Scripture Motto

"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 22 - Tripped, Stumble, Crashed

I made it 21 days before my shaky, tired self lost my steady pace. Today, I tripped and fell. It began with a bad dream causing a great deal of anxiety; in fact, I felt like I was wearing a weighted down straight jacket. When your hands are tied up and you’re carrying extra weight on your shoulders, it is pretty much impossible to catch yourself.

I rolled down the mountain and into the hands of carbohydrates. The fall didn’t knock me unconscious though, as I recorded every bad thing I ate. I sat there for quite awhile wallowing in my pity. Then, I made myself take charge of the situation by posting and publishing my website weekly devotional. After that, I crawled to the foot of the Cross where I wrote in my prayer journal and read the Word.

As my body began to gain a little strength, I got on the scales and weighed myself. Unraveled the tape measure and calculated my inches. The results after 3 full weeks: lose of 4 lbs and 4 ¾ inches. I was neither disappointed nor ecstatic. So, I took my numb self and sought rest to my soul by soaking in a bubble bath and reading a book.

The day is almost done. My wounds still pain me, but praise God for the weight and inches lost. Tomorrow is new day. I will rest tonight and pray for renewed strength to soar as on eagle’s wings. (Isaiah 40:29-31)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 21 - Changing habits

They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Well, today, I consciously resisted a long-standing bad habit that hits between 3:00 and 5:00 pm. It is made worse when I’m tired, bored, or frustrated. My usual reaction is eating something with carbs as the fulfiller. Toast or bagels, also toasted and smothered with margarine is a frequent, convenient food of choice.

(Is this too much revealing information?)

A couple of strategies
Several years ago, I learned a little trick that sometimes helps. When I’m hungry, I note the time and wait 15 minutes. Then, I determine if I’m head or stomach hungry. If I’m stomach hungry, I eat; if I’m just head hungry, I mark the time again and wait another 15 minutes. This doesn’t always work, as my head hunger (which is based upon my mood) over takes my will.

Another bit of wisdom that I’ve used not for weight issues, but for better health, is to keep a trail mix handy. It contains raw almonds, walnut pieces, golden raisins, cran-raisins, dried tart cherries, and for a bit of salt, a small portion of salted, roasted almonds.

Today frustration was the culprit when our satellite internet service refused to work for me while posting my weekly website devotional. I considered toasting a bagel, but knew how it would blow up my daily calories. Because the internet also wreaked havoc on my access to, I was unable to see where I was for the day or what it would actual cost me.

Victory! I reached for a bottle of water, added a packet of cherry-pomegranate Propel and a tablespoon of cherry concentrate, and drank away my hunger.

It feels good to win over the temptation! It feels great to outwit the daily mind game of hunger. It is worthy of praise to my God who supplied the strength, knowledge, and alertness to develop smart new habits.

The first temptation Jesus dealt with after forty days in the wilderness was hunger. He responded to it with "...Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:1-3) See, hunger is not relieved with bread!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Correction to previous post, Chuggin' Along: It should read "...I attempted to write 3000-3750 words in 10-12 hours a week," not 300-375 words!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 15: Chuggin' Along

Wow, has it really been fifteen days?! I’m still pressing forward, staying the course, and focusing on the goals but I admit that some days have been more challenging than others due to obstacles and distractions which are mainly my own emotional roller-coaster ride.

Fear, doubt, hurt and confused feelings
Fear stood before me as I attempted to write 300-375 words in 10-12 hours a week. At times it made me curl up into the fetal position, quivering and crying like a baby. Still determined, I stood up, washed my face, and shuffled along.

That’s when doubt grabbed me by the feet, knocked me down, and hog-tied me. I fell to my knees into the dirt. With the little fight left in me, I attempted to crawl toward the goal, but doubt held the rope taut. I felt helpless, worn, and defeated. I called out for help, and God sent a helping hand named “my husband.” His words of encouragement refreshed my soul, and his hand of love swept the dirt from my knees. With a tender kiss to my cheek, he untied the rope and raised me up again.

The path seemed smoother and rid of the obstacles. My steps were lighter, even skipping. Words began flowing from the tips of my fingers onto the computer screen. The pace picked up so much that I felt a new confidence overcame me and I began to jog. The sun shone brighter and my smile grew bigger. The goals laid ahead of me came back into view, and then…wham!

Standing smack-dab in front of me was a wall that hurt and dazed me. I hit it hard and fell back on my butt. It came out of no where. When the stars stopped revolving around my head, I saw my bloody feelings running from my broken heart. I tried to stop the bleeding with reason and understanding. I stepped aside to receive first aid from God to heal the abrasions. He laid His hand upon my wound while whispering sweet words of comfort removing my confusion, and helping me to avoid the temptation of quitting or sabotaging my journey.

Courage, belief, healing, and clarity
The obvious challenges of hiking the Appalachian Trail are the steep climbs up and down the mountain sides wearing the body down, but add some rain and the mind becomes the bigger deterrent to keep going. Lifting my tired, heavy legs as not to trip over tree roots, stones, or even my own feet was a constant confrontation. Crossing bogs by way of twelve inch sliced logs was a greater fear for me than wild animals in the dark of the night. Not being able to see clearly the path before me did not give me the option to give the journey up.

The Trail taught me courage to believe that I could overcome obstacles and distractions. It showed me that cliffs are for climbing over or around. I learned what it truly means to press on, to keep on keeping on through the tough stuff life throws at me.

This week has been trying as you can see, but I am not defeated, not pressed down.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Taking Breaks for True Rest – Matthew 11:28-29

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden…find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

Struggling this afternoon after a great start and morning with a wonderful time with the Lord, working out with my circuit training video, and posting a new devotional to the website. No time for a break, I must press on.

Sometimes, taking a break is necessary, but too often I attempt to press past the need thinking that pushing myself is better. However, while backpacking, I learned – the hard way – the difference between simply stopping and truly resting.

At first, when we would stop for a break, when my husband would insist that I take off my pack and lay it down, I resisted, insisting that it was too much work to take it off and then put it back on. Yet, he was the experienced backpacker!

We took fifteen minute breaks every couple of hours on the trail, especially following grueling climbs. So, I would lean against a large rock or balance on a log with my pack strapped to my back. When we resumed the hike, my feet felt like a ton of bricks. It seemed to me by removing my pack wasted time, but after several of his gentle insistences, I heeded his advice.

Wow! It made a huge difference. In just those few minutes of relief from the burden on my shoulders, a few handfuls of GORP, and a good amount of water, I was felt the spring in my step return.

Remembering this experience and what it taught me, will be of great value as well on this journey. I may need a break to rest and recover. Leaning to take breaks by laying down my burdens, refreshing my soul with true rest, will put a spring back in my step to press onward.

Tomorrow is another new day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

DAY 6: Excited for “something new”

I am excited for “something new” as I enter my wilderness, climb a hill, or ford stream. (Reference: Isaiah 43:19)

As I press on the trail of this journey, I sense that God has something new around a corner, over a hill, under a rock, or behind a tree. I don’t know any details about its features or how it will effect me, but it’s somewhere along this path.

It will be a precious unique gift. It will catapult me into the next adventure of my life. He has given me a hope for the future, as well as the strength, encouragement and perseverance to reach it.

I could speculate on what it may be, but I’d rather wait with my eyes, ears, and hands open ready to receive it from the Giver of Life. I want to trust and obey Him on this adventure.

I press on toward the upward goal of God’s calling upon my life; to strain and reach forward with my eyes fixed upon the One who blazes this trail. I will accept the pain to obtain the gain.

AS FOR MY PROGRESS thus far, it is going very well. I am settling into a new mindset of what I eat in order to lose the excess weight on my body. I am beginning to desire the workouts to strengthen my muscles. I am again comfortable with the characters and plot in writing the story that is in my heart and mind. Since I have been down similar trust roads in my lifetime, I know that this is all possible and the rewards are beyond anything I can imagine.

I am excited for the "something new."

Friday, January 8, 2010

"...Behold, I will do something new..." Isaiah 43:19

"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new..." Isaiah 43:18-19a


As I take the first steps of my "thousand-mile" journey, I begin by pondering the whys, the hows, and the oh-mys! Just as when on my first backpacking trek of the Appalachian Trail, I'm asking, "What have I gotten myself into?"

I have started the journey of weight lose many, many times before, but I have never before openly exposed my journey to the world! I have even completed several legs of the course leading to the goal, only to find myself sliding back down as I sat on my laurels of accomplishments. You see, the journey never really ends. Reaching plateaus along the way are for resting and taking stock, but not stopping with the attitude of "this is far enough." Even standing on the pinnacle is not the end.

You see, bullies await to push me off and back down to where I began, or even worse, further down into the miry pit of despair. Yes, I get tired of climbing this same mountain knowing the joy of real success is not simply sitting on the peak, but standing strong upon it, maintaining my hold on it!!

I also know that when my body is healthy, I feel better and function my efficiently! My mind is clearer for making wiser choices for every aspect of my life. My emotions are stronger for handling whatever events come along. And, obviously, when I look in the mirror I like what I see!"

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." (I wish I knew who to credit with that saying!) The first thing I must do is leave the past in the past and move forward one-step-at-a-time. I must not be afraid because of past failures, but be strong and courageous to pursue the triumph of living a healthy life. As one of God's Holy Spirit temples, taking care of this body He created for His purpose is essential.

So, today, I begin again! New strategies are in place. My course has been laid out. So, I hope that by exposing my struggles along with my successes in this endeavor will encourage other travelers along similar journeys.

Okay, I need to go take that first step: stepping on the scale and measuring my body!!!