New Soul

I want a new soul – a soul that is more kind, more compassionate, and more obedient to God.  The opinion that others have of me pales compared to the opinion that God has of me.  I want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant – enter into your rest.”

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?  – Matthew 16:26

What good is a new year, a new beginning, if we don’t have a change?  Consider that the change does not have to be physical.  Yes, that’s what we see in each other – but what about a change of soul?  I know you probably don’t think much about your soul…  that invisible part of you; but what if I told you it’s well worth taking some time this year to ask your Heavenly Father what He would like to see changed in you.  There’s always room for improvement – in all of us!

A new soul…  a heart and mind like that of Christ Jesus, our Lord!  What does that look like?  It looks like moving forward in truth and right living, at whatever pace you can.  It looks like doing your very best in the face of difficulties that could slow you down.

Since New Year’s Day I’ve read and heard so many people teaching us how to be successful either financially or in our appearance.  It’s amazing how often we see these articles or hear these advertisements – but we don’t see or hear anyone emphasizing the importance of maintaining a happy and healthy soul.  Is any amount of money worth losing your soul?  Can a person lose all the weight they need to lose and still have an unhealthy soul?  Of course!

There is not a job, profession, time not spent in prayer, time not spent reading your Bible – that is worth it!  There are a gazillion ways to be successful here on earth, but be careful – because some of those methods involve the exchange of your soul.  I know, you are rolling your eyes and calling me crazy – but I’m right.

I know this is really long…  but take some time and take a look at this:

Oh I really like this!  

There is one way to be successful as God’s child.  Read your Bible and pray.  Does that mean you can’t have the best of both worlds?  According to God’s Word, it’s nearly impossible for a RICH man to make it to Heaven.  It likens a camel going through the eye of a needle.  Have you ever seen a camel go through the eye of a needle?  Yeah…  neither have I.  

Once we dedicate our lives to the cause of Christ, our priorities change.  We are not interested in the same things as those who are only after earthly successes.  We want different outcomes in life.  That’s why Christians are sometimes said to live IN the world without being a part OF the world.

The soul may be the most quiet part of you, but it’s not good to ignore what your soul needs.  Your soul longs for Christ and His love, peace and merciful salvation.  Let His amazing grace be your goal in this new year!

I invite you to take a look at this sermon on Philippians 2 from Darick Jones.  I worked with his mom, Pam, for several years.  Darick makes some good points here and I know I plan to glean and grow – hope you will too.  🙂

http://www.fbcclearwater.org/sermons-2/

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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It is always His will for me to seek His will.  – Charles F. Stanley

A pentimento (plural pentimenti) is an alteration in a painting, evidenced by traces of previous work, showing that the artist has changed his or her mind as to the composition during the process of painting. The word is Italian for repentance, from the verb pentirsi, meaning to repent.  ❤

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.  – Proverbs 3:6

Our lives are a canvas, and we paint each and every day.  We read our Bibles, pray, and paint.  The colors and textures vary, but there are times when we have to stop, repent, and let God start painting over everything on our canvas with brand new, bright, vibrant colors. ❤

Have you sought God’s will for your life?  When we allow God to be the Artist, it changes how your painting will look.  ❤

I’m absolutely hooked on making memes – designs – for my groups and pages on facebook and for this blog.  While that certainly does not take the same kind of talent as painting, some of the concepts can be applied.  Pentimento is common in my designing.  If I want to pop in a different photograph or if I need to correct a mistake (oh, surely that never happens – HA!), I just open the current work in my program and select the elements I want to use – then cover up the old elements with new ones – then voila’ – I have a brand new design.  ❤

Such is life – we make changes along the way – we tweak things here and there…  things such as losing weight to improve health, or changing hair color for whatever reason; however, as we seek God’s will for our lives, there are times when we have to do more than tweak.  We have to allow God to make significant changes.  God’s brush covers everything we need covered with His precious blood.  That’s the ultimate pentimento.  ❤

 

FRUGALOSITY 101

frugalosity-101

When they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.”   – John 6:12

My parents lived through the depression era, so I was the kid with a happy plate every day.  Of course, my mom was a good cook and fixed meals that I had no problem eating, and usually wanted seconds.  :-/

I was raised with the old adage, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!”  Have you ever washed out a baggy and used it again?  Yep, me too.  When I get a present, I save the gift bag (but not the tissue), and write the gift giver’s name on a post-it note and put it inside the gift bag – that way I won’t accidentally use the same bag for their gift.  Little acts of frugality can save you money, honey!

Since our monthly bills are going up and our income is staying the same, that belt has to tighten a little more.  I took a trip to the Dollar Tree to see what I could use in place of higher priced items I’ve used.  Let me tell you about my latest find…

They have the most amazing 2 in 1 laundry detergent / fabric softener!  It may not be the best for anyone who is allergic to scents, because it has a pretty strong lavender scent.  It’s in a lavender color bottle and costs just $1.  It cleans well for less money.  I’m all about the clean, the lavender scent and saving money!  I actually like the lavender scent in my sheets – it helps me get to sleep better (that could be in my imagination…  lol).  I also like the dryer sheets from Dollar Tree.  They are, of course, $1 and seem to work just as well as the brand I used before.  The savings will add up and my clothes will be just as clean and free of static.  I call that a win/win!  🙂BUDGET CUTS

As Lucinda reminds us… we may have to use less expensive products in our everyday lives.  We may even have to give up on a few extras – but we won’t lose our place with the Son.  I love that!

I also found a perfectly good sensitivity / whitening toothpaste at the Dollar Tree.  For $1 I can get my teeth cleaned and whitened for much less money.  The one thing I had to adjust to was the taste of the toothpaste.  I was so used to the mint flavor of my old toothpaste – but after a couple of uses, I’m fine with the less “minty” flavor.  I also think this new toothpaste whitens my teeth better and provides good sensitivity protection.

Little changes that cost less can make a big difference.  You may have to adjust in some ways, but your wallet will leave the Dollar Tree smiling!  🙂

WORLD MENOPAUSE MONTH

tl-october-is-world-menopause-monthI used to sleep at night…  now, I write – and write – and write some more!  I used to eat larger meals…  now, I order off the senior menu at Denny’s.  I usually don’t have a happy plate when I’m finished either.  I drink coffee in excess and less water – but I’m working on getting that changed around.  If it sounds as though I’m complaining, forgive me…  I’m not.  I keep telling myself that I am blessed – a hysterectomy was necessary to get rid of ovarian cancer.  It didn’t spread and I’m alive.  I’m alive to complain about these changes!

gods-got-youAll I ask is that you ignore me when I’m standing at Braum’s with the freezer door open, frantically fanning cold air on myself.  Just act like it’s a perfectly normal thing to do.  Feel free to join me if you’d like.  Let’s have a party – the more the merrier!

Isn’t it fun when you walk into a room and just stand there at the door thinking, “OK, why did I come in here?”  Mentalpause!  That mental pause you need in order to grasp your bearings is enough to make you want to carry one of those voice-activated mini-recorders around with you.  You can say to it, “I’m going to the kitchen to take my morning pills.”  Then when you get to the kitchen, play it back.  Yeah – that’s one option.

How much warning do you get before a hot flash happens?  I don’t get any warning – is that normal?  I can be going about my business one minute and look as though I’ve just swam the English Channel the next because my hair is wet.  It’s embarrassing!  I’ve tried to find a more flattering hair style to deal with these new challenges.  I’ve decided there isn’t one…  so I’ve learned to like hats.  I never really thought of wearing hats back in my 20’s, 30’s or 40’s – but this gal sports a hat most of the time these days.  I have a nice variety of hats – I even have a red hat with a purple ribbon.  That never made sense to me when I was younger.  Now…  ah – it’s all making so much more sense to me!  Red Hat Society…  sign me up!

My moods swing like a pendulum sometimes.  I’m not sure how much of that is lack of sleep, but I’m sure the majority of times it is a direct result of insomnia.  I hesitate to take a PM medicine that promotes sleep since I already take an NSAID most mornings for arthritis pain.

Nope – still not complaining!  Just so ya know…  just assessing the changes since the change.

My mother’s generation referred to it as THE CHANGE OF LIFE.  I remember wondering how much different life could get.  Now I know.  Wish I had my mom around to talk with.  It’s funny, she always told me that when my hair turned gray, it would turn a very pretty gray.  I remember thinking, “Oh that will be a long time from now…”  Well – BOOM – here I am, gray hairs and all.  When a natural blonde turns gray, sometimes it can look a bit mousey and dull.  Mine isn’t mousey and for that I’m thankful.  I’m pretty sure my mom would laugh if she could see me now.  Yeah – we’d giggle together.  ❤

Lately I’ve seen the ads for Crepe Erase – it’s supposed to get rid of the elephant skin – well, I don’t care because this body is never going to pose on a beach in a bikini like Jane Seymour – so…  no sale.  Sorry.  Age and weight loss is an interesting combination.  I’m not sorry I lost the weight though because my overall health is so much better.

My neighbor caught me in the back yard last winter after a heavy snow.  He apparently thought it was odd that I was rolling around in it.  I made a feeble attempt to explain, but it just turned into muttering as I walked away from him toward my back door.

Even though it’s called MENopause, I’ve not been impressed with any man’s understanding of it.

We bought a new vehicle a few years back – one of the best-selling points for me was the dual temperature control – I can set my temperature at 60 degrees in the middle of winter – YES!

There’s an interesting dynamic in our house every winter.  My husband takes blood thinners and gets cold very easily.  So, he cranks the heat up to who knows where and I’m wearing very little because I’m dying of heat stroke.  Is it any wonder I go to the back yard and roll in the snow?

I should charge admission…  it’s apparently quite entertaining.  Huh…  I’ll have to think about that.  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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PRAYER FOR HELP WITH DIET

As we head toward 2016, will you make New Year resolutions?  I don’t call what I do each year by that name, but I do make POSITIVE PLANS with prayer.  I don’t commit to change completely at my age, which is what a resolution eludes to – rather I commit to tweak, keeping in mind that the goal is my overall good in life.

I could be like everyone else jumping off the cliff and say, “I’m going to lose a TON of weight”.  Well, first of all, I know this body of mine – and I know, especially as I get older, a TON of weight will not just magically disappear.  So I would rather say “I’m going to make better choices as I plan meals.”  That doesn’t put pressure on me to do something massive in a short amount of time.

You want results yesterday, and desperation mode kicks in.  Beware of the valley of quickie cures.  – Pam Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women. 

I can’t pretend that I won’t need a little chocolate once in a while.  I could stand in front of chocolate with my arms folded, refusing to partake…  but guess what?  That’s worse than buyer’s remorse!  I’m going to think about that moment and pretty soon I’m saying, “You know what?  I didn’t get that chocolate when I could have, so I’m going to go get some now to make up for it.”  For Pete’s sake – just have a piece of chocolate and work it off!  It’ll be okay.

There will be bumps in the road and it helps to keep a food journal to stay on track.  It sounds weird to say I eat and forget what I’ve eaten – but that’s exactly what happens sometimes!  I probably eat more calories than I realize I’m eating.  If I write everything down, there it is on a list.  If I’m getting close to my limit and I still feel hungry, I have to ask myself if I’ve drunk enough water or if I’ve gotten enough exercise.  Hunger is not always about food.  Sometimes it’s about water intake or lack of exercise.

Am I bored?  Do I need to get involved in an activity such as blogging or a game – something to keep my brain busy?  It’s not just a matter of denying myself food.  It’s much more complicated than it seems.

Let’s face it – if this was easy to do, we’d all be walking pencils, wouldn’t we?  Not everyone needs to lose weight, but a large group of type 2 diabetics would agree that they need to lose enough to get their hemoglobin A1C within normal range.  I’m raising my hand – I’m in that group.

It’s my hope and prayer that in 2016, around week four, I don’t become a big bundle of excuses.  I wish I had an accountability partner or someone who would be willing to drag their sorry behind to the gym with me.  That would keep me psyched and energized.  It’s more difficult if you’re doing it alone.

Positive Plan #1…  make better food choices and keep track in a journal.  I’m positive I can do this.  🙂

 

COMPLIMENT YOUR MIRROR DAY

TL 7 3 COMPLIMENT YOUR MIRROR DAY

7-3 A WELL DRESSED HEART

As you begin your day, look in your full-length mirror (go ahead, it won’t break – trust me).  Can you look at the one and only body God gave you with an attitude of gratitude?  Give it a shot today because it is COMPLIMENT YOUR MIRROR DAY.

We’re all under construction – constantly.  I like the term “reinventing” because that is what we do throughout our lives.  While we are striving for a better body with diet and exercise, let’s be grateful for some things that we may now be taking for granted.

  • If you are standing in front of your mirror, that means your legs work.  Even if you have thunder thighs like me – be grateful to God that your legs hold you up and you’re able to stand.
  • Your hair may be a mess, but hey – you still have hair to get messy, right?  A little TLC will take care of those wild tresses – it’s nothing to get all freaked out about.
  • Is your skin looking dry?  Moisturize.  Does it look oily?  Wash thoroughly and hydrate.  In this heat – don’t forget the SPF to protect it from sunburn.
  • Did you mess up yesterday?  Are you still reeling over it?  If you gave it to God and asked for His help to do better, then it’s really time to let it go.  Brand new mercies are set aside for this day.  Today will be a better day because God will help you through it.
  • Maybe you’re like me – you’ve used food in the past to comfort yourself, only to discover it caused a whole host of new health problems.  God knows all about it.  Hand it to Him and He will help you overcome your addiction to food!  Learn what triggers your binges and you can stop the addictive behavior in its tracks.  God will help you find a more healthy way to deal with the rough patches in life.  Overdosing on Twinkies is not the answer.

As Christians, what were we taught from the time we were little?  It’s what’s inside a person that matters the most!  God looks on the heart and we should do the same – to others and ourselves.  The prep talk you give yourself in front of the full-length mirror each morning can either build you up or break you down.  It’s the first decision you have to make every morning.  Will you be your own best friend, or your own worst enemy?

See the good in you – love the person in the mirror.  God does!  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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A WAY FOR THE POSSIBLE

This is just a reminder that things are not always what they seem to be.  It’s meant to be a pepper-upper for ones who may feel discouraged.  Some things are enhanced, others are hidden.  Some facts come to light literally years after the person is dead and gone.  The take-away here is that no matter what things look like on the surface, they are never that simple.  People do what they do for a reason.  People say what they say for a reason and last but not least, people believe the way they believe for a reason.

How would these people’s lives and careers have been different if they had not experienced these events or wanted to change their look or ventured out in some way to try something new?  If you thought that celebrities somehow get to walk on easy street from day one – think again!  Some of these people overcame some major obstacles before they got their big break:

  • James Earl Jones had a severe stutter as a child and was silent for nearly eight years.  Aren’t we thankful he got over it?  He has one of the most distinguished and iconic voices in the world.
  • When Stephen King was 2 years old, his father went out to “buy a pack of cigarettes” and never came back.  This has influenced him tremendously.
  • Elvis Presley was a natural blonde.  The familiar black hair was dye he used from the time he got into high school.  He wanted his hair to look like the truck driver’s hair – and most of them had dark, slicked back hair.
  • Vangelis, a pioneer in electronic music, performed soundtracks for movies and won an Academy Award for the score in “Chariots of Fire”.  He can’t read music.
  • Mel Blanc, the voice of Looney Tune characters, got into a near-fatal car crash in 1961 that resulted in 3 skull fractures and a 3-week long coma.  His doctor could not get a response, so asked, “Bugs, can you hear me?”  Blanc, in the voice of Bugs Bunny, responded, “What’s Up, Doc?”
  • At 35 years of age, Harrison Ford was fitting a door for Francis Ford Coppola when a studio executive, testing actresses for a new film, asked him to help out by reading the lines written for the male lead.  The film was “Star Wars”.

It’s also a reminder – God really does have a great plan for your life.  Now, it doesn’t mean that you will be a movie star or become famous at all, but remember that you will always be God’s STAR because you belong to Him!  Wink!  😉