Monday, September 30, 2013

Walk It Off in 30 Days

Starting tomorrow, my pal (and I say pal because she has been a permanent fixture in my DVD cabinet for about ten years now ;-)) Leslie Sansone is going to be coaching a Slimmer by Thanksgiving Challenge!

Here are the deets:

"Hey my walking friends...part of this 30 Day Plan will be to include Walking sessions and Strength Training exercises! All you need to do is plan for approx. 30 to 40 minutes each day through October.  I will TWEET weekly workout details every Sunday so we can plan our week together! I will be on Twitter coaching you every day!
***Please friends, always know, you Do NOT HAVE TO PURCHASE anything, just follow along and have fun! 
However...if you choose to use the DVD's, I will offer suggestions for our Walk DVDs and Strength Training accessories."
***This Sunday the first weekly assignment will be posted!"

I am SO excited!!! Don't tell anybody, but I actually started TODAY!  (Cause I'm OCD. And it's Monday, And I can't start something on a Tuesday. Even if it is the first day of the month!) Yep! I went to the gym and logged 40 minutes (2.2 miles) on the treadmill!  The WALK OFF has begun for this chick!

 I would love to invite any and all of you to join in on this challenge.  Don't have a twitter?? That's okay, you can get all the info on Leslie's Facebook Page or just log on to her blog for each day's instructions.

So, who's in??  Leave me a comment if you plan to participate.  I wanna encourage you along the way!

I can't wait to be THANKFUL for a slimmer ME in 30 days!

P.S.  If you see me dancing I mean, walking around my neighborhood, or bobbing my head on the treadmill at the Y, just know that I'm getting my groove on to get the weight off!  Don't drink the hater-ade!! Give me a fist bump and make me smile while I sweat!! ;-)
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Monday, September 23, 2013

The Wallet (Take Two)

This is a repost from my old blog.  I know, I know... all this talk about moving on and starting fresh, you wouldn't think I'd repost something old, would you?  Well, after our sermon yesterday morning at The Stone, it's all I have been thinking about.  I am thoroughly enjoying our walk through the parables, and I just had to share this little story of my own experience with something lost... I hope you enjoy!

(Originally posted July 25, 2011)
Actually,  it’s a “waw-let”…. At least that what Sam calls it! 
For his birthday, back in June, he received quite a haul!  Even after depositing money into his savings account, Sam still had $113 to spend. I’m pretty sure he’s never had that much money at his immediate disposal before.  In fact, he made a daily ritual of sitting down in the floor of his bedroom to count it.After noticing this event a few times, I asked, “Buddy… are you counting it again?”His immediate reply was, “Mama, this never gets old.” (He he!!) 
Well, one day, a week or so later, he decided to count his money again.  But this time he could not find his “waw-let”.  We were about to go spend a couple of days with my family in Columbia, and he told me he wanted to take a few dollars with him… in case, “I see somethin’ I want.”We looked everywhere he said he had been with it, but couldn’t find it.  I dismissed it with a “Well, it’s got to be here somewhere, it didn’t just sprout legs and walk off!”, mostly because I was packing and trying to get the truck loaded.  He was upset, but he let it pass. 
When we got to Mama’s he went to spend the night with my sister and her little boy. An evening with Aunt Betsy almost always includes a shopping trip, and this one was no exception.  They ducked in Crazy 8s at the Sandhills Shopping Center, and Sam saw a “cool shirt”. “Aunt Betsy”, he said with his little puppy-dog eyes just a-droopin’, “I would by me that shirt, except I’ve lost my waw-let”.Of course she “loaned” him the money to buy the shirt, but this led to several phone calls from family in the following weeks after we returned home as to whether or not we had yet found the “waw-let”. 
The next week, all three of my kids left for a trip to Lancaster to spend a week with their Aunt Misty (Chris’ sister). As soon as I sent them off, I made up my mind to re-start the search. Since I still had a few hours before Chris got off work, I decided to be thorough. Very thorough. 
I began by taking everything out from under the bed.  All those Rubber Maid totes full of various and sundry toy collections, all of the random stuffed animals that had been “lost” in the night… everything! No wallet.I went through each and every one of those tote boxes.  I looked under the covers and between the sheets.  I climbed up to the top bunk to see if it had wandered up to Jacob’s bed.  No wallet.I ended up cleaning out the closet, emptying the large toy box by the door, and going through each and every drawer full of clothing. Still… no wallet. 
At this point, I realize it could be anywhere! (Seriously!! I found Spiderman in an empty Pop-tart box in the pantry once!!)  This thought lead to me continuing this exhaustive search through each and every bedroom and bath in the rear of the house.  I even looked under bathroom cabinets.  Still. No “waw-let”. 
As I came to the other end of the house, and prepared to look in every nook and cranny in the living, dining and kitchen areas, I prayed.  “Lord.  You know how upset that baby is that he can’t find his wallet, and I am desperately trying to find it for him.  Please help me, here!” 
In the front entrance of our home, there is a little table/cabinet that I got from my sister.  It has two drawers and a small cabinet area beneath.  Really, the only reason it’s there is so we can have a place to drop our keys, and to hold my peace lily.  We don’t store anything of consequence there.  But something said, “Look.” So I did.One drawer, nothing. Second drawer, nothing.  I pulled open the cabinet, and there it sat.  
I called my dad, my sister, Chris, and certainly Sam at his Aunt Misty’s, to tell them! “What was lost, had now been found”!! 
As soon as the words escaped my lips, I was reminded of three parables in the book of Luke.  The Lost (or Prodigal) Son being the last, and most famous of these, and the first of the Lost Sheep that I learned to quote as a teen, I tend to overlook the middle passage in that little trilogy.  The Parable of the Lost Coin .In it, Jesus tells about a  woman who had lost one of her ten silver coins.  She swept the house and began to “seek diligently” until she found it.  She didn’t give up.  She kept searching…That’s what I had done.  I never quit searching for the wallet.  I knew it was here in this house SOMEWHERE and I had to find it. 
That is what Jesus does.  He never stops searching… looking… waiting.  He came to “seek and save that which was lost”.  And when He “finds” us… the angels in heaven rejoice!! 
Just like the woman in the parable rejoiced as she called all her friends to come and celebrate with her that her coin had been found. Just like I exuberantly called everyone I knew would give a care, and reported that I had found the wallet!! Truly.  There has rarely been a time in my life that I was more exhilarated. More relieved. All my hard work had actually accomplished something!  
I began to think more on this… this “victory” of mine, and the Bible passages that had come to mind with it.  Jesus completed a great work, too.  A greater work than anyone else has ever accomplished.  He laid down his life for me.  
“It is finished”, He said from the cross.  Knowing that all His hard work had actually accomplished something. Salvation.  
For you. 
For me. 
He never stopped searching… 
I once was lost.  Now I’m found! 
Thank you, Jesus!!!

Special thanks to Pastor Bill for reminding me of this precious story, and the fact that I am precious to HIM!

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Thursday, September 19, 2013


Thankful Thursday[3]

Today I am thankful for…

  • the lovely fall-like temps we’ve been experiencing over the last couple of days
  • connecting with precious ladies at my church while sharing in the awesome study of Gideon by Priscilla Shirer
  • as a result of this study, coming to the realization that God’s call on my life doesn’t have an expiration date :-)
  • being able to take a stand for something that I believed in this week, and making a difference because of it
  • all the super-duper friendships that I’ve been blessed with… old friends, new friends, wild and crazy friends, and my “therapy friend”… they are all PRECIOUS friends
  • my awesome family… Mama, Daddy, brother, sisters… BILs and nephews…
  • my beautiful, talented, incredibly intelligent, spectacular children
  • my MAIN MAN

I am a lucky, lucky girl.  Blessed beyond measure.

What are YOU thankful for?

Join us over at Grace Alone for Thankful Thursdays each week.  We’d love to have you!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Going Through...

Pain.  Heartache.  Depression.  Frustration.  Disillusionment.  Loneliness.

We all face these at some point in our lives.  Sometimes we face them all at once.

Going through...

Sometimes just going through the motions, until you can get to a better place.

Climbing out of the pit,  back into the sunshine.

Rising out of the valley, back to the top of the mountain.

Y'all.. this is real.  This is life.  Like the old song says, we really were never promised a "rose garden".

But it's all about perspective.

Over the last year of my life, I have learned to ask not "why", but "what"?

Not, "Why are you letting this happen, God"??

But, "What do you want me to learn from this, Lord"??

We go through stuff sometimes.  Hard stuff.  Stinky stuff.  Sticky stuff.

But truly, "that which does not kill us makes us stronger."

Not because we gain more of our own strength.  But because we receive more of His.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

 No, we aren't promised rose gardens, but we are promised grace.

What are you going through right now??

Just. Let. Go.

And watch God flex his muscles. ;-)
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Friday, September 6, 2013

It’s Friday, Y’all!!

That means…
  • Grilling Out.
  • Movie Night with the Fam.
  • Staying up late with my Man, watching scary stuff like Supernatural, Fringe, or Being Human.
  • Did I mention NO HOMEWORK?!?!
  • Sleeping IN tomorrow!!
I love Fridays!!!
What’s your favorite thing about the weekend??

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Organize Me!

So… some of you may remember this Facebook Status from Monday:


Since I got several comments inquiring as to “how” and asking for help, I thought I’d unpack that status a little more here.

The first thing we did (and I did this a while back, but was neglecting to use it) was log in to My Fitness Pal.  This is an EASY and FREE online tool to help you keep track of weight loss goals.  If you don’t have one I strongly suggest you sign up. Like I said, it’s a VERY EASY way to track your calories for the day, as well as log in exercise and water consumption.  Their data base includes almost any food you can think of, and if you have a smart phone, you can just scan the bar code of the food from your pantry, and enter data that way.  HOW EASY IS THAT!?!?!  It also has a forum and “friends” to help  keep you accountable.  I even made this cool ticker to help motivate me to keep on keepin’ on!!  Oh, and did I mention how EASY this app is to use?? ;-)

2lbs Lost

Next, we opened up Google Calendar, and began working on my schedule.  Knowing I won’t get my workouts in unless I a) schedule them and b) do them first thing in the morning, that was the first item I blocked off my calendar.  Monday thru Friday.  8:30 to 9:30 AM.  No exceptions!  (Yes, Mrs. Phebe, I also scheduled BIBLE STUDY starting next week!!) ;-)

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I also used tools from Housewife How-Tos to help me get my “Fall Cleaning” planned and scheduled on my calendar.  (I tweaked things a bit to keep them simpler for me, but this was the ultimate guide).  I recommend printing out the following check-lists as well, so that you streamline everything when you schedule your cleaning.

Daily Tidy Up Routine

Weekly Kitchen Cleaning Routine

Weekly Living/Family Room Cleaning Routine

Weekly Bedroom Cleaning Routine

Weekly Bathroom Cleaning Routine

Weekly Kids Bedroom Cleaning Routine (Great tool for teaching your kids what you mean when you say “clean your room”! I am going to put them in sheet protectors and use expo markers for the kids to check off each week.)

I actually scheduled these (using the Fall Cleaning Chart mentioned above) into my Google Calendar.  Not only do I get my "Daily Agenda” emailed to me every morning, but if I “set reminders” I can get alerts on my phone, too.  (Otters like me need LOTS of guiding and motivation, or else we will get distracted and want to play!)

Another great tool that Chris uses, and has introduced me to, is WunderList.Com (there is also an app for your phone, just check the site).  Here I can schedule items on my To-Do list, and set reminders so I won’t forget and actually get them done.  Yes, you can even name your lists (like “Grocery” below) and then you can check items off on your smartphone! That’s wonderful for people like me who get all the way to Bi-Lo and then realize I left my shopping list on the kitchen table! ;-)

Screenshot (3)

I am a list maker, and the teacher in me loves paper and pen (colored ones, preferably!) so it was a little hard for me to go all “techno” with my organization.  But the MAJOR plus, is that I don’t have to keep up with a bunch of separate lists, journals, notebooks, etc… it’s all right here on my computer (and also linked to my phone via apps) so everything is in one neat and tidy place, and I won’t lose them!!

Maybe you’re like me, and you need a nudge into organizing.  Really, it’s the first step in productivity. And who doesn’t like that awesome feeling of accomplishment?!?!

Now, it’s time for me to quit blogging about it, and actually go…

Git ‘er done!!

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