Apr 022013
 

I forget things all too quickly.  Sometimes it’s easy for me to focus on my current struggles, challenges and pains.  And focusing on them can make my struggles feel big and untamed.

Struggling with body image, food, self-acceptance and shame has been a part of my story for over 13 years now.  When I get stuck in thinking I am the sum total of my old struggles, habits and choices… defeat, doubt and hopelessness are allowed to take up residency in my spirit.

But I am so thankful my story does not end with a constant, unchanging struggle.  And neither does yours.

This past weekend we celebrated Easter.  As I went to church with my family, I was expecting to hear about Jesus’ death and resurrection and how He gave us life.  But I was struck with something different from our Pastor’s sermon.  I was reminded how powerful the story of Jesus really is.  His life, death and resurrection IS the power of the gospel.  And it is through His power, we are changed.

Instead of sitting and stewing in our past or our old habits, it’s good to simply remember.  To remember who we were before we let Jesus in and see how His power has transformed us.

I am no longer my past.  I am no longer defined by my greatest fears of who I used to be.  I am no longer stuck in my mistakes or my weaknesses.  I am free from shame.  I am not sentenced to emptiness, hopelessness or wondering.  I am accepted.  I am transformed.  I am made new.

My shackles are gone.  My fears have been won.  My life has beauty.

I have hope, grace and redemption through the power of Jesus’ story.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 1 Corinthians 5:17

There is a song I just can’t get enough of as of late.  It’s called New Man by a group called All Things New.  I loved it before I heard Sunday’s sermon, and love it even more now.  God is giving me some powerful reminders that I have been made new through Him.  Maybe you need this reminder today too.

“God, You have made me new
You’ve restored my heart and
Turned these ashes into life
Oh God, You have pulled me through
And everything I was is gone
And washed away for good
I’m a new man in You.”

Are you defining yourself by your past or allowing it to keep you shackled?  Think back to who you used to be… how has Jesus’ story changed you?

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 192013
 

Have you ever stood in your kitchen, staring into your pantry as if it were an empty abyss?  You rack your brain and look in your cookbook, but still… nothing.  Zilch.  No inspiration.  You are sick of cooking the same old thing.

Even with my food and nutrition background, I have found myself in this state more than once.  As I would think through the different food groups to incorporate in our family meal, I found myself tired of the same whole-grain choices: brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, etc.

Trying to pull myself out of one of these cooking “slumps”, I stumbled across a recipe.  It was a quinoa salad recipe and I had never cooked quinoa for my family before.  I vaguely remembered learning about quinoa previously in college.  When I went through my dietetics program, I was introduced to a vast array of foods in our cooking courses.  Foods from all over the world.  One of the things introduced to me for the first time was a seed from the Andes in South America called quinoa (pronounced keen-wah).

I decided to try the salad recipe and now it has become a staple in our family.  My first encounter with quinoa was an assignment, my second encounter began a love-affair.

I consider quinoa a powerhouse grain.  It has more to offer nutritionally than most other grains.  (In reality, quinoa is a seed rather than a grain, but acts and incorporates into meals like a grain.)

This single seed has given my cooking a boost for several reasons.

The Beneficial Breakdown:

  • It is higher in protein (7g per serving) than other grains.
  • It is considered a complete protein, providing all essential amino acids – which help promote the development, growth and healing processes in the body.
  • Quinoa cooks faster than other grains
  • It is a good source of fiber (3g per serving), magnesium, iron, folate and phosphorous.
  • It can be versatile, being able to be used in place of rice, pasta or other grains and is great as a hot cereal or as a salad or side dish.

Quinoa has a light nutty flavor with a texture similar to that of couscous and takes on the any flavored meal like rice.

Quinoa is now readily available at most grocery stores. So next time you’re trying to think of a side dish or a grain option for your meal… check out quinoa and see why it’s prepared regularly in my kitchen.

You won’t regret trying the Quinoa Salad with Peaches recipe I stumbled upon in Cooking Light.

Since we’ve made this recipe a number of times, I’ve had fun playing around with the ingredients.  The peach slices make it divine and since they’re not in season year round, you could either use frozen peaches or play around with incorporating your favorite fruit.

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In the above picture, I didn’t have any green onions on hand.  So instead of heading to the store for one ingredient, I decided to throw in another green food that we love and ups the nutrition of the salad: edamame.

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In this picture, I decided to make the recipe more of an entree than a salad and added a Southwest twist.  I incorporated sliced organic turkey sausage, black beans and diced avocado.  The result was heavenly and filling.

Quinoa Salad with Peaches

(makes 4 servings)

***To cook the quinoa:

Bring 1 and 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Fluff and cool quinoa slightly.

***For the salad stir in:

1/4 cup minced red pepper

1/4 cup chopped green onions

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 & 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 & 1/2 teaspoons honey

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 sliced ripe peach

Chill salad, serve and enjoy!

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 122013
 

Our bodies are linked to nearly everything in our lives.  Our physical activity, our mind-body health, our body image, our relationship and approach to food, our influence on how our loved ones’ view of their bodies.  The list goes on.  Because my background is in nutrition, people often look to me for advice on what foods they should be eating.

One very simple goal I always maintain for myself and my family is that I try to incorporate dark, leafy green vegetables in as many meals as possible through out our week.  Sometimes, people nearly write me off for this statement.  It feels impossible, intimidating or down right un-appetizing to try to eat so many green vegetables.  I may have agreed with you a few years ago, but experimentation and persistence has shown me it’s much easier than you might think.

One easy way to start is to take recipes and foods you already love and try adding greens to them.  Adding spinach to eggs, quiche or smoothies, kale to soups, salads or stir-fry and even trying to upgrade the lettuce on your sandwich or burger to a darker counterpart are simple ways to boost your nutrients.

Our family loves soup so I’m always on the hunt for new recipes.  I stumbled upon this Green Soup with Ginger recipe at my local grocery store.  This store has a great resource table in the produce department, containing little recipe cards with suggestions on how to cook with different kinds of produce.  This was a perfect opportunity to combine healthy cooking with our love for soups.

I loved this recipe for it’s ability to stand alone, with no need to add anything, and for it’s use of purely fresh ingredients. The ginger and lemon juice, in particular, make it phenomenal. I did, however, add meatballs to it when I served it as leftovers so it was a more complete meal in regards to protein. Vegetarians could add some sort of bean or firm tofu to increase the protein amount.

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This recipe calls for lot’s of dark, leafy greens which are loaded with health benefits:

  • Disease-fighting.  Leafy greens are full of vitamins, minerals and disease fighting phytochemicals.
  • Weight Management.  They are rich in fiber, which is an important nutrient for weight loss and maintenance.
  • Blood Health.  They help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and help keep blood sugar at a more even level.
  • Bye-bye Brittle.  Greens such as chard (in this recipe) are exceptionally high in calcium, which is vital to maintaining strong teeth and bones and lowering ones risk for osteoperosis.
  • Controls the Pressure.  The calcium in chard, along with the potassium it contains, also aids in blood pressure management.
  • Vitamin Heaven.  Leafy greens are also particularly full of vitamin C, vitamin A, antioxidants, folate and vitamin E.

Do you love them as much I do yet?

Take a shot at including some extra greens in your meals this week.  How could you fit your greens in each day?

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 052013
 

Revelation and thanksgiving.  This is what I’m sitting in and pondering today.

There are times when I look at myself in the mirror and realize I’ve been flailing and struggling.  To have faith.  To trust there is meaning in both the whirling and the stagnant moments in life. To believe God could love little ‘ol me who feels like a mess sometimes.

In this small realization, in this small self-revelation, “Be still and know that I am God“, comes to mind.

Just.  Be.  Still.

Flailing, struggling, wondering and mustering up belief is me doing the work.  But in reality, God does not require my help, knowledge, effort or anything else.  He does not owe me justifications or proof in showing me the whole picture.  It is in this state of mind I remember:

He is God.  He made me.  And I am His.

Sometimes I just need to stop.  Stop and remember what He has done for me.  What He has done in me.  Thank you God.

I’ve been reading Anne Lamott’s new book, “Help, Thanks, Wow” and I’ve been reading and re-reading the thanks portion of it.

“When we go from rashy and clenched to grateful, we sometimes get to note the experience of grace, in knowing that we could not have gotten ourselves from where we were stuck, in hate or self-righteousness or self-loathing (which are the same thing), to freedom.  The movement of grace in our lives toward freedom is the mystery.  So we simply say “Thanks.”  Something had to open, something had to give, and I don’t have a clue how to get things to do that.  But they did, or grace did.  Thank you.”  – Anne Lamott, “Help, Thanks, Wow”

Many times I find myself too busy and distracted to be still.  To remember God’s enormous miracles He has done in my life.  To recall His grace overflowing to make the dried up places in my heart beautiful.  He has changed me, strengthened me and made me new.  Thank you God.

Stopping the whirling has become just as important as the words “thank you” because it invites revelation.  Having my heart open to watchwait for, and then listen to His revelations in my life.  To where He wants to stretch and change me, when He wants me to slow down and rest and how He wants me to view Him… and myself.  And it has been through these moments of revelation, that transformation has come.

Which again begs a thank you God.

“Revelation is not for the faint at heart… Details are being revealed, and they will take you out of yourself, which is heaven, and you will have a story to tell, which is salvation that again and again saves us…  So I say “Thanks,” – Anne Lamott, “Help, Thanks, Wow”

So even when I look into the mirror and have a revelation moment that I’ve been wound up, flailing, trying to do things on my own, I say a big Thank you God.  You are God.  You made me.  And I am Yours.

In what can you be saying “Thank you God” about?  What revelations in your life can you thank Him for?
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”  Psalm 100
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Feb 262013
 

Have you ever been overwhelmed by something?  Your thoughts are racing, your chest is tight and you don’t know how define your emotions?

Overwhelm: To cover over completely (submerge), to overcome by superior force or numbers, to overpower in thought or feeling.

This is where I find myself today.  I feel as though a gigantic wave has crashed upon me, submerged me and left me searching for solid ground to set my feet upon.

Life does this to me from time to time.  I feel crushed.  Immobilized.  Left gasping for air.  Whether it be circumstances which lie in front of me or I simply cannot handle the stress of life.  Sometimes I merely cannot see how to make it through.  How to breathe again.  How to feel peace or normalcy again.

Right now, I’m trying to practically figure out how to manage such feelings. Here are a few ways I am coping in my waves of overwhelm:

  • Breathe.  Over and over again.  Intentionally reminding myself to take deep, slow breaths.  (Instead of the short, shallow breaths that feelings of overwhelm typically stimulate.)
  • Prioritize Rest.  Ensuring I get enough sleep at night.  Taking a nap during the day if necessary to protect me from feeling even more raw.  Being rested allows me to give what I need to my family and to life’s circumstances.  Rest keeps my thoughts and emotions in check.  I am also more prone to give myself grace.
  • Light A Candle.  Lighting a candle has always brought a sense of peace to me.  I have one in my kitchen, my bedroom, and my table.  Even lighting it for a few minutes helps me breathe and slow down.  It creates an atmosphere of calm when I feel unrest.  The aroma also seems to lighten my mood.
  • Hold On To A Short Mantra.  Each week I try to have a verse I can cling to.  Right now it’s Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”  Amidst the grind of the day, I remind myself of one word or phrase from my verse. It can change and redeem a single moment.  Lately, when I feel my chest tightening, the tears welling, or the emotional fatigue setting in, I take a deep breath and say, “plans for welfare and not for calamity.”  And I find my feet can move a few more steps.  I can move a little closer to the surface.

Is anything in your life overwhelming you today?  How do you help yourself make it through feelings of overwhelm?

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 222013
 

Well, here we are my friends.  At the end of our Standing on Peace Body Challenge.

In thinking about and participating in this challenge, I have realized a few things about myself.

Perfectionism:

I have a heightened awareness to the role perfectionism plays in my day to day life.  Perfectionism enslaves me most of the time.   Whether it be performing duties as a wife and mother, in my responsibilities of the home, in my eating and exercise, or even how I think about myself, perfectionism plagues me.  I recently read a quote about perfectionism that hit home with me:

“Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame,judgment, and blame.”

― Brené BrownThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

At the bare minimum, this type of belief system – one where keeping it together staves off unwanted emotions – steals my joy and prevents me from fully participating in life.

I want to be free from this.  I don’t want to miss out on life’s beauty because of my perfectionism.  And I certainly do not want to be my own worst enemy because I can’t extend grace and kindness to myself.  This challenge renewed my commitment to embrace letting go.

Vulnerability:

This challenge helped me identify why vulnerability is hard for me and why vulnerability is worth it.

Vulnerability goes against my natural tendency to stay closed off to people.  My closest friends know when life get rough, I crawl into my “shell”.  Which in reality, is the worst thing for me most of the time.  I also see that my perfectionism feeds my tendency to display my mask.  To put on the facade of having it all together is the opposite of being authentic and sharing my heart.

The good news is that I DO see the irreplaceable benefits of risking vulnerability.  I get to choose to be vulnerable with those who will be kind with my heart.  It increases depth in my relationships, brings freedom and turns my weaknesses into strengths.

I want authentic relationships in my life.  I really do want to expose my insecurities and limitations, in order for healing and connection to take over.  This challenge made me realize vulnerability won’t happen on it’s own.  I have to be intentional and thoughtful about not closing myself off.

It is my prayer you have been encouraged to take a deeper look at yourself in regards to perfectionism and vulnerability.

Are you ready to let go of your fears of being vulnerable with others and not being perfect?

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 192013
 

“You need something to claim to fight off the lies and fears.  You need a verse to claim.”

This is what my mom told me as I reached out to her this past week for some advice and comfort amidst change.

Through my past couple of posts, I’ve shared with you how I’ve had to refuse to believe the devil’s lies about myself. How I’ve been struggling with fear, faith and food.  I’ve alluded to some transitions and changes facing our family.

What my mom said sunk deep into my soul.

It’s absolutely necessary to reject the devil’s attack and recognize when fear is taking control.  To say out loud, “he has no power over me in Jesus Christ”.

But I also have to be armed and prepared to replace these lies with truth.

I’ve spent some time identifying my most prominent lies and fears.  I’ve found verses I can practice claiming whenever these thoughts creep into my mind.

I found as I listed everything I am struggling with, many of them are deeply rooted in the belief I’m not good enough.

If you made a similar list, what would your main root be in your life?

What I’m Practicing to Claim:

  • You’re a bad mom because you feel weak, lose your patience and don’t want to be with your kids sometimes.  A verse to claim:  “He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”  Isaiah 40:11
  • You can’t do this healing diet thing.  You’ve always failed in regard to food before.  A verse to claim: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15
  • What if we never belong to any church community?  What if we’re the outsiders?  A verse to claim:  “So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.” Romans 7:4
  • What if the decisions you make for your family and kids end up in complete failure?  A verse to claim: “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
  • What if you’re too weak and insecure to aspire to anything God has called you to or put on your heart?  A verse to claim: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

What lies and fears would be on your list today?  Are you believing you don’t belong, you’re not good enough or that God doesn’t care about you?  Are you living in a place of fear about your circumstances, status, career, family, body or health?

Spend some time finding your own verses to claim – to replace the lies and fears with truth.  “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 152013
 

I’m not the expert on the topic of vulnerability. In fact, I’m far from it.

I do know, we’ve all been burned, beat up and bruised by our experiences with vulnerability.  We’ve been scared, walled off or numb to it.  Some of us want to open up, but are only at the “thinking about it stage”.

I will say there is wisdom in choosing who will be kind with your heart.  Who will hold it gently, without judgement.  You can be choose-y when it comes to those you want to expose your heart to.

Although I’m not the expert, I can share what my life experiences have taught me.  Maybe something from this page will glitter for you.

  1. Vulnerability is Uncomfortable.  When I am about to share something deeply personal with someone, when I am about to expose a part of my soul, I am usually accompanied by a racing heart, sweaty palms, or churning stomach.  Rarely has sharing my story been as comfortable as talking to myself in the mirror.  Opening ourselves for possible wounds goes against our nature.  It does get a little easier each time though.
  2. Vulnerability Often Breeds Depth.  More times than not, when I have shared my heart with someone or exposed a weakness of mine with them, an unknown depth is introduced into the relationship.  Our souls can connect on a real level.  It does away with the tendency to stay on the surface, which can offer little meaning.  I have a collection of what I call,“heart friends”, now because I am trying to choose the path of sharing the intricacies of me.
  3. Vulnerability Brings Freedom.  Once I have shared my heart and it has been received, a burden is often lifted.  My shame, my darkness, my insecurities no longer fester in the darkness, but are brought into the light to process, heal, and hopefully help others.  “For you are all sons of light and sons of day.  We are not of night nor of darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5
  4. Vulnerability Can Turn Perceived Weaknesses into Strengths.  I used to think my eating disorder was something to be ashamed of.  Something I should keep to myself.  But since practicing talking about it with others, I see that it is changing from a perceived weakness to a strength.  Others who suffer familiar pains can relate.  They can feel less alone.  They can see hope.  Some of the things we are most scared to be vulnerable about are the exact things someone else needs to hear to move on, to breathe, to feel normal.

I love this quote I read today:

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.   Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

– Brene Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead

Are you craving to be more vulnerable in your life?  Are you wanting more depth in a relationship?  Do you have someone who will be kind with your heart?

 

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 122013
 

Hungry.  Starving.  Famished.

This has been my state of mind over the past week and a half.  In reality, however, I’m not any of these words.

To heal my body from various symptoms, my naturopath instructed me to maintain a specific diet for six weeks.  I’m to stay away from:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Soy
  • Gluten
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter/almonds
  • Caffeine/alcohol
  • A number of fruits
  • Some veggies
  • And the topper of all toppers, SUGAR.

I know in my head, six weeks is nothing.  I’ll blink and it will be over.  But, since I am at the beginning, she might as well have told me “no more happiness for the next six weeks!”.

I’m eating more vegetables, quinoa, rice and coconut products than ever before in my life.

This barrage of food rules has steamrolled into my life and made me crazy.  I cling to the foundation of maintaining a plant-based diet and enjoying everything else in moderation.  Letting go of literally ALL food rules has been my saving grace.  Becoming educated on how to eat healthy most of the time and then learning to be free to indulge here and there (with out guilt I must add) is what brought me out of my eating disorder.  It’s what keeps me completely un-intrigued with any sort of fad diet .  It’s what I hope to instill in my kids.

Extremism is what I’ve been allergic to.  It’s why I stay away from fad diets: don’t eat any carbs, eat only lean protein, don’t eat any sugar, never eat more than “x” number of calories, eat this but don’t eat that, etc.  These are the extremes that make me go crazy.  I don’t want food to control me again.

As I stood at the sink washing dishes, a question was pressed on my mind:  When it comes to food and weight, why do I tend to leave God out of it?

Why does prayer seem to be my last resort?  In the past, it was only after I had tried every diet and failed .  Now, it’s only after I’ve come to my wits end as to how to break my obsessive food thoughts.  Only after I’ve looked into the mirror for the gazillionth time and felt ashamed.

If we really believe our God to be so big, so caring, so intricately involved in our life… Why is He the last One we call on to help us experience freedom in this area?

Recently, I’ve been overwhelmingly moved to see my daughter bloom in regard to her prayer life.  She used to never, and I mean never, want to pray with me.  Even though I felt discouraged at times, I continued trying to show her how prayer impacts my daily life.

So I’ve stopped to pray with her in different circumstances: when she’s scared, when she’s sad, when she gets hurt, when she’s nervous to go to school, when she feels empathy for a friend when they get hurt.

Now, she is stopping throughout her day to pray – on her own.  It’s simply precious.  But it dawned on me:  It wasn’t natural to her.  It took her practicing prayer for it to become her first response.

Food obsessions and battles are areas we so easily compartmentalize.  We think we can control them.  We think we can have all the discipline, all the answers to reach our desired result.  We need to let go instead of hold on, focus on Him instead of our food, experience His peace instead of anxiety and fear.  And experiencing His peace simply means we recognize He is present with us.

I am going to be practicing going to the Lord first, with my food battles instead of stewing in my worry.  I have six weeks to practice.  And I want it to be a faith-filled experience rather than a faith-less one.

Are you experiencing any food obsessions or battles?  Are you inviting God into the struggle or are you saving Him for your last resort?

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 082013
 

I thought it was in my past.  It was over.  Done.  Then a Valentine’s day escapade left me sitting on our kitchen floor, crying.  And I knew I had a problem.

Exactly one year ago I realized perfectionism still had it’s hold on me.

After my holiday melt down, I wrote this reflection and I want to share it with you as we explore what it looks like to let our perfectionism go.  What it looks like to actually embrace our imperfections.

Recognition is vital to change.  This was my moment of recognition last year.

**********

On Valentines Day, I took a picture of the valentines we – excuse me – I made for a couple of Harper’s friends.   I posted the picture on Instagram and Facebook and received all kinds of positive feedback from my “mommy-friends”.

Immediately, I was struck by truth from the Holy Spirit: this looks perfect… but you know, Audi, it was not perfect.  Other women need to be reminded of this.

I had pure intentions. I had set out to create activities Harper and I could do together, to bond over.  But I had imagined this perfect craft day in my head for so long, I became determined for it to happen exactly as I pictured.  We made hand painted cards, kid valentines and considered baking something yummy.  But by the time it came to baking, we had already had a major melt down.  And by “we”, I mean ME.

In my flurry to create that perfect craft day, I didn’t notice my little girl needed me to slow down.  I had become Major General Audi Swift. The result: a major tantrum and I wound up on the kitchen floor, with tears streaming down my face.  The tides of perfectionism and comparison had pulled me in.

Later that night, mulling over our catastrophe, I was struck by a few things:

  • I had set out that day to be perfect, not real, but perfect.  I had fallen for the trap of comparing myself to other mommy-friends who always do the craft-holiday thing well, and their kids seem to be completely compliant with the process.  I was going to bulldoze my way to the same result if I had to.
  • I had allowed myself to get too busy and too overwhelmed to stop and respond appropriately to the specific needs of my child.  I forget that my day needs to allow for fluidity.  Sometimes the check list needs to wait.
  • I also, and most importantly, realized I had misplaced my priorities.  Reading my Bible and praying were on the back burner.  Without intentional focus on these things and listening to the Holy Spirit, I am lost.  Chaos and confusion set in.

I read a quote recently by Theodore Roosevelt that said,

“Comparison is the thief of joy”.

This is the truth:  We live in a culture that thrives on comparing people, looks, talents, worth, status, careers, etc. It’s easy for us, as women, to get trapped in this. Comparison plagues and poisons us.

Everything within me says Jesus never intended this for us!

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”  Psalm 139:14

It is my prayer today that our souls may know this very well, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  I want to grow to appreciate who God has created us to be, to be grateful for the gifts and talents He has given me, and to be joyful for the gifts and talents He has given others.

When have you found yourself comparing yourself to others?  Would you join me in laying aside the facade of perfectionism and not allow comparison to steal your joy? 

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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