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Showing posts from 2011

'Tis the Season

OK, fellow Moms...let's see if you can relate to this scenario:

Years ago, as a little girl, you couldn't wait to grow up and become a Mommy...partly so you could share the magic of Christmas with your own children. Christmas was your favorite time of year. Filled with so many wonderful moments. The decorations, the time spent remembering the birth of your Savior, the special times with extended family...it was just one magical moment after another! Oh for the fun of being able to share that with your own children someday!!

And now: you love to see the wonder of your children's eyes in the weeks leading up to Christmas. You play the Christmas music. You decorate the house. You plan some special things like: cookie baking with friends, Christmas parties, and "Elf" movie nights. Yet all the while, you just can't shake the feeling that this time of year is not how you remember it. Now that you're the "magic maker", Christmas just isn't quite th…

Not Just Good Enough

What is it about my personality that keeps me hugging the edge of the cliff? Well, if you know me at all, you most certainly know I'm NOT talking literally here. (You will NOT see me hugging the edge of any real cliffs ever...as in NEVER!) I'm talking about the edge of the "good enough" cliff. Do you know the one? In my quest to finish losing the rest of my desired weight, I am constantly seeing just how bad I can be but still have it be "good enough." Seeing how much I can slack off of what I know are the best choices yet still see a small amount of weight loss. And, therein lies the problem: my weight loss has just about come to a screeching halt. And I know why. Good enough - well, it just...isn't!

As I finish leading another "Made to Crave" Bible study in my home (MTC the fall edition - since MTC the winter edition was so much fun), I was struck this time by my need for repentance in this area of good enough. It's been interesting to d…

Letting Go of the Shackles

I love it when God gives a fresh perspective. I'll admit it, I've been having a fair number of pity parties for myself lately in relation to our financial journey. It feels like we have been climbing the Dave Ramsey debt-free mountain for SO long. We thought for sure we'd be over the "hump" by now. But, we're feeling kind of like Lewis & Clark in their maiden journey West: the mountain is big and seemingly right over the next hill...yet over the next hill isn't the base of the mountain - it's another hill. How much longer? How BIG is it?!

Lately, much to my embarrassment, my internal conversations with God have all too much resembled the Israelites in the wilderness. It's so easy to read their story and laugh at how childish and unreasonable they sound. Yet, without even realizing it, we can sound just like the 21st century version of them. Whiny. Un-thankful. Stubborn. Clueless. Yep...it makes me sad to think how often I mimic their actions.

Re-Programming Our Habits

I've been reflecting a lot on my "Made to Crave" journey the last few days. God has gently reminded me of a few things that I thought might be encouraging to some of my blog readers as well. Whether you're struggling to lose weight, build a positive body image, or just get on track with your relationship with food...listen to some of what is running through my mind on the topic.

#1~ Everything mentioned above has to start with getting our heads on straight. I honestly can't stress enough how important this step is. This is the step that the study "Made to Crave" has helped me with the most. Every other time when I've tried to lose weight, I only partially dealt with the head stuff. And then it was never too far into the journey that my lack of dealing with that emotional baggage stopped my weight loss dead in its tracks. We HAVE to get our heads on straight in this area. God's Word has a LOT to say on the matter. If you haven't already done …

Turning 40

I'm back! Wow...it's been a while since I've updated my blog (8 weeks, to be exact)! I think I was waiting for life to settle down. But, as everyone else who has children knows, that's just not happening anytime soon. Since my last post, I have hit a major milestone birthday - the BIG 4-0! Because of that, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic. I hope you'll humor me as I share some of the things I've learned during my first 4 decades on this earth.

We have to love ourselves. I think this could be stated: "love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves". I have had the beginnings of a very big transformation over the last year. I've lost 55 pounds. Gone down 6-8 pant sizes. Become a runner. These are just outward changes - and they're all great. But do you want to know the biggest and best transformation? I have learned to love myself. One year ago, I was my own worst enemy. I said things to myself on a daily/hourly/moment-to-moment basis that most …

Thoughtful Tuesday

Let me start today's post with a very deep, philosophical question (which I would love to hear your thoughts on): How do you know if you're in the middle of "spiritual persecution" or "God trying really hard to get your attention because you're not on the path He wants you on"? I feel like the term spiritual persecution is used rather freely by some. And as I think about the two options above, I really do think they could "look" quite similar to one another. I mean, look at some of the things God did to people in the Bible to get their attention! They might have felt like they were under spiritual persecution from the enemy...but it was God's hands causing their issues. He was upset and wanted them to change! The Bible tells us God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Therefore, I'm sure He still releases punishment on His wandering children. Can I hear an Amen?

So what about when the people He's trying to get the attention…

The Health Factor

Today I feel like talking about health. Not spiritual or emotional health, but physical well-being.

How "well" do you feel? On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being feeling completely horrible and having no energy, and 10 being feeling incredible)...where do you fall? If you're being honest, are you in the top 50% or the bottom?

I'll be honest. The more weight I lose, the better I feel...and the more I realize just how "un-well" I felt before. It got me to thinking: how many people are out there saying "I feel fine" when in actuality they have NO idea how good they COULD feel?! Maybe they feel as well as they know how to feel...but on the scale of 1-10 it's really only a 5 or 6.

This is a topic that I'm very passionate about. I hate seeing people settling for less when it comes to their health (or the health of their children). My heart breaks when I see people stuck in an unhealthy cycle...particularly when they don't even know they're …

Wanting to Shout it From the Rooftops!

Have you ever watched the show "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition"? It's very similar to "The Biggest Loser" except that you see one person's full year journey in each episode. Last night's episode really struck a chord with me.

It was a young father/husband (in his late twenties) who weighed 490 pounds. He struggled with extreme food addiction. And he was NOT a success story. Rather than finishing the hour seeing this amazing transformation...we finished the hour seeing him (still weighing over 400 pounds) checking himself into rehab.

My heart broke for him. I felt his shame. I felt his condemnation. I felt his fear.

No, I have never weighed over 400 pounds (nor anywhere close to that, praise the Lord). But I have struggled with food addiction. I have struggled with self-hatred and shame. I have struggled with the fear that I would forever be stuck inside a fat exterior.

But then: God introduced me to Lysa TerKeurst and brought me smack dab int…

Standing Firm & Reaching Out!

Apparently, I'm still a little girl inside. Sometimes things happen in life that make the internal struggles of growing up feel like they just happened yesterday. Didn't we all have those struggles? Wanting to fit in. Wondering who liked you and who didn't. Wanting to be accepted and loved by our peers.

Yep. I'm sure we all had those feelings growing up. And we probably all still have them now.

What I'm kind of surprised at is how easily I can still get my feelings hurt.

I've only worked two shifts at my new part-time job at the mall. (Just saying that makes me sound like I'm back in high school, doesn't it?) Well, I don't know whether it was how tired I got hustling around the store for four hours, or the fact that I was a bit under the weather, or if I really did just have the whole "I want my new co-workers to like me but I don't think they do" scenario running through my head...but I was kind of an emotional mess when I got home …

Nearing The Halfway Point

I'm getting very close to reaching the half-way point of my long weight loss journey. So, in light of that (and to help me keep my focus and determination as I continue working towards the goal), I thought I'd share some of what God has taught me so far on this journey.

First a brief recap of how the journey even began...

Last summer I was thrilled to be chosen as part of the studio audience for the filming of Lysa TerKeurst's "Made to Crave" Bible study series. The very funny - and very God - thing about that, is that when I got chosen to be part of the filming I had ZERO idea what the Bible study was going to be about. I just knew it was Lysa TerKeurst...and it was going to be good. Imagine my surprise when I find out the title is "Made to Crave" and it's all about: "finding your satisfaction in God, not food."

Still makes me laugh about it today. God knew EXACTLY what I needed to hear. He had some BIG things in store.

But I didn't…

Reminiscing

Time is just flying by, isn't it?! It is just mind blowing to me that it's already June 26th. Now that the weather is starting to feel more like summer here, I wish we could somehow press the pause button for a while. The speed of which life flies by truly does make me sad. So many reasons and recent reminders to make every day count, and just treasure those we love.

I'm looking ahead to my youngest nephew's upcoming wedding and thinking back on the last big wedding our family had: mine & Dave's. It was almost 11 years ago! I still get teary-eyed thinking of how God changed my life when He brought Dave into it. Those post-college years (and pre-Dave years) were some of the most depressing years of my life.

I graduated from college in December of 1993 and didn't meet Dave until August of 1999. During those years, I was kind of a lonely, single mess. Looking back, I can see the foothold that Satan had on my thought life. In this last year (thanks largely to …

No More "Just Enough"

God has been speaking to me lately about my propensity to do "just enough." Just enough housework to feel like it looks good. Just enough Shaklee to say I tried. Just enough Bible study to keep from spiritually starving. Just enough exercise to not lose progress. Just enough eating right to...well, see the scale go at a snail's pace.

I suppose if I were OK with the results of doing "just enough", this wouldn't be an issue. I mean, I'm sure there are times where doing just enough housework to get by is certainly better than doing none and living in filthy chaos. Sometimes life is just so busy that "just enough" HAS to be good enough.

No, I'm not talking about those times. I'm talking about living a life where I seem to do "just enough" all the time.

In my weight loss journey, it seems that my "just enoughs" are more productive this time than anytime in past weight loss attempts. BUT, that doesn't mean they'…

Closet Chaos (Not What You Think)

Things are happening. My nerves are on overload. My mind is spinning a thousand miles an hour. My heart is overflowing. I'm sitting at the computer searching for some calm to my chaos.

Anyone looking at me right now would not characterize my current state as "chaotic." But inside my heart & mind...chaos is in overdrive.

For the most part, all of the things sending my nerves and brain cells into overdrive are good things. So, don't be alarmed that there's something wrong. There's really not. I mean, there's always some struggles in the midst of life. But I don't think it's those things that are causing these feelings.

I think my chaos has ensued this time just because of change. Unknowns. Variables. And I'm not talking the kinds of unknown variables that can be solved with a math problem. You know, the kind with one right answer. That's the only type of unknown variables I am a fan of. Math problems have ONE right answer. If you know…

Discerning God's Voice

Are you good at discerning God's voice? I think I'm getting better at it. Or at least, that's the way it feels. That's pretty much all you can ever really have is a "feeling" of discernment anyway. Right? I mean, no one ever hears the audible voice of God anymore. So how do you know when what you "feel" is Him? When is it really a nudge from the Holy Spirit (and not just you "feeling" good about the decision)?

I think the way you tell it's God, is when you feel a sense of spiritual peace. Oh but...be careful. The world tries to offer you peace sometimes too, so you have to make sure that's not the type of peace you're feeling.  It takes discernment to know the difference between spiritual peace and worldly peace. There's that word again (discernment). Oh boy. How do we do all of this discerning anyway?!

Here's how I think you do it. Bring this thing before God in prayer. The thing being whatever it is that you need God&…

Praying for TRUTH

Is having another "bite-my-tongue" moment. I've had a lot of them over the last several months. My human nature wants to scream some truths from the rooftops so that others are aware. But God keeps telling me it's not my issue. I need to step aside and let Him handle it.

So what is the only thing I can do as I see lies continuing to be told & manipulations continuing to be tolerated? Pray. Pray that the person doing all these things gets convicted and repents. Pray that those under this person's leadership will have their eyes opened to the truth.

What makes me so angry is hypocrisy. I worry about those being led astray. I fear for the hurt that is still to be inflicted. Yet, God is clearly telling me to stay out of it. Let Him handle it in His way, His timing.

What's that saying, "The truth will set you free"? Well, I do think that's correct...but God is insistent that the TRUTH come from Him, not me.

So, I'll pray. And pray some more…

Budget Points

It’s been a little while since I posted on here, so I figured it was time for an update. As far as that scholarship I was hoping to win: not this time. I’m OK with it. I mean, I’d REALLY like to attend She Speaks one of these years. But, the fact is, even if I won a scholarship to the convention, I’d still have to get pretty creative to afford the gas or airline ticket to get me there and back. This is just not a good year for me to be thinking about doing something like that. Any extra trips this year are already spoken for with the family: hopefully weekend priceline trips to Chicago and Cincinnati. This just isn't the year for me to take a trip away on my own. That's OK. I'm going to keep writing on this blog to my heart's content whether it ever amounts to anything else or not!


Here's what I've been thinking about too much lately: our finances. Worrying is what they call that. I think for us it’s the combination of rising food and fuel costs. Especially if…

Dealing With "Ugly Thoughts"

A friend recently asked me if I would write a blog post about what to do when we are constantly thinking “ugly thoughts.” You know – the kind of sarcastic and rude things that you have enough sense not to say to the person right as you’re thinking them (but probably something that you’ll vent to someone else later on).

Well, goodness knows that I’m really good at over-thinking and just plain dwelling on the wrong things all too often. It’s part of why I was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate a few years ago in the Bible study Who Switched Off My Brain? by Dr. Caroline Leaf. It’s a book (and DVD series) all about the science behind how the brain works. Dr. Leaf takes a topic full of science and teams it up with God’s Word. It’s really an incredibly eye-opening book! She says in her book that, “Controlling your thought life is not about a destination, it is about a journey. The first step on that journey is to understand what a thought actually is, how it grows in your bra…

Letting God Handle Past Hurts

Well apparently, God needed to drive home the point of being still so that I would hear what He really wanted to talk to me about: letting go of grudges. Ouch. That’s not what I was hoping to have a revelation on. Because, let’s be honest, I’m really good at holding onto them. I can still remember who hurt my feelings in the first grade and exactly how they did it! As much as I hoped my quiet times with God this first week home were going to be full of all kinds of warm fuzzies – God has had a totally different agenda. He wants to do a little more pruning. And His focus this time is really hitting where it hurts.

Grudges are sneaky. You think you’ve handled the issue and that all is well. Then all of a sudden, something new shows up and brings the old grudge right along with it. Like it’s bringing an old friend home for dinner. Or rather, an old unwelcome guest. Unfortunately for us, feeling this way just means we never really dealt with the problem in the first place. Somewhere alon…

Creating Stillness

Ahhhh…it’s back to reality for us. After a much needed vacation away from cold & dreary Michigan, we are back home from warm & sunny Florida and ready to jump back into our busy schedules. Or, at least that’s what is supposed to happen after vacation. Somehow, instead of feeling rejuvenated and refreshed today, I’m feeling overwhelmed by the reality of our day-to-day life. My ten days off seem to have just left me with the desire to take a few more days off!

Can you relate? I know I’m not in this boat alone. We are a very busy homeschooling family of five. With three busy kids, it seems there’s always a lot going on each week. I’ve become much too good of friends with the calendar feature on Outlook. Our vacation came at the end of an intense four-month season of homeschool basketball for the twins. Between all their practices and games and running to and fro, this overbooked Mom was about at her wits’ end. I literally told my husband that if we postponed the vacation just one…