Wednesday, August 21, 2019

How to be happy for others when they get what you want


Jealousy is a common feeling. Before the digital revolution, it was easier to hide it. Now, temptation is everywhere: can we escape its tentacles? Before I justify my yes, let me confess something to you:


I have been jealous of my Facebook friends’ national vacations;
I have been jealous of their international trips;
I have been jealous of the freedom I think their wealth gives them.

I know what jealousy feels like. I dislike that feeling. 


I know I’m supposed to feel happy for others. How in the world do we get there? How do you do it when you feel like you deserve what the other has? 


Jealousy is less about the object of my covetous ways and more about the estate of my heart. Jealousy is a clear sign that I covet something. 


The Bible is very clear about coveting something the other has. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his make servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Deuteronomy 5:21 (NKJV) 


Coveting has been around for a long time. This is the last of the Ten Commandments. As God dictated this command to Moses, I wonder if like me, he noticed how specific God was. God covered eight categories with the last one being all inclusive. 


The first step is to get on the same page as God. God is good. God doesn’t want me to covet. When I covet, I tell God, “your provision for me is not enough.” The more I know Him, the more I realize that God wants what’s best for me. 


The second step requires some action on my part because if I won’t challenge jealousy, I won’t change it. Coveting happens in the most unexpected moments. Often, we get that ugly feeling when we’re browsing on social media. We see it, we sense it and became desensitized unless we challenged it. 


How do you challenge the feeling of jealousy? As soon as you feel jealous, Recognize it for what it is. There’s no reason to pretend you’re not jealous. The goal is not to stay jealous. 
Repent. Ask God for forgiveness. He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

Rediscover God’s best for you. In my case, I realized that God is good. He does not give bad gifts. One day, I too will travel internationally. God has a purpose for this season in my life. When I find contentment, jealousy quickly has to leave. 


Relentlessly pray for the object of your jealousy. Why? When you can pray blessings over their life, that means you have a clean heart before God and jealousy does not have a hold on you.


Remember, if you won’t challenge it, you won't change it. 


If you are my friend on social, please don’t block me. Please, don’t stop posting those perfect vacation photos. I have learned that God’s best for me is to quickly get rid of jealousy so I can have a joyous heart. 


Another tip: if being jealous is a big challenge because of what you constantly see on social, try to take a break. Whatever you do, don’t announce you are taking a social media break. Quietly make your exit with the purpose of applying the 3 Rs: Recognize, Repent, Rediscover. When you come back, your heart will be molded by God. Don’t try to do any of this apart from God’s word. Whatever the word touches, it changes. I know it will change your heart.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

MWLISS: Middle


Middles are difficult. Ideally, I’d try to get through the middle of my weight loss journey so I can cruise to the end. 
I am often reminded that it takes grit to lose the amount of weight I’ve lost. I also know that there are obstacles on my way. While I'm not immune to them, I can be assured that many have done what I am trying to do. They all assure me that it can be done. 
I am trying not to take lazy shortcuts. I refuse not to follow the plan. I refuse to follow a fad diet. Instead, I can find smart shortcuts that will help me stay on plan and succeed. 
I am learning from my mistakes. I am becoming an expert on Cintia. I know what to do to get through busy weeks. I know how to manage stressful weeks. I know how to navigate vacations. I know how to go to different restaurants and parties. To me, this makes the process priceless. I get to live in the world, with the body I was given. The world does not stop because I’m on weight watchers. I need to learn to live well in it. 
I am trying different recipes as well as different approaches to stress management. The goal is for me to manage stress, not to way around. So far, so good.
I still think I can reach my goal in 2019. This is the year I decided to put health first. I am making changes and I know the results will come. 
This past week I lost weight (yes!) I learned not to "eat my feelings." I learned (again) that if I track, I lose weight. I also learned that I have what it takes to reach my goal. Thanks for joining me in this journey!

Stats:
WW start weight: 175 lbs
Current: 154 lbs
First Goal: 150 lbs
Second Goal: 146 lbs
Third Goal: 136 lbs


• Fear
• Daily Choices

Monday, August 19, 2019

Quiet


I have grown accustomed to silence. My silence is strategic, reflective and beautiful. For example, I’ve made a few social media exits since my late adopter years. I noticed a lot of acquaintances were very vocal about leaving Facebook. Of course they all came back - with a fury. Strategic silence allows you to solve issues in private. Once you are ready to be vocal again, you can.


The same strategy works for Facebook Groups and other group chat applications. I can’t tell you how often I felt like turning into a “digital hurricane” and exploding with anger online. Strategic silence helped me gather my thoughts, find wisdom and proceed as a better person.


Reflection guarantees that my silence is productive. The goal is to grow, not to use silence as a weapon. Reflective silence is the opposite of “the silent treatment.” During the silent treatment, one tries to gain attention in a dispute (that’s called manipulation). Reflective silence allows us to have time to look for root causes. It allows different perspectives to arise. The goal is growth.


During a time of reflective silence, I realized that I could do absolutely nothing about the culture of a group I belong to. Reflection allowed me to accept this fact. Wisdom taught me that there will be a time when I will look back at this entire situation. I hope that I will not have any regrets about my silent actions. Reflective silence requires a clean heart. If you can get there, you will have what really matters.

Silence is a great way to allow beauty to shine. I read a quote said “To be quiet is to be beautiful. Flowers do not make noise.” I know this is counter-intuitive. I know there is an entire system that pushes us to be the loudest ones in the room. I have always had the proclivity to do the opposite. It is true that “the loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.” This has nothing to do with personality my friend. The beauty of silence comes from a heart that is secure in who God made them to be.

Do you need some time to be silent? Make sure it is strategic, reflective and it will be beautiful.

Friday, August 16, 2019

MWLISS: Slow


Sometimes, change comes slowly. I hate it but slow is the way to go.
My doctor told me many years ago that losing weight slow (10 lbs a year slow) is a good idea. She told me that I would be able to keep it off way easier than losing a big amount too fast.
She was right.

No matter how challenging my last weight loss efforts have been, I have been able to make steady progress.

This week, I decided not to give up. No matter how slow, I am going to reach my goal. I'm so close and I know exactly what I need to do to get there.

Stats:
WW start weight: 175 lbs
Current: 155 lbs
First Goal: 150 lbs
Second Goal: 146 lbs
Third Goal: 136 lbs

Previously in this Series:
• First week of WW
WW Speak
• Premeditated Portion Control 
• Weights and Measures
• Time
• Carbs & WW
• Proof of Weight Loss
• Why I started
• Fear
• Daily Choices

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The cost of date night in Texas


In Texas the average cost of dinner, drinks, and movie is $99.60, the 25th lowest in the country. The price of regular gasoline as of Aug. 6, 2019 is $2.44 (8th lowest in the country) according to USA Today. There are other costs such as babysitting couples need to consider.

I believe in date nights. They are a great way to invest in my marriage. Zeke and I are in year 13 of marriage and we are enjoying the benefits of going on dates on a regular basis. We are not immune to the barriers that are part of scheduling a date.

We don't spend $99.60 each time we go out. What we count are the benefits instead of being burned with the cost of going on a date night.  Here's how we make the best out of it:

We make it a priority - We put it in my schedule and getting a helper (sitter) involved in the process.

We get help  - Our children are small, so we still need help in order to go on dates. Last year, we went on dates during lunch time at work. That was also a great way to connect. I understand that not everything can afford a babysitter. I know everyone can find a creative solution.

We enjoy the experience - I can look back at my super early years of marriage and see that I was so eager to get this date thing right that I wasn’t really enjoying the experience. I was concerned about what I needed to talk about. I would hear a podcast on the subject and bring my 52 questions to ask Zeke during a date. It was awkward. As the years rolled by, I learned to enjoy the experience. The more I focused on relaxing, the easier it became.

Marriage is so important. I find delight in invest because of the rewards I cannot count such as a deeper connection with my husband.