Thursday, April 23, 2009

Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

I read this a few years ago in a book titled "Keep a Quiet Heart" by Elisabeth Elliot. Early this morning, it came back to mind and I thought I'd share it with you (as well as remind myself)

Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

By Elisabeth Elliot

1. Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.

2. Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.

3. Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.

4. Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man's gotta live.

5. Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and where they're going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.

6. Stay away from absolutes. It's what's right for you that matters. Be your own person and don't allow yourself to get hung up on what others expect of you.

7. Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people's. You have your life to live, they have theirs.

8. Don't fall into any compassion traps--the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people's troubles, you may neglect your own.

9. Don't let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what's really relevant--things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones--they're where it's at now.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I reached my first steps goal today!

... and I finally put up the widget to track my progress.
My current goal is to average 7500 steps a day. I hope that I will be consistently at that level within the next 2 or 3 weeks. Then I'll increase it to eventually get to 10,000 steps.
The last two days, I have been at about 58% of that goal, but today was beautiful and we took the kids to a park to ride their bikes. When I thought I'd be done for the day, I only had about 150 steps to reach my goal! It really encouraged me to get up and do those little things I would have otherwise done tomorrow or had my kids do for me. And then I ended up moving about more because while I was getting those steps in, I decided to sort through a box of books a generous friend gave us.

It will be another beautiful day tomorrow. I have been looking forward to the warmer weather, but I have some studying to do. But with that in mind, I think a walk will be a good way to take a break. We also will be having a simple Easter meal with our family. We opted for this weekend because we had just recovered from the flu last weekend. (Well, I didn't get the flu, but I still needed to recover, lol!). But it appears that my friend Alan suggested something similar :-)

Have a great weekend. Now off to sleep.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

25 Ingredients, 15 meals

Judy at Food and Health Communications has done it again! She has come up with a list of 25 ingredients and listed 15 meals that can be made with them.

One thing on her list I really need to try is lentils. I remember eating them as a kid and they are really packed with nutrients -- AND they're cheap. I recall the flavor being strong and not being a huge fan of it, but I think I'd like it now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Update on my pedometer initiative...

Well, the whole family (except I) caught the flu right after I had posted about using a pedometer, so I didn't really keep track those days. Later on, I started keeping track, so I have an idea of my baseline activity level. I still haven't looked to see what my first goal should be, so I'm really slacking here. Worst of all, for the last two days, I have forgotten to put it on. So, what I think I'm going to do is lay out my clothes the night before and attach the pedometer to it.

It's a sorry start, I know, but I am not giving up.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday Reflections 2009

He was there the whole time...

Two very confused disciples were walking along the road to go to another city, about 7 miles from Jerusalem. As they talked to one another, trying to make sense of all the recent events, a stranger came and walked alongside them. This stranger appeared to be out of the loop when it came to recent events: Hope that the Redeemer had come, His crucifixion, and now His missing body... none of it made sense. This stranger, however, didn't have to know what had happened. But he knew what the scriptures had said about it, and as they walked along the road, he explained why this should be of no surprise. The two men listened and when they got to their destination, they invited the stranger to stay with them that night. It was getting dark and the stranger wouldn't be able to go much further along his way. So he stayed with them, sat down to eat with them, and when he blessed and broke the bread, the two men suddenly recognized him. He was Jesus! He was there the whole time. (Luke 24:13-35)

I don't know how many times I have felt confused and puzzled about what has been going on --especially over the last year or so. There are still so many unanswered questions, and what will happen next is a complete mystery (to me, at least). It is hard to deal with the unknown. But one thing I know, God has always been there. Even though at times I have been unable to see Him, just as those two disciples didn't, He has walked with -- even carried -- me. He has patiently and lovingly reminded me of the truth in God's word, providing hope and comfort. He has been there the whole time, just as He promised.

"And life is worth the living just because He lives"
- Because He lives, by Bill Gaither

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Saturday Reflections 2009

"And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment." Luke 23:56

I wonder how they rested? Surely, they rested physically, but what about their soul? How could it not be restless? After all, the One they hoped would redeem them had been brutally beaten and left to hang on a cross, even though He had done no wrong. What happened? What a terrible and confusing turn of events. What disappointment. What sorrow. And to top it off, they had to wait an entire day and rest before they could properly embalm His body. I wonder what was going on in their hearts at that point. It seemed that all had come to an abrupt end. Now what were they going to do? Well, it was the Sabbath, so they rested.

I don't think my family is alone in feeling a sort of bewilderment regarding our circumstances during this Easter season. (I'm not one of those people who spill out all my struggles in public, especially when it doesn't just involve me, so sorry if you don't know what I'm talking about.) Honestly, my mind has been so occupied with these things that there is the temptation to overlook this most important holiday. So I chose to go back to God's word and read those Easter passages again. I have the advantage of knowing what Jesus did the next day. His disciples were caught by surprise, although Jesus had told them beforehand what would happen. They just didn't get it. So although I don't "get" what God is doing right now, I am reminded of the many times I didn't know what would happen next, but in the end everything worked out (often times much better than if I could have arranged it myself).

It's more than just believing. It's because of Easter that I have a living faith and hope. Without Easter, my faith would be worthless. (1 Corinthians 15:17)

So for today, my soul will rest.

"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me." John 14:1

Monday, April 6, 2009

When your child doesn't like a certain food...

... maybe you need to consider the way that food is prepared.

For example, one of my kids does not like cheese much, especially if it is melted (with the exception of pizza. lol!). He will have cheddar cheese cubes every now and then, but overall, he's not a cheese lover (I don't know what happened...)

At one point, my kids would eat frozen mixed veggies, but not cooked (thanks to the Meal Makeover Moms for that tip).

When we met, my husband said he didn't like green beans. But every time we served it, he would eat it, and like it. It was probably the way it had been prepared that made a difference. (Although, sadly, I can't convince him otherwise about beets)

I recall hating milk as a child. Now that I'm older, I realize that I didn't like it warm (unless it was flavored). Although I am not an avid milk drinker now, I don't have trouble drinking cold milk (actually there is a study that specified how cold milk should be to be more palatable). And I have always preferred cheese and yogurt, so I didn't really need to be drinking milk anyway.

So if you have young children who aren't fond of a food, make sure you give them a variety of other foods and even change the way they are prepared or bought (fresh vs. frozen vs canned). Don't assume that they know how to ask you to prepare things differently if they haven't been exposed to different preparations. And don't get caught up micromanaging their food intake. That may work well for nutrition research, but it is quite unnecessary for normal living.

Friday, April 3, 2009

HFCS: What is the bottom line?

Recently, I gave my professional statement about High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Now I'd like to elaborate on that some more.

Although I could cite the concerns of HFCS on health, the bottom line is that the majority of the products containing HFCS are also foods that contribute very little to one's health. Even if these products contain sucrose (table sugar) or even an artificial sweetener, I still would not promote their use. In other words, if a soft drink now is HFCS-free, that isn't a license to consume more of it. Consuming a food in moderation means that on the occasion you do consume it, you don't have to think twice about it.

For example, I can enjoy a soft drink every now and then without hesitation because I haven't had some in a while. I don't have to stop myself and say, "no, I better drink water." But for foods that my family consumes more frequently (like jelly or barbecue sauce) I do think twice about purchasing products containing HFCS.

"Moderation" is such an arbritrary term, which makes it so popular among food marketers. The term can easily imply that we can continue to consume as much as we already do (if not more), when it most likely means we are having too much and we need to cut back.

The same applies to greasy foods, sugary foods, high sodium foods, actually, ANY food lacking in nutritional content.

When we focus more on eating foods that do us some good, major issues like HFCS become minor issues. And that's what it should be.