Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Intentional in 2014

There are just a few hours left in 2013 and I'm more than ready to flip the calendar to a brand new year!  I am looking forward to what God has in store for our lives this year.  I've spent the last few days thinking about 2014 and how I'd like my year to look and it prompted me to choose my "one little word".  In 2010 I chose the word Fearless.  I haven't chosen a word for the year since then but I'm feeling inspired this year so I decided to really think about a word for 2014. 
The word I'm choosing for this year is Intentional. 

I want to live with more intention.  I want to love with more intention.  I have goals I really want to achieve this year and unless I am intentional about what it's going to take to get there I won't make it.  This is going to be a year where I can say YES, I did it.  I crossed the finish line. 
Cheers to 2014 and the hope and promise that comes with ringing in a new year! 


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Goal Setting for 2014

This past week or so I've really been thinking about what I want my life to look like in 2014.  What do I want to achieve?  How do I want to feel?  What do I want to see, experience, enjoy?  In the midst of my thinking I ran across this post by Lara Casey.  I connected with it right away and knew I wanted to join her on this journey to help me succeed in 2014. 
As a stay at home Mommy it's very easy to get stuck in a rut and just "do" life... never having a goal or dreams to look forward to besides making sure G gets a nap or goes to bed on time or eats his veggies, etc.  I want my son to have a Mommy who is present and here for the everyday ordinary moments, but I also want him to see me as a determined and focused woman who fights for what she wants and makes things happen.
I'm realizing as my son grows up that life is moving at such a rapid pace and I don't want to just coast through it.  I want to live it.  Live it well and with intention.  I still feel like I'm asking myself the question "What do I want to be when I grow up?"  I feel like being a Mother is my calling, but is there anything else out there for me?  Something I could spend a little time doing to fill my cup up, to help others and do God's will?  Hopefully in 2014 I'll discover what that "thing" is... or at least be closer to figuring out what it is. 

One thing Lara Casey says in her post is "To make things happen you have to start with where you are."  Boy, I needed to hear that.  It's time to quit looking behind me and accept the past for what it's taught me.  If you are looking for a way to achieve more, dream more, be more in 2014 you might think about joining me on my journey with Lara Casey.

The first step she asks us to do is answer the question; How are you?  Write out 3 things that are challenging you in your life today and 3 things you are grateful for.  I thought about keeping these to myself but for some reason I feel compelled to share tonight so here it goes.
Three Challenges: 1) Weight Loss journey has stalled.  2) Feeling like there is something "more" for me to do... but not knowing what "it" is.  3) Better organization with housework, cooking, laundry, etc.
Three Thanks:  1) Spending everyday with my son, thankful my husband works hard and provides for our family.  2) Weight Watchers and the success I had this year.  3) The support I've had from family and friends this year and words of encouragement that have gotten me through and helped me stay on this path... even when I want to throw in the towel!

Well, there it is.  I hope as I work through some of my goals (and goals we are setting as a family) I'll begin to feel better in some of these areas.  At the end of the day I'm thankful for my ordinary life.  I am not perfect and I make my fair share of mistakes but I have a husband who loves me through it all and a God who's love is perfect despite my shortcomings.  I'm a work in progress, and there is always more work to be done, but everyday I'm given a clean slate and a fresh start to begin again and learn from my yesterdays.  I'm looking forward to what God has in store for 2014!


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Women of Faith 2013

What a weekend.  I just spent the last 24 hours with a bunch of Jesus girls and my cup is filled up!! Women of Faith came to Kansas City this weekend and it was by the grace of God that I was able to sit in arena with 8,000 other women to worship Him.  I really wanted to go to this conference but had decided not to because of the cost and time away from my boys.  I was given the opportunity last week to join a group of 7 women from my church (I only knew 2 of them prior to this weekend) one of whom was paying for the hotel rooms. I was also GIVEN a ticket to the event from someone else who couldn't attend.  Seriously?  How could I not go?  God aligned so many different things in order for me to hear the messages this weekend and I'm so glad I was blessed by the generosity of others so I could encounter the love of God this weekend.  My heart is full tonight as I am reflecting on His love and His grace.  God is good my friends.
Thanks to these awesome women for allowing me to join them this weekend!
We got to hear from a number of speakers.  My main reason for really wanting to go was to hear Lysa Terkeurst.  She's amazing and her book Made to Crave was a critical part in accepting what God wants for me in regards to my relationship with food.  If you have any food "issues" at all PLEASE read her book.  It will change you... if you let it. 
Lysa spoke on Friday night and she said a lot of things that struck a chord with me.  Just because I'm a Christ follower doesn't mean my life is pretty or perfect.  In fact, it can be quite the opposite.  I'm pretty broken and messy.  Thankfully He loves me anyways.  I am a work in progress and I make mistakes.  I want to be better.  I'll never stop trying.  Sometimes we need to hear the hard stuff though.  We need to hear that we need to stop blaming others, or ourselves and keep our eyes on God because He knows why our journey has taken us down a bumpy and broken road... He is the ONLY one who knows what that road is preparing us for.  So, instead of cursing Him through it; praise Him through it.  Praise Him for the opportunity to lean in closer to Him when it would be much easier to walk away with our heads hanging in defeat.  When Lysa was done speaking they told us she'd be visiting with some people in the concourse so I went out there fully expecting that I would not have the opportunity to meet her...but God had orchestrated my weekend and His plan was to give me that opportunity.  I was the 2nd to last person able to meet her.  They only allowed about 50-60 people in the line.  I was a lucky one.  I was able to thank her for making herself vulnerable and sharing her walk in faith with a girl who needed to hear about it in Made to Crave.  I hardly got thank you out before I had tears streaming down my cheeks.  I maybe had 20 seconds with her... but, it was enough.  I wanted her to know that the desire God put on her heart to touch others touched me.  She is a blessing and I'm honored to have been able to meet her and thank her personally for her work being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
Well done, good and faithful servant. 
Matthew 25:21  
I am so thankful for this weekend and for the amazing speakers that shared their brokenness with us.  It's hard to tell our stories but what I've learned, is God uses these stories to prove to us that we are much stronger than we ever imagined.  We are even stronger when we ask Him to join in the journey with us and help fight the enemy.  We aren't meant to do this alone.  Jesus sees us for who we can become long before we even understand who we are.  That is pretty awesome, friends.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Who You Are

Sometimes I read or watch something that I am so moved by I can't help but share it.  That's how I felt after watching this tonight.  It is incredible.
It's a gentle reminder that "you are never too much, and always enough".  I needed this message today for a number of reasons.  Sometimes we just need to be reminded that we are Smart.  Strong.  Important.  Beautiful.  Worthy of Love
On this journey of weight loss I've reached a point that it feels almost like it'd be easier to just settle with the 80 pounds loss and say I've come far enough. But, who am I NOT to make it to my goal?  Why should I give up on myself now?  Before reaching the finish line.  I am worthy.  I am strong enough.  I am capable.  I can do this. 
I hope you share this with a woman/girl who needs to know how amazing she is today and to know that God loves her no matter what she thinks of herself... we are daughters of the King.  That IS awesome.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Oh, How the Years Go By

I feel totally ridiculous.  If you have been on Facebook at all the last few days I'm sure your news feed has been filled with pictures of your friends kiddos first day of school.  I don't know why I'm so bothered by it this year, but seeing all of these kids getting on the bus and venturing out on their own makes me want to bawl my eyes out!  I know a lot of parents have a hard time with the first day of school.  It's an exciting time, but also a reminder that another year has gone by.  Mark it off the 18 short years we get with our child and we realize time goes way too fast. 
The reason I feel ridiculous is because my son is 21 months.  Yeah, I know.  I'm way too far ahead of the worry game but it's made me realize that this time I have with him is SO special and so short.  He's only my baby for a little while and someday (sooner than I want it to be) he'll be getting ready for his first day of school and this Mommy is going to be lost without her sidekick. 
The way I explained this to my husband was this.  I've never felt "good" at anything.  I've never been a star athlete.  I got good grades and loved my major in college but I never used it.  I wasn't ever the girl who all the guys had a crush on, or every girl wanted to be best friends with.  I've felt pretty average my entire life.  And I'm okay with that.  But, then I became a Mom.  For the first time in my life I felt like this is what I was created to do.  I was meant to be a Mother.  I have embraced Motherhood and I never thought I would love a child the way I love my son.  My tear ducts have been in overdrive since he's been born and my heart actually aches sometimes when he gives me that smile or hold his arms out and says "HUG".  He is my heart.  His Daddy and him are my world and I have no idea what I did to deserve them but I'm SO thankful God blessed me with these boys.
As I sit here at nap time looking at these pictures of kiddos going off to school I'm reminding myself to enjoy this time... the toddler years.  They are filled with lots of trains, tractors, trucks, baseball, basketball and walks outside.  They are also filled with a little guy who is finding his independence but he can't always figure out how to tell us what he needs/wants.  My days are sometimes long and exhausting waiting on my husband to get home so I can take 5 minutes to myself because I've been tested over and over.  And then there are nights that I want to hold him for hours and just watch him sleep.  I rock with him and listen to the lullabies sing him to sleep and I pray over him thanking God for this incredible person that I get to call my son.
My time with him right now feels like he'll be my "little man" forever.  School is so far away.  I know that isn't true though.  So, I'm taking advice from some Mommy blogs and friends.  I'm going to slow down.  Enjoy the little things.  Let him get dirty.  Play in the rain because he thinks it's hilarious.  Read 20 books if he wants to.  Let him help me vacuum... even though it takes much longer!  I'm going to fill our days with happiness and laughter, because there will be days when he's older that it's harder to come by.  I will quiet my anger when I feel the urge to burst, and I will love him harder when he disobeys instead of getting angrier.  I will remind him every single day that Jesus loves him and wants to be his friend.  I will tell him every day that we love him and we are proud of him, even when he's not having a good day.  Because as a family we love each other no matter what, and we love harder through the hard times.
He's learning.  So am I.  We are learning together.  He is teaching me to be a Mother as I am teaching him about life.  I don't have all the answers and I'm not the perfect Mommy.  We don't have the perfect marriage, the perfect house or the perfect life... but I am thankful for it all anyways.  Today I'm cherishing the moments I have when my son wants to give me snuggles and kisses and tell me he loves me... cause I know those days will come to an end too.  That, my friends, is what breaks me and causes the tears to fall.  Watching our babies grow up is hard, but it's one of those things in life we can't control.  I'm praying for all the parents who are struggling with sending their baby off to school this year.  I'll be there before I know it, and I know that day will be a tough one.  Change is tough; but watching our children grow into who they were born to be is pretty amazing too.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Today during G's nap I was supposed to be doing laundry, picking up toys, dishes... the Mom duties that are never really "done".  I got a little side tracked when I got onto Facebook and saw a video posted... and the tears came pouring down my face.  Video: Just Like Me

When I became a Mom 18 months ago I had no idea what I was in for.  I didn't know how much my heart could love, or how much it could hurt.  I didn't know that I can go from fury to pure joy in 2 seconds and totally forget what I was angry about just moments before.  I didn't know how patient I could become, or how easy it would be to forgive.  When I became a Mom, I changed.  I changed in so many ways... my 18 month old son has brought out the best in me.  He awakened a part of me I didn't know existed and I will forever be grateful to him for that.  He's made me better, I'm not perfect and I make a lot of mistakes... but I'm better.

Being a Mom is tough though.  There are days I don't know if I can make it one more minute without the help of my husband, I'm maxed out, I can't deal with my defiant child for another second or I will burst... and then he smiles and flashes that dimple that is deep in his right cheek and the world is right again.  Life is good.  Even on the hardest of days... life is good.  Sometimes it takes me a moment to just step back and BREATHE and remind myself that I can do this.  I can be his Mama even when he's on the floor throwing his worst tantrum yet at Trader Joe's and everyone is staring at me.  Or, he's fighting going in the car seat (again) and I look like a mother who can't get control of her toddler when all I want to do is JUST GET HOME.  There are moments every day that he pushes me past my breaking point, or so I think.  But, every night I snuggle this sweet boy and read him stories and watch him play in the bath and he reminds me that we can have bad moments but bad moments don't have to be bad days.  There is so much JOY in every single day. 

Thank you God for giving me the gift of Motherhood and for the charming and defiant little boy who calls me Mommy.  He is my world.  My life.  My greatest love.

Happy Mother's Day!

*Here is another video I saw today that I loved.
Mother's Day Video: MIGHTY

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Letter to the "Old" Me

Today is the day I've been working towards for the last several months.  I've been MIA on the blog for a long time, part of that is because I'm a Mommy and don't make the time to blog, the other part is because I haven't felt like sharing this time around.  Tonight I had a wave of emotion urge me to sit down and pour it all out.  So, here it goes.
November 2011 I gave birth to my son.  Ironically, I weighed exactly the same the morning I went in to have him that I had at my highest weight.  Before getting pregnant I'd worked hard to get off 55 pounds.  I gained some from the stress of moving and then we unexpectedly got pregnant and I gained more.  Long story short my starting weight was 258.  Wow.  I sit here and stare at the number and so many things are running through my mind.  What will people think?  Why did you let yourself go?  What in the hell were you thinking letting this get THAT far out of control?  But, I take a deep breath and let it go.  Think what you want, every single pound gained I learned something.  I'd be lying if I told you I wish God didn't have an easier way to help me get over my lifelong battle with body image and food.  But, this is the path He chose, and I trust Him so all I can do is choose to learn from it. 
After having my son I thought I'd leave the hospital with my 8 lb 8 oz baby and at least have dropped 10-15 pounds.  Nope.  How about TWO.  Two stinkin' pounds.  I remember the first time I weighed myself and saw that, I was angry and couldn't believe that was all I lost after having him.  For those of you that leave the hospital with all your baby weight gone, you better be thanking God for that one because He doesn't do that for everybody! 
I felt defeated right away.  A year before I'd lost 55 lbs of the 100 I'd gained and here I was right back at square one.  I had to do this all over again?  Why?  Hadn't I been through enough the first time?  God had more to teach me.
I spent the first year of my son's life "piddling"... I'd lose 5 lbs here and there.  I joined Weight Watchers twice, and quit.  Then his first birthday came around and after seeing the pictures from his party I knew I had to do this... for him.  I did not want to be the "big" Mom.  I've been the "big" girl for far too long and I was ready to get back to the person I knew was hiding deep inside me and the Mom I always dreamed about being.
November 24, 2012 I walked into Weight Watchers (again), and I didn't give myself the option of quitting.  This time I was doing it for not only myself, but because I wanted my little boy to be proud of his Mama.  I'd lost 28 pounds on my own prior to that day (it took me 13 months... I told you I was piddling).  I joined that day and haven't looked back.  Today I weighed in lower than I have since 2008... and I saw a "1" before my weight instead of the "2" that has haunted me for years.  I've lost 31.6 pounds with Weight Watchers, making my grand total 59.8 pounds since having my son. 
I'm not stopping here, I have more I want to lose but just getting here was a huge mountain I had in front of me.  I look different than I did when I weighed this last time.  That's OK.  My body has been through gaining 100 pounds, losing 55 pounds, gaining back some and then carrying a precious baby boy to term and giving birth.  My body has given me SO much.  It's not perfect, but it's mine.  Looking at my arms I fear the loose skin I may have and I have to stop my mind from ruining the moment of noticing that I have biceps... all my time in the gym is paying off, even if there is some loose skin to spare. 
If I could go back to the "old" Amy who weighed this 5 years ago, the Amy that was in so much pain, this is what I'd tell her...
"You are beautiful, just the way you are.  Don't let anyone's opinion of you get inside your head and ruin you.  So what if you have bigger thighs, they are strong.  So what if your butt is big, not much you can do to change it, it's called genetics, so embrace it!  So what if you have a little bit of a belly, someday you'll carry a baby inside and you'll never look at it the same.  Your boobs are not that big, trust me, they could be much bigger... and you'll hate it.  Your arms are not fat, quit hiding them under t-shirts and having anxiety in a tank top.  That number on the scale does not define you.  It is a number, nothing more and nothing less.  It does not mean that you are not good enough for your husband or that you don't deserve to be a Mother.  You deserve those things because you are loved and you were created by an awesome God who will faithfully provide the desires of your heart.  Quit saying you'll do _____ when I get to ____ weight.  Just do it.  Whatever it is that you want to do... you deserve it now.  Thank God for the body He gave you instead of wishing He'd given you a better one."

I am not done with this journey... and every day brings new challenges, but with those challenges I always look for the blessing.  In the midst of it all I'm thankful for what this journey has taught me.  It's proven I'm far stronger than I ever thought I was.  This time I am more focused and determined than ever before because I have a little one who is watching my story now... and I want to make it a good one. 


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

God Made Me a Mother

I can't believe it's been almost a year since I've sat down to write.  What a year it has been though.  I have thought so often of hopping on here and saying a few things on days when I've missed the "old" Amy and the things that used to be SO important.  Fact is, almost 15 months ago I became a Mother... and things that were on my "so important" list got replaced with 10 little fingers, 10 toes and bright blue eyes that brought a whole new meaning to my life.  Motherhood.  It's changed me.  It's made me a lover of life in a way I never imagined.  To say there aren't hard days wouldn't be true.  But, even the hard days as a Mommy are far better than the days before him.
I came across a beautiful blog post today and I was inspired to come write on my own blog right away so I could share it with you.  I sat at my kitchen table and sobbed; no really I did!  This post is about the importance of being a Mother.  And some days I find myself asking "who am I besides Grant's Mom?", "Am I losing my identity?".  This post just gave me peace.  Peace that I am right where I was meant to be.  And... I am important. 

"Someone who knows that in every hard place is exactly where you extend grace, who looks a hopeful child in the eye and says yes, even though she knows every yes means a mess but this is how you bless, who has the courage to keep letting go because she’s holding on to Me.
So God made a mother."

Enjoy it Mommy's and I hope it brings you some peace today too.  {Link below}
God Made a Mother and You- So Farmer On