Welcome to Our Journey of Faith. My blog is a place where I share the joys and trials of living a faith-filled life as the mother of an extra large (12 children) homeschooling family, and my prayer is that it brings encouragement to others to live their lives as an adventure of faith, as well.
Hosanna (14) has had much fun borrowing my Nikon D70 the past few months, as she saves money to buy her own Nikon DSL.
She took some great pictures of Hannah and the bridesmaids getting ready for The Wedding. (I wasn't there for the Getting Ready. I was decorating the wedding hall ... driving props to the photo shoot ... shuffling cars ... and then getting myself ready.)
Ben just pointed out to me that there are only 168 hours total in 7 days, which left him only 64 hours NOT at work ... to eat, sleep, run a 5k, go to the mall, go to church, work his lawn care jobs, etc...
Kati and Carissa * 8 am - Midnight (16 hrs.) both days.
Ben * Noon - 1:00 am (13 hrs.) both days.
Mama is so THANKFUL that her kids are able to work.
But, Mama is always glad when Berry Season is over ...
and Mama gets to park her taxi for awhile.
The Taxi service is more expensive this year because not only are gas prices high, but since Kati and Carissa have Mama's good-gas-mileage-car ... Mama is driving the Monster Van every day. So sad. We have 2 dead good-gas-mileage-cars sitting in the driveway, with no money to fix them or insure them. Ugh!
*** Oh Dear! Sunday's Schedule just got CRAZY!!! ***
Papa has to take the good-gas-mileage-car to an out-of-town painting job (which is the only vehicle that Kati drives). Therefore, Mama gets to drive the Big Girls tomorrow, as well.
1:30 am * Mama just got home from Picking Up Ben
8:15 am * Mama will drive Kati & Carissa to Berry Farm
The past 4 months have NOT been good for the "Takin' Care of Mama Challenge". (see archives)
Last Fall, I had done so well to lose 30 pounds in 4 months.
Then came the marriage crisis ... and the pregnancy ... and the miscarriage. But, even with all of those, I was just up and down 5 pounds. No. Big. Deal.
However, the past 4 months have added just one stress after another. For Mama ... stress = emotional eating (and not really caring about the word "diet").
I didn't have the emotional energy to even think about dieting ... or writing down everything I eat ... or exercising ... Nope. Didn't happen. I didn't even step on the scales for a couple of months. I knew that I didn't want to see what was happening.
A month or so ago, I told myself that I REALLY needed to start making better eating choices. So, I stocked up on yogurt and cottage cheese. I ate my fruits and veggies. I did pretty well with my breakfast and lunch choices. But ... I didn't really care about what (or how much) I ate for dinner.
With all of the extra stress in my life, I didn't have the energy to even THINK about what I should be eating ... making separate meals ... etc... I knew that what I really needed was an actual diet that told me what to eat all day long. But, I didn't have the energy to even find one.
A big problem I have with diets that tell me what I can and cannot eat, is that usually over half of the meals are things that I really DON'T LIKE. Those diets don't work too well.
A month or so ago (while doing my best with my yogurt and cottage cheese) I actually found a "Yogurt-Based" Diet. Seriously?!?! I was intrigued ... but not enough to put it into practice.
Then ... last weekend ... just 2 weeks before Cassie's wedding (and the dreaded Mother-of-the-Bride dress) ... I stepped on the scale. Oh. My. No. I was heartbroken. I had allowed myself to gain back 15 of the 30 pounds that I had lost.
I knew I had to do something FAST if I was even going to feel comfortable as the mother-of-the-bride. So, I dug out the old magazine with the Yogurt Diet, and thought, "I could do this." "I actually LIKE everything on the diet."
I started the diet on Monday ... and by this morning (Friday) had lost 5.5 pounds. Woo Hoo!!! Doin' the Happy Dance!!!
Right now, I really need a list of what to eat (so that I don't even have to think about it), with enough variety that I'm not eating the same thing every day for every meal. And ... this one works for me!
I am eating 4-5 times per day ... with a total calorie count of 1100-1250 per day. My "Mini Meals" keep me full throughout the day.
While the magazine touts this diet as a Two-Week JumpStart type of diet ... I really don't see anything wrong with staying on it. I'm eating low-fat dairy, fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein (chicken or ground turkey) ... every day. I can't think of any important nutrients that I'm missing.
All-Bran Cereal 1% Milk
6 oz. Light Peach Yogurt (I usually add Flax, but was out and about this morning.)
As one of the two "Daily Extras", this diet actually lists:
I cup fat-free milk with fat-free low-sugar chocolate syrup.
(I use 1% milk and sugar-free syrup.)
I add espresso, sugar-free flavor and ice ...
and a Mama's Mocha I may have.
Tuna Salad w/
lettuce, tomato, carrots, mushrooms, red peppers, and water chestnuts.
For the dressing, I used 6 oz. Greek Yogurt (2x the protein) mixed with a bit of Onion Soup Mix. (Other days, I make a Taco Salad w/ ground turkey and then make "dressing" out of 6 oz. Greek Yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup Salsa. Oh. My. Yummm.)
Late Night Snack:
100 cal. Light Mocha Ice Cream
Total Calories: 1,065 (which is a bit low, but I am seriously NOT HUNGRY enough to eat anything else tonight).
Nope. I do NOT feel deprived today. Not. One. Bit.
Here are a few things this diet touts as beneficial for a yogurt-based diet:
#1 Dairy fights hunger. Dairy protein is very good at making us feel satisfied.
#2 Dairy speeds the breakdown of fat. Milk, yogurt and cheese are the richest dietary sources of the amino acid leucine ... which sends signals to increase the release of fat from fat cells.
#3 Dairy blocks calories. Calcium binds to some of the fat in our intestines, resulting in a decrease in fat absorption.
#4 Dairy protects your heart.
#5 Dairy fights diabetes.
#6 Dairy cuts the risk of some types of cancer.
Just thought I'd let you know that I am getting Back On Track with my Takin' Care of Mama Challenge. Now ... I just need to get back up on the treadmill.
"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)
I didn't want to read any further. Really. I have read this verse MANY times over the years. I have rejoiced over this verse. I have been given HOPE by this verse. But ... not today ... not this week. No. I really did NOT want to even go there.
Just being honest with you now.
I am TIRED of suffering.
My endurance has ... just. plain. run. out. I feel like I have been running a marathon for the past 7 months and I keep getting told that the finish line is "just around the corner". But. It's not there. I can't see the finish line. I have lost hope for a finish line. I can't imagine that this race has an end.
I won't go into details, but the suffering is much bigger than "just the marriage crisis" ... which was big enough on its own. I really did not need more stress piled on top.
But ... in the past 2 weeks ...
... I have been verbally attacked (twice).
... I have been lied about.
... I have been gossiped about.
... I have been misunderstood.
I don't know how to respond anymore.
I can hardly stop the tears.
I don't have the energy to defend myself any longer.
Many days ...
I just want to quit.
I want to walk out.
I want to drive off into the sunset.
Have you ever felt like that?
Have you ever wanted to just run away?
I'm just telling you how I feel some days.
The Lord has been near.
He has dried my tears.
He has brought comfort in my darkest nights.
But, I am not yet at the point of "rejoicing in my sufferings". No.
Why can't the Lord teach me endurance without sufferings?
Why can't the Lord build character without endurance?
Why can't the Lord give hope without building character?
He can. Of course.
The Lord can do anything ... any way He chooses.
Yet. This is His choice.
I must rest in His assurance that there will be a finish line.
I must cling to the knowledge that He will give me hope.
I must learn to be thankful that He chooses to build my character.
I must ask Him to give me the endurance I need to make it through the sufferings.
Thanks, Jessica, for reminding me tonight of this verse ... even though it was TOUGH to read (and re-read and re-read and process). I KNOW that the Lord told you to write it for ME ... even if you didn't know who you were writing it for.
I'm going to write this verse out ... and place it in strategic places where I will see it throughout the day. I NEED to be reminded of HIS purpose in my suffering. I need to TRUST Him to give me endurance, to build my character, and to give me HOPE.
How about you?
Are you suffering?
Are you in need of endurance?
Have you lost hope?
I pray that this verse has ministered to you, as it did to me tonight.
*** Don't Miss Yesterday's Post About"A Job Possibility For Papa".Please keep that in your prayers. It is really our first glimpse of HOPE after 7 months of unemployment, temporary jobs, painting jobs, etc... ***
Please PRAY for a job possibility for Papa that we just found out about.
It is for a Middle School Math Teacher (which he has 15+ years experience in) ... at a school that Papa worked at for 5 years (1999 - 2004).
He would be Team Teaching ... with his best friend.
He only left the school back in 2004 because of the amazing opportunity that we had to create and direct the alternative school for homeschoolers. He had really enjoyed working there for 5 years, and would LOVE to be back on staff.
PRAYING that this is what the LORD has planned for Papa.