The Casterlines: Rattlesnake Slayers

Or, to be more correct….The Casterline……only one of us are rattlesnake slayers. You guessed right, it’s me.

……….

Totally kidding. No way would I ever get close enough to one to kill it. Roman is definitely the new family rattlesnake slayer. I mean really, who wants to get close to those things??

Yikes!! So thankful for my brave hubby! And since I know you are all dying to know how things went down, here is a short synopsis….

My mother called Roman Tuesday evening screaming. No literally, she was screaming really loud. Roman thought someone was in her house trying to kill her at first until he made out the words “snake” and “kill it”. Usually my father or my brother are the slayers of all animals that don’t have legs (a.k.a. snakes), but in this particular instance my father was out of town and my brother was at work…..leaving Roman to do the deed.

He immediately jumped in the car and drove to my mother’s house (we live really close to them). They frantically searched for the shotgun and the shells and then Roman went outside………only to find the rattlesnake was no longer there.

So now you can picture my mother and my husband slowly creeping through the yard with shovels and a shotgun, searching for a five foot long rattlesnake that was as thick as a bat.

Of course, since my mother is equipped with superpower eyes that can see snakes from miles away, she found it first. Unfortunately, as Roman went to load the gun, he realized he grabbed the wrong shells. So my mother had to go back inside to call my father so she could find the right shells and left Roman standing outside. With a shovel. Staring at a coiled up rattlesnake that was striking at him.

He said in that moment he remembered/realized just how afraid he was of snakes. I’m proud of him…..because if it were me I probably would have peed in my pants at least four times by now.

Finally, my mom found the correct shells and got them to Roman. He loaded the gun…aimed at the snake….pulled the trigger……and lost his hearing. No really. He said the gun was so loud that he couldn’t hear for the first thirty seconds and his ears buzzed for the next five minutes, followed by a headache. Not to mention the fact that the shotgun just about flew out of his hands (luckily he was holding it next to his waist rather than propping it up against his shoulder, otherwise he would’ve had a nice battle scar bruise).

He blew a hole through the middle of the snake and totally blew off the rattlers. Bummer. I was hoping for a trophy. NOT. And because that’s not good enough for my mom to know that the snake is truly dead, he also cut off its head with a shovel and then threw it into woods. Lovely.

So no, the picture above is not the snake he killed. He did take a picture….but it’s kind of gross seeing as how the head is cut off and there’s holes all in the middle of it. Scratch that, it’s not kind of gross, it’s pretty darn gross. I’m going to guess nobody wants to see it. I know I didn’t.

The good news? Roman has officially been initiated into my side of the family, and I have a mother who is proud of her snake-slaying son-in-law. The bad news? Now he wants to buy more shells for his own gun since he swears he will never ever ever ever in a million years ever shoot my father’s shotgun again. The other bad news? We forgot to let Duke smell the snake before Roman threw it in the woods so we could teach him to stay away from them. So we still don’t know what he would do if he ever ran up on one. But at least he has had a rattlesnake booster shot, so it more than likely wouldn’t kill him.

Ah, the adventures we have in the Casterline household! I hope all of you have a great (and rattlesnake free) weekend! I know I’m planning on spending a little bit of time by the pool…..after I do some laundry and clean my house, of course!!

“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.'”                                                                                                   ~Ezekiel 12:1-2

Heaven Forbid…….

There are times for us to be calm, and there are times for us to fight. And guys, it is time for that battle…past time actually. But let me be clear from the start: I’m talking about a fight against the enemy, not people. We do not fight against flesh and blood…..

I think it was last week that Chick-fil-a came out and publicly announced that they were in support of the traditional marriage set down by God. Heaven forbid that they say something so hateful. I am reading this morning about how mayors of cities are stating that Chick-fil-a is not welcome in their cities. I am reading about Hollywood and news reporters slamming them with vulgar language and calling for a national boycott. A man of God stood for what was right, and the beast of homosexuality is now rearing its ugly head.

Listen to me folks, read my words and understand, we have got to start standing up for God! With these new events, the enemy is going to try to pulverize any company willing to stand up for what’s right. He wants a swift and final silencing of the people of God. He has already been successful in silencing thousands of our country’s leaders. He has already been successful in silencing thousands of our influential citizens. And worst of all, he has already been successful in silencing thousands of churches. And he has done all of this with one tiny word that carries a huge weight: tolerance.

Can I just be honest? I really hate the word tolerance. Why? Because tolerance binds people up in chains. Really big chains. And it seals our mouths shut. And it causes us to go through life with the fear of being politically correct. Tolerance is not of God. He never created us to sit idly by, afraid to speak the truth. Let me say it again, tolerance BINDS YOU UP IN CHAINS!!!

Church of the living God, please, please, please, I beg you please, wake up!! We are letting the enemy have a field day because we are afraid of being seen as hateful. I do not have to tolerate evil in this world. I do not have to let it reign in my life. I do not have to keep my mouth shut! And I will not keep my mouth shut. We are so afraid of making people mad. We don’t want to offend anybody and lose our precious friends. We have lost the fear of God. We fear losing people’s approval more than we fear the fires of hell. We love being politically correct more than we love the truth of God’s Word.

It grieves me, literally grieves my heart to see a church so silent. Don’t get me wrong, several people have stood up behind Chick-fil-a’s statements. Some are calling for a day of support on August 1st. All of that stuff is great, but I’m talking about bigger things than Chick-fil-a right now. I’m talking about every day life here. I’m talking about when you’re at the office and they are having a debate on whether sex outside of marriage is wrong and you keep silent. I’m talking about when a friend is cheating on her husband and you sit idly by and say nothing. I’m talking about when your state is voting on the legality of abortion and you don’t show any kind of support. I’m talking about when people are talking bad about your pastor and you don’t tell them to hush, you just sit there and listen and nod and smile. And guys, I’m stepping on my own toes here. I have friends who I know are dying and going to hell and I am so afraid of losing their friendship that I do not speak the truth to them. Why can’t we understand that this world’s eternal souls are so much more important than their approval? But I know good and well that I am not the only one who fears the opinions of others because if I was, this country would not be in the state we are in. We are all responsible for where this nation is today.

It’s time guys. Wake up. I’m not telling you to start screaming at people and throwing Bibles at their heads. I am not telling you to write hate speech on your Facebooks towards anyone who is not a Christian. But I am telling you to speak the truth in love. I am telling you to live a life of holiness. I am telling you to stand up for God. I am telling you to start fighting back against the enemy.

We are running out of time folks. We are literally running out of time. And if we sit here with our mouths sealed shut, God is going to come back and let me tell you, He will not be rewarding us for the quiet life we’ve lived. He will not pat us on the heads and say we did a good job because no one was ever angry with us. His fury will burn against us just like it will burn against the rest of the world. He has called us to be His warriors. He has called us to radical obedience. He has called us to speak the truth in love.

And you know what? I honestly believe that if we would wake up and be what we are called to be, this country would turn around. The economy would get better. There would be peace once more. But God is not going to wait forever for us to get our act together. He’s not going to sit up in heaven and watch the church self-destruct while sin and immorality abounds.

We know the love of God. But we forget the wrath of God. And if we don’t start engaging the enemy in spiritual warfare, if we don’t wake up…..I fear we will soon be reminded of His judgment.

Tick-tock. The clock is ticking. What are you going to do? I refuse to sleep anymore. Love God, love people, and share with them the truth of God’s Word.

“He answered me, ‘The sin of the people of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice. They say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land; the Lord does not see.’ So I will not look on them with pity or spare them, but I will bring down on their own heads what they have done.'”                                ~Ezekiel 9:9-10

Are You Sure God?

If you demanded that out of all of my favorite songs, I had to pick just one…..it would have to be Getting Into You by Relient K. I call this song my Theme Song for my life. I have posted a link to a video on YouTube so you can hear it, but in case you can’t I have also posted the lyrics below.  (lyrics are from www.azlyrics.com)

When I made up my mind
And my heart along with that
To live not for myself
But yet for God, somebody said
Do you know what you are getting yourself into?
When I finally ironed out
All of my priorities
And asked God to remove the doubt
That makes me so unsure of these
Things I ask myself, I ask myself
Do you know what you are getting yourself into?
[Chorus]
I’m getting into you
Because you got to me, in a way words can’t describe
I’m getting into you
Because I’ve got to be
You’re essential to survive
I’m going to love you with my life
When he looked at me and said
I kind of view you as a son
And for a second our eyes met
And I met that with a question
Do you know what you are getting yourself into?
[Chorus]
I’ve been a liar and I’ll never amount to
The kind of person you deserve to worship you
You say you will not dwell on what I did but rather what I do, you say
“I love you and that’s what you are getting yourself into”
[Chorus]
He said, “I love you and that’s what you are getting yourself into”
This song so accurately explains how I feel sometimes. Sometimes I feel so small and insecure and I ask God silly questions like “Are You sure I’m the one You want?” “Are You sure You don’t want somebody else?”
It’s just so hard to understand sometimes why God would love someone like me. There are times where these feelings are just humility, like when we think about how truly great and holy God is compared to us. But there are other times when I think those feelings spring from something deeper. Something evil that has been planted by the enemy. Sometimes I think our lack of self worth comes from a feeling deep down inside that God could never truly forgive us and accept us the way we are. And that, my friends, is not an okay thing to have growing in your heart.
We are making a huge change (well, in my mind it’s huge) with the worship team at our church. Roman and I are the worship pastors, but Roman plays the drums and I sing harmony. God had been leading me towards the idea that I should be singing lead instead of harmony. So when my Pastor called a few days ago with the same burden on his heart, I knew this was something God wanted. At first I immediately accepted with no fear in my heart, but it didn’t take long for that cold icy feeling to wrap around my insides and squeeze the breath from my lungs.
You think I’m kidding. But I’m not.
After years of going to a school where I felt like I was never enough: never pretty enough, never thin enough, never rich enough…..well, let’s just say I don’t have the best self-esteem in the world. There have been days when I walked into a room and honestly believed that everyone in that room was automatically thinking how silly my hair looked and how my clothes didn’t match and how “not normal” I was. Thankfully, God gave me a loving husband, awesome friends and family, and has done a whole lot of healing on my damaged heart. But as the days went by after my Pastor’s phone call, some of those familiar thoughts came marching through my mind with a vengeance.
“You don’t sing good enough to lead those songs.” “You aren’t going to be able to lead a congregation in worship without fear.” “You don’t love God enough to truly worship Him.” “You don’t pray enough to be sincere.” “You aren’t going to be able to handle this.”
For a few days, I entertained those thoughts…until this morning, when God said “enough”. He opened my eyes to these false accusations. He assured me that I am the one He chose to do this job, which means He would surely equip me with the words to sing and the voice to do it. Didn’t I understand that my enemy was trying to stop me from doing God’s work? Didn’t I understand that if I backed down, I would be letting him win? And since I would be leading a whole congregation of people, the enemy’s victory would affect far more people than my own soul. So could I not see that obeying His request was absolutely necessary?? And I realized that I needed to repent of my disbelief and kick the enemy to the curb.
My dearest friends, the enemy likes to get in our heads any way that he can to prevent the work of God. When you start to have those accusing thoughts running through your mind, stop and evaluate them. Do they line up to something that God would say to you? I know for sure that those thoughts I was having last week were not from the voice of my Father. Unfortunately, it took a very clear voice from my Father for me to wake up and realize that the enemy was doing cartwheels in my brain.
We have a job to do, every single one of us. Yours will be different from mine, because each of us are unique. But as long as we continue to allow feelings of self-doubt and insecurity triumph in our hearts, we will never be able to truly accomplish what God has for us. Am I still a little nervous about leading the worship for our praise team? Yes! But I also recognize that God is going to be right there with me, helping me through each song. And as long as I’m there to glorify Him and to obey Him, that’s all He needs from me in order to move in our worship services.
So yes, God knows exactly what He’s getting into when He chooses us for His work. The beautiful thing is, He loves us just the way we are and wants to use us, regardless of our past!!


Blast from the Past

Okay so, in case any of you have not figured it out yet, I am kind of just a little bit crazy.

My mother is finally getting around to cleaning out certain areas of my old room, and she uncovered a paper I wrote when I was 14. I’m going to guess that this was never submitted for school because there are no grades on it. I simply hope that I never submitted it for assignment because it is, without question, so very strange.

I always love finding old papers that I wrote from my youth. They are good reminders of just how crazy I am (and also how I have an impeccable sense of humor). This blast from the past is certainly no exception. In fact, you should be able to see exactly how I have developed my mad writing skills. Everything is explained. Yup, it’s that powerful. So without further ado, I present to you:

Where I Stand

I am 14. I am the third daughter of my parents. I am a horseback rider, runner, and a piano player. I am 2 people’s best friend, and a good friend to many others. According to anonymous people, I am a little strange. I am also a dumb blond. But most of all, I am a Bush supporter, I am a fan of Antarctica.

I like horses. I like my blond hair. I like the Tennessee Volunteers and UGA. I like going to football games with my friends. I like watching idiot weather reporters being blown away. I like Coach Mear’s class. I like being around people who make me laugh. I like Bush a whole lot more than Kerry. I like Antarctica.

I believe in God, therefore, I believe I am saved. I believe animals go to heaven. I believe horses are the best animals on the planet. I believe running is the only true sport. People who are 60 are not going to be playing football, but they can still run. I believe Bush should win this election. I believe that the war on terrorism is because of terrorists, not because of Bush. I believe Antarctica is the best continent ever.

I do not care for people who talk loud and think they know it all. I do not care for millionaires, billionaires, and other people who are obsessed with money. I do not care for two-faced Christians. I think that if they say they are a Christian, they should act like one too. I do not care for healthy foods even though I run over 18 miles a week and I need them. I do not care for people who don’t like the continent of Antarctica. That continent is awesome. I do not care for supporters of abortion, homosexuals, the lottery, and evolutionists. I do not care for John Kerry. At all.

I am tired of hearing noise. I am tired of hearing about hurricanes, I am tired of hearing the hurricanes blowing off my roof and knocking down my trees. I am tired of hearing about geometry and physical science. I am tired of hearing anything and everything about rap music. I am tired of hearing about John Kerry and his stupid, made up stories. I am tired of hearing about people complaining about the war in Iraq when they practically pushed the president into declaring war in the first place. I am tired of hearing about who’s fault 9/11 was. It was the terrorists’ fault and no one else’s. I am tired of hearing about people who don’t like Antarctica, and horses.

I favor horses and Antarctica. I favor longer summers, and saving the trees by not having exams. I favor Pro-life, the 10 Commandments, and Godly marriages. I favor recess over geometry and physical science. I favor pizza over spinach. I favor cross-country. But most of all, I favor Bush.

The End.

Charming, isn’t it?? I have to say that I was very opinionated little 14 year-old. So before someone carts me away to the crazy-house, let me clarify a few things:

At the time, there were several hurricanes. My favorite thing to do was watch the reporters on the Weather Channel stand on the beach while in the middle of a hurricane (not smart) and then comment on “how strong this wind is” or “how the wind is about to knock me off of my feet”. I’m sorry, but it was hilarious. And still is.

Coach Mear’s class was the bomb-diggity.

I don’t think running is the only true sport, but it is one that you can do for the rest of your life. And I do still love running.

I care a little bit more for those people who played the lottery because they funded my entire college education. Thanks guys. PS: I still think the lottery is wrong.

I care a little bit more for healthy foods like spinach. Still love pizza. But healthy foods are a lot more essential then my naive little 14 year-old self could understand.

I am no longer tired of hearing about hurricanes. Now I am tired of hearing about Hollywood, and pretty much everything else the news stations have to say. Which is why I don’t watch the news.

A hurricane never blew off my roof nor did it ever knock down any of my trees. I have no clue where that came from.

I still don’t like rap music.

Now that school is over for me, I don’t care if the summers are longer. Summer is hot. Bring on the winter time.

I realize now that being a Christian is so much more than just believing in God. But I still don’t like two-faced Christians.

I still have a strong hatred for geometry and physical science. Well, any science really.

John Kerry did lie a lot.

Come on guys, we really could save a bunch of paper if we just stopped giving out exams.

Bush was a better president than Obama is, but I don’t like him so much now.

Pro-life, the 10 Commandments, and Godly marriages are still a-okay in my book.

I still like my blond hair.

And Antarctica is in fact the best continent on this earth.

When the Going Gets Tough…..

…..the Tough dig their heels in deep and pray harder. And that is exactly where Roman and I find ourselves these days: praying a lot harder.

“I’m sad.” he lamented over the phone.
“Why are you sad?” I asked.
“I can’t find a job…..” he said quietly.

The past few days have been really hard. Roman had applied for a job for the government here with me, and this past Thursday he found out that he didn’t make it (too many veterans had applied and they get first dibs, so he wasn’t even considered).

It’s hard to watch your husband try so hard only to have his hopes dashed time and time again. He works a part-time job and it definitely helps, but he wants so bad to get into a full-time career. He wants to use the knowledge and tools he worked so hard to learn in college.

We joke about how we are becoming the King and Queen of “Waiting”: we waited for ten months in search of a home before we got married, then we waited for two years while we worked our butts off in college so we could finally have a break, and now we are waiting for him to get a full-time job so we can pay off all of the bills we acquired during our pursuit of those degrees. We joke about how we need to stop asking God for patience, but deep down I know it hurts him. I can see the stress it puts on him to apply endlessly for job after job with no result.

I know it’s only been two and a half months since we graduated, and perhaps I am complaining a little bit too soon. I know there are others who have gone months, years even, without work. And please don’t think that I am looking for your sympathy. But I am looking for your prayers…..and sometimes, it’s just nice to vent to the world….to get something off of your shoulders.

And now to change directions a bit…a letter to my dearest husband:

To: My loving Anchovy
From: Your loving Anchovy

I wanted to take this time to encourage you. I know your heart is heavy and you are growing weary in this job pursuit-thing. But there are a few things that I feel like I need to remind you of…..

You are enough.

You are the man of my dreams, and you will always be enough for me. Whether you wind up working as a garbage-truck man or whether you continue as a forensic scientist and crack a cold case with your extreme DNA-testing skills, you will always be enough for me. And more importantly, you are enough for God. He will give you the skills and the strength to accomplish what He has planned for you.

You make me proud.

I will always be so very proud of you. You have grown into such an awesome man of God. You lead me in the direction God wants me to go and you give me confidence in who I am. I have watched you labor until late at night on chemistry and other science stuff that I could never understand. You have so much knowledge and intelligence, and you are so talented. Watching you play the drums for the Lord makes my heart swell with pride. Watching you grow in Christ and as a husband makes me want to dance (but I won’t, because that would embarrass the heck out of you).

You are a great husband.

No really, you are. You have so much compassion for me on the days when I am tired or don’t feel good. You deal with me tenderly. You help me with the household chores whenever I ask for help without complaining. You work hard in everything you do. You have stayed faithful to me and to God. You make me laugh every day and bring so much joy to my life. Seriously, I could not have asked for a better husband in my wildest dreams.

So where do we go from here? I honestly have no clue what God has in store for us. I thought I did. I went through our entire college career with one plan in mind: we graduate college, you get a job at the GBI lab, I quit my job to become a mother, we have kids and live in a nice house with our dog. Perhaps this is still the game plan God has for us, but perhaps He has a completely different plan altogether.

But whatever the plan is, I’m with you babe. 100%. Rain or shine, job or no job, I will always love you and I will always be proud to be called your wife. We will keep praying, we will keep waiting, and through faith, God will provide in His perfect timing. And one day, we will look back on these days and laugh because God has blessed us so much.

I love you. I’ve loved you since the day I met you. And I will love you until the day I draw my very last breath. And then I will love you for eternity after that.

Stand tall. Know that the Lord has you in the palm of His hand. And know that your wife prays for you every day. He will work it all out if we just keep pressing in with faithful and trusting hearts.

“I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait”
John Waller: While I’m Waiting
a.k.a. Our Theme Song 🙂

“Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused, but finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!'” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?””     ~Luke 18:1-8

Legs of Steel

More like, “my legs have been beaten with steel beams”. So you know what that means? Yup, yesterday was my first day at the gym (a.k.a. the place that smells like sweaty socks).

The original plan was for me to do upper body on Monday, and then lower body/back on Wednesday, but she wound up switching things around. So yesterday we did lower body/back/triceps, and then Wednesday we’ll kill the rest of me work the rest.

Yes, I do walk funny today. Yes, I make weird faces every time I stand up or sit down. Yes, I had an interview this morning that required me to stand up and sit down in front of several people who were probably wondering what in the world was wrong with that crazy girl who looks pretty healthy. Whew.

But in all honesty, I really did surprise myself despite my insane soreness. The sweaty socks room actually has three different workout rooms. One of the rooms is very tiny and is mainly for abs exercises. The second room has all of the cardio machine and what Roman likes to call “the girly machines”. You know, with the vertical bench press and all that so that you don’t have to deal with any real free weights. So the third room is what I like to call “the big boy room”. Lots of free weights. Lots of dumbbells. Lots of scary machines. And lots of really big guys that are striving to get even bigger muscles than the ones they already have. I don’t even like walking through that room to get to the women’s locker room. Those machines look complex and intimidating. And the guys could probably pick me up with their pinky finger and throw me across the room.

So you can imagine my immediate despair when I realized I was working out in the big boy room. I decided that all of the guys must have dropped their weights so they could stare at me and make bets on how long I could go without crying. Surprisingly, this did not happen. Hallelujah. So what did happen? I discovered that the big scary machines were actually not so scary after all. In fact, some of them were just down right cool. Like the squat machine or that other funky looking machine that’s supposed to work my butt and my lower back. (Hallelujah) Thanks to my trainer, I worked out on machines that I never would have selected on my own and used heavier weights than what I would have selected. And in case any of you are wondering, no, I did not shed a single tear. But yes, I sweated like a bajillion bottles of sweat. It was gross.

So even though it was hard as all get out and today I feel like I have been trampled by a million horses, I actually feel like this is something I am going to enjoy doing twice a week. Which means that one day, I will have legs of steel. So there.

“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” ~Philippians 4:13

I Did It

Yup, that’s right. I did it. I went to the building that smells like sweaty socks (a.k.a. the gym at work) and got the physical assessment done. She’s going to work up my fitness plan over the weekend and I will start hitting the weights on Monday. I am excited because I finally got off my butt and did something, but I am nervous because I hate doing hard things, and getting back into shape is definitely in the “hard” category.

So how did the assessment go, you might ask. *insert sarcastic snort here* Let’s just say, I have a lot of work to do.

I weigh 140.2 pounds. That’s the most I’ve ever weighed in my life. That means I’ve gained almost 20 pounds since I got married two years ago. Yikes!!

She did the body fat percentage estimate by pinching the back of my arm, my hip and my thigh. I will not disclose my current body fat percentage or body mass index, mainly because I was too scared to look at the paper so I still don’t know.  0:)  But if this is any indication…..

When she pinched my arm it became obvious that my biceps and triceps could quite possibly be only the size of a pencil. When she pinched my hip, well….I won’t get into that. And when she *ahem* attempted to pinch my thigh, she exclaimed “wow, you have hardly any muscle there at all. I can’t really get a good reading because your thigh is so soft, so I’ll just make an educated guess.”

Ouch….did you really have to say that??

But you know what? That’s okay. I am not oblivious to the fact that I gained weight after I got married. And it really does not bother me that much. I’m not doing all of this so I can have a Hollywood body. I’m doing this because I want to live a long and healthy life. I want to be strong, both physically and mentally, and exercise is the best way to do that. Of course, I won’t complain if my body looks like someone from Hollywood after a few months of my hard work (*wink*), but I’m not going to throw a fit and cry in the closet if it doesn’t.

Which makes this the perfect time to share a quote that I have on my wall at work. I’ve also posted it as a Facebook status, so some of you may have already read it…..

“I am hysterical and brilliant but not a size two…..God had to be fair!”    Love it!

Oh yea, and she confirmed something else that I had already figured…..my diet sucks. She said it was the nutritionist’s job to go into detail what I should be eating, but basically I don’t get enough protein in my system (especially for someone who is already running almost every day), I eat too much starch at night (apparently you should get all of your starches out of the way as early in the day as possible), and I need way more fruits and veggies. She gave me a few suggestions to go ahead and start trying, but I don’t buy groceries again until next Friday so some of them will have to wait.  🙂   (Update: I forgot to mention in the original post that she did say the words “eat clean” several times while she was talking to me. So I’m really excited to meet with the nutritionist and see what she has to say about clean eating. I’ll keep ya posted!)

I do not know exactly what exercises we will be doing until Monday, but here is a run-down of the schedule:

Monday: Weights-upper body (at the gym)
Tuesday: Abs, Cardio (at home or at gym)
Wednesday: Weights- back and lower body (at the gym)
Thursday: Abs, Cardio (at home or at gym)
Friday: Abs, Cardio (at home or at gym)
Saturday: Cardio (at home or at gym)
Sunday: Rest (hallelujah)

One thing that really makes me happy in all of this is the flexibility. I only HAVE to go to the gym two days out of the week. And with a busy person like me, that makes me really happy to have so much flexibility. One of the things that held me back from doing all of this was I was scared that I would be confined to spending hours every week in the gym and I knew I just didn’t have time for that.

So that’s about it for ya folks! I will of course keep all of you updated in the sweaty-socks smelling adventures. I hope all of you have a lovely weekend, I know I will be doing lots of cleaning and sleeping…..   😉

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Galations 5:16

Don’t Miss This

The women’s class at my church has been going through a series called “Undercover” by John Bevere. Last night was Week 3, and let me tell you…that stuff hit home hard. The basic theme of this study is submission to authority: authority to those who have been placed over us and submission to the ultimate authority of God. This stuff is truly life changing y’all. There are things that I have learned in just these three sessions that have changed how I deal with my supervisors at work, and there are things that I have learned about obedience to God that I had never heard before.

Last night’s topic was about disobedience to God. Thankfully I have the ability to listen and write at the same time, so I was able to jot down several quotes that I thought *ahem* stomped all over my feet and broke my toes. (These quotes are not word-for-word, but they are close.)

“You can create a Jesus that gives you what you want–that loves you and blesses you despite your constant disobedience, but that is rebellious and that is not the real Jesus.” (please note: John Bevere is referring to those people who live a constant life of sin without repentance yet still continue to think that they are a Christian and deserve the blessing of God)

“The highest form of worshipping is not singing, it’s obedience.”  As a worship leader, that one threw me for a loop, but it’s so true. We see worship as only singing, but obedience is so much more important!

“Rebellion is when you embrace your own reasoning and forsake obedience to God.” Example: we ‘reason’ ourselves away with statements like “well everyone else is having sex before marriage and God is not striking them with lightening, so it must be okay”

“The greater the faith, the greater the obedience. The greater the obedience, the greater the faith.” You really can’t have faith in God as the King of the universe and then refuse to obey His Word.

“When you try to correct a religious person, they immediately clam up and refuse to hear you. They refuse to admit that they could be wrong because your correction made them feel uncomfortable. But anytime Scripture gets tough and convicts our hearts, it’s going to be a little bit painful. We have to look at it as God causing a little bit of pain now to protect us from a whole lot of pain later in hell.” Broken toes right there. I hate being corrected. I hate being told that I am wrong. But correction from God is absolutely 100% necessary in order for me to grow as a Christian and endure this world. We need to see God’s commands not as a huge list of things we can’t do, but as His divine protection for our eternal souls.  

“When we rebel, we bring God down to our own level. We think we know more than Him and know what is better for our own life. We make Him human like us.” Something I had never thought about before, but that is true. I can look back into my past and see places where I deliberately disobeyed God because I thought it was okay for me to do something…I thought He just didn’t understand the times we live in today. That is so silly, but we do it all of the time.

“Whether you are aware of it or not, there is a spiritual door to your life, called the Access Door. The Access Door gives legal access to sin and demonic power in your life. Obedience to God slams this door shut, but disobedience throws it wide open.”

That last quote is what made the biggest difference for me. I had never thought of disobedience that way. I always viewed sin (and I believe this is how most of us view it as well) as something bad. Something bad that I do all of the time that I can just ask God for forgiveness for later. I’ll gossip about somebody at work but it’s okay, I’m a Christian and God loves me and He’ll forgive me when I ask Him to. We use God’s grace as a reason to continue sinning, rather than seeing it as the power that saves us from our sin.

Friends, this has got to stop. The unsaved people in America do not hate God, they just can’t understand what’s so great about Him because we live like they do. If God is so great and awesome and powerful, then why does the church act the way it does? Why aren’t they different from the world? We have lost our reverence and respect for God. We put Him in a little box and sit Him on the shelf and live our lives our own way, but then when something bad happens we expect Him to rush in without hesitation and save the day.

God is not some sort of heavenly grandfather that gives us exactly what we want when we want it. And I believe He is growing so very tired of watching “the church” continuously disrespect Him and disobey His commands.

Sin is real folks. Spiritual warfare is real. Satan is real. Demons are real. The enemy desires to sift you like wheat. He desires to destroy your whole life. And when we disobey God, we throw open the doors to our souls and allow him to walk right into our lives and create a huge big mess. And one day, it will be too late. The trumpet will sound and the Lord will descend and it doesn’t matter how much you say you love God, you will not be entering into heaven. Actions speak louder than words folks. And if we aren’t striving daily to obey God, then we really don’t believe in Him.

Of course we will mess up. I mess up every day, we all do. But where are our hearts? Are we desiring with every fiber of our being to please Him? Are we striving to work for His kingdom? Or are we too caught up in our own lives to care about the lost souls around us that are dying and going to hell? I believe a vast majority of the church is asleep, and it’s time to wake up. It’s time to run hard and fast after our Lord and Savior. It’s time to try our best to be obedient to Him. That’s all He wants: our very best…our whole souls in a constant effort to further His kingdom.

Time is running short. And I am afraid that if we don’t wake up soon, we will miss Him. Don’t miss this. Don’t clam up and continue to dwell in your own self righteousness. Seek Him. Ask for His heart. Ask for His strength. Ask for Him to cleanse you and teach you His ways.

Be obedient. Your eternal soul depends on it.

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.”
~Hebrews 5:7-9

“We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”                                                                                                              ~Acts 5:32

Anchovies and Sweaty Socks

Let me go ahead and apologize for any and all references to the word “anchovy”, including the title of this post. I’m having a ‘thing’ with that word right now. Ahem.

You see, it all started when Roman sent me a text this morning. He was trying to be sweet, but his phone had other intentions. “You are beautiful and anchovy, and I love you!!!” I text him back saying that I was glad I am an anchovy and I loved him too. He replied that he meant to say “amazing” instead of “anchovy”, but it was too late. The obsession with the word anchovy had already begun. Until further notice, Roman’s name is now “anchovy”. There is also a really great chance that I will change the beginning of words to make some sort of reference to the word anchovy as well. Example: I hope you have a great, anchovian day! My anchovy husband is going to want to kick his phone for the auto-correct calling me anchovy by the end of this week. Okay fine, not really. What will really happen is we will be hysterically laughing every time we incorporate the word into a sentence because we still act like children every so often….sometimes most of the time.

So you may be wondering, what does sweaty socks have to do with anchovies? Nothing at all. I just wanted anchovies to be in the title of my post, because anchovies are the best thing since sliced bread. Unless that sliced bread is made with anchovies, and then they’re equal.

And I digress……I was really just going to update everybody on what’s going on with this whole “clean eating” thing.

Anchovy Roman and I discussed everything last night. We came to the conclusion that we have not concluded on anything yet. Yes, very adult-like of us. Here are the two main issues we are having:

1) We are still broke. Anchovy Roman has not yet found a job and buying mostly fruits and vegetables will get very expensive, very fast. The couple on that website I talked about yesterday said they spend almost $120 a week on groceries. A week! I spend $150 a month! Now I’m sure they buy certain things that are pricier and there are probably ways that I can cut corners, but I’m worried that we won’t really be able to afford to do this until Roman finds his full-time job.

2) Anchovy Roman has a black hole in his stomach. No really, he does. That man weighs 140 pounds. He’s weighed between 135 and 140 the entire time I’ve known him. Yet he eats enough for three people. You may laugh, but I am not kidding. It’s like he has a tapeworm or something. So I worry that with his high metabolism, he’s just not going to be able to stay full. Granted, eating clean does not mean stop eating meat, but I just have a lot of questions on what type of stuff he should eat in order to keep him fuller longer that will A) not be gross and B) not be the same food every single day. So I’m going to talking with that couple from the website and see what kind of response they come back with.

So for right now, we haven’t really made a decision. Well, I guess we’ve made half of a decision. We’ve decided that we would like to try this out, but we aren’t sure how to go about it just yet.

Okay, so now for the sweaty socks. I have been wanting to go down to the gym here at my place of work-age for quite some time now. Short run-down: when I got married two years ago, I wore a size 5 jean and weighed 125 pounds. My current weight now is 140 pounds and my size 8 jeans no longer fit. Yikes! Thank you late-night snacks during college that consisted of cookies and coffee. So, now that college is over and I have more free time on my hands I’ve been wanting to go to the gym and speak with the trainer and the nutritionist on what I need to do to get whipped back into shape. Otherwise, I need to go shopping for new clothes, and seeing as how the trainer and nutritionist is free, I figure it’d be best if I just lost that “College 15”.

Gyms scare me y’all. They smell like sweaty socks. And there is always some old guy in there that looks at you funny. And lifting weights is hard. And I am a chicken. Which is why I’ve avoided that building like the plague for almost a year now. Until today. (insert dramatic-themed movie music here)

I went down there during my lunch break to see what I needed to do to get started. I actually found out later in the conversation that I was speaking with the nutritionist, so she went ahead and gave me her hours and told me to make an appointment. I am supposed to come back at four this afternoon to meet with the trainer and get all my introductory stuff out of the way and develop my training plan, then I will set up an appointment with the nutritionist.

This is where the clean-eating thing comes in. I figured it would be a good idea to actually talk to a real-life certified nutritionist on what I need to eat. I want her opinion on this clean eating concept. I want to see what kind of nutritional knowledge she has that might help me to not be so tired all the time.

I am actually sort of excited. The little person inside me is nervous as all get out because now I’ve committed to something that is going to make me work hard and force me to go inside of a building with weight lifting machines and sweaty-sock smells. But I’m putting duct tape over that little person’s mouth and I’m going to be a big girl and go back to that gym at four o’clock this afternoon and start my life as a much healthier, stronger me.

I just hope the nutritionist doesn’t mention anything about eating anchovies, because that will cause me to burst into uncontrollable laughter and she will think I’m completely out of my mind.

“‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say-but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”-but not everything is constructive.”    ~1 Corinthians 10:23

Writer’s Block

I’ve always loved reading and writing. I learned how before I was even in K-5 and have been reading books and writing silly stories ever since. But for the past few days, I’ve logged onto this blog several times, written the title to a post, only to later delete the title and log out. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I just can’t seem to come up with anything good to write. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of topics that I could write about (i.e. our camping trip this past weekend, my beloved child dog, my flowers that are still alive…), it’s just that I don’t feel like writing about any of that stuff.

*sigh*

But perhaps if I just start writing about something, then my creative juices will start flowing again and I can stop feeling like a dumb-dumb head. So here goes!

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the concept of “clean eating”. Basically, clean eating is eating foods that have not been chemically processed and have natural ingredients. For instance, if I were to do this I would stop eating things like fast food and fried chicken. Yikes! It sounds scary in my mind, but for some reason I keep coming back to this topic. I think God’s trying to tell me something…….                 …….Let me explain.

For almost the entire two years I’ve been married, I’ve struggled with fatigue. Now I have several theories on this struggle, both physical and spiritual. But the past few months it has gotten really bad. As in I’m-ten-minutes-late-for-work-every-morning bad. The only time I don’t feel tired is when I sleep ten hours (or more). And then I can still take a nap in the afternoon and go to bed early that night (naturally this would occur on a Saturday, not during the week!)

I have gone to the doctor several times and have been tested for all sorts of stuff, but all of my levels are fine. So I have just been assuming that this had to do with something spiritual combined with some unknown thing that was stressing me out and sucking out all of my energy.

Until a few weeks ago.

I saw something on one of the Christian blogs I follow about sugar addiction. I had heard of this before, but never gave it any thought. But this time, I read the post, and I’ve been doing research ever since. We Americans eat an insane amount of sugar. And it’s not good for us at all. Some people handle it okay, but others literally become addicted to it. This leads to an overall feeling of sluggishness and fatigue.

Hm. Fatigue. My brain started ticking. Then today I ran across another Christian blog devoted entirely to “clean eating.” I had been reading several other websites about this, but I wasn’t too sure I could trust them. This one seems a lot more credible, mainly because they aren’t trying to sell me anything and it’s flooded with Scripture and science. Everything you could ever need is on that website, from how to get started all the way down to how to deal with family members who belittle you for choosing to eat clean.

So now I am considering trying it. Just for four weeks (unless it actually works). Most of the comments said that after just 7 days they were feeling so much better and had so much more energy. So if it takes 7 days for most people to start feeling better, than surely four weeks would be plenty of time for me to feel better (if chemicals in food and sugar addiction really is the cause of my fatigue).

I am praying that this is the answer I’ve been searching for….that God gently lead me to all of these websites so that I could change my lifestyle and be ready to face the day. I don’t like being late everywhere I go. I don’t like feeling so tired all of the time. I would love to be one of those morning people who just jump out of bed singing songs and jogging through the neighborhood. And even if I never am a happy morning person, just getting to work on time before my tardy-butt gets fired would be nice!  😉

Tonight me and my husband will have a talk about all of this. We will pray about it. I will ask his opinion and truly listen. And then we will make a decision. Of course, I will keep you guys posted on what we decide and how I plan to take on all of this.  🙂

Whew! Finally managed to write a post. Goodbye writer’s block!