Small Shifts

In December I signed up for Cathy Zielske’s FIT 2017 class. I would say “again” but the last time I signed up, it was for 2016. Yeah, details. In typical Dianne fashion, I pretty much fell off the proverbial wagon about a week or two. Oh, I’d think about tracking that wagon down every so often, but not for long.

So I really debated about even trying again. Would this year be any different? Did I have any chance of actually sticking with it? I guess that remains to be seen, but I have noticed a small shift in my thinking this time. For one thing, I’m all about the baby steps. That’s a big change for me. I’m usually an all-or-nothing kind of gal. Which lasts for an extremely short period of time since once I’ve slipped up, I’ve missed the goal of ALL.

water-tracker-optIt started with water intake, which I’ve already written about here. It’s still going well. I’m fairly consistent in drinking 8-16 ounces first thing out in the morning, which helps a lot.

I also began walking, usually with one of the boys, but sometimes by myself. It helps that Colorado has had some unseasonably warm temps this year. After the first walk in January, I knew I really wanted another Fitbit since my Zip had died last year. So I picked up an Alta and that’s helping to increase my daily steps, especially since it’s kind enough to remind you if you haven’t met your hourly goals. I find myself walking circles in the house sometimes just to get those steps in.

img_5438One more area I’m often not good with is sleep. Fortunately, the Alta tracks that, too, I’m doing a little better there, too, as far as getting enough sleep. Now I just need to go to sleep a bit earlier.

I just seem to have a small shift in my perspective. Making changes feels like it’s less of a big deal, but more of a matter-of-fact, just do what I need to do. Drink more water. Walk a few more steps. Whatever.

Even though a very small shift may seem unnoticeable in the beginning, after awhile you’ll find that you’ve actually made a significant course change. My overarching goal for all of these changes is to just keep at it. Even when I stumble, fall, or completely bail, just get back to it as soon as I can and be merciful and kind to myself.

I’m hopeful that small shifts in perspective will result in some eventual big changes.

Seemingly Insignificant Choices, 33 Years Later

Tonight, John and I went out for Mexican food on a date night. I picked tonight specifically because July 20, 1983 was on a Wednesday and it was the night that we met. He worked at the Alpine Slide at Ski Broadmoor in the evenings and on weekends. My sister and I decided to go ride the slide that night, as I’d never been and she had gone the week before and said it was fun. John was the lift operator and the one who punched tickets and put people onto the lift. Our first conversation went like this:

John (to Susan and me): Did I punch your tickets?

Susan: No.

Me: Yes. (hides ticket behind back, flirts with cute guy in OP shorts and a polo shirt asking if he’d punched the tickets)

John: If you wanted a free ride, why didn’t you say so?

Me: Why didn’t you tell me?

John: Do I have to tell you everything?

Me: No, I guess you don’t.

broadmoor_alpineslideAnd there you have it. A seemingly random decision to go ride the Alpine Slide on a seemingly random Wednesday evening. A seemingly random and flirty conversation and 33 years later, here we are about ready to celebrate 30 years of marriage (next month) and still very much in love.

You never can tell where your choices will lead you. Some may truly be insignificant. Others might affect you forever.

Manna Living

When God provided the children of Israel with manna, it was a daily provision (except on the 6th day, when He gave them two days’ worth so they didn’t have to work on the day of rest, the Sabbath). But any more than just what they needed and it got wormy and stinky. The point was to trust God for His provision each and every day, knowing that He had already promised to provide for them.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.” Exodus 16:4-5

So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat. This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer (2 quarts or 3 1/2 quarts or 1/2 gallon dry measure) for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.'” Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need. And Moses said, “Let no one leave any of it till morning.” Notwithstanding they did not heed Moses. But some of them left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. Exodus 16:15-20

Interesting – I never noticed this part until typing the verses out, but in verse 4 the Lord says,

Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them whether they will walk in My law or not.

Will they trust Him? Will they obey what He has said? God gave the promise and the provision. It seems that some did and some didn’t. Which I suppose is indicative of my own walk today. Do I trust Him? Well, let’s back up a moment. Do I know what He has said? Do I know His promises? And when I do learn of them, do I trust Him and His word? Does He provide situations in which He is testing me? No doubt. Not sure how well I do, though. I know of more times that I mess up, probably because my focus tends to be on the negative side of things.

Where I often struggle is that I want to hang onto today’s provision for tomorrow and the next week and next year, because it was so good and such a blessing. His Word today might’ve spoken volumes to me, so I want to hang onto that. A particular Bible study really ministers to me, so I must hang onto it, too. A teaching I listened to brought conviction and encouragement. So I need to hang onto it as well.

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But what if I could look at life through the lens of Manna Living? Yes, that was the word I needed to hear on that particular day – and certainly it can still speak to me the next day and the next. But it doesn’t mean that it has to be memorialized and preserved forever. Because tomorrow I will likely need a different word from God. While keeping records and journals can be good, and certainly it’s a blessing to go back and remember what God has done and the stories of our lives, it has to be balanced with living here and now, depending upon God for today’s manna, and trusting Him with tomorrow’s needs.

Even in the Lord’s prayer, we’re told to pray for daily provision – “Give us this day our daily bread.” Provide what we need today, Lord. Not looking to stockpile for next week or next year. Does that mean it’s wrong to plan ahead and make preparations? I don’t believe so. The same God also says, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, overseer, or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8

In Genesis 41, “And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh and let them keep food in the cities. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.” Clearly He has them plan ahead and store food here. But I believe that there are a couple of issues at hand:

  1. We have to trust God to provide – in whatever way HE chooses to provide. It may be daily, it might be through storing up and planning ahead. But no matter HOW He chooses, we have to keep our focus and our trust in Him, and Him alone. We are not to begin to trust in the reserves that we have stored up.
  2. We can only know God’s desire for us as we spend time in our relationship with Him. We can’t know which He would have us each do if we don’t communicate with Him AND listen to His leading.

It always comes back to our relationship with Him and our faith and trust in Him and His word.

Change of Season

Here we are, three days into June 2016. Supposedly summer. Well, meteorological summer, anyway. Until the last couple of days, that was questionable, given the rain, clouds, and cooler temperatures. I’m not sure where the previous five months got off to, but the time it sure does fly.

I started a new job in May. I’m working part time at a local scrapbook and paper crafting store, which is pretty fun and right up my alley. I’m finding that it’s causing me to want to do more creating at home. Even though you would think it might not be all that busy to work in that type of store, there is always something to do – and no, it’s not creating things. More like unboxing, checking in, pricing, putting out merchandise, tidying up, pulling empty hooks, returning unpurchased items, putting back tags out, and answering the phone. Oh yeah, that’s when you’re not answering questions, looking for products, or ringing up a customer’s purchase. Or learning the new POS system. Or running into an old friend. Or any number of other things. Kind of like how time flies by, the tasks quickly fill my 4-5 hour shifts. It’s a good thing.

John closed down his business of the past seven years and has gone to work for a local RV dealership. I’m not sure either of us saw that one coming yet, but it turned out it was time. Ironically, it’s because his business was too big and too profitable. Things you usually want to happen. Go figure.

Our youngest son started a new job this week, too. It’s pretty tough on him right now, as the physical demands are greater than he knew. We’ll see what happens with that. He’s still looking around for something not quite so tough.

Our oldest is finally about ready to test for his driver’s license. At 22 1/2. After years of not wanting to drive, he’s coming around. I think he secretly likes it. Sometimes, anyway. There are still times, though, that he would live without driving, if at all possible. Next steps will be a job and a car. He’s been working part time with John, but that chapter has ended, too.

My niece is starting a job at Starbucks in a week and a half, following in her mom’s footsteps. My brother-in-law is soon to begin a new job, too.

A whole lot of change. New chapters in life. Sometimes it’s just time.

And on a completely unrelated note, a photo because I can’t not. It made me outburst laugh.

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February 2016

Where, oh, where art thou, fair January?

Well, there was the temp transcription job with all the typing, typing, typing in most every spare moment.

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There was the volleyball with its day-long tournaments out of town.

There was the bookkeeping, data entry, and tax gathering for hubby’s business.

Pretty sure I prepared some meals, did some laundry, and paid most of the bills.

Coffee with friends, dinner with family, and Bible study at Starbucks.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Air and space museum photoshoot followed by Mexican food.

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Italian food and a downtown photowalk.

And in a flash it was gone.
 
 
 
 

Now February shows up with a bang.

Monday. Snow. More snow.

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February 2016, leap year, with its extra day. A day that is not likely to slow down another sprinting month. But we’ll see. Only God knows what my future holds. Zipping past or dragging by, I will trust Him with this new month.

That’s now halfway gone. HA!

Volleyball, work, and a paperless society

High school volleyball season is kind of a crazy time of year for me. I shoot pictures for varsity since my niece is on that team. This year I also volunteered to shoot JV. Since they typically play twice a week that’s a minimum of two sets per game for JV and a minimum of three sets per game for Varsity, for a total of 10 sets every week. It can be more if there are more sets played in a match. But that hasn’t usually happened. On a good note, I’m getting better at shooting fewer pictures, culling them faster, deleting extras off my computer, thereby saving space, and doing what little post processing needs to happen quicker. Then it’s off to a Shutterfly Share site with them.

My niece proves you don’t have to be tall to get air.
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Last night’s dinner following the Salida game ended up being Sonic, which would normally be fine. But this was a pretty sorry choice. The Dr. Pepper was pale and then they added an absurd amount of cherry flavor to it, rendering it completely undrinkable. Got it replaced with a Cherry Limeade, which was good. The BBQ boneless wings had a spicier sauce on them so I didn’t want them, either. My niece enjoyed them, though. The cheesy tots were funky. I think the tots were stale. I normally love their cheesy tots with ketchup and salt. Even that was inadequate to make them good. Then to top it off, my body decided that really wasn’t acceptable food, so I wasn’t feeling too great this morning. Fortunately, I seem to be okay now. Chance are that I won’t eat at that Sonic if I happen to be in Salida ever again.

Along the way to Salida, we stopped at this lovely place along the Arkansas River.

The Arkansas River

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I’m supposed to be entering work orders for my husband’s business right now. And working on tax stuff. And I will. Shortly. I still want to get back to some sort of pseudo-regular blogging. I think about blog posts and images a lot, but it just isn’t getting out of my head and onto the computer. I may just do some random, here’s-what’s-going-on-type posts, rather than trying to come up with some particular topic. For now anyway.

I was thinking the other day that I need to have a better different perspective on my “job.” It IS my job to handle messages for John’s business (mobile RV service), schedule appointments that I can, enter his work orders, and take care of taxes (except the part our accountant does). But I sort of just try and fit it in somewhere and then it doesn’t happen. Since it really is my “job,” I need to treat it as such. That way I won’t get to the end of the quarter and be in a panic, entering 90 days’ worth of work. Once a week would be so simple and keep us up to date. Every Monday I need to enter the previous week’s work. Period. Just do it. Be all Nike about it. If I had some, I’d wear them.

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Whatever happened to the paperless society we were supposed to be creating with all the technology and computers and such? Seems to me we have more paper than ever. It doth overwhelm. I think it’s worse than weeds if you don’t deal with it on a daily basis and have a good system for managing it. I kind of have a system, but I’m dreadful at using it well. Thus, the papers pile ever higher, threatening to drown me. Or at least make me crazy…er.

Ciao.

Just Once

I’m giving myself permission – just this once – to whine about my inconsistent blog posting. Why? Because every time I want to start a post, the first mental words I hear are along the lines of, “…I know it’s been a long time…” or “…Wow! Three months since I last posted? Sheesh!” and other such drivel.

Is it true? Yes. Does it matter? No. Not really. It doesn’t make me post more often. I have got to move past that mentality. I used to do it a lot at my old blog. But this is the new blog. And I hope to have matured – at least a teensy bit. So here’s my five minutes of commiseration (is that a word?) and then I need to put it away and move on. No matter the time gaps. I hope to get to a place where I post sort of regularly (2-3 times a week, maybe?), but I also need to give myself the grace to let it be what it is without the condemnation.

Okay.

All done.

And rather than leave you with my whining, I shall leave you with peaceful waters and blurry chipmunks. Not necessarily in that order.

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