Keep On Keeping On

I feel like the last two days have been non-stop even though I didn’t really do much today. Maybe it’s because I had a very long day yesterday and then was a bit drained when  I realized that I had left my debit card at the restaurant in South Carolina and now I have to wait on a new one from the bank (and pay 8 bucks for it). When I think about it, I’d rather pay the fee than drive all the way back to SC just to pick up my card.

Anyway, I have done much better this week on eating right and working out. I’ll admit that I had a not-so-healthy meal last night, but I still worked out and came in under calories. I’ve done very good today and will also come in under calories with exercise. I think one of the things that is keeping me accountable is the 100 Days of Tracking challenge I’m doing with a Facebook page I follow. I’ve tracked all of my food for six days in a row. I really feel like I’m on my way to getting back in the grove and getting these pounds off. I’ve been riding the recumbent bike, even though it really hurts my lower back, and doing kettlebell exercises. Hubby sent me a link to a site called Daily Burn and I’m going to sign up for the thirty day trial and see how I like it. I’ll check back later and let y’all know what I think.

Tomorrow I’ll start the “Made to Crave” bible study with those lovely ladies at Proverbs 31 Ministry. The book, by Lysa TerKeurst, is all about learning to crave food less and God more. I’m so excited because this time around I remembered to sign up for a small group. Last bible study I read the book but didn’t make much effort outside of that. I find it awesome that my church is also doing a sermon series called “Let’s Move”, which is all about being healthy in spirit, soul, and body. Definitely check it out!

Remember how I said I wanted to read the bible before Christmas? I signed up for a daily plan through an app on my phone and I’m already behind. I think the best way for me to study the bible is through Church sermons, devotionals, and reading books. I’m just not very good at sticking to the daily plan.

Also, I think I’m gonna end up blowing my goal of making new recipes out of the water. I think I set the goal at 12 (?) but I’m too lazy (and sleepy) to go back and look right now. Just in the time that JR was home, I tried five or six new recipes. It really does seem like we haven’t had the same dish twice in a while, and that’s a great feeling.

I’m also praying really hard for the Lord to point me in the right direction professionally. There are some potential changes coming up in our lives and financial stability would be a great thing.

As of right now, I feel like I’m on a roll and that it’s only going to get better.  🙂

 

“Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” 7-Day Challenge (Days 6 & 7)

I’m so proud of myself, y’all. The fact that I’ve stuck with and completed this challenge shows me that I can get out of survival mode. Before I get into what I’ve learned about myself (and what I failed at), here are the last two days of the challenge:

Day 6 (Sunday)- Find an accountability partner, someone to keep you on task and on track.

My first thought was to ask my husband, but considering he isn’t home half of the year and then on the rig 12 hours a day when he is there, I don’t think he would remember to ask me if I wrote that blog post or got in a workout. I’ll be really honest with y’all: I don’t feel comfortable having an accountability partner. This is my journey and I don’t have any friends that are doing the same. I would feel like a burden asking my already busy friends to badger me about working out and staying on task with my blog and homework.

I’m not saying I won’t decide to get a partner, I’m just saying I don’t have one at the moment.

Day 7 (Monday)- Make a list of things that I love to do. After the list is complete, go back and circle one thing that I can (and will) do today.

This challenge is designed to be a reward for making it through the challenge. We can’t always be organizing, cleaning, cooking, etc. We have to take time for ourselves! Here is the list I came up with:

  • Read
  • Write
  • Crochet
  • Spend time with the kids
  • Watch romantic movies (I’m such a sap)

The great thing about my list is that I’m already writing and I get to spend time with my kids every day. Last night Ashley and I painted wooden ornaments that I picked up from Wal-Mart. We had so much fun that we went back and picked up a few more to do tonight. I wait until Justin is in bed so that Ashley and I can have one-on-one time.

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I’ll let you decide who painted which ornament. 😉

I mention earlier that I failed and something and that was getting up early. I did get up before 7 two mornings in a row, but so did my son. I’m telling you, it’s like he can sense when my feet hit the floor. I can’t exercise or do anything really with Justin walking (Yes, I said walking!) around the house. I think that buying a used pack-n-play might be very helpful in this circumstance and I plan to talk to JR about it once he gets home from this current hitch. Even though I haven’t done well with rising early I have no intentions of giving up.

All in all, I really enjoyed the challenge. I feel like each activity was just the right length; just enough to get you engaged but not too much to bog you down. I’ve learned so much from reading the book (I’ll post a little more about that when I get finished in the next few days) and this challenge. If you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for? Go take the “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” 7-Day Challenge. I seriously doubt you will regret it. 🙂

Are you taking the challenge? Let me know what you think and how you are doing by commenting below or sending me a tweet

“Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” 7-Day Challenge (Day 4 and 5)

Day 4 (Friday)- Gain an extra 15 minutes. The first part of the challenge is to write down a list of things I want to get done in list of priority. Then, set a timer for 15 minutes, turn off all distractions and focus on chipping away at goals. Here is what I came up with. (I tried to stick to goals that I could actually do in 15 minutes)

  • Plan next blog post
  • Write two discussion board posts for class
  • Post in learning team forum
  • Read one chapter of any book

I picked “any book” because I have four or five lying around that I’ve been meaning to read. It took two 15 minute sessions, but I got the first three done. Hey, can’t win ’em all! I wasn’t distraction-free either since my daughter refuses to take naps. It was refreshing to have my homework completed before dinner time. I’m usually up late trying to get my thoughts together for those posts. Focusing on nothing but them for a period of time helped me to get them knocked out.

Day 5 (Saturday)- De-clutter one area of your home. It can be a closet, cabinet, or drawer. I’ve followed several clutter related challenges from Crystal’s blog, Money Saving Mom, and they have helped me tremendously. Just ask my mom what my very first apartment (after getting married) looked like. I guess the older I get, the more open I am to getting rid of things I’ve had since high school or college.

For this challenge, I had the perfect place in mind: the dining room table. I admit, we don’t eat at our table unless there is a gathering at our home. Since we had an early Thanksgiving  on Sunday you’d think that my table would still be clear. HAH! You, my friend, are sorely mistaken.

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My messy table. I either need less stuff or a bigger house. I’m gonna go with option 2. 

I’m going to be honest; there aren’t many places to put stuff in our house. For a family of four with three dogs, our barely 1000 sq. ft. house just isn’t cutting it. Anyway, since I have company coming over for a crochet date (Hi, Erika!) I decided this was the area to tackle.

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My clean-ish table. I don’t have a desk so I use the table as my work space (when I’m not on the couch). I also didn’t put my yarn bag away since I’ll be crocheting tonight.

Y’all, it took me less than 15 minutes to put everything in its place and I feel so much better. It’s just a table, but it’s no longer in my line of sight and adding to my stress.

Are you taking the 7-day challenge? I’d love to hear how you are doing! Comment below or send me a tweet!

 

 

“Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” 7-Day Challenge (Days 1-3)

Y’all, I am so excited. I was chosen, along with others, to be on the launch team for Crystal Paine’s new book, “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode”. If you don’t know who Crystal Paine is then you really need to check out  her site, Money Saving Mom. I absolutely adore Crystal and the work that she does. She’s pretty much my idol! Being a part of the launch team means that I get to read an advance copy of the book and I just have to say that this book is a God send. One of the things that I’ve always liked about Crystal is her ability to take what seems impossible possible once more. She does this by helping her readers to break goals and dreams into small, manageable pieces. Once you know where you are going, you have to break down the steps needed to get there!

For the last year I have felt that I am barely surviving while things I want to do have fallen by the wayside. One of those things is this blog. I always tell myself that I will make time to write and then end up forgetting about it. I don’t even have the goal to make money off of my writing anymore. I just want to reach people.

Anyway, part of the roll out for her new book is a free 7-day challenge that you can sign up for. The challenges for each day are taken right from the book. I strongly encourage all of you to sign up.

Here are the challenges that I have completed so far:

Day 1 (Tuesday): Make a list of everything that I need to do for Wednesday. The twist is that I had to automatically decide which two I would cross off. The entire exercise is to teach you that you have to say “No” to somethings if you want to lead a balanced life. Here is a picture of my to-do list (It’s kind of blurry so I also added a typed list under the picture):

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  • Wake up, read bible, pray
  • Wash dishes
  • Mop floors
  • Put out recycling
  • Write blog post
  • Write ROW post- PW Scones
  • Finish “Survival Mode”
  • Exercise
  • Clean out the car
  • Get familiar with curriculum for Sunday
  • Start crochet project
  • Homework
  • Post Office
  • Trash dump
  • Library

I forgot to take the picture until after I had already started completing items on the list. The two items I crossed off automatically were “start crochet project” and “clean out car”. Those were things that I would love to get knocked out but that I didn’t need to kill myself to get done.

Day 2 (Wednesday): Take ten minutes and come up with a list of innate gifts, talents and abilities. Then take ten minutes and write down what I like, admire, and appreciate about myself. Here is what I came up with:

  • Writing
  • Working with kids
  • Singing (not like star quality, but I’m not too shabby)
  • Leadership
  • Team player
  • Dedicated
  • Hardworking

It feels weird to sit and think about the good when I’m usually focused on things I don’t do well.

Day 3 (Thursday): Create my ideal morning routine.

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If it’s blurry to you it says:

  • Wake up NLT (no later than) 6:15 a.m.
  • Exercise- 30 mins
  • Shower- 15 mins
  • Coffee/Bible- 30 mins

I know that I’m more productive when I can get up before the kiddos wake. My problem is that I can never seem to get in bed at a decent time. Justin also still wakes up anywhere from 1 to 2 times a night so I don’t get much non-interrupted sleep. I also sometimes feel like I neglect one of the most important things and that’s my physical and spiritual health. I need to start taking care of me so that I’m not so burnt out all of the time.

In a few days I’ll post again with days 4 & 5 of the challenge along with an update on how I’m doing with getting up earlier.

Do you plan to sign up for the challenge? Let me know how you do and what you think by commenting below or sending me a tweet!

Keeping Calm

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© Vladimir Kindrachov | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I was involved in an incident a few weeks ago in which I didn’t react in the most Christian-like manner. Long story short? I got heated and opened my mouth when I normally would have kept my thoughts to myself. Talk about embarrassing! Getting my point across or showing someone that they are wrong isn’t worth the negative emotions that come after.

When I finally calmed down I thought to myself, “Why did I let that person get to me. They weren’t worth my time or energy at all!” I let that person mess with my calm, which is something I am struggling to keep from day to day. Why did I expend so much effort on someone I’ve never even met before? Someone that, in hindsight, probably didn’t have any ill will or inclination to argue at all! Let me tell ya, this incident has not only helped me get back to staying calm, it has also helped me realize that social media is too prominent in my life.

I have always been a bit short tempered, but I have been making a big effort to stay calm lately. With two kids, three dogs, and a million other things going on, I can forget myself sometimes.

I started reading a book called Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst. (Y’all know I love her!) It has helped me to see that losing my temper takes away from God and gives power to Satan.

Favorite line so far? “I can face things out of my control without acting out of control.” (p. 28)

That’s the root of the problem for me. I can’t stand to lose control of a situation. But I’m never really in control, am I? God is. The more I learn that simple truth, the more at peace I feel.

I refused to just forget about the incident and instead, use it as motivation on my calm journey. After all, those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it!

Patience and Parenting

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I chose this picture for today’s post because it was an extremely trying day and I failed miserably. It was hot, and my daughter wanted nothing to do with taking pictures with her brother. She made every attempt to drive me out of my mind. I’m very glad that day is over!

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a temper. I also have the tendency to lash out at my daughter when I’m frazzled or she has been trying my nerves all day. Afterwards, I feel horrible and hug her and ask her to forgive me, only to repeat the cycle the next day. Things get worse while JR is on a hitch and everything (kids, dogs, homework, housework, bills, etc.) falls on me. I don’t harbor any resentment toward JR for being able to get away from all of it because he is working very hard and is making it possible for me to stay at home with our kids.

I keep telling myself that I’ll try harder and will do better next time I feel my temper rising. And I do try, it just doesn’t work. So, I’ve decided to see what the Bible says about patience and parenting.

One of the first things I did was to buy Let. It. Go. by Karen Ehman. If you are a control freak momma/wife (I’ve got my hand raised on this one), this is the book for you. I’m a little more than halfway through it and I have learned so much. We can’t control everything and Karen Ehman gives biblical examples of why *gasp*  we aren’t supposed to. Trust me. You’ll be amazed.

I also completed the five-day Unglued challenge by Lysa Terkeurst on the Bible App. (If you don’t have this app already, I strongly recommend it. You can download it to your iPhone, Kindle, or android phone.) It’s a short challenge, but it will really get you in the right mind frame.

Of course, I turned to the Bible to find verses that mention patience and parenting. Here is what I’ve found:

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. Proverbs 16:32

Slow to anger, huh? That is a big one for me. 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

When my patience is being tested, I need to pray for the strength to handle the situation with God’s patience. Let’s face it, it’s not our patience that gets us through. It’s leaning on His.

A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18

The more upset and hot-headed I become when dealing with my children, the worse the situation is going to get. I don’t want my children to mimic that type of behavior. I want my children to calm their quarrels, not stir them up.

There are many more verses that speak on patience, but these are the ones that spoke to me on a parenting level. What verses do you lean on in instances that need patience in parenting? Leave your comment below, send me a tweet, or comment on my Facebook page!

This is my personal struggle that I know many others are facing. Things aren’t going to change overnight, but I am committed to seeing change happen.

“When Women Say Yes to God” Online Bible Study with Proverbs 31

One of my favorite ministries is Proverbs 31. It’s not just that they are based right here in North Carolina, but that they are real women trying to help other women to become deeply rooted in their faith. I also love how getting the devotions in my inbox each morning. The real life stories and lessons are inspiring and amazing.

Starting in a few weeks is an online bible study using Lysa TerKeurst’s book “When Women Say Yes to God”. If you are interested, check out this website for details and to sign up!

Also, one of the study leaders is giving away copies of the book on her blog. Check out Nicki Koziarz’s site for the details on that.

If you plan to join the study, please let me know.  Maybe we can bounce ideas off each other! I’d love to get to know any of you that are going to participate!