Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Liberal Tolerance That Wasn't

We live in a rural area of Kansas, far from the booming Kansas City, Wichita, or Topeka areas.  Our little corner has a university and is working toward a casino.  We have churches of all types and flavors, lots of farms, lots of small businesses.

We also have lots of liberalism for a conservative state.

This morning while thumbing through the local newspaper, hubby and I ran across an article that highly praised the social work student group on the campus of Pittsburg State University, which is just a few miles away.  What did they do that was so glorious as to get a glowing article?

They held signs and circled a street preacher, working hard to keep people away from him and keep people from hearing the Gospel.

These are mostly 20 something young adults who have no life experience besides the classroom, who have been brainwashed by liberal professors that anyone who is a Christian, who believes in the Gospel according to Jesus Christ, who trusts the Bible, who is conservative--is crazy.  These are the people who will go into the family services system, who will be in various positions throughout the state, and who will decide who gets to keep their children or not.  They will be the next group of social workers in the news for breaking apart families for homeschooling or teaching about Christ.

I am glad the street preacher didn't give up!  Surely someone heard the Gospel though him, and that seed was planted.

Now, are we brave enough to do the same?

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Taste of Spring

The past few days it has not felt like January.  It has felt like June!

It has been in the 60's and 70's.  For here in Southeast Kansas, that is a miracle.  That is normally May or June weather here.

That's fine--we are LOVING it!!

Tomorrow the cold returns, but while the beautiful warmth is here, we've been dreaming of garden season.  Hubby has helped till the garden spot at his dad's in preparation for the coming planting season.  We've thumbed through seed catalogs and websites for the regular items we plant yearly, plus  all the pretty flowers that in our mind's eye would look lovely in the yard.  We've discussed expanding flower beds and building up existing ones, transplanting perennials and so on.

It's amazing what a bit of warm weather will do!

Alas, tomorrow it returns to the normal 30's and 40's, and this weekend we are to see rain or snow.  It is still January.

Now that we've had that taste of spring, we all the more look forward to the planting season, to the time when we can get outside and enjoy the Kansas breeze (more like wind) and get our hands dirty while growing the things we enjoy.

What are you planning for the spring garden season?

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Don't Hide!

Today I learned something I should have learned a long time ago.

You see, I've been big pretty well most of my life.  Fat is nothing new to me.  I'm not remotely skinny now, but I'm not nearly as large as I was.

Throughout my life I've hidden away.  In childhood I hid from activities because I was too fat.  I was embarrassed by my size, by my inability to do sports, by my lack of physical beauty.  In my young adult years I hid from dating, from being out and around others my age because of my size.  As a parent, I've hidden away from my children's activities at school and away from school for fear I wouldn't fit in the seat, or that I'd embarrass them (or myself) because of my size.  I heard about other kids making fun of mine because mom is fat, and I wanted to cry.

I quit going out and about much even with hubby because I was too fat to fit into booths at restaurants, into seats in the movies and just about any other place with seating.  I was embarrassed of my size.

I gave up on going out much.  My sin of gluttony, my fat, my fears and embarrassment ruled.

Today, we went out as a family to a local restaurant as a treat for the kids.  I dreaded the booths as I was always the one who had fat hanging over the top of the table and was basically wedged in.  I was not looking forward to this adventure, I completely expected to be stuck in the booth yet again.

Today, I slid in beside my children, and I had at least 4 inches between myself and the table.  For the first time in 15 years, I did not get stuck in the booth seats.  I also saw myself in the mirrors, and saw myself as I currently look and SAW myself.  The body image is starting to catch up to the physical body.

Tonight, I cry thinking of all the things I chose not to do, I hid away from, for embarrassment due to my weight.  How much I have missed out on because I chose food first.  I let my sin take away so much.

No more!

I refuse to hide away.  I refuse to be embarrassed of my size.  I refuse to let sin and the devil take any more of my life.  My soul belongs to the Lord, but I'd let the devil get to me, tell me I'm not good enough, tell me I'm not worthy of being around others, that I'm hideous, that I'm worthless.  I believed it.

No more!

If you're in this position, know that you ARE worthy!  You are a child of God and no matter how you look, you are the apple of His eye!  Jesus loves you no matter if you are a size 00 or a 40.

And I do too!

Shared with Darling Downs Diaries, Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, The Modest Mom, What Joy Is Mine, Beauty in His Grip, My Joy Filled Life, Teaching What Is Good, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, So Much At Home

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

God Takes Care of His Own!

God takes care of His children!  Never never never think He won't take care of your needs.  

This past week, a dear friend from church heeded the nudge from the Lord and came by with things only the Lord knew I had been thinking about purchasing as funds allowed.  She brought not only bags of tops and jeans/sweats, but also shoes and even various skin creams that are awesome for moisturizing in the midst of drying winter winds.  Many items were new, some still with tags and/or in package.  And most fit already, some are large but perfect for layering (a must in winter), and some are goals to work on that will happen in the coming weeks.  

Again, it was a tear filled moment when the busy day was done and I had time to think.  Earlier, back in November, just before Thanksgiving, the Lord provided by another dear friend from church who delivered tons of nice clothing in just the size I'd gotten into.  Now, He provided more 2 months later.  
My cup and closet overflows!  

I am in awe, tears, and am so grateful.  There's no way I could ever afford to purchase much as I drop off weight and size.  God knew this.  He knew our budget is rather tight, and most of my "extra" purchases are toward the kids and hubby and not myself.  It is through Him working through these ladies that I am sufficiently warm this winter, with plenty of layers top and bottom, with sweaters that hold out the cold I can wear around the house and out and about, with pants that I can wear and capris I can put under long skirts to add additional warmth.  

He has also provided more food than we dreamed of having, funds that were completely unexpected but much needed, and most of all, peace beyond all measure.

He has taken care of me and my family.  

He will take care of you too.  If you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, He will take care of your needs,  Notice I didn't say He'd supply you with mansions and fat bank accounts and a garage full of BMW's.  He takes care of our needs, He makes himself known in providing just as things are needed, when you don't know where the funds will come from, where you'll find the money for the week's groceries, or how you'll get to work...I think you get the picture.  If a parent wants to give the best to his/her children, wouldn't God do even better for His own?  He does!  He goes above and beyond, and makes sure we know it is by Him that our needs are taken care of.

God created us all, but we have sin on us by way of Adam.  We can't be in the presence of a perfect God, but Jesus can.  Jesus came down and lived a sinless, perfect life, and offered Himself as the sacrifice for your sins and for mine.  I couldn't pay the price, nor can you.  He did it for us.  Jesus went to the cross, was crucified, died, laid in the tomb, and rose again on the third day and defeated death and hell, and sits at the right hand of God.  He made it possible for us to become part of God's family, to be adopted into the family, to be a brother or sister to Jesus, joint heir with the Son.  

How do you get to know Jesus as personal Lord and Savior?

Who is Good?
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.  There is none, that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one."  (Romans 3:10-12)

Who Has Sinned?
"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"  (Romans 5:12)

What Is The Eternal Cost of Your Sin?
"For the wages of sin is death..."  (Romans 6:23)
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men..." (Romans 1:18)

You Cannot Save Yourself
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight..." (Romans 3:20)
"Where is boasting then?  It is excluded.  By what law?  of works?   Nay: but by the law of faith."  (Romans 3:27)

God's Love Has Provided The Way!
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."  (Romans 5:8-9)

You Must Place Your Complete Faith in Jesus Christ
"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering:  not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"  (Romans 2:4)
"Even the righteousness of god which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe."  (Romans 3:22)
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."  (Romans 3:28)
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9)

Do You Believe That Jesus Christ Alone Can Save You?
The Bible states, "And being fully persuaded that, what he (God) had promised, he was able also to perform."  (Romans 4:21)

Here is God's Promise to You:
"...if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"  (Romans 4:24-5:1)

Pray Now And Ask Him To Save You!
"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."  (Romans 10:10)

If you will accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, please pray this prayer or one similar to it with all of you heart:  "Dear God, I admit I am a sinner, going to hell.  I know that I cannot save myself.  I turn from my sins and put my faith in the blood that you shed for me on the cross to pay for all my sins.  I now accept you as my Saviour and trust you to take me to heaven.  Thank you for saving me.  Amen."

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)

Don't call out to the Lord for what He can do, but for what He did.  He took your sins, He is offering the gift of Salvation.  It is up to you to accept it.  That's the best thing He can give you.  The rest is all gravy.

*This is from one of the tracts from our church.  I like this tract.  

You're welcome to contact with any questions.  I'd love to be of assistance!

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Weight Loss Challenge Week 21

It's now going into week 21 of the weight loss challenge!

It's also picture week.  Did I ever mention I really don't like doing my own pictures??

Anyway, these were taken in a rush right after a shower, so my hair is still wet, but had to get in gear and head out to take middle child to an appointment so didn't have a chance to get it dry.  It works.

These are a 22/24 top from Christmas that has shrunk a little in the dryer (high heat).  I wear an 18/20 but can easily layer under 22/24 and since it's still winter, am definitely doing! The skirt is a non-stretch denim in size 20.  Hubby has been surprising me with new skirts from the clearance and buy one get one half off section of Woman Within as our finances allow.  My skirt collection essentially went down to next to nothing as I've went down in size.

So, I'm pretty happy, into a size 20 without stretch!

I have been able to wear the 18/20 yoga pants and palazzos with comfort, although they of course have stretch.  So hubby also ordered an 18/20 skirt in stretch knit, and it fits well too.

The original picture is 3rd in line, at 32/34 top and 34/36 bottom.

The gray shirt in the picture is very loose now, and the skirt has went to the scrap bin to be used in a quilt or something.  It is going to be repurposed.  The shirt is hubby's and he's rather attached to it.

This week I weighed in and gained a pound.  It's either water or muscle, as I've not been drinking as much as I should--I have been enjoying more coffee than I should instead to keep awake and going through the busy busy week.  Also I've found the leg muscles are becoming more visible and palpable even at my size, and they are going through the motions of the daily workouts easier.  I'm seeing outlines of the knee joints where I haven't seen them in years.  I'm getting more of a waist line and can feel most of the ribs now, despite the size.  They aren't showing like skinny type, but you can definitely feel the individual ones.  Muscle definition is starting to show through as well, from the days when I've worked out in the past and really pushed hard for muscle growth.  It's nice to see them again!

I've started back with My Fitness Pal, and am ashamed to say I have enjoyed pizza and brownies with the tribe.  They tasted good.  And I worked hard to exercise it off too.  Well, most of it.  The days I don't feel like eating breakfast, it's Slim Fast powder in coffee or milk or a Carnation instant breakfast or Ovaltine.  At least that way I don't get ravenous before lunch and eat anything that doesn't eat me first.  I've also started with green tea.  It's an acquired taste.  My hopes are it is acquired soon.

Exercise has been close to or on task.  I've been hitting the 4 Really Fast Miles dvd by Leslie Sansone, which has a 15, 12, 10, and then 15 minute mile and uses a stretch band with the last mile.  A 10 minute mile is mostly a jog.  I'm not a jogger or runner, so this has been a challenge, but it has built leg muscle and in turn better endurance, so that is good.  That dvd for me burns, according to My Fitness Pal, about 850 to 900 calories for the 4 miles.  That is awesome!

Eating has been mostly good, with exception of pizza and the brownies.  I try.  But, the beauty of doing lifestyle versus a "diet" where there's tons of restrictions, you can enjoy the odd pieces of pizza or sweet and not have the mindset of "I ruined it, it's no use".  That is a big deal breaker on diets, that mind set of either deprivation or when you have a "whoops" moment and feel like you can't keep on going.

This coming week it is supposed to be in the 60's for highs, which is very unusual in Southeast Kansas in January.  This means I'll be outside, with flowerbeds to clear out and start work on, a dog that enjoys pulling me along, and just going outside in general.  I am very much looking forward to spring!  Don't get me wrong, I will most definitely be sticking to the dvd's for workouts, as they are very intense, but there's also plenty of room for outside exercise, walking, gardening, and so on.  I'm looking forward to breaking out the hoe and breaking ground again, planting herbs and flowers in our front yard, a small patch in the back, and working at my Father in Law's garden to really get some nice veggies going.  It's great exercise and reaps a nice reward.

What are your plans for the spring planting?  For those of you who are in areas where gardening is in full swing, how are yours going?

You all have a great day, and I'll be back soon!

Shared with Darling Downs Diaries, Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, The Modest Mom, What Joy Is Mine, Beauty in His Grip, My Joy Filled Life, Teaching What Is Good, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, So Much At Home

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Where's The Chocolate?

I've discussed with some friends via Facebook about writing about frugal weight loss, how to tweak NORMAL recipes from a regular cookbook to make them more healthy without using exotic thing like yak snot from Bhutan or some root from an isolated island in the south Pacific, how to purchase within the budget you have, and so on.  Basically, the regular things I've done, without following a diet or going to a gym, to lose weight.

Granted, the whole thing is basically burning off more than you take in.  Pure and simple, just not easy, especially with a limited budget and mouths to feed.

A dear friend of mine suggested creating a community on Facebook to put those ideas out there to share in bits and pieces as I work along on my book.

So I did.

It's called (drum roll please)....

Where's the Chocolate

Don't you love that name???  It's just right for us chocoholics, and my dear friend thought of the name (and she's a chocoholic to the core--and I love that about her).

So, you're welcome to join in and add your ideas as well.  We're growing a little at a time, and one person doesn't have a monopoly on budget, diet, recipes, and exercise.

Come on y'all--we'd love to have you!

Shared at Darling Downs Diaries, Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, Proverbs 31 Wife, The Modest Mom

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