Saturday, May 29, 2010

No Problem

I've noticed lately that when I say, "Thank you," to a service type person (at the grocery store, mall, restaurant, etc.) they reply, "No problem."

Whatever happened to "You're welcome"?

It almost makes me long for the days of:
"Thank you."
"No, thank You!"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Weight Loss Wednesday (Week 4)


On Karen's blog today, she wrote about the unofficial beginning of summer. She had a lot of great questions and included a yummy looking side-dish recipe that I hope you'll check out.

I started thinking that a year ago we took an early "summer vacation" leaving in the middle of the night on Memorial Day, traveling by van to Southport, North Carolina. It was our first family vacation to North Carolina and we rented a condo that I had found online. The accomodations were wonderful, clean, spacious, and less expensive than where we usually rent in Wildwood Crest, NJ.

The biggest difference for this vacation was the travel time. It was a looooooooong drive. North Carolina vs. New Jersey, don't you know. And I fondly remember the Mexican food in North Carolina as being the best that I've had in years!

This week I lost 1 lb. Not too bad for having lunch out twice during the week. So my total loss in 4 weeks is 3.5 lbs.

I'm hoping that someone will give me some new ideas for a side-dish that I can take the family Pig Roast in July. Any suggestions?




Today I'm also linking this post with my buddy Kathy at House of Hills. The First 10 weeks of my journey to better health was with this group of wonderful encouragers.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Good Question

The other night our son asked, "What happens to your blogger name if you move out of PA?"

ACKKKKKKK!

Maybe I should have thought about that.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Stomach god (Week 3)

For Weight Loss Wednesdays today, Karen blogs about the following verse, “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,” Philippians 3:18-20.

That's what I've felt like in the past. My god was my stomach.

I've had success with Slim-Fast and South Beach in the past, yet when I went "off" the programs....back came the weight. So now I'm sticking with my healthier lifestyle plan. Eat less, move more.

This week I lost 1.5 lbs. eating normally. Snacking more healthy (red grapes and strawberries this week). I walked on the treadmill 5 instead of 6 days and am still working my arms with 4 lb. weights.

And I focus on God's Word. Today's thought is based on Isaiah 43:1, which I've written as a statement for me to remember: God created and formed me. I won't be afraid because He has redeemed me, summoned me by name, and I am His.

God didn't create and form me to be overweight and unhealthy. He knows me and wants me to be responsible for my body.

And to end on a lighter note...I'm hopeful that "my photo" for citizenship into heaven will show my soul as skinnier or taller! :)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Believe

In "The Upper Room" devotional reading (2 Timothy 3:10-17), vs. 12 jumped out at me.

"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." How very true!

In the U.S., politicians refer to us as "The Far Right." Some citizens want The 10 Commandments removed from government buildings, to remove "In God We Trust" from our paper currency, and to not have Nativity scenes on public property. In public schools, I've seen Christmas concerts renamed Holiday concerts, renamed Winter concerts.

Some Christians in other countries have to worship in secret. Some Christians are imprisoned and/or die for their faith.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not saying that all Christians are perfect. I'm focusing on the truth of the Scripture that was written many years ago that says that we will be persecuted.

The end of my reading today in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is where I feel comfort. It says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

I believe.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Direction

I have been reading Daily Lectionary readings (off and on) for a while. I also read "The Upper Room" daily devotional.

I've decided to follow along with Wendy Pope's group who are reading "The One Year Chronological Bible" (NLT). Although I don't have that specific Bible, I printed off the year's readings and have decided to join today (May 16) and follow along.

Wendy does a daily vlog (Monday-Friday) and then the other participants leave comments. Wendy takes the weekends off but leaves what she calls, "Open Blog Weekend," and the ladies can leave comments on their weekend readings.

So my new direction is changing from Daily Lectionary readings to one year chronological reading. I will continue reading "The Upper Room" daily devotionals too.

A couple of side notes...
Wendy Pope is part of Proverbs 31 Ministries. A cool group of Christian women (speakers, writers) who bring their individual talents together and have made my world a better place.

One of the best parts, where my Wonderful Husband works, is that it's a family-owned company and the retired patriarch buys "The Upper Room" devotionals and leaves them in the breakroom for any employee to pick up, free of charge. He is a good Christian man.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Celebration (& WLW Week 2)

This past Monday was my 49th birthday and because of my scheduled meeting on Monday night it turned into a three day celebration. It began with an early dinner at Outback on Saturday. (Since Sunday was Mother's Day we wanted to avoid huge crowds.) My birthday dinner was delicioussssss!

Sunday was Mother's Day and I received my red geraniums that I put in planters on both sides of my front door. It's the official date that annuals can be planted in our area without worry (supposedly) of a freeze in the future. We did have a cold front come through I think from our "friendly neighbors to the north" (Canada) and were warned of the possibility of a frost. Mother Nature...you used to be our friend! The geraniums survived. Or else they froze and still look good. No, I think they survived.

Monday was quiet. Once everyone arrived home, dinner was put on the table and I received my birthday gifts. The book, "The Blind Side." (Loved the movie and am looking forward to reading the book.) And Wonderful Husband gave me a digital camera. I opened it and said, "Yes! Now I can put pictures on my blog!" He looked at me and said, "That's why you wanted a camera?" and then he started laughing!

Hey it could happen!

Then I ran out the door to my meeting.

So get ready world. I'm thinking about snapping pictures occasionally and will be posting them on this blog.

And my Weight Loss Wednesdays Week 2 update is something that I've learned from celebrating myself for three days in a row. I gave myself license to celebrate ALL the days of the week and gained .5 lbs. Time for me to re-focus on healthy food choices and more water.

Starting. Right. Now.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mission Accomplished

Last night was my last Mission Committee meeting. I have served on the committee for three years and am anticipating the group carrying forward and improving upon the foundation that we three outgoing members are leaving behind.

I  procrastinated finishing my notes from the Alternative Giving event that runs during Advent. I also needed to finish organizing the binder which has copies of minutes.

Two weeks ago, I finished all the work and turned the information over last night. I had to laugh that my replacement has not come forward, and that their first piece of business in June will be to have someone volunteer for the job. (Although it's called "taking minutes," it really takes hours to take notes during the meeting, type them up, email them out to the committee members for corrections/approval, then on to the church office for distribution before the Session meets a week or so later.)

Serving on the Mission Committee has been a wonderful and educational experience for me. I've learned of my pastor's/church's dedication to supporting local, national, and international missions by donating 12-17% of incoming monies. A percentage that is set at the beginning of each calendar year. It has a biblical/first fruits feel to the commitment and I believe it makes God smile.

My last responsibility is to type up last night's minutes, have them approved by the committee via email, and send them off to the church for distribution to the Session.

Mission Accomplished.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Balance

Have you ever had a walking washing machine? Well, I do.

On some laundry loads, it doesn't walk. On most laundry loads though, it will either walk to the right and butt up against the laundry sink (which is attached to the wall) or it will walk backwards toward the wall and toward all the hoses, plug, etc.

It walks while on the spin cycle which happens twice per load. Sometimes it stays still for the first spin cycle, then walks through the second. Sometimes it stays still for the second spin cycle, after walking during the first. Then sometimes it will walk during both spin cycles.

Oh joy.

Which brings me to what I was thinking about today while holding on to my washing machine during a spin cycle. (Were you wondering when I might get around to it? lol)

My dislike of the word "balance."

Besides the obvious wish that my washing machine could keep its balance, I've never bought into the thought that I can lead "a balanced life."

Years ago, when I was working (and my kids were in elementary school) I worked part time. My day began getting them on the bus for school, chores before leaving to work from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Rush home before they got off the bus, oversee homework, prepare dinner, clean up, get them settled for the night, then start all over again the next day.

Exhausting!

Then when my kids were in high school. They'd catch the bus, I'd go to work, they'd get home before me. I would walk in and my son would ask, "What's for dinner?" (I gave him a rule that when I walk in the door from work, don't ask what's for dinner before greeting me and asking me how my day was...or else.)

Years ago (while living in Texas) I heard Mary Kay Ash's slogan for the first time, "God first, family second, career third." By modeling their lives with this slogan, women in her company (Mary Kay Cosmetics) could keep their lives in balance.

Really? Am I the only woman that while I was at work, I worried about my kids or what needed to get done at home? While at home, I worried about work?

What kind of balance is that? Not much, in my case. My heart and mind were anxiously thinking about the other place where I wasn't physically located at that moment.

I agree with Mary Kay's slogan, "God first, family second (husband, then children), and career third." Yet some days I am more like a juggler than a person gracefully balanced on a high wire.

I won't put pressure on myself trying to attain a balanced life. Because life and responsibilities change constantly, and being a juggler is a more realistic goal.

Do you hope for or live a balanced life?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Discipline - Week 1

Karen Ehman is encouraging us to memorize the verse listed below:

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

This is why I have decided to join Karen's "Weight Loss Wednesdays" group. To keep my focus on God who created me and is allowing me "to lease" my body for my duration on Earth.

I haven't treated my body responsibly in the past and am working on correcting that now.

Discipline is what I have re-introduced into my life for the past 11 weeks. I have been paying attention to the food I put in my mouth and re-introduced myself to exercise (treadmill, light weights, and sit-ups). During the 10 week "Losing It" weight loss challenge I lost 10 lbs. A happy beginning for me!

I have marked another 10 weeks into my calendar with today's date being my new end of Week 1. And I have lost 1.5 lbs. this week. I've exercised and been very disciplined with food this week since I have a birthday coming up (and Mother's Day too) so I know that a dinner to Outback is in my near future. And I love a hearty sampling of the Bloomin' Onion along with my steak dinner! Oh and some Carvel icecream cake too!

No guilt for me, just preparation for the upcoming celebration(s)! Prior planning works for me.

It's true that discipline doesn't seem pleasant at the time, yet it is producing a harvest of peace while I move forward in my lifestyle change journey.

Now it's time for me to do my assignment and memorize Hebrews 12:11.

How has your week been?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sleep

Some nights I can't go to sleep. It is very unusual for me.

I wonder if it's hormonal or atmospheric?

The ceiling fan is set on medium since it's a bit stuffy upstairs. I hear the thunder in the distance and know that rain is on the way. Even the sheet feels irritating against my skin. I change positions but not too often since I don't want to disturb Wonderful Husband.

Finally in frustration, I get up and creep downstairs. Get a glass of cranberry juice. Try to settle down in my own body and later will go back to bed.

I crave sleep.