Friday, September 23, 2011

Ready or Not

Here we are...ready or not! A new chapter is starting and we are just walking it out. Bill is resting and doing some "honey-do" projects. He is talking about what kind of work he is going to look for. The one thing he is sure of is that it won't be anywhere I can't go and stay with him. We are waiting on God for the next step.

What we are doing is getting ready to start the HCG diet next week. Waiting for the drops to come in the mail and then it's full steam ahead. And the good news is that Bill and I are doing it together. He will lose his weight a lot faster than I will and hopefully will learn about eating healthy in the process. I want my husband to live a long time, so getting his weight off is critical.

I want to share some of the websites I LOVE LOVE LOVE in this journey of learning to eat healthy.  There are some spectacular recipe blogs out there, and some sites for HCG that are very helpful. HCG has been a totally life changing thing for me. I have become a maniac label reader. I have learned a lot about my body, which is carb addicted, and what foods it does well with and what foods it doesn't. I am going to have to eat low carb for the rest of my life and be very careful with white flour, white sugar and those crunchy foods I love. The blogs that I have found have been lifesavers for me in this process.


is the place where I am getting my HCG drops, and a fantastic source of information. The 3 people who started this site have all lost weight and kept it off. They have a Facebook support page as well that I am part of. Love these people. If you are ready to get that extra weight off, check out this site.

My favorite blogs which you can find on the right side of this are amazing places to find low carb, and or gluten free recipes.  That is a key for me. Being a carb addict means that I have to get creative.  Kalyn's Kitchen is a Southbeach Diet friendly blog. Healthy carbs, and lots of amazingly delicious recipes.  Elana's Pantry is a gluten free blog and I bought her 2 cookbooks on cooking with almond flour on Amazon.

When I told my friend that we could eat was like she won the lottery. Almond flour pancakes...who would have thought it? I am trying to use almond flour almost exclusively. I buy it online in 5 pounds at a time, because it's a lot cheaper than at the health food store!  I buy a lot of stuff on Amazon because the prices are better. Miracle Noodles is a prime example. It costs about half on Amazon and I joined Prime which is free shipping on most things. It did cost me $79 a year, but with free priority shipping I think it will work out to be a better deal.       

I am trying to figure out how to add a contact me button on here...when I do, I will add it. If anyone wants information on HCG...check out the miracle skinny drops site. And when I add my button, you can email me I hope.  Jump on my bandwagon and let's all get healthy together so we can "Live long and prosper"!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Walking the Talk

Whenever you write about a lesson God is teaching you...look out!  You are for sure going to get a chance to walk it out. Yesterday I wrote about my husband's trials at work and all that was going on there, and this morning he called and told me they fired him. They accused him of condoning the unethical behavior going on.  Nothing like being falsely accused and having your integrity maligned. My husband has always said that he works for the Lord first and then his employer. That means he would never do anything dishonest, or cheat in any way. In fact he has always been a hard a** about the rules. So that hurts, that he was accused when he has always tried to walk in honesty and integrity. I guess we are in good company...Jesus was falsely accused as well.  He said he has peace, and knows God will provide another job. I believe that.

Here's the time where the rubber meets the road. When the rug is pulled out from under you,  it's time to walk the talk. What were the lessons?  Oh yeah...even when you are doing everything right, bad things can happen. I should have seen that one coming. So we need to see what God is doing in the midst of this. What is he working on in our lives and character. Maybe trust, that He is in control, and He will not let us fall. Maybe faith, that He is a good God, always and forever Good, Good, Good.  Maybe one lesson is the walking on water lesson...the storm is raging...and we need to get out of the boat and go for a walk. He won't let us fall.

Another lesson...God will work this for good as long as we keep our focus on Him, and don't start whining and complaining. The glass is half full, not half empty. Bill needs a rest...working 3 months without a day off takes a toll on him, and he is not a young buck anymore. He can come home and start putting feelers out, but a rest is a good thing.  Oh, I can put him on hcg with me, since I am getting ready to start another round.  That's a good thing.  He needs to lose a few pounds too even though he will kick and scream over the diet. We can spend some good quality time together. There hasn't been enough of that, and we can go to church together which I have missed.  So I see blessings in this even though we are wondering about income, and the next job.

Another would be easy to be angry, and curse the woman who did this. She went on a witch hunt, and even before Bill knew about the situation, she had planned his replacement. The kingdom of God is an upside down kingdom. He tells us to bless and not curse, and to pray for those who do us wrong.  That is what we will do. We will bless her with all that God wants to do in her life. God is a whole lot better at the justice thing that we are. If we don't leave it in His hands, then He leaves the whole mess in our hands. If we leave it to Him, then He is free to work in our behalf. I like having the Creator of the universe working for us.

In conclusion...when you are in process of learning something, or teaching it to others, you will be tested. It's the way of things. So we will do our best to walk the talk and be an example of what we are speaking. We will let God continue to form His character in us. That is the good thing, and a blessing!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Trials and Tests

Today I spoke to my husband in Afghanistan. He was feeling very discouraged about his job, and personnel issues. When he was home, some guys tried to stage a coup, went over the heads of everyone on his base and made a bunch of accusations. They accused people of falsifying time cards and sleeping when they should have been working. Serious stuff. It turns out that his foreman who was left in charge while Bill was on vacation was guilty. He did falsify the records. So he and a bunch of other guys got fired, and here is my husband with a huge mess in his department. Bill is a man of integrity, trying to walk in obedience to God, trying to do things God's way. There are lessons here...and they apply to us all.

#1. Even when you do everything right, the way you are supposed to, things can happen.  Even when you are following God in obedience, you will have trials. Precious metals are forged in fire and so are we. Fire brings out the true character of gold, and it reveals our character as well.  The Message bible says it like this in James 1:2 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. Fiery trials produce character. We are who we are today, because of the things we have experienced in our lives, both good and bad.

#2. Every test and trial has something good that can come out of it if you will choose to be better instead of bitter.  Romans 8:28 in the NKJV says it this way...And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Trust that God is going to bring something good out of everything that happens in your life. If you are in a trial, ask God to show you what His purposes are for you. Ask Him to show you what the place of blessing is. When Corrie ten Boom was in the concentration camp in WWII, they were infested with terrible fleas. She told the girls in her barracks to thank God for the fleas. It kept the guards out of the building and they are able to have a secret bible study. If you haven't read the book, The Hiding Place, I recommend it. Choose to be better. Choose to thank God in the midst of whatever you are going through. You will be surprised at the blessings that come.

#3. If we can bless those who are persecuting us, and pray for those who spitefully use us, then we are opening ourselves up to a blessing. We are opening the door for God to move in our behalf. Not my words, but the words of Jesus in Luke 6:28. When we have people who are doing their best to do us damage, our first reaction is to get really mad, and start to talk and say bad things. That is human nature. If we can practice speaking forgiveness and blessing over those people, it opens the doors of heaven and starts a chain reaction of God's working in our behalf.

The normal reaction of people in trials is to complain, get angry, and say,"Why me?"  If we can learn to cultivate and attitude of gratitude in the midst of difficulty, and learn to speak blessings over others, we will find things changing. We will have the help we need to overcome obstacles and find our way through. If we can learn these lessons, we will be amazed at the things that can happen in the midst of the fire. We will turn to gold, and become people of great character.

Friday, September 9, 2011


I am dreaming right now...dreaming about our next trip, a new camera and telephoto lens, a trip to the coast for a worship night, and oh so many things. 

Dreaming is oh so much more than "a wish your heart makes when you are fast asleep", to quote Cinderella.  Dreams are how God speaks to us, dreams are the way we create, grow and look for new vistas. Dreams can lead us to new realities, new vision for ministry, new friends, new places. 

Martin Luther King had a dream...
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
His dream has, through many twists and turns, brought about a new reality in our nation. We may not have arrived, but without his dream, and his courage to speak it out, we might not have even come this far.

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, the framers of our constitution...they all had dreams. And look what those dreams have brought to life. 
My dreams drive me to prayer and then to Google. Hahaha...sounds so much more mundane doesn't it.

 When I start dreaming about a trip, I start researching. I start looking at weather, places to stay, other traveler's reviews, plane tickets, and much more. For over 2 years, I have been dreaming of the Philippines.  I think that will be our new trip this winter. We have found an excellent place to stay off the beaten path, with snorkeling and scuba diving, and lots of other exciting things to do it we want to.  More on that later. 

I have been dreaming and wishing for a new camera and lenses for about a year. Our last trip to Ocean Shores was the the last straw! The grainy and blurry photos that I took because of not having a telephoto lens started me dreaming a fresh dream, and to Google!  I found a fantastic camera forum, a great review site for camera equipment, and lots of people to give me advice. I am hoping to have a new camera and lenses before we go on that next trip. I've been inspired to get the camera book out again  for my little Canon G10 point and shoot and see if I can't get more out of it. Excited again to learn and grow in my photography.

Our issues, economic difficulties, stress, fast pace of life, all lead to a dream deficit. We get so bogged down and discouraged that we lose our dreams. What are your dreams? What dreams did you have 20 years ago that you have lost? God wants to revive your dreams and give you a new perspective. The past years are not a total loss. You grow in trials, and in difficulties, becoming a better more rounded and stable person, if you let God work in your life through them. How much more equipped are you today to see that dream come to life and to fruition than you were 5, 10, 20 or even 40 years ago. I am 56....not too old to dream big. I think even at 70, 80 or even older you can still dream. What is God putting on your heart? What dream have you let die thinking it was lost?  Pull it out of the closet again and look at it. Ask God if it's time to bring new life to that lost dream. Why not comment on this blog and tell me what your dream is? I would like to know! Let's open ourselves once again to infinite possibilities and start dreaming again.

"God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow in them."  ~Author Unknown

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Plan B

Well, my friend and I surely know how to make memories when we go places. We drove the 7 hours to get out to Ocean Shores and had a fun time. We listened to worship music, drank espresso, laughed, talked, and finally arrived. The weather was amazing....sunny, breezy, beautiful and we couldn't have asked for more. We got to our condo around 4 in the afternoon. We were laughing because it looked like an old KOA from the 50s, but the inside of our place had all been updated. It looked very nice but smelled musty and kind of bad, but we opened all the doors  and got settled in. We got up early and walked to the beach...about a 5 minute walk through the dunes. It was deserted and beautiful.

We enjoyed Ocean Shores: shopping in all the little tourist shops, eating a fresh Dungeness crab sandwich, walking on the beaches and visiting the interpretive center. They had displays of all the wildlife and sea life of the Pacific coast. And yes...they even had a Sasquach display. There was the infamous footprint, and even photos of a nest someone found. The Olympic Penninsula is famous for Bigfoot sightings and most people we talked to were believers. We went out to the beach early in the morning by the jetty and saw about a thousand birds: Pelicans, Cormorants, Seagulls and a host of others. It made me keenly aware how much I want a better camera with a telephoto lens. By the time I got close enough to focus, the birds flew away.

By Friday, my friend told me she was having trouble breathing and was getting a little panicked. She had had trouble each night since we arrived, but tried to tough it out, but by Friday afternoon it was getting really bad.  We high tailed it to the fire department and they checked her out and gave her a breathing treatment. We decided to go to the emergency room where we spent the next 6 hours. It was Friday, a full moon and there were about 15 critical code blue patients that came in. Of course when she got the bill the other day, they charged her as a critical patient, which was funny since no one even came and looked at her for 5 hours. We finally figured out there was mold in the walls of our condo, because it smelled musty and kind of funny when we got there. You couldn't see it, but you could smell it. So we got back about midnight, went to sleep and got up the next morning. We went off to town, and walked around and created another great memory. I got out of the car, ran my toe into a cement parking strip and WOWOWOWOW did it hurt. I said some bad words...REALLY bad words. I was hopping up and down on 1 foot and totally losing my testimony. I got in the car, looked down and my baby toe was facing totally the wrong direction. So back to the fire station we went, where the fireman told us he was not permitted to set any bones. So he told Shannon how to do it and as I bit on my purse strap, she popped my dislocated toe back into place.

At that point we decided to leave and went to the condo manager and got a refund because of the mold. We decided to go off to Seattle for our remaining 2 days. Got the last room in Tacoma and spent the night, then off the next morning to Belevue where we found a really nice reasonable room at La Quinta Inn. I highly recommend it. The beds were very comfy and it was in a great place to get back and forth to Seattle. We went off to Woodland Park Zoo after checking in. Had a great time. It's a wonderful zoo...all natural exhibits. Then the next day, we went to Pike Place Market and had a great day kicking around downtown Seattle. Early dinner at Georgia's Greek Cafe on 85th street. It was one of the places on Diners Drive Inns and Dives on the food network, and Bill and I visited it before. Fantastic authentic Greek food. The best octopus I have ever eaten in my life!

The thing to remember when going on vacation is that stuff happens. It is always good to have a plan B. Or be open to creating a plan B if something goes wrong. A trip to the emergency room and a dislocated toe are no reason to give up a vacation. When Bill and I went to Portugal and discovered that it would cost us $4000 to rent a car for 2 weeks, we decided to go to plan B. We took a bus up the coast, and the taxis we paid for to get around were a lot cheaper than that rental car.   Just change things up a bit and you can have a great time in spite of those things. Flexibility is the key to really being able to roll with the punches and to make lemonade when life gives you lemons.