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Goals Health and Wellness

Goals That Stick

For many people, New Year = New Goals. And, as we know, most people only last a month or two before giving up on them. Having goals is great, however, most people give up because it is unattainable, they don’t have a plan to meet the goal, or they are looking for quick results.

There is nothing wrong with coming up with a list of goals for the new year…as long as you realize that it might take all year (or even longer) to attain them. Most won’t get achieved in one month — which means that you can’t give up after January if you haven’t met your goal AND you can’t wait to get started until November or December. Start right away with the knowledge that anything great worth doing is worth the time and effort.

It’s helpful to have smaller goals as you reach for your big goals (which I like to call my Dreams for the year). Dreams are the big picture, but you need multiple, smaller goals to reach your big goal/dream. So, you may have a big goal of losing 30lbs, but your smaller goals may be to lose 1-2 pounds per week, add one vegetable to your day, etc. You may want to get into an exercise routine again, but you can’t just go run five miles. Your smaller goal may be to do 10 minutes of movement per day for one week, etc. and then build from there.

Another reason people fail to meet their goals is that they don’t know how to make goals. You need to make SMART goals.

Specific: Goals should be clear and state specifically what you wish to be accomplished.

Measurable: You need to be able to measure your goals so that you can see your progress.

Attainable: Goals should be realistically attainable.

Relevant: Goals need to be relevant to your particular needs, interests, and abilities.

Time-bound: Goals need to have a timeline for completion.

Your smaller goals may only be for a week or month, then once you meet that goal, you create a new one to move you toward ultimately completing your big goal. When I decided I wanted to stop eating chocolate every day and quit sugar years ago, my original goal was to go just one day without sugar! After I did the one day, my goal was one week. Then it was two weeks, then one month, etc. I started with a super small goal and then built on it.

If you read my previous post, you know that I’m waiting to set any goals for the year and just taking it one day at a time. (Focusing on the daily, is in itself a small goal!). You might not have goals you are working on now, but these are some tips that will help whenever you choose to create a goal.

Need help with your goals? Feel free to reach out and I can give you some other tools and resources to get you going and offer accountability.

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Faith Family Goals

Happy New Year?

It’s a New Year! A time where people make new goals, dream about the upcoming year, and hope that things are better than the last year.

I was looking back at my social media posts from last year…you know, the ones with champagne and talking about making 2021 the best year yet…and it broke me. 2021 was hard. The first seven months brought challenges and betrayal that I never imagined (I share my journey in previous blog posts). It was really hard. And, yes, God in his amazing grace, redeemed the final months and brought peace, joy, and unity to my life and relationships. My faith is deeper and more real that it has been in years…praise Jesus through the hard.

But, as the calendar moves into 2022, I’m wary. To be honest, I’m afraid that 2022 will start of the same as 2021…God did amazing things in the life of me and my family, but I don’t want to go through that hardship again.

(It’s silly, but last year was the first NYE that my husband and I were in two different locations — we didn’t get to bring in 2021 together. So, I told him that I didn’t care what we did for NYE this year, as long as I was with him. As if that was what threw off 2021. 🙄🤣 )

I’m working to trust God and his goodness — that he will continue to provide and care for me and my family. But, I’m entering 2022 slowly. I’m not dreaming big dreams or planning big goals. There is no word of the year for me this year, etc. I’m simply going to take each day as it comes (I mean, I’ll still be planning things — it’s what I do) and trust God. I’m not going to try to force his hand and rush his schedule for my life.

Maybe you’re like me. Has the weight of life’s issues made you wary of the new year? I still have hope and joy, just taking it one step at time. Because if there’s one thing I learned in 2021, it’s that God is by my side through all my trials, that he is standing in the fire with me, and I have joy because of how he has brought me through every battle.

“There was another in the fire, standing next to me. There was another in the water, holding back the seas. And if I ever need reminding of how good He’s been to me, I’ll count the joy in every battle, ’cause I know that’s where He’ll be.” Another In The Fire

Here’s to the New Year and taking one day at a time, trusting God’s plan, and digging deeper in all my relationships.

Categories
Faith Family Goals

This Is Me

Today, December 13th, is my 43rd birthday and I’m amazed at how fast this year has flown by! This year had it’s ups and downs, but overall, I feel amazing and that the Lord brought me back to life this year.

I know that many people dread getting older, but the deeper I get in to my 40s, the more I love it! Yes, my hormones can be a little wacky, but I’ve found some natural ways to keep them under control. I’ve had to cut back on some of my running miles, but I’ve become stronger and have learned to appreciate rest, stretching, and a good walk. I love being in my 40s, because I am comfortable in my skin and being who God created me to be…not just saying it to convince myself (ahem…30s), but truly feeling it deep in my soul.

I’ve seen amazing growth in my relationships. I’m more honest and real with how I feel…and less second guessing everything I do. Instead of having pity parties about how I don’t feel seen or understood (how I don’t fit in), I’ve embraced the way God made me and the result…I’m more fully able to love the people around me — my husband, my kids, my parents, my friends, my neighbors, and those I’ve never met.

I feel my age. I know that sounds weird, but there were so many times in my 30s, that I would still think of myself as 18…and then get upset when I didn’t look or feel that young. Now, I’m stronger and healthier than I was 10+ years ago, but I “feel” my age in the wisdom and perspective that comes with getting older. This means that I’m not trying to be a younger version of me, but embracing where I currently am.

Don’t get me wrong — I still say and do stupid things and second guess myself. But, I am growing with each new year and becoming more of the woman God has created me to be. I rest in the love of my Heavenly Father, able to fully love myself and others.

Thank you, Lord, for your continued work in my life, year after year. I’m excited to see what you have planned for this next year!

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Faith Family

Give Thanks

Although I try to live a life of constant gratitude, Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all the good that God has done this past year.

I’ll be honest, the first seven months of 2021 were hard for our family. God took us through the fire and cut some big anchors, but through it all, his promises remain true: he is good and loving and has a plan for me and my family.

True to his Word, the past four months have been filled with incredible joys. God took the really hard and used it for His good and our good.

I’m thankful for my incredible husband — for his amazing servant’s heart and love for me and how God has grown our marriage and made it stronger. This year has grown his love for our our neighbors, his patience, and his grace. His response to the hard has blown me away.

I’m thankful for how God has worked in my son’s life spiritually and socially. Edmund has grown in his faith (was baptized this past Sunday!) and has excelled at school and in his relationships…all while entering the middle school era. BTW, today is his birthday!! My hilarious boy is 12 years old!!!

I’m thankful for the healing that God has brought into my daughter’s life. She struggled a lot with anxiety and depression the beginning of this year. In June she began seeing a counselor and started on medication. It’s been great to see my joyful kind-hearted girl again! Plus, Elise went to Honey Rock camp this summer for 12-days and her inner fierceness emerged — she fell in love with rock climbing and riflery! God has also brought some great friendships into her life.

I’m thankful for how God has worked in my life through the hard. He has grown my faith as I have learned to trust him and his faithfulness through the good and the bad. I’m thankful for the church God lead us to four months ago. I have a freedom and joy that I didn’t realize had been missing the past few years. I feel like God has brought me back to life!

I’m thankful for my parents, my sister, and her family who has stood by our family through the hard. My parents moved to the new church with us and God has already used them there! We were most concerned about the transition for my mom, who has dementia, but she LOVES it and looks forward to church every Sunday. She’s the perfect example of “people might not remember what you say, but they remember how you feel.”

Thank you God for upholding and sustaining all of my family through the really hard times this year. And I know that you will continue to sustain us in the years to come.

I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness to me and my family…his promises are strong and true.

A couple of weeks ago, we sang the song “Promises” in church. The words really spoke to me and all God has done in my life:

“God of Abraham, You’re the God of covenant, of faithful promises. Time and time again You have proven You do just want You say.

“Though the storms may come and the winds may blow, I’ll remain steadfast. And let my heart learn when You speak a word, it will come to pass.

“Great is Your faithfulness to me. Great is Your faithfulness to me. From the rising sun to the setting same, I will praise Your name. Great is Your faithfulness to me.

“God from age to age, though the earth may pass away, Your Word remains the same. Your history can prove there’s nothing You can’t do — You’re faithful and true.

“Though the storms may come and the winds may blow, I’ll remain steadfast. And let my heart learn when You speak a word, it will come to pass.

“Great is Your faithfulness to me. Great is Your faithfulness to me. From the rising sun to the setting same I will praise Your name. Great is Your faithfulness to me.

“I put my faith in Jesus. My anchor to the ground. My hope and firm foundation. He’ll never let me down…”

Amen. He will never let me down!

Categories
Health and Wellness Self-care

Healthy Happy Joints

Are you stiff when you get up in the morning? Do your knees or hips hurt when running or jumping? Do you feel like your 70 when your only in your 30s?

You don’t have to feel that way! Taking care of your joints now is SO important and there are simple things that you can do to help you feel and move better.

Here are 5 things you can start doing today to support healthy joints and movement:

  1. Move your body: The longer you sit, the more your muscles tighten. Staying active throughout the day (get those steps in!) will both help your joints feel better now and in the future.
  2. Strength Training: Did you know that a lot of knee pain comes from an imbalance of muscles strength? Our quads tend to naturally be stronger than our other leg muscles. When our quads (front of our thighs) are stronger than our hamstrings (back of our thighs), it pulls on our knee joints and can cause shooting pain. By strengthening your hamstrings and glutes (butt), you’ll not only feel stronger, but have less pain in your knees! But don’t just strength train your legs! You want to train your entire body. Looking for a great app that can help you do strength training (and overall fitness) at home? Try out the Pretty Muscles app by Erin Oprea. You’ll love it!
  3. Stretching: Just as an imbalance of muscles can cause joint pain, tight muscles can pull at your joints and affect how your move causing pain as well. Take the time to really stretch after a workout, try adding Yoga 1-2x/week, and find times throughout the day to stretch (just make sure you move those muscles some and warm them up before you stretch).
  4. Chiropractor: When your body is out of line, you will feel it in your joints. Find a good chiropractor to help keep your body moving well. Just going once a month for an adjustment will keep you feeling good for a long time…not just now, but as you age as well (take note: if you are dealing with pain now, a chiropractor will start you coming around 2 x/week, then eventually move it down to a maintenance phase as you start feeling better.) Also, find a chiropractor that you love — everyone has different styles and techniques. Don’t be afraid to shop around for a chiropractor that gels with your needs and comfort level.
  5. Supplements: There are a variety of supplements that have been proven to support healthy joints.
    • Collagen: Collagen is important for skin, hair, nails, AND your joints! In fact, it is one of the key building blocks for healthy joints. Never hurts to add some collagen to your supplement routine.
    • Glucosamine: Glucosamine has been proven to rebuild cartilage! Great supplement to add to your diet to keep you moving well.
    • Fish Oil: Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation. Less inflammation means less joint pain.

Interested in what supplements I use and recommend for healthy joints? You can check out this list here.

Here’s hoping that incorporating these ideas will have you feeling free to move your body anyway you choose!

Categories
Faith Family

Time For a Change

Have you felt called to do something, but keep putting it off and waiting for a better time? Then, when you finally make the change, you wish you had done it sooner?

Maybe it’s getting healthy? Maybe it’s changing a career? Or maybe it’s leaving the comfort of a place you’ve been a part of for most of your life for something new and different?

I finally cast all fear aside and made a change what God has been prompting me (and my husband) to do for years. After 36 years (!), I said good-bye to my church for another one. Walter and I felt God calling us to move churches about 5-6 years ago, but for one thing or another, we stayed. After all, I’ve been attending that church since I was in first grade. I grew up in that church, met my husband (when we were adults working with the high school youth group) there, got married there, and baptized our children there. I served in the junior high and senior high youth groups for about 9 years and was a part of the worship team for 20+ years!

The easy thing to do was to stay…when God was calling us to better things. Over the summer, God started closing doors and made it so incredibly apparent that now is the time. So, the beginning of August, I said ‘yes’ to God’s plan and went to a different church.

And, WOW, did God move in my heart! I was filled with the Holy Spirit and moved by God’s Word in ways that I had been missing the past 5-6 years. My cup was filled to overflowing and I felt the anger, hurt, and bitterness that had been building inside me disappear. I didn’t realize that those years I chose to stay at my church was failing to fill me and instead continued to drain me. I’ve been running on empty the past few years, finding my faith through personal devotions and listening to worship music, losing my desire for church and community.

I’m thankful I finally listened and took that step toward God’s plans for me and my family. Even though the road has been hard, I’m thankful that God has made it crystal clear that now is the time to leave. I’m thankful that my husband and I are on this journey together.

How about you? Is there something in your life (big or small) that God has been calling you to do? Stop taking the easy road and start living fearlessly.

As I stood with tears in my eyes praising God that first Sunday, I kept thinking, “I wish we had listened and left 5 years ago.” All praise to God who never gives up on us and finds ways to move our stubborn hearts toward all he desires for us.

Categories
Faith Self-care

To Be Known

One of the greatest desires of our hearts is to be seen and known. I’ve struggled most of my life with feeling like I’m on the outside looking in or feeling invisible…being the last to the party and not knowing where I fit in.

I started attending a new church a few months ago. I’m thankful for God’s goodness, guidance, and direction, but it was hard and intimidating to leave and go somewhere else. Oh, but what joy is found when we follow where God is calling us to go!

Anyways, I have obviously been meeting and getting to know some new people. I’ve always been a good conversationalist and able to engage with anyone. I’m willing to be the first one to stick my foot in and test the waters of friendship. I’m used to carrying the conversation and asking the questions of others.

However, in getting to know these new people, the tables have been flipped. After meeting people once, they have remembered my name and invited me to hang out. In one on one settings, they have asked me about myself and got me talking. Each time, I’ve apologized for monopolizing the conversation. Each time, I’ve been told that they wanted to hear my story and know me — that we will have plenty of other times to get together and talk…and they continue to invite me to events and engage with me.

I’m not invisible. I’m being seen. I’m being known. And I’m accepted.

It’s a weird feeling. And awesome.

Outside of my amazing husband, with whom I am amazingly known and loved (and my family), this is a new experience for me with strangers and new acquaintances.

I can feel God working in my heart and healing me – addressing the issues that I have stuffed deep and thawing my frozen heart. And maybe someday down the road, I’ll finally learn how to be vulnerable with friends, share my hurts and experiences, and still be known and loved.

I’m wary and nervous, but trusting God as I let myself be seen, known, and loved.

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Health and Wellness Self-care

Give Us Grace

This is my second year of teaching P.E. Last year I taught K-5th grade. This year I have K-8th grade…a range of attitudes and personalities. 😉 This also means that instead of teaching two days a week, I now teach 4 days a week.

Teachers do amazing things. I’ve been learning this as I create lesson plans and manage my classroom. But, I think what gets overlooked, is the amount of grace a teacher shows his/her students. I treat each day as a brand new day. If there is a kid that was difficult one day in class, I let it go and don’t carry it to the next time that I see him/her. Every child gets a clean slate every day.

Can I be honest? It’s hard to constantly be letting things go. I’m able to do it with my classes, but I’m noticing that I’m doing a worse job at home. It’s as if I give out all the “grace passes” that I have at school and am empty by the time I get home.

Now, I exaggerate some, but I have noticed how little hurts or frustrations outside of school stick with me more…they swirl around in my subconscious and I have a hard time letting them go. This ends up with me either irritable or in tears.

So, if you have any teacher family and/or friends, give them a little extra grace when they seem irritated or emotional…we’re busy giving grace all day long.

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Faith Goals

Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

This might be the biggest lie that we teach children. Words wound deeply and can stick with us for years.

I was pondering this on my way to teach P.E. to 5th-8th graders the other day. My first class of the day is 6th grade and my son is in that class. Trying to be funny about not liking the activity we were doing, he said something that hit on my biggest insecurity and took the wind out of my sails. Words hurt.

I’ve seen people I trusted say hurtful things about my family, labeling and accusing, demeaning and laying us bare. Words that cut deeply and left us raw and exposed. Words that are still trying to heal. Words hurt.

I’ve watched my daughter’s anxiety rise as a result of the careless words spoken impulsively by kids she considered her friends. Words hurt.

Words can also heal.

I’ve watched my daughter radiate joy when her brother compliments her on something she has done that is really important to her. Words heal.

I’ve watched my son’s chest expand and smile return as his dad praises his performance and tells him how proud his is of him. Words heal.

I’ve felt acknowledged and affirmed when a new friend has shown genuine care and asked to spend time with me. Words heal.

How are you using your words? Are you using them to lift someone up and encourage them or are you using them to bring others down?

I’m working to pause before speaking and keeping harsh words to myself, because I know how words can hurt.

And I’m choosing to tell someone every day something affirming and encouraging, because I know how words can heal.

“Kind words are like honey — sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24, NLT

Categories
Health and Wellness Self-care

My Wish For You

I talk a lot about wellness and taking care of your bodies. This isn’t just a passing phase or hobby…it is truly my heart and what I care about, not just for myself, but for the people around me. I heard someone say recently, “I want die young at an old age.” And that is my wish for you: to live a full life – healthy and thriving – until an old age. I want you to get the most out of life. This requires you to take care of yourself…and not just physically.

True wellness (or total fitness) is physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and environmental. I hope that through my blog, you’ve been able to see some of my journey in each of these areas and have encouraged you in your quest for wellness as well.

So here is my wish for you…

Physically: that you would find ways to move you body that bring you joy; that you would fuel your body with good foods and use quality supplements to fill that gap; that you would give you body the rest it needs to heal and replenish; that you would take care of your body so that you can thrive each day.

Emotionally: that you would be able to process through your feelings — whether with a friend or a professional — and find healing and hope; that you would grow in empathy and kindness.

Mentally: that you would find solutions to your problems and learn to process through all the information thrown at you to determine what is worth listening to and what should be ignored.

Socially: that you would have fulfilling relationships with others; that you would be a good friend; that you would find ways to serve and care for those around you.

Environmentally: that you would choose products that are free are harmful chemicals and toxins; that you would be wary of what you put in and on your body.

Spiritually: that you would run to Jesus and know him as your Lord and Savior; that you would see God working in the good and the bad and know that he loves you, sees you, and cares for you; that you would experience growth in your faith in God and love for others; that you would be filled with a peace and contentment and joy that makes no sense to the rest of the world.

My prayer and my desire for you is to find true and total health. That is what “wellness” means to me.