Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas

Christmas, the wonderful day in the year where we get to spend time with family and friends celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, our risen savior. This year, Christmas has been nothing but enlightening.  Due to rising costs of living and shortages of income on all sides, our family decided to not get gifts for one another this year.  We were however allowed to get gifts for the little ones, after all they should get some gifts! The pressure to get gifts for family members can be an overwhelming task.  I have to admit that not having to worry about it has created a stress free holiday season for me.  It really has reminded me that Christmas is about  Jesus, and family time not about gifts.

I was at Target to get some necessities when the lady before me was complaining about all the gifts she had to get, her bill was growing more and more with each item the cashier was scanning. I think by the end she had spent well over $150.  It really pointed out to me that Christmas has really gotten to be only about giving and receiving presents.  Not only is it about presents but people don't even really enjoy giving the gifts.  Isn't that what gifts are about? A gift to me resembles that you feel for that person and want to give them something to show your affection towards them.  When did it become so routine?

As I was watching TV with my uncle, we saw a commercial come on for some company trying to get people to buy from their store.  During this commercial there was a line that stuck out to me.  "Christmas time is about gifts and food" After it registering in my head that that didn't seem right, I took a few seconds to reel over what the commercial just told me about the meaning of Christmas.  Wait? What! I realize that is just a commercial with the company trying to reel in new customers but that seemed a little low.

Is it true? Have we as Americans gotten so routine that Christmas is only about finding gifts, getting great gifts in return and eating lots of food? Is it really only about spending money on gifts for people you don't want to give gifts to, spend money on, nor really care about? What happened to spending time with family, decorating gingerbread houses with the kids, playing skip-bo even though you haven't played it since you were 10, singing Christmas Carols with your relatives even though the person next to you sings off key, laughter, hugs, friendship, family, and we can't forget the main attraction! Christmas isn't even all about getting together with family but it's a chance to celebrate an amazing birth that happened more than 2,000 years ago.  This birth is so spectacular that it was made into a holiday to celebrate it.  This birth means that we as sinners have HOPE to live eternally with Jesus in Heaven.  That we won't be condemned to death and hell.  That we shall Live, and not only live but live freely! It's the best gift anyone can receive.

Don't forget who you are, and what Christmas is about.  Christmas is not meant to make your bank account go negative for a month, but to celebrate! Enjoy this Christmas Day! Enjoy your family members, your friends, and all the little ones running around.  Gifts aren't everything, I challenge you to make this holiday season count!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Unemployment Experience

These past 6 weeks of unemployment, through God's grace, have opened my eyes to so many things.  I wanted to announce that as of Thursday I will be officially, EMPLOYED! Thank you Jesus! Many of you are wondering where and are eagerly awaiting all the juicy details of this new adventure I will be facing.

I will be working at a company called Sodexo.  Sodexo runs cafeteria's for business buildings.  This way the employee's can go to a cafeteria in their own building instead of running out to find lunch.  The beauty of it is I will be working in the cafeteria at my old company, American Family Insurance! I already know the majority of the people there and I am excited to work alongside of them once again.

This will be a Full-Time permanent position, no more temping for me! Hooray! The pay is good, and people even better! This will be a turn in a different direction then my other previous jobs.  I will be the cashier there.

Now that your curiosity has been relieved, I want to tell you all the amazing things I have learned during this time of unemployment.  Stay tuned, this could potentially take a few paragraphs.

When I left American Family on Sept, 30th.  I was still shocked that I was actually leaving a job that I loved so much, and there was nothing I could do about it.  The following Monday, I woke up and as I lay there in bed peering over to check the time, I thought to myself, "I should be at work right now" I knew exactly where I would be if I was working that day, down to the minute.  The familiarity was inescapable.   Finances where a different story.  Unfortunately I had hardly any money saved, and tons of bills to be paid.  I financially couldn't afford even a week of unemployment.  Somehow, though nothing made sense, I told God, "I trust you".  And you know what? He pulled through in bigger way than I could have ever imagined.

Days went by, a few more days.  Days turned into weeks, I had already been turned down by any of the jobs I had applied for.  Nothing was seeming to work.  Yet, November 1st kept creeping closer bringing with it a whole bucket load of bills to pay with hardly any money to my name.  Any groceries I had, had been depleted, and the gas I had in my car was exhausted.  It was that day, I received in the mail two cards in two separate envelopes.   Each card had a verse typed inside, one of which was:

"Therefore I tell you , do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"  Matthew 6:25-27
Inside each card there was a verse typed inside, and some cash.  I was so shocked! Completely amazed, and still to this day have no idea who it was.  If it was you, I want to say, "THANK YOU!" You will never know how much that meant to me.  These cards turned out to be a huge inspiration to me. The verses were so helpful.

Trust, a five letter word that means more than the human mind can sometimes grasp.  I had no where else to turn, bills to be paid, no money, with not even a hint of a job prospect in sight.  November 1st came, and I still had no job.  The bills had come, and still had no money to pay them.  Yet, somehow through out all of this, I had been filled with such, Peace.  God had given me so much Peace, it was so overwhelming, worry had no place in my life.  I will admit to there being moments where worry did creep in, but I told my self, "God has my back, He will take care of me.  He knows my situation, He has taken care of me before, and He will do it again.  He won't stop now."  Worry and unemployment didn't stand a chance against my God.  Miraculously, I was able to pay my bills.   I was even about to lose my phone service when God came through and miraculously made a way for it to be paid.  He orchestrated the WHOLE thing! He came and saved the day! I knew my God would have my back!

One day, out of the blue, I got a call from Katie at Sodexo asking if I would like to come in and talk about a potential job opportunity for me.  After playing phone tag a few times here and there, we finally set a date and I came in for an interview last Friday.  She offered me a position I couldn't refuse! I accepted it on Monday and start on Thursday.  I never even applied for this position and it just landed in my lap.  If that isn't GOD, none of this would have happened! I am so blessed, exceedingly blessed.  Never have I felt so loved, never have I seen God more than I do now.  God is my everything, no job, no money, no talent is standing in the way between us.  I love Him.  He's been using people here and there to encourage me, to help me, to be there for me, and to most of all intercede in prayer for me.  My friends, I am so proud of them, they have been checking in on me, blessing me, and praying for me.

God, my precious God, He is so amazing.  I trust Him now more than ever.  A feeling even I didn't know I could possess.  The Peace He poured on me, never left.  And most of all, HE never left.  He stood by me, day by day, minute by minute, and saw me through.  I, because of my past have always had a very hard time having a significant time allotted for being alone.   I was home every day and so many things could have gone wrong, but God stayed with me, gave me Peace, curved my temptations and made each day a relaxing and precious day.  I actually had a great time being unemployed.  It drew me closer to God, I wouldn't trade that in a million years.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Times of Trial

Life, just like earth, has it's seasons.  They come and go.  Some are bad, some are good, some are there to just give you some breathing room for the tough seasons you are yet to face.  Seasons are good as they require you to always be on your feet, ready and guarded for the new changes life throws at you.

Here's a little of what I am experiencing.  I have now been unemployed for 2 weeks.  I've been hearing horror stories on the radio of people who are getting jobs after being unemployed for over a year and a half.  I cringe at the thought.  My story doesn't require that long of a wait, I prayerfully request! 2 week's has it's ups and downs.  Amazingly through God's grace, these past two weeks have been a refresher for me.  A refresher from what? I honestly have no clue.  My job at American Family was my favorite job I have ever encountered.  I loved working there, I woke up in the morning for the first time feeling excitement and peace to go to work.   I didn't care if it was Friday, or if it was Monday.  I just went to work.  To say that it's actually been quite refreshing to be home is confusing for me.

Being unemployed to say the least, is not financially feasible for me.  Seeing as though I am the single breadwinner of the household.  I am the only one who can provide income to pay my bills.  Being a temp, which is what I was at AmFam, allows no benefits. That means no nice unemployment package from the Government.  My last paycheck was my last source of income, but the bills, they don't care about that.  They come every month like that annoying bird who chirps at your window every morning at 6:00 AM.

Job progress has been fast and slow at the same time.  The waiting game definitely plays out in this instance.  I've had 3 hopeful permanent positions, 2 that I am still in the running for.  I was shocked to receive word that I didn't get the other job.  This was a job for some reason, I let myself believe I was really going to get.  It was so shocking to the point where I laughed and said to God, "Okay! It's in your hands! I have no clue what to do now.  You MUST have a plan."

You see, I was told a month and a half in advance of my last day at AmFam.  This graciously allowed me a solid amount of time to find another job before I lose mine.  I received word that I didn't get the position when I only had a week left to work.  When I didn't get that job, that meant I would be like a sailboat out on the water with no wind.  That meant, I actually had no plan of a future job, a future income to fall back on.  That meant, that for some reason, God had a different plan.  That meant, I have to have faith and actually trust that God will provide.  I've been telling my friends, I'm not worried.  Truth be told, I'm not.  God is bigger than I can ever imagine, He's known about my unemployment since the beginning of time.  He's already got a solution that is going to come to play at the exact precise and perfect moment.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will provide in whatever shape possible so that when those bills come, and money has run dry, that somehow I will have the means to pay for them.  I personally believe that means a job will become available, a job that I will love, at the perfect time so that my first paycheck will cover bills.  God has been giving me a never ending dose of peace through out all of this.

Life really liked to throw me a twist, along with being unemployed, my phone decided to go for a swim one day.  Well, there was no lifeguard on duty and as a result of my phones random curiosity for H20, I have now been with out a phone for a while.  When your unemployed, your phone is your lifeline to getting another job.  I've been having to steal my friends phone in order to check my voicemail of any possible interviews or job offers I may receive.  On top of that I've come down with a cold.  There was a point where it seemed every mode of entertainment that I indulge in broke in one day.  First the internet went down, then my DVD player broke, then my phone dropped in a water bucket, then the TV went out.  Thankfully I have since fixed my DVD player, the TV, and the internet is back up and running.  It was then I realized, maybe I need to spend more time with God! He's obviously trying to tell me something here.  Thing's like that don't just happen!

Through out all of this, there are only a few words that I can't seem to get out of my mind. There is a reason for the season.  I need to stop and smell the roses.   If there was one thing that I learned from my last unbearable season was that everything is a process, things don't just magically disappear or get fixed in an instance.  Smell the roses, learn from your mistakes, find what you can take out of this.  Cherish the moments you have now, and try your hardest so that through God's grace you can get through whatever life throws at you.  Otherwise things could get a lot worse.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Does She Know?

I look at the world, and the people in it and see pain.  One of the things that I can not bare to see is a woman struggling within herself to strive for the never ending painful race to be beautiful, to be skinny.  As one who has been down that road, and can still travel down it at times, I seem to be even more aware of those who have the same tendencies. 

Someone walked by me today and was talking with her friend.  She was shaking an Ice Mountain water bottle to mix the contents she had just put in it.  While doing this, her friend asked, "What's that?" She responded by saying confidently, "It's a protein drink, I'm on this diet" Albeit, I only heard part of the conversation but immediately my heart broke for her.  I looked at her and noticed how skinny she was, thankfully she didn't look anorexic or anything but she was definitely skinny. 

My mind races to all those countless women who will starve for months because they see themselves as fat.  Who forceably shove their finger down their throat to throw up any food they have just indulged in, all because they feel even that one bite of hamburger will be noticed to everyone.  Who cut themselves because they need an escape from the world, from the pain.  Who binge each night stuffing their mouth full of food because the world has considered them as ugly, as an outcast for being overweight.  I keep thinking, Does she know? Doesn't see see that she is already beautiful? Stop torturing yourselves! Stop killing yourselves! If I could, I would give the biggest hug in the world right now, just to show you how much I care about you.  You are worth way more than how you are treating youselves.  The world may see you as ugly, or fat, but I look at you and see sheer perfection, someone so gorgeous it radiates from within her. 

I am hear to tell you, you are not alone, you are loved, you are cherished beyond meausre! No matter what the world may say, no matter what your boyfriend says, no matter what your parents think, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Please, I beg of you, take care of yourselves.  You are irreplaceable. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Experiences

Familiar.  Content. No change.  The life we've known, the situations we've encountered and come to expect, the circumstances we've figured out how to deal with.  But what if something "new" comes along?  What happens then? When life throws us for a loop?

For me, the answer is clear.  The barriers go up with out delay.  This instantaneous subconscious action creates a wall to protect me from any further hurt or pain that this new change might cause me.  It's rather amazing how the human nature has it's own way of dealing with things. How it's natural instinct is to protect, to set up boundaries, to save the mind from any further emotional pain.  True, this plan may work in some occasions, it allows to us to stay sane in certain instances when hurt does come our way, but what if it wants to protect us from good things? What do we do then? The mind is a battlefield.  My brain immediately races to figure things out, to inspect the situation and see if it's worth it, to see if it's okay to proceed with caution, or to retreat and run away. 

My only answer I've come up with, Live a little.  Take risks once in a while.  Try new things.  Get hurt, after all we've been hurt before and we can handle it again.  Albeit only with God's help can we truly conquer our pain and experience true forgiveness.  My God is mighty to save and He happens to love me more than the universe, I know without a doubt that He will protect me when the time is right and He'll get me through any pain I may or may not experience.  What would the world be like with out God? Meaningless, pointless, bare, without color or beauty, dead. I think the only barrier I need to take with me is the Shield of Faith.

Friday, August 19, 2011

"I miss you!"

Simple words everyone longs to hear, "I miss you!" They come from dear friends you haven't seen in a while, from family members on the other side of the world to simple acquaintences from high school and beyond.  Yet, lately I find I am hearing those words from a completely different source...

  "I miss you Kelley, so very much.  Spend more time with me!" - God.

Somehow those words mean even more coming from someone like God.  You know He means it.  Those 3 simple words combined make your crazy world halt for just a moment, reflect, and realize just how flattered and happy you are becuase God took the time out from saving the world and everyone in it to personally tell you, to make you feel special, loved, and appreciated. 

I find I am completely smittened with Him.  God's been showing me moments when we used to spend more time together.  I can almost see home video's flashing through my mind.  The way things used to be and just how completely enthralled I was during those times.  I miss Him too!

I'm sold. Those times I give to the Lord, and solely to Him, are so precious to me. It's during those moments when the world doesn't seem so hard anymore, where faith is restored, where hope is refilled, and everything seems right again, everything seems possible.  I have another date planned tonight before I go to bed, I'm counting down the hours.  It's a beautiful thing having someone love you. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Faith & Trust

Yesterday didn't go well for me.  With my best friend leaving for Ghana, and the newest news, I will be losing my job on October 3rd.  I'm afraid, any smiles I put forth yesterday weren't genuine.  While the news of losing my job was somewhat expected, I still was in complete shock.  I respect my company, they were extremely gracious to me to allow a month and a half notice so that I could find another job.  Being a temp, you normally don't see that type of kindness.  I will miss it dearly at American Family Insurance, it has been by far my favorite job I've had.  The people are great, the management is great, the work is great, everything you could ask for. 

It's so easy to look at the negatives in this situation but all I can see right now are the positives.  I have made so many great connections through this company, and gained experience to grant me interviews for other positions.  I have people who are looking for jobs for me, some even at my company so that I can stay.  It would be simply amazing if I could get hired at American Family full-time. 

I look back on how I got this job, and it was nothing short of a miracle.  God placed it in my hands all because I chose to trust him when I was let go from my previous company.  I had saved just enough money that happened to run out the day I started my job at AmFam, all because God had urged me to start a budget.  The fact that my recruiter called me because he found my resume online shows that I had nothing to do with it.  This job was meant to be.  I had fun. 

Now, it's time to trust him again.  Already I see his hand in the situation slowly guiding me to where I need to go, so my only objective is to have faith in God, and trust that He will provide me another job, preferably permanent! God cares about me, and I know that all He wants is for me to be happy.  I know beyond a doubt that by October 3rd, I will have a new job waiting for me.  I wonder what it will be? They say curiosity killed the cat, but quite frankly, my cat's already dead. :)

Let's do this!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Meaningless Insecurities

Being overweight, or as the medical industry would call it, Morbidly Obese, has taught me many things in life.  Food has been my comforting cushion to fall back on in times of trouble.  It's now that I finally realize how extremely hard it is going to be to tear my self away from this emotional bondage.  As one who has been morbidly obese all my life, it has protected me from many things.  The main thing it has protected me from is heartbreaking relationships with men.  Because most of the men in my life couldn't get past the overweight factor, it's now I realize that they wouldn't have been a good person to date anyways.  If they couldn't like me for who I am and not how much I weigh, than it's probably for the best that my heart was broken in the beginning. 

To be brutally honest, although it has protected me from some of those things, it has also held me back and prohibited a lot of good things in my life.  Due to the fact that I have been heartbroken by men who couldn't see my past my weight, my insecurities are high.  It's here where the feelings of never being good enough, never being pretty enough, never being skinny enough, where emotional games and tricks play out.  Thoughts of if I had were just 60 pounds lighter, he would have dated me consistently envelope my mind. 

It's sad to say, but insecurities are a major part of my life.  There is not a minute that goes by where I don't think about how my stomach protrudes, or my pants are too tight, or how I feel my whole body jiggle as I walk.  Sometimes I feel as though this were an outer jacket I could just unzip and my true skinny self would be revealed.  The fact is, it isn't.  This is not something that can just magically disappear, no matter how hard I wish, beg, or pray, I wake up in the morning who I am.  The mirror still tells me and reminds me that I'm fat.  Sometimes even just walking down the street, I can feel the weight of people's judgements fall upon me.  
"Forgive and forget," One might say.  "Who cares what people think, Kelley," Another might say.  You are absolutely right.  Forgive and forget, who cares what people think, but in reality, I do.  I'd like to say, I'm perfect and the thoughts of those judging me don't affect me, but they in every way do.  The other day as I was hauling things from my car to the house, a group of teenage boys drove by and yelled, "You have a huge A**!"  One day, parking at the MOA (Mall of America) an adult male yelled out from his car, "Fatty!"  I can think of a few more, "Fatso, Blimp, Kelley Belly, Cow, Pig, Tub-a-lard" not to mention endless more.  I'd like to think those don't hurt me, but they do.  Forgive and Forget, Who cares what people think.   I'll try my hardest, I'll give it my best. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'll Do This My Way

It seems, God has a sense of humor.  I never quite really knew how much my last post has opened up a door for me.  It seems control was a bigger factor in my life than I thought.  My dearest friend decided to tell me the truth the other day by telling me her thoughts about the subject and how they apply to me.  As a patron of honesty, I must add this little insert, don't EVER hesitate to be honest with your friends.  I can assure you honesty, is more than likely what they are craving.  From my point of view, honesty is how I know if someone is my true friend.  -- Okay, I'm back.  :)

Ever since my friend decided to tell me the truth about how she feels control is a big part of my life, It was like a ton of bricks being laid on me. All of a sudden, everything clicked and made sense.  I can see evidence of it in a lot of area's in my life.  Somehow growing up I felt the need to control as much things as I could.  A couple examples of this, I can't stand it when people ask me to do things, I usually would procrastinate until I wanted to do them or I ran out of time.  When someone is doing something, and they are too slow or can't figure it out, I so want to jump in and take over.  I have to tell myself to just let them figure it out so I don't swipe it from their hands.  I have a need to have things all planned out, I don't work on a whim. It's rather amazing all the examples I could list, but my point is proven.  I love control.  Quite frankly, As Christians we aren't supposed to have control, because God needs it.  From realizing how my life as turned out, it's evident that wanting to control my situations around me hasn't worked.  I don't know my future, and I don't know what's best for me, so what makes me think that I should be in the driver's seat of my life?

I feel as though this is a vital step towards my healing process and freedom is now a foreseeable distant light in my view.  Even though the whole thing is rather overwhelming in realizing how long of a journey I still have, and that I have 1 more thing added to my tantalizing long list of things to work on, but somehow I feel I have crossed a major threshold.  

In conclusion, I leave you with this verse.  HOLD ON, God will come and save you.
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6




Monday, June 27, 2011

Control? Or Not Control? That Is The Question

Thoughts weigh around me, thoughts of life, and how things work.  Thoughts of quick fixes and magic wands to make things disappear.  Yet, as I think about these things, I think about my road and journey life has taken me on.  When my healing journey started about 3 years ago as I left for Mercy Ministries in Louisiana, I remember walking into those doors and having so much faith for what was ahead.  I went to Mercy Ministries with the intention to get healing, to be restored from my eating disorder, to be skinny in a sense.   I had this dream that I when I would walk out of those doors on Graduation day, I would be a whole new skinny person.  One who would be free.  But my Lord had different plans.  

When I graduated Mercy Ministries, I was on FIRE for God.  What He did there was nothing short of a miracle.  It was the healthiest I had ever been physically, emotionally and spiritually.  The two years after Mercy Ministries leading to today have had their up's and down's with my eating disorder.  I held on for a good year after Mercy Ministries.  I tried so hard to keep what I learned in effect.  I was miraculously able to manage my weight and not fluctuate by gaining and losing.  Yet when I think about how my life has gone out of control once again just in these past two months, I do acknowledge that my eating disorder is still not letting go and is in fact, part of the reason why I am struggling.  

Looking back, I have done everything humanly possible to get healing for this.  I have prayed, I have cried, I have read my bible, I have dropped everything to enter into a Christian treatment program, I got an accountability partner, I went into counseling, I have stayed involved by going to church and life groups, I've forgiven people, broken spiritual vows made as a child, I've relived my horrible childhood memories that haunt me so that they can be worked on, I have leaned on God as he guides me through this.  Yet as I sit here today, I still struggle with my eating disorder.  Did I miss something? Did I not pray hard enough? Did I not listen and act upon something God has requested me to do? Did I not read my bible enough, Did I this, Did I that? 

There is only one possible conclusion for these questions.  I am missing something big, something major, the one thing that can and will turn my life around.  CONTROL.  All this time, I've been working hard because that is what I've learned how you fix problems.  When it comes down to it, God needs control of my life, I need to give up control.  I've basically been telling Him that He can work around my schedule for healing.  Albeit none of this was intentional, and if you had asked me if I was doing all of this with the right motive when this was all happening I would have innocently said yes, because I really did think I was.  Yet, no matter how hard I work, no matter how hard I pray or read my bible every day, God is the only one who can bring my healing, no matter how many treatment programs, or counseling sessions I attend, God is the ONLY one who can bring my healing.  And you know what? I give up.  I am burnt out from fighting this.  Everything with in me is fried, it's time I learn to lean upon the solid rock, my foundation, the One who can give me energy when I have none, the One who holds the key to my freedom.  

Here I am Lord, I am yours.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life - And all that Implies

I can't believe how long it's been since I have posted in here! I do apologize for that.  I wanted to give you an update on how life is going for me.  Especially since I posted a couple times ago about how I was going through a huge battle.  Yes, I am still in a huge battle but definitely on the outskirts of it.  Life has gotten so much better.  I think back on how painful that time was for me and force my self to remember how I felt so that I can still learn for the road ahead of me.  I never want to go down that path of life again but I know somehow that God was in control through it all and He is continuing to do so. 

During that time, the pain was so tumultuous, that waking up everyday was a chore.  Smiling for customers walking through the reception desk at work was an ongoing effort.  Everything within me wanted nothing to do with smiling or being happy.  Thankfully, I've learned the art of acting and hiding my emotions so I didn't scare anyone walking by me! :) I may have scared a couple of my close friends in whom I confided in but they still love me anyways! During this time, I can honestly say I would have never made it if it wasn't for God.  Somehow He was always in front of me holding my hand in the process, giving me hope.  Though there were days I doubted, yet it was in those moments that God shined through the most. 

My friends were another much appreciated tool towards my healing.  I knew that what I was going through was no private matter.  I needed to tell someone, I couldn't do this on my own.  The pain within me was so excruciating, that I felt I would emotionally and physically burst if I didn't let someone know.  It was in these moments I saw who my true friends were.  When I told them how I was feeling and what was going on around me, and even how I had made mistakes; they didn't laugh, run away, or leave me hanging dry.  Instead they did what I needed the most, they comforted me and prayed for me.  They even checked up on me to make sure I was being held accountable and that I was doing okay.  My gratefulness is never ceasing towards them and how they so humbly responded towards me. 

I realize you all are probably wondering what in the world happened to make you go through such a depressing time? I honestly would love to tell you but it is not wise.  A lot of what happened were personal battles mixed with some life shaking experiences, and a huge spiritual warfare.  But I can tell you that the saying, "When it rains, it pours" is definitely true.  In these past two months, everything seemed to crash at once.  I felt like Job in the bible when everything was stripped away from him in a moment.  Although I had no where near the experiences and troubles he had, I could still certainly relate. 

But my praise is never ceasing toward my Father in Heaven.  He got me out of this.  He really did.  I finally feel like I have a grip on life again, where as before, I felt like I was getting dragged behind a speed boat going 100 mph and hitting rocks along the way.  What a miraculous thing when God saves a person, in more ways then one.  I still don't know to this day how He did get me out but somehow, it just happened.  I just pray and hope that my lessons learned stick with me and I act up on them. 

What an awesome God we serve!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Luke 12:29-31

"And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you."

Monday, May 16, 2011

One Way

I think there are no words to express my past 3 weeks.  I do apologize for the lack of posts in this past month.  My life has been hectic.  If anything, these past few weeks have added another notch to my life and broadened my experimental horizon. 

It seems as though my life has turned upside down.  So much has happened and I am afraid, none of which could I classify as "Good".  Although I would love to explain in more detail the events of which I am describing, but it must be left unsaid.  I will give you this, the devil is at work. There is no other way to explain it.  It chills me to have to give any mention this this purely evil thing, but it is true. 

Right now, my life is in a raging battle, a battle between good and evil.  I feel like I am out of a Steven Spielberg movie.  Never in my life, have I experienced temptations to this extent.  Never in my life, have I ever felt this much out of control.  Never in my life, have I felt so hopeless, scared, and belittled.  With all the work the devil is doing in trying to get me away from God, I wonder why he even tries? Surely he must know that God always wins and would never give up on me? Although I admit I have been fighting with those doubts, but I am even more reassured now.  Somehow God will get me through this... somehow. 

My close friends have been telling me that this is the time in my life where I really need to take advantage of the resources God has given us to fight with in these battles.  I have been kind of pushing them off, cause that is what I always have done, I procrastinate. But I'm thinking I better start. 

I don't write this blog in expectation for a pity party, but more so to equip those who have time to pray for me.  If you can that will be great.  Lord knows, I need it.

Thank you everyone! Your support is a blessing.  I leave you with this verse:
"Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.  You will increase my honor and comfort me once again." Psalms 71:20-21

Friday, April 22, 2011

Solemn Day

Today we observe the day that Jesus died.  Granted who knows if today was actually day, but the meaning is still there and worth mentioning.  Some days I just can't believe that a God of all things could possibly love me so much that he would send his one and only son to die the most torturous death in history.   You'd think that if He was to send his only son to die, He'd have a pretty noble cause.  What I think is crazy is that God said that WE are His noble cause. 

Looking back on my life, knowing how much I've sinned, how much I have hurt God, how easily I can stray and leave God standing in the dust that was kicked up by my shoes, it's hard to imagine He still loves me more than life.  His exact words are, "More than the grains of sand on the earth." I don't know about you but can you think about all the grains of sand that are on this earth? That's A LOT. 

I keep thinking about what life would be like if He hadn't come down to save us.  More than likely we'd be going through animals like candy, considering something has to be sacrificed in order wash away our sins.  But even then, I wonder if that would ever be enough.  We'd be void of the Holy Spirit considering after Jesus rose from the dead He left us with Him.  The presence of the Holy Spirit is amazing, life would be 100 times harder with out Him.  Who knows what else.  I'm just so glad God came down to save me.  I'm supposed to be on the cross, not him.  I've often wish he hadn't saved me, but I know God never doubted for a second on his decision to save us.  He has a grand and mighty plan that we will never fully grasp.  The only thing I can do now is wait and live life for God the most humanly possible way. 

One thing I need to remember, is to thank him.  Thank him as much as I can.  Everyday I have new life because He sacrificed His life for me.  What an amazing God we serve. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Past The Point Of No Return

The final threshold! You've got to love a little Phantom of the Opera ringing in your head.  A little side note, I think quite possibly the best music I have ever known is performed in that play. Beyond that, I do have a point!

Past the point of no return, that is where I am at right now.  I think with all the success God has given me these past 2 and a half months with my eating, breaking free from pride, joining the choir again, and ultimately drawing closer than I have ever been with God, this is definitely the point of no return.  Just these past 2 days I was a little fearful and started thinking what if I am going back to who I was? What if this is just another fluke freedom example where the walls are going to come crashing down at any moment? I started feeling guilty for eating and having those gross and unexplainable emotions overcome me after I ate, feelings of loosing control.  As I was driving to Choir I thought, "This is it! This is where I have to choose where my life is going.  I have been happier in these past 2 and a half months than I have ever been, I love God so much!  This is where I have to choose God over my wants, over my (past) loves!" 

God has severely helped me through these tremendous 2 and a half months.  It almost seemed "Easy" to make this transition into The Maker's Diet and give up all of my known and horrible food familiarities.  But God can't just run my life for me, He wants me to choose.  I chose when I started this lifestyle, and now I have to choose again to keep it.  It was here where I felt, "Kelley, do you want to stay here, be happy with Me, and continue this lifestyle? Or, do you want give it all up to go back to a life of guilt, insecurities, and be with your food that will never make you happy?" .... After hardly even any thought I said, "I WANT YOU, GOD!" 

Needless to say, after successfully talking it over with Jesus, those old feelings that once crept up on me are gone.  I am back to feeling joyful again, in a place better than anything else, walking side by side with my Jesus, ready to conquer.  I'm past the point of no return.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Looking Back

I was checking my blog today and noticing that I haven't updated it in a while.  In seeing that I wanted to create a new post, I decided to tell you what has been on my mind lately.  God.  With all that's been going on in my life, freedom, addictions being broken, negative and fearful thoughts being detained, and the daily occurrences of realizations of just how thankful I am for my God, how he's changed me.  

I am remembering all the years of praying and crying out to God, hoping that somehow he could rescue me from my addictions, for Him to draw me closer and closer by His side.  I am so relieved knowing that day has come.  I am more than relieved, I am still in shock that my God has yet, once again, saved me.  I see others around me and just want to tell them, "Freedom is possible!! God can free you! You don't have to settle!" But if I went around telling random people that, they might not take it well! haha!

Someone, once told me that God has only called us to be a witness for Him, a visual witness.  One who has either seen, felt, heard, or physically experienced who God is and/or what He has done.  I'm so glad I am not called to be a defense attorney, or the prosecutor, and especially not a judge.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I was put here by the Lord Almighty Himself, to let you know, "I once was blind, but now I see."  Only, I would say it like this, "I once was addicted, but now I'm free!" Jesus has set me free!

I am overwhelmed by all He has done and how He's changed me.  I almost wasn't sure this day would come, but God must have seen a little faith there.  I love Him, so very much.  I can not wait to get to heaven and give Him the biggest hug I could possibly muster! Oh! what a day that will be!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

40 Days? Done!

I am excited to post, my 40 days on The Maker's Diet is officially complete!! What an exciting journey it has been and will continue to be! I love this health journey.  I thought it was great.  My initial reaction upon research on this particular subject that the food was going to be bland, I'm going to have to eat gross natural soy stuff, and all that.  Man! Was I wrong! The food is great, I love it! Seasoning is still okay on this diet.  I can spice up my food as much as I want. And soy, not good for you.  Cha Ching! :)

This journey has taught me to think ahead and learn how to cook! It's taught me determination, and it gave me back my life.  I feel healthier, I lost 15 pounds, and I have no desire for my old foods.  But I would be lying if I said it was all the diet that got my life back.  It wasn't.  It was only God.  After 23 years of striving to get healthier, striving to break this food addiction, trying to control the situation, and ALWAYS failing.  I gave up.  I am now finally at the point in my life where I can let God take control of my food addiction.  It's been a long hard journey for me. One that has brought many tears, many doubts, and many hopeless nights worrying if I am just going to have to live like this and fight it all the rest of my days.  But through all those, God has restored my faith.  I believe that this is it, I believe that God has freed me, I believe that I won't ever be who I was anymore. 

God is just so utterly amazing, it's hard not to praise Him, and thank Him profusely for what He has done.  My joy is uncontrollable. Not to mention, He finally has broke me of my pride.  Many of you may be wondering, "What about Mercy Ministries? Didn't you go there and get freedom?" I did.  I very well did.  Without Mercy I wouldn't be where I am today.  Mercy taught me who God is, Mercy gave me the foundation to overcome.  A firm foundation built on solid rock.  One that will never sway, never break, and will not be moved.  JESUS. 

I admit, I was struggling with this food addiction even after Mercy.  I just loved it so much, I loved food, I loved that it was always there, I loved that I could eat and forget everything that is going on in this world.  I wasn't ready to give up my first love.  God came and intervened.  He may have been my second love, but He's definitely a permanent first on my list. 

I am now eating to live, and not living to eat!! AMEN!! Thank you my precious Father! and to The Maker's Diet, I commend you.  You really are a good lifestyle.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Endless Possibilities

As some of you may know, I decided to take a different step in my life recently.  I'm am very excited and yet a little apprehensive about this new journey.  As of March 1st, I am now officially a Mary Kay consultant.  Before you go thinking I am writing this post to lure you into purchasing, I'm not.  (although that wouldn't hurt) I am simply writing my experiences so far and the thoughts I have in my mind. 

Prior to becoming a consultant, I was a little nervous considering the start up cost.  I was also a little skeptical considering I know so many consultants already and I kept wondering, "What are people going to think when if I were to become a consultant?" Slightly embarrassing to admit but the truth be told, it was what consumed my mind.  But as I attended more and more meetings regarding the subject and thought hard and diligently on the subject, I couldn't help but think this was a right fit for me.  I went to Super Saturday this past weekend and they talked about this yearly award ceremony where everyone dresses up in these fancy gowns and get awarded for their hard work.  I LOVE to dress up in fancy gowns.  They talk about the trips you can take if you get far enough up the ladder.  I LOVE taking trips and flying! And the more and more I kept thinking about even more things started making sense.  I love makeup, I have a natural ability to apply makeup.  I love all of Mary Kay's products, I love the fact that it is a sociable job - meaning I can talk to hundreds of people and meet new friends and opportunities.  They even mentioned that all too infamous Mary Kay car you can be awarded with.  Let us not forget the money side of things.  Right now my budget is stretched to the max.  It doesn't allow for emergencies or bumps along the road.  I hardly allow my self any spending money to spend on me.  Not to mention, I someday have a dream of renting/owning my own apartment where I can live by my self for the rest of my singlehood.  I love where I am living but this is a down-the-road dream that I would love to be able to achieve.  But the most important thing to me, is my family.  Although I don't have a family yet, I know that someday I will have a husband, with kids, and my dream has always been to be a mother.  If I can get enough ahead in this business, I can stay home with my future little ones.  And that my friends, will be the best reward and blessing this business could ever give me. 

So, I did it, after much prayerful consideration I might add.  Now comes the hard part, getting clients.  Now this is what I am NOT best at, asking people to buy my products.  The second I mentioned Mary Kay I could literally almost hear the thoughts in people's minds, "Oh no, not another one."  Getting past this is hard and I hate to be a bother but somehow I know I will make it through this.  I've been praying for God's will in this and at this point in my life, I finally trust Him enough that I believe Him.  He keeps encouraging me in the little things which make me feel so at ease. 

My goal is this, to not give up.  I am not going to start Mary Kay and give up a year later, I plan on making this a business for me.  Who knows maybe I'll become a Director one day?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Stuck in my Head...

You know, ever since I started The Maker's Diet, I have had this song rolling around my head.  Keep in mind this is going on 3 weeks! But I think it's funny and was a little joke from God. :)
"You make me feel like a natural woman!!"

Hahaha!!

Sorry I had to share..

If you don't get it, read my previous blogs regarding the Maker's Diet and you'll understand, if then you still don't, message me and I'll fill you in!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Maker's Update

I'll bet you all are wondering how I am doing? Well I am pleased to tell you, I am doing great! It has now been 2 1/2 weeks since I started my 40 day health journey and I am learning a lot.  With these new findings on heath and the correct foods to eat, my body is already thanking me.  One major thing I noticed... my nails are growing.  And they aren't just growing, they are actually white.  Normally they are kind of yellowish and flimsy, not to mention easily breakable.  Not now! These babies are almost hard as rock!

It's been actually quite easy and knowing me, and my past, that would be inconceivable.  I give FULL credit to God as He is the only one sustaining me on this journey.  To be able to say goodbye to food I love, foods I have had contact with all my life would be impossible.  But as my phone told me yesterday on my daily bible app...
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
My overwhelming thanks and gratitude towards my heavenly Father in heaven is growing more and more each day.  What a wonderful God we serve!!!

 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Life is in Your Hands

One of my favorite songs in the whole world.  I never stop getting chills. 

My Life Is In Your Hands
By: God's Property/Kirk Franklin

You don't have to worry
and don't you be afraid,
joy comes in the morning,
troubles they don't last always;
for there's a friend named Jesus,
who will wipe your tears away,
and if your heart is broken,
just lift your hands and say'

Oh, I know that I can make it,
I know that I can stand;
no matter what may come my way,
my life is in Your hands.

With Jesus I can take it,
with Him I know I can stand;
no matter what may come my way,
my life is in Your hands.

So when your test and trials,
they seem to get you down,
and all your friends and loved ones
are nowhere to be found;
remember there's a friend named Jesus,
who will wipe your tears away,
and if your heart is broken,
just lift your hands and say

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is coming up on Monday.  As a receptionist you are kindly reminded of the romantic holiday as bouquet's of flowers and edible arrangements come streaming in from lovers wanting to let their loved one's know they are loved and being thought of.  These bouquets are beautiful.  The one I handed out today was a massive rose arrangement standing a couple feet in the air.  You would've guessed someone just took out the rose bush and put it in a pot it's so huge! And very pretty I might add. 

Valentine's Day for me is not really relative.  Seeing as though I've never dated or had a "Lovah", those cute little valentine's and floral bouquets aren't really a part of Valentine's Day in my world. I remember when I was a kid in middle school and we had decorated lunch like paper bags with hearts and swirls of color from markers.  Each year all of the kids would bring in little valentines usually with candy attached and drop them into their classmate's bags.  That was such a fun time, and a great time of year to ease the sweet tooth.

Each year I wonder, if I will get to celebrate Valentine's Day this year? I'm not sad or anything, but just curious.  I do know, that someday I will get to.  There will be a special someone out there who will give me a valentine, take me out on a date, or send me flowers.  For now, I kindly remember that I have someone out there, and he is alive and living somewhere out there in the world.  I settle upon the amazing feeling that I also have someone who already loves me, my God.  I am learning to be completely happy with that.  Actually, I am completely happy with that.

Monday, February 7, 2011

First Day

Well, it's ultimately going very well. I am enjoying it so far.  Yesterday, I stayed up till 11:00 to be sure I had lunch already prepared for tomorrow.  I made some fabulous chicken I might add.  I cooked the chicken, added some cut garlic cloves, slices of onion, and sprinkled some craisen's for a sweet taste and a dash of Cayenne pepper.  Don't forget the extra virgin olive oil! :) I have to say the craisen's made a very nice touch.  It was rather delicious. 

For breakfast I had an Omega 3 egg with sprinkles of Celtic sea salt.  For snacks I brought a grapefruit and some carrots.  They were the whole carrots so it was kind of fun eating them.  I felt like Bugs Bunny!! :) "Ah, what's up dock?"

Needless to say, with the food I bought and have now eaten, I am still hungry.  It almost feels like a fast to me, especially considering I am drinking so much water as well.  I'm liking the  fact of making home cook meals too.  It makes me feel like a woman being able to cook.  I've been eating pretty much fast food lately and forgot how much fun it was to be able to prepare the food instead of just inhale the food.  Hmmm, makes me wonder, what am I making for dinner tonight??? :)

One thing I remembered the most about this book, "Don't focus on the foods you can't eat, but focus on the foods you can eat." That is a good reminder for me and has been really sticking with me.  It's so easy to think about all the foods I am giving up and won't be able to eat anymore, foods that I love.  It makes me depressed and a little sad.  But in focusing on all the new foods I can eat, makes it all the more exciting!  I get to crack open my dash of creative side on my cooking and explore new things.  I've been saying I wanted adventure for some time and now, I finally have one. It's much more gratifying. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Have Decided

After much prayerful consideration and preparation, doused with a couple loads of research, tomorrow is going to be day one of my 40 day health journey with The Maker's Diet.  40 days you may be wondering? Well that is what the book suggests.  There are 3 different phases in the 40 day trial, Phase 1 is extreme, to cleanse your body of the toxins and get it prepared for the new foods you are going to start using.  Phase 2 adds a little more of the carbs in there and gives a little more taste for Phase 3.  Phase 3 is the phase which people who want to continue this lifestyle change stay on.  It gives you plenty of variety of new and exciting foods to try.  I obviously plan to stay on this lifestyle change past the 40 days.  But I can freely commit to the 40 day commitment. :) 

I went grocery shopping at Valley Natural Foods today for the first time.  This particular grocery store only houses organic foods.  Every isle looked foreign to me.  I'm passing each isle going, where's the Doritos? Where's the Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup? Where is Roundy's Skim Milk? No brand name in that entire store have I ever heard of before.   The prices are going to be another thing to behold.  With Organic comes pricier items.  It seemed things that were once $0.99 at Target are now $4.99 at this store.  Can I say add more money to my grocery budget??? Needless to say, It's going to be an interesting adventure for me, one that I am excited for.  I think I got a good start for next week.  

I basically haven't been grocery shopping for a while and trying to clear out anything in my cupboard that would not be Maker's Diet appropriate.  With that I also have to start a new and create a pantry again with the new good items.  I have no spices are anything like that so It will take a while.  

I'm nervous and excited at the same time for tomorrow and the next week, and the next 40 days.  I really believe God wants me to do this.  After all, these foods mentioned in this book are all based on what He commanded in the bible for us to eat.   I do hope you can join with me in prayer as I take on this next step in my life.  Thank you for everything.  I'll keep you posted on how everything goes.  

Take care and May God Bless you in the meantime! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Note To My Mercy Sisters

I've been thinking about you all lately.  Everyone one of you, about how much I miss you and the good times we've shared.  But mainly I wonder how you are all doing.  It's been 2 years now since Mercy.  It's hard to believe that it's already been that long.  Nevertheless, I find myself chugging on through daily life and almost forgetting about Mercy.  By this time, we've accustomed to our new lives outside of Mercy.  By this time we may be faced with new problems and scenarios that we've never encountered before.  And for some, including me, we may find ourselves fighting the same battle we fought before Mercy.  Battles we thought would be gone.   Coming from what I've gone through since Mercy, I find it easy to give up but yet even harder to let go of the complete freedom I once had at Mercy.  I writing you today because I love you and you all hold a very special place in my heart.  Times are tough, and I just want to tell you to hold on.  Maybe my voice doesn't matter, maybe it does.  But which ever the case, I hope and pray many many blessings of freedom for you.  I pray you all hold on for dear life, because you are worth it.  You are worth it to me, you are worth it to Him. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Few Interesting Facts

I am actually completely enthralled with all this new found information regarding this Maker's Diet.  I haven't been able to look at food the same way again since reading this book.  There is so much need-to-know information in there. 

Take for instance, artificial sweeteners, they are really bad for you.  Since it's supposed to taste like sugar and not actually be sugar, it's quite deceiving.  After 20 minutes in your body, Aspartame begins to break down from its ingested compound. What is in your body, then?
•Methanol
•Formaldehyde (a Class-A carcinogen used to embalm corpses)
•Formic acid (ant venom)
Research shows that when you want sugary substances, use real sugar.  Artificial sweeteners will only tamper with your systems and can wreak havoc in your body.  Not to mention they completely mess up your blood sugar levels and your body's response to them. 

I can't believe it's not butter.  You know what, that's totally a lie.  I CAN believe it's not butter.  For one, it tastes horrible, nothing like butter.  Two, it is made artificially with artificial products that are also completely horrible for your system.  From looking at the ingredients, there are a ton of soy products.  Which is also completely horrendous for your system as well.  Basically, it is always better to use real butter then any of it's low fat, low calorie look alikes.  One of the reasons soy is bad for your body is it mimics estrogen in your body.  Estrogen is good to a certain extent.  Your body already produces the amount it needs, if you have a lot of estrogen, it also can create some not so good side affects.  Soy has been linked to several forms of cancer and from various websites, they are saying the negative in using soy products far out way the benefits. 

Herbs are frankly a fighting machine! They are so great for your body.  I read up on the various herbs and spices and what they can do for your body.  Most of them help in so many area's I would be typing out a massive novel with all the benefits these natural spices have.  To name a few: They are anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, help fight cancer, help your digestive system, they fight arthritis, skin sores, bronchitis, coughs, congestion, muscle spasms, headaches, ulcers, tooth-decay, depression, fungi, candida, viruses, psoriasis, indigestion, body odor,  and even some can be used as disinfectants or anesthetics.  Man! Those are some powerful little warriors that are so easy to add to our daily lives!

That's only a small percentage of the things I have been learning! Crazy stuff, ey?  

Brand New Day

Good Morning everyone! And I truly mean that too.  I sincerely hope you have a good morning. Yesterday was one of those days, one that I wish I could just push fast-forward to 10:30 at night where I could be in my bed, under my covers, sound asleep.  Needless to say, it was not a good day yesterday.  Unfortunately half of my day is going to be left to the imagination for you guys.  Sorry! But I can tell you, I fell sick at work and spent the whole morning in complete pain and apparently my body just rejected my breakfast.  It was kind of funny actually, some of my co-workers just saw me after I had thrown up and thought I was angry! They had never seen me "angry" before so they were quite surprised.  I profusely said that I actually wasn't angry and was fine, but they didn't believe me.  Little did they know I had actually left my half digested breakfast in a toilet bowl a few seconds earlier.  Thankfully I felt almost up to par after a little pain medicine and sprite zero and was able to stay at work and complete my day. 

After another few events happened later that day, I was ready to just crawl in my room and hide out for the rest of the evening.  To my hesitation, I had a church event I wanted to attend to last night so I left early and went there instead of quarantining my self to my room.  It was a great time of reflection, encouragement, and talking.  I felt a lot better after going to church.  I am so happy I went.

There is a reason I say this all to you, I am just extremely thankful for NEW days.  After a day like yesterday, there is nothing quite like waking up in the morning, refreshed and ready to start anew.  Things of old are in the past and there is always the possibility of having a great day ahead.  And you know what? I have never been more thankful for a friend who is always by my side, ready and waiting, for when days go sour and I can vent to Him and tell Him all about it.  I am so happy to have a friend like Him.  :) He's actually a little goofball because, well you want to hear a funny story?

We had a One-by-One Tutoring Christmas Dinner last Monday because or original date came on a day a big snow storm hit.  We unfortunately had to post-pone.  My student came along with her mother and her Aunt and Uncle.  There was a computer give-a-way drawing being held that night.  They had 9 computers to give.  My student's uncle and his wife were expecting their first child. He was really hoping for a computer because he didn't have one and needed one.  I said I would pray he gets one.  We were all excited when the drawing started to take place.  I was secretly praying and praying that he would get one.  My student's mom told me they never get lucky on this sort of thing.  Computer 1's winner was called, then computer 2, 3, 4 and so on.  It came to Computer 9 and that was when I was praying really hard.  The name called was not his.  We were so bummed.  And then! Just at that precise moment, a 10th! Computer! was donated!! and guess what! Her uncle's name was called!! He had won!!! I couldn't believe it! God definitely has a sense of humor!! We were so shocked and excited! What a surprise! I know my student's aunt and uncle are going to thoroughly enjoy their new, used, God-given, comptuer!  Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Venture at The Tea Garden

Yesterday, in going with this whole healthier side thing,  I decided to take a gander at this wonderful place called The Tea Garden.  My whole experience there was wonderful, and they were extremely nice to me no matter how indecisive I actually (well really is more like it) was.  I am not a tea drinker. I think it tastes like a heavily watered down juice.  In reading The Maker's Diet, I have decided to try it sparingly and hopefully make an acquired taste for the hot liquid. 

I am signed up for various coupon daily deals through out the metro. They send me a daily deal every day to my inbox with fabulous 50% off deals for businesses.  Some of them I automatically delete but they had a deal yesterday at crowdcut.com where I could spend $5 and get a $10 voucher at The Tea Garden! My curiosity sparked my interest.  I have been there once prior but that was a while ago, I also remembered the service there to be excellent as well, not to mention the products. 

Needless to say, with my $10 voucher, I got a Mango Guava Shake (not ice cream by the way) with Tapioca pearls.  It was good, and I got 2 bags of wonderful smelling tea! I hope my free bags of tea do me justice and I acquire the taste quickly. 

As far as my progress on The Maker's Diet you might ask? Well, I haven't particularly started yet.  I am still finishing up the book which should be done by this afternoon.  I am meeting with my dear friend, who is already on the diet, tonight for coffee where we can discuss this topic further.  I'm pretty excited.  This feels right.  There is a tremendous amount of information in that book that I would have never known.  Even if you don't want to start the diet, which is totally okay, I highly recommend reading the book.  Because some of the health insights in there is highly valuable. 

So there you have it! more exciting info from the mind of Kelley! I urge you to check out The Tea Garden though, it is an amazing little place!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Maker's Diet

What is it about what we eat day in or day out that severely impairs our health? Where did we go wrong? What things should I be eating? What things shouldn't I be eating? Questions upon questions.  I am at the point in my life where, eating is a life altering thing for me.   My health is extremely dependent upon what food's I am choosing to inhale.  Where do I go for answers?

My friend from church has been on what is called, The Maker's Diet.  (Although I refuse to use the word "Diet" in my vocabulary, I much prefer "Lifestyle Change")  Through this lifestyle change, she has been able to feel a lot healthier, have more energy, and lost some weight to get down to a healthier size.  She has been on this since I met her and she looks great.  I've been curious about the whole thing, so one day I went on Amazon and bought the book on this particular lifestyle change.  I am only half way through it and so far I am liking what I am reading. 


A short summary to explain this to you, The founder of this diet is a man named Jordan Rubin.  During his college years, he was stricken with a deadly case of Crohn's Disease.   This man was on the brink of death.  He weighed under 100 pounds and couldn't do anything to get his weight back up.  His body rejected any type of food or nourishment.  His body was starving itself.   Jordan was determined to find a way to live.  He searched high and low for any type of cure or ailment to alter his disease.  He went to doctor upon doctor, and even researched far outlandish alternative medicine.   One day, he decided to see what God had said in his most powerful source of information, The Bible.  Jordan picked apart the Bible and wrote down what food's God has said were okay or "Clean" in biblical terms, and also anything God had said were unclean to eat.  When he put this new found information to practice, his Crohn's disease symptoms were basically reversed.   He was able to gain weight, and his body started to retain the nourishment it needed.  Till this day he has not felt one symptom from Crohn's Disease.  He, I believe, is now a healthy 230 pounds.   I'm not sure I have the number exactly correct but you get the point.  He showed us a Before and After picture and it was SHOCKING. 


Everything really makes sense, he even included several stories of other people who had similar cases with various incurable diseases who have been cured.  His grandmother included.  (she had a severe case of cancer and was on her death bed as well) This is not to say, that this method of lifestyle change is going to cure everyone or something, but it has been proven to help. 

I am really enjoying this book and after a long time thinking about it and praying about, I'm interested in starting this.  I don't have an incurable disease or anything but I know, at the weight I am at, my health is not too good.  I can feel pains in my body in places I never had before.  I want to live a long healthy life and not have everything spiral out of control at the age of 40.   I look at my uncle, (whom I love dearly), once he got close to 50 his health severely deteriorated.  He is one miserable man with all the pains he has in his body, including Rheumatoid Arthritis and Asthma.  He has even been considering quitting his job because it is just so hard on him.   I want kids someday, and it will mean everything to me to be able to pick them up and play around with them, run after them, shoot them in the air and catch them, put them upside down and tickle their tummies without running out of breath and having to take a rest after 5 minutes. 

I plan on documenting my journey once I start just in case you might be interested in this as well.  First, I have to finish the second half of this book.  :) Prayers are always appreciated.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Future In the Shadows

I kind of wonder as I sit here at my desk looking out at the cozy fireplace with flames reaching for the sky and snow falls gracefully outside, what will my future hold? Many times I think, what will I be when I grow up? even though I've already grown up.  What job will I have? Where will I live? How much kids will I have? Will I love what I am doing? Will I be bored? Will I be content?

I must say, I am adventurous.  I yearn for new opportunities that spice up my life.  I would love to do something exciting, something out of the ordinary.  I love change.  God's given me a great place to live here, a great church packed with great friends, a great job on top of all else.  I've been given a great lifestyle here.  A place I call home.  Yet somehow I find the fascination and wanting sensations to just drop everything here and go somewhere, do something, move to a different state, maybe even country? I am at the age now where I can.  But dare I? I don't know.  Does God even want me to go somewhere else?  After all he's provided me with so much here. 

Career's have always been on my mind. I'm 23 and a receptionist at American Family Insurance.  I love it there.  I love the people there.  Is this what I will be doing the rest of my life? Would I be okay with that? Am I okay with that? Or do I want something else? Something more?  I've had dreams and aspirations when I was a kid of who I would be, but I never decided on just one.  I always had a list of things I could do, never one that I really had all my hopes and dreams on.  There's the Singer, Artist, Hair Stylist, Flight Stewartess, Architect, Nurse, Interior Designer, Teacher... For a while I had my heart set on singing or having my career at least have something to do with my voice.  Several months ago, God told me to take a break from singing.  Now, I wonder if I even want that anymore.  I still want to use my voice but who knows the extent of that ruler. 

I do know one thing... well 2 things in fact.  I want to be a mother, and second... I want whatever it is that I will do for the rest of my life, whether I become an Office Receptionist or any other of one of my dreams, I want it to be for God and in God's will.  I just get tired of waiting sometimes, you know? I've come to find out that God is an extremely patient man and loves to teach me that very attribute.  So as a 23 year old whose never gone to college, I'll just have to wait some more to find out what I really want to do with my life. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Misses and Wishes

I am one part of a huge family.  I have mercy sisters all over the United States, Family spread out through various states, and at some points, country's, I have cousins, aunts, and uncles miles and miles away.  I can't help but really miss not being able to see them.  I've been looking through pictures and reading blogs lately about those close to me that live far away and I can't help but feel a pinge of sadness that I can't see them as often as I'd like.  Our Welu's family has made it a point that we have a Welu Reunion ever year.  We started this a few years back at my sister's wedding because years would just fly by without seeing each other.  It would only be the next big family event such as Weddings that we would meet.  Although I cherish our annual get together but sometimes it still feels not enough.  My relatives are dear to me and I have grown up with them.  Now, I wonder if I even really know them anymore.  I know who they used to be? But people change.  I wish that I could just take a needle and thread and close the distance between us. 

My mercy sisters are important to me as well.  We lived with each other for 6 months.  We laughed together, we cried together, we witnessed very interesting things together, we bonded together.  But graduation day came and we all flew home.  Home is different for all of them, some are in Texas, Washington, North Carolina, Tennessee and so on.  The fact that it's been 2 years since I have seen any of them is sometimes hard to believe. 

Thinking back at all of this makes me wish sometimes that I worked at an Airport.  Free flying would be so beneficial to see all of my friends and family!!

My friends and family out there, I miss you! More than you know! Have a great day.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Family Weekend of Fun

The fun of Holidays and family has now officially ended.  With Christmas and New Years over, we now have nothing to look forward to till spring.  The last few months of Winter will come bringing with it a never ending accumulation of snow to remind us.  But I had a great time.  Probably one of the better times in my life. 

Over Christmas, my family drove up and we got to celebrate our traditional annual Christmas get-together at Grandpa's.  With candles lit, rice pudding being temperamental, slow cooked ham smell permeating the air, a Christmas prayer, Luke chapter 2 voiced through the room, and a couple Christmas gifts for the kids creating a sense of familiarity as we embark on our family weekend together. 

Christmas has now ended and we yet look forward to New Years.  Plans were made to spend our intimate family Christmas together in South Dakota with mom and dad.  Yet, weather decided to make it's own plans.  With ice storm warnings across the state, I was forced to change my plans and head out of town on Wednesday night instead of Thursday.   My never ending applause of thankfulness is ever present, if I had left on Thursday, I would have never made it.   Ice had covered all of the roads. 

Due to the weather, we also chose to stay mainly indoors creating much needed family time for all of us.  We got the opportunity to grow closer, get to know the in-laws more, and play with the little ones.   I unfortunately came across a cold and was sick the entire weekend.  I didn't want it to let me down so I pushed through to make this weekend a memorable one.   I am so thankful for my family, for our time together, and for my boss who was very lenient in letting me take Thursday off last minute.  I am spoiled with a great job, a great car, a continuous paycheck, and so much more.  It's time to appreciate what I do have.  Always wanting more only leads me to forget what I already have right here in front of me, not to mention the feel of underappreciation and thinking I never get anything.