MATTHEW 6:25 ON 6/25

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Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  – Matthew 6:25

I’m just going to say it and get it out of my system now…  OUCH!!!  I’m a self-proclaimed worry wart.  If I don’t have something to worry about, then I start worrying because I have nothing to worry about.  I’m human and yes, I know that faith is bigger than fear, and God is working with me on this.  I have FAITH that He will show me that I don’t have to FEAR and FRET about things.  It’s a work in progress.GOD THE BANKER

What is life, anyway?  I used to live to eat.  I’m not proud of it, but I did.  I used to wake up and wonder what was in the refrigerator to eat.  Food was my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night.  The result of that thought process and subsequent behavior pattern was a 70 pound weight gain, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Emotional eating is a horrible addiction.

Through prayer and study, God helped me find the underlying depression, He broke the bonds that held me captive, taught me how to treat my body instead of destroy it.  I no longer use food as a coping mechanism and it no longer has me in its grip.  Now, food is fuel instead of comfort.  God taught me that life is more than food.

The same depression was leading to a shopping addiction and substantial debt.  God is so patient with me.  He taught me that life is not about the clothes I wear.  The woman with the designer handbag is not the happiest.  There is a high when you first make the purchase, but that quickly turns into buyer’s remorse.  By the time you get your shoes, bags, clothes, jewelry and anything else you think will make you happy out to the car, you have a sinking, sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.  Debt causes stress and stress makes me worry.  What a vicious cycle.

Dear God, I am hungry for more of You. Today I am boldly coming into Your presence to receive the help I need.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

There’s no possession in this world that means as much as my relationship with God, through His Son, Christ Jesus.  All I want now is to hear Him say the words, WELL DONE when my life is finished.  Nothing else really matters.

You would not know I’m the same person who was so wrapped up in food and clothing not so long ago.  Today, I’m 30 pounds lighter, have cut up over 10 credit cards and my debt is manageable.  Funny thing, but I don’t worry as much as I used to either.  Hmm…

Now when I get mad money, I go into my local Goodwill store and I’m perfectly content to wear gently used vintage clothing.  Once in a while I even find a designer label – but shhh…  don’t tell.

Life is more…  so much more than food and clothing.  I’m here to tell you that God can break chains and He will if you ask Him to…  He will help you identify the underlying depression and speak His truth to your spirit until you see yourself the way He sees you.  He loves you so much and wants to help.  🙂

 

 

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JEREMIAH 6:16 ON 6/16

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This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’   – Jeremiah 6:16

If you travel much, you probably do a little planning ahead of time.  A few weeks before we head out, I see my husband studying his big Rand-McNally map.  The prophet says that the Lord wants us to ask where the good way is and walk in it.  It just makes common sense to choose a good way.  I’m sure my husband is not looking at the cow paths that will take us where we need to go.  He’s mapping out a route using interstate highways and byways.YOUR WAYS

So many in the world today are saying they will not walk in that good way.  They are so wrapped up in their rights, they are overlooking the wonderful benefits that follow when they submit to the God of the universe through Christ Jesus.

Jeremiah brings us words from God Himself, yet we still don’t heed them.  How do we find rest for our souls apart from walking the good way provided by God?  We can’t.  We think we can.

Oh – maybe we can find it in making lots of money.  Yeah – that must be the way.  Have you ever met someone who won the lottery?  I have.

We were going to a little church in a small community near our city.  My husband and I took care of the flower garden in the spring and summer months.  One Saturday, we were working in the garden when we heard some people driving by and they were just honking and waving and being crazy.  We knew what they were thinking – they thought we were the couple that won the lottery – but we weren’t.  The guy who did the lawn for the church about a block away had just won the lottery!  The last I heard, he had to sell his house, move without leaving a forwarding address, as I understand it he ended up divorced and basically miserable, wishing he had never played the lotto.  I’m guessing that money doesn’t buy happiness or rest for the soul.

I’ve heard people say that they feel wonderful when they are eating yummy scrumptious food.  Hmm…  this is a path I’ve trod.  The food you eat tastes so good, I’m the first to admit it.  You chew for about 30 seconds, then swallow.  You swap 30 seconds of wonderful for a lifetime of weight (fat, let’s face it) on your body.  Eventually, eating and overeating will catch up with you.  As little as two pounds of extra weight on your knees can do a number on them and a knee replacement is needed.  Disease such as type 2 diabetes can result from being overweight.  I’m guessing food won’t bring rest to our souls.  It’s not even an effective way to deal with anxiety or fear.  Stress eating doesn’t take stress away – it just makes it worse.

How about working out and making our bodies look perfect?  Yeah – surely exercise would bring rest to our souls!  Yeah – let’s just go to the gym every day and become gym rats.  We can get really fit and spend hours looking at our own reflection in the mirror.  Well, yes that’s going to help get weight off and yes that will make our health and overall outlook on life better, but that’s not what brings rest to our souls.  God does want us to take care of our one and only body – but no, it’s still the wrong path to receive rest for our souls.

See where this is going?  People turn to alcohol, drugs, sex, and all sorts of addictive behavior to find satisfaction for the flesh and a way to escape the stresses of life – but it’s not going to give rest for the soul.  It’s only when we get on the right path – God’s path and His ways that we find peace, joy, Agape love (God’s kind of love), and yes, rest for our souls.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (22)How many times do we take everyday things for granted?  I know I do that way too often and I’m trying to do better.  My new diet has turned out to be more restrictive than I thought it would be.  I miss eating fruit because most fruit is extremely high in carbohydrates.  I recently typed in some of my favorites in a carb counter online – and my favorite fruit – apricots…  are only 4 grams of carbohydrates!fruit-808336_1920

I was so happy I did a happy dance all over the house!  Hopefully that burned a few calories – 😉

It sounds silly I know, but in my world it really was a pretty big deal.

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.   – G.B. Stern

On this journey I’ve also decided that turkey bacon doesn’t taste at all like bacon.  😦  It’s okay because I’ve started eating Canadian bacon!   It is a low-carb and low calorie choice and a serving size is 5 slices!  It’s so good on an English muffin with egg and low-fat cheese.breakfast-713112_1920

Some mornings I begin the day with a protein shake.  I found whey protein powder at Walmart in chocolate flavor.  It’s so simple and quick to fix – just put a cup of liquid (I use low-fat milk) in the blender and add a scoop of powder.  It’s not very cold at that point, so I add 2 ice cubes to make it nice and thick and cold.  It also gets rid of that protein powder smell that some folks can’t get past.  It’s like drinking a thick chocolate milkshake for breakfast.  I thought I might get tired of them, but so far I really have enjoyed them!shake-677437_1920 (1)

I’m going to the gym and it’s another big praise to God – I have not injured my leg or back!  Sometimes if I try to do exercise, I mess with the neuropathy (nerve damage) and end up worse off than I was before.  I’m happy to report I’m doing well so far!  I enjoy Planet Fitness so much because there are signs all over the place like NO JUDGMENT ZONE and NO CRITICS.  I’m thinking…  exactly!  We’re all here just trying to do better, right?

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.   – Thornton Wilder

The scale is moving – ever so slowly…  but in the right direction.  I pray that my appointment to get my A1c checked again in July will reflect my lifestyle changes.  I’m especially thankful to God that apricots only have 4 grams of carbohydrate each!  YAY!  Thank You, Lord!  🙂

 

MATTHEW 11:28 ON 11/28

 

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.   – Matthew 11:28

If there was ever a time when we need to be seeking opportunities to REST, it is this time of year!  Thanksgiving in our rearview mirror, and Christmas around the corner.  Some folks are now officially in STRESS MODE.  What descriptive terms do we see in this verse…?  Weary, burdened.  Does that sound familiar to you?  Do you want rest?  Have you gone to Jesus seeking rest?  Maybe now is the time to let go of everything and hand it to Jesus.

How much luggage do you haul around with you?  Doesn’t it get heavy to carry?  I know a man who will gladly take it and lighten your load.  There’s not a time when you will ever have to take it back either.  Once you give excess stuff to Jesus, you’re done with it.

THE BAGGAGE CARRIER

I love this poem, The Baggage Carrier, by Lucinda Berry Hill.  I don’t understand why it takes us so long to get to the point where we will let Christ take the excess baggage of life – and trade it for the light yoke that He happily gives us.

As we face the busy Christmas rush, may we take a deep breath, keep a good attitude and continue to be grateful to God for His blessings in spite of all that happens.  Christmas will come regardless of whether the family gets everything they wrote on their Christmas list or not.

Let’s be quick to ask God to help us this season.  It’s easy to stress out in a crowd or yell at people who cut in front of you in traffic.  Let’s not lose sight of what this lovely Christmas season is all about, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

How wonderful would it be if we began our Christmas shopping by letting Christ have our old bags that weigh us down every day?  When we give them to Him, we are lighter and more free to be the sort of person He wants us to be.  I’d say that’s the goal, wouldn’t you?  To God be all the glory – now, go tell someone else this good news!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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What do you think of crows?  Yes, that’s what I said…  crows.  You know, those rather plain-looking black birds that appear in large numbers around this time of year in Kansas.  What is your impression of them?  What’s that you say?  You don’t think about them one way or the other?  Well…  I used to take them for granted, but that changed on September 30th.

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There’s not a deep spiritual lesson in everything I see – not by a long shot!  I probably miss more lessons than I get, sadly.  I pray to gain wisdom at every turn.  As we know, the Christian life depends on two acts of obedience:

  1. Reading God’s Word, The Bible 
  2. Prayer

From there, God works with us as individuals.  With me, He leads me to living lessons, usually through nature.  I was out with my husband to pick up some prescriptions from the pharmacy and told him I’d wait in the truck while he ran in to get them.  Not an especially exciting story so far, but stay with me.

You know how it is when you’re waiting in a pharmacy parking lot.  I people watched for a bit – then that got boring and my eyes were trained on a bunch of crows.  They were huddled around something, which attracted my interest.  The longer I observed, the clearer it was to me – it was a very large slice of bread and they were fighting over it.

As two birds would start pecking at each other, a third one would try to fly away with the bread.  Barely able to hold it up, the crow was unable to fly because the bread weighed it down!  Forced to drop the slice of bread, the other birds would once again huddle around the prize and start fighting with each other over it.

Obviously the rule was ONE SLICE OF BREAD GOES TO ONE CROW.  There was no negotiation involved – it was all or nothing.  Win or lose.  I watched each of the birds try to sneak off with the bread, to no avail.  It was too heavy to fly with, but that didn’t stop each one of them from trying.  It made me think – “If you birds would just tear the bread into bite-size pieces, you could all have some!”  Of course, they are birds and do not think that way.

It made me think…  sometimes it feels like I have so much stuff that I’m burdened by it.  At one time I had things in a storage facility – which means that I was not open to getting rid of it, but not in a position to take care of it either.  It’s crazy to pay to store things that you can’t even see.  I’m not a hoarder.  It was a time in my life when I was leaving one home to live in a smaller space temporarily.  I hoped I could one day have my things around me – and I eventually did.

Have you ever put the slice of bread in your mouth and it weighed you down so much you couldn’t fly???

When I got home from the pharmacy, I packed two large bags for Goodwill.  I feel lighter already!  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Pardon me if I’m about me today – but I have such good news to share!

If an anonymous comment goes unread, is it still irritating?  – Brandon Specktor

I got such a great report from the eye doctor yesterday!  Each year I walk in his office with a prayer running through my head – “Please God, let there be no retinopathy.”  For twenty years I’ve enjoyed wonderful reports and he always says, “If I didn’t know you had diabetes, I would not be able to tell by looking at your eyes.”  I have one thing to say – THANK YOU, LORD!

All the glory belongs to God.  As I said not long ago, it’s sure not due to my wonderful A1c, as it was a whopping 9.3 at my last appointment – yikes!  I’m now taking 40 units of Levemir every night – and my fasting blood sugars have lowered substantially – I’ve written them down for the past couple of months.  I’ve had nothing over 170, but this morning it was 80.  So, this is truly a balancing act.

I had a chiropractor ask me once why I don’t just lose all my excess weight and get rid of diabetes.  Hmm…  I never went back to his office.  I wonder why?  Newsflash…  when I hit my goal weight, I’ll still be a diabetic.  Yes, a controlled diabetic – but it will never go away.

Fitness – if it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body.   – Cher

A big thank you to everyone who sends me messages of encouragement – facebook, twitter, email – the prayers and uplifting words really help me as I walk this path.  When you send encouragement, I find the next stepping stone.  I appreciate your prayers on my behalf.

Everyone has challenges in life – and I guess diabetes is mine.  It gets so frustrating because I go along thinking everything is fine – I’m eating right, exercising and drinking plenty of water, but check my glucose and it’s too high!  Or, as it was this morning – I think I’m in the normal range and check my fasting glucose and it’s down to 80.  I’ve stopped trying to apply logic to something so illogical.  I don’t try to explain why it’s high or low anymore.  I just try to fix it.

So many things affect blood glucose levels.  I understand that it’s more than just eating, exercise and water consumption.  Overall health and stress levels have an effect on it.  Are you good at avoiding stress in your life?  It’s tough, but I’m working on it.

MY INHERITED LIFE

Today I just need to praise God for His blessings in my life.  I’m so thankful for good eyesight and no signs of retinopathy!  It’s a big deal – and a big blessing.  There are three things I want to avoid on this journey – kidney problems, nerve damage and blindness.

Twenty one years…  and I’m still truckin’ along.  I guess God’s not finished with me yet.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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TAKE CARE

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I believe people mean well.  Most people have a kind of “sign-off” to their conversation that goes something like this:  TAKE CARE.  It’s a rhetorical comment, not something we are expected to respond to.  We’re just expected to smile, nod and say HEY, YOU TOO – GOOD TO SEE YOU, or something like that.

It seems like all I get done is taking care of myself.  Wouldn’t it be so nice if I didn’t have to think about every little thing as it concerns my health?  It’d be great if I was not restricted by diet, activity level and the style of shoes I wear.  When I was younger, I wore pretty shoes with a nice heel.  I wore pretty dresses or suits to work with open-toe sandals in the summer.  Today my feet are more delicate and particular.  I’m forced to wear a closed toe shoe with plenty of “wiggle room” for my tootsies.  When my feet are happy, I’m happy.

Type II diabetes is such a frustrating disease.  Everyone (including my chiropractor and doctor)  tells me  if I lose weight, it will magically disappear.  That is my only incentive for losing weight because I would love to be rid of it once and for all.  I stay active and I’d set my diet up alongside anyone else’s any day of the week – I eat a very healthy diet!  The weight will not leave – it will not GO!

I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions, but I’ll make an exception this year.  If it’s true that weight loss would rid me of type II – then I simply have to resolve to get the weight off once and for all.  I’m doing 30 minutes of cardio in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.  I’m not a couch potato by any means.

Friends, please keep me in your prayers.  Pray that I stay strong and achieve some significant weight loss and a drop in my A1c.  How great would it be to be taken off insulin and not have to take as much metformin?  Now I’m taking 4 250 mg capsules a day and 20-35 units of Levemir every night.

The weight seems to be glued to me – that’s the only way I know how to describe it.  It really likes me and wants to stay.  I really don’t like it and don’t want it to stay – LOL! 

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.   – Doug Larson

Living with invisible chronic health conditions is challenging.  I try so hard but the effort I put in is not always visible to others.  I’ll keep trying…. and do my best.   I’m making a New Year’s Resolution to TAKE CARE.  And I hope you will take care too!  😉

It’s not too late to order your copy of Lucinda Berry Hill’s new devotional book!  Everybody needs a new devotional book to begin this new year, right?

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Click on the link below to get your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx