Free at last

Image 1

I am free 

like a bird 

flying high I soar 

because I’m not

weighed down 

anymore 

the chains

broke 

the shackles

fell 

and I am feeling- 

pretty swell 

because you see- 

I am finally 

free

New Year’s Eve marked the one year anniversary that I began following the Trim Healthy Mama plan. It has been a year of food freedom for me- but so much more than that!  For years I have been a slave to counting calories- how many calories I consume at each meal and how many calories I burn at each workout.  Even on the days when I would “take a break”… I would still keep a running tab in my head.

And the worst part of it all?  None of that effort made any difference!  No matter how much I worked out, no matter how carefully I watched my calorie intake- I couldn’t lose a pound to save my life!!  For years I felt defeated and discouraged.  My body hurt all the time and I had no energy.

I have my friend, Natalee to thank for introducing me to the Trim Healthy Mama plan.  Just give it a try, she told me.  So I began reading about it and checking out recipes on Pinterest.  I started looking for ways to make the things I already eat fit in with the program. And the great things is that I have found ways to eat everything I love!

For all of 2017, I have not counted a single calorie! That is a miracle for me!  And I have worked out less this past year than I have in the last 15 years!  And praise the Lord- at 40,  I feel better than ever!  I have lost 35 pounds over this past year and I have gained so much more-

-balance 

-food freedom 

-freedom from the scale 

-self confidence

Thank God Almighty-  I am free at last!!

 

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.  John 8:36 

fullsizeoutput_2592

 

 

 

Steadfast I Walk

every day’s 

another battle 

trying my best 

staying in that saddle 

everywhere I look I see

another roadblock staring at me 

but steadfast I walk with You

I will not be moved 

even though I might be shaken 

I will trust in you 

I’ll never be forsaken 

even when I cannot see 

keep me on the path 

in front of me 

steadfast I walk with You 

even when it seems 

like nothings changing 

help me stay the course 

never wavering 

doesn’t matter how fast the pace 

slow and steady wins the race 

steadfast I walk with You  

I wrote the song Steadfast recently as I prayed for the Lord to help me keep my eyes on Him.  It’s not always easy to stay on the right path because there is temptation all around us.  As most of you know that are reading this- one of my biggest temptations is food.

I have always wanted a healthy relationship with food.  I wish I didn’t have to think about it, but unfortunately we HAVE to eat every day, so there’s no avoiding that one!  And even though I make good choices, for years I have seen no physical changes- despite calorie counting and exercising.  I loathe counting calories, and I have done it for years.  Even the days when I didn’t actually record my calories, I would still keep a running tally in my head.

But today I am praising the Lord and giving Him VICTORY for FREEDOM from this struggle.  It has been since New Year’s Eve- almost 2 months now that I have finally found something that is working for me!  It’s called Trim Healthy Mama and heres’s a link to their website- http://www.trimhealthymama.com.  It’s not a “diet”- it’s a different way of eating for life.  And PRAISE THE LORD- I have found food freedom! No more counting, no more thinking of food as a reward or punishment…just sticking to the plan and focusing on Him!

So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.  John 8:36

Don’t let the good stuff pass you by

IMG_1064

savor each moment

don’t let the good stuff pass by

take joy in small things!! 

We met for a quick lunch date today to celebrate our 19th  wedding anniversary.  I can’t believe how fast the years are going by.  I got married at 19… and now have been married for half of my life.  And it has definitely been the best half 🙂

I thought I knew what I wanted to order, but then my hubby suggested we get the crab dip and pita chips.

I admit- part of me wanted to object, because I have been trying to stay away from bread and carbs- but I obliged.

And they were the absolute best pita chips I have ever had.  Hands down.  And the dip was absolutely amazing!!  Babe- I’m so glad you love food as much as I do I told him as we enjoyed the feast laid out before us.

IMG_1066

Afterwards, we went to get coffee.  I usually order something completely boring.  No sugar, hold the whip cream.  The barista usually comments that I am no fun because of it.

Not today.

Hubby said get what you love today.  As I took the first sip of my iced caramel macchiato, I took in a huge swirl of caramel syrup.  My eyes were as big as saucers- oh.  my.  goodness… this is the best thing I have tasted in forever- I told my husband.

He smiled and gave me some great advice-

don’t let the good stuff pass you by.  

IMG_1067

And as he said that, God flashed before me all the good stuff I have to be thankful for.  There is so much good- far too much for me to ever dwell on anything else.  I am so grateful for my husband and for how different we are- how we perfectly compliment each other.

He is the peanut butter to my jelly.  The yin to my yang.  He is my lobster.

He is good stuff.

Today was a great reminder to appreciate all the good stuff in life… it’s there in abundance if we open our eyes, focus on Him at all times,  and take it in.

like bread

and caramel syrup 

and marriage

God is good and I am blessed! 

IMG_1074

Taste and see…

Image 3

I witnessed the sweetest showing of love the other night.

There is something so primal about food.  We need it.  We want it.  And we want our “fair” share of it.

In our home, all these feelings are ramped up when it comes to dessert.

My girls always want things to be fair and equal- especially when it comes to food.  I don’t blame them- I remember feeling that same way as a kid.  When we divide a large slice of pizza, there is an all out war on which side is the bigger one, and which daughter will get it.

IMG_1756

Taste and see that the Lord is good- Psalm 34:8

I can’t tell you the number of times I have gone to get my “fair share” of ice cream, only to find that someone had already finished off the carton.  Worst. Night. Ever.

The other night, my youngest ran to the fridge and grabbed an ice cream sandwich, which quickly reminded my older one that she, too, must have her equal portion of goodness.

I watched her open the freezer door, and then she came and knelt down beside me in the living room.

“Mom, can I make popcorn instead?”

“Aren’t there any ice cream sandwiches left, honey?” I asked her.

“Yes…but only one.  I want to save it for Daddy.  I don’t want him to be sad.”

It really was such a small gesture- that meant something so big.  Isn’t that what love is all about?  Her desire was not to please herself, but to make her Daddy happy.  And the thought of making her Daddy happy meant so much more to her than the momentary pleasure of indulging in dessert.

And she did it without a second thought.

When my husband came home, I shared with him how she saved the ice cream sandwich for him. I watched as he took it out of the freezer and broke it in half to share with her.

I didn’t get an ice cream sandwich that night- but watching those little moments of love were sweet to my soul! The Lord’s goodness far outweighs the sweetness any dessert could ever give me!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26

I Need More Coffee!!! Thoughts and a song on Isaiah 55

 

Deutsch: Dunkin Donuts in Berlin

Is anyone thirsty?

 Come and drink—
  even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—
  it’s all free!  

Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?

 Why pay for food that does you no good?

Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
  You will enjoy the finest food.

Isaiah 55

I rue the day that Dunkin Donuts came to my neighborhood!  I literally pass it multiple times a day– every time I enter or exit my neighborhood.  It calls my name- “Julieeeeeeee- you need more coffee!!!!”  And if there is any truth to the saying “You are what you eat” – then I surely expect to turn into a pumpkin from all the pumpkin coffee I drink!!!

It’s not the donuts that I am drawn to- it is the rich, decadent, hot (or sometimes iced) coffee that “calls” me.  It is the irresistibly quick “pick-me-up” that allows me to be a little extra cheery for the girls when they come home from school- that quick burst of energy that enables me to do chores at super-human speed – that’s what I love most!

But then the inevitable happens- I crash… hard! I.can.not.hold.my.eyes.open.  And I’m grumpy.  Real grumpy.

So, one day I was sitting in the line at DD, patiently waiting for my afternoon cup of joe and it was taking a little longer than usual.  No worries.  I actually had my Bible sitting there in the seat beside me.  Not a bad driving companion, eh?  Well, I figured I might as well spend my time wisely.  I opened it up and out jumps Isaiah 55.

Is anyone thirsty, come and drink– well, sure I am…  I’m waiting for my coffee right now!!

Even if you have no money- it’s all free–  well, you got me there.  This is definitely not free and it adds up when I do it several times a week…

Why do you spend your money on the food that does not give you strength?- ok- you got me there too.  I know that I don’t really need this coffee. And yes, the energy is good, but it is only temporary.

Listen to me and you will see what is good–  Alright, Lord.  I hear you loud and clear today. I need to turn to You and Your strength- and indulge a little less.

I got my coffee and prayed about His Living Word that spoke to me in the drive-thru.  I made the long drive home (just kidding… it’s like a 30 second drive) and vowed to drink a little less joe and to feast a little more on His Word.  I sat down at my piano and I put the scripture to song….