Preparing for the Unexpected

I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.” ― author Joshua Graham

How do people survive what is clearly insurmountable tragedy?

A teenager accidentally hits his sister with the car, resulting in her death. Two tragedies right there. A wife taken too soon. A healthy typical bodied person who loses limbs or their eyesight.

I think of people whose lives have been transformed like this, and I try to put myself in their places. I think I have an empathetic sense and a good imagination, but I just can’t even do it.

graveyard image

How do those people get the strength to get up in the morning?

How can they eat, let alone keep up their faith?

I once worked with a woman whose son was struck by lightning while he was working on the family barn. I met her five years later. She was functioning on a day to day basis. She was delightful. But she was touched by inherent sadness.

It affected every facet of her life.

http://www.wallpapers13.com/love-the-fire-inside/

 

I have been ruminating on a Sunday sermon from several weeks ago when our pastor, referencing 2 Corinthians 3:18 said, “Are you willing to be transformed into His likeness through this trial?

I think of people who have kept their faith through horrendous tragedy and I imagine that this is a great comfort.

As I go through my own adversity, I have started to take this verse to heart. It gives me strength. I feel as if I am growing when I read and pray over those words. What a joyful feeling, despite the pain.

I can’t image at all the pain that others have felt. My small afflictions have felt all-encompassing and yet I know they were not. I pray that the practice of focusing on Him through pain and tragedy will give me peace and help me grow in His armor.

As you spend time meditating or praying this week, take some time to examine 2 Corinthians 3:18.

A gem cannot be polished w/out friction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Life Right Now

I have a huge desire to run. HA. run.  as if.

I mean get away.

And I don’t mean get away for the weekend. I simply cannot see staying in the house we own in the town in which we live. I feel like I want to get onto the back of the motorcycle and race away. And not look back.

A few months ago (Bill) mentioned the idea of him taking a promotion and moving somewhere else. This would give us two things. One, the ability to make more money in the years before we retire. And two, the ability to travel to a few new places to see if we would like to live out the rest of our lives in another location. We aren’t from the state where we have lived for the past 28 years, and though we’ve raised our four kids here I have no ties to this town or this state, except for the fact that I love our church.

When I try to push myself to figure out why I feel this way, I can’t decide. One reason might be some money pressure I’m feeling. I tend to want to put my head in the sand when I’ve let money issues run amok. The other reason might be because our two youngest kids are in turmoil, so as much as I don’t think so, I may have taken that on as my own.

Until next time…

 

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Whole30 – Day 17

So as I mentioned before, Whole30 is a whole new experience for me.

And why did we chose to do this over EASTER??? Can you say crazy??

Whole30 – Day 17

(or, my first 2 weeks on whole30)

If you remember, I was super worried that I was going to have severe sugar withdrawal. And while I know this is NOT a diet, I felt for sure I would fail and cheat like a diet. On a diet (not Weight Watchers) I find that I would get unreasonably hungry for things that I “couldn’t” have. On Weight Watchers I didn’t find that this happened, because I count points, however, I consistently went over my points because I tended to indulge! So either way, I was still overindulging like crazy.

Again, though, this is not a diet, and I’m not doing this for weight loss but for the health benefits. And because it does remove all sugar from my day, I thought I would be feeling withdrawn and starving and grouchy. Whole30 participants even mention some effects like this.

However, grumpiness and unreasonable hunger have never occurred! The occasional pang of longing for something has taken place a few times (once it was the popped top of a can of Pepsi, another time it was the site of a caramel chocolate on someone’s desk…), but they have been easy to overcome. I do wake up with REAL hunger in my belly, and I love that feeling. For me it hasn’t been painful, as it sometimes was in a typical week, but inspiring.

Here is one crazy story from my experiences:

On the sixth day my husband came to pick me up at work. When I got into the car I asked him how his day went and how he was feeling. Neither he nor I had experienced any of the withdrawal that we were expecting. He said he was feeling fine. I responded that I wasn’t actually asking about cravings, I was wondering about anything else. I told him that for 2 days I had noticed that I wasn’t experiencing my joint stiffness anymore. Typically after sitting at the computer for 2 or 3 hours straight, my joints would be stiff when I got up from my chair, causing me to walk bent over. As I completed my story, hubster said that he realized (over those same 2 days) that he could move down the stairs as a clip, rather than the painstaking way he typically would go down the stairs at his job. I was incredulous, but he was serious!

How amazing is that?

And now, on day 17, my husband has reminded me that he hasn’t taken his prescription heartburn medicine in 8 days! Craziness!

Another side effect of this whole experience is that I have MORE ENERGY than I have had in years and I am not working out or getting more sleep. In fact, last night I was up (in bed but on my phone) until 12:3pm and today at work I was bustling about and happy. That is just CRAZY. Did I mention that today is Monday??? So that whole thing is insane…

But at least I can have a delicious dinner!!

So, I’ll share more in the future, but in the meantime, if you are intrigued at all, I’d recommend reading the whole30 book, Food Freedom Forever by Marissa Hartwig. I’d also read the blog, at whole30.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Whole30 What?

No Dairy. No Grains. No Alcohol. No Legumes. No Sugar. No preservatives. No Carrageenan, MSG, and Sulfites.  30 days.

What was I thinking?? And what were my Whole30 expectations??

For anyone reading this who isn’t familiar with the Whole30, visit http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/

http://pre10.deviantart.net/b399/th/pre/f/2014/344/1/7/komodo_moe_by_lurking_leanne-d89byag.png

Sugar Dragon from LeAnne – Deviant Art

Melissa Hartwig, co-creator of the plan, says it simple on the website, “Eliminate the most common craving-inducing, blood sugar disrupting, gut-damaging, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the reset button with your health, habits, and relationship with food, and the downstream physical and psychological effects of the food choices you’ve been making.”

I started Whole30 fearful of the dreaded Sugar Dragon. Coworkers, who didn’t know what the Whole30 is, warned me that they were going to stay away from me once they heard I wouldn’t be eating sugar. I had no idea what my response would be but I thought for sure it would be full of the worst experiences that I’d read about.

I was in the middle of Weight Watchers, and I was not being diligent about tracking my foods. My weight loss was barely happening – I was going up and down each week.

I was also worried about my Type II diabetes.

Six months before, when I was not a Weight Watchers member, my doctor had told me that my blood test number was over the line now so he recommended Metformin. I have no idea what that is. But it scared me, so I declined and promptly went home and buried my head in the sand.

Yes, I have literally done NOTHING about my diabetes. And soon after that doctor’s visit, my urine began to smell like fruit loops. Which, I understand, is a symptom of Type II Diabetes.

TMI?? Sorry.

So, where was I? Oh, right, my head is in the sand.

It was. My husband, who is overweight as well, has been suffering from bloating, among other things, for several years. He first went to his doctor and it was decided that the cause was his gallbladder. They went in and looked at it and said it wasn’t working, so they took it out, but it didn’t help the bloating. He had a test for a gluten allergy, and that was negative. Finally, he had both a colonoscopy and an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. They said, “Yes, we can see that you are inflamed, but we don’t know why.”

And they sent him home.

This was three years ago.

And over time we’d talked to him about trying to go gluten free, about the elimination diet, and any number of other food tricks to determine his problem. He declined.

In the meantime, one of our daughters, who has completed several Whole30 several times over a year or two, asked again if we would do it with her. She said she was starting another on April 1st.  I had just told hubster about my diabetic situation and how fearful I was. That was all it took – his concern for me motivated him to do this with me to help ME.

And we were off! Crazy things ensued, and I can’t wait to share them with you in my next post. Go ahead and explore Whole30 – you know you want to!

 

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Sunrise in Maine

Somewhat Wordless Wednesday Returns:

sunrise

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Beautiful Day

Sometimes when we are working our hardest for our family, we begin to feel we MUST do it all. That everything is up to us. We begin to doubt that God will care for us, counting on our own abilities. We want to be able to check off those boxes that say we’ve accomplished everything and more.

Beach Bible

But this is just distraction to break your character, to push you to doubt, to force you to lean away from Christ to widen the chasm between you and Him.

Resolve to give every day to Christ. Meditate. Read the bible. Go to church. Give your time, talents, and money to benefit others. Don’t be stingy with what you have. Struggling because you don’t have a lot of money? Donate your time – even once a month can ease someone else’s burden.

Before you start your day, eat your meals or tackle your to-do list, commit your work to the Lord. At the worst it will help center you and give you a positive start to your day. At best, you will develop a better relationship with God and allow you to arm yourself with strengths that will allow you to work through your struggles and help others.

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Lori in writing Soli Deo Gloria size 28 copy

 

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Why this?

This is not the start of some pithy meaningful post about the brevity of life.

This is actually a question about personal motivation. Why do you do what you do?

  • Why do you make the choices you make?
  • Why do you say the things you say?
  • What drives you to do the things you do?

camera-focusThis simple three letter word is the question suggested by a certain direct selling company when a person signs up to be a consultant… Why do you want to be a consultant? What drives you to be in the business of selling this product?

Right on the front page of the login page there is a place where consultants are encouraged to write their “Why” in a Goals section. For the year that I played with this company, this was my why:

Why? Because I love the beautiful products and want to purchase them with a discount. Because I love the Christian connection. Because I enjoy selling and though I haven’t done it much, so I’m excited to try this! Because I look forward to having a career that is all my own, and be my own boss.

I could have gone on. I do want a career that is all my own. I want to pay off not only my monthly debts but I want to pay off my college loans, which are woefully past due. I want to pay off my kid’s college loans, which they are dutifully trying to pay off (but which are more than my mortgage).

hands-heart

I don’t know if I believed that a part-time job could ever do all of that. And that may have been my downfall. I needed to have more faith in myself and say that I want to make my car payment every month (my car payment is about the amount of my rent back in the 80’s). But in the meantime, I wrote the truth.

However, after I began to hold a few parties I realized my true Why. Why I took this path for a year of fun. Why I decided to get involved with direct sales of these fun products. I was at loose ends as my youngest child was preparing to graduate high school and go off to college.

As I began to participate in parties, I found a family of friends I didn’t know I was missing.

And this was a wonderful reason – a wonderful and fulfilling Why.

Lori in writing Soli Deo Gloria size 28 copy

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Chocolate Yogurt Shots

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Just YUM. 

Chocolate Wafer Cookies (or Oreo’s. Oreo’s are perfection).

Dannon Greek Vanilla Yogurt (amount depends on how big the servings will be and how many people you are serving)

Chocolate Vodka (or your favorite flavor) (1 ounce -which is 1 teaspoon- per 2 ounces of yogurt)

2 Chocolate Candy Bars

I created this recipe for a party in 2014. You do NOT need to use Vodka – if you don’t, then you can bring them to work (which I did).

Get the best quality chocolate candy bars you can get. We have a discount grocery store nearby and they occasionally have fancy premium brands of chocolate.

Crush the chocolate cookies and sprinkle some in the bottom of each serving glass. Put both the crushed cookies and the serving glasses aside.

Warm your double boiler and prepare to melt one of the candy bars (or semi-melt it, leaving some chunks). Melt the chocolate slowly.

melted chocolate

Gently stir the vodka into the vanilla yogurt (no one said this was going to be a diet recipe). Then do the same as you add the chocolate. The vodka will thin the yogurt, and the chocolate, as it cools, will thicken it again. If you like chocolate, feel free to add any bits of un-melted chocolate.

Spoon the yogurt mixture into your serving cups. Instead of spooning it, you could also put it into a plastic baggie and squeeze it out into a swirl. Or spoon first then top off each cup with a swirl! Anything you like!

Sprinkle the crushed chocolate cookies over each serving. Top each of them off with cookie crumbles or even bits of leftover candy bars.

Voila! Enjoy!

 Lori in writing Soli Deo Gloria size 28 copy

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Listen here.

phone on the bed

Do you listen? No, I’m not saying this in anger. I’m asking you honestly and kindly.

Do you really listen? Do you allow a break in a conversation to ask about the other person, in case they needed time to become brave enough to be ready to share their need or vulnerability? A friend of mine shared her story:

She has a dear friend whom she loves, who calls her often to share about her life. She is so happy to help her friend or simply just listen to her.

She’s not a big phone person, so she doesn’t call her friend often. But now she calls this friend even less.

If something is troubling her and she needs to vent, she finds that she can’t.  The conversation goes elsewhere. You see, sometimes it takes a bit to break down and talk about an issue that is bothering her.

So make sure you listen. Your friend might really need you to.

Lori in writing Soli Deo Gloria size 28 copy

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Using 1 Corinthians 13:4-6

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Article by Diane Stark from Thriving Family

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