Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Feel Pretty

I went to the salon and got my hair cut today.  Trimmed, actually because Tim likes it long and right now I'm enjoying how long it is too.  In fact it was classified as "Extra Long"! That's kinda neat. 

My friend Becky, is the best hairdresser I've ever had.  She only works Saturdays.  I work Saturdays.  So it was such a treat for me to be able to slip in and get my hair cut by her.  I only get it cut about twice a year and she is my preferred choice.  I've had it cut at other places, the $12 haircut places, and wow, I got what I paid for.  *ouch* I won't do that again.  I'm willing to pay the big bucks for her.  She does such a good job! 

Today Tim and I are going on a date. An all day date!  We leave at 2.  Becky washed, cut, and dried my hair. She used the big round brush to leave it in gentle curls at the ends.  I love it.  I feel so pretty with it freshly cut! 

Know what else I like?  Looking in the mirror and seeing me. Not the bloated, way too heavy, fat faced me, but the slimmer cheeks, not so puffy me.  It's like I'm deflating, but in a good way!  It's nice.  I like looking in the mirror and liking what I see. 

The scale may not be rocketing down the numbers but little by little I'm going to gain my healthy self back.  Little by little I'm going to like more and more of what I see in the mirror.  This time I am going to work hard to be thankful to God for where I am right now.  This time I am going to be happy with the changes and while I do look forward to getting smaller and smaller I hope and pray I have the maturity to deal with reality. 

That's it.  That's all for today.  I feel pretty, and I'm thankful for that!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Take A Good Look

Yesterday I had one of those moments where I see something clearly that hadn't been obvious to me until right then.  I listened to my girls talking to each other and I heard me.  I heard a cutting tone of voice where kindness should be. Then I heard impatience where patience should've been.  They are becoming like me.  Oh No!

I would not speak to anyone else's child that way.  I would not use that tone of voice at work.  It is not okay here. 

I had a flash forward picture of myself as an old lady and it wasn't pretty.  It looked pretty clear that if I keep this attitude and way of speaking up I will become a cranky, catty old woman.  The kind of woman people avoid.  The kind that people look over her head or behind her back and either roll their eyes or give sympathetic looks to each other. 

As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.  Prov.27:19
In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Psalm 4:4

Getting up at 5:30 in the morning is challenging me.  I feel tired and just off all day.  I've been excusing my behavior because of this.  But yesterday it occurred to me that I am to be kind, to be gentle, to choose joy regardless of my circumstances. 

Philippians 4:11-13 (thank you Bible Gateway)
11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Enough of the excuses.  Time to live like I mean to be, be who I long to be, and pray for God to change my heart.  Pray for him to turn my heart towards Him so that I will reflect Him.  That way my children will also begin to reflect Him instead of me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Riding the Waves of Life

There is so much spinning through my mind at the moment.  My current life, the past, the future.  What I am doing, what I wish I'd done, what I want to do.  It's like being on a carousel.  It's pretty and sprakling and fun but a little bit scary too.  It's going nowhere and not getting anything accomplished really.  Except when you get off, and things steady you can see clearly again. 

I've surrendered myself to the knowledge that life is not a constant except in the fact that it is constantly changing.  Now that I've admitted that I'm learning how to surf.  Because honestly, that's how I see life, like a big ocean and we're riding the waves.  This is evident in my everyday life as well as the big picture life. 

I'm heading into the part of the month where I feel like I'm finally thinking clearly.  I can work quickly and effectively.  I look forward to this part of the month and I'm sad to feel it leave.  I try to hang on but no matter what it still slides away into feeling tired and like I can't get anything done or make good decisions.  Knowing this and knowing that the thinking clearly time is coming I can hang on!  Don't worry, I'm not clinically depressed.  I'm a woman, and that's the way I am.

So today, I've embraced it!  The upstairs bathroom is clean.  Our room looks better than it has since we came home from our trip.  The girls have worked on their rooms and are currently still working.  Two are in the kitchen.  This month we're focusing on Orderliness and it was certainly time to get back into living it instead of just talking about it.

Yet in another part of my life, the homeschool part, today I hit a wall.  I saw it coming.  I did everything I could think of to avoid it.  But today I hit it. Hard.  So our school today is life lessons.  Learning to clean your room, sort your books, help with laundry, do the dishes until they are DONE, not just until the dishwasher is full.  Important things for my daughters to know so they can be competent adults.  I know I can't stay here at the wall banging my head for long.  I wouldn't want to if I could.  I don't really like it here. 

It's January.  That's not an excuse but it is a reality.  The reality is that every January I hit this same wall.  I do think this year I came upon it slower and with less force than previous years.  I'm confident we will bounce back faster as well.  Because I do not want to stay here.  I want to keep moving.  I want to be faithful!  I want to be responsible.  I want to do my job well and hear God say to me, "Well done! You have been a faithful servant."  

There is another part of my life that needs some work.  My role as wife, as Tim's partner, his friend.  I've been coasting a bit and I miss "us" desperately.  I need some "us" time beyond after the girls are in bed.  We didn't really get that even on our vacation.  No one's fault, it just didn't happen.  So I'm working on a few ideas on how to fix that.  I have yet to figure out who to ask but I'm planning to book a sitter for a good part of Saturday.  I'd love to run away for the weekend.  I have it off.  But that's not likely to happen this time.

Now it's time for me to go put the potatoes on to boil and open the corn and beans for supper.  I know no ones really reading this, but it helps me to think it out.  It helps me to know I have written this down so I can come back and do a check to see how I am doing. 

On with life!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Survival

It's nearly time to go to sleep.  Now would be a good time to turn off the computer and start trying to fall asleep.  It takes me awhile.  I'm so jealous of the way Tim can just close his eyes and be sleeping within minutes.  I've never ever been that way.  I can remember laying awake trying to fall asleep for hours when I was about 9 or 10.  Light off, just trying to go to sleep. 

Anyway,  I wanted to come on and report that today I made good choices.  All day long.  I didn't eat the chips.  I didn't buy the Kit Kat bar, which I love.  I used the same self talk I do on the treadmill, convincing myself I can go just a little bit further, just a little bit longer.  Instead of chips while playing games today I ate frozen blueberries and raspberries then drank a big glass of water.  Instead of a whole candy bar or 3 Lindor chocolates I ate a bite of the chocolate truffle I bought on Wednesday.  Then I had a few Digestive cookies and a cup of tea. 

I have a bag of salad and some lunch meat ready for taking to lunch tomorrow.  I bought bananas and more clementines so we all have good snacks again for tomorrow.  Good choices, little by little I'm making good choices.  Sometimes it's easy peasy.  Other times it's incredibly hard.  But I'm doing it, with God's help.

I am actually counting down days til Tuesday.  Til it's time to weigh in.  Despite wanting to know if this hard work is making a difference or not I did not step on the scale.  As a chronic scale watcher this has been hard, but I think it's good for me.  It was really exciting to see a 3.5 lb drop last week.  I'm hoping for more this week.  Secretly I'm hoping to blow past my 10lb goal for Jan.  :-)  I know it's not totally realistic but I have worked hard.  So it's a possibility.   I promise to not lose heart if it doesn't happen.  It's that time of the month that the scale is likely to reflect water retention weight. If ya know what I mean. 

Tim talked about me today to his sisters.  He told me he's proud of me.  He told his sisters he's proud of me! That's pretty cool.  I like hearin git.  I like positive reinforcement and I love encouragement.  I'm thankful to have a husband who believes in me and loves me no matter what.  I'm thankful for friends and family who love me and support me as well. 

Thanks to all of you. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Today, I saw the sunrise.

Today I left the house in the dark.  A friend picked me up and we went to the Y.  We exercised and then she brought me home.  Again, in the dark.  Then I sat in my favorite chair and watched as light filled the sky.  I'm not even crabby! I've been wanting to try getting up early to exercise and start my day and today was the day it happened.

I guess technically I didn't see the sun itself rise, but I did see it go from dark to light.  I've been thinking these last few days about how much I miss the sun.  I miss the way it brightens everything.  I miss the warmth of its rays. 

It crossed my mind that in the same way the Son can be missed in my life.  I feel gloomy, I feel sad and feel listless when I miss the Son.  When I'm reading His word things are brighter.  I feel warmth from His love. 

It's interesting to me that the same word, spelled differently stands for both the Light of the World and the light that rules the day.  I need both, desperately.  When they are missing in my life I feel it in ways I can't even describe completely. 

May your day today be filled with both Sunshine and the Son. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pay Day! And Other Happy Things.

Yippee!! It's the day I've been waiting for for two weeks.  Pay Day!  I can go and get a new kettle for us, it's been sorely missed the last couple of weeks since leaving it at my sister's house.  I can pick up the little bits of groceries we need, although because of my big shop just before January we're pretty good.  Supper is already planned for tonight, another WHOOHOO! 

I'm also looking forward to Sunday.  We're going to go check out a church I've been wanting to check out for a couple of years.  Harvest Bible in Barrie.  Then afterwards Tim has to go to the Boat Show to take down.  The girls and I however get to play!  I'm thinking Costco for lunch, The Disney Store and Bath & Body Works and maybe Goodwill before heading home.  We may even split a Caramel Apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. YUM! 

Tonight I have a date with two of my good friends.  It's been way too long since we've had time to chat and tonight that's exactly what the plan is.  Drink tea/coffee and chat.  I've been looking forward to it since last week.  The only downer is that I need to be in bed at a decent time so I can be nice to people for five hours tomorrow at Home Depot, starting at 7 a.m.  Gulp.  I've been staying in bed until almost 9 or later lately.  In fact it's almost ten now and I'm sitting in my bed as I type. 

Before you gasp and feel appalled, I've been up.  I've had breakfast and so have the girls.  I've also paid bills.  I've been awake since 8:30, just happily getting things done from here.  :) 
My muscles are a titch sore today from doing the Biggest Loser workout yesterday.  That's four days in a row of physical activity for me.  I'm on the right track!!  Yesterday I managed to get full and consume my full allotment of calories.  I then went over a tiny bit because the girls had made apple pie.  I had to have a small piece!  But considering I also worked and walked for 3 hours I'm thinkin' it all evens out. 

On another positive note, for the first time in several days I didn't wake up after having a nightmare!  The one yesterday was awful so I'm very happy to have it be just a dream.  My dad is healthy and happy, not dying from a brain tumor.  I told you it was a bad dream. 

Okay, the girls are coming in to talk to me which is a good sign it's time!  Time to get going on school.  Time to get on with our day.  This is IT! :D

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beginning Again, Again.

I went back to the first blog I posted here and wanted to cry and laugh.  It could've been written today or last month, or six months ago.  Please God, let it not be true six months from now.  The mental image of a hamster running on a wheel and getting nowhere fast until she's exhausted comes to mind.  The past two years have been like me on a wheel.

Today I started again again, again.  God's mercies are new everymorning.  His faithfulness stretches to the skies.  What is man that He is mindful of him?  He created the stars that sing his praise, he created birds that have beauty beyond anything man has yet created who sing his praise.  And then there's me, and I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I know that full well. 

Today I stepped on the scale and I am so thankful that last night I had already set in motion goals, plans, incentives for the next 15 weeks.  That number was higher than my starting point back in November.  I could've cried and felt defeated but I didn't.  Instead I felt immensely grateful that I do have a plan in place, I do have incentives for motivation and people who will encourage me. 

Today I simply made one choice at a time.  I climbed onto the treadmill, turned on my music and started walking.  It felt GOOD.  It felt incredible.  I am so glad I did it, and so thankful for the hot tub after! 

Isn't it interesting how life is continually shifting and changing and yet all we need to do is each day take one moment, each decision at a time?  Homeschooling is like that too.  The entire book looks daunting, but one page or section a day, one chapter a week and little by little you make your way through.  Until at last you reach the end and the goal is met.  The kids know how to identify birds and insects.  The little one who struggled to sound out three letter words is reading compound words with ease.  Take it bigger, the entire IDEA of teaching your children yourself is daunting, but breaking it down into small goals, daily, then weekly, then monthly, before hitting yearly and before you know it you've got five years under your belt and all the kids are thriving.  Praise God.  He is enough. 

So I've made some small goals.  I've made daily, weekly and monthly goals that will carry me through to the end of April.  I think my husband may just have a major incentive in store for me come Easter.  He wants to take me home.  Home meaning Illinois.  Maybe. 

See, he doesn't have any strings on that.  I'm attaching strings.  He wants to take me home, but how sweet it would be to be able to go home healthy, or healthier.  So in my mind I'm making that another reason to succeed.  I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I have bins full of clothes waiting to fit me.  I have pretty skirts and cute jeans.  I have outfits! 

In fact I have a hot red dress I've never worn.  It's been to Mexico, it's been to Paris, France.  I've never been those places but my red dress has!  It's gorgeous and flattering and if I persevere, putting that red dress on, looking fabulous and wearing it for my sweet husband would absolutely make my day. 

Proverbs 12:11 says 11 A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.  Seeing my success in my head and not working towards it won't get me any closer to the goals I have made. 

Now, it's time for me to get some rest so I can do my best again tomorrow.  Goodnight.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Momentum Lost and Momentum Gained

I think it's fair to say that I have a somewhat short attention span when it comes to hard work.  If there's a goal I can see then I can push through and make it, but if it's around the corner I'm apt to sit down and eat some chocolate while I get frustrated about how far away the goal is.  My January plans to begin where I left off in early December for getting healthy pretty much stalled at the Start line.  We're a third of the way through the month and I'm aimless.  I have no motivation and no goal, at least until tonight.

Then tonight, in walked a girl offering a Spa Package at a significantly lower price than if you bought the treatments separately.  It's been nearly 3 years since I went to this Spa last and I adored it when I did go.  Tim let me go for my 30th B'day and it was pretty much the best birthday ever.  So as soon as she told me what and how much my mind went, "INCENTIVE!"    The start date to be able to use it is Feb 1st.  I'm going to pretend it says Feb. 12th.    That gives me 30 days from tomorrow to make a difference.  I want to say 10lbs, but I think that is pushing it.  Five is do-able, but maybe just a touch too doable.  So perhaps I'll settle on 7? 

Then after I came home I read an e-mail from a friend.  There's  Biggest Loser type challenge happening and she's participating.  I thought to myself when I read it that that would be so neat, but she lives in Alberta, I live in Ontario.  Way too far away to do it.  But she said you don't have to live near her!! Wait, what?!  Seriously?  So I am excited about the potential to joining in on their challenge!  I need to give some thought to my goals for not just the next 30 days but the next 90. 

What do you know, that puts me just right before a particularly important day to me.  My 33rd birthday!  I'm getting excited.  I can almost feel it.  The desire to eat right, to pay attention.  The desire to put on a dvd and move my body!  The desire to get on the treadmill!!! YAY! 

I do believe I may have found some motivation!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thoughts On Staying Home

These last three days I have been able to stay home.  Tomorrow I am scheduled to work, and for the five days following that I am also scheduled to work.  Welcome back to reality for me. 

I'm thinking about changing my reality.  I would like to find something that would allow me to be at home, earn what I need to earn and still be home.  I'm even considering Daycare and I do not like daycare.  The thing is, it's not exactly Daycare I'm considering so much as seeing about taking one or two littles into our home to love.  No more than two. 

I miss babies.  I miss toddlers.  It hasn't been that long since my girls were toddlers but it feels like forever.  I've got enough distance now to want some of it back.  The gooey grins, the slobbery smiles, the snuggles while reading books before naps.  Even the tantrums that make you crazy and laugh at the same time. 

So I'm thinking about checking into what it would take to have a baby or two into our home.  My oldest would absolutely love helping to take care of a little.  Our homeschooling is going well and I think we could do it.  Maybe.

I'm open to other options and ideas.  If you have some, do share.  I do not have a degree.  I love to write and adore reading.  I don't really have or take the time to write since for me it's an all or nothing thing.  I either fall all the way into it or I don't want to go there.  I can't do it just a little.  Besides writing takes months and years to start earning.  With my current schedule I don't have time to do that kind of research etc.  Nor would I know where to start. 

Just putting a voice to thoughts that have been in my head for quite awhile.  I like Home Depot and the people I work with.  I hate leaving the house, leaving my family evenings and weekends to be there.  If there were something else. . . .:) Just thinking. 

Home Depot also offers 50% coverage for dental, but in reality that coverage has done very little for us.  It's only for every 9 months for exams and cleanings. There's a deductible that must be met every year, so really it's paying about 25% of our bill for the girls.  So I'm working my tail off for what?

Oh yeah, to pay down debt.  I know.  I remember.  I've checked our budget.  My head is on straight.  Just wishful thinking. No, make that prayerful thinking.  I like being home.  I like the way our home is looking after I've been home for 3 days with no work over my head. 

Just thinking. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mmmm Coffee!

I like coffee.  I like it hot and I like it cold.  I do not like it lukewarm, I won't drink it. I like it with half & half, not milk and definitely not sugar! However, I also like flavored creamers which are sweet.  But those are for afternoon coffee, like right now.  Not for first thing in the morning coffee.

I like Starbuck frou frou coffees, mostly because they drizzle real caramel in my Caramel Macchiatto and top it all off with a full froth of whipped cream.  The real stuff, not the edible vegetable biproduct icky junk.  Mmmm. Coffee.

I drink decaf.  It's not the caffeine I crave because I don't crave caffeine.  In fact I avoid caffeine, it makes me feel funny and makes my mind spin at night instead of falling asleep.  Since as you can probably guess I have trouble getting to sleep in the first place caffeine is not my friend. 

It's the smell.  The flavor.  The taste of a really good cup of coffee that pulls me and makes me sigh with pleasure.  It's the remembering of good friends I've shared chats with while sipping a cup.  It's the flashback to "kid coffee" at my Grandma's house, more milk than coffee but still a special treat.   

Right now I'm sipping a cup of decaf Tim Horton's coffee with a healthy dollop of Vanilla Toffee Caramel creamer in it.  Wish you were here to share it with me.  That would make it taste even better. 

Here We Go Again

There are three major sins in my life I don't know if I will ever have victory over.  I've spent the last few days reading The Screwtape Letters and once again they spoke to me.  These things I struggle with are sin.  Pure and simple, basic and evil.  I am a child of God.  I am not tied to my sin any longer.  Jesus died on the cross to set me free from these sins!! So why am I still struggling with them?  Can and will God use them to strengthen me?  Is it possible that instead of considering them something that defeats me they could possibly be tools in use to strengthen me?

My weight. I've thought I was fat for most of my life, since about the age of 15.  I've only truly been overweight for the last ten.  I've lost 40lbs and gained it all back with friends.  It's to the point where my youngest has asked me if I'm having a baby and when I told her no she told me she was pretty sure I was because my tummy was so big.  Ouch.  She also told me yesterday that she likes me when I'm smaller. Worse yet, my girls are growing up knowing and watching me struggle with food!! This is important! 

Taking care of the body God has given me is important! Enjoying the food he created but not being a glutton is important.  Teaching my girls to eat healthy foods that fuel their body rather than junk foods that wear it down.  This is important too.

Spending.  The Proverbs are filled with cautions about getting wisdom, getting understanding.  They warn again and against being foolish.  And the last one talks about a wife.  The one verse that really gets me talks about how she will do him good and not evil all the days of his life.  I want that to be ME! 

Pride.  Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.  There are so many ways I am prideful.  So many various little veins of pride that need squashing!   From my home, to my children, my spirituality (seriously?!), and my abilities, it's embarrassing and I'm not going to go into detail.  Suffice it to say I know that these are issues and I hope you will forgive me for not confessing them in detail. 

I said three, but there's more. Greed and envy.  These two go hand in hand.  I want to be content.  I want to be thankful for what I have.  I want to rejoice for those who are blessed, for those who have lovely things! Instead too often I feel jealous and want pretty, expensive, lovely, more too!  It doesn't make it okay to want it too.  It's still a sin. 

Laziness.  Yikes.  Another embarrassing one.  This is one I am tackling now along with clutter and messiness which do go along with that.  I've come a long way but I've got a long way to go too.  Again, this is critical for me to teach my children. Or rather, teaching them to NOT be lazy is critical. 

Reading The Screwtape Letters along with a portion from a book by Elisabeth Eliot has motivated me to do something about these things.  To not try to ignore them or forget them or just whine about them even if the whining is to myself. 

Back in November I started with and loved it.  I'm back from vacation and back on to the site.  Except today I was lazy and didn't exercise.  Tomorrow I will!  I also relaxed and ate junk. Again. *sigh*  Please, Lord, tomorrow I will do better. 

Two years ago Tim and I started reading Dave Ramsey and agreed to use his principles.  Well, two years later we're going to start again.  I have started.  Budget is made.  Money is allocated to specific places, purposes.  Boring, scary, but done. 

I've rejoined Flylady and started the day with a shiney sink today.  I also checked out character training by Character First and talked with the girls about Orderliness today.  It's our theme for the month.  I along with them will be choosing some goals, and working on implementing good habits. 

If you've read this far, thank you!  That's pretty much it.  I'm exhausted now and ready to sleep.  Goodnight.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Going Forward

My last post was nearly a year ago. I could've titled this post the same as the last one. We've just come home from our vacation. It was wonderful, new, interesting and warm, well warmer than home!

This year I have some goals for me. I have some goals for our homeschool. I have some goals for my home and the keeping of it. I don't know if I'll remember this exists and continue writing here or if I'll forget again. When you have a lot going on something always has to give.

It's nearing one in the morning and I'm still awake. Tomorrow is church. I don't want to go. Isn't that sad? I would be just as happy staying here; watching the message online.

What has changed? I've had more than one discussion with various people over what has happened to church. Where did it go? There are some things I truly miss. Potlucks. Don't laugh, it's true! Community. I've said repeatedly that you can not force community. You either are one or you aren't. Living 45 minutes away from the area we attend church in means we aren't. We aren't going to be. My children are simply not going to have the same memory of church that I do. I grieve for that.

So it has me thinking, what is really important about church. Is it a message that challenges you? Is it worship songs that lead your heart to a place where your soul cries out to God praising Him? Is it Sunday School teaching Bible Stories and truths? Is it living near enough to truly be able to help if someone from the church needs help?

If I made a dinner for someone in the church we attend now it would be cold before I could deliver it. But the body of Christ, the Church, is not contained or defined by postal codes or townships.

So it occured to me this weekend to start looking around me. I live next door to a pastor. I could easily ask him if to let me know if I could make a meal for a family in need. My girls and I could deliver a hot meal nearby.

I read yesterday at the bottom of my aunt's Christmas letter that worship and service are used interchangeably in some scriptures. That thought has been moving around in my head since I read it. How can I act this out? How can I live it?

There are many things I want to grow in this year. They are the same things that I've had in mind for the last ten years. As my girls grow older I feel as though my time to do these is running short. While God has not put a time limit on my growth there is no denying that certain things must be lived now.

Some years I have a verse, a theme that God places repeatedly in my head and heart. Last year for homeschooling and life it was "Get wisdom, get understanding. Above all else, guard your heart." As I write this I can't say that there is a specific verse or theme but I have a sense of urgency. A sense that now is the time to act, to seek, to find, to change, to grow. It's time.