Saturday, December 31, 2016

I tried - a new week, month, year!

Tomorrow is January 1st.

2017!

The new is here.   It's funny to me that the new year is during the dark time of the year.  The cold part of the year.  The busy part of the year.   Shouldn't the new year start in spring?

Okay, but for real.  Here's to resolutions:
Free New Year Resolutions Printables by Sarah Dawn Designs. Click on the link below to print them.:

My goal is to post the start of every month with the months goals and any updates.   But I have to remember my favorite quote by Leonardo DaVinci:

Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. - Leonardo de Vinci:

January 2017 
Book - 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Andres
Health - do the 30-day challenge below, "whole 30" and track food/points.
Scripture to memorize -  "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17,  "What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:31,  "Look to the Lord and his strength, seek his face always." - Psalm 105:4,  "Set your minds on the things that are above, not on things that are on earth." - Colossians 3:2
Challenges - To stick to it!  Inspire and Encourage others.
:
January Inspiration Challenge Calendar #motivationmonth #goals #inspiration:

30-DAY CHALLENGE: FAT BURNER:

Thursday, December 22, 2016

----> {2017} <----



Another year has come and gone.  
Seriously, where have you gone?


I want to be a better me.
A better:
Christian me
Healthy me
Wife me
Mom me
Friend me
Daughter me
Financial me
Writer me
Reader me
Hobby me
A better 2017 me.

.I will be a better me.:

I just want to be better at being me.  My only competition is me.  I am not competing with facebook friends or the amount of 'likes' I can get.  I am not competing with pinterest people. I am not a huge "new years" resolution person, for I believe you can always change - the month doesn't determine your desire to become someone better than you were the day before.    
Days like this I am just happy if I can sit upright, speed certainly doesn't matter!:

This year I am trying to get in mind that as long as I am moving forward, I am making progress.    I have lot of habits I want to form and some habits I want to break or recreate into something better.
When you google "how long does it take to form a habit" this pops up:

Recent research led by a team at the University College London think they have uncovered just how long (o average) it takes for something to become habitual.  They do not think it takes 21 days to form a habit.  They believe it takes an average of 66 days to create a habit.  

Sixty six days!  Two months?!?  I want to keep this in mind.  I know myself well enough to realize that being realistic is my game.  I'm not a "dream big" person. I expect to fail, and that's okay.  It's part of the journey.  So when it comes to me making goals or new years resolutions, I want something that is tangible, as well as something that if not achieved will keep me motivated.

If you want 2017 to be your year; don't sit on the couch & wait for it. Go out. Make a change. Smile more. Be excited. Do new things. Throw away what you've been cluttering. Unfollow negative people on social media. Go to bed early. Wake up early. Be fierce. Don't gossip. Show more gratitude. Do things that challenge you. Be brave.:

December 31, 2017  

I  am being flooded with excitement just thinking about where I will be in 365+ days from now.   Oh the excitement, the changes and transitions.  The arguments, mourning, joy and glee.  The praises, the songs, the moments of silence.  Oh - what is going to happen in the next coming months and  weeks?!?!  Where will be at the end of the year?  What are our new dreams and goals? Is Soren potty trained?   How does Gideon like school?  Do they share a room and love it?  Who lived with us this year?  Were we more generous than we have been before?  Good stewards of our money?  Good stewards of our time?  Did social media finally find it's rightful place; the bottom of the totem pole of priorities?  How has God blessed us this year, even when we didn't deserve it?   What times of sadness did we have to over come together?

So many questions.  
In a year, we will have the answers.
I understand some things are out of my control.  'Tis life.
I understand some things need to be out of my control.

As a teacher, there is a style of writing lessons plans called "backward planning" where you start with your end result or goal and work to your starting point.   I am going to apply that methodology for my year.


For a lot of my year goals will only be achieved by my daily activities.  The in the moment yes and no; the journey of choosing. 

Isaiah 41:13 - this is such a comfort to me. Jesus Christ is over all!:

These goals, resolutions, whatever you want  to call them, are woven together so beautifully, sewn together like one of my Grandma's hand quilted blankets.  They go together.  My physical will effect my personal as will my relational will effect my mental and so forth.

Physically - I would like to feel healthier and not struggle with my self-image.   Ideally I would like to weigh 140 pounds (less than 3 pounds a month), have a 5k race time of less than 32 minutes (10 minute pace), and set or do other physical activities like, get a bike and use frequently, run another half, set personal records in lifting, obstacle race, etc.

Spiritually - I want to be closer to our amazing creator.  It's hard for me to put a number or deadline on this growth.  I would like to read my Bible more/better.   I would like to finally (never had before) memorize scripture and have Gideon help me with that.  I just want to have my heart in check.

Relational - I would like to be more of an encouragement for others and strength and grow new relationships.   I hope that through my other endeavor my relationships with my husband and kids will improve as a natural by product of my efforts.

Financially - I would like be more generous in our time, treasure and talents.  I crunch numbers frequently, and God always provides, but this year I would like to make sure to be purposeful of my resources and be stewards with what we were provided.


(Challenge Sheet)


The above is a picture of my Challenge Sheet.  At the top I have "Priorities, Projects and Prayers" the main things I would like to focus on for the month.   Priorities could be of any focus or challenges like not eating out for the month.  Projects can be what book I am reading for the month, crafts, the monthly photo album, etc.  Prayers can of any nature or need or a time frame.  

The middle part of the challenge sheet I have weeks. Here I will post the scripture I would like to focus on for the week  and any other benchmark goals that might help with the monthly challenges.

The bottom of the  challenge sheet is where I will post daily challenges.  These challenges will be achieved at an 80% rate.  Reading my bible daily really means 5 out of 7 days.  No one is perfect.   Daily challenges include, drinking a gallon of water, no sugar, a variety of fitness challenges, purging/organizational challenges, writing cards, tracking food/points, limiting social media, etc.

denim-and-chocolate: January … New beginnings:


BONUS

If you want to follow my 2017 pinterest board, go here. I don't get on pinterest as much as I use to.  But it is a good way to collect and share ideas and links.

For those of you still reading here are some challenges I am going to hopefully have our family do, as well as links and ideas to help you.

I am going to encourage Gideon to put pennies in a jar corresponding to the number of days into the year that we are.  At the end of the year I would like to find an organization, of Gideon's choice to donate the money to.  

Image result for penny a day challenge

I would also like to have a praise jar - so we can look back and remember all of the positive awesome events in our life, a memory jar if you wish

This January, why not start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. Then on New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year.:


I found some monthly challenges with different themes.  Some of the days are easy - smile at more people - for example.  But something fun!

January Inspiration Challenge Calendar #motivationmonth #goals #inspiration:

I have not decided what weekly scripture I will be doing, I like to be inspired or reflect on something for the week.  Again, I would like to include my family in on this, so some might be "kid" friendly.  

The following two links are PDF's of weekly scripture.  Click here for a list.  Click here for another option that is more kid friendly.

You can find another list here


It's going to be a great year! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I tried - not caring {2016 election}

I tried not caring.   I tried not caring who was President.  I tried not caring who of my friends voted for whom.  I tried not caring about who said what, which statistics is skewed, and what we consider acceptable or moral.   I tried not caring.

This morning I woke up.  Still tired.  I went to the gym.  Same gym.  I ate breakfast.  Quickly in the car.  My day to day life has not changed because of who is president.  Yes, there will be changes in policy, but it is life.

But I do care.


I care about all the people I know.  I care about all the people I don't know; but guess what God knows them.  God loves them.  Jesus died for them.

I care about my friends and family who are acting somewhat embarrassing - from both a winning and a loosing point of view.

Friends - if you lost - be kind.  If you were claiming that Mr. Trump was a rude, a bigot, a racist of a person and then turn around and say hateful things about Mr. Trump or the people who voted for him.
Are you better than they are?

Friends - if you won - be kind.  If you were claiming that Mr. Trump is the best thing for America since slice bread and that he truly does love people and has the best intentions for the country than stop smiling about people leaving the country and using unkind words about the democratic party.  You once said that we needed to be united - so stop pushing people away.
Are you better than they are?

I still don't care who's president.
Trump will do good and bad.
Clinton would have done good and bad.
Just like Obama has done good and bad.
And every other president before and after will always have some good ideas and some that need to bet tweaked and changed.

But I care enough about people to realize how sad and broken our country is right now.   People are talking trash about people they used to so deeply love.   If this was any other election we would be talking about policies not people. I am truly heart broken.

*****

For my Christian Friends - no matter who you voted for.  Please read Romans 12 and 13.
Please study it and reflect on it and live it. 

Romans 12

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members,[e] and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,[f] with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[g] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.[h] Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[i] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 13

13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I tried - not getting involved (Politics)

Okay, did I really try not getting involved.  Probably not. I like to challenge/compete with people. Read this summer's post to get a taste.

However, politics would frequently cross my mind.
Doing dishes, crossed my mind
Praying with my children, crossed my mind
Watching a comedy, crossed my mind
Reading, crossed my mind
Talking to friends, crossed my mind
Running on the trail, crossed my mind
Sweeping, crossed
Folding laundry....

As a person who likes to write; I have a voice, and I wanted to share my thoughts.

But then, not just the topics, but the questions WHAT do I write and HOW do I write this post kept popping in my head.
Do I talk/write to Christians?
Do I talk/write (and apologize) to non-Christians?
Do I talk/write to the topics?
Do I talk/write not wanting to crush toes?
Do I talk/write with every force of nature I can muster?

I decided, it would be best (for me) to write from my heart.

A few statements before we dive into this post:
I am writing this to all parties, all beliefs, all people.
I am writing this out of a place of love.
I am writing this from my knowledge, experiences and insight (which can be small at times).
I am writing this hoping to not stir up debates or upset people but to share my voice.
I am writing this with the idea that maybe something I say can spark your  own curiosity to do your own research.
I am writing this knowing that I am not perfect at anything.
I am writing this knowing that someone challenged me a long time ago and set my intellect into motion.
I am writing this knowing that I have lots to learn, from others.
I am writing this for me, so my head can stop swirling around politics and I can refocus on what truly matters.

Where to begin.

**** Heavy sigh ***


I have been reading several blogs, articles, commentaries, and even my peers own personal thoughts the last several weeks.    There are times that I agree, smile and share.  There are times that I post questions hoping to shine light on both sides of the story.  There are times that I read my Christian friends comments and cringe.  There are times that I read my non-Christian friends comments and sing praise.

Let me get one thing out there.  I am not voting. What a relief to share that.
I. Am. Not. Voting.

Honestly, I have never voted in my life.  Before, when I was younger, I didn't vote because I did not care.  I didn't vote because I was lazy.  I didn't vote because I saw no purpose in it.  As I got older, some of those excuses transformed into supported reasons.

Now, here's the condition to me not voting.  I also don't complain.  I tend to be of the nature that can see the glass as just half.  That's it.  It's half.  Why does it have to be half full or half empty.  Why can't we be content with just half.  I like to see multiple points of views on topics.  I like to have my mind challenged to ignite growth.  I like to hear people discuss ideas, not each other.    So, even though I don't vote, I don't complain - for no matter who is in office, there is no perfect world.  There will always be positives and negatives to every thing.  EVERY. THING.    The government is just half.  Just like I see good in both main candidates; I also see some room for growth.

Some people reading this might be thinking "You are the problem.  Megan, you are part of the problem.  You my dear, are non-american.  How disrespectful are you?!?"  Whatever you may be thinking, if you truly have a question about why I don't vote, please ask, I am not afraid to share.

Am I not American?  No, I am.  I was born here.  I work here.  I pay taxes here. Do I say the pledge - nope, I use that brief moment to pray for my day, my students, and my country.  I pledge allegiance to my God, HIS kingdom.  For this world is not my home.

Am I really that disrespectful? How do I not support such a great country, How DARE me?   Nothing I do is hurting anyone.  Well, some feelings might be hurt by my boldness in my statements.  But I can only pray that the hurt people feel can be reflected and mediated on, allowing for God to present Himself.   I still respect my authorities.  I pay my taxes, abide by the law of the lands, and love people.

Am I really part of the problem?  Do we even know what the PROBLEM really is?    If I am the biggest problem that anyone has, I would honestly say, that is probably a success.


To me, the problem is not in the government.  
The problem starts from the church.  
It's you.  
It's me.   

Even typing that, I felt a little worried about the feedback I am going to get from this post.  But, I need to say it.  
That's right.  WE the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect.........perfect what....we live in a broken world, and WE are the problem.

I catch myself occasionally asking my 4.5 year old "are you part of the problem or part of the solution?"   And here we are, a young country, that has lots to learn.  We had some major growth spurts and some obvious set backs in maturity.  But compared to the world, America, we are still babies - we must walk before we can run, if not, stumbling will occur.

When you post on social media, are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution?

Problem: Abortion.   Solution: Love people.
Problem: Foster Care.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Death penalty.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Drugs.   Solution: Love people.
Problem: Marriage license.  Solution: Love people
Problem: Boarder, extremist groups, terror.   Solution: Love people.
Problem: Violence towards cops.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Violence towards blacks.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Education funds.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Healthcare cost.  Solution: Love people.
Problem: Unemployment. Solution: Love people.

I challenge you to read Romans 13.   You can find it here, and even change it to a translation that best suites you.  This chapter has helped my husband develop his own personal thoughts and opinions on the election, but also have been a pivotal piece in my own mindset.

We, the church, to form a more perfect union, his kingdom on earth, his will be done.....

We are to love Hillary Clinton, for she is the daughter of the king.
We are to love Donald Trump, for he is a son of a king.
We are to love the unborn babies.
We are to love the murders.
We are to love the multi-cultures
We are to love the drug addicts
We are to love the gays
We are to love the blacks
We are to love the whites
We are to love the cops
We are to love the teachers
We are to love the students
We are to love each other.

If you are not a Christian, you don't have to full-fill the law by loving people.
But I sure hope, if you are not a Christian, you have been filled by a Christian's love.

How are you loving people?  I challenge your mind set, your heart, your belief.  Dig into His word, ask tough questions.  What truly matters?

***

So, I tried not getting involved with politics; I will do my best for this to be the last post, comment, or even rhetoric response.   If you want to talk to me; please let's get coffee, or e-mail/message me.

For now - the next two weeks - I will pray.

And in case you don't know.  You are loved.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

I tried - and did whole30 (modified)

30 Days!

30 Days without sugar, grains, and dairy.

Day 6 I wrote a post about why and how I was doing everything.  Catch up with it here. 

Numbers, I tend to communicate better with them and pictures speak a thousand words.   Let's go back on a journey.


Early June 2015 - about 36/37 weeks pregnant with our second.  
I went into the hospital at around 240 pounds.  


July 20ish 2015 - Soren was around a month old.   I was 220 pounds.  


End of September 2015 - My second 5k, my first post second baby.  193 pounds!
A big shout out to my sister - running and keeping me accountable for months. 

I ran, counted calories, ran some more.   
One of my favorite runners =]
Second week of June 2016 - wearing the same race shirt as above picture. 

Back in March/April I hit a plateau around 170-175 while I was training for my half marathon.
Over summer, when I STOPPED counting calories I started to gain more.  I was back up to 181!

September 14, 2016 when I started my "whole30" I was at 176. 

These were the men and women who held me accountable.
Even if they weren't able to contact me, it gave me a name to focus on, a person to pray about instead of for myself.  This was key to my success.  I can't stand letting people down.  

October 15, 2016 - My lowest weight I have been in some time.  I have lost about 66 pounds.  Although that doesn't seem very significant, to a short person, it is.  


During the past 30 days I encountered several parties, luncheons, and even baked treats for my friends.  I passed up donuts, peach cobbler, cupcakes, chili dogs, pizza, cookies, cake, pizza, ice cream, dessert, bread, cream and sugar in my coffee several times, and did I mention pizza.

And it was worth it!

Although I am totally happy with my physical weight loss, I am more pleased with what I learned about myself.  I am fully capable of saying no thank you when a treat is offered.  I am able to pass up and make better alternative choices when it comes to food.  I am able to be disciplined in my actions.

Was it hard - at times.  The hardest part was when I wasn't being watched.  My husband was gone about 5 nights of this entire event, and there were so many times that I knew there were goodies in the house.  Although tempted, I did not partake.

Could I have lost more - probably.  This was a modified whole30.  I still ate peanut butter and raisins.  And if I would have been more careful about those food I probably would have seen a greater loss in weight.  But I am more than pleased!
*******


Today was my first day after.  Did I splurge, maybe.  Do I regret it, a little.  Will it happen again, possibly.  Am I human, totally.

I debated back and forth what I would do on today.  Would I go crazy and eat all the foods I have not been able to have.  Would I continue my journey without sugar, grains or dairy.  Would I do a little bit of both.

While reading on how to transition back into the "real world" from whole30 I read that we shouldn't make cheat days; that by making a cheat day we are telling our brain we already gave up and that we HAVE to eat unhealthy to make it worth our cheat day.  That really clicked with me.  I know I can say no.  So, just do it.

Today though, was different.  My family, including my dad were going to an amusement park about 2 hours away.  Because of this trip I was able to experience and test out a few things.

1) I was nauseous.   I did not have breakfast and we tend to get treats for the road before we go anywhere.  I packed some fruit for me, thinking it would be sufficient, but when my husband wanted to share gas-station breakfast-pizza with me, I didn't say no.  I had, after the boys, about 2/3 of a really greasy toxic delicious pizza.     With my pizza I did have an apple.  =]

2) I was gittery.  I am not for sure if was the amount of coffee or the few packets of sweetener and a couple of containers of cream I doctored my coffee with, but boy when we got to our destination I was literally shaking.  

3) I felt gross, until I drank water.  But even now, hours later I still feel bloated and heavy.  Maybe I am just tired....

4) I was surprised.  The foods I wasn't use to eating weren't that good anymore (except for the cookie).  I tried a strawberry lemonade - SO much sugar - blah!  Body needed water.  I tried a little bit of cheese on nachos, felt weird and almost foreign.  So for lunch as the boys snacked I ate another apple, a bite of banana, and a few bites of potato/nachos.

5) I was comfortable.   After we left, our boys were "starving."  Honestly, they were hangry.  Our oldest wanted mcdonalds, which we never get.  I had the option of ice-cream to cheeseburgers, but passed because I wasn't hungry and new I didn't NEED anything.   I tried one of the boys chicken nuggets (still gross, like before whole30).  

6) I was happy.  I like healthy food.  When we got home the boys ate, again; they ARE boys.   I had left over sweet potato, broccoli and tilapia.  I was happy with it.

7) I can still have what I want.  I made cookies on Thursday.  I took most of them to work but kept a few back for friends and the trip.  So, today, after the boys were in bed, I had 2 cookies.  In total today I think I had about 5 cookies.  Do I regret those cookies - not in the slightest.

So...

Where do I go from here?

My goal after I had Soren was to get down to 150.  I would still be considered over weight.  But shoot, I think I was at my goal weight when I was 12.  We all know how hard that will be.    I have 14 more pounds to go.  My new goal date - January 1, 2017!    I would LOVE to START out the new year as a new me.    14 pounds in 11 weeks.  Totally manageable.  Am I always going to do whole30?  Maybe a modified version that is less strict or okay with certain foods at certain times (Pizza is pretty hard to pass up).

If you personally now me, please continue to hold me accountable.  If you see me at school, church, come over to my house or hang out somewhere, please ask me about my journey.  I don't like letting people down, so please reassure me that we are on the same team.
Saying 'no' to food more often, is saying 'yes' to me being the best me. 





Uninvited - Reminders

These are the reminders, that when we are feeling the most unloved, we can refer back to and feel God's love.

Week 1 - Chapters 1, 2, and 3: 
[I am one of] "God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved...."  Colossians 3:12b

Chapter 1 - We are Chosen by God

Chapter 2 - Three Questions you must consider:  Is God good?  Is God good to me?  Is God good at being God?  "Things of this world all eventually reveal what incapable anchors they really are."

Chapter 3 - Live Loved, one must simply live like we are loved, for we are.  "Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won't find yourself begging others for scraps of love."

Week 2 - Chapters 4 and 5:
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

Chapter 4 - "Proximity and activity don't always equal connectivity." "The more fully we invite God in, the less we feel uninvited by others"

Chapter 5 - God will fill us where we are not just full, but over flowing.

Week 3 - Chapters 6, 7 and 8:
"The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1

Chapter 6  - We have an enemy, and it's not each other; fight for her, even if your relationship isn't working.

Chapter 7 - Grace or Bitterness; our hearts only have enough room for one.

Chapter 8 - "Relationships don't come in packages of perfection, relationships come in packages of potential."  "No amount of outside achievements fixes inside hurt."   For we have to have acknowledge people without joining them.

Week 4 - Chapters 9, 10, 11:
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty and, that he may lift you up in due time." 1 Peter 5:6

Chapter 9 - We are set aside, not apart.  Rejection offers three gifts from God, when we allow it.  Gift of being made less, being lonely, and of silence.

Chapter 10 - "There is an abundant need in this world for your exact brand of beautiful."    We should not be threatened by others, but rejoice in their success - there is more than one pie in life =]

Chapter 11 - We must praise, seek, look to, call to, experience, fear, learn from, honor, draw near to, and take refuge in God.

Week 5 - Chapter 12, 13, and 14:
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my hear and my portion forever."  Psalm 73:26

Chapter 12 - The enemy is fighting against us by wanting us to crave, lust after and be boastful.  While Jesus promises to fill us when are in need.    Testing God is what the enemy wants.  Trusting God is what the kingdom needs.

Chapter 13 - When we focus on the mess we tend to miss the miracles.

Chapter 14 - Rejection is the opportunity to change.  The in-between is the highway to change. Inviting God into our lives is the vehicle we use to travel the in-between.

Week 6 - Chapter 15 and 16 
"We are troubled on every side, yet no distresssed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsakend; cast down, but not destroyed."   2 Corinthians 4;8-9

Chapter 15 - Like and olive tree we have to face both good and bad winds in order to be balanced, replacing rejection with redepemtion is a process and will take time, God will press us but not crush us.  Don't run away, but rise above!

Chapter 16 - If you look for rejection, you will find it.  Do not let other people fix you, we can only be fixed by Jesus and  his unconditional love.

Check out the playlist post.

How can I pray for you?

Uninvited Playlist

Throughout the weeks of reading the book, "Uninvited" by Lysa TerKeurst I would have songs play through my head.

Odd.

For those of you who know me. I am a far cry from a musician.   My husband, now, HE is the musically gifted one.

Honestly, without google, I wouldn't have been able to look up the lyrics going through my head.  I can't remember song titles or artists to save my life.  And the noise that I hear in my head, seems to never be the same noise that comes out of my mouth, even in a hum.  =]  



If you click here you will be able to go to youtube and listen to all of them.  Let me know what songs you like to listen to, that life you and bring you closer to God?

Here's my playlist for Uninvited:

Good Good Father - Chris Tomlin
Drops in the Ocean - Hawk Nelson
Live Like You're Loved - Hawk Nelson
God of Justice - Tim Hughes
Losing - Tenth Avenue North
Forever - Chris Tomlin
Lose My Soul - TobyMac
Make a Joyful Noise - David Crowder Band
I need thee every hour - mormon tabernacle choir
Your Grace Finds Me - Matt Redman
Overcomer - Mandisa
Never Once - Matt Redman
Who Am I - Casting Crowns
Everything Glorious - David Crowder Band
Lead me to the corss - Hillsong United
Here I am to worship -Hillsong Worship/Tm Hughes
How Great is Our God - Christ Tomlin
Mighty to Save - Hillsong United
come Alive (dry bones) - Lauren Diagle

Friday, October 14, 2016

I tried - being everyone else's fixer [Chapter 16]

As you read, feel free to listen to:  Mighty To Save and Lead Me to the Cross by Hillsong United

Growing up, I realized in high school, that I had a problem.  I liked to fix people.  The  boys I tended to date weren't up to my standard - because I COULD fix them (or save them, help them, show them who's right), I was going to make them become my standard.  My goodness, when I look back at me now...

how embarrassing. 


I did care for my boyfriends, for the most part they weren't like bad guys.  But how selfish, arrogant, ignorant, and just flat out immature of me to think I could fix someone else.

I was so broken.


Chapter 16 - What I Thought Would Fix Me Didn't

I really was broken, and the more that I found cracks in myself the more I wanted to fix other people.  You know, because THEY were the one with the problem.  Right?

Wrong.

Finally when I was shattered by a group of people who loved me deeply, is when I realized (and it took longer than I want to admit) that the only person I should be fixing, is well, myself. The only way to fix myself was through Jesus.


Through Jesus I had better standards to hold myself accounted for.  I had a more pure perspective that I am loved unconditionally, regardless of my past brokenness and sin.  I had to believe and take ownership in calling myself a Christian.


I no longer am a fixer but an avenue to being fixed.  I have a passion for people.  I want people to love other people.  I want people to love themselves.  I want people to think like Jesus (and use common sense).  I want people to learn from my mistakes and know they are not alone.  Because of my passion, I still listen to those who need to talk, I still encourage those who are down, I still take food to people, check on people, write cards to people. But now I do it because of Jesus.


I no longer look at people as needing me to fix them.  
I look at people as needing me to love them. 

I can't believe who I was 5, 10, 15 years ago.   If you knew me before Jesus transformed me.  I am really sorry.  I am sorry for the hurtful things I have said or did or didn't do.



Because I love you, please stop being in the intolerable waiting period.  You know how terrifying it is to stand on a train track and know that you won't survive once hit - your anxiety heightens as you wait for the train; every little sound makes you jump in fear.   Don't be waiting for the next rejection, the next worry, anxiety attack.  Anticipating fear is letting the enemy win and not being filled by God's love, mercy, grace and peace.  

Because I love you, please don't let others try to fix you.  Don't let things, items, events, situations try to fix you.  Be filled by God's love, mercy grace and peace.

If you look for rejection, you will find it.  

"Rejection never has the final say.  Rejection may be a delay or distraction or even a devastation for a season.  But it's never a final destination.  I'm destined for a love that can't ever be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken.  With You, Jesus, I'm forever safe.  I'm forever accepted.  I'm forever held.  Completely loved and  always invited in." Page 209 Uninvited Lysa Terkuerst

**********************************

Here we are, at the end of this "Uninvited" journey.  I hope that those of you reading my blog were entertained, pulled in, loved on.   I want you to realize that you are not alone in life.  If you need anything, please don't hesitate to ask.

You are loved.
You are not alone.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

I tried - to run away [Chapter 15]


Chapter 15 - I Want to Run Away

So.  Here's the deal, I am a very blunt person.  And this chapter, well, it was 'eh.    I felt like I was re-reading chapter 14.    Chapter 14 was talking about the in-between stage of rejection and redemption while chapter 15 is talking about why we shouldn't run away.  So do people run-away before, during, or after the in-between?  Maybe I just felt like this chapter was out of place.

I also have a hard time using emotions to justify choices.  Facts, information, data, and numbers are how I tend to make my observations and decisions.  So, when faced with rejection I don't run away, I take confrontation and want to see it be turned into a transformation.    Does that sound cocky?  I mean this in the best way that I can,  my emotions don't tend to get in my way.  

I am not perfect.

Chapter 15 does talk about how countless people in the Bible run away and how Jesus never does. Instead of running away we are to, like 14, turn to God.  He is the only one that can fix the situation, or how we perceive the situation.  

Maybe, instead of running away we should run towards Him?!   Our identity is supposed to be in Christ.  So when we allow a situation to define us, and lose our identity, we are  running in the wrong direction.   

Everyone in this world is fighting a battle - some might appear to be bigger than others.  These battles were never meant to label us, they were meant to teach us, help us learn.   



Olive Tree Truths:
1) To be a successful person we have to have both difficult times and times of peace.  Like the olive tree, that needs dry hot winds from the east and rainy life bearing winds from the west.     We can not grow and change without both the challenging and calm winds. 

2) Olives are gross if ate straight from the branch.  It takes times, is a process, like a science to transform them into something edible.  And as we go through the process of rejection to healing, it will take time.  It is the only way for us to overcome bitterness and no longer have a pit. 

3) Olive oil is made from being pressed - not crushed.   God will never crush us, but He will press us to be stronger, He will press us to extract what needs to leave.

I tried to run away - but it only brought more hurt and confusion.  Don't run away, rise above.


Listen to:  Who Am I by Casting Crowns

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I tried - making it through the in between [Chapter 14]

Time heals all wounds.
There are worse things in life.
It can't be that bad.
Just keep living life.
Look for the good.
What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

Chapter 14 - Moving Through the Desperate In-Between

Rejection.  It happens and far too often.  Sometimes it is perceived, made up, projected, forced, snatched, necessary, protection - but rejection happens.

So what do you do when you are just there.

In-between. 

In-between what happened to you and what happens next. 
In-between what happened in the past and what is the future.
In-between what happened with you and what can happen with your voice in the  choice. 
In-between, acknowledging that rejection happened but not being passed it. 

That place where you seem to just be asking on loop, "what do I do now?"

The in-between is not an easy place to be, I have been there.  I was there a few months after a bad break up.  I was there for several months while healing from a group shut-out.  I was there for a few years after my husbands and I's struggles.  No matter how long I was in the in-between, I always made it to the other side.  

If allowed
If accepted
the in-between can be the best part of the rejection.  This time is of crucial choice making.  The quicker we embrace the in-between the quicker we tend to heal. We should not run from rejection but embrace it; it has something to offer and empower us with.       

We have an enemy (see chapter 12) and he wants us to be in pain and suffering.  He wants us to feel the absence of healing.  If we wait around in the in-between he will slowly win the battles.  

Our views become more warped.
Our pride seeps in, getting in the way.
Our anger gets a tighter grip on us. 

Page 174 states: We think we are freeing ourselves from the pain when, in reality, what numbs us imprisons us.  If we avoid the hurt, the hurt creates a void in us.  It slowly kills the potential for our hearts to fully feel, fully connect, fully love again.  It allows the rejection of a person to steal the best potential from every other relationship we desperately want and need.  

I am not asking you to stop feeling pain; pain is a reminder that something is about to be transformed. 

When a butterfly morphs out of it's cocoon, do you think it needs extra strength, that it needs to struggle and push through until it's new beautiful wings are freed?

Rejection is the opportunity to change.  

The in-between is the highway to the change.  

Inviting God into our lives is the vehicle we use to travel the in-between.

We need God's closeness.  And the only way to get close to anything is by making a move.

Move - pray
Move - read scripture
Move - journal
Move - sit, process, be filled with peace

Move closer to God. 

Ask him to be your neighbor.
Ask him to be that comfort.
Ask him to give you more strength than you need.
Ask him.

As you are moving closer to God, HE is moving you closer to the other-side of the in-between.

"Never Once" by Matt Redman - listen here


*****

God,
Today, and odd day.  So many strong women in my life are needing prayer.  They have questions, they are over whelmed, they are sick physically, they are drained emotionally, and they need you.  You know their names, and you know their hearts even better.  Just be with them and let them be filled with your love and help them move to the other side of the in-between.