Monday, December 16, 2013

The Love of Jesus

So it's been a while, a long while actually. I am not sure where to start but have found this blog to be an outlet. So forgive me if this post is scattered!

The last seven months have been tough and great all at the same time. Due to some stuff in my personal life in October, I hit an all time low. I was emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually drained. I'm talking running on fumes and then stranded on the side of the road low. But........................

You wanna know what I found in that darkness? What I found in that pit? The ultimate love of Jesus! Through a combination of my precious friends, amazing family, and fresh words from God through scripture and through The Grove at Passion City Church I realized a few things. I would like to share them (or document them) here so that I can have a written reminder of who God really is.

  • We are all rooted in something. I was rooted in insecurity, my past failures, in other people. But what we must be rooted in is Jesus and in the Word of God. If you're truly rooted, when the storms of life come you will not be moved.
  • Psalm 52:8 says that we are an olive tree planted in the house of God. You know what I learned about an olive tree? That even if it's cut down to the roots, it can still regenerate. That it will grow and flourish again as long as the roots are in place. Can I tell you that life and situations had cut me all the way to my roots and was starting to work on my roots? But God had me! And I am starting to regenerate, to grow, and flourish yet again!
  • God's love is wider and deeper than anything we have ever done. Jesus is a relentless pursuer of the heart and he will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up on you!
  • When I am going through struggles, it is NOT meaningless. God has a purpose! He is going to bring me through the issues, not over them. And He is going to be right there beside me every step of the way!
  • Even when you are living in a desert, God always provides a river. I am thankful that God provided a river for me!
  • We flourish in spite of our circumstances by worshipping. Worship says to Satan that he can't take our trust in Jesus! He can't take our joy in the Lord! In that worship, we exchange our issues for the beauty of God and He gives us beauty for our ashes. (Isaiah 61:3)
  • I flourish by taking a deep breath and letting it all go. It's HIS spirit working in me! He is replacing my ashes with beauty!
  • In my waiting, I don't have to fix it all. Jesus has already done that. He has already won! Why do I doubt?
So that is just a small glimpse into what God has started to reveal to me and in me! I don't know if it's because I am seeking God's will for my life and seeking His face more than ever before or what. But what I know is that I have a freedom in the love of Jesus! And of course, just as I begin to walk in that freedom, Satan comes knocking. The bible says that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And though I am still weak, I know that God is strongest in the middle of my weakness! He is big y'all! He is good! Though he comes against me to try to steal, kill, and destroy me, I know where my roots are now! They are strong and getting a little stronger everyday. There are things coming against me on every side now that I've got my personal life worked out but it's okay. I got some roots, and they are STRONG!!!  If you're not rooted strongly in God and in His word and if you have never truly experienced the love of Jesus......dig in! He is sooooooo good!

If you are walking through a dark place, find a quiet place and play these songs. Let the love of Jesus wrap around you!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

5 months....YIKES

Holy cow! Talk about falling off the "blogging" band wagon. It has been almost 5 months since I posted anything. That is just crazy. Life has been extremely busy and chaotic. In a lot of good ways! Quick recap of the last 5 months:

  • Thanksgiving with the fam
  • Martina McBride concert with my mama and my sister
  • Black Friday Shopping
  • Christmas--my favorite holiday because of the time we get to spend with our family and friends. Love it.
  • Christmas break.....time away from work to enjoy with my family
  • New Years! (That's about all)
  • Valentine's Day
  • Destiny rocked out the Talent Show at school (sorry, you'll have to turn your head to see)
  • My sweet hubby finally got a teaching job in Hall County. He is now teaching 4th grade at Tadmore Elementary. I couldn't be anymore proud of him than I already am. He has worked so hard for this moment and he has always been the perfect example of perseverance. He should be the poster child for the phrase "Never Give Up" and he walks in the truth of God's faithfulness. 
  • And lastly, Easter with my family. Can I just tell you how much I love spending time with my loving, precious, caring, somewhat crazy, fun family? Cause I do! Here are just a few pics and if you look close enough you are liable to see some of the shining through!
The Whole Family

Crazy Sisters

My precious family

WOW! Here we are at the 2nd week of April already. I would be perfectly happy with time slowing down a little. Right now it is Sunday night at the end of our Spring Break. We had an absolutely WONDERFUL trip for break to Orlando, Florida to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. My daredevil 9 year old is now obsessed with roller coasters. It was quite humorous to see 12 and 13 year old kids getting scared and getting out of line for a coaster when my barely tall enough 9 year old diva is giggling with excitement. Did I mention she got me on a 90 degree incline coaster not once but twice? And she got me on a free fall ride that scared the crap out of me but that she absolutely loved, not once, not twice, but three times. Yes. Call me crazy but those memories will last forever! Here are just a few of our pics from the trip:
In Seuss Landing with the truffula trees

Ready to rock the roller 1

Dinner dates....can you tell who she gets her "crazy" from? LOL!

On the weight loss front, there is not a lot to report. Still hovering between 197 and 200. Hey, at least I'm not gaining. And I keep telling myself that it's not about a number on a scale. It's about how good I feel and the energy that I have. It's about not being self conscious at the theme parks for three days that I might not fit into the seats on the rides. Actually everything was quite comfortable. Life is good. I am healthy, and I am not just a number on a scale. Don't get me wrong: I am not finished. This journey is a daily struggle but I got this. I have figured out it is all in moderation. The only thing that has not been in moderation for me lately is exercise. Who the mess goes running or even walking outside in 30 and 40 degree weather? Not this chick! Now that the weather is getting warmer though, I am pushing myself to get back to "wogging". I am doing the Color Run in September with some great friends so I have to make sure I am ready for that!

I guess that brings us up to speed. All in all, life is good. I am blessed! Far beyond what I deserve!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I did it....I really did!

Photo: Lets do this thing! Woo hoo!

So this week has been a great week. Last Sunday night was my first official 5K.....holy freakin' cow! That thing was HARD! I didn't think we were ever going to finish and if I had had to go up any more hills I probably would have just sat down to cry. LOL! Seriously though, I did not "have fun" but I can say that I am very glad to be able to say I did it. I went into the 5K with three goals in mind.....just finish, don't finish last, and finish in under an hour. I am proud to say that I completed all 3 of my goals. My sweet friend, Krystal Parker helped to cheer me on and wouldn't let me quit even when I wanted to. Here are the stats from my trip. My actual race time was 51:39. I forgot to stop my timer when I finished. 

Distance 3.30 mi
Duration Duration pause 00:52:11 00:00:02
Average Pace 09:48 min/km
Average Speed 6.11 km/h
Calories 285 kcal
Elevation (gain/loss) 109 m / 109 m

Here are a few pics of the day!

My sweet friend Krystal and I

Photo: Before the race.  So anxious at this point.
Bib on, phone in armband, stomach anxious, ready to go!      

Krystal, Kaye and I

After the race.....sweaty and in pain but joyful at finishing!

This week has brought a peace beyond all understanding and a little boost of self-confidence. With the scale sitting at 197, I am confident that I am headed in the right directions. I got this!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Who the mess likes running?

So as you may have read from my last post, nearly 2 months ago A LOT has happened. The school year has gotten chaotic, which is my normal. Just part of the job.

 I have started "wogging". (Thanks Jessica for the new word) For those of you that don't know that term, I am a half walker-half jogger. It is not pretty. I always hoped to be one of those "pretty runners" but guess what, it ain't happenin'. People also keep telling me that the more I do it that I will eventually begin to LOVE it. Guess what you people must have lost your flippin' mind because there isn't anything fun about running, or wogging in my case. HOWEVER, I have put that to the side and I have committed to doing two 5K's within the next couple of weeks. Next Saturday (Nov. 3) will be my first one that is a fundraiser for a homeless shelter that is a ministry of my childhood church. Even if it's not pretty, I can do it. Then my dear friend Krystal has talked me into doing the Lanier Under the Lights 5K with her which is at Lake Lanier Islands and it's an evening 5K where we "wog" under the Christmas lights at the islands. No better way to begin to get into the Christmas spirit, right?

On the weight loss front, I have gotten down to my lowest weight to date, 197.6. SOOOO excited about that. Now I've been stuck there for a little over a week but it's better to be stuck under 200 than over it. I still have a week to make it to 190 before my doctors appointment. I doubt that goal will be made but I am super proud of myself for getting over 10 pounds off on my own with diet and exercise. So I'm good, God is good, life is good.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Restart #9287474646464

**WARNING! This is a pity party. Forgive me before reading!

All I can say is praise the Lord for mercies that are new EVERY morning. This first 3 weeks of school has been SUPER stressful, more stressful than any other school year I can remember. Not really sure why but it has definitely taken a toll on me physically. The thing that people often forget (including patients) is that weight loss surgery fixes the physical issue of being obese, not the emotional issues and brain issues tied to being overweight. I confess that I have always been an emotional eater: happy, sad, mad, scared......I ate. The most eating happened though under stress. So with this super stressful few weeks, as I stepped on the scale at the doctor's office yesterday and saw a number of 208, I fought back tears. Tears of frustration over not having the will power to stick to my portions and good food choices. Tears of anger for letting myself fall back into this mess again. Tears of failure feeling like no matter what I do I will always be fat.

I'm tired of being fat, I really am. That's why almost 18 months ago I went through a life changing weight loss surgery. I am still down 77 pounds from my highest weight and down from a size 26 pants to a size 16. But come hell or high water, I will be out of the 200's. I have to go back to the doctor at the end of October for a follow up. I have set my goal to be back down to 190 before that date. I guess this post is sort of a way of publicizing my failures so that I can learn from them and move forward. It will also help hold me accountable to that date 2 months from now so that I can work towards that goal. Praying and believing for God's mercy, strength, and fresh mercies for the mornings after I screw up.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to life, back to reality....

If you are a music nerd like me you were singing the title to my blog (Hint.... Soul II Soul). LOL!

Well tomorrow is back to reality for me. I head back to work for preplanning and then our students come back on Friday. Right now, we have 25 boys on our roster and I am super excited about another great year. For whatever reason, this summer has seemed to be the shortest ever. And I will admit that I have had a sucky attitude about having to go back to work. But when I think about the difference that I can make in the lives of these 25 boys, I have a renewed energy. I am thinking this sign may be going in our classroom somewhere.

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs.....EVER and I DARE anyone to say it's not. So I approach this year enthusiastically, yet seriously. We must constantly remember that we hold a child's future in our hands every single day. One year can make or break a student's self-esteem and future goals. So to all of my teacher friends, I pray that you all have a wonderful school year and that you will facilitate, engage, listen, encourage, support, cultivate, and learn with your students everyday!

Summer Vacation 2012---in pictures

We had a WONDERFUL vacation together this summer. 

Our family vacation started with a day at Sea World in Orlando, Florida. We rode all the rides and saw alot of the shows. Here are a few pics to sum up the day.
Silly girl in a shark mouth

Riding with her daddy

Now riding with mommy

She is absolutely obsessed with dolphins

After about 11 hours at the park we drove back to our hotel and crashed for the night. The next day we got up and headed to the port to set sail on the Carnival Ecstasy. First on Destiny's agenda once we got on the ship was the waterslides of course. We enjoyed a nice dinner and show that evening. Then we had three days of ports in a row....Freeport Bahamas, Nassau Bahamas, and Half Moon Cay. We got rained out in Freeport and we enjoyed a very low key day in Nassua. In Half Moon Cay we had a GREAT time playing in the BEAUTIFUL ocean and beach. The final day of our cruise was a sea day where we hung out at the pool, took a nap, I got a massage, and just relaxed. It was a PERFECT day. Here are just a few of our pics from the trip.

So that's our vacation in pictures. We had a great time and are getting ready to head back to work. I absolutely love having my summer time off with my family. We are blessed and have enjoyed every minute together.  Here's to another great summer!