new food labels

Did you hear about or see this on the news? I’m not going to go into a political conversation about this, but from a health standpoint, I think it’s a great move. I actually like the third (Alternate) label best. What do you guys think? A much needed, welcome change, in my opinion.

Sunday school lesson: enjoying work

Just a few days ago, I was telling my husband how I feel like I’m actually helping people in my line of work now. For years at my other job, I felt an emptiness – like I wasn’t helping better mankind in any way. I didn’t dread going to work much, but I just didn’t feel there was much purpose. I think that if I would have been paying more attention, I would have seen that God was opening doors for me earlier than I did.

I’m currently employed as “Executive Assistant” at a local fitness facility. My job is to be the director’s right hand woman and help with whatever she needs. The position has morphed into not only helping do small things like keep our website updated, create signs/flyers about happenings in our facility, etc. into personal training, group exercise instructing, and being a lifeguard. I wear tons of different hats, but I was used to that from my old job and I really like it. I’m one of those A.D.D. type people, so I need variety.

Either way, I’m really excited about the new Sunday school books we got at church this week. The cover has a pretty picture of plants and it’s for SPRING 2014! I started reading the first lesson this morning and it’s really good. I won’t get to attend church this weekend, but I can study the lesson and still get a blessing.

spring2014sundayschool

Here are some of the points I picked up from my reading this morning. The scripture comes from Genesis 1:28, 2:8-9,15:

  • Work is a gift from God, not a curse
  • God created work BEFORE sin entered the world
  • He expects us to be faithful in doing our part and to let God be faithful in doing His
  • We’re not to sit around expecting blessings and to be taken care of while we’re lazy – we have a job to do
  • Without work, how would we meet the needs of our families?
  • Genesis 2: 8-9 points out:
    • God placed Adam and Eve in a specific location to do a specific job
    • God caused the land to flourish
    • God blesses you where he places you

STOP right there for a second and re-read that last bullet: GOD BLESSES YOU WHERE HE PLACES YOU. The question posed is “If we’re not being blessed, why not?”

  • In verse 9, the Bible says God caused all the various trees to sprout up but he still told Adam in chapter 1 to work the land. Even though God gave Adam a task, it was still God who gave the blessing of growth.

The key question of this lesson is “Why has God given me this particular work?”

Let me clarify something before I go any further…if you are a stay at home mom/dad, you ARE working. I’m a firm believer in the important work you are doing. I honestly used to look down my nose at you all, but once I had my own child, my outlook changed. I think it’s one of the most important jobs in the world.

Secondly, if you are disabled and truly unable to work, I understand your situation and I don’t have any negative feelings toward you. In the same sense, if you’re not able to stand on your feet for hours at a time, for example, there could still be work for you to do! If you have a stable mind and the ability to sit and listen/talk, you could volunteer or work with elderly. Just keeping them company and helping them feel loved and appreciated is a very honorable job.

I do feel God has a purpose for me in my current job and I feel He had a job for me in my old career. Here are a few things that have already happened in my current career in less than 18 months that I really feel He had in mind for me:

  • Yanked a kid out the swimming pool to keep him from drowning
  • Helped a lady pull out of her depression and intervened when she was talking about suicide/depression
  • Brought a cheerful, positive attitude to my workplace (I’m annoyingly happy)
  • Am currently helping a group of 5 ladies lose weight during our weight loss contest (which helps them feel better and make a bigger difference in the lives of others around them)
  • Talked about my Christian beliefs to members and co-workers

Yesterday was my day off. Granted, I normally have Saturday and Sunday off as well, but Monday is my weekday off. I love only working 4 days a week and I really try to spend as much time with my son on Monday as possible. That was one of my biggest intentions of changing jobs was to spend more time being a mom. Sometimes on Mondays, I feel so guilty that I’m not at “work”; but then I think, “THIS is work, too!” Going back to my comment above about stay at home parents, it’s one of the most important jobs in the world. My goal is to instill in my son (and future son/daughter) my beliefs and values before the world out there starts trying to tear his little world apart.

So, think on it today. Are you happy with your job? If not, you best start talking to God. Maybe you have blinders on and are missing what He’s asking you to do. Maybe He has a different job in mind for you.

easy pasta

I wish I had a picture of what I ate for lunch – it was pretty served in a red pottery bowl. But better than that, it was tasty and easy to make. I just cooked up some whole wheat penne pasta then I tossed in some sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil), olives, chickpeas, olive oil, and grated cheese. Yummy! I had leftovers, so that will be my lunch tomorrow. I always feel happy after eating a simple pasta meal.

On another food note, I went out for dinner with a Catholic friend last night. Before eating, I asked if she would like to say the blessing, to which she replied “No, thanks. I’m good.” At that point, I should have said my Christian blessing, but what did I do? I started eating instead. What the heck? I’m supposed to be strong in my faith. I was just a little dumbfounded I guess. I asked for forgiveness last night when I prayed and I will definitely say grace before eating the next time that situation arises.

I guess I just like to think that if someone had a gun to my head and said “Do you believe that Jesus is God’s son and that you will go to heaven when you die?” that I would proclaim “YES!” even though it might be certain death for me. But, I can’t even say a blessing over my meal with a friend? What is that? I would say “human”. Point is, I learned a lesson and will do better in the future.

farmin’ photos

My father-in-law is out of town and he normally feeds the cows, so my husband got to fill in. It was such a pretty morning that I thought my son and I would join him. We had fun “farmin” – all I did was take pictures and open a gate. My son loves to be outside and especially loves being around tractors, so it was a big adventure. I thought I would share some pictures I took and some from the past week as well.

On another note, my husband and I had a wonderful date evening as our son is staying with a relative tonight. We got a bite to eat, watched “Winter’s Tale” (I give it 3 stars), and ended up buying our dining set! I had my eye on a set from IKEA, but when I saw this “Jesus” table at a furniture store we stopped at on a whim, I knew it was the one. It cost just a little more, but it’s fully assembled and they will deliver for free! Seems to be good quality and very heavy.

diningset

Days like today leave me elated and feeling so blessed. I truly wonder why God takes such good care of me and my family and gives us all that we have. But, when I stop and think about being a child of God, it’s a little easier for me to understand as a mother. I would do almost anything for my son and I will give him all that I can in this life (but not spoil him, you know).

Anyhoo, enough typing, time for pictures!

prop 65 warning

dishesI had my eye on these dishes for our new house and I looked at them again today, thinking of buying them. Something caught my eye in the description called “Prop 65 warning.” I had never heard of this, so after some research, I find that something in the dishes has been found to cause cancer or reproductive problems! What the heck?! How can people even sell things like this? I mean, how is it legal? It stated that the consumer can decide if they want to take the risk of purchasing the product, but with all the cancer risk in the world, who wants to tempt fate, ya know?

Needless to say, I will not be purchasing this pretty set. My mom is a potter and I’m going to see if she can make me some square plates like these and I’m going to have her check her glaze and make sure it doesn’t contain a prop 65 warning. Keep your eyes open for warnings like this, folks!

 

gettin’ ready for bodypump

I recently agreed to go to a training (next weekend) to become certified in Les Mills BodyPump 88. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into! I have to learn a lot of choreography (which I’ve never done before) and the workout is kick butt, too. I’m looking forward to the challenge, but I haven’t been this intimidated by something since I had to study for and take my ACE personal training certification exam. I practiced the workout some yesterday and I’m majorly sore in my lower body today.

One thing I’ve already learned is that it’s good to be put out of your comfort zone occasionally…some people would say even regularly. It reminds me of what these gym newcomers must feel like and how overwhelming it is. Just yesterday, I met with a lady who is starting the gym and is very intimidated. She’s going to do great, but it’s going to take lots of encouragement. I’m just so comfortable with the gym, that sometimes I need a reminder that a lot of folks are very awkward here.

On another note, I did my first draft for my weight loss team’s t-shirts this morning. I haven’t done any graphic designing in over a year, so it’s not the best, but I’m pretty happy with what I have so far. I’ve asked them what they think of it and so far, I’ve gotten positive responses. They chose the saying for the back. AND, not only are we gonna have the prettiest shirts out of the three teams, my gals have already lost 32 pounds in 2 weeks (5 women total)! I’m so stinkin’ proud of all of them. We have 3 more weeks to go and I know we’re going to win this thing!

weight loss contest shirt - back weight loss contest shirt - front

My question for you today is what challenge are you facing with your health/fitness goals OR what has made you uncomfortable (in a good way) here lately?

monday challenge

If you read my Sunday Challenge post, I had a goal to spend 3 hours on Monday working on an assignment from our Sunday school lesson this week. It was a good day, but I ended up only spending 45 minutes on the task. My goal for the rest of the week is to finish the other 2 hours and 15 minutes in dedicated Bible reading and prayer. I wanted to share what I accomplished in my 45 minutes. Maybe it will inspire you to take the challenge, too.

How well am I following God’s purpose for my life and how might I be more faithful?

What is my purpose?

  • To follow God’s will for my life

    • Which is what?

  • To give praise and glory to God in all that I do

  • To lead others to Christ by witnessing and leading a lifestyle that is pleasing to God

  • To raise my children in a Godly way

Bullet points from the Purpose Driven Life (Day One) – http://purposedriven.com/day1/

CENTER YOUR LIFE AROUND GOD: (Worship)

  • “Love the Lord your God with all your heart …and soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Mt. 22:37-38

  • “A sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

TO CONNECT WITH OTHER BELIEVERS: (Fellowship)

  • “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together… instead let us encourage one another.”Heb. 10:25 (GN)

  • “Those who believed… were baptized and added to the church… They joined with the other believers and committed themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship… They worshiped together regularly at the Temple… and met in small groups in homes …”Acts 2:41-42, 46 (NLT/LB)

TO CULTIVATE SPIRITUAL MATURITY: (Discipleship)

  • “Let us go on… and become mature in our understanding, as strong Christians ought to be.”Heb. 6:1 (LB)

  • “By now you should be teachers. Instead, you still need someone to teach you…!”Heb. 5:12 (GW)

TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION WITH YOUR LIFE: (Service)

  • “God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other.”1 Peter 4:10 (LB)

  • “What can I give back to God for the blessings He’s poured out on me?”Ps. 116:12 (Msg)

TO COMMUNICATE GOD’S LOVE TO OTHERS: (Mission)

  • “Through Christ, God has made peace between us and Himself, and He gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with Him… So we have been sent to speak for Christ!”2 Cor. 5:18, 20 (NCV)

Questions I need to answer:

  • Do I really love the Lord with all my heart?

    • I feel my love growing all the time, but it’s easier for me to love my earthly family sometimes because they are actually here with me.

  • How often do I put my own wants before what God wants me to do?

    • a lot…seems like I don’t really ask God what he wants me to do. I need to spend more time reading my Bible and praying so I will know His will.

  • What am I doing right in my current lifestyle?

    • Going to church most every Sunday – not just to go, but to receive a blessing and be part of a church family

    • Reading the daily devotional with Mike most nights before we go to bed

    • Raising our son in a Christian home and taking him to church regularly

    • Praying over our meals

    • Standing up for things that are right in God’s eyes and opposing those which are not

    • Sending birthday and other notes to church members, family, and friends

    • Not watching shows or listening to music that has questionable content

    • Tithing on a regular basis

  • What obvious improvements need to be made and ideas for each

    • more time reading the Bible

      • get up 30 minutes earlier at least 4 days each week

      • take breaks throughout the day to read scripture

    • more time praying

      • get up 30 minutes earlier at least 4 days each week

      • specifically for my family and our relationship with God

    • more time serving others

      • be a better neighbor and reach out to those immediately neighboring us

      • serve at the soup kitchen once a month

      • propose and help organize a one day vacation bible school at church

      • send more “thinking of you” notes to church members who request prayer or that come to mind

    • offering my testimony more easily and often

      • revisit my written testimony and become more familiar

      • become familiar with scriptures and action steps to help lead people to Christ

      • plan a gathering at our house around Easter to show the Billy Graham DVD and follow that plan to invite others to Christ (since I didn’t do it last year)

    • spend more time educating our son on God

      • find some biblical cartoons and books

      • talk to him more about his God, creation, God’s love and will for his life

    • teach during Sunday school

      • bring the adult book to the kid’s class and review the scripture and points

      • teach the kids songs to sing in front of the church

    • give more offerings in addition to tithes