Friday, October 2, 2015

It is your choice ...

I am new to The Orange Theory - and I love it. Exercising for an hour with a trainer explaining every possible move to the class - striving to be better and work harder for the sake of the health of my body - being done in time for breakfast with my hubby - well, it seems like a great fit!
This morning, however, moving was difficult. I must have worked out muscles that are not usually used - or have not been used in a long time! It felt so good while I was doing it yesterday - but feels different today!
Movements like standing up and sitting down - reaching for something - bending over - are all met with "ewwww" or "ugghhhh" as I am vocal. I am trying not to complain, however, as I know I am improving my muscles and I am working on being less vocal - really -
Have you noticed?

Words have power and I would choose to use that power to bless others - and myself.
"Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?" James 3:10
I understand this to mean that our mouths are able to do either - but we need to choose. We shouldn't do both.

So, working on only blessing with my mouth is difficult - and I need to keep it quiet a lot - because the words I am thinking are not a blessing - in fact - some are downright judgmental - critical - not who I want to be.

So, my challenge is to voice the blessings - and pray through the critical until it leaves my mind.

Enjoy your muscles - including your mouth muscles - use them to bless your body and others - and, somehow, there will be less complaining in your life - especially from your own lips - it is your choice :)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Morning

It is yet morning on an overcast Sunday in Cape Cod. Both of us are experiencing our first visit to this part of God's creative beauty.
We move slowly on the deck as our ears pick up the sound of sea gulls - speaking to each other as they soar in front of us - finally perching together on a tree of beautiful foliage as we slump into cushioned white wicker chairs.
Marty reading the newspaper and my fingers skimming the Bible, we breathe deeply in and smell God's creative juices in the form of fresh ocean breezes.
Our eyes slowly wander from reading material to gazing on the beauty of small vessels bobbing on the water as the wind toys with the waves. The prettiest vessel is white with red stripes - a reminder of God's gift of a concrete company at home.
Thoughts of Sunday being His day - a day of rest - overwhelms us with gratitude - as we sense His presence here in all we see, hear and touch.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gracefully surrendering the things of youth - really?

It was a poem I enjoyed long before I found wisdom in Scripture. It was called Desiderata and one line in it I remember: "Gracefully surrendering the things of youth" because every time something reminds me that I am aging again - well, I want to be graceful.
Surrendering began when I was told years ago that my "tear in a knee meniscus" was caused by racquetball and the movement back and forth that this sport creates - can cause a tear when you are older - less blood flow to the tissue - so, after surgery and a recovery period, I gave up racquetball and chose golf.

Last fall, another "tear in a knee meniscus" caused by high heels - well, I opted to wait on the surgery and purchase low heel shoes - not even close at being cute - but I am trying to be graceful and my knee is better.

At the same time, a "tear in my rotator cuff" is followed by many appointments to a neurological massage therapist - and my pain is gone so I am able to avoid surgery - but now I watch how far I reach behind me when I am in a car, and how long I hold grandchildren - gracefully surrendering.

Okay - this week - vision - really? I had an eye doctor appointment last August and it was the first time I heard I had the beginning of cataracts - what? Cataracts are for old people - sorry - but that is what I thought.
And, I did not think of myself as old. Maybe people in their 80's??

It gets worse - there are cataracts that can take 20 years to develop and then there are cataracts like mine - it has been 10 months and my eyes are "four times stronger of a prescription" in nearsightedness - which means mine are moving quickly.
Now, the eye doctor said he would rather have cataracts that grow quickly - and you get them removed - then have them take 20 years to slowly darken - you will see less and less clear until they are bad enough to be removed.

So, I sit watching TV - can't read the "closed captions" like I like to unless I move my chair up - and trees are really green balls again - (back in drivers ed at 16 - when I could not see the street sign, the teacher made me stop driving until I saw an eye doctor - when I walked out of his office for the first time wearing glasses, I fell backward because I could see leaves on trees instead of just seeing a green ball) - and when the new prescription comes for my glasses, I will see clearer but for how long? He guesses it will be within two years that I may be a candidate for cataract surgery.

Gracefully surrendering - our bodies are temporary - and I am so grateful for mine - I hope you are too - and the design God had in mind when He created it.

And, from this day forward - I still want to think cataracts are for older people - but is 62 old?

Well, I think the older we get, the older "old people" get.
Lord - help me be graceful -
For Jesus' Glory,

Monday, June 15, 2015

Think About What You Are Thinking About

Recently reading the Battlefield of the Mind, I am encouraged to put a guard over my lips.
It has been several months that I have been "fasting" from speaking many of my thoughts.

David first brought it to my attention: "Does every thought you think have to come out of your mouth?" he asked once while golfing. I think I was extra talkative that day - or maybe that season of my life! But, my reply was "Well, yes, usually - not so with you?" He just smiled. I have no doubt he had many thoughts he rarely spoke.

I am especially now seeing the value of not allowing all of my thoughts to exit my mouth. Many of my thoughts are not building others up - many of them are critical - and I want to live by The Bible - and love this verse from Ephesians 4:29:
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Now, I need The Lord's help, so many of my thoughts now are of Him - and my constant need for His presence in my mind so it comes out of my mouth.

So, my thoughts today - What am I thinking about - and does it edify - or build others up - or am I partnering with thoughts that tear others down - HEY - just noticed that the word tear - to rip something - is spelled the same way as the word tear - or what exits our eyes when we cry. So, are my words helping others cry or building them up and helping them smile?

God bless your thoughts for today - God bless you to build others up with your words - that come from your mouth of praise to Our Lord for all those He has allowed into your world.

With love and thoughts of praise to Our Lord!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rushing - let's slow down

I was late for my next appointment and was running out of Panera.
She stopped me - looked at me - and remembered - "Mary"?
"Barb!" I excitedly hugged her.
"No, Pam" she graciously explained.
Of course I remember - who could forget such a sweet lady. But, in a hurry, my brain scrambled and it scrambled with bringing up the wrong information.
"I am so sorry - I am in a hurry." I explained.
"I just wanted to say hello." she genuinely smiled.
"Please say hi to your husband - I enjoyed him and you so much when we had time together."
Her husband took care of my contacts and glasses for years.

I beat myself up mentally driving quickly to the next appointment -
It is so important to remember someone's name - and I genuinely love this lady - how could I have been so quick to call her by the wrong name? It has been probably 13 or more years since I have seen her - but still - how can I do better next time??

Slow down Mary - give your brain a chance. Don't book appointments so close to each other - and if God intervenes with an old friend - take 5 minutes to think.

Can I slow down? Lord only knows - but by His grace - I will try.

For Jesus' Glory - Mary

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thank You, Lord, for emotions :))

The year was 1990. Frustrated again at my full time job, I searched for another job. I decided to interview at one opportunity which paid more, but had a 1/2 hour commute. My current job was 5 minutes from my home and my children's school, but we were not making it and I was tired from holding two jobs down to try to make ends meet.
I also felt overwhelmed by the work load expected weekly.
The interview went well. Up to his final question.
"What is your number one reason for wanting to change jobs?" He asked.

I could feel the tears starting to well up. It was late in the day - already getting dark.
I was tired and emotional.

"My children", I said.
"I need more money to support my children."
And it let loose - all the weight I had been carrying of not having enough money all these years.
My crying was the final noise in the room as I tried to shake his hand.
I knew I would not hear from him with a job offer.

I went back to my frustrating full time job with a new attitude - And asked for a raise.
I resigned myself to stay - no matter how frustrated I got.

It was within a year that David G. Bulthuis walked into the lobby and asked to speak to me.

If I had pursued leaving that job, I could have missed that historical visit from a man who changed my life.
Thank you, Lord, for my emotions :))

Family First

He was a good employee and the boss saw a bright future for him at the company.
He called him into his office and offered him a raise and promotion.
"I can't accept it at this time", he gently declined the offer .
"I don't understand" answered the boss. "This is a great promotion!"
"Yes, it sounds great. The timing is not good for me. I recently married and promised my new wife that I would devote the first year of our marriage to her and if I took this promotion, it would require too much attention away from her."
The boss did not know what to say.
As the year progressed, the boss began counting the days down until that first year of marriage was celebrated to promote this man. He saw value in his reasoning and the importance he had put on his marriage.

It has been 20 years since - they are still married with 5 children and he has moved up in the company more that once - he is an extremely valued employee because he knows his priorities and gives himself wholeheartedly!

"Work as if working for The Lord - and He puts family first :))"

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wine! (Not my cranberry juice?)

A friend asked my opinion on a book and I love to give my opinion, so I purchased it.
In the beginning of the book, there is a simple questionnaire that reveals what habits of mine could be silently harming me neurologically. To answer true to a question actually counts against you and I got a 7 out of 20 - not bad, but not good, either. And, one stood out - that could have gotten me a 6 out of 20 - in other words - taking better care of myself.
It was: "I don't drink wine." - True was my answer - which was not good.

Now, what could have gotten me a 5 - even better - would be my lack of a dinner drink.
One question was: "I drink fruit juice" - True was my answer - which was not good!

Really? I get closer to harming myself neurologically if I don't drink wine? And, I harm myself neurologically if I drink fruit juice (too much sugar)?

Well, after skimming some of the chapters of the book, I did purchase some of the supplements suggested - I needed Vitamin D anyway and I lost a point for not taking it daily - so after picking up Vitamin D today, I came home and served, along with my beef vegetable soup, red wine.
The bottle was a Christmas gift we put in a cabinet - and I don't remember the last time I consumed wine nor have I read the part of the book yet that explains why it blesses my neurological system -
But, I am game.
It sounds like, according to this Dr. and his book "Grain Brain", that I will get two less points against me to exchange my usual dinner drink, cranberry juice (according to him, one serving of fruit a day and I have fruit at breakfast, so my evening cranberry juice is a no-no)for a glass of red wine. One, he says, and not more than one.

Well, cheers to a new opinion and my brain cells.
Now, as long as the kidney stones never come back from lack of cranberry juice :)

OH - and, he recommends drinking the same amount of ounces of water that equals 1/2 of your body weight every day - really?
Really - we shall see - maybe my next post will be with a clearer head and clearer neurological system :)

For Jesus' Glory,

Saturday, February 7, 2015

God's Timing

It began with a little frustration. The morning was not going how I had "pictured" it and it looked like my timing would be off for at least two hours to get an oil change at the dealer. Now, two hours does not sound like a lot, but I was concerned about driving a lot the next several days and wanted to be sure they could fit me in. So, frustration led to beginnings of "angst" in my spirit. I tried unsuccessfully to quench these feelings.
When I finally arrived, I was in time and they could fit me in. I was relieved and sat down in the waiting room for, according to them, an hour.
The conversation began when another man walked in with a jacket that read "Semper Fi" - and I thanked him for serving in the marines. We laughed about being a marine at home vs. in the service, but the laugh was quenched as he walked to the men's room and his wife told me they were having problems with just that - and were probably looking at a divorce.
We spoke gently while he was away, but the conversation continued with the three of us as he returned - they knew the Bible and we were able to quote Scripture in our discussion of how a husband and wife should treat each other.
Before the hour was up, I was told my car was ready - and I hesitantly reached for the keys - I was not ready to leave the conversation.
We hugged and blessed each other as we parted - and they asked where I went to church.
I quietly gave the name of my church - and, though I am struggling there, I pray it blesses them if they check it out.
And, I thank God for His perfect timing - because the two hours that did not go according to my plan were part of a greater plan - His :)
For Jesus' Glory!

Friday, January 9, 2015

His Voice

A.W. Tozer lived and wrote many years ago - my favorite of his books, The Pursuit of God, was written in 1948 and God is in my thoughts today, as I am rereading this gem.
I don't know which is my favorite, Chapter 2 The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing or Chapter 6, The Speaking Voice, but as I spend time on this book again, I desire to share something from The Speaking Voice Chapter.

"God is here and He is speaking - the tragedy is that our eternal welfare depends upon our hearing and we have trained our ears not to hear.
This universal Voice has ever sounded, and it has often troubled men even when they did not understand the source of their fears. Could it be that this Voice distilling like a living mist upon the hearts of men has been the undiscovered cause of the troubled conscience and the longing for immortality confessed by millions since the dawn of recorded history? We not need fear to face up to this. The speaking Voice is a fact. How men have reacted to it is for any observer to note.
When God spoke out of heaven to Our Lord, self-centered men who heard it explained it by natural causes saying "it thundered". This habit of explaining the Voice by appeals to natural law is at the very root of modern science. In the living, breathing cosmos there is a mysterious Something, too wonderful, too awful for any mind to understand. The believing man does not claim to understand. He falls to his knees and whispers "God". The man of earth kneels also, but not to worship. He kneels to examine, to search, to find the cause and the how of things."

Oh - I love listening to His Voice - He always has better ideas than my regular thoughts.
So, my thoughts for today - listen to His Voice - usually when you are quiet and calm - and enjoy, as you fall to your knees - that God is here and He is speaking.
Love you!