Category Archives: Success

Slow and Steady Wins

The end of Week #3’s Two Carb-less Days found us smiling this morning as we stepped on the scales 🙂

We are using Wii Fit Plus to gauge our progress.  Here’s the “low” down:

Me – Lost another 1.8 lbs and now in the “Normal” range for my weight and height! Total lost so far: 3.6 lbs

Eldest Son – Gained .2 lbs but he worked out quite a bit this week so it could be muscle gain or even differences in fluids.  He has moved from “Overweight” to “At Risk of Being Overweight”!  Total loss:  4.4 lbs

Youngest Son – Lost another .9 lbs this week.  He is now under 100 lbs for the first time in probably a couple of years! Total loss:  3.12 lbs

This week, the vacancy of carbs wasn’t quite as noticeable.  We have diligently searched for varieties of foods — especially things that will satisfy our snack cravings.  Can you imagine just how excited we were to discover that pork skins are CARB FREE?!!  It’s not nacho cheese Doritos, but hey, it was GOOD!

So, we remain encouraged.  It’s getting easier.  The boys don’t complain as much, and we are all gravitating to more water, more vegetables, and less bread and sugar. 

Holding onto hopes that I’ll soon have a Barbie figure and He-man arms……

Nah!

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Filed under Children, Commitment, Family, Health, Life, Priorities, Success

Life Altering Events and the Resulting Resolutions

Life has a way of molding and shaping both the good and the bad in a person.  For me, as I now am in the middle years of life, I look back and remember certain events, people, or things that have shaped Julie.  Each “lesson learned” listed below is the result of a specific battle or circumstance in my life thus far.  Now, I just have to figure out a way to convey them to my children in such a way that they will understand withOUT experiencing the events that led to the lessons…

…for as some say “Wisdom is best learned by heeding warnings from others, rather than learning from experience.

1.  Stay committed to my marriage, even when it is hardest.

2.  Never let a man hit me more than once.

3.  Never let my children be hit by a man….even once.

4.  Never leave my kids when they need me most.

5.  Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Don’t do drugs.

6.  Say “I love you” as often as possible.

7.  Let my family know that I have a relationship with the Lord so that they don’t have to worry where I went when I go.

8.  Follow the speed limits — it’s not worth the risk.

9.  Don’t always believe everything I hear.

10.  Success is not measured in riches, big houses, titles or degrees.

11.  God is the Provider….It’s all His anyway.

12.  “Stuff” is just “stuff”.

13.  Sometimes I have to remove myself to gain perspective.

14.  The older I get, the less I know.

15.  The older I get, the more I realize I depend on God.

16.  The older I get, the more I realize how much God knows.

17.  A Christian eventually begins to view life through God’s eyes.  Priorities change dramatically when that happens.

18.  Kids need Grandparents.

19.  Kids need love.

20.  Kids need to play and be kids as long as possible.

21. Trust and honesty is really, really, really, really, really important.

22.  Sometimes I think too much.  It helps to just. not. think.

23.  Depression is best handled by laying it all in God’s hands.

24.  Plan a little, but live alot.

25.  Sometimes the “t’s” don’t have to be crossed, and the “i’s” don’t have to be dotted.  It’s ok to missspell a word occasionally too.

26.  Friends can be family.

27.  I love to be loved too.

28.  Some things are for me NOT to know.

29.  Don’t have high expectations of others.  Sometimes it’s best not to have any expectations at all.

30.  To be continued as life goes on….

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Filed under God, Life, Priorities, Success, Trials, Wisdom

In Her Eyes.

k-eye.jpg

God knows both the happiness and grief a teenager can bring to a mother’s heart.  When I became a parent, and through the last twenty years, I have been concerned about my children and what it will be like when they reach those delicate teenage years.   Will they be “boy crazy”?  Will they strive to succeed?  Will they be respectful of others?  Will they listen to God’s call on their life?  Will they remember the things that I have tried to teach them?  Will they ignore and learn from my own failures?  Or…possibly the greatest concern….will they be different from the way I was as a teenager?  Oh how I have hoped so!  Like many parents, I have wanted to spare them so much of what has been learned the “hard way”.

Fortunately, God has blessed us twice so far in this area.  My oldest is now 20 years old!  We are so proud of her and the decisions she has made.  She seeks God often, and serves Him faithfully.  She has served as a positive role model for other young girls.  She worked diligently to achieve in high school, and now in college.  She loves her family, and is not ashamed to admit it.  She doesn’t mind giving her Mom a hug.  She recognizes that we continue to learn in life, making mistakes along the way, but leaning on God to pull us through. 

With Kenya, I have not had to face what many parents face.   She has not been in the “party” crowd, done drugs or alcohol.  She has stayed committed to be pure for her future spouse.  Most importantly, though, she is wanting to be what God would have her be, before anything or anyone else.   

We are so proud and look forward to watching her be blessed due to all the good decisions she has made early in life. 

This summer, she has served as an associational missionary.  You can read all about it on her blog, the Uncomfort Zone.  

I have heard it said that, “Becoming a parent is making a decision to wear your heart on the outside of your body forever”.  — Because of Kenya, my heart has moved from a heavy load on my shoulders, to the inside of my arms, where I rocked her as a baby.

…Way to go, daughter!!  Keep up the Lord’s work!!

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”  3 John 4 

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Filed under Attitude, Bible, Birthday, Blessings, Children, Church, Commitment, Faith, Family, Gifts, God, Grace, Joy, Life, Love, Missions, Obedience, Preparation, Priorities, Reputation, Success, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Witness

the First Day of the Rest of Her Life.

My youngest daughter is now an adult.  She graduated last night, and I am so proud!  Proud of her and the growth she has made over the last eighteen years. 

 From diapers to pull-ups to braces and hair straighteners…she has always been a joy. 

The most exciting moment by far was the day she accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior!  Her Dad and I were so relieved to see her acknowledge God’s hand in her life!

She has grown spiritually, especially within the last several years.  I have seen her turn to God in times of trouble.  She has taken steps to stand up for and defend her faith at school, even when it meant persecution.  She has increased in confidence and boldness – even to the point of realizing that sometimes faith in God means choosing Him over friends and family.  This is a hard lesson for a young person to learn, yet she has accepted it gracefully.

She has a heart for others, often showing concern for friends who may be off the “narrow path”.  She has chosen wisely in regards to relationships with guys.  She has remained pure, drug-free, and available for God’s calling.  For this….we are so thankful!

As graduation came nearer, and scholarship applications had to be completed, she struggled in verbalizing her goals and dreams.  Knowing that only she could come to a realization of that, I struggled, wanting to step in and fill her dreams with my own.  However, I knew I couldn’t.  She had to come to a realization of what it was that God wanted for her to do the rest of her life. I knew that now, especially now, SHE had to be the one to make the decisions.    —Time to let go……..Wow, this is the hard part for a parent 😦

Seven days before graduation, God chose to reveal His immediate plans for her.  In a series of almost unbelievable events, her goals and dreams were defined and became a reality!  She sent me an e:mail expressing her excitement at the realization that God already knew what was in her heart.  Even though she had yet to confidently state it, God personally arranged her future, sending unknown people and circumstances in to pave the way!

She now will be going to college, a Christian college, playing on a soccer scholarship, and sharing this time with a good friend who will be attending as well.  God has worked out the finances (Praise the Lord!), and the timing.  The soccer coach drove over 7 hours to meet with us and was so encouraging, patient and kind to answer all of our questions.  She will be able to study in the computer/graphic arts field while playing the sport she loves, all the while being able to openly express and participate in Christian activities on a campus that focuses on our Lord. 

We couldn’t be happier for her!  — and so humbled that God would protect and love our daughter so much.  Sometimes we, as parents, think that it is up to us to arrange and prepare the future for our children.  We forget that God, Himself, has the ultimate control, and takes the lead in laying the foundation for their success after high school.

God Is…the First Day of the Rest of Her Life —

He is also the “Inbetween” and the never-ending Last. 

Congratulations, my daughter!  We Love You!   

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Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Children, Commitment, Faith, Family, God, Grace, Graduation, Joy, Life, Love, Obedience, Priorities, Success

Mathematical 2.

(faith   + v  + k  + sc  + p  + G  + bk  + l) = (F x 2)

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith…”

What is faith?  Why is faith so important?  Faith in Who?  Where is faith at work?  How and when did you come to understand the importance of faith?

The basis of our hope and security…the foundation of our future…the beginning of our spiritual walk with Christ  — it must be faith.

In order to begin answering our mathematical equation, we should first understand that you can’t add to something that’s not there.  The verse above said to “add to our faith”, which means that faith is the foundation of our inheritance.   Without it, we cannot know God, the things of God, nor the purpose of our life in God. 

I expect that many of you reading this today have already made a decision to accept the free gift of salvation offered by our Savior, Jesus Christ.  However, I don’t want to proceed any further without making sure.  If you have not done this, I implore you to take a moment to pause……….God is giving you another opportunity to hear the greatest of news!   Faith in God is where it all begins.

Faith starts small and simple…confessing our sin, and believing that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth to take the punishment for our sin.  Like a newborn baby drinks milk from a bottle, salvation is easy to digest (free and available), does not need chewing (no special works required), and satisfies our hunger (is permanent, filling us with the gift of life). 

From there it takes root, and starts to grow when we apply God’s Word to our lives.  At some point, we move from “milk” to “meat”.  We begin desiring more and more of God and His Word.  We crave knowledge and wisdom as only God can provide.  We read the bible, understand our purpose and calling, and live our lives in obedience to God.   The more we persevere, the more we step out of our “box”, the more we reach out to others, exhibit the characteristics of Christ, and grow our personal relationship with the Lord, the bigger our faith grows. 

Hebrews, chapter 11, defines faith as “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”   The chapter goes on to list many people in biblical times who accomplished great things for the kingdom of God.  Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses lived on the earth long ago, yet have something very much in common with today’s people —they, too, had to believe in the “unseen”.  Verse 13 says that they “all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”  If we all could just do these three things with our faith, we could surely move mountains!

A pastor once defined faith as:     

  1. Being sure God is who He says He is, and

  2. Being certain that God will do exactly what He promised He would do.

Another definition I have heard is: “Believing — no matter what the outcome or circumstance, and acting upon it.”

Faith requires action — even when you don’t like or know the outcome.  When tested through trial and affliction, faith should strengthen and grow.  A faith that stands still becomes stagnant.

If you left the earth today, what would be said of your faith?  Imagine the inscription on your tombstone, or a line in your eulogy — how would it fill these blanks?

“By faith,      (insert your name)     , when he/she was tested,        (did what?)     .

How are you exercising your faith today?  Are you regularly reading the bible?  Are  you talking to your friends, family, and neighbors about Christ?  Are you making an effort to further your relationship with God?  Do you whine and complain when God wants you to do something?  Do you rationalize or ignore your way out of the responsibilities of the “Great Commission”? 

I ask you to examine your faith today.  Look closely to see what “cracks” are in it, and allow God to make the needed repairs.  Know that “without faith, it’s impossible to please God” Hebrews 11:6, and be diligent in faith to add the next piece of our equation…

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Mathematical.

How many math buffs do we have out there?  Do you remember when your high school teacher explained that the algebra, geometry, and calculus you were learning was going to be very useful after graduation in the “real world”?!  ha ha  Ok….SOME of it is, right?!

As a banker, I used quite a bit of math.   As a homemaker, I find that it is equally practical.  I now add and count to 2 every time I match socks, subtract hours of missed sleep, multiply one chicken into five meals, and am learning to divide my time between four children, a husband, extended family, and many wonderful friends. 

Word problems are when my five year old comes home from school sharing his new-found vocabulary!  Then, there’s the constant search for the missing equation….the need for more time to make the triangle between the grocery store, Wal-Mart, and the donut shop! 

I constantly work on figuring out how to inspire the high school girls in my Sunday School class to spend even a fraction of their time reading their bible each week.  Since I never have time to bake, I figure that “pi” is found in the bakery department, but….I have most importantly learned that the common denominator is my morning cup of coffee (and my Lord, of course)!

How about that?…Our teachers WERE right!  Math is important, and is used in pretty much everything we do!  God also uses math to teach us life lessons —He is mathematical in His admonition to grow in faith. 

So…for a while, I will be posting the answer to the following equation:

 (  + v  + k  + sc  + p  + G  + bk  + l) = (F x 2)

It will be a series of 10 posts based upon a biblical example of the growth we should all be experiencing in our walk with Christ.  Because of time constraints, I will probably have to extend it over several weeks, but will post as often as I can.  

In the meantime, I pray that God will prepare your heart and mind to apply the practical, everyday math He so divinely presents to us in His Word. 

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  2 Peter 1:2-4     

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Blogging.

Well…it seems that I have reached a new milestone!  WordPress has released a list of the fastest growing blogs, and guess what?….I am listed as #51?!!

Since starting this blog on January 24, 2007, I am now showing 1865 hits, 13 posts, and 70 comments. 

Now, the really surprising part is that I have NO IDEA what I am doing right?!!!!

I just write, and you keep coming to view…..so……I just want to say “Thank You!”  I have heard from many of you, and you have been so gracious and kind to encourage me to continue. 

If you’ve never commented before, please let me know you are visiting.  Don’t be comment shy!  I love knowing who is reading.  Just hit the comment button, and leave me a short message.

On the right of this site, you will also find an announcement about a blog party that is going to be happening in March.  I found it while visiting Boo Mama’s site, which I love.  I have never participated in a blog party, but thought it would be fun, so I hope you will join me!  Just click the link, and follow the instructions to sign up.  There’s even going to be prizes! 

Finally, my daughter thought I should point out that the title of my blog, “God Is…” is the recurring beginning to each one of my posts which finishes a sentence (i.e., “…Success”)  So for that example, when you put the two together, it would read, “God Is…Success“.  Each post points out a different view of something God Is.     

If you look at this post, “God Is…Blogging”, you might wonder if that’s really true, but I will tell you that what I am finding out is that God is being used in the blogging realm.  It is so interesting to read each other’s blogs.  I am learning different points of view about a myriad of subjects, challenged by the discussion to search out biblical answers, and also encouraged through humor, and other interesting stories that I have read.  So, I do feel like God is in blogging.  What do you think? 

Thank you for your support and encouragement.  I hope that this site is a positive part of your day!

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Filed under Bible, Blessings, Blogging, Children, Family, Friends, God, Humor, Life, Success