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3/1/13 9:26 A

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emoticon new thread, everyone

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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3/1/13 6:19 A

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All: I finally got together with my pastor about Sean. He asked me who was I talking to about this, and I told him my friend who we both know and how they are encouraging me to obey the Word. He shared with me the provision in the Word that says when an unbelieving spouse does not want to be there it removes your obligation to him. He has counseled with us throughout our marriage and he asked me if he was ever really in this marriage. He rarely counsels people in this way, and though my heart has been heavy I know what I need to do. This week I am going to make an appointment with the social worker at the health clinic where I go. I need to do this before I get a job since at this point it is a free service. My main goal is to get a really good full-time job. I'm also going to study hard in school. My pastor thinks I could qualify for a condo, food stamps, and possibly a full ride to school. That would remove SO much pressure. I could be sure there is food for the girls. Larry got me a ton of food, even though we got some food from the church pantry. The $50 Sean gave me was enough to supplement some of the items. He wants me to be receiving food from church weekly.

I am working with Salina on her attitude. She wants her own room but I don't know where we'll be.

Sean did text me a few minutes ago and told me he is finishing up tiling a tub and he will be back soon to sleep. My friend advised me to not rebuke him with texts. I thought about it and really, he wouldn't receive it anyway. I just texted him back, "K". What is there to do? He has NO excuse to be gone all night. Work is NO excuse. He needs to be there for his family. He is not.

I feel at least like I have a straight path to walk. I know one thing. My God knows my heart. He is my redeemer. He is my Source.

I just got Salina to school (usually Sean takes her) and we are about to leave to take Destini to school and then I go to the gym, and I realized I did not post that yesterday I skipped a workout but I've been getting one in almost every day. It is great to have the skip day be a rare thing. I am not losing weight. I'm sure it is stress. One step at a time. I have been sticking to 30 minutes of cardio, but every time, I'm working on achieving the most miles in that time period. Something is better than nothing, but I started going 6 miles in 30 minutes and now I can do 7.25. I am working on increasing my speed, which I think is important. This morning I woke up super early, so I will make it my goal to keep the record, rather than breaking it, and then focus on getting my schoolwork done and then working on laundry then rest.

Pray for me as I go through this time of searching out the options available to me.

Elaine

Edited by: GIRL4ABBA at: 3/1/2013 (08:21)
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2/28/13 12:00 A

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Good evening, ladies. I'll be offline for awhile. Talk to you when I'm back. In the meantime, I'll be praying for you all!
Blessings,
Kathie

Happiness comes not from doing what one likes to do, but from liking what one has to do.


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2/26/13 6:50 P

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Everyone: Its another marathon of reading and Destini is sick. She hasn't thrown up but has been lying on the couch since school. She said a little friend of hers threw up at school today. We are having a bit of a storm. It started out as hail within rain. The Lord blessed me with the ability to drive a mom and her kids home from school today. I really have to get the questions for today done and I'm going to try to work ahead a bit but I'm struggling to keep up some. I know it is the outside stress.

Sean came home last night and claimed when his big checks came in he wanted to get us both pedicures. The trouble is, we are still behind on the mortgage and he needs to give me money for groceries. When I suggested this was a nice gesture but that we needed so many things. He said he wasn't going to give me any money then...weird. The people who own the nail place think he is the best husband in the world. It doesn't make sense to me why he would say I don't get grocery money if I don't go to this place to get a pedicure. Something is just not right with him. He called today to say that his court went well to reduce the fine for his backing into someone with his trailer. I listen to him and he will talk, but then I say something and he has to go, then he says he will call back.

I got another Victoria's Secret ad for a lady who I looked up on Facebook. She lives on the north end of Grand Rapids, and is in a relationship since 2009 but never mentions his name, and had a great weekend a few weekends ago. I am suspicious but I gave it to the Lord. If that is the answer then the Lord will have to protect my girls. No woman who would do that would be good for them to be around.

I have to run. I have to get this work done. I put Destini to bed. I figure she'll feel better in the morning hopefully if she sleeps.

Elaine

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2/26/13 5:55 P

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KATHiE: I'm so thankful my parents had the foresight to go into a retirement home while they were still fairly mobile and self-sufficient! They made it their HOME before they were more or less limited in where they could go. My mom is 93 and she just gave up driving about a year...maybe 18 months ago! But she can take bus from the retirement community to church (their own!) and to the grocery when she wants to. She really doesn't need to cook but likes to fix breakfast and lunches if she doesn't have left-overs from her dinner. Often she does.

While I wish she were closer, she and Dad chose a retirement place they could enjoy at the time they moved in. And near their friends. My mom is very well cared for. Now that doesn't mean that we don't look after her as well. All 5 of us do whatever we can to help but none of us lives nearby so our interaction is somewhat limited. My brother sees her the most plus he has remote control of her computer so he can help with that even when he isn't there. I'm so grateful for his help! My oldest sister (also a former nurse, as am I) used to live about 4 hours away and she would visit more often...just for a couple days at a time. The rest of us are too far away to do that. She helped a GREAT deal while my dad was in the nursing home...that was for almost 4 years! When my dad was failing I stayed down there for over 5 weeks with my mom. Then as he rallied I came home again. 6 months later he passed away and I was there for the last few days and Dan was able to get down there and help us right at the end plus making all the arrangements. It is a hard time for us grown "kids" but I know it has been so much easier on us b/c of the situation they are in. If they were in their own home, I don't know how we could have managed. Every time I go down there my mom says how grateful SHE is that she is there. That certainly makes us feel good about it, too.

MARY: drive safely. I haven't really been tuned into the weather elsewhere. We have had heavy rain all day so no bike riding to day. My next ride will be Thurs. If we don't ride b/c it is too cold, which it probably will be, then we will to a long walk.

I really need to get to the gym, but haven't yet. I'm trying to talk my dh into getting the DVR thing that will work anywhere in the house so I can watch recorded shows in the basement. I don't like to work out down there b/c I get bored with the shows having to listen to 10 min. of commercials for every 20 min. of show. I know...I'm spoiled! It's true.

I had a nice long chat with my sister in Michigan yesterday. We reminisced about a lot of things...have different perspectives on parts of our childhood...amazing to me sometimes. But it was good to be able to talk about it...voicing our disappointments but knowing that our parents are forgiven for whatever wrongs they did to us by commission or omission, and that we are forgiven for our anger and self-righteousness in response.

ALL: Tomorrow I have my camera class. My kids went together and got me a 2 hour private lesson on using a DSLR b/c I think I want one but don't want to spend that kind of money only to find out that it is too complicated for me to ever use. My dh gave me (in theory) one for my birthday but I wanted to take this lesson before actually buying one. I may choose to wait for a year or two while I learn some of what I can use with the camera I have. I'm pretty happy with it EXCEPT for moving subjects....the lens just isn't fast enough and so many of the photos I have tried to take of the grandkids are blurry. ugh. At least with digital you don't waste money on film and developing!

I have don't pretty well with eating today. Just need to get through the evening. Am going to make fried rice tonight Need to cook up some veggies to add so I need not so much rice.

Watched Dr. Oz today...an old show that was taped. I think all he does is shows about losing weight. I'd like to go on the show and have him tell me ALL the things I can do at one time...all together to lose weight the most effectively and KEEP it off. I get so tired of hearing about all these miracle supplements and foods...if you did all of it you'd probably kill yourself! I just want to be OVER the addiction to sugar and fat and salt!! Is there a rehab place for that? Jo

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/26/13 11:42 A

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Mary, Brenda and you will be in prayers today. Take care of your own mental health while you're helping her. I hope your travels are free of weather problems.

Elaine, prayers for you and the family as you work your way through this busy week. And special prayers for a good visit with the pastor. You are important. You matter. You are worth it! Blessings on your day.

Jo, hope you can get more bike time in today. Good for you! Remember to smell the roses while you're out there!

Dore, how's everything going? Thinking of you and praying for the family.

All: We have had a couple of interesting days with our elderly parents this week. All four of them keep going amazingly well, that is until they don't, then it's an immediate crisis. We had one on Sunday morning, though things resolved fairly well, but there is another just on the horizon. Please pray for our parents, all in their eighties and nineties, who need to realize their own limitations before they really crash.

Blessings to you all for a successful week!
Kathie

Happiness comes not from doing what one likes to do, but from liking what one has to do.


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2/26/13 8:18 A

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Good morning, ladies, just a quick check in. I am getting ready to travel out of town again. My GF called me last night and really needs someone to take her to some appointments. She is struggling with severe depression and has been hospitalized before. She could really use some prayers, her name is Brenda.

We are hoping to travel around the snow but the darned stuff just seems to follow me. I don't think I will have internet but will check in when I get back on Thursday night or Friday.

Mary

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/26/13 8:12 A

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Jo: On the stationary bike, I have been working towards more miles on the stationary bike. I can do 7 miles in 30 minutes. It isn't much yet, but it is better than when I started. I figure fitting 30 minutes in at least daily at the gym and then some home exercises should benefit me. I am so tired. Salina and I were up until midnight last night both of us with school. My participation with discussion boards requires I read all of the posts. People were posting until almost midnight last night. This class is on ethics. It is incredible how intense we are getting. It is a real challenge to keep up with this class. Today and tonight I will be reading all day and night and have to answer a few questions, formatting everything perfectly.

Elaine

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2/26/13 7:52 A

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All: I messed up on tracking on Sunday but did it again yesterday. Did a tiny bit better on calories. Also got about a 12 mile bike ride in but it pooped me out. I hadn't ridden in like 3 weeks and when you go that long between, you lose too much. It was like starting over. :-(

Today is rainy so I think I'm gonna concentrate on getting something done in the house. Jo

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/25/13 2:24 P

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ELAINE: That is exactly how I will pray....for focus on HIM and HIS faithfulness to you and to Salina and to Destini! Jo

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/25/13 1:51 P

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Today is a new day. We have choices to make. Today after reading your posts I wanted to share that I just want to focus on studying the Word and pressing through the classes which have a focus on the Word as well. I have beat myself up because I want to keep my daughter's heart, even though I do see Salina reading the Word. I have to make sure I focus on the Word. I have an appointment with Larry (my pastor) this Thursday. I'm going there right after I get done with dropping off Destini to school.

I want to encourage you today to pray with me for focus, but also to pray for your own focus. This morning, I drank prune juice for breakfast. I realized my digestive system is not functioning very well with the stress and with the different compromising with choices (gluten and dairy). I think it has been the reason for my lower back discomfort. I have been compromising more since the family members' struggles with cancer, just trying to keep going. I really need to do a better job focusing.

I feel so much better after cleaning myself out some. I am determined to get better at making nutritional choices when I finally start working. I applied to another job this morning.

Well, I'd better run and get my schoolwork organized.

Elaine

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2/25/13 8:38 A

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Just a quick check-in......started the day off well with my rice cake with organic natural peanut butter and an apple. Am going on a bike ride this morning....am a little anxious bc it has been so long since I have ridden and these other ladies have been more consistent. But I have to jump back in sometime and the April ride is coming up!

Yesterday I went for what was supposed to be a 3 mile walk but only got about 2 in bc my hip started to hurt :-( Sure don't want a hip replacement! Maybe need to walk shorter distances more regularly......

Gotta run....have to pump up my tires and get dressed. Jo

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/24/13 9:04 A

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Good morning, ladies, not sure what is up for today. I think Dave may try and dig out our snow shoes at the cabin. We are going to have some tree harvesting in our woods so we can make a bigger pasture and put up a barn/pole building and hoping the money from the trees will help cover the cost. I really have to wonder when this winter will end. It is giving me enough time to get things done inside so we can focus outside. Dave will be home this week. It sure is nice when he is not traveling.

Jo, congratulations on the almost no sugar. I need to do the same thing. I am amazed at how much it affects my cravings/eating. I need to remember that all it takes is one good day to get back on track to start feeling better. Are you using the spark tracker for your food? I am hoping to get in a routine at the gym as well. Tim is doing 6 days of working out and 1 day off. If I could do 5, I would be thrilled.

Elaine, it is difficult to grow up in a dysfunctional family. I remember knowing things were not normal but did not know why. I was closest to my Dad, he was a drinker and would say things to turn me against my Mom, only, he would not remember that he had done so. I did not have a good relationship with my mother until I became an adult. I did not feel she was ever there for me. She knows that to be true and has apologized. She told me she would have left my Dad but did not have the resources to do so. Now, I can truly say, I am glad she did not leave my Dad but that was certainly not true at the time. My mom said that she could only focus on herself at the time, things were so difficult that she had to spend her energy on self preservation. There were so many things that she did not share with me until I was an adult. What was going on in my family was my "normal" because it was all I knew and I ended up in a similar situation with my first husband. I look at my life and see how I got off track but always seemed to somehow get back to where I needed to be. It seems to be more difficult for mothers and teenage daughters to have a good relationship, just speaking from what I have experienced. We need to pray for wisdom and guidance in making decisions regarding our kids and peace in our families.

I really need to get groceries. I like to make a nice breakfast on Sunday mornings, hope I can rustle something up.

I hope you all have a restful and blessed Sunday!

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/24/13 7:24 A

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ELAINE: You cannot control what Sean does
You cannot control how Salina "sees" you
All you can control is how you obey (or don't) God and what he says about how to respond to the circumstances you are faced with. You need to do what is best in your eyes for Salina whether she appreciates you for it or not. My dd hated me for most of her high school. I know I made a lot of mistakes but if I had treated her as she wished my mistakes would have been even greater. So yes...I have regrets but I keep trying to get myself in line with Scripture and to KEEP that as my measuring line rather than what my kids think of me. That is still true today! My dd has chosen a lifestyle that goes against what God clearly teaches. I have to walk a tightrope of trying to love her while not condoning her choices. At times it is impossible b/c any disapproval is seen by her as a lack of love. But I have to CHOOSE who to listen to: God or my dd? You know I choose God. I do it imperfectly but I am trying all the time to do better....to live to please HIM and I keep praying that He will work in my dd's heart and mind to do what I could never do.

MARY: I'm SO thankful that you made it home safely. I have had way too much bad news recently and just don't want to hear any more :-( I know exactly how your hands felt! That is how I get in tense driving situations as well. Hope the tension didn't spoil the time you and Dave had together.

I'm trying to get into some sort of routine about the gym. Even my pilates got messed up by my trips and now my instructor is off on some trip. geesh! This week is supposed to be in the 40s so I'm hoping to get out on my bike. All the ice and snow is gone...yesterday looked and felt like spring...got me wanting to be out and about.

JANS: Hoping you can get in some nice outdoor exercise while you are in FL. Enjoy the sun and warmth for us!

ALL: I checked in today mostly to tell you all that yesterday was my first full day off of sugar (well...almost OFF) I had one small piece of dove chocolate. My calories were about 1800...I wrote down everything and tracked it. It isn't exactly where I want to be but close. For the first week I'm just trying to get my water in and get OFF of sugar so I'm not being too-too strict on calories. Eventually my aim is for 1500 with exercise. That will include the shakes I'm going to try. They were on backorder and should arrive sometime this next week. I'll let you know how that goes. It felt good to be more "in control". I just need to cling to that feeling, realizing that it really isn't ME in control, but my allowing God to help me. Jo

Edited by: SKIDEE at: 2/24/2013 (07:33)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/24/13 1:33 A

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All: I am going to set up a meeting with my pastor regarding the stuff I am going through with Sean tomorrow after church. Salina is not cooperating which isn't helping. I was also going to get a box of food. My friend told me just to send Salina down if I needed to talk to Larry. Salina said she was embarrassed and didn't think we needed it. She claimed that her dad was going to give me money for food after the weekend. The trouble is, even if he does, I've been putting out my own money for food long enough...money I have to eventually pay back.

She was very difficult today and ended up being really difficult with me tonight, which prompted me to stay up until she went to bed, telling me she thought I treated her like a little girl, and that I needed to let her go further on walks alone and she needs to be able to decide about the dance and dating without all the talking. In other words, she basically told me to stay out of her life and that she wished to keep secrets from me. She was also claiming her dad has been there for her ever since high school started. It is so incredibly hard because I know she feels like she wants him there for her, but he really isn't. He might take her to school in the mornings (when he is home) but he has to be woke up and Salina has to push him to get him going on time. She pushes him to get money out of him for groceries as well. He will give the money to her a great deal of the time instead of me, and she has to pass it on to me. It is so wrong but it is all she knows.

I am so glad Jan told me that I am the one who is here, and steady. I ask you all to pray with me that I can be that soft place for her to fall...that my own heart will heal. I need the Lord to give me strength to build this career and put us in a safer place financially...but it is 1:22AM, and no sign of Sean again. What will his excuse be THIS time? Will he BE home? The saga continues.

Supposedly there is a great big check coming according to Salina. I've heard it before. I don't see it though. The Line of Credit in my name is still maxed out. That is $2,500.00.

My friend told me that I needed to talk to our pastor. She said what she wants for me is what she has, a husband that is there for me, that she doesn't know what to tell me and hates to see me go through this. I agree...but I am still not at a place where I can stand on my own feet financially. I don't like feeling uneasy and unsure of my life all the time. It is so hard.

I believe that dreams are always coupled with hardship to some degree. I pray though, that my daughter, even with the hard things we are facing, will some day see me in a better light. I want to be that person that Jan is talking about for her. I believe I am, but when she won't open up to me, it is hard to see myself like that. I am told the same things my husband says to me...that I am some way supposedly she's told me about and I should know and I won't listen and when I ask her to repeat it she says she won't.

Elaine

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2/23/13 3:14 P

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Mary: Glad you are safe, and thanks so much for that prayer! Sean didn't come home again last night so I really needed it. I tried to concentrate on school today but I ended up getting distracted and posted an incomplete post, so I went ahead and fixed it...in tears and Salina reminded me that everyone makes mistakes that they have to go back and fix. The things I can change are changed today.

All: I have money left from what my friends gave me but I am going to try to get a box of food from church tomorrow. I really want to meet with my pastor but we keep missing each other. Tomorrow I have nothing pressing to deal with, so maybe I'll set something up after church. I just sent him a text.

It is super late...3 in the afternoon, but I haven't showered so I am going to.

In the meantime, the thing I can change is I looked at the date of the last filing against me with the foreclosures that I had against my credit when I went through all the mess with Sean's business. They will all be gone in 2016. That is 3 years away! I am thinking by then I will have graduated college, and I plan to pay off the leftover balance of the credit card and pay off my school loans. Then, the mortgage on this place will be super low, and I can move then to a nicer place. I should have a profit from the sale of this place to some degree. This gives me time to establish myself in a career.

Elaine

Edited by: GIRL4ABBA at: 2/23/2013 (15:30)
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2/23/13 1:29 A

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OMGoodness, we just got home from Madison, what a trip!

Jo, if I had been by myself I would have had enough sense to stop in Green Bay for the evening. I ended up driving the last hour, which was brutal. It was snowing so hard and the roads were not plowed. There were cars stuck and in the ditch and I dared not stop as I had a line of cars following me. The plow truck went by once in the opposite lane with a police car, tow truck and ambulance following it. I had cramps in my hands by the time we got home from gripping the steering wheel so tight. I had the Christian radio station on and that was a blessing. We got home and barely got in the driveway as Tim had gotten the tractor stuck. So thankful to be home!!! I need to get back on track with the food, too, got away from tracking while away, here I go making exceptions again. I am looking forward to getting to the YMCA, I had my weight training before we left and I am ready to start using the machines along with the treadmill. I think food will always be a challenge and we must not get complacent, oh, how those old habits are there waiting to come back.

Elaine, I think I saw the movie that you were describing, did it have Kathy Bates in it as the mother? We bought all these Feature Family Films when the kids were little and that was one of them. We ended up giving many of them to the church for their video library. It is easy to get discouraged in this world and we must try and fill ourselves with the positive. I have made a commitment not to turn on the television until at least noon, I keep the Christian radio station on and it is really helpful. Even Dave has started listening to it in the car instead of talk radio. When I had gone to the "Celebrate Recovery" group, they recited the Serenity prayer. I did not know there was a longer version and would like to share it with you.


The Complete Serenity Prayer!

God,
Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can
and the Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Amen.

The words really struck me and convicted me about how I try to control things that I cannot change and also helped me to see that I may not be completely happy in this life, but reasonably happy and supremely happy in the next. I need to take these words to heart.

I hope everyone is staying safe and warm and that you all have a great weekend!

Mary

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/22/13 8:58 P

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Jo: You are simply giving me the advice that my mother gave me all my life, "One day at a time." I believe that you are exactly in line with what the Lord has been speaking to my heart. My pastor is teaching about entering into His rest. We need to enter into His rest. He is our everything.

I was feeling stressed about being late this morning to bring Destini to school because I had to shovel. I really didn't have to shovel...I just wanted it done. I really was resentful because Sean wasn't doing a good job. Then, I just looked at it as a workout. I realized He has a plan. I remembered that the times when He blessed me the most in my life was when I simply entered into His rest. I don't have to strive, just take one step at a time.

I asked the Lord for favor with Destini's school and He gave me it. I believe He has a great job for me too.

I'm going to work on getting some rest today. Tomorrow is a new day.

Elaine.

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2/22/13 1:55 P

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ELAINE: I know that I don't really have a clue to the pressures you feel right now, b/c I have never been where you are. I want you to know that I know it is hard, though. I don't want to say anything to discourage you....I want to ENCOURAGE you, but that encouragement, I want to be about leaning on God....about trusting HIM when you have been so let down by others who should have been trustworthy. I'm not sure how to say what I'm trying to say...I had a whole bunch of stuff about my experiences written and then erased it....B/c while I see similarities, I'm not sure you would.....it is REALLY hard when you are worried about your children's physical well-being on top of their emotional and spiritual well-being!! I just want to try to encourage you to TRUST God where you are. I'm not saying to not plan or not to look ahead at all, but to try to really focus on the here and now....getting the school work completed; taking one step at a time. Sometimes I can almost feel the panic you might be feeling....to get it all done and get a job...I even feel that for you sometimes! But God can care for you and He IS caring for you. Just that money your friend provided really recently! Try to rest in that (God's faithfulness)......while doing what you can without panic. Oh rats....I just don't know if I am saying what I really want to. I just want to encourage you to keep on course; to trust God for what you truly need right now and to believe that He will protect you and the girls.
That is my prayer for you. Jo

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/22/13 8:18 A

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Mary: This movie was about a woman who didn't know the Lord and was too proud to ask for help, but her husband died and she had 5 kids. She decided to drive in a random direction and ended up seeing this run-down shack. She offered to buy it in exchange for work from her children on the owner's farm. She and the children built the house up to make it barely livable. Then, she got a job in town as a waitress. Her oldest son worked hard too whatever job he could find, and the work all paid for the house. It was about hardship. Then, one day they finally got indoor plumbing and a younger son got the idea to burn down the outhouse which burned down their home. As they were pulling their money jar out of the rubble, cars came in droves from the town and they refused her "no charity" rule and built them a home. They brought blankets for the family and clothes, food and something the little girls never had....dolls. It inspires me to keep believing that we will not be stuck like that. I am working hard to build a solid career for the future of my kids. I decided yesterday, that my approach would be God first, career searching after. Once I am lead by the Lord, I will succeed. I have seen it SO many times before. I want to serve Him ultimately with my life, and He comes in and has this little country girl working with clients on the top floor of a major building in Grand Rapids, and then with clients of the largest patent attorney firm in Grand Rapids (my first meeting was wearing a $5 suit from the thrift store.

I was working, not to build a career at that time, but to get my debts paid off. I am going to do that too. One bill at a time.

I am so excited. That movie was a true story...but she didn't know the Lord and He still provided for her and her children. I know the King. I believe there is an awesome future for us. Sean keeps telling me that I will never make more than him, even with my degree. It is so sad. To me, it is not a competition. To me it is survival, and following after a dream of owning some land and a second smaller home for my brother and his wife. God is with me and He will see this through.

Dreams...I'm also believing for my body to be at a healthy weight again. I am praying for the Lord to help me sort out the food budget somehow. I know He will.

Elaine

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2/22/13 8:08 A

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Hi ALL: Yes, we did get the freezing rain. All the trees and bushes are glistening with coverings of ice this morning. Most schools are on a 2 hour delay b/c it is supposed to warm up quickly. Our little village, however, has no delay b/c no one lives more than about 2 miles from the schools and we have an excellent street crew who gets the roads treated pronto. It is harder for some of the teachers to get here sometimes.

I was worried about the power going out but we were spared. I haven't been on the news to see if many lost power but I doubt it. It doesn't look that horrible out and we didn't get any heavy snow on top of the ice.

On a harder topic: I promised I would be back on track by the end of the week. I have not done a good job other than to order my powder for shakes. I only ordered one jar, which does not look like it holds that much but I did not want to spend a lot of money if I didn't like it. I plan to use it to replace two meals a day at first so I have to be able to tolerate it OK.

I think my plan is to use it for two meals and to have one meal and one snack. I will begin on Sat. b/c I have the grandkids tonight plus we are going out with our BibleStuday group tonight. OK....bad excuse. I'll try to do well the rest of the day at least and I am back to measuring water at least. I know I have gained even more weight b/c my jeans are tight...these are my MEDIUM jeans...not my smallest ones! So it is WAY past time for me to get my act together!

After listening to all of you I have decided that I am logging my food as well. I get frustrated trying to do it online b/c the exact things are never here but at least I will begin with writing them down on paper and that will give me a good idea of how I'm doing (or not).

MARY: Praying that Dave is wise in his decision of whether or not to drive.

ELAINE: PRaying God will provide healthy food options for you and the girls today, whether Sean meets his responsibilities or not.

DORE: Hoping you are well and warm and cozy.

JANS: Good for you, getting right back on track! Don't be like me and let it get way past time to fix things!! I'm really ticked at myself and KNOW for SURE that I am an addict when it comes to sugar!! I need to get another copy of MADE to CRAVE and re-read it (I gave my copy to a friend). There really ARE spiritual issues with any addiction regardless of the physical issues.

I'm gonna brave the outdoors and go to the bakery (only for coffee) this morning b/c I hate cabin fever and like I said, Wyoming is really good about treating the streets her in the village. Jo

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/22/13 6:36 A

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I spoke too soon!

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Good morning, ladies, up way too early this morning but Dave is snoring away in the bed and I just can't sleep. He has an important board meeting this morning. I am not sure what it is like outside, we were getting freezing rain when we went to bed. I am hoping to get home today but now the upper peninsula is in a weather watch as well for....................more snow. Knowing my husband, we will take off regardless. I did check with the hotel about extending our reservation if need be.

Elaine, I love watching older movies. I am a big fan of TCM and AMC. Dave and I watched a good one last night, makes you wish things were like that today, back in the day. My husband says he notices a difference with me on the progesterone. He says I seem happier. I think what he means is not as irritable and I do seem to feel better. We will see.

Jan, I am so glad you are enjoying the sunshine! I know that if it is God's plan for you to go to Russia, you will be going. You have shared with us so many times how he works things out for you in ways you could not have imagined. I am off track with my eating, too, much easier to behave back home.

Kathie, I love pistachios! Some things I just have to keep out of the house. I hope you have a great time with the grandkids!

Jo, hope all is well!

Hope you are all spared from this snow/ice storm.

Have a great day!

Edited by: MERRYWON at: 2/22/2013 (06:40)
"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/21/13 9:52 P

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Good evening, ladies, for once in the upper peninsula we will be spared from the storm but not the case for us here in Madison. We are getting freezing rain right now and heavy snow and ice expected through tomorrow night at 6:00. We had to stay as Dave has an important meeting in the morning. I hope we will be able to get home.

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/21/13 8:45 P

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All: I just read that premenopause can cause fatigue. I am so glad I've been getting the assignments done early because by night I am exhausted. I've been taking progesterone cream and it is helping. The rest will do me good. I am going to bed soon. I just put Destini to bed. I am watching an old version of Nancy Drew.

We have a storm coming, so I'm not sure if the girls will have school tomorrow. I think it should be hitting you soon Jo. We are supposed to get some of it by 4AM they predict.

I figured I must be contending with hormones since I've been using the cream, and I've been pretty weepy today. I'm not overcome with my circumstances or anything. I watched a movie that was somewhat sad today.

Elaine

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2/21/13 3:09 P

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I think I'm taking the same direction with the food today as everyone else. As Jan said, we need to be focused. We need to be able to stay on course, or return to the course, whichever way we look at it. I took today off from the gym to make sure I get today's assignment done and focus on cleaning up the house. I have the assignment almost completely done and I also cleaned the bathroom and living room. I also sorted all the clothes. It feels good to have that done...its not everything but I am just moving forward.

I've been listening to Dobson lately. Yesterday a lady talked about keeping hold of our dream, even when things are painful. She dreamed of being a mother since she was very young and had continual miscarriages and the Lord allowed her to adopt. The key for me was to continue to dream. Things have been painful for me, but I am determined to dream.

Sean only gave me $20 for some essential groceries yesterday so I got some, but I also got the girls some dinner at Subway with some of the money our friends gave me. I'm working on taxes in the next week. Once I get done with this assignment and post it, I'm going to work on the next one which is due tomorrow. Then I can apply for a job tomorrow and work on taxes.

Update: Got the assignment that is due today done. Didn't get any grocery money today but made some rice and Salina made fried rice for us for dinner. It was great. I am trusting in the Lord and I am helped. :-)

Elaine

Edited by: GIRL4ABBA at: 2/21/2013 (18:40)
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2/21/13 2:46 P

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It is so nice to be here in the sunshine. I am not getting out as much as I would like this week but still enjoying it. Dale is working on a repair of a bathroom to help offset the extra car costs so we have been at the house most of the time. Today we went out to get supplies and it was nice to have the windows open.
We are waiting for the plates to arrive from Michigan for our car but our friends are great to let us use theirs until then. Tomorrow we are heading up to Orlando to see friends for a few days. It will be a nice get away.
The time is already passing quickly so we count each day a blessing.

My passport arrived and I received a letter from our Russia friend and they will write us an invitation letter again. The government is now allowing people to apply for a 3yr multi entry visa so that is what we are doing. Pray for favor along the way. Today I start by sending papers to Russia for them to write up our letter. Next week we will fill out applications and as soon as the letter arrives send them off for approval. Lord willing that is our plan.

I hope you are all staying safe and warm up there in those storms.
I have still not gotten out walking but it is in the plans. I have tracked food now for 2 days and water and Fruit/veggies are all on track.

Have a great day all. Be blessed.


Janice

"Without God I can do nothing. But with Him all things are possible."




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2/20/13 5:25 P

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Good afternoon! It's nice to hear from you, each in different spaces yet struggling in similar ways, particularly with food. Personally, I just had an encounter with too many pistachios. Why do I buy treats for the grandkids that I end up eating?!

Two of the grands are here overnight. They have a week off school, mom and dad are working, and this is a good opportunity for them to spend time here. It's pretty cold outside but we may be forced out soon anyway as there's already been plenty of TV. I should take this as the hand of God nudging me off the sofa:-)

So, dear friends, I'll be praying today that each of us will be sensitive to the nudge of our great good Lord, the nudge that takes us closer to His best.

Happiness comes not from doing what one likes to do, but from liking what one has to do.


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2/20/13 3:40 P

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Good afternoon, ladies, I am spending the day in the hotel, I did get out for lunch, trying to get some paperwork done and misc. but not feeling too motivated but I am relaxing and that is nice.

Jan, I am trying to make wise choices, too, it is very hard away from home. There was a breakfast buffet this morning, so thankful that they did not have any doughnuts to tempt me. For lunch, I walked across the street and had 1/2 sandwich and a salad, going to try and use the treadmill today. The good thing is that I have nothing to snack on.

Elaine, so sorry that you are bombarded with the school work right now, I know how challenging that is when you are a wife and mother. It's hard to fit it all in, maybe that is why you have not found a job yet, it will happen when the time is right.

It is good for me to spend time with Dave, sometimes I think he has it easy, getting away during the week and staying in a hotel but he has lots of stress, too, more than I realize sometimes.

My daughter, Lindsay, who has not been talking to me, chatted with me on gmail today for a bit. Told me she was planning on coming to the U.P. first weekend in May for a family gathering for my ex-husband's family (her grandfather's 90th birthday). I told her that would be nice. She told me she would only come if no one mentioned politics or religion. Funny how no one ever brings up politics or religion around her, she is the one who brings it up and then gets upset because no one agrees with her.

Well, I am going to try and get something done.

Have a great day!

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/20/13 3:15 P

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I have been messing up lately and getting off track some. Time to stop that stuff and get back where I need to be. I have become complacent and that is not good.
I just took some time to track food of the day and so far things look good. I just took time to read my made to crave devotion. Her thoughts just seem to hit where I need them. Today she talked about Remain....remain in Jesus. Let His thoughts be our thoughts, Let His ways be our ways. Let his truths go to the depths of our lives. Remain.
For whatever reason I have been slack and losing focus. But this message reminds me to remain and not give up. To keep moving forward. That is where I want to be.
Thank you Lord for reminders to remain.

We all need to remain in Him and stay focused or this journey will be in vain.
I was about to post all my "reasons" for falling back but instead I am looking forward and seeing the reasons to remain.

Have a blessed day all and keep focused forward on His strength and grace.


Janice

"Without God I can do nothing. But with Him all things are possible."




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2/20/13 12:46 P

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All: I just thought I'd quick check in with you guys. I have an insane amount of schoolwork due the next 2 days, but I want to be accountable. I went to the gym and did 30 minutes on the stationary bike, and I went 1/4 mile more than usual. I really pushed myself to sweat and go farther. We got up this morning and Sean hadn't picked up the groceries so I made steel cut oats. I cut up some apples and fried them in the last of the butter and put cinnamon and sugar on that, then added some brown sugar to it. It served my kids and I for breakfast and my lunch. I am going to get more water after I post this. I'm not losing but gaining weight. I don't know whether that will change as I keep using the progesterone cream and watch more and more what I eat.

Well, I have to finish the 8 chapters for the first assignment due today and write the paper for it and post it, then start on the 7 chapters I have to read and do a paper that is due tomorrow. Then, there is 1 chapter to read and do a paper for Friday. I am convinced in looking over this class that working ahead is the key...with this class and every one because with kids, and the instability of my marriage, I just never know what a day may bring.

I decided today to really dream. The Lord has given me things I love in my heart and I have never pursued them. I might have touched on them, but I have never really sorted them out. What I mean by dreaming is that I simply ask the Lord for his wisdom, and guidance and that He would direct me in the perfect path. I want to do something I love. I want to inspire people to do the same...particularly my girls. I am not going to let my husband control every aspect of my life. My heart is so heavy when I am with him, because I KNOW the Lord would bless us SO much if he would try to bring me into his world, instead of act like he owns me, and I have to earn his favor day after day. I believe no matter what we face, the Lord can use it for our good. I have to trust that...as I go on building a financial future without him. :-( I believe he is treading on dangerous ground. You have a wife who's heart is to live her whole life for the Almighty God and you ignore her, treat her and your precious daughters like they owe you something instead of like they are valuable. It is not a good thing. I just pray he wakes up before it is too late.

I had better get to work on these assignments. Still praying for work. Still going to ask for odd office jobs I can do for people.

Elaine

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2/19/13 7:43 P

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Mary: So glad you made it safe. I am super tired...so this post may be short. I hope you have safe travels all around.

Jan: There is always something wonderful the Lord is doing in our lives. I believe strongly the Lord has a plan for me too. I continue to be inspired by your life.

Jo: It is always good to have a self-check while I feel like life is in overdrive and nothing makes sense. God's Word always does. Keep sharing...it is good to fill my head with as much of His wisdom as possible these days.

Kathie: When nothing makes sense, God's Love always does. It is simply never changing. I cannot be put out by God, no matter how alone I feel when I am with my husband. God has a plan.

All: I am so tired. Destini was home today and I tried to make the best of our time together, and I also have 8 chapters to read and a paper to write for that chapter. Then, tomorrow something new to tackle. This is a tough class. It is about ethics. As a Christian it is SO important, because our country is some humanistic. There is much to sort out in this area. I am glad to be done with yet another class. I'm so tired though. I'm gaining weight too. It makes no sense. I started using the progesterone cream. I think it helps me to rest. It seems like that is how it helps me lose weight if I remember right. I think it helps me handle the stress? I'm not sure. I'm going to try to get at least half of the reading done tonight. Then, I'm going to bed early. I'm so tired.

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2/19/13 5:50 P

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Jo, we were going to take off early and it did not work out. We really should not have been traveling but try to tell my husband that. He did not feel we would have any problems if we took our Escalade. It was not just snow but wind, I have not seen this kind of weather since I lived in Minnesota 30 years ago. There were 31 cars in the ditch and 2 accidents, so thankful to have made it here. Looking forward to spending some time with Dave. We are supposed to get another foot and a half of snow back home.

I will catch up with you all later, just saw Dave pull in.

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/19/13 7:53 A

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MARY: I thought you guys were going to leave early to avoid that blizzard!! May God protect you with His Strong Arm!! Oh how I hate driving in nasty conditions! Praying for you!!! Jo

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/19/13 7:03 A

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Please keep us in your prayers, ladies, as we travel in blizzard conditions for 4 hours to Madison.

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/18/13 5:19 P

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MARY: Have a safe and enjoyable trip!

KATHIE: That is so right....BUT...in order to understand what you are saying one needs to understand Christ-like love....NOT love the way the world understands it. My dh was watching a taped NCIS show from Valentines Day and their description of love was SO OFF! And yet this is the kind of thing we get sucked into believing if we are not filling our minds and hearts with Scripture and God's truth. REAL love; the kind of love you are speaking about, is others-focused. It isn't about how someone makes ME feel....it is about what I can do for them and how I can help them experience God's love by showing them love. Our self focused human nature fights against that kind of real love all the time so we need to clinging to the Gospel daily in order to see and remember it. Jo

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/18/13 1:30 P

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Dear, ladies, just a quick check in as I have lots to do before we leave. Dave wants to try and take off early as we have another storm coming. I will check in with you all while we are away.

Love and Prayers,

Mary

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/18/13 1:10 P

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Hi ALL: Such an interesting conversation, on many levels. I was reading and praying this morning about various family situations, and so strongly it came through to me that LOVE is the answer! All those failures we deal with, all the worries for others, all the problems that we and those we love invite into our homes---it all comes down to love. We seek it (sometimes in the wrong places), we hoard it when we should lavishly bestow it on others, we wonder why so-and-so isn't doing what they should be doing and often it's because they aren't tapping into God's great heart of LOVE. How often do we ourselves chafe at life because we aren't getting the love we need?

So here's some LOVE for each of you today! I'll be praying that God will open your hearts to the floodgates of love He has for each of you--each of us!

Blessings on your day!
Kathie

Happiness comes not from doing what one likes to do, but from liking what one has to do.


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2/18/13 12:54 P

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JANS: So sorry to learn this about your dd.....it fits right into this teaching, doesn't it? We are ALL so vulnerable to these types of problems b/c our human nature is strong. That is why we need to FEED our spirit with GOD's WORD and with moment by moment choices of focus, attitude and submission (to HIM) I will add your dd and her dh to my very long list of "kids" to pray for, including my own! Jo P.S. What brand of protein shake are you using? Is it set up to be a meal replacement?


Edited by: SKIDEE at: 2/18/2013 (12:54)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/18/13 12:35 P

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Good morning. Well I think we found the allergy problem. The former owner was a heavy smoker. There is a closet at the end of the room that still has the original paneling.
When our friends moved in they removed all the paneling from the rest of the house but not this closet. They had an elderly gentleman living with them and he used this room However. he passed away a few months ago. At that time the room was cleaned very well. All other walls are washable He had no problems with nicotine. But I do I am very sensitive to it and react. I told Dale the first night it is nicotine somewhere in this room. He thought maybe the heat ducts. And this may be true also. But my worst reaction was at bedtime. My head was next to that closet. Dale figured it out last night he went on a sniff test and discovered it. We moved the bed and I took some antihistamines. Today our friends said remove it. So they will do that later today.
I am starting on protein shake substitute for at least one meal a day for the next month. Two meals some days. It is the same meal substitute I used last year and lost weight. it is a good jump start for a month. I have been staying on track but do not have lots of control over my food many days. However the kids got us a very large box of Whitman chocolate for Valentine's day/ Anniversary gift. I have reached into it a few times. I put it on the counter for everyone and now it is almost gone. I do not need the temptation.
Elaine it is good you and Sean can stay on the same page about Salina and talk to her about it.
Jo it sounds like you had a great conference. I have read some of the post and it sounds benificial.
Dore so happy Konner is home.
Mary have a great trip with your hubby. Make some new memories. We plan to take a few days to ourselves in March. I am looking forward to it. We spend so much of our life with others. But then we also spend so much time together even when others are there.
Kathie I can relate so much to your son and dil situation. My dd and her husband are going through stuff too. She is in depression and sees it as the world is against her. Her husband has taken over finances and she sees it as control and manipulation. She has befriended an old friend's former husband and as a family they began helping him. But this has turned the wrong way. I do not think they are having a sexual affair but she is turning to him for comfort she should be turning to her husband for. They brought him into the home to help him. He now has a home but never wants to go there. He is co dependant on my daughter and she is his enabler. She sees no problem. Her dh dropped the bomb last weekend and said he has to go and connect broken with him. My dd sees this as control cutting her off from her only friend. Other friends have pulled back because of this "friendship". I told her at the beginning it was wrong. I knew it in my spirit but she just screamed and called me judgmental. But I have placed her in the Father's hands and I am holding fast to His promises. Once before He gave me a dream about my daughter. He told me to trust Him with her and He would keep her safe no matter what. I hold to that dream and promise of years ago. Please all put them on the prayer list.
We are meeting a friend for lunch so need to go.
Have a blessed day all.



Janice

"Without God I can do nothing. But with Him all things are possible."




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2/18/13 12:00 P

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I just read this post from John Piper .....I get sent these every day....and it fits so well with what I posted earlier....b/c whether we have little or plenty, when we focus on what really matters...our eternal treasures, TRUE joy (not transient "happiness") is abundant.

Check it out!

www.crosswalkmail.com/ShareArticle.d
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perform=view&articleID=cpdjthjtq&sitR>eID=svjsrlbksjsbpkdcfhzwzblpvffpjmbz
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d&recipID=489321773


Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/18/13 11:18 A

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Jan: I hope you find the culprit. It is so hard to function when those allergies flare up. I am amazed at God's blessings to you guys regarding cars. It builds my faith as I plan for the next purchase. I am going by faith as I keep looking for a job and pressing through school. I believe the Lord has a plan. I decided to post on Facebook that if anyone needs help with their home office straightening, filing, etc during the day, I can come for now. I see your husband using his gift for the Lord and I think using my skills is the right direction to go. I may start painting and drawing and doing art too...I just need to plan it all out. There are so many distractions. I certainly miss art, and maybe the Lord will bless my efforts. A friend of mine sold a painting he did for $7,000.00. I have not done anything, but you just never know what doors the Lord might open up for us if he give everything to Him.

Dore: I am so glad Konner is doing well. It is good to see you resting as well. How is his mom? It is good you were there for her.

Kathie: I am glad your son and DIL were able to spend time together. I know the Lord is working. She may have had it rough, but now that she is a new creature in Christ, her legacy will be beautiful.

Jo: I hope that eventually I get involved with adoptions ministry. I am inspried by you, Jan and Dore and I hope that once I sort this out with my financial garbage, and this marriage which is so confusing (he's been home and saying he wants to be home the last day but I don't trust him). It is good he met with Salina and I (Destini was there too but it was to talk to Salina) yesterday. We believe in Courtship, and like to have a mixture of the old fashioned and dating, once a young person is old enough to marry. It may seem ancient and over-protective, but we have many friends who believe this way. We talked to her, asking her to trust us to be there for her as she decides on the man she'll marry and pray with her, and once they decide with him about their lives. I told her it was SO important to me to be able to love on him and get to know him as they plan their lives together. I want him to trust me as the future grandmother of his children to be able to honor their wishes. We decided that the homecoming dance and spring dance are OK, but prom we want to replace with a super elegant dinner with her dad and we are going to present her with a promise ring. We hope to meet with her regularly to encourage her. It is weird how my husband and I are such a failure at communicating and yet we agree so wholeheartedly about raising our daughter Salina. We are trying to establish boundaries with Destini, but they may be different because she is simply a different child.

All: I have struggled with eating because of the lack of money. Sean continues to do the same thing with not making sure we have anything. I make due with what I have, and I'm thinking the progesterone cream will and is helping. I find myself more energetic. Today I am not going to the gym. I actually slept in (7:30AM, but it is late for me) because the girls are both off of school. I was going to the Kroc Center but my body is sore today and I believe I need to stretch only today. I'm going back to some stretches I learned through studying what is best for the back, and testing them out. I need to get serious though about eating foods to encourage digestion. I was avoiding gluten for so long and after Sean simply gives me so little, and my family was going through so much, I got away from it. Last night I had mac and cheese which almost always gives me a stomach ache. It didn't so I give the Lord the glory. I needed to come up with something for the girls. I am trusting for that full-time job. He will provide.

Tomorrow it is just Destini and I. I am going to do something fun, and free for us like go to the library and the pool at the Kroc Center. We need to have fun and we rarely take advantage of the pool there.

Elaine

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2/18/13 11:03 A

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JANS: Your post sounds like me when I go back to NY! I smiled thinking about how wonderful it is to be warmly received back into another circle of friends.

God's provision of the perfect car is so great, isn't it? You planned for a Volvo....and he gave you something BETTER!....plus provided a way to cover the extra expense.

MARY: I was so glad to read your post. I could tell that my explanation summary at least made some sense :-) When I'm so absorbed in a topic, it is hard to know if I'm explaining it well enough for someone who wasn't there to really understand it, but I can tell that you (and others) did! YAY!

I'm glad you get to go with Dave this week. ENJOY the private gym...make the most of the get-away from the demands of home...both in your time with him and your alone time.

ELAINE: I think relationships are some of the easiest places to have idols. I know I made my children idols in my heart. Obviously, God wants us to love them and care for them and train them, but they are NEVER to be placed in front of HIM. If only I had put the same amount of energy and time into having the kind of relationship with God that HE created me to have, I would have been a BETTER mom than I was putting all my time and energy into that. That same principle fits every relationship...marriage, friendship, work.....the whole enchilada.

I continue to pray for wisdom and strength and stamina and compassion for you.

KATHIE: God is using you to show your son and dil grace and love and faithfulness, even when the going gets rough. I'm celebrating the improvement for them (and for you!) and pray for increases in that area.

DORE: I think I'd enjoy riding along in the truck :-) I love being on the road. My dh is more like you, though. Just wants to GET there. For him, it is all about the destination; for me, the journey counts equally.

Our company arrived early last evening. Thankfully I had supper ready ahead of time; something that could keep simmering so the timing wasn't all that important. We enjoyed visiting...they are night owls (us...not so much) Today the left to go to the Creation Museum in N. KY. They should be there most of the day. We will visit again tonight and then tomorrow they leave for Lima to visit a vocational school that their son is looking into. It is fun having therm here.

OK...here is the second half of the lesson I began to share with you:

First of all, I need to cite the author of this lesson: Dr. John Henderson. He has a Phd in Counseling Psychology....but this is not psychology...this is right from the Bible!

The title of what I summarized before was "The Descent into Depression". This lesson is called , "The Ascent into Joyful Abundance"

When we begin with a heart that is full of Christ and HIS rule, we experience peace and contentment. Then life's either brings comfortable circumstances or pain and suffering. If we are living in comfortable circumstances and continue to allow Christ to rule our hearts, our trust in God increases (Isaiah 41:10) which motivates us to obey and love God more fully. If we are faced with pain and suffering and continue to allow God to rule our hearts, then our faith increases (Romans 8:32 and Philippians 4:13, Job 19:25, James 1:2-3, 1Peter:6-9) and that increases our trust in God which motivates us to obey and love God more fully. At that point, we are again faced with more circumstances...either comfortable ones or painful, suffering ones. If comfortable, then the peace and/or contentment increases and the cycle repeats leading to more faith, more trust, more obedience, more love....and ABUNDANT JOY. If pain and suffering occur, it leads to increased FAITH which also leads to more peace and/or contentment, more trust, more obedience (1 Peter 4:19, Psalm 23:5-6, Phil. 3:7-11) and JOYFUL ABUNDANCE.

You might have to work through that slowly to get it... On the chart he had peace on one side and peace on the other. Obviously it isn't always one or the other...they usually go hand in hand but not always. BUT the right response brings the same benefits :-)

I hope that is as encouraging and challenging to you as it is to me. Jo

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/17/13 9:23 P

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Good evening ladies,

I know that I said that I wouldn't be here until Monday but Mike is playing his computer game on his computer so I am taking the time to check in.

Jo - praying that this cough goes away. It is very good of you to think about the families with little ones. This episode with Konnor has made me very aware that little ones have no defense against all the illnesses out there.

Elaine - don't you just love snuggle time. Little Ava loves to snuggle and will put her arms up and just say snuggles. We all just give in and not only does she feel loved but our hearts get nicely calmed and warmed.

Mary - I know that like both you and Jo - I need to get my head and heart in the right place and focus on just one thing. I think I am going to concentrate on getting on the treadmill every day this week. Something is better than nothing. My sugar numbers are not good and so I will also have to watch what I eat. I hope that you have a good time going with David. I enjoy the time Mike and I spend together when I am able to go on the road with him. (I just hate the truck).

Kathie - thinking of you tonight. I am glad that your DIL and son's time had some positive benefits. I will be praying that they will be able to move forward from here and build a strong relationship.

Jan - how is Fl? Hope you are having fun but also relaxing too. Praying for God's touch on your life.

Have a great week,

Dore

Believe you can and your halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well and doing well whatever you do.
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2/17/13 9:12 P

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Hello everyone. I have read a few posts but not all. I will try to catch up more tomorrow. Our first week here in Fl was very busy with the grandkids. We had a great time with them at Universal then we went to their house for a few days. Today we came back to St Petersburg for church so we could touch base with everyone. It was a great day of welcome home hugs and invites to get together with people. It will be a busy 6 weeks here.

I am so happy to hear Konner is doing so well. PTL!

Valentines day was also our 13th anniversary. Since we were with the grandkids we did not do anything special but plan to take a few days away from everything in the next couple weeks. Our plan this trip is to enjoy the trip and not work so much. We want more time with people. But some people have already asked Dale for his help and of course he says yes. But his is setting limits too.

We flew down with the intention of purchasing a car down here and drive home. We were looking at Volvos as that will be our next car. But we came across a deal we could not refuse. it is a 2005 Buick Century with only 17,400 actual miles on it. Like new condition with only a small scrape along the side trim but can be fixed easily. it was only $8000. That was $3000 over our budget but we did a little adjusting and at the same day a friend asked Dale to finish a bathroom repair that someone else started and did not come back. That will make up the difference or most of it. The owner of the car is handicapped and then had a stroke it has not been driven for a while thus the low mileage. It books for 11,000 so we got a great deal. Now we are waiting for plates to come from Michigan this week.
Mary my knee is doing pretty good. The day at Universal with the grandkids gave it a workout and it was very sore by the time we got back to the car. But after a few days of resting it seems better.
Now I am fighting allergies. My head feels like it wants to explode. I think there is something in the room we are staying in that is the main culprit. We may have to move to another area of the house. We are staying with friends.
Talk to you all later. They are putting in a movie so gonna go snuggle with my hubby.


Janice

"Without God I can do nothing. But with Him all things are possible."




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2/17/13 8:04 P

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All: I am so surprised at how long its been and how behind I am with posts. I appreciated the update from Jo from the conference. I love the challenge. Every day we need to keep our focus in check. I've been getting to the gym almost every day...except Sundays. I have not been watching the food as closely though since my last post. This is where I need to figure out something and stick with it.

Jo: I hope you are feeling better.

Dore: It sounds great that Konner is doing better. Praying as soon as I type this for that sore to go away.

Jan: I hope you are doing well. I miss hearing from you.

Kathie: I had trouble too with some of those idols. I think that it helped being frustrated with the ones of Sean. I prayed for mine to be removed too...so I realized it doesn't just happen once, but becomes a challenge to focus daily.

Mary: I hope you continue to press in to Him. I think of you as the rainy days start in Spring. I hope that sunny days come your way.

All: I have a little sweetie on my lap that needs snuggling. I need to love on my Destini so I will try to check in tomorrow.

Blessings!

Elaine

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2/17/13 9:47 A

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Good morning, ladies, we ended up having some friends and their older kids over last night and along with our kids, played dominoes until midnight. We had a great time.

Jo, I am so glad you are sharing with us what you learned from the conference. I can't wait for another lesson. I was nodding my head up and down as I was reading it. I had shared that I ended up going to a "celebrate recovery" meeting because a friend of mine did not want to go alone. I ended up getting so much out of it for myself. It seemed to go along with what you posted from the conference. So much sinful behavior is just accepted as normal today, unless we are hearing God's word, we don't even know what is wrong or why we feel messed up. Things are getting so much worse in our world and at an alarming rate. I think we are all going to have to know the word of God so that we can share it with others who are feeling hopeless. I am with you on the food issue, Jo, I want to eliminate the unhealthy sugars and carbs from my diet and sometime that include a fast from them. I am also trying to make working out a routine, they must go hand in hand. I want to be obedient to God, he wants us fit and healthy and he will help us get there. I hope that you are able to do some resting and recover from this cough. I had my share this winter and it just seemed to linger. Good decision on staying away from the new babies and elderly, I wish everyone felt that way.

Kathie, I was thinking about your DIL also with these "celebrate recovery" groups. I don't know if they have them in your area, easy to check out at celebraterecovery.com. I had shared that I grew up in a very dysfunctional home and when I went to this meeting, I felt that I finally had a place where I was understood and not alone. I think that healing, sometimes, can take a lifetime. I really want to work on being the person God created me to be and I was meant to be at this meeting. I have been seeking, most of my life and God has been good but I know things can be even better and that is going to mean changes within myself that I have to choose. As Jo, mentioned, we all have idols that we put before God, with God's help, I need to ask him for the "desire" to have him mean more to me than these other things. Sometimes I think others are the ones with the problems, then I am convicted to see that I have problems, too. God can use anyone to help others, but I feel the more we are like God, the more he can use us. Sometimes I wish we lived in a bubble, away from "the world" but we are here to make a difference and need to be filling ourselves with the right things. I have rambled long enough.

Dore, thank you for sharing the good news about Konnor. I am so glad that he is doing better. Situations like this, keep us close to God, and we are supposed to thank him in all things, as he can bring good out of all, if we let him. Praise the Lord, I continue to pray for Konnor and his family.

I am thankful for the 3-day weekend. I will be going with Dave on Tuesday and lots to accomplish before that time, so I can enjoy my time with him. The high will only be 19 today but it is sunny and that is a good thing.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Edited by: MERRYWON at: 2/17/2013 (09:50)
"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/17/13 8:56 A

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Hi, ALL: I'm in for the day, pretty much. I may have to run out to the grocery store...but maybe Dan will do that after church. I'm staying home b/c of my cough. I don't feel horrible...maybe just tired....but I have these coughing jags and I can only take so many cough drops (that work) without over-dosing. Plus I WANT to cough up the crud that is coming out in tiny globs. YECH!

So....I'm staying put. I also put the nursery coordinator on alert that I might not be there on Thurs. This thing has dragged on since two weeks ago, so I doubt I'll be ready to care for toddlers on Thurs. We shall see. I hope I'm improved by then but don't know how much I'll have improved or if I will sound like someone a young mom would want to be caring for her wee ones. Many of the families have newborns and don't need bad viruses to be introduced to the family.

That is partly why I'm staying home this morning, too. There are lots of older folks at church too. I'm torn. It feels pretty good to just be able to lay around, but I really miss church when I can't get there.

Maybe later I'll do the flipside of the lesson I shared yesterday. (You guys didn't know you were going to the conference WITH me, did you :-) Hey...don't feel obligated to wade through this. It is just that I'm excited about what I'm learning and want to share.

Today I'm on a mission to start purging the sugar from my diet. Have been abysmal about that this past week. By "sugar", I mean refined, added sugars...not the natural sugar in fruit. It won't be perfect but hopefully get my well on my way to a much healthier status. Jo

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/16/13 9:43 P

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Good evening all,

Just a quick stop by to give you the latest update on Konnor.

"Konnor saw the Doctor today. She said he looks great and we were doing a great job. We did find a red spot and are going to watch it. But hes doing better!!!! She wants to see him every week until he gets back up to his birth weight. Thank you for all that you have done for us!!!"

This is from his daddy.

We are all rejoicing in Konnor's continued improvement.

Mike is home and so I won't be back until Monday. Have a great weekend all.

Dore

Believe you can and your halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well and doing well whatever you do.
Longfellow


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2/16/13 3:14 P

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Jo, that really resonates with me! Struggling against depression, trying to fill the inner gaps with food, it's certainly a big, complicated package. I must say, though, I have found that until I really understand what's happening at the deep levels inside, "repentance" is hollow. God digs deep! To go deep with God, through journaling for instance, is to find out the deep truth about ourselves. Awesome insights you brought back with you. Thanks for giving us the abridged version. Oh how I look forward to the next lesson!

All: DS and DIL are back from there little getaway. They had some good, deep visits, and determined that some of DIL's struggle is due to growing up in a home with emotionally absent parents--chronic headaches,no deep talks, and a steady flow of missionaries on furlow. Where's a middle child to get her emotional needs met? Thank you for praying through this time of struggles. There will more, but like Jo's lessons, probably followed by a time to absorb the teaching. God bless you for your compassion and concern!

Have a blessed day!
Kathie

Happiness comes not from doing what one likes to do, but from liking what one has to do.


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2/16/13 12:28 P

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Hello, ALL: Wow! I never got back to you while at the conference. Each day was so exhausting! But it was all worth it. We get so much info I feel like my head will explode. I'm worried about how much I won't retain...but I'm looking over my notes again now....and will do it again and again. I need to go over my earlier training notebooks as well.

One of the best sessions this year was about depression and what that really represents. In looking at that, it showed not only "depression" but all sorts of sinful behavior that is motivated by idols in our hearts. We hear this taught in many, MANY different ways at these conferences, b/c it is the basis for Biblical Counseling. When we make ANYTHING other that GOD an idol, we get WAY off track in a myriad of ways!

When we live in the flesh...even as believers we often fall into this....we are letting pride and "self-rule" take over in our hearts (our deepest motivator) That always leads to either lust or fear. It leads to lust....if we want something we don't have....or to fear...when we have something we really want and are afraid we might lose it. Both of those are destructive. If you lusting after something you don't have, you can either repress or deny the lust rather than dealing with it by confessing and repenting. But denying or repressing the lust only increases it. Then your efforts to control the situation increase...either to repress/deny the lust or to achieve it. If you just have to control more and more to repress them, you become angry and depression ensues with feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and regretfulness.

If you don't choose to repress/deny the lust but rather go after GETTING what you want, then your behavior is marked by controlling things so you get what you are lusting after. If you fail to get it, the control efforts increase. If you continue to fail, you get very angry.....it becomes offensive anger...hurting others while the anger increases....the lust increases, the anger increases....and leads ultimately to depression just as before. IF you manage to GET what you wanted, both pride (I succeeded and GOT what I went after) AND shame increase (I know I was being lustful and selfish) but you still feel unfulfilled...it doesn't bring you the satisfaction you thought it would so you up the ante for what you are lusting after...either MORE of the same or something completely different...it never ends so the cycle begins all over again after reinforcing the pride and self-rule in your heart. On the whole other side of being motivated by fear....you can deny/repress the fear of loss, rather than repenting of your lack of gratitude, but that only increases your fears, so you try to control circumstances/people around you, which when it doesn't work, causes anger and then depression. If you try right away to control circumstances to preserve whatever idol you are focusing on and succeed, again...it leads to increased pride/shame and reinforces a prideful and self-ruled heart. If your efforts fail, it creates "defensive anger" (blaming) and the fear increases which increases either the denial/repression efforts of the control efforts and leads to depression and helplessness/hopelessness.

He likened our lusting or fears to dry land or a roaring fire in Proverbs 30; neither are EVER satisfied. Even when you flood dry land, eventually, it will require more water. And the more fuel you add to a fire, the more it requires and demands.

The thing that is so tricky is that we think of "idols" as bad things but many of the things we "lust" after or hold as "idols" in our hearts are very good things. We have just put them in the wrong place in our lives! For instance, food is a GOOD thing...a thing that God wants us to enjoy and have enough of. But when we think of it wrongly....use it wrongly...to comfort us and give us the peace that we should be getting from running to our ABBA FATHER, then it becomes an idol. It can be sex (also a good gift from God when used properly) or our children or our relationships or our church or our pastor or our intelligence....any good thing can become an idol as well as bad things.

When we look at how others sin against us it is easy to see this in THEIR lives. But we need to look at this in how we respond to those sins against us and try to live in ways that don't so the same thing in our responses.

I'll talk about the OTHER SIDE of this...the right example....later. Jo

OK.....I just re-read that....it was a mouthful!! I don't know....it might not make sense to you with out the chart....but it is SO revealing I wanted to try to share it with you all. There was a lot more about what is labeled as "depression"....much of it not being true depression but rather "sadness". What's the difference you ask? Ah....more later :-)

Edited by: SKIDEE at: 2/16/2013 (12:34)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/16/13 9:17 A

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Good morning, ladies, Dave arrived home last night, the weekends are always so busy. We have an extra day with President's Day so hopefully will find some time to relax. I did exercise yesterday. I hope I can keep this up and that it will boost my extremely slow weight loss.

Have a great day!

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/15/13 5:11 P

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Oh, Elaine, I had a stressful day, too, and I am not even going to get into it. Seems like sometimes everything goes wrong at once. No wonder why we turn to food. I just need to deal with the stress productively, just like you mentioned. I am planning on going to the Y tonight and work some of it off.

http://www.celebraterecovery.com This is the link to find group locations. I wish they had a meeting tonight, I would go.

Edited by: MERRYWON at: 2/15/2013 (17:30)
"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/15/13 8:27 A

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All: I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's day. I had a great time with Destini. I'm SO glad I took the time yesterday to pick up some progesterone cream. The stuff seems to be helping me as well. Thanks for sharing Mary.

I am so worn out emotionally, so please forgive me for not addressing any individual posts in mine.

My friend's husband did meet with Sean. She sent me an email saying he didn't think Sean was cheating on me. He must have asked Sean. Sean came home last night and asked me what I thought Valentine's day meant. I gave him a generic history of the day. He was trying to cause an argument, so I did my best to dodge it. Then, I told him I knew Valentine's day was not important to me, but I had a great day with my favorite little Valentine so it didn't matter. He said that I seemed very "concerned" about him lately, and you could tell he was being argumentive, so I didn't engage him on it. I said, I've been concerned about him for a long time. Salina asked him if he was staying and he said no that his trailer was broke down. He never came home last night. He came home for a few minutes this morning, picked up Salina to take her to school and left without a word.

Last night I lost it (before his recent overnight disappearance). Salina said I shouldn't let him get to me because it was not like this was sudden. She said I shouldn't worry about the kids because it wasn't the divorce that messes up the kids, but when the parents leave. I really hate it when she asks him to stay and he leaves. He came in behind my back and gave her chocolates for Valentine's day. I'm positive it was to hurt me. I'm so tired of his attitude. I just have the kids to think of. They are SO important to me. I can see his mom just jumping at the chance to ruin Destini. She would buy her things, and tell her that Jesus is not the only way and that she should try "new things". She is SO manipulative and controlling.

I am so tired mentally, so I am going to the gym and doing cardio and coming home, getting ready and calling on this offer to become an independent insurance sales agent. I don't know if it will work for me, because you either have to train for a year or so, or they give a salary for you to start. I couldn't do it unless I can have a salary. But there is the opportunity for flexible hours, and to make a great deal of money.

Mary: I looked into the location of one of those meetings. I think a friend of mine who's a pastor's wife has one of those in her church in Traverse City. I'm going to check into it with her. I really need something. I just hope I can make the time for it.

My friend mentioned the hormone thing to me. I am using progesterone cream again. I haven't been using it in a while. I think the stress is effecting my hormonal balance. Trying to stay focused. Pray with me through this, that God's favor would be with me.

Elaine

Edited by: GIRL4ABBA at: 2/15/2013 (11:36)
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2/14/13 10:10 P

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Good evening, ladies, I am happy to report that I got to the gym despite the weather. When I got done working out, my GF called me. She is suffering with depression and she asked me if I would go to "Celebrate Recovery" with her. Her therapist wanted her to go. Honestly, I really did not feel like going but told her I would. Wow, was I meant to be there. It's for people recovering from pretty much everything from drugs, alcohol, food, porn, control, co-dependency, etc. The program is nation wide and it is based on God and scripture and sharing with one another. There was praise and worship and music and it was wonderful and very healing. I went for my friend and got so much more. What a wonderful evening. I think I found something to do with my Thursday nights.

Elaine, I was thinking of you at this meeting as some people in broken relationships were there and shared. You should really check to see if they have any groups near you. It was wonderful.

Kathie, so glad that you had a wonderful time with your grand daughters. They are at a wonderful age. I am sure their parents appreciate the fact that the girls are in good hands. We did not really have a romantic day either. I ordered my kids a pizza for a treat and I went out for a cup of soup and sandwich with a friend.

Jan, thinking of you and hoping you are enjoying your trip to Florida and that your knee is holding out for you.

I will be working at the college tomorrow while my second bedroom is getting new carpet. The first one looks so nice.

Hope you all had a great day!

Edited by: MERRYWON at: 2/14/2013 (22:11)
"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/14/13 9:57 P

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Happy Love Day, all!

We've been entertaining two of our granddaughters for the past couple of days. Such darlings! They are 8 and 6, lovely ages. Now they are are at the cousin's until the parents get home.
I was helping with a mission project at the church all day, so our romantic Valentines supper was pancakes and sausages, and the sausages were leftovers! I guess the marriage will last awhile yet;-)

Dore, it's a total thrill to hear your good news about Konner! Thanks for the news!

Elaine, hope the shopping trip was great fun. You can be your own valentine, you know!

Mary, good job at the gym! How many calories are burned shovelling snow?

At our church ladies meeting this afternoon the devotional ended with this statement:
When we love, we are most like God.
Love to all our Daily Thread team today.
Kathie


Happiness comes not from doing what one likes to do, but from liking what one has to do.


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2/14/13 11:56 A

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emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Good morning, ladies and Happy Valentine's Day! I am feeling really good this morning, despite the fact that we are supposed to get up to a foot of snow through tomorrow.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Elaine, I think that just getting to the gym yesterday boosted my mood, either that or the progesterone that I am taking is actually helping. Are you doing anything special with the girls today. I made Tim some French toast with strawberries this morning before school and he appreciated that. It's the little things that count. When is your interview?

Nothing special planned for Valentine's Day. Dave will not be coming home until tomorrow but I will be spending next week with him.

I am hoping to get the gym later for another light work out. I have weight training session on Monday morning to familiarize myself with the machines once again. I am going to bring my gym bad with me next week when I am with Dave.

Hope you all have a great day, may God's love fill you to the brim!

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"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/14/13 10:05 A

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Dore: Praise God!!! I hope they have a wonderful Valentine's Day at HOME!!! :-) I remember how freeing that was bringing Destini home!

Mary: I'm so happy for you that you got to the gym. I missed yesterday because my friend's daughter was coming over and I wanted to get some schoolwork done, and today I missed because I went to the healthfood store to get some progesterone cream, and I have to leave after I post this to go to Destini's Valentine's Day party and take her on our date this afternoon to the mall. I am so excited. I am going shopping a bit too. I'm hoping to find something to wear to an interview.

All: I am hoping to have a special day with Destini. Sean came home as he has been, slept on the couch, and left without a word. I don't know what to say to him, except things I need to accomplish around here. It is sad but I try not to dwell on it. It is something I can't change for him. He has called Salina just to say hi, which is good. He hasn't written off her at least. I feel super bad for Destini, though. She has not had much of his time at all. :-( But I trust the Lord as my Source, and that as I build my faith in Him, I will be able to direct her to the One who will get her through.

Elaine

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2/13/13 9:34 P

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Kathie, I will continue to pray for improved communication between your son and DIL. It has taken us a very long time to improve in that area but it is possible. I'll never forget when we went on a marriage encounter, it was really intense and difficult for me and Dave as it seemed to deal with every area of our lives. We have also gone on Christian marriage retreats which I actually found even more helpful. When we went to counseling we had date night once a week. I think the most difficult time for us is when our children were little. As parents we tend to put them first. It should be God first, then the parents, then the children. As Dr. Dobson says, "we have the triangle upside down and that doesn't work." I am looking forward to going to Madison with Dave next week. We still have to make that time for each other.

Dore, praise the Lord for the good news! God can bring good out of any situation if we let him and it sounds as though this situation has brought you daughter and SIL closer together. It also brought the townspeople together. God is good.

Elaine, I actually got to the gym today for a light workout. It felt really good, thank you for encouraging me.

Edited by: MERRYWON at: 2/13/2013 (21:37)
"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/13/13 9:31 P

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Good evening all,

God is so very good. Here is the latest post from my daughter.

"Yay! We are going home today. Konnor is finishing his last iv antibiotic and then the nurse will remove his iv and go over discharge paper work. He is on oral antibiotics for 10 more days and dressing changes will continue for at least 7 days. I am so very relieved, excited,and thankful to be going home. This is truly a miracle for us to be going home so soon. God is good and HE is good ALL the time. For anyone who doubts....God answers prayer. Thank you to everyone (the list is so long) for your support and prayers."

They are not allowed to go anywhere except tot he Dr. house nor are they allowed to have visitors until the Dr. says so. Both my daughter and her DH have been so touched by the way that their home town has pulled together behind them, how people that they don't know have stayed in contact with them for updates so that they can pray, and also visits to the hospital by people who have heard through others. A friend of mine from another team that lives in Billings stopped by twice to visit with Autumn. She even brought her a bag of goodies yesterday when she visited.

A story that Autumn shared with me the other day. She had asked her husband to bring her Bible to the hospital so that she could read it while she was there. He forgot. So on Sat. night she prayed that God would help her remember all the verses she had memorized during her years in school. All of my children attended a private Christian school that memorized a different portion of Scripture each month. She especially asked Him to help her remember a portion of Scripture that would bring her peace and comfort. He did just that. I could tell there was a different sense about her after that.

Praying for all of you and hoping that you all have a great day tomorrow.

I know that I haven't responded to everyone personally but I am praying.

Dore.

Believe you can and your halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well and doing well whatever you do.
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2/13/13 1:24 P

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Dears: Thank you for your prayers. Our son and DIL are away for a break together. She finds it so hard to open up to him, but that is one of their goals while away. It's a good time to pray!!

Mary: Nothing like God's critters to keep us out of ourselves. Good for you to get your exercise while taking care of the horses. And soon it will be Spring! (Is that a good thing or a bad thing? We can get our worst weather in the Spring!) Prayers for a day of moving forward.

Elaine: Thanks for your kind words. You are very right about this forum. I have needed to connect with you all more than I realized! And I'm so happy to be able to pray in specific ways for all of you and to see how God is at work in all our lives.
OH, how wonderful God is! He sees just what we need in just the right time, though we often think He works too slowly. And you bless your friends by using that $300 to its full benefit, feeling encouraged and good about yourself. I'm convinced that nothing in God's economy is wasted, no matter how bad a situation may be or how long it may continue. Through your faithfulness, God WILL bring good! Our suffering is never wasted. God bless you today.

To the rest, love and prayers for this day.
Kathie

Happiness comes not from doing what one likes to do, but from liking what one has to do.


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2/13/13 12:07 P

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Kathie: I see the pits, and I think that this is why it is so important for us to be here, in this forum, connecting as often as we can. I see you as beautiful, reaching out with loving arms to your daughter-in-law, loving her through her struggles, and praying your son through. I see the things in you to fight for, the things that make you priceless, and the things that matter. I think with everyday life, we only see the same reflection, but Jesus is in us to help each other see the value in each other.

Mary: I'm routing for you to make it to the gym, even if for 15 minutes, but more to have a great time with Dave.

All: I am sorry if I missed anyone...I think I'm good. I wanted to tell you something that made me cry today. My friend had her daughter drop off a card for me today...with $300 from her husband and her. They want me to know that I am not alone. They asked me to buy flowers for myself for Valentine's day and an outfit for interviews and keep some in case I need something or run out of money for food. God is so good! I'm getting my hair done today so I'm thinking of going lighter again. Its been a while but my dear friend went lighter again and she looks wonderful. I have to go get something done today, so I'd better run. Yesterday was really productive with school. Sean continues to get home late. My friend's husband is trying to get a hold of him. His brother called our friend last night and is also concerned about his treatment of me, and also his treatment of his own wife. He said his uncle and he don't give their wives money unless they ask either. He felt terrible, and was convicted. I hope he blesses his wife out of this. I'd hate to think this thing I've been going through is for nothing. Maybe the Lord will break the chain of this treatment of women in this family. Maybe my BIL will teach his son to love his wife in Christ.

Elaine

Edited by: GIRL4ABBA at: 2/13/2013 (12:16)
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2/12/13 8:09 P

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Good evening, ladies, I did get outdoors this afternoon. I went down to feed the horses and found that the slush was knee-deep. Had to go to town and buy some tall rubber boots and take a sled down with feed. It was quite a workout.

Kathie, continuing to pray for your son and daughter-in-law. This isn't going to be an easy fix, some of these things take lots of time and most of all prayer. Sometimes I think a crisis brings us closer to God. Just know that we are here for you.

Elaine, great job with working out. I still have not gotten to the YMCA. If I go with Dave this coming week, I will start working out at the hotel. During the day there is no one using the equipment and I will have some privacy to get started. We are supposed to start our Dave Ramsey course this week and I will miss the first one if I go. I am going to try to get a hold of the instructor to see if we can view the dvd ahead of time.

As soon as I get my car back, I am going to try and pick up more teaching days. We have had lots of bills and it would help if I could contribute more.

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/12/13 1:32 P

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Hi all:
Mary, I hope you can get outside a bit today. Some days it's so hard to peel off the sofa, but just a few minutes outdoors may help lift the blahs. Madison in a nice suite sounds lovely, and I bet you could get in some good walks there, too.

Elaine, keep pressing forward! You are so right about the balance in life--hard to achieve and needs daily tweaking. Today, I'm working hard on putting enough value on myself to overcome some of the pits I've been in. Isn't it sad how easily we devalue ourselves, especially when we struggle against the negativity of others. Love Yourself as God Loves You!!!

Jo, thanks for sharing some of the insights you've been receiving at your retreat. Your gift of teaching shines through for us all!

Dore, love and prayers to you and the family, and special prayers for the wee boy. These little guys are pretty good fighters. Our son was born 10 weeks premature many years ago, and today he is a healthy, wonderful, godly man who has made a big difference in our family, our church and our community. God bless you all.

Jan, blessings and prayers on your travels.

Love for today,
Kathie

Happiness comes not from doing what one likes to do, but from liking what one has to do.


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Mary: It is so convincing, really, how much we need our Lord. We need His Counsel, His Comfort, His Strength. I hope your car gets fixed soon. At least your goal is there in place, and you will get there. I pray that you and Dave will have a wonderful trip. It sounds lovely. :-)

All: Got to the gym today and I've been faithful to track now for the second day. I really see the importance of tracking food with weight loss. It helps me see the areas that are keeping me from losing weight. I am feeling better today. I did some research and decided that I really needed to get more rest. It was a good move not to go to the activity yesterday with Destini. I decided to take her out for lunch on Thursday and to do something fun with her. I think I'll take her to the mall. Last time I took her to McDonald's and found her playing with other kids instead of having time with me. I really want to do something where it is the 2 of us.

Well, time to set up the week of schoolwork. The is the last week of class. I have to look at the new class too. I have been trying to relax a bit too.

Elaine

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2/12/13 11:30 A

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Good morning, ladies, it is like an ice rink everywhere. I am hoping that we will get some sunshine and some melting going on.

Jo, I am going to copy the words that convicted me in your post, " We are no longer supposed to be so concerned with what we need to be comfortable and "happy", but rather concern ourselves with what will glorify God and build His kingdom." Ouch, I really need to focus more on what God wants of me rather than what I want. Lent is a good time to make a commitment. I am going to spend some time in prayer today, asking God where I need to start with putting him first. There are many areas of my life that I need to work on and I think I make it too difficult. If I focus on him, he will show me what I need to do.

Elaine, I did not get to the gym. I did not go anywhere yesterday. My car has been in the shop since last week, getting some body work done. A friend of ours is doing it in his spare time and gives us a good price so I can't complain. It's just that I have to share with the kids around their work and school schedules. I really should get out, as I am getting too comfortable staying home in my pj's.

Dave invited me to come with him to Madison next week. He has a beautiful suite and thought I would enjoy a few days away, so thinking of going. I am scheduled to work but that can be changed.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Mary

Edited by: MERRYWON at: 2/12/2013 (11:33)
"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/12/13 6:24 A

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Jo: It sounds like a challenging seminar, and that they need to take more breaks for stretching...that would be super hard on me too. I am realizing that without taking care of myself, in choosing to lose weight and be healthy, I am not going to be able to be everything for the Lord. I used to look at that part of me as being very superficial, but I realize that I was wrong. Without our bodies being in good health, it limits our ability to make a difference. With that and work, even though my body now is still fatigued, I press on to better health. I also realize as of yesterday that I need to listen to my body as it heals. I was tired lately and I've been ignoring it. It is important to look at our emotions as well. I really have felt a huge pull in one direction or another and I continue to feel like there is nothing more important than being well-rested and having your health in order once you've fed your spirit. I really believe it is important to know where you are, too, whether it is your physical body (needing to lose weight in my case and strengthen my muscles) or whether it is to take time to rest. It is all a balance. It is going to be important as I get busier to listen to my body and be spiritually grounded.

Dore: I have to run and get the kids ready for school, but I am glad to hear Konner is eating too. I hope you have continued good reports today.

Mary: Did you get to the gym?

Kathie: How are you doing? I know He is using you in the lives of your family.

Jan: Are you on your way to Florida? How is everything going? I've been pretty distracted lately so I'm trying to catch up with you guys.

Elaine

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2/11/13 9:46 P

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ELAINE: I'm glad you made it through the service and were able to help our sil a bit. I'm sure she appreciated the help.

I'm really glad you had some friends that showed up for moral support, too.

DORE: So glad to hear that Konner is eating well. I agree that that sounds like a good sign.

MARY: Go sit under one of those special lights and do something that you really enjoy. If you do that early in the day it is supposed to help a lot.

ALL: We finished our second day of conference and I'm really tired. It is hard work sitting in those chairs from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. listening intently. I heard many things today that made me think of Elaine's situation, specifically, but also many things that could relate to each of us, including our issues with food.

One thing that was repeated a few times was that we must " need people less and love people more". I thought that fit with what both Elaine and Mary were saying. Our lives are supposed to be sacrifices to God. We are no longer supposed to be so concerned with what we need to be comfortable and "happy", but rather concern ourselves with what will glorify God and build His kingdom. That sounds good until it is really asked of us to BE sacrificial. I am praying for the strength and courage and commitment to really live that out.

My mind is pretty much shot so I"m gonna go to sleep. More in a day or so. JO



Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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Mary: I hope you get there, but even setting a goal is one step closer. :-)

All: I'm having some vertigo tonight. I was kind of worried about it. I am getting it checked tomorrow if it is still there. Right now I've missed my daughter's American Heritage girls. I feel bad, but I know if I pushed myself too much, I would probably not make it. Vertigo is dizziness and nausea. I haven't gotten sick, but it feels like the room is spinning.

I am putting Destini to bed and putting my feet up...I feel so shakey. I'm going to rest.

My food tracker shows that I'm low in the protein goals, OK with carbs, too high in calories and fat. I was fine until my oldest made pudding...something I never eat...if only I'd have looked at the tracker before I ate it. I did exercise though, but I think I realized finally that tortilla chips are terrible. I used them a great deal when I was eating mostly raw because of guacamole. I now realize that unless that is my meal, I should avoid it. Plus I need more protein.

Elaine

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Yes, Elaine, one day at a time. I really need to get to the Y, I am seriously thinking about this evening.

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/11/13 10:56 A

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Mary: I think we both need to take it one step at a time, and one healthy habit at a time. I was inspired today by my Matron of Honor's pic on Facebook today. She looks GREAT!!! She went through divorce a year ago, and she lost a bunch of weight and went back to lighter hair. I am so proud of her. But I think in her case, she might be living with someone...I hope she is not because if she is doing well, I hope she gives the glory to the Lord, and that the man she is living with is just a roommate...particularly because her son is living with them. I don't know everything, so I can't say for sure. I love her like a sister, but we don't see each other much.

I think in my case, I have not reached out to much of anyone. I was listening to Dobson the other day about emotionally destructive relationships and Sean fits almost all of the criteria, and so does his mom/sister. I am thankful that the Lord showed me that. I can now move past the desire for closeness with them. If it happens, it will happen on my terms. What I mean by that is not me getting my own way, but by them repenting from the destructive behavior, deceptiveness, and controlling approaches towards a relationship. I thanked the pastor's wife for talking to me one Sunday with her husband. He had stopped me in the hallway and asked me how I was. I told him, "Fine" but I really wasn't. He asked me again and we talked, then he said he'd like to talk in the office so he got his wife. They were SO helpful to me. I am still needing to reach out to my pastor at church. I know I need the accountability. I think I'm doing OK but there is much to sort out.

Together Mary, we can encourage each other to hold the hand of Jesus while we walk on water through these impossible situations. I think it is important to see this picture when approaching these destructive people. I step back and watch them and it makes me sad. They miss SO much. I miss SO much. My kids miss SO much. BUT the nice thing is that with this emptiness comes the lesson we can teach our children about the fullness that ONLY comes through Jesus Christ. We are women of faith. We matter. We have this powerful hope. We need to keep defining ourselves by that.

I tracked all my food and workout today! Day 1 so far! One day at a time!

Elaine

Edited by: GIRL4ABBA at: 2/11/2013 (14:20)
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2/11/13 10:05 A

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Good morning, ladies,

Dore, we will just praise God for the good news that Konnor is eating well and his weight is back up. I think that is a good sign! We will keep the prayers coming!

Elaine, I really had to examine my own self after reading your post. I have felt the same kind of pain relating to both my family and my husband's family. I guess I have always longed for a loving and nurturing family. I never came from one, and never married into one, and have had lots of hurts. Over the years, I have avoided many family gatherings because I just didn't think I could handle them. We are supposed to treat people the way Jesus would treat them, not based on how we think they should be treated based or on how they treat us. Wow, that is really difficult and if I hold myself to those standards, I have failed miserably. Really, I think I spend too much time longing for what I don't have, rather than appreciating what I do have and trying to change things I cannot change, rather than trying to change what I can. I can't change my husband, I can't change my kids, I can't change my relatives but I can change me. I long to be thin again so that I can enjoy life more and I CAN change that. I have found in the past, when I am happier, I tend not to focus so much on others. So, I want to start focusing more on myself and what is in my control and I will have to give the rest over to God. If I quit worrying about how to change everyone else, maybe I will have the energy I need to actually get myself in shape, wouldn't that be wonderful.

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/11/13 6:05 A

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All: It seems everyone was tired yesterday...I'm still tired. I did really get some rest prior to Sean's dad's funeral, but now I am up and ready to move forward.

The memorial celebration went well. The place was something that reminded us of him. It had a pool table, and a gas fireplace and a little kitchenette that was open to the room. We put food on a table by that and people ate there.

I struggled all morning before the gathering with the division in my family. Salina got up and would not listen to me (granted we had barely any sleep on Friday night) but she started to listen, and then stopped and I was all distracted by that, and trying to get Destini ready with her getting in the way, the whole thing was so frustrating. Then, Sean made a negative comment about my parenting, so I told him if he was there once in a while, I might not have to be short with my kids. Salina commented that I made everyone feel uncomfortable. Sean avoided every conversation.

At the gathering, I found out Sean had visited his grandma a few times last year. He didn't with me. I don't know who he was with. I also found out he talked to the pastor the other day about his poor relationship with his dad. I am convinced that he simply excludes me from his life. How can he not be able to afford groceries, or pay the house payment but he can drive 1 hour both ways to visit his grandmother? He has NO time for his wife and children, but he has time to go up there. Why, if he went up there did he NOT take his children or wife? Also, his brother asked me if I told him about the time the family was supposed to be there, and I said no that I hadn't talked to him in about 4 days. He basically ignored me the whole gathering. He stood by me only when our friends talked to me. But he never spoke to me. The pastor had a really great message, and they had a time where people shared. Sean shared funny stories, and so did my husband's brother's wife who put everything together. Brandon asked Brad to share and he did, about my father-in-law driving his mom and ex-mother-in-law to our mom's funeral. That made me cry. It was SO sweet. My friends were there to support me. I was glad of that. Sean talked to the pastor from our church that came (he is the associate pastor and our friend). Our pastor and his wife had a potluck right after church so I didn't expect anyone to come. I was glad they came at least.

I am walking on water. It was the thing I focused on yesterday. I was able to get through things yesterday. It was hard. After the gathering, I tried to do most of the clean up because my SIL (BIL's wife) was doing everything and she was simply exhausted by the end of the party. I told her to sit down and did as much as I could. As I was cleaning, my husband's sister's boys squirted chocolate syrup all over one of the rooms, another kitchen type room (thankfully not carpeted). They denied it, but my BIL almost decked one of them. His son cleaned a great deal of it up. As they were cleaning up that room, I went into a carpeted room and found red punch on the floor in there. Adults, not those brats worked hard to clean it up. I vacuumed as much as I could and wiped things down. My SIL was really tired. She's still recovering from a hysterectomy. I was the only one that helped. I'm still tired today after all that. Destini and I went home and ate something (it was hard to get her to eat there and I didn't eat there).

I did speak to my MIL. I said the kids did a nice job speaking. She talked a bit about that, and then about her eye (she thinks she might have diabetes). They did tests and will find out more today I guess. She was civil.

I'm determined that from this day forward I am no longer going to eat terrible. I will utilize both the gym and my meal replacement shake. I need to move forward. I've been letting myself go for too long. I will be getting a job soon. I trust in the Lord and I am helped.

My good friend posted a pic of herself. She looks stunning! She's lost weight and went lighter with her hair color again. I think I'm going to join her. I used to have lighter hair. I'm going to wait until I find a good job for the hair thing, but I think it is a good goal. I'm going to spend a bit more time at the gym today too. I can ride the bike longer. I've just been working on GETTING there at first. Now, if I could combine it with eating right, I'd have success! Today is a new day.

Elaine

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2/10/13 10:13 P

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"Update: Konnor has also been diagnosed with a uti and the bacteria appears to be eccoli. They have him on a second antibiotic. The staph spread a little yesterday but over night looks to have stayed the same. Konnor is back up to 8 pounds and eating like a champ. Still waiting and watching. Thank you everyone for all the prayers and thoughts. Konnor and I feel every single one of them here at the hospital. God is working."

Tired tonight so just stopping by to let you all know the newest news on Konnor.

See you tomorrow.
Dore

Believe you can and your halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well and doing well whatever you do.
Longfellow


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2/10/13 9:06 P

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Good evening, ladies, we have been getting sleet since this afternoon, the school delays and cancellations are already occurring. Another day that I did not get out of my pj's just not motivated when the sun is not shining, it is simply debilitating. I work at the college at the end of the week which will be good for me.

Dore, I am continuing to pray for little Konnor and his mother. He is in God's capable hands with lots of prayers for healing. Please keep us posted.

I hope everyone else is doing well and had a peaceful Sunday.

"Change never happens until the pain of staying the same is more than the pain of changing." (from my friend, Jo)


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2/10/13 9:59 A

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ALL: I read all the posts last night but was too tired to reply. No I don't remember well enough and don't have enough time. But I will remember to pray for all of you! One of my morning devotional s is about prayer and I have been convicted in a few areas...am desiring to grow there.

We are off now, to church and then to Lafayette for the conference. I'm so looking forward to it. It is convicting and yet so encouraging! We all need to live more closely to our Lord's precepts...not out of legalism, but out of our faith and TRUST in His love for us and in His wisdom and goodness! Jo

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6


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2/9/13 10:39 P

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Kathie and Dore: It is good to hear the progress in both your families. I hope you continue to have a good report as we pray.

Mary: I hope that you are able to find the motivation to continue toward your goals.

All: I got the quizzes done for this week, posted this week's group project and double-checked the bedrooms so we could sleep tonight. Unfortunately we didn't actually find the dumb thing. I am so tired. I've decided not to go to church tomorrow before the memorial. I so need sleep.

I really need sleep tonight. I hope you have a good night.

Elaine

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2/9/13 9:47 P

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Good evening all,

Yew - I made it to my meeting. But because of the weather there were only a few of us. I am not upset since we had a great time of fellowship and prayer. A short devotional on Phil. 4:13. The man sharing gave a very short biography of his life and just how that verse has come to mean so much to him. If you were to ask me I would not describe him as a shy man but he says it really is only by God's amazing grace that he reaches out and talks to people. He is the chaplain for the police department, for the military in our state, for the state troopers, and some other organizations. He is the person that is called upon in the midst of tragedies in the state. He is very compassionate and caring.

Here is the latest update on Konnor from his mother:

"Just spoke with Konnors doctor. She advised me that we won't know until Monday how Konnor is really responding to treatment. They are very concerned about the fact that he is only 18 days old and has MRSA. They are going to check the level of antibiotic in his blood this afternoon and are checking his blood pressure every hour. She mentioned concern that it may look like things are going well and letting our guard down. She is still not certain that we won't have a secondary flare up. Tests have come back with high levels of infection. Thank you to everyone for your prayers. I believe there is nothing more powerful. God is working in all of this. Tests and trials strengthen our faith."

Again thank you for your prayers.

Elaine - we have to be very careful to make sure that the flue in our fireplace is closed because the birds will fly down the chimney seeking the heat from the house. I have been scared several times when one has flown out of the fireplace into the family room. I am just thankful that so far Mike has always been home.

Kathie - so glad to hear the good news about your DIL I will pray that their time away will be one of bonding together and also of healing for them. As for the snow - we have had snow storms as late as the middle of May. I remember one year sitting on the side of the road in my winter coat and wrapped in a blanket to watch the 4th of July parade in our home town. So I understand what you were talking about.

Mary - hope that new hair do helped today.

Praying for each of you.

Dore

Believe you can and your halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well and doing well whatever you do.
Longfellow


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