Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Blog

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Blog

Are you going through a rough time right now?Are you so consumed with the problem that you can hardly concentrate on anything else? Is there a person, or situation that is causing you pain?

Count yourself fortunate. If you are experiencing pain, it means that you are still alive. That is a good thing, because life is valuable and precious no matter what.

The truth is, no person or situation can ruin your life unless you let it. It is not the situation that makes us who we are, it is our response to the pain in our life that reveals who we are and what we will become. We can choose to respond in anger and other negative ways and become bitter. Or, we can choose to respond with forgiveness and unconditional love and become better.

If you think you are the only one who has experienced this pain, you are probably wrong. Others have felt what you have felt. They have either chosen the wrong path and allowed it to destroy them and others, or they have chosen to embrace the pain of the situation and allowed it to push them into a person of better character. There is nothing like the healing power of forgiveness.

I only speak from experience. There was a person in my life who caused a lot of grief and whose actions dashed a lot of my dreams. I was good to this person and for a long time was wholly committed to him. During this time I was betrayed over and over and as if that wasn’t enough, once I had moved on with my life he chose to take my most precious gifts away. Those were my children.

I don’t know of anything worse than forced separation from someone you love. My forced separation from my children came at a time when the whole world was afraid of a major blackout, 1999. Since my children were over a thousand miles away from me, I didn’t know if I’d ever see them again or even hear their voices. I wondered daily to myself, “Am I going to make it through this?”

Of course I knew I would. There had been other instances of the pain of loss in my life, and I had made it through, but not alone. In 1987, just two weeks after a major betrayal from the previous mentioned person, my younger sister was killed in a car crash on her way to work. It seemed my life was completely spinning out of control and now my sister was gone. Waves of sorrow would come and go. I tried to stay strong for my infant son that I was caring for at the time. That is when I turned to the only true source of hope that I knew about.

Back when I was six years old, my eighteen-year-old aunt babysat me and my younger brother and sister. At night I would cozy up next to her as she was reading her book in bed. I noticed that there were markings she had made with a pen in her book. At certain points she had drawn two or three stars. She had also underlined and double underlined words in this book that she read every day. In my young mind I realized this was a very important and necessary book for her. She loved this book. I looked forward to being able to read so I could learn and be as excited as she was about those words. The book had a black leather cover and had the words Holy Bible inscribed in gold on the front cover and spine.

With that memory, I got out my own personal copy of the Holy Bible. I had not read it for a long time. I was too busy trying to figure out my life and survive. As I read in the middle of the book, the Psalms, I sensed warmth surrounding me. As I read and cried over my sister, the tears fell on the words that comforted me. The more I read, the more I was comforted. Then I wondered why God would choose to comfort me when I had forgotten about him so long ago. I almost expected the warmth to withdraw with that thought, but I was pleasantly overwhelmed with goodness when the comfort remained. It was then I realized that the warmth was the love of God enfolding me like a fresh, warm blanket. I knew that something changed that day, for I have never been the same.

Through many sad situations I have felt pain, despair, agony, emotional numbness, worthlessness, ugliness, all kinds of heartache. But once I felt the love from God when I knew I did not deserve it, He had my attention. I kept reading my Holy Bible and learned about forgiveness. Through my many experiences with pain and disappointment I have had plenty of opportunities to forgive. I admit I could never have done it in my own power. I needed the love of God to do it. As a younger child I had given my heart to him, but strayed away in adolescence growing cold in the ways of the world. Once I felt that warmth of genuine love when I didn’t deserve it, I renewed my relationship with God. I understood that through the perfect sacrifice of his son Jesus that the curse of the sin of Adam on humans was reversed, thereby giving us power over the effects of evil in our lives and in the world and ensuring eternal life in heaven. I also had the assurance of knowing I would see my sister again in heaven, for she was a believer too.

It was confirmed to me that I had truly forgiven the person who hurt me the most. You see the person was the father of the little infant son mentioned above. When the son was eighteen years old he was in a near-fatal car crash and we were told he wouldn’t make it. All of his friends were allowed in the ICU to say goodbye. For the next six weeks I stayed near the hospital to care for the son who was a lot like an infant again during the night as he lay in a coma. His father watched over him during the day after I retreated to my dorm room to sleep. The hospital workers commented in amazement at how well we got along. This was just a testimonial as to what the power of forgiveness can do. I used to have nightmares about my ex-husband and my present husband being in the same dream. Well the dream came true as we were all sitting around the ICU waiting area eagerly hoping to hear a bit of news about our son. Nothing bad happened between the men, it was just surreal.

If you are sitting there in pain, know that someone cares. It’s Jesus. He feels the pain you feel. His whole purpose is to save you from your own sins as well as the effects of the sins of others. If you’re tired of the way things are going, choose to do something different. Choose to allow change. Trust God with your life. Read his book. It is full of promises for you and even your children. Many people have let me down, but since I trusted Christ, he has never let me down. Things don’t always go the way I think they should, but in the end what happens turns out for the better and at the right time.

All you need to do is talk to God. Be blatantly honest. Tell him everything. Ask for his forgiveness. Receive his love. Ask him to help you understand his book and what you should do. He will help you. He will give you his peace that cannot be taken away.

Know that something great is about to happen inside of you. If you embrace this truth as your heart is being tried, something wonderful is being created inside you and is going to emerge.

Instead of a bag of chips with your lean hamburger try these.

Wash and cut 6 or 8 medium potatoes. (Double the amount of people you are cooking for.)

Cut potatoes lengthwise and place in a large bowl.

Turn on your oven to bake a 450 degrees.

Get out a measuring cup and put 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil in it.

Add a heaping tablespoon of spices to the oil and mix. Ideas for spices are Italian blend, or Cajun or Mexican spice. You could also use Canadian steak spices or seasoned salt.

Pour the oil mix over the potatoes. Stir the potatoes around with a big spoon. You could add some Parmesan cheese at this point if you used Italian blend.

Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with foil. Spray or rub a little oil on it. Place the potato wedges skin side down separately on the foil.

Put on middle or lower oven rack for about 20 minutes. It may take a little longer depending on your oven, so get one out and test it for doneness. It should be real easy to cut with a fork.

These are also great plain. You can dip them in healthy ketchup or ranch dressing. OOOOh. My favorite shortcut is that I pour an oil based salad dressing over the potatoes like Newman’s Family Recipe Italian. Yum.

Just a couple of years ago, the factory at which my husband was employed for eighteen years closed down. So, we know what it is like to have invested yourself in a company only to be left out in the cold. This can be a blessing in disguise. Once you get over the grief of displacement, you are free to discover what you were put on the earth to do and do it.We were out of town visiting relatives when we got the news. Our friends called and told us that the very well-known international company my husband worked for made the front page: Plant Closing. You could have knocked us over with a feather. There’s the initial shock, then anger, grief and depression over the next several months. There had been talk of a closing for several years, but now it was in black and white. The company did offer a position in another state which we considered until we decided if someone else made an offer here, we’d stay. Someone else did place an application in his hand and he followed through and got the job. We are grateful for the job and that we didn’t have to move. However, we now know that you can’t bank on having a job—being an employee that is. Although my DH speaks highly of his fellow employees, he doesn’t really enjoy what he is doing. And there’s that nagging feeling that he could be doing something he loves and not be locked in to a particular income range. That is why for the last couple of years we have been researching and educating ourselves in the area of home business.

Since I am a stay at home mom by choice, I had been interested in home business for quite some time. When we got the news of the plant closing its doors, I became a lot more serious in my research. That is when I crossed paths with Rhea Perry of Educating for Success. A fine woman of upstanding character and a natural entrepreneur, she has devoted her life to helping others break free from the system and get out of the Rat Race altogether. She does this by conducting classes, teleseminars, webinars and holding various home business conferences. All of her speakers are proven experts in the fields of online businesses such as internet marketing, ebay, and websites; real estate, the stock market, grants, writing, speaking, and other areas of entrepreneurial education. Rhea teaches character first and chooses all of her speakers accordingly.

Whether you are out of a job or looking to have your own business, maybe it’s time to get some help in figuring out what you were put on this planet to do, then take some steps toward that goal. It is possible you may need to try a few things to see what fits. Education is key. We have made a choice to attend Rhea’s Entrepreneur Days conference in Atlanta, GA on August 24-26, 2007. You can listen and get a mini education from the audios now posted on the conference website:

There is no charge for the audios.

Recently my DH and I made a decision to refrain from eating animal products, processed foods and caffeine for a period of 40 days. For me, the hardest part was giving up coffee. I literally had withdrawal symptoms in my pelvic and leg bones. The pain kept me up at night and I wondered if I was going to die on the second and third days. I made it through and since the fast I have switched to wonderful green tea, which has only a third of the caffeine in black tea, which has only a third of the caffeine found in a cup of coffee. Sometimes I have a cup of a black tea blend. Occasionally I will have a cup of decaf when I miss the taste of coffee. At night, I enjoy herbal tea, like apple with cinnamon. If you are thinking of making the switch to tea, get the good stuff. Currently my favorite teas are imported from Israel and are called Mount of Olives Treasures. Great name for a great tea. What are your favorite teas?

He didn’t go on a diet to lose weight, so we don’t have any weights and measurements documented, only some before and after photos that show the weight loss. What we did do was we made a decision to refrain from eating animal products, processed foods and caffeine for a period of 40 days. Why 40 days? Because we decided to join a nationwide fast and pray event for our country and our world. That may sound lofty to some, but we believe God hears the smallest, weakest prayer from a sincere, yielded heart. At times we were weak, especially in the beginning. Giving up the sugar was the hardest part for him. He hardly ever eats dessert, but he liked to drink almost a gallon of sweet iced tea per day. As the pounds starting falling off, he immediately noticed his knee joints felt better. He also stopped falling asleep in his chair and began looking for things to do. He definitely felt better and wanted to be more productive. He didn’t follow any exercise routine, but he did get some exercise through gardening. He had been really anxious about gaining weight since his new job did not require the amount of physical labor he was used to at his previous job. I have to mention that my DH was a “meat and potatoes” man all the way. His favorite food was a big, juicy hamburger or two with all the fix-ins and a double order of fries. I used to cook meat for every dinner. We no longer eat this way. Now, if we want a hamburger, we have one. Just one, preferably made from organic, lean beef on healthy bread with fix-ins and homemade oven fries. (see recipe) I will be adding recipes to this blog including what we ate during the fast and what we eat now. We definitely have been making better eating choices. We have benefited so much from this choice. We have less pain, feel more productive and our marriage has been enhanced. I didn’t lose as much in the mid-section without exercise, but my DH says my fluffy stuff is gone and my face looks thinner. Before the fast, we were both about 35-40 lbs. overweight.