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Archive for May, 2013

Well, here I am, at month eleven of my weight loss blog … and it has been three months since I updated my own ‘progress.’

Sigh …d999b4880f53376b2d4549f2a2fac09a-1

Well, at Christmas time I was down twenty-four pounds, and feeling like I could take on the world! Then the New Year rang in, and the scale did not move … at all … despite good efforts! Sadly, when it did start moving, it was moving in the wrong direction. From the beginning of February until today, I have gained back eleven pounds 😦

Ugh!

But worse than gaining those hard fought-off pounds back, is the reality that my head (the most important part of the weight loss process) simply does not even give a rip! I have reached a new low … weight and health related apathy.

Obviously I cannot continue as I have been, so I did the most motivating thing I knew … I re-read the posts that got myself motivated in the first place.

It was in my post, The Fat Came Back, where I shared the event that made me face the hard reality that I had lost my way, lost my focus, and gained previously lost weight back.

The following were my original goals:

* get weighed every Friday, and only on Friday
(I tend to be addicted to the scales, when trying to lose weight, and I need to work on my obsessive compulsiveness)

* use”My Fitness Pal” app on my phone (or website My Fitness Pal)
(this is NOT an advertisement for the app. I have used it before, and it is an easy way for me to know, not just the calories, but also the nutritional values of the foods I eat. When I use it, I find I will look at the minuscule package of ‘healthy’ cookies for 100 calories, and a large fresh apple for the same, and when I see the nutritional values of each, I make better choices for the health of my body, and not just counting calories).

* walking
(still three bigger (one hour or more) walks each week, preferably on my favorite trail, but added to that, one twenty minute walk each day. The beast is starting to show signs of middle age spread … just don’t tell her I told you, and she could use this too)

* abdominal exercise
(I am still not sure what shape these exercises will eventually take, but my bowl full of jelly must be reigned in. I am starting with twenty-five crunches a morning … before coffee … I need to have incentive)

* accountability
(I am planning one letting it all hang out with you, the reader … heck, I’ve been letting it all hang out visually for all around me for

These are good goals, doable goals, and they are the ones I am returning to, not next month, not next week, but today.

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As I snuggled down into the suds of the bath water, ready for a few moments of peace and relaxation to end the day, I heard the following words from the radio broadcast playing from the bathroom counter top :

” … my word that goes out from my mouth will not return to me empty …”

And with those words, the endless to do list in my head dissolved, and my brain became preoccupied with those words, and the depth of their meaning.

If you, like me, have ever had opportunity to share the word of God with another person you will understand that horrifically dreadful feeling when we think that we failed miserably in our execution of sharing of God’s word.

Being married to one who preaches from the Word of God on a regular basis, I have certainly have heard the words, after returning home from a Sunday church service, “I blew it” from hubby.

But this passage would indicate that those words, that feeling of the failure of good delivery of the most important message on Earth, are always safely executed, because God himself has ordained that His word will always be heard. It would seem that, perhaps, the mystical nature of God’s word is such that once it is expressed through the lips of man, it travels into the ears of others through the direct leading of God himself.

This confirms to us that God’s word is His, from beginning to end, from first breath until the last word is heard by another’s ear.

We cannot ruin the delivery of the word of God … it is His, never ours, and it is in His best interest that it is heard … and He even ensure that.

“So, whoever speaks my words,no matter how freaking ridiculously poor,
they are still My words,
and they will reach the ears of the one who I decree should hear them.
Imagine how fantastic an author I am 😉 “
The Carole Wheaton version of Isaiah 55:10

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The problem started as soon as Matthew met Mary, with the mixture of misery and magic in their first glance at one another. I knew I was hooked to Downton Abbey!bea8241d69aa1722594fd55315b47889

I tried to start slowly, not allowing myself to be taken in by the ridiculousness of ‘needing’ to watch each episode. I tried to resist identifying with every character from Lady Mary Crawley, to her mother Countess Cora Crawley, to housemaid Anna Smith-Bates, to even Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham. I tried to pace myself …

But, alas, I was snookered into falling in love with the characters, the countryside, the grand estates, the lovely white Labrador Isis, the amazing costuming, and the language … I simply squeal with delight at the clever, sarcastic, yet proper conversations and lines.

3624c62560ee1e0f04f4e51c514c4d1cWhat started as a desire to watch an episode or two a week, turned into my having viewed the entire first season in less than one week!

Then I was reminded why addictions are bad … I could not find another online way to view season two … for free (Scottish heritage can overtake almost any addiction)! Now I really had a problem, because I just had to know how the ends left hanging from season one would be tied neatly up again. So, I bit my Scottish pride, and purchased the first episode of season two ($2.99! Highway robbery!)

Well, I just knew that I needed to see the rest of that season, and it was not falling freely from the clouds, so I headed to the library and ordered both season two and three. What I did not know was how long it would take for them to become free …

489e8977b2641566cf071b785df2a047I put my request in the first week of March, and only got my copy on the 24th of May! And it was not season two, but season three. Apparently there were still thirty-four people ahead of me for season two! I wanted to cry! I had what I wanted, but it was wrong to skip a season, if I were to truly enjoy the program.

As I complained bitterly to hubby, he said, “didn’t I tell you I found both seasons online … for free?” Yikes! It is a good thing that I needed his assistance to view the show, otherwise that poor man might have been beaten up by a Downton Abbey-starved woman!

70b6b64e0daed122fe7a90972dcafbaeSo, season two was viewed partially on a Saturday night, and the remainder on Sunday afternoon.

Season three (the library version) was started after work on a Monday, and soon to be completed.

I am already in a state of misery, as those characters have become friends, and Downton has become like a home to me. I surely will not find peace until I locate season 4, but then what? I will need to wait until the new season begins, and how long three months seems right now, having watched two seasons in less than one week!

This is the very reason addiction is not a good thing! That show has nabbed me, hook, line and sinker, I love it, I am in misery … woe is me.

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There are many important jobs in our world. To work in health care, education, religion, emergency responding and peacekeeping are among the first to pop into my mind. The most important job in the world is none and yet all of these. It is one that all of us, and yet few of us has the pressure and the privilege of fulfilling. It is the job of homemaker.

A more unappreciated job there could not be. In our society today, to be a homemaker is to not have a job, to not have motivation, to not have purpose. And yet it is a job which makes the fulfilling of all other tasks easier, more efficient, more purposeful.

To be a homemaker is to run, and manage, a house and household, often with few resources, little training and no down time. It is to awaken each morning ready to run, for the plans you took to bed to be upset, to probably not rest again until the end of the day when your feet slide back between the sheets. To be a homemaker is to have work clothes that range from grubby denims with holes (ones not made by the denim label, but ones that were ripped inadvertently), to our Sunday best.

A homemaker is one who may spend his or her days patching injured knees to patching holes in someone’s favorite t-shirt to patching holes in walls. A homemaker is one who may spend his or her days scraping hardened egg of breakfast plates, to scraping vomit off carpet to scraping old paint before adding a fresh coat. A homemaker is one who may spend his or her days making meals, making the lives of others in the home smoother, and making ends meet.

The most difficult task of a homemaker is living in a community, a society in which this important job is minimized, disrespected and disregarded.

Although it has been a few years (about ten) since I last proudly claimed to hold the position of homemaker, I still consider it the most important job I never got paid for, and yet the benefits package was the best I have ever encountered.

To all those who call themselves homemakers (and especially to the ones fulfilling that task with preschoolers in tow), I applaud you, and the valuable contribution to those around you, and especially to your children to whom benefit the greatest.

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What is an adventurous life?42e52062bb6e070f099f7b7f3f7b2bb3

As summer is approaching, as plans are made for vacations, for lazy summer days, for parties, for barbecues, for trips and activities, do we plan adventures too?

Do we make plans for our summers that make our hearts race? That make our pupils dilate? That make our palms sweat? That make the moisture in our mouths dry, and a lump form in our throats. Do we make plans for our summers that thrill and excite us, providing us with stories to tell when we return to our jobs, our schools when the play time is done?

When I found the quote to the right I immediately thought of my summer break, and those words made me question how I would define an adventurous life.

Those words made me think of bucket list goals of jumping out of a plane, or climbing a mountain (with bear spray in my pocket), or swimming with whales. Those bucket list items were more prevalent before I was a mom (not that I wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to do them).

Since becoming a mom, an adventurous life looks different to me.

Now being adventurous is going to every SciFi movie that hits the big screen, or going on a mother-daughter road trip with my daughter, her friend and that friend’s mom, or teaching my teen how to drive. It is learning to sleep even if the chickies are not all home yet. It is wading through the chemistry of hormones and attractions to the opposite sex. It is sitting down to discuss my child’s academic progress at a parent-teacher conference. It is wiping teary eyes, letting them make their own mistakes, and biting my tongue (how I have bitten my tongue!).

It is in and through my kids that I have risked the most, been stripped of all I thought I was, and felt the real rush of adventure. It is in and through my kids that I desire most to leave a little piece of myself behind.

And so, as I plan for adventure this summer, I know it will have more to do with simply living life, having mine intertwine with the hearts and souls of those three who I long most to experience the thrill of doing life with each and every day. That is the ultimate in risk and adventure.

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I admit, I am not technical whiz … I still struggle to play a cassette!

Last week my blog was having technical difficulties. The week prior my stats were about sixty viewers per day (yes, I admit that I do keep and eye on my stats), and last week they were closer to twenty. I was beginning to wonder what horrifically offending thing I had written.

So, since it is guest post Sunday, I thought I would provide a few links to posts you might not have been notified were written.

In my post, Big-Picture-Perspective, I ask these questions,

Does today, the present circumstances of your life, ever seem like an all-consuming eternity to you?
Do you wonder how you will get through whatever you are going through?”

In the post, Living-Vicariously-Through-the-Beast, I consider the level of commitment of my beast to myself, and those who she considers to be her pack, and what we can learn from that kind of commitment.

In Bloom-Where-You-Are-Planted, I write of my expert gardening skills … not! But I do write about a plant that I am familiar with, and how it’s beauty shines through all seasons, and all conditions. It’s strength does not come from what is added to it, where it is planted, or any other external forces. It’s beauty comes from within …

Sometime when I write I do so from a place of experience in the issue I am writing about, and I share my own weaknesses, as well as what God has opened my own eyes to in my world, and experiences within it. That was the case when I was preparing Before-Worship. In the quiet of a morning, God reached down and taught me a very valuable lesson.

When I wrote, Stay-Strong-Finish-Well, I wrote it as a reminder to myself to work to make these last days of the school year ones of working harder than ever, not slacking, not sailing through, but finishing well. It amazes me how, as I look back now, that particular day that this post was published was one where I had to be very intentional to not slack off. Maybe (probably) I wrote this one as a reminder to myself than for anyone else!

“I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world”

If the words above ring familiar in your ears, check out I’m-Worn.

Finally is my post Up-With-the-Clouds, in which you will find the reminder that “you don’t have to find out you are dying to start living,”

Blessings on your day, your week.

Carole

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The Victoria Day weekend, just past, is the unofficial start of summer, where I live in the Pacific Northwest. The trailers and tents got packed up, kids leave school, and adults leave work early on Friday to beat the rush along the highways and borders. The campgrounds were a buzz with campfires, laughter and snoring, the boats got their metaphorical feet wet, and the cabins get cleaned of their dust and cobwebs.

It is my favorite weekend to stay home!

The local roads, stores, and neighborhoods were quieter (except for the hardware, and home renovation businesses).

Of the three days of the weekend, hubby and I spent two days working at creating order out of chaos in our home and property.

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Saturday was spent focused on the garage. It had gotten to the point that it was difficult to get our van parked, and have the door down. Two large work tables were piled high with … stuff. The place was crawling with webs (I fear to think of how they got formed). There were remnants of a bathroom renovation, and a huge need for a load of stuff to be taken away (or maybe two loads).

By Saturday evening the garage was neat as a pin … purged, organized, roomy and far cleaner than hubby and I were, with dirt ground into the skin of our hands, and later found where dirt just should not be found.

Sunday was our day of rest (including vast amounts of pain relievers to equal the effects of a day of sweeping, lifting, hauling, pushing and standing on concrete for about ten hours).

Then Monday was spent around the yard. Hubby focused on needs around the pool, while I was focused on moving the remnants of a load of rock (that was delivered over a year ago … but I’m not bitter), weeding a trimming of hedges. The end was in sight (as was another intake of pain relievers).

By early Monday evening I was starting to love where we live again. The never-ending  ‘to do’ list in my head, that seemed to never have anything checked off was beginning to shorten in such a way that I felt that what was left was actually manageable to accomplish soon. The ‘head space’ that was found in those two days of ordering our world, started to turn my thoughts to dreaming of new projects to enhance and improve our abode and it’s surroundings. It is in dreaming and planning for the future that I feel most alive.

1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Although this verse is, in context, speaking of orderly worship, there is something ‘right’ in it when I think of it in the context of cleaning up the physical chaos in my home. When I have more order than chaos in my physical life, I am better able to see the non-physical parts of my life more clearly, and therefore better able to find order within those facets of my life.

Cleaning the garage and garden as worship … maybe that is not so far from the meaning of that verse after all!

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