Thursday, June 23, 2016

Vacation is Coming

One more work day left until vacation starts. I have enjoyed my precious alone time with my husband of 25 years (next week), but I am missing my children. I can't wait to see them and to visit family and friends over the next week. We will hopefully be in NC sometime tomorrow evening and will be there for a whole week. I am excited, not for the driving part but for the fellowship of family and friends that I have not seen in quite some time.

Work update: I started a new position last week, however I will not be able to fully get into the role until later in July due to vacation and having to cover phones when I get back. I am looking forward to new responsibilities. Right now, I pretty much have nothing to do until that happens. Oh well, I will be so thankful that I have a job and anticipate the coming work that will greet me upon my return from vacation.

Family update: Lee and I will celebrate 25 years of being married next week while on vacation. I love this man so much. He is my best friend and who God created for me. Geoffry finally has his car and he and his wife Becca are trying to look at future options for their own place very soon. Their son, my grandson Marcus is a joy and I am very much looking forward to holding him when I get to NC. Christopher has been at camp all this week and is still involved with Boy Scouts, has passed his grade, and as of the end of school has a girlfriend. Jamie has been enjoying the summer in NC for the last several weeks. Like I said, I can't wait to see my children. I have missed their presence. Kobi and Penny are still good. They will most likely not be speaking to us when we get back for leaving them for so long.

Weight update: Nothing much to update. I have stayed steady at 170. I would like to go further, but that would require further surgery to remove excess skin. I'm not sure I can afford it so I will be elated with my progress. I am comfortable with myself as I am. I have lost a solid 160 pounds since December of 2013. I have more to work on, but don't we all? When I get back from vacation, I will again re-start my healthy options and routines. It is all about re-starting every day and allowing yourself something small. I say small because a treat every day is not optimal for healthy living, but maybe one per week or per month would be better. I would like to have an exercise routine that works for me and my schedule. One that does not require thinking too much or planning in advance-just doing.

I will leave you today with a quote I put in a previous blog several years ago. I am going to post this in my cubicle at work and then at home as well so I can remind myself every day that God is my #1 and I need to make it so in my life.


“If I could give everyone only one piece of advice it would be the following, ‘Greet each day by sliding out of bed and hitting your knees. Tell God how much you love Him and thank Him for everything you can think of. Then give Him your day, energy, passion, desire, and needs. Talk to Him throughout your day. Turn off the radio while you drive and picture Him sitting beside you. Tell Him what is on your mind and ask Him advice. Then wait for the answer. He is faithful to always respond...we often simply assume He will not. Finally, treat each day with the desire to make your Heavenly Father smile. I like to close my eyes and picture my actions bringing a smile to His face.’” Dr. Jill Jones, DOD- 08/08/2010. RIP to you and your son.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How To Weep In Public: A Review



 
 
















I want to begin by saying that I am a reviewing an advance copy that was provided by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of review. I received it through the Blogging For Books website. You can purchase the book HERE .

 This book is supposed to be a satire about how to experience depression in a fulfilling way. I found the book to be somewhat funny, however it seems to be more of an excuse for the author to speak opinions in vulgar ways with no purpose. Each chapter says basically the same thing over and over again. I found it hard to make it through each one. There are some practical suggestions regarding navigating through relationships while in depression mode.

http://www.jokesnovak.com/

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Still on Cloud Nine

What a weekend! What a weekend! Let me say it again...What a weekend!!! I was finally able to get my hair cut and colored on Saturday and it feels great! Plus, I have the best family in the whole world. God blessed me so much through them this past weekend. First, Geoffry came up to PA to pick up his car. He brought with him Lee's dad Steve and step mom Frankie, his wife Rebecca, and my beautiful grandson Marcus. If my heart wasn't already full enough, within an hour of them arriving on Saturday, I found out what Lee had been secretly plotting for 2 weeks prior - one of my very best friends from high school Chelley showed up with her son Aydin to surprise me. What a shocker! We were able to go out to dinner and ice cream and then I went with her to see her campsite. Sunday they were all at church with us and then followed back to our house for a marvelous BBQ chicken Sunday dinner that we were all able to sit at my kitchen table and enjoy. We played cards and just hung out while some of the family took care of Geoffry's car. Then I was able to enjoy a sweet nap with my daughter and grandson until everyone got back to the house. To top all of this off, yesterday my husband picked me up from work and took me out to a wonderful dinner at a restaurant we have been wanting to try. It was an amazing Italian dinner and my new favorite restaurant. I had a great time hanging out with him and walking around Wal-Mart for a little while. Then when we got home, we watched a movie with our son Chris. What an amazing time of fellowship I have had this weekend. I am so full-hearted and happy. I will miss our daughter Jamie as she is now in NC visiting family until we come down later this month. Wow! I am still kind of without words to express my gratitude for my family and friends. May God truly bless them all.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Review of "Together at the Table" by Hillary Manton Lodge


Together at the Table

I want to begin by saying that I am a reviewing an advance copy that was provided by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of review. I received it through the Blogging For Books website. You can purchase the book  HERE

I enjoyed this book very much. Ms. Lodge doesn't fail to keep the story interesting in this follow-up in the series. The heroine continues to get to the bottom of understanding her family roots. It is a continued tale of love in hardships and the threat of lost loves during a time of war and secrets due to Jewish heritage. All of the characters were well played and the ending left me wanting more from the story. Hillary Manton Lodge has once again proven herself to be an inspired fiction writer and I look forward to reading more from her. 

http://www.hillarymantonlodge.com/

Friday, May 13, 2016

Words Unspoken Until Now

Well, here is my 18 month weight loss check in results: I am no longer obese. I am not sure if I ever thought I would hear these words or not. My doctors are pleased with my progress and say that I am at a good stage. I am holding between 160 and 170 pounds and have finally made it out of the obese category. That feels good. I finally feel "comfortable" with myself. I know I have further to go to my original goal, but honestly if I don't make it that far, it will be okay because of how far I have come. 160 pounds is a lot to have lost. I am proud of myself. I can be the person I want to be. Thanks to all my supporters (you know who you are). Many friends and relatives have gotten me to this place with much encouragement. Most of all, thanks be to God to whom I owe everything. You make me want to be a better woman.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage - A Review

This book should receive 5 stars for couples in new marriages. This reader is 25 years into marriage so there was not a lot of new material. With that being said, there was still a lot of great material to revisit and definitely good material to help newer couples. The suggestions are right on and funny because they are so true. I enjoyed reading this book and would encourage anyone to read it even for entertainment purposes.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A New Day with Help

I don't normally post so close together, but I felt I needed to say something about today. I have been facing anxiety and depression for a while now. Like yesterday, I won't put it up on Facebook because #1 - I don't want everyone to know my business or rather I don't feel comfortable confessing this to all people and #2 - I don't want pity from people and that is what I will get if I tell this to some people. I feel embarrassed because as a Christian, I don't know how I could possibly be facing something like depression. I know God has me in His hands always so why am I feeling like this? I don't question Him, I question myself. He has brought me through many other "down" situations and I have no reason to doubt He will do it again with me being stronger on the other side.

Here it is: I feel like crying every single day that I get up. I am experiencing health problems like chest pains and just not feeling good on a day to day basis. In the course of this going on, I have had to think about why it is happening. Am I stressed? Am I anxious over the little things? Yes and ...Yes. When I lost my job (not of my doing) last year, I was devastated. I loved my co-workers and I was in a good place. Maybe I was too comfortable and maybe well I don't know what but I still harbor hurt feelings over the whole thing. It wasn't their fault either so that is not what I am saying. They didn't want it any more than I did. It is just what had to happen (Thanks to our governor not passing the budget for last year). I had to take a part time job at Kmart and while I do or have enjoyed customer service or retail in the past, it is not what I am meant for. I don't think I am "destined" for something greater or that I am better than that, its just that I worked hard to go back to school at a late time in my life and I think my talents can be used elsewhere. My heart is in social work. I have taken civil service tests and God blessed me with a job with the county here. The drawbacks: Pay is over half what I was making before. Better than Kmart - yes. Benefits are great - yes. I feel isolated where I am. It is a truly lonely job. I am used to having constant interaction with people. I don't get it here. Plus, I know language is not a big deal to a lot of people but it bothers me when it is all day every day from almost everyone around me. I can only hope that one day I will finally get a call about the job that I really want and maybe there is a reason God is withholding it from me. Maybe I am not ready. Maybe it isn't what I think it will be. Maybe it will be worse than where I am.

When will my weight loss be enough? I am staying at the same weight which is good, but I know that I have 20 more pounds of fat to lose and then I want to get rid of extra skin because of what I perceive it to look like. Sometimes I make bad choices. I don't overdo it but I worry that I will pick up old habits.

I want to be closer to God, but I don't think I make enough of an effort to be where I want to be. When will I allow the Spirit to move in me? When will I see that Jesus covers me? When will I see that God is holding me when I can't stand up?

I worry about my children for different reasons. I worry that Geoffry and Becca will not find what they are looking for. I worry that they will stay in a state of constant upheaval and will never have a place of their own. I agonize over not being able to see Marcus. I worry about Jamie and how medications over the years is going to affect her in the long run. I worry about how we can get her over this eczema and how God can use it to help others. She is in a constant state of pain and there is nothing I can do for her. I worry about Chris and how he copes with the world. I worry about him passing his grades and being able to go to the college he wants to so he can do what he wants in life. I worry about how he will acclimate to life after being with us or how he will cope with life once he is an adult. I worry that I haven't done enough to be a good role model for them. Some days I come home and I don't feel like doing anything because I am always exhausted.

I know God called us to be in Pennsylvania and there are many ways we can minister to others here. This has been the best move we have ever made. Sometimes though, I miss my family in North Carolina. I know that God wants me here but my flesh is so weak.

These are just a few of the things that are going on in my head right now. I was blessed today because Lee prayed for me and made me a worship CD to play today so I would be uplifted. I love this man that God gave to me.

If you would sometime...Pray for me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Crashing

I am having a hard time acclimating to my new job. I don't feel like I fit in AT ALL. I wish I could say different and pretend how much I love my job, but honestly I don't. I don't love it. I feel sad every single day. The "language" around me is constant and although I realize to many, this is not a big deal but to me it is and when you hear it all the time it gets to you. I am alone. Very alone. I am part of a secretarial staff that is hugely underpaid and underappreciated.  The direct supervisors in my department do appreciate me and that feels good but it only scratches the surface. When I started this job, I did so to get my foot in the door and at first it was great because there was an abundance of work to do. I set forth to get so much accomplished and I did so with fervor. Once it was all done, however things changed for me. No longer did I have something to do but I have to go asking for things to do. It is embarrassing and humiliating to ask people if I can shred their stuff for them. I am not happy. I feel like crying each day and I think that maybe I may be slipping into a depression. I am used to being around a lot of people and interacting with them. Here there are many people but no interaction. I appreciate that I have a good job with good benefits but I don't know how long I can stay here and save my sanity. I am not sure if I will post this or not. I definitely will not put it on Facebook. What to do? I will have to wait out for the job I really want. Pray that it will be sooner rather than later.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Not Feeling the Best

Okay so I have 20 pounds of fat to go. I was able to get on this really cool machine that gives every detail of mass in your body. With the exception of extra skin that could come off with surgery, my muscle and skeletal mass looks good. I have 20 pounds left to go before I am at optimal weight for my height and age. Will I do it? No clue. Will I try? Absolutely. We are doing this challenge at work right now called Everybody Walk Across PA. It is an 8 week walking challenge and we have created teams at work to see just how much we can walk each week. The goal that Penn State Extension encourages teams to accomplish is 10 miles per person per week for 8 weeks. So far in this first week, I have accomplished 9.25 miles and it is only day 4 of the 7-day week. I think the challenge with teams will push me to do more just because I am competitive and whether we win or not makes no real difference.

On a side note, I have not been feeling my best lately. If you could please pray that my doctor and I can figure out what is going on with me that would be greatly appreciated. I have been experiencing chest pains and some other various symptoms. The good news is, my blood tests have all come back okay. I had a stress echo test this week and my heart is in good shape so I don't really know what is going on. I guess it could be stress, although I don't really know what there is to be stressed about. Thanks for the prayers. I know God has me in His hands and He loves when His people are praying for one another.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Shedding Skin

So I wonder if anyone else who has had weight loss surgery and lost a lot of weight still feels "fat" sometimes. Don't get me wrong, people tell me I look great and it feels good to hear it but when will I feel like it is enough? Will I ever stop trying to lose more? Is it wrong for me to keep going? I realize this is all superficial and thankfully God sees me for who I am and who I want to be, but I wonder if I will ever have the "realization" that I am just fine the way I am. I thought this way once upon a time when I was obese. I don't know if I ever believed myself when I said it but I still put it out there. I feel guilty for feeling this way because I know for a fact that I have lost a solid 165 pounds and I still struggle every day to make the right choices. I also know that if I could shed this extra skin, it would make it pretty close to my goal weight. Does any of this matter? Not really, I am still just processing how to feel in my new body I guess.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New Month - Feeling Good

Ticker 85666

Well, I am down 7 pounds and 3 inches from the beginning of February until now. I'll take it! 17 pounds to go until my goal weight. Every small step counts and every movement counts. Every new day is a new opportunity to take charge of your life. Yesterday's mistakes are today's victories if you choose to make it reality. Make a small step whether it is slowly adding small workouts or movements or taking away a bad habit and replacing it with a new healthier one. Every day is a challenge, but today's choices equals next month's body.

This past weekend, I got my hair cut and colored and started making new resolutions to make a simple change every day. I still struggle with snacking urges and I will continue for the rest of my life. The key is to recognize weaknesses and curb those by constant prayer, determination, and asking support from family. I feel great and know that my hard work has and will continue to pay off. God is still creating a good work in me. He hasn't nor will he ever fail me and I know when I am weak, He is made completely strong.

Family update:

I started a new job February 1st and I love it. I like the people I work with and I am getting much accomplished.

Lee is gaining new friends in the community and becoming stronger pastorally. We will celebrate 25 years of being married this June and I can say that I am still wildly in love with him.

Chris is doing well in school and continues with his quest in Boy Scouts.

Jamie is doing okay. She still struggles with health issues so if you could every so often pray for her that would be great.

Geo and Becca are doing very well and back in NC. They are happy and both working. Marcus is growing every day and I can't wait to see him in June.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New Month-Still New Me

Well, it looks like my hard work is paying off. I am finally moving on the scale again. I started something new in January and started something new again yesterday. I am down 5 pounds and down 5.5 inches. Hooray for me!!! Every little bit counts and feels great. I started my new job yesterday as well. It went good as far as first days are concerned. I look forward to learning more today and with each day ahead. Blessings to anyone who reads my blog. I hope you have a wonderful day filled with all God has planned for you.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Reaching An All New Low

Ticker 87338

I have started moving again. Now if I don't lose anymore most know that I am completely okay with that and am extremely proud of how much I have accomplished. I am 26 pounds from my goal weight which is 145 and what I weighed when I got married 25 years ago. I am within a pound of being reclassified in BMI of being "overweight" versus being "obese" and within 30 pounds from being considered "normal". I don't remember now what I was because I have a new normal. I remember being unhappy and not knowing which direction my family or I were headed. What a journey this has been. I am still learning that I can't give in to cravings because it makes me feel bad when I do. Not always but always the rule. 

I will start a new job in a week and a new diet of sorts at the same time. Those are not hard, just new beginnings. The hard part is making the decision every day of putting exercise among the most important "things to get done" everyday. I am still learning that any exercise is better than no exercise so yesterday I threw wood outside from one place to another and then threw it again in my basement from one place to stacking it. That took care of arms and legs. I would like to get back into walking and/or running slowly. It is cold right now and I don't want to go outside so I have walking DVDs that I can do, so no excuse.

This is my update. I am still missing my grandson terribly. My son and daughter in law are happier so I am happy for them. NC definitely agrees with them. Still no snow for us. Snow and ice for everyone else but none for us. I should be thankful that we are still functioning and have power. It would have been nice to see a little bit of the white stuff though.

Chris is growing taller by the minute. Jamie is still suffering with multiple medical issues. Please pray that we can find more answers for her and healing.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year Reflection

-A New Year means something different to everyone. To me, it is a fresh start to do things right that I didn't get right last year. It means a new beginning to the life God created for me. It means greater opportunities in work, in my spiritual walk, in my family and friend relationships; and new goals set for myself spiritually, personally, and physically. As I reflect back on 2015, this is what I see that happened: I became more aware of God and his ability and grace to take care of me and my family. I witnessed the birth of my first grandchild, whom I miss terribly since he moved back to NC. I got to have a reunion of so many friends on a wonderful spirit-packed weekend. I defined my body more and lost a ton of weight ( I have lost 155 pounds to date since December of 2013-105 since my surgery in September of 2014). I didn't think it was possible to find more love, but I found more to love about my husband of 24 years. My children are for the most part happy and blessed. I was sad to see my oldest and his family move back to NC, but they are so much happier so I am pleased for them. I lost a wonderful job that I loved due to lack of state budget, but I know that God has a much bigger plan for me somehow and I just have to be patient in His timing for me.
-My goals for 2016 go something like this: I want to become more dependent on God and closer in relationship to Him. I want to become more physically fit as in I want to take my weight loss and define it more by taking workouts more seriously than before. I want to become more financially stable by finding a more secure job in my field and by making more sound financial decisions and paying off debt. I want to love my husband and children more by showing them what kind of wife and mother I can be, gentle in nature and demonstrating love not just speaking it.
-For anyone reading, I hope you have goals for yourself. We are not made perfect, but become perfect through Christ. Some goals we will never achieve, but we should never stop trying to achieve them because it strengthens our character and gives us purpose. Let us not forget our purpose for reaching the lost. We need more people on God's team. Don't forget to pray not only for our families, but also for our enemies. Finally, remember to love yourself. God loves you so much and so does your friends and family. You are worthy and are made whole by our Holy Father, our sacrificial lamb-Christ, and the Holy Spirit that guides us daily. I love you all.