Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Promise

Empty and lonely and lost and stripped bare; pruned they say. 
To the bone, I reply back. 

And everyone says “it’s just a season” or “this too shall pass”.
And I know this to be true because I’ve been here before;
So why do I find myself here again? 

The seasons are cyclical, they say. 
I feel like I’ve skipped the good seasons somehow, I reply. 

How does one continually flounder back and forth from
Fall to winter…fall to winter…fall to winter?

There is always a teasing – a smattering here and there of a day or two of spring. 
But it’s fleeting. 

Just when I shed my protective coat,
Turn my face up to the sky to feel the sun shine on it
The cold rains begin again.

And I feel defeated.
And cold.
And lonely.
And forsaken. 

Left wondering why…what do I do now?
How do I do this alone?

I try to reach out in this busy world.
But mostly I just keep it To myself…who needs my stuff added to theirs?

They shy away when you get “real”;
fearful that what you have might be contagious. 

And my only hope really?
Is just this…to hold on to the promise,
Even when it seems like all is lost and there is nothing good left.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; 
he will never leave you nor forsake you. 
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” 
–Deut 31:8

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sprouted WHAT?

No, not WHAT…W-H-E-A-T!  Sprouted WHEAT!  Well, actually sprouted wheat BREAD!

This is my latest “discovery” in the way of healthy eating, and I must say it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  Just the phrase “good for you” can make me turn my nose up!

I recently attended a mini-seminar at my church where two doctors of chiropractic (one of which is my Pastor/Pastor’s wife!) spoke on “7 Keys to Healthy Living”.  I won’t go into great detail about the 7 Keys, but they are listed below with a few notes beside them:

1 – Spiritual Health – Surrender all things to God (Matthew 6:33)

2 – Adequate Rest/Sleep – this is the time your body repairs and regenerates; lack of sleep = illness

3 – Emotional Health (Soul) – renew your mind with God’s word.  We  have a will to choose what we think about!  (Read Phillipians 4:8 for some suggestions!)

"A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body;
jealousy is like cancer in the bones."
Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)

4 – Spinal Alignment (Chiropractic care) – did you know that all organs are connected to nerves that run to your spine?  When your spine is out of alignment, the nerves can be pinched causing the healthy nerve flow that your organs need to be diminished or cut off! (Here’s an informative video about 4:20)

5 - Have fun!

6 – Proper exercise and stretching – we all know that exercise is important, but we tend to dismiss the importance of stretching.  Stretching increases flexibility and range of motion (yoga, tai chi and pilates are all wonderful ways to stretch and tone).

7 – Nutrition – basically it all came down to this: eat real (God-created), non-processed food; organic when at all possible; and in moderation. 

We’ve all heard these things before, but let me tell you it can be a real challenge to find things that aren’t processed until they aren’t even a little bit of what they originally started out to be!  BUT, I did say “challenge” – not impossible!

So, back to the sprouted wheat.  Bread is probably one of my biggest “diet” downfalls.  I love, love, love it – especially if it’s hot out of the oven and slathered with butter.  (Oh, side note…butter IS better for you than margarine.  Read THIS about how margarine is made and you may never eat the stuff again.)
I don’t know about you, but when I’m making a lifestyle change, if I try to do it cold-turkey I will fail every, single time.  But if I take one component at a time and change it, then before I know it I have turned things around completely.  So, my first step toward healthful eating is switching from “white trash” bread (made with bleached, processed flour) to sprouted whole wheat bread. 

Look at that bread!  It is simply delicious.  

I truly thought it would be bland and cardboard-like, but it’s flavorful; and the texture is dense, so instead of just eating a bunch of fluffy air-filled white bread, I’m actually eating something with substance and lots of fiber and vitamins.  I chose Alvarado Street Bakery sourdough bread, but there are other brands out there that are good, too (Ezekiel Bread, for instance).

So, one step at a time. 

This week, I’ve switched from white bread to sprouted whole wheat bread.

Next week my goal is to cut out sodas completely, drinking only water and green tea.

Week three I will incorporate snacks of fruits/veggies in my day rather than chips, popcorn, or candy.

And I’m hoping by the time I get to week four, my body will be ready for its first cleanse and detoxification!

What have you done to change your habits from harmful to healthy?  I’d love to hear from you!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

From Wasted to Beautiful

There have been those times when I looked back on my life – especially the past 8 or so years – and think to myself “what a waste”.

There was a time when I was younger that I had the same thought in my head that Carrie Underwood sings in her song, “Wasted”.

I don't wanna spend my life jaded, waiting
To wake up one day and find
That I've let all these years go by

But, I did wake up one day and felt the cold emptiness of a life that I indeed thought was a complete waste.

As I have grown, both in maturity and wisdom – and that only by the grace of God – I have come to learn that nothing is ever really wasted. Even all the stuff that in my mind’s eye seems to have had no reason, no purpose… it does. God uses everything for His glory – but we don’t always recognize it.

All the poor choices I made - and the resulting pain to myself and others around me? Not a waste. I am able to take those experiences and share with others the truth that has been exposed from it. God is using the “bad” from my life for the “good” in someone else’s!

That is such a gift.

Oh yes, perhaps to the person who is able to bypass some of the pain I went through. But it's also a gift to me. To know that God loves me and finds me worthy enough to use me as an example...I am humbled.

I am not proud of my mistakes, but I am more than happy to share those mistakes with others if it will open their eyes and their hearts to His love as well. I am more than happy to swallow my pride in order that I may be a vessel that He uses for His glory.

Now I have a new song that expresses perfectly how I feel about myself....Beautiful by Mercy Me.  I am:


It is my hope and prayer that you will find your beauty in Him. You, too, are treasured, sacred, His… so beautiful!

“But we all, with unveiled face,
beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, 
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18
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