2/26/16

i was SO HAPPY that the scale had finally dipped below 3 digits when i weighed myself

{i believe my lowest weight was 97 pounds - i'm 5'2" tall}

and weigh myself i did. 

first thing in the morning, i stepped on the scale. 
that determined what {or if} i ate for lunch that day. 

breakfast was not in my vocabulary.

when i got home from work, i weighed myself. 

{i probably would have weighed myself at work if there was a scale there} 

that determined how long of a run i should go on. 

after my run, i weighed myself to see what {or if} i should eat for supper.

and sometimes for good measure,
i'd weigh myself after i took a bath and before i went to bed.

i.was.obsessed.

i.was.totally.unhealthy.

i.was.bordering.on.anorexic.

i.was.a.control.freak. and the ONE thing i could control was my weight.

when i met rick in 2012, i was still recovering from losing rickey and one of the few things i could control in my life was what i ate {or didn't eat} and how much i exercised {ran}.


i have been aware of my weight for as long as i can remember.

weighing too much

and

weighing not enough.

it's always been a struggle.

it got worse after having babies and worse yet after Rickey died.

if there was a "get thin quick" plan out there, i was willing to try it!

i do believe psalm 139:16

"Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them."

i believe that God allowed rick to enter my life at a very crucial time.

before he became my boyfriend {that sounds funny at 45 years old!} and then my husband, he was my friend.

and he was a personal {fitness} trainer.

i was a personal {fitness} trainer's worst nightmare

i was "skinny fat" and had horrible fitness/nutrition habits!

i was headed for {health/wellness} trouble real soon if something didn't change.

one of our first conversations in person was about healthy eating
{do you think he could see something i couldn't see?!}

i was willing to try some of the things he mentioned
{like eating cleaner and adding weight training to my routine} 
but i PANICKED when the scale started to move .... upward!

fast forward to today.

i may not weigh exactly what i wish i did but i'm healthy.

we exercise on a regular basis.

i gave up my diet mountain dew {gasp!}

i don't step on the scale 3 or 4 times a day.

we eat mostly whole, single ingredient foods.

our sugar intake is almost non-existent.

and i feel better than i have in years!

God gave me this body.

it is my job to take care of it.

i'm much more at peace and "comfortable in my own skin"

i know that most of the time what goes into my body is good for it, God made not man made nutrition.

i know that i may not have 6 pack abs or be able to run a 5K in record time, but i can get up and move and participate in life.

i know that every waking thought is not about food.

i know that i have found peace ... and that peace comes from good choices and from realizing that the hunger i had,  whether it was for food or for being "thin enough" was really a hunger for God.  i've let Him fill that spot in my life and i can honestly say with lysa terkeurst, i want to be healthy, but my real goal isn't a number on a scale, it's peace.

where is your peace?

are you healthy?

do you "get" it?

take time today to assess where you are at, and then let God take control of ALL of it ... that is a decision you'll NEVER regret!

if you're struggling with getting control of your weight, your nutrition, and/or your exercise goals and you live near us, we'd love to have you join us for our fitness challenge march 1 - may 31 ... contact me for more information!



2/24/16

{don't.blink}

"don't blink" he said as i walked into the house and we hugged tightly, no words spoken, because there were no words to say.

don't.blink.

from the time they were babies ...

don't blink, your infant will be a toddler
don't blink, your toddler will be a pre-schooler
don't blink, your pre-schooler will be in middle-school
don't blink, your middle-schooler will have her driver's license
don't blink...

life moves faster every year, don't blink.

just yesterday, a friend told me her daughter was turning 9 soon,
"don't blink, I said, my baby has her driver's license" 

within an hour of me saying those words to my friend, they were said to me ...

"don't blink" he said as i walked into the house and we hugged tightly, no words spoken, because there were no words to say.

this time, the admonition was the reminder to hold those you love closely. love those you have, while you still have them. don't blink, because in the blink of an eye, your entire world can change. in the blink of an eye you or me or a loved one can step from this earth into eternity. don't blink and miss the opportunity to love someone.

thankfully we are assured that this loved one has gone on to Glory, and while the "blink" for us means we no longer have their presence on this earth, the "blink" for them meant waking up in Paradise.

i know that when i take my last blink on this earth, the next time i open my eyes, i will be looking into the face of Jesus ... what about you?

today, don't blink, tell someone you love them.
today, don't blink, forgive that grudge you're holding on to.
today, don't blink, be the light in someone's life.
today, don't blink ... life {on earth} is short.

and please, make sure that when your eyes close for the last time here on earth, it really is just a "blink" to an eternity with your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

*if you are unsure of what this even means, if you don't know you will spend eternity in Heaven or you don't know how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, please comment below or e-mail me at myjourney139@gmail.com ... i'd love to share with you how He can change your life here on earth, and how you can be guaranteed an eternity with Him in Heaven! it really is the most important decision you'll ever make!

2/23/16

{i.still.have.much.to.learn}

"dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way..."  james 1:2

"so after you have suffered a little while..." 1 peter 5:10

i'm currently reading jen hatmaker's "interrupted" and in it she says

 "likewise, i still can't believe it, but i managed to attend church three times a week as a fetus ... observe every form and function of church, get swallowed whole by Christian subculture ... and misunderstand the main point.  i am still stunned by my capacity to spin Scripture, see what i wanted, ignore what i didn't, and use the Word to defend my life rather than define it.  i now reread treasured, even memorized Scriptures and realize i never understood what they really meant."

well.then.

i can relate to that!

i can really relate to jen's statement

"i am still stunned by my capacity to spin Scripture, see what i wanted, ignore what i didn't, and use the Word to defend my life rather than define it." 

and it's not something i'm exactly proud of!

so, as she mentions, i've been trying to see Scripture, re-read Scripture and understand what it means!  i'm trying not to just quickly quote favorite, memorized passages but to read the verses surrounding them and take them in context, not spin Scripture, seeing just what I want. i also don't want Scripture to "defend" my life, i want it to "define" it.

so, this weekend when the above passages both showed up in my daily devotions, i realized that we are being told that there WILL be trouble in our lives.

"when troubles of any kind come your way"

"after you have suffered a little while"

when troubles come your way, after you have suffered ... that doesn't say "if" troubles come your way or "if" you have suffered.

"when" and "after" indicate that we WILL have troubles, we WILL suffer, ok, i've heard and {i think} understood that before, but I don't know that i ever paid attention to the fact that 17 short verses after "when" trouble comes your way is spoken of in james, we are told to be "quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to get angry".

well.then.

that means, they go hand in hand. when trouble comes ... be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.

i.still.have.much.to.learn!

this book, "interrupted" is {breaking} me ... in a good way. i'm reading. and listening. and learning ... and praying that through this book {and God speaking to me through this book!}, i can learn to live a life interrupted ... by Jesus and by others. that "when" trouble comes my way and "when" i am suffering i will be quick to listen, slow to speak {a hard one for me} and slow to get angry!

i.still.have.much.to.learn!


2/19/16

{just.relax.you.try.too.hard}

just.relax

you.try.too.hard

have you ever heard those words?

i have.

and they are true.

i'm probably pretty much your "textbook" first born, type "a" personality.

to be classified in one of the 4 "personality types" i most relate to 

Sanguine

In a nutshell...

Sanguine people are boisterous, bubbly, chatty, openly emotional, social extroverts.

 yep, that's pretty much me.  
and and in most circumstances, that is not a bad thing.
however, sometimes in interpersonal relationships, it's a huge downfall.  
because i can tend to be boisterous, chatty, openly emotional and extroverted i can sometimes be too much for others and i let my emotions take over rational thought {have you ever done that?}.  
if someone else is not {in my eyes} equally as boisterous, chatty, emotional and extroverted as i, automatically i think there has to be something wrong ... and i'm quick to question it {and want to fix it}.  i'm not the best at accepting that others may just naturally be a bit more subdued than i and i {often} take it personally if they don't respond to me in the way i "think" they should.
just.relax

you.try.too.hard

i once had a disagreement with a co-worker and we were both called into the bosses office {ouch} where we were asked to state what was wrong from our own perspective. after it was all out on the table, the boss asked us to move on ... i said o.k. and left the meeting. my co-worker on the other hand took a few days to "come around" and i couldn't figure out why!

my boss stated after that day that i "bounced back - just like a rubber band" ... and i think that's {usually} a good thing!  however, it can be a detriment when dealing with others who don't always "bounce-back" as quickly.  

i'm learning {slowly} that i can't make someone like me, or love me, or see things my way all the time. i'm realizing that my boisterous, chatty, openly emotional and extroverted ways can get me in hot water because sometimes i don't have a good filter and i forget to ask God to put a guard over my lips! just because i feel it or think it doesn't necessarily mean i have to speak it!

i know that this has caused conflict with those that i love {parents, husband, children, friends, co-workers ...}, and i'm working on it ... and some days i do better than others!

i do need to learn to 

just.relax

and to remember not to 

try.too.hard

but, oh, somedays it is a struggle!  i'm a "fixer" on top of all those other things so i want loves, and lives and relationships fixed

right.now

and i often forget to remember {as carrie underwood's song goes} that i'm NOT in charge and that i need to let

Jesus.take.the.wheel!

i need to just.relax

and to 

not.try.too.hard!

so, if i've ever offended you with my boisterous, chatty, openly emotional and extroverted self, i do apologize. 

i'd humbly ask that you pray for and with me that i allow JESUS to lead and not want to always be the leader ... i'd ask you to help me grow in Him and to love my parents, husband, children, friends, co-workers ... better as i {slowly} learn to 

just.relax

and

not.try.so.hard!

2/16/16

♥you.are.loved.♥


life.isn't.always.easy.

on any given day on facebook, i read of

*a young friend who had a stroke

*friends whose child is battling cancer

*a friend going through a divorce

*someone struggling after the death of a loved one

and much, much more that is not posted and shared.

*the spouse who feels unloved

*the child who feels neglected

*the friend who feels left out

*the one who is lonely, afraid, discouraged, depressed and hopeless

friend, if that is you today...

RUN.TO.JESUS!

He is the only one that can fill that aching emptiness inside of you!

please know that if you are reading this today, you are here for a reason.

you are loved.

i love you.

Jesus loves you.

and ... you were prayed for today!

i may not know you by name.

i may not know what burden you are facing today that seems overwhelming, but i prayed for you before posting this morning ...

here is my prayer for you,

"dear Lord, you know who You will lead to read this post today. i pray that as they read, they will feel loved by You. i pray that they will know that You alone can fill the deepest, darkest, emptiest part of their soul. i pray that you will allow them to bring their burdens to You and find rest in You alone. i also pray that You, Lord will lead them to someone they can talk to, to share their burden with and to find peace - in the midst of whatever storm they are facing. thank You that You do know every need before it is even spoken and that You are waiting to offer a peace that passes understanding.
amen."

hang on to Jesus in the midst of whatever storm you are facing.

He loves you.

and so do i!

p.s. ... if you are currently not in the midst of a storm, look for someone who is. who can you reach out to today? who can you love? who can you show Jesus to? pray that He will lead you to that person, and that you can offer the hope they so desperately need.  remember, we never know the pain someone is hiding behind a smile!



2/15/16

{life.according.to.facebook}

do you ever wonder if life is really what it looks like on facebook?

you know what i mean!

you've got those friends who only post the "woe is me" posts 
{they are tired, they are sick, they don't have enough money, their car broke down ...}

or there are those who always post the cryptic posts 
{sure could use prayer today, sometimes people should just mind their own business, so happy i could just burst ...}

 or those who are perpetually happy
{my honey brought me flowers AGAIN today, my kids are just the most amazing, i love my job ...}

hhhmmmm... 

are they really always tired, sick and broke?

are they always mysterious?

is life really always perfect?

no.

no.

no.

at least that's my guess!

my guess is that for most of us ... life falls somewhere in between the "woe is me" and "perpetually happy" most.of.the.time!

i post this because when rick & i shared some friction in our marriage to some friends recently, they responded that everything always looks so perfect when they see our facebook posts ... ugh! 

that's not what i really want to portray ... life isn't perfect, it will never be perfect this side of heaven! however, God does bless, and usually i can find a "silver lining" to my life circumstances, and i usually CHOOSE to share that with the facebook world! when i'm having trouble finding that silver lining, i usually just choose not to share!

daily we have a choice.

moment by moment we have a choice.

we can choose to see the glass as half-empty or we can see it as half-full ...

you choose.

i choose.

i'll be honest, sometimes, i see it as half-empty.

yesterday i saw it as half empty.

i'll be completely transparent here ...

sometimes "memory" days STINK!

valentine's day was mine and rickey's anniversary {would have been 24 this year}.

it's a day filled with bitter-sweet memories.

love that was full and beautiful.  love that continues but in a different sense since i still live here on earth, and rickey now lives in heaven. love that has changed. new love with rick that God has brought to me and blessed me with. 

tangled, tumbled, mixed up emotions.

here's the scenario...

a husband who was dearly loved but now lives in heaven.

+

a new husband who i dearly love who lives here with me on earth.

+

a "hallmark holiday".

+

every other post on facebook showing the flowers and the gifts people gave and got for said "hallmark holiday".

=

expectations.

mine

&

his

=

conflict.

rick thinks the day should be handled one way.

i think it should be handled another way.

we both withdraw.

we both think our way is the right way to deal with the day.

we say things and do things and act in ways that dis-honor, dis-respect and dis-love {i just made that up!} each other without ever meaning to.

ouch.

yes. we are human. there are days when the glass seems half-empty.

days {like yesterday} when we forget what pastor dave preached on yesterday ...

love is patient.

love is kind.

love does not envy.

or boast.

love is not arrogant.

or rude.

love is not irrational.

or resentful.

love does not rejoice at wrongdoing.

love rejoices with truth.

love bears all things.

love believes all things.

loves hopes all things.

love endures all things.

LOVE NEVER ENDS.

thankfully, God is working in us and through us.

thankfully, when we cry out, He is there.

thankfully, He does bring beauty from ashes.

thankfully, He knows the struggles we will face ... even before we face them.

i wish i could always view the glass as not only half-full, but full and overflowing because of the love and grace that God has extended to me. i'm a work in progress though.  i'll still get blind-sided by those "memory" days ... even when i think {ahead of time} that i've got it under control 

...

this time. 

i will still be

impatient.

unkind.

envious.

boastful.

arrogant.

rude.

irrational.

& resentful.

i will forget to look for right & see only wrong.

i will not always be truthful.

i won't always graciously bear all things.

or believe all things.

or hope all things.

or endure all things.

yet ...

LOVE {still} NEVER ENDS.

so on those "half-full" days, I will cling to that promise. and even when I LOVE him, but don't "like" him, I'll cling to that promise.  i'll hold on to that covenant that i made to him before God and our kids, and i'll remember that faith, hope and love remain, but the greatest is LOVE.

so remember ... life "according to facebook" isn't always what it appears!

don't compare your life to someone else's virtual life.

live the life God intends you to live.

cherish the love God has given you {spouse, kids, parents ... whoever}.

live your life, and know that each step of the way is planned by God {Psalm 139}.

and always, always, always

remember to LOVE!

p.s. ... today is a new day. yesterday is over and we have moved forward.  God is good. God is a God of restoration. what seemed half-empty yesterday, seems more than half-full today! with each {memory} day, God grows us. God teaches us. God sustains us. and at the end of those days, God has drawn us closer to each other and Himself.


thanks AGAIN, rick for walking this journey hand-in-hand with me & God & our kids
 & I do LOVE you, even in those moments when it seems like i don't like you! ♥

2/13/16

baby.it's.cold!

i'm not sure where you live but here in the u.p. it's cold today! as in -6° cold! if I didn't have to go out, i wouldn't! however, life doesn't stop here just because the temperature takes a dive! this morning I'm helping to decorate for a valentine's day potluck at church. we woke up this morning to our furnace not working properly ... it has been giving us problems for a few months now ... praying we get it going soon, and inexpensively! stay warm today and if you're here with my KEEP contest, I hope you'll read again soon!

2/12/16

deal.breakers ... and more

when rickey died {suddenly, unexpectedly}, we did not get the time to say good-bye at his bedside. there was not time for him to tell me his wishes and dreams for me and the girls for the future ... however, he and i had talked some about if we couldn't be together. he had told me during one of those talks, "if we couldn't be together, i'd want to help pick someone out for you, i don't want you to be alone."

so because of that, and because he and i had a pretty good marriage, i knew that i could move forward and keep living, even though part of me died with him that day.

i also knew, after being married to my best friend for almost 20 years that life WAS better when shared with someone you love ♥

so, it was after 20 years of being a "couple" i became a "single" and re-entered the scene of "getting to know someone" ... and at 46 years old that.is.scary!

... i promise to blog more about that someday, but for today ...

God did allow me the chance to "get to know someone", and that someone's name was rick {yep, you read that right, rick ... and there's more "similarities" but that's another blog post!}. 

before this rick and i met in person, we met online and shared 3,000+ Facebook messages, e-mails and texts {no, that is not a typo, yes, i said 3,000+ ... in less than a week!}

we hit on the "big" stuff, making sure that meeting was even a good idea ...

*married before?

*kids?

*grandkids?

*do you like the Packers {could have been a deal-breaker}?

*political views?

and the biggie ...

*do you have personal relationship with Jesus Christ - tell me about it!

after those "deal-breaker" questions, came others {still potentially deal-breakers}, including ...

*do you drink, smoke, do drugs?

{if you know me, or have read and remember - i was kind of raised in a "bubble" ... those things were all big no-no's!}

rick's answer of "i have" to that question was difficult for me, because "i haven't"!

conversation continued and he told me about his battle with addiction to alcohol, and his first attempt at becoming sober and then his second {which different from the first time, included AA and, more importantly, Christ!}

God moved in my heart, and for some reason this did not scare me away, it actually made me more intrigued about who this man was ...

his addiction and recovery has been something he has shared with very few, though he and i talk of it fairly often, always remembering the date and reason his sobriety began.

fast forward to yesterday.

february 11.

rick's sobriety date.

8 years ago.

but this year, he shared his journey. on facebook.

for everyone to see.

in the hopes it might help someone else.

i'm proud of him for sharing.

when you lay something like that out for the world to see, you risk.

you risk reactions, you risk responses, you risk respect, you become someone you weren't before you hit "publish" on that post. 

but, he took the risk, with the prayer that it may help just one person who may be struggling themselves with an addiction.

here is what rick posted on his facebook page yesterday:

"8 years ago yesterday I received a phone call from my oldest son that should have made me a very happy New Grampy! To make things clear, I absolutely LOVE my granddaughter! However when I got that call I had also just became the ONE thing I NEVER wanted to be. I had recently returned from military deployment, unemployed for months, struggling in and out of a relationship and now to put the icing on the cake... I AM a single, drunk Grampa going home to his empty apartment and six pack of beer (and bottle of Vodka)... 
Only by God's grace am I sober now for 8 years! I thank God for putting the right people in my life to help me along. I offer amends where I can and have an amazing, growing relationship with The Living God! 
I put this out here if anyone ever wants to talk.
An Absolutely HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me, thank you Lord!"


{me, a chatterbox?}

if you have followed my blog at all you know that my heart has always been to share God's grace in the midst of human tragedy ... or wh...