Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Where have I been...

Where have I been you might ask???(ok Ann this is for you because I think your the only one asking:)

Well let me just make a list for you:

  • Baking Christmas cookies....and eating them too!
  • Shopping....mostly for Christmas presents but got a few things for me(is that allowed?)
  • Gathering with friends and family....I went ice skating for the first time in years
  • Not doing school:(
  • Attending way too many meetings
  • Listening to Christmas music and admiring many cool lights
  • Breaking up quarrels and wrestling matches and begging my kids to clean their room before we integrate more "stuff" into them
  • Dreaming about all the possibilities of 2012
  • Playing "secret santa"
  • Training for Frozen Foot races but not sure I will actually run them in the cold
  • Did I mention all the cookies I have been eating???

Anyway, that is just a little bit of what has been going on around here but I have also been working on the book and getting that ready to "launch". You can check it out at www.beautyandthebeastwithin.com ! I would love for you to hop over to that site also....I am super excited about it.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Dance

My daughter Cayla will be 17 tomorrow.

I am feeling a bit emotional.

This parenting thing has been a lot like a dance for me.

I remember pulling on my brand new dancing shoes.

In the beginning they were tight and stiff and a bit uncomfortable.

I needed to adjust.

Then I fell into the rhythm and much of the time it felt like we were doing a waltz. Slow and steady. Graceful. We were keeping to the beat of the music but before I knew it we were doing something more like a tango....only I still wanted to waltz. It went too fast. All the firsts and the lasts. They came and went so fast I could barely keep up.

We stepped on each others toes sometimes. I lost my step occasionally and sometimes just sometimes I stumbled.

And now the last song is starting to play.

Our last dance.

I will dance many last dances this year. Probably my last holiday season with my son before he moves out. I can't remember the last time I picked up my 11 year old....I know it was this year but she has grown up a lot this year and I am sure we danced that last dance already. No more diapers or potty training or first steps in this house.

Those dances are all finished.

And one day soon the music will fade completely and I will hang up my weathered and worn dancing shoes for good.

I will miss the waltz and the tango and everything between and even though we were no Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire this was a good dance.

Happy birthday sweet Cayla....you have been one of the best dance partners a mom could ask for!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Beauty Update!

Just to update you on the book....It will be released soon and now the anxiety begins:( I think I like the actual writing process(along with editing) and the making of the video and all the behind the scenes stuff far more than I like the idea of the project being completed and released.

Isn't life like that? We strive and we strive to achieve something and then when we reach the place we thought we wanted so desperately to be it ends up disappointing us or somehow leaving us empty. At least in the striving we don't have to face that reality we can continue to tell ourselves that we are almost there and success is almost ours.

The same thing Satan used to deceive Eve in the garden. He taunts us with the one thing we think we need that we can't seem to grasp and that my friends ends up being our downfall. And we question God's goodness.

I know that God called me to write. I tell myself that I only measure success based on the pleasure I feel when I do the thing He has called me to do and I ONLY write for an audience of One but when I am all alone in the dark of night and my thoughts haunt me I have to face the fact that deep down in the depths of my soul I measure success based on the definition the world has deceived me with. I tell myself if the book fails I am a failure and if I am really, really honest if I fail I question God's goodness.

So I wrestle with these thoughts and these feelings and I pray for peace and joy no matter what happens with the book. I remind myself of what is really important and what is eternal.

I grasp for Him instead of grasping at the thing that I think might make me a success and I know He is faithful and for this I am ever so grateful!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thought Provoking

God appoints people who disappoint so they can point to the God who NEVER disappoints!

~Ann Voskamp

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Buck Denver Asks...Why Do We Call It Christmas?

Buck Denver Asks...Why Do We Call It Christmas?

Cutting down trees? Hanging stockings? Santa Claus? What do any of these have to do with Jesus' birthday? More than you'd think!

Join VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer along with intrepid newsman Buck Denver and all his friends on an amazing journey into the world's most popular holiday! Sure, you know the Christmas story. But do you know the story of Christmas?

Don't miss the whimsical, educational, Christmical party to end all Christmas parties as Buck Denver Asks … Why Do We Call It Christmas?

Run Time: approx. 60 minutes

Don't forget to order your copy today! Just click on the banner on the right of your screen!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Get an Attitude of Gratitude Challenge!

It's Monday morning and it is time to check our praise meter and see how we are doing with our attitude of gratitude.

For me so many times it is all about changing my perspective. I need to often remind myself that the things that bother me the most are some of my greatest blessings if I would only choose to see them that way!

Sometimes in the nitty gritty of mothering life we need to put on our God goggles. Sometimes we just need to remind our self that today, nearly one billion people – about one in eight – lack access to clean water. More than twice that many, 2.5 billion people, don’t have access to a toilet.

According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were 643,067 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons nationwide as of January 2009.

925 million hungry people in 2010.

If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.

If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering.

If you can read God’s precious Word and you have at least one copy in your home in your language than you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all and the nearly one-third of the world's language groups representing 340 million people are still waiting for God’s Word in a language that they can understand clearly.

When you read that it changes things doesn't it?

Today on my "thankful list" I am thankful for my bathroom. More specifically my toilet. You see I am forever complaining about the mess in my bathroom. Some little one at my house seems to have bad aim. It is so silly to even type it but it makes me grumpy every time I go in there but today I am putting on my "God goggles" and I am going to go in and give my toilet a flush and just be thankful I have a toilet for my little guys to miss:)

How about you? What are you thankful for today?

Be blessed!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Perfect Christmas Gift

Can you believe it's November already???? Where does the time go? Anyway, it is time to start thinking about Christmas shopping. I know when it comes to getting gifts for my kids I always struggle to find things that are meaningful and useful and don't take up too much space:)

Well this year I have found the perfect gift!

Buck Denver Asks...What's in the Bible?

Join us in a fast-paced, fun-filled, laugh-out-loud journey thru the Bible with VeggieTales® creator, Phil Vischer.

"After creating VeggieTales®, I knew it was time to take kids deeper into the Bible. To help them laugh and learn their way thru the BIG story of God's love for them. Join me on the journey thru the WHOLE Bible — with Buck Denver asks…What's In the Bible?" - Phil Vischer

I got the first DVD at the Relevant Conference and watched it right away with my kiddos and we loved it. Click on the banner on the right of the screen to get your set of 6 DVD's for only $37.95. You can not beat that amazing price. Buy a set for your kids and for your nieces and nephews. I am also getting a set for my grandson!

Check out this review at Movieguide.org!

I know they will bless your family!

Have a blessed day!

An Award!

Thank you so much Becky at Bargains by the Bagfull for this award!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Get an Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

I had the privilege of speaking yesterday at Growing as Moms at Mt. Calvary. The topic was thankfulness. They are reading through Lysa TerKeurst book "Am I Messing Up My Kids". She talks about being thankful even for the smelly shoes laying around her house.

As I was preparing my message of course God started speaking directly to my own heart. I think that is the main reason He called me into a speaking ministry. He knew I still had so many lessons to learn.

I talked about gratitude being an attitude we choose. It does not come naturally to us. Gratitude and thanksgiving are a sacrifice we bring to God.

As a Christian I talk a lot about being grateful all the time but am I really? Does my talk match my walk? Can I allow the truth I have in my mind penetrate my heart and most importantly can I really walk out what I believe on the pavement of life?

A life that is messy? A life that is full of trials and pain? A life that most days seems mundane and unimportant?

The place that Satan loves to get me is at the crossroads of my expectations colliding with my reality. It is at that place that I have a choice to make. It is the rubber meeting the road. Will I be thankful and choose to praise Him anyway or will I become bitter?

This month I decided to challenge myself to get an attitude of gratitude no matter what the circumstance in my life. I am challenging myself to put on my God goggles and see things that typically cause me to grumble and complain in a different light. I want to learn to be thankful for those things. I am also memorizing Psalm 100 with my family.

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Won't you join me??? Today I am starting to memorize this passage. It helps me to read it several times and then write and then meditate on it concentrating on key words.

Also the first thing on my "thankful list" is for the heat pouring out of the old radiators in this very old house this morning. You see I usually complain about the radiators because they take up way too much space in a room and it is hard to arrange furniture but I am asking God to help me see things differently and to be thankful for the warmth.

I will be checking in throughout the month and let you know how I am doing. If you want to join me let me a comment so I can pray for you and we can encourage one another. Let me know what you are thankful for today!

Be blessed!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Relevant 11!!!!

Well its Monday morning and I can not believe Relevant 11 has come and gone. It was amazing and I am not sure how to sum it all up. You see when God speaks to you it can not always be summed up into a neat little blog post. Sometimes you wrestle with Him and it gets messy. Not that He is messy but that I am messy. I had many different emotions all weekend long from the joy of meeting new friends to the heaviness of hearing about the causes like One Verse and Compassion.

So I thought I would just list a few of the highlights but I am sure in the coming weeks there will be more for me to share!

*Lunch at Chili's on Thursday and just getting to know a bunch of ladies I never met before

*Registering for the conference and getting the coolest "goodie bag" filled to overflowing with some really cool stuff(look for giveaways in the near future)

*Friday morning breakfast listening to Sally Clarkson. It was everything I needed to hear and more and then I actually got to sit and talk to her on a couch in the lounge and she is a gem!

*Learning all the ins and outs of blogging and e-books in all the breakout sessions. So much info it will take me weeks to process and implement it all

*Going to many of the wonderful meet-ups(homeschooling, eat pray lose, What's in the Bible, etc...) and meeting some more awesome people and getting some more really cool stuff

*Listening to Christie Wells....her music is so beautiful!!!!

*Ann Voskamps closing message

*The way that God brought me and Maggie Hogan together in the hallway and how she graciously took me into her room and listened to me and prayed with me

*Spending time with my sweet friend Bonni Greiner

I could go on and on but you get the idea. It was an awesome weekend! I can't wait to start implementing some changes on my blog and sharing more with you soon but it is time to take off my blogger hat and put on my homeschooling mom hat for the day!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Need to make a "to do" list?

Life has been moving along here at the speed of light. I have a lot swirling around that empty space under all this bleach blond hair. Every once in a while I start to feel overwhelmed and I know I need to grab a piece of paper and start writing. There is something freeing about the pen hitting the paper and I am able to leave all that has been swirling in my mind there. I am not always a list maker but sometimes it is necessary. It makes things more manageable and I can relax and just do the next thing.

Whenever make my list, I know I then need to come up with a reasonable plan. When I need a reasonable plan to accomplish anything I have a system that came about because I am a procrastinator (have been as long as I can remember). I was the one who crammed for tests and waited until the night before a paper was due to write it. This has its advantages and disadvantages. I used to look at it only in a negative light but I realized having the ability to put some things aside and just enjoy life has its advantages.

Unfortunately if I put too much off and don’t have a plan nothing gets accomplished. So this is what I learned to do:

1. Pray

2. Prioritize

3. Plan

4. Put it into action

I want God to order my "to do" list. I don't want the list to control me but be a guide. If God brings some unexpected thing my way today that is ok too. His word is clear.....

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. ~Proverbs 16:3

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. ~Proverbs 16:9

This has helped me tremendously when it comes to planning my homeschooling day/week/year. Or when I have a big project or speaking engagement to prepare for. I will even use this as I prepare to go to the Relevant 11 conference next week.

So tonight I am doing some praying, prioritizing, and planning. When I seek God He shows me how to "put it all into action" and I can rest knowing that He is in control!

Have a blessed night.

BTW....want to read something interesting about lists??? Check out this article. I first read about the "six list" in Sarah Mae's book "31 Days to Clean". I thought it was fascinating because I have long practiced this(only mine is often the "25" list:)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Busy. Busy, Busy....

I didn't go anywhere....I am here. I am at a conference this week. I will be back tonight or tomorrow and I will write more then:)

Hope you are all having a blessed week!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Almost finished....

You know how I said I would be writing over the next couple weeks and I would keep you up on the progress....well I sent it off to the editor tonight!

Can you believe it? Once I started writing I couldn't stop. Right now I am shaking as I type this. It has been such a thrill.

Please join me in praying over the next couple weeks. I am in the process of having a cover made and making a promo video to introduce it.

I can't wait for you all to see it!

God is so good!

Be blessed!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beauty and the Beast Within

Yes I do believe that is the title I am leaning towards for my new e-book....

Beauty and the Beast Within....21 days to uncovering the truth about weight loss, beauty, and taming the beast within.

Let me know your thoughts:)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

YAHOO!!! God is Good!

The Relevant Conference: I'm Going!

Oh Yes! You saw that right.... I am going to Relevant 11 and could not be more excited! I have been praying for a ticket and this week God was very gracious and provided one for me!

Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
~ Psalm 106:1

He is good and all good things come from Him. I could just think that I got lucky getting this ticket but I know better. He heard my prayer. He has a plan and He blessed me!

Never think that something is too silly to prayer for. He wants to fulfill the desires of our heart. He already knows what we want so why not go ahead and ask Him for it. If He says no it is because He has a greater yes. If He says yes don't forget to thank Him!

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I WANT to win a Relevant 11 Ticket!

Really cool bloggers to meet

Excellant speakers for my ears to hear

Lots of cool new things to learn

Exactly what I could use right now

Very much a dream of mine

Amazing gifts to be shared

Never been before

Told the whole world I want to go and my family hopes I win so they don't need to keep hearing about it

1 of the greastest blogging conferences EVER!!! from what I hear I have never been :(

1 thing that I know will help me fulfill my dreams!

Just a few of the reasons I want to win the ticket to the Relevant 11 Conference! Wish me luck!

Have a blessed day!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Synopsis

I just love using big words! I know you have all been waiting with bated breath to read this.....yeah right. But humor me because I am excited and here is what I have been working on.....

The first diet and exercise book that has very little with diet and exercise. It is a book about finding peace with our bodies and discovering our beautiful. If at the end we are thinner then great but that is not the only goal. The goal is to be healthy, happy women deseprately in love with Jesus. We will learn some good tips along the way but most importantly we will discover the beauty that lies within each of us.

We will make peace with our not so hour glass figure and we will finally realize that being thin does not necessarily equal happiness. I have been a size 2 and I have been a size 12 and everything in between. And to be honest I have been miserable at a size 2 and I have been miserable at a size 12. I have been fed so many lies about what beautiful is and I spent years trying to achieve unnattainable goals. To be honest I don't know if I am too old or what but I am done with it! And you can be too!

In the next few days I will be sharing more about the book and also asking for input. I am deciding on a title and will share more about that later also. I asked on my Facebook how people would define beautiful and I got many interesting responses. I would love to hear your response to that same question.

Going to Baltimore this weekend to see Beth Moore so I will be back on her on Sunday or Monday.

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It's 9:00 and....

I am embarrassed to admit my kids are all still in bed. Shouldn't I be homeschooling and baking bread or something???

Instead I am sitting at my computer daydreaming. It is what I do best. I remember having the most vivid imagination as a child. At least that's how I am remembering it which considering I can't remember to wake my children up and homeschool I could be a little off but anyway.....I am going with the vivid imagination memory today so just humor me.

I loved to write when I was little and make up stories. I remember writing my first "book" and illustrating it using my neatest handwriting. The entire thing rhymed and I remember until it was over being exhausted trying to find words that rhymed with Bob.

When it was complete I made a cover for it and read it to my family. I don't recall too many times that my dad took an interest in what I was doing but this book he loved. He told me it was very good and he was proud of me.

I have since searched through my things at my parents and I can't find my first literary masterpiece but it has been a dream of mine to write another book(rest assured there will be no characters by the name of Bob). I know I have shared briefly here about this before but just like many other dreams and aspirations it gets pushed aside just waiting for the right moment that I have just the right words.

I started thinking about dreams today and wondered what really stops us from living them out? Am I afraid to write because of fear of rejection or because I might not really have anything more to offer other than a short story about Bob and his friend Rob? I don't know but I am tired of talking about making choices but not really making any. Doing nothing towards a goal is choosing to never live up to our full potential and trust God for the rest.

So with that said I am choosing today to write my first e-book. There I said it. I have much of it written I just need to spend a little (a lot) of time reorganizing it. I would love to involve you all in the process (ok I need to know is anybody out there....stats say there are but I don't see any comments:)

I will share my struggles over the next few weeks. I will ask questions and hope to get some answers. I will share a synopsis tomorrow(Oh yes I did just go to dictionary.com to be sure that was the right word....what in the world am I thinking writing a book. I really don't know much more than when to color my roots or how to rhyme Rob and Bob).

So stay tuned....I know you are all probably on the edge of your seat....NOT! But I am excited. Dreams are good. Goals are healthy. It is time we start walking this thing out instead of waiting for the perfect moment. There are not perfect moments in this world....just imperfect people serving a perfect God.

On a totally unrelated note I am desperately trying to get to the Relevant 11 conference so if anyone knows of any tickets out there PLEASE let me know and if you would join me in praying that if God is willing He will make a way for me to go. Your prayers are ALWAYS appreciated:)

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011



Back and forth.

Like a wave in the sea.

This is my life....

I waver between continuing to homeschool my children feeling passionate about what that means to me and putting them in school. Maybe they would be smarter. Maybe they are missing out.

I waver between doing what is right feeling passionate about Jesus Christ and wanting to just be a "carnal" christian doing what I want when I want but keeping my ticket to heaven. Maybe the grass is greener somewhere else. Maybe I would be happier if I could just do what I want to do because maybe for girls like me that's all there is.

I waver between contentment and dissatisfaction. Maybe I should have a nicer house. Maybe I should have more money.

I waver between wanting an education that leads to a fulfilling career and staying here where I know I belong and cleaning up another mess. Maybe I am smarter than all of this. Maybe I would then feel full.

I could sit here all night sharing all the different scenarios. It is endless. I have tossed back and forth for more years than I am willing to share at this point. Today as I felt pulled in different directions and I once again felt torn between one direction and another(picture devil on one shoulder and angel on the other) I kept going back to the truth.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. ~Isaiah 26:3

I blasted the worship music. I prayed. I went for a walk alone(not even a cell phone).

As I sit here I want to type that all is ok now and that if you follow those steps you too will be just fine.

I would be lying.

I am still listening to the worship music.

I am still praying begging God to bring me that "perfect" peace that I still do not feel.

Yet I know that my feelings always lead me the wrong direction and that they will change..... eventually and just as sure as the changing tide of the ocean I will feel stronger. Just not right this moment but I know He is faithful. I know that deliverance isn't always immediate but it does come. I know that desperation though a very scary place can be a very sweet place where I feel Him the most.

Maybe you know where I am today. Do what I did. Write down what you know and even though your feelings don't change immediately cling only to that truth.

Be blessed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Learning to slow down......

As I mentioned earlier I started studying 1 John this week with Good Morning Girls. We have been taking just one verse a day and using the S.O.A.P. method of Bible study:

Write the Scripture
Write 1 or 2 Observations
Write 1 or 2 Applications

I must say I have been loving it. It is teaching this girl who is usually moving faster than the spin cycle on the washing machine to SLOW down. I am pouring over just one verse a day but that one verse can teach me and fill me and change me. It has been awesome.

The first three verses I have studied this week so far talked about how John wants to proclaim what he has seen, heard, and touched....the Word of Life(Jesus). He is proclaiming it so that others too can fellowship with in in this truth.

I felt convicted to also proclaim what I have seen and heard and touched regarding the Word of Life. It is so easy to get busy and forget that there is a lost and desperate world that needs to hear the message and be brought into fellowship with me and other believers.

It has been my prayer that God would not only open my eyes to all the ways He is speaking to me this week but that I would look around me for those who need to hear my testimony. Just because Christ never stood physically in front of us does NOT mean we don't have ways to testify about what we have seen, heard, and touched.

I was also thankful that right here is testimony of someone who did physically see Christ. We don't need to ever doubt or question.

His Word is so rich. Why don't you open your Bible right now and drink in the richness of just one verse. Slow down. Breathe it in. Bask in its beauty. Be changed.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Good Morning Girls Bible Study.....day 1

I started a new Bible study with Good Morning Girls on 1 John. I am so excited. It was a beautiful morning to just sit and soak in His word.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. ~ 1 John 1:1

I pray that we would all hear Him, see Him, and touch Him today because He is the Word of life. Nothing else will ever fill us or satisfy our every longing. NOTHING! No matter what circumstance we find ourselves in He is there to be heard, seen, and touched. We are never alone. He always was and He always will be. Hallelujah!

Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What difference does it make?

Become a OneVerse Partner

As the well worn Bible lay in my lap a tear fell and splashed the page. Once again His Word had leapt off the page and into my heart penetrating right down to the marrow of my bones. The pain I was feeling started to dissipate and the flood of peace washed over me like cool breeze in the heat of summer. It never fails.

A verse....

Just one verse.....

Thats all it takes to completely transform me.

It fills my deepest needs, heals my deepest hurts , and pervades the hole of despair that threatens to swalllow me up. My life is forever changed.

There was a time my Bible sat upon my shelf collecting dust. Those were the darkest and lonliest times of my life.

I'm sure there are many people who have a Bible sitting on their shelf wondering what difference it would make if they picked it up and opened it.

Well I know the difference.

It is the difference between hope and despair.

It is the difference between wholeness and brokeness.

It is the difference between peace and distress.

It is the difference between clarity and confusion.

Most importantly it is the difference between life and death.

Sadly today, nearly one-third of the world's language groups representing 340 million people are still waiting for God’s Word in a language that they can understand clearly.

They don't even have the opportunity to know the difference it would make in their life.

They are in poverty.

Bible poverty.

We can help change this. We can help bring light to those living in darkeness. We can partner with One Verse.

OneVerse is a program of The Seed Company that enables you to support local Bible translators as they make God’s message available in the language of their people.

Won't you please watch the following video and pray and see how you can help.

Your sponsorship gift of $26 provides the resources required for national translators to translate one verse of Scripture into their own language.

Just $26....that's giving up a few cups of Starbucks to give the life giving and life affirming Word of God.

A verse.....

Just one verse......

Can open the gates of heaven!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Homeschool Mom....You can do it!!!!

I answered a question on Angie Smith's blog Bring the Rain. After I posted it I thought I would share it with you all. You can read her question here.

Much of what I share in my reply I got from years of encouragement given to me by my dear friend Bonni Greiner.

Here is my reply:

I feel like there are many times over the last 12 years of homeschooling that I could have written your exact post.....so rest assured your questions are normal, what you feel is normal, and I promise your kids will turn out:)

With that said, I have prayed each year and each year looked very different. There were years that I had 2 middle school girls that we just adopted and then there were the years that I had 3 babies in 4 years while schooling the older 4 children. I have graduated 3 of them. They survived. I survived. We have used "box" curriculum, unit studies, cyber school and co-ops. Every year was different. Every child was different. This year I have a junior in high school, a 6th grader, a 4th grader, and a 2nd grader.

I felt God calling me this year to really focus on serving and so our curriculum looks very different. I use BJU math and Houghton Mifflin Reading for the younger 2. I use calvert math and a character based literature program for my 6th grader. I am using the coolest history from Homeschool in the Woods called Time Travelers History. We are reading and drawing the book of Proverbs this year. We are looking for opportunities to serve and doing a ton of reading about those less fortunate than us. This is the year I want their world to expand beyond our front door. I want their hearts to start opening up to the things that break God's heart.

It is ok to experiment and find out what works for your family. It is ok to use part of a curriculum and to supplement. It is ok to trash a curriculum a month after you start it. If it doesn't work the first month what makes us think it will work the rest of the year???? We need to get beyond the idea that we bought so we have to use it all and just use what works. We need to discern what is working and move on if its not.

We feel A LOT of pressure to "keep up" with everyone around us. Satan loves to taunt us by having us focus on others success and our own failures. One thing that has helped me tremendously has been to make a list of what I want my child to learn and when I am tempted to feel panic I go back to that list. It looks something like this:

1. Love God
2. Serve Him
3. Love others
4. Serve them
5. Know His Word
6. Be able to balance checkbook, handle money, and not go into debt
7. Know basic life skills....cooking, cleaning, etc.''

This isn't the whole list but you get the idea. Very little to do with actual curriculum. Beth Moore just said in her simulcast this weekend "If you have a heart to do God's will He is not going to hide it from you". He won't hide it from our kids. He gifted them and has specific work for them. The best thing we can do is remind them of this daily and pray the heavens down over them.

I am not saying that academics is not important. It is. Especially if it has something to do with what God calls them to. I have just learned over the years of having self doubt and bawling my eyes out regularly that I am just not big enough to mess God up:)

Wow.....that was a long comment. Probably more than you bargained for:) I hope I helped and didn't confuse the topic even more for you! Hang on because it is a wild ride but it is a fast ride. You might not feel that way most days but the next thing you know you wake up and that child is grown. Be blessed. I will pray for you:)

Sometimes we just need to encourage someone else to be reminded ourselves....funny how that works.

Have a blessed night!

Friday, September 9, 2011

31 Days to Clean!!!

I just signed up! Got my e-book!

Homemakers Challenge

I'm excited to get started and if you would see my house you would know why:)

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

20 year anniversary today!

So today my hubby and I have actually made it to the 20 year point....I say actually made it because it has not been easy(mostly due to the fact that I am not easy to live with:)

I thought I would make a list of 20 things about my hubby:

1. You are handsome.....nobody believes that I am actually 7 years YOUNGER

2. You are sweet

3. You are the best "gift buyer" I know

4. You are creative and should have been a photographer

5. You are the best breakfast maker

6. You are a great dad

7. You are a great friend

8. You are a great coach

9. You are committed 100% to anything you do

10. You are smart....nobody could beat you at "one hit wonders"

11. You are friendly....You are my extrovert who married this introvert

12. You are strong

13. You are wise

14. You are helpful

15. You have a heart for God

16. You are the coupon King and could "out save" any woman I know

17. You are loving

18. You are the best snuggler

19. You are a gift from God

20. You are a man of your word.....20 years ago you promised to love me in sickness and health and in poorness and wealth and never once have you gone back on that promise.

I love you!

I hope this post finds you all happily married but if not if you are struggling never forget God is a God of miracles. I know this for a fact. It is a miracle that I celebrate the milestone that I celebrate today. Just keep praying and pressing hard into God. He is the one and only one that can redeem marriages and turn them into something beautiful.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Time Keeps Ticking Away....

Doctor: You don't have skin cancer. Mrs. Grove you just have age spots and sun spots caused by age and too many years in the sun.

Me: What? Me? Didn't I just graduate from high school and get married??? Didn't I just stand here in this very same office surrounded by little ones? I am not old enough for "age" spots.

And this is the conversation that I had with the doctor.

When did I start aging? When did that baby boy of mine grow up graduate, and start working towards a career as a chef? Don't I still sit at every one of his hockey games with baited breath as he nears the goal and don't I still stand up ready to run out onto the rink when he gets hit by a puck and goes down?

And what about my other "little" ones?

Wait, I don't have little ones anymore. Everyone is fully potty trained, fully capable of dressing, feeding, and bathing themselves.

And so it goes. Time keeps marching on. I can't stop it. I can't go back. And obviously by the gray hair in my head and the lovely "age" spots on my face I can't even hide it very well.

I know just like anything else I have a choice.

I can embrace it or I can fight it. I can live with purpose today or just think about starting tomorrow. Either way the clock ticks.

No matter what I do time isn't going to stop and wait for me to choose. I guess that's where I am today. On the eve of my 20th....yes you read that right...20th wedding anniversary I am contemplating life. My purpose. I am evaluating how I have been doing lately and I am planning for a better tomorrow.

Won't you join me. Let's be women who live each minute with purpose.

Intentional living.

You see it is so easy to get caught in the trap of waiting until tomorrow. But when we do that we waste today. And not only that my today will profoundly effect my tomorrow. Even if I do nothing it effects tomorrow because tomorrow will just turn into another today lived out without purpose.

I have lived the last year like this. Sorta in denial. Sorta just wondering through life. Satan loved it, God grieved over it, and I am sick to death of it. I am setting some goals, getting some accountability, taking some risks, and learning to live again.

If you are struggling right now don't be afraid because desperation has been the sweetest gift for me. Let me know where you are and if you need prayer. It would be an honor to hear from you and do this journey together.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The start of school....

As other mothers rejoice at the beginning of each new school year I am sitting here sadly saying goodbye to summer. It was time to get back into a routine here at our house and it was time to pull out the books and start working yesterday.

I would love to tell you some sweet story about my children all sitting on the couch as I read to them and how they anxiously grabbed their pencils to start their assignments but instead they poked each other, fought, and forgot all together how to even hold the pencil.

Some things we are called to do are difficult. Homeschooling has been that for me. I fight against it some days as much as they do. I want to quit. I want to give up. I want to jump up and down at the sight of the big yellow bus instead of curling up in a ball in fetal position. But that is not what I have been called to do.

Maybe someone reading this is feeling the same way. I hope not. I actually hope all you homeschooling mama's have it easy(ok I know it is never easy but at least I hope you are not curled up in a ball in fetal position somewhere). But if by chance you are feeling a little down about starting school I want to encourage you to persevere. Cling to God and His promises. If He called you like I feel like He has called me then He will give you (and me) everything we need this school year.

I am going to go get the books out for the day. I am praying that each day the transition back into to school becomes a bit easier but if not I will just cling to Him like crazy and know that I need to just hang on.....

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. ~Hebrews 10:35-36

Have a blessed day!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Where I have been....

Where I've been???? Good question:) I have been extremely busy and can't believe it is almost August. The summer started late. I finished school much later than usual and then I had relatives visiting on two separate weeks to finish out June. July was busy spending the 4th with my parents and then I went back to Louisiana State Pen (Angola) for a missions trip. After getting home from another unbelievable and life changing trip I decided it was time to simplify some things around here. That started with much need decluttering(about 15 trash bags worth). The rest of my days are spent herding my children and going to the pool:)

I haven't been on here and I feel so guilty to have never finished the last two chapters of the book(I read them just didn't take the time to discuss them) I think it was that guilt that was holding me back from posting:) So another resolution of mine is to get on here when I have something to say but not to commit to such a lengthy project again. Not that I won't discuss books because I have read a ton this summer. My favorites so far have been Heaven is for Real and Dead Man Walking. Has anyone read either????

I have been doing a new Beth Moore study. It is revised version of David and it has been awesome. I finally feel myself coming out of the fog I have been in over the last year. It has been a dry place and a scary place but God has been good and He has been faithful.

I guess before I know it I will be starting school again. Another big decision was to pull my kids from cyber school and go back to good old fashioned homeschooling. I am actually looking forward to it but check with me midSeptember and I am sure the enthusiasm will be gone.

Well there you have it....whoever you is. Not sure if anyone's there but I am not going to worry about it I am just going to keep plugging away. By the way I am going to update my speaking calendar today!

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sitting at Starbucks

I know it is Wednesday and I know I haven't posted in a month. I also know I never finished the last two chapters of the book. I guess it was an epic fail as my kids would say. I'm not sure why I stopped. I have all kinds of excuses but as I sit here all alone they all seem pretty lame.

The last year has taken me on a journey that I never want to repeat. When I struggled before with different things and different relationships it was hard but I could make it through. This struggle has been within myself and I have wrestled it for over a year and I am sure I will never be the same. It has also been the most difficult thing to explain. Maybe it is midlife. Maybe it is a painful growth spurt. I can't say yet for sure.

Anyway I am not sure that anyone even reads this anymore but I do feel like I need to get back to who I was before this struggle started and so I do need to post on here because writing was always very healing for me.

I started the new David Bible study yesterday and I am super excited about that and I also want to share my last few thoughts on the book as soon as a get a chance. And maybe if I can ever find the words to share more about what I have been going through I will share that too.

Well my time here is up but I hope to be back soon.

Be blessed!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What I''m Reading Wednesday

Sorry I never got back on here last week. Update on my friend: She had surgery and is in rehab. She might be coming home the end of this week but it will be a long recovery(18 months)so keep praying.

Now to our reading. I will be discussing chapters 16 and 17 today and in two weeks will finish the book with chapters 18 and 19. I will be out of town with my hubby next week.

Chapter 16 - Why Diets Don't Work

Diets don't work for me. I seem to be able to sacrifice for a season and then I get tired of sacrificing. I hit my goal weight and then slowly slip back into old habits. The weight creeps back on and I feel like a failure. Like I said, diets don't work for me. So, I'm not on a diet. I'm on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness.(page 158)

Well said and yes it is a fine art and it is a learning process. I realized reading this how much of my life I spend saying I'm on a "diet" but really I am on a journey to establish a healthy eating plan for life.

Now, hear me on this. We aren't to flee food. We need food. But we are to flee the control food can have over our lives.(Page 159)

Great point. I loved how she talked about not becoming legalistic in all of this.

Chapter 17 - The Very Next Choice We Make

Holiness means to be set apart for a noble use. The very next choice we make isn't really about whether or not to eat chips, cookies, or French fries smothered in chili and processed cheese. It's about whether we are going to stay away from those things that are not beneficial for what we are created to be.(page 169)

Life is all about our next choice and our next choice has the power to change our destiny. It can lead to permanent and amazing changes in our life. We get so caught up in the big picture but if we could just break it down into just doing the next thing and doing the right thing. Small steps will inevitably lead to huge changes.

May our prayer be that we too ask God to unsettle us. Sustained discipline is possible. Just make the next choice be the right choice.

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Sorry I missed posting yesterday. A dear friend/cousin was in a car accident on Monday night and I have been going to the hospital when I have a spare moment. Please pray for her. She is having surgery on her hip/pelvis today.

I will get back to the book next week.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I''m Reading Wednesday

This was another great week of reading!!!! I struggled with the first chapter because I never considered myself an emotional eater. I just like food and I eat way too much of the wrong things but she had a lot of good things to say about emptiness and how we fill it. I know I fill mine with unhealthy things all the time. Shopping is unfortunately one of those things:( Not that there is anything wrong with it but when I am feeling particularly empty I do tend to go drop a bunch of cash that I shouldn't.

Emotional Emptiness - Chapter 14

Emptiness has a way of demanding to be filled. And when I couldn't figure out how to fill what my heart was lacking, my stomach was more than willing to offer a few suggestions.(page 138)

We will always have empty spaces that cry out to be filled that is the feeling given to us so that we would seek God. I pray that I will become more aware if I am eating out of emptiness. I too need to become "unsettled".

It's so easy to park our minds in bad spots. To dwell and rehash and wish things were different. But to think on hard things keeps us in hard spots and only serves to deepen our feelings of emotional emptiness.(page 141)

Ugh! Once again a mind/body connection. We will never behave differently than what we think or dwell on. I do love the story she told about her dad. I remember things being particularly difficult at home when I was young but there was a day where I was on my dad's lap and things seemed so peaceful. I remember staring at a spot on the fireplace and asking God to please allow me to always remember that feeling and that moment every time I looked at that spot on the fireplace. He has been so gracious because I was probably only about 5 but I have never forgotten that moment and it was that happy memory I need to choose to dwell on.

We must deal with our triggers. We must identify our places of emotional emptiness and admit how futile it is to try to fill those places with food.(page 143)

This is crucial. I believe there is something that triggers all sin/struggles in our life. We need to figure out what that is and learn how to handle it when it comes our way. Often time figuring this all out is painful so we avoid it and live a depressed life. It is like lancing a wound. Extremely painful at the time but in the end all you are left with is a scar and scars remind us but they don't hurt anymore.

The Demon in The Chip Poster - Chapter 15 And the power was to acknowledge that I'm not yet at a place where I can handle just a few chips. My brokenness cannot support that kind of freedom. (page 149)

Vulnerable, broken taste buds can't handle certain kinds of freedom. So, boundaries keep us safe, not restricted.(page 151)

We do need to place boundaries on ourselves for protection not to bring harm. Recognizing we are not ready for certain freedoms is crucial to our success. It is like an alcoholic who knows not to go to a bar or just have one glass of wine with dinner. Food is no different to the overweight person struggling with food. But I also love that she also said at some point we can enjoy some freedom and allow certain things back into our life in moderation. That is very balanced thinking.

Well that's what I got for this week:) If you are reading along please share your thoughts! Next week chapters 16 and 17.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Is any one else enjoying this book as much as I am??? If your not reading it I hope you get yourself a copy. It is about so much more than just food and diets. In fact if that's what you thought and that's why your not reading it I encourage you to get the books and read it. We all have empty places and we all were made to crave and we all at one time or another filled our cravings with things that have been unhealthy.

I wish I had more time right now to get on here more often and tell you whats going on in my life. Sorry I have been reduced to just posting on Wednesday's lately. Did go shopping on Friday and maybe this Friday I can jump on and share some of my "finds" with you all.

Now onto to this weeks reading...

The Curse of the Skinny Jeans - Chapter 12

First I must say I did just love the title of this chapter:)

Like most women, I had kept this pair of skinny jeans in my closet. They had made it through many, many closet purges. All of my other jeans from a size I hadn't seen in quite a while had long since been bagged up and taken to Goodwill. But this particular pair of jeans had been spared as a symbol of a promise I'd made to myself to one day lose the weight - again.(page 119)

Ugh! I am so embarrassed to say I have a pair of red suede pants in my closet that I refuse to part with and I try on every once in a while hoping to fit into them again. And I need to ask myself why??? They are ugly and outdated and I won't ever wear them in public again.

This is the curse of the skinny jeans. My body size is not tied to my happy. If my happy was missing when I was larger, it will still be missing when I get smaller. (page 120) Tying my happy to the wrong things is partially what caused my weight gain in the first place.(page 121)

Profound. Why is it we think if we achieve a certain goal we will ultimately be happy? Why do we tie our happy to "things" whether it be a certain size or a certain position or a certain relationship? Even those of us who know better. Those of us who have been studying our Bible for years and know all the right answers still in the secret places of our soul long to fill ourselves with things that will not ultimately make us happy. I love what she went on to say at the bottom of the page about Oprah. How often do we sit on our couches feeling sorry for ourselves watching someone we think "has it all". Having it all is a big fat myth. I remember when Oprah "unveiled" her new body. I remember thinking she has everything that would make me happy. Not true but Satan loves when we buy into that lie.

We are taught to remain in God's love so that we won't tie our happy to anything but God. So that our joy will be complete. Complete. As in not lacking anything. Complete. As in filled up to the brink with joy no matter if we are wearing our skinny jeans or not. Complete. As in satisfied with a fullness we can't get any other way. Can you imagine how beautiful it would be to live as a complete person?(page123)

Beautiful it would be:) And it sounds so simple yet its not. We know what we should do and yet we fail to do it. Thank goodness His mercies are new every morning and He is abounding in love and grace for us. And besides I don't want to be an incomplete person that exhausts everyone around me in the impossible pursuit of being filled by them. I also loved what she said on page 125 about filling our afternoons His thoughts of love towards others and seeing our skinny jeans as a fun reward, nothing more.

Overindulgence - Chapter 13

Overindulgence is overindulgence. Eating in excess is a sin. The Bible calls it gluttony, which is defined in the dictionary as "excess in drinking or eating".(page 128)

Good thoughts to keep in mind instead we tend to minimize our overeating and maximize someone else's overindulgence in alcohol or other addictions to make ourselves feel better.

Overstuffing ourselves with food or drinking until we get drunk or getting wrapped up in the affections of an adulterous relationship are all desperate attempts to silence cries of a hungry soul.(page 129)

I just love the way she states information that just cuts right to the heart of the matter. We have all these issues that are always just symptoms of something deeper. A cry from a hungry soul. I love her reminder that we were created with this longing so that we would pursue God. Also if we don't fill our souls with spiritual nourishment we will always want to numb our longings with temporary physical pleasures. That sums it all up for me. The struggles I have and that I see others have all come down to self medicating to numb ourselves. You know the things that catch us up and seem to catch others up and we sit and pity ourselves and wonder why. It is because as Lysa said it is a bigger issue than emotions it's really about spiritual deprivation. There was so much more I would love to comment on but I will just leave you with the verse from page 133 and let that be our prayer today!

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:22-24

Chapters 14 and 15 next week. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I''m Reading Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! Once again the reading this week was awesome. Awesome in a very convicting way.

This Isn't Fair - Chapter 10

Well this I know has been a reoccurring theme in my life. I can't count the times I have said those words, given in to the temptation, and cried myself to sleep because of the guilt.

Our flesh buys right into Satan's lie that it's not fair for things to be withheld from us. So we bite into the forbidden fruit and allow Satan to write "shame" across our heart.(page100)

And whether we are talking about having premarital sex or cheating on our diet, once we taste the forbidden fruit, we will crave it worse than we craved it before. Thereby giving temptation more and more power. And given enough power, temptation will consume our thoughts, redirect our actions, and demand our worship. Temptation doesn't take kindly to being starved.(page 101)

Wow! Powerful words. Convicting words. And no it does not take kindly to being starved. It will kick, scream, and fight for our undivided attention. Satan can not take our salvation but he will snatch up our freedom and our purpose here on earth quicker than you can ever imagine.

God's power is made perfect in weakness. This stirs my heart. Weakness is hard, but weakness doesn't have to mean defeat. It is my opportunity to experience God's power firsthand. Had I said yes to that one bite that first night of vacation, there would have been more compromises.Compromise built upon compromise equals failure.(pages103-104)

Yes it does. We do one little thing and the next thing you know we are sitting at the bottom of a well decorated pit wondering how we got here and how we are ever going to be able to get out. We can not compromise girls. We need to stand firm and rejoice that even though we may be weak God's power can be made perfect in that weakness.

Stinkin', Rotten, Horrible, No Good Day - Chapter 11

This chapter had so much good to say. We do need to be prepared for the hard times because they are as inevitable as the gray hairs in my head. Lysa gave a lot of good info on what to do in the hard times.

Taking off my mask means I have to admit that there's a problem, and I really don't want to do that. Admitting I have a problem will likely require that I make changes, and changes are hard.(page 112)

I think that sums it all up. This is hard. Nothing about it is easy. We want easy street. We dream about it. We want to wake up one morning thin, happy, and contented and we don't want any part of it to be hard. But it is hard so instead we wear the mask and ignore the elephant in the room until we reach our breaking point.

I really liked what she said about our prayers where we don't speak at all. There is such value in just being still and quiet. It is a discipline I a know I need to work on.

Well there are just a few of my thoughts this week! I would love to share more but a messy house, 3 kids who still need to finish school, and 2 dogs are calling my name:) What about you??? Next week we will discuss chapters 12 and 13!

Have a blessed week!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What I''m Reading Wednesday

*I started this post last Thursday and it never got posted. Sorry. Life comes at you fast sometimes and I am barely keeping up:) I figured I would put this up today and we would read the next two chapters (10 and 11) for next Wednesday.

Part of the reason this didn't happen last Wednesday was because I spoke at a MOPS group that was quite a distance away and I had stuff I needed to do when I got home and I went out to eat with some relatives visiting from out of town but mostly it didn't happen because I have NO typing skills. I type like a two year old and posting anything takes me forever. I need to have a good 30 minute window of time to be able to post. Sad I know. I should have paid more attention in typing class in high school....it's probably one of the many classes I failed. I saw the new software that will type for you what you speak and I would love to know if that really works because it would be so freeing. I would probably be on here so much you would get tired of me. I often feel like there are things I want to tell you but run out of time to sit down and get it typed out.

I also run out of time to proof everything I type so if any of you saw in the last post that I spelled as with two s's before it was brought to my attention and I fixed I'm sorry.

The exciting thing about MOPS last week is that I got to meet Made to Mother. I love putting a person to the comments. So cool.

I also was going to post and tell you all about the Philadelphia Flower Show I went to last Monday but don't have time to type it all out. I will just say it was fabulous and if you have never been you should go. I don't even plant anything and I loved it(I won't even pretend to have a green thumb - I kill everything). Two friends of mine went with me. We went on a bus trip. It was a blast. So next year get out your polyester pants suit, get on the bus, and go.

There is so much I loved about the two chapter we read this week I will never be able to share it all(what are tankles anyway????). If you are reading along and you are behind just keep reading and then feel free to go back and post comments wherever you are in your reading.

Making Peace With The Realities of My Body - Chapter 8

Plus, being at her goal weight and still having to watch what she ate without the reward of watching the scale numbers go down wasn't as fun.(page 80)

Ugh! I know the feeling and this has been the most frustrating part of my journey. In 2006 I went on a trip to Las Vegas with my mom and grandma and it was when I got home from that trip and looked at pictures that I knew I had to lose weight. I did Weight Watchers and lost 40 pounds and felt great. After I lost the weight I thought I could go back to eating the way I used to and when I did the weight started coming back on and I realized that this was no longer about a "diet" for me but I would need to eat this way for the rest of my life. I was sad about that.

Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale. (page 81)

Well said. I talked about this before. That number on that stupid scale controls me and my mood for the day and I have yet to kick the habit of standing on the stupid thing every day.

I could eat healthy and exercise until the cows come home and never look like Victoria or any of her friends.

Yes, eating healthy and exercising get our bodies into better shape, but we are never supposed to get the satisfaction of our souls desire from our looks. Our looks are temporary; if we hitch our souls to this fleeting pursuit, we'll quickly become disillusioned. The only true satisfaction we can seek is the satisfaction of being obedient to the Lord.(page 82)

I have hitched my soul to this fleeting pursuit for more years than I care to mention and guess what.... There is always someone younger, thinner, and prettier than me. There I said it. I will never be Victoria or one of her girls but I can be a girl who is healthy and in love with Jesus. I have spent too many years disillusioned and feeling unsatisfied. I think it is time to evaluate and make some changes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Though we travel the world over to find beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." (page 83)

Well said. I love it. There were other things in this chapter that really spoke to me also but for the sake of the length of this post I will just end with that quote!

But Exercise Makes Me Want To Cry - Chapter 9

If I was honest with myself, my issue was plain and simple-a lack of self-control. I could sugarcoat it and justify it all day long, but the truth was I didn't have a weight problem; I had a spiritual problem. (page 88)

For too long I have kept my spiritual and my physical separated. I am realizing my weight issue is really a spiritual issue. Now to deal with that.....

However, if I were really honest, I'd have to admit I made time for what I wanted to make time for. (page 92)

I have said this for years. I always complain I don't have time for certain things but I always make time to do what I want to do. I believe this is true of most everybody. We spend too much time doing things that don't matter and complain we don't have time to do the things that do.

My mom loves to say the best kind of exercise is the kind you'll do. I agree. (page 94)

Ok...I agree but what happens when you hate all forms of exercise????? People probably think I love to exercise. I exercise 4 to 5 times a week and have for years. I walked, I ran, I participated in a few 5k's and now I have a gym membership. I still hate it. Just this morning on the treadmill 3 minutes in and I wanted to die. I wanted it to end. I do it because I know I should(not to mention that unending pursuit we discussed earlier) but at no time do I truly enjoy it. I guess it is one of those disciplines, that like it or not, I will always need to do. By the way I just loved the title of this chapter:)

Well, that's my thoughts for this week. I would love to hear from you!

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I''m Reading Wednesday

Good Wednesday morning! I hope you all are doing well. This week's reading was once again convicting but also uplifting. I never feel condemnation when reading this. Lysa's honesty and vulnerability make it so easy to relate.

Growing Closer to God - Chapter 6

Yes, I want to lose weight. But this journey is so much more than that. It really is about learning to tell myself no and learning to make wiser choices daily.(page 60)

I think when we finally come to the realization that life is a journey and it is about learning to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily more than about the one thing that is in front of us at the moment(losing weight, relationship struggles, addictions, etc.)we finally are at a place to make real change. We can make wiser choices each day and before we know it we will have permanent lasting results in our life.

Being ruled by something other than God diminishes our commitment and will make us feel increasingly distant from Him.(page 66)

Well said. We so often work on so many areas of our life that we think we can just hang on to this one bad habit or we think there is this one thing we really just can't change but God won't mind because we are doing well in other aspects of our life. The truth is that the one thing we are struggling with is keeping us from the relationship God desires to have with us. Not only that eventually we wake up and realize how that one thing has made us distant from God.

I'm Not Defined by the Numbers - Chapter 7

I am a Jesus girl who can step on the scale and see the numbers as an indication of how much my body weighs and not as an indication of my worth.(page 74)

Ugh! That was a tough statement for me to read. I have been obsessed with my weight and how I look for more years than I care to share. I remember my French teacher in high school pulling me aside because she feared I was anorexic. The number on the scale that I look at more than once a day is usually what I use to define myself and what my day will be like. I feel a twinge of embarrassment just admitting it but it is true. A battle that I have yet been able to overcome. I have for too long confused wanting to be healthy with vanity.

We can literally say to a comment or a thought that presents itself to us, "Are you true? Are you beneficial? Are you necessary?" And if the answer is no, then we don't open the door of our heart. We make the choice to walk away from the comment and all the negative thoughts it could harvest if we let it in.(page 75)

I hope you caught that....it is our choice. So often as women we take one little comment and we run so far with it that it nearly threatens to destroy us. How freeing to know we have the power to not allow that to happen. We don't need to dwell on things that are not true, beneficial, or necessary. We don't need to feed those negative thoughts. We can close the door on it and move on victoriously!

Well ladies, I would love to hear from any of you that are reading along. Next week chapters 8&9. I have some other stuff to share but haven't had a spare minute to get on here but I hope to before next Wednesday. I have a MOPS group Friday I am speaking at and a retreat at our church this Friday night and Saturday. I am also preparing some training material for a women's ministry team I am on. With all that and regular life stuff the blog is hard to maintain but I don't want to give it up because when I do get on it is very therapeutic:)

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Wow! The last week just flew by here. Between appointments and school I just haven't been on here:( It started last Thursday with some record high temperatures which I absolutely love and now we are back to the freezing cold which I absolutely hate. Oh well the way time flies around here I will be sitting in the warm sunshine before i know it. Yeah! I thought this week was a good week in our reading and this book is so easy to read.....so let's get to it.

Friends Don't Let Friends Eat before Thinking - Chapter 4

We must be aware that desperation breeds degradation. In other words, when what is lacking in life goes from being an annoyance to an anxiety we run the risk of compromising in ways we never thought we would. (page 42)

This is so true. When something is lacking we will become desperate. I know in my own life I have ended up compromising in many ways I never thought possible. Awareness of this fact is the first step to safeguard yourself. Walking around saying that it could never happen to you is one of the most foolish things you can do.

Be aware and be on guard, sweet sister. Know that these are devised schemes to lure you away from your commitments. Find a friend who can speak rationality into your irrational impuleses. A friend who will hold you accountable, speak the truth in love, and pray for you. (page 43)

Accountability will be a huge factor in your success or failure. We were never meant to do life alone. It is much easier said than done usually because of our insecurities.

Complete this sentence: I do/do not want to invite a friend to help me on my journey to healthy eating because....(page 47)

Because then I would have to be honest with myself. It is much easier to try and fool myself than to try and fool someone else.

Made for More - Chapter 5

"You were made for more, Lysa, you were made fore more." I remembered it especially in those early weeks of my new healthy eating adventure when I was tempted by one million assaults on my sugar-deprived taste buds. I just kept mentally repeating.....made for more......made for more.(page 50)

The neurons in our brain create paths based on the things we repeat the most. If what we say to ourselves is mostly negative the path becomes more well defined and easier traveled. Repeating "made for more" to ourselves can change the path of our regular thinking and thus change our life. You get control of your thoughts and you regain control of your life.

I would love to share more today but I need to be going. What about you??? What struck you this week. Please check out the comments section. Becky and Made to Mother have lots of great things to say. Next week is chapters 6 and 7!

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Can I just say I am loving this book. One of the things I like the most is how easy it is to read and how short the chapters are. I actually feel like I am accomplishing something:)

Replacing My Cravings - Chapter 2

Vowing to do better, eat healthier, and make good choices, I head into my dy only to find myself making more excuses, rationalizations, and promises for later.

Always later.

And the cycle I've come to hate and feel powerless to stop continues.(page 28)

I know exactly what she is talking about. I am queen of later. It is a trap. Tomorrow comes and I still fall prey to temptations. A cycle that desperately needs broken. Thankfully God is interested in breaking our cycles. I also love how honest she was about she starts every morning on the scale. I had to laugh because I have weighed myself everyday for years and I go through the same ritual and I hate it.

How do you respond to the idea of using your cravings as a prompt to pray? How has prayer helped or failed to help in your previous food battles?(page 33)

I think it is an awesome idea. Just like the idea of using scripture in the previous chapter. I just never tried it I guess. I used to never think of my spiritual and physical being connected. Prayer was never my first response when trying to lose weight or fight off a craving.

Getting a Plan - Chapter 3

Food had become like a drug. And honestly, it's a good drug of choice for a Christian woman. Every church event I attended readily provided my drug out in the open with no hesitation or judgment.(page 37)

Amen.....enough said.

My changes were always temporary; therefore my results were also temporary. (page 38)

This has always been my issue. I lose weight and I go back to old habits and I gain it back. This chapter was all about finding a plan that works and making it a lifestyle. That is the key. It is not a diet it is a way of life.

Do your feelings change when the plan is about food, what you will eat and not eat?(page 40)

Yes! As soon as I have a plan in place I feel deprived, I crave things, and I get grumpy. I need to change my perspective. On page 39 she encouraged us to look at it as embracing healthy choices rather than denying ourselves.

Well there are some of my thoughts....what about you??? Next week we will discuss chapters 4 and 5!

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vanity, Sanity, and Other Issues

Ok so this week there was no Fabulous Friday because quite frankly I did not feel "fabulous" at all. I did realize some issues that I have. Don't you just love that. When you realize your still carrying around the same old baggage you just decided to carry it in a designer bag instead of a sack and so thus you pretend it is not there.

I have not been feeling well. I decided to go back to the doctors. I was already there two weeks ago. I end up at a doctor's office maybe once a year for myself if that. It' s not that I don't like doctors I just don't tend to like to listen so it really makes the visit a waste of time and co-pay. This is my issue not theirs. They are usually very kind and gracious.

After arriving on Thursday to find out that the antibiotic didn't help the bronchitis and now he hears wheezing in my chest and wants to put me on heavier antibiotic and steroids and an inhaler I was needless to say not happy. The conversation went something like this:

Doctor: We have 2 options just prescribe the medication because I am sure you need it or do a chest x-ray to confirm my findings although I don't think because of the wheezing I will change my mind on the treatment anyway.

Me: Can we do the chest x-ray because I don't want to take all the medication n(what I really mean is I have worked hard for the last month at the gym and I don't want to go on the steroid and I don't want to slow down)

Doctor: Chest x-ray confirms pneumonia

Me: Do I really have to take ALL that medicine and is bed rest really necessary?

Doctor: ?????

I believe he was dumbfounded by my response and it was then I realized that vanity and me are still fighting the same old stinking battle we have been fighting for years. You know if with pneumonia I insist on going to Kohls for furry leg warmers that are on clearance for $9 I have issues. Notice I said issues not issue.

Issue number two:

I have not slowed down. Went to co-op Friday and then to a museum I had free tickets for. I reasoned what homeschool mom gives up FREE tickets to a museum????

Issue number three:

I am stubborn and I don't listen and I hide it really well. Which will probably lead to an early demise. I told my kids just to cremate me put me in snack baggies and give me away to all my friends and leave some of me at all my "happy" places. So if you come across a baggie of ashes at the Coach Factory Outlet you will know things did not end well. This is the point where my kids go check their bank accounts to be sure they are saving enough for good quality therapy.

But seriously I tell women all the time they need to CEASE all the activity and then I go and don't listen myself. Ugh!

So it's Sunday morning and here I sit not feeling a whole lot better. Realizing I still struggle to put into practice all that I teach. I have been meditating on Jeremiah 23:29:

"Is not my word like fire," declares the LORD, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?

I know I need His fire to penetrate my heart and mind. And sometimes I am stubborn as a dang rock but He is gracious and He is faithful and He is patient with this work in progress who still has "issues".

By the way the leg warmers are too cute. I think they are actually called "boot covers". And the steroid has made me eat like a wild woman and feel like I am about to jump out of my skin. Greg said it is how I normally act the medication is just allowing me to see it. Funny Greg, real funny.

Well enough of that....as you can see I still have a lot of unpacking of my baggage to do.

Have a blessed Sunday!