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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm told that the mind works in, I made myself some visuals that I can hang up to keep me reminded of my goals, etc. It's fun and it helps. I'm feeling a little tired but probably because I need some SLEEP. I see that there's a little box you can check for tracking your sleep and I know that it's really important that I start doing it... soon! I can't continue to get 4 hours sleep...or sleep for 2 hours..wake up and be up for 5 hours...fall asleep in a chair and then get up to start my day.

I have developed a bad habit of staying up late because after taking care of Haley all day...well, I had no time to myself...except after she was asleep. It's like I lived for "bedtime"!

Now that she's in all day Kindergarten, I do have more "me time"...but because I've had her for over 3 years...there's an awful lot of catching up to do and doesn't seem to be time enough to do it. That's one of the many reasons BALANCE is so important and I'm going to find mine!.

Just since I put her to bed...she's been up twice.

She has been diagnosed with ADHD, RAD, PTSD and others. It's been hard...but I press on.

I look back and see how far we've come and am amazed at where we are!

It's wild how all of the plans you've made for your life can just simply disappear or change over night.... "POOF"! If I have to raise her,...I have to be healthy!

So... back to my visuals. I made them and will make more. I think I'll make one for sleep and set myself a bedtime. I know it'll be hard at first..but eventually I'll develop proper sleep habits and I'm sure it'll make a difference in my overall health. After all, how long can I continue to ride and function on fumes..??? I can't. How long can I fall asleep with a laptop on my lap and wake up and then be mad at myself because I fell asleep and feel ripped off because I didn't get my break? It's crazy to be angry at yourself for something like that...after's obvious that I'm tired..or I wouldn't be falling asleep, right? Weird.

Say some prayers for me. I will conquer this thing. zzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLANN27 1/22/2010 10:41PM

    Sleeping is so important. I hope you're able to get more now.

I am planning to make my first collage as soon as I have a few minutes. I'm looking forward to it. I think having a visual around really helps.

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JAKEANDNELLIE 1/21/2010 12:12AM

    I've been having trouble sleeping, too. Luckily, I can sleep as late as I want in the morning (and usually do).
I've been working on visuals also. One section is about sleeping and I've been clipping pictures for it!
I bought a CD of "sleep music" and it is actually helping. I focus on the notes and it really relaxes me.

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KELLYHARTLINE 1/19/2010 5:30PM

    On a recent dr's appointment my dr told me....With out proper rest and sleep there will be NO weightloss!! Your body won't do what it needs to do without proper rest.

When you get YOUR time, you need to do things for you and first off that should be rest and sleep!!!! You can't keep going on like you are gonna crash....and Haley needs you!! You can check up on all of us Sparkers when Haley is at school!!!

I am praying that you find a happy medium and some zzzzz's.

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BORROWEDANGEL1 1/19/2010 1:55PM

    Sometimes things just don't want to go the way you plan them, but if you set a small goal and try to keep it for just a few days, it can begin to become a habit..

I too was a night owl, but since I've been trying to get this weight down I've set myself a personal goal to get to bed by no later than midnight. I started for just 3 nights a week. Boy it was hard to turn things off and shut down, but now 2 months later and it's like clockwork.. My engine shuts down, my eyes get heavy, and I hit the sheets. It is amazing how fast I got in the habit.. Oh sure, I still have times when I don't WANT to go to bed, but my body screams the next day if I don't.

Maybe you can try and get into a pattern like I did. One night at a time. One hour earlier to bed if all else fails..

Don't beat yourself up, just keep trying, you can do it and you will make it work..


Pat emoticon

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    Hope you are getting some emoticon soon. I went through a period of time when I couldn't sleep for more than 2 hours. Stress caused me to do this. I was miserable without enough sleep do I feel your pain!

Ann emoticon

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DEBRA_T 1/19/2010 7:15AM

    I've noticed that you are on this board in the middle of the night and I wondered when you sleep. I think sleep becomes a little dicier in the middle age because, as we age and our ovaries fail, our brain does funny things, one of which is to wake us up in the middle of the night as if we have a baby to attend to which puts us on full alert but (usually) with no baby in the house. There is a ton of content out on the web on creating better sleep (which I'm sure you've seen) which, as you rightly say, involves creating a ritual around bedtime. Sleep is an important element in health in general, but also will help you lose weight. Now, there's an incentive!!!

You are doing an incredible thing by offering love, support and a chance to Haley. Give some of that to yourself.

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    God has created our minds to be very complex. For some reason, visualization does actually work. I tried it last year and was doing very well with weight loss. Unfortunately, I quit and lost my way.

I'm with you on the sleep. I always feel so run down and it's because I refuse to turn off the TV and get to bed earlier. After a full day of work, it feels really good to sit down a bit and veg out!

I'll be praying for you that you find your rest.

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You determine YOUR success..

Monday, January 18, 2010

You determine your success by the things you are willing to do.

You may have to give up something...make sacrifices.
You may have to push yourself.
You may have to take inventory.
You may have to start something new.
You may have to stop something that's not working.
You may have to re-group and do some research.
You may have to try something you normally wouldn't have.
You may have to encourage yourself.
You may have to search for something.
You may have to forgive yourself.
You may have to forgive others.
You may have to fight for what you want.
You may have to find balance.
You may have to do the thing that you don't want to.
You may have to push yourself.
You may have to talk yourself into something.
You may have to get advice or help.
You may have to get up after falling down.
You may have to take a step.
You may have to run.
You may have to sweat.
You may have to take time and make time.
You may have to plan and prepare.
You may have to push past yourself.
You may have to pray.
You may have to challenge yourself.
You may have to change your thinking.
You may have to give up something.
You may have to hop over something or somebody.
You may have to lift yourself up.

You may have to do alot of things to achieve your goals; determine your success.

It's YOUR life.

Remember this: YOU determine YOUR success by the things YOU do!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLYHARTLINE 1/19/2010 5:19PM

    Thanks for this Michelle...I am going to print this and put it on my fridge!!!

I WILL succeed because I CHOOSE TO!!!

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WINGSOFCHANGE 1/19/2010 12:41PM

    You hit the nail on the head - great blog! Thanks for sharing.

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    So true. It does take action on our part. We can't just sit on our backsides and pray about it. We have to put feet to our prayers!

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DEBRA_T 1/18/2010 10:28AM

    So true and good to remember -- we have a lot more control than we think we do over what happens to us. And, thanks for the comment on my blog too! I look forward to our daily interaction; it really helps keep the spark alive. Rock on!

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DANAINTN 1/18/2010 9:49AM

    Wow! Thank you so much for posting this. I really needed to see it today! Thanks!!

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    Awesome blog!

Ann emoticon

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POPPYPENN 1/18/2010 9:11AM

    Wow ! I need to print this out and keep it for reference. Thank you for the encouragement.

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    Great perspective! :)

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BLUEANGELLK 1/18/2010 7:01AM

    Thanks. I needed to hear this in a lot of areas of my life this morning! Thanks again for the encouragement!

Good luck on your journey

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The Masks We Wear.....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."
-Oscar Wilde

Masks are made and worn to hide..conceal..disguise.
We all have many masks that we pull out of our "dress up" box when we want to play the game.

There is a saying attributed to Abraham Lincoln - "You may fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

We use masks to protect ourselves from judgment and at other times to gain position or to feel safe.

In dealing with the issue of weight, we must understand that weight can be a mask for feelings of insecurity and a multitude of other things that have happened to us in our lives. If we want total wholeness, we must allow someone to see the "real us"... we must allow the mask to come off....not just "slip down" a little bit...but come off.

Total exposure is where REAL healing occurs.

I've heard that the mask "conceals the human and reveals the divine" and that it is the paradoxical nature of the mask that allows it to "reveal even as it conceals". ..something to ponder...

I found an interesting poem that I'd like to share with you. The author is unknown but it has been published in a number of books over the years.


Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks-
masks that I'm afraid to take off
and none of them are me.
Pretending is an art that's second nature with me
But don't be fooled, for God's sake, don't be fooled.

I give you the impression that I'm secure
That all is sunny and unruffled with me
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name
and coolness my game,
that the water's calm
and I'm in command,
and that I need no one.
But don't believe me. Please!

My surface may be smooth but my surface is my mask,
My ever-varying and ever-concealing mask.
Beneath lies no smugness, no complacence.
Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear, in aloneness.
But I hide this.
I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weaknesses
and fear exposing them.
That's why I frantically create my masks to hide behind.
They're nonchalant, sophisticated facades to help me pretend,
To shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
my only salvation,
and I know it.

That is, if it's followed by acceptance,
and if it's followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself
from my own self-built prison walls.

I dislike hiding, honestly
I dislike the superficial game I'm playing,
the superficial phony game.
I'd really like to be genuine and me.
But I need your help, your hand to hold
Even though my masks would tell you otherwise
That glance from you is the only thing that assures me
of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.

But I don't tell you this.
I don't dare.
I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me, that you'll laugh
and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing, that I'm just no good
and you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game
With a facade of assurance without
And a trembling child within.
So begins the parade of masks,
The glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that's nothing
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying
Please listen carefully and try to hear
what I'm not saying
Hear what I'd like to say
but what I can not say.

It will not be easy for you,
long felt inadequacies make my defenses strong.
The nearer you approach me
the blinder I may strike back.
Despite what books say of men, I am irrational;
I fight against the very thing that I cry out for.
you wonder who I am
you shouldn't
for I am everyman
and everywoman
who wears a mask.
Don't be fooled by me.
At least not by the face I wear.

-Author Unknown

So what's next? What's next is to remember this:

Luke 12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.

What's next is to find opportunities to take down the be open to the total exposure needed for total healing to occur...and it has nothing to do with "weight".

God know what you look like...naked.....SMILE


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GONE2THEDOGS 1/21/2010 7:09AM

    Wow...that certainly hit home... And you're right it's not just do do with "weight"
Thanks for sharing - more food for thought I'll have to chew on... (calorie free though, righ?)

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DIFROMWYOMING 1/17/2010 8:55PM

    I've been reading about symbolic masks in my Women's Studies class all day long, and then I get here and read your blog! They are definitely the way we keep others from seeing who we really are, and a way to prevent from anyone loving us for who we are. Insightful post, thanks!

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DEBRA_T 1/17/2010 10:19AM

    And out of all this mask wearing is created the false self -- the person who no longer even knows what he or she thinks, feels or wants because so much time has been spent wearing a mask. Gently, gently we risk being seen a little bit more clearly by ourselves and by others knowing that God has seen us fully all along and loved us completely.

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RICJIL94 1/17/2010 9:38AM

    WOW!!! That is exactly how I feel & I'm sure a great many others feel the same way! Thank you sooo much for sharing your thoughts & that awesome poem!!


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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Well, my first and maybe will conquer this thing... ahhhrrrggghhhh.

Okay..okay..I'm okay now. Well no, it's not it makes me mad..just the same.

My first and last attempt at making an angel food cake...well..let's just say the angel burned her wings and won't be flying anytime too soon.. poor baby.

I thought I would try to master making my own so I didn't have to pay the high prices at the grocery store..but I think it will cost more to fumigate the house..haaaaaaaaaaa... silly me!

A tube pan...that was the problem I'm sure. I should've used a tube pan. I don't own one.

My grandmother made these angel food cakes like nobody's
Well, I don't have a green thumb either... even my artificial plants die...sorry Gramma.

It HAS to be the know that darned thing seems to burn everything it's running hot or something. Yeah, yeah...that's it..the stove! haaaaaaaaaaa

Oh well, I scraped the blackened coating off and just like the little white sponge that it is...the whole thing has that "burned" taste. Hmmm...and I'm the girl who likes her steak WELL pink whatsoever!! I like burned...but not on my

So tonite... when I eat my desert...I will pretend that I am dining on the finest delicacy known to womanhood...hmmm....hmmm....trying to think of a name for what that thing is in there...smelling up my kitchen!!!

Call the Fire Department or something!!! This is ridiculous...even my little birdie friends will turn their noses up at these crumbs and be pecking at my window...wanting their money back!!! :)

Maybe I'll call it.... Mickey's Flambake or...Hell's Angel's cake...or.. hmmm..

I'll think on it tomorrow... after all... tomorrow IS another day!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRA_T 1/17/2010 7:35AM

    Someone left the cake out in the rain ... and even the birds didn't want it. Argh! Hope the future brings you a tube pan and better baking success. It's not the end of the world when a dessert burns, but I'd rather it was the green beans, ya know?

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DIFROMWYOMING 1/16/2010 10:35PM

    Hope you just enjoyed the toppings (strawberries, maybe?) You can try again. Glad you kept your sense of humor about you.

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    emoticon I guess it is can't have your cake and eat it too! Sorry about your botched attempt. I never have made an angel food cake before. I think the pan is what did you in....gotta have the right pan. emoticon

Ann emoticon

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KOBERT 1/16/2010 5:57PM

    Humor is such a great way to deal with adversity! Thanks for the laugh. Glad it was just the cake, and that you intervened before the kitchen burned down!

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KELLYHARTLINE 1/16/2010 5:33PM

    Hahahaha....sounds like you had an adventurous day!!! I bought the angel food cake from Kroger and it was a yummmmo snack!!! I have a few that I will pass along as soon as I get my life right side up!!! LOL!! Just put some coolwhip on it girl!!!!!

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Self Worth....

Friday, January 15, 2010

I read a blog written by my spark pal, NEWDEBDAWNING, who is not only a terrific writer but whose writings continue to to prod, push, pull... or cause me to think.. Thank you Deb! The blog was about determining self-worth.

If your self worth is determined by others, the world..or by're in for a disappointingly rocky ride! Let your self-worth be determined by the One who created you; God. A healthy self-worth is the result of fully understanding who we are and how precious we are in God's eyes.

Let me expound... (you knew I was going to) :) LOL

If you measure your value...your self-worth by worldly means or'll never measure up,..NEVER... and you'll be in constant pursuit of something that you can never achieve... because it's an illusion...(the world's valuation system..if you can call it that) smoke and mirrors...false...counterfeit.

I have to remember that although I'm in this world I'm not OF this world. I don't have to measure a thing because it's already been measured for me in or by what Jesus did on the cross. It's been measured by precious blood and by precious love.

My value is determined by the One who created me..the One who says I'm worthy and proved it by sending His only begotten I could live forever.

One of the problems with self help and self analyzation...(though very enlightening at times and extremely helpful at others) that it can cut God out of the picture...or obscure our view of Him and His presence. It can cause us to continue to look at ourselves and not Him. That's what our enemy wants...he's always seeking to get us to look his way and take our focus off God. Once we take our focus off God, we can be easily led astray because the paths of the past aren't clear, haven't been made new..are full of rocks and crevices and potholes....especially if it's emotional. It's kind of like an old familiar song from high hear it..and you're right back there.

Although it IS very important for us to evaluate the "whys" and "wherefores" regarding HOW we got to where we are...(and I myself, do an awful lot of just that)...we must understand that we are new creations in Christ Jesus and put more work into discovering just exactly what that means.

What does that mean? Well, for me, it means putting away thoughts of who I think I am or who I know I am based on what I've thought or done in the past. That's the hard part. I've always been almost proud of the road I've traveled and all of the good and bad experiences, learning, etc., that I've felt have all molded, shaped and contributed to making me who I am today..making me, ME. But, in order to serve Him...I must even let that go..release it and grab hold of who He says I am... NEW.

It means recognizing that you must have a new starting point. You must start over and go forward. I am a firm believer that there are times we must dig into our past to be able to take the steps necessary to move forward...but I realize that I must not stay there too long...I must not camp there.

How hard it is to really let US go...let the "old us" die. Help me's really hard!

A new beginning...a fresh start. Make me new, Lord...brand new!

So, when we're talking about value..we must follow the path of light and gain a greater understanding of what value means to Him and what it should mean to us...what He'd like us to understand about it.

It says in Luke 12:7a But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Wow!

I love my family more than words can say and with my whole heart..but I've never taken the time to "number their hairs" Now that's love! :) Jesus was using that example to get the people to understand how precious they were to God. He often used examples to help others understand. He broke it down for them.

He also said that not one little bird falls to the ground without the Father knowing it..and then he said, "Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows". Luke 12:7b..(same verse as above)

That's where I start....believing what Jesus said.

Forget my past, my credentials, my intelligence, my failures, successes, accolades, laurels....forget everything..the good, the bad, the ugly...and start new. A blank unwritten page..ready to be written on. A new life. A life that starts now...right this minute..right this second. NOW!

A new heart.

Challenge? Absolutely!
Hard? Without question!
Achievable? Oh yeahhh!
Necessary? Vital!

The potter has already determined what the clay will be fashioned into and used for.

1Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Today I will walk in the "Newness of Life".
Today I will feel the presence of the One who created me.
Today my heart will sing with the thankfulness of one who knows how much she is precious she is to Him and to others.

Today, I will embrace my "Newness".

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BORROWEDANGEL1 1/15/2010 12:25PM

    Thank you for sharing this blog with the rest of us at Sparks. I was feeling a bit down, and now I feel much better after reading this.

I'm always humbled when I think how much God loves me, so it's with tears in my eyes that I can say how much I needed to read words of encouragement, and to know that He will never leave us nor forsakes us.. Hebrews 13:5 .... "I will NEVER LEAVE THEE, nor FORSAKE THEE."

God Bless -

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MOMMASPORT 1/15/2010 12:21PM

    Mic that is a beautiful post. That really spoke to me.

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DEBRA_T 1/15/2010 12:12PM

    Thanks, MIchele, I'm blushing! emoticon

I like what someone said: until you know how much God loves you, you have no idea how to treat anyone else, including yourself. To focus on His love for us every day is to put yourself in a very secure place indeed.

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JAKOMOM 1/15/2010 11:20AM

    What a great post! Thank you for sharing and for helping me shed a few tears... so that I myself could hpefully see a little more clearly! Kinda like letting go and giving up... definitely scary.

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