Category Archives: Shared & Misc.

Priceless…

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“A priceless and fine work of art, can be found within a warm loving heart.”  ~M


Photo credit: pixabay.com

The results are in!

Well, as many of you know, I have been participating in the Whole30 program over the last month.  For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s a diet program which mainly consists of eating fruits, vegetables, and meat for 30 days.

It worked so well for my family and I that we have decided to continue eating this way on a regular basis.  We all feel so much healthier and have a lot more energy.  My husband had been dealing with skin rashes for over a year now, and those have been completely eliminated.  And I had been suffering from lifelong digestive issues, and have found that I am free of the issues I used to have.  But just to give you a little more in-depth knowledge before you go and jump on the bandwagon, I wanted to give you some pros and cons for this diet plan.
 

Pros:

  • You can eat as much as you want and you don’t have to count calories. We ate three meals every day and usually a couple of snacks as well.  Nobody was ever left feeling hungry and it was nice not having to write down and keep track of every single thing we ate.  Most diets require this, and I feel like it begins to get too overwhelming for me and then I just give up and lose interest.
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  • You will lose weight. Without exercising, I still lost 6 lbs and 2.5 inches around my waist.  My husband exercised some, and had better results than me.  He lost a whopping 15 lbs!  So proud of him!  Our girls lost a total of 8 lbs, and have found that their clothes are starting to fit better.  Not bad for a 30 day period!
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  • You will have more energy and many of the health problems that you may already have, usually improve immensely.
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  • You don’t need to worry about vitamin supplements. If you eat according to the Whole30 plan, those expensive supplements aren’t needed.  You get enough nutrients through the foods that you eat.
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  • You’ll learn a lot about nutrition and feel accomplished when you figure out that most of what you’ve been buying at the store, you can actually make at home yourself.
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  • You’ll begin to crave sugar less, and find out just how good fresh fruits and vegetables really are.
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  • You’ll love the way your body looks and feels and have a more positive outlook because of it.
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    Cons:

  • You’ll have to spend a lot of time planning before you begin this program. We ended up completely gutting our pantry and had to give most of our food away before we even started.
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  • This program is time consuming. You have to read every label at the grocery store and cooking becomes an all-day chore at times.
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  • Your skin will break-out more in the beginning, because the toxins in your body are being expelled.
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  • There will be days in the beginning when you feel like giving up, because you may suffer headaches from caffeine withdrawals and feel tired because instead of getting your energy from sugar, your body is now having to get that same energy from fat. This process takes a few weeks, and so you’ll begin to wonder if it’s even worth continuing.
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  • You’ll find your pocket book a little lighter. Buying organic is pricey and some of the grass fed meats I found were as much as $10.00 per lb, and that was for chicken!
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  • You’ll find it’s very hard to eat this way if you are someone who has a very busy lifestyle, and needs the convenience which fast food offers. There really isn’t anything at a fast food restaurant that is allowed during the Whole30 program.  So you’ll have to pack your home cooked meals and take them with you when you’re on the go.
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  • And the biggest issue of all… you’ll feel so good by the end of it, that you’ll almost be afraid to ever eat another candy bar again or drink another caffeinated beverage. It will ruin your life in the best possible way and you will resent the Whole30 program because of it.
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    My family and I considered this an experiment with food and we’ve realized just how much junk food used to negatively impact our lives.  I truly believe that if we continue eating this way, we will all live longer healthier lives and be happier for it.  So with that said, I highly recommend the Whole30 diet program for anyone who wants to eliminate starvation diets, have more energy, and have fewer health issues.  The only way you’ll know if it’ll work for you, is to give it a try.  I hope you will, and if you do, let me know and I’ll be happy to give you some moral support along the way.

    Here’s a sampling of some of the meals we’ve been eating:

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    My All-time Favorite Picture.

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    Isn’t she beautiful!  I will walk among these trees myself, someday…  ~M


    Originally posted: March 13, 2015

    Photo Credit: National Geographic (Young girl standing among baobab trees in Madagascar)

    Imagine…

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    “God gave us an imagination because he knew we would eventually need a break from reality.” ~M


    Originally posted: December 5, 2015

    A reminder to myself…

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    “A true friend loves unconditionally and expects nothing in return.” ~M

     


    Originally posted: January 27, 2016

    Photo credit: tinybuddha.com

    He never fails me…

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    “The Lord never fails me. His purpose is always so much greater than my own.” ~M


    Originally posted: November 20, 2015

    Photo credit: Pinterest.com

    The One Who Defines Beauty

    Photo credit:  gladssicat.blogspot.com

    Me beautiful? Please, I’ve heard bigger lies. I who sin constantly, by lies, anger, and jealousy. If that’s beautiful to you, then you’re messed up. The thing is, I’m just like any other human. If you saw what I was truly like on the inside, you would not think I am beautiful. The fact is, even though I can hide secrets from you, God still sees every thought, action, and motive, which drives me to take each step of every single day. I’m sad to say that most of the time I don’t take the right steps. If it were not for Christ’s death on the cross, I would give up hope of ever being with God. No, I’m not beautiful; any hint of beauty you see in me is completely God. God who is pure, just, and holy. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, I have been given God’s divine beauty, the beauty of tomorrow; never having to worry about it ending. My body will wither and die, but my soul will remain whole and alive. It is only by the blood of Christ that I am made new, that my soul alights with a burning passion to follow the Lord. Only by his grace that I can even write these words. If I were God, I wouldn’t love me. But I’m not, and that is the most amazing truth. No, I am not beautiful, but Christ, He is the very one that defines beauty. Every time I try to imagine the Lord, I have to close my eyes, because the world is so ugly; I can’t stand to look at it anymore. The place that had once been beautiful, no longer. Our world, ourselves, is so foul I don’t even know how someone can label anything as beautiful. We are so filthy, yet Christ still loves us. To me, that is the truest of beauty. A love that shows no end, one so great that we get to spend it eternally with the Lord.

    Written by, ~Amy Cook, age 16


    Originally posted: April 18, 2015

    Photo credit: gladssicat.blogspot.com

    Guard Your Heart

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    Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.

      ~Proverbs 4:23


    Originally posted: February 7, 2016
    Photo credit:  dailydevotion.tv

    Hanging in there…

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    Sometimes you just have to say… “Thy will be done!”  ~M


    Originally posted: October 5, 2016

    Photo credit: fun-in-first.blogspot.com

    The Battle Belongs to Him…

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    Stand your ground

    Don’t give in

    Never let

    The enemy win

    He tells us lies

    Always in disguise

    When will we

    Even realize

    Luring us in

    For the final kill

    Using yet another

    Regretful cheap thrill

    Face him boldly

    With your fists

    Make every attempt

    To resist

    Laugh at his tricks

    Look him straight in the face

    Don’t let yourself

    Become a disgrace

    Pull yourself together

    Don’t let him win

    Your maker has taken away

    All of your sin

    So when temptation comes calling

    You know what you must do

    Don’t join the masses

    But be one of the faithful few

    Can’t you see

    All that you’re doing

    Deep down inside

    It’s you you’re ruining

    Escape the past

    And don’t look back

    Your heart just can’t handle

    Another attack

    These tricks and schemes

    Are neverending

    So brace yourself

    This is just the beginning

    Equip yourself

    To finally take a stand

    Remove all temptation

    Hold onto His hand

    If you start to have doubts

    Or sneaky illusions

    Don’t be caught in the snare

    Of such destructive confusion

    You have the ability

    To make tough decisions

    Look at your heart

    And make some revisions

    Remind yourself daily

    To make the right choices

    Then stand tall and proud

    While your soul rejoices

    You’ll finally be free

    From the chains that bind

    Keeping your eyes on Him

    You won’t be left behind

    It’s a challenge for sure

    Not for the faint of heart

    So give it your best shot

    And make a fresh start

    Written by,  Michelle Cook

    These words are not my own but given to me by the One, who forever seeks to guide my heart.  My deepest desire is to live with these thoughts ever flowing through my mind.  I’m praying for a complete transformation of my heart and soul.  I can’t keep letting the enemy defeat me.  It’s a slow death which I just can’t keep allowing.  My own good advice just isn’t enough anymore, and my only other choice is to let go and let him lead me.  After all… the battle belongs to Him.  ~M


    Originally posted: April 15, 2016

    Words come straight from the heart…

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    There’s no better compliment for a writer, than when somebody reads their work.  I honestly don’t even mind if somebody doesn’t particularly like what I’ve written.  Just the fact that they’ve read it and have taken the time to tell me they have; that’s the best feeling in the world.  The words a writer writes, come straight from their heart.  So the reader is literally holding a piece of that person’s heart while reading such a person’s words.  It doesn’t get much more intimate than that.  ~M


    Originally posted: May 15, 2016

    Photo found at:  sparkyleegeek.wordpress.com

    You matter to me.

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    One of the reasons I finally decided to start a blog, was to be able to share what’s on my heart with others. I also wanted to be able to leave a little piece of me behind, so that there is some small memory of what was important to me after I’m gone.  I am hopeful that the memories left behind here, will in some small way make a difference in your life. You never know how words can speak to people. Sometimes it’s the simplest things you might say, that can make all the difference in the world to someone.

    Words are powerful and have the ability to cause war or bring about peace. I want the words I write to bring hope and never despair. I hope the words I share with you are words you need to hear.  If you’re reading this, I want you to know that you matter, even if you think you don’t. I want you to remember that this life is temporary and a greater life is still ahead. Don’t lose your heart in the things of this world, for your reward will never be found here.

    Keep your faith in trying times and remember that life doesn’t always make sense. Accept the fact that there are things in this life which you will never fully understand. Try to stay positive and know that there is a God who loves you and who wants you to know Him.  He understands your daily struggles, for He has suffered through this life as well. In fact, He suffered more than the rest of us and has never asked any of us to suffer as much as He did.

    We have to stop blaming God for the mistakes we’ve made, and realize that He isn’t the one causing our misery. It’s always easy to blame somebody else when life isn’t taking you down the road you hoped for. Don’t be misled, you can turn around and walk in the opposite direction at any point in your life. Seek Him first and you will always find the answers you are looking for. Just as Jesus loves me, I love you, my friend… I really do… ~M xoxo


    Originally posted: August 9, 2015

    Photo credit: pinterest.com

    All it takes is a little faith

    french-alps-sunset-1280x720“In faith, we allow ourselves a chance to reach the summit; whereas otherwise, we would never even breach the foot of the mountain.”  ~M


    Originally posted: October 17, 2015

    Photo credit: pinterest.com

    When you feel dismayed, remember this…

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    “Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?
     ~Job 4:6


    Originally posted:  February 23, 2016

    Photo credit: pinterest.com

     

    Faith

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    “Faith is tricky because we always want proof, but life is too short not to believe in the truth.” ~M


    Originally posted: March 12, 2016

    Photo credit:  imagesdaily.blogspot.com