Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spirit Friends

This morning my heart is warmed and blessed.  I have been communicating through Facebook with a woman that in all truth I barely know.  I used to work in a retirement community where her father lived.  I met her and of course, interacted with her regarding her father.  I watched her minister to many of the residents and give her time to provide a weekly church service (for lack of a better description).

She was always cheerful and gracious.  She loves the Lord, I love the Lord.  Instant connection.
I lost touch with her eventually.  I left and went to another job.  Her father had to live in a nursing home in his last days.

But in the last while, I found her through Facebook - and another Spirit friend. 

I have several Spirit friends - people God has placed in my life for a short while, usually through ministry or work.  Not people I have gotten to spend a lot of time with or go to church with. I don't live in the same town, or even the same state with these ladies. I don't talk to them everyday. People who it is plain, the Holy Spirit in them reached out to Himself in me.  If you have not experienced, I really don't know how to explain. They add to my life in an amazing way.

I am sorry to say, I have not experienced this with everyone in my own church body.  There are some with whom I can never seem to connect at all - no connection - no matter how hard I try.  Troubling.   But that's another topic.

I love my Spirit friends.  I can shoot them a prayer request - and know they will cover me in prayer.  I can share just about anything.  In fact, just saying hello, discussing problems in the world - warms my soul through and through.

Thank you, Spirit Friends.  Thank You, Holy Spirit.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Well, tomorrow we will complete week 3 of Whole30.  I have to say, it has been an experience - and overall, a positive one. 

You may be saying, what is Whole30?  It is a lifestyle change. It is basically omitting certain food groups from your diet completely. 

We no longer eat any sugar, sweeteners, dairy, grains, legumes, white potatoes or corn.  We read labels like never before and do not purchase anything with chemicals.  

We DO eat meat, fish, eggs and fresh vegetables and fruits.  We eat clarified butter and olive oil and avocados.  We eat almonds and walnuts and macadamias and pecans.  We try to buy organic foods and grass-fed or wild-caught meats and fish.  We do the best we can. 

When we started, I wasn't certain I could succeed.  They make great promises in the book "It Starts with Food."  They also make you aware of how our foods have changed out metabolisms and our hormones - creating many health issues.

I can say - I no longer crave any particular food. When I get hungry, I am hungry for good food.  I can look at sweets with absolutely no desire to eat them.  I have lost weight - and my hubby has lost even more! (naturally)  My blood sugar is normal.  I feel better.  I now can tell when I am hungry and when I am eating because I am bored.

The only "down" side is I also am cooking constantly.  I have to think ahead and plan more than ever.
I do get weary of it at times - there's no "bowl of cereal" or "can of soup" for supper.  If we eat, I have to cook.  I struggle to eat enough vegetables and coming up with new ways to cook things - is a challenge.  We have made our own sausage.  Yesterday, Jayna and I made mayonnaise, that actually looks like mayo!  I've made strawberry vinaigrette.  You cannot purchase clarified butter...you have to make it. So,  for me, it is work - but I am hoping it is going to make us healthier.

Eating out is a real challenge - but we have managed when necessary.  We are definitely eating at home more than we did before.

My daughter, Sara, asked me, "Are you going to keep eating like this after 30 days?"  I said, "Probably."  Why would I want to go back to eating things that are harmful to me?

We'll see...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Random Musings

Yesterday, Jay and I began Whole30...thirty days of drastically changing the way we eat.  Hopefully, the outcome will be better health.  It means more preparing, more planning, more cooking! I am kind of a go with the flow kind of girl, so I will also have to change my way of doing things.  Jay will be more dependent on me - no more cans of soup or cereal for supper!

This morning, I woke early (as usual) but just moved to the couch for 2 or 3 hours.  What is it about a couch and a droning tv that produces such wonderful napping? 

Then I decided it was finally time to work on breakfast - we're already weary of scrambled eggs.  So, I thought frittata! I have been scouting recipes and had all necessary ingredients. I made my first attempt at clarifying butter last night - not sure it's perfect but it's more clarified than it was. So there.

It's snowing outside (rare for NE Arkansas), not heavily but a continual light snowfall.  Temps are to rise above freezing, so it won't last long.  I turned up the furnace and went to work in the kitchen (by the way, I have a missing iron skillet).  I am happy to report - the frittata turned out perfectly!  Here it is...

Crunchy edges, lots of good for you veggies - what can I say?  I can already think of ways to make it new each time.  Jay has built-in radar - always appears when food is almost ready.  Sides of avocado and mango - needless to say, we are full!

For over a year, I have been observing, experiencing and learning more about trouble in our life.  I don't have it all "learned" - but this I know, life is full of trouble.  Job said it.  It's in the Bible - that makes it true.  We seem to spend all our energy trying to reverse our trouble, or asking "why".  I'm not saying I am not as guilty as the next one.  And believe me, we are having our share of difficulties now.

Does music "speak" to you?  It does me.  I am SO thankful God created music.  He is musical...
He knows truth can be communicated in song.
There's a song that's been out awhile, Fall Apart by Josh Wilson.  Some of the words are...

         Why in the world did I think I could...only get to know You when things were good?
         When everything just falls in place...the easiest thing is to give You praise.
         Now it all seems upside down... cause my whole word is caving in
         But I feel You now more than I did then....How can I come to the end of me
         And somehow still have all I need...God I want to know You more
        Maybe this is how it starts...I find You when I fall apart.

Another song that speaks to me so strongly is Blessings by Laura Story...

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

Is this how we think?  That our trouble is reminding us we aren't home yet?  That Your goodness has allowed this trouble to come our way...for Your purposes in us? 

I think God had a plan when he placed me in a job in a retirement community for 6+ years.  163 units equaled so many residents and all their families.  They were my sweet, dear friends...and I watched them and their families deal with aging, with heartaches, with difficulties.  I was 20 years younger then, and the thought that that might one day be ME, never entered my mind.  But so many of them, and their struggles come to me lately.  It wasn't always pretty and sweet.  It was often very, very hard.

The moment we come into this world we begin to age and eventually we die.  God in His mercy has made provision for our eternal home - and all we have to do, is accept His Son and His payment for our sin.  God in His Graciousness, has provided His Word and His Spirit to guide, lead, comfort, teach and insure our journey to Him.  He never promised ease, in fact He honestly tells us to expect trouble.  We live in a fallen world.  We are not exempt from anything.  But we Do know our destination as His children.  We DO know He has a plan and purpose for our life.  We DO know He is good, that He is in control.  So, if trouble comes, can I not be assured there is profit in it for me?

I am not home yet.  Home will be wonderful, painfree, no trouble - it will be HEAVEN.

My job now is to trust, to obey, to believe and to demonstrate the love, joy and grace of the Christ who lives within.