Archive for March, 2012

Offer Up Everything

If you are coming here to get a consistent stream of thought on one topic, you will be sadly disappointed.  Sometimes it’s sadly disjointed.   I jump from food and fitness to bible stuff and a-day-in-the-life-of Cari photo commentaries on a daily basis.  Who can keep up?!  It’s my life and I barely keep up with it.

In keeping with that idea, today I’m exploring the idea of offering up EVERYTHING as an offering to God.

Romans 12:1,2 says “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (New Living Translation)

The Message Bible says it like this: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.”

Your everyday, ordinary life.  An offering.  So everything I do, work, work out, sleeping, eating, every interaction, is an offering to God.  From experience, I’ll tell you what that means to me.  Part of that is just being mindful of my relationship with God ALL day, during ALL parts of my day.  and  I have to avoid compartmentalizing.  “this is God time” and “this is ME time” –these 2 thoughts should never co-exist.  and I should avoid justifying…”I spent a lot of time with God this morning, so it’s ok to watch Jersey Shore later today”—uh…no.

I’m not good at this. I fail everyday. But my love for God and my desire to please Him brings me back every time I stray.  The rest of the verse says:

Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Amen to all that.

Working Out with Intention

To avoid getting bored when I work out, I’m always looking for something new to do and I like to have some specific plan or program to follow. There  is no random, willy-nilly-ness to my exercise routine.  I told you a little about that last year, here…wait, 2 years ago…wow, time flies.   For example, since we are attending the midnight Hunger Games premiere this week, today we (me and my workout buds–all teenaged girls, btw!) started a “Hunger Games Inspired” workout.   It was really tough, and now I’m pretty sure if I was thrown into an arena with people who wanted to kill me I wouldn’t be the first to go, so that’s a relief.

2 weeks ago I found  “Lose a size in 2 weeks” plan and dove right in.  It was tough–6 day/week cardio and alternating strength workouts.  The results are in as of this morning and I have lost ***drumroll please*** 1 pound!  1.  One.  Yep…1.   Now, I know that the pounds on the scale are NOT the end all when we are talking about getting fit….”muscle weighs more than fat, blah blah”.  I measure myself regularly too, and I did lose almost a whole inch in my hips, so that’s good….nothing anywhere else, except maybe my fingers—my wedding ring is annoyingly loose now.

Next week, I’m sure I’ll be on to something new–I already have some ideas in mind.  More and more I’m believing that “exercise” has become a lifestyle habit, and not just something I do for a little while like in the past.  But, I’m always on guard for the waning interest that has been the norm in the past…

Emotions-Can You Fake ’em?

Use the corresponding face for the corresponding emotion.” Meg Ryan in that movie where she goes to Paris to chase after her ex-fiancé.

I’m one of those people who you can read like a book. If I’m happy, you’ll know it. If I’m confused, it’s written all over my face. If I’m mad, oh yeah, you’ll know it. That’s a good thing, right? I’m true. I’m real. I’m authentic. I’m transparent.

But I think it’s not always good. I know that sometimes when I’m angry–just for illustration purposes, let’s say I’m mad at my teenaged son–it does NOT help the situation for me to show anger. It communicates disapproval and disappointment. Which maybe I am, but my feelings are not the issue that needs to be dealt with or focused on. I read this several weeks ago and it stuck with me, even though I’m having trouble putting it into practice.

The anger of a parent confronted with a child’s poor choice shifts the focus from the child’s bad behavior to the parent’s angry response. Replace anger with empathy and see what happens. Responding to disobedience with empathy rather than anger is difficult, but the reward is great.

from Day 3 of the Parenting by Design devo on YouVersion.

Right. Empathy. Right. So….how exactly does that look?!

Mom: Well, hello, son. I see you are 20 minutes later than you said you’d be.

Son: Oh…sorry.

Mom (Option 1): Sorry?!? You’re sorry!?! You better be because I’ve been sitting here waiting and now I’m going to be really tired tomorrow! You bet you’re sorry, because now you’re grounded!!

Mom (Option 2): I can see that. I’m sorry that you couldn’t make it when we asked. Next time you go out you will have to make up that time. You’ll have to come home 20 minutes earlier than normal.

Yeah, I can see that would be a better response for parents who set firm rules and consequences (which we SUCK at). And also I know that…

human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:20 NIV)

Now I just have to figure out how to either not be mad–or hide it convincingly. Probably the former is more effective, although more difficult to achieve. Only complete reliance on God can bring about a miracle of this magnitude.

Fitness motivation–I’ve got it!

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

I saw this on pinterest….I joined just for the fitness motivation, but have gotten sucked in beyond that.  But, I do LOVE the “fitness motivation” page.   It has these little sayings–often paired with motivating pictures…like a woman with really flat abs, or a toned back…you get the idea–and it took me a while to realize these are linked to articles about how to look like that.  I also found some great recipes for healthy alternatives like Chocolate Protein Muffins!  I tried these and they are delicious!

“This is not magic.  It’s science.  You get out what you put in”

Amen to that!

But my current favorite…haha!

“The best ab workout is walking; walking away from the kitchen.

I googled “estimate body fat %age” and found that my body fat is “acceptable”, but oh so close to “fitness”!  I know I have ab muscles, but they are still hidden under a little chub.  Dang it, I want to SEE them!!

I need to:  “Find my comfort zone, then leave it!”   and again remember… “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”!!

Only 2 more days on the “Lose 1 size in 2 weeks” program.    I know you can’t wait to hear the results!!


It was Friday again

It was Friday again.   Happens every week, I suppose. And it’s my only full day off work.   It’s also that special day I get to spend with Cameron.  I’m soooo glad we pulled her out of public school.  She’s 15 and time is racing by.   She’s happy.  She’s learning. and she’s a part of a great group of kids.  and most importantly, her relationship with Christ is growing and thriving.

Enough of that. Here’s another glimpse into the mundane, with a splash of … well… ordinary.

First a trip to the gym with Cameron and Abbs.  We are doing a program we found on Pinterest called “Lose a Size in 2 weeks”.  Riiiiight.  Really, I just wanted a change in my exercise routine. And I’m not gonna lie, the thought of losing that last 5 lbs was creeping at the edges of my brain.  I’ll let you know next week if it worked—although it’s probably for people who have more to lose than we do.  If nothing else, we are learning some great core and strength moves to add to our repertoire.  Here we are getting ready to do the “strength training A” exercises (cardio already finished up!).


Cameron and I went back to the zoo to take a few more pictures.  She’s looking for a picture to blow up and hang in her room.  Here’s one I took of the Redbud’s blooming.  It was a gorgeous day and there was hardly anyone at the zoo.  I took a picture of myself again (right before my haircut, of course).





A quick trip out to Pop’s for a bottle of Pepsi–original glass bottle for Cory’s birthday.  If you’ve never been to Pop’s it’s worth a stop next time you’re in the area.  100’s of different kinds of bottled soda and the best onion rings in the state!  and this really cool landmark–a giant soda bottle–that lights up at night!!  It’s a little ways out of town up route 66, but I like the drive.  I actually left Edmond twice today and I didn’t get lost once–well sort of…but I made it!


Who doesn’t love the fabulous Chick Fil A chargrilled chicken sandwich sans bread for lunch??  Delicious. Delicious protein.



I wanna talk about running, but I don’t really know what to say.   I run.  I like it.  The solitude.  The freedom.  The movement. The sense of accomplishment.  The adrenaline that produces a sense of euphoria–like everything is right with the world.  It’s my alone time–my time to think, pray, or just clear my head.

I’m not fast, but I don’t care.  I have run in a few 5K races, but just to stay motivated.  I have no intention of ever winning–although if I could find a race of  mostly sedentary senior citizens, I might be able to best them. 😉

One 20 minute run burns approximately the same amount of calories as a serving of Twizzlers.  (Unfortunately,  I never eat just one “serving” of Twizzlers–one “bag” maybe…)

Here’s what I imagine I look like when I run~~

This is probably closer to the why I really look–haha!  jk. I don’t look like Homer Simpson.  At least I hope not.

If I’m being completely honest, I don’t always love it.  Sometimes it’s hard and I have to force myself to start…or keep going.  It’s a mental game.   “to the end of the block”…”five more minutes”….”I said I was running 3 miles, so I HAVE to run 3 miles”…etc.  But I have seen the rewards–the weight loss, the muscle tone, the increased energy, so I KNOW it is worth it.  I KNOW it without a doubt in my mind, so I push forward.  I will never quit.  Never!

Sweet bondage

I was re reading some of my earlier posts about being “free” from the need for sweets and junk food.   Wow, that seems like a lifetime ago.   I regret to inform the concerned public, that I’m back in bondage. sort of.

I decided to take advantage of Lent season and “give up” something.  It’s not the same as a fast, is it?  I don’t know. Maybe if the outcome is the same.  Lent is a time to prepare your heart for Easter with reflection, repentance, and prayer.  The focus is not on depriving yourself of something ,though, as much as it is on devoting yourself to God and his purposes.

So, I’m giving up 2 things–seems like the same 2 things I always have to “give up” when I’m needing a spiritual boost…my 2 biggest vices.  Watching tv/movies on my mobile device, and sweets.

The first 3 days were torturous.  As I look back, though, things had gotten WAAAAY out of hand.   Candy, cupcakes, milkshakes…with reckless abandon.   I have no self control apparently.  No self moderation.  I’m disgusting.  And as for the other vice, let’s just say that any “spare” time, was filled.

Now I’m on day 11.  and I’ve cheated…not on the watching, but on the eating.   I think self-control is a myth.  What’s better?  oooooo, it feels like I know the answer to this question, but have, somehow, forgotten it.  What works better than self control?  Is there a better alternative? Is it the “self” or the “control” that needs to change?

As with all of the other times, I hope this temporary deprivation creates a habit–a new reality where I embrace moderation in everything— except my time with God.   Because I need God in large doses–His power, His wisdom, His peace.  Without Him I am a total wreck.   May I be a slave to Christ only.

Putting a face with a name

My friend and cousin (cousin/friend?) has a blog with a weekly post of snapshots of her kids, pets, etc. It’s nice to have a visual picture-especially for a person who is a visual learner like me. And…I just like pictures.

So, at the risk of becoming an over sharer (and a bit narcissistic), I’m gonna share pics today. Watch out though, it may be pretty random.

Today is my day off, but I got up early anyway. Nothing keeps me from the gym…not even a really bad hair day–and a vicious gray streak down the middle of my head. OH my….I can NOT believe I’m posting that picture, but I did leave the house like that, so I guess the whole www isn’t a big stretch.


Here’s a close up of my phone case. It’s so pretty.


Then when I got home I broke up a fight. Hutch and Sammie (Hutch currently has the upper hand in this shot) “play” like this ALL DAY. It’s enough to drive a person batty.


I took this kid to school because he’s currently grounded from his car.   That’s ok, though, I’m thankful for the extra time with him.  And he doesn’t look too upset about being grounded, does he?   Geez, I love that boy a lot.


I took my now homeschooled girl to the zoo so she could take some pictures.  We’ll call that photography class.  I only took one really bad picture of a giraffe and the rest of the pictures I took were of trees.  and Cameron.  and 2 dead animals–they were “food” in enclosures.  gross.  But anyway, I LOVE trees.


Here she is trying desperately to get the wolves to cooperate for their close up. Wolves are her favorite animals. She’s using the new telephoto lens she bought with her Christmas money.  I LOVE this girl.


We went to the zoo with Cameron’s friend, Abbey and her mom and brother.  They have been friends since they were 4.  I love these girls.  and Abbey just happens to be one of the girls that I mentor.  She’s just precious.


So, that’s it.  For today anyway.  I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.