THE 10 HABITS OF SPIRITUALLY EFFECTIVE (& RECEPTIVE!) PEOPLE

I like to keep track of the teachings that I have the opportunity to give from time to time, so here are my thoughts (for my local women’s Bible study) on the wonderful interaction between Jethro and Moses in Exodus chapter 18.

 THE 10 HABITS OF SPIRITUALLY EFFECTIVE (& RECEPTIVE!)  PEOPLE

In my life B.C. (Before Children), I had an awesome job as a Resident Director for five years at my alma mater, Biola University. An RD is part dorm mom, part student leadership developer, part event coordinator, part counselor/disciplinarian and 100% relational, which was right up my alley! But the demanding nature of the job put us on the fast track toward burn out, so our wonderful boss secured a grant for all the RDs to receive spiritual direction, to fill us back up and encourage us in our own spiritual growth.

I had a lovely Spiritual Director named, Betsy, who gave me much wise counsel that I still remember to this day. But the most notable came during a season of my life where I was wrestling with God. In a nutshell, I was experiencing disillusionment. My idealized Christian life where Jesus was here to make me happy, was starting to break down as losses and frustrations and weaknesses and the over all hard stuff of life was starting to crop up.

I can still remember the straw that broke the camels back, when I lost it over something relatively insignificant. Continue reading

Essential Christmas Treats

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I’ve been learning about and using essential oils more and more this year, but my new favorite way is to incorporate them into FOOD.  (Note that not all oils are created equal, and only Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade can be ingested.)  So we get the wonderful health benefits of essential oils while also satisfying our sweet tooth.  Not a bad holiday plan…

Food + Essential Oils = These are a Few of my Favorite Things….

My momma friends and I recently had a “T’is the Season for Essential Oils Party” (to smell and learn and try) and we brought the following essentially yummy treats: Continue reading

In Praise of Posture

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Photo credit: proactive4pt.com

During the last three years I have become more observant of the negative effects our technological, sedentary culture has had on our collective posture.  I have also learned how interconnected our posture is with the rest of our bodily functions (like breathing, digestion, circulation, etc.) And I have gradually improved my own posture through a number of helpful exercises.

My Posture Story

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Lenten Landmarks

 

The 40 days of Lent symbolize the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting and praying in the desert. But that number 40 was, in turn, meant to remind us of the 40 years that the Israelites spent in the desert. The Church has always seen in the Israelite’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, from bondage to liberation, an apt image of the Christian’s Lenten journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter.

– Albert Holtz, Pilgrim Road:  A Benedictine Journey Through Lent

When it comes to celebrating holiday seasons, we like to mix it up around here.  (In other words, Mommy goes through phases.)  And Lent has grown into a special time of teaching the kids and preparing our hearts for the gift and victory of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The Spirit of Lenten Past has led us to many enjoyable semi-traditions over the years:  Continue reading

Healthy Jello? Hello!

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Jello Parfait in poor lighting

I never recall being a big fan of the jiggly stuff.  But once I got into eating Real Food, and found out that Jello’s main ingredient (gelatin) is good for you, I was ready to try my hand at Bill Cosby’s favorite treat – minus the pesky flavorings, artificial colors and added sugar.  J-E-L-L…No.

With  apologies to my vegan friends, gelatin is a powdered supplement made from animal bones and connective tissues and has many health benefits, like aiding digestion, improving hair/nail/skin growth, helping joint recovery, and providing protein in the form of necessary amino acids that we rarely get in our SAD (Standard American Diet.)   Continue reading

The Armor of God

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We are part of a wonderful homeschool co-op called Classical Conversations.  It involves a lot of memorization of a wide variety of subjects and my 4th grader is particularly thriving at it.  (The Timeline Song is a family favorite!)  One of the passages we are memorizing is Ephesians chapter 6, one verse each week.

We just finished the section involving the armor of God and had a fun time creating armor out of cardboard, duct tape, and a silver bowl most recently used to catch our stomach flu offerings…  ={ Continue reading

BOOK BITES: The Count of Monte Cristo

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“All human wisdom is contained in these two words:  Wait and Hope.”

– Edmund Dantes, Count of Monte Cristo

After our wonderful experience reading Les Miserables, my lovely book club decided to stick with the French and choose The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas as our bonus read for this last summer.  It had been recommended to me by a number of friends over the years, and this seemed like the right time to tackle its 1100+ pages.

For some reason, I never have the energy to write book reviews or summations (so you can read this summary/review here.)  But I love to underline phrases and passages that moved me and have included them below.  This beautiful story drew me in because of its complex characters, strong messages, and beautiful language.  But it has made my “favorites books of all times” list because of its realistic yet creative acknowledgement of God. Continue reading

This Year’s Christmas Reflection: REST

A friend asked me (and three other women) to share for 5 minutes at a local Christmas event on what God was teaching us during this Advent season.  The theme for the evening was Isaiah 9:6 and I chose to talk about Jesus as my “Wonderful Counselor.”  We had the pleasure of sharing in between beautiful worship led by Hilary and Kate.  It was a remarkable evening.

This time last year, I was VERY pregnant with my 4th child who was born December 28th.  We named our Christmas baby Karis Joy.  She is a true delight and we have all enjoyed watching her grow.  But God has been teaching me a lot through her, particularly in the area of REST.

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Have Yourself a Healthy Christmas Goodie

Too. Many. Cookies. http://www.lifelovebeauty.com

A fellow healthy-oriented mama friend emailed me with her Christmas cookie dilemma – her girls have caught the Christmas baking bug this Advent season, but she wants to keep them from going into insulin shock.  So I sifted through my Safari dessert bookmarks and found a Pinterest-worthy amount of great ideas.  And much like Pinterest, I’ve only actually tried some of them, so let me know what you think!

So what makes a treat HEALTHY, you ask?   Continue reading

Annual Advent-ures

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Christmas 2012 with our Christmas bun in the oven!

Last year we were awaiting the arrival of Karis Joy, so I shamelessly did close to nothing for Advent (except for my Mary Monologue at a couple of holiday events.  I loved putting myself in her shoes while I was pregnant with my own Christmas baby…)

But it dawned on me a week before Thanksgiving that I was without excuse this year.  Since Advent calendars seem to be narrowing their themes to Santa and chocolate, I dared to go on Pinterest to look for a simple, yet significant way to make an Advent countdown for our family. Continue reading