Hi friends! I have been feeling a pull on my heart lately to take a break. Summer is drawing near, May is just around the corner, and after much prayer I am feeling the need to take a month off from writing on Season the Day. I am HUGE believer in periods of rest for refreshment, spiritual growth and restoration. So I just wanted to be up front and share that I will be "missing in action" for a few weeks on my blog as I just spend time with my beloved family, hang out with Jesus and rest and prepare for the wonderful summer months. I will be back sometime in June, and in the meantime I look forward to seeing you over at graceeveryday.org where I will be contributing with the lovely ladies over there regularly.
Monday, April 22, 2013
I want to share something with you that has been on my heart lately. I continue to be amazed at the power of the gospel. Now that kinda sounds "churchy", but what I mean is sometimes I think I need to have it all together when I go to serve. I get caught thinking that everything needs to be perfectly planned out step by step, that I need to have my act together, I should figure out what I am going to say when I go to minister, serve at church, encourage a friend, pray in front of a group of people, but the more I understand God's grace, the less preparing I am doing. I’m starting to grasp that it isn’t about me, it is about Jesus, what He has done and what His Holy Spirit can do through me. ….Don’t worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking but the Spirit of your Father Speaking through you. Matthew 10:19b-20................................................
Stop by Covered In Grace to read the rest of this post, where I am a guest for Monday Meet Up, see ya over there!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Well I'm doing it, a weight loss challenge. After I stopped nursing Emma I was my ideal size and I went out, purchased clothes to fit me and now.....most don't fit. I have realized I am almost 30 and it has happened: my metabolism has slowed down. Bummer!
I felt like I ate relatively healthy, but as I am really starting to watch what I eat, I have noticed a major part of my diet was processed carbs, sweets and snacks. I did join a gym 2 months ago, after one month I had gained weight (and it was not muscle let me tell you!) and I figured I better get serious if I wanted to see results. About 2 weeks ago I decided enough was enough, I couldn't just look step on the scale and hope that by chance I would get on there and I would "magically" be lighter. I had to be intentional about taking care of my body. This is very NEW territory for me, so I wanted to share what I am doing in case you are wanting to get some ideas for trimming down or just getting fit.
1)So I jump started my "healthier eating" journey with a 3 day cleanse of only eating per day: 2 eggs, green veggies, one orange and lean beef. You can eat as many greens and beef as you want, you really lose a good chunk of weight so it's encouraging. I believe it also trains your stomach to not eat as much. It's a rough 3 days as far as hunger pangs go, but by day 4 you aren't craving snacks as much.
2) I announced on Facebook I wanted accountability and to get serious about getting trim, about 20 other women expressed the same desire and joined the journey with me. We are now all participating in the challenge. We have our own private FB group page. I think this is key to my success, knowing I could possibly win a prize and that friends are praying or me, there to encourage me when I am thinking about quitting, and knowing I am not alone.
3) I calculated how many calories I would need to eat daily to reach my goal in 2 months. This is a GREAT SITE that helped me figure out a realistic goal and calorie plan.
4) I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app. Such a great tool. You enter the food & water you consume and exercise you complete each day, it keeps track of your calories, AMAZING!!
5) I drink at least 64 ounces of water a day, this helps you feel more full and clears out unwanted toxins.
6) My goal is to exercise 3 times a week. If you know me, then you know this is a challenge. I do not like to work out, I would rather put my feet up and read a magazine. So I am working out with friends to keep me motivated and trying to do more walking and biking with my kids.
7) I eat simple and healthy, from scratch when I can, cut snacks way down and I am seeing results. Later this week I plan to share what a typical day of eating looks like for me and give a few ideas and tips for healthy, simple eating.
8) I am staying focused on the fact that I am forgiven by God because I believe in Jesus. Condemnation and judgement are HUGE reasons people can't lose weight. The minute I get discouraged or am feeling distant from God, because I think He is mad at me, I start putting on weight. If your are struggling to lose, examine yourself to see if you believe that there is nothing that can separate you from God's love. You need to know as a believer there is no condemnation. You have been placed under the waterfall of continual cleansing by Jesus' blood, sins erased.
Benefits so far: I have lost 5 lbs, my face is clearing up, I have more energy, and our whole family is eating better. My grocery cart looked a lot different this week, 80% of the content was produce. So it's a change, but it is doable, and I have 20 other ladies I am teaming up with for getting in shape and healthier living, spiritually & physically.
So, what do you find to be the hardest obstacle with getting in shape? Have any helpful tips for staying fit?
Monday, April 15, 2013
I wanted to share a quick thought and challenge with you. I read this verse last week and I can't stop thinking about it:
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Galatians 6:4-5
How easy is it to get sucked into the comparison game? Have you ever asked yourself one of these questions or made a similar statement?
We work hard, why don't we have a house like them?
She is such a good writer, I wish I could write more like her!
How does she do it? I could never raise that many kids!
I can not believe she did that, doesn't she know the bible says that is wrong?!
Why is she married, and I am not?
They are just so godly, I could never be as good as a Christian as them.
Well, I might have messed up a little, but at least I am not as bad as her.
My husband works as hard as that guy, why doesn't he get paid more?
Well I hope this person hears this sermon, they need to be listening.
Scrutinizing. Discontentment. Feeling inferior. Feeling superior. Pointing out faults in ourselves or other people is all a part of the comparison game. A game we should not be playing. The enemy wants us focused on ourselves or others, when all the while our eyes should be on Jesus. See here it is: Either you are PERFECT or you need the Savior: Jesus. We all need Him and we are only right with God by Him. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 3:22-24 NLT
When I read that Galatians 6 passage last week, I was set free. I need to wake up everyday and do the task God has called me to. I don't need to look at others and say "I could never do that...." God is up there saying, "Amber, I didn't call you to do that." I want to challenge you to get before the Lord and ask him, what He has called you specifically to do. Don't look to others and judge where they are failing, or feel lower on the totem pole because you are not doing what they are. I have done both of those things, that is the only reason I can write about this, and I am here to tell you it brings you nothing but self-righteousness or self-pity. Throw that junk away. We are to love others and keep our eyes on Jesus.
So I challenge you, to stop playing the comparison game.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Welcome to day 5 of my Parenting with a Purpose series (click the link to read all the posts in the series)!
One of our purposes as parents is to create a place that is safe and fun, where everyone can enjoy each other. Each family member should feel special and that they are serving a purpose. Involving our kids in chores, decision making and activities are all ways we can promote harmony and make each person feel accepted, needed and important. "How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!" Psalm 133:1 Today, I wanted to share a few ideas that our family does to include everyone and promote unity.
1) Movie Night. This is my favorite night of the week, and my friend Holly inspired me on this. Every Friday we go to the movie store, or red box, and pick out a kid movie for the whole family to watch. We usually do a fun dinner, pizza or burgers and quickly retreat to the living room to snuggle on the couch with bowls of crunchy popcorn. We laugh together, cuddle and make sweet memories. How can you involve the kids further on movie night?
*Take turns having a kid of the week. When it is "their" movie night they pick out the movie, favorite meal and desert. It is their special night. My friend Holly even has an overstuffed bear and the kid of the week gets to watch the movie on the bear-love it!!
2) Cooking/ Baking together. Kids love to help, and when you are in the kitchen creating something delicious, lets face it they are intrigued and want to be in there with you. I say just embrace it! I know it may take bit longer to prep and make your meal or treat, but you are making special moments to be remembered and teaching them skills they will use for the rest of their lives. Plus, if you take the time to teach them now, all your hard work will shortly pay off, my 8 year old niece Emilia is already making chocolate chip cookies for her family, and they are seriously the best I have ever had! So when you can, include them.
*Make it fun by getting each child their own apron, they have cool boy ones now too!
*To make it less stressful on you, pre measure the ingredients.
*Let them decide what treat to make.
3) Family Recreation. Finding an activity the whole family can participate in is a great way to encourage unity. For family recreation in warm weather our favorite choice is biking. What I love about it is we can include the smallest family member to the oldest and a lot of vacation spots have places to bike. We like to ride into town for ice cream or snacks at our cute down town grocery, our kids still talk about doing that from last summer. We bike to friends houses, local parks and down dirt roads & bike paths. We invested in a good baby carrier seat that attaches to an adult bike, and we purchased a tandem, pull behind bike (has one wheel, seat, handle bars and pedals.). You can also get a pull behind trailer that seats one or two kiddos. All of our biking accessories we have purchased from garage sales, Salvation Army or Craigslist. Other family oriented activities:
*Golfing, this can be putt-putt, 18 holes on a course, or just hitting gals in the back yard, lots of fun.
*Skiing, ice skating, sledding, snowman building, making snow forts, snow ball fights.
*Hiking parks and nature trails. My husband has been known to pull over randomly and lead us into a nature preserve un-announced, lots of fun!
*Family walks around the neighborhood
*Picnics at the park, I still remember doing this with my mom and dad, always creates a lasting impact.
*Yard games: Ladder ball, beanbag toss, kanjam, horseshoes, volleyball, bad mitten, birdie golf, croquet (These are good gifts to ask for at birthdays and Christmas)
*Water games, swimming, water balloon fights, squirt gun wars, slip n slide.
*Disc golfing or just throwing a frisbee around.
*Bonfire night-hotdogs & s'mores and don't forget to tell stories!
*Board games, or Disney Scene-It
4) Let them make a decision. Sometimes it is just fun to let your children decide something. They feel important and that their opinions matter, so every once in a while, we let them pick where we go out to eat. It usually ends up being McDonalds or Culvers! Another decision making idea I got from my sister in law Heidi, she will take her children Christmas shopping with her and let them pick out the toys for their cousins. I love that!
5) Take your children on dates. We do this every other month. I will take one child out with me to do something special, maybe it is a movie or ice cream, we have even gone to the coffee shop and honestly, sometimes it is just errands. They love the one on one attention so whenever you can get away with just one to make them feel unique, it is helpful.
I hope you are inspired to try something new and are encouraged to incorporate activities and ideas into your home that will encourage bonding in love as a family and make each member feel significant.
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