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The DIfference A Year Makes (Pictures)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

We got our family pictures taken last night, and I was excited to compare them against our picture from last year. In the past year I've lost about 40 lbs., and I have a total loss of 80 lbs. I can really see a difference in the picture, especially in my face.

I am just SO excited about this. I feel renewed, more energetic, and I am so hopeful that I will meet my goal of a total of 120 lbs. down in 2011!

If you are feeling you haven't come so far, or are like me and halfway, or more than halfway to your goal, I highly recommend comparing pictures of yourself. You have changed, you are different, the proof is right there in the frame. Even weight loss that doesn't feel like much to you reflects in everything you do, and how you act. You can see it in your smile.

Thanks everyone for the inspiration, friendship and support!



p.s. This sweater from 2009 no longer fits me, it's gone to Goodwill a while ago!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRISPINI 12/16/2010 1:39PM

    OMG you look 10 years younger. WTG!

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KITHKINCAID 12/16/2010 1:04PM

    Beautiful family - beautiful people. You look amazing Kathy. Congratulations!!!

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JENJESS48 12/13/2010 6:57PM

    Gorgeous family and gorgeous YOU! emoticon

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CAROLX914 12/13/2010 9:58AM

    CONGRATS... you and your family look wonderful!

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LOOZINITNOW 12/13/2010 9:34AM

    Beautiful picture of the family! What a difference a year makes!

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 12/13/2010 12:48AM

    Looking good!

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CARILOUIE 12/12/2010 8:00AM

    emoticon

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WYND10 12/10/2010 1:48PM

    Amazing! You look fantastic, and have a beautiful family!!!

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AMBER281 12/10/2010 10:57AM

    WOW!! That is amazing! Keep up the great work.
You have a beautiful family!

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HSMOM2FOUR 12/10/2010 7:56AM

    Looks like your kids have gotten older & bigger... while you have gotten younger and smaller!! You look GREAT!!! Keep up the great work!

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SMALLERMELORIE 12/10/2010 7:41AM

    I notice the weight loss, but I really notice how much younger that you look in 2010. Great job.

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MOMFAN 12/10/2010 2:18AM

    You look great. Would love to get you and hubby in some bright solid colors for next year.

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MESEATURTLE 12/10/2010 12:18AM

    Looking great!!!!

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NELLIEC 12/9/2010 10:57PM

    That is great to see such a difference in your face! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PEPPERLEAH 12/9/2010 10:49PM

    You are so inspiring! Congratulations!

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GOGOMAMA 12/9/2010 9:38PM

    Nice family photo!!! You look fabulous and I love your cute new haircut!!! emoticon

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JUSDUCKY 12/9/2010 9:30PM

    emoticon

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PURPLELVR7 12/9/2010 9:07PM

    You are doing & look great

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 12/9/2010 7:51PM

    Look at the fine bone definition in your face!! How wonderful to SEE the positive changes some place other than numbers on the scale. Next year you'll FEEL as beautiful as we all know you are/inside and out. Joy to your world.

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SEWINGMAMACDS 12/9/2010 7:04PM

    Love the comparison - you are doing fantastic!

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YATMAMA 12/9/2010 6:46PM

    Amazing!!

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KSGROTHE 12/9/2010 6:01PM

    Great pictures! You look great!

Is that your husband's Christmas shirt that he's wearing? It looks like the same one in both pics!

Keep up the good work!

- Karen

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/9/2010 5:56PM

    you look so much younger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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STARLIGHT615 12/9/2010 5:45PM

    WOW what a difference!! You look GREAT!!!

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ROBYNROSE26 12/9/2010 5:43PM

    Way to Go! You look great!

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MRS_4EVER_AFTER 12/9/2010 5:15PM

  Nice Job!!!

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WOLFKITTY 12/9/2010 4:47PM

    Congrats!
Jocelyn

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P0KERS0PH 12/9/2010 4:35PM

    You look radiant and younger! Amazing!

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TAFFIN2000 12/9/2010 4:27PM

    Big difference! Congrats!
Adorable kids!

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/9/2010 4:24PM

    Great job--and wonderful pictures, congratulations!

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MPALMER15 12/9/2010 4:15PM

    emoticon
You can definitely see the difference! Keep it up!

Comment edited on: 12/9/2010 4:15:53 PM

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SLFRISBEY 12/9/2010 4:10PM

    AWESOME!!! Keep it up! You've come so far in just one year... and you're a RUNNER too!

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YAMPYPIE 12/9/2010 4:03PM

    Great job. You definitely look as though you're glowing. :)

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APMAC_D 12/9/2010 3:58PM

    This is great- way to go!

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DONNYBELLE 12/9/2010 3:54PM

    you look fantabulous---and it actually looks like you're 5 years younger in the second pic!!! Great job on all your hard work and congrats on your success!!!!!

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XTIGERLILYX 12/9/2010 3:53PM

    Crazy how much younger you look in 2010!

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4ME_4LIFE 12/9/2010 3:50PM

    That's awesome! So inspiring!

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OFFDREA 12/9/2010 3:49PM

    I can definitely see the difference! You look fabulous!

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GAMOMMY3 12/9/2010 3:46PM

    Oh yeah! Big difference! emoticon

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ROEANDGO 12/9/2010 3:37PM

    Wonderful! I love this!

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FREES1 12/9/2010 3:37PM

    what a difference a year makes!!! congrats!


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JESSIELOVE78 12/9/2010 3:30PM

    you are doing so great!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are such inspiration to us all!!


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KARVY09 12/9/2010 3:27PM

    Marvelous!!!!

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Thing #4: I Have Joy

Thursday, December 09, 2010



This morning as I was getting ready for work I started to dance in our bathroom, even without my clothes on. This is something I do often - dance out of nowhere (although I usually am clothed, lol).




I realized that the fourth thing I love about myself is that I have JOY. More so now that I've shed almost half of myself, but even before that. I have always been a pretty happy person. Yes, I can get down and depressed, I think we all can. But there's a thread of joy in everything that I do. Our breakfasts around the kitchen table I especially cherish, a moment with my family before I go off to work. We typically have music blasting, and all of us just get down. Even the baby. We dance, we sing, we are silly. We have JOY.

And I can't think of any other way I'd like to be.




Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead!"

- I Peter 1:6



I came that you may have and enjoy life and have it in abundance,
until it overflows.
- John 10:10

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUNADRAGON 12/25/2010 4:15PM

    I love this! Thank you! May Joy fill your heart - it has no calories!

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KITHKINCAID 12/16/2010 3:36PM

    I love this! I love that you celebrate every morning with your family. When I have children, I'm going to insist on dancing at the breakfast table for sure!

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 12/13/2010 12:47AM

    Thats great!

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SMALLERMELORIE 12/10/2010 7:39AM

    Having joy and being a happy person is something that you should be proud of.

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MOMFAN 12/10/2010 2:21AM

    emoticon

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KSGROTHE 12/9/2010 6:00PM

    That is emoticon I love this blog!

Keep dancing and being joyous!

- Karen

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 12/9/2010 1:47PM

    I would have loved to enjoyed you as a co-worker. Joy is such a wonderful feeling that everyone gets to benefit from.

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AMBER281 12/9/2010 1:03PM

    I love this!
I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who randomly dances around their home!

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KROLES55 12/9/2010 12:50PM

    Great post for the joy of the Lord is our strength.

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ROEANDGO 12/9/2010 11:40AM

    I love this! Everyone should dance everyday....even naked!

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WOLFKITTY 12/9/2010 11:25AM

    Very cool! :)
Jocelyn

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TABIKATZZ 12/9/2010 11:16AM

    Awesome quality! I dance all around my house too! And I sing! I make up silly songs about the cats etc. My son just shakes his head! (he is 17)

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FREES1 12/9/2010 11:16AM

    what a beautiful blog!!! the joy just comes off the screen - thanks for this wonderful gift!

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SGTSUNNY 12/9/2010 11:15AM

    Joy is so wonderful and you are passing this down to your children! You are a wonderful mom as well

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MSSUNBUG 12/9/2010 11:08AM

    What a happy, positive blog. I too am grateful for my joy, that even when it's not abundant, evident, or even present, I can trust in my ability to experience it.

It's a great thing to love about yourself!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/9/2010 11:06AM

    Oh my goodness! I just LOVE the pictures in this blog!! They made me happy!! Thanks for sharing your joy!!!

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Thing #3: My Short Hair

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I'm posting my third thing today since I have a few minutes to spare.

My first two "loves" were personality traits, or things about myself that I love. Now I'm going to head into uncharted territory - something about my appearance that I love - wha, wha?

You heard me :)

My third thing that I love about myself is my hair!

I have always loved short hair. Even when I was little I did. At one time in High School I did grow it out long, had a perm, you know the deal if you're a child of the 90's :) - Can you say Banana Clip anyone?

But without a perm in my hair, my hair is so thick that it doesn't really DO anything unless it's cut in short, layered, razor-cut locks.

Now when I began to lose weight I also started growing out my hair. I wanted to be like one of the many success stories I've seen on Spark, many of the before and after pictures where the person who looked frumpy before (and many just so happened to have short hair), and then in their after picture they had gorgeous, long strands of hair. It was a complete transformation. I wanted that, too.

But the problem was, my hair wouldn't cooperate. It grew only so long, then the ends grew brittle and broke and I felt like I had a mop of dead hair on my head. I didn't like it, but kept up with it, adding conditioners to the ends, hoping it would get better. But it never did.

And I missed my old, short hair. I would look at others with cute, short hair and get hair envy.

I could still be cute, sassy and fierce with short hair. I decided to chop it off!

And I LOVE it. I'm not looking back. No more guessing about how fabulous I could look with long hair. Short hair is for me, baby!! And I LOVE it.

Here's a comparison picture of me at my near high weight of 278 (pictures of me at 298 are hard to find) and today.

I think I look cute in both. I still love me no matter what.

But I can't help but smile at how you can see my jawline now, and my double chin that has taken a vacation from my neck!



This is me!!! And I'm ok with that!!! I love it!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARLIGHT615 12/9/2010 5:45PM

    Love the picture of you!! You look amazing with short hair!

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GOJULSGO 12/9/2010 2:42PM

  Very cute cut!!!!

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CARILOUIE 12/9/2010 5:34AM

    OMG this blog is too funny... I feel the SAME WAY about my hair. Like, EXACTLY the same way. Right now I'm trying to grow it out to see what it will look like... it's been short for so long that I'm kind of interested to see what kind of long hair I'll have. The big thing that's keeping me from chopping it is the tons of clips I've been buying to help me grow it out. Ha!

I am loving your short hair!

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 12/8/2010 11:45PM

    I like your new hair cut too!!!!!!!!

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MOMFAN 12/8/2010 10:35PM

    Actually I told my hairdresser that she is going to give me a short hair cut when I reach goal. She is refusing! Probably won't keep it that way, but I am going to do it! You look amazing!

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NEVERMIND2010 12/8/2010 9:23PM

    Baby, your hair is great! You are right to love it short.

I am the opposite. Although I had extremely short hair for years (like, shaved up the back of my neck - I was in the Army), I really don't feel like "me" anymore when it's short. I tried it, but it felt weird. So I keep it long. And I love it.

Keep up the great work!

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YATMAMA 12/8/2010 5:27PM

    Oh, my little beauty. I am so proud of you!!

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QUEENJEANINE11 12/8/2010 4:25PM

    Super cute hair cut! i always wonder what short hair would look like on me but i never that brave. Suits you very well

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THENEWDARLENE 12/8/2010 3:20PM

    I love the short hair cut! You look great!

emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 12/8/2010 3:09PM

    This is SO cute - I absolutely love it. I have hair envy now!

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SMALLERMELORIE 12/8/2010 2:41PM

    Cute, sassy and fierce with short hair it is. Your right, you are a woman in charge.

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/8/2010 2:40PM

    The short style definitely suits you, love it!

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KSGROTHE 12/8/2010 2:30PM

    I think the short hair style suits you quite well!

- Karen

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FREES1 12/8/2010 2:01PM

    i love your cut - you look wonderful!!! and think of all the weight you are saving by not having long hair! its much easier for an active, healthy lifestyle

you rock!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/8/2010 1:47PM

    I think you look cute with both cuts too...but I have to say...I LOVE the new style!! I'm seriously jealous! I want to rock a short haircut! HEHEHEH

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Thing #2: I Have Faith

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The second thing I love about myself is that I have faith.

I cherish this trait about myself even more so because I didn't always have faith, I wasn't always this way, so I know the difference between having faith and not having faith. Like Oscar Wilde said, “Skepticism is the beginning of Faith.” I believe that because it was my unbelief that drew me to read the word of God and to become a believer.

But faith isn't set aside just for those who believe in God. The definition of FAITH in the Merriam Webster dictionary only lists faith as the "belief and trust in and loyalty to God" in the religious sense as one of the definitions of faith. There are others:

1. Allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
2. Fidelity to one's promises
3. Sincerity of intentions
4. Complete trust

Faith is also being loyal, keeping promises and being sincere in our intentions. I believe I possess all of these traits as well, but again, I didn't used to.

For me faith in God goes hand in hand with being loyal, sincere, etc. But that's what works for me. For other people you may have faith in something working out, like a marriage or a weight loss plan. Perhaps you have faith in obtaining a job, or in your family getting along.

Faith is one of those words that is used often but hard to pin down exactly WHAT it is. HOW do you get it? It's a a wonderful present to unwrap, a mystery to unravel.

I think it's also something that can mean something else to various people depending on who you ask. That is the wonderful thing about it. Faith is something that is attainable for everyone, it is just patiently waiting for you to come and pluck it and call it your own.

With faith, the IMPOSSIBLE is POSSIBLE. All things are possible, and life is worth waking up to each morning through the gift of faith. I feel that faith is complete trust, without question, that a thing is going to work out right. And faith is also what helps us pick up the pieces if our dreams don't turn out exactly as planned.

Faith is what drives me, and what helps me to not give up. I can achieve my dreams, I have faith that I can and I will take that unknown step into the darkness and know that it will all turn out right.

And perhaps I will even be taught to FLY.



“You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.”

~ Mary Manin Morrissey



“When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly”

~ Patrick Overton

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEDDYBEARGIRL 12/8/2010 11:43PM

    emoticon

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MOMFAN 12/8/2010 10:37PM

    emoticon

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HAPPYWRITER7 12/8/2010 9:01PM

    Awesome, awesome Blog!

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KSGROTHE 12/8/2010 2:28PM

    emoticon blog! I love how you described faith beyond just the religious sense! It often seems like today there is so much cynicism that faith is more rare.

Keep up the good work! You're inspiring all of us!

- Karen

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SLFRISBEY 12/8/2010 2:25PM

    Faith is a tough thing to maintain. I think as a kid it was easier because I wasn't so jaded and "logical". I have noticed as I get older it is becomming more and more diffaculy to maintain complete faith but after reading this, maybe it isn't so hard. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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SEWINGMAMACDS 12/8/2010 2:14PM

    Loved your blog! Thanks for sharing.

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 12/8/2010 1:03PM

    Beautiful blog Lotusflower. Faith is so comforting. Knowing that you are in a time and place for a reason, that there is nothing that you cannot handle or work through, that you are not alone, and my favorite Joshua 1:9. Just knowing I am not alone is incredibly strengthening. Have a glorious day LF.

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KROLES55 12/8/2010 1:01PM

    Having Faith is a blessed assurance. "Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek him."

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GOGOMAMA 12/8/2010 12:53PM

    Love your writing! Very inspiring and thought provoking! Thank you for sharing! Any kind of faith must be worked at and can be improved and made stronger. SP has helped me gain faith in myself to accomplish dreams, and faith in others to strive for what they really want! Blessings to you and your family this holiday season! emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/8/2010 12:17PM

    Wonderfully expressed! Hebrews defines faith as 'the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' One of my favorite quotes about faith is this: 'Faith is the bird who FEELS the light and sings while the dawn is still dark.' It's a marvelous gift to have faith!

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ANN777 12/8/2010 12:07PM

    Beautiful blog post.

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FREES1 12/8/2010 11:55AM

    I love the Overton quote
To me faith is the belief that everything happens for a reason and that I will be okay.. things may be dark at a particular time but someday the light will come...
great post -

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TRIGFROST 12/8/2010 11:51AM

    As christian you are Right...We are to have faith in God, Ourselfs and Others.... emoticon

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TABIKATZZ 12/8/2010 11:47AM

    Oh I love this!!! I have also always been proud of my faith. I saw my granmother's and mother's faith and it inspired me. I ALWAYS know things will work out. I know that no matter how bad it is, it will be okay in the end. One of my favorite quotes is "Everything is okay in the end. If it isn't okay then it isn't the end." ~unknown. Faith has gotten me through some pretty awful personal times. And it gets me through every day in this weight loss journey. I have faith in myself! and I have faith in you my friend!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/8/2010 11:45AM

    A lot of people don't have faith in much of anything. THis is a great thing to be proud of!

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Thing #1: I'm a Giver

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

As part of our WIN challenge this week we have to identify four things about ourselves that we love. I am a big believer in positive affirmations, so I am struggling with the fact that I find this challenge difficult. I think it's because for me I don't like to come across as boasting, or bragging about my traits. It's one thing to repeat an affirmation to one's self, but it's another to blog about it and say "look at how great I am!"

But...why? Why am I feeling this way? There's nothing wrong with being fulfilled with certain things about yourself. There are certainly enough things that we aren't happy about in our lives. Why not reveal those things that we are happy with?

Another part of this challenge is to let those in our lives who mean something to us just how much they mean. Now this is easier for me. This, I like doing and it's a good reminder to tell those we love more often and to let them know that they are making a difference in our lives. Now why can't I do that for myself, too? I think it has to do with loving ourselves and also with confidence, both things are areas in my life I need to improve on. So here goes. Enough introspection about this.

My first trait that I love about myself is that I am a GIVER. I always have been, and I believe this is my natural tendency. I won't go into too many details here, because I don't believe in "giving and telling", but when I got my first job the first thing I wanted to do was to give some of that away. As a high school student I began to sponsor an impoverished child that lived in the Philippines. While others were buying things only for themselves, I wanted to see what I could do for others. There is something so gratifying in that, in helping someone if you have the means. Now I'm not trying to say I didn't buy myself things that I didn't need, like lipstick, trendy clothes and books. I did. But there's always room to give.

Now we are a single-income family and we don't have much. But what we do have, I share. I give as much as I can and thank God that I am blessed enough to be able to give something away.

My mom still asks all of her four daughters for Christmas wish lists. And she tries to buy everything on it. She's a giver, too. But when I try to tell her this makes me uncomfortable she understands, but tells me that for her to give to me fills her heart with love. I've tried putting others on my list instead of myself. One year I wanted her to buy a goat for a town. Another year I wanted donations sent directly to the poor. But those things wouldn't fulfill her. I needed to understand that. By not giving her a list at all (which I've done in past years unsuccessfully), I am depriving her of her joy. There are all different types of givers. I bet you are a giver, too.

I'm teaching my daughters how to give now, too. And that sometimes to give means to give something away that you may want. Something that you may cherish and love. I overheard my 4 yr. old daughter with my mom the other day, she walked up to her and handed her a cherished candy cane pen that my husband had given her. She loved that pen! But I overheard her tell my mom "I want to give this to you. I love it, but I want you to have it. Mama taught me that."

I was overwhelmed with pride and also joy that my daughter would give so selflessly. Now my mom didn't take the pen, she tried to explain that it's good to keep things for yourself, too. Which it is. But it is the thought that counts, as they say, and my daughter had a giving heart that day, she was in the Christmas spirit.

I struggle with sometimes buying things for myself that I don't need. When I find myself going there, I ask myself, could someone else use this? If it's something I've already purchased I will try to give it away, unopened, and make someone's day.

I need that reminder that life is not just about ME. There are so many other people in the world, people that could use a hand. Why shouldn't it be mine?



There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.

Proverbs 11:24-25

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETFIT2LIVE 12/8/2010 12:13PM

    I struggled with this challenge, too, for much the same reasons. Learning how to let other people to give to you blesses them, and teaches our children how to give AND receive. Well done teaching your daughter by your life how to do both!

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JUSDUCKY 12/8/2010 8:19AM

    I read a story recently about how when it comes to gifts that givers get a lot more satisfaction out of the act of giving than receivers do of receiving. Makes sense. If you give it makes your heart grow. Especially when you see the reaction of the receiver!
Also, I read givers sometimes give what THEY think the receiver wants rather than what the receiver really wants. Makes sense, even though it's kind of ironic.

How cute your daughter gave away her candy cane pen. That's really sweet!

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MAMAKITTY10 12/8/2010 12:48AM

  emoticon Your teaching your daughter some pretty hard things in this me me me world.

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 12/7/2010 8:29PM

    emoticon

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MOMFAN 12/7/2010 6:09PM

    emoticon

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YATMAMA 12/7/2010 5:42PM

    Such a wonderful and insightful blog. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

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AMBER281 12/7/2010 4:08PM

    What a wonderful trait and so neat to hear how your daughter has embraced being a giver as well!

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TABIKATZZ 12/7/2010 3:27PM

    ok I seriously have the best accountability partner EVER! he he he how lucky am I?? You are a wonderful giving person and I am blessed to know you

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KSGROTHE 12/7/2010 3:10PM

    Great blog! It sounds like you've taught your daughter well!

Keep up the great work!

- Karen

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UNICORN212 12/7/2010 2:03PM

    You are a blessing to those around you.

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FREES1 12/7/2010 12:56PM

    what a gift you are - as well as a giver! Its hard sometimes to balance what we need vs what we want vs what we want others to have. your daughter's generosity is something your should love about yourself - you taught her well, as your mother did you!
enjoy the holiday season - be good to yourself as you are to others!

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TEMPEST272002 12/7/2010 12:52PM

    First off, I have to say that I love your new profile pic (1st time I've seen it). You look sassy and friendly and beautiful!

I think it's important to recognize our strengths as well as our weaknesses, but it's not easy to share those publicly. Far easier to say "this is where I'm weak" than "this is where I'm strong". Good for you for pushing through those feelings of uncomfortableness.

I love your generous spirit and it's so beautiful that your children are learning to be generous from your example. You are such a warm, loving person and it shines out of you!

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JESSIELOVE78 12/7/2010 12:47PM

    Awesome blog. Thank you for your awesomeness and sharing with us. emoticon

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/7/2010 12:22PM

    I just love you Kathy! You are an AMAZING woman!!!!!!!!!!!

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