Category Archives: in my head

10 Hours or Less

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A new year means a new start!  And, like previous new years that have come my way, a resolution is bound to be established.  On Christmas, my mother-in-law, hubby, and myself joined together to make the same resolution together.  Our resolution is simple: We will watch only 10 hours of television a week.

Now, I’m sure some of you are aghast that we watched more than that to begin with.  In an attempt to be as honest with my readers as possible, I will ashamedly admit that I watched A LOT of television previously.  It didn’t feel like it… maybe it was just on in the background while I scrolled through Pinterest, or it was simply something to look at while I mindlessly ate my lunch.  No matter what the reason (or excuse) I had for watching it, the bottom line is it was poisoning me and my health in general.  And I didn’t realize the extent of this until I hit the “power” button.

This morning as I was eating my breakfast, a certain buzzing noise was kind of driving me crazy.  I got up only to realize it was the refrigerator running (better go catch it!).  Is that the sound my refrigerator makes?!  Who knew??  Now, the sounds of my house and my neighborhood in general have become my background noise.  I never knew these sounds existed because the sound of infomercials, car commercials, and screaming reality TV stars were constantly overpowering them.

The idea of the three of us doing this together is for a couple of reasons…
1) accountability: This is not the type of resolution I could do on my own, while my husband sat engulfed in the latest episode of Duck Dynasty.  Let’s face it- I have some willpower, but that situation would not last long.
2) It’s only been a few days, and we are already swapping stories of our various revolutions.  We have become more aware of our stress levels, what we’re eating, our conversations with one another, and our activity level.

I can’t wait to see how this will change us as our resolution continues!

I hope to share with you some of my lessons learned from this change in my life, and I hope I will also have some great DIY projects to share as well.  Now that I have all of this free time, I plan to cook more, start some projects I’ve been wanting to pursue, and definitely post more often on my blog I enjoy so much!

Do you make New Years resolutions?  What are they??  I enjoy hearing from you so much!!

~GOD BLESS!!

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Cabo San Loco… Day 1

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Boy do I have some stories for you!  First let me say I am so thankful we were able to take a trip like this together, and overall our vacation in Cabo gave us the opportunity to connect in ways we could not have predicted.  We are blessed!

Tropical vacations for fair-skinned individuals like myself involve freckles populating my entire body to the point that, from about 100 yards away, it resembles a tan-like appearance.  Here I am prior to leaving Chicago.  We haven’t even left the country and this is the deepest tan I will have.  It’s a spray tan.

After getting through the maze of the airport and heaving our travel-weary bodies into a taxi, we made it.  The resort was good.  Not excellent, but I’m not going to be the booger in the punch bowl on this.
We were at a resort in Cabo.  Enough said.
Things were going great.  As soon as we checked into the hotel we made our way to the pool and immediately met 2 couples that were staying at our same resort.  They were also from Ohio and had that Midwestern warmth we love so much!  These Toledo-ians were Paul and Becky, and Dennis and Joyce.

Dennis and Joyce have been vacationing in Cabo for about 4 years now and had a lot of tips they were more than happy to share with us.  “SKY AUCTION DOT COM!” Dennis kept telling us.  It started as a mere suggestion, but soon became the topic of every third conversation.  Dennis was only trying to help us plan our future vacations, but this guy should seriously get paid royalties from skyauction.com for as much as he promotes it.  We found out later Dennis may or may not have gotten kicked out of a time share presentation because he talked about it so much.

After chatting with our new Cabo/Ohio BFF’s for a while, we decided to go to dinner with them at a local place called Maro’s.  It’s in downtown Cabo and is not someplace we would have ever found without their guidance.  At Maro’s we feasted on Mexican fare at a price suited for American tourists.  We also couldn’t resist getting their signature drink, a Beer-garita.  It was a great little place with an even better atmosphere.
Apparently we weren’t as “in” with the local crowd as we thought, because we discovered these hanging on the wall around the corner from our table.

So it may not have been as authentic as we thought…

After dinner we walked the streets, stopping to pet the lizard, and ended at our destination Cabo Blue.  Cabo Blue is an outdoor sports bar, complete with a projection screen on the side of a wooden building showing the current game/contest/fight.
Saturday night it happened to be boxing.

Paul and me meeting a new friend

The four of us found a large table and ordered drinks while Matt and Paul found a small cigar shop to peruse.  Matt and Paul returned with their purchases and Matt handed me my cigar.  We do not regularly smoke cigars, but it is a guilty pleasure that we enjoy from time to time.  And when is a better time to indulge in a guilty pleasure than on vacation?!
Light that thing, babe!
I wasn’t but 5 puffs into my cigar and zero sips into my beer when I knew I needed to stop smoking and drinking.  My head was spinning and I was most definitely out of it.  I excused myself to use the restroom, but as soon as I walked in, I turned around and walked back out.  That’s the last thing I remember until I woke back up to the sound of people yelling my name and asking me all kinds of questions at the same time.

I completely passed out after coming out of the bathroom.  It’s ok though, luckily my skull took the fall for me.  Dennis told me later it sounded like a melon was smashed on the pavement when I fell.
Even writing that makes me nauseous all over again.

When I awoke, there were people yelling questions from all angles.  “WHAT IS YOUR NAME?! WHERE ARE YOU?! WHAT DAY IS IT?! WHAT’S YOUR HUSBAND’S NAME?!” Even if I hadn’t just suffered an excruciating fall I would want to punch all of these people in the face.  My current state made the later impossible, so I just laid there like the slug I was and thankfully blurted out the appropriate answers.

After a short time I asked to sit up.  This position lasted approximately 15 seconds before I needed to lay back down again.
I could hear ambulance sirens in the background.

The next thing I knew I felt myself getting strapped onto a gurney and a brace being secured around my neck.
And off we went!

I will spare you the details of my ultimately humiliating ambulance ride, as this must remain on a need to know basis.  Grin.

We arrived at the hospital to a very friendly doctor who spoke English very well.  His attempts to joke with us while I was in and out of consciousness were interrupted occasionally by his Metallica ringtone.  Was this really happening??
After receiving 2 IV bags of fluids, we were told I would be admitted for the night and given another bag of fluids.  So there we were.  Matt; our Metallica-loving, English-speaking doctor; the Spanish-only speaking, nodding and smiling nurse; and me.  Just the four of us.  In the whole hospital.

Just my bump and me

The next morning, after some outside assistance, we were discharged and released back into our Mexican paradise.

And our vacation resumed.

Walking through the Fire

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Get ready for a long post.  There, you’ve been warned.

I would like to start with Psalm 25, which I have been reading as if my life depended upon it.  As if I needed to read it in order to put one foot in front of the other lately.  And frankly, it has been exactly that.

In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.

I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, Lord, are good.

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
    forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

12 Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
    He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.[b]
13 They will spend their days in prosperity,
    and their descendants will inherit the land.
14 The Lord confides in those who fear him;
    he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the Lord,
    for only he will release my feet from the snare.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart
    and free me from my anguish.
18 Look on my affliction and my distress
    and take away all my sins.
19 See how numerous are my enemies
    and how fiercely they hate me!

20 Guard my life and rescue me;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
    because my hope, Lord,[c] is in you.

22 Deliver Israel, O God,
    from all their troubles!

AMEN!!

Have you gone through a season when you thought you were being eaten alive? Eaten alive by the enemy, that is?  When everything you thought you knew was no longer safe, was no longer stable, no longer made sense? 

Have you been there?  By “there” I mean a place where you no longer recognize yourself in the mirror.  I’m not talking about seeing that donut transfer to your hips before you’ve completely digested it- I’m talking about looking in the mirror and literally warping into the worst version of yourself right before your very eyes.  “There” meaning you can’t stand to be in the presence of couples.  Couples that you’ve been friends with for years.  Couples that you love dearly and they love you in return, but finding yourself looking at them in judgment and resentment.  “There” as in waking up with tears running down your face, and having a permanent makeup-less streak on your cheeks until your head hits the pillow that night.

  I know there are those of you that know exactly what I’m talking about.  I know because I’ve talked to you.  I’ve spoken with those who have made it out alive.  And it gives me hope.  I’m not talking about people who have gone through the fire and walked out unscathed.  I’m talking about the nitty gritty, lonely, embarrassing details.  What scars do you have?  What are you STILL working on?  How did you fall victim to the enemy to the point where you never thought you’d recover?  How are you a work in progress?? 

One of my mentors, Beth Moore has provided me with this hope recently. It’s not the first time. And I know it won’t be the last.  If I haven’t shared the link to her blog previously, here is it again.   

Why is it that when we hit our bottom he is ALWAYS there to show us he has not left us?  Not for one millisecond.  He is there in our deepest, humiliating, hateful thoughts.  And He is there to love us and forgive us.  No questions asked. 

Recently, while perusing my favorite mind-numbing website, Pinterest, I came upon a lovely quote by C.S. Lewis:

To be a Christian means to forgive the
inexcusable because God has
forgiven the inexcusable in you.
 

 

Thanks, C.S. Lewis.  I needed that.

Ink.

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Anxiety has been a part of my life for many years.  At some points it interferes with my life and prevents me from participating in activities that I enjoy.  If you’ve ever experienced anxiety, you know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t, I pray you never will.  Cancelling plans, lying to those I care for- these are just a few of the deceptions that anxiety has brought to my life.  Experience has shown me this can then spiral into shame and secrets.  Now the enemy’s got me right where he wants me.  I can tell when my anxiety takes over because I withdraw from everyone- my husband, my co-workers,my friends, everyone.  As newlyweds, my husband is still adjusting to this struggle.  I know it’s difficult for him to see me treading in darkness.  Many years of therapy have given me tools to deal with my anxiety, but it still slithers into my life when I least expect it.  I think it will always be a struggle for me.  I thank God for my amazing friends and family who are constant in their love and support.

“Oh, how the enemy of our souls delights to walk us to that despairing place one step at a time” – well said, Beth Moore.  Well said.  Of course there is more to this struggle than I can explain in this blog.  A girl has to have some secrets.  Grin.

The reason I’m going into all of this is to preface the reveal of my new tattoo.  Yes, you read that correctly.  As all tattoos are, this was a very personal decision for me.  I contemplated this for many months and finally took the plunge.  So, without further ado, I give you my first tattoo:

Tattoos are not suitable for everyone, and yet a tattoo is for you and only you.  There is much symbolism in that for me because I care a great deal about what others think of my life- my decisions, my appearance, everything.  Too much.  I pray that you have peace and solace in your daily life, and that you cry out for help when you do not.

The following verses comfort me and redirect my focus to the Lord:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and  supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the  peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your  minds in Christ Jesus ~ Philippians 4:6-7

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help  comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth ~ Psalm 121:1-2

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,  and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is  light ~Matthew 11:28-30

GOD BLESS!!