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Views on a Lazy Sunday, a.k.a., taking a “Real Rest”

A relaxing Sunday…not much better…

Yesterday, God was speaking to me about rest.  I was needing it.  Sadly, like most of us, I didn’t have the option of actually canceling my day…so I just kept repeating one of the verses He had placed in front of my face yesterday morning,

Luke 1:37  “Nothing is impossible with God.”

I attended to some of my to-do list, and made my way to the show, repeating under my breath more than a few times…Nothing is impossible with God….as well as,

“My grace is enough; it’s all you need.  My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Boy, I needed it!  I was “super-stupid-tired”, as we call it in my  house.  So tired, in fact, that when my hubby offered to meet me in town for dinner, and I had a gut feeling that this might not be a great idea, I went anyway (I didn’t want to disappoint him)…

How many of you know that we need to listen to those gut instincts more than we do?  ah well…

Honestly, it wasn’t so bad, and I made healthy choices, but again, I was so super-stupid-tired that I likely ate more than I needed…and became even more tired!!!

Returning home, we opted for Netflix and an episode of “All Creatures Great and Small” (love that wholesome show!!!) before heading for an early bedtime and some reading…

-Sidebar- what am I reading right now?  Well, I am one of those who usually has 3 or 4 books going on at a time, NOT because I lack focus, for whichever one I am reading at that moment gets my full focus!!!  Nope, I just know myself now, and I choose books according to the need for Devotion, Inspiration, Education, or Relaxation…

So, off the top of my head, tucked and layered within my bedside nightstand/shelf are:  my Bible, Tales from a Yoga Studio (fiction), ReShaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure, Invitation to Christian Yoga by Nancy Roth, Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar, The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast by Kristen Feola (why I haven’t moved it to my cookbook shelf, I don’t know…finished the Fast a few weeks ago, but as I keep using it for recipes, I keep returning it to where I found it…and since it was my devotional for 3 weeks, there ya go!), Jesus Calling, my prayer journal, assorted greeting cards from my sweet hubby, and assorted Natural Health and Yoga Journal mags that I can never seem to get to reading (hmm, wonder why…).

ANYWAY.

Lights out by 9pm, woke up around 4am and tossed-n-turned until 5:30.  Got up, fed the cats, made some oat bran/applesauce/almonds and a hot drink-y and did Devotions.  Back to bed from 6:30 to 9am.  Wow!  Slept in!  (helps to put on the sleep mask).

The view from my pillow, a.k.a., kitties holding me down...

Why do I say all of this?  To prep you for what’s coming next:

We didn’t go to church.

GASP!!!

Before you judge, here’s the deal.  We are both exhausted.  We live 30 miles from our church, and gas prices are extremely high.

"DUE TO FUEL PRICES-WE ARE UNABLE TO PURCHASE GASOLINE" Sadly, what is happening in 'Mayberrys' all over...I hear ya, brother.

And we are both exhausted. (oh wait, I said that.)

Don’t worry, I know Hebrews 10: 24-25;

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

I also know that I am free from Pharisaic thoughts and rules…and I have the mind of Christ, with wisdom and discernment!  So, it seems that yesterday’s message certainly got us through yesterday so that we could eventually come home and take a real rest…which is what I believe TODAY’S message was:

Matthew 11: 28-30Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

I knew it in my heart of hearts…(and we don’t skip all the time, ok?!? (-= …)

Sooo, it has been a FABULOUS day of rest, and I just wanted to share what that looked like for us to you!

It’s not time for me to do the big laundry load yet, but every Sunday (or Saturday night) I have to watch a few necessaries so that I can continue in my  job…plus, in class last week, we did some outside yoga, so…

While things were washing, I caught up on some darning work I needed to do…(Fiona wanted to “help”…check out my classy attire…)

Fiona "helping"...

While darning, I caught up on my DVR’d episodes of XtremeLife.  It is a great half hour show about Extreme Stunts/Sports Athletes who share their faith on the road and through their sport!  I used to date a Flatland Biker, so I still have some latent Skater Chic tendencies…including how I dress and speak on occasion…no wonder people sometimes think I am younger than I am!  Check out these websites:  www.xtremelife.tv and www.realencounter.org
There are certainly others, but I have a personal connection to the Real Encounter guys, and I love the XtremeLife tv show!

Of course, our furry babies were enjoying a day of rest, too…

Fernanda, always the life of the party...

Figaro, aka Figgy, in his lazy bed...

We also seem to attract orphans.  We don’t feed them for the longest time, but…

(wish our neighbors would get their cat spayed…on a side note, we are trying to socialize these a bit so we can take them to petco…)

When I needed a snack, I made a green smoothie of spinach, strawberries, rice protein powder, and the juice from some soaked dates, plus a few superfood powders for fun…and I have to tell those who are new to green smoothies, sometimes it is REALLY most fun if you put them in a fun cup!!!

I hung my un-dryables on the line outside before taking a walk.  You can tell a lot about someone from their clothesline…who is this crazy person—yoga mat, yoga pants and top, fishnet hose and colorful bloomers?  A showgirl/yogini, that’s who!

Excited that our garden is showing signs of life…

And on my walk, I enjoyed gorgeous natural sights!  I just love walking outside.  How easy it is to praise God when His beautiful creations are all around, praising Him and Glorifying Him, too?!?

Hubby picked a couple of daisies for me when he was mowing the other day, but they’ve wilted by now, so here is this!

As I was walking, the MOST WONDERFUL SMELL….Honeysuckle!  I love Honeysuckle!

And back home to do a half an hour of yoga, wash up, and have a little techno-fun!

Getting hungry now, so need to go fix a meal…Had YUMMY flatbread pizza from The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast (see the link on the side), and I still have some leftovers…

OR, I might grill some fish in our NuWaveOven Pro–It is awesome!  Go get one from Bed, Bath, and Beyond; it comes with all the tv extras minus the shipping costs!  Great energy saver and healthy cooker!  Lots of things you can do with it!  Thinking about using another recipe from The UG to the DanFast…one with Kale, tomato, and onions…Since we have no kale, but have a plethora of Collard Greens, I am thinkin’ of subbin’…

We’ll just see!  I thank You, Lord, for healthy choices all the way around!  I praise you for this beautiful rest day, and I give You credit for it all!

I pray you all find your real rest in Him today, as well.  Be blessed and renewed, dear friends.

Lovingly,

little Robyn

“Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.”   – Jesus

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Produce makes me Happy (!), but JESUS MAKES ME HAPPIER!

Soooooo, what a week this has been!  So blessed, but full of highs and lows and growth opportunities!

Last Saturday night, I came home to find this:

Produce makes me happy, but Jesus makes me HappiER!!!

Let me just tell you, THAT is one of the happiest sights for me ever to lay my eyes on…Produce that has already been washed and is now drying next to the sink…I love my hubby so much!  What a wonderful man!

So, that produce was destined for both making a green juice and making a particular salad a day or two later…seeing it there when I got home inspired me RIGHT THEN to make the aforementioned salad. The weather was perfect, I was about to have a day off, and I just couldn’t wait!

What salad you ask?  “Candace’s Famous Chopped Salad”!

I admit, and no offense, Candace, I had not heard of it before either…=-)  Not until I either:

A) started the ReShapingItAll Challenge and heard about it there, or

B) started following Candace Cameron Bure’ on Twitter -after seeing a connection with someone else I follow (Christian woman links, etc)-, and maybe saw a tweet about the salad. (?)

I honestly don’t know how or when I heard, but at some point, I decided I needed to look ahead in my ReShaping It All book and find this recipe!

Here it is, from page 117-118 of ReShaping It All:

(and I quote)
“This salad is so easy to make, and it’s incredibly healthy and delicious:  There’s no right way to do it.  Just get chopping.  If you’re making it for yourself, chop about 1/2 cup of each thing.  If you’re making it for a group, go up to 2 or 3 cups of each ingredient!
INGREDIENTS:
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Spinach leaves
Yellow bell pepper
Tomato
Corn (raw from the cob)
Avocado
Egg whites only (hard-boiled)
Ham (deli sliced)
Turkey (deli sliced)
Salami (deli sliced)
DIRECTIONS
Chop everything into bite-sized pieces and mix!  Add pepper to taste.  I drizzle a teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil after it is plated.  I suggest doing so in case you have leftovers.  This way it won’t get soggy in the fridge.”

CCB adds that with the avocado, not much need for more dressing…she only adds pepper to taste, as the meats have enough salt in them.  Her final suggestions are that vegetarians can skip the meats, the egg whites are pure protein, and that “aside from the meats and eggs, everything should be chopped raw.  No cooking required!  How easy is that?”

It WAS pretty easy.  And lovely.

I was sooo glad I had already hard-boiled eggs that morning…we are blessed to have friend of my mom’s who raises chickens and sends us eggs often.  We had MANY at that time, so I decided to hard-boil a bunch.  Perfect timing!  My hubby brought home the deli turkey and deli ham only, for now.  Neither of us are real fans of Cauliflower, so instead of that , I just added more spinach!!!  And let me just say, the end result was as tasty as it was BEAUTIFUL!

Candace's Famous Chopped Salad...with slight changes. =-)

My husband has really enjoyed taking some to work with him a few days this week, as well.  I JUST TONIGHT (Friday) had the last serving, and it was a big one!  This salad went the distance in taste and staying power!

That was Saturday night.

Sunday after church, Jon and I met my mom at Silver Dollar City for Mother’s Day; she had not been to World’s Fest yet, and since it is one of our favorite festivals, we loved the idea of going a second time this year.

Eating healthily at SDC can be a challenge.  It can be done, but not easily.  I already knew that I would allow myself some kind of treat, but for lunch I was hoping for something I had seen the time before…maybe it was an Indian flatbread taco salad of some kind?  Sounded great to me.

Sadly, no.  It was what looked like it might be a great  Greek salad, but being the last day of this festival, it was kind of a mish-mosh of what was left, not really high quality ingredients, and not very fresh as far as the “edible” bowl.  Bummer. 

Here’s the deal…I chose not to let that ruin my day.  I mean, it’s only food, and there would be some more soon enough!  God is my comfort, strength, and the source of happiness!

I’d like to say that I did not over-indulge in any way for the rest of the day, but that would be a lie.  In fact, I did have a little bit more treat than I had originally envisioned…so, just as I get totally excited over fresh and clean produce, I also enjoy sweets! 

I DID make some choices that strengthened my Resistance Muscle that day, but I also made some that weakened it. (a phrase I have learned from Reshaping It all…)

Remember, everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial…and I don’t wanna’ be mastered by anything! (1 Corinthians 6:12)

I CAN enjoy treats in moderation, and thank the Lord for them!  (1 Tim 4:4-5)…but the key here is moderation!  The discipline of self-control, awareness in my eating, and choosing the more beneficial things most of the time will strengthen me not only physically, but spiritually,  too! (Hebrews 12:11, Galatians 5:16)

So my next challenge?  Not condemning myself or feeling like I had totally screwed up to a point of not progressing…Knowing that can be difficult for me, I prayed for help, knew God was FOR me in this area, and let it go (well, the best that I could).

Guess what I woke up to the next morning in my “Jesus Calling” devotional?

“May 9

‘Don’t be so hard on yourself.  I can bring good even out of your mistakes.  Your finite mind tends to look backward, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret.  This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration.  Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to Me.  Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design.

Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes.  Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride.  Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses.  Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me.  I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes.  Trust Me, and watch to see what I will do.’  Romans 8:28, Micah 7:7″

Ummm, can we say Perfect.?.  Ok, Lord.  Once again, You totally have my back….and I am so grateful and humbled.  I praise You for being Love incarnate!!!  For making this little girl feel better!  And for renewing my hope through your renewed mercies each morning!

And it didn’t stop there, oh no!  Not for a minute…

I went into our little room of workout/craft/man-cave stuff to get a good sweat going, and decided to listen to one of my DVR’d episodes of Joseph Prince.  How many of you readers are familiar with the fact that when you seek God, He WILL be found?!?  Clearly, He had a few more things to tell me…The scripture for the JP program that day was Genesis 45:3-15, talking about when Joseph (of the amazing technicolor dreamcoat) had become leader of Egypt, and his brothers, who had previously sold him into slavery, had just found out who this leader of Egypt was…

Scripture says they “were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence”.

Joseph’s first reply?  “Come close to me” (v.4)!

He says, I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into slavery…but he goes on to basically say that it was not THEIR doing that sent him there, but God’s.  He had been sent to save lives, yes, theirs and others.  Currently there was a famine, and there would be no plowing or reaping for years to come, but eventually, there WOULD be a harvest, and Joseph wanted to save his brothers so they could share in it!  He said they would live in the region NEAR HIM, and He would provide for them.  And then He told them to tell HIS FATHER about everything, and bring him close…

Guess what?  This beautiful story is not just about Joseph and His brothers.  It is about Jesus, and us, and our Father.

My Heavenly Father wanted to reassure me AGAIN that day of His love for me, and how more than anything He wants me near.  I may feel yucky and condemned and reluctant to speak to Him, but He says, “Come close to me.”  He sent His Son to save my life, even though I had “sold him” into slavery (and myself) either by over-indulging  when I knew I shouldn’t, or by condemning myself and forgetting that I am freed from that by His sacrifice!

He wanted to remind me that even though there may be a seeming famine (of what?  treats? puh-lease…healthy food is yummy!…no, I would say the famine was of joy in some moments, or perhaps the feeling of disciplined behavior can seem like famine), and there may not be plowing and reaping just yet (can’t wake up with insta-tone in my muscles or drop 10 pounds overnight, ya’ know), there WILL be a harvest later, and Jesus wants to save me so I can share in the victory with Him!

Finally, He says I get to actually live my life NEAR Him, if I just choose to do so, and He tells me to tell the Father all about it, and draw Him close (to me)!

Come near to God, and He will come near to you.(James 4:8 NIV)

Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time.  (The Msg)

yes. Yes. YES!!!!!

Has it been a “perfect” week since then?  Come on, I’m human.  I HAVE been working out my resistance muscle as well as the rest of my muscles...have had some major blessings in the teaching of my Christ-centered yoga classes,

2 Corinthians 4:7-10

getting to actually TAKE a yoga class from one of my favorite teachers (and getting really sweaty and happy and cleansed of toxins in the process), eating and making healthy food, dancing and singing on stage to some of the best music ever written with some of my best pals,

spending time with my husband as he shows me around our budding garden and trees,

playing with, petting, and adoring our sweet, furry babies,

and thinking of all of the wonderful things I want to share here!  Ideas abound!  So much to say, post, share, etc!

There have also been trials.  Normal. I have tried to focus on the good in all of them (really I have!). (Philippians 4:8)

The biggest blessing, though…the love of My Lord.  Who is full of care for me, watches over me, sings over me, guides me, strengthens me, laughs with me, exercises with me…and reassures me.

My foundation in all of this is Him. 

Matthew 7:24-25 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

I can continue to press on in my journey (and so can you!) in faith, with perseverance, building character and hope (which never fails!)…and I can trust that He will make something beautiful out of it!

Produce may make me happy, but my LORD MAKES ME HAPPIEST!

I pray you find your “happy” in Him today.

Lovingly,

little Robyn

Ps—on an earthly side, it’s not “just spiritually” that I have lightness….my costumes have been feeling looser!  I will Praise God for that harvest, too!!!

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