Mushrooms and Oak Trees

Although I like to eat certain varieties, I don’t like mushrooms in my yard!  They seem to be there lurking just waiting for a good rain to make them spring up. Of course, in a few days, they dry up and disappear.

I do like trees in my yard. They provide shade in the summer, nests for birds, beautiful Fall foliage. If you plant an oak, don’t expect to get all those benefits within the first few years, though.  It will take at least 10 years and probably more to get that tree to the point of looking good and providing enough shade, etc.

Waiting for your dream.

What happens in between dreaming a dream and realizing that dream?

Oh, there are definite steps we can take to realize our dreams.  We can make goals.  We can take the next step, keep learning and reminding ourselves of the dream; doing things that set us up for success.

Is your dream a mushroom or an oak tree?

Mushrooms are here today and gone tomorrow.

Oak trees take time and cultivation; watering, fertilizer, staking when they are young. Your dream might take time too.

It took Joseph 13 years to realize his dream.  It’s one of my favorite stories on waiting in the Bible.  You can read it for yourself in Genesis chapters 37 to 39.

There are no 90-day Wonders among God’s Giants.

At 17 years of age, while tending his family’s sheep, Joseph had a dream. The interpretation was he would be a leader over his family; his brothers and father and mother would be submissive to him.  He was the baby of the family.  The least of them all.  His brothers hated him for his dream and his dad, Jacob, just laughed.

His brothers, in their jealousy, decided they should kill Joseph and tell Dad that a wild animal ate him. However, they ended up selling him to slave traders who took him to Egypt. That was NOT a part of Joseph’s dream.  What was the problem? How was he going to realize his dream as a slave?

Well, things didn’t get any better, they got way worse!

He was then thrown in prison. Prison! That is the exact opposite of his dream.  He was supposed to be in a position of authority, not in a filthy lowly prison cell.  This was the worst of the worst.

No 90-day Wonders among God’s Giants

But God had a plan. Joseph needed those experiences to shape him into the leader he would be.  If he hadn’t gone through all he went through, he would not have been successful when his dream was realized.

God isn’t in a hurry. He always has your best interest in mind.  God will accomplish in you what you need to be the best you can be for His glory!

Joseph didn’t sit around pining for his dream or moping about his situation; at least not for long.  Both in the prison and while a slave, he was elevated to leadership positions.  He was working on his dream while in his less-than-ideal circumstances.

Trust God. Wait patiently.  Keep doing what you can in your current circumstance to help with your dream. Leave the rest to Him.

You can do it!

Nature Does a Body Good

Sometimes life seems too much to handle.  You feel like it’s caving in. You can’t take it anymore.

Don’t give up!

The God of all creation loves you.

Sometimes we need to slow down and hear that. God loves you! Yes, you!

I like to ponder God’s love for me when I look at nature.  There’s nothing like spending time outdoors to put some new perspective in my life.

 

 

You may not be able to spend time in nature today, so I’m bringing it to you!

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some beautiful pictures showing bits of God’s vast creation taken by my daughter Rachel, a budding photographer.

Take few minutes right now to think about how the God of creation cares for you.  He even knows the number of hairs on your head.  If He sees when a sparrow falls, He knows the ins and outs of what is going on in your life right now. God hasn’t forgotten you.

Take a deep breath. Give thanks for His glorious creation.

You are a part of His glorious creation.

You are blessed! Nature does a body good!

70 is the New 40: Grandma Moses

Do you feel stuck?  Like what you have been doing isn’t working anymore?  Is there a dream lying dormant inside of you?  Something that might even make you famous? Do you feel too old to start again? That life has passed you by and it’s too late?

You are never too old to try new things. It’s never too late to explore ideas that have been buried for a while beneath other obligations. That is exactly what Grandma Moses, farm wife and self-taught painter, did!

Like most farm wives, Anna Mary Robertson Moses spent much of her

Grandma Moses’ Fourth of July 1969 stamp

time caring for the farm and her family.  Owning a New England farm and raising 5 children (5 died in infancy) took up all her time. It was after the death of her husband, when she was 67, that she used the busyness of needlework to help her with her grief. Having an artistic father, though not a professional artist, Anna knew a thing or two about art. She dabbled at painting to help beautify her home on a couple of occasions.

 

When arthritis prevented her from doing her intricate needlework pictures, Anna, also known as Grandma Moses, decided to try her art with paintbrushes instead of sewing needles. She was in her 70’s. In today’s society, it is thought one should relax and take it easy at that age not try your hand at something new.

Soon, she had so much art that she started entering her pictures in state fairs and displaying them in stores and galleries.  She made a little money which helped with the farm bills but she never dreamed her paintings would make her well-known. In 1938, at the age of 78, she was discovered by an art dealer who bought all the paintings she had displayed in the local drugstore.  He went back to New York and convinced the art world to hold an exhibition (they thought she was too old too!) The rest is history.  Her paintings are in many prestigious museums and even has one hanging in the White house.

You can check out her art here. (I really encourage you to do so!)

Her paintings made her famous when she was in her 80s. Her 80s, people! United States presidents from Harry Truman to John F. Kennedy esteemed her and the governor of New York twice proclaimed her birthday as “Grandma Moses Day”.

There are somedays I think I’m too old to try something new and I just in my 40s. Too old to dream dreams and work to make them a reality.  I’ve even thought, ‘if I haven’t made it yet, I’m probably not going to.’  What a lie! Do I have breath in me? Is God still calling me?

Age is not an excuse

I can accomplish anything God has called me to do, even if the calling seems to be coming a little late.  God’s timetable is not my timetable. He is into growing oak trees, not mushrooms. Mushrooms are here one day and gone the next. Oak trees last a lifetime but take a long time to grow.

Don’t let age be an excuse that keeps us from fulfilling our dreams! Keep learning and trying and growing!  You’re not dead yet.

Writing is one of my dreams.  What’s one of yours?

New Take on Psalm 73

I love the book of Psalms.  So many of them show glimpses of reality. No Facebook posts here of the perfect life; wonderful marriage, smart kids, rich lifestyle. No, the book of Psalms gives you the nitty gritty of life; questions of why, requests of revenge, pleadings of mercy.

As I was reading Psalm 73, it really struck a chord with me. The writer of this psalm speaks of how those who do evil seem to be prosperous. They have no struggles. They are healthy and strong. Yet they do wicked things. One is not supposed to be blessed when one is corrupt.

So I decided to interpret Psalm 73 from a food/weight perspective.

God is good all the time.

I almost lose my salvation when I see all these skinny people eating whatever they want, junk food, healthy food, food of any kind and not gain a pound. They eat right before bed, they eat first thing in the morning, they eat all day long and not gain a pound. They stay skinny; are always carefree. They never worry about weight gain.

Skinny people are so happy all the time.  They look great any type of clothing.  They are successful in everything they do.  Their hair is beautifully coifed. Their skin and makeup are youthful and glowing. Everybody loves the skinny people.

Not so with me. In vain I have kept my food intake pure.  All day long I count carbs and fats, calories and points.  I measure food portions and see little weight loss! If I were to eat a stray candy bar or indulge in that piece of cake begging me to partake, my increased size would show immediately.  I am punished every morning when I step on the scale or squeeze into my jeans! (These are my jeans, right?! Or did they just shrink the dryer?) There is no rest for the weight-challenged.

It was all oppressive to me until I centered my heart and mind on Christ. I begin to understand God loves skinny people too! Christ died for them as well as me. They are fearfully and wonderfully made. Like the snowflakes that fall, each of us is unique. None of us fit into the same box.  No cookie cutters for humans.  But we are all beautiful to God.

No matter my size, You, Lord are always with me. You continue to lead and guide me. God will never give up on me. God loves me and will continue to teach me about healthy eating so that my body may give him glory.

It’s easy to get our minds and thoughts centered on the wrong thing. We all have struggles.  Mine are different than yours.  Weight management happens to be one of them. You may be blessed with a thin frame but you have struggles in other areas. No matter how it looks on the outside, people are hurting, needing comfort and a helping hand.  Let’s be that hand for one another. Love one another.

Bonus: Get FRESH Habit Tracker

When I am trying to turn positive changes in my life into habits, I love being able to keep track of how I am doing.  This can be done by making a daily to-do list, marking a calendar, or adding a reminder alarm on my phone.  It helps me be more mindful of the habit I am trying to establish.

To help us in our quest to Get FRESH, I have created a habit tracker to post on a wall or mirror as a gentle reminder of the good habits we want to form.

You may have heard it said that it takes 21 days to make a habit.  Most of what I have read says it could take up to 120 days! Yikes! A good rule of thumb is 30 days.  Usually, by then the habit is pretty well established.

The Get FRESH habit tracker lists all 5 habits; Forget the Junk Food, Relish Today, Exercise, Sleep, and Hydrate.  Then for 30 days you can mark the days you accomplished your goal. For the Sleep goal, you can mark that the next morning.

The first couple of days of a new habit is quite exciting.  You are ready to make profound changes.  The subsequent few days, it will become rather difficult to get motivated. You can do it! Keep marking the squares and reminding yourself why you want you Get FRESH.

From day 11 to 20, the habit is becoming easier but don’t stop there.  It’s still a fragile thing.

Day 21 through 30 are the easiest by far but don’t be tempted to quit early thinking you got this. See it through to the end!  The habit will then be much more ingrained that way.

A reward for completing your habit tracker will do wonders motivating you. It could be a new book, a pedicure, a new outfit or even a bubble bath!

I know mine aren’t the only ideas for training a habit.

How do you form habits?