Thursday, June 27, 2013

Recipe for Bliss

4 beloved friends
2 glitter tattoos

1 bowl of chocolate & banana ice cream swirl with peanuts
Conversations of truth and love
1 aimless wander
1 daring dash over a train bridge
Arbitrary admiration among strangers crossing paths
Joyous, bubbling over, laughter
Sweltering hot sun
Cool sprinkles of rain

Full double rainbow 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

Mind over matter is a popular notion, one I've more inclined to believe these days. Even if the matter is food. In fact I'm hoping it's just as true for my love-hate relationship with food.

I am really loving the insights from the site Psychology of Eating, in particular this article about Mind over Food.

I used to think, if I tell myself certain food is bad for me, I'll eat less, but the negative message my brain is telling my body, the stress it's putting my body through if I choose to have the treat, isn't worth it. Especially since that tactic is only about 50% successful from keeping me from eating in the first place.

Why have I even deemed certain food 'bad'? I've said that even about fruit because I was trying to train myself that snacking after a certain time was bad. I guess my tactic was to restrict timing rather than food, with a slight focus on quantity (but not as much as I could have). I've never been ok with eliminating a food entirely from my diet (other than processed 'food') as a way to quit my addiction to food. My addiction is eating, not a certain type of food. I eat very healthy in my opinion, even my regular snacks are healthier, nuts as opposed to chips, fruit dipped in chocolate instead of ice cream. I wouldn't eliminate it but I still called it 'bad' if it was outside my rules for timing.

I have been reading 'Reshaping It All' by Candace Cameron Bure and she quotes the scripture, 1 Timothy 4:4, "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving." That's exactly the place I want to be in.  I want to be thankful for everything God has given me the pleasure of eating, and eat it from a place of thankfulness because it IS good. I do need to work on my frequency and quantity, but I so appreciate this truth that there is nothing I need to reject, there is no 'bad' food.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Works of (he)Art

A combination of revelations collided in my mind the other day, giving me this incredible ‘perspective picture’, and it’s a truth that resonated deeply within. I love it when God shows me just a glimpse of how He sees things through His eyes.

The first piece of the picture puzzle was drawn from my own conversation with God about my self-worth. God had been trying to show me back in January already that while He did create my body to be lovely and ‘wonderfully made’, it is my heart that is His masterpiece. My body is just the lovely gallery that showcases my/His (he)Art, His pièce de résistance!

There was also this whole situation that reminded me, His works of (he)art are in fact actual pieces of His heart, His heart is the medium from which we are created, we are ripped right from His chest, and He feels everything we inflict on ourselves, or others inflict on us.

Then, I was driving a few weeks ago, trying to fight off the road rage as people were ‘driving’ me crazy! God gave me a flash of seeing the drivers as humongous hearts instead of people. Not just the people I know and like, every person I saw on the road. Their hearts were His masterpiece too! They were more than the skin I was seeing, more than the brain or hands or feet I blamed, that was all just flesh surrounding His works of (he)Art.

The final piece was the song that was playing on my CD in the car shortly after. ‘His kind of love.” It was during the verse that sang “Tell me what kind of God would choose to save the bruised, the broken, the sinners, the runaways? How do you ever try to comprehend this love that knows no limit, I could try but I could not explain.” That song continues with the chorus singing, “His kind of love is reckless for us. His kind of love will never give up. 'Til the whole world knows how far He went to show His kind of love.” It reminded me of this sermon a few years back, about God dumpster diving, there is nowhere He won’t go to salvage us. Of course He wants to save the broken and discarded! It doesn’t matter what condition we are in because we are His works of (he)Art, pieces of Himself!

Imagine an artist, pouring out their imagination, their own blood, sweat and tears onto a canvas. They gift their masterpiece away only to find it later in a dumpster!? It could be torn, stained, mutilated, defaced, and left for destruction, amongst diseased and contaminated glass, needles, razors, and every other kind of disgusting, rotting, and soiled trash. It.does.not.matter. They just HAVE to rescue that piece of art, that piece of themselves, that still is bound to their mind, heart and soul.

Every human being walking the face of the earth. 
Everyone who used to walk the earth. 
Everyone who will one day walk the earth. 
You are His precious work of (he)Art. He didn’t JUST form you, He dreamed you up, He poured over your every detail, perfecting His masterpiece, drawing you out of His very own heart.

This has completely transformed the way I see myself, but mostly the way I see others around me now. If I feel so loved and cherished by my Creator with this perspective, how can I not extend that knowledge to others? How can I not see others as His works of (he)Art if that is the filter I want to see myself through? How can I possibly keep this perspective to myself?

Thank God I can’t.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

You Make Beautiful Things

Ok, I promised I would do it. I promised I would look at myself and declare beauty over my body. I kinda tried to forget about it but then I would notice during a bathroom trip. I LIKE (fill in the blank) today! And it kept happening. I also knew I wanted to honour God's creation, I cannot say what He has made is NOT good. So, I knew I needed to write this out. For those days I forget. And because I promised : )

I love my hair, because it is so soft, perfect for hands running through it. It has finally become that perfect length and texture that gives me the best of both straight and curly worlds.
I love my face, because it's skin so (mostly) flawless I don't need makeup or lengthy maintenance. It's very symmetrical and perfectly proportioned.
I love my eyes, because if I look closely they have hues of gold and amber swimming in the chocolate brown, and they twinkle. There is joy in my eyes.
I love my nose, because even with the mogul bump on it's ski hill slope, it's actually cute.
I love my lips, because they are pretty perfect, soft and plump and pink.
I love my ears, because they aren't as sensitive anymore and I can wear fun earrings in my three holes each. And because they love music, music that speaks to me in so many ways that are healing to my soul.
I love my neck, because it was healed through Faith. At the time I had my Faith tattoo etched on my neck I was finishing my spiritual gifts course, of which Faith turned out to be one of my gifts. At the same time I was also suffering from chronic neck pain that never seemed to get better. I prayed that my Faith would transfer through that tattoo and heal my neck. A few months later the neck pain stopped and it has never returned to that degree.
I love my shoulders, because I think they are the most elegant part of my body, despite my 'big boned' frame. I think they make for a great canvas for my tattoos.
I love my arms, because they are quick to offer a hug, or a comforting touch, or a friendly squeeze...they reach out in empathy, compassion and love, an extension of my heart.
I love my breasts, because they are, well, ample :) I used to love that just because it gave me one thing I knew men were attracted to, but I now love them because they are womanly, they are an indication of what my female body was created for, nourishment and intimacy with my husband.
I love my waist, because it curves inward like the middle of an hourglass, more of my curvy, womanliness. I love it's skin that is so soft, ready to stretch with ease when that day will come.
I love my back, because it has previously been taken for granted, and with care it has grown strong. It is a beautiful balance of soft, delicate curves but strong enough to lift children that grow too fast, and play with them the same as I did 7 years ago.
I love my hips, because from the time I was a young woman they have been proclaimed as 'good child bearing hips.' The curve of my hips advertise strength I took for granted, and I had to work to bring them back to their full potential, and now they are ready to live up to their purpose.
I love my legs, because they are strong. Very strong. I can win leg wrestling matches with Sean, I can push great weights, I can walk for hours and hours.
I love my calves, because they have that great curve and indentation muscle that look great in high heels ;) They look pretty great in boots too.
I love my toes, because all it takes is a little nail polish and they are so pretty I tend to stare at them, a lot, lol.

So that's me, head to toe beautiful.

Monday, June 10, 2013


I have really been desperately trying to find my self-worth in the person God sees me as, His vision of me is as good as it will get and full of truth, full of grace, full of love. I want to know what He thinks of His creation, His daughter, His steward. I mentioned, a few posts back, a video about an encounter with God, asking Him two questions; How much do You love me? and What were You thinking when You created me?

To be honest, I wasn't sure I would have as clear or moving answer as the testimony in the video. After all, God was pursuing her to ask Him to answer those two questions, I was a copy-cat trying to recreate the experience for myself.

But, of course, God showed up in flying colours, literally and figuratively :)

First, How much do You love me? God celebrated me with proclaiming how much He anticipated the day I would Be. How He couldn't wait to spend time with me on earth, the person I would be He couldn't wait to be with. Wow.

Second, What were You thinking when You created me? The first thing He did was giggle and proclaim with a smile, "I'm going to need all my colours!" :) He gave me pictures of various types of sunrises/sunsets, He has given me this picture of how He sees me as a sunset before, but this time He was showing me the 'uncontainable' nature of the sun at horizon, how my vision of that was so narrow. 'All His colours' meant I had so many facets, so many sides to me...something I used to think was a detriment (good at a lot, great at nothing) but lately I've realized it's made me relatable to a lot of amazing people who enhance my life, and I enhance theirs. I see this now as something God designed me to be like on purpose! And I love that about myself now!
I've also been shown, through the words of others, how I shine His light profoundly in their life. He was showing me that as His sunset I am just dispersing His light. Like the song that was coming to mind, Indescribable (...Uncontainable), "Who imagined the sun and gives source to it's light."
Then He also equated creating me to my own paintings, tapping into that feeling I get when I get to bring into existence something I imagined. It's an amazing feeling and to feel that from Him about me...I started weeping. "Just like you can't stop fussing over your favorite creation, you just can't be done working with it because it's too wonderful a feeling, you never want to stop being connected to that piece, that's how I feel about you." and "Just like you give away your creations hoping that it will bring as much joy to others as it brings to you, that's how I feel, I want to give you to those who can appreciate you as much as I do." A little while later I saw Him dipping a paint brush into His heart to draw 'colours' from to paint me.

I couldn't have asked for a more tangible feeling that evening, to tie God's thoughts and feelings about me into something I have experienced with my hands, my head, my heart. I thought my eagerness to understand how God sees me would be quenched with an experience like that, but it was only an appetizer, only increasing my hunger for what He can show me about myself. Somehow I just know there is a much deeper well to draw from, because I know He wants me coming back for more :)

And I will.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

How many times can these new (yet old) revelations just blow my mind?! This latest article about High Energy Nutrition caught my eye, hoping for the quick fix of food that will stimulate me off the couch. Not so much :) In a good way!

1. Eat until you are energized! Should have been common sense, because I'm well aware when I get to the point I know I'll need fat pants and a few hours of nothing if I eat another bite!

2. Beauty and love are food! It goes back to my emotional eating, I eat because I am not satisfied and while I know I am not hungry for food, that's what I choose to satiate my desire with anyway.  When I get that hunger, fill up on beauty and love. I recently got some great advice from my counselor/hubby who directed me similarly, instead of eating - journalling, God walks, chatting with a friend.

3. Find out what you are really hungry for! I know that when I follow a passion and let myself go unleashed, become all consumed with the project, whether it be ministry or a relationship or a creative endeavor or learning something new, I have a hunger for that and only that. I do not snack and I eat less at meals, because the time I am eating I would rather be attacking my project with 100% of myself.

4. Be more considerate of how you contribute 'nutrition' to the world verses what you want to consume. I have long considered what legacy I'm leaving, what I will be remembered for, will I have fulfilled my purpose. But I have to remember, I am still living, I am contributing to lives every day. Am I using my energy to produce a quality life that can give sustenance to others or am I consuming more energy for my own needs?

Such profound things to consider as I evaluate what true wellness means to me.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beautiful, Beautiful

What is beautiful?
In the eye of the beholder, beauty can be anything.
I believe I have been gifted an eye that beholds a multitude of definitions of beautiful. I find beauty in things that are not typically considered such.
I have an eye for art and colour and texture.
It's more than that.

It's faces of people I see, and it's not just their inner beauty I see, I truly believe I have eyes that see them in their best light - and it has nothing to do with the lighting. I have had several conversations with friends about self-image and naming our faults that we hate about ourselves. These are women I find SO beautiful! I have sometimes wondered if I could capture what I see on film, if only there were a shutter behind my eyelids. Then I found a different way to capture it.  A word portrait. Describing each friend as I see them. I hope to gift several special friends with a printout of this word portrait.

It's an amazing feeling to gift that....

There is a quote: "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.  By that reasoning I figure I must have an abundance of beauty in me because of how much I see.

And then I wonder, why can't I give myself that gift? My friend recently blogged a wonderful post about why she loves all the different parts of herself. And I wonder again, why can't I give myself that gift? And so I am determined to do it. In the next week or so I am going to look in a mirror and list all the things I like about myself. If you don't see it posted, call me out! :) Hold me accountable, I must do this! I will do this.

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