28 Days · exercise · Grace · Health · Hope · Lessons Learned · life happens... · Prayers · Questions to Ponder · Seasons · Struggles · The Journey

It’s Not a Sprint…

As I continue down this path to better health, I’m learning more and more about myself each day.  Today I ventured out on another walk by myself.  I’m rather enjoying these solo treks as they give me time to breathe, process, let go, pray and just BE.  I decided to head to the high school and walk the track on this sunny day, knowing the entire track would be in the bright sunshine!  I have a routine. First I begin in lane one and each time I loop around I switch to another lane working my way to lane 8.  Walking alone gives me “think time.”

Today I had a huge revelation about myself and why I chose to go to the track and not walk the neighborhoods.  The track is predictable.  I know where I am, where I’m going and how to get home.  When I walk the neighborhoods, I am not always sure where I am.  I get caught up in looking at yards and houses, allowing my mind to get distracted by those things.  On the track, I don’t have to think about where I am or where I’m going.  Being that this whole exercise thing is something I’m learning to like, it felt good to have a little control of the situation.  I like things to be planned out and predictable.  I wish I were more spontaneous and daring.  I love the comfort of the track.

Today there were three high school girls there with a track coach.  They were warming up and then moved to the other side of the track and were working on starts for their sprints.  They were coming out of those starting blocks very quickly.  I tried to steer clear of their work while still keeping to my 1-8 lane progression!  As I watched them come up out of those blocks quickly, I realized something else about my journey.  This journey is not a sprint.  I can’t think that I can do everything fast and furious to get quick results.  I did not get fat overnight and I won’t change overnight.

Today is Day 15 and I was very discouraged over the weekend.  I don’t look different at all.  I feel better, but nothing has changed as far as my body.  Another mindset that I need to let go of.  Just because I have done good things for a few weeks does not mean I’m good to go and a changed woman!  Past failures can be linked to this very mindset flaw.  I’m in this for the long haul, not for a short sprint.  I am changing old habits and old belief systems.  First and foremost, my goal is better health so I can live my remaining days on this earth active and able to fulfill God’s calling on my life.  I want to feel good each day as I get out of bed and have energy to attack the day!  I want to be fit for the day when we have grandchildren!  It is not going to happen overnight.  It’s a daily decision I make to love myself enough to make good choices and afford myself the time to take care of ME.

My initial goal was February.  I can do anything for 28 days.  After that I was not sure what I would do, because deep down I thought that in those 28 days my life would be transformed and I would be “normal.”   I’m still looking to the end of February to celebrate the initial goal I set, but I know that I like this and want to continue into the rest of my days!  I’ve now set another goal for my 52nd birthday and I honestly think I can get there!  Funny thing about it is that it’s going to take time and energy and work… all things that I have to do.  No one can do them for me.  I have to love myself enough to make it work!  My biggest supporter, God, has assured me that He will never let go of me or my dream.  Together… we’ve got this!

So, today I celebrate 14 days of healthy eating and close to 20 miles of walking!  It feels great!  I’m encouraged!  I hope you are encouraged if you need that today.  If I can do this… so can you!  If you are doubting that you can make changes in an area of your life, invite God to join you and love yourself enough to try it today!  One foot in front of the other!  



28 Days · Fun · Gifts · Grace · Gratitude Friday · Healing · Health · Hope · Lessons Learned · Seasons · The Journey · Uncategorized

To Share or Not to Share…

As I approach my 52nd birthday, I’ve come to the conclusion that good health is not going to happen on it’s own.  If I want to be healthier, thinner, in better shape… I must work at it!  I’ve struggled with my weight since the womb!  I was born fat!  With this gift has come 51 years of bad habits, disappointments, old tapes that play over and over and a very fragile self-esteem.

Upon turning 50, I began to be a bit more assertive and confident.  Having spent my entire life being a people-pleaser and peace maker, I decided it was high time I took care of ME!  I’ve slowly begun to care more about what is best for me and not just what is best for others.

Also upon turning 50, my body began to show more signs of aging than ever before!  It’s true what they say… everything goes downhill… literally!  Things that I could always do, even being overweight, were getting more difficult.  This bummed me out and worried me.  If I feel this way at 50 then what will I feel like at 60?  70?

Over the past 4 years or so I’ve been taking wellness steps.  They have been life-changing.  I’m healthier than I’ve ever been… except for the weight.  The weight that has been mine and only mine for 51 years.  It’s a heavy burden to bear… literally!

February 2, I began walking down a new path.  A clean-eating path that does not include sugar, processed foods or gluten.  The gluten part is an experiment to see how I feel.  Today marks 12 days of freedom from these things!  I’ve also committed to some sort of movement each day.  If you know me at all, you know that I’ve never met an exercise that I like!  It’s not my go-to!  In my mind I long to be a sleek runner out enjoying the fresh air.  My reality – too much weight on my old bones and it’s just not pretty!

For the past 2+ weeks, I’ve found a new love for walking outside.  I have walking tapes… they bore me to death!  We have had spring-like weather and I’m starting to take advantage of it!  It feels good!

I’m learning so much about myself as I work to care for me on a more intentional level.  I’ve got some very old tapes to destroy and some habits to break… one day at a time.  One thing I’m learning is that I have to make my journey public.  Without accountability I will never succeed.

My struggle is that it feels very self-serving to tell others about the successes that I’ve had.  I’m more inclined to tell you when I’ve failed than succeeded.  That is a mindset that I must change.  I need the encouragement of others and I want to be that encourager to others as well!  Why does it feel bad to share the positive?  If feels like bragging and I learned as a kid that bragging was not a good virtue.

So, when I post on FB a success I’ve had, I’m not bragging… I’m celebrating!  And yes, I love the “way to go’s” and “good job’s”!  I love the encouragement… we all do!  We all need to surround ourselves with a community that lifts us up and helps us along the way… even when we slip and fall.

This morning as I walked, I was smiling the entire way!  I was outside moving!  I was breathing and moving and doing something good for ME!  All by myself!  If you know me, you know that I don’t really like to do things alone.  Today, I put on my big girls and my new bright blue shoes and hit the road!  I was accompanied by the Decemberists and walked a Personal Best!


I’m so thankful to not be on this journey alone.  I have a wonderful support network and I’m learning that it’s okay to let the world know!  I have a new love for ME that I have never really had.  And that love is fueled by my amazing God in heaven!  He created me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made!  I am not defined by my job, my husband, my scale or anything or anyone else.  I am a daughter of the King and He is the reason I got out of bed this morning!

So, here’s to 50 more years of healthy living… for it’s never too late to make a change!

28 Days · Lessons Learned

28 Days!!!!!

Today I wrap up my “I Can Do Anything for 28 Days” campaign!  Outwardly, nothing looks different in my life, nor do I look different.  I did not shed that weight that giving up sugar and exercising everyday was going to help with.  Hmmmm, could it be because that big lofty goal was not met… in fact, I’m not sure I even started it!  But, let’s focus on what I DID start and complete!  FB!  The coveted social network that consumed me.  Today marks Day 28 of no FB and I have to say that I am pretty tickled and amazed that I have not once gone on.  While my outside does not look different, my inside does… my heart does.

Lessons I’ve learned and emotions I’ve had while fasting FB:

  • Being addicted to something sucks when you can’t have it!
  • Getting a new computer and not being able to try it out with FB… just plain wrong!
  • When you walk away from Farkle for a month you really lose a lot of bonus points for not logging on each day!
  • No knowing how many friends need horses and plows and corn for their farms… well, let’s just say I don’t sleep as well at night!

  • Connecting with people (in whatever way that is) feeds the soul.
  • Being able to encourage people in need as they reach out on FB is a blessing and gift.
  • Relationships matter… whether they are near or far… live or over the internet.
  • 28 days is a really long time!  Thank goodness this is not leap year!

 So, with 18 hours and 34 minutes left until my fast is over… I contemplate what will come next.  I know I’ll sleep better being able to support the farms of friends. Wait, I’ve blocked that game… oops!  I know that my prayer life will broaden as I once again pray for those I know and don’t know as they reach out for comfort and support.  I can rejoice with friends as they have babies, grandbabies, get married, send their kids off to prom for the first time, celebrate Grandma’s 90th birthday… oh, the list goes on.  One thing I know for sure… you either love FB or hate it!  I happen to love it and the ways in which it allows me to connect with people and share our lives amidst the busyness.  I’ve also learned that when I don’t like something that others like, I really need to sit back and let them love what they love about it.  I don’t need to voice my opinion loud and clear, especially if I have never tried it.  We all have different things that nurture our souls and feed our needs. While FB is not for everyone… this girl enjoys it!  I feel empowered to look at it through a different lens when I go back on.  I will definitely restructure how I spend my time and how much time I spend.  While I CAN live without it… I’d rather not.  I am just going to revisit it’s purpose in my life and the time I spend.  I’ve truly missed hanging out with friends and bantering over posts!  I’ve missed seeing pictures and sharing events from miles away.  

So now I must go and set my alarm for 12:01 AM…. Tuesday, March 1…. hmmm, I wonder what time it will be when I log in for the first time?  I wonder how much activity there has been while I’ve been away?  My fear…. that my profile will be empty… out of sight, out of mind.  That whole idea is another blog for another time.  Goodbye February… hello March… and FB!

28 Days · A Month in Pictures


If spring won’t show up… then we will make it on our own!  My mother-in-law sent a cool email.  You click on the snowman and the screen turns black.  Then when you move your mouse around the screen, these beautiful flowers appear!  It’s a fabulous garden appearing right before your eyes!  Two more weeks of winter and then this garden will begin to become a reality! 

28 Days · A Month in Pictures

Sacred Saturday…

Today marks Day 26 of my sabbatical from FB!  Today would be the perfect kind of day that I might waste a great deal of time hanging out on FB.  It’s cloudy and very cold, the girls are upstairs, and the boys are heading out to Lowe’s.  This gives me a few hours of time just for me.  There are a million things that I “need” to be doing.  I need to be cleaning the bathroom.  I need to be organizing some drawers and closets.  I need to spend time on some work for school.  I need to nurture my soul a bit.  
Life gets so busy and complicated – filled with lists of things we need to do, must do, or don’t want to do.  How often do we take time to do things that nurture our souls?  I find that my life is so busy and filled with things to do, that I have forgotten how to take some sacred time to do things that bring me back to what is important… home and family.  
I know that Sunday is supposed to be the Sabbath – the day we nourish our hearts with Christ’s fellowship and then rest.  Unfortunately, after church on Sunday’s, we quickly move into “get ready for the week” mode.  Our minds switch to what our week holds and we begin to get geared up for that.  Over this past month of reflection and time to ponder the important things in life, I’ve decided that Saturday is that sacred day… Sacred Saturday.  What kinds of things nurture my soul and family?  Today I took out the old Dorothy Dean cookbook!  If you have any years behind you and grew up around here, you most likely had a Dorothy Dean cookbook on your counter!  I found a peanut butter cookie recipe and decided to actually bake!  I know, right!  Who does that anymore?  We can run to the market and pick up some cookies from the bakery.  Aside from the fact that I do not need peanut butter cookies sitting around, the house smells wonderful, the kitchen is warm, and my family will love them!  My soul has been nurtured a bit today.  I might even continue this trend a little longer and curl up with hot tea and my Kindle.  

As I head into March, I’m determined to spend some time each Sacred Saturday doing something that feeds my soul.  I’m excited to sit with my journal and brainstorm what kinds of things I can do to accomplish this.  I’ve spent so many years filling my days with “busy” that I am not even sure what actually does nurture me.  I’ve definitely had my writing fire flamed and photography is gaining momentum!  Maybe I’ll wake up soon and realize that heading to the gym will nurture my soul!  Well, maybe I should not push the envelope too far out there just yet!  

What nurtures your soul?  I’d love for you to share a comment at the end of this post.  You might suggest something that I’ve never thought about!  Go ahead… post a comment!  No really… post! 

28 Days · Gratitude Friday

Gratitude Friday…

Friday… I love the sound of that word… Friday!   I’m grateful for Friday… it means that I get a break from the madness to spend a few days at home to refuel before the next week of madness begins.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the madness!  I thrive on the madness!  The madness is what gets me out of bed in the morning!  But that break from the madness… that is truly something to be grateful for.

A few other things I’m grateful for this very cold (zero degrees!) morning…

  • my hot coffee to warm me as my very old, cold house begins to warm up

  • the madness (or more fondly referred to as my job)… without that, I would not be sipping said hot coffee in my very old, cold house 
  • my new Birthday Club friends… we gathered for the first time last night and laughed and laughed and laughed… so good for the soul

  • the kids coming this weekend… as they grow and change, our relationships are growing and changing… getting better and better
  • February only having 28 days… and today is number 25… if my math is correct… that only leaves 3 more… hmmm, wonder what March will bring?

 One last thing I am grateful for is my commitment to stay off FB for 28 long gut-wrenching days!  Last night I almost fell off the wagon!  The girls at Birthday Club opened it up to show a picture of our mutual friend, Gnomey Blistwick.  As I looked across the table, I saw the open FB page.  I quickly turned away!  For a split second I felt as if I’d ruined everything that I had worked for!  It felt as if I’d sipped that beer… or taken a bite of that cookie.  I know that probably sounds crazy, but when you are addicted to something it is very difficult (and feels nearly impossible) to stay away from it.  It is at that point in an addicted person’s journey that we feel like we have failed and might as well just throw in the towel and go back to the way it was.  If you’ve struggled with any kind of addiction then you are probably nodding your head in agreement.  If you have never struggled with addiction, well then…. you are extremely lucky.  That silly little incident last night strengthened my resolve even more to finish out what I have committed to.  And, if any of you FB friends are wondering if I’ve gone onto FB just to look…. NO, I have not!  Have I thought about it… YES!  Have I done it?  NO!  I did have to log in from my phone, via Scrabble, to finish a game with a friend, but quickly logged off when the Scrabble game was over!  That doesn’t count, does it?

As I read over what I’ve written thus far, I am realizing that each time I write, I discover or reveal another little piece of who I really am.  I am also feeling more comfortable putting my heart out there for the world (or no one!) to see.  I think it’s time to consider blogging about the one issue that paralyzes my life, and has since I was young girl… food.  FB aside, food is that huge addition in my life.  Maybe opening up about my addiction for all the world to see will help me (and possibly others) in my journey… bring it to the forefront… force me to quit hiding behind it.  Ah, yes… maybe these 28 days truly have had more purpose in my journey than I even realize… and for that on this very cold Friday morning… I am grateful! 

28 Days · Questions to Ponder

The Tenacity of a Cat… Lessons Learned

My sweet girl, Abigail, gives new meaning to the word tenacious!  Merriam-Webster defines tenacious as seeking something valued or desired. Oh ya, that’s my girl!  She is the most tenacious cat alive!  

We live in a 91 year old house.  If the walls and cupboards could talk!  91 years of smells, mice, people, and pets.  Outside our bathroom door is a little hallway with a closet on one side and cupboards on the other.  Abigail loves to come into the bathroom while we are in there – she is usually jonesing for some love, attention, or the sacred food!  Yes, she is just like her momma!  As I stand in the bathroom getting ready each morning, she comes in rubbing all over my legs and talking to me!  It really is very sweet… unless I am wearing black pants!  One more thing you should know about Abigail is that she does not like to be closed out of any room.  She is basically the queen of the palace and likes to have full access 24/7!  I know what you are thinking…. oh, she is so spoiled!  Yep… I’d have to agree!  Good thing I never had my own kids or they’d be spoiled rotten!  

Recently, Miss Abigail has found a new spot she “needs to be in.”  The cupboards along the little hallway outside the bathroom, hold all of our towels and bedding.  Oh how she’d love to get in there and just find a nice cozy spot to sleep all day!  She loves clean towels and has since she was very young.  A new addition to her morning routine is to sniff the cupboards, meow and chatter, paw at the doors, and eventually try to claw at them.  She wants in!  Being the pushover I am, I usually give in to her whims… but not this one!  Who wants to get out of the shower to a cat hair laced towel?  Day after day I tell her NO and wait for her to retreat in utter defeat.  The look of confusion on her face is priceless!  Momma always opens things for me!  Nope… not giving in to this one!  As I watch and talk to her day after day, I have realized that she is full of tenacity.  She wants into that cupboard BAD, and will go to any length to get there.  She is trying to wear me down!  “If I just keep coming back, I might catch her in a weak moment… and viola!  I’m in!”  

As I began to ponder this great tenacity that my cat is displaying, it made me think about myself.  If a cat can be tenacious, can I?  Am I tenacious about anything in my life… anything positive, that is?  I thought about Abigail coming to me every morning, without fail, and asking over and over to get into the cupboard.  She wants something and she is on a mission to get it… that’s tenacity.  I thought about my morning routines.  I get up early, fix a yummy cup of hot coffee, gather my bible, journal, and books, and find my quiet corner of the world to begin my day.  I am tenacious about my time in the morning.  Then I began to dig a little deeper.  What am I seeking out in my early morning quiet time?  I used to pop onto FB for just a few minutes… and we all know that a few minutes on FB is… well, not the same as real world time!  This month I’ve taken to writing early in the morning and reading a book that I’m working through, with sporadic time in the Bible and prayer. 

Then it dawned on me!  I need to be tenaciously seeking entrance to the throne room of God… or the cupboard in Abigail’s world.  If I had half the tenacity that she has, I would run to the cupboard every day and He would open it up!  I have full access and don’t even have to beg!  He actually leaves the cupboard open with fresh towels waiting for me to rest on!  Viola!  I’m in!  And once in, it only gets better from there!  For Abigail, the cupboard opens up 91 years of mouse smells and who knows what else!  Heaven!  For me, it opens up the throne room of grace, love, and acceptance… unconditional!  I don’t have to be noisy and ask over and over for my heavenly papa to open up the door… He has never closed it… and never will. 

28 Days · Questions to Ponder


What comes to your mind when you hear the word “accountability?”  Merriam Webster says accountability is an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions. (Trivia side note:  this word was first used in 1794!)

What does accountability look like in your life?  Are you accountable to anyone?  Do you have an accountability partner?  Is being accountable to someone else a positive, helpful part of your life?  Or is it safer to keep something a secret so no one knows?  

King Solomon understood the power of accountability
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.  But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.  Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm.  But how can one be warm alone?  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.  Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12  NLT)

Why do I need accountability in my life?  Being accountable to someone makes me vulnerable.  They might see my weakness and lack of self-control.  They might judge me.  How can these things help me along in my journey if they just make me feel worse?  I am my own worst “accountability partner.”  I point out my own weakness and lack of self-control.  Oh, how I judge myself with harsh words and negative, distorted thoughts.  I should just keep my mouth shut and not breathe a word about my failings to anyone… especially myself.  

Hmmmm, this makes me think that maybe I should reach out and find someone else who might be that accountability partner with me.  Sounds like they might be a bit easier on me than I am on myself!  When I admit failure, they might be able to help me recover…the other can reach out and help.”  They might be able to provide comfort and friendship in the difficult times…“two people lying close together can keep each other warm.”  They might be able to help me when I feel vulnerable against defeat…“two can stand back-to-back and conquer.”

So, let me think about this… beat myself up alone or find someone to walk the journey with; to encourage and help along the way.  This should be a no-brainer.  Who would not want a friend to come alongside and walk the journey with them? Who would not want to be encouraged and comforted?   Being accountable to someone runs a risk of actually being successful in whatever it is that we are working through.  Wow…. success in a struggling area… that brings up a whole new layer of ones self to be reckoned with.  Might breaking free from that “thing” that has been our identity for so long actually change our lives for the better? Might we actually enjoy freedom from some bondage that has been holding us back from being all that God intended for us to be?  Yep… I think I might just be in the market for an accountability partner to share this journey with.  I’ve always heard that two are better than one.  

28 Days · Healing · Questions to Ponder

32GB’s of Storage…

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending the day in a sanctuary full of amazing women.  We all gathered to spend the day with a beautiful team of women from In His Grace Ministries.  Together, we experienced a THRIVE event.  We worshiped, we laughed, we cried, we prayed… and we came away knowing that we are chosen, strong, victorious, beautiful, and royalty.  It was a lot to take in all in one day.  I came home filled up and yet, full of questions and ponderings.

As I began to pray and journal this morning, I could hardly write as fast as my pen needed to move.  Something happens when I begin to write, and thoughts and feelings spill out onto the paper that I did not even know I had.  We all have baggage – some of us have more pieces than others.  Well, that baggage/luggage is hard to carry around and over time gets worn and not so pretty to look at.  If it’s done any kind of traveling then most likely the airlines have banged it up a bit and maybe even dented it!  Mine is pretty beat up! 

Well, being the technology geek that I am, I have learned the secret!  Who needs to carry around a 5-piece set with extra bags on top of that.  I have learned to store all of my stuff on a handy pen drive.  You know, the little gadget that resembles a tube of lipstick.  At first, all I needed was 1GB of storage.  Then one day I realized that I needed to up my storage, for life had thrown more curves and I had more things to store – thus the 2GB drive.  Every once in a while I have opened up the pen drive and cleaned things up – deleting files that were no longer needed.  What a great feeling that is!   This past year has ramped up my need for greater storage of my “luggage.”  It’s funny how we accumulate things as we get older.  I have graduated to a 32 GB drive… and wow, does that hold a lot of stuff!  Surely I don’t need that much storage! Better safe than sorry!

As I began to journal this morning, I realized that I have so much stuff hidden away that if I don’t seriously weed things out and make some changes, I am heading for a 500 GB or possibly 1 terabyte of storage.  It’s time for an extreme make-over.  It’s time I open up all of my files and let the Creator of the Universe in to help delete some old and organize some others.  While my pen drive is small and you might not even know that I have it, it’s there.  Every time I have to buy one that requires more storage space, it comes with a cost.  The older I get, the costlier it gets… and I’m not just talking money.  I’m excited to clean up and delete old files.  I’d love to get my storage back down to 1GB with room to spare.  This is not something that I can do in a weekend or even a month.  My need for 32GB did not happen overnight, thus it will not go away overnight.  With the help of the Creator of the Universe and some amazing people in my life, I think I might just be able to begin to THRIVE and better live out my story that was written in the Book of Life before I was even born!  

What kind of luggage set do you have?  Have you stream-lined down to a pen drive so no one even knows you have it?  What is your storage capacity?  Just something to think about…