Monthly Archives: February 2015

Weigh-in Wednesday – What???

Sitting trumps fat in killing us off.

Americans buy MORE calories the first three months after the holidays than they bought during!

What?

booksandsuchlogoRather than rewrite two powerful posts by Janet Kobobel Grant, I hope to whet your appetite (pun intended!) to learn more and send you rushing on over to the Books and Such blog.

Did you know long-term sitting increases our chance of cardiovascular disease by 80 percent? According to Janet’s post even one hour of sitting can impair blood flow by as much as 50 percent! Scary stuff not only for writers but for the all of us who work on the computer. While adding a more consistent exercise routine into my day has great benefits, this article showed me that it is not the complete answer to keeping my heart safe. Check out what Janet has to say about SIMPLE ways to reverse the deadly effects of SITTING.

Then pop over to her second post, How to Combat the Negative Effects of a Sedentary Overeating Lifestyle. Remember a few posts back I admitted I found it easier to return to more consistent exercise than I did to fewer calories? Janet’s post said most Americans buy a stunning 890 MORE calories per serving from January to March! This information certainly validates my struggle to eat well, but Janet’s post doesn’t stop there. She offers sounds advice for overcoming as well as more fascinating research about how sitting affects our health.

Enjoy these great resources, and have a beautiful Wednesday, my friend. Let’s do this getting healthy thing together!

Until Next Time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

PS . . . As an author I am represented by Books and Such. I’m grateful my agent, Rachelle Gardner, as well as all the folks at Books and Such, care about their clients–mind, body, emotions, and spirit. It’s a dream come true to be a part of this powerful and encouraging community.

Where Am I Putting All that Stuff?

Maybe it was just another one of those expressions Christian use that was supposed to make me feel better.

But it didn’t.

And that made me feel worse because it sounded so spiritual?

And I wanted to be a good Christian.

“Just lay it down. Leave it at the cross.”

Only no matter how I nodded my head and tried to feel better about that concern being at the foot of the cross, it didn’t truly help. It made a little more sense when the saying was used to encourage me to let go of guilt or shame.

But it didn’t help with worry.

Recently a friend and I were talking about giving a huge concern to the Lord. She said,  “I know, I know. I just have to lay it down.”

And suddenly I thought that wasn’t really what I meant at all.

The well-meaning phrases gave me a visual of passivity. A good little Christian should be able to trust God so much that she can just let go and give it to God and walk away from the worry.

In my mind I saw my very real concern wrapped up, almost like a present, laying at the foot of the cross.

I gave it to God. Now I wasn’t supposed to worry anymore. But in the picture in my head my very important concerns were at the foot of the cross. Just LYING THERE. But that’s as far as the visual went. Were they forgotten? How long before God picked them up and DID something?

I can’t tell you how many times the LORD has asked me, “Do you trust me?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to let go of control, let go of worry, let go of very real problems I couldn’t solve.

There really is something to that. I’m not saying there isn’t. It’s just that sometimes all that Christian verbiage of “lay it down . . . let it go . . . walk away . . . release it to God” don’t really make me feel like letting go.

But what what I’ve learned is when I give something over to God, it’s into his hands. He not only holds it for me, He ACTIVELY works in the situation. He is never idle, never forgetful, never leaving my precious struggles lying forgotten on the ground.

He’s WORKING.

 

LOVING.

MOVING. STRATEGIZING. WEAVING IT ALL TOGETHER. REMAKING. SOMETIMES EVEN TEARING DOWN FOR THE PURPOSE OF REBUILDING.

When I’m asked to “let go” it’s not so I can be peaceful while nothing changes. I only let go to LET GOD have the primary RESPONSIBILITY and INFLUENCE in the situation.

I’m not really walking away from my concerns, I’m simply giving them over to His leadership. I’m relinquishing my “right” to be in charge, to think I know best, to try to fix things in my own limited strength and wisdom.

I’m getting my hands far enough away that they don’t hinder the Hands of the Master Fixer, Master Designer, Master Weaver.

And I’m awaiting guidance to do my part.

Because He often has something I’m to do. It’s just not usually the controlling thing I was doing.

I’m never just laying my burden down. I’m always giving it over into more capable hands.

Working hands, not idle hands.

 

Loving hands, not disengaged hands.

keereekoo

By Richard H Huttemann

 

Never abandoned. Never ignored. Never forgotten.

 

Always embraced. Always given attention. Always remembered.

 

 

Until next Time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

 

Most photos on this post found here. The other found here.

Did God Laugh?

“Have you heard God laugh today?”

The private message came from out of the blue from a friend I rarely hear from. She said she felt she was supposed to ask me that question.

It haunted me.

My days have been serious. A best friend’s husband has cancer. I’m still adjusting to way too much quiet. The voice in my head (NOT the True voice in my heart) says all kinds of mean things to me.

How do you hear God’s laughter?

I believe He laughs. Is full of good humor.

But where do I find it, this God-laughter?

The questions stayed with me for the next few days, which happened to include a wonderful snowfall AND Superbowl Sunday.

snow new deckThis meant big brother drove home from college to hang with the guys.

It also meant lots of testosterone at my house.

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Jerry and I spent a fair amount of time at the kitchen window watching those overgrown boys.

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“They’re like frisky calves.”

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“Little” brother (all 6 foot 1 inches of him) and his best friend piled a mound of snow on our deck. Brother-in-law had the video ready to catch slow-mo action.

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“Big” brother (not quite six foot) awaited the challenge.

 

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Big brother would strip down (covering only the most important parts with clothing)

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Then he would lie on the snow and “little” brother and best friend would bury him.

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And yes I do believe I heard God laugh.

Until next time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

Weigh-in Wednesday: Getting Our Groove On

Person-weighing-themselve-007Whether I’m simply a wimp or getting older, I can’t say. But the cold outside is more of a deterrent than when I began walking in 2012. As you know from last week’s post I’m seeking to let go of those pounds I found again before I find all that weight I lost.

(Isn’t maintenance a bear?)

I have to admit the fact I can still fit into my new clothes makes me a little lazy. But I know I’m on the cusp of not. There are a few I’ve avoided wearing because they don’t look so great now.

In my journey to losing over 50 pounds I learned that a more active lifestyle really is one of the most important ingredients in health and body care–but it’s February here in Colorado. Too often the sky gray instead of blue, and my nose and toes are cool to the touch even inside our home. My love of walking wanes, and while I’ve thought about joining an exercise class, scheduling a car is difficult in our family. I really need to be active at home.

This happened last week. The gloomy weather didn’t exactly help the gloomy mood clouding my attitude. After curling up in my comfy chair and journaling, I wasn’t feeling any better. (An exercise video didn’t even cross my mind.) I was out and out grumpy.

Then I felt that Voice inside.

He said, “Dance.”

Dance?

Talk about resistance. I didn’t feel like. I didn’t want to. I was sad and mopey and low on energy.

Dance?

But the Voice persisted, and I cranked a favorite worship CD.

Anyone peeking in the window would probably laugh. But my Creator did no such thing. I could feel His pleasure as I danced because He asked me to. The words and melodies of the music nourished my soul and pushed back the negativity that had cloaked me.

The clouds lifted.

I’m not a particularly good dancer, folks. Not only do I have no training, but as a child the religion of our family said dancing just might be evil, so I don’t have much practice either.

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Image found at Silvialioci

While I would love to know more about how to dance well, beneath the art form there is something even more important.

Simply giving my body over to movement, to joy, to release.

To freedom!

Dancing (whether to a symphony, rock and roll, or my worship CD) can be, in it’s deepest place, an offering to the One who created it and me.

(And the great thing about where I am right now? It burns calories and makes my body stronger, too. Dancing is not only effective, but fun! A great tool to add to our healthy body tool belt.)

So . . . how about it? Let’s crank that Ipod and get our groove on!

Until Next Time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

 

That Circle Thing

flowersYou can’t give to someone else what you don’t have.

I think about that a lot.

Especially when it comes to the most important things in life, like love, grace, joy, hope . . .

And especially when it comes to the most important people in life, like hubby, kids, best friends.

My journey around this concept began around the idea of grace. I had a really hard time accepting grace. It was always so much easier to see my flaws than my goodness, especially in mothering. It took some pretty hard stuff for me to come to the end of myself and begin to receive grace.

It’s amazing when you forgive yourself how much easier it is to forgive others.

It’s crazy how when you receive grace, love, and all those beautiful things how much easier it is to share them.

In my weird life process I think it ought to be a clue. When I’m easily irritated or quick to blame or judgmental am I blocking that circle of love and grace that flows from Him to me and out of me and back to Him? (I hope I can learn to slow down and ask instead of letting the negative build.)

That’s part of the season I am in right now–trying to separate appropriate empty nest grief from anger with myself for not being able to move on more quickly. Seeking to discern what irritation is perimenopausal hormones and what is connected to something else.

As I process this stuff I am sent back to foundational thinking. Where am I putting pressure on myself that God hasn’t? (That always causes the steam to build inside.) Where is there a legitimate issue I need to work through, and where do I simply need to take more focused time to rest in Love?

Sometimes I think we get so focused on fixing (ourselves and others) that we forget LOVE.

And isn’t that where the deep healing happens?

Until Next Time,

paula cropped