Archive | December 2011

Time to go grocery shopping!!

In the process of getting ready for my Daniel Fast to begin on Monday, I have a rather large job ahead of me today. First, I need to clear all the “bad” or restricted stuff out of the house. I kind of expect some resistance to that from my husband. He is also changing his eating habits on Monday due to his already present health conditions. He has high blood pressure and diabetes, which fortunately he has been able to avoid requiring insulin for, yet he does have to take oral medications.

His plan is to reduce carbs by avoiding certain foods. He was doing this a while back, well about a year ago I guess, and did fairly well. He did manage to lose some weight, but more importantly his HgA1C, which is a blood test used to get an average of what your blood sugar levels have been over a thirty day period, was lowered significantly. BP was still elevated though not as high as it had been, so we knew he was making progress. Then, for reasons neither of us understand, he started back eating in the same way we have for years.

Fried foods, high fat foods, sugars, anything that was bad for you is what we ate. This was during a time when my mobility and ability to cook or do much of anything was significantly limited due to back issues. I had surgery on my C-spine, and the low back problems continued. I finally had low back surgery last August and slowly, but surely, my back has gotten better. I do not have to deal with the low back pain like before. I am now able to actually stand and cook a meal as long as it isn’t a meal that takes a really long time!! During this time, my husband did most of the cooking. For the most part, his cooking expertise is with fried foods, or cooking on the grill.

I know what you are thinking, if he had been cooking on the grill more we probably would not have gained as much weight as we did over the past year, but that just wasn’t a possibility. This time, there is no option.

For 21 days, I will be eating fruits, veggies, whole wheat tortillas, brown rice, oats, whole wheat pasta, rice cakes, nuts of any kind, and popcorn. However, I cannot have butter, or milk, or anything that comes from an animal or is not natural. The hardest part for me is going to be doing without anything dairy. I love my butter, eggs, and CHEESE!! Of course, that is probably a major part of why I am currently at about 90 pounds heavier than I should be. I hear soy products are not that bad. :-/ We shall see!!

My beginning exercise is going to be mild walking and (don’t laugh) playing games on the Wii. There are several games that can be played sitting down, but even those I will stand and move while I’m playing. I have been sedentary for so long I figure ANY exercise is better than what I have been  doing! Slowly I will be able to work myself up to walking a significant distance. I had hoped to be able to work my way up to running because I know that will take the weight off, but one of my back doctors advised me against ever trying to run. I figure I will see how things go and if I am feeling pretty good once I get my walking built up, I may try a light jog. We will just have to see how things go.

I am not just doing this for 21 days. I am changing my eating habits and exercise habits for life. Not only that, I am changing my daily prayer time. I am committing myself to a minimum of half an hour to an hour in prayer and Bible study. I know that with God on my side, I can only succeed!!

The hardest thing for me Monday morning will be to get up and not have that cup of coffee. I know that even though the Daniel Fast book says if withdrawal symptoms are unbearable, I can have some coffee and will have to taper myself off. I am determined to not have to have that cup of coffee. I hope to be able to stay so busy that I won’t even realize I haven’t had my coffee, or anything sweet, or any other type of junk!

I have plenty of projects I can work on, as well as plenty of Bible studying I can do. I just have to remember to drink my water, which is the only beverage I am allowed to drink. And not just tap water either, filtered, spring, or distilled water only.

I believe I can do this fast and be successful with it. I love fruit and veggies. I don’t mind whole wheat pasta or tortillas, really can’t tell a difference between them and the white flour stuff.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Phil. 4:13 NIV

Preparing for my first Fast!

I have been seeking a program that would include Bible study with lessons on eating right, exercise, working on the physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental aspects of health. I do NOT want to say I am going on a diet.

Diet is such an angry sounding word. DIE-IT! That’s what it sounds like! I don’t want to do that. I want to make lifestyle changes and get healthy. Now, for me to get healthy I do have a large amount of weight to lose and maybe at some point along the way, I may give you my starting weight, maybe once I reach my goal. I will post a photo a little later down the line as well, maybe…..

I know that once I get started with healthy eating habits, and daily exercise, daily quiet time with God, and most importantly time spent in prayer, I will begin to feel like a new person very quickly! I know it’s not all going to be easy. Giving up something you love never is, but I have no doubt that it will be worth it. Even if I don’t lose a pound, if all I do is get closer to my Lord and learn to spend more time with Him daily in prayer and quiet time, it will be worth it.

So, Monday, January 2, 2012, I am kicking things off with a 21 day Daniel Fast. Basically what that means is that I will eat only fruits and vegetables, nothing that comes from an animal of any sort, so I will give soy milk an attempt! YIKES!! God will help me.  And there are certain whole grains that I can have. The only beverage allowed is filtered water!! NO COFFEE!!! That is going to be the toughest part!! But, with God’s help, I will make it, and I will finish this first 21 days a much stronger person, much closer to God, and much more ready for what He has in store for me!

CHRISTMAS AT MY HOUSE–THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

I used to love Christmas time! It has always been my favorite time of the year! People seem to smile more, there is a little more “pep” in peoples steps, and everywhere you look, you see LOVE. Families come together to celebrate, exchange gifts, eat WAY too much food, and just be together, because of the love they share. Often times friends do the same through various ChrisItmas parties and other activities. Again, because they share a love for each other.

Unfortunately, in my family, there has been so many instances, or episodes, of various problems, none of which would have occurred if there were true, unconditional and familial love between the persons involved. I know I was not the greatest of parents with my kids as they grew up. I know I made every mistake in the book, and many that never even made it into the book!! But I have learned over the past couple of years a lot about repentance, forgiveness, and loving no matter what.

I have asked for forgiveness from my children for the things I put them through growing up, and all have said they forgave me, but through their actions I know they did not truly forgive me. I have asked God for forgiveness, and have been granted that forgiveness by Him.

Thank heavens that God doesn’t hold grudges! Or throw something that happened 10-15 or more years ago, into every disagreement you have! Once God forgives you of something, it is over, gone, never thought of again. Why can’t humans be that way? I guess they could, if they were to forgive like God forgives them, but so many do not. I think many times  they do not have a good understanding of what actual forgiveness involves, and they surely won’t listen to me tell what it is supposed to be like!  They have to choose themselves to WANT to know what true forgiveness is all about, and WANT to truly forgive someone (in this case, me), and let the past be just that, the past. Over, done with, unable to be changed, but can be forgiven and forgotten.

Today, Christmas day, we had our family Christmas at my house. It saddens me somewhat when I hear of people going to Christmas at this relatives or that, and having multiple Christmas’s with family and dear friends. They celebrate at each one with lots of delicious food, exchanging of gifts, lots of together photos with big smiles on their faces. Almost seems like something off a Lifetime movie, doesn’t it? My family, at least my husband and I, have only one Christmas with our children and grandchildren. We don’t get invited to other family Christmas’s, and then there are some family members we just don’t visit. I know one day we will regret that, but there is just too much pain still present from various past hurts, to allow those visits to happen.

I am working on my part of that pain. I pray to God almost daily asking Him to help me get beyond this pain or anger or whatever feeling it is that I have, that prevents me from having a relationship, a close relationship, with whatever relative I am having the problem with. I am pleased to say that I have been able to ask God for forgiveness for my feelings, and I have asked Him for guidance, wisdom, and courage to ask the person directly for forgiveness. I just have not put myself in a situation where I am near those people to ask for forgiveness, and honestly, I don’t know if the situation will ever present itself. I do want that situation to occur, but honestly, it frightens me. The forgiveness to be sought and given, by both parties, is related to some very difficult and hurtful situations.

Then, there are the situations with my children. They don’t anxiously anticipate coming to my house for a holiday gathering. They come, I think, because of a feeling of obligation, or maybe it’s just to see the others that will be here, or possibly just for the food and gifts. I don’t know for sure. I haven’t asked because I might not like the answer. I want to do whatever I can to change that. I want my children to WANT to come over to my house and just visit, or play games, or especially at holidays, I want them to WANT to come over here. But I don’t know what I can do to make that happen, other than pray. And believe me, I do that!

Maybe this next week, while my husband is off on vacation, I will be able to convince him to take a trip with me, to ask for forgiveness from a couple of family members who deserve that. Please join me in prayer that this happens, so that hopefully, my life can get a little closer to being on the path God wants it on.

Thank you so  much for your prayers and any and all comments are appreciated!

I hope each of my followers has had a very Merry CHRISTmas!! And I pray you all have a wonderful, exciting, and prosperous new year! God bless you all is my prayer tonight.

The Great Christmas Tree Adventure 2011

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It will be Christmas Day in just a few days and thankfully, I have all shopping that I plan to do DONE!! I finally got my tree situation taken care of and now have a beautiful tree up! Getting a Christmas tree up has just about driven me absolutely insane over the past three weeks!!
My Christmas tree has always been the most important decoration of the season for me. I have always been picky about how my tree looked, the shape of it, how the lights were, how many lights there were (had to be LOTS of lights), and how each ornament was placed. I wanted the perfect tree!
Well, I learned a valuable lesson this year. There is no such thing as a perfect tree!! There is the tree that you can accept because it looks “good enough”, and then there is the tree that you are very pleased with, ALMOST perfect! I finally have that tree up!!
After fighting with my 9 foot tall pre-lit (HA!) tree which I have had for about three years, I finally got all the lights removed from it since well over half were not working!! This process took me about a week and half!! BIG TREE!!! LOL I then proceeded to put the tree up, fighting with breaking branches, and restringing working lights as I went. When I got to the point of having ‘only’ 7 sections left to put back in place and put lights on, I made the executive decision to convert my 9 ft. tree to a 7 footer!! This was saving me from having to fight with another 4 sections of branches and restringing lights on them! So my wonderful hubby helped me remove that section. That’s one of the wonderful things about having a fake tree, at least a slender one. You can remove an entire section and not even notice!!
Well, once this section was removed, I still had 4 more sections to string lights back on, the very bottom branches. After finishing a section and about a half of another, I look up and the very top of my tree has no lights!! I had been leaving the lights on as I go because I like to see where the empty spots are as I go! When I looked up there and saw the entire top of my tree, which previously was well lit, now dark, I have to admit, I lost it!!
I was so upset! I seriously considered just taking the entire tree down and not even putting one up this year! You would have to know me to know how devastating that thought was to me. I have NEVER not put a tree up at Christmas. In fact, I am usually one of the people putting it up the weekend after Thanksgiving! My tree has always been a very important part of my Christmas décor, and it just never seems like Christmas until the tree is up and has at least one or two wrapped gifts under it!! That’s just me. I was so upset about this tree not cooperating with me, I spent a couple of hours in tears!
Once I was able to collect myself and think somewhat (or so I thought) rationally, I proceeded to take the offending tree down! I decided I would either go and buy a real tree and put it up the next day, or if all else failed, I would purchase a small 4 footer and put it up. I was just so crushed!!
I pulled out the trusty computer once I had the tree down and sufficiently bagged up, and went to Walmart.com to see what they had to offer in fake trees. I found a gorgeous white tree with clear lights. So, I decided that I was going to go the next morning and buy that tree and some colored lights to add to it and that would be my tree. It was really pretty in the picture and it was a 6.5 footer!! Perfect!
Well, when I got to Wally world the next morning, I found my tree, got the lights to add to it and a couple other things and headed back home to make my tree perfect!! Only problem was, when I got home and hubby was helping me to set up the tree, we discovered it did not have clear lights on it, rather multi-colored!! I had purchased multi-colored lights to add to it. I wanted the clear mixed with the multi’s. I just said, “you know what, I don’t care. It’s just going to have colored lights only on it!” Of course, the hubby didn’t argue!!
Once we got it up, and the extra lights put on it, it looked amazing!! Even without ornaments of any kind on it! The extra lights I purchased were icicle lights. I thought they would look pretty cool hanging on the tree and actually look like there were lots more lights than there actually was! I was right. Those icicle lights were just the thing! I love lots of lights!! I know, I already said that.
By this time, we were both exhausted, and I was pretty sore from chasing a not quite yet potty trained puppy (hubby’s) and slipping and falling!! So, we called it a night. I decided I would finish it the following day.
So, the next morning, I go to the shed and dig out my ornaments and begin decorating my tree. I say it took me all day to decorate it, but actually, since I didn’t get out of bed until almost 11 that morning and was done by 5 PM, I didn’t think I had done all that bad! (I had stayed up too late staring at my pretty tree the night before!)
Once I had this tree decorated and sat back to actually look at it, I felt such a sense of peace. As I looked at all the ornaments, the crosses and angels, nativity ornaments, and of course all the ornaments for the grandbabies, I felt so peaceful. But then, I always do feel a special sense of peace when I stare at a beautiful Christmas tree! And I loved my new tree!!
So, even though I thought I was about to go off the deep end because of a silly tree, I survived. By the grace of God, I didn’t just throw the offending tree out in the yard and scream “forget it!!” I cried and prayed, and then it was time to move on to a different plan.
Thank you Lord for being with me throughout the entire Christmas tree adventure! Thank you for helping me to maintain a little bit of calm when I was ready to totally give up. Thank you Father, for helping me to see that Christmas is not about a tree or decorations, but about sharing YOUR love with others. You, God, gave all mankind the ultimate gift on that Christmas night so long ago. I don’t know if there were trees around that manger, but can you picture everyone trying to build a manger in their living rooms every Christmas season? I thank you for all the wonderful gifts you give me each and every day. Lord, I praise you for the ability to purchase gifts for all of my grandchildren and children this year. I especially thank you Father, for giving me a better perspective of what this special season of the year is all about and I pray that you help me to take the spirit of Christmas with me throughout the rest of my days on this earth. You have given me so many opportunities this past year and so many lessons, some of which I did not want to receive, but I see why you gave me those lessons now. Father, I beg your forgiveness for the many times I have said or done something that was disappointing or hurtful to you. Father, the last thing I want to do is hurt you. I pray that, with your help, I can be a bright light sharing the love of Jesus with anyone I come into contact with the rest of my days. Thank you Father for loving me, even when I am at my worst, and helping me to see the way to turn myself from being at my worst to getting closer to being at my best. I know I still have a long way to go, but with Your help Father, I know there is nothing I cannot do! I thank you for that promise. Father, I ask your blessings on those I have spoken to either in person, or online who are hurting and need your loving arms wrapped around them. I pray Lord that my children all freely seek and accept those loving arms you want to wrap around them. Thank you for loving me Father. I love you Lord! In Jesus’ precious name I pray these things. Amen

Standing up for my beliefs

In recent days/weeks, a controversy has been brewing in a small town  just north of where I live, in the town I grew up in. It seems that a women’s civic group decorated the courthouse lawn and as part of the decorations, they included a nativity scene. This is not something new. They have done this for years! But, now it is a problem, at least according to a group calling themselves “Freedom From Religion Foundation.”

The people of this foundation have stated that they feel it is unconstitutional for the nativity scene to be there. They have no problem with the Santa or snowman however.

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/pastors-to-defend-nativity-tell-atheists-enough-is-enough.html?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150442280073808_20062230_10150444389203808#f33b4439a25bb78

This is just one of many stories online about this. Simply google Henderson County Nativity Scene and I am sure you will come up with several others.

I am looking for a little guidance here. There is going to be a rally/vigil/prayer chain, any number of things to call it, it’s a gathering of Christians who want to fight to have the nativity scene remain. I plan to attend. Where I need my guidance is in some of the things that these people are saying and how I should respond. I am a “young Christian”, not by years of age, but by my knowledge of the Bible. I know the basics of what we are told, but when someone says to me that my christianity encourages murder of innocent women and children, where does that come from? Or, they say that women are not supposed to pray out loud, actually they say no one is supposed to pray out loud and they refer to Matthew 6: 5-6 as the referrence for this. But women are not allowed to pray outloud? I’ve never heard that and if it says so in the Bible, someone please direct me there.

I guess I am asking for some encouragement and words of wisdom for when, or if, I am directly confronted by any of these people. I know I need to do a lot of studying!! And believe me, I am!!

I also ask that each of you please be in prayer for this community as they stand up for their beliefs. As one of the pastors said, “It is time we stand up for what we believe and stop letting them run all over us.”

Thank you, and God bless you all!!

 

most favorited all-time – page 3 | craftgawker

most favorited all-time – page 3 | craftgawker. This is just one page of a pretty awesome crafting site I have stumbled upon! There are some very creative people with amazing talent out there! Many of whom are ready to share their talents, ideas, inspirations, etc., with fellow crafters! I love this! I am finding some really cool ideas for future craft projects and can’t wait to get started on some of these!!

Wii are about to get serious about getting healthy!

My husband and I are both in our late 40’s. (Gee that was hard to write!!) We both have back problems, including surgeries in our past, as well as other things going on with our health, most of which will be greatly benefitted by our loosing some weight! We both know this and accept it. We know that we want to get healthy to be around for our grandchildrens’ weddings and to see great-grandchildren born! We want to be around to build our dream house, complete with my husbands’ dream workshop. We want to be able to enjoy our retirement years feeling well while we do a little travelling, site seeing, maybe some out of state hunts! (My husband loves to hunt!) But, we both also know that we will not be able to get healthy by sitting in our comfy recliners and watching “The Big Bang Theory” or any of a number of other mind numbing television programs! We know we are going to have to put some work into this, especially since we both LOVE to eat.

So, we are now the proud owners of a Wii game system, complete with the Wii Fit Plus software! This is some pretty cool stuff if you haven’t heard of it. It has a balance board which also serves as a set of scales, and your exercise ‘mat’, if you will.  As with any computer program, you input your information, height, birthdate, sex, etc. Then you go through a series of tests to check your posture and balance. When you complete these, the screen will ask you if you would like to know what your BMI is? My first thought was, “well, duh!! That’s what I bought you for!” But, I simply pressed yes, and the numbers started climbing. It was kind of like watching one of the tally boards for a Jerry Lewis telethon! Those numbers just kept going up, and up, and up! I was beginning to think the system was not going to be able to handle what my final number would be! Then I started wondering if I would be able to handle the number?

Well, it was pretty bad. I stretched the top of the bar!

Then the system asked me how much weight I would like to lose? At this point I was thinking, “you’re the smart one, you tell me!” But, it doesn’t work that way. So I pointed the remote at the + sign and started counting up. I thought it would go up by pounds, NOT OUNCES!!! I DON”T NEED TO LOSE OUNCES!! (Deep breath…..okay, I’m better now). So, I found myself holding the button down and just letting the counter climb. I have a number in my head of how much I want to lose, but the system wouldn’t agree with me! It stopped at 22 pounds! Ok, now don’t get me wrong, If I lose 22 pounds I will not be complaining!! But, I will be resetting the system at least 2 more times after that, possibly a third even!

Then the system asks you how long you want to lose this? My first answer wasn’t even an option as I was thinking, NOW!! But, it gave me 2 months. It also questioned whether I realized that the recommended amount of weight loss was 2 pounds per week in order to prevent weight loss rebound! Did I want to reduce the amount I want to lose? NO, NO, and NO!!! I want all  this excess off of me and I want it gone NOW!! If I could have a body reshaping surgery of some kind, I think I would do my best to have it done! That is how badly I want this weight off.

But, until now, I haven’t wanted it off bad enough to actually work at it. I want the overnight miracle. I want to go to bed weighing what I do now, and wake up in the morning having lost all the weight I need to lose, feeling wonderful, and looking 20 years younger! Yes, I know….I dream big!

So you are probably wondering what has made me decide to get serious with this and commit myself to a steady weight loss for probably at least the next year! Well, when you have trouble walking the 20 yards or so to your mailbox and you can’t breathe when you get there so you stand there as if you are going through the mail for a minute to catch your breath before heading back to the house, you know you have a problem. The breathing difficulties are just another thing to add to my list of weight related complaints. Sleep difficulties, concentration, cognitive thinking, pain in just about every joint and muscle in my body! Those are a few of the physical compl, jouraints, but there is more.

I want to be able to walk into a clothing store and buy me an outfit off the regular size rack! I want to be able to enjoy playing with my grandkids and not have to sit down as soon as I have walked outside with them! I want to be able to breathe comfortably as I sit in church, or anywhere else as far as that goes. I want to be able to get in and out of my car with ease! I want to be able to make a trip to the grocery store and not be praying for an angel to help me put the things in my car because I am too tired and sore to do so myself! I want to enjoy life again!

But, I think the most important part of my weight loss/getting healthy journey is the fact that I want to be a healthy temple for Jesus to shine through. I want to be a light for the Lord. I am praying that He lead and guide me through this journey, that He helps me to make good decisions, and that He gives me strength and endurance during my exercise time, as well as strength and wisdom when it comes to my food choices. I know I will be successful at this, because I am depending on God to lead me, to help me. I know that as long as I depend on God to help me with making the right decisions, the rest will be a piece of cake!! (And, maybe if I am really good, He may let me have an occasional piece of cake!)

So, a journey that originally was going to begin after the holidays, because let’s face it, who wants to be dieting during the holidays, has already begun. I am not yet sticking to a stringent eating plan, but I am slowly building up my exercise endurance. After having been a couch potatoe for the past three years, ANY movement is going to help me feel better and probably drop a couple of pounds! So, I am going to start slowly and  will really hit it hard after the New Year comes.

If God is willing, and I work hard, this time next year I will have a whole new body! I already have a new mind set, so, with a little work, actually a lot of work, but it will be worth it. I will be a much more fit representative for my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. I will be better able to perform the tasks my Lord asks of me. THAT is my ultimate goal. So, with God’s help, and prayers from everyone possible, as well as hard work on my part, I will succeed in this task! I know God wants me to succeed and I want to make Him pleased with me.

Thank you Lord, for giving me this challenge, and for the opportunity to use this personal challenge as a potential Bible study for a group!