Account balance

The secret to saving money is to spend less or make more, or both. Likewise, the secret to losing weight is to burn more calories or take less in, or both.

Move more and eat better and you’ll lose weight. But the weight isn’t the goal. The goal is health. If you move more, you’ll have better mobility in your joints. Your heart will be stronger. If you eat better, you’ll be giving your body the fuel it needs. Both will make you feel better and live longer.

I’m not about a starvation diet. There is no reason you have to eat salads and feel miserable. But do cut out the fried foods. You think you want them. You don’t. They don’t taste of anything except salt and fat. You can’t taste the goodness in the food when it is fried.

Do eat less food in general. You don’t need to eat like a dog who just got adopted from the pound. Slow down. Chew everything at least 20 times. You’ll digest it better if you eat it more slowly. Because, you aren’t what you eat, you are what you digest. If nothing else, think of all the money you’ll save if you eat less.

Eating less meat and more vegetables is always good too. The meat portion, if you are going to have it at all, needs to be the size of a deck of cards. Really. It is often the size of half the plate. And that is just the first helping.

For vegetables, the more the merrier. The more variety you can have, the more different vitamins and minerals you are getting. Every plate of vegetables is a gift from you to your body. Aim for a lot of color and you can’t go wrong. If you think you don’t like a certain vegetable, try it another way – steamed or grilled or baked. Sometimes it isn’t the vegetable, it is the way it is cooked that is the problem. Texture is essential. Baked squash is totally different from boiled or steamed squash. Try it, you might like it.

I’m stunned at the number of people who saw my husband take his bike to work who still wondered how he lost all that weight. He lost nearly a hundred pounds in a year. Now, it wasn’t from just riding his bike. He walked at lunch. He worked out at the Y several times a week. He ate healthier. But his coworkers didn’t see all that. They did see the bike, and they still didn’t get it. They thought he had gotten stomach reduction surgery.

Perhaps that is the problem. People just don’t see the connection. Hard work equals results.

No, it isn’t easy to get healthy. No, there are no shortcuts. You just have to do it.

You’ll fail a lot at first. You’ll get started and then stall out. You’ll be doing well and hit a snag. You’ll come full stop. Just start again. It isn’t the stopping that is the point. It is the starting again. Know that failing is normal. You aren’t a failure for failing. You’re normal. You’re human. Just get going again.

Even when you finally get a good routine going and you are doing very well, you’ll start to slack off. You’ve gotten to your goal and you think you can ease up. Then your joints start hurting again, and your jeans start not fitting again, and you’ll realize there isn’t a stopping point.

This is for life. You can’t stop because if you stop you’re done. You have to see eating well and moving more as something you just do as part of being a human. It has to be part of your life, and not just a thing you do to lose a few pounds before your high school reunion.

This is for life, because otherwise, you don’t really have a life. Otherwise, you’ll end up, if you make it to old age at all, on so many pills you’ll need an assistant to sort them for you. You’ll need a cane, or a walker, or a wheelchair. You’ll spend your days sitting at home because you are too feeble to get out on your own. You’ll be dead before you are dead.

This is for life. This is so you’ll have a life.

Poem – Harvest yourself

This may sound strange –
this line between
mental health
and problems
is through the field.

Go out there.
Go walking.
Find a field full of
ripe sunlight
and harvest yourself.

Remember what you think you can’t do
you can’t do.
Remember that in our childhoods
there are no rules.

Every day is broken.
Everyone needs a story
about how God has healed them.
Everything we are is a little
bit of energy,
and it is a little bit more than we ever thought.


This started out as a predictive text poem, using the letters in the word “tree” to prompt the suggested words that I would choose. The meditation was about the Christmas tree, that it is a blend of pagan and Christian. Is it necessary? Is it honest? When something new comes along, does it have to steal bits from the old to get validity?

But then it became something else. It wasn’t about new traditions stealing old customs. It was about staying sane in an often insane world. It was about finding yourself when you are lost. I had to edit out quite a bit of ‘noise’ to make this make sense, but I like it this way.

This is part of the process – whatever you intend may not be what happens. Being creative sometimes means that you are just a vehicle for the Source. Sometimes you aren’t even that – you get carjacked and taken for a ride and then you get dropped off somewhere you’ve never been to and you don’t have a map.

But somehow, because of the beauty of it all, you still find yourself safe and well, in spite of the scary ride. It is scary only in that you don’t have control over it. But that is part of why anybody becomes an artist. To be an artist is to be a bit of a shaman, or an explorer. To be an artist is to go Out There with the hope that you’ll find something new to show to everybody. To be an artist isn’t to take a snapshot of what is – it is to discover something never before seen. It is to discover, uncover, recover. It is to boldly go where… wait, that’s been done before.

Stamp of approval.

It benefits the Episcopal Church that I’m not going to get its stamp of approval. I’m pretty out there for them. I actually talk about hearing from God. I am very vocal about radical inclusion. I’m pro- everybody rights. I’m so far out there that they didn’t know what to do with me.

Part of the process of seeing if you are called to be a deacon is seeing if you are willing to submit to their rules and their timetables.

They don’t check to see if you are willing to submit to God’s rules and God’s timetable, which to me seems more relevant. They have confused their paperwork and bureaucracy with God’s power. They’ve substituted themselves for God. This is very dangerous.

I was very angry that I was made to wait three years before the process even began. I wasn’t angry that I was put on hold, for my sake. I get that they need to make sure that someone is suitable before they put their stamp on them. You don’t want some wacko embarrassing the church, after all. You also don’t want someone trying to do something that they aren’t suited to do. It is like affixing a garden hose to a fire hydrant. The force of the water will blow that hose to pieces.

The same thing can happen with people who aren’t called.

I am angry at an institution that doesn’t seem to know how to build up the Body and therefore the Kingdom.

If someone comes to you and says they want to help, and you make them wait three years before you even begin to see if they are suitable in your eyes, then you have wasted a resource. You have wasted a lot of time, and you run the risk of discouraging someone.

Jesus tells us in Luke 10:2 that “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” There are a lot of broken, hungry, hurting people in the world, who need love and care. Why would you make them wait, by putting a worker on hold?

There are so many sleeping people in church. There are so many people who show up every Sunday and don’t even do anything. They passively listen and they get a warm feeling of smugness or perhaps of assuaging of guilt that they have gone to church and done their duty, and that is all.

It would be so much better if they all took that hour and a half and skipped church and went to serve food in a homeless shelter. Or manned the local crisis line. Or walked to raise money for AIDs patients. Or visited people in hospice care.

Or did any number of things other than sitting on their butts, listening to someone say how awesome God used to be way back when in Biblical times.

God is awesome now, and is real, now. And Jesus isn’t here anymore to heal us. That is our job now. We are to pick up where Jesus left off. We are to get up and be Jesus in the world.

The purpose of church needs to be to train the workers. Church needs to be more like a mobile command unit for a war, because it is a war we are fighting. We are fighting a war against depression and hunger and poverty and abuse. We are fighting for all that is good and right. We are fighting because that is what we were made for.

That is why God put us here, to be God in this world.

Instead of saying “How could God let this terrible tragedy happen?” we really need to say “What are we, the children of God, going to do about it?”