Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fathers Day!!!

Twenty Two years ago I had to tell Mike that I was pregnant! I was so scared as I was only 16 years old. Our influences around us tried to convince us to have an abortion; we were so young and really had no means to provide for a child.

But nothing has ever gotten in the way for Mike. He has always embraced every challenge that has come along sacrifically! Not only did we have our first born son, Kirk, but continued our family to have Owen and Lyvvie. The entire time Mike has provided for his family.

Mike has an amazing work ethic. Not only has he taught his children this but also to have integrity and good character. Mike has not had a positive, father, role model in his life so in order to leave a legacy behind we have had to stand on the front lines and create a model for the next generation on our own. We have equally done well at this task as we have made many mistakes. We have had some positive, influential people along the way that we could lean on for support and encouragement.

Mike not only is an amazing Father but he has been a wonderful husband. We have had our share of ups and downs, in fact, our marriage almost did not make it at year 13. Mike found the Lord and was saved by grace! Not only that but God restored our marriage and we will celebrate our 21st anniversary this fall! Praise God.

Through these last 22 years of Mike being a Father he has put his family first, worked hard to provide for his family, and has been a great role model for not only his two amazing sons but his beautiful daughter! Today as I reflect on Father's Day I wanted to make sure I spoke into who he is. Mike would never do this for himself because he is very humble..

I am so blessed to have this man in my life. He is my best friend, my husband, and the Father of our three children! I hope you have a wonderful day Mike, you deserve this...even though it's a made up holiday!! ;)

Love you.. Happy Father's Day! ♡♡♡♡


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Weight Loss Journey

I officially hit my 40 pound mark so I decided I would be brave enough to post pictures.

The thing about weight loss is it is so easy to fall off the band wagon when things don't go the way you want them too. Or because it is a journey of perseverence. We want instant results and weight loss is such a gradual thing.

Like I mentioned before I decided to loose weight back in 2011 but hurt my back so I'm at it again. But this time is a little different. Where I'm focused on getting healthy and because of that the pounds are coming off!! (Whoop whoop)

There is so much I never knew or didn't take the time to learn.  I always saw people around me using food as a way of losing weight but I just never wanted to do that; in fact, I always believed I never struggled with food because there were many many days where I would not even eat at all.  The inconsistency was killing me. My body was storing up the fat causing me to gain weight.
The other problem I struggle with is the lack of sleep. I never realized how much that plays into the factor of weight gain. Who would have thought a lack of sleep can contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle. Sadly, this is the hardest pattern to correct for me!
Another issue was my water intake. There were days I drank plenty and days I hardly drank at all! Again the problem was inconsistency!!
And yet another issue, due to my back, I couldn't exercise. If I had a good day I would work for 10 minutes but never enough time to be intentional or enough time to really get the heart pumping. But even before my back I have had a lazy tendency towards exercise. Let's be real! :)
So I started to see a pattern with what I was doing in my life.. it wasn't necessarily  what I ate but it was the inconsistency of all the things that matters in a healthy lifestyle.
Again, I never looked at these issues before I just decided to jump on a bandwagon try to loose weight and if I didn't do it quick enough I would fall off!! I had no idea all these other issues played a huge key into a  successful weight loss and a journey to becoming healthy.
Lastly I had to realize that my journey to healthy will look differently than your journey to healthy and visa versa. We can not compare because we all struggle with different things. Our focus may be a bit different than the next person. So focusing on our own race will help. We definitely need accountabilty and having a friend to help support and encourage you is so beneficial because  this is way more than a physical change or an appearance change. Becoming healthy is so more than that;  it is mentally changing your perspective, & it is emotionally draining and yet rewarding. 
I am blessed to have an amazing accountability partner. She and I have walked so many of the same seasons in our lives, so it only made sense to share in this journey as well. Her focus is a bit different as she is learning that her body is intolerant to many things. So adjusting to meet the needs of her body has been challenging in and of itself. But we are able to offer words of encouragement, or ideas, or simply just a conversation about it!
I don't have all the answers, I am still learning but I am making slow progress.. I am taking it one day at a time.. and that is all I can do!! :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

It's been TWO YEARS

     I can't believe it's been 2 years since we moved to Tennessee!!!! As I sit here this morning and reflect on the last two years; as in any season of time there have been a wide arrange of emotions through the ups and downs, twists and turns!
      We often think things will go a specific way if we carefully calculate it, plan it, organize it and see it through. However God's plans are not our plans and his ways are not our ways.

"We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps." Proverbs 16:9

     I was talking with a friend the other day and explained how I feel most of my life has some form of a waiting season mixed within the current season of life I am in at the time. But think of seasons in terms of the weather. We wouldn't expect to wear a winter coat in the summer, or a bathing suit in the winter.. but we will get rain no matter the season. I feel this is like waiting. We must give up certain things when they are no longer needed while in the current season of life;  but need to be prepared for the rain or waiting at all times. It's in the waiting we learn valuable lessons if we are prepared and willing to learn what is put before us. Each time will bring a degree of difficulty and in that we must Trust that God's plan is in His perfect timing.

     So as I was reflecting on these past years, a few things haven't gone exactly the way I thought they would go, but we also have had unexpected blessings we weren't counting on as well. It's amazing all the things that can happend in a short period of time. Life passes us by in a blink of an eye sometimes..

~My oldest son, Kirk, turned 21
~My daughter had her sweet 16
~Owen graduated from High school
~Lyvvie got her driver's license
~Mike & I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary
~We planted our ministry "The Tiny Home Village"
~The boys moved out into their own place
~Lyvvie just finished her sophomore year

     These are just a few highlights of the past two years. While I can't control how fast life passes us by I can surely try to embrace it. During these two years I have had to walk a few valleys and put my eyes on the God who has made it all. I have experienced a view mountain tops praising God for the experiences..
     One of the BIGGEST blessings I have been through just recently is the healing of my back! Five long years of suffering, and in God's timing He is slowing, bit by bit, making me stronger! I could scream from the roof tops knowing how good He is!!   In doing my part I have decided to venture down the long road of becoming healthy!  (Not that God needs us to do anything for Him to give us a free gift of GRACE) The journey is long but I'm taking it one step at a time! I had tried back in 2011 before I herniated my discs again. I had ran 4 5Ks that summer and was feeling great. I fell off the bandwagon pretty hard when I hurt my back,  but in life when we fall down we must get back up again! I wished it hadn't taken me 5 years to get back up but  it did.. and now I'm doing something about it!! :)   Since January I have lost 37 pounds. I want to be used by God without any limitations! I don't have a specific number as my focus isn't on the scale. But, I do want to be healthy and so however much I need to loose to do that I want to! I don't want it to just be about weight though. For too long I had focused on food being a form of diet, if we chose to partcipate or not,  not taking into any account of the nutritional value it provides.  Becoming healthier is not just about the food; It's about the habits, the patterns, the mental & emotional mindset, it's about the water intake & the exercise. There is so much to learn. I get discouraged easily but again I'm learning about Progress and taking it one step at a time!
    One of the things we are still praying and waiting for is land for the The Tiny Home Village. At times I have questioned it even wondered why there was so much movement for awhile and then really nothing right now. I do know that when a tree grows in order to see its fruit the roots must be established. We never see the growth of the roots but do see the fruit a tree produces. I would like to think the roots of the ministry is growing so that it will bear much fruit in due season!
     Our family has developed some good friendships these past two years. We have been so blessed by God's goodness as He knows exactly who we need in our lives at just the right moment!!  On the other hand I have really struggled with the fact God has removed some great friends from our lives as well!! 

     I am thankful we serve a God who has everything in the palm of His hands. While we may not see the reason behind certain situations or circumstances we can trust that God's has a plan for each of our lives!! 

 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Overcoming


     Today for Mother's Day we decided to take a hike up in the Great Smoky Mountains to Spruce Flats Falls.  It's a strenuous two-mile hike there & back. Since I herniated my discs in my back about 5 years ago I've suffered through a great deal of pain. The journey has been long, and weary at times but I have believed that God would heal my back in His timing.
      In December I decided to go back on a weight loss Journey to help my back.  I wanted to be healthy so that I can be used by God to my fullest potential. Since December I have lost 35 lbs! I have a long ways to go but I am overcoming one of the hardest battles in my life currently. I am overcoming by God's strength. The more I actively respond the more He does!! I am beyond blessed by His goodness and bit by bit He is doing a miraculous healing!! Those who have been around know the level and the depths to which I have suffered and for me to have completed this hike is nothing short of a miracle in and of itself!
      I will continue to bring His name glory in the journey to loose weight and to gain strength in my back! I take it one day at a time, as I have many days I still struggle. I want to focus on the positive and today on Mother's day I enjoyed a hike and for that I am extremely grateful!!!!!

Isaiah 55:11 "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."