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walking

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New shoes

This year I am making my health and fitness a priority again, so I’m walking at the track and a pretty path in town, eating healthier, and  not drinking Dr. Pepper (a big challenge!). Yesterday I got to the track later and it began raining. It had rained on and off all day yesterday. At one point in the afternoon, there was sunshine so I sat outside awhile to soak up Vitamin D. 

Before I went to the track, I had been “voxing” (Voxer app, like a walkie-talkie/text app for both iPhones and Androids) with my biz coach, Diane Cunningham Ellis. She was talking to me about my Nike shoes, which have been great walking shoes, but are several years old. Diane used to run marathons, 10K’s, and 5K’s. 

woman runner

woman runner

Diane said that I needed to buy new ones with the best support and fit, and suggested that I google for a local running shoes store, where the staff helps you find shoes with the best fit and support. They actually watch you walk as you try on different shoes, to examine your gait, etc. 

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Blog, Faith, Fitness, foodie, prayer, Stress

Know your worth: A self-care day

Today is Sunday, the day that the American church typically celebrates the Sabbath, the one day of rest which God commanded in Exodus 20:8-11, although Jews observe  Shabbat from Friday evening to Saturday evening. I believe what’s most important is that we set aside one day a week to rest and not work. This is good for our bodies, soul, and spirit. Some people work on Sunday (or Friday or Saturday), so they have to take another day to rest. Generally, I observe both days! The weekend is my time to “unwind” from my week’s work.

Thankfully I was able to sleep in this morning, cook a cheese/onion/green olive omelette, and enjoy my morning cup of creamy coffee–my Coffee with God time. Then although there is plenty of work to do around the house and in my biz today, I decided to take a relaxed, self-care day. 

“Know your worth, hold your own power, be you.” –Morgan Harper Nichols, American Christian musician, songwriter, mixed media artist, and writer

Morgan Harper Nichols

Image: Morgan Harper Nichols

Part of my goals for 2021 are focused on my health and fitness. Years ago, I stopped drinking Cokes because I felt like God told me to do this (a miracle because I was addicted to them and had drank them almost all my life!). I started eating healthier (such as salads) and began walking at the track. I was able to lose 29 pounds doing this. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I felt so much better. You can see how much thinner I was in this pic below, on the back steps of our house.

me after losing weight

me after losing weight

Then Missouri’s winter came with its snow and ice, so I stopped walking. As we all experience sometimes, bad habits aren’t easy to break and I began drinking sodas again–this time, Dr. Pepper. God is not fooled. It is just Coke–with pepper! I started eating unhealthy and the pounds which I had lost piled back on—and then some! It has been very discouraging.

But it’s never too late to start over. The Bible says in Lamentations 3:22-23, NKJV, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.” I’m so glad that with each new sunrise, we get a brand, new start with God!

It starts with a decision of our will, a choice. And I’ve decided that I want to be fit and healthy again. When Ray gets home from work, I drive to either the track in town or a walking path in town that has blooming cherry-blossom trees. It is so pretty and peaceful.

cherry tree

cherry blossom tree

path

path

I carry my iPhone with me to listen to music and to pray and think about my life and my business as I walk. This week I saw a cute bunny rabbit hopping in the grass. The robins and other birds feed in the grass and sing. There is a blue sky and puffy white clouds, giving testimony to God the Creator.

robin

robin

clouds and blue sky

clouds and blue sky

My goal for now is simply to re-establish a walking routine, 3 to 4 times a week at least. I’m not trying for a marathon here, or even a 5K (at least not right now! I have done two 5K’s in the past and hope to do this again one day!). It has been a long time since I’ve walked, so I have to pace myself.

Any time you begin something new, there is resistance, whether that’s exercising, eating healthy, managing your finances better, improving a relationship, developing a daily quiet time with God, or taking a new class or training. I noticed on the 3rd day of walking, that my right knee felt sore. So I’m resting this weekend, and will begin again tomorrow.

my Nikes

my Nikes

I’m aware of this resistance, so I’m already praying about it and for God to give me self-discipline again. If I did it before, I can do it again! Please pray for me—and for my body to cooperate!

trail

trail

I can do this with self-discipline and through faith in Christ. I love how The Passion Translation in this verse puts it, “Christ’s explosive power infuses me.”

“I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.” (Philippians 4:13, The Passion Translation)

I’m trying to get my husband Ray on the bandwagon with me to eat healthier. He is very much a “meat and potatoes” man, so it won’t be easy. But he’s willing, for the sake of his own health. We’re not spring chickens any more, so taking care of ourselves physically is important. And our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we need to honor them. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

rooster & chicken

rooster & chicken
Image: Unsplash

This week when I went to the grocery store, I bought as much organic, fresh fruit and veggies as I could.

fresh fruit & veggies

fresh fruit & veggies

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, and are high in potassium and vitamin C.  They lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, and are anti-inflammatory. They are known by doctors as a superfood. Frozen blueberries are healthy, too.

You can make fruit smoothies with them. I use almond milk in mine. I bought Ray some coconut milk to make his smoothies. I also bought a package of frozen mixed fruit with mango, pineapples, strawberries, and peaches.

I also add blueberries to plain yogurt, mixing in a teaspoon or two of raw organic honey and cinnamon to sweeten it and for flavor. This has much less sugar (unhealthy and causes weight gain!) than regular yogurts. I’m still getting used to this, as I love yogurt!

blueberries

blueberries

almond milk & frozen fruit

almond milk & frozen fruit

coconut milk

coconut milk

I love finding things on sale at the store.  I saw these discounted mushrooms and grabbed them. They taste so good, sauteed in butter with sea salt on them. Yum!

lettuce and mushrooms on sale

lettuce and mushrooms on sale

For greens, I usually buy Romaine lettuce and spinach and kale combined. You can use these in a salad or a smoothie. I’m still trying to figure out how to keep lettuce and other greens “fresh.” Since it’s just Ray and me here at home (empty nesters), if we don’t use it quickly, the salad fixings can wilt and go bad fast, which I hate. It’s a waste of food and money. If you have any tips for this, please let me know!

Of course, God never intended for food to be stored in a cold box (a fridge), but to be eaten fresh out of a garden! I recently bought some Romaine lettuce and cilantro, and I’m going to try to grow it in my sunroom. I admire people who have big gardens, but I don’t think I have the patience for it!

I do drive to a local Amish market, which sells fresh produce in the summer and love it! I encourage you to take advantage of your local farmers’ markets. 

spinach & kale

spinach & kale

Besides putting good things inside my body, I’m also trying to take care of the outside. Last year on my friend Dana Arcuri’s recommendation, I started using Mineral Fusion mineral skin care and makeup. It is healthier skin care and makeup, and has natural ingredients. They make their products free of gluten, parabens, talc, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and phthalates. They don’t do animal testing, either. I love both the skin care and the makeup! Yes, it is more expensive than most makeup you can buy at Walmart, CVS, Kohl’s, or other places, but I believe it’s worth the investment in you!

Mineral Fusion skin care

Mineral Fusion skin care

Last week I bought a Dead Sea Mud Mask product. My cat Natalya always stares at me when I apply it, as if I am the Creature from the Black Lagoon. You can buy it here at Amazon. It is enhanced with collagen, which can improve your skin’s hydration and elasticity, making it look younger. (Don’t we all wish for the fountain of youth as we age and those wrinkles and grey hair start?!)

Mostly I bought it because I want to reduce the size of my pores, which look like the size of craters! This aging thing is for the birds! I figure the mud mask can’t hurt. Today I put it on, painted my fingernails, washed it off with a washcloth and warm water, and then came into my office to blog.

Dead Sea Mud Mask

Dead Sea Mud Mask

Something that is good for both your insides and outside is water. Most people walk around dehydrated. It has 7 benefits:

  • Maximizes your physical performance;
  • Affects your energy level and brain function;
  • May help and prevent headaches;
  • May help relieve constipation;
  • May help treat kidney stones;
  • Helps prevent hangovers;
  • and most importantly, it can aid weight loss!

This year I bought a water tumbler to help me drink more water. I paid my daughter Heather and her fiance Andy to paint it in a beautiful blue color (the color of my branding here) and put the letters of my website, BethJones.net on it. This is a great way to promote your biz when you’re out and about.

Andy has a painting business. They did a beautiful job on it and I love it! You can follow Andy on Instagram @andysuniquecoatings

Our daughter Leah just graduated from college with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Graphic Design. She designed the logo for Andy. Great job, Leah! You can find Leah’s website at https://lemeraedesigns.wordpress.com/

water tumbler

water tumbler

Finally for self-care, I surround myself with beauty. I enjoy being in nature–God’s beautiful art. One thing I love is fresh flowers. Sometimes my husband Ray surprises me with a bouquet. While I normally like roses just for Valentine’s Day and prefer large sunflowers, daisies, or a variety of flowers for everyday “appreciation,” I do love this bouquet with the orange lilies and white and pink roses in them, as well as the white flowers (not sure what they are called! If you know, tell me).

If you don’t have a spouse or a significant other, buy yourself flowers! You deserve it!

flower bouquet from Ray

flower bouquet from Ray

lilies

lilies and roses

What day of the week do you honor the Sabbath/take a much-needed break and relax?

How do you do self-care? Leave your comments below. 

Blog, Ebooks, Faith, Family, Parenting, prayer, Speaking, Spiritual Gifts, Travel, Writing

A chance at life again

Spring

Today is the beginning of a new month, March. I always feel like the first of a month is an opportunity for a fresh start-a reset button. Like if last month was really crummy, then here’s a toast to a much better one!

I remind myself that, “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NLT) So thankful for that! God, You are good, faithful, and true! Full of grace and love. May I be so.

sun

sunrise

Today I painted my nails powder-blue, in anticipation of spring. (A nail model, I am not! Twenty-six years of washing dishes and doing housework has done its toll on my hands, and they show my age more than any other body part! Yet American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon Iris Apfel said it well: “I don’t see anything so wrong with a wrinkle. It’s kind of a badge of courage!”) I like the soft blue color. 

Powder-blue nail polish

Spring 2020 is officially on Thursday, March 19. Today as I  walked outside, I saw and heard robins singing and doves cooing, excited about spring in the air. Spring is also like the Earth offering a brand new start-a chance at life again.

Our precious grandbaby, Willow

My schedule now is primarily driving our youngest daughter Leah to her doctor appointments–her fibula surgery follow-up visits, physical therapy, and other appointments and errands. I drive the 45 miles to her city, willingly, happy to do it. But on days that it rains and snows/ices, I grip the steering wheel, praying that the car’s tires won’t slide and I won’t wreck, especially if Leah is with me in the car–another reason I welcome spring and summer.

Leah at physical therapy with her therapist Sam, who rocks!

A fall on ice and snow in Leah’s driveway at her rental home is WHY our precious daughter broke the fibula in her ankle, requiring surgery and the thick, black ankle boot that she must wear 8-10 weeks post-surgery.

Although normally a snow bunny who loves the beautiful snow, I now hate ice for doing this to her. It is the enemy-one of many. Yet last week when she began 50% weight-bearing on her ankle at physical therapy, I was filled with joy! She’s on the way to walking again!

Leah on one crutch, using 50% weight-bearing on her ankle

Helping Leah–driving her to her appointments and on errands–is my #1 priority for 2020. Everything else–my speaking, writing, and traveling–is on hold for now.

me & our precious daughter Leah at Jose Pepper’s restaurant

Before Leah’s accident near Christmas that caused her fibula to break, I did have my first children’s book in the works. The illustrator is still working on coloring the last four images for the pictures inside the book. Again, God has me waiting. It seems that I’m often in the waiting room.

The book is about my and Leah’s black cats, Natalya (Nat) and Jax, learning to become friends when Leah was still living with us. While certainly not BFF’s, they did play with each other at times (and fight, as well!)–frenemies. The idea of the book is that we can develop friendships with others, who we may not like at first.

Jax and Natalya

Jax and Natalya

Ray and Leah encouraged me for years to write a children’s book. I kept giving excuses why I couldn’t–I’d never written one before! Ray pointed out that I’d never written other types of books, either. Yet now I’m the author of 19 books–16 non-fiction and 3 fiction adult books. You can check them out at my Amazon Author Page here.

Beth Jones’ book signing for LaToya Gay

So I decided that I would write a children’s book, after being inspired by our comical cats, whom we love so much. I hope to have this book launched in mid-March or late March 2020, so stay tuned. If you aren’t already subscribed on my website personal mailing list, sign up now at the top of the page on the right-hand side to be FIRST to hear when this eBook for Kindle goes live on Amazon!

As I anticipate the warmer weather, beautiful flowers, and watching birds and squirrels feed from our sunroom, I also wait eagerly for the miraculous healing of Leah’s fibula in her ankle. I have strong faith that God is going to completely heal her. She’ll soon be walking again and I will give Jesus Christ all the praise, honor, and glory.

Leah at physical therapy, at 50% weight-bearing on her ankle

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)