An Adventure in Faith

We’re at the last few days of March, and our theme of peace.  It’s been a more peaceful month than February for me, and I’ve had a great time learning about what impact peace has in our daily lives.

I’ve been reminded that I find peace in nature, with my best friend, when painting or writing, and with a cup of tea.  My journey this month through lessons about peace has raised up a couple of opportunities and possibilities for my (and our) future that I’m really excited about.

For the month of April I’m going to try something new, writing a post a day on a spiritual or life topic.  These posts will be very similar to what you’re used to receiving from me, perhaps a little shorter though, we’ll see.

Why?

Well, first, I want to refocus on my writing (it helps me find peace and grows my faith) and share the hope I discover with you on a daily basis.  Think of it as a bit of daily encouragement from me to you. Second, our topic for April is a really tough topic that many people struggle with: faith.  Everyone has doubts at some point throughout their life about their spiritual faith, about their faith in each other, or about faith in the future.  So I want to provide a space that’s open for you to voice your struggles and learn from each other.

So two questions and actions for you today:

First, I’d love to hear your questions on faith, I’d love to address some of them in my April posts.

Second, what brings you peace?  We’ve been talking about peace this month, so I’d love to hear how you’ve learned to incorporate peace in your life thus far. Share your thoughts below.

Glimpses of God

This year I’ve been reading through the Psalms.  It’s been an interesting journey and I always love reading the words that are so filled with life and passion.  The Psalms are filled with countless images that not only tell the stories of their writers, they also give us glimpses of God. Take a look:

“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” Psalm 91:4

“For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.  He gives us grace and glory.  The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” Psalm 84:11

“The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.  Come, see the glorious works of the Lord….” Psalm 46:7-8

“Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock. O God, enthroned above the cherubim, display your radiant glory.” Psalm 80:1

“He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer.  He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me.” Psalm 144:2

I love how God is revealed in nature, and through each person I meet, including you!  One of my favorite revelations is when I see the sun shining in that special way through the trees to create beautiful beams that touch the earth.  What ways do you see God?

Spring Sayings

Spring is here and I’m so excited!  I love how green and new everything is, and I love the inspiration that spring provides.  Today I’m sharing some quotes that share my excitement for spring.

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!””  Robin Williams

“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.” Rainer Maria Rilke

“Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer.” Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” Anne Bradstreet

“Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.” Virgil A. Kraft

“I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?” Edward Giobbi

What do you love about spring?

Peace Puzzles

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

This month we’ve been talking about peace.  I’ve learned a lot this month about peace and about how peace is in our lives, but what I’ve come up against time and again is the challenge that I’m not always able to understand why or when peace is experienced.  Sure I find peace when I’m watching the bunnies hop around the yard, but I can’t command them to be there, nor can I always be available at the moment they’re out there.

As much as I would like it, I can’t instantly create peace for a family in conflict, give peace to unhappy church goers or know why people feel peace when they break up or get divorced.  Sometimes I just don’t understand peace.

But I’ve decided that’s ok because I know that peace is from God and if they’ve got true peace, it must be in His plan.  If peace comes from God, then the only way to have peace, is to be in a relationship with God.  While not all days will be peace filled, it is easier to find the peace being in a relationship with God, even if I can’t understand the peace I feel at times.

This week I encourage you to spend some time with God and I know you’ll find peace too.

Nutrition, Naturally

This month is Nutrition Month in the USA.  In honor I’m taking some time to share some thoughts about how we can all improve our nutrition.

1- don’t buy the junk.  If it’s not in your house you won’t eat it.  If what you have in your house is healthier, you can eat a little less healthy when you go out to eat and won’t feel as guilty.

2-eat fruits, vegetables, protein and grain.  Yes, all of them, and notice I didn’t say meat.  Meat is just one protein, one way to get the protein nutrition your body needs.

3-eat in a way that supports your body.  If you’re the type to be on the go all day, prepare for that.  Don’t plan to eat 3 meals, plan to eat 1 meal at the end of your day and have smart snacks around to support you throughout the day.

4-your body needs vitamins and nutrients, and the best are found in food, not a bottle.  Supplements are simply that: to supplement what should be a good diet, not replace the lack of them in your diet.

5-you’ll feel better when you eat right.  The better you feed your body, the better your body will support you.

If you’re looking to better support your nutrition and eat a bigger variety of foods, I share many recipe suggestions on my Creativity Unleashed blog.  I’ve also got some more suggestions for eating right as a family on my Life Turnaround blog today. For other ideas, including the dish on the new plate diet recommendations, visit eatright.org.

Spring Surprises

Spring has started to arrive!  You never know what to expect in life, but what I love about spring is that it means new life. Maybe you’ll have to remove decaying leaves or clean up broken trees first, but you’ll eventually have a beautiful garden or front walk that has come alive with flowers and animals after a cold winter.

Our lives are like this too: we go through “winters” where things shrivel up and seem dead.  After a time things will start to awaken.  Maybe you’ll have to deal with some cleanup first, but eventually you’ll discover the beauty that is inside.

The story of Good Friday is a great reminder of this as well.  It took something as horrifying and sad as Jesus dying on a cross to bring the beauty of Easter morning and life eternal in Heaven.

Very few things are instantly beautiful.  Most need to break free from what holds them back before we can see the beauty or surprise inside.

Today, be encouraged if you’re feeling like a work in progress.  I know you’re beautiful and God has a great plan for the finished you.

Purim: A Story of Deliverance

This week we celebrate Purim, at least those of us who are Jewish do.  It’s a holiday to commemorate the freedom of the Hebrew people from their enemy, Haman.  You can read the whole story in the book of Esther.  But the story of deliverance is one that we’re all familiar with.

We’ve all had the experience of being stuck, trapped, up against a wall without a defense or up a creek without a paddle.  Maybe we’ve been “Esther” and stepped up in our own defense to free us.  Maybe someone else spoke up for us and helped us out.  Whatever the case, do you remember how it felt to be delivered?

Like a breath of fresh air after being stuck in a basement, deliverance makes us all consider the future and think about what we’re going to do different with our lives.  It’s when we realize that life is precious and can end at any minute.

What do you need to be delivered from today?  Maybe it’s a relationship, food addiction, bad habit, or depressing job.  Esther didn’t give up and neither should you.  Help is just an email, tweet, post or phone call away.  And if you’re not comfortable talking with someone in your life, I’d love to listen.