The Rocky Road into the Promised Land

I don’t know about you but I can easily pull from a pool of memories – times when two words were enough to send my heart into a flutter and a flurry. For years, I had scriptures posted to our refrigerator as a way of helping my heart hold fast to the promises of God as I waited, and waited, and waited…

Seems hard to believe today marks a month since we locked the door on our previous home for the very last time. A thousand miles later and we find ourselves still making our way into our promise land. What can I say? I would love to say the road has been a stream of posies popping up everywhere our feet have landed. I would love to tell you that after years of waiting for that moment that we’d be released to embark on this journey, everything just came together and has fallen into our laps like a feather dropping from heaven. I wish. Do I ever wish.=

Don’t get me wrong – this transition has been blessed in many ways. We have watched God bring things together and work in situations like only He can. We’re seeing provisions made manifest. We’re getting glimpses into blessings being conferred. Yet, mixed with these things, have been challenges and tragedies alike – things that can’t be undone and things, admittedly, my heart hasn’t fully learned how to carry or let go of just yet (though I know I WILL get there). It’s incredible how much life can change in a day, isn’t it? Seeing firsthand how much it can change in a month is exhilarating and frightening all at the same time.

So, here I sit in my journey into our Promised Land – eager, anxious, grateful and exhausted, desperately praying “God, just get me to the other side! Please, let the months and hurdles ahead fly by that I can find myself curled up with my family in our new home in the land You have for us!”

Ever been there?

One Book I spent much time in in the years prior to our relocation was the Book of Joshua (big surprise considering our topic of discussion, right?). So, wasting no time whatsoever, the Book of Joshua jumps right into the task at hand – getting God’s children into the promise land. Now, at some point you would think my mind would have wrapped around the fact that God was calling for two key measures of preparations as the moved ahead – Consecration and a readying of their “fighting men.” 

I suppose I was hopeful that the journey would be a waltz to some degree – that the doors would just start flying open and we would step in from great to grand as we finally would come to see the fulfillment of such long awaited promises and prayers.  

In all honesty, God, in His grace has granted me a measure of that in some areas though, in others, I’ve seen it get downright brutal. Why? Because it is a battle. Our family has been challenged physically, mentally, spiritually, financially… yet, in all things we are more than conquerors.   

See, I still believe in trusting God for big things – now as much, if not more so, than ever. I also know that the big things of God don’t always come easy. They’re the kind of things that determined hands take hold of. (Not that its a matter of our strength or power but more so that its a matter of us holding on against all odds with that bulldog tenacity that says “No! God says its mine!” Am I wrong in that? Is that not the essences of holding fast to the things of God?

I believe we each face circumstances, obstacles, challenges and situations where we are standing at the edge of the promise. We can see it. We can smell it. We can reach our quaking fingers out and just about touch it but then the battle starts raging around us and, for a moment, our hearts grow faint as we start to think “God, did you really promise? Did I really hear you right? Was this just something I made up as I went along and just put your name on it?”

If you’re there right now, can I just beg you to hold on a little longer? I know you maybe think you can’t right now. I know you’re questioning how much more you could possibly take but, I’m praying that now, in this moment, a spirit of fiery faith would well up within you and that God would stir you again to press into His promises.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬
I believe one of the greatest obstacles we all have to overcome in realizing our God-sized dreams is in actually allowing ourselves to believe that they’re ours to be had. As I write this, my mind goes back to a quote out of a daily devotional I used to have on my desk. One day in particular, before we’d even moved from our old home, we were really feeling the crunch of everything that was happening. We were getting things in order for the move and were just on overload. How I cherished those words as I read something to the effect of “God is leading you into the Promised Land. He knows the way and is even more committed to getting you there than you are.”

As hard as that can be for me to believe in my heart amidst the strain and the struggle, something within me just knows that there’s a sobering amount of truth to that.

It’s not about bragging rights. It’s not about God bending and flexing the world around our desires. It’s about God just being God in our lives. I hardly have the words to explain it and I don’t have to. I don’t have to know the why’s or the how’s. I simply have to muster up the resolve to just trust. 

I choose to trust and press forward knowing that even when the war wages, God can and will bring to pass EVERY WORD He’s spoken over our lives.

What “promise land” has God spoken into your life? Are you daring today to trust Him for it?

How to Eat Healthier without Really Trying

Some of us have no trouble taking hold of healthy living with the embrace of a child around a life-sized stuffed unicorn.  Some others, not so much.

Let’s face it.  Some of you are still in a place where you think health foods suck and whole foods just bite the big one.

NEWSFLASH!  You’re palate can totally be retrained to love health food.  It just takes a little bit of time and intentional effort.  However, the intentional effort doesn’t have to be so painful as some of you may be thinking.

Today’s discussion – a few little tricks you can stash up your sleeve to have you eating healthier without giving it much thought.

Mash’n’Spread

So maybe you don’t like the textures of things like avocados, beans or sweet potatoes.  These are some of my favorites but, if they’re not yours, that’s cool.  You can still reap the benefits and learn to love them.

Cook them down until soft, puree them in a mini-chopper or food processor or just mash them with a fork.  Use in place of mayonnaise or other sandwich spreads in wraps and sandwiches or serve as a dip on the side.

Chop ‘Em into Tiny Bits

Just because you don’t link massive chunks of celery and onions or whatever else, doesn’t mean you’d mind them if they’re chopped smaller.  Foods like squash, zucchini, broccoli, onions, celery, carrots and, well, a whole lot of other stuff, can easily be added to soups, stews and sauces with little detection or objection.

Making a wrap, sandwich or tacos?  Just sprinkled those teeny veggies right on top and nosh away, my friend.

Pulse It Out

Beans + Peas + Lentils = Pulses

Pulse it out!  Keep prepared beans, lentils and peas on hand to easily add to salads or whatever else you have on your plate.  The lighter flavor makes them an easy addition to most any addition.

These babies can also be dressed up with your favorite herbs, spices or sauces to play the lead role for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Okay, maybe not so much on breakfast, unless you’re just into that sort of thing but they can steal the show for lunch, dinner and snacks.  {Crunchy Chickpeas?  Yes, please!!!}

Keep Healthy On-Hand

Some of us have some serious snacking tendencies.  If you stay busy like I stay busy, you’re probably not even really present when you’re doing it.  You just gnaw on those nibbles’n’bits while your brain continues to process billions of calculations.

Or, maybe you’re just lazy.  Not judging.  Just saying, this works for you too and maybe even more so.

Just quit bringing the junk in or, at the very least, stash it in hard to reach places.  Keep fresh fruits and vegetables prepped and placed for easy grab’n’go snacks.

Just Add ‘Kraut

Okay, so maybe you’re not much of a sauerkraut fan (but then, maybe you are).  Point is, I’m willing to bet you have at least one totally healthy dip or topping that just rocks you’re ever-loving world.

Run with it!  Really…just schmear it on everything!

Guacamole, Sauerkraut, Avocado-based Green Goddess Dressings, Kimchi, Salsa, Pico, whatever rocks your boat – try it paired with other health foods you may have previously not been quite so crazy about.

Get a little saucy and sassy with it.

So, there you have it – a handful of tips on how you can eat a little better each day without making it overly complicated.

Now it’s your turn – what are some of your favorites ways to make healthier eating a little easier?  How do you sneak those scrumptious, healthy eats under your own radar?