Pray. Eat. Exercise. Love

Eat, Pray, Love is one of my favorite books. It is so refreshing and there is so much wisdom in the words. One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:

“God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. I was never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.”

I used to think about this in the sense that God brings you to happiness. That when everything you desire comes to you. But now I look at it and think, okay, there have been moments God planned where I would rather not be. This circle in the sand is not a happy, peaceful moment. Yet He planned it so what do I do with it?

I go on. I look for joy every day and take comfort in it.

As I do, it means that I am walking faithfully, knowing that God is in control and I must still continue on without fear. Yesterday, LIFE WAS GOOD. I haven’t been able to say that with a full and grateful heart in a while. I woke up this morning and wondered why I felt so good. Then I recalled the day before and and as I sat down for prayer this morning, I thanked God for all that He allowed me to do yesterday.

PRAY: A time at church to pray among others who seek Him as I do and for leaving with a joy for Him in my heart.

EAT: The nourishment He gave me as I ate with my family and enjoyed my Mom’s Sunday dinner, along with a beautiful day that allowed us to eat outside.

EXERCISE: The strength He gave me to hike two miles to the Cascades with Greg. Yes, I have done this before and it’s not that hard but stress and depresssion can take a toll mentally as well as physically. I asked Him for strength and He provided. As Greg said, the sweat is weakness leaving your body.

LOVE: A time at home in the evening with the ones I love. A visit with my Granny and doing something as simple as tossing a football around with Callie and Greg. Feeling and showing love. Being surrounded by it.

“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”

~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

“Come Unto Me”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” ~ Matthew 11:28

I am excited to write this blog today. I have so much to share! So I apologize in advance for the length. I’m sure it will end up being rather long but I have a story to tell about how amazing God works in my life and last night was no exception. So here it goes….

A few weeks ago we started attending a different church. I am familiar with everyone at this church because there are five churches on our “charge”. I have always attended the one closest to me. We all share the same pastor and we often have activities that involve everyone in all five churches. I felt the need to worship at this new church because I needed a change and it seemed to be best for Callie as well. Greg and I enjoy it very much and can relate to the Sunday school teacher in a more positive way. This teacher is the amazing Sharon D. Amazing!… because she is a godly woman who walks with the light of God shining through her no matter what she is doing, whether it be organizing an Easter egg hunt or teaching a Sunday school lesson.

So on to my story. The churches have been holding women’s meetings recently and I hadn’t been to one yet but decided earlier in the week that I would attend last night’s meeting. However, on Tuesday I started feel anxious. Anxiety had invited itself back into my daily routine. I don’t know why. But there it was, the nervousness, the phantom chest pains, shortness of breath. I was starting to worry…. here I go again. Is this going to last? Will it develop into a full blown attack? It continued through yesterday and by the evening, I just didn’t know if I could make it to the women’s meeting. I didn’t want to have an anxiety attack in church of all places. But Greg encouraged me to go. He said “It’ll be good for you. Go and just have fun.” So off I went, praying all the way that he was right and for God to give me strength and bring me peace of mind.

I arrived and took my seat. Still nervous. No one probably noticed but I was already deciding how I would make my graceful exit if I felt like I couldn’t stay. Then I noticed that the lady who was in charge of last night’s meeting wasn’t there and Sharon was there running around getting everything set up. She announced that she would be leading the meeting (that she had an idea for another meeting in mind anyway and would just use it) in the other lady’s absence.

This is where I realized that God was working for me last night. Sharon’s meeting was all about how women have too much stress in their lives and how we can cope and use different methods to relax and let go of worry. I could have fallen out of my seat. How I needed that! We had sweet smelling candles lit, soft music playing, hot tea and we meditated on verses or quotes that had a special meaning in our lives. Then we did relaxation techniques and focused on how to relax ourselves not just in general but for when we start our prayers so that we can give our entire focus to God during that time.

We were told to sit and pray and just be calm and let ourselves relax but I wanted to just shout and say “Praise you God! You knew what I needed and you brought me to it.” Think about this…it was the first meeting I had attended, I almost didn’t go because I was so worried about my anxiety, then Sharon has to lead the meeting in someone’s absence and the meeting was exactly about everything I needed.  I ended up leaving there more relaxed and with a joy in my heart knowing that God was working behind the scenes to give me peace and to show me that He still has my best interest in mind…even as I doubted it when my anxiety level had went up.

To top off the evening, as I drove home I looked up at the sky and there was a cloud forming into the shape of a heart…I snapped a picture (above) with my cell phone just before it started to fall apart. The pic is not so great but had to share it anyway. It was just another “love note” from God.