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Monday, October 9, 2017

Successful Weigh In

My focused and determined steps paid off last week.  My state of mind is good, and I feel ready to pick back up on my weight loss journey with Weight Watchers. 

I lost exactly 4.0 pounds this week, making my total loss/gain/loss at 27.2  pounds.  I have set a rather challenging goal to be to 200 pounds by Christmas.  That will be almost 20 pounds.  Right now, for the first time, online, I am confessing that I weigh 219.4 pounds (with jeans on and a little bit of food and fluid in my tummy). 

Hopfully, the weight drop will be rather fast in the next couple of weeks because most of my recent 12-pound gain was very recent, and that tends not to stick. 

I am being a guinea pig with one of the WW employees right now, experimenting with starting each day with my 30 points at dinner.  Kathy is wanting to see how it works with me.  I'm doing this because I struggle more in the evenings.  I am now going to bed much earlier and getting up much earlier so the need may not be as great. 

Jake and I are also planning to take a couple of nature hikes this fall, and we are working on getting up our fitness level.  That should help with more activity points.

This morning, I was thinking about fitness goals and ease of mobility.  I can walk very briskly for my age and even tend to get too impatient in the grocery store.  I really have to watch myself.  But getting down on the floor and back up is rather embarrassing and just plain hard.  I usually have to roll over on my hands and knees, grab the seat of a chair or couch and hoist myself up.  I also have not been able to sit Indian style on the floor.  My hip flexor muscles have been too tight for a long time. 

After jogging 8 minutes this morning, cooling down and stretching a bit, I sat on a pillow on the hardwood floor and cautiously put myself (as much as possible) into what we used to call an Indian-style pose.  I hope that term is not considered improper by anyone.  I don't know what else to call it.  But, anyway, ouch!  It hurts to sit that way.  But I would ease up my knees, then slowly lower them back down, and they began to relax a bit.  I did much better than I thought I would. 

Sitting on the floor and easily getting back up off the floor are the two things, mobility-wise, I want to accomplish.  After that, being able to do fairly strenuous hikes with the kids and grandkids.  We like to go to Enchanted Rock near Fredericksburg.  Not easy.  Also Lost Maples near Kerrville.  I can do them, but I'm always breathing like I am going to die. 

There you have it:  what I am hoping to accomplish by Christmas. 




 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hodge Podge

  • I have a few series on my mind that I would like to write.  One is a remodeling series on our current and previous homes.  It would be very extensive, might even require a totally separate blog.  It would also be fun to include my two sons' remodels.  Both have totally redone several houses.
  • I have already written a couple of posts on this subject, and I want to continue to write on the last eleven years of my life and the stages and steps God has taken in my life until today.  It's actually stupendous to me, but I would never have been able to plan this path or choose to do it this way.  But I am amazed at what God has done.
  • I am toying with the idea of writing my own mentoring series.  I was tossing that idea around with T during my counseling session on Monday.
  • Several people have wanted me(us) to write a book about Megan, her death, and our grieving/recovery process.  Honestly, that would be a hard book to write.  It's not too difficult to include those stories when I am writing about my life, but to just focus on that one thing. . . . but I'm open.
  • It would also be fun to learn to do series on some creative things: the yarn crafts, sewing, things that others in my extremely creative family have done.
 
* * * * * * * *

  • I mapped out the first week of The Happy Planner.  The weekly layouts start out on a Monday, which works well.  This week will be heavy on bookkeeping, so I will be pinned to my laptop a good part of the week.  I put each day in several time blocks, and I am going to try to map how much time I spend on each activity.  Hopefully, pictures will follow.
  • Bonnie and I had a mentoring session on Saturday.  I was working with her setting up her Happy Planner.  She is starting very small, trying to get a short master list done everyday.  I was also talking to her about my trying to get up in the morning.  I recently was in about a 3:00 a.m. to noon sleep schedule, which is crazy.  I've been successful in setting the alarm since I started on clonazepam, going to bed about 11:00 with the alarm going off at 8:00 a.m.  But most mornings, I still stay in bed too long.  I mostly stay awake, but I will doze off here and there.  I was coming to the realization that I need to get up immediately.  Yes, I'm a genius.   Bonnie volunteered to help me with that.  Yay!  I will text her when I get up, and/or she will call me within a few minutes of 8:00.  I told her she could go ahead and call me at 7:58.  I would much rather hear her voice than the alarm!  I also went too many years not seeing Jake in the mornings before he went to work.  He would love to snuggle and kiss before he went to work.  So I invited him to come in and lay beside me when he hears my alarm go off (or just before).  He usually goes to work a little after 8:00.  Jake loved that idea, lol!  So this week, I'm ready to conquer the alarm clock battle.  Let's see how it goes!
  • I'm pleased with how Weight Watchers has gone this week.  I stayed within 30 points everyday, except for Friday, when I just took a free day.  I didn't track that day (the only day I haven't), but I don't think I used more than the 49 weekly points.  Probably not the wisest way to do it, but I think it's okay.  For breakfast, I usually eat oatmeal, cottage cheese or some kind of eggs.  Lunch might be lean meat on light bread, a salad, chicken breast, hamburger on light bread.  Dinner has been an odd mix:  taco salad, a cookie one night, light French toast, eggs or a few snacks.  I have usually regretted anything with a lot of sugar.  It is just way too many points for the amount of enjoyment.  I've had a lot of fruit, but not too much, and more veggies than I usually eat.  So a pretty good week.  Weigh-in is tomorrow.
  • New client and I worked out a snafu in my software today (yes, on a Sunday), so hopefully, I will make lots of progress tomorrow. 
  • Church has just been so wonderful these days.  I love the services and feel so inspired during them, and pray that others are being touched and lives changed.  I seem to have about half a dozen meaningful times connections with others, too.  I usually meet one to three or four people each time also.  Today, for instance, I met someone coming with her husband for about four months.  They just moved from Colorado and were really missing family and their old church.  She seemed touched by our conversation, and I just pray she feels a little more connected and hopeful about her new town.  
Just some happenings in the last few days.  Hoping for a great week with The Happy Planner!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Happy Planner

I feel so absolutely blessed this week.  It's a sense of being a complete woman.  I came in from a meeting with a new client on Thursday, thinking about how full and rich and varied my life has become.  I'm seeing so many aspects of me come to life. 

This meeting went so well, though the work is still a bit pending depending on how well I can work with the new software and still choose to do this.  The client is a realtor and property manager.  I would be doing the property management accounting.  He, his wife and I have known each other for a number of years and we have mutual relationships that go back to my early twenties.  He is another older, rather father-like figure in my life, who actually calls me Gingersnap.  That's what my granddaddy called me.  He showed such a sense of confidence and trust in me, and I was so touched.  It also sounds like a very non-stressful account to oversee.  I'm really praying to be a help and blessing to his business.

I've been training on the software (Appfolio) for several hours the last couple of days and once I get a few things figured out, it should be simple to use. 

* * * * * * * **
 
I bought me The Happy Planner!  I'm pretty excited about it.  Bonnie has one and so does Misty, who is my new time management coach.  These planners are sold at both Hobby Lobby and Michael's and have tons, I mean TONS, of accessories.  I bought the largest size because I think I need the most visual presence I can get.  It's the full letter size, but I think it will still fit in most of my purses. 
 
 
I spent another few hours since yesterday working on setting up the October calendar.  I have so many varied activities and tasks, business, personal, spiritual, that I'm really working to rein all of this wonderful stuff into some cohesion and sense.  



Misty gave me the assignment to list my areas of responsibilities and activities and give an estimate of the time each week to devote to each one. 

(168 hours per week):

Sleep                                                                                               63
Quiet time & study                                                                         14
Writing                                                                                             7
Bookkeeping                                                                                    6
Cleaning and Organizing                                                               14
Cooking                                                                                         2-3
Planning                                                                                            2
Exercise                                                                                            1
Laundry-Ironing                                                                               2
Grooming                                                                                         4
Mani/Pedi                                                                                         1 1/2
Decorating & Crafts                                                                         7
Career and skill training                                                                   7
Mentoring and friend time                                                               10
Church                                                                                              4
Yarn Groups                                                                                     5
Errands                                                                                             2-3
Weight Watchers                                                                              2
Time with Jake                                                                                 20
Bible study group                                                                             3
Reading for fun                                                                               
Knitting and crocheting

That adds up to 178 hours not including all of the hours I read for fun or knit and crochet! That is obviously not reality.  A lot of things do overlap.  But it's very varied and rich.  Any comments on how I spend my time?  Or actually want to spend my time?  Did I leave out some obvious item like breathing, haha? 

This is also how I might see an ideal week, or maybe an average week.  Next week, for instance, will require many more bookkeeping hours because of a new client, plus I have to prepare our income taxes, too.  I think it will largely depend on what the priority of that week is.  It also does not account for traveling to see family and special events. 

One thing I did today was work on those time blocks.  And I set a timer several times to remind me to stay on task until it went off.  It felt like a pretty productive day. 

I reckon I may be clueless on how I spend my time.  I think I flunked this assignment, lol.  I'll try tracking this week and see what I come up with. 

That was an interesting assignment.

* * * * * * * *
 
I'm staying on track with Weight Watchers and tracking.  Yay for that.  Better get to bed.  Nite, nite, y'all.
 


                                                                                    

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Finding Support of Others

Monday was not only a day I decided to ask for help with my diet, but also to touch base with a pastor/counselor who has been a wise mentor in my life.  I updated him on what has been happening with me during the past year, a very different life than before.  I treasure having a father-type figure in my life since I had a rather limited relationship with my own dad.

We talked quite a bit about priorities, purpose, future ministry possibilities, and time management.  My biggest struggle right now is that I have a pretty varied list of responsibilities and activities now, and I am floundering with how to make practical blocks of time for each one.  Then I find I have several things nagging at me that I need to get done and start procrastinating.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about how I mapped out a plan for assigning certain days to certain activities.  I liked the idea very much and I implemented it fairly well that week.  One hiccup was that on my bookkeeping day, I was very mentally tired, and that didn't work well.   And now it seems like my schedule sort of moves into different cycles as I go through the year.  Certain groups meet for a time, then takes a break, bookkeeping is not on a definite schedule, bigger decorating and remodeling projects come up, etc., etc. 

Yesterday, T suggested that I plan to have a four-hour period of work daily and not worry as much about the rest of the day.  That was a helpful thought.  I may have to break it up into two or three periods a day.  Four hours straight is a long time for this brain to focus on one thing!  But finding ways to have definite blocks of focused, productive work is definitely needed. 

I've been wrestling with eliminating a few areas in my life or making them much simpler.  I did that with the cooking (making it simple, simple, simple!)--but now, I realize I have to at least put enough time into that to keep me losing weight.  If I make it too simple, I just haphazardly grab something to eat and then it's easy to eat way more than I need, and I don't track. 

I also had decided to stop the Wednesday yarn group, but I keep having women telling me they want to come.  It's something I would truly love to do, but if I do decide to keep on, maybe what I need is another person or two to invest some commitment and planning with me to keep it going.  I'm going to pursue that route.  I have one friend who is a top-rate planner and administrator.  She is the one who usually plans the special get-togethers we have.  It is a true gifting of hers.  We could also meet at Brew Street, which is an awesome place to gather, and I don't have to worry about the pressure of entertaining.

I also was praying about whether to continue to do bookkeeping.  Bookkeeping takes a totally different part of my brain, and I notice I tire much quicker mentally doing books than anything else I do.  I think it's because it comes from a totally different part of the brain.  So just as I am thinking about giving it up, I get a text from a potential future client.  I ended up replying that I was interested and we could meet to talk about it.  As I have thought about it more, I know that I really, really want to have a role in bringing in some income--income just to set back or invest for retirement.  This is a perfect way to make a decent hunk of money each month without a huge time investment.  But it takes discipline.    These two clients would take no more than one work day a week, along with our own books, and the income would go a long way to help fund out retirement.   Another positive is that a good friend and I have talked of plans of collaborating together to back each other up.  So I have that help, too.

Aren't relationships wonderful?  Why in the world do we think we want to be lone wolves (to all of those long wolves out there!)?

Since the theme of this week seems to be about finding support, I was praying about finding someone who is very understanding of my time management limitations but is good at it herself to help coach me a bit.  Bonnie picked me up a few minutes later to go with her to the Tuesday night yarn group at Brew Street.  Near the end, another friend came in to join us.  Bonnie was telling me about what a queen Misty is at managing time.  Boy, did my ears pick up!  She is going to help coach me, yay!  God sure answered that prayer quickly!

Her first suggestion was to make a list of the different areas of responsibilities and projects I have and calculate how much time each one needs.  That will give me a clearer time to see if I am over-extended or not.  That might be a very enlightening homework assignment.

During my session with T, we were talking about boundaries, personal responsibility and the choices God gives us in our lives.  Over the years, I have grappled with the concept of authority--the authority that we are given in Christ.  Sometimes, it was incomprehensible; sometimes, it seemed presumptuous. 

As I have learned relationship, and relationship with Jesus, I am understanding authority more.  We surrender to Jesus, and then He gives each of his kids personal authority--not only over Satan and sickness and disease--but an authority over our own lives.  We have great choice in our relationship with God; we also have great responsibility.  He gives us a new life and a number of "talents."  We become stewards of what He gives us.  Under His guidance, we walk with Him, make thousands of choices, respond to Him as the day goes by.  We are not just puppets pulled by a divine string.  We are a son or daughter of God, being raised up to rule.   Jesus also called us His friends and tells us what He is about.  We are not lowly slaves who have to fearfully obey without question or be punished.

And the beauty is that as we trust God and pursue Him and make those choices, some wonderful, some not so good, some disastrous, He takes them and weaves them all, into good--and it becomes a beautiful tapestry of our lives.  We keep learning and growing.
 
I think my greatest responsibility is to become still and just listen to Him.  I can start making lists and plans, and they look pretty exciting.  But when I listen to Him, what He really wants for my life, I am awed.  I was listening when He began to talk to me about connection again, and challenging me that I am not really an introvert, but one who lives and thrives on connection to Him and others.  This time, unlike 11 1/2 years before, it did not scare me.  I have a bit more like a curious wonder:  "Really?  That's how you made me?"  And I make daily choices to renew my mind in that way, to take small steps in that direction.  I'm exciting about what God is going to do in the next year. 



Monday, October 2, 2017

Back to Weight Watchers

Today was the day to deal (again) with my eating.

Over the years, after much struggle, success, failure, condemnation at times, I have several definite thoughts and bits of wisdom I am trying to live by.
  • Eating as healthy as possible is wise, as is doing as much as possible by natural methods, as long as it is effective.
  • We are under freedom and not the law.  I am not more righteous by eating a perfect diet.  I am righteous because Christ is righteous in me. 
  • I refuse to make dietetic changes out of legalistic rules and condemnation.  It is a great grief to me to see others (including me) raked over the coals spiritually for certain practices such as eating fast food or choosing conventional medical treatments over natural choices.
  • I do seek to gain God's guidance and be obedient to Him.  I become more and more aware of how much choice (plus personal responsibility He gives us). 
  • I believe that some people might be genuinely led to eat a more radical diet and natural treatment.  I also believe that others are led to lighten up and not unduly worry about what they are eating and not eating. 
  • We must never spiritually judge each other in the matter of food. 
  • Physical healing is wonderful, but spiritual freedom and emotional healing are even greater.
  • Our spirits, souls and bodies are intricately connected.  We may be eating perfectly wholesome food, but have extreme toxic emotions and thoughts can do more harm than bad food could ever do.  We must seeking healing in all areas.
  • There are many keys to healing (that only God knows) that are unique to each of us:  deliverance, emotional healing, forgiveness, repentance of some sin, or just good old-fashioned learning and self-discipline.  I seek God for wisdom and discernment in each of these areas. 
  • Even though my life would greatly improve being at a healthy weight and size, I can still live life in abundance and happiness.  Some actually find no happiness in being thin and more attractive.  They have greater problems to deal with.
  • God still uses us as we are.  His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  We never want to put our trust in our physical health to be a more qualified servant of God.
  • I do have concerns about eating in on extreme or another becoming an idol.  We might refuse to give up certain enjoyable foods.  Then again, I see danger in making an idol of a "perfect" diet and put our trust in that rather than in God. 
  • There come times in our lives when we need to mature and "become a grownup" in regard to food.  Sometimes, we choose to stay in an infantile mindset, eating only what we crave and not setting up personal boundaries.
If I had chosen the path and order and timing of my continuing spiritual, emotional and physical healing, I would never have chosen the way God has directed it.  And it's actually a very delightful thing, in fact.  For a lot of years, I would fear that God might be displeased and waiting for me to get my act together in this area of diet and weight.  But as I sought and listened to Him, he seemed mostly intent on bringing me to rest and freedom from condemnation.  Yes, he wants me to be healthy in body; but He also seems to have much greater things in mind. 

I still have terrible eating habits.  But I have grown stronger and more productive in spite of them because of growing to know His unconditional love and His healing a broken heart.  And God is not finished with me yet!

After losing almost 35 pounds last year, I have been hit or miss, distracted by other things, etc., etc.  The smell or sight of something yummy turns my head and there I go.  I'll be good for a few days, then not.  But the scales are up more than ten pounds over my lowest weight this year.  Not good!  It's time to do something. 

I have felt no confidence to succeed in weight loss on my own these days.  By that, I mean just me and the Lord.  It was time to go back to a Weight Watchers meeting and ask for help.  God gives us each other for times like these. 

I love this meeting I go to.  It's a smaller group, close knit but welcoming.  Some members call it their therapy session.  And many members are very spiritual and share freely.  Of course, a lot of that comes with living in Midland, Texas. 

I've mentioned this before, but I really like WW.  It is so adaptable to any sort of diet.  That includes: totally organic, fast food, vegan, low carb, any kind except high calorie.  Almost all fruits and non-starchy vegetables are free, which is a huge plus.  Foods with less fat and more fiber and protein track the least points.  Things like sugar, junk, fried stuff adds up quickly.  So just tracking points naturally encourages you to eat healthier.  The program also has bonus points for exercise and other physical activity.  The accountability and encouragement are great if you can find a good meeting. 

What did I do Monday to get back on track?

1.  I went in early, getting there first.  I was able to weigh in quickly and get some heart-to-heart advice.  I'm hopeful that going to bed earlier will help.  Late night eating is the biggest temptation.  One piece of advice suggested was to start my "day" (when I begin counting my daily points) in the evening and finish up late the next afternoon.  The suggestion sounds very wise to me, and I am in need of some creative solutions.

I get 30 daily points a day with 49 weekly points, or I could average out to 37 daily points.  I can plan to eat about 15 points in the evening and use the rest for breakfast, lunch and snacks.  I usually have no problems earlier in the day.  If I occasionally use too many points in the evening, it will be easier to ration the rest of the points the next morning and afternoon.

The point is to find what works for me and use creative solutions. 

2.  I also bought a Weight Watchers Daily Food Log to use.  It comes with stickers and is a handy little notebook to carry in my purse.  My brain and body seem to respond better to hand-written things rather than digital.  I can also gussy my notebook up with stickers and colored markers, making it fun, colorful and motivating. 

3.  I also got the phone number of our leader to text for encouragement, and she has already checked on me.  Yay!  Thanks, Karen!

4.  Another suggestion that I have never done (it always seemed too detailed for me) is to plan out a week of eating, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks with the points value.  That way, everything is planned out and no decisions have to made except for unexpected events or needed grocery store runs.  In just a few minutes, I did manage to list seven days of B/L/D and made a quick run to Albertson's to pick up a few foods.  The meals are varied, but simple.  Later, I'll try to calculate the points and fill in some snacks.

5.  If I can be brave and transparent enough, I will show what I am eating on this blog.  I know many readers want that to see exactly how others are eating.  I'm sure some days will look impressive and others, may  be a bit embarrassing!

If you are reading this, please pray for me!

I am one of those that finds my weight inconvenient.  My blood pressure is too high and it hinders my mobility somewhat, though I can actually jog slowly and climb.  My knees flare up, getting up and down from the floor is clumsy.  It's ironic, though, that many of my best and happiest years have been at this weight.  I feel more loved and confident than I ever have and have a happiness that I never had in the past.  But I know that I miss out on a lot and would love to discover that.

I just encourage us to not give up.  Let's live to the fullest now.  Relax and don't take parts of life too seriously.  Find joy in the journey.   Buy attractive clothes and look our best now.  But believe for more.  Pray for help and wisdom.  Get support and help of others. Let's know ourselves and our weaknesses, get freedom and wisdom.  Pray for creative answers.  Let's be willing to get outside of our comfort zones so that we can live more abundantly.  Let's mature and grow up in the ways we need to to achieve success. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Lessons Learned

No matter how each day goes, I seek to glean some lessons and wisdom from each day.

* * * * * * *  

1.  Stay humble and content.  I went to Bible study Friday morning.  We always have so much laughter and visiting with each other.  It's a challenge to get everyone quieted down to actually start the study.  For the most part, it is the group of people I need the most, outside of family.  Three or four of my very closest friends are also in that group.

There are definitely sacrifices to committing to relationship and fellowship.  We become much more vulnerable and open to hurt.  It takes a lot of time and energy to nourish friendships.   Good relationships also take a healthy dose of humility.  But other than intimacy with God, it's the most rewarding thing in life.

I have to surrender selfish desires.  It's not a time to be the most loved one or seen as the one with the most wisdom or charisma or the one everyone's attention is glued to.  It's a time to look out for the needs of others, to celebrate them, to take joy in the successes of others. 

I'm reminding myself that I find myself in Jesus--my completion, the fulfillment of my greatest needs.  If He wants me to be "invisible" at times or in the background, let me be that.  If I want to be a part of huge life change in another person, and God chooses someone else to play that part, let me be content and rejoice in that one's victory.  Let me be willing to be promoted or demoted, respected or ignored, in the middle of the action or on the bench, as God chooses. 

I must be the authentic me that God created when I was born again.  I am not someone else, and I am not to copy someone else's ministry.  I must be content with one talent or ten, whatever God chooses.

For my own spiritual safety and well being, I do not want to leap out presumptuously in areas where I am not spiritually mature enough.  But when the time is right, I also must step out bravely and move when I hear Him urging me on. 

I guess you can tell that I struggled a bit with these types of thoughts today. 

* * * * * * *
 
2.  Be lighthearted in your wackiness. 
 
Later in the day, a friend and I spent about 5-6 hours at Brew Street, drinking tea, coffee, knitting and talking. 

I was just really tired yesterday, adjusting to an earlier schedule, and have been extra spacey and klutzy.  My friend struggles with the same type things, so we can laugh with each other.  In my younger years, I was so determined I was not going to be that way, and would be so hard on myself.  It's awesome to be able to find hilarity in things I do.    Like yesterday, I was mumbling to Jake, "Where's my crochet hook?"  Well, I was mumbling because the hook was between my teeth, haha!

Anyway, Bonnie lives in the same neighborhood I do, and I had picked her up and brought her home.  Probably a bad idea since I was so tired.  On the way home, I kept hee-hawing at some stories Bonnie was telling me, and I missed the turn to her house, which is one turn before the way I go to my house.  I make the next turn so that I can backtrack, we're still chattering away, and I forget to make a left two blocks later.  I don't realize it, and suddenly I am looking at an apartment building and trying to figure how in the world I got to where I was.  We keep laughing harder every minute.  I make a U-turn, go back to the stop sign and turn right (which is correct).  Then I forget to turn left at the next stop sign.  I end up at _____ Street, and suddenly I yell:  "Where am I?"   We were laughing so hard, we might have woke up the neighbors.  I was so turned around, it was dark and drizzling.  I made another U-turn and told Bonnie just to tell me where to go.  When I got to the next stop sign, suddenly I knew where I was and finally got to Bonnie's house.  It was so hilarious--you would have thought I had a 1.8 alcohol level in my blood.  But no alcohol, it was just me, lol.  Just to reassure anyone, I wasn't speeding, and I was taking those U-turns very carefully!  I just don't talk and drive well.  Thankfully, God kept us safe.  But all of the hilarity felt so good.  I was able to drive home perfectly (three blocks) and text Bonnie about what a good job I did, lol!

It's so good to be able to laugh at ourselves and have good friends to laugh with us.  (Another lesson:  Friends laugh with their friends, not at them!)

* * * * * * * *
 
Today was another fun, relaxing Saturday.  I did wake up earlier, but didn't accomplish too much.  My eating is still not under control, and I need to get back to some other structure, etc., etc., but everything is good.  I am remembering that I am loved, I am learning to love, and the world is A-Okay. 

What did God teach you today?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Simplicity and Random Revelations

Today was such an enjoyable day.  It's fall-like, cool, rainy.  I left the back door open all day with just a screen. 

My alarm went off at 8:00, and I managed not to go back to sleep.  Doing better!  I did a lot of reading and study today, knit, watched The President's Cup in Golf.

* * * * * * * * *  

I was thinking about simplicity today and what was the bare minimum of things that I need to do daily.  Here are a few:
  • Brush teeth and floss
  • Wash dishes
  • Quiet time in God's presence, prayer for others
  • Study time
  • Jog a few minutes (or something else that increases heart rate)
  • Tidy up
  • Return texts, calls and messages, emails
  • Track my eating
  • Time with Jake
  • Time for planning and evaluation
  • Rest and relaxation time
  • Write
  • Medication and supplements
The order is obviously very random and short since I'm at home most days.  These are mostly things that come back to haunt me if not done on a daily basis or stop growth.  Not too many things are musts. 

If I am going to stay in joy and peace, I have to daily be in God's presence in an intentional way.

If I succeed at losing weight and getting more fit, I have to do this daily, not randomly. 

Marriage is an everyday thing.

I certainly don't want dishes and clutter to pile up.

Mental health takes much watchful care.

I certainly do a lot more than this daily, but it helps to see which things are the most needful.  If I skip a shower, my world is not going to fall apart though it definitely makes things more pleasant for me and others, lol.  But not flossing daily leads to big problems and expense. 

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I read the most inspiring article about work today.  Click on this link and be blessed, especially if you are a Tim Keller fan.  Here's a taste:
Work is glorious because of how it intersects with God’s ongoing creative, restorative mission in the world. It is glorious because of how it moves God’s Garden toward becoming the Holy City it’s destined to be. But how do we determine whether our vocational endeavors are genuinely good endeavors?
The answer to this question is simple. Any kind of work that leaves people, places or things in better shape than before—any kind of work that helps the city of man become more like the City of God where truth, beauty, goodness, order and justice reign—is work that should be celebrated as good.
I jumped up in the middle of this article and enthusiastically did the dishes, lol!  I loved this article so much because I have been earnestly learning to enjoy work in all its forms.  Legalism had put so much dread and drudgery in my life that I lost the ability to do any type of work for the right reasons.  God has restored that in me, and this article has put into beautiful language those things that God has been teaching me. 

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Another thought from my study today was that our purpose from God is to assist in the flourishing of others.  That is such a wonderful way to look at how we minister daily and learn to love in all the big and small ways.

Just some random things I wanted to capture.  I must get to bed.  I have our Friday group tomorrow.  Good night and be blessed!