I attended a 24 hour women’s retreat at the Westin Hotel in Frisco, Texas this past Friday with my daughter and blogger friend Heather. I have been looking forward to it since I signed up a while back.  It was called “YOU”, and it was all about…YOU (or me). There were four really good and informative speakers! My good friend Tova, who is my bible study teacher and is a spiritual advisor, was one of the speakers. She spoke Friday night and again on Saturday. “Who is God?” was one of the topics she spoke about. She said that many people put God into two categories…the first is they make him a scary God. Fear is a great motivator, and God can seem scary until you know what He really is about. The other category is the “Santa Claus” God.

This is who she said God is:

1. He is our creator- He created everything for us.

2. He is patient and forgiving and not because we deserve it! Read Luke 15, the prodigal son.

3. He is a caring God

4. He is our Hero!

5. He is jealous…He wants our attention

6. He is LOVE

This is just a tiny snippet of her points. If I wrote the whole thing, I would be writing for days.

We also got to listen to this amazing counselor from Dallas, who apparently has a very high price tag per hour. She spoke on loving ourselves, and boundaries. My favorite remark from her is that we are created “perfectly imperfect” by our creator. I don’t know about you, but that sentence just makes me feel really good about myself. Just knowing that, although he made me with flaws and junk, I am perfect in His eyes is really freeing!!! Another topic she spoke about, was how do you find your calling? I think this can be such a hard question for many, yet so simple to figure out.  Whatever breaks your heart is your calling!  What breaks your heart? I know that my heart breaks every time I see or hear about animal abuse.

The other two speakers are the owners of a juice bar in Dallas called “The Gem”. We learned so much about what we really NEED to be putting in our bodies. They gave us ten food rules to live by…

1. 80%/20% rule…80% is vegetable and nuts, and 20% meats. They like grass fed beef and wild fish.

2. Be alkaline…8-12 servings of vegetables per day. Daily raw organic juice is a good way to start.

3. Eat clean…whole or real foods.

4. Eat ONLY organic.

5. Cut out sugar…I know, this one is really hard!!! Dark chocolate is acceptable (thank goodness!).

6. Drink water! This was a big one. They said upon rising in the morning, we need to drink 32 ounces (filtered) before we do anything.

7. Reduce alcohol…The hardest one for me! I am down to 3-4 glasses of red wine per week, but they recommend less.

8. Get an oil change…use only olive, coconut, grape seed, walnut… (healthy oils), eat olives, nuts, wild fish (black cod and salmon). Remember, this kind of fat doesn’t make you fat!

9. Cut out dairy… use almond, hemp, or coconut milk

10. Eat real food…no fake stuff!!! Artificial sweeteners are so bad for you too!

It was such a fun 24 hours. We ate very healthy food, made some amazing new friends, and had an early morning yoga class on the terrace. It was such a great experience, especially with my daughter, that I will treasure. If you live in Dallas or close by, try The Gem for their juices and smoothies. To learn more about them, go to www.insidethegem.com. They have lots of information and a blog too. If you are looking for a fantastic bible study teacher, contact tovasido@gmail.com for information. And, if you are looking for an amazing counselor, www.janicegaunt.com is the bomb.com!!! She has a written a great book, called THE SHAME GAME that we were given. Supposedly it is about six hours worth of counseling. Buy the book and save a thousand dollars in counseling!!!

Have a great day!!!