Monday, February 18, 2019

Play your part

There is wisdom in playing your part. In a play, each actor sticks with their own parts. If one actor starts playing someone else's part in addition to their own, the whole thing would be confusing. We understand this concept when it comes to acting but it is challenging to apply it in our own lives at times.

Here is how my family and I are playing our part: 

We can't do everything - as a matter a fact, we won't do everything. I have learned not to kill myself just so I look busy and my kids look successful. Doing the death march from activity to activity only means we are busybodies. Find our focus and sticking with our family's plan is worth the effort.

We're not good at everything - we're not great at every sport out there. We're not good at every art form. We really are not good at crafting. Because I know this, I focus on our strengths. If I notice one of us is interested in a certain area, we will be glad to try. I don't believe in "you can be anything you want to be." We need to stop that lie. Why? Because a professional ballerina will have a hard time winning the super bowl and vice-versa. We can be open to discovering our sweet spot without lying to ourselves.

We are good at being a family - we are good at loving and nurturing. We are good at encouraging one another and believing in one another. We are good at forgiving. We are good at teaching. We are good at training our children for good works. God made us a family and I choose to believe that's what we're good at.

We are willing to learn - we learn from God's word and we learn from others. We also learn from our many mistakes.

How are you playing your part? 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

My sweet reality

I have a bunch of feelings about Valentines Day. My feelings about my husband and children are firmly established in the fact that we are one. God put us together and we are thankful for that all the time.

My feelings about the actual holiday are mixed. I understand this is a capitalist culture so everyone is trying to make money every chance they can. I always wonder if the efforts to combat childhood obesity are thwarted because every major and minor holiday revolves around candy. At least the dentist will make some money.

I also have mixed feelings about single people on Valentines Day. I’ve been there. I decided I wasn’t “less than” just because of my marital status. I tried to spread this message back in College and I continued until this day. I wrote a letter to my single friends. I hope you read it and share it with your friends. I believe that people who are single are marvelous, they have worth and there is value in their season of life. I also think they need to be celebrated, not for their marital status, but for who God created them to be.

Back to my feelings about Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it, a blog post might not change the culture. The only culture I can change is the one inside my home and the one I profess on social media.

At home, I love my husband. We also noticed the 3 pairs of eyes absorbing our every movement. Our children are learning what real love is all about. I decided to keep up with our Listenbee family Valentine’s Day breakfast and we also spend some time telling the kids what real love really is all about. God is love. Love is patient, kind, not jealous… we use the Bible’s standards. Relationship questions come up. We share God’s wisdom and our family’s convictions. Everyone leaves with their love tanks full.

I hope that your love tank is full this Valentine’s Day. Don’t allow a person or a past relationship hurt to ruin a perfectly good day. God made each day for your enjoyment. You are loved just the way you are.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

My Weight Loss in 60 seconds: The Start

I decided that last week was my start. Here is what I know about starting anything: you have to take steps from where you are.
I decided that this week I will build from where I was.
The only way to make progress is to tweak my current routine. Trust me, I know exactly what I need to tweak to succeed.
Food prep is one area I need to tweak. I know that if I prepare the food, pack it and have it available, I will eat homemade, nutritious food. I can also track more. The more I track, the more I reach my goal. Tracking helps me stay focused on the nutrition I need for the day.
Even the area of exercising can use some tweaking. Now that I am done with my main race for the year, I need to focus on my areas of weakness. My off-season goal is to get stronger and leaner so I can run more efficiently when we start training again in the summer. Oh, let’s not forget there’s a possibility that I will run a Fall marathon. I refuse to be out of shape for that!
I believe we can all improve our motivation. I want to be sure that i find ways to remain positive about my journey. The internet can’t do it, a peer group can’t do it, I have to be positive about my own journey.
I am here to encourage someone who is in the journey of health independently. You can do it. Tweak what you did last week. Forget about guilt, start today.
Thank you for joining me in this journey!

• Track food intake for at least 5 days;
• Exercise 5 days (start two days of cross training);
• Prep food for next week on Sunday;  
• Rest well and drink water daily.
• Be positive about my journey.

Beginning: 161 lbs
Current: 159 lbs
First Goal: 150 lbs

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ensinando os meus filhos sobre o mês da história negra

Os Estados Unidos é uma nação de muitos imigrantes. Esse mês, nós celebramos a história Afro-Americana. Os negros aqui (e no mundo todo!) sobreviveram uma tragédia enorme que começou quando fomos arrancados da África como escravos. Deus vê o sofrimento do seu povo. De geração em geração os negros resistiram o racismo e a injustiça e até hoje essa luta continua.

O meu objetivo como mão cristã é de ensinar os meus filhos a palavra de Deus. Eu não quero que os meus filhos ignorem a Bíblia e olhem para a história do mundo independentemente. A minha fé em Deus tem que informar o jeito que eu aprendo tudo na vida, a história também.

O Martin Luther King for examplo foi um pastor Batista que ouviu o chamado de Deus e morreu lutando por movimentos civis nesse país. Eu disse pros meus filhos que Deus tem um chamado na vida deles também e assim como o Martin Luther King, nós podemos obedecer a Deus.

Eu não discuto as coisas tenebrosas do mundo com meus filhos. Eles são muito novos pra estarem vivendo com medo e temor. Eu quero que eles tenham uma infância feliz. Um dia, eles vão amadurecer e entender a história desse mundo. Eu oro ora que antes disso, eles saibam que a nossa realidade foi decidida na cruz através do sacrifício de Jesus.

Jesus mudou a história da nossa família e Ele há de mudar esse mundo. Há esperança em Jesus. Essa é a mensagem que eu carrego comigo nesse mês e no ano inteiro. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Beautiful Body

Before I became a mother, I made peace with the body God gave me.
I learned that negative feelings backfire.
I learned to be thankful and to accept that God only gives good gifts.

When I became a mother, I made a treaty with the body God gave me.
I pledged to give it enough rest and nourishment.
I pledged to be wise with how I use my energy.

Now that I am 39, I renewed my commitment to the body God gave me.
I'm committed to glorify God with my body.
I am not my own, I belong to God entirely.

I hope you remember that God gave you the body you have.
Even if you struggle with its quirks and shape
Know that God is pleased with you, just as you are.