My Journey Along the Narrow Way

ImageAs some of you may know, the last few months I have been going through some big changes.  I have been in the process of getting healthier by eating better, exercising, and losing some weight.  I have good days and bad days but I have finally figured out that what really is  most important is my head rather than my body. 

I have been reading the best book by Lysa TerKeurst called Made to Crave.  I literally feel like the author has been peeking in my window and writing about me.  Through her I have really learned some great Biblical truths that relate to the sin of gluttony that I have been struggling with. 

I have realized that like the title of the book says, I was made to crave.  Only what I was made to crave was God…not food.  The fallen world has twisted a wonderful feeling placed inside of me into something that has led to defeat, shame, and guilt.  Only by realigning my thoughts and learning to crave what I was made to crave can I get off of the cycle of overeating and rationalizing it.

Thought for the Day:  My weight loss goal is not a number on the scale.  My real weight goal is peace.

Oh how I wish I had learned these truths years ago.  Maybe I wouldn’t have wasted so much time in this struggle without any success. 

And this doesn’t just apply to weight struggles.  It applies to whatever you are craving other than God.  There is so much in this world that we substitute for God.  That’s our enemy’s aim, isn’t it? 

1 John 2:15-16 says, “Do not love the world or anything of the world…For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.

While I realize this will be a struggle for me (and everyone else too), until we are done with this world, I am so happy to know these truths and work on fixing my head (and my heart) and live a life that is pleasing to my Lord.

 

 

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

You may remember I just did a post about missing Halloween.  Well, it turns out I miss Thanksgiving too, but not for the same reasons.

Unlike Halloween, there aren’t many people who don’t like Thanksgiving.  I mean there’s lots of food, family, lots of food, football, lots of food…welll you get the point.  What’s not to love?

There is, however, one group of people who seem to dispise Thanksgiving.  Notice I said people, not turkeys.  Obviously turkeys aren’t too fond of Thanksgiving, and for good reason.  The people I’m speaking of would be the retailers.

When I was a child there was a nice progression of holidays in the stores.  First we had October and Halloween.  Next came November and Thanksgiving.  Finally, December and Christmas followed by the New Year.

It was so nice to be able to fully immerse yourself in the season, decorate, enjoy it, all before moving into the next holiday.  Every season had it’s place and nothing was rushed.  Now Halloween is big then it seems November 1st – here comes Christmas.  (Speaking of each holiday having it’s month then moving on, what is with the people who keep their Christmas trees up way into January and beyond.  Ah, but that’s a rant for another day.)

I know the retail establishment likes to jump from one money-maker to the next but I HATE it.  For one thing, I am absolutely sick of Christmas music by mid-December because I have been hearing it so long.  For another, I think as affluent a nation as we are, we definitely need to take 30 days in November to really reflect on and thank God for all the blessing we have been given.

Now I’m not hating in Christmas, I LOVE Christmas, I just miss Thanksgiving.  The only advantage to rushing the process I’ve found so far is getting any new Thanksgiving decorations I want at 66% off on November 1st since Hobby Lobby already has them discounted to make room for Christmas.  That is definitely a plus in my book.

Well the retailers can rush all they want, I for one am going to enjoy my Turkey day, be thankful for something all 30 days of November, and look forward to Christmas…once December comes.

Your thoughts?

I’m a big fan of Halloween.

There, my secret is out.

Before I was a Christian, this really wasn’t a big deal for many people.  I was one of “those” people who decorated their house for Halloween.  Even when we lived in an apartment, I was always the one that not only decorated my apartment and the door, but also the entire breezeway.  Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays because it’s just don’t-take-yourself-serious kind of fun to me (and don’t-take-yourself-serious pretty much sums me up).

Once I became a Christian, in some circles, I kind of felt like I had to go underground.  It’s not like anyone overtly said anything to me but I just felt funny saying anything about my love of Halloween.  But still I loved it, just more to myself.

So I’m just going to share my philosophy on Halloween.  I’m not asking anyone else to “convert” to my way of thinking, I’m just trying to explain myself to everyone who wants to know.

I really like Halloween.  I like giving out candy to cute kids (and even not-so-cute teenagers).   I like decorating my house with cute “monsters”, jack-o-lanterns, and the like.  I like watching spooky movies, especially the older classics.  Tonight I plan on watching the original Frankenstein like we did every Halloween growing up.  And no, I don’t take it all seriously.  I don’t get into anything “dark”.

I miss the times when we would just put on some old clothes of my dad’s and put dirt on our face and trick-or-treat as hobos.  The whole neighborhood of kids would go in a big group together.  We knew all the neighbors and were safe.  Our dads would hang back behind us with flashlights and escort us around.  It was simple and it was great.  Then we would all usually hang out at someone’s house to get sick eating loads of candy and watch Frankenstein or Dracula or the Mummy until late.

There was no concern about it being dark or dangerous.  No one looked at you funny for celebrating.

Now I understand that there is a lot of darkness in this world.  There are things that people allow their children to put on to trick-or-treat that I’m frankly very uncomfortable with.   I’m not saying that is good at all.  And if you choose not to celebrate Halloween or ever allow your children to trick-or-treat, I’m not going to condemn you or say something ugly to you about it.

So tonight, I’m going to pass out some candy and watch a movie.  Don’t worry, tomorrow my Halloween decorations will come down and I’ll decorate for nice, respectible Thanksgiving.

Color My Life…

Recently, we decided to paint a few rooms in our house.  There is something about painting a room that quickly makes it look so much better.  Really, what else can you do to a room that costs so little (just a little paint and supplies) but makes such a tremendous impact?

That isn’t to say I like painting that much.  I actually kind of like painting the walls.  A lot.  I just hate the cleaning up and the trim.  A lot.

We actually have two bathrooms in our house which have evolved into the Girl’s Bathroom and the Boy’s Bathroom.  The Boy’s Bathroom was painted in 2007 during  our last painting frenzy but the Girl’s Bathroom hasn’t been painted since it was constructed probably 10 years ago.  And there was actually some door trim that never was painted previously.  We also had some nice scratch marks on the bottom of the door from when a doggie got locked in the bathroom all day when we were at work (poor baby).

So I picked a great color that I had been thinking about for a while called Aqua Bay by Behr.

It turned out GREAT and I love it.  The color is fantastic  So fun to wake up to every morning and get into the shower.  I am going to pair with it the a lot of orange accessories that just POP with it (which I already have but was the contrast color listed to go with the Aqua Mist).

Then, I got stalled.  I really didn’t want to do the trim.  And this is on the first room we are painting.

So we decided to de-stress ourselves for once.  In order to get this all done before our Christmas family get-together and avoid becoming so stressed about it that I end up hating it after it is done, we have hired someone to finish the trim and paint the rest of the rooms.  (Yay!!!  Thanks Phillip)

The other rooms we have decided to paint are the living room, dining room, and hall.  I have picked some great colors for the redo.

For the Living Room, I picked Asparagus Green. —->

<—-  For the Dining Room & Hall, I picked Dry Sea Grass.

Both will be painted with White trim.  I have already started scouring Pinterest for ideas to decorate and update.  I’m really excited because we haven’t been able to do a lot to the house in a while.  I’m so ready to get some updating done.

Next up, I’m thinking about painting some of the tables in my Living Room a distressed black.   The furniture is about the color of the Dry Sea Grass paint so I’m trying to decide if the black distressed would look good.

I can’t wait to see how all this turns out.  Comments/suggestions are certainly welcome.

I’ve been a little lazy about writing lately.  Actually, I haven’t written a word since way before our cruise.  So let me start with our wonderful trip.

Bud and I have been planning and talking about going on a cruise for our 25th anniversary for literally years.  Because of that, we were both sad when we found out Bud would be in Korea for our 25th anniversary.  After he returned from Korea, we decided this was the year.  We decided on a 7 day cruise leaving from New Orleans and going to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Montego Bay.

We left in late August right around the time Hurricane Isaac decided to come into the Gulf of Mexico.  We left and the first full day was pretty rocky due to the Hurricane.  Despite having the seasick patch on, I still got pretty sick the first day.  Once I took some more medicine and we got around 400 miles away from the hurricane, it was much better.  Also due to hurricane, our itinerary was flip-flopped and we started at Montego Bay. 

We decided to do excursions at the ports since we were newbies.  In Jamaica we went on a tour that took us through the beautiful countryside, holding a stingray, and then swimming with dolphins.  It was amazing.  The dolphins were so much fun and one took a special liking to me and gave me a BIG FAT KISS on the mouth!  The people were wonderful and the food was great.

The next day was Grand Cayman which I fell in love with.  It was the most beautiful place with the most beautiful blue water.  We did a tour here too which included a ride to Hell where we got to send out mail from the Hell Post Office, then we went to the Tortuga Rum Company where we had double chocolate rum cake (YUMMO), then to the Turtle Farm where we got to hold some cute turtles, and then finally to meet a boat that took us 30 minutes out to the stingray reef where we swam with and held huge stingrays.  They were so soft and lots of fun.  When you hold them they just look up at you.

The next port was Cozumel.  I want to go back to Cozumel again because we were at a different port than Carnival usually uses and we weren’t able to do a lot of what most people get to do at Cozumel.  We walked around, shopped, and then went to Margaritaville.  It was nice and relaxing for Bud and I. 

The sea days were so much fun and I know it’s cliché but I did have the time of my life here.

It was an absolutely fantastic 25th anniversary trip and hopefully it is the first of many wonderful cruises in our future.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss back to school.  No, not the aisles jammed with people buying supplies at Wal-Mart, or the school meetings, but the actual back-to-school.  And not even for my children, although I will admit to deriving some satisfaction from their school supplies.  What I miss every year at this time is actually going back to school.

There…my secret is out.  I was THAT kid.  I absolutely LOVED getting new school supplies.  There is something about new pencils, fresh paper, and a great Trapper Keeper that just gets my blood going.  I loved getting the textbooks for the year.  Seeing all the new stuff to read and learn.  I loved getting my desk and organizing it.  I loved meeting the new teachers, the new kids.  I loved the new routine.  It was all wonderful to me.

And every year at this time I want to go back and do it all again.

It’s funny, when my children were going back to school I was more excited about the school supplies we had to get then they were.  Bella did like to take time to look at what she wanted but Joey couldn’t have cared any less.  Just get it and go.  I don’t remember back to school shopping being quite so chaotic back in the day so that part wasn’t all that much fun with my kids.  I don’t know why everyone waits until the weekend before school to go to Wal-Mart to shop.

I was in a waiting room at a surgical center the other day and a high school girl was sitting next to me reading “The Stand” by Steven King.  I asked about it and she said it was summer reading for school.  I was so jealous.  I want some summer reading for school.

I know, now you know that I am truly a book nerd.  And even worse, I was always a teacher’s pet.  I loved to be helpful and take roll, or take stuff to the office, or even write down the names of the misbehavors while the teacher was out of the room.

I loved having my homework done every day, I loved reading out loud in class, I loved going to the chalk board (and later the white board) to do math problems in front of the class.  There is only one truly horrifyingly bad class I remember from school and that was speech which I took in the 8th grade.  It was awful giving speeches in front of the class.  There was not one thing I liked about that class.

So for the next week or so just ignore me if I get a little misty thinking about back to school.  Don’t worry, it won’t last long.  As soon as I have to go through the first school zone traffic, I’ll be over it.