I had all of my blog posts mapped out and outlined, fun give-aways to announce, exciting ideas for our homeschooling lessons, plans to enjoy the arrival of spring and so much more. I really felt like we had great momentum going in realms of healing. With this new found wellness it seemed that March was set up to be our best month yet as a family of four. Then the literal and metaphorical sh*t hit the fan!

When things are not ok

Here is the deal

The road to wellness is a rather bumpy affair full of all sorts of potholes, surprise turns and every once in a while a giant mountain in your way that you did not anticipate. Whether it is cross contamination which causes you to spend the night in the bathroom or in extreme pain, or you catch a cold or the flu and afterward it seems that all your progress in healing has been erased, or you have run out of “spoons”, fallen off the bandwagon, or everything is plain falling apart you are going to have times when things just are not ok. And, my friends, THAT is ok.

A few weeks ago we came upon a mountain and it has been a very difficult trek thus far. The uphill climb all started with my Little Bear having rough days and terrible nights. I will spare you the details but lots of crying and tons of diaper changes were a huge part of the past month.  For My Dreamboat and I sleep deprivation became par for the course. Then, when we thought it couldn’t get much worse, I had a stomach “attack”.

I had been free of these attacks for almost a year and I was really hoping to never experience one again, but with just a couple bites of soft goat cheese (Full disclosure: this is totally not on my current diet), I sealed my fate! 2 hours after those seemingly innocent bites I was down for the count. These attacks make the transition phase of giving birth seem like a gentle walk in the park. Saying it is hell does not begin to describe it.


For us, things have NOT been ok lately. This mountain has been overwhelming. I feel like the last month has stretched and challenged me well beyond my breaking point. I have been forced to, once again, grow in ways I never wanted to. Honestly, I really want my life to be comfortable and easy. But, in reality, that life will never do- I would miss out on all of the beautiful that can only come from the moments that are truly ugly. For it is in these times that you get to see how God and loved ones will show up for you in ways you could never imagine! It also makes me a whole lot more grateful for the times of peace we do have!

Now I know that on this side of heaven everyone will experience hard times and most of you who follow my blog do so because you have your own battles with health going on so I am going to share with you what I have gotten out of this month so far. My desire is that it will bring you encouragement for those times in your life when things just are not ok.

The Beautiful in The Ugly

There is always hope!: A wise woman I know reminds me of this frequently!  That does not mean it will be easy- these mountains can be extremely hard to climb! BUT there is hope and there is light ahead! (You can find more of her wisdom over at

I am limited!: I read a quote a couple weeks ago that has helped shape my perspective through all of this. “When I reach the limit of my strength, I worship the One whose strength never flags. When I reach the limit of my reason, I worship the One whose reason is beyond searching out.” -Jen Wilkin These words bring me such comfort. I am not alone in this journey! When I run out of strength He will hold me up. When the situations in my life make no sense I can lean on the one who knows all.

Fight for your wellness!: My attack pushed me to find answers and help. I now know (after almost 5 years of searching) what exactly my attacks are (Adult FPIES) and I have found a couple people who can help me figure out what I need and how to bring about healing. I talk about the need for a great support team on here and I thank God that I now have mine!

YL Peppermint Essential Oil=PURE MAGIC!: You all know how much I love essential oils, but even I forget sometimes how incredible they can be. After weeks of my Little Bear’s stomach causing him to cry my rather delayed light bulb finally went on! Rub peppermint oil on his stomach of course! After only one application of 1/2 a drop of peppermint mixed in a little bit of olive oil his crying stopped and he was able to truly rest for the first time in weeks. Trust me, I had tried a litany of other remedies, but nothing else helped. I could kiss that bottle of EO! Once I had my attack I was also using the peppermint oil to help calm and sedate my stomach. Peppermint oil castor packs are, in my humble opinion, the bomb when it comes to major stomach upsets!

peppermint for blog

God works in strange, mysterious, and miraculous ways!: We also now have answers for what is going on with my Little Bear. The crazy thing is that the diagnosis is the exact one we needed in order to pursue some treatments for him that we have been hoping to do for a LONG time. Even more amazing is the fact that as soon as we got the samples needed for his lab work all of his symptoms ceased and he has returned to his old self.

Friendship is Magic!: As all My Little Pony fans out there know: Friendship is magic. When you have chronic health issues a lot of “friends” and family will step back, fall away, or just plain quit on you. BUT there will be those precious few that show up in ways unimaginable. They will show themselves to be selfless, loyal, courageous when you can’t be, wonderful sources of hope and joy, and steady. I am forever grateful for my incredible friends (you know who you are!) who are one of the greatest gifts this world has to offer! I would not know how truly amazing they are if it were not for the hard times we have had!

Just do the next thing!:  I have heard another wise woman, Elizabeth Elliot, say repeatedly that all you need to worry about is just to do the next thing. When you are trying to get to a place where you feel great, where you kid is thriving, where you are no longer defined by a diagnosis it can be so easy to want to rush the process and to get ahead of yourself! Y’all, I would love nothing more than to be able to come on here and write how we are all better and everything is great, but, barring a miracle, that is just not going to happen anytime soon. So for now, I need to just focus on the next thing we need to do. Yesterday that was getting outside for our mental wellbeing! Today it is making sure I order our probiotics and make more stock. It may not seem like much but over time just doing the next thing will bring about great change!

In conclusion

Life is messy and we are in the thick of it with our health right now. But you know what? That has to be ok sometimes. We all will have mountains to climb. If it not health-related it will be something else. You do not make it through this life without trials and tribulations and as uncomfortable as it is sometimes you just have to sit with that fact and be ok with the mess, the hard, the things that make us uneasy. But, when you are in the midst of a difficult mountain climb don’t forget: There is always hope!



5 thoughts on “When things are not ok

  1. Thanks for sharing the nitty gritty of your story, Ashley. It is beautiful and inspiring and real and it is encouraging to read about raw faith in the midst of ongoing challenge.
    I too was listening to a wise person today- a singing song-book, actually (Yes, Psalty) saying that you don’t need to ask God for the strength to climb a mountain, you just need to ask for the strength for the next step. (I may have cried upon hearing Psalty’s words).
    But thank-you again for your vulnerable and poetic sacrifice of praise here.


  2. Thanks for sharing your struggles. It’s a good reminder that everyone faces mountains and valleys in their lives. Last year (2016) was our year of mountains. It started with the loss of my husband’s job in January, Then, he found a new one that started in March and had to move 1/2 a state away, while I packed and cleaned our apartment, and struggled with morning sickness. In May, the day before Mother’s Day, we lost our precious miracle baby boy (we’d been told a year previously we likely could never have children) at 18 weeks. In October, my grandmother passed away unexpectedly and the day after Thanksgiving, my aunt lost her 6-year battle with breast cancer. All that to say, that without the support of true friends, and the everlasting strength of God’s arms upholding us, we never would’ve made it over those mountains in our own strength. We can only conquer those mountains through the strength He gives us every day. Praise God for His goodness and mercy!


    1. Linda thank you so much for sharing your heart and story with me! I am so sorry for all your loss! I know this past year has been so hard for your whole family! “Praise God for his goodness and mercy!”- Amen sister!!


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