Saved By God’s Provision – Our Experience With Broadside Collision

Just before Valentine’s day this year we had our usual weekly church small group meeting.  This time it was a dark and rainy Wednesday evening. Bart arrived home from work especially tired.  He decided to stay home with our younger boy, Gideon, while Hank and I went to group.

We celebrated Valentine’s day a little early at our small group with a white elephant gift exchange.  I brought an unopened bag of whole-bean coffee and we received a starter kit and a cute little blue betta fish.

After group, Hank and I loaded our things into our new 2009 VW Jetta.  Hank climbed into his car seat which was positioned behind my drivers’ side seat and I secured his seatbelts.  Then I placed our new betta fish (who was in a small plastic cup at the time) into the center console cup holder.  Away we went heading home around 9:40pm.  All seemed fine except for being a particularly dreary evening.  Having been a few weeks into a great workout routine I felt alert and well.  Hank sat quietly in his seat and we drove home.  The radio was off, my phone was stowed away safely in my purse.  It was calm and I was driving very cautiously.  (I have a very low platelet count, so I am ALWAYS cautious driving because if I get in an accident I could bleed to death.)  I came to the intersection where we usually turn to go home.  I stopped in the turn lane, signalled and when the road appeared clear proceeded to turn left.  Once fully into the intersection something very unexpected and bizarre happened…

I heard a loud sound like metal bending and immediately we began spinning in circles.  By the time the car stopped we had flown off the side of the road (God is so good) and safely up a berm.  I was horrified and immediately put the car in park and turned off the engine.  I called 911 and looked in front of me to read the license plate off the other car to the officer on the other line.  I remember so clearly that my headlights illuminated their car but there was no light shining back at me.

They didn’t have their headlights on!

I never saw them coming.  I never heard a thing until the hit.  No skidding.  No horn.

Nothing then WHAM!

As soon as I got off the phone with 911 I realized Hank was in the back seat crying hysterically.  My heart sunk, I was horrified.  My precious baby boy.  I turned around and saw he was safely surrounded by his car seat and didn’t even have a scratch.  I started consoling him then realized I was completely soaked in betta fish water.  Our new pet had flew out of the car and his cup shattered around me.  Then I saw the passenger side of our car smashed in, the side curtain airbags deployed and glass all over.

Adrenaline pumping and in horror of what had just happened I called Bart to come get us.  We wound up being there for an hour while the police took their reports.  Praise God, Hank seemed ok and was able to go home and go to bed.  While my mother-in-law stayed home with our boys, Bart drove me to the emergency room.  There I learned I had a concussion and severe whiplash.  I couldn’t control my head.  That is a very strange feeling!

I received a shot of morphine to ease the already severe pain and was discharged with instructions to follow-up with my doctor.

I don’t know what your experience has been with serious car accidents but up until February 12, 2014 I had none.  At the time of impact the other driver was going at least 45 miles per hour!

Here’s our Jetta after the accident before it went to the junk yard.

Passenger side of Car-1Passenger side of Car-2

All that damage and we walked away from it alive!

VW Jetta’s are Safe!

Dear Jesus, thank you for protecting us.  Thank you that Bart wasn’t driving and Gideon wasn’t in the car.  If that were the case (as it usually would be on a Wednesday night) Gideon and I would have been on the side of impact.  Jesus, I believe it is in your sovereignty that Gideon and I didn’t die that night.  Praise and honor and glory be to you, our mighty king.  Amen.

How To Get Into Fitness For Real- Part 2 Nutrition

Today is February 28th and I have officially been Into Fitness since January 29th.  I started with getting into a sustainable workout routine that I like.

Remember when I wrote part 1 of how to get into fitness?  Well, I have stuck to it and added the other half of the fitness puzzle: nutrition.

I am down 7.6 pounds as of today! So I guess you could say what I’m doing is working! 🙂

BUT MORE THAN WEIGHING LESS, I FEEL WAAAAY BETTER!

Woot! That’s my goal. 🙂

We all gotta eat to live but what we eat really impacts how well we live.  I started thinking that NOT ALL CALORIES ARE CREATED EQUAL.  With that in mind I took a look at what calories would help me to FEEL GOOD.  Afterall, feeling good is my goal here.  I want to live a long life feeling as good as I can by living out Real Fitness.

Real Fitness (to me) means sustainable healthy exercise and healthy eating.

  What makes it sustainable is choosing quality calories so you aren’t starving.  I mean it.  If you eat primarily junk calories, then you are starving and no amount of junk calories can deliver the nutrition you NEED.  The result is you are nutritionally starved.  I have noticed that when I eat McDonald’s for example that I am hungry soon after eating.  When I eat hard-boiled eggs and toast I am way more satiated for fewer calories.  I don’t think it is right to tell you what to eat.  I just want you to think about what you like to eat and ask yourself:

Are these quality calories?

&

How can I make substitutions to improve the quality of what I eat?

With that said, I enjoy a mocha almost, if not, every day.  This mocha has milk chocolate and white chocolate powder *read* NOT QUALITY CALORIES.  But, I want to eat in a way that I enjoy so I substituted skim milk for whole and don’t go overboard on the chocolate.  I put just enough in to make it enjoyable.

I make sure my calories are in large part from real food, not processed crap.  Remember, the tiny part of the food pyramid is fats and oils.

I’ve also started counting calories so I know how much is in what I eat.  This helps over time to learn what appropriate portion sizes are.  I’m also finding I don’t want junk food as much because I know it won’t make me feel good for very long.  In fact, it will make me feel awful if I let it get out of proportion in my total daily intake.

You know what else?

Those fatty sweet and salty foods spike your appetite and when you eat more and more, you gain weight.

I want to feel good and when I eat quality calories there’s just no need to binge on junk.

Instead, I measure out a serving of the goody I want and put it in a seperate container or bag.  For example, I bought Cadbury chocolate eggs (the little ones that come out for Easter every year).   I love them enough to pay the outrageous price!  Since I am focusing on eating quality calories I don’t need Cadbury to fill my hunger.

I get to enjoy Cadbury Chocolate Eggs for what they are; just a treat.

So, I hope you can see my point here that eating well doesn’t mean eliminating the treats (at least in my book).

FOCUS on making sure you get the QUALITY CALORIES you need first, then if you still want  a treat, you can enjoy a serving.

If you are wanting to get into Fitness for Real I hope you’ll join me!  I am loving it.  I feel so much better.  Fitness is all about giving your body what it needs.  I love the stress relief of exercise and losing a few extra pounds is awesome too!  I love the stress relief of quality calories.  I love the stress relief of not being on some sort of “diet”.  Sure you won’t lose 20 pounds in a week this way but you could in ten weeks and then NEVER see that 20 pounds again.  When you are into fitness for real, you care about what your body needs to work its best, not about losing weight right now.

 Believe me, if you do something hasty like take pills that raise your “metabolic heart rate” *read* “up your risk of a heart attack!”  you are more likely to lose weight and gain it back and have long-term health problems.

That just doesn’t meet my goal.

Dear Jesus,  You are ultimately in control of our health.  Thank you that you designed our bodies to be efficient machines and gave us the means to be fit.  I pray that anyone who reads this is blessed by it and that you will enable them to take good care of the body you gave them.  I love you Jesus.  Thank you for sustaining me and giving me each breath.  Amen.

How to Get into Fitness FOR REAL Part 1 of 2, Mix-It-Up Monday’s

By now, most everyone’s new-years resolution to “eat right and exercise” has fizzled out.  Maybe they fizzled out January 3rd.

As a child I was in almost every main stream sport: soccer, basketball, volleyball, swim team, gymnastics, ballet, track, cross country….etc…

When I wasn’t playing a sport I was jumping on the pogo stick with my buddy or killing hours on her trampoline.

Looking back, I was working out A LOT!

Why?

Well I wasn’t obsessed with being a certain weight or looking like Angelina Jolie or something like that.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, a lot has changed.  I am married and have two toddlers climbing me (literally as I write this, Gideon is requesting the “Animal Sound Song” on YouTube.)  My day is so full of the demands to just keep the proverbial plates spinning on my finger tips.

I am busier than ever but when do I work out?

I’m more beat than ever how can I possibly add exercise?

I just want a break!!!

Ok that catches us up to almost two weeks ago when I went from a sporadic exerciser to someone who works out 6 days a week.

HOW?!?!

Here’s what I did.  I am not a doctor but this is what worked for me.

STEP 1: FIND YOUR MOTIVATION

I used to think the right video or gym membership would be the golden ticket.  It turns out neither really worked for me.  I never found the perfect video (and felt it was a waste of money to keep searching) and the gym didn’t work either.  I was way too distracted by other people.  I found myself unsure of what exercises to do and generally felt self-conscious.  So while the gym is great for some, it wasn’t for me.

I mentioned above that I JUST WANT A BREAK!!!! AH!!! 🙂

For me, that is the golden ticket.  Exercise is my break.  I was using social media for this purpose but never felt better for having searched Facebook.  It couldn’t make me more relaxed because I would get annoyed waiting on pages to load.

I began the search for a way to feel like I got a break.  Enter exercise.  Allow me to explain, exercising vigorously for just 10 minutes triggers the release of “feel good” hormones.  That means that every time I workout I feel good afterwards and more calm.  I feel more collected.

Oddly, for me, exercise isn’t about what all the diet industry mantras would have you think it “should” be about.  I’m not trying to look like Barbie or lose 20 pounds in a week (yikes!)  I lost 25 pounds in a couple of months when I was so sick.  It was NOT good and I DON’T recommend it.  I became medically malnourished.  Bad Bad Bad.  What’s more the weight I reached wasn’t “cute” it was scary.

I urge you to avoid exercising for the wrong reasons because it isn’t sustainable and will do more harm than good.  In extreme cases leading to malnutrition and a whole host of illnesses or obesity.

STEP 2: Gear

Think minimal here and put it on first thing before you have come up with an excuse.  The point is to get things that work but don’t become a stumbling block between you and feeling good.  In other words, don’t over think this step.

I got this sports bra and I cannot recommend it enough.  I like it because it is VERY supportive and comes in bra sizes so you can get a great fit.  This is tough for me usually but not with this bra.  It fits so well I can jump without discomfort or really much movement at all!

I also got supportive foot wear.  I like Merril brand shoes because they fit my feet well.  The big take-away here is get shoes that fit your specific needs.  I supinate (my feet roll out) and need great arch support.  Take a minute to consider your feet then choose a shoe that fits you well.

STEP 3: ROUTINE

I have found I want to workout to some degree every day.  To start I did just 10 minutes a day.  I streamed free kickboxing videos off YouTube and did them on my trampoline to reduce the impact on my knees (I have low cartilage in my knees so “pounding the pavement” is not good for me.  The trampoline is a great solution for this and cheaper than getting several machines to get a range of workouts in.)

Why 10 minutes?  Because when you are just getting started this will be enough to get the endorphins going.  I don’t repeat behaviors that don’t have a pay-out.  If I do too much too soon I will wear myself out and be too sore the next day to keep going.

Do you see a recurrent theme here?  I am working out to FEEL GOOD.

I kept this 10 minute routine for a few days but then noticed that I felt like going just a little longer so I mixed in a couple of 20-26 minutes routines.  This week (the beginning of week three)  I plan to do Monday/Wednesday/Friday kettlebell routines (off YouTube, I like Fitness Blender) and Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday kickboxing routines (off YouTube I like BeFit).  I plan to do different ones each day and to keep each workout under 30 minutes for the next several weeks.  My goal is to workout aggressively for a shorter amount of time so I can trigger the feel good hormones and break a good sweat then be done for the day!

Over time our bodies become accustomed to the workload and the time will need to increase.  I expect to be able to keep my 10-30 minute routines longer by keeping a good variety.

Variety is important to avoid boredom and avoid a plateau (where you don’t see results).

I am intentionally doing 3 days of Kettlebell and 3 days of Kickboxing on an alternating basis because this will be a rotation of weight training (kettlebell) and cardio (kickboxing).  On Sunday’s I do light exercise (this could be walking) just to get the blood flowing and keep my muscles loose.

From what I have read you need both weight training and cardio to be fit.

So there you have it!  3 steps to getting into Fitness for real!  I hope you get to feeling good today.

CLICK HERE to read the second half of this post.

Dear Jesus, I am so excited to finally have a motivator for exercise that excites me.  Thank you for designing our bodies this way.  I pray this post will help others to get going on their fitness journey and I pray they will take it slow and listen to their bodies so they stop long before they cause themselves harm.  Lord, we often want instant gratification and if that looks like x pounds lost the temptation is to go about it in an unhealthy way.  Please bring conviction where necessary to prevent me and others from using a good thing like exercise, to harm the body you gave us.  Amen.

Mom & Hank Date- Badminton

Bart took Gideon on a nature walk.  I took Hank on a “Mom & Hank” date.  We started by returning overdue library materials then getting gas and fries at ‘Wendy’s house’ (as Hank would say).  Then we went to Rite Aid to look at toys because I had Up Rewards (basically free money) to spend.  Hank, the genius settled on a badminton set. 🙂

We went home and met up with Bart and Gideon.  Then we all had fun!

action close up

I can see you Gideon!

I can see you Gideon!

giddo got two birdies! giddo looking at birdies giddo with racket and tongue out happy hank swing Hank swing wiggly giddo with daddyDear Jesus, thanks again for more fun times.  Thank you that Rite Aid had a great toy for Hank to pick out on our date. 🙂 Amen.

 

Camping With Little Guys Is Exhausting!

We arrived home yesterday afternoon after a three-day and two night camping trip in Port Ludlow (near Port Townsend).  Every year Bart’s extended family gathers for a big Independence Day picnic.  The picnic typically falls on the Saturday closest to July 4th.  We circle up and count off before we pray and eat.  This year there were 90 people in attendance!  Pretty amazing.

Bart’s extended family owns a large plot of land and the connecting beach.  In years past we’ve sat by the morning fire watching bald eagles soar overhead.  We’d sip coffee and breath in the cool sea air while the morning sun glistened over the water.  The view is glorious.  

This year both our boys were walking so things looked a little, um, different.

We arrived Friday afternoon, set up our tent (well Bart did) and began a weekend of chasing our children around.

Not.  Relaxing.

And there was no time to take pictures.

Thankfully my sister-in-law, Lacey, is a professional photographer and obliged to take a few pictures of our little family.  I love her photo’s.  I’m sure you will too.  Stay tuned when I get them I’ll do a post.  🙂

Bart bought a new tent for our family Friday morning.  Click here to see the one we got.  If you have a Costco near you check there first because they sell the same tent for less than Amazon.  Until this year we had a tent that was better for hiking but now we have a tent you can actually stand up in.  It’s a 10 person tent and would be awful for hiking.  For the fourth of July weekend we camp on a lawn just beyond the beach.  Our new tent is GREAT!  I completely recommend it.

Our boys are 3 and almost 2.  That being said they are very active but not old enough to be proficient at, or really interested in, contingent play.  Practically this means they were constantly running in opposite directions!  Hank loves water and at one point went for it!  I was several feet away when he unexpectedly ran straight into the bay and tried to swim.  There were two major problems: he doesn’t know how to swim and he wasn’t wearing a life jacket! Thank God, his bigger cousin (Cooper) rescued him before his head went completely under.  Cooper said, “You should have seen Hank’s face.  It was like he ate a nasty pepper.”  I bet he was surprised to have a mouth full of salt water.  It was nothing like his 12″ deep kiddy pool.

Cooper is my hero.

When we arrived home Sunday we were exhausted and dirty from running around and playing on the beach.  So the first thing we did was clean-up.

Here is a picture of the boys cracking each other up in our bathtub:

boys in tub in towels

For kicks I washed my right foot…

different colored feet

Judging by my left foot, my “tan” washed off.

Dear Jesus, thank you for making me well enough to chase our boys all weekend.  It was tiring but it felt so good to be able.  Thank you for the safe drive there and back and for all the family we got to see.  Thank you for Cooper.  Amen.

How I Didn’t Quit Smoking, Confessions of a Ex-Smoker!

I used to smoke. I tried my first cigarette when I was twelve years old. I remember thinking it fellt good and since it was outside the rules it was “freedom”.  My buddy and I agreed we’d only smoke until we were 18 because then it’s legal and therefore no longer cool. Oh golly! What were we thinking? We didn’t even know how cool we were before we starting sucking down cancer sticks.

After a long-term relationship ended in my early twenties, I dove head long into smoking.  I worked for The 13 Coins restaurant (which was “an all smoking establishment” at that time) so I could smoke at work too.  Soon a few cigarette’s a day went to two packs a day.  I smoked instead of eating, often.  I loved it too.  It was my rebellious, out of the norm thing I could do.  Nobody could tell me to stop.  It was my little thing I “allowed myself”.

Well, I lost weight smoking instead of eating.  At first I felt like this was a reward.  For what?  Who cares?  I was thinner. Yay! Right?

Guess How He Died!

Then, conviction came.  Not the “I feel bad about this” kind.  I didn’t.  I loved it.  Every smelly, nail yellowing, lip wrinkling, carcinoma laden inhalation felt like freedom…

Until God convicted me that smoking was slavery!

I remember saying to God, “Jesus, I love smoking.  I have smoked for ten years now.  I will give myself cancer and die from this.  What am I doing?  I’m only 22!  Please Jesus, make me so sick the next time I smoke that I won’t want to smoke anymore.  Jesus, I can’t do this on my own.  I don’t want to.”

You know what?  I didn’t “have it together”.  I denied my freedom in Christ with every puff.  Enslaved not just to cigarette’s but to the “freedom” I thought it gave me.

Dang, Satan plays the same old song all the time. 

Doesn’t this “freedom” talk sound eerily like the conversation Satan had with Eve in Eden?  As if what God has isn’t enough so I need this too.

I need to smoke because it gives me something?

Yeah, no.

Before I prayed telling God I needed Him to take it from me.  Before I was at that place of really surrendering this ridiculous lie.  I tried quitting myself. Over and over and over.  Weaning down.  Staring longingly at the mug on my coffee table displaying my “final cigarettes”.  Then after the last one was gone, driving frantically to the 7-11 to buy a whole carton and then smoking double time to make up for it.  Sheesh.  It wasn’t working.  I couldn’t quit.  Afterall, I really deep down didn’t want to give up my “freedom”.

God is faithful!

After I prayed in real surrender, God answered my prayer with a, “Yes.”  It was not an audible reply.  I didn’t hear him speak.  Instead, I went about my day.  Then when I had a craving, I lit up a cigarette and took a drag.  One.  Then like  a freight train I felt clammy, sweaty, nauseous…  I rushed to the bathroom and threw-up.  It felt like full on stomach flu.  For about an hour I laid beside the toilet.  Getting up as needed to get sick.

Then as quickly as it came, it passed.

Wew!

I felt ok again.  Then, because I am stubborn and God is more-so, I lit up another cigarette.  I heard and believed the lie, “Maybe it was just a bad cigarette.”  Again, the freight train came.  Again hugging the toilet in wretched sickness.  This time laying on the floor thanking God for answered prayer.

I didn’t quit smoking, God quit my smoking for me. 🙂

Maybe you don’t smoke.  Maybe you “allow yourself” something else.

The big question is this, “Am I willing to let the “little thing I allow myself” (aka enslavement or sin) take EVERYTHING from me, take from those I love and then NOT DELIVER on its promises?” 

Because that’s just what that little thing will do.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 16:25

“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully
grown brings forth death.” James 1:15

Dear Jesus, thank you that you are why I am an ex-smoker.  Thank you for Real Freedom!  Thank you that my Mom no longer smokes!  Please help others who smoke to be freed too.  Lord, I know you pursue us doggedly and triumph over Satan.  To you be the glory! To YOU be the glory!  Amen.

Crying Tacos, Fun Food Friday’s

In Spanish tradition, food made with joy will fill the one who eats it with joy.  Likewise, food made in sadness will bring the one who eats it sadness.  Well, I wish you were at my dinner table so you could have enjoyed our tacos.  I made them with delight and they’re so tasty they’ll make you want to cry tears of joy!

Crying Tacos

Crying Tacos Recipe with Homemade Taco Seasoning

You’ll want to have the following ingredients on hand:

Flour, butter, baking powder, salt, meat, quinoa (pronounced “keen-WA”), salsa, sour cream, greens, chili powder, paprika, onion salt, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne pepper and black pepper.

  1. Make a batch of homemade tortillas! (I use butter in place of shortening and it turns out better.) There is a huge difference between fresh homemade tortillas and store-bought.  This step is important.  I heat up two pans to cook the tortillas two at a time.  You could also put the uncooked tortillas in an oven safe custard bowl or other larger bowl and bake them till their crisp to make a tostada (welcome to taco time anyone?).
  2. Make up a quick batch of taco seasoning. (Mix 2tsp. chili powder, 1.5tsp paprika, 1tsp. onion salt, 1/2tsp. garlic powder, 1/2tsp. oregano, dash of cayenne pepper and black pepper.)
  3. Fry up whatever taco meat you like and season to taste and cook up a cup of Quinoa (use in place of rice).
  4. Layer as follows: Tortilla, Cooked Quinoa, Seasoned Meat, Salsa, Cheese, Chopped Spinach (load it on) and Sour Cream.
  5. Weep joyfully as the food fills your tummy.

Ole for real food!

Just a little side note:  It seems we look sideways at a meal that is mostly veggies as if something is out of balance.  I need to point out advertising says eat meat, meat and more meat.  Perhaps our perception is out of balance.  I say make your taco around 10% meat and 20% chopped greens (especially if their from your home garden). 🙂

p.s. We have our first red strawberry of 2013!

First Strawberry 2013

Dear Jesus, I am so excited about this recipe.  Thank you for giving me a place to store it for always.  I pray that others will give it a try.  Please bless their efforts. Amen.

Crossfit Momma: Wheelbarrow Rides!

Now that the weather is warming up a bit we are able to get outside and run around.  I have been building in some exercise while entertaining our boys on the cheap.  I get out the wheelbarrow and throw a blanket in then in they go and I push them around.  It is so fun and makes me think I’m doing crossfit. 😉

Here are some pictures of the boys:

giddopushing giddotickling h hankingiddoout hankngiddo happygiddo happyhank moretickles tickling

Dear Jesus, thank you for making our days here at home fun and bringing out the nice weather.  We Seattlites need more sun please. Amen.