2016 Word

A new year full of promise, hope, new adventures, and dreams.

Not exactly…

Just more of the same-old, same-old.

I’m not one for keeping New Year’s resolutions. I’ll let the fitness hype go this year. But, now that we are getting settled in the new house I’ve returned to working out a bit. My youngest loves Wii dance games and I like to join him. I try not to think about how awkward my attempt at dancing (especially to some of the hip-hop songs) must appear. Sometimes I jump (not literally) on the treadmill and walk a bit. New songs on my iPod would be motivating…but every year it seems the learning curve for iTunes grows exponentially.

Progress in healthy eating of the slow and steady variety is coming along nicely too. Not out of desire for health though. Mostly to escape pain. So many foods (the stuff that actually tastes good!) aggravate my stomach or ignite my inflammation troubles. I quit trying during the move but time to get back to taking care of my health. The joints in my hands and wrist are so painful. I expected the pain but not the weakness or the crunchy gritting sound in my wrists. I’m back on my ginger now that all of the holiday travel is over so some of the discomfort is already starting to ease up a bit. Sadly, the strength doesn’t come back…I’ve learned that sad fact this year.

I wanted to choose a word this year. A point of focus. Originally, I had clarity or perceive in mind. But as I spent time meditating, praying, reflecting and remembering my reaction to this year’s trials…well, those chosen words were without meaning.

my childhood in a picture

my childhood in a picture

Fear beat me down this year. Fear brought on by rejection. My wee little black hole, you know, the one in my soul? The core center of my very self. (Please see my series on Made To Crave if you are interested). As this year’s events unfolded my black hole began to grow in strength. My deep sense of unworthiness threatened to overwhelm me as I felt discarded…again. I’ve broken down and cried many, many times since July. All of the fear from my abusive childhood returned. I felt like an unwanted little child all over again. Unloved and not even worthy of being loved.

I’m wise enough to know that I’ll never be rid of those feelings…not entirely. I’m blessed to be loved by an ever patient man. My husband is the warmth that keeps those old demons away. I should have been a pillar for him this year but he supported me instead. Only out of love for my husband did I not torch and burn a few bridges to lifeless ash. I am consumed with fear.

I do not want to be ruled by fear. I do not want to be that nearly lifeless child pleading to be loved.

My word is brave. My word terrifies me.

Let me be brave…

 

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Wibbly Wobbly Weightloss: Goals, January Weigh-in and Fasting

January goals

January goals

A new year is already here and my goals for the year (healthwise anyway) are all set. Before the previous year ended I went in for my so-called annual visit (that never occurs annually!!!). A couple of days later I got a phone call from my doctor wanting to put me on cholesterol medication. I asked for more time and told him that I had already lost two dress sizes before the holiday season hit and that I could do better. He gave me six months. So, I now have an added goal of getting my cholesterol under 200 by June. I had originally planned to just work on my diet until Spring and then add exercise when the weather warmed up. So much for those plans because the best way to really improve cholesterol numbers is with exercise.

I was all set to start exercising last week and then caught my little one’s nasty chest cold so I mostly laid around and then passed it on to my poor husband. Yesterday was my first workout of the year. I even took the kids for a walk outside after lunch. We had to bundle up since it was only 28 degrees!

I’m starting the year at 175 pounds. I gained just two pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas (I’m calling that a win). I’ve set myself the goal of losing just five ponds a month. I wasn’t sure that I was ready to go for two pounds a week…yet. I also measured my waist, chest, thigh, and hips. I’ll post those measurements every month along with my weight. I am looking forward to placing five stickers in the jar on February first!!!

Fasting (I promised to share my findings on this back in November)

When I faithfully practiced Catholicism I fasted according to church law…and never asked why. Lately, I’ve began to wonder about fasting and how it relates to my Christian faith. I especially wondered how I am to enjoy feasts at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthday parties and other occasions if I never fast? Really, what is the point of a feast without a fast?

Here are the verses I turned to:

Matthew 6: 16-18, Matthew 9:14-15, (same teaching Mark 2: 18-20, Luke 5:33-35) Acts13:3, Acts 14:23 and Matthew 4:4.

Matthew six is from the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus teaches the Beatitudes. He is telling us what a Christian life should look like. He shows us a parallel. First the practice of the  hypocrite or worldly-minded person and then the practice of a true believer. In this verse it is our motivation for fasting that matters.  So am I fasting (and praying, tithing, and participating in church) because I want others to see me as a “good Christian” or am I seeking a more intimate relationship with God within these activities?

In Matthew four I learned why to fast…because “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” I understand this to mean that I need God. In the practice of fasting I am more aware of my dependence on God and realize the true strength of the spirit over physical limits and worldly cares.

From my time in the monastery I remember studying the sermons of St Augustine. He wrote that for our prayers to fly faster to God we should send them on two wings…fasting and charitable giving (I cannot remember the exact quote). Other early Christians also wrote about fasting including Clement of Rome, John Chrysostom, Peter Chrysologus, and Jerome. In the early church fasting was a part of prayer and almsgiving.

The practice of fasting helps us to be more aware of our need for God. It helps us have more compassion for those who suffer. Fasting teaches us greater awareness of selfishness in this “all about me” consumer mentality in which our culture is immersed.

A New Chapter

I need to change a few things…well maybe more than a few. I’ve spent a great deal of time this year reading and preparing to change my diet and exercise habits. Yeah, reading and thinking…but not doing. Time to change that little fact.

I do have a plan. Since I am an emotional eater it is important that I eat only when I am hungry. I’ve checked out several diet books from the library and even watched that “juicing diet” documentary on Netflix. But I could not find (or just plain wasn’t willing…the juicing seemed really extreme) a “diet” that I thought would work for me. Most of these diets had too many rules or excluded food groups…I like bread and I am not going gluten-free. Sorry. These books did not help me one bit on taming emotional eating…maybe I checked out the wrong books. Last week I was reading Ellie’s blog over at New Creations Ministries and the thought occurred to me that I did not need any of these books or a new diet to help me overcome emotional eating. I already have the God-given ability to know when I am hungry…when my belly rumbles!!! All I have to do is listen to my body and eat only when I am hungry. Sounds simple but I already know it will be difficult to break these old habits. One day at a time.

The second part of my plan is to exercise. I have a few videos and a treadmill so I will get up early to exercise. If I can get it in before Littlest gets up then I can get a work-out in…otherwise it just won’t happen. If I am really lucky then I will also have time to read Scripture and enjoy a hot cup of coffee before getting my little scholars up and starting school. I also will not pick up my iPad first thing in the morning…my day just goes all wrong if I hop online. Since I decided to wean myself from Facebook and Pinterest a bit I’ve noticed that my mood is better.

We took a break from school the past three weeks and we are all ready to jump back into our school schedule tomorrow. I worked several hours in the schoolroom today getting ready for our restart. Our new order of the day is more structured but I think that is what all of us need right now.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”  2 Corinthians 5:17

Exercise, Bacon and the Proverbs 31 Woman

My thoughts while exercising

My thoughts while exercising

I started one of my goals for the year this week…exercising. Now I know that traditionally I should have started in January but…well…I have no excuse. Exercising is not one of my favorite things to start. I am fine once I get started and am always glad for having done so afterward…the getting started part is just hard. Why? Because I have to get out of bed before everyone else…I really like to sleep…sigh. 

Truth is I may have not got around to exercising at all if it wasn’t for my friend who is about to start a Proverbs 31 study. I would love to go to her study but my priorities and schedule don’t always mix with my wants. So I decided to read about the noble Proverbs 31 woman. She is amazing and I fall very short of her example…like…not even on the wagon. Verse fifteen says she gets up while it is still dark. She is prepared to take care of her family…this woman has her priorities straight. After reading that line I told Jesus it would have hurt a lot less if He had hit me with an iron skillet…

I’ve been struggling on working exercise into my day…well…struggle would imply some kind of actual attempt that failed. So…I’ve thought about working exercise into my day but have found it hard to find a good consistent time. Excuses, excuses, excuses… So after pouting about getting up early with Jesus for a few days I managed to get up early this week and exercise, shower, and have coffee with the Word all before my household woke and needed me. The three days I managed to accomplish this were really good days.

Healthy Living

I’m working on my resolutions for this new year. I know from many past failures that a diet won’t work for me. I never stick to them…not ever. Too many rules…too many restrictions. And really…I do not have time to read lables….getting in and out of the grocery store with four kids and remembering to pick up everything on my list…crazy enough! And sometimes the ingredients in healthy recipes are…different. Call me crazy or stubborn but I’ll never eat cinnamon on my chicken…not happening. This past couple of weeks I checked out several healthy cookbooks and only found two recipes that we might like to try…

I wanted to cry.

But maybe trying to change my family’s entire way of eating was too big a task to tackle at the moment. I did learn in the Made to Crave study that a goal needs to be broken down into small steps. Changing our entire diet is too overwhelming. So, instead I am going to work on making the meals we like a little healthier. Part of this goal will be to make as many dishes as possible homemade instead of store-bought. Starting with breakfast…

Homemade Granola

4&1/2 cups rolled oats, 1/2 cup sliced almonds (does the package say “slivered”?), 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, 1/2 cup pecans, 1/4 cup wheat germ, 1/8 cup crushed flax-seed and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix all this up in a big bowl. Really you could mix in any nuts and seeds you like…this is just what I had on hand.

Simmer together 1/2 cup honey, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour this into the bowl of oats and work together. Try to get it all nice and moist then spread onto cookie sheets and bake until crisp and golden at 300F for about 45 minutes. You will need to stir it once or twice.

My kids liked it and ate it with milk. My husband ate it a handful at a time. WOW!

I like granola with yogurt and this week I am going to try my hand at making homemade yogurt…maybe greek yogurt. I did read some labels of the yogurt brands we like at the store the other day…not really as healthy as I thought yogurt should be…

I am also taking Elli’s advise over at her blog. Chewing my food slower and gradually increasing fiber in my diet. Small steps…

Linking up with Wellness Wednesday Blog Link-Up.

 

One Word

The past few days I’ve read about others choosing a word for the coming year. A word to focus on to see them through their well-chosen resolutions…a word with spiritual meaning… a word to bring them closer in relation to The Word.

I want this coming year to be a good year…a year of grace and mercy. Honestly, I do not feel optimistic about the future to come. I am…uneasy. In all honesty, I feel these are the days of Noah. I do not say that lightly or believe it with open arms. The America I love is fading before my eyes. Freedom slipping away. The world seems to be in anticipation of some subtle calamity to come

All my worries aside…I choose hope. My word for 2013 is hope. Despite my fear of this bleak unknown I choose to live in hope. In Jesus I will place my trust. He is my hope and joy.

2013 To Do List

This is my very first New Year’s resolution!!! I avoid these things because I am afraid that I will fail. Or I know that some goal really isn’t important to me at all. I would like some things to be important but they are not and I fall. This year really is different. I have to make some changes…for me…for my husband and kids…for my brother…because I love Jesus and I am grateful for the life He is giving me now. Really grateful…the kind of gratitude that goes from lukewarm to changing the way I see everything and everyone around me. Some kind of switched turned on somewhere in my soul and now everything is different.

I’ll give you an example: I took a meal to a friend who just had surgery. A nice thing to do..pat myself on the back for being a good friend and Christian and all that…This family is dear to me. I love them…more than they know really. I never get to spend enough time with them. With one of them not able to work at the moment things are a little tight for them. Before leaving I told them that if they needed anything else to let me know and I would be happy to help. The Spirit convicted me and I cried all the way home. Huge tears, loud sobs. I felt like a failure as a Christian! My brother is humbled by his situation and I tell him to humble himself further and make him ask for what he needs?!?!? A Christian’s eyes should be open to see the need and fill it.

I feel like a horse with blinders over my eyes. The really frustrating part is that I know the blinders are still there. I think that if for a moment I could really see the way Jesus sees us that I would die of a broken heart…

Well I got a little off subject…

1. Be healthier. My back is killing me and my current diet isn’t helping either. I need to lose 30 pounds. So healthier food choices and daily exercise. This resolution will be hard…
2. Be a better wife and mother. I’ve been coasting for a while here. I haven’t been bad but I haven’t been great. I’m going to embrace my biblical place in the family and I couldn’t be more excited about a resolution!!!
3. My brother will not be a visitor in my home he will be home…with us. I want him to know he can stay as long as he needs to. He is not a visitor he is HOME. This resolution is needed.
4. Get my CCDW license. Look out y’all!!!
5. I will complete these resolutions to the Glory of my God…cause I am a just another Jesus girl. He is my everything and I plan to live that way…