A widow’s heart, before I am one.

 Light burst forth

You may be wondering why I would choose such a title as this. Why would she want a widow’s heart? What is wrong with her? Well, my friends, I will tell you 🙂

What I am feeling at the moment, is that I take my husband for granted.

Yesterday I was listening to part 1 of a 2 part podcast by Focus on the Family, and Gary Thomas really hit home. Gary was referring to a Barbara Walter’s special that aired one year after 9/11. Barbara was interviewing a group of widows and one things said, was that they wished women would stop complaining about their husbands, this really hit home. These women were in a place where they would give anything to walk into a bathroom and have to put the toilette seat down, they would give anything to have to pick up their husband’s dirty clothes from in the middle of the floor, they would give anything at all to have those moments back, to have their husband’s back, to have their loves with them. Wow.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I definitely complain about too many things in my life that are inconsequential. I lose sight of the big picture, I get too comfortable with the wonderful aspect of my relationships. I get annoyed when I walk in the bathroom to find clothes strewn all over after shower time. Instead, I should smile and be thankful that I have a family to make said mess. I want to have a heart that rejoices at the thought that they are mine and at the love we share.

I long for a widow’s heart. A heart that recalls the ways he serves me every day. The coffee he lovingly brings upstairs to me each morning while I am getting myself and the kids ready for the day. The loving looks I catch when he thinks I don’t see him watching me with the kids. The time he gives in maintaining our vehicles, the grocery shopping, the walks with the kids, the morning kiss, the hugs, the smiles, the strong arms to wrap around me when I need to know everything is going to be ok. I long for a hear that rejoices at the wonderful things my husband does for myself, for our children, and for our community.

I don’t want to take this life given to me, for granted. I don’t want to take my husband for granted. I no longer want to feel those pangs of annoyance when I have to clean up after my family.

Today I choose to be thankful that I have a sink full of dishes, they signify the meals shared. Today I choose to smile while picking up the toys thrown all around the house, they signify the laughter and play that has taken place in our home. Today I choose to be joyous in the dirty floors that need to be swept, they signify the feet that come in and out of our home. Those feet belong to my hardworking husband, my playful children, our friends, and our family.

Today I choose to look at my husband with eyes of admiration and to let the pettiness go. Today I beg the Holy Spirit to rekindle this fire of joy and fulfillment in my relationships. I pray that He will change this hardened heart of mine, that He heals the places that are broken, that He sheds light into the darkness that chokes my joy.

I pray these things for myself and I pray these things for each of you.

I pray that we wake each morning refreshed and rejoicing. That we all look at our lives from a different perspective, that we shift out of complacency and into a place of humility and appreciation. I pray that we find these things now, this very moment, and that we do not wait until we have lost what is most precious to us. In Jesus’ name I pray these things and expect great things.

This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24

Beauty

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

All I want to say to you today is that God thinks you’re beautiful,  even if you don’t.

He knows EXACTLY where you’ve been, where you are  and where you are heading.

Trust in Him, allow Him to love you, and follow His will for your life.

In this you will find true happiness.

Choice

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We all have choices,  so choose wisely.

Thanksgiving.

This very moment,  the things I am most thankful for are:

My Lord and Savior,  Jesus Christ. I wish I had the words capable of explaining all the beautiful things He has brought into this broken life.

My husband,  he deals with my imperfections and baggage. He loves me through it all.

My children, they are beautiful and kind. I am constantly blown away by their tender hearts and love.

Positive experiences in the past 24 hours? My husband looking past my wounded heart and outpouring of emotions and loving me in it, no matter how hard I make it.

These are the things that sick out the most today.

I choose Jesus,  I choose to have a heart of praise and thanksgiving, even when I would rather curl up and hide.

A Broken World

Rock wall (2)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9

As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one – Romans 3:10

We do not live in a world that is mostly good. We live in a broken world that is full of sin and heart-break.

I think we spend so much time thinking that darkness is less common and are surprised when we see it. I think we forget that we were never designed to deal with loss and grief and therefore need help coping. We were made in God’s image and were designed to dwell in His presence for all eternity. When sin came into the world, we were ripped away from where were meant to be.

Genesis 3:14-19
14Then the lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this, you are cursed
more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
groveling in the dust as long as you live.
15And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike#

  Or bruise; also in 3:15b.

your head,

and you will strike his heel.”
16Then he said to the woman,
“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
and in pain you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband,
but he will rule over you.#

 Or And though you will have desire for your husband, / he will rule over you.

17And to the man he said,
“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree
whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,
the ground is cursed because of you.
All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
18It will grow thorns and thistles for you,
though you will eat of its grains.
19By the sweat of your brow
will you have food to eat
until you return to the ground
from which you were made.
For you were made from dust,
and to dust you will return.”
Paradise was taken and we now live in a cursed world. Sometimes I forget that we live in place where Satan rules. I forget that so many people do not belong to Christ and so they are subject to the darkness that seeks to crush them.
John 12:30-32
 30 Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. 32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”
I know how hard of a struggle it is for me when I am feeling pressure and am acting out in my flesh. I can remember how much harder it was before I gave my life to Jesus and decided to follow Him. I can find such comfort in knowing that my life is in God’s hands and that He has a plan for me. This does not protect me from the spiritual war that surrounds me and I am reminded of that today.
Ephesians 6:12
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
As I read this verse I get a vision in my mind of the front lines of a massive war. The enemy crosses secretly onto our side and caused turmoil in the midst of  those that should be uniting. The enemy looks at how we, as humanity, turn against each other and tear each other down for them. Oh what joy that must bring to those that want to steal, kill and destroy us all.
Proverbs 3:13-18
13Joyful is the person who finds wisdom,
the one who gains understanding.
14For wisdom is more profitable than silver,
and her wages are better than gold.
15Wisdom is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16She offers you long life in her right hand,
and riches and honor in her left.
17She will guide you down delightful paths;
all her ways are satisfying.
18Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
I would encourage you all to take a step back, take a deep breath and see the battle and this world for what they are. Don’t get caught up in fighting with one another. Fight the real fight and unite! Love on each other, carry each other, remember that the Lord will carry through this battle if you let Him lead the way.
Proverbs 3:27-35
27Do not withhold good from those who deserve it
when it’s in your power to help them.
28If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say,
“Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”
29Don’t plot harm against your neighbor,
for those who live nearby trust you.
30Don’t pick a fight without reason,
when no one has done you harm.
31Don’t envy violent people
or copy their ways.
32Such wicked people are detestable to the lord,
but he offers his friendship to the godly.
33The lord curses the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the upright.
34The lord mocks the mockers
but is gracious to the humble.#

 Greek version reads The Lord opposes the proud / but gives grace to the humble. Compare Jas 4:6; 1 Pet 5:5.
35The wise inherit honor,
but fools are put to shame!
Do not let the enemy continue to blind you to the needs of others. Do not allow the enemy to lead you to believe that it is your place to pass judgment. Put your pride and assumptions to the side and reach out a helping hand to ALL you come across in this life. We are follow God’s Word and to follow in His foot steps. You are not here by accident, you are not leading a meaningless life, there is purpose to who you are and where you are at this very moment.
Pause. Look. Love. Think before you act, think before you pass judgment and make assumptions about others. Pray often and pray for discernment so that you can serve others in a way that would be pleasing to God.
In Jesus’ name I pray these things.

Lifestyle change going strong!

I have had so many people ask me what I am doing to loose weight. Still the same thing, eating real food only!

Have I cheated in these 3 months? Yup! I do not make a day out of my “cheats”, but I will eat some rice here and there 🙂

Just Eat Real Food. I have hear this over and over again and now find myself saying it over and over again. Drop the carbs, toss the processed foods, loose the sugar, and eat real food. Your body will thank you, mine is!

I feel great. I sleep better, have more energy, and have a much healthier relationship with food now. I am satisfied after eating. I eat when I am hungry and eat until I am full. It’s is truly that simple. I know that I am overweight and that my body is not running efficiently, so I am choosing to not eat fruit or starchy veggies like sweet potatoes and legumes. Not often anyway….once a month at best now that I am in the swing of things here.

I gave this change a good 5 weeks before I allowed myself to eat a little rice, I highly recommend that you get real strict right off the bat for at least 4-6 weeks. (I am not an expert by any means) Give yourself time to adjust to the changes, let your body adjust. I also increased my Himalayan sea sat consumption to aid my body in hydration. When you are not consuming carbs, your body needs the added salt….as always, consult your own doctor when making drastic changes to your diet, especially if you have any health conditions going on. Broth is a good supplement also for increasing sodium 🙂

Be kind to your body the first couple weeks, drink LOTS of water, eat when you’re hungry….get a good night’s sleep. I had a supply of meats and cheese in the fridge that I could just grab when feeling hungry. Pickles were great for my crunchy/salty needs.

Be sure to eat full fat everything! No more low fat items. That means, high fat meats, cheeses, dressings, creams, butter, etc. A list of some items a friend gave me:

1. Avocados

2. Butter

3. Whole Eggs

4. Coconut Oil

5. Bacon

6. Sour Cream

7. 70% Ground Beef

8. Full fat cheddar or hard cheese

9. Coconut

10. Dark Chocolate 80% Cacao

11. Cream Cheese

12. Macadamia Nuts

13. Pecans

14. Foie Gras

15. Heavy cream in your coffee

Here are Boars Head meats/cheeses that are good:

 

1. Bologna

2. Strassburger Liver

3. Olive Loaf

4. Cooked Salami

5. Vermont Cheddar

6. Havarti

7. Monterey Jack

8. Muenster

9. Hard Salami

10. Mortadella

11. Pepperoni

Read the ingredients before buying lunchmeats. I was reading the ingredients through the glass and was shocked to see all the sugar and chemicals added to the meats. So, if you’re a lunchmeat kinds of person, READ THE LABELS. Seriously.

 

Here is a calculation that will tell you if the food is high in fat:

Fat Gram Content x 9. Divide by total calories in the serving of food. Multiply by 100 – This gives you the percent fat

 

Easy meals/snacks from the same friend listed above:

Scrambled eggs with cheese

Deviled Eggs

Boursin cheese stuffed mushrooms, broiled

Guacamole with pork rinds

Pepperoni Chips (microwave for 60-90 seconds) dipped in whipped cream cheese

Jalapeno Poppers (stuff with cheese, wrap in bacon, and broil)

Celery stuffed with cream cheese/blue cheese mixture

Creamed spinach (fresh spinach with lots of butter, garlic, and cream cheese or boursin cheese

Watch this video! This helped me understand how my body processes carbs and fats.

Here are some of the sites I read when I was preparing to begin this journey.

Michael R. Eades, M.D.

The Salt Myth

Low Carb High Fat for Beginners

Low Carb Meal Plan

These were great when starting out. Check them out! I will continue to post as I walk this road. I have lost 25lbs and have not counted a single calorie. I have simply started fueling my body properly.

This month I will start working out a bit, I will do one of those easy “get started exercising” deals. You know, the ones that say 5 crunches, 5 jumping jacks, 5 crunches today….10 tomorrow, etc.

I am also planning to do an early morning virtual Prayerful Fitness & Workout this week. Wish me luck!