Sunday, August 30, 2009

One Year Ago

1 Year ago today I read Karen Kingsbury's Book The Prism Weight Loss System and after meeting her a few weeks before decided to give it a whirl. I didn't have any idea how not to eat sugar and white flour and had I known that those 2 ingredients are in EVERYTHING I might have turned on my heels and headed for Dairy Queen!

No sugar, no white flour, no fried foods.

It started an amazing adventure. I think I prayed more the 1st few weeks then I had in a long time. I felt like I was learning to eat all over again. I found sugar in places sugar really shouldn't be (kidney beans, what?) and learned much about nutrition. The first phase lasts 6 weeks and I decided somewhere in the 1st one that 6 would be enough. I'm so thankful today that I endured.

And believe me when I say I'm so not judging anybody for eating anything. This program is certainly what the Lord had for me not just for the health aspect, but the dedication to His ways for my life that ultimately led me on a quest back to Him. Had you asked me a year ago today if you thought I would make it I feel certain I would have told you probably not. It seemed like an insurmountable task and today it's just the way I run my life. There's such freedom in never having to think about eating sweets-I just don't. I never have to think about fried foods-I just don't eat them.

I'm so thankful that with the Lord's help I have dedicated 52 weeks to cleaning up this temple. I'm so thankful that I have put food into this temple to help it run efficiently and not inhibit it's progress. And it has thanked me in return with not being sick once this year except for a few allergies and giving me sustainable energy most days.

The average American consumes 22 grams of refined sugar per day. That is 120 pounds of refined sugar a year per person! Yikes! I'm thankful that I have not put my body through that this year.

And even though it's way easier now then it was 52 weeks ago it's still hard sometimes. It's defintiely not the norm! I can't tell you how many times I've turned down birthday parties etc especially early on. Now I can go and enjoy the company without feeling like I'm missing out on being a part of something. I definitely dreaded all the holidays last year, but not this year.

And I still have a ways to go! Starting year 2 I feel like I'm just starting to hit my stride. By nature of some other health concerns I am dedicating this year again to no sugar, no white flour, no fried foods and in addition - no meat! Why not? I've signed the contract and stuck it in the mail before I change my mind. I've wanted to be vegetarian for a long time and I think this is the year to make it happen. And just like I said about the Prism system-if I hate it in 52 weeks I'll go back, but I have a feeling I won't.

I cannot say enough about the Prism system, the people at Prism, the educational materials they provide, the Bible studies that go along with the 1st phases and the excitement they share with you. I owe so much of my success health wise of this year to them and I'm so thankful!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

September Book of the Month

Our September book of the month is Fearless by Max Lucado. I can't tell you how many people have already told me to read this book. I think the message is timely and the title so right where I am right now. I have no idea how not to fear quite frankly but I'm hoping to have a better idea when I'm through! I'll post a complete review September 30th so get your comments into me by then! Happy reading :)

Any Minute

Well if you read the book let me know what you thought. I thought it was good-not great. I'm a huge fan of Joyce Meyer the speaker but not really a huge fan of Joyce Meyer the author. I did think this book had a very timely message about not putting off today the things that are important particularly to those around you. Relationships trump responsibilites. I so struggle with this in my own life. What did you think?

Book Review

I love Patti Hill as an author. She has written some of my very favorite books. Like a watered garden will forever be one of my favorites. Last year she wrote the book Queen of the Sleepy Eye-ummmmm-if I ever did a DON'T READ section it would be that one. Totally stupid if you ask me. The sales rep promised that I would feel better about her after reading this book and I totally did. It's the story of a woman who has macular degeneration and thinks she is seeing Huck Finn while living with her son following a broken ankle. It's a precious story and I won't give any of it away-read it!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Well those of you who read this apparently like the mundane details of my life :) So here's some more! 9 days from today will be 1 whole year that I've been committed to the Prism lifestyle. No sugar, no white flour, no fried food. I really didn't think I would make it a week. I can't believe it's been 51 weeks! I would highly recommend it. Sugar is NOT good for you. White flour has no nutritional value and fried foods are a death sentence. I have no plans to stop now and actually am taking it up a notch starting this week in anticipation for year 2. I'll blog more about that soon. But for now I'm super excited to have made it almost a year!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hurt Back

My poor Ella hurt her back-again. Friday night she couldn't move without crying which quite frankly made me cry too. She has thrown her back out several times and I wanted her to get some relief but my vet was not on call and I'm not made of money so I made sure she was comfortable and left for work. Saturday morning she wasn't any better. I threw her ball and she laid in the grass-broke my heart! So I ran her to the vet on Saturday for her shot and she's on some meds and hopefully on the mend. She can't play ball for a week and it's hard for both of us! Now that she feels better she doesn't understand why no one will throw the ball for her. Poor baby honey :(

Saturday, August 15, 2009

what's up

So, I've super missed blogging the past few days. I've had so much to say and no one to tell it to! lucky you-I'm back :)

Had the perfect 48 hours of freedom! Wednesday night after work I went to Wal-Mart with my friend Tammy (P.S. I HATE Wal-mart but sometimes you have to go). Tammy is starting Prism so she needed some major help getting some food which I was happy to help with. I had big plans to stay up late and watch movies or something, but I so fell asleep before midnight! It was fabulous to not have to set an alarm clock.

I have no idea what I did Thursday except I read a book which was fine by me.

And Friday I slept in and had the most wonderful 90 minute hot stone massage you could imagine. Purrrrrrrrrfect! I'd recommend that therapy to anyone. My neck and back feel so much better. We'll see how long it lasts now that I'm at work for the weekend!

On a different note my heart is so heavy tonight for some people that have lost loved ones. Josiah Berger was about to start college and got into a car accident a few days ago. He died this afternoon. Another woman came home to find her husband unconscious a few days ago and she buried him today.

I've said it before and I'll say it again-I have no idea how people make it without the Lord. I'm so thankful that in Him our stories are still being written. I'm thankful that ALL our time on Earth is just a warm up, a tuning session for the symphony that will begin one day when we see Him face to face. It's so hard here because we were never meant to be 100% content here. We were made for something better, something greater, something eternal.

Praying that you would know tonight that your story matters. In the grand scheme of who God is and the story He is telling-he needs you. He loves you. Even when the chapters don't end like we hoped they would and the story takes twists and turns we could not have anticipated-he is there. He cares. He loves you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

selfishness vs. self care

I so struggle with balance in my life. I truly am an all or nothing person. I either want to be crazy busy or sitting in a chair with a book. I want to have a million things to do or nothing to do. I either have my house in total disarray or perfectly spotless. I have strong feelings one way or the other on most things. I either feel suction cupped to the heart of the Lord or wondering where he went. AND IT'S SO FRUSTRATING!! Oh my goodness. To live a balanced life. I hope you believe me when I tell you I so try and strive and pray for and aim for this allllllllllll the time. Rarely does it happen, but my heart wants to be balanced.

I don't particularly believe in blaming things on personality, but it does become a factor. I don't really think of myself as especially funny, but the people in my life want me all the time to go on the road as a stand up comedian! Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled they think my stories are entertaining and my mishaps are humerous-I don't really see it. BUT, just for the sake of argument say I am somewhat funny. Anyone who is creative with a sense of humor has the capability of going exactly that far in the opposite direction-which is why I also have a huge tendency towards depression. I'm super aware of that and take steps all the time to avoid a major meltdown!

It sounds bipolar to be so back and forth-I'm not bipolar! Dramatic maybe, but thankfully not bipolar. I just find LOTS of color in life. I try to live every day to the fullest, make a difference where I can and trust God to fill in the gaps that I can't figure out. I live wide open almost all the time and I wouldn't have it any other way.

But sometimes I just feel so selfish.

I love to interact with people, but I have to ask myself sometimes if I am interacting with them only for the sake of them interacting with me. Do I love people for who they are or for what they can do for me? Do I really look for their heart in conversations or am I just waiting to see what I can add to it? And is it wrong to long for that interaction with others? No, I don't think so- but again-balance. Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm so over one sided relationships.

I love to pray with people and for people but in the last week I have wanted to literally collapse at the feet of some people in my life and say, "If you don't pray for me right this minute I'll never make it!" I don't exactly find it wrong to be particularly needy sometimes and I'm not apologizing for being absolutely, 100% spiritually depleted recently. So there :)

I'm so glad I decided to break my last half of vacation for the year up into 3 short mini vacations. I did not know at the time how much I would need a break not really from work, but just from life. I need to unplug for a few uninterrupted hours. So, I'm taking the next 2 days off. I'm looking forward to it.

Tomorrow I'm doing what I have to do-take Odyssey to the vet to get his shots, take Ella to petsmart to play while he's gone, errands, gym, etc. But Friday? Oh don't look for me Friday. I'm sleeping in (yes!) and then going to the spa for a 90 minute hot stone deep tissue massage. That's right-OUT OF COMMISSION! Then I'm going to go home and read a book and nap the rest of the day. NICE!

My brain is tired. My heart is tired. My body is tired. Thanks for praying that God would meet me in these days in new and different ways that are energizing and renewing.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Not too much

Really not so much to share to this week. I've been overthinking some things, desperately trying to keep my house clean, going out the garage so I don't have to see the weeds that need pulled in my flower bed (HA!), killing the biggest spider I've ever seen in my kitchen, giving my dogs bones at 3:30 AM so they'd keep sleeping, starting pre-inventory at the store, buying new clothes, washing old clothes, bathing dogs, having bible study, going to bible study, getting a pedicure, getting up way too early, going to bed way too late, eating my weight in watermelon, praying for some friends who are struggling, being thankful for the friends who pray for me, thinking God has way more faith in me then I'll ever have in myself, working out the kinks in some friendships, and whatever else God has placed in my path this week. Just a regular week I suppose! What have you been up to? Brenda

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

book club update

Just as a head's up I'm taking August off from the bookclub. I've got some great titles coming this fall so stay tuned in the next few weeks for a list! Good times. Until then read Robert Benson, or Stephen James :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The company we keep

I've been thinking a lot lately about the company I keep. I love most people (believe me-Jesus and I are working on that word "most" but trust me-it's still there!). I like people to be around me. I like people to stop me in the grocery store and tell me they're doing well, or not, or whatever. But those people I call general people. People who happen to be where you are when you're there, not planned, just happens. Sometimes divine-sometimes coincidence-sometimes you're just both looking at grape nuts or whatever. And those aren't the people I'm worried about. God takes care of the everyday encounters in our lives.

I'm talking about real people. The people we intentionally choose to keep in our lives. Our friends, our confidants, our spiritual soulmates. The people that we let into more than just the surface of who we are. The people who know what pushes our buttons and try not to push them. The people who we call when our worlds cave in or we think we're just falling apart. The people we spend time with, invest our lives into and share the secret longings of our hearts and souls with. And in return the people who can be real with us-sometimes about us.

I'll be honest with you. Accountablity? Not my favorite thing. I'm in a season currently that is requiring MUCH accountability and I pretty much hate it every day. I don't mind holding other people accountable-I'm actually really good at that :) but being held accountable myself, at least in this season is soooooooo painful for me. There are some things that the Lord and I have gone around and around and around and around about for a LONG time and it's time for them to get straightened out. Believe me-I've tried on my own and I would REALLY prefer to handle some of them especially on my own, but I've proven over and over again that I cannot. Sigh. It's nothing earth shattering. If I gave you all the specifics you might be prone to think I'm looking for a needle in a haystack and maybe so, but can I just say I think that's exactly what Satan is after? Those little things that we think don't make any difference. Those things that we prefer to hang onto or blame on our personality or blow off as just who we are-they're ruining us in service for the Lord. And I think so much of it is in conjunction with the company we keep.

My pastor preached this morning on being a usable vessel. A clean vessel. Being someone the Lord wanted to fill so He could use it. He talked about being set apart, sanctified. He said if you take a clean glass and a dirty glass and put them together-they both end up dirty. It's much harder for the clean glass to influence the dirty glass. Maybe you had to be there but it really resonated in my spirit.

And I know how hard this is to hear because the Lord has been saying it to me for years, but I truly deep in my soul believe that it's better to be by yourself than in bad company. I wish I lived a life that had Godly conversation every night of the week. I wish I had prayer meetings at my house 3 mornings a week where I could just fellowship in the company of fellow believers. I wish I never had to leave the presense of the Lord but my life isn't like that and your's probably isn't either. I break my neck to get my house halfway picked up for Tuesday night's Bible study at my house! By the time I make it to the study on Wednesday mornings and church Sunday morning mixed with everything else in a week I barely have time to send a few quick messages to friends letting them know I'm praying for them.

It's so hard to manage a life nevertheless the people around it. I think it's so much better to be home alone with the Lord than out with people who are going to encourage us to be a unfit vessel. And I'm not EVEN talking about unbelievers. We're called to be among them. I'm talking about the people in our lives that encourage us to be worldly or bring out the worst parts about ourselves. The people who do not edify us. The people when we leave them we do not feel closer to the Lord but further away.

I hate that there have been times even recently when I've been that person. When I've missed the opportunity to discuss God's faithfulness with another believer because I'm totally stressed out or seriously lacking in faith at the moment. I hate that I haven't stopped in my tracks when I've encountered someone in my life who was hurting and prayed for them and with them right that second. God knows I've had moments in my own life the past few weeks that have had me all but begging the prayer warriors in my life to interceed for me. Not the first time or the last time either!

I think we become the company we keep. In my own life that means getting rid of some one sided friendships or at least not making them top priority. It means investing more in relationships with a view of eternity mixed in. I'll tell you-it's way harder to try to fit these people in, but it's so important. It's much easier to run to the movies or to dinner to gossip about work and other people, etc. than it is to intentionally plan time to discuss the Lord, but it's so becoming a necessary reality to me.

I sit right in the middle of 2 of the Godliest people I know at church on Sundays. I like to be around them and I like to be with them. They resonate Jesus from the inside out and having just come out of a season where Jesus was very hard for me to find, I like them close by! One of them said this morning after church, "I'm glad you came. You belong here." I really can't think of anything nicer anyone has said to me lately. To belong! Isn't that what we all want? To feel like we belong to the body of Christ. To feel like we're a part of a fellowship of other believers. To feel like we're a piece of an eternal masterpiece, a piece that matters, a piece that if it were missing would make the bigger picture lack something. Who we are, what we believe in, the way we act, where we are on the path to sanctification, our relationship with the Lord-so much of it is enhanced or destroyed by the company we keep. It matters.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

All Good

Had a great day yesterday at the dog park. I would have great very cute pictures of soaking wet filthy dogs but it POURED as soon as we got there and then not for the rest of the day. So, cameras stayed in the car! They swam. They played with other dogs. They barked and barked. They hiked the trails. They slept all the way home, took a bath and we all slept most of Friday. Wonderful. It was nice to get away for the day.

Had plans to accomplish more than sleep for Friday but seriously did NOTHING all day. Woke up late, ate, took a nap, drank coffee, watched TV and went back to sleep to rest up for the weekend. LAZY. It was fabulous. And now back to the real world of work!

Here's to a good weekend for all of you!