Friday, July 22, 2011

The Last Week

Welcome to the last full week of the decade of my 40's. Next Saturday, on July 30th, I'll be celebrating my 50th birthday. Closing out the decade of my forties. I really don't feel like "50"....I guess. What is 50 supposed to feel like? I always thought it would feel old. I don't feel old. I don't think I look old. Maybe 50 is the new 35~ I miss my 30's, that's for sure. I felt great, I looked great. I also know that was where I made some choices that I look back on now and can say with all honesty, with the right intentions in mind I made stupid choices with my body. That was the decade where I said to Mark, you need to take the kids on Sunday and take them for hikes. My intentions were good, I wanted them to have dad and boy time, without mama. Mama was in fast burnout mode from homeschooling, and really thought they needed that time from me as much as I needed it away from them. The problem was that those Sundays of wandering through the trails of Patapsco State Park were my blood pumping cardio workouts. With giving those up, I gave up my workout. That was a big mistake. I can clearly see that in my rear-view mirror of life. I've paid the price with steady weight gain. Although, it took the next decade for me to see it. I don't recommend being so intently focused on your children that you forget yourself. However, I doubt many do.
Marching right along into my forties and raising three teenage boys, I excused myself again, and gained more weight. some of it hormonal, emotional, some of it spiritual, most of it laziness. I'll take my blame. Place it on my own shoulders. Interestingly, through my forties, I was struck with several weighty lightening bolts. Contrary to when I was 20 years old, in a horrible marriage, and very much over weight and found that I could survive on coffee, caffeine, a snickers bar,carnival pizza (when I worked for dad) and speed, yeah speed...ok, let's address this: I took speed to keep me moving so that I could work fast at my warehouse job. Fast meant lots done. Lots done meant approval. Approval meant I got to keep my job. I needed my job because I was going through a messy divorce and that's a whole other story. But, the bottom line of that was I had no fat on my body. Because I worked hard physically for 8 hours a day, and I pushed myself, I went from 199 pounds to 89 pounds in just under 1 year. I know, most people are horrified when they hear what I weighed. Let's not be. I'm 5 ft. At that time, I was 19 and it was appropriate. Could I have been on the cusp of an eating disorder? Oh sure, of course...but, let's save that for another time. Ok, so back to the story...
In my forties as I began to stack on the weight, I decided to join Weight Watchers, counting points. Great, I needed something else to add to my day along with raising three teenage boys. I remember going through the drive through at Wendy's and I ordered a salad. I felt pretty damn good. Not a hamburger, not the then wonderful chicken they carried. I ordered a green salad...with mandarin oranges....the wonderful Wendy's chicken mandarin salad. I cried, when later I tallied my points to discover that salad had over my entire daily amount of WW points. I came to realize that day there was something very much amiss with food. I have spent countless hours, reading about foods, fats, vitamins, carbs, superfoods, biblical foods, you name it. Finances have limited me to what diets I could try.
I am without excuse. I am without excuse. I need to push myself. It's simple. PUSH and work harder. I need to get up off my ass, so what I'm tired at times. GET UP! My mom is sick. Yep, another reason to get up and move. I want to take classes. OK, so what, take the damn class, remove something from the DVR and pop in one of my twenty-five exercise dvds and hey! Actually do it!! As I said, I have read and studied, and researched the food thing. The FDA, USDA disgusts me. As far as I am concerned, that's the biggest conspiracy story out there. Again, another writing for another day. Food, veggies, fruits, grains, meat from normal size animals that haven't been chemically tainted, water, water, water..........I think I understand that now. I may not ever reach Skinny Bitch status, Hungry Girl achievement nor would I want to as well. Easy Skinny Life might be more in line, but I think I have a few years on her.
As I close out this decade of 4 times 10...I'll be attending boot camp. Boot Camp and I'll have arms of rubber and legs made of jello. And I'll be stronger for it. I'm entering my decade of 5 times 10 with the determination to move everyday in some way. The last week of my forties will be leaving with it the excuses. I'm laying that down and picking up the weight bar.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grace. It's Not All About You.

Grace is God's unmerited favor. Grace is God doing good for us that we do not deserve. Mercy is God withholding judgment or evil that I deserve; Grace and Mercy is not having a license to live without taking responsibility for what you do

If the world were full of Christians
who knew that being a Christian
is more than going to church, and teaching Sunday School alone, we would be too busy serving rather than looking to see what we don't have.

Those who live their lives according to God’s will, serving Him as their main purpose, those who practice what Jesus taught every day, with everyone they meet,
loving and helping their neighbors, friends, families and those that God has placed at the end of our fingertips.

You don't get to choose when you do this. We're all called to humility, we're all to submit to those in authority over us. It doesn't matter if you're 10 or 80 years old. God gives grace, it's a gift that we do not deserve. Grace is not a tool to manipulate those we're called to serve. Grace is not an expected measuring device of how much you can get away with in life. Grace is not for you to go beyond the boundaries and for you decide that others must comply to your wants. Grace is not your demands placed on others. You do not demand grace from others. Grace is a gift and that grace is undeserved.

Your thanks, your service, your practice, your love, your help, your humility, your submission, they are to be offered to the Lord as worship.

That is your measuring tool that you alone can use to determine how you show the Lord your thanks for His gift of Grace.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Making A List

I love lists! I love to make lists! It's accomplishing those lists that trip me up during my day. I guess I've swayed off my "foodie blog" once again. That's alright though. Afterall, life is just not about food. I can't figure out how to post pictures to add to that frustration.
I wrote out a list of Summer-Bucket-To-Do's the other day. I am determined to x off the many items on that list. So many fun things to do. Day to day pieces that make a summer a lot of fun. There are things that I didn't write on my list as well. I have started a Math program, for myself. Why did I not do this years ago? I certainly have put this off for too many years. I have Bible Study on my personal "to do" list. I need to pay more attention to that item and pursue it with priority.
One of my most undaunting listed items is to unpack and reorganize what was packed away from last summers, pack and prepare to move. God blessed us by allowing us to stay in our home. The Lord showed to me how much I take for granted and without thanks to Him for all the Blessings and all the Extra's He gives to us. Now, I unpack boxes, and I am humbled.
He gives to us so much, and I give to Him so very little in return. I am trying to be mindful of giving Him thanks as I unpack each and every item and place them in their new home.
I Thessalonians 5:18 – In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I unpacked plates, bowls, and serving dishes yesterday. The night before I had mentioned to Mark that I didn't know where the rest of my dishes were. He looked at me like I was insane. My cabinet where I store my plates surely spoke "they're right there!" I knew there were more. He said, "Don't you have enough?" In theory, yes. I have enough plates in that cabinet to feed my family twice over. I unpacked this box and realized that I have enough to host a large dinner. An idea popped in my mind. With Ft. Meade so close I could plan a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner this year for a family, or two...three who may have a deployed family member! Then that began prayer for families who have a loved one deployed in a far away land, including my own! Prayer for those who don't have enough to eat. I have many plates. Prayer for friends. Friends I love to feed. I realized I need another list. A lengthy list that has thoughts for prayer, prayer for those near and far. When you go through your day, don't forget to pray. When you fold your laundry, and you fold a t-shirt that has a Quiksilver design on the front, remember to lift that boy that wears that shirt. When you pick that bowl up left on the table remember to whisper that child's name to the Lord. He knows. As you scrub the sink, the toilet and the floor thank God for the house that He has provided for you. Thank Him for allowing you to serve your family in that task that otherwise seems thankless. Make a list, make two lists just remember to add thanks and prayer to that list. Lists should not ever have an ending.