Saturday, July 30, 2011

"big loser day":small goals

I am finding as I continue on this weight loss journey, it is very easy to lose focus of the end goal. It is all well and good to say "I want to lose 40 pounds in 6 months" but when you have a week or two with a small loss or even a gain, sometimes that large goal seems so far away and the focus gets lost...setting you up for failure. And of course with "Snowflakes" motto (which I have now adopted as my own): "Quitting is NOT an option!", I am setting small goals along the way to aide me in staying focused.

To date, I have been able to hit a few small goals:
  1. 5% of my initial weigh in lost
  2. 10% of my initial weigh in lost
  3. walking a few times a week
  4. drinking more water through out the day
My next weight goal is 25lbs total lost...I have 5.8 pounds to go to hit that goal. I also want to begin bike riding in the evenings with the kids....we have trailers for them that tag along behind us. From there I am not sure what the next goal will be, maybe I will go with 10 pound increments and increase the length of my walks and bike rides. I think small goals like this keep things in perspective and give a sense of accomplishment each time one is achieved! I do have to say, I am feeling a lot better....healthy, more rested(I do sleep better), and energetic. 
What goals do you have in your weight loss journey?
What other things do you do to stay focused?

This week I am down 1.2 pounds and we went for one bike ride this week(I may need to invest in a cushier seat).

Joining up again with Alicia the Snowflake


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Friday, July 29, 2011

friday foto fun:a week away

The first 10 days of July, Ryan and "Boo" went away on a camping trip with friends from church. Unfortunately, the wives were unable to attend due to commitments at our workplaces...but we had a great couple of the evenings just fellowshipping and enjoying some really great food. Anyway, the men, 3 children and 2 teens headed north and had a fantastic time. Here are some of the pictures of their time away!
from shore looking out

from the lake looking in

the sleeping quarters

Happy Canada Day!


CUPCAKES...the breakfast of campers!!

Just a few more....these are the many faces of our little "Boo". She has a wonderfully unique and sometimes crazy personality...but so full of love...and spunk!!


 So what have you been doing this summer?? Don't forget to capture it on film!!


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Thursday, July 28, 2011

out of the comfort zone

This week our Song of Solomon study over a My Freshly Brewed Life, is being led by Patrick Atkins of History is Hiring. Please join in on this in-depth study and share how God is speaking to you through the first 7 verses of chapter 5.
 1 I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;
   I have gathered my myrrh with my spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
   I have drunk my wine and my milk.

   Eat, friends, and drink;
   drink your fill of love.

Photobucket 2 I slept but my heart was awake.
   Listen! My beloved is knocking:
“Open to me, my sister, my darling,
   my dove, my flawless one.
My head is drenched with dew,
   my hair with the dampness of the night.”
3 I have taken off my robe—
   must I put it on again?
I have washed my feet—
   must I soil them again?
4 My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening;
   my heart began to pound for him.
5 I arose to open for my beloved,
   and my hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with flowing myrrh,
   on the handles of the bolt.
6 I opened for my beloved,
   but my beloved had left; he was gone.
   My heart sank at his departure.
I looked for him but did not find him.
   I called him but he did not answer.
7 The watchmen found me
   as they made their rounds in the city.
They beat me, they bruised me;
   they took away my cloak,
   those watchmen of the walls!
We can see in vs 1, that the relationship between the bridegroom and His bride has now been consummated. If only we could remember to keep our eyes focused directly on Him, to continue to put God first in everything we do....thought and action, heart and soul. But the newness of the relationship wears off and we become complacent. We become lazy and begin to coast on past fulfillment. It is so easy to do once we have had our cup filled, our own needs met, to just ignore the call of our God and pursuing a deeper relationship with Him. We make excuses as to why we remain in a comfortable place.
2 I slept but my heart was awake.
Revelation 3:20
   Listen! My beloved is knocking:
“Open to me, my sister, my darling,
   my dove, my flawless one.
My head is drenched with dew,
   my hair with the dampness of the night.”
3 I have taken off my robe—
   must I put it on again?
I have washed my feet—

   must I soil them again?
As we hum and ha over our decision to come out of our comfort zone, God simply places His hand into the "latch-opening" to remind us of all of His wonder....His grace and His mercy and then He leaves it in our hands. Not because God doesn't love us and He is going to leave us but because of His love...He places another test to us, to see if we will respond out of our love and desire to be united with Him again. God is simply testing our faith in Him, the trueness of our hearts and our willingness to follow.
4 My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening;
   my heart began to pound for him.
As we pursue Him deeper, we (both individually and as a church) will face slander, persecution and ridicule and this test of our dedication will enable us to stand strong in our faith during these times of attack.
7 The watchmen found me
   as they made their rounds in the city.
They beat me, they bruised me;
   they took away my cloak,
   those watchmen of the walls!
The bride did not fear in this call, she went out searching the streets for her bridegroom. She stepped out of her comfort zone and went after her first love. We need to be in this pursuit as well...knowing that He will be our stronghold, that He is sovereign and powerful and He will equip us for the call. All we need to do is trust in Him!
 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
 In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
   What can mere mortals do to me?
Psalm 56:3-4
When God is for us, who can be against us?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"big loser day":better late than never

I am a little late posting this week...4 days to be exact! I had a very busy weekend and then headed out of town on Sunday afternoon and just returned late last night. 
When life is busy, it is sometimes difficult to stay on track but quick recipes help with that!! Breakfast is always a tough one for me but I have enjoyed making and drinking fruit smoothies. They are quick to make and for those of you on WWP program, they are only  2 points. 

Fruit Smoothie
Ingredients:
  • 3 servings (100g each) of low fat yogurt (Astro) in any flavour
  • 1 cup of low fat milk (2%)
  • any berries or fruit of your choice
Directions:
  • chopped fruit into bite size pieces
  • place in blender with yogurt
  • blend on high adding milk until desired consistency
4-6 servings (2 points when split into 4 servings)
Even in the busyness, I did get a chance to get go to my WW meeting and weigh in on Saturday. This week I am down 0.2 lbs...not great but not a gain either.
I am adopting Alicia, the Snowflake's motto:
"Quitting is NOT an option!"

I am also joining up with her here:
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Friday, July 22, 2011

friday foto fun:a new app

Anyone who knows little ole me, knows I am an avid picture taker! I love to play around with different camera angles and try and create some interesting and unique shots of the everyday activities in our family life. I have a great camera, a canon rebel, which sometimes doesn't make it on certain excursions when I should have my camera but I always have my iphone on me. Recently, I found an app for my phone which lets me enhance the pictures I take....almost making me look like a "photographer". I absolutely love this app and have been experimenting with a few shots I took over the last week.

Let me share a few with you!
water sprinkler

sleeping beauty

under the water umbrella

mr. baby blue eyes
Time goes by so quickly and so I try to capture as many of these moments of family times as I can. It is always fun to look back at pictures from the past and also interesting to see how far technology has come...I know the pictures of my older kids certainly didn't have the "flair" that I am able to capture now! I think on Fridays, I am going to dedicate this day to sharing a few of the pictures I have taken over the week...some may use this new app and some may just be the everday standard camera shots. Either way, it is an exspression of a piece of our lives here that I would love to share with you! 

If you have an iphone and love to take pictures, try this "free" app is a definite blast to work with and almost as addicting as Pinterest....but that's a whole other post!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

hedge of protection

The Song of Solomon is a beautiful love letter written to us and for us, describing how God sees each of us as His church. Here in the last part of chapter 4, we see a gracious call of Christ to His church, a call of instruction served with a promise.
6 Until the day breaks
   and the shadows flee,
I will go to the mountain of myrrh
   and to the hill of incense.
7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
   there is no flaw in you.
Photobucket 8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,
   come with me from Lebanon.
Descend from the crest of Amana,
   from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon,
from the lions’ dens
   and the mountain haunts of leopards.
9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
   you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
   with one jewel of your necklace.
10 How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!
   How much more pleasing is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your perfume
   more than any spice!
11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
   milk and honey are under your tongue.
The fragrance of your garments
   is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
12 You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
   you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
   with choice fruits,
   with henna and nard,
 14 nard and saffron,
   calamus and cinnamon,
   with every kind of incense tree,
   with myrrh and aloes
   and all the finest spices.
15 You are a garden fountain,
   a well of flowing water
   streaming down from Lebanon.

 16 Awake, north wind,
   and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden,
   that its fragrance may spread everywhere.
Let my beloved come into his garden
   and taste its choice fruits.
As we read last week in the first 5 verses of this chapter, God truly sees His bride as beautiful but it doesn't stop there! He also sees His bride as flawless or spotless...without blemish or stain. It isn't that His bride appears flawless but rather that she HAS no flaw, for He has made her flawless.
7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
   there is no flaw in you. 
One day He will return and he will judge all the earth with justice and truth and the judgment concerning His bride will also be just and true. This is His promise to us, that He will deliver His church, His bride from the persecutors of this world in due time...in His time. Our instruction is "descend" or come off of these hills, to set ourselves apart from the rest of the world. He warns us that the hills are filled with lions and leopards, those that will ridicule and taunt, torment and condemn.

 I am in the midst of lions;
   I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
   whose tongues are sharp swords.
Psalm 57:4

God then calls to us, "my sister, my bride", expressions that simply demonstrate the greatness of His love, which can not be signified appropriately by any one relationship. Our love and obedience to Him, for Him has captured His heart and He delights in us. When we are walking in Him, it is better than any taste of wine. God truly yearns for this relationship with Him and with that He places a hedge of protection around us, to guard us as we continue to grow, learn, love, obey and be filled by His Holy spirit ("a well of flowing water" vs15).
 12 You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride;
   you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
God's heart is for His church, His bride. He delights in our affection for Him and our desire to be with Him, just as He yearns for His return, not just to bring righteousness and peace on earth but to be reunited with His bride, His wedding day when His heart will rejoice. (S of S 3:11) 
Until then we, His bride need to strive for the filling of the Spirit through prayer. The Holy Spirit is like the winds....the north wind of conviction and the south wind of comfort...working in us and through us drawing us closer to Him. As we share this amazing, intimate relationship with others, we also need to seek refuge in Him, inviting Him into our daily activities, our worship of Him, our conversations, our ups and downs.....our lives!
 16 Awake, north wind,
   and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden,
   that its fragrance may spread everywhere.
Let my beloved come into his garden
   and taste its choice fruits.
The day is coming when the Bridegroom will be reunited with His bride...let us celebrate in this fact as we draw closer to Him. Let us remember, when we gather together to worship Him, to turn our eyes upon Him, to capture His heart with one glance of our eyes, to allow Him to capture our heart!  
I want to end with the words of this old hymn:  
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Jump over to My Freshly Brewed Life to read and ponder the words God has placed on Barbie's heart this week.
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things that make you go "hhmmm!"

Have you noticed how many churches are using these quick and catchy phrases to draw people in? Some are serious and made to make you think, some are funny and make you giggle, some are not very well thought out at all and others well interpretation is the key (especially to a non believer who may be reading it)...this one for example...

How many woman (or men) are showing up to church this weekend  or just passing by and thinking they now have permission to get rid of their spouse?  

Let me start by saying that this is NOT how I feel about my husband, although there are days where he (or me) could fall into any of those 3 categories, sometimes all at the same time but would I "get rid of" him because of that? or vice versa? NO!

I choose to interpret this statement this way: to get rid of the cause that would create these feelings of melancholy, ugliness and uselessness. If I am creating a pleasant home for Ryan to return to each day, then it is more likely for him to feel happiness. If I am complimenting him with words and actions of both his inner and outer beauty then he will be prone to feel that way and if I urge him to use his talents and support him in that, then he is more apt to feeling beneficial to our family.

Is it my job, my requirement to do this...make him feel better emotionally, physically, spiritually or more at ease and relaxed, even more secure in who he is? As my husbands helpmate, YES!  it is part of who I am and what I do (or it should be) to encourage and affirm him. So if our husbands don't appear to be joyful, beautiful or useful, then maybe it is our attitudes that need to be changed and gotten rid of, not him!! Just a thought!
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Monday, July 18, 2011

melodious monday:to the river

I just love music....listening to it and singing as well! I love the emotion expressed through music. This is one of those songs!! Enjoy this song by Brian Doerkson!

Precious Jesus, I am ready
To surrender every care
Take my hand now, lead me closer
Lord I need to meet you there

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

"big loser day":change it up

In any weight loss journey, regardless of which plan or diet we choose, there is a risk of becoming bored. Bored of the daily routine, the tracking, the exercise, the food! These past weeks I have fallen into that as well. I find myself eating the same food day after day, I walk the same 4 streets in the same pattern 3-4 days a week and I even give in to the same sweet treats.
photo credit
This past week I wanted to try something new for dinner, so I browsed the weight watchers recipes and found this fabulous idea. Now tuna is not always a first choice for me but this seemed to peak my interest...and I just happened to have a whack of tuna in the house!! It tasted great...now when I do have a "new" idea, I also like to tweak it to be more appealing for my taste buds, so I substituted the spices chosen here with dill and lemon....mmmm! The apple adds a nice tart, yet slightly sweet crunch and I didn't put mine on a bun, so I was able to have two patties(although I only had room to eat one). I served it with a green salad and my favorite poppy-seed salad dressing!

Ingredients
12 oz water-packed tuna fish, drained, and flaked   
1 small apple(s), green, peeled, cored and minced   
2 item(s) egg white(s)   
1/4 tsp table salt   
1/4 tsp black pepper   
1/4 cup(s) dried bread crumbs   
4 item(s) hamburger bun(s), plain   
4 leaf/leaves spinach, leaves, washed and dried   
1 tsp dried thyme   
1 tsp dried oregano   
1 cup(s) Dijon mustard 
Directions

  • Mix together all ingredients(except mustard and spinach). Allow to sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Spray frying pan with cooking spray and heat over low-medium heat.
  • Form tuna mixture into four patties. Cook until crispy on one side, then flip and cook until crispy on the other side.
  • Serve on buns with spinach and Dijon mustard.
  This week I am going to find a snack that is   better   a great substitute for my ice cream craving. What are you doing to change it up and stay away from getting bored?



 



  This weeks weigh in: -0.6 and that gets me to a total of 17.4 lbs (10%) and 16 weeks today!!!

I'm linking up with:

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Friday, July 15, 2011

more than skin deep



 
Beauty is fragile and temporary.
A life built on beauty alone will disappear as quickly 
as a home built of ice when the summer is coming. 
A life built on the love of God, however, 
will flourish and will weather loneliness and trials 
because the love of God lasts forever  
~Sheila Walsh

The words written here are a reminder that the Song of Solomon, although can be read as a love story between a man and woman, is also much deeper than that. It is the beauty of the relationship between God and His people, a deep love everlasting, for those who believe. These words also reinforce that our life needs to be built on the love of God...that He is first in everything we do. Continue reading chapter 3 with me...
5 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
   by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
   until it so desires.
Photobucket 6 Who is this coming up from the wilderness
   like a column of smoke,
perfumed with myrrh and incense
   made from all the spices of the merchant?
7 Look! It is Solomon’s carriage,
   escorted by sixty warriors,
   the noblest of Israel,
8 all of them wearing the sword,
   all experienced in battle,
each with his sword at his side,
   prepared for the terrors of the night.
9 King Solomon made for himself the carriage;
   he made it of wood from Lebanon.
10 Its posts he made of silver,
   its base of gold.
Its seat was upholstered with purple,
   its interior inlaid with love.
Daughters of Jerusalem, 11 come out,
   and look, you daughters of Zion.
Look on King Solomon wearing a crown,
   the crown with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
   the day his heart rejoiced.
In our study last week, we discussed how in our weak times the presence of God is sometimes hard to feel but we need to be searching for Him daily, remembering that even when we are faithless, He is faithful. We have the choice to pursue Him and sometimes this faith test is to see if our hearts are true. God will reveal Himself to us, in His time and that is the case for His final coming, as well.
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you 
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
This is our reminder that He will return at His appointed time and only God knows when that time will be. However, we have been given the gift of salvation and when we except this and come out of the wilderness, we will have eternal life....
...Solomon’s carriage,
   ...he made it of wood from Lebanon.
The wood of Lebanon has been compared to an evergreen, or "eternal life", this is our gift as well as the promise that He will be united with His bride(the church)...the day of His wedding...the day His heart rejoiced....the day of His return! 
 Look on King Solomon wearing a crown,
   the crown with which his mother crowned him
on the day of his wedding,
   the day his heart rejoiced.
Now that our eyes are set on Him, awaiting His return we move into chapter 4 talking about His bride, the church. A beautiful love letter written, describing the body of Christ as He sees us, unlike the literal illustration pictured below. This picture makes me chuckle, but it is a huge reminder that beauty is not outward appearance, it is from within and that is what these first 5 verses of chapter 4 are all about.
 1 How beautiful you are, my darling!
   Oh, how beautiful!
   Your eyes behind your veil are doves.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
   descending from the hills of Gilead.
a literal illustration
2 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn,
   coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin;
   not one of them is alone.
3 Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;
   your mouth is lovely.
Your temples behind your veil
   are like the halves of a pomegranate.
4 Your neck is like the tower of David,
   built with courses of stone;
on it hang a thousand shields,
   all of them shields of warriors.
5 Your breasts are like two fawns,
   like twin fawns of a gazelle
   that browse among the lilies.
The letter begins with an assertion in the repeat of "How beautiful, how beautiful", which also shows God's love and affection towards His church, His bride....US. Then it continues with a description of 8 metaphors which Christ uses, describing the beauty of His bride's graces.
  1. eyes are dove's - mild, harmless, pure, faithful, spirit filled - once filled with the Holy Spirit we are enabled to be holy, harmless and blameless by grace (Philippians 2:15) becoming peacemakers
  2. hair is like flock of goats - extraordinary length, soft, sleek, a covering - this shows submission, modesty and humility(1 Peter 3:1-6)
  3. teeth are like a flock of sheep shorn, washed, not alone - placed in order, clean and white, none (missing)lacking - we are shorn of our own righteousness and given better food(the word of God), able to swallow and digest and in turn spreading(preaching/teaching)the word, working together each doing what we can to build the body(of Christ) (Ephesians 4:11-12)
  4. lips are like a scarlet ribbon - red like blood - we need the blood of Christ applied to our daily speech, speaking truth and thanksgiving (Hebrews 13:15)
  5. mouth is lovely - filled with grace, sincere - speaking pleasantly and with sincerity (Proverbs 16:24)
  6. temples behind a veil, like halves of pomegranate - cheeks or thoughts of the mind, pink or red in colour - when we make a decision for Christ we are given the ability to have a clear conscience but may stay behind the veil out of modesty or humility (sometimes blushing if we are not walking as closely to Him as we should) not to be "showy" when we are doing His work (Micah 6:8)
  7. neck like the tower of David - connects the body to the head - this is representative of the grace of faith that connects us(the body) to Christ(the head) and when it is strong like the tower we can hold our head high, boasting in the Lord, when our faith is strong His kingdom can and will be promoted (Jeremiah 9:24)
  8. breasts like two fawns of a gazelle - twins, hungry - we as believers long to be spiritually satisfied (Psalm 42:1) as we grow in Him in Faith and Love(twin graces) (Luke 10:27)
Although the illustration above portraits a "not so pretty" woman, know that God sees our inner beauty, our hearts. Let our hearts be filled with the desire to grow in Him, to be strong in our faith, to be humble while doing His work, to speak with grace and sincerity, to be fed with His word, to be submissive and modest in behaviour and to be peacemakers, always searching a desiring to be more like Him....our King!

Please join Barbie from My Freshly Brewed Life as she has a beautiful post that expands on these graces. 
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

coffee anyone?

I just wanted to share this little story with you. I received it in an email and really enjoyed it. You may never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? 

Think of this: Which am I?  

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? 

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? 

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?    Author~unknown
  
With God's grace may we all become the coffee bean!


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Monday, July 11, 2011

melodious monday:because of you

 
because of you, because of you
because of you love, because of your blood

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"big loser day":losing track

Sometimes in the bustle of life, we just lose track. Track of time, track of money, track of food consumption (and I am sure the list can go on and on)....some of that would be the reason why this post was not done for/on Saturday. 
(photo credit)
It wasn't so much that I forgot it was Saturday-"big loser day"...I even went and weighed in and stayed for the meeting, although I wasn't sure why, when I headed out the door....

I was so busy planning for the return of my husband and our daughter "Boo", from their 10 day camping trip. Yes! I had 10 days alone with just "Bubba" and I....10 days that led to a whole lot of activities/projects that I was busy doing while they were gone. (I will share some of that in a later post) But I also 10 days where I lost track didn't track any of my food consumption. I know I am not the only one who struggles with this very important part of this journey. I have even read others posts on this and commented on how important it is. For me, some weeks are great and I track every lick, taste, dip, dunk and nibble BUT most of the time, I forget all the little stuff and before you know it, I have accumulated 5 points of morsels and tidbits! 

Please tell me I am not alone on this!!

But, when I don't track at all....boy oh boy....who knows what I have eaten this past week. I probably accumulated far too many carbs, pizza, bruschetta bread, pasta and on top of that I also enjoyed some ice cream with "Bubba" and we went out for lunch...Chinese food, with my father in law! Although my eating habits were not the greatest this week, I was still able to get in some exercise...I mowed the lawn, rearranged furniture, played at the park and the splash pad and went swimming.

It was a great week!! I enjoyed my time, one on one with my son...I enjoyed the food...I enjoyed the activities and the projects I was able to accomplish and I enjoyed the fact that even though the week wasn't great for weight loss, it was great because life happened and I am on this journey.....FOREVER....changing bad habits slowly and incorporating good habits, healthy food choices and exercise, which in retrospect, I DID accomplish!! BTW, I lost 0.4 pounds.

I am linking to:

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

prayer closet

Join again as we continue this study of Song of Solomon with Barbie from My Freshly Brewed Life. Read the first few verses of chapter 3.

Photobucket 1 All night long on my bed
   I looked for the one my heart loves;
   I looked for him but did not find him.
2 I will get up now and go about the city,
   through its streets and squares;
I will search for the one my heart loves.
   So I looked for him but did not find him.
3 The watchmen found me
   as they made their rounds in the city.
   “Have you seen the one my heart loves?”
4 Scarcely had I passed them
   when I found the one my heart loves.
I held him and would not let him go
   till I had brought him to my mother’s house,
   to the room of the one who conceived me. 

Last week we talked about making a decision to choose love everlasting, but as we read into this next chapter, we see how sometimes even in that choice, we can still feel lost or abandoned. God is always there in our hearts however sometimes that closeness is not always there.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5
When we realize this closeness isn't present, what do we do? I know for me, there were times  in the past where I struggled and felt like "what's the point...if He isn't here when I need Him, then forget it!" But these verses encourage us to seek Him...through prayer and devotion! These things we can do in the comfort of our own "bed" or home.
"All night long on my bed
   I looked for the one my heart loves;
   I looked for him but did not find him."
But it doesn't end there, even if or when our faith is weak, we need to go further. We need to continue to search, desiring to grow in Him. Being involved in church, small groups and Bible studies, taking part in communion, being faithful in fellowship and prayer.
"I will get up now and go about the city,
   through its streets and squares;
I will search for the one my heart loves"
Sometimes even then our faith will be tested. God allows us the choice to pursue Him, to see whether our heart is real...to believe that even when we are faithless, He is faithful. Many times this walk will not be taken alone, though. In times of struggle, when we feel alone and we go to Him in prayer and still seem to come up empty, God can and will place someone in our lives for counsel.
"The watchmen found me
   as they made their rounds in the city.
   “Have you seen the one my heart loves?”
Although these "watchmen" can not bring God to us, they can indeed encourage and guide us to keep searching, continue pursuing and reminding us that we are not alone. They can pray for us and with us! But we will only be reunited in His time and when God reveals Himself to us, it is a special thing. Sensing His presence in our hearts is powerful and brings joy love and peace to our hearts.
 "Scarcely had I passed them
   when I found the one my heart loves.
I held him and would not let him go"  
It is at this moment that we need to remember to not let this feeling go. We need to search for Him daily, connect with Him daily! Begin our morning with Him, meet throughout the day and end the day....with Him, our Heavenly Father.
"till I had brought him to my mother’s house,
   to the room of the one who conceived me."
Is there a place in your home that you have designated to meet with Him? Some place a little more intimate or special then just the "bed".  A "prayer closet", maybe? Mine is a bench in our front window over looking our yard...I begin most mornings there with my Bible, a devotion and my coffee. Some mornings I only have 15 minutes before a little one beckons me, but it is here that the flow of the day is set and it is a lot smoother when my God and I have connected!
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

a DIY project:summer "to do" list

A couple of weeks ago, I posted here about creating a summer "to do" list. There are many ideas floating around the internet on various blogs and craft websites that have had my creative juices flowing. This is an easy DIY project and here is what I came up with!! This step by step project is so simple and very affordable.

I picked up a 11 x 8 1/2 " canvas from our local dollar store, it even came with acrylic paints and a brush and I used a variety of scrapbook papers that I had purchased long ago.

(Sorry the colour/detail and focus on these pictures is not great, I took them with my iphone, rather than my camera.)

i used 8 different summery papers!




I painted the outside edge and about a 1/2" of the canvas with green, just for a more "finished" look.

this helps in-case the papers don't come right to the edge
I cut my papers into strips, one larger for the title and the rest equally, spacing them to fill the canvas completely. I had predetermined how many rows I would need for our "to do's".



 I placed clear adhesive dots, one on each end to adhere the strips to the canvas.


Once the strips were in place, I wrote out our list and Voila!

The bottom strip actually had this little caption on it and so I left it as part of the design although the word "imagined" was chopped off a bit, it was still a nice added touch.

We are going to check each activity off as we complete it and when the summer is over, I will modge podge the entire thing and keep it for reference. Maybe starting next years with things we didn't get completed and then adding to it!!

I hope everyone is having a fun filled summer so far....what are you doing together to enjoy your time?

I am linking this to:


 
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