August 30, 2008

The Purpose of Eating

Because of the remarkable changes that I'll be seeing in my life in the next few months, I felt the time had come for me to fast. One thing I've learned is that it doesn't work for me to sign any kind of contract when I fast. I merely step into very shallow water, then discover as I make progress that I am able to, and want to go deeper. Then I wait till I feel the work is done, and I resume eating.

One thing that seemed right, as I prayed about it and read the Scriptures, was that I didn't want to take any kind of food at all, not even sugar in my tea. I drank lots of herb teas, but nothing caffeinated. And I had no clue how long it would last. I started just thinking that I would go meal by meal, and I felt the Lord enable me.

As a teenager I found the book, God's Chosen Fast, by Arthur Wallis. I refer to it when I'm fasting (which isn't very often), but it's wonderfully informative and simple. I would recommend it to anyone.

As I began eating again, I posted a note on my refrigerator. Since my appetite (and stomach capacity) had shrunk, I wanted to take advantage of that and eat less long-term. Here's how I encouraged myself:

KATHY
Eating: will not relieve pain
will not make you feel better
will not solve loneliness
will not give you purpose
will not give you long term pleasure
will not help you with your issues
is too often just a pacifier!
Feel a need?
get a warm drink
get a cold drink
take a walk
pray

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August 25, 2008

Living for Joy

"Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights."

Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV

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This may sound depressing, but let’s look a little deeper. This scripture “according to Kathy” would go like this:

"Though the list of things I need may be long,
very long, overwhelming and impossibly long;
yet I will rejoice in my Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

My strength and my joy comes from the Lord,
who is Sovereign;
He can give me strength no matter what I have
and He enables me to walk in the highest places!"

This week I am encouraged (and yes, joyful!) that God has heard my prayer concerning employment, and His blessing is coming soon. With some days of fasting and tuning my hearing, I believe, as I have asked, “a good job” is about to open up for me. I will walk on the heights! I’ll keep you posted…

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August 8, 2008

Green, yellow, red, brown, blue, purple

The August grass is crunchy beneath my sneakers, and every step stirs up a little "poof" of dust and attaches itself to the hem of my jeans. Trudging across the yard to the garbage cart through the sunshiny yellow dandelions whipping my ankles, I decide that the differences in the seasons is actually refreshing.

I am spoiled by the naturalness of the color GREEN in our part of Oregon. Green just happens.

I love seeing the weed flowers by the side of the road that I call "July Flowers". They seem to glow blue! And though I see patches of golden brown grass seed farms and blackberries starting to blush red and purple, green still rules! The hillsides are covered with deep green timber and Christmas trees.

I relished the smell of ripened grain baking in the sun as I drove home last night. Then the wind carried in the fragrance of fresh mint from the field.

If the seasons didn't bring changes, I might never notice some of these things. If there were only evergreen trees, I would never enjoy the fragrances from the fields and the wide spectrum of the colors of fruitfulness.

If everything were the same, how dull life would be!


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August 3, 2008

My Path Turned South

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: I am studying Medical Transcription and Medical Terminology. My proofreading business is in hibernation for now.

You know, these twists and turns in my life aren't always fun. Tonight I am uneasy and confused about my future work. I retired from foster care a year and a half ago, and I'm still unsettled. Long ago I learned that when a man (husband, father) loses his job, he normally fights depression and questions his value as a provider. I had no idea I'd have similar struggles as an "empty nester". Wow. I thought I had this all figured out long ago; but no, now I'm back to "what is the meaning of my life?"

I spent so many years in the mother-of-young-ones profession, that I have to continually tell myself that I am talented, smart, equipped and skilled in other areas as well. That's the hard part - the self-talk. Not too many people will walk up to a floundering 52-year old student and tell her she's talented, smart, equipped and skilled. (yeh, I guess I'm begging for attention here, aren't I!)

I'm actually doing very well in my studies, but it seems like the life work I seek is far out there - even out of sight. Unreachable. Not gonna happen for me. But then, I'm just tired tonight.

It often looks very promising, and exciting as well. It's time to encourage myself...

Some day I will see how my pursuits have all made sense. In fact, they do now! The step from proofreading to medical terminology is understandable. I need to patiently work through my assignments and keep my eyes open for opportunities. Somehow my hands will find the work that I can do with all my might, as unto the Lord, as the scriptures say.

On my walk in the Christmas trees tonight, the thought occurred to me that my headstone should read: I TRUST GOD. I sure want that to be true!

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