The last meal

I feel as though I am preparing for weightloss surgery once again. I had gastric bypass in December 2010. I was in my junior year of college, 21 years old … and the reasons I had come up with to have it were mostly shallow and vain. I longed to have what I witnessed happening all around me … romance, travel, children. When really I just wanted to see how life in the skinny actually felt. I thought it would greatly improve my chances at life, relationships, a career. The first year was AWESOME! I was hot sh*& and I believed every minute of it. I filled a void with alcohol and men and was completely wreckless in my living.

Fast forward to fall 2014. At this point I had been married for a year and a half. I had been a mom for 6 months and while I loved love every minute of it … I so wanted my body back! I wanted my identity back aside from wife and mother. I decided to go back to work. That ended up not going as planned.

Now, December 30, 2016, I find myself in the same battle of identity. Trust me when I say there are more days than I would like to admit that I let my mind wander and imagine my life with me as my only responsibility. Those thoughts come to a screeching halt and I enter back into reality with my needy 2 year old in the back seat asking for another drink, fruit snack and the McDonald’s toy she dropped down the door..

Let me get back to this last meal feeling… lately, I have observed many fellow moms in similar situations of identity crisis! This crisis in my life is about to be extremely adverted! I am a planner. Well more like a “write things down, to do list, list maker.” So my lists have been made. I will be preparing tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon my vitamins and protein shakes for the coming week. I will be following the BOT plan from bariatriceating.com and using the 21 day fix exercise program.

Tomorrow, however, I will celebrate the end of 2016 with a BAMA tailgate party at my mom’s! I will definitely eat things I am not supposed to eat and drink things I am not supposed to drink. I will indulge. My body still uses my WLS tool and will tell me when I have overdone it, but it certainly isn’t like the first days and weeks after surgery. I am looking forward to my last meal but am also looking forward to getting my pre-wedding pre-mom bod back and being the healthiest I can be for me, my husband, and daughter.

Happy New Year’s Eve eve!

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2017: The Year of Jamie

It has been quite some time since my last visit. I feel like the Lord is nudging me to start blogging once more and to commit to putting my thoughts and activities to paper. I do not know where this will lead.

As you may know, I am a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, a student, and business owner. There have been many changes from my first posts back in November 2015 until now. We are no longer in the shadow of Cinderella’s castle, rather the shadow of the military installation of America’s finest men and women in uniform near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Mike and I will celebrate our 4 year anniversary come February. We have an ever-growing almost 3 year old who is the sassiest, smartest little girl I know. She is truly the light of our lives! This year I decided to return to school for my Master’s in Sports Management. And if I weren’t busy enough with family, friends, school, and church … I joined SeneGence International as an Independent Distributor for their line of cosmetic products (<– they are good, if you were wondering)!

While all this is great, I feel as though I have neglected myself. As mother’s do, I think they lose their identity in their children and housework that they forget who they really are. Now most of my busyness, I have taken on myself. However, I also add a lot of guilt when I try to escape to do homework, get groceries, or have my nails done. The pressure of #pinterestperfect is real!

 

As I reflect on 2016 and it comes to an end, I have decided to invest in me more in the New Year to be able to better serve my family, friends, and various responsibilities. I do not necessarily have resolutions, rather I have goals for the coming year. My goals range from health, finances, relationships, Jesus time, and so on. I am hoping for accountability through this blog. Unless it is written down and documented, it does not really happen, right?

 

I am so looking forward to what is about to happen? What about you!?!!

 

Jamie

Marital Bliss

Yesterday, while scrolling through Facebook, I happened upon this photo (https://www.facebook.com/Always-Learning-299701696710545/).

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I could not believe what I was reading. As short as 8 hours previous to reading this, I would have almost completely agreed with this statement.

But … my life group is currently studying Timothy (Kathy) Keller’s, The Meaning of Marriage Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God. The title of the chapter we discussed this week is “The Mission of Marriage.” The following chapter (we haven’t discussed) is “Loving the Stranger.” Mr. Keller addressed this exact scenario between his wife and himself.

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For what it is worth, I would like to address this notion of women being at home to cook, clean and care for children. Ironically enough, as I sat down to pen this, Lottie had just gone down for a nap, I had just finished picking up and vacuuming, making lasagna for supper, and got the dishwasher going while hand-washing the ones that wouldn’t, couldn’t or shouldn’t go in the dishwasher.

Of course, while completing the above tasks, beyond the thought of checking things off my to-do list, I thought, “won’t it be nice for Mike to come home to a clean house, hot meal, and happy baby.” But not once during my wandering thoughts, did I think he “EXPECTS” this to occur. Because, let’s face it, we live in the real world, where some days the house is turned upside down, there are more than a sink full of dishes and Lottie refused to take a nap. And you know what? That’s ok! Because guess what?!? Marriage is not meant to make you happy!

Marriage is meant to …

  1. Not leave you lonely
    • Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.” – Genesis 2:18 HCSB
    • This is my love, and this is my friend – Song of Songs 5:16 HCSB
    • “The Genesis narrative is implying that our intense relational capacity, created and given to us by God, was not fulfilled completely by our ‘vertical’ relationship with him. God designed us to need ‘horizontal’ relationships with other human beings. That is why even in paradise, loneliness was a terrible thing (Keller, p120).”
  2. Provide Spiritual Transparency
    • Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted. – Galatians 6:1 HCSB
    • “Christian friends are not only to honestly confess their own sins to each other, but they are to lovingly point out their friend’s sins if he or she is blind to them. You should give your Christian friends ‘hunting licenses’ to confront you if you are failing to live in line with your commitments (Keller, p125).”
  3. Provide Spiritual Constancy
    • “They are to identify and call out one another’s gifts, strengths and abilities. They are to build up each other’s faith through study and common worship (Keller, p125).”
  4. Give you a friend, best friend
    • “Friendship is a deep oneness that develops as two people, speaking the truth in love to each other, journey together to the same horizon (Keller, p127).”
  5. Sanctify You
    • …to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. – Ephesians 5:26-27 HCSB
    • I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6 HCSB
    • Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 HCSB
    • “During this life, as we trust in God and come to know him, we are ‘being transformed into Christ’s likeness from one degree of splendor to the next.’ Even (or especially) the sufferings we experience can make us wiser, deeper, stonger, better (Keller, p129).
  6. Provide a sojourner to The Great Horizon
    • “What, then, is marriage for? It is for helping each other to become our future glory-selves, the new creations that God will eventually make us. The common horizon husband and wife look toward is the Throne, and the holy, spotless, and blameless nature we will have (Keller, p131).”
    • “It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, ‘I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, ‘I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!” Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel. Each spouse then should give him – or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other present in spotless beauty and glory … And they hope to hear God say, ‘ Well done, good and faithful servants. Over the years you have lifted one another up to me. You sacrificed for one another. You held one another up with prayer and with thanksgiving. You confronted each other. You rebuked each other. You hugged and you loved each other and continually pushed each other toward me. And now look at you. You’re radiant (Keller, p132, 134).”
  7. Commitment
    • “Romance, sex, laughter, and plain fun are the by-products of this process of sanctification, refinement, glorification. Those things are important, but they can’t keep the marriage going through years and years of ordinary life. What keeps the marriage going is your commitment to your spouse’s holiness. You’re committed to his or her beauty. You’re committed to her honesty and passion for the things of God. That’s your job as a spouse. Any lesser goal than that, any smaller purpose, and you’re just playing at being married (Keller, p 135).
  8. Prioritize
    • “Paul is urging spouses to help their mates love Jesus more than them … The simple fact is that only if I love Jesus more than my spouse will I be able to serve their needs ahead of my own (Keller, p 135).”
    • After your relationship to Jesus, your marriage “must be more important to you than anything else.” No other human being should get more of your love, energy, industry, and commitment than your spouse (Keller, p 139).”
    • “In other words, Jesus asks for nothing that any spouse doesn’t ask for. ‘Put me first,’ he says, ‘have no other pseudo-gods before me.’ It is the same with marriage. Marriage won’t work unless you put your marriage and your spouse first, and you don’t turn good things, like parents, children, career, and hobbies, into pseudo-spouses (Keller, p143).”
    • “… the key to giving marriage that kind of priority is spiritual friendship (Keller, p144).”
    • “Spiritual friendship is eagerly helping one another know, serve, love, and resemble God in deeper and deeper ways (Keller, p145).”
  9. Be work
    • “A parishioner heard me preach on Ephesians 5 … She said, ‘I thought the whole point of marriage was to be happy! You make it sound like a lot of work.’ Is all this a lot of work? Indeed it is — but it is the work we were built to do. Does this mean ‘marriage is not about being happy; it’s about being holy’? Yes and no. As we have seen, that is too stark a contrast… Holiness gives us new desires and brings old desires into line with one another. So if we want to be happy in marriage, we will accept that marriage is designed to make us holy (Keller, p 145-146).
  10. Love
    • Stanley Hauerwas said, “We never know whom we marry; we just think we do … The primary problem is . . . learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.”
    • Also see Ephesians 5:22-33

It is now about 24 hours since I started this blog. I put pen to paper yesterday. I got up this morning, while my husband tended to our daughter, and started transcribing from paper to screen. Mike went to work; I shuffled this off to the side. You see, I had bathrooms to clean, laundry to do, picking up, tending to the needs of my overly demanding toddler, and so on and so forth… Did Mike expect me to do any of the chores I did or didn’t list? Well, other than keeping Lottie alive, I don’t think he did. “Because expectations destroy relationships.”

 

Sources

The Meaning of Marriage Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God; Timothy (Kathy) Keller

Always Learning Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Always-Learning-299701696710545/?fref=photo

The Bible

 

 

 

Hello.

Hi. Jamie here. Thought I would give this blogging another shot. I would like to offer you, my world wide web audience, a glimpse into my life. It is an opportunity to feel as though I am actually talking to someone, rather than simply rambling in a “dear diary” type of setting.

This blog is going to explore my life. What’s it like for me to be a follower of Jesus? What type of wifely duties do I encounter? Am I any good at this whole motherhood thing, because let’s be honest, most days I think I am blowing the whole thing. And maybe I will throw in some me time, alone time, devotion time, or quiet time… It’s all about #balance, right?

I would love to connect to other sisters in Christ, who may or may not be #wingingit when it comes to wifehood and motherhood. The ones who stay at home and the ones that work. The ones who meal plan and the ones who have a drawer full of takeout menus ready at a minute’s notice. Or even the ones single and childless.

If successful on this endeavor, I would hope to have accomplished a better understanding of me, through my experiences and the experiences of those I encounter.

So that’s me. Let’s see how this goes!

finding my fit

I am still sorting out a few things as I begin this blog. I have signed up for a blog writing class. It is geared to focus the blog, present me with writing prompts, and receive feedback from other writers. So get excited for the first of some pretty great things.

Until then, let me fill you in on what’s going on around here. Yesterday, we ventured to Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. I think we have gone twice a week since it started at the end of September! We will go one last time this year tomorrow evening to see Jo Dee Messina and eat and drink our way around the world! I will post my favorites and must-haves with photos tomorrow or Friday!

I have been packing away for our upcoming trip to North Carolina. I am so excited to go home just shy of 3 weeks … However, getting everything into a checked bag within the weight limit and 2 carry-ons has been close to the death of me. Okay … okay … not really! But you never know what you are going to need over a 2 week period, especially when the weather has the slightest glimpse of fall like temperatures. I am so excited to spend time with my family for my uncle’s wedding! It has been a long time since we were all together! I can’t wait to see my nail man Bryan! I can’t wait to start the new series at church! I am just ready to be home.

I got some devotional time in today. We are studying Hosea at church . The pastor challenged us with 3 questions to consider when getting into the Word. He also gave us a notecard with verses to help us know answers to the question, “Who am I in Christ?” The card has 3 sections, I am secure, I am significant and one more that I can’t remember. The 3 questions he asked us to consider when opening the word are:

  1. What does this passage reveal about God’s character and nature?
  2. What does this passage reveal about man’s character and nature?
  3. What is God calling me to do?

It really did help in Bible application. If that is something you would be interested in (devotional readings, questions and responses), let my know by leaving a comment.

Supper tonight was brought to you by emeals and it was delicious. Cheddar meatloaf muffins, mashed potatoes, and salad! It was so awesome. If you haven’t tried emeals- do yourself a flavor (←see what I did there?)!

Tonight is ABC Wednesday! So I am signing off!

welcome

Hello there. I am Jamie. Mike is the love of my life. We have a wild child — Lottie. And, well, let’s not forget those dogs — Hank and Millie. I like Pinterest. I like cooking. I like love Jesus. I am doing life, or rather trying to do life, as the Lord leads me, as a wife and a mother.

Life with Lottie has brought lessons I didn’t even know I needed to learn.

Here is a place I would like to share those lessons. Through daily happenings, recipes, and whatnots, I hope to encourage, inspire, offer laughter, or just give a good read or escape to those who may be in similar seasons of life.