Saturday, June 30, 2007

Diet Genius

About a week back I posted on my "diet" woes. I had unexpectedly packed on a few pounds and was desperate to "unpack" them. Well, just in case you were curious about my plan of action, I'll tell ya.

I did the most incredibly unique, nearly unthought of idea.... I decided to eat less! WOW What an amazing concept! Now don't get me wrong. My first thought was to start some carb free diet, or to join some group, but atlas, my laziness won out. I just didn't "feel" like talking to a bunch of other ladies down about their weight, nor did I feel like spending mega bucks at the grocery store buying low carb items, only to have them rot in the fridge while I fell off the carb wagon .

Now before you mimic my genius, you need to know the grand total weight loss for the week. 1.4 pounds That's not 14 pounds, that's ONE POINT FOUR (the point four being vital here). OK, so it hasn't been all that effective. Still, I didn't go up AND it was pretty painless (only one salad and NO rice cakes). Plus I ate chocolate cake, a bag of Parmesan Goldfish, and a tub of chocolate ice cream (I had a bad night). So, all in all, 1.4 pounds isn't THAT bad. Only 18.6 to go (that was eighteen point six, NOT one eighty six (+: )

And exercise. I just can't force myself to do it, but I have made conscience choices to have active fun. We went swimming 3 times, and evening walks twice. Oh, and I did turn on some Tim Mcgraw and boogie with the kids.

Tonight, I'm going to put the kids to bed, bring out the Mike's lemonade, and dance with my husband under the country sky.... that's gotta burn a few calories eh! ~Karlie

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Art Of Pew Hopping And The Christian Free Loader

I've had some pretty bad church experiences.
I joined a cult a few years back. Didn't know it was a cult at first, but after a few months I was leery of the koolaid. Lesson learned. I'm carrying a bit of baggage from the experience, but I feel pretty "healed" of the situation.

Fast forward to my last church. I thought it was perfect. I read the doctrine, but failed to dig deeper, and after two years of heavy involvement, and leadership, my husband and I had to leave. There were some HUGE differences in opinion regarding some doctrine, a children's pastor who would go around saying some of the kids were possessed by demons, and we were told (and expected to live out) that family comes second, after church duties "sorry kids, I can't make dinner again, I've got to decorate the sanctuary with fake flowers ".

We tried a little start up church, but after a few weeks of debating whether women could talk in church, we high tailed it out of there.

We decided to go to the little Christian church in our tiny little town (usually we've attended in the larger town 10 miles away. The messages are good. It's a pretty geriatric crowd. I'd say 70 is the average age. The music kills me. I mean literal death in my chair every week. We just finished VBS and brought a family with us to the Sunday service (this is the big one where they try to get the members of the community who came to see there kids get their vbs awards to attend church). It was a packed house... and I had high hopes. Then the music started. They lead the entire congregation in two rounds of "Jesus Loves Me, This I know..." Our friends (who joined us for dinner after the service) said that they "never fell asleep standing up before, until today", so much for the outreach.

I told my husband a dirty secret today, "I hate church." Yes, I said it, and I meant it. I'm tired of it! I've been a Christian for about 12 years, so maybe I'm in a Christian mid life crisis, or adolescent rebellion. I know church attendance is biblical, so y'all can lecture me on my bad behavior, but it doesn't change how I feel (and sadly my husband agrees with me).
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE worship and fellowship and serving in the body, but it feels like anymore the church just sucks us dry! I am not being fed!

I think due to our plethora of bad church experiences we now suffer from Church commitment phobia, but we have a plan. Maybe not a good one, but I'm more excited about next Sunday than I've been for a long time!

We are going to a Vineyard church 40 minutes from home. We've heard the worship is the best in a 100 mile radius. After we've filled up on the Spirit we are going to fellowship with strangers. 40 miles = no commitment, no ministry obligations, no hurt feeling if we don't return. The following week, we may go back, or try another one (my husband says hopefully a church that offers free snacks). We'll be church freeloaders!
Spiritually Fat Christians!

Do I feel guilty?


I've gotta tell you, since I have been free of women's ministry, and my hubby was free of his weighty church obligations we've finally had time to reach out. Now that our evenings are not filled with pointless meetings we have had the opportunity to invite several unsaved families into our home, cook meals for families in crisis, invest our time in helping people with projects around their homes. I feel more like I'm serving in God's church than I ever felt serving in man's church. If only I could find a church that would let us serve where the spirit calls us, instead of where man calls us.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Parenting Breakthrough

Have you ever had that moment where you just "get it"? After all your struggles and prayers, you finally have a revelation in something as simple as a single scripture, or a song, or a few sentences of a book?
My oldest has always had a strong will. She is a fantastic kid, but has always questioned things... never one to accept "because I said so." As she approaches adolescence, I see her frustrations (they are often valid), and I fear she has a rebellious streak in her (gets it from her Momma).
So, here is the quote that spoke to me. Or should I say, the quote I beleive God spoke to me through!

Many rebellious kids are simply tired of life in the attic. They are tired of hiding. They are tired of the lethargy in their souls and the atrophy in their spiritual muscles. They are bored with a faith that takes no risks. They want to know either their God is big enough and powerful enough to provide safety among their enemies, or that He isn't. They especially want to see parents who claim to believe this living their lives in the face of their spiritual enemies.
~"Why Christian Kids Rebel" Dr. Tim Kimmel

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sick Of It

I'm sick of all the garbage that people tag on to God. I'm sick of legalistic, holier than thou Christians who want to claim their fear as Godliness. I'm tired of church programs that are set up to help, but instead tear down. I'm tired of hearing whining in charity, obligation in love, and self righteousness in acts. This morning I prayed "God, get rid of all the crap, I just want YOU!"
I want on my face worship. Teary, loud, crazy, unabashed WORSHIP! I want to serve my neighbor out of love... not obligation. I want to love and not judge.
I want to be real!
I slip and say bad words sometimes, and on occasion I drink wine. I loose it with my kids, and don't always submit to my husband (I want to be better, but darn it, no sense in pretending it doesn't happen). I LIKE Santa Claus, and Gwen Stephani, and I let my kids watch Pirates of The Caribbean.. ALL of them!

Some of what I said above God has convicted me about (like the husband thing, and my potty mouth (+:), but many of the others I have no Godly conviction about, and THAT is where I can be in danger of NOT being real. Do I deny these things? Wouldn't that be following others convictions, not my own? YUCK. I'm tired of it!


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Overcoming A Weakness

"Know your weaknesses, but don't be defined by them."

I lack organizational skills. It's a fact. I've tried to change it, over the years, but the reality of it creeps up time and time again.

Take my files....
I try to organize, they are indeed color coded and ready to be used, but my paper work sits in piles on top of the file cabinet.

My closet....
It was once organized by category. Pants with pants, dress shirts with dress shirts, you get the idea. Now the shirts are scattered amongst my husbands suits, and the pants are 1/2 unfolded and in the corner.

My bookshelves....
Briefly resembled order, but within a week the kids books were shoved in with the fly fishing books, and my health food books were mixed in with my Chocolate cookbooks...

My fridge....
Oh never-mind, just don't look at the date on the sour cream.

I know that I struggle in this area, but will I embrace it? Heck no. I find joy and peace in an organized home. While it doesn't come naturally, I will continue to "try" to be something I'm not.
I've found help in playing little games with myself. Flylady's timer has been great. I also try to invite guests over on a regular basis to keep things from falling too far behind.
I love it when people let me see their lack of organization... and if I really like someone... I'll show them my junk drawer "scandalous!"
What works for you? How do you keep organized? Does it come naturally? Or do you, like me have to work at it?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day Traditions

Our Father's Day tradition for the last few tears has been to go camping and fishing. My husband in an outdoor kinda guy, who has really put his hobbies on hold to raise this family. Gotta love him for it. So many men put their hobbies first. So, father's day seems like the perfect weekend to "do what daddy likes to do".
I must admit our camping has become a bit less primitive over the years. We've gone from wilderness tent camping to site tent camping, to cabins, but hey it's all the same sky.
We rented a cabin at a high desert "oasis". Spent all day Saturday swimming at a natural hot springs (with a water slide), picnicked, and looked at phetroglyphs. Then we went to eat Native American fry bread (it's like a Native American donut, YUM) After another round of swimming we had a quiet evening by the fire roasting smores. Yeah, the diet was put on hold.
Father's day we went to a gorgeous lake nestled in the canyons. It was breathtaking. We rented a pontoon boat, filled it with our lunch and our fishing poles, and spent the entire day boating, swimming in the river, and fishing. Besides a few sunburns (despite SPF 30) it was an awesome experience that convinced us we want a boat. The kids really were interested in the water boarding, etc.
So, to any of you boat owners out there. I'd love your opinions. Do you use your boat enough to make it worth it? What about water sports? Safety?
We finished our day at a trendy little water rafting town for a dinner of Garden Burgers, and ice cream. On the way out I booked a night at a resort for just my husband and I AND a white water rafting trip. He's never been, and I haven't gone since I was a teen, so I thought it would be a blast. Have any of you gone white water rafting? I'd love to hear your stories.
No pictures to share. I decided not to bring the camera this time because taking pictures sometimes feels like a chore, and without a camera, the fish are always bigger!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The "D" Word And The Curse Of The Stretchy Jeans

Usually when I've been "bad" and I start to see the negative effects of my sin... I find something to blame to ease the weight of my conscience. Today, my scape goat is stretchy jeans.

You think they are the best things ever because you can buy a size smaller than you normally wear, and when you eat far to many nachos at the boys ball game, they stretch with you as you eat! Great stuff right?

I loved those guys... I had stretchy jeans in EVERY color, stretchy Capri's, stretchy khakis, stretchy shorts, you name it.... all in sizes that make me HAPPY. Now lately my stretchy pants have been a little less stretchy and a little more snug. I'm not suprised. These last two months I've been eating quite a bit more fast food, ice cream, etc than normal. However I had no clue just how much more than normal.....

Today, I went to put on a pair of shorts I wore last summer.....

(Warning... the description that follows is graphic in nature and may not be suitable for all readers)

.....As I pulled the non stretchy denim size 8 up to my waist I could see that buttoning was going to be an issue. So, my strong willed self set out with all the determination I could muster to accomplish the impossible. I twisted and turned, prayed and swore. I fell back on my bed, kicked up my legs and chanted "I'm still a size 8... I'm still a size 8". I Sucked in, turned red and nearly passed out when finally I got those little suckers buttoned.

With great satisfaction I waddled into an upright position and looked into the mirror. All my fat was squeezed up and over my pants creating an inner tube effect around my mid section.. cute.

Off goes the non stretchy torture device, and I head off to the closet of doom to pull out my scale.

Now before I tell you my deep dark secret (my actual weight) I need to preface it with the fact that two months ago I weighed 145. On my 5'6 frame, it was about 10 more pounds than I like... but still in a healthy realm. Now as I stepped on I expected to see 149, maybe 152 (my previous all time high) but as I watched the number whirl by, it landed on... Oh God NO 157! AAAHHHH!

It is a tragic day. I have surpassed all previous records. I have officially porked up.

Well, OBVIOUSLY this is NOT acceptable, but what to do? I don't really diet, but this kind of number needs more than, "Oh, I'll cut back sugar and run a few laps". THIS my friends is serious intervention time. I guess it's time to go on a "D" word .... ugh a diet. Something with structure.

I don't know what I'm going to do yet. I'm still in that shocked place where I start convulsing ever 10 minutes or so thinking it's just a bad dream.... I'm sure reality will kick in sometime tonight and I'll cry over a pint of Jamocha Almond Fudge

I'm up for tips... name it. Welcome to my pity party.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Best Field Trip Ever... Is It Over?

Well, the kiddos are officially out of school. Our 6 week field trip to the public schools has been one of the most "growing" experiences I've had in years. I have learned so much about God and trust, fear and faith, judgment and grace.
As we end this "field trip" I stand completely torn on whether to send my children back or not.
I had set the public schools up to be such a villain, and I was quite suprised to see that they were not quite as bad as I had assumed. In fact my harsh judgment I was creating a wedge between me and the unsaved families of my community. My ability to outreach was completely crippled by my attitude.

I often write pros and cons lists to help me (along with prayer of course). Here are a few:


Kids schedule is more organized (this has been a major issue in homeschool for some of my kids who need more structure than I offer)

Kids have many friends (this will appear under the con list as well)

We have tremendous outreach opportunities

Kids are experiencing a sense of accomplishment

We are tackling issues and growing spiritually as a family

My house is SO much cleaner :+)

I never hear "Mom, I'm BORED"

I am learning to trust God and not live in fear

My kids are having an opportunity to develop interests beyond my scope, for example, who knew that my oldest who hates sports would LOVE volleyball? Or my other daughter loves the flute?

My kids are actually sharing the gospel! THAT is SO cool!


The kids are growing apart from each other

They are far too advanced for their grade (and can get a bit bored)

While there are a nice handful of Christian Kids, I find that my kids are generally unequally yoked with the majority of the kids

Our kids are having to stand up daily for their morals and beliefs (this could be a pro, but It gets exhausting for such young kids to have to do this daily... how long can they last?)

My kids ARE hearing about things I'd wrather they not.

My 11 year old daughter has been asked out by nearly every boy in her class (this bothers me a lot, but to her credit she has stood firm in her "No's" despite some ridicule)

The education is sadly lacking (although FAR better than I thought it would be)

They are picking up on some childish behaviors unique to school kids (like talking in text message! OMG that is SO annoying).

I can clearly see the influence other kids have on my children, and THAT is probably the most disturbing of all.

So, with all that said, I will be in regular prayer through out the Summer. I would hate to leave the kids who God has placed a tender spot in my heart for. Still, my children's souls are of my primary concern. I have watched such growth, and seen my kids turn to God because they finally have a reason to. That has been so fantastic for them, yet I wonder how long they can withstand the pressures of a peer group so different in moral and spiritual beliefs.
Two of my children want to go back, two do not, but while I love to hear their opinions, this is NOT their choice to make, nor is it mine. I am leaving this one up to God.
Fellow blog friends, would you pray for me? These last 6 weeks have been a God thing, a huge learning experience for me AND my children, but the school system has the potential to be a very dangerous mission field, God's hand MUST be on it..... Is it time for my little missionaries to come home???? Hoping for clarity of God's will before September! ~Karlie

Friday, June 8, 2007

It's So Good To Be Home!

I feel like I've ran a marathon! House guest are a lot of work (trying to pretend like your'e a nice person for two weeks can really wear a girl out).
We had a great visit. I think it was so good for my husband to see this part of his family again. We had a mega family reunion at our home (husband's side). It was an interesting mix of characters. 1/2 the family are Seventh Day Adventists. I got a nice lecture an my consumption of dairy products and a warning that my children's sports were straight from the Devil.... fun. All and all, it was a good visit.
We spent a few days at the beach. Something very disturbing happened. Usually when we go to the beach we hike, play in the sand, swim, and then outlet shop. Now it is normal to cater to your guests (no big hikes with an 85 and 65 year old), but my husband and I crossed the line. We became content sitting around, eating and just watching the ocean, and after our 14th quilt store and 800th knick knack store something scary kicked in. Chris started to LIKE the cute little nutcrackers, and I just had to have a mouse figurine! I HATE knick knacks and clutter, what is wrong with me? I spent $20 on a mouse with a shopping cart! Is it because I'm 30? Is my age rearing it's ugly head? Or was it my senior friends and negative peer pressure? I may never know.......