Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Am Free to Turn North and Remain

First, a funny story.

I made some cake pops for the birthday party I threw for our little girls.  My step-son asked me how I made them, so I told him all about it, first cake mix, baked, cooled and then crumbled.  Then add the frosting, not all, I added two thirds and that may have been too much, then roll your balls, . . .

yes I said it that way . . .

and you may want to roll your balls smaller than I did mine because they were too heavy to stay on the stick,

and that's when I lost him.

Yes I told my son to roll his balls smaller so that they would stay on the stick.


My second week on my diet - er - lifestyle change has been a success.  As of Saturday, I have lost 9 lbs and 2 1/2 inches on my hips!  HELLO!  Or as Danya would say Holler!

So worth all the broccoli and asparagus this girl can eat. And pickles!  The nurse told me to eat all the pickles I want when I am having cravings.  They are serious about this pickle thing.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The book "Made To Crave" started singing my song and I hung on every word.  If you are a dieter go get it.

Don't wait.

Do it.


These last two weeks haven't been all easy but they have been all worth it.  I feel better than I have for a very long time.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  "Our chains are no longer holding us, we are holding them!" Thanks for that line Beth Moore.

So true, we have the power to be successful.  Anything less is disbelief!

Excerpts from the book that is waking me up and walking me through the "Stinking, Rotten, Horrible, No Good Days", chapter 11.

(Note all type in blue is quoted from the Lysa TurKeurst's book, "Made to Crave".)

"Either we can be victimized and become victims, or we can be victimized and rise above it."  Ruth Graham.


She continues to say, "Often it is easier to play the victim than take off our masks and ask for help.  We get comfortable with our victim status.  It becomes our identity and is hard to give up.  The Israelites often played the victim card, and I love what God finally tells them, 'You have circled this mountain long enough. NOW TURN NORTH!(emphasis mine)  (Deuteronomy 2:23 [NASB]) .

Turn north! It's time to move on!  Self-pity, fear, pride, and negativity paralyze us.  Taking off our masks takes courage, but if we don't do it, we will remain in our victim status and end up stunted".  

Or in this case, overweight and unhealthy, further compounding our feelings of being victimized by our circumstances.   So, what can we do when we don't have the energy or the fortitude or the desire to eat healthy?

Or in my case, keep my mouth shut, to control my tongue and truly, honestly depend on God in all my circumstances?

I have a personal situation that I don't like.  I don't like it and I don't want it!  But I can't do anything about it.

It's complicated.

I am second.

I am the second wife.  And there is nothing I can do about that.  It just is.  I love Jesus, his compassion fills my heart and I don't want anyone to suffer, so I reached out to "my ex-wife", as I like to call her.  I didn't want her to be lonely when her kids were gathered at my house and she was alone at hers.  So, I invited her to dinner and she accepted.  Fast forward a few years and now she comes to stay at our home up to five days at a time!

I know, that could be weird.

Sometimes it is,
Sometimes it is difficult,
Sometimes there is a stab of pain from a thing said, a comment made, and
Sometimes it is just plain . . . not fun.

And sometimes it's okay, enjoyable even.

It's my house and my kitchen, we live 8 miles from the nearest town and even if we wanted to go in and eat, there is no place worth going in and eating at!  So, I am stuck in the kitchen cooking and cleaning while the rest of the family is visiting and laughing and watching movies.

Did I say I don't like and I don't want it?  

So how does this play into my diet?

It causes me to focus on things I cannot change, rather than on God.
It plays the track of defeat in my mind, it makes me uncomfortable, and sets me up for my resolve to be weaken.

And it plays right into the devil's hand.

Because my mind is playing a track of defeat and my tongue is restless inside my mouth all I want to do is lash out.

I know that I cannot allow that to rule my heart and my mind.  I know that it would back up all the hard work that has gone into making two families one.  Or at least like each other.  Let me tell you, this blended family thing can be just as hard as it is rewarding.  It takes work and a lot of it and it takes perseverance and compromise.

I know that Jesus' way is to turn the other cheek, to love others as you love yourself and to see things as God sees them.  My ex-wife may be taking advantage of my good nature, but maybe there is a bigger purpose at work here.  Maybe, God is loving on her through me, maybe He is showing the rest of the family what His heart looks like, how it treats others and that His sacrifice was so great that we can sacrifice what little is asked of us, too.

So, what's a Jesus loving girl to do?

Turn to God, accept His teachings and do what he says to do.

My philosophy on this is, "if you have decided to ask for help, then be prepared to take that help".  In others words, do what they tell you.  Whether you have decided to ask a parent, a spouse, a friend or especially God, do it!  Do it now, don't wait.  Do what you know is right, what will cause the least harm, and keep the peace.  Amen.

 Controlling my tongue and my thoughts and my cravings for things that will never love me back, that only seek to destroy and do not result in victory and will never fulfill the longing that is inside my heart is often times hard.  And lets face hard is just plain hard to do.  I know simple, but true.

(Neither will finally putting on that skinny pair of jeans or losing 9 pounds or 20 or anything else.  Only Jesus can fill what is lacking inside our hearts).

Even though I lost weight and I am off to a great start, I still dealt with the things that go wrong in life.  I still turned on the track of self pity and I still need God to fill me.  

We often hear that God will not give you more than you can handle.  The thing is God never said that.  He said that he would not let you be tempted without a way out (1 Cor. 10:13)  In fact it may just be God that gives us more than we can handle, so that we will depend on Him rather than ourselves.  I read that in another great book that is out there, "Weird" by Craig Groeschel.

Control, whether is it your tongue or your cravings, takes work.  Sometimes you just have to walk away from the places, things or people who test you and make it hard to resist.  Go to God and take off your mask and ask for help.  Unmasking ourselves is the first step to receiving the help that we need.

I had a stinkin', rotten, no good day!  I wallered in self pity and really wanted to say all the things that were running through my mind.  But, my husband was so helpful and supportive.   He made great strides to make sure that I knew where his focus was, with me, and it brought joy to someone else's heart.  

So, I took the advice that was so wisely given, I turned north.  I sought the Lord for my comfort  and advice.  Romans 8:28 came to mind.  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Hope all is well in your households.

See ya.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Week 1!

Week one is down and out.  Ya hoooo.! ( hear that with a bit of a Texas accent).

I made through with some bumps and challenges but I made it with no cheating.  This morning I was rewarded with a five pound drop.  That's pretty darn good for the first week out.  I know that probably won't sustain itself and the truth is while the number is a gage on how I'm doing, it is not the primary focus on what I'm doing.

The doctor warned me about focusing on "the number".  If I were to weigh everyday and focus on what the scale said I would feel defeated and discouraged when I reach the plateau and that is when most people give up or give in.

I chose this.

I decided to start this diet now knowing that my daughter and her family would be coming to visit from Virginia and that I would be throwing a birthday party for the three two year olds we have in our family.

I chose to start now while the getting was good, than to wait two weeks for all the company to leave.  I did that because I was ready to start, number one, and also because I know me and I would think, "this is my last two weeks I better eat this because I won't get again for a while or never".  I knew that I would see food in a new light, one that I currently wasn't struggling with.  So this choice has put me in the kitchen cooking things I cannot eat (but that I really love) and in the grocery store walking down isles of food that I cannot have.

My freezer was totally empty because while we were gone for a week I had left something in the way of the door closing properly and when I got back the temp. was 83 degrees.  Needless to say, a stinky mess.  When the family came in I really needed to go shopping.

The day I went, I forgot to pack one of my meal replacement shakes.  (Note to self don't ever do that again.)  So while I was at the grocery store, I started feeling sooo hungry, my stomach was growling and everything was reaching out to me from those shelves, calling my name.  "Hey there, you like me, pick me, pick me."  (hear this in a high ghostly kind of voice)

I really really really had to talk to myself in there.  I told myself that this was temporary and I would get home soon and get the food I was suppose to have.  I quoted scripture, my favorite mantra, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13  As I prayed that, just enough strengthen flowed through my body.

I also began to remember the scripture I included on my last blog post, the great and powerful Hebrews 12:1 "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. I made it home at 5:00 and just decided to pick up on my day where it was and not try to complete the whole diet plan.

That has been my biggest challenge so far.

I want to share with you some of the things out of the book "Made to Crave" written by Lysa Terkeurst, that have really spoken to me.  I can't put it all here because that would make for a really long post and I would loose you all.  Assuming I haven't already.

By the way I really want to thank you for your encouragement and for jumping on the band wagon with me.  I love you guys.  Thanks again.   It encourages me to know that God is using my battle to love on you.

Note: all type in blue is from the book.

"Our flesh buys right into Satan's lie that it's not fair for things to be withheld from us."


"The seduction was smooth and seemingly innocent."

Wow, that was a powerful one, page 101 of the chapter titled "It's not fair".   She is talking about being on vacation and being at a special dinner with her husband and having a dessert set down in front of her.  While she watches her husband eat it, assuring him that it is okay, "I don't mind, go ahead, it won't bother me"  her heart is saying something else completely, "it's not fair"

"Saying it's not fair has caused many a girl to toss aside what she knows is right for the temporary thrill of whatever it is that does seem fair.  But the next day the sun will rise and as each band of light becomes brighter and brighter, the realization of the choice she made the night before becomes clearer and clearer."

Poor me. 
This isn't fair.
I've lived with this struggle for so long.
This is a special time.
I could just give in this once.
Everyone else is doing it. (that is a big one for me, what a downfall that has been in my life)

"It's at this exact point when the dieter on vacation indulges.  
The virgin sleeps with her prom date.  
The girl on a debt reduction plan pulls her credit card back out.  
The alcoholic skips AA and heads off to the bar for her friend's fortieth birthday instead. 

They may know they are made for more, but somehow Satan dissipated this truth with a rationalization: 'Special times deserve special exceptions and anything else just 'isn't fair.'"    

The scripture she went to that day was powerful too, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.  

She goes on to say, "Weakness is hard, but it doesn't have to mean defeat.  It is my opportunity to experience God's power firsthand.  Compromise built upon compromise equals failure.  Instead, resisting temptation allowed promise upon promise to be built up in my heart, and that creates empowerment.

Now that's some pretty darn good stuff right there!  It reminds me what Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."  And that is even better stuff!

That pretty much sums it up for me.  Today is the big birthday party.  This family is so blessed.  We have 8 grandchildren and three step grands, and three of our babies were born the same year.  They are all turning two this year, yesterday was baby H's birthday, so we decided that since everyone was going to be here, we would throw a party and celebrate everyone's birthday.  The three little girl's get a cup cake with candles, crowns and gifts, everyone else gets party favors and one gift.

I just can't stand to see little eyes looking at me and wanting to know why their Nanoo didn't get them something.  I understand that they need to experience, "it's not all about me" out in the real world, but this isn't the real world, this is Nanoo and Pappaw's house.  Not real here.  No, this is the land where we scoop you up and run off with you, where we spend endless hours pushing you in the swing, and where if you want cake before dinner that's okay too.

Nope, nothing about the real world here.

:))  love you guys.

See ya.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Today Is The First Day of The Rest of My Life

Well Friday was, actually.  Today is the third day of the rest of my life.

I'm on a diet.  Today is day three and I'm a little bit hungry to be real honest.  BUT!!!

And that is a big but, not as in butt which is also pretty big these days, so hence the diet.

I have had a hard time taking this mid-life weight off,  so I sought help.  I went to a doctor with a weight loss program and a diet plan.  I am drinking three shakes a day and eating one meal and I can eat all the pickles I want!  Hey now that's a diet for me!!

And I am getting up in the morning and walking 30 minutes on the treadmill.

It just came down to "want to."  I had to find my want to.  Food is not really an emotional thing for me, if anything it might be a boredom thing but my problem has not been how much I eat but what I'm eating.

God has been talking to me for a pretty long while now.  I am so thankful that he keeps after me and doesn't do to me what I would do, which is ask once maybe twice and then say "away with you, off with her head!"

Not really, I wouldn't say off with her head!  Ha.

Would I, Mom?

Forget that I said that.

God has spoken to me through friends and family on multiple occasions.  I had to finally quit kidding myself that I could eat anything and everything that I wanted to and get my priorities straight.  Be honest with myself.

Here's the deal, I'm weighing in at 168.5 and I want to weigh 135.  I wearing size 12 and I want to wear 6's.  They measured me to but sorry I don't remember what those were.  That's the facts.  I realize that is not as much as some have to lose and more than some but the things is, it is a change and change takes perseverance and determination and want to.

So the diet this doctor gave me has almost nothing on that I like.  Normally, that would be a stumbling block but not this time!  I'm ready to get back to the girl I use to be.  The one whose philosophy was "eat to live not live to eat" and whose body craved the good stuff, like vegetables and salads and water.

My honey stood in the kitchen tonight and asked me, "so am I on a diet too?"

Yes, yes you are.  Are you okay with that?

The way I see it is you have to want it more than you want the chips or the chocolate or the whatevers, so when my brain finally puts it in that perspective there is no temptation to cheat, at all!  I simply don't want it.

I have a deep desire to please God and to grow closer to Him through this time of transition by praying when cravings come along and trusting His word that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Which has been a mantra that I repeat whenever I feel the need for strength.

Like I said this is just day 3 and I have 87 more to go.  My goal is to lose 35 lbs and at 10 lbs per month, I should be reaching my goal by Thanksgiving.

In the grand scheme of things not so much time to spend setting yourself free from the bondage that holds you down, makes you feel guilty, robs you of your energy and just plan makes you feel not so pretty anymore.

Let's face it I like clothes and I want to walk in my closet in the mornings and grab whatever pair of jeans I want to wear and put them on!  Pick out a cute shirt and an equally cute pair of shoes and hit the floor running.  No longer focused on the clothes that don't fit and looking for that ONE pair of jeans, hoping they have been washed or not washed.  Know what I mean?

I want to honor God by respecting my body which is His temple.  And then there are the kids.  My job is to show them how to dig down deep and pull out the strength and determination to face any obstacle, claim it and make it your own.

I'm not saying it is easy, but I am also not saying that it has been that hard.  Today was day three and this was the day that I was suppose to have a big headache from sugar withdrawals.  I had a small one this morning but it just went away.  They tell me that day five is the day when I will feel bad from carbohydrate withdrawals, but you know what, I have things to do that day.  So I don't have time for that either.  We'll see, I'll let you know how it goes.

Until then, I am not letting go.  I will not give in.  I want this bad enough to pay the price it takes to get it.  And if that price is to deny myself some things then I'm good with that.

Oh yea and hunger pains they are sign that what your doing is working.  It's not like we are really going to starve to death.  So when I feel hungry I call that victory.

Maybe do a little victory dance.  And then get me a pickle or something raw, like celery.

Maybe you ladies here can be one more accountability group for me.  If you are on the same journey that I am we can go together or if you are facing this in your future let me be your cheering partner.

I picked up a book called "Made To Crave".  She is digging deep into scripture and showing all the places that Satan used food to draw us away from God.  Our cravings are carvings for God and we replace them with the things of this world be it food, or whatever vice that has a hold on you.  We are meant for so much more in this life.  There is kingdom work to be done and I am not a very good servant when I don't feel good.

So no more.

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.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.   Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves, 
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons (and daughters).

Hebrews 12:1-7

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Time for Sharing

WE spent some quality time with the grands this summer.  This is our oldest granddaughter.

She is growing up toooooo fast.  I made this for her bedroom to top her window.

I was trying to take a picture when I noticed what was in my view finder and quickly took the shot before I lost it.

Funny girl.

More to come, up next the boys.

See ya.
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