Apr 24

MY JOY AND MY STRENGTH

Joy and strength

My husband is going through a health crisis this year. It was much more serious than we first understood. And it will continue to be a crisis for a long time to come.

Early into the news, our son who had just visited two weekends in a row, asked if he could or should come back for another visit. Our daughter simply told us her husband was driving her and our grandson up—allowing no argument from us. I felt such love and gratitude for the encouragement my family gave us in wanting to be together when things looked so bleak.

One morning I was deep in prayer—the kind of prayer filled both with desperation and gratitude that makes no sense to someone who doesn’t have faith. I cried out to Jesus but with the same breath thanked Him for my family. “My family is my joy and my strength,” I prayed amid sobs.

During a moment of silence following my cry, Jesus spoke to my heart, saying,

“I am your joy and your strength.”

More silence passed as I took in those words and recognized the truth of them.

“You, Jesus, are my joy and my strength,” I prayed. “Thank you for my family, who reflect your character and display your love.”

I now begin each day in prayer, repeating those words. My heart feels lighter.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? How do you remember that Jesus is your true joy and strength? Who in your life reflects His character and displays His love?

Apr 17

PRAYING NAMES: Charlene and Abraham

Charlene Abraham

The names of those who love Jesus are written in His book of life and they will live with Him in heaven forever. Those names are important. They have meaning.

I love to pray that people would live the meaning of their names. Once you know what their names mean, it’s easy to remember to pray for them in that way.

Each month, I create prayers based on the meaning of names. This month, we can pray for Charlene and Abraham. If you know someone with these names, please pray for them. If you have someone you’d like me to create a prayer for, please leave a comment and I’ll return in a future month with a prayer especially for them.

Charlene: free

Dear Jesus, we pray Charlene will live the meaning of her name. We pray she will recognize the freedom she has because of you. We pray she will welcome and cherish her freedom from your condemnation because of the sacrifice you made for her on the cross. We pray she will live her life in a way that shows others the freedom they can have because of you, too. Amen.

Abraham: exalted father

Dear Jesus, we pray Abraham will live the meaning of his name. We pray he will understand that you, God are his eternal father, who loves him with an unconditional and everlasting love. We pray also that he will live his life as a spiritual father and example of strong faith to others. Amen.

Apr 10

TEMPLE: My Health/Your Health

temple-focus-word

Last month, I announced my 2017 health goals and said I’d return this month to review and revise in an effort to encourage you in your own health goals.

Our 2017 health goals are something to work toward for the entire year though, which means, I (and you) still have almost 9 months left to work on them. That’s 266 days where I can be successful at least part of the time; hopefully most of the time. That encourages me.

Hopefully it encourages you in your goal review. So let’s see how I am doing so far.

Q1 Goal: Obtain Baseline Health Numbers (Done)

Q1 goal: Get a complete physical with blood work and screenings. Basically, numbers are all within “normal range,” although I would prefer lower cholesterol numbers. This year includes major dietary changes, so hopefully, next year’s test results will see improvement.

Q2 Challenge: My husband is currently having health issues, including new dietary requirements. I’m learning to eat fish and he’s learning to eat asparagus.

Q1 Goal: Increased Exercise (Mostly Done)

In January and February shoveling snow was my main exercise. Once the snow cleared, I returned to my regular exercise program of aerobic, strength and flexibility exercises. I met specific exercise targets for Q1 and set new ones for Q2.

Q1 Goal: Weight loss (Making Progress) 

My 2017 goal is to lose 19 pounds by June and stabilize for the remainder of 2017. I intended to have lost 10 pounds by the end of Q1. I have lost 8, which puts me behind schedule. My 2017 (and Q2) weight loss goal however is still achievable.

This month I am wearing pants and blouses one size smaller than last month, so regardless of what the scale says, my body is improving.

Q1 Goal: Eat More of God’s Food and Less of Man’s

I cleaned out cupboards of most processed food and have moved towards a higher percentage of God’s food and less of man’s processed food. Cooking is definitely more work but my family and I are worth it.

Q1 Goal: Eat More Slowly

I eat at the table more often instead of in front of the TV and work at completing a meal in 20 minutes instead of 10, listening to my body for satisfaction signals. Progress is made here, but there is room for improvement.

That’s me—doing well in some areas; need to work harder in others. Not surprisingly, life happens and can set us off track. I’m working to master staying on track amid life.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Have you made health goals for 2017? How are you doing? What do you need to do more of; less of; or differently?

♥ ♥ 

NOTE: After preparing this post, we learned that my husband will be undergoing surgery this morning with an unknown outcome pending. This is a reminder that not only do we need to care for our own health, but we have a responsibility to care for the health of other people in our lives. No doubt my Q2 health review will reflect this expanded focus.

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