Saturday, May 23, 2015

Unmasking Mental Illness by Vicki Davis

I'm still new to blogging. It is uncomfortable for me to talk about myself in a self promoting way. But as a writer, I have been blessed by a few published works and I want to share them with you. I believe I'm called to use my writing to encourage others. 

I wrote an article on my mother's experience with generalized anxiety disorder. It was published in a Christian magazine in September 2012. I debated whether or not to share it with her, but had decided to in an effort to honor her for her courage. Sadly, Mom had eye surgery the month the magazine article was printed. The anesthesia during surgery progressed her dementia and I decided not to share the article with her. As a writer, this is the piece I am most proud of. If just one person seeks help based on Mom's experience, then her pain will not be in vain. And...if I never write another published article, I am so grateful Mom's story has been told in hopes just one person will be helped. Mom is 83 now and lives in an assisted living facility. 

If you or a loved one have been touched by mental illness, my heart goes out to you. My prayer is you will seek the necessary help to live life abundantly. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog. 

On the Journey: Full Length Mirror: Friend or Foe?

A common phrase I've heard from my financial wizard husband I refer to as Bear, aka The Budgetmeister, is "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it". Well, that's easy to apply when managing money with a check book register, credit card receipts, piggy banks or spread sheets, whatever works for your family. 

But how about how we measure ourselves in other areas of our daily lives? What tools do we use to measure certain aspects of our health? 

I referenced Steve Arterburn in a previous post. One of the founders of the Women of Faith conferences, he has authored many books including Lose it for Life and is one of the editors of The Life Recovery Bible. I became well acquainted with his ministry on the daily radio broadcasts of New Life Live ( where they answer phone calls of people who are hurting with all sorts of life issues. This ministry has sown hope and healing into my life for more than 20+ years. If you want balanced teaching from the Bible from godly men and women who have dedicated their life's work to helping others receive grace and live the abundant life Christ died to give us all, then please check them out. 

So, back to Steve Arterburn. On one of the broadcasts he addressed weight loss and advised a caller to "face the music" by looking in a full length mirror every morning while....NAKED!!! Wow! That brought shivers down my chubby spine. I don't own a full length mirror. Well, there is one on the other side of the house that is actually a mirrored sliding door the previous owners installed. I'm not highly motivated to trek over to it, much less in all my glory! 

Isn't that how we are? We avoid what makes us uncomfortable. We avoid being in pictures because it's true, pictures do speak a thousand words. In 2012, the last time I was motivated to truly work hard at weight loss, it was a photograph of me that jolted me to change. I ran across that photograph this morning, hence this article. Last week I was undressed and looking at the back of my hair in my bathroom mirror. Horrors! The sight of my undressed back was a surprise! I had rolls! Now please understand I know I'm overweight and accept that fact. I look in the mirror every day, just not a full length mirror in the buff! I wear garments that tend to cover and flatter rather than highlight my "shortcomings". Seeing my bare back from that angle in that lighting was eye opening and rather than digressing into self pity (I just realized for the very first time that pity is based on the word "pit") I chose to face it for what it very clearly is and try harder. 

If we can't measure it, we can't manage it. The number on the scales is a strong indicator of success or failure in the battle of the bulge. But other measurements can be just as effective. What measurement tool do you use? Do you measure your waist, hips, thighs? I've received tremendous encouragement from seeing, on paper, the loss of inches at a time when I was at a plateau on the scales. Is there anything more rewarding than trying on a pair of jeans that didn't zip the last time you tried them on? Or buying a size or 2 smaller than your old normal size? Or being satisfied by eating half an entree at your favorite restaurant! I can measure my fitness level by how many miles I can walk in an hour. If you normally enjoy 2 servings of salad dressings with your salad, try just one serving. Have you measured your food portions lately? Small changes reap big rewards in the area of health.

Whatever measuring system works for you, just do it! Measure something to give you the data you need to see progress in your efforts toward health! For a greater challenge, measure something that's more difficult for you. If you've been avoiding a mirror, face it. Um, you can decide if you're naked or not!  If you've been avoiding a scale, go, now, and hop on it. It's just a tool to help you reach one of your goals. If you've been walking a track for 4 laps to equal one mile, go for 5 laps! Measure it, manage it, maximize your efforts!

Thanks for stopping by! Whatever you're facing today, it will be easier if you're healthy!
Until next time,

Monday, May 18, 2015

Grocery Store Blessing: Pass It On!

My nephew came in town and he, our son and a buddy were coming for dinner. Our son suggested spaghetti so I dashed out to our local Publix for the ingredients for an easy spaghetti dinner. I was very low on cash and counted up the dollar amount of my items as I shopped. The bowls of fresh watermelon were BOGO FREE so I grabbed one just in case I had enough money. I placed all the spaghetti specific items on the check out counter and held the bowl of watermelon back. A young man in line behind me pointed out I'd left the watermelon behind. I laughed and told him I was holding off to be sure I had enough money to pay for it. Well, I only had enough cash to pay for the necessary spaghetti ingredients! The young man pulled out his wallet and tossed a $5 bill on the counter and said "here, I want her to have that watermelon". I tried to talk him out of it but he was determined for me to have the watermelon! I was so blessed by his kindness and generosity! I asked him how old he was as he seemed about the age of our son. He's 29, the same age as our oldest son. I hugged him, of course, and told him his mama did a fine job raising him.

Have you ever paid for someone's meal in the drive thru at a fast food restaurant? Or bought someone a cup of coffee in line behind you? I haven't done either of these but I have given money to someone in front of me to help them when they ran short when paying their grocery bill. So I know how good it feels to bless someone with a random financial "gift". That young man named Mike blessed me with the watermelon and I know he was just as blessed by his generous gesture.

Kindness reaps kindness! Let's pass it on!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Thanks, Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality

 My life long friend, Rhoda of Southern Hospitality has been very gracious to feature me on her blog a few times. The link below is to the post on May 6. Check it out!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!
My mother is 83 now and her world was rocked when we lost my daddy in 2008. Mom grew up very hard but succeeded in school and won a scholarship. She was very loyal to her family and helped provide financially for her younger brothers. During my youth she managed to work as an executive secretary while running a home. She never missed a ball game, prepared hot meals, and taught Sunday School. I learned so much from my mother. How to be a dutiful and loving wife as I care for my husband. How to be a mother and grandmother who loves unconditionally. How to serve others with a warm and loving spirit. How to love my mother-in-law (and father-in-law), as they are extensions of my husband. How to walk the Christian walk even when I'm hurting and don't feel like it. How to encourage others with the written word. Mom has always been known and appreciated for her card writing ministry. She does not see it as a ministry, but it is! I learned from her at an early age how to put my thoughts on paper. She's also known for her great home made banana pudding. I'm still working on that feat! A gracious, godly southern lady who wears a bouffant hair-do and lipstick to the mail box. That's my mommie and I love her so much. She has dementia now and lives in an assisted living facility. Tuesday we had dinner together and she took my hand and prayed the sweetest blessing/prayer. I cherish this memory as I don't know what to expect from day to day as is the case with dementia.

To all mothers, take a moment for yourself on Mother's Day! If you've lost your mother or are estranged from her, I'm so sorry for your loss! I encourage you to reflect on fond memories or reach out to an elderly lady who may need a hug on Mother's Day!

This Mother's Day, I am so grateful I've been allowed to be the mother to my sons, now men. They were my career, my life projects and I'm so thankful for the men they have grown up to be. Now I have an amazing daughter-in-law who loves us and allows us to love her. She and our older son have blessed us with 3 precious grandchildren: J, a boy age 4, A, a girl, 2 1/2, and L, a baby girl, 1. Yep, 3 under 4! We are so blessed. And to see my husband of 33 years with these babies, well, it's all about Granddaddy! They love him so! So Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and grandmothers and mothers-in-law, and step moms out there! Count your blessings and enjoy your day!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Journey Continues: Weight Loss & Water

Hello and thanks for dropping by my blog! You're most likely here to follow my weight loss journey and I welcome you.

So, how much water do you drink per day? I have a funny story about my husband drinking water for health and weight loss, or not! For years I advised him to drink more water and for years he responded that he drinks plenty of water plus all that water in the tea and coffee counts. Well, depending on what you read, that may be true, but I personally achieved greater success losing weight when I increased my water consumption in addition to all other liquids.Our livers are like filters for our bodies and when we drink a lot of water, our livers are flushed of toxins our bodies need to rid themselves of for better health. When our livers are flushed and clean they operate at full potential and our bodies respond accordingly. That's just a simple non-scientific version!

My husband had a male friend tell him how he eats whatever he wants to as long as he drinks a lot of water! So, my husband began to consume a lot more water every day and saw a loss on the scales. I somehow managed to laugh at his revelation rather than scream "I told you so!". 

Yes, there are formulas out there to provide guidelines for how much water we should consume during weight loss and for general health. If you Google this you will find different formulas but most do begin with your current weight.

When I am home and not out and about, I drink 3 quarts of our amazing well water per day, in addition to any other beverages. I keep a quart jar sitting on my kitchen counter by my sink to keep it simple. I drink 2 cups with my early morning medication before breakfast; 2 cups with breakfast; 1 quart between 10:00 & 4:00; 1 quart between 4:00 & 9:00. I usually have an 8 oz. cup of instant coffee every morning and occasional diet soft drinks or glasses of unsweetened tea.

I know several people who just can't bring themselves to down a glass of water. My 83 year old mother has never enjoyed drinking water no matter how much I encourage her to. Staying hydrated is especially important for elderly folks. I encourage you to do whatever it takes to consume more water. Buy bottled water or a filter, add flavor enhancers that are healthy, add lemons and cucumbers, something to help you stay hydrated and to keep your liver flushed. 

Thanks for listening and enjoy your day as you work toward a healthier lifestyle!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Journey Continues: My Weight Loss Plan

The Plan

If you're dropping by my blog from Rhoda's Southern Hospitality blog, WELCOME!  I've had some inquiries about the program I've used to lose 20 pounds and want to give you some information. My plan is effortless, easy to follow. My health improved within three weeks on the program with lower cholesterol and triglyceride numbers!

I have more energy to DANCE! More energy to play with my 3 precious grandchildren! More energy to care for my 83 year old mom! More energy to walk 3 miles per day! More personal confidence! More enthusiasm for life! I'm living a life of Optimal Health. Won't you join me?

If you or a loved one is looking for health, please e-mail me at and I'll reply soon.

In his book "Lose it for Life" Stephen Arterburn provides an exercise to help us determine how much time we spend on food.This was very enlightening to me. When I completed the exercise my sons were still at home and with us homeschooling and my husband working from a home office, I was responsible for 3 meals per day for 4 people. So my time spent browsing grocery store ads, making menus and grocery lists, shopping for groceries, cooking and serving meals, and cleaning up totaled approximately 40 hours per week.

Wow! This was insightful! No wonder I had such an attachment to food!

I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you!