Friday, October 30, 2009

List #14

Happy Friday everyone! I'm so thankful the weekend is here. This week seemed long to about you? Anyway...Friday brings another one of my lists. I noticed that not too long ago, I blogged a list of fun memories. Well, I'm doing that again today, but I've gone even further back in the memory bank for these. My ten fun memories this year are from my childhood days. Writing each one down brought a smile to my face as I relived the moment. Those days were anything but normal - quite dysfunctional actually. But, there were still the "good times", and those are the times that I like and choose to focus on. How about you? Anything from childhood that brings a smile to your face even today? I'd love to hear about it! Be blessed today friends!

Fun childhood memories:
1. Going to watch the Star Wars premier at the drive-in with my family and our neighbors in the back of a station wagon. Popcorn was everywhere!!!
2. Getting ice cream some days after school at “Dori’s Dario” with my dad and siblings.
3. Driving to my grandparent’s house in Kansas and trying to find a license plate tag representing all 50 states (never did see Hawaii).
4. Studying dinosaurs in Kindergarten. To this day, that is the only thing I remember learning in Kindergarten.
5. Attending my first concert with an attorney my mom worked for and his daughters - the GoGo’s. Does anyone even remember them? (Belinda Carlisle was the lead singer.)
6. Going to Disneyworld!!!!
7. Riding a ride with my dad at Worlds of Fun in Kansas that didn’t quite “work out” for him. Long story to this one, but trust me - it is definitely a fun memory!!! Hillarious actually!!! Maybe I’ll share more sometime!!! I’m actually cracking up again thinking about it. Anyway…moving right along…
8. Waking up to mom’s homemade biscuits on an occasional Saturday morning. She claimed it was the original Hardee’s biscuit recipe. Who knows? But…they were delish!
9. Participating in the District Spelling Bee in 4th grade but losing because I couldn’t spell lieutenant. I’ll never forget how to spell it now!
10. Pushing my infant sister around in my doll carriage - until I got caught, that is.

Friday, October 23, 2009

List #13

Some of you know that I've been making some pretty big changes in the way I eat, exercise, and just overall take care of myself. I've been battling my weight for quite awhile, and the battle wages on, but the victory is around the corner! However, in studying up on nutrition, in general, I've really begun a quest to try and get myself healthier. In other words, it's not just about the weight loss anymore. Even if I were already a skinny-mini, I would still employ many of these same things, because they simply make me a healthier woman. People often ask me what kind of diet I'm on, or what am I doing to lose weight. My "diet" or new healthy way of eating is a mix of different things. I've done so much research and have been on almost every diet imaginable that it's really a blend of many programs and much study. I also have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which confounds problems by creating a pattern of insulin resistance in my body. I say all that to say - carbs are NOT my friends right now. So, for this week's Friday list, I thought I would share ten things that I'm doing along this healthy life journey that I'm on. I'd love new ideas from you if you have any you'd like to pass along. Or - maybe you have a success story to share. Feel free to comment or email me (see my profile page)...I'd love to hear from you!

10 New Things I am Doing to Incorporate a Healthier Lifestyle:
1. Lowering my carb intake to no more than 60-80 mg a day.
2. Eating almonds, blueberries, flaxseed oil, and olive oil daily - all very high in antioxidants and regulating insulin levels (no I’m not diabetic but struggle with insulin resistance)!
3. Paring protein and carbs together. I don’t just eat empty carbs - I put protein with it.
4. Eating 3 smaller meals and 2-3 healthy snacks daily.
5. Eating NO refined sugar - only natural sugars.
6. Using Stevia as a healthy, natural sweetener rather than Splenda, Sweet ‘n Low, and Equal.
7. Taking a multi-vitamin each day.
8. Avoiding potatoes, rice, crackers, bread, and other heavy starches.
9. Getting more sleep.
10. Getting exercise. This is actually limited right now due to a foot and ankle injury, but I’ll be up and at it again very soon!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Don't Look Away...

A friend of mine recently shared this Hillsong film trailer on her blog. I was speechless after viewing it. I beg you...please don't look away. It's a 4 minute video that just may awaken a sleeping giant within you, but you need to watch. It's easy to say I really don't have time right now, but seriously? It's only 4 minutes. Maybe you've seen it before, but maybe it's time to watch it again. Perhaps it's too painful - you know what's coming, and you can't bear it. How can you not? I'm becoming more and more passionate for the poor, forsaken, orphaned, downtrodden, and hurting in this world. Their pain is becoming my pain. Their stories are piercing to my soul. So...what am I going to do about it? How about you?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Great Tomato Escapade!

Last Saturday started out like any other. We had a list of things to do in the morning, but the afternoon was free to simply do whatever suited our fancy. My husband, Chris, saw a sign on his way home from work Friday that said "Tomatoes. $5 bushel. You pick." That was like gold to Chris for many reasons: (1) tomatoes - the tomato season is practically over, and we never got to make the salsa we planned to do this year, (2) $5 for a bushel is almost unheard of, and he loves a bargain, and (3) the idea of picking his own tomatoes was almost too much for him to bear - he loves hard work, especially the kind that results in a great reward! So, I offered to ride along on this mini-adventure. Not to mention the fact - the whole salsa idea came from me when I announced one day that I wasn't going to eat anymore of that yucky store bought salsa.

So, off we went. We traveled just a few miles down the road and followed the "you pick tomotoes" signs that he first spotted on Friday. After awhile, however, the signs ran out. That didn't stop my husband. He kept driving along the "no trespassing" private roads look for that glorious tomato farm. By this time, I'm beginning to think we really ought to abandon the entire operation. Not Chris. He was full steam ahead. Finally - in our line of sight, we came across the remains of a tomato field. But...where was the person to take our $5? Were we perhaps at the wrong farm? The posted, no trespassing, keep off signs were everywhere. I begged, "Please honey...I don't have a good feeling about this. I don't need salsa that badly." I simply wanted this mission aborted and soon!

Then...all of sudden...what did we see? People! Yes, a small group of workers were out in the middle of this tomato field picking up sticks (or something that looked like sticks). Chris decided he would get out of the truck and go see if he could find out how to get some tomatoes. Oh my goodness. I was mortified. After asking him to lock me in the truck, as I was feeling very unsafe, he trotted off. It seemed like he was gone forever, and the angle in which we were parked didn't allow me to see him very well. I knew it...I just knew this was not a good idea. Suddenly, I heard the tap, tap, tap of fingers on the window. He was back and waiting on me to unlock the door for him. Excitedly, he couldn't wait to tell me the news. "They said I can have all I can pick if I can just find something to put them in." Seriously? I couldn't believe. Then, my doubts set in. "Are you sure that's okay? Where do we pay for them?" It was then I knew that I must not have totally understood what he was saying, so he told me in a different way. "The tomatoes are almost gone, but they said I can take whatever I can pick. No charge." No charge? Did I hear that correctly? WOW! This is a huge blessing! Oh I started to smell salsa in the air already! But wait...

Who was this woman that I was turning into? Moments before, doubt was in charge...leading me into that vicious cycle of negative thinking that I frequent so often. The type of thinking that keeps me from doing half the things that I really want to do, because I'm constantly questioning myself. But...not Chris. Because, he was willing to step into the unknown a little bit and take a little risk, we were blessed with a bag full of beautiful tomatoes that probably would have cost $40-50 in the grocery store.

As I was sitting there waiting on him to return to the truck with the newly picked tomatoes, God pricked my spirit, and I instantly new this was a blog in the making. He, in His very gentle way, reminded me that this was just a small example of what I do constantly. He's ready to bless me and pour out favor upon me, but I have to be willing to step outside of my comfort zone and take a few risks. I have to be willing to possibly even suffer a little embarrassment along the way. If I'm ever going to live in full victory, with God at the head of everything, then a little discomfort and a lot of trust is going to be required. How about you? Are you willing to take a risk that might lead to a bigger blessing than you can imagine?

Each time I taste that yummy salsa now, I remember our Great Tomato Escapade. More importantly, I remember the lesson God taught me that day, and I am learning to welcome the risks...and the blessings!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hiatus Over!

WOW! It feels so good to be back in blogger world. I intentionally took some time away from my blog writing to "be still" and try to listen to God a little better. Do you know how hard that is to do when life is full of crises...sprained ankles...heavy prayer for friends/family...Twitter...reading...blogging...and JESUS!?!? You see how I listed Jesus last in that little list? Well, sadly, I need to be a little transparent and admit that I feel that's where I had been placing Him in my own life. My daily devotional time had been a little dry, because I would simply read the Word but not absorb it. My mind would be scattered with all of the other daily distractions clammering for my attention. My prayer time seemed uneventful and rather rote until a friend would call in a dire need of prayer, and then I would rush to my knees in intercession. My own "dead" time of prayer had hit hard the girl (me) that is passionate about prayer and KNOWS and has SEEN prayer work in powerful ways.

So, how could I let this happen? It wasn't an overnight event. It happened gradually. First of all, I knew that God was doing another NEW work in me. Things were changing inside me in a way that made me fall more and more in love with Him each day. He was revealing more of His purpose for me in this world, and I got excited! However...just as this was happening, Satan was kicking his attacks up a knotch on me. He didn't like to see the changes taking place within me, so the fiery darts were launched, and I missed some but got hit square in the heart by others. Yes, folks, he is a very real enemy. Just try living in a way that pleases God for any length of time, and you will have an unwelcome "visitor" show up for sure!

Thankfully, through the power that only the Holy Spirit of God can provide...he opened my eyes to what was happening and demanded that I step away from some things to hear from Him more clearly. I obeyed, and He delivered! I'm certainly not at a perfect place (and never will be), but I'm re-focused and anxious to walk hand-in-hand with Him as He continues to shape me to be the woman He's called me to be.

Thank you for your support during this time away. I appreciate the prayers more than you know. I'm happy to be able to continue this life journey with you in "blog world" again. Be blessed!