Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Missing the good works

Ocean City, New Jersey
Ocean City, New Jersey

A month ago, I sat on the OCNJ beach and watched my boys play.  As I gazed out to the ocean, I was reminded of a friend, a friend who was only able to beat cancer through death.  I met her standing at the very beach 6 years before.  We were both standing watching our boys play in the water.  We got to talking and realized that we each had 3 boys.  As we talked more, we realized we were from neighboring towns.  As we talked more, we realized we were in the same M.O.P.S. group and just hadn’t met yet.

Several years later she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She beat that cancer, only to later discover that cancer was back in her liver among other places.  The prognosis was not good.  She fought hard, but still death came.  I was at the same beach, exactly 4 years after meeting her, when I received the call that she had passed away.

This year as I sat watching my boys and thinking about my friend, I was reminded of something that I never really thought about much.  A couple of days before she passed, I had the strong urge to email our group of friends and set up a prayer rotation for her so that someone would be praying for her and her family every hour of the day.  I knew her end was near, so I didn’t think the prayers were for healing, but rather for their peace and comfort.  But, I was on vacation, and the internet connection wasn’t the best, and I often have great intentions with not so great follow through, and it didn’t happen.

As I was reminded of this, it did not come with a sense of guilt or shame or condemnation for not listening to the urge.  Rather it came with a lesson.  I am confident that God was at work providing comfort and peace for my friend and her family during that time, whether I set up a prayer rotation or not.  But God was inviting me and our group of friends to join in with his work.  And I ignored the invitation and lost out on the resulting blessing that comes with obedience.

It makes me think of Ephesians 2:10:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God created us to do Good Works.  He prepared them in advance for us to do them.  He orchestrated that friendship, meeting on the beach, bringing me back to the beach at the time of her passing.  He prepared in advance for me to pray for her.  And I missed it.

Again, I truly believe that my missing it, does not mean that God didn’t still work and provide the peace.  It means that I missed out on the joy of joining in.  I’m reminded of another situation in which I ignored the good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do.

About 9-11 years ago I was driving to church.  As I drove down the street to get there, I passed a not very well clothed and poorly groomed older man sitting on a wall.  I had the strong urge that I was supposed to pull over and invite him to church.  Of course, I came up with every reason why I shouldn’t … he’s a man and my husband isn’t with me … I have my 2-year-old with me … he would think I’m crazy … he might be crazy … do I really want him at our church …

So I drove the last block to our church, parked and went in.  I didn’t give the man another thought.  Until, he walked in the door.  God was at work in that man’s life.  He was bringing him into church because there was something the man needed to hear that day.  And God had invited me to join in with him.  He prepared in advance for me to drive by that man and to see him.  He spoke to me to invite the man to church, and I ignored it.

Despite my disobedience, God still worked in that man.  The man came without an invitation from anyone in the church.  He just came because he thought he should.  I never saw him again.  But I have no doubt, there was a reason he came that day.

God knew that I was uncomfortable talking to people I didn’t know.  He knew I was uncomfortable inviting people to church.  He knew that I needed encouragement in those areas.  And he “tossed me a bone”.  I think about how great it would have felt to have heard that urge to invite the man, to pull over, roll down the window, and actually invite him.  I wouldn’t have had to drive him there, it was only a block away.  And then when he walked in the door, I would have felt amazing and honored that God would choose to use me in that way.

I’m sure there are many other “good works” that I have missed out on.  Like I said, I often have great intentions but don’t follow through.    I’m sure also, that I’m not the only one.  Who knows, perhaps God had to use a donkey to speak to Balaam because Balaam’s 2 servants missed the good works God had prepared for them 😉  (Numbers 2: 22-35)

God, help us to have eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to care, and hands and feet to follow through on the Good Works you have prepared in advance for us to do.  Forgive us for the times we have missed.  Thank you that despite our disobedience, you still work without us and that you still call us your handiwork, your masterpiece.

Pressing on Together,


P.S. I am no theologian!  These thoughts are simply that, my thoughts.  I’m sure there are some that will disagree with me on my interpretation here.  That’s OK with me.  For me, it’s about recognizing that God wants me to join in with his work, but he will still work despite me.


Training Tuesday: Day 16 … what happens on Day 22?

Despite 3 birthday parties (one for which I baked the cake), a church picnic lunch, back to school, that time of month, and possibly the most stressful/crazy week I’ve had at work so far, Jeff & I are on day 16 of our natural sugar/artificial sugar/wheat/dairy/etc. cleanse.

We’ve both lost over 10 pounds.  I’m back to 2.5 pounds above my lowest weight!  Soon, I’ll be losing new weight again.  I’m at 153 and I   C A N N O T wait for the scale to read in the 140’s.  I love that the Y has one of those scales where you move the weights on it, because I am so excited to only have to move the one to “100” even if the other one has to slide all the way to 49!  (If you are or have been considerably overweight, I’m sure you know what I mean!)

Anyway, by cleansing out our system, we are finding healthy options that we actually like without loading them up with extra sugar and calories and junk.

Spaghetti Squash


Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Jeff absolutely loved this!  I wonder if we would have loved it as much 3 weeks ago when our tastes were used to all the junk?


Anyway, I roasted a spaghetti squash, scraped it out, mixed it with a natural, sugar-free tomato sauce and lean ground turkey, and put it back into the skin.


This is a pretty common thing to do, but I never tried it before.  I think it will become a regular meal at our house.

With lean ground beef and no sugar marinara
With lean ground beef and no sugar marinara

Lettuce wrapped burger

Lettuce wrapped burger
Lettuce wrapped burger

I made burgers (all natural, lean ground beef) and we used lettuce for the wrap instead of the yummy Martin’s Potato Rolls that we love.

We then mixed Giant’s natural salsa (in the refrigerator section) with guacamole.  For guac, you need to check, some have sugar or vinegar added.   No cheese or ketchup on the burger.

It was delicious this way.  I think I would continue eating burgers like this.



Spinach & tomato egg

Spinach, & tomato egg
Spinach, & tomato egg

For breakfasts, I’ve done a lot of eggs.  I use coconut oil for cooking.  I’ve had all sorts of varieties: scrambled with peppers and onions, over hard with salsa (that I cooked on the pan) and cooked spinach, and over medium with tomato and spinach.  For this one, I cracked the egg on the pan, flipped it, put tomato and spinach on top, flipped it again and cooked the tomato & spinach.  (Salt and pepper are definitely required!)  I enjoy it, but I won’t lie, I miss the toast with it.  Perhaps toast can be an occasional thing.  Also, oddly enough, I REALLY miss the ketchup. I am a ketchup on eggs kind of girl.




Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich, no bun
Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich, no bun

I work at Chick-fil-A, so I eat there every day that I work.  I knew I needed to find options.  I love the Grilled Chicken Sandwich.  The seasoning on it is so good.  Normally, I eat this with only half of the bun, no pickle, no tomato, and the honey roasted barbecue sauce.  Well, I needed to skip the bun entirely, so I order it now with double lettuce to still eat it as a sandwich.  I also needed to skip the sauce, so I added the tomato back on.  I never was a huge tomato fan, but now I eat them all the time!  Still no pickles.  It’s really good, and most likely I’ll continue this way, but add a fruit cup in.



Chick-fil-A Cobb Salad, no bacon or cheese, grilled filet
Chick-fil-A Cobb Salad, no bacon or cheese, grilled filet

For a change, I also do the Cobb Salad.  I order it without the bacon and cheese.  I also ask for a grilled filet instead of the traditional coated nuggets that come with the salad.  I am unable to do salad dressing, so I bring a little olive oil mixed with a natural salsa and put it on top.  I’m satisfied and enjoy it … but I do miss the dressing.  I will probably add that in after the cleanse.  (I like Trader Joe’s champagne pear vinaigrette.)

I know it’s important to be able to eat out.  We also found that Subway will make any of their subs into a chopped salad, and they are really good.  I used oil for the dressing and put a little avocado on it for extra flavor.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Rice Cakes

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Rice Cakes
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Rice Cakes

Snacks and dessert have been difficult.  I get tired of snacking on nuts and veggies.  At night, I love to have something sweet.  So I needed to find something.  This is the closest I’ve found.  I mix Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar added) with organic canned pumpkin and cinnamon.  I then spread it on a BROWN rice cake (brown rice only – they crumble a lot because there is nothing holding them together, so actually the peanut butter works as a glue for the cake.)  The last time I made it I whipped the peanut butter, pumpkin and cinnamon together with a mixer and it made it a nice consistency.  Each time I have it, I enjoy it more and more.  You definitely know there is no sugar in there, but it is a good option!  I’ve started using this for some breakfasts too.

Jeff and I keep talking about what day 22 will look like.  What changes will we keep?  What will we bring back fully or in moderation?  I know that we will bring fruit back because it doesn’t seem too healthy to go without … and I definitely miss it!

I’m hoping to keep staying away from Coke Zero … I know it’s horrible for me … but I do love it … and working at Chick-fil-A, I have easy access to it.  But these 2 weeks, I haven’t missed it and so I probably shouldn’t go back!

It’s been difficult and easy all at the same time these past 2 weeks.  Difficult to figure out food options that we enjoy.  But easier than I thought to say no to the cakes and pizza and soda and ice cream …

Pressing on together,






Mothering Monday: Holding the door

The other day I walked into a Wawa right behind a 20 something man.  We approached the door at pretty much the same time.  He walked in first, held the door behind him until I grabbed it.  But he never looked at me.  At the second door, he didn’t even hold the door for me.  Perhaps I was too slow at the first one?

This made me think about my boys and how we are training them.  Holding doors for women is one of my things that I try to impress upon them.  I’ve been known to stand outside and wait for them to come back to the door to hold it for me.  I don’t know why, but it’s one of those things that matter to me.  I guess that’s why I noticed the way the young man ignored me.

Some of the other things I am a stickler for are:

Waiting until everyone is seated and we pray before you start eating.

Asking to be excused and clearing your plate.

Not interrupting.

Asking for things instead of stating a need.  “Can you please get me a drink?” instead of “I’m thirsty.”

Being patient when I can’t get to that need right away.

Using Mr. & Mrs. instead of first names for grown-ups.

Saying “Thank you”.

Saying “I forgive you” instead of “That’s OK”.

Not saying “Sorry” unless you mean it.

Ordering your own meal at a restaurant.

Some of these things may not matter to you, and truly that’s fine with me.  I don’t care if your kids call me Becki.   I recognize as parents there are certain things that matter more to us than other things.

There are also some things that I know I need to do a better job at training my boys in.  We’ve talked about these things.  They are important to me.  But, I am simply inconsistent in my enforcing of them:

Writing Thank You notes.  I am terrible at this, and to date, I’ve passed that along to my boys.

Looking adults in the eye and responding to them when spoken to.

Using Sir or Ma’am or Mr. ____ or Mrs. ____ when talking to adults.  As in, “Yes, Ma’am” or “No, Mr. Smith”.  It’s just one more way of children respecting adults and I am always impressed when  a child addresses me in that way.  I know, some of you hate being called Ma’am or Mrs. _____.  But, I truly believe that many children view adults as equals, and I’m not OK with that.  I understand that there are many children who respect adults and yet still call them by their first name.  I’m not trying to make a blanket statement.  But I think it’s an easy way to set adults apart from children.  OK, <<<stepping off soapbox>>>   🙂

Obeying adults immediately without asking “Why?”.  I tell them they need to obey first and then later they can ask why they were told to do or not do something.  But if they ask why before obeying it is defiance.  (I have made sure to let them know they never need to obey an adult who asks them to do something that is illegal, goes against the Bible, or will hurt or harm them or someone else.)

Table manners during the meal.  My guys don’t always sit up nicely, eating over their plate.  Rather they slouch, sit back in their chair, food dropping on laps (that have no napkin on them) and the floor.  Sometimes they eat food with their fingers that should be eaten with a fork.  I don’t need them to look like they passed a class on manners, but I’d like it to at least look like they know what they are!

I also know there are many things that bother other adults, that I don’t worry about with my kids. I’m sure that just like the young man at Wawa bothered me, adults get bothered by my boys’ actions or lack of actions.  I going blank on examples right now, but I’ve seen adults correct kids, sometimes my kids, about things that I could care less about.

~And who knows, perhaps someone is blogging about my boys right now and their lack of training~

So, what matters to you.  What are your nonnegotiables?  What do you wish you were better at?  What do you not care about?  I’d love to hear!

Pressing on together,




Thursday Thoughts on Home: Keeping it real.

In the spirit of keeping it real here, I figured for Thursday’s Thoughts on Home.  I’d confess to the fact that my house is a mess!  Not so bad that you’d see me on Hoarders nor would I  quite make the cut for Clean Sweep … although I’d probably be close to that one.

Since I’ve started writing again, I’ve gotten lots of compliments and “how to you do it all?” type of comments.  Well, the answer is, “I don’t do it all.”  And it shows in my home.

My tendency has always been to messiness.  But I can’t relax in a mess, so I desire it clean and I often become grumpy when it’s not.  But frankly right now, it’s messy and I’m OK with that.  I’m OK with it, because right now I know it’s not messy because of laziness.  Between work, exercise, the kids, back to school stuff, spending time with God, grocery shopping, cooking and blogging, there really isn’t much time left to clean.  I’m OK with it because I know that right now, for me, the other things need to come first.


Pile of papers, socks, scarves, etc. on the dryer (which is in the kitchen)
Pile of papers, socks, scarves, etc. on the dryer (which is in the kitchen)
Laundry pile on the unmaid bed
Suitcase and beach cart waiting to go up to the attic (our vacation was 3 weeks ago)
Suitcase and beach cart waiting to go up to the attic (our vacation was 3 weeks ago)


Layer of dust on my computer desk.
Layer of dust on my computer desk

And, of course, there are way worse spots that I could take photos of and post, but my pride won’t let me do it …

So, if you have ever read my posts thinking I am some type of super woman who does it all … may the photos tell the story.

Pressing on together (through the mess),






Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: but God

but God …

If you read my posts last week, you could probably sense that my heart was heavy.  It was heavy with concern for my oldest child.  It was heavy with fear and anxiety about the rapist across the street and frustration for my lack of focus with eating, exercising, and bible reading.  I was also a little overwhelmed with some things at work and just the normal stresses of life.  My heart was heavy.  Through my blog posts and my prayer times, I cried out to God.  I cried out for wisdom, for peace, for my faithfulness, for my repentence.

And sometimes when you cry out, you immediately feel better.  But through the week, I wasn’t feeling better … until Thursday morning.

The boys had all left for school and I was sitting down at the table with my coffee and breakfast before heading out to work.  I turned on my Bible app to the verse of the day.  All week, I had been reading it to my oldest before he went to school, but this day in the morning rush, I forgot.  Perhaps I forgot because I needed to read it alone.Psalm 66:19

“But certainly, God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.” (Psalm 66:19)

I read the words and then the flood came.  The flood of tears as I heard God telling me he heard every cry, concern, worry, anxiety, nervousness, stress, and confession that I had cast upon him that week.  The flood of peace as I realized he not only heard them, but he had “attended to” them.  I felt as if God was sitting at the table with me, taking my hand, looking me in the eye and telling me, “I hear you, and I got this.”  And all I could do was fall into his arms and trust him as the tension and burdens lifted away.

I was a wreck,

but God …

heard me, faithfully attended to my cries, lovingly reached out to me, and restored me.

And I suppose that is a nice, feel good story for me,

but God …

has put it on my heart, from that very moment, that this is for you too.  (After all it is in the Bible.) That I was supposed to write about it because I am not the only one who needs to hear it.  I am not the only one who needs to hear that you may be hurting, confused, stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, scared, angry, feeling abandoned, feeling alone, hopeless …

but God …

has heard you, and has attended to the voice of your prayer.

Will you trust him?

Pressing on together,



Training Tuesday: The watcher.

We probably all have people who have been inspirational to us.  But have you ever knowingly been the inspiration?

I have.  And, please believe me, I post that not in a bragging or fishing for compliments type of way.  But, rather, I post that because it’s not something I read or hear about much.  How it feels when someone lets you know that you are their inspiration.

Whether you know me personally or have read more than a few of my blogs.  Then you probably know that all of my life I have been overweight.  I tried losing weight before, only to gain it plus some back.  A few years ago I weighed over 220 pounds.  I focused my efforts on losing weight, and lost about 30 pounds.  I ran my first 5k.  I was feeling good.  But then I started gaining again and went back over 200 pounds (a number I swore I would never see again!).  Then I met a normal weight woman.  She was training for her first marathon.  As I got to know her I was surprised to find out that she used to weigh what I did.  She lost it through hard work.  And one day I thought, “If she can do it, why can’t I?”  And she became one of my inspirations in losing weight and becoming more serious about running.

I am not yet at my goal.  I’m not really sure what my goal is, but I still jiggle in places and according to charts am considered overweight, so I believe I have more to lose.  But I’ve come a long way!  I’m in the 150’s.  I can now run a 10 minute mile.  I’ve run 5ks, 8ks, and have even run 10 miles a few times.   I get lots of compliments and “how did you do it”s.  Most people say, “That’s great!” and then go on with their lives.

But one woman, like I did, not only said, “That’s great!” but she also said, “If she can do it, why can’t I?”  And she began logging her food in My Fitness Pal.  She let me know I was her inspiration.  The weight has been coming off.  She’s beaming and looks fantastic!  She decided to attempt the Couch to 5k program too.  She found a race that she wanted to run.  Signed up for it.  And disciplined herself to do it.

It is an awesome, humbling feeling to know that your actions inspired someone so much that she was able to make a huge change in her life.  But that’s not why I write about it today.  There is so much more that comes with knowingly being someone’s inspiration.

There is an accountability like no other.  She let me know that I inspired her and that she was watching me.  Watching for motivation.  So when I would stop logging on My Fitness Pal, she would  yell at me encourage me to get back to business.  She told me that if I let up, she was afraid that she would too.  Then when I fell off the wagon this summer, thinking about her working so hard, pushing herself to run her first 1/2 mile, mile, 2 miles, and so on, I was motivated to get myself going again.  It was easier to deal with letting myself down then it was to think about letting her down.  I know I’m not responsible for her, but it gives me an extra accountability that I wasn’t expecting.  And now being focused again, I realize how thankful I am to have her watching me.

On Saturday, she ran her first 5k.  I got to be there with her.  I’m tearing up thinking about it.  It was an incredibly hard course, but she did it!

After the race!
After the race!

It made the day so special for me. I remember how I felt at my first 5k, and I think this was more exciting for me.  I’m trying to put my feelings about it into words, but struggling.  All I know is I felt on top of the world hugging her at the finish line!

Finish line hug!
Finish line hug!

So, I write this not to puff myself up, but to thank her.  My watcher.  Thank you for allowing me to join you in your journey.  Thank you for telling me you were watching.  Thank you for encouraging me to not fail, to never give up, to work harder, and to press on every day.  It means more than you will ever know … unless someone has let you know that they are watching you 😉

And you dear reader, remember in the beginning I asked if you had people in your life that have been inspirational to you?  Perhaps, if you haven’t, you should tell them and let them know you are watching.  It might be just what they need to press on in their journey!

Pressing on together,




Friends & Family Friday: 4-legged family members

I am not an animal person.  I don’t mind if you are, and am happy for you if you have a pet that you love.  I just would rather not have them.  It isn’t so much that I don’t like animals, it’s just that I would rather not have them in my house and have to take care of them.  I have never had an animal that has brought me more joy than annoyance.

We have a cat … something that wasn’t my decision, but when you are married you make sacrifices and give and take, and we were only married for a little over a year, and I gave in.  She’s been an easy, nice cat.  But having a cat involves hairballs, litter boxes, cat food, and meowing early in the morning.  16 years later, I know she’s at her end, and of course I’ll be sad when she passes, but personally I would have preferred to have never had her.  Like I said, for me, the annoyances were always greater than the joys.

But the boys absolutely LOVE her!  And she has let them do anything with her.  So I guess for me, having a pet is kind of like watching Barney (or Yo Gabba Gabba for you younger moms) … you hate it, but you put it on because you know your child loves it.

The boys and my husband wanted a dog.  And I adamantly refused.  Day after day, year after year.  But then last spring, in a moment of weakness, I read an email a friend sent about a dog she was fostering.  On a whim, I sent her a message asking about the dog.  We went to see it, and of course, they loved her.  I think my husband was shocked that I was actually considering it.  But something in my gut just told me that it was time and this was the dog for us.

All I can say is:




Not for me … she’s a great, easy dog … but for me, I’d still prefer to not have any fur in my house, and to not have a dog wanting to climb up on my bed in the morning, and to not be licked all over, and to not spend money on the vet or food, and to not have to make sure we are home in time to take her out, or to walk her before I leave for work.  For me, even though she is really cute, and good, and nice, and can run 3 miles with me, the annoyances still outweigh my personal joy.

But the annoyances do not outweigh the joy she brings the boys, especially my oldest (the autistic one).

Teela & the boys the day after we got her.
Teela & the boys the day after we got her. My oldest is panting like a dog for the camera 🙂

Here’s what adding a 4 legged member to our family has done for him:

  • He has become more confident.  She has decided that she belongs to him.  She goes to sleep in his room.  She sits by his side.  She sits outside the bathroom door and waits for him when he’s in there.  My son has been rejected by peers over and over again.  But he was “chosen” by her.

    Sitting outside the bathroom door
    Waiting outside the bathroom
  • He lights up when he comes home and sees her.  He knows how to relate to her and how to spend time with her.  There are peers who haven’t rejected him and who offer him friendship, but he doesn’t seem to know how to be a friend and needs to be coached.  But being with her is natural to him.

    Giving belly rubs
    Giving belly rubs
  • My self-proclaimed inside, inactive kid goes for tons of walks now.  If he is home, she will NOT let anyone else walk her.  So he has to step away from Minecraft and go outside for a walk.

    Running at the dog park
    Running at the dog park
  • My guy who had to be forced to do simple things around the house has become more responsible.  He doesn’t wait for her to “ask” to go out.  But he comes home everyday from school and takes her for a walk.  Around the same time that we got her, he has become more helpful.  He empties the dishwasher, puts away his laundry, brings in trash cans, all without being asked or told.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they happened at the same time.

I’m sure there’s more things that I could list, but I can’t think of them right now.

What it comes down to is this … he says that his 2 best friends in the whole world are his cat and his dog.  Being a non-animal person, it makes me a little sad to hear him say that.  I want him to have good friends that are boys his age.  But, the fact is that he doesn’t have a human best friend.  And so I’m glad that I put my family’s desire above my own and had a moment of weakness 16 years ago when we got the cat, and 3 ½ months ago when we got the dog.  Because like I said: best decision ever!  (And who knows, perhaps one day, I’ll come to realize that they also bring me, personally, more joy than annoyances!)

Pressing on Together (with or without animals),



Thursday’s Thoughts on Home: Living across from a sex offender

“What do you know about the sex offender that lives down the street?”  A mom asked me yesterday at the bus stop.

“Umm, what????”

The bus pulled up, I waved good-bye to the boys, and then hurried home to check out the sex offender registry.  I had checked a couple of years ago, but never thought to keep checking it.  Sure enough, diagonally across from me there is a registered sex offender.  It is someone older than me who must have recently moved in with his elderly mother.  I don’t see him there often, in fact I hadn’t realized he moved in.

So, that is a little unnerving to say the least.  Home is a place where I want to feel safe.  I want to go for a run, walk the dog, or let my boys do the same.  When I looked at the details, it says he was convicted of rape back in 1984.  I know he served almost 20 years of an 80 year sentence.  What I want to know is whether it was relational rape or was it a violent stranger rape.  I’d feel a whole lot safer if it was relational, because I have no relationship whatsoever with him!

It was almost 30 years ago.  He would have been in his late twenties or early thirties at the time.  Does that mean he’s rehabilitated or should we still be concerned?  I truly believe that God can totally change a person.  I am nothing like I was just 20 years ago … 30 years ago I was 10, so I’m definitely nothing like I was then 😉  But how do I know if this man has changed?  Oh, I forgot to mention that he was also one of the suspects in a 30-year-old unsolved murder case – a relative of the woman he was convicted for raping.  I wish I didn’t know any of this, if you live near me, I apologize for telling you if you didn’t already know.  Ignorance is bliss!

So what do I do with this information?  Do I keep going on through life like we were before?  Or do I need to make some changes?  Do I let the boys stay home alone like we have occasionally done, or do we need to be there to protect them?  I saw him outside today, but he was getting into his car and driving away, so there was no awkward not knowing how to react to him moment.  But if we are outside at the same time, do I smile and wave and say hi like I would normally do, or do I keep my head down and keep walking?  God, I truly need wisdom and peace on this!

Did I mention that ignorance is bliss?????

So Thursday’s Thoughts on Home is really a question … what do you do when a sex offender lives across the street?  (I definitely would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one.)

Pressing on together (while I cling to God like crazy!),



Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Wrong for a wrong.

On Wednesdays I traditionally shared something I’ve learned about God’s Word.  I like to share it with a story or life lesson that really made an impression on me.  But as I shared yesterday, I hadn’t really been in the Word lately.  So I don’t feel too full of wisdom.

But all day long yesterday, I kept thinking about the “Verse of the Day” on my Bible app.  I read it to my oldest before he went to school.

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

What a perfect verse for him!  He has been teased.  He has been laughed at.  He has been purposefully provoked.  And then his response tends to be so over the top, that he is the one who gets in trouble.  He is the one who ends up having a melt down.  And he is the one who continues the confrontation for days.

So we know what the Bible has to say about it.  Do not pay back wrong for wrong.  But as I read it to him and we talked about what it means.  I felt like I had nothing to honestly offer for how to live it out.  Because the human, protective, mama side of me doesn’t really mind that he kicks someone who teases him, or that he hits them with his pencil, or that he rips up their papers.  Because, frankly, I want to do that too.  And I’m kinda glad that he doesn’t just bottle up his anger, and that he stands up for himself.  But he’s repaying a wrong with a wrong.  He is not striving to do what is good for each other and for everyone.

So, I’m working on figuring out what that good is that he should be doing.  What does it look like when he’s being teased?   (Hopefully, this is a moot point and there won’t be any teasing this year!) Sure, I let the school know about the situations and the teasing and ideally they wouldn’t happen to begin with.  But I know we live in a world where teasing happens.  I want him to be a confident person … so sure of who he is as a Kerchner, as a son of God, that the teasing wouldn’t bother him… at least not send him into a rage of anger … and that he would strive to do good even in those situations.

So for now, I have no wisdom from the Word … just a command that I know we need to follow and the uncertainty of how to do  it!  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

Pressing on together,



Training Tuesday: The starter.

Yesterday marked day one for many things for me … the first day of school, the first day of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, the first day of a 21 day sugar fast, the first day of re-committing to writing a blog, the first day of cutting back my television viewing (unofficially).  I felt great, I was excited, and I made it through a whole day!

Traditionally in life, I’ve been a quitter.  I start things, exercise programs, weight loss adventures, hobbies, organizational systems, meal planning and don’t stick with them.  When I began my weight loss / lifestyle change a couple of years ago, I became a finisher.  I finished a couch to 5 k training program, and since have become a runner.  I finished Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred 3 or 4 times.  I was faithfully reading the Bible.  I started a blog and wrote faithfully most days.  I committed to things and followed through.

But then somewhere last spring, I became not necessarily a quitter, but more like a slacker. Still kinda doing things, but not full throttle.  I stopped recording every bite on My Fitness Pal and my weight loss stalled.  I still ran, but by Summer time it was not faithful.  I might run every day one week, and then go 2 weeks without running.  My Bible reading became non-existent.  I no longer was blogging at all, or even thinking about blogging.  Then by mid summer, I was no longer recording any bites on My Fitness Pal and back to overeating (4 bowls of ice cream while watching TV, yep!).  So now I’m 15 pounds heavier than I was in the spring.  I’m a slower runner.  I haven’t blogged to journal through my feelings.  (Because truly, my blog is about me sorting through my feelings.  If anyone else reads it and is encouraged by it – then, Bonus!) I spend 1 hour out of 167 hours in a week with God.  And as a result I’ve been grumpy, impatient, unloving, depressed, and frustrated.

So, now I’m a starter again.  I’m starting to recommit to my health and food consumption.  I knew I needed something drastic since I’ve become addicted to sugar again.  So I started a  21 day sugar fast.  (I won’t post a link to what I’m doing, because in all honesty I’m not sure how healthy it is.)  But I need something, and I figure it’s only 3 weeks.  So I’m fasting from sugar and a few other things – including: white sugar, honey, stevia, evaporated cane juice, fructose, artificial sweeteners, fruit, potatoes, breads, flour, dairy, yogurt, and more.  Then after the 21 days, I’ll slowly reintroduce some of those items back in.

My hope is that I will become satisfied again with more healthy  choices and moderation.  That I will stop craving the sweets all day long.  Before I could honestly eat 5 m&m’s and be satisfied.  By the end of the summer, I could eat a whole bag of m&m’s and then go back and look for something else to eat.  During this time, I’m not worrying about My Fitness Pal for recording what I eat, since I am confident that it will be within my calorie limit.  On day 22, I will begin again with My Fitness Pal.

I’m also starting the 30 Day Shred again, if anyone wants to start and have an accountability partner, let me know.  This is a 30 Day commitment.  I know I can do it.  I’m confident that by completing the 21 day cleanse, and the 30 Day Shred, I’ll begin to think of myself as a finisher again.  Then I can again imagine myself finally reaching a weight that is no longer considered overweight.  (Because lately I’ve been imagining myself gaining all my weight back!)  And then I will become a sustainer.  I will reach my weight loss goal and sustain it for life!

And so, yesterday I became a Starter.  Today I am pressing on.

How are you?  Where are you on your health journey?  I’m not even going to ask if you are on a health journey, because I’m realizing that we all are.  We either are taking care of ourselves or we aren’t.  Do you need to become a starter?  I am praying for you to take those first steps.  Whether it is restarting like me, or starting from scratch like me a couple of years ago, I am praying that you will begin today.  Don’t be a procrastinator, be a starter.

Are you becoming a slacker or a quitter?  I tell you from my experience, starting is so much harder than maintaining what you are doing.  Do NOT quit, do not let up, keep going, press on!  (Remember physics class? An object in motion tends to stay in motion, an object at rest tends to stay at rest … more force is required to start an object’s motion than to maintain the motion.)

Are you a finisher?  Are you now a sustainer?  Than rock on, you are my hero!  But make sure to sustain to pay attention, to never take your eyes off of your goal.  Because even if you are there now, it is so easy to let it slip away!  So forever, press on in your health!

Pressing on Together,


P.S.  If you happen to see me the next few weeks, and I’m a little grumpy, please forgive me … I might be missing my sugar!

Sugar cleanse: 1/21, 30 Day Shred: 1/30