Thursday, December 12, 2013

Health Living Journal Shelved

I did not fully commit to the journal experience when I began.  I have not completely shelved my goals.  Life has happened, and my blogging took the first hit.  I have been reading other things and look forward to post more.

I am in a major transition phase of my life and am looking forward to all God has planned in and through it.  Each day is a journey, and I plan to live every moment for the glory of God.
My eyes are re-focusing on the vision~To Know God and to Make God Known.  The "how to" can be difficult, unless you surrender to God and his leading.

How to KNOW God
II Chronicles 7:14~If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I must humble myself, pray, seek God's face, and turn from my sins.  This is a great starting place to KNOW God.  
Humility~a lowliness, a submissive, and servant-like posture before the Lord and others.
Pray~Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield is what I think of with the word "PRAY."  It is a way to pray and be specific to particular things such as God's awesome power, my sins, my petitions for me and others, and surrender to the Holy Spirit who lives in me as a believer.
Seek~Seek means to look for something usually of importance or with urgency.  If I seek God's face, there must be an urgency there. I can "look", "glance", and "scan" for something. But when I "seek" something, there is the underlying meaning of getting to the bottom of something, finding something, digging beneath the surface to KNOW what is there.  Where do I seek God's face?  I can see Him in his creation, but ultimately I must seek his face in the Word of God.
Turn~Turn means to change directions.  To turn from my wicked ways, I must change directions.  I must change to directions of my body, mind, and will to the things of God.

How to make God KNOWN
Matthew 28:19, 20~Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

As I get to KNOW God, I want to tell others about Him.  God commands me to GO, teach, and ultimately make disciples.
GO~Go.  Where? How about to work. Or my neighbor's house.  Or the homeless man on the street corner.  How about the cashier at the grocery store. 
Teach~Who? ALL nations.  Begin where I am.  What do I teach?  The gospel, the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ.  I must tell them what He has done for me.
Disciple~The ultimate goal is to lead others to Christ, and train them up in the ways of God, so they will in turn tell others about Him. The GOOD NEWS multiplies and spreads just by telling a few people about what He has done in my life. WOW! That is an amazing thing!
God's Promises~They are our promises for the taking and claiming as long as we do our part.
Hear from heaven
Forgive sins
Heal the land
He will never leave you

The best part is that the Holy Spirit lives within us as believers, and when we trust him and put our faith in Him.  He will do the work in and through us, because we can't do it ourselves.
Wow! Teaching myself on this.  This was not where I anticipated this post going, but it is truly on my heart.  I am ready and preparing myself to claim those wonderful promises of God.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Healthy Living ~ Days 5-10~WOW!

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  I don't think I did too badly.  I got in some exercise on the treadmill and a few minutes of indoor swimming.  It was nice.  I am working on getting back into the swing of things and re-establishing my routines.  I am forgetting to eat now, and that NEVER happens.  I am going to attempt to set up reminders for my meals and snacks, so that I know that I am properly fueling my body.  I am also going to keep a close eye on my sleep, both quantity and quality of sleep.
I haven't journaled much due Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow, I plan to catch up and post an overview.  Right now it is past my bedtime, so I will have to sign off now.  I know my "why" is to glorify God, and my "how" is starting to take shape with each and every choice I make.  Good night and sweet dreams, and tomorrow is a new day to build routines.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I am Second

 "Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." ~ Luke 7:47 

I grew up in church.  I went to private school from kindergarten to Senior year of high school.  I have a wonderful family that supports me in what I do.  I knew a whole lot about Jesus and at age five, I thought I knew Him as Savior.  It wasn't until age 16, that I fully understood what God did for me and my sins.  My head knowledge became heart understanding and Jesus became my Savior.  I "knew" what to do next, but I didn't quite know how to "walk the walk" and allow myself to trust God on a daily basis.  I finished high school and went on to college.  A year into college, God got my attention and showed me that He was in charge, and nothing was in my control.

Time went by, and I finished college and called on Jesus when it was convenient or when I needed help.  I was in the church pew every Sunday but in my thoughts many miles away at times.  God got my attention again, after graduation when I believe He called me to the harvest of children through teaching.  I tried to become a teacher on my own and in my own strength.  I even went on to graduate school to become a librarian thinking that would be my niche, but God grabbed my attention yet again and reminded me that I wasn't in control.  God showed me that He needed to not only be Savior but Lord of my life.  I learned that He wants a relationship with me, and I have finally become second within the last few years.  My life hasn't been easy, but staying closer to God is getting easier each day.

I am Second is a compilation of stories from various celebrities and people who declare themselves as second to Jesus in their life.  They range from rock band members, athletes, power couples, and pastors.  These people are honest and open about the struggles in their life that led them to a relationship with Jesus and the continuing trials of walking the walk with Jesus.  Some of my favorites were Ranger's player Josh Hamilton,  Ken Hutcherson, Korn band member Brian "Head" Welch, Karen Green, and Bethany Hamilton.  This book is just a portion of stories from the I am Second Movement.  At the close of each chapter there are QR codes for easy access to additional stories at

The book is just a small part of the greater movement.  I am Second is a movement that is circulating all over gathering others' stories of how they are second in life.  It is equipping others to go and share their story with others, and it is a means of encouragement for those in need.  For more information about I am Second, check out there website:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

One Thousand Gifts

The night sky.  The bright moon.  The stars peeking through. Buildings that light up with changing colored lights. The newest, tallest tower brightly lighting up the skyline and occasionally hidden with the night fog.  Fellowship with a friend in my broken Spanish and her broken English.  This waiting period.  Health tests.  These are just a few of the gifts that I have been given through the reading of this book, One Thousand Gifts.
Ann Voskamp, a farmer's wife in Canada, writes in the most unique manner of how God gave her the gift of eucharisteo, Grace ~ Thanks ~ Joy.  Ann descriptively writes of the struggles of her life and the loss of joy.  She shares that thanksgiving to God in the good, the bad, and the ugly,  Thanksgiving is the process which began the restoration of grace in her life through a gratitude journal and the recording of those gifts.
The healing came in through the counting and in the seeking of the magnificent moments among the mundane routine of life.  This book encourages the reader to seek out their own gifts.  I personally started my own journal.  It is hard to keep up with writing them down, but once you get started you will always be on the lookout for new gifts.
I am currently doing the DVD and workbook study with the women of my church.  This has been a phenomenal time of fellowship and bonding allow us to share life with each other.  I would recommend this book to anyone that needs an extra dose of encouragement and perspective on thankfulness.
If you want to get a group study together, there is a DVD and workbook.  There is also a devotional book in addition to this book.
For more information check out this site:
Check out Ann Voskamp's blog here:

Happy Thanksgiving and start counting...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Healthy Living ~ Day 4 ~ Bring on Thanksgiving...Almost!

Today was a decent day.  I gave into some sweet temptations early on, but then I remained pretty faithful.  I am still in the process of purging some foods such as french fries from my diet.  I know I can do this.  I walked a few minutes and did lunges, not quite ten minutes, but it was something.
Today's journal entry is about health role models you have and what tips have they offered and how helpful were they.  They suggest to call one of them up and tell them about your 21 day project and get some advice.
When I first read the question I was thinking on a grander scale such as "The Biggest Loser," specifically Jillian Michaels.  Jillian's method's may not be typical and proper "bedside" manner, so to speak, but she is not in the business of making friends.  She is in the business of making "losers," "biggest losers" that is.  From watching over the last several years, nearly every season she is on, she coaches the winner.  She is the one that shouted to this season's contestants to find their "why" and the "how" will follow.  That peice of advice allowed me to find my "why" which is to glorify God.  When I make my choices in light of that standard it makes it hard for me to go wrong.  That doesn't mean I won't fail, but when I do, I just get back up again ask for forgiveness and make another choice.
Then I realized the questions were geared to local role models.  As of right now I can think of two.  They are sweet inspirations to me and have encouraged me to continue my journey that I have begun.  Think about the people in your life, any role model, and give them a shout out.  Everyone needs to know they are appreciated once in a while.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Healthy Living ~ Day 3 ~ Overflow

Today was a unique day.  I had a morning appointment. We got turned around a bit and parked in the Overflow parking lot and took the long trek under the street and up the mountain of stairs and counted the parking garages and public parking lots closer to the building on the way.  It was a great way to get some aerobic exercise at the start of the day.
My eating was okayish.  I had good portions, but I ate some sweet stuff again.  I am working on greatly reducing my sweet intake.  Yes, even around the holidays.  It is possible.  I have done it before.
I am still working on incorporation of exercise within my day.  I am attempting 10 minutes a day.  Today I didn't get that in as of yet.  Some progress is better than no progress.  The journal entry for today discusses the temptation of straying from my plan and what I do.  It asks to describe the emotional battle of that temptation.
Personally for me, I am training myself to ask "WHY?" in all things.  The answer to this "why" is "for the glory of God."  So I have no excuse to work the plan.  It is taking a little bit to train myself to think this way, but when I let go and allow myself to do it for the Lord, the frustration dissolves and the joy returns as I eat, exercise, and live for the glory of God.
I have to get completely on board with my plan, whatever the plan, in my mind and heart.  That makes it easier for me to enforce and hold myself accountable to it when I have made a mental commitment, so to speak.
When tempted to sway from the plan, I usually have victory over temptation when I am fully invested in the plan.  At other times, I give in and don't take care of my nutrition and fitness.  The consequences for this have been weight gain, fatigue, and lack of energy.  Additional emotional responses are negative self talk and guilt over allowing myself to let go.
This is why I want a plan that I can turn into a lifestyle.  I believe Bob Harper's 20 Skinny rules will do that for me, but I have yet to mentally commit to them.  I must commit to eating healthy, why? For the glory of God.  I must commit to exercising my body, why? For the glory of God.  When tempted to cheat or go "off plan," I must ask, why?  I then must make the beneficial choice for the glory of God.
I wish all of you the best this Thanksgiving, and I will do my best to adhere to the goals I set forth.  I will do my best to ask "Why?" while filling my plate with the abundance that God has so graciously supplied for my family.  Happy Thanksgiving and remember to count your blessings.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Healthy Habits ~ Day 2 ~ Let's "Shake!"

Day 2 is here and nearly gone.  I did make my lunch the night before and drank more water today (not nearly enough, but making progress).  The journal questions for today were: "What are your health-related fears?  What are you doing to confront them?
For me, I fear that I will NOT create a healthy lifestyle.  I fear that I will NOT lose the last pesky 30 pounds I have left and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  I fear gaining it ALL back.  I have a plan, but I have to work that plan.  My plan this go around is Bob Harper's 20 Skinny rules (It's a book, but I found the list at  Speaking of SparkPeople, it is a free and user-friendly website for tracking nutrition, exercise, weight and measurements, water intake, and even your mood.  It is a great resource for healthy living, and I would recommend it.  It can be a bit overwhelming, but they have recently made some changes that make it even easier to track your goals.  I will do my best to use it in the next 20 days...I hope.

I have not yet done my exercise for today.  As for goals for today, I am a work in progress.  Some water, no exercise yet, I ate 3 half-way decent meals and some sweet stuff (all in decent in portions) breaking a few of Bob's rules, but I will get back on track.  My goal is to just do it!  Today wasn't the best, but there is still time to get some moves in.  Mercy Me's new song "Shake" is some great motivation. Check it out here: 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

21 Days ~ Goals

Biblical Homemaking
I reworked my blog and did some transferring over, so I didn't post yesterday.  I have not yet started.  My start date is tomorrow, November 24.  Now on to my goals:
1) Drink water!  At least 64 ounces, but aim for 80 ounces daily
2) Prepare and eat a healthy breakfast
3) Make a lunch the night before
4) Exercise at least 10 minutes daily
5) Exercise at least 30 minutes 3 times a week
6) Eat sensible portions

These are my goals for the next 21 days.  From now until December 21, I plan to meet these 6 goals each day.  I also mentioned the 21 Days Journal emphasizes visualization.  I decided to make a Pinterest board and learned many things.  I ran across a blog entitled Biblical Homemaking and  the "changing your habit's for God's glory" post.  This post was exactly what I needed and gives me the confidence to proceed and turn these goals into habits and from there a lifestyle.

I am looking forward to seeing where this journey will take me.  I have a few pictures of specific ideas and inspiration that I will share and you can access my Pinterest board here as well.

This is a sticky note count down for each of the 21 days.  I think I will try this.  It will be the visual reminder that I need to keep me focused.

This is a clever sticky note depiction of the process of setting and reaching goals and simple at that.  If only I would just do it.  I am starting tomorrow.  I can do this!

Friday, November 22, 2013

21 Days ~ Healthy Living Journal

Howdy again, this wasn't on the list for this month, but I plan on implementing it soon.  It is on the list to "read" but it is actually a 21 day journal.  It is a journal with pages to record your healthy living goals for the next 21 days.  It is said, that it only takes 21 days to form a habit.   By taking that time to focus on specific goals and record diet, exercise, and journal according to the prompts given such as "Answer the following questions:
1) What are my health-related fears?
2) What actions am I taking to confront them?
will allow you to make a big step toward health, and hopefully you would want to continue making those positive changes, therefore creating healthy living habits.

It also has a place for visualizing your goals.  In this highly electronic world, it is sometimes more difficult to actual find hard copies of things to use.  If you go the hard-copy route, I would recommend magazines, pictures, and/or sticky notes.  Another recommendation is a Pinterest board dedicated to this 21 day endeavor which you look at daily.  Another thought would be to compile a PowerPoint collage and look at it each day, print if you choose (ink can be pricey), but definitely look at it daily.  With this "book", I plan to post snippets of my day of healthy living (I hope) and journal entries.  I need to form healthy habits, and I know that this can work.  Why?

Nearly two years ago, I ran across another 21 day journal.  This one was for spiritual health.  It was lime green and jumped out at me primarily for its color and then for its message.  This journal revolutionized my life.  It allowed me to build a habit of spending time with God.  I fell in love with God by intentionally setting time aside everyday to be with Him through His Word, the Bible, and journaling my prayers.  The journal was just the push I needed.  I know that this journal can do the same. 

These journals also come with plastic bracelets with "Make It a Habit!" inscribed on them to serve as a daily reminder during this 21 day period of your goals and commitment. I plan to wear mine and actually remember my goals when tempted to give up or make a not so great choice.

Day 1 starts tomorrow for me.  I know what you are thinking, "What! Right before Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays?"  Yes, that is one of the many reasons I need to start NOW!  I will post my goals tomorrow and maybe throw in some visual inspiration as well.
Never Say Never,

"Learning to Live in Laughter"

B.J. Speer of "Learning to Live in Laughter" gives you a
glimpse of life on the road as part of a gospel singing family.  His mom and dad, Paula and Billy Speer, have a passion for singing and finally took the leap of faith to go into full-time ministry singing in churches across the United States.  He shares the hard knocks of road life and the difficulties of hospitality.  Their ministry began in a car, not a big bus.  There wasn't much privacy, and being on the road was tiring.  B.J. counts his mom as his best friend.  He also says he was picked on and didn't have many friends in school.  He also admits to being terrified to sing in front of people.  When he was young, he had some not so great experiences on the stage, and his thoughts tended to get the best of him.  He put a hold on singing for awhile.  His parents never pressured him to sing for which he was grateful.  He finished high school, and waited a bit playing what he dubbed "hide and seek from God."  He didn't like school growing up, and didn't know if college would be any better.  He remembered a sermon on God's Will and knew then God was calling him to Word of Life Bible College.  What he thought was  going to be one of the worst experiences of his life, God used it for good.  He got life-long friends and experienced many things that on B. J. can describe.  After college, God showed him why he was to sing.  He was to sing for the glory of God, so that is what he did.  He began singing with his parents.  He experienced hard times like many families.  He had to learn to trust God in a particular way being on tour without a steady income.  God is faithful and supplied his needs.
B.J.'s book reads as a laid back peek into his life and also serves as an encouragement to all who read it, that God is with you and will never fail you.  It closes out with the lyrics to a few of his songs and some poems he wrote.
B.J. Speer currently serves with The Dartts, another gospel singing group.  He began
singing with them in 2004 and is still going strong.  He was God's answer to prayer during Tracy Darrt's tough health battle and wait for a kidney.  Praise God, Tracy has received a kidney and his health has greatly improved.  The Dartts are all back on the road again.  I have personally met B.J. Speer and the The Dartts a few times in concert, and I look forward to when they are in town.  Their music is one of a kind and definitely a glory to God.  I will see B.J. and the Dartts in December, Lord willing, and I am looking forward to it.  It appears that B.J. has another book out entitled Dusty Road "A Journey into Faith."  I am sure this will be as good if not better than this
one.  Decisions, decisions, decisions...5 books read before I get a new one.
For more information on B.J. Speer, check out this site:
For more information on the Dartts, check out this site:

Never say Never,

Love & Logic Tickets to Success

Next up is Jim Fay, of Love and Logic, and his Tickets to Success.  Jim Fay does a great job of encapsulating his 5 step plan for responsible children.  This is a small, nearly pocket sized version of one of his most tried and true Love and Logic strategies.  He conveys his five step method in easy to understand peices giving numerous examples from his experience as a teacher and administrator for many years.
In 1977, Jim Fay founded along with Foster W. Cline MD the Love and Logic philosophy. Love and Logic teaches parents, teachers, and administrators one of the best ways to deal with children through love with empathy and logic allowing the child to own their problems. Jim Fay and his son Charles Fay, PhD travel the country and share their experiences and testimonies of how these strategies work. They also break them down into easy to implement bits for you to use.
I have a few years of teaching experience, and the Love and Logic teacher book is on my list to finish reading.  I have watched several clips, and I had the awesome privilege to meet Dr. Charles Fay in person and hear him deliver the strategies from his own experience (He is very personable and greeted me at the sign in table, and I was shocked to discover he was the speaker).
I also have the Love and Logic Parenting version as well for when that day comes for me with children, I can feel somewhat prepared.  I know that working with children can't be boiled down to a textbook or a how-to guide, but I do know that children need to be loved and this is logically one of the best ways to show love.  From personal experience as a teacher, the strategies do work, but they require practice and consistency for an effective return.
For more information on Love and Logic, check out the website:

First Book ~Talking with God everyday prayers

First book down 109 to go!  This book appealed to me most because of its cover.  I am fascinated with the color lime green or  in this case green apples.  Aside from the cover the content of prayer piqued my interest as well.
This book is a collection of prayers taken (with permission) from various other books on prayer and authors that have published prayers within their books.
This book is a small-lightweight book that is great on the go or that will rest easily on your nightstand beckoning you to read a prayer before you crawl into bed and let sleep overtake you.  It is broken into sections such as "times of trouble" and "prayers for the lonely"  and so on allowing you to flip easily between sections rather than read from beginning to end.
This book would be a good gift for a friend or even a prayer (giving the proper credit) would make a nice card for a person in need.  I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a word of encouragement.  It is a book that can be a reference rather than just a one-time read.
As I began reading this book, the prayers began to speak to me in the very circumstances that I found myself.  I couldn't believe that these words would encourage me so, but they did.  I kept asking God, "Really, God?  This was here the whole time, but it took this silly experiment for me to find it."  I have a feeling that this is just the beginning God has for me with this experiment.  I am looking forward to what's next.

The Book Junkie needs to READ!

I am a lover of words and stories.  I seem to "collect" them rather than "consume" them.  Meaning they sit on my shelf for years, before I actually crack them open and read them,  That does me no good to look at pretty little, spines,,, of books.  They are heavy to move (trust me, I have moved them three times in the past few years).  So I have come up with a solution, an experiment of sorts.

There has been an explosion of books all over my bed at this very moment preparing for this very event.  I am in the process of taking inventory of all of the books I currently own and have within my possession.  At least the ones in my room.  This is by far not all of the books I have ever read or ever owned.  I count it a major blessing to have read as many books as I have, and own the ones I do.  

Now let's get down to the experiment.  It is in its developmental stages at the moment, and I hope I haven't taken on more than I can handle. But I will see as I progress.  The Rough Draft version of the experiment goes something like this:
1) I will read a few books a month from my stash of unread books depending on the book (I have several devotionals that require more time to finish and reflect upon)
2) I will post which books I have chosen to read and the deadline by which I want to be finished
3) I will post progress reports and tidbits or tips I have learned while reading
4) I will post a short summary of each book as I read it
5) I have a lot of books (for me anyway), but I still want to aim at completing this task within one year
6) I will not buy new books, until I have read 5 books.
7) Any new books purchased will be included in the experiment and must be read by next year

This is quite an undertaking, but I am up for the challenge and excited to see what I learn.  Happy Reading  to me.

Never say Never,