Thursday, September 30, 2010
There are only two areas in my life where I have control, my choices and my response to that choice. Everything else, in my opinion, is out of my control.
Even scarier than that, my choices and responses are HUGE in determining the outcome of situations that are out of control!
I have determined I need to focus on the answer to two major questions: In what areas am I refusing to accept that I have a choice, or refusing to take responsibility for my choice? And in what areas am I allowing myself to respond/react in unhealthy ways?
The first thing that comes to my mind is my health which includes my weight (to much of) and my exercise program (lack of).
Obviously I have not made very good food/exercise choices and somehow it got out of control!
I woke up on day and could not fit into any of my clothes! Now, you may be saying that is impossible, but this is true. Usually I know when I have put on a few pounds due to my clothes feeling snug and that is a sign to me to back off of what I’m eating, but not this time! This time I swear, I woke up with it!
Now we all know we have a choice when it comes to the food we put into our mouths, so this is one area I have really been working on. I chose to stay away from white flour, sugar, and processed foods. But, when the crave sets in, I splurge a little than get right back on my plan. I am determined to make a lifestyle change! So, this is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change!
I had the privilege to read the manuscript of Lysa TerKeurst’s latest book, “Made to Crave”, which, by the way, is not published yet (but you can pre-order on Amazon.com!).
Lysa’s book is what motivated me to begin the process of eliminating my unhealthy eating habits and to get myself on an exercise program. The sub title of her book says it all, “how to satisfy your deepest desires with God and not food.” Lysa has written an outstanding book that I highly recommend to anyone regardless if weight is an issue or not. Lysa has the talent to put just the right words on paper to relate to a lot of different issues in life. She emphasizes throughout the book, “This is not a diet book”! Maybe that is why I found it so easy to read and so interesting. You can reach your healthy weight goal, and grow closer to God in the process. What more could a girl ask for!!
Exercise, uck! It has taken me 57 years to finally believe everything I have read about burning more calories than I consumed! I hate to admit it, but it is true! I had hip surgery two years ago and still have some pretty rough days, which to me meant I needed to exercise! Since I couldn't fit into my clothes, and I was determined to start eating healthier, the timing seemed perfect! I set a goal to walk 5 miles a week. Surprisingly, I met this goal quickly and increased my walks!
More amazing than that was I finally found my "quite” time with the Lord. I thank him for all my blessings which he has bestowed upon me and I repeat words from worship songs and Bible verses. The time seems to fly! I never thought I would admit it but my “response” to the days I do not walk is not what I would have predicted! I actually miss it! I feel so much better afterwards and have had less hip pain.
Here are some verses from the Bible that have helped me keep focus on my journey.
• Isaiah 40:31: "Those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."
• Romans 14:17: "...for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
• 3 John 1:2: "Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers."
When you renew your mind and practice healthy habits consistently, you will experience more peace and balance in your life, and reach your perfect weight.
I’d love for you to share with me your inspiration for weight control and exercise. I’m always looking for new ways to improve. God Bless!
Friday, September 24, 2010
Last week I participated in a blog carnival by Rachel Olsen from Proverbs 31 ministry and the topic was “Simple Pleasures” (see last blog). Rachel had a Mister Linky where you linked your blog to hers and then you were able to go back and read all the blogs of everyone that chose to enter.
Not only has this been a wonderful experience for me reading what “Simple Pleasures” are for other women, it made me realize I was not taking the time to enjoy my own “Simple Pleasures”, the list I had made!
It is disturbing to me to realize that life is passing me by? I am not referring to exotic pleasures that take thousands of dollars, I’m talking about sitting still and observing the pleasures I have right outside my back door.
More important than that, it slapped me in the face on how I read (or don’t read) the Bible. I read a few scriptures at night, my online devotions in the morning and then, I check it off my “to do” list.
This is not the way the Lord intended. God’s word is a masterpiece and it is there for me to discover. All I have to do is take advantage of it. I have the resources; I just need to take the time!
My desire is to be able to quote scripture and that will never happen until I really take the time to study scripture.
This is the way I have read the Bible in the past and I need discipline to begin again.
- I find a quiet place
- I come before God and admit my sins and seek forgiveness
- I pray the Holy Spirit will guide me
- Then, I either read systematically through a book or I allow God to reveal a passage
- I read the passage and always visualize what I am reading. I think about how this relates to me in my life.
- I actually like to read different versions of the Bible, but the NKJ version is my “main” Bible.
- I ask God to reveal to me how I can use this passage and it is amazing how that passage connects with something that has happened that day.
- And I write notes as I go. Sometimes I use these notes to write a post for my bog and again, amazing how easily the words flow after reading the Bible!
I know it cannot be rushed, it takes time and dedication – it truly is a journey for me to dig deeper into God’s Word.
I question all the time on what is it that God wants me to do with my life so I can serve him and I know that it will be revealed to me when I take the time to prayfully engage in the Scripture.
How do you read/study the Bible? Do you set aside a certain time each day? Each week? Do you read scripture associated with devotions? What version of the Bible is your favorite?
Thank you, my friends, for your help, and please pray for me as I get back in my routine and back on track with Gods word!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
This is an adorable book by Max Lucado. It is a delightful way to show little ones how their hands are a blessing from God, and they can use their hands to help others. The rhyming text tells of things we can do with our hands and the colorful illustrations by Gaby Hansen, make it even more enjoyable to read. This is the first children’s book I have read by Max Lucado and was very pleased. At the end of the book, the author focuses on helpful and loving ways we can use our hands: Write Grandma a letter, put away toys, help Mommy wash dishes, pray.
The book ends with a short rhyming prayer:
"One hand, two hands,
five fingers, ten ...
"God, thanks for my hands.
Please, use them again."
This is a book to be read to the very young and the bright, colorful illustrations will keep their interest.
I would highly recommend this book.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Out Live Your Lifeby Max Lucado was a very enjoyable book to read and was well written. Through out the book the author used humor and personal experiences to stress a point. This made the book easier to read and more interesting. The chapter titles drew my interest and kept me reading chapter after chapter.
In the book the author is writing about hunger, the hunger for food and also the hunger for God. This is a subject that is very close to my heart. I totally agree with the author when he said, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”
One point that the author stressed through out the book was “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.” He also encourages us to “do good things. Just don’t do them to be noticed.” The book ended with these words: “None of us can help everyone. But all of us can help someone. And when we help them, we serve Jesus.”
And my very favorite passage:
“What gift are you giving that he did not first give? What truth are you teaching that he didn’t first teach? You love. But who loved you first? You serve. But who served the most? What are you doing for God that he could not do alone? How kind of him to use us. How wise of us to remember.”
The book was a very easy read and the statistics quoted on world hunger throughout the book were astounding.
I liked the prayers at the end of each chapter concerning the topic of the chapter. Even after completing the book, I found myself going back and reading these prayers as part of my devotion each day.
I was touched to learn that one hundred percent of the author’s royalties from Outlive Your Life product will benefit children and families through World Vision and other ministries of faith-based compassion.
As the author says, we are all given a choice, an opportunity to make a big difference together. What if we rocked the world with hope?
I highly recommend this book.
Note: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Today I sit close to her Mother, stroking her hair. Her eyes are closed and her head is tilted back. She was too tired to open her eyes. My Mother is slowly dying. Her appetite is gone and takes constant coaching to get to swallow sips of water.
We don’t know how long she was going to live. It could be weeks. It could be months. Only our dear Lord knows. She is in no pain and seems very peaceful. When she did open her eyes, she looked at me, but didn’t! That may not make sense, but it does to me.
I see my Mother looking at my sister, Cheryl, who is her full time caregiver, as a small child looks at their Mother. The roles have reversed.
What joy God is giving me to be able to spend these days with my Mom! How could I begin to give her back the hours she had given to me: all those times she held me, comforted me, bathed and fed me? She raised six children and spent long hours teaching, admonishing and encouraging all of us.
My mother was a devoted servant to her family and the Lord. With great love she served each of her children. There is nothing I can do to repay her.
All we can do now is spend as much time with her as we can and make her last days as peaceful as possible.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Hey Girls, want to know a secret…Shhhh! There is a great contest going on in honor of Rachel Olsens book
It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Needs to Know.
If you go to her blog, Rachel Olsen you can read the first chapter.
There is also a link to some fabulous jewelry by Lisa Leonard and the jewelry is part of the give away! Shhhh! It’s a secret.
I need to post it on Facebook so no one will find out!
Here are the chapters of the book! Can’t wait! What about you?? Are you going to enter? Remember, it’s a secret!
It's No Secret
Introduction: Can I Tell You a Secret?
1. Always RSVP: Revealing the Secret to Responding to God
2. Know When to Pay Retail: Revealing the Secret Cost of Following Christ
3. Kill Your Competition: Revealing the Secret Power of Humility
4. Keep a Heavenly Lawyer on Retainer: Revealing the Secret to
Handling Conflicts Biblically
5. Have Eyes Bigger Than Your Stomach: Revealing the Secret of
6. Don’t Be Afraid in the Dark: Revealing the Secret of Growth
7. Adjust Your Scale: Revealing the Secret of Perfection in God’s Eyes 131
8. Get By with a Little Help from Your Friends: Revealing the Secret
9. Turn the Beat Around: Revealing the Secret of Rest
10. Crave a Clear Conscience More than Clear Skin: Revealing the
Secret Beauty of Confessing Sins
11. Diversify Your Portfolio: Revealing the Secret of True Security
12. Become a Recording Artist: Revealing the Secret of Disclosure
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of children.
Thank You that before time began You knew these families and friends would be interconnected through Your Holy Spirit. We humbly come before You today recognizing these children are only on loan to us. As each year passes, they become more and more yours, not ours. We ask You to help us release them to You so that You can accomplish Your will for their lives. How hard it is to let go.
Help us as parents, families, and friends to get out of the way so that You can accomplish Your work in their lives. Help us to trust You. Give us the grace to wait on You. Your timing, Father is perfect.
Father, we pray that each one will know the depth of Your great love for them and know that You gave Your Son so that they could have life forever with you!
Father, we pray that they will call upon Your Son Jesus and confess Him as Lord and Savior of their lives.
Father, we pray they will develop a great love for You and a deep desire to have a personal relationship with You.
Father, we ask that You cultivate in each one a heart of prayer. Lead them to depend solely upon You for their every need.
Father, we thank You that You created them with a specific plan and purpose for their lives. Thank You that they are valuable and precious in Your sight. Father, give them the mind of Christ that is theirs in You and help them to fully know and love who they are in You and this great plan You have for them.
Father, we pray Your protection over them by the covering of the blood of Jesus. Give them discernment to recognize Satan's lies and temptations. Grant them extraordinary wisdom and strength to combat Satan's work through the power of Your Holy Spirit.
Father, may each of them know how extravagantly and unconditionally You love them...that You will never leave them or forsake them no matter what they do. May they be secure in that knowledge. Show them in very personal and powerful ways how wide and high and deep and long is Your love.
Father, we pray that they will treasure Your Word above all the riches in this World. Give them a hunger to read it and learn it. Teach them to love it and live their lives according to it.
Father, write Your Word on their hearts. Give them a heart to understand and obey it above all else. Move their hearts to live their lives according to Your Word...to live a life that honors and glorifies You in all they say and do.
Father, we pray that they will honor their bodies as Your temple and keep themselves pure in every way. Instill in them that they are created in Your image and are worthy of Your highest and best for their lives.
Father, teach them to submit to those placed in authority over them. Father, give them hearts of humility. Protect their hearts; keep them free of rebellion and disobedience.
Father, draw godly friends and mentors into their lives. Give them friends who are true, wise, kind, and encouraging. Give them great discernment as they choose those whom they will date. May all dating relationships make You the center and honor You.
Father, we ask that Your Truth will reign supreme in their hearts and minds. May they base their lives on the Truth of Your Word and not the lies of this world. We ask that they daily renew their minds with Your Truth and keep their thoughts on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent, and worthy of praise.
Father, teach our children to trust in You with all their heart, lean not on their own understanding, and in all their ways acknowledge You so that You will direct their paths.
Father, fill our children with Your joy...not happiness...but true joy found only in You.
Father, consume their hearts so that they desire only You. Protect them from being people pleasers. May they stand confidently in who they are in You!
Father, we pray the armor of God over our children: the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, and the shoes of the gospel of peace.
Father, plant Your love, Your presence, and Your Word deep within their hearts. May Your Word reach into the marrow of their bones and ignite a passion that is unquenchable. Cause them to love You with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and let NOTHING override that passion.
Father, as they spend their days at school, let them be stand apart. May they be light in darkness, joy in sadness, peace in discontent, and order in chaos. Let their character and integrity shine forth like the sun!
In their schools, Father, we pray that Your Word and the fear of the Lord would be the basis of wisdom and instruction. Father, we ask that You take our prayers and blanket each school, placing them under the shadow of Your wing.
For those teachers that believe in You, strengthen them and uphold them with Your mighty right hand. Father, give them an extra measure of wisdom, knowledge, and revelation to excel as teachers and shine in darkness. Provide them with opportunities to share their faith with faculty, staff, and administration and give them the courage to do it.
We pray for every level of administration. We pray for wisdom beyond comprehension as they make decisions for school districts. We pray divine direction. We pray that You would direct the steps of those making decisions for our children. Make Your way clear and place those who walk with You in places of authority and decision-making. Bless their efforts. Give them favor.
Through Young Life and student ministries, use leaders and students to sweep each school with revival and evangelism. Guide, bless, and empower the leaders and students through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Go before them and open doors. Father, we boldly ask for many to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and yield their lives to Christ.
Father, as we end our time in prayer, we boldly as that you would grow each of our children in wisdom and stature and favor with God and with man. Thank You in advance for all you will do in and through our prayers. We ask this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord!
Standing with you in prayer, Amen
Special thanks to Wendy for this beautiful prayer.
You can follow Wendy at www.wendyblight.com
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