Sunday, November 6, 2011

Walk for Hope 5K

Today my friend and I participated in the City of Hope's 5K Walk For Hope. Although it rained in the beginning, our day turned out to be a blast and I am so glad I was able to do it. Our team alone raised almost $600 just between TJ and myself. And, out of all the participants, as a group we raised one million dollars for research for women's cures for cancer. I am so glad I was able to do something altruistic and outside of myself. And, I am so proud of my family and friends who made contributions to the cause. It was really an amazing and heartwarming event to be involved in for me. There were kids cheering on the participants and I thought that was neat. I saw a woman participate in the 5K walk with her walker. There were signs along a fence with stories of women and families who had been affected in some way by cancer. Some of the stories were of women who had overcome their cancer; others were stories of the memories left behind by loved ones. One especially touching moment for me was when I read a sign by someone who's mom had died of cancer and it read something like, "in loving memory of our mom." A tear came to my eyes at several points today. And, it was fun just to hang out with my friend. We have both been on different continents for the past 5 years or more, so we have rarely seen each other. It was definately fun to reconnect with my friend. There are so many women we know, who have been affected in some way by cancer. We all know someone, or know of someone, who has cancer or who had cancer. They said that one in three women will develop cancer in a lifetime. Sad. But, today we made a difference. I moved outside myself. I'm thankful to each and every single one of my supporters who made a contribution for the cause. Each dollar given is one step closer to hopefully finding a cure, and helping women in need. Yeah, I'm really glad I did this. Last year at this time, there is no way I could have walked a 5K at the pace we went today. We did it like a power walk, so kind of fast. But, since I've been Zumba dancing since January of this year, I was in better physical condition and able to do it. I am ready to train for running a 5K. Maybe early next year!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

ESL Buddies

Our school has ESL Buddies. It is an opportunity for the students to get to interact with native English speakers, such as myself. I have signed up to be a student buddy. We begin meeting this week! I am looking forward to these new beginnings in my life!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's been a while since my last update so I thought I'd write just a short note on my life today.

I feel like my life today is amazing! My life today is not at all like I would have imagined, or expected it to be: single, childless, working a variety of part time jobs, and on and on. And yet, my life is amazing because of what I get to do. I am working with ESL adult students, so I get to pour myself into their lives. I get to be their teacher, and make an impact into their lives. Hopefully there is an eternal impact going on there. I also get to tutor students. I get to try to make a positive impact there as well, both with the students and with their families. I hope that I am being a blessing to them just by the simple way I carry myself when I am around them. I am also helping out in childcare at my local church. My vision is to pour out love on the kids. In addition, I hope to sing, dance and play with them. I hope that this year of serving the kids at my church will result in learning how the local church helps develop and build strong families. Finally, I have a part time job as a caregiver for a disabled lady. I hope that I can be a blessing to her and the other caregivers as well.

So, I didn't imagine that at age 43 I would be single, childless, and a non-homeowner. However, there are other things that I am doing with my life; I am making a positive contribution into the lives of others around me, (and that is what life is all about). I hope that there is a positive ripple effect of my life that spills over into the lives of those around me. These are my thoughts today.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Heart Motives

The word I've been contemplating today is this: MOTIVE. What is my motive for what I do? That is what I've been thinking about today. I am looking at the REAL REASON (or reasons) for why I do the things I do, whatever those things might be. For example, why do I attend worship service? Or, why do I volunteer within the community? Why do I eat healthy or attend Zumba? Or on and on I could go, right?! I believe that there is value in knowing the truth, whether it be "good" or "bad" is not the issue necessarily. Once truth is known, then it can be properly confessed to Our Maker and Our Creator, and that is that. I know that if I have motives that are impure, or motives that are seemingly pure, regardless, I am DEARLY LOVED. Yes, I have a Father in heaven who loves me, unconditionally, no matter what! And, He loves you too!!

So, what am I saying? I'm saying that I'll be examining my motives, and know that whatever I happen to find, whether pure or impure, or a mixture of both, I am, always have been, and always will be, loved dearly by my Heavenly Father. Does it make sense? I hope so!!

48 Days to the Work You Love

I am currently listening to an audio book by Dan Miller, called "48 Days to the Work You Love". Have you heard of him? He teaches about how and why it is important to find work in the area of your interest and passion, rather than just earning a paycheck. He seems to give simple, practical and relevant advice and the how to's. How to conduct a successful job search, the value of writing a resume, and why following up works. So far, I have brainstormed my passions, gifts, talents and abilities, as well as "transferable skills", by that meaning, things I did in other jobs that could be transferred to a new profession. I just started so I'll have to fill you in later on what, if anything, I got out of it. I think it's gonna be a worthwhile journey!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Outward Focused Life

This past weekend we had a guest speaker come to our church, Dave Workman. He shard about servanthood. I am trying to capture the golden nuggets God gave to me this past weekend.

One thing God stirred in me was a desire to live and reach outside of myself. How easy would it be to buy some gift cards from a local coffee shop (such as Coffee Bean, Starbucks, etc.) and give away to my neighbor, along with a little business card about our church? That inspired me.

Dave also talked about ways we could think creatively to create comfortable environments for the lost. What I got out of this was thinking of my (fishing) nets. What kind of nets could I/we use to love (and catch) those whom Jesus loves?

Of course, there were the car washes, and acts of mercy that Dave also talked about. I think what struck me is that servanthood is a lifestyle, and easily accessible to us. In addition, our fulfillment comes as we engage in serving others.

Serving others is a form of loving others.

Dave's church also did a scratch and win game where church members got a scratch and win lottery card. On the lottery card were options of service they would get to perform. For example, buy someone's gas, pay for someone's meal in the drive through behind you, etc.

And, Dave talked about how our goal was to love. Plain and simple. We were not there to discuss the 4 spiritual laws, at that point. Basically, he's saying love is a net to catch those whom Jesus loves (which is all of us incidently). He is teaching about loving our neighbor for love's sake alone; it is a means to an end, but, it is also the end.

More can be found online at . I guess you might say Dave propses that "actions speak louder than words". However, our actions can be a bridge that helps connect people wherever they're at on their spiritual journey to The One who loves them unconditionally.

That's all I have to say about that for now.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weight Loss Tips, Part 2

The List of Do's and Don'ts:
~A list of things I did and things I omitted since January 2011

*Eat home made meals at home; no "fast-food" like McDonald's, Carls' Jr., Burger King, and Taco Bell (unless it's a chicken salad)
*When I did eat out, I opted for the chicken salad (Don Jose's has a great one!)
*Drink 8 glasses of water daily
*Do not drink juice or soda
*Read labels
*I gave up peanut butter because of the fat content, though I might slowly re-introduce it back into my lifestyle someday
*Do not eat white flour products, things like cake, cookies, muffins, TORTILLAS (for at least 6 weeks; I stopped for 8 weeks then gradually ate very little).
*Eat the right foods in the right proportions; learn what they are
*Eat only half cup cooked rice daily for carbs other than fruit
*Eat fruit for dessert instead of cake, candies, cookie
*Use honey instead of sugar
*Omit oatmeal daily
*Eat yogurt daily
*Drink nonfat milk
*Eat more lean meat: white meat chicken without the skin, fish
*Use flavorings that are low-cal; omit the mayo, opt for mustard or ketchup instead
*Take a multi-vitamin daily
*Take fish oil daily
*Eat more fruit and vegetables
*Eat a salad every day with low cal dressing and high protein/lean protein
*Drink water in between meals to help curb food cravings
*A little bit of sweets is okay, but not all the time; once in a while eat the cheesecake, but, make it 4 bites!!
*Drink a cup of hot green tea every morning
*Limit sugar and cream in the coffee; little is okay, black is better
*Find a friend to do it together; anything done together is always more fun!
*Watch Biggest Loser; motivates and inspires you!
*Exercise daily, 5 times a week if possible. Even some movement is better than none!
*Get started now; get started today!
*Write it down; keep a food diary!
*Talk about how its going with food buddy.
*Think about what you put into your mouth; I learned that before my lifestyle change I didn't think about what I was putting into my mouth; I just ate when I felt hungry. Sometimes I would consume 4 or 5 slices of pizza in one sitting! Who does that?! I didn't drink enough water either.
*Once I started doing the right things, with intention, my body knew what to do and shed the excess weight. Amazing, right?!

This is a quick rundown of things I did since January 2011. This is a list of most things I did. I lost a significant and noticeable amount of weight. Now I am eager and willing to help others also get fit, healthy and more slim, though I too am still on my way! I cannot imagine how many health benefits I will have experienced through my weight loss. Perhaps I have avoided many obesity-related diseases and health issues: diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol too high, and unknown others?! Thanks God, and thanks Jane, for helping me get to this stage in life. I couldn't have done it without you!! And, I hope to keep it off, for life. I've made the decision: It is a new lifestyle I think.