Saturday, January 17, 2015

My word 2015

It's 2015 and I have been pondering what my word should be for this coming year. I have several ideas such as obedient, change or flexible.

Maybe I need a word for each month rather than a word that captures the whole year. When i think about that it brings to mind flexible.

So maybe my word for 2015 is flexible and i have sub words for different periods of the year. If that is the case, then i think my first sub word should be obedient.

That seems like a plan to me. I'm going with that.

Flexible because I believe there will be change this year and I need to seek out and listen to God's voice.  I need to remain flexible to respond and obey his direction for my life.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

US Roa Trip - Nashville

We arrived into Nashville last night and settled into our hotel. We were tired from the driving, so had dinner at Cracker Barrel next to the hotel. By 9 pm Nashville time we were in bed for the night.

Today was our day to see Nashville. After spending the day there, I'm still not sure what I think of it. I don't know what I expected, but it was different. We had breakfast at the hotel, then Derek had found a church in downtown Nashville and we checked it out. Fastest service I have ever attended - 50 minutes tops with everything. It was ok, just bland. Trying too hard to be hip.

From there we headed downtown. It was really hot, over 100 degrees. Broadway was a rash of bars pumping out live music, boot shops offering buy 1, get 2 free, and then your usual cheap souvenir shops. 

Since we have to watch our money, we had decided to do Nashville on the cheap, not paying for attractions, but doing things that were free. Unfortunately, quite a few of the freebie places weren't open. We ended up wandering around the Country Music Hall of Fame building and an historic poster printing company. Derek bought a replica Elvis poster.

All in all, it was a great day. I'm just still not sure what I think of Nashville, would I come back? Probably it would be nice, but not somewhere I will rush back to. It's probably because I'm just not into the historic country music. A lot of the references are most likely lost on me because I've never followed it. As a city, it's fine but I can't say anything particularly stood out for me.

I am enjoying the Tennessee accents :)

One more night at the hotel, then tomorrow it's on to Memphis. I'm expecting to enjoy Memphis more.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

US Road Trip - Dayton Ohio

Day 1

Well, we started off on our great american road trip yesterday. While Derek had the day off, I decided to work a half day and save a bit of vacation time. First thing on our agenda was to pick up the rental car. Derek got the location a bit confused, but no worries! We'll be driving a VW Passat for the next couple of weeks. I left him there doing the inspection and finalizing everything, heading off to work.

Derek had aimed to leave around 1-2, but as usual it was closer to 3 by the time we were pulling out of the driveway. Puppy all secured at the vet, house all tidied, car all packed up, 

And we're off ...

We got to just past Milton - avoiding the Friday traffic - and stopped to grab a bite to eat. 

And we're off again ...

Wow, it's a long drive to Windsor! Border crossing was super easy:

Border agent: (looks at passports) Derek & Wendy? Where are you off to today?
Derek: On vacation, going to Florida
Border agent: Flying or driving?
Derek: Driving
Border agent: Where in Florida?
Derek: Orlando, Disney World
Border agent: (hands back passport) Have a nice day

How easy was that? and there wasn't much of a line up either, maybe 4 cars ahead of us. 

And we're off again...

The drive through the US to Dayton was pretty smooth and uneventful. Fairly straight, all highway, and relatively flat, just lots of construction all along the way. That slowed us down a bit. We pulled off at a small town - I think it was Findlay - to stop and get coffee and donuts at a Tim Hortons. I've made a note that this would be a great place to pull over if we have the truck/trailer combo. Walmart, lots of restaurants, right off the highway and just about the right amount of driving for the day.
I had the hotel in Dayton pre-booked and paid for, so we pressed on. It ended up begin a bit longer of a drive than we really like and the last 90 minutes was in darkness but we did okay, arriving @ around 11:30. GPS was dead accurate on arrival time.

I had us booked into the Comfort Inn. Price was reasonable ($85 with hotel card discount), right off the highway and it had good reviews on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor is my go to spot for choosing a hotel these days. Once again, it lived up to my expectations. The Comfort Inn is a small place, 2 stories and no elevator. Our room was on the 2nd floor so that meant Derek carrying our suitcases up a flight of stairs. The place has been recently renovated, the rooms are compact but have a fridge, microwave, coffee maker, free wi-fi (that works great - it's what I'm on now to post this), free hot breakfast. It's nice and clean, and the staff are friendly. What more do we need? Well, a larger bed would be nice and it is offered but I wasn't willing to pay the $10 extra. It's a bit hard to go from a King to a Double, but for one night it's fine. Beds were comfortable, lots of pillows, lots of towels, overall a very satisfactory place for a night's layover before moving on...

Comfort Inn, Dayton Ohio

Friday, June 20, 2014

Things that went right this week

I got back on my diet and lost 6 pounds.
I read my bible each day and I'm up to date on my bible study.
Had a great Father's Day with Jessica and Derek.
I successfully filled in for Lori.
I made strides building relationships with the 2 other teams.
I had a good meeting with Shailesh.
The plan for the truck is coming together and we've actually had a dealership say they could match our price.
God prepared us for the situation with the van and we are in good shape to deal with it.
Derek was home today and started getting the house in order.
I got the budget up to date and some overdue items cleared.
Still really happy about selling the pool heater. Nice to hear from the family about how happy they are with it.
Stocked up on meat for the summer.
Derek got to take the church on an outing to Castle Loma and play tour guide.
Steel got a great call from Answers in Genesis and it's possible God may be opening doors there. They are very welcoming to us for our upcoming visit also.
God is so active in our lives and I just want to praise him! !
Amen awesome week.!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Peter and losing faith

Matthew 14:29-30 NIV

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

This spoke to me this morning. I so do this. I start out with a grand plan full of faith and knowing where I am going and then soon after I lose faith and my direction. But look at the next verse:

Matthew 14:31 NIV

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Jesus catches me!

Monday, February 24, 2014


In doing this study, God gave me a great AH HA moment that I was just sharing with my daughter last night. In all my past attempts to lose weight, there has always been that magic number I wanted to get to. However, as soon as I saw some progress that I could cling to, I would settle and give up. This always fed the negative talk track that has been constant in my life. So, I always held up that ‘magic number’. If I could just persevere and get to that goal, my life would be golden. My AH HA moment came when I realized that I needed much more than that. I needed to change my lifestyle for good, not reach some number on the scale. And that floored me, I didn’t see how I could do that. Really it was that moment that solidified my need for God in this struggle and that was where courage showed up. Courage to admit that I couldn’t do it, courage to reach out and ask God, courage to trust him enough to listen and follow, courage to give up the dream of that magic number and golden life, and finally courage to stop the negative tape running over and over in my head and replace it with good thoughts. Courage to recognize the good things about myself and build up rather than tear down. Thank you LORD for all the courage you have poured into me i 6 short weeks, and the love that you followed it up with. This has truly been a life changing study and now that my eyes have been opened, I know I will not go back.. But I need courage daily to remain firm in you to make sure I don’t stall out and keep going on the path as I experience success. I don’t want that old pattern of settling for a small success, I want to reach the vision YOU have of me.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Here I am starting the Made to Crave bible study. I haven't always been overweight but I have struggled with weight issues since my early teen years. Over the past 10 years my weight has gone up and down. I've had bouts where I've successfully lost weight and kept it off. But never have I got to my goal weight. I always give up before getting there. And slowly but surely the weight creeps back on. In 2013 I started the year off really strong, going good until April and then it all fell apart again. 

You need to know this because it sets the stage for where I was coming into this study - DISCOURAGED! UNMOTIVATED! DRAGGED INTO IT KICKING & SCREAMING. Yup, I'm afraid to admit, that's me. I had signed up for the study, and if you read my post 'God, Me & P31', you'll understand a bit better why I knew I had to do this study. But I really didn't want to. Empowered I was NOT.

I believe in being honest with God. He knows anyway so what's the point of trying to pretend? I did cry out to him, telling him that I don't have hope, I don't feel empowered, I don't see how doing this study is going to change anything. I've already read the book, so what is there to change anyway. But I know that this is his direction for me, so I will take it step by step. I will sign on each day. I will pray and ask him to show me the steps for that day. I will - with his help - make an effort to do what he is asking me to do. I will be an active participant in my small Facebook group. I will need his help and support more than ever.

So day 1 comes. I get up and sign onto the blog. The first thing God shows me is that really, I haven't read the book. I've read the first few chapters and then put it down. Okay, that's true. He asks me to keep an open mind, take it one day at a time. Okay, I can do that.

Sunday I make my breakfast & lunches for the week. I know that if I do this I'll stick to my plan, if not I'll eat junk.

So I feel him asking me to do 3 things - get back to exercising on the treadmill, stick to my breakfast/lunch plan and start logging my food on My Fitness Pal. Basically brushing myself off and picking up where I started last year, Okay, I did that.

Tuesday comes, I wake up with a killer migraine. I don't exercise, but I do follow the bible study and log my food. Well, I sort of log my food as both days I start off great and then it dwindles as I never really log my dinner meal.

So now it's Wednesday. Discouragement has set in. Really, I can't even keep on track for 3 days, how pathetic is that! I don't want to get up, I don't want to do the study, I don't want to exercise. I DO want to give up. But I know that's not what God wants. No matter how I feel about myself, I can't deliberately bring myself to completely disobey something I KNOW he is telling me to do. So I get up. I still don't want to exercise, but I tell myself - one step at a time - bible study. Read chapter 2. Yes, I know I've already read it several times over the years, but I will read it again and ask God to give me a fresh view of it. Help me to keep an open mind. So I read it. Next I tell myself to bite the bullet and just go down to the treadmill. How hard can it be? So reluctantly, that's what I do. What difference will it really make? Who knows, but God has asked me to do it.

About 3 steps in, God hits me between the eyes with a huge revelation that craving food is not my issue. My issue is low self esteem. He took me by the hand and showed me how the enemy has been filling my head with lies, beating me down with my perceived failures, that he so generously points out. So that's my picture for Wednesday - me on the treadmill bawling and praising God simultaneously, walking despite the fact I just want to crumble at his feet and weep.

Now it's a day later, I'm still not completely on track but I know that that's okay. God is accepting me right here - where I am today. I am EMPOWERED by his love and his strength. I have kicked the enemy to the curb. I've asked God to help me be diligent in guarding my thoughts. I will not allow his lies to define who I am. I am a child of the KING and I am empowered. Beyond that, I'm still processing his 'Big Reveal' and trying to comprehend it fully.

God, Me & P31

I have a little story that I wanted to share. Back in 2010, for my 50th birthday I asked my family for a Kindle. As a family that loves & treasures books, this was a big step and met with much resistance, as if I'd joined 'the dark side'. But Mom got what she asked for, and my lovely new Kindle arrived.

We were already loyal customers of Amazon in Canada and I had quite a history on my account of books that I had purchased. However, at that time the Kindle was only handled out of Amazon US, so I had to set up a secondary account to purchase ebooks.

The day finally comes and I eagerly unpacked my new gadget. I turn it on and start exploring. I connect to the online store and click on 'recommended for you', curious about what will come up.

There was one suggestion - only one - Made to Crave. Not even the actual book, but a 30 day devotional issue that was being offered free. Now, let's unpack this a bit more. This is really unthinkable that this would be the ONLY suggestion. At no time had I entered anything on my account that would identify me as either Christian or someone struggling with a weight battle. Amazon offers TONS of free books, I am a prime candidate for romance books, general fiction, etc. There was no doubt in my mind that this was God sending me a message - LOUD AND CLEAR.

So, of course I downloaded the book. I even followed it for a few days. I got as far as the part where Lysa explains that this is not a 'diet plan' book, that I needed to find an eating plan that worked for me. Well, I didn't have one. Then I decided at that point to purchase the actual book. I purchased it, read a few chapters and moved on to something else.

So I've never gotten any further than that with Made to Crave, but that little book has completely changed my life. I discovered P31 Women through that. I checked them out on the web and found that they had online prayer groups. All my life God has blessed me immensely. I gave my life to him when I was 23 and at that time he brought all kinds of Christian friends into my life. Over the years, the closeness of those friendships has dwindled. Some have fallen away, some have moved away and others have drifted away. At 50, I found myself really craving some good Christian women in my life that I could really be open with. Women that I could share & support, that would support me in return. Hence, the idea of online groups sounded really appealing. I joined 2 groups, one was really active and then shortly after just seemed to stop, but the other one was active and welcoming. I switched my 2nd group to another one, but that too just didn't seem to be such a great fit. God answered my desire with the one original group. What an amazing group of ladies I have found. About a year into the group, P31 decided to get out of that format and move in a different direction. Our group has remained together, coordinated by our great group leader. God's timing was so perfect, getting me into that group and settled.

Then in 2013, I found out about P31's OBS studies. I did one - What happens when women say yes to God. Again, this came around at the perfect time in my life. I had just read a book called Anything along the same vein. Again a book that God drew my attention to in a similar way as Made to Crave. It was a great study, but I was too late signing up to get into a small group. Fantastic study, it's set the groundwork for what I know in my heart is going to be a breakthrough 2014! 

The next study came along and because I was on the waiting list for a small group, I was actually assigned to 3 different groups in error. I'm sure it was a great study, but it was a time of family change as my son prepared to go out on mission for a year and other things were vying for my attention. In the end, I didn't end up doing the study, but through that I 'picked' group 15 as my small group. Don't ask me how I picked that group, because I really don't know. I will only tell you that it was God working for me. I know that I deliberately picked that one, there was something that made that group appeal to me, but it must have been the Spirit guiding me. Again, what perfect timing. Here it is, a few months later and there is such a waiting list it's doubtful I would get assigned a group if I was just signing up now.

So, here I am. I'm doing the Made to Crave study with my new group. Already I feel so at home in this group, I know without a doubt that God has brought me here. I also know that ironically, 4 years later, God has brought me full circle back to Made to Crave. My group leader asked about a week ago if we all had our books yet. I chucked with God at that one! Yes, I've had mine for 4 years, just waiting for this moment. There was a discussion amongst the group about book vs ebook, with the general consensus that most of the group preferred having the actual book. Again I chuckled as I was reading those comments. I can completely understand as I also love books but for this one, I'm more than happy with my ebook version.Weight has been a struggle for me since my teens, God knows this. He has a plan to do great things. I can't wait, so excited for this journey, this new group, my great prayer group, and any other blessings that God has yet to reveal - a journey that stated with one free book on my new Kindle - that my family was reluctant to get me. What a Mighty & Wonderful God we serve.