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.


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.


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) –


  • “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.”


  • “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)


  • “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)


  • “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)


  • “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

a sunday challenge

[I started this post yesterday (Sunday), but didn’t have a chance to finish it, so I’m up at 4 am on Monday wrapping it up.]

Each week, I try to read over the coming Sunday school lesson so I’m prepared. I’m technically a Sunday School teacher for young adults, but we rarely have a class at our small church. Normally, we moms head into the kid’s class to help reign in the toddlers. Either way, we’ve had a great book of lessons in this book. This week’s lesson was about creation and how we can be sure God in fact created everything.

The scripture came from Genesis 1:1-3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 26-27. We had a good discussion during Sunday school class and the following points were brought up:

  • Most of us know creative people. The difference between their creations and God’s are that they create things out of materials that already exist.
  • Some people argue that creation didn’t take place in 6 days – that those “days” were actually longer spans of time. I choose to believe they were actual days that we experience now. If God can raise people from the dead, surely he can create the world in 6 days!
  • There was a “digging deeper” section about the “Image of God” and I’d never thought too much about it before. I always thought humans were created in the physical image of God, but this points out that there are at least 5 ways humans are like God: rational, emotional, spiritual, social, and volitional (ability/need to make choices).
  • The lesson also pointed out again that God created MALE and FEMALE – His plan was for marriages and families between a man and woman.
  • The uniqueness and sanctity of human life was also mentioned since we are created in the image of God.

The title for this post originally came from a command in the Sunday school lesson. It said “Set aside three hours one day this week to reflect on how well you are following God’s purpose for your life and how you might be more faithful.” For some reason, this jumped off the page at me. My initial reaction was “Three hours! Are you kidding me?! Where am I going to find three hours for this?!” God was quick to point out that I do have Mondays off from work and my son normally takes at least a 2 hour nap. Instead of napping too or finding something else to do, I plan to light into this today. It didn’t say spend 3 consecutive hours, so I’m going to try to break it up into parts, starting in a few minutes. My challenge to you is to do the same thing! Doesn’t have to be today, but sometime this week. If you complete the task, let me know!

On another note, I had a different “Sunday challenge” yesterday evening. Our son was happy all morning and went down for a nap in a good mood. He slept for 3 hours and let me tell you, that kid awoke on the wrong side of the bed! He’s rarely grouchy so I was worried that he was sick when he got up and acted ugly like he did. At first, he just seemed in a sleepy fog, but then about 30 minutes after being awake, everything made him upset and angry. I had fixed dinner and had our plates on the table when he decided to walk by and throw his in the floor. I was so mad! I got down to eye level and gave him some speech about how he knew that was wrong and how bad it was of him. Those little two year old eyes were as big as saucers, then his little face contorted and you could see he felt bad about what he did. After he cried a bit, he finally came around and had a big spoon of peanut butter, then he ate some supper. I think he was hungry when he woke up and he just ended up getting grouchy instead of just eating. He ended up fine about an hour after he woke up and went to bed last night a happy kid.

My husband and I rarely experience this behavior from our son, so we talked about it last night while going to bed. I made the comment that some parents experience that on a daily basis. I’m glad he had the same thought as me…”Because they allow their kids to do whatever they want” which is exactly true. Some parents would have spanked and some would have had time out when their kid acted the way ours did yesterday, but I’ve found for us, a talking-to and time for our son to cool off works just as good as anything (at this point). Eventually, we’ll get to the time out thing if we need to, but for now, he respects us and we can avoid it.

The funny part is that I was in a weird mood yesterday, too. I called it cabin/spring fever. I am so ready to get out of the house and do something outdoors! Yesterday was just so cold and windy that it wasn’t enjoyable at all. Today, however, is supposed to be a bit warmer and we’re going to see my dad for a bit since he’s off work for the holiday. We’ll probably spend some time out in the snow during our visit. This week is supposed to warm up into the 50’s so I’m going to try to get out as much as possible.



We were one of the bunches of people that got a dumping of snow Wednesday and Thursday this week. It is beautiful, but I’m ready for it to melt so we can finish getting our house set up! I was all excited thinking I’d go pick out some paint today to paint some small pieces of furniture for our new home, when I looked out and discovered it’s snowing…again. So much for the pretty, sunny day we had yesterday! I just hope March comes in like a lamb.

fantabulous two days

The past two days have been wonderful! I hope the week continues at this pace, cuz I’m a very happy gal.

Yesterday morning, we took our son for his 2 year old check up and all was well. He was 80th percentile for his height and 60th percentile for his weight. He did really well while the doc listened to his ticker and all. The only thing that upset him was leaving the fish tank in the waiting room. After that, he cried on and off the entire time we were in the exam room. He wanted to go back and see those fish! The doctor said a lot of talking at this point is a good indication of intelligence, so we’re on the right path with our jabber mouth. And, she thinks he’ll be left handed. The only left handed person in either family is my husband’s great aunt, so she’s thrilled.

Our happy two year old cheesing it up today

Our happy two year old cheesing it up today

After the appointment, I bought myself a treat. A new piece of art for our new home! I saw it last week and loved it, but talked myself out of buying it. After thinking about it for days, I broke down and spent the 20 bucks. I think it was a good buy.

My neato piece of artwork for the new house

My neato piece of artwork for the new house

The coolest part of yesterday, though, was when they DELIVERED OUR NEW HOUSE!!! It seems we have waited forever for it to arrive and now it’s finally here. Right now, it’s just parked in our yard, but hopefully it will get set up very soon. The day ended with a great yoga session that left me a bit sore today.

The back of our house!

The back of our house!

Today started with my one hour glucose test to check for gestational diabetes and I actually passed! It was an early test (I’m 18 weeks along) so they’ll do it again at 28 weeks, but for now I’m in the green. Baby’s heart beat is in the 150s and it’s moving around a lot, even though I’m not feeling it much yet. We go back in two weeks for the ultrasound to determine the gender, but we’ve already determined we’re going to be surprised again this time. It’s so much fun not knowing and waiting till Baby arrives.

I ended up taking the entire day off work and running a million errands, then spending quality time with my son. We played outside for over an hour in the cold sun. Tomorrow, the snow is supposed to move in and cover us with anywhere from one to twelve inches. Let’s hope it’s one. I’m thinking in the 4-6″ range will be more like it. I hope it melts fast so they can continue with our house set up.

The huge oak in our temporary yard. My favorite tree around.

The huge oak in our temporary yard. My favorite tree around.

One random note…if you have never tried San Pellegrino, you need to do so TODAY! My friend Nancy turned me onto this (she’s part Italian) a while back. She drinks the orange ones and I tried the blood orange one not too long ago. It was good, but I thought I would try the lemon this time. I gave up soda back in November, but this is different. It has real sugar and actual lemon juice. It’s heavenly. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but this is my guilty pleasure. 🙂

My description? Summer in a can!

My description? Summer in a can!

Overall, I feel extremely blessed. I always feel blessed, but more so this week. This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!

What wonderful, exciting blessing(s) have you experienced this week?