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In Case You Missed It

For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram...what are you waiting for?! @cass_eli , you're welcome in advance. But seriously, yesterday's post got such a great response I decided to share it here in case you missed it.

be still

Did you know another translation of this verse ends with "keep silent" instead of "be still"? Now, I know Moses was speaking to the Israelites as they were leaving Egypt. Still I can't help but picture him putting a hand over my mouth while saying this to me…multiple times a day. Whether we're "just" standing up for ourselves or calling a friend to "vent" (aka gossip) we could all occasionally use a hand over our mouths and a reminder to be still. God's got this.

Missing in Action

working

I cannot believe that it's almost been a month since my last post. Since I started blogging in 2014 I don't think I've ever gone this long without sharing something. So let me give you a quick update on my life.

As many of you know the hubs and I were approached last year to do premarital coaching for a friend of his from college. After getting certified and working with our first couple things sort of took off. In addition to doing private sessions we've been asked to speak at different relationship themed events. While the whole process has been exciting being an introvert it's also been a bit draining for me. In order to carve out some time to rest (and sneak in a few extra spring workouts) I took a break from Whim to Wonder.

The break wasn't intentional at first. It started off more like 'I'll post tomorrow" and turned into 'I'll post next week' and here we are a month later. I was going to come back and act like nothing happened but that didn't seem fair. Things are changing y'all. We haven't finished sorting out all the details but I at least wanted to give my girls a heads up. I'll update the blog as we figure thing out.

Thanks for all your support!


*UPDATE* - I'll be doing a mini IG takeover tomorrow (4/12) and Thursday (4/13) FOR @HeGetsHer. Make sure to check out the story for my posts.


Four Sigmatic Muchroom Hot Cacao with Cordyceps

Exactly a month ago I reviewed Four Sigmatic's Mushroom Coffee. You might remember I wasn't a fan. However, in that post I mentioned I'd picked up a packet of the Mushroom Hot Cacao with Cordyceps and planned on reviewing it too. Blame it on my bad first experience or the 70 plus degree weather we had here in Atlanta but I wasn't exactly motivated to make myself a cup. Then earlier this week a friend called me out. She reminded me that y'all were patiently waiting for episode two of the mushroom beverage show.

Roll tape.

When I woke up this morning I was craving something sweet. Since I was running a little behind I threw the Hot Cacao packet in my lunch bag and rushed out the door. As I started my car I noticed the outside temperature showed as 23°F. Which basically meant today would be the perfect day to drink something warm. Once I finally settled in I headed to the kitchen armed with my packet and a cup. I was anxious as I watched the clear water become brown as it hit the powder. I stirred the concoction a few more times than necessary.

 I held my breath and took a sip.

 Relief washed over me as what I drank tasted familiar. Aztec and Mexican hot chocolate are two of my favorite types so I was instantly comforted by the hint of pepper. However, as I sipped some more I realized one important thing was missing…chocolate. Now I totally understand that when something is labeled as cacao it usually implies that it is less sugary sweet than say Swiss Miss. But come on guys, this is nothing more than a sorry excuse for flavored water.

 Maybe my taste buds need to be reconditioned.

 I've weaned myself down to a Short Green Tea latte at Starbucks but I'm guessing the fact that I still occasionally go to Starbucks means I'm not the type of person who would consider this drink a treat. The upside is I didn't experience any of the negative side effects brought on by the instant coffee. I really wanted to love Four Sigmatic. But I'll admit defeat. Thankfully I still have some Trader Joe's Sipping Chocolate to hold me over until it gets warm out. (Note: its super rich and not particularity healthy. I can only enjoy the tiniest cup but so worth it.)

Raspberry Lemon Scones

scones

via Kaetlyn Anne

For the past couple of weeks I've been trying my hand at different scone recipes. I prefer my scones pretty plain. Just a little bit of cinnamon and sugar or mini chocolate chips if I'm feeling adventurous. For me it's really all about the clotted cream *swoon*. The hubs however is more of a fan of the fruit flavored variety.

I'm embarrassed to show you the things that came out of our oven as I tried my hand at making orange and cranberry sconces. At least they tasted delicious. I'm a firm believer that presentation matters almost as much as taste when it comes to food so I was super excited when I saw Kaetlyn's IG story featuring scones. This girl can make anything look like a work of art.

Here's the recipe she used via Flour Arrangements:

Raspberry Lemon Scones

Prep time            Cook time          Total time
10 mins                  15 mins               25 mins

Makes 18 small scones | Author: Suzanne Cowden | Serves: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

  • Scones
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold, unsalted butter
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large lemon, zested
  • ¾ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup frozen raspberries
  • Glaze
  • ½ large lemon, juiced
  • ½ to 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

|| get instructions here ||

 

One-Pan Spring Chicken

Spring-Chicken-1.jpg

via The Londoner

Just looking at Rosie's pictures of this meal makes my tummy growl. I can't wait to try it out and see if it's as good as it looks. Who's with me?

One-Pan Spring Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 free range chicken
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 handful basil
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 150g butter
  • 4 anchovies
  • 3tsp capers
  • 2tsp wine vinegar
  • 4-5 shallots
  • 1 lemon
  • Couple handfuls of baby carrots
  • Couple handfuls of greens (kale/cavolo nero)

|| Find Full Recipe Here ||

Around Town | 3.1.17

pexels-photo.jpg

A list of things to do in or around Atlanta.

3/1 Sprouts Grand Opening - free food + prizes? I'm there! From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 2551 Blackmon Dr. Decatur, GA 30033.

3/2 Atlanta Jewish Music Festival - the hubs might be a tad alarmed by my fascination with Jewish culture but hopefully I can convince him to go.

3/3 Atlanta Fair - truth be told the area around Turner Field (RIP) can be a bit terrifying after dark. However, the fair is a rite of passage for any true ATLien. 655 Central Ave SW Atlanta, GA 30312.

3/4 Oyster Crawfish Festival - about ten thousand pounds of crawfish are being overnighted from Louisiana for the 14th installment of this festival. Check it out from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Park Tavern located at 500 10th street NE Atlanta, GA 30309.               

3/5 Atlanta United FC - be a part of history by attending the inaugural game at 7:30 p.m. Games will be held at Bobby Dodd Stadium through the end of July. 150 Bobby Dodd Way NW, Atlanta, GA 30332.

Lent 2017

lent study list

One of my favorite seasons is upon us…Lent!

Since Wednesday kicks off this time of introspection and self-denial I'm a bit behind the ball when it comes to ordering devotional materials. So I've compiled a list of studies that are either available online or have quick shipping options. Enjoy!

lent journey

YouVersion (aka the Bible app)
There are a ton of Lent themed plans available for free online and via the app.

she reads truth lent 2017

 

She Reads Truth
You can order the book today and follow along online until it arrives. (The study actually kicks off today so hurry over if this is your plan of choice!)

broken and redeemed

Love God Greatly
This plan starts next Monday so there's plenty of time to order physical copies of this reading plan via Amazon. Instant downloads are also available via the website.

C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis
As a lover of classics I couldn't leave this compilation off the list.  Amazon offers Next day shipping.

Target (almost) Haul

If you follow the hubs on Instagram (@hegetsher) then you probably know from his stories that most of my trips to Target are chaperoned. Honestly, I cannot be trusted there on my own. I'm sure most of you can relate to running in for one or two items and leaving with around $100 worth of stuff thinking "how the heck did that just happen".

Or is that just me?

Finally I figured out a way to go to Target alone and buy only (well almost) what I need. I refer to it as research. So Monday I searched the store, with my iPhone camera at the ready, documenting things I would impulse buy if I weren't such a mature responsible adult.

Here's my list:

This was the hardest thing to say no to because I've been eyeing the hubs' toiletry bag for a while now thinking 'why can't I find one like that only prettier". So yea, this was totally a need…but I held strong.

I love charcoal, I love coconut oil. I love blue, I love white. I love this sooooap!
*in my Jessica's Daily Affirmations voice*
However, I recently re-bought my Thayers with Witch Hazel body bar which is the greatest thing ever.

Spring in Atlanta calls for a festival worthy dress and I've been crushing on this color since 2015.

Consistent workouts call for cute workout clothes, am I right? This sports bra was screaming my name but since it'd be covered by at least a tank top I figured I could save the $20 by leaving it at the store.

Obviously I have a thing for blue and white but the pattern on this bag is what got me.

Who doesn't need comfy shoes for adventuring once it gets warm out?

Spotlight | Emily Ley

emily ley

 

We’re embarking on a year-long journey to dig deep into the twelve areas of life we women struggle with and care about the absolute most. And we’re starting out with “style” during the month of February. That means fashion, beauty, hair, etc. Don’t let this topic sound fluffy next to the topic of loving your body. Loving your body (as it is, right now in this very second) has everything to do with your fashion, beauty, and hair routines.

Do you ever feel guilty or weird about investing so much time and energy into “style” – be it fashion, beauty, hair, makeup, whatever. I’ve started realizing over the last few months how silly those feelings are – and how important these things are to me. Top of my “style” priorities lately are 1) culling my closet, and 2) developing a great skin-care routine, and 3) taking better care of my body so that I can improve my stress levels, health, etc. But, for us all, a key struggle area is loving our bodies and feeling comfortable in our skin.

When I first sat down to write this post, I started thinking about my post-babies body. I wrote a few lines and started to remember my hoping-for-babies / pre-babies body. What a sweet, tender memory. My body was thinner, toner, and less marked then. But it was bruised from shots, aching with want, and painfully tense with hope. The extra softness I carry reminds me that God has written new-found (often hard-to-dig-up) patience on the walls of my heart — in the form of soft words, sweet hugs, and gentle conversations with my kids. The marks on my stomach remind me of the way God marked through the “plan” I had for my life, my journey into motherhood, and rewrote an even more beautiful story. Beautiful in a way I would have never described as beautiful beforehand. And the new muscles in my arms – rather than in my abs where I’d love to have them – remind me not just of the healthy children I lift everyday but of the strength He gave me while I trudged through the hardest season of my life.

Ooof. Saying those things “out loud” makes me rethink what kinds of clothes I want in my closet (why waste so much time thumbing through clothes that don’t make me feel great), what I’m really trying to “fix” with my makeup (I’m almost 34! Laugh lines are INEVITABLE!), and how much guilt (huh?) I give myself for never, ever wearing my hair down during the week. I kinda decided to toss all those dumb feelings out the window a few months ago. Are you hoping for that day that you can fit into *those jeans again*? Boo. Give those jeans away. Buy a pair of jeans that fit you. That fit your pre or post-baby(ies) body. If you’re like me and you just want to be comfortable and polished, invest in some high-quality (Target’s are great) tees that don’t hug you in all the wrong places. Purge your closet of these crazy things. I did this a few weeks ago and – two years into being a mom of three – I was floored at how many articles of clothing I was hanging onto just in case. I give that a big eye-roll emoji at this point. I want to feel great in my clothes, not be reminded all day of that number on the scale the morning I got married. I want to feel confident in my choices, not overwhelmed by the sheer volume of clothes in my closet. And God’s written a new story on my heart about these “superficial” (not at all) topics the last few months. If I feel my best when my makeup is done, my hair’s up in a messy bun, and I’m wearing my favorite skinny jeans with my favorite tee and my favorite simple jewelry, then that’s me. That’s what you’re going to get. And, don’t you dare apologize for taking time out of your day to get a manicure or take care of yourself. If a gel manicure (my absolute favorite gel color) makes you feel a little more pulled together and makes you hold your head a little higher, get it girl. No one can make self-care a priority but you. Embrace yourself. Take care of yourself. And your well will be filled even more for the people you love.

xo,

Emily


Follow the rest of this series over on Emily's blog!


Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee

coffee

 I had a moment last week where I realized I only share good reviews. If something is underwhelming I just don't write about it. I was a little disappointed in myself and decided good or bad from here on out I'm going to let you know what I think because that's what good girlfriends do.

Enter Four Sigmatic.

I've been hearing about their mushroom coffee for months but since I (mostly) kicked my coffee habit I couldn't convince myself to buy a whole box. Then I noticed my local health food store was selling individual packets.

Finally!

They seem to be highlighting a flavor every week or two. So I started with the Mushroom Coffee with Lion's Mane. I was giddy as I made my cup, I'm talking dancing around the kitchen y'all, but all of that excitement ended the moment I took my first sip.

It tasted like cheap instant coffee.

So I flipped the packet over and read the first ingredient; instant coffee powder. It was hard to wrap my head around how I'd missed that but I pressed on. After all, I needed to see if my productivity would be increased like the website claims.

If bodily functions gross you out stop reading now.

About halfway through my mug I felt a rumbling in my tummy that was not good. I've read that coffee sends some people running to the bathroom soon after drinking but that's not my norm. However, I couldn't ignore the fact that my body was rejecting this particular cup of joe. What followed wasn't terribly bad or uncomfortable but ultimately I decided not to drink the rest.

I will say I didn't experience any jitters or a crash.

On the other hand that might be due to the fact that I couldn't drink it all.  While my first encounter with Four Sigmatic left me disappointed I'm still open to trying their other products. In fact, the hubs and I picked up some of their Mushroom Hot Cacao with Cordyceps this weekend so stay tuned.


What health foods or drinks have you been hesitant to try?
Leave me a note (at the bottom of the page) and maybe I'll
check them out for you!


Around Town | 2.8.17

juice

A list of things to do in or around Atlanta.

2/8 Decatur Farmers Market - because what beats fresh fruits and veggies. Every Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Located at 308 Clairemont Ave Decatur, GA 30030 (on the corner of Commerce St. and on the lawn of the First Baptist Church of Decatur).

2/9 Get Matched - Single and ready to mingle? Join the Urban League of Greater Atlanta's Young Professionals group for a fun-filled night including a live version of The Dating Game and a panel of relationship experts. The event will run from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at BQE Restaurant & Lounge. Located at 262 Edgewood Avenue Atlanta, GA 30303.

2/10 Fernbank After Dark - who hasn't dreamed of an adult field trip? Well Fernbank has you covered enjoy adult only (21+) access to their exhibits the 2nd Friday of each month from 7:00 p.m. to 11 p.m. While you're there you can enjoy live music, tapas, and hands on activities. Located at 767 Clifton Road NE Atlanta, GA 30307.

2/11 Madewell + B. Kaspr - If it doesn't move, monogram it! Freehand-painted personalization available for any Madewell bag you purchase between 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Ponce City Market location. Located at 675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE Atlanta, GA 30308.

2/12 The High - enjoy free admission to Atlanta's favorite museum of art the 2nd Sunday of each month from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Located at 1280 Peachtree Street NE Atlanta, GA 30309.

 

Tea Time | 2.6.17

tea time

What's in my cup: Yerba Mate, I left the golden bag sitting out on my desk as a way to create a little indoor sunshine and I think it's working.

What's on my mind: Valentine's Day. For the last month I haven't been able to go into a store without seeing some sort of pink, red, or heart filled display. Yet somehow I still have NO idea what I'm doing for the hubs between this Friday and next Tuesday to celebrate. Don't tell him I'm a slacker, ok? (Actually he already knows because I tend to overshare.)

Who's on my heart: My unattached friends.

As Singles Awareness, er…I mean Valentine's, Day approaches my heart can't help but ache for all of the people I know planning to throw pity parties for themselves due to their single status.

Let's pause for a true story from the life of Cass.

A few years ago I got dumped right before Valentine's Day. Then I was fired, after being forced to work 8 miserable hours, on Valentine's Day. All I wanted to do was go home, curl into a ball, and cry my eyes out. Instead, I put on a pretty dress, went full-on glam with my hair and make-up, and celebrated Galentine's with my closest friends. There was no shining moment where all of my circumstances suddenly changed. However, I chose to have a ball in the midst of my world falling apart.
That's far from my only horrible Valentine's story and unfortunately I can't say I handled them all with such maturity. One year I spent the night crying in my bed over cold pizza not because I was single but because my boyfriend at the time wouldn't plan the surprise filled evening I'd requested. (I know such a bratty move.) Another year I went to dinner with my best friend after breaking up with a guy who'd treated me like crap but spent the whole night allowing him to guilt trip me via text.

The point I'm trying to make is we get to choose whether or not we're happy. Our relationship status is not the determining factor of our happiness our attitude is. So if you're a single lady this Valentine's celebrate the season you're in! I promise you there are a ton of happily married mamas out there who would love to have just a few hours of your freedom from time to time.

Look up an Airbnb and plan an impromptu road trip with your girlfriends this weekend. Take a painting class. Splurge on something fancy. Appreciate the fact that, unlike me, you don't have to spend the next few days scrambling to figure out how not to be the 'worst wife ever' because you have yet to buy or plan anything for your hubs.

Equally Yoked (part 3)

Yoke 3

What exactly does it mean to be equally yoked?


Mike: It seems like we said many of the same things. I guess that means we’re equally yoked!

Cass: My first thought was 'that's my hubs'! I love when we're on the same page. Only he tends to make things sound much prettier than I do. 

Believing in the same religion is simply the first checkpoint of being equally yoked. The true importance lies in how a person’s beliefs, values and passions impact their lives, because it will inevitably impact yours as well. (Mike)

Mike: Being equally yoked only becomes a serious consideration or concern when you get serious about your relationship with God. It's more important than any relationship you have on earth, so whoever you join your life with should support that. It’s not about finding someone who is perfect, and you don’t want an exact clone of yourself (because that would be “perfect” right?).

Don't think of being equally yoked as a tit-for-tat comparison. Take the focus off the word equal, and replace it with balance.

Sometimes you may get weak, so that person on the other side of the yoke is there to help pull you up. There may be other times when you’re in the position to provide the support your spouse needs. The key is to be heading in the same direction when that happens, because the goal is to honor God as you grow to be more like Christ.

Cass: I'll say it again HAVE FAITH. I know the dating game can get super discouraging and you might be tempted to settle. Just don't. A crappy, or even good, relationship might look better than no relationship at all but you'll be kicking yourself once the shine wears off.

If you ask the tough questions sooner rather than later you won't be as emotionally attached. If you're not as emotionally attached you'll be less likely to make excuses or justify answers that don't mesh well with your own. It's tough at first but once you get the hang of it you'll be asking questions left and right.

In the meantime, make sure you dedicate some serious time to personal growth. It's important to be as good of a catch as who you hope to attract. (That's kind of the point of equally yoked…it goes both ways.)

Also make sure not to put your dreams on hold while you wait. Your life doesn't start once you become one half of a couple it's already in progress and you are the only one responsible for turning it into something you love.


We have a motto in our house #MarriagesNotWeddings .

A wedding only lasts a day but a marriage should last a lifetime. The hubs and I are passionate about helping couples achieve lifelong love.

 Find out what it means to be a Red Chair Couple at HeGetsHer.com today!


Equally Yoked (part 2)

Yoke 2

What exactly does it mean to be equally yoked?


Equally yoked is such a churchy word. It’s one of those sayings that people use so often that they assume they know the meaning through context without really understanding it.

On the surface, people interpret it to mean that two people in a relationship have to belong to the same religion.

In my opinion, it goes far beyond that. In order to understand something like this from the Bible, you have to know the context of the time it was written to understand how it’s used. So let’s start with the yoke (not to be confused with egg yolk). The yoke was a heavy wooden harness that farmers used to hitch two animals (usually oxen) together to plow a field. It was important for them to have a similar size and strength to move together evenly in a straight line. On top of the physical similarities necessary for balance, they also had to be going in the same direction once they were yoked together. One yoked oxen could not move without the other’s support and participation. A disagreement on direction would end in a pulling battle or no movement at all.

So how does this apply to dating? Think of marriage or a committed relationship as a spiritual yoke and ask yourself these questions:

·      Are you spiritually stronger than your partner or vice versa?

·      Do your morals and values mesh well with each other?

·      Are the two of you heading in the same direction?

Whatever your goals and objectives are for your life, make sure you choose a partner who is heading in the same direction so you don’t pull each around other in circles.

So how do you figure this out? Ask questions. Lots of them. What you want to learn is what are their beliefs and values? What matters most to them? They will give you a verbal answer with their words, but also evaluate how they live their lives. How do they spend their money? How do they spend their time? What matters most to them in life? If you disagree with any of these things, they will be a likely source of conflict if you live with them or plan to some day. Whatever you see or hear from them, believe it. Don’t overlook these differences with hopes of them changing in the future. It is extremely unlikely for people to change their core beliefs or values after marriage.

Another important aspect of being equally yoked with a person is truly knowing yourself. Before pursuing a serious relationship with someone else, you should have solid answers to all the questions I recommended for you to ask. Being equally yoked is a two way street, so make sure you’re living up to all of your expectations.

 


Mike D. is passionate about the ability relationships have to change lives. He specializes in public speaking, relationship and premarital coaching. Find out more at HeGetsHer.com today!


Equally Yoked (part 1)

Yoke 1

What exactly does it mean to be equally yoked?


The term “equally yoked” is something I heard a lot while growing up. As a teen I simply thought it meant I was only supposed to date guys from the same faith background as myself (advice I very rarely followed). It wasn’t until after college, when I became intentional about whom I dated, that I realized someone could say they believed the same things I did but we could still be far from equally yoked.

My adult interpretation of equally yoked goes much deeper than my teenage one. The first checkpoint is the same; do we believe the same things spiritually? As a Christian that question means much more than ‘does he believe’ because as James 2:19 says even the demons believe. Rather it’s important to know how theology influences a potential mate’s life. Those beliefs can shape what a person eats, listens to, even when and how they worship. It’s important to consider how those decisions mesh with yours.

After I started paying attention to what a guy believed I realized another important question to ask was ‘what is he passionate about?’ Once we're married we spend countless hours with the person we once dated. So how that person spends their time is extremely important. Your interests don’t have to be identical but they should be complimentary.  A guy could look great on paper but if your passions are conflicting it might be hard to make things work without, at least some, resentment.

Lastly, you'll need to consider if the relationship challenges you and makes you better.  Picture an actual yoke. Its purpose is to connect to two, similar in size and strength, animals in order to plow a field. Now let's imagine one of those animals decides not to move forward. Rather it decides to rest in the warm sunshine and stay glued to one spot. Its partner can try to pull for a while but without equal buy-in the pair will never make progress.

Overall you’re looking for someone who’s a great fit with who you are now as well as who you hope to be in the future. Since equally yoked is a traditionally religious phrase I feel comfortable telling you to have faith. It might seem like you’ll never meet Mr. Right but waiting is much less painful than trying to force things to work with a guy who’s intended to be someone else’s husband.


Make sure to come back Wednesday for a guy's perspective from Mike D. of HeGetsHer.com (aka the hubs)!


It's time for a change

growth

Last weekend I was able to drag the hubs out in the pouring rain to this Winter Wellness event at a local health foods store. I was super excited to try the free samples, attend the workshops, and view the demonstrations. The day was going great until we came to the Biometric Screening booth. We were asked to close our eyes, put our hands on cold metal plates, and take three deep breaths.

Easy enough.

I guess I was expecting to be told my body fat percentage or something like that so when the screen filled with color I was confused. The lady explained that the energy around me was very creative, introspective, and spiritual…true. But as I was getting up I noticed a word on the computer screen that made me a little uncomfortable "aura".

I couldn't help thinking "oh my gosh, did I just participate in witchcraft?"

(Don't laugh y'all.) My mind flashed back to middle school. I was so proud to be appointed to a team of 5 charged with creating and running our first ever school paper. In addition to covering human interest pieces I was also given the duty of running the horoscope section. I thought it was the greatest thing ever until I told my dad.

That's when I learned that as a respectable Christian young lady horoscopes were a no-no.

The philosophy behind it is that as Christians we should only go to God for guidance, information, and revelation. Unfortunately, it took a few years and eye opening events before I took his warnings to heart. These days I try to steer clear of anything remotely murky hence my mini freak out about the aura reading.

I let it go until I arrived at work on Monday morning.

A coworker, who had been considering joining us, asked how the event went. I gave her a detailed breakdown of the day including the Biometric Screening. She was particularly interested in that. This wasn't surprising since she belongs to the office clique that gets their fortunes read and can't make major decisions without consulting their horoscope.

I was worried I'd blown my witness, again.

Weeks earlier we had a debate as to whether or not it was ok for me, as a Christian, to go to yoga classes. I explained that La Fitness yoga was hardly more than a series of intense stretches and that when I did find myself in a more spiritual studio I made sure to pray my way through the class and at the end I'd vow to never return.

I was spiritually strong enough to handle it.

Then I was reminded that even though I might be everyone isn't and there are people watching me using my actions as a measuring stick. In Romans Paul tells us not to cause one another to stumble and while he may have been talking about food the advice transfers to all areas of our lives.

So, now what?

After our first debate I decided to switch to Pilates. That was really effortless because the two are pretty similar minus the spiritual aspect. Plus, Pilates focuses more on sculpting and I'm all for a strong core and perky booty. My next action step is to ask more questions. Had I not allowed myself to get swept up in the excitement of the event I would have asked a couple of important ones before signing up for the screening.

Your turn.

Take some time to examine your own life. Pinpoint where you're living in the gray and how that could negatively impact those around you. Then decide what changes you can make. It might be a little hard at first but I'm sure you can do it.

Sing

pexels-photo-109123.jpg

Have you ever been in a period of waiting? A time when God seemed silent? Don't worry you're in good company. Even David, a man after God's own heart, felt forgotten by the Lord.

Time and time again God has shown that those stints of perceived silence are used to shape His people. It's in the waiting that we draw close to Him. We gain the endurance needed to accomplish His plan for our lives.

Psalm 13 (below) ends with the words "I will sing the Lord's praise, for He has been good to me." In the midst of waiting it might not feel like He is good but feelings are temporary and misleading. Trust in the everlasting truth of his character, and sing.

Psalm 13

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

Reading List | 01.13.17

Currently Reading:

radical beauty

Radical Beauty: How to Transform Yourself from the Inside Out
by Deepak Chopra and Kimberly Snyder

I'm actually listening to the audiobook version of this (via my local library) so I can take notes.

 

Next Up:

supercharged foods

Eat Yourself Beautiful: Supercharged Food
by Lee Holmes

Amazon recommended this book to me and I'm totally judging it by it's cover. Lee is gorgeous and those veggies look delicious. I just want to hop on a bike and join her for lunch.

 

Re-read:

Feed Your Face

Feed Your Face: Younger, Smoother Skin and a Beautiful Body in 28 Delicious Days
by Jessica Wu, M.D.

(This is the U.K. cover I just like it better.) I read this book a few years ago and was reminded of it's principles when I started Radical Beauty. So it seemed like a good idea to revisit it.