Shining through…

Archive for January, 2012

Cheese, Not-So-Glorious Cheese!

A corpse is meat gone bad. Well and what’s cheese?  Corpse of milk.
~James Joyce

Cheese is zombiefied milk. James Joyce pretty much says so, so it must be true.  Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself for the next 30 days because I’m about to embark on the Whole30 (http://whole9life.com/2010/12/whole30-2011/) program in an effort to (healthily) completely detox my body from foods that are irritants to it.  Since I eat a fairly primal diet already, this isn’t too much of a stretch…except for one small detail: dairy.

Wait, what?  What’s Whole30?  The basic idea is lots of protein and fresh veggies, and some fruit. No processed foods, whatsoever.  No grains.  No sugar.  No dairy, including milk, cream, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese.  See the link above for a more in-depth explanation of the plan, as well as what I mean by irritants.

What’s primal?  Essentially, it’s eating the way people ate before the advent of agriculture.  So lots of proteins and fresh seasonal veggies plus some fruit.  No grains.  Sugar only from natural sources like honey or maple.  Limited dairy, but you CAN have it.

NO CHEESE?  Are you nuts?  No, but I can eat those on the Whole30 plan!  🙂

Sigh.  The thing is, I really, really want to do this.  But I really, really don’t want to give up the cream in my coffee.  Or cheese.  So…in an effort to up the accountability factor, I’m going public with my plan.  (AND imagining festering wheels of rotted cheese rolling after me shrieking, “BRAAAAAAAAINS!” too.)  It’s only 30 days, and I know I’ll feel so much better at the end…and it’s a great exercise in self-discipline, which I freely admit I could use more of.  So.  If you’ve made it through this whole post, hold me accountable.  Ask me from time to time how I’m doing.  Ask me how I’m feeling.  Ask me if I’ve bitten any zombies…

My Blog, the Anti-Slam Book

If you were a junior high girl in the 80s, you’re familiar with slam books.  For the uninitiated (and non-girls), these are spiral-bound notebooks in which each page has someone’s name written at the top.  The notebooks are passed from person to person, and everyone writes whatever she wants about the person named on the page.  Sometimes the comments are nice, but generally, they’re the hateful things you’d never say to someone’s face but might have thought; thus, the “slam” in the books’ name.  I was definitely slammed a few times (which sucked), but I also confess to writing my fair share of mean comments.

Thankfully, that was many years ago.  Today I’m more interested in honoring people, seeing the good things in them.  So I’ve decided that 2012 will be a year of honor on my part, and from time to time, I’m going to use this space to write about a friend or family member. You’ve probably noticed that I never use real names in my posts, and these entries will be no different.  But hopefully the people I profile will recognize themselves  – or maybe even take a closer look because something I’ve said surprises them in a good way. 🙂

NOTE: If you aren’t comfortable with potentially being immortalized in print (!), please send me a private message letting me know.  I’ll honor you by NOT writing about you.

I’m looking forward to writing these posts! 🙂

Occupy…YOU

The hubby and I hosted a rather nontraditional New Year’s Eve gathering last night.   We had started planning this thing several months ago as I began to feel a significant prompting to cover the upcoming year in prayer.  We sensed it was to be a strategic gathering, in that all of the invited guests were feeling the same thing.  Unity, being what it is, begets great accomplishments, so why not get all these people who were already on the same page into the same room for a bit?  Throw a little food, a little fellowship into the mix, and you’ve got the makings of a great time.  Thus, our proposed gathering became reality.  To be precise, it was officially known as the Prayer, Praise, and Potluck New Year’s Eve Throwdown! (exclamation point included).

For the first several hours, the emphasis was on food and fellowship.  My house rang with laughter.  People made new friends and reconnected with older ones.  One Indiana transplant became an official Texan after she managed to eat my (admittedly toned-down) genuine Texas Red Chili and proclaim it delicious, if spicy.  (I decided to give her grace as she asked for a glass of milk because honestly, I didn’t expect her to eat a whole bowl, much less taste it!)

Then around 11, we segued into a time of worship and prophetic declarations, leading up to communion at the stroke of midnight.  As we gathered in my living room to praise the Most High God and proclaim His plans for 2012, I took a good look at the people around me.  And it hit me anew that unity does not equal similarity.  My friends, all deeply in love with God,  are SO different from one another.  And even though I felt like a bit of an eavesdropper or Peeping Tom, I also realized that as they were completely immersed in their own personal moments with Him, they were being their truest selves most truthfully.  No artifice, no walls, no rules – it was such a beautiful thing.  I watched my husband improvise on the cello and marveled at the expression of love he offered to his Lord.  I saw a friend lie down on the floor, place his djembe on his chest, and commence to playing along with God’s heartbeat.  There were people with their heads bowed, people with their hands in the air, people pacing back and forth, people dancing, people smiling blissfully.  All such different expressions, all reflections of who they are in Christ.  None better than others, or more “right.”  Just a bunch of people in love, being themselves.

The theme that seemed to emerge through the words given was one of alignment and realignment, promises come to fruition, and fully stepping into one’s identity.  God is being quite intentional as He responds to our cries to “make things right,” and the interesting thing is that as we choose to allow Him to align us with His purposes, we will see the long-awaited promises come true.  And we will be able to BE the people He created us to be.  We will inhabit, occupy, BE those people, rather than just occasionally put on our true identity like an unfamiliar coat.  And when we occupy our true selves full-time, each and every individual/quirky/unique one of us will, JUST by being whom He made us to be, bring glory to Him in a way we never imagined and see crazy-miraculous things happen wherever we go.  Having tasted a little bit of this and having seen that He is truly good, I can’t begin to tell you how happy the thought of it makes me. 🙂

I wrote in a previous post that there is something significant, even pivotal, about 2012.  I definitely believe this to be true on a global or societal level, but I also see it to be quite pertinent on a personal level.  My challenge to you for this year is to find out who He says you are.  Receive His answer and refuse to entertain any condemnation or lies from anyone else; I promise you that His perception of who you are blows anything out of the water that you could come up with yourself, and it also completely steals the enemy’s thunder.  Just be yourself – the Lord’s version of “yourself” – and you cannot help but effect change on a global or societal level.  How amazing is that?

 

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