Interesting Blog Post – Click here to read

I have read a similar post before about the “last time.” That last time that your child asks you for those intimate times as a small child.  Things like, “Will you play with me?” (usually on the floor), or “Can I cuddle with you?”  Those moments where they get out of bed and run to your room because of a bad dream.  It is in those moments that, for me and my children, intimacy is built.  I get a chance to see through their eyes — to see the world as they see it.  When I play with my daughters I get to watch how they believe the world really is.  If you have ever played dolls with a little girl you will know what I mean.

thismaybethelasttime

These “last” moments are a bitter-sweet thought.  They are growing up in the Lord and I am teaching them how to be successful and healthy adults.  So these moments where they ask for the last time may signify that they are just growing up.  Or they may show that I am not putting enough into our relationship.  I know my oldest stopped asking me to do her hair because I would say, “I think I can,” as I sometimes do, only to not wake up early enough before school to do so.  She stopped asking because I wasn’t delivering.  I only found this all out one day when she exclaimed that I never do her hair because I never wake up early enough.  She sounded disappointed and upset at the situation.  I felt bad and realized that it was I who had let that fall behind.

As those moments come and go where they stop asking, I have an opportunity.  As mentioned in the post I shared, I can let those moments go and wish they would return, or I can seek out new ways of becoming a part of their lives.  I think this fork in the road determines much of the future.  I know in my personal life my mother and I did not always have a close relationship until I was an adult.  It was then that we both found a way back to each other.  I believe, if we are not careful, we can and allow our children to become distant and lose that intimate part of the relationship — that part that says, “Can I cuddle with you?” or “Will you play with me?”

But all hope is not lost if those moments slip away; sometimes without us recognizing that in our bustle and hustle of life we have allowed them to pass us by.  My mother and I are now best friends.  She said she considers me her very best friend, which is an honor I am grateful for.  So to those parents (Dad’s have these moments, too) who have lost that time be it naturally or due to busyness remember this:  it is NEVER too late to cultivate relationship with your child.

May God bless you this day and every day!

Super Mama
Maggie

friendshipisnot

I love the song sang by  a music group called Acappella, “Friends are Friend forever.”  I doubt it was written by them, but I love the A Capella version.  It is so beautiful.  The general message of the song is that Friends are Friends Forever “if the Lord is the Lord of them.”  Such a sweet thought.  But shouldn’t we make the most of our friendships while on earth as well?

I have so many FB friends…. how much do each of them really mean to me?  Do I call you?  Do we chat on a semi-regular basis aside from the sharing of posts back and forth?  Do I do more than just read your page every once in a while?  Or do I just read the news feed and see your post… or not?  When was the last time we at least shared a personal message thread?

I believe friends can be friends forever, and I also believe that what we do NOW counts.  We can allow relationships to deteriorate and fall apart.  Or we can work at them and enjoy them as they flourish into intimate relationships.

Today I found out that a friend of mine recently died suddenly due to unknown causes.  I cried for three reasons when I found out.  One because the lovely lady, Wendy, has gone on to Heaven to be with the Lord and sadly left behind many friends, loved ones and a husband and children.  I cried because I too have lost my sister who sadly left behind her four children and loving husband and I know what that loss is like — what it is like to lose someone you love.  And I have seen how it has effected my dear, sweet nieces who loved their mother very much.

And I also cried because I had let her go a long time ago.  When was the last time I SPOKE to Wendy?  I mean really spoke?  We were friends at camp when I was 15 or so.  She was a joy to be around but I never really tried to get as close to her as I could have.  We did not share an intimate relationship.  I would call her a friend, not an acquaintance, but we could have been closer if only I had put in the effort.

So with all the social media that begs the question, what about people who have more than 300 “friends” on Facebook?  I know I have exactly 418.  I have “cleaned out” my Facebook before, deleting people who I knew only by mutual friend and we’ve never actually communicated.  Some of them I had never even gone to their wall to see what was up.  Those are “FB acquaintances” and IMHO perhaps they should be deleted.  But my mother calls her FB a ministry…  She prays for her FB friends and hopes that her communication with them, even if it is only through them browsing HER wall from time to time, might bring them to God or draw them closer to Him.  So should we keep every FB “friend?”  I leave that judgement up to you.

Wendy will always be in my heart and I look forward to spending Eternity with her singing (she had an amazing voice), laughing and loving each other.  But somewhere inside I know that on this earth I could have done better.  I could have done better. I didn’t.  I never called.  Goodness I didn’t even have her phone number for the past several years.  I only saw her at camp when I visited and that has been several years.  So really we just had a Facebook relationship at this point.  To me that is letting her down…. letting our relationship deteriorate because of MY lack of effort.

Friends are friends forever, but only if we make it that way.  We can let friends drift away from us.  It starts slowly, creeps in.  Less seeing each other, less talking on the phone or in person.  Then one day you may realize you haven’t gotten together in a while and perhaps you do, or perhaps don’t.  Sometimes all it takes is a move to a far away place, say from Texas to Oregon (or the other way around, both of which I have done).  I have people in Oregon that I still call friends and whom I enjoy watching their life on FB, but I haven’t spoken to them, even in a personal message, in a long, long time.  I am letting those relationships deteriorate from a more intimate relationship to more of an acquaintance… or perhaps them not even counting me as a friend at all.

I must put an aside her about acquaintances.  There is something to be said for having them.  There are several different kinds of relationships and not every relationship has to be super intimate.  My MIL has acquaintances everywhere she goes, or perhaps some of them could be called friends.  She knows the names of the workers at the places she frequents.  She calls them by name and even knows some details about their life, such as their mother’s failing health, and from time-to-time may ask them about it.  Are these relationships meaningless or pointless?  Should we eliminate all contact from people (on FB or otherwise) who aren’t intimate friends?  That is not what I am saying here.  I am simply making the point that you get out of something what you put into it.  My MIL has worked at these relationships, starting with learning their name by face, not by name tag.  The relationship can progress into something more, or not, but either way these relationships mean something.  I have noticed that if I just remember someone’s name, call them by name and say “Hi,” and ask them how they are doing it brightens their day.  …For a moment or perhaps the feeling lasts all day but isn’t that “Hi” worth the effort?

My whole point as I write at 4:30 in the morning is this: Work at a relationship when it matters to you and don’t let friends slip out of your hands.  You never know when tragedy will hit.  Not to be depressing or anything, but death comes to our door often without notice.  When it knocks, who knows how many people will regret not calling, writing, or reaching out to that friend.  Make not that mistake.  Avoid regrets in your relationships — this goes for all relationships.  Reach out to those you care about and to those you love and let them know you care.  IF you have like 300 FB friends, consider either “weeding them out” and/or contacting one a day and just expressing your feelings for them.  One a day is 365 people a year.

Lastly, if you have lost someone and you know you didn’t reach out to them as you should have, forgive yourself.  While I regret not being closer to Wendy like I would have enjoyed, I will not spend my time regretting it.  I will spend my memories of her with gratitude that I knew her at all, ever, and that she counted me among her friends.  May she rest in peace and may her friends and loved ones find a little peace and comfort today and every day until they meet her again.

God bless you as you build your relationships.  May they be everlasting and may you cherish them always.

Supera Matris
~Maggie

I found myself standing on the side-lines. I had spent so much time and hard work losing weight — out on the field working my butt off (literally). I had friends and loved ones cheering me on.  I lost 45 lbs in a short period of time (I don’t remember how long it took me); it was an amazing feat for me.

But then time went by and LIFE HAPPENED! BOOM! CRASH! BANG! and… Whoops… I found myself on the side-lines, not cheering others on, but stress eating, a habit which I thought I had broken.  I found myself gaining weight again — something I can TEACH others how NOT to do! I KNOW how to keep weight off!  So why did I get up to 220 lbs — the biggest I had ever been? Because I let life kick me to the side-lines. I let life take me over.  I allowed myself to get knocked down and I didn’t pick myself back up… for a long time.

It was 2010 that I weighed 165 lbs. I felt so good about myself. Not because I felt small but because I had done something I felt was impossible for me.  I had lost the weight that I did not like about myself.  I finally liked who I saw in the mirror.

Now here I am again, on the field, working hard, playing hard and BACK ON MY FEET! I will not let life knock me down this time. I stand tall, feeling encouraged (by my husband especially). My strong desire to do more with my life pushes me forward! I want to mountain climb first of all. Yes I do! I want to hike… often. I want to run and run and not feel like I am going to pass out — or worse, feel like everything is jiggling like a bowl of jello!! (It is embarrassing!)

I started at 220 about eight months ago.  This is my story.  (Yes it is a bit long-winded.)

***Disclaimer:  Everyone’s body is different and some people are perfectly happy with voluptuous bodies.  Wherever you are in your journey with your body is your personal story.  This is my story.  I am not intending to put down anyone else who happens to weigh 220 lbs and be 5′ 9″ like I did.  If you like you then GREAT.  I was dissatisfied with what I saw in my mirror.  Plus everyone carries weight differently.  One woman can weight 220 and believe that she carries  it in all the “right places” so to speak, while another woman carries it in all the areas she wishes she could shrink.  I was the latter.  And I am working on being healthy.***

I was always an emotional eater.  Comfort food is defined for me as every meal I sit down to eat — I need comfort daily!  I have also been a stress eater.  Ice cream gets to me — then it sticks to me!  I cannot keep any more around than I am willing to eat in one sitting.  Praise God for those new tiny ice creams that are itty-bitty.  I also struggle with eating too much.  Who doesnt, right?  It is challenging to stop myself when the food tastes so good!!!  I just want more and more and more and more and then I get on the scale and I want to jump off and throw it away!  I like to eat but I hate to feel…. so… big.  It is really just where I carry my weight.  All my weight is on my butt and my thighs.  They used to be called “thunder thighs” (probably because they make noise when I run).  Gross.  TMI maybe…

I don’t mean to be degregating about my body.  There are things I love about it.  I love my eyes.  I love my hair.  I love my lips.  I generally love my face overall.  I love my waist.  I have a little waist no matter how big my rear end gets.  I just want to be smaller.  But I digress…

Where was I?  I am in the field. Right…  I started again.  I did the same program — Take Shape for LIFE — because it worked  for me before!  I lost 45 lbs last time and would have lost it faster if I hadn’t “cheated.”  That is was the problem when I recently when on my program.  I kept running to the side-lines not for a drink of water like I should but for like… oh say a bit too much cheese.  Cheese is all fine and good but too much of it will keep you from losing weight.  I felt like I couldn’t stop cheating.  A bit of cheese here, too much high-fat dressing there… I mean there are a lot of little ways to go “off program.”  It throws a kink in the works and then the weight doesn’t come off quickly (like 2-5 lbs a week vs 1 – 2 lbs a week).  I wanted to lose it as fast as I can while still being healthy.

Well I DID IT!  I lost 30 lbs in 8 months.  It felt like forever and yes it took longer than 2 – 5 lbs a week.  I lost about 1 lb a week on adverage.  That is because I cheated a LOT.  This program works so well and I felt like a bit of a failure because it took me so long to lose the weight.  But I did lose it…. so that is really what matters.  I feel encouraged when I look in the mirror.

But I am not finished yet.  Now to KEEP IT OFF!!  I am walking at least 3 times a week.  I want to get to where I can run but I do still have a bit of thunder thighs.

Apologies if this bores you.  I just felt compelled to share why I have been on such a great program for so long 30 lbs.  This program can help you lose 2 – 5 lbs a week.  That is 8 to 20 lbs a month.  I aim to be on the 20 lbs a month range but I’ve only lost 10 lbs a month or less.  I feel like I want to be some poster child for this program but I can’t be if I cannot stop eating unhealthy.

So today I say STOP!  It is okay to eat unhealthy high-fat foods occasionally.  It is the habits — what I do all the time — that makes up my health.  It adds up.  One of the points of this program is to train yourself to have Healthier Habits for LIFE.  The goal of this program that I am on (and I teach) is to retrain your mind and body so that when the weight comes off you can keep it off foreverThat is the biggest problem of any “diet” out there…. Almost ALL of them can help you lose the weight.  Some may help you keep it off for a while, but not without cutting certain foods out forever.  This program teaches you how to eat what you want, in moderation, so the weight never comes back.  And when I say in moderation some of you are like, “yeah, okay.  So one bite of ice cream…”  No, not just one bite but also not the whole pint like you might be doing now!!

So I am working on healthy habits.  Walking, for example.  Then I will work on running.  Studies show that a person ages faster and has a generally lower quality of life when they are sedentary.  It’s challenging because I have a sedentary job.  I work at a desk most of my day.  But my snacks are healthy so that helps.  I do get up and move as often as I can.  But my real goal is to move more when I am not at work.  Oh and dancing is a GREAT way to lose weight or keep weight off.  It burns a lot of calories and is FUN! 😀

Anyways… I just wanted to share my story.  People have been noticing my weight loss and now that I am in more of a maintenance mode I wanted to share how I got here.  I do still want to tone my legs and rear, but that comes with harder work.  I could have continued the weight-loss portion of the program and lost more weight but Presten is getting rotund and its time for him to lose his weight.  So I transitioned into maintenance and here I am: 180ish lbs (I fluctuate), down from 220.  YAY! 😀

I do hold myself up to high standards.  There is another blog post for me…. Standards.  Keep your eyes open for that one coming up in my Re-Defined theme.

Keep pressing on.

Super Mama

Here I am again feeling like a failure as a mom because my house is a mess, my kids don’t brush their teeth as often as they should (sometimes not even once a day), they leave home with their hair in a tizzy looking like a ragamuffin, and working full time now I just cannot keep up with anything at home.  I am certain many of you can relate.  Sometimes I feel scared I am raising my kids wrong.  Not just because of those little things, but because of bigger things.  I look in the mirror too much – staring at my imperfections hoping they will just poof away some day.  I don’t want them having that horrible problem.  I want them to know they are beautiful without arrogance and feel beautiful inside and out.  But that means I must model it for them.  Oh some days I feel like a terrible model for my children!  But that is every mom, every dad, every person.  We all have our days where we just screw up and have to start over fresh the next day…  Am I a failure as a mom when I mess up?  Am I a failure because I just don’t do it all correctly every day?  Will my kids turn out okay despite my mistakes?

What defines a failure (as a person, mom or dad)?failure vs success3 ww

The English dictionary says failure is (emphasis added),

1.  an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success (Hey I thought you couldn’t use the word to define the word!?)

2. nonperformance of something due, required, or expected

3. a subnormal quantity or quality; an insufficiency

4. deterioration or decay, especially of vigor, strength

I included them all because they all say something a little different but in reality they are all the same.  We expect something from ourselves and we fail ourselves; or that is what we sometimes believe: "I have failed".

But I agree with Thomas Edison:

failure vs success1

I believe that when we fail, it is only true failure if we give up – stop believing in yourself or your goal, to stop hoping, to just plain stop working toward your dreams.  The act of not getting back up once we have fallen is to fail.  When we get up, brush ourselves off and keep pushing on that is the movement toward success.

So what, then is success?

Success is defined as:

1.  the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

2.  a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors (again using the word to define the word!)

3.  a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.

They all say similar things – the achievement or accomplishment of one’s goals.  So in my case success would be achieving my goals as a parent.  This, however, requires that I have goals.  I do not believe that success as a parent is to raise a perfect, well-balanced adult.  There are so many factors that go into raising a child, to a teenager, to a young adult, to an adult.  The older they get the more others have influence over them.  Therefore I have landmark goals.  I desire for my children to grow up to become Christian adults who devote themselves to God the Father in Heaven and follow the Holy Bible as it is written.  This requires I model what a Christian adult is, as well as teach them now while they are young about the scriptures, as well as other similar tasks.  Another goal I have for my children is that they love themselves.  Not in some narcissistic way, or with arrogance; but rather in a true loving way where they both recognize their faults and appreciate their beauty and goodness.  This is important to me because I struggle with this myself.  I love myself but I have my days where I don’t like myself at all.  I can be very derogatory toward myself.  But I work hard to be positive around the kids and to help them see that Mommy does love herself, even if she has bad days.

sumofexperience

So as they grow they will change to be some adult I did not make them into.  They will become individuals somewhere along the way – each day becoming more and more like who they are meant to be.  My adult child making poor choices does not define me.  An adult has the ability to choose their own path.  So once they “leave the nest” our job changes; it is up to them to fail or succeed.  I am not there yet but I asked my Mom what she considered her job to be now that I am an adult. She said:

To be available for communication, be supportive, encourage, lift up when my child is down, to provide emotional support.  And when things get tough, maybe my child even does something “bad,” the job goes on to be the same and to express extreme love to your child, despite the situation.

In the end, my hope for my children is that when they are all grown up, they will look back and see that the mistakes I made were just that – mistakes.  Not some vendetta to ruin their lives.  And that they will eventually become well-rounded, balanced adults.  Who knows?  Maybe one of my kids will do something that changes the world.  But just existing and doing anything changes the world around them because everything would be different if one person was missing.

Let me leave you with this:

failure vs success2

Keep pressing on.

Super Mama Maggie

“Hey let’s get together soon!”
”Yeah, let’s do that.  I will find some time this week.”

I will clean the house when I find some time.  I will ___ (fill in the blank) when I find some time.

Ever had some sort of situation like that.  Is finding time is much like weight loss?  We hope to lose weight.  We try to lose weight but really without a plan we will never lose much weight. Finding time, like weight loss, doesn’t happen by accident.

There is no such thing is finding time.

find-time-make-time

Hope I didn’t burst your bubble.  Mine was burst this morning when a dear friend in Christ passed away.  I had spent the past four weeks trying to “find time” to go visit her.  She was on hospice, which of course means she didn’t have much time left.  How could I not MAKE TIME for such a dear woman?  Now she is gone and I wont see her until I am gone. I feel sad and frustrated with myself about this. Sad smile

We must make time for what really matters to us.  What if that had been my grandmother?  I am always trying to find time to call or write her. She doesn’t email much so I have to write her real letters to get to her; so of course I have to find time to do that.  What is wrong with me that I cannot grasp the concept of making time for these important things?

maketime2

Wouldn’t it be nice if it was that easy?

I wont blame anyone else for my issue.  I look for time all over the place but never find “extra time.”  Time is like money, when you have more it is rarely “extra.”  So I will stop right now.  When a friend says “let’s get together,” I will say “when?” instead of “soon” or the terribly untrue phrase about finding time.  When something comes up that matters to me I will stop putting it off and make time for it – put it on my calendar right then.

…Of course this means I have to use my calendar.

Do you have this problem?  Will you commit to stop trying to find extra time that rarely comes around and just start making time for what really matters to you?

recycletime

So lets get to it!  Start making time for what matters!

 

Ephesians 5:15-17

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because these days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

~Supera Matris

 

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I share my life with the big wide world; my life as a mom, a wife and a Christian. I work to have original content that is deeper than you might expect but still enjoyable to read.

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