Back to Basics Ourselves Day 5

exerciseKEEPING ACTIVE

 

 

 

For some of us, an active lifestyle is easy but for the rest of us it required genuine effort and intention to make it happen.

Staying physically active (not just getting up from the computer to get something to eat) has many benefits.  How good are you at making a consistent part of your daily routine.

Here’s some motivation:

  • It increases your overall sense of well-being.
  • It gives you more energy.
  • It helps you sleep more soundly.
  • It helps keep your weight in check.
  • It reduces physical aches and pains
  • It produces long-term benefits; improved circulation, heart health, reduced risk of serious illness, builds strong bones, etc.

Here are some ideas for getting your exercise in a more natural way:

  • Family walks- whether it’s just around your neighborhood, at a local park, taking a hike in the summer, or anything else that you enjoy.
  • Playing sports or games outdoors with your children (soccer, basketball, etc.)
  • Bike rides.
  • Swimming.
  • Gardening. Hoeing? Tilling? Raking? It all counts, for building muscle and getting your heart pumping.
  • Power cleaning.

When we look at fitness in these every day ways we start to see how we can fit it into our schedules.

Questions for Reflection:

 1.  When is the best time for you to exercise?

2.  In what ways are you going to incorporate fitness into your daily routine?

3.  How do you think that adding fitness to your schedule will help you in the long run?

Come join us for encouragement and support at https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftoftheHome/

 

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Back to Basics – Ourselves Day 4

HEALTHY HOMES  

download (19)SIMPLE CLEANING

Remember our two main goals: Good Stuff In/Bad Things Out.  Our goal here is to avoid dangerous cleaning chemicals out of our homes.

Some ideas are:

  • Baking Soda.  For scrubbing and freshening.
  • White Vinegar.  For mirrors, windows, and odors.
  • All- Purpose Natural Concentrated Cleaner.
  • Essential Oils.  Adding to things like vinegar.
  • Natural-brand dish soap and dishwasher detergent.
  • Gentle laundry detergents.
  • Borax. For stubborn stains and hard-core cleaning jobs.

download (20)GENTLE BEAUTY

 

Our skin is the largest organ in our body, so if something goes on your skin it ultimately makes its way into your body, and into our blood stream.  Toxins accumulate in our bodies and can contribute to health concerns.

Here are some healthy ideas:

  • Castile soap or natural bar soap.
  • Coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.
  • Toothpaste.  You could try making your own with baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils and flavorings.
  • Hair Styling Products. There are more natural hair care lines on the market today, so look for the best option for you.
  •  Makeup: Mineral make-up has very few non-toxic minerals.
  • Deodorant/Anti-Perspirant: The first recommendation is to entirely forego the anti-perspirant in favor of a deodorant-only product. No, that’s not going to happen even though Our Creator designed sweating as one of the ways that toxins would be flushed from our bodies.  Instead let’s try to replace it with a gentler one.
  • Moisturizing: Coconut oil is a great alternative.

Questions for Reflection:

1. How can you replace your toxic cleaning supplies with better alternatives?

2. How can you replace your toxic beauty supplies with better alternatives? Yes, this one will be a toughie!

Come join us for encouragement and support at https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftoftheHome/

Back to Basics – Ourselves Day 3

images (19)HEALTHY CAN BE SIMPLE – BASIC NUTRITION

If we focus on making choices that work with the two focus points – 1. Put the good stuff in.  2. Keep the bad stuff out, we’ll be closer to healthy living than we think.

Remember we are taking small, easy steps; each step is an important foundation to build on for the next step.  We don’t have to do this perfect; we only have to try our best and trust the Lord with the results.

We also can’t allow this to become an issue of idolatry either.  Keep our eyes on Christ.  Keep our ears open to hear His voice.  Keep our spirit thirsty for the leading of His Spirit.  He will show us what to do.

What does it mean to eat basic, nutrition serving whole, real foods?

  • Eating as little as possible from a can, box or frozen package.
  • Using basic ingredients, like whole grains, meat, eggs, fish, dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, and healthy fats and oil.

Don’t get all flustered by nutrient content, reading labels.  Just put your effort into buying whole foods and preparing meals from scratch.  Try eating a wide variety of foods.

Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, rather than the inner aisles where there are more pre-made things.

Let’s talk about the food groups.

*Grains. Nothing refined, but only whole grains, like whole wheat, oats (not quick, but rolled or steel cut/Irish oats), Kamet or spelt (ancient grains, similar to wheat), rye, barley, millet, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice. Fresh ground flour.  Pasta, choose a whole grain or brown rice pasta over white. Breads should be home baked, or choose freshly-made whole grain bakery breads without

Preservatives (sprouted or sourdough is best). Hot cereals like oatmeal are ideal for breakfast, and homemade granola or muesli make a nice and easy cold alternative.

* Meat, poultry, and fish. Stick with basic cuts of chicken and beef, and pork.  Fish can be wild, fresh or frozen.

* Dairy and eggs. Eat real butter, unprocessed (and preferably un-dyed) cheeses, and plain yogurts or kefir made with genuine bacteria cultures.

* Vegetables and fruit. Organic or unsprayed produce is wonderful if you can get it. Some vegetables and fruits are higher in nutrients than others–cabbage, broccoli, dark leafy greens, blueberries, winter squash, pomegranates, orange foods like carrots, sweet potatoes and

squash, onion and garlic and too many others to possibly mention them all. Try to eat a “rainbow” of produce colors over the course of each week. Eat them often, with lots of variety, both cooked and raw.  Leaving them un-peeled (when practical) offers extra nutrients and fiber.

* Beans and legumes. These super foods are a wonderful, frugal way to boost the protein in your diet. Take advantage of their cost-effectiveness by buying them dry and in bulk. Start soaking in water overnight and cook the next morning or afternoon. It’s so simple, it stretches the grocery budget farther, and they’re packed full of fiber and minerals.

 * Fats and oils.  Don’t be afraid of consuming fat! Saturated fat is an important component of a nourishing diet. For higher-temperature cooking and baking, good choices are butter, coconut oil, palm oil, and old fashioned animal fats like rendered lard and tallow. For cold use, extra virgin olive oil, flax oil, and small amounts of unrefined (cold-pressed) vegetable oils like walnut and sesame are best.

 * Sweeteners. Use sweeteners minimally and use in their unrefined state. Avoid all white and brown sugar, corn syrup (especially high-fructose corn syrup), and powdered sugar.

* Condiments and spices.  The less that you can rely on store-bought the better. They’re simple to make yourself.  Buy simple spices and herbs to dress up your cooking and mix them yourself.

 * Beverages.  Go for water first.  Keep juice as a treat (although fresh juicing at home is a healthful idea).  Avoid pops and other sugar-laden drinks. I won’t try to convince you to ditch your coffee and tea, but try to keep your caffeine levels to a minimum. Herbal teas are a wonderful alternative.

Questions for Reflection:

1.  Look through your refrigerators, freezers and pantry’s.  How much processed food do you have?

2. Why do you think we eat so much of it?

3. What one small step could you do today to eat healthier?

Come join us for encouragement and support at https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftoftheHome/

Back to Basics – Ourselves Day 2

images (18) OUR BODIES

The human body is a masterful creation, made by a masterful Creator.  The body has very real needs in order to function as it was designed.  The body also possesses an incredible ability to heal itself.  We should be in awe of God who made us so intricately and made a world that is capable of nurturing us in health and wholeness.  Most of us don’t experience that… we are tired, sick, achy, and uncomfortable.

It’s our responsibility to care for our bodies; it’s the temple of the Holy Spirit.  There is a biblical case for being concerned about health and how “naturally” we live:

* The Leviticus laws are full of suggestions intended to preserve the health of God’s chosen people, from dietary restrictions to sanitation measures that prevented disease. God’s laws were given to His children in kindness, to keep them from the diseases that were frequently known by the other nations around them. (Leviticus 11, 13, 14:33-57, Exodus 15:26)

*God’s blessings of abundance for His people were frequently referred to in the context of wholesome foods and fruitful harvests (lands flowing with milk and honey, barns full of cattle and oxen, fruitful harvests). (Exodus 3:17, Deut. 6:3, Deut. 30:9, Lev 2:4-6)

* Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and they are not our own, but we are to glorify God with them. (1 Cor. 6)

*We are to do all- eating, drinking, everything to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)

The way we care for ourselves is another opportunity to bring glory to Him and manage the blessings He has abundantly given us.  We shouldn’t be pursuing better health out of fear but for the love of God and thankfulness for what He has graciously given us.

The heart of it all is stewardship.  Stewardship is the conducting, supervising or managing of something especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted into one’s care. (Merriam-Webster dictionary) So, even though we have been graciously given this earth and our bodies to live in and have dominion over, it’s not ours. It’s His.

Stewardship should be a huge concern for a Christian, particularly for the mother, wife, and homemaker.  The choices we make daily from the foods we serve, the things we buy, and even the soap we use ALL have an impact on our health.

When we make our health and our families’ health a priority we are conscientiously honoring God.  Yet there are benefits to us:

It will lead to a general sense of physical and emotional wellness.

  • It helps us to function more efficiently. We can wake up ready to go, have less aches, pains and illnesses, have more energy to be productive and get through our days with joy.
  • It will stabilize our moods, our demeanor and calm our emotions.
  • Opens our brains to think more clearly, learn more readily.
  • Frees us to serve wholeheartedly and energetically and do the things that God calls us to do.

This isn’t rocket science.  The major goal is to bring the heart back to a place of simplicity in God.  God isn’t asking you to do the impossible, He only asks us to be faithful.

There are 2 basic things to focus on for better health…

1. Put good stuff in

2. Keep the bad stuff out. 

Questions for Reflection:

1. What bad stuff do you need to keep out?

2. Have you made a plan to stop anything that could keep you from being all that God created you to be?

Come join us for encouragement and support at https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftoftheHome/

Back to Basics – Ourselves Day 1

bibleSTARTING THE DAY

I understand that many of us aren’t morning people.  If God wanted us to enjoy His magnificent sunrises they would come about 9 o’clock in the morning.  The Bible is filled with evidence that successful men (and women) of God rose early in the morning to worship the Lord. Genesis 22:3 (Abraham), Jacob (Genesis 28:18), Moses (Exodus 8:20), Joshua, David, Job, Isaiah, Daniel, the women who came to the empty tomb of Jesus, even Jesus rose early to worship thee Lord and spend time with Him.   “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35).

Getting up early doesn’t make you righteous.  Many Christians are guilty of giving God what’s left over at the end of the day. Most of us have jobs that require us to be up and moving at a certain time.  We grab the coffee and start rushing.  Life is routine.

Christians should rise early, so they can have a spiritual routine… our soul’s salvation depends on it!   “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high

time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11). Christ is the morning light that will shine on us: “Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light’” (Eph. 5:14).

There is no better way to start your day than with a smile.  Psalm 118:24 in my mind, “This is the day which the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” No matter how bad it was yesterday, today is a new day. “Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). Wake up with a smile ready to shine your light for all to see!

How successful can a Soldier of Christ be if he crawls out of bed half-naked and unarmed? We need to mentally dress our souls for battle by putting on the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness; next the feet are shod with the Gospel of Peace; then the Shield of Faith; next the Helmet of Salvation; and finally the Sword of the Spirit.

 The old saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” For a Christian our morning devotions are just as important. Jesus Himself had a habit of morning devotions with the Father. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark. 1:35).

Lysa TerKeurst says “Is it really important to spend time with God every day?  With all the demands of everyday life it can be hard to set aside time with Jesus. But I can tell a big difference in how I handle things on those days when I’ve done this as opposed to those days I haven’t.  Spending time reading the Bible and praying gives us the exact instruction and comfort we need to handle all God sees coming our way today. It’s the perfect way to receive His peace. Then with great expectation we can face the day and everything in it.  Because of the time we’ve spent with Him, Jesus has already impressed on our hearts how we should act and react in every situation. So, instead of being a slave to our emotions and reacting based on feelings, we can be prepared no matter what.

God commanded His servants to get up and obey Him first thing in the morning.  As Christians, we are commanded to communicate with our Master through prayer. This must be done daily, because Christ commanded us to pray for our daily needs. “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11).

Paul told us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Th. 5:17).

Questions for Reflection:

1.  What keeps you from getting up and obeying Him first thing in the morning?

2.  How do you think your day would go by obeying?  Would you shine your light?  Would your day go smoother with Him alongside you?

Come join us for encouragement and support at https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiftoftheHome/