Saturday, January 30

The Lord will fight for you ~ you need only be still

Today I watched the Beth Moore Session 1 dvd (since Karis so graciously lent it to me) and since I missed it because I was stormed in tight on Monday night when the Bible Study was taking place. So, this morning, I watched it - and well, I love being taught through Beth Moore - so let me tell you, if this is any indication of the next 10 weeks to come, then I am in for an adventure in the Word!

After, I decided I better get to work on my homework. (I did not want to go into week two without having watched the DVD, which means I am a little behind in my homework.) And as I turned to Week 2, Day 1 - my eyes were taken to the verse highlighted on the side of the workbook... "the LORD will fight for you, you need only be still." Exodus 14: 13-15

And then, later in the day 1 material, I read and then copied the following (from Beth Moore) : "What enemy are you battling today? First, invite GOD to come between you and your enemy. Second, invite Him to "open the eyes of your heart" and Third, Count on Jesus - He never fails."

You know - this was one of those "a-ha" moments... as I have been working through stuff still during this past week. And, into the week, I had a couple women "pour" God's wisdom into my life through the words He gave them to speak. And so, I have been working through some stuff that I have wanted to "put to rest" so to speak.

Beth uses the word enemy when she askes "what enemy are you battling today?" At first I thought that perhaps the use of the word enemy was a bit strong. So I decided to look it up (see the definition from below)


One hostile to another; one who hates, and desires or attempts the injury of, another; a foe; an adversary; as, an enemy of or to a person; an enemy to truth, or to falsehood.

Now - my mom always told me never to use the word "hate" in association with people. The Word of God actually talks about that too...

I think the word HATE is strong in relationship to people. However, that being said - we can "hate" something that is happening, or "hate" something that has been done or "hate" something that went wrong, or "hate" something that keeps pulling us down (like a craving to something bad). So in some cases the word hate is okay. I see that the enemy can be an "enemy to truth" as well. (yes, I am wandering here aren't I).

Back to Beth - her final statements made me thing. What enemy am I battling today...

Okay, honesty time - I am battling a few (and one of them is cravings to all things bad for me!) So, applying Beth's words - she encourages me to invite God between me and my enemy(ies). And then to ask Him to open the eyes of my heart! I have thought of this phrase before.

We also have sung a song about this - about "opening the eyes of my heart."
Open the eyes of my heart Lord,
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see you.

I want to see you

To see you high and lifted up
Shining in the light of your Glory
Pour out your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy.

I know that in asking God to open the eyes of my heart - I am asking him to illuminate the situation so that I can have an understanding of how to work through it and give it over to Him, so that in all things - He will have the glory for what transpires. I know God does not want me to allow any enemy to triumph over me!! And then as Beth says - I need to count on Jesus - as He never fails.

So often I look at myself and get into the "loser mentality" when I look at things I have just not been able to claim victory in - or looked at things that continue to drag me down, or to look at things that I have "given up to God" and yet somehow continue to reclaim to try to do it on my own.

Beth Moore has underscored for me again today that I need to trust fully in God - my EL SHADDAI - because HE offers me HIS complete sufficiency.

Oh, Lord God - thank you for this reminder, and Lord - YOU ARE SUFFICIENT in my life! Help me to give you the enemies that I am battling today (and have battled for a while). Help me to see them for what they are - and to see that it is in your strength and power that you open my eyes to the truth of each and every situation that involves people or things, past or present. Lord - thank you for YOUR truth which is alive and living in me. Lord - you never fail! Thank you.

PS. This blog comes out of thoughts on the study A WOMAN'S HEART ~ GOD'S HOME (which is a study on the tabernacle) and would highly recommend it to any and all women who want to get to know God in a closer way! Actually, would highly recommend any bible study by Beth Moore. I have never met a woman who knew the Word of God like she does. God is richly blessing women (and men) through her. And she gives all the glory to God!

Tuesday, January 26

The beauty after the storm...

Snow on evergreens is always so beautiful.
Yesterday however, it was hard to see this beauty.

This morning, as I took a little walk from the front to the back, I
noticed how beautiful the snow looked as it hung on all kinds of things.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. It was like all the world was a fresh canvas that God had painted on - a fresh white winter scene.

As I look out of the front window, the flag flutters in the breeze. The sun is shining, and the sky is blue. It is like the storm never happened ~ except when I see the screen on the top half of the west side of the gazebo got ripped off , and snow the inside of the gazebo is full of snow. Or when I walked to the end of the driveway, going knee deep in snow drifts. Yet now that the sun is shining, and the sky is blue - somehow the fury of the storm has turned to beauty. (teachable moment here - yep you guessed it, I am about to share again...)

As quick as the first blizzard of 2010 came and left, I realize that is is just like our life isn't it! ( I was sharing some of my thoughts with my sister this morning, as I was in a reflective/introspective state again this morning, and writing it in my journal when she phoned.) After the storms of life hit, if we are patient and willing to take in the world around us - we will see some beauty.... eventually. I don't think I see it often right at first either.

Often we have advanced warning of a storm, and can run for cover. (been there, done that) Other times, we know we are in for a storm, but then the storm hits with more vengence and force than we expected. (often we feel like we were totally unprepared, or didn't understand or foresee the potential magnitude of the storm approaching.) Nothing feels better than to be inside somewhere safe, warm and out of danger. It is usually from this vantage point, that we are able to watch it unfold, or maybe just hide!

When we are in the midst of it - it is often all we can do to keep standing. Sometimes we have to press in to it to keep upright. However, we do. God knows that. Often when we are watching, our breathe is taken away and we are stunned by the force of the elements around us. Usually, after a storm has passed, it is all we can do to regroup and take in the damage around us. Regardless - we usually rise to the occassion, picking up the pieces, and figuring out the next steps. (honestly, as I write this, I have just had pictures running through my mind of the earthquake "storm" in Haiti... and suddenly my "storms" in my life seem very small in comparison, as I watch death upon death, and destruction upon destruction, and tears and praise all mixed together). Somehow they are figuring out next steps... mainly because they have no alternative. They HAVE to move on... they have to get back to life, although it looks very different now.

I have come to realize that physically recovering from storms is much easier than emotional or mental recovery from storms. I think many of you get what I mean. Often being able to do something physical in itself feels like you are making headway. I think the emotional recovery takes much, much longer. (again in Haiti, how will the little ones work through the emotional devastation, the loss of home, of parents, of security) Again, my emotional "storms" seem small in comparison.

Sorry, I don't mean to be vague - just thinking out loud again. That is just how I process! (and aren't you glad you are privvy to this merely by the click of your mouse!)

Well, with the storm passed, and Alvin's night shifts over ~ I was glad to be able to hug him again and see his truck in our yard. Coming home, he stopped to chat with the neighbor across the street, (who is a Senior) and said he would eat lunch and come and snowblow his driveway again. He tries to keep an eye on their driveway for him. It is just easier with the tractor and blower. Yes, sometimes I get impatient because he is so busy helping others - however, I am glad that it is his nature to reach out, and he knows that I support him fully and I am glad this is who Alvin is. Not only is he able, but he just does what he feels he needs to do. I love him.
So now, we are both inside, and waiting for supper - and it is good. The storm is past. The country looks sparkly white and beautiful. All is well with the world. Thank you God.

Monday, January 25

bliZZard day

bliZZard day!
Today is the first Blizzard day of 2010~ after having some beautiful snow-melting weather last week - Mother Nature hits us with a vengence! (guess what our boys and Blue Jay Family Works are doing AGAIN today?) This is the view out of my kitchen window this morning.
It's Monday. It's also a "blizzard day" which means that highways are closed. School Divisions in rural areas are closed. I had a restless night as I listened to the whistling of the wind. It is quite the day!

The alarm went off early and I laid in bed listening to the radio announcers saying that if you don't need to go out - DON'T GO OUT! At this point, I had decided that I was not moving anywhere (except getting the gumption to go out in the cold and load the boiler!) At point of writing this, I have already stoked the boiler FULL of wood, twice already, with a pile waiting for later.

Anticipating the trip to the boiler - I pull out the swet pants, high boots, fur hat and gloves. Opening the door into the garage, the first thing I notice is that there is a snow drift accumulating INSIDE the garage! (never a good sign!) hmmm.... I wonder how big the drift is on the other side!!

So then it is time to open the door - and get to the boiler!

Here is what I found there!

So check and see if you can see Oreo... in the picture below. He is the one peeking out of the garage door! He was very glad to get back into the garage on our way back!

Once I was back in after loading the boiler - I knew that I needed to exercise. So, I did. 65 minutes!! Officially in a week, I exercised intentionally for 6 hours and 5 minutes! My goal was 4 hours!! WOOHOOO!! Achieved this goal! (and actually enjoyed doing it most of the time). I think I have come to realize that the more I "move" through exercise - the more flexible I am with the day to day stuff. So, it has to be a part of my every day.

As I exercised this morning, I could see the birdfeeder and lo and behold, there was the big fat squirrel hanging out on the branch again - with the birdfeed (now HALF full) of sunflower seeds as his disposal - I figure he thought he had hit the jackpot!) I tapped on the window in an attempt to startle him away. No deal. He had his eyes on the prize, believe me! As I exercised, he sat on the branch and went to town on the birdfeeder! FORTY MINUTES LATER... he finally had his fill. Honestly? where did he put the seeds? (mental note: move the feeder out on a limb where he can't go). He also had to get pretty creative in how he got the seeds out. Gotta hand it to him - he did not give up ~ regardless of the wind howling around him! (hm, there is that teachable moment again!)

I had so many things "lined up" for today. And one by one, I had to phone and cancel the appointments. Obviously, my check in at the Center for Natural Medicine, with Leyla - did not happen today. Today I actually wanted to weigh in - as the past week has been a good one, and the weigh-ins help to keep me accountable. But the weigh-in today did not happen. Neither did my chiro app, or my physio app. As well - I will not be getting into the Bible Study. At this point, I would not be able to get off my driveway, if my life depended on it. While I "have" to do the physical work of loading the boiler, I do not plan on shoveling. (Think I need to call up Blue Jay and tell them there is a snow removal out here in Anola!!) There is only so much that I can physically handle and do, and well - shovelling is not one of them.

With each hour - the drifts are getting bigger. It actually is comforting being inside, and knowing that there is no reason to be anywhere but here.

This morning, I was able to spend alot of time in the Word. My "Quiet Time" ~ ah, it was wonderful! I loved that. I am behind in my commitment to the reading plan for my One Year Bible. So, I did alot of reading, writing down throughts as I reflected on the passages. God and I spent some wonderfully sweet time together this morning - on this blustery day!!

Later, I also finally got to reconnect by phone, with my friend Elizabeth - who is my accountability partner. We talked for about an hour - and it was great. Elizabeth truly "gets" this journey - as we have alot in common (the journey through weightloss to better health, ministry, family, etc). Our conversation today was a gift to me!

Now - I am here by the computer - with a nice big cup of Licorice Spice tea. It is almost 5 pm. I am thinking that the soup I made on the weekend will taste very good for supper. I am hoping to hear from my man soon. He is working a night shift again, and so, it will be another quiet evening. The Beth Moore Study is going on tonight, but me - well, I will not be there either. (you know, because of the snOw!)

I need to work on a devotional/talk for a women's get together this week at First Nations church. I am looking forward to meeting with the women, sharing some thoughts on some scripture, and also sharing the journey of the retreat vision. I love sharing the retreat story with people - especially with women's groups. My cousin Doris is responsible for this inviation! I am open to share with them, whatever God desires me to share.

Yesterday as I was doing my bible study homework for tonight... Beth Moore was sharing some of her thoughts, which spoke so clearly to my heart! One thing she said is " ... that through which God hones us, is rarely within th parameters of the familiar!" And then there was the verse from Colossians 4:17 which said "Be sure to carry out the mnistry the Lord gave you!" Of course, the ministry for women is deeply embedded in my heart. But - it is not familiar - it is uncharted territory. In fact, my life over the past 18 months has been very unfamiliar and uncharted waters... but God has "honed" me through it all. I just really pray that He will find me faithful through all of this - and that I will be faithful in carrying out the ministry He has placed on my heart! So - with those thoughts as well - I need to bring together a devotional to share.

So, being housebound - it's not so bad! I am thankful for this quiet time to think. Sometimes bliZZard days are good to have! Perhaps this is one of them! No, this IS one of them!

Sunday, January 24

Sunday - week 2, day 6

It is almost midnite. The snow is swirling outside - the winds are howling. As I went out and put wood in the boiler - I was glad that Alvin and I had piled some wood closer to the boiler so that I didn't have to drag it too far. That's the "joy" of having a husband who works some nights - it means that I need to feed the boiler! Today my fibromyalgia has been very obvious ... I think it is a combo of things. The weather always seems to play into the pain. Also, loading the boiler - but there is no getting around that.

It is dark. The dog is fast asleep at the back door. The news is on, telling me that the "winter storm warning" has ended. I have some doubts as to whether or not I will venture into the city tomorrow - guess I will wait and see. No use going out on winter icy roads if I absolutely don't have to.

I have an app at the clinic for my "weigh in" and really hope I can get to it. I also have a chiro app, and also a physio app and then the Beth Moore bible study. Yep - a full day for sure. Seems as I am getting older - the body is protesting. I am determined not to let the FM keep me down - but honestly, some days it takes a while to get moving. I feel like the "tin man" from the wizard of oz! The best thing about the mornings is the hot bath first thing, which seems to help me begin to move. And, (can't believe I am admitting this) but EXERCISE is KEY to helping me get around. I am also hoping and praying that with each pound lost, my FMS will get better. I have a feeling it will! (sigh) Today I set a "goal" that I hope I can reach by my birthday - June 5th. It is 35 lbs. (9 down, 26 to go till then!! Can I do it??? yEs!)

That being said I know that I am so blessed - and really, compared to others - I know that things could be much worse. Tonight, I watched again as pictures from Haiti were shown. In one report, a newsreporter was invited into a church service. He seemed a little out of place, but he came to the front and shared with the Haitian Pastor, that the rest of the world was concerned and helping to aid. At the end, it showed the congregation (who were meeting outside) praising God and dancing - arms raised. One older woman danced with him! She told him "we are one in God". The story took me back in my thoughts to 2006 when we went with a team, to work in the Dominican Republic. While there, we visited with the people in a Leper Colony. I will never forget having to choke back my emotions as we faced the congregation and sang a couple songs, and watched people with stubs for hands - worshipping God. We also had the joy of being in a church service on night - it was so hot, even in the dark night. We were in a building that was packed. Each of us had a minimum of two children sitting on our laps! One thing I loved was to see the dance ooze out of each little child! Music would barely start and they would be moving with the rythm! How I wished I had such freedom! (me the one who is finally learning to dance!)

I have been using an exercise DVD which incorporates "dance moves" into it. I love it! But I have to laugh at my own reflection in the window! This white gal just doesn't move easily! "Inside" I feel like I dance but my outer movements are very stiff!! I really REALLY hope that no one is ever watching me through my big picture window because it's not pretty!! (smile)

Apart from really WANTING to DANCE - these moves help limber this stiff body up. These beginner dance moves - help me work through the pain of my fibromyalgia. And really, even with the flare ups I've had almost steady over the last year - I really think it could be worse. (I hope it never gets worse, but I realize it could be). I am aware of others with it who are less mobile than myself. I am really hoping and praying that soon, the flareups will subside. And in the meantime, I realize that no matter what, I need to count my blessings! It is why I realize that I can never stop looking to God for HIS strength in my weakness. I don't get alot of things, but I do understand that my Lord has things under control REGARDLESS of what I think, or understand, or want...

Today - I want to count my blessings - my "Sunday" blessings. As there are 5 minutes left to this day.

So, thank you Lord for:
  • my family who I love, and who loves me. Last night we celebrated together, and it was simply wonderful!! (except when we are all together, we have to fight one another for "Everett John" time!)
  • a warm home (even if I did have to load the wood boiler!)
  • a husband who provides for us (strong, handsome and loving too!) He also makes me laugh and just loves on me!! I just love my man!
  • friends who can share openly and honestly (Lynda and Chris - thanks for your visit today at Pineridge Hollow. We go back a long way!) There is alot of water under the bridge for all of us isn't there! God has given me gifts in the two of you!
  • Beth Moore - who writes amazing Bible Studies, and who constantly teaches women how to study the Word of God, bringing God's truth to life! The current study I am doing is "A Woman's Heart - God's home" (hope that is the title!) Lord, thank you for Karis who leads women's ministry, and has brought this study to reality.
  • good bold coffee! (I enjoyed a few good cups today, especially when I was visiting with friends) Coffee - fresh and strong and black. Um, nothing like it.
  • a chance to "catnap" with my man this afternoon. Nothing like a good snuggle on a winter day!
  • and thank you Lord - that today is day 6 and I am getting my priorities in place. Quiet Time with the Lord - Exercise (met the 4 hour min. per week) - good eating habits (oops, except for the few tastes of birthday cake :( - drinking my water - and penciling in "me" time - and beginning to encourage myself with positive "self-talk" . If I can drive into the city tomorrow, it will be great to weigh in - and chat with Leyla. I CAN DO IT!! WITH GOD I CAN in 2010!

Gotta run - it is late. I am so glad I don't turn into a pumpkin when it turns 12 midnite (still don't understand why the computer doesn't register the right time on the blog)... however, the pillow is calling me! Night! Sweet dreams!

Friday, January 22

Week 2 Day 4

Okay, I should have known this morning, that it was going to be a day that didn't run quite according to plan, when I saw the squirrel. The big fAt squirrel I will add. I was in the room with the big picture window. The one that I can see the bird feeder out of. Lo and Behold, I see something that looked like a cat, in the branches. Knowing that we no longer have a cat (with Vanilla MIA and Louis RIP) I realized that it was a squirrel at the feeder. And HE WAS FEEDING!! Come to think of it, he likely thought it was "payday" since the feeder is full of "shelled" black sunflower seeds. Anyhow - I chased him away once, and then he was back. As he was pigging out on the seeds, his back feet slipped off the little branch and he was literally hanging from the feeder! Talk about looking hilarious! I couldn't help but think God was using it as a teachable moment for me.... hm, how often do I make God laUgh?! The picture is not great, and it only shows him sitting and contemplating his snack!

Today is Friday. Day 4 of Week 2 of my refocusing and recommitment to getting healthy. I have "pencilled" in my "me" time into a daytimer. Should I admit that today I had to white out the morning and begin again since I got up a little later than the anticipated 7 am get up and at em' time! Regardless, as I sit here now, I have finished my breakfast, lunch and two little snacks in between as well as achieved my 1 hour exercise goal for today.

As I sat here a little while ago, I switched on the TV and saw Dr. Oz speaking with Amy. I saw Amy a while ago when she started a weight loss plan. Today, she was on again, and tears came to my eyes as I watched a video of her doing a 5 k run. While she is still a ways from her goal - she has already come a long way. 50 lbs already. And she should be proud of her achievements!

I checked out her blogspot and saw her pictures.

Okay - that is brave... BUT it is also about accountability. (mental note: once I post this I have to call my accountability partner and get going with that again. Elizabeth, I miss you!)

So, as I stated at the top of this - it is the 4th day of Week 2 recommittment. What have I noticed?

1) when I commit my day to God - it is way, WAY easier to stay on this journey. In a blog I mentioned "surrender" and "laying it down" and I know personally, HE does give me strength. Thank you Lord!

2) I have started to enjoy again, the taste of hummus in various forms AND found that Tall Grass Bakery at the Forks makes some killer Black Bean and Lime, and also Red Lentil hummus. Yum. I should also add that yesterday I stood there and did not buy myself Cinnamon Buns (which are also the best, and whole wheat!) nor did I buy any other baked goods for myself. WOOHOOO.... this is honestly, a first! Perhaps something is beginning to click!

3) So now that I have said that (point #3) I have to say that when I bake, and have it in the house "for the boys lunches" (or left over from a baby shower) IT IS NEVER GOOD! I have to laugh because I know that Alvin is like my shadow at times. When I am "on track" it is a good thing.... but when I am "tasting morsels" here and there - it is not. I hate hearing him ask "who sampled this?" I know that he is just trying to keep me accountable. (I just love my man!)

4) When I exercise first thing, it just seems to unstick my frozen hips, and makes my pain less. That in itself should be an incentive. But I am wondering, will I have to replace the carpet in the room, infront of the TV where I do my aerobics/dancing etc... (ah shucks, it's definitely worth it right!)

5) I have not walked outside basically because I can't go on the road with our dog anymore AND the snow in the back is too deep for my shoes. Alvin plowed a path last year, but this year has not had the time to do that. I miss the outside.

6) Leyla (from the clinic) has encouraged me to use "positive self talk" and somehow I have not done that yet. I have "thought" about it.... and well, come to think of it, I do have a ring of verses, pictures, etc that I keep with me. The verses are from the Bible, the pictures are of Everett, Alvin and myself and also a picture of my jeans from years ago and my jeans now. They also have some quotes/thoughts I have written on them. So maybe this is the thing she is encouraging me to do! I have pictures of Everett because I want to be around for a very long time, and able to run with him when he starts walking/running.

7) I have also known for a long time that when I am eating right and exercising - I am a much happier person. Taking care of the "temple" really is what I want to do. God continues to give me strength. I am so thankful.

Yesterday, I was walking into St. Boniface hospital. I had dropped mom off at the door and went to find a parking spot. As I was going up the sidewalk, a young guy came out of the front door of the hospital. He was fairly "fashionable" and thin. But you will laugh when I tell you what I noticed the most. .... I noticed that he was eating a Tim Horton's donut. But it was the way he was eating it that caught my attention. Now, I know that with the H1N1 flu going around, and touching doorknobs etc in a hospital where germs are rampant - you have to be careful. But it just struck me funny.

He had the donut wrapped in his bag (like some people eat a chocolate bar, inching it up out of the wrapper). He was munching off one bite at a time, with the bag wrapped around it. OKAY... I don't think I am the ONLY person who becomes a wild woman when I have a donut in my paws! There is no bag wrapped around it and to be totally honest - it's all I can do to get it out of the bag in one piece! There is not too much thought about germs when I go through a T.H's drivethrough!! Pathetic Joy!! I know, I know. (sigh)

I want you to know that donuts are not part of this week, or the week before... I am learning that giving in to the sweet craving is counteractive to what I feel I need to do!

SO, that being said - I will say God is giving me strength. I am able to journal my thoughts in my 2010 journal and on this blog. I am being pretty transparent here... as I know people do read this blog. You have in essence, just by reading this, joined the group that Lord willing, I have just become accountable to. However... I am doing this for me first. Because I want to be all that I was made to be by the Lord, who is my strength. I want to be all I can be - for my health and wellness, for my husband, my kids and my grandchildren.

I realize that in life - each of us likely struggles with "some thing" and my struggle is with weight. But, God is my strength! With God I can in 2010!

Love to you all! (maybe you have some good tips and or some good recipes! Feel free to share them!) t T F n (ta, ta for now!)

Thursday, January 21

Happy Birthday to my firstborn Son ~ Joshua Gerald

This is one of the most beautiful sights we see these days!

Josh and Michael while playing a game at the cottage. Note Josh's mohawk do!

This picture was taken at about 10-11 months of age.
His shirt says I LOVE MOMMY. (okay, sure I bought it for him!)

I think there is a strong resemblance when you see this picture of Josh,
and compare it to little Ev.

Another year has past somehow. Is it me, or does time just fly by when you get older? Today is January 21st. It is my son Joshua Gerald's birthday. Today he turns 28. While we are not celebrating together as a family until Saturday night - I will drop off a cake today for him and Leah to enjoy. He gave me 3 options for a birthday cake - so this way, I can at least do two of them. Today, I will bring a Grasshopper Dessert Cake. (and hey, that is one way to also see my little grandson!) This Granny has it figured out!

Today ~ I look at my son, grown up and I am so terribly proud. Proud of who he is and what he has become and what he has done in life. But mostly I am proud that as he grew up, he remained true to who God created him to be - and allowed gifts, talents to grow with him. I am proud of who he is as a husband to Leah. Together they are an amazing team. I am proud of who he is as a daddy to two sons, our little Jay and our little Everett. I watch him as he snuggles into little Everett's cheek and gives him kisses. I am so so glad that with little Everett's birth, Josh has been given the joy of listening to his little baby gurgles, and to watch him change a diaper with seeming ease. I am proud of how Josh just loves his sister and brother-in-law, and how Josh and his dad are pretty much two peas in a pod at times. I am also very blessed at how my son is kind, gentle, loving with me, his mom... no matter who is around. I also love how Josh has always been there for his sister. Always. (or maybe I should ask Ash to confirm this!! ) And now is a big brother in law to Michael. Who Josh is when you see him - is really WHO he is. Authentic. I love that.
I remember when I found out I was expecting. We were sooooo eXcited! I remember the first little flutter feeling, and hearing his heartbeat for the first time. I also remember the joy that followed the labor and delivery! Seeing our little one - and asking if he had all ten fingers and ten toes. I remember as he grew, and started to walk before he was one. I remember the way he rode the little wooden rocking horse, standing it on end! (like popping a wheelie with a bike, but this was with his little glider rocking horse). I remember so much - even the times he got into a little trouble now and then. There were cold hockey arenas, MBCI choir performances, award ceremonies. There were fundraising efforts, and tournaments. There was Sunday School, youth group and friends, friends and more friends. We hosted sleepovers, and campfires. I remember the first car he bought from auntie Corinna, and the first horse we bought and he rode. I remember when he would struggle to carry 4 - 4gallon pails of feed (two in each hand) just like Alvin did. (and so he wouldn't have to make so many trips!) I remember school bus rides, migraine headaches and pushing his dirtbike to get it started. (only to be left with exhaust black junk on the front of me!) I remember praying with him in the airport on his first alone trip to Banff to go snowboarding with Gordon.

I remember his questions about God, and faith in general. About sex. (which all came out of a discussion at the UofM sports camps, which he then asked me to explain). I remember when he came home and told me about a "girl" he met at camp. (Leah we love you so much). There is so much... and I have been privy to alot of it - and witnessed much first hand. I prayed for a son first, so if we had a girl (which God granted us next) that she would have a big brother! As a mom, I have been so blessed over and over and over again. SO BLESSED! How I thank God for blessing us with children.

I came across a little book that I wrote some of the quotes that I heard from Josh. A couple of them made me really laugh!
May, 1984 - 2 years old, 5 months: Upstairs in our bedroom was the setting. Joshua ran to the full length mirror and looked at it and said, "Glad to meet you" (to himself in the mirror). He then ran back and sat on the bed. He was talking to himself and said "Mommy's a woman. I'm going to tell her." He ran over to me and said, "Mommy you're a woman." I kissed him and left some lipstick marks on each cheek. He looked in the mirror again and said, "Oh, I'm so embarassed!"
June 1984 - 2 and a half: Josh was at Grandma K's in the backyard sitting and watching the bees around Grandpa's beeboxes. Earlier Grandma had called Josh her "honey" to which he had told Grandma that he was not her honey, he was Mommy's honey. Later, while sitting watching the bees, he rolled up his pantleg and told Grandma that "I'm letting the bees see my honey."
I think now he is Leah's honey first - but will always be "this mom's honey" too. Joshua you make me laUgh. You also allow me to cry with you. You give me strength verbally through your encourgament and through your prayers on my behalf. You are a young man with wisdom beyond your years. You've helped me process alot of decisions. Your experiences have been a hard teacher. You allow me to love you with all I have, and you love in return. I know that not all mom's are so blessed with son's who actually want to be around them, and love them. I will never take that for granted.

With the words from Robert Munch's favorite book, I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER...

"I'll love you forever. I'll love you for always.
As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be!"

Happy Birthday to my first born baby who is now my grown up son!
Joshua Gerald Klassen
I love you Son
- mom

Wednesday, January 20

phYsical time

(okay, I want to preface this post. It's about weight. MY weight. The weight that I have been talking about for a very l-o-n-g time. I have chosen NOT allow the scale to become an "idol" but instead to help me gauge how I am doing in the journey toward becoming a healthier me! So, I will weigh in weekly - once a week that is. WHY bother? Because I want to feel better, live healthier and be around for a long time to come. Because I want to be able to get down on the floor with my grandson and grandkids to come in the future. I do it NOT in my strength but can only do it in HIS strength. Thank you Lord. It will certainly be a journey... I figure it will be a tough go - but with YOU I can.)

So - now if you still want to read something I have written on my journey with weight - go for it!
Even grab a cup of coffee BUT leave the donut alone!

Today was a great day. I got up early - made lunches for Alvin to take for him and Michael while they worked - and then began doing my dvd "Sweatin to the Spirit" (which is basically an aerobics/dance dvd to "praise and worship" music!) Then I headed into EYE OPENER for a nice long breakfast with my friend Jennifer. It was a nice morning and we got to talk over a few cups of coffee and some breakfast. I have to admit - hers looked much more exciting than mine. (banana caramel french toast vs my scrambled eggs with tomatoes, some hash browns and a piece of dry rye). It was a great visit. I hope I listened to her as much as she listened to me. Sometimes I feel like I talk too much. :(

Then, off to the next stop, that being my doctor's office for my annual phYsical. No surprises really - just confirmation of the truth that I already know:
  • gotta get rid of at least 50 lbs (would like to get rid of 68 actually and NO I WILL NOT BE A RAIL!!)
  • the constant ringing in my ear could be a result of getting older, and often ringing preceeds loss of hearing (I went to the audiologist and got a little more subtle encouraging info)
  • I don't need an annual pap test since I no longer have any of the parts in question. (I actually wish I would have done that sooner ~ the hysterectomy I mean) HOWEVER - if you are reading this, and have your "parts" please do the right thing and get an annual pap test!
  • keep exercising as it will make my fibromyalgia more manageable (very true)
  • my blood pressure is good (good news)
  • have a build up of wax in my ears! (after telling my daughter that I never have wax issues - ever) This was new to me!
  • have high chlosteral (spelling?) which will change as I lose weight and eat better and exercise (didn't like hearing its high)
  • have to do a fast and get my blood sugar tested, and other lab work (diabetes runs in the family)
  • mammogram - I booked it first thing this morning with the "mobile" testing which is in Oakbank. Have gotten mammograms on a regular basis since my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 95.
So, I walked out of the doctor's office with the precious little bottle (for you know what) and a promise to return for lab work after fasting. (Maybe I will do this tomorrow since I have to go in anyway)

The physical was something I do yearly. There is just too much in my family history that puts me at risk. This is also why after so many years - why I need to finally get this weight off! (new motto - With God I can in 2010! (can pronouced as ken instead of can rhymes with ten!) :)

I have already sucked it up, and returned to the Center for Natural Medicine where Leyla is - who is with the First Line Therapy plan as the lifestyle coach ( this plan is basically cutting out the white stuff!) I weighed back in on the 12th! (darn, I was up some lbs after 6 weeks of not checking in!) and so after recommitting to the better way of eating (again) I am very proud that I am "back on the wagon" so to speak and doing well. It seems that my attitude is always much better when I am eating right and exercising. Ask Alvin, he can always tell when I am "off" the flour and sugar! A positive side effect is that when I cut our the white flour and sugar - my FM pain is less... that in itself should be the motivator.

I checked in on Monday, as she can no longer take patients on Wed. And after 5 days - I was down 3 lbs. (losing some of what I gained in those 6 weeks off!). But the best thing is that Leyla had me make some goals for this week: Tuesday till next Monday weigh in. (And she wrote them down to keep me accountable weekly!)

Here is what they are:
  1. plan ahead (write the food choices down before I eat) - and keep track of what I am going to eat on my sheets, to make sure I get the right foods/servings in (2-4 servings of protein, 1 grain, 1 dairy, 1 nuts/seeds, 1 legumes, 4 fats, 2 fruits, 1 cat. 2 veg and unlimited cat. 1 veggies aka salads!!)
  2. plan a week menu and stick to it
  3. exercise a min of 4 hours a week (intentional exercise time)
  4. drink my water
  5. positive self-talk (this sounds simple but how often I can get into a downer on myself!)
  6. get a dayplanner and schedule my exercise in - so that regardless it is being done
So, I left the clinic and went and bought the day planner (with each hour printed in on the page) - and printed off some daily food trackers, and have worked at putting together a menu and went shopping for the right foods (mainly making sure I have lots of veggies and fruit) I love water and so that is my main drink (okay, I love coffee too). I have pulled out the many different dvd's I have to exercise too, as well as my weights, etc. I have a ring of scripture verses and pictures (I made some wallet size) to help me stay encouraged.

I have been getting up early - and once Alvin goes out the door - I do my work out - and then my Quiet Time with the Lord. THAT... my QT is my lifeline! I could not do this without my Lord. He is certainly my sTrengTh. I do struggle as to why I keep giving this "stronghold" to him only to keep struggling daily. I think it is about "surrender"... about laying my stuff down daily, at the foot of the cross! DAILY! I have come to see how GOOD I feel when I exercise, and eat right.I have come to see how amazing I feel when I spend time with the Lord at the first part of my day! I gotta tell you, that hour or so with God is so sweet.

Knowing that this on again, off again pattern has been "mine" for a great number of years - sometimes it is easy to just throw my hands up in the air. BUT as Leyla reminded me as we talked about Everett - she said that for sure I want to be around to be there for my grandkids and kids! AND I DO!!

So - she made me set those goals. Today is WEEK 2, DAY 2 and it has been good. I weigh in again next Monday at 11:30.

Now, with my Physical behind me - I have confidence that next year the numbers on the scale will be much different! "With God I can, in 2010"

Tuesday, January 19

Beauty will rise...

So, as you can see, I have posted a few fun pictures and also had some fun with color and font! It's long, but its my thoughts. Read as much as you want, or some, or none! Just enjoy!
(this picture is taken from my window this morning)
It is an amazing morning.... outside the hoarfrost on the trees makes for a spectacular "christmas card" picture. As I sit in the room, looking out of the big picture window - I am awed by the creative God that I love!! (although last night I was not so thrilled as I drove home late through dense fog!) Without the low cloud, we would not have such a spectacular frost!

I got up early, to the banter of my man who is always so perky and chipper in the morning. Always has been and still is!! Sometime you will have to ask Ash about how her dad would do his early morning daNce around the dining room much to our chagrin! (somehow non-morning people never appreciate this!) HOWEVER I think I am becoming a morning person! (Thank you Lord, this has been my desire for a long time!)

So this morning, alongside of my man's banter, was the smell of a fresh strong pot of coffee brewing downstairs. I had prepared it last night to go off to drip at 6:30. Ah, the smell of fresh coffee.

At this time, which is just past noon, I am enjoying a second pot. I have enjoyed an amazing QT with the my Lord, and began the day with physical exercise as well. Right now, I have decided to post some thoughts, since it has been a while. Seems the week just flew by.

(when Everett came to our house on Sunday, and Poppa was uncovering him, this is how we found him - hat slipped down over his eyes. So cute!)

Let's see, first of all, there was some Granny time with our little Everett, a visit with Leyla (from the clinic for natural medicine ~ I bit the bullet, and got back on the wagon of right eating!!) and had a visit at the Beausejour hospital Audiology dept (to check out why my ears ring, and whether my hearing loss is true or not). Then there was some more Ev time and a lunch with my longest friend Jo, and then another lunch visit with my friends Linda and Kim, and then helping get ready for a baby shower on Sunday (wherein Leah and Everett especially was totally LOVED ON!) and also our kids came to visit on Saturday and the boys helped Alvin with getting some wood.

(Springfield Road has been the road our family has walked on more times than we could ever count. The road where many tears have fallen. The road where today, great joy accompanied us on our walk!)

I enjoyed a walk down Springfield road with Leah, Ash and little Ev in the stroller, and a few hugs from family and friends that met to honor our little Ev, and then yesterday I weighed in again with Leyla (down 3lbs, hopefully on the downward journey again!) and began a Beth Moore Bible Study last night. (big breath) It has been a FULL week.

Oh, and I almost forgot ~ in there at the beginning of the week ~ we met with Jerald about the plans for our house/retreat house...and we are closer to being done the plans I think. Never thought it would be such a journey just to get the right ideas and space/size down on paper! (we are so thankful for Jerald P. ~ honestly, what a gift from God for us and the ministry).

So that was my week! Yes, again BIG BREATH!! Breathe in, breathe out!! In there was a good mix of pain. Seems the fibromyalgia stuff just hangs on. Last week I woke up with it, I worked through my day with it, I went to bed with it... always seems to be there. I often wonder if this is what my mom had too, as I often remember her up and sleeping in her chair. Gotta just keep moving through it. (my old motto from 2006 was "whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger")

My week was also punctuated with other pain too. Pain that just doesn't go to far from us. I know, you have heard this in my blog often. Pain over losing Jay Benjamin. I realized as I held our second little Grandson Everett John, that jOy and pain are such close partners it feels like. Our hearts overflow with the jOy that Everett's birth has brought. jOy comes in the morNing... TOTALLY!! We sometimes just catch ourselves standing over him - watching him sleep, smiling at his little sighs (and he has begun to coo...) We have taken hundreds of pictures! (Not sure how big they make Grandma's Brag Books!!) The reality though, as we cuddle and hold him, there is and always will be the reality that we lost Jay and that has left a huge hole in our hearts that I believe will always be there, until we die and get to see him again in Heaven.

My heart continues to be punctuated with pain of broken relationships (friendships) that I keep giving to God and saying, "God, I don't know how to give this totally to you. I don't understand, but I don't want it to control my life. It sometimes feels like it is killing me slowly." (I don't want to sound like a drama queen, but it is just how it sometimes feels... like a silent killer). I guess for me, the hardest thing is that there doesn't seem to be a resolution. Perhaps this is where we just have to (as my dad used to say) "agree to disagree" and carry on with life. Thing is - with Alvin and I ~ we just can't seem to "put things in boxes" so to speak. Some people can put "family" in this box here, and "friends" in another box, and "church" in this box, and "work" in another box etc... and can function without the "boxes" touching one another. Neither of us can live that way. Our lives are all mixed and open and touching... SO needless to say, it is hard when brokenness happens. We are not about "pretending"... so it was that this morning in my QT with the Lord, I gave it to Him again, and asked Him to do his will in ME.... to have his way in MY life... to change ME. The rest? That is totally up to the Holy Spirit. I have to believe that. I have to trUst God on that. In the meantime, I think God has alot of work to do in just me!! (does He ever sigh when he realizes that!)

BUT.... let me tell you about the jOy. Cuddling my grandson Everett, feeling his little chest as he breaths. Laughing with my husband. Feeling the warm weather outside! (compared to -30 celcius, we are being spoiled!) Having a laugh over lunch with friends. Warm Hugs. Friendly phonecalls.

(this is a picture of our little one, enjoying some "tummy time" at home!)

More Granny time. Seeing my husband gushing over his Grandson! Oh, and the Blue Jay sighting one morning which was a very specific "kiss" from God. I have also had jOy over seeing the birds at the feeder that I put up, loving the smell of the wood as it burns in boiler (even if after I load it I smell like a smokie hot dog!) There is jOy in every little facial expression, and snuggle, and sounds we hear from Everett. jOy in the beauty of frost on the trees, the feel of my dog's fur as I pet him, and the music I hear around me!

MUSIC! Ah, I found an amazing new CD. Beautywillrise by Steven Curtis Chapman. (check out internet for the story behind the CD cover) Not sure if you all know the tragedy that hit their family in May of 2008. Their little girl Maria, was killed in an accident where she was hit by a vehicle driven by her brother. Theirs is a story of deep pain and sorrow... and out of the ashes, he has written some beautiful songs. I listen and I feel like he knows our pain. I feel like his words are our words exactly. I feel like with this CD he brings jOy, and hope into the pain. He also talks about hope, and beauty from ashes, and jOy that comes with the morning. Hope you will check it out for yourself, and even download it off ITUNES or buy the CD. In the meantime, I will keep listening. I think maybe there is a blog that will come further in regards to this CD.

Today dear one, if you are still reading after this yet another LENGTHY blogpost.... please know that God is there in the every-dayness of life - the same way he is there in the jOy and in the pain. God is GOD and I will trust him. May peace be yours today - amidst whatever you are walking through in life. He is there with you, by your side, and often carrying you. Psalm 31: 14 NIV says it like this: But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God."

Saturday, January 9

Southlands Community Church

Well - tonight I stepped out of my comfort zone, and went to church in Steinbach. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I mean me - being an introvert - and going to a new church by myself - that is a big step for me. That being said, SCC is a big church. They have 4 services - two on Saturday ( 5 pm and 7 pm) and two on Sunday morning. I decided to go tonight, although Alvin was at work. So - off I went.

Unfortunately, I had wanted to go there for 5 but well, was late. So went and got groceries, and then headed to the church. Okay - you have to know that I personally have not decided if I like the big churches or not, but the reality is ~ when you are a person who is "processing" life and you just want to go and worship ~ a big church is safe because you are one of 400+ that are there for the service. Apparently the first service was standing room only, so I am glad I chose the 7 pm. The funny thing is - I sat right behind someone that I knew (but had no idea this was their church, as they live in Winnipeg).

The bad thing is - having gone to McIvor for over 30 years - everything I see/hear/do is compared to my experience there. (i.e. hmmm, the team has 4 guitar players, a keyboardist, a djembe player, a violinist, and 4 vocals compared to... ; oh, and all the announcements are done on video compared to....; oh, and the worship - many new songs, hmm they have at least 3 vpu's compared to...) You get the idea.

But then, after doing the survey (as above) I was able to just worship. To shut my eyes and hear the music and voices around me. To pray along with the worship leader when he asked God to reveal something to us during the sermon. To watch the woman in the row ahead of me "sign" to many of the worship songs...

The sermon - I don't know how long it was... it moved along. The whole month is on Prayer and Fasting. Funny thing is - just last monday, my friend asked me if I would like to fast with her on a certain day each week... and I said sure. I am not a stranger to prayer and fasting. So, what would I learn tonight. I was very curious. Ears were perked right up. Pen and paper ready to record the thoughts.

(have to run and get my bible and notes)

I loved, loved, loved that he used alot of scripture! He began with John 10:10 where Jesus said "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." NIV

Tonight he talked about "fasting for passion". He said "when you're full with other things you won't be hungry for God." (oh, I get that one) He talked about when the people were in the desert, grumbling because they had no food. God had put them on an involuntary food fast - and then surprised them by fedding them supernaturally - manna from heaven.

The pastor asked who had a "comfort food" to which hands popped up. He said we go to "comfort food" NOT becasue the body is hungry but the SOUL is!! God made food for the physical body. But GOD is who feeds our souls.

Not only did he talk about fasting from food, but how important it was also to fast from media. I get this one, really I do (contrary to how I am blogging as I say that!) In fact in October, God told me to not go on FB and the blog for a week. The pastor said that people spend 5 hours and 9 minutes (average) on TV daily!! Honestly - who has that time. I guess it's a good thing Alvin and I never gave into cable or satellite... and our kids were only allowed half hour of tv a day. (except on those days when they got more in on the sneak!)

He had some points such as 1) search your heart 2) repent and 3) fast.

I loved what he said "feed on Jesus through the Word!" "Fasting is not about not eating but it is all about eating the right thing!" We need to "Fast ~ Feed and Pursue God in prayer."

He talked about prayer being as natural as breathing - inhale/exhale.

It is prayer that gives us power in the heavenlies!! WOOHOOO....Amen brother! (no I didn't shout it out, although there were a couple others who were!)

This sermon was timely. Sure, I would have rather gone with Alvin, and I almost cancelled and just stayed home. But, I had talked about this for a while, and I am so glad I went! Blessed in fact!

We got an instruction sheet regarding fasting - and also a commitment card. Guess I will fill that out tomorrow. God spoke to me and affirmed what I should pray about during the days I will join my friend in fasting.

I am thankful - that I got to drive to Steinbach, even if it was bitter cold and dark.

That I got to watch the woman sign while she sang.

That I got to visit with a friend from our past.

That I got to see the beautiful landscape of this church.

That I got to shut my eyes and listen to the music and voices of God's people

And thankful that God used tonight to speak His truth into my slightly calloused and pieced together heart.

I am always just so blown away that God - in his great love and mercy, never gives up on me, or leaves me because of my whining, but instead continues to speak to me, and love on me! O God, you are so good. MY Lord and MY God... thank you. O my Lord ~ thank you. I can hardly wait to see what you teach me, do in me and in-spite of me! I love you Lord. Thank you for the community of Southlands which blessed me tonight.

Bye Baby Bunting...

It's funny the things you remember from your childhood. I wonder if my kids remember the same thing from their childhood, that I remember from mine. The songs...

There were two songs that my mom used to sing to me especially when she took me out of the tub and toweled me dry. I remember sitting on her lap, wrapped up cozy in a big bath towel, and I can still hear my mom singing to me...
"Bye baby bunting
daddy's gone a hunting
to get a little rabbit skin
to wrap his little baby in."

and then she would also sing,
"mommy's little baby loves shortening, shortening
mommy's little baby loves shortening bread."

(okay, as I wrote out that last song, there were a couple thoughts that came to my mind. First of all, why would a baby like shortening? i.e. lard But then I do like "shortbread" cookies! hmmm, is this where my sweet tooth came from!!) Isn't it funny how childhood songs, when you review the words, some of them are really strange! And, being that I am a Metis (card carrying one at that) I guess the rabbit skin, daddy hunting song could almost take me back to my roots so to speak! (smile)

So - back to the memories. I remember sitting on my mom's lap. (wow, I can't believe the feeling that just washed over me with this memory. Man, I miss my mom!) Believe it or not, I can almost feel that warmth of me sitting on her lap with the towel wrapped tight around me as she hugged me and rocked me gently. And I can hear her singing too. Funny how that comes so clearly.

So it was that when I had first of all Josh, and then Ashley - I sang those same two songs (plus others) to them as well. These two songs were also usually sang when I was getting them cozy and dry out of the bathtub.
"Mommy's little baby..."

"Bye baby bunting..."

Often my kids would say, "sing it again mommy" or "more" ~ and of course I would oblige!
Those are very warm memories for me too. I am thinking that I can hardly wait till I get to sing these to our little Everett. Except I will have to change the words from "mommy" and "daddy" to "granny and poppa"
I guess I will have to sing "Granny's little baby loves shortning, shortning"
and "bye baby bunting, Poppa's gone a hunting..."

The other day - when the kids were out, Ashley was shooting some pictures and she captured one of the most beautiful shots ever... it is of Everett smiling and it looks like he is waving. (sorry, for some reason, Ashley's pics load quickly but always load small)

O, Little one... how I love you.
My little baby bunting...
I'll love you for ever! I'll love you for always.
I LOVE YOU little Everett John Klassen.
I love you more than yesterday, but less than tomorrow.
O Lord, thank you for the gift of my grandbabies. Thank you for the safe arrival of little Everett who just turned 3 weeks old. Thank you Lord. Thank you.

Friday, January 1

The first day of 2010

Today, the very first day of a brand new year, has had me in a very introspective (is that the word?) mindset all day. It began this morning, as I sat having breakfast with my man. He with his honeynut cheerios and me with my miniwheats! Even that makes me smile. Alvin LOVES his cereal all soggy. Me – I never put all the cereal in the bowl at once, as I love my cereal just barely wet.

As I said – my morning had me taking a long good look “inside” so to speak. I realized that this year begins with much hope, much joy, and great expectation that this year will be full of good surprise and tons of laughter, love and family and friends. At the same time, I realize that there is a lot that I am still processing, working through, coming to grips with, mourning, and celebrating. The whole gamut of emotions, the whole gamut of thoughts.

I never make “resolutions” so to speak. I sometimes recommit to “goals”. Perhaps it is the same idea, just different words! Regardless, each year it is the same process – I usually take a look at what I wrote the year before, on January 1st. I also take a look at what I was trying to do at the end of the year, and whether or not it is worthy enough to carry over and keep working at. I also try to be open to a “verse” that God impresses on my heart – scripture that I can “make mine” for the New Year.

So, after a couple cups of good black coffee (fresh ground from Mountain Bean) – I sat down to read, to think, to journal. Here are some of my thoughts. You will see that they focus primarily around specific areas!

My thoughts focused around our Grandsons. It is no secret that the recent birth of our little Everett John brought great great joy. However it also brought the loss of our little Jay to the forefront again. Alvin and I continue to work through this very tangible combination of joy mixed with grief. Someone said to me yesterday, when I mentioned the great joy that we have experienced with our little Everett’s birth, they said to me “so the grief is done now?” (Sigh) I said in response, “no, I don’t think our grief will ever be done. I believe it will always be there (as long as I live) but it will look different with time.” I also said, “with our second little grandson’s birth, it was just a reminder that he should have his big 1 ½ year old brother looking at him, touching him and wanting to be near. It just makes the loss so real again.”

We (Alvin and I) are also constantly walking around, looking at our pictures (on our computer, on our fridge, in our “brag book” and trying to figure out just HOW much a grandparent is allowed to visit without being too much?? What IS too much… is that possible with grandparents? (Smile) This time next year, we will be (Lord Willing) living 5 minutes drive by car, from Josh & Leah’s, and will be closer to Ash and Michael as a result too. (once we live on Henderson Hwy.) I look forward to being that close, so that if the grandkids want to come over by bike, or snowmobile – we can just watch for them in our back yard!

So – back to the question… what is too much, or too often? I guess when we were raising our babies, we didn’t take note of what our parents did, or how often they came over. Somehow, it doesn’t seem to matter what they ~ we just felt like we want to see and hold our little one! Guess I will have to ask the kids some day if there is an answer to this! (Smile) Somehow it feels like we won’t ever be able to “get enough” of our grandkids! I figure that’s a good thing! That’s how it is with our kids, so of course it would be that way with our grandkids!

So then – the other big thing I was thinking of on this first day of the year – was my recommitment to get rid of some extra weight that I have coddled and carried for the last 20+ years. It was very interesting – yesterday as I stood in Chapters book store, I saw people checking out the “DIET AND FITNESS” section. Book upon book – how to lose weight in 4 days – how to be a better YOU – etc… Now, in the past – I likely would have been buying a book too. Believe me, I have paid more money into “diets” and books on diets ~ it is actually pretty embarrassing that I have wasted so much money and still carry around the 60 lbs in spite of what I have read, or what I have tried, or what I have paid money too thinking that “THIS TIME IT IS GOING TO WORK” only to go great-guns for three weeks and then fall off the proverbial wagon!!

I actually finished reading a book that Valerie Bertinelli wrote about her life, her struggle to lose weight – her victory. It was really good. She brings “faith in God” into the mix.

So, today, I looked through magazines, books, “program” information about weight loss and then ~ THEN I realized I don’t need any thing or any one to tell me what I already know. I know what I need to do. I know how. I just have to keep committed and just DO IT! I had lost 15 lbs between the last week of August and end of November. And then I sort of got a little overwhelmed and worked through the anxiety of my life with reverting to quick food fixes which usually contained sugar and white flour (which I was trying to avoid like the flu!) I also have not talked with my accountability partner for ages. Elizabeth got a really bad laryngitis (spelling??) and couldn’t talk for a long time.
So like I said today I realized that I have the knowledge. It is no secret. I know what to do. It involves exercise (which I really don’t mind after I get going) and attitude (YES I CAN DO IT!) and drinking WATER and changing my eating habits to cut our white sugar and white flour. This should be something I do even for no other reason other than cutting out the white stuff makes my fibromyalgia flare-ups less! Less Pain daily is a perk I figure.

Unfortunately I gained a few pounds back, so it is not 15 anymore, but hopefully I can get on the downswing again starting today! WEIGHT LOSS ON THE SCALE ISN”T EVERYTHING but for me, it does represent the fact that I am expending more calories than I am taking in, and that just makes me feel good.

So I have set some goals again – short term, and also long term. I have looked at how to get back on the “wagon” – and what to do with the emotional eating! Whether I want to admit it or not – it feels like an addiction. I am currently watching my brother as he has now been 6 months clean and in an addiction program. I am so proud of him, and at the same time wonder why I am not as successful… God is working in me, and has seemed to impress a lot of truth on my heart today. So – here is to kicking it up a notch and getting rid of the weight in 2010. O Lord, you are my strength. One place in scripture, I forget the reference, it says that “with God I can scale a wall” and I figure that the “wall” I need to scale is the WEIGHT issue and well, WITH GOD I CAN!!

When I was thinking of “life” today – and journaling, God impressed a verse on my heart – and it was the verse in Philippians 3: 13b – 14
“…but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

Somehow I just felt like God was saying to me – Joy just keep moving ahead – one step at a time – moving forward – trust me on this – keep moving ahead – don’t look back at the past anymore, don’t beat yourself up for things that happened, or things that you didn’t do – or weight that you didn’t lose – just keep moving ahead!!
I know that God’s heavenly prize for me is way beyond what I could ever imagine! In the meantime, I believe He wants me to give him all of the stuff I am mulling over, working through in my life! And well – He is the only one that can keep carrying me through this entire journey! So – I am going to try to do just that – press on!!

I was just thinking – I need to get a “slogan/motto” for 2010. i.e. “did great in 2008” or “looking fine in 2009” so – what could I use for 2010? Any ideas? Feel free to give me some!

Enough rambling – gotta go and make some supper for my man! To you and yours – a Happy New Year to all of you reading this lengthy blog! May God bless you way beyond what you would ever ask or imagine! God is God and God is good! Blessings!!