Monday, July 13, 2015

Ahhhhh!!!! Self-Control

Self-control is the ability to control oneself, in particular one's emotions and desires or the expression of them in one's behavior, especially in difficult situations.

I will be honest, I really struggle with self-control.  I guess I have adopted the mentality of the "me" generation.  I know it is not a very good character trait but I have been unsuccessful in the past in trying to overcome this.  

My main struggle is with food.  My time revolves around it and it's not carrots and lettuce, it's more like cookies and ice cream.  I don't know how many times I've been on a diet or how many times I've "started over" on a diet.  I actually quit telling people when I was going to start something new because I didn't want to admit failure when I quit.

I'm not sure what changed.  I can't remember what triggered the thought in my head.  What I do remember is showing up at work one day and mentioning that I may want to start a Wednesday night class at church on how God feels about food.  I figured I would get looked at like was insane and I could say at least I tried.  Wouldn't you know that one of the girls had the Made to Crave study by Lysa Terkeurst.  I was told I could start any time.  They said yes!  I said, what was thinking?!  Now I have to be accountable to what the video says since I am heading up this study.  I really don't think I can do!

In her study she talks about starting an eating plan.  One that was pretty drastic.  You can read the book if your interested in her story.  I figured there was no way I could do this alone.  I decided to see a nutritionist.  I never considered it in the past.  But as of right now, I'm pretty glad I did.  I have been going for five weeks now and I have lost 9 pounds and 15 inches (from measurements taken from my neck to my thighs).

Has it been easy?  Not always, but that is my point to this post.  Self-control is not something you can acquire on your own.  I learned through the Made to Crave study some really important scriptures and prayers when struggling with cravings.  And believe me, there were a few days I wanted to bury myself in chocolate and soda.  But because I have allowed God to help me, I can now turn down a delicious dessert or big plate of pasta and not walk away feeling deprived.  

Ahhhhh!!!!!!  So freeing!

Until next time, stay blessed!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sometimes it's the Little Things

At my job I sometimes have the privilege of talking to people on the phone.  One day in last couple of weeks I was speaking to a lovely lady who had just lost her husband.  They were married for 48 years and still madly in love and as we talked, I realized how much she had sacrificed of herself very selflessly in the last few years.  That same day I ran into another widow I love dearly.  They would have been married for about the same amount of time.  When her and I talk, even before he died, I knew they were still so in love and the selfless things she would do for him were so evident.

All of this has me re-examining my marriage.  This year will mark 20 years.  I have let a lot of those little things slide.  A lot of those little selfless things that I know are important to Scott have fallen to the way side because...well, there is no excuse.

I am making it my goal to go back to those things.  I'm sure those marriages I talked about above were tough at times but they figured out how to make it work and stick.  I want to be one of the couples one of these that younger couples say "I want what they had and still have".  I want to always serve my husband in a way that honors God.

Until next time, stay blessed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My Five Year Plan Came Four Years Early

It was around this time last year. I was sitting at a friends pool and we were discussing our five year plans.  We seem to always plan when we are together and it's really fun.  If we followed through with everything, it's hard to say where we would be now, but we dream together and follow God as He either opens doors or makes completely different paths.

My five year plan went like this:
Seth would be finished with homeschooling, so I would probably start looking for a job, because college isn't cheap.  My dream was to go back to work at our church as the bookkeeper because I had done that job before and I love the working environment.  I had talked to the current bookkeeper more than once about this and she said she would probably be retiring by then.  There it is.  Easy peasy!  It was either that or I was going to try to get on at our local fabric store or convince a friend to go in with me and open some sort of hippie oil store.

That was probably early June.

July rolled around and life was good by the pool.  We were solving the worlds problems and all was well.  Then I got a phone call that I really didn't expect or even dream would happen yet.  It went something like this-we need a business manager and we want it to be you.  Um...what?  I don't know how to manage business!  But I felt like I needed to make a decision right then.  I didn't feel like I had to time to pray about it and Scott had told me that day not to call or text him at work because he was going to be in meetings.  The only thing I had was peace (and I knew it was God's peace).  I knew that it was only going to be two days a week and Seth is good with his school work.  So I figured, sure.  My answer is yes.  Things happened slow and fast at the same time.  The cool part, it was my church.  Where I planned to be in five years.  I figured I'd work two days a week for the next five years and then when the bookkeeper retired I would have the option to do that too.  I was surprised how much accounting I needed to remember and I couldn't believe what I did keep stored back in those rusty file cabinets in my brain.

I started in August.

Then January of 2015 rolled around and the bookkeeper decided to retire!  Wait!  The phone call went like this.  She is leaving, what are you going to do?  Um...I'm scrubbing my bathtub right now, let me think about this.  This wasn't the plan!  It hasn't been five years yet!  What am I going to do?  I don't want to miss out on this opportunity but can I sacrifice the time from home?  Between the two of us, we were working 36+ hours a week.  I knew that couldn't happen.  I will just have to figure out how to do it in less hours.  

I really feel like God put me at the right place at the right time.  He knew what the future was.  He knew I would be capable of doing it.  So what. My five year plan happened four years early.  I am learning that as long as I rely on God to guide my path, no matter what, He won't lead me somewhere dangerous.  I love my job.  It is rare that you work with people that inspire you to be better.  It is rare that you get to have a job that if you need to stop everything and pray, they will join in a circle with you and pray.

My job title now is Business Manager/Bookkeeper.  That is added to homeschooling teacher/mom/wife/domestic engineer.  I look pretty important on paper.

Until next time, stay blessed!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

Memorial Day weekend was packed so full of events that I was kind of pouting inside that I wasn't going to get to go camping and relax.  But in the midst of my inner moping these are the things that God allowed me to witness.

Friday night was Meghan's high school graduation.  (She is our middle sons girlfriend).  Her mom found out a month ago that she had stage three colon cancer and had surgery and is now going through chemo.  During the ceremony, there were several students that were giving their favorite quote and why.  The one that received the highest applause was one given by a girl that gave a quote from the bible that she used while dealing with her mother having cancer.  It was Philippians 4:13,  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  I realized at that point that Meghan and her mom are relying on that promise as they walk through this.  The surgery removed the cancer and she is now cancer free!

Saturday evening we went to an Alumni dinner.  My mother-in-law invited us because my father-in-law was being inducted into the PHS hall of fame.  Before introducing the person, they went through a complete history of that person.  I realized during that time that I am lucky to be surrounded by parents and stepparents and in-laws that are God fearing, Godly people.  Needless to say, they are pretty awesome folks.

This is Austin and my brother, Bob.  Austin is autistic.  He has had some very serious struggles, especially in the last couple of years.  Bob really thought he was going to lose him not long ago because of an unexplained illness.  My brother and I used to be really close.  He had been there for me through a very tough time in my life.  Things happened, and I really don't even know what, that has separated us for several years.  He randomly invited me to Austin's birthday party.  I got up Saturday morning, the day of the party, and was a little nervous.  I hadn't seen Bob for a while and I was meeting his new fiance for the first time.  It may not seem like a big deal to some, but to me, it was.  I know that God is going to restore our relationship.  And my nephew turned 17!  He is really funny because you never know what he is going to say.  

I'm really proud of my brother.  He has been through some really tough circumstances in the last several months but has kept his cool, something I'm not very good at.  But I think tough problems make you realize who is really there for you and I will always be there for him.

And you know what?  I still got to enjoy some campfire time.  I also got to enjoy a really long bike ride.  Something I have found that I really love.  It is loud, so I am forced to be quiet for little while.  That's pretty relaxing.

Until next time, stay blessed!

Friday, May 29, 2015

It's Been a While!!!!

I can't believe it's been so long since I last put my random thoughts on here.  Where has the time gone? Where I have gone?  What's the deal?

I could say that I have been busy but that really isn't true.  I haven't been doing anything any different, until recently, than before.  If any thing, I have had more time.

I would love to say I have been traveling the world and places were so remote sometimes that I didn't have internet and I was teaching the natives about God and just couldn't let anyone know where I was because it was top secret.  But that would be a really big lie...I've never even been on a plane, other than those little flights they give kids for free, when I was a kid.  And that one time I was in my uncle's little plane.  (That doesn't count).

So the deal is...I have been lazy in my writing.  I have spent all this time listening to Satan tell me that what I have to say isn't important.  That when I am open about my struggles I get myself in trouble because people don't want to hear all that and when they do they look at me different because no Christian would ever act the way I do.  But you know what?  The only way that people know what God can do in the middle of some trying times, of times when I fly of the handle and cause all sorts of problems for myself, is for me to be transparent and let you know that I am only human and learning until my race is over and I am looking Jesus in the face.

This has been a time of learning to forgive myself and move on from mistakes and to forgive others without holding a grudge.  Let God take care of the problem.  Yes, there may be consequences but God's grace is sufficient.

Until next time, stay blessed!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rebuilding Burnt Bridges

Plank by plank we build but it only takes one flame to burn the whole thing down.

You know what I mean.  We spend time investing in others.  Have lunch and babysitting each others children.  Spilling our life out to them when we are hurting.  Trusting each other.  Praying together.  Then Satan steps in while we're not watching.  He plants little embers of pain and lies.  You know what they are, you've seen them, heard them.  Then one day or one minute, he lays the tender on those embers and a fire begins.  A bridge burns.  Words are said, or not.  Pain is sewn and reeped.  Maybe we are justified in our anger or hurt but does that make it right.  What happened to "turn the other cheek" and "forgive 70 x 7"?  It seems we only pull those scriptures out when dealing with unbelievers.  But what about our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Don't they deserve the same grace and mercy...and forgiveness.

How can we be effective for God with all the bridges to and from us burnt.  We can't function as an island with no way in and no way out.

I can recall every time I've lost it and burnt a bridge and I can recall every silent burning.

This past week I lost it.  And the sad thing is, I lost it on a nonbeliever.  Did it feel good at the moment?  Yes.  I was tired of my family constantly being attacked.  Was it justified?  Maybe.  I apologized but my witness to them may have been damaged.  I know that God can still fix it but...

Sunday a family walked into our church that used to be great friends.  She was the first person I met when I moved to Fairmont and she knew every ugly thing about me and never judged me.  She prayed with me on so many occasions I can't even count.  Something happened (won't go into detail) and we haven't spoke for probably 5 years.  When she walked in Sunday God brought all of this post to my attention.  I want to mend that bridge and with God's help, I will.  Because it is true we live in a double standard world but it goes both ways.  I'm tired of pointing the finger.  I am ready to step up and take responsibility.

Are there bridges that need rebuilt in your life?  No, it won't be easy because we have to lay down our pride and admit that we might have been wrong.  But with God's help, all things are possible.

Until next time, stay blessed.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Expectations of the First Day of School

Today we started our first day of school for the 2013-2014 school year.  This is the first year I've actually started when the public schools have started.  I think in the past I started late just because I enjoy being rebellious.  But since Brody was starting classes at the Votech Center I decided it was only fair to start Seth when he started.

So here is what my plan was, emotionally, physically and educationally...

  • Get up @ 5:00 am
  • Get Scott's breakfast and lunch packed
  • Unload/reload the dishwasher
  • Wake Scott up by 5:30
  • While Scott is in the shower straighten the 1st floor
  • Get Brody up by 6:30 to leave by 7:00
  • Exercise/shower
  • Get Seth up by 8:00 and have breakfast
  • Me and Seth straighten 2nd floor and basement--gather garbage and laundry (Seth feed pets and shower)
  • School 9-11
  • lunch and clean-up--run dishwasher if needed
  • Motivated Moms schedule--try to finish by 1:00
  • Use rest of the day for crafts, hobbies, deep cleaning/organization, play dates, run errands, projects, blogging.
What really happened...

  • Get up @ 5:00 am
  • Get Scott's breakfast and lunch packed
  • Unload/reload the dishwasher  I got it unloaded but still haven't reloaded it yet and it 12:30
  • Wake Scott up by 5:30
  • While Scott is in the shower straighten the 1st floor  Didn't even think about it actually.  Brody got up early and I chatted with him while Scott was in the shower.
  • Get Brody up by 6:30 to leave by 7:00  He was already up.
  • Exercise/shower Seriously!  What was I thinking.  I did put on a sports bra around 10:30, does that count?  And I haven't showered yet.  I'll get to it before Scott gets home.
  • Get Seth up by 8:00 and have breakfast  Since I went back to bed until 10:00, yes you read that correctly, Seth didn't get up until 10:30.
  • Me and Seth straighten 2nd floor and basement--gather garbage and laundry (Seth feed pets and shower)  We'll get to it when we get it.
  • School 9-11  We did have school!  
  • lunch and clean-up--run dishwasher if needed  We did eat lunch!  Still haven't 
  • Motivated Moms schedule--try to finish by 1:00  I still have time.  At this point it is almost 1:00.
  • Use rest of the day for crafts, hobbies, deep cleaning/organization, play dates, run errands, projects, blogging.  I'll get here eventually.
Seth wasn't super excited for school like I had envisioned but Brody came home excited and actually wanted to do Math.  We did almost a whole chapter in Geometry.  A subject that I never did understand and math is something that Brody has always hated.  We both understood the content!  Oh well.  All in all, we had a good first day of school.  I am not going to beat myself up because things didn't go as written.  It's more about the quality of the day.