1 JOHN 5: 14-15 "AND WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT HE HEARS US WHENEVER WE ASK FOR ANYTHING THAT PLEASES HIM. AND SINCE WE KNOW HE HEARS US WHEN WE MAKE OUR REQUESTS, WE ALSO KNOW THAT HE WILL GIVE US WHAT WE ASK FOR."
Confident. I have struggled with this as of late. I have not been confident that He hearts me but maybe it isn't because he doesn't HEAR me and more because the things I have been praying for are not the things that PLEASE Him. This troubles me as well. If I pray for something in my life that I know isn't superficial or shallow or greedy or conceited, why would He NOT be pleased with it? If I pray for health or financial freedom or the restoration of relationships or snow (that last one may be a little greedy and superficial), why do those things seem slow to come if at all?
God has a plan, of that I am certian. He has a plan for me and for you and for everyone but that statement doesn't always provide comfort for me. I like to know what the plan is for when I should expect something or if I am on the right track and how I can make things happen more quickly or more in teh direction of my concern/passion. I like to have more information but I can see how that may be seen as wanting more control. Hmmmmm, control.
Well, there's no time like the present to start giving up what I thought was my right or even my ability to control things and just let God take me in the direction He would have me go based on the plans he has for me. They have to be far better, far more extensive, reaching far more people, and making me far happier than anything my limited mind could conjure up. Here we go - time to become confident.
There is a feeling that is like none other and it can only be known by those of us in the ranks of the Milsos. We who kiss a loved one goodbye after we have watched them (or pretended not to watch them) dress for the day in their crinkly sounding uniforms. We who remember just how dangerous their jobs are and just how little support they seem to get from the powers that be. We who stand proudly when living on base as anthems and trumpets blasts are played in the mornings and the evenings. We admire our warfighters as they check to see that their haircut or style is regulation or as they squint silent judgment at a hem, tape, rank, or boot. We who follow the man or woman we love across the country in a pack-yourself-and-go truck or who watch every physical thing we own get haphazardly boxed and packed to fly or sail its way across an ocean.
Only we know the joys and pains our amazing role can bring. We try to commiserate and draw strength from one another be we can be some of our own worst enemies. How? Some of us act as though the rank our service member wears is our own. Others leave spouses who cannot personally enrich their lives out in the cold. Some are cliqueish, some are snobbish, some are filled with trite platitudes, others have their peacemakers nearby and out of harms way and forget what those who do not are feeling. Some prey on the innocence of the new spouses while others have just grown bitter and apathetic over time. Oh, wait...that sounds like any other wife of any other person in any other profession? Perhaps. The difference is the added stress that comes with the men and women we love having committed their work, energy, free time, rights, freedom, and very lives for so many who abuse the very rights our spouses defend. Yeah, that little difference.
The malaise comes in as we sit muddle through yet another holiday or family gathering or sibling's wedding or child's milestone or scary encounter or household emergency without that rock we call our best friend. The malaise is due to always having to do the job of two people when your significant other is deployed or on an extended training mission or in school or away for months and months at a time. The malaise is inherent in the long hours and weekend activities they are voluntold to attend.
But we are proud. We put our hands on our hearts at the first ringing tone of the National Anthem. We have the American flag proudly displayed somewhere in or on our home. We plaster our cars with ribbon magnets and Thank A Soldier/Airman/Marine/Seamen bumper stickers. We pay for the meals of most men wearing WWII Vet or Vietnam Vet hats and we know the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. We love our country and hate to see anyone disrespect it or our service members and we will encourage our lived ones with our dying breaths.
The holidays can be hard for some of us - whether our significant others are home or away - because they can be miles away, reliving something difficult, while sitting right in front of us. There is nothing as pride and fear inducing as loving and sharing your life with one of the few and the proud and we hope you will be sure to support our loved ones with your thoughts, words, and deeds today and always.
Yeah, so, I had no idea what this was going to be like when I agreed to this. Let me be honest with you, I just agreed to go through this experience because a friend of mine committed to a lengthy fitness program and this eating plan was part of it. Her program was approximately 16-weeks (phew!) and I joined her toward the end to lend support, share the experience, and see how it might affect me.
The extent of my knowledge of the keto diet was less than superficial - it comes from having a roommate some 6-7 years ago who is diabetic. She struggled with her intake sometimes not for lack of commitment or prep but just because her body made her life very difficult (something I can totally relate to and part of the reason we got along so well then and are getting reacquainted and comfortable again now). She told me about "dropping keytones" and I had to do an internet search to better understand her. She taught me so much about being diabetic and how every little thing affects her system.
Fast forward: As you may or may not know, I underwent spinal surgery in late June and have since gained about 18 pounds. The fact that I have had to be very still, not workout, not walk around too much, keep my head resting on things to alleviate pressure, and that I am taking medication that causes weight gain, constipation, bloating, etc. (you know the fun stuff that really help us to feel sexy and attractive, but not even a little bit).
Well, when my friend told me she was doing this specific diet I wanted to support her and keep her company on this stringent intake road so I did a little research.
I found some information on my new lifestyle here:
"A ketogenic diet (keto) is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many potential benefits for weight loss, health and performance, but also some potential initial side effects.A ketogenic diet is similar to other strict low-carb diets, like the Atkins diet or LCHF (low carb, high fat). These diets often end up being ketogenic more or less by accident. The main difference between strict LCHF and keto is that protein is restricted in the latter.
A keto diet is designed specifically to result in ketosis. It’s possible to measure and adapt to reach optimal ketone levels for health, weight loss, or for physical and mental performance."
Alright, are we all on the same page? Great. The journey began.
At first, I thought I had the flu or had somehow gotten mono again (for the 5th or 6th time) or that there was just something wrong. Nope, these are the common "symptoms" as your body adjusts to the new lifestyle. For most people it goes away in a couple of days or as long as a week. You move into a phase where you feel so much better and your health improves. For some, that means a decrease in migraines, for others it is a reduction in IBS symptoms. For me, it was just more feeling like crap and begin tired.
So, my journey kind of ended. I mean, I am doing it about 80% but it also depends on what food is available in the cafeteria (cause this girl is using her meal plan as often as possible to save money and to prepare for a big 2017!) and how low my energy is on any given day. I don't know if the keto diet just isn't for me or if I never fully went into ketosis. I purchased some strips to try - to ensure I am indeed in ketosis - and plan to this diet once more before the year is over.
I would welcome any suggestions from those who have experienced a ketogenic diet. any success stories from those whose health has been positively affected, and any other input from those who have experience with this.
That's it - pretty long post that I have been chewing on and working out for weeks now. Hope it didn't put you to sleep and I really look forward to hearing about your keto diet experiences!! Take care of yourselves out there!!
It can happen in an instant. The weather changes and a storm rolls in. The apology in the middle of the argument that stops you in your tracks. The accident you avoid my what seems to be mere inches. The friendship that blooms seemingly overnight! Things change.
I posted something on my page yesterday after much wrestling with it and having a friend edit it for content, attitude, and purpose (yeah, I didn't just put that business out there, I took a long, long, LONG time to ensure that I was being clear and honest). The post went up and I closed my laptop, grabbed a book, and waited for the firestorm to fall. I guess I shouldn't have assumed that only bad things would have come from my being transparent and public but a part of me was sure that the repercussions were going to be painful. That's what usually happens when I stand up for myself.
NOT YESTERDAY! God was working overtime to prove me wrong, lift me up, surprise me, and replace what had been lost. Seriously, yesterday was so filled with blessings and love that I cried pretty much all day (the ugly cry with the hitching and the snot and the need to get a tissue cause the tears have soaked your sleeve). It was so unexpected that it took my breath away and I wasn't even sure how to react to it all but to pour my gratefulness into my prayers, into those who reached out to me, into my work, and into my commitment to transparency.
I know it may seem as though things are lost and beyond repair - some things may be. That is the lesson I learned yesterday! Some things are beyond repair and the effort I was putting into seeking out, fixing, mending, groveling (ugh, that makes me so sick when I think about it), and being a ME that is not ME in order to resolve things was a waste of time. Why? God already had things in the works for the ME He made ME to be and I was going to miss out on it all if I kept chasing after the wind (friends who aren't friends, support that isn't support, affirmations that mean nothing). And when I was being so stubborn and trying to make it all work, He had to take some things away and let me see and grieve the loss in order to celebrate and praise Him for the new things.
If you find yourself in a time of darkness, confusion, doubt, depression, anxiety, loss, and fear - YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND IT IS NOT OVER! You are in the meantime between then and now but you can't give up. You can't believe that all that has happened is all that WILL happen. Reach out to someone (message me, email me, text me, call me!) and let them be your lifeline so you stop drifting and start riding the currents and the waves. I know from experience - not just yesterday but decades of experience - that it is NOT over and you are NOT done.
Phew! That's all I've got! I'm gonna go address the puffy eyes I have today from all the crying yesterday and make sure I sing the praises of my Daddy God and thank those living blessings He has placed in my life for letting Him use them. Amen and amen!
When you go into a day dreading what you have ahead of you, it's very likely that day will be a bad one. I have to stop myself from playing the comparison game and wishing my life was like hers or like his. Why? What I see of their lives may be the very best part of it or a facade. Why wish for something that could actually end up being worse than where you currently are?
I am currently home on medical leave due to spinal surgery. Sounds like fun times filled with Netflix and easy access to snacks and puppy snuggles, but every situation comes with its own challenges. For me it's pain and limited ability to do my daily routine. I haven't been able to workout (which most of you know is making me crawl out of my skin); I struggle with driving to the store for groceries or getting the trash into my car to take it to the dump. And, then there are the pain and pain meds (the pain is, well, painful, but the medication makes me feel like a zombie).
We all have demons we fight, we all have hurdles to overcome, and we all have those things, people, or animals that bring smiles to our faces and warm our hearts. Lean on them and work to build a network that can lift you up when you do have a bad Monday.
But, for today, this is going to be a good Monday. I can feel in. I'm inviting you to join me in having s really good Monday.
I have always been an outdoor enthusiast and a tomboy. Some of my favorite memories involve camping with the Girl Scouts, land nav with my dad, nature with the hubs, and winter in Maine. It's not in me to shy away from dirt and sweat and sun and the like. As much as I love being able to be outdoors and have adventures, I oftentimes shy away from it if I have to do it alone (yeah, I know how strange that is coming from such a strong introvert but I much prefer to share these adventures with people I know and love). On the other hand, sometimes a girl just needs to hook up the puppy and get outdoors.
After making my second visit to the glorious, relaxing, soul regenerating Verda Mae Farm to be with my sister in spirit (and in Christ), I realized it was time to stop waiting. I have allowed so much of my life to be on hold as I wait for things God has in store; wait for my business to take off; wait for the possibility of surrogacy to become reality; wait for this phase of my hubby's career to be move into the next phase; wait for the pup to be fully housebroken; and wait to live my life where I am. No more.
I have wanted to plant a garden for some time now and the desire only intensified after my first visit to VMF. No, I can't have my own farm just yet and I don't have the budget or the space for the horses, chickens, llamas, and pygmy goats of my dreams, but I can do something to get myself closer to that outdoor, self-sufficient, enjoying the dirt part of my life that I want so dearly. After this second visit to VMF, I came home with renewed passion and a plan.
Step #1 - order "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew
Step #2 - determine my gardening budget
Step #3 - get some items locally and order the rest
Step #4 - have a mini freak out because I can't believe I'm actually doing this
Step #5 - find local nurseries to get some advice on local soil and conditions
Step #6 - get the plants and seeds (and awesome soil I found at Aldi's)
Step #7 - plant my garden!
Step #7 was postponed a week - from last week to this week - when my Saturday turned into a working Saturday and then got snowed out. SNOWED OUT!
This weekend, however, was beautiful. Mid-60's, breeze off the water, sunny, and the pup was in great spirits! Praise the Lord for good weather, great supplies, and the energy to get my project started.
So, here I am - day 1 of my living in the now is drawing to a close and the garden is planted. I hope I will wake up to find that the deer haven't demolished my little garden.
Stay tuned for updates on the garden, the clean eating, the Southern Maryland adventures, the puppy, and more!
#fitnessanyamind #novicegardener #raisedbedgardening #squarefootgardening #intervertadventurer #boxerpuppymama #verdamaefarms #dreamingofafarm
Where do you shop for your clothes? Are you an online shopper? Do you live and die by a certain brand? Do you thrift shop? I have found that, with my non-scale victories and the need to keep buying different sizes and cuts that I am enjoying shopping even less than I used to (if that is even possible).
The cheapskate in me (yes, I admit it; she's alive and well) doesn't want to buy anything I don't have to so I just take in my pants and tops as many times as I can. All the more reason to buy a surger, but that costs money. Hmmmm, the conundrum. Anywhoozits, I have stumbled upon a few apps and shopping online options that are actually making me pretty happy.
POSHMARK - I have purchased 4 pair of pants, 2 pair of boots, a bag, and a jacket. 2 of the pants didn't fit quite as described but everything else has been magical and perfection. I will keep using this for sure.
LETGO - I purchased a rug for my living room. The seller was a little "off" but the purchase went down without a hitch and I didn't end up in a ratty motel, in an ice bath, with my kidney missing. I consider that a success.
OFFERUP - I sold a TV on there and it was super easy. We met in a grocery store parking lot at a busy hour, made the hand off, and were each on our way. I felt like a secret agent and I liked it.
AMAZON PRIME - Of course, the old standby, Amazon. I love that prime shipping gets it here so fast and there are tons of options for some things but not so many for others. Like, dress pants. Have never had much success getting dress pants from Amazon.
How do you shop for clothes? I would love to hear what you do and get some helps on rounding out my options while staying home. Help me out, friends!
#myfashionsenseisquestionableatbest #lovefunsocks #needtobecomfy #pocketsareamust #wishicouldwearworkoutclothes247 #92poundsdown #nonscalevictory #fitnessanyamind #onlineshopping #discountshopping #fastshipping #helpmeout
You know those days where you just want to change everything about everything? Where you want to cut off your hair and change your wardrobe and rearrange your furniture and try cooking an exquisite French meal just before you leave for 9 months of backpacking the AT? Yup, I am having one of those days. Likely brought about by the fact that this new year has brought some stress, a couple of betrayals, delayed healing, a few trials, and enough unexpectedness to have me off balance. But, isn't that the way it goes? We don't often have major catastrophes that totally destroy us and leave us scrambling over the literal or figurative rubble. Nope. Usually, there are just enough things to keep us off balance that we lose our way, have trouble righting ourselves, and stagger along trying to make it all balance somehow.
Well, that stops now. I want to make some changes, so I am going to make some changes. Obviously, I will not be leaving tomorrow for the AT (thought I wish I was) nor will I be preparing some complicated French dish (if you follow me on IG you know I am struggling with dagblasted hardboiled eggs at present). Instead, I will take a look at my calendar, rearrange my goal board, budget a few "fun days", and direct my attention to getting my balance.
I will open my heart to more people, even though there are far more times that end in heartbreak than I would like. I will set my sights on something I deem improbable but I will refuse to label it impossible (don't you worry, I have something in mind but I am keeping it to my inner circle at present). I will challenge myself to grow in ways I once thought impossible. I will embrace the uniquties of me and make them badges of honor rather than burdens or shame (as I have often been made to think they were).
Keep an eye out, friends. If you give me a little bit of time, you may see something amazing happen. You aren't going to want to miss this.
There are so many things that can get you down during the average day. Seriously, so many! Depending on who you are and what frustrates or annoys you it can start as early as your puppy needing to get up and potty an hour before your alarm clock goes off or realizing that you are lower on groceries than you originally anticipated so your morning shake will just be mixed with water. Yup, things of this world tend to pile up and then we feel down. I posed a question on my FB page asking people to share what makes them feel more positive and pulls them out of the dumps. The answers have been amazing and uplifting and make me want to try them all to see if I can add them to my list of things to try when the clouds cover my emotional sunshine. My favorite prescription for happiness and de-stressing? Check out this awesome video:
Find your sunshine, grow your happy, and increase your positivity!
There is a new at home fitness program out there that I really, really, really want to try. I am pretty coordinated and I love to dance so this should be a no brainer, right? Wrong. Why? Because I have never done a Shaun T program before. Nope, not one. Not only that, I am still healing from knee surgery so I can't quite yet push myself to the max like I would like to.
When the time comes (very soon indeed), I am going to need some folks to encourage me and support me as I attempt Cize. Who is willing to come alongside me and help me brave the dance moves of Cize?
So, this is what happens. I wake up in the morning and decide that today is going to be the day. I am going to share a thought that has gone through my head, a word of wisdom that someone shared with me, an experience that rocked my world, or a piece of insight I have gleaned from somewhere. Yup, today is going to be that day.
Then, the dog starts crying cause she wants to get out of her kennel and she knows I am awake so now it is urgent.
I take the dog out and breathe in the gorgeous sunrise over the river. I notice the bunnies playing statue and tempting fate by not running away as my fur baby and I approach. The morning is so calm and peaceful and my mind wanders to stories I could regale you with or motivation I could share. Then, I smell the poop and get back to reality.
On my way inside I am mentally going through what I have in store for the day, deciding what I should wear, ignoring my rumbly tummy, and mixing up some wet food for the pup. I think I should take pictures of what my morning looks like to add to my growing IG album. I tell myself to share that recipe of the thing I made for lunch that is so tasty and fits my meal plan perfectly. I challenge myself to get in more steps today and be more productive both at work at at home. Then, my "you're late" Battlestar Galactica themed alarm starts going off with a vengeance and I realize I have to get to it.
Driving to work I contemplate road rage, commuting, working from home, car repairs, winter weather driving, roadkill, fast food restaurants, sci fi fandom, what my puppy does while I am gone all day, and why I haven't put on chapstick, yet. Surely, someone could relate to these thoughts and want to tune in for more as I blog about them. Right? I mean, right?
Once at work there is no time for blog thoughts and creative genius. I throw myself into what is on my plate, on my screen, on my calendar, and in my face. I give my all to my students and my staff and work diligently to make my boss look good in every possible way. When it is time to go home, the thoughts of blogging and posting and tweeting and such return.
Listening to audiobooks on the way home is supposed to inspire me and motivate me but sometimes my thoughts again turn to blogging. I should write down that phrase and blog about it. How? You're driving. I should share a story about how this book has affected me. When? I should, I could, . . . .
Yeah, people have more fur babies than me, human babies that I haven't yet been blessed with, lives in busy cities, farms that occupy them, and so much more and yet they can blog often and regularly. Well, kudos to them. As much as I want to share my world with people and provide a little ray of sunshine, a word of encouragement, a piece of advice, or a delicious recipe, I fall short. I will continue to remind myself that this is something that I want to do and hopefully have it find a place in my weekly routine. No promises. Let's just hope I can hit UPDATE on this one and get it out there first, shall we?
Have you ever taken the #MyersBriggs #personalitytest to see where you rank? I mean, if course you know the kinds of things that appeal to you in your everyday life - bustling social events vs. a cup of tea and a book on the couch - but you may not realize how deep your preferences go. Once you know a bit more about who you are and why you are the way you are, it will help you to relate to those in your life who are the same or differing personality to yours. I find myself taking a few moments to consider what combination I feel others have and then adjusting fire when I interact with them accordingly. You would be amazed at what a huge difference it can make. Do you want to see what you are? Click the button below!
For those of you who know me in real life, learning that I am an INTJ is no surprise to you. What was kind of a surprise to me was how few of us there are out there. Of course we aren't going to blast our presence on social media or plan a reunion to all meet up, but I thought that we were all just rolling along in our introverted existences, quietly plotting global domination, and suffering through social pleasantries in larger numbers. Nope, we are a very small population.
So, take the test, find your type, and share it with me! I would love to see the MBTI type of anyone reading this and share who we successfully or not so successfully navigate this world with the benefits and drawbacks that each of our types present. Would love to hear from you!
I have told my story so many times that I forget who has heard it and who hasn't. But, if for some reason you are stumbling upon this page and you know nothing about me, let me share a bit.
I am the middle of three daughters raised in the every changing homes of an Army Chaplain family. I was always pretty sickly but I never let it get me down and anything from 2 allergy shots twice a week to use of my inhaler to breathe became a part of my everyday life. We grew up knowing about faith, hope, love, and our fallen nature. I was an athlete and a scholar in high school and the next step was college.
The last seven years have been rough, to say the least. I mean, we try to prepare for life changes, for taxes, for falling in love, for harsh winters, and for pets getting sick but it is hard to prepare for crazy curveballs. Shortly after marrying the love of my life, we moved to California and things started to come off the rails. My job was going smoothly but I got sick with something and no one could diagnose me. A few days later, I was having surgery.
But it didn't end there! The spring of 2009 led to 4 major surgeries and a lot of medication. Then, my employer decided not to renew my contract so we moved in with friends while I underwent another major surgery. Then, we got a place of our own and I had my 6th surgery. I was unable to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk, I had 3 pair of pants that I could fit into, and I was almost 100lbs heavier. Life was painful, depressing, and bleak - and then my husband deployed overseas for 13 months.
There are a few months that I can't even remember and many others that I can remember as just endless days of sleeping, lying as motionless as possible to avoid pain, or immersing myself in Netflix. But, the Lord helped me to find work and get moving again. I started working out and being grateful that things were improving. The hubs finally made it home from deployment and we were reunited and I was informed by the ortho doctor that my shoulder injury needed attention. That's when I had to have rotator cuff surgery and was sidelined again physically as well as emotionally when a bitter supervisor terminated me without cause. The Lord wasn't going to let me drown, though. He lined me up with another job right away, I healed reasonably quickly, and I managed to start getting my total fitness back on track.
In the last 3 years I have undergone two surgeries on my left foot, each one sidelining me for about 3 months and my chronic migraines blossomed out of control due to work stress. Again, the Lord rescued me! Now, I am active, my migraines are manageable, my tummy troubles have been tentatively diagnosed as IBS, and I love my job. To be totally fair, I have to give credit where credit is due. My migraines and IBS have improved by leaps and bounds since I started drinking Shakeology everyday. My foot, shoulder, and knees are feeling great since I started my fitness programs. My heart is lighter as I have pride in my faith, my home, my work, my body, and my marriage. Things are improving and continue to improve.
The Lord has brought me through so much - a dozen surgeries, terribly strong medications with miserable side effects, job terminations, loss of loved pets, military deployments, miscarriages, failed adoption, sexual assault, massive weight gain that threatened my life, and on and on. He has seen me through the up's and the down's, the high's and the low's, the stagnant middle ground, and the raging storms. There is no way I could have made it through it all without Him and I praise Him daily for what He has done and is continuing to do in my life.
Now you know a bit more about me! If anything I wrote has helped you in anyway, if you can relate to my story, if you want to know more, please feel free to get in touch with me!
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
I spent the majority of my day in my office. My face was glued to the screen, my glasses were perched on my nose, my snacks were nearby, and my student assistants were chatting and laughing up front. I realized that I had little to nothing to post about or tweet about or snap to anyone or anything because I had just spent all day here - typing, scanning, scheduling, putting out fires, and igniting others.
The question that sometimes comes to mind, then, is . . . am I touching any lives today? Hardly anyone saw me, those that did may not have gotten quality time with me, and now that the day is almost over I am fairly exhausted and fear that I won't give to the few people (or maybe just one person) that I will interact with for the rest of the evening. I don't want to be so far removed from all and everything that I am unable to lend an ear when it is needed or share advice when is is requested. But, how do I do that? How do I make that happen in my life.
I would love to hear how you all carve out quality time in your lives. It could be how you do that at work, how you make it happen at home, or what you capture so have it in your intimate relationships. Share away - I'm all ears.
I am Christian Straightedge Christ follower, an Army Brat, an ex-milso, founder and CEO of FitnessAnyaMind, a sofa CEO, a nomad, a fur baby mom, and a mindset builder. I enjoy nature, reading, music, cooking, and taking care of those whom I love.