Saturday, July 31, 2010

Health & Beauty - 7. Don't Skip

This was the 7th of 10 articles published in ConXion magazine's Health and Beauty Section in 2010.

“Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Tim 4:8).

While there are many and varied ways to stay fit and healthy, there is one I would advise against and is the 7th in our series of Health and Beauty tips – Don’t Skip.

To the embarrassment of my children, I do occasionally skip along when walking with them (though they have asked me not to do that at school anymore), and I would like to have my childhood ability to skip with a rope but have somehow lost the coordination to do so effectively. The caution in this tip is not about skipping, but about not skipping things that build you up.

While cutting down is the first logical thing to do when you have been overloading, cutting out meals isn’t the right way to go about it. Your metabolism needs a kick start in the morning to wake it up and breakfast is the perfect and natural way of doing that. Even if you don’t feel like eating, make a healthy smoothie or try some other cereals or fruit. Skipping other meals in the day may also be detrimental to your health if you are not careful.

Work out what you need (use a dietary calculator if you like) and do it well. Depending on your age, height, and activity level, you will require different amounts of calories to thrive. Too little and you may suffer from a weakened immune system or lack of energy. Too much and obviously your health and fitness suffers.

Don’t skip things that build you up. If you’re stressed out or overloaded, pray and think about cutting out things which have little value or aren’t beneficial to you or others. If you are starving for good activities, pray and consider volunteering at your church or in your community. Make sure what you fill your days with is promoting healthy growth.

If you do need to cut down, make sure you keep a good amount of things that build you up and are nutritious for your soul. Sometimes when people are stressed out they cut out church, bible study and women’s groups. Be careful, cutting out healthy things that build you up and keep you going isn’t usually the best option!

Plan your days to include food for your body and your soul that is the right type and the right amount for you at the moment. This may change as you increase in your physical and spiritual health, but do some research to find out what will be best for you and enjoy the feeling of being healthy!

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Missing The Point

I was thinking about her all day yesterday. I was pondering what I could do to help her or encourage her. I couldn't really think of anything that would make her situation any better, but I did have a strong feeling of what I should write. I had it all worded, had my phone in my hand ready to text (and yes that would have been better than a call for this situation)... but I didn't do it.

It wasn't intentional. Something interrupted me and then I put it off and then I was busy and then it slipped my mind... Until this morning when talking to another friend who mentioned that she had done the very thing I was going to do. Now that is both reassuring and disturbing - Reassuring that God still sent the encouragement that she needed but disturbing that I missed out on being the one through whom it came. It's not a lack of rewards I am referring to but a lack of obedience. I am so sorry.

Writing that encouraging note obviously was what she needed that day. It seems to be that the prodding of my heart was probably His Spirit prompting me, even giving me the words to say. But I didn't!

There are always consequences for disobedience. In this case, I let down my King. I hate it when I do that (though He is very used to it by now ;). Someone else got given the assignment that was mine. But this isn't always the case.

Have you ever said or heard someone else say "oh, I was thinking of you right at that moment and was going to call" or "I was going to make dinner/mind kids/give a gift". I definitely give credit for "the thought", but I'm sure I'm speaking for those people I have let down as well when I say, I could really have done with that! Sometimes the assignment isn't completed because of our unfaithfulness.

God's plans are never thwarted, He knows the situation, and He knows in advance if you are going to be faithful with the mission He gives you. But He gives us opportunities to support, encourage, and bless others sometimes in amazing ways. And sometimes He chooses not to have a backup plan.

Don't miss it when God points someone out and prompts you to speak, call, pray, help or give. Don't miss the point of your situation - it may be that where you are, whether it seems a blessing or a trial, is yours to use to bless others. Don't miss the point of your existence. If you are still alive it means God isn't finished with you yet!

So each morning, check in with your commanding officer so you are ready to accept your orders when they come. Then when you get them, do it! And on that day, when your time of active duty comes to an end, you will stand before your King and He will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

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Monday, July 5, 2010

A Face In The Crowd

21 Days in hospital is a very very long time. It doesn’t actually provide an excuse for not writing, as there was plenty of ‘time’, however a 7 year old with a burst appendix and a number of complications stretching over 4 weeks and 3 hospitals can be a tad taxing.

Amidst the concern and tiredness and helplessness we have felt over the last month, there have been times of encouragement and blessing. Many of these glimpses of light in dark places came from the friendly faces that were sent our way, often in the form of caring nurses right when we needed them. In Bundaberg I joked that one nurse might be an angel but was even more curious when she popped her head in the next night and said “I just floated over here from the other side to check how you are”. I knew it! ;)

In Bundaberg, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, there have been those nurses whose smile and genuine interest and care really made my day and made our stay less stressful. It was the extra care in checking the canula, staying a little longer to listen to a girl’s concerns, allowing extra time to explain the procedure or give a hug or play a game. The kindness in their faces and the time they took to connect with us improved our outlook on our circumstances. I appreciated them so much and was almost ready to plan the kids’ university degrees when I noticed a similar face… at McDonalds, and then at the grocery store, and then in the lift.

Each of these smiles, conversations or offers of help brightened my day and I not only noticed, but remembered with gratefulness their small yet tangible gifts. You don’t have to be a nurse to care for people, and you don’t have to work in a hospital to help people in their time of need. So often, a person’s day can be changed by a simple smile, a helping hand, a kind word. If you do work where people are in difficult circumstances, then you have more opportunities than most of us to shine a little light. But for most of us, being that face in the crowd is about showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control wherever we are. And you may never know how you helped someone ‘look up’ on a dark day.

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