Monthly Archives: October 2013

Crazy Changes, Crazy Price, Crazy Schedule

My life has had some crazy twists lately, and I can’t wait to take time to sit and blog and share with you more of the epiphanies and joys and, yes, struggles . . . oh and of course my wonderful birthday memories . . .

However, today I’ve been busy helping friends get the metabolism booster that supported my weight loss. It’s on sale for HALF PRICE! I’ve never seen it at this price point. It’s to introduce a new capsule form. The same powerful support but in a pill, not a powder.

I’ll be back here blogging away soon, I promise. Meanwhile, if you have been thinking about trying the products that helped me, the HALF PRICE sell is only until the company closes today, 5 p.m. Pacific time. It’s a call-in special only, you can’t get it on-line, so email me if you want me to help you and I’ll take care of you! Paula@paulamoldenhauer.com

Here’s specific info:

 

Metabolism-booster-capsulesBENew™ Metabolism Booster Capsules

Metabolic Enhancer

Based on the science of thermogenics, the BENew Metabolism Booster Capsules help you unleash your weight loss and fitness potential by harnessing your body’s own furnace. The active ingredients in this product are identical to the Metabolism Booster stick packets without the flavor ingredients. Three capsules is equivalent to one stick packet and will boost your natural energy and metabolism throughout the day.*

Key active ingredients: Green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, African mango extract, white kidney bean extract, Meratrim®, and raspberry ketones, and brown algae extract (Fucoxanthin).

Click here for a full data sheet.

And I can’t resist adding these pictures of my friend and hero, Eric Howard. I got to meet him at the national convention last week. He’s lost over 100 pounds and counting!! He is such an inspiration to me, and you should see his new-found joy!!

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Spirit Seeker Sunday ~ Hope

resevoir“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

This hits me between the eyes: “Jesus is saying, ‘If you come to me, I will take your exhaustion in this area and turn it into expectation. In this place of hopelessness, I can make you feel hopeful.'” (Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave Devotional)

Okay. I’ve read this devotional before. But as I read again I stop and question. Really? That sounds too good to be true.

Honestly, I can receive it for my weight loss journey because–well, I’m having CHANGE and success, and what seemed hopeless a year ago is hopeful now because I have FORWARD progress.

But there are other places in my life that I don’t see much forward movement, and that’s what I think of when I read these words. Those struggles that are the same for too many days in a row, too many months, too many years. Those places where disappointment has dug a soul exhaustion.

When I go through a tough spot my friend Kordee often tells me, I have the questions, I don’t have the answers. It’s comforting because she’s saying, “you know what? I know how you feel. I’m not going to give you pat answers. We’re in this together.”

Then Kordee and I work through our crap, accept our lack of answers, and say things like, “But I choose God. There is no other answer. I don’t like this, but I will trust Him.”

Sometimes we find some hope for the situation; sometimes we don’t. But I guess even when it’s hard to believe there can be change, there is something inside of us that is banking our hope on God. On the promises that He leads on the best pathway for our life, that He guides us and watches over us. On the promise that says He will finish the work He started in us, and will never leave or forsake us.

My strength often feels more like exhaustion, even anger. Sometimes I can’t pray for a while because I know if I do I have to get real. And I’m just not ready to cry, to admit how deeply I hurt. Those are the days of my SOS prayers, that quick, “Help!” that’s whispered almost subconsciously.

But Lysa says, “”Jesus is saying, ‘If you come to me, I will take your exhaustion in this area and turn it into expectation. In this place of hopelessness, I can make you feel hopeful.'” and later she adds, “God knows where you strength ends and that is the exact point where His strength begins.”

Talk about meat to chew on!

I know it’s true, this hope thing. Scripture says that when I persevere in hard trials, I learn hope, and that hope won’t disappoint me, that it’s actually a mark of maturity, this being able to hope.

And so I pray,

“Father, You know the places in me that are soul exhaustion, where hope is fleeting or seemingly non-existent. But I DO want You to take those places and turn my exhaustion into expectation–not white knuckle hanging on for all I’m worth in my own strength expectation, but supernatural, God-breathed expectation that can hope because of Who You are. Because I believe You truly love me. Because I believe You WILL finish all You’ve started in me.

And Lord, I know some of my friends who read this blog have soul exhaustion, too. Please give them hope. Draw us to Your heart, remind us of Your character–how loving, steady, and faithful You are. Give us expectation for positive forward movement, not because we have the strength to take that next step into where we want to go, but because YOU do. And You will lead. And You take us to good.

Trading in Soul Exhaustion for Hope

Healthy Eating

It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about healthy eating–indulging in great taste while helping your body grow stronger and more slender.

Here are a few things I’ve enjoyed lately:

IMAG2528 IMAG2526 metting with agent 2

The first picture is something brand-new to my world: kiwi berries! I didn’t even know they existed. This is a close-up shot, so don’t be deceived. They are actually the size of grapes, and taste like kiwi only minus all that fuzz! Full Circle says, “Like other ‘superfood’ berries, kiwi berries have an unusually high level of antioxidants that protect your body from toxins and oxidation that can lead to cancer and other serious diseases.” The article went on to say that they have vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folic acid, fiber, potassium, and chromium! They taste fabulous and are a new favorite of mine.

Pomegranates are, of course, very good for you. We hear about them all the time. I like them straight, but I also love to add them to lettuce, especially with a handful of walnuts. According to Southern Living pomegranates: help prevent arthritis, regulate cholesterol, are a great source of fiber, protect your skin, and even help keep your teeth clean! Definitely worth the time it takes to prepare them.

Who can resist a cup of tea in a beautiful china cup? This particular flavor is one of my favorites: Jasmine Green Tea. We all know green tea is high in antioxidants, and aids in weight loss.  if you’ve been on this blog much, you know I enjoy unsweetened teas in part because they are ZERO calories. But my research says Jasmine tea is good for your emotional health and has been used to fight depression. Here are some other benefits I didn’t know about but found on Buzzle: disease prevention, cholesterol reduction, and anxiety reduction.

Hope you enjoy these Low calorie, high flavor, healthy treats

Autumn Glory

I’m still in California as this entry posts. I can’t wait to share a bunch of pictures and talk about my experiences in sunny San Diego at the Life Force Convention. I expect to include some shots of the Pacific. Oh how I’ve missed the ocean!

But for now I thought we needed a break from all that heavy discovery of epiphanies, so I put together a collection of fall beauty before I left Denver. I encourage you to bask in the glory of autumn, one sidewalk at a time.

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Enjoy the simple things today. Live in the moment. Breathe in beauty. Notice the good, my friends. Take a walk. Snap a picture. Thank the Creator.

Breathe in Autumn Glory

Spirit Seeker Sunday ~ To be in the Center

IMAG2511“To be in the center of God’s will is to be a woman who is joyful, prayer, and thankful.” Lysa TerKeurst

It’s coming at me from all sides. First a friend talked to me about being intentional to use the weapons of warfare the Lord has given me, specifically to think on all that is lovely, good, pure. She said the enemy tries to steal from me constantly through life’s battles, and one of my most powerful weapons is focusing my thoughts on all that is good. The next day I received an email that said almost exactly the same thing, this time from someone I’ve never met.

This morning I read, “Fullness is our destiny, but emptiness is our crutch.”

As I pondered these words, I came to this passage in the Made to Crave Devotional, “joy is a choice we make, not a feeling we hope to get from our circumstances . . . look for the good . . . celebrate it even in small ways.”

I’m seeing a pattern here.

Much of life battles are won and lost in our minds. Probably most. The battle for joy is connected to where I plant my thoughts. The battle for weight loss is planted in where I focus my thoughts. The battle for how well I treat those I love is grounded in where I allow my thoughts to roam.

Of course we will have down days and days of trouble, but Jesus says, “be of good cheer for I have overcome the world!” And Lysa reminds us that the hard stuff, the temptations to eat (or lots of other stuff like to be negative, hurtful, unkind, etc.) are simply triggers to pray. To turn to God rather than anything else.

Of course the admonition to be thankful goes hand in hand with all of this. If we are thinking on all that is good and lovely, focusing on God and His strength, thanksgiving comes naturally!

I want to be victorious in weight loss and all of life, don’t you? I like what Lysa said, that we are most victorious when we are in the center of His will–being joyful, prayerful, thankful women. I’ve got a ways to go in all of this . . . but I’ve also come a long way, baby. How about you?

Learning to be joyful, prayerful, and thankful.

Epiphany #6 ~ Stretching into His Arms

IMAG2573I warned you my summer was a summer of discovery. Obviously now that we’re into October and I’m still getting epiphanies, my fall is following suit.

Honestly, those first five epiphanies wore me out. Highs and lows. Hopes and struggles. Dreams and Disappointments.

Growth.

If you’ve hung with me this far, thank you. I’m hopeful that today’s epiphany will be the last I need to write about–at least for a while.

Actually, even though I was bawling when this epiphany came, it might be my favorite. With it comes a picture I cling to. I think about it all the time. Even envisioned it as I walked about my neighborhood last week.

I’m posting this blog ahead of time because as you read this I’m embarking on yet another new adventure, attending the 2013 National Life Force Convention. I’ve no doubt but that I’ll need this epiphany as I continue to discover what it means to become a business woman who is yoked with Jesus in unforced rhythms of grace. 

Learning to do something new without falling back into my negative patterns of perfectionism and performance-driven behavior isn’t easy for me. But this epiphany helps.

It came while I was praying with my friend, Jill. She told me that God liked that I was competitive and wanted to do everything I did with excellence. He just didn’t need me to get caught up in performance and perfectionism. Then came the epiphany. She said, “You push too hard to stretch yourself. All he asks of you is that you crawl into His lap, lean into Him, and let Him do the stretching.”

Let Him do the stretching.

All that struggle melted away.

I don’t have to try so hard, to question myself so harshly, to push myself. I simply hang out with my Father, safe in His arms, and let Him do the stretching.

I know if He does it I’ll bend but not break. I will grow and change, but it will be natural healthy growth, like a branch full of grapes connected to a strong vine. Not straining and groaning, just sweet, normal growth.

Yes, I’ll change as I need to.

It just won’t kill me in the process.

After all, He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.

How about you? Are you resting in His arms today? Looking to Him to teach you how to do YOUR work in the unforced rhythms of grace? If not, I invite you along. It’s way better this way.

Epiphany #5 ~ A Graduation of Grace

IMAG2574Epiphany #5 ended up being good, but it took a lot of tears to figure it out. Here’s the thing. This whole new world of being a business woman was harder than I expected.

For the first time in a long time I was thrust into something very new. I’d worked past the early years of feeling utterly inadequate as a classroom teacher, then as a homeschool mom. I’d even gotten past the panic of having to say the words, “I am a writer.” Now I can even say, “I am an author” without batting an eye.

But after 22 years of homeschooling and 12 years of writing toward publication (and seeing it happen!) I had exactly 3 weeks of taking my role as a Life Force Business Woman seriously.

I pushed hard, making lots of phone calls and setting high goals for myself.

I met about half those goals. Instead of being pleased, I was pretty much mad at the world and drowning in exhaustion and inadequacy.

Enter Ben Mueller. Twice he called at exactly the right time (when I was at the point of tears) and twice he said exactly the right thing.

The second call was when Epiphany #5 kicked in.

See, much of my early years as a homeschool mom were about letting go of perfectionism and performance-driven behavior. Nothing like 4 children under the age of six to help a gal figure out there was no way she could be a perfect mom and live up to her own expectations of motherhood. Then there was the constant interruption, lack of validation, and serving in obscurity without a paycheck. Went a long way toward digging out the vestiges of performance-driven behavior.

Then throw in the God-factor. While I wallowed in guilt over my feelings of failure in motherhood, and trembled in fear over all my inadequacies, He showed up and healed me. I learned to keep my eyes on HIM instead of on my failures. I learned to forgive myself for my lack of perfection. I learned to lean on Him for the strength to move forward and to rest in His plan and purposes instead of living in a constant state of striving.

I mean I learned all of that until He called me to be a business woman.

Talk about miserable!

How dare God call me to a career that made me so unhappy? I mean, He wouldn’t, would He? Doesn’t Scripture promise that His yoke is easy and His burden light? In Matthew 11 He even said, “Are you tired? Worn out? . . .  Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (The Message)

Well this whole business woman thing was ill-fitting if anything ever was. There was nothing free or light about it.

Or was there?

Ben’s call helped me understand. The first thing he told me was what a great job I was doing–that I’d done what 70% of people in the business never do. (After I cried a little, I felt better.) Then he asked if I was a perfectionist.

Ouch.

As we talked I realized I’d done it again, slipped into perfectionism and performance-driven behavior. No wonder the role didn’t fit! I wasn’t doing this business woman thing the way God planned. I was falling into old thought patterns and habits I thought I’d conquered years ago.

By the time Ben bid me good-bye hope sprang forth!

Epiphany #5 is that I’ve graduated! God trusts me with a career where performance is the name of the game. Evidently He thinks I’ve learned enough about looking to Him instead of my own inadequacies and letting go of perfectionism and performance-driven behavior that I can do this thing without falling apart.

He’s peeling back another layer of my dysfunction and healing me.

As I let Him teach me how to be a business woman I will discover how to be in this career in a way that is uniquely me. There will be no ill-fitting burdens, only a new learning curve in the unforced rhythms of grace.

Epiphany #4

IMAG2583That whole conflicting with my desires thought from my last post should have prepared me. But it didn’t. I ran off in my merry little sanguine way expecting sunshine and roses. Only what grew along with the roses were tomatoes.

Never saw that one coming.

I started figuring out that things weren’t as easy as I expected when I went to one of my favorite places: A writer’s conference where I was reminded that my new epiphany was really a curve ball.

See, ever since 3rd grade when I wrote a story about a pencil and an eraser, I wanted to be an author. (Oh brother. The tears still spring to my eyes, and honestly I’m tired of crying about this.) Somewhere during high school speech competition I realized I also wanted to be a speaker. For the last 25 years I’ve lived my other childhood dreams–to be a teacher and a mommy, and as the years have ticked away toward cheering on my last high school graduate, I’ve eagerly awaited greater freedom for that dream of becoming an author and a speaker.

Sure, I am those things already. I have two published fiction books, have published over 300 non-fiction pieces, and have spoken for homeschool groups, writer’s groups, and mom’s groups, as well as having taught at writer’s conferences. But that was all in my spare time. Now I was ready to enter full-time into the world of writing and speaking–to take the whole gig to another level. To write the deeper, more complex stories of my heart. To up my speaking opportunities.

I’d waited for so long for this moment.

Then God gives me this curve ball and tells me to learn to be a business woman. I need to mention here that up until this point everything I’ve done in life was connected to a dream. Teacher. Mommy. Writer. Speaker.

Never once did I dream of becoming a business woman.

I spent a lot of the writer’s conference in tears. Not because it wasn’t fun. It was actually amazingly wonderful. Except for the increasing understanding that my next season wasn’t going to be all about my dreams and except for the fact that the keynote speaker said we had to be obedient when God sent us curve balls on our writing journey.

By the time I left I’d convinced myself that God wasn’t going to let me write books for a while. And I was heart-broken.

Thankfully, He then gave me Epiphany #4. I did get to write books. Just not the deeper books of my heart–yet. He wanted me to do what my agent, Rachelle Gardner, had suggested right before that second car accident that left me unable to write books for a year. He wanted me to write genre romance.

The good news is I like romance–both in books and in real life. And evidently I’m pretty good at it because I’ve helped a non-romantic male learn to be at least a little romantic, and my first romance story was a finalist for a prestigious Christian fiction award.

More good news is that genre romance is the kind of thing I can usually write while living with a lot of chaos in my life. It also is light-hearted enough to keep me happy and sane when I write it (unlike women’s fiction, which can bring me into the doldrums as I dig deep).

So it really is the perfect solution to my quandary of how to continue my writing career while learning to be a business woman. And I’m super happy about it except when I’m not. (I’m a girl, ok?)

My agent put me on a deadline to have that next book to her, and I added up word counts. I need to write 1700 words/day, six days a week. The good news is so far I’ve written 5,175 of the 55,000 words I plan to complete by Thanksgiving.

The bad news is I haven’t written any today because I’ve been too busy writing blog posts.

But I will get it done.

And so I’m learning how to swing at this latest curve. Letting go of how I thought this next season would look and embracing a new plan. Most of the time I’m good with it, but then there are those days . . . and I’ll tell you about one of them tomorrow.

Epiphany # 3

IMAG2579-1You may have noticed I skipped Epiphany #2. It seems I’m not ready to write about it yet, that it is still too tender, too precious, too scary even, to share.

Someday.

On this blog.

At just the right time I will turn to July 9, 2013 in my journal and finish the thoughts I began in my first epiphanies post.

Today I can only hold tight to the promises of my Father and move on to a new conversation. It’s not that I doubt, it’s just that the future is far away. For me, at least. To Him it is like a snap of a finger.

Let’s just say that by my next entry, August 11th, I was angry again and confused, in a very different place that that joyful conversation in Breckenridge.

And the Lord was good, as usual. I knew I could say anything on my mind, and it wouldn’t freak Him out.

I started with, “Please heal me from whatever it is that is afraid and hard within me.”

You’ve been angry with me.

“Yes. And that makes me angry with myself, and yet self-accusation doesn’t make me any less angry with You.”

It never does. 

And so the two of us talked about the long haul. How I so often felt without control. How I’d given Him permission for deep change, and how that takes time.

Then He loved me. Said really sweet things to me, things that proved once again He thought better of me than I thought of myself.

Funny how when he complimented me I quit being angry with Him.

At the end of our time He showed me that I’d been begging Him for scraps when He wanted to lay an abundant table before me.

I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it sent me on a journey of discovery.

Epiphany #3 was a part of that discovery. Epiphany #3 shocked me.

It happened at a Life Force training. I was there mostly for Jerry because he had to work his day job. I wasn’t fully invested in this new business. I saw myself as standing on the sidelines, supporting where I could, and cheering my husband on, “Good job, honey. Go! Go!”

But that day it suddenly it became clear that this wasn’t Jerry’s journey alone, this was my journey, too. That the Lord wanted me to be a business woman. In the excitement of that moment, and for several days afterward I was thrilled! I sensed the Lord smiling, cheering me forward. I recorded what I believed to be His heart:

. . . I have given you a place to stretch and develop the skills you need for the next stage of your journey. It is not a divergent path. It is one of balance. Sometimes my directions will conflict with your desire, just as it has in raising your family. You will have to juggle congruent, concurrent paths, but they will not be divergent. Be sensitive to Me, My child. It will keep us connected and close as you pray through next steps and pay attention to My direction.

And so I rejoiced and rushed off to tackle my new life.

Unfortunately all that wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I guess I should have paid attention when He said stuff like I was given a place to stretch and that His direction would sometimes conflict with my desires.

More about that next time.

Stretching into a new place

Spirit Seeker Sunday ~ In His Hands

in the water“You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples” Psa. 77:13-14

God has done miracle after miracle in my life, but when it gets hard around here my attention can quickly go to anything but worshiping God. Like the Israelites of old who grumbled in the wilderness right after being rescued from slavery, I forget all He’s done for me, all the times He was faithful, and instead turn my gaze from Him to my problems, my cravings, my disappointments.

The idea of offering myself as a sacrifice of worship takes on new meaning for me tonight. My emotions. My cravings. My focus. Sacrificed as a choice to worship, to believe, to surrender to the God who performs miracles.

I just saw a verse on my friend Margie’s wall, “‘I, your GOD, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, “Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.'” (Isaiah 41:13 MSG)

It humbles me further. THAT is the heart of my God. He doesn’t want me panicking, looking to food or security or success or anything that will never satisfy me. He has me in his hand.

He has you, too.

A God like that is worthy of the sacrifice of worship.

What about you? Has God done miracles in your life? How do you feel about sacrificing the cravings as an act of worship? Where in your life do you need to remember that He has you in his hands?

Resting in His hands; Craving Him, not calories