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You HAVE to see this... it will make your day, promise! ;)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

shameless plug ;) please vote for our babygirl for the cover of Parents magazine! photos.parents.com/category/vote/pho

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEISENUF 4/13/2011 4:56PM


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2NDCHANCES 4/13/2011 1:23PM

    Thanks, all! Just as an fyi... this is a daily contest so you CAN vote more than once. Just sayin'... ;)

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FITGAL2010 4/13/2011 11:23AM

    I voted for her!.... I love the big flower, my daughter-in-law always has a pretty flower on my granddaughter too. Have fun, and I hope she WINS! :) Lori

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2NDCHANCES 4/12/2011 9:41PM

    Thank you!! :)

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RASMUSSEN5 4/12/2011 7:08PM

    I voted...very cute!

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2NDCHANCES 4/12/2011 6:22PM

    you guys are the best! thanks so much!! :)

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ANNAFISH 4/12/2011 6:20PM

    She is so cute!! I voted too!

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ANITA_NM 4/12/2011 6:09PM

    I voted!

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2NDCHANCES 4/12/2011 4:00PM

    @IZZYBEBOP: I changed it! Thanks so much for the suggestion!

p.s. And yes, that's her!! :)

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IZZYBEBOP 4/12/2011 3:31PM

    Thanks! I voted. That was the one that came up before but just wanted to make sure. She's adorable!

When I enter the link I come up with this (http://photos.parents.com/cutekid/
15/2011/120). Can you go in and edit your original post and click (add link) then enter it there so it's clickable. I don't want to vote for the wrong one. The one that came up has a lot of blue, and the baby has a burgundy hat with a big flower on it.

Comment edited on: 4/12/2011 6:10:59 PM

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2NDCHANCES 4/12/2011 3:25PM

    I pray that you will, friend! Thanks so much for voting!! :)

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GRACEISENUF 4/12/2011 3:21PM

    I voted too. I want one just like her, ha ha! Maybe one day I will be blessed with a Grandchild!

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2NDCHANCES 4/12/2011 3:10PM

    Thank you so much!! :)

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KIRANICSMOM 4/12/2011 2:23PM

    I voted! She is adorable!

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TWO blogs in ONE day- say WHAAAAT??? ;)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ok, I decided to blog for the 2nd time today because- well, because I can and I'm inspired to do so. ;)

This blog is more of a *thank you, God* blog, though, whereas my other was all health/fitness related. I just realized that there were many things that happened in the past week that I'm grateful for and felt I should express them, outwardly. :)

First, I have begun the process of really, truly job-searching again this past week. And while it is true that it is VERY bittersweet for me, I AM grateful for a few things regarding it. It IS hard to even THINK of leaving my precious little Jayleigh-bug and it makes me sad everytime I think of it. :*( However, I do know the importance of me doing so and I'm grateful for the acceptance I have come to have over it. I know that it is what our family needs so I have come to terms with that.

* I am grateful that I have a vast set of skills that will help me to find employment and I pray does so quickly.

* I am grateful that I have a hubby who is more than willing, able, and ready to help me to achieve and accomplish what I need to.

* I am grateful that I have been able to stay home with my baby girl as long as I have.

* I am grateful that I have an AWESOME 14 yr old daughter who absolutely adores her baby sister and takes such GREAT care of her when we/I need her to.

* I am grateful that I ROCKED my typing test at an agency with a 65WPM/0 errors, thank you very much! ;)

* I am grateful to have opportunities to work and seek work.

* I am grateful that I have a sweet & romantic hubby that realizes the importance of our time together- still. ;)

* I am grateful that I have daughters who love me and believe in me so firmly that they will take down giants with their bare hands just to protect their "Mommy" :)

* I am grateful to have a site like Spark that- no matter how many times I go away- is always there waiting for me like a long lost friend when I make my way back ;)

* I am grateful that there are caring, compassionate, and insightful people out there who will help just to be helping, to no benefit of their own.

* I am grateful for some of THE best friends a girl could ever, ever hope to have! (you all know who you are ;)

* I am grateful for restoration in my family.

* I am grateful to God for seeing and knowing my heart and making it one of His priorities just to call into action the things that are important to me... what an AWESOME thing to be able to say that the God of the universe truly, genuinely cares about ME and my heart!

When I am feeling low or down and think things seem so wrong, I can look at this list and realize how good I really do have it afterall. :)

be blessed...
Melanie emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    This is a wonderful blog and you are definitely blessed. Sounds like you have a wonderful family.

Thank you for sharing. :)

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GRACEISENUF 7/23/2010 12:48PM

    Nothing compares to an "attitude of gratitude"....thanks for the reminder sweet lady!


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ALNEAGLE 7/21/2010 11:20AM

    emoticon blog!

Sounds like God has blessed you abundantly. I think it is wonderful that you are giving Him honor for these blessings. I know that God will help you find a job, not just any old job, but the one He wants you to have. May His perfect will be done in you and your family's lives. I know He will supply what you need, when you need it. He is an on time God.


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2NDCHANCES 7/20/2010 11:21PM

    Awww, baby!! This made me teary :*) YOU are my heart and I cherish you always.

I love you!
Forever & Always...
xx me

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TXHRT4U 7/20/2010 10:52PM

    *BABY* you are blessing to me and my life. You are also a blessing to our family! I cherish you with ALL of my heart! Thank you for being God's child and loving HIM with all of your heart. HE is very proud of you, just as I am. HE will continue pouring out blessings upon your life.


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Where, Oh Where Has My LITTLE Self Gone??

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You know, I get on here from time to time to check my page, leave my hubby a comment (or check for one he has left me), or *spin the wheel* to collect sparkpoints for whatever reason, I am still not sure of. But it has become another slightly used social media site for me. It used to be a daily *must* site for me. I logged EVERYthing- my fitness minutes (of course I HAD those back then!), my food consumption, my journal entries, my many blogs I posted, etc., etc. It helped me. It doesn't help me now because I'm not motivated to do any of these things. I'll just be honest here... I haven't been motivated to do these things in quite awhile, not since before my pregnancy. I'm not sure why that is, but something has definitely changed within me and I'm lacking that fire, that passion that once was a driving force for me. I used to have a *never say die* mentality that I was quite proud of. Now, I seem to have more of a *lay down and die mentality*. :( In all honesty, I have been battlling a form of postpartum depression that seems to have gotten the better side of me. Don't get me wrong... I absolutely ADORE my baby girl and have no ill feelings about having her, having been pregnant, etc. Nothing even remotely resembling the things I have ever heard of regarding postpartum depression. That's why it took me so long to even recognize that that's what it was! It was only after speaking to friends, family members, and other random ladies (some here on Spark) that I was like- hey, that's what I'M going through! I have NO drive, whatsoever. I have MOMENTS of drive or motivation and that's it... MOMENTS. Then they're gone. :(

My sweet hubby has tried everything he can think of (and then some!) to help me, bless his heart. I know it must be hard for him to live with me sometimes. But I think he just keeps believing, as I do, that someday, somehow that *spark* will come back and ignite that passion within me again. And by *passion* I don't mean what people typically think of as *passion*. It isn't a sexual reference. That actually is NOT a problem. lol But passion as a driving force, something that compels you to keep going and tackle whatever obstacles come your way.

So today I just randomly and by happenchance, saw a blog by a spark member that inspired me. She has been where I've been (not now, but in the past) and it caused me to remember some of my prior accomplishments. I had already achieved these by the time I met my hubby, but he knows where I've been and how far I've come. It's not enough. I was about midway in my *health journey* when we met. It's almost hard to believe now that I was the one to inspire HIM on his health journey. ;) He has a wealth of fitness knowledge now and I'm very proud of him and his accomplishments. :) But I will be honest... I'm way less motivated by someone who has- say, 20 lbs to lose or is already small and just becomes tone and fit. I'm like- good for you, but I, personally, get nothing from that. The ones that inspire me are the ones who were excessively overweight (as I was) and lose CONSIDERABLE amounts of weight, can finally function as a *normal* person for the first time, etc. Here is what I wrote on this member's blog...

"What an AWESOME blog! Good for you! :)

Anyone that has ever truly been excessively overweight can attest to all of the above mentioned and then some! I DON'T remember when I lost my first 5, 10, 20 lbs., etc. I DO, however, remember when I could sit indian-style again for the first time, didn't have to have my daughter paint my toenails for me, put on my old *stand-by* formal dress just to have it fall to the floor in my complete astonishment. THESE were the *milestones* for me. When I was bending over one day and my daughter exclaimed- "Mom! Where did your BUTT go???!!!" lol

Thank you for bringing these memories back to me and helping to spark the motivation to keep going. :)"

This may very well be what I needed. Just a reminder of where I'VE been in the past. If you've ever looked at my pics, you'd know where that was. emoticon Even though I have far to go, still- I have already come far from where I used to be, too.

Thanks for letting me *voice* my feelings here. Maybe it will help someone else like this lady's blog helped me. Or maybe not. Either way, it has helped me to get them out. :)

Be blessed...
Melanie emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSGIXXER 9/16/2010 1:47PM

    I don't know how I happened across your blog. I just want to give you some words of encouragement to just keep trying what you can when you can. At some point that desire to get back on track will come back. My daughter just had two babies in two years and now she has a decent amount of weight to lose. She wants to lose the weight but with the kids and everything else she wants to do it doesn't leave much time for exercise and eating right. So I can sort of sympathize with you and what you are going through.

I myself haven't lost what you or some others consider a lot of weight but 53 pounds is a lot to me. It took me some time to get my mind right to do it. And even with just that it has made my life so much more enjoyable. You lost, what did you say, 90 pounds, before you got pregnant, you can lose this weight now too. Just keep trying.

Anyhow I wish you luck and hope you are able to achieve your dreams sooner rather than later. I'm not old at 42 but I sure wish I would have taken care of business years ago.

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HEART4HOME 7/21/2010 7:22AM

    Hi Melanie! I am praying for you my friend. I know all to well what you are describing because I have been through it times six. I think the hormones will eventually subside and that spark will begin to get stronger. My baby is 5 months and for me it is finding balance to keep everything going. I feel like that when I really focus on the health then the time with the kids, housework or time with hubby suffers a bit. I am trusting the Lord that He will help me to keep it all in perspective. You have accomplished so much and you know what it takes to get to where you want to go. Thanks for sharing your heart. Please know that you are not alone and we will reach our goals. Veronica emoticon

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    Taking one day at a time and thinking back to what got you started the first time on your healthy journey will keep you going. You are on an emotional, hormonal roller coaster just having a baby. I remember it taking a good 4 months after having my kiddos to feel like I was ready to get back into the game. You get pretty removed from that focused thinking of changing your body and lifestyle while pregnant. I used to always think "I can't wait to have the baby to get back into the groove again." Easier said then done. You have a child ot care for #1, you have crazy post-partum hormones to deal with #2, and a lack of sleep. Take one day at a time andyou will find your Spark again.

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2NDCHANCES 7/20/2010 11:26PM


Yes, we CAN and we HAVE... already :) With God as our foundation and blessing us, WE can do ANYTHING!

I LOVE YOU!!! emoticon
forever & Always...
xx me

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TXHRT4U 7/20/2010 10:46PM

    emoticon blog *BABY*! I will always be here for YOU! WE can move mountains together and WE WILL!

Always & Forever,

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WINTERNITES 7/20/2010 5:54PM


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*Our Bodies, God's Temple*

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NIV)

It was an odd conversation, I must admit.

As I was driving my sixteen year-old daughter to church, she expressed she was hungry. Pulling up to the drive through window, she ordered a Double Baconator Combo - you know, the hamburger with two thick patties, six strips of bacon, cheese and toppings, plus a large fry and drink.

I gently warned her that unhealthy eating habits would eventually catch up to her. Then the conversation took an interesting twist.

I had recently been studying the book of Leviticus, which focuses on the building of God 's temple by the Israelites after they had left Egypt, and apparently I had "temple on the brain" syndrome.

I explained to my daughter that she needed to remember that her body was God's temple; therefore, she should take care of it, and part of taking care of our bodies, is eating healthy. She replied by saying (with her teenage facial expression of utter confusion), "Are you trying to tell me that eating this hamburger is a sin?!"

This comical conversation went on for several minutes while I attempted to convince her of the importance of treating her body as God's temple, and she held her ground that eating a hamburger was not a sin.

You see, after reading countless details about the tabernacle (the tent-version of the temple), I had a newfound appreciation for its sacredness. I felt encouraged knowing that the Lord actually resided in the Temple. I admired the hours of work devoted to building the Tabernacle, and the many rules and requirements that God s et forth regarding honoring and caring for it.

In the New Testament, we are reminded many times about how we are now God's dwelling place. We no longer have to worship, pray or converse with God in a specific place, because He lives within us.

At first glance, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 implies an overwhelming responsibility to understand that we truly are God's temple, that we are the only ones who can take care of it, and that He has commanded us to do so. But thank goodness, caring for a temple is not nearly as hard as it was for the Israelites. Let's look at how we can care for God's temple today:

- The original temple had walls made of cloth. Their purpose was to protect the holy contents that were inside. In the same way, we also have to protect the contents of our temple, which is the Holy Spirit living within us.

- A lot of cleaning took place in the temple continually. We can keep our temples clean through purity of heart and mind.

- The temple w as built for worshipping. God calls us into worship every day, inviting us to spend time with Him and in His Word.

- The Lord spoke in the temple and His voice was heard. The Lord is still speaking to us, in our hearts, and being able to hear His voice requires an intimate relationship with Him.

1 Corinthians 6:20b, says we are to honor God with our body. Does that mean never eating another hamburger or doughnut? Of course not! God does not command us to have perfectly sleek figures, or infallible eating habits. Nor is He is concerned with what we wear, what color our hair is, or how many wrinkles we have.

1 Samuel 16:7 says, "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'"

God cares about our hearts, His Temple. We are called to care for His Temple daily, through healthy eating, yes, but most importantly through purity of heart, mind and soul.

Dear Lord, prompt me to never forget that I am Your temple, Your holy dwelling place. Help me to honor You in all that I do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

- Tracie Miles
taken from Proverbs 31 Ministries

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEISENUF 7/23/2010 12:52PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog and I am reminded once again of how God wants the very best for me.

Thanks Sis for taking the time to write and share this.

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CHAZMO227 6/23/2010 10:26PM

    This was great -- thank you! I've been thinking lately about the importance of eating only the great clean food God has given us to eat. Your blog rounded out my thoughts completely!

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MUSCLEMOM_2 6/23/2010 4:05PM

    GREAT blog!!!!

Becky emoticon

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2NDCHANCES 6/17/2010 2:38AM

    Thank you all for your comments and I'm glad this could touch you as well as it did me. My prayer is that I NEVER forget that I am indeed *His temple* and the most important part of that temple is how I honor Him in word and in deed... not by just being healthy about what I put into my body or what the outward results of that may be. May we NEVER lose sight of the MOST important part of that temple and let THAT be our MAIN focus. If we lose sight of that on our way to our outward desires or improperly focus all our time and attention on building that part of ourselves instead of our spiritual man, our efforts are in vain.

be blessed, all! :)
Melanie emoticon

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MARYBERT 6/16/2010 7:49PM

    Thanks for your informative blog...God Bless...

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BIGDAD1211 6/16/2010 6:12PM

    Great thoughts! I see a great Bible study in this one!
Thanks for posting!

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JOYSTORMS 6/16/2010 6:08PM

    Well said, thank you.


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TENTHYEAR 6/16/2010 6:02PM

  Sentiments that we need to remember. Thanks for the worship thought.

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Encourage One Another...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I read this morning in one of the emails that I get from livingfree.org and thought I would share it here. Although this is a *fitness* site, I- personally- firmly believe that the Lord is the center of my life and affects every part of it... even the *temple* that my body is, that He created it to be. :) He is what has helped me to lose my weight, who helps me to do ANYthing I set my mind to doing. So yes, I do feel like this is pertinent information to even my *fit* self. ;) Beyond that- I don't think there is EVER anything wrong with encouraging one another, in ANY way. We ALL need that from time to time. :)

be blessed...
Melanie emoticon

Encourage One Another

Today's Scripture

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

Thoughts for Today

Many scriptures exhort believers to encourage one another. And yet, sometimes we get so busy in our own lives that we neglect thinking about others. We may become insensitive to the concerns of those around us.

So how can we be a better encourager? The first step may be to ask God to help us be less self-focused and to be more sensitive to the needs of others. And then we need to ask his wisdom in knowing how to encourage our brother or sister in Christ. Sometimes it takes a listening ear--just showing we care by really listening to what they have to say. They might have a problem ... or an idea they are hesitant to move ahead with ... or some special challenge. Just knowing that someone values them enough to listen can be an encouragement.

Perhaps they need words of encouragement. Nothing can be more encouraging than God's Word, shared from a loving heart.

Maybe they need us to show our faith in them with an action. As we prayerfully approach them, God will guide.

Consider this...

As you consider these thoughts, does someone come to your mind? Someone who may need encouragement? Pray ... and take action. Call ... or meet for coffee or dinner ... or just sit down and have a heart to heart. Find out what is on his or her mind ... listen ... share God's Word ... demonstrate your confidence in him (or her).

And day by day ask God to help you get out of the box of your own world and find ways to encourage others.


Father, I know that sometimes I get so caught up in my own life that I don't even notice others who may need encouragement. Help me to be less self-focused and more sensitive to the needs around me. Help me to be an encourager. In Jesus' name ...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEISENUF 11/24/2009 10:08PM

    You encourage ME!

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NAENAE1213 10/29/2009 3:48PM

    Awesome!! And I'm SO guilty of getting caught up in day to day life and not seeing those around me needing some encouragement.
Thank you!

And btw, I love your new background.....soooooo pretty!!!

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SUNNYD76 10/28/2009 3:42PM

    Great Blog...and so true!

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MYFEETHURT 10/28/2009 2:53PM

  Great blog. I honestly believe it always goes back to...Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I know I love it when someone takes the time to encourage me, compliment me or simply say they hope I'm doing well. So I try to remember this and do the same for others. Like they say...it is impossible to help someone without also helping yourself. emoticon

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