Thanks for joining my fur baby and me as we wade through life’s puddles.
Scroll down for my latest posts and click here for older posts.
Finding Gold in Life
If you have pets, you know how fun and enlightening a conversation with them can be.
My twenty-pound, orange and white cat, Rocky (shown above hugging his buddy, Pokey)clambers onto the love seat while I’m reading. His nose nudges my hand. “Meowrrr?” he says.
“What’s that, Rocky?”
“Meowrrr?” he says again. He probably thinks I should have listened the first time, and then he wouldn’t need to repeat himself.
I force my gaze from the book to scratch his head. His amber eyes glisten with joy. I once read in a mini-paperback while waiting at the checkout counter that cats hear high tones better than low ones.
I want to make sure Rocky knows I care, so I raise my voice three notches. “What’s goin’ on today?” I squeak.
“Meow,” he says, closing his eyes. Is he disgusted at my Minnie Mouse talk, or in kitty heaven?
Just to make sure, I switch to baby talk. “Tell me all about it, Rocks. I know you understand these things.”
He purrs, and arches his back. Good—it’s kitty heaven. “Meow,” he answers.
“That’s wonderful,” I chirp, “I’m so glad to hear it.” I return to my book, still petting him in an absent-minded fashion. “You are so wise. You amaze me every time we talk.”
Dog owners tell me that words are unnecessary—their canine pets can read moods and communicate with their eyes and body language. The owner of a pot-bellied pig used in therapy claims the little porker can help patients overcome depression. The day of my brother’s funeral, my uncle’s talking macaw gave me a huge release from my grief by making me laugh.
I might one day consider owning these other types of pets. But I’d hate to lose that unique ability to communicate with my cats in their own language.
The above slightly-exaggerated story is an excerpt from my book, The Heart of Humor: Sixty Helpings of Hilarity to Nourish Your Soul.
Do you have pets? How do you talk to them?
Did you know you can avoid and fight dementia and Alzheimer’s disease? The Alzheimer’s Association recommends four simple ways to circumvent these demonic maladies, and I have added one of my own:
1. Keep active physically. Exercise and physical activity that increases your heart rate maintains healthy blood flow to your brain, cheering on the growth of new brain cells.
2. Eat like a healthy person. Low-fat, low-cholesterol
diets right in antioxidants like colorful fruits and veggies, grilled fish, oatmeal, beans, yogurt, turkey, leafy greens, garlic and nuts can contribute to lowering cholesterol, which helps fight Alzheimer’s.
4. Keep doing mental chin-ups. Read a book on a topic you’ve never studied before, work harder
Sudoku or crossword puzzles than you’re accustomed to, play a challenging game such as Scrabble or Dizzios, and have a stimulating, analytical conversation with a close friend. These activities stimulate and exercise the brain and may even create new nerve cells.
5. (mine) Talk for life, not death. The writer of Proverbs says,
Use the power of words to your advantage, to strengthen your brain, not weaken it. Don’t buy into the popular idea that you have to go downhill mentally as you age. Think positive, eat and act positive, and speak words of faith over your brain, and you will fight dementia and Alzheimer’s and WIN!
Which one of these dementia-overcoming tips are you going to implement into your life today?
Several times during breakfast today, my husband Kevin checked out of our conversation and stared into an unknown region of his mind. “Are you okay?” I said. He told me he was fine, but there was simply too much going on in our lives right now. No wonder . . .
Everyone has problems. The issues above represent outward circumstances that need our attention. But what happens when the problems we wrestle are inside us?
These are inner conflicts, not as easily solved as the outward issues. But neither are they impossible to get through. With God’s help, some time, and work, we CAN overcome all the turmoil inside us. We CAN live in victory. Here are a few places to start:
Have you experienced inner conflict lately? What are you doing to help God help you overcome?
Would you rather cook, or bake? If you said “Bake,” you might enjoy this recipe for low-fat caramel bars, one of our favorites for fall.
Each 2”x 3” square contains only 2 grams of fat, and it’s a breeze to put together.
I sometimes add oatmeal or chocolate chips*, but my husband likes these caramel bars just as they are–simple and yummy.
Golden Goodie Bars
2 ¼ cups of Bisquick® or other baking mix
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
*You can blend in 1 cup of chopped nuts, coconut, or chocolate chips, but this will add to the fat content.
This is a fun, fast recipe for little ones to help with, since it only has four ingredients, and it’s nearly impossible to ruin!
Do you have a favorite fall recipe that your family loves?
As I curled my wayward hair this morning to prepare for a speaking gig, I heard myself say, “I have too much product on my hair to expect it to curl the right way,” and “my hair is too long.” Worse yet, I caught myself thinking, “Will anyone listen to me if my hair looks ugly?”
OOPS! I need to read my own book, Hello, Beautiful! Finally Love Yourself Just As You Are. Although I’m the principle author, I wrote it as much for me as for anyone.
Women in our society wrestle with feeling good about ourselves in spite of our size, shape, and social status. This is why I and co-author Beth Gormong, wrote Hello, Beautiful! From the introduction:
We want to see women take Jesus’ words so seriously that they are set free from the erroneous thinking that they are never good enough, they must be perfect to be loved, and that skinny equals pretty. We want to help women break free of faulty teaching and bask in the reality of God’s high esteem and deep love for them, so they can love themselves without guilt or shame. If women catch the Master’s meaning of true love, starting with themselves as precious ones made in Gods’ image, there will be no end to what they can achieve to make this world a lovelier place.
Because once women realize a truth and act on it, no power in earth or hell can stop them.
“Forgive me, Lord, for criticizing myself and for thinking You can’t use me unless I look perfect. Help me see and love myself the way YOU do: with forgiveness, grace and kindness.”
We need to improve, that’s the truth. But if we accept and love ourselves, we’ll improve faster. Do you love yourself just as you are?
Look in the mirror today and say, “Hello, Beautiful!”
“Ouch!” and “Thank you” are rarely used in the same sentence, unless we’re receiving an immunization or a chiropractic adjustment. But I recently discovered how “ouch” and “Thank you”
A few years ago in a brave moment I asked the Lord to show me places in my life that needed to change. Almost immediately, I wanted to tell God, “Just forget it!” But he remembered. And he started showing me things like:
And many other ugly elements of my soul that made me say “Ouch!” But as I’ve prayed, wept over my sins, repented (again and again, sometimes daily), I’ve reached the place where I can finally say “Thank You!”
Thank you, Lord, for:
One of the best, most hopeful things about being “In Christ” is the freed from from having to sin. Because Jesus gives us his Holy Spirit, we have the same power Jesus had to say, “Get behind me, Satan!” I love that.
Even on days when I see ugly places in my heart that are far from perfect, I can also say “Thank You.” Because the same God who shines his light of gentle conviction also pulls me up with his mighty hand, enabling me to stand tall and victorious.
Have you experienced an “Ouch/Thank you!” moment recently?