Monday, April 27, 2015

Tim Hawkins Picked On Me!

This weekend my husband and I went to see the Christian comedian Tim Hawkins.

I hadn't laughed that hard in ages, and Tim really blessed me in so many unexpected ways- including picking on me during his show because I laughed too loud.

Really loud. So loud that I was making others laugh! 

Throughout the show he kept mock-glaring at me and on one occasion, threatened me with his flute. I responded by laughing harder, and yelling "WOO!" every time he did something wonderful- which was often. One point he played the intro to "Yoga Pants" one of my favorite songs of his, and he heard me exclaim "Yay!" to my husband- he hesitated for a second to give me another penetrating look before resuming his song. 

I loved every minute of his show, including the friendly teasing.

During the intermission, I bought a T-shirt of the Christian cuss words. Why? Because he used one that I suggested when he asked for 'clean cuss words' on Facebook- "Son of a motherless goat" is on the bottom of the shirt- is that awesome or what?

But the best part came afterwards. We had a VIP pass to meet Tim face to face. I wish it was longer than the minute allowed, but we got some great shots of the three of us, and he was happy to answer my questions. Super-duper nice guy. 
I suggested a funny face pic, and he said he made one the first time- but the second one we all made a face- and he chuckled when he saw my "bunny teeth" face.

A pivotal moment people- I made a professional comedian laugh.

I so desperately want to do what he does! 

If I ever managed to get on stage, I'd need a mop. Several of them in fact. I also don't play an instrument, but karaoke music might do the trick. I dream of doing shows with Tim Hawkins, Ken Davis, and Taylor Mason. I think about skits, parodies and funny poems all the time
I also have nightmares that I'm a shaking, stuttering mess standing in my own puddle on stage getting no reaction from the crowd. Comedy, thou art a double-edged sword.

I asked if I could send him a sample of my parodies- and he surprised me by saying yes. I can't tell you how twitterpated I am! Now if I can just stop shaking long enough to video one, I might be on my way to stardom...
...even if it's in my own head.

If you haven't seen Tim or any of the other comedians, do it. It's so worth the money. Besides, as Christians we have to keep clean humor alive. God loves to hear us laugh- even those who laugh a little too loud.

Tim Hawkins, thank you for making me laugh until I cried. Thank you for inspiring me to work towards a long desired dream. And thanks for the warm hug and funny faced pictures. You blessed me more than you know. May God bless you in unexpected and wonderful ways!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Prayer Power!

When you ask God for something, prepare to be amazed! When He decides to answer, you might not be ready for it.

I prayed last week to be sent work so I could earn some extra money at home. I was checking my Etsy store (crafts) my emails (writing) and my Facebook page (odd jobs) hoping for something though those venues.

An offer was on my Facebook page, but on my personal one, not my professional one. A new found friend whom i tried to help out a while back, but couldn't. But apparently he could help me.
"I just saw your post about face painting. I didn't know you did that! I have a place you might be able to go."
That lead to a comic book store promotion and landed me a face-painting job where I can charge for my services outside of their store. Awesome!

But that was just the beginning.

I got a phone call from a friend I hadn't heard from in ages.

"Can you do such-and-such craft for my employer? By Wednesday? He needs fifteen of them, and he'll send the supplies."
Well that was fantastic since I couldn't buy anything at this point. "Sure! Bring it over and I'll have a look and I'll brainstorm ideas."
Fifteen was more like seventeen, and he wanted a lot of detail work. The price I quoted originally was on the low side for my friend, but it would cover something I needed to get this week, so all was well with the world. It's a lot of work, but I'd do my best for her- and him. I told her what was going on. She smiled and nodded.
"I'll talk to him and see what I can do."
I smiled. "You can, but let God do the talking. My quote is still valid, but since he sent more that we agreed on, I'd appreciate it if he could cover the extra work. Just don't tell me what he said- let God surprise me later...okay?"
She agreed, and I got to work. 
I'm working for what I quoted. It was something I prayed for, and got it. Yes, there was a little extra work involved, but I was okay with that. Even if the guy doesn't give the extra, God would bless me anyway. Two unusual customers in a week? God was good.
That's when the phone rang again.
Another friend, "Hi- can you fix a few seams for me? I need the holes sewn and reinforced before a trip- I love these pants!" I laughed and told her to bring them over. She's picking them up today.

Yes, the work is sporadic and sometimes small. But every drop in the bucket helps. God blessed me with a lot of skills, and i enjoy using them and doing something different each day.

But it does make me wonder what He has in store for tomorrow!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weightloss Wonders

It all started when I saw a nutritionist. If she'd tried to throw me into what I'm currently doing almost a year and a half ago, I would've walked out after the first appointment. But she was a subtle and wonderfully sneaky woman, so she made small suggestions here and there that didn't make me arch and hiss in protest. (Hmm...maybe I've been around the cats too long?)

Basically I was eating too much. Well duh, I knew that, but I was eating good stuff because take-out was just too expensive! Okay, not everything was wholesome, but on the average I was eating better than most people my weight.

Breakfast consisted of three eggs with spinach and tomatoes, and two slices of good ol' American cheese- with a side of three strips of bacon. This is about a 600 calorie breakfast. She showed me that if I just take away one egg, one slice of cheese and one slice of bacon, I could cut off about 200 calories and not suffer a great loss in flavor. So I did. Just changing breakfast helped me lose a little, and we made small changes throughout the year this way.

Get rid of the chips. Eat veggies or fruit for a snack. Eat with smaller plates and bowls. Cut dinner portions in half if having them for lunch (we eat a lot of leftovers here). Commit to walking around the block. Now walk for twenty minutes. Now thirty. And bit by bit, I was losing weight. I lost fourteen pounds in a year that way. Little changes can be good, but I got complacent and the weight started going back up.

After a three pound gain, she suggested what I'm doing now- 1500 calories a day. The only stipulation I made was that I not eat any "diet" foods (no non-fat/sugar/whatever flavorless wonders that cost a fortune), and she said that as long as I logged everything, stayed within the calorie range and mainly ate good food like veggies, fruits and lean meats, she was fine with that. I'm now starting week thirteen and am thirty-eight pounds lighter!

Had you asked me a year ago if I would do this, you'd hear a big, resounding NO as I crunched on a large bag of chips. Now I can still have chips if I want (because I don't deny myself anything), but instead of telling "I can't eat that" i say "it's not worth the calories". The craving goes away after I choose not to eat it! And when it doesn't? I dole out one portion and enjoy the heck out of it.

Since I started this new eating lifestyle (not a diet, because diets don't work), I've had chocolate, jellybeans, Cadbury eggs, more jellybeans, cake, and pie. I've had chips and fried food, french fries and take-out. Not every day- just when I truly wanted it. Some days I planned ahead for the extra calories and some days I totally blew off the day. Some days I've had more than 1500 calories, some days I had less. But it was all real food. No powders, shakes, premade frozen meals or mixes. She gave me enough advice to help me do it on my own.

That is HUGE, people (please forgive the pun!) I had to learn that I could do this myself, because other people aren't putting food in my mouth. I am. Learning control was hard, but after the first week, it got a lot easier. Thirteen weeks later, it's a habit. No more excuses.

My house has very little processed foods. Portions are controlled (at least mine are, but I'm teaching my family as well.) We brew homemade iced tea with very little sugar in it (1/2 - 3/4 cup per gallon). There's still work to do, and I want to get my family involved before my kids go down the same road I did when I was their age. 

I started at 335 pounds. I'm now a svelte 297 pounds. I conquered my first goal of being under 300 for the first time in years. My next goal is 250. Eventually I want to get down to 160, and for the first time ever, I feel I can get there- and that, my Dear Readers, is an awesome feeling!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Bible- Then and Now

If Jesus had come now instead of 'way back when', He might have had to do things a little differently....

"She's a virgin? Yeah, right. Lets do a physical and DNA tests and see who the real father is."

Jesus' parents wouldn't have had to go all the way back to town- they could have just called Him on their cell phones! "Get Your butt out of there and back with us! Who do You think You are? God?"

"Are You telling me that if I don't cry out, the rocks will?  Wait! Let me get my phone..." *points the phone towards the rocks* "...okay- GO!"

"What do you mean, sacrifice the best? That's good meat right there! You can have the odd bits and entrails...I'm having steak!"

"Moses did what? Let's figure out how he's doing it!" They send a team of oceanography geeks onto the dry path. "Hold that water just a few more minutes Moses! We've collected almost all the data!"

Instead of a donkey, Jesus would probably be in a beat up old hoopty-doo that backfired.

"Hold on Jesus...if You're going forty days in the wilderness- strap this webcam to Your head so we can see what happens...This is going to make a great reality show!"

Documentary teams would pepper an entire crowd with cameras and tech to see how the bread and fishes multiplied. And those people in the front? "Hey! How did those guys in the back get their fill? I had a little taste because there wasn't much in the basket! Hand that over- I'm hungry!"

Instead of thirty pieces of silver, Judas might have signed on for book and movie rights.

Stormchasers would have had a field day on the day of His crucifixion- how did the weather change so fast? And the medical experts would wonder how a man could go through so much and still manage to shout "It is finished!" when 'normal' people being crucified would barely be able to breathe!

Cameras would've been installed inside and outside of the cave, not only to see how He 'escaped', but who was the accomplice that removed the stone!

We were a skeptical people back then, and even more so now, thanks to techo-gadgets and scientific wizardry. It makes you wonder- how would God have handled things if He had His Son come down now, instead of back then?


Monday, March 30, 2015

God's Colon

During one Women's Fellowship meeting, the question arose- what part are you in the body of God?

After reading all of the answers, God's body wound up having three ears, five legs, one foot and twelve hands- not exactly the epitome of beauty. But who wants to be God's elbow? Or His pinkie? 

And who would ever want to be His colon?

No one wants to talk about it, but if we didn't have this handy little organ, all of us would be full of...well, you get the idea. And though Christians don't like to compare themselves to God's digestive tract, some of us actually do what this necessary organ does.

Congregants that don't put up with anyone'

Pastors help us go through the junky stuff in our lives and help us find the nutrients we need to thrive.

Administrators rifle through paperwork and unclog the finances to keep things running smooth in the church.

Congregants with discernment can sense when someone is 'causing a blockage' and isn't afraid to say so. Not always the best way to go, but sometimes laxatives are needed when there's a hold-up in ministry. The congregant has a choice though- go directly to the person (if it's personal), or go to a Deacon (if it's a management issue).

Maybe it's the person who took on too much and can't say no, but also can't handle the job. Maybe someone is just too shy and needs a little encouragement. Maybe someone needs ideas to kick-start a ministry and get things going. That's where the Deacons come in. They help others to progress, giving them a push in the right direction.

Not everyone is suited to be God's colon. Not everyone wants to be God's colon! But God made all of our parts to work as a whole. The stomach can't work without a colon. The heart can't work without the colon and stomach. Muscles don't work without nutrients. Yes, it's a messy organ. But it's vital to the health and well-being of the entire body.

After all, How can God's body work with three ears, five legs, one foot and twelve hands- and no colon? 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hot Flash News Flash

Spring has sprung,
The grass has riz,
I wonder where
My hot flash is?

I've spoken to a lot of women over the winter and heard many say the same thing. "Wow this winter, my hot flashes were gone!"

No, they weren't ladies- don't let the winter weather fool you! I know what really happened.

We still had hot flashes- they were just disguised as being comfortable. The temperatures were so cold, that when the hot flashes happened, we stopped freezing to death and just felt...warm.

And in the winter, warm is good.

Now the temperatures are rising and I'm not sleeping in a cold room, I had to tear the covers from my steaming form more than once during the night. The cool air felt wonderful, and I was able to get back to sleep- until the hot flash ended and I had to cover myself up again, lest I become an ice cube.

Hot flashes didn't come back- they never left. We were just too cold to notice them.

Pretty soon we'll have to break out the marshmallows and weenies so the kids can have a cookout over my head, but until then, I'm going to enjoy the cooler weather while I still can.

I just hope I don't wake my husband with my "Blanket Toss Olympics" every night!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Let Him Go, Let It Go!

Sometimes moms have to use Tough Love.
For us, it was getting my seventeen year-old son with Aspergers up for school. Three of us are early birds, but my son is the only night owl. Getting him up is harder than waking a anesthetized sloth in the middle of hibernation.

We had a sit-down talk after a solid week of me getting him up more than three times a morning, each day yelling at him to get going, to the point that I was still shaking with shattered nerves a good half-hour after he left for school.

I warned my son that he needs to start getting up on his own and out the door on time for school.
I warned him that I wasn't waking him after his sister initially does every morning.
I warned him that I wasn't yelling at him to get up anymore.
I warned him that he had to get all of his chores done before he went to school, late or not.
I warned him again about everything above.
I warned him that I wasn't going into a panic attack because he was late for school ever again.
I warned him that I wasn't getting in the way of the consequences concerning lateness at the school.

The next morning, he got up. 

He didn't do any of his chores- and it was five minutes past his time to be out the door.
When he finally came down, I told him calmly that he had to get his chores done, and listed them (that morning was trash day- and he missed it last week.)

After trying to argue, I reminded him of our talk. He got to work and did the chores.
He told me he was praying that the buses were late (he walks) so that he wouldn't get into trouble. "Trouble" is a detention.
Then he figured that since he talks to the detention teacher after school every day anyway, it would just count against his detention- no harm, no foul. 

Think again, son.

When he left, I called the school. The teacher he talks to was teaching class- oh right- my son was running very late and just left the house. I told the receptionist (who also knows my son well) what happened and what he thinks is going to happen. I found out that the detention teacher is not in charge of the detentions- the Dean of Students is. And the receptionist wouldn't let him get away that easily. She would make sure he knew that. 
I hung up the phone smiling.

I love this school!

I'm not happy that he was late (I get panicky when we are late for anything), but I'm done trying to motivate and protect my seventeen year-old from himself- let the lad get in trouble for once- it's all on him this time.
For the first time in forever I wasn't a nervous wreck from all the stress!

He was late twice that week, and served out his detentions. One or two more and he's been warned that suspension is eminent- and I let him know if that happens, he'll be dealing with me for those five days. An angry me with a chore agenda that would tire out the Energizer Bunny.

Guess who's up early this morning?