Monday, April 30, 2012

Something to Think About

This morning there are things on my heart and mind and I found this chapter of the Bible comforting and motivating in my effort to be a better Christian and a better person.  I thought I would share it in hopes that there are others out there who could benefit from reading it and thinking about the content.  Happy Monday!

Romans 12

A Living Sacrifice

12  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Gifts of Grace

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;  the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Marks of the True Christian

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Building Year-Time to Grab a Hammer

I have a problem.

I sometimes spend too much of my time focusing on what my life will be like "one day".  When this happens, or that happens, I meet "the" guy, have kids, buy my dream house.  And the problem with this is that sometimes I get so wrapped up in the vision and path to my future life that I tend to miss the pretty amazing life that I am experiencing right now.  I think John Lennon said it best "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans."

It's easy to do.  I don't think there is a person out there who doesn't feel in some way like their life will really start when they reach the next big milestone they have set for themselves.  It could be a personal goal, a career goal-whatever.  But all this dreaming, this wishing, this waiting for life to get started has the concerning side effect of encouraging you not to live life, your present life, to its absolute fullest. And that's not ok.

I said as much to my friend the other day. That sometimes, when I'm complaining or worrying about things I don't have I feel ridiculously guilty because instead, I should be giving thanks and appreciation to all that I DO have...and that's a lot.  Way more than a lot of people. 

One of my friends said last night that she feels like 2012 is a building year for us.  It was a very, very odd sports analogy coming from her-if you knew her you would understand-but it probably comes from the fact that she spends her days surrounded by high school boys and lunches with an array of high school athletic coaches.  But I digress.

I have decided that she might be on to something.  Thus far this year I have dedicated myself to becoming more healthy.  I have lost 25 lbs to date and am exercising more than I have since I sweated through suicide sprints in high school.  I have been trying (sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much) to focus on becoming a better person.  To pray more, curse less, work on my patience (definitely NOT my best virtue).  I've recently added the attempt to let go of my worries and to let God handle it.  So today I am going to add to my list of attempted self improvements and try more whole-heartedly to live life-this life I'm living right now-to the fullest.  To be thankful for all my blessings. Hey if I'm working on myself I might as well go all the way.

It's a building year-this 2012-I'm starting from the ground up and hammering away at myself a little bit more every day.  I can't wait to see the finished product. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Small Victories

While getting ready for work this morning I had to take off the XL tshirt I had planned to wear and trade it for an older L shirt I had.  The XL made me look like I was wearing a trash bag. The L fit more than comforatbly.

VICTORY for all the Zumba-ers and salad eaters out there! 

It's the small things that keep you going.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Let It Be

As it often does my Thursday afternoon workout with my friend has inspired some musings from me.  I know you're excited.  My musings are the stuff of legends. ;)

My friend and I were discussing our constant state of single-ness and how, no matter what we try to do or how we try to get things moving, nothing changes.  We have discussed this at length on more than one occasion and have decided that we just need to let go of our worries and concerns and let God handle it.  He's going to regardless and we've gotten SEVERAL signs that we might as well just accept that.  In this year alone between us we've had no less than 5 "possibilities" go completely awry.  One guy, who was about to be set up with one of us actually took a job out of state.  You can't make this stuff up people.  Sign after sign that no matter what we do "it" isn't going to happen until it happens.  Until God decides we're ready and it's time for "it" to happen.  Let go. 

But that is far easier than it sounds.  I would love to be able to turn off the part of my mind that worries about finding someone and having a family.  I'd love the be able to turn off the part of my brain that worries or obsesses about anything and everything from work, to family, to money, to my health but frankly, I have yet to be able to do that.  I've prayed about it, I've talked about it but I just have not been able to make it happen.  It is FAR easier said than done. 

So we discussed it again, for the umpteenth time.  And then, on the way home, my iPod set to shuffle landed on The Beatles "Let it Be".  In case you live under a rock and are not familiar with the lyrics they go a little something like this:

"When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it be.  And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it be."

Are you kidding me?  Could this have been any more clear?  Obviously God, in his infinite wisdom (and in my opinion, his healthy sense of humor and irony) decided to remind me, once again, that's I need to let it go.  To "Let it be.."

So I'm going to try.  To really try.  To let go of the little obsessions and compulsions and worries that are a waste of time and that change nothing.  To give up the control I cling to desperately over things that are, 99 times out of 100, completely out of my control. I'm going to pray about it and I'm going to let go...and let God. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trending Now

For the foreseeable future I am totally in love with....

1. Green Smoothies-yes, I may have gagged when I first read the recipe for green smoothies on pinterest-it included baby spinach!!!!  But I sucked it up and tried it and am now rather addicted.  I make mine with a banana, a handful of spinach, frozen pineapple or mango and a little water.  Be prepared-they turn a violent green but I PROMISE you cannot taste the spinach.  They are quite tasty and besides that they make you (me at least) feel like you are doing something uber-healthy to start your day.

2. Spring in KY-If there is anything prettier...well I don't know what it is.  I love this time of year in my good ol' Bluegrass state...birds singing, baby calves and foals romping in the fields, trees, flowers and grass growing.  It's an intro to a freaking Disney movie and I love it!  I do not, however, enjoy the rapid rate at which my grass has begun to grown that has led to me having to mow it with increasing frequency.  If only there were a mowing fairy....

3. PitBull and Colbie Caillat-Yeah, cause I'm gangsta that way.  Oh wait...what?...Colbie Caillat's not gangsta...dang it.  So close.  Anyway I am totally jamming to these two right now.  Pitbull because my Zumba instructor uses him a lot for her routines and now just the sound of him and I'm rocking out.  Colbie Caillat because I find her breezy style very spring-like.  I enjoy the vibe-summer approaching-which it is (woot woot!)  Her new duet with Common? I dig it.

4. Countdown-Any elementary teacher (any teacher for that matter) will quickly tell you by this point of the school year how many days are left in the year.  Some ( can even break it down into Monday's left-4 if you're curious.  At this point in the game when the kids are infected with spring fever and their little brains are slowly getting out of school mode a countdown is really all we have to help us cling to our sanity.  22 days people!!!!!  We can make it...right?

5. Smash, New Girl, DWTS, Once Upon a Time-These are the tv shows I am feverishly dvr'ing of late.  Smash-Glee with grown ups-need I say more?  New Girl is hi-lar-i-ous-love all the characters, the plots, the rapid fire banter.  DWTS-a perennial favorite but the incredible hotness of William Levy had restored my faith in the show. God Bless you DWTS.  And Once Upon a Time is simply all the fairy tales in the world thrown together....fantastic.  I am so interested to see how all the conflict is going to resolve and what new characters are going to come out.  And that August guy?  What's his deal?

That's what trending with me...what are you all loving these days?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Call to Arms....Muscular Arms Preferably

I've been floundering a bit lately when it comes to thinking up interesting blog topics.  I've tossed around this and that but everything has seemed kind of stale (heck, what is coming might seem stale to you too) and I've just had...nothing.  Things have been coasting along in my life comfortably-which is marvelous but does not make for thrilling blog reading.  Then yesterday while working out with one of the besties our conversation led me to the perfect topic.  Or at least something I think needs to be said.  Loudly.  I believe my exact comment went something like this....


I said it loudly.  In fact I'm pretty sure people walking near us turned to stare.

But seriously? Why can't they!  You may wonder what I mean by this and perhaps it would be best explained if you knew that the conversation leading up to this comment had a lot to do with men being one or more (usually more) of the following:
1. wimps (harsh but true)
2. non-committal / indecisive
3. aimless and drifting through life trying to "find themselves"
4. on the couch playing the latest xBox game (is xBox still cool?  I have no idea)
-and mostly-
5. lazy and unwilling to pursue a woman-properly

I realize #5 might seem a bit archaic and call me old fashioned if you want-I'm sure I've been called worse-but I want to be freaking pursued dang it!  And as I told my friend yesterday, no, I don't mean laying on a chaise eating grapes, fanning myself and listening to suitors sing or compose poems in my honor.  I'm not Cleopatra -my aspirations are far more simple.  I would be perfectly content with a MAN who calls when he says he will (and yes, I mean actually CALLS, not texts, not emails, not Facebooks), who actually wants to be with me, who is take charge and respectful and confident and...manly.   Which I know is a vague descriptor but for the life of me I don't know how else to describe it.  A man who takes care of his family, who has some goals, some vision of how he wants his life to go.  Who is kind and loving yet willing to defend you and protect you. And, in my experience at least, that kind of man is something that is really lacking in our society today.  At least in guys in my age range.  And I blame that on "Guyland"-a magical place where men of my generation seem to have set up residence permanently.  It seems to be a place where the mindset, expectations, goals and activities are the same as they are for your average 13-17 year old male.

Michael Kimmel wrote the book on "Guyland"-literally.  And his basic premise is that while men want to be men, the responsibilities and baggage that comes with that baffles them (and, in my opinion, intimidates and scares the crap out of them).  Therefore, some seem to set up house in Guyland-where they can be eternally 13 and where all the less appealing facets of being a man are perfectly acceptable-complete with video games, locker room jokes, male camaraderie via sports teams, exaggerated tales of their sexual prowess and none of that scary commitment or responsibility stuff.

Think about it.  Who doesn't know a man between the ages of 20-35 who is a proud property owner in Guyland?  I know SEVERAL. They seem to be perpetual teenagers and that annoys me to no end.  I have said, more than once, that I'm not looking for a child to raise, another person to take care of.  I want a man who will share in the responsibilities of life with me, who-could it be possible?-might actually take care of me in some respects.  And that seems hard to find.  People have always said "a good man is hard to find".  The trouble is that now the emphasis on that statement is not so much in the good, as in the "man". 

Another bestie and I have determined that part of the reason for our rather low opinions of these Guyland residents is due to the fact we were raised by slightly older fathers-what she likes to call the "John Wayne" era.  They played cowboys and Indians, rode horses, shot marbles and dreamed of being a cowboy or a soldier.  Not a ninja or video game designer. It was a time when men were men and women were women.  Corny, but frankly, true. Things were simple then, lines more cut and dried. So this is the model of a man we have grown up with, the standard we hold other men accountable to.  And all those guys hanging out in Guyland?  They fall ridiculously short. 

No, not all the men I know live in Guyland.  But numbers are small in those that have moved to Man-land.  They're there-but they're few. 

So my challenge, my "call to arms" to all you 20 and 30-something guys?  Man up!!!!  It's what we girls are looking for.  Get some purpose, some direction in life.  Treat a woman with respect.  Make her feel valued and protected a woman!  The best way to accomplish that?  Act like a man.

"All a girl wants is for one guy to prove to her that they are not all the same."
-Marilyn Monroe\

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Break is over...let the countdown begin!

Spring break is over.  It was a whirlwind of shopping, relaxing, eating out with friends, relaxing, riding horses, relaxing, getting a new barn puppy and did I mention relaxing?  All in all quite satisfactory but leaving me with just a taste of the gloriousness of summer break which is a mere 5 weeks away!!!  This realization brings about feelings of both giddiness and slight panic.  Giddiness because it's almost freaking summer break-woop woop!  Panic because I feel like there is so much I still need to cram into my kiddos heads at school-but I always feel that way and they're always fine...I hope.  Nonetheless today we delve into the world of subtraction and plants.  May the force be with us.

Here's hoping you all have a fantastic Monday!  And if it was off to a somewhat dreary start I leave you with this pic-it's our new barn dog Ruby "Don't Take Your Love to Town" Ethel Oliver, age 6 weeks.  If you can look at it and not smile you are made of sterner stuff than me!