think before you write

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday.

Just as words spoken can't be taken back, neither can emails written that you regret as soon as you send them.

You see, someone pointed out something to me on an email that I should have taken in the light manner in which it was intended, but I felt wronged; oh woe is me.  My mind rallied against what I had just read and thought, "Where is the thanks?  Where is the praise?  Where is the applause for all I have done?"

So I went with my gut and shot back a curt, sarcastic retort.

And the minute I walked my self-righteous body away from the computer, I knew I had blown it.

Moments later, I was reading Proverbs 26, my Proverb-for-the-day (one for each day of August).  "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself."  That was me.  (and the email sender was no fool, but you get my point).  Instead of being the "bigger person", like I'm always telling my kids and everyone else around me to be, I resorted to being the wee, small, hurt individual who cowered in pain and had no better answer than to cut someone else down.


I'm praying to not let that happen again.

When have you had to be "the bigger person"?  How did you handle it? or, not?

thanks, thursday

It's Thursday. A good day to give thanks.

After all, Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday.  Gotta love that pumpkin pie.

I thought it would be a good idea to slow down our week every week on this day and list one, two, or as many things as you would like that you are thankful for.

Some Thursdays you'll have to clear out the cobwebs and look deep into a corner of you to find even one thing.  (But it is there, trust me).  Other Thursdays your fingers will be eager to type, because you'll be eager to share, because life and God have been just so good.

Life is ebb and flow, but there's always something good going on, somewhere in our lives.

I'll start - 
I'm thankful that my son arrived safely by plane from Illinois yesterday.

I'm thankful that all my kids are now in their fall semester places; be it here or there.  It's all good.

I'm thankful that I can look forward to going back to school, a change of pace, a new routine. (let's see how long that lasts before I'm longing for the good ol' days of summer...)

Today, my list could go on, but those are my top three.

Your turn!

In the comment section, leave what you are thankful for today.
You never know if by doing so, you may encourage another life.

and away they go

Final hugs, long goodbyes (goofy faces, see picture on right) - as they both head off to their own worlds of college, apartments, classes, and the like.  Independence, freedom, fun and GPA's - that's what I say is important. 

Cherish today; even though where you are feels like you'll be there forever, time marches on and waits for no one.   Little ones grow up and leave your home- but never your heart.

I'm sure there's an overused cliche or two in there, but sometimes they ring so true I can't say it any better myself.

when your heart aches

These are my 20-year-old daughter's hands, holding my favorite food.  I love how placing them together side-by-side that way, they roughly form a heart.  I believe that's no accident; that's by design.

This is a tough weekend for me.  My heart is aching. College campuses are calling my two oldest children back and my youngest, at 16, is accompanying his older brother on the ride to Illinois for his last semester before he graduates.  All my children are leaving the summer nest at once, with only one returning via airplane on Wednesday.  And when I told him last night not too miss me too much and that I'd see him soon when I picked him up , his response was, "Yeah, okay.  And what day is that?"   Wednesday, my dear.  You need to get on a plane on Wednesday.  Of this week.  Good luck with that.

And if this isn't bad enough, tomorrow my daughter is moving with two friends into an apartment for her junior year - a real one.  An off campus, rent-paying, can-live-there-year-round-if-she-wants-to apartment.  Ugh.  That means I don't necessarily get her at home for a month at Christmas, she now will have the availability to have us over for Easter dinner, and next summer has no guarantee of her lengthy return.

I have a feeling the landscape of our home is on the verge of permanent change.

But there have to be some upsides.

1.  No more tuition bills after January for my firstborn.  That works.
2.  If she's getting an apartment, then I'm getting her room.
3.  Two more high school years until we pack up Mr. Your Flight is Wednesday and ship him off to his own college campus in one of these great 50 states of ours and my hubby and I have the entire house to ourselves.

Well, when I put it that way, my heart is starting to feel somewhat better.....  ;)

taking out the trash

I hadn't even noticed it was piling up.

Slowly but surely, the trash in my life had been accumulating.  It was the quietest garbage I'd ever (not) heard, and it fit in so comfortably and slipped in so discreetly that I didn't miss the room it was taking up.

Kind of like when you put things behind the garage.  You don't realize how much is there until one day you decide you'd like to use that area for something else, something better, and when you see the mountainous heap of forgotten things, you exclaim,  "Oh my word, where did all THIS come from?"

And you realize it's time to haul it away.  And quick.

I'm seeing that's the way it had been with my thinking.  Not to play a broken record, but I'm still talking about things I'm learning through Geneen Roth's book.  Until I started reading it, I had no idea how far off course my thinking about food and eating was.  Not only was I no longer on the right road, but somewhere along the line I had taken a detour that led to nowhere.  The way I was headed was never going to take me where I wanted to go.

Perhaps you've had a time in your life like I'm having now- you read something, wrote something, heard something that so revolutionized your thinking that it blew you away.  It was almost too good to be true, too simple to be true, but then

you put it into practice and learned that it worked.  And you were amazed.

It's a wonderful feeling.

In Genesis 35:2, Jacob faced his own garbage heap situation.  Having been told by God that it's time they move on, he calls a household meeting . Jacob has one important instruction for them before they pack their tents and load their camels. "Get rid of all the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes."

Jacob had seen the light.  He had come to his senses, realized how great God was and that He was all he needed.  Foreign gods were worthless idols and excess baggage for the trip.  In essence, their leader told them,

"We're moving on but before we do, we need to take out the trash."

Foreign gods only take up valuable room that God Himself wants to occupy. Lose the idols, gain a lighter load for your journey.

Where do you need to do that today?

packing up and going home

  There has been a walk of freedom for me this week.  It's as if the war is over, and slowly but surely the soldiers are packing up their fiery weapons and heading home.  There have been some final rounds shot off of "You'll never change" and "You can't do this", but those rifles are now out of bullets. The artillery of "What a failure" and "You are such a disappointment to yourself and everyone around you" has no target anymore.  Not-so-friendly fire is falling on deserted, dry battlefields, and the militia is realizing that the victory has been won and they have been defeated.

 Jesus already fought my battles, and came out victorious.  It's time I start believing what He says about me, instead of the pre-programmed recording that I have running through my head 24/7 that isn't even the slightest bit near truth.

We all have things we listen to ourselves say about ourselves all day. Problem is, we've been listening to it so long that it's become our belief about who we are.

Stop and listen.

What are you saying to you? 

Is any of it true, or is it a carryover from years gone by?

this present moment

It's a quiet Wednesday afternoon.  There is nothing to do.  There's no pressure, no rush, no worry, no hurry.  Times like this usually cause me to look for an activity, get my hands busy, get my mind going to avoid snacking. Nibbling. Eating out of boredom.  But I'm thankful to say that my thinking is changing.  I'm learning to be in the moment.  To realize that any moment we have is a good one because it's ours, it's here, and we're alive within it.  It's the most wonderful thing in the world.

I'm still working my way through the book Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth.  I'm halfway through it and actually make myself stop reading after a few pages or a chapter because I can relate to it so deeply. I'm afraid I'll read and read and without realizing...I'll be done.  I don't want it to be over because I am learning so much about change, about reality, and about myself.

I've experienced first-time freedoms over the past few days as a result of new perceptions, new realizations, new ways of viewing things.  It's as refreshing as a summer rain.

And I realize that my biggest hurdle was not overcoming my fear of food. 

It was overcoming my fear of me.

women, food and god

Something is going on - something is changing. 

Last night I started the book, "Women, Food and God" by Geneen Roth. I had seen her on Oprah about two weeks ago and barely caught fifteen minutes of the show, but afterward I went straight to my laptop, got myself into Amazon and ordered the book.  On Oprah, there were success stories from gals who have read this book and put it into practice (the hard part, I know).  They were talking about peeling back layers of who they were on the outside in order to get to who they really were on the inside.  Why were they using food?  What were they using it to hide?  These women were changed, and it was evident on their faces that they were now at ease with themselves.  No more covering up.

That night I thought to myself, I'd love to peel back the layers to see who I really am.

And with that thought, I knew I was ready to begin.

The book arrived in the mail and last night I cracked its cover.  It resonated immediately with me.  I loved what I was reading.  I could completely relate to what I was reading.  I didn't want to put it down, but it was getting late and I needed to get to bed.  I found it interesting that ways in which my thoughts have been changing and things the Lord has pointed out to me the past couple of weeks (when I finally decided to give up the fight) are exactly what she is writing about in her book. 

There's a surrender that has to happen.  An "I need to feel instead of cover it up with food."  A necessary recognition that while food is always available, always a friend, always what I expect it to be, it's fleeting.  Its comfort is momentary, and its disastrous results lasting.  I am clearly exchanging momentary pleasure to "get me through", instead of just dealing with feelings and moving past them.

 She addresses the fact that some of us are holding on to a goal that we'll never reach for just that reason - to never reach it.  I can identify with that.  What would I be if I didn't have to think about food/eating/dieting all the time?  I know what I'd be.  I'd be the girl without a plan. The gal without a goal.  And it's a little scary to go there. I've been working toward that end result for so many years I don't know what I'd do without it.   To think  - if THAT battle was over, what on earth would I do with myself?  I'm starting to want to find out.  There is so much MORE I could do with myself.

I want to be me.  To feel , and live, and love and laugh.  Even the hurts.  Especially the good times.  I want to be fed from life and God, and not from food.  I want to be free.

Friday the 13th- could this be your lucky day?

  It took me a while, but I finally remembered mid-morning that today was Friday the 13th.  I don't give any credence to luck either good or bad, and to me this day doesn't mean anything more than yesterday was  Thursday the 12th and tomorrow will be Saturday the 14th.  God's got it all in control, and He's at work no matter what the date. But, since there is quite a bit of fame concerning a day with such an austere (and to some, frightening) calendar title,  I thought it would be a good opportunity to institute some changes, add some good habits and do a little midyear resolution making since the date sticks out like a sore, bad-luck thumb.

I wanted to think of ways that this could be a day of positive changes, one that I could look back upon and see as another notch in my road of turning points.  So I made a list.  Here's what I came up with, and I'm hoping that the act of blogging about them, thereby making them public knowledge, will entice me to hold onto them a little tighter - 

Drink more water.

Use my Shake Weight with perky little buffed and toned Lindsey via DVD every morning.

Always get in my devotional time where I can talk to God and read His word to me.

Eat less chocolate.  (A girl can dream, can't she?)

Incorporate a daily walk outside or a treadmill time.

There we have it. Some things I'd like to incorporate as some of my daily priorities. And there's no time like the present.

Would you like to establish a new habit or two?  Reorder your priorities in your daily routine?  You can make this your best Friday the13th ever!  Let me know what you'll be doing to become the new and improved you by leaving a comment in the section below.

Good luck!

It's My Birthday!

Or so I've been told by the wonderful gals over on the inpiring site that is (In)Courage.  They are celebrating their one year birthday, but giving all the good stuff to me!  Well, not just to me- to you too- but you have to enter to win.

So, why are you still here?  Get over there!

The Whimsy Journal Project

Here's a chance to get in on something like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants -the traveling Whimsy Journal from Christy at Skinned Knees.  As of Tuesday morning, there are three spots left. If you write or draw or both, you qualify.  Check it out here!  And if you miss this round of participants, she'll be starting another one once this one is well on its way.  Have fun! 

decorator shame

I stood there dumbfounded; unable to move, unable to choose.

I felt ill equipped to make any decision whatsoever.  The weightiness of the endless possibilities I had before me fell square upon my shoulders and I cowered. 

I finally had to realize that for today, my quest was over.

I hung my head in decorator shame and left the fabric store.

You see, I had been standing there surrounded by deliriously beautiful bolts of material with colors of fire orange, emerald green, haunting black and deep sea blue.  My original mission when I left the house was to pick a neutral swag of some nice material to drape across the tops of my still-bare living room and dining room windows.  But once I got into the store, the choices overwhelmed me.

I went from stripe, to paisley, to flowers, to bold, to muted.  I stepped back.  I moved forward.  I unwound fabric from the bolts only to be unsure of myself again and wind the precious prints back around.

In the end, it was just me and a wall of fabulous color.

And I left with nothing.

And that's okay.  I was proud of myself that I didn't succumb, didn't give in just because I was there and this task was something I wanted to get accomplished and crossed off my list for today.  I'm fairly sure that any one of those fabrics I had in my hot little hands would have looked great topping my picture windows.  But none of them struck me, even a little. It's a new thing for me to realize that sometimes the best choice is no choice at all.  Especially if I'm unsure.

Just because it's right, doesn't mean it's right for me.

This decision was only about fabric. Pretty small ticket item. The next choice I have staring me down could involve people, careers, homes, children, lives.   I pray that God will remind me of today's outing when I'm at a crossroads and show me that it's okay to wait.  It's okay to walk away for a bit until I'm sure.

Because once the fabric's cut, the deal is sealed.  No refunds, no returns.  I've committed.   

And that will be curtains for me.

your heart

“Above all else, guard your heart…” Proverbs 4:23

In the same way that we cannot touch, see, or tangibly feel God, Who is the sustainer of all things, we cannot touch, see, or feel this “heart” that God refers to; yet it is the wellspring of life, integral to the entirety of our existence. I believe it’s no accident that these two precious commodities – God and our heart- are intangibles to us humans.

How's your heart doing today?


Trust in the Lord with all of your heart; lean not on your own understanding. 
Acknowledge Him in all of your ways; He will make your paths straight.

Those verses were in the passage I read for today (Proverbs 3).  After pouring out my complaints to God, I realized I needed to trust Him, even when things are going on that I don't like.  In times like these, I so much want to lean on my own understanding, demand my own way, and tell God that I've got it figured out and I know how things should be and why doesn't He just do things my way and we'd all be a lot happier.

This verse tells me to do otherwise.

Even when I don't understand things.

Especially when I don't understand things.

I need that today.