A Very Happy Day!

Today was a great day in Mommy Land.  As I went about my daily routine, I had an extra pep in my step to match the HUGE smile that was on my face. 

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Why the extra cheesy grin?  What caused this joyous mood?  Oh, I’m so glad you asked!  The reason for my elation is simple.  I got on my scale this morning and to my surprise (drum roll please…;)), I have reached my pre-pregnancy weight!!  Hooray, hooray, and the crowds go wild!!!  HAHAHA.  Ok, so there were no crowds, lol, but that didn’t stop me from scooping up my baby girl and dancing around the room.  After all, there should be a celebration when you see your hard work pay off!

In actuality, numbers were never the main focus of my weight-loss goals.  I know that 3 digits don’t define who I am, but I wanted to be in a place where I was truly comfortable in my own skin once again.  I wanted my confidence back, so a few months ago I decided that it was time for me to make some adjustments if I wanted to see the change I desired.  I started a new exercise regime, and although I’ve yet to complete it, I am at the finish line.  With 8 more workouts and 1 fit-test to go, I think it’s ok to slow down, take a deep breath, and give myself a small pat on the back.  I’ve earned it!

This is by no means the end of my fitness journey, but what I’ve learned so far is much more valuable than what any outward appearance can teach me.  I’ve learned that, YES, these things may take time and there’s nothing wrong with that.  I’ve learned that, YES I can find a healthy balance between what my daughter wants and what my body needs.  I’ve learned that, YES I can be committed to a goal and accomplish what I’ve set out to do!  This is an important one to remember, because, Lord-willing, we will expand our family one day and it will be a blessing to know that I’ve done it once before, and if I choose to, I CAN do it again!

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I’ve also learned that I have the most incredible support system, and I thank YOU ALL!!!  The encouraging words, tough love, and accountability all contributed to my success, and although I know this feat is a minor one in light of so many other things, it means the world to me!!

I will continue to keep you posted, and I hope you will also share your goals with me!  Let’s continue to motivate each another, and I’m sincerely here if you need me!!

Love to you all…and YOU CAN DO IT!!!! 🙂

 

photocredit: istock photo and moonfitness.net

Weekly Image of Life: A Christmas Surprise

I LOVE surprises.  I pretend like I really want to know whatever it is that’s being hidden from me, but the truth is, I’m completely tickled pink by the suspense!  I had no idea what my wedding ring would look like because my hubby did the shopping for that on his own, and (with some convincing on my end) we decided not to find out the gender of our baby before she was born!  I give little to no hints about what I want for my birthday or Christmas, and I’m delighted to unveil the mystery at the appointed time. 😉

Today I was met by a knock on the front door, and the mailman had a special delivery for me.  I had no idea what it was and I couldn’t wait to tear the package open.  It turned out to be Alexandra’s first Christmas gift!  It was a beautiful personalized book that told the story of how she became the beloved fairy princess.
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It was from some good friends of the family, and was completely unexpected. Receiving such a sweet and thoughtful present made me think of the excitement I have when I’m able to give a heartfelt gift.

It’s a blessing to be able to give, and share a token of affection with the people you love.  I give to show my appreciation, and I can’t help but to become giddy as I wrap gifts and imagine the  big, broad smiles that I hope to see once they’re opened.
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I wish I could buy and share a Christmas surprise with everyone in my life, but as beautifully stated in this poem, the best gifts tend to be those that are intangible.

If I could wrap up gifts for you and put them under your tree, I would choose a lot of lovely things you couldn’t even see.

 I’d wrap up fun and friendship true, and happiness galore, and more joy in living than you’ve ever known before.                                            

And in a lovely package, star-trimmed with purest gold, the message of God’s love, the sweetest ever told!                                                                                                                                                                               ~Mary Kay Ash

Rejoice in giving this year, because I’m sure that to someone in your life YOU are the best Christmas surprise there is!!

Acts 20:35 (AMP)

35 In everything I have pointed out to you [by example] that, by working diligently in this manner, we ought to assist the weak, being mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, It is more blessed (makes one happier and more to be envied) to give than to receive.

Have you finished your Christmas shopping?  What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?

The Weekly Image Of Life challenge is issued every Wednesday by The Island Traveler at This Man’s Journey. If you would like to participate and see other entries please visit here!

Monday Motivation: The POWER of Prayer

Photo Credit: blog.dg4kids.com

At certain times in our lives we’re bound to feel helpless.  Whether it’s over a personal tragedy, or mourning with the nation, it’s that feeling of  “there must be something more I can do”.  We want to help where we can, give what we’re able to, and display sincere support to those who need it most.  Our hearts desire is there, but what happens if we don’t have the means and opportunity to make the impact we hoped for?  The circumstances may be complex, but the answer is simple, really.  Before, during, and after these types of situations, we must always turn to God in prayer.

James 5:16 (AMP)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

16 Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].

Did you know that there is TREMENDOUS power available through prayer?  This is because The One we pray to is almighty in EVERY WAY!!! In the natural and earthly realm we may recognize certain limitations and that our hands may be tied, but in the spiritual realm we have all that we ask for if we line it up with the Word of God!

1 John 5:14-15 (AMP)                                                                                                                                                                                                          

14 And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. 15 And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.

 I get the frustration and discouragement that comes with this perceived notion of helplessness.  I really do.  But I encourage us to relish in the promises of our Lord and Savior and the fact that we get to have face time with Jesus!!

Hebrews 4:16 (AMP)                                                                                                                                                                                                            

16 Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].

Amen and Amen!!!  God has direct knowledge of all we long to do for others, and what we’d like to happen for ourselves.  So don’t be shy, talk to your Heavenly Father.  In coping with burden, frustration, sadness, and anger, go to Him with confidence!  Do you believe that He hears you?  If so, then before you let your shoulders droop and your mouth turn into a pout, remember that if prayer is ”all” that’s left it’s more than enough!!!  For this I thank Him, and I pray that we all take a moment to do the same! 🙂

Mark 11:24 (AMP)                                                                                                                                                                                                                

24 For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].

Philippians 4:6-7 (AMP)                                                                                                                                                                                                      

6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

John 15:7 (AMP)                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

7 If  you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

John 14:13-14 (AMP)                                                                                                                                                                                                           

13 And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I Am], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son. 14 [Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as presenting all that I Am].

HAVE YOU PRAYED TODAY?

photo credit: blog.dg4kids.com

Daily Prompt: Dear Mom

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Mom and I, age 7

Dearest Mommy Lady,

I know you saw the letter I wrote to Alexandra, and now here’s one for you. I didn’t plan on going on a letter-writing campaign this week, lol, but I finally saw a writing challenge I couldn’t resist.  I’m supposed to be telling you something I’ve never been able to, but considering our excellent communication, I wasn’t quite sure what that might be. 🙂 My immediate thought was to tell you again how much I love you, and that I’m truly beginning to understand your loving intent behind so many of your mommy ways.  This is nothing I haven’t said to you before, but in light of today’s tragedy, I wanted to be sure you knew it.  As I think of all the hearts that were left broken after such a senseless act, I thank God that I’ve had 31 wonderful years with you.  We’ve certainly bumped heads and worked each others nerves, but as this picture shows, we are much more alike than either one of us might care to admit. 😉  I KNOW I am blessed to have a mother like you, but that’s not all I really wanted to say.

Years ago, you and my dad divorced.  No one was more shocked than Chris and I to discover that our “perfect” family wasn’t so wonderfully happy, and drama-free after all.  We all faced pain, struggles, and hard times, but even in the midst of turmoil you both truly kept us first.  I don’t just mean with the material things, but in keeping watch over the delicate minds of your children.  I never heard you curse my father out or make him the villain.  You never told me horror stories of how he ruined your life, and you never filled our heads with lies.  Thank you, thank you, and thank you for that.  I know that despite your Wonder Woman façade, WonderWomanV5it was very hard on you, but you refused to let it tear our family apart.  I remember adults questioning me, because they couldn’t understand how you and Dad could still get along so well.  Thinking about it now I realize how innappropriate some people were, but what mattered is that your continued friendship gave your kids the confidence to know that we always had both our parents in our corner

A little over 3 years ago you took that friendship to another level.  You became the caregiver for my cancer-stricken daddy, and invited him to live with you and Kenny in his final weeks.  This, your ex-husband, was now the man whose doctors appointments you attended, and whose bandages you changed.  When he was at his weakest, you and D2 (please let him know that my love and appreciation for him is fully included in this letter too) did all that you could to make him comfortable.  Your home was now his once again, and in his final days I never worried about him being lonely or afraid.

Ok, now I’m crying, but it’s important for you to know that you and my stepdad showed me one of the greatest examples of unconditional love I have ever witnessed.  Maybe everyone didn’t understand.  Maybe their own pettiness in handling such circumstances wouldn’t allow them to see the brilliance of what God was doing, and you know what? That’s fine with me.  I got the message loud and clear.  Mommy, you’re one-of-a-kind.  I joke about your Vulcan tendencies, Spock_vulcan-salutebut the strength I’ve witnessed in you has shaped me in many ways.

I could go on and on, but I guess I’ve said all this for one very important reason.  Thank you for taking such great care of your long-time friend, and the man that meant the most to me in the whole world.  I want you to know that this girl’s heart will never, ever forget.

Love you always,

Me

Weekly Image of Life: Happy Holidays (Jesus is the Reason!!)

I love the holiday season!  The parties, delicious food, songs of the season, Christmas cards, decorations, giving, family fun and most of all, celebrating the birth of JESUS!!!

Please remember the real reason for rejoicing this season, and I hope you like our Christmas tree!! 🙂

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The star is my favorite part. It used to be my dad’s and it still shines brightly!

Luke 2:1-20 (NKJV)

Christ Born of Mary

2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

HAVE A VERY, MERRY, CHRISTMAS!!!

The Weekly Image Of Life challenge is issued every Wednesday by The Island Traveler at This Man’s Journey. If you would like to participate and see other entries please visit here!