My son was officially installed as the pastor of Freedom Life Church last Sunday. It was a beautiful day filled with positivity, family, and joy – and I’ve cried a ton this week in a complex mix of emotions. I feel overwhelmingly happy and sad at the same time but completely in awe of God’s plan for his life. As a mom and a realist, who has been in church leadership for a long time, I know it won’t always be easy, but we trust God will take care of them.
Our family was represented very well by my daughter-in-law’s parents and one of her brothers being there. And, of course, our oldest son and his family were there, along with my youngest sister and her family. She’s only five and a half years older than my youngest son and has been like a sister to him. She has supported him at every other milestone in his life; this was no different!
Afterward, I made the 2-hour trip to Cincinnati and spent a few days with her and her not-so-little man. He’ll turn one in a couple of weeks and has already been walking for a few months. And would you look at those cheeks – precious!
My husband lost his oldest friend this week. He had had heart issues for many years, and his heart wasn’t strong enough to get him through this last thing. These types of losses are the things that can put life into perspective in a hurry.
“The Mikes” (yep, both named Mike) had been friends since they were in the fifth grade, over 50 years. The one thing I’ll say about this guy is if he was your friend, he was your friend forever; no time or distance changed that.
We’ve always lived hundreds of miles apart, but because he had worked for the airlines, his travel benefits allowed him to be part of our boys’ lives since they were little.
Please keep his wife and daughter in your prayers as they navigate this journey. And keep Mr. Dimples in your prayers as he travels back to Florida and delivers the eulogy.
WHAT I ATE
I made a pot of this homemade vegetable soup at the end of last week. We enjoyed it for dinner, and then I froze the rest; I’ll break it out after my surgery next week.
WHAT I WORE
joggers wearing XXL (but could wear XL) || henley wearing XL in last year’s version, would wear XXL in this year’s || cardigan wearing XL; similar || booties size up
Did you see this week’s fashion post? If so, it’s no surprise that I busted out another casual, cozy chic outfit, except this time, I’m back in my favorite joggers – bonus, they have an SPF of 50. I paired it with my favorite henley and a long drapey cardigan, and when I switched out my slippers for these Vionic Shoes booties to run to the post office and Dollar General. Hey, I’m livin’ the dream around here.
WHAT I’M READING
Okay, I fell off the Lose Weight God’s Way bandwagon and have been floundering and falling back into old habits when it comes to thinking about weight loss. Maybe you do it too? The temptation to read every “Lose 80 pounds by Tuesday” magazine at the grocery checkout, look for quick fixes like Ozempic, or feel defeated and hopeless and give up.
Anyway, I’ve decided to go back to the book/devotional starting next week, but I want to try to use this method of reading and taking notes. Yes, I’m actually going to write in the book!
Although I’m not planning on it, I will lay it down if this doesn’t work and chalk it up to just not being in the headspace right now. There’s no sense in beating ourselves up and feeling like a failure – even though I feel like a failure.
I also have another plan, but I’ll address that in a separate post later. And no, it’s not weight loss surgery. 😉
WHAT INSPIRED ME
Have you heard of Allie B Stuckey? She wrote You’re Not Enough (and That’s Okay), a biblical perspective on the current culture of toxic self-love. It’s a bit repetitive, but it’s certainly worth the read.
Anyway, I follow Allie on Instagram, and this week, following the demonic entertainment of the Grammys, she posted this short snippet from her Relatable podcast. She addressed the dangers of listening to the “subtle but dangerous false teachings” of people like Jen Hatmaker and Glennon Doyle (I’d add in Rachel Hollis) versus the blatant evil being passed off as entertainment by the music industry. Oh, to have such courage!
This reminds me of an illustration our pastor has used many times.
We can easily see the one going the wrong way. Still, it’s harder to see the one slightly out of line, but over time, the one that’s askew will lead the whole pack off course, and they never saw it coming.
It reminds me how important it is to study God’s word, guard ourselves, and pray that we can discern those who are off course, the ones who are drinking “Cool” Aide and picking up the lingo and mindset of current “self-first” culture versus God’s infallible truth.
Stand firm in your faith, Sister, and have a fantastic week!
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.2 Timothy 4:3&4
They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
I am deeply sorry to hear of the loss of a good friend. Prayers of peace.
Proud of your son and the journey is embarking..no doubt he will do well..He was chosen for a reason.
Failure? For not being able to lose weight?
I am glad you a NOT considering weight loss surgery.
I work for a surgeon that performs the bariatric gastric sleeve surgery and although it has a high success rate..it comes at a cost.
Every potential patient that inquires about this surgery, I tell them this:
This is a life changing experience you must reestablish your relationship with food and everything we do is around food.
I advised them to start a diet plan such as:
Start your day and end your day with protein shake..plant based is best. The more healthy protein you eat the better.
Protein curbs cravings and prevents hair loss and low energy.
Do not eat after 7:30p
Bariatric pt’s can not eat and drink at the same time because their new very small stomach won’t tolerate it. Ever again.
No rice, white potatoes or pasta
Fruits: berries, blue,black. Watermelon cantaloupe and honeydew are loaded with water and will curb sugar cravings
Stay away from fruits that are high on the glycemic scale
And increase activity level 30 minutes everyday of huffing a puffing walking it’s a powerful exercise add weights as you get stronger.
After I tell new potential pt’s my speech
I advise them to get use to doing this because I want them to change their mindset and establish new muscle memory and habits.
I’m a very curvy fluffy Powerglass figure and in menopause so the weight doesn’t come off easily, but following this I’ve gone from 183 to 173-174lb now I’m planning on exercising more. I HAVE NO INTEREST IN WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY..OR THE NEW FAD SEMAGLUTIDE/OZEMPIC shots for weight loss.
I pray this helps some
Thanks SO much Jacquie! I’m in agreement with everything you say. I always thought that if we could do what weight loss surgery forces you to do, we’d be fine. I had a former manicure client who had gastric bypass and even though she lost weight at first, she never really changed her relationship with good so didn’t maintain the full weight loss. And yes, menopause is mischief maker for so many of us… but there are wise things to be than fluffy. 😘
Congratulations Paula, seeing your son step into his new role had to be an amazing moment. Lots of emotions I am sure but your heart had to be swelling with pride when you see how much his new community is excited to have welcome him!
I am really sorry about your husband’s friend. Losing a best friend…I can’t imagine but I know we are getting to that age where this will be happening sooner rather than later.
We never watch the award shows, I’ve heard a little buzz. I’ll say this, I sometimes wonder what would happen if artists kept the same music and beat but changed the words to be uplifting and inspiring? Love the graphic you shared, so powerful, it’s those little things that we don’t notice that over time make a big impact.
I LOVE what you’re doing with your blog! I don’t remember you saying you were having surgery! When there is a lot going on emotionally it’s not the greatest time to try to tackle weight. Just do what you can to be healthy.
Thank you Anne! That’s great advice and not unlike thoughts I’ve had myself. I like to say that there are times we need the comfort and there are worse ways to drown your sorrows than diving face first into a bag of chips. 🤣
Thanks for always cheering me on!
You’ve had a whirwind week filled with emotions on all ends of the spectrum.
What a beautiful family! All coming together to show love and support celebrating a new opportunity for your son and his family. I’m always amazed how family dynamics change and grow as we go through life. My D-I-L and S-I-L’s families just joined the nucleus of ours. It’s just a beautiful thing.
And on the flip side of adding people to love is saying goodbye to people you love. Never easy. Always sad. Loving is joyful….losing is sorrowful. Sending (((hugs)))
I’m traveling (car) next week and your OOTD has inpired me. I love my GAP tee shirts. Most of mine are ballet neck, 3/4
sleeve in different colors and stripes! I’m pulling them out of the drawer to pair with my comfy joggers and wider leg Lands End starfish pants. Going to add in a couple long cardigans and I’ll look put together no matter how numb my backside is from being in the car. LOL!
Thank you for your beautiful words, Charlene! My DIL ‘s parents are so loving and supportive and they love our son well.
I call all my gap tees, “my baby t-shirts” because they feel like a soft baby onsie. 😁 And yes, a long cardigan completes the best travel outfit.
Have a great trip!
Oh, hugs to you…what an emotional week! You have the joy of being with your family and seeing your son installed and then the death of a close friend. I’m betting you’re still reeling from both.
I am really struggling with the weight loss and just about to give up. But, I’m not going to, and I hope you find success, too! I just need to buckle down and do it instead of saying next week! I get upset with myself because two years ago I weighed 40 pounds less! Instead of stopping the eating as those first pounds crept on, I just kept eating. I am such a stress eater! I remember watching a woman on Oprah talking about weight loss surgery. She said she had to say goodby to so many foods, and I just can’t imagine that. I do know a couple of women who had it and have been very successful in keeping the weight off. But, it’s just not for me, either!
I just love your Cozy Chic look! I really need to add some longer cardigans to my closet (hahaha…where do I put them, though)!
Soup looks delicious! Don’t beat yourself up on the weight loss thing. It’s important to celebrate little successes (you started the book and plan to go back to it).
I love the diagram. It’s like that “Jesus Gets Us” movement. They want to normalize Jesus as a man who understands them in order for people to be okay with whatever life they choose. While Jesus was a man – He was also God. A God who loves us unconditionally, but will also judge our sin. Which is why He died on the cross so we could have forgiveness and eternal life instead of death like we deserve. It’s a very concerning movement. And a perfect example of “itching ears”. Our world needs God desperately! ❤️🙏🏻
Oh wow, Gina, brilliantly spoken! And it just creeps in doesn’t it, disguised as “grace”? Instead of the grace of that allows us to “sin no more”.
Thanks for the encouragement all the way around. 😘
Oh my goodness! I needed that scripture a few days ago! I was at a church leadership conference, and someone stood up and said something like “ This is what younger people want to hear, and if we are going to reach them, we need to give them that!” And every fiber of my being just screamed NO! We have to tell the truth, even if people walk away. That’s what Jesus did.
Oh my goodness, yes, some churches are beginning to take on this cancerous worldview too. It’s sneaky and disguised as love. We don’t have to apologize for the truth but I’m a firm believer that our methods should change to stay relevant to the person/community we’re reaching but the MESSAGE NEVER CHANGES!
We have to stay in the Word, so we’re not led astray too. Good for you, Julie, for having the discernment to hear the danger in that statement.