Lessons from an ice storm

There has been an ice storm here in Kansas City, Missouri. Not as bad as the epic Central Plains one in 2002, which left up to over 2 inches of ice over affected areas and knocked out electrical power to more than 650,000 residents and trees shattered under hundreds of pounds of ice. Still not fun, though. I miss my hot coffee. 

coffee and Bible
coffee and Bible

As I write this in my journal, I’m sitting here on our loveseat in the front entry room in my comfy blue hoodie, pj pants, purple Hello Kitty slippers, and huddled under a soft blanket and colorful quilt that Ray’s grandmother hand-made to stay warm, since the electrical power went off about 8 AM today.

Red chair and loveseat
Red chair and loveseat in front entry room

After I read my Bible and prayed for safety for our family and all affected by the storm, I crawled under the blankets and went to sleep. Just as I was dozing off, the power came on. When I woke up, it was off again. I joked with our daughter Heather that maybe I should just stay asleep.

Ray's grandmother's hand-made quilt
Ray’s grandmother’s hand-made quilt

It’s really no joke, though. Our daughter Heather has to drive to Overland Park, Kansas, for work today and our daughter Leah has to work in town, too. My husband Ray is working at the ER and he says the electrical power is on and off all over town, and they are very busy. It makes me think of Third World nations like Haiti, which has frequent power outages and only 25% of the population has energy supply.

2017 ice storm
2017 ice storm

While the leaves encased in ice on trees look beautiful, like Narnia’s winter Wonderland, the ice is wicked, especially to drive on.  Our neighbors’ plant looks dead. The ice instantly kills.

our neighbors' plant
our neighbors’ plant

However, one thing situations like this do is create absolute dependence on God. There’s nothing I can do but wait (and I’m such a control freak sometimes, so it’s hard!). I can’t fix the power. Ray can’t fix the power. 

branches with ice
branches with ice
Are you plugged into God’s power?

It makes me muse, how much power of God do I have in my life? How much do you?

“…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”–Acts 1:8

Do we read and meditate on the Bible, God’s living word?

Do we spend time with God in prayer and worship?

Asian woman praying
Asian woman praying

Do we lean on God and trust Him when storms come?

heart of ice Source: http://timoelliott.com/photos/2013/01/17/a-heart-of-ice/
heart of ice
Source: http://timoelliott.com/photos/2013/01/17/a-heart-of-ice/

Are our hearts filled with the warmth and holy fire of God’s love, or are they cold, distant, and unresponsive to Him and others, encased in ice like the trees’ leaves?

leaves encased in ice
leaves encased in ice

Today I pray for my family’s safety and all those affected by this ice storm. I pray electrical power is quickly restored and protection from car wrecks. And I pray that you and I will be plugged into and empowered by the Spirit of God in 2017.

Lessons from an ice storm.

trees with ice
trees with ice

While I believe in preparation, I love this quote I found: 

“It is a lifelong failing; she has never been prepared. But how can you have a sense of wonder if you’re prepared for everything? Prepared for the sunset. Prepared for the moonrise. Prepared for the ice storm. What a flat existence that would be.“–Margaret Atwood

The power just came back on. Making my coffee now.

***

Me with my first book, Walking with God
Me with my first book, Walking With God

Do you need to get plugged into God? Read my book on prayer Walking With God, available at Amazon as an eBook. Click here to learn more or buy now.

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It’s time to pivot

My new haircut/color
My new haircut/color

“You’re wonderful just the way you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be liked, loved, or looked up to. You don’t have to be perfect to take a first step, the next step, or a giant step toward your future. You don’t have to be perfect for your dreams to come true. You just have to be you!” – A Moment for You, Woman’s World magazine, January 12, 2015 issue

How are you doing with this year’s goals? I don’t make new year’s resolutions anymore, but pray and ask God for a “word or phrase” and a Scripture for the year, that acts as my compass for the entire year.

My word for 2015 is pivot/pivotal and my Scripture is John 20:16, The Message.  

So far, so good.  [Forbes magazine says that a study shows only 8% of people achieve their resolutions, so keep your list short and your goals specific.]

Health Goals

Smoothies: adding green veggies to your family’s diet

One of the changes I’m making this year (the way I am pivoting) is to aim for drinking a lot more water each day and adding green smoothies to my diet.

I use a blender, adding a little water after putting all the ingredients into the blender (you also can use a food processor). 

IMG_2948[1]
blender
 I found the smoothie recipe online. Here it is:

  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 bunch kale without stems (4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  • 1/4 inch ginger
  • 1 bunch mint (1/2 cup)

You can substitute spinach or other greens for the kale and add or substitute blueberries (or any berries) and other fruit like bananas or mango. If you’re just starting out, you can add less greens until you get more used to the taste. 

I halve the ingredients of the above recipe, and save 1/2 of that for the next morning. I like to add a little cinnamon to it, too. Cinnamon has amazing benefits.

The smoothie is a pretty Irish-green color once well-blended, and to my surprise it tasted okay. Not coke or coffee good, but still okay! Leah thought it was okay, too. And it is so healthy for you!

Smoothie with greens
Smoothie with greens

Wildtree Meals: Not having to cook over a hot stove! Love it!

I’m still making healthy Wildtree slow-cooker meals, prepping and freezing them when I buy groceries. Here is our daughter Heather’s Wildtree Facebook page if you’d like to check out the products.  They are organic:

 •  No GMOs
•  No Insecticides
•  No Pesticides
•  No Irradiation
•  No Preservatives
•  No Food Dye

When shopping, you read labels, too (sugar and salt are in so many things!). I warn you, reading labels like this at the grocery store can add an hour to your shopping trip! But it gets easier.

People are killing themselves with the way they are eating. (I’ve been so guilty of not eating healthy until the last few years!) Remember that the closer we get to nature in our eating (and less processed foods we buy), the better for us. We need to be healthy in order to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives!

Yes, it’s a lot of work in one day, but so worth it!

As I was sharing with a coaching client this week, it prevents that freak-out occurrence of “What’s for supper tonight?”  You know, not thawing anything out and after I work all day, then realize at 5 or 6 p.m. that I don’t have anything planned for supper – so we order pizza or eat fast food! NOT a good choice! The Wildtree meals have been a life-safer for our family…I just wish I’d found it so much sooner!

Donna Partow’s book – Becoming the woman you want to be!

Last January, I joined Donna Partow’s program, the 90-Day Renewal. I lost 20 pounds in the program and have maintained it (I’m still working on losing more weight!).

But the best thing about the program was how it shifted my perspective in so many ways. I realized that despite God’s deep healing in my life from childhood abuse, abortions, and adulterous relationships, basically, my life was still not in order! This was showing up in my marriage, extra weight (gluttony!), emotional meltdowns from stress, and financial struggles.

All the areas of my life are interrelated and impact each other: spirit, soul, and body. 

  • God’s Word and presence need  to be first place every day in my life;
  • My marriage needs restoration and to be more of a priority -it isn’t going to heal itself;
  • My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, not a trash can;
  • I need to live a life of self-discipline spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

Donna Partow book

Donna is a best-selling author and international speaker, and she walks her talk. She shares what she has learned in this book to improve your life in just a matter of 90 days – renewing you from the inside out.

I was especially interested in the health tips, and am now including this regimen in my daily life (besides the increased water, which she strongly emphasizes in this book, and the green smoothies):

  • Warm water with lemon juice first thing in the morning (Lemon juice detoxifies your body, helps with weight loss, adds Vitamin C that boosts your immune system, gives energy, and fights viruses);
  • 2 eggs a day (The eggs help with weight loss, raise HDL (good) cholesterol, add antioxidants good for eye health, and add protein);
  • Essential Fatty Acids (capsules or liquid – EFA’s assist in brain and nervous system function, and regulate thyroid, adrenal activity, and blood pressure);
  • Psyllium husk (Psyllium helps with weight loss, heart health, and regularity);
  • 1 teaspoon Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 teaspoon *raw* honey in 8 oz. glass of water (helps with weight loss, blood sugar control, and is good for heart health. Vinegar also whitens teeth, removing stains. Honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungus properties. It stabilizes blood pressure, balances blood sugar, relieves pain, calms nerves.

Donna also recommends:

  • 64 oz of water (this is a LOT of water – I’m still working on achieving 8 glasses!);
  • a multivitamin;
  • Ester-C (I have this on order at the herb store now);
  • as many fresh vegetables as you can consume a week (I am doing this now with Wildtree meals, salads, and smoothies);
  • a low-carb brand protein shake mix;
  •  healthy proteins (our Wildtree meals include this);
  • apples and/or grapefruit;
  • a rebounder (mini-trampoline for daily bouncing);
  • and an 8-minute workout video of your choice (dumbbells optional) or exercise of your choice.

Some of these I’m doing, and some I’m not. (It’s been 22 degrees Fahrenheit lately here. Too freezing cold to walk outside! I need to break out the exercise videos, right?)

I have been taking new steps since the last quarter of 2014 to enhance my health.

Try one or two of these a week, adding them to your health regimen for 2015. Remember the expression, “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.” 

What health goals have you set for this year? Leave your comments below. 

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Harvest of Hope 50-Day Devotional

Harvest of Hope 50 Day Devotional by Dana Arcuri
Harvest of Hope 50 Day Devotional by Dana Arcuri

I don’t usually do book reviews on my website, even though I am a voracious reader.

This blog post isn’t really a review, but a recommendation to read Dana Arcuri’s just-released Harvest of Hope 50-Day Devotional book.

Dana was my client last year, and she hired me as a coach to motivate her to finish her book Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity. She completed it with God’s help, making her big dream of being an author come true

It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Dana is a natural writer, and her writing just flows. I read it all in one day, unable to put it down.

Sharing her harrowing journey of date rape, marriage problems, a diagnosis of ADHD and fibromyalgia, and toxic prescription interactions that led to a suicide attempt, Dana walks you through her darkest moments that she overcame by a strong faith in Christ. Her book and message are one of hope.

Now she’s done it again with her devotional. It is a great book on topics relating to deeper faith, restored health, leaning more on God through trials, having a God-sized dream, living an abundant life of purpose, reaching goals, and more. 

With this book you get:

  • an inspiring message
  • Scriptures pertaining to each topic
  • a 15 minute reading
  • encouragement to pray or take action steps

“Dare to believe in yourself, your dreams, and your strengths. Consider realistic steps of action that may lead you onto the right path to draw you closer to your dreams. Persistently overcome your fears by following a new vision. Remain focused, keep moving, and be determined to plug away by completing one goal at a time. When you achieve your deepest dreams, you not only accomplish what you set out for, but you have something valuable to share with others. You give them hope, inspiration, and meaning to their life. Not only that, but you pave the way for others to chase after their own God-sized dreams.” – Dana Arcuri, Harvest of Hope: A 50 Day Devotional

 I give this book two thumbs up and highly recommend it for inspiration and encouragement. 

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