Thursday Thoughts

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It’s April already – how did that happen??  After a surprise snowfall on Sunday, things *seem* to be getting more spring-like.  I don’t want to jinx it or anything, though.  I know once we hit summer, people will complain about the heat, because, … well, we like to have things to complain about I’m convinced.  We say we don’t like to complain, “I don’t like to complaint, BUT….” but we do!

Next week is going to be fun around here (at least I think it will be, hopefully you will too), with a few giveaways, including a copy of Trim Healthy Mama book (yes, it is over 600 pages!), planners, maybe a recipe, maybe a video, just lots of good stuff.

But today, I just wanted to kind of do a general chit-chat post, which I hope to do more of instead of just one post about one thing all the time.  So, on the food front, what have I been enjoying?  Lots of stuff!  I will go into more details of my actual daily meals next week, but besides the normal stuff, I was sent this package of Nakd bars the other week.  While they don’t 100% fit in THM as far as weight-loss goes, if you’re following THM, I think they’d be just fine for a crossover and for athletes, kids, or people who are trying to switch from a sugar-laden, chemical-filled bar to something very clean.  The ingredient lists on these babies are so simple, a first-grader could read it!  🙂  They really are whole food bars.  I shared them with family and friends, but I did personally try at least a small bite of all of them.  They have a lot of flavor and are a good sweet/not too sweet level.  The only one I didn’t care for was the Cocoa Mint.  My favorite was the Caffe Mocha, followed closely by Ginger Bread, Strawberry Crunch, and Apple Crunch.

Nakdbars

On the fitness front, I have been starting some new programs and I’m excited to share with you all about those, some of them next week.  On Monday night, I gave a little presentation on Oxycise to my TOPS group.  I am *not* a speaker, so I was a little nervous, but I was also very excited to share with the ladies and I hope they look more into the program and glean some goodness from what I tried to teach them.  Also at TOPS, we are having a small spring contest.  The winner gets $10, so it’s not a huge prize or anything, but it’s still fun, and I plan to win it.  🙂  This time, the way we earn points (or flowers in this case) is by exercising at least 20-minutes a day, 3 days a week (will definitely earn that one), having a stay-the-same or a loss (will hopefully earn that one), bring in our food log (will earn that one), bring a friend (not sure), bring in a healthy recipe for everyone to try (will definitely plan to earn that one), and I’m thinking that’s it.  I might have missed one or two, but that’s the general idea.  It runs through the end of May.

Moving to faith – I would very much appreciate your prayers for a little boy – his name is Charlie.  He has a rare genetic disease and is critically ill right now.  The family could use so much prayer.  We are praying for a miracle for little Charlie, but know sometimes God doesn’t have that in His plan, so the family needs comfort as well as crazy strength to get through this.  They lost their daughter last May to the same genetic disease that Charlie has.

Fashion.  I am a girly-girl at heart, and what girl doesn’t like a dress she can twirl around in?  In fact, when I was younger, buying an Easter dress with my grandma and great aunt, the dress had to pass my “twirl test” for me to get it.

This dress is my adult version of the twirl dress.  I will have a Sunday Style post specifically about this, but here’s just a preview of its awesomeness:

holyclothing1

And now that the weather is teasing us or hopefully warmer to stay, I’ve found I’ve been reaching for my slightly brighter lip glosses more and more – Been enjoying my Candid lip gloss from Silk Naturals (they no longer sell it, but have a bazillion other choices) – it’s a little bright, but not too bright – just puts me in a good mood!

Something else I’m loving right now – these two Thirty-One gym bags (I just couldn’t help sharing again).  With myself thinking more about my fitness goals and working out, I figure there are plenty of you also – and a bright happy gym bag that’s well made and is designed great, and is on a great special, even better!  **the special for April is for every $35 spent, choose one of the two great gym-style bags for $25 (retails for $80).**

P.S.  Remember you can still link up to #PerceptionOfProgress link up!  Please pit it, share it, get the word out.

When Life is Torn Apart….Rest?

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I have been quiet for a few days (normal for me, except for this past week I was on a blog post roll), mainly because work picked up, but also because honestly sometimes it’s just hard to write… especially when your mind and heart are full and dripping with emotions. A friend of a relative lost her life while giving birth to her little girl.  Previous to this, her and her husband’s first baby, a boy, only lived 4 days, and prior to their marriage, the husband’s first fiance died.  Also this past week, a girl I went to elementary school with was in a terrible tragic accident – her 3 young daughters were with her, and sadly two of the girls didn’t make it.  My heart breaks for what they lost, for the tragedy of innocent lives cut short, or the grief they are going through.  Even though I do not have children, my heart aches so much.  It’s not something I try to think about, because it really makes me heart hurt just imaging how I would be feeling.

Why is it that tragedies make us think about these things?  I watched my nephews for a little bit today, and I just tried to really soak it up – listening to my 3-year-old nephew sing “Twinkle Twinkle”, “Jingle Bells”, and “I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart”, and listening to my 7-year-old nephew talk about Star Wars and some character that he wants to win on Ebay.  I just soaked it all in.  I am definitely a selfish person at heart, and so often it’s easy to “listen” (but not really) or say “Just a minute” (but it’s more like 10) when they ask me something or want to play.

So I’m still trying to process things, and I wasn’t even close to either of these families.

A friend of mine posted this song and lyrics on Facebook this evening, and as I listened to it, I couldn’t help but let the tears flow.

Rest In Me
by Kevin Inafuku
When confusion fills my life and my world inside is torn apart;

When the road just seems too rough and discouragement just grips my heart,

I lift my eyes and see, the One who died for me is standing there beside me,

and says so tenderly, Oh be still, My child, and know I’m your God.

Rest to know the King of Glory is on your side

Let Me bear all your pain and carry your load, Oh, be still, My child, and rest in Me.

When I lose the ones I love, and there’s no one there to stand by me.

Or when all I have is gone, my dreams, my plans are all destroyed…

I lift my eyes and see the One who died for me is standing there beside me,

and says so tenderly Oh be still, My child, and know I’m your God.

Rest to know the King of Glory is on your side Let Me bear all your pain and carry your load.Oh, be still, My child, and rest in Me.

Oh, be still, My child, and know I’m your God.

Rest to know the King of Glory is on your side. Let Me bear all your pain and carry your load.

Oh, be still, yes be still, just be still, My child, and rest in Me.

and if not, He is still Good {some thoughts on Valentine’s Eve}

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I saw this picture floating around Pinterest awhile ago, and it’s been on my mind ever since: and if not, He is still good.

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Daniel 3:1-24 (go look it up!) talks about how the King made a degree that at the sound of the music, everyone would bow down before his image and worship him.  Of course, this posed a problem for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abegnego who worshiped God.  The king’s decree stated that if a person did NOT do this bowing down and worshiping his image when the music played, they would be thrown into a furnace and would burn.  If I was in this situation, I would *hope* that I would have enough conviction and courage to remain standing, but these three men didn’t even waver – they knew what they had to do.  When the king found out they were not doing as was commanded, he was angry and (just in case they didn’t hear or something) told them again if they didn’t bow down and worship like all the rest of the people, they would be thrown into the super-hot furnace.

Their reply? “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

The king was outraged and heated the furnace up seven times the usual heat and had his strongest men tie up the three rebels.  The story ends with God saving them without even their clothing being singed.

But their attitude, that even if God did not deliver them, they would still be faithful ….they still knew He was good, even if it was through not delivering them.  Wow.

So I know this isn’t a lovey dovey passage or some romantic poem or cute pin-able love graphic or “5 ways to get a valentine”  {nothing wrong with those things}, but I just felt this was something I needed to share, both for any of you that may need it, and mostly for myself actually. Trusting and obeying is super hard and something I will be learning and growing in for the rest of my life. Is God good even in our horrible circumstances?  Is God good even when we feel bad?  Is God good even when he doesn’t answer our prayers or seem to care about our desires?  Yes, yes, and yes.  I don’t understand it, I don’t always even like it, but I love it and I know it’s true.  

When Words Fail

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I love words, always have.  I love to write them, to read them, but sometimes…words fail.

You can have the best family in the world, supportive, encouraging, and loving, but sometimes…families fail.

You may have the best friends in the world who always have your back, who pick you up when you fall and cheer you on, but sometimes…friendships fail.

You may love your country, it’s leaders, and the judicial system, but sometimes…governments fail.

You may have all the strength, self-motivation, and determination to accomplish your goals, but sometimes…you fail.

You may have the most loving husband, most well-behaved kids, the biggest/best house on the street, but sometimes…this love fails.

But there is a Love that doesn’t fail.  It’s not the generic, “I love you”, “You love me”, “Just love everybody” kind of love.  It is the ever abiding, ever sustaining, died for you Love that was displayed in full force thousands of years ago while we hated, mocked, and betrayed.  While we ignore, blame, and blaspheme.  

As I was writing this post, I came across this beautiful song.

It is from the Love Chapter (I Corinthians 13).  It is such a beautiful song!  But the song never goes into what (Who!) this Love comes from and Is.  Only God can love perfectly like that.  Love without repentance is just empty, love that is failed love..not really love at all.  A love like Jesus is something I want to strive toward.

But know that where (or when, because they all do or will) words, families, friends, government, self-sufficiency, social rankings fail, the One who will not fail you is God.  It’s a complicated thing, this life and loving business, and understanding this Love that is so completely foreign to us.  And I don’t have all the answers, but God does, and if you call out to Him with an open heart, void of self, He will fill your heart with the Love that passes all understanding (Eph. 3:19)

My words fail so often…God fails never.

 

A Royal Daughter

Fighting For Finley

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Fighting For Finley – I read about this family on another blog and wanted to pass it on.  Little Finley needs a lot of prayers, and also the family does as well.  I pray they have strength, comfort, wisdom, and grace.  Please join me in praying for this precious little baby girl.  This is reposted from Jenn‘s blog:

do you believe in miracles?  the dictionary defines a miracle as a surprising event that is not explicable by nature or scientific laws, and is considered to be divine.
well i believe in miracles.  they happen everyday all around the world.  i believe that our God is an AWESOME God and that he has a purpose for everything that happens in our life.
i need all of those prayer warriors out there to join me in praying for a sweet family that i know.
the oblander family.
since shortly after her birth she has been in a medically induced coma.
yesterday they received some heart breaking news.
finley’s EEG results came in and they showed that her brain was flat.  the doctors have given her a one in a million chance of surviving.
guys please join me in praying for this sweet baby girl and her family. 
our God is a God of miracles, and i believe this little girl is a true miracle.
please visit their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FightingForFinley

 

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Isaiah 41:10
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This is the latest from their Facebook page:
“Tonight was Finley’s one week birthday! She’s made it this far and our little world changer is hanging on. God has not yet healed our baby girl, but we continue to press on and praise Him for such a blessing as Finley. Never before has my world been changed so drastically and so quickly. 
 
We don’t know whether The Lord will take our baby home to be with Him or heal her body, but either way, we will continue to praise Him. Our blessings are beyond number and our God is loving, our God faithful, and our God is able.

The last week has been, beyond doubt, the most painful, difficult week of our lives. And yet, the last week has been, beyond doubt, the most incredible, awesome week of our lives. One week ago, this little girl came charging into our lives and started changing our worlds before we ever even met her.


You might think a baby girl, born in a coma, completely limp and unresponsive couldn’t have much impact on the world, but there’s something special about her. After a week of watching people see her for the first time, and especially watching those who see her on a continual basis, it has become quite evident that Finley affects people in a supernatural way. It’s like she shows them hope, despite her own dismal circumstance. She shows them joy, despite her parents’ sorrow. She shows them life, despite her one in a million chance at survival.


Our little Finley is a world changer, and we would not trade the last week for anything.”
Will you join me in praying for Finley?  I pray for Finley’s healing, but I know sometimes what we want may not be Your will, so I also pray that whatever Your will is, that You would get the glory, that You would be seen as powerful and mighty, and that no root of bitterness would germinate, but a deepened devotion and leaning in Your strong arms.