Learning in Lent…

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This past week has been challenging to say the least. A week ago yesterday, I rolled my ankle as I stepped off my front porch. I was thankful one of my sons and my husband were there to help me with the initial process of crawling back inside and quickly icing, elevating and wrapping it.

Since then, I’ve continued caring for it carefully and am able to walk now, with a limp. The swelling has mostly dissipated and the bruising has gone through an array of “pretty colors.” Yet, I know it will be quite a while before it feels normal again.

Dealing with my ankle has made my Lenten focus go a bit askew. I’ve not done as well with my week of mostly clear liquids as I had hoped. My nutritional needs have felt different because of dealing with my ankle, and frankly, my emotions have been a struggle I hadn’t anticipated. It’s just outright difficult to be unable to do the things you normally would do because of an injury getting in your way!

That being said, I’ve not given up or “thrown in the towel” on my Lenten challenge, and in the process, I have heard God speaking to me about the impact of food on all the areas of my life, in new ways and in ways I had previously considered but forgotten.

Overall, I’ve eaten a lot less, consumed much more liquids, and not had and bread, crackers, or cakes/cookies, etc. when I have eaten, it’s mostly been proteins and I turned to bananas thinking I needed the potassium to help manage muscle cramps in my injured foot/leg.

As I begin my second week, I will continue as I did last week, trying to have more liquids than food, and I am committed to keeping away from bread. I pray for more clarity and clear direction from God as I walk openly with Him in the depths of myself, seeking more grace and freedom in the spaciousness of who He is.

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A time for everything …

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Psalm 139:23-24 has popped up in devotions and emails quite a bit the last few days. These verses first impacted me when I was in college. “Search me O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”(NLT)

For a person who struggles with anxiety issues, this verse became significant to me in ways it may not for those who don’t have an inclination towards anxiety. Praying these verses invites God into my struggles.

Over the years, I’ve learned much about the root of my anxiety, learned to know God sees my heart in the midst of biological issues in my brain that cause anxiety to spin out of control at times; I’ve grown in understanding that this seems to be genetic and generational, a family propensity, and began to grasp how to address it, to manage it, and to overcome much of it, while still realizing that I’m going to have times when it knocks me over like a wave crashing on the shore.

I could go on about the anxiety, but this post is actually more about the aspect in these verses that invited God to know me in my inmost parts, to examine the depths of me and reveal to me what is found there. This self examination is really what the season of Lent is about.  The forty days of Lent are based off of Jesus’ 40 days in the “wilderness”/”desert” when He was tempted to the core by the enemy of our souls.

Jesus faced true self-examination during those days, confronting the reality of who He was as God’s son but also who His Father called Him to be in becoming fully human, for our sakes.  Jesus had choices to make, an identity to embrace, and truth to continue to walk in with His entire self, and since we are called to follow Him, we have similar roads to journey through our own wildernesses/deserts.

Currently, my journey is continuing to walk me through moving towards greater physical wellness.  This has been a concentration of mine since turning 50.  I had thought it would only be for the one year, but when I turned 51 and didn’t yet feel I’d accomplished enough balance in the physical area, I committed to continuing that pursuit.  So, here I am….

If you’ve been reading here in the last few months, you know I’ve had a difficult winter.  My eating has been out of control at times, as has my anxiety and depression.  In the last 6 weeks, I’ve been using CBD oil and that has helped me to stabilize in my emotions and keep moving forward.  Thus, in the last couple of weeks, I arrived at the decision to make the most of the self-examination and reflection of Lent by going through a time of internal, digestive cleansing.

Yes, this is for a number of reasons, not only spiritual, but spiritual is a part of it, and I do feel an affirmation from the Spirit that this is the right timing for this in my life.  I did this 6 week cleansing re-set last May/June, and it is based off of the diet I had to follow after my gastric bypass in 2001.  It is the only diet from which I’ve ever truly been able to experience lasting and real results, both physical and emotional/spiritual.

My Lent began yesterday (instead of Ash Wednesday) due to personal family reasons, therefore, I’m beginning this blog today.  My plan is to document as much of this six weeks as I can, without putting the demand upon myself to write every single day.  My hope is to allow this to keep me accountable, since doing so has helped me in the past, as well as to encourage or inspire others along the way.  My goals are to delve deeper into my issues with food, anxiety, fears, and my relationship with and trust of my Abba, Father.  Yes, I hope to proceed with weight loss, as well as becoming more balanced holistically.

Along with my cleansing, which began yesterday with a day of all water and continues this week with clear liquids (as well as eggs, for their protein source, since they are a clear liquid before they are cooked), I also plan to be intensifying my use of EFT Tapping to break the emotional connections I have with food.  I have a couple people in my life I can lean on during this time, as well.  I will share here with you again in a couple days, but for now, I’m feeling hopeful and excited about what God has for me during this time. 🥰

The Lord bless and keep you in your Lenten journey, whatever that may be.  I pray you are strengthened in your inner being and that you are more aware of God’s presence than ever.

There’s still confetti on the floor…

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My heart was overjoyed to spend this past weekend celebrating my soon-to-be daughter-in-law with family and friends. It was a very full weekend with our house full from Friday to Sunday , prep and cleanup for Saturday’s shower, getting to go to her “trial” for wedding makeup and hair, plus making sure everyone had enough to eat all weekend. Yet, I still found some time just to visit with my best friends and to discuss more wedding details with my son and his fiancé. I’m so very thankful for all the help I had from my family and friends and for all who attended and showered Legend with gifts and love. My daughter Jenna was mainly in charge and she so blew me away with her ideas, work, and creativity!!

How good it is to see all three of my “kids” coming into their own as adults , learning to navigate their sibling relationships as grown-ups, and all of us sharing life together in new ways. There are challenges, for sure , but overall, we are each learning, growing, and becoming as we continue to journey together.

I mean, honestly, my husband and I are still figuring life out, as well. We’ve never walked this part of the path before, either. It’s great to be real and to admit that we need help and guidance, that we’re still navigating and finding our way through unmarked territory.

As usual, with me, food was a struggle for the weekend. On Thursday night, I decided to just allow myself to have whatever food was around for all the festivities. Joke was on myself because donuts were on the menu and they are my favorite nemesis. I admit, I had more than my share, but here I am, not wanting any more any time soon.

So, what do you do to get back on track when you’ve had a big party weekend? For me, I know sugar is a huge culprit in causing me to crave and spiral out of control. This includes anything that spikes my sugar, has a high glycemic index. Therefore , eliminating those items is crucial.

That’s where I am this week, and my goal is to lead into a six week challenge for myself for Lent. I know I can’t just jump right into this challenge coming off my weekend, so that’s why this week is about getting back off sugar.

As for my challenge and Lent, I’ll share more on that in the next few days.

Book Review of God Can’t

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The Key Word is “Singlehandedly”…

Over the last several years, I had come to embrace the idea that God is not to be held responsible for the bad things in this world. Evil is at play, as well as the simple consequences from the “Fall” in the Garden of Eden, but also, our own choices and the resultant consequences. God loves, and this orders everything else that God does. God’s heart breaks from the evils, abuses, and tragedies in our world. God hurts with us.


Tom Oord’s book, God Can’t, affirmed these ideas in my heart and mind. Yet, a new understanding has begun to form in me, as a result of reading this book. One statement jumped out at me from the moment I read it in chapter 1, “God can’t stop evil singlehandedly.” This has rolled over and over in my mind as I read God Can’t, and for the first time in my life, I have a greater grasp of the importance of our cooperation with God and our obedience.


I highly recommend this book to all who have wrestled with the questions of why bad things happen to us all, but I suggest it even more to those who have ceased to believe that they can make a difference, for those who have gotten tired of “obeying” as a response to “following the rules”. God Can’t CAN open your eyes to help you see more clearly why it is important for all of us to develop habits and disciplines that foster God’s transformation of our minds and lives, and to begin to grasp that our actions in this world (as well as our inactions) DO make a difference for God’s Kingdom.

FIND OUT MORE BY CLICKING THIS LINK:

Lifting my own spirits…

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I sometimes like to pretend I’m a photographer. Phones with cameras have made this more accessible to me. I secretly wish I could have a gallery showing of my”work” someday 😉…it is a joy to me to try to capture the beauty of nature that lightens my heart and captivates me at times. So, here’s what I’ve been doing today and a few from earlier this week…

Just keep “swimming”…

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I don’t know about your life in this new year, but for me, January has been difficult. Getting back into my better health habits has been hit and miss, and I blame this on my seasonal depression as well as added job and family stress I’ve been under. Yet, there have been some successes and I want to focus on that and keep moving forward.

Success one, I haven’t had Coca Cola (or any pop) in a month! That alone is noteworthy, for me. Second, even though I feel guilt every day for having my morning toast , my carb intake has tapered off to at least half of what I consumed in December…I haven’t had any donuts, cakes, cookies, pies, etc., and the only chocolate I’ve had has been semi- or bitter-sweet. I did have a caramel three times and I ate some marshmallows. Third, I’ve only had a snack food (like chips) once/week in the last month.

So, I celebrate these successes, however, the scales have stayed the same. I’m pretty convinced the only way I can lose more weight is to go back on a mostly liquid diet for six weeks, like I did last summer. However, my emotions and mental state revolt against every attempt I make to try that method again.

I’m trying something new, started today, to combat my anxiety and see if I can get back on top of the stress I’ve been feeling. I’ll share the details here, after I determine if it works. Yet, I want to focus on a different viewpoint for a moment.

I am incredibly aware of God’s presence in the midst of my struggles with seeking to be more holistically well. I sense my Father’s love and empathy for me as I wrestle with habits and biological needs as well as the pressures of this life. I am much harder on myself than He is on me, and most of the time, if I take some moments to breathe and reflect, I can feel the Spirit’s compassionate embrace comforting me right where I am.

I pray that for you, for all of us, on a more consistent basis. May we take the time for self-care that is needed so that we can quiet ourselves enough to hear His voice and feel His arms around us, then, in that confidence of full acceptance and love and strength, find our way to keep moving forward, to just keep swimming…

Holiday recovery…

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So, this week has been my week to try to get back on track. I still have a goal to lose 25 more pounds, but beyond that, I need balance back in my life.

From October (birthday month) through New Year’s Day, my life was ordered around celebrating ( 4 family birthdays, a wedding, a college homecoming, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year). Plus, I was seriously sick for about 4 weeks and juggling 3 part-time jobs and a few speaking opportunities. It’s no wonder I’m now finding it challenging to ease back into a normal routine.

My goal is to eat low carb, yet there’s always that crazy pull towards comfort foods that takes me over in the cold months. All I can do is take one step at a time, so I am counting this week successful in spite of the carbs Ive had. I did manage to stay away from pop all week, to eat more fruits and veggies and to eat less, overall, than I was during Christmastime.

Therefore, I’ll keep moving forward. This week, I’m stepping back away from chocolate, including the hot liquid kind. I’m also going to get more physical activity back into my life this week.

That’s it for the physical area of my life, but when I’m seeking balance, I look at five more areas: social, emotional, mental, spiritual, and vocational. When these five areas are unbalanced, then that’s when my physical area is completely neglected and out of control. So, my other goal for the week ahead is to make the adjustments needed in the other five areas to get back the stability, to bring order to the chaos brought about from 3 months of “special ” events.

What about you? How are you doing with your recovery from the holidays?