simplyenjoy


On starting fresh…

Happy New Year and God bless 2014!

image

Some words in my mind on this first day of the year…

fresh

start again

rejoice

be made new!

2013 was a year of great change… image New Year’s Eve sky.

I enter into the new year with hope and humility, determination and gratitude, peace and the blessed assurance that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. 2013 had moves, new jobs, losses, births, challenges with difficult people, exhaustion and disappointments. In all these old things, I stand in wonder at how God has carried us through. And I wait with expectation for the goodness to spring from the hardships. In the present, I choose to trust deeper. image This brings me to my resolutions…

1. Continue to release old pain and doubt at the foot of the cross.

2. Root into my new community through service and fellowship at a local church.

3. Continue a 40 day Daniel Fast, which I started today. Only fruits, vegetables, whole grains and water.  And lots of prayer! (It is only day one and I really wanted to eat some cheese…) http://www.daniel-fast.com

4. Make more art 🙂

5. Study, work hard and seek greater professional competency.

6. Love my family and friends and make more time to laugh!

As always, though…

One

Day

At

A

Time.

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Love-me-tender Veggie Barley Soup (My concoction for the evening)

1 yellow onion

two stalks celery with leaves

2 white potatoes

3 small beets

green cabbage slices

handful of baby carrots

1 package sliced white mushrooms

Two fist fulls of chopped kale

Barley

Vegetable Bouillon

Bring a large pot of water to boil with the vegetable bouillon, carrots, beets, potatoes, celery and onion. When root veggies are getting soft, add the cabbage, kale, mushrooms and any extra seasonings.  Cook barley separately (1 cup dry barley to 2-3 cups water. Bring to boil with a pinch of salt, reduce heat to simmer and allow water to evaporate as barley cooks for 30 minutes or so.) When the barley is tender, add into the beautiful pink veggie soup and enjoy!

balance

May love guide us, hope fill us, and health dwell within us in 2014!



If you knew.

The sky is gray and the air is flat. I couldn’t sleep past 6:30 a.m. and it’s Saturday. How ironic that during the week this hour seems foreign to me and here I am now, opening eyes without a second thought when it’s possible for me to sleep later if I could.

Mostly, this morning, I’m plagued with a sense of displeasure in the world. I’m bothered by the discontentment of folks – by my own discontentment at times. I see it on the daily in small little bouts and do my best not to let it bother me, do my best to foster and keep my own joy, but unfortunately a lot got under my skin yesterday. It happens. Shaking it loose!

Gratitude is at the heart of happiness and new research has been emerging with evidence of this.

From the linked article:

“In one particular study, a group of participants was asked to write down five things that generated gratefulness once a week for ten weeks. In the other control groups, participants were asked to list five hassles or major events that occurred that past week. The results illustrated that those who expressed gratitude tended to feel more satisfied and optimistic with their lives. Their health received a boost as well; fewer physical symptoms (such as headaches, acne, coughing or nausea) were reported, and they spent more time exercising. It’s therefore been noted that gratitude investigations depict a correlation between mental and physical health.”

So this morning I’m writing out what I am thankful for and holding on to the faith that the clouds will break through again and although I cannot change the attitudes and opinions of other people, I can proactively practice gratitude wherever I go. This is what I know.

I’m thankful for my God… for the way He always pursues me, always loves me, always comforts me, always reminds me that… this. too. shall. pass. I’m thankful for my daily bread and for knowing I can’t live on only bread alone.

I’m thankful for my husband. I know God has a sense of humor, because here I am working in behavioral health and human services, and it took a wildlife biologist to domesticate me. He lets me be in a world where everyone is shouting: do, do, do and have, have, have! Animals aren’t as complicated as people tend to be.

I’m grateful for a washer and dryer, for having clean clothing and running water.

I’m so grateful for cranberry juice with no high-fructose corn syrup in the morning. Combined with cold water it’s one of the most amazing thirst quenchers.

I’m grateful for borrowed books and reassuring looks, for gracious words and encouraging hugs.

I’m grateful for strength in weakness… for God’s grace.

And though, often, it’s difficult to see the love and the joy through the pain, still I will search. Still I will seek it. Because I am so grateful for breath…

James 1:2-8 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

sad

I wrote this poem a few days ago… not really sure about it. I was only pondering how people assume things about others without doing the research. It’s about how our flawed human minds label and judge before we really know… how we can be closed instead of open. Unyielding instead of flexible. Well, you can be the judge of the thing.

If you knew the thing

Would you shout so loudly?

Your tone harsh and unfriendly…

If you knew the thing

Would your eyes dart around you, suspect and searching?

If you knew the thing

Would you dare to determine resolutely and prematurely

That this is this or that is that?

If you knew the thing

This easy rest…

This gentle bend…

This burden lifted…

If you knew the thing

Do you think your words would still shatter

…falling like rocks and darting the skin?

If you knew the thing

Would you continue in your way and

Say what you say?

If you knew the thing

Would perhaps you reconsider

All that you considered

to be concrete?

If you knew the thing…

Would you search for more?




Valerie Rumfelt

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