Sunday, October 15, 2017

HEALTHY AND HAPPY



My weight has been a formidable opponent of mine for many, many years.  To be exact, it has been the bane of my existence, my worst nightmare, my most hated adversary.

Here of late, I haven't been feeling all that well.  It might be partially due to stress, a never-ending to-do list, and supercharged family dynamic.  The bottom line would be, however, I'm not taking care of myself, my needs.  I don't regularly decompress after working in a busy, self-giving profession.  In other words, I give, give and give throughout the day without taking... yes, without taking any time or doing anything for me.  There are many days I don't even sit down but for a few minutes, or take a break... ok, ok... I may take a quick potty break here and there, and only because I undoubtedly, necessarily have to.  YES... I often wait until it's an emergency and I have to go.

So... hmmmm.... where was I going with this... STRESS, yes stress!  I'm exhausted.  Stress exhaustion, physical exhaustion, and mental exhaustion has taken its toll.  I'm tired.  Really tired.  I barely have time to eat breakfast and catch a snack throughout the day, scarfing it down without tasting it so I can continue with my work.  When I get home... I'm tired. That's WHEN I get home from running errands, picking up and delivering kids to sports, sporting events and part-time jobs.  When I finally do make it home,  I wash the morning dishes, put away clothes, and cook dinner, gorge myself on junk .... before I can complete the healthy meal I am cooking...because I'm starving. 

Anyways.... let's get on with it.  All of "THIS" stuff has added up.  Over a period of 4 years, I have gained 30 lbs.  I cannot sleep at night, my back hurts, feet ache and I am MISERABLE.  My clothes don't fit anymore and I can't stand looking at the person in the mirror.

YES.... it is time for a change.  But I'll start tomorrow... HA!  Just kidding.  I'm starting today.  The best thing I could do for myself today was to start cleaning my house.  I can't think of the mess and clutter.  My brain is messy and cluttered too.  HOWEVER, I do have a week off from work, and I'm looking forward to getting some things organized.  I'm done... and I'm attempting, NO... NO... I am NOT attempting.... I AM COMMITTED to having a NEW, HEALTHIER, HAPPIER mindset.

Everything is possible, right!  I just have to dream big....  or with my physical state being 30 lbs. or more over what it should be.... maybe I in this case I should dream small.

TO BE CONTINUED........

Monday, September 11, 2017

Big Seats and Flat Feet: The FUTURE Soldier - Living the Dream

Big Seats and Flat Feet: The FUTURE Soldier - Living the Dream: This past Saturday instead of spending the early morning hours in a deer stand, set deep in the woods, on the opening day of bow season my f...

The FUTURE Soldier - Living the Dream

This past Saturday instead of spending the early morning hours in a deer stand, set deep in the woods, on the opening day of bow season my family and I headed to a JROTC Raider Meet.  JROTC stands for Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.  Raiders are the group of cadets in JROTC who take it upon themselves to meet throughout the summer, and after school to train on obstacle course, rope bridge and relay for close to two hours each day of the week.  That's devotion, dedication.  That same devotion and dedication will also be what propels them forward in their military career.

Our first meet of the year took place at Jackson County Comprehensive High School in Jefferson, GA.  It's a beautiful campus set in a rural atmosphere.  The obstacle course is immaculate, and offered a variety of challenges for JROTC cadets arriving from multiple high schools around the state.  As the sun topped the trees, the brisk morning air created a comfortable setting for our Cadet's first event.  Just as any military organization would, they formed their lines, and marched their way to the first event; obstacle course.

Just  as our High School Raider Competition event began, I noticed a group of children.  It looked like a recreational football league was preparing for a game on the same day as our event.  As our cadets were being prompted on the rules for the course, the football announcer could be heard in the background, "Please stand for our National Anthem."  Although our Cadets weren't part of the football league, or had anything with the football games about to take place, as soon as the anthem began, each and every member of service men/women volunteering to help with the competition, and each and every cadet on campus stood at attention and turned their bodies to face the music. There they stood, motionless and quiet until the anthem ended.

What most people don't know of JROTC is that IT IS A FEDERAL PROGRAM sponsored by the UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES in high schools and some middle schools. It initially took off under the National Defense Act of 1916 and was expanded under the 1964 ROTC Vitalization Act. This program is in PLACE to instill in students in United States secondary educational institutions the values of CITIZENSHIP, service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment" (Title 10 of the United States Code).  JROTC does just that (Wikimedia).

JROTC also aides cadets in developing citizenship, patriotism, SELF-RELIANCE and responsiveness to all authority.  The program helps improve students ability to communicate written and orally as well as develop an appreciation of the importance of physical fitness; as demonstrated through Raider Training and Competition.  The Cadets will also develop a respect for the role of the U.S. Armed Force in support of national objectives.  They will learn team building and basic military skills.  To top it all off, after taking 3-4 years of JROTC in high school, the cadets are granted the ability to rank higher if they decide to pursue a military career.  In a February, 2000 testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, the armed services chiefs of staffed testified that 30-50% of graduating JROTC cadets join the military.  I'm not sure of the percentage nationwide as of 2017, but I can testify that 80-90% of the JROTC Cadets graduating in 2016 joined some form of armed forces institution.  General Collin Powell indicated in his 1995 autobiography that "inner-city kids, many from broken homes, found stability and role models in JROTC" (Wikimedia, 2017, August 22).

Not many parents come out to support the JROTC Raiders Competitions as they would football or other high school sports programs.  I feel if any programs needing the support of parents, for those young adults about to embark into armed forces, it would be the JROTC program.

As I sat and watched the cadets compete this beautiful, fall day, I noticed a camaraderie unknown in any other sport.  The lasting friendships of sharing common values, and a common love for the country we all live.  This camaraderie will carry throughout their lifetime.

In mid day of competing the cadets made their way to the football field where teams of recreational sized football players (7-10 age range) and cheerleaders covered the field and track.  Although they were playing ball at the high school, and the JROTC Raider event was a high school event, the cadets were met with detention and disrespect from the cheerleaders, coaches and football teams.  It was apparent the cadets were sharing the track and field with this football league.  The cadets were respectful as they only consumed ONE lane on the track for their running event.  Nor did they intentionally plow into the cheerleaders who disrespectfully and deliberately did flips in front of the cadets as they made their way down the track.

When a cadet's parent tried to prevent the cheerleaders, coaches and football team members from crossing the running cadet's path, or blocking the lane they were using, one coach said to the cadet's parent, "I don't even know why you are here."

These cadets spent every morning of their summer break and each evening after school training for these events just to be met with adversary.  I understand football is bread and butter for most schools and educational institutions, but the detention and disrespect we received from these people was appalling.  They were intentionally blocking the lane as it was apparent that the cheerleaders only did flips as the runners approached.  It was apparent that although they were sharing the track, the football league felt their sport took precedence.  I was appalled by that type of disrespect, the same disrespect most self-righteous people display toward our military men and women, or service men and women on a daily basis.

I could have been in the woods hunting, but I support these boys and girls because most of them ARE faced with adversity.  MOST of these kids do need the structure.  MOST of these boys and girls are going to graduate to become SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN.  This is our future... I'd rather them seek to serve than be overly indulged children and adults who think they are the only one's who have a right, or a voice.  It will be THEIR RIGHT AND VOICE that these same cadets will FIGHT for.  At the end of the day, these cadets deserve to be respected.

If I could encourage anyone to do anything, it would be to support our JROTC programs.  Just as you'd get fired up over those not standing for the anthem at our NFL football games... get fired up about our kids who are standing for a National Anthem playing in the background of an event that doesn't even pertain to them.

SUPPORT YOUR High School JROTC PROGRAMS just as you would any other recreational sport, or high school organization.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Click "Like"

Sitting on my front porch looking out at the wide open space before me, wrapped in a warm blanket, drinking a cup of very strong coffee in the cool morning air I begin to ponder a few things.  When I began this blog I was a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, and family child care provider.  A lot has changed since then.

The fog is lifting, much as it is rising above the trees this morning.  I feel as if I'm free to make choices and decisions I once wasn't inclined to make.  I guess one wouldn't understand what freedom looks like unless they themselves have had their freedoms taken away.

There are many types of freedoms... the kind you have from living in America, the individual God granted freedoms all humans possess, the freedom to physically move about,  and the freedom to make good choices for yourself, and for those you love.  In marriages, the freedoms are limited to the constitution of that marriage.  You can have only one partner, live in one house in most cases.  There are certain things you can and cannot do, or maybe you can, but doing so would most certainly cause friction.

For me, my freedoms came once I left the confines of my home, stopped homeschooling my children, and closed my family child care business.  It was a difficult decision to make, but necessary at the time.  I had been dealing with depression and loneliness.  Although I was surrounded by beautiful children, I lacked adult interaction and an outlet.  Beading, drawing, blogging, and Facebook distracted me from this lonely feeling and I used them as a temporary means to feel validated, "liked" and connected with the outside world.

What does it mean to be "liked".  We see this option on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... and so forth.  All of our social media have this, and we use it to let the person posting know we saw, acknowledged or "like" what we saw.  Is this the real world we are living in?  Are we trading in our true physical freedoms to live within the proverbial social media box?

Think about it.  Each picture we take has a caption.  Instead of taking photos to preserve memories, we do it out of vanity, arrogance, and promote self.  I'm guilty of this myself.  As I click the beautiful landscapes, my precious children, and photo's of myself the last thing on my mind is preserving the memory but how people on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will "like" it.  See... there's that validation factor.

Wanna know why most marriages don't work... there's no "like" button.  We would rather "like" or validate a mere stranger than the loved ones sitting on the sofa right next to us.  It's not just marriages, it's our children and other family members as well.

So, what is freedom?  Are you attached to social media and "like" button?  Would you rather be validated by a stranger, or by those you profess to love?  Instead of seeking validity from a stranger, or giving validation to someone you don't know, demonstrate the truth of how you feel and the truth of who you know you are to your family, friends and especially your own spouse. True freedom comes when YOU no longer require validation.  True freedom comes when you realize life has much more meaning when sitting on your front porch, looking out across the field, drinking your coffee on a cool fall morning.  True freedom is letting go of social media, creating real relationships, as well as memories with those around you.  True freedom is knowing who YOU yourself are.  It's when you no longer require confirmation of your presence or existence.  Show who you are by validating your feelings to those you love through your words and physical actions.

God bless....





Monday, June 29, 2015

SCRIPTURE...




THINKING about what a friend posted... and I love this individual because whenever I think I have the answers, I'm always challenged to go further!  Even when that challenge isn't directed specifically at me, it does cause me to think.  When they are challenging me specifically... their directness  is coming from a good place, and is ALWAYS, ALWAYS appreciated!!!!  Still learning here!

People have been quoting scripture for years... best advice I can give is read the WHOLE word of God.  Quoting scripture has been used as an educational tool, so most people remember verses picking and selecting what they want because they feel it applies to them.  Sometimes, not always, this is done without any true understanding of what the verse, or scripture is actually saying.  The best way to find the meaning behind the word is to start from the beginning... meaning; Genesis.
If you're not sure... even if you don't believe... try praying and see what happens. You have NOTHING to lose by praying.  What you will gain is understanding... and SO MUCH MORE!

Genesis 1:1 thru Revelation 22:21  READ IT ALL! :D

The following verses, from MY understanding refer to God's Commands, and pertain to following the WORD of God:

Deuteronomy 4:1-14
...."So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' 7"For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him? 8"Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?..."

Revelation 22:18-21
Deuteronomy 12:31

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Significance of THE RAINBOW

The SIGNIFICANCE....

We've been discussing symbols, flags, and monuments of recent days.  To many they all hold GREAT significance and many different things to various people.  An olive branch, a rainbow, a cross, a fish in the sand...A flag... these are symbols and NONE more important than the other because they are merely symbols.  What is important is the meaning behind each symbol, and they can have different meanings or be representative of various things from person to person.

Focus on God... and ask Him to guide you.  Forget about these symbols.

Remembering, 'Clear the stage' a Jimmy Needham song being sung by our praise and worship director this past Sunday... the bridge says...

 "Anything I put before my God is an idol
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol
Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol
And anything that I give all my love is an idol"

If we are giving all our attentions to symbols, fabric, stone, and other people... if we are giving all our heart and time to the things of this world, we have created idols.  A symbol, an individual, a dream, a cross, a flag, a rainbow... these things can easily become idols in our lives.  Present yourselves as, and open your hearts to being a wholly, HOLY pleasing servant, lamb of God.  Get back to God, FIRST... and HE will give you the means to deal with the idols in your life.  HE will show you the true significance, value or worth of these things we seemingly hold so dear!
Genesis 9:16 "When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."

Genesis 9:1-17
Covenant of the Rainbow

PS:  All I know is, I want to spread the love of God.  And if you know the love of God the way I do, you know it's a GREAT and MIGHTY THING!  There is NOTHING more powerful and the keeper of lies cannot take it down or away.
Reference:  http://www.wired.com/2015/06/fly-rainbow-flag-high-sex-marriage-ruled-right/

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Caught in a Time Warp

I didn't realize how secluded I am, until I recently paid my sister a visit.  Although she lives miles away from anyone, out in the middle of nowhere, I feel as if I'm the one in seclusion.

This past Saturday, March 15th, was a beautiful day for travel.  Trying to save time, we loaded up our minivan, plotted the quickest course and headed towards the Tennessee Mountains.  From our location we traveled almost two hours South, and then another two and half hours North just to get there.  The overall trip taking four hours and forty five minutes, most of it being on interstate.

I've been to visit my sister in the past, nearly ten years ago.  The drive out was long as we traveled farther and farther away from civilization.  Through the mountainous region of middle Tennessee there was nothing but rolling hills and countryside surrounding us.  As I stared intently from the passenger side window, I was in awe of the breathtaking scenery.

Her driveway was more like a road, it wound and turned going into a grove of Hawthorn trees, pines, hardwoods, and opening into a broad field.  As we cleared the trees, we could see her huge cabin in the distance, sitting high, atop a hill.  Pulling up to her home was like arriving at some well hidden resort, or cottage.  Her entrance was her back porch... spanning the width of their home;warm and inviting. From the porch, all I could see was miles of rolling hills surrounded by dense groves of trees, and forage.  It was beautiful.  Down the way, was a little cabin, secluded and all alone.  It belonged to them as well, unused, but well kept.

The reason behind our trip was to celebrate the upcoming birth of my great-niece with a baby shower.  My family sat in the openness of my sister's home, forming a semicircle around the guest of honor, watching on
as she opened gifts.  My beautiful niece opened gift by gift, revealing each one with a huge smile.  As she opened the beautiful painting my sister, her mother, painted for her nursery, her face couldn't not cover the joy she felt inside.  A beautiful painting of an owl, which her husband hung lovingly above the crib, also given to her by her mother.

My sister had a spread of food to die for.  She even had California Spring Rolled Sushi. Something I have never tried.  It didn't look good, but curiosity got the better of me, tasted one anyways.  People really eat this stuff?  That was my first thought.  Not only had I never eaten sushi, I didn't know how to eat it and enjoy it.  Wasn't until my cousin and his beautiful wife showed up to show me how to do it correctly.  Dipping it into a sauce concocted by my cousin's wife, and popping the whole thing in my mouth at one time, as instructed really did make a difference.  YES... right!

I began listening as each of them described the ins and outs of the technology they possessed.  It all sounded French to me. So instead of buying books, flipping through pages of actual paper you can read them from this thingy called a 'kindle'.  As we sat there talking, they were continually pulling these flat things out of their pockets, typing stuff on them, taking pictures and video taping too.  I pulled out my own gadget, wondering if it did those things they had mentioned, looking at it for a moment, judging by the size theirs had many more features than mine... or was better equipped.

Face time?  Face space?  Got a taste of that as well, as my cousin called to check in on her boys, and get them started with their day.  Wow... one on one conversations, and you could actually see they were cozy, still tucked in their beds.  So many gadgets, and doodads, I don't even know where to start.  They were talking about this and that, continuously losing me in conversation.  Several times I had to ask, "What's this?", and "What does that mean?".  ha ha!

The best part of the trip, other than visiting with family, was watching my children play with their cousins outdoors.  They lost themselves in the rolling hills and woods of my sister's farm, only returning for drink or food, and the occasional potty break.  To top it all off, I was able to listen to my nephew play a beautiful piece on his violin; Flannigan's Ball.

My sister has excellent cooking skills, she created a cheese cake masterpiece which I devoured.  The pulled pork by far surpassed any I could do.  Even though I didn't like it at first, the sushi was to die for.  Her and her husband were gracious hosts, building a bonfire for us to enjoy, putting out bedding and providing delicious food and meals.  Great conversation, although on occasion I felt lost.  Had the time of my life
enjoying the experience as if it would be another ten years before my return.

Caught in a time warp, exactly how I felt.  While visiting with family, out in the middle of nowhere, time moved on without me... and I just didn't care.


My sister, nieces and cousin in the kitchen!

My niece proudly displaying the painting her mother did.

Kids playing in the field.  The dots next to the tree at the bottom of the hill are the boys with their bikes.

Bonfire in the back yard.

Cousins sitting on the back porch caught in action!

View from my sister's upstairs bedroom.

HEALTHY AND HAPPY

My weight has been a formidable opponent of mine for many, many years.  To be exact, it has been the bane of my existence, my worst nightm...