17Sep

Repost: Finish the Race

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photo credit

This is a repost from a few months ago.  I’ve struggled this summer, between the move and other factors.  I’ve completely fallen off the wagon, and needed this reminder.  And, just an update, I am working to finish up my masters degree this semester…yay!

Several people have commented on what they perceive to be my weight loss goals, mostly well-meaning people commenting on my facebook page telling me not to focus on getting skinny.  Their assessment is so far off base, so I am just going to pour my heart out here today.  I’ve already shared that it’s more than the number on the scale.  In fact, my goal is mostly a spiritual one.  Getting into a healthy weight range has many tangible benefits, but my real goal is to prove myself faithful.

He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much.  Luke 16:10

Over the years, I have acquired a nasty habit of not following through with things. I wanted to be a “professional” scrapbooker.  I got pages published, served on many design teams, etc.  Right in the thick of it, I lost my mojo and it’s been 2 years since I scrapbooked.

I wanted to get my masters degree, and we’re in debt nearly $20,000 because of that decision.  I finished all my classes, and all I have left is the final quarter of the work on my thesis-like paper and my comprehensive exams.  I’ve been at this point for 2 years now, and if I don’t finish by next year, my credits will “expire.”

I’ve always wanted to write a novel.  Last summer, I did it.  I wrote an entire, full-length novel.  I worked on revisions for a few months, but there are still some things I need to tweak.  I’ve been stuck at this point for the last 6 months.  It’s hard to find quiet time to focus on such a tedious task, but that’s mostly just an excuse.  The truth is that I lack follow through.   

Depression has played a huge role in all these things, but regardless of that struggle, I have not proven myself faithful. 

One Sunday in church, I was praying, and God called me out on this.  I said I want to be used by Him, and I felt a gentle chastening…  “You have not shown yourself faithful in the little things, therefore you also can’t be trusted with the bigger things.”

This was and is a devastating truth to face.  I know, in my spirit, that the victory of reaching my goal weight is going to be, more than anything, a spiritual victory for me.  It’s what God has called me to do to prove my faithfulness to Him.  

“let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  (Hebrews 12:2).

The Christian life is referred to throughout scripture as a race that requires endurance.  Losing a substantial amount of weight is symbolic of that.  It requires discipline, dedication, and follow through, all qualities that are necessary for walking with Christ.  God has really placed this on my spirit.  My weight is a hindrance to me.  My reliance on food is something that easily ensnares me.  I have a need in my life, both physically and spiritually to lay that aside, and finish this race.  I need to do this in order to be more useful to my Savior.  Not because a “skinnier” person is more useful, but because a faithful person is.

How I long to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

(Please note that I am in NO WAY judging anyone for their weight or anything else!  This is something that God has placed on my heart for my situation and nothing more.)

*******************************************************
Now for the numbers:

Heaviest Weight: 201.8 (I am 5’6″, so this put me in the category of being medically OBESE)
Current Weight: 180.8
Next Milestone: 170
Final Goal: 135 (Healthy weight for my height is 115-145)

I had lost a total of 23 lbs, reaching a “low” of 178.8 or so.  Over the past few months of completely backsliding, I have gained back 2 pounds (and a lot of belly inches…).  Either way, I consider this a victory because I have been back to square one with HORRIBLE eating and virtually no exercise for nearly 3 months, so it could be much worse.

 

(also check out: Weight Loss WednesdayWorks for Me Wednesday, Women Living Well, Women in the Word)


 
19Apr

A Peaceful Home: The Toddler Room

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Photo Credit

I mentioned here and here that I’ve committed myself to making our home more peaceful.  Obviously that means more than just keeping it clean, but for us, decluttering is a part of that.

I have also committed to sharing my BEFORE pictures, no matter how embarrassing they may be! So, here goes.  My boys share a bedroom.  Also, I have to say, their room wasn’t always quite this messy, but this day it was, probably because I let it go for a couple of days in anticipation of the fact that I was going to be doing a huge overhaul anyway:

 

 

A few notes:

1.  Too much stuff.  Yes, when all this stuff was put away, their room still looked neat, but overall, I felt like they didn’t need half of this stuff, so I did a MAJOR pare down.  I probably got rid of about 70% of the stuff in this room.

2. The TV.  I never really felt great about having a TV in their room, but my friend gave it to us when she got a new one, so I did it.  But I never really felt comfortable with it (even though the didn’t watch it much and when they did it was only DVD’s) so the TV is going bye-bye.

3.  Overflowing closet.  As I post more before and after photos, you’ll notice a recurring theme.  Closets get out of control fast around here, and usually end up to the point of avalanche.  Since they were “babies” (or at least used to be), I felt like they didn’t really need closet space, so I used it to store clothes that didn’t fit anymore, etc.  But, they would get in there and drag things out and we would dig around to find something, and it ended up looking like that.

4.  The walls.  I am terrible at choosing paint colors.  The color might look perfect on the card, but that never transfers to my walls.  Once it gets on the wall, it looks awful, and that’s what happened here.  This was painted when I was about 7 months pregnant with Caeden…since then things have been kinda crazy with being pregnant, nursing, pregnant, nursing, and having infant/toddlers…so I just now got around to fixing it.

5. Chaos.  So, I know that some people might say a peaceful home has nothing to do with it’s state of clutter or organization, but when I look at these pictures, it stresses me out.  It just gives a sense of chaos.

Now…here are the AFTER pictures:

   

Ahhh…isn’t that much better???

Like I said, I got rid of about 70% of the stuff in their room.  And as you can see, they still have plenty of stuff.  I put their stuff into the closet.  I actually moved the dresser in there for now.  They are actually currently sharing a dresser while we are getting rid of the old changing table dresser combo.  But, it works since summer clothes take up less room than winter clothes.

No t.v. anymore, which makes me feel good.  And, the pale blue walls look much better than the old colors.  I really wish their beds matched, but it’s really not worth spending that much money on a new bed when Caeden is about to outgrow the toddler bed anyway.

As you can see, I moved the beds around as well.  This actually works better for us because as you can see in one of the before pictures, we always had a problem with that rail falling off easily.  Now that it’s against the other wall, we use mostly the other rail, which is much sturdier.  After we get the changing table out of there (listed on craigslist and someone is supposed to come get it today), I might experiment with some other ways to arrange the room.

But, the bottom line is that with some of the clutter gone, the room is much more peaceful now!


 
11Apr

Snacking: Freedom to waste!

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Snacking is something that I really struggle with.  Actually, BINGING is something I really struggle with, and it’s the thing I’m most working on overcoming right now.  The Easter candy got to me this week, not so much in binging, but in snacking throughout the day.  But I had a great moment yesterday.  There was a bag of peanut M&M’s in the kitchen that had been calling to me.  I resisted for a while, but then just gave up.  I headed to the kitchen, driven by the purpose of getting the M&M’s.

My feet took a detour.  Almost as if they had a mind of their own, and I ended up with an apple instead.

It was a breakthrough moment for me.  Because so often, as I have struggled with eating disorder, I have felt like I have no control.  Like my body just goes to the kitchen for the snacks and I’ve eaten entirely too much, before I even know what I’m doing.

I’ve been reading a lot about Spiritual Warfare lately, and without getting into that too much right now, I’ll say that I feel like yesterday was a winning battle.  Instead of Satan leading me to things that are destructive, the Holy Spirit led me to something good, and instead of regret, I felt victory.

I know there are some of you reading this, and thinking, “what’s the big deal?”  But, to me, someone who has struggled with food addiction and various other forms of eating disorders.  It was a huge moment.

Now, for some of our favorite snacks:

-Sweet potato fries dipped in yogurt
-Frozen yogurt bites
-Fruit
-Trail mix
-Fruit/Yogurt parfaits with homemade granola
-Quaker mini rice cakes (the caramel corn ones are awesome!)

And, here is one of my biggest tips when it comes to snacking or eating:  Don’t be afraid to waste your food!

I am the biggest proponent of NOT being wasteful, in most circumstances.  We are taught from a young age to eat everything on your plate.  I remember being 4 years old in head start and being sad because people who cleared their plate got a happy face sticker.  I never had a happy plate.

Now, I never have a SAD plate.

Overall, waste is bad.  But, when it comes to those of us who struggle with food, we need to get out of that mindset.

Did you open a can of soda, and take just a few drinks?  That’s okay…throw it away!

Did you eat ¾ of your candy bar?  If you’re “done” with it, don’t reason that there’s only a couple bites left…Toss it!

If your kids don’t finish their food, don’t finish it for them, throw it away!

Yes, it’s bad to waste food.  It’s worse to fill your body with even more junk calories.  Your health is more important than a little bit of wasted food.

My weight is holding steady, but after all the Easter candy this weekend, I’m okay with that.  Plus, at the end of last week, I had some fluctuation of about 2 pounds and that has settled down, so I’m okay with the holding steady and not gaining!

Pounds lost: 10
Pounds to first goal: 5
Pounds till overall goal: 55

(Check out:  Weight Loss Wednesday, and Women Living Well’s 5 week challenge)

 


 
25Jan

Use your stash (& a little giveaway)

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Okay, so I have a little story.  I have been drooling over this MME stack at hobby lobby.  I don’ot go there very often, but when I do, this stack always catches my eye.  But, I wouldn’t let myself buy it.  Why?  Because I have SOOO many such stacks/collections that I have added to my stash, just had to have, and then never touched.

But, I had some cash for Christmas and it was on sale for 50% off.  So I made a little bargain with myself and my use-your-stash challenge for myself was born.  Here is my plan.  Each month, I am going to choose a collection that has been in my stash for at least 1 year.  I’m going to make myself a little kit out of it, and use it to create as many layouts as possible.

First though, I’m going to start with my new MME stack.  I just love the colors and patterns :)

Also, since there were multiples of all the 17 patterns, I’m going to have a little giveaway.  So, simply leave a comment with some older lines that you would like to see featured with new ideas.  And, I will draw a winner for these 17 glittered papers.  A small note though, these were glued together kind of sloppily at the top, so the top edge is kind of rough on some of them, but could easily be cut off.

There were 3 of each design, so if I get at least 50 comments w/ suggestions, then I will have 2 winners.


 
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