We throw off the lie of perfection and cling to our identity in God as we strive to be whole, healthy, and fit. Our goal is wholeness, not perfection.

Archive for June, 2014

Mulligan Monday

golf-course

As I was watching the US Open this weekend with my husband, I gave thanks that I am not a professional golfer.  There’s no grace in professional golf. ( Anyone else get a visual of Tom Hanks shouting “There’s no crying in baseball!”?  Just me?)  The first, and only, time I played golf with my husband, he showered me with grace in the form of mulligans – several of them.  I was shocked the first time I realized that in professional golf, the players do not get such a gift.

But like I said, I’m no professional golfer.  So today, I declare this day to be a Mulligan Monday.  I started an at home workout program on May 12th.  It’s a reasonable workout – as little as 10 minutes if I don’t want to warm-up or cool down and it’s as challenging as I make it.  During the first four weeks of doing the program I missed a day each week for one reason or another.  Most people would say that having newborn twins is reason enough.  But now that I know that the best time for me to work out before they even wake up, I really don’t have an excuse not to get it done.

With the exception of the night David Sr., David Jr., and I all tried Rev Abs, I took all last week off.  I decided to use the time to regroup. I wanted to come up with realistic strategies to help me meet the goal of working out each day.

Strategy #1: Visual reminder – I drew up a crude calendar for the next four weeks and taped it up on the wall next to our television. I plan to put a check mark, or a sticker if I ever get around to organizing the teaching supplies I brought home, every time I complete a workout.  My prayer is that having the calendar right next to the TV will serve as a great reminder, not just for me, but also for my motivation squad – David Sr. and Junior.  For every completed week, I will be rewarding myself, not with food, but by buying some of the ingredients I need to make homemade sunscreen.  I’ve totally fallen down the rabbit hole with this whole DIY healthy and natural skincare thing.  (See “No Filter” if that last sentence left you scratching your head)

Strategy #2: Accountability – As soon as I log my workout on my calendar, I will report to my online accountability group.  I set an alarm on my phone to go off during the twins’ “big” nap to remind me to report to the group.  It will also serve as a push and shove for me to work out just in case I haven’t gotten around to it by that time.

Strategy #3: Eliminate excuses – I will keep clean workout gear downstairs, close to the TV room, or in it when possible.  This includes my workout clothes, yoga mat, shoes, and socks.  I am easily distracted, so I’m more likely to start and complete my workout if I do not have to travel upstairs to get my workout necessities.

The beauty of a Mulligan Monday, or any day of the week for that matter, is that there’s no need to wait for New Year’s Day or the first of the month to “start over”.  However, we do need to be careful to not abuse the gift of the do over.  It’s not really a do over if we are continuously starting over.  If we find ourselves constantly starting over, there’s a really good chance we never earnestly started in the first place.  When we notice this happening, it’s best to take a step back to identify our goals, get our priorities in check, make a game plan, and then implement it.

Are you in need of a Mulligan Monday?  In what specific area of your life?  I’d love to walk with you on your journey to wholeness.  Let me know how I can pray with and for you.  Feel free to email me at floyds07@gmail.com if you don’t feel comfortable commenting below.

No Filter

I have been hesitant to  I have been reluctant to  I have been afraid to post postpartum pictures of myself on Instagram or Facebook.  Easter was unavoidable because we had family over and everyone was taking pictures.  How could I tell them, “No thanks, I’d rather wait until my skin clears up, my face isn’t so round, and I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight”?  But if you look at my FB wall, or my IG profile, you’ll see that on Easter Sunday I flooded both accounts with pictures of my boys and posted just a couple of pictures with me in the shot.  Other than Easter, I think I have a handful of pictures with me up, but I’m either wearing make-up or used a filter.  and I most definitely strategized (auto correct tells me I just made up a word) so as to avoid showing any rolls or squishy bits.

I’ve never considered myself a particularly vain person.  Maybe when I was a pre-teen, but that was really to cover up other insecurities.  But pregnancy – especially a multiples pregnancy – can change a girl.  I didn’t mind belly pictures while I was pregnant because God was growing two miracles inside me.  But I wouldn’t let anyone capture my image unless I was wearing make-up.  And I probably still applied a filter.  Pregnancy hormones are no joke and they did a number on my skin.  I had never experienced acne like that.  And I not only had the pleasure of being embarrassed while I was afflicted with the acne, I now have the pleasure of wearing the scars. Oh, the joys of having the skin pigmentation of a “whitish brown” (you can thank DJ for that one) girl.

I felt like I had to wear make-up at all times, filter all pictures, and explain that I was pregnant with twins if anyone ever saw me without make-up.  That is, until just recently.  In May I rediscovered Francheska of “Hey Fran Hey”. I got a serious girl crush on her a couple of years ago, as she is curly girl.  And I consider all curly girls to be my curly-haired sisters.  She’s all about being healthy by being natural – clean eating; DIY hair, skin, and body care.  While I’m not quite ready to dive back into the world of eating clean, I did feel prompted by God to take off the mask I created with make-up.  I had to admit that I was looking for security more in make-up than I was in Him.  I was letting it define me whether I was wearing it or not.

So, I packed up my make-up and started following Francheska’s lead.  I took a picture of myself on “Day 1” of my new skincare regimen.  I almost posted it.  I thought better of it.  I talked myself out of it “I’ll save it and use it as the ‘Before’ when I share the ‘After’ in six months.”  That is the much safer route, isn’t it?  Isn’t that the allure of “Transformation Tuesday”, “Throwback Thursday”, and “Flashback Friday”?  We can securely post a picture of our “Before” because we can confidently point to our “After”.  Unless we can’t.

I couldn’t.  I didn’t feel confident in pointing to my “After”.  And to be honest with you, I still don’t.  My “Before” is a glowing, even through make-up, mother-to-be. My “Before Before” is a strong, fit, and trim group fitness instructor.  My “After”?  I’ve been far from confident in my “After”. Frankly, I’ve been ashamed to post my picture.  And I find myself wanting to somehow mention that I just had twins – either in conversation or in the caption of a picture.

I’m working on it though.  Today I posted my first postpartum, no make-up, no filter selfie to Instagram.  I posted it on my new IG account, @catalyst_move, that is connected to Catalyst Movement – this blog and the Catalyst Movement ministry.  Some people may see the picture and wonder “What’s the big deal?”  For me, letting go of security blankets, masks, false idols – whatever you want to call them – is always difficult.  Even though I know that letting go allows me to better grasp onto my true security.  Have you let go of anything lately?  Is there something God is prompting you to let go of?

No Filter

Play Ball! (6/24/13)

My xis year old son, DJ, played in his first kickball game yesterday.  I had the pleasure of refereeing the game.  The game was our opening event for anew ministry at church – Fit for Jesus.  But that’s a blog entry for another day.

The players’ ages ranged from 5 to 12 years, with two 17 year olds as captains.  It was the most beautiful display of organized chaos I have had the honor to direct in quite some time.  The three adults present, myself being one of them, assumed that every child knew the rules of kickball.  Even if they had never played before, they had seen, or participated in baseball before.  Right?  We must have all thought that because we kept saying “It’s just like baseball”.

We (the adults) would intermittently need to yell “Time!” in order to explain, and in several instances re-explain, the basic rules of the game.  I must admit that it was very difficult to control my tongue and tone and not sarcastically ask, “Really, y’all?  Didn’t you hear us JUST explain what happens when someone catches a fly ball?”

The first couple of innings DJ didn’t get to kick because he was seventh or eight in the lineup.  A sense of pride swelled up inside of me when he finally stepped up to the plate.  His first kick was a strike.  He made contact with his second and took off running.  Unfortunately, it was a foul and he had to return to home.  But his third kick was good and I cheered for him while he ran to first.  With the next player’s play, DJ was able to advance to second.  While at second he couldn’t contain his excitement.  He danced on top of second plate, and again when he made it to third.  The third out took place before he could make it home.  But he didn’t care, and neither did I.  I enjoyed watching him run from plate to plate and how he danced while waiting at each plate.

During the second to last inning DJ scored his first run ever in a kickball game.  I called his name from across the field and we gave each other a long distance air high-five.  Now before you cry favoritism, I cheered on all the kids.  I may not have given them all a long distance high-five, but hey, it was his first time scoring in a kickball game.

DJ’s team was losing but the game became close during the third inning.  The game ended in the firth with a 16-16 tie.  While several of the kids were disappointed, DJ was pumped. It was his first kickball game and his team didn’t lose.  We lined the kids up and had them do the “good game” walk.

Earlier this morning it dawned on me that ht experience I had watching DJ play in his first kickball game is how God views our lives.  He watches with anticipation as we attempt to do something new for the first time. He cheers us on as that first kick is a strike, and even when the second one is a foul ball.  He screams for us to run when our kick is good.  All the while His heart swells with pride.  Not because we’re doing particularly well, but because we’re enjoying the experience and giving it our all.  And when we look confused about the rules of the game, He doesn’t have to force Himself to hold his tongue or watch His tone.  He doesn’t grow impatient, or become sarcastic.  he lovingly reminds us of His commandments and promises, and pats us on our bottoms as He tells us to get back in the game.

I am stepping up to the plate in my own life, doing things I have never done before – this blog being one of them.  Strike, foul, or home run; win or lose; I will walk in the blessed assurance that my Coach is cheering me on.  He is watching from the outfield, filled with anticipation, His heart swelling with pride simply because I’m giving it all and trusting Him with the outcome.

 

First Blog Post (5/07/13)

This was my first blog entry for the blog I never published.  I had a domain and everything.  I even typed it up but never published it.  I wanted it to be perfect.  I still struggle with the lie of perfectionism.  It is a daily struggle rooted in fear.  But I know that love is greater than fear, and I have decided to just “Say It” – whatever IT may be. (See “Say It” for more background info).

I lost some important items in the past several days.  I would dress it up and say “misplaced” but the simple truth is – I lost them.  Did I immediately pray and ask God to reveal the location of each item (as I’ve taught my son to do)?  Nope.  With the exception of two of the items (debit card and checkbook), I really didn’t get overly concerned until I truly needed them.

The first thing I prayed to find was the charger for the Nook my son and I share.  That was last Thursday.  My son and I scoured the house and car looking for it.  I even searched my work area, i.e. my desk and bookcase, of my classroom.  At one point DJ asked if I had prayed yet.  I told him I had and he suggested I try again.  I found it this morning when I finally unplugged a boombox my husband rarely uses but insists on keeping plugged into an outlet in the bathroom.  I had been meaning to unplug it for days but had too many more important things begging for my time and attention.

The next item I prayed about was my debit card.  I really didn’t want to see that look on my husband’s face – the one reserved for  me losing important things – again.  I trusted that it hadn’t fallen into the clutches of evildoers.  So, I prayed that God would give me peace until I found the card.

Now the checkbook kind of flustered me, I must admit.  The only reason I had it on me was because I couldn’t find the debit card. It was raining, my son was grumpy and hungry upon waking up from a three hour nap and I just wanted to get home.  Needless to say I was juggling too much to properly search for the checkbook.  So I used my personal – well, actually, my health and fitness business – debit card. I didn’t even bother to pray about it.  Well, I may have asked God to to let it fall into the hands of evildoers.

When I got to work on Monday I found my debit card.  Actually, my substitute found it and displayed it in such a manner that I could clearly see it but the wandering eyes of evildoers could not.  I found my checkbook as I went to grab my work ID from the side panel of my car door this morning.

So what have I learned over the last five days? Juggling too many tasks is when I typically lose something.  Be it something tangible like a debit card or intangible like peace, joy, patience, and gentleness.  Avoiding tasks is usually when I miss the opportunity to find those lost things.  I’m very grateful that my God is in the Lost and Found business.

side note: DJ and I are big Marvel and DC comic fans.  Hence all the references to evildoers.

So I Was Thinking About ADH… Squirrel!

I’m not sure why God brought this topic to my mind this morning.  That’s usually how my thought process works though – randomly.  I had just put the boys in their rockers and out on the screened in porch so they could get fresh air while I made some breakfast.  And while I was hustling to make my shake and eggs as fast as I could, I started thinking about how much I disagree with the diagnosis of ADHD. No, I’m not one of those people who doesn’t believe in the existence of ADHD. If you are, cool.  But I’m not.

I totally believe that God blessed some of us with the ability to multimultitask (nope, not a typo) and more energy than others.  Whenever people offer me coffee I politely decline, letting them know that “God made me caffeinated”.  What I don’t believe in is our country’s obsession with treating ADHD like it’s a disease. I blame Big Pharma for that one.

I was diagnosed with ADHD my sophomore year of college.  You read that correctly COLLEGE. I started to see a therapist to deal with PTSD resulting from sexual assault and I walked out of his office with a prescription for Ritalin.  No joke.  I’m not mad at him, though.  If it weren’t for the accommodation that the diagnosis afforded me, I doubt I would have graduated from college on time. It also forced me to deal with my organization and time management issues.

I remember filling out the DSMIV questionnaire and wondering if somehow the creators of the test had based it on my life.  Then the kicker. The counselor told me that although I met the DSMIV criteria, he would need to see copies of my grade school report cards to confirm the diagnosis. Thankfully my mom suffers form a mild case of hoarding and she had most of  my report cards.

Every one of them reported something along the lines of “Very bright girl, but won’t stay in her seat.” And “Very gifted in math, but won’t stop talking.” And my favorite “Very smart girl, but doesn’t turn in her assignments on time.”  I can’t stand when students try to turn in late work in math.  It kind of defeats the purpose of practice.  But I digress…

We didn’t have Ritalin when I was a kid.  Why not?  Because no one was diagnosed with ADHD.  Why not?  Because moms like mine would kick their kids out of the house if they tried to stay in doors and watch TV while it was still light outside.  There were times when I would get back from playing with a friend down the street and if my mom thought I seemed a little too energized still she would tell me to go back outside and get more of my “ya-yas” out.

Although getting my “ya-yas” out helped at home, that practice didn’t serve me too well at school.  We only had one extended recess break to relieve pent up “ya-yas”.  And no amount of releasing of said “ya-yas” was going to help with my lack of organization and time management skills.

But I made it through grade school and high school.  I did not make straight A’s.  In fact, I only made it the honor roll one quarter in the 8th grade because my mom really wanted one of those stickers.  You know the ones.Today, most parents are more interested with the letter grade their student earns than the knowledge and skills they acquire (or in a lot of cases, don’t – in spite of what letter grade they earned).

As an adult I still struggle with these issues.  I do not claim ADHD though.  I will not wear that label.  Again, not because I don’t believe in its existence. I just don’t believe in the disease-medication approach.  So nowadays I exercise regularly to exert my “ya-yas” in a way that benefits my health.  At least once a month I purge my kitchen and dinning room of papers and try to keep pertinent paperwork organized.  And when I have tasks I need to get done, I make a to-do list and use a timer to keep me on target.

What will I do if one of my boys is suspected of having ADHD, you ask?  I’m going to tinker with their diets and enforce strict sleep schedules.  I’m going to have mandatory playtime outside whether they like it or not.  I will have them participate in organized sports if need be. I will teach them how to keep organized backpacks, binders, and how to use an agenda (day planner). If medicine is still necessary, so be it, but these are life skills that they need to master.  Life skills that a pill cannot teach them.

I would love to tie this up in a nice bow and ask you an engaging question to which you can respond by writing in the “comment” box.  But my next blog has been trying to interrupt this one the whole time I was typing so, gotta go.

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