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I have joined Goddess Leonie’s Goddess Circle. It has been calling to me for months and then April 1 was the start of the Creative Goddess e-course. I could not resist. Creativity has been calling me for quite a while now. I want to explore what embracing it will do…and so it begins…

Tonight, my daughter and I painted. I have not painted since…like…forever. We made a mess, we listened to our hearts and we just did it. She moved on to other things after she was done, but my heart still had something to say…

And so I wrote words as they came to my head. I drew wavy lines that at first had no meaning until I began to see. I then picked up my pen and created a story that curiously matched the picture. Where did that come from? I don’t care, it just feels good to create!

My artwork:

My daughter’s artwork:

My drawing:

My story:

A light rain drizzled over her head. It dripped down the side of her face and off her nose. She could feel the wetness building at the nape of her neck. Her shoulders hunched as she tried to pull the jacket closer around her neck. She knew the tears would come soon. At this point, who cared? Alone in the dark…again. She felt the cold seep into her bones. The rain came harder and her soul grew heavier. The voices teased her over and over. Her own words, spewing hatred to the face in the mirror. His words of rejection and ridicule. Their laughter behind her back.

“Ridiculous”

“Silly”

“Stupid”

“Weird”

“Unworthy”

Each word pushing the knife deeper into her heart.

The rain ran in rivers down her neck. She’d given up on holding the collar tight to her throat. There was no point waiting here any longer. It was evident that he wasn’t coming.

Somehow, her feet moved. Her mind had nothing to do with it. It didn’t care if she stood there and dissolved into the nothingness she felt. But somehow…her feet carried her.

Her hands were numb as she lifted her sleeve to check the time. She had to look again when the only thing that registered when she looked was the fact that he hadn’t called. No one had. No one was looking for her or wondering if she was OK.

The rain poured harder. Thunder began to rumble in the distance. Her feet still carried her forward. Relentless. Pushing on. Splashing through puddles. Forward. She did not think about where they were taking her. All she could hear was those terrible words.

Somewhere, she heard a bird singing. She noticed the water running down her face was just from her hair. The rain had lifted. Still her feet carried her…closer and closer to the quiet. She heard the dripping leaves litter the forest floor with moisture. More birds chimed in and rustled above her.

She noticed she was on a different path this time. This one was quiet. Flickering sunlight peaked at her from through the glistening leaves.

Her icy hands pushed her hair slick back on her head. It felt good to get the dripping off of her face. Her temperature slowly climbed as her feet carried her along the path that gently rose up toward the sky. She could feel her heart in her chest, pushing blood to her cold fingers. The sun was stronger now. She could feel the steam starting to rise from her soaked clothing. The birds were louder; louder than the words.

As her hear pounded, her mind began to settle. The screaming faded to a mutter that she had trouble hearing. She began to forget those angry faces and noticed the clouds as the sun pushed through them.

She remembered a poem that she had written so many years ago. At another time and place when the ideas flowed from her heart like the rain that she’d just been through:

The waves that once were raging with fury

now lap softly at the deserted beach.

The green, murky waters wash the traces

of the storm away to hide in its depths.

Never to be see by the fretful world

in all its grimness and all its pain.

The Lord has commanded the waves to show us

that there is peace, along with the storms.

And the parting black clouds in our hearts

must give way to the shining Son — always.

Why had those words come to her after all these years? Why now? And how did she remember every word she’d written? Suddenly, she realized her feet had stopped moving. The path was gone. She lifted her head…

She felt it more than saw it. The grace. The beauty. Tears blurred her vision. She could see so far around her from this spot. So beautiful, so peaceful, so small. How did everything get so small? She felt so big. Higher than that dark world below. She realized she’d stretched her arms out and had lifted her face to the sun. She felt its warmth deep in her soul. Warm tears squeezed from beneath her eyelids. They ran down her face until she felt them on her lips. She tasted the salt and felt her own smile.

She turned and looked back towards the path…only to find that it was not there. Dense foliage blocked her way. The birds soared about her calling her name. She was sure she’d heard her name? Was she mistaken? Where did the path go? She was sure she’d come from that direction. The only way she could see was a rocky path along a ledge in front of her. She knew she did not come up that way.

Her clothes were starting to dry. The voices and the faces had disappeared entirely. Gone with the strange path that her feet had followed to this place. The words of the poem repeated and ran together in her mind.

The rocky path ahead was narrow. She felt her heart quicken and her face flush:

“What if it wasn’t the right way?”

“Maybe she should force her way back through the dense foliage?”

“Stay with the way she thought she knew?”

“What if she went ahead and the rocky path got steeper?”

“What if it became two paths?”

“Which way would she go?”

She could just sit here and enjoy the view, couldn’t she? Surely someone would come? But who? Who was she waiting for?

The birds continued their glorious celebration all around her.

She took one last look at where she thought she’d been. She breathed in the beauty all around her once more. Her body filled with the sights and smells and sounds of this glorious place. It filled up her courage and her heart. Her mind stopped asking the question as her soul took over:

“What a grand adventure may lie ahead?”

“I wonder what I’ll see?”

“How many other paths are there?”

“How many will I get a chance to follow?”

“Will the birds follow me?”

“What am I waiting for?”

And her feet carried her forward once again. And the sun shone. And the birds sang. And she heard these words:

“Strength”

“Love”

“Healing”

“Faith”

“JOY”

…and she smiled.

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As I mentioned in an earlier post – this is the first time I’ve observed Lent and didn’t realize that there are only 40 days of Lent because you’re not supposed to count Sundays. No matter – the point is, we’re still progressing along as best we can! One more week until Easter Sunday! We’ll be heading to an Easter brunch with Bruce’s Dad. We love this tradition.

I’ve also mentioned that we’ve decided to keep off the refined sugar as much as possible. We’ve noticed such a difference in the way we feel. None of us want to go back there. We won’t be as strict, but better than we were before. We’ll continue to shop on the outside aisle of the grocery store…Bruce and I went today – it’s so much faster shopping now. We just go through the produce section (that takes the most time), then the dairy for milk and plain yogurt and cheese and then we hit the meat (we don’t buy much there even) and then we find a few lower sugar, whole grain breads. We haven’t been buying as much of that as we used to. We have no reason to go down the other aisles except when we need coffee or beans. The occasionally pasta and sauce, but rarely now.

We have cheated a little this weekend with the alcohol thing. You know how I mentioned that I was craving a glass of wine on Friday night? Well, my hubby came home with a bottle when he came home from work. We each had 1/2 the bottle! LOL! Tonight, we’re sampling a glass of his homemade wine that is pretty much ready. Soooo good! Look! It’s almost gone!

 

Saturday Menu

Breakfast: – simple, slow (but still early!) getting up. Rye toast with natural peanut butter

a.m. snack: – a variety of fresh fruit (cantaloupe, kiwi, etc)

Lunch: – homemade macaroni and cheese, fresh veggies (broccoli, carrots, cucumbers) and dill pickles

p.m. snack: the lunch was later and lots, so we skipped this

Supper: homemade meat loaf, mashed cheddar potatoes, peas from my mother’s garden! 🙂

 

Sunday Menu

Breakfast: today, I splurged in the sugar department – I made homemade 1/2 whole grain biscuits, we did have a little whole berry jam on them. The kids complain when we don’t have the sugary jams. They don’t like “chunks” in their jam. Too bad! LOL! That’s the only kind we’re having from now on.

a.m. snack: missed this today with the later breakfast

Lunch: slice of rye bread with cheddar cheese

p.m. snack: almonds

Supper: Bruce made a delicious roast prime rib with carrots and potatoes. He made fresh whole grain bread and quinoa salad to go with it. Sooooo very good!! I ate way too much! LOL! A perfect Sunday supper!

Lent Day 38

This party girl is curled up on the couch in her pj’s (and it’s not even 7:30) on a Friday night!! Lol! I’m posting then having tea and reading one of my books! Not sure which one yet! They’re all so good!

It was another spring day. Fingers crossed that it will stay that way. I actually saw my oldest tonight and we even talked for a few minutes! The other two have been playing well together, minus one upset that they managed to resolve for each other. My girl is teaching my boy compassion and he’s teaching her self-control. It’s interesting to observe their dynamics some days….other days it drives me crazy!!!

B is at work this evening, so I find myself hanging out with the dogs. I thought about working but decided to lay low tonight. The only thing missing is a glass of wine…

Breakfast – my smoothie with some fresh juiced apples in it today. It was actually a bit too sweet!

a.m. Snack – Friday coffee party….well there were some grapes there! Lol!

Lunch – quinoa salad – lots of crunchier stuff in there today. Even radishes! 🙂

p.m. Snack – chia with strawberries. I keep forgetting some almonds or some nuts to put in there!

Supper – turkey a la king and rice. Not as healthy a choice, but not too bad. Leftover turkey, green pepper, celery, peas from the farm that we picked last summer, reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup & a little milk. I threw in some fresh parsley as well. It was good comfort food that filled everyone up. I then had a banana just before writing this.

I hope to make some raw chocolate this weekend and plan some veggie full meals! I’ll keep you posted! Have a great weekend friends! 🙂

Lent Day 37

I’m horizontal blogging tonight. Feeling tired. I just returned from the Be the Change Circle. Always such an incredible experience. I’m full of thanks and inspired to throw my stone in the pond and let the rest just happen. It’s none of my business where it goes. Love that Kristin!

Today, got a little more coaching at the gym. Wow, I really need to work on my core! Each day, we need to challenge ourselves or there’s not much point going.

Menu

Breakfast – smoothie with a ton of good stuff in it

a.m. Snack – I ate my leftover chili as per my hubby’s instructions.

Lunch – veggies and guacamole, cantaloupe

p.m. Snack – chia seeds and strawberries

Supper – salad, fresh veggie juice, quinoa and green onion

A great day – I’m really enjoying eating so much fruits and veggies. I’m going to figure out egg plant tomorrow! Wish me luck!

The sun came out today! My pre-noon “chinook” headache told me that the weather would rapidly change today. Sure enough, it did! Melting like crazy, shining on my face! Misty midnight, be gone! LOL!

I’m feeling great today! I feel like I’m getting things done and I’m excited about things to come! I heard yesterday that my Dad is busy working on a little project that I suggested to him about a new sewing table/desk made from the door of my old room. If anyone can pull something like that off, my Dad can! Plus, he’s retired and I think was looking for a project! LOL! Thanks Dad! You’re the BEST!

Yesterday, I worked out at the gym. Today, was rest day (one of the College coaches caught me doing lunges yesterday, so she came over to give me some pointers. She’s from Russia, a gorgeous athletic woman who knows her stuff! Let’s just say she pushed me to work a little harder than I’ve been doing! Wow! Sore legs!)

Weigh-In Wednesday today!!

Day 1 – 176 lbs

Day 8 – 172 lbs

Day 15 – 172 lbs

Day 22 – 168 lbs

Day 29 – 167 lbs

Day 36 – 166 lbs – the digital read was flitting between 165 and 166! Holy moly!!

I am thrilled with the way I’ve been feeling being without refined sugar. And now the conversations and planning that my family (especially my hubby) and I have been doing to make some real changes in the way we eat PERMANENTLY make me so proud of us! We have learned so much and are learning and living healthier lives because of it!

Gramma, you would be proud of us observing Lent and learning about each other along the way. I kinda think that’s what Lent is all about. Learning more about the sacrifice that Jesus made for us so that we can learn more about loving so much that any sacrifice is worth it. I ❤ my Family! 🙂

Tuesday Menu:

Breakfast: I had a piece of toast with natural peanut butter and fresh juiced orange juice (we love our juicer! LOL!)

a.m. snack: Greek yogurt, blackberries and hemp

Lunch: Strawberry and spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette and some chicken breast.

p.m. snack: banana

Supper: spaghetti – whole wheat pasta

 

Wednesday Menu:

Breakfast: Bruce made me one of those thin bagel egg, bacon & cheese sandwiches

a.m. snack: soy milk latte that I decided to try…not bad. Kristi says “eewwww” (that was hilarious!)

Lunch: chicken breast. greek yogurt and some strawberries and hemp

p.m. snack: skipped this today – totally lost track of time!

Supper: chili made from some dry “raw” beans that Bruce picked up at Costco today – he’s finding some interesting healthy foods there lately. I’m a little concerned since I prefer to shop local. However, he is trying to help…

Cheers to healthier eating my friends! 🙂

Sunday was a nice day at home. Day 33 – we were experimenting with vegetables in our juicer! Bruce was working, but was able to come home for lunch.

Sunday Menu:

Breakfast: smoothie and homemade oatmeal (I put the last bit of my cranberry sauce experiment in mine! It was delicious!)

a.m. snack: didn’t have one – I drank a pot of ginger tea which was nice

Lunch: The kids and I had turkey sandwiches on the last of the whole grain buns. We added lots of veggies to our sandwich and a slice of cheese.

p.m. snack: snacking on veggies!

Supper: we juiced various veggies – carrots, celery, etc (I don’t know what Bruce was putting all in there! A lot anyway!) We also had fruit juice as well. Lucas had an orange one and Rebecca an apple-lemon one. I made a black bean veggie salad with a lime vinagrette. Doesn’t it look colorful!?

Back to work and school on Monday for Day 34 – did a 4K run at lunch time.

Monday Menu:

Breakfast: Bruce made poached eggs, bacon and slice of toast for everyone

a.m. snack: Greek yogurt, blackberries and hemp seeds

Lunch: I had the last of the yummy bean salad

p.m. snack: banana

Supper: grilled chicken caesar that Bruce made

I’m sipping homemade ginger tea this morning…so yummy! and thinking about the past couple days…

Friday (Day 31) was the usual Friday coffee party issue…However, it was my departments turn, so I brought fresh veggies and dip that I’d made. The big change that occurred on Friday was the Hungry for Change movie…my husband and kids watched it during the day and I watched it in the evening. To say it changed our thinking is an understatement…It inspired us to change our eating habits for good, not just Lent…I write more about how I spent my Saturday morning on our Simple Spring Cleanse blog: Letting Go of Poor Eating Habits

Friday Menu:

Breakfast: smoothie

a.m. snack: veggies and dip I’d made

Lunch: crackers and the last of the guacamole

p.m. snack: canteloupe

Supper: BLT sandwich on one of those triangle whole grain buns

Dessert: a refined sugar free cookie that one of our friends made to share at movie night

Saturday (Day 32) We were happily surprised with a visit yesterday afternoon from my parents. We talked a lot about food actually, which was cool. We were so lucky growing up to have fresh food from the garden, milk straight from the cow, eggs from our chickens and pork and beef that we’d raised ourselves. I will strive to give my kids as close to this as I can.

My parents eat very traditional foods; but they are learning to branch out and enjoy others. For dinner yesterday I shared our quinoa salad recipe with them. I’m pretty sure my Dad had three helpings of it… 🙂 and Mom had a couple as well. The kids were excited to share this very cool and very good for you food with their grand-parents. It was a really great visit. I’m also only drinking 1 latte per day these past few days…

Saturday Menu:

Breakfast: smoothie

a.m. snack: missed this

Lunch: we juiced some of our yummy fruit

p.m. snack: snacking on veggies!

Supper: turkey breast, spinach strawberry salad with homemade raspberry vinaigrette and Greek quinoa salad with feta and lemon balsamic dressing that we’d made

Dessert: coconut chocolate pudding that I was showing mom how I make and I did sneak in have a hot cross bun that mom had brought! 😛

I made some lime zest water and drank a lot of that yesterday too! Stay tuned for the post for today: Day 33!

Our yummy, colorful grocery shopping trip – this was what we brought home: