Thursday, March 31, 2011

5 pounds is still 5 pounds!!!

As I said in my previous post I am learning a new way of eating. Crave food less, crave Jesus more. In the week and a half I have been on it, I've done alright. I haven't restricted myself totally, I am just eating less and making healthier choices. I have been down the path of strict dieting and it totally doesn't work for the long haul. Life happens. Sometimes you go out to eat. Sometimes you are on church trips. We all like vacation time. And when the holidays roll by there are always parties and family dinners.

No. I have pretty much learned that life is too short to worry about food all of the time. In fact that is the same problem just going in the opposite direction. Diets end up consuming me and that is what I am trying to get away from. I want to live where I just don't think and worry about FOOD all the time. I am going to eat. God has always provided up till now, more than I needed, why do I worry so very much about it. When you are already thinking about what you are having for lunch, while eating breakfast...I think there is a problem. And I have suffered with that problem way too long.

When not on a eating plan, I tend to eat too much, throughout the day. When on a diet I worry about all the calories, where I am going to eat and when...cause I think I am starving. These days I am trying simply not to worry about it at all. If I make wise choices, eat only when really hungry and cut out all the junk, then I think that is something I could probably do for the rest of my life. Add a few minutes of activity everyday and maybe just maybe I can get back on track where God wants me to be. Too many other things need my focus other than FOOD.

Which brings me to my little tidbit of good news. I have lost 5 pounds!!!

Now, I know I had the tummy bug on Sunday.

I know there is that whole "water weight" thing.

I know they are gone in ways that may not be noticeable yet.

I know...

But at the end of the day, 5 pounds is still 5 pounds!

God is good.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Craving the RIGHT PORTION...

" My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my PORTION forever." Psalm 73:26

I don't know about you, but spring sometimes has a way of getting the best of me. I have just spent the winter months, wearing bulky sweaters and jackets, hiding what I didn't want to acknowledge was there...a few extra pounds. A "muffin top." Now I was doing real good after my surgery, lost almost 20 pounds through the whole ordeal last summer and early fall, but then comes fall...

It is like my body tells me to prepare for hibernation (food wise anyway). All of a sudden my willpower goes out the window with every holiday and party that goes by. And under my sweater is neatly hidden the evidence, until... That first hint of spring weather. I start pulling out cute tops in bright colors and dig out the flip flops and capris. I LOVE ME SOME FLIP FLOPS!!! And then I look in the mirror and my "sunshiny" mood quickly runs away and the tears fall. I LOOK LIKE THAT?!!! REALLY?!!!

Of course if you are also like me, then you feel like you automatically have to do something about it. I go find all my old "diet" books, buy another one to add to the pile and then start my journey to a "new and improved me." Only that usually ends up in frustration and tears as well. As I told my hubby the other night "too much info is not good, it is confusing and just plain leaves me defeated." Plus the fact that none of the books even agree and I am sorry, BUT I don't have time to spend at the gym all hours of the day, like they do on the "Biggest Loser."

And then I realized that maybe dieting isn't for me. I still have some health issues and allergies that keep me from following any diet the way the author wants you to. Maybe that is my problem, I'm going about this all wrong. You see, I do enjoy a veggie or two, love fruit, drink mostly water anyway and lean meat is my favorite, so it sounds like I eat right anyway, right? WRONG. My problem is portion control. Not on the good happy days, for I could go without eating and not even realize it for hours and hours if I'm busy and happy. No, my problem comes when stress comes knocking at my door. Then all of a sudden I want BREAD, CAKE, PIE, CHIPS AND DIP...AND LOTS OF IT. I will eat something salty, then feel like I need to eat something sweet, just to need a little saltiness again. And truthfully, I am not even hungry when I eat them. Sound familiar?

So, I started digging a little deeper. I started wanting to know "WHY?" am I like this. What is it about a slice of bread that makes me so very happy, even if it lasts for only a second? Why is food my crutch? Somewhere along the line, I believe mine started in college, I made "junk food" my answer to feeling better. Although I can look back and know that the stress and insecurities in my life started at a much younger age, in college I was on my own for the first time. For the first time, no one else was dictating what I ate and when. After growing up in Asia, I was back in the States where the junk food was readily available. My own vending machine was down the hall from my dorm room. Growing up "American junk food" was expensive. I remember as a teenager walking down the street to get a soda from the hotel, for we didn't keep them in large quantities in the house. Cheetos were a treat for movie night and going out to eat was saved for Sundays after church. So although the insecurities were there, the food was not available to me. Thankfully.

But then all of a sudden my parents weren't there either, still on the mission field. All of a sudden between late night studying, broken hearts and partying with friends, I would find myself alone. No spiritual guidance. For the first time, I didn't even have to go to church if I didn't want to. I had to do some major evaluating of my own faith and where I stood on my own without my family. I finally rededicated my life to the Lord during college, married the love of my life and we have been in ministry ever since.


By that time, food was my friend. I loved Jesus, but OH how I loved pie too. Fast forward to now. Why it has taken me this long, to want to come to terms with this, I have no idea. Hey, I am "40" now and it took God's people 40 years of wandering...just saying.

No, I have decided to not go on a "diet" this year. I will however be trying to cut back, use portion control and just eat till satisfied. May even put a little exercise in there too. Most importantly I am going to do some more soul searching on this heart of mine and why I have this "void" that feels the need to be to filled constantly. I know in my heart that I need to "fill up" on Jesus and His word. That He is my "portion." Yet, just saying it, doesn't mean we do it. Please pray for me.

Pray for me as I start this new journey in my life. Ministry life seems at times centered around FOOD. We all know how tempting "potluck" night can be! The task before me, will probably be the hardest undertaking, yet I know beyond a shadow of doubt the most rewarding. I may write from time to time what I am learning or even ask for prayer because I am struggling. If you would like to go on this journey with me, that would be awesome too. Let me know, for I would love to pray for you too.

The idea is to get back on track and live life the way God meant for me to, totally craving HIM.

If you are considering going on this journey with me, I found a GREAT resource. God has certainly used this book to open my eyes. It is like this lady read my journal and mixed in my feelings with hers.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Going NUTS!!!

When I was little I would often break out in hives. My mom would take me to the doctor and he would write it off as my nerves. I was sorta shy and my parents were moving me all over the place, that he just thought...

I don't think my mom ever really thought that was the answer, but it was the late 70's, medicine has come a long way since then, so at the time I guess her hands were tied. We then moved overseas to Asia, and the breakouts were few and far between. Hmm... I just kind of forgot about them.

Until I was sixteen.

That year we were back in the States for a year, living in North Arkansas. I woke up one morning, with hives EVERYWHERE. I was swollen from head to toe. My eyes were swollen, my hands were HUGE, my feet, well it hurt to walk. I was miserable. Missed a bunch of school because of it. The scary part came when my throat wanted to swell shut. This time around the doctor said ALLERGIES.

When the shots finally took over and the swelling went down, I had the tests done. I found out that me and Arkansas beauty don't really mix. I am allergic to so many of the trees found here, grass, hay, and the list goes on. I also found out that I was allergic to chocolate and aspirin.


Chocolate!!! SERIOUSLY?!!!

There were a few other food items that I had a mild reaction to, but I kept eating those. However, when I was sixteen, I learned how to say "No" to chocolate. The hives stayed away for a long while, but then I was back in Asia until I graduated and took a allergy medicine at the first sign of an itch. I was doing OK.

Fast forward a few years. I was married, had two very young kiddos, living in east Texas and then North Arkansas. The hives were back. I was miserable. Nature was blooming and my body hated it every spring. The medicine was taken around the clock. I hated the thought of shots. I survived that period. I finally started a different allergy medicine that seemed to help me better. In the last few years a prescription nose spray has been added to my medicine box too. I still have an attack during spring and fall, but it is more drainage now that hives. I have still skirted the shot issue. (for now.)

However, right after I had Kayla, I started having really bad heartburn feelings. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to WHY. They were worse when I was pregnant with Jordan. Sometimes I would be laid out on the floor miserable and in pain. For a little over 12 years I lived with it, taking different meds. In that span of time, I finally narrowed it down to happening a lot when I had any kind of nut or something cooked in peanut oil. I asked the doctor about it. At that time, my insurance wouldn't pay for an allergy test for nuts, but because of my allergy record, doctor thought I might have acquired an allergy to them. Just one more good thing I had to stay away from.

Do you realize how many yummy things are made with some kind of nut?

But I did it. Between the chocolate and the peanuts, candy bars have been pretty much off limits to me for a long time.

Fast forward again to last summer. I became one sick gal. Tests showed that it was my gallbladder. However, unlike most, I wasn't in any pain, just sick. My gallbladder was bad sick and had been for a long time, from the way it was filled to the brim with stones and wasn't working anymore. Doctors wer confused over the "no pain" issue. I was fortunate that I hadn't had any pain along the way.

Or did I?

When I started reading, I discovered that real fatty foods can bring on an attack. One of those foods could be nuts. When I described what I felt after eating them or when I would have small attacks, even when nuts weren't involved, the doctor said they sounded like gallbladder attacks. If that was the case, I had been having them since Kayla was born! She is fourteen and a half now...

Gallbladder was removed. Yet, I still haven't been able to make myself try a nut. The memories of pain are still to vivid. I mean what if I really am allergic to them and it just set off my attacks and...

Until last night. I was at the store the other day and came across the nut aisle. I found myself staring at the cans, longing for the healthy snack everyone else enjoys. I finally put the can in my cart, knowing the hubby would eat them if I didn't.

Finally last night, I got up enough courage to try a peanut or two. (three, four and then a handful or more) They tasted so good, but it was a bittersweet reunion. Dread of what could happen was always lingering in the back of my head.

But the attacks NEVER happened.

I am longing to do the happy dance right now. However, I am going to take it easy, and keep trying a little at a time just to make sure. But let me just say, last night I felt like this little guy was my new best friend.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Update on "Urgent Prayer Request"

Charlie is out of surgery. Everything went well and looks good right now. Didn't have to do reconstructive surgery like they first thought, so the surgery went about 8 hours.

Very hopeful.

Thanks so much for the prayers.

Please keep this precious family in your prayers.

God is good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Urgent Prayer Request...

There is a little boy named Charlie that goes to our church.

Four years old.

His mom sits behind me every Sunday, tears are often seen sliding down her cheek.

Charlie has a tumor attached to his face, which is therefor attached to his brain, ear and jaw. And it keeps getting bigger.

Tomorrow he goes in for a 15-20 hour surgery, with 4 surgeons and a handful of nurses, to have it removed.

Please pray for this precious little one and his family, mom, dad and two younger brothers.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Walking with Purpose...

This year, some of the 6Th graders at my son's school chose to help raise money for World Vision. Jordan was one of the 100 kids that participated. I took off half a day of work today, to go and take pictures. It was a rewarding and fun afternoon for the boys and girls. (And for me too!)

Look how much money they raised! So proud of them! And they are still taking donations.

They tie dyed shirts after school last week to wear for the big walk...12 laps around the track.

Jordan ran a few. If you notice this is the first "hot?" day we have had this year. Therefore, everyone was still sporting their "winter tans." Of course, since we were not use to the warmer weather, we all thought we were going to melt at 82 degrees. We will be wanting some 82 sun when summer hits and we break the 100's!!!

This of course was the drink of choice. Nothing better than a cold bottle of water...
Thankful for all the money donated so children across the world can have clean drinking water too. It was a good day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

the sign says it all...

When the earthquake happened in Japan, I was shocked. I hadn't watched the news, so until I was in my car, on my way to work and heard about it on the radio, did I have any clue as to what was happening outside my little world. Isn't it CRAZY how that happens? I mean, we go through life, thinking each little twist and turn, each little roadblock, should be dramatized and THEN something REALLY BIG AND HORRIBLE HAPPENS, and for a short while everything is put back into perspective.

Today, a friend of mine, posted the following picture on his Facebook wall. (He took it with his phone on his way to work in a nearby town.) I think it about sums it up, don't you?

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Lost My Keys...

Ever since we went to the Winter Jam concert last weekend, my hubby says he can hear Francesca Battistelli singing in his ear...

"This is the stuff that drives me crazy..."

I think it is funny because I LOVE her and her songs. I have said it before, it is like she read MY diary and then decided to sing about it. Friday this became all too real.

The alarm went off at 5:30 a.m.. I hit the snooze half a zillion times before getting up at 6:15! That means I was already running behind schedule, thank you very much. I then get ready, have 15 minutes of quiet time, wake up the kids and start to head out the door for work at 6:50. Only one problem...

"I lost my keys in, the great unknown..."

I can't find my keys!!!

I look everywhere. Kayla helps me look everywhere. I start to panic. Minutes have gone by, it is a no brainer, I am going to be late for work. Still can't find my keys.

"And call me please, 'cuz I can't find my phone."

I go ask Jordan who is in the shower.

"Jordan, did you use my keys last night for anything?"


"Jordan, I am LATE! Just tell me what you know and NOW!" (Can you read the panic in my voice?)

"I don't know."

I go to look for my keys some more. I am past panic. Helplessness sets in. You see, my hubby was out of town and...

"this is the stuff that drives me crazy

this is the stuff that's getting to me lately

in the middle of my little mess,

I forget how BIG I'm blessed..."

I guess Jordan had a minute to think, because all of a sudden, I see a dripping wet 12 year old running past me in a towel. He heads for the back door, opens it and then looks back at me. His look turns from relief to BIG TIME dread. I go and look. He has found my keys! HOWEVER, he left them on the trunk of my car ALL NIGHT LONG! There was my bright polka dot key chain shining for the world to see. I am blessed to still have a car. I am blessed to still have a house. I am blessed to still be me!!!

Jordan is blessed to still be smiling!!!

"This is the stuff that gets under my skin

but I gotta trust you know exactly what you're doing

it might not be what I would choose

but this is the stuff you use."

I look at him. (Jordan)

"I am not going to be mad. I don't have time to be mad. We will talk later. Get ready, your Grandma will be here in twenty minutes to take you to school."

"So break me of my impatience, conquer my frustrations, I've got a new appreciation, it's not the end of the world."

I make it to work at exactly 7:10. So thankful I only live a few blocks away. (Why did twenty minutes just seem like HOURS?!)

When I finally got to work and my heart finally settled to a normal heartbeat, I started to think about the whole situation. In the end the humor won out. The thought of my wet son dripping through the house, going 90 to nothing... well I needed a good laugh. Yes, all kinds of "what ifs" could have happened, but why dwell on it. God took care of us and we are blessed because of it.

Yes, God...

"This is the stuff YOU USE."

Thanks for the reminder...I am BLESSED.

Oh by the way, God does have a sense of humor. Guess what was playing on the radio on my way to work? Francesca, can I have my diary back now?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

When the mom is the student...

A few years ago, we moved back to my husband's hometown. After being gone since he was 19, and left for college in another town, God brought him back home to the town where he was born and raised. His parents still live in the same house. My hubby now ministers at the church he grew up in. We are often blessed with stories of "when I was younger..." or "back in the day..." Stories of friends, school, bike rides through the neighborhood...

Unfortunately, like all towns, the part of town that once was considered family friendly and safe, changes when the new neighborhoods are built. The older part of town loses it's family friendly reputation, as buildings become abused through the years, run down and abandoned. The neighborhood we live in now, was once a nice neighborhood and although it is not completely run down now, still filled with beautiful older historic houses, there are a few old houses on the street that have seen better days. Sometimes I, as a mom, have to question the people that move into them. It is sad, but a parent can't be too careful these days.

When we first moved in, the two story house across the street was abandoned. It stood lonely, even kind of creepy at night. It reminded me of a ghost house, haunting in a way. And then, a little while back the owner decided to fix her up a little. A few new boards, a couple of windows, a new paint job, and she at least looked decent. However, nothing could hide her age. Between you and me, I think she is still a little unstable.

Yet, soon after a family moved in. A big family. Adults and kids of different ages are always coming and going. SEVERAL cars are always parked outside. It is the kind of situation that leaves a mom suspicious. However, my husband soon realized that he had met the "dad" before, so my tension eased a little. They have been there over a year now and I have learned to have peace over the situation. They pretty much leave us alone and that is fine by me...
Except for "Dalton" (Not his real name.) and his little brother.

Dalton is in 7Th grade, stout, a little bit taller than Jordan. When he talks he has a speech problem. When he talks you can tell that although he is older than my son, his intelligence level is quite a bit lower. He is rough around the edges, gets frustrated easy and probably has never owned a "brand name" anything. His little brother always looks like he hasn't had a bath in a week.

Dalton likes my son. He comes to the door and asks if his "friend" can come out and shoot hoops.
Jordan can't even go outside and shoot hoops anymore without Dalton and his brother running over to play with him. There are days that Jordan gets frustrated, not in the mood to deal with them. There are moments when he comes and whispers, "Come get me in a minute, mom, PLEASE!"

BUT, he NEVER hurts them. He is never mean. He patiently plays with them, teaching them how to play the different sports he loves. My kid, who for whatever reason is popular and well liked at school, can be found playing any day of the week, with a neighborhood kid, who by worldly standards would be considered undesirable. Would Jordan consider Dalton a "good friend?" Probably not. He would probably just simply say "He is my neighbor and we play ball together sometimes." Yet, to Dalton, Jordan is considered "friend." My son has showed extreme kindness, in a situation that many boys his age would avoid. He goes out of his way NOT to embarrass Dalton or hurt his feelings.

Moments like this one, do my mommy heart good. You pray daily, as a Christian parent, that your children will be lights in a dark world and then when they do something like this, you are humbled beyond belief. Children can be so cruel sometimes. My own children are far from perfect themselves, so when they do something so out of the ordinary, it makes this mom stop and take a closer look.
As I look out the kitchen window, my spirit is scolded. I have got caught up in the world's view of what makes a people lovable and acceptable. As I watch the kids shoot baskets, I realize that my son has been acting more like Jesus than his mom these days. How quick am I to judge? Where is my compassion? Maybe I am looking at this all wrong. Instead of being concerned with who my neighbors are, maybe I should be more concerned with what kind of neighbor I am.

Truthfully, these two boys will probably never be best friends. And yes, I still worry a little (they always play at our house.) But at the end of the day, I learned by watching my son the last few months, that a little kindness and compassion can go a long way. It might not always mean that much to us, we tend to take some things for granted at times, but to the person on the receiving end, it could mean a whole lot. To someone else, a little friendship, could mean a little light in someone's dark world.
And sometimes God has a sense of humor and allows a child's action to teach a mom's heart.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

We Be Jammin'...

Last night in Little Rock, Arkansas there was some jammin' going on. Kev and I went with about twenty others from our youth group (although others from our group went on their own) to this:

We had to wait out in line, and it was COLD and we looked like this:

Then we went in and our view was this:

and this (WOW!):

We then saw and heard (I got some pictures from a friend with closer seats):

American Idol fans...Jason Castro

David Crowder Band

Francesca Battistelli (Kayla of course LOVED her style!)

Kutless (Jordan's favorite)

Red (Not my favorite, but my rocker daughter likes them.)

Newsboys (they had an AWESOME show, but since they were last, I was wearing down.)

Others we heard were:
Chris August
Sidewalk Prophets
Tony Nolan (speaker)

The whole center was full of young people and their youth leaders or parents. It gave me chills just to think of all the Christian teenagers hanging out on a Saturday night singing and dancing for the Lord. My personal favorite part was probably the David Crowder Band. That guy knows some praise and worship tunes. Francesca was also a favorite, just 'cause her songs could have come out of my own diary. And then when Kutless sung "What Faith Can Do," we all got excited. (that is Jordan's favorite song. He even had to go buy the t-shirt.)

Kayla and Jordan sportin' the lighted glasses.

We were in nosebleed seats, sometimes it was hard to hear the talking, and it got kind of late for this old woman (we didn't get back home till around twelve at night) BUT, we had a blast. Kayla even says her throat hurts from singing so much last night. Another night full of memories.
I thank the Lord for every moment I am able to spend with my kiddos making memories.
LATE night, LOUD music, LOADS of kids...surely I earned some mommy brownie points with this memory maker!!! :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Struggling Where I Am At...

I am just going to be honest...I am not enjoying where I am at right now.

I'm struggling.

I pour over scripture, pray with every fiber of my being, ask "why?" a million and one times, and I still get the same answer;

"Start blooming where I have planted you!"

But I don't want to.

I want to moan and groan and plant myself in what I consider a great BIG pit of nothing but YUCK! That is how I feel.

"Your joy should come from ME, not your circumstances."

UGH! I know. I am going to try my hardest to have some stinkin' JOY in my life, but I DON'T have to like it, Lord!!!

I like wallowing in self pity. I like hearing the little violins play. I like collecting my quarters to look up someone who cares. I like thinking that the world centers around ME.

"But my child, the your world should actually center around ME, your Lord and Savior."


"You are starting to sound like my other kids, back in the day, when I sent Moses to lead them away from Egypt into my promised land. They complained too, couldn't keep their eyes on ME and forgot the PRIZE. Child, this is only temporary. Don't forget the prize."

It is so hard, Lord. I don't like drama. I don't like hurt feelings. I don't like frustrations. I don't like the struggle. I don't like confrontation. I don't like...

"I never said it would be easy."

But Lord, why does it have to be so hard. I want to be a light daily. I want to have joy despite my circumstances. I want to be all I can be where you have planted me today, but I don't know if I am strong enough.

"You can do all things through me, I will give you strength."

I just feel like I fail you daily. I feel the shame.

"My grace is sufficient for you."

But what if I don't like it? The tasks before me wear me out. I often am left feeling defeated.

"Follow me. In me you will find rest. My peace passes all understanding."


"My child you are beautiful and you are mine. Take one day at a time and we will get where you are headed together. Just keep the communication flowing."


"I am here."

Do you always have to have the last word?!

"Always. Just call me Omega."


I wrote this, struggling with a certain situation in my life. I am blessed and I know it, but all it takes sometimes, is one part of your life to seem out of whack, for one to want to shut down and pout.. One little situation can rob you of your peace, help you lose track of who you are and what you stand for. One little corner of your life... This was the conversation the Lord and I had the other day concerning my latest little situation. I'm better now. The Lord is faithful, I just needed a little reminding of who is in control.

Ever have one of those days?

A Little About Nothin'...

We have been CRAZY busy around here. I keep wondering if we have a free weekend in sight...always something going on. My house shows it too. I am knee deep in laundry and up to my elbows in dirty dishes. I so need a housekeeper, but Kev says I would just wear myself out trying to clean for the housekeeper. He is probably right. She might turn me in on one of those TV shows if I didn't. :)

My sister called me while I was checking out at Wally World last night. The bright spot of my hour and a half visit to a place I am beginning to loathe. NEVER thought I would say it, but I really HATE going to the store these days. ESPECIALLY, when I hand over the debit card for an insane amount. My kiddos are eating me out of house and home. Not to mention bobby pins cost almost four dollars these days. WHAT?!!! Shampoo is almost SIX!!! Bread is three... Sad thing is I have to go back 'cause I forgot soap for the dishwasher. UGH!

I had to have bobby pins, cause the hair is getting long and I have put it in a ponytail a time or two. Bobby pins help it not look like "crazy lady " hair. I need a cut, but no time. So bobby pins it is... Maybe it makes me look half my age. I can dream.

Back to the phone call... I finish checking out and then stop at Subway to pick up dinner for the fam. Yes, I am on the phone. BUT, it was with my sis, who I hadn't talked to in a while. Indian man did not care, no patience what so ever as he banged on the glass. Oops! Had to tell Amber I would call her back. My sandwich was good, however they had no bacon left for Jordan's sandwich. Dinner was served at 9:00 p.m.

Did I say we were busy these days...

So Arkansas had a earthquake the other day, scary. I didn't feel it but my family who lives in two different parts of the state did. It was a crazy night, 'cause I was "storm watching" on TV, when they break in around 11:00p.m. to interrupt the storm watch, to tell us there was an earthquake. Too much worry for one night. People you better be getting your hearts in order...I can hear the trumpets a sounding.

My hubby and father-in-law made it home Tuesday. So far Papa is feeling good. Thanks so much for the prayers.

I paid bills last night. I need prayer...

Hey! Can you believe It is MARCH?

I guess I had better wrap this rambling up...

Hope you are having a GREAT week.