Saturday, February 22, 2014

Snapshots Into My Life

What I am seeing through my lens this week.

Be still my heart! Oh, how I love this little girl! Her face brightens my day and I got to see her last weekend.

My brother's dog, Ellie. She is slowly adjusting to having a little one in the house, but she does need some extra special attention every once in a while. She looks pretty comfy laying against my yarn.

Luna's shoe fetish continues. She looks completely uncomfortable, but she had my shoe so close.

I love Bath and Body Works candles. They smell so good, but don't last nearly long enough. Bigger jars are in order. By the way, hold on to the spent jars. Once all the wax is cleared out, they make great craft items.

Movie night with my mom! This was a great movie. I bought the book, but haven't read it yet. I am definitely looking forward to jumping into it. It is hard to believe what this small group of men saved in terms of art. Unreal!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Soul-Filling Satisfaction

What would truly satisfy my soul? It is easy to come up with things that would satisfy a lot of different aspects on my life.

  • Unlimited sources of money to satisfy financial stability
  • A toned, fit body to satisfy my health needs
  • A beautiful house to satisfy a need for a home
  • A husband to satisfy my longing for family (this is getting a little personal)
But my soul???? 

Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is God. He is the only One to provide true soul satisfaction. What does our/my soul need to be filled with - joy, peace, contentment? Knowing where we are lacking gives us the opportunity to specifically pray and opens us to allow God, in His completely amazing way, to fill these voids. He will fill voids we don't even realize we have.

My list of worldly satisfaction, which can all be completely harmless, doesn't truly satisfy my soul. They provide happiness for a moment, but I will always be looking for what's next. God has allowed some people to be professionally successful. He has given us each individual bodies that respond differently. He provides all kinds of living arrangements. And in His plan, some are single and some are married.

But it goes deeper. 
  • Unlimited sources of money to satisfy my pocketbook - is this to buy material possessions to fill my soul with stuff?
  • A toned, fit body to satisfy my vanity - is this so people's view of me is higher to satisfy my soul with pride?
  • A beautiful house to satisfy my comfortability - does this show my "worth" to the world so my soul is satisfied by material possessions?
  • A husband to satisfy my insecurity because I am not married - am I looking for an earthly relationship to satisfy me in a way that only God can?

So what one good thing would I ask from God to help me feel a deep and soul-filling satisfaction? More…more of God. Psalm 107:9 is a great verse because it isn't specific with the longing or the hunger. God satisfies and fills. That's it and I don't need anything more.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Morning Tea

I enjoy tea, not so much in the morning because I drink coffee. But in the afternoon or at night, it is quite enjoyable. There is something very relaxing about it. Last weekend, my church hosted a women's tea. But they needed women to actually host the tables. Even though I know quite a few people at my new church since it was my old church, it was a great way to jump into serving in the church. Even though it was only for a few hours.

Trying to figure out what theme to have for my table was rather daunting. Since it was the weekend before Valentine's Day, I thought it would be a fun theme to have. I picked a centerpiece that I wanted to make and had several other ideas, but the cost was getting to be a little too high and my time was getting a little too low. So that theme was scrapped.

After walking around Hobby Lobby several times, I saw some black chargers that were 50% off. SCORE! My theme was going to black and white - easy and classic. But now about the tableware. As a hostess, I needed to provide a table cloth, plates, water glasses, tea cups and saucers, flatware and a centerpiece. All of my dishes are in Pennsylvania so I was a little out of luck there. Thankfully, Toledo is home to Libbey Glass, so I was able to get some glass plates for relatively cheaply. I also bought water goblet for $1. Another bonus buy!

So now it was time to decorate the table. This is a little more fun for me. I had an idea in my head, so I was moving full steam ahead. My mom helped to prep the food, so she was able to give me a little insight to what was already up on the tables. I used roses for my centerpiece from an image I found on Pinterest. I was really pleased with how it turned out.

I even did a fancy little napkin fold. It was actually pretty easy thanks for the step-by-step directions I found. By the way, what did we do before the internet?

All in all, the event was great. The food was so yummy! And the company was great. Now I have a full year to decide what I am going to do next year.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snapshots into My Life

What I am seeing through my lens this week.
The women's ministry at my church hosted a tea last weekend. I hosted a table, which had a black and white theme. That theme was pretty popular because 3 or 4 other tables also had this theme. More to come on the tea later this week.

We had more snow this week, of course. Luna LOVES the snow. She is a winter girl just like me!

Luna, the little clept. She steals things all the time and tries to ignore you when you take whatever she has away. She always gets this guilt look on her face. But she is such a cutie!

I have great ambitions to drink tea every night, but it usually doesn't happen. This week it did. A little Sleepy Time before bed.

Starbucks always seems like a necessity when traveling. There is only one Starbucks on the turnpike in Indiana on the way to Wisconsin. It was a good mid-trip pick me up.

My sister-in-law, Katie, surprised my mom and I with cards and candy under our pillow. We were able to surprise my brother so that he and Katie could have a little time together out of the house. More on that too, this week.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

(Pity) Party Central

I rely on myself in my battle for weight loss all. the. time. To be honest, before this study, I didn't look at it any other way. It wasn't something I asked God to help me with. I got myself into this, so I have to get myself out. And I fail, get upset and the cycle continues. My own strength is quite powerless.

I joined Weight Watchers again last week and went to my first meeting last night. For me, it is a great program. It helps me with portion control and being aware of what I am eating, which is where my struggle lies. I am not a snacker, but during meal times, I want a lot of food.

The topic this week was about emotional eating. How to control it, what to do instead, etc. So, as I am sitting through the meeting, where helpful, practical tips are shared, a light bulb went off. Yes, the suggestions were good and would be helpful, but I have something, Someone, on my side. We are made to crave, just not food. The suggestions of exercising or doing a hobby were good to help stay away from food, but there is a bigger issue to be dealt with. Will this be something I struggle with forever? Not if I completely and totally give it to God, it won't! But that wasn't the case for the other people in the room. This was going to be a life long battle for them. There wasn't any hope of truly being free from food. 

Someone even brought up the saying, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." The first thing I thought of was, "Nothing tastes as good as PEACE feels." It isn't about being skinny. It is about having peace - the peace of God. My eyes were really opened. I can't do this on my own. I don't want to do it on my own.

I am excited to really push forward with my weight loss knowing that it isn't just about becoming skinny. It is about being healthy because that is what God wants. He wants the best for me and I can't allow anything else to control me.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Love in a Single World

It would probably be safe to assume that as a single person, I would view Valentine's Day as a Hallmark holiday that doesn't deserve to be recognized. But, I actually love Valentine's Day. It probably has something to do with pink and sparkly things that all of the sudden seem completely acceptable on a day focused on luv. I personally think they are acceptable at any time.

Sure…it would be nice to have a special someone in my life to dote on, but I do have special people in my life. I have a family that I love to pieces. And of course, my adorable fur baby, Luna. They are deserving of a little doting.

I also think that Valentine's Day is on my radar, because it creates a little bright spot in all the gloom that makes up winter. In Ohio, we have had almost 70 inches of snow. We just got another 4 inches on Saturday night. Even as a winter-loving person, I am anxious to see some green and growing things. But smack dab in the middle of February, there is red and pink and hearts galore! I love walking into Hobby Lobby, Michaels or Joann Fabrics and seeing all the pretty fabrics and decorations. It makes me happy!

So even though I am as single as they come, I am looking forward to a week spent focusing on other people. What is the point in being down in the dumps about something that I have no control over. I am not going the fact that I don't have romantic love ruin the love I have for my friends and family.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snapshots Into My Life

What I am seeing through my lens this week.

I love waking up to this cute little face. She has such a serious look, but I don't think she was quite awake yet.

And we had more snow. After the snow came more bitterly cold weather. I usually relish this type of weather, but I am longing to see some green.

My mom got a new computer last week. The new MacBook Pro. I am a little jealous. Apparently, Luna also likes the computer. She loves being a helper.

In anticipation of remodeling, my mom and I went to a tile store. I kinda like this one, but I have a feeling I am become easily overwhelmed and indecisive.

I LOVE the Olympics. I bought this gold OPI color last week, but I thought it was very appropriate as I cheer on Team USA!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Delighting in Obedience

Choosing to not be defined by the number on the scale, is a hard choice. I have used that number to secretly define myself for a long time. If the number is up, then I am a failure. If it is down, I want it to go down farther.

So much emphasis is put on weight, looks, the physical appearance in general. Not only do I judge myself by physical attributes, but that judgement has also gone past myself to other people. Neither is good and definitely, neither is beneficial. It puts my mind and spirit in a dark place.

Jesus wants us to be in the light. When I focus on the number on the scale, I am putting the emphasis on me, whether it is good or bad. It is really a selfish thing to do. When I am focusing on my obedience to God, the emphasis moves. It becomes about Jesus and who I am in Him.

My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Right now, I am not super happy with my weight, but my body is still a temple of the Holy Spirit. As I become healthier, my body will still be a temple of the Holy Spirit. That doesn't change.

As I am going through this study, it is hard for me to think why I have never connected my physical and spiritual health. God gave use abilities and skills and it is dishonoring to Him when I am not doing everything I can to bring God glory.

Being skinny, by the world's definition, only brings happiness. And that happiness is completely dependent on the number on the scale. Joy comes from the Lord. When my weight brings down my spirit, the joy of the Lord is not evident in my life. I am made to crave, but only to crave God, not a certain weight or food. Once my focus changes from me to God, then I will truly be delighting in obedience.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Search for Home Sweet Home

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that I thought I had found my house. But I didn't have the emotional attachment I thought I would have for the house I would buy.

We had done some behind-the-scenes work because we thought it was in a flood plain and then it wasn't in a flood plain, so there was some back and forth between the bank and the insurance company to try and figure everything out. Well, before I could go and see it again just to get a better feel, an offer was accepted. I wasn't heartbroken over it, though. I was ready to move forward and look at more houses.

A house came on the market late last week - Thursday or Friday. My mom and I were already planning on going to see more houses with my realtor, so she sent this one over to see if we would like to add it to our day. It was a definite yes!

It was in the area that I wanted to be in. It is a decent size. It does need some updating, but it is a place where I could really see myself living for a long time. Going to see the property confirmed my feelings about the house. I really liked it. I had the emotional connection!

So, I put in an offer yesterday…and it was accepted! I thought I might get a counter offer, so I was so excited to hear that they accepted what I offered!

So now all the technical not-so-fun stuff happens when buying a house - home inspection, appraisal, large chunks of money flowing out of the window. But this can be home. I am praying that everything else goes smoothly from here!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Snapshots Into My Life

What I am seeing through my lens this week.

A little breakfast splurge - French toast and Canadian bacon. It was really good on a very lazy Saturday morning.

Can you tell that my dog is absolutely spoiled? She loves to cuddle and be close. 

Favorite baby! I love this girl so much. I can't help but smile when I see her sweet face.

This proximity is rarely witnessed and only when my mom isn't home to see it. If I didn't document it, should would think I was lying about it.