Monday, January 29, 2018

Grace Wins!


SAVED BY GRACE AND NOT BY WORKS🌺

"And so my judgment is that we should NOT MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR THE GENTILES WHO ARE TURNING TO GOD.”  Acts 15:19

  • Acts is all about the building of the first church since Christ had been taken to heaven.  Jewish believers were trying to mix law into grace and Paul would have none of it!  
  • GRACE WINS!  (Not grace by the worlds definition that there is no consequence for sin, but grace that we cannot change ourselves or make ourselves holy...it’s HIM IN US)
  • The gospel is simple and powerful.

My Sheep—That’s US❤️



New memory verse!  

I love that we are his sheep❤️

  • He knows us
  • We follow HIM
  • HE gives us Eternal Life
  • We will never perish
  • We cannot be snatched away


Loving this world or the one to come?


“Do not love this world nor the things if offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.  These are not from the Father, but are from this world.  And this world is fading away, along with everything taht people crave.  But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”
—1 John 2:15-17

According to I John 2:15-17 the worlds way of doing things squeezes out the love I have for the Father. It pushes me to want my own way, to want everything for myself, to want to appear important, to want to gratify the flesh.  

This mindset leaves us isolated and alone. 

God‘s way is to do everything for an audience of ONE...HIM❤️  Scripture says that there is a constant battle for my heart. One way gives me temporary satisfaction, but long term leads to death. The other way leads to LIFE and PEACE!  That way is everlasting❤️

#truthfromlastweekssermoninjonah There is a real enemy that will sell you a ticket to go anywhere you want. It will take you further than you want to go and keep you longer than you want to stay.

There Is A Battle Taking Place For Your SOUL!



There is a very real battle taking place for your soul.  Are you stuck in a situation, a sin, a stronghold...and you feel like there is NO HOPE?  Don't believe that lie!  Greater is HE that is in us than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4) 

"FOR OUR STRUGGLE IS NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD,  but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore PUT ON the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to STAND YOUR GROUND, and after you have done everything, to stand." EPHESIANS 6:12-13

Praying Scripture Is POWERFUL!



My words are temporary and fueled by my human heart.  God's Word is ETERNAL and fueled by the Holy Spirit. 

"As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row HE USED SCRIPtURE TO REASON WITH PEOPLE." -- Acts 17:2

"ALL SCRIPTURE is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It CORRECTS US when we are wrong and TEACHES US to do what is right." II Timothy 3:16

"For THE WORD OF GOD IS ALIVE AND POWERFUL. It is SHARPER THAN THE SHARPEST TWO-EDGED SWORD, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. IT EXPOSES our innermost thoughts and desires. "  Hebrews 4:12-13A

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Whole30 Week Four—He REDEEMS❤️


Above all else, guard your heart, For everything you do flows from it! — Proverbs 4:23


FOUR MORE DAYS!!!!  FOUR MORE DAYS!!!!  FOUR MORE DAYS!!!!  As I type this blog post I have just completed day 26 of my 30 day fast from dairy, diet soda, legumes, sugar, and grains.  This journey has been one of the best experiences of my life.   No, I’m not kidding.  

I’ve been taught and I’ve known for years that obedience brings blessing.  But to walk in it is something to behold, something that cannot be described with words.  Sin builds a wall and separates us from God, but obedience knocks down walls and builds bridges. 

I find myself longing to go and spend time with the Lord ALL DAY LONG!  I’m more sensitive to the Holy Spirit to stop and pray as He leads.  I am anxious for my coffee and bible in the morning, in the afternoon, and even at night, (well no coffee at night😊)  and I have fallen in love with my memory verse pack in a new, fresh wind/fresh fire way.  

Please know it’s certainly not perfect.  I forget to remember.  But God always rewards obedience.  Not for any works I could ever do, but for FAITH.  It’s not Mary-led, (I do this and God owes me that) it’s Holy Spirit led.  

Obedience is simply the key that unlocks the secret rooms in my heart so that God can come in and do HIS Work.  

As I choose to fast from those things that pull my heart away from God HE has been so faithful to pull my heart TO HIM.  


I realize that I have been having an affair on God with food.  I am guilty of running to this temporary lover when I need a quick emotional fix.  But, God wants me to run TO HIM.    


Food is a worthless idol

I love this verse.  It tells us not only to turn FROM, but that we have to turn TO the living God!


Food is not bad, it’s the LOVE (idol) OF food


The unhealthy love of Food is a worthless idol that only gives temporary satisfaction.  Maybe food is not your idol.  Others run to their own idols...busyness, alcohol, books, smoking,  pornography, television, etc.., 


The problem with turning to those things that make us feel better right away is that they are temporary and lead to bondage rather than FREEDOM.  

I saw a tv show this week where a woman died of anorexia.  She refused to eat even as she took her last breath....satan loves to fascinate, to go in for the kill, and then he assassinates.


What God is showing me, as I walk in Acts 14:15 and turn TO THE LIVING GOD, is that God’s way of doing things seems harder at first, but it leads to a LIFETIME of FREEDOM.  


I cannot just focus on turning AWAY, but I have to purposely turn TO!  I am choosing to turn TO HIM.  He has moved me to pray scripture because my words are not nearly as powerful as HIS Word.  I am running TO HIM in relational worship.  I am running TO HIM as I store up scripture in my heart through memorizing it. 

I surely have not arrived...I type this IN FAITH with HOPE!




Let’s talk about the practical experience of changing your lifestyle

I began water aerobics this week and the elderly women totally kicked my butt. (I’m just sayin’)



Blood Pressure Progress

I don’t want to brag or anything but check out that blood pressure.😉🤗🎉🤭😂  As a former nurse I’ve been watching it creep higher and higher and higher.  My head knows that this leads to heart attack and stroke and has caused me to pause. It was a delight to see these numbers.  My blood pressure on day one was 144/89. To GOD be the glory in all that HE is doing....”Out of the darkness and into His marvelous light”!





I am so blessed to have a husband who loves me and takes care of me.  He has been enjoying cooking while in his year off since retiring.  This was seared chicken thighs and tomatoes made in our cast iron skillet.  It was incredible.






These French fries are actually butternut squash.  I bought them already cut from Trader Joe’s and fried them up in coconut oil.  They were YUMMY!




Eating out has become less scary.  We took a trip to Ruby Tuesday’s this week and had the best lunch.  We had a salad made of lettuce, onions, green peppers, cucumbers, and chopped up boiled egg with dry grilled chicken. (It is much better than it sounds). When you ask them not to add oils or seasoning they call it dry grill, but it is still tender and moist and seared.  I used olive oil and sea salt as my dressing.  Scott was a little wilder an added red wine vinegar😉




My challenge this week was getting sick.  I used to run to carb-laden foods to make me “feel” better.  Chicken and dumplin’s, mashed potatoes, chicken NOODLE soup.  Instead I made this yummy chicken vegetable soup and it was AMAZING.  I cooked chicken thighs with bones and skin to flavor the broth and added:  carrots, onion, radishes, celery, and a whole bag of fresh spinach.  I also sprinkled granulated garlic powder, red pepper flakes, Himalayan mineral salt, and black pepper.  It was perfect for a tender tummy.  


I cannot wait to share next weekend.  I will have finished the challenge and begun the reintroduction phase.  I think I have an idea of what this is going to look like, but I am trusting the Holy Spirit to lead me.  One thing I think I would like to do this year is to check in with weekly blog updates to archive and remember what God is doing/has done!


“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything...to STAND!”

— Ephesians 6:12-13












Saturday, January 20, 2018

Whole30 Week Three-He Restores


HE RESTORES

“Come, let us return to the Lord.  He has torn us to pieces; now He will heal us.  He has injured us; now He will bandage our wounds.  In just a short time He will RESTORE us, so that we may live in His presence.  

—Hosea 6:1-2

I cannot believe that today is day 19?!?!  No Sugar, No Diet Soda, No Dairy, No Grains, No Legumes and my body LOVES IT!  This weeks update is going to be all about Non-Scale Victories!  Those are the things taking place that a number cannot define.  One of the things I love most about this journey is how much I am learning about what foods effect my body adversely and which ones give LIFE!  I see that my biggest problem with all my health issues has been INFLAMMATION. As I have given up those inflammation filled categories of foods I see restoration taking place.  HE RESTORES!

These are the questions floating through my head and my heart:

1-Do I need to stay away forever from dairy, diet soda, grains, sugar OR is it temporary while my body heals from having too many or too much?  Can I bring them back in smaller quantity without having an adverse reaction?

2-What does my eating look like after I complete the 10-day re-entry?

3-What am I learning about my flesh and my Spirit?  

I don’t have any answers.  I am just sitting int he presence of the ONE who knows me best and loves me MOST.




OBSERVATIONS 

1-JOINT PAIN:  My joints are SO MUCH BETTER!  I can bend, twist, sit on the ground and get up without it being a big deal.  I catch myself sitting on my couch Indian style and smiling.  Before beginning Whole30 my joints were so inflamed it hurt to sit long in certain positions.  

2-SINUSES:  I have had more sinus infections in the last two years than most people have in a lifetime.  I was on prednisone packs ELEVEN TIMES because my sinuses would completely swell shut and fill with congestion.  I live my life in fear that it will hit and I won’t be able to sleep.  When I can’t breath through my nose I end up sitting up all night in my recliner and falling asleep very poorly off and on.  However, since being on Whole30 I find my sinuses are doing GREAT!  I used to use breathright strips every night and now I never need them.  It’s only day 19 and so I hold this observation loosely because truly it would be a miracle if I don’t have an episode.  

3-EXERCISE:  I have not enjoyed exercising because I always end up having terrible joint pain.  I have fibromyalgia which effects my nerves around my joints.  Where a normal person would be sore and work through it, I become worse and need to then begin taking Advil, Aleve, or Tylenol to work through the flare up it causes.  My goal was not to add exercise at all during this 30 days.  I just wanted to focus on the huge food changes taking place.  But I feel so good I am finding a desire to move.  So my NSV (non-scale victory) is that I have a desire.  Next week I’ll let you know how exercise affects my fibro.  I told you last week that I went to a concert.  We had to climb stairs and stand and walk long distances and I felt GREAT the next day. 




Here are some of my favorite dinners and foods

Scott made a smoked chicken and it was so tender and melt-in-your mouth that we overate the quantity😳







Turkey burger grilled and crumbled over yummy Caulirice, with chopped onions and tomatoes and guacamole


Speaking of Guacamole...OH MY WORD!  I love this stuff from Aldi’s and it’s 100% compliant.


Check out the ingredients




My all time favorite snack...1/2 banana with sunflower seed butter, coffee with creamer.  



If you are looking for fast and easy these Chile Lime Chicken Burgers are pretty good.  They are raw so you need to set aside about 10 minutes to fry them up.  I still think Scott’s homemade hamburgers are better, but it’s convenient on those days that you need quick or easy.  



Seared Salmon dipped in 100% compliant Green Goddess Salad Dressing from Trader Joe’s. (I had a ton of veggies all day long, but not at this meal)




Scott made the rub from the Well Fed cookbook and it was SO GOOD!



I may or may not have a problem😳. I LOVE THIS STUFF!

This stuff is GREAT on eggs, guacamole, meat, you name it!





I have 11 more days to go to complete my goal! (Though I may stay on longer...I’m just not sure yet)

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For HIS SAKE I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become ONE WITH HIM.” — PHIL 3:8






Sunday, January 14, 2018

Whole30 Week Two-He Rescues



He Delights In Rescuing Us

This week was filled with obstacles and opportunities.  


Week two on Whole30 was packed with busyness and bustle.  On Tuesday my beautiful friend picked me up and whisked me away to Orlando for two jam-packed days of speaker training.  Though the training was phenomenal and filled with inspiration and excitement, it was also riddled with new learning opportunities for me to practice obedience while away from home and out of my normal environment. 😳😉


Homemade Whole30 Compliant sausage hamburger chili

One of the first things I did was make a HUGE pot of chili to take with me and to leave behind for my family.  It was SO simple to make and delicious.  (Though I’ve eaten so much I’ll need a break before I make more)

I just added a package of compliant spicy chicken sausages


Storage Containers

I packed them in my nifty little storage containers I ordered from Amazon and also brought cut up left over steak, grapes, watermelon, and my Paleo creamer, Nutpods.  I love love love my Nutpods.  

Longhorn Steakhouse

Do you see that loaf of bread?  Oh my goodness it smelled so good, but as I turned and talked to the Lord He rescued me.  I settled in and enjoyed the conversation while waiting for our yummy dinner.  Lynn is such a sweet support.  


We split a ribeye and a plain sweet potatoe and they were both out of this world!

One of the blessings of fasting from the sweeteners and the junk is that my tastebuds are re-setting.  I can’t believe how much richer the flavor of smoke on the steak was....and I was also pleasantly surprised by the  sweetness of the sweet potato.  It did not need any butter at all.  


My friend April suggested making sure I had snacks nearby and this was a perfect combo. Those are raw cashews and were perfect to snack on throughout the day.


Big Mistake with an interesting observation

On the first day at the hotel I went down to breakfast fully intending to just eat my chili I brought.  But then I saw eggs and thought they would be a good protein source.  I took two bites and my stomach immediately began to protest.  I stopped and reached out to my online support group.  I found out that hotel eggs are formed from powder that contains preservatives and dairy.  The interesting observation is that I used to eat TONS of dairy and would have told you that I did not have any problems with it.  Removing certain foods and re-introducing them has great purpose.  


Meet Kelly my hero and God’s blessing to me

Kelly is the one with the blue and white apron.  She was the Support Representative that was overseeing all our meals.  Rather than using her budget to cater she cooked everything from scratch.  After my morning mishap with the eggs I was feeling a little discouraged, and so it totally shocked me when she asked if anyone had dietary needs and pointed out Whole30 compliant foods she made.  It literally brought tears to my eyes.  Not because of the food,  (though that was great) but because I saw the Lord riding across the heavens to rescue me.  He really is a good good Father.

The fruit of her heart and her hands❤️


SAMPLES OF KELLY’S COOKING THAT WAS WHOLE30 COMPLIANT







I was so glad to get home and looked forward to normal days pattering around in my own kitchen.  

But grandma wanted Scott and I to take her to Red Lobster and so the Bootcamp continued.😉

Dry grilled shrimp, plain baked potato, well done steamed broccoli without butter

It was SOOOO good

Truly, it doesn’t sound very good, but those shrimp were juicy and succulent without needing any extra butter.  (At home I would add Ghee) The potato was moist and flavorful and added the perfect combination with the tender broccoli florets that were soft and not crunchy. (My favorite way to eat broccoli)


THIS WEEKS FAVORITE FINDS
OY VEY!  

This stuff is AMAZING!  I mean there are no words.  I love adding it to eggs, meat, veggies.

Sprinkled on chicken adds the perfect coating

Another new favorite

A friend on one of my Whole30 Support sites talked about how she using Prosciutto instead of bacon because it’s cheaper than finding complaint bacon.  I think it’s even better.  The thinness frys up crispy and savory.



Overeasy eggs with Everything bagel sprinkled on top, fried Prosciutto, and carmelized peppers and onions.


HOW DO I FEEL AFTER TWO WEEKS ON WHOLE30?

Amazing!  Last night some girlfriends and I went to a concert.  We had to climb copious amounts of stairs, wait in long lines, and walk a far distance to get around.  Normally, the next I would be wiped out and have lots of aches and pains.  I feel great.  I could just cry my joints feel SO good.  The foggy brain is almost completely gone.  I have moments of frustration when I get hungry or when I forget to prep.  Learning how to work harder up front is going to take time.  

Let’s Go Week THREE!
















Sunday, January 7, 2018

Whole30 Week ONE



GOD IS FAITHFUL-WEEK ONE



This week has been filled with what could only be supernatural encouragement from the Lord.  If you read my post 
Temporary Blindness you will know why I began this 30 day fast from dairy, gluten, grains, sweeteners, diet soda, etc.., This is an opportunity for the Lord to make sure that HE is Lord of my life and nothing else!   My memory verse has been such a sweet reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing.

Though I did not feel great the first day (my stomach was a mess after eating too much preparing for the fast🙄) this has been an incredible journey that I’ve actually been enjoying.  

The negative side effects were that my stomach felt achy the first day as my body detoxed from the bad foods I had been binging on the week before.  I had to learn to adjust to not adding stevia to morning coffee and let go of half and half.  I had to learn how to eat without a diet soda.  I love the crisp cold bubbly texture of my diet Dr.Petter or Tab.  

The positive side effects have been more energy...I feel more awake and present and less foggyness.  I am having no joint pain.  NONE!  Though I have done without sugar and grains, I’ve never stopped dairy and diet soda’s too.  I was consuming way too much butter, cream cheese, cottage cheese, whey protein, yogurt, cheese, half and half, heavy cream.  These are all compliant foods on Trim Healthy Mama and in moderation they are fine.  But I had taken them from good-gift to gluttony.  

I’m so thankful that my family is participating with me.  Scott and I have actually bonded over working out meal plans and trying new things together.  Jacob has been a trooper letting go of the junk his brothers are still eating😉

I will share some of the meals we’ve enjoyed this week:

Sauteed’ shrimp with zucchini and one big bowl or the raw chopped veggies from Trader Joe’s.  I added Himalayan mineral salt, pepper, coconut amino’s, nutritional yeast, and cooked it in coconut oil.  




This was our families absolute favorite!  

You just have to slice and sear on both sides.  I did mine in a iron skillet with coconut oil.  It was savory and crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth soft-as-butter on the INSIDE😊


I didn’t think I liked brussel sprouts and then I tried an idea from someone doing Whole30!  You steam your brussel sprouts, smoosh them flat, drizzle with oil (I used avocado) sprinkle with Himalayan mineral salt, nutrional yeast, garlic granules, and pepper and bake on 400 for 30 minutes.  Oh my goodness!  They were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  There were a few brusselsprouts that were still tough after steaming and I did not use them. 

Thank you to my friend Jessica Herbert for sharing this precious cream!  Though I am unable to sweeten my coffee for this 30 days, I can use this complaint creamer that is half almond milk and half coconut cream.  



It doesn’t have any yucky preservatives and it makes my coffee fluffy frothy and FABULOUS!





Something that has been INCREDIBLY HELPFUL is prepping and planning.  I’ve been almost hermit like this first week as I’ve been learning how to plan my days.  I know that soon I will find momentum and it won’t be a big deal.  But I like to precut all my raw veggies and put together my snack packs of grapes and cashews.


My goal is to check in next Sunday!  I can’t wait to tell you about week two which is sure to be a challenge because I’ll be traveling for training.  I’m so thankful for the women God has put in my life to share ideas on how to stay the course.  We have also started a new private FB group just for friends that  are doing the Whole30 challenge.  My hope is to stay connected with these ladies as we decide how to transition.  Will it be THM or Paeleo?  Every person is different.  You can FB messenger me if you would like to join our group and walk with other women!  



 We’re Better together!