2022: REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

What did you get curious about? • How to live a quiet life personally and online.

What did you get over? • Past rejection and prejudice.

What did you good at? • Strict pull ups and snatches.

What did you embrace? • A peaceful life in Georgia.

What did you rediscover? • The joy of peaceful living.

What did you surrender to? • A busy schedule.

What did you sacrifice? • My words.

What did you sideline? • My desire to look back and ask "why."

What did you survive? • Spiritual and personal attacks.

What did you celebrate? • My children, my husband and a few friends.

Contemplate. Take time to ponder:

What did this year teach you about your capacity for courage? • Courage comes from God who tells me to be of good courage. When I accept His invitation, I can't help but to practice living the life He wants me to live.

What risks did you take? How did they work out? • I made big and bold career moves.

What did this year teach you about relationships? Love? Your capacity for forgiveness? • I learned that slowly, people forget you. The ones who choose to stay are keepers. I learned that love from God and family keeps my world going around. I learned that I need to keep forgiving, no matter what.

What particular synchronicities did you notice? • I'm not ready to talk about this yet. Still processing.

Where did you bring light to the darkness for someone? • I cried a lot in parking lots when I was leaving Longview. My friends told me that I mean a lot to them and they told me why. I was undone. I will forever treasure those words of friendship and blessing. The truth is, they are the ones that brought light into my life.

When were you generous? How did that serve you? • Generosity is something I hope to practice. I believe that I look more like my Heavenly Father when I am generous.

Did you neglect yourself in any way? was there a time when you did not allow yourself something you needed? If a similar situation arises this year, what will you tell yourself? • I often neglected myself of rest or a meaningful pause before launching into the next demanding assignment in life. I need to remind myself in writing that it is okay to pause, pray, reflect, breath and go on.

Of all the places where you spent time, which environment made you the most calm? where did you have your best ideas? • I’m the most calm when I’m in Zeke’s arms. I’m calm when I’m at home taking care of our family. I’m also calm after CrossFit. My best ideas happened when I turn everything off and I use my brain to think.

What changes did you notice in your loved ones? • My sweet kids are growing taller and growing in wisdom and love.

What went on in the world that really affected you? what did that teach you in your role in wider society? • The world is often changing. God remains the same. I’m committed to be an agent of the Lord Jesus Christ daily. God so loved the world that He sent us Jesus. I’m determined to represent Jesus everywhere I go. 

What did this year teach you about the preciousness of life? • The Bible is my anchor. I keep going back daily to read it, study and think about what I learn. God is the creator and initiator of life. I am learning through the study of the Biblke what God cares about so I can dedicate myself to it.

Practical:

What did you create or made happen this year? • I’d say Zeke and I made a new home in Georgia.

What brought you the most satisfaction? • I’m satisfied seeing our kids walk with God and fulfilling His calling for their lives. 

What was money well spent and when did you waste money? • Money well spent went to things that will help our children be everything God called them to be. I think money waste happens when I don’t manage it as well as I should.

What was the best use of your time and energy? Where did you waste time and energy? • I think that getting healthier is a great use of time and energy. My family is my priority. It is easier to serve God and family when I am healthier. I waste time when I refuse to forgive offenses and let them go.

What was a real success for you and why? What did you learn from that? • Moving was successful because God called us to move. I learned that where God calls He provides.

What didn't work out as you hoped? Why? What did you learn from that? • My efforts to find a job before I moved. Only God knows why. I don’t care to find out. I learned to trust God’s leadership.

What or who was a challenge? Why? What did you learn from that? • Unforgiveness was a challenge. I believe that in my humanity, I don’t want to obey God’s commandment to forgive. I learned that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. I feel great freedom after I forgave. If Jesus can forgive, so can I.

What was the single most important thing you did for your physical health? • Stick with WW and CrossFit, no matter what.

What was the single most important thing you did for your mental health? • Journaling and running. 

If you could sum up the year in a single word, what would it be? • Better

Letting go:

Write down things you want to let go • extra body weight, regrets.

Moving forward:

When did you allow yourself to be vulnerable over the past 12 months? What did you learn in the process? • I allowed myself to cry a lot. I believe they help show us who we really are.

What do you want to carry with you in the new year? • Faith in God.

What truths are you ready to start believing? • God can do exceedingly, abundantly above all I can ask or imagine.

What are you ready to receive? • God’s best.

Time to make a plan. 

* from "Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year" by Beth Kempton.  

Related post:

Mid-year goals 2022

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The new Weight Watchers Program

Monday, December 5, 2022

Before 175 lbs Now 141 lbs

I've been using the new Weight Watchers Program for a little while. This is not the first time I've been at WW during a time they changed the program. 

I always appreciate change because it means I will reach my weight loss and health goals it. I often lose a lot during the first week of adopting the plan. This time, it wasn't different.

In all honesty, I went back to in-person meetings the week before the new program started. I lost weight because of it.


You and I know that simply driving to the next county over does not cause weight loss. What worked for me was the following:


• Tracking. Today is day 30 of tracking every day. Tracking is my number one predictor for weight loss and maintenance. 


• Accountability. Somehow, the thought of driving to a meeting and stepping in the scale informs my choices the week before. Most weeks are not perfect but I try to plan for success. 


• Meal prep. Meal prep is my superpower. I prep my meals (my family and I mostly eat the same things) on Sundays and the week is much better. Even if I only have time to boil eggs, make black beans, rice, and a lean protein, I completely benefit from it. 


I choose WW over and over because of the following:


Support. Whether I choose to do it online or in person, I'm excited to be in the company of people who 'get it.' My WW friends always encourage me to give my best and to keep going toward my goal. 


• Bread. I love carbs. I'm not willing to live without it. Every food is in the menu at WW. It is up to be to choose the most nutritionally balanced mixture of foods that supports my lifestyle. 


Education. WW is doing an excellent job educating me on the science of weight loss. The techniques I'm learning are effective and empowering. 


If you want to give Weight Watchers a try, please use my link for a free month. Also, let me know if you join so I can encourage you!

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What I learned this Fall 2022

Friday, November 25, 2022

What I learned this Fall

• Being quiet is a necessity to learn a culture. My word for the year is quiet. I will be honest and tell you that although I forgot that was my word, I've used it quite a bit. I will share more thoughts on this when the year ends.

• Preparation and rest go hand in hand when you have a busy schedule. My schedule got incredibly busy this Fall. Being prepared for my week was a must along with stopping everything to rest. Being prepared allowed my weeks to flow easily. My preparation was for my good and so I could serve my family. I can see that rest served the same purpose.

• Peace is a great shelter. In the past, I've used frustration as a shelter. I've used my drive as a shelter. This Fall, peace was a shelter. I can't begin to tell you what a difference it is making. I feel better, and life is just sweeter when we make peace a shelter.

• Being alone and being lonely are different things. I was alone quite a bit this Fall. I never felt lonely because I know that God is with me at all times. I also know I am blessed with a great support system.

• This Fall I took hospitality on the road and saw what happened. I enjoy making people feel welcome. It is challenging to have such opportunities when you are the new kid in town. Still, I found creative opportunities to be hospitable. I learned that setting up a beautiful environment can make people feel welcome. My attitude is the first and most important way to be hospitable. I also learned that hospitality truly is about the other, not so much me and "my stuff." The fruit of hospitality is seen by what people do as a result of your hospitality. Does it move them to action? I believe it should.

• This Fall, I realized some people forgot about me. I learned to be okay with that. This Fall, I wasn't shocked or upset when that happened. Part of the life we live is watching people slowly stop communicating with us. No matter how much dedication and loyalty we show, one by one, they ghost you. It didn't hurt this Fall because I am learning to see the end of superfluous friendships as part of life. True friends don't forget. They show up for you in creative ways.

• I refuse to keep knocking on a door that won't open up to me. I knocked so much of it in the past that my knuckles became bruised. Friends not only open the door for you, but some will also leave the door permanently open. I practice what I call an open-door policy with my friends. I got tired of trying to force friendships with people who didn't see me as a necessary friend. If I know that I'm more nuisance than needed, I'm out of that relationship completely. I'm still cordial and Godly, just not a part of their life.

• It's okay to allow people to be themselves. I am truly for believing the best about people. Still, when they continually show me who they are, I have to allow them to be themselves. We are all entitled to our characters. I am entitled to check the facts from past interactions and proceed with wise boundaries.

• There is room for encouragement in every heart. The ministry of encouragement is so needed. I've been so blessed as a practitioner of encouragement. When our encouragement is Spirit-led, the fruit is effective and lasting.

• I'm the first person who needs to believe in the potential God gave me. I realized this truth in the Fall. I am thankful for my support system. I am grateful they believe in me. Still, I need to be the first person who believes in myself. Stepping up to the plate is easier when you do.

• This Fall, I embarked on a project that was not as successful as I'd liked it to be. I refused to quit. I pressed on and I was blessed through the process. I've always believed that if you learn you don't lose. So I won. I also was able to have a good friend along for the ride. That was a joy. True friends will hold your hand and join you in any and all life's adventures.

• I heard someone say today that you shouldn't hate who you were in the past because that person brought you to where you are today. I thought that was an interesting thought. Some of us are harsh with our past selves. Yes, mistakes were made. We overlook the decisions that allowed us to make progress toward where we are right now. Gratitude bridges the gap from where we were to where we are. I'm incredibly grateful to the hard work and decisions that led me to this Fall. God is good and He allowed me to learn from all types of situations. 


What did you learn this Fall? 


Previously in this series:


• Spring 2018

• Summer 2018

• Fall 2018

• Winter 2019

• Spring 2019

• Summer 2019

• Fall 2019

• Winter 2020

• Spring 2020

• Summer 2020

• Fall 2020

• Winter 2021

• Spring 2021

• Summer 2021

• Fall 2021

• Winter 2022

• Spring 2022

• Summer 2022  

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True love

Thursday, November 24, 2022


"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 118:1 (NIV)

Thank you Lord for the blessings you give us each day. For shelter, food, clothes and more importantly for love. No matter how many times we've been through trials and tribulations, we can always count on your love. Your love is the only true love that lasts forever. 
As we gather with family and friends today, help us remember what really matters. Help us to maintain an attitude of gratitude all our days.
You are good and your mercy lasts forever. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. 

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When people mistreat you

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

I don't enjoy being mistreated but every now and then it happens. It never feels good. I'm often left with negative feelings. I also want to take action. 

There is a difference between what I want to do when others mistreat me and what God expects me to do. Here are a few reminders from the Holy Scriptures:

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:44-45 (NKJV)

Jesus' standards are certainly different. Loving one's enemy is not easy but that is what we are called to do. Praying for those who mistreat us, and blessing them is what we are called to do. It all starts with totally forgiving those who mistreat us. 

"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV)

Jesus demonstrated forgiveness on the cross. He never asks us to do something He didn't do Himself. 

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."  Ephesians 4:31-32 (ESV) 

Letting go of anger and bitterness when people mistreat us is a choice. Only through God's power, I can be kindhearted. Only through my own choice, informed by God's word, I can forgive as Christ forgave me. 

There is freedom when we forgive. I hope you join me in forgiving those who mistreat us. 

Please know that I am not speaking of crimes. Crimes should be brought to authorities so justice can prevail. When in question, speak with a trusted friend.

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I thank God

"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people." Col. 1:3-4 (NIV)

Do you know a person who displays faith in Christ and love for all God's people? I certainly do. I have several people in mind. These people have the following characteristics:

• They do not crumble when they face trials and tribulations;

• They have true joy;

• They are givers;

• They display incredible hope in God. 

I want to encourage you to pray on behalf of the people you have in mind. 

Here are a few things we can pray for:

• Thanksgiving for the life they live 

• Gratitude for their friendship 

• Pray that they will be strong when facing adversity

• Pray that the joy of the Lord will be displayed in their lives 

• Pray for their health and well-being

We may think that people who display faith in the Lord do not need our prayers. Let us remember to offer our gratitude to God for them and let's pray for them by name. 

Prayer: Lord, I lift up (insert your friend's name here) to you. I thank you for our friendship. Thank you that she shines your light everywhere she goes. Supply all her needs. Bless her and everything that concerns her this day, in Jesus' name, Amen.

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