Monday, November 22, 2010

A diet that is actually working!!!

Day 4 of the HCG diet.  I've been saying I've only lost 4 lbs but that is 4 lbs between day 3 and day 4.  Day 1 and day 2 were what are called "gorge" days.  Most people will think that sounds crazy but all I can say is, it's working!!  Anyway, I won't post my starting weight but from pre diet to this morning, I'm down a little over 6 lbs.  In 4 days!!  and like I said, 4 of those lbs were lost that one day between starting the strict part of the diet until the next morning's weigh in.  I'm excited to see what the scale says tomorrow morning.

Most people think me doing this diet is crazy for 2 reasons....1) it's the holidays and 2) it is EXTREMELY strict!  For the first 21 days after the 2 gorge days I'm limited to 500 calories a day.  I've heard all the " that can't be good for you!" and "have you talked to your dr.?"  and "you must be nuts!" comments I care to hear and can handle.  I can only explain it to you like this:

I was diagnosed with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) in 2005.  Basically what that means is that my hormones are EXTREMLY off kilter, my adrenal gland doesn't function properly, my ovaries are constantly producing cysts (which typically leads to infertility but I had a miracle working God on my side!) and, if not able to be kept in check, eventually leads to type II diabetes, kidney failure, liver failure, morbid obesity and MANY....MANY other health problems.  I had been experiencing symptoms of it since coming home from college in 1996 and didn't even realize it.  Chances are, I had it since the onset of puberty but was so active, I was able to keep most of my symptoms in check and it was never diagnosed.  There are varying degrees of PCOS.  Mine has gotten to such a point that I feel miserable EVERY day.

Most people look at fat people and think, "man they are lazy", "How disgusting!!!...Who would want to be like that?  Who would let themselves get to that point?" and a plethora of other comments and thoughts.  I know...I used to be one of those people.  I have even been guilty of making such terrible comments such as, "If I EVER get that size, kill me!"  Seriously!  That HAS come out of my mouth.  Now that I'm a "larger" lady, I have compassion on larger people.  I'm not so quick to judge because you never know what health reason lay behind the reason they over weight.  Most overweight people, like myself, are DESPERATE to drop the unwanted lbs.  Some of us, like myself, typically have to force ourselves to eat on any given day.   Surprisingly, a lot of us continue to gain weight despite our best efforts and work out programs to she the lbs.  My dr. put it to me this way...."losing this weight is nearly impossible with your degree of PCOS.  Just to maintain, you would have to do an hour of cardio a day at least 5 days a week.  Guess what I did???  I joined the gym and did 1 1/2 hours of cardio a day 6 days a week.  (most of the time...there were times do to the fact I had 2 small children that I was not able to go) because I didn't want to maintain.  I wanted it GONE!!!  I've tried weight watchers, low carb diets, no carb diets,  good carb diets, south beach, Hollywood, calorie counting, my own work out program, taking a prescribed med that my Dr. put me on, C25K.  All to no avail.  I would drop 10 lbs.  Sometimes rather quickly, other times it took over 2 months to reach that and then I'd reach a plateau and never lose another lb.

I've been feeling so bad lately and in so much pain that my Dr.'s final suggestion was a hysterectomy with a procedure he would do to my ovaries that would cure my PCOS.  Sounds great right???  A cure!!!  I am OK with going through with the surgery but I've had 5 surgery's and 3 kids between 2004 and 2009 and I FEEL it!  IF I can avoid another surgery, I will explore that option first.  This diet is that final option.  I first heard about this diet over 6 months ago.  I've read testimony after testimony of people who've lost 40 + lbs in 40 days.  It was created by a Dr.  I've googled everything I can find out about this diet. (Obviously if it took me 6 mths to try it).  My visit to my Dr. 2 visits ago, I asked him about this diet.  He had never heard of it (which I'm finding to be common here in the South....seems we are the last to hear about anything.  LOL)  I explained it to him as best I could with the understanding I had at that point.  He thought it was just some fad diet that someone was trying to get money on (just by hearing me talk about it...he had never heard of it or done any research on it).   I trust this particular Dr. whole heartedly.  He's always been VERY attentive to my concerns and health issues.  He does a blood panel on me every so many months to make sure my kidneys and liver are still functions as they should.  He dot's his i's and crosses his t's.  So at that point, I put it out of my mind for a couple weeks.  Then I heard more and more testimony's.  I joined PCOS board's online.  They are communities made up of women who suffer from PCOS and read testimony after testimony of women who not only dropped a large amount of weight but also had all of their PCOS symptoms disappear.  So finally, after much prayer, research, and analyzing my options, I've decided to give it a try. 

Keep in mind, I've only just completed day 4 so I still have 17 days left of only 500 calories....I may not be very friendly at that point...LOL but so far, I'm pleased with the results and I'm ALREADY feeling better!  After these next 17 more days, I slowly start adding carbs back into my diet.  By the end of the diet, (it will be around day 44 I think) I will be on maintenance.  Should I chose to do this diet another round, I will have to wait 6 weeks and then start round 2.  I'm hoping that I will need no more than 2 rounds.  Maybe even 1.  We'll see at the end.

Another reason everyone tells me I'm crazy is that the holidays are coming up rather quickly.  I PURPOSELY chose this time because though I normally eat much less than my 7 year old does in a day and much less than most people eat in a day prior to this diet, the holidays are times that I do eat more than I should.  I think most people do.  And the holidays are FULL of fattening foods!!  I plan on making me a plate of my favorite foods, bringing it home and freezing it.  (Only 1 plate!!) that way when I'm through, I'll still be able to enjoy it but not have so much of it accessible.  It will be my "reward".

So in closing, I have this to say.  Until you've walked a mile in someone's shoes, try to give them the benefit of the doubt.  You have NO idea what that person has gone through and just how desperate they are to reach their goals.  Instead of discouraging them, ENCOURAGE them!!!  Be their cheerleader!  The pic I'm adding on is a typical lunch.  That is repeated for dinner.  I do have other variations to choose from but not many.  I've started eating the fruit in the morning and between dinner and lunch so as to help curb any hunger I may be feeling which isn't typical in the evenings...usually only in the morning.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bitter sweet memories!

Tonight, my family and I went to Outback for dinner.  Boy did that stir up some memories.  I wanted to break down and cry right in the middle of the restaurant.  Back when my father was REALLY 1998, I bought my dad the last thing he ever ate outside of a hospital.  Possibly one of the last things he ever ate at all.  If I remember correctly, we didn't have a full and completed least not to the extent of how bad his cancer was but we knew it was serious.  He hadn't been able to have bowel movement for quite some time because of how badly the cancer was.  It was completely blocking his bowels.  Well, before he was that bad off, I had gone to outback with a friend and brought home the rest of my blooming onion and the dipping sauce.  Dad polished it off for me and LOVED it!!!  We (our family) never ate at places like that because we didn't have the money to but one I started working and making my own money, I would sometimes go with friends and bring home my extra's and anyone that knew my daddy knew that he LOVED him some food.

I don't really remember exactly how it all happened.  It may have been fathers day...I'm not really sure.  That entire year is a big blur to me.  Some major events and holidays, I can't even tell you what we did.  Especially after he passed away.  But I decided I wanted to get my dad one last "treat" before he checked into the hospital.  I drove across town and bought him a blooming onion with extra sauce and brought it back home.  He sat in his recliner looking frail and ate it.  So tonight, as my family sat at the table at Outback, enjoying our blooming onion, it was really bitter sweet for me.  I think this is only the second time I've eaten there since my daddy died.  The other time was with my husbands team at work.  His co-workers and spouses were treated to lunch upon completion of their training.  There was so much going on, I didn't even have time to think about memories that day but tonight, for just a little bit, I was back at the home I grew up in watching my dad enjoy one of his last treats ever.  I miss you daddy!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Well, recently I learned that along time friend of the family/neighbor has cancer. I'm angry!! I'm angry at disease, cancer, sickness, evil, crime!!! I'm not angry at God. Look what He allowed Job to go through and how much stronger it made him in the long run. I'm just angry at God's people being attacked and right now, the biggest weapon seems to be cancer.
James 1:3
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

It just seems like some of us should have so much more patience by now! Every time I hear these stories, it opens up old wounds. And as crazy as this sounds, I'm thankful for that. Had I not gone through with my dad what I did, all I could do is feel sorry for someone going through something similar. But now, I can not only sympathize, I can empathize. I want to cradle every daddy's girl in this world who has a sick father or who is watching him suffer or who has lost their daddy! I want to wrap my arms around them and cry with them. And though I miss my father, had I not gone through that, I would never know how it feels. I would never understand the so many emotions that runs through a daddy's girls head. Now, I understand that. I feel that. I'll be honest with you, it hurts. Everyday it hurts but everyday I hear stories of it happening to other children and now I know how to pray for them.

I've never really shared with many people the plethora of emotions that went on in me as I went through dads battle with him. I do pray that everyone reading this that is going through something similar will have a different outcome than I did though but here is my story.

When I was in 10th grade, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Prognosis seemed to be pretty good at first. They thought they'd be able to get everything with surgery. Well, when the dr. FINALLY came in to talk to mom and dad after surgery, he apologized for operating on him. He said had he known it had spread as much as it had, he would have never done the surgery. I cried, I screamed, I hit things, I was over taken with anger. I was angry at God. I had told God if He took my daddy from me now, I wouldn't forgive him. That my idea of a God that loved and cared for everyone would be gone because how could He love and care for everyone if he allowed MY dad to die when there were rapists and pedophiles, and murderers, and thieves out there living a life of crime DAILY!!! Why my dad?? A man of God that had a heart for all of God's children. A man that taught me that God is color blind. He doesn't look at the outward appearance of anyone, all He see's is their heart and all our hearts bleed red. A man that taught me that though we had little, there were others that had even less that we should be willing to give of what we did have to help someone else in need. A man who would stop and put a quarter in one of those little mechanical horses just to see a smile on a child's face that may not have had a reason to smile lately. A man that never missed one of my soccer practices or games or basketball games or homecoming events even though at times, he worked three jobs to put food on our table, a roof on our head, and clothes on our back....WHY???? I truly told God that if He took my father from me at such a young age in my life, I would turn my back on everything I was raised up believing. Would I have really??? I can't answer that but with the amount of anger I was feeling at the time, I probably would have. I was angry that my dad wouldn't see me graduate high-school, get married, have children. My father was the best grandpa and I wanted my kids to be able to experience that from him. He LOVED his grand babies dearly and you should have seen the smile that came across his face every time he got tot spend time with one, or share in their birthdays. I knew my kids would be his only grand kids that he didn't get to meet.

Anyone who is familiar with prostate cancer knows that part of the treatment is lupron (SP?) shots, Having your PSA counts tested frequently which indicates if the surgery and treatment is working or if the cancer is spreading. The lower the number the better. If I remember correctly, between 0-3 is where it should be normally in a cancer free patient. Dads was, I think, 16. Well, with his treatments, that number started dropping. It kept dropping. One night at Church, God laid it on my heart to stand in for my father for prayer. I was so angry how could I? I decided to make a bargain with God. ( I don't advise God is greater than our wants and desires) I told Him fine, I would go before the Church and have the pastors and elders lay hands on me and pray for my father but if it did not work, I wouldn't be going back. Though I know that would have hurt me in the long wrong more than it would God, He came through. My dads PSA counts continued to drop. I think one of the last counts he had taken was 0. something. It wasn't 0 but it wasn't 1 either which is AMAZING for someone who's dr. had apologized for operating on him and only given him a short time to live. After a while of shots and testing, the dr.'s pretty much gave my dad a clean bill of health and charted his results as a miracle. Needless to say, I cried some more and thanked God for upholding His end of the bargain. I'm truly convinced that my dads first battle with cancer saved my life (my far as eternity goes). I think God gave Him a "lease on life" for my sake and I have a feeling maybe for a few others sakes as well. I know I wasn't the only one struggling with the thought of losing him. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one questioning God either. So I guess you can say that my dads struggle saved my life.

Fast forward a few years. My dad starts having a lot of stomach issues. Upset stomach, bowels weren't working, just not feeling well at all. My dad always believed you shouldn't go to the dr. unless you were dying and according to him, an upset stomach wasn't going to kill him (the only reason he went several years earlier is his work made him go get a routine physical). I think he went months like this. He finally felt so bad that he gave in and went. By this point, I had done a lot of growing. Both emotionally as well as spiritually. Dad coming through is first battle with cancer really taught me to rely on God and place concerns, needs, and fears at the cross. Leave them at the altar. God is better at working things out than anyone else so I learned I needed to cast fears before Him and leave them there. God can't work things out if we keep laying our needs at His feet and then picking them back and taking them back with us once we get up off our knee's. For God to do what He wants and needs to do for us, we have to leave our needs on the altar and never look back. If you take your car to a mechanic, he can fix it if once you've told him the problem, you get back in it and drive it back home. I was trying to google the verse that reads something like this, "Cast your cares upon Him, for He truly cares for you...." but google appears to be down right now. LOL

ANYWAY, dad finally goes to the dr. and the news isn't good. He has cancer again. HOWEVER, tests show that it is not the cancer he had before. It is a new cancer but he had waited so long, the only treatment he was really offered was Chemo and radiation. He went through one round of chemo and radiation and when they wanted him to do more, he chose not to. He said it was only making him feel sicker and he was going to trust God was going to heal him again. What we had to watch him go through in the next few months was not pretty at all. There are times I can still smell the stench of death. Most of us knew it was his time to go before dad really did. I wish I knew where I stored the letter I wrote him because it really explains more how I felt at the time than my memory can. I can just tell you there was peace. Peace that passes all understanding. Yes there was hurt but there was no anger...not at God or my dad anyway. The anger at cancer will always be there but I realized that when my dad had cancer before, I was being selfish. I wanted dad around for me. for MY wedding, and MY kids and though most people would think that's a normal reaction, I realized it really was a selfish request. I think we all have a time when God calls us home an that we don't know that time for a reason. If we did, we'd spend our lives trying to cheat death or trying to find a way to extend our time or rush things to happen and cheat ourselves of what could be a great life. In those few years between cancer 1 and cancer 2, Gods words and promises became more real to me. I realized God would still always be my father and would always be there. He is the Father to the fatherless. He tells us that in His word. I just had to lean on Him more. I can't explain the peace I had this time around. I just know something in me had changed. I had allowed God to do a work on me and show me things in a new way. I think most of us (, me, brothers and sisters) knew it was dads time to go before dad did. I could tell at times dad felt we were giving up on him but we didn't. We just realized that whatever is meant to be is what we would allow to happen. We would have been delighted had God chose to heal him again. We would be sad if God chose to take him home but at the same time delighted that he would not be suffering anymore. The last several weeks of dads life was amazing. He was seeing into the Heavens. He would try to explain to us what he was seeing but he couldn't. Words can't explain the beauty we will behold when we are at home with our Savior. He was seeing people who had gone before him. He would be in a coma for a couple of days and then someone would come over and pray for him and he'd sit up in bed, say a prayer in return for that person, lay back down and was back in a coma. It was amazing, miraculous, inspiring was peaceful.

I miss my daddy. Everyday I miss him. I have a son that is a daily reminder of him. His genes were strong. All the boys in our family look like a Thompson. hahaha! All his grandsons look like him. I have my inheritance from him. His Bible that he took many notes in and marked in and had papers and scribbles and sermon notes in. That is the best thing I could have gotten from him. That and his love of Christ and others. I have great memories of him that can never be taken and just when I feel some of the memories are fading, something happens or I hear something that reminds me yet again.

If you have a loved one that is sick or going through something similar, please don't take this as saying that it is inevitable and that this is going to kill them. I didn't write this to say that. I wrote this to say that when you need God most, whether you realize it or not, He's there! Sometimes we just have to change the way we see things and try seeing them through God's eyes and not human natures eyes.

I had to learn to pray God's will and not mine.
In Him

Psalm 55:22 -- Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

1 Peter 5:6-7 -- Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may e...xalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.


Be Still and Know!

I had planned on taking a nap when the rest of my family did today but my mind won't stop turning. I've seen/heard/Read/heard God speak a lot of amazing things today.

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has seen my posts on praying for Hannah Grace Harrison and her family and took them to heart and sent prayers up to Heaven. I know a lot of people pass these opportunities up if they don't know the family or they don't live in their community but what a blessing it is to be able to stand in the gap for someone who can't stand them self. Or is so weak from standing all they can do is fall to their knee's. We should see these as opportunities to be intercessors! We ARE after all called to "bear ye one another's burdens!...." It has blessed me the number of calls I've received from my family back home wanting updates as I got them because their Church and co-workers were praying as well and asking about little Hannah every day. It blesses me to see God's people do what God called his people to do. If you are reading this and are one of those prayer warriors, please continue to pray for Hannah Grace's parents and little brother. That God will wrap His loving arms around them and give them a peace that passes all understanding!

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."--Gal. 6:2.

Even before I heard the news of little Hannah's graduation day, my mind had been churning. Brother Van, you'll have to forgive me but I wasn't just taking notes from your message today, I was taking notes from God as well. Our life connection group is doing a study by Francis Chan called "Forgotten God". It's powerful. It's about the Holy Spirit's role in our life and how He is basically a forgotten part of God in our modern society. A lot of people view the Holy Spirit as an it when He's really HE! Our Father. Another entity of our loving God who longs to help His children feel comfort, here His voice, give His children direction. Most people today have tuned Him out. That's a part of God they don't discuss or recognize. Sure we read the scriptures that have the words "Holy Spirit" in them but do you stop to think about what that scripture means to you and the role the Holy Spirit is to play in YOUR life?

Take a few minutes and just SHUT UP! LOL Yes you read that right. We can't listen if our mouths are going all the time. We try to hard to over analyze trials and troubles that come our way. We are too quick to ask why instead of stopping to listen and let Him, the Holy Spirit, God explain! Just Be still! Be still and know! Know that HE IS GOD!!! Psalm 46:10 (New International Version)

10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

God Gave me 4 key commands today because I myself am VERY guilty of not being still and listening. I mean after all, how can you when you have three kids running around the house like screaming gorilla's? Who can listen to anything with all that commotion? I CAN!! YOU can!!! We ALL can!! and this is how. These are the 4 commands I heard God speaking to me today.

Be Still

In our society, everything is SO fast paced! It will take a conscious effort on all of our parts to do this but in doing so, we will have more peace, joy, love, patience, long suffering....sound familiar? We will have more FRUIT!!! Fruits of the SPIRIT! AHHHH!!! Are you putting this together yet??? The word tells us in Matt. 7:16 that we will be known by our fruit

Matt. 7:16
By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

I am so speaking to myself here. I'm not just stepping on my toes, I'm stomping on them and grinding them into the ground. They hurt pretty bad. So what am I going to do about it? I'm so glad you asked! As a mother, I realize that God is to be first, our partner second and our children third. I also know as a mom, that is a very hard order to follow and maintain. So often we want to put our children first. In doing so, when the order gets out of whack, chaos enters. At least in my home. When kids are first, spouse is second and God is third you know what that means? Many day's God gets forgotten ( I wonder if that's how the name of that book came about) lol When you forget God from your life, thorns start growing amongst your fruit until, before you know it, the briers and thistles have killed out your fruit.

Change in any area of ones life takes dedication and determination. So, from this day forward, I have decided that my children will be given a memory verse at the beginning of each week. (the older 2 anyway....the 2 year olds will come with time but at least this way, she will be hearing God's Word more frequently!) I will talk to my kids more about what prayer really is. We have our routine every night where one of them says the Lords prayer and the other one says the bed time prayer and the next night, we alternate but I'd like their bed time prayer to be less of something they memorized and more of something they feel in their heart. I will teach them that their prayer time is their communication with God.

Be Still
How can I be still when I have to pay bills, go to work, grocery shop, clean, cook, clean again, give baths, do home work, feed the dog, go to t-ball...I mean really, that's A LOT to do in one day. Then why do you do it that way? Maybe we could try getting up just 15 minutes earlier ( which believe me, I know is very difficult! I'm so not a morning person) and starting our day off With God. Make Him our line leader. After all, if God is your daytime planner, your day is SURE to go smoother! Not to mention, it helps get our attitudes in check. Have you noticed it's not so easy to be grumpy with God? I mean are you really going to get out of bed in the morning and tell your Heavenly Father to stop talking and leave you alone? I'm sure we've all done it from time to time but for the most part, that doesn't happen and should never happen. It also wouldn't hurt us to get off the computer, our put our books down, or the news paper, or turn off the t.v. and just sit still in the absolute quietness (obviously after the kids have gone to bed) and just listen. After you've listened, you might try thanking Him for getting you safely through another day. For protecting your family. For a roof over you head and clothes on your body and food on your table.) Just like any parent likes to hear thank you from their children after doing something for them, God our Father likes to be thanked and praised as well.

While you are being still, you can't help but listen. (unless you fell asleep which I hope you didn't) It's usually in the quiet times that God speaks the loudest. With every decision we have to make, we should listen first. It's when you listen that you tend to take the right direction and not get lost.

Is that favorite show REALLY a priority? Is the water boiling over really something to get un-nerved about? Life is so much more peacefully when you simplify it. Simplify your "need" for some of life's material things. Simplify your reactions to situations that come up in your life. Simplify your reactions to your childrens bad behavior. (Say it once and walk away. I highly recommend Kevin Leman's "Have a new kid by Friday" book. It REALLY helps you simplify and it works). Basically, the key here is, don't make things harder than they have to be!

Put into practice what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you. It's easier to be obedient once you've been still, listened and simplified. Much easier. By that point, you have such God given Joy you want to do everything God asks of you and you fully rely on Him knowing that whatever it is He's asking of you, He will guide you, protect you, comfort you, and equip you. After all isn't that the way a father does? Why wouldn't our Heavenly Father do the same for us?

Matt. 7:9-11
9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

I really had so much more on my mind but not being at a computer when I heard all this in my heart, it was hard to get it all written down. I just pray that these words can help someone else better prioritize their life as I also strive to get mine better prioritized. God bless!!

Division and Hypocrisy

I am so tired of the division and hypocrisy in our country! I was raised in a loving Christian home and taught to love my neighbor as myself. Love your enemies and pray for those that despitefully use you. I was taught we are all brothers and sisters in Christ (if you are a Christian) and we all bleed red no matter what our skin color is. When I see people, I don't see races or color, I see people, hearts, a brother or sister. But let me tell you something. Most of the time, actions speak louder than words. If you are going to attack me for the way I believe and view things, maybe you should do some in depth research of the opposite of my beliefs and then weigh out the good and the bad.

I'm tired of Christians (well, everyone for that matter) belly aching about the direction our country is heading but not doing anything about it or sitting back and keeping their mouth shut because they don't want to "stir the pot." I've got news for you. The pots been stirred!! If you lose friends because of differences of beliefs and opinions, I have to wonder, were they ever really your friend to begin with?? A true friend will love you and stand by you even in the differences. If they are a true friend, you can sit down and have a political debate or a debate about religion and still walk away friends in the end. Maybe even stronger friends because though you may not think the same, you have a better understanding of WHY that person believes as they do!

I was always taught, actions speak louder than words but sometimes, action means standing up and having a voice! Voicing your words!

What got all this started? Well, I was listening to the radio this morning and I got steamed up, angered, outraged over something I heard on there and I KNEW if I came on here saying anything against ANY muslim, someone would throw the racist card at me and if you know me, you KNOW that is far from the truth! One of the other reasons this got me so steamed up is that I'm married to a Jew wich makes my kids part Jewish. So basically, everyone I love that lives under my roof are Jewish and for that reason, are much hated by muslims. If you are a mom and you know that someone (or a massive group of someones) has much hatred towards your children's heritage, I think you would be outraged as well. David Horowitz goes around the country speaking about our freedoms and fighting for our civil rights. He goes into many colleges and gives speaches. Most of which are being attended by a large number of Muslims. Would you like to know why? Because David Horowitz is an American Jew. He was born and raised by Jewish parents. David doesn't just get his information by what he's been taught being raised as a Jew because believe it or not, Mr. Horowitz was once a leftist. What he saw and experienced caused him to move to the right. He was once even involved with the black panthers before he became a conservative. So, if any man has a right to speak about our views and our rights, I believe this man, who has been on both sides seems qualified to me. When he goes into these colleges promoting his views and concerns, he's always confronted by some of the muslims at that school. He asks all of them if any of them will voice their disapproval of Hamas (if you don't know about current day Hamas, google it. There is a BUNCH of info out there) Hamas supporters believe in the genecide of all Jews yet not ONE Muslim would stand and say they disagree with this view. IN AMERICA!!! Hamas leader has been quoted as saying he wished all Jews would return to Israel so that he wouldn't have go out looking for them and when the students were asked if they were for or against this statement, they respond "for it." IN AMERICA!!!!

So am I angry that our govt. is fighting Arizona on strict illegal immigration laws? Heck yeah!!! Am I angry that we have a president that has taken more vacation days than work days? HECK YEAH!!!! Am I angry that when our country is in a depression and our men are STILL in Iraq and fighting for another countries freedom that our administration would rather be golfing, or on the beach, or at Martha's vineyard than trying to FIX our situations??? HECK YEAH!!!! Am I angry that we still have people in New Orleans and all along the coast of Louisiana without a home because of the hurricane that swept through there YEARS ago yet we'd rather focus on Haiti than New Orleans? HECK YEAH!!!! Am I angry that we had BILLIONS of gallons of oil spewing up into our waters and our coast line and the current administration refused help in cleaning it for so long...all while American's were losing their jobs because of it...instead, it was viewed as a photo opp? Excuse my french but HELL YES I'M ANGRY!!! But what I'm most angry at is hearing people quietly tell me what they think is wrong with our country and what they don't like but sit back and do nothing. Don't whisper it to 1 person, shout it to many!!! Don't tell me, write your state represenative and your governor. They do have email these days. Don't bash me for being concerned where my country is heading and what the future of my children is looking like. And for petes sake, don't come complaining to me when we become a socialist country when you won't stand up and fight for what freedom's we DO still have left! No, I'm not racist. I have one of the most diverse families I've seen in a long time. I AM against some of the radical views of some who associate themselves with certain groups. Hamas and black panthers being top of that list.

I love my God, my family, my country, my friends and I'll fight for every one of you! That's what I'm doing when I stand up for what I believe. Fighting for YOUR freedoms as well as mine!
God bless America!
OH, here is the clip that originally got me riled up and if you go to you tube and google, you will find MANY MANY more!

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

In My Back Yard

Standing here watching my oldest playing on the teeter totter brings back memories of days long past.  When I too was a six year old with no other care but growing my imagination and dreaming big.  I see the wind blow through her hair and I see the sun shine on her hair like dancing crystals.  If I close my eyes, I can return to those days.  I feel the warmth of the sun heating my scalp.  I feel the wind blow through my hair and my limbs as I lean back in the swing and watch the white puffy clouds waltzing through the sky.  And just for a moment, I am a kid again.
     Back in those days, I could do any any one.  It's moments like these that I realize how important it is to help her grow her imagination and cherish her innocence.  It's the moments in a child's back yard where even if for only a moment, you can be any thing you want to be and do anything you want to do.  If you stand on the swing, make it sway back and forth, hand out stretched and eyes closed, you can fly!  The tree in the corner of the yard becomes the tallest mountain begging to be conquered.  The leaves and acorns laying around become the perfect ingredients for an evening feast.  The squirrels prancing around become forest friends to the prettiest fairies.
     Never a moment of selfishness in the imagination.  Little unattended flowers become the BEST gift for mommy.  In a kids back yard, there are no limits to what one can do or what one can be.  I realized I need to take a little more time to return to what was once, MY back yard!

Pray Without Ceasing....

God has really been dealing with me lately about life in general.  I've been longing to be in the place in my walk with Christ that I was when I was in my early 20's and working with a youth group back home.  I took my example from a man that used to come to our house and do Bible studies and prayer meetings.  He was SOOO in tuned with God and everything in his life was pointing back to God.  I found myself praying about this and longing to be such an example.  I prayed and asked God, "God, he is SO on fire for you.  I want that fire.  What does he do to be such an example for you everyday of his life?"  It wasn't long after that, we (my parents and I) had stopped by his house for something.  I can't remember why but I noticed that he didn't have his television on to the hottest show on for that night but rather a Christian station, when he played music, it was on Christian music.  Mostly praise and worship.  He guarded himself from the world and the things of the world.  You wouldn't find him in a movie theater unless it was a Christian movie playing.  and no, he didn't think of himself better than anyone because of this.  He loved unconditionally.  He just put into practice a verse that's been burning on my heart lately.  Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
     He literally shielded his spirit man from anything of the world.  Which, as difficult as it is, is what we are called to do.  We are to be in the world and not of it.  God laid it on my heart to fast from all "worldly" things until I felt He had released me from it.  So I did.  Which was so hard.  I was a "friends" addict and watched it every Friday night.  One of my best friends and I frequented the movies quite regularly.  It was a real challenge to have to tell her no, I can't go with you right now but we can go have a coffee or go out to dinner if you'd like.  It was a real challenge to not turn my radio to K-hits 106.9.  That was my favorite radio station at the time but I did it and KXOJ became my new favorite.  And you know what?  My life was happier, it was easier, I didn't feel the burden of the world on my shoulders anymore to be what everyone thought I should be.  My spirit sang from within.  It's like a term I remember learning in elementary school when relating to computers.  Garbage in, Garbage out.  What you take in on a daily basis in your life will change your attitude and it will be what you become.  If all you are hearing is negativity, you will be an angry and sad person.
     Well lately, I've been feeling that tug again.  I don't want to worry about politics or where our world is heading because you know what?  I've read the end of the book and we( Christ and His followers) win!!!  I don't want to worry about the latest fashion trends or hair styles or the hottest shoes or handbags because it's not going with me when I die anyway.  Why not take the money you were going to spend on that hot pair of prada shoe's (btw, I do NOT own a pair of prada but that doesn't mean I haven't expressed some wishful thinking about them from time to time and even followed them on Ebay! LOL) and buy a worthy pair at target and take the rest and buy some meals for those who won't be getting any meals today?
     I guess I said all that to say, when Philippians 4:8 started burning on my heart lately, I realized that verse is the epitome of praying without ceasing.  If only things of God are going into your heart and mind, you will be in a constant state of thankfulness, praise, adoration, intercession, etc....Yes, life does still go forward but you will be going forward with God on your side!  You'll find yourself singing praise songs while cooking dinner and doing the dishes and things that used to seem like "chores" will suddenly become a sanctuary.  A place to reflect on God's goodness and His mercies.  Not to mention, the extra dose of patience you are dealt when dealing with your kids.  And I'm not going to ask all of you to do the same challenge God called me to but I would like to ask you to pray about it.  Maybe make some subtle changes.  If you have 20 favorite shows you watch each weak, tithe on that time.  Replace 2 of those shows with a Christian broadcast show.  If you listen to your rock and country music a couple hours a day ( in the car or wherever) take 20 minutes of that time and listen to praise and worship and see if you don't feel better.  Try it, you just might like it!  :)  God bless!!

Getting back into this...

Once upon a time, writing used to be one of my outlets.  That and running and while age and medical conditions can keep one from running, I've decided not to let it keep me from writing.  Most of the time, my blog will most likely be about my every day life as a wife and mom.  There isn't a day that goes by that something funny or out of the ordinary doesn't happen in my little house.  Just today, my 2 year old told me her hero was a cow.  In her true southern accent which, while cute, is NOT the accent of my roots!  You still can't help but laugh when your 2 year old points to a cow and loudly exclaims, "MY HAIRO!!!"  Pronounced (Hay-row).

While most of my writings will be about my family, there are times I feel inspired to write inspirational pieces.  Usually influenced by what's going on in our world today.  Sometimes influenced by something I may have read or heard and other times, just random thoughts that come to my mind.  But for this first piece, maybe an introduction would be best.

I am the youngest of 5 kids.  I came from what my parents always described as a "yours, mine, and ours" family.  It truly has a simple explanation.  My mom married, had 2 kids and divorced.  My dad married, had 2 kids and divorced.  Fate brought them to the same neighbor hood....same street and the rest is history.  They get married and I come along.  So depending on how you look at it, I'm either the 3rd born twice over or I'm the 5th born.  I prefer to the look at as I'm the 5th born 3rd born twice over.  In other words.  I am the youngest of 5...and the youngest of 3 times 2.  LOL  We were a smaller, poorer (money wise) version of the Brady bunch.  There was never a dull moment.  If all 5 of us weren't living at home then someone else's kid was usually living with us.  Or an Aunt...or Uncle.  We lived in a little over 1200 Sq foot home and up until I was about 12 or 13, I never remember our home having fewer than half dozen people living under it's roof.  So like I said, it was interesting to say the least.  I learned to cherish the quiet moments because they were and are few and far between.

My family used to tease me about being loud. (when I was a child).  And I'm thinking, well, the runt of the litter has to be loud to be heard over everyone else and everyone else's everyone else!  I was one of those kids that would get in trouble for calling her mom by her first name but truth be told, that was typically a last resort to "if someone doesn't answer me, I'm no longer liable for my actions."  There are only so many times one can sit and repeat "!!!" before they get irate.  I mean, the house could have been burning down and no one would have noticed my warning but if I even so much as whispered, "Linda" everything stopped and you could hear a pen drop.  LOL

With all that being said, life was interesting.  I wouldn't trade a moment of my child hood.  In fact I often find myself longing to go back to those days.  Though they were chaotic, they were also, in their own way, carefree.  There was no limit to ones imagination.  I also lived with my "Hairo!" as my daughter would say.  My father.  He was truly a great man and the best daddy a little girl could ask for.  He often worked 3 jobs to keep food on our table and clothes on our backs so that my mom could stay home with us.  Don't get me wrong, my mom most certainly contributed as well.  Up until I finished middle school, my mom had in home daycare in our home.  So not only did yours, mine, and ours live in our house but for most of the day, it seemed everyone else's did to.  It was a fun thing to experience.  These kids my mom kept became the little brothers and little sisters I never had.  Most babies of the family like holding that position but I often begged my mom to get me a baby brother.  I didn't care how she did it, I just wanted one!  LOL  After I was born, it was impossible for my parents to have any more kids of their own and looking back, we did have a full and complete family and I'm thankful for the way things turned out.  My other "hairo" when I was growing up was my oldest brother, Doug.  He and his friends used to dote on me and I ate it up.  LOL  He even had a friend that would try to skip school and come over and rock me to sleep.  My mom quickly put her foot down on that one and told him he was more than welcome to rock me but it had to be after school.  haha!  How many teenage boys do you know that are skipping school to rock a baby that's not theirs??  Not too many.  It's safe to say I felt very loved growing up.

The dynamics of our family seemed to change when I lost my father.  I was only 21.  A very young and impressionable age.  I wasn't sure how to deal with grief that horrible.  I tried to suppress it.  I tried to hide it because I knew my mom needed me to be strong for her yet no one was there being strong for me.  She will tell you she didn't (need me to be strong) but she did.  As fragile as I was at that moment, she was even more so and who wouldn't be after losing their soul mate?  Looking back, I guess my dad was the glue that held the yours, mine, and ours together.  Everyone just seemed to drift off in their own direction after he passed away and I often find myself longing for just one more laughter filled day with all my siblings, nieces and nephews, husband, kids, aunts, uncles (the few that are still left) and my mom.  How my dad would LOVE knowing that everyone stayed by each other and though distance and lack of money has sometimes made me feel isolated from my siblings and their spouses and my nieces and nephews, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't stop and pray for them and think of each and everyone of them.  So many great memories!!!!

Which brings me to why I'm isolated.  Shortly after my dad passed, I started seeing someone that may have not been the best for me.  That became a pattern but there is one I would always run back to.  He never did anything wrong and he always took me back when I came running back but I knew he was an emotional crutch.  I leaned on him too much.  So much that he was a completely separate entity from my family and friends.  Their paths never crossed.  Sure they heard of him but I think having lost my dad, I felt that if I brought him into our life at such a fragile time, he would be scared away, or pushed away, or maybe even chased away....I really don't know why I chose to keep him secret but I did.  He really put up with more from me than anyone should have to.  He truly loved me and I refused to see it.  Most guy's would have given up and ran off if they were being kept a secret but he didn't.  Long story short, because of the wall I built up around the 2 of us, I don't think it would have ever worked between us....I didn't know how to change the dynamics of what we had.  He had truly become a best friend and though my mom knew he and I saw each other, she never really knew the dynamics of our relationship.  Not like she thought she did and this is really the first time I've ever talked about it openly.  I wanted to keep our relationship just between the two of us for fear of losing him.  In the long wrong, that probably gave my family that had heard me talk about him or to him the wrong impression of him so just to clear that air right now, I just want my family to know that if it hadn't been for him, I truly don't know how I would have turned out after losing the most important person in my life.  I was walking towards a path of self destruction and he was my only anchor.  Because you see, while being strong for my mom, there was a piece of me dying a little more everyday because I was refusing to show my weakness or to seek help with the grieving process myself.  This guy became an outlet for me.  I could talk to him and needed to talk to him because I wouldn't talk to anyone else.   He would let me just lay on his couch for hours talking and crying and whatever I needed to do to heal.  It may not have been the conventional way of dealing with grief but looking back, I'm still thankful he was there.    Which brings me to my husband.  What a God send he was.

How we met is a really funny story.  I had gotten tired of being hurt by those I dated from my Church or even another Church and had started meeting guy's on line.  And to clear the air about that....let me just say, I know some people seem to think that is dangerous but it's not any more dangerous than meeting a weirdo that attends your Church and preys upon young girls.  That most people think is a saint but keeps a secret life.  Or meeting some one at work you "think" you know better than you truly do.  Everyone, EVERYONE has skeletons in their closets and I'm using this blog to dust my closet out! :)  Anyway, my point is, no matter where you meet someone, you have to be smart about it and be safe about.  After meeting so many mister wrongs, I had pretty much given up on finding someone and decided that when it was meant to be, the right one would find me.  My co-workers, noticing my extended spell of not dating anyone and how unusual that was conspired against me and decided they needed to intervene.  Day after day one of them would call me to their cubicle and show me someone they found on one dating site or another and ask me to contact them and day after day I politely refused.  One day I had had enough.  One of my dearest co-workers had sent me a link to someone she thought I would hit it off with.  She knew my standards and my interests and I have to say, by reading the profile, he appeared perfect on paper but I just didn't feel right about.  SO, I told her, "fine!!!  You pick one guy, I'll pick one and whatever happens happens. After that, do you PROMISE to leave me alone?  Even if nothing comes of either of them?"  An agreement was made and before you know it, I shot out 2 separate emails.  1 to the man of her choice for me and 1 to a man's profile I had become interested in.  The one she chose was local.  The one I chose lived 3 hours away in Arkansas.  Guess who responded???  Yep....Arkansas.  So Jeremy and I talk for a couple of months and have a date scheduled to meet up in person.  Then, out of the blue, he calls me at work and informs me he couldn't wait any longer and is on his way.  I panic!  It happened to be a not so good day that day.  I woke up late, had to rush to get to work on time to be in a staff meeting.  Which means makeup did not get applied, hair was pulled back in a pony tail and though I was dressed professionally (it was a requirement!  LOL)  By the time the day was half over, I had spilled coffee on my pastel skirt and I looked a MESS!!!  So I rush home after work in a panic and shower, change, and apply a little makeup and rush out the door to our designated meeting spot.

By the time we actually met in person, our spirits had become soul mates.  We would talk for hours about anything.  Mostly about scripture and music but conversation was never lacking and we fell in love with each others intellect, and spirituality, and personality.  The fact that he has a voice straight from heaven and would sing to me sure didn't hurt either.  :)  So I guess you can say it was love at first site because by the time we saw each other, we were already in love.  My mom was leary of how quickly things went but she was just being a mom trying to protect her little girl.  I think she would have to agree if you asked her today, that Jeremy was the best thing that ever happened to me and he came a long at the best time possible.

We started talking in March of 2001, met in May, engaged in July, and married in Oct.  I'm sure there were rumors of pregnancy but that was not the case at all.  We were deeply in love and had a 3 hour drive between us and were just ready to be together all the time instead of just on weekends or whatever day happened to be his day off.  Not to mention, I was worried about his safety.  He worked the night shift and would drive during the day to see me.  Stay until late at night (on his off nights) and then drive home and he was SOO sleepy.  I would lay awake and call him every so often to make sure he was awake and doing ok.   So the day we got married became the new best day of my life.  It was hard leaving Tulsa and moving to Arkansas but I knew that if I got too home sick, it was only a 3 hour car drive and I could once again see my family and friends. .....UNTIL.....Jeremy's sickly aunt became even more sickly.  He talked so highly of her and I could tell she was a very important part of his life and it was killing him not being able to see her.  So I thought about it and prayed about it and had peace about it and suggested we move to Alabama where his family was and where he could spend some more time with his Aunt before she passed on.  So we did.  There were no kids and his dad agreed to let us stay with him so when our lease was up on our apartment, we just packed it all up and moved.

I will continue this tomorrow.  This has already become a long post and I need to make sure my house is still standing.  :)