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CINDYHOUGHTON's Recent Blog Entries

Giving All Day Long

Friday, December 16, 2011

Today is the party from the church ladies to our clients. They have asked me to come help on my day off. The kids will decorate some sugar cookies and it will be just a really good time. Of course, there will also be food present. I am not doing very well resisting if I look at it too long. I am excited to be a part of the giving. We get so much more than the girls do every time we pour into their lives. It truly is more blessed to give than just to receive. They appreciate all of it so much. You cannot put a price on love.
Then tonight the church is having their party for those who have been in positions of ministry. We will eat brisket and all the other goodies that I am sure will abound. I will have to store up for it all day long! The company will be superb. We will exchange inexpensive gifts in Dirty Santa style and have some really good laughs I am sure. Though they are in positions of ministry, it has not stolen their ornery streak. I just pray no one is hurt in the process! I hope you know I am just kidding there. It will be so good for my husband to be a part of all that. He needs to establish some memories that create good friendships at the church. He has always hung back looking for reasons to be rejected. I wonder if he approaches God in the same way. Some people can't imagine how they can ever measure up to gain God's accetance. None of us can. If we could, it would not have been necessary to send Jesus. Still I hope he has a really good time and laughs until he wants to pee like all the women!
When we are finished there, I hope to take at least one other person with me to our facility to pray for my co-worker. She is having surgery on the 19th. Her name is Michele. She is getting married for the first time in July at 35 years old. She has diabetes and at present has no sight in one of her eyes. The surgery is to remove an oil pack from an earlier surgery. Then she will have surgery again later to remove cataracts from both eyes. She and her husband-to-be have opted to not have children. There are so many children who need to be adopted. She has so many ailments in addition to the diabetes that they do not want to pass anything on genetically. This is, I am sure a difficult situation. Adpotion is such a wonderful thing for all involved and I do not want to diminish that prospect, but at the same time I am so sad that they feel they must make that choice. I hope more than anything else that we can give her a small glimpse of God that will change her life forever tonight. I want God to intervene in such a way that it opens her eyes to the possibilities of never having to settle or be disappointed again. A small glimpse into God's character that says difinitively, with God ALL things are possible and nothing is impossible to him who believes.
It's a very full day ahead of me. Once I get dressed, I must first find my keys. The last place I saw them was.....


Empty Rewards

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Yesterday was our Christmas party at work. We did not do our usual exchange of gifts and my boss opted instead for door prizes. She has someone draw a name then that person drawn draws the next recipient. Three or four times someone drew their own name including me. Very unusual! I won the Biggest Loser contest. Before you get too excited for me, there were only two entered in this round and the other person gained weight. That's how it was the last time I won. I am grateful for the win, and the money, but I want to lose 12-15 pounds the next time I win! Then I received the RTA of the year award. Again, I did not feel as if it was really any competition. Please understand why. I am not being prideful here. My boss set the criteria out and immediately, everyone else was disqualified due to taking off sick days, not to mention all the other things. She had us vote on who we felt deserved it. To me it would have been better if she had not had us vote and she had just recognized me for my accomplishments through the year that she felt were worthy. I love the excitement of a competition. Just ask my co-workers. This was absolutely no competition. It felt kind of empty, though I am grateful to be rewarded and recognized for what I have done. What I got is really cool. They gave me a small backpack that is insulated. It has a slot for my filtered water bottle on the side and I can now bring my yogurt snack and keep it cold longer and therefore keep me healthier. It is the right size for what I need.
We were also notified that her boss is leaving in just a few weeks. He just secured a $1.5 million grant for the facility. Now it will be up to someone else to implement the new program that goes with the grant and someone else will put up with the scrutiny of the granting agency. The timing is just really strange. Then, the person who is taking over for him is just a couple of years older than my daughter and played soccer with her in high school. Her age really has little do to with it. This is such a pivotal choice to be made for our facility at this time. She is a recent graduate with little to no experience and I am not convinced she has the strength to get through this. I do not see her getting along well with my immediate boss either. It just seemed like a strange choice at this time. Upheaval is always stressful, but the change of leadership and program is an awful lot at one time.
I do not mean to be negative here. I am just puzzled by the choices being made around me that affect me. They do not inspire confidence. I hope to learn from them and not repeat the same kind of decisions in my daily work if ever faced with needing to make decisions that affect others. Even when not at work I have decisions to make that affect others. I want my praise to be genuine and meaningful to others. I want everything I do to have positive impact and not leave them feeling diminished in an way. I want to learn from the mistakes of others as well as my own mistakes. I will not make others feel their praise of me is not accepted, but will accept it graciously regardless of how it is offered. I will seek to make someone else glad that I am a part of their life and glad that I walked into it today. I will be a part of the solution and will stick around to see it to completion. I will not abandon others for my own selfish ambitions. I will serve others as though I am serving God Himself, because n reality this IS what I am doing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EARTHY3 12/15/2011 11:00AM

    Looks like you need to have a competition with yourself (Me, myself and I or The Old Me, the New Me and the Want to be me.) You could set different goals for each one. That way it's not an Empty Reward.


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Digging Deeper

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We end up or latest round of Biggest Loser at work at the party today. I haven't lost any weight one more time. This is really getting frustrating. I have not done what I needed to do. I have lost my self discipline. I have had a few too many cokes in the last week and my kidneys woke me up last night. There is only one other girl in the competition this time and we weren't even going to do it with less than three. She says she has gained weight, but I am not sure I can trust her word, This is a competition, you know. She was taken to court and given three days to move out of her current residence. This is day two for her. If she doesn't come, I win by default. The last time I won, I won by gaining the least amount of weight. That is not the way I envisioned this when I started this two and a half years ago! I keep telling myself I am going to buckle down and count my calories every day, then I don't. I just don't know where I lost it. Yes, you could say I lost my mind and it won't offend me! Something shifted about a year ago and I have never been able to get me back on track like when I started. I know the weight comes off fastest at the beginning. I guess I am just struggling with not seeing the almost daily results. I still want this. I am just going to have to dig a little deeper to find that greater determination.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LVBIKER 12/14/2011 10:38AM

  True strength comes from within. If you REALLY want to lose the weight, you must look inside and get that motivation. I hope you find it because it is there!!!

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Balance Challenge

Monday, December 12, 2011

Balance is what makes us healthy. Spark teaches us to gain balance in our lives. I have played with that balance every time I take a bite. But now I am aware of where I need to tip the scales where, before I just blindly ate, not caring about that balance. It always hung out in the back of my mind, but I never had the tools to know how to handle what I did not know.

I have had a hard time getting enough iron in my diet my entire life. Every time I have blood work done I come up short, that is, until I started taking a supplement. I am very low every time I track my food. I need some creative ways to get more iron rich foods in my diet. I will not eat liver, so don't even go there with me. I am sure my mom created this lack by the foods she served that I got used to eating. I am not blaming her, just stating a fact. I do not seem to crave iron rich foods no matter how much my body needs it. Does anyone have some good ideas of foods I might like that could boost my iron intake?
When I came to Spark I found that I had a hard time also getting enough protein in my diet. That really surprised me because I love protein. I have learned, when I track my food, to eat my protein rich foods first. That way I am less likely to go overboard in other areas before I have depleted my calories.
I knew that I did not get enough vegetables and that was one of my first goals here at Spark. I realized early on just how easy it was to change my thinking there. I still have to watch it because my natural tendencies are to avoid them. I must make a conscious effort to include them. I find that they really do fill me up and it is easy to eat a bunch of them because the calorie intake is so low on them. I can always throw in one more when I am lacking in carbs.
So one thing that Spark has taught me is balance. I have been able to see at a glance how consistent I was in going over my fats. Now it is once a week. I could see in my nutrition feedback just where it was that I was lacking. Being able to see it, I knew where I needed to work.The tools I have found here have made me healthier. I still have some work to do. I still face challenges as you see, but am making progress. I would love some input on my iron crisis. Happy Sparking everyone.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UMBILICAL 12/12/2011 11:40AM

  Tracking is very revealing. Keep up the good awareness.

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Prayer for Family Please

Friday, December 09, 2011

My brother has Shingles. I guess he is in terrible pain and they go all over the place. He sleeps on a recliner in the bedroom. It sure stinks getting older. Mom had a very light case and no further issues. I do hope and pray that he heals quickly and completely. Any prayers for him would be greatly appreciated.
My son took his GRE about a month ago. Evidently he did really, really well because he has letters and e-mails from all across the country begging him to consider grad school with them. Now he has to wade through it all and make a decision. He has a fall back plan with tuition paid for and a stipend in San Antonio if he needs one. This is so exciting and overwhelming both. Don't know how to tell him to begin to sort through it all. Glad he is getting some notice. His alma mater treats him like poop. He has really struggled to find a job. Maybe this will open things up for him an a few years. Maybe by then the job market will look better too.
So prayers appreciated all the way around. Thank you friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

3CATSLEP 12/11/2011 3:04PM

    I will pray for your family in Jesus' name! I thank you so much for praying for my mom. She wanted to go home to God all week, and on Friday I baptized her. It was so beautiful to see such peace come over her. She is doing better now, but we will probably have to make a choice on the Rehab Center and Nursing Home. Please keep her in your prayers :)

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JLVS2BAKE 12/9/2011 3:15PM

  I agree with my fellow friends and pray for this family for healing and for a good job. Your word says you are both our healer and our provider so we come to you and ask for these in Your name, amen. Julie

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GRACENFAITH 12/9/2011 2:33PM

    Lord, all the glory is yours alone. I come to you for CINDYHOUGHTON and her family. I ask that you would place your healing hands on her brother and comfort with his Shingles. We give you praise for allowing her mom to already be healed and to have only a mild case. I, also, ask that you light up the right path for her son to take for school and work, help me see your will for him so clearly that around him sees your glory working in and through him. Please be with her to stay strong for her family. Thank you in advance for amazing things you have for this family as individuals and as a whole. In Jesus' name...Amen
emoticonWalking with Christ

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JPAMPY 12/9/2011 10:56AM

    I will be praying for your family. Jesus is our Comforter and Healer!! God's blessings to you!

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WINDY_LEE 12/9/2011 10:53AM

    Praying for You all ... God Bless you

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