Hello Everyone! I am so excited about getting this campaign going, and very hopeful about the opportunity to work in something I am so passionate about. I wanted to take the time to thank you all in advance for your support. Without it, I would still be racking my brain, trying to figure out what the next step should be.
For those of you with whom I’ve been out of touch for a while, this may seem like quite a departure. Music and writing have pretty much been my main goals for my whole life. So I wanted to share a bit with you about how this decision came about:
When we began walking out our family’s healing, we had no idea that it was anything more than they physical needs which needed to be addressed. And yet, just making such drastic changes to one aspect of your life (diet, in this case) shifts things so drastically in some of the other spheres that everything gets turned on its head.
In my case, I have lived a good part of my life controlled by fear: fear of what others thought, fear of falling on my face, fear of succeeding and then having to keep it up, fear of letting down the ones I love. I had been allowing fear to sabotage the better part of my efforts, especially those involving music, but to my own eyes it really just seemed like things “hadn’t quite lined up the way I’d hoped.” I had no idea all the ways that fear had been paralyzing me until Jeff and I first decided it was time to start our family.
Our first pregnancy ended very early in miscarriage, and I did not realize how many lies about myself that miscarriage seemed to carve into stone (“you’ll never be a mother, you can’t follow through on anything,” etc.). When we became pregnant again, this time with our son, Joshua, I was literally plagued by fear. It did not seem to matter how many times I heard his (very strong) heartbeat or how many times I felt him kick, I was terribly afraid that I was going to lose him. When, in his infancy, he started to develop symptoms of food allergies, I could have been paralyzed all over again. I really believe it was only the grace of God that enabled me to be anything other. Instead, it was like a switch finally got flipped, and I sprang into action.
I uncovered every stone I could think of. We were going to “figure this out,” once and for all. I really had no idea how much striving was still involved in all my decision making, but I was honestly trying to will Joshua into good health. The GAPS diet was a last resort, and I still laid out a fleece. While I was praying about it, I told God that if this was what He wanted for us, He’d have to convince Jeff, as I was sure he wouldn’t want to make such drastic changes.
I continued to pray about it, and do research, and look into any other options, and finally, I presented the GAPS diet to Jeff. The whole time we were discussing it, I was practically telling him all the reasons we shouldn’t do it, and still, he signed on. Enthusiastically. We gave ourselves three months to prepare, and we dove in. And our world turned upside down.
Food is so central to American Society. Just about every kind of social event will have food, food is given as gifts, and people want to meet over food just for casual conversation. There is no way, in our society today, that you can change every facet of the way you eat (such as removing all grains, certain starches, most legumes, and double sugars the way that GAPS does), and have it do anything other than totally upend life as you know it. But it turns out that what is waiting just outside of your “comfort zone” is usually…freedom.
One little section of my heart at a time, every “crisis of healing” we reached, individually and as a family, brought with it an opportunity to apply what we were learning about our physiology to a deeper level. The ripple effects of little every-day choices, for example; or even simple things like the way harboring stress and fear eat away at your health. I began to write again, the way I hadn’t in awhile.
In fact, I still need to take the time to sit down and organize and edit the things I have been writing during this time, as well as to start to record the song snippets I have been singing to my family and myself over the last couple years. But Journals, notebooks, scraps of paper in my Bible, and then word docs on my computer are all overflowing with the things I have been learning. There is a serious tie between this journey of ours and my ability to honestly write the things God has been laying on my heart. And there is also a very significant connection between our physical health and our mental and emotional stresses and strongholds.
To tie it all in, I don’t see myself Health Coaching “instead of” singing or writing. For me, they are all different sides of the same desire: to encourage people to approach their well-being from every angle: Their faith/spirituality, emotional and mental health, and of course the foods with which they are fueling their bodies. I am not, however, trying to pursue all three vocations at the same time, and I have been thoughtfully and prayerfully deliberating as to what the next step should be. When I began to look into the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, pieces began to fall into place, and I can say with confidence that I feel quite sure this is that logical next step. This is an opportunity to do what I have already been doing for some others, but now for many more, even those who are following different health/dietary protocols from my own. Being able to be the resource and encouragement that I needed when I was going through would be an immense joy for me.
How can you help? I am so glad you asked! First of all, you can like and share this blog post. Secondly, if you pray, you could pray for me (for the fundraising, for my studies, for my family’s continued wellness journey).
As for fundraising, I currently have three options available. First of all, I am running a crowdfunding campaign through GoFundMe, which you can find here.
Next, my parents and my best friend have each offered up their own fundraising vehicles.
Presently, my parents are brokers through shop.com, and if you do any shopping online at all, you probably want to see if you can’t get the same things you buy elsewhere at shop.com (for cheaper!). Yes, this even includes Amazon shoppers. And right now, if you purchase any of the Market America line of products through this link, the commission off of those items will go to my tuition fundraising efforts. When you place your order, please use my email address (melody . joy . buller (a) gmail . com minus the spaces) in the “referral” bar so that those orders are earmarked for my fundraiser. If you want to be able to search only Market America products (since some of their lines have different names), you can go to the tab which says “all stores,” and select “Market America” from the M section.
My dear friend, Monique, also represents an incredible brand name: Arbonne. She is hosting an Arbonne “Party with a Purpose” toward my tuition fundraising, as well. You can join the party by placing orders here and entering the code 1169542. If you’d like to join the party on Facebook, send me a message and I’ll send you an invite!