Wednesday, January 25, 2012

All Things Work Together For Good

I'm not sure how many times I've read Romans 8:28, which says, "We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.", but last night, during our family devotion, I learned something that I had never really thought much about before.

We have a book called "The One Year Book of Family Devotions" and each day there's a Bible scripture and a story to read that goes along with the scripture. It's great because the stories are very much geared toward children and give a good analogy on the scriptures. Last night, our verses were Romans 8:26-31 and then the story went something like this:

A little boy was upset and talking to his grandma about having to move away. He had hurt his leg and was wearing a brace and was worried that he wouldn't make new friends because of that. He asked his grandma why, if God loved him, he would have let him get hurt and also why he had to move away from his home and friends. The grandma's response really hit me - she told him that she was going to make him a cake, his favorite - Chocolate! She handed him the cocoa and told him to take a taste. He did, and he immediately started spitting and telling her how gross it was. Then she handed him the flour and asked if he wanted to try that, then the raw egg, then the shortening. All to which he said "NO"!

Here's her response to him on his reaction:

"You know, the Bible says all things work together for good in the life of a Christian. It doesn't say all things ARE good. Cocoa or a raw egg isn't good alone, but when I mix all the ingredients together, it's very good! So it is with life. When God gets through mixing a Christian's experiences together - the bitter, the sweet, the happy, the sad - life comes out good!"

WOW! Have you ever thought of it that way? How many times have I wished that I could change something, only to realize later that God had a plan in it all along? A plan to work all things together for my good. I loved that devotion - it taught me something and I pray it taught my girls something as well.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bedroom Overhaul

Those are the 3 words that I kept uttering over and over and over when I started cleaning out my oldest girl's bedroom.

I knew it was a wreck. I knew they had junk under their beds and that they had thrown stuff just wherever they could find a place. What I did not know is that my kids are hoarders and apparently are the little girl versions of Edward Scissorhands.

I put Mabrie down for her nap, walked into their bedroom and honestly had no idea where to begin. Every inch of that room needed help and to say it was overwhelming would be the understatement of the year. I decided the easiest thing to do would be to start in one area at a time. So, I opened the closet doors, grabbed my trash can and dove in. I made piles of stuff to keep and transfered those things to my bedroom until I was ready to put it all back together, and made piles of stuff to donate to Good Will and launched that out into the hallway, the other pile was my favorite - the trash can pile. I filled 5, yes, that's right FIVE trash bags. I loaded my Suburban down with donations and then I went back in and started reorganizing.

They are down to 4 stuffed animals. They went from approximately 1 million to 4. Lord help the poor person's soul that buys them another. The wrath they will face is severe. I don't know what I'll do, but picture something like this and you're close to what I'll look like:

Under their bed was disturbing. I didn't even take a picture of the before because I honestly don't want to remember what it looked like. All I know is I've signed them up for "Hoarding" therapy to try and remedy this from ever happening again.

When I scooped out the stuff from under their dresser - Good night Nelly. What am I raising? Trashmen? Since when do we throw popsicle sticks under the dresser? They have a trash can IN their room. But, I guess when deciding where to throw away popsicle sticks, whizzing it under the dresser seems like the better choice.

And you can blame me for allowing them to own 40 Bath and Body hand sanitizers. You know, because 20 per child is not overdoing it. You'd think since they have such an affinity for clean hands that this would translate to other areas of their lives. You'd think. You'd also be wrong.

Don't get me started on the duct tape.

My new year's resolution was to get organized. One room at a time. Today, I conquered the worst room in the house. I'll do another room, as soon as I recover from today. I make no promises my recovery will happen any time soon.

Brace yourself. Here is the room before:

And here's the room after I got ahold of it:

Monday, January 16, 2012

No Junk Food - Week 2 Update

Well, I survived another week of my new year challenge. It's getting easier as the days go on. I still miss my soda - terribly, but all the other stuff (sweets, fast food, chips, etc.) hasn't been missed too badly. Now, I can't say that I wasn't salivating yesterday when all my PS Choir kids and the other workers were enjoying some homemade chocolate chip cookies - I was. I wanted to eat one so badly. But, I also can't make it this far into this deal and mess it up now. So, I refrained.

Here's the deal. My last day is this Saturday. I have no intentions of being this strict on myself for life. Not a chance. But, I've also really had my eyes opened to how much junk I was actually consuming each week and it isn't something I'm willing to do again either. My goal after this is to be more conscience of what I'm eating and to try my best to eat as healthy as possible. I will have soda again. I will have dessert again. Who wants to live life without a treat every once in a while?! Not me. But, I will also continue to make better choices. There's nothing wrong with that at all.

Exercise has been going well, too. I ran several days last week and continued with different resistance workouts. I'm ready for the gooey belly to go away. Or if it won't go completely away, that's fine. I've had 3 babies and I guess my abs are never going to look like they did 10 years ago again. But, it can certainly look better - no doubt about that. :)

I'm so proud of myself - it may seem silly, but this is a big deal for me. I'm normally not so disciplined. I give in SO easily. I've now gone 16 days on this no junk food/soda challenge and I've really done it. Sometimes I can't believe I've had the will power.

Oh and I was just made aware that Chick Fil A came out with grilled chicken nuggets. That's awesome - I'll be trying those babies out soon! Anyone had them? Are they any good??

Have a great week everyone!

"So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not satisfy the desires of the flesh." Galatians 5:16

Saturday, January 7, 2012

No Junk Food Challenge Update

Well, I'm 1 week in to my 21 day no junk food challenge and so far, sorta good. HA! I have had nothing but water to drink for a solid week now. No soda, no juice, no tea, no koolaid, nothing. Just water. I'm getting bored with it. There have been so many days this week that I've wanted to run in and chug a soda. It's my downfall. I love it. Dr. Pepper may be the greatest drink ever invented as far as I'm concerned. But, I have been wanting to drink more water and less soda and I think doing this challenge will get my body used to doing without it so that when I do have one, it's more of a treat. The first 3 days were really hard. The caffeine headaches weren't too bad, but I just missed having that fizz with my lunch every day.

I've been eating great until last night. I broke down and had a Skinny Cow for dessert after dinner. I figure if I had to eat something sweet, the Skinny Cow was my best bet. At 1.5 grams of fat and 130 calories, it wasn't too bad of a choice. Other than that, if I want something sweet, I've been eating fat free vanilla yogurt with a little low fat granola mixed in for some crunch. I haven't had a bite of fried food, fast food, etc. in a week. Getting tired of salads and turkey sandwiches for lunch, but I'm really trying to complete my challenge and see how I feel at the end of it. I know what I'm eating is so much healthier for me. Lots more fruits and veggies and lots of lean meat - I'm sure my body is thanking me. My mind is coming around - there are days where my mind almost takes over and I dive in to a Big Mac! HAHA!

Exercising has been going well, too. Haven't done it every day this week, just 4 days. I've done a mixture of resistance and running. I'm running my next 5k on March 31st, so I have to keep going on my treadmill to be ready to go in March! I'm super excited about this 5k!! More details on that later - it's one that if you live in this area, you won't want to miss!

So, the biggest news on this whole update is that I lost 3 lbs. this week! WOO HOO!! Felt good seeing that this morning - I guess this whole "eating right and exercising" stuff does work after all! Here's to another week of making good choices! I hope I can keep it up!

Oh and WOO PiG SOOIE! Way to go Razorbacks on the big 2012 Cotton Bowl Win! Lots of excited people down in Hog Country! :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Goals for 2012

Every year I make a resolution or two - some I follow through with, some I fail at within days. Last year, my goal was to run 2-3 5k races to get back into shape after having Mabrie. I started running again in the spring (she was about 5-6 months old) and ran a 5k in April, May and then another in November. It feels so good to set a goal and follow through with it.

This year, I am going to really try to lose those last 10 lbs. that are still hanging on for dear life. Even though I run, I don't eat as well as I should, I drink WAY too much soda and I feel like I'm kind of sabotaging my workouts. So, starting yesterday, I went cold turkey on soda and junk food. Now, I can't say that I'll go a whole year without my beloved Dr. Pepper or a bite of something sweet and yummy. I'm not that crazy! My goal for the no junk food/soda is 21 days. I'm trying to go a full 3 weeks (and maybe all of January) eating as healthy as possible. I want to give my body a jump start and I think this is the way to do it. I am also going to try and workout at least 4 days a week. More if possible. I want to live a healthy life and be an example to my girls. By no means do I think I'm overweight - I just want to be as healthy and fit as possible and I want my kids to desire to be healthy as well. I'll update through the month to try and keep myself accountable - if I have to write it down and share with my blog buddies, then I'm more apt to stick with it. I do miss my DP though. And my peanut M&M's are in the kitchen taunting me every time I walk by. Torture, I tell you. Torture.

The next goal for this year is WAY more important than the first one I listed. It's dealing with my spiritual life. I want to pray more. I want to pray for my husband, my girls, my family, friends, the sweet kids in Haiti, our missionaries that are getting ready to leave the US and move their family to Haiti to serve in the orphanage, and so much more. Not just quick, little prayers (and those are ok, we should pray continuously) but spend real time praying over all these things. In order to do this, I'm going to have to let go of some of the things that take up so much of my time - things that don't matter. I need to spend less time on the computer, on my phone messing around and more time in God's Word and praying for people. Big goal - important goal!

My last goal for 2012 is to get organized. We don't have a ton of space in this house anymore - the people outnumber the bedrooms! HA! That is totally fine and I'm not complaining - I'm thankful for our home and I love the memories we have here. It's a happy home. But, it could be a more organized home and I plan to get on top of that. Room by room, closet by closet. It'll take time and persistence, but I think I can do it.

Have you made any resolutions or set any goals for this year? Share away....