Friday, June 20, 2014
Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:8-9
Peace...Peace of heart and mind. A precious commodity! Something money can't buy!
Our heart is our spirit, where the Spirit of God lives if we have been "born of the Spirit" as Jesus describes in John 3. Our mind is part of our soul, which consists of our mind, our will and our emotions. What a person thinks will determine what a person feels and what a person feels will determine what that person wills, and whatever controls the will, controls the person.
So the question becomes: Who's in control? Me, Myself and I, or the Spirit of God?
What I like about this verse, is that it is a 2 say street, so to speak: If we do our part, then God will do His part. So, let's look at it again and notice who does what.
Be ANXIOUS for NOTHING. In other words, FEAR NOT! I've heard it said that there are actually 365 "fear nots" in the Bible, one for every day of the year. Haven't researched it myself, but it's on my "to do" lists of subjects to study! FAITH and FEAR cannot operate at the same time: you either believe and have faith, or you fear. FAITH believes in the unseen spiritual realm of God's truth revealed in His Word. FEAR believes in the seen reality of this physical earth realm of reality. Our part is to believe the truth of God's Word MORE than the reality of what our eyes see. And the truth has to do with the next step.
But by PRAYER and SUPPLICATION, with THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God. 1 Peter tells us to "Cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you". In other words, roll them on over, and leave them there! 1 John says "that if we ask anything according to His will, we know He hears us, and if He hears us, we know we have the thing for which we've asked"! And we know it is ALWAYS GOD'S WILL to let HIM TAKE CONTROL OF A SITUATION and work out all the details.
THE PROBLEM IS US! We want to figure it out, find the answer, and get in there to "HELP GOD OUT"! Like God needs our help!! Abraham and Sarah, and Moses all "helped" God out, and look where that got them! That's where the THANKSGIVING part comes in. We can be thankful that God hears and answers our requests, and that He is fully able to work out everything that concerns us! And that keeps PRIDE at bay! Me, Myself and I have nothing to brag about when God answers our prayers. I Timothy says: IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS, FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR YOU IN CHRIST JESUS. No matter what situation we find ourselves, we can be thankful because Romans 8 tells us that "all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes". Even evil things that are thrown at us can be turned into a blessing given enough time and God's graceful intervention.
GOD'S PEACE is given to us by The Prince of Peace. And the Holy Spirit also gives us peace because He has been given to us as our Comforter.
PEACE THAT PASSES UNDERSTANDING. First we trust and believe, and then comes understanding later. The good news is that we can have peace in the situation even before we have complete understanding about it! How wonderful and gracious is that?
THE GUARDING OF OUR HEART AND MIND. The picture that the Holy Spirit is trying to paint for us is mounting a garrison of protection like a fortress for our heart and mind. With our heart we trust that God is THE GOD of our lives and so with our minds we don't have to worry and fear about ANYTHING! Then our emotions can line up with our mind.
Our part is to not be anxious, worried and fearful but rather pray with thanksgiving and roll everything onto God and leave it there.
God's part is to give us peace that passes even our ability to understand and to mount a garrison of protection around our heart and mind.
So who are we going to ALLOW to be in control? Me, myself and I, or God's Holy Spirit?
Friday, June 13, 2014
They say that life is what happens to you when you have other plans. If that is the case, then life has been happening all over me! I can't believe that it has been 4 weeks since my last blog entry, but then again, yes I can! The very same afternoon of my last blog entry, my daughter in law went into early labor, was air lifted to Loma Linda and our 2 year old granddaughter was at my house within hours! She and my daughter in law have been here ever since: ie, my pancake life. It's when life comes along, and like a spatula, flips you upside down!
Now, we were expecting to have them here the last 2 weeks of June. My son was going out of town for work, and being so close to the baby's due date, we didn't want her to be alone. But one month earlier than expected - I simply wasn't ready! The back deck had not been swept and cleaned up, the playhouse was not assembled, the guest bedroom had not had the bed readied, etc! So, we made all the preparations "on the fly"!
It's been hectic, but it's been fun! Having a toddler in the house is frustrating and fun, exhausting and exhilarating! Their world is filled with wonder and sometimes leaves me wondering how to keep up with her!! The whole house now revolves around the youngest member's schedule: nap time, bedtime, lunch, bath!! It's been 12 years since I had a toddler in the house, when our older granddaughter was with us during the day! And I was 12 years younger! But I wouldn't trade this time for anything else in the world!
Our daughter in law is doing better. We thank God for every week she hasn't yet delivered, giving the new baby time to grow to full term. Two more weeks, as she will be considered full term, and a newborn ICU will no longer be needed. In the meantime, we have found a NICU much closer to home, just a 45 minute drive instead of 2 1/2 hours away. We have all breathed a sigh of relief! At this point in time, they are no longer attempting to stop labor, so she is no longer on bed rest. Just being able to get up and move around more has made her feel better! There was so much more stress and worry trying to stop contractions, then just letting them come naturally now. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!!
Counting my success in weight loss at this point in time would just be setting myself up for failure! So, how can I define success at this point in my life? For one thing, not to stress myself out that my focus is on my family's needs right now. I've stuck to my dietary plan: I am still gluten free. I take walks to our gate and back (about half a mile) with my granddaughter 3 times a week. I am trying new recipes with new foods using new appliances! And I am taking into consideration that the body does not know the difference between good stress and bad stress, it just knows stress. And the body doesn't like to let go of the pounds when it senses that it is "under attack"!
So, what can I learn from all this? Sometimes, you have to let life be, and let it take you where it is going instead of trying to take control and force life into place. Living and enjoying life as it is, staying in the present is a much better way of living than moaning about what you could have or fretting about what you should be doing. I am choosing to live in the peace that passes all understanding knowing that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes.
So, thank you, Lord, for my pancake life! And use it for Your Glory however You choose!
Saturday, May 17, 2014
So yesterday was my 15th gluten free day. I have noticed slight changes. I seem to have a tiny bit more energy, but my mood has greatly improved. I've never been a moody person, except for these past few months. But I have noticed I haven't gotten so upset or depressed as easily these last couple of weeks. It's like my personality has "gone back to normal".
But is all this gluten intolerance just my imagination "gone wild"? How else will I REALLY know unless I test the limits? So, yesterday, I ate a "suspected" food, processed meat (I figured it would be safer than a piece of wheat bread, which would probably be LOADED with gluten!).
Well, the results are in: upset stomach, digestive imbalance, and flare up of a skin rash! Coincidence? I don't think so! It's a good thing I didn't have that piece of bread! The processed meat was enough to convince me: I'm not imagining this.
But, on the flip side, taking care of myself first, I gave my kitchen a mini-makeover yesterday! I gave away, or put away appliances that I no longer use that often, and brought out the ones I plan to use regularly according to my new eating plan. I also rearranged my kitchen's "stations" for more convenience. I can't believe I'm "this old" and still making changes and learning new things! Well, I consider myself to be a "lifetime learner", so I guess I'm just practicing what I preach!
I am also planning on investing in some new kitchen gadgets. I bought an electric pressure cooker, which is a 6 in 1 appliance: pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, etc. I also want to replace my blender and food processor with ONE combo appliance that does both.
Stress? Getting better. Nothing like making headway and accomplishing something to help settle your nerves! I've made a good dent in the mountain of paperwork: bills are paid, mail is addressed and ready to drop in the box, checks are recorded, photocopied, and ready to deposit.
So, today, I finish up on the "business" and then head to the grocery store to get ready for our Pot-Luck lunch tomorrow after Church Service. And we'll have "The Ransomed Animals", our puppet ministry performing - time for some much needed fun!
Have a wonderful blessed day!
Friday, May 02, 2014
It's been a very long time since I posted anything on this page. And a very lot has happened since then! As you may or may not know, I have elderly parents, both diagnosed with a form of dementia/Alzheimers. This is quite challenging, to say the least! Circumstances progressed to the point that my brother and I had to move them to a 24 hour care facility. All this has been extremely stressful, and has taken it's toll on my body.
"Today is the acceptable time, behold, TODAY is the day of salvation and deliverance"! Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I have had to rearrange my priorities, putting myself and my care first and foremost. This is hard on my because there is SO much involved in caring for them, including the mountain of paperwork only an adult child can do for aging parents.
So, I'm back on a healthy food plan, drinking water, exercising, reading my Bible and praying (that I never stopped doing), planning fun and putting a priority on enjoying life! We only go around once, you know! All this should greatly reduce the stress in my life, and I am looking forward to that!
So, I'm back again, and still crazy after all these years! And that's a good thing!
Friday, January 11, 2013
It's been about 3 months since my last blog entry. But that does not mean that I have not had to opportunity to practice being "beneficially selfish". Learning to let go of some of the control of overseeing my parents' healthcare has been a challenge, especially when my mother cries the blues over my not being at doctor appointments with them, etc. I have had to trust that others are capable of much of the "hands-on" care that my parents need, even though things are not done as I would have done them, or even meet my standards. For example, when my parents along with the caretaker packed clothes for a few nights out of town, my mother only brought light, summery clothing and no sweaters, earmuffs, etc for cold weather. Not earth shattering, as I pulled out extra clothing that I had for her to wear. Note to self: I need to have more direct communication with the caretaker and give more detailed instructions.
One major step in being "beneficially selfishness" was to take two trips in our new RV. We went for 5 weeks to northern California to see our son, and then on up to the state of Washington to visit with some of my husband's family over the Thanksgiving holiday. I made arrangements for my parents to spend the holiday with my dad's cousin, aunt and family. Then, right after Christmas, we went to visit friends in Arizona. We expected to be gone only one week, but ended up staying for two (one of the perks of being retired!). I need to view this as a learning experience for both myself and my parents. They actually survived without me physically present, or even close by.
One of the hardest thing about having elderly parents with dementia is the reversal of roles. Where they have always been the adult and me the child, I suddenly find myself in the parenting role. Having them depend on me for everything has been quite a shocker for me, as they have always been "fiercely independent"! But I can't carry the burden alone, and therefore, have hired the best possible care for them, as I would like as much as possible to continue to be the daughter. My only brother lives on the east coast, and is therefore limited as to the kinds of things he can do to share the load.
Over the holidays, I gained 4 lbs. I thought that was pretty good, because in my mind, it felt like 20! But now it is time to get back to more self care: Bible study, prayer, taking my meds more diligently, tracking my food and water, journaling, blogging, and of course, the "e" word.
Proverbs 31:25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future (literally: at her latter days). Lord, may it be so for me today and all the days of my life.
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