Passion



Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)


Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 at the end

a lot of people are saying 2009 wasn't a good year...

Really? I think it had it's challenges and each year does...

in 2009...

we got Levi & Judah (who btw were BOTH born in 2009) that's reason enough to celebrate and we could stop there BUT I won't.
New friends
Great love
Phyllis
Musicals
Kids who fell in love with Christ
Kids who fell in love with Christ again!
Colombia
Austria
Watching God move
No more cancer (for Wanda!!)
Great love
Detroit Mission Trip (Pontiac & Highland Park)
Hugs
Lives that were changed by Christ all over the world from Trenton to Bogata to Rwanda & places in between!
Ava & Lana smiles
Phyllis
Renewal
Forgiveness
Grace
Great love
Mercy
Grace Centers of Hope
Learning the heart of people
Prosperity
Great Love

And Jesus who showed up when we needed Him to, who was quiet when we needed that too, who in all of 2009 never left us, but loves us like we never could even imagine! THANK YOU JESUS FOR YOUR LOVE!!

Happy 2009!!!

And may 2010 bring you love you never thought existed and in abundance, hope when you feel hopeless, grace when you need it, great health, and may you feel His presence in all that you do from laughter to tears! Great love is in store for YOU!!!

1 Chron 16:34 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

what a great day!!!

Today, I started my day with the fam! We went to Henry Ford Museum, it was fun to watch the kids and all the cool things we saw!

Then I made tamales with the Perez Family, we had so much fun! I didn't think we'd ever make it the bottom of that bowl of yummy smelling masa. You can find the recipe on my food blog.

Tomorrow we are off the DIA, I think maybe even to see 'Where the Wild Things Are' and then some of Phyllis's friends are coming over for New Year's Eve.

I've had such a great vacation... Its gone by quickly but such a great time!!

I'm blessed by God.

Luke 1:28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

Hot Tamales

This is the link for the tamale recipe if you need more detailed instructions
Meat
1/2 c oil
6 T chili powder
3 T garlic powder
3 T cumin
1 T black pepper
2 T salt
2 whole chicken meat
7 pounds roast

Dough
1/2 bag masa dough
3T salt
1 T cumin
3 T paprika
3 T chili powder
3 T garlic powder
2 c oil
2 Qts broth

1 lb corn husks

Warm oil with spices
Add meat to pan, mix really well

To make dough, put dough with spices in bowl
Add broth & oil a little at a time, mix well

Schmear dough in corn husk with your hands
Add meat
Roll

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cook 2 hours in a REALLY big pot!!

put dozens in bag.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Believe

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining
I believe in love even when I don't feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent

I saw this today at the Christian Book Store by my house.

I fell in love with it. I have no idea why I didn't buy it. Stupid I guess cuz there's a really good chance, I'll go buy it. I loved it.

I've been busy these days off, but so much relaxing (for me!) so much quiet moments by myself in the car, some crying, some talking (praying), and some just listening.

I wonder so much why I'm not brave. Why I don't step out. This time I've spent has reminded me that all my time on the phone in the car, has taken me away from Him. Not listening to podcasts, not listening to Him speak, not speaking to Him, has been such a waste of my time. Though I've had good conversations, I need to stay connected.

And thinking of that last part... I believe in God even when He is silent

Is it Him who is silent or do I silence Him because I'm not opening myself to listening?

I believe

1 Peter 1:7-9 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Freedom


There is freedom in Christ's Love!

Christ sees our faults, and loves so big, that He forgives us, why I'll never know.

If I wanted to, I could probably pick out every fault you have, and likewise, you could probably do the same about me. But I choose not to do that. I really try to celebrate who people are instead of condemning them. And honestly, some days I am better at it than other days.

I want to be more like Christ everyday, I don't believe it's a one step forward two steps back kind of thing, even if you mess up, because if you find forgiveness, if you find the lesson, it's not a backward motion. If you can say "next time I'll handle it this way (God's way)" then I think you're much further ahead then you think.

I think that if you humble yourself, if you surrender, if you're obedient, you can be more like Him everyday.

If we learn to celebrate and see each other's gifts we can find freedom because then there is no hate or hurt... just love.

John 13:34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Uncomfortable

So God's been dealing with me doing too much and my mouth running over.

One of my life verses has always been "be still and know that I am God"

Yes, I know He's God, but why do I gotta be still to prove it? And then I thought... I don't need to prove it. I just need to be obedient. That's not easy, I can't just surrender only part of my life over to God.

I prayed a dangerous prayer today. That "whatever it takes Lord" and flush out those who really aren't following You Lord, so we'll know not for condemning but so that we can pray for those, so we can love those who don't know Him. Oui. Its dangerous when you pray those prayers because the moment you take one step out, satan is ready to run you over with a bus, at least that's how it is for me.

And so today... I must be quiet, I must be still, and I must be obedient with everything.

I will do what I can.. and for know that's being still and silent.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Stuffed Green Pepper Soup!

After falling in love with Zoup!'s Overstuffed Bell Pepper Soup, I attempted to make it! We love stuffed peppers in our house.

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 lb green pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
2 cups water or low sodium beef broth
1-2 teaspoon beef base
salt and pepper
2 cups brown rice

Brown ground beef until fully cooked.
Drain fat from turkey (if any) and set aside. Saute the vegetables in the same pan. Add water or broth, beef base, ground beef and rendered fat, let simmer for at least 15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. The longer this soup simmers the better the flavor.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I'm off...

I'm a little off, that's for sure... lol

I have a long list of stuff I want to get done while I'm off but I don't want my whole vacation to be all work, and having a vacation like this and having it be "all fun" is responsible (and expensive).

Yesterday was Christmas and yes, I even got something accomplished yesterday, I cleaned the basement.

Today I had breakfast with the family (The K's) and went shopping with Corinne, we went to Ikea and to Twelve Oaks. I got some stuff for the house and ordered Phyllis's window treatments from JCPenney, they will be ready for pickup on January 6th! Today I am rearranging the cupboards and if there is anything to go for donations it will go this week so I can get the tax deduction! I'm organizing and moving around (switched my plate/bowl cupboard & my cup/mug cupboard!)

It's nice to get things accomplished and still have fun!!

Happy 'Face the Music Day'

So today's weight is official, I am up 2.6 from last Saturday!

You'd think I'd be in a bad mood, but really I'm not. I knew what to expect if I put junk in my mouth. Christmas Eve was bad!!

This morning I weighed in, and went to eat at my cousin's... what a breakfast we had!! YUMMMMM!!!

Then off to the mall with Corinne, Phyllis, Jhake, Becca, Malerie, & Jeff, we dropped them off and went to Ikea, and then to Twelve Oaks, crazy but fun!! I was going to get Sbarra but i knew it would be really bad...

Sbarro: Spinach/Tomato/Broccoli Stromboli Point 15
Zoup: Overstuffed bell pepper Points: 3
with Cali Veggie sand Points 7
Bread: Points 3

I saved two points but not just that, I KNOW it was a better choice, the food was so much better and healthier!

Today is Happy Face the Music Day

and tomorrow is

Happy Get back on track day!



Friday, December 25, 2009

This Christmas

This Christmas seemed to be so stressful leading up to the last couple days, however, the last two days were so enjoyable!

After today, I came home and cleaned the basement, it was a wreck, that's what happens when we are busy, things don't get put away like they should. I'm thankful that I had the time and the energy to do it! I even shopvac'd behind the washer and dryer!

One of the things I want to do starting next year is to spend one day for a few hours and scrapbook, I don't think I've scrapbooked really in a year or more!! I love to do it, so I am going to take some time for me to do something that I love!

Tomorrow I think I'll take down the tree after weighing in and breakfast with the family!

I hope that you had a great Christmas!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Its all about God... His word never fails!

Make good choices!!

Matthew 7:13-14 13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Drink your water!!

John 4:13-14 13Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Strive!!

Phil 3:13-14 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Not gonna let it beat me!

I weighed in today... +1.6 so that means my over all is STILL -14.2

Lets see...

Yesterday...
I went to lunch with Sarah Gunter, ate at Ruby Tuesdays... made bad choices.
Didn't drink all my water
Didn't take my vitamins
Had tons of bad choice foods at our Ninth Grade Girls Christmas Party
Didn't drink all my Stay Calm with magnesium

But today... even though it's a holiday, it's still a new day.

I made good choices at breakfast, drank water, changed what we are having for breakfast tomorrow... was going to be eggs and bacon, biscuits and gravy, now it's fruit (cantelope, grapes, blackberries, pineapple, bananas, frozen blueberries, apples), eggs with ham & veggie (onion, spinach, mushroom, green pepper) casserole, all of which we LOVE!!

I will not fail, I will succeed. With God, all things are possible!!

There is no need to beat myself up, in the last week, that is a lesson I am learning, don't beat yourself up because of the mistakes you've made, learn from them (wisdom!!) the world does enough of that beating me up, I'm not skinny enough, pretty enough, smart enough... but in Christ, He is enough and because He is in me, and I am in Him, I am enough!!

thinking about the lessons

On Monday, I struggled, tripped myself, and fell flat on my face.

Today (Thursday), I'm looking back with gratitude, not because of me, I'm sorry for my stumble, but greatful for Him who forgives and gives wisdom.

Gratitude of a Lord and Savior who forgives.

I prayed that God would keep His hand over my mouth, and He did, until I wrestled through and had word vomit.

And even though I can't take it back, I could say I was sorry, and I did. Learning to forgive myself and others. A little more like Jesus because of the incident.

Pursuing Him, leaning on Him, praying to Him, talking to Him, living for Him, listening to Him, praising Him.

Maybe I needed to stumble to look up, and remember that He is.

Isa 9:6-7
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, [a] Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

She did what she could...

I'm getting filled up, I'm filling myself with tons of Jesus, and it's overflowing and filling up my heart, if you hate that I'm crazy writing... sorry...

I started reading this book called ‘She Did What She Could’ and I had given it to my Freshman Girls Life Group, I bought it for them because I want them to always so what they can, even if it’s small.

The first chapter talked about the woman who poured perfume on the feet of Jesus. It was all she had, and so many said “listen lady, are you nuts?? That’s expensive, don’t do that” and Jesus says “she’s giving all she had, leave her alone”.

And may I say it… I want to be that woman, I want to be that woman that gives all she has at the feet of Jesus.

And I sometimes feel like I always have this excuse that I have all these responsibilities. And I’m always going going going and sometimes I’m just at the end of the day, and I’m tired and I’m exhausted and I just don’t see clearly. And then I get hurt.

And so much I want to be able to say, if they hurt me “was that their intention?” and if my answer is “no” I want to be seeing clearly enough to say that I know them and I love them, and I want to just err on the side of grace and say “I know their heart and even though I’m hurt, I believe that wasn’t their intention”.

How many times has there been a misunderstanding and I am like “but I didn’t mean it like that…” and so I think I need to make sure that I just know that “they didn’t mean it like that…” and extend grace.

And if truly, I am going to do what I can, shouldn’t it start with grace? For myself and for others

Phil 2:1-4 1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

slow down sister!

I plan on reading two books while I am off. I rarely have the time to read, it often takes me months to read a book, partly because as soon as I sit down at the end of the night to read, I’m sleeping….

So while I am off, I have quite a few projects to do… I’m hoping to work on my house and work on me! More like let God work IN me!

Finish cleaning the basement
Hanging Window Treatments in Phyllis’s room
Read: ‘She Did What She Could’
Read: ‘The Treasure of a Woman’
Work on Bible Study of Luke and Mark
Find some Podcasts
Fix the radio in the car so we can hook our mp3 players

And the podcast I’m listening to… the verse that he just read… James 1:19

James 1:19-20 19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

You’re speaking Lord, I’m listening!

Hurting People Hurt People

I live by this saying. I believe this to be true with all my heart.

When someone is mean to me, I believe they are hurting and it's just hard to hold in the emotion of hurt. At least it is for me, hurt unleashes its ugly head in a lot of ways.

For me its word vomit. Projectile word vomit. I hold it in until I feel like I can't hold it in anymore and then BBBBBBBLLLLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

And when someone hurts me, I can forgive them (once I give it up) but when I hurt someone, I have a really hard time forgiving myself.

Its been 2 months of just being hurt. I don't even want to list it out, but after talking to a friend yesterday, I thought "wow, I've had all this bottled in for so long".

Sunday I couldn't stop crying in the morning (but really I've been crying for months). I'd finally get it under control, someone would ask me how I was, and then... all over again. There are days when I think 'this is more than I can bare' and then something else comes along, and I just look to God and say "please help me".

None of this makes it ok to hurt someone, ever, that is the fastest way to leave the destination of love, but for me, I've got to figure out the 'why' so I don't become a repeating offender of being more like me and less like Him. I strive to be more like Him and less like me, and I'm working on doing that, day by day, minute by minute, heartbeat by heartbeat.

I want Him to work in me, so I learn from this, I want Him to heal my pain, I want Him to cover my mouth, I want Him to take the pain away, I want to be more like Him so I can help those who hurt too, and to mend the hearts of those I've hurt.

Isa 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed



If everything comes down to love
Then just what am I afraid of
When I call out Your name
Something inside awakes in my soul
How quickly I forget I'm Yours

(PRE-CHORUS)
I'm not my own
I've been carried by You
All my life

(CHORUS)
Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

When my life is like a storm
Rising waters all I want is the shore
You say I'll be ok and
Make it through the rain
You are my shelter from the storm

(CHORUS)
Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free

I am not my own
I've been carried by you all my life

(CHORUS)
Everything rides on hope now
Everything rides on faith somehow
When the world has broken me down
Your love sets me free
(Repeat 2x)

(CHORUS 2)
You've become my hearts desire
I will sing Your praises higher
Cause Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free
Your love sets me free

Monday, December 21, 2009

Win or Lose or Draw

Ever been in one of those situations where you know you can't win no matter what?

And all you can try to do is breathe, listen, and pray all at the same time?

And that no matter what, love is all you can do.

In an awkard situation, no one wins and no one loses, it's a draw.

Draw: A contest ending without either side winning

Sometimes I don't want to win, because then someone loses. Deep down, I don't want anyone to lose, I just want to love.

Am I hurt, and do I make mistakes? yes. But at the end of it all, all you can say is "sorry, I was wrong" and move on, ask for forgiveness, know that forgiveness comes from God, and forgive yourself for your mistakes because God has forgiven you, hope the other person does to, and continue to love.

Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

I want to be more like Him!!

Psalm 103:8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Do not be afraid

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Then, another company of heavenly host appear with the angel, They are praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:8-15

I was reading this passage this morning at Pastor Chilly's blog, which often inspires me. But as I was reading it and thinking about how God comes to us, I realized that the first thing the angel said to them was "do not be afraid".

Being that I am one of those 'worrying type' and I'm constantly (minute by minute) working on that, I found it fascinating, mind-blowing really that the first thing the angel said was "do not be afraid"

So much that spoke to me today.

The whole story is amazing, please don't get me wrong, it blows me away, however, do not be afraid. 4 very small words that mean so much. In so many circumstances God has been working on me "do not be afraid" and this morning, I found myself in this crazy mess in my head, worrying about something so stupid, and quietly God spoke to me and said "what are you worrying about?" and then this.

"Do not be afraid. I'm got it all" (God saying this to me)

He does. Why sometimes is it so hard to trust? All we can do is relentlessly pursue Him (I so got that last night) that in the middle of this craziness called life (and Christmas), pursue Pursue PURSUE! Make our lives His. Well, they already are, we just need to surrender.

He has got it all, and this Christmas, I'm soaking in the Savior, if I only get 12 kinds of cookies done, then oh well, if the cards get out late, oh well, I want nothing to get in my way as I relentlessly pursue and soak in a Savior, and let me shout from the roof tops: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Running on fumes

Right now, I feel like I'm running on fumes.

I'm tired, physically
spent, emotionally,
empty, spiritually

I'm by myself tonight, so I'm off to be fed at Real Church in Hamtown

Can't wait to hear what God has to say!

I know I'm filled to be emptied again, this seed I've recieved I will sow (Hillsong - Desert Song)

Going into the holidays...

Here we go... I made 14 different kinds of cookies, I didn't eat one. Its funny though, I've heard everyone that over ate and all their belly aches, that makes me want to continue to eat well.

I'm down .6, so a total of -15.8!! not too shabby!

This is my plan...

Weighing in on Christmas Eve and going to the meeting.
Going to the meeting on Saturday morning to stay on track if I do well or get back on track if I don't for Christmas.

Repeat performance for New Year's Eve and the Saturday following... since its my b-day I will enjoy it!

I wish I saw them more...

I saw two of my nephews and my niece yesterday, I haven't seen them in awhile. (and my stepbrothers and their wives too) I was thinking that I wish I saw them more...

They are SO darn cute and so happy, and really so sweet!! They have no idea how much I pray for them and really how much I love them...

I hope someday they know.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Homemade


Every year I make somewhere around 14 different kinds of cookies… I always have to make 3 or 4 chocolate chip batches and 4 or 5 peanut butter…

Here is the list this year (and almost always I have 2 rounds of baking)… this is round one… and honestly, some are a lot easier than others…

Chocolate covered pretzels
Buckeyes
Thumbprints
Brownie bites with mint
Brownie bites with caramel
Brownie bites with mini Reese’s PB cups
Peanut butter
Peanut butter with kisses/dark chocolate
Magic Bars
Chocolate Chip
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
Oatmeal raisin
Apple Pie bars
Cherry Squares
Pecan Tarts
Fudge
Frosted Sugar Cookies
Corn Flake Treats (like Rice Krispie Treats but with corn flakes
Frosted Punkin (new this year!!)

I was thinking about going crazy and making blueberry squares this year too!

I also made homemade hot chocolate for jars as gifts this year. I got some cool ribbon and I printed out the labels and I’ll get the paper and the glue tonight and get assembling

Of all these cookies, there are only 2 that I can’t resist, apple pie bars and magic bars. By the time I’m done baking, I’m sick of looking at cookies at least for baking! I deliver these to neighbors, friends & family. I love baking and if I’m being completely honest this year, I haven’t had much joy except when I’m baking! It’s so relaxing to me, even though it’s crazy, it’s crazy good, I love seeing my neighbor’s faces when I drop off the plate, a lot of them are older so they are so happy to get homemade treats!

It’s so fun to me! I love baking, nothing fancy, just good old fashioned cookies made with love! I even have heart shape measuring cups (true story!!)
And if you want to know the secrets to my cookies... real butter (ALWAY!!)... fresh ingredients (mostly from Aldi's), pure vanila (never skimp on this... imitation vanila is made from tree bark), and love in each batch.

1 Cor 16:14 Do everything in love.

Hot Chocolate


1 box (25 ounces) nonfat dry milk powder
6 ounces powdered non-dairy creamer
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (16 ounce) container instant chocolate drink mix
1 4 oz package of chocolate pudding

In a large bowl, combine dry milk, non-dairy creamer, confectioners' sugar, pudding, and instant chocolate drink mix. Mix well, run through blender. Put in a large airtight container.

To make Hot Chocolate, add 3 tablespoons mix to 1 cup of hot water, and stir well.

Add mini marshmallows if desired

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Explain this to me...

Please explain to me why if I ask them to take off the olives and peppercini off my salad I don't get money off, however, if I want extra beets I get charged for those??

Nothing, thanks.

My "wish" was granted (on my facebook status). Yesterday I wished that Santa would bring me Adam & Katie home wiht two healthy boys (Levi & Judah). My "wish" was granted but really, it was like 13,629,725 prayers were answered (quite possible more).

So really, remember my post about what I want for Christmas? Nothing, thanks.

I got everything I could possibly want. Here's my short list:

Getting paid for the whole Holiday time off
Healthy daughter
warm house
warm clothes
car that runs well
family that's healthy
food
love
a great job

a Lord and a Savior that loves me whose grace is like a cloak that covers me.

Please tell me, what else is it that I need?

John 15:9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Working on me...

Proverbs 3:3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart
I believe that some things should be put in writing. I also believe that some things should never be put in writing. Telling someone that you're supposed to love that when they stand in front of you, that you don't like them, is something that probably shouldn't be put in writing. Because it gets read over and over.

And the person relives is almost everytime they see you or they talk to you. It's hell for the reader/reciever. If you must say something like that to someone, a) make sure you don't plan on seeing them again, otherwise it's quite hurtful and b) make sure that they are very forgiving, because that's mean.

Someone said that to me, and while I can forgive them, I can't seem to forget. It's something I wish I could forget because of it's hurt. I think that if I had one quality of God's, besides giving out never ending love and grace, I'd chose to forget when people hurt me. Then having neverending grace and love would be so easy. Oh... to be more like Him and less like me. oh... my... my heart aches for such peace.

Today I realized something... maybe that person who said that to me doesn't really know me, because they just don't want to. (I finally threw away the letter because I kept inflicting pain upon myself by reading it and reading it and reading it and I was sick of satan using it for mass destruction - and if you know me when I'm hurt, you know what I mean). Or maybe it's not that they don't want to, its just that they don't know how to. I'm not sure. But I think realizing that it's not me, yes, I'm not perfect, but when I allow God to work in and through me, I shine. Its funny, the thing about me is that a lot of people think they know me... but they don't. Even those in my family, they think they know me, but they don't. Yes, I'm an open emotional book, but you've got to really read that book to know me. Most people (and this part isn't about just me, its about everyone) don't bother to get to really know people. They do that superficial thing... but they don't know.

And maybe that lesson is for me, to get to know people better, but to let people get to know me better. I think if we want to love, we have to allow ourselves to be loved.

To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” ~ David Viscott

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas List

Sometimes we have to turn our 'wanters' off. That's what Pastor Clark calls being selfish... I want this or I want that... turn your wanter off. It's Christmas. People always ask me what I want. Earlier I thought I wanted only 3 things... 2 are things... and the last is just a want...

1. I want a new car given to me... no car payment, please.
2. A 42" flat TV...

The third is not meant for the blog world.

But while I was making cookies, listening to Chris Tomlin... wondering what his favorite cookies are... I was thinking about what I would want this year if I could have anything (besides the above that I mentioned)...

a new garage roof
for no one to sit on counters or tables at Metro (what a glorious day that would be!!)
the fuel cooler to stay clean (and the front cabinet)
Dani out of jail
the trees behind my house all cut down (in my neighbor's yard)
love that lasts a lifetime
my life groups to grow strong in Jesus
meet Chris Tomlin
bedroom furniture for Phyllis
to not be taken advantage of
my family to know and have a relationship with Jesus
for people not to be so last minute because they are unorganized
all the fruit of the spirit to stay on my tree

2 Chron 1:7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."

clothes

I’m still fat but I decided to buy myself some new clothes anyway.

I was looking in my closet and I hate my clothes, they are all stretched out, old, and for the longest time I said I wasn’t buying anything in ‘this’ size. I’m not down a whole size yet, but I’m not killing my clothes anymore either…

So I cleaned out my closet of the stuff that’s stretched out (mostly sweaters) and replaced it with one new cream sweater, one new red one, and a white shirt.

Even though I haven’t hit my second goal yet (20 lbs) that doesn’t mean I don’t want to look nice, so I decided that I would treat myself a little (I didn’t pay more than $12 for each of those items) and feel good about myself for Christmas.

I also added a picture from Friday, it’s only part of a picture but you can tell, I’m still hiding behind people, but I know I’ll get to a point where I won’t anymore.

And on a totally crazy note for me yesterday… I ate ice cream for dinner… which is bad, but I didn’t eat dinner (had a huge lunch!)… yeah, not good but not horrible either and I really wanted it!! It was so yummy!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

its just a few weeks until Christmas

Actually two weeks from yesterday! I can't believe it, and as far behind as I seemed, it seems little bit by little bit, I'm catching up! What a relief!

I got some cleaning done today, the windows got the plastic on them thanks to Muscle Mike (I'm gonna miss him). Things are coming together, everything I've purchased is wrapped, I ordered a couple things this morning on Amazon, and got a few gift cards purchased yesterday and today... I can see the home stretch.

I think I'll start some baking tomorrow...

I got on the scale at WW today... down 15.2 total, had a 1.6 weight loss this week! Amazing to lose during the holidays... its all about planning.

Well, we are off to help stimulate the economy at Michaels! Be blessed today. You can't climb a mountain in one leap, but step by step, it can be accomplished!!

Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Apple Cinnamon Oat Bran Muffins

I made these muffins, yummy, good for you!!

1/2 c oat bran
1 c whole-wheat flour
1/4 c ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
4 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 c applesauce
1 shredded apple
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together bran, flour, flaxseed, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and oil until smooth. Stir in applesauce, shredded apple, and sugar. Combine mixtures and fold in pecans.

4. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool the apple muffins a wire rack.

Makes 12. Per muffin: 147 cal, 9 g fat (1 g sat), 163 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein

YEAH!!!

Today I lost another 1.6, making my total weight lost -15.2!! can I get whoo hooo!!!

I was thankful I made good choices yesterday (not saying I was good - because that means that I could be bad)!! I am thankful, this is great motivation for the holidays... wouldn't it be something if I could be down another 3 or 4 by my birthday.

I'd like to buy a size smaller pants so that when I go back to work, I can be like "hheeeyyyy" lol.

I've also realized that holiday craziness is making me crazy but there is no time for snacking at night!! I've got a bunch of Christmas shopping done, even bought myself a few things... you want to know something crazy? I wouldn't buy that much clothes at my old weight, but I've been buying things now and I'm still pretty much the same size, but my old stuff is all stretched out so I don't look good, and I want to look and feel good. Yesterday I wore a shirt I haven't worn in 2 years (wore it at my dad & stepmom's wedding). I felt kind of sassy in it... all sparklie!

anyway, that's it for now!! going to get some stuff done around here!!!

PRAISE GOD!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

first holiday party - survived


We had our holiday luncheon at work, it was so nice! We had a ton of different food and most of it not good for you!

I did very well though, I had salad, and one piece of chicken and a small (very) piece of carrot cake!

I was even caught on film!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

That woman is a success

This is in my bathroom, I read it everyday. I want to remember that I'm a success...


That Woman is a Success . . .

who loves life
and lives it to the fullest;

who has discovered and shared
the strengths and talents
that are uniquely her own;

who puts her best into each task
and leaves each situation
better than she found it;

who seeks and finds
that which is beautiful
in all people and all things;

whose heart is full of love
and warm with compassion;

who has found joy in living
and peace within herself.

~ Barbara J. Burrow ~

Snack Time!!

I love Nature’s Sweet cherry tomatoes. They are a little pricey but SOOO yummy, and I decided that I can’t put a price on my health! If you buy the normal grape tomatoes they are often 2 for $4, but these are $2.99 for a bag. One of my favorite snacks is half a bag of them and a 1 pt string cheese!! I know that some people would rather have a cookie, but no thanks, that makes me feel yucky and mad at myself. The little cherry tomatoes BURST in my mouth with flavor, I don’t even need salt. YUM!!

And the cherub ones… heaven sent for surely!!

structure


I am not a Last-Minute-Lucy. Sure there are things that are done last minute but usually it’s because someone else waited til the last minute or that something popped up. Typically there’s a plan. I ask my daughter on Sunday ‘what’s the plan for the week?’ and I review with her what I have planned. Now, that being said, I usually already know but it’s a good review anyway.

That being said, I know that things come up. But my craziness of needing a plan comes from the need for structure because of not having a mom. When you live a life of always wondering if the bottom is going to fall out of your world (I worried that my dad would die too), you need structure. I also know that when my life has no structure, it’s chaos, and being responsible and chaos DO NOT mix.

Yesterday apparently the last minute demon was pissing off everyone in my house. I can’t stand last minute, get a plan people. Then someone called Phyllis and asked her to do something last minute. There wasn’t room for last minute yesterday, every minute already had a purpose. She told the person ‘sorry, you should have asked me yesterday’. That’s the way it goes, we don’t like to say no, but if you put us in that position, we will.

Yesterday, while the winds were blowing, so were our tops. Thankfully in our busy, we had 30 minutes to stop for dinner, and we laughed, belly laughs, I even prayed that God should keep everyone out of our paths that was going to make us mad, I probably should have prayed for tolerance, but it was easier for Him to steer everyone clear of us, really, He’s a Mighty God.

I cannot tell you how I know I’d never make it with God and in that, His gift to me, Phyllis. Nothing changes my mood like a good dose of Phyllis. My pean. My peanuthead. She is so much more than I deserve.

And thanks be to God who kept everyone annoying out of my path!! And a great time at life groups with my freshman girls, they are AWESOME!!! The day ended on such a good note!!

Picture Note: That's the Eiffel Tower structure, I liked it because if you really look, you can see the cross, and shouldn't everything be structured around that?

Proverbs 28:2 When the country is in chaos, everybody has a plan to fix it— But it takes a leader of real understanding to straighten things out. (msg)

Icing for Cookies


3 c. sifted confectioner's sugar

1/4 c. milk (as needed)

1/2 tsp. vanilla


Combine sugar, milk, vanilla and salt; mix well.

Add food coloring. Frost cookies.


Add candy sprinkles if desired.


Will frost approximately 5 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A week in a life...

Monday I should have come home and did a whole bunch of stuff, but instead I stopped for a much needed visit and then had dinner with a friend, got the Metro Alive/Fuel Laptop and picked up Phyllis. No progress made on my list of things to do.

Yesterday that meant that I had to get a bunch of stuff to do... I hit the wall about 10:30, there is really only so much one can do after working all day. I did manage to get the bake made, taco dip ready, lasagne & breakfast casserole baked and in the freezer for the Dorband4, & some presents wrapped. That means that as soon as I get home today, I need to make frosting for tonight's freshman life group for cookie making/frosting. Hopefully I can get the carrots shredded for tomorrow.

So far this morning (by 6:30AM)...
Normal routine
+
made PB frosting & frosted Bri's cake
emptied and ran dishwasher
one load of laundry
a pot of iced tea
put the dishes away on the counter

Tomorrow, I have to make 2 double carrot cakes...

You know what I don't understand? I feel better than I felt last year, did my shopping on-line this year, I'm doing less (which means my list is 3 feet long instead of 5ft), why can't I seem to get it all done?

I can't wait for the week after Christmas, I am going to enjoy some much needed time off. Trying to decide if I will volunteer one day and that's the most I have planned...

Matt 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

to know her is to love her...


I get that she's mine so of course I think she's terrific, but if you know Phyllis, I mean really know her, than I would bet that you love her. And if you don't, you're a jerk anyway. :) Kidding, but not really.

Today she found out that she's in RoVaSi for second semester. I could here the joy in her voice when she told me (she screamed it and I couldn't understand her the first time!)! I was excited too! I've wanted her to do it since I first saw them when she was in 7th grade, she's in 11th now.

If you know Phyllis, I mean really know her, you can't help but love her.

I was looking at this picture and I know that smile, better than anyone, and I love it.
I was thinking today, and not often do I compliment myself, and if you know me, you know that's very true... I am a good mom. I make mistakes yes, but when I look at that smile, nothing else in the world (besides Jesus and He's in that smile) matters.
To know Phyllis is to love her.
She's a gift from God.

staying on track

It’s been a tough week, and it’s only Tuesday, I’m not struggling with eating well, I’m struggling with doing what I’m supposed to do… eat regularly (every 2 – 2 ½ hours), drink my water (160oz).

I think a lot of it is that I’m tired. I had a busy weekend taking care of everyone else’s needs and wants and forgot about me. Let’s just call a spade a spade, Ok?

It’s not that I’ve done horribly, I am following program, just got to follow it a little better. Keep things going, so tonight, I WILL take the time for me. I will stop at the fruit market and get what I need and meet the needs to my family (Phyllis) so that we will be healthy.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Peanut Butter Frosting

This is so yummy!!! It goes great on the chocolate cake recipe below!!! mmmmm......

2 cup butter, softened
3 cup creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons milk, or as needed
4 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions
Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.

Monday Nights

Now that I don’t have Fuel on Monday nights, I will be doing some holiday stuff… I love being domestic and preparing for the holidays…

Make lasagna, bake, and freeze
Bake French toast casserole and freeze
Bake sugar cookies from Gordons
Make frosting for above cookies for Wednesday night Freshman Life Group.
Brownies with Pep Patties
Eggs for the week
Get some groceries
Chocolate cupcakes for Josh’s B-day
Clean up the basement some more
Vacuum and Swiffer
Wrap Phyllis's gifts while enjoying my flowers that I got yesterday :)

The Christmas Tree will be lit and White Christmas will be playing!

Titus 2:4-5 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Near

I looked up content... contented, satisfied

I'm not content.

I was thinking today about the last month, maybe two months... it's been kind of crazy, I've been lonely, sad, angry, and hurt. Not all the time, but quite a bit. A lot of it I just wouldn't give it up. It was like I was holding on to it all with a clenched fist, I finally just said, enough. A lot of times I have heard people say in their sadness and their lonliness that God seems so far.

God seemed right next to me. Even when I was taking the scriptures off my cupboard doors.

Right next to me.

In my anger and hurt, He put His hand on my shoulder, and said peace. love. grace. Be obedient.

In my hurt and anger, I was. And it wasn't easy.

I read His Word (my bible), I listened to sermons.

I never let go, and neither did He.

I find myself in a wierd place. I am mostly sad because a person who I thought was my friend, really wasn't. She only speaks to me when she needs something. And that is sad, but unfortunatly, that's the way it goes sometimes.

But in all this, in the times when I feel most lonely, I just breathe Him in. He doesn't seem far away at all, He seems right next to me. Just near me, loving me. Whispering that I am His.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”- John 10:14-15

a time and a place for everything


Sometimes, most times, Sundays are our busiest day. Church, cooking, preparing for the week, and then Alive (I get there between 4-4:30) which means that literally I spend about 4 hours at home - and i leave about 8:30.

Today, I'm staying home. I know - I'm a heathen :). I need to stay home. Christmas is coming and for the last few weeks I've been a huge Scrooge, I could barely even fake it til I make it. Well, I didn't fake it.

My house looks like it's typical Hurricane Busy. Until yesterday, I had all the Christmas containers in the living room. My basement has been a mess since... part of the problem, I just didn't have enough storage. I know have the coolest closest. Now, when i tell you its cool, I don't mean I have all matching storage containers or that I have tons of matching white vinyl coated shelves... When I say it's cool, I mean that it's completely practical and meets our needs. Its got peg board on the outside so that I can hang stuff on the inside and the outside... and it's made with 2 x 4s and plywood. It's sturdy, and spacious, and PERFECT!!! I have a place to store all my extra dishes, my luggage, all the extra bedding I have for sleepovers and cold nights. I can hang up the dust pan and broom (seriously - I can find it now!!) I'll post pictures of the sweetest closet ever (and it only was $150 for the whole thing instead of $250 just for the shelves that would not have completely worked anyway).

Having everything unorganized makes me crazy, when I know I have something but I can't find it... or it's a mess, I feel like a mess and sometimes even a failure because everything should have a place, and everything should be there. I'm cleaning things out, and laughing because I wonder why I saved things.

Ecc 3:1-8
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Friday, December 04, 2009

tired...

I am making food for a wonderful Pastor who is moving... I was going to make sloppy joes, but I decided on spaghetti (mostacolli) and rolls, fruit tray (it was half off at Kroger), and some veggies.

Getting that together tonight and I want to make these new recipes I got for muffins, I don't even eat muffins, except for that really bad for you one at Panera, cranberry orange... but these will be good for the Dorbands, Phyllis, and others!!

The last French toast casserole is coming out of the oven in 10 minutes, then it's off to drop off food at Night of Desperation at First Pres in Trenton. I made them some good stuff, oranges, veggies, and still chips and pretzels... Made Phyllis a little care package of rice cakes, pineapple, cantelope, ritz bitz with PB, and grapes!

So that's it... tired but happy!!

Thank you will never be enough

Thank you doesn’t always seem like enough, but really, what else do we have?

In 1997 on December 5th, I was in the living room of my dad’s house (that’s where we lived) and Phyllis had been ill probably for 6 weeks with flu like symptoms, her medications had just been changed for what seemed t be the 100th time, we had been to the doctor so many times, I felt like I lived there. A respitory infection was her diagnosis, as a mom I knew that wasn’t right, however, as a mom who didn’t think I knew what I was doing, I never spoke up (I learned that lesson quick following that). Phyllis wouldn’t lean on her left hand while coloring and her knee was swollen. To the emergency room. I didn’t think it was an allergic reaction to the meds because I thought it would have affected both wrists or both knees, but I was taking no chances. After many tests, and scared out of my mind – trying to remain calm because they said if they couldn’t figure out what was wrong… they would do a spinal tap – that still makes me nervous, just typing it.

The diagnosis after a night in the hospital. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. That was one of those “what the heck?” moments to say the least. I didn’t know what it was, but I was bound and determined to figure it out. And from that day forward it got a lot worse, both wrists, both knees, both ankles, elbow, hip. It meant that my baby would some days require more than one a day warm baths, shots (did God forget who her mom was? I am no nurse), belly aches, wheel chair bound, many doctors appointments. Worrying about losing my job (not that ANY of my bosses ever made me feel that way – that was all me). I was threatened with having child services called on me because I mistakenly missed a doctor’s appointment and had cancelled one. My daughter was put through the wringer, physically and emotionally, and as her mom, with the exception of joint pain, so was I. One any given day, at any given moment, I would have gladly taken it all, no matter how hard it would have been. Gladly.

And I can’t tell you the exact day, but I can tell you the exact moment when I said “I can’t fight anymore God, it’s all You”. It was when I faxed over the application for the payment of her Enbrel. At $1200 a box, two boxes required a month, I said “I don’t know what to do, I can’t research it, it’s too new, God if she’s supposed to be on it, it will be approved, if it’s not, then God, that’s Your will, and I won’t fit it.” Approvals sometimes take a long time, this approval was given in less than 15 minutes. OK God, thank You. They said it would take anywhere from 6-10 weeks before we might see a difference, our (God’s timing) – 2 weeks. A nutritional supplement added, Biotics IAG.

Remission soon following.

This year was the year that I received the official “all clear” letter. Appointments made and the news delievered in person, however, the transcript to the primary physian, in my mind, was the official document, as if God said to me “it is finished”.

I attended a dinner this year for the Michigan Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. I don’t think that was a mistake, that this year, I could have been a keynote speaker on the good that they do.

I know the power of prayer, I saw it, first hand, when I would send out a prayer request for my hurting human weather vane (I knew the weather better than any meteorologist because it affected her joints), she would immediately be better. I saw it and felt it.

I can’t say thank you enough to the doctors, nurses, social workers (even the one who threatened to call social services on me), for my friends who supported me, for my bosses who let me take off work, and let me come in late, for the Principal of her school, for the school secretary, for her teachers, for my dad, and my family and their endless support, for the physical therapy, for the health insurance, for the crippled children’s fund, for the arthritis foundation, for my job, for the prayer warriors, but mostly for Jesus, may I never forget where He delivered us from.

Happy Anniversay tomorrow Pean! You’ll never know the joy I have in you!

Choices


Today I stopped at Panera for my lunch because I was going in late. I am always trying to find healthier ways to eat. I opted for the smoked turkey breast, no mayo, no onions (because they’d be really stinky by the time I ate them), on whole grain (instead of country). I picked up 2 pouches of the low-fat mayo because I really love mayo, they are 10 calories each with .5g fat instead of 90 calories (per Tbsp – but I know they don’t measure and I am SURE it’s more than a TBSP of mayo on there!) with 10g fat. That’s ZERO points compared to (maybe) 3!! And I love their chips, so because of this swap, I could have the regular chips!! That’s a treat – I love chips!

This week I changed up my sandwich and saved myself some time…

On Tuesday night I scrambled 3 eggs and 3 egg whites (7 total pts) with 1 ginormous package of fresh spinach - steamed (0 points) I divided that by 3 (so that’s 2.33 points per day – I round down to 2). Had it on an Arnold bread (1 pt), fresh sliced tomato, 1 slice of ham (1), ½ oz of gouda cheese (1).

It was very yummy!!

I’ve had salad every day this week, with lots of healthy yummy good stuff in it! I stepped on the scale, down 3 pounds, but I only count it if I hit that for Saturday’s weigh in. So we will see.

I feel like I am doing well, making good choices, since I started the sticker reward, the only 3 days I didn’t get the sticker was Friday and Saturday and Sunday of this weekend. I’ve been doing it for about a month, so that’s good.

I’ve been working through a bunch of stuff with God, to be reminded this morning in my food journal – Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you

Thank You Jesus for being with me during this journey, thank You for being my strength to start on the way to be a better me so I can be a better me for You!! Your grace overwhelms me!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

HOMEMADE Chocolate Cake and frosting

Chocolate One – Bowl Cake
2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans or 1 - 9 x 13 pan.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in boiling water. When you’re done mixing, don’t be scared, it’s kind of watery…
Pour into two 9 inch pans. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes (or 50 minutes in 9X13 pan) or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and continue cooling.

Chocolate Frosting
1/4 cup butter (softened but NOT melted)
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons milk

Directions
Mix together all ingredients. May need to add more milk (slowly) until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The tree is up


I haven't really felt like putting up my tree this year. I put the actual tree up Monday and put the lights and the ornaments up today with Phyllis. Every ornament has a story. Every one. Even those purchased at the thrift store have a story (because we were probably volunteering when I got them).

Still my favorite because I remember how far God has brought us since 1997. Christmas Checkup bought because on 12-5-97 is when Phyllis was diagnosed with JRA. This year (2009) was the year that we got the official letter... NO MORE!!! and as most people know, the letter came the day she left for Colombia (thank You Jesus for easing my heart).
Jude 1:5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.

I only plan for success!

I went to a resturaunt in Southfield, so good! I looked at the menu and chose a Spinach Salad with Chicken.... can you say YUM!! You know what's crazy?! Guess how much dressing they gave me? 1 four oz cup and 1 2 oz cup... Are you kidding? when I said that I didn't need all that the guy looked at me like I had 3 heads (That's one of my favorite sayings). And I passed on the big butter ladened piece of bread (the size of 3 of my hands!).

I could have taken it all, and I might have even eaten the dressing (yes, i love salad with my dressing... lol) but I plan for success. Don't take it. I planned on being successful today, I plan on being successful when I hit that scale on Saturday and if the poundage isn't as I'd like, I know that I did what I could to affect it.

Yesterday I was in the hospital with my stepmom while my dad had surgery. I didn't plan well and didn't bring a lunch, and I HATE hospital food. However Oakwood Hospital's salad bar is FABULOUS!!! OH SO GOOD! Even made passing the pizza up, ok! Seriously!! It's also easy when my step mom is around because she is always cheering me on, she knows, first hand, how hard it is to lose weight, and she works at WW and cheers me on all the time, even when I don't do well!

I know that I'm just starting on this change of the way I eat and think, but a journey starts with a single step, and i think the closer to the finish line you get (I'm a long way from it) it can be either easier (because the end is in sight) or harder (because sometimes we can slack a little). But so far, I'm staying on track, I'd love to lose another 3 (at least) by Christmas but really 8 would be sweet but I think a little nutty to think I could attain!!!

Planning takes time and effort, and totally worth it!!

100 ways to cut calories

This not from me, but from Women's Health!!

  • Ways to Cut 100 Calories From Women’s Health Email

    At Breakfast
    • Ditch the Pop-Tart for a slice of high-fiber toast with strawberry jam.
    • Gotta have carbs? Split a bagel with a coworker.
    • Drink your two cups of joe black. Or order a single espresso instead of your usual latte.
    • Swap OJ for the real deal—one fresh orange.
    • Trade a side of regular sausage for turkey.
    • Top your waffles with Reddi-Whip instead of syrup (or use sugar-free).
    • Skip the whip on any Caribou Coffee 16-ounce drink.
    • Eat your granola from a 4-ounce mug, not an 8-ounce bowl.
    • Lose the Yoplait Thick & Creamy and have a Yoplait Fiber 1.
    • Order pancakes, but hold the butter.
    • Scramble together 4 egg whites instead of 2 whole eggs.

    At Lunch
    • Leave the Swiss cheese out of your sandwich.
    • Slather your bread with mustard rather than mayo and save 80 calories per tablespoon.
    • Pass up croutons at the salad bar.
    • Use up to 10 pumps of ranch dressing spray instead of pouring 2 tablespoons from a bottle.
    • Devour a slice of Pizza Hut cheese pan pizza instead of the meat lover's variety.
    • Take your iced tea unsweetened.
    • Reach for a Snapple raspberry white tea instead of a Snapple raspberry iced tea.
    • Stuff chicken salad into a whole-wheat pita instead of between slices of multigrain bread.
    • Make your burger turkey, not beef.
    • Slurp minestrone soup instead of cream of anything.
    • Go bunless—shed your hamburger roll.
    • Use south-of-the-border savvy: Have a quesadilla made with two 6-inch corn, not flour, tortillas.

    At Happy Hour
    Nurse a single glass of wine instead of downing 2 beers.
    • Ask for your rum and cokes in a highball glass. Bartenders pour an average of 20 percent less liquid into taller tumblers, so you'll swig less per round.
    • Drizzle extra hot sauce, not blue cheese or ranch dressing, on your wings.
    • Ordering a cocktail? Make it on the rocks instead of frozen. Slushy fruit drinks tend to be made with bottled mixers that contain added sugar and syrups.
    • Blending your own? Have a daiquiri, not a piña colada.
    • Pop the cap off of an MGD 64 instead of a bottle of Killian's Irish Red.
    • Sip a glass of water between drinks—pacing yourself can help you cut back by a glass or more.
    • Dip your nachos in salsa rather than guacamole.
    • For automatic portion control, sip wine from a Champagne flute, not an oversize goblet.

    On Your Snack Break
    Drink sparkling water instead of soda.
    • Move your stash of Hershey's Kisses at least 6 feet away from your desk—you'll dip in half as often.
    • Drain the heavy syrup from your can of fruit cocktail and then rinse the fruit with water before digging in.
    • Have 1/2 cup of fresh grapes instead of that little snack box of raisins.
    • Lay off the Lay's Classic potato chips and have a handful of Rold Gold pretzels.
    • Munch on a bag of Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop Kettle Korn, not Movie Theater Butter.
    • Chase down the ice-cream truck for a Good Humor vanilla sandwich, not a King Cone.

    During Dessert
    Stop eating when you hit the crust. The edges and bottoms of baked goods are especially caloric because they absorb the butter used to grease the pan.
    • Fill your bowl with sorbet instead of ice cream—you can have an extra 1/2 cup of the former and still slash calories.
    • Next time a cocoa craving hits, ditch the dish of chocolate ice cream (about 3/4 cup) for a Fudgsicle.
    • Have sugar-free Jell-O instead of pudding. Better your nighttime treat jiggle than your thighs.
    • Go ahead and have that piece of birthday cake—just scrape off the chocolate frosting first.
    • Eat 5 meringue cookies instead of 2 chocolate chip ones.
    • Pass on the à la mode and savor that brownie au naturel.
    • Can the cone. Have your ice cream in a bowl.
    • Top your dessert with 1/2 cup of fresh berries instead of 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup.

    In the Kitchen
    Substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for a serving of sour cream.
    • Use chicken broth (low-sodium is best) instead of oil to sauté meat and veggies.
    • Making homemade mac 'n cheese? Cut 2 tablespoons of butter from the recipe.
    • Replace the oil or butter in cakes with Sunsweet Lighter Bake prune-and-apple mixture or any brand of unsweetened applesauce.
    • Next time you make meatballs, meatloaf, or burgers, go half-and-half with ground beef and turkey.
    • When preparing packaged foods that call for butter or oil, like rice and stuffing, use a broth instead.
    • Swap low-fat cottage cheese for whole-milk ricotta when you make lasagna or stuffed shells.

    At the Drive thru
    Pass up a Wendy's baked potato with sour cream and chives and chow down on value fries instead.
    Amazing but true.
    • Have a McDonald's cheeseburger instead of a Quarter Pounder with cheese.
    • Downsize your drink: Trade a large fountain soda (with ice) for a medium.
    • Go for grill marks. Order a flame-broiled chicken sandwich rather than one that's breaded (and usually fried in oil).
    • Treat yourself to an ice-cream cone at McDonald's instead of Dairy Queen.
    • Crunch on one Taco Bell regular taco instead of a Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco. And all the hot sauce you want.
    • Slurp a cup of Panera Bread's low-fat chicken noodle soup instead of the cream of chicken with wild rice.
    • Make your daily pick-me-up at Starbucks a skinny vanilla latte, not a regular.

    When you’re not cooking
    Request the lemon chicken with white rice, not fried.
    • Skip the crunchy noodles with your bowl of wonton soup.
    • Ask for an order of Szechuan Shrimp instead of your usual General Tso's.
    • Choose the pasta with 1/2 cup of marinara instead of 1/2 cup of Alfredo sauce.
    • Indulge your inner carnivore with beef stroganoff, not meat lasagna.
    • Go with the baked potato (butter only), not the mashed, as your side of choice.
    • Dip your dinner roll in marinara sauce instead of olive oil.
    • Avoid anything breaded. Flour and bread crumbs not only add calories but also absorb more cooking oil.


working on me!


I got this book called “I’m glad I'm a mom” by Jill Savage, it’s kind of a Chicken Soup of the Soul for mom’s kind of book. Quick little snippets about funny stories that only seem funny AFTER you’ve gone through them and some that are just plain inspirational. There were some really funny stories (I read about 5 of them) and some life lessons that I was glad to have my eyes open to… (once I'm done with it, I'm going to pass it on to a mom who can pass it on to another mom hoping that each mom will write a funny story in it to pass along some encouragement to others)

One being that I have known that I needed a mentor. I am a mentor but I’ve known that I needed one for quite some time… the funny thing is that there have been people I would have considered but then our schedules never seemed to match. I stepped into a ‘mentor’ position for a beautiful young woman but again, not having any preconceived notions about it, just kind of did the best I could. So this morning my eyes were opened and my heart was revealed to someone that I think God completely had in mind. So I asked… and we will see… I know that if she says yes it’s because she feels lead and if she says no that she was lead that way too.

In this book there was one story about how we have to take care of ourselves, mind, body, and spirit. I feel like I am working on the body part of me, but I know that nothing will mess me up more than if my spirit isn’t taken care of. I won’t feel like preparing the food, that I’ll feel like crap so I will use food to make me feel better (which it only does for a minute or two and then I feel worse).

So I’m working on me, small steps, hoping not to trip myself up with disappointment, remembering that even if I have a small setback, it’s a lesson that needs to be learned until I’ve mastered it, so that I can move on to the next lesson, one step closer to Him.

1 Cor 6:19-20 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Symptoms

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

I’ll tell you the truth, which shouldn’t be too hard to figure out from my posts, my heart is breaking.

A friend of mine told me that he went through a depression when he lost his job, I don’t know this for a fact, but a lot of people define who they are by what they do, typically revolving around their jobs/careers. But what happens when you lose your job and you can’t find another one? What happens to your definition? Does that mean you’re a pathetic, unemployed loser who has no use? No.

You can read my post from earlier yesterday morning, that I wrote at like 3 in the morning or something obnoxious, because I couldn’t sleep. I HATE when people call me awesome (its not that I’m humble or that I hate it out of humility, its because I don’t think people should be judged by what they do)! It makes me crazy, because more times than not, it seems like people say it because I just did something for them, I fed them, printed off something, did some little (or big) thing… and then you know what? It doesn’t seem to me like I was serving, I feel more like I am being taken advantage of because they just know “you can call Margie, she’s awesome”. Or you know what really drives me nuts is when people need me (or feel like they need me) and call me all the time, but when someone better comes along and there is no use for me, my phone doesn’t ring. My translation: “you’re such a good friend to me or I love you so much” but I don’t need you anymore, you’ve outgrown your place in my life so hit the road jack. I’ve had this happen to me with about 4 people in the last 3 months. I have an issue that I’ve been trying to deal with for so long, that I feel like my life is defined by this one struggle, never being good enough. It’s hurtful and hard to deal with.

A lot of people have been telling me that I’m under attack. To be honest, I don’t know. I simply think that our lives are often like an artichoke, the outer layers are peeled back and new flesh exposed. The hardest part of an artichoke is the outside, and the outside is probably the easiest to peel, the inside, that’s the heart, that’s the best part. As God is working in me, I feel like He is trying to expose the best parts of me, getting rid of my rough exterior and exposing the heart of who I really am, love. So if I know that God is making me deal with some stuff, and though He doesn’t call us to be alone, I believe that He is telling me to deal with my stuff, Him and I.

I’ve been defined almost my whole life by who I belong to:
I’m…
Bob’s Daughter
Phyllis’s mom

I’ve been defined by who I was and what I did in relationship to those people. The problem is that people grow, and now I’m standing here, still Bob’s daughter and Phyllis’s mom, but they don’t need me like they did before, and now I don’t know who I am.

I feel like in the last few years my life has been turned upside down and I can’t figure out where I belong, and I think that’s what happens when you identify with the wrong things. And let me preface all this by saying that none of this is WRONG it’s just my perception of events. Two years ago my dad married his best friend, she is an awesome stepmom, actually, I have said it before, if I couldn’t have picked someone better for all of us. That being said, their lives revolve around each other (a good thing, would I want it any other way? No). However, being that my dad has had such a strong presence in my life until then, it’s hard to be left behind. In his mind, he hasn’t. However, I can’t remember the last time we had a meal or a “field trip” just us. It’s been two years at least, yes, I have said something, but I think he just forgot. I understand completely, it just hurts, especially when I see him making field trip plans with the grandkids but never thinking about spending time with me. It’s hard not to feel unliked (I know my dad loves me, I just wonder if he likes me).

Also, my babygirl is growing up, she’s always been kind of independent, but now she has a job, some great friends that she hangs out with… and that means more alone time, which sometimes is good, but sometimes hard to deal with. All I can do is be here for her, and it’s my greatest reward to see her grow.

I keep myself busy, a lot of times, so I don’t have to deal with the lonliness. Thankful I don’t find company in a bottle, otherwise I’d be drunk all the time. In all that dealing with my food addictions which I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better. And it’s not the food I have to deal with but the why…

All this being said, I used this example... I’m hurt, and it’s kind of like when “my kids” have a belly ache, the first question I ask them is “have you pooped?” Hurt is my symptom of the issues that I have to deal with, like stomach ache is the symptom of needing to poop.

I don’t want to be indentified by the things I do or don’t do. I need to be indentified by who God says I am, by my heart (when it’s open to God).

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.