Thursday, January 19, 2012

No Excuses!

"Whether you think you can or can' are right." 
~Henry Ford

Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. 
Romans 12:2a

I just finished a 10 day Beach Body challenge, to kick off the 90 day challenge.  I struggled--man, did I struggle!  While we made a lot of changes and healthy additions and substitutes into our diet, I did it begrudgingly.  I realized in this week and a half that I have a bigger problem than my current pant size.  I have a false sense of entitlement to food--food I think is good.  I have to re-establish what good food really is.  The bigger struggle came to the workout-I whined and even cried, yes I got mad and cried once, because I didn't want to do it.  I made excuses and put it off until the end of the day, until I had the most obvious excuse "it's late, and I'm tired".  However, I KNOW that change will not come if I don't put it into action.

Made to Crave
I went to bed last night reading the book "Made to Crave", which puts our purpose into perspective as it relates to feeding our bodies and feeding our spirit.  I looked up a verse this morning that has been on my mind since then...the phrase "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" was playing over and over in my head.  I knew I needed to transform my way of thinking, and it wasn't going to be easy.  It takes work--hard work--planning & scheduling.  I learned that when I didn't have a snack or meal pre-planned I found myself tempted to grab something "easy."  Curbing our cravings and committing to exercise every day was not going to be me I had every excuse in the book!  But transformation will not take place until I put what I know into action and make a decision to push toward something better--a healthier way of living.  

I had an epiphany!  

There is a common misconception that when we become a Christian we will magically be GOOD, we will supernaturally be BLESSED, just because we gave our hearts to the Lord.  And while those promises are in the Word, it is true that 'old habits die hard.'  Those old habits whatever they may be: drinking, smoking, over-eating, over-spending, gossip won't disappear because we are now believers.  Thank God that through the Blood of Jesus Christ we were made new, however we still have to renew our mindset to what is Good (Philippians 4:8).  We have to renew our minds so we don't fall back into our old habits, our old way of living and thinking.  I looked up RENEW and it means "to be restored to a former state; become new or as if new again."  Transformation of old habits will not take place until we take action--renew is an action word by the way--and make adjustments to change our mindset by getting into God's Word, by pressing PLAY on the workout video, by avoiding temptation and making better choices everyday--NO EXCUSES!

You really HAVE to watch this video:
"By His power we live and move and exist." Acts 17:28a

Monday, January 16, 2012

Been there Pinned that

I received an invite to join something called Pinterest back in October.  I distinctly remember saying to some friends at a pumpkin carving party that I would not join because I didn't need another distraction like facebook.  It was only a couple weeks later that I peaked into Pinterest and was immediately hooked.  

What is Pinterest?  
It is basically a virtual bulletin board customized by you.  

I was always guilty of "bookmarking" things online and never referencing them again.  Even more frustrating was when I would bookmark a recipe or webpage and could not find it in that long list of unorganized bookmarks...or could not remember what I named it.  Pinterest is the perfect solution!  You create your own categories/boards for things you like to search for online: home decor, craft ideas, recipes, a great bag or book.  Okay, you got me, it really is a chic thing.  But in all honesty, it has been a fun and rather handy resource for me the last few months.  

For example, I like to make my kids birthday cakes and have fun with it!  I have a board for birthday ideas with cake ideas I have found online and pinned, and a few fun ideas some other people have pinned and I "re-pinned" onto my own board.  This was Abby's cake I made for her 6th birthday.  It was so fun and turned out super-cute!  

We had a little fun the other week cleaning up all the old broken crayon pieces in the bottom of our little shoebox of crayons.  We baked them in a silicon cupcake pan. 

For a little fun in our homeschooling activities last fall, we traced and cut out the girls hands and feet.  I let them decide what they wanted to make out of their cut-outs.  Katie made a butterfly, and Abby made a tree and a chicken.

At Christmas I took a fun idea from Pinterest and put the kids handprints on ornaments.  I let the girls paint their fingers to look like snowmen.  I messed up on Wesley's handprint...I was so focused on getting a good clean print that I didn't put his print in the right direction, so I had to get a little more creative and make it into something else--I went with a little reindeer.  And it turned out pretty cute I think.  I completed it by writing their name and the year with a marker on the back.

My favorite Pinterest idea come to life was the Christmas wreath I made.  A friend from church hosted a "Pinterest party", where everyone brought the fixin's for their favorite Pin.  This is what I attempted, simply made by stringing ornaments around a wire hanger!

For Thanksgiving, we took on our own crafty little project inspired by Abby.  I think she saw it on nick jr. 

We traced and cut out a template of the girls handprints.  Then rolled out sugar cookie dough and traced our template. I added a smidge of cookie dough to the thumb to give our turkeys a beak-like look.

Then we iced and decorated and had some messy fun.

These were originally going to be place-holders at the Thanksgiving dinner table, 
but we decided not to put everyone's names on them after all. They turned out so cute!

So, if you think Pinterest might be for you then check it out.  Leave a comment and I will be glad to send you an invite.  Click, Join, Follow, and have fun!  Happy Pinning everyone! 

Linking up with Carissa at Lowercase Letters for Miscellany Monday
Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters

Sunday, January 15, 2012

John 3:16

I just LOVE Christmas time!  Not only Christmas day, but the whole season!  I love the lights, the decorating, the smells, the music, thinking of special things to buy or make for loved ones....okay, not so much the shopping part, but just the Spirit of the Season!   It is a time that we can enjoy with family and friends, reach out to those in need, and the underlying purpose is to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ!  Yes, there is chaos amid the blah, crowds and deadlines,...but you can evade reality for moments in the season and just enjoy!

God's Christmas GiftI wanted to make sure our kids didn't get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas this year (and every year).  After we pulled all our decoration goodies out of the attic, I sat down with the girls and read a fun story to kick off our holiday fun.  I picked up this book several years ago and we use it to replace our usual Bible stories at bedtime reading during Christmas.  It is the narrative of a Grandmother telling her grandchildren about the greatest gift...and you have to see for yourself, but it's adorable!  Ha! I just had a flashback to Reading Rainbow--"but don't take my word for it".  Showing my age here, but I digress. ;)  For the weeks following, we decorated, baked, made lots of fun crafts and saw tons of lights!  The girls even had an incredible opportunity to truly give and learn first-hand how it feels to be able to bless someone.

In the midst of all of this we still occasionally lost sight of the "reason for the season" with bickering and some greediness.  So I taught the girls John 3:16.  They recited it on cue whenever I would randomly ask, "why do we celebrate Christmas girls?"...they would answer, because it's Jesus' birthday!!  I want them to understand from the Word of God why God's Gift to us was so special, not just because Mommy and Daddy said so.  And that is something they are learning on their own--it's a heart thing! We can encourage and
teach them, but ultimately they will give their little hearts to the Lord on their own time, as Abby did almost a year ago (Change of Seasons).  The video on the left was aired during a football game on Saturday night.  I was in awe as I watched the Word of God proclaimed so vibrantly on public television!  My sister-in-law helped me find the video of it, because I wanted to show the girls.  They made me re-play it six times!

Abby just celebrated her 6th birthday and our gift to her was a Bible and personalized case to carry to big-kids church.  The first thing she did was look up John 3:16...and she has looked it up dozens of times since and read and read it over and over.  This morning on the way to church as she was reading it in the car, she asked "why does it say that?" and she read it out loud. "Why does it say 'you will not die but have eternal life'?--Great Grandpa died" she said.  That's a tough one to explain, but she's been asking questions like this since she was three!  I explained to her about our physical bodies and our spirit and how we buried Great Grandpa, but his spirit is with Jesus because he gave his heart to the Lord.  I love her heart and desire to learn and truly understand more about the Jesus!  

The pop-up nativity
On Christmas morning we always begin by reading the Christmas story from the Bible and praying together before we open any gifts.  This is a tradition that came from my family that I love, along with cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate,...because it helps us stop and first remember WHY we are exchanging gifts.  It also puts an emphasis on GIVING rather than RECEIVING.  When I bought the book I mentioned before, I also found this beautifully illustrated book that shows "the Story of Christmas" directly from the Luke 2 and Matthew 2.  It has pop-up pages and gorgeous illustrations by John Walker.  I highly recommend this book if you have little ones and also share this tradition or would like to start doing so next year.  So in the middle of the Santa hype and festivities of Christmas, we always brought it back to WHY we were having so much fun and WHO we were celebrating.  John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  That is what makes Christmastime so special to me.

I'll share a few pics from our holiday below:
Pinterest made the holiday a little extra fun--handprints of my little ones.
Our 3 loves!
Where's Wesley?
Praying before we open gifts at Granny & Grandaddy's house
Abby and Katie with Great Grandma
Wesley with Great Grandma
Daddy reading the Christmas Story

Awesome Braves Rocker from MeMe and PaPa
One picture to prove I was there too. ;)
Sleep-eyed girls with their American Girl Dolls
Never a bad picture of my boy
Wesley playing in the giant box in the aftermath of Christmas 2011

I hope you all have a blessed New Year!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Courage! -this is not a resolution

"The miracle isn't that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
-John Bingham

Just read this quote as I am preparing my grocery list for my adventure in a beach body challenge.  Had I read this any other time, I might have overlooked it.  However, as I am mentally preparing for this challenge, determined not to fail, I am kind of scared.  Yes, scared.  Scared of not succeeding, not following through, not reaching my goals.  Weird, huh!  I haven't ever seriously tried to be fit or lose weight...throughout my life I exercise occasionally and eat whatever we can afford at that time.  Even when I was tiny in college, I was living off sodas and snacks that carried me though my classes and work until I ate dinner late in the evening.  Unfortunately, as a mom of 3 on a limited budget, carbs like cereals, sandwiches, and pastas make up most days.  So a bit of that "fear" is of the unknown--as one who is not good at meal planning, I am really going to have to think about and plan every meal.  As one who will sometimes skip meals like breakfast or lunch, I now have to fit those in AND force snacks in-between as well.  This is overwhelming to me.  

At the same time, I am excited.  I am excited to take my before pics and measurements because I can't wait to see the changes that will occur.  I am eager to see those changes, yet realistic about the timeline.  It has taken me about 8 years to fill these jeans after all, so I know I need to approach this with a sound mind knowing it will take time to reach my goal.  What is my goal?  To feel comfortable and cute in clothing.  To be healthy.  To not be a hypocrite that makes my children eat sensibly as I do the opposite.  Also, since I know we are not having any more children, I feel like it is time to get back to where I know I need to be.  My hubby is on board as well...ready to meet the challenge alongside me.  And Shaun T is propped beside my dvd player ready to roll with my workout of choice, appropriately called Insanity.  

So, Mr. John Bingham, whoever you are--fitness guru no doubt--I haven't started or finished yet.  But as I prepare to begin this challenge I am mustering up the courage to do so.  I know I can do this.  I am ready to do this.  


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