Friday, May 17, 2013

A Line Of Entrapment: A Call For Help

While the kids and I ventured to Sonic for lunch on our first actual day of being in Texas, we sat intrigued as well as ready to help ... after eating our food.

What was this thing that we were so intrigued, saddened, ready to help with, yet at the same -- we were amazed??

The Sonic we ate at was kind of in a "rough-looking" neighborhood. Sitting next to the fast food joint was a soccer field park. Given the condition of the park, I am going to assume and safely say that it was not being used, or had not been used in quite some time. It made me sad, really. Even kids in those "rough neighborhoods" need an outlet of encouragement and direction. **I will leave that topic for another time. Maybe.**

Anyway, there was this soccer goal that had a loose net string. We witnessed a bird fly into it and then becoming entrapped. We could not tell if it was the wing that was caught or if it was the little bird's foot. Our daughter was a bit worked up because she felt so bad.

"Mom! Can we go help it? Oh NO! It can't get away!"

So, I promised that we would go help it after lunch. In my heart I felt that it would be okay. Plus, we did not have any sort of hand sanitizer and we were about to order our food.

What happened next was utterly amazing!

Picture obtained by Google Search.
The entangled bird must have called for help because along came two little birds. One bird bounced towards the loose net string and the other stood there watching. I imagine the little onlooker was analyzing the situation. I mean, God did not create animals without the knowledge to be able to fend for themselves, know the call of struggle, etc! Anyway, the entrapped bird tried flying away and then the little onlooker bird grabbed the loose net string. I have no idea how that made the string come away from the bird, but it surely helped. The bird was free!! Not only that, but the three birds stood there. In my fairy tale mind I think the entrapped bird was saying, "Thank you so much! **tweet. tweet. tweet.** Thank you so much for helping! **tweet-tweet. tweet-tweet.** You saved my life! **tweet. twee-tweet.**

I was in utter amazement!! Our kids were like, "WOW! Did you see that?!" Totally amazing!!


Then, we witnessed another bird fly into that loose string and was entrapped, also. Do you want to know what makes this even more amazing? Of course you do and so I will tell you.
Those two little birds that came to the other birds' rescue stayed near the soccer net. When the other bird became entrapped, they were there to help. And help they did.

I will share in another post what the LORD showed me through this "Call For Help".

Monday, May 13, 2013

Time Is Flying By

Hello Friendly Readers:

I just want y'all to know that I have missed sharing with y'all, dearly! Time is flying by like there is no tomorrow. We have been crazy busy around here between my schooling, my husband's schooling, and getting ready for our move. I have not forgotten about y'all. I even have MANY posts in the works. I should set one hour aside each week, maybe twice a week, and sit down and push these blog posts out. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE sharing what is on my mind with y'all. Will you please leave some comments when you come across a blog post that intrigues you? This will help me know what kind of things are grabbing your attention.

~ Love and Grace To You ~

The Greatest Advocate For Us -- Jesus

I've been up since 4a.m. 

Here is my Bible study from this morning: 

**God knew that life on earth would be hard for us. That we would ALL give into sin. Take heart, though, because we have an AMAZING Helper that wants us to be saved from these things that are in the world. Jesus was and IS the absolute answer to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (sin). This cleansing doesn't just happen. 

It happens only by choice AND by action. We must GO to the LORD (our advocate, like a lawyer) and ask Him for forgiveness, to help us do an about-face (cleansing process) so that He can forgive us and cleanse us from that sin. 

Think about it this way: If a person is guilty of a crime, they get a lawyer to plead their case. You could get time in jail from that crime. What's so awesome about this? Jesus wants to forgive you. He is the true Advocate for you. He doesn't have to be, but He has chosen to be. It requires action and heart on your part. What's even more awesome is that you may still have to "suffer" a consequence on earth for your actions, but as long as you have gone to the LORD, asked for forgiveness of YOUR sin, He is Righteous and Just and will forgive you. 

He removes His wrath, judgement, and condemnation from you by this "simple'ish" action and heart on your part. I say simple'ish because sometimes it takes the removal of our pride to go before the LORD, to humble ourselves, and to ask for forgiveness. 

Grabbed from a Google search.
Linked to this website.
It's like that on earth when we wrong someone: We have to "swallow" our pride and apologize. That apology is only sincere when our heart is sincere. Otherwise, that apology means nothing. This action of asking for forgiveness, from the depths of our heart, humbling ourselves before God, allows us to stay in fellowship (relationship) with Him.**

"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked" (1 John 2:1-6).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Have you ever been to the point of exhaustion? Or maybe to the point of burnout? Have you ever wondered what more could you do to get things completed faster? Or maybe you have thought about just quitting, afterall, it seems easier doesn't it?

These are the questions that have been running through my mind the last couple months. I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that there is a TON on my plate. If there was a literal plate, mine would be overflowing with all kinds of things -- all of them good, but at the same time, there's just sooooo much! Is there anything I can do to minimize this? Not really. So, it's one of those times where you just have to roll up your sleeves and take the nitty with the gritty (or however that goes). :)

Today's good news is brought to you by Liberty University. Okay, well the good news was actually given to me, but I want to share it with you.

I called Liberty to change my degree program to a BS in Early Childhood Education Interdisciplinary. My degree plan was set at a BS in Psychology Christian Counseling. While I still feel that I can do this sort of "job", my heart is in a family child care/development setting. Originally my degree completion would end in March 2015, attending at the current pace I have been attending (summer breaks, two classes in the fall, four in the spring). However, after the academic adviser informed me of how I can accelerate a lot quicker, I seriously felt like I had just heard THE BEST NEWS EVER (besides knowing that Jesus died on the Cross for me and wants to have a personal relationship with me).

It is most certain, or at least it feels that way, that the reason why this feels like THE BEST NEWS EVER is because I am absolutely burnout on attending college. For once I want to have my mind blank (umm, I'm a female and there's just no possible way this could happen, huh?) and not worry about college classes, reading tons of material, answering questions and quizzes, and taking tests. I want to have the freedom to come and go as I please with our children and do things as a family, to take many more date nights with my husband without school getting in the way.

At the same time, I know once I earn this degree it will be one of the most rewarding things I have accomplished. It will have been earned with rapid heartbeats to meet deadlines, procrastination, thorough examination of material given, and lots and LOTS of tears. It will be so worth it! It WILL BE rewarding!

Picture by ME.
So, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I will now graduate around 15 August 2014. Yes, on this accelerated path I will have to overlap sub-terms. This fall I will overlap so much that at one point I will be in FOUR CLASSES (someone help me now, please!) for four short (not so much) weeks! Several times I will be in three classes at a time for two to three weeks at time. BUT ... it will all be worth it when I can finally say that I have graduated with a Bachelor degree, one that will be so rewarding to put to use -- not just financially, but in that "warm fuzzy" heart kind of way!

THERE IS A LIGHT at the end of the tunnel that is growing increasingly brighter!! THANK YOU, LORD for answering this prayer about what I should do concerning school! His provision NEVER FAILS!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Small Goals Equal Bigger Goals

Click for Image link
One of my own self change goals for this year is to get into the best shape that I have been in for the past 10+ years. Every time I have been successful at losing weight and getting healthy, this success has been achieved by setting small goals.

In the fall of 2011 to the early spring of 2012 I had lost 35 pounds. Granted, a lot of my focus was on kids, healthy eating, and staying busy while my husband was away. And then the same 'ole happened -- I gained all the weight back within 6 months after he returned home.

I am flat out tired of that crummy cycle!!

So I'm making changes ...

Two of the "BIG TO ME" changes I have made is eating breakfast and getting in between 1200-1500 calories. In 2.5 weeks I have lost 5 pounds. Those 5 pounds have been lost by simply making these two changes. Next week I will add short timed HIIT exercises. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. In two weeks I will add an exciting treadmill workout that I have been wanting to try. No. I am not a runner. But, I wouldn't mind becoming a runner, again, because all these 5k charity runs sound like so much fun!

Image obtained from here
What I have not done is set those small goals. I came across this chart while "surfing" Pinterest and it got me thinking about goals.

Lose 5 pounds. Check.
Next step: Lose 10 pounds. That's just 5 more pounds than before. Then, before I know it I will be on my way to losing pound 15, then 20, then 35, then 50, possibly 60 pounds! I understand that weight is a number and that not every person should be the same weight. And I also understand that muscle weighs more than fat, which is so bizarre given the mass size of fat compared to muscle. However, I am only 5'1.5" tall and know the health issues that run in my family. If losing weight and becoming more fit and active helps deter me from having some of those health issues, well then I am going to do it.

My other goal is to become healthy in food choices not only for myself, but for my kiddos and my husband. I want us to eat better, not have "bubbly" tummys (if you know what I mean), and be overall more healthy ... as a family. Weight-loss for one individual is better achieved when the whole family is in on it -- wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Something New On Something Old

I love the smell of fresh wood -- especially pine. I love the dark lines and the small knots on planks of wood. I also love the fact that I now have a keyboard tray on my desk! Thank you so much honey -- you have no idea just how much it's appreciated!!! **batting eye lashes**

Okay, so umm ... where was I? Oh right, keyboard tray.

We were given a desk several, several years ago. It's not ancient, but it's definitely 5 years old, or older. While we were in England a friend was leaving country and did not want to take the desk with her, so she gave it to us ... for FREE! Who does NOT like free stuff raise your hand .... exactly! Free, especially in great working order is amazing! We agree with each other, right? **smiles and nods**

This desk has been without a keyboard tray for as long as we have had it. I do not know what happened to it prior to us receiving the desk and I really don't care because the desk is in GREAT shape, overall! It is definitely my most favoritest desk in all the land ... that I've owned. Not that I've owned land, but desks -- I've owned plenty of them. Okay, this is NOT a fairy-tale, must stay focused! :)

Anywho .........

I was contemplating on throwing out the desk and buying a new one. However, when I checked prices of desks that were of good sturdy quality (must be sturdy because we move around too much), the sturdy desks were just too pricey. Would you agree? That is when I decided to tell my husband that I was going to look to see how to make a keyboard tray, which also meant I would have to look up how to use a circular saw. My husband took it upon himself and did the tray for me. It was finished within one hour! He's such a handyman ... a jack of all trades ... except his name isn't Jack. Ha!

Oh-why-oh-why did we wait so long to create this keyboard tray? Not sure of the answer to that one, but I'm oh-so-glad that we have one!

Well, here is a picture of the keyboard tray attached to the desk .....

Don't mind the opened text book and notebook ... that's my college
math work I am supposed to be working on, instead of writing this
blog ... but talking with all of you is a whole lot more FUN! 

One of my projects after our move ... unless I decide to get all crazy in the next two months is to sand the desk down and refinish it in either
JAVA image from Amazon


My person favorite is the Java. Maybe partially because I like all things coffee, even in color, but also because I really like the dark, rich colors of paints and stains. There's something so very warm and inviting about that those colors.  

Do you have any projects you want to work on or are working on? Please do share! DIY is so much fun when we get to share the accomplishment or project with others!  

One more thing I just realized ... both of the stain choices that I have decided on either deal with drink or food. Hmm.... or is it Mmmmm! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Yummy Greek yogurt dessert...for breakfast!

I have been trying to venture out and try new foods in hopes that I will not get bored with this healthy eating and weight-loss endeavor I am on. One of my quick go-to foods for breakfast is Greek yogurt. Only thing is that it cannot be eaten plain because I do NOT like the taste. I love sweet foods! Seriously, I compare myself to Buddy from Elf. He eats syrup on everything. What a great concept! Just kidding. Sort of. 
I do love things with a sweet and salty taste and don't like things to taste too mushy like baby food, either. 

**Here is a little bit of blast from the past: When I was 18 years old, I would eat baby food at times to keep my weight down. How silly! I pray my daughter does not have self esteem and self identity issues. I pray that she knows exactly how much she is worth in GOD's eyes and how much she means to HIM!**

Anyway, this morning I went to my go-to food: Greek yogurt. This time it is a plain Greek yogurt (typically it is a vanilla Greek yogurt) from Dannon. This morning I ventured away from my homemade fruit compote and tried something new: a cookie dough dessert with Greek yogurt. You will see in my food posts that if I share a link about the recipe more thank likely you will also get to hear how I changed it to suit mine and/or  my family's tastes.

Yummy breakfast to go along with my math work. :)
Here's what I did differently with this recipe: 
one extra tablespoon of mini chocolate chips 
10 whole almonds that I coarsely chopped
one tablespoon of amber agave nectar. 

Is there anything I would do differently? Tomorrow I will try it without the chocolate chips. I want to keep my foods as close to wholesome as possible. I will provide an update here whether or not the removal of the mini chocolate chips left me desiring for them to be reinstated. 

What are your typical go-to foods for breakfast?

**UPDATE: So, I tried the yogurt without the chocolate chips. One bite and I was wanting the chocolate chips in it. I also didn't realize that when I originally made it, the recipe called for vanilla and I didn't put it in there. So, again, I'll remove the vanilla and omit the chocolate chips just to see if it makes a difference. Hope you've been able to try this yummy concoction!**