Monthly Archives: November 2011

Black Friday.

Black Friday.

Today is Black Friday.  The biggest shopping day of the year.  I am sitting on my sofa, still in my pj’s and it’s after 2PM.  I did get up around 9 this morning, but I cleaned the kitchen floor, did a load of laundry, vacuumed my bedroom, and the ceiling fan in my bathroom.   I have also managed to read about 4 chapters in The Circle, by Ted Dekker, the 25th Proverb and Psalms 132-135.  I’ve checked out Facebook this morning too.  Many of my friends have been posting about shopping and all of the great deals and crowds.  I’m not jealous.

There was a time in my life, when I planned my Christmas shopping and headed out before the sun.  I’ve stood in lines holding toys and electronics for hours.  I fondly remember applying for my Target card, while standing behind 200 other people, holding a hopping Tigger, that I almost didn’t get.  It was a dive and grab, and I was victorious.  My youngest son beamed with delight on Christmas morning, and we tolerated that bouncing, chatty Tigger for many, many hours, days and weeks after.  I asked him if he remembered that Tigger today.  He said, “no.”  I wanted to yell, “Really?!? What!?!  I almost committed assault and battery for that thing!  I stood in line forEVER!”  Really??  He said that he does remember the Thomas the Tank bike, that we purchased at 4:30AM at Zany Brainy in 2001.  I only stood in line for about 45 minutes for that one.   It was the bike he learned to ride, and I have scrapbook pages of the event in memorandum.  I guess I should have taken a picture or two of that dang Tigger.

Several years ago, we started a new tradition at our house.  We only give the kids 3 gifts.  A gold, which represents a treasure they have wanted.  A frankincense, which is something for their mind, and a myrrh, which is something for their body.  We still hang the stockings, and fill them with fun things, in keeping with Christmas traditions.  It has been AWESOME.  Having 4 kids, I still must shop for 12 gifts, but there’s a defined point and a plan.  When they tell me what they would like, it’s a short list.  Also, by calling it what it is, it keeps the theme of the real meaning of the holiday in focus.  I can usually get everything online too… Usually.  Last year they couldn’t think of anything that they really wanted, so we adopted a few families in our community and put all of our resources there.  We still surprised them with a treasure on Christmas morning, but it was more memorable to shop together, and deliver the gifts to those families than lots of gifts under the tree.

So, what did you do today?  Are you finished your shopping already?  I still have to get the 12…  I wonder if it’s too late to go find a good deal?


Thanksgiving. Really.

Thanksgiving. Really.

I obviously don’t plan well.  I posted on “gratitude” a month ago.  If I listened to the blogging professionals, I would have mapped out my posts on the calendar.  Oops.  I’m just ahead of my time…. If you would like to read my post on Gratitude for this Thanksgiving holiday, here ya go:

I do have plenty to be thankful for this year.  I am really looking forward to having my 3 eldest off-spring back in the house.  My daughter arrived last week, and has informed me that she “likes me more” now that she doesn’t live with me.  Really.  We have enjoyed some quality time shopping, painting and watching television.  We’ve only had one tough conversation about laundry room etiquette, that didn’t go as well as I had planned.  I’m hoping the boys don’t show up with all their dirty duds, or we will have to have a family meeting.

I’m not a big fan of the “slaving in the kitchen”, but I do it anyway.  I am thankful for the abundance of food and a functioning kitchen to prepare it in.  I’m pretty spoiled with a husband that tends to the turkey, and all of our side dishes are pretty easy…except for the sweet potato casserole. My favorite part of the day though, is when all of us are around the table.  It makes all that cooking worth it.  When the kids were young, we always made it a point to have dinner together as often as possible.  As they got older, and got cars and jobs, it was more of a challenge, but we still managed a few nights a week.  Now that most of them are on their own, it’s one of the things I miss the most.

I have so many blessings in my life.   Here’s my top 10.

  • My Salvation/Grace
  • The Word
  • My husband
  • My children
  • My family
  • Friends
  • Health
  • Church
  • Wisdom
  • Provision

There’s so many more, but most fall under one of those categories.

So, what are you thankful for?  What is your favorite part of the day?

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Contest is Over…

The Contest is Over…

The weight loss contest is finally over.  I am happy and sad.  I will miss the check-in’s and conference call updates, but then I’m glad I don’t have to check in or be on the phone for an hour every week.  Sigh.  Last night was the big finale.  All 20 of us got to dress up and share totals with everyone, in front of our friends and families.  We also waited with baited breath, for the announcing of the winners.  Third, Second and First place.  Obviously, I didn’t win, or the first sentence of this post would have been I WON!!…  Which, technically, I did win, in that I lost weight, inches, and dropped 2 sizes.  I learned healthy eating habits and found a surprising love of exercise.  Cash and prizes would have been a nice end to this training, but not everyone gets a prize in this world, and that’s OK…  I was truly happy for those that did win a prize, and I was blessed to have even been in the company of each contestant.

I will continue on this healthy journey, because I still have more to lose, and I just feel so much better!  I love not getting winded while climbing stairs, and there’s much more of a selection of cute clothes in the smaller sizes.  I feel better about myself when I eat healthy, but I will still visit a pizza buffet on occasion. It’s my personal belief that there’s one of those in Heaven anyway. Really.

Thank you to those that prayed for me.  Thank you to all of my friends, that pushed me and walked with me.  Changing life long habits is not an easy thing to do.  It does take willpower, and discipline, but it also takes support  and encouragement from those that care about you.

If you want to lose weight or just be healthier, and don’t know how to start, let me offer some advice.

  •  First, ask God for strength and self control.  Realize your very breath comes from Him and He cares about your health.
  • Consult with your doctor.
  • Get an accountability partner, or group.  Someone that you can share your measurements and weight with…weekly, and your struggles, daily.  The company that sponsored the contest I was in is
  • Clean out your pantry of all junk food.  If it’s there, you will eat it.
  • I highly recommend keeping a food journal for a few weeks.  There are many great, free, web sites that will calculate your foods for you.  You will be shocked at what you eat!  I used
  • Start walking.  Go for 1 lap around the block, then work up to 2 and so on… Cardio baby.
  • Start lifting weights.  I started with 2 pounds and worked up to 10.  There are lots of online resources for your weight training as well.
  • Get enough rest!  Sleep is very important to a healthy body.
  • Drink lots of water!  Avoid soda (even diet) and sugar.
  • White breads are not your friend… go all wheat or go home.
  • If you use food for comfort, stop.  You must re-direct that need.  Food is not lasting comfort anyway!  My suggestion is to find comfort in Christ.  He really can fill that need, if you just believe, and let Him.

After a few weeks of this, you will be surprised at what a difference it will make.  If you can stick with it for 12 weeks, you will have really developed some new habits.  If you do this, and then have a bad day, or a bad meal, don’t quit!  Every day is a new day and a new beginning.  Praise the Lord…

Don’t try another diet.  If you can’t do something regularly for the rest of your life, it’s a waste of time and money.  Weight loss is about life change, not dieting.

I know you already know all of this.  Most people do.  Taking the knowledge and turning it into action, is where we all struggle.  I can testify to you though, that the effort will be worth it, and if I can do it… Anyone can.  Really.

To read the beginning and middle of this journey visit – and then see …. OR just click on the “weight loss” link on the left, under “blog topics”… 🙂

Are you struggling with weight loss?  Tell me about it… I would love to encourage and pray for you!

3 Empty Rooms

3 Empty Rooms

I’ve been a bad/sad mood lately.  Well, I guess I should say that I’ve been fighting off a bad/sad mood.   I’m normally a pretty happy kind of girl.  My standard mode of operation when something troubling happens, is to get upset, vent, vent again, pray, repent, and then I’m usually over it.  Just like that.  I don’t dwell or ponder like I used to. (although Rob doesn’t always agree with this statement, so I might be in denial)  It makes for a happier home when I don’t freak out on unsuspecting family members too, and I prefer a happy home… and denial.

So, I was trying to figure out where this bad/sad mood is coming from and I had few ideas.  First and foremost, it’s the devil.  He’s always to blame, so I will give him the credit where it’s due. I also think life as a Mother of four, self-employment, home-schooling, and being involved in youth sports, give ample opportunities for stress.  Plus, I haven’t been to an all you can eat pizza buffet in 11 weeks…Seriously.  With all of that driving me nuts regularly, I think I’ve narrowed it down to one new thing that has happened recently.

My second son moved out last weekend.  I was pretty neutral about it, so I thought.  Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of him, and I know he can manage out in the world.  He’s twenty-one years young and extremely responsible, for the most part.  The thing is though, this is the third adult kid to go and do things their way, contrary to my recommendations.  Really.  I would think that sooner or later even one of my kids would go, “huh… wow… Mom is almost always right about stuff…  Maybe I should try it the way she suggested?… Hmmmm. Yea!… I’m going to listen to my Mom!”  (Sorry, I really walked down that dream road for a second…)

The funny thing about that is, I am the same way.  I never listened.  I did everything the hard way and it sucked.  Life was hard and it didn’t have to be.  That’s one of the downsides to being strong-willed.  Do I have regrets?  Well, no.  I can’t, because then I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  I am a living testimony of what God can do with a strong-willed life. (can I get an AMEN?)

It’s wanting that testimony for our own kids wherein the problem lies.  The trials we go through is where our growth and character comes from. (Rom.:5:3-4) It’s usually when we are in the middle of a mess, that we cling to God the most.  We are real quick to realize our need for Him at those times, instead of the times when life is all peachy and we are feeling self fulfilled. So, I’ve prayed every day for my kids to walk with God.  I pray for them to have a love and desire for Him that exceeds all else in their lives.  Even when we are the cause of our mess, can we truly appreciate a Savior, if we never feel the need for one?  Can that come without trials?  I don’t know.  I really hope so.

I’m a big talker of faith, and I’ll be the first to share how God has worked things for good in my own life.  I do live in grateful awe every single day that I am forgiven.  It’s walking all of that out as a Mama where I trip sometimes.  It makes the Word so real for me, as God tells us His way, out of His love for us, we continually do things our own way anyway.

Letting go, and having faith in God over our kids lives is not the easiest thing to do.  I know He loves them even more than I can imange.  I hate that God has no grand-children, but then on the other hand, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

If you have any advice for this mom with 3 empty bedrooms…. Please share.