Mid Week Motivator: Pursuing Dreams

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Dream chasing is not for the faint of heart. There is no movie montage that speeds through your journey. Your dream may take twists and turns you did not for see. You may need to hit the pause button at times because life intervenes.

The days that are hard and frustrating are the foundation of your dreams. Getting through them motivates you to continue onward. You will be faced with learning about yourself, where you excel and where you do not.

Lean into all that. Learn and grow. Adapt to what may come change the original plan. Pursue your dreams. Keep on keeping on.

I am. I do. I try.
I am a dreamer.
I am a doer.
I am going to try my best.

Hope in the Midst of Grief

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My mother died when I was thirteen. I
remember thinking that I should be crying but no tears came. Those came later, during the funeral and later during the burial. So began my journey in grieving.

My grandfather died a few years later after a battle with thyroid cancer. Then at sixteen my estranged birth father succumbed to lung cancer.

I walled myself off emotionally, physically numbing my pain with food.

I did not know God. To be honest, I did not want to know Him. I was too busy finding comfort in being angry. And listening to my Cranberries CD over and over. This was the nineties and their music spoke to my soul. In fact I still have those songs seared into my brain.

I was lost in a world of pain and grief.
Then I started to get to know God. I began to unravel all those years of pain and grief.

This year has been tough. I have personally been to at least three funerals. The difference between grieving now and back then is simply hope. I have have hope in a Savior who makes all things whole.

Hope as we hurt.
Hope as we question.
Hope as we learn.

I have had the privilege to witness God working in this with members of my church. First to see them fully trust in what God has in store. Not their plans but trusting in His. Second Glorifying our Lord in the midst of their pain. Of being willing to allow our church family to gather around them, instead of folding inward.

To mourn together.
To rejoice in the promise of the Resurrection as a family.

Grief will always be a part of my life. But what has changed is my hope and trust in my Lord and Savior. To understand the greater story beyond my own plans and desires. That in the midst of such pain can also be such Joy.

This scripture at the top keeps coming to mind in this season. His plans are greater than my own.

Gaining Weight, Gaining Perspective

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The reality of weight loss is that the work never stops. It can be exhausting, constantly feeling the pressure get that work out in or make that right choice with food. This has been my struggle this year. Not wanting to do what I need to do. I just did not want to have to do anything at all.

Not watch my calories
Not work out as hard as I should.

And I have paid the price for these choices. I have gained weight. I began to feel as if I had no energy again, that no matter how much I slept, I would still feel as if I needed more.

I knew I lacked motivation and though I tried, I did not have it. Knowing what it took for me to lose weight the first time made me hesitate now. There was no way I could replicate that experience.

Nor should I . Because I am older, closer to forty than before. My body is not shy about telling me that. The truth is with my body, I need to workout. I need to eat well. Otherwise, what happens is I gain. My body needs it. My emotional health needs it. My spiritual health needs it.

Because all this is connected. One either helps the other or ends up hindering it.

I need to meet myself where I am right now, not where I was three years ago. In doing so I honor all the hard work I have put in over the years. I honor who I am, my overall health and perhaps too my sanity.

I think better when I eat better and exercise. My stress level goes down. I sleep better. I simply am better.

As my friend advised me at the start of my journey that once I started this, I was on it for life. And so I continue onward.

My goals this time? Run two 5k ‘s .
I am signed up for a fun run called the Bubble Run this month and another one in November. I want to complete a 10k by next January.

Food wise, cut out more sugar from my diet. I have stopped using flavored creamer for my coffee, cut down on my deserts per week.

Mid Week Motivator: Popcorn

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I love popcorn. It is a great snack as it can be a better alternative than other snacks. In the past, I’ve used those prepackaged bags of popcorn. But the amount of salt and butter often contained in them began to concern me.

There had to be a better way where I could better control the amount of salt and butter in my snack.

Using either your microwave ( make sure there is plenty of ventilation. My bowl exploded on me one night due to this.) Or stove top as I have been doing it. I use coconut oil, a bit of sea salt and a bowl full of yum! Add in your own spices, trail mix or chocolate.

Make a few bags ahead of time to bring into work or a go to snack when out and about!

What is your favorite way to enjoy popcorn?

Again & Again

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It has happened again
It will happen again

None of this new

Desperate for safety
Fleeing across treacherous waters
Trusting strangers to get there

Not welcomed
Feared
Ignored

All this has happened before
All this will happen again

Present comfort clung to
Past forgotten
When ancestors fled
Desperate
Feared

Again and again
Again and again

All this has happened before
All this will happen again

poem inspired by news events coming out of Syria and Ecclesiastes 1:9

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again ; there is nothing new under the sun.

Mid Week Motivator: Naps

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Taking a nap is often the best part of my day. As children it is perhaps the last thing we want to do. But as an adult, we often long for them. And why not?! They can be refreshing and renewing. Helpful in clearing the mind.

According to the national sleep foundation a nap from about 20 to 30min to gain all the benefits of a nap. Anything longer and you may wake feeling worse. This is because a typical sleep cycle is 90 min.

Listening to when our bodies say to rest is important for our overall health. Taking a nap is one of things in life to make time to do. Something I try to do as often as my schedule permits.

Story Monday : Zombies & Survival

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The first Monday of each month I like to talk about story. How it manifests in our lives. Today, I want to talk about The Walking Dead and its companion series Fear The Walking Dead.

Fear The Walking Dead takes place at the start of the epidemic which leads us to the world of The Walking Dead. With the premiere of TWD still weeks away, this show is a nice little appetizer. The two shows tell the same story from two different perspectives. Before and after. I have to say, I am enjoying FTWD so far. I enjoy knowing more than the characters, waiting for them to discover all that has been revealed on TWD.

I enjoy these shows for several reasons. First the writing is just phenomenal, every episode I wonder what will happen next. This show demands you pay attention to the smallest details. You never know when it can surface later. Those are the best moments as a viewer.

But why is this show such a phenomenon? What about it draws us in so much?

I believe it is because it speaks to innate desire to survive . We can place ourselves in the lives of the survivors. I mean who resigns themselves to becoming a zombie? We want to believe we would fight and survive. That we would be Rick’s right hand guy or gal.

But this simply is not possible is it? The zombies out number the humans. For this reason, I fear the final fate of the family from FTWD. Surviving this, in those beginning days are no more than a fluke.

That being said, I love the opportunity to explore another part of this universe. To see the initial pandemonium as the pandemic rises. Our systems of government, cities and towns falling apart as some flee and others succumb to the disease. In the midst of hopelessness, there is a glimmer of hope.

Perhaps in the end it is this idea of hope that gives these shows an edge. In this desperate place, there can still be family. Together, we can get through this as opposed to alone. While one can physically survive, as Michonne did, ones heart and soul was damaged. Look how long it took her to break down those walls. Once she did, she began to love fiercely and began to live instead of simply survive.

A book I liked as a teen that followed these themes was The Stand by Stephen King. No zombies but a lot of good verses evil.

Mid Week Motivator: Calorie Counting

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Counting calories is key in losing weight. It is what has worked for me in staying healthy. Using My Fitness Pal and understanding what exactly a serving size. Here are some tips that I follow.

Pay attention to the serving size
Does it say one, two or three servings. I had to learn that a serving is a portion of the food. For so long I would just eat so much more than  recommended.

You don’t have to eat the entire serving size.
This means you can eat less of the amount prescribed. For example it may say one cup of brown rice but you may want only less than that.

Be honest about how much and what you are eating
Whether you are using an app or writing it down, be honest. No matter how hard it can be, you owe it to yourself.

By keeping track of your calories, you develop better habits. By understanding better how much calories you actually consume. When you do splurge on your favorite kind of food, there is a new level of enjoyment.

That is the point behind keeping track of your calories. Not to use this to berate yourself if you go over. But as a tool to make better choices.