Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ephesians 2:10

Ephesians 2:10
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

It is difficult, sometimes, to feel like there is a higher purpose in life. We go about our day, however that is, and sometimes it just seems pointless.  I have been at this point for more than a year.  I wonder what my purpose in life is.

I got caught up in the world, feeling like my life needs to have some grand scheme to it. There is a need to be greater. But then I am called back to a place of humbleness. I am reminded that without the people who clean up the messes, life would be pretty ugly.

As I read the scripture today I am also recalled to the fact that He has me covered.  Point in case… we need money to pay our bills, and my husband (who does computer work on the side) got three calls to do computer jobs, that right there is enough to make a car payment and some.  Praise God. 

So, how does the feeling of life being pointless and the fact that God has me covered tie together?  My husband was given an amazing gift, the ability to understand technology.  One of the calls he got was a desperate woman who had her school work on the computer, she needed it to finish up some assignments, and in no time he had the stuff she needed on a disk, ready to give to her, while he worked on getting her computer up and running.  This woman was in need, and my husband was able to help her.  What greater example of Christ is there?  God provided an opportunity for my husband to have a greater purpose, while providing for his family.

As I have mentioned many times, this period of my life is a time of struggle.  I have been dealing with emotions that I thought I had dealt with back in my first year of college.  In a way, I feel as though I have lost my identity.  But then other mom’s remind me that I am a mom, I am raising a man of God.  I need to embrace that.  That is my purpose.  That is what my job is right now.  Yes, I need to find one that pays, but while I am searching I need to remember that God has prepared ‘good works’ for me. He knows where I am going, and I need to turn to his word to be reminded of that.  One verse out of many sent me an amazing message: God is in control.

Friday, August 10, 2012

God's Will

Ephesians 1:11
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

I finally picked up my Bible today (outside of church) and decided that I needed to read it.  Things have been rough lately. We are struggling to make ends meet. We have only been able to do it this month because of savings. All the while I am looking for a job to replace the one I lost over a year ago and the unemployment insurance I lost about a month ago.  I have put out more applications than I can count, and I have had four interviews, and four “thank you but we decided to go with someone who was better qualified” responses.  Needless to say, I am discouraged.  I am losing confidence, and I am just plain angry right now.

Questions are floating through my mind,
“Why is this happening?”
“Lord, your word say’s you will provide, why then are we possibly going to lose so much that we have worked very hard for?”

My church has been reading through Ephesians for some time.  Last week’s word spoke to me… it got me thinking, if that spoke to me, maybe I should read it from the start and allow it to speak to me some more.

As I read the blessing I started to get angry again… let’s be honest here, I am not in a happy place. I am floundering, looking for something solid, and feeling like everything around me is crumbling.  I don’t want to hear that I am blessed, because I sure don’t feel like I am.  But then I hit verse 11.  God spoke to something in me that has been nagging at me for some time…  He is working out everything….EVERYTHING to the purpose of his will. 

I grew up in the church. I have always been the ‘good little Christian girl’.  I have lived my life doing the best that I can to not ‘sin’ and do those things that might cause me guilt.  But the nagging thing was the question “What am I doing to further God’s kingdom?”

So, how does this scripture apply to what I am going through? How does the fact that I might stand to lose a lot relate to God working everything out to the purpose of his will?  It has everything to do with it.  He is stripping me down, and I have the choice right now to take up his Cross, to allow the rebuilding of my life to become part of his plan, to become part of his will.  I can choose to allow him to use me to further his kingdom.  I may end up with no physical possessions, but I will have the most important things, my faith, my family and my friends.

I don’t want to lose those physical possessions, but I am willing to if that is what God has in his plan.  I don’t want to lose my home and my cars, but those are things that society has made to be important, and although a roof over my head is a necessity, my idea of what that needs to be and Gods idea, might be very different.  I am afraid… the pit in my stomach is growing, but as I turn to him, and know that He has a plan, the pit is momentarily eased, and my faith is renewed.  I shall return to his word again tomorrow, to look for the peace that only he can provide. It is a daily struggle, and from this day forward I am asking God to hold me while I go through it, and beyond.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Life is what you make it

The phrase “Life is what you make it” has been floating through my mind the past month or so. Along with it is the question “Really, is it?”

Today, as I read my email the saying again came to mind again.  My family is at a place of desperation. I need a job. I need something to bring in enough money to start paying down our debt, and bring us to a place of financial peace.  I have had four, yes four interviews, and three of them have been no’s.  I am still waiting on the answer from the fourth.

As I laid in bed, wondering why, tears streaming down my face, I asked God, desperately, Why? Why did I not get that job?  A friend reminded me via text, that maybe I did not get a yes from this job, because God was keeping me from having to choose between that job (which made good money) and the other ideal job which met our needs and allowed for a little extra.  I am still waiting, and if that is a no, I will probably cry and again ask God why, but I will also know that HE has a plan. He has never NEVER failed me.

GOD HAS NEVER FAILED ME… I always thing of those who do not believe in God, who do not have faith… and my heart breaks.  How can one not believe or have faith in something bigger than themselves?  In my times of difficulty, when my brother died, when my parents fought, when that boy broke my heart, I had God to cling to, to cry out to.  How do those who do not believe in God coup?

“Have I not commanded you do not be afraid nor dismayed for the Lord they God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

It is that which I cling to. It is the hope that I cling to. In those moments when I feel hopeless (right not being one of them) I turn to my God who has commanded me to NOT be afraid…. Wow. If he commands it, then he must have a plan, and although in my humanity I experience fear and anxiety, I have NOTHING to fear…. He has plan….  It may not be my plan… heck if that were the case I would not have an amazing husband and a beautiful boy… I may lose my home, and many ‘things’ but I will never lose three things that are so important to me… My faith, my husband and my son…. Praise God.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Getting Unstuck"

What a ride…. Life is crazy, wonderful, awful and just plain insane.  But the most amazing thing about it all is that God is in control. 

My life this past year has been rough… emotional turmoil has abounded.  I have always been an uber emotional person, to whom tears burst at the mere mention of stress…. Anxiety is my norm… And yet through it all I attempt to hold on to the mantel of Gods peace.  This means that I go through moment’s of pure stress, followed by peace… which is fleeting due to my humanity.

As another period of change approaches, I am again going through a moment of anxiety and stress… yet, this time, I am attempting to cling to the peace the Christ offers in a more conscious fashion than I have in the past.  I am still allowing for God to move, but I am taking a more active role in pursuing the desired peace than I have in the past.  I think this is due to the fact that I am thinking outside the box. I see that my choices in how I handle my stress and anxiety not only affect me, but it affects my son and my husband far more than I had ever realized. 

As I am making some decisions that go against the so called ‘easy way’ I am opening doors to opportunity’s I never would have seen had I chosen to continue down my path of self pity.

One area that has been a constant struggle for me has been my decision over a year ago to become a Mary Kay consultant.  When I choose to ‘take the plunge’, I was full of hope and anticipation. I saw that this was a company with integrity.  I was drawn to that, and then self doubt and lack of confidence took hold and began to fight the desire become more than what I ever allowed myself to be.  Today, as I had a conversation with a friend about my ability to continue down the path of becoming a Mary Kay Consultant, a new door was opened to me… I am terrified, but I am stepping through it.  I took steps towards growing my business (albeit small steps, but steps none the less).  One of those ‘baby’ steps was to watch some of the videos that Mary Kay provides to their consultants to help them grow their business.  Wow- that sums it up….

I can count on one hand the times that God has had to slap me upside the head and say “Janet, this is what you need to do to fix things for now.” Those are the moments when all area’s of my life are telling me the EXACT SAME THING.  Maybe not word for word, but the message is the same.    In this situation the Mary Kay Power video for the month had the appropriate title “Getting unstuck”.  As I listened to the message of how this applied to growing my Mary Kay business, strings of how this could apply to my daily thought life, and my marriage and my parenting rang through LOUD and CLEAR.  Praise God… he is all knowing and all caring… He knows even better than myself what I need.   I have been in the slump, and I am not going to kid myself that this revelation has brought me out of it, but it has given me a rope to hold on to. It has provided me with hope.  And if I have to watch this video every day in order to believe that I can do it; in order to believe that I will not fail… then that is what I will do.

My Favorite quote from the power video of the month is “you will win if you don’t quit”.  I also read somewhere recently that had JK Rowling given up after her first rejection letter we would not have Harry Potter.(remember how I said God was trying to tell me something.)  If she can live through rejection after rejection and preserver to bring the world a wonderful story, so can I preserve through self doubt and fear to bring the world a bit of who I am… My passion, my faith, my self.  I am amazing. God does not make carbon copies… he does not make failures. He makes amazing individuals who have amazing gifts to offer every person they encounter.  I need to remember this, I need to allow God to bless other’s through me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

With a new Vigor

After a long hiatus from both my blog (not unusual) and my weight loss journey (again not unusual) I am back with a vigor (or at least I hope so).

The other day, while helping a friend clean her house, I saw that she had a Wii Fit.  I have wanted to ‘try’ before I go out and spend the money, so I took a leap and asked.  Well, to boil it down, it is now mine. And after having it sit in my house for exactly one week, I decided now was a good time to hook that baby up and give it a whirl. And boy am I glad I did.  The set up was tedious, and it says my body age is 54 (too which I was initially shocked and then as I recalled the major aches and pains in my body as I moved around my house this morning I nodded in agreement). It also says I am overweight… (sigh).  But with a little bit of work, I intend to get myself back on track.

I keep finding excuses to not do what I need to do… and for once in my life I can whole heartedly say they are not legitimate excuses. I found myself saying “I really don’t care” but deep in my heart knowing that I really did.  I also found myself turning to Cheetos and soda when I was feeling down.  This is a new thing for me.  The main reason I gained all the weight I did was not due to emotional eating, it was due to a change in activity level (college= walking everywhere, 40 hour week job = sitting on my tush) and no change in diet.  It also was due to eating when I was hungry because there was nothing to do with my hands.

Since the loss of my job, and the eminent loss of my unemployment checks, I have become majorly stressed out. And now I turn to Cheetos…. Yes, Cheetos are the bane of my existence (along with hot artichoke dip). Being an emotional person, this can be a problem. I need to figure out how to work around this problem.

With that said, I will tackle one thing at a time. Cheetos will no longer be purchased, and the Wii Fit is my friend. And I return to my blog to share my journey.

Today I worked out, and blogged…. I am happy, and now I get to go and get my little man up (I hear his cute mumblings from his room).  It is a good day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

From the Heart

I have a pit in my stomach… it is that inexplicable feeling that is akin to missing something.  As it is inexplicable, putting words to it seems somewhat redundant… if I could put words to it, I might not have it.  Overall it is an amalgamation of stress, fear, frustration and excitement.  I am at a cross roads in my life, aren’t we always though?  I am at a place that requires an income of some sort sooner rather than later. I am also at a place where I don’t want to do what is required for said income… plain and simple.  I realize that if we were not in debt I would not be here. We could make ends meet and live comfortably while I pursue my creativity as a source of income without the pressures of a deadline.

That said, who is to say I cannot pursue my creativity as a source of income while searching for the ‘normal’ job that is expected of me by some?  No one, no one but myself that is.

I am a talented person, who is creative and can learn quickly and easily many different things. I can crochet, cook and am picking up knitting and sewing, I am a writer, and an artist… so what is the problem. The problem is I am repeating what was told me earlier today by a dear friend.  There is a disconnect somewhere in my being. I may be good at all of those things, “but what does that matter?” I often ask myself.  Or the other question is “how do I make something of it?”  I feel at a loss.  I feel as though it does not matter that I am good at all those things, and that is sad… and unfair.  Who is it unfair to, you may ask?  It is unfair to my creator, the one who gave me the ability to do each and every thing that I am good at.

As I type that, the parable of the talent’s comes to mind.  I master gave his servants some money (then called talent’s) and told them to take care of it. One buried it while another invested it…. (this is paraphrased and not so well I am sure).  The moral of the story is that God gave us talents to invest, not to squander and hide, or bury as the man did in the parable.

My talent’s are gifts. My gifts are to be used and shared with others. I am to present them to people as a form of worship.  It is a revelation that I have been coming to for some time.  It is also something that scares the ba-jeebes out of me.  What if…. This always pops into my head at those times when I am about to embark on a new journey, and often keeps my feet firmly planted in the ‘do nothing’ spot far longer than I care to admit.

My hearts desire is to do the lords will.  I love my creativity. I pray that following in a path that allows me to use it to bring in income to my family therefore allowing me to be the best wife and mother possible is God’s desire for me.  I am taking a step out from that ‘do nothing’ spot.  As I said to my friend many many years ago ‘I need a scene of changery…. Wait no, a change of scenery’. So here’s to a scene of changery, whatever that means to my life now…. Lord Change my Scenery.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekends are hard to track

I am doing weight watchers. And I do my best to track what I am doing, but it can be hard. Having a three year old makes it easy to get distracted, and on the weekends when my husband is home, the distraction multiplies, and the motivation to track, decreases.

I do attempt, after the fact to track what I remember, and I always take away extra points to account for what I don't, generally I just assume that after the three days my husband has off, I have no extra weekly points.

Even with that, when I am aware of what I am putting into my body, I seem to loose. When I sit down and make that attempt to track after the fact I am good, whether that means I lose only a little or I stay the same... I am better off than when I throw caution to the wind and eat with out thinking, I generally gain.

That said... this week my goal is to throw in some exercise, (oh and attempt to hard core potty train). We shall see how both of those go. My exercise might just be doing laundry this week.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I am struggling. Are You?

I want to be healthy. Period, end of story.  I want my body to be in shape, so I am not tired doing the things I need to do on a daily basis.  I want my insides to feel good, and my outsides to reflect that.  Yet it is a constant battle to stick to the healthy choices.  I found that when I had a companion alongside, encouraging me, I did far better, but that companion moved away. I hoped that my husband would take her place, who better than the man I love to stand beside me? But he approached the his journey differently than I did, and really, who wants to hear that he lost 3 pounds because he stopped drinking soda and made no other changes, when it takes me far longer and far more to achieve the same goals?

No, as much as I wanted my husband to travel this path with me, it was not working.  Yes, he does encourage me, which is great, but I need that “you go girl” that only a girlfriend can provide.  Yet, more than that, I need an outlet to share my struggles with this journey.  It is a rough road.  Some days I just want to give up for no other reason that I just don’t want to work at it anymore.

As I watched Biggest Loser this morning, a thought began to formulate in my mind.  One of the contestants made a comment about an eliminated contestant, that she would find a way to continue her journey at home, doing what she enjoys to do.  So… I need to find something I enjoy that will help me continue on in my journey.  Granted, they were talking about working out, which I need to incorporate, but I need and outlet for my frustrations and successes that will allow me to say “you go girl” or even “keep going girl” to myself. 

What does this mean for me?  How can I keep on track in my journey to a healthier me? What do I do best?  The answer is, I write.  I love to write, and I find that when I am struggling, putting those struggles in to words is a release.  If I need to tell somebody something important, I write it down first.  If I need to complain about things, I write it in my journal.

I want to share my journey with others out there…. It will not be a perfect journey, it will not have step by step plans…. But it will be a true, honest journey. Some days I will be gung ho, on the train of weight loss, others I will be falling off that train, and even others I will be picking my self up.  I want to share what I learn, not only about how to lose weight but about the struggles I have in that process. I want to share that I have special dietary issues (ie: no colon) and need to make choices that will help me not feel uncomfortable eating healthier. I will also share the recipes I come across and how I have changed them up to meet my needs in both diet and picky eaters (ie: my husband).

I want to be honest with myself.  I want to hear your story too. Please feel free to comment about  your journey.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Keeping a Clean House, Is it an unattainable Dream?

Say Aye if your house is far from clean and organized. “Aye” I shout.

Oh boy is my home far from clean and organized.  I don’t know when or where things went awry.  All I know is that I am doing my best to not become overwhelmed by the mess.  I have attempted a few approaches to being organized, but my ADD mind just keeps jumping from one place to the next, never completing a single task, and thus I end up with half cleaned messes all over the house that equals still messy.

In one of my facebook comments I mentioned my desire to clean house and how my ADD negatively affects it. In response a dear friend shared her approach to daily cleaning, Thank You Jennifer Wojcik.  This list will soon revolutionize the way I clean… Why, you ask? Because it takes into account the fact that cleaning is not a onetime thing, and that there are things that one may not consider when cleaning, but are very important. It also triggered a deep cleaning list idea in my brain that will get me to the point of maintenance that Jennifer looks at in her list.  I will share Jennifer's list in my next post, this post is about deep cleaning.

So, if you feel drowned in a messy house, and need to get down and dirty, and then want to find a way to maintain that not so messy house, join me in my two week deep house cleaning approach followed by the maintenance list.

My list, is of course just a suggestion, as I have tailored it for the areas in my home that need a lot of help, but I hope it will be a jumping off point for you. A trigger, much as Jennifer's list triggered my thoughts. I have also only included 4 week days in my list as those are the days I can do deep cleaning with out considering my husband in the picture, as much as I love him, he distracts me more than my ADD.

My first task was to walk thorough my home and look at what was out of place, things that never seemed to be put away or areas that just never managed to stay clean.  I then evaluated what the reason for that was.  1. It never had a home in the first place. 2. It was my toddlers and he needs to learn that it has a home and be put away. 3. The home it had was not convenient or organized. These are my main issues, and number 3 seems to be a big one, as I tend to leave it out because of this.

Once the problem areas are identified and reasons given, I go to my handy dandy excel spreadsheet and transfer the list there according to each room in the house.  (I love spreadsheets if you do not, feel free to find the best way this works for you and share in comments for other readers)  I like using spreadsheets because I can type my list and then select the cell and drag it around to organize my list.

Living room Issues
Reason For Issue
Coat Closet
Not organized, things just stuffed in randomly
Not organized Things just randomly stuffed
Ronin’s Toys
Never put away
Coffee table
Always cluttered with random objects
Always have toys’ blankets and crumbs
Always crumby and random papers all over the place
Book shelf
Dump spot, nothing gets put away.

Reason for Issue
Built in Hutch
Always cluttered, dump spot, Medicine always out.
Sink/dishwasher counter
Dishes always pilled, Dishwasher always full of clean dishes.. always playing catch up
Kitchen Table
Dump spot… never gets put away
Things put away in a jumble, no organization, leads to things being left on kitchen table or folding counter
Folding counter
Dump spot for none laundry items.
Shelves under counter
Things just shoved in that I want to deal with later. Disorganized. Bins have designations but are very disorganized.

Laundry Room

Sewing table
Unorganized dump spot for sewing related items
Potty training pads cause mess. Socks seem to gather there and never get picked up. Lint gathers and never gets cleaned….
Top of washer dryer and related counter
Piles of other items that have no home. Disorganized


Small area, Towels and cloths pile in corners, qtips never make it into trash
Again, small area, little storage so everything gets left on counter
Medicine cabinate and drawers
Things get shoved in with little to no organization. Nothing has a place that it belongs.
Hall closet
Same issue as bathroom, small, things just shoved in.

You get the idea. . . I am leaving out the bedrooms, as they will be the last thing I do since they are really not that bad. They just need to be maintained.

Next step, make a schedule to attack each area.  Choose your goal of how long you want to accomplish this in, and then make that schedule.  Remember, you will still want to maintain dishes and laundry and pick up the clutter as it accumulates.  I know that my cleaning tolerance is short.  I need to do it in bursts or I get overwhelmed and give up.  I also realize that I need to spread it out over a few weeks, doing a little each day, or once again I get overwhelmed and give up.  

Week One:

Put Ronin’s Toy’s in his room

Clean out desk, place all items on Folding table and organize. Return Items to desk.

Clean Floor and Couches of clutter and also place on folding table or other locations as necessary

Vaccum Couches and Floor

Gather Laundry and Start Loads Put away

Unload and Load Dishwasher, run

Go over budget and pay bills


Clean out Coat Closet and place all items that don’t hang on folding table

Check for mold and clean

Clean off book shelf.

Menu Plan

Gather Laundry and Start Loads Put away

Unload and Load Dishwasher, run


Remove all clutter from Hutch and place on folding table, organize

Organize hall closet

Gather Laundry and Start Loads Put away

Unload and Load Dishwasher, run


Take all things that are not where they belong and put on folding table

Organize pantry

Put all items away that are on the folding table

Gather Laundry and Start Loads Put away

Unload and Load Dishwasher, run

Week Two

Organize inside of bins under folding counter

Put sewing items on sewing table away

Clean kitchen and laundry room floors

Gather Laundry and Start Loads Put away

Unload and Load Dishwasher, run

Go over budget and pay bills


Tackle counter above washer and dryer

Clean windows thoroughly of mold issues

Clean off book shelf.

Menu Plan

Gather Laundry and Start Loads Put away

Unload and Load Dishwasher, run


Clean bathroom floors

Remove all items from bathroom counters and cupboards and place on folding table

Get rid of things not used and return to cupboards

Gather Laundry and Start Loads Put away

Unload and Load Dishwasher, run


Clean Toilet

Clean Tub and Sink

Clean floors

Gather Laundry and Start Loads Put away

Unload and Load Dishwasher, run

This is a rough idea of how I plan on tackling my home. It is still a work in progress but I will be printing this out and putting it on my fridge, and marking it off as I go. And then I will feel much better about moving on to maintaining my home.