I believe God is calling us into deeper relationships with Him and each other. God wants our whole heart, our whole being and all our strength. He wants to partner with us, for us to really participate, get our hands dirty and roll up our sleeves to bring His Kingdom to Earth. The only hands and feet that God has on Earth right now are ours. It is time we got busy.
God wants our lives to look like the example He gave us: Jesus. In our lives it is time to live more sacrificially, love until it hurts, give more than we can afford and rely on His strength and provision. This cannot be done by our own strength. We must be connected to the source of it all: God. It is through being filled with the Holy Spirit that we are able to live this sacrificial way. More of Him and less of me.
It has taken me many years of failing to get to this place of freedom. Many years of worry and striving but God's grace has covered me and the Holy Spirit has taught me to live in the reality of the cross every day. I have given up my worry about providing for my family. God does a better job than I ever did. I no longer worry about my marriage. I love my husband sacrificially the way Jesus has called me to. I no longer worry about my reputation and status because in Christ is where I find my worth. I am a child of God. I am called and have the ability to help build the Kingdom of God on Earth. That is an exciting mission!
So what does the Kingdom of God look like? It looks like putting others first. Praying for your enemies. Giving generously. Living by faith, being sure of things unseen. Depending upon the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us through the day. Showing patience and kindness to everyone. Giving thanks in all circumstances. Using our gifts and talents to make the world a better place. Sharing our testimony. Breaking the power of sin and darkness. Restoration and healing. Diversity and unity.
It is a beautiful picture.
In this world where there are so many distractions and hatred is rampant, it is easy to get discouraged, to think that as an individual, there is nothing I can do to make a difference. But that is a lie. Each small action has a ripple effect. And with God all things are possible. Galatians 6:9 says it well, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
So today, take action. Recommit your life to God, give your future to Him. Ask Him what you can do to help build His Kingdom. Plug into a ministry. Share a word of encouragement. Give your time to help someone who cannot return the favor. Let us be the hands and feet of Jesus and bring light into the darkness. Live daily for Him. Don't give up!
This week was a whirlwind of activity. But not the kind of activity that leaves you feeling wiped out and looking for a break. It was filled with soul satisfying, energizing, feeling of accomplishment activity. All of these things I started at different times and somehow they all culminated in this busy week of activity.
On Sunday we wrapped up an adult Sunday school class called LifeKeys. It is a study of life gifts, spiritual gifts, personality types, values and passions. The study was affirming to me that I finally found the right career path for me that is the intersection of my gifts, personality, values and passions.
It was also eyeopening in the context of my closest relationships and how many times the conflicts that arise come from not understanding the other persons personality or perspective. I enjoyed building deeper relationships with the other students in the class and feel better equipped to serve within the church in an area where I can be most successful.
On Monday I started my first professional landscaping project. I bid on this project last fall and was so excited to get my hands dirty. I used my eye for composition and my permaculture design skills to create a low maintenance, year round beautiful, perennial landscape. I was blessed with beautiful sunny weather to do the work and it went faster than I expected. There are feather reed grasses in the back that will grow up to 5 ft. Hydrangeas in the middle that will get to about 4 ft. and then creeping phlox along the front that will spread along the ground.
I also got to fill the flower pots with annuals! I made two matching arrangements for either side of the front entrance.
On Wednesday I had my FDN final exam and graduated from the course! It was more exciting than graduating from college because I know my path forward using the knowledge I gained and have a huge amount of support from the larger FDN practitioner community. I now have access to lab tests for my health coaching clients that allows me to get a better look at what is causing imbalances within the body and design more effective protocols using that information. I am so excited at what the future holds for me as an FDN-P and know that this is what I will be doing for the rest of my life. Check out the new logo I get to use now on my website!
And as if that wasn't enough...
The dandelions are in full bloom at my house now. We live in a house with a tiny yard which forces me to utilize all of what we have on this little bit of earth. So this year I decided to do something with the dandelion flowers. After researching a little I came upon two recipes to try that I thought would get good acceptance with my family. Dandelion jelly and dandelion syrup. It was so satisfying using something that people see as an annoying weed to make a product so delicious, beautiful and low cost! My family gave rave reviews and my dandelions gave me more flowers the following day, like I had never even harvested them. You just gotta love a plant that is so abundant!
So that is what I have been busy with this week. I love that all of those activities culminated together! I look forward to getting down to work with clients in a deeper way this next week and I still have some room in my schedule for consultations or just to tell you more about how I will be working now as an FDN-P. If you are interested in chatting with me, reserve one of my openings HERE.
Breathing is something we do unconsciously twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year. On average, people take about 20,000 breaths each day.
Your breathing can be affected negatively by poor posture and stress. When this happens breathing becomes shallow and quick, making you feel worse as a result of not getting proper oxygenation. Becoming aware of your breathing habits and consciously changing them is a powerful way to improve your health and wellbeing in a matter of minutes.
Sitting up with good posture and breathing with your diaphragm, so that your abdomen expands out with each inhale and contracts with each exhale, will bring awareness to the present moment. Relaxing your face and breathing in and out through the nose will calm the nervous system and relax the mind and body. Breathing through the nose is important because it works to filter, warm and moisten the air before it enters your lungs. Slowing down the breaths and exhaling for a count or two longer than each inhale will lower blood pressure, anxiety and fight insomnia.
Proper breathing clears the mind by providing your brain with the oxygen it needs to function properly. It also works with every cell of your body helping systems to function properly, stay nourished and boost the immune system.
The way you breath is linked to your emotions and state of mind. It is possible to reduce the effects of an emotional situation by practicing a breathing exercise. Believe it or not, it is impossible to be anxious when you are breathing in a calm, controlled manner.
My favorite breathing exercise it to sit cross leg on the floor and let my hands rest on my knees. I close my eyes and sit up tall, imagining a string attached to the top of my head pulling gently upwards to help create space between each vertebrae of my spine. I inhale through my nose for 4 counts and then exhale through my nose for 5 or 6.
If I find my breathing is shallow, I move my hands to my lower abdomen and feel it expand with each breath. I consciously tell my breath to fill my lungs where my hands are. On each exhale I engage my abdominal muscles as I finish exhaling all the air completely out of my lungs. I do this for 5 minutes. Often if my neck and shoulders are tight, I will stretch them during this time with slow movements to each side or neck and shoulder rolls one direction and then the other.
When I come out of a breathing exercise I feel so renewed to tackle whatever is on the agenda for the day with energy and clear thinking. I can't say enough about how simple yet profound bringing awareness to my breathing has been. I am confident if you give it a try you will feel the same.
If you are interested in learning more simple habits you can add into your life to improve your health, schedule your Best Health Strategy Session. If you take care of your body, it will take care of you!