Thursday, October 30, 2014

Nutrition, Spirit-Style

I've long been a Max Lucado fan, and I especially appreciate Grace for the Moment, a wonderful little book that packs a punch via a devotion for each day of the year. Yesterday's devotion was one of the many that stood out to me.

The devotion for October 29 begins with Jeremiah 29:11, a verse that I have turned to again and again in the past 5+ years. Knowing that God promised, "I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you" comforts me even when I can't see any good in my current circumstances.

Lucado goes on to tell about a family devotional time in which he put a variety of food options -- fruit, veggies, cookies -- in the center of the table, called his daughters to join him, and gave them each a plate. He explained that every day God "prepares for us a plate of experiences." He then asked his girls to put the food on their plate that represented the type of experiences they preferred to have.

I know I'm supposed to eat a healthy diet, and I've come a long way in that department. But if we're talking about what kind of experiencewe would prefer to have on any given day, I'm with Lucado's daughter Sara. I'm grabbing the cookies!

Of course, God doesn't put just a pile of cookies on our plate day after day after day. As Lucado points out, some days our plate is filled with cookies, some days are filled with cookies, fruit, and veggies, and on some days He fills our plate with veggies. Not even a little cup of dip or Ranch dressing. Just veggies.

I pondered this devotional as I drove to work, during down time at work, and then again as I drove back home. I acknowledged immediately that God -- like an earthly parent -- knows far better than His children what they need in their lives. I'm an English teacher -- I get the metaphor. :)

But almost immediately after I identified the symbolism, I heard a voice asking, "And what do you do when you get that plate of veggies? How do you react?"

And that, to me at least, is the crucial question.

Do I whine and cry and beg for a banana split and pout when it isn't forthcoming -- immediately? I must admit I sometimes do.

Do I pitch a fit and stalk away from the table? Yes, I've done that a time or two in the past five years.

Do I look at what is on other people's plates and envy them their Snickerdoodles? Sadly, I do that sometimes, too.

Do I ignore the veggies that will help me grow and become stronger and fantasize about the scrumptious treats I enjoyed yesterday or hope to have tomorrow? Of course, I have.

Do I look to my Father and thank Him for what He has given me and then enjoy those veggies to the very best of my ability? Not often enough.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Dare

I'm very excited again this week to join a talented group of women bloggers in an online, unedited flash mob free write. This week, the word-prompt given to us by our fearless leader Kate Motaung (whose wonderful blog can be found at katemotaung.com) is "long". My timer is set for 5 minutes; ready, set,

The only dare I can remember ever responding to came from a college friend a weekend that found four of us traveling to her parents' cabin on Kentucky Lake. The dare? To go skinny-dipping off the dock one night under a full moon. I still remember how wonderful the cool lake water felt on my skin and how daring I felt. Me, a nice young Lutheran girl, swimming in the lake in nothing but my birthday suit. How outrageous!

Oh, how I long to dare to do something outrageous now. I am, hopefully, still nice. Definitely, still a Lutheran. My days as a girl more than a few years behind me.

But still. I long to do something outrageous.

To walk away from a situation in which I feel disrespected.

To sell or donate even more of the things I own.

To downsize to an even-cozier home.

To totally change my lifestyle.

The practical little creature sitting on my left shoulder whispers to me. "You need to be responsible. You need to be prepared for retirement, and time is running out. You must have health insurance. And besides, what will people think? Your kids will have you committed!"

But oh how enticing is that adorable imp on perched on my right shoulder, how tempting her words, "Do it. Strip off everything that stifles you. Dive in."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Long

I'm very excited again this week to join a talented group of women bloggers in an online, unedited flash mob free write. This week, the word-prompt given to us by our fearless leader Kate Motaung (whose wonderful blog can be found at katemotaung.com) is "long". My timer is set for 5 minutes; ready, set,

 

I have to admit that when I saw this week's word, I almost didn't participate. "Long"? I just didn't have a clue what to write. Where to start.

"Long" can be a verb, of course. What do I long for? More time with my son and daughter, more peace with my work situation, a new job in a new town with a better climate (to me, better is more moderate), a stronger & more personal relationship with my Lord and Savior, a close group of friends to do things with on a regular basis, toned arms (no more bat wings), personal peace.

"Long: can also be an adjective relating to time. What things do I long (sorry, couldn't resist) to be long? Walks on the beach, visits with my children, a healthy lifespan for my children and for myself, talks with close friends, time to write, time away from my job.

How else can "long" be used?  Hmmmm . . .

Oh, it can also be an adjective in respect to the length of something. Hmm . . . oh, I'd love for some of my favorite books with my favorite characters to be longer. I hate to lay them down, to leave my friends on a shelf. My hair. Every time I get it almost to the length I want, it drives me crazy and I impetuously have it cut . . . again. But growing it out is only 1/2 of the issue -- I need to know how to fix it once I get there. lol

Now I know how my students feel when, for a free write session to start off class, I give them a word they struggle with. Will the 5 minutes ever end? Please . . . tick, tock. I long for the timer to

And mercifully, it did . . . the timer buzzed, and I could stop. This was a long (once again, I couldn't resist) 5 minutes for me. :)