Monday, February 11, 2013
While not "religious" about Valentine's Day, still it's nice to let people know that you care about them, whether you are lovers, friends, or family. I heard a song by Steven Curtis Chapman some time ago, and used it as a background for some of my mission pictures. It's because the love of God is my motivation for doing what I do, including trying to get this weight down and this temple in as good shape as I can at this stage of my life - so I can live to express His love to others. So, this is for all my Spark Buddies who have encouraged me on the way.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
One of my problems in the area of weight loss is that I really like food - the many flavors and textures - and it was hard to listen to the stomach saying, "Okay, I've had enough" when the tongue was saying, "But it's so GOOD, I want MORE." But with Spark's help and by God's grace and the Holy Spirit helping me to cultivate that fruit of self-control (Gal. 5:23), I have been taking better care of this temple.
Lately my DD, good friend and spark buddy Glitterfairy77 has been wanting to change over to Veganism, after having watched a documentary called Vegucated. I watched it too, and I can understand. I love meat - but I hate the inhumane practices of mega-meat producers, the insensitivites that have crept in and become common. I would not condemn anyone for buying and preparing and eating meat - nor will I ridicule anyone for going the other 'extreme" of veganism. And I am an animal lover - while I'm not Catholic, I can certainly admire St. Francis of Assisi. I have made animals out of clay since I was a wee thing playing with plasticene. I love the variety God has made. He allowed us to eat meat since after the Flood, but He never said we could be abusive or cruel towards His creation...and this is what we see in meat processing.
If I could, if I wanted meat, I would raise my own - have my own small farm, raise a few critters tenderly, and slaughter mercifully, as the Kosher laws would dictate. But it's a bit impractical.
I'll still eat meat occasionally, especially for Passover. But if Glitterfairy wants to increase our menu to be mainly Vegan, I have no objections. I am only one person, but such as I can do, I will, so as not to participate in unnecessary suffering of any of God's creatures. Kindness is another of the fruits of the Spirit - and it should also be extended to animals.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)
Saturday, February 09, 2013
We must have gotten a foot at the very least since the snow started coming. It is absolutely beautiful. But also inconvenient. I want to get to church tomorrow, especially since I didn't make it LAST week.So, I put on my boots and coat and hat and mittens, and went out to shovel. I noted the time so I could record it as cardio. My neighbor was using a snowblower on his driveway. I slowly hacked away at mine, and then I saw him coming over my way with his machine. I started to watch gratefully as he began to clear out the apron where the worst stuff is - the heavy, "greasy" stuff mixed with plowed salty snow, then returned to getting the stuff in front of the cars. Glitterfairy's kettle bells arrived - poor Fedex guy had to lug that small 50 pound box! - and Glitterfairy popped out to get it and check on me. She suggested I come in and she would take over - we do have another shovel but it's a heavy one, and she can't manage it. So I told her to let me know when 10 or 15 minutes passed. After clearing most around the vehicles and profusely thanking my neighbor, I went in, and TWENTY minutes had passed - she'd lost track of the time, working on her classwork.
Well, I had a good workout!
Friday, February 08, 2013
There is a calendar in the ladies' room of the second floor co-ed staff lav where I work. It's been February for about a week now but it was just this morning when I looked below the photo of the pretty winter landscape to read the quote there:
"Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." Charles Dickens
Is anyone not familiar with the biography of Charles Dickens? Here's an excerpt I googled:
"Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, the son of John and Elizabeth Dickens. John Dickens was a clerk in the Naval Pay Office. He had a poor head for finances, and in 1824 found himself imprisoned for debt. His wife and children, with the exception of Charles, who was put to work at Warren's Blacking Factory, joined him in the Marshalsea Prison. When the family finances were put at least partly to rights and his father was released, the twelve-year-old Dickens, already scarred psychologically by the experience, was further wounded by his mother's insistence that he continue to work at the factory. " www.victorianweb.org/authors/dickens
Now, I have always had an optimistic bent, almost what some may call a Pollyanna paradigm. But the truth is, if God is indeed in control (which He is), and is sovereign (ditto), and He loves us (also true) and works all things together for our good (same here) - then we really should all, at least we Christians, be incurable optimists. Furthermore, we should be the most grateful of all people because we KNOW these things to be true.
I am grateful I did not have the painful past that Dickens had. But as he said, we all have SOME "past misfortunes." But let's not dwell on them! Let's instead focus on whatever blessings we may find each day.
We have a snowstorm going on here right now. But the temperature is about 30 degrees, and the snow is PERFECT for packing. It is sitting very prettily upon the branches of the trees, and my grandkids are having a great time playing out in it. I suppose eventually I'll have to shovel because my son-in-law got rid of the snowblower (I thought it was new - no, he'd bought it cheap used, and got his money's worth before it died) - but I've been keeping up with my exercise, so if I take it a little at a time, I'll have a good cardio and strength workout for the arms, a nice change from the bike and dumbbells. What blessings!
a glimpse of my granddaughter and the dogs through the lacy branches
Thursday, February 07, 2013
The more I deal with this world's trappings, the more I want of Jesus.
I am not rich by U.S. standards, but certainly compared to most of my friends in Peru, I would be considered QUITE well off. I am able to make monthly payments on my van. I have been making the mortgage payments for the two years since my husband passed away - [so WHY can't the bank just add my name to it? Oh, that's right - they have to bleed me of as much extra money as they can]. Granted, I've occasionally been a bit delayed on one bill or another due to the cash flow - too many bills coming due near the same time - but my biweekly pay DOES cover them. I've been able to afford little special treats. I've been chipping away at my late husband's hospital bills and with next pay will have paid off one more - just another 500 or so on the last one! On top of that I have been able to send money to Levi occasionally, to help or to bless - and though I've broken up with him, I don't regret my generosity. I still love his family.
Things have not been easy by a long shot. But I am grateful for a roof over my head, and for wheels and meals, and so much more. I have a COMPUTER! I have CABLE! I have electricity and hot and cold running water! I have a washer and dryer!
These things can hold the appearance of wealth to those who have a truly impoverished background. But my greatest wealth is Christ. These things can all be taken away in a moment - not that I live in a region noted for tornadoes or hurricanes or earthquakes - but things happen. Unemployment, accidents...I have been learning not to place too much store on THINGS, because they will not last.
But I can't lose Jesus. And I know He won't let go of ME.
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