Saturday, January 25, 2014

Good to the last drop...

I used to never drink coffee. Bleh! I never owned a coffee pot either. I loved tea, scones, shortbread and whatever would fit with my teacup and saucer. About 10 years ago, a friend introduced me to coffee and especially all the yummy-ness that goes in a cup. I loved everything about it. The cream, the sugar, the flavors....especially in the Fall....the pumpkin spice! I became a coffee lover!!!

Yes, I love coffee. More accurately, I love the creamer and goodness that goes into a great latte or mocha! But what I love more is the relationships. My life is full of coffee "moments" in different cities and towns; different coffee shops and stands. I have sat with countless teen girls sipping a mocha and hashing out life. I usually have one to two coffee dates every week!! Sometimes it's with a teen girl and other times a friend. Sometimes it's with someone who needs encouragement and other times a stranger who might be a speaker for The Loft. My memories are full of these moments sharing thoughts, experiences and life. When I think of coffee, I think of people. I think of relationships because I am usually sharing a cup with some precious soul. 

I am grateful for this silly little drink. Just as it warms me up, it enables me to reach out to others and also share a cup with the Lord. Bible study and quiet time is amazing in a coffee shop.....or in my car :) I have been known to grab a coffee to-go and sit with God. It's the best sitting along a country road...reading, praying and sharing a cup with Him. Wherever it happens, I am thankful for all the moments I've sipped coffee. My life would not be the same.

"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bloated and All done!!

Paleo.....Whole30....Clean Eating. I needed a change. I am not doing "Paleo" or the "Whole30" but I have definitely (for 11 days) been eating as natural as I can. By the end of 2013, I felt bloated. Fat. Unhealthy. Weak. Out of shape. Bleh!! I was tired of feeling that way and getting off track!

Over the past 4 years, I have worked out pretty consistently. I have done programs like Insanity for 60 days....P90X....Chalene Extreme and yes, Hip Hop Abs. Hehe!! Whatever it was I enjoyed. I weighed what I wanted, wore what I wanted and  I felt good. I counted calories and watched how much I ate but NEVER did I watch WHAT I ate. I focused on the caloric intake but not the chemical or processed food I was eating. It was too overwhelming to figure it all out so I never did....until now.

I am on a new journey of eating clean and natural. I have felt SO much better over the last 11 days. I don't feel bloated. I have been exersizing but only 3-4 times a week. I am not overdoing at all. I don't count calories. I just watch what goes into my mouth. I am slimming down and building muscle. Everything seems delightful EXCEPT MY COFFEE ISSUE!!! I still drink creamer (chemically induced sweetness) in my coffee!!! And I don't want to give it up. At least not yet. I have been searching out recipes with coconut milk and coconut cream. I am going to try several recipes and see if I can have a nicely flavored latte in the morning.

I will keep you posted on my findings. :) If you see me, ask me how I'm doing. It is quite the journey!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

"Closed" for business!!!

We all need rest. Even flowers. 

I was shocked one morning when hiking, that some beautiful flowers lining the trail were all closed up! It looked weird to have their long green stems pushing up toward the sky but the flower itself was closed. Almost to say, "we're not awake yet".....or "sorry, closed for business". I really wanted to see their beauty as I started my hike. That didn't happen until later when I came down the trail and the sun was beaming. It was a beautiful sight. They lined up on both sides of the trail and almost saluted me as I walked by. 

Certain plants, like poppies, close up at night to conserve energy in order to be open all day for the pollinating insects. They might also close up to protect themselves from freezing. This process is called "nyctinasty". This reminds me of US. All of us... moms and wives who are just too hard on ourselves to rest.  Let's face it. We are our own worst critics! We are taking care of people 24/7 no matter what. Even when we are dog tired, we feel guilty if we let things go. 

I was chatting with my friend this morning about the surprises in life. Things come up without expectation. We can't control the difficult roads.....when they start and when they end. It is OK to call it a day at 10am!!! It is OK to focus on the peace in our home.....the heart attitudes of our children.....the protection of our own minds.....and just be "closed for business". We cannot be all things to all people. We cannot juggle hard enough and long enough to make everything perfect. We have to show ourselves GRACE in this life. The same grace we would show to our friend, neighbor and family, we need to show ourselves. 

My house is a mess and my Christmas tree is still up!! What??? Oh yeah....still up with lights on! But you know what? I don't care. I don't care because the last few weeks have been nutty. Our sinks backed up, lost our keys, hit a dog (that died), left our freezer door open (yes many things thawed out and are trash), backed into a parked car (major dent), and on and on. The nuttiness has allowed me to look at my days individually and see the blessing. I have had to show myself GRACE because if not, I would go crazy. The blessings have been abundant! In the same few weeks of crazy happening, wonderful things have happened too........The Loft last Sunday was amazing, The Dove interview went great, several coffee dates with encouragement and exhortation, working out with purpose, a beautiful Anniversary, my birthday, etc. So I choose to find the blessing, to find the GRACE and give myself REST. 

Somedays, I am "closed for business"...and you too!

"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3:1