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Daniel Fast

13 Jan

I started the Daniel Fast last week. I was a little anxious about doing it as so many foods were cut from my diet. The first few days were awful. My head throbbed from the lack of caffiene. My body ached from the detox. On day three I wondered how much longer I could carry on, and, if these aches were going to last the whole time. This evening, at the end of day six, I have to say that I feel great. The head and body pains left me by the evening of day four. I now have lots of energy, even in late afternoon, which is usually my “I need a coffee injection” time of the day. I’m not feeling the need for coffee at all. I actually feel really good!

Food wise, so far, I’ve only found one thing that I’ve not liked, and that was a snack – almond butter balls. I’ve tried some really nice food, such as Rice, Sweet Potato and Bean Soup, Hummus Casserole, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Pineapple Muffins and Fig, Pear and Walnut Salad. I used to think to myself “what do vegans eat?” Let’s say that my eyes have been opened! I’ve really been thinking about the food that goes into my body. I think when the fast is over I will continue to use some of the recipes in my weekly diet, and have a largely vegetarian diet.

The first few days I got hungry a lot and it tortured me to give food to the kids that I couldn’t eat. I’m definitely less hungry now. Spiritually, I’ve not put the time in that I should have, so far. We started homeschool back this week, so that generally means an all over the place week, until we are back into routine. I feel like God has spoken into a couple of situations that we’ve prayed about. I’ve also become aware that I need to journal more. I’m hoping to connect more with God this coming week.

On a side note, I tried Quinoa tonight, for the first time, and loved it. The kids ate it without complaining too!

Choose Joy

16 Sep

Have you ever had the feeling like you have missed out on someone wonderful in your life and now it’s too late to experience that? Over the past three or four days I have realized that. I learned a lot in this past 72 hours or so about Sara, also known as Gitzen Girl. Sara is getting ready to go and be with Jesus. She has had Ankylosing Spondylitis for fourteen years and suffers with tremendous pain. Sara has been housebound in a her condo for at least three years. Imagine that? Never being able to leave your home, to feel the sun on your skin or the wind blow through your hair again. Yet, Sara has lived through this with dignity and much joy. In fact Choose Joy is her motto. She has this most amazing picture that she painted on her wall at home. In honor of her many of her friends are getting choose joy tattoos.

I haven’t been able to get Sara out of my mind since the beginning of this week and I am praying for her. Even though she never left her home, God gave her the beautiful gift of being able to bless people from it, and I believe she has been blessed so much through other people. Please keep Sara, her family and friends in your prayers.

In her blog posts she speaks of living in the now, embracing life and choosing joy. She is an encourager who chooses to see the positive in things. This is her definition of joy:

the unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it… not despite what’s happening in my life but because of it. When everything earthly feels heavy He gives me an internal lightness that can’t be touched.

I feel really challenged by Sara to live in the now and enjoy life today. At this time, I feel so much pressure in life, and I know that I have not been living joyfully for some time, due to circumstances. I need to choose joy.

I’ve read Sara’s posts on [In]Courage, but until this week had not visited her blog. I’m sad that I hadn’t. I’ve missed out on a precious gift. I thank God for Sara and pray that she will be at complete peace.

Alece posted a verse on her Twitter account yesterday for Sara, Zephaniah 3:17 “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” This is one of my favourite bible verses. It speaks about an exuberant joy that God has for His children. He delights in us. The Hebrew word used is Yagil which means to spin around. I love that picture of God spinning around above us in joy.

Sara, I think God is spinning around above you in joy right now. Thank you for your example, for showing us how to live, even in the face of adversity.

The Post

20 May

I’ve gotten into a horrible habit lately of checking my email as soon as I wake up in the morning, so last night I purposely left my computer in the other room and didn’t “take it to bed” with me! When I woke up this morning I lay quietly for five or ten minutes then went out to the lounge for my cup of tea. I felt drawn to read James. I kind of groaned inside because I have not always gotten along with James’ letter! I’ve often felt like I was being told off in it! Anyway, this morning I realized it has some real gems in it too. Today I read this in James “Dear brothers and sisters whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” (James 1:2-4)

After reading and praying I saw a picture. This is what I wrote down in my journal:

Had a picture of me standing on the ground near a “post” and there were some little cracks in the ground. Suddenly a hand appeared and tried to grab my leg. I managed to move away and grabbed on to the post. Then another hand appeared so I climbed up the post slightly (maybe a foot and a half off the ground). As I was in this position I realized that the hands could only come out of the ground so far, maybe up to the forearm. There was no ability for the arm itself to break through the ground, so the hands could not come out at, say elbow level or higher.

If I stayed where I was I would be safe. At this point I saw an image of me sliding to the bottom of the post. Then lots of hands appeared, and although they still could not come out of the ground any further than before, because there were more hands they were stronger and could quite easily overpower me and pull me to the ground.

After seeing this I realized that in order to be safe I had to climb further up the post. It was at this point that I saw that the “post” was Jesus. So if I draw closer to him then I get further up the post. Finally, I became aware that another word for post is pillar.

This year has been hard on me emotionally at church. I’m tired and very beat up. Sometimes I feel like I’m a human punch bag. The thing is though, I am a person, I have feelings too and shouldn’t have to put up with some of the stuff that has happened this year. It is wrong. If I were in any other job people would be advising me to leave because you shouldn’t be abused at work. This week has been a good week, sadly though a few hours after reading and praying this morning, I received another one of “those” emails. How did I handle it? I cried my eyes out and shouted! Calmed down and then Lady Wisdom took control.

Thanksgiving

12 Oct

It’s Thanksgiving Day today in Canada and I find myself thankful for so many things this year, to start with the fact that we get to have Thanksgiving here! Just five months ago we found ourselves wondering what the future held for us as our move to Canada seemed like it was closing down. We were in a state of confusion and devastation. We were questioning whether all of the things God had said and shown us were right, had we heard a thing? Why wasn’t the door opening? Four months ago all that changed and now as I write this I can see how God moved so perfectly in our situation at precisely the right time. I’m thankful to be on the other side and thankful that we survived those dark, stressful unknowing days which literally took everything we had out of us and more. We were stripped away, but I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful for my family. I have two children who are blossoming and are so much fun to be with. I’m thankful for the sense of freedom they have. I’m thankful that Jonathan has a job, and that although it isn’t enough money to cover all of our outgoings, it’s a job nonetheless and there is food in our cupboards. I’m thankful that he works so hard, 9-5 at work and then on web design in the evenings and weekends, so that I can stay home and school the kids.

I’m thankful that I’m living and breathing. More than anything I’m so so thankful to God, for the way he moves in my life, in your life, in the world and for sending his son to bring redemption.

What are you thankful for?

Taking Deep Breaths

31 Dec

I hope you all had a good Christmas. Sorry I haven’t been around, we’ve been quite busy. To be honest, I’ve enjoyed the computer break! I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting over the past few days. What started it off was a post Erin wrote last Friday called First Breath. In some of this post Erin reflected on the past year and the things that have failed. She also spoke about how she feels like she is breathing after feeling suffocated for so long. The post Erin wrote is beautiful and it contains much more than what I’ve shared here. There was a quote which really hit me as I read Erin’s post which I’ve copied below:

Christmas eve night found me wandering the neighborhood in two feet of snow in my pajamas at 1 AM Crying, no, sobbing and wailing for all that is lost and all that has failed this year. For all the ways I have failed to contribute in meaningful ways to situations beyond my control. For all the ways God has not come through in the sense that my evangelical self would normally believe him to.

Most of my reflection of 2008 is failure and let down. It has been a year which started with much hope, but so much has failed to take off. Not just for us, but also for members of our immediate family too. For many days now, I’ve been standing with Erin on Christmas Eve crying, sobbing and wailing. Maybe you have been there too?

As I have been reflecting, I have come to a realization that I’ve let nine months of my life slip away, almost unnoticed. Every day I’ve been looking towards tomorrow, wondering if that is the day our news will come? If that is the day that everything will change? I’ve spoken before about how I feel like I’ve just been existing. Something in Erin’s post helped nudge me and I literally have let everyday slip by because I’m so focused on tomorrow.  It’s like today never was.

God has shown me that I need to live for today, I need to let tomorrow worry about itself. I need to breathe, in and out, in and out. I know winter has just begun, but I feel like spring is upon me. My life is going to change in 2009 whether we go to Canada or not. The fact is I will be moving on from here. I am about to reclaim my life. Sure, like a lot of you, I’m concerned about the economic crisis, but I’m going into 2009 full of hope. God isn’t here to meet my demands. His timing, his will is best. I must allow him to be in control and not try to push him in my ways.  Like Erin, I see that dawn is rising, and I’m hopeful that the darkest hour is now over with.

Happy New Year!

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