Monday, December 17, 2012

Attitude - Where is yours getting you?

Ah, if it were only that easy, huh!? 

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~Thomas Jefferson

So, here we go again - we all KNOW it's a mind game, yet we continue to do the same thing over and over again - the clear definition of INSANITY.    We know what we are supposed to do, we have the tools at our fingertips - yet we keep playing this game with ourselves.....we are unable to take charge of our minds so we week after week, day after day - we play this ridiculous game.  It's total WARFARE within our minds.  I've been knee deep in the fight myself so I know first hand what the real deal is.

I've been doing quite well with my working out and eating habits!  My mindset has been GREAT!  I've been working at it regularly and made my mind up....this issue with food is NOT going to beat me.  I WILL reach my goal. Are you feeling the POWER in my words!?  The issue is, how do we all get that POWER!  Better yet, I want to be able to wave a magic wand and give it to you - but I can't.  You gotta want it bad enough and you gotta find your internal fight to save what you are allowing to be destroyed.

This weekend was awesome!  I went down to Myrtle Beach Friday night - rode the huge SkyWheel (Ferris Wheel) overlooking the world (well, not the world, but you know what I mean!) - got up Saturday morning and went roller skating!  Skated 2 hours - felt muscles in my calves I haven't felt for ages - and truly thought my left hip was going to pop out of my side....but battled it! My mind was set that I was going to get some good exercise in while I was there. - Then, we were going to a live Nativity Christmas program at a church there and needed to grab dinner.  In looking for a place to eat near the church, we found a really neat pizza place....did you catch that PIZZA?  (a little justification is that there wasn't much in the little town) The entire pizza parlor had christian band posters all around it, each napkin holder on the table had scriptures on the side- it was very cool! AND, my mind was SET.  I was going to eat my pizza in moderation and all would be GREAT.   HA!  Who am I trying to fool!?   I ate 3 pieces of pizza in the restaurant and 1 late that night.  Can you say FAILURE!?   4 large, thick pieces of pizza!  No moderation in sight.  I am sure we all realize there was salad on that menu!  Being from up north - I love a good pizza and THIS was a good pizza!  So, why didn't I just order salad?  Plain and simple - I didn't want rabbit food - I wanted pizza.

After all the  'warfare'  that went on in my mind up to that point, you would have thought I would have had no problem doing what I knew was the right thing to do. So, what's up with not being able to handle myself in a food situation?? 

What was my mind telling me?  "It's okay, you didn't eat much today",  "You'll jump right back on tomorrow",  "Pizza isn't that bad".. ....anything I possibly could to justify the fact that I ate that much pizza!

What could I have done differently?  Where do we go wrong?  It's all in the mind - - - - we need to learn how to renew our minds and do what is right for our bodies, do what brings Glory to God.  Heck, the scary thing is - we cannot do it for Him, we cannot do it for us - so where does it end?  What gives us the empowerment, the push to want to do it?

For me, its true, the pizza night came and went and I was still able to eat properly and keep my mind in order  the next day - after I beat myself up pretty bad- I am still 'on the wagon'.  The night wasn't a disaster like it has been in the past.  I have control.  You too have got to dig deep and find this place...this place where you can have a little more than normal one day and be able to pick up the pieces the next day.  I promise when you see that scale move after a week or two of diligent exercise and eating right - you will not want to damage it in any way.  I have lost 42 lbs. and do not want to mess that up in any way, shape, or form.  It's amazing what that will do to your mindset. I will tell you that falling off that wagon after losing the initial 102 lbs. 4 years ago and gaining that weight back pretty well put me in the ground mentally. The hardest thing in the world was to make it happen again; in having the confidence, the mindset, the empowerment to do it. 

BUT, I did it.  You can do it.  It's very hard to do it for someone/something we cannot see.  This higher power of ours - Jesus Christ.  I know, however that HE is my rock. He is my STRENGTH. I prayed and prayed for God to deliver me from food and to just take this desire to eat from me.  AND he has but not before I truly put in my 100 percent.  It's not going to be handed to us - it's going to take hard work and prayer - because our Jesus is like that.  It's about making us better - spiritually.  About growing in our relationship with Him.  Scripture says: 

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.   Romans 12:2

Positive Word Minsitries says:  'Renewing the mind is the replacement of our old values with the attitudes, beliefs, and concepts of God as revealed in His Word'.. 

'Satan's primary attack will be against the mind of the believer. The mind is the only territory over which you have complete control. You determine what you think about; you determine what you do'  - Also Positive Word Ministries.

Think about that!  Make Changes.  Start with a 3 day fast - a Daniel Fast of sorts.  It will bring control to your mind when joined together with prayer.  It will show you a sense of  "I CAN DO THIS" and bring you closer to the Father while you do it.

ACTION:   What are you going to do different today, this minute, right now?  Let us know.  Find an Accountability Partner and USE THEM! 

PRAYER:  Father God, lifting each person up to you today.  Asking that you will work in their minds today - that they will truly become Empowered through you. That they regain control over their minds and begin treating their temple as Your Word instructs.  Thank you Father for being the ever powerful, the creator of each of us, creator of this universe.  Thank you for the blessings that are abundant in each of our lives.  I pray father that you will work in our hearts so that for you we can do anything and everything to bring glory to you.  I ask these things in your Holy and Most Precious Name.  Amen.

That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:20-24

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Endorphines - God's Gift of Well Being!

Good Morning!!! It certainly has been awhile since I have blogged and just as long since we were supposed to start our book "Younger Next Year".   Quite simply, life keeps on going even when we can't seem to keep up! Circumstances change from day to day - it's difficult to truly plan those 'optional', non-required activities.  As a note, we are going to read this book together!

Personally my life has been crazy.  You know - Many, many uncontrollable circumstances that keep us from the things we want to do most - and adding layers and layers of additional stress.   Funny thing is, all I have wanted to do for the past week is EXERCISE!~  It's true!  I want to be working every part of my body - sweating profusely - beating bags and training hard.  SERIOUSLY, it has been a huge craving for me this week!  Of course, I was able to hit the gym Friday, Saturday, Monday and then poof - I have not been able to get back in! Amazingly enough my eyes were opened (WIDE) and I was able to see the affect being in the gym has on my eating habits, my mental alertness, and my ability to function as I need to.  It's then that 
I'm not so happy, attitude is way down, and I truly, truly miss the feeling I have when I'm in the gym  I leave the gym renewed and in a position to take on the world.

Last Friday and Saturday I was the only one that showed up for the beginner Muay Thai class (yes, my exercise of choice!).  Love it!  Love the punching, the kicking - learning about Muay thai and working on technique while I have the ability to get a major physical work out in.  This being said I had 2 solid hours with our awesome trainer.  I started the week out in BIG ways!  It's amazing what that did for my "psych'ee".  As the week progressed, without the opportunity to be in the gym, the stressors that presented themselves stole every ounce of the POWER and STAMINA that was stored so neatly in the vault of my being.  I didn't like the weakness I then saw in me - I much preferred that person I was on Monday!  They say endorphines make a world of difference in our lives and I believe it!

What are they? -

Endorphins ("endogenous morphine") are endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters.[1] They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise,[2] excitement, pain, they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being.

OK guys, for my Jesus girls, Endorphines are God given!  They are not mixed in a bottle - you can't buy them.  HOWEVER, we can produce them naturally if we get off our butts!

It's winter - it's cold (in most places for most of us) - exercise is not fun in the cold - some can't afford gyms or don't want to grace a gym with their presence right now....excuse after excuse after excuse.  If we already know that any kind of exercise is going to produce these awesome endorphines - why in the world would we not want to produce them!

They give us a feeling of WELL BEING! So, although exercise is one of the major component for our weight loss- look what it generates for our every day lives!   The feeling of well being - this is by design - God's design!  Not mans. 

Today as I head to my morning Muay Thai class, I want to leave you with this.  Find YOUR means for exercise; for generating endorphines.  Watch what this does to your attitude, to your feeling of well being, to your feelings of self-worth.   Leslie Sansone's DVDs are awesome, walk right in your living room along with some upbeat peeps looking for the same things you are - no need to hit the cold outside.  Find a gym class in your area.  Kickboxing is awesome - similar to what I do and you will love watching yourself grow into a better feeling much happier person.

Forget the scale for now - forget even the strict diet for now - I promise if you will increase your exercise and do something for 30 minutes daily, you will see a life change.  You won't want to fill your body with stuff that will just bring back down the awesome goodness you've been putting in it.

A couple of words of wisdom I'd like to share with you today are:

The best way to win a war is without a battle. The best way to a naturally thin life is one that doesn't require a daily dose of weight loss motivation as a cure for dieting.

Let's try another approach - a natural, God-Given dose of life - that comes in the form of Endorphines.  This one costs NOTHING.  I do suggest finding your niche - find what is fun to you and run with it!!!!  If that means running in the yard playing soccer with your kids for 30 minutes - DO IT!  Mine is Muay Thai - it has to be what you love and can't feel like WORK.  You will find tho, I promise, you want to do more and more and train harder and harder.  The feelings created by natural endorphines are addictive! 

And Remember,

Hebrews 12:11: "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."

Disciple is a necessity in life - for everything we do.  the rewards are tremendous!   Take accountability to change your life this week - get moving!!

Dear God,
I pray this week that we will get our endorphines flowing - that we will experience feelings of well-being like we never have before and we thank you for this natural medicine - created by your design for just this purpose.  Help us to use it to better ourselves and rebuild, repair, or main our temples.  All to bring glory to you.   Amen.

1 Cor 6:19-20   - Daily Reminder!

Love today and Always, Kelley

The best way to win a war is without a battle. The best way to a naturally thin life is one that doesn't require a daily dose of weight loss motivation as a cure for dieting.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Younger Next Year ~ Warming Up

So, Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Reminder:  (Taken from The Lord's Table, Mike Cleveland)

If we set out on this course to lose weight for our own glory we cannot expect God's assistance.  Since God is the greatest good, He sets out to work all things for his own glory, and if we seek to lose weight for our own glory we are at a cross purposes with God.  He will not share his glory with another (Isaiah 48:11).  This concept is very important to understand, so let's look at an illustration of this in Judges 7:2: "The Lord said to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful saying, "My own power has delivered me".

Day 1 of The Lord's Table is all about proper motivation. And, No, we are not reading it for this study - but because Younger Next Year is not christian based - I think it is important that we remember who's we are and partner up with Him during this study - giving Him the glory for the things we will learn from Younger Next Year.    I want us to remember this first and foremost.  Now, onto our featured book.......

WOW,  Younger Next year is going to teach us some cool stuff! Just the foreward of the book has given me some 'umph ~ I feel butterflies in my stomach and almost like a veil of days gone bad is beginning to lift!   It's almost like we have  to push ourselves into a change in our 'Psych'y' our mental state - like before we can go a step further we need to tap into our fight - our drive - our desire. We need to decide we are not willing to settle for the stereotypical roles of middle age - or in the case of my daughter who is in her late 20's - decide we are not going to take after our mothers who have hit middle age!  Being 47, I am at a deficit - I yo-yo dieted all my life - but didn't truly make a lifestyle change. It has always been my desire to lose weight quickly - the quicker the better as far as I was concerned - thus why I am fighting to lose the same 100 lbs. yet again.  

In the Foreward, Gail Sheehy (an Author) gives us awesome insight - her insight after having read the book and taking a stab at implementing some of the things Dr. Harry and Chris Crowley advise. From participating in a strip-dance class, to 20 mile a day bike rides, to boot camp at the local YWCA.....She quotes some great things our author will cover....

"We urge you NOT to start gradually"  (WHAT?  this is unlike everything we have ever heard! aren't all programs started gradually?"

'Chris Crowley .....He's a recovery case, years younger at seventy than when he retired from a Wall Street law firm and began wondering who he would be, once stripped of his professional status...he started the usual slide into fat and foolishness but caught himself and reversed direction - he now looks like a 50 year old hunk'  - Fat and Foolishness - ouch!  Been there, done that - have the t-shirt and the book.

'Dr. Harry Lodge is only 47 (um, my age, only 47?)...M.D., teacher, and man of Science.  He tells readers that after 50 we start to decay....Unless we signal or bodies to keep growing by exercising 6 (YES 6) days a week our bodies head downhill.  Exercise provides the signal that jolts our cells into repairing and renewing themselves and releases the chemicals that bathe our brains in positive feelings.' -  Bathe our brains in positive feelings! doesn't this sound wonderful.......

Gail also talks about giving your body what it needs - rest, spiritual refreshment, and physical jump start.....good habits of mind and body.  She talks about what it takes to become committed to continuing our 'Second Adulthood'. ~ this is why I chose this book!!!

Are you ready to get started!?  Reading assignments are below. 

For my ladies that are Tackling their Temple with me - I am looking for some of you ladies to help with blogging!  If you are interested in blogging on anything below, let me know!  I really want you to participate and I think the best way to do that is for you guys to help with blogging and sharing!

Reading Assignments

Tuesday - Read the Foreward Only - by Gail Sheehy, also an author.

Thursday - Read Welcome to the Revolution - by the authors, Chris and Harry

Saturday - Read the Introduction

Monday -  Part One - Take Charge of Your Body /  - Chapter 1 The Next 40 Years
                 Read Page 3- 9 (stop at "You Do Have to Age but You Don't Have to Rot"

WednesdayPage 9-12  Read - 'You Do have to Age, but you don't have to Rot' AND
                                               'What I bring to the Party: A Report from the Front'

Friday - Page 12 -14  Read 'What Harry Brings to the Party: The Truth'

Saturday - Page 14-18  Read 'Meeting Harry and Getting a New Start'

My Prayer for Us

Dear God,  I pray today that you will walk beside us as we read this book - that you will help us to work together with you to find the desire to become healthy, that we can find in you the strength and power to do what needs to be done to break the cycle of bad and unhealthy habits. Thank you Father for each person here - for what they contribute every day - for their accomplishments -for their struggles - for all of those things that make them who they are. May all we do bring only glory to you. We love you Father and ask all these things in your name, Amen.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tackling our Temples for Him

'Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?  You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price so you must honor God with your body'
2nd Corinthians 6:19-20

- Isn't this the story of our lives! 

How many of us are sick and tired of being sick and tired!?  How many of us start every day saying that we are going to do better today - Today's the Day!  I got this!  This is happening!  Only to make it to lunch time and end up going out for a group lunch - where salad just did not appeal to you, but the pizza or lasagna did?   Man Look, (favorite phrase from a friend) - this is me!

I am the champion of yo-yo dieting - I have been thru Weight Watchers (age 12), LA Weight Loss, Nutri-Systems, Physicians Weight Loss - all were successful.  I KNOW how to do this - I know my body.  I am no longer 12 but 47 and have lost the same 100 lbs. many times over.  Am I looking for success in all the wrong places (isn't that a song or a cliche?) - Am I going about this the wrong way?

I started a private facebook group that that includes awesome women all in the same position, some having very successful results and others not - all christian and very sweet awesome women.  We share, encourage, love and support each other in huge ways - (private because not everyone needs to hear how we binged and ate a carton of  ice cream straight from the container until it was gone at 3:00 in the morning!).....I'm finding, it's still not enough.  We still are struggling.  So, how do we find that FIGHT?  How do we find that WANT to?  How did I do it so many times before?  I wish I knew!  I'd be rich! (in more ways than one!)

Shouldn't 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 be enough motivation?  I am doing everything in my power to give God the glory and honor he deserves, every day of my life.   OR AM I?  Obviously, painfully, I am not!

- - - - back in August I went on an amazing mission trip to Nicaragua.  I wish I could go every month or every quarter -  it was then that I realized I was spending way too much time participating in ministries that were basically small groups on-line - studying a book, studying scriptures and sharing - I loved it - I absolutely loved it.  I loved the blogging and the fun I had while studying the word.  BUT I needed to reach the lost. Most everyone doing the studies were already christian women and well on their way to incredible relationships with our Father. So, I prayerfully gave up that ministry work to find a way to reach the lost AND do the number one thing I've been trying to do for some time now - get my temple physically and spiritually in sound order so that I can do the work of my Father - being his strong and healthy hands and feet.  THAT is where I am at today! 

It is my prayer that through this blog as I share my heart and daily struggles - when I share scripture and excerpts from my reading that I will touch one lost person, or will say the words that help another.  I pray I have the ability to accomplish multiple things through words and actions, starting here and now.  We all know ACTIONS speak louder than words and I try to make sure I live out what I speak. Results are not always perfect - but then again, if we were perfect we would not need our Father.

Check back for new posts and let me know what you like or give us a topic to talk about - This page is for US as we get our temples spiritually and physically fit to be a disciple of God working at 150% capacity - all the time!

- Facebook sharing page coming soon.  I will post the link

Let us Pray - Heavenly Father, thank you for today - for second chances, for love, for life, and for the opportunity to bring you honor and glory every day.  I ask that you will be with this group - every reader - every person participating in a "fight" to get their temples in order.  Fill us with your power and strength, allow us to absorb every scripture and use it to grow closer to you in every way. Give us a compassion for each other and guide our paths.  May every action and every word bring only glory to you.  Amen.

Taking Action- there is a book out Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge, MD.  You can get the Gift package on Amazon for around $13.00.  See Link below.  I am reading this book now and it's awesome.  I will share here often, I'm sure. 

Here's a few sentences I'll leave you with:

70% of what you feel as aging is optional!  (WOW!) - I get that!

'Heart attacks and strokes are the great killers of women......but the terrible things are probably not going to happen to you.  Because, the worst things turn out to be voluntary.  You do not have to go there.  So Don't'!  (another WOW!!!!)  - what do we do to ourselves????

More Soon!!!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy is the PEACEMAKER

Today I started an On-Line bible study with some incredible sisters in Christ.  The study is focused on spiritual growth within so we can grow in our marriages and make them the best they can be!  Of course, there is an underlying goal, for me especially; however, I'll leave that up to my Heavenly Father - it's all in His perfect timing and I'll share when the time is right! 

As I read today, I had quite nearly the entire chapter highlighted! We read all about PATIENCE and what having patience can do for a marriage.  Thankfully, God taught me this several months ago - and a peace came upon me like nothing you would ever believe. I learned how to use "patience" in order to keep peace.   The household "wars" have become few and far between and I became the "Peacemaker"!  WOW!  Me, who always has to have the last word! Who always has to be right? What a HUGE accomplishment this is for me personally ~ to be a Peacemaker!  I truly began to see results in my home. Praise God for continuing to work on my heart and soul ~ allowing me to change into the woman and wife he expects me to be.

There is complete truth in God's Word! There aren't any half-truths or lies in The Word~ nothing but Truth. 

In Matthew 5:9 It is written,"God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God". WOW, there you have it.  Blessings for those who work for peace!

I'd like to share and touch on a few of the things that touched my heart as I studied and read today.

"Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is.  Those pillars are patience and kindness"

Can you honestly see love built on anything else?  Love IS patience and kindness!  That statement radiates Jesus in his truest form! 

"Love helps you settle down and begin extending mercy to those around you. Patience brings an internal calm during an external storm"

Wow!  This is my story!  I have found an internal calm within Jesus Christ and although it hasn't stopped every storm that has come my way~it certainly has changed my life.  My tolerance has grown tremendously which has allowed me to work with those recovering from drug addiction, an area lacking tolerance for me.

We also tackled the topic of Anger today.....if you're like me, Yes, you get angry ~ we all do.

"Anger is usually caused when the strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief. It is often an emotional reaction that flows out of our own selfishness, foolishness, or evil motives"

The truth hurts, huh!?  Ouch! The next time you get angry, stop and think about it. Why are you angry?  Is it a case of you didn't get what you wanted?  is it due to selfishness?  are you disappointted with how life is happening?  I would almost bet you that it is one of these things!  

Here is where you need to take some deep breaths, think about the cause, and without any further delay find the peacemaker buried within your heart and change the situation around!

Last but not lease -

"Patience, however, makes us wise."

Spend some time today and reflect on "patience".  For me it was a life changer that went hand and hand with peace.  With Patience came Peace! 

Thank you for stopping by!  I will post more as we continue this study! There is nothing I love more than sharing the Word and teachings of my Lord and Savior.

In God's Love Today and Always,


Saturday, May 12, 2012

In Memory of Allene D. Blair 3/8/1936 - 6/1/1978 ~ Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day ~ A beautiful day that we take time out to recognize all mothers!  Some have already been called home to be with our Heavenly Father and others are enjoying life with their children right here on this beautiful earth.

My Mother, Allene Theresa Davies, was born 3/8/1936 and unfortunately was called home much too soon (for me) on 6/1/1978 at 42 years old.  Thankfully I now know that Jesus has a plan and this was part of that plan.  Every plan has a purpose and like a developing photo, it's being made clearer each and every day.  Although I miss my mother terribly, I no longer mourn her internally as I have done for years.  Mother's Day is a day to Celebrate our Mothers and that's exactly what I want to do for my own mother today! She deserves a celebration and I want her to be dancing in Heaven with my dad, my grandparents, and those that have passed before me. 

  Her children rise up and call her blessed ~ Proverbs 31

I only had 12 years with my mother, but the memories of those years are vivid for me.  The most vivid memory is my mother's smile.  My mother smiled all the time.  For years when I would go back home to Buffalo and talk to family and friends from the years my mother was alive, they always told me "Your mother always had a smile on her face".  Absolutely! I remember that smile, it is forever engraved in my mind and heart, never to be forgotten. I see it in my own daughters, and even in my grandson.   My mother's life was not always peaches and cream and she had some hard times as well; however, she never let those times steal her smile!  She loved life and loved to laugh and have fun. She was the life of every party, in a positive way.

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 
                                                          2 Timothy 1:5 ESV

My mother was one of 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls. There were 31 grandchildren and since my grandparents passed away, I haven't heard a total count of great grandchildren! I can only imagine! There was sister (my Aunt) Carol, who had several children herself and was better known as our "nutty" aunt, never a dull moment with Aunt Carol ~ sister (my Aunt) Shirley who quite possibly missed her calling as a nun, just kidding, but she was our straight laced devout Catholic aunt that baked all the time (or so it seemed)~ then, there was my mother, the baby.....she wasn't as straight laced devout Catholic as Shirley but wasn't as "nippy" as Carol either.   She had a personality all her own.  Outgoing, fun, and yes, always smiling!  To me, she was the most beautiful mother ever!

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
                                                            Deuteronomy 6:6-7

I give my mother credit for the morals and values instilled in me and my brothers.  As long as I can remember my mother worked full time.  After she and my father divorced after 19 years, she worked two jobs. She was very hardworking and did a great job of balancing work and her children.  We had rules, understood the value of a dollar, respected the elders in our life, and praise God that none of us found our way into trouble.  We were taught the important things at a young age and that carried over into our adult lives.  Way to go Mom!  That was a huge feat!

 ..... and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
                                                             Titus 2:4-5

Mom was the hockey mom that attended all my brothers games, that dyed our poodles red and green at Christmas and brought them to school for show and tell, that cooked dinner for my sister-in-law when my brother brought her home for the very first time to meet us, that took us to Friendly's for ice cream after school functions, that allowed me to play Viola and came to my orchestra concerts.  She had my graduation dress made as we went from 6th grade elementary school to 7th grade junior high school - I remember the dress like it was yesterday.  It was a light blue swiss long dress and I wore a light blue velvet choker with it. I didn't appreciate it back then, but looking back now, I do!  The trouble she went through to have a dress special made, Wow!   Perhaps these are things that every parent does, but I always saw my mother go above and beyond in everything she did for us kids. And always with a HUGE smile.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
                                                             Ephesians 1:1-5

I have some funny memories as well - the fact that the mole on my face is a "beauty mark" and was never to be removed because that is a glamorous symbol - She used to say "Look at the stars, they draw them on their faces!" - many of the actresses of that era did have "beauty marks".  I remember having to stand behind my mother, with her hair pick, and lift her hair to make sure there weren't any holes or bald areas showing - this was an every day task!  In the car I used to have to tell her when she had make-up lines that had to be rubbed in.  (today, I tell my own daughter the same thing! - BLAIR, rub that make up down into your neck!).  I remember putting make up on and dressing up at about 11 years old - putting on my mothers GREEN eye shadow, yes green~that was the only color she used.  I remember her telling me how beautiful I was.

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.  If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.
Proverbs 23:13-14

When I made my First Holy Communion, my veil was made from my mother's bridal veil.  I sure wish that I had this today.  I remember how absolutely beautiful it was. The same beads used on my mother's headpiece, were used on mine. I hope one day I will find a picture or maybe even find the veil put up in my mother's keepsake items.

She had her favorite neices, my cousins, Corky, Terri, and Karen. With Karen she made "Mexican Sundae's".  She was just incredible in every way - loved people, loved life! And was always smiling!

I am so proud of my mother and I love her more today than I ever did.  She was beautiful and loving~and the love of my life!  The memories ..... ah the memories.  I thank God for allowing these to remain so clear even though she has been gone nearly 34 years.

I made my mother a plaque years ago and the poem on it read as follows.  Here's to forever memories

To one who bears the sweetest name,
and adds a luster to the same,
who shares my job
who cheers when sad,
the greatest friend I've ever had
Long life to her for there's no other,
to take the place of my dear mother
Author Unknown


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tackling the Temple ~ Morning Inspiration

Located Behind Columbia Place Mall

This is week 2 of Journey 999!  I have developed a pretty awesome Love/Hate relationship with my friends at Fight Club University -  Darryl Johnson and Corey Goodwin "Big Daddy Grace".   Darryl has no mercy as he pushes us beyond our limits; however, Corey (and maybe I shouldn't say this so loud) at least allowed us to take in some oxygen in between drills today!  When you are pushing 50 and are 100 lbs. overweight - ya gotta have oxygen!

"Big Daddy Grace" (Corey), Owner FCU
This morning there was a lady at the gym that was such an inspiration.  She was an older lady (not sure much older cause I sure didn't ask!) and she (like me) had lost a lot of weight - I think around 100 lbs.  She had incredible stamina and drive and was giving us a run for our money.  She was truly an inspiration to me!  As we left I noticed her license plate said "LOST IT" - I was like "You tell 'em girl!"  It is truly Amazing Grace !  Her chains were gone and she had been set free!  That is absolutely how I felt after losing 102 lbs!  FREE  When you carry 102 lbs. of extra weight - you carry so much more than just 102 lbs.  The burden is HUGE; you are miserable, can't breathe half the time, and you surely don't like yourself very much. ~ So, to be Free .....  truly God's Amazing Grace! 

The Holy Spirit was definitely working overrtime at the gym!  It still fascinates me when I feel his presence and know without a shadow of a doubt He is there!  He first showed out through our new friend and then with a boxing bag.  Corey had me move over to a harder bag today and you will never guess what was on it!?  No, not a spider or a creepy crawly of any kind, Not someone's left behind sweat (although I'm sure that is there somewhere!), Check it out!  For me, this was one more confirmation I am in the right place, doing the right things, for the right reasons!  Go God!

 Greatness is Within

I will post more soon as my journey progresses!  Check out the quotes below that I used in my on-line bible studies this week!  They are great reminders for us every day!

If you believe in yourself, have dedication and pride and never quit, you'll be a winner. The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards."
- Paul Bryant (Head Coach of University of Alabama's Football Team)
.........sounds like this came straight from the bible, huh?

"You can't get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good."
- Jerry West (Basketball player)
..........Hmmm, this too! haven't I read this somewhere in the bible?

"The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret."
- Sarah Bombell (Swimmer)
......OH YES!

"In order to excel, you must be completely dedicated to your chosen sport. You must also be prepared to work hard and be willing to accept constructive criticism. Without a total 100 percent dedication, you won't be able to do this."
- Willie Mays (Baseball player)
.......AMEN! We have to be dedicted, must work hard and expect to get our toes stepped on when we need it!

"The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That's real glory."
- Vince Lombardi (Football coach)
.........We need to practice his presence so we are able to come back every time we are knocked to our knees!

"Don't give up at half-time. Concentrate on winning the second half."
- Paul Bryant (Head Coach of University of Alabama's Football Team)
...........It will not be easy but we can't give up - we have to concentrate on the end goal - for thus that means eternal life withour Father in heaven.

"The answer to three questions will determine your success or failure.
1 - Can people trust me to do my best?
2 - Am I committed to the task in hand?
3 - Do I care about other people and show it?
If the answers to all three questions are yes, there is no way you can fail."
- Lou Holtz (Football coach)
........AMEN Coach Holtz!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tackling the Temple~Mind,Body, & Soul - Journey #999

 For those of you who knew me as a child, knew me as a teen, and knew me at various times during my adult life know that I have always been the chubby child, the teen with more weight than not, and have seen me extremely overweight OR looking great after one of my major weight loss periods!

Now that I look back at my childhood pictures - most of them I was, YES, the chunky child - the wear husky jeans, the 'I got the wrong genes!' child, the can't buy the cute clothes, or feel good next to the neighborhood hotties - yes, even as children we had "hotties" - the cute, petite, blond beautiful kids!  Guess my stigma started then.  At 10 or 11 I was in Weight Watchers with my mother - Oh yes, St. Bernadette's in Orchard Park - most of the time coffee afterwards somewhere at the Southgate Plaza - at least my mother had good intentions!   I remember taking my Weight Watcher ice cream to Mrs. Church's house for sleepovers, or to Aunt Carol's.  I really worked at getting that extra weight off even then.  Scary thing is, today the cycle continues as I work with my own daughter - who yes, got the same genes - short and prone to be chunky!  Thankfully it doesn't take much for her - she can cut carbs and play her softball and lose 20 lbs. at the drop of the hat. Not so easy at 30 or 40 and now, I'm afraid almost 50!

When I married I was addicted to Aerobics - went all the time and got down to about a 12 which worked for me - any smaller and I start looking anorexic in the neck and face area.  Then children came - it was definitely harder the 2nd time, but I did it yet again.   After I had my 2nd child I was much smaller than now - but I kept gaining from there - Seems I was ALWAYS working on "getting it off".  Honestly, can't remember a time when I wasn't "working" on getting it off.  It was a way of life for me - sadly.  Always so I could feel good about me, fit in, wear the same cute clothes everyone else wore, and look good for my husband.  After all, what husband wants a wife that's 100 lbs. overweight?  I was absolutely sure mine didn't - did he?  I don't care what anyone else says - it's NOT attractive.  They may love you regardless but it's nothing to look at, especially in your skivvies!  Wow, the things we do to our mental state with these thoughts. Who needs people to beat us down, we do this quite well to ourselves.

SO - here we go again.

This is me - Before and After a 102 lb. Weight Loss

Back in 2008 I worked extremely hard, started an HCG Fasting Diet with a Dr. nearby.  Basically, you took HCG injections daily (by yourself), spent hundreds of dollars on HCG, saw the doctor once a month and the weight just fell off.  And it did.  In a matter of about 7 months, I lost a whopping 102 lbs.  Most of that was in the first 4 months.   It was absolutely amazing.  I trained doing Cross Fit (which I hated but loved how I felt afterwards!), a little bit of Muay Thai (which I absolutely LOVED and would love to do more of!) , and even ran my 1st race.  I was the happiest I have ever been in my life!  At 43 years old I felt like I was in a dream.  I was buying clothes in the juniors and wearing my daughters shirts.  I even had some American Eagle shirts! (which if you shop there know they are made for the 'petite' world). Above is a before and after picture - the after was taken on my 43rd birthday.

I was getting tons of attention and loved it.  My marriage, which has always been a bit trying, was super strained.  I was walking a dangerous path and felt like the road to divorce was near after 15 years.  Wedding rings were off, our paths were going in opposite directions and sadly, GOD was nowhere in sight. Seems neither my husband nor I remembered our vows.  During this time I ate myself into oblivion, stopped with the HCG and the doctor (the money being invested could have built a small house I'm sure!).  I went from wearing cute clothes, working out - to eating anything and everything and blowing up like a balloon.  I refused to buy "NEW" clothes - so the consignment shops and Goodwill got lots of my attention as I rebuilt my FAT wardrobe.  I had given all my FAT clothes away - every stitch of them, vowing never to return to them.  What a mistake that was (or was it)?  The pounds kept coming and coming and coming - and my willpower and engery level kept going, going, going - down, down down. To this day, I'm fighting for it to return. Something has to be different this time!

It was at this time that I was reconnected with my foster brother and his family.  God knows just what we need when we need it.  I was invited to their church and went.  It was there I found my church home-my church family and was finally saved from the world as I knew it. I built a relationship with Jesus Christ, understood his place in my life, and spiritually was full to the top!  This was about 4 years ago. Although my spiritual life was AMAZING.  And it remains AMAZING - I love my Lord and Savior with every inch of my being - with every single pound! However, the weight continued to pile on.  Today, I have gained every bit of that 102 lbs. back. Much to my DISGUST - and yes, that's the only word for it.  It's totally disgusting and regardless what anyone tells you - there is absolutely no way to feel good about yourself, your life, or anything when you are 102 lbs. overweight. Not even loving Jesus more than yourself can get you over the mental state you are in at 100 lbs. overweight.  It's because we are HUMAN that it DOES matter that we're 100 lbs. over weight.  We are made of flesh and have fleshly ways.  Below, I am getting ready to start my 1st race with my trainer, beautiful and awesome Stephanie. She ran my pace and stayed with me every step of the way. Do you know how it feels to accomplish that after being 100 lbs. overweight?  So, gain it back - REALLY KELLEY?

See the hard work!  Praise God now for Paul Beckwith,,  for his time with me.  For Stephanie Roberts' time with me, for every single person that invested in me to reach my goals. Even the doctor and his HCG program.  It works people - but I can't speak to it working forever without continued maintenance because I failed the last part of the program.  I chose to maintain on my own and that didn't work too well, I was tired of pouring dollars into something that my Heavenly Father should be able to help me with and that's the honest to God truth.  Too bad I didn't turn to Him BEFORE allowing myself to get to rock bottom.

Paul Beckwith. Owner-
Muay Thai Training with Nik Rodrigues. I loved this, wish I would have kept it up and kept going!

So, here we are - Journey 999, the only way to describe how you feel when you feel like it's your last chance to finally get rid of the 'burden', the 'weight' that is truly riding on your shoulders.  Next step is 1000 - do I really want to get there,  to 1000?  No. No way are we going any further than 999 ~ that's enough times in 46 (almost 47 years) to gain and lose the same 100 lbs.

Today, I am sharing my story with you and with my Heavenly Father as this is the start of a brand new day. It is a testimony to Him that I absolutely KNOW now he was with me when I conquered my weight - (I didn't know it, but He was!)  - there's no other way to explain the strength, willpower, and desire I had to get the 102 lbs. off.  And yes, I make sure to include those 2 lbs. because they are important!  I worked hard for those 2 lbs. AND, gaining 2 lbs. can make or break a person in my situation, it has broken me. Food is an addiction, some of us aren't meant to eat carbs and whatever we want to eat when we want it and to do so when we know what it is doing to us is an addiction.  It's truly scary to admit and even scarier to think about having to conquer.

Today I rededicate myself to this journey - I claim victory over this journey.  I commit to keeping my Heavenly Father at the center of every step I take.  I commit to praying over this journey continuously and giving my Heavenly Father all the glory.  I am not worthy, but He is.    I want to ask that you will walk along side of me, pray for me, and work with me as I go through the next several months.  I will journal often to keep you updated - that's for 2 reasons.  ONE, I need the accountability for my actions and TWO, because this journey is not being taken by me alone.  I stand and walk with my Lord and Savior every step of the way.  Through Him I can do anything.  Through Him I can conquer 102 lbs. Through Him I may be able to help someone else as they battle to survive from drowning weight.  It truly feels like you are bound to concrete, in the ocean drowning without the ability to even begin to see above water.  Today, I know it doesn't have to be like that and that I am EMPOWERED (thank you Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave), I have DISCIPLINE, I have DEDICATION, I have  DETERMINATION - through Him I have every tool necessary.   To God be the Glory!  - if you haven't read Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, it's a book about her battle with weight and how she gave that battle to Jesus and overcame by learning to crave God over food - it will continue to be a part of my daily reading as I take this journey.  With scripture and reality, Lysa tells it like it is and teaches us how to put God first in this situation.

Lysa teaches:  Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale!  WOOHOO.  Obedience to Him!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.     Galations 5:22-23
    ~Self-Control,  it's a fruit of the Spirit!  It's a gift - it's ours for the asking!

Martin Luther King said:   "Take the first step in faith, you don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step"   - TODAY, I take my first step!

"The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try and the faith to believe it is possible"  David Viscott  - the will to try (well, I've got that!) and thankfully I have the FAITH now to beleive it is possible as well!  Praise God for that.

Isn't it truly all about faith!?  The FAITH to believe in the unseen - the unknown?   Today I believe in what I cannot see and I know without a shadow of a doubt what believing in what I cannot see brings to my life - it GIVES ME LIFE.     Today, I surrender to Him this burden. 

Thank you Micca Campbell (An Untroubled Heart) for teaching us we must have a Faith Stronger than Our Fears in order to conquer our fears, our obstacles, even those that are self-inflicted upon ourselves (and there are many).

Dear Father,  First of all Thank you for all of those people you have placed in my path that have been your hands and feet at times in my life when I was truly lost.  From childhood through adult there have been many that I never knew were there for me only as a result of you.  I praise you and Thank you Father for each one.  Thank you for my Pastor, who was instrumental in saving my marriage, for my Proverbs 31 ladies, the authors of the books I have read that have been an incredible part of my growing relationship with you; the speakers, the leaders of the Online Bible Studies, and the many precious friends I have in Christ as a result of these studies. Thank you for my amazing church family.

Father, today I surrender to you this huge burden I carry.  I pray that you will continue to work in my life that I will re-gain and maintain the dedication and willpower I need to accomplish this task with your help.  I know it is impossible without you, but I know All Things Are Possible with you. I promise that I will give you my time and that I will be obedient to you during this journey.  I commit to giving only You the Glory for the results that I know will come and I promise to continue to be your hands and feet to help others as needs present themselves.

I love you Father, I praise and Honor you and givce you so much thanks.  Amen.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fear Versus Faith - The Missing Mustard Seed

I have so many friends who are without jobs, or their spouses or parents are without jobs ~ and in many cases they have been without jobs for a long time. Their fear is huge, we live in the flesh. Being the practicing christian I am, I know the words God has given me to share with these sweet friends~ the awesome words in our Life Instruction Manual, the Bible. We tell them to pray, wait on the Lord, He will provide, surrender your burdens and allow Him to carry them....scripture after scripture full of our Savior's promises. In Psalm 91:1-4, the psalmist wrote:

He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust,
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

WOW! He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge....It doesn't get any better than that!

I believe in my Lord and Savior ~ in fact, I have complete faith in Him (or do I?)~ I know he will provide ~ BUT He doesn't promise it will happen in OUR time ~ before the foreclosure of a house, for example OR before every bill we owe is in collections. It's in HIS time. Not mine. Not ours. This is where my own personal fear comes into play. I want to be rescued NOW before it gets bad! - not after I've lost my home, self-esteem, and desire to keep fighting.

I will also be rescued in HIS way. Not necessarily the way I have been praying for things to happen. ~ It's his time, his way. Even more scary, huh? It's all truly dependent on HIS PLAN.

So, does this mean I don't have enough faith in Him? Am I lacking?

The bible teaches, HIS TIME is the PERFECT time, HIS WAY is the PERFECT way.

The bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:17, "I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work".

In Acts 1:7 He said to them, It is not for you to become acquainted with and know what time brings [the things and events of time and their definite periods] or fixed years and seasons (their critical niche in time), which the Father has appointed (fixed and reserved) by His own choice and authority and personal power."

Yes, His time is the Perfect time ~

We need to remember, God sees things from a different perspective, He sees the whole picture! He doesn't just see what we want, but sees what is best for us in the grand scheme of our lives. All is part of a divine order and will be done in it's proper time.

We are taught to TRUST him and SURRENDER our burdens to Him.
We are taught to RESIST taking back what was surrendered.
We are taught to Pray over the situation.
AND, we are taught to Have FAITH - as Micca Campbell says in her book "An Untroubled Heart" - we need a faith stronger than our fear.

What is Faith? 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen' Hebrews 11:1

In Matthew 17:20,"Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

How do you keep faith? How do you accept God's timing? This is a struggle for me and for many others; however, it is my goal to work on building this faith - the kind of faith that can move mountains.

When you are facing a huge challenge and are attempting to wait patiently on the work you KNOW God will do in your life, how do you keep solid in your faith? How do you remain understanding with God on when and how he delivers? I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts!

Dear God,

Thank you for providing for our every need. Thank you for the continuous blessings of Your Word. Father, please help us grow our Faith in You. Teach us to wait for you and teach us to be content with your timing and your actions. We love you Father, you are the ever powerful - the only perfect - and we are so blessed to know you personally and to be on the receiving end of a love like no other. We ask these things in your name, Amen.

Must Read Books!

  • A Confident Heart, Renee Swope
  • An Untroubled Heart, Micca Campbell
  • Crazy Love, Frances Chan
  • Fit for My King, Sheri Rose Shepherd
  • Made to Crave, Lysa TerKeurst
  • Radical, David Platt
  • Winning Him without Words, Lynn Donovan & Dineen Miller