Sunflowers and Mondays

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Make mondays beautiful

Aren’t sunflowers happy and bright?  I think they make a perfect flower for a Monday.  And I love surprising people with flowers, especially when my local Trader Joes has such a variety of pretty stems for such a great price.

Mondays are often a hard day for folks.  Whether its a return to normalcy (I didn’t do any dishes yesterday so I have a sink full), alarm clocks (yup, mine went off early this morning), or just because you are sad the weekend is over…Mondays often get a bad rap.

  1.  Plan something beautiful.  Whether its a coffee date with another creative, a play date with a friend, or blow-drying your hair and putting on make up, plan something for every Monday that helps bring extra beauty in to your day.
  2. Make a list of happies for your Monday.  It can be some quiet time to regroup from the weekend, special lunch date with your littles, find special things to be grateful for and write them down!
  3. Buy flowers.  Most Mondays include a trip to Trader Joes for me (or us, my littles and me).  We love the relationships we’ve formed there over 2 years of going every Monday, produce to start our weeks out on a healthy note (to detox from the weekend), and the pretty flowers that greet us when we walk in the door.  This week, the flower of choice was sunflowers.
  4. Breathe.  Yup.  Its that easy.  Sometimes just taking time to breathe, whether you are sitting in traffic or practicing yoga, breathing helps bring life into our whole bodies.  Remember, God breathed life into dirt to form man and gave him a soul to long after Him.  Breathing is crucial to our well-being.

Enjoy your Monday friends.


Transformation Tuesday: Why I Practice yoga

posted in: Uncategorized | 1

Transformation Tuesday and yoga

Transformation Tuesday isn’t just about the scale.  Its also about changing your body and your mind.  There is much change that has to happen in your body to be able to practice yoga well.  And in your mind.  And I’m not there on either level.  The pictures above are 2 years apart and about 60 lbs.

I started practicing yoga about 7 years and then took a break when I was pregnant and gained a ton of weight and could hardly do a cat pose to save my life.  But, since I started back in my healthy journey and have lost quite a bit of weight, I want to change my body as well.  Two dvds I really love in yoga world is JM’s Cardio Yoga and Bob’s Weight Loss Yoga.  Both in their upper levels kick my tail!

I can tell a total difference.  Sometimes I think I’m working out a muscle group well – then do some yoga and totally feel it the next day.  I must not be working out as hard as I thought.  But, I also like having a variance in exercising.  I do like how I can tell which side of my body needs more stretching out or which side I’m more balanced on.

I did a post years ago that I thought I would re-post some of  on here.  I think this tells how I can practice yoga and be a Gospel-centered believer.  As a friend said, we need to be vigilant on ideas that might fight against Christianity and the Spirit within us – but at the same time fight against legalism as well. This hopefully is a balance of the two.

First, to set everyone on the same terms, I pulled up our trusty friends at Merriem-Webster to find out the definition. This is what it said:
1. Yoga: a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation.
2. yoga: a system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being.

I completely agree with the first definition of big Y Yoga and do not practice little y yoga for the purpose of big Y Yoga.  You can separate the two. Of course Scripture tells us to fill our minds with things of the Spirit, Col 3.1-3 and Phil 4.8 and all through Psalm 119. This is what I like to do when practicing these exercises, or I listen to praise music, or I focus on what I am doing so I don’t fall over.

I think you can. How can putting your foot on the inside of the opposite thigh (tree pose) be an evil or cult or false-religion thing? How can stretching out your hips by laying forward in a pigeon pose be evil or anti-God? I think the movements, exercises, or little y yoga is actually good for us because it is allowing our bodies, or my body, to be healthier, to move better.

God created our bodies. He created them to move. When I practice yoga, and move my body in the ways that God has intended my bodies to be: healthy, mobile, active – then yes, I am using my body as God created me to – to bring Him glory. I can thank Him and praise Him for making my body to move, to be active, to be healthy, so I can do things that will bring glory to the only God of the universe, the great Creator. Why must an unbelieving false religion have hold and rites on this exercises and poses?

I don’t practice yoga poses to make me more acceptable to Christ. His blood bought my salvation and redeemed my life. I can freely choose to do yoga because of the freedom Christ has given me. There is nothing evil in the poses themselves. What we do with our minds and hearts while practicing these poses (or running, doing aerobics, walking, swimming, biking, hiking, surfing, etc) is important.

If I truly thought that practicing the exercises in yoga was hindering my walk with Christ, I would stop. But, I do yoga poses for the same reason I hike, bike, run or walk or lift weights: to make my body better. This is something the church seldom touches on, because we live with such obesity and gluttony and laziness. But, I don’t think there is a need to knock out these exercises.

Two words in closing:
1. If you are in a predominately Hindu culture, seeking to live out Christ, no, I would not recommend practicing yoga, even the poses, because of what it might convey to the folks you are trying to reach with the gospel.
2. This, just like many other issues in Scripture that aren’t blatant black or white, comes down to Christian liberty and the “weaker-brother” principle. So…here is my personal conclusion. I can practice this in my own home and not announce it on facebook. My roommate is not bothered by my practicing these yoga moves. I can practice it with one or two others who know my stance on the subject and don’t have a problem with it. Should I go to a studio and practice it, no…because I do not know who I might offend, or who I might lead to believe that I am practicing Big Y Yoga.

A cat’s pose and triangle pose and tree pose definitely help my core and sense of balance.  And help my jeans fit better!


posted in: Uncategorized | 0

One of the reasons I love traveling is the time in the car or the plane gives me time to think, ponder, focus, and definitely sing along with the radio.  Yesterday I had a two-hour drive from Raleigh to Charlotte.  It had been a hectic week at the office and I was very glad to get in a car and just sing some country music.

While I did do that, I also had good thought time.  Quality time with my thoughts, my prayers, and my dreams.

Most of you who know me know that I tend to be:

1.  Busy

2.  Ambitious

3.  Perfectionist.

So, I am trying to guard against 1 and 3 and hit 2 square on the head!

I got an email from a photographer friend and it spurred me on (after it made me realize that I’m not really good yet…, I only like to pretend I am)

“Never let the fact that it may not be your current career stop you from diving in and figuring out stuff that you want to work on to get better.  It’s not about being great it’s about being proud of your work and producing work that others enjoy! That can happen at all levels of work and talent. 🙂  Keep at it.” – Said Friend (thank you said friend, and I mean that)

Currently, I have so many dreams.  When was I ever a dreamer?  I think I’m getting the knack of it in my old age.  Reading much and seeing other people’s dreams spur me on and then a friend, Jess, gives good ways to accomplish those dreams.  My reasoning behind dreams:

1.  I have a life to live to its fullest – God gave it to me to live for His glory, so I should take advantage of it, right?

2.  I am single and MUST use this time to its fullest.

3.  There is too much I want to do to not be out there every day living it up and being good at what I do live.

4.  Dreaming keeps me entertained and I press on…never knowing what is on the other side of that dream. 

5.  Must work toward making that dream a reality.

So…here is to some refocusing

1.  I have my dream writing job – and I want to be the best curriculum writer I can be.  This will take much work.

2.  I want to be the best social writer, speaker, and book writer – this also will take some work.  I think these three go hand in hand, that is why they are all linked.

3.  I want to be the best at yoga and running that I can be (this will require me running when it is cold outside, brrrr)

4.  I want to be the best food photographer I can be.  This is still in the big dreaming session but this covers two passions: food and photography.  My Mom helped get me started because she bought me my first food styling book for Christmas.  Thank you parents – dream motivators!  And I had a good conversation with a great wedding photographer who spurred me on.

That’s it.  4 things. 

If any of you have suggestions on how to accomplish said dreams – please let me know.

2011 Projections (Goals, not Resolutions)

posted in: Books | 3

However you feel about New Year’s Resolutions…we all have different ideas.  Some keep them, some utterly fail.  But, I have found that if I don’t have goal – life doesn’t seem to be lived intentionally.

So, these are my goals for 2011.  I think they are good, meaningful, and attainable.  I am also praying for some God-sized things this year.  What God-sized things are you praying for this year – things that when the world sees the answer: the only praise will go to God?

1.  40 Day Fast.  My friend, Lara, is doing a Daniel Fast.  I am not called to the same fast that she is, but I am supposed to change my life for the time of January 2 – for 40 days: here’s how:

* no syndicate television.  At least for 40 days.  This will not include football.  And to be honest, my Mom will record the shows I normally watch and I will watch them after 40 days, but how I can use this 40 day time period to focus on other things.  And I will be watching NFL during this time, because again, the NFL isn’t wrong and isn’t as consuming as hour long drama shows.

* no sweets at home

*only fruits and veggies when I eat at home (as means of getting clean foods into my system)

* up at 5am (this is fasting from sleep)

* computer off at 9pm (this is a fast too)

2.  Continue daily Bible reading (I haven’t decided what plan I will be using this year, but there are plenty to choose from)

3.  Blog strategically: 4 times a week at least (then special posts). 

4.  Read a book a week.

5.  Increase photog skills, ministry, and sell cards/stationary

6.  Finish my book.

7.  Lose more than I’ve gained in 2010

8.  Continue weekly Panera planning.

9.  3 races – all done in interval times (5k, 10m, half)

10.  Memorize Philippians

11.  Three yoga workouts a week: my body feels so much better whne I do this!)

Much & Link Love: Christmas Week

posted in: Books, yoga | 3

Two weeks left in the year. You know when you are celebrating Christmas, the year is almost gone. I leave tomorrow to head to the home state of Florida, by way of Georgia.
1. Tim Tebow had a great first quarter of his first NFL debut yesterday. Unfortunately, he plays for a really bad team. Maybe him and Urban can hook back up in then NFL and all will be right with the world. Then maybe Danny and Steve can hook back up in the NFL and the two pairs can play against each other in the Super Bowl and then we’d really know who is the better pair. That’s about all I have to say about the NFL this week – except the Colts did win – yay!
2. I had a very relaxful weekend and I loved it!
3. I’m so glad Ben and Brittany Salmon are in my life. Just sayin’.
4. The three ladies who work in our kid’s min here at Providence are a blessing to me. When I ask questions, need help, or even just witnessing their ministry to the kids and parents that come through these doors.
5. Successful writing day at Bou on Saturday afternoon. Knocked out what I needed to do and engaged two new people that I had never talked to before.
6. Get to hang out with some great college girls today and tomorrow and then friends tomorrow through Sunday – and family of course. Then, I’ll be ready for some down time next week.
7. I’m not satisfied. Never should I be satisfied. I’m more satisfied with some things at the end of this year, less satisfied with others.
8. Have you been thinking of New Years Resolutions (or goals)? I personally like goals better than resolutions? Don’t know why…both can be unattained.

1. My fave female author writes on the Incarnation – perfect for the week of Christmas.
2. Danny hits on the the somewhat stupid tradition of writing Christmas letters.
3. If you are like me and like to read some of a book before you buy it – here is your chance. Mark Driscoll gives you chapter 1 of Death by Love if you haven’t read it.
4. You know Christmas couldn’t come and go without John Piper saying something about Santa?
5. Think I’ll be making these for the first Gathering of the year in 2011.
6. I’m surprised Vogue hasn’t gotten some slack for this because it might resemble the Virgin Mary?
7. Let’s continue to pray for Liam Neeson’s salvation. Even though he isn’t saved, I do love him as Aslan.
8. I love this Simple Advent Calendar.
9. Do you think Dr. Mohler would eat these?

Workout Choices: Yoga or Rock Music

posted in: weight loss, workout dvds, yoga | 6

Working out: especially this time of year (or should I say in 2 weeks) this is what is on everyone’s mind. You find magazines, gym specials, tv shows, use-at-home products, new videos, etc – all geared toward one things…helping you work out harder and better. Whether your reason is to be healthy, shed pounds, have engagement with other people, or whatever…working out is fun and beneficial. As I was spinning this morning at a local gym, I thought of these things.
Yoga (for me, little y yoga) has gotten a bad rap lately for certain leading conservative personalities. My thoughts have been posted on this blog and you can read them for yourself. Have you made up your mind about it?
Then as I was in two classes: body pump and spin, I thought about another avenue…
Why do I need to listen to a crass instructor who makes sexual jokes during class? Why do I need to listen to rock music that talks about killing someone and uses profanity that the instructor blares at the right volume (the volume is not the problem). I got a great workout in both classes. Loved it. But…there are negatives.
Is there a difference?
If I attend a Hot Yoga class for 90 minutes and shed serious body fluid and kill my muscles or if I sit in my home and do a 50 minute yoga video…or if I let my ears here sex jokes and poor taste rock music…what is the difference?
How do I engage the culture (be outside my Christian bubble) and do one or the other? I would rather attend yoga classes than be yelled at or have rock music filling my ears at 6am.
Is one necessarily worse than the other? I don’t think so. So…in matters like this…christian liberty?
Philippians 4:8 and Colossians 3 come to mind. What are your thoughts?