Day 4: 12 Days of Purposeful Wellness

Focus on family. 

My amazing husband

Today is my husband’s birthday so the focus is on him today.  We will only have a couple of hours to celebrate as I work days and he works nights, but even when we are apart today, my thoughts will often be on him.  So, they won’t be on food.  A great reminder to me that when I keep my focus away from food and on good things in my life, I am more likely to make healthy choices.  Pick someone or something you love to focus your thoughts on today….God is always a good choice there!

Prayer:  Thank you Jesus for our families.  Imperfect as they are, our families have helped make us who we are today.  Place a family member on our hearts today to reach out to with a call, a text or a visit and a prayer.  Thank you for sacrificing Yourself to adopt us into Your family, where we are always loved.  Help us today to find satisfaction in Your love and the love of family, instead of getting comfort in food with no value to our physical bodies.

Two of my biggest blessings

Day 3: 12 Days of Purposeful Wellness

Busy Hands Stay Out of Chip Bowls. 

A handmade gift, like this one from my mom, is a treasure

One of the things that has helped me to maintain my weight loss is keeping my hands busy – I knit, cross-stitch, make cards, etc.  If I am knitting a hat for someone, I don’t want chip grease on it, so I don’t snack while watching TV.  Maybe you’re not a crafter, but you could do a Christmas puzzle, write Christmas cards for shut ins or neighbours, play a board game or a musical instrument, hold hands with your sweetheart or if you can find a baby to cuddle, you’ve got it made! You simply need something to keep the mind and hands engaged to help break that nighttime snacky habit. 

I enjoy sending handmade cards to friends and family – so easy and fun!

Prayer:  Jesus, Your creation amazes us.  Because we are made in Your image, we are each creative in our own way.  Help us to be a blessing to others through our creativity this season.  Jesus, we ask again for your help.  We want strong healthy bodies to bless others and shine Your Light in this season where so many feel it’s a dark and lonely time.  Show us how to be a blessing and ways to curb nighttime snacking in creative ways.

Day 2: 12 Days of Purposeful Wellness

Inspiration Outfit. 

Is there an outfit in your closet you would love to wear to a holiday party, or Christmas eve candlelight service but its just a bit too tight?  Put it on, see how it feels.  Then take it off and hang in front and center where you can see it every day either in your bedroom or bathroom.  This visual goal will encourage you to make good choices that day in your food, maybe take the stairs instead of the elevator at work to get in extra steps so that we can fit comfortably into the outfit when the event arrives.

Prayer:  Jesus, we put a lot of emphasis on what we wear.  You came to earth and left kingly robes to wear swaddling cloths, probably rough and scratchy. It was of no concern to You.  Your concern was us.  Help us to keep our mindset on being healthy, not on having a specific number on the tag of our dress at church. Open our eyes to others who might need warm and suitable clothes, not just this season, but all through the year.  We want to be healthy to serve well the purposes You have for us.  Thank you for helping us to make wise choices today.

Day 1: 12 Days of Purposeful Wellness

Choose Your Treats

Pick an indulgence or two. Choose those treats that it just wouldn’t be Christmas if your had to give them up.  Make a plan to enjoy a moderate portion of those treats at some point between now and Jan 1 (not every day!).  It doesn’t matter what the WW points or calories are in them, they are your indulgences.  It will make it easier to say no to the department store candy and mass produced baked goods when you are “saving yourself” for treats that are meaningful and satisfying.  For me, those will be my Nana’s Christmas pudding (a carrot and potato steamed pudding – seriously its awesome!) and my mom’s peanut butter ribbon squares. 

Ready to prepare Nana’s Christmas Pudding

Prayer:  Jesus, I ask you to help my friend and I today as we make choices with all the holiday food temptations around us.  Thank you for happy holiday memories and family recipes, all part of our heritage and the good life You give to us.  As we make choices and reminisce, we thank you that you chose us to be part of Your family and that is why we celebrate this season.

It’s not smart to stuff yourself with sweets,
    nor is glory piled on glory good for you. Proverbs 25:27 MSG

12 Days of Purposeful Wellness

Now is not the time to throw in that cute Christmas towel and give up on your wellness plan of healthy eating and being active! 

Between today and January 2, 2022 you will eat three meals a day = 66 meals.  If we take into account Christmas eve, Christmas breakfast and dinner, Boxing day dinner, New Years Eve dinner and New Years day brunch and dinner, and say, 5 parties – that only accounts for 12 out of those 66 meals!  That leaves you with 54 opportunities for healthy meals and 13 potential days for activity.  I have been successful in losing weight in the month of December and you can too!

Join me for and healthy tips and a prayer for 12 days as we count down to Christmas in a healthy way.  From December 13 to 24, each day I will provide a healthy tip in the way of a focus for the day, recipe or activity idea and I will pray for you to have success.  God wants us to be healthy and He wants us to celebrate His indescribable gift – so He wouldn’t make it impossible to dovetail those things together.

Holiday Preparations

Today we had snow in our neck of the woods and it has me realizing how quickly the Christmas season will be upon us.

When you think about this in relation to your healthy lifestyle goals, how do you feel? A bit anxious about your portion control? Doubts about maintaining your activities? Stress eating concerns?

I can relate!

I want to encourage you that you absolutely can enjoy the Christmas season without abandoning your wellness goals.

As we get ready to set up the nativity scene, trim the tree and bake the family’s favourite cookies, let’s take a minute for some reflection.

We put up our tree in October to celebrate with family

What do you want to achieve this Christmas season? What are your fears? I’d love to read your comments and I am sure you will find you’re not alone in how you’re feeling.

Let’s prepare our hearts and minds for Advent together.

My amazing Mom made this for me!

Tuesday In Tune

Autumn is making an entrance in my neck of the woods. I love the change of seasons, and fall is my favourite of them all. The changes are everywhere. The temperatures are cooler in the morning, yet comfortably warm in the afternoon. The oak trees along my walking path are laden with acorns. Pumpkins and apples are ripening in orchards and farms nearby. The sounds of geese as they fly in formation can be heard daily now. Even the scent of the air has changed.

All of this showcases the glorious creative power of God.

The song I’ve been listening to over and over this week is Hillsong United’s “So Will I”. We introduced our church family to this song today and we had an amazing conversation as a group about what amazes us most about God’s creation.

I’ve watched this video repeatedly, and it brings me to tears every single time.

If it all reveals Your nature, so will I.

How amazing that God created immense things like galaxies, and tiny thing like ants to show His nature to us and to provide us with an intricate, glorious place to live out our lives.

But that wasn’t enough. He came Himself to seek and save those who are lost. Me. You.

That is one of the most powerful lines in the song. At His Word, every failure evaporates and we begin again in Him.

As you go about your day, look for His nature in the world around you. Let it remind you that He is here with you, concerned about what concerns you, and take peace from that knowledge.

You’re the One who never leaves the one behind.

I’m thankful He didn’t leave me behind.

Tuesday In Tune

Faith. It is said that faith is the currency of heaven. But have you ever felt penniless? I’ve been close on several occasions in life and while driving one day this week, God reminded me of a time when I took many late night drives to sing, to pray, to cry and to try to hear His voice. In my mind I heard again a song that helped me hold on to those last few coins of my heavenly currency.

“I Believe” by Barlow Girl is a powerful declaration of raw faith in dark times. Maybe you haven’t heard this treasure written around 2007. I believe it will touch your heart and stir your hope.

The chorus is based on words found written on a wall during the Holocaust. My pain pales compared to what that writer was experiencing. Words so full of agony, yet the hope peeks through like the first glimmer of sunrise. At the time I was newly separated and my life felt like a dark cave. Many reached out to me with love and kindness, but I still felt desperately alone. In those long nighttime drives, I learned that the words of this song were true in my life.

It’s only here that I find faith, and learn to trust the One who writes my days.

I sang into the dark night and then one day, the sun started shining again, and I could begin to see all that God was doing silently behind the scenes. Life changed, not for the better, but for the best. His best.

I have a wonderful husband and we are privileged to minister together and shepherd some amazing people. God is using me in ways that I don’t believe would have been possible without some time in the silent cave of despair, holding desperately to the last bit of my faith currency.

If you’re in that cave right now, my friend, know that even if God seems silent, He is at work building your future, setting up your healing and making your purpose and mission clear. Keep singing, keep believing, keep holding on until dawn breaks.

Tuesday In Tune #2

Almost every day I walk, either around my neighbourhood or around the grounds of my workplace. I do it for fitness, for fresh air, clarity of mind and to spend time with God.

Quite often I have music playing and God guides me by showing me something personal in the lyrics. It can be assurance of His presence and provision or conviction and urging to come up higher.

This past week I listened to a song I am familiar with and God gave me a vivid image that has stuck with me day and night.

The song is “Another in the Fire” performed here by Hillsong United.

“There is another in the water, holding back the seas.”

Picture it. When I feel like I will be wiped out by a tsunami of circumstances, His hand holds it back and I’m safe.

It doesn’t mean that my shoes won’t get soggy, or my glasses won’t be splattered with drops of water, but I’m safe.

You’re safe. His hand is holding back the seas. Even when the challenges and the tears keep coming, He is still holding back the fullness of the attack.

So I won’t lose my joy. My happiness may disappear for a time, but Jesus never said He came to bring me happiness. He came to bring me joy, which is not dependent on circumstances, but on an intimate relationship with Him, resting in the fact that He will never abandon me.

In mercy you have seen my troubles, and You have cared for me; even during this crisis in my soul I will be radiant with joy, filled with praise for your love and mercy. Psalms 31:7 (TPT)

“I’ll count the joy come every battle – ‘Cause I know that’s where You’ll be”

Whatever you are walking through, remember He will never leave you alone.

Tuesday in Tune

I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] Philippians 4:13 AMP

God speaks to us through godly music. I’m so thankful that He does. Song lyrics have sustained me through many hard situations and have helped me soar when celebrating victory and breakthrough.

Lately, a song that has me opening the window, turning up the volume and celebrating God is “Say I Won’t” by MercyMe. Have you heard it?

So many times I was told I wouldn’t measure up or succeed in life, often tied to the fact that I was overweight. Now that I’m at a healthy body weight, unfortunately the same opinions are thrown at me, for different reasons now, whether with a person’s words, expressions or attitude. It has been a process to accept being underestimated and misunderstood, but God keeps reinforcing who He thinks I am and what He is leading me to accomplish. That is what matters. With His help and by listening to His words, I did lose weight and am keeping it off. I do have successful and fulfilling relationships and a unique purpose that will influence others for God.

“Not enough
Is what I’ve been told
But it must be a lie
‘Cause the Spirit inside says I’m so much more
So let them say what they want
Oh, I dare them to try”

Have you been told there are things you can never be or do? My friend, are you the one doing the talking to yourself? Search out the verses in the Bible that describe who God says you are and what you can do. Take the negativity as a challenge and prove it to be the lie it is. You are amazing, unique, beautiful, talented and loved. That’s not just opinion, but God’s truth. Live the abundant life Jesus died to give, not just to the whole world, but to YOU!

“I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
So keep on saying I won’t
And I’ll keep proving you wrong”