How does God get your attention?

I often say that there are times I feel as if God pops me upside my head. He probably feels the same way I do, as a mom of 3, when someone asks me where something is, and I describe in detail where it is, and they still cannot find it. And I usually end up saying, “It’s right there in front of your face.”

When I feel overwhelmed, or not accomplished or like I have prayed and prayed without any sort of answer, God is usually saying, “I put it right there in front of you.” Or, “All you have to do is pay attention and I’ve given you the answer or the next step, etc.”

So, how does God get my attention? I feel it’s different for everyone. The way He gets my attention, may not be the same way He gets yours. You may not be as stubborn as I am or you may not need “signs” and confirmations like I do. But usually He can finally get my attention by repetitiveness. You want an example? I just finished a Bible study by Annie F. Downs called “Looking for Lovely”. Now first, let me say that it took me a long time to finish it. Not because it was long or because I am that busy. But because I am a procrastinator, because I allow other things to get in the way, oh and I have a real problem with finishing things. So anyways, with that study, almost every chapter you do, It asks you to read Roman’s 5:3-5 and then fill in this little thing that basically says, “affliction=endurance+character+hope.”

I filled in those blanks so many times, that even when it had been weeks since I had picked up that book, I could still fill in the blanks. But did I really get the meaning?

Like I said before, I have a problem with finishing things. I start really strong, with a great plan and somewhere towards the middle or sometimes right after the start, I take a nose dive. I do this with diet and exercise. I do it with long term plans with my kids like, “I am buying this devotional and we are going to do it together, every day.” Well I did buy the book and that’s as far as it went. They are now doing it on their own. I do it with daily bible reading and bible study. I do it with my taxes. Those are just a few examples.

So after I finished that other study, I have lots of studies, books, etc. lined up to read next. And then somehow a couple of weeks went by without me starting any of them. So then I decided to do a book on my audible app so I could listen as I clean. At least pour some type of study or Godly stuff into myself. So I started listening to “Girl, wash your face.” And I think it was chapter 3 that was talking about that if you can’t depend on yourself to finish things, then how could others? It was saying that our actions play a big part in how others see us. And also God needed to depend on us. If He is telling us to do something, we need to do it. The more we follow through, the more character it builds, etc. And yes, there will be hard times but that’s how we grow. BOOM!!! Basically a longer version of the blanks I had filled in week after week. But it doesn’t stop there.

I teach a Children’s Sunday School class. But the women’s class still gave me a book of the bible study they are doing. They have been doing it for awhile now but I had never opened the book. The over a week ago, it ended up that I got to be in the women’s class. I really enjoyed their study that day and decided I would start it next.

So today, I started it. It’s a study on Ruth, but it’s also about not giving up on things. Ironic? Oh there’s more. I open it up and read the introduction and then start day 1. The very first verse it wants you to read – Romans 5:3-4. Yep, the verses I read week after week with the other study. And one of the first things it asked me to list? The 3 things that come after affliction. Yep, basically the same blanks I filled in time after time in the other study.

I basically put the book down, and said, “ok God, I get it. You are trying to teach me something. You are wanting me to learn something I obviously haven’t learned yet. You are trying to get my attention.”

And that is one way God gets my attention. It’s up to me to pay attention. It’s up to me to listen. I am thankful that He doesn’t give up. That He doesn’t think of me as unworthy to keep trying.

How does God get your attention?



Be honest. You just sang that title didn’t you? I did as I was typing it.
I don’t know why we are so scared of change and always look at it as a bad thing. On this healthy lifestyle journey I am on, one of the comments I get the most is, “I wish I liked all that food you eat. I wish I could do that.”
Y’all I didn’t just wake up one day and start eating healthy. It has came about over several years for me with small CHANGES!  It’s a running joke with my husbands mother, that when he and I got married, I wouldn’t eat anything green. I didn’t eat salads, english peas, green beans, peppers, nothing.  The only green thing I did eat was probably butter beans. Now I eat all of that plus avocado, broccoli, spinach, etc. I still will not eat Brussel sprouts or celery.
Sometimes we have to embrace change. If you eat the same junk; the pizzas, and fried food, and snacks and things loaded with sugar and sodium that have a list of ingredients we can’t even pronounce, that’s what our bodies want. When we start making little changes, and putting fresh veggies, fruits and lean meats in our bodies, eventually that’s what it will want. I have made and tweaked recipes for years to get it to where I like it and my family will eat it.
Even though I am trying at the moment to be as healthy as I can be, I still want food that tastes good. But also realize I need food that fuels my body. I am trying very hard to change my relationship with food. I research all the time about nutrients and what foods do what and things.
I just recently discovered how bad my body felt and how tired I was and lack of energy and really had no motivation to some days do anything. And alot of it was because of what a I was putting in my body, and also my lack of movement.
I don’t have it all figured out. I second guess myself every day. I count calories and read labels and add and take away stuff. I question whether or not I worked out enough. I question whether I spent enough time with my kids, did I have an actual conversation with my hubby, did I read my Bible enough, etc.
Change is a hard thing for me. I tend to hold on for dear life and that’s what I’ve been doing for years. And what has it gotten me? It’s led me on a Rollercoaster of ups and downs, gains and losses. I have put my body through heck. And after having my 3rd kid, well it ain’t so easy. I know my metabolism is out of whack. Why? Because I have treated it so bad for so long. So now I have to make changes. I have to be consistent. I have to treat me well.
I lost one pound last week. Was that a great weight loss? Nope but it was a loss and a very small step in the right direction. I know my body is waiting. It’s waiting to see if I continue to get up in the mornings and workout. It’s waiting to see if I will continue to put healthy stuff in it, or go back to the junk.
So my goal is to be consistent. To just see, with God’s help, what I can really do. To see if I truly stay consistent and slowly figure this thing out, where all these changes will take me.
It’s not easy. Still, there is a point in every day I just want to eat fried chicken, a candy bar and drink a mountain dew. What’s stopping me this time? I am excited about how good I feel, how energetic I finally am. I want, no I need, to see where these changes will take me.
So what’s some changes you need to make in your life? It doesn’t have to be the same as mine. It could be anything. I challenge you to embrace change. See where it takes you.

Be Intentional

Intentional. That word keeps popping up in all kinds of things in my every day life. It even came up in a Sunday school lesson at church Sunday. So what does it mean?
The definition of intentional is: to do on purpose; deliberate.
How many things do we do intentionally in our lives? How many other things should we do intentionally, but don’t?
I have really tried to make a few things more intentional the last few weeks. One of them is working out. I was just trying to get a workout in whenever. Which means most days it didn’t happen. The baby wouldn’t take a nap, or I had unexpected company, or a sick kid. And so a workout would be put on the back burner. So I finally made the decision to start getting up early to workout. I am NOT A morning person. But if I am serious about getting healthy and getting this weight off, it’s what I have to do. So I intentionally set my alarm at night, and get up at least 3 times a week to get a workout in. And can I tell you, I feel so good. It gives me crazy energy for the day. I am happier.
Next, I intentionally track my food, prepare and food prep. I can’t just fumble around through the day and not have a meal plan. That leads to eating junk. Junk that doesn’t go along with a healthy lifestyle nor makes me feel good.
So if I do all of that intentionally, what else do I need to do? The most important thing is my daily bible reading and quiet time with God. Again, it was one of those things that I just tried to fit into my day whenever. And guess what? Some days, alot of days, it didn’t happen. I had time to get on Facebook and instagram. I had time to text a friend. I had time to watch TV but somehow, I didn’t have time for God. So that’s something else I am making an intentional part of my life. With getting a workout in so early, it frees up time in my day. So I am now intentionally setting aside time to do a devotional, read my Bible, and read a book that’s not just a fiction book.
As I prioritize my life, and make the important things intentional, it really reveals to me all the things that I waste time on, and the things I need to make more intentional. I need to make time with my kids more intentional. I need to make time with my hubby more intentional. I need to make connecting with my true friends, more intentional. But top of that list, I still need to make more time with God, intentional.
Whether we think we have time for things or not, we make choices every day. We choose how much tv we watch, how much time we spend on social media. So why not choose, be intentional, with our time with God. And for me, for a more healthy lifestyle. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s what we intentionally choose to do with it that counts, what shapes our lives, our attitudes, our thinking. So be intentional.

A Busy Example

When did we let life become so busy? And yes I said let. It seems we are all running here and there and feel as if we and our kids have to participate in everything. Staying busy is not bad, but when we let it interfere with family, relationships, and most importantly church and our relationship with God, it becomes a problem.
I was talking to my mom yesterday as we were out and about together, and I told her that we are raising a generation of people that don’t and won’t know how important church is. Why? Because we, by example, show them that anything else we want or need to do on Sunday and Wednesday night is more important than church.
And it’s not just church. How often do they see us reading our Bibles during the week, or praying? I know I struggle with making all of that a priority. I won’t say that I don’t have time. I will say I don’t make the time. Actions speak louder than words. So by our actions, we are teaching them that tv, social media, sports, friends, and so much more are more important that reading and studying our Bibles and praying.
Everyone wants to talk about how bad the world is, and how bad this generation is. But we, as the examples, are not really helping. How are they supposed to know if we don’t lead?
Growing up, we went to church. It wasn’t an option. I didn’t wake up on Sunday and wonder if we were going. Unless you were throwing up or had fever, you were there. It wasn’t “we will go if we don’t have this, or go do that, etc ” Now, I hear kids telling parents why they can’t go to church. I hear the kids making the decisions. I hear adults letting kids make the decisions. Since when do we let kids make the rules, decide on what’s best? I hear adults make excuses, adults putting all kinds of things before church.
And let me go farther and say, it’s not just being so busy we are forgetting church and the things that draw us closer to God.
There are families that no longer ever have sit down family meals. There are families that no longer spend time as a family, because everyone is running in different directions. Our friendships that are so important to us, somehow get disregarded, put on the back burner. I am guilty of this as well. We have to work at friendships, at relationships, at all the things important to us.
Like I said, I am guilty of this too. I get so wrapped up in my life sometimes, that I am not a good friend. I have friendships over the years that have gone away because I didn’t put the effort in.  I believe that’s why so many marriages end. People don’t put in the work, they don’t make an effort.
Being a good Christian takes work. Being a good church member takes work. Being a good spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, example, friend, takes work. It takes effort. It sometimes takes us getting rid of distractions, hobbies, and things. All these things are not bad, but when they interfere with our walk with God, it becomes a distraction. When our walk with God is not what it should be, it affects all aspects of our lives.
And it will not stop until we make it stop. The world will continue to throw more stuff at us. There’s always gonna be things that can take our attention away. It’s up to us to say no. It’s up to us to have our family at church everytime the doors are open. It’s up to us to reach out and be that friend. It’s up to us to strive to be more like Jesus and less like the world, no matter  what we have to give up. It’s up to us to be an example for our friends and family. It’s up to us to decide what our priorities are. It’s up to us to lead our kids in the way they should go, to give them love, time, structure and it’s up to us to make the hard decisions.

A Balancing Act

So I know I have been M.I.A. for quite awhile. Lots of things have happened since my last blog post. A couple of weeks after my last post, I found out I was pregnant. July 15, 2015 I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. For those of you counting or keeping up, that’s 3 girls. To say life has changed is an understatement.

Whomever said that after 2 kids, the number doesn’t matter, lied. Haha. I didn’t know going from two to three, would be so hard. Just being honest. It’s those kind of things people don’t tell you. By far, she has been the hardest baby yet. And please don’t get in an uproar by that. It doesn’t mean I don’t love her or thank God for her every single day. It just means that she’s a baby with her own needs and personality and for awhile, it didn’t align with the rest of the family. Haha

For the first 6-8 weeks, she cried all the time. If she was awake, she was crying. It was almost like she didn’t know how to be awake. And she hardly ever slept. She cat napped alot. She wouldn’t sleep at night. I felt like a walking zombie. She hated her swing, her bouncy seat, basically anything that meant putting her down.

But with blurry eyes, we made our way through that phase. She’s now a pretty happy baby that loves to be talked to and held. She loves her big sisters talking to her and dancing in front of her.

So where does that leave me? It leaves me feeling like I’m on a tightrope, and could fall at any moment.

As far as food went, I enjoyed this pregnancy. I ate healthy some, but also ate whatever I wanted. So I gained about 30+pounds back of the 51 I had lost. I promised myself that once I had this baby, since I knew it would be my last, that after the 6 weeks, I would get back at it full force. And I have tried unsuccessfully.

I don’t know how to fit it all in. I am exhausted. I have never been this tired. I still have the want to, to lose this weight and get back to eating right and exercising but making time for myself is an issue.

On days I might get a workout in, it usually means something else doesn’t get done, dishes, laundry, bills etc. And some days that’s ok, but it can’t happen everyday. And trying to cook healthy and keep healthy food in the house is a struggle. Some nights,  my family is lucky to get a hotdog.

The baby still gets up some nights, so getting up earlier in the morning is impossible. I still run alot of my days off little sleep. And she tends to be a night owl,  so by the time she goes to bed, everyone else is in bed and I am exhausted.

I have joined several challenge groups on Facebook to try and keep me accountable and motivate me. But all they really do is make me feel worse. Because they are all working out and killing it, losing weight and inches, and I’m over here, feeling like a fish out of water, just flopping around on the sand.

I know what I have to do to lose the weight.  I know how much work and effort it takes. So where do I fit it all in? It’s not that I don’t want to do it. And I’m usually the first to not finish stuff, not stick to things, to make excuses. But I don’t even have that choice right now. Life is dictating that.

As a mom, how do you do it all? How do you make time for yourself, workout, food prep, and still take care of everyone else? Goodness knows I don’t have the answers.

And this is my last baby so I want to enjoy the time with her. I don’t want to look back and wish I had done something different or spent more time with her and less working out. But where’s the balance?

I sometimes feel like I’m over here doing a whole lot of things, but nothing really well. I miss working out. I miss feeling good and seeing results. I miss having energy. But none of that compares to when I hold my baby girl. When it’s just her and I. I would give up every night of sleep and every pound lost for her.

So I’m back to the rambling statement, how do you balance?  How do you find time for it all? How do you take time for yourself without sacrificing your families needs?

Calories, carbs and proteins, Oh my!

Sometimes through out this journey, I wish I had all the answers and knew exactly what to do all the time. But I don’t. Throughout my life I had rode this dieting rollercoaster continuously. And it was a rollercoaster because it was a lot of ups and downs and eventually returned back to the start. I’d get off for awhile and then get back on. I have done a lot of damage to my body. My metabolism is all over the place. So for me it’s a constant battle to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
I am proud of my 50 pounds gone, but honestly thought I would be so much farther. But this is not a rollercoaster this time. Yes it has it’s ups and downs but I am not going back to the beginning or stopping and getting off. This is my life now.
So one of the things I have been playing with lately is upping my calories. I know, people gasp when I say that if they are not living in this world. But things have been off lately. I am working out more, harder work outs, strength training with and without weights. Also cardio. But I find myself with no energy. I feel run down. I was eating around 2100 calories a day (when I kept track). Every app and website I go to tells me I need roughly around 3,000 calories to burn fat. It tells me I need 2400 calories just to live to function. So while that all sounds like a lot, I also want to make sure I am fueling my body. God gave me this body to take care of, to live in and I finally want to give it my best.
I am not going to lie, anything over 2100 calories scares the crap out of me. Like panic attack, can’t breath, stop eating kind of attack. And one thing I know I wasn’t getting enough of is carbs. I just always felt like if I lowered my carbs, even good carbs, I would lose weight. But with all the workouts I am doing (and loving) , I have to have carbs. If I am overworking my body and not putting enough in to sustain it, fuel it, and for my muscles to feed off of, then guess what? It holds onto the fat. Like I said, this is still a scary concept to me but change can ultimately be good.
Oh and just for info. sake, I am slowly upping my calories, maybe a 100 a week or so and also slowly upping my carbs.
So I will keep you all informed on my progress. And as I make these changes, I will be staying away from the scale for awhile. I know at first I will gain some, just because my carbs and water weight, etc.
I am just working on being healthy, losing weight and making this body stronger. We only get one chance at this life here on Earth, and I want it to be a healthy one. I want to do my part.
So while I wish there was a perfect plan, I’m just over here trying to be me, trying to figure it all out, and just trying to figure out what works for me.


Staying the same can be deceiving

Today is weigh in day. I was excited today to get on the scale. I have changed up my workouts, added new things, etc. I counted my calories this week and ate really well. I was proud of myself. I have drank tons more water this week than I ever have. This week I was excited, motivated, committed. So I get on the scale and it stayed the same. THE SAME!!!!
I wanted to scream, I wanted to throw that scale out the window. I wanted to cry. And I wanted to go stuff my face. But I didn’t. This is the thing with my body. I have been on and off “diets” since 6th grade. I have lost weight and gained it back more times than I could even count. I have yo-yo dieted my entire life. I do good, lose some weight, then because I was depriving myself I would go on major binges. I have not treated my body well. So when I change things up, it sort of goes in shock. It holds on to what it has until it sees what I am going to do. Like it wants to see if I am for real or if it’s just a one week thing.
So the fact that the scale stayed the same is not a surprise. My first week or two that I did Turbokick, the scale didn’t really move. And that was the most intense cardio I had ever done. After about 2 weeks I had a pretty big weight loss. So I should have expected it but it still is frustrating.
As I was trying to process all of it in my mind today, some things came to mind.
I didn’t start this journey just because of a number on a scale. I started this because I was finally ready to get healthy. I was tired of not having energy, of not sleeping. I was tired of having to order clothes and not be able to walk into a store and buy off the rack. I was tired of having to wonder if I could fit into a seat, or if a chair would hold me. I was tired of cringing when we went out to eat and they led us to a booth. I was tired of hiding behind the weight and feeling like I wasn’t good enough. I was tired of walking to the mailbox and back and being out of breath. I was tired of going shopping and coming home and feeling like I had been in a battle. The list could go on and on. I was not meant to be that person. I have been that person for so long but was not happy. That is not who God made me to be.
This morning, something that hit me hard was this. I am so focused on that number on the scale. But that number doesn’t show the changes. It doesn’t place value on health. All the cardio, weights and strength training I am doing is making my body healthier. All the fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats I am continuously putting into my body is making me healthier. I sleep better, have more energy. All the water is flushing out bad stuff, making my skin healthier and my body. But the scale doesn’t reflect all of that. This journey is about health. Mind and body. It’s about making a better me. Inside and out. And I think I can be proud of how far I have come and the changes I have made. Eventually, if I am consistent, the scale will reflect my hard work. But my work for now will be reflected in my workouts, my food, my attitude. So while the scale was the same this week, I am certainly not. 45 pounds down is just a very small piece of this puzzle.