To Eat or Not to Eat?

Of course we have to eat! Lol

I’ve been under the weather lately and food has lost it’s appeal. Two days ago, my appetite resurfaced. So I’ve been gradually introducing more items.

After recovering from stuff I tend to notice that really healthy foods like a salad with a nice mixture of different colored veggies hits the spot. Today I had a golden delicious apple and it was better than any sweet I’ve ever had, or so it seemed. Lol

My son is here from Buffalo and I was telling him that lately I feel drawn to read everything but the Bible. When I use discipline to get into the Bible, even a few sentences tastes like sweet nectar.

When I made my salad today, it was pre-packaged and pre-washed into bite sized pieces. A gift from a friend. There were ready to eat baby carrots and tiny tomatoes that only needed to be rinsed off. All I needed to add was salad dressing to satisfy my taste buds. Mmm good.

I ate a delicious ziti after the salad in a moderate amount because I was testing my abilities with food. Moments later, I decided to have more ziti because it tasted so good. I asked God what He thought. I got the idea not to eat anymore of the Italian style meal.

Years ago, as a teen, I used to overeat because it was there and it stimulated my taste buds but I didn’t feel satisfied afterwards. I found if I ate an apple after eating a dessert, I would feel content. Ziti has some great nutrition to it, but cooked food loses the natural enzymes that are in raw foods. So I found something else to do until the craving passed. Then I thought of a verse in Proverbs:

Proverbs 25:16 (KJV) Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

If I’d overeaten, I would have slown down my recovery.

When I read too many books on writing or read fiction and magazines and watch YouTube with my son and then talk on the phone, being alone with God and learning from His word can lose its attraction. In these end times, what a dangerous place to be.

I thank God for all His blessings, but I need Him to keep me on track with our relationship. I make sure I talk to my husband every day and we date regularly when we can, even if we don’t have a dime to spare. A good friend once purchased sparkling grape juice, some easy to make picnic items, and arranged for free or inexpensive babysitting. She kidnapped her husband and they went to a park for a date. They’ve been married over forty years.

I try to eat healthy and I fail to manage it perfectly, but Jesus reminded us in the Scripture when He debated with the devil in the wilderness a priority in life.

In Mat_4:3 (KJV): And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Mat_4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

God’s word is more important than our daily bread.

I need to keep that in mind. That’s why He provides for our needs so we can concentrate on the spiritual realities. I’m thinking Matthew 6:33 (KJV): “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

God bless!

Continuing the De-cluttering Journey

Just past Christmas, if memory serves me, I bought a book by Marie Kondo with a sticker on it, “sold over two million copies.” I’m always interested in learning more about tidying up, those words are in the title, and as an author, a book that sells over two million copies is something to note. So I began to read, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.”

It’s a small book, so that didn’t hurt. It’s filled with ideas she’s incorporated in her business of helping others to de-clutter and to enjoy their surroundings and their stuff. I did the first step, and frankly it wasn’t too bad. The next step is one that I don’t look forward to trying, but I’m determined to do so. She includes spirituality in her book that doesn’t mesh with my beliefs, so I did my best to ignore that aspect of her book. I firmly believe Jesus Christ, God the Son; His Father, God; and God the Holy Spirit are the only God to worship. One God, three persons, a great mystery.

If you struggle with too much stuff, she’s gentle in her approach, she’s passionate about the topic, and she gives advice about the benefits of less and the hazards of too much. God gives free choice, so I have chosen to guard my heart after learning about many lifestyles and religions. Christianity measures up, in my opinion. So I skimmed over the different philosophy and tried to take in the mechanical and psychological insights. I’ve been praying for help in this area. My son, Tim visited for Christmas and suddenly I saw him cleaning and organizing the kitchen counter as a surprise. I teared up. That was the first step in the answer to prayer; this book and my first action is the second answer to prayer.

God answers prayer. Thank you, God. Thank you, Marie Kondo for your insights.

Hearing from God

Do you ever hear a Scripture over and over again, through prophesies, preaching, and/or casual conversation? I’ve been hearing and reading in the Word, Isaiah 64:6. Here it is in the Amplified Version of the Bible:

For we have all become like one who is unclean (ceremonially, like a leper), and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment; we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away (far from God’s favor, hurrying us toward destruction). (Leviticus 13:45, 46)

Then I hear that even though all fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23), it is for sinful man that Jesus Christ came from heaven to earth. He took the curse of sin, and the sin itself, upon Himself (He who knew no sin), took my sin on Himself so I could be washed clean. Then Father God says, “I see you my beloved child, free from sin,” because I repented and believed on Jesus, God the Son.
When I die, God will say, “Come into My heaven, your home. Your mansion awaits. There’s no crying here. Enter into rest and be free of all aches and pains. Experience the joy and love of God forever.”

Why do I keep on hearing about “none are righteous, no not one.”? Maybe so I’ll be less hard on myself when I miss the mark of the high call of God. Maybe because pride is the basis of all sin, C.S. Lewis thought so. Then I’ll know any good thing in me is because of Jesus Christ, the Savior.

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV) says: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

To stay rooted and grounded in Jesus, I must live a repentant lifestyle. When I sin daily, hourly, moment by moment sometimes, I need to repent daily, hourly, moment by moment. God forgives and I must forgive myself. To live in God’s joyful presence, what a privilege. Grace – not striving, not legalism – but grace!

We are able to hear from God because of His grace.

Savoring the Magic

Today started like any day might, but it turned into a day of joyful encounters with unexpected friends at a family reunion picnic. My sister invited a good friend and her daughter to the event but didn’t let me know. What a delight!

Then within a half hour or so, my daughter and her four children arrived. She drove her brother, my second son, to the picnic as well. More joy. Seeing extended family and family-like friends, plus my sister, Barb, made my day.

My husband and I drove on a newly paved highway through the valleys of upstate New York. My youngest daughter and her boyfriend accompanied us and we discussed the hilly terrain. Are they small mountains or high hills? I tried to find out on the internet, but it was inconclusive, in my opinion. So, I’ll do more research. That’s what writers do. We care about details that others may find boring or a waste of time. Then we ponder the wonder of it all. Give it our perspective and possibly turn it into a poem or a children’s story or consider it for a setting in a novel. Sometimes I have to remember to live in the moment because my mind starts fashioning new worlds and pretend people and I realize I missed what someone was saying, or I didn’t glance at the stars when I went from the car to the house.

If I live in a fantasy land, the important can be neglected. I remembered saying I was going to read the book I bought at Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference, entitled, “The ABC’s of Who God Says I Am,” by Kolleen Lucariello. So, I read chapter one this week. I thought of the vulnerability she displayed as she described an incident in her high school years. Marlene Bagnull taught at a writers’ conference in Rochester, NY, possibly in 1991. My first writers’ conference. She told us that vulnerability in an author is a key component in good writing.

I look forward to reading more of Kolleen Lucariello’s book. It made me think. I left its pages feeling encouraged.

If you get a chance to spend time with family and friends, savoring their smiles and the sunshine on a creek, hoisting little ones to view the seaweed and the black and jade-colored dragonflies, do it. Live in the present, and if you’re a writer, capture the magic of life.

When the reality of life gets hard, a story can catapult me into another time and place. I return with renewed vigor and hopefully some nugget of truth I never appreciated or understood before. Life needs balance.

Tomorrow morning, I plan to go to church and sing songs that remind me of the goodness of God. I expect it’ll be as most of the Sundays that have come and gone, but one never knows what God may orchestrate. šŸ™‚

Vacations

Vacation time came and then slipped away. The inconveniences made me long for home. I burnt my arm three times on a hot seat belt clasp inĀ TennesseeĀ over a few days. I told myself, “Remember! Pay attention to the scorching metal and plastic parts.” Ā šŸ™‚

That has never happened to me in New York. Although I heard it was the hottest weather Tennessee has ever experienced. I likedĀ TennesseeĀ a lot though: friendly people, lots of stores nearby, sunshine, good food, plenty of churches.

The love of son and grandson inĀ Tennessee, meeting their friends and a new loved one, the eating out, and checking out of museums, and helping pick out brand new furniture made me dread going back to my reality.

Then my husband and I enjoyed a leisurely drive back home and the dread turned to anticipation and delight in the beauty of our town and the surrounding mountains.

I found joy in my home town responsibilities. I decided not to step down from a board position after all. I chose worship music for a month of Sundays. šŸ™‚

I looked forward to seeing my other children and friends and associates. I declared to many that New York is as beautiful a state as Kentucky and Tennessee and West Virginia and Virginia and Pennsylvania with our mountains and streams and lakes and fluffy clouds.

If the earth takes my breath away, what will heaven be like, with all its perfection? If God astounds me with His answers to prayer and His provision and His peace that He bestows willingly, what will it be like to see Him face to face?

Vacations are great if you can manage one when you’re weary. Sometimes you have to plan or take them close to home, but the rest always makes me appreciate what I sometimes find burdensome or uninspiring.

I never tired of hearing people I care about say, “Welcome home!”

I smiled and said, “Thank you, it’s great to be back.”

Now if I could only convince loved ones in other states to buy a jet plane and visit me on demand.