The Narrow Path.

It was war. Me against a five year old. And it all started with following “faith instead of feelings.”

As I write this Daniel Tiger is on and he is singing a song that says: “Stop. Think. And Choose.” It is a slogan that is catchy, but the same things I am learning on this new transformational plan that I’m on involving food and exercise that are the same: Stop. Challenge. Choose. It all adds up to healthy habits…or bad ones but it starts off at a choice.

Every morning now I wake up and have one chocolate chip pancake. Then for lunch, I have a creamy chocolate shake. I am a creature of habit so for me, making healthy habits a permanency is something I must first practice and put in place, before it becomes an every day “thang.” I have gotten this one down pat though, and the best part is, my premade “snacks” are filled with nutrients and probiotics that ensure that I’m making the healthiest choices possible. It’s a win-win. They taste good, and I am satisfied. This program is really working for me and it has been an answered prayer.

I woke up this morning and read my devotional which told me to follow my faith instead of feelings, and that this also meant doing all of the things I didn’t “want” to do, but the things I “should” do. What a bigger picture this made for my entire morning as then (somehow) I realized I was attempting to teach my five year old the same things I was learning…things about commitment and doing the things we sometimes don’t want to do first before we play. This meant making his bed before video games. And that was the war that ensued. It lasted roughly thirty minutes, but I stood strong. I went about my business and did all of the things I myself didn’t want to do which included laundry, exercise, showering, and even putting make up on today. I wasn’t “feeling” any of it, but I had faith that if I did it, things would turn out much better in the larger scheme of things. I also decided to do this blog…which I didn’t originally want to do but because I was “teaching” my son the art of patience and making good choices, I did this as well.

So, go me. One non scale victory at a time, but this morning I realized that I have a lot to learn about the simple things in life. Making healthy habits starts with making smart decisions and that is something that I must stop, think, and choose before it becomes something of consistency. The stronger I am with the Lord each day also, helps my transformation and reading my devotional today was what started my whole day moving forward, instead of backward or standing still.

Do you wake up and “choose” to devote time with God? It can change not only your day, but your life. Setting some time to read and harmonize never hurt anyone. Maybe you should try it if you aren’t already devout about it. It’s changed my life for the better and set my path on a more narrow and steady track, one in which I’ve found much success and happiness.

Until tomorrow, God bless you. Stop, think and choose. You are in control. And even though you aren’t in control of others, you are in control of yourself and your reactions and choices. Make them good ones and ones you’re proud of at the end of the day. And Amen to that! Freedom to choose. It’s such a good feeling and one that drives home faith.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

the narrow path.

Walking with God.

It’s been such a long time since I blogged, that I feel a little rusty.

I am happy to say that (after starting this transformational program that I’m on), that I have now lost over 15 lbs. It has been a very joyous time after the first few weeks and the support group that I am a part of have been out of this world. I feel as though I finally fit in somewhere, and that feels good. Living life one day at a time, and on a quest for optimal health is something I can honesty say has been life changing for me. The weight has merely been a bonus. I feel physically well. And my energy level has drastically changed. I find myself doing walking videos every day. Not because I have to, but because I want to. This all has been an answered prayer. I have a health coach that helps me keep on track and one that contacts me every single day. The accountability has been a joy. My spirit soars at even waking up each day.

Even though I have been very healthy, I still have found myself (most recently) to have some stress about my son’s school. He will be starting Kindergarten this year and out of the nest he will go…I pray and hope for him to have a great school experience as back when I was a child, I don’t always remember things being so easy. At the time there were a lot of changes that were taking place, not just within the school, but in the world. I grew up without the Internet and things were just generally…different. I remember going to a mom’s group when he was very young and expressing my concern for him even then and another veteran mom told me to “raise him with my arms wide open.” Meaning, allow the Lord in, and all will be as it should be.

It has occurred to me most recently that even though I have been spending more time walking and doing healthy habitual things, that I haven’t been spending the time I used to with the Lord in the morning. I would say that that is a major factor in my anxiety right now and it’s something that is so near and dear to my heart that it nearly breaks in thinking I could have unintentionally taken this new road without Him at my side. Blogging is a large part of my spirituality and how I can reassess where I’m at in my life but especially with God. There is no life for me without His guidance. It doesn’t work. And just as I was before, my life without Him, is nothing. From now on I must be renewed every day, and then I will continue to transform my life, healthy habits and all—and Amen to that!

I pray you have a great day and remember, as always, that God is with you. Don’t forget to reach for him each day because he is there and happy to hear from you with every second that you need Him.  Amen.

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

walking with God.

Moving Forward.

It’s occurred to me very recently, that I am not good with change.

That’s not to say I’m not going to be good with change though in the near future.

Up until last summer, I was living a life full of so much…baggage…that I simply needed help putting my bags down. Luckily, and I am blessed to say, that I have a very unique and stellar support system of people that surrounded me and got me the help that I needed at the time; but it was scary. Everything up until that point became null. I felt dead. Weakened by life and my every day became an ongoing nightmare that somehow never got to hit the snooze button. I was lifeless.

That all changed though once I got the help I needed to get back on my feet and recover from some of my life’s past. I say this because it is right now that I am having the epiphany of it all—and now that my husband and I have decided we are not going to have any more children, it has put me in a certain “category” if you will, of being someone in a new space and time in their life. I am nearly forty. My husband IS forty. And we both agreed that I would be having a tubal next month. At first, the appointment seemed easy enough to make and I felt so free in thinking I was being so responsible about it all…after all if it were up to him NOTHING would ever happen in this department, so I knew I had to do something a little more…proactive.

All of this made me reflect. It made me sad. It made me mourn; but it made me realize what stage of “stuck” and I mean, truly “stuck” I have been for the past five years.

I had an awful pregnancy full of sickness and swelling and wasn’t well. I gained so much weight that people barely recognized me anymore. And then there was the emergency caesarian to top it all off. It left me feeling cut up like a broken piece of meat. In the meantime, I had this beautiful little baby and one that I had no idea what to do with…it was a time that I put myself on the back burner. And it hasn’t been up until recently that I’ve realized that I have been burning on that back burner for five whole years now…call me charcoal grilled! Flame royaled! At least flip me! I NEED change.

It was in this new light that I began to make “choices” instead of allowing what was targeting my emotions to take complete control. I wasn’t sad, no…in fact this new “chapter” of my life is going to be freeing and much more than what stands here before you. To gain control over my own life again, my body parts and weight is something I have been working on…and God has blessed me with a wonderful health coach and team most recently that have already helped me in SO many ways. They are such a tribe and inspire me to inspire others every single day. So, it’s more than just weight loss but the goal of optimal health. And that my friend, is what I WANT. And with a passion. I want it for me AND my family. And in that way, I can live a fuller richer life for the Lord. And Amen to that!

I pray you have the greatest day and remain positive regardless of any naysayers or what others may say for you doing what you need to do to be YOU. Step forward and make things happen for yourself. Love yourself today and every day because God loves you and His love is divine. Listen for the Lord and He will provide. Amen.

“I call to remembrance my song in the night; with my heart I meditate and my spirit searches diligently.” Psalm 77:6

moving forward.

Have Some Heart.

Today was my five year old’s first day of swimming classes.

He has 6 classes total; three this week and three next week.

He was so excited to go and we told him if he did well, he would be rewarded with a new xbox game that he wants which even upped the ante.

He did quite well, although awkward at times, and listened alongside the other kids during the lesson. At the end of the class, the instructor had each child jump off of the diving board, which of course this helicopter parent filmed.

I was shocked that he even stood in line.

But up he went, hand grasping tightly against the rails as he went to the end of the board, sat down, and flipped off and into the instructor’s arms.

Maybe tomorrow we will have a full leap. Who knows. But the whole thing got me thinking about God and life and how most of us live in fear of abandonment. We hug the rails and pray our hearts out…but still hug the rails. With God, this isn’t necessary and it made me wonder if I was a Christian with my training wheels still on or if I was ready for the big dive above the clouds and alongside the Lord.

Have you ever felt this way? I’m sure you have as we are only human and at the end of the day our reflections or prayers always seem to be so forgiven. We are forgiven. And Amen to that! Sometimes, we just need to remember in we are in good hands.

I pray you had a glorious day and that your heart beams with pride as you were wonderfully and beautifully made. Jump! And every once in a while- go off of the rails!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

have some heart.

Perspective is Everything.

I woke up so tired this morning, but not tired enough to go back to sleep.

Do you know the feeling I’m talking about?

It’s like some form of autopilot, where your body parts are moving but your head gets dizzy from sleepiness. Even with the coffee (2 cups) I had this morning I still feel…relaxed.

The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if it was such a problem to begin with. Maybe “this” is my new normal? I don’t know.

The whole thing made me wonder this morning if I get “on edge” confused with “energy” and vice versa.

Have you ever felt this way?

I hope you had a great Fourth of July. We didn’t do anything here and the guys mostly played around with this virtual reality headset that my husband borrowed from work. It never did work, even with my laptop I let them borrow to try and finangle it. He said he is going to bring home a bigger more bad butt laptop next week to see if it will work then.

My five-year-old is obsessed with watching these tutorial type videos on tv that show someone else playing a video game. It baffles us but isn’t profane, so we allow him to watch them. Then, once he gets a game, he already knows how to play it and what to do…again baffling. It’s his thing, I guess.

I lost the two pounds I gained over vacation so that feels good. I am now at a steady seven pounds of weight loss since I began this program. I’m excited to see what further results it will bring as I am very conscientious about it all and staying on it pretty hard core. This just means—no cheating! The hardest parts were cutting out bread and dairy but over time it has gotten easier. I enjoy a shake everyday around noon after I have been doing my Leslie Sansone exercise tapes for some activity during the day. All in all, it hasn’t been a huge change and I have even enjoyed some of the new recipes I can cook up in the kitchen. So far we have been eating a lot of cauliflower, as cauliflower can take on (I’ve learned) many different forms—mashed, dashed and who can hashed.

I pray everyday that I can reach the goals I have of optimal health for both me and my family. It is good medicine. Eating more veggies has rubbed off on them and in their choices as well so that is good and new and inspiring. The more days that go by, the better and better I feel. So maybe feeling “tired” is just my new way of feeling “relaxed.” Perspective is everything.

Until next time, stay lean and green! And I hope you enjoy your weekend as it is supposed to be a beautiful one. Thank you, as always, for reading.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

perspective is everything.

My Last Water Slide.

Well, we made it home from Erie, Pa after a nice couple of days on vacation.

We went to the beach, and to an amusement/water park called, Waldameer. It was there that I experienced my very last water slide, at least for a while, but it reminded me of my age and how my “parts” aren’t what they used to be. I felt as though I had reborn, after this water slide; it went so fast I lost my sunglasses completely and my contacts weren’t close behind them. All I remember is hanging on for dear life to this big yellow tube that just kept whirling as I whizzed past things that came and went with a blur.

My son had a wonderful time, both experiencing the beach and with the kiddie water slides the park had. We went to the water park as my husband and a few of his buddies went fishing. I guess they caught twelve fish, which was not a lot considering the captain caught forty-four the day before.

Either way, it was wonderful family time and a time that challenged my new way of living on my new lifestyle plan. I hate to call it a diet, as it isn’t quite that, but a means by which one attempts to obtain optimal health—it is lifelong.

I received an awful sunburn while at the beach and now it is in its itchy stage. It is so uncomfortable but at least the chills have surpassed. It all got me thinking about being uncomfortable in general. Even though I wore sunblock, the sun still got me somehow. As much as we complained about the rain, at least it kept us free from burning. I guess there is always something to complain about as now it is about to rain again all week, and I’m sure it will make a few people frown at the forecast. Me being burnt; however, I nearly look forward to it. Being inside because it’s raining means I don’t have to feel guilty for being inside when it is sunny out.

I haven’t been blogging since before we left for our weekend getaway and I must say, it feels good. I have always loved writing and I’m praying to God that he gives me the opportunity this upcoming year to get into content writing of some sort; it will give me a job once my five-year-old starts Kindergarten.

The power just went off. And then back on again. And it is now storming.

My five-year-old came running over to me, “I’m scared,” he whined as he nuzzled up under my armpit.

“You don’t have to be scared; you’re with me,” I said.

And it all got me thinking about what a great God we have and one that gives us the confidence to not be afraid, no matter what….whether we are whirling on a waterslide, or tucked in at home during a storm. God is good. He is always with us and He is faithful and a divine part of our being.

And Amen to that!

“The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27

my last waterslide