May Angels Surround Us
By Carolyn Allen

When my visiting teacher Leslie called and the conversation turned to angels, I told her about a painting I had received as an email attachment from a friend.  The love, concern and intense personal interest in their faces touched me deeply, and has been a part of my thoughts ever since.  I would like a print of it for my kitchen where I could use a legion of them to help me make health choices. 

We agreed that there truly are guardian angels.  Then Leslie added some rich and delicious zero-calorie food for thought:  “Yes!  But they’d probably spend even more time with us if they were invited!”

angelsThis is a small section of the painting Regina Angelorum by William Adolphe Bouguereau. It hangs in the Guggenheim Museum in New York. ( I have provided a copy of it for you HERE at this link.)

This was an aha moment for me.  I want and need angels in my life!  But how do we contact the angels?  I know I can contact the Lord through prayer, but the angels?  How do we get in touch with them?

As Bob, my seminary teacher husband, always says to his students and our family:  “The scriptures have the answers!”  So I went to the scriptures and found out:

Today’s Scripture: “When thou hast made the Lord, even the most high, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee … for He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” (Psalm 91:9-11)

Once again, the scriptures do have the answers!  This powerful, behavior-changing scripture tells us that angels are sent by our Heavenly Father to be “in charge” when we live close to the Lord!  Isn’t that what habitation means? 

Perhaps you read the thought-provoking article in last month’s (April 2008) Ensign:  “How I Found Christ in Capernaum” by Jason Jones.  He related the experience of a dream-come-true visit to the Holy Land.  Yet when he arrived, expecting to feel the Savior close, he was surprised with an emptiness.  It was not until he opened the scriptures that he felt the familiar closeness.  Accordingly, he realized that the best place to be close to the Savior is through immersing ourselves in the scriptures, which can be done in any location, at any time.

With that thought in mind, we know how to make the Lord “our habitation” and can move on to the next part of the scripture:  He shall give angels charge over us!

Maybe you’ve felt like I often do when there are important matters to be taken care of, but I’m just not up to being the one “in charge.”  I’m happy to do my part, but please, won’t somebody else be “the heavy” and supervise?  This scripture tells us that He will provide this much-desired, much-needed support to keep us – in all our ways!   Why should this not include how we care for our bodies and as anything else?

After all, if the word “housekeeping” refers to maintaining our homes, then we could coin the word “healthkeeping” for maintaining our bodies.  We’ll simply allow the angels to be in charge.

How? With our minds and some pictures, both real and imagined.  Read this article, then click here to print out the picture. 

Imagine what would happen if before putting anything in our mouths we literally envisioned the angels there with us as the guardians of what we to eat and let them whisper what the best choices would be … and then we followed.  This beautiful painting makes it easy to envision them right there surrounding us in prayer and in love.

The first thing they’d whisper to many of us would be “Please sit down while you eat … and leave the flying to us!”

We consume far more calories than we’re ever aware of when we eat while on our feet as we prepare or clean up after meals, at social events, grazing our way through Costco or Sam’s Club, or drive up to a fast-food window. If we put the angels in charge of just that one thing, think what it would mean to our eating habits!

Imagine what would happen if we viewed our families as angels sent to inspire healthy living.  There is no simpler way to say it than this:  When “Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”  Whether or not we’re the mama, there’s no donut, chip or cookie that equals the peace and happiness of  the physical energy and self-confidence that accompanies achieving a healthy weight. 

Here’s an easy trick: Replace tempting food choices by envisioning the happy, active, memory-making times of today, tomorrow and the extended future with your dear ones and yourself at an attractive, healthy weight in comfortable, fitted clothing.  Maybe a vivid mental picture of you at the beach or at the playground, with loved ones, in trim jeans or a swimsuit will get your mind started.

Say a prayer now.  Picture yourself in God’s hands, then vividly imagine these beautiful angels being sent to surround you, to guard, guide and whisper your choices to you today. 

I can almost hear them breathing as they gather in prayer and love. 

Then imagine the angelic faces of your dear ones and the joy, good times and ease that a healthy weight brings. 

Today’s Empowerment:  “I am in God’s loving hands.  He now sends angels to watch over me and the choices I make to nurture and nourish my body.”

Today’s Journal Prompt and Discussion Starters:

  1. Print out the pages HERE at this link for your journal, bathroom mirror, refrigerator or pantry doors.
  2. Spend some time choosing a specific activity with dear ones that requires physical energy where you are at an attractive weight.  Maybe it’s hiking, at the beach or at the playground pushing little ones in the swings. Whatever it is, make it very vivid. Write it down to use as a replacement for inappropriate food choices.

Today’s Recipe:   Italian Rice ‘n Beans
(Serves 4 at 330 Calories)

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 can low sodium tomatoes
2 medium carrots, peeled & sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/2 cup water
1 large stalk celery, chopped
Basil (1 Tbsp. fresh or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. dried oregano
Dash of black pepper
2 cups kidney beans, cooked & drained
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet.  Saut onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add water, tomatoes, carrots, celery, basil, oregano, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Add a little more water if necessary.   Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir in kidney beans and cook for another 5 minutes to heat through.

Divide rice into 4 servings.  Divide veggies into 4 servings and serve over the rice.  Sprinkle each with Parmesan Cheese.

(2 g Dietary Fiber; 330 calories; 6 g Fat; 58 g Carb)