Time to Get Real

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Time for me to get real! So real, in fact, that I am posting this silly picture of me after spending 20 minutes on the elliptical; or what I like to call, one of my “Giants”.

I am coming from my own perspective today, and I am a woman, so…. ladies listen close!

Growing up, I never struggled with my weight. I was active in dance, cheerleading, and gymnastics and could eat pretty much whatever I wanted. It was not until I graduated high school and was wrapping up college that I realized I was putting on some weight. I don’t care about the “freshman 20…or 30”, or even how “happy” relationships cause you to put on weight. Although I could use those excuses, I am not going to. My weight gain was purely because I became less active but still thought I could eat anything I wanted…(ok, and maybe because I love pizza and beer…give me some grace here girls)

So here I am, already putting on the pounds and I have baby number one. I became 100% motivated after having my firstborn. My mom and I became weight watcher buddies and I dropped significant weight. I felt great and managed to keep most of the weight off for some time…. then came baby number 2. I was doing ‘ok’ with my weight but ever so slowly the scale started creeping back up. I was not happy in my job. I was never one of those mommy’s that ever became ok with going back to work, and adding on the stresses of my job, which then trickled into my marriage…. lets just say food became my close friend.

I am an emotional eater…happy, sad, angry…you name the emotion and I will celebrate or sulk with it in my food.

Finally, after an ankle injury and surgery (pounds kept adding up), my husband was blessed with a pay raise, and we were finally able to reach one of our goals: I became a SAHM! I was introduced to a clean eating program and workout regimen and was starting to get back in the groove. I made it a few months, lost weight, increased muscle mass, felt fantastic and then the holidays hit me with a vengeance. I quit after that.

I found that when I was motivated to exercise is when my children needed me. I vowed to get up before my family and get it in, but my husband had to pick up a part time job and if I wanted to see him, I would stay up late…I needed that extra hour sleep. My favorite excuse… I have been non stop helping out everyone else, I deserve some chips and queso and to do nothing else but veg out watching the Hallmark channel. (So incredibly hard not to do this time of year!!!)

I shared a glimpse of my back story to now tell you this. I read this from a well known book, and it is finally starting to stick to my heart:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19

I have read this scripture so many times and for different reasons. Today, it was time to get real. I am a stubborn woman without question. I seem to make a game out of what I can and can not control; and I have always felt that I can eat and drink whatever I want because it is MY body. I dug deeper into this great Book:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. – Psalm 139:13-16

How am I taking ownership over something I did not create? Not only that, why have I spent so much time picking apart what the Lord has made? “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful…”

Now, here I sit today. I joined an accountability group, started my clean eating again, and even got in some exercise today. (Although that elliptical is my giant…it will not defeat me) I know there will be times I slip up and have that extra helping or not get that work out in. That is ok. My motivation has become something much deeper. I want to honor God not only with my actions and words, but with a healthy body.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16

By His grace

Misty

 

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…. Thanksgiving?

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The boy’s finally decided on what they wanted to be for Halloween (after several mind changes), the costumes were bought, and trick-or-treating was done. The boys (and parents) fell into a sugar coma, and the next morning we woke up to….. Christmas? It was like over night the magical elves took over all retail stores and campaign ads turned to toy ads galore! We had completely skipped over Thanksgiving.

I usually start November with my ‘thankful’ posts on FB but just didn’t feel like participating in that this year. What I did do, which is shocking even to myself, is start Christmas shopping. I have fully gotten into the Christmas cheer… Hallmark channel has been on pretty much non-stop…. Christmas decor has been purchased… and our family Christmas bucket list has started to take shape.

I thought that maybe I will use my blog to give thanks for what has been given to me:

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I am thankful for date nights. A time for my husband and I to reconnect as husband and wife. I time to laugh, a time to talk, or a time to just sit in each other’s presence without being interrupted.

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I am thankful for my children. I learn something new each day from these two. I am blessed with their unique personalities, their love for each other. I am thankful for the moments when they just want their mommy and for the moments I just want some quiet!!

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I am thankful for old memories. The ones that were difficult and heartbreaking; and those that taught me about love, kindness, and friendship.

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I am thankful for new memories and for friendships that last a life time.

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I am thankful for new friendships. I am thankful that God has placed women in my life that have been uplifting and have a heart for Jesus.

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I am thankful for my family. I am blessed with a husband who loves me unconditionally, and an extended family, that despite my many shortcomings, wouldn’t have me any other way.

 

It has been through a recent Bible study and a few sermons (shout out to Pastor Roy :p) that I have realized that the merge of Thanksgiving and Christmas makes complete sense to me.

I have so many things and people to be thankful for because of  Jesus. What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to give thanks to the Lord for His Son, who through Him we have everlasting life? What better way to prepare our hearts as we remember His birth?

‘Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.’  (song titled Give Thanks)

So I’m going to start taking a different approach and way of thinking when it comes to this holiday season; instead of complaining of how Christmas is pushed upon me, I’m going to start taking the time to give thanks to the Lord for all He has given me…. especially, the greatest Gift of All, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

By His grace,

Misty

 

The Call to Love

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The last two days I have been glancing at my computer and trying to ignore the nudge of writing on my blog. I usually use this as an outlet for my feelings, circumstances, frustrations, basically a journal of my life. So, it is curious as to why I could not bring myself to the keyboard.

This week has been a rough one in my country. I have found it so incredibly difficult to put into words how I am feeling, my fears, and my hopes. It almost seems impossible to express anything on social media, despite the best intentions, without having the wolves come at you. Honestly, I’m typing this now without a clue as to the title and after sending up a prayer for the Lord’s guidance in what I type and that it may glorify Him.

The scripture read today at church came from Luke 6:35-38:

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”(emphasis added)

My pastor spoke about the current protests going on in our country, as well as, the fear among our fellow neighbors. How even, in the small farming community I live, there are families who have sought out our church to see if we could be a safe haven for them. They are scared.

The above scripture is a call to Christians; but it goes even beyond that. Although, I am a Christian and believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior, I know there are those out there who do not have my belief system. I know some of these people personally, they are my friends and family, and I love them very much. They also, are great, loving and compassionate people.

I believe it is a call to humanity to love your enemies, lend and give to them without expecting any thing in return. We all should be merciful. We should not judge or condemn and we all need to forgive. 

The rhetoric between Americans, on both sides, is deplorable. The protests that are anything but peaceful, are wrong. The name calling of ‘cry babies’ and telling those who are legitimately hurting to ‘suck it up’, is wrong. The continued sharing of memes disrespecting our current president and our president-elect is wrong. The list can go on and on and on. Not one of these behaviors glorify our Lord. Not one of these behaviors show people God’s love.

It doesn’t matter who you supported and your reasons behind it. It doesn’t matter who won or who didn’t win. Why? Because NOONE can control how you respond to someone else, except you. Your behaviors, actions, words, and responses only speak to your own character and where your heart lies. 

I pray for healing for our nation. I pray for the hateful words to cease and be replaced by words of encouragement and love. I pray that we stop pointing fingers and casting out judgments and instead start opening our minds, hearts, and arms to people in our communities.

I am going to end with extending the earlier scripture and using The Message version. This is Luke 6: 27-38:

“Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. 
I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing.
Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
By His grace,
Misty

Can I Get a Do Over?

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Call this a follow up to a previous blog, an apology post, or my therapy session; it doesn’t really matter at this point, I just need to write about it.

You may recall my post, “Are Parents the New Goliath of Youth Sports?”, if not, then you may want to read it before this one. Why? Because I feel like I had the Goliath moment, and I am not proud of it.

So here comes the story that makes me human, who isn’t perfect, in need of forgiveness, and is asking for just that…..

Our last game of the season had just ended; and like every other game, the team meets with the coaches for final thoughts. I was all smiles in that moment. We had lost, but the last two games our boys had played were the best of the entire season. These kids had played their hearts out. I was proud of each of them and was taking some last minute pictures of the team as they took a knee.

The team and coaches finally broke apart and the kids started to disperse to their parents. A few parents offered handshakes to the coaches; this was a nice moment. This season had been difficult as a parent and coach’s wife. It wasn’t because of our record or any of the kids… it was difficult because of a few parents. I had prided myself on holding my tongue the last four months because that was a huge accomplishment for me. I have always struggled with keeping my emotions in check! I also refused to stoop to that level…or did.

Here comes the ugly part….

As I was standing there, waiting on my husband and two boys, and watching the handshakes; a parent took that moment to confront one of the coaches about something I was unaware had taken place during the game. All I saw, was my two sons standing there, and the coach being confronted, who was holding his own child. I truly had the best intentions. I asked them to stop it… to just stop. That there were kids around and if they need to talk to a coach to take it some place away from the kids. I even said ‘shame on all you adults’. Well….lets just say I was then the target. I stooped to their level and lost my cool. I called the family a name and said that they should move on from the program.  Words were exchanged, two men actually postured up to me, and my husband had to step in between only to be threatened.

I broke on the ride home….not because of what a few people said to me; but because how I responded was wrong and my children and other families witnessed it all. I have taught my children the importance of respect, kindness, extending grace and forgiveness, and keeping anger in check.

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. -Proverbs 29:11

Although my intentions were good, I allowed my anger to speak for me… four months worth, in fact. As I let the sobs out, my oldest reached forward from the backseat and put his arms around me. I apologized to him. I told him I was sorry for what I had said and what he had witnessed, and I asked for his forgiveness. My nine year old, who is wise beyond his years, said

“Mommy, I forgive you. You did the right thing. You saw someone being bullied and wanted to protect them. I am not going to let you go mommy.”

I was overwhelmed in that moment. Later, I spoke to my son again, and explained that even when standing up for someone, you must not give into your anger.

This morning I woke up to my inner negative dialog. The one telling me that I’m not worthy…look at what you did…you should be ashamed. Normally, I would grab a blanket and a bag of chips, and allow those lies to wash over me the entire day. I asked myself, ‘Can I get a do over?’ That’s when I realized, I can.

I went to my Holy Father. I actually humbled myself before the Lord and knelt down with my head in my hands. I asked for His forgiveness, I forgave those involved, and I prayed that they would find it in their hearts to forgive me. The weight lifted and I felt the sense of warmth surround me…almost like a hug.

My do over happened the moment God allowed me another day. Another day to do better.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. -James 4:10

By His grace,

Misty

 

 

 

Confession

I need to confess. I am self-seeking and selfish. There…I said it.

It has taken me years to finally admit this. I have spent quite a bit of time making excuses and justifying my choices in life. I had become a pro at casting blame and pointing fingers at everyone around me BUT myself.

Self-seeking: the seeking of one’s own interest or selfish ends

Selfish: lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

You see, as I became older and started a family, my life perspective started to shift. I became more aware of my past pain and struggles. My husband, our 6 month old baby, and myself decided to move back to our hometown. There were many benefits to this, but also some major cons….my past hit me in the face.

I found myself face to face with the expectation that I was the same Misty that had left 7 years ago. Some of these expectations came from family and friends, but some were ones I had placed on myself. The truth was, I had changed in so many ways. I pretty much left my hometown within months of graduating high school. I had started dating Jason and found that I had met a man who basically was the total opposite of guys I had dated in the past, and married him 🙂 . I had a great job that I loved, met new friends, and had become active in a local church and their dance ministry. I felt like I had found who I was to be…who God had called me to be.

So there I was, living in my hometown, and the trials of life came. I started going back to my past and ways of thinking; after all, this is who I thought people expected me to be. I started responding to the valleys of life by lashing out in anger, casting blame, and going through the “what ifs”.

I became numb. Numb to those who loved me, and numb to God’s love.

I became impatient with life, rude, arrogant, and entitled. I thought that I deserved and had the right to make these choices because I wasn’t getting what I needed…or wanted…

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 (NIV)
This was the scripture reading for today’s Bible study. I read these popular verses with new eyes. Why? Two reasons:
  1. Because something has changed in me this week. The same fervent prayer that I have been praying for 2 years is being answered. The Lord has become my strength and I have allowed Him to remove my burden. I have made the choice to allow His Will to be done and not my own.
  2.  My facebook feed and the upcoming elections. I have been in some healthy and mature debates this week; but I have been fortunate. I have seen many other posts that are anything but that.

I’ve shared this as a reminder. These verses have spoken to me in my personal life, which is why I shared a glimpse of it; as well as, helped me see things differently out in the ‘world’. We all have a choice. We all have free will. We can choose to only follow God’s Word when it benefits us or our stances -OR- we can choose to live out God’s Word in EVERY  area of our lives. 

I have surrendered myself to the Lord. All my past mistakes, anger, bitterness, pain has been given to Him. I want to show Jesus’ love by being patient and kind, not easily angered, stop keeping records of wrongs… and no longer be self-seeking.

…………..What would our lives, nation and world be like?

By His Grace,

Misty

Are Parents the New Goliath of Youth Sports?

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If you have been following my blog, you are probably wondering why I am writing about sports! I titled my blog Living by Grace because I am in need of the Lord’s grace in ALL areas of my life; and that includes being a wife to a volunteer youth football coach.

It can be incredibly difficult to sit on the sidelines and have to observe and over hear the negative comments about coaching decisions and the character of my husband, as well as, the other coaches. All I want to do is cheer on my 9 year old son and his teammates. I want to see each and every player improve and find the love for the game. I want them to  learn respect, discipline, endurance, hard work, and to never give up. Unfortunately, it seems not all youth sport parents have that same desire or fail to realize their actions and choices go against the very thing they want their children to learn.

Let me first share some things about Goliath, for those who may not be familiar. You can find David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:

“A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall……. Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, ‘Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.’….For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand. “

Goliath was good with his weapons and had not been defeated. I would say he even had great knowledge of war and how to win; BUT, Goliath was also a bully. He believed the louder he would get, the more threats he would make, and the more followers he had behind him, would guarantee his victory.

Now lets take a look at David:

“Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse….Jesse had eight sons…..David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem….Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry… David asked the men standing near him, ‘What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?’ “

David was a shepherd. He was in charge of leading and taking care of the sheep in the pasture. He was the youngest and most thought he was probably the least experienced in war; BUT, David worshiped the living God. He believed that with God on your side, nothing is impossible.

We live in a world where people have become apathetic to those around us. We are too busy “being right” or “knowing more”. We can be so blinded by these two things that we forget that we have little eyes watching us.

Are parents the new Goliath of youth sports?

We teach our children to respect others and those in authority, to be kind to others, never give up, and why hard work and discipline is so important. Each of these things are what our children are going to need to survive in the world; but as parents of children in youth sports, have we forgotten what those very things mean??

  • Respect for others and those in authority– Are we teaching our children this if we are sitting on the sidelines constantly questioning play calls and the coaches? How do you expect your child to listen and respect a coach if you are pulling them aside and telling them to do the exact opposite of what the coach is instructing them? I have witnessed these very things and yet hear parents ask why children these days don’t respect authority.

  • Being kind to others– Golden rule isn’t it? Treat others the way you want to be treated. We want our children to resolve conflict in a mature manner…. then that must be demonstrated. That is not done so by choosing to voice your opinion during a game or after a game when your emotions aren’t under control, and our children are present. Aren’t you showing your children and those around you that if you make a scene you might get your way?

  • Never give up– Lets be honest. Not all of us are gifted with talent in certain areas. Some of us have to work harder than others. That is life, but if things aren’t going our way, we don’t just pack it all in and leave. We don’t stop attending practices or showing up to games. What is that saying to your children? If you aren’t the best then you shouldn’t even try….or what does that say to your teammates?

  • Hard work and discipline– You know the saying, practice makes perfect? Well, I agree with it. This really ties into never giving up. In order to improve, you must show up, listen, be attentive, and work hard; that includes if you’re on the sidelines waiting to be called up. How are we teaching our children these things? Do we make excuses for our children or blame the coaches? Do we put more emphasis on our own “coaching” outside of the practices lead by those who volunteered their time to teach our children?

I’m not saying all coaches have it right, and I’m not saying all parents have this Goliath mentality. I am saying, as a coaches wife and the mother of a youth athlete, that enough is enough. Remember that these coaches are human and volunteers; as well as, fathers to some of the children who are watching you. Remember that our children are there to have fun and play a game they enjoy.

I suppose I should end with how things turned out with David and Goliath:

“David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.’ Saul replied, ‘ You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.But David said to Saul….’The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’……..David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’ As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.”

David defeated the Giant. He defeated the bully. He did that by having complete faith in the Lord; by believing the Lord would deliver him from the hands of the giant he was facing. David was a man of character who did not let the lies of an individual replace the truths of the Almighty Lord.

I will say that I know my husband better than anyone; and especially better than anyone sitting on a sideline. I also know the other volunteer coaches fairly well. I could not ask for better men of character to lead our children and youth. They chose to do so because they love the game and have a desire to teach that to children.  So my final questions are these….

Are you a Goliath? or are you a David? 

Living by Grace

Misty (aka Proud Coach’s Wife )

Daddy’s Hands

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I was sitting in church on Sunday, watching the youth put on their annual puppet show. My husband nudged me, and as I looked over, I saw where our youngest had grabbed both of his daddy’s hands and was holding them, as he intently watched the show.

It’s still sometimes strange to me when scripture just enters my mind during certain moments. It is something I am slowly getting used to; and it was at this moment, seeing my son clasp his daddy’s hands, that this scripture came to my mind:

Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their lives. ~Proverbs 22:6

We finally were back at church as a family of four. My husband had this Sunday off and was able to watch my oldest perform in the puppet show. I still try, on most Sundays, to take the boys to church; but last week my oldest said he didn’t want to go without daddy. He said he liked going to church as an entire family.

 

I realized just how important of a part my husband plays in the spiritual growth of our boy’s and our family. The boy’s look to him for guidance, love, encouragement, and support; and  they receive every bit of that from their father. However, they also look to him to see how he uses his faith in every day living and if he puts God above all things. (I’m not saying I’m exempt from setting this example. I am also instructed by God to lead by example; but there is just a different connection with the same-sex parent.)  Those little men are watching every move, they hear every word spoken, they feel every mood we put off as parents, and they see our choices and who we put first.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. ~Deuteronomy 6:5-9

-Are we putting the Lord above all things?  Read the Bible together as a family, study scripture and ask questions. Start making choices that honor God.

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. ~Proverbs 1:8-9

-We must teach our children to listen and to respect us, as parents, and those in authority. One of the best ways of doing that is by setting the example.

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. ~Ephesians 6:4 

-We must show patience, grace, and love to our children. Although they may frustrate us to no end, we also must be quick to listen and slow to anger when teaching our children.

Each night, that my husband is home, he has devotion time with the boy’s and bedtime prayer. He doesn’t know, but sometimes I listen quietly by the door. It is in those moments where I feel God’s love being shown.

We are still a work in progress, but oh how blessed my little men are , to have not only a Heavenly Father watching and guiding them; but also an earthly father, who is doing everything he can to teach them God’s love and way, to live a life honoring Him.

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By His grace,

Misty