Like Anna, I have been avoiding posting about my progress in The Challenge. But here we go. Accountability can be a major motivator.
Eating Healthy: As I mentioned in a previous post, I am learning to bake...and enjoying it. But I'm also enjoying the eating part. Although, I did bring the zucchini bread to my parents where I think my Dad ate most of it. :) I'm finding that my focus on healthier eating has been less about what I eat, and more about how much. I've been paying attention to portion sizes and reducing the number of scoops of whatever I eat. Except for those jelly beans last night. Such a treat, but maybe a few too many. Thanksgiving is this weekend, with three family dinners. My goal is to take one of the small plates, and only fill up once.
Time with Jesus: Some days are better than others. There are days when I struggle to stay awake through the readings - Andrew and I take turns with reading and praying, and if he's reading, my eyes and/or thoughts often drift. I have made it my practice, though, to spend 30 seconds to a minute in silence before I begin my prayers. It helps me to focus on Him rather than on the things around me, my family situation, changes we're facing, bills we need to pay, and what to buy for Christmas gifts. It also allows me to purposefully Listen before, during, and after I pray.
In the past week I have heard only two words, but they have been both a comfort and a command. Peace and Serve.
In a time of uncertainty about our family's financial state and living space, Peace is a comfort - God says he will never leave us or forsake us. He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. But Peace is also a command. As the wife/mom I have the ability to shape the atmosphere of my home. If I become panicked, stressed, upset - my home reflects that. If I choose to dwell in His Peace, my home will reflect that as well.
Serve is a harder word for me to hear. Acts of Kindness is one of my love-languages, but it's more the receiving than the giving that has love written in it for me. This morning God said simply, "Serve." At the time, it meant, "Get your butt off the couch and pour the coffee. Spend some time with your family." And I didn't want to get my butt off the couch. I wanted to sit and check emails and update facebook. But we had coffee together, and it brings us closer. My name is now "Stewart" - one who serves. It is not just a name, it is a lifestyle. One I hope to adopt more and more effectively.
Exercise: Oh boy. Tuesday was our last appointment at Caring Hands. My incision is healing "beautifully," according to the midwife. And exercise is green-lighted. I'm still sitting in the intersection. I knew going in that this would be the hardest component of the challenge for me. I have always hated exercise. Walking is okay, but it has rained almost every day for the past 2 weeks. Walking is not the most enjoyable when you're soaked. I'm hoping to do something today. Maybe I'll start with stretches - it's been a long time since my last significant physical activity.
On the Menu: Johnny's Pizza - a treat for Andrew, since we haven't had pizza since before we got pregnant - one of those foods I just couldn't stomach.