Widmayer Wellness LLC

Encouragement in Your Wellness Journey

Category Archives: Thoughts

My Cup Runneth Over

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Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  Psalm 23:5 KJV

I pulled a mug out of the cupboard this morning. It is decorated with a Bible verse.  As I poured my coffee, I thought about how long I have had that mug, who gave it to me, and on what occasion.  It is one of the mugs I use frequently.  It was given to me by a church friend as a housewarming gift when we moved into our previous home, not the one we are in currently.  That was 30 years ago!  I don’t see that friend for years at a time, but I think about her every time I pull that mug down to use it.

That got me thinking about how many mugs and cups I own compared to how many I use on any regular basis.  I have two complete sets of mugs that match respective dinnerware. These mugs are rarely used.

A mug I use needs two things in order to be right.  It needs to have a large handle and it needs to hold an adequate amount of coffee. There are six in my cupboard that meet the criteria:

  • I have a mug that is decorated with a violet. I bought that one myself on a vacation.  I honestly can’t remember where, but violets and pansies are my favorite flowers.
  • I have a pottery mug that is a little large, but it has a round design and is different from any of my other mugs. I bought that at a craft show when I was with my daughters.  They each had a mug like it, and they had been raving about these mugs for a year; so I got one, too.  I think about my daughters and our day out when I use that one.
  • One of my favorite mugs is one I got as a gift when I visited a local church. It is black on the outside and orange on the inside. It is labeled with the church name. It does not match my kitchen décor, and it is not from my home church; so why is it a favorite? It is the perfect size and shape with a large handle. It is comfortable to hold.
  • I have a red and white mug that came from students one Christmas. It was filled with candy. The candy is long gone, but the gift reminds of me of my teaching days.
  • And I have a cup that says Nana given to me by my grandchildren.

These six mugs are the ones I use over and over.  Truthfully, I could probably get rid of every other mug I own.

As I write this and reflect on my six mugs, I realize they are even more significant because they represent the most important areas of my life.

  • The Scripture verse mug from my church friend represents church friends and my faith in Jesus Christ.
  • The violet mug I bought on vacation represents special time spent with my husband.
  • The pottery mug represents special time spent with my two daughters.
  • The red and white mug represents my teaching career.
  • The Nana mug represents my status as grandmother to five amazing boys!
  • The black and orange mug represents those people in our lives that touch us, even though the time may be fleeting.

Each morning I choose a mug, pour some coffee, and spend time in the Word of God.  These quiet times with my Bible, my coffee, and the view of nature out my window emphasize the many blessings I have in my life.  The simple pleasures that we sometimes take for granted are gifts from God.  When I meditate on His blessings, even after my coffee cup is quite empty, I can truly say, “My cup runneth over.”

Choosing the Right Exercise Plan

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When the New Year rolled around and I chose the word WELLNESS as my #onelittleword for 2018, I had to decide how I was going to get back to exercising for my physical wellness.  I had been limited to exercise in the previous six months due to an injury and surgery.  But let’s be honest—I had fallen off the exercise track before my injury.

Over the years I have tried lots of options.  I have a treadmill, stationary bike, an exercise ball, and free weights in my home.  I have had gym memberships and a personal trainer.  I have joined Jazzercise and gone to yoga classes.  I have tried videos in my living room and walking outside. All of it.  But consistency is hard.  We go through seasons in life when one method works better than another; however, physical fitness is important, especially as one gets older.  There is no more time to procrastinate. It’s use it or lose it!  Even my mother-in-law, who is well into her 89th year, attends classes at her independent living facility.  These classes do not have the same intensity as a young person’s workout.  The goal is motion.  They say, “Motion is lotion.”

The thing I have learned is that all of these exercise methods have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to type of movement, cost, times offered, and social aspects.  I believe when it is time to re-evaluate your exercise plan, writing a pros and cons list can help you choose the best option.  So, here are some things to consider.

  • What amount of money can you afford to spend on a monthly basis? (Now, before you answer, consider that you are investing in your health and are likely saving money you would spend for medical treatment if you are not in good health.)
  • How convenient is the location? Is it on your way home from work, close to your home, accessible on weekends?
  • How convenient are the times? Are there classes at set times; is it open 24/7? Is it really going to work with your schedule?
  • What kind of coaching is available? Are there trainers available, is there an added cost for trainers, or is it teacher-led?
  • Are you self-motivated? Do you have knowledge of fitness so you can exercise without injuries, or do you need guidance?
  • How important is social interaction? Do you have a friend to go with you; do you prefer to be alone? Do you like classes and large groups? Even if you are working out alone, are you comfortable having other people working out along with you?
  • Do you have accountability? A partner? A spouse? Someone?
  • Does the workout plan offer all aspects: cardio, strength, flexibility?
  • Do you have any physical limitations that eliminate some forms of exercise?

What is the variety of workout options? Here’s a few I’ve tried.

  1. A gym has many options—lots of equipment choices, on-site staff to assist, availability because they are open frequently. Some centers also offer classes, both exercise and wellness. Some facilities have a pool.
  2. Jazzercise classes focus on cardio but also offer strength and flexibility as a part of their routines. Zumba offers similar classes, I believe; however, I’ve not tried those.
  3. Yoga can help with stress, flexibility, core strength, and even cardio.
  4. A home gym – Will you use it? Can you afford to purchase equipment? Do you have the space? How does the cost compare with memberships over time?
  5. Video – There are many internet sites offering subscriptions these days—yoga, dancing, and probably others. There are also free videos on YouTube. Are you motivated to workout at home? Do you have space? A designated time?
  6. I know there are others I haven’t experienced. Swimming, karate, kick-boxing, organized sports.  What will work for you?

As I made my own list of pros and cons, it changed my decision about my 2018 choice.  For me, in this season of life, the best choice was a membership at a local community fitness center.  I did not choose the one closest to my home, which was less expensive, because it did not have extended hours and is closed at my prime work out time.  It offers some level of social interaction, even if I attend alone, and I am a social creature.  I also have a couple of friends who are already members. It has a gym and organized classes at various times of day. And as the “parent” fitness center, I can still attend the one closer to my home if I find it more convenient at times.  The advantages were worth the cost.

Though I have enjoyed both yoga and Jazzercise in the past—and they were the right choices then, the fitness center is right for me now.

I have gotten back on track with physical fitness in 2018, and I am motivated to continue to strengthen my body after recent surgery.  By thinking through this decision and weighing my options, I have been more successful than when I just choose something impulsively.  And as I have tried various machines and routines at the center, I have been more motivated to complement those with things I do at home on the days I do not travel to the gym. I have also realized my limitations and given myself permission to go slowly.  I will not regain all of my strength in a short time.  This must be a lifestyle for now and the future.

Though physical fitness is only one aspect of my goals in choosing the word “wellness,” I am happy to have made a strong start to my year.  This was the area where I felt weakest, so it feels good to have made this decision and stuck with it.

I hope my journey inspires you to start exercising if you don’t already.  Get out a pencil and paper, find out what’s available to you locally, and start making that list of pros and cons.  Find something that works for you now, and then stick with.  Put it on your schedule as a non-negotiable.  And if you can, find an accountability partner.  You’re on your way!

Happy Exercising!

 

 

The Gift of Hospitality

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img_3897Hospitality is listed in the Bible as a spiritual gift.  But anyone can become better at hospitality if they just practice.  Essentially, hospitality is making people feel welcome; and when you open your home for a dinner, a business meeting, a holiday party, or a one to one conversation, you can offer hospitality and make your guests feel welcome.

I learned hospitality first at home.  My mom and dad often had people over after work, especially in the summer, for a backyard cookout.  It wasn’t anything special, really.  It was just burgers on the grill and a lounge chair seat.  But people liked to come, and we had a few single people who became regulars—almost part of the family.  My father always made people had something to drink—even when I returned home as a “guest” after I married, he was caring and attentive to my needs.

When I met first met my husband and began joining his family for Sunday and holiday dinners, I learned more from my mother-in-law.  She always had a beautifully set table, serving dishes, and frequently, little favors at each table setting.  She silently taught me about the little “extras.”  I learned through observing.

When my husband and I had been married for quite a while, we began to host Easter breakfasts at our home when our church stopped having them.  We lived near to the church during those years, and it was convenient for our friends to have breakfast at our house.  This is when I learned that my husband had also picked up some things from his mom, and probably his grandmother, too.  He was the cook at these breakfasts, as he had previously been at church.  His little extras included warming the plates so the food would stay hot, warming the syrup for the pancakes, choosing attractive serving dishes.  This is where I took on the role of table setting.  Fortunately, we had received some lovely things as gifts when we were married, and this was an opportunity to pull those things out of storage and use them.  This home had more storage in the kitchen than our first home, and I was able to keep those items in an accessible place.  One of the little extras I used was individual salt and pepper shakers—one at each place setting.  Extravagant? Maybe.  But I had them, so why not use them?

Wimg_3900hen we moved again to an older home and began hosting our families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I began to hone my skills as a table setter.  My goal was for my guests to feel that the holiday was special and they were special.  I wanted them to be filled with delight at the setting, even if they only experienced it at a subconscious level.

I am not always good about planning ahead, and I would sometimes get bursts of creativity at the last minute, forcing me to rush around and sometimes improvise.  But over the years, I have gathered a lot of things for my collection for table settings:  my mom’s silver table service, cloth napkins, napkin rings, colorful tablecloths and placemats, water goblets, a varied collection of creamer and sugar sets, butter dishes, gravy boats, platters, a punch bowl (for larger crowds, which I bought at an auction for $2.00 and it included the cups), centerpieces, handmade name cards, holiday dishes, and figurines.  One year, I took a Christmas poem I had written (but you could use any appropriate poem), and I printed it, pasted it on a colorful construction paper background, and set it at each place setting.

As the family grew, I hosted wedding and baby showers. Now here is where I gathered some help.  I am not great at the gift favors, and I recently enlisted my sister-in-law to help with those for a shower I was hosting.  There is nothing wrong with enlisting the gifts and talents with others to assist you in your hospitality.

Nimg_4143ow, I have a home business, and I sometimes host gatherings in my home.  Though not as elaborate, I try to take the same approach so my guests will feel comfortable and special.  Everyone wants to feel special, and the little extras show that you have taken the time to care.

I recently hosted a customer event at my home.  I learned from others who had shared and then modeled my event after those. I purchased what I needed to make my customer event uniquely mine.  And I bought everything at the dollar store, so I didn’t need to break the bank to pull this off. I didn’t have a specific plan when I went into the store.  It developed as I found what was available.  I found silver (plastic) trays and silver frames, so I had a theme going.  I had already purchased gold and white dispensers I needed, and I thought those colors would work well together.  When I went out to buy more frames, I ended up with black ones.  Okay, still works.  I just went with what’s available and made it work.  I chose a coordinating color tablecloth, and I was ready.

Maybe you don’t feel table setting is your gift, but you can still be hospitable.  Perhaps you are a great cook.  You notice I don’t talk about the food for any of my events.  My husband does the cooking.  I make some things, but I stick to the few dishes I’ve mastered and don’t try to get too wild with new things.  And when it’s a business meeting or a make and take, food isn’t the focus so simple is best.  Or maybe decorating cakes and cookies or making desserts is your specialty.  Make a dish that makes your guests feel special.

And it doesn’t have to be formal to be hospitable.  I admit, I used to use the good china for every occasion, but I finally figured out that smoked ribs in the summer don’t require a china plate for a picnic setting.  I’ve succumbed to paper—but I always buy Chinet plates.  Thick and heavy-duty so the plates don’t sag in the middle when loaded with food.  You can also find lots of fun and colorful, seasonal, tableware at a dollar store to spice things up, even if it is just a centerpiece.

Each of us has something unique to offer when we invite guests into our home for a dinner, an event, or a meeting.  If hospitality is your gift, this is your chance to shine.  And if it isn’t, you can take one or two ideas to add something special for your own guests.

The most important thing is to be there to greet them, introduce them to people they don’t know, and then, relax and enjoy them.  They came to see you.

Change

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My husband always buys white tennis shoes.  In over forty years of marriage, he’s never bought another color—until this time.  This time, he bought gray tennis shoes.  I like them.  But every time I see them sitting by his chair or our bed, I’m confused.  For a split second, I wonder, “Whose shoes are those?”

We are creatures of habit, and change is hard.  Even when a change has no impact on what we do—like a new pair of shoes—it takes the brain a while to process.  If such an insignificant change can be so difficult to grasp, how can we ever change things in our lives that are of great significance?  How do we change bad habits into good ones?  How do we change prejudice into acceptance?  How do we change hate into love?

The short answer is, “We can’t.”  We often don’t have the strength, desire, or will power we need to make changes like that on our own.  No matter how much we determine we will power through, it takes very little to slip back into old, comfortable habits or mindsets.  That’s why I’m thankful for Jesus.  Jesus, Who came to earth and died for our sins, Who forgave us, and Who is the only One who can transform us into the image of God.  In Christ, all things are possible.  In Christ, changes can happen.  Thank God that in Him we “are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:18

Do you need to make a change in your life?  Ask God to help you.  The biggest change He ever makes is when He cleanses us from our sins when we ask Him for forgiveness and put our lives in His hands. From that point forward, He helps us make the other changes we need, whether it’s something big like transforming an attitude or prejudice, or something personal, like changing our lifestyles to healthier ones.

And speaking of healthier lifestyles, I believe I will go find my own tennis shoes and take a walk.

For Fathers (Proverbs 31)

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A Virtuous Husband

A strong, sensitive, and spiritual husband—who is she that can find him?

He is far more precious than solid bars of gold, and his value is far above the wealth of Wall Street.

The heart of his wife trusts implicitly in his priesthood of their home, confidently relying in his spiritual wisdom.

He comforts, cares for, supports, and partners her in all their endeavors, and supports her and their offspring as long as there is life within him.

He spends quality time with each child in his family, learning the child’s bent and seeking to develop his or her potential to its fullest.

He finds joy in the accomplishments of his family.

He rises while it is early to study and seek God’s will for his life and the life of his loved ones, and stays up late praying for the growth and safety of his children.

He works diligently to provide for his family.  He considers business decisions in Godly context and does all things with integrity, ensuring his family’s future and well-being to the best of his God-given abilities.

He does not worry over his children’s futures for he has provided a solid spiritual and economic foundation from which to launch them.

He looks well to the care of his home and property and gives excellent care to those material things which God has provided.

He manages the family finances, giving tithes to the Lord and contributing to the needs of the poor and lost.

He is a leader among men and an example to all who know him, and provides whatever help he can to his neighbor.

He opens his hand to his friends and neighbors and shares the fruits of God’s bounty wherever he can.

He speaks words of Godly wisdom and is a father and spiritual guide to all whom the Lord brings across his path.

His children honor him and respect his advice, and he is blessed with grandchildren in his latter years.

He knows the importance of rest and relationships and takes time to celebrate the Lord’s Day and family events.

He takes time to acknowledge his wife—his life partner—and is sensitive to her needs.  He is rewarded with a solid bond, lasting through golden years.

Many sons have done virtuously, but you exceed them all.

Brains and good looks are deceptive, and physical strength is vain, but a man who lives with God as Lord of his life shall be praised.

 

Resurrecting the Dead

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Today my devotions took me to John 11:17-27.  This is the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.  Interestingly, my mind went to business and other things in our lives.  I believe we can learn a spiritual lesson here that is about more than physical death.  Is there something in your life that feels dead?  Maybe it’s your business.  Maybe you were excited when you first started out but now it feels impossible, slow, or too much work because you haven’t seen things grow as quickly as you want them too.  Maybe it’s not your business but some other area of your life.  It doesn’t matter.  Jesus has the power to not only “bury” our sins when He forgives us but also the power to resurrect the good and positive things in our lives that might be dormant or dead.

When Lazarus died, Martha and Mary’s friends tried to console them. Dictionary.com defines console as to soothe or to comfort.  Friends tried to help Martha and Mary with their grief by offering words.  But words did not solve the problem.  Death was final. . . until Jesus!

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him.  She did something active while Mary sat at home.  Martha did the wise thing here.  Something in her life was dead, so she went to Jesus for answers.  Her faith demonstrated her belief that Jesus is the Author of Life. She said, “Even now whatever You ask from God, He will grant it to You.” What was Martha hoping for?  Whatever it was, she trusted Jesus.

Jesus can resurrect the dead things in our lives.  If there are areas of your life that need rekindling, whether it is a business, a relationship, a health concern, or something else, ask Jesus to resurrect it.  Go to meet Jesus.  Then, take some action like Martha did.  Have faith in Jesus and do whatever you can on your own.  And then watch as Jesus resurrects the good things.

I Found My “Why”

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Philippians 2:12 (AMP)

 12 So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ].

I’ve been looking for my “Why.”  Why?  It is what leaders tell you to do when you’re operating and growing a business.  It is really something everyone needs to do to live the life that God designed for them.  We need a bigger reason or motivation to get up in the morning.  We need something outside ourselves.  If the obvious answer to you is God, I agree.  But we need to flesh that out in our own unique ways.

Many people say their family is their “Why.” That makes sense.  We all want to help our families.  And if that means focusing on making an income to give things to our families, that’s okay.  God likes to give good gifts to His children; and as His children, we like to give good gifts to ours.  And young families especially feel this passion toward helping their children grow and become even more than they are themselves.

But for me, even feeling all those things, I still didn’t feel like I had the right answer to my “why.”  Perhaps it is because my children are grown, and I’m not living that day-to-day life of raising children anymore.  Of course, I want good things and opportunities for my grandchildren, but I get to add the perks in their lives.  Their parents are responsible for the basics.  And I still want things for my own children, but I can give too much if I want them to rely on God and their own gifts.  I am not their provider.

So, what’s my why?

I kept looking at my gifts trying to find my passion or my “what.”  And that led to another dilemma.  What are my gifts?  I don’t mean to say I don’t have any.  In fact, I feel God has blessed me with many gifts.  I love many things—maybe too many.  How do I narrow it down?

Well, that’s an exploration for another blog, but the short version is this.  After writing down all the things I love, narrowing it to those I can see myself doing daily, and eliminating those that are more hobby or rest oriented, I had these left:  writing, creating (graphics, plans, etc.), reading, teaching, talking.  My “aha” moment came when I realized these are all the same thing—communication.  You would think that would be obvious, right?  The problem is, I was trying to isolate one as my true “passion,” but constantly coming back to others.  They are all pieces of the same pie.

Once I had determined that my “what” or my passion is communication, I circled back to re-evaluate my “why.”  And I discovered much the same thing in my next “aha” moment. I had been praying and exploring this for several days when I came across an interview someone had with one of my former students.  He discovered his passion early in life.  His passion is helping others.  He actively seeks to help someone every day.  He also actively seeks to help others by taking on things that are bigger than he is.  In this way he draws in others to help.  And because he draws in others, he is able to accomplish things far beyond what he imagined.  That interview came to my mind when I was looking at my why. I realized all of my “why’s” fell into a broader category, just as all my “what’s” had fallen into a broader category.

My why is people, and like my former student, helping people.  When I talk to people and teach them about essential oils, I help them to consider and evaluate their own health and well-being. This frequently leads to conversations beyond essential oils to diet, exercise, and healthful lifestyles.  When I write my blog, I hope to help and encourage others by showing them that we are all on this journey to grow into who God designed us to be.  When I write fiction and work on revising my novel for publication, I hope to help and encourage young people to read and to discover God for themselves.  When I talk and listen to my family and friends, I help to meet their needs by doing whatever I can.  When I spend time with my grandchildren—talking and interacting with them—I help them learn and know about God and our family. And when I study, rest, meditate, and pray, I help myself to grow so I have more to offer others.

It may seem crazy to be trying to evaluate all these things at my age.  But when you transition out of a full-time career into a new area of business and a much freer schedule, you are constantly evaluating whether you are using your time effectively. You have to find or clarify your life purpose. You ask, “Is there balance in my life?  Could I or should I be doing more?”  I knew I needed to answer my “what” and my “why” before I could hope to evaluate or prioritize my schedule.

So, all the studying and writing and soul-searching I have done over the past month have paid off in some answers.  God is faithful.  I will take what I have learned and continue to walk it out by looking for new opportunities to help others with the gifts and passions God has given to me. Nothing has really changed but my focus.  I knew all of these things about myself before; but my soul-searching has shown me how all of the things I love to do can work together.  I don’t have to choose.  God means for me to do all of these things.  My “why” in this life is helping people.  My vehicle for doing that is communication.  God will guide me to the people He wants me to help, and I will communicate His love to them through my writing, creating, talking and listening, and teaching. And I’ll keep on reading and communicating with God to learn more and grow in Him.