Category Archives: Uncategorized

Where It All Started and More

Susan Irene Fox interviews me today on her wonderful blog. If you’ve never visited her space before, I invite you to scan her previous entries as well. Her posts are beautiful and inspiring, and I know you’ll come away encouraged.

Remember, I’m giving a book to some lucky person who comments on my last blog post. The give-a-way ends Monday morning, 9 a.m. MST, so leave a comment now for a chance to win!

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Giving Away 21 Days of Love and More

20160620_142135Have you ever sensed internal growth as a result of reading good fiction? My friend Kathy Ide believes strongly in the power of story. As an editor and the founder and director of The Christian Pen, Kathy is also well connected to the authors she loves.

From her passion came a beautiful four book set of fiction lovers devotionals. Kathy and I reconnected recently when I served as faculty for PENCON, the professional conference for editors. When I told her how much I loved her idea of combining fictional stories with devotional thoughts, she immediately gifted me two sets–one to give away and one to read!

I began 21 Days of Love during a recent get-a-way with my best friends from college.2016-06-16 16.57.29

It was the perfect light reading for the setting–great little short stories with powerful takeaways.

If you’d like to win the set of these beautiful, hard-back devotionals, 21 Days of Love, 21 Days of Joy, 21 Days of Grace, and 21 Days of Christmas, leave a comment and an email address. I’ll draw a name from the comments here and on social media and send the books to the winner!

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

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Easter Devotion ~ Suffering and Glory

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Clip art found here

Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want. ~ I Peter 4:1–2 (MSG)

I don’t like suffering. In fact I try to avoid it. During the lent season someone thoughtlessly attacked one of my most tender places. I’d offered up vulnerability, choosing transparency in an effort to communicate grace. But I was misunderstood and judged. It hurt. A lot.

But Jesus is tender, isn’t He? My little issue of hurt feelings was nothing compared to the suffering of Christ, but He gently tended to my pain, whispering He’d suffered too and issuing an invitation into the fellowship of His suffering.

Jesus was often misunderstood and judged. People thought He was grandiose and self-absorbed when He declared Himself the Son of God. Even those who wanted to believe He was something special didn’t like it when the road led not to power and financial gain, but to the cross.

As Jesus faced His greatest test of suffering, even His friends turned from Him. They didn’t want to hear what He had to say. How dare He talk of pain and death? Peter rebuked Him for such thoughts. Judas gave up on Him rather than let go of his plans and enter the suffering of his Lord.

Yes, Jesus understood the pain of offering up your best only to receive judgment and ridicule in return. Instead of defending Himself and calling down the angels to rescue Him, He walked the road of suffering. He chose obedience to His Father over escaping the pain.

I’ve had much deeper suffering than the incident I referenced. Some of my suffering has been undeserved like Jesus’ was, but often part of the pain in times of suffering was born of my own resistance to hardship, or as The Message says, “that old sinful habit” of expecting to get my own way and trying to get what I wanted instead of surrendering to the more difficult path the Lord asked me to walk.

Each of us has our own journey of suffering. Some people’s suffering is public—especially those who go through serious illness or sudden public loss—like losing a loved one to a car accident. Other people’s suffering is private. Their pain includes abuse or situations they feel they can’t talk about, and for these suffering saints it is difficult to find a safe community of support.

My friend, suffering isn’t easy. Even Jesus asked God if there wasn’t another way to accomplish His will. The Lord isn’t angry with us when we struggle to surrender to hard times. When we face genuine suffering, we have a Lord who is well acquainted with grief and sorrow. He understands our pain and validates our struggle. He also demonstrated the way through the suffering. He didn’t pretend it wasn’t happening. He didn’t run from it. He gathered His closest friends around Him and begged them to pray with Him; then He poured His heart out to His Father. When He prayed, He asked God to release Him from such a painful path, but when His Father didn’t, Jesus surrendered to suffering. He laid down His will and chose intense pain, dying a criminal’s death; but in surrendering He also received glory. On the other side of the pain God highly exalted Him, giving Jesus the name that is above every other name (Philippians 2:8–9). He was not only restored to His former glory, He was elevated.

As we follow Christ’s example, comforted and supported by a Friend who is well acquainted with sorrow, we too are restored, strengthened, and invited to share in glory. Scripture says, “In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (1 Peter 5:10, NLT).

My friend, if you suffer today, remember your Best Friend is well acquainted with your pain. It’s okay to wrestle with Him and to ask for a way out, but if He calls upon you to continue the path of pain for a while, know that He will use the suffering. You will share in the glory of Christ, and He Himself will restore you.

In times of sorrow and grief I look to You for comfort, Jesus. It helps to know You understand, firsthand, what it is like to grieve, to be accused, to face judgment, to be misunderstood. You know physical pain, relational pain, and spiritual pain. You understand rejection and hardship. Thank You for choosing the path of suffering so I am saved. In those last, hardest hours Your friends deserted You, but You never allow me to walk through suffering unaided by Your presence. Thank You that You never leave me. Thank You for empowering me to follow the Father even on painful paths. Thank You for promising to restore me and inviting me to share Your glory.PMApprov2-01

(Devotion taken from Soul Scents: RootedSoul Scents: Rooted is specially priced this week only. The Kindle version is 99 cents through Tuesday, then increases by $1 every day until it reaches its regular price of $4.99. If you prefer the paperback version, email me for special instructions on how to get a discount.)

BeNew 50% Off

HomePage_BENewProducts_245x219From November of 2012 through July of 2013 the BENew Weight loss system supported my journey into health, helping me lose 55 pounds. Most of that weight has disappeared for good! (If you’ve followed this blog recently you also know that my goal now is to learn how to maintain this healthier lifestyle and body.)

Before venturing into weight loss in 2012 I chose to rebuild nutritionally using Body Balance, a nutritional powerhouse delivering a broad range of minerals and phytonutrients ideal for supporting each of the body’s core systems.

Because Body Balance and BENew transformed my body and my life, I became a distributor. Over the last few years I walked with several friends as they began their own weight loss journeys. My bodybalanceobservation has been than in most cases greater success was obtained when clients used both the Body Balance and the BENew system. In fact, in recent months when potential clients have contacted me about purchasing the weight loss program I’ve encouraged them to begin with Body Balance, taking it at least a month before beginning their weight loss journey. Often they report that they have more energy and reduced cravings. Some have even lost a little weight on Body Balance alone. I truly believe when our body gets the nutrition it craves the rest of the weight loss battle is easier.

Of course I believe that combing Body Balance and the complete BENew system (metabolism booster, cleanse, and meal replacement shakes) is the most effective method for weight loss. But for many of my friends this was cost prohibitive.

For clients who couldn’t afford Body Balance and the complete BENew system, I began suggesting they purchase Body Balance and the weight loss engine, the metabolism booster. I began to believe this was more effective than purchasing the entire weight loss package while neglecting the full nutritional support of Body Balance. My observation was that introducing Body Balance into my client’s systems offered more long-term health and weight loss success than the BENew system alone. Body Balance not only helped with their weight loss goals, it often brought positive change in the areas of mood, energy, allergies, and/or other health issues, such as cholesterol or blood pressure reduction.

Frankly, I’d rather see a client focus on getting healthy by using Body Balance, adding exercise, and eating cleaner than to see them jump into weight loss without thinking about HEALTH.

I share all of this now because the company is offering a fantastic deal for the months of March, April, and May. Customers who are purchasing other products through autoship get 50% off the metabolism booster! (Either the capsules or the powder.)

I’m excited about this approach because it means my friends can purchase a month’s supply of Body Balance and get a month’s supply of the BENew metabolism booster for 50% off. This way they can first take care of their body’s nutritional needs, then they can support their weight loss with BENew’s proven metabolism booster.

Serving as a distributor for these products is not my primary focus. My desire remains the same as it has since 3rd grade: to be established as a author. But I chose to spend time with this blog talking about these produce because I care about your health, and I am excited about this opportunity for my friends to venture into stronger, leaner bodies at a more affordable price.

If you would like more information, email me. This special is not on the company website, but I can help you take advantage of it.

Until next time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

PS We’re having glorious weather here in Colorado! I got a little lazy over the winter, but the blue skies have nudged me outside, and I’ve been blessed to take a long walk in the sunshine almost every day this week. How are you doing with adding activity to your lifestyle?

Weigh in Wednesday ~ When You Don’t

111Here I sit. Polishing off a round of chips smothered in melted cheese. I ate light and healthy at lunch because I really do need to get serious about all that. I had planned this great blog sharing a quote I heard recently from a motivational speaker. But, honestly, there are times you just don’t care.

And right now is one of them.

I know the right answers. Heck, I’ve LIVED the right answers.

Eating emotionally after a day of no exercise isn’t even close.

(And I know that I’ve only hurt myself by turning to calories when I have a much better option.)

So here’s my plan.

I’m giving myself grace.

I know the stresses that have helped me to this place.

I know the One who will lead me from here.

I know tomorrow is another day.

 

 

 

 

 

Too Good Not to Share

When I read this I knew I had to share it. The title? Crazy Hot Sex. But as you can tell by the picture below, it’s about the real thing. About the man who loves through the babies throwing up and the hormone surges and the all night crying. Just click the link below.

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Hope you enjoy! Be blessed, and have a great weekend.

Until next time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

Weighing in About Food and Money

classicsLast night Jerry and I grabbed a Chik-fi-A sandwich as we rushed to hear our daughter sing. We’ve eaten out more than I’m used to.  A quick trip through a drive-through when life has us panting with its busyness, a few lingering experiences in a nicer restaurant.

There was a summer when I was still fighting to shed the pounds when life was very different. The work ran dry. I didn’t share much about it here, but I struggled greatly. I’d found this new, healthy lifestyle that included a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables but was unable to buy them. We spent most of that summer eating out of our freezer or pantry and from the food given to us by a couple of friends who have food bank ministries. It was a paradox. Intense gratitude for the provision mixed with anger about our situation. How was I supposed to keep losing weight with the high calorie foods coming our way and without the ability to buy fresh food to balance it?

Finances profoundly affect health and weight loss/maintenance. My journey into crushing financial struggle gives me more compassion for those in America who fight poverty. While there are those in our country who go hungry, there are also resources for food. There’s a point above having nothing where you exist on whatever comes your way. The cost effective food tends to be high in calories–like pasta and rice–and the options from food banks are often the same.

20140611_205508On the flip side, the ability to eat out has challenged me as well. It feels like a treat, and I rarely make low-calorie choices. It’s given me more compassion for those of you who struggle with weight loss from this perspective–whether your busy life means you order out/eat out a lot, or your ability for finer dining subjects you to all of those amazing, high calorie sauces, drinks, and desserts.

Money–on both ends of the spectrum–affects our eating habits. My goal is to be intentional about noticing the unique challenges my financial situation has on my health/maintenance goals and to respond to those challenges!

How about you? Do finances affect your health/weight loss journey? Is there something specific in the abundance or lack thereof that is undermining your goals?

Until Next Time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

PS After that summer of crying out to the Lord my husband ended up with a new job at Door to Door Organics. Not only do we now get fresh ORGANIC fruits and vegetables at a reduced price, but Jerry is sometimes given extras. Today my home overflows with fresh produce. Even on the weeks when money is tight, my fresh foods come like clock work. Isn’t that just like our God?