Straighten Your Crown!

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My Own Dear Child:

Why are you not caring for yourself as I have instructed? I feel the heaviness in your heart and I hear all of your lamentations. You aren’t sleeping; you are filling your hours with mindless scrolling. You are not taking care of your body. You are not practicing what I have taught you. Your body is a temple for your spirit.

Let me remind you of your favorite verse from the Word:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it…” Matthew 7:13-14

This applies to the way you treat yourself as well. You may feel you have a right to be sad or that you cannot help feeling unsettled or hurt by another person’s actions. I want to tell you to take yourself down from the cross you’ve nailed yourself to. You do not belong there. You are a light to many in your world. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be respected.

It has always been easy for you to make sacrifices for me. You have entered through the narrow gate in every respect but  where your own well-being is concerned.

Today, this moment, I urge you to find the narrow gate and enter it, forcing your sadness and low self esteem to the backseat.

Rejoice in the fact that you are a child of mine, the Most High God.

Reclaim your magnificent coat of joy!

I love you!

God

© 2016. Bobbe Ann Crouch

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From The Angels:

image Serenity: You are free from stress and your disposition is of greater inner peace and tranquility.

Even if your unable to resolve a current task at hand, your peace of mind and faith will allow you to trust that the angels and God will take care of you. If something in your life isn’t working, be willing to release it to God and the angels.

The angels reassure you that tranquility and refreshed peace of mind is within you. As you work toward serenity, and inner peace your life’s unforeseen problems begin to lessen and disappear.

power Power:   The power of your Creator is within you. It doesn’t matter if you’re facing a situation that seems larger than life or something that is a small hurdle the angels and God want to help you overcome it all!

The key to finding resolve in so many of life’s circumstances is to stay in the right frame of mind. You have the power of your Creator within you, all of the His greatness brings into focus who He is; faithful, righteous, good, honest and it diminishes the negative problems you are facing.

You have all the power of Divine love it is unlimited allow yourself shine. He is the one who with just his voice spoke the world and universe and cosmos into being, yet he is interested in the smallest and most intimate details of your life.

image New Love:  You have new love in your life whether it is with a new partner or rekindled love.

Let the light in open your heart to a new infusion of Divine love.

Trust in God and your guardian angels this will be an exciting time in your life. Embrace the changes flow with the current of love everything will work out.


Refuse to fall down.

If you cannot refuse to fall down,

refuse to stay down.

If you cannot refuse to stay down

lift your heart toward heaven

and like a hungry beggar,

ask that it be filled,

and it will be filled.

You may be pushed down.

You may be kept from rising.

But no one can keep you from lifting

your heart toward heaven — only you.

It is in the middle of misery that

so much becomes clear.

The one who says nothing good came of this,

is not yet listening.

a prayer – clarissa pinkola estés


O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;

O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour,

Thou Love that guards the nestling’s faltering flight!

Keep Thou my child on upward wing to-night.

Love is our refuge; only with mine eye

Can I behold the snare, the pit, the fall:

His habitation high is here, and nigh,

His arm encircles me, and mine, and all.

O make me glad for every scalding tear,

For hope deferred, ingratitude, disdain!

Wait, and love more for every hate, and fear

No ill, — since God is good, and loss is gain.

Beneath the shadow of His mighty wing;

In that sweet secret of the narrow way,

Seeking and finding, with the angels sing:

“Lo, I am with you alway,” — watch and pray.

No snare, no fowler, pestilence or pain;

No night drops down upon the troubled breast,

When heaven’s aftersmile earth’s tear-drops gain,

And mother finds her home and heavenly rest.

~Mary Baker Eddy

 

This That JOY!

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I think I’m victim of the change of seasons. One day it’s perfectly beautiful here and the next it’s forty degrees. I’ve had a low fever coupled with a few random symptoms for a while now. While I don’t think it’s serious, it’s enough to make me feel run down and achy. Yesterday was the first day I considered staying home from work because of it. Not only did I not feel up to going to do my regular work, Charlie and I had slated ourselves to help with kitchen duty for the Church’s weekly, parish-wide meeting. I decided to push through and I am EVER so happy I did!

Who knew how much fun it would be to get to cook in a huge kitchen and then serve a huge group of people? I know it’s not every person’s idea of a great time, but it is mine. I love to cook and being in that kitchen took me back to grade school days where the biggest worry I carrived was whether to choose french fries or mashed potatoes.

The harder I worked, the better I felt and when it came time to stand on my side of the table and serve the people coming through the line, in true Grinch fashion, I felt my heart start to grow and grow. It was so fun to look across and see all of the faces and take a moment to try to make each one of them smile. I think by the time the night was over, I was floating a few feet above the ground and my illness? What fever? What symptoms?

Last night I revisited the Bobbe of days gone by, who IS very social and loves to cater to people. I do know where my joy comes from…it’s in connecting with and in serving others. Trust me when I say that not every person I encountered yesterday had a bright, shining face, and not everyone was responsive. It didn’t matter. Joy’s got game; it doesn’t recognize snarls and snarky remarks. Joy only sees other people with compassion and love.

I would have been justified if I’d chosen to stay home yesterday. Thank GOD I didn’t or I’d have missed the most fun I’ve had in quite a long while.

When I finally collapsed in bed last night I truly felt I’d been of good service. Nothing replaces that feeling, except perhaps what it feels like to first be falling in love. I think joy lives equally in both experiences.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you are having issues with angst and depression or you just need to uncover your own joy; find something to do that’s in service of someone else. Go out of your way to be kind when you don’t feel like it. Help someone who cannot reciprocate. Offer a heartfelt compliment to a stranger. Tutor a student. Visit with the elderly. Find something to do that takes the focus OFF of you and places it onto someone else.

Joy lives there.


ACTION

An Angel Reminder: A man is the origin of his actions. Aristotle

Action is movements. It is the exertion of energy or influence. As humans, we are in action a lot of the time. We take action, or we go in and out of action. If we are the origin of our actions as Aristotle said, then who are you? What have your actions in the past hour said about you? How about in the past year? How about your actions toward certain people? What is is that your actions are trying to get across? Once we take action in response to something, we can’t undo the action. We can know many things, but we will never really know the effect of and extent of all our actions.

Think about your actions today. Think about the actions of the angels. Is it always possible to think before we act? Do you recognize all your actions, or do you sometimes look back and ask, “Did I do that?” Ask the angels for help in acting consciously, with courage and compassion.

An Angelic Reflection: With the angels in my life, I can be a true action hero.

(Angel Courage: Terry Lynn Taylor & Mary Beth Crain (c)1999, Harper Collins San Francisco)


From The Angels:

answered-prayer Answered Prayer: Each day connect with your soul allow the divine light in. Your prayers have been answered.

In your life find a way to experience spiritual devotion through prayer or meditation in a way that brings out devotional qualities. These qualities or energies are healing. They drive away anger. All of your prayers are always answered.

The angels request that you be observant of everything you see, hear, touch, taste, smell, or sense in any way it is an aspect of Divinity.

celebration Celebration: This time of light is a time of rejuvenation, of recharging your batteries. Take time to celebrate and rejoice in the uplifting of spirits. Lighten up. Acknowledge your diligence and give yourself credit and appreciation for all that you have accomplished. Stop and smell the roses. Stop to appreciate the beauty and majesty that is present in your lives.

Focus on what you are creating, not what is crumbling. Remember: neutral compassion, this is especially important for what is in your personal experience. Witness and bless. All the angels join with you in celebrations of light at this time, it is by this light that you are united, and by this light that you have created all that is on its way to you. What a glorious time to rejoice in all that is good and all that is true.

Don’t give up – for while it appears that you are on a solitary path, you are supported by reams of fellow beings of light on all around you. If you do nothing else at this time of celebration, remember the unseen party that is going on everywhere!

image Serenity: You are free from stress and your disposition is of greater inner peace and tranquility.

Even if your unable to resolve a current task at hand, your peace of mind and faith will allow you to trust that the angels and God will take care of you. If something in your life isn’t working, be willing to release it to God and the angels.

The angels reassure you that tranquility and refreshed peace of mind is within you. As you work toward serenity, and inner peace your life’s unforeseen problems begin to lessen and disappear.


Blessed are they who give
without expecting even thanks in return,
for they shall be abundantly rewarded.

Blessed are they who translate
every good thing they know into action,
for ever higher truths shall be revealed unto them.

Blessed are they who do God’s will
without asking to see results,
for great shall be their recompense.

Blessed are they who love and trust their fellow beings,
for they shall reach the good in people and
receive a loving response.

Blessed are they who have seen reality, for they know
that not the garment of clay but that which activates
the garment of clay is real and indestructible.

Blessed are they who see the change we call death
as a liberation from the limitation of this earth-life,
for they shall rejoice with their loved ones
who make the glorious transition.

Blessed are they who after dedicating their lives
and thereby receiving a blessing, have the courage and faith
to surmount the difficulties of the path ahead,
for they shall receive a second blessing.

Blessed are they who advance toward the spiritual path
without the selfish motive of seeking inner peace,
for they shall find it.

Blessed are they who instead of trying to
batter down the gates of the kingdom of heaven
approach them humbly and lovingly and purified,
for they shall pass right through.

Peace Pilgrim’s Beatitudes – Mildred Norman


I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay

And I’m so happy
So very happy
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart
And I’m so happy
So very happy
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart

 

 

Church Lady Woes

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This morning before I got out of bed, I laid there in an attempt to pray. I was lying there asking God to take care of my loved ones and to keep everyone happy, healthy and secure. Also I was seeking help on my current employment situation. (I am just not sure I am supposed to be where I am any more.)

In a nano second my mind wandered away, thinking about how much I love my work and the many positive experiences I get to have while working in a church that isn’t of my denomination. I am Catholic. I work for a liberal Baptist church. Their hands are in everything imaginable and it’s a beautiful thing to witness and on occasion, to get to be involved in.

What has always interested me about this job is what goes on behind the scenes. Growing up a Catholic girl, I only experienced Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation Masses, funerals and Weddings. Aside from the one time as an adult that I joined a new church, I don’t recall ever setting foot inside a church office.

(Wait. There was one other time where I visited a favorite Priest to talk with him about my experience with The Blessed Mother and the Angels. That was a lovely experience I will talk about another day.)

The point is that I don’t think I ever thought about what goes into running a church. Who makes the decisions;how do things operate; how do the bills get paid; where does the money come from? Who steers the direction? Who decides what events to have, etc. Does “The church lady” really exist?

It is mind boggling. (She does exist, by the way, and she has lots of church lady friends.)

Catholics look to the clergy and the clergy have a very clear hierarchy. Most Catholic Churches have a Parish administrator who handles the business end of their affairs and there isn’t much wiggle room. This is not the case where I work. Everything done within my workplace is done by committee. One team handles personnel, another team handles, finances, another team handles worship, another team handles memorials and so on, and on, and on. Every three years the teams rotate.

For the most part everything works out just fine, but there are some years where the tides turn and I start to feel frustrated when things are done that I personally do not agree with. Usually problems occur when someone appears to be acting out of ego instead of what’s in the best interest of the church. This is where I am right now. I don’t like ego-driven anything especially when it interferes with my work happiness.

For the first time I find myself seriously questioning whether or not I am in the right place. It makes me sad.

Returning to my prayers with apologies to the Lord for being so distracted, I hear in my heart:

Dear Child:

Be still and know that I am near. You will hear my direction when your heart is clear and the time is right. For now, offer your best in all that you do. Do take better care of your temple. In this, you will find your joy.

Breathe in. Fill yourself with my love. It is there.

All is well.

God.


Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  Matthew 6:25-34


From the Angels:

divine-timing Divine Timing: Change can be fast, yet keep in mind the importance of patience and Divine timing, developing a trust in the unseen mysteries of spirit working in your life.

The more that you can approach your own shifting with loving kindness, the smoother your road of change will be. On some days it may still feel like a roller coaster ride, yet your self-love can help you to have the necessary steadiness within.

Pay close attention to doors that are open to you. As you continue the journey of rediscovering your Divine nature, angels surround you with their love and blessings.

imageHealing: The highest purpose of your healer guides is to restore your self-awareness and self-esteem as children of God and help you accept the love and unlimited blessings that God grants you.

Opening your heart and mind to your worthiness is the best healing of all.

harmony Harmony: Strife, confusion and conflict be gone. A difference of opinion has clouded your thoughts.

If you change your focus and look for the common ground of peace, you can bring harmony into your relationships again.

You know that one of the most powerful ways you can fight for your relationships is to be a peacemaker? Beloved child of God, you are a peace-lover at heart. You are bringing unity into your relationships.

Focus and look for the common ground of peace, you can bring harmony into your relationships again, you become an Earth angel. Remember, God and the angels tells us that blessed are the peacemakers. When we dwell together in unity, we honor God and open the door for His hand of blessing in every area of our lives!


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Life is a tapestry: We are the warp; angels, the weft; God, the weaver. Only the Weaver sees the whole design.

 

Cleanse Day 3, Update

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Cocktail consumer Alexis would fall asleep shortly before 9:00 PM; sleep until 11:00 PM; wake up to go upstairs to bed; then sleep until 2:30 or 3:00 AM. From there it would be a failed battle to stay off the Internet until around 5:30 AM, when sleep would be intermittent at best. The whole shebang would end at 7:00 AM when it was time to rise to meet the day.

This morning I actually slept until almost 8:00 AM, which is highly unusual for me. I can only attribute it to the fact that I am continuing to execute my cleanse plan. I was awakened again about four or five times, needing to pop into the ladies room, but each time, I was able to fall right back to sleep with very little effort. When my hubs came to awaken me this morning, I was in total shock by what time it was.

I am very encouraged by yesterday’s efforts. I knew it would be hard having to work in the morning and then cook dinner for a huge crowd. As I reported in yesterday’s update, I did experience the usual, “Why am I doing this? Why can’t I just go home and have one or two drinks to relax? I don’t have to tell anyone.” Of course, the other side of my brain knew better.

Shortly before we started breaking down the kitchen to clean, I forced myself to eat dinner. It wasn’t easy because I was hot and defiant Alexis didn’t want to! However, I knew that if I didn’t, the chances of my going home hungry and pouring myself a cocktail stood at about 98%. I thought it through all the way to how I would feel waking up this morning knowing I couldn’t follow this plan for even two straight days. (Argh! To be honest it pissed me off. It angers me that I’ve gotten into this habit so much that it’s a chore to break.)

Two pieces of fish, a pile of rice pilaf and some Italian green beans later, I was satisfied. On the way home I thought about the things I wanted to do that would keep my mind, body and soul engaged in non-alcoholic activities. Tops on the list was taking my new dog, Sam, on a long walk and then settling in to read some new blogs.  Check. Check. I did both.

As a treat, I pulled out some organic, all natural yogurt and I giggled my head off when my husband tasted it and declared mightily, “OH MY GAWD, that tastes like ASS! It’s ASS with a side of sour fruit!” He’s a sweets person. I am not. I thought it was great! It’s a brand called, “siggi’s”. I highly recommend it! (siggisdairy.com)

Today on my way home from visiting my parents, I will stop at the health food store and pick up some more yogurt and some more super cool bath stuff. Those who know me already know that Thursday visits with my parents can spell disaster in the emotional department, so believe me, I must have my armor ready.

I will need extra prayers for strength for the time just prior to and right when I get home today. Although I have a plan, a hard visit with “The Units” (my sister and I nicknamed our parents this eons ago) can throw a wrench into almost anything.

I took my Day 3 selfie this morning and thought I looked better yesterday. Of course, I hate nearly every photo taken of me, so there’s that. First thing this morning when I looked in the mirror I could see a trace of “Less Puffy Me” and I smiled.

Day 3 Summary: I’m happy. I’m Blessed. I feel good, but I’ve still got one eye open for the demon temptation who wants to take me down.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1: 2-3

Tonight’s menu will be Mahi-Mahi, sauteed apsaragus and left over coconut rice mixed with whatever I decide to mix it with. My thoughtful husband went out this morning and rented the latest “Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie, so we’ll eat dinner and then curl up and watch it together.

Prayers up. Over and Out until tomorrow. ❤

Cleanse Day 2, Update

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The magic number is six. Six times last night my sleep was interrupted because I had to get up to use the rest room. You would think I would be upset about this. Instead, it’s the exact opposite. It makes me happy.

This is of course, the by-product of the first day of the two-week cleanse. It means to me that my liver is working on cleansing the rest of the body and it’s a nice sign that things are on the right track.

Even though my sleep was interrupted quite a bit, this morning I am feeling more rested than yesterday morning. Better than this, I feel more determined than ever to carry on. I know it’s just the second day, but I choose to take the good feelings as they come. BTW,  I took my “Day 2 selfie” and I can all ready see a very slight difference. (I’ll post those in two weeks.) Joy, Joy, Joy!

Yesterday I planned what to make for dinner well before I got home. I planned what I would do to reward myself for not having a cocktail and for eating a sensible dinner. On the way home from work we stopped at an organic market and I bought myself some bath salts. Last night when dinner was finished, I excused myself to go and take a well-deserved, relaxing, glorious soak. I have always been a bath girl, so treating myself to something special was just the little treat I needed. Once I had my PJ’s on, the feeling that I was missing out on a glass of wine just wasn’t there.

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I told Charlie this morning that I wished I’d bought more than one variety of bath salts, so I would have them tonight when I get home. Tonight will be one of the hardest nights to get through.

Why?

On Wednesday nights, my husband and I work together to produce a Fellowship meal for about 100-150 people who are members of the church where I work part-time. Every week we plan the menu, shop for the food, prepare the meal and drinks, help to serve it and help to clear it away when it’s over. It is an arduous task but I love it, which is why we do it.

Each week I get to work shortly after nine am and do my regular work. (I do the finances of the church.) At 1:15, I change clothes and head into the kitchen where we have until 5:00 to prepare the meal and set up for dinner service. We start serving at promptly 5:15. Like I said, it is NOT an easy job by any means. The pay-off for me is seeing people enjoy something I’ve made. It’s in knowing I worked very hard in the service of others and knowing I’ve given it all of me…and I do. My husband and I joke that, “It is ALWAYS Wednesday!” in our lives. Some weeks it seems to be so.

At some point every single Wednesday between the hours of 5:00 and 6:30 my brain starts to tell me I’ve earned the right to go home, put my feet up and have a few cocktails and usually, this is exactly what I do. (The last thing in the world I want to do is go home and eat dinner after I’ve just spent hours in the kitchen.)

Tonight will be a challenge and I admit to feeling a wee tinge of anxiety. The plan, however, is to force myself to eat dinner before leaving church so I will be full and will not want anything else. Writing this blog helps me to stay accountable too, because I hate to fail and I hate to lie. I don’t want to have to come back here and report that I cheated. I refuse!

Back to last night: For dinner this week, we decided to try to consume mostly fish and fresh vegetables. Last night’s fare was salmon that we picked up on the way home, coconut rice, mango salsa and freshly steamed broccoli.

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My plate last night.

 

I was shocked that I enjoyed the rice because I am not a fan of coconut, but it was lovely. (Recipe is below).

I will check back tomorrow to report on how I did this evening. Pray for me.

 

 

 


Coconut Rice

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This was Charlie’s plate last night. Mine is above. I’m not that fancy.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Jasmine Rice

1 1/2 cups Coconut Water

1 cup unsweetened Coconut Milk

1/2 Teaspoon Salt (I used a little more)

3/4 Teaspoon White pepper

Directions:

Rinse and drain the rice in cold water. Place in a saucepan with the coconut water, coconut milk, and salt & pepper. Place the pot over high heat and, bring the liquid to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover the pot tightly with the lid. Continue cooking for 15 minutes.

Ideas:

When I make this again, I will tweak it and add herbs and zest depending on what I am making. Last night I was wishing I’d put some lime zest in it, but it was still really light and delicious!

 

 

 

Best Laid Plans

    “Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” -David Allen
    The plan for this past weekend was to finally get our house back in good order and cleaned after the past three months of traveling back and forth to Chicago. The last trip we made there, we brought back furniture and other items that my beloved mother-in-law wanted us to have. Said items have been sitting in the middle of our family room, with no place to go, for weeks. It’s amazing to me that I’ve let them sit there this long because I am not a person who lives well with clutter. In fact, clutter tends to make me crazier than I usually am and that is never a good thing.
    So, the plan was to re-organize and clean in order that today I could begin my two-week cleanse on a good note.
    It didn’t happen.
    Last week I was wandering around on Facebook when a friend posted the picture of a dog she’d just encountered. She was asking that someone adopt the little guy because he was far too cute to be in doggie jail. His story was that his owner died and he was placed in a shelter and was on death row because of his age. (He is 7.) Our local rescue went and got him and he was up for adoption.
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This is Sam

    It was more his story that got to me than his cute face. This is because I had a beloved dog, Jack, who came to me in exactly the same manner. We got Jack at age 5 and just last year at the ripe old age of 16, we finally had to let him go. It was devastating. Jack had been my constant companion all those years. In fact, he had even gone to the office with me daily. He was little, but he was fearless and he left a huge hole in our hearts when we had to let him go.
    I took one look at Sam, read his story and I knew he was waiting for us to come and get him. Without ever meeting him in person, we immediately did the paperwork and turned it in within 24 hours.
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Jack, the office dog

Friday evening we’d just settled in for the night. The pizza was in the oven and we were sipping wine and chatting about the day when the phone rang. We’d been approved and when would we like to come and pick Sam up! OMG! OMG! I was unprepared for being as excited as I was. When I hung up the phone I jumped around the house like an adolescent who was just told she was going to Disneyland! Then of course, I made my husband swear that we would get up early and get the house in order! I was so excited and nervous, I barely closed my eyes all night.

Saturday morning came and although we did get a lot of furniture moved upstairs, we simply did not have time enough (or energy) to do a full re-organize or clean! We were off to pick up our new baby, Sam.

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This is what Sam really looks like!

Two days into having the little guy, my heart is full. It’s such an interesting realization of how much I truly missed having a little one in the house. He walked in like he owned the place, exactly as Jack did so many years ago. I had no idea how much I loved Jack until this little being came onto the scene. There are so many similarities between the two. Even our other dog, Chinah, who is 14, got excited about having another little brother. What a Blessing!

So how does this all work into the 2 week cleanse I was supposed to start today? First off, the protein shake mix I re-ordered from Usana did not arrive on Friday as expected. Instead, I am told it will be arriving tomorrow. (Built in excuse not to start today #1) Second, the house is still a complete wreck. (Lame excuse #2) I got a new puppy dog. (Okay, that doesn’t even pass as an excuse, does it?)

On the way to work this morning I did take a photo of my face because I said I was going to photograph  my face every day in order to note any differences. Good grief do I look bad! Granted, I have not slept a full night in about a week or more. All I can see is puffy, tired eyes and wrinkles everywhere. Wrinkles. Humph. My skin is dry and dehydrated and I look old and just generally horrible. I am not just being overly critical. Do I have the guts to post said photo? Oh double hell to the double no. I did take a bathroom selfie when I got to the office this morning. I MIGHT post that one. I will save the close up head shots until the end of two weeks and then I will post them all together.

Now I have a few built in excuses not to start and I have one very ugly real reason not to give into stupid excuses. This morning for breakfast I had half an avocado mixed with sliced baby cucumbers, baby heirloom tomatoes, and red onion marinated in balsamic vinegar & olive oil and a side of about two tablespoons of cottage cheese. For lunch I made a salad of romaine lettuce, organic carrots and celery and a small avocado. My feeling is that I can at least eat healthy until the shake mixes come, right? Tonight we had all ready planned Italian for dinner (hubby’s choice). I will consider today a win if I can have dinner early -sans the wine that usually goes with it. Otherwise, I will wake up tomorrow and begin again. How I truly will hate that, but it is what it is.

Here are some positives I can take away from all of this:

  1. Perhaps I am meant to break out of the psychosis that tells me I can only begin new things on Mondays. Maybe I am supposed to begin this project on a Wednesday, which is typically the hardest day of the week for me.
  2. In keeping with that line of thought, maybe my house doesn’t have to be perfect in order for me to start a new project.
  3. I think Sam was sent to me by Jack. This has nothing to do with my project -unless I mention that Sam really likes to walk. I need exercise and walking seems doable.
  4. The Lord works in truly mysterious ways and I am grateful no matter what.

I woke up feeling happy and Blessed (because of Sam), but also anxious about not having the tools to start my cleanse today. My opening quote about being stressed about not finishing something one has started is so true. Of course, I haven’t really started yet, have I? Argh.

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Risky Business.

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I was up half the night reading and following a lot of blogs. Like I said yesterday, the ones that inspire me most are written by people like me, who are trying to be and do better. I particularly love the ones that tell it like it truly is: the good, the bad, the funny and the ugly.

This morning I have no doubt the Universe is conspiring towards me getting healthier. The minute I sat down to the computer to write, I hit a wrong button that directed me to a page with the headline, “Give Up Alcohol for Two Weeks and These Incredible Things Happen to Your Body!” Okay. Okay. Message received.

So this is me declaring that as of Monday (because by now you should know that I always begin anything new on a Monday), I will embark on a two-week cleanse. (Yes, I am calling it a “cleanse” and you can humor me on this one.) In actuality, it’s supposed to last one month, but I don’t want to start off with that big of a commitment. I still have one more trip to Chicago to go. If my calculations are accurate, that trip is just over two weeks away. So there’s that.

This will of course, mean that in addition to my two protein shakes replacing breakfast and lunch, I will abstain from alcohol and I will eat a sensible, organic meal at night. I was thinking this morning it would be a worthwhile project to take a photo of my face every day for two weeks in order to document the difference.  This will require a huge amount of courage on my part because at the moment, my face and I are not on friendly terms. This also begs the question, “Am I brave enough to actually post the photos?” The jury is currently undecided and will get back to you on that.

The mere thought of doing this gives me anxiety, but I have worse anxiety thinking about never being confident in my appearance again. (Does that sound vain?) I’m so sick of looking and feeling tired and puffy. I equally as sick of feeling like life is slipping through my fingers at a rapid pace. I desperately need a jump-start and so this will be it.

I am not going to even try to pretend this will be easy. It won’t. I do very well following a prescribed plan, but I have some huge triggers to overcome. In past blogs I’ve spoken about Wednesdays and Thursdays being hard, but I haven’t actually been that honest about why Thursdays are such a big deal. I think it’s important for me at this time to drop my guard, so expect for me to get very honest and open.

Great things never come from comfort zones, right?

.risky

 

 

 

Reflection Imperfection.

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As I stated yesterday, I wasn’t in a very good frame of mind for a Monday. (I usually love a Monday–clean slate and all that good stuff–but not yesterday.) This morning again, I wasn’t feeling my best self, but I DID force myself to get in the kitchen and make my two shakes for the day. Both of them today are plant-based protein from Usana.com. I added a couple of strawberries, a tiny bit of banana, a couple of raspberries, some aloe juice & a dash (just a dash) of honey. I have to say they are not the best tasting things on the planet but they do fill me up. Usually after the first day, I adjust nicely and best of all, any and all cravings go away. The other benefit is that this stuff is so expensive, I wouldn’t dream of cheating!

Still even having accomplished this small task, I felt a bit sad. Of course, I know why. For whatever reason I am NOT doing the things I know I need to do in order to feel emotionally balanced. Typically, the first thing I need to do in the morning is sit quietly to write in my prayer journal. Today I sat right next to it; I stared at it; I contemplated it; but I didn’t write in it. Instead, I ran off to figure out what to wear today.

I arrived at work this morning and as I was running around opening the office, turning off the alarms, turning on the phones, etc. I stopped at the front desk where I found a small piece of white paper.  I picked it up prepared to throw it in the garbage, but when I turned it over I discovered the following:

A Prayer For Today:

This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good, but what I do today is important because I am exchanging a DAY of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I have traded for it. I want it to be gain and not loss; good and not evil; success and not failure, in order that I shall not regret the price I have paid for it.

Amen

I stood there reading it knowing darned well this was a not-so-subtle message from above. This is relevant to me because yesterday afternoon as I sat there on the couch, I felt depressed, defeated, drained and sad. Of course I did. I didn’t do a thing to improve my mood. In fact, I did the exact opposite and what for? Self sabotage? Self punishment?

Isn’t it funny that sometimes when a person is all ready feeling low, self punishment can come into play? We think we are comforting ourselves, but in reality, we are doing the polar opposite. So I will just own the fact that on the way home yesterday we stopped at McDonald’s and ate Mcdoubles and french fries. (I feel so dirty saying this!) This is almost unimaginable to me. We NEVER eat fast food; and I mean not EVER. Who’s idea was it? Mine.

Message received loud and clear, God. I will not exchange another day of my life for a minute’s worth of unhealthy behavior. I will use this day for good. I will succeed and I will not regret the price I paid for it.

Amen. Amen. Amen. (and thank You!)

More tomorrow.

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I don’t feel like it.

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How is it possible to wake up on a Monday and feel defeated even before I’ve had breakfast? I had a perfectly lovely day yesterday and I went to bed feeling grateful and happy.

(I had slated today to begin my protein shake program again since the last time I did it I was interrupted by a trip to Chicago.)

Yet, this morning when Charlie asked me if I was ready for my shake, I told him no. I don’t feel like it today.

I don’t feel like it today?

Translation: I don’t feel like having any rules today. I don’t feel like being restricted. I don’t wanna. I.DO.NOT.WANT.TO!

Looks like yours truly needs a really big attitude adjustment or perhaps just a fresh pair of soul glasses. How is it that just a few weeks ago I was excited to begin this program and not only that, I was having success with it. Today I woke up and said, “No. Not today. Nope.”

I’m tired, for one thing, and for another, I failed to do my preparation work. For me that means that I did not take the time over the weekend to feed my spirit with what it needed. I didn’t take the time to write in my journal. Although I always pray, I did not spend enough time actually feeling my prayers. I didn’t plan for today. I didn’t even think about today. I just went on my merry way letting the spirit blow me around wherever it wanted to.

Did I mention I’m tired?

And so thankfully, tomorrow is another day. This evening I will revisit my reasons for wanting to do the 2 weeks of protein shakes. I will again look at the photos of my pudgy face and squinting eyes and I will reaffirm that I want this face back again.

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Yes, I know it’s been a while but this girl…she’s still in there. Is it wrong to miss my eyelids?  Methinks not. Last time I did this, after just four days I saw signs of this girl coming back to life…

Just so you know, it’s not just the face I would like again, it’s the confidence and the health benefits I want too. I’d like to be able to look in the mirror again and love the face looking at me. I don’t feel that way right now. I don’t feel I even know the person in that mirror.

I just need to set my sites and start again….AGAIN.

And so I will. (I end a lot of stuff like this lately! ha ha)

 

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