Saturday, May 31, 2014

Journey with Jesus Day 3

So I didn't do as well today, but overall, the day was still a good one!  I realized today that my body is getting used to healthier foods.  It's hard for me to believe that 'cause I was so opposed to eating healthy in the beginning.  But today, I slept in until noon (and it was marvelous!), so when I finally got my lazy butt out of bed, I didn't want to spend a ton of time cooking anything.  So I made myself a grilled cheese and popcorn and some sweet tea.  This used to be one of my all-time favorite meals.  But today?  I didn't finish any of it.  It wasn't as yummy as I remember it.  And I didn't feel as good or as satisfied after eating it.  I kinda "blew it" by taking the easy way out, but I also gained from it because I realized those easy carbs are not as yummy as I used to think.  I was way more satisfied after dinner when I had chicken and rice noodles and broccoli and green beans.  Whole foods really are better than junk foods, and I'm excited that my body is finally learning that ... which makes me happy, happy, happy!  It's still a process for sure ... heck!  We went to Frost Bite for ice cream after dinner!  But I'm excited to see the progress my body is making.  Slow and steady wins the race, Jack! ;)  (Hey!  Can you tell I've been watching Duck Dynasty lately?)

Breakfast - ha!  I skipped that again 'cause I didn't get outta bed till lunch time!  Gotta love Saturdays! :)
Lunch - 3/4 of a grilled cheese sandwich, bowl of popcorn, and sweet tea
Snack - fresh strawberries (straight from the garden - yum!), cheese stick, flax seed crackers, and broccoli
Dinner - homemade chicken and rice noodles (delicious, if I do say so myself!), broccoli, and green beans
Dessert - small Frost (blizzard)
64 ounces of water :)

Darrell and I also went for a walk in the park for almost an hour!  Yay!  It was wonderful to walk with my man. :)

Life is sweet ... and so is getting healthy!  Good night, friends! :)

Journey with Jesus Day 2

Today was another success ... still a few setbacks but still successful!  I did have too much sugar again today.  My snacks were sugary.  It "sounds" healthy to have a yogurt parfait or a granola bar or trail mix ... at least it sounds healthy to me.  But really, all of those things have tons of sugar in them!  It stinks.  Every time I think I'm making a healthier choice, I find out it's really unhealthy for me.  Lame.  I hope it's at least healthier than the big bag of potato chips or the dozen cookies I really wanna eat.  Haha! ... I try not to get too discouraged though.  I AM making better choices overall, and lasting change is a PROCESS!  I am not a cold turkey kind of person .... I have to be eased into things.  So I'll cut the sugar out a little at a time.  I definitely count today as a good day! :)

Breakfast - uhh, I kinda slept through that.  Haha!  I had the day off work. :)
Lunch - 3/4 of a bean burrito and mixed veggies
Snack - 2/3 cup of berry yogurt with granola and mixed berries
Dinner - PB&J, broccoli, cheese stick, and dill pickles
Snack - cheese stick, apple, granola bar, and trail mix (I had an early dinner ...)
And I drank 64+ ounces of water again! :)

I also worked out a lot today ... 30 minutes of swimming at L.A. Fitness and a 40-minute walk in the park.  Yay! :)

My Jesus Calling was all about thankfulness today.  "Punctuating" my day with thankfulness.  Sounds like a plan, huh?  What are YOU thankful for today? ... I am thankful for my loving and supportive family.  And I am thankful that they are all safe.  I was thinking tonight about how thankful I am that Darrell and I are living with my parents because life is so short, and I get to see my parents everyday now.  What a blessing!

Onward! :)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Journey with Jesus Day 1

Well, today was a success!  I feel good about almost all of my choices.  I learned that too much sugar gives me headaches.  God is already teaching me so much about His grace and faithfulness.  And I'm excited to keep going!  Here's my day in a nutshell ...

Breakfast - apple, cheese stick, and Mojo granola bar
Lunch - brown rice, great northern beans, and broccoli-cheese soup
Snack - cheese and flax seed crackers
Dinner - turkey burger, fries, and broccoli with my first sweet tea of the week
And 64+ ounces of water!  Go, me! :)

I felt good about all of these choices except ... I drank two big glasses of sweet tea, and I got a headache (I'm confident it was from the sugar).  And although I skipped the bun for both burgers, I had a second turkey burger and a second helping of broccoli, and, thus, I overate.  I made excuses that a turkey burger is a lean meat, and I told myself that broccoli is good for me.  Although true ... I still should not have overeaten.  BUT!  Even with these minor setbacks, I consider today very successful!

I also worked out on the elliptical for 30 minutes and walked on the treadmill for 15 minutes and stretched for 5 minutes.

And here are a few things from my Jesus Calling devotional tonight that I thought were fitting for my first day back on the Daniel Plan ...
From the Jesus Calling blurb ... "Instead of bemoaning the loss of your comfort, accept the challenge of something new." .... Perfect!  I'm "comfortable" with eating carbs upon carbs and sugar upon sugar and eating anything I want whenever I want, never thinking about the consequences.  Four months ago when I started the Daniel Plan for the first time, I definitely "beMOANed" the loss of these comforts, but now, I am accepting the (well-worth-it) CHALLENGE of something new ... a new way of life that will change me for the better and for the forever! :)  Love it!
And!  Also from the Scripture that went along with my Jesus Calling blurb ... 2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV) - "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another." ... The context of this verse is about being transformed by the glory of the Lord, but I think it's okay to say that God will be GLORIFIED when I am TRANSFORMED into His IMAGE the way He truly made me to be ... honoring my temple ... ALL of my temple - body, mind, spirit, and soul!  Pretty cool, huh? :)

I'm looking forward to continuing on tomorrow!  Good night, y'all! :)

A Journey with Jesus

I'm going on a journey!  I've sorta been on it over the past few months ... but only half-heartedly.  On February 3rd, my husband, Darrell, and I started something called The Daniel Plan.  If you haven't heard about it, it's a lifestyle change plan (not a diet!) that incorporates faith, food, fitness, friends, and focus.  It is a plan to change the way you take care of your body, your mind, your relationships, and your soul.  You work on each of these areas A LITTLE AT A TIME to produce LASTING change that you can carry with you the rest of your life.  Those are the things I like about this plan the most ... you go at your own pace to make changes (for me a [very] little at a time!), and you hit every area of your life, not just food, so that your purpose is more intentional and motivational. ... Well, I was super resistant when we started back in February.  I was in denial.  I was lazy.  And although I've had a little success ... I've lost five pounds; I feel better; I'm exercising regularly; and I've cut out A LOT of junk food, and I eat more veggies ... okay, so I guess I've had more than a little success. ;)  Haha!  BUT!  I will say that I can do more.  I can feel the power within me to make REAL, LASTING changes that I can be EXCITED ABOUT.  And finally ... I WANT TO, and I see that I really need to. ... Hallelujah! :)

I'm going on a journey with Jesus!  A journey to deeper faith, better food choices, more physical activity, more intentional relationships, and a thankful heart and an eternal perspective.  The Daniel Plan is all about setting goals, so I'm gonna set a goal or two for each "F" essential I mentioned earlier.  And I'm writing them here so that I will remember them, be able to refer back to them regularly, and commit them to completion.

My goals for 40 days (and beyond!) ...

FAITH - Whether I do other Bible studies and other reading or not, I will read one page in my Jesus Calling book and look up the Scriptures, and I will journal a one-page prayer each day.

FOOD - I will follow the Daniel Plan plate more closely than I have over the past four months, and I will limit my sugar intake by only allowing myself two desserts and three sweet teas a week.

FITNESS - I will do a cardio workout at least four times each week.

FRIENDS - I will share my health progress with my "health buddies" and encourage them with their progress at least once a week.  I will pray for my friends at least once a week.

FOCUS - I will practice thankfulness each day.  I will write in my Daniel Plan journal and write a blog post about my success each day.

Ready or ... yeah, I'm ready!  Here I go! :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Currently (May 2014) ... stolen from Hannah :)

Currently, I am ...

FEELING ... restless.  Discontent.  Guilty.  Thankful.  Ha!  Yeah, that last one doesn't fit, does it?  I have been learning so much about thankfulness over the course of this last year.  My Bible study leaders, Rick and Patti Ehrhardt, have contributed to that quite a bit ... and then, of course, the Holy Spirit.  He is so faithful to work in my life, even when I'm not faithful to Him.  I've grown a lot in thankfulness, and I continue to strive to possess a thankful heart each and every day.  But over the past several weeks, I have been struggling. ... I'm tired of my job - I have so much downtime.  I've gotten lots of good reading done, but I don't know how much more I can read!  And I'm a productive person, and having tons of downtime each day really wears on me.  So I've just lost sight of thankfulness concerning my job.  And a lot of my friends are having babies.  And I've caught the baby fever!  God could give us a baby any time.  But so far, no luck.  So I struggle to be content with the waiting.  I'm just ready for a new adventure ... what better adventure than being a MOM!

READING ... my Bible ... 1 Samuel to be more specific ... Jesus Calling by Sarah Young ... and Better Off Without Jesus by Chuck Bomar.  I finally got my reading list down to three books!  Haha!  I was reading about 4 other books ... The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers, The Daniel Plan, Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman, and Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst ... and it was crazy trying to read so many books at one time!  Sooo many good books though!

THINKING ... "what a long day!"  I'm a job coach for a high school in my area, and with it being the last three days of school, we're not taking the kids out to their jobs in the community ... therefore, I have no job.  I'll probably read a few tests to kids in the Resource room later, but for now ... I've got nothin'!  Nothing to do.  And I would keep busy if I could ... but there's nothing for me to do.  Aide positions are fairly specific.  So why not blog? ;)

PLANNING ... to try again with The Daniel Plan.  Darrell never used his Daniel Plan journal, so I'm gonna try another 40 days of healthy eating, exercising, perspective, relationships, and faith.  (Those are the goals of the Daniel Plan, by the way!)  I'm hoping it will kick-start me to healthier living.  The first time went alright ... but this time is gonna be even better!

DREAMING ... of becoming a MOM. :)  My husband and I have been off birth control for about 2 months ... so I'm hoping to be a mama sometime in the near future.  I think about it a lot ... I try to be thankful for where I am and be patient for when God wants a baby for us.  Overall, I think I'm pretty good about the wait ... but some days (especially when I see Ivy and Belle ... or hear about Tiffany's baby Gillian on the way), I struggle a bit.  But all in God's time ... He's got it! :)

SETTING GOALS ... to lose some weight and get healthy physically ... but also spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.  I wanna be physically healthy to take care of my family (which will hopefully be growing soon!) and have the energy to love and serve the people around me.  I wanna be spiritually healthy so that I can honor Jesus and love and serve the people around me.  I wanna be emotionally healthy so that I can overcome my failure issues, learn to give myself grace, respond to circumstances with an eternal perspective, and so that I can love and serve the people around me.  And I wanna be relationally healthy so that I can grow as an encourager and love and serve the people around me.

EATING ... mostly whole foods, more veggies, and less sugar.  I still mess up quite a bit, but I am doing better than I was 6 months ago ... and imperfect progress is still progress. :)

TRYING ... to be more thankful and let go of the try-hard life.

EXCITED ... to have a change of pace and scenery for my job this summer.  I'll be working for my mom, helping her get The Porch ready to reopen later this summer.  No job coaching again until August.

LAUGHING ... at my husband.  He makes up languages, tickles me, hugs me and then goes dead weight and pretends to snore loudly in my ear, cracks jokes and acts crazy all the time but especially when I'm having a downer day.  He's just a huge goofball, and I love him!

Monday, May 26, 2014

SoZo Devotionals: 1 Samuel

I started reading through the book of 1 Samuel recently ... so what better place to get our devotionals this week than what I'm reading in my own personal devotions? :)  Hope you can get some good stuff out of this week's devos ... well, of course you will!  It's GOD'S Word you're reading!  Soak it up!  Sit and think about it.  Grow!  And have a wonderful week!

Monday, May 26th - Read 1 Samuel 1
I think Hannah is such a cool lady!  She had so much faith!  As I read this chapter, I was able to learn a few things about Hannah that I can think about in my own life.  Read about Hannah in this chapter, and then write down the things you find about her character.  Do YOU carry the same character qualities in your life?

Tuesday, May 27th - Read 1 Samuel 2
Again, I found more character qualities in Hannah.  Can you find 'em?  And then think about it ... do you exhibit those same qualities?  How can YOU grow in your character today?

Wednesday, May 28th - Read 1 Samuel 3
Samuel was READY to follow the Lord and do as He commanded.  Think about YOUR life.  Are YOU ready to follow the Lord?  Do YOU strive to do all that He has called you to do?  If not, what can you do to change that?

Thursday, May 29th - Read 1 Samuel 7:3-4
If we are following the Lord, why is it to important to "put away" (get rid of!) the gods (or idols) in our lives?  What is an idol?  Do YOU have idols in your life?  How can you get rid of them and follow after the Lord?  How can you "direct your heart to the Lord and serve Him only" as it says in verse 3?

Friday, May 30th - Read 1 Samuel 12:14-15
Verse 14 - What happens when we fear and obey the Lord?
Verse 15 - What happens when we rebel against the Lord?
HOW do YOU fear and obey the Lord in your daily life?
HOW do YOU rebel against the Lord in your daily life?
What changes do you need to make to honor the Lord?

Saturday, May 31st - 1 Samuel 13:8-15
What can you learn from Saul's life?
What happened when Saul didn't trust God and went His own way?
What happens when we don't trust God and walk our own way?

Don't forget to spend some time talking with Jesus this week.  He loves to hear from you ... He seeks your worship ... and He wants to answer your prayers and lift your burdens. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SoZo Devos: Godly Counsel

Hey, everybody!

So sorry for slacking off the past month!  I have no good excuse for not posting our weekly devotionals, so I hope you'll forgive me and pick back up where we left off.  Here are a handful of devos to use over the next week and a half ... we're gonna talk about Godly counsel.  Enjoy.  Dig deep.  Grow. :)

Devo #1 - Read Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 11:14, and Proverbs 15:22
What/who are counselors ... or advisers?
What kinds of counselors/advisers should we listen to?
How can having many advisers be dangerous to your spiritual health?
Who are some of the Godly counselors in your life?
Who is our Ultimate Counselor?

Devo #2 - Read Jeremiah 7:23-26
What happens when we obey the voice of the Lord?
In verse 24, what do you think it means when it says, "they went backward and not forward?"
In what ways do you go backward in your life?
How can you obey God today?

Devo #3 - Read Psalm 81:10-14
What happens when we receive God's counsel and obey it?
What does it mean for God to "give them over to their stubborn hearts"?
How has your heart been stubborn lately?
What does it look like to "walk in God's ways" (v. 13)?
How can you walk in God's ways today?

Devo #4 - Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5
What a list, right?!
Read through that list again, and write down any of these characteristics that describe you.  I know it may get ugly, but don't be afraid.  Admitting sin is the first step to giving it over to the Lord.
Think of the people you receive advice from or just hang out with ... do those people possess any of these characteristics?
At the end of verse 5, Timothy tells us to avoid people with these ungodly characteristics.  How come?

Devo #5 - Read Ephesians 2:1-7
How do we "follow the course of the world"? (v. 2)
What are the "passions of our flesh"? (v. 3)
What did God's great love and mercy save us from?
How can you live for Jesus today as a way to say thank you for His great love and mercy in our lives?

Devo #6 - Read Titus 2:11-14
Define the following phrases by writing them in your own words ... ungodliness; worldly passions; self-controlled lives; upright; godly lives.
Why is it wise to "renounce ungodliness and worldly passions"?
How can being "zealous for good works" be wise?
What are you passionate about?  How can you glorify God in those things?

Most recent prayer requests from our group ....
Kristy - her softball coach (Coach Rogers)'s dad is very sick and not doing well; finals for school this week
Olivia - Saya is having back problems ... possible surgery, and Saya lost her job at Casey's; also, Olivia's friend, Courtney ... her dad has cancer
Eric - Angie's sanity for the last two weeks of school ... pray she doesn't kill any little children!