Getting Chilly, Gearing Up!

Fall has fallen on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains! There be snow in them thar hills! And, since this is Colorado, I can bundle up in the morning and tear 4 layers off by afternoon, only to replace them the moment the sun slips behind the mountains! It’s a great time for thick, creamy soup. And warm, gooey things. Potato stuffing.

NOPE!!! Not this chyck!

It is a bummer, on some level, to not enjoy that gooey cheese or buttery cinnamon goodness. But, something that has hit me this week (while I was extremely cranky from a lack of Plexus) is that food still somewhat controls me. That these are health choices, not predetermined programs. I CAN choose to walk the path, avoid the ______ that will give me tummy issues and throat issues and joint pain issues, etc., etc. Much of the ickyness has been my own bad choices, some purposely and some “spur-of-the-moment-I’m-aggravated-and-this-will-make-me-feel-better” types. No matter what tools you use (Plexus, work outs, etc.) YOU still need to keep that focus of health, that’s something I’ve missed all these years (slow learner, anyone??) Health is worth the sacrifice; and is it really a sacrifice to be healthy? I am the one, along with the 4 P’s, who makes these choices.

PRAYER
PERSERVERANCE
PATIENCE
Plexus

Let’s break it down.

PRAYER

Absolutely the most important priority. If I don’t have time to pray, I don’t have time for anything else. Unfortunately, I spend lots of time wishing I had MADE time to pray. I guess it’s just a fact of life, but I am going to be intentional to seek my Father’s Face and revel in Jesus’ Grace.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

PERSERVERANCE

Oh, so hard for us lazier folks. We like to sit and watch as others sweat it out, work it off and find it hard to stay on task. How often am I scrambling to get my Bible study done on a Tuesday evening? (Class is Wednesday morning) I call to make the cable payment with 10 minutes to spare. This is not the way to go. Be in the moment; get the job done.

Romans 5:2-4 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice  in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope

PATIENCE

Oh, so elusive! I have never been a particularly patient human. I can’t wait for “what’s next,” no matter what it might be. I’m sure I wished away a billion things with my kids that I should have savored. I’ve stayed awake through nights reading books because, well…I needed to know what happened! I need to sit and know that HE is God. I need to rest in HIS will, whatever it may be, and especially if He’s not giving me great detail. I need to TRUST that He will do what is best, even if I can’t see or agree.

Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

James 5:8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Those are 3 P’s anyone can embrace. Scripture is full of examples of each one.

My 4th P is Plexus. I believe the Lord dropped these products into my life for this time and His purpose.

With the knowledge base that He has shown me over the past 3 years, I know that this is time to fight, to get strong and to live the life HE gave me!

What valuable tools I have in my journey to reclaim health! I have much to be thankful for. I plan to use them all, especially this next 6 weeks as I participate in a Biggest Loser contest online. I am 10 lbs away from my goal and I cannot wait to make my Plexus “Before and After” widget! I plan on adding my 4 P’s to that!

So, friends, what can you do over the next 6 weeks to work on reclaiming your health? Think on it. I know there’s something you can do!

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Another Fail? No! Another Touch of Grace

 

Hi all!

I won’t bother walking you through all the “food programs” I have marched through since my late 20’s. I never saw myself as a slave to either food or programs. I usually pride myself on not jumping on fad bandwagons and all of that rot. Well, that’s always the time that I should know there’s a Holy 2×4 with my name on it coming soon. You’d think I would learn to duck get on my knees.

Enter the latest fad, a leftover of my crazy hippie dreams. My vegetarian journey began late May or beginning of June, and I posted about it here –> POST

I do want to stop right here and say that I have tremendous respect for all who have walked a long road to regain their health, and they found relief by going vegetarian or vegan. Blessings to you and may your health continue to prosper!

My health, however, after an initial spike of energy and a drop of 5-7 pounds has stayed right at that precipice of all the danger numbers: HDL, LDL, whatever other “L” there is that’s not good, the high blood pressure is still high (I’ve even recently gotten a visit by my old friend, blood pressure headache). My joints are screaming, my clothes are tight…again. And, here comes the 2×4, in a still, quiet voice.

Have you had enough of man’s ways yet?

Oh, how I relate to Israel of old! They want to be “just like everyone else.” (1 Samuel 10:19) Why do I persist in thriving on labeling? “I’m a vegetarian” is only the latest in a long, long line. Nothing is worth anything except what Jesus calls me. “Beloved child.” “Precious daughter.” Why can I not keep my eyes focused there instead of running after all the idols of the world? In this case, some magic “number” in either clothing size or weight.

I do know I need to regain health and wellness. I do know that I do need to drop some poundage. What I have lost in my striving with the world is HOW?

Enter a fad *giggle* that I have been steadfastly ignoring for about 2 years. Because, you know, I don’t “do” fads. I don’t rush out a buy every new diet book on the scene, Christian based or otherwise (I may sneak one once in a while from the library, but that is solely for research purposes to be sure I am not “fadding.”) So, when the internet started buzzing with this new Trim Healthy Mama thing, I refused to even look at it. In fact,  went o a few lengths to find Serene’s raw foods book, because, well. I just did. No fads for me! Nope, nu-uh. In all the carefully ignored places it was mentioned, I avidly avoided, after gleaning just enough to know why I was avoiding it.

Then the 2×4 hit. I began seeing the mania wear off and lives changed. I still was on the “too complicated” bandwagon. *ironic side note: if you aren’t on one bandwagon, you certainly are on another! Women that I fellowship with regularly online sticking with the “plan” and succeeding. Women whose opinions I respect.

On a small health forum I have, a few gals were talking about THM. I did my usual “too complicated, blah blah” speech, but admitted that I did not really know that much about it to accurately gauge it.

Did you hear it? Boom. The 2×4 hit me. Find out more about it on your own. Stop relying on the opinions of others.

Ouch.

All one need do is type in the title of the book in any search engine. Google, Pinterest, Facebook, whatever. You will not starve from lack of information. I now have several blogs saved for reading, and a whole Pinterest board devoted to info and recipes, while I wait on the book from the library. I joined their Facebook community and message board. I am more than likely driving Laura crazy, but that’s a given.

So, here I am, now, wading through the alphabet soup of their meal plan, enjoying chicken and beef again. Well, not so much beef, but chicken. Feeling incredibly free to listen in and see what the Lord has for me to learn through this. So, my THM journey begins, I suppose.

If you want more info on THM, this video was what really opened my eyes and began to change my mind. It’s a well spent 50 minutes.

 

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A Look Ahead

Inspired by some good online friends, here is my 2015 Dream List

 

Spiritual

~ up at 5AM daily

~ prayer journal, daily reading, Bible study*

~ nothing electronic before 8AM*

*inspired by a thirst to be closer to the Lord this year and the book Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph

 

Personal

~ use my planner/food journals daily

~ conquer my aversion/fear of budgeting and financial handling; be a good steward ~ stay on top of meal planning ~ learn the mysterious art of thrifting…we have so many GOOD thrift shops around here ~ make cards…I have too much stuff laying around to not take advantage of

~ learn to make sushi ~ hike to the Royal Arch and then a 10’er or a 10k http://alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/royal-arch-trail

~ ride a horse

 

Ministry

~ be the best Children’s director I can be 🙂

~ call each one of my teachers personally each month (3 per week)

~ evaluate craft tote contents and toss old/unuseable supplies (1 per month)

 

Reading

~ discover at least 4 new-to-me authors this year

~ reread some old favorites that I have been neglecting (Gone With The Wind, The Potter series and maybe some John Jakes.)

~ ONE spiritually focused book per month

~ get through the gazillion or so free Kindle books I’ve picked up

 

Writing

~ finish/publish By The Hand of His Grace

~ edit/publish Angels Unaware

My Pin board of books I am reading/have read this year

 

Do you have any plans/goals/dreams for 2015? If so, and you blog them, please leave a link in the comments! I’d love to see them and encourage each other this year!

 

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Wisdom and Direction and the Only Place to Find It

There are times when you especially need that touch only the Holy Spirit can give. Some of what I’ve been reading/studying/meditating on says that the heart is the key to discerning that touch.

Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart (Psalm 119:2 ESV)

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 ESV)
He wants my WHOLE heart. Not just small corners, nor the convenient places that I am willing to share. He wants it all, every minute place that I might harbor my little pet peeves. If you are at all like me, you want to hold some of that back. I don’t want to be pushed out of my comfort zone too often.

How, though, do we do this? We must be willing to relinquish, renew and remember.

Relinquish is the hard step. Who wants to NOT be in total control? God has each of our days planned. It’s all in His very capable hand. We don’t need to “control” it.

This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

(Psalm 118:24 ESV)

Renew not only your commitment to Him, but your vision. See things as He does. Be willing to go where HE leads. After all, the safest place on earth is in His grasp.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39 ESV)

Remember your past victories, both large and small. Rehearsing your problems only makes you live them over and over again! Give testimony to how great God is and what He’s done in your life.

    Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.
    
(1 Thessalonians 4:1 ESV)

This song spoke volumes to me today. I pray it does for you as well

God I look to You
I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You
You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom, You know just what to do

I will love You Lord my strength
I will love you Lord my shield
I will love You Lord my rock
Forever all my days, I will love you God

Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Forever all my days Hallelujah

Be Blessed

Barb

Beauty In Fridays

I LIKE that! Every day there is so much beauty in our days that we take for granted. I have, out of several windows, views of the Rocky Mountains. Now, while my personal opinion is that they pale in comparison to the woodsy, green Catskills of Ulster County, New York, they are truly a magnificent sight!

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Elizabeth, at Beauty Observed, is hosting a Friday link up. Her blog IS a wonderful spot of beauty here on the WWW. Stop over and scan her memes, recipes and more! Join in the link up! I thought it would be a good encouragement to get me back into weekly blogging. (notice I did not use the “C” word…”challenge”)

I love the memes that are shared on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and other places. Of course, my attempts to make a few have been for book promotions, and I usually post them before I catch the glaring spelling gaffe. (#iisaauthor) Elizabeth has some beautiful ones and freely shares!

My “Beauty in Fridays” for today:

I woke up determined to start my detox. The really good thing about me doing any sort of “thing” in regards to my food is that it keeps me in constant prayer mode. After all, I can NOT go it alone! One of the many good things I pulled from my years with Weigh Down Workshop is that I must rely on Jesus to get me through. HE is the one who created me, and my hunger signals. He is the one who will guide me to the correct dietary needs for MY body, not yours or Susie Q’s. (Of course, I used a snack food name…see how insidious this is? 01chuckle )

So far today, following the suggested regimen on Ekhart Yoga, I’ve had my morning cup of chia seed gel (it wasn’t so bad, really), a bowl of steel cut oats with a banana for sweetness, a cup of lemon tea, 20 of my daily 80 oz of water with lemon and blueberries and some egg salad with guacomole on 7 grain toast. And a big leaf of kale. On the sandwich.

The rest of my day will look something like more kale, steamed, with toasted sesame oil rice, more water, possibly some goji berry tea, and some broccoli salad for dinner. All good, all filling.

I also got in Fit Quickies 1 and 2. th_Yes20Smiley

The beauty is that I can rely on Jesus to get me through the headaches, the hungries and the somewhat messy process of detoxing my body—His Temple—and build up my health. I’ll be happier, healthier and in a better frame of mind both spiritually and emotionally, next week, next month, next year.

Do you have something beautiful to share? Why not link up with Elizabeth and spread the beauty!

Till Next Time, Be Blessed!
Barb

CBS Leadership Conference, Friday Evening Highlights

I was blessed, privileged and oh so happy to attend the Community Bible Study Leadership Conference in Denver this past weekend. It was held in the sumptuous (YES, I just said sumptuous) Hyatt Regency Hotel, downtown. As a rule, I stay in my hometown and don’t wander too far. I’ve only ever been in downtown Denver 3 times in 5.5 years of living here. It was pretty nifty! Thankfully, a group of us car pooled and I did not have to drive. Here’s our merry band before we headed out.

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Driving into Denver, on a Friday night, is…interesting. It certainly rivals driving on New Jersey’s  Route 4&17 Cloverleaf/FlyBy/whatever they call it these days. We knew we were in our own little bubble when someone nearly took the back bumper off Sandy’s car. The Holy Spirit traveled with us all the way to Fiocchi’s, where we met up with 15 other gals from our class. After a wonderful dinner (and shared pizzas and appetizers) we checked into the Hyatt, then the conference.

Upon checking in and grabbing hugs from our Area Director and Area Director of Student Ministries, we got a nifty tote bag with the weekend’s program,  a nice water bottle and a wonderful devotional book, A Leader’s Heart. We hogged saved two rows so we could all sit together. After a wonderful, Spririt led worship time, we settled in to hear the opening speaker.

Kelly Cassels, CBS Board of Trustee member started off by sharing three steps every leadership journey should have.

ADMIT

BELEIF

CONFESS

We must admit we need help.  Only with HIS help (God’s, not Kelly’s) will our leadership journey be transformed into what HE would have it to be. Then, we believe that GOD will transform it, that HE will give us the power to travel the road. Of course, we must confess that it is HIS ministry. Kelly said, “The throne in your heart is a one-seater.  You need to get up and give it to Jesus.”

Another round of worship music, then Kimm Carr, Executive Director of CBS, arrived on the stage. Not only is she cute-as-a-button, she has the softest, sweetest Georgia-bred voice, and is one of the most transparent and inspiring speakers I have heard in a long time. Her topic, Navigating Life’s Surprises, was rich and meaty and encouraging. Her testimony of her journey of how she ended up in Colorado Springs in the position of the head of a world-wide ministry is amazing. Through it all, she emphasized that the focus, as our journeys must also share, is Jesus.

The evening’s program ended with a video message from Matt Heard, Senior Pastor of Woodman Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs. He had a great presentation that any native Coloradoan would be proud of. Using the illustration of hiking, TEAMWORK: Don’t Leave The Trailhead Without It, really came to life. Using familiar tools like maps, rope, first aid kits and champagne (well…we need to celebrate the victories!) he drove home the point that we are part of a team, not only in our  local classes, but in the entire ministry.

Now, what conference would not be complete without late night coffee and peach cobbler over which to discuss the speakers? Not ours! The lounge supplied the goodies and we supplied the conversation. Long past 10 pm, we dragged up to our rooms to continue discussing the evening and get some shut eye to be ready to be filled more the following day!

And that, my friends, will be the next post. Stay tuned!

Hello from beautiful Colorado, CBS style!

*Picture changed since post. New one is the Scouts in the tree house

I just LOVE the new header on my blog! That is a wonderful group of women that I am privileged to worship, pray, eat, laugh and sometimes cry with weekly. They are the leadership team of my Community Bible Study class.

We had our class leadership training time at the beautiful Mount Vernon Country Club in Golden. Oh, the views! Oh, the food! Oh, the wonderful time of spiritual refreshing and preparing for this new season.

We’re studying the book of Acts this year. Already, two lessons in and it is MEAT.Y.

I have the honor of being a team leader in the Pink Lamb class, who are two years old. Our first day held a few tears (and some shrieking) but we made it through with sanity intact. They’ll settle in by the end of the month. Till then, we’ll do what all good leaders do…take them outside to play.

Our lessons with the Lambies are on a three year cycle. They always start with Creation, go through the Old Testament “top tales,” as it were, the birth and resurrection of Christ and a missionary. The years cycle through different stories, and end with a different missionary. This year they’ll be meeting notables such as Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Jonah (kind of a big leap) Matthew, Nicodemus, Martha, Mary and Lazarus, and end with Peter and John. All the children from toddlers (where MAG is, Green Lambs) to 6 year olds (Blue Lambs) go through these lessons. The elementary class, which Tenderfoot attends, is studying Acts right along with the women. They have their own core groups and teaching time (their equivalent of a lecture).

I’m sure I’ll mention it again, but, I love this ministry and I love to be a vital part of it. If you are looking for a wonderful ministry in your area to be involved with, if you are looking for an in depth Bible study, if you are looking for wonderful fellowship no matter what your age, look into Community Bible Study (linked above). They have classes for all ages for men, women, students, and couples. I wrote an extensive blog post about it on my homeschooling blog.

And, lest you think we’re all business

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