This blog is where I can pour out my heart with my longing for God.

Posts tagged ‘health’

Faith-Based Fitness: Day 2

EXERCISE:

Why do I not follow through with my goals for each day? I planned to jump on the mini-tramp for some exercise since it was unseasonably warm for early February (70 degrees). But I never jumped, (THUMBS DOWN!) although I did sit outside in the open air doing school with Malachi for a while. At least I got fresh air which is better than being cooped up indoors. (THUMBS UP!)

FOOD:

I started off my day with lemon in water as normal. (THUMBS UP!) Isn’t it ironic that an acidic fruit can have an alkalinizing effect on the body? One thing I’m not doing anymore regularly is having my second glass of water mixed with Barley Green; I really miss that and need to start it back. (THUMBS DOWN!)

For lunch, I resorted to Super Bowl leftovers: 2 small egg salad croissants, Doritos to add crunch, 4 cocktail wienies, handful of spiced oyster crackers, glass of punch. (Too much sugar, MSG, sodium nitrites, carbs.) (THUMBS DOWN!)

I meant to eat a fruit in the afternoon, but I got too busy homeschooling Malachi and fixing supper. (THUMBS DOWN!) My goal is to eat 2 fruits, preferably raw, each day. I had no fruits at all today.

However, I was proud of myself at supper time. I fixed meatloaf, creamed potatoes and bacon-grease-seasoned green beans for everyone else, yet I did not eat a bite of it. (I generally don’t eat supper before teaching on Wednesday nights at church.) (THUMBS UP!)

And something else I did that I am happy about is I remembered to take a bottle of water with me to church to sip while I taught. (THUMBS UP!) I then taught a health seminar about sugar addiction and the need to break it. I am so excited that our church is getting healthy together! (THUMBS UP!)

We tested water tonight at our health seminar using drops to show acidity/alkalinity. My well water was very acidic—the water turned orange; that’s bad! The water I distilled turned very orange as well—very acidic. But the distilled water I ran through my “Perfect Pitcher” filter was nearly purple it was so alkaline! That made me super-happy! That means the water I drink primarily is helping my body become more alkaline—less vulnerable to disease. (THUMBS UP!)

Meghann and Chelsea’s Food Lion-brand distilled water was pretty acidic—turned orange. Mama’s well water was neutral on the pH scale, but when she distilled it, it was yellow—acidic, but not as bad as if it had turned orange. We have the same distiller, but because she starts out with better-quality well water, her distilled water is a bit more alkaline than mine.

Although it isn’t great to eat a late supper (no choice on Wednesday nights), I did choose healthy foods—a spinach salad with a bit of raw broccoli and a lot of raw cauliflower. I try to use Zesty Italian dressing to avoid the dairy of ranch dressing. (THUMBS UP!) I ate a handful of spiced oyster crackers to give me a crunch. I HAVE to have a crunch with a salad! I am still a bit hungry but too tired to fix anything else, so I’m headed to bed with growling stomach.

TALLY FOR 2/8/17: THUMBS UP! = 7     THUMBS DOWN! = 4       YAY!

GOAL FOR TOMORROW:

Jump on the mini-tramp and/or do a Richard Simmons workout.

Salad.JPG

My salad tonight—rather skimpy, no more spinach left.

Advertisements

Faith-Based Fitness: Day 1

As a very irregular blogger, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to use this site to chart my daily progress toward better health. Well, guess what? Here it is February 7, and I’m just now starting the daily blog post. There was always some excuse—from too many special events with forbidden sweet offerings to eat……all the way to the Super Bowl with its scrumptious snacks. I felt guilty starting this health-based posting when I wasn’t eating very healthy at all. (THUMBS DOWN!)

But I’ve realized that I need to persevere and document my journey even on my worst days of unhealthy eating. That’s part of it, too. (THUMBS UP!)

You folks who follow my blog don’t have to try to read/digest these daily posts which will always be labeled with the “Faith-Based Fitness” label. You can just tune in when you see one of my normal posts about “The Old Paths” or some Christian subject. I won’t mind.

These daily posts about health are more about me keeping track of what I’m doing right or wrong…..and maybe to encourage others who fight the battle of the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet).

FOOD:

I nearly panicked today when I woke up and thought I didn’t have any fresh lemons to squeeze into my first 8-oz. glass of water. Then the hubster reminded me I had half a lemon in the fridge. YESSS! I am so hooked on my lemon water. I am convinced it has made my body much more alkaline, which is less conducive to disease. I know it has increased my energy levels hugely. (THUMBS UP!)

By the time I got up (slept late), drank the lemon water and talked to the hubster after his night at work, it was time to order our habitual Tuesday lunch from a local diner. Although I did give in to the chicken casserole from the Dan River Restaurant, I resisted the temptation to get creamed potatoes as one of the sides (as I normally do!). I realized that the casserole was already so bread-filled that I didn’t need any more carbs. (I got the cornbread as my bread choice, but only nibbled the very top of it.) (THUMBS UP!)

For the two sides, I opted for corn and broccoli & cheese. I felt pleased to have a yellow and a green veggie. (Yes, I know the creamy cheese sauce wasn’t the best choice, but hey, give me a break—LOL!) (THUMBS UP!)

However, instead of my usual glass of Ocean Spray cranberry juice of some type, I couldn’t resist the lure of the leftover Super Bowl punch. At least it has pineapple juice, lemon juice and orange juice…..not sure if that cancels out the green Kool-aid, sugar and ginger ale. (THUMBS DOWN!)

An hour later, I caved in to the temptation of the chocolate chip cheeseball in the fridge— another Super Bowl leftover. I ate quite a bit with graham crackers. I normally don’t eat sweets until the weekend, but I kept thinking that we might as well get rid of the Super Bowl stuff. (THUMBS DOWN!)

I am not happy with my water intake today. Got so busy at The Well that I forgot to drink any during the afternoon. Then when I stopped by Main Street Diner to get my kids a treat, I broke down and ordered the fried buffalo chips with ranch dressing. (THUMBS DOWN!) 

But when my son Elijah came in from work, I gave him over half of the buffalo chips; I had actually gotten full very quickly. (THUMBS UP!)

By the time I got home from prayer at The Well and had checked Facebook, it was another late supper—about 9:45. I resisted the lure of egg salad croissants and instead ate an organic spinach salad with Zesty Italian dressing, with some spiced oyster crackers on the side for crunch. (THUMBS UP!)

But then I quickly scarfed down five little cocktail wienies—another SB remnant. I wish I hadn’t, but I was still so hungry after the measly salad. I had intended to eat cut-up grapes in plain yogurt sweetened with raw honey. Oh well. (THUMBS DOWN!)

EXERCISE:

I did quite a bit of walking through downtown Walnut Cove today, although never at a sustained brisk pace…..lots of stopping and starting. But I got lots of fresh air and was MOVING at least! During prayer time, I played upbeat praise music and stayed on my feet almost the whole time, clapping, lifting my hands, doing interpretive motions, moving back and forth. It was a good praise workout! (THUMBS UP!)

TALLY for 2/7/17:

THUMBS UP beats THUMBS DOWN 7-5! YASSSSSS!

GOAL FOR TOMORROW: more water!

water-drink-it

Free Country, Ain’t It?

**This was originally published on Thursday, June 16, 2011, in my newspaper column, “The Old Paths,” in The Stokes News. Due to a website change a few years ago, the publishing company broke all links to our old articles which were archived online. This was a tragic mistake and resulted in the loss of thousands of newspaper articles. Little by little, I am putting my old columns on this blog so that they can be preserved. Each column may be updated to reflect present times when transferred to this blog.**

free-country-2

When someone tells me something I can’t do, I am sometimes tempted to spout off that familiar line many of us have used before: “Free country, ain’t it?!” (And yes, you have to use improper grammar to give it that defiant tone.)

Well, there were days back in 2011 that I wanted to shout out that defiant line.

You see, one of my heroes had been arrested. She wasn’t dealing drugs. She wasn’t driving while impaired or embezzling money. In fact, she’s one of the most God-fearing people I know.

Her crime? She had been compassionately and skillfully helping women in North Carolina have their babies at home. She had been by their side to support them, give them excellent medical attention, help them have their babies in an environment that was the only setting used for thousands of years—their own home.

“What’s so wrong with that?” you may ask. “Grandma had all of her kids at home.” Yes, your grandparents (and maybe some of my older readers!) probably delivered their babies in the comfort of their own beds. Thank God we still live in a free enough country that women are allowed to have their babies anywhere they like without fear of prosecution.

baby-feet

But North Carolina has a dilemma. Homebirth is legal, but having a midwife (one who operates independently without physician supervision) on hand to assist is illegal—not for the mother but for the midwife. Had my midwife friend been assisting with a homebirth in Virginia, it would have been legal for her. Such midwifery is also legal in Tennessee and South Carolina (our other bordering states). Yet North Carolina legislators have thus far refused to legalize this practice which is legal in 28 other states.

Let me clarify that Certified Nurse Midwives are allowed to attend homebirths in North Carolina IF they have a medical doctor willing to act as backup (sometimes a tough thing to find), but Certified Professional Midwives—who are also highly trained and usually very experienced—are not allowed to deliver babies at home.

I just don’t get it.

Before you jump on the bandwagon of saying all births need to be in the hospital for the safety of the mother and the child, I suggest you study the statistical evidence for midwifery in the U.S. Then get back to me.

When I am deciding on an issue, I study the statistical evidence, but I also like to talk to those who have been there, done that. Personal testimony is valid and crucial. So when it comes to the issue of having babies at home, let’s find someone who has been on both sides of the fence.

Hmmm, whom can we find? Oh. Okay. ME.

Yep, I’m coming out of the closet. I have had three children in the hospital and two at home in the very bed my parents bought for me when I was five years old.

Am I against hospital births? Absolutely not. I had some great experiences at the hospital—terrific nurses, a doctor I absolutely adored and relatively good care. I even loved the hospital food. So I’m not against hospital births.

I am, however, for the freedom to choose my birth experience.

freedom-sign

As I alluded to earlier, I could pick up roots and move a few miles up the road to Stuart, VA, and have that freedom. But since 1983, homebirth midwifery by CPM’s has been illegal in North Carolina.

I chose my midwife as my pregnancy/delivery/postpartum healthcare provider in 1997. She was a Certified Professional Midwife with extensive education in the field she had felt called to enter. Her experience was massive, her resume impressive.

I heard glowing reports of her skills, although I am sure there were some patients who had bad experiences with her. Lest we think such negative occurrences are limited to midwifery, let us remember that malpractice suits against hospitals and OB-GYNs are big business these days. Nobody who assists with the birth of a baby is going to be immune from what sometimes happens in this fallen world—occasional tragedy—OR what we all face as fallible humans—someone who doesn’t like us or what we do.

But I had nothing but the best experiences with my midwife. She was there in my bedroom when sweet Abigail was born in 1998, and she made it in the nick of time when Malachi made an abrupt appearance in 2004. However, it was not just the actual delivery in which she specialized.

I got prenatal care such as I never got from a standard physician’s practice. Month after month, I made trip after trip to her office where she examined me extensively each time—carefully monitoring my uterine growth, blood pressure, sugar, protein and all of the other factors that must be considered in pregnancy. When she questioned the placement of the placenta, she even sent me for a sonogram.

She made a home visit several weeks before my due date to examine the birth setting and make sure everything was in order, such as me having a birth kit readily available. When labor began, she was Johnny-on-the-spot and never left my side.

As much as I loved my OB-GYN, I labored alone for the majority of my time with my first three children. The doctor came in a time or two for a brief check before finally staying as long as necessary when the nurses said I was ready for delivery. I totally understand that in a hospital, nurses and doctors have many other patients and cannot be attached to a pregnant woman’s side. I am not complaining. But that is one of the perks of midwifery—a steady, comforting presence that is constant, which tends to make for a less stressful delivery.midwifes-hands

Had I been a high-risk case, my midwife would have been sensible and recommended that I deliver in a hospital. Midwifes are not stupid. They do not want babies or mothers to die. In the rare case of an unforeseen complication during labor, the midwife will call for medical transport to a hospital. Statistics prove that the typical midwife’s baby/mother loss record is lower than, or comparable to, that of the average OB-GYN.

Legislation has been introduced in Raleigh several times to legalize midwifery, but thus far, no cigar. The 2011 arrest of my midwife prompted friends of midwifery—including some OB-GYNs, thank God—to speak up once again in favor of this ageless method of birthing babies.

At the time of the 2011 arrest, I empathized with my midwife’s patients who were on the verge of delivery. My Abigail—expected on March 29, 1998—was already four days overdue when my midwife was arrested on April 2 of that year. My panic was not something a pregnant woman needs to experience. Thankfully, my midwife was released on April 4, in time for Abigail’s birth two days later.

DSCN8295.JPG

Abigail is 18 now, and little Malachi recently turned 12. As I taught him about midwifery today, he was astounded to learn that general midwifery is illegal in our state when so many other states have legalized it and are seeing great success with it. He looked down at a picture of the beautiful and caring midwife who helped me give birth to him and then at a picture of me holding him in my bed just minutes after his birth. When he looked up at me after that, his eyes were full of fiery determination.

“Mom,” he said very solemnly, “when I grow up, if midwifery is still illegal here, I WILL take it to court and change the law.” I pray things turn around before then, but if not, I do not put it past my amazing son to find a way to successfully reverse this unfair law.

dscn2078

I worry that physicians who oppose legalizing midwifery are primarily looking at their personal financial picture or feeling that nasty spirit of control which can overtake any of us in any profession. If they argue that it is a case of safety, I will gladly put the statistics for OB-GYN practices and midwives side-by-side and say, “Case closed.”

My first child born in a hospital suffered respiratory distress and complications, due to negligence on the part of the OB-GYN (not my regular one who was on vacation), which resulted in long hospitalization and unnecessary expenditures. My second child—hospital-born—very nearly went through the same traumatic experience. My third child—again, birthed in a hospital—would have had a surgery performed on him accidentally had I not caught the error.

My point is that bad things can happen no matter where you give birth. I do not understand these women I have read about who knowingly chose homebirth, and then when something went wrong for them, blamed the midwife and began lobbying against homebirths. Should I lobby against all hospital births and say all OB-GYN’s should not deliver babies just because things went wrong with my hospital births? How ludicrous.

Since Eve, women on the old paths have been bearing their babies in the comforts of their own homes. Yes, there were losses, but midwifery healthcare has improved by leaps and bounds since those times. Why not let women have the birth experience that they choose—whether it be in a hospital or at home with a dedicated midwife by their side?

Free country, ain’t it?

Or is it?

To read more, check out:

Parents Ask State to Legalize Midwives

Our Miracle of Healing! Pt. I–The Sickness Begins

(This story is much too long to share in one blog post, so I have divided it into parts. Be warned that it deals with a sickness that was so severe I must occasionally delve into graphic descriptions of the symptoms. This is necessary for the telling of the story.)

Me holding newborn Abigail, with Chelsea far left, Meghann far right and Elijah in front--about 6 months before the mysterious sickness struck.

Me holding newborn Abigail, with Chelsea far left, Meghann far right and Elijah in front–about 6 months before the mysterious sickness struck.

My life seemed to be going just fine when the sickness struck back in the fall of 1998. On Tuesday, October 6, our family went to the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem, N.C.—enjoying the rides, the food, the petting zoo and more. Wednesday found us tired but satisfied, ready to forge ahead with normal life.

It was the next day that our world flipped upside down, propelling us into a catastrophic free-fall that would forever change our lives.

On Thursday, October 8, I spent a lot of time in our basement, working to clear out clutter. By late afternoon, I ran my hand across my forehead and headed upstairs. I told my husband, Keith, “I’m calling it quits today because suddenly I don’t feel so great. I’m achy and feverish.

In the wee hours of the morning, I woke up, feeling nauseated and queasy. I determined to fight it off mentally, feeling sure I would be able to do that since stomach viruses rarely affect me. (Note: I did not understand faith for healing back then the way I do now, or I would’ve prayed, stood on His Word and claimed His promises for healing.)

It was only a few hours later that Elijah Blue, my 2 1/2-year-old son, woke up screaming with his stomach hurting. We rushed him to the potty where he simply had a case of diarrhea. Throughout the next day, his problem seemed to clear up, as did mine. “We’re simply tired,” I rationalized. But later that night after a supper of pizza, Elijah threw up, although his appetite had been great during the meal.

Another night’s sleep was disrupted shortly before dawn on Saturday when Meghann, my 11-year-old daughter, began to throw up. “Oh well,” I thought. “This stomach virus is going to work its way through the whole family, I guess.” (Note: We do not have to receive such negative thoughts! I know that now.) At this point, we were all certain that it was simply a stomach bug….until Sunday morning.

When Elijah woke up before daylight on Sunday, again he was screaming in pain and had to be rushed to the potty where he began to throw up. This was extremely puzzling to me. He had never in his almost three years had a stomach virus that made him throw up. Only once before had he ever thrown up, and that was due to a high fever from a respiratory infection.

“Okay,” I reasoned. “He has somehow reinfected himself.” So I took extra precautions, washing his bed linens in hot water, sterilizing everything he touched. Keith went to church without us that morning, asking special prayer for Elijah. That night, I attended service without the rest of them; I felt better but not up to par.

By now the pattern was set—never a night’s sleep for anyone! In the predawn hours of Monday, my 8-year-old daughter, Chelsea, was up vomiting. Still, I assumed this was a regular bug that was just passing slowly through the family. Keith and 6-month-old Abigail were feeling fine, although Keith had a sense of dread that he was surely next. He was the one of us most susceptible to stomach viruses.

Tuesday, October 12, was a blessed day for my family. Although we were all very tired and strangely weak, the day passed with no vomiting and just light diarrhea for the four of us affected. The girls even went to dance class and then on to the county 4-H Talent Show in Danbury. (In retrospect, I believe God intervened and gave us that Tuesday free of sickness because the girls had looked forward to the talent show for an entire year. They both performed and placed well, with Meghann being chosen as one of the two best acts overall to go to the District competition.)

Since we had been on the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast) for the past few days, we gobbled up some refreshments after the talent show. We were starving for real food again!

The blessed Tuesday was soon over, and as Wednesday crept in, I heard bare feet hit the floor in the girls’ bedroom. Sure enough, Megh and Chels were flying to the bathroom, holding bowls to their mouths. They fought over our one toilet all night, alternating with bouts of diarrhea and a bit of vomiting. All too soon, I heard that familiar scream from Elijah’s bedroom as he erupted with vomiting all over his bed. I, too, felt queasy but managed not to throw up.

By this time, I was worried. Perhaps the girls had reinfected themselves as I had assumed Elijah had done over the weekend. But Elijah reinfecting himself for the third time? I didn’t think so. I racked my brain to think if we had eaten something at the fair that would’ve led to food poisoning. The problem was that we had all eaten from different booths. I, especially, had eaten nothing in common with the children.

Nonetheless, I researched food poisoning on the Internet. Everything I read told me we should’ve gotten sick all at the same time and shortly after eating the infected food.

As we faced the daylight hours on Wednesday, the nausea was gone, and we recovered. But again, I missed church on Wednesday night, staying home with the kids and sending a request for prayer.

Thursday was a better day, and Friday, too. We were unable to do any heavy activities or go anywhere much, but the vomiting had ceased. The diarrhea was sporadic. The BRAT diet had long lost its appeal. I thought if I saw another bowl of rice, I’d jump off the roof!

So I cooked a big supper on Friday night—pintos, cornbread, mashed potatoes. We ate good portions, but no one overloaded. The curious thing about this sickness was that the appetite was not diminished. With a normal stomach virus, food makes one queasy even by thinking about it. Not so, in this case. We wanted food continuously, even immediately after throwing up.

I crawled into bed late Friday night, excited about the coming day. An old-timers’ softball game that I had organized for my dad was scheduled to take place. I had dreamed of doing it for years and had worked feverishly for the past three months to put it together. To see my dad play softball once more with his old team from the 1970’s was something I was yearning to experience.

At 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 17, nausea awakened me. For the first few hours, I simply ran back and forth to the bathroom with extreme diarrhea. Soon I was arguing over the toilet with Megh, who had gotten up shortly after me and casually vomited all over the bathroom floor.

Before long, Elijah woke up screaming. I knew this thing was really bad when I finally gave up the fight and threw up—something that had only happened a handful of times in my entire life. Since having a mild stomach virus at the age of 11, I had only thrown up one time since from a sickness-related cause. This time was especially severe. I felt such heart palpitations that I began to worry I was going to quite literally have a heart attack.

With the help of my parents, I was chauffeured to the ball field where I was able to watch the first few games before I had to be driven home. Mama assured me that out in the open air, I wouldn’t infect anyone else. I didn’t say anything to her, but I was almost positive now that we weren’t going to infect anyone; this thing wasn’t contagious and I knew it.

This strange sickness had an all-too-familiar pattern by now. We would be sick in the night, spend the next day recovering, have one or two fair but weak days before waking up sick in the night again. Would it never end? I began to wonder.

That Saturday night, I was supposed to go to our annual Richardson family reunion in Walnut Cove. I felt an especial urge to attend, because of a dream I had had the previous year. I had dreamed that I was at a picnic shelter at a park with many relatives around. As I walked and talked with them, I was fingering a pair of glasses in my right pocket. I knew that I was supposed to be wearing those glasses, but instead I just walked and reminisced with my cousins. The only cousin I remember specifically in the dream was one who attends the Richardson reunion.

Suddenly I heard glass breaking, and I felt the glasses in my pocket shatter beyond repair. My heart was burdened with such a sense of guilt and shame, and immediately I repented to God that I hadn’t put on those glasses when I was supposed to. Immediately—in a single second—with my hand still in my pocket, I felt the glass splinters re-form into a perfect set of glasses once more. It was a total miracle.

In the dream, I couldn’t see the faces of my cousins, but I could hear their dear voices calling to me—almost as if we were children again, calling each other to come and play. I reached into my pocket and put the glasses on. They were thick, Coke-bottle-lensed glasses that made my surroundings go blurry. I couldn’t see well enough to distinguish objects even a few feet in front of me, but when I looked up at the sky, everything snapped into distinct focus.

The sky was brilliantly blue, and suddenly I realized that I was seeing colors in a way I had never seen them before. I began to rise into that breathtakingly beautiful panorama. I could see snowcapped mountains to the west. The buoyant feeling was like nothing I had ever felt before. Then I woke up.

God spoke to me later about the dream and told me that at the time of the reunion, He would set my eyes upon Him. Not focus, but SET.

I was desperate to go to the reunion, especially since my mom had called to tell me that for the first time ever, it would be held at a picnic shelter at a local park rather than the usual place. And of my great-grandparents’ 11 children whose descendants rotate annually to host the reunion, THIS was the year that the branch of the family hosting it would be the one that included the only cousin I clearly remember in the dream. And I had dreamed the dream LONG before these decisions were made. It was too uncanny.

As it turned out, I was too sick to go to the reunion, but I see now that it didn’t matter. The timing was what was important. This sickness was one of the most important things that had ever happened in my life. It would truly SET my eyes upon Jesus.

TO BE CONTINUED…..See Pt. II at https://timesofrefreshingontheoldpaths.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/our-miracle-of-healing-pt-ii-going-downhill-fast/

My New Year’s resolution: Take this world from me. . .

I LOVE New Year’s Eve.new-year-resolutions

Booze? Nah. Crazy parties? Nah. Listening to famous singers on TV and watching the ball drop? Nah.

Once I became a follower of Jesus as a 19-year-old, I spent most New Year’s Eves in my church in Winston-Salem. We called them “Watch Night Services.” We were prayerfully “keeping watch” as the New Year came in.

I loved such services–anointed music, great preaching, a break for delicious snacks before praising in the New Year!

But since about 2002, I’ve been compelled to be in my hometown of Walnut Cove on New Year’s Eve–in the town that I am called by God to intercede for. After I helped start a church there in 2003, we began our own watch night services each Dec. 31. A couple of times we even held a revival during the last week of the year, finishing the final service at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Although I left that church in 2009, I still felt convicted to be in my town on this pivotal night of the year.

Then came the end of 2010. I had a huge desire to be in an anointed prayer/praise service on the last night of our calendar year. But my teenage son asked me to take him to a local church that was having simply food and games. Although I loved the church, I wasn’t thrilled to just play games and eat. It seemed carnal when I was yearning for spiritual.turn your eyes upon Jesus 2

But I felt from the Lord that I should be thankful for a 15-year-old son who wanted to be in a church on New Year’s Eve–even IF he was simply playing games. So I took him. When we were done with our fellowship and games, I dropped him off at his dad’s (his turn to have him) shortly before midnight. As I drove home through Walnut Cove, I put my hand out of the window into the frigid air and proclaimed blessings on this town that I adore.

Too soon, I was home–all alone, with my kids at their dad’s and my hubster at work. Quickly I turned off the car, thinking that I wanted to hurry in before the ball fell in Times Square. That is something I haven’t seen really since I was 19, having not been home at midnight since then.

Then it hit me: “Leslie, you wanted something so spiritual tonight. The ball falling isn’t wrong or anything, but it’s what the WORLD does on this day. YOU don’t want to do what the WORLD does; you want to do what GOD says to do.” You see, we Christians are not of this world. We are IN this world, but we are not OF this world. We are pilgrims and strangers passing through.just pilgrims passing thru

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. . .” I John 2:15

not+of+this+world

So I sat in my car in the dark coldness, praying for wisdom from God on how to spend this symbolic night. Suddenly, I felt to turn on the radio which stays on 94.1 K-LOVE. I heard the Spirit of the Lord instruct me to take the first song that came on after midnight–in 2011–as my motto for the year. I became very excited, anxious to hear what song played.

The music started and these words came forth:

“Take this world from me
I don’t need it anymore
I am finally free
My heart is spoken for.”

It was so perfect that I nearly shouted! “Take this world from me; I don’t need it anymore.” That is what had been in my heart. God had confirmed exactly what I was strongly feeling.

this-world-is-not-my-home

Today–on Dec. 31, 2012–it has been two years since that wonderful New Year’s Eve when my Lord spoke to me through song. As I told our church group on Sunday morning, I still long to have more of the world taken from me by God. I yearn to be less worldly, less carnal and more spiritual.

Now, I don’t want to be so heavenly-minded that I’m no earthly good. Instead, I want to be so heavenly-minded that I am an ENORMOUS earthly good to all who need to hear the Gospel!

focus on JesusWhat is it in this world that takes your focus from God’s kingdom? Do you have too much going on in your life? Are you spread too thin? How can we have a single vision when we are pulled in so many different directions?

2013 is almost here. Why not turn our eyes upon Jesus and focus so solely on Him so that our every step in life is guided by His Spirit? If you are born again, you are already a spiritual being. Yet you live in a physical world. REMEMBER that despite your physical surroundings and fleshly temptations, you are primarily a spiritual, eternal being. You may go through a physical death one day, but you will live again. You are already eternal.

So why not take 2013 and live like those spiritual beings that we are? This entails focusing on Him so that all worldly things follow in the wake of you following Him.start 2013

It’s all well and good to make lists of New Year’s resolutions. But as my very wise daughter Meghann intimated in church on Sunday, have you considered asking God to help you determine what those should be, lest we endeavor to fulfill them in our own strength? And then, why not ask Him throughout the year to help you meet those goals?

For example, you are craving Reese’s peanut butter cups (king-size pack–two measly cups, like 24 hours in a day, are never enough) and taco-flavored Doritos for lunch. However, you realize that this goes against your New Year’s dietary goals and is not the best option for a healthy body. It also is not exactly what your Creator would want for your lunch menu.

I usually consider two options:

A. Eat the Reese’s and Doritos and resolve to do better tomorrow

OR

B. Struggle to fight the temptation, bitterly eat a salad instead–all the while salivating for chocolatey goodness.turn your eyes upon Jesus

But there is an option C: pray for God to help me fight the temptation and even take the urge away from me. I will confess that I don’t usually go for option C, but in 2013 I intend to. I want my New Year’s resolution list today to be Spirit-led and my attempts to keep these resolutions throughout the year to be Spirit-enabled.

Don’t you?

C’mon–join with me this year to say, “Take this world from me; I don’t need it anymore.” And let’s focus on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith!

(Click on the link below to hear MercyMe’s great rendition of the song I heard to start 2011 and am again using as my motto for 2013!)

Tag Cloud