Sunday, March 8, 2020

God is always working

What's great about today...

I found my words!  I have been contemplating on a return to blogging, but couldn't find my words.  I have so much I want to say, but didn't know how to present it.  Tonight, I found my words, so here it goes...

God is always working.  When we are waiting for answers, God is working.  When we are unsure of the next steps, God is working.  When we feel like we are failing, God is working. When we are struggling, God is working. You better believe He is working. We can't see it. We can't always feel Him, but I am here to tell you, HE IS WORKING!  It’s hard for us to understand. Some things and circumstances we will never understand (here on Earth), but He has a plan. He has a plan that is far greater than we can even imagine.  At times, we are fortunate enough to actually see a glimpse of the plan as I believe He does reveal the process to us in hindsight if we are open to receive it. I am in awe of His love for me each and every day.  Does that mean I don’t ever take it for granted? Of course not! I am a sinner and I am grateful for His mercies. The Lord has been working in my life for quite some time now and I am just overwhelmed with his grace. 

Here is a little backstory. I took a huge leap of faith two years ago and quit my job, the only job I have had since I graduated from college. 14 years of the only thing I knew came to a close. God had a plan. I had peace about it.  I really felt like I was doing the right thing. I had a dream of opening a small fitness studio. Things just fell into place. Things came together. Things kept working out, obstacles kept getting in the way, yes, but they were always overcome.  I had no doubt God was working. 

 Fast forward to the present day, I closed my studio a week ago. Now, the first reaction I get from people when they hear the news is, “oh, I’m sorry.”  To this, my reaction is usually, “I’m not!” followed by a received puzzled look. I've even had people say, "are you really ok with closing?" You see, I feel so extremely blessed that I was afforded the opportunity to follow a dream.  How many people can say that, or better yet, are willing to do that? I was did! I can't be upset about that, are you kidding? Not everything or every season is meant to last forever.  Let me say that again. Not every thing is meant to last forever! It took me a long time to realize this. However, let me tell you how freeing it is to fully comprehend that now.

Now, let me shed some light on the last two years. God was working. Jamie and I practically grew up in a church.  When the doors were open, we were there. The youth group was our family away from family. We got married...went to church. We moved... went to church. We moved again... went to church (now a different one). Until about 6 years ago or so, we were always in church. Then, life got busy, schedules got hectic, selfishness took over, laziness grabbed hold, and our steadfast attendance in church started to decline….until it was non-existent. Did we ever stop believing? No! We just let “life” dictate our choices.  Our circumstances won out every single time. We quit going, but God was still working. About 2 years ago on Easter Sunday, we decided to try again at a different location (not that anything was wrong with the other). We loved it! We continued to go, but once again “life” happened and our priorities were not in order. The last two years with my business were and are such a blessing. I choose to see them as such. Was it easy? NOPE! Was it worth it? YEP! Without that, we would not be where we are today.  The hardships involved with owning my own business were just that HARD. I was heading down the same path of my previous job yet again. My work came first. Our family suffered. I was literally spending 12 hours a day with my family and 10 of those were while we were sleeping! I would drop Colby off after school and leave for work. 4 of 7 days a week I was a Wife/Mom only by title. I wasn’t providing the things I needed to for my family or for me. The thing about a fitness business is I can only work when the majority of people are not working. Most classes were before 8 or after 4:30.  I couldn't help with homework or even eat dinner with them many nights. This got to me. This was driving a wedge between what I loved and who I loved. I made many decisions based on what other people wanted me to do and those people didn't include my family. Don’t get me wrong, this was MY choice. I take 100% responsibility for this, but it was what it was. It was NOT ok, not for us. I spent many hours and days feeling lost. I spent many many moments in prayer. Throughout all of this, God was working. Jamie and I have had some hard conversations. We’ve had to give up some things we've always wanted.  He has had to sacrifice so much for my dream. We have had to get help from family and friends on many occasions. We could never begin to express our gratitude for them. How blessed are we to have them?! We have struggled and yet we knew how to put on a good front. Guess what though? God was working.

Just before Christmas, we decided to go home. Home was the church where we grew up . Home was the church where we met. Home was the church where we were baptized . Home was the church where we were married. After one “visit”, it was like we had never left. We felt like we were finally home. But, God was still working. It’s not a coincidence that God opened the door for me to pursue my business.  It’s not a coincidence that God allowed us to walk through the struggles of the past two years. It’s not a coincidence that God brought us back to Dalraida Baptist Church in December. It’s also not a coincidence that our only son, Colby accepted Christ as his Savior this February during revival and was baptized this Sunday at “home”. It’s not a coincidence!!! IT WAS HIS PLAN! God was working! 

We don’t always see it or feel it, but he is there.  He is listening. He hears our cries, our desires, our fears, our secrets, our prayers.  He IS working. Please, don’t ever forget that. It's like a mother who is frantically getting the bottle ready for the crying baby or the teacher diligently preparing the lesson for tomorrow's class.  It’s like the farmer painstakingly tending the crops for weeks and months before harvest or the chef carefully preparing a meal in the restaurant kitchen. They’re working. Just because we don’t see it with our own eyes, doesn’t mean it's not getting done.  It is part of the process, part of the plan. He is working. He is ALWAYS working. Trust the process. Trust His plan.

God is so good and Praise God, today is another day!

Monday, January 8, 2018

I must have a list!

What's great about today...

Today is grocery shopping day.  YAY!  OK, yeah that was a sarcastic response.  You know, I wouldn't say I hate grocery shopping, but I definitely don't LOVE it either.  Actually, I used to really enjoy getting out and wandering up and down every single aisle while taking my sweet time.  Of course, I also used to have a screaming baby at home.  I have now come to HATE doing that!  I do not like going to the  grocery store without a list.  Am I alone here? Does anyone else feel this way?  I have finally come to terms with the fact that I NEED A LIST!  And I'm not even capable of having the list on my phone either.  I am such an old fashioned pen and paper kind of girl. I need to write it down.  The act of writing commits it to my memory so much better than typing it on a phone.  Even though I would still have the list with me either way, there is just something about the pen in hand that does the trick for me.  The hubs and I went to the store this morning together.  By the way, that is usually NOT the way we roll.  Grocery shopping is not a couple sport for us!  We are starting a healthier eating journey tomorrow, so off we went together today.  This way he couldn't say "I didn't have what I needed."  No excuses!  We literally walked up and down EVERY aisle (as I'm typing this I am definitely rolling my eyes) because...guess who didn't make a list?!  Yep, that would be me! Again! I knew the basics of what I was looking for.  If I look at everything, surely I will get what I need, right? You know for the most part I felt like I did pretty well.  We got home and unloaded all the groceries....SWEET POTATOES!  I forgot the blasted sweet potatoes!!!  The "no list" escapade gets me again.  Oh well.  After all, tomorrow is another day!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

I just "cannot do without"

What's great about today...

is this sipping vinegar.  I want to highlight a product each month that I or you just "cannot do without".  This month is mine and it is this sipping apple cider vinegar.  A good friend of mine told me about this stuff and I will admit, I was skeptical.  I'll try just about anything once and y'all, she was right!!!  This stuff is awesome!  It's organic and gluten free, if that applies to you.  This comes in four flavors: Ginger & Honey, Cranberries & Honey, Blueberries & Honey, and Turmeric & Honey. I loved the blueberry and now I am trying the ginger.  I have shot it straight from the bottle once but usually just mix it with about 4-6 ounces of water and chug.  I drink it first thing in the morning.  I won't bore you with the benefits of ACV here, but you should check it out.  There are many!  I buy this at Wal-Mart here locally.  According to their website, it is available at your local Wal-Mart, Publix, Winn-Dixie, and Rite Aid.  I also found on the website that this company even has a drinking vinegar with lemon, mint, and lime!  I may have to check that out too.  I love mint!    At our Wal-Mart these bottles are under $3 each and are rather small.  A little goes a LONG way.  Check it out, let me know what you think!
Vermont Village Sipping Vinegar
Tell me about what you "cannot do without".  I may just have to try it and then share it here with everyone as well.  You know what they say? "Can't knock it til you try it!"  After all, tomorrow is another day!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Resolution??? YEP!

What's great about today...

It's January 1st, day 1 of 365.  I warned you, I am a resolution person.  I also warned you, it is usually fitness.  Well, at least I'm honest and to be fair, I gave you a few days to get ready.  Here we go!  This year I want to get leaner.  It's hard for me to say I want to lose "x" pounds, because I don't have a set number.  I want to get leaner, NOT skinnier.  I am one of "those" girls that likes a little muscle on her body.  No, I am not talking 'bodybuilder', but rather, "um, yeah, SHE works out!"  In order for me to do this, yes, I will need to lose some pounds for sure, but I don't have a specific number in mind.  It may be 5,10,15, it may be 30.  I don't know.  I am not scared of the scale.  In fact I laugh at the scale and sometimes even have to step on it to prove my claims.  I don't let that thing dictate my happiness or worth. Why? Because, it is JUST a NUMBER!  With all that being said, I love, love, love to workout!  This is my saving grace, my sanity saver, my feel better move, my frustration release.  I need it!  Unfortunately, due to medical reasons (which I will be touching on later) I have had to take a hiatus from strenuous activity.  But guess what?!?  That 6 week limit has expired.  SHE'S BAAAACK!!!!  I am pumped too!  Don't be mistaken though, taking that long of a break makes it extremely hard to get back in the swing.  I know this, so I have been prepping and pep talking myself for about a week now.  Planning and scheduling is already in the works.  I love to challenge my body and keep it fresh by changing my routines.  I plan my own workouts usually with some inspiration and ideas from others.  My bachelors is in Human Performance and Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science, so one might say I am "eat up with it".  I really do love this stuff!  I also understand that not everyone does love this stuff.  Some get frustrated when it comes to fitness. Maybe the hang up is "What do I do?" or maybe "Where do I go?"  "I don't have time."  "I can't afford it."  I'm too self-conscious."  Y'all, I get it, really I do.  In order to stay on track, I decided to design a monthly exercise challenge for myself and I am sharing it with you!  This is a simple, super short workout that focuses on one area.  This month is the core.  Our core is a mega important part of our body that helps us with all of our day to day activities.  It is often neglected and then...that's when the pain creeps in.  This month's exercises are all variations of the plank. Actually, the plank targets other areas of the body including upper and lower body muscles. Before you say it...Yes, you have muscles. They are there, trust me.   Click on the link here January--Plank Challenge  then find the tab with 'Jan-Plank'.  I've included the exercise on each day.  I also have the method I am using down at the bottom of the calendar.  I love HIIT training. I will speak more on this later too.  I like using time rather than reps.  Perform each move for the time listed (20 seconds) then rest for the time listed (10 seconds) .  Repeat this process as directed.  The entire workout will take you 5 minutes.  Wait, did y'all hear me?  5 MINUTES!!!! That's it! Now, let's be clear, this alone will not produce a 50 pound weight loss or a Size 10 to a 2, but it's a start.  Remember, we all have to start somewhere.  What's great about this is that you can do this anywhere. Really, like beside your bed,  in your kitchen, living room, hallway, garage, backyard, anywhere.  No equipment needed AND you can modify these moves to your levels.  I'll be doing this along with my other workouts.  I will have demonstrations of each plank variation and some modifications on my Facebook Page.  Don't worry, rest days are built in so if you miss a day, don't quit just make it up later.  Grace, people, Grace!    After all, tomorrow is another day!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Final Countdown

What's great about today...

Today is New Year's Eve!  The last day of 2017!  Time to turn the page and see what's in store for 2018!  For some of us, we are glad this year is over.  For others, we wish we could stay for another year.  For me, I am glad to say good bye because I have had a good run at 2017. I am grateful for what it has offered and what it has taught me.  Was it always pleasant? No.  Did I have some come-aparts? Sure!  More than one? Maybe.... More than two?  That's really none of your business! 😆 I am happy to see this new year arrive and I am excited to see what will make it great.  I conveniently fall into the category of the new year's resolutioners.  I usually start out pretty strong and for the most part stay the course on again/off again for the better part of the year.  My resolutions are always the same, eat right, exercise more, lose weight, blah, blah, blah.  In fact, Jamie (the hubs) and I were on our way to the local YMCA for Colby's (the kid) basketball practice tonight and laughing about how full the workout room would be next week.  Then, like clockwork, in about 5 weeks, heck 5 days, it would be right back to normal and some days even vacant.  Why is this?  My favorite new phrase applies here...well, because.....LIFE!  Life happened and just like me, we say just forget it! But what if we didn't just forget it?  What if we just started back again or picked up where we left off? Sometimes, we set such a high standard and a perfectionism expectation that we will never measure up.  Wow! Did I just say that out loud?! I think I just preached to the choir.  This is totally me, all or nothing!  Y'all! Stop doing this, now!  We must give ourselves grace.  We must be patient with ourselves.  We are taught to have patience and forgive others.  Well, WE ARE OTHERS!  Let's do something great this year.  Find your resolution whether it be health, fitness, career, family, financial, or whatever.  Set a goal and go for it, but be patient with yourself.  If you get off track, just jump back on.  After all, tomorrow is another day!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Take Care of Yourself

What's great about today...

I have been thinking lately about the monotony of day to day life. I saw a quote somewhere, who am I kidding, it was on Pinterest, it’s ALWAYS on Pinterest 🙄. “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”  Boom! Ouch! Wow!  Boy this hit me like a ton of bricks!  I am certainly not gonna sit here and say that I haven’t had some great adventures and that I don’t live a great and fulfilling life, but sometimes I do lay my head down at night and wonder, “Is this it? Am I following my calling?  What is my calling?”  If this is it, then that is perfectly fine, but I honestly don’t think that God allows these thoughts in order to create self doubt. I believe they are for self awakening. I love my little life and I am totally content with my world. But, sometimes I think contentment creates complacency. If we’re  not growing then we’re not glowing. If we’re not glowing then we are not creating light for others to see. If we are standing still then we are NOT fulfilling our potential.   I have created a list of self care tasks. Well really it’s a calendar, I’m kind of nerdy like that. I am challenging myself and you to perform these simple tasks in order to grow ourselves. Let’s call it a reset challenge if you will. I’ve written down only a few things each week. You don’t have to get bogged down by the specific date. I just thought it looked prettier on the calendar this way. Do what you can but make yourself a priority. If you miss something then do it another time. Give yourself grace! Yes, I am also directly talking to myself here 😉. I am a self proclaimed perfectionist and I’m working through this. Grace!  Taking time for yourself is the key.  We must start first with us.  After all, tomorrow is another day!


January reset challenge

Friday, December 29, 2017

Day ONE!

What's great about today...

Today is Day One, my day ONE!  No, it's not January 1st, but it doesn't matter.  Today is the first day of...er...uh... the rest of my life?! Yeah that's pretty lame, I know.  It was going so well in my head then it stopped.  Does that ever happen to you?  You have all these big dreams and great plans then when you put pen to paper or better yet fingers to keyboard you get NOTHING!  Well maybe it's just me, but this happens quite often.  I don't know where to begin or what to do next, but I know that I want to change the world! Right? Well, maybe not the ENTIRE world, maybe just SOME of the world...ok I'll settle for helping a few people out.  The few people I have here, now, right in front of me.  Those people are the ones that I can help.  After all, tomorrow is another day!

God is always working

What's great about today... I found my words!  I have been contemplating on a return to blogging, but couldn't find my words.  I h...