How long, Lord?

How long, Lord?

Last night I watched the sun set. I caught it as it rested on the horizon, then slowly dipped, silhouetting the trees until it was a sliver, then as burning embers slowing fading until it disappeared. And I pondered.  I grieved the loss of another day in quarantine. I grieved the months of missing handshakes, warm smiles hidden beneath masks, and the gentle squeezes of hugs.  As I sat on the deck, I mourned the dead grass, the potted plants devoured by grasshoppers, the spent garden. A picture of despair.

How long, Lord?

How long will you tarry?  Why don’t you answer our cries? Our desperate pleas for normalcy, for healing and elimination of diseases?  We cry for lives lost – to disease, to violence, to neglect. We grieve for the loss of unity in our country. We mourn that many people do not seek Your face, do not follow Your ways, do not love one another.

How long, Lord?

My heart aches. I miss a pleasant gathering, the joy and energy of a crowd, combining voices in song, or the anticipation of victory in a game. I miss the fellowship of my church family, corporate voices lifted in praise, rejoicing in your goodness.   When can we gather, Lord? 

How long?

You are the lifter of my head, the comfort in heavy times.  Your ways are higher than our ways, your thoughts are higher. I thank you for the comforts and joy You give: the love of family, joy of friendship, the contentment of a job well done.

I remember your goodness. The bounty already gathered from the garden. The hummingbird that appeared as soon as I filled the feeder with sweet provision. Health for my family. Provision for our needs. Technology that brings our family and friends closer.

You have made a way in the dry times.  I take pleasure in the work of my hands, your provision and peace. Even when I see sadness and hate, I rejoice that You are my God.  I rest in your presence. Help me, Lord, to be a light in the darkness, a channel of living water for those who thirst, a fountain of hope and peace for those who fear.

How long?

Until Your purposes and plans are fulfilled.

Tired of Plan B?

Well, Girl: An Inside-Out Journey to Wellness by Jami Amerine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


As a frequent flier in the Plan B in the sphere of my thought life, finances, goals, dreams, and yes, my personal wellness, Jami Amerine’s new book, Well,Girl, has encouraged and challenged me to walk instead in Plan A -the grace that is all-inclusive in my role as a beloved daughter of God. Written with frank and open honesty, she allowed me a glimpse into her journey of mindfulness and self-care. For so much of my life, I have bounced around, looking for the ultimate “answer”, the program that finally works, the perfect solution that would bring contentment and peace. My sanctuary is resting in my relationship with God in all areas of my life, in good times and bad – in experiencing intimacy and instruction from God for my daily life and being grateful for all that I gain in that rest. If you need a re-set in your striving, Jami can point you in the right direction to becoming a Well Girl!



View all my reviews

Transformation Story

Transformation

Have you ever just “had enough”?  Just.done.  Yeah, me too. 

So I figure you have two choices. 

1) Give up and give in. 

2) Make a change. 

I was at this point in my life in the fall of 2018.  I have been overweight most of my adult life. No matter how hard I “tried”, I could not lose the weight I wanted.  I was so tired of losing 10-15 pounds, stalling out, then gaining all or most of it back.  I figured I may as well give up and give in to being overweight the rest of my life.  Just get comfy in these large baggy clothes, and hope I didn’t look too frumpy. 

Then I saw the transformation of a friend (Lorrie Lasse) on Face book.  I hadn’t known her for a very long time.  She is the aunt of my daughter-in-law (sweet Rebekah).  We met at the wedding and became Face book friends.  Then I saw how she had lost 40 pounds and looked like a different person!  I reached out to her to see how.  And of course, after she told me, I still put it off for a few months.  Until I came back to that “had enough” point in my life and made a different choice.  I NEEDED A CHANGE!! 

We were awaiting the birth of our first grandchild and I was overwhelmed by anticipation and joy!  We could enjoy many years with this young lad (and hopefully, more to come!)  As I mentally added years to my life (I’m 61 years old now), I was very apprehensive about being an active and involved grandparent.  I observed my aging parents (now in their 80’s) and their decline in health and energy, I decided that NOW was the time!  I signed up!

I started March 3, 2019, one week before Gideon was born.  Following the plan and taking advantage of the coaching, educational materials, and community support (on Face book), I lost 60 pounds in 7 months! 

I work at a food pantry, and one day as I picked up a 50# bag of potatoes, I had a co-worker snap a picture.  Yeah, I used to carry that much extra weight around on a daily basis!  Hard to imagine, though it was no wonder my back hurt and my knees bothered me.  Before I knew it, I had more energy, I slept better, and my clothes were so loose!  I actually replaced my entire wardrobe by the time I finished! 

But even beyond the weight that was lifted, I realized I had carried around so much self-doubt and shame.  My confidence and self-esteem really brought a new level of joy into my life.  Some of the NSV’s (non-scale victories) I experienced were:  Increased energy, better sleep, decreased back pain, being able to wear zip-up knee boots, wearing a size 6 (!), and just enjoying shopping for clothes. 

I don’t tell this story to brag on myself.  This plan was so great that I would love to share it with everybody who needs a change!  I am so excited about my transformation that I want anybody who is interested to experience it as well!

This joy and excitement is also how I feel about my spiritual journey.  What a transformation that has happened in my life (and continues to) when I “had enough”, and chose to make a change to follow Jesus.  Every time I get to a barrier point in my life where I need to change, I have discovered that if I choose Christ, a transformation takes place. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation!

1 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

This plan of salvation and grace is so amazing that I would also love to share it with everybody who needs a change! 

 I thank God for His grace to me to follow this health plan for transformation and for my health coach and support team!  And I thank Him for His grace for the spiritual and eternal transformation. 

Amazing grace! Do you need it?

31 Days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 29: Practice

Practice Makes Perfect!! Well, at least it improves!!

So we come to the end of my 31 Days of 5 Minutes Writes! Though I have missed a few days due to being out of town, I’ve made it a practice to write daily. My reason? To perform an activity repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency. (See definition below)

verb prac·tice

1.perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.

I have done this 31 day challenge several times over the past few years, and it helps me to get a little better at writing my thoughts down. Just like anything you want to become a habit, or increase a skill, it takes practice. Olympic athletes – all they do is practice. Practice daily, for hours, for the next competition, the next goal.

I recently lost 60 pounds. How? Practice. Doing the same thing over and over repeatedly, regularly in order to improve the proficiency of my body. Learning how to eat better and improve my health. It took 7 months. But now – I don’t quit! I don’t stop doing what I have been doing for 7 months! If I go back to my old habits, I’ll go back to my old weight!

Though I most likely will not continue to write daily, I plan to write more often. I’ve heard it takes 21 days to create (or break) a habit, but 90 days to create a lifestyle.

How do you want to change your lifestyle in the next 90 days?

Practice. Practice. Practice.

31 Days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 25: Wait

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalms 27:13-14

We had wanted a baby for 4 years after we got married, and finally! I discovered I was pregnant! At the same time, my brother and his wife found out they were expecting! This will be fun! To share our pregnancies! And I worked at a daycare at the time, surrounded by babies!

However, at about 10 weeks along, we lost the baby. It was the most devastating thing that had ever happened to me. After so many years of waiting and we finally were expecting, only to have it all taken away.

Two of my sisters were also pregnant, and a sister-in-law. That was one of the most difficult few months to walk through. We went to visit friends in a neighboring state soon after the miscarriage. They didn’t ask too much about it, but she left a verse on the bedside table.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalms 27:13-14

That is surely how I felt. Almost had lost heart. This verse has stayed with me through the years – every time I lost something: two more miscarriages, financial disasters, lost jobs, lost relationships. But I did not lose heart. Because I believed I would see the goodness of the Lord. In. the. land. of. the. living. That means right now. In this life. And I have seen the goodness of the Lord. Two beautiful, Godly, children. A wonderful daughter-in-law. A grandbaby! Financial recovery & blessing. Meaningful jobs. New friendships.

Waiting is not so bad when you know God has this. Be of good courage!

Wait on the Lord.

Wait, I say, on the Lord!!

31 Days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 24: Different

dif·fer·ent/ˈdif(ə)rənt/adjective

  1. 1.not the same as another or each other; unlike in nature, form, or quality.

Why do we sometimes feel out of place, awkward, or just downright uncomfortable around people who are different than us? If you think about it, we each are different than everybody else. Everybody. Our DNA is different. Even identical twins, who do share the same DNA, have different fingerprints. We have each had a different background and history – even our childhood experience is not exactly the same as our siblings. Every single person is different than everybody else.

So why do we pick out certain “differences” to be uncomfortable or fearful or judgmental about? We had no choice in the development of our individual DNA, about the family we were raised in, the area and atmosphere we grew up in. We have each made different decisions that directed the course of our lives. It’s pretty amazing that each person is so unique! Out of billions and billions of people that have lived, no one has had your exact experience! And out of only 23 pairs of chromosomes, God makes each person unique! He formed us in our mother’s womb and designed a plan for our lives. He knows each one of us!

For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!

How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand! Psalms 139:13-18

I am different. You are different. God loves each one of us! Try to get to know somebody who you feel is “different” than you. See how they differ from you; and how they are the same. Learn. Love. Live!

31 Days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 23: Need

need/nēd/

noun 1.circumstances in which something is necessary, or that require some course of action; necessity.

When Tony & I first got married, we chose Proverbs 3 as a chapter to live by for our marriage. Honestly, we should live by ALL the scriptures, but you get my drift.

We had been married a couple years and were preparing to move to Wisconsin. We had decided to sell one of our cars (well, it was my car). Tony came to me and said he believed we should give it away to some specific people who needed and could really use a car. My first reaction was, uhh, no, we need the extra money to make the move! He simply asked me to pray about it. Which I did. Then I read Proverbs 3.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Proverbs 3:27

Ok, ok, I get it! So we gave the car away. And guess what? God provided for us, too! In fact, we later received an unexpected vehicle through Tony’s job!

I’m telling this story to remind us to continue to be giving. There is a lot of need out there, and it feels so good to be able to meet some of those needs sometimes. I work at a food pantry, so I see a lot of need. Every week at staff meeting, we share our “joy” for the week. Usually it involves either someone thanking us for meeting a need, or observing one of our volunteers meeting a need.

Don’t you just know that it makes Jesus smile when we love others and share our gifts?

What need can you meet today?

31 Days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 22: Strong

strong/strôNG/adjective

  1. 1.having the power to move heavy weights or perform other physically demanding tasks.
  2. able to withstand great force or pressure.

My Goals right now: Healthy & Strong!!

H – Habits of

E – eating

A – and

L – Lasting

T – tendencies

Y – yielded from

S – Striving

T – through

R – repetition

O – of

N – New

G – Goals!!

31 Days of 5 minute Writes – Day 21: Active

active

adjectiveac·​tive | \ ˈak-tiv  \

1: characterized by action rather than by contemplation or speculation

If you’ve been at church for any length of time, you have probably heard this verse:

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12-13

To me, this is what sets the Bible, the word of God, apart from other books and writings. It is “active”. Though we can read the Scriptures passively or contemplatively, it becomes active when we turn it into action. In fact, it doesn’t become active, it already IS active. So many times I have heard, or read a scripture that I have already read many times before, and it suddenly speaks to me in a new way. That, my friends, is alive and active!

Our next step is to make it active in our own life. Do it! Live it! Be characterized by action rather than just contemplation and speculation.

31 days of 5 Minute Writes – Day 17: Consistent

con·sist·ent/kənˈsistənt/adjective

  1. acting or done in the same way over time, especially so as to be fair or accurate.

I am in the midst of a 90 day challenge. Started on October 1 – 90 days until the New Year! How are those 2019 resolutions coming along? I make a long list every year. This year I haven’t touched some of those items, some I am working on, and at least one I have hit out of the park! (that losing weight issue!)
You may have heard it takes 21 days to break or build a habit, and 90 to make a lifestyle. What that means is consistency. So I am taking these 90 days to take steps to make some more lifestyle changes!

1) Exercise daily
2) Read 5 books
3) Spend at least 5 hours a week on my health coaching business.

So far I have exercised daily, read 1 book and halfway through another, and been fairly consistent on my health coaching.

It takes consistency to create a lifestyle. This is true for your job, for parenting, for marriage.

What are you going to do with the next 90 days (now about 72 days)?? Choose 3 things that will create change in your life! List them below, or message them to me, and I will pray for you and hold you accountable! And you can do the same for me!

Let’s be consistent!

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