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Where’s Christmas?

This post was written years ago when we lived up north. Sadly, it seems to be as much or even more appropriate today.

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The beginning of December, I set out to find a small manger for a Christmas craft project. It could have been anything, on an ornament, a Christmas card, or even a figurine.

First, I went to the Dollar Store. I found nothing Christian but countless sets of Christmas cards with Santa and reindeer on them. Next, I went to Walmart (good luck there.) Nada. Then I walked through Home Depot – absolutely nothing Christian at all, but I could have purchased a red and green six-foot dragon . . . what that has to do with Christmas I’ve yet to figure out.

A few days later, still searching, I traveled to two shopping centers in another town. I checked out Michael’s craft store. The sweet girl acknowledged they used to carry them . . . but searching together, neither of us could find them anywhere. Neither did World Bazaar, J.C. Penny, or T.J. Maxx.

I thought Christian-run Hobby Lobby would undoubtedly carry a small manger scene, even if it was on a postcard! Yet once again, found nothing. I’m praying they were only sold out.

Finally, I found a Lifeway Christian bookstore. Aha! I thought, of course, I’ll find a manger scene here! And yes, I did! It was on a box of spiced apple cider. Desperate to find anything that might work, I purchased the over-priced drink mix, cut out the cardboard manger scene on the front, and pasted it on my craft project. (At least we’ll enjoy the beverage sometime during these cold winter months.)

Halfway through this hectic quest I felt like Charlie Brown, frustratingly asking where was Christmas??? I could find a plethora of Santa’s, sleighs, reindeer antlers, elf hats, chipmunks, cute bears and Grinch’s, but no Christ in Christmas!

Then I thought, at least I can find Christmas at church.  Absolutely! I’ll find Peace on Earth here during this Joyous Season. Instead, I found a church member fussing in public, running around fuming, complaining, blaming others because they felt overworked and unappreciated in their position. (Hey, if your position is primarily to please people and not our Lord, get your priorities straight!)

Then yesterday, as my husband and I were finalizing the Christmas gifts and food for four community families in need; getting ready to drop off our congregation’s many generous donations, I found it. Eureka!

THIS IS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT:  Christmas is about the Joy of Christ – blessing others, not ourselves. Bringing smiles and true Joy freely to others! A Free Gift.

As Jesus left his heavenly home to be born in Bethlehem, living as a man among us, he understood that completely. He beheld some petty frustrations of his friends and the slings and arrows of the Pharisees. He experienced the same feelings, joys, frustrations, challenges, and laughter that we do.  He gave of himself, unselfishly. He sacrificed EVERYTHING, his very life for our pettiness, grumpiness, busyness, and selfish human behavior. All we must do is accept it. That was the best GIFT he could ever give.

Parents -do your children know what is the real reason for Christmas?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”   (John 3:16)

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How Do You Value Your Worth?

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness, I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3)

Hurricane Ian blew through our town in Florida. We already knew the destruction hurricanes can cause. This time we left our home a day before and escaped to a safer area in SE Florida, understanding we might lose everything.

When people go through trials such as this, they tend to question what is important if all was lost.

When faced with challenges, it’s normal to analyze how we’d react. Do we fret about the unknown? What if we lost those precious photos of our children? To me, memory is the most important commodity in my life. That’s what I’d regret.

Would we agonize over the cost to rebuild?  Perhaps. Our lovely church on the Peace River was flooded and gutted, but still stood strong. Friends banded together and donations came in from all over the country. And from disaster, God created Good.

I’m not talking about monetary worth, however – although that is what the world focuses on today. I know where my future lies and it’s not here. But have you ever wondered how much you are worth in another’s eyes?

How does someone create worth? With your employer: Do you demonstrate as much integrity as the hardworking cleaning lady who scrubs the commodes in your building? With your community: Would you serve food to the homeless or would that be too humbling for your Executive position? Money means nothing in God’s Eyes. Million-dollar mansions and mobile homes were undistinguishable in the rubble.

What about family? Many had no clue where their family was during the carnage or what trials they endured following the storm because cell service was nonexistent. How much would a kind word or a phone call afterward be worth? Priceless.

As a counselor, I know patients sometimes numb themselves against heartache by imbibing in harmful chemicals. Yes, drugs and alcohol contain chemicals but you’ll also find feel-good chemicals in foods.

It’s normal to feel sad and lethargic after a shock. Sugar instantly increases energy levels. Sugar is an instant natural mood booster. It sends a signal to the brain to release dopamine, one of the feel-good neurotransmitters.

Chocolate releases endorphins and serotonin, another feel-good chemical. (So does spinach, but get real – which would you reach for?)

The daylight is growing shorter. Do you find yourself rummaging around in the pantry lately, searching for something to make you feel better? How much is that worth? Is it any wonder that we crave something sweet to ease depression and subconsciously, crunchy foods relieve stress?

Is your self-worth tied to your lifestyle? I’m not talking about popularity, even though celebrities get most of the attention and real heroes from Monday are forgotten by the weekend. Our Sports celebrities get recognized while EMTs heroes get relegated to the back of the pack.

Who values your worth? Someday, ask a friend how they’d describe you. What would they say? Are you outgoing? Quiet? Happy-go-lucky? Studious? Aggressive? Kind? Giving? Thrifty? Do you consider these descriptions your true worth?

No, these actions aren’t your real value! Only God sees your true value. He loves and chose you before the beginning of the world.

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love” (Ephesians 1:4)

What someone cherishes, they take care of. Are you, worth the cost? Do you cherish your life as much as Jesus cherished you? To Christ, you were worth dying for! You are priceless. Honor your true worth.

Adding Joy in the Midst of Weight Loss

Tell me, when did life cease to become a game to you?  When was the last time you played simply for the pure joy in it?

Everyone became so serious! “Well, have you seen what’s going on in the world today? Financial ruin, natural disasters, tragedies everywhere . . .”   Sure, I have. I’ve also read the last page of the Bible and I understand that no matter what man does to me, I am under God’s Will and face eternity with Him. I anchor my life to Christ and it makes this Christian smile.

Philippians 4:11 professes, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

God will not withhold any good thing from us (Psalm 84:11) and absolutely desires that we lead a joyful life.

What does that have to do with weight loss???  Stress adds weight, so find a way to de-stress. Find JOY!  PLAY! SMILE!  LAUGH! Joy brings contentment in all situations.

When we were kids, we played for the sheer pleasure of it. We ran, climbed trees, rode bikes, played ball . . .  I worry about this generation who sit in front of computer screens playing games and aren’t outside. Fresh air releases endorphins that uplift the spirit. Also breathing through your nose produces a short-lived gas named nitric oxide which reduces stress, creates younger-looking skin, greater memory, and even better hair. Amazing, just by breathing deeply through your nose.

How does one take strides to find joy?  First thank God for your many blessings. There’s always something to praise Him for! Then find ways to play! Make life a game even in your weight loss endeavors.

  1. Remember when you were a kid and your parents placed your artwork on the refrigerator? It was your proudest accomplishment!  When did we stop rewarding ourselves for a job well done?  Get colorful stars and for every small victory, you overcome, (walking the golf course instead of riding) place a star on your graph. (College coaches place stars on their player’s helmets.)
  2. Speaking of graphs, create a weight loss one. Line off graph paper with weekly dates across the top and pounds lost down the side. For every five pounds lost, reward yourself with a non-food item. Color it in solid and you’ll observe your achievements as you see it filling in.
  3. Make exercise fun again. Dance, swim, play tennis, hike, or Zumba. Create active games with your children, like making snow forts and snowmen, piling leaves, and playing catch.
  4. Talk yourself into success by creating mind-games.  For example, I really wasn’t excited about exercising the other morning. Okay, I told myself, I’ll simply have a shorter exercise period this morning. I worked out for five minutes and thought, Okay, I can continue a few minutes longer – by the time we finished I had exercised through my normal routine. It felt so good to conquer my reluctance.
  5. Take a photo of yourself as you are right now, today. Put it aside and don’t look at it again until a month from now.  Chances are when you see it again, you’ll notice your face is thinner and you’re achieving a more defined waistline. Put it away for another month and reward yourself with a non-food item: DVD, nail polish, cologne, pocketbook . . . reward success!
  6. Find something tangible like a belt and mark off the inside as you see it decrease in size. You’ve won again – you get another non-food prize.

Life on earth is a series of actions/reactions until we reach our final destination. You only have one earthly life; is it your healhiest life? Make It Victorious!

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”  (1 Corinthians 9:27)

A Labor of Love: “Casey’s Journey”

Every author who devotes their entire heart and soul to writing realizes how exciting it is to see a finished work come to life. For me, writing will always be a labor of love. Therefore, I am pleased to recommend my coming-of-age novel, Casey’s Journey, as great summer reading.

Casey’s Journey

Isn’t writing a novel similar to birthing a child? At first, you’re excited about the prospect, happily announcing it to relatives and friends, then a little nervous wondering if you’ll even be good at parenting (or in this case, writing.)

As we discover our characters coming to life amidst an emerging plot, we can’t wait to see what the finished project will look like! But along the way, perhaps constantly editing, we’re wondering why we ever thought it’d be a good idea and simply want it over with! (Did I really think I’d be the next Harper Lee, Sidney Sheldon, or Jodi Picoult? I’m sure all writers felt the same at one point.)

Casey’s Journey is classified as Women’s Fiction, Christian Fiction, and YA and is a perfect beach read! It’s a coming-of-age age novel, partly based in Europe, but mostly based in the low country of the Carolinas. This is a stand-alone novel, but similar to the first one, has a built-in sequel, so while reading, look for hidden clues.

I hope you’ll enjoy and help me publicize it. I’d love to hear from you if you do.  In appreciation, Ellie

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Why does God allow bad things to happen to the innocent? The second novel in the Katherine LeVay series answers the question as to what happened to her abducted child.

When Richard and Katherine LeVay Madison’s five-year-old daughter is kidnapped in New York City on a family outing, we discover that even the evil events in our life can be molded into beauty if God is the Potter.

Katherine’s resentment toward her husband’s indiscretion is but one of several events which ultimately lead to the downfall of her marriage. After years of living with the hopelessness that her daughter will never be found, Katherine leaves the States for a new life in picturesque Sorrento, Italy. But even her flourishing Bed & Breakfast set in a renovated Renaissance Inn won’t quell her heartache and longing to discover what really happened to her beloved daughter.

Casey accepts that her parents have died, and she must remain at the “orphanage” until someone adopts her. A year and a half later the child feel’s unloved, unwanted, and rebellious. There is one couple however who sees the child’s potential and brings her into their gypsy military lifestyle. As we follow Casey’s journey through the twists and turns of life into adulthood, she sees how those who now love and protect her frame her thoughts and dreams for a more promising future.

Stationed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, golf comes calling and Casey exhibits many of her birth parents’ athletic characteristics. She discovers a talent and a competitive atmosphere in which she thrives. That is until a family tragedy occurs, challenging her beliefs and enticing her into a scandalous situation. If it’s true that tribulation builds character, then Casey has an abundance of it.

Throughout the novel we question which shapes us more, our heritage or environment? Will Casey discover the truth regarding her past and is it possible that God meant all these trials for good?

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.”  (Proverbs 3:5,6)

Available on Amazon Kindle: HTTPs://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GGKTH56

Casey’s Journey available for $2.99

Sometimes Marriage is a Real Crime reduced to 99 cents.

Designed to Succeed

God did not design us to fail. But we are human, and we do.

Of course, as a counselor who specializes in nutrition, I’ve probably heard every excuse known to man. And man, do I dislike excuses! Oh, you had to eat that entire 14-inch pizza that Aunt Maude brought over, did you? “Well, I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. After all, she made it just for me,” you said.

I understand. As a people pleaser, you didn’t want to hurt her feelings.

But what if Aunt Maude brought over some cocaine? Would you take it? I would certainly hope not! If you’re a diabetic, that fatty pizza would be just as dangerous to you! My recommendation: Chew a slice slowly, wrap up the rest in small servings and freeze for another time.

If you disobey God’s urging, you own it! It was your choice.  “But I tried to resist.” As that famous philosopher, Yoda replied to Luke Skywalker when he whined, he’d try, acknowledged, “No. Either do or do not. There is no try.” Now drink water, walk five miles, lift weights, play tennis or some other exercise. Do the crime, do the time.

Some of my patients protested, “I feel stupid. I failed.”

As Thomas Edison once declared, “I never fail. I just found 2,000 ways something didn’t work.” Failure makes us better educated. Face it, sometimes experience hurts. So, you were weak – learn from it. As I’ve mentioned before, most patients who came to see me had failed on many diets. Nothing worked – at least for any length of time.

Most believed that if success was to be achieved, there must be a gimmick, or they had to suffer to reach success. This is what I call “the penance principle.” It’s a false way of thinking. God designed us with innate, common sense. Use it. How can a hot dog diet (yes, there is one) be nutritionally sound?

Our loving Father desires to give His children only good gifts. That’s why He provided so many nutritionally dense selections to choose from.

“So if you, despite being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11) 

If God doesn’t provide for our requests, He has a good reason – so figure it out. Despite what some believe, He is not Lucy who takes away Charlie Brown’s football.

Now, what should we ask for when we pray for our daily bread? Should we ask for 3 lbs. of French Fries covered in cheese sauce? Would that be a good gift? No, we’d get sick or it could harm our heart.

If you face a culinary challenge, God has already given you the “tools” to overcome it. A knowledgeable brain, a spirit that knows right from wrong, and legs to walk away from temptation.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”   (1 Corinthians 10:13)

It all breaks down to our mental, physiological, and spiritual relationship to food. Which do we love more? Our belly or Christ? A momentary pleasure or knowing that we have resisted temptation? The food itself is not wrong based on Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 9:3. Our reaction to it can be!

Please don’t allow food to become your idol.

Butterflies, Botanists, Bees and Diets

Our pastor used an excellent illustration that I believed expressed similarities between nutrition and Christianity. I hope you’ll recognize the correlation as well.

***

A man of God strolled through a beautiful public garden one morning. He happened upon a brilliant butterfly setting on a beautiful blue flower next to the path. It wasn’t long however until the butterfly flew away searching for another pretty flower to land upon.

The Butterfly:

As a nutritionist, I’ve counseled many who flit from one diet plan to another. They believe another magical formula will work. It does until it doesn’t since they were searching for an easy fix, not Truth. I understand that even I won’t last long in their orbit. They’ll be off to find another mythical diet plan.

Weight loss shouldn’t be a quick fix. If you lose weight too quickly. your body assumes you’re starving or sick. Your metabolism slows to protect you. The law of Physiology is Truth. I urge everyone to follow a sensible Mediterranean or equivalent diet. That’s Truth!

Churchgoers sometimes flit around Scripture too. They find and discard verses they don’t believe or have any desire to follow. They only want “feel-good” sermons and to be entertained with stories and music.

“Why do you have to sermonize on sin?” “Why not have only positive verses which make me feel good?” they ask. Well, sometimes realistic, yet tough love is needed. I can positively profess that Scripture declares Salvation is by Grace alone.

“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

He wandered along and noticed a man crouching down sketching a colorful flowering bush.

“Are you an artist?” The man asked.

“No, sir, I’m a Botanist,” the writer replied. “I’m researching all the plants in the garden.”

“Fascinating. Can you tell me more?”

But the botanist seemed too busy to discuss his work. The botanist studied the flowers, creating more sketches and notes. After he accumulated all his research, he walked away to find another plant.

The Botanist:

We’ve all met them. “Experts” who have all head knowledge but no heart knowledge. Christian scholars who’ve read every book on Doctrine, the Holy Spirit, the Psalms, or whatever. They are so hung up on their expertise that they fail to see human hearts needing guidance, love, and the Savior!

“teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

In my line of work, these are the patients who claim they “know” everything. They’ve read every Prevention magazine and watched every episode of Dr. Oz, (and Oprah.) They’ve tried every fad diet and proclaimed each worked for them. (Then why are you here???) The only true diet plan is one that works for a lifetime. And since we’re all created uniquely (Psalm 139) that’s to be determined.

The Bee:

Continuing, the man heard a buzzing around him. Curious, he glanced around and discovered a bee diligently drinking in the nectar of a yellow flower. Fascinated, the man watched for several minutes as the bee focused on his mission.

The bee is inspirational. The bee represents a Christian who attends church as much as possible to LEARN something! They take notes and soak up scripture verses like sponges. They apply it to their lives. After they’ve held on to as much “wisdom-nectar” as possible, they inspire and motivate others thru their actions.

“You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.” (Psalm 119:73)

How similar are church attendees and diet-conscious humans to those three examples?

Which are you? Are you teachable, pliable, and motivational? If so, you’ll process the “nectar” of wellness, until you’ve reached your mental, physiological and spiritual goal.

Strive to be a BEE!

Thank God for the Water Leak!

I frantically searched through every drawer and cabinet trying to locate my expensive paring knife. I knew I had used it last evening, so it had to be somewhere.

After 25 minutes, I opened the trash cabinet and viewed only yukky, disgusting garbage. I sighed but knew if I didn’t rummage thru it, I’d always wonder, did I mistakenly throw it away?          

 

So I took out another trash bag and began transferring coffee grounds, banana skins and other unsavory disposables. About half-way down, I exclaimed, “Eureka!” There among the garbage lay my cherished paring knife! 

My immediate thought was, thank God for last night’s rain! If it hadn’t rained last night, we would have walked up and discarded our garbage and my knife would have been gone forever.

Does it seem strange to you to thank God for the frustrations in life?

A pastor we knew, began his sermon by lamenting the fact that his family had a horrible week. It started with a water leak in the bathroom sink which resulted in totally destroying the drywall behind the cabinet. When he and his friend opened up the wall to replace the damage, he descovered a poisonous snake behind the wall. Thankfully, they were able to kill the snake and complete their renovation.

“Now,” I thought. “he’ll praise God for the water leak and this going to be a great biblical iullustration.” Sadly he didn’t. 

Why, you ask, would someone ever praise God for a water leak?

Well, this pastor had two small children. I can’t imagine what unthinkable tragedy could have occurred if the children had been in the room alone when the snake emerged.

Even in the midst of tribulating times, God protects! God doesn’t always have to perform miracles to protect his people. This probably happens to us on a daily basis, and yet we haven’t a clue.

Perhaps you’re running late for work and then get caught in an aggravating, annoying traffic jam? Praise God – the accident wasn’t yours for you turned back for your keys. What at first was an inconvenient experience, then became a unbeknownst blessing.

Now how does this pertain to healthy living? It does in all ways: mentally, physically and spiritually!

Mentallyknow God protects those he loves

“For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord. thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Why do we fret and get upset over small things? God doesn’t purposely stress us out. We do that just fine on our own. There’s always a purpose. Knowing Scripture and trusting Him helps. God constantly watches over you and doesn’t want harm to come to you – even if it means an inconvenient delay. 

Physically – God WILL take care of you:

“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! (Luke 12:24)

I used to advise my patients who worried constantly, “What could be the worst-case scenario?” We’d discuss outrageous plots until they realized the odds of that happening were remote at best. Aim for high godly standards in all of life’s aspects, but ultimately entrust control to the Lord.

Spiritually: It takes faith

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3: 5,6)

Trusting God even though we can’t see Him is called faith. Trusting that His ways are better than our stubborn ways. Our job isn’t to control every aspect of our life but to worship God.

I’ll continue to praise God for last night’s rain.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

The Garbage Truck

Change Therapy

David Pollay was in a New York City taxi cab and here’s what happened to him.

“I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, the car skidded, the tires squealed, and at the very last moment our car stopped just one inch from the other car’s back-end. I couldn’t believe it. But then I couldn’t believe what happened next. The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. How do I know? Ask any New Yorker, some words in New York come with a special face. And he even threw in a one finger salute!…

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Living Sanely in a Topsy-Turvey World

What a topsy-turvey world we’re living in – Lord, please come soon! Right is wrong and worshipping rebellion is king. If Christians defend Truth, professing “wait that’s against God’s Word!” we are vilified. Therefore the majority remain silent and fearful. Isn’t silence compliance? We allow that unknowing frog in the frying pan to get cooked without even realizing the frog is us.

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

Even if I knew I could riot and break into an establishment, snatch money, merchandise, destroying and taking someone livelihood and get away with it, I wouldn’t! Have you noticed some condone this? People resort to crime and the police are supposed to be the bad guys? All of them??? (Isn’t that the definition of prejudice which the lawbreakers profess to hate?)

I don’t care what someone looks like – if they smile, are kind, courteous, I immediately want to be friends. If they are cruel, cantankerous, complaining, I avoid them. Choose your company wisely.

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

May I ask you something? Do you like what you see around you? No? Then make changes, starting with the one in the mirror. Are you someone you’d like to be friends with? Do you exemplify a kind nature? Begin with one kindness a day and become the compassionate, decent human being God wants you to be!

Start allowing God control over your life. A happy person is a healthy person in mind, body and spirit.

Face it – it’s been a challenging year. Isolation has led to depression which has led to consuming comfort foods for energy and to mask loneliness, boredom and pain. It takes a lot of discipline to resist sugary treats which both energizes a boring, stay-at-home existence and calms the restless soul.

Now you’ve added at least ten pounds to your girth and you’re blaming the government and God for that too. Did it not occur to you that one can exercise inside the home, read a book, sew, paint, clean or write instead? It’s your choice. (I’ve used this time to complete one of my sequels and have 60,000 plus words on the next one.)

Even if I knew I could consume restaurant food every night, I wouldn’t do it. First I enjoy creating meals with my own hands. Secondly, I crave a healthy lifestyle for my husband and myself more than food.

As a nutritionist, I’ve seen what happens when people constantly eat unhealthy foods. Fatty foods simply make us sluggish. It takes longer (5-7 hours) to burn fat for energy. Unhealthy food creates an acidic pH which leads to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, cancers and other illnesses. Is that your goal? “It’s my life, I’ll do what I want!” Okay . . . then own it. It’s your choice. Personally, I love God more than McBurgers and French fries. Don’t make food your idol.

Make healthy eating compliance easy. Anything is fine in moderation but primarily eat for nutrients!!! Fast food has very few nutrients but is awash in calories. Listen to your body and strive for a life filled with vitality, contentment and mental perceptiveness. A happy person doesn’t destroy other people’s property nor themselves!!!

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” (Philippians 4:11)

Eyore or Pollyanna? Knowing Yourself in the Days of Corona

How are you facing the days of isolation amidst Corona Virus? With Fear?  Depression? Positivity? Gratefulness?

Use isolation as a time to reflect on how you react during challenges. Be Strong and Courageous!

A funny Facebook post proclaimed: “There are only 3 Ways to Come  out of this lockdown: a Hunk, a Chunk or a Drunk! Your Choice!”

This is meant to be cute, but in truth, it’s provides great insight in how we personally face adversity.

Be neither a Pollyanna nor an Eyore – be realistic.

A Hunk:

Some people are taking control and becoming more productive in this quiet isolation. They exercise, clean out closets, complete a project or fulfill another goal long discarded. I’m feverishly completing two fiction sequels while enjoying my plots and characters again.

Therefore, Become proactive!

Please stop any “victim mentality.” Stress kills! Turn your mind toward creating something productive. Step out in the fresh air, work to plant that garden, craft, read, create your own exercise area.

No excuses!!! One doesn’t need expensive equipment to be fit! I lift weights, plank, walk our dog, use stretch bands, etc. and have remained 18% body fat throughout. You can too, if you want it badly enough. Personally, I DO!

If you don’t, ask why? That’s a psychological issue and I’m here for you. Together with God’s Help we can conquer anything, even a virus. You’ll reemerge confident and strong. As Joshua proclaimed:

“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) CSV   (even in the pantry!)

A Chunk?

It’s not unusual to run to comfort food during trying times. Food like chips, chocolate, mac and cheese, French fries, fried chicken, ice cream all release comforting endorphins which subliminally create memories of happier days.

My heart goes out especially to those who live with food addictions. Nothing like being imprisoned where all our favorites are!

When going to the grocery store is our only entertainment, strive to develop Herculean discipline and strong mental toughness.

“Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27) CSV

A Drunk?

Sure, liquor makes the pain go away . . . for awhile. But then the heartaches return. I pray you haven’t lost one close to you during this epidemic. I can’t imagine the pain you must feel.

As a Christian, I know it’s even more important today to reach out to those who don’t know the Lord or where they are headed after they die. Believe it or not, dying from this virus is not the worse thing that can happen to you. Dying without Christ is!!!

“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”(Matthew 25:46)

I urge you to face this time without fear!

Although I was touched by someone who tested positive for Covid-19 and faced strict quarantine, I was not fearful. I have done everything I know of to build up my immunity defenses.  My antioxidant armor and shield are strong but I know if God’s Will is that my time on Earth is done, I’ll still be in Good Hands.

Know Your enemy and build your defenses!

I’m sure the Israelites did all they could to strengthen their defenses before going into battle. Most of the time God protected them but not always. God knows the number of my days and when they are fulfilled, then I’m ready to go. Until then I ‘ll honor Him.  Luke 10:27