Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Idiom Idiot


Idioms have never been my strong suit. 

And I get it honest. 

My Dad messes his phrases up, too.

In fact, when it comes to anything verbal, chances are I'm gonna botch something up. But, Lord be with me when I try to use phrases. Let's just say, I am quickly reminded that the idiom part of my brain did not quite develop properly. 

Here's proof.


1. Telling my boss over the phone that the 
display I created was so good, it was going to 
"blow his pants down." 

Let me explain myself.  
I combined two idioms. (I don't recommend that.)
"Blow your mind" and "Knock your socks off"
Only somehow, "socks" got turned into "pants."


2. I once told an old lady at church that 
her good friends were "a dime a dozen."

I thought that was a compliment.

Yikes.

You ever said anything you wish you could take back?

Welcome to my world. 


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Saturday, January 26, 2013

How 'bout a Healthy Diddy?

I don't really do New Year's Resolutions. I tend to abandon ship after two weeks of any kind of major change. But, since gaining weight after my hip surgery and pulling my back out a couple of weeks ago (talk about feeling like an old fogey), I have been on a mission to take back my health.

It isn't easy to make lots of changes to get healthy. I have made little strides here and there. But, when I noticed myself bailing out of the family football game for the past two years, I realized I was turning into the very person I never wanted to be.

I want to be active. I want to feel healthy. And most importantly, I want to set my family up for success by living an example of healthy living. Not just by eating healthy food. And not by allowing my body to be my obsession. But, simply to teach my children that if you take care of your body from an early age, you will be grateful later.  I didn't realize that health was much more than how I physically looked. I was a cheerleader in High School, so I always prided myself on knowing how to stretch, exercise and work hard. But, knowing how and actually doing it are two very different things.

Now, I can finally say I have had enough.

Enough sitting back while others bike mountains, run races, and chase goals.

Enough feeling sorry for myself and believing that I can't do it.

Enough excuses about how my family takes it all out of me. (That is an ol' trusty one.)

Enough watching my life pass me by and thinking that "one day" it will happen.

I have done a few new things that I believe have set me and my family up for success. I am by no means an expert on any subject. But, I have always failed to "stick" with anything for long periods.  So, here is how I had to change my way of thinking.

I Can't NOT Exercise. (And, yes, Mom. That is a double negative.)

It isn't a choice anymore. I have struggled with depression. My body is headed South, literally. And I finally realized that if I wanted a better quality of life, then I have to be the one to change it. For my mental and physical health, I must do it. The days I don't, I can tell. And so can my husband. (cuz I'm grumpy!)

Make Sugar Once A Week

I kept sugar in my house for years, out of fear that my kids would go hog-wild on the stuff if I kept it from them totally. But, I found myself constantly "cheating" and my boys whining for treats after every meal. So, I came up with a new idea. One night during the week, I let my boys pick out a dessert they want to try. On Friday or Saturday, we all bake it together. It's great bonding time. I'm teaching my boys to cook, and dessert is back to being a treat instead of an expectation. We don't go hog wild on it, but we do enjoy it. And whatever is left over by Sunday, we toss it. I know my boys will have the occasional birthday cake or a sucker after a haircut, but for the most part, sugar is out. (And might I add, it is FUN to sit down as a family and pick out fantastic desserts to try together!)

Stick to Whole Foods

Whole wheat products. Fresh or frozen whole fruits. Fresh or frozen whole vegetables. Beans. Low-Fat Dairy. I have not (nor plan to at this point) jumped on the gluten-free band wagon, so it's not difficult to stick to this. Best rule of thumb? Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. Don't buy snack foods and treats for your kids. They will survive. Mine have. Organic Tortilla chips and salsa. Hummus and carrots. It might take some convincing and even some determination, but your kids will follow suit. I promise. (And Peanut is still a challenge!)


Only Water and Tea.

Not sweet tea. I'm Southern. Tea wasn't tea unless there was four cups of sugar in it. I fought this one long and hard, but finally cut out coffee and traded it for hot tea. Among my favorites? Peppermint, Chamomile, Green and any citrus flavored tea. Add a little honey and voila! You have a new low-cal treat. Don't expect it to taste like a latte. But, stick with it. It will grow on you.


VITAMINS. VITAMINS. VITAMINS.

I hate vitamins. I always buy them and intend to be good. But, I take the horse pills for a couple of days and then tap out. But, while visiting a friend whose genius husband is a biologist, I was told how Fish Oil is literally the BEST thing you can do for your nutrition. So, while weaning off a certain medication, it has been vital in helping me maintain my mental clarity. I take Fish Oil (3500 mg per day), Vitamin D3 (1000 mg per 15 pounds of body weight), Vitamin B Complex (I double the recommended dosage), and Emergenc-C (two packs a day during cold/flu season). My kids take chewable organic Multi-vitamins, Fish Oil (that they love!) and Vitamin C. As we all sit down to eat breakfast, I pull the huge basket off the top of the fridge and divvy up our goodies! It's now a part of our routine and the kids don't let me forget! If you are uncertain about which vitamins you should take, go to an herbal specialist. I buy mine from various places but Swanson is a great website with amazing prices.


Think About Your Future

We have good friends in South Carolina. The husband was wanting a work-out buddy to get in shape. He approached a friend of his and asked if he would be interested in working out with him. The guy said, "No." When our friend asked him what he planned on doing if he wasn't going to get in shape, he replied, "I don't know. I'll probably just get old and die." Wow. Now there's a quality of life worth fighting for. No thanks. I'm not going down without a fight. I know there will be uphill battles, injuries, surgeries, sickness, and a lot of other trials, but I want to live a quality of life that allows my family to do more than we can imagine. I want to kayak, bike, hike the Grand Canyon, do a Mud Run, etc. And it's not going to happen by me sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

So, there it is folks. My new way of thinking. The old way trickles back in. But, I just force those thoughts out. God has given me this body to take care of to do His purposes. How can I do that if I'm constantly sluggish and mentally exhausted?

And I by NO means have conquered it all. In fact, I hesitated to write this because some people will read it and feel worse about themselves. DON'T! It took me a lot of inward soul-searching and physical hurdles to get to this point. Just don't sell yourself short. You are worth the investment. Stop doing it to be skinny. Do it for your kids. For your spouse. And look forward to the many years ahead of living.

PS. My first priorities are my time with God, my family, and my gym time. So if I can carve time out after fulfilling those things, I plan to post some of my new favorite quinoa recipes. It's pronounced 'keen-wah'. If you haven't tried it, don't be intimidated. It's easy as pie to cook with. Promise.

'Til then! Live Well!

He's One of the reasons I want to Live Fully. My silly boy!


And I'm Going to Have To Be Healthy To Keep Up with Peanut!



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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Perfection is Over-Rated


Some days I get it "perfect."

I wake up happy.
I cook a healthy breakfast and remember to take my vitamins. :)
I workout at the gym.
I play with my boys, without a looming to-do list in the back of my mind.
I read my Bible.
I don't check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest umpteen times.
I get laundry caught up.
I actually clean the kitchen.
I kiss my husband when he walks in the door.
We eat a home-cooked dinner together.
We share a Bible story and pray together as a family before bedtime.
The kids go to bed with one of my make-up-as-I-go shadow puppet shows.
My husband and I enjoy the last minutes before shut-eye chatting over a cup of tea.

Those are the days I feel great. Like I've got it together. I mean, I deserve a Suzy-homemaker ribbon, right? I can close my eyes and mentally pat myself on the back, because I did it.

But, then, day two begins.

I wake up exhausted.
I'm too tired to cook and do those dang dishes, so I whip out the cereal and milk.
I skip the gym and kick myself for doing so later.
I'm with my boys, but mentally thinking of the oodles of things I should be doing.
I notice my Bible.
I Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest while the laundry beckons.
I think of the dust on top of the fridge and mentally want to shut down.
I verbally and emotionally unload on my husband the moment he walks in the door.
We order pizza. (which makes my earlier gym decision all the more regretful)
The kids run around like wild stallions.
We do a quick family "fill-your-quota" kind of prayer.
I basically threaten the children's existence if they even think about calling my name or getting up out of the bed, because Mommy. Is. Done.
My husband flips on the TV and prays to himself that I will just go to bed for the love of all that is good in this world.
No tea.

Those are the days I don't talk about. The days where inside, I am literally crying out to God, "Why can't I get it together? What is wrong with me?"

Those days are rough.

And, I've tried muscling through it. Praying through it. Reading scripture through it. Positively talking to myself through it. Making lists. Following schedules. Trying the next big thing to get my act together.

But, the truth is. can't do anything. Sure, I still plug away at willing myself to change. But, my sheer will and human nature will fail me every time.

It is He who must work. It is on those "perfect" days where, though grateful as I may be, I seem to rely on Him a little less. After all, I did it pretty well on my own, thank-you-very-much.

But, those days when it all falls apart, physically and emotionally, I am forced to look beyond myself and see my need for help. For a Savior.

I could have a perfect day each day. Where my house is totally spic'n span. Where my verbal outbursts are nonexistent. Where my self-discipline allows me to follow my set schedule down to the letter. But, it is not on those days where I am forced to come to grips with how much I need His help.

I'm a mess. 

But, the good exciting amazing news is, He is changing me.

The daily imperfections of life and ourselves are the very thing that should cause us to fall on our knees and be thankful that He came. So, that in the ashes, we can take confidence that it isn't in our ability that beauty will rise. It is in His alone.

So, let you and I take heart.

We don't have to have it all together. He is our perfection and in that we have hope.

My "perfect" days are few and far between. And for that, I am learning to be thankful.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9




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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Is This Thing Still On...?

"Checking. Checking. 1,2,3... "

Hi.

Yes, it's been a while.

I must say, there have been countless times I wanted to blog. Where I felt the urge to share.

But, something kept telling me to "wait." Well, not some thing, but some One.

You see, I'm quite social. And, if you couldn't tell already, I love to talk.

And to be painfully honest, I like to hear myself talk. Especially when I feel like I have it figured out.

Whatever "it" is.

But, God has been doing a number on me. Lawd have mercy, has He!

The past few months have brought out a lot of inner junk. As my husband likes to say, "I have a lot of junk in my trunk." (both figuratively and literally...HA!)

I kept struggling with the same "stuff." Lots of stuff. Piles and piles of stuff.

And one thing kept coming into my heart.

"Listen."

I've always prayed for wisdom. And I have asked that no matter what the cost, I would be open to it.

And, one thing I saw was that for me to listen, a few things had to happen.

I needed to put a sock in it.

We women like to talk. Boy, do we. About everything. One thing I noticed in my study of Proverbs over and over was the theme of "silence" and "wisdom" going hand in hand. However, I was sure that didn't take aim at me...! I mean, I had good things to share...about God, above all else! And it wasn't talking bad about someone if I ended it with "Bless her heart!" So, my talking was fine. And, I needed to talk. It was therapeutic for me to talk. I could go on and on about any subject of your choosing... But, after reading James 3, about the damage my mouth can do, I took it to heart. It's time for me to hush. To stop thinking I need to impart my two cents on it all. And for that, my husband is thankful. If only, I could do this 100%... Hey, I'm a work in progress.

I needed to clear my schedule. 

I was running myself half crazy trying to be everything to everybody. See if you can relate:

"So-and-so had a baby and nobody had a shower for her?!! Well, Jesus would want me to be his hands and feet, so I better go plan a baby shower! And Needy Judy is struggling so I should call to see if we can get together to cheer her up. And I need to make a home-made meal to take to the new mom at church. Bless my neglected children's hearts. I haven't done anything from Pinterest lately like so-and-so. How does she find time to do it all? I need a girl's night. That's what I need. Friday night. But, it's been weeks since Lance and I had a date night...What??!! Home Goods is having a sale?? Look at the dust on my night stand. Good grief."

I called an audible. For Pete's sake, I just needed permission to focus on my family. To not be everyone's Savior. (We already have one and He's much better at it than I am.) To live each day slowly and know that by clearing my schedule, I cleared my mind's noise and was able to actually "listen."

I needed to find my first love. 

I love Christians. Heck, I am one. But, can I be really real? We sure can be a bunch of judgmental pious know-it-alls who walk around with about as much inner joy and peace as a bucket of lead. I have spent so many years trying to do things right (which is not a bad thing), and know the right answers that I forgot the whole reason why I believe what I believe.

Jesus.

He's my hope. My strength when I am weak. My friend when I am lonely. A father that never lets me down. My constant. My counselor. My truth. My inner peace. My joy.

My first love shouldn't be "getting it right". In Revelations, Paul told one of the churches that they had lost their "first love", which of course, was God.

Getting it right is fine and all, but when we sacrifice seeking the One who made it all, we have missed the entire mark.


I can't even tell you what this looks like. I wrestle daily with learning to grasp His love for me and what that even means. But, I can tell you this. He never disappoints. My prayers for true wisdom have not gone unanswered. He reveals things through His Word to me constantly and through His Holy Spirit. It isn't always easy. But, the inner rewards are worth the journey. Proverbs talks about seeking wisdom as a treasure. I just had to realize that I was placing value on the wrong things.

So, before I get any wordier than I already have, let me end by saying: I haven't got it figured out and I mess up royally on a daily basis, but He is faithful.

PS.  I am not returning to blogging full-time yet. I still feel the need to focus on listening to God and to be emotionally present for my kids and my husband. It's my temptation to busy myself with other things. Silence is hard. But for now, that is what I am being led to work on. This was my heart. Thanks for letting me share. I miss you guys!

What are some things God is working on in your life?




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