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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Goal Tips: 7 Tips to ensure you cross the line into health & well-being

Goals. It’s a huge buzz word in the self-improvement world and most of us (me included) think we don’t really need them to achieve the results we desire. The truth is, when we don’t have a target to aim at, how can we expect to hit it? Most of us have big, overarching goals and that is awesometastic. But it’s the little goals we use to get there are just as important to think about, create and carry out. It’s these little goals, or steps that help us create the lasting habits that will, in turn, lead us to our

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Quieting the Mind with Guided Meditations

“I’ve got too many things on my mind to even think about quiet prayer time with God!” This is a common theme I hear as I ask my clients about their prayer habits. And it used to be true for me too. Over the years, with intentional practice, I’ve been able to quiet my mind down enough to have a few quiet moments with God every day. My favorite time is at sunrise or sunset. Guided meditations have been instrumental in giving me a reprieve from my racing thoughts, allowing my mind to tune into God and his peace. Quieting

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Switching up Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream

It’s that time of year. Gardens are abundant with cucumbers, zucchini, green beans and soon-tomatoes. People are always asking me what I do with these vegetables to break up the monotony and not eat the same thing day after day. I’m one of those cooks who rarely follows a recipe anymore–taking my dad’s advice to dump, add, mix & pour. I’ve taken this approach as I write the recipe for our local dairy’s e-Moosletter. The results are usually pretty good, and even though I can’t personally taste test it (dairy doesn’t agree with me), my husband loves being the guinea

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Praying Often to Experience Joy & Improve Your Health

Many times we think our different parts (our mind, body and spirit) as separate, unconnected. We don’t realize how we feel in one area affects the others. But they do! They are as intimately connected as our fingers are to our hands. So it makes sense that improving our spiritual health by praying often can overhaul our emotional and physical health, too. So how does praying often, connecting to God make such a difference in our physical and emotional health? By creating joy. When we show up day after day, strengthening our ties to God, he rewards us by showering

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Balancing Martha & Mary

Taking time to be joyfully, thankfully just sitting with and serving God and others. That’s what today’s readings were all about. That’s what Pray. Eat. Move. is all about. Yes, we are called to serve, just like Martha in today’s gospel. But without recharging like Mary does at Jesus’ feet, we become discouraged & burned out. We don’t see the fruits of our labor – or (as Fr. David said today) that our work even has merit. Without recharging, we become shriveled. Unable to keep up with our responsibilities to ourselves and others. Balancing Martha and Mary (serving and recharging)

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