Friday, November 2, 2012

News from North Dakota - The search for a Church

The final post about our journey to ND these past few months includes that of finding a new church for our family to attend. I think this process has been more difficult for me than for Phil. While he and S were out here during July and August they visited a couple churches and found one that they liked. They went there on Sundays during their month long stay. When we arrived in ND as a family in September our family began attending this church.

A little background here will allow you to understand my personal struggle a little better. When we made the move to New Holstein WI a few years ago Phil found our church, First Baptist of Kiel and I was completely at peace with the choice and easily transitioned. I loved the fact that the church had many young families with a heart to disciple their own children as well as work together as a "community" to instruct each others children. It took me a couple years before I really felt like I developed a deep friendship and that was with our associate pastors wife. When we left the area in September, we spent our last night in WI with their family, as Phil was very close to Pastor S too. Not only was the fellowship sweet with so many of the families in our church, the way the church functioned was so wonderful. When we joined the church was going through a building project and I really enjoyed how the leadership and families worked together to make our church one in which we could worship, fellowship, welcome visitors, and have a space where kids could be kids. I'm afraid that all the excellent ways that our church handled things over the years made me feel so at home, that leaving there has been tough. The church people became our "family", especially since we had no family in the area. Our times at church were refreshing, encouraging, convicting, and over all a blessing. So my expectations for a new church were very much so on the high side.

That being said, I found that I enjoyed the preaching at our new church, it was biblical, pertinent, and well done. Appreciated that there were many young families, a few were members and some are considering membership. There is a wonderful Senior population just like we had at our old church (I miss you Jean & Lou Eva!), and the church has a great spirit. On several occasions I shared with Phil my "concerns" about this or that.... of which I will not expound, and after several weeks of attending Sunday services, attending a planning meeting and business meeting, spending time with the pastor and one of the trustee's we decided that this is the church that God wants us to join. The day we made this decision..... I cried. I miss my church family in Kiel so much, I found it really hard this time to just jump in with two feet to a new church. I know that my struggle is more emotional than the church isn't right. After all, there are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people! We went forward this past Sunday and made public our desire to join the church and I'm very excited about how God is directing. I know that we will be blessed by the ministries and people in this church and pray that our family will be a blessing in return.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

News from North Dakota - Weight, Health, and Life

I get emails often from folks that have been encouraged to lose weight and better their health by watching me as I journey through the obesity battle. I will continue to say that I am a work in progress and pray that someday I will have complete victory over my food addictions and battle with the bulge. I've learned over these past few months that I continue to be a stress and bordum eater. Now you might say... "HOW can you be bored?? You are a wife, have six children and ran a farm!!" Bordum is a choice. When I chose to feel that my responsibilities in life are not fulfilling I get bored. Did you notice my CHOICE of words?? I said when I CHOSE! I am a firm believer that our actions are a result of our thoughts! The Bible says in Proverbs "as a man things he is" and I agree with God on this matter 100%. What you think about you will do. If you think you are stressed, overwhelmed, unworthy, bored, your actions will coinside with those detrimental thoughts.

For me personally I learned once again that I am a total stress eater!!My stresses of these past family months totally make sense: hubby gone most of the time, moving to a new state, wrapping up the details on the farm, sorting & packing, cleaning, transitioning from a homesteading farm life to living in the big city for 30 days, living in a hotel and eating the foods they provided, then transitioning to small town life, etc. These are challenges that would stress out just about any mother of 6 right? So, I have reason to be stressed but I didn't have to chose to live in a state of stress.... and I did. I prayed about the daily challenges but found I didn't CAST them at the feet of Christ as I ought to have. So I found my comfort in food: potatoes, wheat, sugar.... and all the other foods that I know trigger instant weight gain for me. I used the excuse that I was busy, stressed, didn't have proper food around because I needed instant this or that or didn't have time..... so I chose to not eat well since June. I stopped exercising, stopped weighing and stopped controlling my impulsive eating.

If you remember back this spring I hit 148 for a brief few days. I stabilized between 155 & 165 when I was exercising. That is where I begun my spiral back into the old habits of grabbing this and that, most of which was carb and sugar laddened. Lately I've been weighing between 185 & 190 sometimes hitting 195 briefly. This week I've been starting to feel like life is returning back to normal. I'm establishing new routines that I like with the hubby, kids, house & life. I've struggled greatly these last few months about my spiraling weight gain and kept thinking I'd dive into another hcg round, only to start taking hhcg and never being able to stick to the VLCD so finally I'd give up and stop dosing.  I finally decided that for me to start a round now would be impossible. My mind is not in the proper state needed to strictly follow the VLCD and we that have done this protocol understand the level of commitment needed to do a round.

So, instead of hcg I've decided to get my body moving again. My current goal is to walk 2-3 miles a day 3 - 5 days a week, either with the Leslie Sansone DVD's I own or outside weather permitting. I'm also adding back in water. It is amazing how much MORE food I eat when I'm NOT drinking my water. My daily water goal is 3 quarts. Better food choices round out my immediate health goals.  This is a challenge since I will only be grocery shopping 1 X a month. I can pick up a few things here and there when in Bismarck on Sundays and our small town grocery store carries a few fresh items, but I'm trying to make better choices with what I have. I doubt I'll lose much weight over these next couple of months with the holidays fast approaching. BUT I do know that I'll be getting back into the habit of caring for my body better.In the new year I'll look to do an HCG round using Clinical HCG's prescription hcg.

Thankfully I still feel great though the extra weight does sometimes effect my energy level. My husband would most likely argue that statement since I've been unpacking and cleaning like crazy since our stuff arrived here on the 16th. I've got most rooms in the settled, other than hanging pictures, and am enjoying keeping our home clean and orderly. This is the first time in years that I've slipped into those flylady routines and find that  about 15 minutes in each room every day keeps us in living in a home that is welcoming and for the most part clean.

My daily routine is such that I now feel free to focus some time on me. I get up at 7 - 7:30 a.m. and get the crew up and going. Make breakfast and get the kids fed and out the door to school by 8:15. I clean up breakfast and get laundry going. Currently laundry is a challenge since my dryer broke in the move, I do not have outside clothes lines, AND the closest laundry is 15 miles away with only 2 dryers! So I do a load or 2 each day and have laundry hanging all over the place so it can dry. I keep it out of the main living area's so folks won't see underwear on the doorknobs if they stop in, and somehow I'm keeping up. If the dryer cannot be fixed within the next week or so we'll have to buy a new one. I'm going to be starting to substitute teach at the school and will not have time to keep up with hanging each piece of laundry and finding somewhere for it to dry before I run out the door in the morning.

After clean up and laundry I get to have some quite time reading the Bible and praying followed by 30-60 minutes on the piano. Then I usually do my walking, followed by lots of water, lunch, and some time on the computer. I then do pick up and cleaning throughout the house and get dinner ready. When I start to teach I'll make use of my crock pot so dinner will be easy to pull off, and I'll have to reserve my cleaning for the days that I'm not called in to work. Thankfully the kids are learning new habits, like keeping all toys and books in the family room, keeping up with their bedrooms, making beds, etc., and helping me to keep things in order when they are home. Little clean up times here or there keep the place functional and more fun for us all!

So, there is the long and the short of it. I'm not happy about my weight, but am changing my choices so that each day will be a little better than the last. I love our new place and the routines it is allowing me to develop that are giving me the opportunity to create a peaceful welcoming home for my crew, and I'm so very thankful that God is helping me to forgive myself and move on!