Off To Camp I Go ( Again)

I am leading at camp again this week. Things are a bit different than last year, but the mission remains the same. This was taken last year on the final day of mission camp. I will be busy the entire week supervising middle schoolers as they serve our community, study the book of James, develop closer relationships with each other and worship God. It will be a week of late nights, little sleep, lots of deep conversations and laughs. It will be fun, growing and exhausting. I can not wait to sleep on the floor and wake up my girls each morning. Really, I can not wait!

Follow me on Twitter @lindasconnelly for updates and pictures!

I will be taking a break from blogging for the rest of this month. I will return to my regular blogging schedule in the beginning of July.

Mid Week Motivator- Exercising to Show Our Bodies Tough Love

In continuing the theme for this month on loving our bodies, I want to talk about exercising. My habit of exercising did not come naturally. I was the kid in PE class who always straggled behind all the rest. My daydreaming ways kept from being any good on any team sport. Honestly it still is though my skills in Ultimate Frisbee have greatly improved of late. As I stated above, exercise has become a habit for me.


As we all know exercise is key in losing weight and maintaining. There is no getting off or stopping once the goal is reached. It was not a something I would chose to do. Partly because I was not sure of what to do and partly out of laziness. Just as with food, it is important to have a healthy attitude towards working out.


As with anything else it will take practice. Practice of getting into the habit, practice in doing the actual exercises. Yep, it takes practice. Putting your body through these moves means doing something new and different. That first time out you will not do a perfect push up or run a mile in ten minutes. That will come later.


It is an investment in your life. Just as how you perceive your body and what you eat is an investment. Exercising is an investment. Figuring out what you like to do or need to do can take a bit of time. Depending on what you are wanting to do.


When I started out I met up with a friend at a local park. This helped me to develop my habit of exercising daily. Knowing that someone is waiting for you and using their time to work out with you is a great motivator. At first I went because I knew my friend was there but over time I began to show up for myself. It became important for me to show up each and every day.


I made it an important part of my day. Working out became part of my daily schedule. An important appointment I had with myself. I had (and still do) my tough days where I just do not want to do it. Where I am still sore from the workout the day before. But it is worth it to do it. What can you delay or do to ensure you have the time to workout? Take a hard look at your schedule.


Something else I have learned is that not every workout has to be an hour long. You can still get in a great work out in less time. Either is means focusing on one part of the body instead of a whole body work out. In other words you can make it work with your schedule. Either alone or with friends.


Exercise helps to reduce stress. It has helped to let go of things going on in my life. Which in turn has given me a healthier outlook on my life. I also sleep better. Not only do I get to sleep so much easier, I also sleep so much better. I truly feel better rested and ready for the day. I think better and just feel better overall.


It gives you a break from the day. As I stated above, exercise helps me with stress. But it also allows you to be away from the omnipresence of technology in today’s world. Turn off your phone and take a break.


You can try new things. You don’t have to love all kinds of exercise but it falls into the category of trying out new things. There are so many ways to get healthy that are fun. You can do almost any type of exercise to keep healthy. There is no need to get bored. When running became boring for me I added running hills and am about to finish a 30 day crossfit at home challenge. I may try a 30 day yoga challenge next.


Investing in your body in this way is also showing love to yourself. Loving my body from accepting it for what it is and all that it does is the most healthy thing I can do. I am loving my body in all the ways I care for it. This does not guarantee that by eating well and exercising I will always have good health. It does however mean I will have a better, fuller life now. And that is so precious.








I Learned It From You Dad!

I come from a family of readers. Books were always the norm in our household. The moment I learned to read I devoured one after the other. The biggest influence on my love for books and words was my Dad. My earliest memories of him were seeing him either sitting in his chair reading the papers and books piled around him. In the summer he sat out on the porch, cigar in one hand and a book in the other. During the winters in St. Louis would find him in the garage doing the same thing.


He can read books rather fast. I watched him place his finger in the middle of the page and simple scan. Then there are the books he takes his time to read. Words he wants to savor and allow to marinate in his mind and thoughts. Besides the books there are the newspapers. He does not just read the local paper but a few others. From watching this throughout my life I learned to appreciate knowledge and to seek out more than one source for information.


Often an evening could find us sitting in the living room, the television on in the background as my dad, mom and I read. Yes, I grew up reading while watching television. Which became white noise as I read my books. When I think of my dad, it is always with a book or paper in his hands. 


Watching him engage in the habit of reading encouraged me to read. If at first I were not a reader, I would never have become a writer. Thank you dad for showing me the joys of reading.

Happy Father’s Day!




Mid Week Motivator- Loving Our Bodies With the Food We Eat

Last week I addressed loving my body. I want to continue that idea for the month of June. All the different ways to love our bodies. Previously I discussed looking at your own body and listing all the aspects of it that you like. State of mind is so important! Another aspect to loving our bodies is how we treat them. Yes that means exercise and food. I do not want to give a how to or list. But more of a mindset towards eating and exercising.


This week I want to address attitudes towards eating. This has been so key in not only my initial weight loss but in maintaining ever since. Food is not just there to satisfy. I know that is such a strange concept! Food is not just for me to enjoy, but it is also for my own health. It is also fuel.


Now do not run for the hills. I too tend to roll my eyes at this idea too. Not so much the idea that food as fuel but taking it so seriously. Not allowing for that enjoyment of food in that idea. Food is meant for enjoyment. If it were not why do we enjoy it at all? Why when eating something amazing do we make those mmmmm sounds? Or not speak while the delicious food is in front of us?


What I am saying is asking yourself how can what I am about to eat help me? How is having donuts for breakfast helpful over that bowl of oatmeal or a protein shake? What good will that donut do for you in the long run? Not much to tell you the truth. This means you will need to put some effort in how you do eat. Planning ahead for instance was key for me. Usually what ends up happening is we end eating what ever is around due to lack of planning. It seems odd to have to plan your food, but it is needed.


In my own story, my financial circumstances changed and I was unable to but the kind of food I was used to eating. This meant no more trips through the drive thru or just purchasing what ever I wanted at the grocery store. I was forced to plan what I would eat. Without doing anything else I soon began to lose weight. Slowly, but I lost weight.


This forced me to clean out my cabinets and refriderator. No longer was anything that I would be tempted to eat right away. It was all stuff that I enjoyed, do not get me wrong. However what was in there was all I had to eat. Now I understand that this is not the case for everyone. It may be easier to choose the drive thru or but the usual stuff at the grocery store.


This can be so tough. A lot of money is spent on food and the thought of throwing something out is painful. You have to ask how is having these kinds of food within easy reach helping me. How is helping your family? Perhaps you think you do not have the time to plan your food. Then ask yourself what kind of time can you lose if you do not?


What you put into your body can either help you live a better life or live to eat. I think it is priceless for your children to grow up with you modeling good food choices. That they learn from you how to eat well. It will be an adjustment but in time you will look back and realize how much better life tastes! It sure is something I understand in my own life. I used the app MyFitnessPal to help keep track of calories and serving sizes. The best part is there is no cost to have it! Plus there is a community of people on there who can help you stay accountable. Community is so important!


This is one way to show your body some love. Next week I want to discuss how exercising has helped me not only lose weight but helped me in all aspects of my life.




What Am I Worth?

One of aspects of becoming a freelance writer is figuring out how to charge for my services. I have found this to be rather diffcult.  I wanted the internet to dictate to me how much I am worth. Honestly I wanted to come across a list or table that would help me in this regard. I kept coming across the same advice, charge what your time is worth. 

Charge what my time is worth.In my mind this translates into charge what you are worth. This has forced me to examine what I believe myself to be worthy of charging for my services. All my working life I have been told you will be paid x amount for this  number of hours. The worth of my time, talent and abilities was already set for me. I was told what I was worth in terms of an hourly rate. 


However starting out as a freelancer, it was now up to me to decide what my time, talent and abilities was worth. Then, I realized that I was not sure what I am worth. How does one translate that into a monetary figure?This is where I got stuck. What is my time worth? What am I worth?

This is a hard question and perhaps I am over thinking. So much of my journey has been discovering my worthiness. As I grow in my relationship with Christ I have learned that I have been made worthy. It has been a struggle figuring out who I am. That my writing is worth being paid well. I had to let this wash over me. It seemed somehow preposterous that anyone would want to pay me for writing. But they have. They have come back to for repeat service. Which is what drives me to continue to  pursue writing.


After much some contemplation and prayer I came up with prices, depending on the project. Some will likely take longer than others. I hope for a variety of work that challenges and grows my skills not only as a writer but also as a person. This is not just about making a living but living a life well. 



I am based in the South Florida area. I offer services in tutoring, editing, content, copy writing and more. Contact me at for prices.




Mid Week Motivator- Loving my Body

This is a repost from earlier this year. Thank you for reading!

Since I lost weight over two years ago I have had to deal with how my body looks once I reached my goal weight. At times I obsess over it, getting down on myself on one aspect of my body. I realized I was allowing this one thing to overpower all the things I love about my body. It is time to stop the self loathing. I am going to talk about how much I love my body instead of criticizing those parts that I do not.



First my hair. It is thick and healthy. Every time I get my haircut the stylist comments on how lovely my hair is as they run their fingers through it.


Next my blue eyes. They are my most memorable feature. I have been told throughout my life that they are beautiful. When I look in the mirror I do not just see my eyes but the eyes of my mother and grandfather whose eyes were just as blue.


My nose, I like my nose. It fits my face well. Then there is my chin, my dimpled chin. Unique and perfect for my face.


Then there are my fingers. My long fingers that as I type these words remind me again of my mother. Her fingers were long and lean too.


I think of my hands and all that they do day and day out. That I have functioning hands to start with is in itself a miracle. With them I am able to write all I do, my thoughts become reality.


My arms, I admit I am rather proud of my upper arms. The muscles that have emerged since I have begun working out. I don’t even mind the bit of skin that tends to hang down from losing weight.



Then there is my legs. My legs which have run miles upon miles and it shows. My legs are indeed my best feature. They are something I like to show off wearing nice length skirts and shorts to show. Especially my calves, I love my calves. Though my toes are rather odd I love them too for they help keep me balanced and my feet. My feet where I first noticed the change in my body as I gained muscle and lost fat.


Now for the part of my body I am learning to love. My middle area. When I do gain weight this is where I carry it. This is where most of my sagging skin tends to hang. No matter how many core workouts I do or situps it will not go away. Depending on how I sit it can bulge out and I am self conscious of it. This is a part of my body that I am learning to love. The skin hangs because of all the hard work I put in becoming healthy. This skin is part of my story and perhaps some day I will have surgery to remove. Until that day, I will work on loving this part of myself as well. 

 I must embrace it as much as I do my blue eyes. I lack the confidence to wear a two piece because of it. But I am hearing of hight waisted two pieces that may solve this issue.


I love my body and all that it can do. I love how healthy I am and am learning  to not take this for granted. Our bodies are a miracle that they function as well as they do and loving it for all it can do is healthy. I love my body I really do. Every imperfect aspect of it. After all it was not myself who created this body but God. How can I loathe anything that He has created?

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13


How have you learned to love your entire body?


Six Month Check In…

Is it June already? How did this happen?! It can’t be half way through the year but the calendar does not lie. Time swirls past me more and more quickly. I began to think on how my word choice for this year has manifested itself thus far. My one word 365 for 2014 is BOLDNESS. This is a movement where instead of a list of resolutions, a word is chosen to live and grow into for that year.


According to the Merriam- Webster Dictionary it is defined as /adj/ 1.Courageous Intrepid. 2. Impudent. 3.Steep 4.Adventurous, Free ( i.e. thinker) /syn/ dauntless, brave, valiant- boldly /adv/ boldness.


As I sifted through the past six months I began to wonder just how closely my life has resembled this definition. Had I been courageous? Yes, I put myself out there in a way that I had not before. After getting the anticipated answer, I felt free. I simply I had to hear what I already suspected.


Have I been Intrepid? Defined as resolute fearlessness, fortitude and endurance. I can also say yes to this as well. I keep going forward no matter what life throws at me. I have strength only because God gives me the strength to do so. From dealing with tough situations with the ones I love to a double health scare with my parents. Yes I have been intrepid.


Now have I been Steep? Defined as a verb it means to saturate. To learn. I am in the midst of learning all I can about becoming a professional writer. Checking out books from the library, joining up with classes and webinars as I can afford. Asking my friends who have their own businsees advice on the steps I need to take as a freelance writer.


Adventurous is the next definition. Have I taken risks? Yes, in starting my writing career that is a risk. By moving my blog to wordpress and figuring out how to grow this blog. I took a risk running my first half marathon. Taking risks means that the reward is not always in the results. It is in the trying. In the attempt. And in the next and next and yes the next. I need more of this in this my life. I need to take more risk.


Am I free? Yes I am free. I am free not because of my hope in my plan. I am free because of who I am in Christ. It is through Him that I have become so bold in the ways that I am.

Am I dauntless, brave and valiant? I hope so. I hope I am dauntless in my acts of love. Have I been brave? Yes I can be far braver than I have in my life so far. Have I been valiant? Yes in being brave and courageous in small ways.


Being BOLD does not always mean large, out loud acts. Often it means small acts of bravery that add over time. It means being willing to take risks that can lead to failure or disappointment. Being bold means letting go of things that can hold me back and asking the hard questions.


These six months of living boldly has shown me a lot. Embracing boldness as my word for this year builds upon my words from past years. They are more like building blocks than simply a word. My first word was YES and the next years was LOVE. Those words have helped me grow in my faith and therefore in my life. That is where I am for my six month check in for my year of BOLDNESS.