vigorous and total attention

After what I wrote last time, guess I’d better ‘fess up and admit that this week’s runs have been hard. That’s a good thing, as long as I’m not in pain (since “pain is gain” is a myth). At least it seems that I’m always able to think of it as something I HAVE to do, once I’ve made a plan. Well, not that the plan doesn’t get tweaked a little, sometimes. Not usually at the last minute though–I’m not good at last-minute things, as much as I try to be better at that.

The intervals are now up to walk 1 minute/jog 4 minutes, 8 times; next week that is, this week I kept to 7 times. The week after that it’ll be NO intervals, just jogging for a certain length of time, which makes me happy! Because then I don’t have to keep thinking about which number of interval I’m on, and can just enjoy the scenery. And that should make the time go by. Also, it’s time to schedule runs for evenings, since it is now too warm to run in the afternoon. That’s another reason this week’s runs were hard; it’s always much easier to run in cool temps.

It’s still feeling good though! Man, did I ever sleep well last night!

In other news, I’m STILL learning things about meal-planning. Things that I already know in my head, but need to practise more. I’m talking breakfast and lunch meal-planning here, which is just as important as supper menus. I’ve been pretty good at planning for a variety of supper things, but we do tend to get in a rut with the other meals of the day. Which can lead to stomach problems!

When we paid to have that special blood testing done for Sam last year, it included a bunch of paperwork–information to help you with all of your particular intolerances, as well as some general stuff. One thing they said, is that if you eat the same thing again and again, you could develop an intolerance to it. Wheat is sometimes a problem, so I thought we were being careful about it. But what about the snack cookies every day, and wheat in either breakfast or lunch EVERY day?

Now that I think about it, we’ve always tended to latch on to something that we like, and keep eating the same thing for a long time: the same cookie every day (lo-cal or no), sometimes a particular restaurant that we keep going back to, or fast food place; one summer it was ice cream; I remember one vacation that every time I saw a Tim’s I wanted to get a cafe mocha. Even if it’s once or twice a week, if it goes on and on for many weeks, it can become a problem.

The good thing about intolerances though, is that you can usually fix it by staying “off” the food for awhile, and then carefully and slowly adding it back in. And after that, not overdoing it! Apparently the gluten-free diet fad is finally fading. However, we do have SO much wheat in our diet, it would be good to try for more of a variety. Really only celiacs need to be “gluten-free”, but the fad has been good for causing an availability of variety, so that you don’t have to eat SO MUCH wheat.

“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life–to God!–is vigorous and requires total attention.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

head shot from Crystal's wedding

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I can testify to that!

Have I ever said how amazed I am about how quickly the body can improve? :P

Today my intervals were walk for 1 minute–jog for 3 minutes, 8 times. Several times when my alarm went off for the 3-minute mark, I said Already? Even with taking the summers and winters off, I’m so much better than the very first time, when those 1-minute run intervals seemed sooooo long!

Regardless of it getting easier and easier, it still feels so good to sit and relax, after the cool-down stretches. And–what an excellent sleep I have on those nights! This pleasant feeling comes in rather handy on these cold, cloudy days that come after Spring has fooled us into thinking the warm weather is here for good.

The other thing I want to testify about, has to do with our new business. It takes a LOT of hydro power to run it, so we’re in the process of buying some land in Quebec, where they charge much less for their power, for businesses. We’d had in mind to be starting up in Quebec in April, but things just don’t work out that quickly. So it turns out that we’ll be shutting down for the month of May.

We decided that, and then heard the news that Ontario Hydro is hiking the power rates on May 1st! Plus, the value of the things we’re making (bitcoins) is in kind of a slump right now… they’ll perhaps go up by the time we’re “in business” again…

We can’t always see it that easily, but God’s timing is perfect: I can testify to that! :)

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HOW many times??

You know the expression “blow away the chaff”, referring to being able to take something of value from what people say, and just “blow away” anything that isn’t (in a nice way, hopefully!) Well, I’ve had to do that with a book I purchased recently.

My current little preoccupation has been about praying scripture. There are so many verses that you can actually turn into prayer, and I started by trying to record the ones that I might use, as I came across them. When I discovered that I’d totally missed an excellent way to make Psalm 1 a prayer, it seemed like it would be a good idea to search out one of the books I’d heard about, that have listed prayers from the Bible for you.

The one I ended up buying (Kindle) seemed worth getting excited about: a modern day Prayer Book, extolling the benefits of praying scripture–helps you find the right words, keeps you focussed, etc.–using a modern version of the Bible and organized nicely into categories. Then I came across this paragraph, in one of the introductions:

“My advice to everyone is always the same: Both you and your children should begin to pray Revelation 4 at least 100 times out loud to God, 10 times a day, for 10 days straight. Then, you will see God!”

Now, I’m so embarrassed that I’m not even going to tell you the author or the name of the book! But, look what I happened to read this morning (not in THIS book!):

“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply…” (Matthew 6:7-9)

*wince*  That is a bit harsh on the poor guy… He does say some good things, pointing out that the Church has had prayer books since “time began” kind of thing; the Jews (in Jesus’ time) prayed three times a day, just like the Muslims, etc. He’s not actually presenting a formula for getting what you want, he just wants you to draw close to God. But still…

Anyway, I guess I’ll forgive him for that paragraph. Mostly.

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Right Now

Did you know that negative ions make you feel positive? And there are LOTS of negative ions outside on a Rainy Day, so stick your head out! It will feel much better than it looks! I’m going out, since my 3 days of running shouldn’t be done two days in a row (now that I’ll actually be running more than 2 minutes at a time).

Sometimes you have to “remain under” a shower, in order to clean out your soul… That’s a segue to my sermon words for this week. The word that translates into “persevere” means to “remain under”: we have to remain under the trials God allows, in order for him to complete the work he is doing in us. One of the ways we often respond, is to desperately look for an escape. We need to just hold on/endure, looking forward to the eventual, glorious result. (“Jesus, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross…”)

That verse is always coming to my mind; perhaps I should look up the reference. :S However, I have FINALLY changed my Home Page verse!! This is another one that is always coming to mind (Matthew 6:34), which in the NLT begins, “Do not worry…” I DON’T worry… because I’m always thinking of this verse! But I love the way The Message puts it, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now.”

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The answer is on the way.

My “bedtime” is usually pretty early, but my excuse is that I always read in bed, before falling asleep. Very often though, I only get to read a “page” before starting to drop off. I’m pretty good at catching myself and unplugging (audio book), before the story goes too far ahead without me. If the narrator is a good reader, you can get rudely awakened when there’s sudden action! Like the other night when someone “yelled” in the book, and then I yelled! :D

Last night, I kept thinking the book was coming to an end, so kept it going–and of course, the culminating plot kept me quite attentive. But it went on and on! Finally I gave up, at around 1 am. Probably tonight I’ll find that there was only 1 minute left. :S

All that is just to say something else besides the other couple of things I want to record.

  • Some great sermon words from last Sunday: “often we prune but don’t deal with the root” (we need to be serious about it);
  • LOVE what I read this morning from Guideposts, about when you’re praying and praying, and waiting… and nothing seems to be happening. The author described a tanker she watched go by, and how the water was all calm and it wasn’t making a noise. After it almost disappeared, she heard a loud noise and saw waves, etc. God IS answering your prayer, it just hasn’t reached you yet!
  • I’ve been hearing/talking a lot lately about my Word for this year (service)–but it’s opposite! Meaning, the lesson is that we can be ALL service, and forget about just spending time with the One we’re serving (“you have left your first love”). The fiction book I was reading last night (The Face of God, by Bill Myers–and read by him) was about that, with this amazing reminder of what Jesus said: “I no longer call you servants, but friends“!

Have a wonderful day!!

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no religious lace

Once again, I’m amazed at how quickly the body can improve. Even though I only “run” two seasons of the year: yesterday was my first time out for this season, and the interval running was SO easy! I’m glad that I decided to only do one day of each of the first three weeks of that particular interval schedule, all in the one week. Next week I switch out of that Rookie Running schedule, to a 5-week run training. Last week I did high-intensity intervals just with walking–man, that’s harder than running!

Now that there is cross-country skiing to do in the winter, I’m only lacking some good exercise to do in the summer. Maybe swimming? That seems like it takes up so much time, what with having to change, dry up, etc., but we’ll see.

Meanwhile, lots of action happening, though slowly, for our business. Next week we have to get our trailer out because of it. SO wonderful to see this Spring weather, to be able to look out at my beautiful brick yard (now totally revealed with the snow gone), and dream about all my “babies” (trees) coming to life. It certainly makes me less willing to actually go on holiday this summer… I want to stay at my beautiful (still new) home! :P

Going to end off with some unrelated scripture, but Good Stuff nonetheless!

“And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.” (Matthew 5:33-37)

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You don’t really have to sit down for this.

A few items of SHOCKING news this morning, totally unrelated to each other:

  • I’m going to unpack my FINAL BOX today. Yes, I’m talking about all the boxes from our move last July. This one has plant hangers and such in it, and now that I’ve decided (for now) what I’m doing about plants, that stuff can be put away. Somewhere. See photo below of my favourite plant, winding up branches from my dogwood tree. (THANKS Mom!)
  • The SNOW IS GONE! The shocking part of this is that it was still there yesterday, during that beautiful almost-hot 20 C weather!
  • Another hint from the internet WORKED! At last, I’ve found a way to wash those dirty streaks that are between the windows on your oven door!! You must have them, doesn’t everyone? If you want to know how to get rid of them, let me know!

OK, enough shocking news for today.

plant on dogwood branchesBy the way, THIS idea was all my own! Aren’t I smart?

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True life has the best stories

You’ll roll your eyes and think “not again”, but I’ve finally found what I want for morning devotions.

For awhile now, I’ve just been reading the New Testament without any commentary, or any specific plan; because I like to go very slowly, chewing it up, and see what God says to me, not to someone else. The Old Testament, on the other hand, requires a commentary to keep me focused–besides, it’s interesting to learn all the nuances about the original language, with some ancient historical facts added in. (I use a commentary at

One does like a little extra devotional reading though, and I’ve been trying different ones from YouVersion, John Piper, Joyce Meyer, etc. Ohmygosh, there is SO much “fluff” shared on Facebook!!! Lots of good “fluff” mind you, but one’s brain tends to get tired of it. If it’s something you need at the moment, that’s fine, but… Maybe it’s similar to crying wolf? You get so used to it that you glaze over it.

Anyway, I’ve finally found what I want. Many years ago, my Mom gave me a subscription to Guideposts magazine, which was a little thing full of true life stories. I kept renewing it for a few years, but it then became a nuisance to find the American stamp for it–there was no Canadian edition. Of course, now I’ve found it (free) online! It was one of those many “fluff” shares on Facebook, lol!

I’m not one to sit down and read a Chicken Soup for the Soul book, but these online stories (actually, I’ve signed up for email deliveries of them) are right up-to-date. Like the one I read this morning about Glen Campbell’s wife dealing with his Alzheimer’s–such a beautiful, touching story! Guideposts has a section for caregivers, a category of animal stories, a few different ones that are all about prayer, and more. I was leery about signing up for so many emails (I didn’t check them ALL), but there actually haven’t been that many. They don’t even come every day. However, when you read one, there are always links for more of the same! :)

So, a new “favourite link” about to be added to my sidebar!

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Don’t waste those rainy days!

We had a lesson going ’round awhile ago: “Don’t waste your pain.” The idea is that there is a reason for everything that happens to you, and if you don’t learn the lesson you’re supposed to learn, or use your grief to comfort someone else, or whatever, you’ve wasted the pain. However, what I’m talking about here today, in this title, is meant quite literally. As simple as it is, it’s also a very important truth.

Because Sunny Days ARE coming! When I checked the weather this morning, a gasp of surprise and excitement escaped my lips: 20.degrees.celsius expected on MONDAY!!

Tell me this: who wants to be inside on a day like that? So that only leaves today and tomorrow to do all the things that one has to do INSIDE.

Just think, when the sun is shining and it’s wonderful get-outside weather, I won’t be able to work on my puzzles any more. Or work on photos, since bright light makes them hard to see on the computer. Man, I hope it keeps snowing or raining for several more days.


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A housewife I am

When I have just a few minutes between things, it’s fun just to browse something on the internet. Ravelry for example, has been a favourite, where you can find all kinds of free patterns. I’ve got enough projects planned for awhile now.

Recently I signed up for Pinterest, just because when I clicked on some things, it would be hidden unless I signed up. I’ve been organizing websites for a few years now, with a different tool, “Clipix”, which is why I’ve resisted Pinterest. But now there’s Pinterest for “spare minute browsing”…. HA! Did I say a “few minutes”?

Last night I meant to put away my puzzle and start one more before sitting-outside time really gets into swing. But there was a notification telling me there were a bunch of Pins for me to check out. No problem, I was flipping through all those landscape photos and cute children pretty fast. What do you think finally distracted me for a few hours? Housecleaning tips!

So now I’ve got notes on magical simple-ingredient cleaners, for the kitchen, the floors, the bathroom. For example, did you know you should “fight oil with oil”? It reminds me of how amazed I was at the nice job Skin-So-Soft did of cleaning my furniture, last summer when I was working at removing duct-tape spots that were everywhere because of moving. Apparently it works on stoves as well–oil, that is. And vinegar and soap in the bathroom, and a peroxide mixture for stains on your clothes, and sprinkle baking soda on your mattress to clean it, and…

Maybe I’ll get my puzzle put away tonight.

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