Author Archives: Dixie Elliott

About Dixie Elliott

I'm your supporter, encourager and challenger in your quest to be healthy and well. Let's climb the mountain of health and well being together, one little step at a time. Every little step makes a difference!

Time-perspective, priorities, people!

Is life overwhelming? Feeling like life is hard?

I’m still adjusting to the new normal with the recent loss of a well-loved friend.

My friend’s health deteriorated quickly and within 21 days she passed.

This kind of shocking loss puts life into perspective.

Priorities change.

Irritations lose their power.

Stuff loses its appeal.

Careers lose their supremacy.

Tasks and to-do lists can wait.

 

What really matters in life? PEOPLE and GOD!

My friend Gwen always had time to talk to people.

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She was never in too much of a hurry. I want to be more like Gwen.

I HAVE the time to stop and chat with an acquaintance.

For coffee shop visits with good friends.

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Telephone calls and long texts are WORTH the time.

There IS time for interruptions. Interruptions involve people.

When my kids were small I had a good quote on the fridge.

“The interruptions are the job”!

There IS time for long conversations, even late at night.

Time to share a joke or a good memory.

Time to write a note of encouragement.

Time, one of our most valued commodities, needs to be spent on – PEOPLE!

With this recent loss came fear.

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Fear that I too may lose those I love most.

With God’s help I am not letting fear be immobilizing.

Instead it is a fear that moves me to action!

Oh, the people I love are so precious!

This fear moves me to the action of loving my people well.

Hugs and kisses are given and received everyday.

The value of dinner preparation and the time spent around the table laughing and talking is priceless!

Acts of service done in love speak volumes.

Kind and loving words reach deep into hearts.

Memories are made and cherished everyday.

Texting keeps me in regular contact with family and friends.

Time spent with people is worth every second.

I don’t want time to dim the intensity of these feelings!

I want to live a life of no regrets! I want to love people well!

I want to live each day as a precious gift from God.

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I want to make today count!

I want to honor my Great God with good choices.

I want to spend time reading the Bible and praying.

Learning how to live life like Jesus did.

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When doubts come about the premature passing of my friend, I remember the verses that I feel were written just for me.

I have them as the wallpaper on my phone so I see them throughout my day.

“Hold fast to the hope you profess for He who promised is faithful. Fix your thoughts on Jesus.” Hebrews 10:23, 3:2.

I know Jesus has proven Himself trustworthy so many times in my life.

When I think about Jesus and His perfect plans,

based on His love,

that gets my thinking back on the right track.

TODAY’S little STEP: Make today count! Take the time to love your people well. Honor God! Life is a precious gift!

If you would like to know about my good God, please send me a message. I would be happy to tell you how you can be part of God’s family.

Or click on this link http://evangelismexplosion.org/resources/steps-to-life/and read about the steps to developing a personal relationship with Jesus and spending forever in Heaven!

 

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I blew it! I veered off the path of health and well-being!

 

It’s time for this blogger to ‘fess up! Over this last week I didn’t eat well at all!

It was a hard week emotionally. I said my final goodbye to my best friend. I attended the visitation, funeral and graveside service.

Then I had the stress of packing and preparing for a big trip that had been planned and arranged a year ago.

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Food wasn’t interesting. Well healthy food wasn’t interesting.

I wanted chocolate and creamed sweetened coffee.

Now there isn’t anything wrong with an occasional treat.

But I had them for lunch and snacks for more than a couple of days.

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They soothed my emotions and tasted so good. I had a nice burst of energy for about an hour or two.

Then came the crash. Low energy and a drop in my mood too.

I circled through that cycle of ups and downs for a few days.

It wasn’t good.

My sleep was off.

My productivity was low.

My mood was just really low.

I didn’t handle stress well and tears came easily.

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What about you?

Has something in your life derailed your healthy lifestyle?

Life happens! Maybe this CanadianThanksgiving weekend you overate?

Maybe all your favorite treats were available?

Maybe you felt obligated to eat that pie that sweet Aunt Bertha baked just for you?

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We all have life events, big ones or little ones, that can take us off the path of health and well-being.

Don’t let it be an excuse to keep overeating or to abandon your healthy lifestyle!

Don’t beat yourself up either!

It’s so easy to just continue down that different path.

I came to my senses. I have to practice what I preach!

Accountability to you helps!

I didn’t beat myself up and I didn’t use my sadness as an excuse to keep overeating.

I took a little step to health.

I took just one little step, just one little change.

My next meal, lunch was nutrient rich.

I went back to my veggies and hummus with some cheese for my lunch.

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My energy stayed level and so did my mood.

It was so much better!

My body could function and cope with stress when I fed it the nutrient food it needed.

Some days it’s hard to do the right thing.

Taking care of our bodies by feeding them nutrient rich food is the right thing to do.

When we do we reap the blessing!

The blessing of a body, mind and spirit that can cope with the ups and downs of life.

Remember our core Bible verse. “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

Today’s little step: When life events take you off the path of health and well-being don’t use it as an excuse. Take one little step to health. Make the next snack or meal a nutrient rich one or go for that 15-minute walk.

If you would like to know about my good God, please send me a message. I would be happy to tell you how you can be part of God’s family.

Or click on this link http://evangelismexplosion.org/resources/steps-to-life/and read about the steps to developing a personal relationship with Jesus and spending forever in Heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

How do we cope when God says, “no”?

What do we do when God says no?

How do we cope?

Maybe you didn’t get the job, or the pregnancy test was negative again. Perhaps the house deal fell through or the doctor’s report was not good? We all have hard times when God’s answer is no.

God said no to my prayers.

My friend Gwen did not recover.

But God did take away her pain, her suffering and her fear when He took her to Heaven.

God said no because He had a better plan for Gwen.

But how do I cope? This is sad and hard to understand. I thought of the responses I have seen in myself and other people.

I could cope like an Angry Two Year Old.

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Have a tantrum, scream and yell at God. I could pout and say, “if God isn’t going to answer my prayers my way, I won’t pray to Him anymore”.

I could cope like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.

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free disneyclips

I could say, “Well nothing good ever happens to me anyway. Why am I not surprised? I don’t think God loves me like He does everybody else”.

I could cope like a Martyr.

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I could say, “This is God’s will. I will accept it. I probably will never feel any joy again. My lot in life is hard, and that’s the way it’s going to be”.

I could cope like a Student.

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I could say, “ This is hard. It doesn’t make any sense. I want to trust You God because You tell me to. Please help me trust!” I can learn from others. I can learn from God.

I could cope like a Wise woman.

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I could say, “ I know I can trust You God because I know You. You have proven Yourself to me many times. I will trust You”.

I’ve had most of those first three responses at some time in my life, especially when God said no.

Most of them are not helpful and are not based in truth. Can you relate?

Take a minute to see if you cope with one of those styles.

How do I cope?

Some days I’m the Angry two year old. I rant and cry because I didn’t get my way. But God can handle my anger.

Or I have a tendency to be the Martyr. It’s easy for me to let my circumstances steal all my joy. Not good! I want to learn how to respond better.

I think I respond most like a Student.

I want to trust God when He says no. Because He is my Heavenly Father and He knows what is best.

I want to learn from God and other people. I want joy and peace. As a student I need to go to the Bible and to good teachers.

I want to someday cope like the Wise Woman.

A wise woman who deals with hard things and praises God. A woman who has stories of times when she trusted God and she saw His hand at work.

A woman who can come along side hurting people and share God’s love.

Be encouraged my friend that God is at work in each of our lives.

When God says no to our prayers and life is hard He is still a good God that we can trust.

He is a good God who loves us.

Please pray for me as I say my final goodbye to Gwen tomorrow.

I want to share God’s love and hope with others.

I am memorizing and claiming my new verses.

“Hold fast to the hope you profess for He who promised is faithful” Hebrews 10:23. “Fix your thoughts on Jesus” Hebrews 3:2

Today’s little step: Cope like a Student. Learn from God and other people. Go to the Bible and good teachers for help.

If you would like to know about my good God, please send me a message. It would be happy to tell you how you can be part of God’s family.

Or click on this link http://evangelismexplosion.org/resources/steps-to-life/and read about the steps to developing a personal relationship with Jesus and spending forever in Heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I trust God when life is hard?

Is life rough right now? Are you being asked to do really hard things? Or maybe you are watching someone you love go through tough times?

Last week I told you about my good friend who is gravely ill. She is still in ICU. She has made progress in some areas and a few steps back in others.

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Trusting God when things don’t make any sense is one of the hardest things for me to do.

I want there to be a sense of order.

I want to understand what the purpose is.

I want the hard things to stop. I want the people I love to have no trouble in life.

The ‘I want’ statements all come down to this – I want to be in control!

But I am not. God is!

This weekend I searched my Bible for answers.

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I know that might sound like a smug, pious statement. But it’s not.

It’s where we should go when we don’t know what to do!

It’s where I go to find out what God says.

It’s where I go to find out how to respond to hard things.

When you really search, you find answers! I found words I didn’t even know were in the Bible.

God tells me to “Hold fast to the hope you profess for He who promised is faithful” Hebrews 10:23.

I speak and write about hope. Now is the time for me to hold tight to that hope.

Right now when things don’t seem to make any sense – God is faithful.

He has proven Himself trustworthy many times.

I need to remember times when I saw God at work.

Times when with hindsight I caught a glimpse of God’s purpose. Times when the only hope I had came from God.

God tells me to “Fix your thoughts on Jesus” Hebrews 3:2.

Wow. I didn’t know that was a verse in the Bible.

I thought it was a line from a song.

When my crazy thoughts go down the worst-case scenario path I need to capture them.

I need to focus my thoughts on Jesus.

When I do, I get the perspective I need.

Jesus loves me. Jesus is in control.

Jesus wants me to grow to be more like Him.

Jesus has a plan.

Jesus loves everyone!

God reminds me to “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again. Rejoice” Philippians 4:4.

God wants me to praise Him even when things are hard. That’s not easy to do.

But I thought I would give it a try and I thought about my friend in ICU and what I could be thankful for.

I can thank God for caring Doctors and Nurses and good medications   I can thank Him for members of her family who care and advocate for her.

I can thank Him for all the people who are praying for her. I can thank Him that my friend knows and loves Jesus.

I can thank Him that He is in control and that He has a plan.

I was pleasantly surprised that with the right attitude I really could find things to praise God for.

It helped me realize that God is present in all of this.

I wrestled in prayer.

I wept.

I realized I can relinquish the control into His hands.

God says to me, “For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; who says to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’ ”. Isaiah 41:13.

I have fear.

Fear about the uncertain future for my friend.

Fear about her suffering and pain.

Fear about my role in her illness and how I will help her.

But God reminds me that He holds my hand. That I don’t need to fear because He promises to help!

That’s the best kind of help.

God’s words have power.

These words feel like they were just for me.

But it is my hope and prayer that they touch you and your life too!

Trusting God?

I’m learning and growing and I want to encourage you to do the same!

Today’s little step: Fix your thoughts on Jesus! You will get the perspective and the presence you need for life.

Don’t take your health for granted!

Do you take your good health for granted?

I sure did. But this week I was forced to stop and watch as my best friends’ health deteriorated.

She went to the hospital for assistance with an ongoing heart issue. But it wasn’t that simple.

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Within a few days they found serious health issues. She ended up in the Intensive Care Unit. She is still there.

Each day I pray for God to give her peace, to give the Doctors wisdom and to give her back to us.

When I visited, my friend said, “you never know what a day will hold.”

It made me realize how much I take for granted.

When I left I vowed I would savor the simple joys of health and life.

Waking up after a restful sleep.

Getting a hug and a kiss goodbye.

Cooking a big dinner for family. Washing the dishes. Going for a long walk.

Watching the sunset.

Raking the sand on my beach.

Feeding the chickadees, from my hand!

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Simple things, simple joys but so sweet when I thought of losing them to poor health.

Seeing a friends’ health deteriorate has made me aware of my health choices.

I know I can’t prevent all health issues and my friend couldn’t either.

But I want to invest in my health.

It’s a precious gift that I want to appreciate and keep.

I have a renewed zeal to help you make healthy choices too my friend!

Let’s make today count. Let’s make today the day we take little steps to health.

Here’s what I am learning about healthy choices for my body, mind and spirit.

Good food fuels my body and fights disease.

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The junk food I crave when I’m stressed is losing its appeal. Especially when I know it doesn’t help my body.

In fact it harms it.

I’m working on choosing vegetables and fruit more often.

Exercise makes my heart and lungs work and it makes them stronger.

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I’m finding that a half hour walk burns off lots of stress and some calories too. I always feel better after a good walk.

I am generally an optimistic person but my mind can go with the worst case scenario.

Especially when I think of my friend and all her interrelated health issues.

I have to take control of my thoughts.

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So I watch for the good and for the little improvements. I need hope to help me cope.

My spirit? It was troubled.

I poured out my heart to God in my prayers.

I have a growing peace.

Peace because God is teaching me to trust Him. Trust Him because He is on His throne.

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He is in control. He loves my friend more than I do.  I love her dearly.  I miss our phone calls and visits.

He is a good God.

God has proven Himself trustworthy many times and He will again.

I am learning to praise Him when things are hard and this is hard.

I’m not sure what is happening in your life?

But I hope you savor the little joys of health and life. Don’t wait until a health crisis makes you aware.

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Remember our core verse and don’t get weary of doing the little things you know will make a difference in your health.

“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

 

Today’s little step: Take one little step to health today. Every little step makes a difference!

Here are some links for little steps to health that you can start today!

Stop that stinkin thinkin!

Why drink water? 7 surprising benefits!

How to access God’s promises, presence and power!

10 tips to sneak exercise into everyday!

1 SURPISINGLY SIMPLE SECRET TO LOSING WEIGHT

 

September a mix of what has been and what is to come!

 

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Photo by Vali S. from Pexels

 

“September is a sort of hilltop in the year.

From its crest you can look back on the lush green valleys of spring and summer.

In the other direction lie the long colourful slopes of autumn.

At the horizon is the the white loveliness of winter.

In itself September is a mixture of what has been and what is coming.

It is a good time to take inventory of our experiences and blessings.

It brings a realization of the goodness that is forever flowing into our life.

There is another benefit.  It utterly defeats the notion that time is some flapping and fluttering independent thing that just delights in breaking all speed records.

It is a great time to review the events of the summer, dwell on the lessons we have learned and express a measure of gratitude.

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Then we can say, ‘What a long, lovely blessed packed summer this has been’.”  Sam Campbell

This quote captured how I feel this September.

Today’s little step: Take a few minutes out of your busy fall schedule and reflect on your summer.  Notice the blessings and the lessons!

Keep taking little steps to health they all make a difference!

Tempted? Count the cost!

I want to reward myself with something to eat or drink.  It is so tempting, isn’t it?

It’s a hot summer day and I’m hot and tired from my day of running errands. I want a rich cold sweet coffee drink from Starbucks!

I stand in line for a few minutes trying to make up my mind. I decide on an Iced White Chocolate Mocha, my mouth starts to water just thinking about it.

The line is really long so I have some time to think. I notice the price…3.75!!! Just for a small drink!

 

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I leave the line. I’m not sure I want to spend that much money on a drink.

Maybe I should buy a snack instead?

I like to chew my calories not drink them.

I notice a chopped fruit salad. It looks so colorful, sweet and juicy.

It’s also about the same price as the drink.

 

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I pay for the fruit salad and walk by the Starbucks line up.

This time I made the right choice. I chose nutrient rich food!

The Iced White Chocolate Mocha would have been empty calories. That drink contains little or no essential vitamins or minerals. It provides very little value to my body. The only nutrient worth noting is the 2 % milk; it’s 25 % of the daily amount of calcium.

It has 330 calories and 15 grams of fat!

Yikes!

Those extra calories would have gone straight into extra fat on my body!

Or I would have to walk for 6 miles to burn off those empty calories!

It’s just not worth it!

The fruit salad on the other hand is nutrient rich but relatively low in calories.  It has only 109 calories and 0 grams of fat!

With 5.2 grams of fibre I will feel full longer.

Let’s do a quick review….

Nutrient rich foods provide more nutrients than calories.

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Milk or milk alternatives

  • Whole-grain products

Empty calorie foods contain more calories than nutrients.

  • Chips

  • Cookies

  • Pastries

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages

    Not sure about you, but when I read that list of empty calorie foods…they all sound yummy.  Those are my temptations.

    Let’s make nutrient rich choices as often as we can.  Because all these little steps make a difference!

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Remember our core verse, “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

TODAY’S little STEP: Choose nutrient rich foods most often and limit empty calories.

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