Friday

Fitness Friday: BOO!

Beautiful Kellie sent me this video. She said it looked like a "fun Halloween workout". You have to remember that Kellie is a VERY young lady who does things like marathons and boot camp for "fun". It looks like an INCREDIBLE workout! I may have to try it... later. After I've fueled up with a few dozen pounds of Halloween candy!



Something to think about: As of tomorrow, there are 61 days left in 2008. Think back to January, and the resolve you had for this to be a new year, a different year, a new you. Let me encourage you: the year isn't over. I know we all THINK that once Halloween is over, it's all over but the cryin' 'cause there's one holiday (and eating occasion) after another and nothing about your health or body will improve in the next two months. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!

We still have 1/6th of this year left -- almost 20%! What would you like to do with this time to improve your health? I'll tell you one of my fitness goals: I'm working on being a runner (again!) I'm currently running 2 min. (at a 9:00 mile pace), then walking 3 min.(x5 in a workout). My long-term goal is to run a 5k at a 7:30 pace next fall. Obviously, I've got some work to do. Um... in the next two months? Let me think... I think my goal is to run a full mile at the 9:00 pace (or better). I'll keep you posted on how that's going...

What would you like to do? Are you almost 'on a roll' of regular exercise and would like to really cement that? Are you starting to watch what goes in and want to remain steadfast about honoring your body by how you fuel it? Do you have a plan? Make a plan!

What are you going to do (fitness-wise) to finish strong???!!!

Wednesday

With All My Heart

It's jacket season! You know what that means, right? I currently have jackets (or sweatshirts or long-sleeved t's) in my car, on my dining room table, on the couch, in the hallway from the garage, and probably a few scattered about various schools in my school district. And? Thus it will be throughout the season. In May we will be assured that we can scoop up all of the jackets, gloves, headbands, etc. and put them away.

I, of course, am one of the worst offenders. I have all manner of cold-weather exercise gear because I HATE to be cold for any length of time. I will wear layer upon layer of clothes to go running in to avoid being cold when I first leave the house. I come home with jackets and shirts tied around my waist, headbands (that cover ears) and gloves crammed in waistbands and pockets. I try to get them put away, and I think right now they currently all are, but occasionally all that gear just adds to the cold-weather litter around the house.

Jacket clutter aside, I don't know that EVER in my life I have had such a wonderful fall weather-wise! I have never lived in a place that experiences fall. Louisiana is just muggy year-round and you go from steamy muggy to cool-ish damp muggy at some point, then Christmas is always 80* and muggy. Central Texas just has a "cooling off of summer" period, and West Texas usually does summer, Indian summer, then a blue norther comes through and it goes from 85* one day to 44* and raining the next and *BAM*!! Winter. But all of October has been this amazing weather around here. I hope you are enjoying the same!

With the creeping in of cooler weather and earlier darkness, our lives are actually about to slow down a bit. We are tucking away a soccer season for Riley, winding down volleyball for Ashley, and unbeknownst (isn't that an awesome word...? :-) to us when it started, Ashley also played in some tennis tournaments this fall and did fairly well. We had several weeks of tennis tournament and soccer practice Tues. nights, church Wed. nights, then volleyball game and soccer practice on Thur. nights. Ashley has her last volleyball game on Thursday -- then basketball try-outs start Monday! :-) We get a couple of weeks off of games while they get the team squared away. It will be nice!

So, has anyone noticed the economy? Gas prices are awesome, aren't they? :-) Oy. As you might imagine, this wasn't a great time for our family to go to one income. And, as we head to the end of the month, money is a wee bit scarce around here. Money that blows, money that jingles, doesn't matter -- there isn't much of it. We haven't missed a meal and no one is going cold in the cold mornings. I confess to worrying, though. Besides sleep, I think worry could be my fall-back Olympic sport. Every glance of my wallet/ bank balance sends me into mental calculations of days left vs. dollars left of the month. And I worry.

This morning God brought me here:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5,6

I have this verse on my wall -- a wedding gift from 16 years ago. It spoke to me fresh this morning to "lean not on my own understanding": my understanding doesn't see how it will work, my understanding can't imagine it working out. God challenged me to trust Him with all my heart and let Him work it out. I'm claiming it for today!

Monday

A Thought For You

Are you aware that it costs our government 2.5 cents to manufacture each penny it makes now? Are these really the people you want in charge of your health care?

Saturday

Good Things Out There

Tip Junkie has some ideas for an over-the-top "Ho-Ho-Hoedown"!

Here you can see why I like to imagine Heather as my BFF: she calls 'em like she sees 'em. Powerful words.

I totally get this.

Tried to post this video here, but it's blah-blah "Quick Time" blah-blah, so you'll just have to see for yourself...

Observation

With the obvious exception of the above-average intelligence of the readers of this blog that may also happen to stop in at a garage sale or two, is there an unwritten rule somewhere that says that all garage sale attendees must drive either rudely or stupidly or both when attending a garage sale? Is putting your car in park where you are really the best parking spot? Should you really back up in the middle of a busy residential street? Exactly how slowly can your "scout car" be going and thought to still be in actual motion?

These things make me wonder...

Friday

Fitness Friday: What about him/her?


I got a comment recently about Fitness Friday that called to mind the question, "How can I make my wife/ husband/ daughter/ son/ loved one want to be healthy?"

In short, you can't.

Doesn't that make it easier? Think about your own journey towards better health -- nothing happened until YOU decided and made the choice to improve your health and fitness. If you happen to be the wife and mom, you generally have much influence over the food that comes into the house and the menus in general, and you can certainly serve healthy foods. But if you take the "you are on a diet!!" approach -- to either your spouse OR your child, you will simply create an atmosphere of secrecy and mistrust.

A few years ago, Troy had a couple of borderline high blood pressure readings -- one at the dentist and the other... someplace other than a doctors, but I don't remember. Anyway, it really concerned me. I knew enough to know that before a (good) doctor would put him on medication, they would simply encourage him to lose a few pounds and exercise more regularly. I prayed about it -- for about a week -- and finally told him, "I'm concerned about you because I want you to be with me for a long time. I know that I have the knowledge to help you with this if you choose. Let me know what I can do." He listened. And thought. And pondered. For a few days ('cause that's how Troy operates). He finally got me to help him get on an exercise routine and watch his diet more closely. He did lose a few pounds, and he also had a dr. appointment that had a perfectly normal blood pressure reading in the meantime. My concern for him could have easily turned me into a controlling, evil woman, but that would have only succeeded in forcing him to hide things from me. And I absolutely don't want that -- from my husband or children!

Actually, that is one of the reasons I started Fitness Friday. I have several friends who have health concerns that could be addressed by losing a few pounds, a healthier diet, and some regular exercise. There is nothing I can do to change their lives or health for them -- it must be their decision. So I toss this information out here. The only person it's affecting is me -- because I'm doing the only thing I know to do. The world isn't at a shortage of information about how to solve our health problems due to poor diet and inactivity.

So, I said many more words to say (again) you can't do it FOR anyone else. You can do it for you, take time for you, model good health habits, and pray.

Take care of you, stay healthy, and be fit!

Thursday

I Could Be Wrong

I read an editorial recently by a woman who had spent some time overseas as a missionary. She said that as she was leaving the states for the first time, a former missionary told her, "Tell yourself often, 'I could be wrong,'" He explained that humility is one of the most important virtues to take with you into another culture. The writer then correlated that thought to the culture of politics.

I am thrilled that this election seems to be bringing in large numbers of voters. I am thankful that so many people are passionate about bettering our country. But with passion often comes sharp words and heated tempers. So, I would like to challenge each of us, in our most determined views to remember, "I could be wrong."

Oh, many of us -- myself included -- have scriptural reasons for believing what we believe and voting the way we will vote. But, I could be wrong. Scripture and my faith hold me to a view that I should support one thing and should be against another. Some issues are huge for me because of my faith. But, I could be wrong. I know that other Christians don't see the same issues as huge, and have other reasons that they think my vote is going against scripture and destructive. I have to be willing to admit that they may have a point.

Humility must not only be willing to believe that there is a possibility that I am wrong, humility is quick to listen and slow to speak. There isn't much of that happening during the political season. We all may need to make a resolve to listen a little more and speak a little less. Heaven knows the world could use it the next 12 days (thank GOODNESS it's only 12 more days!!)

Even if I can in no way figure out how someone sees 'x' and 'y', and decides that 'z' must be a logical conclusion to those two facts, I still am called to treat that person with dignity. They are a child of God -- that voter/ politician/ journalist/ church member screaming why my thoughts are stupid, I am called to not only love that person, but treat them with honor. Oh, make no mistake -- because I am only human, sometimes the best I can do to honor a person is avoid. The Spirit has much more holiness to instill in me before I am able to honor those who berate me. But I believe that I am called to just that.

Just my thoughts, rattling around my head, inspired by the editorial. I could be wrong.

Wednesday

Got a Gift?

I feel almost human today. I'm so very, very tired. Then I get so very, very angry -- every time I lay down to rest, my throat starts itching until I have to cough. I burst into coughing fits, then my eyes are watering, I'm sweating, I'm definitely not resting and I am MAD. Sleep deprivation will do that to you!

So, in and amongst the wandering the house not lying down and sighing sporadically, I've been thinking about spiritual gifts. The magazine I was reading yesterday -- the one that I pretended was research -- had an entire section about using spiritual gifts. It had two interesting statistics from the Barna Group: 71% of believers have heard of spiritual gifts (which tells me 29% need to read the word just a wee bit more) and 31% of believers can name a spiritual gift they believe they possess. More than 2/3 of believers have no idea what gift they have been given from God, much less are using it for His kingdom.

Actually, that's probably unfair -- I'm sure some of the people are using a gift every day that they don't even realize they have, such as administration or exhortation. This is one of those areas that ties into me being impatient with people unwilling to examine themselves (obviously my spiritual gift does not include patience -- especially not for coughing fits). I think that if we are keenly aware of our gifts, we will seek out those things, worshipping Him by our service to Him in our area of giftedness.

Okay, I had lots of yada, yada that made sense to my medicated brain but not-so-much here. So, what do you think? About all of it?

a)Do you believe that ALL believers have been given spiritual gifts?

b) If so, and you are a believer, have you identified yours?

c) If you have identified a spiritual gift you have, are you currently using it? Why or why not?

P.S. One thing mentioned in the magazine that I would also like to mention here: knowing your gifts does NOT give you license to shirk any other duties or responsibilites. For instance, showing mercy can be a gift, but certainly not asked only of those people that have that gift. Sometimes the Lord will call us into duty beyond our gifts. I think Moses would agree. So would Mary. Be willing to say, "This isn't really my gift, but here am I, Lord, use me."

Now, your turn. I shall be coughing.

Tuesday

Re-do

I knew as soon as I wrote this about being a generally healthy person, the creeping crud would be lurching off of my keyboard to attack me. It took longer than I thought, but I am indeed, sick of the garden variety. Just a general yukkiness that is punctuated with coughing fits as soon as I lay prone for longer than 12 seconds. I don't run fever -- if I am running fever, I am sick, SICK, SICK, nigh unto death, and get me to a medical professional muy pronto. Alas, I am not running fever, so I still show up and do all that is required of me various and sundry places, trying to keep my groaning to a minimum. At home I do a lot of schlumping around and sighing. Oh, and of course cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Stupid fever never shows up when I need it.

So, I am going to run a blog re-run for today -- from a time when I had actual thoughts inside my head. Enjoy. I'll be on the couch reading a magazine and calling it "research" for a writing project. And sighing.

Run the Race
by Sarah Stirman

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

This passage from the book of Hebrews has always been one of my favorite verses. In the few-and-far-between seasons of my life when I am a runner, I love to meditate on this verse as I run. Life is a race -- A marathon! -- and I am so encouraged to think of the great cloud of witnesses that surrounds me.

The phrase in the version with which I am familiar reads "the sin that so easily entangles." This phrase kind of tripped me up. To me it sounded as if sin is a creeping vine that seems friendly, enticing, and harmless until you realize that you’re in too deep and helplessly stuck.

While I know that’s true of sin in so many ways, it didn’t fit with the running analogy to me. Most runners I know avoid running through foliage. Also sin, in my own personal experience, is much more like a wrecking ball in the cartoons than it is like a vine -- creeping or otherwise. By the time I have identified the sin (wrecking ball), I am lying flat on my back, complete with stars and birdies circling my head, wondering how I got there.

However, more recently I have come to think of this phrase in a new way. I am struggling with forgiveness -- even somewhat struggling with laying down the badge that identifies me as "someone wronged." I know this is not the life Christ has called me to embrace, yet I battle with finally laying down this burden of another’s sin. I have prayed and thought and meditated about why this is so difficult to let go.

I recently prayed asking God to let me run this race victoriously. That’s when this verse came to mind: I must throw off the sin that so easily entangles! Sometimes I cling to my past sins and let them weigh me down. Sometimes I cling to another’s sin against me and let that weigh me down. It’s impossible to run with perseverance the race marked out before me if I am clinging to all of the burdens of the past -- my own or anyone else’s. Christ calls me to run victoriously and I can’t do that with my hands full of old junk. It hinders me and I must lay it down if I want to run the race ... victoriously.

The apostle Paul gives us this victory thanksgiving: "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him." (2 Corinthians 2:14) I love to think of the "triumphal procession" as the time we are being led in as a victory parade after we have finished our race victoriously. We already know who wins this race. Now, let’s run it victoriously!

Posted: 04/26/2006URL: http://www.heartlight.org/articles/200604/20060426_runtherace.html

Monday

Today's Calvin


Isn't that the truth? I'm anxiously waiting for the end of November when I can turn in "food for fines" -- if I donate a can of food to the local food bank, it knocks $1 off of my library fines. Every year I take a bazillion cans up there. Every year I vow I will do better next year. Every year in the back-to-school madness, a summer reading book gets lost in the shuffle, and if I ever find it, I turn it in and wait for the Food for Fines drive.

Sunday

Pull Up a Chair!

I usually do a "Good Things Out There" on Sunday, but a)I didn't spend any time this week squirreling away good things, and now I've forgotten where all they are and b)I don't have a voice, so I have nodded and 'hello-ed' in a very deep, throaty, Kathleen Turner-esque way, but "chatting" is way too much effort for me or my listener. So I feel like chatting. Go ahead -- have a seat. I'll pour the Diet Coke -- we do have tea or water if you'd rather. Oh, absolutely! Put your feet up -- it will be the closest that coffee table has come to getting dusted in weeks!

Irony: our family rarely is able to go to church all at the same time on Sunday mornings (and lately Wednesday nights). Troy's singing requires him to be at practices on Sunday mornings before the kids are out of bed. Today, probably for the first time in 6 months, we could all go to church together. Are you hearing the 'hallelujah chorus'? Yeah, well, I did for about 27 seconds -- until I realized that my vehicle was getting worked on and the only car we had at the house was Troy's pick-up that has one bench seat. Period. Which is one too few seats for the 4 of us. So, woo-hoo! We can all go to church together!! Only woo-hoo! We don't all fit! Then, John W., my good and faithful mechanic, brought my car to me at church. And we left in two separate vehicles anyway. *sigh* It was fun while it lasted (if not a bit squishy).

We have been having gorgeously amazing weather lately! I am SO thankful! We rarely have anything that feels like transitional seasons here. We usually go from 92* days, then a blue norther blows through and it's 44*, rainy, with 100 mph winds from the north the next day. *BAM* Winter. But the last week has been glorious picture-perfect weather. Not one cloud anywhere. It was QUITE cool Friday morning, but made for an even better afternoon. Just such wonderful weather to play outside in! I hope you are having beautiful weather where you are!

This afternoon Troy and I took advantage of the glorious weather and went for a motorcycle ride. I get really tickled -- there's an unwritten "cyclists code" for how you a) MUST wave at each passing motorcycle and b) MUST use the cool- cycler wave. Now, the cool- cycler wave makes sense from a wind-resistance standpoint. If you were to throw your left hand in the air, a-la Gomer Pyle, you might throw your shoulder out of socket or smack your passenger in the face as the 60 mph winds hit your hand. So you simply extend your hand out toward your knee/ the pavement -- about 8:00 on a clock face. If you're uber-cool, you extend a finger (a polite one) or two: like giving the 'peace' sign on the down low. Here's the deal: EVERY motorcyclist is in on it.

Some folks still are surprised that I "let" Troy get a motorcycle and that we have one AND that I will actually get on it. (I really don't like the idea that I "let" Troy do anything -- we pretty much make joint decisions -- and if one of us doesn't care any iotas, the other gets to decide. End of story.) My dad is a motorcycle rider, and I know that the many, many miles he has logged with my mom have given them mostly great joy (and a few hair-raising, bonding-by-missing-death-together moments). Today it was a fun way to experience this glorious day -- until you pass by a freshly-squashed skunk. Then it is a little too outdoorsy. Before Troy got his new job, we were facing the possibility of him being a part of some of the personnel cutbacks that were taking place. We were trying to prepare financially for the possibility of him losing his job and were thinking of what that would look like. At one point he said, "It's going to make me really sad to get rid of that motorcycle." To which I replied, "Good! 'Cause I've got news for you: you'll get rid of that gas-guzzling 10 year old truck before you'll get rid of the sipping 2 year old motorcycle!" (but that would have been a joint decision, of course!) Thankfully, we still have the gas-guzzler AND the motorcycle. Thank you, Lord, for taking care of our needs AND wants!

Oh, I have kept you too long. I haven't even broken out the chocolate yet! I know, me too -- so much left to do this evening. Thanks for stopping by. Let's do this more often! Oh, yeah, if you found any "Good Things Out There" feel free to tell us all about them!

Saturday

Observation

I have decided that my load of whites are the Legos of the laundry world: 40 bajillion little pieces of socks, dish towels, and underthings, and even when things are put in their proper place seem to leave more questions than answers. How can one man wear 10 undershirts in a week? How can one kid wear 13 socks in a week -- and get holes in 9?

I thank the Lord for each foot and body that wear those clothes, and for the over-the-top abundance of whites He has given us to wear and wash, and I even try to be thankful that each of the never-ending pieces that I fold gets me closer to the end of the load, but I hate them. I hate the whites and I hate touching them. I hate them. Now, I have some socks to sort and undies to put away.

Friday

Fitness Friday: Calories: Good or Bad?

As my kids have heard me talk about nutrition through the years, sometimes marveling at how many calories one thing may have in it, I have encountered the question: "Are calories good or bad?" I know what those of you who know me best THINK I would say: Calories are bad, right? No, calories are neither. Calories are fuel. But, like lycra, political news, and information on your preacher's s*x life, all things in moderation. Calories don't get us in trouble -- gluttony gets us in trouble.

A calorie is a calorie, right? Yes and no. (see? I'm all about not really giving information on this FF). Yes, a calorie is a calorie. If you keep the number of your calories within the range you will burn off in a given day, no problem. If you go over that number -- even with "healthy" food -- it's still too much. Where a calorie is not a calorie is when your body needs fuel for a specific activity. Carbohydrates are quick-burn fuel, easily transferring to sugar in the body ready to be burned. If not burned, then stored (bummer -- we don't want storage). Protein is slow-burning fuel, also used in repairing muscles that have worked hard recently. Fat is VERY slow burning, and if too much is consumed, the body can't burn it before it needs to store it. If you have a meal that "sticks with you" for HOURS: a)you ate too much and b) there was A LOT of fat in it. Yeah, I know -- BIG bummer.

I see so many people chafe and rebel at the thought of counting calories and paying attention to the way they are fueling their body. I'm not advocating counting every bite, every day. I would encourage you to look at what you are using to fuel your body. If your diet (by "diet" I mean -- the foods you regularly consume) doesn't fuel you to be energized and feel well, then you need to fire the foods that aren't doing their job for you. Heavy, greasy foods, encourage us to take a nap ('cause your gut has to spend all of that energy digesting!), empty, high sugar calories cause our blood sugar to crash and we feel awful. A healthy, light meal that includes a high-fiber carbohydrate, some lean protein, and a little fat for flavor will fuel us for a period of time without keeping us too weighed down.

Nutrition isn't rocket science, but many of us would rather memorize the TV schedule or our fantasy football stats than learn which foods will fuel our bodies to work for His glory, rather than for a nap!

Fuel well, stay healthy, and be fit!

Thursday

Perspective

It's late. I'm tired. Children are expensive. (My obvious information for the day -- and I'm not talking about what they sell, either, though that counts!)

My dad sent me this video today. In spite of all the political mess and fighting, in spite of all the angry, ugly people, this gave me hope in human nature and blessed me. May it bless you, too.

Wednesday

Season of Blech meets Season of Sales

Need cookie dough? What about a slicer? What about a magazine? Can I interest you in a $1 chance to win any number of wonderful prizes my school's PTO has provided? Surely you need some ginormous pretzels delivered to your door 4-6 weeks after they were made? Don't forget to eat at any number of local fast food/ grease houses this week for school and/ or soccer team "Spirit Night" in support of our team or school. We've got llamas, goats, cows, and pigs -- with and without ears. Oh, wait. We don't have those things. Yet. Check back next week.

We are in the selling season at my house. I have no hard and fast rules regarding school sales at my house. If my kids want to spend all day long knocking on doors to sell raffle tickets, then they have my blessing. If they want to turn their raffle tickets in the next day having sold none, I'm all about it. I give to both of my children's school with a VERY precious commodity -- my time. Now, I know my time isn't going to buy them promethean boards, playground equipment, or laptops for every kid. But it's what I've got a little of.

Generally, my kids fall sway to the same things all the other kids do: the PRIZES! PRIZES! PRIZES!! i.e.: some piece of crup-ola that will not even survive the trip home in the backpack. I let them work for whatever they want. I've even let them spend up to $25 of their own money to get a prize worth about $1.37. Dave Ramsey calls it "stupid tax" when we lose money and learn a life lesson in the process. I think we all pay our fair share over time -- my kids are no different.

So, while I'm in my mode-of-blech, my kids are wheelin' and dealin', sellin' and movin' merchandise. Don't get in their way!

Tuesday

Love Him or Not...

You have to admit he's given us some great material the last 8 years. Bless him.

Monday

Happy Monday!

Well, it's late this evening. A drizzly, gray day that hints that fall may be coming, but leaning towards muggy! And, by the way, you guys are hilarious, disgusting, and creative. If you haven't checked out the comments about the pig ears -- just ew. I love Jana's comment -- if I could stomach it, I would run a "Fear Factor" blog once a month. But I just can't.

Just returned from Riley's 5th grade program -- his last in elementary school. Check facebook for pics eventually. (What??? You're not ON facebook??? C'mon... all the soccer moms are doin' it these days....! Yet another bandwagon I want to get off because it became a bandwagon!) The kid, as funny as he is, just becomes a nervous wreck to get in front of people. So funny. It was a somewhat 'History of Music' -type line-up. Riley was very impressed that I knew most of the music -- actually, my dad would have known most of the music. It was oldies classic -- except for The GoGo's "We Got the Beat". Oh, yes, they did. Oh, and of course, the finale was a Hannah Montana number. Whatev. Denise, there was one from 'Hairspray' (someone tell Denise, she doesn't read blogs anymore).

We're having some irritants around our house lately. Just life things. One thing and another. Oh, and then there's always our retirement portfolio to cheer us up (cue maniacal laughter...) We're in a season of blech. God has brought me tremendous peace and joy in this season of blech, but it's a season of blech nonetheless. Today, I was reminded, yet again, that I am a PRINCESS!! I am a princess, and I have a delightful inheritance!! Oh, I do indeed. That comes from my time with Beth Moore in Psalm 16:6, but our delightful inheritances is detailed even more in Isaiah 61:

Instead of their shame
my people will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
they will rejoice in their inheritance;
and so they will inherit a double portion in their land,
and everlasting joy will be theirs. Isaiah 61:7

I deserve the shame. I have earned disgrace. But because I am a PRINCESS, I have received a double portion. I have received a "delightful inheritance". A double portion!! And everlasting joy will be mine.

Season of blech, bring it! I have been given a delightful inheritance, a double portion, and everlasting joy will be mine. Just try to top that!

Saturday

Observation

I like to live in my own world where there are rainbows, lollipops, unicorns, and pink confetti most of the time. It's a very happy place and you are always welcome to visit, as long as you wipe your feet of ha-rumphing and huffling about that other world out there. For my birthday, Roxanne sent me a cake (virtually, of course) that is a grand illustration of my world. So, it was a rude awakening and shock to realize that the package of pig's ears I bought for my puppy to gnaw on were the actual ears of pigs (seriously, I have to swallow hard to keep breakfast down as I type that).

My husband finds it very funny that I would purchase a package with the label "Pig's Ears", then be surprised to find that they contain actual ears of pigs. In my happy world, 'Pig's Ears' contain rawhide (synthetic, of course) pieces in the shape of the ear of a pig.

Ew. No more of those in this house...

Thursday

Does this sound familiar?

I have read a transcript of this before, but to hear Nicole tell it moved me to tears -- partly because of who sent it to me. Someone "sees" -- I thought only God and my parents saw. What a blessing.

Coffee Group was given a copy of Nicole's book as a speaker gift. I've never gone through it. I think I shall start it. Soon.


"You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." (Genesis 16:13)

Wednesday

It's Good to be Me

One of the life lessons I am still in the process of learning is that I'm not like anyone else.

I know! As an educator, I can tell you that I have just covered the first 6 weeks Social Studies curriculum for grades K-2. It's not "rocket surgery" (one of my favorite phrases from a previous job). There is only one me, only one set of my fingerprints and DNA. So why do I spend so much time trying to be other people?

I don't think it's a conscious thing, but I look to other people for ideas and inspiration for EVERYTHING: the way I dress, decorate my home, do any job, cook dinner, clean house, you name it. I always think someone else has a better/ smarter/ faster/ cheaper way of doing things. Occasionally they do! But I have come to realize as I am moving along in a different career I am looking to see how others have done it (which can be a good thing), and if I don't "fit" with how a different person has done it, I assume it can't work.

God finally laid this on my heart: "You are you. You are the you I have created you to be. No, you won't do things EXACTLY like that other person because you are not her. Nor are you that other one, or even the one over there. You are you, precious you. Go be you to My glory. I'll take care of the rest of it."

Again, not rocket surgery, but a simple reminder I needed today.

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1

Monday

This Day Ordained for You

Well, where in heaven's name have I been? Gracious -- I even had some blogs written up, and never got in here to even press 'post'!! (and don't tell me I can schedule them to post -- it doesn't work on this blog! straight from 'scheduled' to 'draft' for some reason and I've given up trying to solve it -- I'm just working around it). Had a wonderful weekend with my parents coming in to see Ashley's volleyball tournament and Riley's soccer game. A phone call from the nurse on Thursday canceled out the soccer game! Riley twisted his ankle, but thank goodness, no break and he even ran his laps today at school. Actually, it greatly un-complicated our Saturday! It was straight volleyball, Mann Falcons 1st place -- both the 7th grade and 8th grade teams. Obviously, I'm proud beyond proud of my Mann Falcon, but I'm also very grateful for the coaches Ashley has, and sweet teammates. Her coach speaks kindly to her team, and the team speaks kindly to each other (for the most part -- they are 7th grade girls, after all). In my world, that's the way it works: nice coaches + nice team = 1st place. I know it doesn't always work that way, but it does in my happy little world!

I don't even have much time here today, but wanted to share with you just a little of what God is putting on my heart. My time with the Lord has been so precious lately, and it seems that every little piece of scripture speaks right to my heart and where I am now. The ever-changing application of scripture always makes me think of Isaiah 55:10,11:

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Indeed, the Lord's word will not return empty! I would also like to HIGHLY recommend this book for praying the scriptures: Kenneth Boa's Face to Face
My mom recommended it to me last year and I have loved it. For me, it is the best book I have found about consistently praying the scriptures, not just when you need to pray over a certain stronghold. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

Today, one of the prayers included a portion of Psalm 139:
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16

I had to pause over the last sentence in v. 16: All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Ordained: one definition is, "confer holy orders on". This day. This Monday. This Monday that has changed plans minimum 15 times and it's barely half-over. This Monday full of car trouble, my aging body, my son's wobbly ankles, laundry, missed deadlines and looming deadlines. This day has been ordained for me and written in His book. All of the clutter and dirt and bills and obstacles are all part of the day He ordained for me. They are blessings and distractions, responsibilities and privileges, all capable of being offered up as a sacrifice of praise. I must have forgotten Beth's encouragement to us to get up every morning, look in the mirror, and say, "I am a PRINCESS! I have an inheritance!" I AM a princess, and today my inheritance is to do the little things with holiness. For today has been ordained for me.

Friday

Fitness Friday: But I feel bad!

So, today, I am skipping my bicycle class to write Fitness Friday. Actually, I was going to skip it anyway. I have felt bad all week and have already walked this morning. So I thought a blog about what to do about exercise when you don't feel well would be in order, especially since we're heading into the cold and flu season.

First, if you exercise 3-5 times a week you will boost your immunity and may find you don't suffer from as many colds as you have in the past. For the record, my current ailment is non-contagious digestive trouble that is recurring for me. I'm really not sick, but in pain and have been all week, hence not really feeling like adding leg pain to gut pain, you know? I give you that TMI to tell you that I, for the most part, am an amazingly healthy person. I think I got a cold last year -- my first in about 10 or 12 years. I don't usually get stomach bugs, do get migraines, and got the flu 3 years ago and won't do that again! Obviously, I have health problems like anyone else between my migraines and gut, but I don't usually come down with every virus going around. I credit my workouts and my sleep to fending off nasty germies that we all try to fight.

So, let's say you are feeling generally yuk. Little stuffy nose, throat a little achy. Here's the deal: you should still workout. I don't mean full bore, hours at a time (let's face it -- that wasn't really a danger, was it?) but you should still put on some shoes and go for at least a 10 minute walk. If you aren't running fever, you can even shorten the duration of your symptoms by a brief workout. Really the only time you absolutely should not raise your heart rate is when you are running fever. Fever is one of those symptoms, like pain, that is there to let you know, "Houston, we have a problem!" Fever is absolutely a time to rest and get plenty of fluids.

Obviously, when/ how you work out is completely your decision. I just want us to be clear that there is RARELY an 'official' health reason for completely missing a workout. 'Official' meaning, "you're endangering your health if you workout". Yeah, if you feel crummy, you don't FEEL like working out, but you're probably not going to feel any worse (and possibly may feel better) if you workout. Obviously, I don't have an 'official' reason for skipping my bike class today -- I just feel crummy is all. So, I skipped bike, but I will probably go take the dog for a walk. I'll do something... The trick is in finding a balance.

Some of us are tempted to claim every ache and pain and snuffle and sneeze as a reason to stay in bed/ on the couch/ in front of the computer. Some of us are tempted to IGNORE every ache and pain and "push through" and end up sicker and/ or more injured than before! Again, the key comes in finding balance.

I think even when you don't feel well, it is important to maintain some semblance of working out just to maintain routine and habit. If that means putting on your clothes and shoes, walking to the end of the driveway, turning around and walking home, then so be it -- that counts as a workout when you feel bad. Tomorrow, try again -- walk to the end of the driveway and across the street, maybe.

In short, keep moving. Keep the habit. Start the habit. You can do it! A little at a time!

Keep moving, stay healthy, and be fit!
 
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