An Inheritance Like No Other

If you wanted to adopt a child, it is lengthy, challenging, and often very expensive. I looked into it a number of different times when I was younger and to go through with it would’ve been an all-encompassing, life-changing, committed process. Even before I actually received a chosen child!

When I read the following Bible verse, the word ‘adopt’ jumps out at me:

“Because of his love he had already decided to adopt us through Jesus Christ.
He freely chose to do this.”
-Ephesians 1:5, God’s Word Translation

God went through the lengthy (centuries of planning), challenging (we can be quite block-headed and not see His love), and very expensive (Jesus suffered on the cross and was separated from God the Father) process of adopting us. It is easy to overlook the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and some of us have heard the story many times. We get a little numb to it because of it’s familiarity. And we know the ending, if we believe, that Jesus won out over death; it’s easy to overlook its significance.

Sometimes, even daily (maybe moment by moment?!), it’s good to stop and take in what God has so generously given. God Himself, left His throne and clothed Himself like us. God didn’t need to do this. We’ve sinned against Him, and we’re broken because of it. But He did do it. He made a rescue plan and carried it out. Through Jesus, who had no sin in Him, we are given grace to cover all of our brokenness. It is nothing that we’ve done to earn this, it is freely given. All you have to do is choose to accept it.

If you adopted a child into your family, that child becomes yours. You would do whatever you could to train and support and love that child just that the same as a child of your blood. Furthermore, that child will receive your inheritance. By law and by your heart, that child is now yours.

God has done the same for us! Before accepting Jesus, we are spiritual orphans. But once we admit our deep need for Him, He gives us Himself. The Perfect Parent. The Lover of our Souls. The One who has Limitless Grace.

I’m learning to fight my way out of depressive, anxious thinking patterns and this means identifying the old ways and replacing them with new ones. I can’t do this by myself. God is the only One who has ever convinced me that I’m worthy of new ways. His love is without bounds and it never stops chasing me; the beauty of His grace is the only thing that makes me forget myself. He’s the only One who is able to heal me.

Daily, I’m claiming my inheritance through Jesus Christ:

  • I am God’s child. John 1:12
  • I am hidden with Christ. Philippians 1:6
  • I am given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction. Ephesians 1: 5, 8
  • I am forgiven. Ephesians 1:8
  • I am included. Ephesians 1:13
  • I am not alone. Hebrews 13:5
  • I am set free. Romans 8:2, John 8:32, Galatians 5:1

These are rich gifts and ours for the taking. These are His promises. Through His death and victory on the cross, we become a part of Jesus’ glory as His children, which reaches out into eternity. To go from a spiritual wasteland, which is what it felt to me compared to what I have now in Him, to a place where the soul is truly quenched is something I don’t know how to put words to.

“God is a father who graciously adopts believers in Christ into his spiritual family
and grants them all the privileges of heirship. Salvation is much more than forgiveness of sins and deliverance from condemnation; it is also a position of great blessing.”
- “Adoption” from Bible Study Tools

It’s Just A Matter of Perspective

I have two full-length mirrors in my house. In one of them when I look into it, there’s a window and its natural light is behind me. In the second mirror in a different room, the window’s light hits me on the side and front. And guess what, I don’t look so bad in the mirror where the light is coming from behind me, but as soon as I check myself out in the second mirror, all my flaws are crystal clear. The dimples, the bumps, and the rolls are glaringly obvious. Funny how just the minute before in the first mirror, I was feeling not so bad about how I looked … even kind of liked my outfit. And the next minute I’m frantically changing my clothes.

Almost a year ago, I decided to stop weighing myself because I was trying to teach myself that my self-worth isn’t in that number on the scale.

The training failed.

Right around that same time I had lab results come back that I was deep into adrenal fatigue and at that point I had already gained back almost 15 pounds since going paleo (I had initially lost approximately 30!), but I stayed at that ‘extra’ weight for about half a year. Chronic stress leads to adrenal fatigue, and the body puts on weight in this survival mode; I just want to make this clear because I don’t believe eating paleo has led to my weight gain, it’s the adrenal fatigue. Even with eating super-duper clean paleo last fall for two months (no added sugar even!), though, I didn’t lose a pound. I was so sick of that scale measuring my success so I cut it out of my life.

It gets worse in my little world. None of my clothes are fitting me. Not even clothes from just six months ago. I can feel the weight packing in on my tummy. It makes me cry. I feel so frustrated and trapped. So I sucked it up and weighed myself finally to finally just see. And I have gained back all my weight that I lost two and a half years ago.

No more denial. No more looking into that mirror with the light behind me and thinking things aren’t so bad.

My very first instincts were what to do, how to plan, how to change. However, I had a good friend give me the beautiful reminder to take this time to just love myself. To show kindness to myself. To not make a plan and try to change myself. With many tears, and sometimes a moment by moment conscious decision, I’m learning to do this.

In spite of this needed advice, it is very hard to not make a plan.

With adrenal fatigue I have to be very careful with how much I exercise and what sort of exercise I do because I WILL crash with fatigue that can take up to a few days to recuperate from, or I get so crazy wired I have a brutal night of sleep. I currently exercise as much as I’m able to without creating very bad consequences.

I did have a light bulb moment though! This last 15 pound weight gain corresponds directly to when I started allowing non-gluten grains back into my diet. I discovered that they didn’t bother my arthritis so I allowed an easy food to prepare back into my diet (cooking paleo from scratch is a LOT of work … don’t let any paleo blogger out there fool you otherwise). These non-gluten grains do make me quite constipated though, but I ignored that little symptom (which really isn’t little – we need to poop) for the sake of an easy breakfast. Oh how I love Udi’s cinnamon raisin bagels with honey all over them! I was also eating popcorn 1-2 times a week. In the evening. Not the greatest idea. I am cutting out all grains again from my diet and adding in more veggies, one of the very few changes I’ve made.

Not weighing myself for almost a year did nothing to improve my self-worth because with this weight gain, I’ve been devastated. Embarrassed. Frustrated. It’s very painful and challenging to separate my body image from who I am.

I’m learning it’s about choosing to see myself with kindness, acceptance, and love even in what I consider a despicable state. That I’m still Marni, the same person from before I knew officially my new weight gain. The same person when I weighed 30 pounds less. I can look at myself in one way and only obsess about my flaws or I can look at myself in a new way and start valuing myself as a person, whole and imperfect. This really is a choice. Just like walking from one room into a different one and choosing which mirror to look into.

Learning to Walk Again

When we suffer hurts, daily disappointments, or chronic illness it is so easy to strike out at God. Why would a good God allow such pain?

A loving God didn’t create robots – we have free will.  We ‘broke’ our world when we chose to live for other things instead of God: money, ‘be my own boss’, food, human love, … name your thing. Remember Adam and Eve? We were born into a broken world and we continue to break it when we live without our hearts and eyes on the One who created us. Our God only wants you to be with Him when you choose to be with Him. And only He can mend the brokenness we long for.

I looked to human approval, food, weight loss, paleo, T-tapp, DYT to fill the void. As if each one of those things could complete me. Set me on the right track. Point the way! Live my life as if ‘I’ve arrived’.

Only God can reach deep into my broken places and give me what I’m desperately seeking. Nothing soothes like God can, everything else leaves me searching for more. Restless and unsatisfied.

I’m not saying that relationships, eating, taking care of yourself are bad things. The problem is when we use those things to be the ultimate answer. I’ve done it my entire life! Can I be whole and worthy when I finally lose the weight and keep it off? Can I be worthwhile when I center my world around living a paleo lifestyle? Am I finally valuable when other people accept me? These are shaky things to build my self-worth on. Trust me, I’ve tried. And each of those things fail miserably when it comes to filling that hole inside me.

What is the most bizarre revelation to me is when I finally admitted to myself that I’m sinful. I do and think hurtful things. I have run my entire life away from that scary truth, trying to prove myself. I have always striven for these unreasonable ideals of perfectionism and resisting my reality and shaming myself because I cannot reach them. I can never attain what I think I should. I can never earn God’s approval outside of Jesus. When I finally let go and admit that I can never reach these expectations, it’s surprisingly a big relief. When I finally go to the cross and agree with God that I’m a sinner, that I desperately need Him, and nothing can save me but the grace of Jesus, it’s like coming home. It’s here where I find my infinite worth. A breath of fresh air through my soul. A thirst is finally quenched by Living Water.

I love T-Tapp, it’s an excellent exercise program. Teresa has developed moves that work with the body, not against it. I recently have been practicing her walking workout and WHOAH! Who knew that walking could be so challenging lol! Well, it can be for those of us who have sloppy posture and years of lazy habits. Anyway, I’ve been trying to apply her teachings of proper forms in my normal life. And it’s hard. It is a mindful effort because my body slips back into sloppy form effortlessly; it’s the default position. Yet my body feels better already for my efforts in spite of some pretty sore calf muscles the first few days. The tense muscles in my upper back ease up a bit when I, well, use the proper muscles to hold my body up instead. But this takes a deliberate effort and I often forget throughout my day.

I’m finding this is the same thing with my faith in Jesus. Without a deliberate effort to trust in His promises for me, I easily slip back into old habits of thinking. Of needing to prove myself. To find my value somewhere. Repeatedly, I bring myself back to the cross where He already proved my worth. Where I least deserved it I receive the healing, all-encompassing love that I long for.

Learning to walk in a new Way and my burdens are lifted. Even in this broken world.

God Doesn’t Make Promises Lightly

She was sick for 12 years. She saw every specialist, tried everything and anything to find a cure, and spent all her money. Nothing worked. She must’ve been exhausted. Not only was she sick, but she was considered dirty by the people in her day; everything she touched was seen as contaminated. She could not participate in family and community events. She was completely isolated.

I can sort of connect with this woman in Mark 5: 21-34.

Sick and tired of nothing working. Feeling dirty and unworthy. Yet she never gave up hope and had enough faith to chase Jesus through a crowd. I can’t help but think that she must’ve been struggling with some shame, yet she knew a good thing when she saw it. She couldn’t let Jesus go without one more try. Desperate for His goodness, believing He was true, she still tried to access Him without Him noticing her. Just a touch of His robe …

I’ve always been curious about that part in this story: how Jesus healed her without being aware of it about to happen. In verse 30, “Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my robe?’”  God gave me a loving nudge (oh how I love those nudges) telling me that His promises for us are wide open. It’s open access to those who believe. He’s waiting for you and me. Ready. We just have to believe and walk on through that welcoming door. Just have to reach out and touch His robe.

Sometimes I really struggle with this big love God keeps trying to show me. It’s mind boggling. Sometimes it feels like a terrifying (Hes’ so big) joy (He’s so full of love). He’s just so impossibly huge, there’s no way I can make sense of it. I struggle with cynicism. I struggle with my doubts. I even like to choose the little bits of God that are kind of nice, and leave the rest to the categories of “that doesn’t make sense” or “that is not for me” and fill in my own blanks.

With that sort of belief system I find no comfort and often find myself at a dead-end. Empty. I have yet to find anything of real substance besides of the love of Jesus on that cross, and thank God He keeps leading me to that place.

God finally put it to me straight. Either I believe in all of His promises or none of them at all. Either He’s the real deal or just a sham. Why would He come through with some of His promises and bail on others? Either He died and rose from the dead to save us from our sins and connect us to His heart, or He didn’t.

I am going to side with the God who is bigger than our universe, who orchestrates creation, and loves with a love I can’t fathom. Because there is a reverence humming deep within me that sees God even when my eyes can’t.

I’m going to wait upon His promises of Light even when sitting in the dark. Because His “Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out” (John 1:3-5 The Message).

I’m going to reach out to touch that robe.


Looking Back To See What’s in Front of Me

Sometimes life just seems so random, messy, and more often than not, downright exhausting. It’s so stupidly easy to be busy with a to-do list, losing sight of what matters. For myself, I get caught up in ‘what needs to be fixed’ both in myself and in my life that I don’t see what has changed.

And I forget where I came from and where I want to go.

Recently I shared a testimony of my faith, and afterwards it was like God gave me a little loving nudge telling me to practice doing that again. If whatever I share can bring one person closer into God’s incredible presence then I better start working out what I need to say. So here I am. Practicing.

I grew up in a home where we went to church regularly and I remember warming up to Jesus even when a young child. But I never really ‘got it’. However, my upbringing laid a strong Biblical foundation and some understandings of who God is.

In my late teens, I had several friends who were Christians and they shared their faith with me. The way they talked about Jesus seemed so alive to me; I could see they had something that alluded me and I was very drawn to it, whatever ‘it’ was. There was a unique joy and a love that I don’t ever remember seeing before. When a friend told me that I could have it for myself and what I needed to do, I asked for Jesus’ forgiveness of my sins. I accepted His love and grace given to me through His death on the cross and His victory in His resurrection.

I will never forget the light that bloomed from deep inside myself that was never there before.

What followed is a bit of a blur to me now, but I remember the love of learning more about Jesus and His Word. I got involved in a church and it was exciting to be surrounded by fellow believers. I attended a year in a Bible college and daydreamed of being a missionary so other people could experience what I found, too.

Over the next 9 years though, I took what was an amazing gift given to me only by grace and through a powerful Love, and somehow, very gradually, twisted it into a very legalistic and judgmental Christianity. Little by little, I boxed myself in by boxing others in with black and white thinking. I have strong tendencies to be harsh with myself with perfectionism and that leaked all over the place in my faith.

I remember begging God to forgive me at the end of each day for all the horrible things that surely must be inside me. Even though I had accepted Jesus’ forgiveness and grace, I still somehow missed the point. I was still convinced that I wasn’t worthy of His Love, that there was surely SOMEthing I needed to fix, get forgiveness for, that God might find out and finally convince Him that in the end, I just can’t be forgiven after-all. I was still walking in a place of great shame where I thought I was outside of God’s grace. Somehow I got messed up into thinking that I was responsible for ‘fixing’ myself, meanwhile pointing the finger at others telling them they need to be ‘fixed’ too.

I thank God He wasn’t done with me yet. I also raise my hands in praise that He never let me go.

When I was 26 years old, I did a complete 180 from Christianity. Strangled and choked by my version of it, I couldn’t live like that anymore. Keep in mind, I had no idea what I was doing to myself at the time. I thought that the faith I was practicing was what I was supposed to be doing and I was done with this Christian God.

Over the next decade, I did a lot of searching. I never let go of the belief that we have a Creator, that there was more to this life than what we can see with the naked eye. But I looked and looked for meaning, and I always came up empty handed in the end. Nothing completely made sense, nothing stuck to me, and I always felt like I was missing something.

I was listening to a podcast by who-knows-who and I was enjoying a lot of whatever this speaker was saying. But then this speaker lumped Jesus into the category with all the other ‘great teachers’ like Buddha, Ghandi, … and all sorts of red flags went up and my internal brakes came to a screeching stop.

There’s no way I’m lumping Jesus into that category because even in my abhorrent views of Christianity at the time, I just couldn’t do it.

I knew to the core of my being that He is more than that. There was an important shift in my searching and I realized that maybe I might still call myself a Christian, but I was determined to be an open-minded Christian. I was stepping very carefully and tentatively towards God, and holding Him at arm’s length. I still held onto the more open-minded views of the world and welcomed different belief systems in my life.

The next big shift for me was reading The Shack. I was so overcome with this amazing Love that the book teaches. It finally landed me at God’s feet, comforted by His great mercy and Love. For the first time I saw that He is the Ultimate Parent and the Giver of good things. And that I needed Him.

Still. My ‘open-minded’ belief system was in reality tangling my feet up. I received some counseling from a pastor and he taught me to be careful of creating my own version of God (which I was doing … a mixture of my own stuff and the truth). When I felt so lost in my struggles and tried to reach out for more divine guidance I was grasping at the air. My version of God didn’t exist, which is why I couldn’t get the help I thought I was seeking. Which is why wherever else I searched, I never found anything of deep substance. Where else do we find a King leaving His throne to walk in the muck with us? To befriend us? For our own sake?

I felt convicted to start learning about who God really is, and it’s a never-ending journey. Sometimes (often) it’s a very messy journey. He is mind-boggling huge and amazing and beyond anything we can imagine. I feel like I’m chasing Him, but in reality it’s Him chasing me.

Turns out that God isn’t a big fan of judgmental-ism, strict religion, and shame either. I never scared Him off with my uppity judgments nor my slamming the door in His face. I was always His lost, wandering sheep and He never stopped searching me out.

And it always lands me at the foot of the cross because that’s where it begins. I can never ‘fix’ myself. I can never make myself presentable for God. Only the blood of Jesus can do that. He bore my cross and died the death I should’ve died. By grace and by grace only am I accepted into God’s presence. What sort of Love is that? One that doesn’t exist anywhere else.

A few years ago I recommitted myself to Jesus and it was a breath of fresh air through my soul. But I told God, “this time it’s gotta be real”. I’m sure I heard God laugh for joy and responded with a “finally!”.

When I look back now, all I see is me stumbling, crawling (bawling in the mud) my way to finding God’s Love. Little by little He wipes the mud from my eyes and all I see in front of me is His shining Love. I’ve come to trust that His grace reaches into my darkest places and I’m never too far beyond His reach. Jesus’ victory over death makes sure of that. He didn’t make any exceptions on the cross, “this is for everyone … oh, except you, you and you.” His suffering and victory is for everyone. Period.

This is the truth for me and for you, too.

Lighting A Candle

There are a number of resources that have made a significant impact on my life. Resources created by people who have let their light shine, which really did let in some rays of hope into my dark places. I want to share them with you.


Picture credit: Inner Guide Empowerment on Facebook

Maybe a little light will shine on you, too.

You won’t regret looking any of these up for yourself! Nothing but goodness!

In the spring of last year, whenever I tried to exercise, I would end up fatiguing myself and sparking off arthritic flare-ups. These were regular exercises that I had been doing for years, including just going for a walk. Down the road, I discovered this was because I was deep into adrenal fatigue. It’s been quite a journey since then! Part of what has sparked off my healing journey is the T-Tapp exercise program. I cannot say enough good things about Teresa Tapp! Her exercises are built on rehabilitation and alignment foundations, and are the only ones I can do without negative repercussions. When I do one of her workouts, even after almost a year of doing them, I am still surprised by the lovely energy I feel afterwards. After taking my beginning measurements and pictures, I am rewarded by the gradual changes that I see happening. There’s something in her programs for everyone, from the young to old, and from those who have serious health problems to the pro-athlete.

I have been so blessed by Carol Tuttle, and her work has been the most inspiring and life-changing for me. She has amazing insights and knowledge into human nature. She says that each and every one of us leads with a certain type of energy, and this isn’t about personality typing. It’s all about your natural movement and expression, inward and outward. What she says makes so much sense to me! The same Hand that created our earth is the same Hand that created us … it’s all connected and a part of the same expresion. Carol teaches that the same 4 categories found in nature (air, water, fire, and earth) are also expressed in us humans, and each of us has a dominant one. Type 1 is Air, which is light, random, free. Type 2 is Water: soft, flowing, and subtle. Type 3 is Fire: swift, active, and dynamic. And type 4 is Earth: structured, still, and regal. She has a TON of information available for free and loads of YouTube videos; her books are in the public library, and you don’t have to buy from her store to learn from her, though you just might want to as you learn more. It’s a process figuring out your natural energy movement, and it can be really challenging for some, especially because we have all 4 energy types in us. The challenge is to discover the one you lead with, your most dominant one. What’s worse, is that some of us have been shamed for using our dominant movement in the past, so we try to ‘hide’ it. There’s no hiding it.

For me, it was a little confusing at first because I have a very strong secondary energy, type 4, but as I learned more from Carol I realized that I’m dominant type 2, no doubt about it. I didn’t want to be type 2. Type 2′s strengths were what I thought were my horrible weaknesses (sensitive, soft-spoken, slow to respond). But over time, and a lot of tears, I’ve accepted that I’m a type 2 and realize it is God’s Hand in designing me just this way. There are no words to describe how healing this was. A type 2/4 person has a very deep inward movement and I’ve always thought this was a horrible way to be (why can’t I just be happy and social, dammit?! … which is a type 1 energy, btw); have even tried to change it off and on throughout my life. It doesn’t work. Suppressing it just makes a person depressed. I now can step into a new situation and realize it’s ok to hang back and take it in. I’ll move and react when I feel comfortable and ready.

Carol’s teachings are life-changing, and at first glance you might think it’s just about the clothes or make-up you wear, but I promise you, it goes way deeper than that. And once you start understanding and accepting yourself more, you’ll start looking at the people in your life in a whole new way.

Plus, you’ll be amazed at how nice you feel in your natural colour expression! Colour is energy, so again, it just makes sense to me. Now that I’ve been dressing in my dominant energy type’s colours, I feel SO relaxed. Like my skin is breathing and happy, weird, I know. But still, I feel more lovely and confident. Like I can move easier.

Another resource that involved a lot of tears, healing ones of course, is Max Lucado’s book God Will Carry You Through. Max has a down-to-earth style that I love and this book is built on Joseph’s story from the Bible. Loads of encouraging biblical references and real life stories. It has strengthened my faith and healed my sore heart. I will be re-reading it.

Sometimes, more than we realize, we just need some outside help. I’m so thankful for people like these who’ve taken the time to teach and share what they’ve learned.

“Don’t let the crisis paralyze you.
Don’t let the sadness overwhelm you.
Don’t let the fear intimidate you.
To do nothing is the wrong thing.
To do something is the right thing.
And to believe is the highest thing.”
- Max Lucado




Choose and Believe

What is it that you’re telling yourself at the heart of your soul? Deep within at the center of your being? What is it you’re allowing yourself to believe about yourself and how you shape your perspective on your life?

I’ve discovered that no matter the extent of my anxiety or the depth of my depression that what I’ve allowed into that sacred space at the core of who I am is the cause of it. I cannot possibly deny that there are physical reasons for depression and anxiety, such as eating a poor diet, stress, or hormone imbalances because I’ve experienced the healing benefits of a nutrient-dense diet. And I know that when my irritability starts shooting through the roof or a weight of hopelessness hangs over me that I need to lay off the sweets and remember to include more veggies (funny how one replaces the other!).

But a person can still eat cookies and not be depressed. The root cause is what you believe about yourself. As Brene Brown says, it comes down to whether you believe your are worthy of love and acceptance, or not. That kind of decision happens right at the heart. And the consequences of your decision spread to every aspect of your life, intertwining and connecting everything you do and think about in your life.

When I’m anxious, and I am able to take a closer look at what’s going on under the surface, there’s a whole lot of fear going on. Like I need to stay on guard for the worst thing to happen, be prepared. And underneath that is a deep layer of belief that I need to do this because good things are taken from me since I’m not worthy to have them in the first place.

When I’m depressed, and I just stepped out from under a very dark cloud of it, it is coming from a place of great shame. That I’ve horribly screwed up and am essentially a very bad person. I believed the shameful lies and that I am indeed worse than the average person. Somehow impossibly defective.

The most brave thing I’ve ever done is stepping out in faith and believing my Creator when He tells me (again and again) that I’m worthy. Worthy for Him to die on a cross to take my place. Worthy of His enormous, amazing, beautiful love that no words can ever describe. And that His grace and promises do really cover me in my failings and screw-ups and defective faults.

That He created me and am in a small way a reflection of Him. Anything good and lovely in me stems from the Hand that made it.

Dressing Your Truth helped me to see this. It is not just about what clothes to wear or how to cut your hair. It’s about accenting your true nature. Carol Tuttle has an incredible insight into how us humans have been created and her program has helped me in a powerful way. I won’t go into it too much here, but she says that there are 4 different types of energies in people, and that we each lead with a dominant type of energy. We are each a mix of all the types, but in all her experience, she firmly believes that each of us lead with one and it is instilled in us even before birth (ask any mom who has has more than one pregnancy about the movement of her babies!).

I grew up believing that I’m too sensitive and too shy. I was always on the outskirts, often looked over and this carried on into my adult life. When I finally had to admit that I was the soft, subtle woman (Type 2) I was so down on myself; I felt like that was a very bad way to be. But I’ve come to accept it and through Carol’s teachings, am starting to appreciate it. And let me tell you, when I wear the colours recommended for Type 2, it really does feel like freedom! Amazing how our clothes have an energy all their own. Carol Tuttle teaches you to accent and flatter your natural beauty, based on your dominant type, that is already there, and ultimately accepting and loving yourself for what you truly are.

This led me to be more open to God’s love for me, to understand myself better, and that He made me just this way.

It has allowed me, at the core of my being, to choose and believe that I’m worthy. Just as I am.

Let It Be, Especially When You Don’t Like It

Trying to desperately hold on to something that is slipping away despite your best efforts is a source of pain and frustration. Often we find ourselves still clinging even though what we were frantically trying to keep close is long gone. Yet we continue to resist, deny, and shake our fist against reality.

It could be about anything that isn’t what we wish it were. The messy home. The crappy job. A lost love. The love we have. That twenty pounds. When we are not content with the truth of our reality, it creates negative tension and suffering within. Often that resistance is exactly what chains us to what we don’t like.

To make it worse, many of us throw in self-doubt, judgement, and criticism. If only you had said or done something differently. If only you had made a different choice, asked a different question, said what you really wanted. If only you mustered up enough determination. Anything. Anything to make the present circumstances different.

“We should make all spiritual talk simple today:
God is trying to sell you something,
But you don’t want to buy.
That is what your suffering is:
Your fantastic haggling,
Your manic screaming over the price!”

Trying to negotiate yourself out of your reality is like a turtle on its back trying to right itself. A great deal of effort and strain (and cursing) may be going on, but in the end you’ve created yourself a lot of pain when what is real didn’t change.

Instead, softening into what is real for you will be the doorway to freedom you’re searching for. It means saying yes to the grief over loss. Say yes to the disappointment and hurt when something failed yet again. Say yes to the fear that haunts you. I guarantee those feelings will not swallow you up whole when you allow them to happen. They are eating you up, though, when you tell them they don’t belong.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi

Meet yourself with kindness and acceptance in the middle of your reality to find exactly what you’re looking for. And if you’re that turtle, hope that it doesn’t rain, and relax and look to the sky.


Never in a million years would I have seen where my paleo journey would’ve taken me.

It was always about getting fit and slim using diet and excercise. My entire life has revolved around this goal. Sadly, I’ve never attained the image I have in my mind of what I think my body should look like. Looking back now, I can see what a tragedy it was to have never accepted my body for what it is.

Eating better was also about healing inflammation in my body since I was only in my late 20s when arthritis blew up everywhere. Prescription drugs for 40 or 50 years? Not. Even then, in the beginning of paleo eating I really didn’t understand the significance of my diet over my health.

Yet, where paleo has led me is in the most unexpected terrain. I have learned about the importance of quality food grown locally: both good for the body and the earth. I have learned of the harm mainstream foods can do to people and how blinded we are. I have learned how vital our diets are to our well-being. It blows my mind to have seen the impact food has made over my health, both physical and mental. And my son’s. Blows my mind!

(I dare you to find out)

Yet in spite of all that, where I’ve landed due to starting paleo is most unexpected. Because I’m still not well in spite of a good diet and decent exercise. For the last year I’ve largely blamed myself and criticized everything I possibly could be doing wrong. Shocking, but that only made me worse. Where I need to heal is, um, in my mind. My husband would laugh, saying that he knew all along that my mind was a crazy place. But seriously, I had no idea of the damage I was doing to myself by believing that inner voice of judgement and criticism. And it’s a real mean one.

I had no idea that what is impacting my health the most was the judgement and hatred over my chubbiness, more so than the overindulgence on cookies.

No idea that the fear and anxiety I let go rampant was way more unhealthy than the bag of chips I may have eaten. Fear and anxiety are familiar ground for me, living in them is a way of ‘holding it together’ because I would take actions in my life to guard against whatever I was afraid of. Which for me, in the last few years, revolves around my tiny son. I somehow believed that fear was somehow my friend because it caused me to be wired and research and prepare and protect. Yet that same fear and anxiety often clouded my times with my son because every time I looked at him I expected something awful to happen. I thought I was on guard to protect tragedy. Even prepared in case whatever I feared came true. In reality I was guarding myself from fully enjoying my son, and all that is in my life, as well as causing my body great stress.

I’ll never forget what my naturopath doctor said to me once when I was hysterical from a horrible stretch of insomnia. She told me that the ‘freaking out’ I allowed myself to do was way more damaging that the actual lack of sleep. And I say ‘allowed’ on purpose. It may be hard to believe, but every thought and feeling that courses through our bodies are a result of a choice we’ve made. Every. Single. One.

Our bodies are wired to deal with stress in one way. The body doesn’t care if the stress came from the semi truck barreling down on you, or the lion that is about to eat you, the insecurity over fat thighs, or the fear of losing your son. Real or not, the brain perceives the threat, that the body is unsafe, and all kinds of processes are triggered in your body to keep you alive. But it was only meant to deal with occasional threats, not the chronic and daily stress we all face. While the body is in stress mode, there is no repair and healing going on, either. The body is just trying to survive.

“Promoting health of the body without encouraging health of the mind is an exercise in futility. Not until we realize that our bodies are mirrors of our interpersonal, spiritual, professional, sexual, creative, financial, environmental, mental, and emotional health will we truly heal.” Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin, M.D.

Here in my crazy mine, I’m learning how to rest. Truly rest.

I’m learning to let go and truly trust my Creator. It all belongs to the One who is actually able to care for it all.

I’m learning to give myself grace. Surprisingly, saying to yourself, “Oh sweetie, you’re doing the best you know how” can go a long way to soothing distress over a disappointment or a mistake. Truly, I’m just human. Another shocker, I know.

I’m learning to treasure being just in this moment. With the every day normal. Often that is where I find true beauty.

Never again will I be forever trapped in my mind’s fear or insecurity. Don’t doubt that they still creep up on me, but I’m getting better at catching it.

Be Still

I remember learning about bacteria that live in our bodies (and help us to thrive!) and watching a video in my Grade 10 class. In the video, the instructor informed us that we are never alone, even if you think you are, thanks to all the little buggies that make their homes in our body. At 15 years old, that struck me as ridiculously funny and I remember struggling to not burst out laughing and looking like a fool! Honestly, it still gives me the giggles thinking of it.

coffee for your heart holley gerthBut that is not what this post is about. This post is inspired from Holley Gerth’s prompt to get her readers thinking about how we are not alone.

Even knowing about my friendly little critters (who don’t make very good company anyway), there have been many times in my life where I felt isolated, lost in the dark, and completely separate from life itself. Like I was completely cut off, from the outside looking in.

Yet God has gently and consistently been calling my name to just look. To open my eyes and look all around me. And what I’ve found is that He is all around me.

Calling me to be still, to calm my fears. To turn my attention to Him.

For when I focus my perspective on God, my perspective gets a whole lot bigger. The Love of the Universe is calling my name (and yours!). Is holding me close. And knows me better than I know myself.

He’s calling me, and you, to trust Him. To trust Him with the bad. To trust Him with the good. To trust Him when we just don’t know. God waits for and tries to teach us to just let it all go. It’s in His Hands anyway. It only causes pain when we try to grapple for control in our lives from Him.

When I try to be bigger than God, it’s a scary world out there and I quickly find out how very little control I have over any of it. So I’m learning to just be still, to take a step out of the busy ‘traffic’ of my mind. To release myself into His care.

Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
breaks all the weapons across his knee.
Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
    loving look at me, your High God,
above politics, above everything.

Psalm 46: 8-10 The Message (italics mine)