Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday Favorites...

Yes, I know. It's Saturday. I was out of the house the whole day yesterday, and last night my family was able to pull off a surprise birthday party for my sister, Leah! She turned 16 on Wednesday, and we had a lot of fun planning this secret event. So, even though it's not Friday anymore, we'll just have to pretend that it is. :-) I considered blogging around midnight as the last of our guests left, but then realized that this post would still show up on Saturday (early morning as it was). My desire for sleep won, and though I had not posted yet, I went to bed. :-) My apologies if you were waiting all day for me to post! (Though I doubt that

Okay, my favorite for this week is actually.......all of you! I was thinking this week of how blessed I am to have you to encourage me and spur me on to reach my goals, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. As women, we need our girlfriends! We need people to come along side us and be vessels through which the Lord can pour out His love. People who will speak the truth in love to us, when it's something that we'll find pleasant to hear and even when it's not. The Lord created us to need relationships with others! And most importantly, He created us with the need (and amazing privilege) to have a strong relationship with Him.

Having a strong relationship with the Lord and also have strong relationships with Godly friends are two of the most important keys to my success, in every area of life. As I seek to learn the lessons of living by the Holy Spirit's power and walking in His Spirit, I will begin to experience the freedom for which Christ shed his precious blood. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, "Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (freedom)." And I'm thankful for friends who encourage me in my walk with Christ and are seeking to walk in the Spirit, as well!

Godly friendship is a treasure. I have heard so many other young ladies tell me, "Oh, how I wish that I had more like-minded girls in my area! It seems that I'm the only girl who is seeking to please the Lord in every area of my life." And it's true - there is a battle raging for the hearts and minds of young ladies! The devil would like nothing more than to get our focus off of Christ, and he'll use whatever tactics he can to cause us to stumble and fall. For me, he might seek to make me so focused on changing my outward appearance, that I neglect to remember my inward beauty is what the Lord desires the most. I don't want to invest more in my outward appearance than my inward!

And that's where you come in. We all need encouragement. We need people to hold us accountable. We need prayer. We need to have long talks. In a word, we need our girlfriends! And I thank you for being that for me. I love my girlfriends! Your support and prayer means more than you could ever know. Yes, Godly friends are definitely one of my favorite things.....

"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend..." Proverbs 27:6a

"and the Scripture was fullfilled that said, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to Him as righteousness"-and he was called a friend of God". James 2:23

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Musings...

Sometimes, we need a little extra motivation to do something that we don't really want to do. Have you ever felt that way? I did this past week, so I did something about it. And I found that a splash of color was all I needed.

You see, I'd fallen off the wagon and needed to jump back on. The "calorie counting" wagon, that is. I've gotten out of the habit of writing down what I eat, which many "fitness gurus" say is the first key to weight loss success. I was faithful to write things down for months on end by just grabbing the little notebook I kept on top of our refrigerator and jotting down my meals. But, like I mentioned, I've gotten out of the habit of doing that, and I'm motivated to do it again. It really is a helpful tool, and it's just pure laziness that I don't feel like doing it anymore. So, after giving my laziness a good kick in the pants, I resolved to begin recording again....last week...and I've yet to write anything down.

It's not that I didn't want to record, it's just that I couldn't. I didn't have an empty notebook. And my attempts to write things down on a piece of paper wasn't working, as my papers kept getting thrown in the garbage by my uninformed family members. :-)

So today, as I was shopping in Michaels, I noticed a bright, colorful notebook and thought, "Hey - this is perfect!" I love colors, and being the very visionary person that I am, I picked out the brightest, wildest pattern I could find. I'm sure I looked ridiculous as I dug through their bargain bin, pulling out the most outrageous patterns and judging them by their "motivation factor". I settled on a pattern that is has a dark teal pattern with white/purple/lime green/light blue/pink flowers all over it. It's cheerful, colorful, and most of all -motivating. I can't wait to write in it! (Even if I'm only counting calories....)

The moral of this musing is.....find something that will motivate you to reach your goals! Even if all you need is a silly little notebook.

Love, Bekah

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Favorites

Friday is here, which means it's time for me to post another one of my favorite things! It almost makes me want to burst into song, singing "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!" which was originally (and masterfully) sung by the one and only Julie Andrews. But I'll spare you that, because #1 - no one can sing it like Julie! and #2 - this post isn't about favorite musicals. :-)

So, I won't be posting about raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens. (Or bright copper kettles and warm woolen My favorite thing this week is simple exercises. Now I don't mean "easy" exercises, but simple ones. You know, the kind that everyone can do, anywhere they want. Simple exercises are great! You don't have to be in a gym, you don't have to hire your own personal trainer. They are s-i-m-p-l-e. All you need is a book or DVD to show you proper form (which is crucial!) and you're on your way to stronger muscles!

Some of my favorite simple exercises are lunges, squats, leg lifts, (which are really good for working your thighs, ladies!) bicep curls, hammer curls, rows, or anything using your arms and weights, crunches, situps, etc. The list could go on! I love the simplicity of exercise. I think sometimes we use the excuse of "Oh, I could never do that! It's looks too difficult." to keep us from exercising, when, in fact, we can do the exercises - we just don't want to. :-) There is no shame in starting as a "beginner" and working your way up! That's the way I did it. I remember when I could only do 10 jumping jacks at a time! Do lunges look too difficult? Then don't bend your knees and go so far down into the movement...Think push-ups are too hard? Then start by doing them on your knees...The point is - do them! Even if you have to make the movements a little easier as you begin.

And the beauty of this, is that you can perform these exercises anywhere! I've been known to do lunges in the kitchen while waiting for water to boil on the stove. I have a friend who told me that she does squats while brushing her teeth each night! Do you have little brothers and sisters? They love to be picked up and played with. I've actually performed tricep extensions by raising our 17 month old foster baby up above my head! (And no, I haven't ever dropped her....:-))

Again, simple doesn't mean easy. It just means that the playing field is level - you can do them! You just have to make the choice to do it.

And if you have ideas of creative ways to incorperate simple exercises into your day, please comment! I'd love to get some more ideas.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Musings

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall. Who's the fairest one of all?

Today, I've been thinking about the power of mirrors. I know, I know. It's a rather strange thing to be contemplating, but I warned you that these posts would be random!

The power of mirrors. For us, as young ladies, mirrors hold a lot of power. We don't like to admit it, but c'mon know it's true! We wake up in the morning and are aghast to see our "morning faces", so we wash and scrub, cleanse and moisturize - and that's just to clean up! If we want to go out in public, we spend more time in front of the unmerciful mirror and "enhance our features" with makeup. Have you ever been like me and thought, "Ugh! Why doesn't my eyeshadow look right?....Eeewww! This mascara is clumping!....Whoa...too much blush. Great, I get to look like I'm in a continual state of embarrassment all day.......Hmmm...does my foundation make me look pale?.....And how dark should my eyeliner be?....Lipstick or gloss? This is taking forever......

Then, it's on to fixing our "bed head". Brushes, combs, curling irons, straightening tools, spritz and spray to hold it in place. (That is, unless we're having the dreaded "bad hair day". In that case, some of us would rather just stay home than go out looking like that!) We try something new, hoping to break out of our old hair do rut. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When you're not in a hurry and don't really care, it will work. When you are frantically rushing about in order to be ready on time, it won't. (At least, that's what happens with me!)

And that's just the top of our bodies. Then it's on to dressing. How often do we ask ourselves this question, "What should I wear?". It's not a wrong question to ask. In fact, dressing appropriately is very important! But if we were completely honest, that's not our true question. That's not what we mean. When we ask, "What should I wear?", we could attach all kinds of endings. Some stem from pure motives, others from...dare I say it?.....pride.

A list of pure motive questions would be:
-What should I wear that is modest, and will be modest in all weather conditions and standing/sitting positions?
-What should I wear that is honoring to my parents, especially my father?
-What should I wear that is a good fit for my body type? ('Cause we've all seen people wearing clothes that were NOT meant for their body shape, and no matter how much flesh it covers - it's not modest.)
-What should I wear that would encourage people to look at my countenance?
-What should I wear that would encourage other girls to dress modestly?

We could add more, but you get the point. Those should be the questions we ask, and I think for most of us, they are. However, I've noticed that too often we mix in a few other questions. Questions that stem from our feelings of pride, insecurity, peer-pressure, rejection, and fear. Questions like:
-What should I wear that will draw attention to me?
-What should I wear that will help me to fit in with everyone else?
-What should I wear that will enhance the features I'm proud of and cover the ones that make me discontent and jealous of others?
-What should I wear that will gain approval and praise from others?
-What should I wear that won't make me look fat?
-What should I wear that will make me look super cute and stylish?

Again, the list could go on. And with all of these questions whirling in our minds, we stand in front of the mirror and critique outfit number one. Then two. Then three. Then four. As the mirror has no mercy on our "trouble spots", so we don't have mercy on ourselves. And the seeds of discontentment continue to grow.

I wish I had a body like (insert name). Why do my hips look so big? This outfit isn't very stylish. My feet look huge, and these shoes aren't very cute but they were all I could find in my size. I think this shirt makes my arms look weird.

I wonder what our mirrors would say if they really could talk? Would they speak like the mirror in "Snow White", praising our beauty one day, and alerting us to anyone who had beauty that surpassed our own the next? I suspect they would tell us to stop obsessing over the reflection we see. I haven't done any calculations, but I would assume that over the course of our lives we spend thousands of hours checking and rechecking our appearance. Makeup still look fresh? Hair still holding it's style? Clothes portraying the message I want to send?

Which begs the question, "Is that wrong?". Is it wrong to be concerned about our appearance? Is it wrong to want to dress fashionably? Is it wrong to spend so much time in front of the mirror?

Where is the balance?

*To be continued....* After I hear some of your thoughts on the subject!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Favorites

As my first "Friday Favorites" post, I pondered over what to write. Should I pick a favorite food from this past week? (Like Nutella, which I tried for this first time - definitely a new favorite! I mean, anything with chocolate and nuts mixed together is an automatic favorite for me.)
Or, maybe I should pick one of my favorite exercises to highlight. Yes, I do have favorite exercises - it is possible to like some aspects of exercise! In fact, I really enjoy strength training.

But, I decided to highlight a new favorite drink for me - a Green Tea Smoothie. It's super simple to make and a very light, refreshing drink. Now, I actually don't care for tea. Never have, though I've tried to make myself like it for years. :-) But I love this smoothie! And it's prpbably because you can't taste the tea very much. So for those of you who are tea drinkers, you might want to add more tea to the smoothie than the recipe calls for, especially if you're wanting a strong "tea flavor".
Tea has so many healthy benefits, and I'm sad to missing out on them. I've tried all kinds of tea, but the flavor itself just makes me gag. Even if I plug my nose while drinking! I'm a hopeless outsider looking in. I shall never be able to enjoy a winter evening sitting in front of a crackling fire, wrapped up in a soft blanket and sipping hot tea out of a beautiful China tea cup. *SOB!!!!!!* How depressing is that???? But at least I get a little green tea in the smoothie!

I originally got this recipe from a book that came along with the Mr. Coffee Frappe Maker that I bought for my sisters for Christmas. But, don't worry - you don't have to own a frappe maker in order to enjoy this smoothie. Just throw the ingredients into a good blender and you can make your own!

Add 1/2 cup of prepared green tea in a blender with about 1 cup of ice, (more or less, depending on how thick you want your smoothie - I usually do a little less because I prefer it not so icy cold!), 1 tbsp of honey and 1/2 tbsp of sugar (I use our unrefined sugar, or you could substitute with a few drops of stevia), 1/2 cup of milk, and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. Blend it all together and enjoy!

I drank several of these when I had a horrible head cold about a week ago and was impressed with how much they helped my cold clear up. I added a drop of peppermint oil into the smoothie and it helped "unplug" my nose and open my airways. A word of advice about peppermint oil - if you add too much, you'll feel the burn on your tongue and down your throat! Don't overdue it. I learned that the hard way...:-)

Blessings on your Friday! ~Bekah

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Word for your Wednesday...

For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.

This God - his way is perfect, the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 18:29-30

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Musings

Happy New Year! I have great and lofty goals for this blog as this new year rolls around. And I must be honest, it's going to take a lot of diligence and creativity on my part. I haven't exactly been too diligent in posting regularly, and that in part is due to a crazy schedule, but also due to my pride. Now, you may be wondering what my pride has to do with keeping me from posting, but it's quite simple. I'm still not where I want to be! I still haven't achieved my weight loss goal! And it's hard to get excited about posting when I feel like I'm not making a lot of progress.

But, my pride is about to suffer a severe blow. I have plans! Plans for it's demise. Plans to be honest - to post the truth. And to post it diligently and regularly. Be prepared! This blog is about to get turned upside down.

Here are my new goals. First off, I will begin posting Monday Musings. This will be about everything and anything! Whatever I may be musing about on that day. Whether it be a Scripture passage, how to cut calories in a favorite dish, or what style of clothing best suits my body type, you're going to get to tap into what is this girl is thinking about. (Don't be scared! I don't have time to post all of my thoughts...)

My next goal is that Fridays will be "Friday Favorites". On this day, I'll share a favorite of mine. A favorite food, exercise, Scripture verse, etc. I look forward to sharing that with you!

Finally, my goal is to reach even more young ladies with the truth of God's Word and the freedom that is found in Him! And with this goal, I'll need your help. Please pass this blog along to whoever you think would be encouraged by it. I don't want this blog to just be a hobby, but a ministry - a ministry to the daughters of the King!

And now, though this may seem a bit presumptuous, I have made a goal for you, my dear committed readers. It's a simple goal, but one that is a way that you can be an encouragement to me. Post a comment! That's it. I'm easily encouraged. :-)

Blessings to you all in this coming year! And may the Lord be glorified.