Mid Week Motivator- Temptations Abound

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It is nearly upon us, eating season. That time between. Halloween and New Years where all the usual rules are thrown out the window.

First it is all that candy, first purchased to hand out to costumed children. The day after Halloween it is all on sale. In past I would of stocked up on as much candy as possible. Eating my way through bags of chocolate.

Then of course there are all those goodies that start to appear in our work places and gatherings. Pies, cakes and all sorts of delectables.

Then I learned something. Just because the food is there does not mean I have to eat it. I can choose to partake.

Another tactic is to bring your own food, this is especially important for work. Knowing I have something with me cuts down on me making poor food choices.

Lingering around food both at work and in social situations leads to mindless grazing. I remind myself that I am there to see my friends and not food. There was a time where all I could think about was the food.

I try to grab a smaller plate to put my food on. Plus drinking water either altogether or alternatively is helpful. This helps to keep me full.

I have found deciding ahead of time helps too. Knowing that I will indulge in something rich later helped me to make better choices beforehand. Not just food but in working out as well.

The goodies will be there, we can’t run and hide from it. We can however make it through this eating season without losing all that we have worked for all year.

Finally there is saying no. This can tough as food is often given as gifts. I find it best to politely accept and enjoy a little of it and either give it away or throw it out.
It is easier to say no if it is offered not as a gift.

What are some strategies that help you during this time of year?

Why Do We Enjoy Being Scared

Last weekend my best friend and I went to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fl. We paid to enter into haunted houses and have people scare us. Standing in line for more than hour for The Walking Dead house.

It occurred to me, we are weird.

Seriously weird.
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There is some level of control at these places. The actors are restricted from touching you and we have an out. If it becomes too much, we get to have it stop.

Something not always available in real life. When scary things happen we do not get to prepare for it. I do not know how long it the situation will last.

Upon entering the houses I knew that I would also emerge unharmed. Perhaps my heart would beat faster, but that would be all.

Scary movies, haunted houses allow us to explore our fears in a relatively safe environment. Where the scary monsters are more tangible than those that chase us in our everyday lives.

Perhaps that is the attraction. And of course the best part is not being alone. So many times in our lives we have to face the scary, hard things alone.
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I knew through out the night my friend was not far behind. The same can’t be said in real life. That was a comfort.

How do you handle fear? Why do you think we enjoy haunted houses and scary movies?

Midweek Motivator

This is a repost and a needed reminder for myself as well.

It’s Wednesday, that halfway point where it is nearly the weekend and yet it still is far away! This also means you are either halfway through your workout week or just about to start. Perhaps you have a tight schedule and the idea of adding an hour long workout to your schedule is just too daunting.

Not to worry, this happens to me as well. Those days of schedule overload are tough. Sometimes it means reevaluating your workout schedule. I had to do this myself recently.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are particularly tough to get in a good workout. After a longer day at work, I have obligations in the evenings that leave me with little time to get home, change and eat dinner. Forget about getting in a decent workout! Plus I allowed the time constraints to be a bit lazy on these days.

For months I have struggled to do something on these tight days, never feeling as if I was really accomplishing anything. Then it hit me one day, I usually take one to two rest days per week from working out. I moved my off days to those two days where my schedule is the busiest. Suddenly I felt as if a weight had been taken off my shoulders! Why did it take me so long to see this solution?!

From time to time it’s good to step back to reevaluate. Assess what is working and what is not in your workout schedule. Are you accomplishing new goals or just stuck in a work out rut? Simply changing the days you work out can add and help your goals.

On those days when time is tight, I modify my planned workout. Whether it’s a quick cardio or focusing on one aspect of my body.

It can feel weird taking days off in the middle of the week, I know that’s why I resisted doing so for so long. Once I began to think about it, my workout week was just starting on Friday instead of Sunday. I’m getting the same number of workouts in per week just on a different schedule. There are times when it is better to be rigid and other times where it pays to be flexible.

Hope this can be helpful for those of you struggling to fit in a good workout in the midst of a busy week.

Don’t let the busyness of life get in the way of self care. The week isn’t over yet, there is still time for getting in good workouts!

Growing In Friendships

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Cancer walk with Dienne & Ana

Friendship has not always been easy for me. Real,in depth messy friendship. The kind where weeks can go past without talking and the conversation naturally picks up. Where you are loved well and they tell you if you are being an ass.

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It takes being open and willing to love. Love is rather messy isn’t it?
It means hurting when they hurt. It means being disappointed at times.

They are the ones who know right away that all is not right in your world before anyone else. Where all you need to do to start off a fit of giggles is one look.

Not every friendship is meant to last a lifetime . They have their season and then our lives change. Others, are those forever friends. The ones you look at to figure who will be Blanche, Dorothy or Rose in a real world version of Golden Girls.

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I have been blessed in my friendships. I have learned so much about how to love through them. I don’t know who I would be without the amazing women in my life. We need these types of nitty, gritty friendships in our lives.

Opening myself to these friendships has not always been easy but it has been entirely worth it.

Which of your friends do you envision sitting alongside you when you are old and grey?

Mid Week Motivator: Starting Over

The analogy between running and writing is often made. For good reason. The two are rather similar.
Both require constant, near daily attention. Recently I have taken a break from running. Getting back into it has been rather difficult. I keep recalling when getting up in the morning to run was easier. It all begins with taking one step at a time, writing one word at a time.

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What I had to concede, rather painfully is that I am starting over.  Not only with running but writing fiction. I am not a beginner, but I have lost a lot of the muscle I had built up. The good news is that I can get there again. It will take time and dedication. And being willing to be uncomfortable.

For most of this year I have concentrated more on this blog. Since running my first half this past February I have felt burnt out with running.

It is time to get back into it. To wake up in the morning not hitting that snooze button one more time. I need to refocus my energies and determination into both running and writing. To say no to doing this or that. It’s important for me to protect both my running and writing time.

<u>This week my goal for running is 2 miles, five days a week. And for writing, to begin plotting for Nanowrimo. Which I can do now that I have a glimmer of a plot!

Have you had to start over?

The Church and Singles

Last month I wrote about praying for the singles in church. You can read about this here. Today I want talk about to serve singles. Recent polls have indicated that there are more singles in the church today than ever before. This means the idea of how to minister to us changes.

We are getting married later in life or not at all. We are living in a different age where marriage, at least in this part of our 1% privileged world, is not a necessity for survival. We no longer live in the world of Jane Austen, where marriage was for the Bennett girl’s very survival.

So often, in American churches marriage itself it lauded as the epitome of the Christian life. In reality, while marriage is A good thing, it is not the thing. In the Bible we are constantly reminded that things of this world shall fall away. This also includes marriage.

Idolizing either state single or married can be dangerous.

So many singles feel left out or marginalized as the emphasis is often placed on the marriages in the church. As I stated in my previous post, marriage is a good thing, however there are times where their can be a mentality that one group needs more attention over another.

Whether this is an oversight or simply the culture of a church needs to be evaluated. It is often as simple as changing the phrase of a sentence. Or acknowledging that singleness is not easy without the usual platitudes. Perhaps too just checking in with someone to see how they are doing, with our lives, seeking a mate or not seeking a mate.

I am no expert and I do not believe there is a one size fits all ministry. Is there ever? What follows is what I have experienced. First we are a diverse group of people. We vary in age, life experience and walk with Christ. Lumping all singles into one ministry just won’t work.

For example, when I checked out a Young Adult group for a few months the dynamic just did not work for me. Many of those who were attending were rather new to the faith and as a consequence I did not get much out of the small group time. Not to mention the always underlying tension of people checking out the other sex. This made me uncomfortable and I felt as if I had to perform somehow.

That particular ministry is helping a lot of people grow in their faith and build strong relationships but in the end it just wasn’t for me. 

What I realized is that I do not like being designated into a certain group because of my (or lack of) marital status. I don’t think we need several small ministries to address the growing number of singles in the church.
As we are supposed to be one family, essentially creating another congregation for singles just isn’t the answer . There is a reason for kids ministry, students ministry and even college ministry. Those are times of life in which people grow out of or graduate.

Singleness is not something one grows out of or graduates. As some may not get married and because they haven’t and by default feel less than. Or are excluded from serving in certain ways because somehow not being married excludes them doing so. This has not been my personal experience but it is a complaint I have heard from others.

This is one way to not serve the singles in the church. Excluding them from serving the church because they are not married. When something is set out as for the marrieds only you are sending the message that the singles are not as holy or qualified. That in fact Jesus isn’t enough. This is a lie that can cause more hardship for us than is perhaps realized.

I would say that while there may be times for certain aspects of singles ministry to be separate, it does not need to be an utter and complete disconnect from the rest of the congregation.Every church is different and the needs of each congregation vary.

In my experience as a single in church I have been cared for, never told I could not do this or that due to my marital status. However, a lot of my fellow singles have not been as cared for, or been told they could not serve because of their martial status.

By investing in singles as whole people who are lost and in need of Jesus is what matters most than any program or event.

Mid Week Motivator-Do You Nanowrimo?

Next month is National November Writing Month (Nanowrimo). A crazy, amazing writing contest to attempt to write a 50K within the month. The idea it to have a working first draft by day 30.

I need to do this. I haven’t worked on any fiction since finishing my novel over a year ago. At the time of this writing I still have no idea what story to tell.

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The pieces will begin to fall into place, that much I trust. I look forward to discovering new characters and a new story to write. Right now sits a blank page with a pen waiting to be picked up. I am considering writing about a minor character from my novel. I may not. It’s just a kernel of an idea.

Are you participating in Nanowrimo this year? Or are you toying with the idea of trying?Add me as a buddy so we can cheer each other on! I’m linsharon79

The Films that Shaped my Story Telling Skills

Last month I talked about the books that have influenced me.  I want to dedicate the first posting of each month to disscuss story. Not writing tips, there are plenty of blogs about that out there. I want to focus on story. The stories that shape us and the different kinds of storytelling out there. I began with the books of my youth. Later I will touch on the books that shaped me later, that are shaping me now. Along the way I would love to hear from you dear reader! What kinds of story have shaped your life?

Today I want to talk about the films that have played a big part in my life. Again, they are in no particular order of importance just what came to my mind first. Telling a story has many facets and these films captured my imagination just as much as books.

From these films I learned just as much from reading. Great story telling comes in all sorts of forms and ways. Films are an indeliable way to paint a picture. Different from books, movies have their own scope. Whearas in a book, much can be much examined in that a movie is unable. A film however can get up close and personal with certain aspects that were perhaps overlooked.

Let’s start with the classics

Double Indemnity– This film starring Barbara Stanwick and Fred McMurray is the standard to which I compare all Film Noir films. She is a seductress who entangles insurance man Fred in her plan to kill her husband and make off with the life insurance money.

Stalag 17– POW’s in a WWII German prison camp try to figure out which among them has betrayed them. Is it the black marketeer portrayed by William Holden who seems to manage to get more than the necessities from the guards? Or is it someone else? If you enjoy back story as I do, check out the commentary track too.

Roman Holiday– Audrey Hepburn’s debut film and a lovely, down to earth love story. A princess yearns to have some time to her self and ends up falling in love with a man she should not.

Breakfast At Tiffany’s– This film was ahead of its time in so many ways. As close to a realistic love story in how two people come together despite themselves getting in the way.

Casablanca– Have you been to Rick’s Cafe American? Then you must stop by for a visit! It’s not the most realistic portrayl of WWII with some gaping plot holes but the performances by Bogart and Bergman overcome them. Great lesson for writing, sometimes you ignore the plot holes in order to focus on the characters.

Blazing Saddles– Fond memories of my Pops introducing me to world of Mel Brooks and inappropiate humor altogther. Lead to Monty Python and the Holy Grail and all things British actually.

The Eighties

Goonies– First movie I recall seeing in the movie theater and still one of my favorites on a rainy day. I would love nothing more than to go an adventure for a pirate ship in my backyard.

Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, St.Elmo’s Fire, Sixteen Candles– Need I go on here? I have seen them all! They still speak truth about growing up.

The Outsiders– I have to say I have never read the book but the film is chock full of “I forgot this guy was in this movie!” moments. A gang of outsiders find themselves on the run after a fight goes too far.

Alien(s)– The first three of this series are works of art. Especially the sequel, better than the first film. It’s just not a horror film. There are larger questions looming beneath the surface about our place in the world and the great “what if” upon encountering aliens.

The Nineties

Terminator– Especially the first two. Falls nicely into the whole dystopic theme I discovered in my teens. The idea of changing the past the save the future and the consequences of doing so is fascinating to me.

Glory– Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick tell the story of of the first African American battle unit in the yankee army. If you don’t cry during this film I don’t know what to tell you.

Saving Private Ryan– Steven Spielburg’s film honoring the men who fought on the beaches of Normandy, not sure if it would end well. I would also recommend watching Band of Brothers.

Schindler’s List– What else is there to say?

Clueless– As if?! This movie totally holds up today and is the best modern update of Jane Austen’s Emma. Bridget Jones’ Diary is a comparable update on Pride and Prejudice.

These were the films that have shaped me as much as the books I have read. Next week I will touch on television series. All of it has shaped the stories I write today.

There are so many films but these were the ones that came to mind. Were there any films that you feel should be added to the list?

Mid Week Motivator- I Want To Hear From You

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I want your feedback dear reader! I have been doing the weekly Mid Week Motivator for a few months now.

Covering topics from keeping going in eating healthy and exercising.

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Now,I want to hear from you.

Do these posts help you? Would you like me to cover anything new or revisit a topic?

I would love to hear your thoughts and my prayer that these posts are helpful for you!

Looking forward to hearing from you!