Sunday, October 7, 2012

Joy

Helllooooo Friends!

I am writing on a bit of a natural high as I just watched the end of the Colts vs. Packers game....can you say AWESOME!  Luck and Wayne had it going on and I was about to come out of my chair when Luck ran for that first down!! Way to go boys in blue...and PINK~!  I LOVED seeing all of those men in pink out there today:)  Definitely praying for Coach Pagano and his family, too.

I cannot believe it has been an entire month since I blogged! Life has been crazy busy......as I know it has been for most of you. Davison's regular season football is now over...ended yesterday with a loss in the post-season tournament.  He has been asked to play all-stars, though and we are looking forward to that.  Can you believe he had fourteen tackles one game?? It was awesome! Davison also turned 10 during my blogging hiatus.  Yep the big "you're now in the double digits" birthday.  We celebrated in true Wagner style with friends, food, and a sleepover.  So bittersweet to have a 10 year old and a 16 year old.  Austin's high school team ended their season yesterday as well with a loss to Avon in the championship sectional game.  He will have a short break and then club soccer will begin.  They are both great boys and we are super proud of them!

Over the last year or so, I have noticed that I have this wonderful sense of peace and calmness that seems to transcend whatever situation I'm in/emotions I may be experiencing at any given point in time.  I had noticed the change, but last weekend a light bulb went off and I now know that this "feeling" that I am talking about is JOY!  You see, I have struggled with depression (sometimes worse than others:) for years....honestly, I think it's been there most of my life....even throughout the majority of my "growing up" years.  Don't get me wrong, I have truly enjoyed life and am beyond thankful for pharmaceuticals; (unlike some popular celebrities, I believe some of us just need a little help to keep our moods even....it's not wrong, weak, or evil!) but, there has just been a "switch" for me over the last year or so.  The long and short of it is this....we had some new neighbors move in a few years ago and it was intense for quite awhile! There were things said to Dennis and I that attacked our character and our parenting.  Looking back, this, combined with that darn Sheila, really sent me into a tailspin!  I found myself "hiding" out in our home and questioning so much!!  It was during this time that I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and I was, physically and mentally, in a really bad place.  After much prayer, I decided to "shake the dust off my feet" and truly hand the whole situation over to God.  The rest is history...Glory be!!  I'm not saying that I don't have my moments and that it has been easy, but I cannot and will not allow how others choose to see me and my family to dictate who we are and what we do.  I just asked God to change my heart, to give me peace in the situation (in my life!), and to guide me.....and I asked it over and over and over and over (you get the picture:) again.

So this lightbulb I was talking about.....at the church house last Sunday, our minister was talking about JOY.  I took a LOT of notes!  Here are a few *key point*:

1) Joy is NOT happiness
2) Happiness is a result of our circumstances
3) Joy transcends our circumstances
4) Joy is a choice that we make
5) Joy is not a feeling
6) Happiness is NOT a biblical trait
7) Our JOY cannot be based on anything this world offers
8) Our JOY ultimately rests in the salvation we have in Jesus Christ

One of the things he talked about during this sermon was food....can you believe it???  He talked about what a big role food plays in our lives as Americans.  When we are celebrating something, we eat.  When we are mourning, we eat. Happy? EAT! Sad? EAT! Having friends over? EAT! SO TRUE!!  One thing that he said that really hit home for me was this: "Food is a happiness trigger, but it's not a joy trigger." Right?!?!  While I am indulging in very little food since my surgery, I still have JOY!!  Romans 14: 17 says, "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." YES!!

Another one of the verses that he listed for us last Sunday was James 1:2-4, it says: "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." All through that experience with our neighbors, Dennis and I kept talking about how there was a lesson in it for us...that God was working on us.  Yup~!  Is God working on me as I continue on this journey that I'm on? Uh...YUP!!  It's not easy....remember these two things 1) He never promised us a rose garden 2) Joy is NOT happiness.  He did promise us Joy, but we have to be aware of where that joy comes from (see 7 and 8 above:) and be making the efffort to focus there and not on circumstances and "things." Difficult? YES!!

I am very "happy" with how things have been going for me since my surgery on July 16th.  I am officially down 70 pounds and have only missed four days of exercise since my surgery.  I have actually graduated from wogging to a VERY SLOW jog.  Honestly, this is the first time in my life that I have "jogged" and it feels pretty good.  I hit my personal best of 50 minutes today.  A big change for me is that I no longer have that voice in my head telling me that I "can't" do it....now I'm thinking, I've come this far, I can do fifty more steps, I can do five more minutes, I can jog instead of walking....Another thing about jogging is that I am not as successful at it when I am trying to do it without listening to music.  I have developed a pretty good playlist of songs for jogging....here are some  of the songs on that list: Ready to Run (Dixie Chics), Free to Be Me (Francesca Battistelli), Gotta Get Thru This (Daniel Bedingfield), My Body (Young the Giant), Home (Phillip Phillips), Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5), Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison), Don't Cha (Pussy Cat Dolls), Hey, Soul Sister (Train), We are Young (Fun), Rock That Body (Black Eyed Peas), If Looks Could Kill (Heart), and Punching Bag (Josh Turner).  It seems like they each motivate me in their own little way when I'm out trying to get this thing done...some more of a comic relief than a motivator, but it all works out:)

Have a blessed week, my friends!
Peace,
K

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."  Galatians 5:22-26




Friday, September 7, 2012

Dance!


This one really hit home!  Still working on it.  The funny thing is, I don't think we REALLY know how others see us, as people just don't seem to be super honest with their feelings these days.  So thankful for family and good friends.  The greatest comfort is in knowing that I was created in HIS image and He thinks I'm pretty awesome.  That puts a smile on my face and a skip in my heart!!  Have a great weekend...DANCE!!!

Peace,
K

Monday, September 3, 2012

Undo the Lies


Isn't this perfect for us??  When we do this, Sheila LOSES!!
Peace,
K

Time to ZIPLINE!!

Happy Labor Day!
I'm super happy on this Labor Day, as I am not working!! Yay! We don't have anything planned really....the rain has put a bit of a damper on any outside activities, so we are currently hunkered down inside.  Seriously considering my first day back in the gym, though.  Hopefully we will come up with something else to do, as well.

When I went to my pre-surgery class at St. Vincent's, one of the things that they told us was to set up certain points at which we would reward ourselves for our weightloss....something that WAS NOT food:)  I set up two rewards (I know, lame), one at 50 pounds lost and one at 100 pounds lost....I'm just not that creative, I guess.  Any ideas to add more rewards in for myself? If you know me, you know that I am all about celebrating:)

So, the good news today is that I have reached my first "reward goal!"  When I stepped on the scale this morning, I was SO happy to see that I have now officially lost 52 pounds!  The "reward" that I set for myself for a 50 pound loss was to go ziplining.  I'm super excited to do something that I haven't had the nerve to try before.  Anyone want to join me?  I'm thinking Brown County...the leaves should be starting to change soon...

Over the years, I I have dreamt of flying....a lot, although over the past few years these have slowed quite a bit.  Dreaming of flying has always been a strangly pleasant experience.  Maybe because of the whole being "weightless" thing:)  I was thinking about these dreams while considering the ziplining reward and decided to do a little research on what dreams about flying might mean.  This is what I found:


At one time or another, most people will have a dreamed about flying. In fact, flying dreams are one of the most commonly reported dream experiences. They can also be one of the most exciting dreams.
Flying dreams and the ability to control flight represent the dreamer’s personal sense of power. Many dreamers describe the ability to fly as exhilarating, joyful, and liberating. And they leave the dreamer with a great sense of freedom and feelings that they have no boundaries about what they can accomplish.

Wilkerson says that some of these explanations include Freud's idea that flying dreams reconstruct the joy of being tossed around as a child by adults; Alan Hobson's theory that it is the result of neuron firings from the brain stem; and Walter Bonime's thought that it represents the person's desire to flee responsibility and limitations of nature.
 
"In flying dreams, people are most likely flying away from danger, flying to make new discovery, or flying to demonstrate new skill," said Tahnee Kinsman, sleep researcher for the Australian Institute of Sport.

“The limitations of dream flight and its relationship to psychological limitations are open to interpretation,” said Kinsman. However, he indicated that flying dreams typically reflect an individual’s personality, behavior, and psychological patterns.
Flying with ease and enjoying the scene and landscape below suggests being on top of a situation or rising above something, according to DreamMoods.com. It may also mean the dreamer is trying to get a different perspective on a problem.

Difficulty staying in flight indicates a lack of control in a situation—especially if the dreamer is struggling to stay aloft and on course, DreamMoods.com indicates. Things like power lines, trees, or mountains may further obstruct flight, and probably represent a particular obstacle or person who is standing in the way in waking life. However, it may also indicate the dreamer’s lack of confidence. Further, fear of flying or flying too high suggests fear of challenges and success.

“Whatever the flying dream, the timing of the dream is likely to signify mental recovery and the realization of a learning experience,” Kinsman explained, adding, “They usually follow episodes of depression or intense periods in your life. Even when the dream flight is to escape danger it shows that an individual’s psychological state is improving, demonstrating that he or she has found a solution and are dealing with a change in life.”
 

 
Crazy stuff!  Who knows why we have dreams of flying, but I rather like the part where it says "they leave the dreamer with a great sense of freedom and feelings that they have no boundaries about what they can accomplish."  I want that feeling all of the time!! I'm hoping that as I continue to work on improving my inner self, losing weight, exercising, and trusting that God has a plan beyond my understanding for my life, that I will experience that sense of freedom and a life without boundaries more and more!!  I'm ready to FLY people!!

Have a blessed holiday (if you are lucky enough to have the day off work) with your families/friends....isn't that what this life is all about??

Peace,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Love This!


I just saw this on one of my friends walls on facebook and I thought it was so good!  This is one of my "things".....there are those people who draw their strength by sucking it out of you....Life Suckers OR Sheilas!!

Peace,
K

There's Been More Wogging!

WOW! That was quite a break from blogging! My mother sweetly mentioned to me yesterday that she is missing my blog updates and a dear sweet friend mentioned the same thing to me last week....so, I thought I would sit down on this "rainy" Saturday and give a few updates on my journey.

Top Seven Things That Have Kept Me Too Busy to Blog Over the Last Two Weeks

1.  Dennis went to India. That's right....Dennis was gone for about 11 days on a work trip to India.  His absence automatically makes me BUSY!!  Dennis is super involved with the boys, especially on the days I work. On those days he makes sure the boys get where they need to go in the morning and then again in the evening.  Without him here, that job is all mine!  I am super thankful for friends who step up and lovingly help me out while he is away.  I couldn't do it without them!!

2.  I went to Culver!!  This is an annual trip that I take with my girlfriends from work.  This was the thirteenth year that we all met at the target on North Michigan on a Friday morning and made the two hour drive to Culver, Indiana to spend time on the lake and at the "lakehouse" talking, laughing, crying, eating, etc.  This year was particularly special to us as we had lots of things happen in our lives over the last year....some super exciting and others scary, sad, and frustrating.  Whether exciting, scary, happy, sad....all of these events are life changing and I love that this particular group of women is supportive of one another always and constantly looking on the brighter side of life experiences.  I cannot express my gratitude to God enough for placing all of them in my life.  I have learned immeasureable truths about others and about myself through experiencing life with them over the last fifteen years. 

My mom came to stay with the boys so I could go on this trip with my peeps....I am blessed to have a mom who loves hanging out with my boys and who is willing to do just about anything for me!

3.  I Worked.  I have to admit, those twelve hour days are really getting to be difficult!  I worked three of them while Dennis was away, got to leave early one additional day because it wasn't busy and the boys were home along (thank you to those who made that possible:), and my girl Tammi came in to work my last four hours for me on Thursday so that I could go to Austin's soccer match. Thanks, Tammi....love ya!  Somehow I managed to be scheduled to work a lot of the days that Austin has soccer games this year and it KILLS me to miss games. (That may be a tad dramatic, but I really do hate missing anything the boys are doing.)

4.  The Boys Had Games/Practices, etc.  As I mentioned before, Dennis does a lot of the "running" with the boys in the evenings.  Getting them to practices (or making sure someone gets them there and home again) eats up a lot of time.  Then there are the games, which I love!  I am so happy that they both enjoy participating in sports....I'm really not sure what Dennis and I will do for entertainment when our boys are grown and out of the house:) 

You know, there was a time when I was barely twenty-one and was told by the surgeon who had removed my cancerous thyroid and nineteen cancerous lymphnodes the day before that I would likely never have children.  I was, needless to say, devestated.  The fact that God blessed me with Austin and Davison (and my baby angel Benjamin:) still rocks my world and I can think of NOTHING I would rather spend my time doing that carting them around.  I have found that car time is great bonding time....I mean, you have a captive audience and they can't go anywhere!  Austin and I have some of our best conversations in the car and Davison and I are developing that same "tradition." 

5.  Laundry!!  Seriously?!?!  The amount of time I spend on laundry is just ridiculous! (See #4....it seems to double the laundry.)

6.  Household Chores.  This is my "catch all" for dishes, meal prep, checking homework, filling out and signing various forms and papers for school, etc., taking care of Tilly (or making sure someone is taking care of her:), grocery shopping, packing lunches, etc.....Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with a comfortable home and the means to provide for our family!

7.  There's Been More Wogging!!  I can tell you that Sheila has taken a beating over the last couple of weeks!  I continue to walk everyday, although some of those walks are a bit shorter than others on those twelve hour work days.  I have gotten to the point of really enjoying my walks/wogs at Pioneer Park in Mooresville.  I actually enjoy the challenge of my little mole hill and now "wog" up it up to six times when I'm there.  I have actually starting "wogging" on many of my walks....something I have NEVER in my life done.  It's funny, I do not enjoy it, but I do enjoy the feeling of knowing that I did it!!  I continue to lose weight (I am working on a specific goal and hope to be able to report the good news on Monday:), and, while it is somehow embarrassing to me (I honestly think it's Sheila whispering to me..."Don't listen. They don't mean it.  Your success is short lived."), the many compliments I have received over the last couple of weeks are helping me to stay motivated.  I am truly feeling better and "moving" better.

I read a quote by Alfred Whitehead today that really touched home for me:
"Apart from God every activity is merely a passing whiff of insignificance."  My hope would be that I would never lose sight of this fact, but the reality is that I sometimes do.  I will continue to work toward a life that is full of moments that are made significant by keeping God in the center of them. 

Life is good!
Peace my peeps:)
K

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mountain or Mole Hill??


So, after my 45 minute walk at Pioneer Park this evening, I spied this little hill....it actually looked bigger to me at the time....and I decided to "wog" (walk/jog) up it.  I know it doesn't seem like much, but I was proud when I made it up....twice!....and back down again....through the trees, down the road:)  Just another mountain  on my journey...conquered!  Sheila continues to fade into the background....

As I was contemplating the wog up this little hill, Jason Castro's new song, This is Only a Mountain, flashed through my head.  (http://www.klove.com/music/artists/jason-castro/songs/only-a-mountain-lyrics.aspx)  Looking back at it, I think this little hill might have been more of a mole hill than a moutain, but I am happy with every little victory along the way.

Peace,
K

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
-Phillipians 4:13