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I'm just a girl trying to keep an eternal perspective on life, and live it to the fullest :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Lord's Prayer

 In this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

 Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.

 Give us this day our daily bread.

 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory for ever. Amen.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Healthy Living Challenge: Wk 6!

We are now almost complete with the last week of my 6 Week Healthy Living Challenge! Please check out the link if you are viewing this for the first time!

Before you read below, I challenge you to watch this message given by one of my pastors at church, Troy Kennedy. It's a great message about making Jesus the center of every aspect of our lives- including our physical health! Check it out @ http://www.westsidefamilychurch.com/recentmessages.html, then click on Cow Tipping: Supersize Me!
Since week 6 is almost complete, I am going to incorporate a review of both weeks 5 and 6, and then further summarize the past 6 weeks and give some goals for the future!
Week 5 Recap:

I did cardio only 2 days, which was my old school Tae Bo workout videos ;)
Also, I did go on a couple fast-paced walks, but no jogging for me. 
I have been using my free weights for some upper body strength training.
I ate salad for lunch 3 out of the 7 days, and tried to make healthy choices the other days.

Meatless  Day- Accomplished :)
Week 6 Recap:
I  have done 3 workout videos this week including Hip Hop Abs, Dancing with the Stars Latin Cardio Dance, and today I have done Crunch's Fat Burning Yoga Workout. I have also continued doing upper and lower body strength training with free weights and walking lunges, calf raises and wall squats. 
I have eaten salad 3 out of the past 6 days (I still have 1 more day left ;) I have eaten healthy at lunch with the exception Wednesday when I ate chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy... compliments of my hospital's cafeteria (they really do serve tasty food... my very favorite is their tomato bisque soup!)
Meatless Day: Accomplished :)
Overview of the past 6 weeks, and future plans: 
During the past 6 weeks I have been intentional about eating healthier and exercising more.  Although I am not perfect, I have succeeded to some degree. 
I have been reminded that to accomplish a goal, we must be intentional about it. Whether in our internal or external, our spiritual, physical, or emotional lives, we must be disciplined to move forward. We can't expect things to change on their own. 
The past 6 weeks has been a growing process for me. I've recognized my faults, such as time management and procrastinating,  and am still working on them. I tend to get discouraged and be somewhat unmotivated at times. However, I've found that when I focus my eyes on Jesus, seeking HIM and His Will, HE becomes my motivation, and with HIM I know I can do anything! HE is better motivation than anything this life has to offer!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who [a]infuses inner strength into me; I am [b]self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].  (Philippians 4:13)
But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well. (Matthew 6:33)
So, as I move forward, I am going to focus on being healthy holistically. I always need my relationship with Jesus to be first and foremost, at the center of my wheel. As I do this, every other aspect of my life becomes balanced! Everything else pales in comparison to His beauty! As I live my life, I pray it is a reflection of Him. I have a lot of work to do, but if I take each day one at a time with Him as my guide, I am well equipped for any challenge! My prayer for you is the same too!
Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, (1 Corinthians 6:19 AMP)
“ Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:29-30)
So, lets continue and create more good habits that will carry on into the rest of our lives. Make every aspect of our lives glorify HIM! To start, we need to spend time with HIM. I personally shoot for at least 15 minutes a day of quiet time with God... whether it be in the morning, during my girls' quiet time, or after everyone else has gone to bed for the night. God desires relationship, not religion.  Read God’s word, and study it through a good devotional or Bible study, talk to God through prayer.
We are in an age where life is busier, and technology is more prominent in trying to accommodate by making things faster and easier to access. I find a lot of what I do through technology, whether it be on my phone or computer. Here are some of my personal favorite “God Time” web-pages.  (FYI: I am suggesting them, but not promoting them over any other resource):
www.biblegateway.com (look up scripture and compare different versions of God’s Word)
http://westsidefamilychurch.com/recentmessages.html  (You can watch, listen and read notes from a library of recent teachings)
www.rbc.org (my personal favorite devotional is on here: My Utmost for His Highest)
www.crosswalk.com (this one also has links to other great resources)
www.girlfriendsingod.com (with my church's lead teaching pastor's wife Mary Southerland)
www.everydaytruth66.blogspot.com (by my fellow church member Lori Fairchild)
www.kyria.com (for women- chosen in Christ, called to influence)
www.gospel.com (a community of online ministries)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11/2001...

I will never forget where I was that day. I was a senior in high school sitting in my Fashion Careers class. My teacher rolled in a television and we all watched in disbelief after the first plane struck the World Trade Towers, then a second, then the other third plane hitting the Pentagon, and finally a fourth plane crashing prior to hitting the White House. 

My heart broke then and still breaks today. Tragedy in this life is painful. It doesn't make sense when innocent lives are lost and loved ones are hurt forever. We remind ourselves today, and we should everyday, that we cannot take a moment for granted. This life is unpredictable. 

Fortunately, there is more than just this life! There is a perfect place Jesus invites us to go... for eternity. No more tears, no more pain. That is where my hope is. Jesus calls us to draw near to Him, and draw others near to Him too. Lets shine His hope into the lives of the hopeless. 

Remembering and praying for those still suffering from the horrific events of 9/11/2001. Praying for all the people in the world today facing trials in life that are horrific and hopeless. There is hope in Jesus! 

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah (Psalm 46)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Seeking Simplicity

I awoke from my sleep in the middle of the night with, what felt like, a million to-dos running through my head. Anxiety and stress take a toll on us mentally, physically and spiritually. I was thinking how I've neglected my relationship with Jesus lately. Amidst the busyness of life, my eyes are taken off Him and onto much less important things. I felt my heart pounding in my chest and my blood pressure rising as the cares of this world filled my mind. I prayed, read a some scripture, and having my allergies in full swing I took a benadryl and went back to sleep. 

Later in the day, I read the 6th chapter of Matthew, and it has calmed my soul. It reminds me that it is the simple things in life that bring peace and joy. When my life is centered on God, and my relationship with Him is nourished first, then the things of this world fade in the Light of His glory and grace. 

So today I am redirecting my thoughts to Him- The creator of Heaven and Earth. Nothing can compare to His beauty and majesty. Amazingly, He wants me. He desires an intimate relationship with every person on this Earth- including you and I. Wow, when pause long enough to really think about the depth of His love for us I can't help but be completely humbled and in awe! 

So, on that note, here are a few simple things I am thankful for today:

*Love... the most powerful thing on earth, and the way God shines through our lives
*Benadryl (medications in general)
* A beautiful sunny, crisp autumn-like day
* Clean drinking water
*My family
*Food, and more than enough to feed several families for several days
*Freedom of Religion, something in the U.S. we take for granted 
*Our Jobs

My Prayer: 
Thank you Jesus for blessing me today with all of these things and so much more. Help me to not take for granted the simple things in life. I pray my family can together simplify our lives to better focus on You Jesus, instead of our own worries and earthly priorities. Thank you Jesus for loving me, and for willfully dying on the cross for my sins so that I may someday live eternally in paradise with You. Amen.
Matthew 6
The World Is Not a Stage
 1 "Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding. 2-4"When you do something for someone else, don't call attention to yourself. You've seen them in action, I'm sure—'playactors' I call them— treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that's all they get. When you help someone out, don't think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.
Pray with Simplicity

 5"And when you come before God, don't turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
 6"Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

 7-13"The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They're full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: 

   Our Father in heaven, 
   Reveal who you are. 
   Set the world right; 
   Do what's best— as above, so below. 
   Keep us alive with three square meals. 
   Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. 
   Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. 
   You're in charge! 
   You can do anything you want! 
   You're ablaze in beauty! 
      Yes. Yes. Yes.

 14-15"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part.

 16-18"When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don't make a production out of it. It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won't make you a saint. If you 'go into training' inwardly, act normal outwardly. Shampoo and comb your hair, brush your teeth, wash your face. God doesn't require attention-getting devices. He won't overlook what you are doing; he'll reward you well.

A Life of God-Worship

 19-21"Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
 22-23"Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!

 24"You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can't worship God and Money both.

 25-26"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

 27-29"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

 30-33"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

 34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Healthy Living Challenge: Wk 5

This is week 5 of my 6 Week Healthy Living Challenge. Please check out the link if you are viewing this for the first time.

Before you read below, I challenge you to watch this message given by one of my pastors at church, Troy Kennedy. It's a great message about making Jesus the center of every aspect of our lives- including our physical health! Check it out @ http://www.westsidefamilychurch.com/recentmessages.html  then click on Cow Tipping: Supersize Me!

Week 4 Recap:

I worked out 3 days. I'm enjoying jogging more :)

I ate salad for lunch 3 out of the 7 days... labor day weekend put me a little behind :)

Meatless  day- accomplished :)

Below is this week's lunch menu:

(FYI- If I am in a time crunch, or am missing an ingredient, I make due with substitutions. I am looking forward to trying some new salad recipes!)

Week 5

Sun: B-day lunch for my nephew :)

Monday: Labor Day! Didn't eat salad- oops!

Tuesday: McD's Southwest Salad for me - I let the girls have a treat after tumbling (everything in moderation right?) :)

BLT Salad  (can't get enough of this :)

Thursday: Roquefort Pear Salad

Friday: Fresh Garden Salad (Meatless Day)

Saturday: Mandarin Orange & Spinach Salad

Week 5's Exercise Plan:

Monday: jog 1.5 mi

Tues: go on a walk with the girls, Resistance training- Back and Biceps (curls, lat pull down, etc) 

Wednesday: core training (plank holds, crunches, scissor exercises, etc.)

Thursday: pilates video, resistance- legs (lunges, squats, leg lifts, etc..)

Friday: jog 1.5mi, resistance- chest and triceps (push ups, tricep kick-backs, etc), core training

Here are some resources for healthy salad recipe ideas:

Fit Watch: Free E-Book Salad Recipes

Eating Well: Healthy Salad Recipes

All Recipes: Healthy Salads

Reader's Digest: Fresh Salad Recipes

Medicine Net: Salad Recipes

Woman's Day: Healthy Hearty Salads

Good Housekeeping: Healthy Salads

About Salads: Easy Healthy Salad Recipes

Epicurious: Main Course Salads

Savvy Vegetarian: Salad Recipes

Food Network: Salad Recipe Collection

Other helpful links: 

Meatless Mondays: "Why Meatless? 

Target Heart Rate Calculator: target level

Why you should exercise and other info: Web MD CardioCDC ExerciseACSM, and AHA

Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, (
1 Corinthians 6:19 AMP)

If you are going to join me on this challenge, or want to leave a salad recipe, please leave a comment (with your link too if applicable). Thanks!