Last Post of 2020

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I am using this space to plead for prayers for my sister in law battling Covid in the hospital. Blows my mind that she A. caught it but then B. is struggling to fight it. She is a rock to my brother and the air that he breathes. Literally been with her since high school, his only girlfriend and as much family as anyone with my blood…so pray pray and pray again that she builds strength and recovers.

On that note, blessed our foundation is in Christ and we do not have to fear death. 2020 has taught me that this world is not fair, we live in a fallen world where we rely on things that are fake and not meant to sustain and that our foundation means everything. So if you are like me and this year has rocked your soul…then join me in checking the foundation and building it on Jesus. His ways. His word. His Plan A.

Mammogram Moment

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Since I am super fortunate to be over 40, I get free mammograms with my insurance. My insurance costs so much that I be sure to get all the preventative free stuff that I can possibly get. In addition, mammograms are a must! I have sadly known at least 5 people personally battle breast cancer (a couple younger than me) and many many others that are friends of friends. We can catch it early and should take advantage of yearly checkups.

So today was my special day where I got my second mammogram of my life. I go to Solis which makes it super easy and comfortable, but may there be many blessings poured out on that sweet tech lady that has the near impossible task of finding enough breast tissue to get a good image with that squeezy squeezy machine.

She is so polite and kind that she does not complain or make a joke, but man that girl is working hard to squeeze out something…anything that can get seen on a screen. I literally cannot move.at.all or the image is gone. That is totally a small chested woman problem, but comical as well. No doubt I have thought about implants and days I just feel bad for my husband for enduring this chest naked (bras help A LOT). However, I already have scoliosis so I figure my back has all it can take and I work out a lot and do not need anything extra putting me in pain…so all natural it is!

I say all this to say…be sure to check yourself out no matter how embarrassing it may be. Knowing early can save your life!

Declaring a Goal

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I am putting it out to the universe a few goals I have for 2021 in hopes to hold myself accountable:

Goal 1: continue with Camp Gladiator to gain strength and good health. Of all the things in 2020 that make me proud, starting an exercise routine and sticking with it is at the top of my list. I pay more than I prefer, but I go and that is huge! I see results in my arms, abs and ass…also a positive. I feel more confident and my clothes fit. So the money is worth the confidence! I have paid gym memberships for years and never go so this works for me!

Goal 2: community. 2020 taught me to be vulnerable and be brave with people. I already joined a water group, Bible reading group and Camp Gladiator and hope to continue to step out with people. I have thought a lot about what people would say at my funeral and I hope they say “she was love”. My quote last year was “How do people feel about themselves in your presence?” I hope it is something positive!

Goal 3: get a foster care placement. This involves finishing the paperwork and application process so lots to do to reach this goal.

Goal 4: most important read the whole Bible this year. Growing closer to God and bearing more fruit that shows the light of Christ is always top priority but often my calendar and time does not show it, so accomplishing this will be huge for me.

Goal 5: continue to grow myself as a writer through this blog! Writing is my thing that I know God has gifted me to do and I pray to use this gift for His glory.

Word of the Year

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Last year leading into 2020 I posted that the good Lord put a word of the year on my heart that I hated. This word confused me, angered me and I was embarrassed to share it.

The word was vulnerable.

I remember sharing it with others and saying…I do not get it, but this is the word. Flash forward to the end of 2020 and this word has been all over the place! Definitely a Covid 19 word. God prepared the way for my heart with this word.

I grew vulnerable with my students and how I learn to love them. Vulnerable in my marriage with sharing my concerns. Vulnerable with my child that he will not always be perfect and that is okay. Vulnerable with hugs and touch and phone calls that I normally do not like. It also led me to start the foster care process to love the vulnerable that need to know they are loved.

This word led me to the writing and documentary of Brene Brown and her insight and wisdom. This word changed me. This word grew me. God used it in big ways and continues to challenge me with the truth.

Vulnerable started out as an insult but has become a sign of God’s sovereignty.

Unexpected Witness

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It was simple. A card of scripture sitting in the dash of my vehicle. It has been there so long that I sometimes forget its power and purpose. It is a constant reminder of what and whom I live for, but even I can sometimes forget the power of the words. It is often not seen since few get in my car, but today was different.

The valet at a local hotel got my attention. He thanked me for the scripture and told me those words spoke to him. Looking into his eyes, I know he meant it. Such a strong human to share the impact. It caught me off guard as I was already nervous about getting my car filled with so much dirt and trash. In the middle of all these fancy cars, mine felt so out of place, but he reminded me my humble car was a witness. An unexpected witness pointing to a big God!

I hope to remember that our witness can be used by God in any way He sees fit. On this day I was moved and now see those scriptures with new eyes.

Left the Mess to Relieve the Stress

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This is how my kitchen looked all day yesterday. I should have been cleaning, wrapping presents, maybe baking a yummy dish but instead this was me all.day.long.

I binge watched Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies. The trick to doing this is neglecting your child by letting him play all day and making sure your husband stays at work. It was a huge success and I feel ready to conquer the holidays. In the midst of the hustle, follow God’s lead and rest, be still and choose joy with the people God has placed in your path.

If you are experiencing grief this season, know you are not alone and covered in prayer. Merry Christmas!

A Few Positives from Covid

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First, let me say Covid is a disaster. Anything that causes people to die alone, businesses to crash, jobs be destroyed and kids depressed is awful. This pandemic is not to be taken lightly, but there are a few plus sides if you look for them.

1. To go alcohol. I do not mean drinking and driving…I mean ordering your favorite cocktail to go.

2. Reservations. How nice to know how many people to expect, less crowded places and knowing you are going to get in.

3. Online shopping. Now more than ever some of the best deals are online and delivery services are on fire.

4. Virtual everything. Virtual school. Virtual conferences. Virtual workouts. Virtual get togethers. Even virtual church. Virtual can be a good thing when you cannot afford to miss, but cannot get up to go.

If you need a place to worship our Savior, need some peace and hope or want to get back to your roots or start a new thing…let me invite you to http://www.clifec.com

Times are listed above or it will be on demand. Nothing to lose and it may be the start of something beautiful.

Find out First

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Find out First

Surprises are not my thing especially when it comes to unexpected bills. Sadly, I have had my share of insurance bills that swept me off my feet. I know the good Lord never givrs us more than we can handle, but I also know he blesses us with wisdom and discernment so this year I used that gift.

We were literally scheduled to get an EEG in 15 minutes that no one could tell me with confidence how much we would pay. Several phone calls later and I made the decision to cancel. Nothing like getting in debt over a cost that you could have got cheaper somewhere else.

The procedure could wait so I feel really good about it postponing something that might have caused stress in a few weeks when the bill came. I think it is wise wisdom for all of us…life is full of curveballs so when you can…find out first!

Healthy Body…Healthy Mind with Camp Gladiator!

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This is my sweet dog on most days while I work out. She just hangs out beside me while I sweat. I have tried multiple gyms and nothing seemed to keep me going except when I started Camp Gladiator. You get two options in person or virtual. Virtual fits my life right now, but I can always upgrade later. The best part of virtual…you stay at home while seeing a trainer LIVE! Yes! No videos…full accountability while they train you. Ask questions, make comments….they will respond!

The challenges reward me with free gear or points and keep me motivated to stay involved. Some days (like today) I was not feeling it, but I logged in and just faked it til I felt it. The glory of them seeing you pop in…no escape! 2500+ options to work out virtually which means you choose your time!

The best bonus is a busy mama like myself can be with my kid. No childcare, no picking him up then dropping him off again…he can be home and I still get my workout in. Plus the virtual option is affordable on my teacher budget!

I feel better, I look better and on rough days it keeps me mentally better. I needed this.

I have referral codes for a free week. Join me in trying out something that has helped me…some trainers even pray at the end (optional) but keeps your spirit right too! If you want to experience a virtual breakthrough then reach out with your email and we can get you started!

Taste the Shark

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One of the things living during a pandemic has taught me is that life is short so live it. We worry so much about tomorrow that we often fail to enjoy today. Life changing lesson taught to me by a man that was about to die is to “enjoy the sandwich”. Creative way to say appreciate the moment rather than looking toward the next big thing. For our family, that involved taking a vacation that was probably not in our budget but filled us enough to remember why God put us together. We are family and God is using us to grow each other and be Christ to others.  Well for us that meant trying a fishing trip!

To see God’s creation on water is a sight to see! On this particular day, the storms were coming so the water was restless but we pushed through safely to experience the new memory as a family. I understood Peter’s fear in the storm…I prayed a lot on the boat! Prayed for calm (He answered), prayed to not get sick and prayed for God to share his creatures. He answered BIG with my son catching a Bonnethead Shark. What a memory for ALL of us!

As a scuba diver, I think I loved the shark most of all. Seeing sea life up close and personal and then hearing all about it from a biology teacher on the boat…day made! We would never kill a creature for the fun of it, so we googled recipes to eat it. I know we were all uncertain…but we each took a bite…it was delish!

Big finale to the highlight of our trip and a huge testimony to God’s love for us and how real the Bible is in our daily lives. That storm on the water was real, Jesus slept through it then taught us all about faith and trust. I will never read that story the same. Thankful we experienced this new thing together…when given the choice…taste the shark!