Multiple weeks worth of Multitude Mondays on Memorial Day

Gifts #532 – 588
~ Pink Peonies gracing my table and scenting my home
~ Garden sprinkler arching water over growing plants
~ Wind stilled for a brush-and-box burning

~ Space cleared in the shop
~ Puttering around the property with my love
~ Heart-lift from seeing dear faces as we run errands
~ Developing an errand-day routine
~ The wonder of the library
~ Intersecting library days
~ Driving my love to work when I need to use the van
~ Anticipation of two vehicles come July
~ Rural Kansas steering-wheel waves
~ Dirt Roads
~ Successful meal experiments
~ Young men making tortillas
~ Scripture songs with dear ones (for 20 minutes on a Wednesday night!)
~ Some rain at last
~ A walk-and-talk with Bethany
~ Meeting a “new” friend (who actually helped at B’s birth)
~ Paint on the walls
~ Drum of rain on metal roof
~ Hugs from sleepy Blessings
~ Cast iron skillet in use on my gas stove
~ Gorgeous sunset storm enjoyed with family

~ River play on a Saturday
~ Heat of sun on skin
~ Siblings enjoying one another’s company
~ Exploring together
~ Renewed motivation to get healthier
~ My Savior’s body broken and His blood shed
~ Fellowship lunch spent in sweet fellowship
~ Flowers blooming
~ Busy-ness of birds preparing for the night as I take an evening walk
~ Song of a bird behind me, calling me to turn and catch sight of the giant bank of fluffy pink clouds in the east
~ Blooming peonies
~ Husband who reminds me to take care of myself
~ Necklace lying loose around my neck
~ Cottonwood fluff drifting
~ A rocker in my quiet bedroom with birds outside noisily about their morning business
~ Deepfelt need for wisdom
~ Tears of joy
~ Working hard, side by side with the Blessings
~ Enjoying the fruits of our labor as we look around the yard
~ Garden progress
~ Mulberry-rhubarb pie
~ Friends to help trim fruit trees and give orchard lessons
~ Our eldest at Leadership Training Camp
~ Delight of seeing camp friends
~ Second generation LTCers
~ Reminders to pray
~ Visit from a sweet neighbor
~ Jesus – never failing Redeemer
~ The Father’s determination to form the image of Christ in me
~ A day to remember those who have fought and died for our freedom

My Health Journey – an update

I’ll get the confession part of this post out-of-the-way right off the bat. I got stuck on my journey for a few weeks. I had five days of sickness, which had some scale advantages, but also weakened me considerably and contributed to my difficulty in getting back into my fitness routine. But honestly, my stalled-out-state was more mental than physical.

I got stuck in complacent mode.

Yes, I was still thirty pounds from my goal weight.

But …
I was over thirty pounds down from the weight I “settled” at after Andrew’s birth.
I no longer cringed when I passed mirrors or saw pictures of myself.
I was into the smallest clothes I owned, aside from a few favorite “thin” outfits I’d saved.

I was starting to think, “You know, I look pretty good for a mother of eight.” Not in a “maybe I’ll stay here for the rest of my life” kind of way, but in a “hmmm, maybe I don’t need to walk today after all” kind of way.
But you know what? “Hmmm, maybe I don’t need to walk today” thinking leads to “maybe I’ll stay here for the rest of my life” thinking.

Thankfully, I “woke up” last Saturday and remembered that my reasons for eating carefully and moving more are bigger than not being disgusted at myself or wearing a particular size of clothing. That being healthy and strong is much more important than looking “pretty good for a mom-of-eight.” That I don’t want to be the fat old lady who hurts her children and grandchildren as they try to care for her. That I want to be the mama and gramma who runs and hikes and swims and plays actively with her children and grandchildren. That I want to glorify God in my body.

So I got moving again this week. I walked with my friend Bethany on Monday and Wednesday, did lots of active work outside with the Blessings, and was thoughtful with my eating. It was nice when the scale showed the difference yesterday morning (I crossed 20 pounds lost since joining Sparkpeople and 35 lost from my “settled” post-baby weight), but better than the numbers is the way I’ve felt. I’m back to pursuing my health goals and becoming who I am meant to be in this area, and it changes my perspective and attitude about so many things!

Thank you, Lord, for the gentle reminders! Help me to be faithful to abide in You and to bring joy to Your heart as I pursue being the woman You’ve called me to be, both inside and outside.

Here are some pictures of my journey that I posted yesterday on my Sparkpeople page.  I was surprised by how dramatic they seem to me…
September 1995 – Our Wedding Day

August 2010 – Three months post-baby and heavier than the aforementioned “settled” weight.  I was already cringing at the thought of looking at this picture.  Can you tell?

May 2011 – Making progress. And loving it!

A Multitude of Gifts this Monday!

I missed posting my thanks last Monday, so I have a couple weeks worth today. But first, a bit of Psalm 118 that lifted me up this morning:

Psalm 118:19-29
Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Gifts #532 – 581
~ A God Who does not need me; who chooses to love me (Ps 50)
~ Breaks in the clouds, with silver, white, and blue showing through
~ Rainbows in hose water
~ Reminders of His promises
~ A guest bedroom – a real live guest bedroom!
~ Pleasant people on my quest for new license and tag
~ Stomach yuck almost over
~ A working grain mill for my use
~ Glenn’s Bulk Foods
~ Wheat berries and fresh flour experiments
~ Sr Smiths’ safe arrival in town
~ House found for them
~ Unloading a moving truck once instead of twice
~ Assurance of God’s wisdom and planning
~ Week (and weak) of sickness
~ Extra days of closer fellowship
~ The side effects of being sick
~ The steadfast love of God endures all the day (Ps. 52.1)
~ Birthday celebration for our one year old

~ Picnic in the park
~ Pepper and tomatoes in the ground, thanks to my Blessings
~ Joy of watching a little man follow his Daddy while he works on the chicken coop
~ Bright red cardinal in the green at my window
~ Blue eggs!
~ Irises blooming out my kitchen window – my favorite flower prepared for me
~ Cut flowers from my Blessings
~ Familiar blast of hot air upon exiting Dillons
~ The gift of sharing a chicken tractor
~ Dreams and plans for a couples trip
~ Simple joys that are part of dreams come true
~ Wheat fields undulating in the wind
~ Sunset light on a dear face
~ Baggy-bottom pants that were lately too tight to wear
~ 360′ sunset colors

~ Vast expanse of fluffy white intermingled with patches of azure
~ Sweet potato promise
~ Trees and vines trimmed and cleared
~ Joy of co-laboring with family
~ Menu and budgeting progress
~ Heart-mingling by phone (with my beloved parents)
~ Anticipation of a coming visit
~ Planting sunflowers with a precious almost-four-year-old boy
~ LTC Registration
~ Paint Purchased
~ Family discussions around the supper table
~ Awe-inspiring stump fire
~ Prayer with my love in the sunrise light
~ Psalms that resonate with my heart
~ The LORD – my strength, song, and salvation! (Ps. 118.14)

Gifts abounding


Gifts #501 – 531
Seeds in the ground at last
The contagious love of planting
Unexpected opportunity
A full-time job for J
Budgeting potentialities and challenges
My wind chimes singing steadily on the front porch
Hard working man
Soul satisfaction
A friend and neighbor with whom to walk
Garden fencing beginning
Tomato cages
A walk to the mailbox with my Doodlebug
Cardinal singing
First poultry sale
Crazy wind
Stomach yuck
Work day at KBC
Our crazy chicken that eat the seeds I plant but lay such lovely eggs
Two hidden egg stashes found
Working stove after a month of learning contentment without one
Three days of remembering, “A year ago at this time…” leading up to a
One year old birthday boy – a whole year with our precious little man
Him sharing a birthday with a May Day miracle girl
Packages from far away
Hearts that are close over the miles
Hearing word of justice served from my Mama, the one who called me to tell me to turn on my tv that awful sunny September morning almost a decade ago
The reminder that I have earned my place – an eternity separated from my Creator
God’s grace – redeeming, drawing, saving grace
Love beyond my grasp
A friend who cares to call and check on us in our sickies
Finished garden fence