Sometimes looking back can really motivate you forward. It’s crazy how far we’ve come. The new thoughts that naturally run through my mind now before I grab something to snack on are amazing. Is it processed? Does it contain massive amounts of sugar? How am I going to feel tomorrow if I eat this today?
To be clear- I still make some bad choices mixed in with the good. Sometimes I make multiple poor choices in one single day. In fact just the other night I sat alone in the living room, I was bored, lazy and tired so I did what I knew I shouldn’t do.
I put a bag of potato chips on my lap and some good dip to go with them and I ate. I ate and ate and ate. The funniest part of the whole thing was that the only chips we had were from a fall picnic the day before and they were a flavor I didn’t even like. Every time I took a bite I was like- yuck I don’t even like these. So I put more dip on each chip to cover the flavor and pressed on.
Listen when I put my mind to something I do it right. Good
I laugh at this today because it shows me a few things. One, I have not arrived yet. This girl has a long way to go. Two, I have come so far. Less than a year ago when I began this journey to health, I would have let that moment be just another in my list of reasons to quit. I mean doesn’t it show that I can’t possibly win this battle?
The answer is a firm NO. What it actually shows is that I am just a normal girl who sometimes makes bad food choices. (let’s just focus on food today and not the whole rest of my choices… I may need another bag of chips and more dip if we go too far here.) But when I look at the big picture- when I really look back at all the days I did make good healthy choices, I’m pretty proud of my progress. My clothes are fitting great, I feel tons better, and I don’t stress the scale like I used to at all. In fact, sometimes I seriously forget to even get on it.
Most importantly- I’m thankful that I got started. I’m incredibly thankful that last January I decided to do this. What if I hadn’t? Instead of quitting because of a bag of chips and a couple days of eating everything in sight, what if I’d never even started? Those are the scary questions for me. I certainly have lived those years too and they are the ones I regret. I wish I had started sooner, but man am I glad I started at all.
Listen if you need to make a change today. Make it. Don’t wait till tomorrow and beat yourself down for what you did 3 days ago. Give yourself permission to try and never give up. I can’t wait to hear from you a year from now and see your progress and listen to the pride in your voice as you take steps to accomplish your goals.
Want to go to college?
Take a class. Want to lose a few pounds then start by making a small
permanent change today that will bring you closer to that goal. The point is-
START. You will never get closer to your dreams by sitting on them. Get up,
pick up those dreams and fly.
Life is worth living and a year from now I want
to look back again and this time see how far WE’VE come together!
As summer has come and gone life has gotten extremely busy. We started off this summer by going on a cruise. Oh what a wonderful trip it was. We relaxed, we played hard, we enjoyed time with friends, and we ate. If you have ever been on a cruise then you know how easy it is to go way overboard with meals… and snacks… and buffets.
I’m not going to lie. We loved every single minute of it and when we came back from the cruise we jumped right back into our healthy eating plan and all was going so well. I have to be honest, I was even a bit smug about it to myself. NOT GOOD.
Pride comes before the fall.
I admit I’m laughing while I type this because soon after my smug little attitude had me feeling like I had this whole healthy lifestyle thing in the bag, I took another trip. An amazing trip that was filled with family, food and tons of fun. Did I mention the food? I ate at some really great restaurants, experienced some of the most amazing food trucks, and really just ate myself to utter bliss.
Honestly I don’t think that my couple weeks of gluttony really were the problem. After both of my trips, I came home and got back to business and began to eat right again. BUT, and it’s a big BUT (pun slightly intended) when I came home from the second trip, I started slipping back into my old ways. I ate good, then not so good, then good again. The scale wasn’t moving a ton and I wasn’t very concerned about it. My husband was also slipping so we weren’t holding each other accountable like we had in the past either. (I guess this is all his fault then right?)
Finally we began talking about getting back on our plan. We talked a lot. We would tell each other that after this next picnic we would get serious about it again. I never realized how many next picnics there are in one single summer.
Do you know how fast the weeks fly when you’re making excuses?
Finally, we sat down and came up with a date and stuck to it and I’m so glad we did. Now I’m going to be completely honest with you- the thing that really made us realize how much we missed eating better was how we were beginning to feel. The weight loss was nice, but how we felt was so much better. By the end of a summer of bad food choices, all that extra energy was starting to diminish. I noticed that I was weighed down, tired, my stomach was off, I just wasn’t feeling like myself and neither was my husband.
We’ve been back on our healthy plan now for a couple weeks and I can’t believe the difference. Why did we ever go backwards in the first place? As for a quick update- when summer started both my husband and I had lost approximately 23 pounds. As fall quickly approaches we have both gained back around 7 pounds. What I realize is this- we didn’t ruin what we started. We just had a setback.
Can we have a vacation and let loose a bit? SURE. But there has to be accountability too. Our choices today really do affect our tomorrow and we need to not lose sight of that. I’m also very proud to say that those pounds didn’t upset me in the least. They are a reflection of some not so great choices but they are not any indication that our goals will not be met. In fact, they are motivation for me to get back on the wagon and start again. I’m making progress in this journey even if I take a wrong turn from time to time. You can do the same. Don’t give up, don’t give in, just keep going. Sometimes the journey is more important than the results at the end anyway.
One of the things I’ve learned on this journey to health is
that trying to do this alone is not very effective. To be honest I don’t like
to rely on people. I don’t like vulnerability or sharing my insecurities and I
don’t think I’m alone in those feelings. When I began writing this blog I
argued with God over every single post. I worried about being judged and
critiqued by those I care about because believe me, no one wants to take the skeletons
out of that neatly packaged closet.
Oh but when we do.
When we admit the truth to the journey; when we admit more
than the outcome and we share the struggles and the bruises along the way we
find healing for more than ourselves. Instead we share our healing with the
world around us.
One of the things I love most about reading the bible is
that when I do I find a group of people who the world would most certainly
consider failures. Yet in the very midst of their mess they become world changers
under the guidance, love, and forgiveness of our God. Imperfect people putting
their lives out there for Christ, that’s exactly who I want us to be. Those who
are scared, worried, stressed and even vulnerable- we all become powerful in
the hands of Christ. What I also noticed is that none of those people did it
alone. They needed Jesus and they most definitely needed each other and whether
we want to admit it or not we do too.
It’s not easy allowing others to see those damaged areas of
our lives or asking for help when we feel down or are struggling, but if we
just let people glimpse the pain then maybe we can all prevail together. Let’s all
be honest for a minute. If Jesus did not walk this world alone then how do we
expect to? He relied on God and spent time opening his heart to man. He talked
with people about their struggles, he prayed, he was let down, he forgave, and
he moved forward. Shouldn’t that be the blueprint of our life too? We spend so
much time protecting ourselves from the possible pain that opening up might
bring that we miss the joy that comes when we decide to finally come out of
Open up today. Talk to those around you, begin to trust
again. Let your life be a beacon of hope instead of a perfectly wrapped package
that feels empty inside. When we open up and let others into our situations we
fill that gift with all the best things. Hope, endurance, trust, overcoming,
friendship and so much more. Will we be let down at times? Sure, but is that a reason to isolate
ourselves? An excuse maybe but not a reason.
Never a reason.
There is power in our time spent with others. Matthew 18:19 says 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Deuteronomy 32:30 says 30 How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight,” … Isn’t it amazing how much stronger and more effective we are when we join together? Listen, life is hard enough, why not help each other carry the burdens rather than watch each other struggle through the heavy stuff. I think this verse in Ecclesiastes sums it all up perfectly.
4:9-12 (ESV)’Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
How many times have you needed lifting up? How many
times have you been desperate for someone to stand with you, but you haven’t
reached out? What I’m finding is this- When I try to be strong on my own I tend
to fall short, but when I rely on others and have people relying on me, I become
stronger than I ever imagined I could be on my own.
Find someone to stand with you today. Follow Jesus’s
example and surround yourself with people who will help you carry the burden
and not heap added weight onto your shoulders. It just may make all the
It’s time for a little update on our Journey- at this point we are almost 3 months in and I have more energy than I have had in a long time and so does my husband. In fact, Ryan has had a lot less pain in his legs and feet as well. We are still eating as clean as we can and are honestly not craving sugar and processed carbs like we used to. I’m finding new foods that we both love and right before my son left for boot camp he told me that he was loving our new meals. That’s a compliment in itself. Who said eating healthy had to be boring? As for the scale, it’s still coming down. Ryan has lost a total of 18 pounds and I have lost 16. Our clothes are fitting so much better, Ryan has had to move some holes on his belt and I am starting to look for some smaller sizes. And this morning while we were getting around Ryan looked at me and he said the best part is that we CAN keep this up. It’s something we can easily live and not just do for a time. I think finding something that is manageable long term has been one of the most important lessons for us. If you are on this journey today or even thinking about starting a journey for your health too then this is something to consider. Don’t look for a quick fix, don’t find a short term solution to a long term problem. The easy road never leads to lasting change. Instead, be realistic and start with some small changes that can be maintained over time. And don’t try to do everything alone because the truth is we need each other and the best results happen when we have someone beside us along the way.
(As a side note before you begin any plan consult your
doctor and be sure that it is the best fit for you.)
If you read my blog about my son leaving for boot camp then you know this mommas heart has held so many emotions this month that it is about to burst. Stress is a major enemy in any healthy lifestyle change and although I’m glad to say that we stuck with our healthy eating plan, I struggled big time.
Food has always been a huge comfort for me, it’s my go to
when I have something awesome to celebrate. It’s my companion when I’ve had a
rough day and my constant friend when I’m alone.
Watching my son prepare for this new season of his life was
amazing, he was ready for it, I was not. I wanted to use food in all the ways I
always had. Celebrate this new season, comfort my aching heart, remove the pain
of loneliness, ease the reality of letting go. Without my usual go to treats, I
was at a bit of a loss. Breaking old habits is hard, creating new ones in the
midst of raw emotions… even harder.
I know this new season will be incredible. I’m always amazed
at how God works it all out, but there is pain in the process and I was wanting
some sugar to ease it all. To top it off my husband was away at a conference
and had no choice but to eat out for most of a week and the way our schedule
worked we ended up eating out for 3 days after he got home. It’s a wonder we
didn’t gain all the weight back.
But we didn’t.
He ended up only gaining a pound and I didn’t get on the scale. Ignorance is not bliss but I have to be honest here. With all the emotions I was dealing with, I didn’t think I could handle the scale at this moment so I made the decision to take a breath and stay off of it. I decided that instead I would celebrate the fact that we had both stuck to our plan completely. Food cooked at restaurants may not have the same healthy standards that we have at home, so no matter how hard we try weeks like this will come and I knew that I needed to make a decision to be proud of our progress and move forward.
So how did I deal with the stress? I’ve compiled 5 things that helped me through.
1. I took a lot of hot baths.
I spent hours in that tub and when I say hot bath I mean
that if I step out of the bath and I can’t see a difference in the parts that
were in the water and the parts that were not- we have a problem. (Yes, I do
know that scalding hot baths may not be the health choice of the season, but I
like it that way and it was better than eating a whole cheesecake which was
I needed those baths. This was a time for me to turn all the lights off, light some candles, (I especially love those fake battery operated ones that look real) and turn on some great worship music. As I lay there, praying, worshiping, and sometimes crying, I found some peace. I laced my bath with Epson salts and essential oils, set a nice glass of wine on the side of the tub and soaked until I wrinkled. Those sweet peaceful aromas and that relaxing atmosphere did not take the stress away completely, but it did give me a much-needed reprieve.
2. A great book is a perfect getaway.
I love to read, but I don’t take the time for it anymore. So
this month I did. I had a couple books that were recommended to me by a ladies
book club at my church and I decided to dive in. These books were in the
Christian self-help genre and what I found was exactly what I needed. I found
encouragement, laughter, tears, and motivation. They were not diet books, they
were books for life that held so many nuggets of truth that I had to make more
mental notes that I can hold. Currently I’m re-reading one of those books. If I
can fill my mind with the good things, then there won’t be room for the bad
3. Prayer works.
I know that I already mentioned prayer in the bath part of
this blog, but this topic needs a section all its own. Prayer gives hope, help
and a way to let go of stress. I have always been a praying woman. Lately
though, I’ve been distracted in prayer and realized it was time to really
refocus. I started writing in my prayer journal again, and I began to truly get
alone with God. I need Him always but life gets in the way more than I want to
admit. The bible says to give God our cares because he cares for us. How can I
give anything to God if I’m not praying. Each time I’d pray- there would be
peace. Like most of you, once I was done praying, the peace would fade. Life
has a way of doing that to us, so I prayed often and held on tight.
4. Understanding that Good Stress is still stress.
My son leaving was what I would consider good stress. This
was his dream, something he fought for, something he had overcome many obstacles
to accomplish. I was and am very proud of him and extremely excited for him,
but I quickly realized that no matter how “good” this was, I couldn’t control
the anxiety it caused. What would my new life look like without him in the day
to day? What was my purpose now that
most of my kids were raised and gone?
Who am I without them? These are
not bad questions, but they are stressful ones. I needed to get to a place
where asking them didn’t cut like a knife and seem like an ending to a season I
adored. Instead I needed to ask them honestly and prayerfully and find a way to
see this new season as the beginning of an amazing new chapter.
5. I need something to look forward too.
I need something to be excited about. It doesn’t have to be expensive or outlandish, it just has to be on the calendar. Something I can shoot for, mark off the days for. My husband and I have “date nights” a couple times a month where we literally just go out to dinner and then get groceries. I know your jealous, (LOL) but hear me out. Just knowing that I have a night away, a night where we will have a quiet dinner, a time to talk, and a reset on our weeks- this gets me through the tough days. In a few weeks we have a whole night away planned and I’m super excited about that as well. It’s amazing how 1 night away can reset a weary soul. What about you? What works for you? What doesn’t? Throughout this journey I’m realizing more and more how unique we all are and how incredibly cool that is. My husband handles stress very differently than I do, instead of a hot bath he sinks deeply into his recliner and gets his mind on a computer game or watches a movie. If life gets overwhelming for him, that’s where you’ll find him. He has been there a lot lately. Letting go is hard. Adjusting to new seasons filled with uncertainty and change- even harder. So we learn to lean into God, we manage our emotions to the best of our ability and we keep moving forward. One step today equals two tomorrow and after a while we look back and we realize how far we’ve come.
Just one week after I finished writing our month one health blog- I gain two pounds. Two pounds!! I didn’t go off plan once, not even once! Incidentally, I’ve learned a few things- #1. You can gain weight eating healthy foods. #2. Delicious grapes dipped in straight cream cheese needs to be eaten within reason. Now, for those of you who have never tried this delight, don’t knock it till you give it a chance. Month 2 started out with me craving sugar, bread and every single thing we had eliminated from our diet. In order to fight these cravings I decided to have a little bit of the aforementioned treats. I love them, in hindsight though- you can’t tell yourself that you can eat the entire package of cream cheese over a 2 day period along with some extra fried chicken wings and think that you won’t gain a pound.
I did know better, and although every item I ate was on the list of allowable foods, I fully realized that they were not the best choices. (Insert deep frustrated breath).
In my yo yo dieting days, I would feel wonderful as the
weight was coming off, then the minute a pound came back on failure set in and
giving up would follow. The old mantra would always begin with “I knew I
couldn’t do this. It’s impossible”. “Look at all the people who have failed
trying to lose weight and get healthy, if they can’t do it I certainly can’t”.
It never ends.
Today, I welcomed that garbage in like I welcome those Klondike bars in the freezer section of my supermarket. I chewed those thoughts up, swirled them around in my head and feasted on them. As I did, that old failure mentality came crushing back until I slapped it square in the face.
Sometimes you just have to take a stand.
I stood. (And you may stop reading after you hear this, but in my head a battle raged that I needed to win) So, I pictured myself with a knockout punch to the head of that horrible hate filled monster that was hijacking my thoughts. Hey, I’m a pretty good fighter and I didn’t even know it.
Seriously though, in the past this set back was my excuse to quit. Those thoughts dragged me right to the kitchen, where I would follow them with a binge like you have not experienced before. I can whip up a mug cake faster than you can read this paragraph and that’s just the appetizer. The chips and dip, the cookies, cheesecake, chocolate covered cherries, the Klondike bars- these are items straight from heaven itself. And because I had “failed” I would eat these things at first to comfort myself but that comfort would soon be replaced by an even greater failure and because I had failed again, I would begin to believe that I didn’t deserve success. (Insert more bad food choices here) Unchecked emotions always lead to another step in the wrong direction. Always.
Can I be honest? I’m embarrassed just reading this back to
However, the truth is the truth, and how can we move forward if we are not honest with ourselves first and then others?
At this point, I needed to figure out how to move forward. One word came to mind and I tried to sucker punch it too but it wouldn’t go away. (Can you see my grumpy face in your head?)
I don’t have time for this. There must be another way. We were already making time for Ryan to go in to work early a few days a week to exercise with a friend. So that meant me carrying the weight of the morning routine on my shoulders which made for an awesome excuse for me. I mean I didn’t need the exercise as much as him right? And It’s not that I hate it, I just don’t like it. I do on the other hand, hate sports bras, sweat, soar muscles and the time it takes on top of all of the other chores and mom duties that I have on my plate.
This time has to be different, this time I can’t commit to
hard core cardio every day, I can’t commit to weight training for hours, I need
something doable for me personally. Something that I can measure every day and
work within my schedule. Just like fad diets don’t work for me, fad workouts don’t
Years ago, I had a cheap watch with a pedometer in it. I
loved seeing how many steps I could get in a day. It broke after about 6 months and I never
replaced it. This is where I decided to start so I got on the internet and
bought myself a new sports watch. Nothing fancy just something to allow me to
monitor my steps each day and to set goals for myself. Will I add some other
workouts to the mix? Sure, but this
would allow me to set daily goals that are attainable, can be worked right into
my job (what’s an extra trip or two around the building if I am not making my
step goal that day?), and it’s something I enjoy. I actually like setting those
step goals and trying to see what it takes to beat them.
I am winning, not because the scale is turning around, not because I look the way I want to, (neither of these is true at this moment) but I’m winning because today, I broke the pattern. Today I chose a different path, I chose to take the one less traveled, the one with a different script that leads to a different destination. Instead of the cake, I chose the stepper.
So goodbye embarrassment, I refuse to think twice about the crazy in my head. Instead, I’m going to concentrate on the gold medal around my neck. The one that says that I am God’s girl, beautiful, redeemed, hopeful, and thankful.
2 Timothy Says “I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith.” That is my new mantra. That is my new script.
Tomorrow I’ll take another step forward and one day I will
win this race.
Recently my husband and I decided to embark on a healthy weight loss journey. Honestly, neither of us was very excited to begin this journey, but we both agreed that it needed to be done. And not for vanity sake either, we both hadn’t felt well in a very long time and we knew that our diet was contributing to the problem. (Okay, in the spirit of full disclosure, this decision may have had an element of vanity attached.)
In the past I have often called my husband my own personal “diet killer”. We would start a diet in the morning, and he would bake brownies, buy cookies, and take me out for a special ice cream that night. He has a gift.
This time though we decided to change our eating habits a bit differently. We looked at what was making us feel bad physically and we eliminated those things. Here are some tips that made our first month successful.
Every week my husband and I sit down and we find meals that fit our new plan. We have decided that for us counting calories and worrying about proportions just won’t work. Since we are trying to make a permanent change, we needed something that we could do anywhere easily. We would plan healthy meals that consisted of mostly meat and veggies. In a nutshell, we decided to give up bread, pasta, and sugar. This plan isn’t for everyone, we prayed about what would be best for us and decided that this was something that we could maintain long term. My husband eliminated oatmeal from his diet as well. When he eats oatmeal his sugar spikes, I on the other hand have no trouble with it what so ever and so I eat it sparingly, usually when he isn’t around.
We set some short and long-term goals all while allowing us some rewards and fun in the process. For example- on Valentine’s day a friend invited us to come along for a date night at a local venue. For one fee, we could enjoy an appetizer of cheese fondue, a meal of steak, chicken and veggies, along with chocolate fondue for dessert. In between enjoying the food, the men would create flower arrangements for us, while we got to put together a nice bottle of massage oil for them. Oooo laa laa. Together my husband and I decided that since this special date night was about a month and a half into our new lifestyle we would plan for this to be a night of reward. IF, we stuck to our new plan we would allow ourselves to celebrate. We decided not to call it a cheat night. I hate that word and it isn’t cheating, it’s celebrating how well we had done. We also decided that IF we failed to stick to the plan, we would cancel the night. Listen, for us we needed both the incentive and the consequence.
What we didn’t do was put a weekly weight loss amount on our plan. If we were hungry, we chose foods like fruit, veggies, nuts, anything on the plan would work.
My husband does not view the scale like I do. To him the number on the scale is just that. A number. For me the number sometimes means that I have failed, that I have not made good choices and that I am ugly. Like I said earlier, full disclosure. This leads me to the next tip.
Change our (my) thoughts:
I needed success to be measured by each day doing something healthy for my body. I needed to change my thoughts, change my heart and start telling myself each day that I was who God said I was and not be defined by the scale. I needed to re-see those numbers and realize that they may be an indication that I need to make some healthier choices, but they are not any indication of my worth. To do this I knew that I needed to study God’s word in this area. I needed to see what He had to say about me so that I could unravel years of wrong thinking. It’s unbelievable how much we grow up learning to agree with the world instead of God. So, I found scriptures about my worth, my beauty, and how much I am loved. The world says I need to fit a standard to have value, God says I have more value than the world can count.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again- progress over perfection is where I’m at. I am making progress in this area, but there is so much more work to be done. I easily slip back into my old habits and thoughts. I recently did some research on how long it takes to break a habit and create a new one. What I found was very revealing. The facts showed that it takes anywhere from 21 days to a year to truly create a new habit. Not so shocking is that the number of days it took was very personal. Each of us is an individual and our bodies and minds are individual too.
Month 1 results: (Yes, I did say that I have issues with the scale- I didn’t say I wouldn’t be getting on it. Although I need to see the big picture in all this, I do need to visit this little piece from time to time.)
I’m very happy to report that the best result is this- We both feel so much better. We have more energy and have found that we are really enjoying our new meals. We look for recipes that appeal to us and have added some new favorites to our menu.
Moreover, yes, we have both lost weight. I have lost 8 pounds, my husband 9. Our jeans are already fitting better and to be completely honest I haven’t felt like it’s a diet. Instead, I find myself excited to see what’s next. We have had some days that were hard and we will talk about those in the upcoming weeks, but all in all this process has been a really, really, positive one.
I had goals, I had expectations for life, and I had a plan. A really good plan by the way, and as long as everything went as planned then life would be perfect. Right?
Oh how wrong I was.
Nobody told me that no matter how hard you try, how meticulous you are with the details, life can still snatch that perfectly laid plan and disrupt the whole thing.
Disruptions were not part of my plan.
When I graduated High School (just a few very short years ago…) I planned to go to college, after college I would get married, and after 2 years of marriage I would have a baby. Now, I wasn’t actually dating anyone at the time but that was not the point. This plan was good and if I followed it to the letter I would be a successful, happy adult.
Oh how good life is with a carefully laid plan. (Insert sigh of relief here)
Then partway through my freshman year of college I ran into a guy I knew from High School. This was not just any guy, this was “the guy”. The guy who had been one of my best friends, the guy who I had dated a bit and had the most fun with, the guy who I really liked, and most importantly the guy who could mess up any carefully laid plan.
Dang, there he was, there I was, and there was that kiss in the kitchen that sealed the deal. I was toast.
BUT, don’t get me wrong. I still had a plan and this would fit so perfectly into it. In just a few short years I would graduate college and this guy would be the perfect husband to that perfect plan. I just love it when a plan comes together, don’t you?
If you are wondering where the punch line is- I won’t make you wait for long.
Every single plan I made changed, and I was not very happy about it. “The guy” was in the U.S.Navy and in case you aren’t aware, people in the service can be moved to locations far away from you, which by the way was not part of the plan.
Ok, so maybe I’d compromise a bit here. I mean who said you had to actually graduate college before you get married? Lot’s of people get married and still graduate right?
So I tweaked my plan and dropped out of college right before my junior year. We moved 18 long hours from home (In my plan I had ALWAYS said I would NEVER move more than 2 hours from home). Please, if you learn nothing else from me, please never ever ever say those two words. Because the truth is- following those two words are these two: Challenge Accepted…. Lord help me, it’s true.
My husband knew of my goals and my determination was unmatched. Once settled, I began looking for colleges to transfer to. I found one close, but alas, it didn’t have the major that I loved and again my plans had to change.
Did I mention that I hate change.
I really hate change.
I really really hate changes that I am forced to make.
I really really really hate changes that are out of my control. (I think you get the point)
Okay, so let’s look on the bright side, at least I can finish college… at least there’s that.
Then, a few months before our second anniversary I found out that I was pregnant. We were so excited. Plans were back on track, college was going well and life was good.
Why is it that curve balls get thrown when they are least expected? Just when you think you have it all together, bam, curve ball. Ug.
(Insert curve ball here…)
Sadly, we lost that precious baby on our second anniversary. (another blog for another time perhaps) Being in the hospital on our anniversary was definitely, not part of the plan. My heart was broken. My life seemed like one disappointment after the other.
Not being the type to give up easily though, we began to try again. I was determined to be a mother. Months passed. No baby. I began to get depressed. Friends were becoming parents and here I was wondering what was wrong with me? Then, on the very month our first baby was due, I became pregnant with our oldest son.
A friend once told me that although she had also had a very painful miscarriage, she realized that if it hadn’t happened, she would not have her daughter. My story is the same. Had I not had that miscarriage I would not have my son and I cannot imagine my life without him in it. Don’t misunderstand me here, I would never want to lose a pregnancy, but I did realize that I could chose to focus on the blessing instead of the loss.
Life has certainly not gone as planned.
No matter how hard I tried or how stubborn I was, life just had a way of knocking me right off course.
Life is so hard.
As you have probably already guessed, I did not graduate college as planned either. It took me a lot longer than expected. I transferred universities a few times and got discouraged more than I want to admit. When I did finally graduate, I had a 3 year old son and was 8 months pregnant with his little brother. My husband often reminds me that for as long as I was in college I could be a doctor right now, and he could be retired. I often remind him that it is his fault we moved around so much. We are at a stalemate on this one.
The point is- I did end up graduating. My goals were not met the way I thought they should be. Not one thing I planned has turned out the way I expected or wanted it to, but to be honest, (I can’t believe I’m admitting this) I really think it has turned out better. My plans were good, but the challenges and changes that life has thrown at us, has made me appreciate the outcomes so much more than if I had just accomplished them in my own way.
Change makes us uncomfortable but it also makes us see and experience things that we wouldn’t otherwise. And although some change can be painful, I can see now how it has all made me who I am today.
Change is the salt in our lives, it spices things up and takes us places we never thought we’d go.
It makes us regroup, re-plan, and refocus.
I can’t believe I’m saying this either, and I may not admit it later, but I have grown to really welcome change. I still don’t like it most of the time, but the outcome is always better than my own plans ever could be.
Maybe God really does know what He’s doing, and maybe I really need to just trust Him more.
So, the question is, do I still make plans? The answer to this one is simple, I most certainly do. I dream big, plan big, and then I ride this old roller coaster of life. It twists and turns my plans right upside down. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, and sometimes I just get sick to my stomach. My plans may change, I may accomplish my goals far differently than expected- but oh I do accomplish them. And along the way, I learn, I grow, and yes- I too change.
Change is good.
Life is good.
Hang on dear friends, change is coming. My prayer for you is that you can look back on your life the way that I do and be glad for every single unexpected turn.