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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My 6 day mission trip with no trip!

IMG_0915.JPGEver wanted to go on a short term mission trip? I have. This week the children came to me instead! We hosted the African Children’s Choir at our Church. I got to bring 3 girls and their chaperone home with me! A two day stay turned into six!

Sadly they left today but not without leaving me with a changed heart and mind.

I’ll tell you all about it next time. Now I have to clean up and get to bed early. Whew I’m tired!

Today’s little step: Be open to new ministries that God brings your way!

Change is hard, don’t get discouraged!

Do you ever get discouraged?  Last week I encouraged you to make a new routine. Mine was to do strength training in the morning.  I did it for 3 days and then missed the next 2!

It’s so discouraging.

I read this good prayer in the Daily Bread booklet and it really helped me.  I hope it encourages you today to keep taking little steps.

” Dear God:  I’m grateful, Father, that you are at work in me.  

I find it difficult to change and I wonder sometimes how or if I ever will.  

Yet I know that You are continuing Your work in me

and as I look back I will see the growth You are producing.  Amen

David Roper

Be encouraged today, my friend, that God is at work!  It’s not about perfection it’s about one little step at a time!

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the mistake was not on purpose but it sure adds to the statement!

TODAY’S little STEP:  Don’t get discouraged! God is at work!

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September routines – make a great start for the New Year !

Happy New Year! I know it’s not January. But September is a time of new beginnings.

I guess it’s because school starts and lots of programs start in my Church and community. It’s the time of year that I make decisions about the upcoming year.

I have also learned that the routines that I start in the first few weeks of September are the ones that stick, the good and the bad.

So setting those new routines requires careful thought, as they will quickly become habits.

This vacation I spent a lot of long slow mornings at the cottage. I sat by the lake and drank tea and read and drank tea and read. You get the picture?

 

But I know that September’s morning routines will need to be different. I need to be disciplined and organized.

I want to intentionally make some new routines this September/New Year, which will become good habits.

Decisions

I know I need to do some strength training. I’m over 50 and I want to keep toned. I have a nice little routine that takes about 15 minutes.

But I don’t do it regularly.

I am going to tie the strength training with another part of my routine – breakfast.

Before breakfast or right after will make sure it gets done! It will mean I need to get up a little earlier.

What about you? Maybe you need to link a new activity with something you already do?

My other new routine is to make my husband’s lunch right after dinner. I know he sounds spoiled but one of his love languages is ‘acts of service’. When I make his lunch he feels loved!

But when I’m making that lunch I have a few too many samples, especially if it’s later in the evening. So I will make the lunch right after dinner. I won’t be tempted to eat and I can be out of the kitchen for the rest of the evening.

My friend shuts the light off to signal that the kitchen is closed. I like that idea.

So what about you? What are your new routines going to be this year?

Be careful and intentional when starting those new routines.

Little choices soon become habits.

All these little steps really do make a difference, don’t get tired of doing what you know is right.

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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.

TODAY’S little STEP: Pick one September step for a new routine this fall. Every little step makes a difference!

If this has been helpful please share it with your friends.

 

 

Take a U turn and have victory!

Are you so far off track that you’ve given up?

Ever taken a wrong turn on a road trip? Or maybe you came across construction and got lost following the detour signs. Would you say this? “Oh well I’ve made one bad turn. I might as well keep going until the end of the day. I’ll turn around tomorrow.”

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But that’s what we do on our journey to be healthy and well.

We overeat at a BBQ or have a huge piece of cake at a Birthday Party and we keep overeating for the rest of the day.

Come on admit it. We’ve all done it!

For some dumb reason we believe the lie that if we overeat at one meal or snack we might as well overeat for the whole day.

That’s like driving the wrong direction on your road trip and deciding to keep going for the rest of the day.

Something we would never do!

We need to take a U turn right away and get back on track.

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I just came back from a nice long vacation at the cottage and I’m struggling. I want to have a fun little snack every few hours and have an ice cream cone every evening. But I’ve worked too hard to get to this weight and health.

I took a U turn. I popped a piece of gum in my mouth, got out of the house and went for a walk.  I had victory with just a few little choices!

Please don’t be discouraged! Don’t beat yourself up for a few wrong turns!

Get back on track and make that U turn right now!

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.

Don’t give up!

TODAY’S little STEP: If you have gotten off track this summer, take a U turn.  Make your next snack or meal a healthy one. Find a fun way to move your body. Every little step makes a difference!

If you have found this helpful I would love it if you would share it with your friends.

 

Rest much, talk often, and laugh regularly.

My secret strategy? A daily food budget.

I’m not on a diet!

But I spend my calories carefully.

I have a daily food budget!

It’s part of the lifestyle I have that really helps me eat healthy and keep the weight off.

One of the best things I learned from my time with Weight Watchers was the point system.

I was given 18 points that I could spend on food throughout my day.

I treated myself to a carrot muffin and medium coffee with double cream like I usually did.

Then I looked it up in my little book. It cost me 12 points! Not a good choice! I didn’t do that again!

I learned from Weight Watchers to make smart choices. I now have a food budget that I keep in mind. It’s something I have been working on for a few years.

When I stay within my budget I maintain my current weight.

Remember it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.

We want to spend our food budget calories well! We want to make the best choices throughout our day.

We want to choose nutrient rich foods with a mix of low and high calories.

Here’s how my food budget gets spent throughout my day.

I’m really hungry at breakfast time so I spend more calories then. I have ½ cup each of blueberries and raspberries topped with ¼ cup of homemade granola, with milk or Greek yogurt. Then I also have ½ cup of Fibre 1 bran cereal that I like to eat dry. Weird I know. But it stays crunchy, and milk just turns it to mush. Blah.

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Doesn’t that look delicious?

Lunch is easy for me to have nutrient rich foods with lower calories. I have a full plate of fresh cut up veggies with hummus and crackers and cheese.

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The other thing I avoid that really helps…. I don’t drink high calorie beverages, like pop and sweetened coffee. It’s not worth it for me. I want to chew my calories.

I drink lots of water, which helps to fill me up and keeps me well hydrated.

I try to have fruit for my snacks.

Then I can eat a regular dinner with meat, veggies and potatoes or rice, but on the smaller luncheon plate. I usually have a small dessert after dinner with a cup of tea.

When I know I am going out for ice cream with the kids I cut back on my calorie-spending at dinner. I save some of my calories to spend on the ice cream.

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I will have a bigger salad and regular portion of protein and very little of the carbohydrate.

Every once in awhile I have a really high calorie-spending day, like when I go out to eat twice in one day. Or when we celebrate my birthday and my daughter’s, which are 2 days apart. Those days do happen. Remember it’s a lifestyle not a diet!

For the next 2 days I try to make lots of high nutrient and low calorie food choices, lots of vegetables, fruit and protein.

That’s how my food budget works.

So how can you create your own food budget?

For a few days write down everything you put in your mouth. Then check out the calories and the nutrients of the foods you regularly eat.

I suggest you check out some sites that list the calories and nutrients of the foods you may eat.

Some of these sites also give you an idea of how many calories you should eat based on your current weight.

I leave that up to you to decide. Use that number to help you understand how many calories you should spend but don’t get caught up in the diet mode again. It’s only to give you an idea of what your food budget should be.

Then look over your list and see which foods you should add or remove from your daily food budget. Trade some empty high calorie foods for nutrient rich low calorie foods. Like me, you will probably be surprised at how much some of your favorite treats cost.

TODAY’S little STEP: Give the food budget idea a try! It works for me.

If you have found this helpful please share it with your friends!

Afraid in the storms of life?

Are you afraid?

What’s happening in your life that is keeping you awake a night? What’s that situation or that relationship that is always at the forefront of your mind?

What’s happening that makes your pulse race?

What’s happening that makes you feel unsure, insecure, alone and worried?

I saw fear recently, fear that caused my little dog Bristol to shake uncontrollably, pace, pant and drool.

The thunder rolled and boomed and Bristol was terrified.

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I wrapped her in a towel and offered her the security of my lap with my arms wrapped around her.

I felt her little heart racing.

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The safest place for her was in my arms.

But she took none of the comfort offered.

She squirmed and wiggled and struggled until I had no alternative but to put her down.

She decided that the best place to wait out the storm was in the bathroom behind the toilet!

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She felt safer there than in my arms.  Silly dog!

It struck me that we are just like Bristol. When a storm comes into our lives we get frightened sometimes even terrified.

The storm is real and loud and we’re afraid.

We try to find ways to cope with the storm.

We get advice from everyone we know.

We read everything we can about the problem.

We try to forget the storm by eating.

We may escape with sleep, drugs or alcohol.

Just like Bristol we decide where to wait out the storm.

 

All the time God’s arms are available and welcoming.

It’s the best place to be during any storm.

 

What storm are you facing; unemployment, poor health, money troubles, relationship problems or parenting issues?

Maybe your storm is so loud and so strong that you aren’t sure you are going to survive?

I have good news! God knows all about your storm.

He’s right there beside you offering the security of His arms.

 

God says…

Do not be afraid for I am with you.

I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you.

I will hold you with my righteous right hand.

I am with you.

I take great delight in you.

I will quiet you with my love.

I rejoice over you with singing.

When the righteous cry out, I hear them.

I deliver them from all their troubles.

I give strength to my people,

I bless them with peace.

I go before you and will be with you.

I will never leave you.

Do not be afraid.

Do not be discouraged.

I will watch over your coming and your going

Both now and forever!

Isaiah 41:10, Zephaniah 3:17

Psalm 34:17, Psalm 29:11

Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 121: 8

God offers rest, hope, power, grace, mercy and so much more. It’s my hope and prayer that you find comfort in His good words and rest in the security of His arms.

 

TODAY’S little STEP: When life sends a storm your way. Claim God’s good words and His promises. Near God is the best place in a storm.