I’m Okay, You’re (Maybe) Okay . . . but Your Child’s A Mess!

In the ’70s a popular book entitled, “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” became an extenuation of the “me” generation, fostered in the ’60s.

Over the years, hundreds of books were written meant to uncover why adults acted as they did. They touched on what motivates us, how we should view ourselves, what’s our sign and discovering what type of personality we have: Type A, B, and so on. It was all about “self.” These books were written, reflecting how people should view themselves. Everyone got placed in a box and tied with a brightly colored ribbon. It became the discussion in many a social situation.

th6YRBMKCUWhat a diversion toward self-centered thinking! Usually we are a combination of many personalities because God created each of us uniquely. That alone makes us special. For example, my husband and I respond differently to different stimuli. I’m more impulsive, my husband’s more methodical. I need to talk it out, he needs time to think it through . . .

Through it all, authors studied adults profusely and forgot about the children. Have you ever thought that perhaps the way we treat our children shouldn’t be the same as we treat an adult acquaintance? Our children are as individual as we are.  Each child has a distinctive personality and a separate need for recognition, discipline, acceptance and approval. No child should be placed in a box!

It’s extremely important for each parent to discover their child’s “Love Language.”

One child is more analytical, another is a bookworm and studious. These children desire stimulating conversation even more than hugs.  Praise and respect them for their curiosity and dedication to studies (and of course hug them anyway!)

An emotional or affectionate child would respond better to physical rewards such as a hug rather than a toy as a reward. He wants to know he is worth more than “things.” No amount of materialism can purchase this child’s love.  He needs to be assured that he is more than simply another possession or he’ll turn to food or drugs for unfulfilled comforting emotions.

Sometimes a child only wants time with their parents, but rarely finds it. Sometimes the parents are so busy keeping up with the ‘Joneses’, working sixty-hour weeks in order to reward their child with “things” rather than what their child’s soul longs for; attention. This creates a chasm between relationships, perhaps even one which will never fully heal. This child could grow up to be introverted, placing a protective shell around his heart to avoid hurtful relationships or perhaps become another workaholic. He might want to sit and enjoy a movie, snuggling with his child, but that’s considered unproductive time. So he continues to strive for his parents approval through hard work.

We are God’s child but perhaps we fail to see that He accepts us as we are, faults and all. Our Lord understands our Love Language! If we simply want to spend time with Him, wrapped in prayer, He’s always available to us. If we encounter challenges, we can rest in our Father’s Arms, finding comfort rather than criticism. If we are analytical, He’ll provide knowledge and wisdom through His Word so we can go on to teach others. God’s always attuned to our needs even before we know them ourselves.

Begin to teach your child the ways of our Lord early, remembering that most children first identify our Heavenly Father with their earthly father. Therefore, appreciate each child as the blessing from God they truly are!

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  (3 John 1:4)

 

Changes Occur Over Time, Be Patient!

I once had a lovely patient we’ll call Jenny, who after losing 75 lbs., turned to me and sighed, “But when I look in a mirror Ellie, I still see this huge woman who didn’t accomplish anything!”

Unfortunately, this is a common misperception. Our mind doesn’t immediately recognize our successes. It mocks us: You didn’t really accomplish anything, you haven’t changed, you’re still  fat, you are the same failure you always have been, so just give up!

Don’t believe that line of thought – that’s stinkin’ thinkin’! The devil wants us to become discouraged and quit. He wants nothing more than to destroy a Christian’s temple of the Holy Spirit. Don’t believe the devil when he snickers and calls you are a failure! Some of my successful patients felt the same way. It can take a few weeks for your mind to catch up with your body image, so be patient with yourself.  Positive thinking is a habit after all, and changes take time before we are comfortable with them.

thYKDVNIMRJenny was never trapped!  To restore her positive attitude, I suggested some tangible actions to work on her self-image.  I advised her to write down all the activities she could do with her family now. I recommended that she find an old belt or piece of clothing and try it on and see the difference.  I asked her to find an old picture from a year ago and compare it to a new photo I took after she reached her goal.

“You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in the true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

By comparing her old self to her new self she discovered how far she actually had come. She was very successful even thought the devil was taunting her otherwise. She broke free of the mental, spiritual and physical bonds that had previously ensnared her.

Jenny alone lost her weight, and even though I gave her menus and common sense practices to follow, I couldn’t lose the weight for her, only she could do that.  It was her decision to put that training into use and decide if she would be successful. She alone had truly become a new creation, inside and out. She was a child of the King!  Eventually she developed confidence and walked into my office looking like the princess she had become. No more was her mind trapping her into believing that she had failed. It doesn’t please God when His children degrade themselves. How would you feel if your child said derogatory statements about himself?

We also accept salvation individually and put that decision into a sound spiritual habits. We must produce the fruit of the spirit.  We don’t always see that fruit of the spirit immediately either. We question our faith.  Sometimes it’s a two steps forward and one step back process. “I want to be joyful but, man . . . I woke up in such a lousy mood . . . and that boss of mine is such a  . . . and the dishwasher’s broken and the bills are due . . . ” sometimes we just don’t feel joyful, patient, kind or self-controlled. Forgive yourself, realize you’re human, not perfect. See yourself realistically and continue to strive for excellence. God made you special, meant for a purpose and you aren’t disposable!

Diabetes and Your Diet

While working with doctors in the ’90s, I specialized in diabetic care. “Joe,” a 55-year-old overweight patient was a Type 1 Diabetic. He had been injecting insulin shots for over 40 years. Joes’ obesity didn’t thBCI8XUYSallow insulin to reach his insulin-responsive muscles and was in danger of losing a limb. Through a better diet and daily exercise, he lost 75 pounds in 14 months. His blood sugar levels stabilized and I was extremely proud of his dedication to healthy habits.

One day in my office, he asked, “Ellie, can I tell you something?”

Immediately I thought, “Oh great, he’s decided to stop coming in.” What he said was even worse.

“I took myself off insulin two weeks ago,” he quietly stated.

For a Type 1 Diabetic, this was unheard of! I surmised that his body must have been delivering some insulin or perhaps he had been misdiagnosed 40 years ago. (I do not recommend any diabetic discontinuing insulin without a doctor’s approval!) Still two years later, he was still maintaining his weight loss and insulin stability.

In the twenty years since, diabetes has increased to epidemic proportions in this country. More children than ever have this disease. Why?

For one thing, we have become a Fast-Food-Nation with all its fatty selections. Surprisingly, fat is more detrimental to the diabetic than sugar. Fat clogs the arteries which stresses the body, which raises insulin. There are basically only three food groups: Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. Since carbs produce glucose, most diabetics avoid carbs but reach for sugar-free items which are loaded with fat.  A practical diabetic diet should consist of 50% complex carbohydrates, 25% good lean protein and 25% beneficial fats like olive or canola oil, avocados, fatty fish and nuts. Avoid any chemically processed food. Make lean pork, sirloin, chicken, eggs, turkey and fish your preferred meat options.

The best habit diabetics can incorporate into their daily routine is routine. A diabetic needs to live a disciplined life. Eat systematically to keep blood sugar levels stable, meaning same time each day, every day: 8am, 10am snack, noon, 2pm snack, 6pm and always incorporate a small protein rich snack before bedtime. th5XPXWPBM

Moderate exercise is essential on a routine basis to avoid nerve damage and establish ways to release life’s stresses which raises insulin levels. The hormone epinephrine, created for the human “fight or flight” reaction, increases fatty acid production while shutting off insulin while under stress. Constant stress upsets pancreatic balance and solicits diabetes.

Certain foods regulate insulin:

Chromium. Chromium is like the doorknob which allows insulin to flow slowly into your system. Some foods containing this are mushrooms, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beets, turkey, shellfish, garlic, apples and basil.  Add garlic to as many foods as you can; pasta sauces, pork loin, chicken, breads,

The antioxidant lipoic acid, contained in spinach, potatoes, broccoli, liver and red meat, fights premature aging of the arteries (aging arteries makes the heart pump harder, increasing stress.)

Cinnamon allows your fat cells to recognize and respond to insulin more efficiently. Put it in cereals, over whole grain toast and fruit. Along with a half teaspoon of cinnamon, I place about a quarter teaspoon of turmeric in my coffee as well. Makes the smoothest cup of coffee I’ve ever tasted!

The best foods for a diabetic contain fiber. Fiber allows insulin to be dispensed more slowly into the blood stream. Diabetics however should avoid fruit salads since it’s too much sugar at one time. Fibrous foods mean fresh fruits with skin, vegetables, whole grains, cereals with 5 grams of fiber, nuts, seeds and herbs. Eat sensibly, your health depends on it!

 “Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,” Exodus 23: 25

 

 

What Is The Right Stuff?

               “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”                              (1 Corinthians 10:31) 

I believe in eating as naturally as possible. Artificial ingredients, dyes and chemically-altered, processed food items all change body chemistry. It seems every time man comes up with a new idea: oleo versus butter, artificial sugars versus real sugar, Egg Beaters versus real eggs, God’s ideas best man’s ideas each time!

My “Garden of Eden Diet” is just that. Based on Genesis 1:29, it encourages humans to consume natural fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and herbs as God commanded. Meat protein, which we were advised to consume only after the Flood (Genesis 9:3) is rich in B12, but other than that, every nutrient to sustain life as well as heal the body, is found in Genesis 1:29.thHBOF3H4Z

God originally designed us to live forever but sin destroyed that and the Second Law of Thermodynamics began to apply. That Law states that everything in life is winding down and wearing out, humans included. (That alone should shoot down the evolutionary theory that through evolution, man progressed into a better life over millions of years.)

But back to nutrition. When we consume chemically modified food, those chemicals land in the liver, the clearing house for the body. Once there, most never, ever leave! Of course we can give ourselves a fighting chance by detoxifying our system but even then, some toxins remain. Tell me, when studying chemistry in high school or college, what happens if too many of the wrong chemicals are placed in a testing tube? You’re right, most of the time, the chemicals fester, churn and then blow up. Do you enjoy being a human chemistry lab today?  All those toxins in our body fester, churn and turn into debilitating illnesses. And we have more man-made chemicals in foods than ever before!

Sadly, we can’t get away from every toxin, pesticide, fertilizer, GMO or other questionable food treatment. Life goes on and we must use common sense, trust in God and live without fear or there would be nothing left for us to consume! Also most people nowadays don’t garden and must rely on supermarkets for their food supply.  But we can certainly and voluntarily stay away from artificial  sugars, colas, chemically-processed and fast food. TIP:  If you want a soda, place seltzer water and ice into a glass and fill the remainder with orange, grape, cranberry or other quality juice. Seltzer contains no sodium, thereby you’ll keep your bones longer. High salt intake is linked to a loss of calcium and thus a deterioration of bone structure.

Organic products are wonderful but don’t be fooled. Realistically organics are only as good as the farm next to it. When the neighboring farm is sprayed with chemicals and the wind blows, unfortunately your organic farm isn’t as much anymore. And if it uses the same water supply, chemicals get into the water and affect results too. So what can you do? Buy in season and as much locally grown produce as possible or plant your own fruit trees and garden.

Bottom line: How do you think God views a Christian who defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, with gluttonous, selfish desires, pleasing his body rather than his soul? You’re right, I’m sure it grieves Him or makes Him angry. Let’s strive to honor God with our bodies by remembering God’s strong Words:

“If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:17)

Our Temple is Only as Strong as Its Foundation!

I was privileged to accompany a friend on a house hunting trip recently. It felt like House Hunters, my favorite show! As we viewed different houses however, I saw a correlation between homes and spirituality.

Several homes had absolutely wonderful curb appeal. The photos which looked gorgeous on the internet were nothing like the home we viewed!  It was obvious that there was much renovation to be done! 1960s carpets, old appliances, there would be walls to tear down and it smelled badly. Mmmm, how typical to someone who looks so stunning on the outside but as soon as they open their mouth, unkind behavior or foul language comes spewing out. Just like that house, those people need a renovation! They need God’s Word which cleanses the soul and restructures lives into True Beauty.thJY50XUAM

One lovely home, which she thought via the internet, would be “the one,” had several massive cracks in the basement walls. Foundations are tricky things, it could be the prettiest home on the block, but if it falls apart, it’s not so great.

A Christian’s testimony is only as good as its foundation as well! Someone might look like ‘the one,’ but if she/he is not grounded in the Word of God, massive cracks can appear in the lives of those Christians. It is never wise to build your marriage, personal friendship or business relationship on a cracked foundation. Rather stand solidly on the Word of God!

One home’s owner had just entered an assisted living facility. The house was on a quiet, secluded lot with lovely trees surrounding the property. Looked promising, but upon walking up the driveway, it was obvious that the home needed a new garage door and roof. It was even sadder on the inside. The house hadn’t been updated since 1955, the year it was built.  Linoleum floors and an indoor shuffleboard court, graced the premises.  An original pink built-in oven and other 1950 appliances  covered the kitchen. (When I saw the horror on my friends face, I jokingly suggested that the stove could be sold on eBay, but . . . somehow that didn’t entice her.)

Some Christians are like that. They get stuck in the past and never grow in grace. After the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the late 1940s, new translations validated and reflected the Word of God as accurately as possible. Searching and reading other translations is fine as long as they are grounded in Truth.

th8N5LFIVGThe last home we viewed had nothing special about the exterior. In fact she had no interest in seeing it at first. But since the realtor had to leave a card, we shrugged and reluctantly went inside. Well built, this home was exactly what she had wanted from the start. In a  lovely setting, it sported updated features like plush carpet and renovated bathrooms. It turned out to be the perfect home after all!

Are we biased when we view others? Do we welcome only those who are attractive or wealthy? Or do we see each visitor as a potential brother and sister in Christ?  Once we welcomed a passing drifter to our Sunday School. What a surprise to discover that he knew more about the Bible than most of us! This certainly pleased God more than his appearance!

Therefore let your godly temple become a New Creation, strongly built upon a Firm Foundation.

However, God’s solid foundation still stands. It has this inscription on it: “The Lord knows those who belong to him,” and “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord must turn away from evil.” (2 Timothy 2:19)

 

 

 

Practical Tips To Reach Your Health Goals

“But why do I need to be healthy anyway?  After all, my body’s only temporary, right?” thEFT3JIEZ

So who cares if you’re 110 lbs or 610 lbs as long as you’re happy, right?

Well, God cares.  He gave you the gift of life and if you abuse your body, it grieves Him. Would you want to see your child abuse himself? Course not!  We are commanded to honor God with our bodies!

1 Peter 1:16, “For it is written, You must be holy, because I am holy.”

To ensure personal success, establish your game plan:

1. Winners know who they are.  You are unique, revel in that. Build your worth around your personality, love for God, others and family. Real beauty comes from within and there are some mean-spirited people I’d prefer not to be around, agree?

2.Become conscious of how you react to food. Are you really hungry or just provoked by a feeling? Do you bring tempting junk into your home? Do you eat quickly or dine leisurely with friends and family?  It takes 20 minutes for your brain to know that you’re full, so relax and enjoy your food.

3.  Build a support system for accountability/encouragement. God declared that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. Your friends and family care if you’re unhealthy. Some of my patients have sat by bedsides feeling guilty because they couldn’t get loved ones to quit smoking or commit to a healthier lifestyle. Love yourself enough to change for their consciences as well as your own.thK0E020A0

4. Successful people are committed to reaching goals. They don’t allow set-backs to deter them. Sometimes you’ll be ten steps forward and then four steps back, but you’re still going forward! As a Christian, is there anything that would entice you to go back to your unsaved lifestyle? Hope not! Realize that God doesn’t expect perfection from you, only obedience – don’t expect it from yourself.

5Successful people develop strategies. They have created strategies to overcome temptations before they arise. Outside influences don’t control them. They know honoring God is more important than establishing a fattening treat as their idol.

6. They find pleasure in other things besides food! Develop a hobby, write, paint, exercise, garden, learn a new skill.  It’s not selfish to find satisfaction in a well-rounded Christian lifestyle! Don’t allow eating to be the highlight of your life.

7.  Motivated people use visualization skills.  Try visualizing yourself covered in beef fat. Visualize eating raw chicken skin, mmm . . . or bacon grease coursing throughout your veins.  Not very attractive. Think of your heart as a separate entity, faithfully working day and night to keep you alive.  It deserves better!

8Winners are confident people! Aren’t you drawn to confident leaders? Just think how confident you become, because no one else can lose your weight but you!! If you can lose weight you can do anything, so walk like a winner!thTYH1U8BL

9. Winners become educated. They know why they eat and where the temptations are. They control their daily fat intake and rarely eat junk food which ages the body. They exercise for the pure joy of it!  They’ve learned how the body works. What a fascinating machine God gave us!

10. Feeling great is their everyday routine. It’s something they strive for. Being healthy improves your looks, energy level, longevity, self-esteem and is a testimony to how God gloriously rules in your life. They smile more!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Live life abundantly!

Are You Resting or Laboring This Labor Day?

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Happy Labor Day. I trust you are enjoying a holiday BBQ or some other form of rest and relaxation today. I’m learned to safely rest in our Lord Will and my hope is that you do too.

This morning I started walking my little Lhasa as I do each morning, when once again she heard faraway gun shots out in the farmer’s field near our home. Immediately Jewel got skittish and turned for home, even though I was there and holding on to her securely. She had nothing to fear and yet didn’t trust that I would protect her in any circumstance that arose. I’d never allow harm to come to her!

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How like us she acted, when we fail to trust in our Savior when circumstances beyond our control arise. Rather than trust that I would keep her safe from harm, Jewel would rather run home and hide under the bed! She’s kind of like that ostrich who thinks if she’s not seen, she’s protected. Well sin is everywhere and has a way of finding us. Unless we put on the full armor our God for protection, we are vulnerable to outside influences too. No amount of hiding will prevent tribulation from happening in this world. When my husband returned, she found comfort in his arms.

Just like Jewel, when trouble arises, we fail to trust that our Champion will protect us! Do we find comfort and refuge in our Father’s Everlasting Arms?

“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them. O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!…” (Psalm 34:7)

I decided to take our beautiful Cocker Spaniel for a walk instead. He was delighted to spend time together! God also rejoices when we want to spend time with Him. Do you spend time with our Lord daily? He misses you!

And nothing seems to faze our Cocker Spaniel! In fact I knew he would protect ME, his master at any cost. In the same way we must protect our Master when attacks against Christ and Christianity occur. Stand firm! In today’s world there IS a war on Christianity. Don’t cower against the slings and arrows of the devil for he’s nothing compared to you! (1 John 4:4)  The Bible confirms Absolute Truth and we should stand up for that Truth, defending it with the confidence and backing of Scripture! Therefore memorize practical Scripture verses when needed.

Then as my Cocker and I turned a corner, who did we see but the man I wrote about in my blog “Power Through the Tough Times!”  When we had first met this sweet heavy-set man, he had been trudging through a run a couple of months ago. Our walk was faster than his run. I figured he had gotten discouraged and had given up. But there he was, still running once again. It looked like he had lost about twenty-five pounds by now.  I so wanted to call out an encouraging word but he was already too far away. Even though he was slow, he never, ever gave up! Neither should we. If you had started losing weight a few months ago, you’d be thinner now too, so never, ever give up!
 Continue pressing on toward your mark: Philippians 3:14 for we have an encouraging Champion too!