True Beauty

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:30‬ ‭

Believe me when I tell you, I have been as vain as they come. It’s a daily battle, though, now much much easier. I have come so far from where I was! When I say vanity- Im not talking about “wow, I look amazing.” I’m talking about obsessive self-awareness. It’s the “all I can concentrate on is how I look” syndrome… good-bad-or ugly. Image obsessions (like many other obsessions) are funny things,  however, especially if your aim is to reach them. The truth is they don’t really ever deliver. It’s always an unattainable goal… totally illusive. 

As your worst enemy, the silly rules keep changing. With each woman you see (photo or otherwise) the stakes get higher -in one area or another. There’s always someone out there looking better on any given day! You strive and you work and think, “maybe now…” only to cross paths with some(thing) better. And on the flip side… the ugly truth. The only way to feel better is to find someone behind you in your made-up race for perfection, compare yourself, and inwardly gloat. 

For me it became all-encompassing; paralyzingly. Even at 14 it was all about bodyshape. If I could not get the triple piroette or land the coveted dance role, I at LEAST wanted to look the part! As I starved my way to a “better me” inside I raged and seethed with jealousy. Pretty, huh? This lasted long after I left the ballet barre and stage. 

Old habits die hard, but thank God, He was willing to kill me other this one! Death to vanity seemed to be the theme of His lessons for years to come. And I am ecstatically joyful to say He HAS renewed my heart and mind in Christ Jesus just like He promised!  

I am a transformed self-obsessive soul. I’ve trained (with God’s help!) my mind to turn… no, RUN to Him when any “old thought patterns” creep up. For me it’s life or death. I will not be ruled by jealousy and empty conceit. “There is grace for me, there is grace for her.” Something I say to myself often. And, “Lord, be my rear-guard”... when I’m feeling particularly vulnerable. 

I’ve tasted freedom and it is delicious!!! There is more to come and I aim to enjoy that as well.

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

Posted in Nutrition, Practical Life, Spiritual Growth | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Are You Eating?

My grown kids come through the door on whatever break they’re having and wonder “what on earth are you eating now,mom??” I’m always changing and tweeting and finding something new to try in the way of diet, nutrition and exercise!

Lately it’s “low-carb/high protein,” still no sugar and I’m really into weight-lifting (using free weights). Because around 50 yrs old we lose muscle-mass everyday!!! I’m regulating any veggies (❤️❤️❤️) and any fruits high in carbs, but freely eat meat (!), cheese and low-carb dairy products, always careful to avoid chemicals and hormones. Go stevia!

This quickly brought my weight to where I wanted it to be for our son’s wedding (hooray) and is also helping me build muscle mass. One supplement I’ve added is a powder mixed with water called “BCAA” (on Amazon). It has no caffeine, no sugar, no chemicals – just simplified protein. A super pre or post workout drink that aids in “muscle recovery.” We love the watermelon flavor.

This exercise & diet change has been a good one for my body. At almost 50… I’ve been: vegetarian (younger years), fat-free (teenager), whole foodie (organic, all natural grains, sugar etc) while having children,  Vegan, Gluten-Free and now “low-glycemic-index” …being mindful of  the knowledge I’ve gained previously. 

Right now I like this plan best… However, next year might bring something new depending on what I feel my body needs. The important thing is general good nutrition, careful observation and staying close to nature (as in food in its most natural form). I’m very keen to try the “raw-food” plan or even “frutarian-ism”😉 Maybe next time.

Eat something healthy, God says you’re worth it!

ForGlorySake!Anna   

 Low carb snack favs: Savi seeds, , Lilly’s chocolates❤️ Quest Natural Bars (Amazon), Vega protein shakes (Costco), J&J Criiters pork rinds (their website on-line)…

Posted in Nutrition | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the Givers

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. ””‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I love this verse for many reasons. One of them is the guideline my mom brought me up with: “Don’t sell your extra things, Anna, give them away. You can never out-give God.” Her meaning was this, give away instead of sell and watch how God will give back to you as needed. It must be something like the law of gravity, because it’s still working! Bags of clothing continue to go in and out of our house.

Another reason this verse touches me so deeply is in regards to my children. In the giving of my life (personal time, energy, sleep, even my figure) for each of them I have gained so so much more! It has been more than worth the long pregnancies and precarious deliveries, more than worth the years of picking up, cleaning up and continual parenting, more than worth the varicose vein surgery and few (ok, several) extra pounds I carry around today.

God has been faithful and true to His word. In giving and giving my husband and I have received more. And by having more to give to, there has simply been x6 the blessings!! We are overwhelmed  today by all that God has given back. If you are raising little ones and wondering “How can I make it through this?” The answer is in giving. Hang on, more and more and more blessings are coming!

To all the mothers who give and give of themselves – As my mom would tell you, “Darlin, you can never out-give God.”

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

Posted in Children, Trust | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Process

I pray and pray until I’m out of words… And God says -be quiet now. I ask Him to hurry and do something… And He says -don’t rush me, it’s the process that matters. The steps to “completness” are blessed. He tells me there is Joy in the journey

But, how can this wandering-part be enjoyable? Don’t You see It’s messy and long and precarious. Don’t You see the potential disaster? …I don’t like waiting, I want to see this one I love be made whole. 

He tells me -before I began the world I knew how things would go… I did not make humans to be perfect. I stated only, “it is good.” I planned for human error, imperfection and choice. It’s in the mishaps that Glory shines. It’s in the mistakes that Grace takes over. I never planned on human perfection.

The process to maturity in Christ is the story. Each pain and trial is useful -this is what makes the testimony. 

Rest – pray – wait and see. God is working, The I AM is moving at His speed in His way, using EVERYTHING for His Glory, for our good.

“Oh patient, wooing, active God, stay jealous for us. Help me wait it out trusting that You have a plan to use each and every circumstance today to change and mold hearts. Give us a great story! In Jesus’ name”

ForGlorySake! –Anna

  

Posted in Children, Practical Life, Trust | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Changing Hearts Through Prayer

“… a group of men who were carrying a paralytic had to take him to the roof of the house, remove some tiles, and let him down in front of Jesus. Jesus linked faith with the miracle.” -The Bible Knowledge Commentary

When Jesus saw how much faith THEY had, He said to the man, Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 5:20

Sometimes we just don’t have the clarity for our own situation. Sometimes we lack the faith to believe good is coming. Sometimes life seems tremendously full of distractions and our energy is completely zapped. That’s when we need others to carry us. 

I’ve been there. It’s humbling to receive, but without supportive arms I would’ve fallen flat. Prayers offered on my behalf have been  sheer life to me. They didn’t just keep me going, they revived and strengthened me. They sustained me.

I don’t know all the ways in which God uses prayer, but I can tell you the power is real and tangible! I will never again underestimate my words -to God -over another soul. They are precious and holy. God treasures each one. He allows them to be part of a covering.

 When I know my children (for instance) are stressed, distracted and even possibly disinterested I pray on their behalf. I stand in their stead before God, blanketing them in prayer, one by one. Then I wait expectantly to see the outcome. 

God is always gracious. He allows our faith in Him to lay down our “friend, sister, brother, child, spouse” gently at His feet where He can begin to heal and restore. He allows you and me to be a part – a catalyst of sorts. 

Our faith, through prayer, can initiate movement when the one we care about is paralyzed. I’ve seen it happen again and again. I’m watching it now. Another heart is changing before my eyes! 

Thank You, LORD for the incredible gift of prayer.

ForGlorySake! –Anna 

 

Posted in Children, Spiritual Growth | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Diving In

1 Corinthians 13:12&13 shares the promise that even though we can’t see clearly all that God is doing now, someday (on the other side) we will understand and know Him as fully as He knows us! Imagine.

But, how on earth (literally) do we hold on to absolute Trust in God today? How can we grasp Hope for tomorrow… when it just doesn’t appear God is even working on our behalf?  Verse 13 gives us the big clue: “But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: 

Trust steadily in God, 

hope unswervingly, 

love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” (The message)

Love is the key. Not just loving others-but loving God. It’s His love that feeds and fuels my ability to love others to begin with. My heart seeking to love The Father, cultivates trust in Him, which breeds hope for the future.

I can not possibly drum up love for God by my own initiative…. Trust or Hope, for that matter either. I need God’s Holy Spirit to inspire and direct me. This one factor changes my heart, changes my thinking… changes everything! The Spirit knows the heart of God and He is freely given to anyone who follows Jesus. 1Corinthians 2:10-12

Holy Spirit come and flood me, change my heart and mind. Fuel my trust, renew my hope and teach me Love Devine.

Join me?

ForGlorySake! -Anna

   “The Spirit not content to flit around on the surface DIVES into the depths of God.” 1Cor. 2:11

Posted in Spiritual Growth, Trust | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Prepared

Storms happen. What a funny thing to write on such a beautiful peaceful day. Quiet, other than birds singing and the little creek gurgling… but it’s true, storms do come. Sometimes when we least expect them.

I’m talking about those trials of life we have all experienced; the ones that take you to your knees. How can you be prepared? I can’t say I ever put much time into thinking about it until we were personally “hit” in 2010 with the big C (cancer). One thing after another followed in the wake and I began to realize I was drawing on preparation made beforehand

If we are Christ-Followers, God-seekers, God has this way of laying a foundation for what’s coming next in life. Daily time alone with my Bible, journal, pen…. prayer, fellowship with others, life-experiences in general are all ways in which God prepares. It’s in looking back that I’ve seen the truth of this ground-work layed. 

Just what I needed to draw from when I needed it. Time spent alone with Him… always well worth the investment made! Nothing is wasted in God’s economy. Fear not, even your current “trial” is helping to prepare you for what’s next.

“The path of right-living people is level. The Leveler evens the road for the right-living. We’re in no hurry, GOD. We’re content to linger in the path sign-posted with your decisions. Who you are and what you’ve done are all we’ll ever want. Through the night my soul longs for you. Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to you.‭‭ Isaiah‬ ‭26:7-9‬ ‭MSG‬

You are being prepared. 

ForGlorySake! Anna

  

Posted in Practical Life | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment