My name is Candace McCallister. “Sweet Water” (Namwaan) is the name the Thai people gave me when my husband and I spent some time early in our marriage working in Thai slums. It was a special time in my life when I first learned the power and joy of giving to others through simple, prayerful presence. Sweet Water Offering is my attempt to honor the gifts and experiences God has given me over the years. My background includes…
- An undergraduate degree in Biology.
- A child with sensory issues and food sensitivities.
- A Masters in Mental Health and School Counseling.
- Improvements of my own digestion & energy levels.
- A certification in Thai Bodywork.
- A whole lot of meal planning and cooking as a mother of three children.
- Training in health-coaching and nutrition.
- A life lived in community with others to whom I am deeply committed.
My approach here at Sweet Water Offering is to be a companion and guide to you on your health journey. The internet is full of free information to help you find answers and theories. You will no doubt find many experts and research articles to inform your choices and give you new protocols for health. My offering to you is an experienced and well-informed voice to help you navigate the onslaught of information, as well as a compassionate ear to help to connect your story and experience with an actionable plan for healing. I combine my training as a counselor with my knowledge of natural health and my spiritual sensitivity to be present with you in a unique way through your healing journey. Additionally, Sweet Water Offering is a community of like-minded folks who bring encouragement and creativity to one another along the path to improved health. Here, you will not feel alone in your pain and physical ailments. You will feel supported to learn valuable information from the changes you make and to find what really works for your unique situation.
My story begins in a flourishing family in West Texas, in the evangelical stream of Christianity and ends up in a city-monasticism life that comes from the Mennonite/Anabaptist tradition. In some ways, it’s been a privileged journey from there to here, but it’s had its dark and despairing moments, its times of questioning and unbearable waiting.
I had a nourishing undergraduate experience at a Christian college and then worked at a campus ministry at a State school, where I met my husband. Through experiences in missions and church ministry, my husband and I discerned a new direction for our lives – to start an intentional Christian community. We took an alternative schooling route – apprenticing ourselves to a well-established community where we have grown in our holy imagination and practice of simplicity, communication, inner healing work, racial reconciliation, creation care, surrender, and love for our neighbors. During this time our family grew – welcoming three children into our lives, challenging us to love deeply and live out these deep values in new ways.
At a low point in the life of our family, our first-born son began to enter a troubling time as well. He became inconsolable about many things. His world had shifted several times with two moves, a new baby sister, and a large number of visitors. Still, his behavior scared us. He would get really angry or really sad and not be able to recover for hours. The extreme nature of his behavior caused us to believe it was more than simple inconsistent parenting. After some searching, we came up with the plan to cut out food dyes and preservatives (thanks to the Feingold Association). This made a world of difference. And, over time, we found other answers that helped us to help him quite naturally – mostly with food and lifestyle changes.
I have found parenting to be a deep form of discipleship and a rigorous school of maturity. After many, many hard days, tears, and distressed phone calls to my husband, I began to find my rhythm in this stay-at-home mom lifestyle. I even started to have energy for cooking real food and traditional foods meals. In the meantime, my family began experiencing new levels of health, including the disappearance of many long-term symptoms. On a deeper level, this nourishing of my family in very practical ways shone as a true expression of the kingdom and community values I was learning intellectually.
All of this inspired me to reconnect with a calling that has come in whispers over the course of my life – a calling to come alongside those seeking healing. I began to identify mentors and educational opportunities to equip me for serving others in this way. And, now, here I am! – ready to offer to you this gift that has been given to me. I look forward to the piece of this journey that we will walk together. Whether you join us for long-time support or simply find encouragement from one of our posts or videos, I am thankful you are here! Welcome.