Thursday, May 02, 2013
So I've been totally neglecting my Spark lately, and I've been paying for it.
My family and I just returned from a two-week trip to Disney World in Florida (the first time in our lives that any of us have ever been).
And I am renewing my Spark! I have reset all my stats (start weight, goal weight, etc.) and am starting again.
SparkPeople was successful for me the first time--I just stepped away from it before I met my goal. So I'm restarting with a new resolve that this time I AM going to reach my goal and beyond!!
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Matthew 27:11-26 NLT:
"11 Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor asked him. Jesus replied, “You have said it.”
12 But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. 13 “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. 14 But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.
15 Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner to the crowd—anyone they wanted. 16 This year there was a notorious prisoner, a man named Barabbas.[d] 17 As the crowds gathered before Pilate’s house that morning, he asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 (He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.)
19 Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.”
20 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be put to death. 21 So the governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?” The crowd shouted back, “Barabbas!”
22 Pilate responded, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?” But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”
24 Pilate saw that he wasn’t getting anywhere and that a riot was developing. So he sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours!”
25 And all the people yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death—we and our children!”
26 So Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified."
Jesus was innocent of any crime, and yet when the people had the opportunity to save Him, they chose to save Barabbas instead, a notorious criminal. Jesus had done nothing wrong, and yet He was ordered to be tortured and killed.
It seems like such an injustice. Jesus suffered the ultimate cost; not just the cost of His life (as He DID rise again), but He was brutally tortured in the most painful way possible. That pain was real. He felt the full extent of everything He was going through.
As we read further in the Bible, we know that after Jesus died, He rose again, and claimed His rightful place at the right hand of God. His death may have seemed like a horrible injustice at the time, especially to those who were closest to Him and knew who He really was. But God was using His Son to fulfil his perfect plan of offering salvation to the people He created who have turned away from Him.
Sometimes in this life, we, too, suffer a "horrible injustice". We feel that we're being treated unfairly, possibly even being made to suffer the consequences of choices we didn't make on our own. Where's the justice? Where's the fairness? At times that we feel like this, we need to remember that God is not an unjust God; He is not unfair, and His ways are higher than our ways (see Isaiah 55:8). We need to not depend on our own understanding of situations (Proverbs 3:5), but remember that God loves us. We need to stop looking at ourselves--stop feeling sorry for ourselves-- and realize that the injustices that we face just may be fulfilling God's will in our lives. Or better yet, He may be using OUR injustices to fulfil His will in someone ELSE'S lives.
Jesus didn't choose to be crucified. He didn't want it. Before His death, He even prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that God wouldn't make Him go through with it (Matthew 26: 39, 42). We've prayed prayers like that: "Why me, God?" "Why do I have to go through this??" Yet Jesus also prayed for the Will of God to be fulfilled, even if it meant He had to go through this horrible torture.
We need to remember that in this earthly life, sometimes bad things happen. But we have a God who loves us more than we can ever imagine. We may not understand why things happen, but we do know that God will take any situation and work it out for our good, even if it's a painful process.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Well, it's been a long time since I've done anything on SparkPeople, from blogging to huddling, to nutrition tracking, to reading articles. I'm not sure why exactly, but I have been finding myself in a bit of a rut, finding it difficult to keep on track.
We're now into our 8th week of homeschooling, and, as with anything in life, we've had our ups and downs. My middle child has failed a few tests, my oldest is finding her work sometimes more challenging than she think she can handle, but overall it's been a pretty good experience. My kindergarten-aged son is doing really well with his reading and learning how to properly form the letters of the alphabet, as well as mastering basic addition.
There have been external struggles in regards to homeschooling as well, as we are still "connected" to the school to some extent. The principal has been graciously providing me with the kindergarten manual to save us some very large expenses. For this I am very grateful, but at the same time I do not like having to rely on the dependability of other people--especially a very busy lady--to provide me with materials I need. I find it frustrating to request "the next" set of materials, only to be made to wait, without answer, for a week or more.....however, I am trying to be patient, as, like I said, I am very grateful that she is even willing and trusting enough to allow me to borrow the school's material rather than having to purchase it on my own.
As for my weight loss journey, I seem to have taken a detour over the past month or so. The weekend of October 8 was our (Canada) Thanksgiving, and since then I have not been watching my food intake as carefully as I should be. Now we are entering the Christmas season (yes, I say "Christmas", not "holiday!") and I know that food temptation is only going to increase. So I have a choice to make; do I fight it and try to eat healthy and perhaps not enjoy all the splendors of this time of year, or do I just "own" the five pounds I've already gained back and try to maintain rather than lose, and restart my weight loss in the New Year??
I enjoy watching the numbers fall on my scale, but I have to admit, right now it's little motivation to keep me from sampling all the yummy treats that are available at this time of year. Combined with the added stress of homeschooling, and the dropping temperatures (I just want to bring on the comfort foods!), it's just so difficult. But, notice I say "difficult", not "impossible".
Friday, October 05, 2012
Well, we made it through our first week of homeschooling. Since we don't have our score keys yet, there's not a lot of actual school work the kids can do, so we filled up our week in other ways.
Monday--PA Day (if they were in still in school, they would have had a PA Day, so we observed it, too). The kids had a free day, while I planned out the week and created a weekly schedule to keep on the fridge. This not only helped me get organized, but also let them know what to expect each day.
Tuesday--we did what school work we could, which took up most of the morning. Tuesday afternoon we visited some friends who are also homeschooled.
Wednesday--we took a field trip to a local museum. Much educational value was in this, as they learned about the history of the county in which we live, as well as got to see how the pioneers lived.
Thursday--we did a Thanksgiving craft which took almost all morning, then met some friends at a large park for the afternoon.
Friday--We went on a "leaf hunt" in a small wooded area on our street. Each of the kids collected as many different leaves as they could. When we got home, they glued their leaves to a plain piece of paper, then we looked them up online to identify which tree they came from. In the afternoon, the kids went to Trampoline in place of "gym class".
It was a packed week, and the kids not only had a great time, but learned quite a bit and got a lot of exercise. I, too, exceeded my Fitness Goals for the week because of all the walking we did. And all of us have been sleeping very well every night.
I can get used to this Homeschooling thing.... of course, next week will be different, as I will (hopefully) get the score keys and we can start doing some actual work.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
I often wonder exactly how accurate the Nutritional Information labels are on packaged foods. I know they give the weight as well as the "number of..." a lot of times in their serving sizes, but what if you don't have a kitchen scale handy? For example, on a bag of potato chips, where it says a certain number of chips is equal to a certain number of calories, grams of fat, etc. But potato chips are often all different sizes, so how can you say that "so many" equal a certain amount? Is that so many "medium", "small" or "large" ones?
Also, on cereals such as frosted flakes? At the bottom of the package, there's always "frosting" (in other words, sugar) gathered at the bottom. So the last bowl of the package HAS to contain MUCH more calories than a bowl take from when the package is first opened.
Ok, I know what you are thinking; why am I concerned about these unhealthy snacks and cereals when I'm supposed to be eating healthier? But lets face it; we all need a treat once in awhile. I know if I don't allow myself to have these things on occasion, I will never stick to my resolve of losing weight and becoming a healthier person. At least when I do allow myself to eat stuff like this, I care enough to make sure I'm tracking it and keep myself within my goals, even with the treats. That's the beauty of Sparking rather than dieting.
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