Sunday, September 30, 2012

To Please God




Worship at church today was completely humbling and I felt totally connected to God.  I could have sat there for another hour listening to God's voice speak to me. 

I began the service with a heartfelt prayer to get our focus on Him.  Then, we sang "Waiting Here For You".  It wasn't what we'd originally planned to sing as our opening song, but God made it very clear it needed to be sung.  And sing we did.  It didn't matter whether every note was exactly on pitch or if we messed up a word or two.  To God's ears it was a beautiful, joyful noise and it glorified Him.  


That's what it's all about. 

A worship team's role is to be a vessel in helping the congregation encounter God.  A worship team lifts God high, exalting His name above all names!  It's not a concert or show.  It's not for entertainment.  It's not to seek applause or compliments.  It's to glorify our Heavenly Father and help others do the same. 

I used to care what others thought of my singing and would feel sick if I saw someone make a face or whisper when I messed up or hit a wrong note.  I was totally nauseous one morning when I heard that someone in our church actually said "she's not as good as she thinks she is". 

(P.S.  I've never thought I was "that good".  I simply allow God to use me to glorify Him.)

The fact is, I no longer care what anyone thinks about my voice or singing ability.

I now care about one opinion only... God's.  HE is why I sing!  HE has called me to the role of worship leader and HE uses me, in spite of my imperfections and sin!  HE is my focus and I trust Him to help me overcome my insecurities and feelings of inferiority! 

And that's the focus for the next several Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings at our church.  My dad (the pastor) is helping us learn how Satan sets us up to fail, to focus on the wrong things, to sin.  Inspired by the book Satan's Dirty Little Secret, we're learning how insecurity and inferiority lead to addiction, self-focus - or focus on others, gossip, lying, and so many other sins.  It's definitely the main cause of my addiction to food and my struggle to change these bad habits of overeating, eating when I'm not hungry, lack of exercise, and more.

The next few Sundays (and maybe in between) I'll be sharing with you what God shows me about these two awful demons: insecurity and inferiority.  Back in June I wrote a blog post that mentioned these evil traps.  I read that post again today as a reminder of just how gripping they can be.  I want to get a handle on them so I can keep my focus where it needs to be... on God.  I really recommend reading the book so you, too, can be fully aware of Satan's stinkin' schemes!  

When we get our focus right, our life becomes more pleasing to Him... and more pleasing to live!



Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Fun!


Happy Friday everyone!  The weekend is almost here and it's time to kick it off with positive thoughts and good laughs.


I KNOW you can relate to this if you've ever made a box of macaroni and cheese.  I couldn't stop laughing!  And I laughed again two days later when I found myself in this very situation... and I screamed out "LIES!" in the kitchen.  My husband and the boy were puzzled in the other room...




In our quarterly business meeting at work, a manager showed this video as a "tribute to managers".  It really made me smile.  How fun would it be to do this for a living?  I guess you'd call these guys "catboys"?



Finally, remember this important truth as you enjoy your weekend (and beyond).  How powerful is this phrase?



Thursday, September 27, 2012

10 Things You Must Do To Move Forward



How FABULOUS is this?  

I agree with every one of ideas... and gosh how I needed reminding.  I'll admit, I've felt a little stuck lately.  I know it's temporary so I'm not giving up, but it can feel pretty overwhelming at times. 

I like how much simpler it seems when you break it down like this.  It actually makes me feel better about where I've been these past two months (Monday will make two months since my surgery... my how time flies!). 

I can actually see that I'm not as far off as I thought -I've remained focused on half of these!  I now need to make changes and start focusing again on the others.

How about you?  How are you with this list? 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!


Week 39
Start date
: 12/28/11
Initial weight:
218
Current weight:
?
This week's loss
: ? 
Total weight loss:
?

Last week's dream focus: Start logging food every day, every time I eat ANYTHING; reduce the amounts of foods I’m eating and focus on making healthy choices; start moving more and sitting less; keep surrounding myself with positivity and encouragement; and be grateful for slow progress!
 

What went well:  I decided that next Monday I'm starting a gym membership and will begin working out over lunch!  I'm like REALLY excited about that!  I feel it's going to be my second wind.

I've been reading a study called Pure Praise by Dwayne Moore and a book called Extravagant Worship by Darlene Zschech.  They focus on worshiping with your whole life, not just in a church service on Sunday mornings.  It's opening my eyes to how many ways we can worship and honor God; one is by treating our bodies as a temple. 


Challenges:  I haven't been treating my body as a temple.  I'm noticing that every year when the fall season arrives I become a home-cookin, apple-pickin', cider-makin', Cajun dish creatin' momma.  I love autumn, but every year I fall into this trap of overindulging in my favorite seasonal treats, both salty and sweet.  I haven't been sensible about portions at all.  I've slipped into bad habits like mindless eating, eating too much, and not logging food.
Fact: I'm much less successful when I don't hold myself accountable for what, and how much, I'm eating.  I MUST LOG MY FOOD!
My first instinct is to beat myself up for not being further along and for falling back into old habits, but the new me isn't going to stand for that kind of self-abuse any longer.  This is a process and it takes time.  I know it will pay off in the end, so I'll keep picking it up and dusting it off no matter how many times as it takes!
Reminder: THIS JOURNEY ISN'T EASY.  IT TAKES WORK.  WE'RE GONNA MESS UP.  But WE choose how we'll react to these challenges and WE can make it happen!

This week's dream focus:  LOG FOOD EVERY DAY.  Move more and sit less; keep surrounding myself with positivity and encouragement; and be grateful for slow progress!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Ultimate Dreamer



Last night I went to the Hillsong Live! concert in our city.  It was unbelievable! 



I sang my lungs out. 
I raised my hands high.
I hugged a childhood friend.
I had fun.
I worshiped hard.
I bonded.
I was convicted.
I drew closer to God.
And He spoke to me in many ways, but one stands out.

One of the members of Hillsong read Hebrews chapter 12, verse 2 that says "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross..."  It couldn't have been more clear what God was showing me in this verse.  HE is the best example of the ultimate dreamer! 

Jesus was fully aware of the unbelievable amount of pain and suffering He would endure on the cross; the betrayal, the torture, the agony.  But He didn't focus on those things.  He focused on the outcome.  He focused on the dream that became reality... to die for us so we could live eternal life in Heaven with Him!  He knew His pain on the cross would be worth our gain. 

He easily could've taken on the victim role.  After all, He was a righteous man who'd never sinned (Matthew 27:19, 23), He was betrayed by a trusted and loved friend, (Matthew 27:3), and was about to be crucified for who He claimed to be (Matthew 27:11).  But He didn't wallow in self-pitty.  He didn't allow these things to keep Him from following what God would have Him do.  He put His trust in His Father and moved forward.

When we compare what Jesus endured to save us from an eternal, agonizing death to the road we're walking, we should feel humbled, broken, and inspired to keep going!  We can draw strength from God and continue enduring adversity until our dream is our reality!  When it gets tough, remind yourself "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13! 



Monday, September 24, 2012

A Hallway Thought...


The words on a picture from yesterday's post that read "Until God opens the next door for you, praise Him in the hallway" are pretty powerful.  But there's something they didn't tell you.  And it's pretty important to be prepared for this in case it happens... because it probably will.

Some doors God may never open for you. 

So what are we supposed to do when that happens?

We continue to praise and worship Him!  We lift Him HIGHER!  We put our faith in Him and trust He has a very good reason for allowing that door to remain closed.  But this doesn't mean it won't hurt our hearts to think about that door being sealed.  Tears may continue to fall, the sting of heartache that follows could seem overwhelming, and we may be tempted to wallow in self-pitty, comparing ourselves to others.

Again, one of Satan's dirty tricks... inferiority and insecurity.

Don't let that gross devil convince you it's okay to wallow in "woah is me" self-pitty.  It never does you or anyone else good.  There's a difference between being a victim and processing your emotions. 

Victims blame their problems on other people and circumstances.  They've learned to feel helpless and don't believe their actions matter in how things turn out.  When you cast yourself in the role of a victim it negatively affects your ability to live a fruitful, rewarding life.  You become so focused on yourself and the bad things that have happened to you, either as a result of another's actions or your own, that your ability to achieve your goals and dreams is completely blocked.  It weakens your confidence in yourself (insecurity) and you become bitter and focused on the wrong things (inferiority).  It can lead to seriously negative effects on your relationships with others and it completely imprisons you.

Grieving the loss of a dream, a person, a situation (such as loss of your job, home, health, etc.) is natural and it's part of the healing process.  It's okay to break down when you know God has closed a door.  And it's okay to feel emotional when you're in the desert waiting for an answer.. and learning to wait on the Lord.  This is when our patience is really tested.  The best news is God is our healer and comforter.  He'll get you through it... He'll make it better!

It doesn't matter who or what has "done you wrong", it will do you no good to embrace the victim mentallity.  Sometimes circumstances scar us deeply and seeking help is the best way to get us back on the path to our dreams.  Don't be above getting help... be above living an unfulfilled, fruitless life.  Be above being a negative, unpleasant person to be around. Be focused on your dreams and seek a life of happiness and joy!

Start paying attention to the thoughts, beliefs, and expectations that aren't, and haven't been, fullfilling you.  Identify times you imagine yourself as the dreaded victim.  Then, fight against it with empowering, non-reactive ways of thinking!  Distract yourself by stopping those negative thoughts as soon as you think them.  Replace them with positive, motivating thoughts that help you focus on your goals and dreams.  Imagine how it looks and feels when those dreams becomes reality.  Surround yourself with people who will encourage and help you change your thoughts.  Distance yourself from other "victims" for a while, until not being a victim becomes second nature to you.  Once it is, you'll be able to help others change their life in a positive way!



Bonus: When you're really struggling, lift this praise to God...


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Until God Opens the Door


"It is good to praise the Lord ... For You make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the works of Your hands." Psalm 92:1a-4 (NIV)

Today after the boy's baseball double-header, several players and parents went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch/dinner.  While we were waiting for our food to arrive, I observed a twenty-something woman in the bar area flirting with some men while drinking a beer.  I remembered seeing her pull into the parking lot while we were waiting to be seated.  Her 3 or 4 year old daughter was with her.  I also noticed her a second time, while heading towards the restroom, drinking a beer. 

(Please know I'm not condemning or judging.  I'm sharing a story from my heart.  I want to help you see the thought process I went through to move from complaining to praising.) 

While this young woman talked with these men, her daughter sat alone at a high-back table across the room.  Her mom would glance over at her every now and then but she didn't appear too concerned with her daughter's emotional needs.  I saw this woman finish at least three beers while we were there.

All I could think was "Is this little girl going to make it home safely?  Would it be weird if I just ran over there and rescued her?  What if I just went over there and spent time with her, to help take her mind off being alone?"

Then I become frustrated. 

My mind instantly switched to "Why is that fair?  Why does she have a baby and I can't?  Why can't she understand how deeply this could affect her daughter's life?  Why does my heart have to break over and over again when I see stuff like this?"

Internally, I started whining, complaining, and being a victim.

But God instantly convicted me of those unacceptable thoughts.

I knew I couldn't continue making assumptions about this woman, her life, and her feelings about being a mother.  And I certainly could not continue wallowing in "why me" self-loathing.  I had to change my perspective.


The Lord whispered the word "praise" to my heart.  He reminded me that we worship Him with our whole lives, including our thoughts.  The more we thank Him for what we have and what He has done, is doing, and will continue to do, the more our attitudes will change.

And in that moment I glanced to the other end of the table at "the boy", my incredible bonus son.  I instantly felt thankful that I'm his bonus mom.  I'm able to fulfill the motherly desires I have by cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, watching baseball games, listening to gross boy sounds, etc.!  It's a fact that I didn't carry him in my womb, I wasn't there when he was born, I missed out on the first half of his life, I missed his first day of kindergarten, and all those other things a little girl dreams about her whole life. 

But it's also a fact that God answered a deep-hearted cry to Him to bless and unite our families in a way not experienced by most.  Bonus parents, bonus in-laws, former spouses; we all get along and it's GREAT!  The relationship has been anointed by God.  I'm blessed with a wonderful family, a great job, a comfortable home, two vehicles, good health (even through recent difficulties), and so many other blessings - as big or small as they may seem.  My life is amazing. 

I just have to praise God for those incredible gifts and not dwell on what I don't have.  That's Satan's nasty trick... to get us focused on what we don't have so we won't be grateful for what we have.  We're human and can easily fall into complaining mode, but the more we thank Him and praise Him, the more aware of God's goodness we become.

Every day presents itself with opportunities to worship God, whether they seem little or mighty.  Through praise, our burdens don't seem so heavy and our life becomes a sweet fragrance to those around us.  Give praise - it will transform you and others!



Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Fun!


It's Friday!!!!!!!  It's time for fun.

Doesn't this picture just crack you up?  I can't get over how awesome it is!  I loved the Shatto Milk Company before (I've referenced them in this previous post) but I adore them now!  This totally made me laugh.



I posted this on Facebook today.  It's really funny and TOTALLY TRUE! 

The bottom line:
  • We can't determine how another person is going to feel. 
  • We can't control another person's responses or actions.
  • We can't live our lives obsessed with what others think of us.
  • We can't let what they may or may not think hold us back from living our dreams.
  • We SHOULD live our lives concerned with what God thinks of us!
  • We SHOULD trust in Him to help us overcome the fear!
  • We SHOULD control our own actions!
  • We SHOULD be nice to every one we meet and go to bed with a clean conscious!




So who remembers this snazzy tune?  I LOVED this song back in the day!!!  So 80's... and perfect for Friday Fun.  My favorite part was always the freestyle "rap" in the middle. 

Chrissy's Impromptu Freestyle:
  • I still know all the words to this song. 
  • It makes me wanna roller skate. 
  • I won the roller skating limbo once.
  • My favorite activity at the roller rink was skating to "Ghostbusters" and "Thriller".
  • We did danced to "Thriller" at my 80's Zumba Birthday Party. (Thanks, Jade!  That was SO much fun!)
  • I feel like dancing!
  • This song reminds me of summer and swimming with my cousins.
  • I miss those days.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this random Friday Fun!  Oh, and last thought.  What if the caption from the first picture in yesterday's post was placed on this picture?  Kinda sweet, huh?  :)  I totally relate.




Thursday, September 20, 2012

Be The Heroine


My close friend Erika, from CloudNineGirl.com, wrote a beautiful blog post yesterday about not giving up the fight for our dreams and hanging in there when we feel like quitting.  It's really beautiful and made me feel a little courage to fight harder to keep my dreams alive... to make them happen.

* * * * * * * *

Read Erika's blog post ---> here.

* * * * * * * *

(Did you read it?  GOOD!  You may now continue...)

I, too, have quit many things in my 34 years of life.  I've heard the first time you quit something it's really difficult.  And the more you quit, the easier it gets.  I believe that.

I don't want to be a quitter, especially when it comes to my dreams.  I don't want to give up on them.  I don't want to let them lie dormant.  I want to WIN!  I want to LIVE the things I dream about and then make new dreams come true! 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!


Week 38
Start date
: 12/28/11
Initial weight:
218
Current weight:
?
This week's loss
: ? 
Total weight loss:
20 pounds since last weigh-in (a long time ago)


Last week's dream focus
: Stop eating “crap” foods and get focused on healthy foods again!  Keep surrounding myself with positivity and encouragement!

What went well:  My pain has really decreased, allowing me to feel more normal again!  In general, I’m moving more, getting myself prepared to start working out soon.  I’m feeling much more positive and optimistic about where I’ll go from here!

I haven’t weighed and I just won’t until I feel mentally ready to handle it.  I know I’ve gained weight… I can tell by how my clothes are fitting.

Challenges:  I’m out of the habit of logging daily intake… and it’s very obvious in my food choices, amounts, and weight gain.  I’ve been eating like there’s no tomorrow, making bad decisions with amounts of food, sweets, and emotional eating.  This past several days I’ve seen myself eating the way I did before I started this journey.  That, along with no exercise, is a set-up for big time regression.
I don’t like what I’m seeing.
The truth is I can blog inspirational posts every day and encourage others (while encouraging myself), but the proof is in the pudding.  It’s clear that something’s wrong and out of line if I’m not making progress.  Yes, most of the progress focuses on changing my habits, thoughts, and feelings about foods.  But I also need to become active again, even if I start slow.

This week's dream focus:  Start logging food every day, every time I eat ANYTHING; reduce the amounts of foods I’m eating and focus on making healthy choices; start moving more and sitting less; keep surrounding myself with positivity and encouragement; and be grateful for slow progress!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fear & Self-Doubt


Have you ever had an opportunity to do something you'd really love, but when overwhelming fear took over you conjured up an excuse to get out of it?

I've been there. 

When I worked at J.C. Penney as a visual merchandiser, I was presented with a great opportunity by one of my interior design school instructors to help set stores for the grand opening of the Great Mall of the Great Plains.  I couldn't believe at nineteen years old I was asked to do something so incredible!  It could open so many doors in my career!  But the more I visualized it, the more I thought about it, insecurity crept in.  I started doubting my abilities, worrying about my lack of experience or that someone might think I was too young to know what I was doing, and fearing I'd fail.  So I came up with some lame excuse and didn't go though with it.

To this day, I feel regret when I think about that missed opportunity.  I'll never know what could've happened for me, where I would've gone, what doors would've flown open.  Of course, I'm where I am now for a reason and I wouldn't change a thing.  But I can't help but wonder.

I remember that story whenever I find myself staring fear and self-doubt in the face.  I think about how I wish I would've just stepped out of my comfort zone, taken a risk, and given it a try.  Even if I'd made a mistake or failed, at least I gave it my all.

My dream at the time was to be an interior designer.  I had the desire, the talent, and I wanted it so much.  I thought I would do anything to make it happen.  But when it came down to it, I just wasn't willing to take the steps, do the work, or take risks to create the result and make my dream come to life.  My inner self-doubt consistently had me questioning every single move I made.
Today I came across an article from Forbes.com on overcoming fear and self-doubt.  The writer lists these four steps to help break through and they were too wonderful not to share!

1. Take a No-Excuses Approach
Although, some may call them “reasons”, people stop themselves all the time by using excuses.  The opportunity they want so badly finally shows up, and they make excuses so as not to go forward.  The most frequent excuses are “I don’t have enough money,” “I don’t have enough time, “I’m too busy”, “I don’t want to travel,” and the list goes on.  They use these excuses as their trap door, their escape route.

When pressed in a life or death situation, would you find the time or money?  If someone you loved was trapped in a building, would you stop trying to rescue them if the front door was locked?  No, of course not.  You’d try the back door, then the windows, and every other possible way, right?

To achieve success, you’ve got to be willing to take the same approach with your business.  Successful people are those who take a No-Excuses Approach and are willing to do what others won’t.

So, how badly do you want it? You either have excuses or you have results.  Which do you choose?


2. Feel the Fear—But Do It Anyway
The ego creates fear to keep you small.  For example, fear of rejection, fear of overwhelm, fear of humiliation, fear of making mistakes, fear of losing it all, fear of the unknown, and on and on it goes.  The list is huge.

All entrepreneurs I know experience fear.  What separates those who are successful and those who allow fear to hold them back is the willingness to act in spite of the fear.  The best way to get over fear is to walk directly into it.  It takes courage but you know what?  Walking into fear is never as bad as you think it’s going to be.  Instead, you’ll find it liberating.


3. Be Willing to Stretch Beyond Your Comfort Zone
Most people avoid discomfort like the plague.  If you want to get to the next level, you’ve got to be comfortable being uncomfortable—just for a short time. Yes, it’s a little scary at first but let’s face it, it’s not going to kill you.

The question is—are you willing?  Are you willing to trade short-term discomfort for long-term success?  If so, are you willing to go where you have to go?  Are you willing to talk to who you have to talk to?  Are you willing to move for what you want?  Are you willing to do what you haven’t done?  Are you willing to stretch beyond your comfort zone?


4. Take Decisive Action
You can’t just wish for (or dream about) something.  You’ve got to take action.  Action is an issue of personal responsibility.  It’s where you acknowledge that you are solely responsible for the choices in your life and you accept that you cannot blame others for the choices you have made.  Time and time again our inner self-doubt makes us question everything and keeps us from taking action when the solution shows up.  This all boils down to one thing and one thing only.  In plain English it’s called self-sabotage.

Widening your perspective around success starts with a decision.  Once you make a decision to succeed, it’s time to commit to doing whatever it takes to make it happen.
It comes down to taking bold and decisive action toward what you say you want in your business or your life.  It’s about saying YES to what’s possible for you.  Saying YES to the opportunities that are divinely given to you—and then taking action.  Your life will never be the same.




Monday, September 17, 2012

When Healing Occurs



Have you ever been faced with something that tested your faith in what God can do? 

Have you listened to others speak with such faith and belief that you feel disheartened because you just aren't there... you just can't see it?

That's where I was last Sunday.  I was in pain, I was under the impression I could possibly have another surgery within the month, I was feeling really bad about myself, and I was doubting my dream. 

Then my church family embraced me at the altar.  I was overwhelmed with emotion and couldn't speak.  I cried hard and loud.  I trembled.  My daddy held me.  He tried to pray but he, too, was overcome with tears.  A dear friend interceded with prayer... and she prayed for healing and a miracle. 

I struggled to believe it would happen because all I could feel was the throbbing pain in my abdomen.  I started remembering the things I've read about endometriosis and just didn't see it getting better fast.  It wasn't that I didn't believe God was capable of working a miracle, I just doubted that He would.  I trusted Him.  I really thought I would have to endure another month or two of recovery and assumed it would be so I could use my story to help others.... and I was okay with that.  I'd come to accept it.  

I left the sanctuary feeling loved, supported, and prayed up.  It helped me face the work week head-on.  I had an ultrasound and visited a GI specialist to try and get to the bottom of the continuing pain.  The GI specialist agreed with me and felt it wasn't GI related.  He still wanted to do a scope to be sure.  I felt it was a waste of money and time, not to mention anesthesia.  The results came back for the ultrasound a few days later.  They saw a female issue (that I'll keep to myself for now).  The nurse told me he hadn't seen it during surgery or he would've taken care of it at that time.  My doctor originally described this issue to me on my first visit with him... an issue that could be the cause of my multiple miscarriages.  A issue that, if not fixed, could prevent me from ever being able to carry full term. 

I wanted that fixed.

So Friday I called his office and suggested having another surgery to take care of this issue since I was still recovering and not 100%.  And during the second surgery he could look for more endometriosis and adhesions.  If they didn't find either, great.  We made sure.  If they did, get it out of there!  Then I could heal and move forward. 

When the nurse called back later that day, she said my doctor told her he did, in fact, see the issue and fixed it during surgery.  I was really confused and even started doubting what I'd heard the day before.  I couldn't understand how he could have fixed it yet it was seen on the ultrasound afterwards.  It was so weird.  But for some reason I accepted it and hung up. 

The next morning, I felt different.  I wasn't in awful pain like "normal".  We spent the day walking around, picking apples and pumpkins, and cooking food.  We did a lot more than I had since surgery.  Something had changed in me.


I felt different.

I felt more like myself.

I knew that God had worked a miracle.

I started to see that God allowed this to happen to help me become more dependent on Him.  I was willing to endure another surgery and long recovery process if it helped someone else get through their situation or if it helped me to see my dream come true.  The beautiful thing is that I can use what I've already been through to help others!  There are so many things I've learned through this trial.  My eyes have been opened in new ways. 

See, I was at the point of wanting to bury my dream and move on with life.  I told God I would be fine if my dream didn't come true.  I just wanted to stop wondering if it would or could ever happen.  I wanted to hear a definitive "Yes" or "No".  I just wanted to stop feeling this hurt in my heart that words cannot express.  I wanted to feel like celebrating when the dream happened those around me.  I just didn't want to hurt anymore.

But that's what I want right now; a quick fix to take away the pain I feel.  Anything to take away the heartache.  But we're working with God's timing, not Chrissy's.  And He knows what's in store for me. 

And I trust Him. 

Every day I trust Him more.  Every day I continue to put my hope in what He knows lies ahead for me.  Every day I count the blessings in my life and try not to waste energy wishing for things that don't exist.  That would only steal my joy.  I want to live a life that is happy and full of laughter, inspiration, encouragement, and worship!  I want to be an overcomer!

"Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart."  Psalm 27:14

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pumpkin Pickin'



So that's what we did today.

We heard screen doors slam, we heard farm animals making noise, we felt the cool breeze of fall in the air, and we felt SO in love!  I had such a fun day with my husband as we had our first autumn (well, close enough) date at the Red Barn Farm in Weston, MO and Carolyn's Country Cousins in Liberty, MO.

Yeah, we were probably the only couple there without small children.  We didn't care... it was so fun!  I fed goats, we picked a bushel of apples, I drank an apple cider slush, we went on a hayride (with no hay), and I had my first experience picking pumpkins off the vine in a pumpkin patch.  I still can't believe in 34 years I never went to a pumpkin patch!  Oh, and I can't forget that darn kettle corn.  (Lord, help me!)

Here are some pictures from our date!









I'm so thankful I was able to handle walking and moving all day.  My pain is actually pretty low - definitely the best it's been since August 1!  THANK YOU, GOD!!!  I was even able to go to the grocery store and make crawfish bisque for the LSU game tonight after an active day.  Now it's time to relax, enjoy the smell of my new Cider Lane and Apple Crumble candles, and cheer on the Tigers!  I LOVE FALL!  (And Dixie loves her Tigers!)




Friday, September 14, 2012

Even If


On the way home from praise team practice last night I heard the latest song from a band called Kutless.  The lyrics spoke to me in such a powerful way.  They really touched my heart because of the things I've endured lately.  You know how it seems like God is speaking directly to you through a song or scripture or a movie or another person?  Well, that's never a coincidence... HE IS SPEAKING TO YOU!

Here is the song and lyrics...


'Even If'
Kutless
Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane
That could never change who You are
And we trust in who You are

Even if the healing doesn't come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn't come


Lord we know Your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
Even though You reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
And we rest in who You are

You're still the Great and Mighty One
We trust You always
You're working all things for our good
We'll sing your praise


Oh, how I needed those words as reassurance it's going to be okay!  If my dreams change or don't turn out the way I planned, if things don't happen in my timing, and if I face more adversity than feels comfortable for me, I know God is mighty and He is in control.  I can find happiness, security, and strength to carry on with a smile on my face! 

I can be an overcomer!




Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Overcome" by Jeremy Camp


This song has has been running through my head since I wrote "A True Overcomer"!  When I think of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, it really puts into perspective how minimal our trials are.  I love to shout the lyrics "WE WILL OVERCOME"!!!!  Believe it and mean it! 

A True Overcomer



I stumbled upon the website overcomers.org and found the most amazing description of a true overcomer...


According to Scripture, an overcomer is someone who has suffered well.  Overcomers are ordinary people who remain extraordinarily loyal to their calling despite severe testing.  It is crucial to understand and keep in the forefront of our minds that overcomers are not defined by the outcome of their trial but by the process!


An overcomers undergoes painful situations knowing that they will endure their suffering through the love of Jesus Christ, even when facing grief, illness, divorce addiction, parenting problems, and any other kind of affliction.  An overcomer remains faithful to God through his trial.  An overcomer copes with problems knowing they are not alone in their struggles.  An overcomer comes along side others going through trials.  They use their experience to comfort and encourage others.



Isn't that beautiful? 

I WANT TO BE AN OVERCOMER!  

I need to post this all over the place as a reminder in the midst of the toughest adversity.  These words can help us focus on what God is capable of, how He can work in our lives to make our dreams better than we ever imagined, and to help us breathe when everything has crashed down on us.  

We don't have to worry and be afraid when it's in His hands!  He's always with me, comforting me, holding me, reminding me I'm His child and He loves me.  With a love like that, what have I to fear?

Let's be overcomers together!




Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!



Week 37
Start date
: 12/28/11
Initial weight:
218
Current weight:
?
This week's loss
: ? 
Total weight loss:
20 pounds since last weigh-in


Last week's dream focus
: Don’t rush recovery - it takes time.  DO NOT get on the scale until I’m mentally and emotionally able to handle it… resist the temptation.  Keep surrounding myself with positivity and encouragement!

What went well:  I’m keeping my focus on blessings and God and the bright side of all situations!  Being surrounded by positive, praying people is so uplifting and keeps me focused on the right things!

Challenges:  I’m not ready to get on the scale for sure.  I’m still in pain and have been through tests to get to the bottom of it.  Last week I thought I’d learned that this kind of pain was normal.  Then, I found out it’s not.  There could be several possible causes… so we’re trying to narrow it down.
I’ve been emotional and have shed a lot of tears this week.  I  know it’s all going to be okay though. I’m putting my trust in the Lord!!!

This week's dream focus:  Stop eating “crap” foods and get focused on healthy foods again!  Keep surrounding myself with positivity and encouragement!