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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Whispers of Strength

Sometimes God’s hand moves in powerful ways. He pushed aside the waters of the sea and held them back to so His people could cross on dry land.

Sometimes God’s hand moves in little ways. A movement barely even noticeable, but enough to send a butterfly across my path, reminding me of His love, and bringing tears to my eyes.

Sometimes God’s Word shouts into our hearts. We drop to our knees instantly, praying, moved to seek forgiveness and mend a relationship.

Sometimes God’s Word whispers gently. A whisper so soft the moment almost passes, yet that simple conviction brings a year of growth.

Today is a day of whispers and conviction. The whispers have been there before, I am sure of it, yet my heart did not recognize or receive it.

I am busy.

My whisper of conviction – slow my heart. Just because my body is moving doesn’t mean my heart needs to follow that pace.

  • Slow your heart. Think through each activity and event. Face them with a calm readiness instead of a hurried whirlwind. It is the whirlwind that knocks bricks off of bridges.
  • Show your children there’s a better way. Don’t become upset with them if they are not prepared when you aren’t either.  Be prepared and place more bricks on the bridge giving it strength.
  • Listen for the whispers of strength.

Take time to slow down and enjoy the connection, building bridges with preparation instead of taking them down through hurried whirlwinds.

One New Thing – October 29th

Exercise
Some people love it. I am not one of those. It is a huge challenge. The movements just feel awkward and unnatural. Did I mention that it hurts? I avoid it. Sure I’ve started on programs.  At one time I had three walking buddies. We walked on different days at different times. Some days I walked twice. I think it lasted about one month… maybe two. It was a good thing – until the Texas heat swooped in and scorched the earth.
Last week my One New Thing was to start exercising again. I walked on three days! That’s good… But I need to work on it more. I started walking outside at 6 am, by myself, in the dark, and quickly turned around and opted for the treadmill. I noticed that I ended up watching more TV. I normally don’t turn on the TV in the mornings, except when I exercise (or I did on the whole three days that I attempted to exercise!). I always managed to leave the TV on – you know so I don’t miss the next segment one of the announcers has been telling me is a must-see! This week I want to keep walking but I am going to change something. When I am on the treadmill, I will watch a video or listen to a podcast of sermons. I am starting with all the messages we’ve missed our pastor preach over the past few months.
My One New Thing this week will be to exercise my spirit as I exercise my body.

KimBars

I feel a bit strange posting a recipe on this blog. However, spending time in the kitchen is one way I bond with my kids. It is also how I show love – through cooking. I haven’t always loved being in the kitchen, and many times it stresses me out more than it should, so cooking for me really is an act of love. Giving of myself by doing something that isn’t easy for me, but necessary. I had to learn, so I did.

In my quest to eat healthy and avoid foods I have allergic reactions to, I found some great energy bars. Standing in the grocery aisle, I read the ingredient list – only four ingredients and I could easily read them all! I bought a few and really enjoyed them. However, they were over a dollar a bar. I realized I could replace them with a home-made version! I researched several recipes, finding the easiest way to make them, and made one that is “safe” for me.

With my One New Thing, I’m in the kitchen quite a bit. Some days it’s fun, others… not so much. The day I found this recipe, was a fun day in the kitchen. It is super easy and impressive.

KimBars

  • Dates – I use fresh (Medjool). You can use dried, but may have to let them sit in a little bit of water to soften before chopping them.
  • Cashews – I prefer raw, unsalted nuts.
  • A pinch of salt – sea salt, of course!

To make them, I used the same amount of dates and cashews with a pinch or two of salt.

  1. ½ Cup of Cashews – Chop in food processor (until pieces are really small, where some are fine like sand, but not too much, however, it’s all how you prefer them!) then dump into a bowl.
  2. ½ Cup of Dates – Chop in food processor until it forms a large ball. *I took one date out so it was less than ½ cup and preferred it this way – not as sticky or sweet.
  3. I add the salt to the nuts then dump them back into the food processor and pulse until it is all crumbly again. The first time I made the bars, I just added the dates to the bowl and kneaded it until it was all mixed, but the processor is faster and less work.
  4. Remove the mixture and form it into whatever shape you want! (You can even use cookie cutters, but my kids are older, so that just means more utensils to clean – balls are still lots of fun for kids!)
  5. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in fridge. I made 3 bars out of this recipe. From now on, I will make much larger batches!

Tip: After wrapping a messily formed log/bar in the plastic wrap, you can then form it into a nice, perfectly formed bar shape.

There are tons of variations you can make, just keep the proportions similar. For example, if you want to make a fruit flavored bar, use half dates, half dried fruit (1/4 cup dates AND ¼ cup dried fruit) and the same ratio of nuts (1/2 cup cashews or ¼ cup cashews AND ¼ cup peanuts).

After making these a few times, I found this recipe – and it’s perfect for fall with added pumpkin seeds!!! http://fitviews.blogspot.com/2012/08/paleo-energy-bar-recipe.html

Keep in mind this is a high-calorie snack. I eat only half a bar.
Enjoy and have fun saving money while being healthy!

“I wish” becomes “I AM!”

Darkness and fog surrounded me as I tied my shoes and started my morning walk. The sky began to lighten, but darkness still reigned the early morning hour. I walked alone, lost in my thoughts until I noticed my shadow. (Cue fairy dust music.) Long and lean, it stretched before me encouraging me to keep moving. As I watched my shadow, the thoughts that ran through my head were far different than a few months ago. Back then, my shadow would’ve mocked me – even if it stretched out long and lean, my eyes would not accept it that way. What changed my perception? One New Thing.

Participating in One New Thing has shifted my way of thinking. Instead of living in a state of “I wish,” I live in a state of “I am.”

  • I wish I were losing weight became I AM losing weight.
  • I wish I felt better became I AM feeling better.
  • I wish I didn’t suffer from food allergies became I AM doing all I can.
  • I wish I had time to cook healthy meals became I AM cooking healthy meals.
  • I wish I didn’t rely on coffee to wake up became I AM waking up alert.
  • I wish I spent more time in the Word became I AM spending daily time with God.
  • I wish my family ate healthy became I AM feeding my children healthy food.
  • I wish I felt like exercising became I AM exercising, even if I don’t feel like it.

It didn’t start overnight.

I did One New Thing at a time. I knew I needed to change so my health would change. Waking up and starting everything at once is hard. Probably impossible. In some warped way, I didn’t think I deserved to be skinny and fit. The fact is, you can’t be skinny and fit if you eat junk and sit around. So, I guess you can say, I didn’t deserve it. That sounds harsh, but if you don’t desire it, you won’t work for it. If you don’t work for it, you don’t deserve it.

If a man is lazy, the rafters sag;
if his hands are idle, the house leaks. (Ecclesiastes 10: 18)

Before I even realized it, and without even trying, my thinking changed. I see my shadow as long and lean and I accept it. Why? The answer is easy! I am actively doing good things for myself.

Anyone who guards what he says guards his life.
But anyone who speaks without thinking will be destroyed.

People who refuse to work want things and get nothing.
But the longings of people who work hard are completely satisfied.

Those who do right hate what is false.
But those who do wrong bring shame and dishonor. (Proverbs 13:3-5)

When you actively take care of yourself, you can’t help but think YOU DESERVE IT.

Maintain your bridge – work hard and don’t let your rafters sag!

One New Thing – October 22nd

The last few One New Things rocked my world. I planned on doing an easy One New Thing this week. Until…

I found out someone signed up and paid for our whole family to participate in a 5k Turkey Trot.

My One New Thing this week is to tie my shoes…

and get ready to run!!!! (or jog… Ok – probably walk – but I’ll be ready!)

A Week of Unwise Words

For some reason, this week has been a bit tough. I’ve lost my temper a few times. (sidenote: Why do we say we’ve lost our temper? What I really want to do is lose mine FOR GOOD. The phrase ‘lost my cool’ is quite accurate, but wouldn’t that mean I have the coolness factor to begin with?!) Back to my temper. I didn’t lose it on a huge scale, just enough to mean my voice got ahead of my thoughts and I said some unwise things. Thankfully, I didn’t do any major damage or name call, I just became very long-winded in lectures with snarky comments and exaggerated truths.

For some reason, this verse had popped up a few times:

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1

 Just when I was trying to avoid the “Foolish” word, there it is – plain as day. I’ve had a foolish week. I’ve owned up to it and apologized when needed, but building the house is a longer process than tearing it down. Upon waking this morning, I prayed to be wise (the whole time thinking “How do I? Is it possible?”), then I opened Bible Gateway’s verse of the day on my phone.

The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. Isaiah 26: 3, 4

There is my answer! I need a steadfast mind! How do keep my mind steadfast? Trusting in Him! When I see Him as my everlasting Rock, it is easy to rest on His solid promises.

For some reason, the verse of the day on my computer’s website of  Bible Gateway is different. But oh so timely!

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

What a promise! My week of unwise words is over. I will stay steadfast with my gaze turned up and my feet on the rock with my heart delighted in Him!

Building Bridges (or houses) takes time and work, unlike foolishness that tears down with just a word.

Damaged Bridges

A few bridges in my life have sustained damaging blows in the last few years through disappointments in relationships, groups, and ministries. I allowed a lack of trust to ruin and collapse some bridges, while a sea of regret washed them away. Or maybe the sea was one of forgetfulness… either way, the bridges are no longer there. Other bridges I’m in the process of painstakingly rebuilding, one piece at a time. Then there are the bridges I ignore. They wait for my attention while I deny there is anything wrong, or just knowingly look the other way.

The lost bridges, although no longer visible, are still remembered in my heart as I hide behind the wall of bricks I built with their remains.  When a new situation or relationship presents itself to me, I want to walk away, avoiding building a bridge only to fall to ruin again. I stand in that place today.  In a moment of divine inspiration I wrote about MENTORING. That was followed by a moment of CONVICTION as I decided to practice what I preach. Now I am here – dwelling on the lost bridges (failed mentoring relationships) and nervous about a new opportunity of entering into a mentor/mentoree relationship. I just want to hide behind my walls. I know I am called to build bridges, and that is what I will do, but first I want to look at my walls a little closer.

(**Note: As you read this, just omit the word Mentor and it is applicable to any new relationship!**)

I want to stay away from mentoring relationships that:

  • don’t encourage change or growth.
  • focus on a leader (one person in a relationship) who make it all about them, even if it’s in a sense of humility.  That person might say, “You shouldn’t make it all about me!” – but we all know it is.
  • don’t disciple so others can lead when they are ready. (Great Commission)
  • don’t preach the Bible. Period. (just RUN from this one!)
  • water down scripture with other theologians or pop psychology.
  • judges.
  • leaves or quits.

I want a mentoring relationship that:

  • encourages change and growth.
  • focuses on Jesus as a leader. The mentor loves as Christ does and seeks Him above all things.
  • disciples, so mentorees can lead when they are ready. (Great Commission)
  • relies on the Bible. Period.
  • lacks judgement but abounds in love.
  • stays with you through thick and thin.

Writing this list helped me to look at my walls (and fears) a little closer. Analyzing each item, it feels like I’m picking up pieces of my wall and throwing it into the sea of forgetfulness instead of the sea of regret. Mentoring relationships are not perfect, and will not be, unless you are sitting with Jesus in the flesh. Knowing that, I can choose to harbor resentment and close the door to relationships, or I can choose to walk with someone in a relationship anyway. When the not-quite-like-Christ times come, we can journey through those together – learning along the way.

Building Bridges sometimes means tearing down the walls first.

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