Monthly Archives: October 2013

I Already Have What I Need

I don’t know if it’s true for everyone, but when I look back on the last 9 years of my life and think about the change, it seems almost astronomical. Even just in the last year, the changes are so profound. I’m not just talking about physical, which is definitely the most noticeable, but there have been changes all around. I’ve been faced with difficult decisions, faced some big fears and experienced more than I even imagined possible. Most importantly and above all I learned to trust God more though all of that. When I look back I can see how even the smallest of choices and little changes started a process much like a domino effect.

God Will Provide

God’s timing is so perfect! For a long time I looked back and regretted certain choices I made. I envied the people around me who seemingly had their lives, hopes and dreams completely figured out. Only now am I able to look back and see that God was leading me through a process that was shaping me into the person I am supposed to be. He was slowly but surely planting new dreams in my heart and giving me everything I needed little by little.

This morning I was reading one of the daily devotions I get in my email and it was talking about how God gives us what we need and if at any point we need more, He will give it to us. When I read that and looked back on the last few years of my life, I felt like I could see just where God was pouring a little more into my life just when I needed it. At the time I didn’t even realize it, but looking back I can clearly see how each time He was placing an integral piece to the puzzle of my life.

When He planted the seed in me to change my lifestyle, that was what started it all and of course that seed was planted long before I even knew it. It started a process of learning to trust Him and to love the life He gave me and teaching me to have the discipline to take better care of it. It started a process of personal growth of learning more about myself and revealed hidden passions and hidden dreams that I never knew were there. Today, as I once again struggle with the looming possibility of having to make another hard decision, I try to remember that this is just another step of the process and another piece of the puzzle. No matter what decision I make, I know that I can trust that God will be using it to further shape my life.

Even now, as I proofread this post, I noticed something I did that was completely unintentional! Look how many times I used the word “process” which I have now gone back and edited in as links. Maybe it’s just because it’s still fresh in my mind and my subconscious is trying to drive the “point” home, but I find it interesting how in church on Sunday we heard about how the process is the POINT and now here I am talking about the process God has been guiding me through over the last few years. Just some food for thought! I think if you take some time and look back on your own lives you will also see how things have fallen into place or even OUT of place only to eventually let other things fall into place.

Getting Back On Track

Weight Loss Wednesday

Today was my final acupuncture appointment for my back problems. It’s a little bittersweet. On the sweet side, it will be nice to go back to using that extra money every week to pour back into my savings. On the bitter side, I’m going to miss the relaxing environment, the sweetest receptionist on the planet, the mid-morning nap and break away from work and especially the overall relaxed, serene and happy moods I’m always in the day of my appointments. I think I’ll definitely have to make a general appointment from time to time when money allows. However, most importantly, I’m PAIN FREE, feeling great and so completely thankful! That means I can start working my way back up to the workouts I was doing before and it’s been a while since I’ve done more than just walking and stretching.

I was terrified that while waiting for my back to heal two things would happen:

    1. I was worried I would lose motivation and start feeling lazy again and it would once again be a chore to workout.
    2. I was worried I’d lose a chunk of the progress I had made recently.

Wednesday Weigh In

Turns out neither of those things really happened. I still have my motivation, (in fact, I’m still kinda forcing myself to take it easy and not overdo it) and somehow I managed to mostly keep my goals on track. I tried to keep a close eye on what I’ve been eating since I couldn’t workout as much (although the last two weeks I have been failing a bit on that front). As a result, my first Wednesday Weigh In was 0 change. I didn’t lose any weight at all this week which, in itself, it quite the accomplishment. I think I ate a pumpkin muffin once a day (maybe twice one day), I ate pizza, fried food and was just apparently on a SEEfood diet. I saw food, I ate it. In terms of exercise all I did this week was go for some fast/long walks and on the nights it was raining too hard, I rode the stationary bike. So out of all the exercise tracked, I burned a total of 1,436 calories last week! So since my eating habits were not so fabulous, no loss this week is a GREAT THING.

Remember to cut yourself some slack sometimes. Plateaus and gains are part of the process. I know, ideally, all of us trying to lose weight hope to see the scale going down every week and when it doesn’t, it’s so easy to get discouraged and then completely fall off the wagon. You just have to remember that tomorrow is another day. Don’t completely destroy all your progress because of one bad day.

So since I’m back on track now, I’ve decided that my first priority is core strengthening. After I hurt my back, I did some research and learned one of the best ways to keep from re-injuring your back is to keep your abs strong because the abs directly support your lower back. So to kick things off, I’m on Day 4 of a 30 Day Ab Challenge. I had trouble deciding between two different ab challenges, so I think I’ll do one this month and the other next month, maybe? And maybe after the first month, I’ll also try to tackle the 30 Day Squat Challenge again at the same time! Challenges get me EXCITED! Which of these two ab challenges do you think will merit the best results?

30 Day Ab Challenge Ellie 30-Day Ab-Tastic Ab Challenge

Leave a Legacy

Leave a Legacy

Those of you who have known me for a while or have me added on Facebook, probably have heard mention of my brother in Heaven, Aaron. When you hear of someone young passing away, it seems we usually assume that it was something sudden; a tragic car accident, a drug overdose, a suicide, etc. The reality is my brother’s passing wasn’t really sudden in that way. He struggled with health issues his entire life. He was born with a congenital heart defect known as tricuspid atresia, which means he was born without a right ventricle. Despite having to have numerous surgeries, procedures, checkups and medications he was able to live a relatively normal life and oftentimes most people were never even aware he had a heart condition.

Aaron

I think most people, if they were ever in the same position he was in, would probably have lived their life much differently than he did. I think most people, myself probably included, would be angry, bitter and negative. Few people know that sometimes he also had his share of days where he felt negative and down about his life but majority of the time, in spite of his circumstances, he lived his life to the fullest with a smile and always thought more of others than he ever thought of himself. His positive attitude was infectious. Every person he encountered, even if they were reluctant at first, became a fast friend and as such, he was a man of many friends whom he loved being around. He was spectacular at making people happy and making people laugh and I don’t know about you, but I certainly could use more people like that in a world that seems so negative!

Above all, he was a man of unfailing faith and a love for Christ that seemed unmatched. He never forced others to believe what he believed but he had this ability to, little by little, chisel away the hard, rough exterior that people put up to guard themselves and make them see how much better life could be if they lived more like he did. He showed love to people who were definitely not the easiest to love and even showed love to the people who hurt him or people he maybe didn’t like all that much. He treated everyone the same.

In the 22 years of my life that I got to share with him, I learned so much. I know I have a completely different personality than he had, but when I think of living a better life, I think of living more like he did. He changed so many lives in just 24 years and the ripples of his life are still going strong. I can’t even imagine the number of people out there that I don’t even know that probably have a story of how their lives were impacted by him. And this week I am thankful I got a little bit more insight into a few of those lives who were changed.

The reason I felt compelled to write more about him is because on Sunday my church had a sermon all about being “STUCK” in the middle of disappointment. We all face disappointment, it’s a part of life, but what we learned on Sunday, is that God is present with a purpose even in those times of disappointment. In order to drive the point home, they showed a video of my Dad talking about my brother and how his attitude and faith even when facing a heart transplant really changed his life. I wanted to share the video of the sermon on my blog, not just because it’s my Dad and my brother but because I feel that it is part of my duty, being left behind, to share the story in hopes that it will inspire others and in order to keep those ripples flowing.