All posts by Becki

Training Tuesday: Not there yet!

Yesterday my boys and I went for a hike so they could throw rocks into a stream.  What is it about boys and throwing rocks???? Anyway, we went to a spot that we’ve gone to before, but it was quite awhile ago.  About 1/10th of a mile into our walk, son #2 found a spot that he thought was good.  The trail is about 10 feet above the water line, but at this spot there was a small path that led down to the water.  There was about 3 feet of “beach” and a few rocks lying around.  My oldest son didn’t even give it a glance, but kept on walking.  He knew where he wanted to go.

It took some convincing, but I got son #2 to keep going.  Every so often, he would find another path and declare it to be “the spot”.  He’d then get frustrated as son #1 just kept walking.  I’d tell him, no, we’re not there yet.

“But this spot looks good,” he’d reply.

“But the one up ahead is better.” I’d answer.

All the while, my oldest kept walking, very focused and determined.  He rarely even glanced around as he walked.  He knew where he was going.  And my “indoor kid” as he likes to call himself, was walking at a pace that my youngest, son #3, had a hard time keeping up with.  But up ahead, about a mile into our hike, we saw him take the right turn, off the path, towards the creek.  The other 2 started running to catch up to him.

Their smiles were huge, their eyes big as they were taking in the “Mecca” of locations for stream stone throwing.  We were on an all stone peninsula.  The stream was wide at this spot, and there was a waterfall.  Right away, they were grabbing all sorts of stones and throwing them in the water.  I found a spot to sit down and watched as they spent the next 40 minutes enjoying themselves.

And as we walked back, son #2 no longer had any desire to take the paths down to the 3 foot beaches with a handful of stones.  They lost their appeal when compared to where we were.

As we continued to walk, I thought about my weight loss journey.  Right now, I’m 178 pounds (yep, I broke the 180 barrier last week!).  Compared to 224, I feel great.  Clothes look better on me.  I don’t have to shop in the plus sized clothes anymore.  I’m getting lots of compliments.  I can run 3 miles, and I do so 3-5 times a week.  I feel good about myself.  But right now, I’m fighting the urge to just “sit” here at this weight.  Fighting the thoughts that this is “good enough” and it would be OK to just maintain.  Fighting to keep pressing on.

Because even though 178, when compared to 224, is amazing, it’s not where I should be.  I’m still considered obese.  My thighs still rub together when I run.  My belly and my arms still have a lot of “jiggle” to them.  I’m still in double-digit clothes.  My “Mii” on Wii Fit is still fat!  So I know I can’t stop here.

I thought about how son #2 was content to stop 1/10th of the way into a walk and stand on a tiny beach with only a few rocks.  He didn’t want to keep going.  To him that was good enough.  But in reality, it didn’t come close to comparing with the destination son #1 and I had in mind.  And I decided that I was not going to be content to stop here on my health journey.  I’m going to keep pressing on.

Pressing on together,


Thankful Thursday: Thank you gifts

Tomorrow is the last day of school.  I can’t believe it’s here already!  My youngest had his kindergarten graduation ceremony yesterday and my oldest had his 5th grade ceremony today.  Looking back on this school year, I realize I have so much to be thankful for…

My youngest had a great first year of school – in fact he loves it!  He is now a reader, reading all the time (even over my shoulder, so I guess it’s a good thing I’m not into that shades of gray series!!!).  He sings his school songs all the time.  He loves math.  He’s made friends and is much more outgoing in social settings.

My finishing second grader has gone from reading below grade level to reading almost 2 grade levels above!  He has shined academically for the first time this year, even earning the opportunity to represent his class in the Math Bee.  He has become much more confident.  Like my youngest, he loves school, has made more friends and has become much more outgoing in social settings.

My soon to be middle schooler has thrived this year.  He has gone from hating school to actually saying he wants to be a teacher.  His behavior has improved tremendously.  He’s getting along better with the other students.  He’s learning how to cope with his anxieties.  He’s learning to be more flexible.  He’s understanding what it means to be autistic and how to function in the classroom and other social settings.

I attribute all of these things to their teachers.  Their teachers have loved them, have encouraged them, and have supported them.  In addition, their teachers have encouraged me, supported me, and really partnered with me as we help my boys grow.  And so at the year’s end, I like to give them something to let them know just how much I appreciate them.

Unfortunately, this year, funds are really tight and I just didn’t have the money to buy an adequate gift or gift card for all 3 of their main teachers, in addition to my oldest son’s emotional (autistic) support teacher, para-professional, guidance counselor, and art teacher (who has been amazing with him).  So I hit Pinterest and various blogs for inspiration.  And here’s what I created, adapted from what I found:

Thank you to Tip Junkie for leading me to the printables for these! And a huge thank you to eighteen25 for creating and providing the printables and ideas!

Well, I’m assuming most of you already have this year’s teacher gifts under control… so maybe these are for another year.  Or, what I love about these, is that they really would work as an appreciation gift for anyone… and I’m sure you have lots of people in your life that you are thankful for!

So here’s what I did…

First for the Fish Candy Gram… I bought swedish fish from the bulk section (after comparing the price per pound in the prepackaged bags) and filled treat bags with them.

Using my paper-cutter, I cut scrapbook paper to 4×6 and folded it in half.  I then put it over the top of the treat bag.  Next I used a hole punch to punch two holes through both sides of the scrapbook paper and the treat bag.  I threaded some ribbon through the holes without tying it.  Next I glued a swedish fish in between the 2 punched holes.

After that, I took the “You are o”fish”ally the best” saying that I had printed onto red card stock and trimmed it down and glued it on.  I was done, but then decided to write a note on the inside of the scrapbook paper.

For the chocolate bar… I used eighteen25’s printable again, but I printed it on scrapbook paper.  (It was 12×12, but I trimmed it to 8.5×12 to send it through my printer.)  After printing it, I trimmed it down.  Next it was time to wrap the candy bar.  To save money, I bought a 6 pack of chocolate bars.

These didn’t have the outer wrapper and the inner foil wrapper, so I just covered over the wrapper.  To do it, I trimmed the scrap-book paper, wrapped around, and glued it shut.

Lastly, I glued the “You deserve chocolate!!  Thank you for all you do.” printable onto the front.  I left the back blank.






Easy peasy… Cute and fun.  But those alone, probably wouldn’t express how thankful we are, so we wrote cards for them as well.

♥Becki, thankful mom

Training Tuesday: Let’s talk numbers…

Alright, let’s talk numbers.  I’ve never been one to be open about the numbers.  I’m more of a vague person.  Sure I can say I lost x amount of weight, but I’m not one to admit my starting weight or current weight.  I’ve often marveled at the contestants on Biggest Loser allowing their weight to be broadcast on TV.  Why?  Because I listen to other women talk about how they hit 150 pounds and they really need to lose weight.  And I’m thinking, their weight is a dream weight for me!  So to admit my actual weight is embarrassing.

But right now, I’m at my next “milestone” marker and I’ve been staring at it for a few weeks, and every time I get on the scale, I think surely I’ve gone under it, but no, still above it.  So I’ve decided to go public with it, in hopes that next week I can celebrate on here and announce that I’ve gone below!

Before I admit to where I am, let me tell you where I’ve come from.  Because where I am right now, is a number that most of you would be horrified if the scale ever said it.  So to appreciate that it’s a good number, you need to know where I’ve been.

My highest recorded weight was 224.  That was several years ago.  I’ve lost and gained, normally fluctuating between 195 and 220.  Every time I’ve gone under 200, I’ve said I’m never going back.  But I always did.  In November of 2010, I decided to get serious and started again.  At that point, I was 218.  I lost weight and last May I was about 188.  Then I started gaining again.  In February, I was back up to 210ish.  Our scale had stopped working, so I didn’t get a starting weight when I got serious again.  Which brings us to this morning.  I was 180.5.

I can’t wait to get into the 170’s.  Haven’t seen them in 12 years!  But I think I mentally starting sabotaging myself.  For the past 3 weeks, my weight loss has slowed down, and I’ve been fluctuating between 181 and 184.  Even though I’ve continued running, I found myself overeating again.  Not to the extreme I am when out of control, but having seconds or an extra snack.  Just making poor decisions.  So I started monitoring my eating on My Fitness Pal and am getting back on track.

So I’m hoping that next week I’ll be in the 170s!  At 174, I’ll no longer be considered obese… just overweight!  Can’t wait to see my Mii thin down a little bit on Wii Fit 🙂  But ultimately, I don’t want to stay in the 170s long… I need to Keep Pressing On to get my body to a healthy weight.

Early last week I had a revelation that I think will help.  Prior to that, whenever I prayed about eating and losing weight, I kept praying that God would take my desire to eat outside of hunger away.  I kept praying that food and my weight wouldn’t be a life long battle.  I’ve often said that I don’t want to be counting calories at 50 years old.  I want to not have to worry about food.  I wanted to be “delivered” from my food issues.  Basically I didn’t want to fight.

My God is big enough to take away all desires I have for overeating, and I’d definitely be thrilled if he chose to.  But, last week I came to peace with the idea that food may be my lifelong battle.  And that was OK.  That I was willing to fight the battle every day of my life.  Because not fighting is no longer an option.  Because overeating was gluttony and that is sin.  Because overeating wreaks havoc on my body, my energy level, and my health.  Because overeating leads to depression.  So I will fight, every day.  Hopefully the fight will get easier… but even if it doesn’t, I’ll press on.

Reader, if this is a battle for you, please know that as I’m typing this, I’m praying for you too.  Praying that you will fight, that you will press on.  But I want to stress, that getting our body to a healthy weight will not make God love us any more than He does right now.  He loves us like crazy, extra weight and all.  When Christ died on the cross for our sins, it includes all those extra brownies, bowls of pasta, loaves of bread, and slices of pizza we’ve eaten!

In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  I separate this into 2 parts, “have life” and “have it to the full”.  God loves me exactly as I am and has forgiven my sins through Christ’s death so I have eternal life, even if I never lose any weight.  But when I choose to live my life surrendered to Jesus, following Him instead of sin, choosing to honor Him with my food choices and my activity choices, choosing to press on, I can have life to the full.  Maybe not a worldly, prosperity full.  But a life full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Pressing on Together,


P.S. Last week I had my annual GYN appointment and had to get on the scale.  This doctor’s office still has the old school scale where you have to slide the balances.  What a great feeling when the nurse only had to slide the first pointer to the 150 mark instead of the 200 mark.  (If you’ve ever been over 200 pounds, you know what I’m talking about!)  Hopefully at next year’s appointment, she’ll only have to slide it to the 100 mark!

Mothering Monday: The handshake

Last week we were greeters for church.  Well, technically I was a greeter, but my youngest 2 boys decided to help.  They stood for a half hour, opening the doors as people walked up and extending their hands to offer a handshake and a “Good morning”.  They  were so cute and seemed to feel important in this role.  Of course, everyone walking in gave them a big smile and returned the greeting (how could you not, I mean they are so stinkin’ cute!).

After one man shook my 5-year-old’s hand, he said good morning to my son.  But then he, in a kind and friendly voice, said to him, “When you shake someone’s hand, you look them in the eye, and you give the hand a little squeeze.”  Then he shook my son’s hand again and rewarded him with “Perfect!” at my son’s attempt to do it correctly.

Photo Credit: Handshake on Flickr, Creative Commons

As my son continued to welcome people to church, I noticed that he was now looking them in the eye as he greeted them.  And later in the day, I overheard him “teaching” his older brother the correct way to shake a hand.

This stuck out to me because, to be honest, I never thought to teach my boys how to shake a hand.  And then I started thinking about all sorts of social skills that I haven’t been spending time instructing but expect them to do, especially with the third.  I think by that time, you assume you’ve taught something, but in reality you’ve taught the older ones and not the younger.  Or in my special case, I spent a lot of time teaching my oldest son skills with no success and then just kind of gave up.  But, I’m forgetting that my oldest son has Asperger’s and just because he may always need reminding doesn’t mean my younger 2 won’t master the skills.

Anyway, with that being said, besides a handshake, here are 10 social skills that I want to get back on track with my kids:

  1. Look people in the eye when you talk to them.  I used to ask my oldest son what color someone’s eyes were after he had a conversation with them.
  2. Addressing grown-ups by their names and not just by “Hey”.  Out of respect and to remind children that adults are not their peers, I prefer Mr. and Mrs. with the last name.  (Maybe I’ll do a post on that at another time…)
  3. Giving people your full attention when greeting them, talking to them, and saying good-bye.
  4. When approaching 2 or more people who are already in a conversation, to stop and listen first before interrupting.  Wait for a pause before saying something.  And then either join in the conversation in the topic that is already being discussed, or else wait for a break in the topic in order to change it.
  5. Holding doors for the people behind you and thanking people who are holding doors for you.
  6. Asking for what you want, of course always including please.  I don’t know why but it drives me crazy when my kids, well to be honest, when other people’s kids too, just announce “I’m hungry” or “I’m thirsty” and then expect that need to be taken care of.  So lately I’ve been correcting my boys with “What are you really saying?”  And they’ve learned to respond with, “Mom, can you please get me a drink?” or “Mom, can I please get myself a snack?”
  7. Learning the appropriate volume to talk.  My boys have one volume: loud!  I’m constantly saying, “I’m right here, I can hear you.”  I’m not sure how to teach this!!!!
  8. Learning to apologize correctly.  Last week at church one of our pastors shared that in their family they’ve taught their children to say, “I’m sorry for ____, will you forgive me?”
  9. Learning to forgive correctly.  I’ve taught my guys to say, “I forgive you” instead of “That’s OK.”  Because, usually what the offender did is not OK.  But we still need to choose to forgive the person, even though what they did was wrong.
  10. No devices (phones, iPods, DSI’s, tablets…) at the dinner table.  Talk to each other instead!  We are really good with this at home.  But at restaurants we usually allow them up until the food arrives.  But I’m thinking I need to just take advantage of any time that we are all sitting together and not allow it.  I remember being in a restaurant waiting to be seated.  Another family was called for their table and the father stood there with his hand-held out and his 3 teen-aged children all put their phones in his hand as they walked by.  He didn’t have to say anything, so this rule was already established and none of the teens complained.  I was impressed!
  11. (I know I said 10, but really this one is so important, that it can’t be left out.)  Always, always, always say thank you.  And not just to the obvious people.  Say thank you to the bus driver.  Say thank you to the doctor, the dentist, the waiter, the cashier.  Say thank you to the teacher, to the sunday school teacher, to the pastor for the message, to your friend’s parents.  Say thank you when you receive a gift.  Call to say thank you when you receive something in the mail.  Say thank you for being invited to a party.  Say thank you for dinner.  Say thank you when a friend shares with you.  Say thank you to your mom and dad.  And most importantly, say thank you to God!

So I know this is by no means an exhaustive list.  Just the ones that came to me as I’ve been thinking about this for the past week.  As parents it is so easy to get angry, embarrassed, or frustrated when our children are not behaving in the socially acceptable manner, but the question is, do we model it and have we taught them?  Without a doubt, we need to model the behavior we want to teach.  But that alone is not enough.  We also need to take time to instruct it, and usually the time to do so is not when we are correcting a behavior.

What behaviors would you have included in the list?  I’d love to hear!




Friends & Family Friday: Crowded loneliness

Do you ever feel lonely when you’re in a room filled with people?  Do you ever look around and everyone seems to be talking to someone and laughing and having a good time except you?  I have.

I can vividly remember one such day.  It was 10 years ago.  My oldest (and at the time, only) son was almost 2.  The year before I had joined a women’s Bible study at a local church.  The study ran Thursday mornings September through May and about 200 women came out to it.  We’d meet in the lobby area first and have bagels and coffee and chat.  Then we would move into the auditorium for a whole group time usually during which we’d watch a Beth Moore video.  After that, we’d spread out throughout the church and break into small groups of about 12 women.  We’d stay in the same group for the entire year.  I felt like I got to know several women, and I was excited to go back the second year.  Which brings us up to the day I’m talking about.

It was the first day of the second year.  I wasn’t “new” so no one was making sure to help me get connected.  I arrived and checked in and then was on my own during the socializing time.  I got my coffee and looked around.  Not seeing anyone that I knew yet, I headed to the bagel table and lathered cream cheese onto a bagel and started eating.  I looked around again and all I saw was a room full of smiling women laughing and talking and having a good time.  Some of the women I knew, but I didn’t feel comfortable going up to them while they were chatting in groups of women.  No one seemed to notice me.  No one came over to talk to me.  I felt invisible and lonely and didn’t know where to stand or what to do.  And so I did what I do in those uncomfortable situations… I went back for more food.

And then as I was eating my second bagel, the self-loathing started kicking in.  “Of course no one wants to talk to you… you’re fat and all you do is eat…  if only you were skinny like the other women, they’d want to talk to you… why did you even bother to come… you should have stayed in bed…”

But thankfully, I caught myself.  And I prayed, “God, in this huge room, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels lonely.  Please put my eyes on the lonely women instead of the women who seem to be having a great time.”  And so I looked around the room again.  And standing next to the bagel table was a women all by herself.  Like me, her eyes were surveying the room.  Like me, she looked a little awkward.  So I took a deep breath, and instead of waiting for someone to come to me, I went to her.  “Hi, I’m Becki.  I don’t think we met yet.”

And we had a great conversation.  It was her second year too.  I never asked if she felt lonely like I did, but her face lit up as we started talking.  Turns out she was a math tutor with too many students, and I was looking to get started in tutoring.  So through that time of stepping out and looking beyond myself, I made a new friend, felt like I belonged instead of feeling awkward, and I landed two students for tutoring at $50 an hour, so an extra $100 a week.  Score!

Now 10 years later, I think about that time a lot.  I’ve learned that I need to do more friend initiating instead of friend waiting.  I’ve learned that I need to invite women to lunch.  (Yesterday I had lunch with this amazing woman.  Noticing on Facebook that her birthday was this week, I sent her a message asking if we could get together.)  I’ve learned that I need to pick up the phone and call women.  (Women-not men!  My husband can initiate our men friendships… but that’s another post for another day…)  I’ve learned that I need to send a text or email or post on a friend’s Facebook page.  The thing is, that none of that comes naturally to me.  I really am an introvert… it’s easy for me to sit in the privacy of my own home and type on my computer and put it out on the Internet for whoever wants to read it.  But real life interactions – that’s work!

But, oh how worth it, are those real life interactions.  In the Bible in the book of Hebrews, Paul says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some people do, but let us encourage one another.”  (10:25)  I’m pretty sure Paul was talking about meeting together to pray and worship God.  But I also take it to mean socially.  We really were meant to journey through life together, not alone, hidden behind a computer screen.  So if you feel lonely in this crowded world, know that you are not the only one.  But if you want that to change, stop waiting for someone to come to you.  Look around, and take the step yourself and reach out to others.  As you light up their day, your own will grow brighter too!

You can always start with me… I love phone calls, and texts, and messages on my blog and Facebook page, and invitations to lunch or coffee or a movie or whatever! 😉

Joining you on the journey…



Mothering Monday: Speaking their language

“Happy Mother’s Day!  Thank you for giving me dinner.  I love you so much.”

“I love my mom because she gives me breakfast.”

“My mom’s favorite thing to do is make cakes.”

“My mom is special because she gives me lunch.”

As I read through the “kid writing” on my Mother’s Day letters and pictures from my 5-year-old, one thing was glaringly obvious to me.  His love language is acts of service.  He feels loved when I do things for him.

While thinking on that, I felt that gentle conviction of how often I complain about doing these things.  Yet, these are things that makes my son feel loved.  I wonder if when he hears me complaining it makes him question if I really love him.  I hope not!  But I suppose it is possible, if not yet then in the future… especially as he hits his teen years.  If acts of service is the way he feels love and I’m acting as if doing things for him is a burden, then the message I’m sending is that I really don’t love him.

Lord, help me do all things without complaining and remember that preparing meals for my children, and baking cakes for them, and doing their laundry, and cleaning, and all of that stuff that I don’t really enjoy too much is a way to show them that I love them.

You may have noticed me use the term “love language”.  I wrote that assuming you know what I’m talking about, but I realize you may not.  Gary Chapman wrote a book entitled “The 5 Love Languages”.  In it he suggests that we each have a primary way that we feel loved and we show others that we love them.  Quality Time, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, and Receiving Gifts.  Understanding these languages helps us to make sure we are loving people in ways that they receive it.  (To go to Gary Chapman’s site to learn more about the love languages, click here.)

For example, my husband’s language is words of affirmation.  Mine is physical touch.  One day we were driving in the car and he was pouring out his heart to me about something that was upsetting him.  The whole time I sat there rubbing his knee.  For me, a person who gives and receives love most through physical touch, I was saying, “I hear you, I love you, I care about you, I’m here” by rubbing his knee.  But he is a words person.  And finally he said, “Here I am pouring my heart out to you and you don’t say anything.  Don’t you care?”  He didn’t “hear” the love in my touch, he needed to actually hear my words.  At that point, I didn’t yet understand the love languages so I had no idea why he was so upset.  But since learning about them, I try to use more words and my husband tries to rest his hand on my arm or something like that more.

As parents, it’s important to understand our children’s love language.  I remember a friend growing up talking about her dad.  She had a new watch that we were admiring.  Her dad had given it to her the day before and it wasn’t even her birthday.  We told her how cool the watch was and how lucky she was.  She responded by saying how she would rather spend time with her dad then get gifts from him.  I don’t know why that stuck out to me, but it did.  Later when I learned about the love languages, I thought back to that conversation and wondered if her dad’s love language was gifts and hers was quality time.  If so, he wasn’t speaking her language and she didn’t feel loved.

I wasn’t sure what my middle son’s love language was.  So I asked him when he felt the most loved: when we played together, when I did things for him, when we were snuggling on the couch, when I told him, or when I gave him things.  He responded that he felt most loved when I gave him things.  His love language is gifts.  As I looked back, it made sense. He’s the one that would get excited when I came home from a consignment sale with a bag full of new clothes for him.  He felt loved.

I think my oldest son’s is physical touch.  Even though he’s 11, he still loves for us to lay down in bed with him, he still likes to hold my hand, he asks for us to squeeze him, he likes to have his back rubbed.

As a mom, the difficult thing for me in raising them up is how to balance speaking their love language with helping them grow up.  If my youngest feels loved when I do things for him, then I need to be careful that when I’m encouraging him to do things on his own, that he’s not “hearing” me say, “Do it yourself because I don’t love you.”  If my middle son feels loved when I give him things, then I need to be careful that when I say no to things he knows it’s not because I don’t love him.  If my oldest son feels loved through touch, then I need to make sure I’m still hugging him and rubbing his back, things that seem to naturally become less as children grow older.

Lord, help me to speak my children’s language…

Do you know your child’s love language? Are you speaking it?



Friends & Family Friday: Unforgiveness

Has anyone ever hurt you?  Not physically.  But emotionally.  I’m not talking about saying something that hurt your feelings.  I’m talking about that deep down hurt that tears your insides apart.  Where you feel like your life will never be the same.  Where you wonder how you will ever be able to look at that person again.  I’ve been hurt like that.

And even though you feel like you’ll never be able to move on, you do.  Somehow the world keeps turning.  Somehow you get up each morning.  Somehow life goes on.  Somehow the pain eases.  But does forgiveness come?

Through one of the situations that I was hurt, I moved on so to speak.  But I was bitter.  I was angry.  I could not think about this person without in the back of my mind thinking about what they did to me.  To anyone looking in, it probably looked like we got along fine.  But if they could see my heart, they’d know there was a problem.  My heart was full of unforgiveness.  (Which apparently isn’t a word, but I don’t know a better word for it, so I’m using it.)

One day I remember talking to my husband about the fact that I knew I needed to forgive this person, but I wasn’t sure how to.  He suggested I pray about it.  So that’s what I did.  I started praying that God would help me forgive this person, that God would change my heart.  I prayed and prayed and prayed and nothing changed in my heart.  So I prayed some more.  Then one day while I was praying I heard in the stillness of my heart, “Talk to ____.”  I knew without a doubt that God was telling me that I needed to talk to this person.  So I started praying for the opportunity to talk to them and for the words to say when that time came.

Well the time came.  And I heard that voice saying, “Talk to ____” and well, I really didn’t want to right then.  So I began having an internal debate with God about how it really wasn’t a good time, and what was I going to say, and I didn’t really want to bring up something from awhile ago, and all the reasons why I shouldn’t talk to this person.  But still without a doubt I knew God was telling me to talk to this person.  And I know it’s really no use arguing… because after all when Jonah didn’t want to talk to the people God wanted him to talk to, he got swallowed up by a giant fish.  Not that I thought God was going to go to those extremes with me, but I knew he meant business when he tells you to talk to someone.  So kicking and dragging my feet I went to that person and began the conversation.

“Can we talk?”  Followed by me explaining how that person had hurt me.  It was hard to be honest and lay it all out.  But that’s what I did.  And when I was finished with my “speech” I looked at the person expectantly.  Because of course, I was expecting them to tell me how sorry they were that they hurt me.  How wrong they were.  How they wished they could change it.  How right I was to be hurting.

But the person didn’t.  Instead they went on to justify all of their actions.  They weren’t sorry at all.  And I walked away in shell-shock.  I then had a few words with God.  Because not only did I have unforgiveness in my heart about their prior actions, but now I was mad that they weren’t sorry.   “God, why on earth would you have me talk to this person? This is way worse!”

And then I hear that voice again, “Forgive ___.”  Umm, what???? Didn’t you hear them God?  They aren’t sorry.  Why should I forgive them?  “Forgive ____.”  Why?  How?  “Forgive ____.”

And so right there, slumped down on the couch, through tears in my eyes, I prayed something like, “God, what they did really hurt me, and it hurts even more that they don’t feel sorry about it.  But I’m tired of being angry.  I’m tired of being bitter.  You’ve told me to forgive them.  So help me to forgive them, just as you’ve forgiven me all the times I’ve hurt you, ignored you, betrayed you, disobeyed you.  Help me, God.”

And that’s when the peace hit.  It’s one of those can’t quite explain it, you probably wouldn’t believe it unless it happened to you things.  But all that weight of bitterness, anger, hurt was lifted off of me.  Instead I felt such a love for this person.  That it could only be divine.  I knew that what the person did was wrong.  I knew it wasn’t OK.  But forgiveness truly came – even if they didn’t ask for it.

And so I went back to this person and said something like, “I know you don’t think what you did was wrong.  But it really hurt me, and I was angry and hurt and bitter.  But I need you to know that I’m not anymore.  I’ve forgiven you.  I’m sorry it took me so long to do it.”  And to be honest, I don’t remember what that person said or did at that moment.  All I remember was that feeling of being able to look at them and not see what they did to me, but to look at them with only love.  But to be really, really honest, every once in a while, those feelings of bitterness will try to make their way back to the surface, but then I pray, thanking God for enabling me to forgive them and the bitterness fades away again.

I share this with you today, because you too may have been hurt.  And you too, may not have been able to forgive.  I don’t know your situation.  But I do know that through forgiveness we find peace and joy.

Praying for peace and joy and forgiveness if you need it for you today.


Mothering Monday: Sleepy mama

Happy Mother’s Day

Very kind and sweet

loving, beautiful and nice

unique and cheerful

Mom, Caring, Trusting, Kind, Smart, Loving, Sweet, Best, Sleepy

Sleepy???  What???  Sleepy??? Uh oh… Yesterday, as most mothers were, I was showered with home-made gifts for Mother’s Day.  My oldest son made a teapot with words on it to describe me.  My middle son made a heart out of words that describe me.  I loved reading through their descriptions of me, so flattering… but then on the heart in big letters I read, “SLEEPY”.

I can’t really argue with it, I am often tired.  But it breaks my heart that my 7-year-old would define me that way.  Caring, trusting, kind, smart, loving, sweet, best… I love those descriptions.  I know they are not always true, but that they would use those words to describe me, tells me that for the most part I’m doing the right thing.  But reading sleepy, reminds me of my imperfections.

I am not a morning person, and my 7-year-old is.  Soon after my husband leaves for work, my son wakes up.  He knows not to wake me up until 7:30.  He gets himself dressed, usually gets himself breakfast, and often will turn on the TV.  Then at 7:30 he comes and wakes me up, sometimes bringing me coffee that he made for me.  This arrangement works for me.  I thought it worked for my son.  But after reading, “sleepy” I wonder if it really works for him.  Maybe I’ll have to have a conversation with him and see if it bothers him that I’m not awake in the morning.

I’m a night person, and I love staying up late when the house is quiet.  I love reading, or watching TV, or working on a project without being disturbed.  But maybe, I need to sacrifice some of that time and make sure I get to bed earlier.  I know my teacher husband who wakes up at 6 would appreciate it.  But I enjoy that time so much, would I become a little bitter and angry that I don’t have as much alone time?  I’m an introvert and I recharge during that time.  So what do I need more?  The chance to recharge or the sleep?  I guess like all of life, I have to find that balance.  And like all of life, I’m sure my kids will find a way to let me know when I’m doing it well or when I’m failing.

For all of you mothers out there… I hope you enjoyed your day.  Thank you for all you do for your family, because it’s impact goes far beyond your family.  You are raising my children’s peers.  You are raising the future teachers, and politicians, and inventors, and doctors, and businessmen, and policemen, and military personnel.  So thank you.

♥Becki, Sleepy Mama

Me and my boys…

Friend’s & Family Friday: Easy Mother’s Day / Father’s Day (or whatever) Gift

Wednesday was my final ever MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) meeting.  I was the coordinator and I wanted to give the ladies of my fabulous leadership team a present to thank them for all that they did.  Trouble is that the leadership team includes 24 women! (14 Steering and 8 group leaders) So what can you do that is inexpensive but special?  Well, I found a cute little trinket that went along with the love theme.  But I also made them each a puzzle out of crafts sticks and a picture of their children.  (This year’s theme was also games, so I thought a puzzle fit in well!)  It was so easy, and I got a lot of compliments, so I thought I’d share how to do it.  (I originally saw this somewhere online, so this is not an original idea.  I just don’t remember where I saw it.)

Step 1: Select a photo and using a photo safe glue stick, glue it onto craft sticks.  I only had the fat ones, but I think the thinner ones would be good.  It would make the puzzle more challenging.

Step 2: After the glue dries, using an exacto knife and a ruler or a paper-cutter, cut the craft sticks apart.  (I used a cutting board)

Step 3: “Paint” Modge Podge onto each stick and let dry thoroughly.  This will strengthen the photo and help it to last longer.  (This step is optional, but if you’re going to let kids play with the puzzle, I recommend it!)

Step 4:  Play with the puzzle!  Here’s my 5 year old putting it together.

In the wedding section at Michael’s Crafts I found little organza draw string pouches that worked perfectly for stashing the pieces away in.

And here are the gifts lined up at ready to give away at MOPS.  (I wish I could have done so much more for those amazing women!)

Happy Puzzling!


Training Tuesday: Running girl adventures 2



These are 2 words that definitely would not normally be used to describe me, and definitely would never have been used to describe me a year and a half ago.  So the fact that last weekend I willingly participated in, finished, and enjoyed a 5K mud run is bordering on miraculous.  Not part the Red Sea miraculous, but more of a my life is changing miraculous.

My friend Emily sent out an email a few months ago with this crazy idea to get a team together for a mud run.  I saw some of the other names she sent the email out to and they included major runners.  I’m not in their league!  The fact that she sent me the email was flattering.  Two years ago she definitely would not have included me in it.  I was the fat girl who had no interest in physical activity, if you’re going to a movie, invite me, but definitely not for something like that!  Last year she might have sent it to me knowing I was doing the Couch to 5K program.  But I would have never thought myself able to do it and would have declined.  But this year, when she sent out the email, I thought, “Hmmmm, maybe…”

I sent reply emails:

interested… but not sure about my ability!  If the group is in it for the laughs then seeing me attempt the obstacles will definitely add to them!  If the group is just about finishing and having fun, then perhaps I’m in… but if they want to be competitive and fast, then I don’t think I’m your girl!
Before I sign up, I want to verify that having fun and finishing are the goals!  I don’t want to feel like I’m letting the team down if it takes forever to get my heavy butt over the wall or under the ropes or whatever – assuming I’ll even be able to do it…  I know I can run a 5k… but the other stuff is truly a stretch for me and waaayyyyy out of my comfort zone… but I’d love to try.
and then finally
Just signed up… my heart was pounding as I was doing it… totally out of my comfort zone!!!!!


Once I signed up, I never wavered from the fact that I was going to do it.  But, I was definitely nervous for it.  The day came.  We drove 2 hours to get there.  I saw the obstacles.  I saw the hills.  And you know what?  Even though I was expecting it to be difficult, I knew I was going to be able to do it.   And I just took it all in and thought how far I’ve come!

The race began and the 11 girls in my group and I ran over a hay hill…

Ran up a mountain, through a rope course…

Jumped the tires…


Went through several mud pits (usually being splashed by our over-zealous friend Joli)…

Used ropes to go down steep hills…

Crawled through mud tunnels, under a net, and went over a wall (the obstacle that ahead of time I worried I wouldn’t be able to do)…

Went through more mud… some parts waist deep!

Went over tire swings…

And over a tall cargo net…

We laughed, we joked, we cheered for each other, we worked hard and we all did it!  At the end, I once again thought about how far I’ve come.

We got muddy… well, except for our one friend Deena who managed to stay pretty clean.  And although I’m not a total girly girl, getting muddy is not my norm.  Some women seemed to wear their mud like a badge of honor, but not me… I was ready to get it off.  Cleaning up with a garden hose is also not my norm… but that’s what we did.  I wouldn’t purposefully do that regularly… but for one day – it was fun!  (My girly girl side did come out after the race when I sat down on my bag in the changing tent to apply my makeup.)  And the hot shower later at home was heavenly!

So the moral of my story… never define yourself by things you’re not (I’m not athletic, I’m not outdoorsy)…  because who knows… that just might change!  And if I can do something like that, then pretty much anyone can.

Oh, and before I sign off for the day… several people have asked for a follow-up from Running Girl Adventures (part 1).  My youngest was sick, so we didn’t go on the field trip the day the random stranger, Sarah, was supposed to meet me to run.  I drove over with my son sitting in the van holding a bowl in case he got sick.  And we waited… but the random stranger never showed up.  I was there again today… but still no Sarah.  Wonder if I’ll ever see her again????