How’s your {spiritual} gut health?

[Did you know that many of our physical illnesses and even some diseases have been linked to gut healthliterally the good and bad bacteria that line our digestive tract and help us extract nutrients from our food? Often, symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, joint aches, etc can be reversed through eliminating something from or adding something to your diet. Many people deal with food allergies manifested in the form of achy joints or skin issues instead of nausea or respiratory problems.]

Last week, a friend on facebook was asking a group of ladies about some health issues her child seemed to have and if any of us had dealt with similar issues and how we handled it. While there were a myriad of answers and all was civil, something struck me when I gave my answer, in part it was this:

I am finding almost every physical “problem” I have comes back to what I eat. It’s really annoying. Lol.

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And right as I typed that… before I even finished posting the comment, I felt a tug from the Spirit of God in me saying, Yes, this is true in your Spiritual health also.

It was really like a sucker-punch to the gut- my spiritual gut. lol.

And a few verses came to my mind:

John 4: 13 -Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14- But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 48-I am that bread of life.

1 Peter 2:1-Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2- As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 –If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

1 Corinthians 3:1 – And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2- I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Jesus is bread-not just bread, but the bread of LIFE. He is water for thirsty souls–not just water, but water that becomes a wellspring of everlasting life: LIVING WATER.

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Bible study of doctrines and life principles are milk and then meat for a Christian-the FOOD of our Christian life.

When I consume excess sugar (or other foods to which I may be allergic, we are all unique) or processed foods that hold little nutritional value, my body gets tired, sluggish; and I do not feel well. My gut, where digestion takes place, becomes off-balance; and sometimes I get a headache. Other times my actual gut hurts or my joints get achy or I may have an unexplained patch of dry, itchy skin.

But when I consume life giving foods such as fruits and vegetables, good meats and healthy fats, other plants such as beans, grains and nuts, my gut is happy and my body feels nourished and energized to do the work of the day…..

So it is spiritually.

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When I am not consuming personal Bible study but rather maybe just reading self-help items or relying on previous study, when Sunday comes around and the preacher only spouts “feel-goodisms” (even using Scripture, but there is no challenge to repent and GROW) without confronting sin and challenging me towards growth and a Christ-like life, my spiritual life gets tired. I become bored and sluggish in my attempt to live the Christian life… my spiritual gut becomes unbalanced. My spirit is not properly digesting Scripture for all its nutrients to cause me to grow in Christ.

But when I daily receive something from His Word, when the preacher expounds Scripture with challenges for me to repent of sin and grow and become more Christlike, I tend to feel energized and nourished to the point of growth and spiritual work.

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And there are season of my life in which I look back and realize there was such a sluggishness to my walk with the Lord, and other times I look back and rejoice at realizing I grew through a period and am not the same person I was!

These are just a few applications of which the Lord convicted me… there are others, for another time. 🙂

Have you ever thought about spiritual digestion like that before?
I’d love to hear how the Lord taught you! Leave a comment 🙂

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memorizing Scripture

Have you ever decided to consciously memorize Scripture but couldn’t figure out what verses with which to begin? I’m in the process of writing a guest post for a friend and these thoughts came up in my writing process…

I have a list in the front of my Bible that contains all the references we’ve tried to help our children memorize {I think we need to have a refresher though 🙂 the younger 2 haven’t been through them all yet!}.

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I also looked around online and found a few lists {many verses overlapped with my own} and came up with a list of 27 separate verses and passages [2-4 verses] that are a great place to begin our memorizing Scripture journey.

I have created a page with just these verses typed out and a printable at the end from which you can print & cut apart each passage to keep in your purse or hang around your home… and I’ll be posting about that guest post when it happens, so you can head over there and read more about why it’s important to have verses and passages hidden in our minds and hearts!

go to verses to memorize page
go to “verses to memorize” page

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my split personality: called {motherhood}

This is not exactly a “spiritually or Biblically-inspired” post.

It is more a “I wonder if anyone else has ever thought about it this way” post.

And it’s been sitting in my “draft” folder for a while now…

I had a conversation with a sweet new friend last night that prompted me to truly articulate this thought I’ve had for a while now:

Somedays, I truly feel as though motherhood may have given me a split personality {and I am not trying to belittle those with actual mental disabilities here!}.

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I realize my children need ME.

But they need ME differently among them. They are each so individual and unique. Yes, I must be consistent in rules and discipline; but things they need, things they forget and need me to remind them of, things they have not yet learned, are ALL different for each one. 

My poor oldest child, she is nearly a young woman, and yet I continue to remind her of things that, really, only her younger sisters need help with. I know that frustrates her. She’s so grown up and the others are still “babes”.

My middle daughter has some food and environmental allergies that sometimes means our whole family just misses out on stuff like… peanut-butter pie… because I just can’t chance it being around and her wanting a taste or being sad that she can’t have it. And she’s trying to grow up as quickly as her big sister, but she really isn’t there yet.

My  third… a whirlwind of a girl. She plunges head-long into EVERYTHING she does. She has gusto! 🙂 And thinks very little, if ever, before acting. But her little heart is so tender and pliable, I must be restrained when calling a warning at her to not sit on her brother, or some other situation that could cause harm to one or multiple people. lol. She will just loose it, and the whole situation will disintegrate before our eyes.

My youngest is a boy. After 3 girls we have a boy. ‘Nuff said.

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To those with more children, I am not trying to ‘prove’ my life is as hard or harder than yours… just stating some observations. 🙂

And then, my husband needs a WIFE, not a mother {he already has an awesome mother!}. And apart from “child of God”-which is my identity at its core- this is where I find my primary role in life – to be the best wife for him. If I’m an awesome mom and a lousy wife, I’ve not become what God created me to be!

And I do have a few friends… who like to speak to me as adult in my own right, not as a mother or a wife….

And so, maybe this is a little bit to be encouraging spiritually

… I need God! You need God! 🙂

If God does not help us in relating to all the most important people in our lives, we are a people most undone!

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If I cannot be Christlike to my own family, how can I expect those outside my family to see Christ in me?

I’m not saying I loose it every day, but there is at least a portion of most days where I struggle really hard not to! And there have even been a few hours all strung together that I feel I {MIGHT} have it all together–HAHAHAHA. nope. not really!

And only bending my knee before His throne will help me be “ME”–a child of God–to those around me, whether I feel SPLIT or not. 🙂

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my soul must be still

Again, there has been a song “stuck in my head” recently that has been encouraging to me… I pray it can encourage someone else out there, too. 🙂

“Be Still, My Soul”

by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

verse 1

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side; Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend –Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

verse 2

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake –To guide the future as He has the past.

Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last.

Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know –His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

verse 3

Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart –And all is darkened in the vale of tears;

Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart, Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.

Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay –From His own fulness all He takes away.

verse 4

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on –When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past, All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

and here is a beautiful rendition I found on youtube:

Friends, we must BE STILL… and let God.

what is YOUR problem?

Yesterday, my husband preached in the stead of a pastor who was out of town.

His message came from Daniel 2-which is quite a familiar passage to most people who have “grown up in church”: King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream which troubled him, but he cannot remember it when he awakes. When none of the wise men of Babylon can give him the answers for which he seeks, the king decrees that ALL the wise men of the land be killed.

All of them.

Daniel and his companions are among these wise men, and this concerns Daniel.

With the upmost confidence Daniel tells the king that he will surely give the king his answer, with time. And then Daniel meets with his 3 closest friends, and they pray.

Something pointed out that I had never truly considered before was that they did not have some discussion about what the answer could be… they did not call on any other people to see if they had any ideas… they did not begin making plans for escape if no answer was found.

They prayed.

They prayed first.  {So important… but not my main point today.}

They had confidence in God to bring glory to Himself.

Did you get that? 

They had confidence in God to bring glory to Himself.  

And this brings me to the crux of what I took away from the message.

Daniel realized that his problem was not what was sitting right in front of him.

Daniel’s problem was NOT the king’s decree to kill him. 

Daniel saw THE Problem.

This problem that is actually THE problem at the crux of all difficulties that come our way.

How can God be glorified through this?

My problem is not that the bathroom needs cleaning.

The problem is that I do not think that the chore can glorify God.

My problem is not that I lost my temper… again.

The problem is that God wants to glorify Himself THROUGH my downfalls... and I don’t always humble myself before Him so that He can.

My problem is not ever that our vehicle does not start or has an issue with its engine.

The problem is ALWAYS: How can THIS bring glory to my God?

My problem is that I am not willing to take my hands OFF and just simply let God…    BE God.

Let me pray. But let me take my hands off the problem as I see it.

And let God.

Let God bring Himself glory.

His workings ALWAYS reveal Himself, bringing glory to Himself.

He is in every situation.

And through every “problem” He is working.

that song I can’t get out of my head….

Did you ever just find yourself humming a tune or singing a few words of a song, and it just won’t stop?

Sometimes it’s annoying…. tonight, it’s a comforting reminder that:

God’s Been Good

Verse 1

Lately I’ve been looking back, along this winding road
To the old familiar markers of the mercies I have known
I know it may sound simple but it’s more than a cliche
There’s no better way to tell you, than to say

Chorus

God’s been good in my life
I feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams when I go to sleep each night
And though I’ve had my share of hard times, I wouldn’t change them if I could
‘Cause through it all, God’s been good

Verse 2

Times replay and I can see that I’ve cried some bitter tears
But I felt His arms around me, as I faced my greatest fears
You see I’ve had more gains than losses and I’ve known more joy than hurt
As His grace rolled down upon me undeserved

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For God has been my Father, my Savior and my Friend
His love was my beginning, and His love will be my end
I could spend forever trying to tell you everything He is
But the best that I can say it is this

Chorus

God’s been good in my life
I feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams when I go to sleep each night
And though I’ve had my share of hard times, I wouldn’t change them if I could
‘Cause through it all, God’s been good

Friends… He’s been SO good in my life!

when life hands you {crazy}

Right about one year ago I wrote this post… but it never got published. It was raw. It was typed out in frustration.

But when I came across it yesterday, all I could see was that it was REALauthentic feelings that I now know many moms feel.

And it’s not a sin to BE frustrated-only to allow it to control you.

The ages and such are a little different now, but the truth still applies… a whole year later:

…when life hands you crazy:

I know many families with more than 4 children who seem to really have it all together.

And I know families with less than 4 children who seem to, well, NOT have it all together.

Me? OH! Our family has 4 children… and definitely do NOT have it all together!

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{but together, we have it all :)}

 

But, on occasion, we give the illusion that it’s all dandy. [hehe]

I have found that life just dishes out crazy… like there’s not tomorrow! {and there may not be}

So what’s a girl to do when the crazy just keeps coming?

The answer might sound difficult, but it’s really just a mindset:

EMBRACE IT.

 Welcome crazy to just come and have a seat right next to you!

 Crazy comes

and your baby has an outfit-dirtying-blowout 5 minutes before you are supposed to leave for school… go ahead and cry. We’ve all been there!

Crazy comes

and your already-trained-toddler wets herself in the bathroom… at church…

Crazy comes

and your 3rd grader reminds you of her project that was not finished but is due… today.
Apologize after you loose it, and take a few moments to remind her of her own responsibility… and that childhood is the time to learn it.

Crazy comes

when your baby breaks out in hives caused by an allergic reaction to his meds…

…and your 5 year old breaks out in something… caused by a-still-unknown-source…

…and your husband’s asthma [which has been very mild for years] starts acting up daily and your heart is terrified of the struggle to breathe…

…and you have friends and far-away-family struggling with things that make a soul yearn for the Lord to just return and take us all away…

And then you remember there are those who are not yet ready for that.

 And so, crazy strikes yet again and you realize that life is going on… for now… and HOW DO YOU LIVE WITH CRAZY?

oh, right… EMBRACE it.

The days I handle the crazy the best are the days I wake up and struggle to get out of bed... And my 5 year old gets up in a grumpy-funk, and I snap at her at 6:35 am…..

and I see the hurt in her face, in the face of her older sister sitting there listening to it…

 and the Lord catches me in my fall.

I realize crazy has come yet another day into my home.

 I stop.

I hug that 5 year old squirming her grumps away.

And I whisper a prayer that sounds something like… “oh God, please help me!”

I speak an apology to my babies and coax some laughter out of their little bodies.

because those are the days I am forced to keep muttering… “Lord, make me love with your love and make me speak with your words and make me touch with your embrace…” all day long.

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an update

How do you like the blog’s new look? ! If you are reading this in your e-mail, would you click over here and see it? 🙂 I appreciate ANY feedback.

If you have not visited in a while then I have some

BIG NEWS

 to tell you!

I am going to be TEACHING this year in our little Christian Church school…. So, it may be a while before the blog is completely ‘revamped’… I still have to re-attach most of my photos to their posts.

In the mean time, I am still on facebook!! and would LOVE to hear from any of you via comments or facebook.

BLESSINGS!

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