On a Health Note…Antioxidants

Do you know why antioxidants are so important to our diets?

Antioxidants are compounds that help protect our cells from oxidized toxins and aid in their removal. They help our cells continue to function optimally, protecting them from premature aging and “cellular rusting” so to speak. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants may be good for your heart health and helping to lower your risk of infections.

We just need foods rich in antioxidants! However, it doesn’t happen easily in today’s diet!

Antioxidants are a substance that inhibits oxidation, especially one used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products.

Friends, you really need to supplement to attain the levels needed to accomplish the desired effects in today’s depleted world. What does that translate to? Using the proper supplementation will allow you to stay boosted, especially with your immune system. That’s what battles the bad stuff we come in contact with in our bodies! Believe me, there’s a war going on!

From PNN 7/8/16

“There are many exogenous substances out there that have antioxidant properties, but some of the most effective are thought to be vitamins A, C and E as well as beta-carotene and lycopene.

Vitamin C is the most abundant water-soluble antioxidant in the body while vitamin E is the most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant in the body. Together these substances (along with many others) help to defend against cellular damage caused by oxidation which can lead to serious and long-term health problems.

Then there are berries! Berries are not only delicious fruits, but many of them have extremely high levels of antioxidant compounds present. The levels of antioxidants present in food is measured by what is called the oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC for short) and will test the capacity to absorb and eliminate free radicals. Many types of berries have a high ORAC score, like goji berries with 25,000 ORAC, wild blueberries with 14,000 ORAC, elderberries with 14,000 ORAC, cranberries with 9,500 ORAC and blackberries with 5,300 ORAC. After learning this information, you’ve never had a better reason to get those berries into your morning smoothie!” ~ activebeat.com

Antioxidant ingredients to help you with your health journey include the following:

  • Goji Berry Extract…
www.starkbros.com
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Ashwagandha
www.ashwagandhas.com
  • Wild Blueberry Powder
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Moringa Oleifera Powder
  • Turmeric Extract
  • Noni Juice Powder

Hey, Zeal Wellness is the real deal to help your body ward off those free radicals that would just love to set up housekeeping in your body and cause you great harm. The basis of our Wellness product is Rice Bran and Stabilized Rice Bran has over 120 antioxidants!

If you would like to know more about Zeal Wellness, I would love to tell you more!

I am here to tell you that Zeal Wellness contains those very supplements necessary to give you the antioxidants you need.

Even When it Hurts…

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When you read, hear or see Scriptures that say like this one (on my wall) from Philippians 4:4, to rejoice in the Lord always–not just sometimes or not just when you feel swell but, always–how do you feel?  That is just never easy and one of those things that command that we lay aside our feelings and respond accordingly!  Tough, huh?

Rejoice when I feel yucky, rejoice when someone has hurt me, rejoice when my guy and I just had words with one another, rejoice when I hear of how awful my dear friend is doing with her chemo, Lord, I don’t want to do this at all!

This is also one of those phrases you don’t want to blab to someone else who is not doing well.  So, it becomes a personal thing between you and God!  If we stay connected to the vine and nurture our faith by staying ever so close to our Father, I have come to believe that it will carry us through the difficult times, you will be sustained! In other words, there is a healing that comes from being close to the Father. This is what must cause us to praise Him even in the tough stuff! Even when it is difficult I will trust in Him.

A favorite worship leader of mine reminds me with her song that He is the One who can steady my heart in the midst of all the stuff that life can bring through my days and nights.  Is it easy?  No way, and as a matter of fact, it can be very painful.

You are here...You're real...and I know I can trust You... Click To Tweet

This is the stuff that gets me through the tough journey of life.  I don’t like it but I know that it is all a part of my Lord’s wonderful plan.  How many of you have the following verse as your life verse?

I believe in a sovereign God who really does direct my pathway along this journey called life.  I sure don’t understand when the tough things come my way or when others have to suffer so, but as I learned long ago from Bible teacher, Kay Arthur, everything that happens in our life is filtered through God's loving hand. ~ Kay Arthur. Click To Tweet If I will trust in that knowledge and even embrace the not so pleasant stuff of life, it will be used to grow me up and draw me close and make me more like Christ!

Here is the Message paraphrase version of Jeremiah…

10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Dear friend, where are you on your journey of life?  Are you still shaking your fist at God wondering WHY God?  It’s okay, He definitely understands your pain like no one else can!  However, if you listen to His still small voice, you will hear Him whisper to your heart, “I love you, will you trust me?”

Father, it is really hard in the midst of stuff to lean back and say, “I trust You!”  I want to, but it sure hurts and I just want to know what tomorrow is going to bring.  Will I wake up and see a brighter day or will the weight of the dreary sky be the picture of my uncertain future once again?  Lord, fill me with Your hope, help me to see the light in the midst of my dark situation.  May my tomorrow bring hope, help and healing as I willingly see things through the truth of who You are and not from my finite perspective.  Right now I confess with my mouth that I trust You with my life and all my concerns, in Jesus’ name!  

When the Stess Becomes Evident

Our living situation, or should I say our comfortable empty nest has changed. I have always thought of myself as fairly adaptable and willing to flex and change to accommodate those things life throws into our comfortable mix. However, I recently learned how I too can be in denial.

Almost four years ago on July 4th, after discussing at length, the options for our mom, I told my sister–after discussing with my husband–that living up north with us might be a workable option. I said yes and my sister said okay and brought her up for what mom thought was her annual three-month stay in Minnesota. She always enjoyed pleasant summer temperatures and her lovely trailer tucked beneath the trees beside our home. Independent living at its best. Mom always said it was the best of both worlds. Orlando for nine months of the year and International Falls in the summer months. Life is good!

It didn’t quite turn out the way our little momma thought it would when asking my sister to make her return flight to Orlando. My sister had to be the bad girl and tell her that she wouldn’t be coming back. Bam…the first blow. We did work it all out however and our poor, little lady had to face her first winter with–us as one of the coldest in many years blew through the winter months. Apart from some physical issues she really did do fairly well. Along with her friends, we made sure that she was set with clothing to keep her warm. My little momma is only 4’10” tall, weighing in at 80 pounds. Yeah, how does that work without fat on her body to keep her warm. However, she did make it!

Blow two came in the summer when she was looking forward to moving into the trailer for three months or so. “Mom, you aren’t able to live in the trailer anymore. It isn’t suitable and you can no longer see well enough to be alone. But maybe we can find you a place in town where you might get a meal with your living plan and I can even bring you meals.

That plan softened the punch a bit. However, there wasn’t an apartment available at that time but she could be put on a waiting list to call when one became open. Summer came and went and nothing opened up until later in the fall of 1014. By then we just couldn’t see her living by herself at all. Yup, the third blow.

As we rolled into 2015 we realized we were at a crossroads with our mom. Her independence dwindling as she basically resided in our daughter’s old bedroom and our living room upstairs. “Well mom, this is home!” Our hopes were that she would be able to resign herself to being comfortable with us. But a few issues got in the way of that, including health issues and trying to make her comfortable.

I am so not a drug person. I don’t like to take them and for me, they are a ‘last resort’. With our mom, she has to use a few which I understand is pretty good for an 86-year-old today. She started itching like crazy when she was with us and we did the derm and allergist thing and you name every cream, pill, and salve in the book, all to no real avail! What were we going to do about this?

Almost every night I have helped load her skin up with of cream all over her little bony body so she can sleep through the night. She would sometimes wake up itching like crazy and be very angry. I have often wondered how much of this was brought on by her disappointments? I guess I will never fully know the dynamics. From a tiny, elderly lady who awakens to puff a half a cigarette, eat a few bites of some sugary pastry (oh how she loves her sweets!), and seldom drinks any water, I’m amazed at how well she is doing. So needless-to-say, her skin issues may never get better at this point, it is so hard to retrain a person in their 80’s!

I have shared prior to this post of how I have had to let go of some of my dreams because this momma is my top priority right now. However, there are times when you have a V8 moment and realize you have been harboring resentment and to top it off, not dealing with it! Ouch, that is a reality that I really didn’t think I would ever have to deal with.

Last early spring I started losing my hair. Now I am on a fabulous nutrition product so that isn’t the problem. I studied and looked and pondered and prayed as to what in the world was going on. Thyroid? Diet? Vitamin deficiency? Or dread, maybe…stress? Well after doing all the ‘right’ things I could think of, this was the only thing I could conclude as my issue…stress...oh how it doesn't do the body so good! It can literally destroy us when we aren't willing to deal with it. Click To Tweet

So I again when to my mantra of Philippians 4:6-7 and asked the Lord to show me what in the world was going on. On one of my walking routes one day it all came pouring out of me. I had to admit some things to the Lord that I really didn’t want to out of the fact that I was sort of ashamed I had harbored these feelings. After all, didn’t He tell me I was supposed to write that book and speak all over the place? But as I had to give up my space, my time and all those things that gradually took me away from my dreams, I guess I got angry. Ever heard it said that anger turned inward is depression? Makes sense doesn’t it. We harbor bitterness that grows and makes us a very angry, unhappy, unhealthy person.

Argh, I walked and cried like an idiot that day on my walk. I’m sure people driving by were wondering what my problem was. However, getting it all out on the table so to speak was so the right thing to do! I was then in for a huge blessing.

Now, you might think that when you get a dozen roses that’s pretty special right? You bet it is. But better than roses–even though I couldn’t bring them home with me–there along the road in the ditch (where I walk all the time) low and behold…a perfect dozen Pink Showy Lady Slippers (our state flower, btw.) It was just like the Lord blessed me for my honest walk with him!

I really can’t tell you just how much that meant to me. They were absolutely gorgeous! It was as if He confirmed my forgiveness by giving me this incredible gift!

Oh, friend, God is so kind and gentle, and I love this from Psalm 145:8…

“The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”

You see, I had to let go and let God fill me with His peace!

You know what? I did quit losing my hair within a few days! That is just proof that stress destroys. I believe we aren’t meant to carry bitterness and anger. And when we choose to ignore it, we will suffer because it has taken up residence in our hearts!

Friend, sometimes you just have to let it go and when you do you will be flooded with the ‘peace that passes all understanding’! I’ll take a dose of that any day…how about you?

 

Oh How I Loved My Coffee

If you only knew how much I loved coffee! I mean I used to get monthly auto-ship from an on line coffee vendor. And anytime I was near a favorite high-end coffee shop I would always have to bring home a bag or two of Fireside Blend…delish (my fave for many years!)

I have given my friend permission to tell of my crazy coffee snob antics. She tells of the times when we were out of town together and I always brought my own coffee, emptied out the hotel packets and replaced with my own ground coffee to provide delicious dark roast coffee every morning. Yup, anyone who knows me knows I love coffee!

So why am I saying that I loved my coffee? Well I truly am amazed that I no longer drink and enjoy it. Whaaaaa? Yup! How does a bonafide coffee snob stop drinking coffee and why?

Well…a few years ago I began toying with a nutrition product called Zeal. It is a wonderful, easy to drink, whole food product that fills you with all the wonderful vitamins and nutrients we lack and need especially today. I dabbled and took it on and off for about 9-months. When fall arrived I decided that I would try this product the way it was supposed to be taken, daily, for three months to see if the stuff really did work and do what it was supposed to do…fill me with goodness, improve my immune system, provide anti-inflammatory results and help with my aging process.

Long story short, for one thing I didn’t get sick that year. Well that was good news! So I continued over the next year, I still didn’t get sick! Woo hoo, that was incredible. I loved the energy I got from taking it and of course the fact that I wasn’t sick any more. But here’s the interesting thing…Zeal has an amazing element in it’s formula that falls under its Enrich Blend properties, called guarana.

Guarana seed powder is used to help increase energy, regulate a healthy metabolism, and suppress the appetite in a natural and healthy way. Click To Tweet

Here’s how it affected me:

  • my morning coffee began to decrease to one or two cups
  • my afternoon coffee, was then replaced with a second serving of Zeal

My afternoon slump gave way to added nutrition instead of a cup of coffee like so many of us do mid-afternoon.

Guarana, will give you the energy you need which is released slowly through your system over several hours. Sufficient to carry you through (whether to start your day or your mid-afternoon slump.)

Needless to say, I have lost my taste for coffee. Seriously, I didn’t plan this! Smells great, yes, but I just don’t care for it anymore. Not only that but I am benefiting from the properties of the guarana seed powder that help curb my appetite and is beneficial for my metabolism.

“…through clinical studies, it is shown that Guarana can improve memory and alertness. In many cases, it can also improve a person’s mood…The biggest advantage–and one that most people aren’t aware of–is that it can help you lose weight.” ~HerbWisdom.com

I would love to help you give Zeal a try. Even just 30-90 days might make a difference in how you feel and it might even be great!

There was a time when I ‘loved’ my coffee, but now I love what is helping to make me healthy!

I Want Child-Like Faith…

It was such a dreary morning as I got into my car and began my journey. The windshield was getting spattered with intermittent light rain so that I had to keep my wipers going, but not consistently. Traveling on days like this are not my favorite especially with the fog making for limited visibility! Lord knows what could jump out in front of me since it would be an hour or so before daybreak!

Where was I going? It all seems so fresh and new but I have to admit that I am really feeling hesitant about the next part of this journey. It is those stinkin’ uncertainties. After all, I like to know what I’m getting myself into. Guess I’m sort of a black and white kind of person these days. And it is really kind of scary to imagine the what ifs that I could run into. What if this venture doesn’t pan out? What if I am making a ‘big’ mistake in making this move? What will he say if I fail at my attempt to make things better? Will he understand or be angry with me?

Oh, I dislike those thoughts that are rolling around in my head. Okay, I just remember that when I get like this I need to go back to some of my favorites…

He will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Him, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (NKJ)

There it is, perfect peace…why? It’s those last four words, “he trusts in You.” That takes Faith! Oh man, this faith thing certainly is a challenge!

And then there are these two verses I have claimed as my ‘mantra’ for a long time now…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7 (ESV)

Again, peace of God that will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus! Oh yes, I have had loads of opportunity to put those verses to the test and you know, God has never failed me on His word! Stop and ponder this...how could He renege on His own word? It just doesn't happen or He isn't the God he says he is! Click To Tweet

So, why does this new adventure seem so scary? I need to take some time and remember the many times that God has seen me through. Because He has upheld me in the most difficult of circumstances!

If I can’t trust God by now then seriously, what’s the point of continuing? I have made up my mind that I want to finish my journey here on this globe strong. I want to be the woman that God has designed me to be. I want all He has for me as I finish and Lord, let me finish strong! My word this year is “Faith”, but I added the adjective Big to my word because that was the kind of faith I want to learn this year. Faith that moves mountains, faith that believes in big changes, faith that knows the prodigals will return home and faith that believes that the lost will be saved!

So, here goes! I am preparing for the next leg of the journey, and it just might include (shhh…) retirement. But I don’t want it to look like what I see some slip into. That’s why it will be one baby step after another. And you know, I am actually excited to begin the trek.

How does it go? How do you prepare? How do you plan? Well, I am adding this verse to my repertoire…

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

I know it well, I have used it times before and I now have three Hebrews 11:1 graphics for my blog posts!!! But with this faith thing, this BIG faith thing, something tells me I am going to need to remind myself over and over as I begin to live it out purposefully!

You may not think that you have a faith issue, and if you don’t I want to know how you do it! But for those of us who have lost our ‘child-like’ faith somewhere along the road, let me challenge you to examine how you respond to those rough bumps we encounter. You may be like I am thinking I can’t do this thing unless I have all my ‘ducks in a row’!

So what are your faith inhibitors?

  • Fear?
  • Uncertainty?
  • Control issues?
  • Gotta have your ‘ducks in a row’?

These will certainly rob you of unadulterated FAITH, the big faith I’m talking about. The faith I want and honestly struggle to maintain!

So maybe you would like to at least join me from the standpoint of growing in your faith? If you do then you might not have such a ‘faith deficit’ when you get to that place where I am hoping to be someday!

Step one has to be memorizing those three verses if you haven’t already…let’s do it so it can do the work inside of us that only God can do when we implant His word in our heart! And then just like I did on my North Dakota trip, put His word to the test! I have wondered if God doesn't delight in showing us a glimpse of His character during our rough times? Click To Tweet

We will check back on the progress here…I promise. This is a journey that is not too soon to end

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February is most of all highlighted by Valentine’s Day, and designated to express and receive love! How delightful. Let me share this writing with you by Stephen Crotts…

Love ~

To be young, wealthy and in love–all in the third century. And to be a Christian. 

Such was young Valentine. He would consummate his great love by taking her as his bride. Soon he would be wed. But his world came crashing down around him when the Roman emperor declared all Christians illegal citizens and guilty of treason. All they had to do was to say, “Caesar is Lord!” Rather than deny Christ, young Valentine was arrested. 

In jail, awaiting his execution, he wrote love letters to his girlfriend…beautiful, passionate letters assuring her of his great love for her. But theirs would be a love not lived out. On February 14, 269, Valentine was put to death, martyred for Jesus Christ. 

Since then, Christians have celebrated his fidelity to Christ and romantic love on the 14th of February by sending our own love letters to special people. And we do so this year, let us resolve to live for Christ unashamedly.  ~ Stephen Crotts 

So my friend, how will you spend your Valentine’s day? Maybe a romantic dinner with card and flowers from or to your beloved? It seems odd that we need a day in the year to remind us to show and exhibit love. Click To Tweet A day that indicates we should express our faithfulness and love to our beloved!  Yet, how about most of all to our Christ. His words to us penned by the apostle Paul in Corinthians need to be seared upon our hearts:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” ~1 Corinthians 13 

No small wonder it is called the Love Chapter. The above words are the key to any and every relational issue known to man. For if we do as it says we should, we become humbly involved in laying aside our agenda and we pick up the care the concern for others and administer love, unselfish love. 

I know my tendencies and I know how hard it is to look beyond me and see others in the light of God’s love, forgive me Lord. As Your creation, it should be a natural to do likewise–as You do unto us–to those around us. Why do I always get in the way? 

Father, when I am struggling with my spouse, my friends and even the poky driver ahead of me who thinks I should live my life at his speed, help me to think LOVE. Forgive all the “buts…” that I throw out as excuses to justify my unloving attitude. Lord, if I could always have on my mind the love You showed Your unworthy child, I just might remember. And how do I really show Your love to that unlovable person(s) we all seem to have in our lives? Whatever it takes Lord, I need Your grace and mercy so that I would remain that humble servant who desires to walk in love and then purposes to do it! I am so weary of asking and then I watch myself turn around and reneging on my intention. Give me authenticity that will reveal who You are through me. I love you Abba and my desire is to live for You. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Help for the Body Month-end Special

I am here to help you take care of yourself and tending to the body is just part of the deal…did I say deal? Well I really meant to say that I am offering a special through the end of the month to encourage you to take the plunge and give yourself a prompt to help improve your health.

Do you take a handful of vitamins every day or oops, did you forget today?

Wouldn’t it be easy to just take a form of nutrition that is as easy as drinking a glass of water? Yup, you just have to add water and shake to actually enjoy this product!

ZEALPROTEIN

 

So let me encourage you to give the Zeal Wellness a 30-day chance to prove itself by giving you more focus and energy (and who doesn’t need that???) and you will also be boosting your immune system and in today’s stress-filled world, we all need that kind of help to have a fighting chance.

WILDBERRY

Until the end of the month I am running a special…
If you sign up for Customer Loyalty with either Weight Management or Preferred Customer with the canister and 12 bottles.I will send you $25 to cover your signup fee for the Preferred Customer order.

WMPROGRAMFor the Weight Management I will send you $40 to cover the sign up fee.

Remember we have that new flavor to try as well, Kiwi/Watermelon (in the original formula!) And now when you sign up for the canister with the 12 bottles you can get them mixed flavors!

When I see you have signed up I will send you a check for either $25 or $40! It’s that simple!

Don’t miss this opportunity to try the Zeal Challenge! Just visit my website to sign up or contact me for help!

I will be excited to hear the impact that it is having on you friend!

The Battle With Doing It My Way

Letting go is just never an easy thing to do! What I mean is that stinkin’ pride sure makes it hard to surrender the “it’s all about me” areas of my life!

We had just completed a stressful couple of weeks at work. Preparing for an audit is never what I would call fun. Then there are my the two days when the accountant visits, well…he’s a great guy but he is still our accountability guy. You know what I mean right? Stressful!

So the weekend was coming and it was going to be oh so nice to stay home, get some much-needed things done. You know how it is when you work all week, and the weekend before, because you had papers to find and reports to print out! So I had even planned to start some minimal purging to prepare for the spring cleaning thing. (I get this way after the new year!)

Well, I received a txt from a loved one inviting me to take him to watch his son wrestle in his first tournament. Now, of course, I wanted to see this young man who I seldom see, but I also wanted to have my long anticipated weekend. Argh, now what am I going to do?

So there it goes…those nudgings of the Holy Spirit, saying to my heart, “you need to go.” Well of course I do, I know that but…oh how selfish I saw myself being!

Well, of course, I knew what I needed to do, I knew I wanted to see this guy who I hadn’t seen for almost a year and a half. Yup, we were going.

The long and short of it is that when God wins the wrestling match, you can bet that blessings will follow. Click To Tweet We had a fun day watching all these little kids modeling their coaches and parents. And I was so surprised to see the little girls that were also wrestling with the boys. Wow, times have changed. Finally, after four hours, our guy was up. He had been a bit nervous but by his third match, he was getting into the swing of it. His dad was heartily cheering him on. Nah, he didn’t win his matches but toughed it out like a young lad should, shook the hands and was more than ready to get out of there! It was off to get a sweet treat before we headed back home.

Thank you Lord for your prompting and prodding and thank you Lord that I saw how I needed to say yes. For whatever reason, we were meant to be there.

And my reward? That was spending time with a young lad I seldom get to see and that was very sweet. But I have to say that the blessing came from time with the Lord the next morning.

I brought a magazine home from work that comes from a ministry we carry on the radio. The cover intrigued me with a shepherd and some sheep on the cover and the words, “They hear my voice and they follow”. Ah yes, that goofy reality that we are His stupid sheep desperately in need of His shepherding.

Well, the first article was my gift from Him by Mike Lee, on ‘Giving Up Control’. Okay Lord, another reminder that I am that work in progress that still has so far to go. But as I began to read…and it wasn’t long into the article I read the words the Lord used to touch my heart deeply…

“You see, He didn’t have the one and only thing He really desires. He didn’t have my heart.

Click To Tweet

Oh goodness, did that one do a number on my spirit. I knew He was again pointing out that my pride was what was keeping me from giving over my heart to Him.

Would I have wrestled so much when the opportunity arose to see a grandson I hadn’t seen for so long if not for my selfish desires? Of course not. I would have jumped at the opportunity to go. I would never have second guessed that offer, shame on me! But I did go and I was blessed with the day. And with my time with the Father the next morning.

Then as I continued reading, Mike gave some thought-provoking questions. So I grabbed my journal and proceeded to let the Father have my heart as I answered and soul searched
for the answers to the following:
1. Is there anything God wants me to start doing?

2. Is there anything God wants me to stop doing?

3. Is there any reason not to do what God wants?

I was brought to Psalm 51:10-12 NASB

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.”

Man, that will bring you to your knees!

Mike then concluded with these application points:

1. Begin with what you already know from God’s Word. Not to learn something new, but to obey something you’ve already learned.

2. Say yes to the next obedience opportunity. You will encounter an opportunity to say yes to God, whatever that might be.

3. At the next T-intersection, go God’s way. You’ll know it when it comes–when you could go either your own way or God’s way.

It is at moments like these that a person realizes the forfeited opportunities lost to the pride of going my way instead of following after the Shepherd.

You know, as crazy as it sounds, this was a  lesson that almost felt good. Maybe I am tired of fighting and ‘doing it my way’! It does get old believe it or not!

I am anxious for the next set of instructions like when you play the scavenger hunt. You get to each clue and it propels you onward the next and finally to the prize!

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 ESV

Friend, can I tell you from experience that the battle of the will and self is just not worth it? Can I also say that it does get old as you fight to hold on to that prideful reasoning that gives the ‘right’ to win and do it your way. You know the Bible talks about our hardened hearts opposed to our hearts of flesh, gentle and pliable and willing to surrender. Which will you choose?

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Oh Momma…When you REALLY Blow It!

So it was an afternoon at the Salon, pick up pizza because mom and I would be late getting home and life would be good right? Oh so not ‘right’.

At home was a stewing guy who collided with a girl who hates conflict. I won’t divulge the situation in detail but what I do want to share is that I responded in a most extremely unChrist-like manner. I blew, completely and totally blew it!

Seems like the enemy of my soul reared his ugly head in my heart and I reacted in a crazy fashion of yelling at the top of my lungs in response to what I thought was inappropriate charges. Okay, we all have fought and disagreed at some point in our marriage, but it seems more likely during the early years. Well, we will be in it 30 years in October and frankly, I shocked myself (which will give you an inclination of just how out of control I was!)

I have written before about blocked goals and know firsthand the frustrations that come from having your best laid plans interupted! And I have also written extensively on the topic of unforgiveness because it has been a key to my ‘growth’ and spiritual maturity. Is it is possible that maybe you can even identify with an unfortunate situation like mine.

Well, we didn’t speak the rest of the night. However on my three mile walk I allowed the Lord to speak to me about what had just happened. I am so glad I live in the rural part of our community because a sobbing woman walking swiftly might give cause for concern.

Line Break

You see, I am a leader, a woman who loves to mentor and lead other women in the Christ-like manner we should all be walking in when we are His girls. I was so ashamed of myself for the way I behaved. I was ready to put in my resignation at my Christian ministry job, cancel all speaking engagements, keep walking and never come back (I have a natural inclination to run!) and surely never face the one I tangled with.

However…our loving Father, who is so gracious and kind began to speak to my heart and hear the story that I spilled out, and yes, even though I knew He was there in the midst! However, He so gently reminded me that I am not responsible for the “but he did…” in this showdown. Nope, I had to face my pathetic response, face my wrongs and ask the Lord to search my heart and show me the wickedness of my own heart. Grief, what was in this heart of mine that would make me lash out in response the way I did?

Mist rising Psalm 139.23-24

Oh friend, this was such a humbling experience. I hadn’t been in this place for a long time and I was shocked at both of our responses. I continued to allow the Lord to show me my fears, insecurities, doubts and asked to see just where was this coming from. I didn’t raise my fist to heaven and try to blame God or my guy. That’s because I knew I had to look into my heart alone and trust that God would take care of the rest.

Line Break

When I returned home the guy was in bed, as he is an early to bed, early to rise type, which meant that it was just me and my mom (who was the unfortunate witness to the entire event) left to converse. I told her I was so ashamed of how I responded and asked her to forgive my outbursts. She wanted to justify my response and I just gently said I wouldn’t discuss it any further, and that I was terribly wrong. You see so often we want to rally our troops and justify our actions. Click To Tweet I knew I couldn’t do that! I had to respond correctly as the Lord had lead me to do.

The guy had worked so hard that day that I knew he needed his sleep or I would have awakened and we could have talked then. And I had prayed for boldness to end this thing before the “sun would go down on our anger.” However I slept and surprisingly well at that. He is most often awake before I am so when I got up his first response was “Good morning.” Hmmm…I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting that and I grunted somewhat and proceeded to get busy making my muffins in hopes that we were all done and finished never to revisit last evenings main event ever again.

I was thankful that when he came into the kitchen he did apologize for his outburst the night before. To that, I was able to then reply back that I was so ashamed of my behavior. I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to focus on him and what he did to get me riled up. No, this was about me. I had crossed the line and I wanted him to know that I knew how inappropriate it was and that I was so sorry and hoped that he would forgive me. I also told him that I loved him. And that is why this situation cut so deeply. People who love each other aren’t supposed to hurt each other like that, or at all (although it too frequently happens.)

You see, I have a small prayer group that meets weekly, and we care enough about one another’s spiritual well-being to be able to look each other in the eye and say,

It's not about them, it's about what God wants to work in you! Click To Tweet I admit, that sometimes bites! But I know it’s true.

So have you and your spouse every tangled?

How did you respond after the scenario played out?

From my perspective, here’s what not to do:

  • Don’t rally the troupes to gain support for your wound licking party. If this is about you then allow God to search your heart and be willing to take a look at the unpleasantness in your own heart. Both parties can turn ugly during a heated argument!
  • Ask the Father to show you if there is something in your heart that you have refused to give over to Him. Remember, diamonds are made from raw coal and pressure. Over time we hand Him every little bit so that He can make us more and more like Jesus.
  • Don’t focus on all that the other person did wrong in the situation. He did..she did this that and the other. This is where you admit that you are not responsible for changing the other one. That is not your job! There is no degree on wrong…it is just plain old wrong!
  • Ask the Father to show you how to humble your heart. Pride is a tool of the devil and he will certainly get you into trouble if you continue to entertain it.

Humility1

What can you do when reeling from a situation like this? Here is where you acknowledge your responsibility, humbling yourself and looking inward instead of over at the one who hurt you! Walking in humility isn’t easy but when you lay down your pride it can be done. And remember that these trials will only make you more and more like Christ, and you will be more inclined to offer grace to another when you see that they have blown it big time!

Make up your mind that the devil won’t win this battle!