Month: May 2014

Lifestyle Change (Fancy Words for Diet)

How many years out of my 53 years have I spent on a diet?  And how many diets have I tried?  How many pounds have I lost on said diets?  Interesting questions and I could probably come up with reasonably accurate answers to them.  The question I always want to avoid like the plague must be whispered…

How many of those lost pounds have come back?!

Horrifying question!  The last time I visited my family doctor that question was haunting me.  I knew that when I stepped on the scale, the records would show a gain rather than a loss since the last visit.  On the previous visit, the doctor had told me to lose weight.  What would he say this time?  This time he assumed I would not exercise so he told me to eat less.  Humiliating.  Frustrating.  I’m pretty sure I’ve tried that one before, but I was willing to try again even though I doubted that anything would happen.

In the midst of trying and failing again, I did something that is not like me at all.  Hubby and I were out shopping one evening and drove past an establishment owned by a man who had once served as an elementary Sunday School teacher at our church.  He had had to step down from teaching because he was starting a new business and was working crazy hours.  I hadn’t seen him since then.  As we drove by his place, I saw him in the window and suggested that we should stop by and see him.

I doubt that I can make you understand how uncharacteristic of me that suggestion was.  I am not the kind of person who delights in making unexpected calls on people I haven’t seen or spoken to in months…especially when that person owns a food and fitness business!  Anyway…we stopped by – just to see how our friend was doing.  We ended up taking a tour of his place and learning all about his program.  We even bought a sample of his food.

On the way home we talked about what we had learned.  It seemed like our friend’s program would be a good way to get to the lifestyle change we both needed so badly, but it was expensive!  Surely this was not feasible for us.  However, hubby got out the calculator and our checking account records and added up all the debits for groceries and restaurants.  The total was astounding and equal to the cost of the program.

Hubby called the next day and set up an appointment for our evaluation and first workout.  That was thirteen days ago and…

I don’t know…I think this post is long enough already!  Check back later and I’ll tell you how it’s going!

One Win over Procrastination and Perfectionism

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Remember this?

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And this?

Believe it or not – they have been transformed and now look like this:

Finished Patio 1a

and this:

Finished Patio 2a

I love it – and my hubby who waited so long to convince me to give it a try?  He loves it too.  And guess what else?  In any other year the end of May would already be too hot for sitting outside on the patio.  This May?  We are still sitting outside very comfortably.

Thank you, God, for giving us patio weather in late May and for helping me to break through the walls of procrastination and perfectionism!

Persevering!

On May 3rd I told you about the cushions I was tricked into tackling.  Fifteen days later I am still working on them.  No, they are not yet finished but I am still working on them!  I won’t post any pictures of them until all of the set is complete, but how about a peek at the fabric?

Cushions 2

That’s all you get!  I like it a lot – even better than I thought I would in the store.  Originally I thought I wanted bright red and orange and green, but now when I look at the colors out on the patio, they feel restful.  They look perfect with my hubbie’s colorful gardening.

Now, although I can’t show you cushion pictures today, I want to mention something that made me happy while I was sewing yesterday.  Piping!  I have made rivers of piping through the years and I never get tired of it.

cushions 3

Making piping is one of those mindless tasks which allow me to keep my hands busy and moving forward on a project, but it doesn’t really feel like work.  I don’t know…that may sound crazy, but I always look forward to creating a big pile of piping.  As I thought about my piping-creating-love yesterday, I realized that one of the reasons piping-making is so fun is because I have a tool that makes it ridiculously easy.

Years ago, the first project I made with piping was a rocking chair cushion.  Now, you have to understand that way back in seventh grade I had a smidgeon of sewing instruction in school, but for the most part I taught myself how to sew.  It took me a long time to find out that money invested in specialized feet for my sewing machine is money well spent.  So, back to the rocking chair cushion…no specialized feet at this time.  I wound up making that piping with a zipper foot – not too bad, but definitely not the nice tight piping I made yesterday.

It was probably about ten years ago that I discovered that I could buy a piping foot for my machine.  At that time I was sewing professionally out of my home (something I will NEVER, EVER do again!) and I was having to make piping all the time.  When I discovered and shelled out the money for that piping foot, life became so much easier and I learned to loved piping-making.

Here is my wonderful piping foot:

cushions 4

That’s the view from the bottom.  See that indentation?  Maybe you can see it better this way:

cushions 5

The foot holds the cording in place so that the stitches fall tightly up against it.  Perfect piping every time!  And the foot works so beautifully that I can daydream as I stitch away.  Who knew that such a little piece of metal could make my day?

Back to the original idea of this post – I started with nine cushions to be re-covered.  Guess how many I have left to do?  One!  Granted, it is the largest of the nine, but I am almost there.  Maybe even tomorrow I will be able to post the finished project pictures.  Can’t wait!

Pleasant Places

lightstock_105898_medium_user_820653The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.  The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed I have a beautiful inheritance.  Psalm 16:5-6

Have you ever seen a field of corn in the middle of a blisteringly hot summer?  Have you noticed how the long leaves begin to curl around the stalk and point to the sky as if ready to act as a funnel in hopes of directing every raindrop to the center of the plant?  And, then, have you seen that same field after a long, soaking rain?  So green that it almost hurts the eye and the leaves now relaxed as if they were sighing in delight?

I’ve felt like that cornstalk before – haven’t you?  Haven’t you ever felt like you’re never going to hear from God again.  You’re poised for it and hope still lives, but how long will it be?  And then comes the season of refreshing.  His Word falls on you like life-giving rain.  It’s fresh and green and new every day.  Praise bubbles up.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup – He’s all I need and He holds in His hand all of my life.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed I have a beautiful inheritance.  I have to admit that when I first read this verse this week, my mind instantly went to my physical surroundings especially my husband’s beautifully lush backyard.  Yes, those are pleasant places, but because of the gospel I am blessed with even more pleasant places and a beautiful inheritance.  Justification, forgiveness, adoption, righteousness, everlasting love and a future – words that describe some of what the incarnation, sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ have given me.  And none of these blessings are dependent on my surroundings or my physical condition or the circumstances of life.  They are always freely available if I will only look up to the Giver of good gifts.

The unfathomable greatness of the gift of God washes over me like rain falling on that parched field of corn.  I breathe it in and sigh in pleasure.  He is my portion and my cup and He holds my lot!

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