March 30, 2009


I love the spring. I love when winter begins to whither away and the warmth begins to take over. I love seeing the flowers and the grass grow and the smell that is in the air. We are preparing to plant our garden and to mow the lawn. I am busy, busy, busy between homeschooling, church, teaching and speaking, planning, my weightloss journey and my exercise classes. I just haven't had the time to blog.

I've shared our upcoming Famine in my last post. My husband and I have been actively planning and sharing the vision and are so excited and looking forward to what the Lord has in store. :) We greatly appreciate your prayers.

I haven't talked much about my weight loss ventures here on my blog because over the past years I've begun only to quit. I am praying for the Lord to strengthen me and to help me to keep my focus not on how I look but on my health. Sunday in church Pastor mentioned the billion dollar business to extend life and look good, everyone looking for that fountain of youth. I'm not so much seeking to extend my life (although if that's a bonus I'll take it) so much as I want a better quality of life. I want to be able to move, feel confident to stand up and speak, have the energy to do things with my own children and the children in our ministry at church. I want victory over overeating and laziness in the name of Jesus Christ!

I feel like I've crossed a milestone so to speak and that I've established some healthy habits that are now a part of my life so I can share them now. For the last 8 weeks I've been changing the way I eat and making exercise a new way of life for me. I've eliminated everything but water as my drink. I do have the occasional cup of decaf coffee or hot tea with Splenda or Stevia but only occasional. Water is my main source everyday. I've also eliminated sugar, white flour, and high starch foods from my diet. I'm eating foods in their whole state, lots of veggies, some fruits, nuts, legumes, meats and lots of fiber. It is a low carbohydrate diet but it isn't a no carb diet. I have indulged in a slice of birthday cake once and a slice of cheesecake another time, but found both times that the sweet was TOO much for me. I'm amazed at how desensitized we get to sugar when consuming too much of it.

Our community offers free aerobics classes. They have classes everyday of the week at all times of the day with distances ranging from 15 minutes away to 35 minutes away, one way. Not too bad considering most of the classes are free, a few of the day classes cost me $4 but it's worth that to me. They offer a variety of choices such as Step Aerobics, Sculpting, 30/30, Water Aerobics, Line Dancing, Yoga, Pilates, Chair Aerobics, Cardio Dance, Kick Boxing Belly Dancing, Bhangra, and other styles of exercise classes. I've made it a point to hit these one hour classes at least 3 days each week and sometimes 5 days! I really feel like the exercise has made a huge difference for me. Somehow it has strengthened me and made me more determined to succeed. I think that when you put that much time and effort into something its not as easy to quit or fall off the wagon. When I diet alone its so easy to give up and quit with the thoughts of 'I'll do this later' or 'I'm can live with my size, its too hard to do this.' I work so hard with the exercise, I'm actually enjoying it, and I can see it remaining a part of my life. I feel better, my tastes have changed, I'm satisfied with less food and with different foods than I was before.

My goal was to lose 63 pounds. To this point I've lost 17 pounds, so I only have 46 more to go. The first week I dropped a lot of weight, the weeks following have been 1 or 2 pounds a week which is fair, slow and healthy. I'm very happy with one pound a week!

I've also begun taking vitamins. I had a few health issues before beginning this journey and I'm taking supplements to help regulate my thyroid, my monthly cycles, the regular everyday vitamin, super omega 3's, CLA and Cortisol. In 8 weeks I've seen an amazing difference in my cycle. I've gone from not being able to leave my house to functioning as a normal person during this time! My 3 days of bloating dropped to one day this past month. Now, I'm waiting for my hair to begin thickening again! :) I'll be sure to share more victories with my health as time goes by.

In our homeschool news we are back to the basics. With life so busy I haven't been able to keep up the vigorous schedule I had planned but all is not lost. We are covering all that needs to be covered and will pick the extras up later!

My heart continues to grow for my church, it's people and our pastors. I'm ever so grateful to the Lord for leading us there. Everyone in my family is flourishing there. God is good!

Blessings to you all!

March 18, 2009

Harvest Worship Center's 30 Hour Famine April 24th and 25th

Starting on Friday April 24th our youth are going to participate in a 30 hour Famine. Did you know that 26,000 kids die of hunger every day? That is 1,208 kids a day. One child every three seconds. We know that we can and will make a difference. Our youth have begun taking donations to help feed these children, they will be doing different services such as -working at a local food bank, doing hotdog sales and a breakfast for fundraisers and helping to give back to our community here in Patrick County.

We will be meeting on Friday April the 24th at 6:00pm at HWC to enjoy HWC's Praise and Worship Team, special speakers, adult dramas and games. We will be divided into Tribes with Tribal Leaders and are heading out on a scavenger hunt that will blow your socks off.

Are you ready to witness and be the hands of Jesus?

Upon return there will be more music, and a special service out next to the bond fire as the kids build their homes for the night out of cardboard boxes. Yep you heard that right! We are going to experience not only what it is like to be hungry but what it is like to be homeless! Its going to be real and its going to impact the youth FOREVER!

Saturday morning will bring more praise and worship, more speakers, more fun and more games. Then we will be heading to Jamie's recycling center to demolish a vehicle or two. Who wouldn't want to bash in a car with a sledge hammer or baseball bat for just one can of food or one dollar a hit?

Next we will be carrying our signs and heading to Main street in Stuart to do our cross walk. We will walk through our town carrying our crosses and praying for businesses and our economy, calling on the Lord to bless and bloom our community. The kids are working hard on their signs and to raise money. Not only to raise money to support the cause but to raise awareness. Hunger travels. Its even here in the United States. We are going to be the hands of Christ. We are going to feed the hungry. We are going to starve for food. We are going to make a difference.

HWC's Famine will be ending at 6:00pm on Saturday April 25th with a special BREAK - FAST. Pastor David Coleman will be ending with communion before the kids are fed a very special dinner for all their hard work and dedication. We are going to grow closer to God, closer as a church, closer as a community and closer to one another. The great thing is that this isn't all.

Keep this event, our church and youth, World Famine and those hungry children in your prayers!

March 10, 2009

Do you want to laugh?

I really need the laughter right now and someone sent this to me in an e-mail last night. I just had to share. Here goes....

"A 3-year-old Tells All From his Mother's! Restroom Stall"
By Shannon Popkin

My little guy, Cade, is quite a talker. He loves to communicate
and does it quite well. He talks to people constantly, whether we're in
the library, the grocery store or at a drive-thru window.

People often comment on how clearly he speaks for a
just-turned-3-year-old. And you never have to ask him to turn up the
volume. It's always fully cranked. There have been several embarrassing times that
I've wished the meaning of his words would have been masked by a
not-so-audible voice, but never have I wished this more than last week at

Halfway, through our shopping trip, nature called, so I took Cade
with me into the restroom. If you'd been one of the ladies in the second
to the last stall

'Mommy, are you gonna go potty? Oh! Why are you putting toiwet
paper on the potty, Mommy? Oh You gonna sit down on da toiwet paper now?
Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, are you onna go stinkies on the potty?'

At this point I started mentally counting how many women had been
in the bathroom when I walked in. Several stalls were full ... 4? 5? Maybe
we could wait until they all left before I had to make my debut out of
this stall and reveal my identity.

Cade continued: 'Mommy, you ARE going stinkies aren't you? Oh,
dats a good girl, Mommy! Are you gonna get some candy for going stinkies
on the potty? Let me see doze stinkies, Mommy! Oh Mommy! I'm trying to see in
dere. Oh! I see dem. Dat is a very good girl, Mommy. You are gonna get
some candy!'

I heard a few faint chuckles coming from the stalls on either side
of me. Where is a screaming new born when you need her? Good grief.
This was really getting embarrassing. I was definitely waiting a
long time before exiting. Trying to divert him, I said,

'Why don't you look in Mommy's purse and see if you can find some
candy. We'll both have some!'

'No, I'm trying to see doze more stinkies. O h Mommy!' He started
to gag at this point.'Uh - oh, Mommy. I fink I'm gonna frow up.

Mommy, doze stinkies are making me frow up!! Dat is so gross!!'

As the gags became louder, so did the chuckles outside my stall.
I quickly flushed the toilet in hopes of changing the subject. I began to
reason with myself: OK There are four other toilets. If I count four
flushes, I can be reasonably assured that those who overheard this
embarrassing monologue will be long gone.

'Mommy! Would you get off the potty, now? I want you to be done
going stinkies! Get up! Get up!' He grunted as he tried to pull me off.
Now I could hear full-blown laughter. I bent down to count the feet
outside my door.

'Oh, are you wooking under dere, Mommy? You wooking under da
door? What were you wooking at? Mommy? You wooking at the wady's feet?'
More laughter. I stood inside the locked door and tried to assess
the situation.

'Mommy, it's time to wash our hands, now. We have to go out now,
Mommy.' He started pounding on the door. 'Mommy, don't you want to wash
your hands? I want to go out!!'

I saw that my wait'em out plan was unraveling. I sheepishly opened
the door, and found standing outside my stall, twenty to thirty ladies
crowded around the stall, all smiling and starting to applaud. My first
thought was complete embarrassment, then I thought, where's the fine print
on the 'motherhood contract' where I signed away every bit of my dignity
and privacy? But as my little boy gave me a big, cheeky grin while he rubbed
bubbly soap between his chubby little hands, I thought, I'd sign it all
away again, just to be known as Mommy to this little fellow.

(Shannon Popkin is a freelance writer and mother of three. She
lives with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she no longer
uses public restrooms.)

Pray for Aiden

I can't say anything else, just pray that the Lord reach down from heaven and sweep this little boy into a safe home. Thank-you.

March 5, 2009

God's Miraculous Hand

Its been a while since I've been able to sit and blog. It seems these days my life has carried me outside the walls of my home far more than it ever use to. I like the change. Now don't get me wrong, I miss my online time, but I equally love the change of pace.

On Monday my step father in law was getting ready to use his tractor to push the snow out of his driveway. He went out cranked the tractor and was using a broom to knock the snow off. (Yes we finally got snow!) He accidentally knocked the tractor into reverse, not realizing this he walked behind the tractor and was knocked down as the tractor rolled up on him. He is 84 years old. His stomach was supporting the weight of the tractor as the wheels just spun. He was airlifted to our nearest trauma hospital. We began calling pastors and churches, I posted on my homeschool boards and called my closest prayer warriors and we all came together to intercede for my father in law. That afternoon we received the call that there were no broken bones, there were also NO internal injuries. The paramedics, doctors and nurses were blown away. We weren't, we knew all along. God protected my father in law. I just want to give God all the praise, honor and glory for hearing and answering our cries. My father in law is still in the hospital but doing well and will hopefully be home by the weekend.

I'm trying to plan and pull things together for Heaven's wedding which is slowly creeping up on me. We still have to go and have her dress altered! I know deadlines are coming on ordering the dresses for Sky and Meadow too. I have to set the dates for the showers and get addresses for invitations. I've got to get on the ball.

I've had Aiden all week and will have him until Sunday. Precious little one.

My sister is in from Myrtle Beach and I've so enjoyed her company. We've had long talks, sweet lunches and I've even dragged her along to my work outs!

I'm preparing to begin teaching a bible study class for young teen girls, trying to decide if we are going to attend Battle Cry or not, and planning to do a Famine with our youth group. Busy busy busy.

There is so much more but I'm tired and heading to bed. I just wanted to update my blog because it'd been too long.