Thursday, April 30, 2009

Anonymous....

Got this comment on my last post:

Anonymous said...
that husband--he must be special to give you so much time to pursue things that matter to You

It made me smile. Yes "Anonymous" he is very special and pretty darn handsome for an older man! I do just love him. God has been doing a work in our marriage lately. It has been a long haul over the last 19 years. He is co-leading a Men's Fraternity group and I couldn't be prouder. Just imagine him and I doing Bible studies at the same time. Satan better watch out because we are going to kick his butt right out of here:)

Hope your day is blessed. If you get a chance check out this post by my friend Carla. It really puts things in perspective.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This Week.....

Just sitting here alone in a quiet house(I have had the opportunity to type those words quite a bit lately - I need to be thankful)reflecting on this week. Just thought I would share:

Today - When I got on the Internet the "swine flu" alert was at 3 and just an hour later it is at 5. Really have no clue what that means I am just glad I have not been given a spirit of fear(2 Timothy 1:7)

It has gotten cooler and I am not happy:(

I didn't make People's 100 Most Beautiful People - Go figure???

Tomorrow - Ann is giving everyone haircuts - YEAH Ann!

Friday - The last day of co-op. I would like to say that I am sad but.....Anyway we have family night Friday night.

Saturday - It is our Mother/Daughter brunch. Please pray for me as I am the speaker. Satan has been having a hay day with my mind over this. Isn't it ironic that I am speaking at a M/D event and have so many struggles with my older daughters. God is so much more powerful than those thoughts. Hallelujah!

Sunday - Church, softball and more softball!

Well, that is what the rest of my week looks like. Next Wednesday I start a Bible study at a halfway house for women coming out of prison. It is called "Steps to Sexual Health". Should be very interesting. I am excited to work with these ladies. I will also be sharing at another Mother/Daughter event on May 12th - please keep praying for me. God is doing some amazing things in my life. Just tonight I snapped at Greg for something. Typically I would have just let him leave for AWANA but I felt so convicted to apologize. Progress - Thank you Jesus! Never, ever take that conviction for granted. It is a huge safety net if we listen to it. Hope you all have a blessed night!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

Sitting here with my dog eating some humble pie. I hate humble pie. I get to eat it often. This choice today is coming right from the table of experience. I think that is why I love my dogs so much. Life with them is simple. They listen. They don’t talk back and I don’t ever need to partake of humble pie with them. Anyway, today we are back to focusing on our spiritual and emotional well being and we are going to choose forgiveness.

I knew I wanted to write on this topic for a while, little did I know that God would bring something into my life that would make me have to put my money where my mouth is. I have had to forgive lots of people in my life. We all have – it’s a fallen world. It’s always been a struggle because I want to be right and I don’t want them to think that what they did was right.

We have been having some issues with some boys in our neighborhood and my neighbor. He brought something to my attention this week that had happened and I immediately tried to get to the bottom of it. It turned out it didn’t involve my son so in my mind the issue was done because there was really nothing I could do. Last night he started to give some of the boys a hard time – my son included. Enough said when it comes to this mama lion? So my husband and I went out and asked him to stop getting on the boys about something they didn’t do. He said some things that were not so nice. My husband and I became upset with him. Our tempers flared. We came back inside just overwhelmed. We looked at each other and we knew what we had to do. We walked back out the front door and rang his door bell and apologized. It was hard. We didn’t feel like we had done anything wrong but we did lose our temper but we blamed him for that. Ugh. I had to practice what I preach and I know from experience that even though at the time it is a hard thing it is the right thing and God will always honor when we do the right thing.

When we don’t choose to forgive bitterness takes root. It can be ugly. We will have huge offenses and hurts quite possibly from our child or our marriages or even just the small day to day offenses can cause us to become bitter. It is probably the most dangerous of all choices. It is the one we cling to because we are so afraid if we forgive that we are saying it’s ok. Forgiveness isn’t making the offense ok but I promise you that you will be better for it.

The forgiveness most often translated in the New Testament is aphiemi and it means “to send forth or away, to let go from one’s power, possession, to let go from one’s further attendance or occupancy. Wow just listen to that definition. We are letting it go. We are sending it forth or away. But do you know where we are sending it??? Straight to God. It no longer has to control us once we have given it over. There is such power in that. We actually become stronger because we are less bitter and it takes a whole lot stronger more powerful woman to forgive than it does to stew in bitterness. Mark 11:24-25 says whatever we have asked for in prayer we need to believe we have received it and it will be ours and when we stand praying if we hold anything against anyone, forgive him so your father in heaven may forgive your sins. Maybe our prayer lives would be more powerful if we had the ability to forgive quickly. I know this is tough stuff. I know there can be some very deep hurts. I have some of my own. My childhood had some real issues and I had to learn to forgive someone in my life and I had to learn to do it often. Even to this day feelings can rise or something can be said and I need to go back to forgiving this person all over again. Forgiveness is NOT a feeling we have. I don’t feel like necessarily forgiving this person in my life. I want to make that really clear it is not something you will feel it is something you will have to push past what you are feeling and do the hard thing anyway but when you do you will experience unparalleled victory and joy I promise you that.

So today’s Make a Choice Monday is tough. I pray that if you have any bitterness and unforgiveness in your life that you are able to work through it. May the victory be yours in Christ today!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fashion Friday

Yeah! It's Fashion Friday. Yeah! It's Friday. It's been a long week. My girls had their testing and we had our evaluations. I am so glad it is all over with. Greg left yesterday with the two boys leaving me with my precious Cayla and Catey(and Chris, but with work and friends I don't see him near as much as I should!). We have had a blast so far. We have shopped at Target and had dinner at Olive Garden. I do love those two girls!!!!!! But enough about that and back to the topic at hand....Fashion. I just want to share a few things today and then I really need to shut this thing down and go to co-op. After all our bad weather I think my only piece of advice should be get your toenails painted and get out your flip flops because can you believe it is finally going to be 80 tomorrow?????? But anyway....

The first thing I wanted to share today is solid white and black shirts. I own several in long and short sleeves. I look for them on sale and keep a bunch in my closet. They can be worn under sweaters or vests in the winter or even alone if it's not 20 degrees out and short sleeves in the summer are great with shorts/skirts/capris(I totally understand Big Mama's disdain for capris but when you live in an area where it has been soooo cold for sooooo long and you have worn more Under Armour cold gear than one can imagine you are desperate for ANYTHING springy and cute and I mean desperate). The reason I am such a fan of solid tee's is because they can so easily be dressed up or dressed down. They say 75% of your wardrobe should be accessories. I can put on a nice pair of dark jeans and a solid shirt add some nice jewelry or a scarf and I am somewhat dressed up. I can also throw that same shirt on with some shorts and head to a softball game. Versatility. I don't really have time in my life for much more than that. I always buy several because I like my white to be really white and my black not to be faded. I found the most comfortable one yesterday at Target and the cool thing is they were on sale for $5. I bought a white one and it is so soft and comfortable. I often wear a lot of white. People ask how I do that with kids. I actually love it because solid white is something you can bleach. My bleach pen and I are best friends!

The only other thing I want to share with you I learned over at Bargains By the Bagfull. You really need to check out her and Resource Mom 4 Life. They are full of so many money saving ideas I can't even keep up. A few days ago she told me about Old Navy Weekly. Maybe this is old news but I had never checked it out. You go each week and you "hunt" for coupons. For example if you click several times on the mannequin's hair(it's the one with blue capri's and a white shirt) you get a 30%off coupon. It is different each week. There are several other deals hidden and it is a lot of fun to try and find them - not to mention the coupons are great. I have gotten a 50% off one item before. You can easily get those solid shirts I talked about earlier for just a few dollars!

That's all I have for today. I hope your day is blessed. Remember fashion is great. I am all about it actually.....but never forget your true identity in Christ. Don't make it your focus. Have it be something that is fun but not an obsession(I speak unfortunately from experience). Enjoy the beautiful weather we are getting this weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Random Thoughts this Wedenesday.....

It's been two days since my last post. I always have all these ideas but they never seem to get written. I am sitting here alone which is so rare I can't actually remember the last time it has happened. I should be working on my talk for the mother/daughter banquet but instead my thoughts automatically go to the blogosphere. You know I just want to see what is goin on. See if I missed any posts:) I do love the idea of all these ladies posting things and sharing from their hearts.

I am sure I have shared this before but God is calling me to a place of transparency and let me tell you it is not always easy. I have those little things I don't want to share. You know the ones that hurt the pride a little. I hate telling people when I've messed up with my kids or when my husband and I are having problems. As I was thinking about this and why it is so hard I realized it is because satan convinces us of something that just isn't true. We fear being "real" might push people away but in reality it brings us closer. Something the enemey does not want to happen. So when those thoughts come I have been making a conscious effort to say to myself "I don't need to believe that it is not the truth".

I know I have written on this before in a previous post, but I am continually amazed how many thoughts a day are some how twisted in a lie. I have started evaluating my thoughts. Even the small things matter when it comes to winning this battle.

I guess I better get to work. Awana will be over and my kiddos will be back before I know it. Have a blessed night!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

Sorry for the delay in posting today. My daughters did the first half of their achievement testing today and then I had a wonderful lunch with a lady that is becoming a very dear friend to me. I met her this year at our community Bible study. She has adopted also and so we are becoming fast friends with so much in common.

Anyway, it’s Monday again. It really is unbelievable how quickly time goes by. I can hardly believe that it’s already been a week since our last small “choice”. So how’s it going???? Are you drinking more water? How about memorizing scripture? Just small changes that can affect our physical and spiritual life in a big way.

Today we are going to focus our choice on our emotional well being. I find there are so many things in life that cause stress that I have no control over that it is very important to organize those things I do have control over. I am not a very organized person by nature and if I can do it you can to.

I am often asked with 7 children how I get everything done. I am no superwoman. I do mess up but by trial and error I have found some things that have really helped. Small choice number one today is have a master calendar and small choice number two is to make a menu ahead of time. Maybe to some of you this is a no brainer but for someone like me it took a lot of chaos, disorganization, and panic at 4:30 wondering what I was making for dinner before I became disciplined in this area. We have a master calendar and EVERYTHING goes on it(pictured below). There is never a question about who is doing what and when. I do occasionally have something overlap or get forgotten but not near as much as I used to. I have learned to say "let me check the calendar" before committing to anything. When it is all written in one place it is also a good measuring tool as to whether you are doing to much. We can't do a thousand things to the glory of God. You throw some hormones into a disorganized schedule and we can fall apart(I know because I got some hormones and I have doen some falling apart). That is why this organization is vital to our emotional well being.



I have also learned to write out a weekly menu. I do fall off the menu wagon and when I do I feel it. I have been off for a few weeks now and supper time has been a stress so I know I need to get back to it. When it is written out it is one less thing to think about during the day and it also helps keep the grocery bill more manageable.

Well ladies that is my advice for today. It will cut down on your stress level in your home and help you tremendously and like I said this whole idea goes against who I am by nature but I think we need to be willing to be teachable in all areas to benefit our children. It also helps them when they see us do things that are more difficult and don't come so naturally. Hope this helps and hope your day is blessed. Remember to put some time everyday on the master schedule to be with the Master. If you do that everything else will fall into place!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Winner

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 3
Result:
1

Well ladies I went to the Random Number Generator website to choose the winner for Beth Moore's book "Get Out of That Pit" and the winning number was 1. So Wendy please contact me and tell me where to send you your book.

Thanks ladies. Have a blessed Sunday!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fashion Friday

*Just a reminder if you haven't read this post and left a comment there is still time for a chance to win Beth Moore's book "Get Out of That Pit". I will pick a random winner this Sunday.

One word - TANK TOPS! Ok that was two but anyway.....I have fallen in love with long tanks. You can wear them under anything and either tuck them in(so your bum does not stick out of these new fangled low rise jean when you sit) or layer them.

Two of my favorite places to find long tanks is Target and Deb Shops. They have to be long so they serve their purpose. I wear a tank everyday under everything.

Here is one I bought this week at Target. I loved the print and I can't wait to wear it under my white sweater.

When tucking them in I wear these from Deb Shops. I have several colors and I love them.

This wasn't originally my idea. I have a friend who bought them from a company that specifically made them long to tuck into jeans so to keep things modest. I loved the idea. I think that company went out of business so I was so excited to find "long tanks" at other stores.

Well that's all I got to offer today. We have a very busy weekend as usual. I am cleaning an office tonight and I have the opportunity to spend the day tomorrow at a women's leadership conference with some ladies from my church. I am excited about that but sad to be inside on a day that is finally supposed to be beautiful! Sunday is church. I teach this Sunday. I think I am prepared....I have loved the opportunity to teach this ladies class. I was so sad when I felt God calling me to step down from women's ministry but now I see why. I have much more time to devote to teaching and speaking and I have loved it. God is so good.

We had Amber over last night and she is coming back on Sunday. Our relationship is so strained. I went with Alicia to her ultrasound yesterday and then spent dinner with Amber. I am emotionally done in. If you think of it pray for the girls and pray for me. Definitely the hardest thing I have ever dealt with and I have dealt with some hard things.

Have an awesome weekend. Shine in His glory today!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Verse #8

I can't even believe that today starts verse no.8. I really do not know where the time goes:) Well, this is what I will be adding to my index cards today:

“In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and He answered me by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The LORD is with me; He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.” Psalm 118:5-7 (NIV)

Pretty awesome isn't it???? In our anguish we just need to call to Him and He sets us free. We need not be afraid of anything. He is with us. Our helper. We can look our enemy square in the eye and know we are triumphant. There is so much power in His word.

I hope you have a blessed day and don't for get to leave a comment on my Easter post to have a chance to win Beth Moore's book "Get Out of That Pit".

Monday, April 13, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

*Just a reminder if you haven't read yesterday's post and left a comment to have a chance to win Beth Moore's book "Get Out of That Pit" there is still time!

Well you guessed it! It is Monday again. Can you believe it. Where does the time go???? Hope you all had a wonderful weekend with your families.

Today's choice I want to share with you is not difficult to do but does take some discipline. But then again what doesn't? Drinking water takes discipline too:) Anyway, today we are concentrating on spiritual. Colossians 3:16 says "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly..." I have always struggled with scripture memorization. I always feared that if I ended up somewhere without my Bible that I would have to spend my time repeating John 3:16 over and over. I also always used the excuse that I didn't have the time or the brain cells left for this task.

As you all know I have joined the Beth Moore scripture memory challenge she started this past January. I have now committed 6 passages to memory. A total of 12 verses and I am working on number 13 right now.

It has been amazing how spending just a few minutes a day I have been able to commit these to memory. Everyday we face many challenges and battles. Many of them we feel unprepared for but when we have Christ Words dwelling in us there is much power.

I challenge you to start memorizing some scriptures. It doesn't need to be entire books at one time. Just small portions. I am only memorizing 2 a month but at the end of the year that will be 24 passages that I didn't know before. How exciting.

I just pray about what I need to memorize and usually based on something going on in my life God brings me to the exact thing I need. I then add them to a card in a spiral bound pack of index cards like this one:




I even decorated mine with some ribbons and scrapbooking paper and stamped the front:



You don't need to do this I just thought it was a fun project. Anyway, I do my best to look over them each day. It is really that simple. Besides I read that memorizing things does amazing things for our brilliance. It was on Beth Moore's blog a while back. She said, "Did you know that memorization is one of the best ways on earth to keep our brains sharp? Yep. And I also heard a few days ago that all the multi-tasking we're doing does not work the part of our brain that requires stimulation to tap into our brilliance. (Every single one of us has brilliance.) That part of our brain requires tremendous focus on one thing for extended periods of time, pushing our thoughts a solitary direction that stretches and works it beyond its normal exercise. That's part of what Scripture memory does!"

You can't beat that can you??? Well that is my tip this week. Hope you have a wonderful start to your week!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen!

I just wanted to do a quick post and wish you all a Happy and Blessed Easter. God became flesh to dwell among us. He died for our transgressions but the grave could not keep Him. He is Risen! Hallelujah. In honor of this wonderful holiday I am going to do my first giveaway. God has used Beth Moore's studies tremendously in my life. I have an extra copy of her book "Get Out of That Pit".



I would like to give this life changing book to one of my readers. Just leave a comment and tell me what you/your family does at Easter. Any special traditions or childhood memories???? I will pick a random winner next weekend!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fashion Friday

Happy Good Friday to you all and Happy Fashion Friday! We are going out of town to visit my parents so I am actually writing this on Thursday night. I don't have much to say except I wanted to know if any of you have heard of C28 clothing???? They have Christian t-shirts, sweatshirts, and jewelry. My daughter Cayla and I love it. We have several t-shirts.

This is one of my favorites. I don't have it yet, but it is on my wishlist:)

I also love this one and this one!

I actually love everything on the site! The junior sizes do run very small so order at least a size up. The clothes are awesome and the message is even more awesome.

Have a blessed Friday.

Nothing can really be hidden....

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord"-- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 32:5-7

I remember the day clearly. It was a Tuesday. Tuesday is trash day at my house. It is also poop scooping day and I am the official poop scooper. I got this title by default really. Everyone wanted the dogs. Everyone was going to help take care of the dogs. It sounds great, in theory. The realty is I don't even know if anyone else even knows where the scooper is.

Anyway, I looked out and it had snowed. It was beautiful. Glistening in the sunlight. And guess what....I couldn't even see any of the poop. It was all covered up. I did a little dance and went back into the house. A woman can't possibly scoop poop that she can't even see, now can she????

The next Tuesday came. The snow had all melted. The yard a muddy mess. And can you guess what the melting snow revealed??? More poop than you can imagine. Two dogs. Two weeks worth of poop and one unhappy "by default" pooper scooper. More than anyone person should ever encounter. As I went about my job grumbling and complaining I suddenly felt as if I heard God say "Yep(do you think God would say yep???)anyway....Yep, girlfriend that's how it is with your life. You try and cover up the ugly things with beautiful distractions. You work on your appearance. Your ministry. Your home. All I want to do is work on your heart."

Whoa! Wait a second. Do I really do that? Do I try to hide the parts I don't want anyone to see, not even God???? And in the end do I end up with a whole lot of ugly revealed after all is stripped away? Yep. That was the only answer. Because inevitably life happens and all does get stripped away. We are spiritually empty and exhausted with all the cover up and we snap and just like the melting snow it is all there. It didn't go anywhere in our quest to cover it up.

You see, He longs to be our deliverer. Any hiding we want to do needs to be in Him as our secure place after all is confessed. I know I often feel I like I am in a spiritual slump. When that happens I need to ask myself have I any unconfessed sin in my life that I am trying to hide??? I am not saying that this is the cause of all slumps but I think it is a big one. All the busyness of life and all the distractions provide for a blanket of glistening snow in our lives.

How about you???? Anything distracting you today from allowing God to work on your heart? I know it's tough but as David said in the Psalm above let us pray to Him while he can be found. When the waters rise (and they will) they won't reach us. He will give us songs of deliverance. Amen and Hallelujah! Have a blessed day!

Lord~

Thank you that even when we try and hide or cover up you see us and you gently draw us to you. I pray that you would be my hiding place. Help me to confess my sin quickly. Deliver me from the pride that inhibits me from doing that. We love you Lord.

Amen

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How great is our God!

I couldn't resist posting tonight. My heart is overflowing with emotion. Tonight I had the privilege to speak to about 30 inner city at risk teens. I was able to share some very important truths with them about who they are in Christ and the value they have to God. I was also able to speak to them about His forgiveness and redemption. It was truly amazing. God is truly amazing. On the way home I could barely contain myself so I had my own worship service and belted out the song "How Great is Our God"(and I didn't even get a speeding ticket).

It Will be forever etched in my heart the face of a girl named Heather. As I spoke tears rolled down her cheeks. Lord please never, ever let me forget where I came form. I was her. That vulnerable girl. I pray she listened. I told her at the end that she doesn't have to keep having sex. I told her God makes all things new and she can reclaim her purity.

I also started thinking about our own vulnerability. I want to remember who I was so that I never go back. The term "at risk" applies to all of us. We are all at risk. Just one decision or bad choice away from being in bondage to something. That is what the enemy wants and he is prowling around just waiting for the opportunity. God's Word warns us:

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Lord~

Help me to be self-controlled an always be alert. Never to forget what you have done for me. Bless those children in Lancaster. Let the truth of who you are penetrate their hearts and minds tonight. We love you Lord Jesus.

Amen

All good things come to an end......or is it just the beginning???

Today was my last day of my Esther study. The video was phenomenal. I laughed, I cried. It was unbelievable. As I did the last day of homework yesterday I felt the tears well up in my eyes and as they splashed onto the page I felt like Esther had become one of my best girlfriends. One I can't wait to meet someday and ask her all kinds of questions....like did you ever have thoughts like maybe you weren't brought here "for such a time is this" and did you feel like God had forgotten you????? I know that I feel that way sometimes but studying His word and studying a book like Esther I am gently reminded we are NEVER forgotten and we all have a purpose and EVERYTHING we go through has a purpose.

Esther was another wild ride in God's word. I remember the very first Bible study that captured my heart(it occurs to me I never told my whole testimony here on the blog - I will work on that). His Word literally leaped off the page for the first time in my life and I have loved every minute of it ever since. I hope when I die I am right smack in the middle of a really awesome Bible study. In those quiet times when He speaks to me so loud and clear I just become overwhelmed with emotion. He loves us ladies. He's got us in His hands. It is amazing.

If you think about it pray for me tonight. I have the opportunity to speak to a group of inner city teens with SVPS. I will be sharing with them my post abortion testimony. I am struggling the most with this age group because this is how old I would have been when I had my abortion. I know their struggles. I know their insecurities. They are etched in my mind to never be forgotten. I never want to forget the pit I was pulled from. Pray that God speaks clearly through me the things they need to hear.

Well, I want to leave you with something I read in my last day of homework. It was etched on the wall of a Nazi concentration camp. Take a deep breathe. Read them slowly and let them sink in.

I believe in the sun, even when it's not shining.
I believe in love, even when I do not feel it.
I believe in God, even when He is silent.

Author Unknown

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

I have been thinking about some things for a while now that I wanted to do with this blog. It all started because I wanted to share about different "choices" I have made and am making in my life and how they have impacted me. I decided I really wanted to share each week some of the things that have made huge differences in my life. Whenever there would be a big change in my life I could always trace it back to a defining moment and a choice I needed to make or did make. Even in the circumstances that I had no control over I still had to decide or choose how I would react. I am going to be sharing these things with you all every Monday.

I thought about calling it "Makeover Monday" or "How to Avoid a Meltdown on Monday" but I settled on "Make a Choice Monday" in keeping with the name of the blog:) My idea is to share something with you each Monday that has impacted my life. Sometimes it will be little things and sometimes it will be bigger. It will involve spiritual, emotional, and physical changes I have made. Things that have to do with who I am and what I do(parenting, marriage, personal struggles, and ministry).

With this said and as I have told you before.....I am not a "super" anything and I am definitely no expert on anything. I just want a place to share some of the choices I have made with the prompting of the Holy Spirit and God's help and grace in my life that have helped me and have made life a little easier. Also, just because it worked for me it may not be what will work for you. That is ok. In no way do I want to make anyone feel bad. That would defeat the whole purpose:) There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.

My husband always asks me when I am feeling overwhelmed "How do you eat an elephant???? One bite at a time." That is what this is going to be all about. Sharing the bites that have gotten me this far. Not huge lofty goals that are unattainable but little bites that anyone is capable of.

I thought I would start off with something really simple. This week we will concentrate on physical(which actually can be very complicated I know). Those of you who know me probably remember that I lost about 40 pounds two years ago(which by the way took me over a year - there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss). We decided we were done having children and I was not happy with what had happened to my body after five pregnancies(still not real happy with what has happened, but short of surgery.....) Anyway, I needed something that could work for me and was not very expensive or hard to figure out. I settled on Weight Watchers. I did it at home. I didn't attend meetings or anything but it was something I could handle. Well, maybe I will share more about that later but the very first choice I made was to give up Dr. Pepper or any drink other than water. I would still have a cup of coffee in the morning because I am not totally insane but I decided I wanted to eat my calories and not just drink them all day long. I started asking myself would I rather have a soda or some chocolate. The answer was pretty simple. So that was my first real diet change. I hated it at first. I tried to drink at least 60-80 ounces of water a day. The first day I wondered if I could drown. The second day I was exhausted because I had to get up and pee all night long(sorry to be so brutally honest here) But it didn't take long and I was doing it and actually loving water. I still drink a good bit of water to this day. When I drink a lot of sugary drinks it starts to upset my stomach. It was one of those small choices that reaped big benefits.

Disclaimer: I was a little hesitant to add physical in here. I have tried to maintain my blog as a encouraging place and I know that there is a lot of sensitivity when it comes to diet and body image. I never did anything crazy during my weight loss. I would never, ever promote anything like that. I was overweight, unhealthy, and unhappy. If you are happy and healthy then you don't even need to read these posts. I still want this to be a place of encouragement. We need to remember where our worth comes from and it has NOTHING to do with our physical appearance. We can not let that become our focus. We can not get so wrapped up in weight loss that we forget about the thing that is far more important. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love others as yourself(that is the Word according to me but you get the picture).

So what about you???? Anybody out there lost weight and have anything that they want to share? We all have so much to learn from one another. I can't wait to hear from you all. If you have any questions you would like me to address you can e-mail me privately or leave a comment and I will make it a future post - you can do this anonymously. So this weeks "choice" is pretty simple, let's commit to drinking more water. Now that's not so hard, is it??? Can't wait until next "Make a Choice Monday". Have a blessed start to your week and don't get so tied up in drinking water that we forget the "Living Water".

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. ) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?" Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

John 4:7-14

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fashion Friday

I went to a luncheon the other day for facilitators at Change of Pace Bible study. We went around the table and we were trying to guess each others style. These were the options:

Sophisticated: Your ambitions are high! You dream of driving sports cars, being the company president, or traveling around the world. You enter a room with an air of elegance. You who are sophisticated have a coordinated wardrobe and you usually shop for sales on designer clothes. You have a distinct way of dressing, no matter what the occasion. You cause heads to turn and you're not afraid to try something new.

Romantic: You adore old movies, poetry, and love songs. You remember every anniversary and melt in candlelight and soft music. Anything nostalgic, soft, and dainty appeals to you.

Sporty: You run when you could be walking. You love the outdoor life. You keep your rollerskates at the front door. You relish the thought of waking early and greeting each day with a smile. You like comfortable, versatile, and practical clothing. You probably prefer shorts/pants instead of a dress or skirt, baggy sweats instead of a suit and insist on loose fitting, wash and wear fabrics. You prefer clothes with a flair and movement just like your activities.

Classic: You are highly organized, outgoing, and loyal. You attend all high school reunions and keep in touch with old friends. You're sure to be a classic who prefers tailored clothes and mixes and matches as much as possible. You're interested in getting the maximum wear out of your clothes and go for durable season less styles.

Daring: You are the first to try a new fashion. You find yourself leading instead of following. You love debating just for the sake of debating. Do fast cars, safaris, and deep-sea diving trips sound appealing? You are an individualist who dares to wear unlikely combinations and who look great in most of them. you have a unique style. No one is quite like you.

Now, I was convinced that I was sophisticated trapped in a sporty wardrobe. That is until I realized that when I enter a room I just pray there isn't toilet paper stuck to my shoes and I never, ever wear a skirt for fear of it getting tucked in my panty hose. With that said I was voted daring. I probably fall into the category of the few things that don't look so great but anyway.....I am just so glad that though man looks on the outside appearance God looks at the heart(1 Samuel 16:7). Each woman no matter what her style was created beautifully. A woman of noble character is worth far more than rubies(Proverbs 31:1). The King is enthralled with our beauty(Psalm 45:11). There is nothing wrong with putting some effort into our appearance(this is coming from a lipgloss and mascara wearin' mama - I bought the deep wrinkle cream for pity sakes). Just don't make it your obsession. We can be modest and cute - if we could all just grasp how darling we already are in Christ. So what is your style????? I would love to hear from you. I have been considering doing a giveaway but not sure if anyone is out there....so please leave a comment! Have a blessed weekend!

P.S. For other fashion flunkies out there. I did find out what Pashmina is. Pashmina refers to a type of fine cashmere wool and the textiles made from it. The name comes from Pashmineh, made from Persian pashm ("wool"). The wool comes from changthangi or pashmina goat, which is a special breed of goat indigenous to high altitudes of the Himalayas.

There you go. I should have known right away when it said "fine cashmere wool" that I wouldn't be familiar with it. I did find some cute scarfs though(not Pashmina) on the Internet. I have "window shopping" and thought I would share. I love this site but can't really afford to shop there. I would hate to have to tell Greg we need to remortgage the house or sell on of the small children because of a "scarf problem" I have.

Memory Verse No. 7 and other random thoughts...

Well, it's that time again. April 1st was yesterday and this is what I will be memorizing over the next two weeks:

Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:7 NLT

This is my key verse I will be using when I speak at our churches mother/daughter brunch in May so I thought it would be good to memorize it. The theme I choose is "Grow where you are planted, be rooted in truth". The ladies I am working with came up with that and I loved it because I am all about spiritual growth and truth.

I read something from someone the other day that said they had wanted to do something recently but didn't do it right away because of fear. I thought about that and how often fear keeps us from doing the very thing God has planned for us that would "be greater than any eye has ever seen or any ear has ever heard"(1 Corinthians 2:9). Instead we give into mediocrity. We miss the boat and often then feel unfulfilled.

The truth is "we have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-discipline"(2 Timothy 1:7). It is out of that power and the love we have for others that we should want to fulfill our calling because our calling always involves the building up of God and His kingdom.

I want to see women fulfill their destiny. Stop questioning and just do the thing you feel most afraid of(disclaimer: something that God has called you to not
something ungodly or crazy).

Stop being bound up by fear. Stop looking to others to either do it for you or to make yourself feel even more unqualified. You might hold the key to someone elses freedom because they need to hear from you or someone may need your insight or encouragement. Your wisdom from past experiences or current situations might help someone grow closer to God. We can't keep living in insecurity. I heard Marie Osmond (go figure first I quote Sugar Ray Leonard in a previous post and now Marie, who knew????)say "We always compare our worst to every other woman's best". We all have a worst part of us. This is our flesh and sin nature. But we also have a best part of us. The Holy Spirit in us. The same power that rose Christ from the dead(Romans 8:11).

Ok. Enough said. I guess I will step off my soapbox for now and finish dinner. Hope I encouraged someone. Tune in tomorrow. I will be linking to Big Mama's Fashion Friday with insights(yeah right) as to which "style" you are. Have a blessed night.