My Soul Cries Out

It’s February, the excitement of the new year has passed.  How is your heart?

Are you discouraged by the lack of sticking with your goals?  Have you found you need to tweak those goals in order to achieve them daily?

I want to ask you to look deep into your heart.  How do you feel?

I personally have lost momentum.  I know what I should be doing, however, I continue to lean towards a sedentary lifestyle and make food choices that aren’t the best.

I feel like Paul.

It’s my heart.  What is going on in my heart? What can I do in my heart to help me achieve my physical goals?  When my heart is parched, my bones feel dry, I feel spent. That’s when I get discouraged and defeated and begin to do those “very things I hate.”

But thankfully, like Paul, I can learn to live in the spirit (Romans 8). And while my goals this year are specifically geared towards my physical wellness and being, my heart has to abide in the spirit and I have to look at my whole being working together.  I cannot achieve any physical goals, emotional goals, spiritual goals, or mental goals until my heart is in the right place.

 

 

This has become one of my favorite songs to listen to while trying to set my heart right.

Do you want to abide in Him?  Do you want to be something new?  How is your heart health?

Be Aware!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I know it goes without saying to take care of your ‘girls.’

My cousin did.

She found a lump when she was nursing her wee babe.

She fought! Hard!

God needed her home.

On October 4th 2010 He called her name.

She was 39.

I have a mammogram every year since Jamie was diagnosed.

Since BEFORE I turned 40.

Breast Cancer isn’t just for the over 40 crowd.

If there is a history in your family

please

GET CHECKED!

How to Get Your Brain Off Auto-Pilot

Welcome! We’ve created a Special Series for you this month! We’ll
take 4 weeks and focus on 4 elements to ‘Reset’ our lives for Him.
We’re calling it ’4×4 Reset’. If you missed the introduction, you
can find more details here. Each post will feature a READ IT
(scripture verse), a SEE IT (motivation), & a DO IT (challenge/
call to action). Our 4×4 Reset Toolbox is available and has links
to all the posts and to our resources, including our Build a Firm
Foundation Printable tracking page. Be sure to subscribe to not
miss a day, & join us on Twitter & Instagram using our hashtag
#4x4Reset!

How to Get Your Brain Off Auto-Pilot

My mom and I live in neighborhoods that are only about a mile apart.  When we go places together, the trip usually ends with us laughing on the main road just outside our neighborhoods.  Without meaning to, whoever is driving automatically heads home instead of dropping the other off first.  Every single time.  We’re like homing pigeons, automatically programmed to head home when we get on that road.

That gets me to thinking… how much of our lives do we live on autopilot like that?  How much of the life God is blessing us with are we missing because we’re not present and paying attention to the details?  Because we’re not challenging our minds to stay focused?

It’s harder than you might think to get off autopilot.  It’s going to take some real effort, and a little bit of planning to make it happen.   It’s also likely to take a bit of an attitude adjustment.  We have to stop thinking that the little things like driving down the road or doing the dishes don’t matter.  The lyrics to one of my favorite songs say, “It all matters.  Just as long as you do every thing you do to the glory of the one who made you…”   Whether you’re art journaling like Christine, working your body out, eating right, or learning new scriptures, it all matters.  Spirit, body, mind, and soul.

It all matters.

So, how do you get off auto pilot?  Challenge your brain.  Whether it’s with puzzles, or brain training games/sites like Lumosity.com, or by just doing things a different way than you normally would, challenge your brain to be engaged.  Did you know that a simple change like taking a different route to your destination helps your brain?  Or that eating, writing, or doing tasks with your non-dominant hand activates places in your brain and helps spark creativity?  Do some research.  You’ll engage your brain and learn all kinds of cool stuff in the process.  :)

Read It:

See It:

Click here to watch Steven Curtis Chapman’s ‘Do Everything’ on YouTube.  This song is really a fantastic reminder that everything we do matters to Him…  Don’t skip watching it! You need these lyrics stuck in your head:  It all matters.  Just as long as you do every thing you do to the glory of the one who made you…

Do It:

What Do I Eat? #4x4Reset

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” -Hippocrates

I feel like I should start out by saying I work in the medical field. In fact, I went to college for seven years to learn about medicine. I work full time as a pharmacist, each shift evaluating peoples medicine profiles and disease states. Also, I want to tell you that I currently take medication for depression and sleeping. I am not pro or anti medicine. I am pro healthy living.

My most recent food discovery started on Easter, when I decided to flirt with paleo. I felt better as a result of this eating this way.  I am amazed at how food truly is medicine for our bodies.

Then I began to cheat (or as I like to say “treat myself”) and the cheat days came closer and closer.

The craziest part about all of this is that I knew the food I was putting in my body was making me feel worse, yet I still did it.

You see, during this food discovery, I was finding that grains and dairy were causing me some (um) uncomfortable gastrointestinal distress. Bloating, gas, heartburn. Even more, an achy body had become a norm for me (one in which I thought was just “old age” setting in at 32). Upon researching the internets and reading books, I decided to try cutting out those possible culprits and I found relief.

So why did I keep going back to these offending foods?

I rationalized. Like many of you, I wanted to believe that “everything in moderation” was a good theory. After all, I was trying to eat whole real foods, the way God created them.

But my research told me otherwise. And so did my faith.

You say, “I am allowed to do anything” – but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything” -but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23 NLT

On this point, science and faith came together. Let me try to explain.

I wanted to believe that whole grains and dairy were created by God. Believe me, I think God did say “it was good” after a fresh warm slice of whole wheat bread from the oven. However, the grains we eat are not the same grains that existed in Bible times. Like so many things, man got involved, and screwed them up. When I ate things like animal protein and vegetables, I feel better. I find that I do better sticking with the things man has not modified and messed with.

Many have asked me about the specifics of paleo. At its simplest level, it’s is eating a diet with no grains, no dairy, no sugar, and no legumes. A simple google search on paleo will bring you a plethora of sites and recipes! I have had a bit of a struggle adapting to this style of eating – it’s not without issues of its own. But if this is something you think you’d be interested, start researching and asking questions (feel free to ask me even).  Here are my posts on my personal blog about my paleo journey to get you started!!

Now I’m not saying Paleo would work for everyone, but I’m finding it working for me!!! All I want to do is to encourage you to find a lifestyle that works for you…not a diet….a lifestyle. The writers of MLG and the MLG community are not fitness or diet experts, we are a community of women that are trying to get well, and are sharing our experiences with one another to encourage.

What can you find freedom from? Are there foods that make you feel particularly good or bad? Do you need to look at food as fuel rather than reward or punishment?

Read It:

See it:

Mandisa is one of my biggest role models for weight loss. I appreciate her transparency and honesty. She found something that worked for her and shares much about her weight loss journey on her own site. This song is one of my favorites for staying on course.

Do it:


 
Don’t forget to check out our 4×4 Reset Toolbox tab up at the top of every page.  Links to previous posts and to our printable tracking journal can be found there.  Make sure to connect with us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram with the #4x4Reset hashtag too! 

Your Body is a Temple

 

So it’s summer….again.

It happens every year about the same time.

The picture is of my bathing suit.

Basic black, Speedo brand.

Some years days it fits better than others.

It just depends on how early in the year

I look at the calendar and see

that summer is approaching….again.

That I decide I better get busy with

healthier eating and exercise

to look good in said suit.

I want to say I don’t care what others

think about how I look in that suit.

But I do…..a little.

My hubby doesn’t mind that I am a little

extra fluffy when he hugs me.

Honestly, his opinion is the only one that matters.

But, I do care about my health.

A few extra yo-yo pounds

might be ok.

But what are you putting INTO your body?

I don’t even worry so much about calorie count

as I do content.

Fruits and veggies.

Lean meats and fish.

 

1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

Leave the cookies and chips at the store.

If you don’t even buy them,

they can’t tempt you when you are bored, watching

Jericho on Netflix.  Ahem.

Change your mindset.

Think about the example you

are setting for your children.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?

You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.

So glorify God in your body.

Remember, you didn’t put on those extra 5, 10,

or in my case 20+ pounds overnight.

They won’t come off overnight.

You got this!

When You Ask for a Good Start…

God has a sense of humor…I’m convinced of it.  That’s why, when I decided to make healthy changes and work toward my goal weight, He put me in a college nutrition class.  Talk about a kick start to my goals!

Before you think, “Wow, she’s really dedicated to her health,” let me stop you.  That’s not why I signed up for this class.  I signed up because I had to – it’s a requirement for me to graduate in May (281 days from now, but who’s counting).  But you know, God’s timing is perfect, and so, as I find myself ready to make huge changes to my eating and exercise habits, I wind up enrolled in five weeks of “nutrition for the dental hygienist.”  Although I spent six years working for a women’s fitness center, where I did lots of weight loss and nutritional counseling, this college class has turned a lot of what I thought I knew upside down and has given me a new perspective.

For years, my philosophy was, “If I don’t eat right, I’ll take a vitamin – it’ll be okay.”  One thing I’ve learned quickly from my class, though, is that nothing compares to what God made.  All the vitamins in the world can’t compare to the natural vitamins and minerals in good, healthy, natural foods.  I’ve also learned that the effects of poor nutrition can affect everything – my brain function (vitamin B deficiencies can mimic dementia in older people), my immune system, my heart, my bones, and more.

God designed my body perfectly.  He knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).  I am a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).  Yet so many times, I make careless decisions about what I put into my body.  I gorge on cupcakes or mega-cups of sugary coffee because I’ve had a bad day.  I starve myself of the things I need because I want to lose weight fast.  It’s about so much more than just what I eat – it’s also about why I eat, and it’s about a self-disciple that goes far beyond just food.

Thanks to my nutrition teacher, I’m rethinking everything I put into my body, and I already like the changes.  I can tell a difference in how I feel after just a week of adding more fruit to my diet and cutting back on carbs (even though I eat a lot of whole grain).  I’ve noticed that I’m getting full faster.  I’m focusing on food as a way to fuel my body, not as a way to drown my sorrows and stresses.  I’m excited to see what changes my new view of nutrition, paired up with my workout routine that I’ve posted on my personal blog, will bring.



How To Stay on Track Every Moment of Every Day

 

every moment of every day

every single moment of every single day
is an opportunity to do something healthy

every second
could be used to do something
simple, easy
and healthy

a minute to breathe consciously…
a second to drink some water…
to pray…
to smile…
to pass on that second or third cookie…
call a friend…
hug your kid…
look up something online health related…

it doesn’t all have to be gym time
and deprivation
and concentration on what we don’t have
or didn’t do right…

no time has to be spent on that…

Even if we did something wrong,
ate something totally bad…

THAT VERY NEXT SECOND

is an opportunity to do something
amazing
simple
wonderful
beneficial

a prayer is amazing and simple
and wonderful and beneficial…

a drink of water is amazing and simple
and wonderful and beneficial…

not eating the chips
that are sitting literally 2 inches from me
is amazing and simple
and wonderful and beneficial…

I was thinking about how I didn’t do my best today
where I went wrong
what I will “do tomorrow” to do better…

and then I thought…

I can do something this very second that is amazing and simple and wonderful and beneficial,

and then I thought after that:
there will more time tonight

even if it is going to bed and resting,
it is a good thing,
and
the little things count!

the little itty bitty things count
and should be celebrated just as much
as a hard workout at the gym

 

so tomorrow when I am feeling overwhelmed again,
or annoyed with myself again,
or off track again…
I am going to take that very next moment
to do something simple
but beneficial:
pray,
drink water,
smile,
text my accountability buddy and say hey…

Something to Count me accountable!

 

This post was written by my dear friend Aubrey, who claims to not be a writer.  She writes some of the most amazing, encouraging emails and texts, and I am honored to call her friend and be on this journey with her.  If you’d like to show her some love, you can find her here and here.  :)

 

photo credit: “Run Sun Blocker Top” 
by lululemon athletica, on Flickr Creative Commons

Must Love God


Are you getting enough water?

The point of the MLG community is to help women find wellness at the Living Well.  We’ve shared our hearts, welcomed each other into our lives, and are growing together.

Today I want us to do a wellness check- how are you doing?  How can we help you?

I love making pneumonics, alliterations, and mantras.  Basically I use anything to make my life easier.  Let’s just say a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and three babies has not left room in my brain for much else.  However, I remember how I would’ve never made it through pharmacy school if it weren’t for pneumonics and alliterations.  (Believe me- you don’t want to hear my song to help me remember diabetes drugs).

As we focus here on whole-life wellness, I came up with a little pneumonic- a checklist of sorts- to help us remember each day how we can achieve this wellness.

Are you getting enough WATER daily?

W: WORD

this is the foundation for our spiritual wellness!  Are you getting daily time in the Word–either study, reading plans, or memorization?

A:  AFFIRMATIONS

it’s so apparent to me that what you think about you bring about!!  This affirmation part of the equation involves bringing every thought captive.  It also includes anything you use to snap yourself out of that downward spiral or to encourage you to push play on the exercise DVD.  In fact, MUST LOVE GOD is one of those very affirmations.  When thinking and praying about this community, the terms “must love God” fit perfectly.  When things are all going wrong, all the kids are crying, dinner is burning, remember, it all comes down to this- I must love God.  Another one- “eat clean, move more, refresh daily” and “turn north”.

T:  THANKS

it’s my word for 2012 but I’ll let you use it too!!  Much like affirmations, giving thanks in ALL THINGS reminds me to slow down, change my thinking, and focus on Him.

E:  ENERGIZE

this is not an easy one for me…I want so badly to be fit and healthy but the actual getting out and exercising…oh that is hard.  But, I will challenge you to add purposeful movement to your day.  Not athletic?  Neither am I!!  But I’m finding some super fun tools from YouTube, the App store, and Peak 313.  What is your favorite way to energize?

R:  REFRESH

in this pneumonic, refresh actually stands for what we eat and drink.  Filling ourselves with nutrient dense foods makes such a difference in our days.  As I’ve been tinkering with my own personal diet, I’m learning so much about what foods make me feel good and what foods don’t!!

Can this pneumonic of WATER help you with your daily goals?  What are some ways you can incorporate WATER into your life?

Freedom from the Feast

They thought it was just another Passover feast.  The disciples had no idea what was about to happen.  But today, we take a moment to remember this last supper.

Take, Eat.  This is my body….  Drink this, all of you. Matthew 26:27-27 MSG

We remind ourselves of this communion Jesus had with his disciples every time we experience the bread and wine at our own churches.

Do we need to remember it more?

ciabatta by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

Photo by Sisterlisa @ Pixosphere

So much of my own struggle with my health and wellness involves food. I can’t help but wonder if it’s the same for you gals….is it?

My mind has gotten so wrapped up in getting healthy and losing weight, that my view of food has been skewed.  Food has become truly my enemy.  Food has become an idol, set upon a pedestal.

Thankfully, this season of Lent, I’ve been able to step away and reconcile this relationship with food. Now, on my journey, I am trying to see it as God’s gift to me.  It’s the fuel my body runs on.  I eat when I’m hungry and refrain when I’m not.

Food no longer has a hold on me.  I have found freedom in the cross, in the communion of the passover feast, and in Jesus Christ Himself.

Do you need to come face to face with Jesus?  Do you need to sit at the table of the Passover feast?  He has given us His body and blood, He gave His life on the cross for us, so we may live free.

Do you have that freedom?

Each Thursday we join up here at Must Love God to create community.  We are not in this alone, together we can achieve our goals.  Those God sized dreams can become a reality.

Let us know how you’re doing.  Either comment here or write a post and link it up.  All we ask is that you add the CMA button and give the other sisters some comment love!!

Jesus is the Bread of Life but What Bread are you Eating for Life?

Morning comes and a cup of coffee goes down with no time to eat anything.

Afternoon comes and the kids want lunch so you nibble while you make their lunch and grab a chip here and there.

Oh no! It is time to think about what is for dinner so your hubby can have a meal when he gets home.

Again, you are nibbling your way thru the kitchen searching for an easy box to fix…hamburger helper, maybe mac n cheese with some hot dogs thrown in for protein.  You grab a soda or a pop and drink it while you are cooking.  Then maybe you grab a cookie that you made yesterday for the kids.

photo courtesy of tuchodi

Does this sound familiar?

The food and snack might be different but is this what your day might look like?  Are you too busy to take the time to feed your body with what God wants you to eat? What is your bread of life?

Christians know that Jesus is our Bread of Life.  He is the lamb sacrificed for us so we are saved from our sins. He sustains us and he is truly all the bread we need for our hearts and minds but we still need bread for our bodies to run.

Have you really thought about the bread that goes in to your body to make you live at your best?  What food is going into the  machine that God lets you take care of on this earth?  Are you taking care of your body like it is on loan from God?  Are you taking care of and watching what is going in your temple?

As moms we typically worry more about what is going in to our children’s bodies and put ourselves last.  As Christians we need to remember that we are the children of God.  We need to put healthy food in to these temples and make sure that food and our bodies will glorify God.  We need to show God that we are good stewards of our bodies because they were given to us to take care of on earth.

How are you doing with this?  I know that I would have been fired by now if God hired me to take care of my body.  I have not always done a good job for God.  The great thing is that we can change and we can change no matter how old we are.  It is never too late. God always give us grace.

Go thru your cupboards and get rid of the junk………the processed…………the sugary………….the unhealthy stuff.  An easy place to start is to look at the ingredients.  If you can’t pronounce the words or if there are more than five ingredients then it is probably a good idea to pitch it or donate it to a food shelter.   If you see high fructose corn syrup, sugar or artificial ingredients then get rid of them.   Some will have nothing left and the cupboards will seem bare.   Some families will freak out when they see all the “good” food going out the door.

But guess what?  You are left with only the healthy and if there is none there, then start with only buying fruits, vegetables, and real meat.  Think about Adam and Eve and what they had in the garden to eat.  I am thinking there was no McDonald’s or Burger King.  I don’t think there was mac n cheese or hamburger helper.  I don’t even think they had Oreos or Ruffles.

photo courtesy of Public Domain Photos

Start here and try to eat only food that God made and see how it makes you and your family feel after one week.  And don’t worry about recipes.  Eat the plain whole fruits and vegetables and grill the meat.  It doesn’t take any more time than throwing something in the microwave.

And if you have kids that have grown up with junk food, then do what I did……leave one basket with boxed fruit snacks, animal crackers, and cheese fishies and let them have those at their snack time.  They won’t feel like you are punishing them with all the healthy food in the house.   You can wean them gradually off of these unhealthy snacks as you do more real cooking and baking at home!

One more suggestion is to explain to your children that we are stewards of our bodies and that you as the mom have the job to not only feed and take care of yourself but also to feed and take care of your family.  It is your job to oversee what they put in to their bodies because God has given you the responsibility of taking care of them.

I will be praying for all of you as you go on this bread of life adventure.  It is an eye-opening and amazing way to live.  After you and your family get used to it you will never go back to throwing junk in your trunk!!!


Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. Genesis 9:3 NIV