Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Word-Filled Wednesday: Repentance

When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, He changed His mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. ~Jonah 3:10

A God who changes His mind?  Apparently so: God recognizes true repentance when our actions match up with our words, and our faithfulness can sway Him.  Just like when Moses begged God not to give up on the Israelites in the desert, the faithful response of God's people will always turn away God's anger.

With God, there is no such thing as too little, too late, if our response is genuine.  The most important thing is not delaying the response.

When God calls you to change your attitude or choices, don't hesitate or wait a single minute.  Get back on the right road as soon as you can, as soon as you know what God wants, because He is eager to respond to your repentance.  We may not escape the consequences of the choices we've made or the way we've been living; but instead of experiencing God's anger or discipline, we can know His comfort and guidance through whatever we may be facing.

~ Excerpted from The Way

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ok, ok....I hear you!

In the past 18 hours, I have seen/heard Philippians 4:13 at least five different times - all from different sources.  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Sometimes God speaks to me in subtle ways.  Sometimes I doubt that I can hear Him at all.  And then sometimes - like last night and today - He speaks to me in a way that resembles a bright, neon flashing sign.  This is when I have no choice but to throw my hands up in the air and surrender.  "Ok, God!  I hear you!"

It's no secret that Steph and I started out on a wellness journey last month.  But what I haven't been completely forthcoming about is how extremely poor I have been doing.  Sure, last week, I had two great days in a row.  I took the stairs instead of the elevator at work, I ate within my recommended number of calories, and I did Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred with Bianca at my side each day.  But then Friday night came along, and things quickly went downhill.  In fact, last night, between eating dinner at Chick-Fil-A and drinking my mocha from Starbucks during small group, I consumed more calories in that short time than the whole amount allotted for my entire day.  Not cool.

Naturally, I woke up feeling a bit discouraged.  The voices in my head haunt me.  I have Steph supporting me, my church praying for me, and the eyes of the world (ok...maybe more like 5 people!)  on me via this blog, and I still can't succeed.  I have been struggling with my weight since I was 5 years old; do I really think I can bring my addictions under control now?

I guess the answer would be a resounding no if I was going at it alone.  But if I am really depending on Jehovah Nissi, if I am surrendering total control, there is no way I can fail. 

David told us in church a few weeks ago that our struggles might not go away overnight.  The battle may rage on far longer than we would like.  But if we keep the faith, raise our banners, and remember that our sticks are just sticks, we will ultimately be victorious.  Not because of anything we can do, but solely because of the power and might of God.  (Of course, he said it much better, and you can listen to the podcast by clicking here.)

So, I get it.  I have no choice but to pick myself up once again and keep walking this road.  And eventually I will get healthy.  I will lose this extra weight.  I will be able to play for hours with my kids without getting tired.  I will be able to think clearer.  I will be able to serve my husband, children, and community better.  And it will all be attributed to Jehovah Nissi and that precious, powerful Word: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." ~ Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Word Filled Wednesday: Commitment

With the dawning of a new year and the declaration of many resolutions, I thought this blurb from The Way was rather fitting.

I was not in Jerusalem at that time, for I had returned to King Artaxerxes of Babylon in the thirty-second year of his reign, though I later asked his permission to return. ~Nehemiah 13:6

It would be easy to miss the implication of Nehemiah's passing comment that he had returned to his role of serving a foreign king.  But Nehemiah is modeling something enormous for us: commitment to a promise.  He had experienced twelve years of leadership in Jerusalem, with stunning results.  The wall had been rebuilt, and even better, the people of God had renewed their covenant with God, worship had resumed, and order had returned.  But Nehemiah remembered that he had made a commitment to the king he served while in exile - a promise to return after a specific length of time.  And he kept that commitment in the face of what must have been countless reasons to break it.

Do you have that kind of integrity when you make a commitment?

Happy New Year!

Well, here we are on Day 2 of 2013.  I must admit that I feel just wonderful about the New Year.  Overall, 2012 was not a very good year for our world.  So much pain, heartache, and disastrous events that left many people wondering if God really does exist, does He even care?  But along with the fireworks and the magical flip of the calendar, a whole new surge of positive energy has settled in.  We all have the chance to start over, to regain focus, to try to get it right this time.

The new year invokes dreaming, planning, and baby steps galore.  In the cold of winter (or heat of summer, depending on your hemisphere!), though the earth lies dormant, people slowly start to come alive again.  So much vision, so much hope bursting forth.  It truly is a wonderful time!

In numerology, 2013 is a 6 year.  It's a year that focuses on family, security, responsibility, and birthing new things.  I think my Proverbs 31 Year is definitely well timed!  Here's hoping that when the twinkling ball drops again, we can say without a doubt that yes, indeed, this Year was Happy!

Monday, December 31, 2012

On the Edge of a New Year

In a little over two hours, we will be bidding farewell to 2012.  My initial reaction when thinking back on this past year was to dwell on everything I didn't accomplish.  The book will be closing on another year, and there is still so much left incomplete and undone.

And yet, when I truly think about it, 2012 turned out to be a fabulous year.  It was a year of positive change and excitement.  A few highlights:

~ Alexandra Elise made her grand entrance into the world.
~ Bianca instantly turned into a loving Big Sister.
~ Harry became one of the area's most popular basketball coaches.  He led his team to a State Championship, and was chosen to coach one of the teams participating in the Capital Classic.
~ I was promoted at work, and simultaneously received a huge peace, instant stress relief, and a pay increase.  God is so good!
~ I was able to upgrade to an SUV.
~ I saw my muse Alanis Morissette in concert.
~ I experienced the excitement of being a Dance Mom for a few precious weeks.
~ After two years, I finally made a commitment to CCC and to MOPS.  As a result, I made so many new friends.
~ I also reunited with friends from my past.
~ We had our girls dedicated in front of our church family.  The day was even more special because Aria and Lilly were dedicated at the same time.
~ 212 helped to turn up the heat in my life.
~ I reconnected with family I hadn't seen in quite a while.
~ I was exposed to the world of green juices and smoothies and whole foods.
~ Stephanie and I started a wellness journey.
~ An old friend died and harsh reality set in regarding my greener grass.
~ But I fell even more in love with Harry because of it.

Looking forward to 2013, there is so much I want to accomplish.

~ I want to draw closer to God.  I hope to be exposed to the Word daily.  I hope to spend more quiet time with Him.  I hope to fully engage with MOPS and my small group.
~ I want to be a better wife.  I hope to give Harry the support he needs to be the best version of himself.  I hope to take better care of him and our house.
~ I want to be a better mother.  I hope to be more present when I'm home.  I hope to give more hugs and kisses.  I hope to laugh and play more.  I want to give my girls the love and attention they need to be happy and healthy.
~ I want to take care of myself physically.  I hope to exercise daily.  I hope to drink more green juice and smoothies.  I hope to eat a vegetable at every meal.  I hope to eat more locally grown and organic foods. I want to cut back (or stop) my coffee consumption.  I hope to drink more water.  I want to get a massage monthly.  I want to stretch more and sleep better.  I want my natural beauty to shine from the inside out.
~ I want to help get our family out of debt.  I hope to think before making unnecessary purchases.  I hope to cut out large expenses, like my daily $5 mocha lattes.

A lot of these goals look similar to the ones I made last year.  But this year, I am confident that I will be victorious.  I have a wonderful support system in my husband, my friends, and my family.  I have been exposed to so many new educational and inspirational resources.  And most importantly, I am raising a banner over this year.  Jehovah Nissi will be my ultimate source of strength and victory.

2013 will be my Proverbs 31 year.  I will use the Proverbs 31 Woman as a role-model and an inspiration to emulate.  In the end, I hope to be my husband's crown.  I hope my children will call me blessed.  And ultimately, I hope all of my actions are pleasing to the Lord.  By growing into a better version of myself, I hope to be able to serve Him better. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Word Filled Wednesday: Drunk and Naked

After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard.  One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent.  Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers.  Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father.  As they did this, they looked the other way so they would not see him naked.
~ Genesis 9:20 - 23

Many people have heard the story of Noah.  You probably know about the Flood, the ark, and the animals coming two by two.  You've probably heard about the dove and the rainbow.

But after most of the story is over, this little piece about Noah getting drunk and naked - well, it's not the stuff of children's Sunday School!  Maybe Noah just went off the rails a bit after being cooped up with all those animals.  Or maybe the anguish of seeing all those people drowning finally caught up with him.

Whatever the case, this very strange scene reveals a couple things.  First, it shows us, as we see over and over in Scripture, that the people God uses are not perfect.  They're messed up, just like you and I.  That means that, however messed up you are, you can still serve God and be part of His unfolding story.

Noah, drunk and naked, points to a second thing: The Bible is true.  Who would fake a story about the only righteous guy alive, and then add this offbeat paragraph?  In a wonderfully strange way, Noah's embarrassing misstep shows us that the Bible is an honest book.  Yes, this is a story you can believe because it doesn't whitewash the truth, even when it's not admirable.

Excerpted from The Way New Living Translation Bible

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sick and Tired

I used to blame my pregnancy on being tired and achy all the time.  But here I am four months postpartum and I still feel tired and achy pretty much every day.  I experience fatigue, bloating, cramping, nausea, headaches, itchy skin and eyes, and joint and muscle aches on a daily basis.  Frankly, I'm tired of living like this.  I'm only in my early 30s; I should be feeling vibrant and alive, not the complete opposite.

When I brought up my concerns with my doctor a few years ago, she pretty much just said I feel so miserable because I'm overweight.  She encouraged me to exercise and eat better and sent me on my way.

Believe me - I am well aware that I am carrying extra baggage.  And I have definitely tried to lose the excess weight.  Before my wedding, I was exercising and eating right, and I only lost a total of 6 pounds in a 6-month period.  Last year, I was working out with a personal trainer and eating better, and I only lost 7 pounds in a 4-month period.  No matter how much effort I put into it, I can't seem to lose the many pounds I desperately need to shed.

At that last doctor's visit, I was really hoping that she would run some tests, like checking my thyroid or searching for any food sensitivities.  Instead she made me feel like I was nothing but a fat, tired, achy hypochondriac.  So I ignored my symptoms and went on with life.

Now that I have ventured out on my wellness journey, however, I know I can't ignore my body's cries for help anymore.  So I've decided to search for a new primary care doctor.  One who will actually listen to my concerns and help me figure out what's wrong with me.  (At least physically!  lol)  Then we can make a plan to address any issues, and I will be well on my way to a healthier version of myself. 

My initial reaction is to seek out a naturopathic doctor, but unfortunately, my health insurance only covers conventional medicine interventions.  My friend Chelle recommended I see a D.O. instead of an M.D. because their approach is more holistic.  I think I'm leaning that way, but I need to find one with good recommendations first.

No matter what, it's my goal to get a physical - with a complete blood workup - by February 1st.  I owe it to myself.  And I so desperately want to feel better.