Health · Refreshment

My Fifteen Minute Calisthenic Routine

Oh man, this post is WAY out of the zone of my comfort OR my expertise! Please know that I am no fitness guru as I share this with you! I’m sharing this post because several asked to see my 15-minute routine when I shared this recently about how all the little things add up (and they really do!).

I simply snapped a few photos of what I do to get a little exercise, to keep limber and slightly toned! I’ve been doing these for years. I also try to walk two miles at a brisk pace several times a week. That’s not a lot, but it’s enough to get me outside, keep me moving, and help with bone strength and wellness.

So, if you’re ready, I’ll take a breath and share my simple routine.

Starting with the top left and going across, here’s what I do:

  1. First and second pictures are my sit ups. I do about 30. Hands are at my side so I”m not tempted to pull myself up as I would if my hands were behind my head.
  2. Third picture on top is a stomach killer leg lift. Lay on back and lift legs slowly up and raise until you can touch your toes. Then lower slowly to the floor. I do as many as I can handle, increasing each time.
  3. Long rectangular pictures is a simple routine of touching my toes, side to side. I do 100.
  4. Bottom row, first picture is a squat. Feet slightly apart, keeping spine straight, squat to a slight sitting position, then stand. I do 30.
  5. Bottom row, second picture is a curl from side to side that stretches and trims the waist.
  6. Third pic on bottom is a plank. Hold the position you see in the picture for graduated/increasing times. I’m up to about 1 minute 30 seconds.

Again, I’m no expert, and I’m sure I could be greatly instructed by someone one proficient, but you asked, so there you go!

Are you one who needs to exercise, one who wants to exercise OR are you someone who does exercise? I’d love to know!

Refresh yourself with some calisthenics!

In case you missed any posts this week…

Biblical Womanhood · femininity · Godly Character Traits · Mentoring

Safeguarding Your Purity

Lesson *9 in Adorned, by Nancy Wolgemuth

We use locks, safes, fences, banks, and fresh, new passwords to keep our valuables secure. But what do we do to keep our purity secure?   Have we given it as much thought? Do we set up protective measures so that it won’t be stolen? 

As we have been making our way through this Titus 2, I see these verses having a waterfall effect. 
The top of the fall is the instruction to teach the younger women.
Then each subject is addressed and one just trickles right into the next one. 

In the previous study, we talked about being discreet. The word we used was sophron – from the Greek  meaning sound mind.  It’s thinking that is solid and based on the Word of God.  The overflow of that kind of thinking leads us to our next characteristic – Discreet or pure.

Titus 2:5 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet (sophron), chaste – pure. One commentator says,

Pure” refers primarily to moral purity, and, especially in this context, to sexual purity and marital faithfulness. Christian women as young wives are “to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly,

As older women, remember that we are modeling before the younger women each of these characteristics.  As we teach them, we are giving them someone to walk through the journey of godly womanhood with them. 

We must also understand that this life of purity involves more than preserving our marriage and sexual purity. This touches every area of our lives –

  • What we thinkPhil 4:8
  • `What we look atPs. 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: 
  • `What we sayProv 4:24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

Scripture tells us why we should be pure. I mean, what’s the big deal, anyway?

Titus 1:15-16 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Nancy Wolgemuth admonishes…
Unbelievers are slaves to their passions and lusts. Our world is full of this kind of living. It’s everywhere we look.Because it’s so prevalent, it’s easy to lose our shame of it.  It’s easy to be casual about it, rather than being concerned.  We’re used to it. If we’re not careful, we become desensitized to coarse language in books and movies, we overlook sinful conduct on television that we would never invite into our homes.  What has happened is that we’ve opened the vault door of our purity and let thieves come in to take whatever they want.  We can’t think that allowing this to go unguarded won’t have an affect on us.

If this concerns you, her book listed five practical ways that we can “safeguard” our purity. I’ll list them without any explanation here but if you want the details you can listen to the podcast I recorded on this chapter here.

  1. Choose discretion
  2. Value modesty
  3. Check your emotional attachments
  4. Guard your electronic communications
  5. Lean on your trusted female friendships

As a pastor’s wife, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had people sit on our living room sofa  and weep and say through their sobs, “I so regret what I’ve done. If only I had made a different choice!”
BUT I’ve never heard anyone ever say, “I so regret staying pure!” Never.
You won’t regret it, either.  Not only will you have the joy and peace that purity brings, you will have a testimony to share to a younger woman and a watching world. 

Guard your purity – so much is at stake.

Ask yourself which of the five safeguards you need to put into practice.

Refresh your purity by making it safe.

In case you missed any posts this week…

Cookies · Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Ginger Cookies

I enjoy getting stretched in my cooking and baking skills. When more and more people have food allergies, it can be a challenge to have snacks or meals in which everyone can partake. Several people in my small group Bible study have a gluten intolerance, so I’ve been challenged to find recipes they can enjoy.

While on vacation I stumbled across a cookbook called, Skinny Southern Baking, by Laura Lyn Carter.

From breads to cakes, this book has it all. The thing that attracted me to her recipes was that there is no strange ingredients like xanthan gum. Of course you use gluten-free flours, but that’s the only extra ingredient needed, for the most part.

I tried my first recipe a couple weeks ago and got rave reviews from not only the gluten-free snackers, but also from others who wanted to try them!

Laura’s recipe for her cookies is here.

Some notes regarding this recipe:

  • She doesn’t give the yield on her recipes, which I like to know. This recipe will yield 2 dozen.
  • I did make one addition to the recipe – I rolled the cookie dough in coarse sugar before baking. I think the crunch of the sugary outside helped the texture of the almond flour.
  • She uses refined sugars; I used normal granulated sugar instead. Almond flour isn’t cheap, so I didn’t feel like I also wanted to add the expense of refined sugar. It’s totally up to you, but it won’t change the taste of the cookie!

If you don’t need a Gluten-Free cookie, please try this recipe for our FAVORITE Ginger Cookies (pictured below). They are my husband’s favorite cookie in the world (okay, maybe in Tennessee!). They are perfection! They taste every bit as good as a pricey cookie we purchase at a bakery nearby!

Other options I’ve shared for Gluten-Free treats can be found here,

here and here.

Does your family deal with food allergies? Do you have a favorite “go-to” cookbook or site you use?

In case you missed any posts this week…

Family life · refreshment at home · Refreshment in marriage · Rest · Sabbatical

Fun, Family and Finishing Strong

Who doesn’t love a week full of fun and family? That describes our last week of sabbatical so well, but it’s also a reminder of a truth I hope to pass on to you. Stay tuned.

You might think that 30 days of sabbatical would fly by, but the Lord answered my prayer and allowed it to go nice and slow. What a blessing that was! We enjoyed each day to the max and allowed ourselves time to rest, spend time together as a couple, and focus on what the Lord wanted to teach us as we got ready to head back into ministry.

When we got to the last week, we celebrated our 40th anniversary. My husband did a fantastic job planning our celebration and took me to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
Oh. My. Goodness.
What a special time it was!

The food was amazing!

The setting was gorgeous!

We got to take our time and enjoy every bite and every minute. We were at the restaurant for about three hours! We cried as we shared memories from our 40 years of marriage during the meal. I told my husband they were going to think we hated our food because of our tears!! It was a truly magical day, full of love for each other, fun times and many blessings!

Ready for our dinner at Ruth’s Chris!

This last week allowed us to enjoy an early July 4th celebration with Paul and Whitney in their adorable small town. It was so patriotic and fun!! There was beautiful music, Uncle Sam on stilts, and parachutists jumping out of airplanes with flags making for a great event!

We went home early in the evening, then later drove to a parking lot nearby to enjoy their fireworks. It was perfect!

We also got to see Paul in his work setting, which was super fun.

The last church we visited was Paul and Whitney’s. What a blessing to worship together and hear the sound preaching of the Word! After the service we went to a lovely little restaurant, The Bleu Porch, in their town and enjoyed a fabulous brunch! My Stuffed French Toast with warm Blueberry Sauce was delicious, but having brunch together as a family was even sweeter!

We spent the last few days at some quiet spots – lakes and mountains vistas – where we could reflect about what the Lord had spoken into our hearts. We did much journaling so as not to forget our lessons and the changes we each needed to make.

This mountain view is more amazing than this picture shows!

Now here we are nearly a whole month later! I’m enjoying the new schedule the Lord guided me to practice. My days and weeks are full, but the Lord is so gracious to allow times of rest just when I need it most!

Even without a sabbatical, we can each find times to rest. Even when dinner is not Ruth’s Chris, but grilled hot dogs, we can find time to be together as a family! Simple events can bring the fun life needs when days are tough. Ladies, we’re often the one who needs to create the fun, so let’s get planning! We need one another!

I’d also encourage you to find regular times to unplug, be still, and listen to the Lord through His Word and in prayer. We are not meant to run on empty without time with the Lord and minimal time in His Word. We need Him!

What do you have planned to refresh your heart? How will you refresh your family?

Unplug and have some fun family time this weekend!

In case you missed any posts this week…

Biblical Womanhood · Mentoring

If Your Thoughts Are All Over the Map

Adorned Study 8

One spring day in my East Tennessee backyard, I took my grandsons out on our acre of property, with both excitement and kites in tow!  We were going to fly their new kites for the first time!  They were ecstatic!  It had been many years since I had done this and I wondered if I could remember how to get this piece of plastic and string soaring into the air!  

I held it up with the current, let out a little string and watched the kite lift for a minute, and then it began to jerk, bob and then take a dive downward where it crashed to the ground.  I tried it all again, this time letting out more string so the wind could carry it upward.  It soared.  I handed the string over to my grandson.  As he held it in his small hands, the string began to unwind further and further until it was totally unwound.  The kite had lifted to the its full extent and was happily steady and flying smoothly!  It stayed up there until we were ready to go inside!

Just a couple weeks after that fun event, I went through some typical struggles that all women experience in life.  I was walking and praying one morning and the Lord brought to my mind the picture of that kite when it was bobbing and crashing to the ground.  As my emotions engaged, this is  exactly what I had allowed my mind to do. Rather than them being tethered to the string of truth, my thoughts were all over the place.

We’re all tempted to fall into that same kind of reaction when the winds of adversity blow or when a storm is descending upon us.  But I’m thankful to know and learn that we don’t have to bob and crash! There is hope for us and we find it in God’s Word. 

As we have been going through the Book, Adorned, we’ve learned through the study of Titus 2 that we are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, under control of our desires, teachers of sound doctrine.  We’re to be using our lives to teach younger women.  None of this can happen if we are out of control, if our lives reflect someone who looks like my out of control kite – happy one minute, depressed the next.  Content and peaceful one day, screaming at God and everyone around us the next. 

Titus 2 goes on to instruct us…

The older women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things,
that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,5 to be discreet,

In many modern translations, “be discreet” is translated, “self-controlled or sensible.” The Greek word is Sophron. It comes from two other Greek words – soos, meaning either sound or saved and phorn meaning outlook or mind. When we put the two together, it means to have a “sound mind.” 

In chapter 3 of this study we learned about sophron – and we referenced it keeping us in control so we can be modeling for a younger woman a godly life, controlled by the Spirit of God. Sophron means “to be able to put on the brakes.”  We are led by the Spirit to stop our words – to stop our attitude, to stop our wrong response. We put on the brakes.

Nancy says that a sophron lifestyle begins with a sophron state of mind – a way of thinking that affects everything about the way we live.  We are what we think, so a sensile, sound, self-controlled mindset will result with a a sensible, sound, self-controlled life.

God’s Word is so practical for our everyday lives and this word shows us how to live out this sophron life – We must ask ourselves moment by moment, Is my thinking sophron?  Were my words sophron?  Is my response sophron?

There’s a spillover from not thinking sophron – our responses and appetites will lend themselves to excesses and addiction, as we talked about in the last lesson of this book.  

How do we acquire this kind of sound thinking?  Do we will it to happen?  Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Remember my kite story?  I had to let the wind have control over the kite.  This is a beautiful picture of God’s Spirit controlling us when we just surrender to the Christ who lives in us.  The Christ in us will always respond correctly. 

Surrender – let Him have complete control. Be a woman with a sophron lifestyle – sound thinking that will control you, your thoughts and your responses.  Your testimony as a godly woman will soar!

What do you struggle with most in regards to reining in your thoughts? You can go here to listen to the podcast on this chapter.

In case you missed any posts this week…