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Women Living Well Blog: May 2009

Women Living Well Blog

Friday, May 29, 2009

Games for Traveling in the Car With Kids

We all know how hard it is to travel with kids in the backseat - although nowadays with video games and car DVD players it is much easier than when I was a child. But with my little ones, long car trips are still daunting and about 2 years ago I began to research fun car trip ideas and over the years I've collected them and tried out many of these - so since summer is here and you probably have some vacation plans - this might be useful!

My top 7 favorite games to play in the car:

1. The Ticket System: Before my kids could read a clock or estimate how long - 7 hours is - I began a ticket system. Before we leave home I cut strips of paper - a different color for each child and put them in baggies. Then I give the baggies to the children once the drive has begun - and they are so excited to have their OWN bag. Then every 30 minutes they give me a ticket. (So if we are going on a 7 hour car trip I put 14 tickets in their bag). I tell them when the bag is almost empty - we are almost there - and when the bag is empty - we are there! This is a fun way for them to keep track of the time passing and they don't ask "are we there yet"?

2.Red Car/Yellow Car Choose a color and watch for a car of that color. Whoever spots the right color car first calls out, "(Color) Car!" and then gets to choose a different color for the next car.

3. Alphabet Hunt Using the alphabet, starting with A, watch out the window for road signs, billboards, store signs, etc. with the called out letter. Once you find an "A" move on to "B" and so on until you complete the alphabet. Then repeat!

4. Number Hunt Similar to above but use numbers. Watch out the window for numbers from 1-9, in order.

5. Scavenger Hunt - have the children look for these items - since my children are little and can't read I print up pictures of these items and we cross them off as we go.

Flashing red light
Grocery store
Railroad tracks
Billboard with child on it
Billboard with cat on it
Police officer

Flashing traffic light
Grocery store
Person on a bicycle
Flower garden/snowman
Pickup truck

Railroad tracks
Post office or school
Dirt road
Pond or lake
A fence
Gas station

Tall building
Lake or pond
Person on a bicycle
Red car
Stop sign
Person wearing a hat

6. License Plate Game See how many different license plates you can find. Keep track of what states, provinces or countries you see plates from. The person who finds the most plates wins!

7. Animal Naming Game - You have to name an animal in alphabetical order. If a letter sounds like one, but really isn't, you do the real letter. For letters like q,x,y, you don't have to do, but you get an extra turn if you do.Submitted by Fashion Queen is an excellent resource for more fun travel tips.

Walk with the King!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Book Review: The Hole In Our Gospel

Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision has a new book out titled "The Hole In Our Gospel". As I cracked open this nearly 300 page book I found a biography of a man that compelled me. Richard was a godly husband and father to 5 children and was the President of Lenox China before giving up his Jaguar, large home, and large salary to become the President of World Vision. He went from living the country club lifestyle to sitting in grass huts in Uganda feeding children who are starving. Why? Why did he give up the American dream?

Richard told the story of a pastor friend who went through the Bible literally cutting out with scissors, all the verses on poverty and then when he preached on poverty, he held his ragged, tattered Bible in the air and said "Brothers and sisters, this is our American Bible; it is full of are all the Biblical texts we ignore."

Richard goes into full detail about the epidemic of poverty in our world that American Christians just simply ignore. 26,500 children will die today due to causes related to poverty - whether it's starvation, dirty water, ravages of war, disease or AIDS. That's the equivalent of 100 jet liners crashing just today! He knows how Americans value our airplanes and hate to see one crash - so he compares the statistic to a plane wreck.

If we hear the story of a child dying in a car accident - we are sad for the family. But if we learn that it is our next door neighbor's child who died we are deeply grieved for the family. And if our own child dies - well - our world is turned upside down. For some reason we place less value on the children dying half way around the world than we do our own children - but GOD DOES NOT!

Oh, this book was so convicting as it told stories of children eating dirt patties with butter to ease their starving bellies. As I imagined the orphans of the AIDS epidemic spending most of their day looking for food and retrieving dirty water - I felt convicted about my own children and how they turn their noses up at their peanut butter and jelly sandwich that doesn't have the crust cut off!

What does God expect us to do about all this poverty? Richard reminds us of Matthew 25 where Jesus speaks of judgement day. Jesus says that the criteria for dividing the sheep from the goats will be:

"When I was hungry you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."

The righteous ask "when did we see you hungry Lord?" And Jesus replied "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine , you did for me. Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you who are cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink..." And the righteous went to eternal life.

Wow - did you catch that? - the people who did not feed the hungry or give drink - went to eternal fire! God has a pretty STRONG opinion on what he expects us to do - wouldn't you say??? If you are like me - you spend much of your Christian days trying to do what is right as a mom, wife and servant in the church - avoiding the really bad sins. But this "squeaky clean" approach is not what God is looking at on judgement day. God is not just looking at our faith - but our evidence of our faith - and specifically - how we helped the poor.

I have to admit and be open here - this book completely humbled me - at one point in the book - I literally stopped reading and said out loud "shut up!" and began to cry. I am deeply grieved by my failure in this area.

I have shared much of my reading with my husband and children and I hope to make some strides forward in this area as a family - the task is so overwhelming but this one quote motivates me to try - "Don't fail to do something because you can not do everything."

I recommend this book and also want to encourage you to go to World Vision's website to see if there is anything that you can do to help those in need.

Walk with the King!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A "Must Read" For the Summer

Yep - this book is a summer MUST READ - it's revolutionary, life changing, extraordinary, eye opening, jaw droppingly amazing. It is filled with romance, love, good and evil. There is suspense, drama, wisdom and comfort. As you read you will weep and you will jump for joy - can you guess what book I'm suggesting as your first summer pick - the Bible!

This should seem so obvious yet - isn't it easier to pick up a novel, self-help book, cookbook or magazine for your summer reading enjoyment? I am guilty of it myself. I LOVE to read and I feel like a good book is like a good mentor to me.

Sometimes these other reading materials steal my time away from the ONE book that is most extraordinary on the planet - the Bible. It's in the Bible that we find direct words from God. There is no other place in this world that you will find direct words from God - so why do we neglect his word? Don't we want to hear from God?

Reading God's word is not a one day ordeal. It's not meant to be read on Sunday and then closed until the following Sunday. God wants us to hunger and thirst for his living water. He wants us to find refreshment, comfort and satisfaction through his word. David uses the analogy of a deer in Psalm 42 "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God." Are you thirsting for Jesus or have you made yourself so busy and so full of other "junk" that you don't even know your souls greatest need - time with God.

Do you want to be a better wife? Study your Bible. Do you want to be a better mother? Study your Bible. Do you want to be a better homemaker? Study your Bible. Those magazines sure are inviting and enjoyable and don't get me wrong - you might just see me reading one on the beach - BUT it lacks the power that God's word has.

Do you charge your cell phone daily? I do. If I don't have power to recharge my phone - it goes dead. You need to plug into God's power daily. You need to be recharged by his words and his strength daily. Reading God's word daily will change the entire course of your life. So I encourage you to be sure you take your Bible along everywhere this summer - outside while the kids are playing, to sport's practices, to the pool, on vacation, and to waiting rooms - buy a tiny one that you can slip in your purse or write out verses on note cards and carry them along with you! Do not let the lazy days of summer make you lazy in your walk with God!

My friend Julie over on Come Have a Peace is doing a series on "Plan to Be Refreshed". She says..."If you don't plan ahead for dinner, you're more likely to have frittata a la freezer. If you don't plan ahead what you'll wear to work or for a night out, you're more likely to go wrinkled (my personal favorite), late (better that than never), or feeling dowdy (it happens). If you don't plan ahead to send a birthday card, you're more likely to fall into the "belated wishes" category (oh, but do still send them). Bible Study is the same way, maybe worse, since there's an enemy working against our success."

If you need help in this area - join Julie for her series this week - Okay I gotta run and get off this blog so I can go read my Bible!!!

Walk with the King! He loves you so!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tasty Tuesday - Easy Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Dessert


2 refrigerated rolls of cookie dough
2 8oz cream cheese softened
2 cups of sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

In a 9x13 spread one roll of the cookie dough.

Then mix the rest of the ingredients together and spread them over the cookie dough.

Spread the 2nd roll of cookie dough over the top of the cream cheese mixture.

Bake it at 350 for 35 minutes - until brown.

This recipe can be cut in half and done in an 8x8.

For more blog mom recipes go to:


Monday, May 25, 2009

Are You a Planner?

This weekend we took the kids on a penny walk. What is a penny walk you may ask? A penny walk is when you go for a walk with a penny and at each corner you allow the children to flip a penny - if it's heads you turn right, if it's tails you turn left.

When you go for a walk in your neighborhood do you find yourself always going on the same path? We are creatures of habit so once we find a way that is comfortable we rarely shift from our comfort zone.

I must admit that the penny walk made me uncomfortable at times. It made me turn and head too far from home when I was tired, it took us past a house I avoid with BIG dogs, it made us go in a a circle one time - which was funny and then the worst thing happened! My son lost his penny! You would have thought his puppy died! He had a hard time rebounding from his loss and spent the last few minutes of the penny walk pretty sad. What could be worse than losing your penny on a penny walk???

I am a planner - I like to plan my day, my week and well - I'd plan out my entire year if I could. Are you a planner? Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Although I do believe that God wants me to be organized and wise about how I spend my day - and that requires planning - he does not want me to be so inflexible with my plan, that I do not seek Him and as a result step out of his will for my life. God is my penny - he wants me to ask him - which way do I go Lord? What should I do next? And then he wants me to put my trust in him and follow him.

The one thing I am SURE of, is when you are in the center of God's will there is a "peace that passes all understanding which will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6,7) This peace will get you through the toughest times - because you know you are smack dab in the center of where God wants you.

About 5 years ago, I was in my comfort zone. I had one little boy and another sweet thing on the way. I had the next 5 years of my life planned out - then God brought along a job change for my husband that took me WAY outside my comfort zone. At every turn, my husband and I have sought God - is this the way we should go? God faithfully answered. At the next turn, again we would seek God - now which way do we go? Again, God faithfully answered. Sometimes - like the penny walk - God took us on unknown paths, he took us on paths way outside our comfort zone, he took us on scary paths, and sometimes it felt like we were just spinning in circles going no where at all! But we certainly have not lost our penny!!! And as the penny says right on it "In God We Trust".

If you are at a crossroads today - please don't go forward without first seeking God. Wait on him to give you direction - and then go forward in peace. When you are walking with God daily - you will know his voice. Draw near to God - be still - listen - what is it that he is trying to tell you? Even if it takes you way outside your comfort zone - go now and obey. In God We Trust.

Have a Happy Memorial Day today! If you have some free time, take your kids on a penny walk and tell them about how God is their penny.

Walk with the King!

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Praying for Your Children

Last night some friends were over and we made "Prayer Cards" for our children. Aren't their cards adorable! I love them and am so excited to begin to implement them today!! I posted this list of prayers for children last month - but I thought I'd list them again for anyone who missed them.

Parenting is a challenge and we must not try to do it alone! Remember we have access to the God of the universe and we must never fail to pray for our children. Every phase of life has it's challenges with our children. It seems that as soon as my children are trained in one area they begin to fail in another - or often times I am disciplining them over and over in the same area - and I wonder "will they ever get it?".

Remember that God is at work in your life as much as he is at work in your child's life. He is purifying you both through this process. Through our children, our weaknesses (and sinfulness) are revealed. I never realized how selfish, short-tempered and inpatient I was until I had kids! And those are some very ugly character qualities that I must not accept into my life.

So, as I battle my flesh I must walk closely with God - pray hard - call on his name in times of trouble and temptation and model for my children a mom who is loving, kind, patient, joyful, at peace, gentle, and self-controlled. None of these qualities come naturally in our flesh - they come by walking in the Spirit and through prayer and God's word we draw close to God and he enables us to walk in the Spirit. So as this holiday weekend is upon us, I encourage you to get on your knees and pray for your children. If you don't, who will?

Here are some verses you can pray over them:

1. When they wake up: "Let the morning bring (child's name) word of your unfailing love, for she has put her trust in You. Show (her/him) the way (she/he) should go, for to you (he/she) lifts up her soul." (Adapted from Psalm 143:8)

2. When they are getting dressed: "Therefore, as God's chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Lord, help (him/her) bear with others and forgive whatever grievances (he/she) has against others. Help (him/her) forgive as the Lord forgave (him/her). And over all these virtues, help (him/her) put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14)

3. While they are eating: "Teach (child's name) the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach (him/her) that (he/she) can do everything through him who gives (him/her) strength." (Adapted from Philippians 4:12-13)

4. When they go out of the house: "(Name of child), do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Adapted from Romans 12:2)

5. While they are taking a bath: Lord, give (name of child) clean hands and a pure heart, and let (him/her) not lift (his/her) soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let (him/her) receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God (his/her) Savior. Let (him/her) be part of the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. (Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6)

6. When they are going to bed: "The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, be will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

7. While they are sleeping: "I pray that (name of child) will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that he/she may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which he/she shines like a star in the universe as he/she holds out the word of life-in order that he/she may boast on the day of Christ that he/she did not run or labor for nothing." (Adapted from Philippians 2:14-16)

Walk with the King!

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thrifty Thursday: Free Summer Activities for Little Ones

So are you wondering what in the world you are going to do to entertain your little ones ALL summer long!! Well I found the most awesome extensive list of fun things to do over on Adventures in Diapering!

She has listed "100 Fun Activities" - I narrowed down the list to my favorite 50 but to see the entire list of 100 go to her site. My plan is to print this page, hang it up and mark them off as I do them. I know so many times in the morning the kids will whine "what are we doing today?" Now I'll look at the list and pick one fun activity to do with them and cross it out - this just helps me to be more creative and intentional about my time spent with them.

50 Boredom Busters!

  1. Make a Dog House out of a Box

  2. Play the "Hot/Cold" Game

  3. Have an Easter Egg Hunt- Anytime of the Year!

  4. Help Them Make a Letter/Picture to Mail to One of Their Friends

  5. Have a Picnic in the Living Room (this is something we do regularly)

  6. Make Cut-out cookies (share some with the neighbors or a Sunday School teacher)

  7. Take a Walk Somewhere New

  8. Make Sock Puppets

  9. Create Your Own Movie

  10. Plant Some Flowers or Vegetables From Seeds

  11. Lie Down on a Blanket Outside and Name the Animals You See in the Clouds

  12. Have an Indoor Pretend Campfire

  13. Have a PJ Party (we do these regularly too - we all sleep in my sons room on the floor)

  14. Play Restaurant (I did this as a surprise for my family one night. I made menus, transformed into a waitress and made the kids pretend to pay me - it's a fun twist for dinner - even my husband enjoyed this!!!)

  15. Go for a Nature Walk

  16. Have a Scavenger Hunt (my kids LOVE to make these for me and it keeps them busy hiding things for over half an hour - and it only takes a few minutes for me to follow the clues)

  17. Make Collages (give them old magazines or ads - this will keep their hands busy for a long time - love it!)

  18. Finger Paint with Chocolate Pudding (I've never tried this but we will this summer)

  19. Have a Popcorn Movie Night (this is a regular in the winter time)

  20. Write a Story Together

  21. Act Out a Bible Story (this is an excellent teaching tool)

  22. Play on a Playground- TOGETHER! (burn a few calories!)

  23. Set up a Pretend Hospital (my husband loves this cause he gets to lay on the couch for an hour while the children dote on him!)

  24. Count Your Blessings- Seriously, Make a List and Count them.

  25. Exercise and Stretch Together

  26. Have a Bike Wash

  27. Go Pebble Hunting

  28. Have a Color Theme

  29. Look at Old Family Photos Together (my kids LOVE to see their baby photos)

  30. Make a Fruit-Loop Necklace

  31. Color Pictures to Send to Family Members that Live Far Away

  32. Have a Reading Day- Check Out a Ton of Books from the Library, and Then Spend all Afternoon Reading (perfect for the next rainy day!)

  33. Have a Tea Party

  34. Set Up an Obstacle Course (my son does this regularly on the driveway for his sister)

  35. Decorate Your Bikes and Have a Little Parade (we did this one year for the 4th of July with streamers and all!)

  36. Play with Shaving Cream

  37. Have a Pots and Pans Musical Band

  38. Make Pet Rocks

  39. Build a Fort Out of Blankets

  40. Play Volleyball Using a Balloon

  41. Create an Alphabet Book

  42. Play Red Light/Green Light

  43. Play Indoor Basketball Using a Laundry Basket and Stuffed Animals

  44. Create a Mini-Salon and Give Each Other Funny Hair-Dos

  45. Play Freeze Tag

  46. Go Bug Hunting in the Backyard (another one of my sons favorite past times! Ick!)

  47. Decorate Cupcakes and take them to a neighbor

  48. Learn About a Different Country

  49. Have a Backwards day

  50. Play hide and seek (I love to count very slowly and then go from room to room uncluttering while I "pretend" to look for them - they are having fun and I get work done - is this wrong? Maybe I shouldn't have admitted this!!! haha!)

Walk with the King!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weight Loss: Self- Control vs. Gluttony

Proverbs 23:20, 21 say “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” Gluttony is eating without restraint. I have never been drunk but I see the correlation between the two. They both cause drowsiness and essentially ineffectiveness for God’s kingdom.

Proverbs 28:7 declares, “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.” And Proverbs 23:2 says, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” That's pretty harsh isn't it? But those are God's words not mine! The ability to say “no” to anything in excess is self-control (a fruit of the Spirit - Gal. 5:22). Gluttony is the opposite of self-control.

Think for a moment - If you saw a friend getting drunk you might have a talk with her. But if your friend orders an appetizer, dinner, AND dessert I doubt anyone would say anything about that. It’s the norm. If I complained I was so full that I felt sick – I don’t think anyone would be offended.

Gluttony destroys the body and is careless Christian living. In America, many diseases are on the rise as a result of gluttony. The rampant obesity in our culture is a result of gluttony (in most cases) and many people are reaping the harsh consequences of this sin that is rarely discussed in church yet is prevalent.

Food is a gift - obsessing over every little bite we take and worrying that we might gain a pound is not appreciating the gift of food that God has given us. But likewise, indulging in food to the point of gluttony is abusing the gift of food.

In Bible times people ate to sustain life - excess was only available to the wealthy. Women had to sweat a bit more doing their household tasks - they did not have washing machines, dish washers and cars to carry their groceries in. The Proverbs 31 woman had "arms strong for the task" and it wasn't from lifting weights - but from doing her daily work. She was not tempted to eat a big mac, fries, soda and ice cream.

Times really have changed and that is why the Bible seems silent on exercise and weight loss. The disciples would probably laugh if they saw the treadmills we run on. The Proverbs 31 lady might find our pilates exercises a bit strange and unnessary. We live in different times - but God's word was applicable yesterday, today and will be tomorrow. The principles of Proverbs stand and we must live by them.
If you are guilty of gluttony - that is you lack self-control with food and over-indulgulge yourself regularly - then the first step toward weight loss is to call gluttony what it is - sin. Repent of your sin.

Remember - on one end of the spectrum is obssession over every bite - that is not living freely. On the other end is gluttony - which imprisons you. In the middle is self-control, balance and freedom. Be free!

Walk with the King!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tasty Tuesday - Dirt Cake

Memorial Day is next Monday and this is the perfect dessert to take to a picnic and I GUARANTEE this is a sure crowd pleaser!!! I've made this a few times but never took a photo but I found one out on the web to share - Do you see the picture? This cake is in a flower pot with silk flowers, dirt (actually Oreo cookies) and gummy worms! Serving this with a shovel sure is fun!! If you can't use it for Memorial Day save this recipe for a cool family summer surprise! It will be a hit!

Dirt Cake (serves 12-15)
2 sixteen ounce packages Oreo Cookies
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 packages (3.9ounces) of instant chocolate pudding
2 1/2 cups milk
1 16oz carton frozen whipped topping thawed
15 gummy worms

1. Chop Oreo cookies very fine in a food processor - set aside.

2. Combine cream cheese, butter and stir until creamy - set aside.

3. In another bowl combine the pudding mix and milk then fold the cream cheese mixture into the pudding. Then fold the whipped cream into the mixture - set aside.

4. In a flowerpot alternate layers of cookie "dirt" and pudding mixture, starting and ending with the cookie "dirt". In each layer of dirt add a couple gummy worms.
5. Chill overnight. (or 4 hours) Add silk flowers and worms on top and serve!

Enjoy this treat!

Walk with the King!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Weight Loss - My Story Part 1

Weight loss - it's just not a fun thought and yet it sells mega amounts of magazines every month! So obviously it's on most women's minds! If you struggle with weight loss I understand. Some who know me may never have thought that I've struggled with this (for most of my life actually). I have two beautiful Godly skinny sisters who both wear size zero. I am around a size 5/7 in Juniors (a 2 in Misses). And since about 5th grade I've been the "curvy" sister. My curves are clearly from my eating habits that differ from my sisters. Moderation has been something I have struggled with from childhood.
Now did your eyes roll when I said what size I wear? Yep - I know - a size 5 is great right? So why in the world do I waste so much energy "feeling fat?" Bagh! I frustrate even myself with my thinking! But this is something our culture has taught us to believe - we aren't good enough - we need to diet diet diet!

I exercise regularly - about 4-5 days a week - I do aerobics, running, weights and pilates. I used to exercise to lose weight and look better in my clothes - but as I said in a post a while back, my reasons for exercising have changed - I now exercise for my health. I simply feel better when I am exercising regularly. I have more energy and less aches and pains.

But I'm still frustrated with the number on my scale. It has not budged in years. I go up and down 3-4 pounds from winter to summer and then back again and my feelings about my weight remain the same - discontent.

So about a month ago I began my typical summer "diet" where I eat more veggies and fruits and go easy on the snacking and desserts. During that time I heard Beth Moore talk about weight loss and she said: "there are two extremes with weight loss: on one end there is neglect and on the other end is obsession - and in the middle there is balance."

That's where we want to be - balanced! If I neglect exercise and eating my fruits and veggies I will not be healthy and able to serve God to my fullest abilities but if I obsess over every bite - my focus is off of Jesus and onto myself and I am not able to serve God to my fullest abilities.

So - I'm on a path to freedom. This culture has sucked me in and I want OUT! I don't want the scale to get me sidetracked from my real goals in life - I want to "press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." (Philippians 3:12b)

But despite my sheer determination I have not arrived and that old nasty voice still whispers in my ear (especially when I try on a swim suit) BUT I have discovered - I simply cannot be free as a zero because I have to obsess over every bite to get there. I also cannot be free if I neglect exercise and eating healthy. I am free as a size 5/7 and I MUST choose to be content there to be free. What size are you free at?

Walk with the King!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Fitness Friday - Using a Medicine Ball to Workout

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." I Corinthians 6:19,20

Let me introduce to you my very good friend Clare! Before entering the fitness industry, Clare received her bachelor's degree in business administration from Walsh University and worked in the corporate world for 7 years. She has been involved with aerobics, pilates and personal training since 2004. Clare has her aerobics, pilates and personal training certification from Fitour. Currently, she is teaching an interval training class at Maranatha Bible Church and pilates classes at Malone College. She has been married to her husband Kory for 5 years and now stays at home full time with their son Sam and is due in just a few weeks to have her second child.

Clare is a regular over on Women Living Well (to see her cute baby bump check out the photo of her with Denise Austin there). And today she's going to show us how to use a new piece of equipment to get fit - the medicine ball!

If you've seen a medicine ball before, you may have looked at it, then quickly walked away thinking that it must be a piece of equipment for athletes only! Do not fear! These weighted balls are a GREAT addition to your home gym and your workout routine. They come in many varieties--handles, no handles, small, large and a variety of pounds. They don't take up a lot of space and will last you a long time. Not only are they great for abdominal exercises, but upper and lower body as well. The exercises performed below are done with an 8 pound ball. If you do not have a medicine ball, you should be able to grab one weight and complete the exercises. (although some of the moves may not be as comfortable)

This month we are going to focus on a full body strength routine with the medicine ball. Click here for a workout plan on how to use the medicine ball for your abs.

Side Step with Press: Grab your medicine ball. Stand with your legs hip width apart. Take your left leg and step directly beside you while pressing the medicine ball forward. Step back to the beginning position. Now, step to the right while pressing the medicine ball forward. Return to starting position. Continue alternating sides. * Be sure to sink into your heels as if you were sitting into a chair when you step to the side. Keep the chest lifted and the shoulders down as you press forward. REPS: A left and right step equals one repetition. Do 8-10 reps for 2 sets

Hinged Over Front Raise: Stand with feet hip width apart with medicine ball in your hand. "Hinge" your upper body forward by leaning over slightly from the hips. You should not be parallel with the floor. (see picture) Keep your gaze toward the floor and your neck long as you raise both arms simultaneously only to the height of your head. Return arms to starting position. Repeat. *Be sure to keep your knees soft and slightly bent as you sink into your heels. REPS: 2 sets of 8-10 reps.

Playtpus Walk: **This exercise may feel a little uncomfortable and odd. Have fun with it! Start with the ball at your hips (both hands holding it) Move into a squat position. Take your right leg and WHILE YOU ARE STILL SQUATTING step up and to the side a little. Now pick up your left leg and step it up to the side. (You are mimicking walking in a squatting position) Do not let the steps be right in front of you but instead off at a slight angle. Once you are comfortable doing this, lift your arms straight up as you are holding the ball and keep them high as you walk forward and back. The arms are stationary in this position. Walk forward x 4, then backward x 4. That is one repetition. REPS: 2-3 sets of 3 total reps

Tricep Overhead Extension: Stand with the medicine ball in both hands. Raise your arms above your head. Keep the elbows pinned high and close to your ears as you press the ball towards the ceiling. Be careful not to let the arms "wing" out to the side and really PRESS the hands as you lift up. You want to think that the only movement in the arms is from the elbow to the hand. The gaze is ahead, not looking at the ball. REPS: 2 sets of 10-12 reps

Glute Lift: Take your medicine ball and go to the floor. Lay with your back, head and arms to the ground. Place both feet on top of the medicine ball. Lift your rear end up to the ceiling as your squeeze through your glutes and hamstrings. Return to starting position. Continue in a slow and controlled motion. REPS: 2 sets of 10-12 MODIFICATION: If you aren't up for the balance challenge of having your feet on the ball, then place your feet firmly on the mat!

"Do what you have to do to take care of your body and be healthy. Exercise - and then get on with it. Get busy serving God - that's our goal." - Beth Moore

Walk with the King!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thrifty Thursday - Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Teachers

I found the most FANTASTIC list of thrifty gift ideas - I just had to share them with you!!! These would be great to give to your children's Sunday School Teachers, Pastors, and School Teachers.

I found these on Skip to My Lou during teacher appreciation week...

“You are out of this world” tag attached to a Milky Way or Mars candy bar

“You deserve an extra payday!” tag attached to a Payday candy bar

“There is no ’sub’stitute for you!” tag attached to a gift card for the local sub shop

“You are ‘extra’ special” tag with a pack of Extra Gum

“Thanks for helping Blake ‘bloom’” tag with a bouquet of flowers

“We appreciate the ‘mounds’ of work you do!” tag attached to a Mounds candy bar

“Thanks for giving Blake a hand” tag with hand lotion

“Thanks a ‘latte’!” tag with a gift card from local coffee shop, special coffees or travel mug

“You are ’souper’! - soup mix, custom decorated soup bowls or homemade soup

“You are a ‘treasure’ tag with Treasures candy

“You really measure up” tag with a cool ruler, yardstick or measuring tape

“You are the apple of our eye” with a basket of apples (construction paper leaves with nice sayings—A+ teacher, you’re special etc. can be hot glued to the stems)

“You are ‘tea’rrific!” tag with a selection of teas

“You deserve a ‘break’ today! Thanks for your hard work” tag with a McDonald’s gift certificates

“You are a smart cookie” tag with homemade cookies

“Thanks for a ‘picture’ perfect year” tag with movie coupons or nice picture frame

“Thanks for making our school year bright” tag with a package of highlighters

“Thanks for helping Blake grow” tag with flower seeds

“You are o’fish’ally the best!” tag attached to Goldfish Crackers

“Thanks for lighting the way” or “You light up our world” with a nice candle

“We are your biggest ‘fan’!”with a cute desk fan, hand held fan or paper fan.

“Thanks for the ‘time’ you spend with Blake” tag on a cute clock, fun watch or pretty appointment book

“We are fortunate to have you!” tag with a Chinese take out box filled with fortune cookies

“You have been a ‘bright’ spot in our year!” tag with a package of highlighters

“You are a joy!” tag attached to an Almond Joy candy bar

“Thanks for giving Blake a hand!” tag attached to work or garden gloves filled with candy

“You have been just ‘write’ for Blake!” package of nice pencils or pens in a case or container

“You rock!” tag with pop rocks, rock candy, Rock Star soft drink or painted rock for a paperweight

“You have been ‘key’ to Blake’s success!” tag attached to a key ring, maybe a pretty handmade beaded one

“We are ‘nuts’ about you!” tag attached to some nuts

“You ‘float’ above the rest” tag attached to a balloon or a fun pool float for the summer

“You are worth more than a 100 grand to Blake!” tag attached to a 100 Grand candy bar

“Here is a ‘pat’ on the back for doing such a great job!” tag attached to a gift certificate for a massage

I thank the Lord for the outstanding Sunday School teachers my children have had this year. Teachers need to know that their investment in our children's lives is appreciated. Take the time to pick up something small and let your children write out the card to show show their gratitude.

Walk with the King!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What If You Knew You Only Had 6 Weeks to Live?

Last night I went to my favorite blog - "Girl Talk Blogs". It's written by 3 close sisters and a Godly mom - (I relate to them a lot since I have two close sisters and a Godly mom.) They had a link to a website titled "Death Is Not Dying" and when I went there I did not expect to find what I found - I found perspective and conviction.

I found a video of a Godly woman. She is just 37 years old with two young children (around ages 5 and 7). She beat breast cancer 5 years ago - but a few months back she learned that her cancer had returned to her liver and from there has spread to her bones and now her skull. Her days have been numbered to 6-16 weeks - but she felt compelled to speak and share with the world her message - "Death is Not Dying".

As I watched her video - my heart was broken for her - she talked of all the times she told her children "no- we can't do a craft right now - it's too messy", "no I don't feel like playing a game", "no - don't jump on the bed - then I'll have to straighten it." As a mom of children of little ones, I so relate to those moments! Cancer has changed everything - especially her perspective of playing with her children. She is finding herself saying - "yes" much more these days.

She profoundly implored her listeners to remember "I am not the only one dying - so are you." We don't know when our days will be up - tomorrow something tragic could happen and you could breathe your last breath. Death is inevitable for all of us.

What if you knew you only had 6 weeks to live? Would you change the way you play with your children? Would you be more patient with your husband? Would you draw nearer to God and care less about temporal things. Surely our perspective would change.

I know this video can be lengthy - and for moms with little ones it will be hard to get through the entire thing - but even if you only hear 10 minutes - I know that you will find encouragement to live your life completely surrendered to God.

When the video ended - I proceeded with my nightly ritual - I headed to the treadmill. As I walked down the stairs conviction hit me - I need to thank God for my healthy body. Too often I wish I were a different "cup size" when I should be thanking the Lord for my cancer free cup! Too often I wish the number on the scale was smaller when I should be thanking the Lord for my good health! God, forgive me for those days I am discontent with my healthy body. Thank you for giving me another day to hear the birds sing, to see the sun shine, to kiss my sweet husband and listen to the laughter of my children. Help me to live my life completely surrendered to you.

Walk with the King!

To read more about finding hope as a loved one battles cancer go to: Lorrain's Story


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tasty Tuesday - Easy Taco Salad

This salad is perfect to take to summer picnics and is so simple.

Doritos Taco Salad Recipe
1 lb. ground beef
1 head iceberg lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite site pieces
1 envelope of taco seasoning
1 medium sized tomato, diced
1 bag of nacho Doritos
1 bottle French Dressing
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef. Drain fat. Toss with dry taco seasoning. (Please note: this recipe does not call for water.) Set aside until cool. In a large bowl add lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Then right before you serve it add the beef, Doritos and dressing and mix.

Mmmm... a sure crowd pleaser!

Walk with the King!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Are You Gentle?

On April 24th I shared with you all that I had begun a " 30 Day Gentleness Challenge". For the last 18 days, 4 moms and I have been keeping each other accountable as we work on displaying the fruit of the Spirit - gentleness - our goal was to work on not raising our voices or speaking harsh words to our children. So every morning we report to each other how we did the previous day.

We want to abide by Proverbs 15:1 "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" and Proverbs 31:26 "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." It seems that with our children - the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

So you wanna know how I'm doing??? Hmmmm...should I tell the truth??? The good news is I have not raised my voice to the children in 18 days - that is a victory - does that sound terrible to admit that I do raise my voice at them from time to time?

But in the area of keeping my words wise and gentle - rather than harsh and critical - I have failed... well a number of times. One day I thought I had done quite well being patient with my son, who was refusing to clean his room. He gave me a bit of attitude and lip about it. Rather than giving him a consequence and then walking away - I instead chose a choice lecture. After the long winded lecture - I realized - wow - that wasn't gentle speech. I was completely convicted and realized that I give "harsh lectures" from time to time that need to be ejected from my life! I quickly apologized to him and sought out his forgiveness.

The best part of this challenge is that God's word and Spirit are shining light on dark areas of my life. There are things that in "secret" no one sees - but God is bringing light to those dark areas and because I have humbled myself to the conviction of the Spirit, I am being freed from Satan's grip.

It has been refreshing to realize that the other 4 moms struggle too - I am not alone. There has been no room for pride - we have all been open and honest with our failings and as a result I feel like real change and transformation has come to our homes! Thank you Jesus for freeing us!

Join me in my freedom - and pursue gentleness in your life. Pursue it not just in parenting but in all your relationships - as you deal with your husband, extended family members, co-workers and fellow Christian friends.

Romans 8:37 says "In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." There are 12 days left in this challenge...We cannot do this in our flesh - we must walk in the Spirit if we want to be conquerors. Are you gentle?

Walk with the King!

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!

A friend of mine wrote a cute poem appropriate for the occasion!


Ten, Eight, Four, and Two!!
Then "SURPRISE", #5, who's still brand new!

They say a Mom's work is never done,
With the right perspective though it can be incredibly fun!

Over worked and under paid?
Maybe, but what a privilege we have--- awesome foundations to be laid!

Breakfast to make, lunches to pack,
Twelve loads of laundry, there goes my back!

Diapers to change, baby needs fed.
The hardest job ever, but no place I'd rather be instead!

No sick days to take, or punching out at five,
but sincere "I love yous!" and "thanks mom!" help me thrive!

Mama, Mommy, Mother,
Her shoes could be filled by no other!

Diana - Spring 2006

Happy Mother's Day!!

Walk with the King!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Feed Back Friday: What Did Your Mom Do Right?

In January I posted a blog titled "What My Mom Did Right" about my own mother. On my other website, I had 10 young women from my church write about their moms (Liz, Jen, Alisha, Shannon, Kimi, Melissa, Aimee, Jessica, Hope and Elizabeth) and the articles were titled "What My Mom Did Right."

If you are a weary mom in need of some encouragement - please take the time to read what these women wrote! My favorite excerpt is from Alicia - who wrote about her parents who are now missionaries:

"When I was young, one of my favorite things to get from my mama was an "I love you" pill. Just one m&m or jelly bean placed in my hand or mouth at a time that it was not expected let me know that, no matter what, I was loved. It had nothing to do with what I was doing at the time - it was given out of love, just because. In middle school those pills turned into encouragement cards stuck in my backpack or under my pillow. I still have many of them and look through them when I feel alone or confused. And, sometimes, in the mail from a far-off country is a card written in purple pen just to say, "Alicia, I'm proud of you and I love you" and that means more to me than she'll ever know."

"I love you pills" - so simple yet so profound!

We can learn so much from each other and what your mom did right - so it's Feedback Friday - and I want to hear from you! What is One Thing Your Mom Did Right? (Click on the word "comment" and if you do not have a blogger account choose "anonymous". If you do not wish to be anonymous simply sign your name at the end. I look forward to hearing from you.)

Walk with the King!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Today is National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer Website has created a list of 7 things to pray for today:

1. Our Government - pray for:
President: Barack Obama
Vice President: Joe Biden
Secretary of State: Hillary Clinton
Secretary of Defense: Robert Gates
Secretary of the Treasury: Timothy Geithner
Attorney General: Eric Holder
National Security Advisor: Gen. James Jones
Director of National Intelligence: Dennis Blair

2. Our Military - pray for those in harms way right now and for those who have lost loved ones

3. The Media - the most powerful influence in our nation

4. Business - pray that God provides corporate leaders who will conduct themselves honorably

5. Education -pray for our teachers and for children who struggle because of their faith in public schools.

6. Church - the church is not just the one we attend but there is a universal church we are all a part of - pray for purity, courage, growth and strength.

7. Family - pray that the family would be preserved in our nation despite rampant divorce and abuse and that the parents would be devoted to their children.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Join me in prayer today and Walk with the King!