Detox

I have been addicted to caffeine for as long as I can remember. I consume large quantities of caffeinated beverages from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. My morning routine gets jump started with a fresh pot of coffee. As soon as I enter the office, I stop by my administrative assistant’s mini-fridge and grab a diet coke. When my days are long, I stop at McDonald’s for a large fountain diet coke. I have a major problem.

Recently, my husband and I were talking about my health choices and my desire to become more health-conscious. His advice was to stop drinking soda. I dismissed the comment quickly. However, I brought the conversation up again after a few months of failed attempts to count calories, add more fruit to my diet and attend the gym, etc. His advice was the same… stop drinking soda.

This time I felt more conviction because I knew that my diet coke addiction had a stronghold on me. I knew that I loved diet coke a little bit too much. I knew that I praised it when it eased my headache or when it gave me an extra jolt of energy. However, I cursed it when I had an afternoon slump that left me jonesing for more. I hated it when I could not sleep well at night because it had me all hopped up on caffeine.

This time when my husband encouraged me to stop my most favorite habit, I started to cry. I knew that I needed to give it up for a variety of reasons. I dedicated myself to stop diet coke within a month. I slowly started weening myself off of them. I tried to replace one meal with water (GAG!) and told myself when I was out of them I would not buy more. I finished my twelve-pack and then changed to regular coke. I dislike regular coke. I think it tastes like dirt some times and it makes my teeth feel dirty. I committed to drinking the regular coke for the caffeine and again made the promise that once the two twelve-packs were gone, I would not buy anymore.

So… here we are four days sober and I feel pretty bad. My head has been aching for days and I feel exceptionally sluggish. However, I’m sleeping soundly and I’ve dropped 2.9 pounds. I fight the temptation daily to buy a diet coke but I am successfully resisting. It’s quite possibly the hardest habit I’ve ever tried to kick.

During this challenging time, I have also committed myself to repeating a couple of verses. These verses remind me of where my strength comes from and helps affirm my commitment to breaking this stronghold.  If you are currently facing a struggle or breaking free from a stronghold in your personal life, I encourage you to detox. Meditate on a verse or a quote that can encourage you to become who you want to be…

2 Corinthians 12:9, “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.”

Romans 8:18, ” I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

 

Perspective

 Favorite Quotes from Saturday:

Geoff: “Heather, you’ll be my honey bear and I’ll be your butter cup!”

Dawn: “Sissy, can I spend the night?”

Sabrina: “Awww, Sissy! I love you!” 
These are a few quotes from Saturday that made my heart melt. I spent the day serving at my family ministry. Lord’s Legacy Ministries offers supports to individuals with special needs. This ministry is the heartbeat of our family and shared passion of my parents, siblings and husband.We all find it incredibly rewarding to provide love and encouragement in this capacity.
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to play Ker-plunk with my special needs sister, Dawn. I read the newspaper and danced to Tim McGraw with my friend Geoff. I colored and laughed with my sweet girl, Sabrina. These tasks were simple in nature and incredibly fun. It also served as a reminder that the simple things in life provide us with a joy that cannot be duplicated. 
Busy schedules get in the way of our ability to gain perspective. When we focus on tasks instead of people we lose sight of what truly matters in this life. I encourage you to slow down and enjoy life by serving others. You can even serve alongside me if you’d like!

A Blogger’s Prayer

Yahweh, You alone are my God, not Google


Jesus, You alone are my Savior, not site meters


Holy Spirit, You alone are my Comforter, not comments….


So be it, today, yesterday, and every post to come.


This is my prayer I have made on earth and over this keyboard…


Let it be ratified in heaven.


Amen.

(This prayer comes from the blog A Holy Experience. Follow the link to read more).

This prayer is so powerful and expresses my intentions as a blogger. Honestly, I have had to search my heart and rid myself of self-seeking ideas. When I made the choice to blog, I can honestly tell you it was not to encourage women. I made the choice to blog because I wanted an outlet. I idolized bloggers sitting in their PJs with a big cup of coffee, writing about helpful tips and family. I talked with folks about the amount of followers I would need to make money so that I could have supplemental income. I stalked other blogs and focused on what I could do to have a better template.

When I stumbled on to A Holy Experience and started reading what it meant to be an “Upside Down Blogger” I was convicted. A conviction so strong that even now as I type, my stomach is in knots. A realization that my intentions were my own and not HIS. From that point on, my prayer has been to be used as a vessle to love and encourage women. I will not obsess over followers, advertisments and the idea of working from home. I will focus only on being used to serve others and glorify him.

31 Days to Clean- Six List

Sarah Mae’s book Thirty-One Days to Clean-Having a Martha House the Mary Way has been very challenging. The tasks that I am trying to focus on many days seem too time intensive and I am falling short on meeting the relationship goals as well. However, I have resolved to trying to achieve bite sized goals each week. One of my goals this week has been to implement the six list (follow the link to read more about the list) into my personal and professional life.

As a long-time list lover, I occasionally find that my list making is actually counter-productive and downright foolish. I spend time scribbling on paper or typing on my electronic device and fail to MOVE. My attempt to organize my life and achieve goals is supposed to help me progress. However, when my list is four pages long, it seems impossible to achieve.

I believe that the six list has been used in my life as a way to for the Lord to say, “My child, my ways are fool-proof and your ways are foolish!” When I plan my way, I end up discouraged and overwhelmed. With the six list, I am focused and more encouraged. At work, I have felt more resolved when I close my door each evening as I know I’ve made six steps in the right direction. At home, I feel less stressed because I am only focusing on six items instead of trying to read through a four page list. I feel like I am being a better steward of my time and not beating myself up so much when things do not go as planned.

I have been challenged this week both mentally and spiritually by this book. I am grateful that God is tearing down my ideas and creating for me a new way. I love that he can take my foolishness and make it fool-proof!


Psalm 37:4

“Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

My friend Becca has a blog, Rightmyer Relativity. She’s currently hosting a giveaway to celebrate her blog going public. To enter the giveaway, there are a variety of ways to win. I entered yesterday to win a Dayspring coupon code. To enter, I had to announce the way I would spend my Dayspring money. I wrote, “If I won the Dayspring giveaway, I would buy One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.”


Earlier this week, Becca said she had something to give our life group on Sunday. Tonight we went to her house for dinner. She gave us One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  


This little act of kindness by Becca reminded me of a few truths:


1. the Lord takes delight in giving you the desires of your heart. 


No matter how small the desire is; he meets you where you are and can turn your desires into a reality.


2. the Lord goes before you and always has a plan.


The book was purchased before I announced that I even wanted it… The Lord knew I did not want to spend my money on the book and wanted to receive it as a gift. He always walks before me and paves the way for my desires to be met.


I realize this small gift may seem insignificant to many. The act of giving, met my need in a mighty way and proved how the Lord is working in my life… When you expect to hear from him, he will answer.


On another note, if you’d like to enter Becca’s giveaway too you can visit her at: http://rightmyerrelativity.blogspot.com/.


Thank you Becca for the sweet gift! More than the book, you reminded me how much I am loved! 

31 Days to Clean–Mission Statement

I’ve been reading the book 31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way by Sarah Mae. The e book can be purchased from Amazon for $4.99.

As a young wife, I find myself regularly struggling with the daily challenges of balancing all my responsibilities. Every single area constantly screams for my attention and many days I end up feeling defeated before I had a chance to get started. This book offers some insight on not only the importance of balancing your tasks but also balancing the matters of your heart.
I think in society, we encourage our women to be task-oriented. It’s almost as if busyness equals success… that’s the farthest thing from the truth. You cannot be totally task focused in your life because you lose richness…a richness that can only be filled through becoming people-oriented too. As a Christ follower, I am encouraged to be involved in a community. I am reminded by other people of HIS love. But on the days when I feel like completing three tasks is too much; I many times think that people are too burdensome… just another person demanding my attention seems too overwhelming.
Sara Mae talks about balance in a way that reminds you that it’s ok not to be perfect. It’s ok to recognize the tasks in your life but it’s even more important to recognize the relationships. Each day you are challenged in two different ways– a Martha Challenge and a Mary Challenge. I love that so much because it reminds me that these two seemingly competitive areas in my life can actually co-exist. Imagine the freedom in this realization… a huge EXHALE!
Day one challenges you to create a mission statement for your home. My mission statement is tailored especially to the environment that my husband and I want to foster in our home. Jason and I worked on this mission statement together as a way to ensure that we are on the same page for the intentions of our home. I believe the mission statement serves as a reminder that we need to be more intentional about living.

Organizher

This weekend I purchased a new Mead product from Target. I have a longstanding history of being completely obsessed with school supplies, agenda books, index cards, etc. I honestly do not know when the love started, but despite my efforts, every purchase is like going school shopping with my mom before the new year starts! When I buy a new “school supply”, I open it, investigate the functionality of the product and immediately write my name, using my best handwriting, on the product. My mom pokes fun at my obsession with new things and the rituals that follow because it has been this way for as long as I can remember. I run my hands along the item and press it out to make sure everything is neat and orderly. (Weirdo!)


The name of my newest organizing tool is called, the Organizher! I love it because it’s conducive to making loads of lists. Lists in the center and then bullets on the side. It’s fantastic! I’ve made four pages of lists already and I’ve only owned it for twenty-four hours.

I love making lists. In fact I have so many lists, it is almost overwhelming. For sake of explaining, I think I’ll make a lists of my lists. They include:

– Dinner plan list (on the bulletin board in the Kitchen)
– Organizher list (newest addition)
– Home To-Do list (on the side of the fridge)
– Household binder (includes chores and historical dinner plan lists)
– Shopping list (in my purse)
– Motivated Mom App for iphone cleaning list
– iphone notebook list
– ipad notebook list
– index card list (at work)
– Steno pad list (at work- for return phone calls)
– Google to-do list (rarely use but still)

I’m sure I am missing a list somewhere… that cannot be all!

My love affair with list making started as a way to get things out of my head and on a piece of paper, etc. However, the lists are also supposed to serve as a tool to visually remind me to execute a task. This works some times…but mostly it serves as a way for me to let myself off the hook! It’s a way for me to say, “Heather, this is important to you today… but not necessarily important right now.” Or sometimes it’s a way to say, “You are doing the best you can but not everything can be done at once.” Although, some days when I am feeling exceptionally crummy about myself, the inner critic tells me that these are unfinished tasks that are prohibiting me from being the person I want to be or being as good as I strive to be… the great news is, I choose to focus on the former.

My list making keeps me on track so that I can tackle each day with zeal. It doesn’t always mean I champion over every task or that I can mark every task off the list at the end of the day. It means that I tried… and in a world that says, trying isn’t good enough, the line through the paper says it’s more than enough!