Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Good Enough

Lately, I've noticed a recurring theme popping up in various places - blogs, Facebook, Instagram. People are talking about celebrating small victories, or embracing the imperfect. In particular, those who endure depression or struggle with perfectionism (the two often go hand-in-hand) are saying "anything worth doing is worth doing half-assed". That's not granting permission to be lazy; it's merely saying that it's better to make a small step than not do anything at all. Many times, we perfectionists will not do a thing at all if we can't do it perfectly.

As the years have gone by, I've come to embrace what I like to call "God's gift of good enough". My attempts at cooking, crafting, gardening, cleaning, writing, etc - these things, I can accept my far from perfect attempts as "good enough". The one area that continues to be a struggle for me is my exercise routine. How can it be good enough, if the effort is not "no pain, no gain"?

During my 20s and 30s, I did aerobic workouts 5 or 6 days a week; I went speed-walking; I even used weight machines at a gym briefly. Solid workouts were a regular part of my life. Due to foot injuries a few years ago, I was forced to give up all aerobic activity other than swimming. (And I do not swim, at least not well enough to be safe in water more than neck deep. Nor do I have ready access to a pool other than the blue plastic wading variety.) Dizzy spells and back pain have put a damper on my yoga practice. Thankfully I've been able to ride my stationary bike, but recently have discovered that riding it at a pace fast enough to get a "good burn" was increasing the back pain exponentially. I can still ride, but at a snail's pace and for only about 10 minutes. When I complained about this to my friend T, she replied, "it's better than nothing!" And you know...she's absolutely right!

My body has forced limitations on me, but that doesn't mean I have to give up exercise completely. I can move my body in small ways - a few slow minutes on the bike, some arm curls or leg lifts as I fold laundry, a walk with the dog (she is an old lady dog, so it's more of a meander than a walk, ha ha!). And that can be good enough. I can celebrate small victories in my workouts, too!


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Apron of the Month ~ September

Since September marks the beginning of a new school year, I decided to showcase this cute little child's apron as this month's cover photo. I'll try to remember to take a picture of my almost-three-year-old granddaughter wearing it the next time I see her (and if she will cooperate).

As I recall, this apron was given to me by a sweet friend. She needed to downsize, as she was moving to a smaller home, and knew that I have a thing for vintage aprons. I was quite pleasantly surprised to get a box full of aprons from her! I'm pretty sure those are chickens in the print of the fabric; or else they're ducks. Either way suits me fine, because there are both chickens and ducks in my back yard.

The play food is something both my grandkids enjoy playing with, but particularly my granddaughter. I found a HUGE bag of plastic food at a yard sale this summer, and it has proven to be one of the biggest hits. It is even more appealing than my exercise bike - especially since I remove the batteries before the kids come over. Shh...don't tell! It's the only way I could keep them from mashing the buttons constantly and wearing out the batteries. Without any beeping, the bike lost its appeal. Ha ha!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sunday Inspiration 9-9-18

Last weekend, my husband and I took a little road trip up to the NE corner of Kansas, to visit a couple of flea markets. Two tiny towns there host flea markets twice a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. White Cloud, KS is situated right on the Missouri River. For Some Postman and me, gazing at the river was as enjoyable as walking through the vendor booths - perhaps more so.

We'd arrived early enough that many of the vendors were still uncovering their wares, and so we took the opportunity to walk down to the little floating dock. It was an overcast day (and rained later in the morning) but the sun broke through for a while.

The water was fairly calm during our first trek down to the river. The current ran strong, but the surface was relatively smooth. We saw a fish leap out of the water just a few feet from the dock. I wish I'd had video going when that happened! Later, after we had made the rounds of the flea market and made our purchases, the river drew us back for one more viewing session on the dock. The water wasn't as peaceful as it had been earlier, but that is the beauty of the is never the same, always changing, ever offering its flow of life-sustaining water.

The time we spent at the Missouri River put me in mind of one of my favorite old hymns, It Is Well With My Soul. When I was a teen, I sang in the church choir, and this song was one that we sang quite often. I can still sing most of the words by heart. "When peace, like a river, attendeth my way..."

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Where Did August Go?

Whoops! August went by and I never did get around to writing a post about the apron of the month. Nor did I write a post about anything else. Need to be honest here....I've been fighting the blues the past few weeks, due to some family issues, and that really stifles my creativity. I'm trying really hard to keep it from sucking me down into full-on depression, though, and hopefully things will improve soon. My hubby and I took a couple of days to get away this week, and that certainly helped a lot.

So -- the August featured apron is one that my dear mother-in-law made for me probably 25 years ago. It's a simple design in a fun fabric, perfect to wear while grilling. I'm thankful that aprons are pretty much one-size-fits-all, so it doesn't matter that I'm several sizes bigger than I was 25 years ago. I can still wear all the aprons my lovely Mom G made for me!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Thrifting Finds

Today is Saturday, the day my husband and I usually go to town to shop at yard sales. We're staying home today, however, because we're both pretty tuckered out from all that's happened in the past week. Our well pump quit working; what should have been a one-day job to replace it has taken the entire week. We got the new pump installed last night, praise the Lord! One does not fully appreciate running water until one must haul water in 5 gallon buckets and "bathe" using a washcloth and a jug of cold water.

Since we're taking the day off from our usual routine, it gives me the opportunity to write about what treasures I found at the sales last weekend. Garage sales begin to dwindle by late July around here. After all, it's hot as blazes outside, and who wants to be out in their sweltering garage when they could be inside enjoying air conditioning? So we didn't find much, but I'm pleased with the few things I did get.

The sad looking peace lily is not a yard sale find. The rest of the items are. The two sauce pans are Revere Wear, purchased for $5 for both. I cleaned them up and put them in a storage tote; they will go to my daughter-in-law when she and my son move to a bigger place. The Best of Country Cookies cookbook cost $1; it's one I already have in my collection. There are so many good recipes in it, I thought I'd mark my favorites and give this one to my daughter. The other book was 50¢. I've enjoyed several books by Sandra Dallas, and I'm sure this one will be just as delightful. The shoes are, of course, my favorite find of the day. I paid $2 for them; they are Sperry Topsiders and have the cutest tiny birds all over! And they're a shade of my favorite color, teal! Love!!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunday Inspiration July 22, 2018

You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
    and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.
~ Psalm 63

This is what the Lord says—
    he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
    and who will help you:
Do not be afraid... my servant
    .... whom I have chosen.
 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
    and my blessing on your descendants.
 They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
    like poplar trees by flowing streams.
~ Isaiah 44:2-4

(These photos are ones I took yesterday at a nearby creek. Normally, the flat rocky area is covered in at least a few inches of water, and flowing over the large rocks in the second photo, creating a lovely waterfall. It's a favorite spot for locals to cool off on a hot summer day. We've had so little rain here, however, that it's almost completely dried up. The swimming hole further upstream does have water in it, but it's not deep enough to use the rope swing safely. God has been delivering a bit of rain to us the past couple of weeks, and we pray He continues to send more rain!)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Seeking Motivation, Inspiration, Consistency, Endurance

Something must be done. It's hot as blazes right now, but eventually fall will arrive and I'll want to wear jeans with cozy sweaters. The sweaters will probably still fit, but those jeans are another story. And I spent too  much money on them to need to replace them with a bigger size. (See this post for the jeans story: My Unicorn at the End of a Rainbow.) Solution: shed some excess poundage.

This point was emphasized yesterday at my well-woman exam at the doctor's office. Thankfully, all my blood work, etc came back with good numbers; I'm in really good health. However....I'm not getting any younger and it would be in my best interest to improve my diet to prevent those numbers from turning bad.

Also, those too-small jeans. Not to mention a couple of dresses in my closet that can't be worn unless I put a jacket over them to hide the fact they're more than a tad snug.

So there's some motivation for me. Now for some inspiration...

The internet is full of before-and-after pictures of people who have lost huge amounts of weight. Books have been written by such people. TV shows have been made where fat people compete to lose the most weight. Diet programs and medication advertisements try to entice us chubsters to use them to get the weight off fast and easy. These are not the kinds of inspiration of which I'm seeking. For me, the inspiration needs to come from within...but my human self isn't reliable. This is where God steps in. He inspires me with His Word:
  Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  ~ Romans 12:1-2 

Consistency is my greatest hurdle in this endeavor. How many times have I begun a "journey to better health"? I start out keeping on track with my Way Of Eating (WOE), getting in a reasonable amount of exercise, reading materials related to my plan. And then the WOE wagon hits a bump in the road of life, knocking me onto my keister in the ditch. This wouldn't be as detrimental if I'd simply hop back on the wagon as quickly as possible, but I tend to remain in my pothole on the side of the road until the wagon is miles away and then I give up. What is the antidote?   I really wish I knew! Is it accountability? That seems like it might be helpful in maintaining consistency. I've had accountability partners in the past, but one or the other of us (or both) lets it go, and that doesn't help either of us. I think the best accountability partner will be Jesus. He'll never let me go, and he's gracious but firm if I get off track. 

Jesus is also my primary source of endurance. I've proved over and over that I do not have the willpower to keep working at losing weight on my own strength. "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!" ... "With (wo)man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." These are the verses I'll draw upon to keep on trucking!

In practical terms, I'm not exactly sure which tools I'll use to lose the weight this time. I've tried food diaries, weighing myself daily, not weighing more than once a month - all kinds of things. I do think that writing about it here on the blog will be helpful as an accountability tool. (This blog will not become all about weight loss, however; it's going to remain a willy-nilly, whatever's banging around in my head kind of blog. 😃) While employing lots of these tools can be helpful, it can also be overwhelming. My "plan" is to take it one day at a time and let God guide me!