anne day

anneday

Earlier this week my sweet husband informed me that today, July 3rd, was Anne Day (for an explanation, read the note at the bottom of this post).

As I tweeted last night, I was pretty excited about having a break from my before dawn alarm, but, of course, my eyes popped open at 5:00 a.m. on the dot. I powered through, though, determined to stay in bed longer. Next thing I knew it was almost nine. Nice!

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So far this morning, I’ve exercised (yay! 3 days in a row!) and am enjoying my first taste of dairy in over 30 days:

yogurt

So very delicious!

We’ve got some very loose plans for the rest of the day, and I’m taking my camera along. I love spending the day with the man that I love, and I love not having a schedule. Life is good, y’all.

Happy Friday!

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i did it.

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 9.52.18 AMI finished whole30, and I’m so very glad I stuck with it. I feel better, and BONUS! – I lost 9 stubborn pounds. My joints aren’t achy, and my digestion is much improved. I have an fresh awareness now of how what I put into my body makes me feel, and I’m enjoying the taste of real food. (Just yesterday I had one of the best salads I can remember. I used leftover steak from the night before with romaine lettuce and assorted salad veggies, a few walnuts, and a simple homemade balsamic vinaigrette that’s become my favorite dressing. Every bite tasted wonderful, and it left me satisfied until supper.) I’ve cut back on caffeine, and I’ve found I really don’t “need” snacks anymore.

I’ll admit that it took a lot of planning and work to hang in there for 30 days. My eyes have been opened to how hard it is to find whole, real food without any funky additives. Sugar is in nearly everything, and did you know soy is in much more than you’d suspect — cans of tuna, vitamins, supplements, and more? Meat in restaurants is often not 100% meat — dairy and soy are added to meat even in upscale burger joints. Having compliant food in the house takes real effort. And I never seem to buy enough eggs or berries.

It really helped to have some friends at work committed to this way of eating, too. We shared experiences and recipes and encouraged each other.

There have been a few moments of mad cravings, but honestly, the worst part has been the never-ending pile of dirty dishes in the sink. (Fortunately the dishes fairy pays regular visits. Thanks, Paul!) When there are few places you can eat out and you have to do some sort of cooking at every single meal, it gets old.

I’m going to stick with many of the habits I’ve acquired over this past month — cooking with coconut oil (Trader Joe’s is my favorite), eating lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, avoiding soy and gluten, compulsively reading labels, having boiled eggs always ready in the fridge. I’m most curious about how dairy will affect me when I reintroduce it because I really miss my full-fat, plain Greek yogurt with berries for breakfast. And I love the creaminess of half & half in my coffee, even though I’ve learned to make do with coconut oil or coconut milk.

Now that I’ve seen what a difference 30 days can make, I’ve decided that July is a month to really commit to moving my body every day except for Sundays. I’m encouraged and motivated by my progress in June and want to keep the momentum going in July. My Fitbit is now back on my wrist.

I really think most everyone could benefit by checking out whole30 (the website is generously filled with free resources).  It Starts With Food is a helpful read and reference, too.

It’s not easy, but what positive changes ever are? If you’ve done a whole30 or are considering it, I’d love to hear about it.

Feeling good,
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monday miscellany

Another collection of links from around the ‘sphere:

~ As I’ve mentioned, I’m listening to David McCullough’s the Wright Brothers via Audible. Here’s an interesting interview with the historian about the men.

~ How to keep your phone’s battery healthy.

~ I love stories like this one. God delights in surprising us.

~ Help me face today.

~ I’m grateful to be having some relief from insomnia these past few weeks, but I still appreciate this old article from Challies on us “helpless sacks of sand.”

~ Where have these been all my life? (no need to click on the link unless you’re a fellow office supply nerd)

Happy Monday!

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“What the Psalms do is lean against some of our natural instincts.”

(A repost from January 2013)

I’m still working through Psalm 37. My memory work has been slow going, and I’ve tried to catch up over the long weekend. Yesterday I began a list of what the psalmist says about the wicked and the righteous. So far, the column for the wicked is longer.
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I know professing believers who would be very uncomfortable with this list because it dares to label some as wicked and others as righteous. It implies judgment. It identifies character and behaviors that are condemned. And, yes, it can be uncomfortable to think about God laughing at the wicked (verse 13: But the LORD laughs at the wicked for he sees that his day is coming.) But our discomfort is precisely why we need to be in God’s Word, seeing things as He sees them, being corrected in our thinking. The psalmist’s words are Scripture. If we’re not willing to submit our hearts to it, we’re putting ourselves in a very dangerous place of thinking we’re more righteous than God, holier than He is.

And it’s instructive to remember that if we’re on the “righteous” side of that list, it’s only because of God’s grace in applying Christ’s obedience, death, and resurrection to us. It’s not because we were just naturally good. We were one of those laughed at by God until, in His mysterious mercy, He rescued us. So there’s no cause for boasting in ourselves here or feeling smug about which side of the list we’re on.

So, back to the list: The big theme here is how fleeting the prosperity of the wicked is. Isn’t that hard to see on a daily basis? And again, that’s why we need the reminders from Scripture! Through His Word, He re-orients us to truth: The wicked will look like they’re doing great — but it’s only temporary. It may look and feel permanent to us, but it’s not. Wait patiently on God, and you will end up with abundant peace FOREVER. Look past the circumstances of today. Look at God’s promises in Scripture, and wait on Him to work them out. Trust in His timing. He ALWAYS does what He promises. ALWAYS.

As I was thumbing through a favorite book yesterday (Ed Welch’s When People Are Big and God Is Small), I providentially came across an underlined passage that articulates all of this so much better than I can: (emphasis mine)

When confronted with enemies, we should go directly to the Psalms if we are not sure how to feel or what to say. In them, we are given exactly what we need. What the Psalms do is lean against some of our natural instincts. When we are inclined to take matters into our own hands, the Psalms teach us to trust God. When we would insulate ourselves from pain, they teach us to trust God. Instead of vowing that we will never again move close to another person, we learn to trust God. Instead of extinguishing hope, the Psalms teach us to trust God and, as a result, be filled with jubilant expectations for the coming of the kingdom. You could say that the Psalms improve our quality of life.

Believe it with me!
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saturday (eliza day)

Good morning! I’m happily enjoying another lazy Saturday morning, sipping coffee and reading in bed. My niece spent the night last night and kept me up well past my (wimpy) early bedtime watching a movie on the Disney Channel. She stayed up much later, so she’s sleeping in now. When she gets up, we’ll plan our day.

edayIf you don’t follow me on instagram, you may not know that today is Eliza Day. Paul and I gave her that for her birthday last month, and today is the day. We’ll do what she wants to do, and so far I know that involves going to see the new Pixar movie.

For now, in the quiet of my bedroom, I’ve finished one book and am trying to finish another. We’re getting some much-needed rain, and it feels a lot like an Anne Day at the moment. :)

I may add more to this post if time allows, but for now I wish you a Happy Saturday,

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friday night light

You regulars probably already know that I love light. That’s why I rushed inside to grab my camera while Paul was grilling burgers this evening. The light was coming through the trees, illuminating the smoke, and I loved the effect. It was definitely better in person, but I tried to capture it quickly with my camera before the battery died:

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It’s a nice ending to the work week. And, hey, I’ve blogged 7 days in a row and picked up my camera! Wonders never cease.

Happy Friday y’all!
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“…that’s vulnerability.”

daringFrom Daring Greatly by Brené Brown:

Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow— that’s vulnerability. Love is uncertain. It’s incredibly risky. And loving someone leaves us emotionally exposed. Yes, it’s scary and yes, we’re open to being hurt, but can you imagine your life without loving or being loved?

To put our art, our writing, our photography, our ideas out into the world with no assurance of acceptance or appreciation— that’s also vulnerability. To let ourselves sink into the joyful moments of our lives even though we know that they are fleeting, even though the world tells us not to be too happy lest we invite disaster— that’s an intense form of vulnerability.

The profound danger is that, as noted above, we start to think of feeling as weakness. With the exception of anger (which is a secondary emotion, one that only serves as a socially acceptable mask for many of the more difficult underlying emotions we feel), we’re losing our tolerance for emotion and hence for vulnerability.