Calling All Apples

The dreaded triathlon swim was last weekend.

Triathlon_Missindeedy

I survived. No, no, no – better than that! I did pretty darn well, considering I’ve a) Never competed in anything ending in -athlon before, b) become firmly entrenched in the 40+ age range, and c) been sporting a muffin-top to beat all muffin-tops for the better part of a decade.

And, it’s that last one that I feel the need to address.

Online.

For all the world to see.

But first… You know how you sometimes think you don’t look half bad? And perhaps you’ve even been working toward some fitness goal and are therefore convinced that you might even be looking pretty good?  And you live in your perfectly crafted delusional world for as long as it takes for someone to snap photographic evidence declaring quite the opposite?

Yeah.

Sigh…

An unfortunate side effect of All The Devil Dogs is, apparently, a spare tire.

Around one’s middle.

This picture below?  I’m putting it out there.  My friend Janet is grinning on my right.  She’s the toad friend who made me swim laps with her every day to prepare.

I’ll “spare” you the bottom half of the picture. Just know that I am now well aware of the effects of all of my Devil Doggery.

triathlon_muffintop_missindeedy

Here’s the thing – I’m a textbook apple shape.  I’m talking, circle resting on toothpicks, People! I’ve always been that way. Even when I was at my leanest, I was a more slender kind of apple. Is there such a thing?

Well, I’m calling all my apple friends! If you don’t already know, we have the most dangerous body type, as it relates to obesity and heart disease.  Decreasing our weight as little as 5 pounds can provide amazing health benefits. Working off even 5% of our body fat can extend our life span significantly!

I know this.

And yet, I’ve still managed to run around town ignoring the ever-expanding inner tube around my waist.

No more!

Seeing that picture of my waist, even if it was while marching down to a quarter mile swim, scared me straight.

As in, rectangular.

Yup. I’m aiming to change my shape.

I’m setting some goals and giving myself plenty of time to slowly meet them. I’m going to make some dietary changes (no Devil Dogs will be harmed in this process). I’m going to add in some (some – let’s not get too crazy, now) consistent exercise each week.

And, God-willing, change will take place.

Yes indeedy. I’m going to work on becoming less circle-y and more oval-y. Any other shapes want to join me?

First order of business is to get a food plan going.  What works (or has worked) for you in the past?  Share in the comments.

When to Act on What You Hear

Elvis had it right.

Or, he was definitely on the right track, when he admonished us to provide a “little less conversation, a little more action.”

Now, I know Elvis had his own ideas about what that meant, but I’ve always been a fan of the old adage that “actions speak louder than words.”

Growing up, I had a father that modeled getting out there and making his dreams a reality.  That’s part of my DNA, much like the ocean is.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that I’ve always been inspired by this verse in the Bible:

Do what God’s teaching says; when you only listen and do nothing, you are fooling yourselves. ”   James 1:22 (NCV)

Another version of this verse urges the reader to “Act on what your hear!” (The Message)

I love that!

Act_On_What_You_Hear_Missindeedy

One word that friends often use to describe me, is “doer”. And, usually, it is an accurate depiction. Somehow, someway, I will get in there and just get. it. done.

Not lately.

Recently, I’ve noticed a trend in my talking.

There’s too much of it!

I feel like I’m fast becoming a “hearer” only, and I don’t like it one bit! The label, alone, smacks of inaction. A quality that everything in me dislikes.

Busyness could be blamed.  So, too, could the season of life that I find myself in.

Whatever the reason for my recent lack of action, it grates at my heart.

That heart-irritation has led me down a dark path. I’ve traveled down this path once or twenty times, before. Questions about my abilities pepper my every thought like new leaves in June. “Can you really?”  “Will you ever?”  “What makes you think…”

I detest those questions.

And the Asker.

So, I’ve been spending some extra time in the presence of The One who knows the Truth of me.

The Answerer.

And He’s been telling me something that I’ve never been able to  hear before.

“Let MY actions speak through your words.”

And God’s actions will speak louder than any words I could think about uttering.

With that, He speaks Light into the darkness of my path.  He guides me in Truth and hurries me past those questions.

I can’t tell you how thankful I am.

I’m reminded, once again, that anything “I’ve” ever done is because He has provided what I needed to get it done! Anything that God has allowed me the honor of doing, for His glory, has come about because I’ve been able to hear Him.

Stepping lightly down the last of that dark path, I’ve finally burst into The Light.

It’s there that I’m able to see that my inaction wasn’t due to the foolishness of hearing only.

No.

I’ve been listening pretty intently, of late.

My inaction is more because God hasn’t finished talking to me about where He wants me to step next.

One small Word at a time, I will act on what I hear.

And, I’ll become a hearer and a doer.

Yes indeedy.

The Kids’ Top 5 Places to Visit

Just for kicks and giggles, I asked those darling children of mine a question last weekend: If they could go anyplace, what would their top five be?

They each delivered answers fairly predictably, with just one or two surprises.

Sweetboy’s top five, in a very particular order, are:

1. Go to Disney World. (Shocker!)

2. Go to Hawaii. (Apparently, Disney has a resort there? So… shocker!)

3. Go to California.  (Disneyland. We have a theme going here, don’t we?  And, because, “I’ve always wanted to go to L.A. – it seems cool!”  What’s that now?!)

4. Go to the Florida Keys.  (I wasn’t expecting that one. Ahab and Nana – that’s on you!)

5. Go and visit Wales. (This is not a surprise. After all, I did once use an accent for love.)

And, Sweetgirl’s top five were:

1. Disney World. (Shocker, again!)

2. Legoland in Florida. (Thank you Lego Movie!)

3. Denmark. (She has a sweet little school friend from there.  This is not surprising.)

4. Go to Hawaii because “It’s so warm in there!” (And, as soon as brother reported that there was a Disney Resort there, too, she wanted to move it up to #1. I told her that all decisions were final. No returns or exchanges.)

5. Go see Rio2 at the movies. (Now that was totally random, as we didn’t really dig the first one. Well played Rio2 P.R. People! Also, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that Rio 2 is not a place. She’s six. Whatever.)

There you have it.  Thrilling, I know.

But wait!

There is something thrilling that I’m working very hard to keep from sharing with them.

As far as the Sweetkids know, we are having our Mouse Reunion in December. They’ve been pining to go back since stepping foot off of Disney property this time, last year. We’ve been talking it up with them for the last 3 months. We’ve even been involving them in choosing a hotel, mapping out new restaurants to try, and which rides to make sure to hit.

What they don’t know is that we’re actually going to be sporting our Mickey Mouse ears really soon!

And, since it’s #1 on both of their lists, I have the feeling that we will have two highly happy children on our hands come the morning we stroll downstairs and announce that we’re going.

Oh, yes indeedy!

I can not tell you how happy this place makes my family. I had my doubts about how “magical” it all really was – until we actually went for the first time a few years ago.  All doubts were eradicated! Each visit to Disney World has been special for this quirky family of mine in so many ways.  Sweetman and I can’t wait!

In the meantime, I’d appreciate prayers for strength to keep my big mouth shut.  I’m ’bout ready to burst! I keep telling myself that I’ve made it this last couple of months – I can make it another couple of weeks, right?

RIGHT!?!

Missindeedy_Mouse_Secret

Stilled Sails On Alert

Sailboat_Creationswap_TroyM_Missindeedy

You are about to embark on an adventure.  Your sails are all puffed up with determination and your boat is all gassed up and ready to go. You have charts and maps and emergency plans and contingency plans and plans for your plans.

In the days leading up to this great journey, you dive into the cool refreshing waters of some serious quiet time. It is needed. With all of the planning you’ve been doing, you have neglected to nourish yourself on the inside.

So you do.

You crack open The Good Book and your eyes instantly light on a verse like “We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go.” (Proverbs 16:9).

Your journal stares at you from the tabletop and begs to be touched and opened and written in.  You do. And your eyes are drawn to your last entry where you wrote of “wanting Adonia to make you aware of anything in your heart that is not of Him.”   He does.

And because that was not enough to avert your gaze from your All Important Goal, you finally hit the alarm the morning of Go Time, stumble from your bed, and find that your boat has suffered damage. You cannot set off as you had hoped to, determined to, planned to.

There is violence done to your prideful ego as it becomes clear to you that your plan wasn’t His plan.  Not for now, anyway.

Humility sets in.

For just the eleventy-hundreth time in your life.

You realize, for what you hope will be at least close to the final time, that all of your striving and goal-setting and planning and preparing is for naught, if The Wind wills your sails to be still.

And so they will be.

Humbled, yet again, I accept that my sails will not even flutter until they are willed otherwise. And, not by me, but by the only One who can put proper wind into them.

My job, until then, is to stay alert and be prepared.

And so I will be.