Reality Check

Friday, March 24, 2023

Every now and then, I need a reality check. How about you?

Here is a quick podcast for you.

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One Year of Georgia

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Moving to Georgia was a big blessing from God. We find it to be a place of peace, generosity, and quiet contentment. 

I remember being bothered that my perfect routine was interrupted. Moving is counter-routine. I didn't realize how much in love with my routine I was until I had to change it. 

One year later, I think I changed my routine at least twice. The good thing is that you learn how to include your priorities in your day. 

You also learn that family comes first and everything else can and should wait. 

I'm enjoying the four seasons we enjoy here in this part of the world. The Fall was fantastic. For years I missed North Carolina Falls. The vibrant leave colors made me amazed at God's wisdom every day. The summer was Georgia hot. I made sure to stay cool and hydrated daily. The winter was quite cold. We enjoyed warm soups and a delightful time together as a family. Spring just started but the flower sightings have been sweet. 

There is so much more to explore. I'm happy to explore this area with my family.

The kids are growing so fast. The adults have grown too. We are growing in our faith and devotion to God. 

We moved here because my husband works at a place called New Hope. Hope is my favorite word and anchor. Here is a Bible verse with the word "hope":

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”” Lamentations‬ ‭3:21-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Having hope in the midst of change is the best. Thank God we are where He wants us to be.

More in this series:

Two months of Georgia

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What I learned this Winter 2023

Friday, March 17, 2023

Here is what I learned in the winter of 2023:

• The beginning of winter was harsh. While we enjoyed the holiday season, I was sick for a bit of it. I am grateful I was able to fully recover. I describe it as harsh because it felt like we were constantly adjusting to the new while recovering from the old year. The magic of winter is that together, our family can conquer mountains whether they are mountains of laundry, dishes or events, we do conquer with togetherness. 

 • We saw the faithfulness of God in our lives. He is graciously giving us opportunities to serve Him and His people. We are humbled and grateful. 

 • I realized I get to be the expert in navigating difficult weeks (and seasons). Complaining is easy. Praying, coming up with a plan and working hard are the tools of the mature. 

• People are in different places when it comes to their ability to handle friendships. Some have more friends than they can handle. Others are so burdened by the heaviness of their current relationships, they don't possess the emotional availability to have you in their lives. First impressions in this case are often correct. At least mine have been on point.

• When friends are few and far away, it is wise to remember who you are as a friend. You're a good friend. You will have good friends at some point. It is wise to reach out to friends and family who love you and give them all your kindness and care.

• I stopped knocking on the doors of friendships who would not open up for me. In some instances, my hands were bloody from knocking so much. My knees scratched from kneeling and asking for earthly forgiveness that wouldn't come. I got up when I realized that it was up to me to be at peace. Walking away produced peace. I'll take it.

• This winter I stopped asking "why." I stopped having nightmares of how I wish things would have been. I'm so glad. When you're at peace, your inner life reflects that calm.

• Our winter was filled with music competitions and camps for the kids. There was also a lot of practices, a lot of try outs and performances. It's been a joy to see them grow up as musicians.

• When you truly decide you want to accomplish a goal, all sorts of helpers show up to encourage you. In my negativity, I'd think the opposite would be my reality. This Winter, I received a lot of encouragement and support to reach my health goals. I was also able to encourage people who are close to me everyday as they tackle their personal goals.

• I am learning to be a better listener this Winter. This very thing has been on my to-become list for many many years. I'm finally doing something about it. I'll have to write more about my lessons once I fully become a better listener.

• This winter I was reminded that I have a lot of progress to accomplish when it comes to gratitude. You'd think I know better but nope. I'm still learning, still applying Godly wisdom and still practicing gratitude from the heart. 

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  
Fall 2022

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Weight Loss and side effects

Thursday, March 16, 2023

WW recently acquired a tech company to provide a comprehensive weight management program. This merger doesn't come without controversy. In my world think there are more important things to consider than the question "should I take medication to lose weight or not?"

I believe that each individual is an expert in their own body. They would make the decisions that best fit them and their lifestyle. Having strong opinions in this area is similar to making someone run a marathon with you. I love distance running but I know a lot of people who hate it as much. Running marathons should be a voluntary experience, not a forced one. 

The WW community talks about weight loss as a journey. I want to propose that the journey you choose has side effects.

Taking medication has side effects. I remember taking a weight loss pill in college. My heart started racing so fast. I wasn't feeling like myself. I decided I needed good health and energy to work and study. I stopped taking those pills immediately.

Going on what I call a "starvation" diet has side effects. Other than feeling miserable, my body revolts. It is difficult to get back to a normal eating routine. I had to let that go completely. What I call "starvation" diet is just that: a diet with a seriously low amount of calories.

I heard stories of many people who made the choice to have weight loss surgery. While I am glad it worked for them, it is not an option for me. I respect people's choices and I often pray they will have wisdom to choose what works for them. Most people I know who had surgery never asked for my opinion but they welcomed my support and encouragement. 

I believe we can live in a world where we can coexist. No matter what choice we make, we can all support one another to get healthier. We can encourage one another to find the solution that best suits their desired lifestyle. 

Side effects do not discriminate. 

The journey I chose has side effects. I don't talk about them often but I can tell you they exist. When you choose to eat the way I do, it has side effects. I chose WW as a plan because of my need to be free to eat whatever I choose to eat. When I follow their plan, the side effects are:

• I wake up feeling rested
• I have the energy to fuel my daily activities 
• I have the energy to fuel my workouts 
• I enjoy the foods I eat and I'm often discovering new fruits and vegetables I can try

The exercise journey I chose also has side effects. Running distance had side effects. Currently, 
• I'm getting stronger all over my body. 
• I'm becoming skilled in things I never dreamed I'd do such as wall walks
• I'm learned the proper lifting technique 
• I'm able to lift heavy things at home (such as my cast iron skillet) with ease.

Outside of food and exercise, the journey in life we choose has side effects. I'm proposing everything has side effects and we need to wisely decide which side effects we are okay with us. 

For now, I'm going to refrain from giving opinions in the journeys of others because the only choices I can make are my own. 
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How our thoughts impact our lives

Monday, March 13, 2023

Listen to it here:

Thought Life Questions

When did you first start paying attention to your thoughts? Were you one of those kids who was always lost in their thoughts? Do you think about your thoughts? Do you set aside time to think? I'm not sure if you can tell but I love to think about my thoughts. 

You'd think that with endless scholarship, articles, and books on thoughts, we'd be better stewards of our thought life. I'm here to encourage you to analyze your current thought life and decide what you should do next to improve it. 

How our thoughts impact our lives

Thoughts are important but they are not the root cause of what impacts our lives. What greatly impacts our lives is our decision to walk with God. When you decide to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, you gain salvation, life eternal, and abundant life. Your decision for Christ affects your thinking. 

As a Christ follower, the Bible becomes the anchor of your thought life. We read in 1 Corinthians 2:16 that we have the mind of Christ. We do not operate in the way the world operates. We don't think the way they think. We have the same mind that was in Christ Jesus. 1 Cor. 2:12 says:

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God." 1 Cor. 2:12

A few verses down we find verse 16 which says we have the mind of Christ. 

The thought life you are currently experiencing is like a fruit in a tree. Every fruit comes from a root. You and I need to trace the root and find out why we are experiencing our current thought lives. 

It all starts with awareness. 15 years ago or so, I was living in NC. I was part of a community of Bible-believing Christians who believed in freedom in Christ. They read their Bibles. They took those words of life seriously. I heard story after story of people being set free from negative thought patterns. 

I decided to pay attention to my own thought life. My Bible was and is my main textbook. I also read a few books on the subject of thoughts and thinking from a Biblical perspective. I remember asking for prayer and advice in the area of my thought life. I often heard testimonies of God helping people make progress in that area. People around me were very vocal about what happened to them. All of this encouraged me to pay attention to my thoughts. 

Sometimes, we become aware of our thought life through sermons, conversations with friends, and even counseling sessions. No matter how we become aware, we need to do something with awareness. Ask yourself:

• From 1 to 10 with 10 being excellent and 1 being poor, how do I rate my thought life?

• Why did I rate myself this way? Find an event that led you to earn that rating. 

This initial discovery is a good place to start deciding on what you need to do next. Prayer is always appropriate. 

Pray about your thoughts

God cares about what you are thinking about. He wants you to pray about the current state of your thoughts. He will both lead you and guide you to freedom. 

Since my North Carolina years, I've been praying about my thoughts. God always leads me to be anchored in His word (the Bible). 

When we moved to Texas my kids were little. The demands of life (which were all good) were weighing on me. The cares of all (which are not always good) were heavy too.

I decided that in addition to the Bible reading I was doing daily and going to counseling, I needed to monitor what was going into my mind. After praying, I felt that while I was experiencing freedom in Christ, I could have a better mental space. 

I started to analyze the content I was listening to. My professional training and Masters Degree are in Journalism. I love the news. I love listening to it, reading it and discovering new content. I was feeding my mind with a heavy amount of news. Because I studied journalism, I know that part of the formula is fear. I was feeding fear to my mind for a large amount of daily time. Friend, even 1 second of fear is not ideal for a child of God who wants to live in freedom. Once I realized the problem, I had to vote on the solution. I decided to limit the amount of news I consume on a daily basis. Yes, I'm still informed. No, I am no longer bound by the fear I allowed to enter my mind. 

Freedom begets freedom. I started to pay attention to other content I allowed to enter my mind from other sources: I started unfollowing any podcast or any social media influencer that was not encouraging. Instead of mindlessly listening to what an influencer says, I keep my mind alert. 

Just this morning, I was listening to a motivational speaker. He made a statement about the mind. I said, "this is ungodly." I turned the audiobook off. 

I'm learning that I can be selective about what type of information I allow to enter my mind. 

The enemy's fight is to gain mindless followers who do not guard their hearts. I'm not going to fall for that. Only through God's help and a greater awareness of God's Word than the words of the world, I will be able to do that. 

Awareness is followed by prayer which is followed by a decision to obey God. 

Here are other tools, in addition to daily Bible reading and study, that help me in this area:

• Think on paper - writing my thoughts on paper really helps me. It helps me get rid of stress. It allows me to put my thoughts and feelings in order. If I "think on paper" during my daily Bible reading, it allows me to retain what I learned. Any piece of paper will do. The goal is to start writing. 

• Think about what you think about - Once I started analyzing my thoughts, I discovered that I can:

  1. Trace my thoughts - if my thoughts are serving me okay. If not, I can pray and decide how I am going to change them.
  2. Feed your thoughts - The best food for my thoughts is the Bible. I had to make room for it. I let go of hours of fear-based content to make room for the good news. I also pay attention to other areas of my life such as sleep and hydration. You'd be amazed at how you think better with plenty of sleep and water in your body.  
  3. Speak out loud - if you hear catch a wrong thought pattern trying to take root in your mind, talk back to it. Speak the truth of God. I speak out loud all the time. I don't care who's around. What don't want is to be bound by ungodliness. Speaking out loud breaks that secrecy pattern the silence of our minds carries. It alerts the rest of my body that there is a better way in Christ. 


Changing your thoughts is a lifelong, lifestyle change. It is similar to the process I went through when I needed to lower my blood pressure so my health could improve.

I changed the following things over time:

• The types of foods I eat

• How much I move my body

• The types of restaurants I go to 

• How much I sleep at night 

• How much stress I entertain 

• How I manage stress 

• What I believe the about the foods God created 

• How often I go to the doctor 

• What I teach my children 

• The people I hang out with 

I basically turned into a new person because I decided I wanted a better life. When you change your lifestyle, the way you introduce yourself changes. 

Instead of saying "Hi, I'm a walking heap of stress" I say " Hi, I'm a free woman in Christ." 

I want you to think about how you will introduce yourself once you change your thought life as a Biblical way of living. 

Here are some things you can immediately think about:

Philippians 4:8 (AMP) says, Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

Take action - Feed your thoughts with the Word of God so the source of your thoughts can be Godly. 


Decide what you will do next to improve your situation. 

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