Friday, October 31, 2008

Brush Your Way to Weight Loss!

Yesterday my 4 year old and I had a treat after dinner - leftover ice cream cake from a birthday. After eating it, he said, "I'm going to brush my teeth!" because I've conditioned him to think that brushing always comes after eating something sweet. Before you think I'm a super healthy mom, know this: I came to this conclusion after my then 3 year old had cavities at his first dental visit!

So I decided to brush my teeth too...that was at about 6:30 p.m. Many times I have a snack after the kids go to bed and I'm working on my computer. But since I had brushed my teeth early, I skipped the snack.
Guess what? A simple thing like brushing your teeth and flossing after dinner will keep you from hitting the pantry late at night. How's that for a diet tip: brush your teeth! Easy enough!

"I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to
others, I myself should become disqualified." I Corinthians 9:27

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What day is it?

Obviously I don't know what day it is or what week it is for that matter. I think I missed a post, maybe two. I hope I can be forgiven. My life is upside down. Ten days ago we got the keys to our new house in Greenwood, Indiana. We rushed around like crazy people, moving things from our little apartment to our house. We did that for about five days. Then we took the kids on last Wednesday to Minnesota to empty out our house. Sunday night we arrived by van and U-Haul with almost all of our things. We were pretty upset that it didn't all fit. So yesterday we unloaded the U-Haul and began the tedious work of putting things where they go. Things never fit the same in a new kitchen! I was so happy to see my Minnesota friends and mortified to leave them. I went so far as to tell some of my friends that I just didn't want to make any new friends. I'm happy with the ones I've got! I've tried to make friends in Indiana but it's not working so well yet. Don't people think I'm as charming and funny as I think I am? Lately I've been retreating a bit because it's exhausting trying to get people to like you. But as I drove 10 1/2 hours back to Indiana something dawned on me--even though I don't have new friends here I know that I can't live in isolation. I am a people person to the core and this move has been especially hard. I'm lonely. I miss my friends. I miss my church. I miss my wonderful neighbors. I miss my YMCA. I miss having something or someone familiar. I feel pretty pitiful about now! I want to walk into a room and people say, "Hey new person, we're so happy you're here. Please be our friend! Please hang out with us. Please get to know us. We can't wait to get to know you." Okay, this may seem silly and a little out there but I specifically prayed for such an event to take place! I've been praying for months that God would bring some people my way. This prayer was different though. I really laid it out there for God. I told him I needed something uplifting in the form of people in my life. I can't keep clinging to relationships in Minnesota. Though they will remain my dearest friends, the relationships have to change. I will only see them a couple times a year at best and I've got to figure out how to live life here and now. So I pleaded with God to help me find some friends THIS week. So here goes... Today I spoke at a MOPS group, not even 48 hours after I prayed this prayer, and I felt like I was at home. People were kind and friendly, not to mention inviting. I honestly think they are taking applications for new people to join! (Not everyone is doing that you know...I can't even get my resume on file at some places...) So let me tell you! God is big. He can answer prayer. He does! What is the desire of my heart? I want to find a place where I belong and where I can serve Him with people who love Him like I do. I found some people today!!! There they were right in my face! I got invited to come to their church service, Sunday School class, and even out to dinner with the ladies?? God answers us and wants to give us the desires of our hearts when we're following Him! He created us to want fellowship with each other so of course He will provide the people. Praise God for such a blessing!

So what does this have to do with motherhood? For me, a lot. I have spent the last several months working very hard to get my kids' lives in order. I have worked to find them fun things to do and friends to play with after school. Their world is upside down too. Now they are in a new school and starting over. I feel exhausted physically and emotionally. I need some girlfriend support. I need to find someone to just chat with and process all this change with. I am a better mom overall when I have friends in my life. Just ask my kids! I am a social creature and I feel like I've been slowly dying. For you other social creatures out there you know what I mean. Just after two hours at a MOPS meeting I feel energized and ready to give more of myself to my kids and to my unpacking fiasco.

So again, sorry for missing a post or two. I haven't had the Internet or my make-up bag, not even sure I have clothes for tomorrow. I have about 35 boxes to unpack yet and every bone in my body hurts. But I met some people today! Woo hoo!!

Praising God for lifting me up again and again,

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Psalm 107:28-29

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Hey Everybody,

I got a chance to keep my young nephew and niece over the weekend, and it was a great dose of "remember when" for me! When you aren't used to having younger ones around, you really don't think about all the time and energy that must go into that stage of parenting. My teens and 'tween have brought me to a relatively easy place in parenting! Yes, I mean it! When we were vacationing recently, I just kept watching them and thinking to myself how very blessed I am to have such great kids with whom I long to spend time!

Let me just encourage you young moms today that every thing you do counts! You are investing in your children, and there is no better place to deposit your time, love, patience, and energy. The years when they are little and so dependent on you are really rough. How do you respond? Embrace those years! They are fleeting! But how you deal with your kids will count as they grow. Are you praying for them? Are you teaching them God's Word? And are you in God's Word yourself? Are you focusing on being a living example to them of the character and integrity you want them to possess? And are you pointing them to Jesus--praising Him, clinging to Him, putting your hope and trust in Him?

Take heart today, knowing that everything you do COUNTS! These are not years to just "get through." These are years to press in, giving your kids everything you've got, and trusting God to give you all of Him!

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Always Ready!

Well my 20th high school reunion was last week and I had a great time! It was fun to see old friends and think about days gone by. The big surprise was that a few of our teachers were there also. They looked just the same!

My female classmates were all in good health and everyone looked fantastic!

I havea feeling a few classmates didn't come because they are not happy with the way they look. It's totally understandable because all of us who have had children know the difference a baby can make in our bodies! The extra pounds can easily accumulate over the years, leaving us to wonder what happened to the body we had in our early 20s.

My encouragement to you this week is this: Live in such a way that you're always ready to attend your high school reunion. Eat and exercise regularly to keep your body in good health so that you won't have to go on a radical crash diet before a big event like a 20th reunion. But more importantly, live close to Jesus. Love your family, be faithful in your work, enjoy your life so that when you look back at your life 20 years from now, you won't have any regrets.

"For I know the thoughts I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

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Monday, October 20, 2008


**Hey Everybody! I've been traveling over the past week with my family! I hope you enjoy this article of mine today, originally posted on Baptist Press a couple of years ago!**


A recent statistic reported by the Southern Baptist Convention reveals that 88 percent of children who are raised in evangelical homes leave the church at the age of 18 and never return. What kind of example are we setting as parents when it comes to raising, or erecting, pillars of the church? By remembering the seven "ups" for erecting a pillar of the church, you can make sure your children are standing on the firm foundation of your own godly lifestyle:

Cough it UP: Give freely of your time, talents and resources. Eddie Poole is the associate pastor at Canopy Roads Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Fla. Currently, the church is meeting in a local school. "My son Matthew and I always leave at 7 a.m. on Sunday mornings to set up the school for church. Part of our routine is to stop at a convenience store for doughnuts. This past week, he only ate two of them. After church we packed up the sound system, and that's when we saw the five leftover doughnuts that I had given him that morning. I ate two and he ate the other three. Then he looked over at me and said, 'You owe me two doughnuts.' I responded, 'Let me get this straight. I buy you seven doughnuts, eat two, and then I owe you two more? I don't think you get it.' He started laughing. He said, 'I get it. I owe you five doughnuts.' Then I was able to talk to him about how God gives us everything that we have and asks for 10 percent back. We must look pretty silly to say no when he gave it to us to begin with."

Keep in mind that it's okay to establish boundaries as the Lord leads you. Children need to see that their parents are generous givers, but they don't need to see parents who lack priorities and wind up giving so much of themselves that there is nothing left to give their families.

Cheer UP: Are you an encouraging member of your church body? Are you sensitive to the needs of those around you? Think of the pleasure you receive from a (gasp!) handwritten note or an unexpected phone call. By keeping a supply of note cards and stamps on hand, you could easily send at least two notes a week to shut-ins or people who just need a lift. That kind of ministry easily rubs off on your children.

"Children are people pleasers," says Anna Alba, preschool associate in the Kids' Ministry at First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas. "They love to be involved in bringing joy to someone. You let them do what they love -- coloring, cutting, pasting, decorating -- and teach them about loving one another at the same time. It brings honor and glory to God and a little sunshine to someone who needs it."

Clam UP: When you're tempted to dissect the delivery of the Sunday sermon on the way home in the car, gripe about the new church budget or complain about a proposed building project, just be quiet. Your children are always listening. Do they hear you running the church and its operations down? Or do they hear a tone of thankfulness and respect in your conversation? Enough said.

Lift UP your hands and be an enthusiastic worshiper. Train your children by your actions in church. Bill Salmon, minister of music and senior adults at Parkway Baptist Church in Goodlettsville, Tenn., says, "I like enthusiasm in worship. I appreciate the teaching I received when I was very young. My mother had a big booming alto voice and what she lacked in quality she made up for with volume. As a 12-year-old, I remember feeling embarrassed when all the kids around our pew would turn and stare at my mom and roll their eyes. I remember getting home from church one Sunday night and saying, 'Momma, why do you have to sing so loud? People are staring at you.' I'll never forget her reply. She said, 'I'm not singing for them, I'm singing to the Lord, and he expects me to give it all I've got.'

Stick UP for your pastor. As a pastor's kid, I know how important this is, and so does Salmon. "My dad preached from the time I was about 4 years old until he died," he explains. "I saw some really bad character come out of some 'church' people and saw them do and say things that Christians should never do or say. Despite that, my folks had a deep love for people and ministry and a tenacious sense of calling." When he was called into the ministry himself, it was his parents' reaction to the offending parties that set the example for Salmon.

Warm UP to your pastor and other members of your church staff, along with their families, by having them in your home to share a meal. "I wanted to have my pastor over to my house so that my kids would know he was accessible to them, that he was their friend," explains Dianne, a homeschooling mother of three. "I was able to accomplish that for them, but in another way for myself. I began to see my pastor as a person whose family was a lot like mine and who needed my friendship and my prayers, too."

You're UP! "My wife Marla and I try to make serving God such a part of our lives that we don't think about it," Poole says. "Our kids don't think about it either. It just comes natural, and they do it too without thinking much."

As a parent, the home team is really counting on you. When you're up, don't let them down. By setting an example, you're erecting your pillars on a foundation of stone.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Camping and High School Reunions

Let me begin by telling you I survived our first camping trip last weekend! As you can see here, my daughter thought it was fun! The only two creatures that bothered us was a turkey that ran past us at night (it scared us half to death! We'll get him at Thanksgiving!) and a cricket in our room that did not let us sleep. But this is what camping is about right? We all hiked and had a great time. So camping and hiking are great ways to lose weight after baby. Except the town we were near is famous for apple pie and it is apple season...

Well, tomorrow I will be going to my 20th high school reunion. I old enough to do this??? Actually, it makes me feel very happy because as I look back on two decades, I am floored by God's goodness. Of course my greatest life stories have come from meeting my husband James and having 2 fantastic children.

Going to high school reunions, or any reunions, usually means - "it's time to go on a diet!" We all want to shed some pounds to look our best when we see our friends. And why not use a reunion or some kind of get-together as motivation to lose weight? We need all the help we can get to eat sensibly and exercise more vigorously. So go ahead; use that reunion or maybe the holidays coming up as an incentive to slim down and look your best going in 2009!

The Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty
are in His sanctuary. Psalm 96:5-6
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 31

Am I in a mood to pick a fight?  Am I trying to cause controversy?  Not by any stretch.  I just want to get you thinking because this is something I've given a lot of prayer and thought to.  I've lived in several different states and cities.  Every place we've lived Halloween has meant something a little different to people.  In Texas it was all about the candy and parties.  Kids were bussed into our neighborhood to get more candy.  Christian families took their kiddos trick or treating and it was widely accepted.  Where I lived in Minneapolis, it wasn't so widely accepted in Christian circles.  Lots of people I knew only went to harvest parties and did not trick or treat.  Some people would only allow their kids to dress up like Bible characters.  But Anoka, MN is the Halloween capital of the world and it was absolute pandemonium.   I have a buddy that I ran a 5K with in Anoka last  year.  Nearly 2000 people dressed up in fun costumes and ran 3.1 miles to kick off the two hour parade.  I was a pretty cute Napoleon Dynamite! Why do I share all this?  We all see the world differently. Regardless of how people are living around you, how do you treat October 31st?  What are you teaching your kids about it?  It's healthy to examine the reasons you do celebrate or don't celebrate Halloween.  

1.  Do you decorate?  Why or why not?
2.  Do you want your kids to dress up? Why or why not?
3.  Are your actions/attitudes pleasing to God?

Even if you have babies at home and no older kids, this will eventually be an issue you'll have to deal with.  Maybe you're at a place where you aren't sure what you think about all of it.  I've been there so I understand.  

I prayed about whether or not I should share this...if you're interested in what we do at our house...If you don't want to know then skip this part!!  We do dress up and go trick or treating.  There, I said it.  We also hand out treats.  But we don't decorate and we don't make a big deal out of it. We do talk to  our kids about how Satan can use anything to try to get his way or try to get a hold of us.  Our kids know the basics of the origins of Halloween and that some horrible things have happened on Halloween.  We don't wear gruesome costumes and I do talk about how terror and gore are not pleasing to God.  But, yes, as offensive as it may to be to some, we are going to dress up in fun costumes: a sheriff, a basketball player, and Dash from the Incredibles.  And if I can't find something else, I just might run in Anoka on October 25th dressed as Napoleon again.  

But let me tell you from experience, you've got to be prepared to answer questions.  Be prepared to explain why you what you do.  Number one:  What are you celebrating on October 31?  For us it's just an easy way to score some Milky Ways and meet people in our community.  People in Minnesota didn't talk much to their neighbors.  We met 90% of our neighbors on our first Halloween!  Number two: What are you celebrating in your every day life?   Your salvation?  Money, prestige, and stuff?  Love, life, and the pursuit of happiness?  Freedom in Christ?  Love, joy, peace, patience, and long suffering?  I believe that God is very interested in our answers.   

This particular Halloween I'm celebrating the fact that we can all  have different opinions  on this issue and still be united in Christ.  And the fact that my youngest will still share his goodies with me...

Be lifted!

Romans 15:5
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Jesus Christ.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Camping...Here We Come!

One great way to lose weight after baby is by going camping and hiking, but I have to admit, I'm not much of a camper. My very first camping trip was with my husband right after we're married. Let's just say the trip began in tears and continued in tears when I had to go the bathroom in the middle of the night and my sweet groom wouldn't wake up to walk with me outside our tent.

Fast forward the tape almost 10 years and I guess I'm ready to try again - ha! This time, we will be in a cabin (upgrade!) but we'll have kids (more challenges!). No running water but at least we'll have shelter. I'll let you know next week how it goes. Hopefully minimal tears will be shed by myself, my 4 year old or 22 month old!

So remember, if you're losing weight, don't be afraid of new adventures. Try hiking, or biking, or go to a rock wall gym. Something totally out of your comfort zone might be a great date night with your husband. If you don't like your new adventure, you should be able to get a lot of laughs out of it anyway!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine." Proverbs 17:22

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pleasant surprise

I read in my devotional book today something really special I'd like to share.  Christa Kinde, from Adventurous Prayer wrote this:

"Usually, when we pray, we know exactly what we want God to do.  We've given our situation much thought, we've checked out the pros and cons, considered our options, and we've decided how God should work...Things don't always work out the way we think they should.  That's because God has something better in mind."

I've got to be brutally honest...we've been going apey in our apartment lately.  Let me tell you, there are lots of good things to learn from living in an apartment with three kids after being in a house for so long.  We've been so anxious to get a house and a YARD again.  We want so desperately to go home and get our things: our beds, the kitchen table, our couch, our dog.  I believe God is all about teaching us long-suffering.  I know he wants us to squirm and get uncomfortable so we can be more full of gratitude.  I've been asking God to just work out all the details of the sale of our house in Minnesota so we could move and get settled in a new house and neighborhood.  Guess what?  That's not what God had in mind.  It's a long story but we're moving and we haven't sold our house!!!  We're going to rent a house until we sell our other one and then we can buy our new house.  The house has been vacant for a year so they are thrilled to rent it to us til we can close.  Guess what?  I never even knew that was an option!  God has blessed us with a wonderful surprise.  And next week my ACTIVE children will have a back yard to play in and a neighborhood full of sidewalks to ride their bikes and scooters on.  And I think he's going to answer my prayers, too.  We want and need some new friends.  I have a suspicion that they are on the horizon.  

God is good and full of pleasant surprises for you!  Be lifted!


Psalm 17:8
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings.

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Monday, October 6, 2008


Hey Everybody,

What does your week look like?

I'm a planner. I find if I don't plan, I can be easily overwhelmed by the demands of our busy schedules. For example, this month, my boys will be having basketball practices four times a week. Add church activities to the mix, and you realize we have just entered a very busy season--not fall, not autumn, but Basketball Season! This is a time every year when I am required to plan more than ever. It means that in order to insure my family's comfort and convenience, I am often required to do what is uncomfortable and inconvenient!

For instance, I started tonight's dinner yesterday afternoon! I put chicken in the crock pot, and then, when we arrived home from church last night, I put together tonight's casserole. This morning I know that dinner is in the fridge and it will be easy to heat and serve. Keeping up with the laundry demands of two adolescent boys playing ball every evening means I'm also getting creative with when I'm running my washer and dryer! Remember, those appliances can only make life easier when you use them!

Being a mom is the greatest job ever! But like any job, it requires diligence, creativity, organization, and effort. New moms often feel battle fatigue from all the new demands. I'm wondering: Do you have a mentor mom in your life? Do you have someone who can help you out with your new job? Ask God today for a person from whom you can learn some of the how-to and hands-on aspects of motherhood! And then be watching--look around! Expect Him to send you the help you need!

Under His direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each
part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole
body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Ephesians 4:16

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Children...Our Best Loan from God

Thank you for your kind comments about my miscarriage this week. Psalm 139:14 has given me so much peace, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful." God is the author of life and we can trust Him with our children.

Our church has a moms group on Wednesday nights and this past Wednesday, one mom was sharing how her friend had a 5 year old with cancer. That dear family is racing against time, making memories with their beloved son while they can. My friend said that it's made her treasure her time with her son so much more. She ended by saying that children are on loan to us from God.

Isn't it true that God has given us the greatest gift on loan? Our children (born and unborn) are His, lovingly made by Him and created for a purpose. I take great comfort in enjoying my son and daughter whenever I think of the baby I didn't get to hold. But someday I will!

Unfortunately, my body isn't quite feeling normal yet. The doctors say that makes sense since my body still has pregnancy hormones floating around. So I'm still in need of that afternoon nap and sometimes feel like Eeyore with a dark cloud over me. But GOD will make a way!

BTW, I have my 20 year high school reunion coming in 2 weeks. Of course it's so sad that I'm not pregnant for it; plus I gained 5 pounds in the 8 weeks I was pregnant. I'm the Losing Weight After Baby lady (my website) so I'm working (somewhat) frantically to get these extra pounds off. I say somewhat because my cravings for chocolate sometimes overpower me! I'll keep you posted if I get back to my original weight before the reunion...I'm getting close.

So when you look at that sweet baby today, even if you're sleep deprived and 20 pounds overweight as a result, say "thank you God" for that bundle of joy, on loan to you for this glorious season!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Young examples

My daughter and I were recently reading her Bible. She has an Adventure Bible that has some really interesting features. We were reading 1 Timothy 4:12 and she didn't understand a word of it. Here's the verse:

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity."

Kids are funny creatures. I get such a kick out of how they see the world. She had the funniest ideas about what these things mean. I broke it down for her one line at a time, with a little help from the notes in her Bible. The writers included a box at the bottom of the page to explain this verse to kids. Apparently this is universally tough to grasp for young ones. They suggested young people make a Pledge Poster naming ways they can be Christian examples:

I will be an example.
In speech, I will not gossip or swear.
In life, I will do what pleases God.
In love, I will care about others.
In faith, I will pray and trust God.
In purity, I will choose what is right.

We used this template and came up with even more ideas. We expanded on the original ideas, too. What exactly pleases God? How do we trust God? What is right and what is wrong? How do you know for sure? How can we NOT gossip? It sparked a great conversation that I hope to return to. I challenge you to do this with your kiddos and post is somewhere so you can go back to it over and over again. My daughter felt like a million bucks thinking there was something she could be doing to please God and be an example to others.

Be lifted!

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