JOURNALING FOR SPIRITUAL RENEWAL
by Melissa Fletcher, Spiritual Care Advisor, POET
Journaling is a tool that can help us express our thoughts and emotions and even find spiritual renewal, no matter your age. Journaling can be simple
or elaborate — the choice is yours!
For example, my dad keeps a daily journal that includes a few sentences to recap the day’s highlights. It’s simple but effective.
Journaling can also help us express our thoughts to God. Prayer journaling is simply talking to God through a letter. When we write out our prayers, we can keep track of what we prayed for and when and how God answers our prayers. I personally find this type of journaling very rewarding. Sometimes journaling includes writing and sketching. If you are artistic, drawing to express what’s on your heart can do wonders for the soul. You can also incorporate stickers or photos to create a journal collage.
No matter what shape your journal takes, don’t worry about its format. This is your special journal to put your own spin on that no one else has to see.
Here are a few tips for starting your own journal:
1. Organize your supplies (notebook, photos, colored pencils/pens, stickers, etc.)
2. Set aside a few minutes each day where you can express your thoughts, write a prayer, or draw a picture capturing your thoughts and emotions for the day.
3. Be creative. Try new things.
4. Every month review your journal and reflect on your journey.
5. Be thankful for every life moment: the joys, the hurts and the sorrows.
Journaling is refreshing for your soul. So open your notebook, take out a pen and let the journey begin!
SPRING INTERVAL WORKOUT
by Cole Fricke, Wellness Coordinator, POET
Here’s a fun SPRING interval workout that’s designed
to get you and the kids outside enjoying that beautiful
spring weather after being stuck indoors all winter.
Do 45 seconds of work for each exercise, followed
by 15 seconds of rest before the next exercise. You can
do anywhere from one to three rounds, depending on
how you’re feeling. Just take an extra minute between
S – STAR JUMPS
Start in a crouching position with your hands reaching
down on the floor. Use your legs to jump vertically up
in the air, making a large “X” shape with your arms and
legs. Land softly with your feet together, and go down
in your crouching position.
P – PUSH-UPS
R – RUSSIAN TWISTS
Start seated with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Keeping the spine long and the abs engaged, lean back
slightly and lift the feet a few inches off the floor. (To
modify, keep the feet on the floor.) Slowly twist the
upper torso to the left and bring your hands beside
the left hip. Return to center, and then slowly twist to
the right and bring your hands beside the right hip to
complete one rotation.
I – INCHWORMS
Stand up tall with your legs straight and drop your
hands to the floor. Keeping your legs straight (but not
locked), slowly lower your body towards the floor,
and then walk the hands forward. Once in a push-up
position, start taking tiny steps until your feet meet
N – NINJA KICKS
Start with your feet and hands on the floor, always
keeping your hands on the floor. Instead of kicking
straight back like a donkey when you push your feet
off the floor, kick out to the side (like a ninja donkey).
Land in the starting position.
G – GLUTE BRIDGES
Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees
and your hands at your sides. Push through your heels
and use your glutes to lift your hips as high as possible.
Pause and squeeze at the top, and return to the starting
SHAKSHUKA: FUNNY NAME, FANTASTIC RECIPE
It sounds more like a sneeze than something you’d want to eat, but trust me, you’re gonna want this simple and satisfying recipe again and again.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cups ripe diced tomatoes or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley (optional)
Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté pan on medium. Slowly warm the olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté until the mixture is fragrant.
Add the diced bell pepper and sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened.
Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan; stir until blended. Add spices and sugar, stir, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until it starts to reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Crack the eggs directly over the tomato mixture. Space evenly over the sauce.
Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. Keep an eye on the skillet to
make sure that the sauce doesn’t reduce too much, which can lead to burning.
Garnish with the chopped parsley, if desired, and enjoy!
(Recipe adapted from toriavey.com)