1st light illuminating the day

A New Year, New Vision to Light the Way

A people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; for those dwelling in a land of deep gloom, a light has shone. Isaiah 9:1 It’s a new year and I’ve been doing a lot of evaluation, assessment and planning for the coming year. I’ve decided to do monthly themes, and I’ve deemed January 2020’s theme is Light. Light has many aspects, including good vision to see where we need to make changes, lighting up a path for us to follow to make those changes enjoyable, as well as how Light fits into ways you can pray often, eat

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Gluten Free Bread & the Gluten Free Craze

My daughter, Amanda, works at Hansen’s Dairy in Cedar Falls. She said a regular customer came in asking if they carried any gluten-free bread. She replied that they do not carry any, but I had a recipe for the best gluten-free bread she’s ever had. Growing up with me as a mom, she had the opportunity to try several kinds!)  I told Amanda I’d share the recipe on my website to make it easy for anyone to access. Now, I admit, there is a gluten-free craze going on as well as a dairy, egg, nightshade, lectin, meat, sugar-free, etc., too. Yes,

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Gaudete Sunday-Rejoicing in Holiday Food Choices

(Hint: It’s not sugar) I seem to do it every year. Sometimes more than once a year. And usually this time of year. You’d think after a decade, I’d just not do it. But, I’m human. And sugar is soooooo addictive. Yep, you heard me right-addictive. Just like alcohol, nicotine and meth. There are some studies that suggest sugar is just as or even more addictive than cocaine. While I can’t attest to the nicotine, meth or cocaine, I do have experience in breaking the glass of wine (or 2) every evening habit. And the sugar lesson….. Let’s just say

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2nd Week of Advent~Peace

I’ve received so much JOY from all of you and reading what has brought you joy the last week or so during the Advent JOY Challenge. It’s inspired me to create a new little corner in my office where I can journal and it brings me joy just to look at it. However, joy didn’t necessarily jump out at me with this Sunday’s mass readings–it was more Peace. Thinking about it, peace is really what we’re striving for. Peace can also be termed the opposite of fear, chaos and dis-ease. Eating Well & Moving Move Brings Peace In terms of

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Advent Joy Challenge-A Joyful Start to the New Year!

Happy New Year! What!?!?! No, it’s not 2020 yet, but Advent is the start of the church’s liturgical year. An opportunity to start over, taking a look at our habits, creating new ones to connect with Jesus. This Advent I want to focus on joy. Christmas is going to arrive in a few short weeks, and with all the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s hard to find joy. Why not intentionally look for it and roll into Christmas Day feeling more of God’s Joy? This Sunday’s readings were all about rejoicing-feeling joy in the moment. Isaiah beckons us

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Heaven on Earth-Delightful Iowa Sunsets

Spotting the orange out the kitchen window, I swiped my phone off the counter and bolted for the backdoor. Then it happened. Tears welled up in my eyes as my heart opened to receive the overwhelming JOY God was showering on me. The sky was this amazing, awesome pinkish, orange set against contrasting blues and dark grays. And God placed me here, blessing me with his beauty. A glimpse of heaven, right here, right now in this rural Iowa sunset. I’m not always a huge fan of Iowa weather, especially the bitter cold and snow in the winter. As a

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Curiosity-Sparking Your Spiritual Growth

When was the last you time you became curious about Jesus? Curious enough to climb a tree to catch a glimpse of him? Last Sunday we heard the story of Zacchaeus and his spiritual transformation. It’s always been my favorite bible story-ever since the 1st time I remember reading it in 3rd grade. It probably had more to do with the fact that I could picture it in my head rather than the actual lesson behind it. (Most bible passages can be challenging to read, much less understand.) This time, however, I felt a strong connection to the lesson Luke

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sunset on the lake

Saints, Souls and Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Wow! It’s November 1st already! Here in Grundy County, Iowa we’ve had our 1st snowfall and Christians across the globe are celebrating All Saints Day, All Souls Day and the Day of the Dead. The garden is all but done. All reminders that life is full of seasons, each one having its own beauty, its own significance, its own way to to pray often, eat well & move more. Growing up, these church holidays were always marked with extra church services and a chance to learn more about the saints–especially a favorite or patron saint. Mine is St. Ann, Mary’s

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Why Spirituality Needs to be Your #1 Healthy Habit

So why does spirituality need to be your #1 healthy habit? What is spirituality anyway? What does it have to do with my blood pressure, my risk of stroke, diabetes or any other aspect of my life outside what I do in church on Sunday mornings? How on earth can I take time out of my busy day and responsibilities to do anything about it? Do you wonder about these questions? Or know a little, but aren’t quite sure how the dots really connect? Then read on! The Spirituality & Religion Connection First off let’s start with what is spirituality.

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Goal Evaluation Tips to Help You Run Towards Something Better

Evaluation. Ugh. I know it’s important, but in our crank-it-out productivity culture, I don’t want to take the time to do it. Like so many of us, I just want to think about how things went (usually while I am doing the next thing) and move on. However, I also know that rarely works well. By taking a little time to really look at and celebrate what went well & why, and objectively look at what didn’t go well & why, we break free of the same mistakes that keep us stuck. I’m going to walk you through a situation

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