Carrying On a Legacy


My dad died on July 9, 2014, at the age of 62. I loved him dearly. In the weeks immediately following his death, I felt compelled to carry on the legacy my father left, to focus on the good things he did and strive to make those things part of my daily life.

To extend a helping hand to those in need.

To stand by my family through good times and bad.

To spend time enjoying nature.

To share the love of Jesus.

To encourage the underdog.

To be silly and create a home filled with laughter.

To work hard at everything I do.

Every story or quote about my dad I share is shared to keep his spirit alive on earth. Every positive character trait of his I model allows others to experience his goodness and love.

As I carry on my dad’s legacy, I realize this is essence of the Christian life. In the purest sense, a Christian is a person who loves Jesus Christ dearly and lives to carry on His legacy of truth, faith, and love.

Every Bible story or quote I share is shared to keep His spirit alive on earth. Every character trait of Jesus I model allows others to experience His goodness and love.

We humans are prone to complicate the Christian life, making it about rules and preferences and politics. It’s none of those things. It’s simply a relationship with a perfect man who lived, died, and came back to life 2,000 years ago, a man who was and is The Son of God. It’s so beautifully simple a 4-year-old can understand and experience this relationship.

May we live to speak Jesus’ words, embrace the hurting, and encourage the broken as we carry on His legacy.



*This post is dedicated to my father and to the family of Sarah Harmening who recently shared Sarah’s last written words including this quote: “We are like a wisp of smoke. We are only here for a moment and it’s not about us. Life is not about us. It’s about God, who is eternal, so I want to dedicate the one moment I’m here completely and entirely to him.” Thank you, Harmening family, for carrying on the legacy of your daughter and of our Savior, Jesus Christ.


Photo credit: Monte Wyatt

Why I Chose Paleo


The Paleo (Paleolithic) diet is based on the eating habits of humans as hunters/gatherers before people transitioned to lifestyles of “settled agriculture.” There are several variations of Paleo diets, but I tailored my diet to include meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and eggs. I exclude dairy, grains, beans, pork, shellfish, and processed sugar.

A few people have told me the Paleo diet is too restrictive, that I can’t “enjoy my life” on this diet. When I hear that, in my head I’m laughing because they don’t understand what my life was like before Paleo.

Before Paleo

chronic yeast infections
lack of energy
hormone imbalance
severe eczema
uncomfortable (and embarrassing) digestive problems
difficulty losing weight

After Paleo

blood sugar regulated
clear skin
controlled/healthy levels of yeast
no more depression
99% asthma improvement
lots of energy
99% thyroid improvement
hormones balanced
no more eczema
healthy gut
easy to lose weight

I definitely was not enjoying my life before Paleo. I was just trying to make it through the day. Now I am feeling great, loving life, and thriving! Yes, it was challenging to learn how to prepare Paleo meals, but it has been worth every minute of my time and effort. I would never consider going back to my old eating habits. I feel too good now. Why would I want to go back to feeling bad all the time?

Before I chose the Paleo diet, I did an elimination diet to determine which foods were causing me problems. Through the elimination diet and food allergy testing, I discovered I am intolerant to lactose and casein and sensitive to gluten. After eliminating dairy, gluten, and several other possibly offensive foods, I was still suffering from severe eczema. The only food group I hadn’t tried to eliminate was grains. As soon as I removed grains from my diet, the eczema began to disappear, and my inflamed, itchy skin began to heal. Since dairy and grains were causing problems for me, it made sense to follow the Paleo diet.

All disease begins in the gut.-Hippocrates-2

The Paleo diet is a gut-healing diet. It was no surprise that every diseased part of my body improved when I switched to the Paleo diet. As my gut healed, every body system began to heal, and balance was restored. Every marker on my blood work that was out of range (except one) has improved since switching to Paleo.

The Paleo diet is not for everyone. There is no such thing as the perfect diet because everyone has individual needs and food sensitivities. Researching and discussing different diets with your doctor or nutritionist would be wise. There are other helpful, gut-healing diets including GAPS, AIP, and FODMAP. I use the Road to Wellness workbook with my clients to help them determine which diet best fits them.

If you have had success with the Paleo diet or another gut-healing diet, I would love to hear your story in the comments. Thanks for stopping by today!