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First Love FITNESS – Week Three

Posted on Oct 3, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 2 comments

IMG_1845First of all, God is awesome. Yesterday morning, as I was about to leave home and head to church for First Love FITNESS, I felt an urgency to pray for any of the ladies in my class who might, for whatever reason, be considering not going to class that day. I dropped to my knees on the stairs I was ascending and asked God to please touch the ladies HE wanted in class–to in His own way direct them to come. You can imagine my delight when, about an hour later–after class had started–one woman shared in front of everyone that she’d been considering not coming to class that morning. She’d wanted to have her own quiet time with the Lord, but then sensed He wanted her to come to First Love FITNESS, so she did.

I smiled and felt chills all over my body. God works in mysterious ways, and although they are higher than I can understand, it gives me such joy when I sense I’ve been even a teensy-tiny part of His “work” in this world.

Week Three’s Lesson was on “Filling Up with Good Things.” My “Coach’s Tip” was that it’s much healthier to eat five or six small “meals” a day–every two to three hours–than to consume two or three larger ones. And please make absolutely, positively sure you eat breakfast! Ideally, every “meal” should contain protein and good, complex carbohydrates: protein keeps you feeling full longer, and the healthy carbohydrates regulate your blood sugar and give you energy. The greater frequency of eating keeps your metabolism going, not slowing!

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First Love FITNESS, Week Two ~ “No Pain, No Gain”

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 0 comments

IMG_1786First, I want to apologize for not getting this recap of “First Love FITNESS ~ Week Two” written and posted sooner.  Suffice it to say I’ve been busy as a mom.  I imagine other mothers out there understand, but still I’m sorry I didn’t at least get our daily gospel reading schedule posted for you.  I will try to do better in the future, and I thank you for your grace!

As you can see, I had a helper at “First Love FITNESS” this past week: a precious little princess named Candice, the daughter of one of the ladies in my class. Our workout went longer than expected, so Candice joined in at the end. Copying her mommy’s every exercise move, excitedly lifting a pink 6-lb. medicine ball, and proudly showing me how fast she can run, I observed a little girl passionate about fitness! I think God may have planted a new seed within me… maybe “First Love FITNESS–for Kids!” will be next….

But back to our class, I was so blessed to meet again with ladies desiring to become physically and spiritually fit. After opening with prayer, I loved hearing the difference that some of last week’s scriptures had made in their lives, especially 2 Timothy 1:7… “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Because self-discipline can be an area of such great struggle, our group as a whole found it extremely encouraging that God GIVES us the spirit we need to overcome our weaknesses and temptations.

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“Good Morning, God” ~ When Your Baby’s Having Surgery

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 in Faith | 0 comments

IMG_1479Dear Readers:  This is the first in my new “Good Morning, God” series of prayers.  This prayer is for any mom (or dad) whose child will be undergoing surgery–if that is you, the prayer is for you.  It is specially dedicated to the mothers at CURE hospitals around the world who are hurting emotionally and spiritually because of their child’s condition.  If you know of someone in a similar situation, fearful and in need of God’s strength and comfort, please feel free to pass the prayer along.  To God be the glory.   

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.” ~ Isaiah 26:3-4

Good morning, God

I’ve come to meet with You

Because I’m scared

For too long

My baby’s been suffering

Now surgery is today

I am thankful

But also terrified

I’ve never been through this

And I feel so alone

And helpless

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First Love FITNESS ~ Week One

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 in Faith, Food and Fitness | 3 comments

IMG_1733Yesterday was an exciting day–the first for “First Love FITNESS,” a 10-week class I’m leading at my church to help women become physically and spiritually fit. It was last winter that God asked me “to share with others” this particular passion of mine (Hebrews 13:16). For months I’ve been praying God would bring whomever He wanted to the class. It was a joy to tell the ladies sitting around me that they are the answers to my prayers.

Every week I’ll recap here some highlights of what we discussed and did in class so that those who aren’t able to physically attend may still partake and benefit. Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day in Colorado Springs (today it’s snowing!), so I let our entire workout be outside.

After opening with prayer, I shared a key verse for First Love FITNESS: “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7-8).

Getting to the heart of First Love FITNESS, I shared a quote by Richard Chenevix Trench: “No man can be without his god. If he have not the true God to bless and sustain him, he will have some false god to delude and betray him….For every man has something in which he hopes, on which he leans, to which he retreats and retires, with which he fills up his thoughts in empty spaces of time, when he is alone, when he lies sleepless on his bed, when he is not pressed with other thoughts; to which he betakes himself in sorrow or trouble, as that from which he shall draw comfort and strength — his fortress, his citadel, his defense; and has not this a good right to be called his god?”

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Love and Tears on Mother’s Day

Posted on May 11, 2014 in Faith | 2 comments

IMG_4132For this Mother’s Day–and with May 12 & 13 the eighth anniversary of the birth and death of my son Ben–I was all set to write you a note of encouragement, sharing some of the “beauty” that has come from my “ashes” (Isaiah 61:3). I wanted to offer hope to anyone who might be hurting. I wanted those with broken hearts to know that the beautiful promise in Scripture–“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy”–is true (Psalm 126:5). And then, on Tuesday night, April 29, 2014, after letting my three beloved dogs outside, only two returned.

With flashlights to aid us, my eldest son William and I began calling her name. Amid howling wind and increasing snow, we searched and searched. Bella was the precious puppy God had given me during my pregnancy with Ben. My heavenly Father knew how painful it was going to be for me not to have a baby to hold after nine months of carrying him within, so He’d graciously provided me a darling Beagle pup. Sweet Bella had loved me all these years, and I her; as any dog lover knows, she’d been like a child to me. Especially with the loss of Ben. Now, in the pitch-black night, Bella wasn’t responding to her name. William and I had been looking for at least an hour; I could almost feel my heart breaking. It was horrible not knowing where my baby was.

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“Awaken Me” ~ A Prayer by Bob Hostetler

Posted on Mar 4, 2014 in Faith | 0 comments

IMG_4973Any fans of Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love out there?  Yeah, me too… this beautiful work of fiction no doubt makes the Top Five of my “all-time favorite books” list.  You may recall the story is based on the book of Hosea in the Bible.  I’m currently reading another book based on Hosea entitled Falling in Love with God by my friend Bob Hostetler.  The content is wonderful, and Bob concludes every chapter with a prayer for us readers to pray.  This morning during my cardio/reading time at the gym, my heart was blessed by Bob’s prayer–so much that I can’t help but share it with you….

“Lord God, my faithful Lover, you have been so good to me, in spite of all my neglect and thoughtlessness.  From my earliest moments of moral awareness, I have chosen my own way instead of yours.  Over and over again in my life, I have wrestled the sovereign’s crown from your head and tried to place it on mine.  Too many times to count, I have failed to give thanks for all your care and kindness to me–worse than that, I have whined and complained like a bratty child rather than acknowledged and appreciated all your beauty and blessing.

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A Heavenly Hug

Posted on Dec 22, 2013 in Faith | 0 comments

Merry Christmas, Friends and Family!

With the grandest birthday party on earth only days away, I’d like to share with you a gift I was given last Christmas Eve.  On my favorite night of the year, I received an unexpected “present” from above.  My heart was overwhelmed by BEAUTY and LOVE, and all year long, to my continued amazement, the gift has kept giving.  It’s as if God has been “unwrapping the present,” revealing to me more and making abundantly clear the gift wasn’t only for me–I’m supposed to share!  “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you” (Psalm 63:3).

A lovely candle-lighting service had just ended.  My favorite Christmas song, Amy Grant’s “Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song),” had just been sung:  “Breath of Heaven, hold me together… Be forever near me… Lighten my darkness… Pour over me Your holiness, for You are holy….”  Celebrating the birth of Jesus had been divine.  The eyes of my heart were open and focused upward, on the wondrous Star of Bethlehem which had shone HOPE for all mankind.  My family had preceded me to our car, so I was exiting the church alone.  As I opened the door to the brisk night air, I was greeted by a complete surprise:  glorious white flakes falling gently from the sky–SNOW!

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