Category Archives: struggles

How God gave me an attitude adjustment!

Do you need an attitude adjustment? I did! Three little girls from Uganda helped me realize that.

Our Church hosted the African Children’s Choir from Uganda. We had three beautiful little girls and their fun choir leader stay with us. I learned so much from our time together.

Especially when a 2-day visit turned into 6 days! I learned about Uganda and what life is like there. I learned some words in Luganda.

But the most important thing I learned was that I had a bad attitude and it needed to change.

I’m very task oriented and I always have a to-do list on the go. I had my own plans for that week but God changed all of them.

God wanted me to spend my precious time on His little ones.

I planned for a 2-night stay. I was excited as I cleaned my house, changed the beds and bought groceries. Then we got word that it would be 3 nights instead.

My heart attitude wasn’t good. I thought about all the tasks I wouldn’t get done.

Then our little guests arrived and thanked us for everything. They thanked us after every meal, every car ride and every task done for them. The thanks were often given with a hug.

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African Children’s Choir guests

It was a pleasure to serve them because they appreciated it so much!

Then God brought this verse to my mind. ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40

This was my assignment from the God of the Universe.

He wanted me to care for these little ones.

I could do it begrudgingly or enter into it and give it my all.

Once I realized that this was my short-term mission trip I focused on the girls and their choir leader.

They were more important than anything on my to-do list!

It was pleasure to serve the girls and share our home. We had a picnic in the park and ate chicken nuggets and French fries from MacDonald’s, a rare treat for them.

We read books, made craft projects and played games and learned some good jokes. The choir leader cooked us all a delicious African supper.

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Bedtime stories!

I had so much fun reading the little girls a bedtime story and tucking them in each night!

We took them to our cottage. As we drove I tried to explain that we had another little house, which we lived in for part of year. I felt ridiculously blessed!

It was an evening of fun food, swimming, playing games and a campfire complete with marshmallows.

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Cold water!

I watched the girls run and play and get louder and louder throughout the evening. That was when I knew they were really comfortable and were being healthy noisy little girls!

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Everyone likes marshmallows!

By the end of the 6 days I had 3 little girls and their chaperone tucked into a special spot in my heart. I was blessed by serving them. I will reminisce about their thankfulness, their smiles and their lovely voices. They will be in my prayers.

I will always remember that week in September when God asked me to put aside my plans and brought me a special assignment. God sent 3 little girls to give me an attitude adjustment.

Just like the little girls I hope to be thankful to all the people who help and serve me.

I will remember that people are always more important than my to-do list!

TODAY’S little STEP: Be open to special assignments that God sends your way. When you accept the assignment you will be blessed!

If the African Children’s Choir comes to your city be sure to go see them!

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How to make nutrient rich choices everyday!

I want to reward myself with something to eat or drink. I know I told you not to reward yourself with food but it still 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 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.

Then some words come to mind…”Today’s little step is to always make fruit part of your snack.” Hmm seems like good advice!

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 reward myself with nutrient rich food!

But I must confess that I don’t always make the best choice!

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!

 

The fruit salad on the other hand is nutrient rich. The fruit salad is high in nutrients but relatively low in calories.

Nutrient-dense foods contain vitamins, minerals and complex carbohydrates.

The fruit salad has only 109 calories and 0 grams of fat!

There is 5.2 grams of fibre so that will help me feel full longer and it also means a lot of chewing too!

The fruit salad has lots of Vitamin A and C .

Let’s do a quick review….

Nutrient rich foods provide more nutrients than calories.

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Fat-free milk

  • 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.

Make nutrient rich choices most of the time and your body will benefit!

Let’s make sure we have nutrient foods readily available in our homes.

When we buy a snack let’s make it a good one!

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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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15 TIPS AND TRICKS FOR WATER HATERS

We all know we need to drink more water.

But what if you hate it?

What’s a girl to do?

But I hate water! Tips and tricks to drink more!

Keep reading for some tips and tricks.

 We know that we need 8 to 10 cups of fluid, each day. But it all doesn’t have to be water! We also learned that if we drink water before our meals it may help us lose weight.

I’ve made water my BFF and it is my beverage of choice. But I know some people who really hate to drink water. They would never choose water. Here are some tips and tricks I use and some I found on the internet.

  1. Whenever you brush your teeth drink a small glass of water.

  2. Buy yourself a really pretty water bottle. Take it with you.

  3. Experiment with temperature. Maybe you’ll like ice-cold water or room temperature. Pick one!

  4. Buy a fruit infusion water pitcher. Place frozen or fresh fruit in the insert and add water. The water is lightly flavored and colored.

  5. Buy some sparkling water. It has some sodium added but no extra calories. It is a good substitute for soda, or pop as we call it in Canada.

  6. Add lemon or lime slices to your water. Or try cucumber. This adds flavor and nutrients.

  7. Drink herbal teas. Just limit the sugar you add.

  8. Eat more fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. Watermelon, cucumber, celery and tomatoes are all good choices.

  9. Try drinking with a straw. It is easier to sip and you will be surprised how quickly the glass empties.

  10. You can get techy and try an app to track your consumption. cool app

  11. Try diluting a strong flavored juice like grape or cranberry with water.

  12. Filter your water to enhance the flavor. Purchase a filter pitcher like Brita.

  13. Buy bottled water. It’s worth every penny if it helps you drink more.

  14. Make it a habit. Associate drinking water with something you enjoy. When you watch TV, sip from a pretty water bottle. When you first get home have a glass of water. After your morning shower have a glass of water. You get the idea.

  15. Reward yourself for drinking more water.

Resources used:

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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

This was a previous post that is worth reposting, and I’m on summer vacation and  taking a much needed break.

TODAY’S little STEP: If you are a water hater, choose 4 of these tips to try this week. Remember this little change will make a difference!

Every mountain is climbed one little step at a time!

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Strategies for summer struggles!

 I want you to know that I struggle too. I have reached some of my health goals but I have to continue to take these little steps to health.

I am still climbing the Mountain of Health and Well-being.

Writing this blog helps me stay accountable.  I find the summer especially hard because there is less routine and summer equals fun food!

Here’s how I stay on track and some strategies that work for me.

Veggies and hummus are a part of most of my lunches. I fill half my plate with the veggies first.

Then my plate looks really full when I add anything else.

Here’s a picture of what I might have for lunch.  I would add some crackers and cheese.

 

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When we have hamburgers I use a smaller bun or I cut the burger in half.

I spread salad dressing on the wrap before I assemble it so there is taste in each bite and I use much less. I fill my wrap with mostly vegetables and added white chicken meat.

If we have potato chips I include them as part of dinner. I don’t buy salt and vinegar ones, as those are my favorite and too hard to resist. A small portion of potato chips, a nice sandwich and fresh raw veggies is a fun supper on a super hot day.

We have cubed watermelon available or popsicles for dessert.

A small hand dipped ice cream cone is a treat we enjoy, just not every day. When we have them at home I can control the portion. Licking an ice cream cone slows down the eating process and every lick tastes so good!

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One of my best strategies is to not have foods that tempt me in my home. Then I won’t hear them calling: “Oh Dixie….this is the big container of delicious mixed nuts and candy calling you. Stop by for a yummy treat. You deserve it.” Can you relate?

My husband Don deserves a shout out because he is very supportive. He doesn’t like rich desserts and I’m so glad, because I would make them all the time.

He appreciates that we eat healthy.

When I do occasionally overeat at a meal – yes, I still overeat – my temptation is desserts.

I make sure the next meal is healthy and a little lower in calories.

I also try to make sure I get some exercise that day.

Every little step does make a difference!

Let’s claim our verse again! “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: Keep taking little steps to be healthy. Use some of these strategies.  They work.  Every little step makes a difference.

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Rest much, talk often, and laugh regularly. Summer is too short!

Life still crazy? Take the summer challenge!

How’s your crazy life? It’s June and most schools are getting out soon. Church programs are winding down. The weather is warm, the days are longer and the summer is just around the corner!

Do you still feel stressed, grumpy and like life is too busy? Me too!

I recently read a great blog post by Michele Cushatt and she put out a great challenge. Check out her summer sabbatical plans. A challenge to unplug from social media, the Internet and some other computer related tasks for June and July!

Take the summerchallenge!

That seems pretty drastic but I wonder what we could do with that time?

Could we read a book?

Take a nap?

Work in the garden?

Go for a walk?

Chat on the phone with a friend?

Better yet meet for coffee with that friend?

Pray?

Read the Bible?

Play with a child?

Just sit and enjoy the silence?

Play a game?

Stroll in the Mall and window shop?

Sit by the lake and watch the waves?

Oh that list sounds like fun to me! Things I’ve been too busy to do and miss in my life.

I extend a challenge to you today!

TODAY’S little STEP: Take a break from social media, or whatever technology takes up too much of your time. Get back to the basics. Rest your mind and your body and be refreshed!

I have prescheduled the next set of blog posts so that my blog spot is still active.

I will be taking a break from Facebook and Pinterest and using that time to rest and restore.

I will still be using Email and my phone.

Who’s with me?

 

Can we give grace for poor service?

What does everyday grace look like? Do you give grace when the waitress gets your order wrong? Do you give grace when someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you give grace when you receive poor service?

Grace is underserved favor. It’s a term that is used a lot in Christian circles. We talk about God’s grace for us. But when we need to give underserved favor to someone else, it’s hard. When someone doesn’t deserve our kindness, it’s much harder to give.

I’ve been praying and asking God to help me give grace to others. I should know that if I pray that kind of prayer – a test will be given to see if I really mean it.

Yikes! God did give me a test! I didn’t do very well. I think I got a C.

On Friday I went to my hairdresser. We have good discussions about God and she is learning about God’s love. I went in for a root touch up. However, when I returned from the sink I was shocked to see that my hair was much darker than I expected!

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I was disappointed because I’m not really a risk taker when it comes to my hair. I like the change to be subtle, a change that only my family and close friends would notice. I chatted with my hairdresser as she styled it and she assured me that the darkness would fade. She told me I could come in on Tuesday if I didn’t like it and she would do something.

I went home with my dark hair. But every time I looked in the mirror I was surprised and I said, “it’s so dark”. My husband and children were very supportive and that helped.

I thought about my new hair color a lot those first 2 days. I thought about it too much. I was sure everyone who looked at me would notice the big change. (surprisingly hardly anyone noticed or commented) Guess I’m not that important after all. Tee hee!

I was pretty sure that I would call on Tuesday and complain. I would get her to do something to lighten it up. It was within my rights as a paying customer to get better service and she told me to call if I didn’t like it. My family said it would be ok to go back and complain.

But God reminded me that I wanted to learn grace. This was my opportunity to give undeserved favor to my hairdresser. This was my test, could I do it?

On Monday morning I read my devotional book by Oswald Chambers. There was one paragraph that seemed to written just for me.

“Is my life exhibiting the essence of the sweetness of the Son of God, or just the basic irritation of myself? No matter how difficult something may be, I must say, ‘Lord, I am delighted to obey You in this.’ The moment you obey the light of God, His Son shines through you in that very adversity.”

Wow, this was my opportunity to exhibit the sweetness of God or just focus on myself and my wants.

This was my test, could I give grace? Could I be obedient?

I decided to keep my darker colour. I wanted to have a different reaction than other customers; I wanted my Christianity to make my response different. So I gave her grace – undeserved favor, she didn’t even know. But I do and so does God!

When I look in the mirror it will be a prompt. I will thank God for His grace for me and I will thank Him for teaching me. I think I will smile too at my Heavenly Father’s sense of humor.

TODAY’S little STEP: Be sensitive to God’s leading in your life. Watch for opportunities to display everyday grace to the people you come in contact with. But, be careful. You may get a test real soon!

Just for your information the darkness did fade and I really have grown to like the new colour.

This is a post from last year that really encouraged me when I reread it this week. Hope it encourages you to show grace too!

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Crazy life? 7 tips to be energized

Is your life crazy busy? I love spring. It’s my favorite time of year. The snow is finally gone. The weather is beautiful and I feel so energized. But spring is also a really busy time of year. Church programs are winding down with special evenings. There are graduations, weddings, and anniversaries to celebrate. For our American friends there are Open Houses to plan and attend for High School graduates.

 

With all the fun activities we can have a tendency to keep running on empty.

How do we get recharged and refocused?

When my life is crazy I have learned that there are some

important things I need to do to cope.

 

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Get enough sleep. When life is busy it’s easy to stay up late and get more done. But then I start running on steam and even fun things seem like a chore.

I need to slow down in the evening and get to bed before 11!

If I’m short on sleep I want to eat.

It’s like my body says, “O.K. if you aren’t going to give me enough sleep then give me more food!”

We’ll have a blog post about that sometime in the future.

Eat good healthy food. As much as my emotions shout for junk food, especially chocolate, I know I need fruit, vegetables and protein.

Walk outside. Sometimes my walk is more like a stomp! It clears my brain and helps me deal with stress.  The beauty of God’s creation touches my spirit.

Stay away from caffeine. I’m tempted to stop at Starbucks for a hot tall dark roast coffee to give me the energy to tackle my to-do list, but not anymore. The caffeine makes me jittery and then I don’t sleep well that night. I’ve switched to sweetened decaffeinated tea.

Quiet. No radio, no TV, no background noise. It’s amazing how much silence can refresh me.

A good chat with a girlfriend! There’s nothing like a phone chat with a good friend to vent my worries and frustrations. She doesn’t try to fix it like a man does. She listens, encourages and challenges me when my thinking is way off the mark.

SPEND TIME WITH GOD! It’s the most important thing I can do! He resets my priorities.

When I spend time praying, reading the Bible and good devotional books, I remember that God is on His throne.

I can rest because He is in control, not me!

 

TODAY’S little STEP: When life feels crazy take one or all of these 7 little steps to be energized and restored!  But remember it’s not about doing every little step perfectly!  It’s about imperfect progress!

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