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Now what!?

I am 8 weeks pregnant, and then some. I feel excited but find myself checking the clock.  Yes, checking the clock!  I find time moving very, very slowly. My mother is visiting which helps time pass as we get work done, but when we are not working time is dragging. I find myself thinking, “Now what!?” What am I supposed to do now that I am pregnant?

It feels a lot like when I came to a realization many years ago. I was sitting alone, thinking to myself about my life. It dawned on me that I had now reached my goal. My biggest goal in life was to get married to a wonderful, Christian man and then have 12 children. While I had not yet had 12 children, and I doubt I ever will, I did have two children and the Christian husband I had planned to have. I felt like I had accomplished something great, and found myself thinking, “Now what do I do?” Of course the answer was simple, “Raise the silly kids!” (And the husband, actually.) But I still found myself wondering if there was something I was missing.

Nope. There isn’t. This is my lot in life: to be happily married and raise my children. Now I am having a third child and find myself very excited yet wondering if I missed something. I also find myself sort of holding my breath as I think about the birth of this child. I have experienced two vastly different scenarios giving birth.

With my first child, Cassie, I gave birth in a birth center. It was a serene and beautiful birth. The only pain I experienced was the moment she emerged causing a small tear. I used no medications and was grateful I did it on my own. I went home four hours later, feeling like I had conquered the world.

With my second child I had planned a home birth. We were living in Oregon at the time and after my first experience now 2 years ago, I felt confident in a home birth. Well that didn’t work out! I woke up at 2 a.m. bleeding and had to call my midwife over. She personally drove me to the hospital, promising I could come home if it was “nothing.” It wasn’t “nothing.” My placenta was tearing from the wall and I was bleeding to death, literally. This ended in an emergency c-section, but I was alive as was my beautiful baby girl.

Now I find myself pregnant and thinking about this birth experience. I am hoping for a VBAC.  That’s a normal birth after c-section.  Since the previous birth was an emergency c-section some of you might think this isn’t possible.  I but knew I would want a VBAC 10 years ago when I was headed into surgery.  At that time I kept repeating it, “I want a VBAC.” And several times during surgery I heard the nurse say, “No, she want’s a VBAC, do it this way.” So I do think it is possible.

Really I am finding whatever you believe is possible often is. If you believe you can or think you can’t you are correct! Well I believe I can have a healthy pregnancy and end it in a VBAC, delivering a healthy baby BOY. (I want a boy but haven’t had my discovery sono yet.)

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Here’s to having a happy, healthy pregnancy and delivering a happy, healthy child!

May you be blessed today and always.

Supera Mama Maggie

 

The Back-side of Life

sometimes life is tough and all we see is the messy back-side of life. but I believe in the flip-side of life. It is a beautiful tapestry and I know God has a plan.

I was once told our life is like a cross-stitch piece.  On the back-side of life, the strings are a multi-colored mass that seems like nothing but a complete mess.  However, if we could just turn the piece over and see the completed project we would see that it is a stunning work of art.  Unfortunately, the work of life is never finished and sometimes all we can see is only the messy-looking back-side of life.

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If you could let the pain of the past go perhaps you could recognize the amazingly beautiful tapestry that is being built by the contrast between our struggles and joys. Our struggles are a mess, but God in His infinite wisdom knows how to turn that mess into something lovely.

Today I choose to believe in the flip-side.

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I believe the flip-side is full of beauty, and above all it is full of purpose.  Nothing in my life happens without a reason OR a valuable meaning (even if I never see it in my lifetime).  I truly believe that.  If for no other reason, struggles and trials and so-called bad things happen to me to help me grow.

Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you make be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4 NIV

Each string on the backside of life has purpose.  Someone once said, “If you knew everything God knew – everything – then you wouldn’t want to change a thing.”  To me, this means that God knows what He is doing, and is working through all the things I go through.

In your process of looking back at life, believe in the flip-side, knowing that God has something bigger in mind that we can know right now.  We can only see the small bits and pieces of life, but He sees the grand picture – the tapestry being made.  Trust Him.

May you be blessed today and always.

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

(I am working on a book about the traits of God drawn from my personal experience and study of scripture. I look forward to sharing it with you.  It is a work in progress as I study to understand the nature of God but I believe it will turn out to be a good read.)

**I did not make the lovely pieces of cross stitch.  I found them searching bing.com on someone else’s blogspot.  I am grateful I found matching pieces that were front and back.

Failure or Fixer-Upper?

Ever wake up and look at that to-do list and re-add items that you didn’t do yesterday? Or the day before that? Or a week ago?  Does that make you feel like a bit of a failure?

This is something that has been on my heart lately.  I have felt a bit like a failure — okay a lot like a failure.  My mother comes to visit about once every six weeks.  Well she hadn’t visited since September and I admit my house was in disarray when she came to visit in Janurary.  It is NOT, honestly, because I knew she was coming and loves to clean.  I work so hard to keep this house clean but with two kids and a husband who works full-time, it is tough.  I KNOW many of you understand where I am coming from.  But the messy house isn’t all of what makes me feel frustrated with myself.

Confession time: I am not who I want to be.  I don’t read my Bible hardly ever.  I’m not the best homeschooling mom ever.  My house is never completely clean.  I rarely pray unless I need something or someone else is struggling.  (I mean God and I don’t “chat.”  Not that it is commanded anywhere but really I think I should talk to Him more than when I want something…)

Really, dissecting that phrase: I am not who I want to be!!  But I am not even sure if I am who God calls me to be. I am a mom, a wife, and a business manager to a busy chiropractic clinic.  I work hard, but is it all enough?

I know that all it takes to change, for me, is to change my mind and just BE different.  I find that change comes easy to me.  However, when change involves other people, it doesn’t matter how good at change I am, they have to change too.

But the question here is am I a failure or a fixer-upper?

Is anyone ever a failure?  Think about that for a minute…

In my humble opinion, no one is ever truly a failure until they give up on themselves or die failing.  Look at Edison.  He worked so hard to make that light bulb and “failed” many, many times.  But it was the fact that he didn’t give up that kept him from actually being a complete failure.  In the end, he succeeded in his goal.

So moral of the story?  I am not giving up on myself.  I am not a failure.  I just have some fixing-up to do.  I have to make goals, stick with them and see them through.

So when you wake up and look at the to-do list and feel less-than, give yourself some grace and get outta bed and get to work.

May you be blessed today and always.

~Maggie A. ‘Spoon

 

Loving Living. Living Loved.

Ever felt less than?

I haven’t always been this way.  More positive than negative.  Honest with myself about how I feel, yet pushing on to feeling better.

Perhaps you have felt like I have in the past: Laying in bed late at night or very early in the morning, feeling not-so-great mentally.  Maybe you have even thought similar thoughts tho those I would think in the past.  “Would everyone be better off if I were dead?”  This thought has crossed my mind more than once.  Additionally, there have been times when I just wanted to go home to Heaven — not do it myself, mind you.  I just wanted to Lord to just take me home.

Elijah knew how I felt.  In 1 Kings 19, Elijah felt alone and wanted to die.  He said in verse 4, “I have had enough, Lord.  Take my life; I am no longer better than my ancestors [who are dead].”  He wanted to die!  What was God’s response?  Did God scold him for feeling weary?  Not exactly.  God says in verse 18, “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel — all whose knees have no bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.”  God reassured Elijah that he was not alone.

Yearning for Heaven or death is not altogether wrong and it is certainly something I understand.  The problem is when those thoughts become “how can I make it happen myself.”  That is when it gets scary for those who care.  And I have heard it said that sometimes not only do those who love us not understand what we are going through, but they also feel clueless as to what to do.  I am not at a place or point where I know exactly how to advise those who are concerned about someone else.  But I have plenty of advice for those struggling with depression, anxiety, emotional pain or suffering and the like.

I have learned what it is to Love Life.  I have learned to count my blessings.  Does that mean I never have a bad day?  No.  I still have rough days.  There are still days when I pray my way through every single moment of the day because it is just that hard.  But I pray.  I don’t bury my head in the sand or cry and whine on social media.  I know those things do no good.

What does help?

Prayer I don’t mean to sound all preachy or religious but, well, here goes!  I know that, for me, it helps to reach outside myself to someone else who is greater and bigger than me.  It takes some of the pressure off of me.  I feel like when I give my life and my struggles to God it takes it off my plate.  Then the issue is no longer “mine.”  It is in God’s hands and I can let it go.

Let it go.  I am learning the beauty of this phrase.  It was made popular by the movie “Frozen” and has taken on new meaning for me.  Ever since a rough day popped up and I was discussing it in earshot of my oldest daughter.  She did a little dance and sang in a half-shouting voice “Let it go! Let it GOOOO!!”  I laughed and cried a little and knew she was right.  Letting go of issues I cannot change is sometimes the best way to get through it.

Let God be at work.  Sometimes I find myself wanting things “my way.”  Don’t get me wrong here!  There is nothing wrong with dreaming big.  Dreams are the fuel that keeps me fighting.  Even so, things don’t always turn out the way I dreamed them to be.  In the end, God works everything out and when I look back and reflect upon how things turn out I know it is good.  It is God at work in my life.  God needs room to work and life goes so much smoother when I let Him move and work within me and my life.

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“Dreams are the fuel that keeps me fighting.”

Trust that God is Faithful.  A good, steady study of who God is makes for a great study.  To anyone who has any interest in God whatsoever: consider just looking at the Holy Bible and asking yourself, “Who is God?”  Look at every story, every scripture from that angle and you will be enlightened.  I did this several years ago and I have found that it really helped me in my relationship with God.  I found a running theme: God’s faithfulness.  Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind.  Does He speak and then not act?  Does He promise and not fulfill?”  There are many promises in scripture (another great study to do) and it is encouraging to know that God, in His faithfulness, keeps every one of them.

Live Loved.  I believe I am loved by God.  Psalms 139:13ff says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made int he secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  Why would this be true of God if He didn’t love me?  Who am I that God should pay me any attention?  Psalms 8:3-4 says, “When I consider your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”  Such an honest look at man.  We are something special because God says so!  He deemed us special and worthy of His love.  He showed us how much He loved us when He sent His one and only Son to die on a  cross for us.  I am loved.  And as one who is loved I live my life with gratitude.  I count my blessings and I recognize that each gift ultimately came from God.

These are just a few suggestions of things that have helped me.  I hope you have found some encouragement here today.  Feel free to leave a comment of something that has helped you when you felt down or anxious or just anything other than happy.

May you be blessed today and always.

~Maggie A. ‘Spoon

(I learned the phrase “Living Loved” from Lysa.  It is found in her book “Uninvited;” a great read.)

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Hello Again!!

I am still here! Just uber busy. But I will make time for you again soon!

I know I don’t blog much… and maybe you are starting to wonder if I fell off the face of the earth. But here I am!!

hello!taged

Life is hectic for everyone — well maybe not couch potatoes — but it is for me!!

I have decided to homeschool my children and SURPRISE I am pulling them out beginning Monday, 5-9-2016. WOW!  What a huge endeavor for me!!  (Okay so I am using a lot of exclamation marks, but I feel very exclamatory this morning.)  I only have two kids right now and they are now 8 and 10.  But still I find myself feeling nervicited.  This is a word that I was exposed to with My Little Pony (yes I watch it with my kids).  It is obviously when you feel nervous and excited!  I do!!!  I want so badly for my children to receive the level of education that they individually  need.  Then there is the question: can I do it?  The answer: YES! With God’s help.

I know the Lord has blessed this endeavor as I have prayed and prayed and prayed and really thought this through and my heart just tugged me in that direction.  It was as if the Lord was saying, “Yes.  DO it.  You can with my help!”  SO I am!! 😀

In addition to homeschooling, I am still the Business Manager of my husbands chiropractic office. Whew!!  What and undertaking…  But it is very rewarding.  I get to see transformation in people’s health every day!  I feel excited to go to work — except on the rare days that my BPD gets me down.  But even then, once I am out of bed, I feel ready for the day ahead of me.  Speaking of which, I have to hop to it!!  But I wanted to say “Hi” and let you know that I am still blogging just right now not so often.  I will, hopefully, get back to it soon.

Thank you for your patience and I am glad you are still reading!

Keep pushing on and moving forward!! 😀

Supera Matris

The Last Time…

Last moments are a bitter-sweet thought. The last time your child asks you to rub their back or the last time they ask you to cuddle. These moments are special, for sure, but they are a fork in the road…

Interesting Blog Post – Click here to read

I have read a similar post before about the “last time.” That last time that your child asks you for those intimate times as a small child.  Things like, “Will you play with me?” (usually on the floor), or “Can I cuddle with you?”  Those moments where they get out of bed and run to your room because of a bad dream.  It is in those moments that, for me and my children, intimacy is built.  I get a chance to see through their eyes — to see the world as they see it.  When I play with my daughters I get to watch how they believe the world really is.  If you have ever played dolls with a little girl you will know what I mean.

thismaybethelasttime

These “last” moments are a bitter-sweet thought.  They are growing up in the Lord and I am teaching them how to be successful and healthy adults.  So these moments where they ask for the last time may signify that they are just growing up.  Or they may show that I am not putting enough into our relationship.  I know my oldest stopped asking me to do her hair because I would say, “I think I can,” as I sometimes do, only to not wake up early enough before school to do so.  She stopped asking because I wasn’t delivering.  I only found this all out one day when she exclaimed that I never do her hair because I never wake up early enough.  She sounded disappointed and upset at the situation.  I felt bad and realized that it was I who had let that fall behind.

As those moments come and go where they stop asking, I have an opportunity.  As mentioned in the post I shared, I can let those moments go and wish they would return, or I can seek out new ways of becoming a part of their lives.  I think this fork in the road determines much of the future.  I know in my personal life my mother and I did not always have a close relationship until I was an adult.  It was then that we both found a way back to each other.  I believe, if we are not careful, we can and allow our children to become distant and lose that intimate part of the relationship — that part that says, “Can I cuddle with you?” or “Will you play with me?”

But all hope is not lost if those moments slip away; sometimes without us recognizing that in our bustle and hustle of life we have allowed them to pass us by.  My mother and I are now best friends.  She said she considers me her very best friend, which is an honor I am grateful for.  So to those parents (Dad’s have these moments, too) who have lost that time be it naturally or due to busyness remember this:  it is NEVER too late to cultivate relationship with your child.

May God bless you this day and every day!

Super Mama
Maggie

Can a friend be a friend FOREVER?

friendshipisnot

I love the song sang by  a music group called Acappella, “Friends are Friend forever.”  I doubt it was written by them, but I love the A Capella version.  It is so beautiful.  The general message of the song is that Friends are Friends Forever “if the Lord is the Lord of them.”  Such a sweet thought.  But shouldn’t we make the most of our friendships while on earth as well?

I have so many FB friends…. how much do each of them really mean to me?  Do I call you?  Do we chat on a semi-regular basis aside from the sharing of posts back and forth?  Do I do more than just read your page every once in a while?  Or do I just read the news feed and see your post… or not?  When was the last time we at least shared a personal message thread?

I believe friends can be friends forever, and I also believe that what we do NOW counts.  We can allow relationships to deteriorate and fall apart.  Or we can work at them and enjoy them as they flourish into intimate relationships.

Today I found out that a friend of mine recently died suddenly due to unknown causes.  I cried for three reasons when I found out.  One because the lovely lady, Wendy, has gone on to Heaven to be with the Lord and sadly left behind many friends, loved ones and a husband and children.  I cried because I too have lost my sister who sadly left behind her four children and loving husband and I know what that loss is like — what it is like to lose someone you love.  And I have seen how it has effected my dear, sweet nieces who loved their mother very much.

And I also cried because I had let her go a long time ago.  When was the last time I SPOKE to Wendy?  I mean really spoke?  We were friends at camp when I was 15 or so.  She was a joy to be around but I never really tried to get as close to her as I could have.  We did not share an intimate relationship.  I would call her a friend, not an acquaintance, but we could have been closer if only I had put in the effort.

So with all the social media that begs the question, what about people who have more than 300 “friends” on Facebook?  I know I have exactly 418.  I have “cleaned out” my Facebook before, deleting people who I knew only by mutual friend and we’ve never actually communicated.  Some of them I had never even gone to their wall to see what was up.  Those are “FB acquaintances” and IMHO perhaps they should be deleted.  But my mother calls her FB a ministry…  She prays for her FB friends and hopes that her communication with them, even if it is only through them browsing HER wall from time to time, might bring them to God or draw them closer to Him.  So should we keep every FB “friend?”  I leave that judgement up to you.

Wendy will always be in my heart and I look forward to spending Eternity with her singing (she had an amazing voice), laughing and loving each other.  But somewhere inside I know that on this earth I could have done better.  I could have done better. I didn’t.  I never called.  Goodness I didn’t even have her phone number for the past several years.  I only saw her at camp when I visited and that has been several years.  So really we just had a Facebook relationship at this point.  To me that is letting her down…. letting our relationship deteriorate because of MY lack of effort.

Friends are friends forever, but only if we make it that way.  We can let friends drift away from us.  It starts slowly, creeps in.  Less seeing each other, less talking on the phone or in person.  Then one day you may realize you haven’t gotten together in a while and perhaps you do, or perhaps don’t.  Sometimes all it takes is a move to a far away place, say from Texas to Oregon (or the other way around, both of which I have done).  I have people in Oregon that I still call friends and whom I enjoy watching their life on FB, but I haven’t spoken to them, even in a personal message, in a long, long time.  I am letting those relationships deteriorate from a more intimate relationship to more of an acquaintance… or perhaps them not even counting me as a friend at all.

I must put an aside her about acquaintances.  There is something to be said for having them.  There are several different kinds of relationships and not every relationship has to be super intimate.  My MIL has acquaintances everywhere she goes, or perhaps some of them could be called friends.  She knows the names of the workers at the places she frequents.  She calls them by name and even knows some details about their life, such as their mother’s failing health, and from time-to-time may ask them about it.  Are these relationships meaningless or pointless?  Should we eliminate all contact from people (on FB or otherwise) who aren’t intimate friends?  That is not what I am saying here.  I am simply making the point that you get out of something what you put into it.  My MIL has worked at these relationships, starting with learning their name by face, not by name tag.  The relationship can progress into something more, or not, but either way these relationships mean something.  I have noticed that if I just remember someone’s name, call them by name and say “Hi,” and ask them how they are doing it brightens their day.  …For a moment or perhaps the feeling lasts all day but isn’t that “Hi” worth the effort?

My whole point as I write at 4:30 in the morning is this: Work at a relationship when it matters to you and don’t let friends slip out of your hands.  You never know when tragedy will hit.  Not to be depressing or anything, but death comes to our door often without notice.  When it knocks, who knows how many people will regret not calling, writing, or reaching out to that friend.  Make not that mistake.  Avoid regrets in your relationships — this goes for all relationships.  Reach out to those you care about and to those you love and let them know you care.  IF you have like 300 FB friends, consider either “weeding them out” and/or contacting one a day and just expressing your feelings for them.  One a day is 365 people a year.

Lastly, if you have lost someone and you know you didn’t reach out to them as you should have, forgive yourself.  While I regret not being closer to Wendy like I would have enjoyed, I will not spend my time regretting it.  I will spend my memories of her with gratitude that I knew her at all, ever, and that she counted me among her friends.  May she rest in peace and may her friends and loved ones find a little peace and comfort today and every day until they meet her again.

God bless you as you build your relationships.  May they be everlasting and may you cherish them always.

Supera Matris
~Maggie

Standing on the Side Lines

I found myself standing on the side-lines. I had spent so much time and hard work losing weight — out on the field working my butt off (literally). I had friends and loved ones cheering me on.  I lost 45 lbs in a short period of time (I don’t remember how long it took me); it was an amazing feat for me.

But then time went by and LIFE HAPPENED! BOOM! CRASH! BANG! and… Whoops… I found myself on the side-lines, not cheering others on, but stress eating, a habit which I thought I had broken.  I found myself gaining weight again — something I can TEACH others how NOT to do! I KNOW how to keep weight off!  So why did I get up to 220 lbs — the biggest I had ever been? Because I let life kick me to the side-lines. I let life take me over.  I allowed myself to get knocked down and I didn’t pick myself back up… for a long time.

It was 2010 that I weighed 165 lbs. I felt so good about myself. Not because I felt small but because I had done something I felt was impossible for me.  I had lost the weight that I did not like about myself.  I finally liked who I saw in the mirror.

Now here I am again, on the field, working hard, playing hard and BACK ON MY FEET! I will not let life knock me down this time. I stand tall, feeling encouraged (by my husband especially). My strong desire to do more with my life pushes me forward! I want to mountain climb first of all. Yes I do! I want to hike… often. I want to run and run and not feel like I am going to pass out — or worse, feel like everything is jiggling like a bowl of jello!! (It is embarrassing!)

I started at 220 about eight months ago.  This is my story.  (Yes it is a bit long-winded.)

***Disclaimer:  Everyone’s body is different and some people are perfectly happy with voluptuous bodies.  Wherever you are in your journey with your body is your personal story.  This is my story.  I am not intending to put down anyone else who happens to weigh 220 lbs and be 5′ 9″ like I did.  If you like you then GREAT.  I was dissatisfied with what I saw in my mirror.  Plus everyone carries weight differently.  One woman can weight 220 and believe that she carries  it in all the “right places” so to speak, while another woman carries it in all the areas she wishes she could shrink.  I was the latter.  And I am working on being healthy.***

I was always an emotional eater.  Comfort food is defined for me as every meal I sit down to eat — I need comfort daily!  I have also been a stress eater.  Ice cream gets to me — then it sticks to me!  I cannot keep any more around than I am willing to eat in one sitting.  Praise God for those new tiny ice creams that are itty-bitty.  I also struggle with eating too much.  Who doesnt, right?  It is challenging to stop myself when the food tastes so good!!!  I just want more and more and more and more and then I get on the scale and I want to jump off and throw it away!  I like to eat but I hate to feel…. so… big.  It is really just where I carry my weight.  All my weight is on my butt and my thighs.  They used to be called “thunder thighs” (probably because they make noise when I run).  Gross.  TMI maybe…

I don’t mean to be degregating about my body.  There are things I love about it.  I love my eyes.  I love my hair.  I love my lips.  I generally love my face overall.  I love my waist.  I have a little waist no matter how big my rear end gets.  I just want to be smaller.  But I digress…

Where was I?  I am in the field. Right…  I started again.  I did the same program — Take Shape for LIFE — because it worked  for me before!  I lost 45 lbs last time and would have lost it faster if I hadn’t “cheated.”  That is was the problem when I recently when on my program.  I kept running to the side-lines not for a drink of water like I should but for like… oh say a bit too much cheese.  Cheese is all fine and good but too much of it will keep you from losing weight.  I felt like I couldn’t stop cheating.  A bit of cheese here, too much high-fat dressing there… I mean there are a lot of little ways to go “off program.”  It throws a kink in the works and then the weight doesn’t come off quickly (like 2-5 lbs a week vs 1 – 2 lbs a week).  I wanted to lose it as fast as I can while still being healthy.

Well I DID IT!  I lost 30 lbs in 8 months.  It felt like forever and yes it took longer than 2 – 5 lbs a week.  I lost about 1 lb a week on adverage.  That is because I cheated a LOT.  This program works so well and I felt like a bit of a failure because it took me so long to lose the weight.  But I did lose it…. so that is really what matters.  I feel encouraged when I look in the mirror.

But I am not finished yet.  Now to KEEP IT OFF!!  I am walking at least 3 times a week.  I want to get to where I can run but I do still have a bit of thunder thighs.

Apologies if this bores you.  I just felt compelled to share why I have been on such a great program for so long 30 lbs.  This program can help you lose 2 – 5 lbs a week.  That is 8 to 20 lbs a month.  I aim to be on the 20 lbs a month range but I’ve only lost 10 lbs a month or less.  I feel like I want to be some poster child for this program but I can’t be if I cannot stop eating unhealthy.

So today I say STOP!  It is okay to eat unhealthy high-fat foods occasionally.  It is the habits — what I do all the time — that makes up my health.  It adds up.  One of the points of this program is to train yourself to have Healthier Habits for LIFE.  The goal of this program that I am on (and I teach) is to retrain your mind and body so that when the weight comes off you can keep it off foreverThat is the biggest problem of any “diet” out there…. Almost ALL of them can help you lose the weight.  Some may help you keep it off for a while, but not without cutting certain foods out forever.  This program teaches you how to eat what you want, in moderation, so the weight never comes back.  And when I say in moderation some of you are like, “yeah, okay.  So one bite of ice cream…”  No, not just one bite but also not the whole pint like you might be doing now!!

So I am working on healthy habits.  Walking, for example.  Then I will work on running.  Studies show that a person ages faster and has a generally lower quality of life when they are sedentary.  It’s challenging because I have a sedentary job.  I work at a desk most of my day.  But my snacks are healthy so that helps.  I do get up and move as often as I can.  But my real goal is to move more when I am not at work.  Oh and dancing is a GREAT way to lose weight or keep weight off.  It burns a lot of calories and is FUN! 😀

Anyways… I just wanted to share my story.  People have been noticing my weight loss and now that I am in more of a maintenance mode I wanted to share how I got here.  I do still want to tone my legs and rear, but that comes with harder work.  I could have continued the weight-loss portion of the program and lost more weight but Presten is getting rotund and its time for him to lose his weight.  So I transitioned into maintenance and here I am: 180ish lbs (I fluctuate), down from 220.  YAY! 😀

I do hold myself up to high standards.  There is another blog post for me…. Standards.  Keep your eyes open for that one coming up in my Re-Defined theme.

Keep pressing on.

Super Mama

Re-Defined: Failure vs. Success

Here I am again feeling like a failure as a mom because my house is a mess, my kids don’t brush their teeth as often as they should (sometimes not even once a day), they leave home with their hair in a tizzy looking like a ragamuffin, and working full time now I just cannot keep up with anything at home.  I am certain many of you can relate.  Sometimes I feel scared I am raising my kids wrong.  Not just because of those little things, but because of bigger things.  I look in the mirror too much – staring at my imperfections hoping they will just poof away some day.  I don’t want them having that horrible problem.  I want them to know they are beautiful without arrogance and feel beautiful inside and out.  But that means I must model it for them.  Oh some days I feel like a terrible model for my children!  But that is every mom, every dad, every person.  We all have our days where we just screw up and have to start over fresh the next day…  Am I a failure as a mom when I mess up?  Am I a failure because I just don’t do it all correctly every day?  Will my kids turn out okay despite my mistakes?

What defines a failure (as a person, mom or dad)?failure vs success3 ww

The English dictionary says failure is (emphasis added),

1.  an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success (Hey I thought you couldn’t use the word to define the word!?)

2. nonperformance of something due, required, or expected

3. a subnormal quantity or quality; an insufficiency

4. deterioration or decay, especially of vigor, strength

I included them all because they all say something a little different but in reality they are all the same.  We expect something from ourselves and we fail ourselves; or that is what we sometimes believe: "I have failed".

But I agree with Thomas Edison:

failure vs success1

I believe that when we fail, it is only true failure if we give up – stop believing in yourself or your goal, to stop hoping, to just plain stop working toward your dreams.  The act of not getting back up once we have fallen is to fail.  When we get up, brush ourselves off and keep pushing on that is the movement toward success.

So what, then is success?

Success is defined as:

1.  the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

2.  a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors (again using the word to define the word!)

3.  a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.

They all say similar things – the achievement or accomplishment of one’s goals.  So in my case success would be achieving my goals as a parent.  This, however, requires that I have goals.  I do not believe that success as a parent is to raise a perfect, well-balanced adult.  There are so many factors that go into raising a child, to a teenager, to a young adult, to an adult.  The older they get the more others have influence over them.  Therefore I have landmark goals.  I desire for my children to grow up to become Christian adults who devote themselves to God the Father in Heaven and follow the Holy Bible as it is written.  This requires I model what a Christian adult is, as well as teach them now while they are young about the scriptures, as well as other similar tasks.  Another goal I have for my children is that they love themselves.  Not in some narcissistic way, or with arrogance; but rather in a true loving way where they both recognize their faults and appreciate their beauty and goodness.  This is important to me because I struggle with this myself.  I love myself but I have my days where I don’t like myself at all.  I can be very derogatory toward myself.  But I work hard to be positive around the kids and to help them see that Mommy does love herself, even if she has bad days.

sumofexperience

So as they grow they will change to be some adult I did not make them into.  They will become individuals somewhere along the way – each day becoming more and more like who they are meant to be.  My adult child making poor choices does not define me.  An adult has the ability to choose their own path.  So once they “leave the nest” our job changes; it is up to them to fail or succeed.  I am not there yet but I asked my Mom what she considered her job to be now that I am an adult. She said:

To be available for communication, be supportive, encourage, lift up when my child is down, to provide emotional support.  And when things get tough, maybe my child even does something “bad,” the job goes on to be the same and to express extreme love to your child, despite the situation.

In the end, my hope for my children is that when they are all grown up, they will look back and see that the mistakes I made were just that – mistakes.  Not some vendetta to ruin their lives.  And that they will eventually become well-rounded, balanced adults.  Who knows?  Maybe one of my kids will do something that changes the world.  But just existing and doing anything changes the world around them because everything would be different if one person was missing.

Let me leave you with this:

failure vs success2

Keep pressing on.

Super Mama Maggie

Re-Defined: Finding Time

“Hey let’s get together soon!”
”Yeah, let’s do that.  I will find some time this week.”

I will clean the house when I find some time.  I will ___ (fill in the blank) when I find some time.

Ever had some sort of situation like that.  Is finding time is much like weight loss?  We hope to lose weight.  We try to lose weight but really without a plan we will never lose much weight. Finding time, like weight loss, doesn’t happen by accident.

There is no such thing is finding time.

find-time-make-time

Hope I didn’t burst your bubble.  Mine was burst this morning when a dear friend in Christ passed away.  I had spent the past four weeks trying to “find time” to go visit her.  She was on hospice, which of course means she didn’t have much time left.  How could I not MAKE TIME for such a dear woman?  Now she is gone and I wont see her until I am gone. I feel sad and frustrated with myself about this. Sad smile

We must make time for what really matters to us.  What if that had been my grandmother?  I am always trying to find time to call or write her. She doesn’t email much so I have to write her real letters to get to her; so of course I have to find time to do that.  What is wrong with me that I cannot grasp the concept of making time for these important things?

maketime2

Wouldn’t it be nice if it was that easy?

I wont blame anyone else for my issue.  I look for time all over the place but never find “extra time.”  Time is like money, when you have more it is rarely “extra.”  So I will stop right now.  When a friend says “let’s get together,” I will say “when?” instead of “soon” or the terribly untrue phrase about finding time.  When something comes up that matters to me I will stop putting it off and make time for it – put it on my calendar right then.

…Of course this means I have to use my calendar.

Do you have this problem?  Will you commit to stop trying to find extra time that rarely comes around and just start making time for what really matters to you?

recycletime

So lets get to it!  Start making time for what matters!

 

Ephesians 5:15-17

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because these days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

~Supera Matris