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Angie’s List (Part One)…

I posted a version of my “Wonder Woman Salad” on Instagram and have had requests for the “recipe”, so I thought I would post a few things like this salad that help me have a better day.

  • Lemon Water

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If you are fighting cancer (or a tumor, like I am) or trying to prevent cancer from returning, this is extremely important.  Cancer thrives in an acidic environment, but hates an alkaline one.  There are expensive alkalizing machines you can purchase…or you can just buy organic lemons!  It’s very important to only use organic lemons to avoid pesticides and added chemicals, and to make sure your water is purified – distilled is best.

Slice a couple of lemons (organic lemons tend to be very small, so I use 2) and put them in a glass…not plastic, but glass and let them sit.  I place cold, purified water in a glass with lemon slices in it by my bed – over night – so I can start my day by drinking a full glass the next morning.  Then, I refill it and drink several more glasses throughout the day.  This is the simplest way to stay hydrated while also making sure my system stays more alkaline than acidic.

When life hands you lemons, be happy!

  • Be-Happy Berry Smoothie

I’m not really a “recipe” person…it’s just not my personality to be that specific.  Most of my diet is a work in progress.  If I find something that seems to help me feel better and have a better day, I try to include it.

I’m also very mindful of my food allergies (shellfish, tree nut and peanuts) which can cause me to miss some nutrients that other recipes cover.  Being mostly Vegan (except for The Budwig Protocol) and nut-free creates challenges for my protein intake, so I add things to my morning smoothie that others may not need to add.

This is just what works well for me, and it’s delicious!

Ingredients:

*8 ounces Hemp Milk (unsweetened)

*1 scoop plant-based protein mix (nut-free)

*1 cup frozen organic berries

*1 TBS “NanoEpa” emulsified fish oil (with Vitamin D & E)

*Raw-shelled hemp seeds – 1 TBS as garnish

Blend everything except the hemp seeds in a smoothie blender (I use a Ninja). Garnish with hemp seeds.  Drink within 15 minutes.

  • Wonder Woman Salad (AKA Super Green Salad)

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Now, the name certainly doesn’t mean that you can only eat this salad if you’re a woman. I only named it that after my blog “Striking the Wonder Woman” because I know that when I’m eating things like this salad, I’m striking the Wonder Woman stance, and I’m taking charge of my day.

Again, I’m not really a recipe person, and then especially applies when I’m making a salad…most of my salads would be better named “Dump Salad” because I just keep dumping things in until I run out of things to add.  For example, in my picture you may notice pickles…that’s because I had some awesome pickles that day, so I threw them in at the last minute.  Also, organic vegetables don’t last very long, so some days I will plan to use kale but my kale has gone bad, so I’ll replace it with spinach…

Here are the basic ingredients, though:

Ingredients:

*Greens – Kale, Spinach or Spring Mix – just make sure it’s organic

*6 ounces Organic Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) unheated

*1 TBS vegan, soy-free “mayo”

*1 TBS organic German mustard

*1/2 cup sprouts – kale or broccoli – sprouts have more concentrated nutrition than they’re full-grown counterparts, so they are super important!

*1 sliced avocado

*pumpkin and sunflower seeds

*1 TBS raw-shelled hemp seeds

Place greens on plate.  Mix chickpeas, mayo and mustard in a separate bowl.  Add to greens.  Top with avocado and sprouts, and finish with seeds.

These are just a few things on my “List” that just help me have a better day, lessen my symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation, and give me the energy to strike that Wonder Woman and tackle whatever my day throws at me.

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Have an awesome one!

Peace to you…

Angie ❣️

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Striking the Wonder Woman…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is real…and what’s not.  Dealing with physical illness and chronic pain can shrink your reality super fast.  You can begin to think that life is just about survival, and before you know it, real moments can pass you by because you were just trying to survive…to breathe.  

There are definitely times in life when the only way through…is through, and you just have to put your head down and push through it.

The problem with anything that affects you on a chronic level is that it can become your only reality.  When you’re in chronic pain or under chronic stress or in chronic depression or chronically obsessed with perfection…the reality is the same: 

Your world has been shrunk down to just that one thing.

But today is Monday.  Mondays are hard, but they are also wonderful.  It just depends on my reality.  Have I shrunk my reality to the point where I can’t see the possibility that lies in every day…especially every Monday?  

Well, here’s where I am on this Monday:

I’m going to be tired…Monday-tired no matter what I do or don’t do.  I’m going to be in pain…whether I do a lot or try to be still.  I’ve got a lot on my plate, a big family, major health-decisions to make…and they will be there whether I choose to deal with them today or not.

I can’t change facts, but I can change my reality…

Because my true reality is not what’s going on around me…or even inside me…

My true reality is how I feel about it, what I tell myself about it, and what I allow it to motivate me to do or not do about it.

I spoke to my Doctor about this just a few hours ago… Dr. Brent Baldasare is my chiropractor, but the reality is that he’s my physician…you know, the one that I really listen to.  I was sharing with him my frustrations about the decisions I have to make about possible treatments for the meningioma (benign brain tumor) that’s pressing on my brain stem and spinal cord.  Nothing has changed as far as my physical condition, but lately I’ve been feeling hopeless and unmotivated…when I was much more certain and positive just a few weeks ago.  I told him that I know I have to get my mojo back.

And he said, “Do you know the “Wonder Woman” stance?”

Know it?  There are times when I think I invented it…and these are always the times  when I feel the weakest, and somehow I just know that if I just tell myself I’m strong, then I’ll actually be stronger.  I’ve done this for years when I sing.  Anyone who has ever watched me lead worship, has probably seen me do the “Wonder Woman”…where I stand straight and strong or march forward on the platform.  For me, this has always revolved around some lyric that is stating how “God is stronger” or “no weapon formed against me will stand”.  I can do it when I’m leading worship…

…because when I’m leading worship it’s not about me.  It’s about God.  And I have no trouble believing or stating in a strong way that God is greater…

I just struggle to know that I am.

So Dr. B reminded me that I need to take my power back.  The things that I can control about my health, my pain, my happiness, my faith, my family…are right in my own hands.  I just need to stand up, strike the “Wonder Woman” and know that I can!

Byron said this very thing this weekend,  “Perhaps you don’t struggle at all believing in God, you just struggle with the fact that He believes in you.”

And that’s truly my struggle:  believing that I can.

Maybe that’s also where you are.

So let’s try it together…if we’re feeling overwhelmed, discouraged and powerless, the first step is to stand up, strike the “Wonder Woman”, look the world and our enemies right in the eye, and say by our stance that we will not be defeated.

It’s not just half the battle…it’s the whole thing because it can actually change our reality.

If we change our thoughts, we change our destiny, and begin to change the world!

Hands on your hips now!

Peace to you…

Angie ❣ 

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Making the Mundane More Magical…

Having been a “stay-at-home” wife, mom and grandmother now for nearly 30 years, I’ve dealt with the pitfalls and challenges of finding purpose and meaning in the most mundane tasks. But the truth is, we all struggle with finding joy in the things that, on the surface, can seem ordinary and even boring…

Having the same “gig” for as long as I have also allows me to really get to know where my strengths…and weaknesses lie.  And for me, my weakness is definitely consistency…especially if it’s in the mundane and possibly boring category.

I don’t do mundane very well.

I do last-minute, heart-pumping, ride-or-die super well…it’s just that most of my mom-days don’t include a whole lot of moments that you might see in an episode of “24”.  

So while I tend to hear the sound-track of my life something like “The Hunger Games” or “The Sound of Music”…it’s more like an episode of “America’s Funniest Home Vidoes” most days…

But I love my life.

The challenge is in finding the magic in the mundane.

The way I’m learning to do this…and it’s definitely a work-in-progress, is to give myself permission to look at absolutely everything through rose-colored glasses. So, when I hear the Hunger Games music begin to play in my head…then, I need to act like it’s just that important.  And when Julie Andrews begins to sing, I can use that to motivate me to not just “clean” the bathroom, but to really make it more beautiful.

How I make the mundane magical is to look at it as my art form…my mission. Because the truth is, it really is that important.

This weekend Byron spoke about how creating margin…breathing room in our schedules allows us to be more generous in our lives.  So, if my finances are “in order” then I can be generous when there’s a natural disaster or a friend has a need. If my schedule is not maxed-out, then I can go visit someone in the hospital without grieving over the loss of a few hours.

For me, that was a reminder that every moment in my sometimes seemingly mundane day is important.  It may not seem important that I have a neat family room, but it allows me to be present-in-the-moment when a friend needs to stop by and cry on my shoulder.

It’s not always easy to feel approval or gratitude for the simple things that you do each day, but keep doing them and determine to really put your heart into it. Small things done with great love always have an impact.

I’ve had to realize that if I want to have a beautiful life, then I need to have beautiful thoughts and do beautiful things – and even the tiniest, most mundane thing can become beautiful if we see them as important and meaningful.

If I’ve ever questioned this, all I have to do is think about the sweetest moments in my life.  They are usually the simplest.

It’s not perfection that holds the most beauty…it’s progress…and peace.

It’s not always just about what we do, but how we do it…and doing the smallest things with the greatest love always has the ability to create magic!✨✨

Peace to you…

Angie❣

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My Renaissance Man…

In honor of our 27th wedding anniversary, I thought I would repost a blog that I wrote years ago…because I wrote it for my “Renaissance Man” then; and it’s even more appropriate now that I know more of what his “renaissance” truly cost.
I also know more of what love really means.

Happy Anniversary, Babe. This one was, and is, for you:

“So I went to a great sushi restaurant yesterday for lunch. It was Ah-mazing; it was so good that I took Byron back there for supper. During lunch, I kept thinking that he would love the modern yet organic decor, and he would think their new age/jazz music was cool, etc…
When we got there, they gave us the table I knew he’d like (It has these cool orange wingbacks – super comfy).
So as he was “popping” edamame, and drinking Voss (his favorite sparking water), I began to think about how much he’s changed since I met him over 20 years ago. 

To say that he’s different now is an understatement. He didn’t branch-out very often, back then, in the area of food, decor, music, or the way he dressed. He was a typical “meat and potatoes” Texan – everything normal and predictable – no surprises! Then, he met me, and God called him into the pastorate…
For years, he did the whole normal pastor thing, the double-breasted suits and the pastor hair (he DID have hair). He never was particularly political, but he could “bring it” in the pulpit – so he was always “successful”. His administrative skills and loyalty (and the utter lack of the typical “messianic complex” that most in the ministry suffer from) caused him to be a great associate, then senior pastor…Then, he began to desire more – more than the safe, predictable ministry at which he was excelling.

So he did something that was absolutely contrary to his very existence up to that point. Something that no one would’ve recommended. He changed.He changed everything from his philosophy of ministry to his hair.

He shaved his head and threw out the preacher pretense. He started looking for ways to experience more out of life than canned green-beans and pot-roast. He began to truly look at people as opportunities for connection rather than a project to feel successful.
(I think the latter may be taught as a seminary course “How to feel successful in your ministry by how many circles you can run around in without ever truly effecting life-change” – well, the title may not be that long!)

He began to refuse to be in bondage to the dictates of the religious, but instead really asked “What would Jesus do?”.
He began to demand more of himself and those around him, and ask the question, “Why is this community of faith placed here in this area – are we accomplishing the work of Christ, or just building a legacy unto ourselves…?”
He asked, and the masses answered – vehemently (the religious) and overwhelmingly (the unchurched). He was vilified, attacked, threatened, lied-about and betrayed – and yet he continued to push for more…more change, more authenticity, more love of the person of Christ rather than the tradition of man.
He walked on through the fire and the storm, and never wavered except to say to me, “If it becomes too much, just say the word, and I’ll leave it all behind, today, because I am no success in my ministry if I lose you and the kids…”

So, sitting at dinner last night at a sushi restaurant, watching him eat exotic food, comment on his new love of a very different decor than he was supposed to appreciate, and wearing a brightly colored “floweredee” shirt – And all because I wanted to go there, and I wanted him to try the food and see the decor, hear the music, and I had given him the pretty shirt…etc., I considered all of the ways he had changed.
So I commented on how different he was than “back in the day”, and he answered, “Yeah, I’m different, and it all boils down to one thing: “I fell in love…”
That is what it all boils down to with him: LOVE. 

He has learned, through adversity, to love with abandon. He has been willing to sacrifice everything for love. He is one of the few people in this world who has earned the right to say, “I would die for you.”, and you can believe it.
He is becoming a true “Renaissance Man” on a mission of love and mercy. It’s a beautiful thing to observe someone doing what they were truly born to do.

So, to me, he’s a renaissance man – my renaissance man – and I love him and am grateful for and proud of all the changes…It’s been quite a ride, and I’ve never been more excited to see what’s in store for tomorrow. I am truly blessed.”
…and I still am! Happy Anniversay, Babe. I love you more…

Angie❣