Saturday, January 30, 2010

And the Hits Just Keep on Coming

As my few blog "followers" have probably already come to know, I'm getting worked on BIG TIME by the Lord regarding my faith in action. James 2 talks about this when he writes, "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?" He isn't talking about a works based belief here, because we cannot get to heaven by works, only by grace... but he is challenging believers in saying that if you have faith, deeds should follow. We should care about others and DO something. Through following the walks and testimonies of other believers living out their faith in amazing action (check out blogs here, here, here, and here), as well as reading books challenging me on the topic (see the ones listed on my bookshelf to the right), being reminded of scripture that speaks to the truth of the matter, and overall feeling a conviction from the Holy Spirit to listen up and do something... I am constantly reminded that God has called me and other believers to something greater than what this life, this world has to offer and says is worthwhile.

Today, I have been using my "snow day" - remember that means ICE DAY in Memphis - to read, count up change for The ABC Challenge 2010 (very excited to hear the results), balance the checkbook, and spend some time with my man. During the reading portion of my day I have dived into Jen Hatmaker's book, INTERRUPTED: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith. Ladies and Gents, 34 pages into this 168 page book, I am rocked! I cannot read more until I share what's rocking me. I encourage you ALL to pick up this book... it's an "easy" read in the sense that the pages are small, font is big, and Jen Hatmaker is a great writer that keeps you interested.

I'm going to share the quotes I've underlined thus far, hoping it encourages you to go pick it up yourself and be ready to heed a challenge! A challenge to step outside of ourselves and begin caring for those around us.

Hatmaker ends her introduction to the book by saying, "So then, let me tell you how my consumer, comfortable life was divinely interrupted - and perhaps yours will be too."

Quotes that rock me:
I am still stunned by my capacity to spin Scripture, see what I wanted, ignore what I didn't, and use the Word to defend my life rather than define it.
We were the opposite of counterculture. We were a mirror image of culture, just a churched-up version.
by Shane Claiborne in The Irresistible Revolution: I developed a spiritual form of bulimia where I did my devotions, read all the new Christian books and saw the Christian movies, and then vomited information up to friends, small groups, and pastors. But it never had the chance to digest. I had gorged myself on all the products of the Christian industrial complex but was spiritually starving to death. I was marked by an overconsumption but malnourished spiritually, suffocated by Christianity but thirsty for God.
"God raise up in me a holy passion."
And from the depths of heaven, this is what I heard: "You do feed souls, but twenty-four thousand of my sheep will die today because no one fed their bellies; eighteen thousand of them are my youngest lambs, starving today in a world with plenty of food to go around. If you truly love Me, you will feed My lambs. My people are crumbling and dying and starving, and you're blessing blessed people and dreaming about your next house."
All of a sudden, I saw my exact reflection in Peter: devoted but selfish, committed but misguided. And that is not going to be enough. It won't suffice to claim good intentions. Saying "I meant well" is not going to cut it. Not with God screaming, begging, pleading, urging us to love mercy and justice, to feed the poor and the orphaned, to care for the last and least in nearly every book of the Bible. It will not be enough one day to stand before Jesus and say, "Oh? Were You serious about all that?"
For all my self-proclaimed love of God's Word, what I really loved were the parts that worked for me. For my good. For my blessings.
I submit the following not to shame the rich West but to offer perspective... These are pretty agreed-upon statistics, and if I encountered a discrepancy in the research, I went with the more conservative number:
    • Of the 6 billion people on planet Earth, about 1.2 billion live on $.23 a day.
    • Half the world lives on less than $2 a day.
    • The wealthiest 1 billion people average $70 a day. (This places you and me in the upper, upper, upper percentages of the global population.)
      • If you make $35,000 annually, you are in the top 4 percent.
      • If you make $50,000 annually, the top 1 percent.
    • Someone dies of hunger every 16 seconds.
    • Last year 22 million people died of preventable diseases; 10 million were children.
    • 27 million children and adults are trapped in slavery (sex slaves, labor slaves, child soldiers, and child slaves) because of economic crisis. More slaves exist today than ever before in human history.
    • More than 143 million children in the world have been orphaned or abandoned (equivalent to more than half the population of the United States).
    • In the last hour:
      • 1,625 children were forced to the streets by the death or abuse of an adult.
      • 115 children became prostitutes.
      • 66 children under the age of fifteen were infected with HIV.
    • Roughly 1 billion people in the world do not have suitable housing, and 100 million are entirely homeless.
When God shook Israel awake from her violent slumber, He said, "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arragant, overfed, and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy" (Ezekiel 16:49, emphasis added). I humbly propose that God is calling rich believers in America (which is all of us) to the same reform. I optimistically believe that most are unconcerned because we're unaware.

Do we realize, do we know how good we have it? More like this, do I KNOW how good I have it? How blessed I am? How I have an opportunity to make a difference, one child, one person at a time? I do not want to sit idly by and use the excuse that I cannot make a difference. The excuse that the problem is too large for my help to matter. That's a LIE. That's an EXCUSE. I can make a difference and the reality is my faith, my Lord, my Bible calls me to do so. Enough with the excuses, time to activate and do something. If we all stepped up to the plate, we'd make a mighty difference. And the reality is... God doesn't need us to do something, but HOW BLESSED can we be to be a part of God's purpose and calling.

Rocked this Saturday... Wrecked and Wondering.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Crazy Weather & Workout 17.5

In true Memphis fashion, the weathermen predict snow and the reality is mostly ice. Today we watched as sleet, icy rain, rain, and minimal snow covered the skies of Memphis and it's surrounding areas. What is left tonight is wet, slushy streets and a dropping temperature with the sun disappearing for the night. I suspect that means sheets of ice to greet us in the morning.

That same prediction seems to be an area wide thought, as I just found out that my school is closed tomorrow, thus meaning I will not have my first exam as planned. Yay for a relaxing evening with my hubby instead of studying, but boo for another week of thinking about an upcoming exam rather than feeling the relief of completion.

Last night my hubby said he was starting to feel under the weather and we learned that the University of Memphis was already scheduled for closing today... so we decided it best that my man sleep in this morning and not wake for our weekday scheduled workout. Before bed I served him a glass of OJ along with two NyQuil and wished him goodnight. Being on my own this morning, I did a 6 minute warm-up and an 18 minute Yoga workout through The Biggest Loser Wii game. It felt good. My man and I plan on making up our day of the 30Day Shred on Sunday as long as he is feeling better.

Tonight we plan on enjoying some Chinese Take-Out (thankful for delivery in this nasty weather) and a warm snuggle under our heated throw blanket I got for Christmas.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 17 w/Jillian Michaels

Documenting it for accountability purposes.
Day 17 was completed this morning with my man.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 16 w/Jillian Michaels

We completed Day 16 of the 30 Day Shred this morning, but we changed it up a bit. Interval 2 has been a workout, however it involves a large number of plank poses, thus meaning you're on your toes quite a bit. My man has some major bone spurs, so being on his toes for an extended period of time doesn't flow. Therefore after completing 5 out of 10 days of Interval 2, we went back to Interval 1 this morning to change things up a bit and also make sure we're getting the most effective workout possible. We will continue Interval 1 for the next 4 days until it's time to start Interval 3.

Each interval seems to have its own strengths. For example, interval 1 is better/harder on the cardio side than interval 2. Interval 2 is better/harder on the abs workout than interval 1. Both can kick your tail, but we seem to breath a little heavier on Interval 1... so interval 1 is where it's at for the next few days until Day 21, which will begin the scary Interval 3. Only time will tell what that looks like.

Regardless, we're seriously enjoying working out together and the new routine we have. Granted, there are many mornings where it's a mental battle to get out of bed to start the day... but once we're up and moving, it's TOTALLY worth it.

The cult following at work with the 30 Day Shred has increased... more folks have been added the the group working out during lunch Mon, Wed, and Fridays... and additional folks have purchased the video to workout at home. I just keep telling them the same thing my friend told me (when she gave me the video to borrow)... don't hate me... hate Jillian. Should I contact Jillian for a kickback or two with all these DVD purchases stemming from my constant rants about the workout. hmmm... but one thing is for sure, we are more conscious of our bodies and our health right now and it's four weeks past new years... so folks are stepping further than their resolutions. That's a very cool thing to see and it's much easier the more folks you have encouraging you and walking the same road together.

In other news... this week seems to be busy and I'm trying not to let it be stressful. I'm doing my best to take each day one at a time with the goal of completing each task at hand.

I have my first exam in Anatomy & Physiology 2 on Saturday morning. The exam is over the Autonomic Nervous System, the Endocrine System, and the Reproductive System. I feel like I have a good general grasp of it, but the details are what usually are inquired upon and those I'm shaky on at times. Additionally, my prof grades on grammar, spelling, and sentence structure in addition to content when it comes to the definition question and the few short answer questions. The positive thing is... as long as I spell everything correctly and write in complete sentences, even if I have the entire concept wrong, I have a chance of receiving good points on the "problem", so that's encouraging. The spelling is difficult at times though, because we're dealing with medical terms. I think sometimes they make the wording and spelling up just for kicks because the words can get really long at times.

Other reasons for the busy nature is that we're FINALLY getting our wood lamanent flooring put into our house this week. I am VERY excited about the transformation that is taking place and cannot wait to post pictures once it's complete and then pictures again once we start to decorate again. We've owned the flooring for over six months, I believe and have finally started to see progress. The flooring is being put in the back "living room", the old office, the kitchen, and our small hallway in between the kitchen and bathroom. It already looks totally different. One reason this adds to our busyness is that we have to work to keep the furbabies away from the guys as they work. This at times is no small task. The furbabies go from the freedom of wandering the entire house, to being gated to stay only in the front living room. To say they get a little stir crazy is probably an understatement, especially when you're talking about Sir Licks Alot, Dexter. But so far it's looking like it's worth the trouble. Can't wait for it to be complete... our house will be able to get back in order soon.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 14 w/Jillian Michaels

Mondays are always the hardest workout day for me. The major reason for this is simple, it's M.O.N.D.A.Y - for some reason all things are a bit more difficult on a Monday because we have to reconcile the fact that the weekend has come to an official close. Additional, I do not do the same workout or have the same schedule during the weekend... sure my Saturdays actually look like every other day of the week due to getting up for school, but I take a day off for working out on Saturday mornings. Also on Sundays I actually "sleep in" until 8am or so before we get up for our Sunday School class and church service.

So Mondays are our day to get back into the routine... and for some reason the body fights that a bit more than any other day. But we did it... we completed Day 14th this morning, which was our 4th day of Jillian's Interval 2.

Tomorrow will be Day 15 - so we'll weigh in and update our results after we complete it. Bring it on.

In other news... I completed my first of many books I received for Christmas, When God Stood Up: A Christian Response to AIDS in Africa by James Cantelon. This book rocked me. I have underlined upon underlined material, starred upon starred... stuff making me ask myself, do I have action following my faith. Do I produce fruit? Do I help the least of these? How am I making a difference beyond just living life? These are great, soul searching inquiries. Inquiries that have continued to stay in my mind... the Holy Spirit whispering to me... and developing a yearning to do something within my heart. My next read is Jen Hatmaker's INTERRUPTED: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith. I've heard great things about this book and how it too could rock my world. I am ready to be challenged, I am ready to be convicted. I do not want to be the same today as I was yesterday. I do not want to be the same tomorrow as I am today.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Word and Other Randomness

If you desire to "hear a Word" today... you have to read Katie's blog post for Friday, January 22nd. Go here to read it. This young woman's walk with God challenges me beyond belief and for that I am thankful. She is putting true faith into action on a daily basis.

Today marks 8 days left in the ABC Challenge. I'm so excited to see what some of the outcomes will be of collecting our pocket change for 30 days (End Date Jan 30th). I have had two people give me full bags of coins already, to which I have been so thankful. I haven't counted my own change, or those bags that have been given to me, so it'll be a neat surprise to count it up next week or so and see how much work can be done with what has been collected. I'm so thankful and encouraged by the people that have heard the calling to step outside of ourselves and our selfishness and take notices as to how we can assist others. Very cool.

In other completely non-related randomness... today I heard on the radio that the Iphone now has an application for translating a baby's cry... did you hear me? A PHONE APP for translating a baby's cry. Now I know that I'm not a mother and have never had to figure out why a baby was crying really... or have never been so frustrated when I've tried everything and the baby still cries... but a PHONE APP? Seriously? I'm sorry but this is probably one of the most silly and stupid things I have ever heard of. I've heard there are two apps called baby translators for the Iphone. One for $2.99 or something and the other for $39.99. What?! Anyone else think this is crazy and a foolish thing? Or am I off my own rocker on this one?

Day 13 w/Jillian Michaels

This morning as we were working out to our 30 Day Shred, I believe I heard something along these words come out of "my trainer's" mouth... "I want you to gurgle your heart"?! Now I could be completely wrong, the intense burning sensation felt in my legs at the time and arms might have led me astray on this verbiage, but I promise something was said about the heart and possibly girgling it. Maybe my man, who was working out by my side will remember specifically to confirm or deny accordingly.

Needless to say, workout #3 on Interval 2 is now complete and I'm feeling it. The ab workout on this interval is much more intense than what we saw in Interval 1, but I love it! Today marks 2.5 full weeks of waking up early during the work week to workout. I truly believe we're better because of it.

We'll see Day 14 on Monday. This weekend The Biggest Loser Wii Yoga will call my name. Happy Friday - have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 12 w/Jillian Michaels

"I want you to feel like you're going to die!" - Jillian Michaels

This is what we heard today, halfway through our time on the Jillian Michaels' 30Day Shred Interval 2. It's the same workout as yesterday, so I know she said it then, but apparently I was so distracted learning the new moves that I didn't hear her. BUT today... I heard those words LOUD AND CLEAR! And the reality is, I wanted to... die that is... burn burn burn.

We continue to do the 30 Day Shred without weights... I can only imagine the pain I would be in if I had weights during this whole time. Maybe our plan will be to repeat the 30 day WITH weights after we get through the first 30 days... not a bad idea. We'll see if that happens. But for now, without weights works just fine for me! I'm still getting something out of it - totally.

So a following has begun... now that I'm 12 business days into this workout with my man, I have convinced a few coworkers to join me on the journey. So far I've seen 2 videos pop up in the office since I began this workout. One is being used at home by a coworker and his wife... he's on day 2 and I think he's cursed me underneath his breath. Maybe. And the other video is going to be used at work - three ladies say they'll do it during their lunch break on Mon, Wed, and Fridays... they start tomorrow.

Have I become and advocate for this workout? Guess so, in some ways. I'm just glad that my man and I found something realistic that we could accomplish and do within our crazy scheduled lives. Bring on Day 13!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Man and Me

I was looking over my computer files during my lunch hour and I discovered that I have about 40 pictures of my man and me saved in my documents. I figured, why not do something with all of those photos and throw them into a slideshow just because.

So here it is... forty pictures of my man and me. They range from dating to engagement to marriage. Ironically enough as I began to label the photos, I see that most of the shots I have saved on my computer are those from attending other folks' weddings. Pretty substantial listing of weddings we've attended, been in, or the like.

Enjoy the randomness.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: My Man and Me
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I can't say it enough, I am a very lucky woman to have this man walking through life with me!

Day 11 w/Jillian Michaels

So this morning was Day 1 of Interval 2 with the Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. I was a bit nervous about this transition, wondering how Jillian would take it up a notch. And oh did she... I think she forgot what a notch was and took it up double time or more.

I have three words to describe today's Interval 2 workout:
          1. lunges
          2. squats
          3. planks
Oh my! I can feel the burn already... It  was non stop tension on legs and arms... starting with a walk it out push up. In other words, we touched our toes, walked out to a push up position, did a push up and then walked it back up to touching our toes. OUCH. That was one...

So yeah, we picked it up a notch, or ten notches. Feeling the burn. And loving it. I'm definitely going to need to take part in our 3pm stretch today or I might not be able to move well by tonight.
Bring on Day 12!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 10 w/Jillian Michaels

We did it! We finished Interval 1 of Jillian's 30 Day Shred, 10 full days worth. Tomorrow begins 10 days of Interval 2. I'm a little nervous, but still saying BRING IT!

We weighed in again this morning on our Wii Fit. We did the updated balance test and weight.... and we've totally made progress. Encouraging to see! One day at a time! Still taking it one day at a time!

Monday, January 18, 2010

An Eventful Weekend

Our weekend started out with something special, fun, and out of the norm. Friday night we were able to actually enjoy the gift we got my Daddy for his birthday (back in November). My hubby and I, along with my mom and youngest sister purchased tickets to the Brian Regan show here at the Orpheum theater. We knew the gift would be delayed, the show not being until January, but felt like it would be a perfect night out for Dad and good "non tie or sweater" gift for his birthday.

We had a great time. We first went to dinner at The Majestic Grille to enjoy some grub and good conversation and then made our way to the Orpheum to enjoy some laughs. Brian Regan was great. My hubby had never seen or heard him before. I had heard some of his stuff on cd, but had never seen a live show before (for any comedian), so it was an exciting night. We had some good laughs and some good jokes/stories to talk about later in the night and even throughout the weekend. It was a fun time, and I'm pretty sure Dad enjoyed it, which is most important since it was for him.

Saturday for me consisted of getting up at the same time I do every weekday morning... 620am the alarm sounded and it was time to get up for school. Two weeks down and it's going well (no tests yet, ask me again after I experience one of those in a few weeks), but getting up at 620am on a Saturday hasn't gotten any easier yet. There is just SOMETHING about it, something about my mind knowing it's a Saturday and I should be able to sleep to 8am or so that gets me. It's a struggle, but I've gotten up each time with time to spare to pick up a cup of coffee along the way.

On Sunday, probably the most interesting thing of the weekend happened... our bed broke. Oh yea, lovely huh? The bed will not be 3 years old until March 31st and it BROKE. My hubby was being so sweet, getting up to take the dogs out of the room so they wouldn't bother me for an extra 30 minutes or hour of sleep, but as he got up... KAAABLAAAMMMMM! The bed tilted to one side... "ARE YOU OKAY?! WHAT HAPPENED?" is what came out of my mouth as a sat up as quick as possible. Yuppers... turns out one of the rails broke. The rails have a metal piece within them that then slides into the headboard or foot board accordingly to connect all pieces together... well the metal piece stripped through the wood completely, broken. Freak accident. We had to completely take the bed apart to take the pressure off the parts of the bed that were not broken. When we took the broken rail to the furniture store to show them and order our new rails, they said they've never seen that before. So my guess is that the wood was splintered or cracked internally from the very beginning and over the last couple years, that metal piece has been moving more and more towards freedom and a broken bed.

Oh yeah, the warehouse isn't open on Sundays or today (MLK Day)... so we've been sleeping with a mattress on the floor and will again tonight before we get our bed put back together on Tuesday. Oh the joys of randomness!

While we were out purchasing our new bed rails, we also picked up curtains for our bedroom. We put them up last night and I'm already loving them (camera phone picture to the right from when we were at the store trying to decide). Not only do they shut out the light wonderfully from the next door neighbors home, but they also add some additional colors to our room. Now for project "make a pillow to accentuate". We'll see how that goes.

Happy Monday!

Ps. Our super talented friend, James Joseph worked diligently as Mr. Do It All on a FREE album that just hit the internet. Check out his work and enjoy:

Day 9 w/Jillian Michaels

One more day down of the Jillian 30 Day Shred, and by Wednesday we'll kick it up a notch and step into Interval 2. I'm kind of nervous about that, but am thankful that it'll happen mid week rather than on a Monday, when it's tough to get back into the routine.

Ps. My hubby is a trooper! It's MLK day, so he didnt have class, or a need to get up early, but STILL, he got out of bed with me 6:30am and did the workout!

This weekend has been an interesting one... I'll work to blog about it over lunch and update you with a post.
Happy Monday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

1/2 Way Point: ABC Challenge 2010

We're half way there.... 15 days down, 15 to go on the ABC Challenge 2010. Keep collecting that pocket change for Amazima Ministries International. It's NOT too late to begin, if you haven't already... start collecting that pocket change today and see how much of a difference it can make for someone else. Check out THIS blog post to find out specifics.

For those that have started to participate and only have found a few dollars in their change collected so far... do NOT be discouraged. EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS! Whether it be $4 total, $10 total, or more that you've collected... I promise that all of it will make a difference.

Be encourage that any change you can collect during this time, even if it's only 50 cents can impact a child. See evidence how VERY LITTLE can help A LOT in this info found on the Amazima Ministries website:

A child can be provided a healthy meal for as little as 15 cents! Amazima feeds 1,200 children in the Masese feeding program, which provides children from a slum community with meals at school as an alternative to begging for food on the streets. Fifteen dollars provides 100 meals for these children. A week's worth of meals is provided for $2.10 (children are served lunch and given food to take home for supper). Feed a child today!!"

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions over the next fifteen days as we bring the ABC Challenge 2010 to a close. I'm pumped about this! Remember, if you like, leave a comment on the original ABC Challenge 2010 blog post: here on January 31st to tell us how much you were able to collect during your 30 day pocket change challenge. Feel free to leave an anonymous comment if you prefer!

Be encouraged that every little bit helps, you can start to make a difference in a life TODAY!

"If you're all about self-love, you might as well be beating your head on a brass drum. If you're not adding value, you're only adding noise."
- James Centelon, When God Stood Up

Day 8 w/Jillian Michaels

Today is a good day! We completed day 8 of Jillian's 30 day shred this morning. I drove to work pumped up and with the Wicked soundtrack BLARING! It put some extra pep in my step this morning! Now I'm about to enjoy my first cup of Mistletoe Joe coffee from The Lexington Coffee House & Tea - DELISH!

Today is a good day! The sun is out... This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Bring on Day 9 - Monday morning!

Looking forward to The Biggest Loser Wii Yoga tomorrow in between my lecture in the morning and my lab in the afternoon. Sunday probably will be an off day, unless we play Wii or Wii Fit for a fun to do.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 7 w/Jillian Michaels

We've done it... we've hit day 7 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred... 3 more to go for Interval 1 and then we'll kick it up and notch and head to Interval 2. I'm really enjoying the routine this workout has put us in... we find ourselves in bed earlier than before and up and out of bed no later than 630am to crank it out. I feel better, I have more energy, and my coworkers (folks that see me 8+ hrs each day) have noticed a difference in my demeanor in the mornings, my energy level, my attitude. Whoo hooo. Something to be happy about, regardless if we see physical changes or not. I'll tell ya this... it's easier today than it was the first day, so I'm making progress.

In other news, we have these big workout balls at work. A coworker and I try to sit on them, instead of our desk chair for an hour or so a day. It definitely helps with posture, making sure you sit up straight... after that, not sure what it does other than bring a different "seat" to my day. Additionally, we've begun a 3pm "stretch time" where a group of us stop work for 3-5 min to get a good stretch in. This "stretch time" is wonderful... amazing how much better I feel throughout the day by taking the time to get a 3-5 min stretch in. We've been doing it for the last week and everyone keeps asking, "why haven't we always done this?"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fur Baby Update

Oh look at this craziness below, I just took this with our camera phone... that's the youngest furbaby - Dexter. He's a mess and he really thinks he weighs 10 lbs rather than almost 60 lbs. He is the most affectionate dog I've ever known. Sometimes he'll just whine and whine... and he's already been fed, already gone to the bathroom, had something to drink.... and finally either the hubby or I just sits on the floor and BAM, Dexter plops in our lap on the floor totally content and satisfied. He has a love tank to be filled up. Very affectionate.

And this is Kodi Bear with his Momma. He's the greatest. Dexter has a long way to go to learn the awesomeness of Kodi behavior. But I can tell you this... I now have a small mini glimpse of understanding how parents can have two completely different kids in personality, looks, etc and still love them each separately like crazy.

Day 6 w/Jillian Michaels

Yup, we did it again. Day 6 of 10 is now complete on the first workout interval of Jillian's 30 Day Shred. Whoo hoo!

Last night I mixed it up a bit and while my hubby cooked dinner (love it!), I worked out a bit on The Biggest Loser Wii Game. I did a 6 min warm-up, 18 min yoga routine, and a 8 min cool down, stretch routine. Felt great!

Looking forward to keeping this trend going. We' re moving in the right direction! Bring on day 7!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 5 w/Jillian Michaels

I'm finding that posting how my days go with the Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred routine is keeping me a bit more accountable. So please forgive the constant nature of such posts, but it's helping me out. I can tell.

Today was Day 5 of the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels. We're now officially half way through the first interval of this workout (10 days each for 3 different intervals). Therefore, we've done the same workout every weekday morning since Wednesday, Jan. 6th. 20 minutes worth each time, and truly I think I'm already feeling a difference.

The alarm goes off... I push snooze for an extra 10 minute snuggle, and then up and adam to get the workout set up and underway. I think we've found a good routine and I'm looking forward to continuing it, one day at at time.

Bring on Day 6! 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 4 w/Jillian Michaels

I mentioned that the hubby and I would change things up a bit over the weekend, rather than continuing with Jillian's 30 day shred. It was a great change of pace and I think it helped renew us for this morning's 30day Shred, Day 4.

Saturday I took on The Biggest Loser's Light Yoga routine on Wii. 18 minutes worth of yoga and it burned, but felt oh so good! My man took it up a notch and tackled The Biggest Loser's Intermediate Yoga routine on Wii. He had some extra moves (harder moves too) and the routine lasted a full 27 minutes. Rock on!!!

This morning we ventured into Day 4 of Jillian's 30 day Shred. I'm loving how awake I am on my way to work now that I do these short workouts. I felt better during the cardio stage this morning, but the strength stage still burns like crazy. Circuit 1 is always the worst. You start off with strength and strength consists of PUSH-UPS - ouch and I cannot remember the other part of it. But we do 1min worth of push-ups, 30 seconds of something else strength related, and then another 1 minute of push-ups and the other thingy for 30 seconds. A total of 3 minutes straight with strength. Talk about starting off strong and feeling the burn. Gets me every time. Push-ups are no fun.

So day 4 down. Day 5 to go!
I'm so proud of my man. He isn't in school right now (starts back up on the 14th), so he doesn't HAVE to get up early, but he still gets up at 630am with me to do the workouts. Thanks honey! You encourage me to keep working!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Ambition

Well after much prayer, discussion, confirmation, and door openings, I have begun a new ambition... I am pursuing Nursing School.

Yeppers... today marks my first day of class at Baptist College of Health Sciences. I am taking Anatomy & Physiology 2 this trimester on Saturdays. The plan is to pursue a class or two each trimester, with a clinical start day of Fall 2011. Once completed, I will not only be an RN, but will also have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (which will be my 2nd degree).

I'm excited and nervous all rolled into one. I'm confident that this is the route I'm supposed to pursue right now, and something new is always exciting, but with any new endeavor the unknown is there. I told work before Christmas about my ambitions, looking to be as transparent as possible with them along the way. I am so thankful and blessed as to how they received the news. Prior to speaking with my boss, my boss' boss, and my boss' boss' boss (aka one of the owners of my company), the conversations were totally bathed in prayer, and as always God heard our prayers. I will still work full-time, not affecting my current job at all for awhile. I will attend classes either at night during the week, or on the weekend (Saturdays).

This first trimester I'm taking 5 credit hours. 4 hours worth of A&P2 = lecture + lab, and one hour for my Intro to the college class. I will attend that intro class on Wednesday nights.

So the McGoo's will both be in school this year... making life interesting as always. The hubby is pursuing his 2nd semester of his sophomore year this semester and will be tackling 20 credit hours. Keep us in your prayers. :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

More Reasons Why

So folks may wonder why I'm so excited or involved with getting the word out about the The Amazima Blessing Coin Challenge (ABC Challenge). Part of it is that I believe that "every little bit helps" and if everyone put in a little, we could accomplish a whole lot together.

Here is another reason why I'm working to gain some support for Amazima Ministries International this month... below is an update from one of the mission team leaders that are currently in Uganda serving Katie Davis and the Amazima Ministry.

The Karamajong Children
1/6/10 at 2:05am
I've been trying to upload our photos, but as you know, the internet in Africa is not always cooperative. Our time with the visiting Orphans team was amazing. This team had SO much unity and that is a miracle being such a large team. It was obvious that everyone had come on the trip with the same heart and purpose in be used by God as much as possible to minister to these children.

I will have to say that by far, visiting with the children from the Karamajong people that Amazima feeds was the most rewarding yet devastating for the team. Katie Davis, the beautiful young woman who started Amazima, started this feeding program with this people group about 6 months ago. This people group is seen as the lowest of the low in Jinja. They are truly the poorest of the poor and it's the survival of the fittest among them. The hardest part was watching the children line up for the one meal that most of them would eat per day Monday through Friday. This is the meal that Amazima provides for them at school. These was pushing and shoving and fighting and crying and wailing. Little boys and girls carry their infant siblings on their backs so that they can eat too. Britt was standing by one little girl who was being shoved so badly that the baby fell off and landed on the cement floor, smacking it's head on the cement. The little girl that was holding the infant just seemed like she had given she was defeated, so she just stood there crying, refusing to get out of line. Eventually through much more pushing and with my help, she got her bowl filled up with the rice and beans. And then she just stood there in line...for what seemed like 5 minutes. I think she was just so defeated...

This was a similar scene where another little girl was kept putting her toddler brother to the side of the line and he would just get up and toddle back to her and she would push him away again. It was b/c she was trying to stay in line but kept getting pushed. I eventually picked him up and carried him. He was so weak he immediately fell asleep. She eventually got out of line and came and got him. I guess her love outweighed her hunger in that moment and she was willing to give up her place in line to carry him again. These children were gorgeous, yet filthy...clothes barely hanging on, if at all. No shoes anywhere. I spoke with Patrick, the administrator for this feeding program through Amazima....He is hopeful that we can bring shoes and clothes on our next trip in April. I want to help these children so much. I loved them so much. I still do and wish I did not have to leave. I wish I could stay there. Katie is doing amazing things for these people. God has taken one tiny servant who loves Him dearly..enough to surrender her all to Him and He is just pouring out blessings to these people through her. Please continue to give your donations to Amazima...especiallly for this people group.

We'd love for you to visit and help these people on our next trip in April. We will need your help. Pray that God would open up the storehouses of Heaven to bring His financial and spiritual resources to these people. You can find out more at
- Amanda Lawrence

Looking to make a difference, one coin at at time:

The Amazima Blessing Coin Challenge

Step up and start your new year by doing something for someone else in 2010!

So here's the challenge... step up and commit to collecting your CHANGE for 30 days. In addition, challenge yourself to spread the word and get a friend or two to join the challenge. Starting January 1st, collect your change each day until the second to last day of the month, January 30th. On that day, report to the Verbal Vomit blog post about the ABC Challenge, commenting with how much change you were able to collect and will be donating for Amazima Ministries International... feel free to leave an anonymous comment if you like. Remember, every LITTLE BIT helps... we'll see how a little bit adds up to a lot when multiple folks get involved!!! On January 31st, send a check to Amazima Ministries with the amount of change you collected. Go to this post to get further details.

We're only 1 week in, it's NOT too late to start.

Quote from The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard E. Stearns, president of World Vision:

"For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, any you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved."

Day 3 w/Jillian Michaels

Today was a day when I almost messed up. I almost skipped day 3 of the Jillian Micheals workout.

My hubby wasn't in bed until after 12:30am because he was watching the National Championship game with the boys elsewhere... so he was super tired and I was awoken at 12:30am when he arrived in bed. When the alarm went off this morning, I could hear his heavy breathing; I enjoyed the warmth of my bed; and just thought about it... do I really want to do this? Wouldn't it be nice to sleep another 20 minutes? Wouldn't my hubby want to sleep too? Maybe I shouldn't wake him?

I leaned over to my man, shoved him a bit and whispered, "do you want to workout?" He responded, "yes, but I don't want to get up". Thankfully that was the only encouragement I needed. I got a little pep in my step, turned on the lights, threw open his covers and got up to set the stage for our workout.

We completed Day 3 w/Jillian Michaels. Whoo hoo!
I'm pretty sure tomorrow and Sunday will be non 30-day Shred days... instead we'll take to doing some Wii Yoga... but the plan is to be back in the saddle with Jillian bright and early Monday morning.
Bring on Day 4.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Trucking Along in 2010

2010 has already been good, productive, and fun....

I began the new year by spending time with my hubby and some friends. We had our annual NYE festivities that consist of a good dinner out (Owen Brennan's this time around) and an "after party" together until the ball drops. Last year, when the ball dropped we learned after screaming HAPPY NEW YEAR that one of the couples were pregnant with their first child. Now that their adorable, handsome son is six months old, this year we were curious if any surprises might happen again. And oh did they....a few minutes before the countdown, we had some toasts and the final toast turned into a PROPOSAL! Heck yeah,.... more friends going to the chapel.

Here is a photo of the good looking, NEWLY engaged couple. This one was taken at dinner before the Mrs. To Be had a clue what would happen later that night. 2010 will bring a marriage into their lives.

Here is a photo of another good looking, engaged couple that also attended the festivities. They should be Mr. & Mrs. by the end of April. Very exciting.

And here is a photo of me and the hubby. Check out my fabulous necklace, I have matching earrings on too... they were Christmas gifts from my Mother In Law. Love them! They'll look even better as I hopefully become less pasty once winter is over. Happy New Year!

Since our New Year's festivities, we've gotten a Wii and played multiple games of Wii tennis, hosted the Bunko Divas, gone on a date to eat The BBQ Shop together and see Sherlock Holmes (VERY GOOD - go see it!), started working out with Jillian Michaels and the Wii Fit, and visited with friends for dinner and rooting on the Tigers vs Syracuse (grrr. We lost.) Tonight I'm enjoying a Mrs. McGoo night (hubby is out with the boys for the football game tonight), complete with blogging, balancing the checkbook, reading, TV show viewing, and going to be early. I'm enjoying it already.

The Bunko Divas were a hoot as usual. Here are a few of my favorite photos from Monday's festivities with dice. BIG BUNKO!!!

We've already established that I'm a dork, so I'll explain this first photo... I went ahead and made the point counter cards for the ladies since I was hosting, and congratulated our two newest engaged divas: Erin Marie & Tina while I was at it.

Oh and the red ear warmer/headband thing all the girls are wearing - that's for those that got a Big Bunko... more reason why I'm flashing #2 up in my photo... it was my 2nd go around. BIG BUNKO!

So it's been a typical busybee McGoo style year from the start... oh, and on Saturday... I begin school (more on that later).

Day 2 w/Jillian Michaels

Okay, so Day 2 of the "30 Day Shred" was the EXACT same workout as Day 1... we will do this workout for 10 days before progressing to the 2nd Interval/Stage. BUT, today - Day 2 hurt a whole lot more than Day 1! My calves burned the moment I woke up this morning... so the more jumping jacks, jump rope motion, and squats that I did during the 20 minute routine, the more I felt my body burn. That's good though... means something is happening! Means I'm working out. Right?

1 day at a time, Mrs. McGoo.
One day at a time.
Day 2 is accomplished.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 1 w/Jillian Michaels

Alright, so the hubby and I started Jillian Michaels' workout video this morning - 30 Day Shred. It's a 20 minute workout... with a 2 minute warm-up and three 6 minute intervals. The intervals consist of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. 20 minutes from start to finish and you don't stop... and I'm feeling it.

Today, my post will reference a MUST READ on my hubby's blog: A Legend In My Own Mind. Go read it, you'll be glad you did... he's hilarious. It's about our workout this morning... Day 1 is complete. Bring it on tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Usually when I come across a Bible verse or a Biblical truth that the Lord wants me to take notice of, I find that I see the same truth more than once. Maybe I read it the first time in a Bible study I'm doing, and it strikes me as something to take note of... making me "hmmm" a little bit. And then before you know it, my pastor speaks on the same topic the next Sunday... "okay, God, I'm listening". And then, I go on a coffee date with a friend, and she begins to share with me how God is revealing a, b, and c to her and one of those are exactly what the Lord was showing me.... "I HEAR YOU, obviously this is something I need to take note of and learn!!!". I love how this works. I love how God speaks to me through His scripture, pastors, and Godly friends. I love how these truths can become so relevant for me today.

Well, currently the Lord is not only whispering to me in regards to a truth He wants me to know and recognize... He's using a MEGAPHONE right now. "Heather, ARE YOU LISTENING?! DO YOU HEAR ME?!"

As I've written before in my "Wrecked & Wondering Posts (part 1 and part 2)", God is doing a work in me regarding my responsibility as a believer for the least of these... especially for orphans and for widows. It began with a friend's post on her blog about "some things she's been thinking about lately"... and was followed up by Facebook links being posted by another friend sharing a random girl's blog about how she's making a difference for the kingdom and for the least of these. Then it snowballed into my own readings, my own pursuit of more information.... and the same message is being told, the same message is being asked of me, "what are you doing for the least of these? Your God cares for them, do you????". I love how the Father confirms things like that... as we pursue truth, He brings it into light.

At church this past Sunday, the message from our pastor continued to confirm the truths I've been shown and convicted of as of late... Dr. Frey focused on Matthew 25:31-46. Here are a few key verses...
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Dr. Frey challenged us for 2010... what is our church body going to do this year to take notice and care for the least of these? When are we going to step outside of casual Christianity and truly mimic our Savior's example. This passage talks about the sheep who will inherit the kingdom, these sheep did something. (Yes, we are saved by Grace, but once the Holy Spirit is living within us, we should produce fruit.) They didn't wait for someone else to make a difference, they took responsibility. The sheep had the behavior of the shepherd! The sheep follow the shepherd's lead by caring for the least of these. That is our calling as believers!

Needless to say, the Lord isn't whispering to Mrs. McGoo right now, He's using a MEGAPHONE. And He's asking me, "are you listening?!" And the real question is... will I be obedient?

I don't want this conviction, this need and desire to serve the least of these, spread the word, and to do something for the kingdom to fade. I do not want it to be just a "fad" of the moment. Rather, I'm seeing relevant truths as to what God is calling His believers to be responsible about, and I can't get away with how frequently He testifies to those truths in His Word. He didn't just say it once... He has said it over and over in the Word. In the book I'm reading, When God Stood Up: A Christian Response to AIDS in Africa, within three pages of James Cantelon's text he presents fifteen (15!) scripture verses referencing God's care and concern for the least of these, and therefore a believer's calling to do the same. I'd be happy to share those verses with you, if you're interested.

It's been awesome to see how God is moving on the hearts of others around me regarding this kind of stuff. I am thankful for those walking the same journey. I cannot wait to see what God is going to continue to do in 2010 and how He'll stir things up! James 1:27

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Dork On Paper

Internally I always knew I was a dork. I mean, really? I'm not one that tries to kid myself, I am who I am (like Popeye I guess)... and I know I'm a dork. I've told others that before, and regularly admit it. However, I never had it "down on paper" that I was a dork. And now, for all to see... I'm a dork, even on paper.

I was asked to take a StrengthsQuest assessment to find out what my five greatest strengths or talents (out of 34 options) were. The reasons as to why I had to take this assessment will be fully revealed in another post because that is not the point of this post. So I took a 30 minute or so assessment that asked me many "are you like this or more like this" questions or "do you like this or do you like this more?". Once I completed the 100+ question assessment I was given a list of my five greatest strengths/talents... this is where the dorkiness hits the paper.

  • ACHIEVER - People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
  • RESPONSIBILITY - People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
  • LEARNER -People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
  • COMMUNICATION - People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
  • DEVELOPER - People who are especially talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.
See, I'm a dork. I'm not saying these talents or strengths are bad... but when you put it on paper, it spells out HEATHER IS A DORK. It's crazy how they hit the nail on the head with these things... check out some of these full descriptions. Those that know me well are going to have a field day and crack up on a few of these...

Your Achiever theme helps explain your drive. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. You feel as if every day starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day—workdays, weekends, vacations. No matter how much you may feel you deserve a day of rest, if the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied. You have an internal fire burning inside you. It pushes you to do more, to achieve more. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical. It might not even be focused. But it will always be with you. As an Achiever you must learn to live with this whisper of discontent. It does have its benefits. It brings you the energy you need to work long hours without burning out. It is the jolt you can always count on to get you started on new tasks, new challenges. It is the power supply that causes you to set the pace and define the levels of productivity for your work group. It is the theme that keeps you moving.

Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Your good name depends on it. If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically start to look for ways to make it up to the other person. Apologies are not enough. Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. You will not quite be able to live with yourself until you have made restitution. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable. When assigning new responsibilities, people will look to you first because they know it will get done. When people come to you for help—and they soon will—you must be selective. Your willingness to volunteer may sometimes lead you to take on more than you should.

You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence. The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered—this is the process that entices you. Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences—yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert, or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there.”

You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is your Communication theme at work. Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them, to make them exciting and vivid. And so you turn events into stories and practice telling them. You take the dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors. You believe that most people have a very short attention span. They are bombarded by information, but very little of it survives. You want your information—whether an idea, an event, a product’s features and benefits, a discovery, or a lesson—to survive. You want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it, lock it in. This is what drives your hunt for the perfect phrase. This is what draws you toward dramatic words and powerful word combinations. This is why people like to listen to you. Your word pictures pique their interest, sharpen their world, and inspire them to act. You like to talk, and you probably are good at it. -Hmmm... is this "strength" the reason my sister and brother in law have friends that nicknamed me "STORY TIME". Yes, they seriously call me that!

You see the potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason. When you interact with others, your goal is to help them experience success. You look for ways to challenge them. You devise interesting experiences that can stretch them and help them grow. And all the while you are on the lookout for the signs of growth—a new behavior learned or modified, a slight improvement in a skill, a glimpse of excellence or of “flow” where previously there were only halting steps. For you these small increments—invisible to some—are clear signs of potential being realized. These signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction. Over time many will seek you out for help and encouragement because on some level they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and fulfilling to you.

So what do ya think? If you're one of those folks that know me well, the comments section is now open... did the StrengthsQuest hit the nail on the head in your opinion? Or miss the mark?

One thing is for sure... my dorkiness is now on paper, I could not deny it anymore, even if I tried.

Although you have to buy the StrengthsQuest book in order to get the one time use code to take the assessment I took, there are free online personality assessments you can see. See what THIS TEST says about you? Feel free to leave your results in the comments section.