Balancing Act ~ Week #7 Words Worth Remembering

But the Lord is faithful,
and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

                                                                                                     2 Thessalonians 3:3

I am on a quest for a healthier me and discovering how parts of our body work together to create the person who was ”fearfully and wonderfully made.’ (Psalm 139:14) There are so many elements it can be overwhelming to think about how intricately we are made by our Creator.

Lately I am learning a lot about balance including balancing the forms of exercise, how often to exercise, and measuring in the right amount of stretching, eating right and sleeping enough. The comparisons to other areas of our lives are almost endless and have been addressed by many others.

balance

The part of balancing that I hadn’t spent much time thinking about before is the idea of core strength. In order to properly balance our body our cores must be strong. Our body’s core is the abdomen and lower and mid-back regions – the center of us. The stronger our core, the better our balance will be, thus the less we are apt to fall.

In our spiritual lives our core is our relationship with the Lord
and the truth of His Word living in us.

The stronger our relationship is with the Lord and the more we know and live out His word the healthier our spiritual lives will be and the less apt we are to “fall” into the ways of the world and struggle in our daily lives. We make God our core and depend on His strength to bring balance when we feel off-balance.

Strengthening our physical core is not necessarily easy. While the range of exercises has become broader than the old-fashioned crunches, those exercises are not always fun and can cause a bit of pain in the process. But the pain (if it’s not extreme) means the exercises are working our muscles and making them stronger. As we are consistent with our exercises and increase our balance we are able to do things we never could before.

The same is true with our spiritual core. As we consistently spend time in prayer and God’s Word He will become our core and give us strength against the difficulties in life. As we rely on His strength to keep our balance we will find ourselves able stand up against anything the evil one tries to throw at us.

What are you working on balancing in your life? Can we help you find your balance and strength in Him?

blessings & peace to you!
Paula

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“WHERE’S HEIDI” Book Review

This is a highly anticipated book for me. I am blessed to be part of a writers’ group with the author, Lisa Buske and was treated to glimpses of the manuscript as this incredible book took shape. That being said, my relationship with the author does not automatically grant her a positive review! But the truth is, I do love this book as much as the author!

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“Where’s Heidi, One Sister’s Journey” gives us a unique view into a tragedy we only get a glimpse of through news reports. One Easter morning Lisa was awakened to the sound of a ringing telephone. Soon the voice of her aunt on the answering machine plunged her into a tragedy that would impact the rest of her life. Lisa’s only sister, Heidi Allen had been kidnapped.

When a child disappears or is kidnapped the news reports primarily reflect the loss of the parents, grandparents and other adults in that child’s life. The siblings are wisely protected from the media and news reports. While this makes sense it also leaves out an important piece of the full picture. It often causes us to forget that siblings have lost a companion, a confidant…a best friend. With this book Lisa closes that gap for us as she takes us on a journey…her journey of the hours, days and years that followed Heidi’s disappearance. She bares her heart to us to see and feel the tragedy first-hand. Her story is compelling and draws each reader in to what became her reality.

Thankfully Lisa’ story is not without hope. Heidi’s disappearance is unfortunately still a mystery. But through her journey Lisa has found the ultimate Hope in the saving grace and overwhelming love of Jesus. And ironically enough, this gift was offered to her by a child.

You’ve got to read it for yourself!

Purchasing Information:

Where’s Heidi? One Sister’s Journey will be released, April 3, 2013. Lisa’s book will be available at Amazon.com for your convenience. Additional bookstores and locations will be posted on her website once confirmed.
Lisa will be hosting a “scavenger hunt” as part of her TOP’S Tuesday blog series in the month of March to reveal a mystery location and book signing on April 3, 2013. There will be a limited number of books available at this location but more will be available at the book release party at The River’s End Bookstore in Oswego, New York later this same day.
More information will be posted as it’s determined.
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About the Author:
Lisa M. Buske’s sister, Heidi M. Allen was kidnapped on April 3, 1994 never to be seen or heard from again. God has taken a tragic instance of her life and transformed it into a life-saving occurrence. She writes with passion and out of obedience for the God who saved her knowing others need to hear her story. Lisa’s relationship with Jesus opened the door to a hope and healing she didn’t think was possible.
Lisa’s husband, Ed, daughter, Mary, and her parents serve as Lisa’s team as she writes and speaks. Lisa’s faith in God and dedication to family motivate and inspire her to do and be the best woman, wife, mother, and sister she can be. Her life proves it is possible to survive when God is part of the equation.
In addition to writing and speaking, Lisa works as a teacher’s assistant for her local school district and serves at different capacities within her church.
Contact Information:

To learn more about Lisa M. Buske or to follow her writing and speaking:
Facebook: “Where’s Heidi?” book page and “Lisa M Buske” author page
Twitter: @LisaBuske
AIM: Lbuskewriter
Writing for Him…to keep Heidi’s memory alive with prayers to heal those affected by abduction.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

A time to be born and a time to die.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 -2 (NIV)

 

 

Please take some time to stop at Lisa’s blog and pre-order this book. You won’t be sorry you did!!
blessings and peace…
Paula

Week #6 ~ Words Worth Remembering

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
                                                                                                      Romans 12:12

Hope is easy when  you are certain of the outcome. 

But what about hope when all seems hopeless? That can be very difficult. And then God tells us to be JOYFUL as we hope. Joy comes naturally when good things we are hoping for get closer to becoming reality. It can be very difficult to remain joyful as we hope for something that is uncertain. Especially when it takes a long time for that hope to become reality.

Patience is simple when we can see the end.

A man I admire once told me that we can get through anything when we know there is an end. Even something hard or painful can be endured when we know that one day it will stop. When we are afflicted with physical pain, emotional distress or mental anguish and we don’t know when or if it will end most of us can easily slip into despair. Patience does not come easily.

Prayer comes naturally when we know what to pray for.

There are people and circumstances all around us that obviously need prayer. Sickness, struggles and sadness abound. Sending a prayer heavenward when we see someone suffering is natural. But there are times our prayers aren’t answered right away. We pray and have faith but don’t hear God’s voice or sense His direction. Being faithful as we wait for the outcome is God’s desire.

While each portion of this verse can be a challenge they each come with a reward.

Being joyful as we hope for something makes the waiting much easier, and the journey less stressful.

Being patient in the midst of affliction allows us to see the progress even if it is slow, and provides a witness to others of how God cares for us and walks with us through our trials.

Being faithful in prayer draws us closer to God so that even when the answers don’t come we are secure in His love and faithfulness.

And I am certain that through obedience to this verse we will find God’s peace in the puzzle of our lives.

blessings and peace to you!
Paula

Valentine’s Day ALERT!!!

1 WEEK UNTIL VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

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This public service announcement is not only for those who have a significant other whom you should not forget on this special day.

It is also (perhaps especially) for those who look ahead with dread toward a day that reminds them of what they “have not”.

This alert is to give you time to turn around an otherwise melancholy time of the year.

I spent almost 20 years of my life as a single woman dreading Valentine’s Day. I felt that it wasn’t fair that other women could celebrate the day of love with their mate enjoying a romantic dinner, being surprised with roses or jewelry to commemorate their love for each other. And there I sat…

Alone.

Wallowing.

Consuming large amounts of chocolate.

One day a thought dropped into my head.

head-and-heart1“you know, you’re not the only one alone on Valentine’s Day!”

 

I know it’s not really a radical, mind-blowing thought, but it was for me that day. I began to really look around me at others who were preparing for Valentine’s Day. And I saw plenty of others alone and lonely, sometimes even in a marriage or relationship.

And I realized that I can make a difference to them on Valentine’s Day.

What about you? How can you make Valentine’s Day better for someone else?

Here are some ideas:

  • Mail Valentine’s to those who are alone.
  • Pick up candy, flowers, balloons, etc. and hand them out randomly to people who look like they could use a smile.
  • Pick up the phone and call someone who might need a friend.

There are so many other options. Pray about what you could do, on your own, with your significant other or as a family.

Start planning now…you have 1 week!!

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I guarantee that as you reach out, God will reach in!!

 

Next week I’ll check in with you to see how you let God made a difference through you in the lives of others.

blessings and peace to you!
Paula

 

 

 

When Less Is More

Do you ever have days when you feel -less?  

                                      morris-lessmore

HOPELESS?

FAITHLESS?

RESTLESS?

MINDLESS?

FRUITLESS?

Life can be tough to take some days and the future uncertain. You feel less than perfect, less than enough even.

On days like that it’s important to remember a few things:

  • Romans 8:24-28

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

= HOPEFUL

  • Luke 17:5-6

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

=FAITHFUL

  • Matthew 11:28-29

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

=RESTFUL

  • Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

=MINDFUL

  • John 15:1-4

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you.No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

=FRUITFUL

When we are feeling less the key is where we turn. Turning to our own wisdom and trusting our feelings will not pull us out of our doldrums. It is when we turn to God’s word and remind ourselves of His truth that we will remember who we really are. Before long we will find ourselves with hearts and minds full of more blessings than we can count!

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

I am so thankful for God’s great gift of grace to help us when we are feeling less!

When we are less He is more!

blessings and peace to you…
Paula

Week #5 ~ Words Worth Remembering

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
                                                              Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

 

The road map. A trusted friend for many years and countless trips, many of us no longer turn to them for direction. With the invention of GPS we don’t have to learn to read a map or try to get it folded to fit back in the glovebox! 🙂 It’s a wonderful thing to be able to punch in where you want to go and have technology lead you there with little effort.

But…we’ve all heard stories of GPS snafus (maybe you’ve experienced one yourself) where the GPS takes us to a location other than where we intended to go. Unfortunately the maps in some units are not always updated and destinations unclear. Sometimes the GPS leads us astray and other times lead us in circles.

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Do you ever feel like you’re running in circles in your own life? Do you find yourself uncertain of which direction is the most important for you to follow?  With the busy lives we lead and the number of people and things demanding our attention it can easily happen. Sometimes it feels like we don’t really know where we are going.

Thankfully we have something better than a road map or GPS to direct us. God has promised in His word to show us the right way to go and direct our paths when we trust in Him and seek His way for us.

It sounds so easy in the verse above but how exactly do we do it? By reading His word and developing a close relationship with Him. Talking to God (prayer) about everything going on in our lives and sharing with Him our hopes, fears and questions will help us to know Him and learn to listen to Him. We begin to stop leaping into decisions without seeking His will for our lives and our paths become straight before us.

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Have you had an experience where God showed you a straight path when you were running in circles in your mind? I’d love it if you would share it with us in a comment below. Let’s encourage each other as we share God’s direction in our lives!

blessings and peace to you!
Paula