Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lessons from Naomi

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Last night at church, our "Women of the Word" group, began a new Bible study on the Book of Ruth. For this first week, we focused our study on Ruth 1. I could not believe how much was jammed packed into this amazing narrative. It was exciting, because as a group, we had so many different things to discuss.

The Book of Ruth opens with Naomi losing her husband and then her two sons. These losses left Naomi alone with her two daughters-in-law. At the end of chapter 1, Naomi's depression and grief overwhelm her to the point where she even wants to change her name to Mara, which means bitter.


"She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”"- Ruth 1:20-21 [ESV]
Here a just a few things I learned from Naomi in her moment of despair. 
1. Naomi cries out to the Lord in her distress. She isn't running to people to try to help her make sense of what is going on in her life. She's not calling her BFF to complain. She knows that help comes from the Lord and so even in her frustration, Naomi goes to God first.
2. Naomi is honest before the Lord. This woman of God has lost so much. However, as she talks to God, she doesn't act like she has it all together. She is honest about her feelings and pours them out before the Lord, hoping that He can make some sense of them. 
3. Naomi's faith remains strong in the face of uncertainty. In the short passage above, Naomi refers to the Lord as "the Almighty" two different times. Once, as she begins to talk to the Lord, and again as she closes her prayer. Naomi's faith in the Lord stays strong, because she knows that the Lord is the on who allowed these horrible things to take place in her life. Even as Naomi's circumstances overwhelmed her, she continued to have faith in the Lord Almighty!! She kept her eyes focused on Him!! 
Little does Naomi know, the Lord is about to pour out His gracious mercy and plan of redemption for her life.
In our own lives, we need to remember these lessons from Ruth 1. God does not allow hard times to come so that we fail. God allows our circumstances to overwhelm us, so that we will sit back and watch Him be God!! God will never receive glory, if we are constantly trying to fix our own problems.
"“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”" 
- Psalm 46:10 [ESV]

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Gobble Wobble

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Guess what!? I am so excited, because I signed up for my first Gobble Wobble. It has been hard to make running a priority, but I know that signing up for this race will motivate me to get out there and run. I have always wanted to do a Gobble Wobble, but in the past it has not worked out with our schedule. This year, no matter what I am going to complete this run/walk. 

Have you run a Gobble Wobble in the past? If not, you should try to find a Gobble Wobble in your area.

.......

In other news, there are a lot of changes taking place in our family. This year has been one of the hardest years in my life as we have had things come up that we did not anticipate.  However, I am here to testify that even though we have faced impossible circumstances, the Lord is good!!

I have given my notice at work and will no longer have a full-time job by mid-December. Our hope and prayer is that the Lord will continue to make it possible for me to stay at home and focus on taking care of our girls.

We really need your prayers now more than ever as we set out on the new adventure!! We do not know how we will pay for everything, but we are trusting that the Lord will provide.

My precious family



Thursday, October 2, 2014

Life or Death

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Recently, I have just been struggling with not caring about eating healthy. I have felt depressed and discouraged and eating whatever makes me happy. I am so close to reaching my goal weight, but I feel like I have just given up.

I have been praying that God would help to give me some encouragement that would help me to care about my weight loss journey again. This morning, during my quiet time, God answered my prayer and show this verse to me.

"Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."
- James 1:15 [ESV]

It is like a light bulb went off and suddenly I realized that the food choices that I have been making are going to lead to DEATH.

The death of my body, soul, and spirit.

The death of my self-esteem.

The death of my testimony.

We must remember that it is only through the saving power of the GOSPEL that we can find strength!!

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."
- Romans 1:16 [ESV]

All that being said, I am praying that the Lord helps me to begin to make healthy choices again!! Choices that will lead to an abundant life in Christ!!

How about you? Have your food choices been leading to LIFE or DEATH?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Weekly Weigh In - Healthy Weight Range...again

Monday night is my weigh in day at Weight Watchers.  Last week, I was so disappointed to find out that I had not lost any weight. Every week I want to lose weight and when that doesn't happen I struggle to have a positive attitude. I tried to be thankful that I didn't gain any weight, but it did not seem to help. What I didn't know, is that my bad attitude would stick around most of the week.

As a result of my negative attitude, I began to make poor food choices.

For a few days, I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. I felt like I was never going to get to my goal, so I should just go ahead and eat whatever I want!

Have you ever had days like this?

Thankfully, towards the end of the week, during my quiet time, the Lord got my attention and gave me some insight on myself.

First, the Lord revealed to me that I have been trying to lose my weight in my own strength. I have trust God to give me the strength that I need on this journey, otherwise I will never be able to reach and maintain my goals.

Second, the Lord showed me that my expectations for myself are too high. God helped me understand that I need to be gracious with myself. When I have a bad weigh in, I need to tell God about it so that He can help me be thankful in the midst of incredible disappointment.

Finally, I've really felt like the Lord wants me to pray about my ultimate weight loss goal. It is not about a number, but trusting that God will show me the perfect weight for my body.

Spending time with the Lord was just what I needed to get myself back on track.

Yesterday, when I went into Weight Watchers to weigh in, I was expecting to gain weight. I knew that it had been a hard week and I wanted to adjust my expectations, so that I could avoid a bad attitude. I am happy to be able to share with you that I lost 0.8 pounds, which put me into my healthy weight range!!

Wow!! I cannot begin to explain how excited I am about being healthy again. This is such a huge victory and I could not have done it with the Lord. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness in my life!!

They are growing up so fast!!
Just for fun, here is a recent picture of my girls, Olivia and Sophie. I cannot believe how fast they are growing up! I am so blessed to be able to be their Momma!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Weight Loss Success Story: Carol Bartholomew

Today, I would like you to meet my Mom, Carol!! My Mom is on her own weight loss journey. So far she has lost over 50 pounds and 12 inches. I am proud of my Mom and the lifestyle changes that she has made. She is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration as we watch her reach her goals on day at a time. She hasn't reached her goal yet, but I know that she won't give up until she gets there! 

Me, Olivia, and Mom September 2013

Check out my Mom's story and be inspired!!

I was very thin when I was growing up and once I got married and started having kids the weight came on and it never left. I have 3 daughters and 2 sons plus 7 grandkids. I moved down to Springfield, Oregon from Washington in January of 2013. I weighed about 50 lbs. more than I do now. 

Before

Currently, I am a caregiver for my mother who has Alzheimer’s.  I started walking in March of 2013 and by August I was at 199 and had hit a plateau.  I needed more.  I met a man named Tim from International Fitness and he gave me a free pass to come to the gym.  I went, I joined, and I haven’t looked back since!

I know the weight doesn’t seem like a lot for a year but I have also become very toned and much stronger.  I recently re-measured myself and I have lost 12 inches so far.  That’s a whole foot! How insane is that!

After

I have a really bad left knee which has hindered me being able to take more classes.  When I found PiYo things just clicked for me.  I love PiYo!! I do it 5 days a week in a live class at the gym and I also have the home version which I do 6 days a week. I am very proud of my accomplishments.

Amazing!

I am changing my life one day at a time. I want to show my kids anything is possible if you put your mind to it and show my grandkids to never give up on your dreams!! I also want to encourage my girls to start getting healthy now while they are young.  It isn’t as easy when you are older like me. But ANYTHING is possible if you want it bad enough and try try try!

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Day on Simply Filling

I get questions from people about what they should eat now that they have started their own weight loss journey. Below is a record of what I ate for one day using the Weight Watchers Simply Filling technique. These healthy foods kept me satisfied throughout the day.  I hope this post gives you some new ideas which you could easily add to your daily routine.

{Breakfast}
For breakfast I ate...
hot oatmeal (powerfood)
blueberries (powerfood)
1 tbsp agave nectar (2 pointsplus)
1 liter water (0 pointsplus)

delicious blueberries

{Morning Snack}
I was so full from breakfast that I wasn't hungry for a snack. That doesn't always happen, but on this day it did.

{Lunch}
For lunch I ate...
1/2 bbq chicken lean cuisine pizza (4 pointsplus)
green salad (powerfood)
2 tbsp fat free zesty italian dressing (0 pointsplus)
1 liter water (0 pointsplus)

water bottle

{Afternoon Snack}
For snack I ate...
1 large banana (powerfood)

{Dinner}
  For dinner I ate...
1 slice nature's own 100% whole grain bread (powerfood)
2 egg muffins (powerfood)
1/2 cup roasted tomato, potato, zucchini, and summer squash (powerfood)
1 liter water (0 pointsplus)

roasted tomato, potato, zucchini, and summer squash

 {Late Night Snack}
For snack I ate...
4 cups plain, air-popped popcorn (powerfood)

{Daily Total}
3 liters of water
lots of powerfoods
used 6 pointsplus from my 49 weekly pointsplus allowance

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Simply Filling Technique

Over the past few months I have been eating more "whole foods". Whole foods are foods that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from additives or other artificial substances. I feel very strongly about the importance of making wise food choices.

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For the past 5 years, I have followed the Weight Watchers program. I have consistently followed the PointsPlus technique and it has worked. I lost 90 pounds in 2009 using the PointsPlus program. 

Recently, I have been conflicted, because I wasn't sure that I could continue to be on the Weight Watchers program with my new convictions about the importance of eating whole foods. Instead of quitting Weight Watchers all together, I have decided to start a new journey using the Simply Filling technique.

On the Simply Filling program you eat foods from the Power Foods list until you are satisfied, not worrying about counting PointsPlus. If you want something that isn’t a Power Food, then you use your Weekly PointsPlus allowance or any Activity PointsPlus you earn. If you want more information, here is what Weight Watchers has to say about it.

My plan is to try Simply Filling for two weeks and see how it goes. I am both nervous and excited at the same time! This morning I was so careful about the food choices that I made, because I wanted to be sure that they were within the Simply Filling guidelines.

I have tried Simply Filling before, but I have always gone back to PointsPlus, because it is what is familiar to me. I don't want that to happen this time around.

I can't wait to give you more feedback in the coming days and weeks about this technique!!

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