No CARDIO = No Party-YO :(

Due to my super busy schedule, at work, I have not made the effort to do my regular cardio workouts (ie: biking and running). In fact, I cannot tell you the last time I actually went for a run. On second thought, yes I can.  It was the Biggest Loser 5K. However, that was sadly, in MAY! I mean, I should be shouting, “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY!”  Yikes! That is insane! After all of the hard work I put in to compete in the dualthon in December, and completing the Standard Process 21-Day Cleanse in April, I am back up to 184 pounds and returning to my “comfortable,” old eating habits.

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I HATE IT!

 It makes me sad, and frustrated, and makes me long to be that girl that can just eat anything she wants, but doesn’t gain a single pound. Unfortunately, that is not who God made me to be, and I have to accept that.

Tonight, I had to nip it in the bud! After getting home from work at 9:20pm, I simply put on my workout sneakers, changed into my workout clothes (for I am not a woman who can just wear “whatever” when I work out. Believe me, it would not be a pretty sight, and I would probably score a couple black eyes) and made no excuses. I turned on the treadmill and walked, with a 4 incline, for one hour.  Side note: over a month ago, I canceled my gym membership and was basically gifted a friend’s treadmill. It was a minimal cost for the greatness of this machine, but as is the case in most homes, it was starting to collect some dust and some dirty clothes.

Fortunately, tonight I got her workin’ again!

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After my workout I felt unbelievably energized!!!  

Oh my goodness have I missed cardio!  In fact I learned a hard lesson: “No cardio equals no party, YO!” I’m not kidding.  I have missed my cardio workouts. I miss my bike. I miss running with my running buddy.  I know that life happens, and work happens, and often there are times when I just can’t do it, but I have got to find a way to stop setting my workouts aside and reaching for food during busy, stressful times.  I am not in the partying mood right now. I am sad because I sabotage myself.  I move forward and then at the first onset of stress, I move ten miles in the other direction.  It is pitiful really, and it is something I have GOT to figure out before I have a heart attack or get diabetes.  Nine days ago I joined a free online exercise accountability group.  We do a challenge a day and share our goals,  joys, sorrows and failures with each other on Facebook.  I have sadly missed a few challenges, however, this group reminds me of the importance of having people to exercise with.  You need people to hold you accountable.  These thirty men and women are doing that for me. Yes, I have failed to fulfill the challenges on a few days, but thankfully, I have continued to press on, because I know they want me to.   My personality is one that needs that extra encouragement and push from others. I am not going to apologize for it, but simply accept it, and realize that being surrounded by people who will encourage me to be healthy is essential to my success. It has been proven time and time again throughout my life.

I don’t know where you are at, my friends?  But, I hope that you will join me in kicking those bad, unhealthy habits for good. We all need to stay on track and commit to healthy living!

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 

Genesis 1:27

The Adventures Continue…

As I have embarked on 37 Adventures For My 37th Year of Life I have discovered that the best ones are those unplanned, those done on a whim, simply to live life to the fullest! And that is exactly what I have been doing since my 37th birthday! To learn more about my 37 Adventures for My 37th Year of Life, you can click on the above link to read my blog!

So, the adventures continue…

#16 – Visit a Farmer’s Market (on side of the road)

Truth be told, when I travel, I am almost always traveling with my youth group and I don’t have the opportunity to stop and visit any specialty stores along the way.  So, on one of my last trips to Houston I decided to stop and check out a farmer’s market on the side of the road.  I have seen it hundreds of times and finally took the time to stop.  Below are some of the photos.

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Rule #1 – bring cash!  Sadly, the beautifully displayed fruits and vegetables couldn’t be purchased by ME that day because “no cash, no buy.” Regretfully, I got into my car and drove home without any yummy veggies or fruits to eat. I was so disappointed. This was about the only time I have ever regretted not carrying cash.

#17 - Meet Sam Houston

As one who rarely has taken road trips, I decided to take the opportunity this year to do more of them. So, a few months ago, I had the opportunity to go and visit some friends in Huntsville, Texas!  I knew this would be a great adventure and I had always wanted to stop and meet Sam Houston! I finally did!  I was also able to visit the Campus of Sam Houston State University and reminisce with one of my college roommates and her husband. This trip made me wonder why it has taken me so long to make impromptu road trips! It was wonderful!


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#18 - Eat Pie at Royer’s Pie Haven

Hmmm, I guess I had forgotten how many road trips I have taken in my 37th year of life?  It seems it is more than the last 36 years combined!  Okay, so maybe not, but pretty close.   About a month ago I took the opportunity to go to Austin to visit some friends.  There was no doubt that my first stop on the trip was to eat pie at Royer’s Pie Haven.  I love pie! June 2014 076Pie is one my most favorite things, and so when I learned of this pie place, I just had to stop and kick up my feet, literally.

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The decor and ambiance was fabulous and I stayed there for more than a few hours, just relaxing and eating their awesome pie!  To learn more about Royer’s Pie Haven you can go to their website at: http://royerspiehaven.com/

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#19 – Trip to the Largest Whole Foods Store I Have Ever Seen

Due to my recent health kick, I was beyond excited to visit one of the largest Whole Foods store I have ever seen.  I’m not sure that it is “truly” the largest, but it was the size of a mall.  I mean, it had its own parking GARAGE.  I entered like a tourist, happily snapping photos and surely annoying all the regular shoppers.  Each aisle I perused contained at least one and usually dozens of  strange and unique items.  If I was rich, I would have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars trying out their amazing selections. These are just a few of the shots I took. I have dozens of others!

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This particular Whole Foods even had a full service bar, along with a Fresh Seafood bar and numerous buffets.  I have never seen anything like it.  At 5pm this Whole Foods store was the “Happening Place” to meet for a fine dinner and delicious drinks.  I will most certainly go back there to experience it again!

#20 – Go Fishing From a Boat

Though I have gone fishing a couple times in my life, I have never actually fished from a boat.  Over the 4th of July, I finally had the opportunity to do so, and I caught a fish!  It was a black crappie, and I am not ashamed to admit that I was over the moon about it. I could have fished all day and truly believe I have found my new hobby! Anyone want to go fishing with me?

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#21 - Watch a Sunrise and Sunset in the Same Day

I am not an early riser, in the least bit, however, someone suggested that this be one of my great adventures and I just had to do it.  I got up at 6am this morning and was able to observe the beautiful sunrise over the lake.  I had never actually sat in silence that long and watched the sun inch its way upward. It was mesmerizing!

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About fourteen hours later, I was blessed to witness that very same sun setting on the horizon!  I wasn’t at the lake, but the sunset was still amazing and this was a fabulous adventure that I hope to participate in many more times!  God is such an amazing artist!

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#22 – Make Homemade Ice Cream

I love ice cream, especially Blue Bell.  Unfortunately, I have never made homemade ice cream, until now! With the help of a great team of friends, I was able to be a part of making homemade ice cream by using a delicious recipe passed on from generation to generation!

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#23 – Go Star Gazing

Where I live, the evening sky is orange and you can barely see the twinkling stars. That is one thing I really miss about where I grew up. We used get on our roof and watch the stars for hours.  Unfortunately, I haven’t made the time to star gaze… until this weekend! In the darkness of the night, as the locust chirped and frogs croaked, I reminisced about the traveling Planetarium that used to come to our school. That was my favorite day of the school year!  At thirty-seven years old, I plopped myself on the floor of the pontoon boat with two of my students and anxiously observed the beautiful stars that God created!!  To top it off, we were greatly blessed to observe three shooting stars! AMAZING!  We all made a wish three times over!!

#23 - Ride Big Bertha

I have never had the joy of being pulled behind a boat on a tube, but I can finally say that I have!  It was so much fun to ride Big Bertha (that’s the name of the tube)! Bring on the waves!

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 Stay tuned to my blog for more of my 37 great adventures,

and I want to encourage you and yours to get out there and live life to the fullest. Participate in as many adventures as you can! It will fill your life with so much joy!

 

Withered. Fruitless. Broken.

So, if “a picture is worth a thousands words,” then this is going to be a really long blog post! LOL!

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In my quest to eat healthy I decided to try my hand at gardening and planted a few tomato plants.  I strutted down to the local grocer, bought the 5-gallon buckets, drilled a few holes for drainage, purchased organic soil and committed to taking care of these plants so I could reap a harvest.  Almost since day one my plants have struggled.  Clearly I do not have a green thumb.  If you want even further proof, just stop by and check out the garden in my front yard: pitiful!

It is quite frustrating to have invested in these plants, in hopes of reaping a harvest.  Thus far, the plants have only produced three (3)  tomatoes, and though I am not a rocket scientist, by the looks of it, there may NOT be a prolonged harvest.  Nurturing and caring for your plants is essential.  If you don’t know what you are doing in the gardening realm  (ie: haven’t done your research), and/or you don’t feed your plants (ie: water ) they will die.

I confess, I have no idea how to garden, nor have I taken the time to study up.  I have also, admittedly, went a few days (ah hem, a week) without watering my plants. “Ignorance is NOT bliss” in this case.  Oh yes, I could wave the flag and claim ignorance, but that is still not going to bring my plants back to fruitfulness.  Nothing will bring them back except a lot of tender, loving care, quite a bit of further research, and a miracle from up above!  Without those things, my tomato plant will most certainly die. What a revelation that this is also true for our faith!

The grace-filled, seed of faith is planted in our hearts on the day of our baptism!

(Side note: if you haven’t yet been baptized and are curious, please  send me a message so we can discuss it in more detail)

We receive the beautiful, undeserved, gift of salvation from our sins, and our relationship with God begins.  The Holy Spirit  lives in us to guide, direct and encourage us, but, without the regular study of His Word (ie: The Bible) and participation in the Sacraments (ie: Baptism and Lord’s Supper) that seed of faith is going to wither and fade.  Life happens, and while most of the time it is not intentional, our relationship with God takes the backseat. Forget the backseat, our faith often gets shoved in the deep, dark, trunk.  Out of sight out of mind, right?  That is, until one day, you return to find it looking much like my pitiful plant.

 Withered. Fruitless. Broken.

Is it too late? Never!  You see, God comes to us in our Baptism!  He is chooses us!

“I want a  deep, authentic, real, relationship with you,” God pleads!

“It’s not always going to be easy.  Sometimes you are going to pull away.  Sometimes you are going to disappoint.  Sometimes you are going to fail, but I will never, ever stop pursuing you.”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39

” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:3-7

God sincerely wants our relationship with Him to grow!  

He wants to see the fruits of the spirit in our lives. “The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23), but similar to my pitiful tomato plant, it won’t produce if we don’t tend to it.

Maybe you have pulled away from God? There is simply too much going on in your life right now to digest or think about any more? You have absolutely zero time for anything other than your mundane routine?  I am there right with you!  I am beyond busy, and I have failed to take the time to be in God’s presence and let Him speak to me through His Word.  My faith, sadly looks similar to this dying plant.  So what do you do, if that is you too?

Martin Luther, the Reformer, not the Pastor, once said,

“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
― Martin Luther

Though our time is short, we must take moments to be in the Word and in prayer.  Certainly it is not realistic to go to Luther’s extreme, but taking any amount of time, is incredibly important.  Just one week without nourishment and my tomato plant nearly died. It needed life-giving water, and that is what God’s Word gives to us!

“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”
― Martin Luther

Like any relationship, our relationship with God is a journey. You don’t suddenly have a connection with God, and have the ability to dig your heels into that mountain top. There are hills and there are valleys in our faith journey.  There are deserts and there are streams.

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Our faith and relationship with Christ, will not grow without a lot of tender, loving care, further study of His Word, and a miracle from up above! As you take time to satisfy and nurture that seed of faith, fruit will grow.  Often it will be difficult, but don’t give up. “There is a time for everything,” but I pray that as you persevere, you will come to know our amazing God more intimately and I pray you will discover His perfect, unending love! Your sacrifices will be worth it, for they are nothing compared to the ultimate sacrifice our Savior, Jesus, made for all…you and me!

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Meet My Blessing!

My deepest apologies for not blogging recently.  I know the importance of consistency, however, if you are a writer at all you understand that one cannot force words on a page. Sometimes they come and sometimes they don’t. Regrettably,  words have not been free-flowing the last few weeks, so I simply stepped back.  Today I finally found the words to introduce you to my “blessing.”  To fully understand the significance of this “blessing,”  I encourage you to read my previous blog, titled A May 11th Blessing! It will help you fill in the blanks.  So without further ado, here she is…

Meet My Blessing!

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Her full name is Blessing Muthoni!  She is four years old, and she lives with her mother and father in the African country of Kenya.  She is in preschool and one of her main duties at home is to take care of the animals.  Her father is a farmer and her mother stays at home to care for Blessing.  Blessing’s birthday is May 11, which is significant. Blessing shares the same day of birth as my first child, (aka: dog) Zacchaeus.

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The whole story is once again found on my previous blog, A May 11th Blessing and unless you read it, none of the following will really make any sense.

So, my moment of truth finally came this past Monday, June 2.  I’m not going to lie.  It took me numerous attempts to muster up the courage to call Compassion International, as I was instructed, to see if Blessing had yet been sponsored.  Two months have passed since I first discovered her packet at the Matthew West Concert.  I spent many, many nights tossing and turning in bed, praying, for this precious child, and on June 2, 2014, I was “blessed” to sponsor her.  I dialed the number, sweating with anticipation.  I asked the daunting question, “Has anyone yet sponsored Blessing Muthoni?”  After a few minutes of silence, the man on the other end of the phone said, “No, ma’am, would you like to sponsor her?”  I hesitated for a moment, and then asked him to send me her information.  I am convinced my indecision was Satan taking one last opportunity to swoop in and keep me from trusting God.  “Would you like for me to add her to your sponsorship?” he inquired.  I remained silent.

Could I afford to pay another $38 a month to support Blessing?

I still refused to answer, confirming that Satan is an incredible deceiver and he was on the move.  I asked the man from Compassion to send me Blessing’s information.   He agreed, and we ended the call.  I NEEDED TO see her face.   I was Krabby McCrankypants all afternoon and evening.  I could have saved myself all this trouble and simply not called at all, however, God was convicting me.  The cost of not doing what God was calling me to do would be too great a burden for me to carry.  Late that evening, I sat at my computer, logged in to my Compassion account and came face to face with my “blessing.”

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My heart raced, just as it had over two months ago.  My heart pounded, just as it had in the wee hours of the morning those many sleepless nights.  My heart throbbed, just as it had those hundreds of times I prayed for guidance from my Heavenly Father.

“Lord, if I am meant to sponsor Blessing, then make a way!”  

He did!

Just a month early, God reminded me, I had canceled my gym membership.  Now, let me digress for a moment and iterate that gym memberships are good.  They are great, except in my case, when you pay for it, but don’t actually use it.  Can you relate? I prefer to train on my own, which I do regularly, so I was paying for something I didn’t use.  My gym membership was $32.46 a month.  Sponsoring Blessing through Compassion is $38.  That is a difference of $5.54, people.

Shall I assert that is a HUGE DIFFERENCE!

The DIFFERENCE is that one four year old little girl in Kenya will now finally have the opportunity to go to school, eat nutritious food, and learn about our Savior, Jesus, because I had the courage to do what I already knew God was calling me to do two months ago, sponsor Blessing!

The difference of $5.54 a month is a risk I am willing to take, to impact Blessing and her family.  After all, in just two short months, she has already had an extraordinary affect on mine.  Meet my Blessing!  She is now one of three children I sponsor through Compassion International.

Won’t you consider making a difference too?

 

 

A May 11th Blessing!

In the midst of the busyness of life, I am constantly thinking about and praying for my girls in Rwanda.  If this is your first time reading my blog, welcome!  I sponsor two girls from Rwanda, through an organization called Compassion International.  Mukademari Beatrice and Uwineza Jacqueline are precious children of God, and I am incredibly blessed to be their sponsor!

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This week, more than any other, I have come home exhausted from work, yet all I desire to do is to talk to my girls.  Unfortunately, we can’t physically talk to each other.  Graciously, Compassion provides an incredible online letter writing resource, which allows me to log in and write to my girls, any time my little heart desires.  This week my little heart has desired to write to them every single day, so, that is how I have ended each day.  This in turn makes me desperately long for the day we finally meet face to face.  I have hope that I will meet them in person in October of 2015!  At least that is the plan, so please pray that God would provide a way for me to get to Rwanda!

With that said, my heart has been pining for yet another child from Compassion.  Her name is Blessing Muthoni, and since I discovered her at the Matthew West Concert in April, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her or praying for her.

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Have you ever had a person pop into your life for a millisecond, and then “poof” they are gone, but no matter how hard you try to put them out of your mind, you can’t?

Well, Blessing is that for me.  Firstly, her name is “Blessing.”  According to babynames.co.uk, “Blessing is a feminine name of English origin and comes from the English vocabulary word which connotes the idea of a God given treasure, or a fortunate event.” I mean, really? A “God given treasure!”  Who wouldn’t want a “Blessing” in their life from God?   Second, she is beautiful! As I surveyed the child packets on the Compassion display table, something inside of me made me pick up her packet. I was mesmerized by her, and then…I saw her birthday: May 11!!!  The significance of her birthday being “that” day took me aback.  Actually it paralyzed me.  Blessing shares the same day of birth as my first child, (aka: dog) Zacchaeus.  And, no, he wasn’t “just a dog.”  That personification is simply not true, and is frankly offensive.  In 2000, I had just moved to Texas, thousands of miles away from my family and friends, and in my loneliness, I needed a  companion.  Zacchaeus was always there for me.  He listened. He unconditionally loved me.  He licked the tears from my eyes.  He made me better.  His death, eight years later, was tragic, and I still regularly grieve his loss.

So back to the Compassion table at the Matthew West concert.  Blessing’s packet was in my hands, and the reality of her birth date formed a massive lump in my throat.

Could this be God’s way of saying I could finally “let go” of the guilt I have been holding on to over Zacchaeus’ death?  

I picked up the packet numerous times, but couldn’t muster up the courage to sponsor her.  I questioned whether or not I was financially able to sponsor her, and I didn’t want to just sponsor her for a few months and then return her as if she was just some piece of paper.  She, and all of the sponsored children, are real children who live in poverty. Sponsoring a third child would be a huge commitment, and while God seemed to be hitting me between the eyes, I couldn’t take the plunge.  I did, however, write down her name, birth date and her sponsorship number, in case I needed it for later (wink, wink).  Eleven days later I was in a wreck. I immediately concluded, “Hmmmm, that must be an answer to prayer? Had I sponsored her, I wouldn’t have been able to afford to continue sponsoring her,” because I anticipated that I would have to buy a new car.  However, God provided.  My car was fixed and restored, and my insurance is in process of settling.

 The very day after my accident, I volunteered for yet another Compassion event.  Once more there was a table full of child packets, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Blessing.  You see, there is only one packet per child, so once a person takes that particular packet, there isn’t another one.  There was no chance Blessing would be on that table. Her info would only be on the Matthew West concert tour.  Even if one was to go online to Compassion.com to try and sponsor her, that person wouldn’t be able to. Trust me,  I looked.  Well, that settles it; there is only one packet per child, and Blessing wouldn’t be there to sponsor.

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Fast forward yet another few weeks, I was awakened, in the wee hours of the morning, and Blessing was all I could think  about!!  My mind and heart had not yet settled.  I was desperate to force Blessing out of my thoughts, but to no avail.  I imagine this must be what it is like to be a real mom.  You have a specific child shaped place in your heart for each of your children, and no matter how desperately you want to sleep or focus on yourself, you can only think about your children.  What a beautiful thought! In my 2am slumber, I wrote to Matthew West’s manager.  I wrote to David “Chili” Childress, Matthew West’s bass player, who was in charge of the Compassion table at our event, and I wrote to Compassion.  Yes, I am obsessive compulsive!  I wrote to seek peace in my heart. I needed to know if Blessing had been sponsored.  Matthew West’s manager told me that only Compassion could answer my questions, and on May 1  they did.  Blessing had not yet been sponsored, but her packet was set to be on display for a huge Compassion Sunday event.  I would have to wait for a few more weeks before they could confirm if she had been sponsored at that event.  The day of reckoning is June 2!  I have been instructed to contact Compassion as soon as possible on June 2.   They will know conclusively, at that time, if Blessing has been sponsored, and if she is not, then I can become her sponsor!!

I am beyond anxious!   I don’t know what the Lord has in mind.  There is a very good chance that Blessing was sponsored at the Compassion Sunday event on May 4.  There is also a window of opportunity that she wasn’t sponsored, in which case, I could sponsor her…just $38 a month.

I tell you  that, to tell you this…

In the book of Jonah, we learn that God told Jonah to go to Ninevah. Out of fear, as well as a bit of his own selfishness, he went the other way to Tarshish, embarking on a frightening trip overboard. Jonah found himself inside the belly of a great big fish for three days. Needless to say, he was under a great duress, and surely he didn’t sleep much.  He also did A LOT of talking to God.  Jonah learned the hard way, that when God speaks, you listen!

So, how do we know when God is speaking to us?

If whatever you are “hearing” from God is aligned with what He says in His written Word, the Bible, then, you might could say that God is speaking to you.  If it is not, however, aligned with God’s Word, then you must accept it is not God.

I have been doing a lot of talking to God through prayer.

I am still uncertain.

But one thing I do know is this. God encourages us in His Word…

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:5-10

Hmmm? Now if that doesn’t give me a lot to think about, then I don’t know what does?

Maybe you are struggling with a decision?

Pray for wisdom, strength and guidance!!  God will, as He promises, answer your prayers!  

Won’t you also join me in praying for God’s will to be done with Blessing?

I Didn’t Want To, But I Did It Anyway…

I Didn’t Want To, But I Did It Anyway…I exercised! 

Today was a very long day. Can anyone relate?  The spring is pure CRAZINESS, yet after working late, I knew I had to go to the track. It was my only exercise option since it was already dark and I no longer have a gym membership.  Thankfully I was able to stay motivated and completed 4 1/4 miles, but it hurt. You see, last Thursday I did a workout with my TCPT group and in my excitement to be there with many of my favorite people,  I pushed myself.  The Warrior Princess showed her true colors again and it felt incredible! Unfortunately, because I haven’t been exercising regularly for over three months, my muscles were quite wrenched!  Today was the first day that I didn’t feel like I was dying.  My muscles have been screaming since Thursday. In fact I had one of those moments Friday night, when while laying in bed, I realized I needed to use the restroom.  However, when attempting to rise, my abdominal muscles stood still.  I couldn’t sit up, and when I tried to push myself up with my arm, I was incapable.  I just laid there like, “yeah, I’m just going to pee the bed.”  In my determination, I did eventually pull myself out of the bed, but I was in a world of hurt.  Fast forward to tonight, even though I didn’t want to,  I did it anyway!  I ran some laps, walked some laps and ran some more, and I did it because my heart simply needed the exercise.  

Maybe you are in the exact predicament? You know you need to get up and exercise, but you just can’t do it. If that is you, I beg you to push just a little bit harder and accept (finally) that you are worth fighting for.  You need to take care of yourself. God’s Word pleads, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.1 Corinthians 6:19-20.  Get out there and do some aerobic exercise and work out your heart. Respect yourself, and be the person God intended you to be.  It will do you a world of good, in body, mind and soul!

 

Since the cleanse my weight has been going up and down and up and down, mostly due to poor eating habits.  Fortunately, I am determined to get back after it, and eat a balanced diet and participate in regular exercise. One of my newest go-to recipes has been Balsalmic Roasted Brussel Sprouts.   I can’t get enough of ‘em.  YUMMY!

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If you would like to give them a try, you can find the recipe at the following link: 

http://www.robynsonlineworld.com/2011/12/balsamic-roasted-brussels-sprouts/

The Adventures Continue…

My deepest apologies. It feels like a decade has passed since I last blogged.  Life happened, but today, I wanted to take time to update you on more of my 37 Adventures For My 37th Year of Life!

Adventure #10 - Serving at the Compassion Table for Matthew West and Mercy Me Concert

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One of my greatest passions is the non-profit organization called Compassion International.  Not only do I sponsor two beautiful girls from Rwanda, but I am also a Child Advocate and have the privilege of working at Compassion tables at local Christian concerts. The purpose is to “use my  gifts and influence to raise awareness of the needs of impoverished children and encourage others to respond to the biblical mandate to love the poor.”   This we do, not because we have to, but because we know God has asked us to take care of those less fortunate,  and furthermore, we know first hand what a blessing being a sponsor is!  Both concerts were AMAZING, hundreds of children have been sponsored, and I am having the time of my life serving in this capacity! FYI: I continue to feel God moving me to sponsor yet another child through Compassion, but in light of the next adventure, I want to be sure I am being financially responsible, because once I commit, I am committing to sponsoring these children for their lifetime, not just a few years.

Adventure #11 - Car Shopping

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Well, I never intended to have this as one of my adventures, but God certainly has a sense of humor.  About a month ago, I was in a car accident. By the grace of God I was not injured severely, but my car was nearly totaled, and while the insurance went back and forth about whether or not to “total” my car out, I decided to be proactive and start looking for another one.  In the mean time, and I mean, MEAN TIME, my insurance provided me with a brand new 2014 Hyundai Elantra to drive around for sixteen days.  Nice move!!!  I mean, do the car dealerships give the car rental places some sort of incentives? “Hey, this chick just got in a wreck so be sure to give her the newest version of the car she presently has.” (wink, wink – Insert snide laugh here.)   Well, I fell in love with the rental and specifically the Desert Bronze variety while shopping around.  I have  since decided to keep my “green machine” (also a Hyundai Elantra) for a bit longer, as they did not total it. But I still covet this beautiful car (see above).  My car shopping experience was one that I wouldn’t recommend a person participate in on a regular basis.  The games, hoops, and sometimes ridiculous conversations you have to go through caused me great anxiety.  On a positive note, I believe when I am finally ready to sign on the dotted line,  I will know exactly what to do and not to do to get the best deal.  But holding true to my values, I wish to follow Dave Ramsey’s tips for purchasing a car…so cash it will need to be when the time comes.  Check out the video below for Dave Ramsey’s Tips!  This video is a wealth of information. No car note for this chick-a-dee!

Adventure #12 - Lupus Walk for Team Sandy

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In April I joined a group of friends and participated in the “Walk to End Lupus Now” in honor of my friend Sandy.  We organized “Team Sandy” and enjoyed a beautiful day in God’s creation, walking for a great cause!  Please continue to pray for Sandy and the hundreds of thousands of others who struggle daily with this debilitating disease.

Adventure #13 - Road Trip!

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I never take a road trip with little to no preparation, but upon receiving my car back after a 16-day hiatus , I decided to test out the fine work done on my car, and drove to College Station and back for a former student’s wedding! It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony and fabulous reception.  On the way to the wedding I was stoked to stop at Buccee’s, which if you are unfamiliar,  is an exceptionally clean and obnoxiously big gas station the size of Texas. Think mall-size, here.  It is an incredible place and while I have stopped here many times on youth trips, I am unable to slowly peruse the shelves and look at every single item deciding whether I need it or not, because I am working.  Finally, this road trip allowed me to take my dear old time and enjoy the Buccee’s experience!  I really wish I could have been a fly on the wall in “that” brainstorming session when someone spoke up and said, “I have this idea.  We are going to create a gas station the size of a mall. We will have a mascot, a beaver, and people will love him. They will even buy bumper stickers and nightgowns with his face on it.  Yeah! If we build it they will come.”  Ummmm, yeah right! Well, the naysayers can squawk all they want because Buccee’s is HUGE and thousands go there, including me.  Ahhhh, I can hardly wait to go back again!  I definitely see another road trip in my future!

Adventure #14 - Biggest Loser 5K

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I ran my fastest time for this 5K race - 31.42!!  To say I was excited is an understatement.  If you have been following my blog at all, you might remember that I had originally signed up to run my first Biggest Loser Half Marathon, but due to a five month illness, I was unable to do so. Rather than completely bowing out of the race, I chose to run the 5K instead. I am so glad I did! I also got to meet Dan, Jackie, Vinny and Bobby, former Biggest Loser Contestants. I was star struck and paraded around like a giddy, twelve year old school girl, but I didn’t care!  They have each been an inspiration to me while watching the show, and I was gushing!

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Adventure #15 - Vegetarian “Meatless” Salisbury Steak

May 2014 002I know what you are thinking.  Disgusting, right?  Wrong?  While on my latest 21-Day Standard Process Cleanse, I was inspired to try different foods and while searching for recipes to make with lentils, I came upon this gem!

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I would highly recommend going out of your comfort zone and trying different recipes. I would have never, ever tried this before, but I did, and I liked it! A LOT!

Stay tuned to my blog for more updates on my 37 adventures for my 37th year of life!