Monday, October 27, 2014

Being Radical by Simply Believing the Bible

It seems like most places I see online have something to do with "extreme" or "radical", especially when it comes to Christianity.  It usually is pictured with some guy in a spiked hair do and a T shirt from the latest "Christian rock" band telling folks to be radical by going to some remote place in the world that you can't pronounce to tell them about Jesus.  Or, the picture is a younger lady dressed like she came from the local rock concert and blended in fine, with her hands in the air in mid sway.

You don't have to go to a country you can't pronounce and do a short term mission, or wear your tight hip hugging jeans and mid drift showing top with all kinds of hemp bracelets and hold your arms up while swaying in order to be "radical".

In the world around us, simply believing God at His Word is "radical".  Simply standing on the firm foundation of the Bible is more radical than most folks are willing to do.

Our world wants Christians to compromise His Word by allowing homosexuality into the church openly, accepting "gay" marriage, by telling Christians that Jesus doesn't belong outside the church, and in one city the mayor demanding to know anything that was said inside the church (without going there herself).  Small business owners who stand on the Bible for foundation are forced to go against their convictions or lose their business and face hefty fines.  Christians must take insurance that makes them pay for abortions.  Christians are mocked for believing on and in Jesus, with our own government people saying rights of Christians are less than those who commit sodomy.   Others face death (Voice of the Martyrs anyone??), are forced from their homes and away from their families for choosing Christ first.

What's more radical than simply standing on the Bible?  What's more radical than standing on what the Bible says about the sins of sodomy, murder, theft, coveting, and so on?  It takes a "radical" to keep standing in the face of what this world throws at Christians who stand by the Bible and don't bow to pressures of government, media, peers, the world.

What's more radical that a woman staying at home and being a Christian wife and mom in the midst of a feminism-laced society that scorns her for tending to home and family and husband's needs?  What's more radical than a woman who dresses to please the Lord rather than wear the skin showing trends of the day and try to imitate magazine photo-shopped photos?  What isn't radical about a man who takes care of his family, stays with one woman for life, raises his kids to be good upstanding citizens who have a heart for the Lord?

Years ago, the above things were expected of us.  Now, they are "radical" and "extreme".

Funny, a "radical" Muslim is one who stands by the fundamentals of their faith.  Why should we be any different?



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Weight Loss Challenge Week 8--Small Discoveries

Praise God through whom all blessings flow!

Ever start your morning out thinking or saying that?  If not, why?

It's early morning here, and I'm cross eyed and half asleep, but middle child believes I must be awake early even on the weekend, so here I am.  I'm working hard to keep a good perspective and my eyes open.
So, it's 8 weeks into my weight loss challenge.  I admit it, I probably would have quit by now if I haven't been posting weekly and having some accountability.  Some days are hard.  Some days I want to eat everything in sight.

The other reason for not giving up is the healthy side.  I feel better.  I have more endurance.  My hefty self fits into the smaller restroom stalls, the "normal" seats in waiting rooms, fit better in the seat of my own car without rubbing the steering wheel, and so on.

This week I've been worn out and not feeling so snazzy.  I discovered a lump in my abdomen between two old laparoscopic incisions (for gallbladder about 12 years ago), and had no idea it was there until the fat had started disappearing and saw it while doing a crunch.  I freaked out, had hubby look at this ridge in the middle.  He's a nurse, surely he'd have an idea.  He suggests possible hernia. This isn't surprising knowing how much I life heavy weights, all the way back to working on the farm and lifting feed sacks like they were nothing and tossing straw bales with little issue.  Then, throw in lots of lifting weights, working in nursing as a CNA for years lifting on people, moving heavy furniture on my own, and being the go to person for heavy lifting as hubby is not able to....it shouldn't be surprising.  I don't have an "official" diagnosis, as I don't have the funds (cash patient here) to visit the clinic I go to.  I'm able to push the lump back down, which in itself feels weird, and may have to go make a visit sooner than later to check on it.

Overall, the fat has been slowly melting.  It's not near as fast as the first month, but as far as I'm concerned, it's still a step forward.  I've been told to go slowly instead of trying to lose it all in a day.  I've noticed a little more off the knees, a little less on the arms, a little less on the "apron" of belly fat, a little off the hips, and my feet have gotten smaller than my shoes, leaving the shoes a size larger than needed.  That's a good thing, as it means shoe shopping soon!!  Yay!

For the week, I've lost another 1/4 inch off the waist, 1 inch off the hips, and another 1/2 inch off the chest.  I'm thankful, as it's in the right direction, even if it is a little slower than it has been.  Every little bit counts!

God has been good, and I'm very thankful for what He's done for me along the way.  Like with the lump, I had no idea it was there until the fat started going away and I started doing floor exercises to tone.  It's been hiding underneath my own fat for who knows how long!  God has taken care of so much for me, for my family, I'm so blessed to be a child of His.

Exercise has been more fun this week, with an average of a mile or so each time I take the beagle walking.  He enjoys it, and we're walking a new route every chance I get.  He is an upper body workout keeping him in line--he puts it in 4 paw drive and tries to drag me to the first trees and fire hydrant he can get to.  He enjoys walking on the east side of town, where the vet is--he has no bad experiences at the vet and can smell all the animals that have come and gone there--he wants to go mark the vet as "his".  I've enjoyed walking as well, and seeing all the trees and foliage turning from green to various shades of red, orange, and yellows.  It really is pretty seeing the old trees turning with the season.  I'm finding other walkers out and about around the same time we're hoofing it as well, which is nice. :)

I hope you all who are joining in on my "challenge" are doing well.  I have to say this has been the best thing I've done in a long while, even if it means putting my sin, my weight, out there for the world to see.  I'm thankful for that one picture from the summer that started it all.

Here's a question for you all for this week:  what is your favorite way to exercise?




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Friday, October 24, 2014

It's The Little Things

Ah, the little things in life....  They are what makes the world lovely.

A flower tucked away in pot.  The scent of a rose.  Bacon (do I need to say more there?).  Laughter from a child.

On my weight loss journey, I've discovered the joys of little things that I'd not thought much of before.

For instance, fitting in a "normal" size bathroom stall at the local big box store or gas station.  That means not feeling like a stuffed sausage in order to do what you have to do, or taking over a "handicapped" bathroom for space to move around.

Fitting into "regular" seats in a waiting room.  Not having to find the jumbo sized or double seats.

Finding a body form emerge from beneath mountains of fat that has been hidden for years.

Endurance to help in a ministry without being out of breath.

Take time to thank the Lord for little things, whatever they are in your life.  The little things make life so much better!



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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Battling the Desire to Eat Way Too Much

The past 2 months, since September 4th, 2014, I've been tackling the gluttony issue.  It started with an admission, to God and to the world, of my sin.  It's not like it couldn't be seen--it's rather hard to hide 401 pounds no matter how "well" you carry weight.  As is the case with many many folks, even when the sin is glaringly evident, it still takes admission and a willingness to repent and start anew.

To follow the past 2 months of the journey, click either the top "weight loss challenge" page or the big picture at the right hand side.

As my body has adjusted to the Victoza shot, the nausea has subsided, and the old haunting desire to eat has resurfaced.  It'd waned a bit during the nausea days, as who really wants to eat when they're constantly vomiting due to bodily reaction to medicine?  Now that I've adjusted to the having Victoza on board daily, the emotional desire to eat eat eat eat came back like a roaring lion.

Roaring lion.  Where have we heard that before?

I start the day well, with dark roast coffee and sugar free flavored creamers.  Yes, I use Splenda based products to replace sugar.  Honey, molasses, and others will spike my glucose.  I've grown Stevia, and purchased it commercially powdered, and it's not my cup of tea.  Then, I eat a breakfast of either old fashioned rolled oats or cream of wheat (both by serving size on the container) with fresh fruit--an apple, pear, blueberries, whatever is in the fridge, sweetened with Splenda, a splash of milk, and a cup of tea.

For lunch, It's usually a one slice sandwich of peanut butter (using the serving size recommended) or deli ham on homemade bread or purchased whole grain.  Sometimes it's a big bowl of homemade veggie soup with bone broth and tomato juice base and a piece of fruit.  

Supper is generally a big bowl of homemade soup with raw veggies or fruit on the side, or a single slice sandwich similar to lunch.  One night I made grilled cheese for everyone and had one myself along side my soup.  Another night I baked some fish for hubby and had a small serving.  I've made small baked potatoes and enjoyed one with a tablespoon or so of french onion dip and a teaspoon of butter.  Mostly my main portion is the soup I've made previously so all I have to do is pull it out of the fridge and heat.

Snacks are raw fruit, raw veggies, and lately popcorn popped in a drizzle of olive oil in the Stir Crazy popper, topped with the little shaker seasonings.  I sip on coffee, herbal and black teas, and a little water throughout the day.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've had a not so good snack here and there--a portion of ice cream, a serving of cookies, Doritos with the kids, a candy bar.  I've tried to stay within the serving sizes and add the calorie count to my mental count of the day's calories.  It doesn't always happen, but I try.

My lion comes to prowl after supper.  This is the time when I'm doing dishes up for the day, putting away food the family didn't finish up, winding down, getting the kids' night routine in order, and so on.  As it gets darker, the more I want to park with a snack.  I've tried herbal tea instead, and spent half the night in the bathroom.  I'm sure you understand why.  I've tried raw carrots and fruits.  It's just not the satisfaction I'd been used to previously.  My lion growls and pounces, and I've given in to it's demands occasionally.  My lion enjoys the sweet, the savory, the rich.

This lion needs to get back in it's cage!

I feel most evenings like the circus lion tamer, cracking the whip and working hard at keeping the beast under control, hearing the roar and dodging the swipe of the extended claws.  It roars loudly, it tells me what it wants, and that it wants it NOW.

It's up to me to listen to it or keep it in its cage.

The first month, I ignored it, mostly because listening to it made me vomit.  Now, I have to deal with the lion head on.

I'm *not* hungry at night.  I have no reason to eat after supper.  It's emotional eating.  It's a means to satiate an internal desire that doesn't relate to the need for food.  It's a comfort measure.

And it's not very comforting anymore.

For me, and possibly others, emotional eating is a way to fill a gap, comfort a hurting heart, get a rush from sugar and carbs that need to come from somewhere else other than food.

Like the Lord.

So my goal is to keep the lion in the cage, and pray fervently when the desire to eat when hunger isn't there sneaks up and tries to pounce.  You'd think it'd be a no brainer, but when you have eaten from emotional desires most of your life, retraining is harder than you think.  With Christ it can be done, and will.

To God be the glory, let His will be done, let His grace and mercy show through relying on Him to get through the rough patches along the journey.  Even if it's just a prayer to keep from picking up the cookie.






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Monday, October 20, 2014

Popcorn to the Rescue!


Popcorn.  I love popcorn.  Buttery, salty, full of fat popcorn.

But it doesn't love me.

So, today, after a long while of avoiding the full fat, butter laden, salty overloaded popcorn, I broke out the "stir crazy" popper.

I drizzled in a little bit of olive oil, and popped enough corn to fill the water bath canner.

Instead of fattening butters and such, I left it as it.  Each person who got a serving out was allowed to use whatever they wanted.  Hubby and I chose these wonderful little shakers of flavorings with very minimal calories, and had white cheddar cheese and kettle corn.

I've so missed this nice snack.  It's filling, satisfying, really helps with that need to crunch on something but not load up on a ton of calories.  The best part is, it's low cost, low cal, and easy to flavor up the way you enjoy.

I've got to try the chocolate next!!



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Sunday, October 19, 2014

She Shall Be Called Woman: Christmas Baking Ideas

She Shall Be Called Woman: Christmas Baking Ideas: These are some of the cutest and easiest goodies to make for Christmas.


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