Posts made in July 2011

First Love FITNESS—Strength Training for the Heart, Mind, Body, & Soul

Posted on Jul 25, 2011 in Food and Fitness | 0 comments

After my baby died, you could say I was an extremely broken vessel. The ache in my heart, the sickness in my stomach, and the depression which seemed to cover my world were like nothing I’d known before. It was simply horrible not being able to touch my child. The closest substitute for Ben I had was the blanket in which my little Braveheart had slept; I would hold it next to my face, and it absorbed my tears. Some days I wanted to kill myself so I could go to heaven to be with Ben. But I knew I couldn’t leave my four other children here on earth, so I would always stay.

Physically, I felt awful for several reasons: I had about thirty extra pounds of fat all over me, my doctor didn’t allow me to exercise until I was six weeks postpartum, and because of my depression I was barely eating which I knew was terribly unhealthy. I knew I needed help.

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Being Crushed for God’s Purposes

Posted on Jul 18, 2011 in Food and Fitness | 0 comments

In November 2010 I was blessed to experience walking where Jesus walked…to be in Israel, the Holy Land of the Bible and still of this world today. For months I had anticipated this trip with an excitement that was different from what would be normal before going on a tropical dream vacation. I couldn’t, in fact, call going to Israel a “vacation” as I knew deep within my soul it would be so much more. I believed the only way to go to the Bible’s land would be as an empty book, letting Jesus write on my heart and mind whatever He wanted to…for He is the “author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

As I am very interested in food—especially foods of the Bible—soon into our pilgrimage do I remember hearing about “The Seven Species of the Holy Land” as detailed in Deuteronomy 8:8. These seven foods—”wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey”—were the foods chosen by God to be perfectly fulfilling and satisfying for the Israelites who were about to enter the Promised Land centuries ago. Never in the United States had I heard of “The Seven Species,” but once I did in Israel, I started noticing them pictured on greeting cards, tile mosaics, brochures, etc. So far you may be saying, “Big deal!” But wait—as I kept dwelling on these seven foods, wondering why God would have chosen THEM for His chosen people, He revealed to me something I found utterly inspiring and which has the deepest possible meaning for our redeemed identity in Christ. I felt I’d found one of the hidden treasures Jesus talks about in the New Testament!

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“Our Little Braveheart”—The Story of a Baby with Half of a Heart

Posted on Jul 11, 2011 in Faith | 6 comments

It was almost four o’clock in the morning when I awoke in my hospital bed, needing to use the restroom. As any woman who has just given birth knows, those first steps upright are a laborious event. My Baby Ben was asleep in my arms, Perfect Peace personified. For the first time I asked the nurse if she would please hold my five-pound gift from God while I attempted the short but arduous walk. After closing the bathroom door, my ears beheld the softest, sweetest sound—only audible because of the otherwise silent surroundings. It was the cry of my little boy! This was the first time I had heard my baby’s voice, and immediately I felt Ben was crying because he missed me. He knew the Mommy who had carried him the last nine months was not with him now, and he did not like the separation. What a precious sound… truly a sacred sound I somehow knew even then I was blessed to hear.

When I opened the door, the nurse said, ”He knows I’m not you. He wants you.” I looked with eyes of love and a heart filled with joy at my darling little bundle. He’d already been so strong; he’d already touched so many lives. He was already known as “Our Little Braveheart,” and I was grateful to have been chosen to be his mommy. I crawled back into bed and carefully got into position to cradle my son in my arms. From his perspective, there was no more reason to cry. He was safe and secure next to my heart and quickly fell again into peaceful slumber.

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The Power of Jesus’ Name

Posted on Jul 4, 2011 in Faith | 2 comments

July 4, 2010, was truly a Day of Independence for me. I was extremely sad about something—actually the loss of something on which I had grown dependent. It was a sunny day meant for splashing at the pool and chomping at the church picnic, but I needed to be home in bed, alone. I felt empty, and empty felt terrible. What I didn’t know then is that “empty” is exactly where God can meet us most profoundly because it is God’s very nature to fill.

I wanted only my Bible, and I was led to find a specific verse which in the past had been meaningful to me: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Short but sweet—2 Timothy 1:7. Who knew that you could ponder and dissect one sentence for several hours, but I did. In my heartache and mental turmoil, the Spirit of God counseled me greatly in the area of courage.

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