It’s Been a YEAR . . .

A friend suggested that I start a blog to talk about my weight loss and what I have dealt with and learned over the last year. Apparently, I’ve decided to do it . . . and that surprises me. I thought I might just let myself chicken out. After all, who in the world could possibly care about MY weight loss?

So, I got to thinking, what if there were more to it than just my weight loss? I am writing this because, while I know people don’t necessarily care about MY weight loss, I would bet my bottom dollar they care about THEIR weight loss; they care about the things they feel they have lost as they have gained. And maybe, just maybe, if we talk about those things, they will have the courage to step into something different . . . THINGS they were MADE for . . . SOMETHING that GOD Himself can help restore and build in them. But yes, weight loss is primarily what I will be writing about. But, there is so much more involved in weight loss than the physical changes . . . especially the part that comes before the “loss” . . . the “gain” . . . Through these last few months, I have often tried to figure out how or why I let myself get as big as I did. There are so many parts to that answer that I could spend all day talking about them. BUT, I am actually at a point in this journey and in my life itself where I think I WANT to talk about some of it. Therapy for me; HOPE for others, right?

During my weight “gain”, I feel like I “lost” parts of me. Important, special parts of me. And during this time of weight “loss” I feel I have “gained” back some of those things I lost . . . AND MORE! That is the reason I have named this blog “Losing Lacy”. As I LOSE girth – weight and inches – I’ve found I am gaining “THINGS”. Some things that I actually lost somehow and some things that were neatly tucked away in boxes that were never found or fully opened. Some of these things I never knew I had lost OR I had forgotten about until I found them. Some of these things I DID know were lost yet I didn’t have the desire or time or energy to recover. And yet, some things I knew were lost I have missed terribly. All of them, however, are things that I know made/make me who I am/will be.

I am launching this blog today, January 29, 2020, as today marks the one year “anniversary” of when I started down this path to better health for myself. I have lost 124 pounds and 63 total inches in the process. That is mind-boggling to me and I have learned a lot about myself, and others, through this last year.

My prayer for this blog is that through my honesty, transparency, struggle and success, you will be inspired to love yourself as I learn to love myself. You ARE worth whatever it takes to be healthy . . . in EVERY way that matters to you.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Bet Your Bottom Nickel

Busy-ness is upon us. I mean, we are all generally busy, but with the start of school, fall sports, and all the other things that come along with that, busy becomes busier. One thing I do really enjoy this time of year is watching the boys of fall take the field. Baseball is, of course, my favorite sport, but football is a REALLY close second. There are a few reasons for that. Memories, I would say, and those memories make up some of my favorite moments. Some of my favorite memories are Thanksgiving holidays when I was a child. My mom, Betty, used to host EVERYone. And by everyone I mean, there were anywhere from 35-50 people in our home most years. The most she ever hosted was 52 (I know, I just asked her haha). It was always so much fun. Crowded, yes, but so much fun. She was such a good hostess. I always wanted to be able to do what she did. She has a knack for preparing large meals for lots of folks and making it look, oh, so easy! Now, I know there’s no way I could do it. I don’t have the skill . . . or the patience . . . to pull it off. Anyway, back to the topic. I remember those Thanksgivings so fondly. The family, food (especially Aunt Gertrude’s plum pudding on the stove), fellowship and football. One year, my Uncle Marty had eaten so much that he was just relaxing back in his seat on the couch watching the football game that was on TV. My dad, Lloyd, told him that he was being awfully quiet. Uncle Marty said, “Elmo, (the nickname everyone in the family used for my dad) I am afraid that if I open my mouth to talk, food will just fall out.” But I always loved the time we shared just relaxing and laughing and loving each other with the sound of the football game in the background. And almost every week I would bet my dad a nickel that the Broncos would lose to WHOever they were playing. Some seasons, I did pretty well. Haha. You may have guessed that the fall season is my favorite of all. Always has been. And lastly, I became a mom in late summer, just a couple weeks from the beginning of fall. So now, anytime I watch football on TV, in person, or hear the refs whistles blowing I remember that feeling of being a new mom and all that came with that. We have watched a couple high school football games now and several college football games on TV. I have had some thoughts come to mind this week regarding what we can truly learn from watching football. 

Most people know enough about football to know the “hows” of the game . . . the intent of the game. Maybe not all the rules are clear to everyone, but the ultimate purpose is clear. The goal line. I am a very goal-oriented person. I have a list of goals and I have shared the S.M.A.R.T. approach to goals in a past blog. It’s something I learned many, many years ago but it is how I like to structure goals for myself. I am also a very competitive person. I don’t like losing . . . to myself or anyone else. But especially to myself. Half the time, no scratch that, probably a majority of the time, I am the biggest obstacle in my journey to reach my goals. I think we can all say that from time to time. I am a self-sabotager. If something is going well, or is making me happy, or is getting me closer to a “win” I have a tendency to stop doing some of the things that I know have enabled me to get to where I am. We could spend ALL DAY here talking about why that is for me. But I won’t. Suffice it to say that I have always had a hard time thinking I deserve happiness, or goodness. No one to blame for that, really. Just how I have viewed myself and what I deserve. Again, I won’t get into all that. What I do need to focus on is learning and setting in my mind the FACTS of the matter at hand when dealing with goals and reaching the goodness that awaits just over that goal-line for me. What does wait for me? Well, as I have lost weight, my pain has decreased. That is one thing . . . less pain. More mobility. A more active ME. Fitting into clothes without feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. Easier sleep and rest. Better numbers where blood work is concerned. Those are all things that will come as a result of reaching my goals just as a football team gains points for crossing the goal line they are driving toward. 

I saw something in one of the games I was watching this week that also made me stop and think about how much attention I am paying to my goals and what path I may be taking to reach them. In one game, all the guys on the line seemed to be over-pursuing their target on the field. They were pushing so hard and so fast to get through the line to get to whoever had the ball at the moment they actually overran where they needed to be. They were not adjusting to the path the ball carrier was taking well enough to meet him where he was headed. I feel like that has happened in the past few months to me in my journey. I have been so super-focused on a few aspects of my goals that I have either forgotten about other aspects or haven’t adjusted my path to meet them where I should have. Any journey to a greater outcome is all about rolling with the punches and making timely adjustments in our focus to be able to receive whatever we are supposed to be receiving at that moment. 

One other thought came to mind that I can’t really say was inspired by anything I saw on the field. I know how hard those guys playing college ball or in the NFL had to work to get to where they are. I know how hard our oldest who plays college ball had to work to get to where he is. I’d be willing to be that at one time or another, someone . . . a coach, a spectator, a parent, a teammate . . . likely told each of those people playing on the field that they weren’t good enough, or strong enough, or fast enough, or made of the right stuff, to make it happen for themselves. And every one of them had to overcome that objection to become what they were made to become. Man. That one actually stung a little bit. I have a hard time NOT listening to what people say to me, or about me, and I worry WAY TOO MUCH what other people think of me. And beyond that, at times, I have started to believe what those people said about me, or what I imagined they thought of me. My dad told me once that I wouldn’t worry about what people thought about me if I only knew how infrequently they actually thought about me. And you know, the things I imagine in my mind that people think about me are likely so much worse than what they do think about me. The older I get the more I think that maybe, just maybe, when someone thinks about me, they might smile. Or pray for me. Or remember a time when we shared a moment together. Or that they just might hope for all the best things for me. I do these things when I think of other people. And I’m no better than anyone else, so possibly they are doing the same things. But, it is easier as I grow to put those negative thoughts aside.

It would do us all a lot of good to remember that NO ONE can determine your life path, your personality, or your abilities FOR you. What we are and who we can become in life are things that are completely up to us. We have to surround ourselves with only those people who will support us in our endeavors. I am here to tell you that you already know who these people are. They are the people who will answer the tough questions we ask. They will tell us if they think we are on the right path or not, and only do it because they love us. They won’t take any excuses from us; they will literally tell us that, yeah, we do need to get our crap together and refocus. I am so thankful to have family and friends who will do just that for me. And just like the football team that is driving to the same goal line – together – these folks know when to pull right or pull left to open a path for you to break through the line and advance the ball. It doesn’t matter who is rooting against us. The only people who should ever get our attention are those cheering for us. There will always be naysayers; name callers; negative Nancy’s; even if they exist ONLY in our mind. Show those who would oppose you that you CAN do what you have set out to do. You can push through all the negativity and fear. And let them know without a doubt they are going to be the ones losing their nickel this time around. You are worth it.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Healing From Heaven

Well, activity has picked up for most of the country as our children have all headed back to school in whatever form that looks like. Both our boys started again this week. Tank is a Junior in High School this year and Ben is a Sophomore in College. I still maintain that I don’t know what happened to the last 20 years of our lives. This week I have been in full swing, on my own, talking with people on my schedule for Tawkify. I am loving this so much. Talking to folks from all walks of life all searching for the same thing . . . companionship and love. Truly loving it! I am getting back into the swing of things with a little more physical activity also. I know I need to refocus and push harder to get myself back to doing better and dropping more weight. So, that’s where I am at and what I am doing. Please send all the good thoughts, positive vibes and prayers you can spare my way to stay focused, be patient, and see better results.

Last night, I went with my girls to a “Kidz Healing Artz” Center charity event at the new winery in Fort Morgan. It was a blast. They featured a fantastic local artist and had a silent auction and wonderful door prizes. I loved getting to see all of the great pieces of art by the local artist and hear about how the Healing Artz Center helps children dealing with grief and loss. One of my girls and I talked about how wonderful this organization is for children and how it can translate to ANYone who has dealt with loss at any stage in life. One thing that caught my attention was how they have these kids write a letter to their loved one who is no longer with them. That’s honestly a pretty common thing in therapy. Believe me, I know. But she told us there is a second part to it that you don’t know is going to happen until you write that letter to your loved one. That added piece is that they then write a letter to themselves in response from their loved one. Reading the letter on display from children to grandparents and then their response letter back to themselves brought huge tears to my eyes and really made me think about those I have lost in my life and receiving letters from Heaven, if you will.

When you experience loss – in any form, really – it changes you. There are people in our world who have never, by their own admission, had to deal with the death of anyone particularly close to them. And then there are others yet, who seem to have experienced extreme losses . . . over and over. Loss changes you. It changes your world and even changes your view of certain things in your world. Things are never going to be the same. But somehow we move on with their memory safely kept in our minds and hearts. I know our family has dealt with our share of grief and loss. And it has shaped my life. It doesn’t define me in any way, but it has fashioned some of the priorities I have and some of the things I do and even how I see things sometimes. I don’t dwell on the people who are no longer here for me. But there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of them in some way and try to live my life in a way that would make them proud. But I really thought a lot about it last night and then this morning and I wondered what they, particularly my mom, would write back to me if she could. I decided that sometime very soon, when I have time to really focus on the healing aspect of this activity, I will write that letter to her. And then I will write a response from her. I think deep down we all know what our loved ones would tell us if they could. But I do see the value in doing this. 

I really feel like this activity can be carried over into many areas of our lives. Have some hurtful things been said and done to me through the years? Absolutely. Pretty much everyone in the world at some point has been the recipient of meanness or cruelty, violence or something of the like. And maybe it would be a benefit to us if we did write letters that speak to some of those things. And while I am at it, can I write a letter to my fat self from my thinner, fit self who I just KNOW is trapped inside my thicker body? What would that letter sound like? I’ll figure that out. Because this blog is truly about weight loss I want to focus on that point for a second. What would a thinner version of myself say to me right now? I know my life has been shaped and changed in many ways because of the large frame I have been in most of my life. I have been fat for more years than I was fit. And I can’t help but think about what could be different if it were the other way around. I think it’s time to find out. I was inspired to really focus on me again and get the last bit of my weight off. A loss of 160 pounds is tremendous. I have found about 30 of those again through the journey, but still, down a bunch! But I am refocusing on this journey of mine. For the right reasons. 

I want nothing more than to be the best version of myself. And in recent years, that has transitioned into being the best PHYSICAL version of myself. I lose focus from time to time. I even lose the will to do it from time to time. And it’s okay. It really is. Life is difficult. Weight loss is difficult. No . . . more than that. Weight loss is painful. In more ways than one. I have never done anything that is more trying and extreme and exhausting in my life. But in my experience, the best things in life come after our toughest battles. All good things require patience and resilience. I will focus on healing from the inside out. After all, the heart, mind, soul, and emotions are the center of who we are and unless all of those intangibles are dealt with properly, we cannot ever scratch the surface on some of the other things in our physical world. I do know that my mom would be proud of who I am today. The wife, mom, friend, and person I have become are all because I had the blessing of being raised by people who loved me regardless of my accomplishments or weight. They have always believed in me and always will. And I married someone who has always seen the better parts of me and been patient with the less than perfect ones. And friends. What would I do without all of the wonderful people who have endeared themselves as family to me? My hope for you is that you take the time you need to heal from whatever it is that needs healing. Care for yourself. Talk to those who care about you. And whatever you do, don’t forget that you are worth it.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Put A Little Love In Your Heart

The past couple weeks have been a blur. A blur of information, of priorities, and of preparation. I started my new position with Tawkify two weeks ago tomorrow and I have been completely wrapped up in learning and zoom meetings and zoom training, both tech training and the soft skills like scripting I will be utilizing. To begin with, two weeks of solid training seemed like a little much. It has been in every job that you learn through the process of just doing and, of course, there is the 4-6 month learning curve that will follow you for the first little while. But to have just specific, intentional training for that long seemed a bit much! But honestly, I see why it was that way and we all agreed after we “graduated training” we could use more! Haha! I do apologize for not having a blog last week. I was learning the scripting we are using and really needed to stick with that to make sure I had it all down. The older I get, the fewer tasks I can make my brain do at one time. I can multitask with the best of them, but when it comes to learning multiple new things and trying to think through a blog post, I decided I should stick to one thing so neither of them would suffer. Anyway, I am back, and ready to blog this week! I will say that I am loving everything I am learning and I have no doubt that I am going to love this job! I kinda already do and I haven’t even been unleashed on my own yet. That happens Tuesday. My first live calls BY MYSELF will happen on Tuesday. Again, any positivity and prayer you want to include me in will be very appreciated. You can, it seems, teach a middle-aged dog new tricks. (That “middle-aged” thing hurt me to type out . . . just a little). And again, we are taking Ben back to college for the next semester/year to start. I don’t know what happened to the summer break, but it’s nearly gone and we are starting the next chapter of life . . . all of us. Franklin will start actual football practice tomorrow also. He did workouts with the team through the summer, but this week it all gets real. For each of us!

I was perusing the internet this week and came across a headline about the death of a 30-year-old woman who had appeared on the television show, “My 600-lb Life.” The show follows people who all weigh over 600 pounds as they undergo gastric bypass surgery. My mind was stuck on the headline . . . A thirty-year-old woman. She was thirty. I clicked into the article to see what the cause of death was. In the back of my mind I am always a little bit concerned about what my weight has done/is doing to my organs, health and life-span. So, of course, when I read something like this I think I might be a little more curious about the circumstances than others are. Was it a strain on her heart . . . or her other organs that led to her very early death? Was it a heart attack or a stroke? Was it from the surgery she had to lose weight? Was it a mental health issue? All these questions come to mind when I hear of a large person dying younger than maybe they would if they were a little less large. Believe me, it’s top of mind for me in MY life. The short article I read didn’t disclose what the cause of death was. But I did something that I try really hard to avoid doing most days. I read the comments. Now, if you ever do this, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that I was completely aghast at what some of these people were saying. This was a public page where her family, friends and others who knew and loved this girl could have gone to read. And I felt strongly enough about it that I wanted to talk about it today.

One of the comments said, “Cause of death unknown; food being held for questioning . . .” Another said, “It doesn’t take a doctor to figure out what killed her . . .” There were some that were even worse than these, but you get the picture. I would love to say that I was surprised by the comments and the people who reacted with laughing emojis and all the “hahahaha’s” splattered across the comment section. People can be so heartless and cruel. I really can’t tell you how much it upsets me that they would do this on a page where her loved ones run the risk of seeing it. This world has become so divided over so many issues. I am not about to go into all of them. But, honestly, you can see division in every area of life right now. And if I am going to be honest about it, it’s never been about race, income, equality, education, or other demographics. It is a true heart issue. We have a hate issue. We have a disrespect issue. And the internet and social media platforms have only served to feed some of those issues. I don’t often read comment threads on posts that I see could be controversial. First, it’s a rabbit hole I don’t want to lose time to and, second, I don’t like how people treat one another. I don’t know if people have always been this cruel and hateful toward one another or if it’s just now getting to the point of unbearable. Have they always been like this but it is more out in the open now with social media and the internet so accessible to everyone? It seems like the world has more to say about everything anymore. I am such a “live and let live” kind of person. I am not unkind. I have always told my kids that it takes much more active effort to be cruel to someone than it does to be kind. Honestly. A smile is pretty dang easy to muster. It goes back to the old adage, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say nuthin’ at all . . .”, right? 

I have thought about how personally, in the past, people have treated me differently for being a fat girl. Or, in some instances, have just been outright mean. I have never been a small person. I was fit; but never small. When I was growing up, there were kids who gave me a hard time for my size. I remember just wondering why they couldn’t like me because I was a good person, and a kind person, and just a person for crying out loud. I was human and I was breathing and that meant I was worth something. I carry those things even today. I just had a conversation with someone yesterday about being intimidated by women who are thin and pretty and what people would consider “hot” even. These women who have an above-normal confidence level . . . like too much confidence . . . in their appearance. We have all known them. They think very, very highly of themselves and most of what they think is wrapped up in their looks. I told the person I was chatting with that I know that being around these people, with their large personalities, egos, and propped-up, self-importance causes me stress. I can’t be around people who seem to have it all together and come in neat little packages in these perfect bodies and pretty faces without experiencing an overwhelming self-esteem issue. It is ON ME . . . NOT on them. These are my issues. But, I am old enough and have lived enough life to recognize when I am going to be experiencing stress because of the insecurities I have about my body and my life. And because I can recognize those things, I will make the choice to avoid those things. This person I was talking to reminded me that I have worth “far above rubies . . .” according to what God says. And I was grateful for that reminder. But, I find it a little harder in the physical world when people compare me to what makes a difference to them. And that’s what hit home about this woman. 

It seems like everyone has SOMEthing to say about EVERYthing anymore. People want to give their opinion and say something in each circumstance they come across. I find it really difficult to take that sometimes when I will ALWAYS struggle with my weight. Even as I have lost weight, gained some, lost some, gained some, lost again . . . I experience those successes and failures as every other person on the planet does. And I worry, probably far too much, about how the world will judge me on the physical things. I spend so much time trying to improve the kind of person I am. I think that what’s at the heart of a man, or a woman, is the most important thing. I just wish we could get to a place in this world where we see past physical characteristics, limitations, and differences. I want to see us look past fat and thin, and class, and gender, and vaccine status, and political affiliations, and all of the crap in this world that doesn’t matter one jot or tittle. If we can’t find common ground as humans, as souls searching for the same things – love, peace, happiness, acceptance and the like – we are doomed to continue the patterns of cruelty and hate and intolerance of those around us who are different in ways that DO NOT MATTER at all. The commonalities we share far outweigh the differences between us. I really want to encourage you all today to accept yourself for who you are, first and foremost. If there are things you don’t like or want to improve on, then take steps to make those things better. And for the love of Pete (whoever he is) be kind. It’s the easiest thing to do. Truly. And we are all deserving of kindness and love. We are ALL worth it.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Mea Culpa

Tomorrow, I start my new job. A lot of waiting has happened since January when my friend first told me about this company she works for and asked if I would be interested. I wasn’t sure I was interested. Honestly, I’m not sure I was interested in January. I was a little more interested in March when she told me they’d be hiring again in June. If I am being completely truthful, which I strive to be anyway, but especially in this blog with you, I needed this past year a little more than I realized. I would never have admitted it last year, but my mental health needed this time off from the responsibility of working for someone else, and from “managing” other people. I have grown and healed and learned in ways beyond what I would have ever imagined. I had struggled with some depression again in the last couple years, but I am in a great spot. And I owe a lot of that to my patient husband and family who are always there to support me. I sort of closed myself off from a lot of people in the last year. I just needed to take some time for myself. Lately, I have thought about how guilty I felt for leaving my job last year. My family sacrificed for that to happen. I was working my NEWYOU CBD business but still not making close to what I had at my last job. And that was okay with me. It has never been about the money. It has been about my journey to being healed and whole. In whatever form it would take on to happen. But I remembered as I was thinking about all this how guilty I felt for starting work when I did back in 2008. I remember leaving the house after my mom came to watch my boys, and my nephew Kelton, as Carly, my sister, was still living here in Brush and I was actually taking her position at the dental office. I remembered feeling so guilty because I wasn’t going to be there to take care of them all day. Now, I know I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to watch my boys. Not ever. But I have been thinking about all that guilt and how I think I am feeling a twinge of guilt even now as I start this new venture. My boys are far more independent than they were thirteen years ago but they do still need me. Franklin even more so as he is still in High School. But I started wondering today about what makes us feel guilty for this sort of thing in the first place.

I am no expert. I just wanna make sure you know that I know you KNOW that about me. Haha. But I do know about mom/wife/friend/employee/human guilt. And there have been times in my life when guilt was fully warranted. But more often than not, guilt isn’t a healthy emotion. We do so much for other people and it doesn’t always turn out right, or how we expected. I have heard many times (and used a lot) that disappointment is what happens when our expectations don’t meet reality. We have such high hopes for almost everything in our lives. From our relationships, to our careers, to what we think this world should look like. Rarely, if ever, do things turn out the way we had thought they would. Now, that’s not to say we should stop hoping for things. But when our hopes are tied up in outcomes we can’t control, we need to make sure we temper it with a small dose of reality or we will be disappointed. I am a pretty big optimist. I don’t have a hard time picking out the positive in nearly every situation, and imagining the best possible outcome in new things. But there are times. We can’t control anything around us. We can only control how we react/respond to everything around us. I think this is where some of the guilt I tend to feel comes from. I can’t control everything. But I would really like to. And my personality is the type that when something doesn’t go right, I will always blame myself. I want to make people happy. I don’t like it when people are upset and I especially don’t like it when I am the reason they are upset. It’s easier for me to place the blame, responsibility and guilt on myself than to think about having to have a tough conversation with someone else. I will do it, mind you. But it’s something I’d rather avoid. 

There is nothing in the world that really compares to mom-guilt. I don’t know any mother on the planet who doesn’t feel it at one point or another. Am I spending enough time with my kids? Am I spending too much time with my kids? Should I go back with them to the exam room at their doctor/dentist appointment or wait in the waiting room or car? Do I need to go at all? Did I read enough to them when they were little? Did I discipline them too much? Not enough? If I don’t go to every event under the sun will they end up hating me? If I raise my voice, take away their phone and ground them for a week will they eventually become a serial killer with a really bad “Mom-complex” and end up on the FBI Most Wanted list? The thing about parenting that no one really can explain, even though they try, is that it is really difficult to navigate. There are no manuals. They don’t have a trial “dispose-of-when-done” version of kids to practice parenting on. No, they don’t exist. You give birth to a tiny human who INSTANTLY becomes the most important and scary thing you’ve ever dealt with and then you are expected to take care of them on your own. If it doesn’t terrify you a little, are you even doing it right? And all the advice in the world doesn’t help. Oh, sure. There are things you hear from your Mom or your Dad that really do come in handy. But the right answer to all those questions I asked above is simple: It depends. It depends on the child and the parent and at least a dozen other factors. But I know I am not alone when I say there are things I feel guilty about all the time. We have joked with the boys that we have money set aside for college. They can either use it for college or for the therapy they need to help them get through all the terrible things *wink wink* we did to them while raising them. *only half joking* 

Guilt and regret can pour over every aspect of our lives if we let it. And I’m pretty good at letting it. I had a conversation with a friend recently and they said something that I know I have heard from others but I HEARD it . . . like actually HEARD it . . . this time. I was talking about feeling bad about going back to work (even if it is from home and even if I can set my own hours). I had said that I know my first job is as a Mom. They said, “Lacy, you have to stop being so hard on yourself. What would you say to me if I shared with you what you just shared with me?” I nodded, speechless. I don’t know how much of the guilt in my life I have been needlessly carrying along, as if it’s my penance for not being perfect or something. 

Newsflash: NO ONE’S PERFECT. 

But why are we so dang hard on ourselves? I have criticized myself for things that I would have never even thought twice about in another person. Why? In a way, is it prideful? Do I somehow think I am better and need to be held to a higher standard? No, I sure hope not. But it has me thinking now! It was amazing how after my friend extended a little grace to me, I felt like I could extend a little grace to myself. I have always tried to stay humble. I haven’t always succeeded. But, especially, the older I get the less I feel like everything is always all about me. I don’t need recognition, praise, or even to hear “Attagirl” with a pat on my back! I am trying, really working hard, to let the guilt of things I can’t control, should have done, or could have done better, go. Like, steppin’-on-down-the-road, go. Like, don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out, go. I am human. And I take care of humans. (Well, and a dog . . . but she is another story). But as an imperfect human taking care of imperfect humans, I need to remember that things will never be perfect. They will be just right. They will turn out just as they are supposed to turn out. Or they won’t. And you know what. ALL OF IT IS OKAY! It will be okay and tomorrow is another day to try something different if that’s what is needed. 

I am starting a new chapter. A new, exciting chapter where I am going to have a good job without the stress of managing people or things and worrying about controlling outcomes with other people in an office setting. I am excited for the gift I feel like I have been handed. And I don’t think God wants me to feel guilty when I fully believe that He brought this opportunity to me. I get a chance to make a little more money to help our family.

Another Newsflash: College is expensive.

I am excited to take on a new challenge. I am a little intimidated as I have never done anything like this and I am in the “middle-aged” tier of the workforce now. Ouch. That hurt a little to type out. But I do believe that I am capable and semi-talented in some areas. I believe that I learn fast and will catch on just fine. And when it is all said and done, I will have learned a thing or two. And nothing is ever a waste of time that adds to the person you are. I will let go of the guilt, as best I know how, and move onto bigger and better things. I am worth it.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou


This week’s blog is one I am actually struggling to even get onto my computer screen. (We used to be able to say, “Put it on paper . . .” but actually physically writing something with a pen or pencil isn’t something that happens too often anymore) I have thought about this topic for a few weeks now. And honestly, I had second and third and fourth (and even thirteenth thoughts) about this but I am going to do it anyway. You never know who needs to hear it. Self-image. That’s one scary compound word, am I right? And we all have one; self-image, I mean. We all have a picture in our minds of what we are, who we are, or what we look like. A few weeks ago, I was watching a video posted by a friend on Facebook. The video was a funny clip about goat yoga (yes, it’s a thing). Facebook does this thing where it compiles other videos below the one you’re looking at and it will automatically scroll down and start the next video if you don’t interrupt it. I am sure there’s a technical term for that. Doesn’t really matter, I suppose. Anyway, I had put my phone down to get more coffee (one can never have enough coffee) and the goat video ended and the next video started. It was a makeup artist who has a page set up where he critiques other people’s videos of them applying makeup using so-called “hacks” and he lets his viewers know if it is a practical hack or not. I actually learned a bit from him. And because I watched one of the videos, Facebook’s algorithm has placed other videos he has done in my feed. Like I said, I am actually learning a few things. But one of the things I noticed in all these videos was just how beautiful these people were BEFORE applying coats of makeup to their faces. And I started wondering how all of this started anyhow . . . 

Now, there are some things you should know about me before I share some transparent, maybe even embarrassing, facts about myself. I was raised by a beautician. My mom, Betty, was a cosmetologist. She knew all I ever needed to know about hair, makeup, skin and nails. Does that mean I asked her about them much? Are you kidding me? Heck, no. I was a teenager and she was my mom. That meant I automatically knew more than she did. Haha. And to ask her a question was, in my mind, an admission that she may know more than I about that given subject. But, that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn things while listening to her talking to others about hair and makeup that came in handy. But I have never cared much about my face, my hair, or my nails. I will say that at this moment in time I do get my nails done by a professional. I have “man hands” and it just helps to make them a little more soft and feminine looking. But outside of that, I spend VERY LITTLE on myself where makeup and cosmetics are concerned. The most expensive product I use is a moisturizer by Mary Kay (which I like, by the way), and my YouthBomb serum made by the NEWYOU CBD company whose products I use and market. The rest? Oh, well it’s either from WalMart or Dollar General. I own an “All Face” brush and that is the only brush I use and I only use it for my blush. I use the applicator that came with the little compact container of eye shadow (four shades of tan and brown) to apply my shadow and I am certain I don’t know what I am doing in that department. I use my fingers to apply my foundation, if I use any. And my powder is from a compact, again applied with the applicator that comes with it. Concealer? What’s concealer? I will use eyeliner and mascara on occasion . . . usually if I know I am going to be out in public. (Again, all of this is something my Momma could have helped me with if I had been even A LITTLE interested in it growing up.) And I hear words like “contouring” and “bronzer” and I haven’t got a clue about any of that. I could say, “Somebody help me!?!?” But I don’t care enough to learn. And I mean that with every ounce of my being . . . and that’s a lot of ounces. My hair and makeup routine needs to take as little time for me as possible. From shower to hair and makeup done for me usually takes 25 minutes. If I don’t do anything but use my serum and moisturizer I can go from stepping into the shower to getting my hair styled in about 15 minutes. And I am more than okay with that!

What struck me years ago when I first heard about contouring was how much our self-image is shaped by the airbrushed, digitally altered, perfectly dressed, staged and posed images we are bombarded with day after day. Not too long ago I was having a conversation with my boys about girls. Yes, we still talk about things from time to time. Ben made the comment about girls going to so much trouble to make themselves look completely different with makeup. He said he wishes girls could understand that guys like him (and yes, I am biased but he IS a GREAT GUY) knew how little they cared about what girls put on their face and how much they cared about the conversations girls could hold. He and Franklin were talking once about a girl who had a really pretty face but they both said, almost at the same time, that she wore way too much makeup. They said, “If she just knew how much she didn’t need that . . .” Now, please understand, I am NOT knocking wearing makeup or doing things to make yourself feel pretty. There is enough backlash in our world from people saying that girls shouldn’t dress this way or wear their makeup that way . . . that is NOT what I am talking about. God knows I catch enough hell for things, I don’t need to add to it! There’s nothing wrong with makeup, or fake lashes, or hair extensions, or gel nails. I just feel it is something worth mentioning. Are we doing it for ourselves or doing it for everyone else? Does it make us feel better? Is it to impress people or to make others like us more? Does it make us more acceptable in our own mind? I wonder why girls feel the need to “con”tour their face to make it seem better than it was to start. (Yes, I said it like that because It is like contouring is just a huge “con” where we aren’t ever going to see the real deal) I feel like this world is overly “judgey” and none of us feel like we stack up to the expectations around us. Maybe it’s just me who feels that way. But I honestly don’t think so. I get tired of people feeling like they have to “one up” others or they don’t win. 

I feel like we are good at “con”touring our lives, too. (We could call it “mom”touring, maybe) We shape our social media presence around the best parts of our lives, never letting those who see our profiles in on the really sticky, messy truths of our lives. And, yes, it stems back to self-image. I think sometimes we honestly believe that if we put this perfect version of ourselves out there, then it is going to be just that; perfect. I am not going to start posting every disagreement I have with my husband or every time I feel I failed as a parent. That would take a lot of Facebook feed, let me tell you. But I am here to say that my self-image isn’t something that you can leave your fingerprints on. I am working every day to become a better version of myself than I was the day before. And part of that is trying, DESPERATELY trying, to leave other people’s opinions of my life, my body, my style, my family, my SELF, where they belong . . . out. Out of my mind; out of my decisions; out of my life altogether.  

We just get caught up so much in our looks and the way we THINK we should look and then we see all the “beauty” on the pages of magazines and in T.V. commercials, and we think that we don’t stack up and need to do something to make ourselves better. News flash . . . there will always be someone prettier than you, thinner than you, more “put together” than you. But, I am here to tell you, the only person you have to please with ANYTHING in your life is YOU. I have known a few people who were just naturally beautiful people . . . you know, those with perfectly symmetrical faces and gorgeous hair and skin and eyes and teeth . . . those who needed NOTHING to make them look like this was the result of God perfecting the act of creating humans. They didn’t have to worry about makeup or anything, ever. But, those people never intimidated me. Instead, I allow myself to be intimidated by those who had spent literal hours applying all the makeup they thought they needed to cover an already beautiful face. Like my “don’t care” makeup routine was “less than” and not good enough when all I really wanted to do was cover the bags under my eyes so no one knew how little sleep I had gotten while taking care of my sick child the night before. My therapist nearly 20 years ago told me to find a picture of myself as a little girl and look at her every morning and tell her what I thought she needed to hear. Then, everyday I needed to try to remember that I WAS that little girl. We need to do ourselves a favor. We need to look at ourselves like those who really love us do. What would they say? What would my family and friends say about Lacy? Well, she’s a hot mess, most likely. But you know what? I am a hot mess who has a big heart. I care about people. I would never intentionally hurt anyone. I try my hardest at things I endeavor to do. I am a good person. I am loved. And I am worth whatever good life can offer me. WE. ALL. ARE. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Jesus Take The Drill

This week went by fairly quickly. It seems that is the case for most days and weeks and months anymore, as I said in my last blog. I heard on Monday that I got the position I had applied for with a matchmaking company. It’s quite different from some of the other internet matchmaking websites out there. My position with them will be as a Membership Representative. I’ll be one of the people on the phone with folks looking to purchase packages for a certain amount of matches as they try to find Mr. or Mrs. Right. I am really excited about it. I will work from home still and will be able to do NEWYOU, my CBD business, as I have been. I will be able to set my own hours and will still be flexible around when I am working. For me, it’s perfect. During the second interview I was asked what had prompted me to apply for the position. For one, a friend of mine, Leah, has been working with Tawkify for 8-9 months and loves it. She encouraged me to get my resume together and apply, so I did! Another reason is I really miss talking to lots of people every day. I have loved this time being out of the workforce this past year. In fact, I needed it on a larger level than I think I realized I did when I first gave notice at the dental office I was a part of for 12 years. I went from seeing, physically, 30-45 patients every day and talking to even more on the phone to seeing only my family and occasional friends. I miss people. Even more so though, the decision to apply with Tawkify came from my desire to make people happy again on some level. I was the main treatment planner at the dental office for a long time and I loved selling dentistry and getting people into treatment plans they needed and finding ways for them to pay for that treatment and then seeing them so happy with the results they didn’t stop smiling. I miss that A LOT. And I am happy to have a chance to do that again in some way! I will keep you posted and please keep me in prayer and positivity as I start training on July 26! Thanks for letting me be excited and update you on this!

I had an interesting week. On Thursday, I was out running errands. The main road through town, the highway, is being worked on. It was stop and go on that road and I was behind a tow truck hauling a small car. Well, on one of the “go” parts after we had been at one of the “stop” parts, the tow truck took off and the car came rolling off the back end. I was thankful no one was hurt and that I wasn’t closer, had been paying attention and was able to stop again before becoming a part of the incident. I was also nearly hit on the driver’s side of my car as I crossed an intersection where the cross traffic had stop signs and my street didn’t. I slowed and looked twice both ways before crossing and still a car came barreling through the sign and didn’t stop until it was inches from my door. But one of the things that came to me as a lesson for my blog this week was from my youngest son, 16-year-old, Franklin aka Tank. I was in the family room making a couple calls for my business and I heard what I thought sounded like a power drill. I kind of ignored it the first time, thinking I really didn’t hear what I thought I had heard. Then I heard it again. So I got up and walked down the hallway to his room. I have since learned that Wade, my husband, had taken the drill into Tank’s room to fix a chair for him. Putting things away immediately after use is not one of Wade’s strong suits. Never has been and after 25 years of wedded bliss, I have come to the conclusion it probably never will be. As long as he doesn’t mind all my non-redeeming qualities I won’t hold any of his against him. Anyway, after hearing it a third and fourth time as I walked down the hallway on the way to boys’ rooms, I knew it was the drill. For sure. I just needed to find out which one had it. I stopped and looked into Ben’s room and saw nothing but Ben. Tank. I reached his doorway and peeked my head around the corner. He was sitting on his chair with his elbows on his knees and the drill firmly in his grip. The “rrrrrrrrrrrrrr, rrrrrrrrrrrrr, whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” sound stopped as I spoke, “Hey, buddy. Whatchadoin?” He glanced up at me. He placed the drill carefully on the floor in front of him. He just said, “Uh, I don’t know.” (And, yeah, that’s still an acceptable answer at this age) I asked him to carry on doing nothing but please leave the drill out of his plans as I didn’t see anything truly constructive happening. He chuckled and said, “Yes, ma’am.” (And, yeah, that’s still an acceptable answer at this age) I turned and started back down the hall. Then Tank called out, “Hey, Momma . . . Can you please take this drill away from me so I don’t get into trouble?” My turn to chuckle as I answered, “Yes, sir. I can do that.” (And, yeah, another acceptable answer, this time from me) I took the drill and left him in peace, still chuckling to myself at his ability to recognize his self-control/discipline challenges. I was still chuckling a few minutes later when I started thinking, “Man! I could use some of that self-realization and self-intervention in MY life!”

There are certain lessons that come to us in life in such a simple way, their depth and profound impact are nearly deafening. My whole life I have struggled with self-sabotage and self-control and self-discipline. It’s not just about my weight right now. There have been times when life was going so well, I would do something purposely just to change it. I have had such a hard time for such a long time believing that I was worth any kind of happiness. Maybe it was because of some of the losses of some really important people in my life. I don’t know for sure. I can tell you that sometimes I felt a little guilty for enjoying a life that my mom (who died in an accident when I was three years old) wasn’t enjoying. Like, how dare I be happy when she couldn’t enjoy it with me. Or thinking the same thing about an uncle who was like a dad to my sister and me. He died when I was 16 years old and it was devastating. There are a number of traumas and tragedies that I trudged through. I gained weight as a resulting combination of many or most of them. It really all boiled down to the fact that it is easier to stay fat and unhappy when you’ve told yourself that you don’t deserve to be happy and healthy and beautiful. It makes all the terrible things you’ve been through seem less hurtful, harmful and even impactful when you can convince yourself you don’t deserve any better. There were years when I didn’t have close friends because close friends pose a number of risks. They get to know you and your secrets. They can leave you for many reasons at any given time, death not excluded. When you have been hurt in unimaginable ways you don’t want to hurt anymore and you close yourself off to things, regardless of how wonderful they may actually be. At least, I did. I closed myself off from a lot of things and people and events and circumstances for a lot of years. And there are still a lot of things that those closest to me don’t know about me. But that’s really okay with me. I know them well enough to know they’d love me no matter what I told them and no matter what my past looked like. My point here is that I have sabotaged my own happiness because I refused to let go of things I KNEW were going to end up causing trouble for me. Food, alcohol at one point, selfishness, fear, pain, bitterness, unforgiveness . . . they have all been things I held on to for way too long and way too tight. 

I wrapped myself in excess pounds (a LOT of them) because it made me feel a little more invisible to the outside world. I always figured that folks wouldn’t want the “big girl” around and I wouldn’t have to decide if I wanted to step out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t ever the center of attention and I really liked that. It was comfortable . . . I mean, until I had to tie my shoelaces, or sit in a chair with arms, or change into a thin paper gown that was always 5 sizes too small in an exam room. Then, in those moments, I just quietly hated myself for gaining so much weight. But, somehow, I always managed to eat my way out of those feelings, too. I am not trying to make this dark and depressing. I am in a much better place with ALL of this than I ever have been before. This blog is about things that I lost as I gained weight and things I have gained as I have been losing weight. And I made a promise at the beginning of this venture that I would always be brutally honest and would not hold back on scary or embarrassing or painful truths about what I have gone through where my weight is concerned. Do I eat too much at times? Yes. Do I eat the wrong things at times? Yes. Do I need more physical exercise? Yes. And that’s what I am saying here. It would be so much easier if I had someone to peek their head around the corner to remind me that what I am doing or eating or not doing or not eating really isn’t in my best interest. I may not have the same ability as Tank to willingly part with whatever I am holding in the moment that’s going to spell trouble for me, but I need to learn. Kudos to Tank for recognizing a pending problem, and choosing HIS best interests over passing time with a power drill he really didn’t need to be holding anyway. I need to learn to be more like my 16 year old. Stop the self-sabotage (in ALL areas), release those things that are not serving my best interests and learn, just like Tank, to ask Jesus to take the drill. For crying out loud. I am worth it!

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

To Be, Or Not To Be: Busy-ness Version

Where has the month of June gone? Seriously. It seems like I just flipped the page on the calendar the other day and here we are a few days away from doing it all over again. All through my childhood my mom, who was a cosmetologist, had these wonderful older ladies come through her beauty shop all the time. I loved sitting and listening to them talk about their lives and their own childhoods and young adulthoods and child rearing and marriage and just ANYthing I could listen to. I learned so much from these ladies. So much about love and life and grace and happiness. There was always a recurring theme throughout. Don’t blink. I understood that there was a certain kind of blink that could cause children to jump from 3 to 30 . . . in mere seconds. It would take a couple from 5 years of marriage to 50 in an instant. And it even had the power to turn these once young beauties into graceful, gray-haired grandmas (and great grandmas) who couldn’t recognize the face staring back at them in the mirror any longer. It would usually be said because I had mentioned something that I just almost couldn’t stand to wait for . . . a school dance, a choir performance, a vacation. I remember saying one day to one of my all-time favorite adopted grandmas, Electa Smith (Chartier), that I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to drive and then graduate and be my own boss. She looked at me and said, “Don’t wish for time to pass by any faster than it is, sweetheart. It’ll be here before you know it.” I just thought that was something old people always said to young people. Haha! I heard it all the time! But, you know, she was right. I have had a couple topics this week that have been on my mind to write about today. One was just that . . . the busy-ness of life. And the other was how we are constantly taking on new forms of busy-ness like we are going to get a trophy in return. 

A friend of mine, a radio personality, had contacted me a while back about doing a podcast with her. She had said she wanted to get into podcasting and she mentioned when she thought about doing one about health, I kept coming to mind. So she started the “Losing Lacy Podcast” and once a week we get together over Zoom and we talk about things that are related to health and life and my journey to better health and wellness. Thankfully, at this point in my life I do control my schedule and can place things on the calendar, pretty freely, where I wish them to be. There are things I can move and rearrange to make things fit where they need to. However, I am busy. I have caught crap in the past year because I am not working outside the home and have still said “no” to a couple things that I could have just as easily said “yes” to. The most recent one being a volunteer opportunity to help with meal delivery in our community. Now, to be clear, the person who talked with me about that opportunity was kind and understanding. This person didn’t say anything along the “crap-giving” line. I explained that I honestly don’t know where or how that will fit when I start working at the end of July and so I politely declined. But there have been other things I did catch a little attitude for turning down. I have a plaque that hung over my desk when I worked at the newspaper that I still refer to today. It said, “Stress is what happens when your mind says ‘no’ and your mouth says ‘yes’.” That is the simplest way to explain what happens when we feel obligated or guilted into helping with something we really don’t want to. I remember at one point in time I was on several committees at our church, I taught Sunday School and Youth Group, I led worship services and had a weekday practice for that, led VBS in the summer – which is more than just the week in the summer when all the activity takes place, by the way – I was a wife and mom and worked 35+ hours outside the home. It was exhausting. And there were times when I didn’t feel like ANYthing or ANYone got 100% of me. I don’t know that you can do all those things effectively or even well when you have so much going on. And if you do, it comes at a great cost. I am learning more and more as I get older that I have to protect my time and my energy. I have very limited quantities of both! And I want to spend them on the things and people most important to me. 

Another thing I believe falls in line with this topic is that there seems to be some silent competition among people, particularly us women, about who is doing the best job of holding their crap together while at the same time managing to be so busy we are in constant motion from sun up to sun down . . . and then some. I know in the past even I have been guilty of saying, “I just can’t handle one more thing right now as I am already way too busy!” I had someone ask me why I did so much during the time mentioned above when I was busier than I should have been. My answer was that there wasn’t anyone else to do it. Let me share a secret with you. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOMEONE ELSE. We are strange creatures, you know? We will complain that we are exhausted and worn slick and loaded down and overwhelmed. But at the same time we are reluctant to hand off any of the things we are responsible for to someone else. I learned a long time ago (when leading VBS and other committees I was on) that just because you are the “leader” of a group of people, doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself. In fact that’s the fastest way to a classic burnout I’ve ever seen. I am a person who likes to have total control of the things I do. I feel like I do things well when I do them and it’s hard for me to relinquish control to someone else. Some of that is my OCD and some of it is just plain pride . . . like, “Can they really do it like I’VE been doing it?” The answer to that is simple. Maybe. Maybe not. It doesn’t matter. If the job gets done, does it matter HOW they do it? When training people at the office I would always show them the “standard, found-in-the-manual” way of doing things. Then I would show them how I did it because typically, it was a little less time-consuming. But then I told them as long as the end result was the same I didn’t care how it got done. They only needed to do it however it was best and easiest for them. But for a lot of years, this was a source of some of the busy-ness in my life. A lack of delegation. 

Life’s busy-ness seems to keep life moving along faster and faster each year. But one thing I do know . . . the majority of the busy-ness we face in our own life is because we chose it. We choose to be busy. Whatever the reasons may be that we choose a certain “busy”, we still choose. It’s up to us. My advice? See the above definition of stress and then practice some practical and kind ways to say “no” when you need to. If it takes away from something else, say “no.” If it is going to leave you no time to do the things you love, say “no.” If you know in your heart it isn’t in your best interest and isn’t going to add to the person you are, say “no.” And do NOT under any circumstances feel guilty for guarding your time, your heart and your happiness. I promise you, there will be someone out there who can and will say “yes” in your place. And I have chosen to adopt this belief . . . it may be their blessing to receive from helping and not mine. If I say “yes” out of obligation or selfish motives I am robbing someone else of the blessing meant for them. 

I will not apologize for the things I have said “no” to in the past year. I really, REALLY needed to step back and take care of myself for a minute. Or what seems like a minute. I must have blinked one of “those” blinks because it sure doesn’t seem like a year should have already passed since I left my job at the dental office. I will not apologize for not staying so busy I met my back end leaving as my front end was coming through the door. There is a fine line between “idle hands being the devil’s workshop” and “Jesus take the wheel ‘cause I can’t manage ALLLLL of this much longer!” I will not apologize. I have stayed busy working my business, writing this blog, doing a podcast, spending time with my mom and dad, taking my mom to various appointments, and just being a more present mom and wife in the last year than I have even been. I mean, I haven’t ever had to miss much of anything when it comes to the boys and their activities, but I mean more PRESENT in mind and conversation than I ever have been. There are less thoughts of worry that flash across my mind when I am talking to them. My mind doesn’t wander to things I need to do tomorrow or the next day or before next week. I have the time I need to take care of those things when no one is around. And I have healed. I know that is vague. And that’s how it needs to be. I have healed in so many ways over the last year. I have grown in unexpected ways. I am more me than I have been in a very long time. And I absolutely love that. I want that for all of you. I want you to find the things that bring you joy and drop the things that don’t. You’re worth it and so am I.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Fleeting And Fragile . . . Yet Full

Happy Father’s Day! Happy Summer! Today officially marks the first day of summer, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. It is a lovely day today, I might add. The temps are not blazing hot as they were mid-week this week when the thermometer rose to over 100 for three (at least) straight days! Temps hovering around 80 today and a breeze has made it bearable. My oldest son, Ben, is coaching a baseball team this summer while he is home from college. His team played in the Summer Sizzler Baseball Tournament this weekend in our town. They lost the game before the championship game today so they didn’t advance to play for the “chip” this year. Ben loves coaching this team. I mean, it’s baseball. What’s not to love about it? He’s having a good time. Franklin, my youngest son, is living the good life this summer at the swimming pool as a lifeguard. And today, as I looked at my calendar and saw that it was the first day of summer and longest day of the year, I started thinking back to a conversation we had when Franklin was maybe 6 or 7 years old. Wade had said something about the day being the longest day of the year. Franklin, as any 6-7 year old would, took that statement quite literally. He asked his dad, “Well, how many more minutes do they put in today?” I honestly think his question had more to do with how much longer he could stay up before bedtime than it did with how much more we could have accomplished in those extra minutes he thought we’d been granted. As I thought about that conversation, my mind shifted to the last week we have had. Wade’s dad is on the mend and getting stronger every day, praise God! And my second interview with a company I have applied for a position with went very well. They can’t make it official so I can make it official but I’ve been told I’ll be very happy the week following the 4th of July! (I will share more details then, my friends). Wade and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this week and our oldest son will be twenty in September. All of that combined has me thinking about just how fleeting and fragile, yet just how full life can be. 

When I think about the fact that we could have lost Wade’s dad last week and the fact that my parents are both 81 years old, all of a sudden life seems to shrink up. The beginning seems really close to the end, with not much time between. It just seems so fleeting. Wade and I are 40-somethings, our children are growing older and life is happening just as it is supposed to, I am going to assume. There is nothing we can do to slow it’s pace. And you know, that’s okay. But I think life is all about finding balance. Balance between meeting needs but still fulfilling wants and desires. Balance between living a life of abundance but not over-indulgence. A balance especially between sharing our lives with others but maintaining our personal space and sense of self. Because, let’s face it, If we are to have any kind of meaningful, long-lasting relationships with others, we must first take care of ourselves. It really goes back to the adage that it doesn’t matter the quantity of minutes we can spend with our loved ones, it matters the quality of minutes we can spend with our loved ones. If we aren’t focusing on the first and most important things in OUR lives we can never make a difference or spend true quality time with those we love. 

When I look at our lives and the amount of minutes we have I feel very small in the grand scheme of things. I look at how old our world is and how many people have lived and died before us and it puts things into perspective. Kind of like thinking about how vast the universe is and how small we must really be when compared to all the other things God created. Yet, we are one of the most complex. The universe wasn’t given choices or options. The sun doesn’t get to decide if it shows up for work any given day or if it can leave early. Even if today is the day with the most amount of sunlight in it for this entire year. There is a set pattern and it is adhered to. Sometimes, I wish that for myself. I think healthful eating, diet, and exercise would be much easier if I didn’t have a choice in the matter. Making decisions is often difficult for me. That’s a whole other blog topic in itself! Haha! I don’t like making decisions, but I think that part of it is because I would rather NOT disappoint people. And in decisions, there is always someone who doesn’t get what they want and I don’t like that! I want to make everyone happy. I think, also, my depression is part of what makes decision-making a difficult endeavor. I navigate that just fine most of the time, but if it isn’t an important, life-altering decision, I will defer to someone else to make it. 

Knowing that God has only appropriated a certain amount of days in our lives is sobering. At least to me. I do try my best to accomplish something meaningful every single day. I don’t know who originally said this saying I am about to share with you, but I know it will resonate with the wonderful lady who edits my blog because it was from an article in our local paper about her dad and they had quoted him in it. It meant so much to me that I’ve never forgotten it: “Count that day lost whose low descending sun views from thy hand no worthy action done.” Upon reading that phrase, I thought about how many times I hadn’t done anything worthy. I may have stayed busy but I made no significant progress or difference in my world. No worthy action. Another quote I have adopted and try very much to remember and live by is this: “Nothing is wasted that adds to the person you are.” Once again, I don’t know who said it originally, but I try to remember it when I am doing something I don’t really enjoy or could easily find an excuse to get out of doing or when I need to motivate myself to keep moving even when I would rather not. I also think about it when I am doing something that I shouldn’t be doing or when I am procrastinating or putting off the important things because I just don’t feel like it at the time or even when I start to binge watch a series I have come across on Netflix! Some indulgences are harder to put away than others! 

There will never be enough minutes in our day, enough years in our lives, or enough time granted with our family and friends. But that doesn’t mean that the time we do have can’t be more full than we could ever imagine. To me, the older I get, the easier it is to be content with where I am. I have never really required much “stuff” and that’s even more so as time goes on. For me, being surrounded by the people I love, in the spaces I love – any given set of four walls – and doing the things I love have become the most important things to me. Working on myself, physically, emotionally, and spiritually is paramount in achieving all the things I want to do with those people in those spaces. Maybe, in the future, I will shift my focus to all the things I can accomplish in the time I have instead of wondering about how that time can best benefit me. There is a lot I believe God has called me to accomplish in this life and I need to focus on those things and keep my commitment and resolve to do what’s best for my own health and wellness or I won’t be able to do the things He has asked of me. I owe that much to myself and to my family and those He would have for me to help. And I need to remember . . . I am worth it. I really am. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

All Sales Are Final?

This week has been a very interesting and emotionally exhausting week. On Monday, Wade’s dad went to the emergency room while on vacation because of a suspected heart attack and blood clots in his lungs. He is home resting and recuperating now. There are a LOT of life lessons that we have all taken away from this week. One of those is just how short and precious and fragile life really is. Another is about the culture in which men have been conditioned to be the “strong ones” who have to hold everything together when it would be fine and acceptable to fall apart. Even in our house where we have preached feelings and emotions and expression I have a couple of sons who thought they needed to be the strong ones for their dad as he dealt with the reality of what was happening with his dad. And maybe sometime soon, I will write about some of these things. But, as trying as this week was as a family, it was also a good week, for me personally. I saw a few pounds come off the scale number. I made good choices, most of the time, regarding the food I was eating. I do need to be moving more even still. These short walks I am settling for are not cutting it. But, one of the most exciting things to happen in quite a while is an unexpected employment opportunity. Now, I am still with NEWYOU and working my business and helping people with their health and wellness. I will still be doing that. But I really could use a supplement to our income. If you remember, I have a child in college. And in case y’all didn’t know, that ain’t cheap! It isn’t inexpensive in any way! This new opportunity would still allow me to work from home, still set my own schedule, and still allow me to work my NEWYOU CBD business to continue helping others! That, to me, is a win-win-win! I have missed outside employment. I have missed talking to people. I am a people-person to the highest degree. I talk. A LOT. I love to exchange ideas and thoughts and conversations with folks who like to do the same. I will keep you updated as this week unfolds. I know the competition for this opportunity is pretty stout, but if it is what God has in store for me, then that’s where I will end up! Prayers and good thoughts are appreciated. This week had me thinking a lot about the different decisions we make and how they impact every aspect of our life. 

Thirteen years ago, in 2008, I was a stay-at-home-mom to a 7-year-old and a 3-year-old . . . two boys. My sister, Carly, was working in a dental office but knew she was going to be leaving soon. At the time, I wasn’t looking for employment. In fact, the owners of that office had offered me the position Carly was going to be vacating and I politely declined. They offered again after hiring someone who wasn’t a good fit. And again, I declined. Then, once more, when another long-time employee was going to be leaving, they offered again. I finally said yes. Wade and I made the decision that an extra income would be helpful to our growing and increasingly expensive family. Because of that decision, I worked in the dental field for 12 years, growing with the position and becoming more polished in some very valuable skills. I will be ever grateful for the opportunity I was handed and just as thankful that I finally made the decision to say yes! However, last year, when Covid hit the nation and shut things down, I needed to make a decision once again. One of our sons really struggled with the shut downs. And when looking at the little rural areas of Northeastern Colorado we watched many children, yes children, take their own lives because of the depression and hopelessness they felt. We were afraid that something like that could happen with our son and we concluded that one of us should make a decision to come home and be here for him when he needed us most. That person was me. It was the easiest decision to make for me because there isn’t much I wouldn’t do for my kids. I also made the decision to come home for ME. I had been in a rough spot mentally and emotionally and the stress of the position I was in was really affecting me. The benefits of stepping out of that career have far outweighed any negative effects that have come. But, it all came down to decisions. 

My mentor in my CBD business has said many times that people can make the wrong decision on something and then spend the rest of their lives defending it instead of making a different decision. They treat that decision like all sales are final. No take-backs, no refunds, and no exchanges. I have said for years that life is nothing more than a series of rooms. We spend our whole life surrounded by four walls. Of course, the people inside those four walls vary based on what rooms we are in and sometimes, we are in a room all alone. But the decisions we make determine what rooms we end up in. Think back on the rooms in your life. There are so many! I remember rooms where joy and love and laughter burst out through any crack they could find. I remember the rooms I was in when I became a mom to my first born son. . . and again to my youngest son. I remember the room I was in when we said goodbye to loved ones. I remember the room I was in when I married Wade. I remember rooms where the walls and ceiling and floor all ran together because of the tears of pain and grief in my eyes. I think we are defined by how we handle events that happen in those rooms. 

It is never too late to make a different decision. I made the decision to leave a great job last year because I knew it was what was best for me and for my family at the time. I made the decision and when I did, I thought, well, that’s it . . . almost like I would never want to or have to make a different decision about it ever again. But God has His plans for us and they aren’t revealed to us in full (sometimes not even in part) until He is ready for us to glimpse what He has for our lives. But the lesson here is that NO DECISION IS EVER FINAL when it comes to our lives. Things change. They grow or they deteriorate depending on the situation. But they change. And through those changes I have realized that I am ready for more. More interaction with others than what I am having right now. I feel that the last year has healed me in miraculous ways . . . ways I NEVER could have imagined if I were still working 40 hours a week outside the home. I have had the time and the energy to put into myself to heal hurts that have been in my life for what seems like an impossibly long time. Thankfully, this new opportunity would still allow some of that to happen! And I am so thankful for that. I made it through the first round of interviews into the second round and have made the decision that if this position is offered to me, I will gladly step into it! A different decision . . . and I am hopeful!

The older I get the more I realize just how temporary everything on this earth is. Seasons, years, time, health, family . . . all of it fleeting. Our decisions are made where we are and with the best information we have available at the time. But over time, things are revealed that help us understand better than we did before and there is absolutely nothing wrong with making a different decision based on new and updated information when the situation calls for it. I would rather make a different decision than stay stuck in a rut defending the decision I initially made just because I am stubborn. And you know what a rut is, right? The best definition I have ever heard for the word “rut” is this: A grave with both ends kicked out. Ruts can be fatal. So whatever it is . . . healthful eating, weight loss, fitness, your job/career, your schooling, your house, your car, or your personal finances, if it isn’t serving you and ultimately leading you to your best, it’s not too late to make a different decision. And know that you have the support of family and friends who will stand beside and behind and under and in front of you to help you in any way they can. Remember, those who would judge you for changing your mind aren’t worth your worry. Those who love you will support you in whatever it is that will make you happy and feel your best. Those people are YOUR people. They are the only ones who matter and the only ones who are allowed to have an opinion when it comes to you and your new decision. Remember, you are worth whatever it takes to be happy and healthy!

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

A Container In God’s Garden

This week has been a fun week! My husband, Wade, was on the last week of his two week vacation. He spent the first week in Michigan visiting his best buddy. He went fishing everyday and caught too many fish to count. Most of them went back into the lake, of course. This week, while he was still on a high from last week, I asked him to help me get my flowers purchased and clean our deck area and get things ready for a fantastic summer! He has gladly catered to  my whims this week. And I love him for that. He planted his garden with tomatoes, cucumbers and green and red bell peppers . . . ummmmm, he may have told me yellow but I can’t remember now. I guess we will see when they start coming on, huh? *wink wink* I found out last year that I really, REALLY love flower gardening. I planted numerous containers and hanging baskets and a flower bed in the front yard. I did the same this year. Some plants I liked enough last year that I bought them again this year. And others, I swapped out for something new. I added a double shepherd’s hook pole and put a couple hanging baskets on it. I love it all! I noticed a few things this week that I quickly turned into lessons for myself and I wanted to share a couple today. 

Along with all the flowers, Dracaena Spikes, and Vinca Vines, I needed to make all the combinations I desired, I also purchased six sweet potato vine plants. They came in their own nice pots but I wanted some of them (four to be exact) to be in hanging pots and one in a larger container in the front driveway. So I transplanted them. I had the same plants last year and was completely amazed and entertained with how their vines stretched out and grew along the privacy fence. They spread out so much. I was sad when the season ended because that had to come to an end, also. I noticed something when I was watering the day after I transplanted them into the hanging baskets and the large container in the driveway. The plant in the larger container had already spread out to take up much of the available space in that container. The two plants that are hanging at the front door are in a pot that are about half the size of the larger container. They aren’t spread out nearly as much. They are restricted. If you’ve had ANY experience with gardening, or even caring for an indoor plant, I know you will understand that the plant you are caring for really is limited by the space it’s contained in. The pot you have it planted in will dictate how large its ultimate growth will be. I’ve repotted a few of my indoor plants a couple times and they always grow and take up as much of their new space as is physically possible.

I started thinking about all the ways I have found in my life to limit myself. I am that sweet potato vine. I have been in small pots and I have been in large containers. But, I feel like I have managed in some way to sabotage myself most of the time before I even get a chance to grow to fill the space that I could inhabit. Maybe this is something else I have found while “Losing Lacy” . . . a desire to be ALL that God intended me to be. I know that sounds kinda corny and maybe even a little cliche. But I am realizing, finally, at 42, what kind of potential I have. Now, please know, I don’t think I am special or better than anyone. But I do think I can do just about anything I put my mind to. So why have I settled in many areas of my life?  That’s more of a rhetorical question and I really can’t answer it here with only one or two sentences. The point is, I am asking that question of myself. But, because this blog is intended to help me and to help you, I would like you to examine your life and your hopes and dreams and expectations. Ask yourself that same question with me. 

Another thought I had this week was about how much happiness comes from being outside digging in the dirt with the flowers and plants and nature. For me, I discovered last year, there is something very healing and calming about being outdoors and doing just that. I made a discovery this week. I have already shared with you that I had gained a little weight since last November. I think part of what I learned this week is that I am going to have to find a way to keep myself much more physically active through the winter months. I went through a small patch of depression through these last months. And although I had been painting and had been enjoying that happiness, it wasn’t as physically challenging as I needed it to be. This was the first fall and winter I hadn’t worked outside the home in almost 13 years. I do know that I miss people. I sometimes miss the crazy, busy days I had when I worked in the dental office. I miss the way that no day was ever the same. They were always busy but never the same. I am going to do a better job this year of working on all that I just mentioned. I think another part of it for me was that it was the first fall and winter where we weren’t completely busy with sports. Franklin didn’t do a winter sport and Ben was away at college. I will need to find a way to stay busier on that front, too. All this to say that I know better what I need to do to stay active, and stay out of depression this coming year. I have another 6 months to prepare for it, but I have to keep myself on track with diet and exercise through the summer to get back where I was to start! I can. I know I can. 

The last thing I thought about when planting was how I will need to start weeding these beautiful flower beds and pots! Of course, that made me think about all the crap we deal with in our lives that needs weeded out. There is beauty in each one of us. We have to make sure we are tending to the watering and fertilizing of our souls on a regular basis. But there are other housekeeping issues to deal with, too. We have weeds popping up all around the flowers in our lives. We have weeds of doubt, limiting beliefs, other people’s opinions, fear and many other things. We have no choice but to pull all those things out by the roots. And as soon as they are spotted. Just like weeds in our flowers, the longer they linger there, the deeper their roots grow and the more difficult they will be to get up and out. Weeds grow so fast. I swear one day there’s nothing and the next you go out and there is this annoying little stem that is a half an inch high and has three leaves on it already. Get them out. Focus on you and what you know to be best for you. It doesn’t matter what other people think. It doesn’t matter how scared you are. It doesn’t matter who has gone before you and succeeded or failed. What matters is that you keep going until you get to where you want to be. The only way you can enjoy the beauty of the flowers is by pulling the weeds out of the way. Those weeds take the nutrients and water and sunlight that the beautiful flowers need to continue to grow and become what they are supposed to be.

The planting, weeding, watering, fertilizing and tending to flowers is time consuming and even tiring at times. But it’s really worth it. I believe the grass is greener and the flowers are prettier where you water them. I think we are at our best when we bloom where we are planted and let our seeds of hope and happiness fill the air and sail on to replant as fresh starts that will grow with time. And I believe that we are all capable of SO MUCH MORE than many of us ever come to realize. As you take in the beauty of the spring and summer please know that you are worth more than settling. You are worth finding your passions and fulfilling your dreams. We are all worth it. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

If The Tradition Fits

Some weeks, it seems, there are topics that just keep coming up again and again across many different conversations. This week was no different. Nearly every single day, I heard, “That’s just how we have always done it.” Or, “It’s tradition.” I am not kidding when I say almost everyday in a different setting or conversation this topic arose. There is a lot to think about when it comes to tradition and why it can either hurt you or help and bless you. Sometimes, it may even do both of those things. I wanted to spend a brief few minutes here today with you all sharing some thoughts on this.

There is something to be said for tradition’s place in our world. Religions, workplaces, celebrations, funerals, weddings, familial relationships, sports, schools, and many other things are steeped in tradition. And while there is nothing wrong with tradition when it’s properly employed and respected, there IS something wrong with doing things for traditions sake alone. There should be something in us that perks up a tad and maybe even questions something when we hear it said that, “This is the way we have always done it.” In an ever-changing world, our willingness to adapt is important. To me, as long as it doesn’t compromise who I am at my core and what I believe is right, moral, and good there isn’t anything wrong with letting go of tradition that isn’t serving any purpose other than the tradition itself. Things can get lost in translation sometimes, too. From one person to another. From one generation to another. Things need to be explained clearly. 

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the story of the girl who was watching her mother prepare a ham for a family gathering one evening. Her mother cut both ends off the ham. The girl questioned her about it. The mother said that this was the way that her grandmother had always done it, and it was how she learned to do it, so she just continued. The mother assumed there had to be a valid reason for doing it, like the ends would get too hard, or it could soak up more juices during cooking, so she just continued that tradition without really understanding why. The girl then called her grandmother to ask what the reason might be. The grandmother gave the same answer her mother had given. She said her mom always did it that way and she assumed there was a good reason for it, so she just continued. She told the girl to call her great-grandmother and ask what the reason might be. The girl did just that. When she asked her great-grandmother if the ends would get too hard, or if the ham soaked up more juice while cooking, the great-grandmother said, “No. Nothing like that. I never had a pan large enough to fit the entire ham so I had to cut the ends off to make it fit!” The story gives us a good picture of how much meat had likely been wasted through the years simply because they were doing something they were taught to do without question. This can translate to many different areas of our lives. In other ways and other circumstances, traditions can certainly help us. We are often the recipients of blessings because of the traditions that our families and others have put into practice. Personally, I think of our family traditions around certain events and times. Those have brought blessings for sure. I mean, my mom DID cook the whole ham, though. *wink-wink*

This week I heard and thought a lot about these two phrases: “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” or “If it’s not broken don’t fix it.” While I understand the idea behind both of these, I tend to disagree slightly. Sometimes, we miss out on improvements that really are beneficial and can enhance our way of life. Think about the actual wheel itself . . . how many times has it changed? How many ways have light bulbs evolved? How have cars changed over the years? To me, there’s nothing wrong with seeking to improve upon things that are working to make them even easier, more convenient, or beneficial. 

Now, how does this translate to my health and wellness journey, you ask? I think that we can swap the word “tradition” for the word “habit” here. Traditions are typically a broader-scoped term that involves many people. Habits can be rooted in tradition but can be scaled down to the individual. But the same concepts can apply to both. We can easily see how there are habits formed that almost become tradition when it comes to weight loss, health and wellness, and exercise. There are groups of people who say, “This is the way weight loss works best.” Or, “This is the way it needs to be done to achieve the highest level of fitness.” Again, these habits can either hinder/hurt us or bless/help us. Through the years, we have seen aerobics, yoga, weight training, cardio, and other “health crazes” take hold. I believe there are a couple of different camps when it comes to all the ways health can be achieved. There are those who will jump on ANY and EVERY new thing that comes along. And there are others who want to stick to what they have always done because they’ve always done it that way. Neither of those are wrong. They are just different. But not wrong. 

When it comes to figuring out what works for you, in either tradition or habit, you have to find what resonates with you. You have to find what works best for you. There is always room for improvement. Always. I don’t think that we ever reach the point of perfection in anything we do. And I can’t say that everyTHING will reach a point at which it can no longer be improved. The best way is to find out how things work best and help you. More importantly, use what you’ve learned to evaluate the best way forward in any situation. And figure out WHY you are doing what you do the way you are doing it. When I was going to school to be a teacher, one of the math classes I took taught us how to teach math to others. One of the most important points our instructor relayed to us was to make sure we were explaining to those we were teaching the WHY behind what and how we were doing things. When you can figure out the why behind your actions, it helps the actions make sense. And over time, it becomes clearer. Figure out what traditions/habits are working for you. Figure out WHY you are doing them in the first place. If you can’t come up with a valid reason for doing something the way you are doing it, seek out those who have done it before. Let them explain what they were thinking and what the reasons behind their actions are. Then make a decision to stick with it or move along. Either one of those is fine as long as your “why” follows you. Whatever you do, don’t be satisfied with doing it a certain way because “it’s tradition.” You might end up losing a lot of good meat that way. And, in the end, do it your way. You’re worth it.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Sunglasses Needed

I was sitting inside about an hour ago and, because of the spring-time status in Colorado, I had all of my windows open. There is quite a wind blowing outside right now. And, just like yesterday, we are under a tornado watch until later this evening. Earlier, sitting inside with the breeze blowing through, I noticed it was chilly. I got a little cold so I decided to make a mug of coffee and head outside for some sunshine. It was lovely. I kicked my legs up on our firepit and let the lower half of my body soak in the hot sun while the upper half warmed up drinking my coffee. As I leaned back in my chair I looked up to check out the fast-moving, white, puffy clouds zooming by overhead. (Yes . . . “white, puffy clouds” is a technical, sciency term.) It was so bright I had to squint to watch the clouds moving above me. They were moving so fast it almost looked like the tree in front of them was on a conveyor belt moving in the opposite direction. There are all kinds of things to see in the clouds and I am one who could spend hours . . . literally . . . just spacing out watching them move above. I started thinking about how many times we have heard, “Get your head out of the clouds! Dreams and hopes don’t pay the bills.” Now, just like anyone who has ever heard that before, I do understand what it means. But what if they do? What if dreams can lead us to our true calling and purpose? We should have dreams and hopes and ambitions so big they scare us. 

I think we all have a future that is determined by what we do with our present. We are all accountable for our actions, or inactions, as it sometimes happens. I do believe that we live in a country in a time when just about anything is possible. It all goes according to what God’s will is for our lives, but I think if we find His will, and align ours with it, we can accomplish some amazing things. Some things take a little more work but when you actually get to reap the reward of the work you have put in . . . sometimes for YEARS . . . it is one of the most rewarding things you can experience. 

I have shared with you already that I took a break. I stopped working so hard on my physical health. Stopped being so disciplined and so focused on the things I was eating and the physical activity I was making sure I was doing daily. I can honestly say that I was almost ready in recent weeks to just stop altogether. But you know, something happened. I am not feeling as “good” as I have for the last two years. I know in part it’s my diet that has not been as healthful as it needs to be. I know in part it’s my physical exercise that is lacking. But it all boils down to understanding what I need to do and do it. I have been better these last couple weeks. But I need to stay there. And I am here to say, that is a bit more challenging than not. But I can and I need to do it. I need to stay on the path to better health for myself. Because my future is bright. 

Sure, there underneath the clouds and sun and sky exists a lot of stuff for us to clean up, take care of, and get through. Just as spring can be about cleaning up the remaining fall leaves and readying our flower beds for this year’s beauty, in the world of weight loss the clean up includes things like meal prep, and exercise, and portion control. But it is worth it. Just as I said above. It is rewarding to reap the harvest after the hard work you put in to plant the good things in your life. 

I am loving what I am doing in the present. And I do believe it is shaping my future, in more than one way. I am able to help people feel and even look better with the CBD products I have available to them. I love that so many have lost weight using our products. I enjoy getting those phone calls from folks I don’t even know who tell me that they got my number from someone they know who was helped by my CBD. I love it! I love even more when it is someone who has been frustrated with the state of their own weight and health. They have tried numerous things, just as I did, and nothing ever really stuck. Those are my people. I believe that one of my dreams is helping shape my future . . . the dream of being thinner and healthier . . . the dream of not worrying about what people are thinking about my body when they see the large frame in front of them. I have been uncomfortable with both forms of attention I have received in regards to my body . . . those glances and looks I would get because I was so big, and the comments and questions I have received after losing some weight. A year ago, the company I am affiliated with for the CBD weight loss products I sell asked me to do a testimonial with photos of before and “during” weight loss for their product. That was both an honor and a little intimidating for me at the same time. I am not one who enjoys the spotlight. But if this particular spotlight is where God placed me to help others, then I will gladly stand in it. I want to help people. But I have to continue to help myself also. 

I don’t think God ever intended for us to “just live” our lives. I believe He wants us to LIVE our life. Don’t just go through life. Don’t just go through the motions. Really DO life. Keep your head in the clouds. See what you can see in them. Let your imagination run wild. Let your dreams lead you. I am here to tell you . . . our future’s so bright we may need sunglasses to be able to see it. ‘Cause, I don’t know about you, but squinting gives me a serious headache. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

From Beginning To End

We have arrived at the end of the school year. Baccalaureate and Graduation have just happened in the last couple days and before you know it, a new group of young, inspired, ambitious adults will be headed into the world; some to college, some to the workforce, but all on their own. I watched our oldest dive headlong into a life all his own this past year. We sent a boy to college and after the first year we got back, well, an older boy. Kidding. We sent a young man out into the world and have seen him grow and change in the most wonderful ways. The end of this year makes Franklin a Junior in High School. Only two more years. I remember thinking that with Ben, also. Only two more years . . . But the end of one thing most typically signals the beginning of another. I attended graduation and have multiple grad parties to attend yet today, so will keep this brief. I just want to touch on a few thoughts I have had about the ending/beginning of things.

There is a movie I really, REALLY like called, “Hope Floats.” It’s a tear-jerker that is packed with some wonderful life lessons embedded in the realities portrayed. There is a quote toward the end of the movie that has always stuck with me. It says, “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.” 

Beginnings are scary. They always are. I remember very well the first day of every job I have ever had. I remember the anxiety and tension and apprehension. I remember the drive to learn fast and learn well and then apply what I had learned to what I had to do and do it to the best of my ability. But the scary parts are what stick out. I remember trying to remember all of the new things. I remember being afraid of screwing up. But the important thing is, I remember. I also remember the last day of every job I have ever had. I remember the emotions welling up because of the separation that was about to happen. I think back to my most recent employment at the dental clinic. I remember having lots of people through the years begin and end their time with our office. And I remember thinking once that I didn’t know if I would ever be able to leave the office. It was comfortable and I loved the job. I loved the patients. I miss the patients and people I worked with over the years. I couldn’t imagine my life apart from doing that job. But if Covid has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected and never think things will stay the same forever. In fact, before Covid we knew that. We know that the only thing that NEVER changes is change itself. Things are in a constant state of growth and change. If it isn’t it is dead. We are green and growing or ripe and rotting. If the job at the dental clinic hadn’t come to an end, I wouldn’t be where I am right now, personally or professionally. I have grown and changed A LOT in the last year. 

But just like the quote says, the middle is where I remember the most joy and growth and life happening. It was there, in all things, that I have loved and laughed and lived. The relationships and the battles I fought have made me who I am. Not the first day or the last day. The middle. I remember the day the boys were born. I don’t remember with the same exactness all of the days between, but I do know that if I had to forget their birth to remember the rest I would happily do that. Yes, the day they arrived was special. Those two days were the best days of my life, quite honestly. But, between here and there are those moments where we have made the important things happen. It’s what is in the middle that counts. 

As I look back on the first day of the health journey I started, I can remember the excitement of it all. I can remember what I ate . . . every snack and meal . . . all day long. I remember how I felt. I remember what I thought. I don’t remember every single day between then and now, but again, it’s where all the change and growth for me has happened. I have loved and hated this journey. I have wanted to keep going and wanted to quit on this journey. I have succeeded and failed; I have laughed and cried; I have crawled and I have run. But in all of it, I have continued because I know it’s the MIDDLE of the process, the time I am living in right now, that will make or break the entire journey. I wanted to encourage you today, wherever you are, to keep pushing forward. If you haven’t started, then start. There is no “right time” to start something new. How is today any different from next week or next month? If anything, next week and next month, I am only older and even more stubborn, right? Get going. If you’ve started already, then keep moving. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t quit on yourself. If you’ve come to the end, then reach back and offer help and support to those who haven’t quite arrived at the end of your journey. I am in the middle. I am not quitting until I reach the end. I don’t know exactly what that is going to look like. But what I do know is that life is already great. With the hard work and sacrifice I have already employed it can only continue to get better from here. Beginning, middle, end. I am worth it. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

The Tale of Two Moms

I have thought about this blog all week. Now, I don’t ALWAYS think about my blog all week. Sure, sometimes, something will happen during the week and I will see a life lesson in it and think to myself that the lesson could turn out to be a good blog at some point so I tuck it away in the “log of blogs” in my mind (actually I put it in my notes app on my phone). But, today is Mother’s Day. And I have thought all week long about possibly writing to share just a little more of myself and what has shaped me throughout my life with you, my readers and supporters. This isn’t a topic I think about all the time. If I am honest, it enters my mind once a day, at least, but I don’t dwell on it and spend much time on the subject. But it is there, nonetheless. I have had two mothers in my life. And really, like most of us, when you count the “other mother-figures” who have also shaped who I am, I have had more than just that. I have had mentors and other spiritual role models who have truly had a hand in my becoming the woman of God, the wife and mother I am today. But, I want to focus on two mothers today. The one who “brought me” and the one who “got me” . . . to raise. I feel like I need to say this right off . . . The point of today’s blog is not to make anyone sad or for me to gain anyone’s sympathy. It’s actually to give some hope and love to those Moms out there who are struggling with any aspect of “mothering” and that is all I am hoping to do.

My birth Mom, the one who “brought me” into this world, DeAnna (DeDe or Deed to those who knew and loved her) died in a motorcycle accident when I was 3 years old. My little sister, Carly, was 15 months old. Dede was 20. A whole 20 years old. (Wade and I have been married for longer than she was even alive.) I remember very little about her. I have some memories around her, but can’t remember her voice, or see her smile (outside the photos of her), or remember her scent. I remember events with her . . . I remember her as she left for work and I would stand at the door and tell her to, “Honk me, Mommy!” I have a memory of her in a striped sweater outside in the backyard of the house we lived in pushing me on the swing set. But I don’t have many memories. And that’s okay. My second Mom, the one who “got me”, has done a masterful job at filling in all the blanks my questioning mind has ever had. In fact, I just asked the Mom who “got me” the other day how tall DeDe was and what size of bra she wore. I know, strange questions, but they come up. Did she have pretty nails? Did she like to paint her toes? Were her toes as ugly as mine? What about her eyelashes? Did she wear a lot of makeup? Did she love me and Carly? Did she have any allergies? Was she as quirky and strange as I am? Her Mom, my second Mom, has answered all of these questions and more. And I’ve been fortunate to be able to know and see some of her friends on occasion and they have told me stories and shared things about her also. 

I have always had a hard time figuring out how to love the Mom who “got me” and remember and honor the one who “brought me”. I couldn’t have been blessed any more than I was with the Mom I “inherited” after DeDe died. Betty, DeDe’s Mom, stepped into a role she wasn’t exactly sure of and has told me she didn’t think she deserved. She and I have talked at length about the pain of losing my Mom, for both of us, and that she felt that she never really deserved any of the “praise” for raising me and Carly. People would compliment her on an accomplishment that Carly or I had worked for and she would thank them, but not really let herself enjoy it. And I think that has been the hardest part for her. The Mom who “brought me” has never been forgotten. She has never been replaced. She was just gone and no one was to blame and no one could change it. So, you know what you do, you just keep moving forward. You take what you know and you do what is best for all involved. And that is what Betty, my Mom, did. I remember the day I finally asked Betty, still my Grandma, if my Mom, Dede, after she died was ever going to come back. I was sitting on the dryer as she was folding clothes. She told me that God had taken my Mom to Heaven. I asked when she was coming back. She told me that she wasn’t going to be able to come back but that we would see her again someday. I remember feeling a little panicked . . . like, EVERYONE needs a MOM. I need a Mom. I remember asking, “Well, then can I call YOU Mom?” And from that day on, she was my Mom. I don’t even remember calling her “Grandma”. It’s been “Mom” for so long. We would confuse people often because they didn’t know whether to refer to Betty as our Mom or Grandma. And by the same token, I remember well telling people I needed to ask my Grandma, then turn and say, “Hey, Mom, can I . . . ? But we knew. And that was all that mattered.

Through the years, I have missed the Mom who “brought me” . . . high school graduation, my wedding, the births of my children . . . you know, the BIG things. And everytime, I am more grateful for the Mom who “got me!” And even still, sometimes, in the small things I miss DeDe. I have felt guilty sometimes for feeling like there is any sadness or any kind of void there because let me tell you, I won the mother jackpot when it comes to the Mom that “got me”. But I know she feels that sadness sometimes, too. And that, to me, is one more level of connection for us. We both miss the same person. The one she knew and loved and the one I loved but didn’t have a chance to know. I think on some level, we both have lived our lives trying to make DeDe proud. Mom, because of the way she was raising her daughters, and me, because of who I was and wanted to become. My mom that “got me” tells me all the time how much like DeDe I am. And that makes me smile. 

I want to encourage all moms today to keep on doing what they are doing. We are going to screw things up. Sometimes, I think that’s part of the job. We are not perfect. We are not always going to make the right choices when it comes to our kids. But, at the end of the day, if they know you love them, then you’ve done your job. Keep working on YOU. Keep loving yourself through all the hard times; all the times when you question what you are doing. Mothering doesn’t come with a manual. Well, I mean, I have always considered the Bible the manual for all things that don’t actually have a manual, but, you know what I mean. Keep praying, keep trying, keep loving. That’s all you need to do. And when it gets really tough, just remember, your kids could be here doing life without you. And that would be worse than any “screw up” real or imagined. 

There are a lot of things in life that we as humans, no matter how close we are to friends or family, just never really talk about. I have said from the beginning that this blog would be healing for me and help for others, hopefully. And, if nothing else, it has been healing for me and that’s a fact. And I feel more free to talk a little about some of the things that have truly shaped who I am and where I am headed. I have grown and healed a lot in the last year. And I really wanted to share with you the amazing woman who “got me” and raised me to be the woman I am today. I owe so much of who I am to her. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there. Those moms who have loved and lost; those who are mothers to other people’s children through adoption; those who were unable to have children of their own and never adopted but loved and nurtured and blessed other people by pouring themselves into them instead. I am honored to know some of the most wonderful moms out there. And I truly hope I have been and will be even half the mother to my boys as I have been blessed to have and know. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Fear Not

What a week! Actually . . . what a couple of weeks! It’s been a whirlwind of activity for me in the last 14 days. While I am really okay with that, I will say I am a little exhausted. Let me lay this out for you so you know what I am complaining about. *haha* I left my house last Tuesday, April 20th, and headed to Hastings to watch Ben play baseball. I stayed in Hastings overnight. I left Hastings Wednesday morning and headed to Oklahoma where I stayed with my dad overnight. They fed me and took care of me and let me rest before leaving there on Thursday morning for the last leg of my trip which took me to Texas . . . to the beautiful hill country of Spring Branch, Texas, which is just north of San Antonio. I didn’t do any of the normal touristy things while there as there just wasn’t enough time. I had a lot of business to accomplish. I stayed with wonderful friends who are like family, Ken and Mary, and once again, I was more than well cared for. I left Spring Branch on Tuesday morning and stayed in Amarillo overnight before coming the rest of the way home on Wednesday. Then, you know, because I love being in the car so dang much, Franklin and I drove back to Hastings (actually past Hastings to Fremont, NE) to watch Ben play his last baseball games of the season. We stayed overnight in Hastings and came home later Friday evening. I spent 46 hours in my car in 10 days. More if you count the driving we did while I was in Texas. I will say that unless I absolutely have to be gone, I am home for a while. I am done! While I was in Texas, Ken, Mary and I did take a trip that Sunday after church so I could visit the Empty Cross in Kerrville, TX. It was an amazing experience where you can feel the presence of God and worship Him in spirit and in truth, as the book of John says. We met a group of ladies there who were from a San Antonio ministry for women struggling with addiction. It was great to make their acquaintance and Mary felt led to talk with them and ask if they would like us to pray for/with them. They graciously said they would appreciate that. So we did. We prayed with them and we were all blessed by that. I can’t speak for Ken or Mary but I will tell you they were heavy on my heart and mind on the return trip back to Spring Branch and well into the evening. This blog has been about my weight loss journey and things I have discovered about myself through it all. And I had a lot of time in the car, by myself, the last two weeks. I prayed, I worshipped, I sang (A LOT), I thought, I discovered and I came to a few conclusions. And I want to share a couple of those thoughts with you today. 

The first one came from the trip to the Empty Cross. That group of ladies we encountered and prayed with touched me. They impacted me. Only God knows their full stories. And that is fine. I don’t need to know the story about someone to pray for them, and reach out to them, to reach for them, where they are. God knows. And as I have prayed each day for them, I just pray for what God knows is there. But coming home I thought about how difficult their journey back will be for them. They have lived through a sort of hell on earth. Some have been separated from family. Some have been separated from their children. All have been separated from the life they dreamed of having at one point. And I would bet all of them felt separated from God’s love and grace at one time or another through their journey. Addiction of ANY kind is a terrible thing to struggle with. Our family has first hand experience with what addiction can do. It can tear families apart. It can destroy the lives of many in the blink of an eye, it seems. It is so easy to judge from the outside, too. You may think when you look in, “Why can’t they just put *insert addiction here* down?” Drugs, alcohol, pornography, cigarettes, sex, food . . . whatever it is. My struggle has always been with food. I dealt with something much, MUCH smaller than what they do and I still couldn’t get a grip, it seemed. Why couldn’t I have more self control? Why couldn’t I tell myself “no” once in a while? Why did I like how food made me feel? Why did I think that hiding behind layers of fat would protect me from WHATEVER I thought I needed protection from? I am here to tell you, if I had the answers to those questions and the hundred others that bounced off the walls of my mind every day, I would be a very wealthy girl for being able to “sell the secrets” of my success to those asking themselves the same questions. The best I can do right now is to reach out to others, whether through this blog or through my business, and offer them hope for a change. Let them know they aren’t alone. They still have to take the hand I have extended but it is there for them to take. I want to help others. That’s one of my highest callings right now. Parenting is still number one for me at this moment in time. But you get what I am saying. 

Another thing that I thought about didn’t actually come to mind until I was a few hours from home on Wednesday. That thought was, “Dang, girl. You just drove for 34 freakin’ (yes, I said freakin’) hours ALONE across 5 states! What on earth were you thinking?” And all of a sudden, I felt fear for the first time during my trip. Like actual fear. Of what? I don’t even know. But here’s where it helps to know me a little . . . As “The Most Interesting Man In The World” from the Dos Equis beer commercials would say, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis,” Lacy’s saying could be, “I don’t always fear stuff, but when I do it is usually, stupid, unsubstantiated crap.” I mean, I still sleep with a night light because I am that afraid of the dark. And, yes, I am married to one absolutely patient, saint of a man. My mind has a tendency to fear things that are completely irrational and even silly, if we look at them honestly. I had fears when I was much larger that I would choke and I was large enough that no one could get their arms around me to perform the Heimlich maneuver. Because I couldn’t find clothes that actually fit me in any store . . . ANY STORE . . . I had to order from catalogs. I feared that my house would burn down and I wouldn’t have clothes to wear until I could get them ordered from a catalog. I feared things that most people have probably never even thought about. And all of them were fairly unsubstantiated. None of them were anywhere close to happening. But you catch my drift here. I have also feared the unknown before. I think most of us have. Especially when things don’t seem to go the way they should or the way we expect. And as I thought about that, I thought about those girls and the fear they must have sometimes about the future and what that looks like for them. Sometimes, it’s easier to stay in an addiction or a circumstance rather than face what has happened and the consequences and the FEAR that nothing will ever be all right again. But major praise and props to those who can work through those fears and come out on the other side to be healed and whole again. 

Coming home, having that fear hit me like it did, working through that fear and recognizing the source of that fear, I was led to one big conclusion. I am done. I am done being afraid of the “new me” who’s waiting on the other side of fat Lacy. I am done being afraid of the unknown. I made a couple resolutions to myself in the car. One of those is to stay on track until I reach my ultimate goals with my weight loss. Another is to be as prepared as I can be for the other “crap” life can throw at me. Physically, mentally and spiritually prepared. As best as I can be anyway. There are a lot of battles to face in life. I don’t need to add to it with my unsubstantiated fears of things that will most likely never come to pass anyway. Wasting another moment on things that I could let steal from me is not an option any longer. I have mentioned Zach Williams before. He sings some pretty incredible songs and I want to leave a couple of his titles here for you to listen to. One is called, “Fear Is a Liar.” Another song is titled, “Come To The Table.” Look up his live version of that one. He talks about his own struggle with addiction when he is prefacing the song. They are incredibly powerful songs that really speak to the heart of fear and pain. And, yes, addiction. We are worth whatever it takes to live the life God intended for us. I have decided that life is too short to fear things that may not ever happen. And I am taking small steps to put my faith ahead of my fear. Just don’t ask me to give up my night light. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

The Devil’s In The Process

I was driving this week and saw farmers out working their fields. I love this time of year! We had a really wet snow the other day that handed our schools a snow day. My child was rather pleased. I was just happy it’s April and there was no trace of snow 24 hours later. And I was really happy with the moisture that our farmers received from it. I cannot imagine the stress of being a farmer. There are SO many variables to consider when planting, tending to the crops, and then eventually harvesting those crops. I am certain I couldn’t handle that stress. Truly. I can’t handle the stresses in my life as they are but I know our paychecks are pretty steady and consistent. That suits me. Schedules and routines and consistency are when I perform at my best and thrive in things. I do well when I know that if I do A, B, and C, then X, Y, and Z will inevitably follow. I know I am not alone in that! I am very conscientious and detail oriented. Nothing wrong with how others do things, but this is just how it works best for me. But sometimes I tend to focus a little too much on the results that SHOULD come from what I am doing instead of just keeping my head down and doing what I know I should. This is why I am fairly certain I couldn’t do the job of a farmer! Today, however, I am specifically thinking about my weight loss and own personal health journey. I do know that this applies in pretty much every area of life. And if you’ll follow me, I’ll touch on some of those things, also.

Most of my life, I have heard and believe fully that God is in control of all things. You’d think that alone would be enough for us not to worry. But I know that doesn’t always stop it. I think I have done a good job of trusting Him in most things. I get “concerned” about things from time to time, but I don’t really “worry” about much of anything. Worry won’t change anything. It never has and never will. If you ask my husband, HE is the “worrier” in our family. I am more of a “take it as it comes” kind of person. I think there are times when he wants me to worry a little more about things. ANY of the things, really. He is better now that he used to be in understanding that just because I don’t spend time worrying about things doesn’t mean I don’t care about them. Greatly, even. I was raised by a mom who helped me understand that if you’ve got time to worry, you’ve got time to pray. She also said, “If you’ve got time to lean (if you’re bored) you’ve got time to clean.” But that’s another lesson in itself! Haha. On the other hand, though, I have spent a lot of my life “worried” about how others perceive me. What do they think about me when they think about me? My dad told me once when I was a teenager that I wouldn’t worry about what others thought about me if I knew how little they did. What was he saying? He simply meant that people really don’t spend a lot of time thinking about others in a negative way . . . and really in ANY way at all. We all have SO much of our own crap to deal with on a day to day basis that we don’t accomplish anything worthwhile by dwelling on others. 

We taught our boys growing up that if they did certain things, they could expect certain results. In their sports lives especially. If they showed up, worked hard, listened to constructive criticism, did the drills and put in the work on their own, things would happen for them. Doors would open because they would grow their skill and their ability would eventually match their determination. I do believe that for most things, this is true. I read a Bible that tells me that through God ALL things are possible. We have probably all heard it said that those who are saying it can’t be done shouldn’t get in the way of those who are already doing it. Gut punch right there . . . for every time I said, “I CAN’T do this, or that . . . ” In my house, growing up, there were words you just didn’t say and “can’t” was one of those words. And we employed those same rules with our boys when we started our family. 

What does all this have to do with my weight loss? Well, I have been burned out. I wrote about that a couple blogs ago. I needed a break. Well, I took one. I slid backwards. And now I am refocusing and ready to go again. I desperately needed that break. It is hard work losing 150 pounds. I am here to testify to that. However, I am ready to get back on it and get to where I want to be. But the thing I have realized is this. Somewhere along the line I became very focused on the RESULTS instead of the process. Along with believing that God is in control of all things comes another belief of mine – I do my part in whatever it is I am doing and I CAN and NEED TO trust God with the results. The results aren’t mine to “worry” about. I can only do what I can do. I need to walk and exercise not because it’s going to make me thin or get me sexy looking or anything other than it will make me healthy. I need to eat better not because I am going to achieve a certain level of “hotness” along the way, but because for my body, mind and spirit to operate and perform at optimal levels they all need to be nourished with the right things. I need my Bible every day. I need to pray every day. I need to work on improving myself every single day. But for no other reason than it is the right thing to do. Somewhere along the line, I left the process for the picture in my mind of what things “could” look and be like someday. And when the numbers on the scale and the size in my jeans belie that picture in my mind, it’s very easy to become so completely frustrated and disillusioned that quitting seems reasonable. Why try if I can’t achieve what the ultimate picture in my mind says I should be able to achieve? 

I have spent a lot of time this week thinking about processes. The process of the farmer. The process of the athlete. The process of the mom raising her children. The process of spiritual growth. The process of weight loss. They all have one thing in common. They have to find the things and processes that work best for them, employ those things and trust the process to bring the desired results. Just like hail can wipe out a crop, many variables exist that have the ability to derail any weight loss plan or anything else for that matter. And I can’t allow my mind to be solely focused on the end result. I may never get to the goal weight I have in mind. I may never reach the pant size I really want to. Not because I am limiting myself. Not at all. I have a tendency to set some pretty lofty . . . even outlandish . . . goals for myself in all areas of my life. Things that are unreachable at times. But if I miss that goal, I am still a heck of a lot closer to it than I was when I started. Please understand I believe goals are important. But, It’s the things that fall between where I am right now and where my goals will take me that are worthy of my focus and attention. The result doesn’t matter if I am not doing everything in the middle of the process to make sure I have the best chance at getting to where my mind has pictured me in the end. If you can just trust yourself enough to go through the process then know that you can trust God with the results.Take the time to figure out what works best for you. Once you find it, just stick to it. Focus on the day-to-day. The rest will take care of itself.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Better Days Ahead

Our week has been riddled with challenges. Nothing huge and devastating. But things that need navigation for sure. To start, Wade dropped his truck at our friendly dealership to have a part replaced. He had “Googled” and “YouTubed” the “symptoms” and figured he had found what was wrong. It’s amazing what you can find on the internet. He has fixed a ton of things on his truck before by looking up what is wrong on YouTube and then purchasing the part and getting after it. He fixed his air conditioner last year. His brakes and some other stuff another time. Well, this time, he was right once again with the “diagnosis” after looking up the symptoms. However, the dealership called to let him know that it was a little more extensive than that. His transmission is done. So we are in the middle of getting a new transmission put in his 16 year old truck. We were supposed to go and watch Ben play ball on Wednesday, but the weather in Hastings caused cancellations and we ended up staying home. Ben called us this last week and said that his car had fallen victim to a fly ball during a softball game when he was practicing on the baseball field that neighbors the softball complex. His windshield shattered on the passenger side and will need to be replaced. We also received news about a family friend who will be dealing with some serious health challenges and that is absolutely weighing on us. Oh, and I ripped a hole in my jeans. That doesn’t sound as serious as the other things, but it was ONE MORE THING! It’s not like any of these are so completely overwhelming individually, but when you combine them, they seem to loom large. And I found myself this week looking forward to “better days ahead” and the promise of life continuing on. 

I am certain of one thing. Things will always change. And sometimes they change for the better and sometimes they change for the worse. But in any circumstance, just wait. Things will change. There are certain things in life you can’t plan for. We weren’t expecting any of the things that happened this week. But we have choices when it comes to dealing with them. I had reminded Wade when we got the news about the transmission that crap happens in life and we have the choice to respond or react. We have the choice to let it absolutely affect us and steal our joy, or we can realize that things REALLY could always be worse. Much worse. We tend to focus so much on what is going wrong at the moment that we forget about what’s going right. This week held plenty of joy for us also. Wade’s twin nephews celebrated a birthday this week. His niece went to Winter Park with the high school band and they took first place in their competition there. I got to be with my mom as she took a little test drive in a Ford Bronco Sport. That was a fun time. And I am excited about spring and the coming summer and warmer weather and FLOWERS!!! And my scale was really nice to me as I recorded a LOSS for the first time in a while. It’s encouraging to see when I have been so stalled out and flat for a LONG time. 

Today, Wade and I both woke up not feeling good. So I am keeping this rather short today, but I still wanted to share a few thoughts with you to encourage you to keep going. Even when things seem to be coming at you in waves. Remember that we aren’t in this alone. Friends, family and faith are always here to keep you from going under. We have to seek out the positive things in life sometimes. But if you search for it you will find it. It is better than focusing on the negative and letting that ruin your day, week, month or year. This past year has been super challenging for all of us. And I pray that we are coming to the end of a lot of that. Even still, we have a choice on how we are going to deal with it and let it all affect us. Choose love and kindness. Choose positivity and hope. Choose to take care of yourself in a way that allows you to take on the challenging things head on and not be completely derailed by them. I have reminded myself this week that if we are feeling overwhelmed in any area for any reason, we simply need to reach out and talk to those who love us. There are people in our lives who truly believe that we make a difference in theirs and want to help us shoulder whatever loads we have. I have felt like I could use some shouldering this week. But, again, I am reminded of the positive things and that, as frustrating as the things we dealt with this week are, they are all temporary. Every one of them has a solution. It may not be what we want to have to take care of and we definitely could think of other ways to spend our money. But again, it’s temporary. Look for the good. Concentrate on the good. We are worth that much!

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

On Time Every Time

I am going to veer off the normal path today as it is Easter Sunday. I am keeping this really brief and short so I can enjoy the day with my family, make the salad I need to make for dinner tonight with Wade’s family and just reflect on what this day means to me. But, I want to share a couple thoughts that I hope you find encouraging. 

I woke up this morning, shortly before 6 a.m. . . . Just before my alarm was set to go off. Truly no different from any other day. My body typically wakes up just before 6 each morning. Some mornings, I lay there and think or pray or close my eyes for a few minutes again. Other mornings, I fall back asleep until the alarm does go off and everyone else in the house is set to start their day as well. I used to get irritated that I couldn’t seem to sleep until the alarm went off. It doesn’t seem to bother me now. This morning, though, I woke up knowing it was Easter. And for a few minutes I thought about what the ladies who were going to go to the tomb of Jesus were thinking. They knew Jesus. They had been made whole by Him. And I am sure they were filled with sorrow over His crucifixion and death that had put Him in the tomb they were about to visit. But when they got to the tomb, the stone was rolled away and the angel told them that He wasn’t there because He had risen from the dead. How did they feel? Elated? Relieved? Confused? Scared? Hopeful? Frustrated? I can imagine all those things and more went through their minds. And I wonder if on some level they wish maybe it hadn’t even happened in the first place. That maybe, just maybe, God messed up on the timing. Why raise Him from the dead when He could have stopped His death in the first place? I know the ONE main reason those of us who are Chirstians believe, but I think, too, maybe it was so there was no doubt about what had happened. Follow me a second. God does BIG. He does small, too, but He really goes big sometimes to leave absolutely no doubt in our minds that it is all HIM. And timing. He is the master of timing. He isn’t late. Even when we think He is. He is on time. 

This world is an oft discouraging place. We mess up. The people we love mess up. And then, at times, we face the aftermath of other people messing up. I started thinking this morning that in the moments of discouragement in our lives we just have to wait for God to make His move. I am impatient when it comes to God’s plan and His work in my life. I am impatient with a lot of things. My weight loss. My learning curve on several things. My business growth. I have a hard time waiting on God sometimes. If I am honest, I have a hard time waiting on God most times. That’s not to say I am ungrateful. And it definitely doesn’t mean that I am not WILLING to wait. I am. I would just rather not! But I think what has been on my mind today is just how perfect God’s timing is. How just when you don’t think you can’t take any more or wait any longer, He shows up and shows us what He is capable of doing for us. 

This morning, I thought more than I ever remember thinking about the ladies who had prepared all the spices and fragrances they were going to need to take care of Jesus’ body. Why would God have let them gather all of the supplies if they weren’t going to use them?  And why would He let them grieve over what had happened instead of letting them find out that Jesus was alive before they had to deal with all of that? Again, God’s timing is perfect. I think that maybe there are lessons to be learned in times of preparation. Those ladies must have been thinking a mile a minute and all those thoughts and processes they went through were for a purpose. Why is it that God doesn’t stop bad things from happening? Why can’t we as humans change what God has in mind for us? Well, simply, we are not that powerful. There is nothing we can do to change the plan God has for our lives. I truly believe that if we are to experience the “good” in life we must also experience the “bad” and “painful” things in life. Otherwise, our appreciation for the good isn’t as strong and real as it could be. In our lives, I believe that God sometimes has to let us (especially me!) come to the end of ourselves before we will truly see that it’s His doing that is about to change our situation in the first place. I am a “do it myself” kind of gal. I am strong, independent and stubborn. And I have a hard time relying on anyone for help. And I suppose in some aspects that includes God’s help. But there are times when I have run out of options, and have come to the literal end of what I am capable of doing to help myself. I believe that it is those times when God shows up, on purpose, to show me that He has it under control and that He is right on time. Never late. 

I want to encourage you today to trust God to show up for you. Trust Him to have you in all things. Remember that when we can’t do it any more, there is One Who can. He has made a way for us to Him. And He has made a promise to us that He will always be here for us. He will meet us where we are and do what only He can. He loved us enough to die for us. And remember that when we are smack dab in the middle of waiting on His timing, it is then we are growing. We are learning. We are drawing closer to HIm. And remember through Him, all things are worked out; all things are possible; all things are worth it. That includes you.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Innocent Until . . . 

I haven’t had soda/pop/cola (however you call it wherever you’re from) in over 7 years. I don’t really miss it. I dropped weight pretty rapidly when I stopped drinking all the sugar that soda contained. When I first started my weight-loss-journey-to-better-health lifestyle two years ago, I gave up sweets and sugars for a 90 day period to start. I dropped almost 50 pounds in 3 months by cutting back on all that junk, getting my body moving, portion control, and fasting. And of course the weight loss coffee that I use and market through my CBD company helped a great deal. A GREAT deal. I have reintroduced some of those things I cut completely out back into my diet over the last year. It has slowed my weight loss and changes how I feel day to day so I really am careful about how much and how frequently I do eat some of those things. One thing has remained: NO SODA. I used to drink cream and sugar in my coffee if we were at a restaurant. I don’t do that at home; black coffee is fine by me. Every once in a while I crave something sweet to drink. I started drinking a “Sparkling Ice” drink that comes in a variety of flavors. The black raspberry is my favorite right now. On the label, it reads “Black Raspberry Naturally Flavored Sparkling Water.” I never thought anything about that. Recently, I read something that was a little off-putting. I am not going to go into all of that here, but if you want to know what I read, you can google “where does natural raspberry flavor come from” and read what comes up. I really can’t unlearn what I read. No matter how hard I try. Now, I will tell you I am still drinking it. Don’t judge me. It’s one of the few pleasures I allow myself most days. But it made me wish I hadn’t run across the information. I thought about how blissful that ignorance really was!

I am sure most of us have heard the phrase, “Ignorance is bliss.” And to a point, I can understand that. Life is easier when you just don’t know any better. But is it? I think there are definitely two ways of looking at this. Those in the first camp will tell us that ignorance is bliss. Sure, when you don’t know any better, you don’t feel bad about not knowing what you don’t know. I think those in the second camp question that a bit . . . Is that ignorance harmful? Can it be detrimental? There is another quote that has been attributed to several different people that states, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” I am not trying to give my opinion here as to which camp I think I belong. That isn’t what I am trying to do. I think I am asking us to consider, on matters greater than where natural flavoring comes from, what we are to do with information once we receive it. What kind of responsibility do we have with information? 

We live in a world that is very upside down in some of its thinking and people are having a very hard time trusting information that comes to them. Some hear and believe immediately. Some hear and research things out and come to a conclusion. Some hear and refuse to either believe or research. What I am wanting to get us thinking about is information directly related to our health and wellness. What do we do with that? I had to face facts a few years ago about my lifestyle and health and weight. If I was going to live out my life in a manner that would allow me to move freely and function well for a long time, I needed to take steps to correct my path and patterns of eating and other behaviors that I knew were not in my best interest. I KNEW what I needed to do. I can’t claim ignorance on that one. I KNEW what I shouldn’t do. It was up to me to decide what my responsibility was as far as putting to use the information I had. I don’t know where I heard this but I have always believed it to be true: the difference between knowledge and wisdom is action. You can have all the knowledge in the world but if you don’t employ that knowledge in a way that impacts your life or the lives of others for the better you will never see that knowledge turn into wisdom in any form. Wisdom is knowledge in action. I can read books and listen to podcasts. Those books and podcasts can motivate me and encourage and inspire me. But if I don’t put feet to the knowledge imparted I will never make an impactful change in any area of my life. 

This blog is a bit shorter today. I really don’t have anything profound to say! Well, I don’t know that I ever really do. Haha! But I wanted to share a little bit about this topic. I happen to think that information leads to knowledge and knowledge leads to power. Not in a tyrannical ruler kind of way. Just that when you are informed, you can make a decision based on that information and most of the time an informed decision leads to the best outcome. That knowledge leads you to the power over the “less than best” in your life. It leads to the power to rise above our circumstances and the insignificant things in our lives. It leads to the power to overcome the panicked and rushed decisions we tend to make when we haven’t thought things through. Knowledge can lead you to be a better person. Seek information. And then figure out how to best use that information to change your life in every area. You’re definitely worth it.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

After The Thrill Is Gone

This week, our college boy, Benjamin, was home from college for Spring Break. It was nice having him here, even if I did have to put my makeshift painting studio away so he could have his room back. There is still a lot of “stuff” in there and it really cramped his space, I am sure. Of course, he is so kind he wouldn’t ever have said one word about it. I did tell him that I would love to build a two story shed out back that could house my painting studio . . . or his room, either one! Of course, he was ALL OVER that idea. What happens for sure will remain to be seen for a while yet. I am not ruling out a two story shed AND a she-shed. I mean, what’s stopping that from happening? He said that he was glad I was still enjoying painting. In fact, and I didn’t tell him this, but I went through some withdrawals not being able to paint anything in the last 10 days! I am going to get his sheets washed, put back on the bed, get my tables and things all set up again and maybe paint yet this evening. We will see how tired I am at the end of the day. Ben, Franklin and I stayed up until about one this morning just talking and laughing and dreaming and laughing some more. I love those times. Truly, I do. And I am glad we can spend time together doing things like that. However, I am far too old to stay up that late anymore. But, again, I loved every second of it. I did think about all the work I have put in with getting all the paints and supplies and canvases and everything I needed for painting and then setting it up and cleaning that space and storing the finished paintings. And then I thought about moving out to a future shed and setting up shop out there. And then I thought, “Well, what happens when the new wears off?” Am I still going to love it as much after I have been at this for a few more months, or a year, or a few years? I don’t know if I will love doing this as much as I am now. I suspect I will. But what can we do to keep the love for something going long after the new wears off? 

We have all had new things come into our lives. Cars, houses, clothes, shoes, electronics, and the list goes on and on. We have had new situations come into our lives, too. Jobs, churches, relationships, schools, hobbies, and again, the list could go on and on. And all of those new things eventually becomes old, or at least familiar enough that the luster that once drew us to it is gone. Are we simply able to shine it and get it looking good again, or do we throw it out and start over. I guess that depends on what “thing” we are talking about. But it happens to all of us with every new thing that comes into our lives. I think of the “big” things here . . . marriage, children, pets . . . they all have a wonderful appeal and we fall in love with these things when we are first granted them. But it doesn’t take very long for us to realize that all of those things are going to require a lot more work than we may have initially thought it would. I mean, seriously, how is LOVE work? I don’t have an easy answer for that, but it is. More than half of all marriages end in divorce. I am not going to delve into the reasons why any more than to say I feel like a big part of that is the new wears off. It’s really easy to love someone who is trying to be the best version of themselves for you to win your love and affection. It is a whole other story after the thrill is gone, and we are comfortable enough to just be ourselves and the new wears off. The new becomes comfortable. The comfortable becomes familiar. The familiar becomes old hat. And eventually it becomes work. It always does. Have you ever noticed that when you get a new vehicle you are REALLY, SUPER careful about what goes into the car? You may not allow food in it for a long time. You may not even drink anything in it for a long time. And before you know it, you take food or drink into the car and it spills. And it’s like once that first time happens, you’re not as vigilant to keep it as spotless as it was. The new is gone.

I think that same thing can happen with any kind of healthful lifestyle we have chosen to lead. In our weight loss and healthful eating journey, there is a thrill in doing something new. New foods, new exercise, and even new mindsets. But eventually, as I described above, the new becomes comfortable . . . and you know the rest. And just as with the new car, we may decide that we are going to be very, very careful to adhere to our new eating habits and patterns and programs. And initially, that goes really well. Then, one day, we decide that we can have just one piece of chocolate, or one cookie or one “something” that we have been very diligent not to overindulge in. And just like the first mess in the new car, it makes it that much easier to have the next bad thing on our list and then the next bad thing on the list. And the cycle continues until there isn’t anything we don’t consider off limits any longer.  

So, how do we refocus and bring ourselves back after the excitement of “the new” has worn off? For me, personally, it’s about coming back to why we made the decision to love it in the first place. And, yes, I am one of those who believes love is a choice, especially in relationships. I do believe that with marriage, there is a mutual attraction and yes, love on a certain level without much effort. But I also believe that you CHOOSE who you love and you continually CHOOSE to love that person. Again, separate topic here to a certain extent. However, I think it applies, though, as you have the choice to continue to love something just as much as you have the choice to stop loving something. If the job you once loved is more work than joy for you, refocus, and remember what it was that made you make the decision to love it in the first place. Weight loss grind got you down? Want to give up because you’re not loving it like you were to start? New worn off? Remember why you started in the first place and get yourself back to that spot. Life is about starting and restarting everything continually. It’s the commitment to the purpose and vision and end-game that will keep us from quitting instead of starting again. But our commitment to the purpose and vision and end-game is fueled by remembering why we started. We have to be able to define our “why” and it needs to be a clear, simple, easy to explain definition. Wade once asked me why I loved him so much. And in jest I said, “I’m still trying to figure that out.” In honesty, there are far too many reasons to list here. But simply boiled down, I can say that one of the main reasons is because we made a promise to each other that we would always love each other. And if he is going to stick it out for me, then I am determined to do the same for him. It’s not always as easy when we are talking about a job, a hobby or our weight loss journey. The hardest things in life, for me, are to keep commitments that I have made to MYSELF. I have never had a hard time doing what I tell others I am going to do. I mean, yes, we have all let others down and I am definitely not perfect. But it’s easier to quit on yourself than it is other people.

I am encouraging you today to keep pushing through even after the shine is gone. After the appeal is worn off. Push through and fight the desire to stay comfortable with the status quo. I wrote last week about being a ten gallon person. Don’t be so quick to give up on something just because it gets a little difficult or because you have to work at it a little more now than you did before. Shoot, that is just life as we age, I think. Things that I used to feel good about doing and getting done rather quickly now take a little more effort and time. I can’t stay up past midnight and function the same way I could 15 or 20 years ago. Believe me, I think I am working on my fourth mug (yes, mug not cup) of coffee. But, the effort you put in today will not be counted as loss if you just stick to it. You can put a hash mark in the win column. The effort isn’t always easy. It isn’t always convenient. And we all know it isn’t always pretty. But it is worth it to gain the victories, large and small, that you are hoping and praying for. And YOU are worth every effort, too. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Gallons And Pints

First . . . I want to thank everyone who responded to last week’s blog post. It was emotional for me (I cried when I wrote it) and it was a tad difficult to share. But, it really touched a lot of you. I appreciate the kindness and support that everyone who took time to respond showed; through private message, email, text, facebook or on the blog’s wordpress site. I love you all and thank you for reading each week and letting me know I am definitely not alone in any of this. 

I saw something, once again on facebook, that sparked something for me a couple days ago. First, let me go back a couple weeks. A couple of weeks ago, I was told outright that I was an intimidating woman. I am not going to lie to you . . . that made me cry. I have never considered myself “intimidating” or any other version of that word. In fact, in a lot of situations and circumstances I have been just the opposite. A doormat, if you will. I have struggled most of my life with speaking up for myself. I am the kind of person who wants all of us to co-exist with peace, mutual respect and love and I am GENUINELY shocked that everyone else doesn’t want those same things and I am so sad when I see meanness and evil in people. Yes, evil. It exists. My whole life I have struggled with allowing others to manipulate me. This is hard to admit and even harder to explain but I am going to try. I have a REALLY good sense for reading people. Most of the time, from the moment I meet them, I can see what their true motives are. I have been guilty of allowing people to use me and my compliant nature manipulate me for their purposes and all because I didn’t feel I had the right to stand up and say no . . . in part because I was afraid of hurting them, or losing their approval, or WHATEVER the reason was, but those reasons were the top two, usually. The hardest part of being “used” in that way was that I KNEW the intentions of the person using me and still allowed it. Now, that hasn’t happened in a long time. But it took some real soul-searching and some real hard talks with myself to get where I am now. Now, what did I see on facebook? A post that read, “Dear strong woman, You are not intimidating. They are intimidated. There is a difference.” That post hit home, made complete sense and maybe helped me understand this in a different way than I had ever considered before.

I started this blog as a way to share myself . . . the person who I am finding as the layers of fat fall away . . . with all of you. I knew it was going to be a wild ride when I first started losing weight. But I didn’t know how much of a rollercoaster it would be. I have gained so much back that I had truly lost or forgotten about. I have written about some of them . . . dignity, self-respect, my will to fight and endure, strength, a renewed sense of purpose, and my voice. And I think that last one relates best to what I am sharing this week. I have found my voice. And people who knew Lacy three years ago will tell you that Lacy of today looks and sounds a little different than she did then. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I feel like in the last couple years, I am no longer afraid (to the same extent) of what people think of me. I still have twinges and hints of that, but again, not to the same extent. I feel I am stronger in EVERY way from what I was 2 years ago. Physically, emotionally, spiritually and even mentally. I have a renewed sense of purpose in my life and I am not afraid to share that with anyone. Boldly, even. And I have dealt seriously with people who have mistreated me or talked down to me in the last two years. I have found my voice and I am proud of that. And I feel strong enough to use it and I am proud of that, too. 

Am I about to force my opinions and my truths onto other people? No. Now, I WILL share those things with anyone who will listen. But I will never say that they aren’t entitled to their own opinions. Never. Those differences are what sharpen us, and make us better. Differing opinions exist to make us walk around a whole issue instead of staring at if from the side we are standing on. The Bible says that iron sharpens iron. When I think of that passage, I think about how hard iron is, and how unbending and strong it can be. I believe it’s a great picture of when we are relating to others. We can all talk about things we are passionate about until we are blue in the face. And most of us aren’t going to change our opinions on the matters discussed. But if done correctly, those conversations leave us better than we were when we entered them. Sharper. To hold the opinions we have, I believe we need to know the other side of that opinion. We have to walk around the whole issue and make up our minds about what we are going to believe and what we see in it. Dealing with people in kindness and love should reinforce who we are to them. That’s my hope anyway. Just because I am a strong person and I have and use my voice doesn’t mean I am not kind and loving and able to feel empathy and compassion. Because I definitely can! 

Many, many years ago, Bishop T.D. Jakes was talking on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show. He talked about how some of us are “ten gallon people” who are disappointed because some of the people they love most in the world are only “pint sized people” capable of loving in “pints” and not “gallons”. Well, I am here to tell you I am a “ten gallon person” and I am not about to apologize for that. I can honestly tell you, though, that I truly just realized my capacity in the last few years. I had never thought about my being strong, or capable, or measured in gallons instead of pints. I am not responsible for making pint sized people comfortable around me because they can’t fill me up. I am not going to downsize my personality, my hope, my dreams, and who I am to make other people comfortable. And the older I get and the more I learn, the more I have realized I can’t rely on people of ANY size to fill me. That’s completely up to God and my acceptance of His work in my life. T.D. Jakes opined that day on Oprah that we have to accept what people CAN give us and love them for that and forgive them for what they are not capable of giving us. I believe that extends to forgiving people who tell us we are intimidating, or overpowering, or too bold; who tell us we make them feel bad because they don’t understand we are larger capacity vessels than they are. Guys, we ARE who we ARE. There’s really no changing that. Nor should we be expected to. I will never forget a time when the boys were younger and I was bathing them. They were maybe two and five or something like that. Franklin was in the tub already and Ben got in and created a wave-like effect that knocked Franklin over in the water. His body displaced his brothers for a moment. I think that’s a good picture of some of us “ten gallon” vessel people. If we get into a conversation with others who are not ready for our large personalities, hopes, dreams and discussions, we run the risk of rocking them a little bit; of displacing them for a second. But is that truly on US? I don’t know that anyone’s to blame for it. The other person can adjust to the raising water and level themselves out. 

Because I am apologetic, I am tempted to apologize to anyone and everyone for things I may or may not have even done to them. I over apologize. Truly. And then I find myself apologizing for apologizing. I am working on that. Because of my overly apologetic nature I am even tempted to throw out an apology here to anyone I have ever been “too big” for. But I am not about to do that. I don’t feel I need to ever apologize for God making me who I am. And the same goes for you. I don’t feel that any of us need to apologize for God making us who we are. We all bring something to the table that others don’t. We are all capable of contributing to a greater good. We are all looking to live the most abundant and joy-filled lives we can. And to do that, we have to fill up when we can, however we can, and then give out of our abundance to help others around us. We are ALL worth that. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

The Grind

This week, our oldest son, Benjamin, played in his first college baseball games. It was great to be out there in the stadium with the other parents and fans to watch America’s favorite pastime. It was made even sweeter given the fact that his senior season of High School baseball didn’t happen because of the Covid lockdowns. We left the house at 8 that morning and drove to Hastings, NE, where he is attending school. We got to have lunch with him and then watched him in action with the rest of his team. They lost the first game and won the second. Overall, Ben did well. Had a couple hits and just had a good time. Again, it was nice. I think what really resonated with us both was how much work we KNOW he has put in to make it to the next level. We saw Ben work his freshman year to get back on the field after a grueling ACL tear, surgery and recovery. We watched him come home night after night, regardless of the sport in season and take countless practice swings off the tee in the backyard (a sound I REALLY miss hearing every day). We watched him throw this ball that has so many sides to it you can’t count them against the sidewalk to ricochet off the brick wall in front of our house to hone his reaction time. I played catch with him in the street until I thought MY hands would bleed . . . I mean I did have countless broken blood vessels over the years. It was the grind . . . the “behind the scenes” work . . . that he put in that helped develop his skill that always made us proud and made us MORE than certain he deserved to be where he was. On the drive home after the games, I had a lot of time to think about a lot of different things as Wade was resting beside me . . . I told him I’d drive home because he had to work the next day. We arrived home around 1:30 in the morning. It was a very long day! Lots of thoughts came to me during my quiet “windshield time” . . . I thought about just how proud we are of our boys. They are growing into decent, kind, loving men. I am okay with that. Another thought was about the laundry I needed to do. Still another thought about cleaning my house. The FFA Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry which took place Friday came up. And, as always, I can count on my mind judging me to the fullest extent allowed by law about my weight. About 6 months ago, I had a very real, very honest conversation with my husband. I am tired. I have worked for two years on my journey to be healthier and happier and in better physical condition than I have been in a very long time. But, guys. I. AM. TIRED. And I think I want to write about that this week. Therapeutic, if nothing else.

One of “my girls”, Cara, texted me this morning and sent a tic-toc of a girl talking about her weight and the struggle in losing weight and the mental aspect of it all. It spoke to me. I had a good majority of this blog written already. If you all only knew how many blogs I have written that have been wholly therapeutic for me, but somehow ended up being too “raw” or too “real” or too “whiny” or whatever . . . I have tossed out several like that and gone entirely different routes before. I am not going to do that today. I really think that if I feel this way, then, odds are, someone else is feeling or has felt this way, also. 

I am tired . . . like to the bone . . . tired of trying. Losing weight is one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. And believe me, I have done a lot of “hard” things. But this definitely ranks right up there. It’s the mental aspect of it that is just so overwhelmingly draining. I have been at a near stand still for the last 6 months as I mentioned. Losing about 3 pounds a month, if even that. And I have gained a few pounds mixed in there throughout this whole journey and then lost them again. I keep pushing because I know there is something better waiting for me on the other side of “fat Lacy”. I keep pushing because I know it’s the right thing to do, for me, for my family. But here is where I need to pause and tell you something. The last 18 months have been some of the most trying times in my entire life. I feel like I have walked through my own personal hell and back again. I am NOT telling you this to complain, or to garner sympathy or anything like that. I am trying to say that if you only knew what my last two years actually looked like you might find yourself questioning how I sometimes had the will to keep going. I find MYSELF questioning that at times. I can say that I have grown so much in the last two years and that also blows my mind. I don’t know if there are any areas where I don’t feel like an entirely different person at times. I saw something on Facebook (of course!) something basically said, “Good job to all those who are healing from things they never speak about.” That’s not exactly what it said, but you get the gist. We are ALL healing from things we don’t share with others about . . . even those closest to us. And if you’re like me, you eat those things instead of dealing with them. BUT, these past couple years have been completely different for me in regards to those things. I realized when I started this journey that in order to get my body to a healthy place I needed to work just as hard on ME . . . my heart, soul, mind, emotions and personal pain and trauma. It hasn’t been easy. And, as I said, the last couple years have added to those things I need to work on. But I have realized so much about myself and what I am capable of accomplishing. I just needed to take a break for a minute. 

No, I haven’t fallen off the wagon. I haven’t given up. I am not throwing in the towel. I am not slipping, or quitting, or failing. Please know I am not giving up on me. I am actually betting on me. I know I am going to be exactly where I want to be when this is all said and done. I think sometimes you have to take a break and re-evaluate what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. I needed a breather from the grind. 

With that said, I am back and ready to push harder than ever. I am over halfway to where I really want to be. But I have decided that my happiness is not wrapped up in what I weigh or what size my body is. My happiness is exactly what I make of it. My life doesn’t revolve around what I eat, or don’t. It isn’t completely about macros and carbs and calories. I know my life is more than that. I have a husband who loves me more than anyone else in the world. I have two boys, er, young men, who love me unconditionally, even though I am certain they will eventually end up in therapy because of me. Haha! I have parents, siblings, nieces and nephews and countless friends who are like family to me and they all love me just for being me. BUT, this weightloss journey isn’t about them. It’s about ME. It’s about taking time to heal from the inside out from the things I don’t talk about. The things that no one knows about. The things that have, in many ways, shaped me to be who I am. They don’t define me. But they have certainly REFINED me. They have made me a better person, in spite of myself.

The grind isn’t glorious. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It is hard. It is sweaty. It is bloody. It is painful. But it is necessary to get from where we are to where we want to be. There isn’t anyone in the world who can make us get up for the grind. No one can tell us to do it. And in the end, no one can stop us from doing it. It is up to us . . . in its entirety. And that is a lot of responsibility. I know that I am the sole proprietor of my own journey and I am the only one to blame for my happiness, or my sadness, or my success, or my failure. Me. Just as Ben isn’t doing what he has done all these years for his own glory, neither am I. Ben did it because he believed what we always told him . . . he could. He could be better each day. He didn’t need to worry about what the guy next to him was doing. All he needed to do was work on himself. Be better today than he was yesterday. Same goes for me. I don’t need to worry about what others are doing or saying. I need to worry about myself. I need to continue to work on me. I am doing it because I believe . . . I can. The grind sucks, guys. No doubt about it. But at the end of the grind, when all has been accomplished that we want to be accomplished, what is waiting there? I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t. But if working each day makes me better, then it stands to reason that what is waiting on the other side of “fat Lacy” is going to be better than what I have now. We are green and growing or ripe and rotting. I choose to push forward and continue to grow. I know I can. I believe I can. And I am worth it. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

The Start Of Something Good

This week’s blog is going to be a little bit different. Once again, I find myself receiving numerous questions from some of my readers. I really love that! And I want to take this week’s blog and answer those questions because I feel it is important to connect with you all on a very real level. So . . . I am republishing a blog from last year that answers all these questions.  I took a deliberate break on pushing so hard in my weight loss. I have been at this for over two years now. I was tired and getting really burned out. I had a few challenges in the last few months (and even more through the last two years) that had me gaining weight I needed to lose again. And I am almost at 160 pounds down from where I began in January 2019. I will do my best to give you what you are looking for here. I appreciate your support and that you take time out of your busy schedule to read my blog! Thank you!

What made me want to start losing weight and when did I decide my lifestyle needed to change? Well, for years, (too many to count) on Halloween night, we have been gathering together with a group of friends who have kids the same ages/grades as ours. We get together, eat, and have a great time while the kids, now old enough to go on their own the last few years, all head out to reap candy from kind neighbors and friends. In 2018, we all sat around and visited just as we had in years past and, over the course of the night, the men found themselves at the kitchen table and the ladies were gathered in the family room laughing and talking. In this group are some wonderful girlfriends. I had alluded to these friends in one of my early blogs . . . we affectionately call ourselves “my girls”. The friends who make up “my girls” are a varied bunch. We have Cara and I who have struggled with our weight for a long time. There are a couple more who run often and train for different 5k and 10k runs. Another is a crossfitter and has shared in the same struggle (but not to the same extent) as Cara and I have. And still another who walks regularly and has always maintained a healthy lifestyle. Not unlike many close groups of girlfriends, we have shared a LOT of life with each other. We have laughed together (SO MUCH) and cried together, and joked, and played, and shared hopes, dreams, and fears, and we have complained, and we have celebrated large and small things, and we have individually risen victorious through various circumstances all while giving the very best of ourselves to each other as often as we can. This night was no different. I shared with them that I had been contacted by a former business partner about a new CBD company coming to market that was offering products unlike any in the marketplace anywhere in the world. She had contacted me about 2 weeks prior to this Halloween night. This company has a weight loss coffee which actually really appealed to me. Yet, I was undecided as to whether or not I was going to join in with her. Then Cara told our group that she had decided she was going to have bariatric surgery to assist her in losing weight. I am really not sure what else was said because my mind kind of stopped. I may have even blacked out. Not because of WHAT she said. I was actually really happy for her. This topic had been put out there by her and even myself before and I knew she was in a place at that moment where she knew she wanted to be healthier. But I also knew that this meant that I WAS ABOUT TO BE MY ONLY FAT FRIEND. I saw this in flashes of light across the back of my eyelids. I heard in my mind this dramatic doom and dread announcing music from the cartoons and movies, “BOM, BOM, BOMMMMM . . . ” and I’m pretty sure I heard Robin say, “Holy fat rolls, Batman!” Bottom line was I knew I needed to do something or this group of girls would be doing things together that I may not be physically able to do. It was very real to me at that moment and it made me very sad to think about. And that night, I made the decision to sign up to be a brand partner with NEWYOU so I could use the weight loss coffee. And am I ever glad that I did!

What are things I have tried in the past and what am I doing now to lose? I have tried just about everything you can think of, honestly. I have tried Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Noom, Beachbody . . . and the list goes on. Now, these programs all worked for a while. But, what I hadn’t tried was commitment to the new lifestyle that would be needed. I would do these programs either half heartedly or I would give it my all and eventually tire and be frustrated with how long the process was taking and stop. And when I stopped, I always gained the weight I had lost back. And that weight came with more weight than I had lost initially. The thing that didn’t work for me in the past was ME. I have been in this new lifestyle for nearly 14 months and I have lost over 140 pounds. I don’t know why I thought it was going to be a fast process. Or an easy one. And I also had a hard time admitting I had a problem to begin with. My numbers were always really good on my yearly blood test reports. And I felt good. Consequently, in my mind, nothing needed to change. I was just fine. However, I have finally found something that has given me better success than I have ever achieved before. My CBD business is with a company called NEWYOU. They launched the first of it’s kind weight management system combined with daily CBD intake. It has made the difference for me. Part of that program is the weight loss coffee which curbs appetite and levels blood sugar in our body. I absolutely love it. Another part of this system is an intermittent fast. I eat no later than 6:30 at night and then I don’t eat again until 10:30 the next morning. I drink the coffee with NEWYOU’s amazing nano-amplified beverage drops with CBD added in at about 8 in the morning. And I walk. A lot. I try my best to walk at least 5 out of 7 days a week and go no less than 2 miles. I have been fortunate to be able to share this amazing system with numerous others. Most of them have had great successes with it as well. And it has been so fulfilling watching others change as I have.

Was my decision to start losing weight “doctor recommended” and what did my blood work look like before and after? I can tell you that my doctor would always mention my weight. Never in a way that left me feeling shamed or like a terrible person or “less than” as I have mentioned before. No, she has always been very caring and concerned. She would just tell me it would be good to get some of the weight off. I am glad that she has been so kind and compassionate through my time with her because if it had come from her as a strong recommendation, I would likely have turned to my stubbornness or started and not been nearly as committed as I needed to be. 

How do I feel since losing weight and what has changed for me as a result of the weight loss? I feel fantastic. I feel healthier. But I always say part of that is my daily, consistent intake of CBD and the other part is the weight loss itself. As far as changes go, there are so many! Too many to list all of them here. But I’ll try! I can move better. I can walk farther than I had ever even attempted before. I can paint my toenails without having to be a contortionist. I can tie my shoes without holding my breath. I can fit into a chair with armrests and FIT without feeling them pinching into my thighs. I have a jawline and a neck! I can buckle the seatbelt with one hand and don’t have to lean over to expose the receiving mechanism of that belt in the seat. But more than that, it’s all the “things” I have already written about. And really so much more. My smile is bigger. My laugh may be a little louder. I have a different confidence. I wear jewelry again; more than just my wedding ring, anyway. And I have been the recipient of beautiful hand-me-downs from “my girl” as she has lost weight. (I affectionately call all these clothes my “Cara Collection” and she has great taste!)

What has been my biggest struggle and how much more weight do I have to lose? My biggest struggle is patience, I think. That and the fact that I am an emotional/stress eater. I have SO much weight to lose and it is taking a long time. And I know that it WILL take a long time. I just wish it were faster. But the weight didn’t pack on overnight and it isn’t going to be conquered overnight. I haven’t really had many days when I stress eat. I allow myself a cheat day. And I usually can’t eat all of the “sweet” items I have chosen because my body isn’t used to it anymore and my tastes have changed. I don’t crave it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. The weather is also a challenge sometimes. Living in Colorado and walking outdoors can be tricky in the winter. But I am back out there again now. I still have about 80 pounds to lose. I do understand that some of my weight is now tied up in all the loose skin I have inherited as the fat has disappeared. So I really don’t know how much more I can lose versus how much weight there is left in the skin that will eventually need to be surgically removed. 

And last, someone wrote, “I’ve heard that sometimes there is a moment in time when a person can pinpoint when they began to gain weight. Do you have a specific moment in time that you can see where you shifted your lifestyle or did it just happen?” In short order, yes. I know there was a specific time when I stopped caring and stopped believing that I deserved to be happy and healthy or that I had any beauty or worth. And, again, I spoke to that in a previous blog. Let me say this, all of us at some point will encounter moments in life that are so much bigger than ourselves. When we give birth to a child; when we bury a loved one; when we are forced to walk through a traumatic event or the consequences of a tragic decision by ourselves or someone else, all of these things shake you. All of these things change you. To our very core. And our response to these things varies person to person, event to event. I didn’t ever turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism for the things I have had to walk through. But I did turn to food and what that food brought to me. Added pounds to hide Lacy away from the world as a depression so deep and dark took my life over completely. But, through the love of an unfailing God, the love of my family, a company with the best CBD (and people/leaders) on the planet, and the absolutely unwavering love and support of friends (especially “my girls”), I have arrived on the other side of darkness. Very literally. My little conversation with friends on Halloween night in 2018 will forever go down as the day that Lacy decided. She decided to take the drastic steps she needed to get healthy for herself and her family. She decided she was worthy enough to receive the love and support of her family and friends. And she decided she wanted to write a different ending for herself. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

A Bad Day Fishin’

The new challenge for my CBD business started this week. I always do these challenges with the participants and so I started on Monday also! I have actually been exceptionally well-behaved in the food category. No sweets. And I have really watched carb intake after lunch. I had a salad two evenings and meals with lesser portions throughout. I am really pleased and feel more “with it” than I have in quite a while. 

On Friday morning this week, my husband, Wade, and youngest son, Franklin (Tank), loaded the car with their sled, fishing poles, lawn chairs, boots, bait, coats, pants, and other warm gear to drive into the mountains and participate in an ice fishing tournament. Ice fishing is something that has been on Wade’s bucket list for a long, LONG time. Fishing is on Tank’s list ALL the time. Any type of fishing. On any type of day. Anyway, this past Christmas Wade wanted ice fishing gear for his present and then he entered himself and Tank in a tournament. Off they went for a “boys weekend” while I stayed home and held down the fort. They had a great time. On Friday after they arrived, they were able to get on Grand Lake and fish a little and try to figure a few things out about the fish in this lake and strategize how best to catch a few of them. They ate out at a BBQ place and enjoyed just being guys together. They woke early on Saturday morning and checked in to the tournament at 6 am. They set up and waited for the “lines in” call to come at 8 am. Tank drank coffee to keep warm. They hand-drilled through 24 inches of ice to find the water where they would “drop” their bait. The excitement was palpable, according to Wade. They couldn’t WAIT to get their poles out and put lines in the water, although Wade’s next investment will likely be a motorized drill to drill the hole as after hand-drilling through that ice their arms didn’t work very well. Haha. They finally had the “lines in” call and dropped their jigs into the icy water. The tournament ran from 8 am to noon that day. Wade said they saw three fish caught by the hundreds there on the lake with them. And none of those were on the end of Wade or Tank’s poles. I was giving them both a hard time about my needing to show them how it’s done. Then I told them I was sad that neither of them even had as much as a nibble. Wade said, “Hey, baby. It’s all right. A bad day fishing beats a good day doing anything else.” It hit me later as rather profound. I have heard that saying before, and many of you may have as well. But I got to thinking about it and had some ideas I wanted to share with you.

I have shared it before but I think it bears repeating again and again . . . as many times as it takes to REALLY sink in with everyone hearing it. Life is too short to be stuck in something that doesn’t absolutely make you happy and feed your soul. That isn’t saying that sometimes God doesn’t place us in things that will make us uncomfortable and stretch us. It’s always in the times of “uncomfortable stretching” that our biggest growth takes place. Please know that’s not what I am talking about. I am talking about pursuing passions. Pursuing dreams. Whatever it is in your heart that you wake up thinking about and whatever it is in your heart that you go to bed thinking about. That. I want you to know that God put it there. And He meant for you to pursue it. And I have said this before, also. Just because you are pursuing it doesn’t mean you’ll catch it. However, life is all about the process, right? The journey as I wrote a couple weeks ago. We have all heard that life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. I believe that. And I believe that even more the older I get. Life is about the people we encounter. It’s about the places we walk through and the things we do. It’s about the kindness we impart and the joy we share with others. Being a blessing to others is far more important to me than what I have or don’t have. That will always be true for me. 

Life is too short NOT to do what makes you happy. As for me, at this moment, I am happy with what my life has brought me. I am working for myself. I am able to take my mom places when my dad isn’t able to take her. I am painting regularly. I am blogging. I am doing things that I never thought I would. And I am happy in this moment, right here, right now. The thing that I have realized recently is that I want to take care of myself so that I can continue to enjoy these things, and MORE, for as long as God sees fit to let me. Taking care of myself has changed so much in the last few years, and the last two years in particular. I have realized the importance of getting my weight under control. I have placed new priorities on my mental health and my spiritual life. I can’t do any good for anyone around me if those things aren’t properly cared for. It takes work. Definitely. It isn’t easy. But it isn’t easy to stay in a large frame and have aches and pains. It isn’t easy to live with depression and anxiety. And I am working on managing all of those things. And with God’s help, I am better in those areas now than I was two years ago . . . shoot, even just a year ago. I feel like I have grown in some tremendous ways this past year, especially. I will never feel like I have “arrived” where I need to be or where I want to be for that matter. But that’s okay. I know God knows I am working on myself every day. And just like the others around me, I am not perfect and won’t be this side of heaven. But I am done judging myself for things I have or haven’t done in the past that led me to where I am right now. I have forgiven myself for all my shortcomings. If God can forgive me, I can forgive myself. I have stepped forward onto a new mat . . . one that says “WELCOME” in big bold red letters, perhaps. Yeah, that’s it. I have learned to welcome myself into my own life. 

I think I am trying to say that I have learned that there was no “good” day when I struggled with depression and anxiety. So a bad day doing something I love definitely beats a “good” day fighting depression. I can definitely relate to what Wade was saying. A bad day fishing beats a good day working, or dealing with cranky children, or helping someone you love deal with something difficult, or any other thing we can name. I know I have to continue to spend time every day working on myself. I have to eat right, sleep the proper amount, pray, read my Bible, meditate, exercise and on and on. I have to do those things to make sure I am able to do the “fun” and “exciting” things also. For me, a bad day painting is better than a good day doing anything else. Truly. 

I know these thoughts aren’t new to anyone reading them, but sometimes, if you’re like me, you need the reminder . . . the reminder that you are loved; that you can take time for yourself; you can pursue your passions; you can pursue happiness. What do you have to lose? And speaking of that, I firmly believe that there is no such thing as losing. Either we win or we learn. I think the only time we truly lose is when we don’t try again. We don’t fail if we get back up. Just as doing push ups will make us stronger, when we get knocked down, we will end up stronger when we are standing again because in the process of standing we gain strength. Some of those gains are huge and some are less. But they are gains, nonetheless. I am encouraging you today to gather what you need to have to go on the “fishing” trip you want to go on. Remember, though, you can’t catch anything if you don’t put your line in the water. Sometimes, you won’t catch anything even if you DO have your line in the water. But a bad day fishing beats a good day doing anything else. And you ARE worth it.  

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Who’s Got Your Ear?

This week was good as far as my food choices were concerned. The weather was not nice. I didn’t walk this week but I did ride the bike. We shall see where that lands me tomorrow!

This week, Tank, our youngest son, came in and asked me for my debit card to fill my vehicle with gas. He has been driving all over town and even to Fort Morgan a couple times. I am loving that he is loving this driving thing. But he has been burning through the gasoline lately. I joked with him that I think he has filled my tank more in the last two weeks than I did all of last year with everything being canceled because of Covid. Where we normally would have put in thousands of miles, we didn’t because most of us were staying home instead of traveling to long distance sports events for our children. Tank’s making up for it now. Anyway, he took my card to the gas station in town and filled my tank. Dad and I also asked him to go inside JD’s and purchase some snacks. When he came back home, he said he was sorry it took him so long. We said we didn’t really care how long he’d been gone but when he mentioned it we asked him what kept him. He said it was the slowest gas station he had ever seen. We assumed he meant there was a line. He said there wasn’t a line but the gas was running very slowly out of the pump. Wade told him next time that happens, put the pump handle on the ground, not flowing, of course, and leave it for about 10 seconds and when you put the nozzle back in to pump it will flow faster. Tank and I still aren’t sure if he was joking or serious but we agreed, privately, that the next time it happened to either one of us, we would try it and report back to the other. We will either look like idiots or geniuses. Depends on who’s looking, I guess. This whole exchange started me thinking about what advice we listen to on a daily basis. Where do we turn when we need to know something? How do we vet that information? And how do we apply it to our life?

How many times in life have you been in the process of making a decision and talked to others about it only to change your mind after talking to them? There is one big personal example that I can use. Network marketing and starting your own business within that industry. I’ve seen it more than once . . . people who are considering a venture will talk to others about their opportunity to start a business in network marketing and are immediately dissuaded or discouraged from their initial thoughts and decision to start something in that industry. Usually that conversation sounds like this: “Oh, yeah, I did network marketing with *insert company here* and it didn’t work.” Or, “My cousin did something like that and it didn’t work for them.” Never mind the financial geniuses and gurus in our country who say it is something they would do and is something that everyone should do. This list of proponents of this industry include Robert Kiyosaki (American businessman and author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”), Tony Robbins (Author and motivational speaker), and even Warren Buffet (American business tycoon, investor and philanthropist). These three well-known success icons endorse the industry but we will listen to people who know NOTHING about the industry tell us what we should and shouldn’t do. Another example could be in raising children. There are literally hundreds of books and lectures and articles on the best way to raise children. I don’t know that any ONE book or any ONE expert can truly tell you the best way to raise a child. Especially in today’s world. I am no expert in child rearing. What I think I qualify as is an expert in raising my children. Well, as much as one can be. But there are people who will tell us that we should do this and never do that because of the future repercussions. Honestly, parenting is overwhelming enough as it is, and becomes daunting when there are so many people who have our ear in the matter. What I do know is that every child is different . . . even the two children in my house who came from the same two parents . . . and because of that, what works for one may or may not work for another. The last example that I’ll use is weight loss. There are HUNDREDS of weight loss programs, plans, and ideas. There are HUNDREDS of workouts, fitness routines and ways to get back in shape. And there are probably even more well-meaning individuals who will offer their advice, whether it was solicited or not, about what they think is the best way to lose weight and get fit. Once again, every person’s BODY is different and what works for one may not work for another. We have to find what works for us. And then proceed with caution . . . in ALL of the things mentioned above. 

Great. We have advice. Now how do we know what is best? How do we vet the information we have received? I am big on research. I research everything I am considering doing or wondering about. It’s kind of ridiculous. But even with that I am cautious about how I interpret it and I always consider the source of that information. I am one who fully believes that anything and everything has an answer in the Bible. You can label me a nut or a religious fanatic or a Jesus freak. You wouldn’t be the first and probably won’t be the last. But just because it was written thousands of years ago and the stories took place thousands of years ago doesn’t mean it doesn’t translate to today. I love the Word and I love finding answers to problems in my life by searching and researching the things inside it. Another favorite way to figure out if the advice I am receiving is good and helpful and honest is to have a group of family and friends whose priority on advice-giving is honesty over feelings. I am blessed to have several people in my life who will offer “no holds barred” honestly and truly “pull no punches” with me. You need to find people who care more about YOU than they care about hurting your feelings if that’s what it takes to keep you from harm . . . in any arena. You have to find a way to thoroughly vet the advice coming to you.

You can ask for advice and receive it. And you can make sure you’ve vetted the advice through whatever means you can. But how do you apply it to your life? As you know if you’ve been following my blog, I am using a painting technique called acrylic paint pouring. I have been strictly using canvases. But there are people who pour on anything that isn’t living and breathing. I am going to try my hand at pouring on some wood to make clocks. I have ordered the round circles of wood, the clock mechanisms and some numerals to put on the clock face. I am kinda excited about it. But because it is a new thing for me, I posted on one of the acrylic pour facebook pages I belong to on the best practices for paint pouring on wood. I got tons of responses. To apply all the advice to my technique, I need to find what the majority has done, maybe research it myself and then proceed with caution, knowing it may take me a couple tries to accomplish what I want. The application of advice can be messy at times. It can be scary and it can even hurt. But what good does the advice do if we don’t use it? None. We are exactly where we started. And rarely, if ever, do things get better with inaction. They either deteriorate or at best remain in the state they are . . . and let’s be honest here – we aren’t happy in that state or we wouldn’t be asking for advice, right? So while half the battle is making sure we have good advice and information, the other half is actually applying it. 

There are a lot of people in our lives who want to be there for us and want to offer advice. We just need to know how to understand, vet and apply it once we’ve received it. I think the most important thing is to know who has our ear and know whether or not we can trust them to help us make the best decision. We are human after all and oftentimes we allow our own feelings, experiences, fears and worries to factor into our own advice giving. The key is to try and be as objective as possible and consider everything from every possible angle. Most of our friends and loved ones really do want what’s best for us. Truly. Even if the delivery of that advice is uncomfortable or even painful. Just as it happens for us when we are there for them. At the end of the day, we have to do what we have to do and in that process figure out what is going to make us happy. Life’s too short not to pursue happiness. And in case you have somehow forgotten . . . you ARE worth whatever it takes to be truly happy and healthy. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Where’s The Fire, Man?

I made good choices this week with food and movement. Not as good as previous weeks because the current weight loss challenge I run for people ended and I always participate alongside the people taking part in them. But, another challenge starts tomorrow and I am ready for it!

I wanted to start off this week by thanking everyone who reads and has subscribed to my blog. So many of you have reached out to me either through text, messenger, or even commenting on the blog itself or the facebook posts when it publishes. I have even received a few phone calls. Many of you are wanting to encourage me and thank me for the blog. The majority of supporters, however, are telling me how much the blog that particular week has spoken to them or touched them in some way. I am honored to be able to share with you all. And I am honored that God has added this blog to my life and ministry in a way I never thought possible. I believe we all have a ministry. And this is something that I never saw coming but I have been so blessed by it. Along with that I want to thank you for letting me share my “epiphanies” with you each week. I am sure that most of you reading what are “enlightening moments” for me have experienced them or something similar long before I came to the knowledge of them. I am appreciative of your patience with me and my ramblings from week to week! Thank you for your support . . . in whatever way you have supported me in the past . . . and there are MANY ways that support has come to me!

This week has been a fun week for our family. Franklin (Tank, as we call him) is driving on his own now as he obtained his license on Tuesday. *insert gasps for dramatic effect here*  It’s been interesting. Wade was giving me a hard time (something he does often and well) about my own driving. Wade will tell you that I am not the greatest driver on the planet. He would also say that I am also not the worst. In MY mind, I am pretty darn good, though. Haha. Well, according to Dad, Tank has learned a lot of “bad habits” from Mom. Hard/late braking being one example. Wade was lecturing him about braking better as he was discussing the need to put new brake pads on the truck that Tank will be driving. Anyway, Tank doesn’t drive too fast for me when I am in the car with him. I don’t know about how Dad would interpret the same. But as we were going to Akron this week to get his license I told Tank that I really need him to understand that arriving at his destination is far more important to me than how quickly he can get there. Tank is SO laid-back. Just an easy-going kid. He said, “Right? Like where’s the fire, man?” I said, “Yeah. That.” I told him that, as with many things in life, slowing down and appreciating the drive (the journey and the process) is much more important than how fast you get to where you’re going. This is totally backwards from how the world seems to be anymore. And I want to share a few thoughts on that this week.

One thing has repeatedly come to mind this week as I have been painting and creating more pieces of art so I can start sharing them with people. I am loving what I am doing. But I was sitting at my table, pouring the acrylic paint using one of the techniques I have learned, and I thought to myself that “this” was “it” . . . “This” was the part I enjoyed . . . the process. I have watched a LOT of videos on several different pouring techniques to learn and now have started using those techniques to create some really cool effects on canvas. But I am enjoying the process of creating just as much as I am loving the dried result.

Everything in life is attached to a process. From beginning to end. From making sourdough bread to tying your shoes to learning to drive or paint. Everything has a process that makes things easier and certain . . . for the most part. There are processes in life that are more difficult to navigate than others. Sometimes we find ourselves not understanding the process and we need help getting through. But the good news is that in everything, there is a “professional” you can turn to in order to get help to get through the steps of that process. Churches have Pastors; courts have Lawyers; schools have Teachers and Administration; hospitals have Doctors. There are Realtors and Insurance Agents and all kinds of other professionals to help guide you through the processes of all the things we have to handle in life. Sometimes those “professionals” are just people who have more experience than most and don’t necessarily have a title. But they have been where you are now long before you ever knew you’d need someone to help you with whatever it is you’re facing. One thing I fully believe is this: you don’t have to understand everything to appreciate the process. And there’s no rush. Life happens at a steady clip and that steady clip seems to quicken with each day. Don’t push for a faster process. It’s like wishing Monday through Friday away so we can get to the weekend. We lose a lot of precious time and blessings in days we won’t ever get back by not enjoying the moment and the stage of the process we are in. Some processes are simple. Some are more complicated. Some will allow you to skip a couple steps and still come out okay on the other side. Others, you have to walk through every single step just to make it through. 

I started this blog to talk about some of the things I have gained as I have lost weight. Speaking of that, weight loss itself has a process. And it seems to be different for everyone. It’s really not a fun process. But then again, there are many processes in life that aren’t fun, per se. Necessary, but not fun. There are a couple areas that are a constant process on this journey of mine and I am gaining strides in them daily, I believe. Healing and grief seem to be the two areas of life we all deal with and that has been so true for me during the last two years. Healing has a process . . . whether we are healing physically, mentally/emotionally, spiritually . . . there is a process. Grief has a process. You can grieve loss or change or hurt or friendships that have ended or even what seems a world gone mad. I found myself in a state of grief when I left my job last May. Not that I didn’t truly believe it was what I needed to do in order to take care of my family, grow my business, and follow the call of God on my life, but because it was scary and different and things had to change. I was caught off guard by it. But I had to walk through the process of that grief before I could fully start living the life I am living now. I missed a lot of things about my job . . . the patients, the people, the “busy-ness” . . . and all that was normal. I gave the change and the grief that came with it the space it needed and moved through it. There are many things you can grieve. But healing and grief have their own processes attached to them to help get you to the other side.

What I have to remember is that my process is different from your process; and our processes are different from others around us. Don’t let the fear of the process keep you from healing, or changing, or growing. Whatever it is you’re dealing with or working through . . . whatever process you’re in the middle of . . . appreciate it, let it have it’s way and then move on. If you find that you are stuck at a particular stage in whatever process you are in, take a step back and move in a different direction. Make a different decision. Again, there are many ways to move through something. Sometimes, we have to get a little creative. But whatever you do, don’t give up. Don’t abandon the process. I’d even say trust the process. Be grateful you are here, right now, to navigate it. Be grateful you are able to move through it. And whatever you do, don’t forget that you are worth whatever it takes to make it to the other side. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Parenting 101

This week, I only went on a couple walks and they were neither for time nor distance. Ha. I did ride the bike again. Each day I am feeling a little better and a little stronger. This week our weather is supposed to be decent the first few days . . . getting into the 60’s even. I will definitely walk those days. Then it is supposed to get cooler again and I’ll see how I feel outside and I’ll walk if it doesn’t make me cough. I didn’t weigh on Monday. Honestly, we had a very sick puppy for almost a whole week and I was consumed with taking care of her and really didn’t think about it. I will weigh tomorrow, though, and will let you know next week how that ends up. I did well over the last week eating and such so once again, I am hoping for good things on the scale.

My youngest son, Franklin (Tank as we affectionately call him), turned 16 this past week. I don’t have any idea about how in the world my children have grown up so quickly. It just happened. But I wanted to share a story with you because it really relates to all of us in a lot of ways. I had asked Franklin’s permission last week to share this story. He gave me that permission and then I changed my mind. But something happened just today when we were out eating after church and it reiterated my point so I decided to share it with you this week. FYI: the permission from Tank still stands. Let me go back in time a little before I share about Franklin. I remembered something from when our boys were much younger. My oldest son, Benjamin, was maybe 8 or 9 and Tank was 5 or 6. We were at a wrestling tournament and Ben and his friends came wandering by a group of us moms as we were sitting there in the bleachers watching all the kids wrestle. I remember thinking, and even said out loud to one of the moms, “Are we ready for all of this?” I was talking about the things that they were inevitably going to get into . . . the trouble; the good; the bad; the tense; the important; the insignificant; the heartache . . . all of it. Those late night (or not so late night) shenanigans that would most likely end in a phone call to a parent; you know the kind of phone call that would land a kid in trouble. Were we ready for that? I determined then that as a parent bad things were going to happen with our kids and that it was all just part of the growing process and learning how to be a decent human in the world. Now, today at lunch, Wade, Tank and I were sitting at a table and two young adults (maybe they were 17 or 18 but not much older than that) came into the restaurant and were seated just behind where we were. Their language, volume, and topics of conversation were NOT appropriate in the least. These two garnered looks from people all across the restaurant. As we were getting into the car Franklin asked me to make a PSA on Facebook for him – If he was ever out anywhere and someone we know heard him talking or acting in that manner they had permission to slap him straight. His words, not mine. I told him then that I was very proud of him for even thinking that as we hadn’t even discussed anything about the two fellow patrons yet. That reminded me of the story I wanted to share last week and changed my mind about. So, here it goes.

Franklin is a smart young man. I mean smart, now. As he will tell you, our frustration with him is found in the fact that he doesn’t apply himself to things . . . you know, school work and the like.  He has vacillated on college more than once. He has thought about the military as well as a trade school/vocational training. He is absolutely LOVING welding and was really, REALLY disappointed this semester when he couldn’t get into the Construction Science class our High School has for our students. Starting in his middle school years and continuing on, our discussions with him travelled through different phases . . . from, “Let’s get those straight A’s, okay, bud? You’re more than capable!”, to, “Franklin, please, PLEASE just do what you need to get your grades to a decent level so Mom and Dad feel good about letting you play sports,” to what happened during the Covid remote learning, “Bud, please just pass.” Now, again, he really isn’t interested in attending college and that is okay with Mom and Dad. But we keep encouraging him to do the best he can to give himself the grades he would need to enter college if he should change his mind and want further education in a college or university setting. Well, this last semester, we found ourselves very disappointed with a couple of his grades and then I learned that he had made a choice or two outside the classroom that weren’t necessarily the wisest choices. Nothing life changing, but not what we had taught him about what was good and right. He came home from lunch one day and I really kinda unleashed on him after I saw the grades and had heard about the choices I mentioned. I lectured him about choices and decisions and truth and good and ALLLLLL the things I found fitting in the moment. He is such a tender hearted kid. He really is. And I love that about him. He teared up. I cried. And then he left to go back to school and I knew I had ruined his day, and mine, too. He hadn’t been gone for 30 minutes and I got a call on my cell that came up as Brush High School. Certain that I was going to hear from someone on the other end of that call about his grades, or choices, or SOMEthing else that would further upset me, I let the call go through to voicemail. It was a teacher who wanted to tell me just how much she had enjoyed his presence in her class the previous semester. She said, and I am looking at the voicemail transcription now to get the words right, “. . . I am just calling you about Franklin. I wanted to tell you what a good Christian he is. You’re raising an excellent son. He was in my class last semester and there were a couple of boys who always wanted to do the freshman thing of fighting with each other but he did a really good job of modeling to them and helping them to make good decisions and I just wanted to give you another reason to be proud of your son . . . ” When I listened to the message, I cried. 

I was reminded that in life, it’s not our decisions that define us. We are all going to mess up. Some of us mess up big. Some of us mess up small. It really doesn’t matter how big or small. We have always told our boys that one stupid decision could change or ruin the rest of their lives. And while that is true, that decision doesn’t define you. The most important things are found outside of those decisions. Are you respectful? Do you consider others first? Are you putting God and the first things FIRST in your life? Are you striving to be a good person . . . better than you were the day before? Those are the things that matter. I apologized to Franklin when he came home after school that day. I played that message for him and we both cried. This parenting crap is hard. It’s REALLY hard sometimes. And I never knew how much you could want things more for your kids than you ever wanted them for yourself. And I also never thought I would expect more from my kids than I did from other people’s kids, but I do. And I also worried constantly whether or not I was giving both my boys what they needed to be good humans. That is the point, after all, right? And I don’t remember when I realized that both of them really are good humans. But for whatever reason, I forgot. I forgot that Franklin is a good kid. He really is. And I forgot all those times when people would send me texts or messages on facebook about him and his easy-going personality and his decency in opening doors for people, or sitting at the ball field talking to someone’s grandpa when he was on his way to sit with his friends, or having a conversation with friends and using good language and volume and appropriate topics. I forgot. And I apologized to Tank for my lapse of memory. And he apologized for his part in his choices and we both promised to do better.

What I am hoping to convey is simply this: We are responsible for raising our children to be positive, contributing members of society. But we also are responsible for giving them the opportunity they need to prove to us that they are capable. We have to allow them the space to grow and become who THEY are going to be; not who we wish for them to be. I am proud of my kids. You know, the good kind of proud. Not for what I have done. But for who they are becoming. I am speaking to the parents out there reading this. Relax. You’ve got this. You are the most important person in their life. They do listen, even if you don’t think they do. Nothing is going to turn out how we expect it to turn out. And that is okay. It will turn out how it’s supposed to turn out. Our job is to love them hard and help them love themselves and others. Our world could use more of that every day. They are worth it. So, SO worth it.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

And Then . . . ?

This week was a good week. I didn’t do what I said I was going to do in the walking department. I’ll be honest about that. I did ride the stationary bicycle a couple times. But, man, my breathing is a little more difficult right now. I am getting better day by day, but even yet, it will take a little longer to get back where I want to be. Praying it happens soon. I am making a promise to myself right now, though, that I will walk everyday this week . . . barring weather. It’s supposed to snow Monday and Tuesday and the cold makes me cough quite a bit. I will walk when I can breathe without a cough this week. There. Modified. As far as eating this week . . . that went well. I stayed in bounds and enjoyed smaller portions. And I lost a pound. I’ll take it.

As I sat down to write this week, I realized that this week marks a year since starting this blog. With this blog, starting on January 29th, 2020, I have published fifty-two blogs. A year’s worth of shared thoughts, emotions, experiences, and a LOT of change. I am humbled at how much has changed in my life throughout the last year. What a year! This week also marks two years since I made a huge lifestyle change and started on this wellness journey that has made me lighter, healthier, more fit and happier than I have ever been. Even with some of the struggles I have had over these past two years, I am better than I was before. Much better. And, I am still “finding Lacy” in places I had forgotten about. And, my friends, that is a blessing. Over the last couple years, one thing I have found in myself again is a sense of urgency. Now, I am not meaning that I have to get things done in a hurry or that there is suddenly an importance in anything that wasn’t there before. I really don’t know how to describe it, but thinking about it this week reminded me of something that may help explain it. When I was young, I always knew I wanted to be a mommy. I really wanted four children. God didn’t have that in my life’s design, apparently, so we have only two beautiful souls we were tasked with raising. Most days, that was more than enough! After Wade and I had been married for about a year, I remember having a conversation about children with someone who had more life experience than I did. I asked her about when would be a good time for a young couple to start a young family. Is it after you have purchased a house? Or is it after you have lived to a certain age? Or is it after you have a certain amount of money saved in the bank? Or is it after you’ve found a dream job? Or is it after you acquire pets . . . or after you have paid off a car . . . or after . . . *insert WHATEVER YOU WANT here* That conversation has meant more to me the older I get.

There is a country song that has a line that really hits this person’s point. That line says, “If tomorrow never comes . . . ”  What is tomorrow if not “after” today? The sense of urgency that I said I have really found again simply means that I have stopped waiting to start something or do something I really wanted to. We hear all the time that life is too short for “this” or “that” or “something else” so we shouldn’t pass by the opportunity to let loved ones know they are loved or say what is on our heart or not be happy. In my business I hear it all the time. Someone wants to join our business “after” they _________ *fill in the blank* or “when they are done with” _________ *fill in the blank*. And again I’ve seen it with people who have wanted to get healthier or lose weight or work on a bad habit. More often than not they say the same thing . . . “after” or “when”. But what happens after? There is no time like the present, right? I made a decision that I would leave my job and come home to work for myself. Is there risk there? Yeah, there is. Is there fear there? Yeah, there is. I am responsible for my income in a way I never have been before. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard when I was working and I earned my keep, so to speak. But now, it’s solely up to me to make my business grow and move. If I am not working, I am not earning. And I have to stay away from, “I’ll make those phone calls ‘after’ . . .” There are so many “afters” to worry about! 

My weight reached a point a few years ago that I knew I needed to start NOW to change the upward tick in the scale I saw week after week. I had a sense of urgency. I couldn’t wait until “after” any more. I stopped looking for excuses for why I COULDN’T lose weight and get healthy and instead replaced them with reasons WHY I needed to lose weight and get healthy. Has it been easy? Hahaha. NO. Not even close. But it has been worth it. I have had moments of weakness. I have had times when I didn’t care enough to continue. There were times when I binged on a sleeve of oreos or a pint of ice cream. But things were different. Before I started, I wouldn’t care about how that made me feel when I did those things. But now, when I veer off the path I need to be on, I am more often disgusted with myself and very, VERY disappointed in my weakness and lack of willpower. BUT, one thing remains. My desire to be ahead of the “after” that would come if I didn’t continue. I used to think that I would lose weight after I had a doctor tell me to lose weight. Or after I had a health scare. And then I would say I would start after the month was over or the boys were back in school or I was done with the stressful project in which I was involved at the time. Nothing good waits for us “after”. Nothing.

I have already shared that I started painting again around Christmas. I am loving it. But how many times during the last 5 years did I say I would start painting, or whatever hobby I wanted to try, “after” something else happened or ended. I am glad that I have found my sense of urgency this last year. I feel more motivated to continue this weight loss journey than ever. I left my job because I knew I could do something even greater for myself, than what I was doing. I knew God had bigger plans for me than where I was. I am still searching out all the different veins of that plan, but I am living it. I am here where I need to be. 

There was a movie about 20 years ago titled, “Dude Where’s My Car?” It is a comedy. It is kinda mind-numbingly dumb. But it has a scene where the two main characters pull up to a drive thru. The gal on the other end of the speaker keeps asking after each item they order, “And then . . . ” They grow frustrated with her and finally yell, “No ‘and then’!”, basically saying they are done and don’t want to order anything else. So I ask you, what happens “after”? I honestly don’t know. But my fear is that there will be no “and then’s” left for me. 

Friend, don’t wait to start whatever it is that is in your heart and mind to do until “after”. After may be too late. There are so many reasons to do whatever we can NOW because life is too short. It really is. You want to lose weight? Stop smoking? Get your body, mind or spirit in better shape? Be a better wife/husband/friend/sister/parent or whatever other roles you have in life? Start now. Don’t wait. If you need support, reach out to those who you KNOW are on your side. There are people who want better things for you than you want yourself. You know how I know that? I have some of those same people in my life. I am that person in the lives of others. Find those in your life who are bearers of the truth and let them help guide you. They won’t steer you wrong. Find the people who will tell you what’s best for you, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Let them in on your struggle, whatever that may be. Ask them for their support and help. AND THEN, find a way to start BEFORE it’s too late. You really are worth it. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Marching To The Beat Of A Different Drum

This week has been a good week for me. I am feeling better and stronger every day. And trust me when I say, that’s a massive improvement! I have received a few cards and lots of texts and messages checking in on me and I appreciate every one of them! Thank you all so much for your kindness! I still get tired pretty easily. But I am expecting that to fade away also. As far as eating goes . . . this week wasn’t as good as last week. And that isn’t only because I just finished a large lunch and free piece of pie from Home Plate for my birthday. I have had more of an appetite this week. I have eaten more. But again, I am chalking it up to the fact that my body is needing more to continue to get well. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, anyway. Physical activity didn’t happen again this week. But I have already made myself an agreement that I will get out and walk some starting tomorrow. I don’t care if it’s around the block. I am shooting for the “more-than-I-did-yesterday” approach. One block will be just fine if that’s all I can manage. All you can do is all you can do, right? Right. Now, let’s get on with it . . . 

Today is my birthday! I am old according to some; young according to others; and even still more would say I am right where I am supposed to be: in the prime of life. I don’t know. There are mornings when I feel old; others when I feel young; and even still more days when I feel I am right where I am supposed to be: in the prime of life. What I can tell you for sure is this: I am getting to the age that I really don’t spend as much time worrying about what other people think of me as I used to. Anyone who knows me at all, knows I am a quirky, weird, even awkward person. I have a strange sense of humor and I am fairly sarcastic. No one knows this as much as my own family does. This week, something happened that reminded me just how strange I can be! As I mentioned last week, I have been doing a lot of painting. I have been using a method called acrylic paint pouring. I absolutely love it. But there are things I had to watch again and again to get the technique down enough to feel confident enough to try. Now, one of the people I have been watching (FOR HOURS) on YouTube is a lady named Jilly. I don’t know if that is how it’s spelled, but that’s what she has called herself. Anyway, Jilly is Australian. (Hopefully you said “Australian” in your head with an Australian accent as I always do! – I am weird, remember?) Since I have been watching and learning from Jilly, I have noticed myself doing something . . . If something good or bad happens, I will say out loud, “OH, NO!”, or, “Ooooooooohhhhh, I loooooooooove iiiitttttt!” with an Australian accent!  One day this week, Franklin, my youngest child, just happened to be walking by the room as I was painting at the same time I said out loud, “Ooooooohhhhhh, I looooooove iiiiitttttttt!”, with the emphasis on the “T” at the end of “it” and I heard him chuckle. He peeked his head and shoulders through the open door and asked me if what he had just heard was an Australian accent. I said that it was. With his signature “Franklin chuckle” he said it was pretty good. I apologized for my weirdness. He said it was just one of the many things he loves about his mom. What I am getting at is this . . . At that moment, even with Franklin hearing me, I was happy. I was carefree. I didn’t worry about whether or not someone may have heard me or thought I was weird or any of it!

At some point, and no, I can’t tell you when, I stopped caring about my happiness and started caring far too much about what others thought about me or wanted for me or expected of me. And then at some point, a point that is easier for me to recognize, I made the conscious decision that I was going to stop being so concerned about the opinions of others and what they thought of me or wanted for me or expected of me and pay more attention to what Lacy wanted and expected and thought. It has taken me a lot of time to arrive at that and actually start trying to focus on what is truly best for me. What is best for me? Well, I can tell you it may look different from what is best for you. But you know what? That is OKAY! We can be different. What is best for me includes some of the following things, in no particular order: Family, friends, God, Bible study, prayer, and time for myself. These last two years, I have learned so much about myself . . . and others. But what I have found to be most true is that I am better served paying attention to the things I mentioned above than by worrying what someone may be thinking about me or what their opinion may be about me. 

I used to have two signs above my desk when I worked at the newspaper. One of them said, “Lack of preparation on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine.” The other said, “Stress is what happens when your mind says ‘no’ and your mouth says ‘yes’.” Truer words were never spoken than the words on that last sign. I found myself agreeing to take on way too much in some instances because there was no one else to do the things to which I was agreeing. I found myself sacrificing precious moments with my family because I said “yes” to something I really could have said “no” to. I had to learn the hard way that just because you are a “leader” of an organization or a “manager” at a place of employment or you have been placed in a position of responsibility with authority and it is now up to you to make sure things get done . . . NONE of those things require that you do them all yourself. I have been in organizations where people haven’t done things they were responsible for because they had taken all the work on themselves and neglected delegating tasks to other capable human beings. Heck, I have been that person before. It is stressful and no fun. I have also found myself working on projects to the point of sheer exhaustion just because I was afraid that someone may think less of me if I didn’t work myself to the point of exhaustion or that they would say that someone else worked harder than I did. I let the opinions of other people sometimes dictate WHY I was doing something instead of doing it because it was something that I actually loved. And the part that is even more crazy? Some of those projects and responsibilities I worked on to the point of exhaustion were things I really did love but by the time I was done with it, I never wanted to do it again. 

I don’t know why my mind took me to this topic today. I guess it is merely to say that your happiness is important. MY happiness is important. And when we give up happiness to cater to other people’s will and happiness in OUR lives, it is wrong. On all counts. I understand that we all have/had actual jobs with wages attached where we were sometimes asked to do something we didn’t enjoy. That is different. It’s a part of the JOB. When I worked at the dental clinic, we had a line in our employment manual that said management understood we weren’t going to LOVE every aspect of our job but that we were still expected to do them. I also told my employees all the time that I would never ask them to do something I wasn’t willing to do myself (or learn to do myself). But what I am saying is when our happiness is sacrificed in our own lives to appease the desires and wants and wishes of others, it is dangerous. Believe me. When other people’s opinions start to matter over our good sense, and our wishes, and our livelihood, it is not only counterproductive, it is flat out dangerous. And before you know it, you find yourself giving up this dream, or that dream all because you’ve already given up another dream before and it wasn’t such a big deal. What are we if we can’t dream? *FYI: That’s a rhetorical question and answers WILL vary and that is really okay* 

I am sure most of us have heard the saying, “He marches to the beat of a different drum.” I want to encourage you all today to find the drum beat in your life. Some of us will have drums that are louder than others. But I promise you, WE ALL HAVE a beat coming from a drumline somewhere deep within us. It’s unique. It’s permanent. And it’s YOURS. Find it. Please, find it. And when you hear it, it will be impossible NOT to hear it again. It will always reverberate and vibrate and move you somehow. When you do find it, march on. March to the beat of your own drum. You never know who you are going to inspire to find their beat. And, who knows? One day, you may even find yourself, covered in paint, talking to yourself in a room – with or without an Australian accent – when your youngest child points out just how unique and individual you truly are. And that process will remind you just how loved you are because of (or in spite of . . . not quite sure which) that uniqueness. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

‘Till You Find Your Dream

This week was not a great one. I did nothing physical whatsoever. I am still recuperating from being sick and I am hoping to get back to at least riding the stationary bike some this week to get my legs moving. Then walking. But small steps for now. As far as eating goes, I haven’t had much of an appetite so I really didn’t eat a whole lot and didn’t stray into sugary pastures. I feel drained and exhausted and appreciate those who have called or messaged me somehow to check in on me. Love you, my friends. And once again, I am shooting to keep this week’s blog short so I can get back to my ever important job of resting once again.

Last Sunday, my husband, Wade, helped “undecorate” after Christmas. Had I known I was going to be as sick as I was, I wouldn’t have gone all out on the decorations for the first time in a very long time. His help was much appreciated although I am already praying for my OCD self in November this year when I get to see how he packed all of it away. Not complaining; as I said, I really appreciate that he did it for me. I can say one thing is certain: I could use some new decorations. They are all as old as our marriage, for the most part, and are looking their age. I have some ideas and I think I can accomplish most of them before next year. Anyway, that kind of leads me into what I want to write about this week. I have been painting again. I wrote not long ago about teaching myself to paint using the techniques of Bob Ross. About two years ago I quite by accident stumbled onto a new technique of painting using acrylics. I was fascinated by these paintings I was seeing and instantly knew I wanted to eventually try this method. So very similar to what I did when I started oil painting, I went out and purchased some of the supplies I was going to need to get it going. I spent nowhere near the amount of money I did getting set up 5 years ago with the oils I started using. But I was pursuing a passion. Just like most of you, I have a lot of things that I want to do and that I love to do. Some of those have crossed over into the category of “am doing” but not all of them.

I have several things that I really enjoy doing right now. Candle making, painting, and writing are a few of them. I have done some of those before but not like I am now. I am going to be selling the paintings and candles to finance my habits . . . my addictions, if you will. It’s not cheap to do any of the hobbies I enjoy. I do it in place of therapy *wink wink* but I don’t believe it is any cheaper than therapy! I just want enough to pay for the materials. And, through a friend, I have been in touch with an artist who has looked at the quality of my work and has advised me on pricing. That was so helpful as I really had NO CLUE what to sell the paintings for, even after looking up several places online to see how others have their work priced. You might pray with me that I can sell them. Otherwise, y’all may be getting some for gifts. I’m only half kidding. I will be posting some later on my Facebook page and seeing about using Facebook marketplace. I am excited about where this venture will lead me. But in true Lacy form, my interests have as many ADD tendencies as everything else in my life. I am pretty sure I have some form of adult ADD, and I am also pretty sure anyone who has ever worked with me on anything would concur. I am also a perfectionist with OCD. Yeah, I am a mess. I mean, who isn’t, though? 

There are so many things that I want to do and even feel compelled to do. I have had several people tell me I need to write a book. I would love that. I have had even more people tell me I should do a devotional type book. I would love to do THAT. Organizing my thoughts, though, is going to be the difficult part for me. Remember ADD, anyone? And I am scared to try. I have always been a “play it safe” kind of gal. Truly. I am afraid of disappointing people; myself included. I am afraid of failing and not being able to recover. Read that one again for me, please. I am not so much afraid of failure. I am afraid of not being able to recover from that failure. However, one thing I have been able to do here in the last year is to walk through some of the fears I have to get to where I am going. I have visions and dreams and goals and I have left “comfort” behind to pursue them. I mean, I actually left a job of 12 years . . . a place where I could actually see myself retiring from . . . to follow my heart with my own home based business that would allow some of these other passions to play out as well. I started painting again. I started this blog. For crying out loud! Over the last year I have put myself “out there” in more ways than I ever imagined I COULD. And yeah, I have experienced failure this last year. But what I am realizing is that I was able to pick myself up and toe the line with whatever it was that knocked me down in the first place. And that, my friends, is a success in my book. I am sure I will fail again. But the longer I am alive on this earth the more I realize that it’s okay to fail. It is okay to try. It is okay to start something new or start something new AGAIN after you fall down. It is never okay to give up on a God-given/God-called passion. Life is too short not to pursue every passion God puts on your heart. If He calls you to it, He will help you through it. He will help you figure it out. I promise. Life is too short to be miserable and unhappy. In the movie, “The Sound of Music”, Julie Andrews sings, “Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, ‘till you find your dream.” Great advice. And as I always say, you are worth whatever it takes to be healthy and happy. Whatever it takes.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou


This week hasn’t been good. I hate when I feel like I have lost a day to something out of my control and REALLY hate when I feel like I have lost an entire week to something out of my control. Mentally, I am worn out. We are still in the middle of the repair on the bathroom. And to add to my frustration . . . we can’t finish the main bath because we can’t find the same paneling that is on the walls in there. The local lumberyard used to get this particular paneling from a place in Nebraska that went out of business and the one place where they can buy it has an 80 sheet minimum purchase. I need a 2 foot wide section . . . so less than a full sheet. We are likely going to have to redo the walls in that bathroom. And then we decided to go ahead and do some remodeling in the boys’ bath also. Updating with a new vanity and sink and flooring to match the main bath. That’s all pretty manageable outside of keeping my OCD in check because everything is out of sorts. But then I ended up getting sick. Like kinda really sick. And I am not able to do even small tasks right now without being completely wiped out. Thus my feeling as though I have lost a week. I have been able to do a few paintings (yes, I am painting in a new technique) as doing so doesn’t require much from me. However, physical activity has stopped. I am missing church today and I haven’t walked all week. I don’t know that much physical activity will happen next week, but I don’t have much of an appetite either. I’ve got that going for me. All that being said, I am going to make this a short and sweet blog this week so I can get back to holding the couch down. 

I saw something on Facebook about the ringing in the new year that made me laugh out loud this week. Well, actually I saw several things about it that made me chuckle. One said something about how we all need to come into this year quiet and calm . . . with no fuss and no big deal being made. Enter calmly and DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING. I laughed. The other thing I saw asked if anyone else was concerned that the name of this year was “2020 WON” . . . I thought, “Well, now I am!” *wink wink* I know I am not the only one who is glad to say that this year was welcomed and prayers and hopes are that it will be better. But honestly, I started thinking about what it is in our minds that makes us think things are going to be “different” just because of the date on the calendar. I know that the same kindness or hatred; the same unforgiveness or grace; the same sickness or health will travel right beside us into any new day, new week, new month and new year we greet. The difference isn’t in a page on a calendar. It is in the hearts and minds of the people flipping that page on the calendar.

I have been one who has set resolutions on New Year’s day and then watched as the “resolve” I once had in making them dwindle. Then, what had lasted a few days or a few weeks turns into the first major failure of the year. Now, I’m not afraid of failure. In fact, that’s a whole separate topic I want to write about! I intentionally made the decision I wasn’t going to make any resolutions this year. And you know what? The calendar page flipped and we are now in the 3rd day of that new year. The ball still dropped. The fireworks still went off. The party-goers still sang “Auld Lang Syne” as midnight came and went. Now, I am not here to tell you you’re wrong if you made a resolution. That’s your deal! Truly. I am just trying to say that for the first time EVER I didn’t enter the New Year thinking about what I wanted to change. I am trying to learn and grow daily. It’s not a one and done thing for me anymore. I have decided that my happiness isn’t conditional on whether or not I am still doing “that thing” I had resolved to do. No. Not at all. My happiness is found in doing things that bring me peace. Walking, singing, painting, spending time with family, praying, reading my Bible . . . All these things are happiness to me. I have grown more and more simple the older I get. And I am really comfortable and okay with that. Now, that’s something I never thought I would say. Again . . . that’s a topic to write about in itself!

What would happen if we set out every single day to love better, speak kinder, do more good than the day before? What would that look like? I think that the things we set out to do would be much better served if they weren’t resolutions made because of a date on the calendar but because we can see the inherent need to do the right things for the right reasons all the time. I guess I am reminding myself and maybe you, my readers, to embrace “the NOW” and live in the moment. Life is far too short to settle for dwelling in the past or letting the fears and uncertainty of the future ruin today. That heavy thing you’ve been carrying . . . find a way to put it down. Open your hands and let it go. We can’t receive the goodness and blessings that ARE meant for us if we are “white-knuckling” things that are NOT meant for us any longer. I know. It’s difficult. Believe me, I get it. But we have to know that we are worth it. I am worth it. You are worth it. And the people around us are all worth it, too. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Tools of the Trade

This week has been actually pretty good in the eating category! I haven’t strayed too far from the things I know I need to eat. I spent some time with an upset stomach on Christmas Night and early that next morning. I think I was a combo of eating a lot of heavy things that I normally don’t with a rather greasy breakfast Christmas morning and then a very late snack of a piece of peanut brittle. (Sorry, probably TMI. Haha. That’s me though, right? This whole blog tends to be TMI at moments.) I am better now, but that kept me away from eating too much junk yesterday, for sure! I had lost three pounds last week by the number the scale showed me when I weighed on Monday morning. That is always a win! Anyway . . . this next week should be even easier and I am looking forward to stepping on the scale after the 1st of the year and seeing nothing but gains – in the loss department. I am starting another challenge with people wanting to take control of their health also. Some have done this program before and some have not. I am excited to start with them in January and continue to drop the excess weight I need to lose! 

We are smack dab in the middle of a bathroom repair/remodel. I can’t really classify it as a full remodel. We are keeping the same vanity and sink but replacing the tub (which was the reason for the repair in the first place) and new shower stall insert. New flooring and a new toilet . . . a taller, “made-more-for-grown-ups” toilet. My mom, Betty, told me it would change my life. She wasn’t wrong. My dad, Lloyd, has been helping with this endeavor. Wade, my husband, was able to help out the first weekend (last weekend) and since then it’s been my just dad working on it. I actually took a shower in the new tub/shower today. It was SO nice after using the boy’s smaller 3’x3’ shower stall for the last week! Wade and my dad have worked together on all of our home improvement projects over our 24+ years of marriage. From the first bathroom remodel we did almost 18 years ago, to the flooring we’ve done, to painting and new walls in certain rooms, to our new water heater and new furnace, to the deck that we replaced last summer (that project isn’t finished but I hope when the weather starts getting warmer in the spring, we can get it done quickly!) Now, to know my dad is to love my dad. To know Wade? . . . meh. Just kidding. Most love Wade, too. When these two come together . . . oh, my. The stories we could tell. They get along famously. But again, if you can’t get along with my dad, there’s something wrong with you! To get along with Wade? . . . meh. Just kidding. Kinda. But seriously, these two are quite the pair. At one point last week, I heard my dad ask Wade if a piece of drywall they had cut would fit where it was intended. Wade’s answer was, “I dunno, Pa. You measured it.” Another time, my dad said, “We mighta oughta read the directions, Wade.” To which Wade responded, “Maybe so, Pa. Maybe so.” I’m telling you. They keep things interesting. I have been picking up scraps and parts and pieces here and there and trying to keep what is “keepable” and throwing what’s “throwable” and not losing my mind as my OCD suffers from not being able to keep things tidy! And the tools. Good night, the TOOLS! Seriously. But, a few things came to mind this week as I was looking at all the tools they have used this last week. One was these tools are costly. There is a LOT of money that has been spent on all the various tools lying in random places all over my house. Another thing was that they all serve very different purposes. It’s not like there is an all-in-one saw, with a chalk line, with a sander, with a knife, with a level, with a hammer, with a screwdriver, with a flashlight all attached. (And if there is, please don’t tell Wade about it. Stop chuckling. I am being serious, here.) The other thing I thought about is that you really have to know how to use those tools to accomplish what you have set out to do. 

I thought about all those different tools and how it relates to weight loss and healthy living in general. I have kind of touched on this before. I have been known to purchase a new workout DVD or a new program or a new shake or a new pair of workout pants as if just owning those things was somehow going to make me lose the weight I so desperately wanted and NEEDED to lose. If only it were that easy. Truth is, you can spend money on a lot of things in life that are supposed to help you but if you don’t use them, it’s money wasted. I might as well have just thrown my money in the trash with some of those purchases. I was motivated when I bought those things. I was in love with THE IDEA of getting healthy. I was in love with THE IDEA of losing and feeling better. Well, an idea is like a wish. Wish in one hand and, well, you know how that saying goes. You can have an idea but if you don’t put action to it, it dies there. And when it dies, for me, food takes its place. I would eat to make myself feel better about the purchase and the “un-use” of that new item and the let-down and disappointment because it just couldn’t quite get me the results I wanted and could see in my mind’s eye. And that is exactly what happened to many of the things I purchased thinking they would motivate me. They always cost me more than just money. A little part of the hope I had of EVER getting into shape and losing weight and finding a way died, too. It wore on me. If you’ve never been there, fighting to find a way to better yourself (IN ANY AREA OF LIFE); fighting to believe that you are worth it; fighting to see yourself through the eyes of those who love you and KNOW you are special . . . it will be hard for you to understand. But believe me. It’s difficult to see your way out of that. It is difficult not to let it keep you there, in that spot of hopelessness. And it’s painful. Really painful. 

Tools are different. And they serve different purposes. For weight loss, there are so many tools. There are pills. There is surgery. There are meal plans and programs. There is exercise. There are support groups. And perhaps the most frustrating thing of all is that not all of them work the same way for everyone. I’ve seen people have great success with meal plans. I have seen some have success with surgery. I have also seen temporary successes with meal plans and surgeries and other “tools” and then I’ve watched the same successes take a turn and lead that person right back to where they started. For one thing, the tools don’t matter much if you haven’t made up your mind that it is nothing more than a tool to get you from point A to point B and it’s up to you to do the work to stay at point B. I have had successes with other workout plans and other meal plans and such as well. And for whatever reason I would always end up gaining the weight back as soon as I stopped using them. My MINDSET hadn’t changed enough for me to stay where I needed to be. It was temporary for me. And because I have so much to lose, it was not going to take care of itself in a month or even six. No. And that was what was so difficult for me. I have been losing weight for TWO YEARS. And I am still not where I need to be. But I guess when you have 200+ pounds to lose, you know at the start it’s going to take time. For me, though, it was about finding the right tool and using it the right way. 

Each tool in the box serves a certain purpose and we really have to find out what that is and then use it to its fullest. A tool is only as effective as the person using it. You can hand a hammer to a 4 year old and they’ll tear up way more with it than they’ll ever fix. Certain “tools” in the wrong hands can cause more damage than good. Weight loss tools are no different. You can employ all the programs and all the workout videos that are available to you, but they are only going to be as effective as YOUR MIND will let them be. A weight loss tool can get you down in weight to where you feel best but it’s going to be up to you to maintain that weight. WHEN I reach my goals in weight loss, it will be completely up to me to stay there. Can I be mad at the tool I’ve used to get me down if I start to gain again? Can I blame the hammer for the hole in the wall if I was the one swinging it? Not so much. That’s really not how that works. It’s on me. I am the one who needs to know how to use the things around me to not only lose weight and get healthy, but to maintain and keep that weight off. It remains to be seen how that will work out for me. I have yet to see my goal weight. But if I have learned anything in the last two years, it is this: I CAN. I have done more in the last two years that I ever thought I could OR WOULD. I think I have surprised my own family at my sheer determination to continue losing. I am down almost 160 pounds from where I started two years ago. I still have SO FAR to go. But I am a lot closer to where I want to be than when I started. I have learned to stop doubting myself and just go for it. Well, still working on that, truth be told. But I am so much better than I was. And you know, I am worth it. I am worth whatever it takes to be healthy and happy. And I am working on it. Daily. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

‘Tis the Season

This week has been a very odd week for me. I really can’t explain it. I will say I only walked twice. I rode the stationary bike on the other days, though. I feel like I did well eating. With the exception of a few Christmas goodies my mailman husband has been given and brought home to share with us. I am really trying to repeat last year where I lost between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. That’s my goal. If I don’t lose, I am not wanting to gain any. Franklin, my youngest, is also trying to cut some pounds. I am eating healthy with him and reminding myself I can’t cheat on him just as I can’t cheat on myself. It is a little easier when you have someone who is in it with you. Truly. And I would encourage all of you to get an accountability partner in whatever it is you are struggling with. It will help you. People will let themselves down. They will give up on themselves often. But they don’t want to let others down. People are more likely to stick to goals when they have verbalized those goals to accountability partners. It’s like a law or something *wink, wink* DON’T LET OTHERS DOWN . . . Now, on to more important matters.

This week, as I said, has been odd. It’s actually had a real suck factor to it. Let me start from the beginning. The battery in our car died and needed to be replaced. I cut my finger (not at all surprising) pretty good and it’s been a nuisance and very sore all week. (Yes, I am whining because I can) Two gifts I purchased for two friends have apparently vanished into the abyss where all lost packages go. Our bathroom remodel started. Let me clarify . . . it is truly a REPAIR NEEDED project but has run into various complications that couldn’t be helped and it’s going to be a remodel by the time we are done with it. I stubbed and broke the littlest toe on my right foot. And Sunday night my dishwasher stopped working properly. It wouldn’t drain. Have you ever had so much crap happen that it’s truly overwhelming to try and deal with and you feel like you are watching all the other, very important responsibilities pile up because you are dealing with the squeaky wheel at the moment? Yeah. That’s where I was and honestly still find myself. And Christmas shopping hasn’t happened yet. That is the plan for this afternoon. After church and after Wade and my dad get a little more accomplished in our bathroom. I am overwhelmed. Partly because my OCD nature can’t handle the mess of remodeling and all the other stuff piling up because I am so focused on not losing my mind around the messes. It has reminded me of times when I was overwhelmed and depressed and anxious all at the same time. I feel the need to speak to those of you who are feeling those same feelings this week. It’s the season when people seem to lose their minds trying to accomplish more baking and cleaning and cooking in one week than they do in a whole year. And then there’s the Christmas correspondence also. Cards and letters. I still have to get mine addressed and sent. And I am stressing about that. But, you know what? It’s okay. Because I have decided it’s okay. 

I know I am not the only one who has looked at a house as disorganized and messed up as mine is right now and felt overwhelmed and completely unsure of where to even start putting it back together again. If you have ever stood looking at a sink of dirty dishes and wondered how many of them can actually fit inside the dishwasher in one load . . . and how many loads it may take to get them all done; or if you have ever looked in your laundry room and wondered how many loads you will have to separate all the clothes into to get them all washed and dried and folded and put away . . . and you start questioning if you will have enough hours in this day to get it done; or if you have ever sat at your desk and tried to see where to start dealing with the clutter on it . . . or during the week, had to talk yourself into working because you are your own boss and no one else will tell you to do it; this is for you. And even further . . . if you have ever stood over your walking/running/workout shoes trying to convince yourself to put them on and go for that walk/run/bike ride; this is for you, too. And if you’re dealing with anything from the first set of issues I mentioned AND the second issue together, GOD BLESS YOU! You need to hear this. This is for you as much as it is for me. Your life, your success and your failure isn’t found in ANY of the above mentioned things. And your happiness isn’t found in taking care to remedy any of those things. Sometimes I feel like the world gives us these perfect images of things in magazines and on television and on facebook that make us feel that what we have and how our lives are lived is somehow insignificant and inadequate on the grandest of scales. Of course, we know this is how advertising works. It speaks to the “want-er” in all of us. The way to get someone to buy what you’re selling is to make them as dissatisfied as you can with what they already have and dangle something better or newer in front of them. It’s worked very effectively for a long, LONG time!

Let me tell you something you won’t hear on T.V. or Facebook any time in the future, near or far. There is no one on the planet who has it all together all of the time. At some point, someone has had to deal with a sink full of dishes, two weeks worth of laundry and a house that is completely unrecognizable in its current form. They may not advertise that they are dealing with it, but that makes it no less true! Life is dirty, rough, difficult, stinky, messy and downright disappointing. AT TIMES. Then other times, you see the good life holds. One example of when you might see the good could be when you are talking with your friends about their perceived shortcomings. I recently had a conversation with “my girls” that included house cleaning. Two of us are pretty OCD. Even with my OCD, there are times when depression and the anxiety overrun that and things can slip a little. The conversation really was more about when we have other people over and they are amongst our “dirt and grime” and how much of that they notice. We all agreed that most people really aren’t going to notice the layers of dust on the picture frames or in the hidden corners where no one would even see it. My motto has been what my mom has always told me. She would say, “If someone comes into your house and they are looking close enough to criticize your ineptness in dusting or vacuuming, poke them in the eye.” Haha! Then, she would say, “Or offer them a dustrag.” Her point was this: There will always be dust and dirt to deal with. The people who come to visit you are NOT coming to see the condition of your house but the condition of their friend and loved one. 

I don’t know why I felt compelled to write this today. Truly, I don’t. I just know that I always pray over what I am supposed to write and God directs my thoughts in the way I believe He wants them to go. And I really feel like He wants us all to remember that this is the season that brought His love in human form to a lost and dying world. And THAT is what it’s all about. The holiday season can be stressful in itself. Most of us have experienced a deep loss of a loved one sometime in our lives and have had to go through all the “firsts” without them there. The first sets of birthdays and anniversaries and holidays. We have all felt the pressure to decorate and keep up with the other houses on our streets. We have all felt “less than” because we are not the bakers that others are and or we just don’t have the time to do as much as others do in that area. We have all felt that we have let our children down because we don’t want to go into debt to buy them that big, BIG ticket item they are asking for so they are going to have to settle with presents farther down on their list. Or we did put Christmas on a credit card and are now worried about paying that all off. We have all felt like we haven’t done enough to make Christmas perfect for those around us. (Please go back and read my blog from last week.) Nothing is perfect. We wouldn’t want them to be. That’s just too much pressure. This week, as we move into Christmas, I implore you to look at the PEOPLE around you. Not the things. Remember that as long as you have your family and friends in your lives, nothing else really matters. The only gift they’ll truly remember long-term is the gift of your presence . . . your efforts to be there, really THERE, in the moment with them. Don’t let this season be the reason for additional stress in your life. Like I said, your failure isn’t found in the piles of laundry and dishes, paperwork and responsibility. Those piles mean you have people in your life you are caring for and loving and you are busy doing the loving and caring and will get to those dishes and laundry and paperwork and responsibilities eventually. And our happiness isn’t found in accomplishing task after task on any given day. It’s in the faces and voices of those we love. It’s in giving parts of ourselves to them on a daily basis as often as possible. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! May you feel all the joy and love that is around you. May you forget, even for a day, the responsibilities you have waiting for you after. Let go of the weight of the day-to-day and pick up the peace that surpasses all understanding as you wrap yourself in the love of Christ. The rest is temporary. The rest can just wait. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Perfectly Imperfect

This week, I walked only a couple days again. I rode the stationary bike more often. I am keeping the sweets to a minimum and portions are under control. I had lost a pound over the two week span that surrounded Thanksgiving so, to me, that was a win. Last year, from the end of November to the first of January was the first time in my life when I actually lost weight over the entire Holiday Season. I am definitely pushing for that again and it is a goal. Not gaining would be big for me, but I am aiming to continue to lose. We will see how that all ends up in a month.

As long as we have been together . . . every Christmas, birthday, anniversary and any other “gift obligated” holiday or observance . . . my lovely husband, Wade, will complain that I am “IMPOSSIBLE” to buy a gift for. Is it because I am high maintenance? No. Is it because I tend to be drawn to expensive things? While it’s true that I have a champagne taste on a beer budget, the answer to that is also no. Is it because I am picky? No. He says that I never want or ask for anything and even when he asks the answer is that I don’t know or don’t care. It’s true that I do tell him I don’t know or don’t care when he asks. But I don’t actually think the first part of that IS true. I kinda WANT a lot. I don’t express those wants very often because I really am able to be quite happy and satisfied (remember last week’s blog) with the things I have. However, five years ago, a few months before Christmas, I was really struggling with life in general. Everyday stress and pressures from work; the fact that Ben was going to be entering high school and Franklin was going to be entering middle school; all combined with my personal struggles of depression and anxiety and not being able to deal well with them in that particular time frame had resulted in me feeling like I really needed to do something to help me relax and focus less on my external world. I was looking for any activity or hobby that would help me just calm down and focus on taking care of myself for a change. I figured it was that or therapy. I was seriously considering returning to see a mental health therapist to help me with these things. So the discussion came up about Christmas and Wade asked me what I wanted. Only he said this before the question: “I do NOT want to hear an ‘I don’t know’ or an ‘I don’t care’ right now. So if you can’t come up with something I can buy for you then don’t say anything until you can.” Then he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Well, ok. Challenge accepted. I didn’t answer him that day. In fact, it was a few days of my thinking about it before I got back to him. I thought of lots of things I could ask for. But keeping in mind that I was looking for something to physically do to help myself destress I really started trying to think of SOMEthing he could buy me to start a new hobby or craft. Now, I have always loved Bob Ross. Growing up I loved watching him. Every Saturday morning my sister and I would sit on the floor in front of the huge box television to watch him paint his happy clouds and trees and friendly bushes where the squirrels lived. A few years prior to this Christmas discussion I accidentally stumbled onto a T.V. episode of Bob painting. I didn’t know the program was still running. So in today’s age, with the ability to DVR anything, I set a timer to record all his shows. I watched them at night when I couldn’t sleep and they always calmed me. I returned to Wade a couple days later and told him I had an answer. I wanted to start painting like Bob Ross. That it was either that or I was going to go back to therapy to get my mind and coping techniques under control. He quickly said that painting sounded great. I told him that because I had NEVER painted in my life I thought he should buy the cheapest canvas and brushes and paints and such that he could find because I might get into it and quickly discover I didn’t like it. In which case, therapy it would be. He bought some really cheap things and I started painting. I LOVED IT. I wasn’t really good at all to start. I mean, I’m still not really good, but I am learning and improving. I told him I really liked it and he gave me the green light to go to Hobby Lobby where I could get “the good stuff” from the Bob Ross line of supplies. And that’s exactly what I did. And then I called him on the way home and apologized for spending $400 on myself to which he replied, “Whatever makes you happy, my love.” And it does. It does make me happy.

I have always had a creative, inventive mind. I love arts and crafts and now painting. I have made things with my hands before and really enjoy it. With not working outside the home, I thought I would have more time to do some of those things again and more regularly. Well, that hasn’t been entirely true. I mean, I do still work. Ha! But I am missing that creative outlet. So I have some things in the works that will allow me to do some of those same things again and then sell them to help finance my habit. I am going to use some of my downtime and weekends to spark my creative genius and hope to relieve some stress that way. What I also know about myself is this: I have OCD and sometimes I get frustrated when things aren’t entirely perfect. Crafting and painting were always good ways to work on teaching myself that things don’t have to be absolutely perfect to be perfect. I hope that makes sense. Read it again. They don’t have to be “perfect” to be perfect. The first day I started painting, I got all set up and started making clouds and a skyline. I added a few trees in the distance. I added water to the foreground. Then Franklin, who was 10 at the time, came in to see what I was up to. I was pretty proud of how the picture was looking and asked him what he thought. Let me offer a little advice: If you don’t want to know the God’s honest truth about something, don’t ask a child. He looked at it for a while. Then asked me what “these” were and pointed to my clouds. Then asked me what “this” was and pointed to my distant trees in the background. Then he was quiet again. So I prompted him, “Well . . . . ?” He looked at me as serious as any grown up would and said, “I think that Bob Ross guy is ripping people off!” I am sure you can understand what this did to my freshly acquired confidence in my new skill! As it often happens with me, my sarcasm came out as I said, “Well, he’s dead, so . . .” Franklin has always gotten my weird sense of humor and he laughed with me. Then he said that he thought it was “all right for my first time” and went on about his day. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Such is life. We don’t have to be perfect versions of ANYTHING in our lives to be perfect. Life doesn’t come with a manual, that is for sure. I mean, to me, the Bible serves as one. But truly, nothing in this life comes with a given set of instructions that will help us navigate anything with certainty. I don’t exercise perfectly. I don’t wife perfectly. I don’t parent perfectly. In fact, I don’t do anything perfectly. The point is that I don’t stop doing what I am doing just because it is filled with errors or mistakes. I fix those errors and correct the mistakes and move on with it. Just like this blog . . . I have someone who edits for mistakes and errors and then I correct them and publish. I don’t scrap the whole thing because the person editing suggests 5 or 6 corrections. We aren’t going to stop doing something because we fail at it or we can’t do it perfectly. No, we learn from those failures and find ways to improve on the imperfections and turn out a better product until we can get as near to perfection as is humanly possible. We’ve all heard the adage, “Practice makes perfect.” Through all the sports the boys have participated in through their lives they’ve learned this, too. Only, a few years ago, we heard something and passed it along to our boys. Simply stated, we don’t just practice until we get it right; we practice until we can’t get it wrong. As close to perfection as possible.

I am bound to get many, MANY things wrong in my life. I mean I already have. But I learn from every one of them. That is really what living is about. Becoming better versions of ourselves along the way. I think what I like so much about crafting and painting and doing anything with my hands is that, while there will always be a host of imperfections with anything I make and create, they are individual, one-of-a-kind pieces. And more often than not, those imperfections that make them individual and one-of-a-kind are what draws the person to love it in the first place. Those quirks we carry, the unique weirdness about us, the imperfections we have are what make us individual. It is what makes us human. It makes us more loveable because others can feel more comfortable around us because they are imperfect and individual and one-of-a-kind too. I am perfectly imperfect and I wouldn’t change that for all the Bob Ross skill in the world.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas 

This week I rode the stationary bike far more than I walked. I did walk three days. But I did ride every day. I think overall I did pretty good on watching what I was putting into my body. I didn’t weigh on Monday so I can’t tell you what I gained or lost over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. And I am okay with that. I will weigh tomorrow and see where I stand. I expect good things. 

It’s been awhile since I wrote anything that really spoke to the reason I started this blog. And for me, that’s okay. I think overall, even without speaking to the purpose of this venture, I have tried my best to keep myself transparent and open with you all about my struggles and successes. The reason I started this blog was to talk about the things I felt I had lost as I gained weight and have since “found” in myself again since losing some of the weight I have carried for all these years. I want to talk today about something I think I found again. Wade was off on Wednesday this week. His day off rotates through the weeks. He is off on a Monday, then Tuesday the next week, and Wednesday the next. It culminates in a Friday/Saturday/Sunday long weekend once in 6 weeks. It makes it hard to “plan” around sometimes. But we’ve grown accustomed to it. I had asked him earlier in the week if on his day off this week he would get the Christmas decorations out of our sheds and places where they are all stored so I could decorate. He asked me if I meant the tree or ALL of it. You see, for the past 10 years or so, I haven’t decorated anything in my house for Christmas with the exception of our Christmas tree. It’s weird though, because I truly love Christmas. It is my favorite Holiday. Thanksgiving is a close second. I told him I wanted all of it . . . the tree, the stockings, the nativity scenes, the Christmas village . . . ALL of it. I spent most of Wednesday taking it all out of the boxes, cleaning it up, and putting it up around the house. The Christmas village isn’t done yet. That is the only thing that isn’t, though. Wade still had to find one more box for me and now that he has, I can finish that today, maybe. Now, how does this have anything to do with what I may have found in myself that was lost or hidden? Well, it’s kinda complicated but I think I can boil it down to one word: Satisfaction. I haven’t spent this amount of time on any one holiday in YEARS. In fact, I may have spent more time on that day that I have spent on every Christmas in the last 10 years. And I came to a conclusion . . . I have spent a shameful amount of my time in this life wishing that I was different; that life was different; that my circumstances were different. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t enjoyed my life or that I haven’t had a good one, so far. But I often thought that if only “I had this” or could “do that” or “lived there” or “drove this” or could “cook like that” or would “decorate like” or had more of what I thought the rest of the world thought was “nice” and “awesome” and “whatever” that maybe I would be happier with the outcomes of the things I was attempting in my life. And at some point, I let that thinking stop me from doing what I really enjoyed during times like this. I don’t think I’m alone in this trap. If I were, the world’s economy would come to a screeching halt! People would stop buying “all the things” just because they wanted them. 

I haven’t ever really been a jealous type of person. Not really. Oh, sure, I’d see someone with a new car or new house or something fancy and think, “Oh! I could really get behind that kind of purchase!” But I could bring myself back to reality and find that place of happiness and satisfaction with my life and what I have. But something strange happened along the way. It wasn’t “things” I became obsessed with having . . . It was an “easier” lifestyle. I wanted to be thin. I wanted to be fit. I wanted to be pretty. I wanted to have nicer clothes that didn’t look like a couch or curtain pattern wrapped around my large body because, I mean, that’s what they make clothes for fat people out of, isn’t it? I wanted to be making better choices in ALL areas of my life. I wanted people to notice ME, my personality, my quirky (straight-out weird really) sense of humor and social awkwardness. I wanted them to see my big smile and bright, green eyes with their flecks of brown throughout. I wanted NOT to suck. I wanted it to be less “hard” . . . But it all seemed so overwhelming. I didn’t even know where to start. Especially when starting always ended with being right back at the starting line with even more weight to lose than when I began. I wanted all this because other people always seemed to have it SO together and made their lives look so perfect and easy. Well, I have learned a few things along the path my life has taken. No matter how much it may seem that way, things are NOT easy. For. ANYone. 

I recently saw something on Facebook (and that AUTOMATICALLY makes it true, right?) that resonated with me. The point of it was that you have to choose the “hard” you want to live with . . . Being fit is hard. But being fat is hard, too. Choose your hard. Being broke is hard. But saving money is hard, too. Choose your hard. Being an employee is hard. But being an entrepreneur is hard, too. Choose your hard. I can tell you that changing my lifestyle and getting healthier has been one of the “hardest” (most difficult) things I have ever attempted. Hands down. But I will also tell you straight out that being fat was one of the hardest things I have ever done. There comes a time when you have to choose one hard thing over another. I was unhappy in the body I was in. I had to hold my breath to tie my shoes. I had to use a seat belt extender on airplanes. I had to sleep on my side because the sheer amount of weight on my chest and neck made it difficult to breathe and not snore so loud I would wake myself up. I had to avoid sitting in folding chairs or chairs I knew wouldn’t hold over 300 pounds. I had to shop online for ALL my clothing. All those things were hard. Now, it’s a different kind of hard. I tell myself “no” FAR more than I would like when it comes to food choices. I go for walks almost daily. I ride the stationary bike. I do yoga for fat people. And I have to deal with being tired and burned out from doing the right things more often than not. One of the hardest things, honestly, has been the attention I have received from people. It’s not a bad thing in itself. But I am not one who appreciates attention like that. I almost feel as though there are people who are just waiting for me to fail. True or not, that is often where I find myself. I used to think that if I didn’t work for someone else, I would have the time and energy to focus on my health and wellness, and could develop better routines and patterns to help get healthier. While that has actually proven true, I can tell you that it really didn’t make it EASIER to do the right things. What I can also tell you is that I SHOULD have been doing all the things I am doing now all along and was using that circumstance as an excuse to not do it. I have debunked a LOT of long held beliefs and strongholds about things like this in my life. 

What does any of this have to do with what I found again within myself this week? I know that it is not about what I am doing or what I have that really matters. It’s who I am doing it with and who I share what I have with that matters. I could be just as alone in a huge, fancy new house as I could in a small run down little shack. I could be just as miserable with a ton of money as I could be without any. The things I pulled out of the storage boxes this week reminded me of Christmases that have happened in this house with my family. And I realized I already have it all. I have everything in my life that I need. Maybe not all that I want but, I will tell you, my “want-er” is kind of dysfunctional anyway. It ALWAYS wants something. My needs are met. My life is full. I have the love of my family and friends. I have the love of a Savior Who died for me to give me life. I have a chance to live my dreams and desires. I am satisfied. That will never mean that things are exactly as I would like them to be or that things aren’t hard from time to time. What it does mean is that I am not complaining. I am here, in this moment, and I am joyful, happy and satisfied. I don’t think it can get any better than that. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Count It All Joy

This week was Thanksgiving. We all know how that ends up most of the time! Did I have too much to eat on Thanksgiving? Why, yes. Yes, I did. Did I suffer in silence afterward? That would be a yes, also. But, is that going to derail me? No, not in the least. I have been doing this “new eating/walking/exercising lifestyle” now for 2 years. I have shed over 150 pounds. I gained some back and have lost again. The important thing for me was the mindset shift that happened when I decided THIS time, THIS process, THIS method, THIS goal was going to be the one that changed my life. That mindset shift is what has brought me back from the moments of eating less than healthy, comforting myself with food and tracking back to old habits. That shift has allowed me to gain control over some of the most difficult parts of food addiction. I am not going to step on the scale tomorrow. Instead, I am going to put my head down and continue to do what has brought me to this point. Hard work, counting calories, and keeping my focus on the end goals. That’s the report for the week. Now onto more important things . . . 

I remember one particular night when the boys were little. Ben was 3; Franklin 4-5 months. Wade had gone to one of his usual bowling league nights. I was at home, with the boys (where it seemed I always was because I didn’t work outside the home when they were little) and it was just about time to get them in the bath. Franklin was teething and very cranky. He really never cried much as a baby, except when he was teething, as most babies will. He was generally fussy and uncomfortable and dissatisfied with most of the things I could usually employ to calm him down. (Even as an adult, I can relate to those feelings sometimes) I was doing the dishes with Franklin on my hip, where he was most content at the moment. I started a load of laundry with him there. I read a book to Ben while standing with him there. We’ve all been there, right? Ben asked if he could have some “beeps.” I asked him to repeat what he wanted because I wasn’t sure I had heard him right. He asked for beeps once again. I said, “Beeps?” He replied, “No. Beeps, mommy.” Again, most of us who are parents can relate to this. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what beeps were. I asked him if he meant a variety of other things. He kept coming back with, “No. Beeps.” Franklin was still on my hip, crying at this point while I was rubbing more anbesol on his gums and administering more tylenol. Ben was getting upset with me for not understanding what he was saying. I could feel my patience wearing thin rapidly. And Ben’s 3-year-old disposition was just about through with me. He started crying while Franklin moved from crying to screaming. And mommy? Well, mommy, not able to take it anymore, joined them. I walked from cupboard to cupboard pointing at things and finally asked BEN to point at what he wanted. He pointed to the refrigerator. I opened it. He pointed to a container holding the red grapes he had snacked on earlier in the day. Grapes; Beeps. To-MA-to; Ta-MAH-to. Whatever. I wiped Franklin’s tears and snot, Ben’s tears and snot and then tended to my face. Ben ate a handful of grapes and then we went for their bath. As they played in the tub, I glanced at the mirror on the back of the door as I sat on the floor next to the tub. I remember seeing my red, swollen eyes and thinking, I don’t think THIS is what I signed up for. I am definitely not the right person for this job nor am I meeting quality control standards. And, HOW IN THE WORLD can they go from screaming one minute to happily enjoying a bath the next?

With all the difficulties that 2020 has brought into our lives, I know I have said more than once, “I don’t think THIS is what I signed up for!” And I have meant every word. Let’s not kid ourselves. This year has felt like a crapshoot in many ways. No doubt, 2021 will have the same uncertainties surrounding it’s arrival. If there’s been one constant, it’s that we really have NO control over much of anything in life. And when given an honest look, is there ANYthing we can say with confidence that we can control outside ourselves? I don’t really think it’s possible. But one thing continues to be reinforced to me this year. I can control how I react and respond to this world and its people and goings-on. I can control what I do with it. I can control how I treat people. This has been a year of really turbulent times for our world, our country and ourselves. Personally, though, this year has been one of the most difficult I have travelled through. And I haven’t always had the right attitude. I haven’t always made the smartest choices and decisions. Even with my health. I haven’t always exercised. Granted, there were some times when physically I couldn’t, but I mean those times when I COULD and didn’t choose to go. As a result, I have flip flopped on the scale and have fallen back out of shape because of my inactivity. I am back in the saddle again, so to speak, and things are better. For now. So far, so good. But that hasn’t stopped me from complaining sometimes. 

This year has also found me saying, “I am definitely not the right person for this job nor am I meeting quality control standards.” I have often wondered why people would still ask me to help them with their weight loss journey EVEN THOUGH I continue to struggle and sometimes falter.                          


I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be an example of perfection in ANYthing that I do or attempt to do. 

***Even Bigger Newsflash*** 

No. One. Is.

However, through all that has happened, I have still managed to lose weight and have been able to help offer advice and programs that help others lose weight also. That’s not because of me. I promise you that. God is using what has gone on with my life to speak to others and to let them know that if this fat girl can do it, ANYONE can do it. I have so far to go still. That definitely keeps me humble. And God is teaching me everyday, that in spite of my imperfect state and my many shortcomings, He chooses to use broken vessels to carry His hope to others. It’s like the grace and mercy and love He brings to fill you seals all those cracks and fissures in the surface and beyond in the broken vessels we are. I think broken people respond to other broken people who have found the Hope that exists for all of us to find. As a broken vessel myself, I can’t imagine having a perfect vessel, who had obviously NEVER even seen a storm cloud let alone been battered by the waves, approach me to offer advice on how to get out of turbulent weather. God uses broken vessels. And FYI – there is NO quality control.

When I experienced that night, what seems like a hundred years ago (*wink, wink*), as I watched those two babies in the bathtub who had completely forgotten the struggle that was just moments before and I couldn’t imagine how that complete change of course could have happened so quickly! But, I think I may have a grown up way of explaining what was happening in those little minds and hearts of theirs. I have been studying the book of James in the Bible. It is full of practical and hard-hitting truths that are applicable to the “everyday walk” of “everyday Christians.” It touches on so many vital parts of our character. Humility, Godly wisdom, hypocrisy, faith, temptation, trials, prejudice and faith are just a few. It’s not a really long book but it is packed with lessons that basically tell us to let our walk talk. One particular verse has always stood out to me. That verse is in the second verse of the first chapter. The first thing James says after he writes his greeting. It says, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” Yeah. Joy. How in the world is that even possible? There is a whole lot to that answer, if I am being honest, and if anyone wants to discuss that with me further, I would absolutely love having that conversation. But, for the sake of keeping this blog somewhat short, I will say this: I know that trials and struggles in this life are temporary road blocks that we have to navigate around. None of us are untouched by things that hurt, steal, are inconvenient and set us back sometimes. It is the joy inside that we keep, that NO ONE and NO THING can take away from us, that gets us through all those difficulties. Count it all joy. James doesn’t mean that the trials and painful events in our lives are joyful. Not at all. The joy is what comes from knowing that God will safely bring us through our trials and then will reveal His purpose for those trials in our lives. It comes from knowing that our patience will develop and our faith will grow. We only need to be willing to let Him walk with us, help us figure out what we need, and then take a nice, long, calming bath to relax. Sometimes, it really is just that simple.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

This Is My Commandment . . . Love One Another

This week was rough. I haven’t felt particularly well since Thursday. I haven’t ruled anything out, but honestly have felt it was more of a fibromyalgia/RA flare. I haven’t felt like that in a very long time. I walked Monday – Wednesday. I didn’t walk on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. But I have lost a few pounds in the last couple weeks and that makes me happy. I am staying home from church today to rest and play it safe just in case what I am feeling is more than my own body attacking me. I will walk later so as not to allow shin splints to return because I waited too long. Ugh!

When I walk outside, as I have been doing the last couple weeks, I notice a lot of things. Juul cartridges for vape pens (I had to take a picture and show it to someone to find out what it was) change, a puzzle piece one day, trash, used and discarded surgical masks here lately, shoes that were launched and now hanging over phone/power lines, a plaster mold of Jesus’ head/face that I have nicknamed “Zombie Jesus” (believe me it’s creepy), change and bouncy balls in the gutters. There are sticks and twigs and rocks and dirt. Sometimes, there is a shirt or one lone, divorced sock in the street. A week ago, I noticed something new. A few pokemon cards strewn around. Not all clustered together; more like the wind had relocated a few of them. I noticed more the next day. Then I saw a Pokemon card box near the initial location (or where I think they may have originated from)  that you’d use to keep the collection of cards in. The next day I noticed even more cards that were farther away from the initial site. Tuesday this week, I was walking a block north and east of the initial site and I saw another few cards scattered around. I was surprised that the cards had made that long of a trek. I started thinking about those cards. One, I was sure whoever they belonged to probably missed them. I know how I would have felt about losing something I had spent time collecting. I also thought about how I really hadn’t spent any time thinking about the cards after I saw them the first couple days. I mean that I saw it and then forgot about it until the next day when I saw them again. Then, I did the same thing the next day. But by the third day, I actually started looking for more cards along the route. It was a distraction from the usual and mundane. And, yes, I am EASILY amused. But, as usual, I thought deeper about those cards. I wonder if we realize how much of our life is sometimes sprinkled around for others to discover, think about and even look forward to understanding.

As we are all aware, Thanksgiving will be observed this week. It’s one of my favorite Holidays. I love Christmas most but Thanksgiving is definitely a close second. It brings a reminder for most of us to be especially grateful for what we have while remembering what our ancestors had to fight through so we would have the opportunity to be born into this wonderful country. As I reflected about those cards, I wondered what parts of my life I am willing to lose or give up, and what parts I am hanging on to, and even further, what parts I am willing to scatter around to others, both known and unknown, in my life. 

I had lost so much of myself as I gained all the weight I did. That’s what this blog is about in the first place. I said in the very first blog that I had lost things I forgot about. I lost things I didn’t know I lost. I lost things I didn’t feel I should have had in the first place because I didn’t deserve the things that were good and pure anyway, right? I lost things I didn’t have the energy or desire to recover. And all of that has shaped who I am. I am willing to let go of a LOT of things. But I want the things I let go of to be things that no longer serve me and my greater good. I want them to be things that don’t add to the person I am. I spend time daily in the Bible and in prayer. I want to build my faith and relationship with Jesus to become who HE wants me to be. But, I no longer want to be willing to let go of the good parts of myself because they aren’t convenient or because I don’t feel I am worthy to have them in the first place. In fact, I want to fight to keep those good parts and defend them against anything that would threaten to take them away. I want to let go of my limiting beliefs about myself. I want to let go of the self-accusation and self-doubt I have. I have a handful of bad habits I REALLY want to let go. Prayers are appreciated in that category. I don’t think I can fully become who God is calling me to be if I don’t continue working on those things. We all have things we struggle with. Things that we feel keep us from being the kind of spouse, sister, mother, friend or representative of Christ we really desire inwardly to be. I know this to be true of all of us. And I am here to tell you that it’s okay. We aren’t perfect. God knows that and doesn’t expect that. He does expect us to give Him our lives and then give Him our best day in and day out. That is all, my friends. 

I try (I know, there’s “no try, only do”) to be gracious to the people around me. I smile at EVERYone. And I do mean EVERYONE. My sister, Carly, teases me all the time about this. She has lived in larger cities for the majority of her life following her husband, who had served in the military for 21 years, all over the country. When we visited her and her family, we would go to the grocery store, a restaurant, a park when the boys were little, the beach, or wherever we wanted or needed to go. It never failed. I would smile and nod at every single stranger. She would laugh and say, “Lacy. They aren’t ever going to smile back.” I would just say in reply, “Oh, I know.” But you know, it made me feel better to impart a little kindness and joy to them through my smile. I try my best only to speak kindness about others to others. I absolutely hate gossip and will avoid it at all costs. That doesn’t mean that I have not stooped lower than I should from time to time and listened to it. We all have. But it isn’t my “go-to” in conversation. I try to remember people who are going through rough times with a card or a letter. I try to text those who I care about and care about me. I try to forgive people. Wade often tells me that I do TOO much of that. I don’t hold grudges. There are people who have hurt me terribly. And if you don’t know me well enough to KNOW these things you’d have no idea. I don’t get angry often; really, it’s hardly ever. And I will get angry for other people before I ever get angry for me. I give second and third and tenth and twelfth chances again and again. Someday, maybe I’ll learn. Maybe not. Wade’s more of a one and done kind of guy (although not always) so he really struggles with this tendency of mine.

I want to scatter parts of myself out to the people I encounter in my world. The good parts, anyway. I know that in doing so there will inevitably be “less desirable” parts and pieces that are also spread about. I want to live my life in such a manner that people see the love and grace I have in my life . . . the things I believe come directly from God Himself. My own love is frail and selfish. But I want His agape love to show through me to others. I will always smile at people because I want to make people smile and feel good about themselves. I want to be kind first and always. I don’t want to question the intentions of people around me. I have a naive belief that most people are good and that they mean no harm . . . a live and let live mentality, if you will. And I want to believe that they really don’t want to hurt other people. It doesn’t always end well for me sometimes, but I still want to always start out believing that. Unlike the Pokemon cards I have been looking for on my walk, I know that the things I scatter about will be seen and picked up by other people. I don’t believe that giving away parts and pieces of myself will ever cause a depletion in my collection of the goodness and grace and love that God has given me. In fact, I think that by releasing it to others, I free up room for more of it to flow into my life. I won’t be sad that they are gone. I won’t miss them. I believe that at the right time the right person will be taking the route they are supposed to be taking in life and we are supposed to touch them with ourselves and God’s love. They may not remember it the first time it happens. They may not even remember it the second time it happens. But I guarantee you, just as I started looking for the cards along my way, they will also begin to look forward to the love and kindness we give to them, just because. And maybe they will be inspired to share little bits of themselves with others because we have had the courage and kindness to show them what that looks like. Love yourselves, but most importantly love God and love other people. It’s our greatest calling. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

I Do It Myself

This week has been much like the last 6 weeks (or however long I have been reporting to you all for my accountability). So far, I’ve walked 5 out of 7 days. I say “so far” because I plan to walk this afternoon. I gotta write this blog first though! I have been less diligent with food choices. Well, really I have been less diligent with sugar choices. I had ice cream. More than one evening. But, again, I was cognizant of what I was eating and what it was doing. And if I tell myself NO all the time, I won’t want to do this at all. And it wasn’t enough to derail me or any progress I have made. Honestly, the bad food choices were attached to a couple of “rough mental health days” for me. And that is the excuse I am going with. Yes, I know . . . I am better than excuses. And, you’re right . . . I just need to DO it right. Thanks for reminding me. 

When my youngest son, Franklin, was little, he would always watch his brother, Ben, and his cousin, Kelton, and try everything they were doing. Not kidding when I say the kid pretty much potty trained himself because he wanted to potty like the “big boys” did. Yeah. He was 18 months old. That was fun. He was (and still is) headstrong and pretty fearless and adventurous. And he did anything those two older boys did or told him to do. We are not going to talk about them “sword fighting” with streams of urine in the bathroom or when they decided they were all going to pee in the trash can in Ben’s room. Now, if you don’t have boys, you may not truly understand this. If you only have one boy you may not truly understand this. However, if you do understand this, know you’re not alone. If you don’t understand this, please don’t judge me. I am way out of my league raising these boys of mine. And, I digress. Anyway, Franklin, Tank as we call him, was always up for adventure. And never encountered anything he couldn’t do or didn’t want to tackle. That is until a certain word entered his vocabulary: impossible. He began using it ALL. THE. TIME. He was learning how to tie his shoes and he kept saying, “This is im-posssssss-ible,” in the most exasperated tone a 5-year-old could muster. I tried to explain to him the difference between impossible and difficult. To him, the mere fact that it was difficult made the task impossible because he had neither the time nor the patience to learn this skill he would use every day of his life. He once told me he couldn’t wear a certain shirt because it was impossible for him to like it. He stopped wanting to try new things because he was sure it was going to prove to be impossible to accomplish. It took a lot of patience and quite a bit of convincing before he learned the difference between impossible and difficult. I don’t know when I last heard him use that word. It has been a very long time and I am grateful for that. Sometimes, jokingly, he will say it about something. But never being serious. However, this week, I caught myself saying it outloud on more than one occasion . . . this is impossible.

There are days when I know I don’t measure up. I don’t do it right. I don’t want to try. We all have those kinds of days. But what I have realized is that it has been far too easy for me to say, “It’s impossible to *fill in the blank* because . . . ”, and just go on without doing whatever it is I have deemed to be impossible.  I have told myself I shouldn’t try doing crossfit or any other type of endurance training or exercise where others also train because it will be impossible for me to get it right because of my size or physical UNfitness level. And God only knows what kind of judgment I’ll face because of how out of shape I am. I have caught myself saying it’s impossible for me to reach my goal weights and walking times and loss of girth (inches). It is SO easy to not only doubt yourself, but to push yourself back down into a box where you are comfortable. What I am really trying to figure out is when did I start letting myself talk crap about ME and letting myself get away with it? I can’t really say I have ever stood up for myself like I should in any arena in my life. I have a personality that assumes blame in EVERYthing that happens, whether it is my fault or not. And I am a pretty forgiving and gracious person so I just take things off my chin and move along. BUT, I can also tell you this: I am stubborn and determined and quite independent. My mom has told me before that my first full sentence was, “I do it myself!” If you know me at ALL, you would most likely believe that and can see it play out in my life almost every single day. What I am getting at is this: I may not stand up for myself but I will do everything in my power to prove you wrong if you tell me I can’t do something. I have always been that way. I don’t want help, and most of the time I will tell you I don’t need help, whether or not that is the case. My motto at times could be, “Tell me I can’t and watch me do it anyway.” To be told by someone that I can’t or won’t do something serves as motivation for me. My attitude quickly becomes, “Well, let me show you . . . ” and then I throw in a LOT of “I’ll do it myself!” just for good measure.

No one has ever trash talked me like I trash talk myself. Never. Sure, in my life I have been treated poorly and sometimes very badly. Just as most people who have ever walked this earth have been. But I am not aware of many “haters” who just want to see me fail. I am sure they are out there. But the people I have gathered around me at the moment truly care about me and want to see me succeed and they really are cheering for me. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t have them around me. I would distance myself from them and the negativity they bring. Well, I will say there is one who would have me fail. Satan. Evil. Because if I fail, God isn’t glorified in my life as He deserves to be. And yes, I believe that Satan is real and he is fighting Good every day. I believe that he knows he has lost the war but will try and win as many battles as he can along the way. And what better way to do it than to attack someone and make her feel as though she can’t do something because it is “impossible” to accomplish. 

As usual, I had written down a few thoughts and made a couple of voice memos about things I wanted to write about this week. Then, I had a conversation with someone through text messages this morning that completely validated some of those thoughts. This person texted, “The trick of the enemy is to divert our attention away from what he – the enemy – is trying to do.” I actually texted something back to the person from the notes I had written down in the middle of the night. That note said this: “I need to be reminded that my troubles and problems aren’t about me anyway. It’s a distraction and a diversion that Satan will use to keep me from walking in God’s will for my life. And in the end, I will come out stronger and better than I was by His glorious grace and mercy – all to accomplish His will in my life and the lives of others.” What better way to keep us from finding God’s will for ourselves and living that out than to convince US to get in our own way and self-destruct? 

I think it is important to remember that we really can be our own worst enemy. And we also have to remember that we are conditioned along the way to adopt certain behaviors and beliefs and we develop certain strongholds in our life. We have to challenge those behaviors and beliefs and strongholds and make sure they are still true and make sure they still benefit us. If they don’t serve us, we need to let go of them or change them. We have to learn to adapt and change as things are revealed to us or we will never grow. What things are revealed to us? It could be any number of things or a combination of those things and I think that varies per the individual. We could recognize long held patterns and beliefs that don’t hold water any longer. We could be striving to have experiences in life and get the same results as others have gotten only to be disappointed with the ending. We could have ourselves convinced that we can’t do something because it is impossible when it really is just difficult. Marriage is difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. It takes a commitment that you’re not going to give up on yourself or each other to make it work. Parenting is difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. And changing our lives for the better is difficult. Weight loss and better fitness is difficult. Not impossible. I KNOW it isn’t impossible. Look at where I started and where I am now. But I need to be reminded from time to time that I can do whatever I need to do; whatever I set my mind to do. Does it take patience and perseverance? Be sure of that! But, nothing is impossible. Remember? Tell me I can’t and watch me do it anyway. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Like Waves on the Sand

This week has been a good week, “health-journey” wise. I have walked 5 out of the 7 days and am going to walk yet today. It is lovely outside, wind aside. The gusts are strong and cool and I want to wait until it’s a bit warmer so as not to trigger my trigeminal nerve. I am proud of the activity I have gotten in this week, though. My blisters are much better and shin splints, too. I am feeling better and better each day with the activity and it’s becoming a habit again. Franklin has been in quarantine as he was exposed to someone who was Covid positive. We are keeping an eye on him but making sure he is also getting out and walking (he likes to run as much as I do) and using the stationary bike. All in all, we are well, for now. So far, so good. I will weigh tomorrow morning and am hoping for good things. 

This week, my mom, Betty, and I were excited to attend a talk at our town’s library and to hear some stories about our local history and pioneers. My former college English and speech teacher, Carolyn Thornsby, was the presenter. She was very informative and filled the time with wonderful stories and details about the people who were the early settlers in this area; some whose names I had only heard before and some whose names I was more familiar with. My mom who owned her own beauty shop here in town had some of these people as clients throughout the years. Mom and I both enjoy history and ancestry and we really enjoyed hearing about the courage, bravery and steadfastness of some of these early people. I might mention, Carolyn is also helping with this blog as I send it to her each week to edit for corrections and grammar. Some weeks, there are few errors and some weeks there are more. I have even had one week where there weren’t any. Yes, I was just as shocked as you are! She sends corrections but lets me keep my voice throughout my blogs. I appreciate her help so much! Anyway . . . I had been thinking about what to write this week before attending the talk at the library. I have had a particularly difficult week, personally. Not the world in general or this election stress or any other outside sources or anything like that. In fact, I’ve been avoiding that altogether. Instead, I have been focused on walking and trying not to come down on myself too hard for letting myself slip out of that DAILY habit. Sure, I still walked or rode the stationary bike. But not DAILY. And I am also trying not to come down too hard on myself for some other things going on in my heart and head. That is actually more difficult than being upset about the physical activity. But this week was made more difficult for me because I can’t seem to pull myself out of dwelling on things that have happened in my life. Some I am responsible for and others, not so much. I am examining character flaws and sins and all kinds of things in my life. And Carolyn said something in her presentation that resonated with what I had been thinking throughout the week. The past. Our history. I have been trying to figure out where I am headed and why I am headed there. And the thought that came to mind and then I heard at the library was that we need to know and have an understanding of our history. If we don’t, we are only destined to repeat it. And in my experience, I’ve found that if I haven’t dealt with the things that led me to make certain decisions and caused certain mistakes in the first place, I can surely expect the same result the second time around. And I want to be better. 

Have you ever tried so hard to do the right thing or be the right thing or say the right thing only to end up disappointing yourself and those around you? Well, I have. And I do it more often than not. I don’t know that it is anything more than our human condition at it’s finest. But I know I have a hard time with how others see me and their perception of who I am. I don’t mean that in a way that says I want them to think I am perfect or have it all together. I am pretty open about NOT having all my ducks in a row and not having it all figured out. What I do mean is that I don’t want people to see me struggle. I really don’t know anyone who does want others to see that in their lives. For me, personally, it points to my weakness and I don’t like that being exposed at all. I have decided this week that it’s all right for others to see me falter and fail. There are those who would love nothing more than to see that in the lives of others. As if watching someone else flounder and fail somehow validates their lives and makes them feel better about themselves. I am going to let you in on something. Everyone fails. And if you come across someone who has never failed at anything, you can rest assured that it is because they have never taken a risk or done any hard thing in their lives. And that’s certainly not who I want to be around. No one is going to get everything right 100% of the time. And if it appears that they do, you should know that they are standing on a fragile house of cards built on sand. It will fall eventually. Things are always less certain than we would like them to be. But, in all the uncertainty of life, here are a few things I DO know.

One: I am greatly loved. My Savior loves me. My family and my friends love me. And in that love I am free to struggle and I am free to take all the time in the world to find my way. I have the support of people much wiser than I. I have the support of people who can see objectively into my life and help me clear up the fog of uncertainty and self-doubt and self-accusation. They are willing to overlook all the little (or big) imperfections and love me anyway. And they never stop trying to make me a better person. Never. I have many people praying for me and a Savior Who will love me anyway. No matter how big I mess up. No matter what I go through or dwell on or struggle to lay down. We all need that unconditional love coupled with His guidance and care. And because of these things, I can love myself. I can love who I am because I have been made by Him to be just that and I can love the promise of who I will be. I can love me and I can be more patient with all my shortcomings.

Two: I am better off than I could be. I work from home and I contact a LOT of people I have never met before. I call on leads for my business. People looking to also work from home. People who are struggling. Every. Single. Day. I was walking this week and happened to see two different vehicles being repossessed on two different days at two different homes. It actually made my heart hurt . . . yes, physically. We are all so caught up in our day to day that we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about those around us who may be hurting. And believe me, there are many people hurting. I hear on the phone every day from people who are struggling with personal issues, financial issues, political issues, death, destruction, sickness, spirituality, and pain. Daily. And some days, it’s overwhelming for this girl. I am empathic by nature. God made me this way and I absorb SO much of the world around me. Negativity? Well, just put it right on my heart. Happiness? Yep, I’ll take that too. It is very hard to function sometimes with the weight of all the different energy I can take. I have had to learn ways to deal with things that aren’t even mine to begin with! Then tack on all the other things that ARE mine. But I can say that I am still in a better place in a LOT of ways than many of the people I see and talk to each day. That makes me both grateful for my life and my Savior and also saddened because others are hurting. 

Three: I KNOW where I am going. Because I know where I have been. I have struggled with my weight and health for over half my life. I have suffered with depression and have been so beaten down before that I didn’t even want to get out of bed in the mornings and sometimes I couldn’t. I have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks. But I am all right. I have come through a lot in my life. Just as many of you reading this have overcome a lot in your lives. And I am certain that I am a better person for all of it. And I am certain God will use it for my good and His glory. That doesn’t mean it’s been easy or that it hasn’t just been nearly impossible at times to keep trudging on through some of the crap in life. But I am determined to remember where I am headed and give myself a little leniency on the mistakes of my past and the imperfections I still possess. 

I want to share a final thought with you. Charles H. Spurgeon once said, “We are just too prone to engrave our trials in marble and write our blessings in sand.” I think it’s time we reversed that, don’t you think? At the end of this month, we celebrate Thanksgiving. In honor of that, I would encourage you to write out your blessings every day. All of them. Write down the blessings and the things we have that we KNOW were given to us by God. *Hint – it’s everything we have* Remember to carve the good things in stone and write your trials in the sand. Let the waves of His blessings, grace, and mercy, as well as the love of our family and friends wash over them and take them away for good. Forgive those who need it, including ourselves. Love everyone around us. And do good. Always do good. Let go of the bad; the negative; the trials. Let the waves wash over them and start with fresh sand. You are worth it. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou


This week, I have done well once again. Wade and I drove to see Ben at Hastings along with his mail-in ballot so he could vote. He was supposed to have come home last weekend but plans changed when he was scheduled to work at the YMCA on Sunday. That changed when Nebraska was hit with the same storm that blew through Colorado and they canceled the games he was going to referee. Alas, we had not sent the ballot so we drove it to him. An excuse to see him? Maybe. A hand delivery to help him be a responsible citizen and contributor to our country in whatever way he chose to fill out his personal ballot? Absolutely. Even out of town, my food choices were not terrible. Overall, I lost weight and that’s all that matters to me right now. 

On Tuesday afternoon, I drove to Berthoud with another mom (one of my best friends in the world), Tammy, in my passenger seat to watch our children play football. It was cold and colder. Then, the sun slipped behind the mountain peaks and it got REALLY cold. Since losing weight, I don’t tolerate the cold as well as I used to and it is a little irritating to me. I used to judge the cold weather in three stages: Lacy is WEARING a coat (below zero); Lacy BROUGHT a coat (near freezing); or Lacy THOUGHT about bringing a coat (chilly). Anymore, if it’s below 60 and there is wind and I am in the shade, I am bundled up and swaddled like a newborn. No joke. I don’t know that I ever really couldn’t tolerate the heat or if I was just a fat girl. But, I am looking forward to the summer a little more than I ever have before. That’s actually something I want to write about sometime so I’ll put a pin in it for now. Anyway, back to the story. I was driving back with Tammy and we gained another passenger, Kelly, who decided to ride back with us so she didn’t have to wait in the cold for her son, one of our coaches, to finish packing up team gear before she could get warm. We were having a good time chatting and laughing and catching up with each other and then I started telling a story. I must have been very involved in the telling of that story because I missed my exit off I-25 to come back to Brush through Greeley. My bad, but not the end of the world. I went to the next exit, we all got a good laugh, and we ended up where we would have been but about 10 minutes later by then. As the week finished out I hadn’t really thought about it much, but last night before I drifted off to sleep, I thought about something I may have learned this week that could be characterized by driving right by that exit. It has to do with ambition, momentum, focus, plans and goals.

I am a fairly ambitious person. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish in my life both in my business and in my personal life. I am motivated to make a difference in my life and the lives of those around me. But right now, for the intent I am writing this, I am going to focus on my weight loss in general. That is what this blog is about anyway. But honestly, this will apply in EVERY area of our lives, if we will just use it. I have had a lot of momentum behind the ambitions I have had about getting my weight down to a healthy “for me” level. I was on a roll in the weight loss category. I lost 50 pounds my first 3 months of eating differently and exercising. Then it slowed a little bit. Now while that is normal, it made me realize that momentum without focus is useless. What I mean is that just like my car was traveling along the interstate at a good clip, when I passed the exit I should have taken, we had to plan accordingly and take another exit a couple miles down the road and double back to where we should have been. Now, normally, for me, it would have fed into the “winding dirt roads” category I wrote about a couple weeks ago. But when you just want to get to where you’re going, it’s a little inconvenient and even irritating to have a detour of that nature. The momentum I had built up the first 6-12 months of my weight loss journey was slowed down because life happened. Things beyond my control had taken my focus off of where it should have been and onto other things. I have had to really try hard to get my focus back because I feel the ambition I have turning into momentum once again. And if I don’t focus, I will end up going in circles. Literally.

The focus I have, however, is also useless if there is not a plan attached to it. I am focused once again on healthier eating and other habits. What I have not been doing is planning out my activity in this regard like I should. Those who know me know that I am HIGHLY organized and I have a planner and everything goes in that planner. I am a list maker. I live by my stupid lists. I formulate my lists every morning that contain the activity I have to do for my business from my planner and then add anything else I know needs done personally and otherwise. And if I happen to do something that is NOT originally on the list, I will write it down on the list just so I can check that activity off. There’s nothing in the world more satisfying to me than making my lists and systematically checking things off. Bible study/prayer time, then my coaching call with the Dockery’s and then exercise, right? Well, not necessarily. As the weather has gotten colder and the mornings are darker longer, I have not been walking as I should, for a couple reasons. For one, my trigeminal neuralgia is triggered by the cold and wind. I don’t want that headache. And two, did you read the blog where I confessed my fear of the dark? I do yoga (not well, but I do it) and I ride my stationary bike when I don’t walk, but if I’m honest, THOSE things haven’t been happening like they should either. I know I need to move if I am going to keep momentum going in the battle of my bulge. So I am planning. I got a fob from the school district here that will allow me access to the indoor walking track in our main gymnasium. Tomorrow at 6 am, I am going to start walking indoors. I have it written down in my planner; it’s as good as done. I will start with 30 minutes and see where I can go from there. My goal is 2 miles as I had been doing, but I don’t know that I’ll reach that. I’ll report back to you next week so long as the shin splints I KNOW will happen (from lack of walking) haven’t killed me by then. Yes, prayers are welcomed. 

Lastly, however, I don’t think this plan I have come up with to help anchor my focus will ever get me anywhere if there are no goals attached to it. Ambition attached to momentum attached to focus attached to a plan attached to goals. I have redone all my goals for my weight loss. I won’t share them right now, as I just don’t want to bore you with all that. However, I know there are some “end” goals I have written down that I am not sure I will ever even achieve. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that because between those “end” goals and where I am standing are other goals that I CAN achieve. In fact, I know I can crush some of those short term and midterm goals and I am looking forward to that. The point of goals is to keep ourselves on a path and in a plan that would have us succeeding even if we don’t reach the ultimate goal we set for ourselves, isn’t it? We’ve all heard that we should aim for the moon and if we don’t make it we’ll land among the stars, right? Yeah, that. I am human and I will fail. But I will NOT fail in my pursuit to reach the most attainable of these goals. They are SMART goals. I am sure most of us have heard that acronym. S.M.A.R.T goals = Specific, Measurable, Attainable (or assignable), Relevant (or realistic), and Time-based (by when) goals. If a goal doesn’t meet all these acronyms, I don’t keep it. I will share one with you. It’s truly one of the “end” goals. I want to be able to run a full 5k. I can walk one, but I would like to be able to run the entire 3.1 miles. I don’t know that it will happen for me, but that’s more about my arthritis and physical condition than it is about my athletic ability and stamina that will come with practice. I have never run that far in my life. But it would be nice to be in the best shape of my life in my forties. And I will be. That’s another goal.

More important to me than anything is to get myself into a position where I can be of use to those around me for a very long time. I want to be able to follow the activities of my children wherever that may take us. Baseball in college for Ben. Maybe football in college for Franklin. It’s totally up to him and if it happens, I want to watch him wherever he finds a home. And I know how much better I feel when I do the RIGHT things for my body. I want to be proud of myself and KNOW without a doubt that I am doing good and doing the best I can. When I am focused, with a plan, and goals, I am unstoppable. Well, unless there’s donuts or something else to eat. But if that’s the case, I can just walk a little farther than normal. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

So Long Summer . . .

This week has gone really, really well for me. I have shed a couple of pounds that I picked up in these last months. I am working my way back down and it makes me happy to see I have my mind refocused and ready. We have a new High School/Middle School facility here in our town and it will be open for people to use the walking track above our basketball court in the main gymnasium. I am excited to get a pass so I can walk in a place where I will stay somewhat warm during these cold fall and winter months that are coming. 

I love fall. It is my favorite time of year. Spring is a close second, but spring doesn’t offer the amazing colors that fall does. Plus, both my sons were born during the colder temps of fall and winter. Technically, Ben was born in the last couple weeks of summer, but in Colorado, those September days can go either way. This year, we had a snowstorm on his birthday, so there you have it. The cold always reminds me of when the boys were both babies. And it makes my heart happy to remember those times. But for me, fall is always such a picture of change. Not all change is bad. It’s taken me 40+ years to be able to say that not all change is bad without cringing. I am not a person who likes change. But when you realize that the only thing that ever stays the same is that everything changes in one way or another, you start to accept it a little easier. Or at least that is what has happened with me. I was driving around a couple weeks ago and noticed a beautiful tree whose leaves were a brilliant, almost neon, yellow. It caught my attention and when Carly came to visit, I purposely took the long route going somewhere with her that would allow me to drive her by this tree so she could see the color, too. She appreciated it as much as I did. Now, that was one day. The very next day, we took the same route to leave town. When we passed the tree, we were sadly disappointed to see that the tree had dropped all its leaves. I mean ALL the leaves were on the ground and most had been blown away by the high winds we had overnight the night before.  A few things came to mind when I saw that tree with all its beauty gone. I thought I would share some of them today.  One was just how fast things can change. Another was that everything, no matter how beautiful, comes to an end. And another was that even in its new state, it was still the same old tree. 

There have been times in my life where I had thought I could stay right there in certain moments forever and be completely content. Then there were other moments that I couldn’t wait to get to the end of the chapter. But every “thing” that has ever found a place in my life at one time or another has ultimately changed. Or they have changed me. This side of Heaven, I don’t think things will ever be stable or steady. Yes, certain parts of things will be somewhat consistent and may remain the same for a while but I think that we as humans are constantly changing and growing. We should be, anyway. Several years ago, I heard a saying that I use all the time . . . we are either green and growing or ripe and rotting. Those beautiful colors on those leaves we see in the fall are a sign of the leaves dying and ultimately failing. It is safe to say that those leaves have fulfilled their purpose and will leave the tree so that new, healthy leaves can take over the same job in the spring. Just like many things in our lives come to serve a purpose for a season. Sometimes, that season is long. Other times it is short. And the leaves that were there one day and gone the next really pointed out how fast change can happen. We have learned that life can change so quickly, even this year especially with the shutdowns our world has faced and the reformatting of all things that were once familiar to us. Our job is to learn to adapt. Does that mean we always like change? No, not even a little bit. But in the acceptance that things will change comes growth. When we have to look beyond ourselves and beyond what we are used to, we stretch ourselves. We learn to use resources above and beyond the small portion of the world in which we exist. 

I mentioned times in life when things were so great, so beautiful, that I could see myself continuing on in it forever and being completely happy. I’ve loved those times and have held on to those times, but I am also here to say that they have all changed. Some for the better and some for the not-so-better. Some have just morphed into something different and I can’t say they are definitively better or worse in any way. Just different. Life doesn’t ask your permission to move from one season to the next. Instead, it expects you to live in each moment to the fullest of your ability and embrace each part of it as it is full well knowing that it may not look anything like that tomorrow. Just as the tree dropped its leaves overnight. I am still surprised at how fast it happened. But I am also really thankful for the opportunity to drive by it for the week when it was so beautiful. If we aren’t ready for life to come at us quickly and bring with it both blessings and struggles, we are going to be very disappointed and we will have a hard time finding the good in anything we encounter. I think life is so fast-paced today and it’s not planning on slowing down any in the near future, I don’t think. But I can say that if the last 7 months taught me anything it was that nothing is harmed in taking things a little slower. The things that tipped my “important-meter” and had it pinging all the time prior to March have changed a bit for me. I have always known what the most important parts of my life are. But, at times, I have let life and it’s changing seasons and it’s ever quickening pace move my eyes off the important things. And I don’t want to miss those moments. I don’t want the busy-ness of life to take precedence over the quality of life itself. It’s not about the quantity of time or the number of things I am involved with or the amount of “to-do’s” on my list. It IS about the quality of those things and how I prioritize the “to-do’s” on my list. Keep the first things first. 

One of the most impactful things I realized when I saw the bare tree was that it was still the same tree. I think that there are times when life changes so much about us we can hardly recognize ourselves. This last year, a lot of physical changes have taken place in my life. And honestly, I still don’t see the girl in the mirror as being ME. I don’t know when I will see Lacy . . . the REAL Lacy . . . staring back at me. I still see the same girl who 150 pounds ago was struggling to get healthy and change her life. There were beautiful parts of the heavier Lacy. There are beautiful parts to Lacy now. And there will be plenty of beauty to come in the future. But it’s only because the person I am, the person I was and the person I will be is ultimately the same mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter, aunt, Christian, and citizen as I have always been. Have I changed? You bet. In more ways that I can tell you here. I have lost some of the “dead leaves” that for so long took care of covering me, feeding me and grabbing people’s attention and keeping it off the big trunk and rough bark and awkward limbs I ultimately tried to keep hidden. At times, I feel much more exposed, almost naked and bare, in front of people because I have lost such a huge amount of weight and I have nowhere to hide ME anymore. But that’s all right, too. It is all a part of how it’s supposed to be. No amount of weight loss, weight gain, hair color or skin wrinkles will ever change WHO I am. I think it will serve to make me more of who I already am anyway. The things who really make me who I am won’t change because I am larger or smaller or younger or older. They will only become more solidified as I move through season after season of this life God has blessed me with. I can only hope that I can be as wise as the tree. I can only hope to shed the dead things in my life that no longer serve a purpose and make room for the new growth to appear in the spring. I only need to have faith that there will always be new growth. Because in that faith, I can let go of what is and hope for what is to come.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

The Road Less Traveled

This week was a great week . . . for my soul. Maybe not so much for the diet. With my sister, Carly, here we were out and about a lot and ate things that neither of us typically eat on a regular basis. Consequently, I have to say I didn’t do well with many of my food choices, portions, or time of day meals were eaten. But what is life if we can’t step away from some things for a quick week to enjoy things we normally don’t allow ourselves to have? I’ll be back at it in a serious manner starting Monday. I promise. And I hope to report good things next week!

This week, as I mentioned, Carly was here. We spent pretty much every waking second together. I did have to work a little but was able to structure that around the activity we had planned, which wasn’t much . . . on purpose! It is always so refreshing and even healing to spend time with her. We made a trip to see Ben at college for a day. We arrived there on Wednesday around noon, spent the night at a hotel and then left on Thursday afternoon when Ben resumed classes. It was great to visit him and to watch him give Carly a tour of his new little corner of the world. As we were driving through Nebraska, Colorado’s grassy and corn-planted plains gave way to beautiful large, full trees in addition to the grassy and corn-planted plains of Nebraska. I love driving through scenery like that. And the lovely fall colors just enhanced the already beautiful landscape. On the way, I saw a few things that really made me think. Some of them Carly and I discussed. Others, I pondered for a while and then kind of tucked away and decided I might write about someday . . . maybe even this week. 

Now, you have to understand that I am a dreamer and then some. I love thinking and dreaming about how to make life better for myself and my family, just as everyone else does. I have learned to keep my “why” in front of me and focus on that and what I need to do to achieve the goals I have set for myself in ALL areas of my life. I am also a DAYdreamer. I mean, some may call it adult ADD. I call it sanity. Whatever . . . I have a very curious mind and am always wanting to learn about the things I see. I ask a LOT of questions (I mean, SO MANY, right Wade?) and enjoy conjecture and hypothesis when I run across something that no one can answer for me. Anyway, when I am on a trip, I love imagining what life was like for the people who built the houses and fences we see. And how long has the windmill been standing in the empty field? How many people have seen it? How much water was pumped out of the ground because of it? How complicated was their “simple” life? I think about all the amenities we enjoy in our lives today as opposed to how hard people, especially those first settlers of the plains, had to work. There is one thing that always catches my attention . . . dirt roads that lead away from the main highway. I am always fascinated with how they seem to trail off and twist and wind into nothingness. I saw several dirt roads like that on our trip through Nebraska. And, of course, my mind wandered.

I began thinking about how we are all on a path in our lives. Some of us are speeding down the interstate in the newest model sports car. Life is good, fast and fairly well-maintained. Then there are others of us who are on two lane highways. We may be in a nicer car or we may be in a larger car or older model pickup that isn’t really built for the speed of the interstate. The road is a little more bumpy maybe and the pace doesn’t seem to be quite as hectic or dangerous as the four lane expressway. Then others of us seem to be travelling on the dirt roads of life. They are less traveled, less maintained and much slower paced than their other counterparts. The convenience of the superhighway gives way to the “scenic route” and the slower-going, often more winding road. There are curves and hills and bumps and ditches. There is dust and gravel kicking up continually. Such is life. There are some of us whose paths seem paved nicely and the journey is fairly smooth and all the cars surrounding us are heading in the same direction. Then there are some who seem to have a little less room on the road, things don’t happen as fast as they’d sometimes like and they often find themselves stuck behind a tractor or other piece of large farm machinery. If you’re anything like me, though, it seems we travel the backcountry, winding dirt roads that consist of curves and cattle crossings and bridges and hills you can’t see over until you arrive at the top. And you know what? That’s all right. Life throws some unexpected twists and turns our way. We can’t go as fast sometimes as we would like. The vehicle we need to use to travel these back roads may be more unconventional and may be a little more beat up and worn. But it really is all right. It will still get us to the place we are going.

I’m sure most of us have heard that it’s not necessarily the destination in life that is important; it’s the journey. It is what happens between when we leave our driveway and arrive at the place we were headed. I have learned FAR MORE lessons on my little dirt road in my beat up truck than I have ever learned speeding down the interstate. On my dirt road, it seems that the world goes by a little slower and in turn that brings things into focus a little more. Granted, there are times when I need to leave the dirt path for the convenience of the interstate. I may need to accomplish something faster or just want to get things moving in the same direction as everyone else. But I am satisfied with the dirt road I find myself on right now. And I guess that is a good thing since I am pretty sure God placed me right here. Ten years ago, five years ago, shoot, even just one year ago, I may not have enjoyed this path like I am right now. But I have full faith and confidence that I am exactly where I need to be. And just like the roads I saw this week when I was driving with Carly, I wonder where this road will take me. I’m on the road less traveled. It has no tread marks and hasn’t been conveniently cleared out in front of me. What I do know is that my path is MINE alone to take. I can have people in my car from time to time, but ultimately it is not for them to control. It is for me to decide. Just as I can’t do anything to control their journey. I can be a companion and travel buddy but it’s their path to go down. And that’s what it’s about anyway, right? Eating up mile after mile getting to where we’re going and doing it the best way we know how. 

It’s not our place to judge someone for taking the speedy interstate in their lives. They can live in the fast lane all they want until they don’t want to anymore. It IS our place to decide if that fast lane is for us or if we are going to take an exit and start down the quiet, ambling, dusty dirt road and see the landscape and the objects surrounding us come into focus as we slow down and enjoy the journey. And we have to figure out where God truly wants us. As I have said, this last year has been a challenge for me. However, I know He has put me on a more difficult path in my life for a reason. It’s not an easy, convenient road for me. No. But He has taught me more in the last year than I have learned in a very long time. And all those lessons came after I decided that no matter how much I tried, I wasn’t going to be able to cross the ditch or median and get back to the highway, let alone the interstate. I had to accept the vehicle He gave me and the road He put me on. And while I am here, I am going to take in all the sights and cross all the bridges and cattle guards and know that when I am done, my vehicle will need a good washing to get the dust and mud off. But, I know a guy. And my life will be what it is supposed to be . . . even if it needs an occasional cleaning and a definite dusting off in the end. But, I know a Guy for that, too. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Sister Soup for the Soul

This last week went well overall. Again, I had moments when I could have made the decision NOT to eat something less healthful that I wanted but ate it anyway. However, those moments few, and even with those moments, I still lost about 1.5 pounds. There you have it. My weekly accountability report. I am planning on getting back to more faithful walking this week as my sister is visiting from Florida and we enjoy those walks together! I am so excited to spend the week just visiting and relaxing and loving on each other. It just doesn’t happen as often as we would both like.

As I said, my sister, Carly, is here visiting from sunny Florida. And I know I should have no excuses, but I am going to go that route anyway on this . . . I fought a trigeminal headache on Saturday and then spent Sunday preparing for her arrival and picking her up at the airport. So I am just sitting down, last minute to write this blog today. I feel it’s still important to reach out and touch SOMEone with this and I have made myself a promise that I would get a blog written each week and I am going to do that. However, I am going to make this one short so I can spend the time I want with Carly. Hope you all understand! 

I had something entirely different that I wanted to write about but then started thinking about how happy my heart is that Carly is here. She is just good for my soul. And honestly, I have had a rough year. Some things just happen in our lives that ripple out and continue plaguing us for a very long time. And I have dealt with some ripples this past year. Add to that the stress of Covid, graduating a child from HS, sending that child off to start his own path in college, leaving a career of 12 years to pursue my passion for helping others with the CBD products I am associated with and you get a soul like mine that is in need of some repair. I have had more anxiety and panic attacks in the past year than I have dealt with in a very long time. Things have happened in this last year . . . the ripple effect . . . that even my closest friends don’t know about. And that is fine. I am fine. But I NEEEEEED this time with Carly. 

Why am I telling you this? Well a couple reasons, I guess. One is that, again, I want to be transparent and honest with you about struggles and successes. But struggles especially. And I have been struggling. The other reason is that I know we ALL have some serious heartaches and struggles of our own to deal with and I want to be an encouragement to you through this blog today. I am taking steps to make sure that I am calming the waves that keep rocking my boat. I am using this time to pull from my sister’s energy and love and use that to repair myself a little. There is nothing quite like knowing you are so loved by someone else just because. They don’t have to love you. They don’t even have to like you. But they do. And it is more fulfilling than anything else. So I am telling you that you need to do whatever it takes to be loved and love in return. Find the people who soothe and speak to your soul and hold on to them. Make every effort to surround yourself with love and light. This morning, Carly, and my mom, Betty, and I just had a conversation about toxicity in relationships and how dangerous it is to remain in toxic relationships. It is painful and really difficult to walk away from people in our lives when the time and circumstance calls for it to happen. But you have to remember that you are worth whatever it takes to be happy. So this is my charge to you. Find YOUR people. Find YOUR happiness. And embrace it. Fight for it. And never let it go. Let it heal your soul so you can be the blessing to other people God meant for you to be. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Into the Light

Time for the weekly update, as promised. This week went even better than the previous one. The only wrench that was thrown into the mix was that Ben was home from college starting Monday evening. (He was isolating after being tested for Covid with the rest of the baseball and volleyball programs – don’t worry, he’s negative – but he chose to isolate here at home so he could lift weights and do his long toss and hit here as he wasn’t allowed to had he stayed in Hastings) I say that was a wrench only because while he was home I cooked even bigger and meatier and carb-laden meals because, well, college meal plan meals, and so Ben could get a refreshing dose of mama’s home cooking. So, I ate more potatoes and starches and carbs for supper than I did the previous week, and ate later in the evening, but I did well overall with everything else. I guess it probably doesn’t hurt to cheat a tad when the rest of the day was well-planned and adhered to. My blog, my opinion, right? *wink, wink* Now, on with the rest of the story . . . 

I have ALWAYS, at least as long as I can remember, been afraid of the dark. Like terrified of the dark. And I guess more specifically, not so much scared of the dark itself, but of what is IN the dark, lurking, that I might not be able to see. I didn’t know until this week that I was actually scared of my shadow also . . . I’ll get to that in a minute. Now, I am sure there are millions of people who, just like me, are scared of the dark. I mean bad things tend to happen in the “dark” or at night much more often than during the day and it’s light. The Bible even talks in the Gospel of John about those who do evil hating the light and goes so far to say they won’t even come into the light for fear of having their evil deeds exposed. Here is a dose of real, exposing honesty for you . . . I have slept with a night light my whole life. Yes, even as a married woman who has a grown man in the bed with her, I have a small 5 or 7 watt bulb (whichever it is) in a reading lamp attached to my headboard that gets turned on during the night. Now, I cover it with something to dim it a little but I keep it on so I can sleep without fear. Here is where I say I have the most patient man in the world. He never complains about my need for the light to keep me comfortable in the dark. My house is never completely dark. We have small plug in lights placed strategically through the house that come on when it’s dark so there is never a hallway or room in the main part of the house that isn’t illuminated. You may call me crazy and can even make fun of me if you want. I don’t care! I call it staying sane and anxiety and panic attack free. 

One night this last week, I was getting ready for bed. The boys had already retired to their beds and were both sleeping soundly as far as I knew. Wade was in the kitchen getting the dog a treat for bed time. I heard a noise and thought that maybe Ben or Franklin was coming down the hallway. I was brushing my teeth when I heard it. I use an electric toothbrush and it was making enough noise that I was not sure what I had just heard, but it startled me a tad. I turned the toothbrush off and peeked my head out the bathroom door and into the hallway. Now, there are many doorways right outside this bathroom. You can go slightly left into the front/entry room; or you can go slightly right into our bedroom; or a little further right into one of the other bedrooms; or you can bank hard right and go down the hallway to the boy’s bedrooms. What I am saying is there are a LOT of options for something to come jumping at you and you can’t see them all at the same time. I thought the noise was coming from the hard-right banking hallway leading to their rooms. I stepped out of the bathroom to investigate. Wade hadn’t turned off the light in the family room yet and it shines against the wall to some of those options mentioned above. I saw my own shadow on the wall in front of me and literally jumped. It scared me bad enough it made my chest hurt. (Like I said, this fear is REAL for me!) The light actually exacerbated the problem instead of solving it as it usually does. But I started thinking about something I read a long time ago. It stated that when you are looking into the light you can’t see your shadow. Light in itself casts no shadow. It only illuminates what is actually present. And shadows form because an object blocks the path of the light. I know, we all learned this when we were little, but I saw something in this when it happened and I thought I would share a little of it, even if it’s something we already know. 

As you all know by now from reading my blogs, my mind is bent to the spiritual, the eternal, the “God-centric” consequences and lessons in all things. This was no different. And it came back to what I mentioned from John 3 but combined with it the fact we also know the Bible says Jesus is the light of the world, and in Him, there is no darkness. I’m sure most of us have seen the picture of a hand holding a lit match and the shadow it is casting on the wall in the background. The flame doesn’t cast a shadow, of course, only the hand and matchstick, but I never really thought about that too much until seeing the picture. The same is true, as I mentioned before, about looking into the light. I can’t be scared by the shadows if I will just focus on the light. Shadows don’t exist in the light. And by keeping close to the light, nothing can get between me and the light to cause any shadows I might otherwise fear.

As I said, I am not sure if I am scared OF the dark exactly or what’s IN the dark. But I do know why I appreciate the light so much. If the light comes on, whatever is in the dark cannot go unseen. And this is the idea I am choosing to apply to my weight loss and health journey. If I am having a hard time doing what I need to do, or having a hard time losing, or exercising, or ANYthing, I can use the light to illuminate the issue and flush it out of hiding. I can shine this light of experience, truth, and knowledge into the deep recesses of my heart and mind and identify the exact problem and come up with a solution to find a better way. And that is what I have employed the last couple weeks after renewing my purpose and focus in my journey to best health. I have brought to light things that were sitting back in the dark just waiting for the most opportune time to accost me and sabotage my goals. I can’t have that. I can’t afford to allow that. It has brought out the lack of discipline I have at times. It has shown me both my fear of failure and of success. I don’t know what life will look like if I actually reach my goal weight. I am afraid of getting there, I think in part, because I don’t know that I will be able to STAY there. So many times (SOOOOO MANY TIMES) I have lost weight only to stop doing what I was doing and let myself gain it all back. And then some. I have never lost as much as I have lost in the last almost 2 years. And I haven’t weighed what I weigh right now since probably 1997. To me, that’s a victory all in itself. But I sometimes lose focus on where I am and what I am doing because of an unfounded fear of the future. However, I can apply the light of experience, truth and knowledge to it and see that there isn’t anything hiding in any corner that will jump out at me and attack my progress and make me gain weight just because I have lost weight. It won’t happen unless I allow it to happen. And I’m not about to let it happen!

There is always going to be something in our world that will cause us fear. And we all have conditioned fears and responses that have taken a lifetime to become what they are today. Our job is to find a way to act and live in spite of those fears and responses. My fear of the dark will likely never go away. But I have adopted techniques and processes to aid in fighting the fear by placing light in areas where it is most needed for me to feel safe. Some of us fear change. Some of us fear success or failure. But courage is what happens when we begin acting and living our best life in spite of those fears. Remember, through Jesus, there is nothing outside of ourselves that is stronger than we are. There is nothing we cannot do and nothing we cannot accomplish if we just apply the hard work and discipline and courage needed to get the job done. And when we are feeling defeated and scared, we need to remember to look into the light where we will see no shadows and can refocus and renew our purpose, fortitude and courage. There’s never anything to fear in the light. Nothing to fear at all.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Family, Football and Familiar Fears

First, a report of the week. I did well. Not great but not bad. I guess I would give myself a C+ grade for the week. I did well Monday through Friday. Yesterday was spent eating the normal foods one consumes in a car on a road trip and the greasy burger and onion rings at a restaurant while visiting Ben in Hastings, Nebraska, where he is attending college. I will weigh tomorrow and I am hoping to see my work reflected in the terrifying neon blue numbers that will flash up at me. Now, on to the rest of the story.

As I just mentioned, we made a trip to see Ben at college yesterday. We had decided a couple weeks ago, when we weren’t having football for High School, that we would surprise Franklin by taking him to see a college football game in person at Ben’s school during their homecoming and show him what he could earn by working hard on the field and even harder in the classroom. He hopes to play football in college just as Ben is playing baseball in college. So we hopped in the car and left here at 7:00 in the morning to arrive in Nebraska (after the time change)at 12:20 that afternoon. We watched the game and then grabbed a bite to eat at a nice little place in downtown Hastings. We went back to the field to watch the warmups for the girls soccer team as a couple of Ben’s friends are on the team and they wanted us to see them also. Then we left. Something happened on the car ride up . . . I started thinking about meeting all of Ben’s new friends and how excited I was to finally see some of these kids face to face that I have seen and met over FaceTime and heard so much about. It was about halfway there that I started to feel familiar pangs of doubt and questioning creep into my mind. For so many years, I had wondered if my kids were ever bothered by my large size. Very large size at times. I wondered if they had ever had to listen to someone say something mean about their mom because I was large and kids can be mean sometimes. Did they have to bear unwanted and completely unnecessary hurt because of me? And then I thought, “Oh, goodness. I am still a very large person. And these kids who have grown to be Ben’s friends may or may not know how large I am and there’s NO WAY they know how much weight I have lost or how hard I am trying to change and now I am going to embarrass Ben!”

For SO MANY years, I have worried about what people have thought when they look at me. What do they notice first? My size? My arms? My legs? My fat rolls? Or do they see my face? My hair? My smile? My eyes? Do they pay attention to me long enough to recognize my spirit? My personality? My intelligence? I don’t honestly know. Some of that doubt comes from hearing people say things that aren’t directly related to me but “judgey” nonetheless. For instance, one time, I attended a dental seminar/training in Arizona and sat in a group with other Clinic Administrators when someone at the table said, “I don’t understand how anyone could POSSIBLY be scared of dentists! It is stupid and they are just being babies. Suck it up already!” I was taken aback by that statement and said something about it. I know plenty of people, some in my own extended family, who don’t like the dentist and some who are downright terrified of the dentist! Another example would be that I don’t enjoy being involved in conversations where the topic centers around other people and their lives and/or wrongdoings. I am best served and grow in conversations that discuss ideas, challenges, and situations as opposed to people. But that’s just me. I love talking to people about my kids and my life and love hearing from others about their kids, lives and problems in return! But, through some of those types of conversations, I have lost trust in people because of how easily they can make “someone” the topic of conversation. If they can talk about other people to me, there’s nothing saying they won’t talk to other people about me. You know what I am saying. I know you do. It’s not that I won’t discuss someone if there is a particular informative reason behind it. But to talk about someone just to talk? Not really my cup of tea. I think I am saying all this to say I have a REALLY hard time trusting people to not judge me based on my looks or size or anything other than just who I am and what makes me, well, me. 

The other side of this is that I am one who always tries very hard to please everyone around me. Not in a “tell you what you want to hear” kind of manner. Not at all. I have my own opinions and I will share them when appropriate. What I mean is that I will bend over backwards to make sure people are happy and because of that I will do just about anything to make sure they aren’t inconvenienced. Even if it comes at my own detriment. I don’t know when I became like that. I don’t. But I can’t ever remember not being this way. I think it all ties in to my self-worth and feeling like I deserved no more than the bare minimum of anything life and family and friends had to offer. It was easier to deal with certain trauma and mistreatments in my life to think I didn’t deserve any better. It makes the bad things seem less impactful and valid when you can shrug it off as though you aren’t worthy of good and love and light. 

I guess I have transferred these feelings to my boys, in that, I have wondered what they have thought of me. Have they been ashamed of me or embarrassed by me as I have been ashamed and embarrassed by myself through the years? I don’t know and I don’t know that I WANT to know! But I can tell you that the experience yesterday made me proud of my child in a way that I haven’t been before. He introduced me to all the people that stopped by to see him. By the end of the football game, I would say probably fifteen or so of his baseball teammates had slapped his shoulders and said, “Hey, man! What’s up?” or “How’s it going, Ben?” And he introduced us. We met his roommate and his roommate’s dad. It was very nice. And I was able to relax. A little bit anyway. 

I guess I am trying to figure out what I need to do to start to see myself as my kids, husband, family and friends see me. I don’t really have any clue where to start. But if I truly want to take better care of myself and reach all the goals I have for my weight and health in the long term, I need to start seeing myself and loving myself like they do. I can speak verses from the Bible over myself. All the good promises and blessings and names God has given me in His Word. There are so many! If you are like me, struggling to find worth and lacking self-confidence and afraid of what others see when they see you, STOP IT. I am saying that to myself as much as I am to you! Stop worrying. Stop fretting. Know that the people who see you are seeing the you who loves with your whole heart and the you who would do anything for anyone. My family and friends love me. I am so blessed. At the end of the day, my sons know that I will always be there for them. I will always be their biggest fan. Just as my friends love my children because they are mine, my children’s friends will love me because I am theirs. I have to be willing to trust people long enough to give them room to know me, and love me. But I have to let them close enough to see all of me. As flawed and as perfectly imperfect as I am. Most people won’t disappoint. They will accept me and love me and see through whatever is actually wrong with me long enough to see what is good about me. They’ll learn to take the good with the not-so-good. And I’d be willing to bet that most of them won’t see my weight and large frame front and center anyway. Take it to the bank.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Hook, Line and Sinker

Is stick-to-it-ive-ness a word? If not, it should be. Sure, perseverance, tenacity, stamina, determination, long-suffering and a host of other words I can’t remember right now could be used instead. But nothing says what I am trying to convey quite like stick-to-it-ive-ness expresses. I am not a particularly patient person in some things. For instance, I have tons of patience with people. I really do. But when it comes to “things” or myself I have none. Wade and Tank (Franklin, my youngest son) are fishing as I write this. Last night, Wade had purchased some fishing line to reline their bait casting reels. The existing line on Tank’s needed replaced, as did Wade’s, so he brought out all the stuff he was going to need to take the old line off the reels and replace it with the new line. Tank’s line looked like a “rats nest” according to Wade. To me, it looked like something I wouldn’t even attempt to remedy. Patience, remember? Wade (who has more patience than most) sat down and started working. It took him a good little while to take the old line off. He said that Tank must have his mom’s patience because it looked as if he had gotten it tangled, loosened and then just reeled the knot back up. I laughed. When I go fishing, if I happen to get tangled in something, I will cut the stupid line and start over. Simple. Now, if Wade’s around, I will hand him the pole and he will untangle the mess I’ve created. Otherwise, it’s the quick, easy way for me. But, one thing is for certain, my way costs more. I have to re-rig my hook, sinker and bait. Wade’s way costs nothing but the time it takes to get back to function, so to speak. 

When Ben, our oldest son, left for college, a couple things happened. First, I wanted a way to connect with Ben beyond texting. So we started a “streak” on SnapChat. You’ll have to look it up if you’re not familiar with that. I’ve never been much into SnapChat, the social media app. I told him that I would send a pic every day on SnapChat until he graduates college. So far, so good. Anyway, I didn’t know what I was doing, my account is now actually under a different user name than I had before, and I had thought maybe I would scrap the whole idea. But I really wanted to do this with him. It meant something to me. So I stuck to it until I got it all figured out and am glad I did. Second, I started eating more to comfort myself in his absence. I knew this would happen. I am an emotional eater and I knew I would fall into that a little to get myself through the first part of him being gone. I hadn’t weighed in since he left for college. On purpose. I didn’t really want to know what I was weighing because I knew I had likely gained some weight. I weighed the other day. And I was right. I have gained some weight. Nothing shocking or that can’t be reversed with getting back to the basics. But the fact that I gained brought back the idea of stick-to-it-ive-ness in my journey. Where did that go?

I allowed myself some variances because it is how I have always handled stress, sadness, depression, loneliness, and difficult times; I just eat my way through it. That coupled with the fact that I have really grown quite comfortable where I am has made it hard to want to continue sacrificing toward my ultimate goal. Guys, I am tired. LIKE REALLY TIRED. And if I can’t be honest about that here, where I said I would be completely honest, then I don’t know what I am doing here. Most people lose 30-40 pounds and they are where they want to be. I’ve lost 4-5 times that amount of weight and am still only 75% of the way to my goal. It’s daunting. And it’s hard. Really difficult, if I am being honest. And unless you’ve been exactly where I am you really can’t understand the emotions and thoughts I am having. 

I am better than my current attitude. I am better than what I am doing and the way I am doing it. I am worth pushing through this funk I find myself in currently. We have always told our kids that anything worth having is worth working hard and waiting for. But that requires patience. The “hard work” part doesn’t scare me. I have already worked extremely hard to get to where I am. It’s the patience required for the stick-to-it-ive-ness that I need more of right now. But I have come to a conclusion. Sometimes, when patience is lacking, grace can carry us through. If I can’t have the patience I need to have with myself, I can at least extend myself a little grace to know that I am human after all and will have moments where I am not my best self. I may find myself lacking. But that’s ok. It’s expected. Human, remember? If I can extend grace to others, then I should be able to do the same with myself, especially keeping in mind that God Himself extends His grace to me. And He has enough patience for the both of us. Praise Him for that!

What do I do now that I know what I need to do? I take step one. Again. I may not be starting all over in regards to where I was almost two years ago. But in my mind, I am hitting a reset button of sorts. I will refocus. I will call on my prayer partners and warriors to pray me through this. I will renew my commitment to myself, my family and use my accountability partners to get me where I need to be. Focused and responsible for my own choices and actions. And I will learn and do better. That’s the whole point in all of life anyway, isn’t it. To learn and grow. And in turn, become a better version of myself through it all. If I can’t at least do that, I have indeed failed. Step one includes forgiving myself and allowing myself some understanding and patience. Patience, remember? I am committing to you, as my reader, that I will update you in my blog each week. Good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I will share my journey more with you. That’s why I started this blog in the first place. I wanted people to know what I have gained back in myself as I lost weight and I wanted to help them understand that the struggle is real. For me, for them, and everyone who dares to change their lives in ANY way. So back to that original purpose. I guess this actually brings out something else that I have gained back. A reason to keep pushing forward. My why. I do have one. And it’s pretty great. 

I have been holding weight loss challenges for groups of individuals who are wanting to lose weight and get healthier using the system I have been using. I will start the fourth challenge in another week. I am going to focus my energy and actually work really hard to get back down to where I was a month ago. I will do this challenge alongside them and hold myself accountable to that task. That won’t take too much, but I will be resetting my mind and shifting my position to get in a better place to reach that ultimate goal I have for myself. Like Tank’s line, I have some knots and complications to work through. But it isn’t going to serve me in the long run if I don’t take care of the root of the problem as opposed to just reeling all the crap back up onto the reel. And I can’t just cut bait and walk away. It’s too costly to even consider. 

Long ago, I fell into believing that I didn’t deserve to be truly happy and healthy. I fell for that . . . hook, line and sinker . . . for a LONG time. And I was wrong. I honestly believe that nothing will matter to you until you “buy” into it. I mean you have to believe in whatever “that” is with everything in your tackle box. If you don’t “own” the decision, circumstance or journey you are on, it won’t actually matter enough to you to make you want to continue in that conviction. Today, I commit to you that I am taking off the old line from my reel. I will employ all the patience this is going to require and I will replace it with a fresh, new line. I will rig it up with my hook, sinker and bait and cast it back out into the water. I will not be shaken and I will not be moved. I can stick-to-it for as long as it takes. Even if I have to empty that tackle box to get it done. I am worth it. Really, I am. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk

I try so hard. Oh, goodness, how I try. Now, my business mentor, Mr. Dockery, would tell me there is no “try” . . . there is only “do”. And I do understand what that means. But still, I try. First, though, if I can, let me share a couple of small (yet large for me) victories from my week before I begin to shame myself on the internet. For those keeping track, I received my hairspray in the mail in a nice, brown Amazon Prime box on Friday. I used a screwdriver (TWICE) and managed to walk away with all my fingers and even skin intact. And, maybe the biggest one, I didn’t cry once this week because I miss Ben. Even though his birthday was on Wednesday. That is probably the one that made me feel most accomplished this week. But, that all changed just a few short minutes ago. Wade made his famous chocolate chip pancakes on his Blackstone grill this morning before church. Oh, man, let me tell you, they are so good. Wade, Franklin and I ate and then went our separate ways to get ready for church. When we arrived home after going out to eat lunch after church, I started on my Sunday chores so that I could sit down and write this blog. For me, my Sunday chores include washing bedding. I grabbed our sheets and pillowcases as well as Franklin’s sheets and pillowcases and started the washing machine with them. I walked through the kitchen to get to the laundry room and saw things still left out after breakfast. I started the laundry and then headed to the kitchen so I could clean up after our breakfast this morning. I had just emptied the trash and placed it by the front door as Wade was going to take it out, well, because wasps. The butter and the syrup had not been put away after the last person used it. No biggie. I noticed there were a few pieces of trash on the counter (napkin and paper towel) and I grabbed them up to take to the front of the house where the trash sack had just been placed. I knew I was going by the refrigerator so I also grabbed the butter to put away. The ultimate multitasker, right? Well, the lid wasn’t on exactly tight and when I picked up the big, nearly full, family-sized (4 lb) tub of butter lifted in the air, past the counter top and then fell to the floor, the lid remaining in my hand. I had butter on my foot, leg and the floor. Lovely. I had the butter lid in one hand, the trash in the other and couldn’t move because I did not want to slip in the butter. I called for Wade who came and took the trash from me and gave me what I needed to clean myself. Then I cleaned the floor. It’s a tad slick still. But I may have found a new treatment for the rough skin on my feet. I’ll let you know. And just like that, the blog I had thought I would write gave way to a new subject. Not crying over splattered butter. 

There have been so many times in my life when things didn’t go according to Hoyle, or my plan, so to speak. Things just have a way of unraveling all on their own sometimes. I had planned Ben’s graduation party and my parent’s combined 80th birthday party this year. But, Covid. That threw so many curveballs into so many plans this year. I had to cancel both parties and then replan both parties. And you know what? Things went just fine. We made all the adjustments we needed, held them on back to back days, and saw and loved almost 200 people between both parties in just a couple days. But in the planning . . . both of them, both times . . . I realized that there are VERY few things we can actually control as humans. In fact, when we take an honest look, we really can’t control anything, can we? The only thing we CAN control is how we respond, react, and rebound to what does happen in life. 

For me, the most important thing is realizing that everything in life that comes to me has to pass through Jesus’ hands first. And even more than that, it has to pass through God’s hands also. The Bible is clear about that. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says that He holds us in His hand. He says that no one can snatch us out of His hand. And He goes further. He states that no one can snatch us out of His Father’s hand. In my simple mind, that means that both sets of hands are wrapped as tightly around us as a newborn is swaddled in a blanket. Oh, the safety and security of that thought! But, again, in my simple mind, if anything is going to touch us at all, it has to be allowed through the hands of Jesus and our Father. In other words, He will not allow something to happen to us that we cannot handle with Him. He will sustain us. If you are a parent you probably understand this better than most. We have all watched our children attempt something that we know is not going to end well for them. Now, certain things, I would step in and stop . . . fire, hot stovetop, electrical outlets, a fall from a height that would cause injury . . . but other things, I allowed because as inconvenient and painful as it might be it was a lesson they needed to learn. Nothing serious, mind you. Just small things that after they’d walked through it, we could then talk about and life lessons could be imparted. There are life lessons in everything. And believe me, my kids get tired of me pointing them out! My point is that God is there, He cares, and He will see us through. 

Sometimes, things in our life happen through no fault of our own. In those instances, I like the saying, “Not my circus. Not my monkeys.” Other times, we share culpability. You know, it’s been said in cases like these that, “It takes two to tango.” And the remaining portion of things that happen, are entirely our fault. Oh, sure, you can try the old Flip Wilson excuse, “The Devil made me do it.” Let me know how that one works out for you. Regardless of who’s to blame for the crap in our lives, we are usually the ones who have to clean it up. Just like the butter in my kitchen. Sometimes, the result of the problem can be cleaned with one wipe of a paper towel, other times, it might take the whole roll. Sometimes, we can use the good dish cloths for it and other times, it’s appropriate to employ a paper towel or rag we can just toss. Just depends on the mess, I guess. What I am trying to say is that there is not a typical, go-to way to handle every problem we come in contact with. I’ve never dropped butter before today, but figured that it would leave the floor rather slick even after applying the soapy water. I was right, and the family has been appropriately warned. But we are a resilient creation. We CAN figure out how to handle every bit of crap life tosses our way. We just have to use our God-given common sense and the problem solving techniques we have learned in our lives to figure it out. That doesn’t mean we won’t need to call on someone for help from time to time. I knew I needed help from Wade if I didn’t want to slip and slide my way to the counter before I could wipe my foot and leg off. But once there, I resolved the issue with ease. 

Some issues in life can set us back. But all of them can potentially set us up to be better equipped to deal with the next problem needing a solution or to help someone else navigate the issues we may have already journeyed through. Sometimes, things cross our paths even after we thought we had handled them and maybe even moved on from them; things we thought we had passed through and thought we had arrived on the other side safely and were done dealing with. Maybe not unscathed but safe. Life isn’t always fair. But, in the midst of those times, we have to remember that we conquered that mountain once, we can do it again. As I said before, we are resilient. Our mom’s imparted the golden nugget of wisdom that taught us not to cry over spilled milk. We can’t dwell on the circumstance. We can’t just sit there and wallow in what we wish would have happened. Even if we know how it COULD have turned out had that milk not spilled. Instead, we have to find a way to move on; to learn and grow from it. Let people know that you are walking through something difficult. Let them know you are dealing with a mistake. Even if it means that some people need to be warned to avoid a certain patch on the floor until you can mop really well. Whatever it is, know you are not alone. Know you will get through. And know that splattered butter, just like spilled milk, isn’t worth crying over. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

All That Holds Us Together

Franklin, my youngest son, worked on Saturday at his job at the city owned/managed public swimming pool. He is one of the aids. He usually goes to the top of the slide and grants passage to the meager patrons who have climbed the two flights of stairs so they can go down the slide and splash in the cool, refreshing waters. Oh, and he has a whistle. That’s just entirely too much power for a 15-year-old. Haha. Anyway, Saturday, I drove him over to the pool. Then about 30 minutes later he texted to ask me if I could bring him an iced tea to drink. Of course, I did. I stopped what I was doing and took it to him as it was 103 degrees. I got home and started back into what I had going on here. I got a second text about 30 minutes later asking me if I could “bring him his wallet for something from concession for his break pretty please?” My reply was, “buddyyyyyyy….” His reply was, “I NEEEEEEEED it.” So I grumbled a bit, but I grabbed his wallet out of his room and got into my roasting car with it’s scorching leather seats and drove it over to him. As I was driving over that third time, I stopped complaining. I started thinking about my own plight over the last couple weeks. It looks like this: I cannot find my brand of hairspray anywhere. I have tasked Wade with the mission of finding it. He has looked at WalMart, Safeway, Walgreens, and Dollar General to name a few. And I have looked in those stores and other stores several times also. It was getting frustrating. He, in his wonderful, awesome provision and kindness, brought some Aussie Sprunch to use as I was nearly out of my Tresemme (ooooo-la-la) so I would have something. I tried not to complain as it was kind of him to do that much for me. But I did ask him to please keep looking because this current hair spray is horrendous! He kept saying he didn’t quite understand why I wanted THAT specific brand. I told him I didn’t just “want” it. No, it was beyond that. I told him, “I NEEEEEEEED it.” And of course, because my mind is weird, I started thinking about some of the other things in life I feel I absolutely need. In my thinking, I concluded that a woman is only as strong as the coffee she drinks, the hairspray she uses, and the hope that she keeps in her heart. I am sure I have read some of that, especially about the coffee, somewhere. I don’t think that part is original to me. But I did some deep thinking on all of it and what coffee, hairspray and hope could mean to our lives.

For starters, hairspray with a hairdo like mine is needed. Not wanted, not suggested. But I thought about how much hairspray can represent the friendships we have. The best of friends are strong enough to hold you together when you would otherwise be coming apart at the seams yet gentle enough to let you move with the breeze. They can take a good thing and make it better. They accentuate the good qualities and help to hide your flaws. Like your biggest flaws. When you have a tendency to have a stray moment, you can apply friendship and it will put you immediately and firmly back in place. It’s sticky, hairspray. And you can smell the fragrance it leaves on your hair all day. In the same way, your friends aren’t going anywhere and you will often think of them throughout your day even if you don’t stop to acknowledge them. You just know they are there, doing their job as your friend. They can both tame the static and they keep the hair, or all of life’s crap, out of your face. They show off your best features. Hairspray, I mean a good friend, has a way of complimenting your best and covering up the rest. Our lives are enhanced by all of it. And just like the real Tresemme I use, you will be able to spot the “fake” or substitute hairspray, I mean people charading as friends, every time. Just as the hairspray did in my hair, they will weigh you down, leave you in tangles and be nearly impossible to remove without an expensive shampoo and lots of effort!

Coffee. That is all I really need to write about that, probably. Or, maybe I could say it just one more time. Coffee. There. No, just kidding. In all reality, I couldn’t adult well, work well, wife, mother, or daughter well without coffee. It is a powerful part of my day. And thinking about what coffee could represent I came up with my “why.” What is it that drives us? Because that is what coffee is to me. It drives me, some days, physically.  When I start doubting myself and my ability or my goals or my position in life I think about my why. And my why gets me over those inevitable hurdles. I have thought about making the decision to come home and work for myself and whether or not it was a good decision. Not because I am second guessing but more because I miss people and I am not nearly as worn out from working as hard and isn’t that what’s supposed to happen according to our world when we are in our 40’s? I have doubted my weight loss and the ability to get to where I want to be at the rate of ONE POUND A WEEK. But, I always come back to my why. That is the shot of coffee that I need to continue driving into my goals. We have very little chance of being successful at what we are doing if we don’t know why we are doing it. Or we haven’t got a leg to stand on if we don’t know why we believe what we believe. And sometimes, just knowing our why can get us through the “fog” of our days. Just like a hot, steaming, cup of black coffee can pull us through a sluggish afternoon.

We can have all the coffee and hairspray in the world, but if we don’t have hope? What good will it do us? On a small scale, I hope that the hairspray I use will lead to a good hair day. And I hope that the coffee I drink will curb my appetite as it usually does because it’s a healthy weight loss coffee and that is what it’s supposed to do. Beyond that small scale, though, is the theme that the Bible so beautifully conveys. Hope is the thought that something good you desire MAY eventually have a chance to happen. Somewhere, sometime, somehow. I have heard it said that hope comes after faith. That you have to have faith before you have hope. Now, I am not an expert and don’t know a lot about a lot, but I am actually more bent to believe hope has to happen BEFORE faith can take root. It’s a little like the chicken and the egg conversation in regards to which one came first. The Bible tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. In other words, it is saying that whatever we are hoping for is here now. In a sense, I think hope is a whisper and faith it’s shout of confirmation. I hope for so many things in my life. I turn most of those hopes into prayers of faith. We can’t spend our time worrying about how things will turn out. We will drive ourselves crazy doing that. But everything I have hoped for in my life, I have prayed about and handed over to God. He is faithful to guard those hopes until I can see them, in faith, come to fruition. Are all of my hopes realized? No. And sometimes, it’s Divine Providence that they aren’t! God is a good Father and I thank Him everyday because certain things I have wanted and even hoped for haven’t happened. But I believe if we don’t have hope we have nothing. Think about your life for a minute. What is the reason you keep going? What are the hopes you have for yourself, your family, your friends, your future? Pray about them and then release them. God can handle it. He will guard them with care just as He guards you with care. In the interim, I am hoping I can find my hairspray again locally. For now, I have ordered it through Amazon. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I HOPE it gets here soon. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Driving Lessons

As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, I have been painting a couple bedrooms so that Tank can have Ben’s old room and vice-versa. The rooms are done now and almost completely set up. Even Ben’s new room. You should know that I am accident prone. Or, at least if that is an actual thing, I am. During the course of my work on the bedrooms one day, I grabbed a knife to cut something and as I started I literally thought, “Oh, Lace. This decision looks like it could end badly.” Well, let’s just say, the cut is almost healed. But the very next day, I grabbed a screwdriver and tried to push something back into place and was using it in a way that the screwdriver could come back at my hand and cause some damage if it didn’t work out. Again, I thought, “Oh, Lace. This decision looks like it could end badly.” It’s healing well, also, even though it was worse than the first. Both times, I just had to shake my head. I am a slow learner sometimes. Thank God for bandaids, peroxide and numbing triple antibiotic ointment. Afterward, I joked with Tank, “Buddy, when the little voice inside you tells you that what you are about to do looks like it could end badly, you’d be wise to just listen to the voice.” At what point does one arrive at the conclusion that a decision about to be made is a bad one? What happens if you do the thing anyway and it ends badly? And is there a point of no return? 

I have been reading a book called “The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership” by John Maxwell. I have amazing mentors (business, life, and spiritual mentors) in my NewYou CBD business. I refer to them as “The Dynamic Dockery Duo” and they host a team call every Saturday morning at 8:00 and then a leadership call immediately follows that as we study this book. This week, we read and then discussed the Law of Navigation. It speaks to direction. More specifically, charting a course before you set out on your journey with the idea that anyone can steer a ship but it takes a true leader to plot the course. As I read this week, I also saw something on the internet that spoke to this in a different way. It was a Zig Ziglar quote. It read, “When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.” I think it is safe to say that I made a decision about what needed done with each of the “challenges” I faced earlier in the week that ended up wounding me but the direction I was taking in each of those to resolve the issue was not good. One of them will probably leave a scar to remind me of my knuckle-headedness. 

I have made some poor decisions in my life. I think we can probably all say that. But when did we know it was a bad decision? And did it change our direction? Sometimes, we are far enough into a decision before we realize it is not a good decision that we honestly can’t stop what has happened or is happening and we just have to live with the results of that decision. Other times, we see it’s a bad decision but don’t know what to do about it to correct our course. And still many times, as my mentor, Ken Dockery who I am paraphrasing here, would say we make a bad decision and then spend the rest of our lives defending that bad decision instead of making a new decision to get out from under it. We need to be willing to admit that our bad decision is taking us down the wrong path and we are failing and then realize that people will respect us more for that than they will if we stay stuck in that decision and make it the proverbial hill we are willing to die on. We know sometimes where we are headed but make decisions along the way that make our path there a little harder. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stay the course. Again, paraphrasing Ken, we just need to make a different decision.

Nothing in life probably shows us more about poor decision making than parenthood. We watch our children go from toddlers, to children, to teenagers. Each of those stages is riddled with decisions that we have to watch our children make and learn from. I remember watching my children in the toddler stage literally “think” about doing something. It was so obvious to me they were in deep thought about the act they were contemplating and then, as discipline entered the arena, they either proceeded and were punished or they walked it back. I remember a specific time with Ben, my oldest, when he was maybe three and he decided he was going to remove the movies that were off limits from their shelves. I was never the parent who put all my knick-knacks up nor did I let them play with things they shouldn’t. And, yes, our kids received the occasional spanking. They both knew what was theirs and what wasn’t. Ben picked up a movie and dropped it on the floor. I told him “no” and placed it back on the shelf. He looked at me as his spine straightened, he crinkled up his nose and pursed his lips and he thought long and hard about what had just happened. He did it again. I replaced it. He did it again and I replaced it and slapped his hand. Not really hard, just enough that he understood his action would have consequences. This went on for several long minutes. I wasn’t giving in; neither was he. He finally decided that his now red hand hurt and he wanted no more of this. He made a decision to walk away and play with toys he knew he could have. He was (and still is) slightly stubborn. Haha. Wonder where he gets that? Another time, when Franklin was seven or eight, he was outside riding his bike. I told him he could not ride his bike past our block because supper was nearly ready and his dad was on his way home. I told him when he saw his dad he needed to come inside so we could eat. When Wade pulled up and came inside he said that he had seen Franklin down the street at a house that was about three blocks away. Franklin had seen his dad and followed him home because he knew he had been told to do that. I told Wade what I had told Franklin about not leaving our block and we knew he would be punished when he got home. He came in and his dad said that mom told him he couldn’t leave the block. He was going to be punished for disobeying me. Before he spanked him, he asked, “Son, what were you thinking?” Franklin’s answer was simply, “I was thinking I could get away with it?” Uh-huh. What do you do with that? *wink, wink* Wade just said, “Yeah? And how’d that work out for ya?”

One thing we have always tried to do with our boys was to make sure they knew that no decision made by them would erase or nullify our love for them. But we have also always told them that one bad decision could potentially ruin the rest of their lives. The other part of that is knowing that just because we have made a bad decision, it doesn’t necessarily define us. It doesn’t make us a bad person. What defines us is how we handle the fall out and aftermath of a bad decision. And as parents, we HAVE to know that our kids are going to make poor decisions. That is just who they are and it is instrumental in their learning processes. Does that mean we are going to be happy or act as though that decision didn’t get made or that there aren’t consequences? No. Is there a way back? Sure. Always. Good people do bad things and act poorly from time to time. We are imperfect humans. But forgiveness is ours if we just take it. Sometimes that road to forgiveness is paved with apologies and humility above and beyond anything we have ever experienced. Inevitably, that road will be a little bumpy and will very likely rearrange our cargo of certainty. But it is always paved with redemption.  

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

50 Shades Of Blue

This week, I spent a good amount of time redoing the bedroom our oldest son, Ben, has slept in since he was 9 months old and we moved into this house. Our youngest son, Franklin (Tank) has been in a bedroom without a window to the outside since he came home from the hospital 15+ years ago. We have told him for a long time that when Ben goes to college he would inherit “the room with a view” . . . of the neighbors enclosed patio on the back side of his house. *laughs allowed* It would at least be a cooler option for him to have a window. He is loving it, by the way. Anyway, on Monday after dropping Ben off at Hastings College on Sunday, I tore into cleaning and painting and vacuuming Ben’s room. His room was painted a pale blue that matched a quilt his Grandma Peggy made for him when he was a baby. Ben was so excited to get his big boy bed and change the walls in his room to match some of the blue in that blue and red and dalmatian covered quilt of his. We painted it to the specifications of his then three-year-old imagination and desires. And he loved it for a long time. As he grew and got older we would always ask him if he wanted us to repaint the room to a color more of his liking as he matured. He always told us no but I have a feeling it was because he didn’t want to pull everything out of the room to get it done more than he wanted to change it. Just a suspicion. I bought all my supplies, taped off the “unpaintables” and carpet and started in. It took two coats but the room was done. As I was wrapping up on Wednesday, I sat down in the middle of the empty, now completely changed room. I had this overwhelming feeling come over me that I had just erased a little boy completely. And I cried. Thank God Tank was in school and Wade was working and the only one I had to worry about seeing me was our dog. Because it was an ugly cry. All the memories of rocking him to sleep or sleeping on the floor next to his bed because he was sick or scared and the conversations that grew more meaningful over the years that we’d shared while laying on the bed staring at the ceiling came rushing back. I erased that little boy. Or that’s how it felt in that moment. 

This year has brought so much change to my life. I know we have all experienced changes brought on by the current pandemic we are living through. But more than that, some of us have experienced other changes also. I left a career of 12 years to pursue a dream and an opportunity that deserves my attention and time and devotion. Was it scary? Oh, heck yeah. Was it worth it? Oh, heck yeah. One thing I have learned in this journey of mine over the last year and a half has been to embrace the suck. What do I mean by that? I mean that sometimes in life, things just plain suck. They aren’t enjoyable or pleasant in the least. But the sooner we embrace the suck the sooner we find our peace with it and are able to work through some of it. For me, the suck has consisted of walking and exercising and making sure I am moving my body to continue to lose weight. The suck has been my sacrifice of sugary sweets and oversized portions at meal times. And in other areas, the suck has been realizing that time marches on and kids grow up and leave. And that is okay. That is what we raise them to do. The thing we need to understand is that every “thing” in life will suck from time to time. Marriage. Careers. Family. Parenthood. Friends. Responsibility. Finances. Home-ownership. Vehicles. School. Health. Life. All of these come with moments that drag us through the proverbial crap we have to work through. The question then becomes what things in our lives are actually worth the suck; the crap. Find those things and you’ve found your purpose. Foster those things. Care for them. Even if you know, eventually, it will come to an end.

Over the course of our lives, we learn that one thing is inevitable. Things end. Every “thing” that happens and every “thing” that we are going through will end. Sometimes, it ends too soon. Other times, not nearly soon enough. I know we all can understand both sides of that same coin. Our job is to find the happiness in the middle of the current “thing” we are experiencing. That can be difficult at times. Sometimes, we step into things that we know are temporary; or transitional. Parenting is one of those things. You’ve heard the phrase, “Leave it better than you found it?” Well, I believe that to be true in all circumstances. I believe that our job, as parents especially, is to understand first and foremost that our children don’t truly belong to us to begin with. I feel like they are loaned to us from God and our job is to raise them to the best of our ability to know Who He is and to do His work in the world around us. And along that line, we have to remember that He loves them more than we ever could anyway. 

As things end, oftentimes, with no help from us at all, our job is to let go. That is the difficult part. I know I have the tendency to hang on to things . . . good, bad or indifferent . . .  for far too long. I am an emotional hoarder. I stuff things in these imaginary boxes in my mind thinking that someday I’ll pull them out and handle them again to feel the same emotions and feelings as I did when it initially came to me. Sometimes, that’s good. We should embrace and hang on to the good. It’s what sustains us when the crap comes. Where this becomes dangerous is when we end up hanging on to the pain, the bad, and in the not-so-good. In different seasons of my life, I have held onto pain and heartache and unforgiveness just like the rest of us. But through the years of learning how to deal with the pain and heartache and learning how to forgive I have realized that in order to receive the blessings and the good that God truly wants to send to me, I have to loosen my grip on the bad. There are things I have held onto for so long that they don’t even resemble what they did when I first took hold of them. They have literally disintegrated and started to slip through my fingers. And as that happens, my focus shifts solely to try and put it all back together and salvage whatever I can to make it like it used to be. But I can’t. It is impossible. My hands are white-knuckle-clamped around things that God doesn’t want me hanging on to any longer. Have you ever had your hands full . . . either with one big item or a few different ones . . . and someone either threw something to you or acted like they were going to throw something to you? Do you remember that panicked feeling you had for a split second as your mind raced to figure out how you were going to receive what was coming at you without dropping everything else you held? In a sense, that is what happens when we are hanging on to things that aren’t meant to be handled by us any longer and we see good things coming to us. We have to have open hands to receive whatever blessings God is laying out for us. 

I watched a movie years ago called “Hope Floats.” I am no film critic, but I think it’s a well-put-together story about a mother, her daughter and granddaughter. It packs quite the emotional punch all the way through. At the end of the movie, the main character, played by Sandra Bullock, is speaking to the audience. She says something that has stuck with me and I believe it to be one of the most simple yet profoundly true statements and I use it from time to time. She says, “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.” I know that the beginning of Ben’s story is the ending of that dependent little boy that used to sit on my lap and give me kisses and hold my hand. But it is okay. More than okay. He has hope. I have hope. I haven’t erased that little boy. No. I simply let go of his hand so that he can take hold of the good that is coming his way. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

My Heart Is Full

It all started Friday night. Well, really, it all started nearly nineteen years ago. But, Friday night I was wrapping up washing all the clothing my oldest, Ben, was going to be taking with him to college the following day. Some dirty clothes but mostly clean clothes that had just been in his closet for a while; all of it. Blankets and afghans and bath towels and new socks and new underwear. It all went through the wash. I was standing there putting fresh-out-of-the-dryer clothes on hangers as I always do. I grabbed one of his long-sleeved, flannel shirts out of the dryer and looked at it as I placed it on the hanger and memories came rushing through my mind. Every time he wears it, he will come to me and stick his arm and unbuttoned long sleeve out towards me and say, “Mama, can you roll me, please?” And, of course, I do. Now, I have had some emotional moments through the summer thinking about the last 18 years and all the memories and lessons and love that have been shared and thinking about him leaving in the fall. I’ve teared up and been misty-eyed more than once. But I really hadn’t cried. Until Friday, while holding a flannel shirt. I lost it. I cried like a baby. In my laundry room. By myself. Because of a flannel shirt. I know it sounds stupid, but the thought that I won’t be able to do that for him anymore and that he is now on his own and a ton of other thoughts were rushing at me so fast I couldn’t control them. And all I could think about was whether or not HE knows that he will be all right? Because I do. I know he will be more than all right. But does HE know? So, this week, I want to use this as a sort of open letter to my son. To help HIM know.

First things first, buddy. You have Jesus in your heart. That has nothing to do with me or Dad or your brother, Franklin. You chose that. And because of that, you will always have more than just your conscience to guide you. You have the amazing Holy Spirit of the Living God dwelling in you; helping to guide and comfort you. You will call on Him more than you realize in this moment. And He is always faithful. He will never let you down. He will always be there. And you will always represent Him. So do it to the very best of your ability. Sometimes, we are the only glimpse of Jesus people will ever see. Make sure that you are doing all you can to let people know He is the only true source of love and life and light. Be His hands and feet to a hurting and lost and dying world. He will give you exactly what you need to do just that. Use whatever stage God is preparing you for to point always to Him. You have all you need within you. Keep the vertical relationship between you and God first always. The horizontal relationships you have with other people are dependent on that. If you aren’t right with God, you CANNOT be right with others, no matter how hard you try. Love with His love. Live with His life. Shine with His light. 

Never stop working hard. Whether that is on your craft, skill, hobby, or whatever is at the core of who you are. Always want what you want more than the guy next to you wants it. And always do whatever it is you’re doing because you LOVE it. Not because you want or need the recognition or praise of man. God’s glory is far more important than that. And at the end of the day, if He is pleased with you and your efforts, that is all that truly matters anyway. Remember what we have always told you; if it’s worth having, it’s worth working hard (and waiting) for. That will always be true. You have some big ambitions and dreams and goals. Don’t be afraid of them. Don’t be afraid of what it will take to achieve all of them. Just put your head down, stay humble, and get to work. The rest will fall in line. 

Always remember that I loved you first. I knew I wanted you. SO MUCH. What I didn’t know is how much I needed you! You made me a mom. You made me prove to myself that I could do this parenting gig. Your little 6 pound body packed a punch that I didn’t expect. When the doctor handed you to me I had NO CLUE that I could instantly love someone as much as I loved you. I love your dad. I love my parents. I love my family. But, I had never felt such an overwhelming love until your tiny, perfect body in my arms allowed it to wash over me. I have been drowning in that love ever since. I remember the passage in the Bible talking about Mary, when she had Jesus, and how she “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” and I understood that on a new level. You taught me how to love something and care for something so much that I forgot all about myself. And loving you made loving your brother even more special. I have loved watching you love your brother and take such exceptional care of him. You’ve been a great big brother. That won’t change. There are things that distance can’t change. You’ve taught Franklin how to be a great brother just because you are such a great brother to him. And I couldn’t be more proud of you for all of that.

You will have friendships, and relationships, and kinships, and eventually will find the place you will call home. And FYI: that “place” will have NOTHING at all to do with location. It will be more about the people you share that location with. God has amazing things planned out for you. You will experience victory and defeat. Sometimes all in one day. But you will learn from every one of them. You will learn how to dust yourself off after falling. You will learn how to celebrate the victories with humility and you will learn to share all of it with the people in your life who mean the most to you.

I cried when you came into this world and I cried when I watched you walk into your new life at college. Almost nineteen years ago, you filled my arms and my heart. I never knew how empty my arms were before they held you. I have held you as tightly as I could for as long as I could, full well knowing that, eventually, I would have to let go. And nothing in life has been quite as hard as that. But it is okay. It is what is supposed to happen. It’s what we prepared you for. I need you to know that I love you and that love isn’t contingent on what you do or what you don’t do. And it never will be. I have more than enough love to give you whenever you need it most. Love is such an amazing thing. Giving it away somehow multiplies what you still have in the store house. It makes no logical sense whatsoever, but it is the absolute truth. And I really don’t know how so many conflicting emotions can exist in the same heart at the same time. I feel so happy and so sad all at the same time. I feel such sweet pride for you and yet humility when thinking about God allowing us to be your parents and what He has done in you already. Those are just a few of the things I am feeling. And it’s all magnified because of love.

I want you to have fun. You are a great young man and I am so proud of you. Go. Do all the things. Feel all the feelings. Learn all the lessons. Do all the good. Love all the people. Be the best YOU you can be. And most of all know that while my arms will miss you, my heart will always keep you. My arms may be a little more empty right now. But, my heart? Oh, buddy. My heart is full.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou


As I was taking my youngest son, Franklin, to his job at the pool this last week a conversation happened that made me chuckle. And ponder. Tank, as we call him, truthfully, has always found a way to make us laugh. Sometimes, because his laugh is just that contagious, I laugh for no other reason than because he is laughing. Anyway, we had to go by the City of Brush, his employer, so he could let them copy his birth certificate and driver’s permit. On the way, he was looking at his birth certificate and announced, “So, you were 26 when I was born . . . and Dad was 28.” I nodded my agreement. Then I said, half jokingly, that we were planning big things in three years when he graduates, because I will only be 44 and Wade will only be 46. I said, “We are young enough to still do some things and get into some trouble after you guys are gone!” He laughed. Then he said, “Wait. Do you mean like sky-diving and other craziness or like world travel and ‘older people’ stuff?” We both laughed. I may or may not have snorted. I said, “Well, maybe all those things.” And I started thinking about what that might look like and what our past has looked like and what has been put off or not ventured into because I was in such a huge body for so long and 1) I didn’t want to expend the energy I knew it was going to take to accomplish “that hike to the lake” or walk close to a mile to get in to a professional sporting event or 2) I just knew physically I couldn’t do whatever “it” was. And since that conversation, I have been dealing with regret on a scale like none other. I feel like I failed my family in a lot of ways. 

For far too long I made excuses about why I didn’t want to do whatever it was that was being proposed. Looking back, the list seems almost endless. How many times have we been asked to join someone in something and I said no because I COULDN’T or was ashamed of the accommodations that would have needed to be made for me if I DID decide to go along? Or how many times did I say no because I was afraid of what people might have thought about the “big girl” doing this or that? You know, I had SO many fears. So many! And, honestly, looking back at them now, they all seem so stupid and unfounded. I’ll list off just a few so you have an idea of what I’m talking about and can appreciate what I am saying. I used to fear a house fire starting and destroying everything in our house. But it wasn’t our possessions I was most worried about losing. Of course, at the top of the list of things I feared I could lose to a fire was my family. I knew/know if they are okay in the event this should happen, that’s really all that matters. But, I was most concerned about my clothes. No, not because I’m some fashionista or have spent tons of money on my wardrobe. Believe me, I’m not even close! Haha! It’s truly the opposite of that. I feared losing all my clothes in a fire because I couldn’t shop in a regular store and find a size large enough to fit my enormous frame. I’ve ordered my clothes from magazines for YEARS because I couldn’t find anything in a store that fit me. Not even in the plus-sized section. That sucked all the fun out of shopping and added to my fear. As preposterous as it was, it was there. I also feared choking on something. My midsection, again, for years, has been too large for ANYone to wrap their arms around to allow them to perform the Heimlich on me in the event that something does become lodged in my throat. I mean, maybe some professional NBA players’ lengthy wingspan could help me out, but I don’t personally know any professional NBA players with lengthy wingspans. So, I knew I would be SOL. And speaking to that end, dying, because I choked on something that couldn’t be removed from my too-large midsection, while wearing clothes that couldn’t be found in any store, I knew meant I would need to be buried. And that comes with a coffin. And HOW BIG WOULD MINE HAVE TO BE? Oh, the embarrassment of that thought! Who would even be able to carry that heavy thing with my big body in it? Better call those professional NBA players for some help. 

Now, I know these fears sound stupid. I do. But, for me, for many years, they were all too real. At this moment though, after the conversation with Tank, I’m looking at the things that I held them back from experiencing. And I’m filled with regret. And lots of it. In fact, with all the blogs I’ve written I have had some moments when I’ve teared up thinking about certain things. But, I had to take a break just now to cry a little. My heart hurts because I, in my unproven fear to live through some fun and even educational experiences, kept my children and husband from living fully also. I think back on times Wade said we should take the boys to Water World. And I remember telling him no . . . that I couldn’t take the heat and I didn’t want to ruin the day if I got sick. While that’s partly true, I was mostly thinking that people would see the fat girl who wasn’t in a swimming suit because of the shame she felt about her own body and then they would question why I would even bother coming! And then there are professional baseball, football and basketball games! Or hockey games! Or anything that would have required me to sit in a seat I knew I COULD NOT POSSIBLY squeeze my butt into. I remember going once to a Rockies game. I knew I would have a hard time getting my butt in the seat. I squirmed and shifted and eventually, very painfully, did fit. But it left large bruises on my hips and thighs that took a couple weeks to go away. I swore that I wouldn’t ever go back again until I COULD fit properly and without discomfort. 

In all the regret I am feeling comes a self-disgust or self-hate. Whatever you want to call it, I am left feeling ashamed of the body I once had. I am embarrassed to tell you that we don’t even have a professional family portrait that includes both boys in it together. We had photos taken when Ben celebrated his first birthday. And that was the last time I could stand the thought of my body being photographed. I don’t want to stay there. Ashamed and disgusted at what I was. I read something . . . on facebook and that makes it real (haha) . . . that talked about a butterfly and it’s former caterpillar self. I saved the picture in my photos because I want to remember it. And I want to be able to remind myself of it from time to time. It quotes Anthony Gucciardi by saying, “The butterfly does not look back at the caterpillar in shame, just as you should not look back at your past in shame. Your past was part of your own transformation.” I have been thinking about that as I write this and what that looks like in my own life and the lives of others. I think that as I walk through my journey to best health, I cannot shame myself for what I once was. Physically or mentally. Nor should anyone else. Friend, you need to be proud of where you are right now and excited for where you are headed. Be proud even if the only change that has happened so far has been in your mind when you decided you needed to be better than you are. Growth. Embrace it. It should ALWAYS be a part of your journey. And stop letting F.E.A.R. own the day. False. Evidence. Appearing. Real. That is what some of the things I let stop me were. Exactly that. False evidence that looked real or threatened to become real if given the opportunity. Stop for a minute and remember that the people in your life don’t care about what you can or cannot do. They only care that you do what you can, when you can. Take those photos. Let your image be captured. The people who love you, the only ones who count, will always cherish the smile on your face and the memory of that day. They won’t care about your gray hair, fat rolls or wrinkles. Not even a little bit. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

From Daffy To Donald

Growing up, I knew when I reached adulthood, I wanted nothing more than to have my own family. I wanted to have that average 2.5 children with my husband and to own a dog and to live in a beautiful house with a white picket fence and sip coffee or tea on our covered wrap-around porch. Uh-huh. In reality, though, I really wanted four children. Really did. I didn’t have a preference on the boy to girl ratio. Wade had wanted as many as I could and would give him. Something close to a baseball team would have fit him fine. Wade and I got married and, after a year, we began trying to start that family we both wanted. I got pregnant, but miscarried in the second trimester. We tried again for three years before having our oldest son, Ben. I lost a baby between Ben and our youngest son, Franklin. Then after Franklin, I had three more miscarriages. In the years of waiting and trying for our first child, though, I remember thinking that maybe my priorities needed adjusted or that I wasn’t focused on the proper things and that is why I lost the first baby and couldn’t seem to get a shot at a second. I remember talking to my doctor through tears of frustration and saying that maybe we needed to own our own home and have no more car payments and have all our “ducks in a row” before we would be ready to have a baby. He wisely told me that if you wait until your life is “just right” you’ll never have kids. He was right. We relaxed a little. We stopped trying so hard. Not long after that conversation with my doctor, my sister gave birth to her son and I remember thinking that I would be okay if I only got to be an aunt. Eight months later, Ben was born almost five weeks early. But that idea of having all my ducks in a row stuck with me. 

Entering motherhood, I tried to have all things lined up and planned out just as I would if I were starting any new job. I had read the “manuals” (some pregnancy and childbirth and child rearing books) and had researched what pacifiers and formulas and baby foods were the best options. Wade and I started attending church again with more fervor than before; after all, God was entrusting a tiny soul to us and we recognized we were in need of some strong, Divine guidance. But, I quickly realized that no matter how hard I tried, my ducks were entities of their own and never fully complied the way I thought they should in my mind. What ducks are we talking about? Oh, there are so many! Finances, relationships of every sort, family, friends, pets, homes, cars, and our physical, mental and spiritual health. Then there are the small tasks that reverberate throughout the day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Feeding and watering the children. And the husband. Laundry, dishes, paying bills, incorporating play time, incorporating social time with other children, reading, church life, social life, work, and on and on. It always seemed as though I was failing at one, or many, of these things at any given time. Parties and playdates needed planned. And they never went according to Hoyle. Never. There were always more people showing up than you had anticipated, or something that went drastically wrong during each event. I would see these other mothers with their clean-clothes-wearing toddlers, with their neatly combed hair, and not a stain on the mother’s clothes anywhere to be found. There were days when I thought as long as I didn’t end up wearing the same tank top under my clothes that I had slept in the night before, I was winning. I never felt that I gave our oldest child the time and attention he needed. And then we added in a second baby! What were we thinking? At one point, I KNOW I was thinking that I would have never survived four kids!  

Then something else happens, these kids start growing and becoming more independent. Some of the ducks that you had tried to keep congregated in the pond go away on their own and never return. But, there are a ton of other ducks that come in and take their place. And guess what? These new ducks are more feisty and attention-grabbing than the earlier ducks you once cursed at. These ducks come in the form of homework, and best friends, and other friends and health-conscious snacks, and the right amounts of activity, and the APPROPRIATE activities for that child. And you know what? We manage. We are able to help our preschooler cut all the pictures out of the magazine that start with the letter “P” and get them glued to his sheet of notebook paper to turn in on Friday. And we get his snacks for his class prepared and remember to send those snacks with our child on his day. And we read to them for 20 minutes (which was always way more in my house) every day as required for preschool class. We help with ALL the things. 

Then, in another stage of growing up, they move on to other things and we are left with those same ducks and now add to them even more. Enter cell phones and computers and internet usage, video games, and more competitive sports or activities. Oh, and “romantic relationships” . . . AKA in our house: girls. Let’s not forget that. Goodness, how could we EVER forget that. And with all those added things comes talk about good sportsmanship, and sex and sexting, and too much gaming time, and not enough personal development time. And they ask hard questions. Really hard questions. And sometimes, through no fault of anyone in particular, those ducks get neglected. Sometimes, you put off the laundry or the dishes or something because there is another, more pressing duck that is quacking. And then, one of the children will ask if you happened to wash this or that as it’s needed for the next day. And from there, it’s right back to those other ducks . . . 

Then there are OTHER peoples’ ducks. We don’t have control over them. We shouldn’t want control over them. And at some point, we have to realize that not all the problems in the world are OUR problems. Now, that’s not to say they don’t affect us. And definitely not to say that if it’s a problem that belongs to someone we love and they need us, we won’t temporarily adopt a duck. I have used a phrase for a long time, though, that fits this narrative . . . “Not my circus. Not my monkeys.” Truer words were never spoken.

And then, my friends, we have OUR ducks. We are so busy worrying about everyone else’s ducks that we don’t feed and water and correct our own ducks. That is a HUGE part of motherhood and a big part of just being a good wife, employee, friend, family member and citizen of planet earth. Everything gets tended to except us. We are exhausted and worn out. Mentally and physically. Emotionally and spiritually. WORN THE HECK OUT. When we accept our role as mother, we put aside so many things that we want and may even need. We don’t tend to us very well, do we? I spend a great deal of time telling myself that as long as my family is taken care of, nothing else matters. I am here to tell you, that’s wrong. We matter just as much. And finding ways to take care of the ducks in our life is mighty important. It has been said that we can’t pour from an empty cup. Spot on! We need to find out how to fill ourselves so we can better take care of those around us. Our health is important. Our well-being is important. 

I feel like I split my time pretty evenly between three places on the scale of proper duck management. Sometimes, I appropriately acknowledge my ducks and try very hard to get them in their proverbial row. Other times, I try too hard to adopt other people’s ducks as my own and solve for “X”. And then there are times I say, outloud, “Ducks? What ducks? I didn’t even know I HAD any ducks!” For me, finding the proper balance between all these places is the key. If anyone reading this has mastered it, please sit me down and talk to me and show me how it’s done. If you are willing to adopt one of my ducks, know that I am always willing to learn.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou


I had a moment. In Home Depot of all places. I had taken my mom up to get a few things for the apartment complex that my parents manage. In addition to working full time (spring/summer/fall) for the city in the parks department, my dad is also the handyman of this complex. He is constantly on the go. Mom has been letting me take her wherever she needs to travel out of town. I enjoy our time together visiting and laughing as we go to and from these places. We arrived at Home Depot and I needed to use the restroom. I went inside and entered the ladies room. I did my thing and came out to wash my hands. I lathered up and then started to rinse. Now, at this time in my life, I spend very little time looking in the mirror. I do it long enough to moisturize my face in the morning and fix my hair. I don’t wear makeup much since I am not in public often enough for it to matter. I thought that I should check to see if anything was out of place and that my shirt wasn’t ruffled or anything before leaving the restroom. I glanced and thought I looked ok. I started to look down at my hands but something made me look up again. I stood there, staring at my reflection, for an unreasonably longer period of time than was probably necessary. Normally, I would have started to criticize the bags under my eyes, all my white hair poking out all over, my still very large frame, my need-to-be-whitened teeth, the hair on my upper lip, my bushy eyebrows in need of plucking, or the smile lines cratering my face. Instead, I saw something for the first time and acknowledged it by saying out loud, “You are pretty.” Then I said it again in more of a surprised yet factual tone, “Hmmmmm . . . you are pretty.” Simple statement. But I don’t know that I have really ever thought that let alone said it to myself. And I wondered why.

Now, I am not caught up into physical beauty. I’m really not. And I am not saying these things to fish for compliments. I don’t necessarily care what others think about my looks. If I did, I never would have allowed myself to become so obese. Never, ever. But in this moment, staring at myself in the mirror of Home Depot, I realized that I am pretty and I can actually say that. Outloud even. I wanted to delve into what had made me think for so long that I wasn’t pretty. Was it my body size? Was it my large face, neck and arms? Was there more to it? I believe that all beauty really is rooted inside a person. A physically attractive person is not beautiful if they have an ugly heart. Someone I look up to and respect a great deal told me not long ago that God and my genes made me pretty and Jesus in my heart made me beautiful. So what had kept me from thinking I wasn’t pretty for the last 40 something years of my life? The answer to that is probably enough to fill an entire book. Maybe someday.

In part, I really think I have let myself believe that because I have struggles not everyone has I am somehow less than. Somehow less than deserving of my own love let alone deserving of love and appreciation from others. I am going to get kinda personal and revealing here for a minute but I think it is worth writing about because I know I am not alone in this and if it helps others know they are not alone then maybe we have done something good. I have really high anxiety. I have for a very long time. I don’t remember when my life wasn’t at least in part subject to it. Along with the anxiety, I also have panic attacks. While I am thankful that the depression I have also struggled with over the years is under control thanks to the CBD products I take, these are still an issue for me. I don’t talk about all this to many people. Very few, in fact. But there are times when this is particularly rough for me. This week has been a tough one for me. Sometimes, I can pinpoint what is happening in my mind that causes the anxiety to skyrocket and other times, a panic attack just hits. Thanks to past years of counseling, I have some pretty solid ways to work through them. And I do. But each time I come through another bout with the anxiety and/or a panic attack, I am left often wondering what is wrong with me. I feel unlovable in those moments and very, very ugly and unworthy. My stress level always has a lot to do with triggering an anxiety/panic attack. I have had a lot less stress working here at home and that has helped some. Lack of sleep and other factors along those same lines also contribute. Being around a lot of people sometimes raises that to higher levels as well. I know there are others out there who suffer from these same things. I know I am not alone and I want them to know they aren’t alone, either. In that same way, though, there are those who think that people who suffer anxiety and panic attacks are weaker in some way than they are. I would beg to differ. I honestly think that it takes some sort of supernatural strength to allow yourself to work through the anxiety or panic attack to continue breathing again. It is physically painful and exhausting. It is spiritual warfare on the next level. It is emotionally draining. And if you’ve ever had even a small dose of this, I applaud you for picking yourself up and moving on. 

I know that these issues are directly related to my out-of-control-for-too-long weight problem. And my weight is also another reason I have had a hard time seeing myself as pretty. I have had truly well-meaning people tell me that they have a hard time seeing me as a fat person because my face is “just so pretty.” I am not saying what they had stated is wrong. Nor am I saying that the fact that they said it is wrong. Not at all. But, from where I stand, in hearing that over and over, I had (and still do have) a hard time not thinking that my “pretty face” is my only redemptive quality and saving grace in their eyes. I know what they are saying. I really do. But when I make every effort to look at the WHOLE person and see beauty, it is hard for me not to feel like they are really saying that while one part of me is pretty, the other part (much larger and visible part, I might add) is horrendously ugly. And that hurts. I am more than my fat body. I am more than a pretty face. I am smart. I am kind. I am loving. I am a hard worker. I love with my whole heart. The physical characteristics I happen to carry with me everywhere are small matters compared to what lies within me. 

I feel like God took a moment to show me something that He sees in me every day. I am His child. Perfectly created and formed. He knew me in my mother’s womb. He ordained and put in me every single thing that would set me apart as different from others and make me uniquely Lacy. I have heard Him speak to me over and over again throughout my life. Sometimes subtly. Sometimes not. And His delivery system has been strange at times. But, I definitely heard Him loud and clear . . . even if He did choose to speak to me through the mirror in a Home Depot restroom. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Bloom Where You Are Planted

I have always loved finding and enjoying the simple beauty of everything in nature. Well, except spiders and snakes. But, other than that I love spending time outside and staring at clouds, mountains, valleys, plains, bodies of water, sunsets, storms, trees, flowers, etc. and can do ALL that for hours on end. Literally. My thought is that God had to make things functional when He created it but He didn’t necessarily have to make them beautiful. It is just an extension of His love that He wanted us to be able to take pleasure in and enjoy His creation. He loves us, so He made all things beautiful. About 4 years ago I taught myself to paint using the techniques of Bob Ross. Don’t laugh. I’m actually not half bad. Haha! I love his paintings and techniques and have taught myself from watching him paint his happy trees and clouds and all their friends. He would often say that it’s fun to tell yourself a story about the places you’re creating on the canvas as it makes it come alive in your mind. Funny enough, it works. And I find myself paying more attention in nature to how the light hits things and the illusions it creates. I have learned to love the beauty in all things even more since starting to look at things with the eye of an artist. I have planted a TON of flowers since coming home to work my CBD business. I have found I really, REALLY love playing in the dirt. And I am managing to keep flowers alive but more than that they are thriving. Now that could be the Miracle-Gro . . .but still, I’m the one applying it. The one thing that Bob Ross never mentioned is the amount of weeds that grow in those beautiful places. I have been weeding my flowers often. And I came to a couple conclusions this week about these weeds. First, we need to pull the weeds out of the garden of our minds and souls even more often than the beautiful flower beds that we own. Second, I might have more of a green thumb than I have given myself credit for.

We are constantly bombarded with information. Some of it we recognize as it comes and some we really don’t but it still speaks to our subconscious mind and is stored away there for future use or pollution. I read something recently that said the average person can see up to 4,000 ads per day. I think that is really, really high (and so did the author of the article), especially in my case where I don’t leave my house much but don’t watch TV much during the day either. (find the article here: https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/marketing/2017/09/do-we-really-see-4-000-ads-a-day.amp.html) But think of the person who has an hour long commute each day to work. The radio on, the billboards, the cars with logos, all of it there and being seen whether the commuter realizes it or not. Then, once the traveler is at home, she is perusing Facebook, or the internet from her computer, the TV comes on, she picks up her favorite magazine or newspaper . . . and, boom, more information. There are things we hear everyday that are not in our best interest. There are things we hear that are negative and don’t serve us. There are things we hear that don’t glorify God and serve His purposes. And we are stuck here navigating the muddy waters trying to figure out what is useful and helpful and even truthful. The things we hear land in the soft soils of our minds and hearts. It is our job to know what to nurture and what to pull out. And that is a hard job. There are times when our minds tend to hang on to the negative. It takes root and starts to grow. There is one thing I find fascinating about weeds. They grow so much faster than my flowers do! I don’t understand how they do, but they do. And while they are there, they are taking the energy, water and nutrients from the healthy, beautiful flowers I really want to see and enjoy! So, I pull them. 

We also hear things and see things that ARE good and true. We are the ultimate decision makers on whether or not that is going to take root in our minds or if the wind will blow it away. Surprise, a Biblical reference. But I believe that the Bible is very accurate in its description of how our hearts receive and use information (using the illustration of seeds). Four scenarios are explained in Matthew about how God’s message is received and what happens as a result. I believe we can take that and also apply it to other types of good information. What it all boils down to is simply this: the information is received in one of four ways. Which one of those four ways all depends on the state of readiness of the person receiving the information. It can fall “by the wayside” which basically means that the person hearing doesn’t understand the information so it doesn’t take root.  It can fall on hard and stony ground or on thorny soil. These simply mean that the receiver is closed-minded, or shallow, or hardened or simply doesn’t want that information or any combination of all the above. It can also mean that we have so many other distracting worries about our world and our lives that the information is contaminated and skewed once it lands. And finally, it can fall on good ground. It can fall on receptive minds. Our job is to make sure that we have cultivated the soil of our hearts and minds and prepared them to receive the good information while keeping an eye out for the weeds that WILL come. Because they will come. 

I have learned a lot about my ability since planting all my flowers this spring. And it’s been interesting to watch myself throw out old beliefs and thoughts about myself while learning a new skill. I have always told myself that I do not have a green thumb. I don’t do well with plants. I kill them all. You name it, I have said it about myself. And while that is somewhat true, I think it is partly because my focus was never on caring for them as I should in the first place. Now, I still don’t know the first thing about all the plants I bought and have forgotten the names of most of them. I did what every good gardener does; *wink wink* I thought they were pretty and then looked at the tag to see if they needed sun or shade. Haha. Seriously, though. That’s what I did. But it worked. I brought them home and planted them with care. And have watered them nearly every night since . . . the exception being when it rains, of course. I fertilize the little guys once a week. And I talk to them. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THEM. If my neighbors heard, I am sure they would think I am crazy. Shoot, I think I’m crazy. Anyway. I have been doing a fine job even in the heat. But I think I have realized what it took. Finally. I had predispositions. I had some limiting beliefs. I had made up my mind that I had spent a few hundred dollars and would kill all of them. I WAS WRONG. All it took was a desire to do what needed done and be blessed by them. 

Sometimes, I think we hold on to the information we have, from whatever source it came from, without really knowing why we are holding on to it. Sometimes the very foundations of the information we have built ourselves on has burned to the ground. And yet our hands are wrapped so tightly to the ashes of what we THINK is true, we have no chance of grabbing the right information and truths when they come along. We are so stubborn sometimes in the way we refuse to let go of preconception and tradition. We need to make sure the information we are holding on to lines up with what we believe to be true. The one and ONLY true fact check? The living Word of God. We need to make sure it doesn’t in any way conflict with what the Bible says on the matter. From healthy living to where we will spend eternity and everything in between. We hold on to the misinformation or refuse the correct information for so many reasons. Many times it’s fear. Other times it is our own insecurities, our doubts, our past failures and defeats, our odds of success or failure, our limiting beliefs, and many others. You name it and it can fit there. There are so many uncertainties in the world right now and there always will be. But I think a little “Bob Ross wisdom” can go a long way. Let your heart be your guide. Remember that everything has value. And everyone could use a friend. Oh. And he always said one thing that encourages me when I start to think I can’t do what I am about to attempt (and it applies to EVERYthing) . . . “Anyone can do this. You really can.” And I truly believe he was right. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

You Deserve It

This week we had a conversation in our house that left me laughing at our oldest son, Benjamin, and his witty response to a serious topic. We were discussing his eventual escape to adulthood as he will soon be leaving for college . . . 35 days from now. I have been lovingly reminding him *wink wink* to do the Master Promissory Note counseling for the loan he has received to attend Hastings College this fall. I’m still not sure he has it done, but that’s another blog topic all in itself. Haha! Anyway, Wade asked him if he had done it. He offered that he hadn’t yet completed it. Mom, again, lovingy reminded him that they won’t release any of those funds to the college for his use if he doesn’t get it done. He said, “I have like 40-something days to get it done.” Wade said, “Actually, you only have 39. I know because I am counting them down every night as I cry because you are leaving.” Ben replied, “I’d be crying if I were losing me, too.” While that is really pretty humurous, I thought about it that night while getting ready for bed. He really isn’t cocky or conceited. Not really. He will act like it just to be funny or sarcastic. Probably something he gets from his father. Seriously, though, he knows his worth and he knows what he means to us because it’s something we tell both our boys. ALL. THE. TIME.  But when I really started thinking about our exchange, I came to one solid conclusion. I don’t know if we REALLY know how much WE mean to the people in our lives. 

We talk about it all the time . . . making sure you are telling the people in your life that you love them when you are parting because you never know if you’ll see them again. I have always supposed that it was going to be because something might happen to THEM and I wouldn’t have that chance. But then again, I am a bit of a “worrier” although I am better now than I have been in the past. This was definitely a new way of thinking about it for me. I have never thought about what those last words would mean to someone if I were the one who THEY never saw again. I am not saying that we should have an inflated sense of ourselves. Not at all. I thought about a few key areas that I really want to continue to work on and work even harder. But it made me want to try even harder . . . in many areas of my life. My loved ones deserve it. 

My physical health is worth all that it takes to be at optimal levels. As I’ve mentioned in a few recent blogs already, I haven’t been dropping a lot of weight really quickly lately. Part of the reason for that is that I am also gaining muscle working out and walking. But another, probably larger, reason is that I have grown satisfied with the new body I am in right now. I’ve lost a significant amount of weight yet at the same time have a long way to go. It is going to take a certain level of dissatisfaction with MYSELF to spur me to action in pushing harder toward my goal. My health has to be a higher priority for me than what it is right now. And it’s already pretty high. But, admittedly, I haven’t been as focused as I need to be and this is one thing that will get me back and at the ready. It all goes back to what I wrote about in one of the earliest blogs. Our worth. We are worth something. We are worth whatever it takes to take care of ourselves. My health HAS to be a priority. My loved ones deserve it. 

My mental/emotional self is worth developing and means something to others around me.  I want to grow ME. I want to continue to grow and become a better person. I am reading a variety of books and studies right now. I am an information junkie. I love learning and if I could afford to do so I would be taking as many courses of study as I possibly could to broaden my mind and my way of thinking. I don’t care about leaving a legacy. Not MY legacy anyway. In the end, I want my family and friends to know a few things are true about me and be able to say I tried my darndest to live it. One is that I love Jesus. Another is that I try to always do what is right and good. Not necessarily what is easy, but right and good. And also that I try to teach my kids to do what is right and good. Not easy, but right and good. I am FAR from perfect. Thank God! That would be too much pressure to try and maintain. But I am a saved and forgiven sinner and I try my best to think through the “what would Jesus do?” adage when dealing with situations and making decisions. And I usually find it pretty easy to just ask Him about it. I need to be a better person always. My loved ones deserve it. 

Another area that I really want to be better is my spiritual life. Since leaving my job in May to work and grow my home-based business I have had an easier time MAKING time to read and study my Bible and pray. It’s still something that requires the discipline to do but it is a little easier. Time freedom is incredible. I know that this ties directly into the other two areas I’ve mentioned. I want to pray more, and read more, and get closer to Him every single day. It’s not always easy, but He has to be a priority in my life. The first priority. Above my family. Above my friends. Above my church family. Above my business. Above all things. ALL. My heart doesn’t always put Him first. And that isn’t taking care of my spirit like I should. I don’t have a religion. I have a relationship. And relationships require fostering to grow. There is a song that Lynda Randle sings called “One Day.” I love what this song says. The first verse and chorus say, “Some days drag. Some days fly. Some days I think of the day I’ll die. Some days fill me and some days drain. And one day Jesus will call my name. One day Jesus will call my name. As the days go by, I hope I don’t stay the same. I wanna get so close to Him that it’s no big change, on that day that Jesus calls my name.” I am a better person when I have bathed my day in prayer and in the Word before I ever set foot into it. I want to be a better person. My loved ones deserve it. 

Regardless of what we think about ourselves, I KNOW there are people in our lives who would be completely devastated if we were not here any longer. Just as we would be without them. I’d like to think there are a handful of people who would miss me and who I am to them. I think back on a conversation I had with my mom recently. I picked her up and took her to Sterling to run a few errands. Now, my mom CAN drive. But I have the time and freedom in such a new way right now that I CAN take her. She mentioned as we were coming back into town that she loved the time we were able to spend with each other right now. I know she loves me being able to do things for her and with her. It’s one of the reasons I made the decision to leave my job. And likewise, her love for me inspires me and pushes me to be the best version of ME I can. Now, I am not the quickest on the uptake so forgive me for saying something that you all probably know but I am coming to figure out . . . slowly. It isn’t about what I DO for my family and friends every day. It IS about what I AM to them every day. My kids won’t care that the laundry was or wasn’t done or that there were dishes in the sink or not or if I made sure they looked presentable when they left the house. What they will remember is WHO I was. Not what I did. It’s about the love and humanity I can pass along to them that they will remember long after the memory of me changing the sheets on their beds and tirelessly scrubbing their sports uniforms fades away. We owe it to them to be the best US physically, emotionally/mentally, and spiritually. Our loved ones deserve it. And even more than that; we deserve it. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Through It All . . .

As you may know from my previous blogs, my husband, Wade, and I have been working feverishly in our long-neglected backyard to restore it and return it to functional use. We were able to hold Ben’s High School graduation celebration last Saturday here at the house and our guests were able to see the improved, yet not fully finished, work-in-progress. Thankfully, everyone understood that last part. Work. In. Progress. Well, on Thursday, Wade and I made yet another trip to the Sterling Home Depot store to pick up the fascia for the deck project. Five pieces of “custom made” (all fascia is custom made apparently!) composite decking boards that measure 1 inch x 12 inches x 12 feet. It is lovely! We arrived at Home Depot and were directed around the side of the building to load it. We have a short bed pickup truck and figured hauling it ourselves was better than the $79 fee it would cost to have it delivered. Wade and I had already discussed the plethora of ways we could get it home using the six foot bed of his pickup. After some discussion, the guys working with us had us put it in the closed bed with the bundled ends sticking up over the cab of the truck. I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with this kind of decking board before but they are EXTREMELY flexible. Wade used his ratchet strap to secure it and off we went. For a minute. We got onto the road and crossed through the stoplight only to hear the boards hitting the cab of the pickup with EVERY move. We knew it was either going to wreck the top of the truck or bounce high enough to catch wind that would destroy it. We decided to turn around and purchase a couple of 2 inch x 6 inch boards we were going to need for another project anyway and load it how we had initially thought; with the tailgate down and the extra four feet of board sticking out the back. It took the two of us picking it up and sliding it down off the top of the truck and then hoisting it back up to slide the boards under it for stability so it didn’t bend too far off the back end . . . as I said, it is FLEXIBLE.  We took the highway home instead of the interstate and went about 45 mph the whole way. Oh, the crap we’ll do just to save ourselves a buck or two. Good grief.

Coming home I started thinking about some of the things that I saw us using during this fiasco. I thought about the math and science we applied to our problem to come up with a workable solution. I thought about the patience we had exhibited as the trip would have normally been a 80-90 minute venture and it turned into three hours. I thought about how practically we applied life experience and knowledge to the problem. And I thought about teamwork and how it would have been impossible for either of us to have done this on our own. And, as in most situations in my life right now, I thought about how this applies to life in general and my current journey. 

I have used a lot of math and science since starting my weight loss lifestyle. The science behind weight loss is fascinating when you really think about it. You can calculate macros and you can count carbs, but the reality of it all boils down to calorie intake and usage. Your weight won’t drop if you aren’t burning significantly more calories than you are consuming. It takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to burn one pound of fat. That is a large number. If you are consuming 1,500 calories on a daily basis and burning off 2,000 per day it will take you a full week to lose one pound. It seems rather daunting, doesn’t it? Another fun fact I have learned along the way is that I have just as many fat cells in my body as someone who is at an optimal weight. My fat cells are just larger and more fatty. Imagine that. I had just always assumed that I had more fat cells because I had gained significant weight that multiplied them. Not so. 

I have already talked some about the patience I have had to find and exercise during this journey of mine. I really expected to be further along by now. But, as I shared previously, a few physical challenges have happened over the last year and here I am. But that is ok. I am still on the right path. It is just taking patience for me to understand that the pounds didn’t come on overnight and they aren’t going away overnight. We have always told our kids that anything worth having is worth working and WAITING for. Although we live in a society of instant gratification, we often have to wait for some things to work themselves out and it’s really worth the wait in most cases. I think it makes us appreciate getting them all the more. 

As we go through life, we are supposed to pick up a certain knowledge and understanding that only comes to those of us who are willing to toe the line with every obstacle and situation we have to face. Then, we learn to not only survive but to thrive after we reach the other side of that challenge. Just as Wade and I were able to apply our knowledge of spatial relations and the material we were hauling in the bed of his truck, I have been able to apply varied thoughts and knowledge from what I have read and experienced in my lifetime, and witnessed in the lives of others, to my health journey during the last 18 months. Practical things I have learned about exercise and staying active and portion control and carbs and sugar and . . . this wealth of health and nutrition knowledge and information I have learned and tucked away throughout the years is now ready for me to call on to help me figure out what works best for me.  

And finally, teamwork. I can’t say enough about this. In life in general, in business, in marriage, in friendship, in parenting. There isn’t a single situation I can think of where a teammate isn’t highly valuable. Even when you’ve got to walk a path alone, you can count on your team to help you by encouraging you and advising you through it all. The importance of teamwork to Wade and me on Thursday was invaluable. We couldn’t have done it without each other. In my business, although I own my own business FOR myself, I am never BY myself. I have a great team of coaches and mentors who have walked where I am walking and by their good graces they are teaching me and coaching me on what to do and what not to do. They are applying their knowledge and experience and sprinkling it over my business to help me learn much faster because they have proven and disproven techniques over the years that are making my life and my job much easier. One of their mottos is one we all hear a lot. Teamwork makes the dream work. And how true it is. 

Today, I am grateful for the family and friends who have served as great teammates and cheerleaders for me in the last 18 months. I really don’t know where I would be without them. I am grateful for the teammates I have in my business and for their selfless sharing of their knowledge and experience to give me every opportunity to succeed with them. But, I am particularly thankful for Wade and our partnership that has covered the last 25 years. Through it all, we complement each other very well. When I haven’t thought of something, he has. And when he hasn’t thought of something, I have. We make each other stop and think. We make each other better . . . as iron sharpens iron the Bible says. And this really does apply to 99% of the things we do. We make one heck of a team. And I guess that’s a good thing as I’ve promised I’d spend the rest of my life with the guy.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Our Best

This week, I will have been working out of my home running my own business for what has been six weeks now. The first thing I needed to accomplish when I started was setting aside a dedicated office space. I am pretty OCD about most things. This is no exception. My motto (one of MANY) is that everything has a place and everything should be in its place. (Raising children has made this concept most interesting!) I just can’t seem to function if I don’t have a clean desktop, a designed, purposeful order to things and sharpened pencils. Stop laughing. I have always had inspirational quotes and things that mean something to me for one reason or another surrounding whatever space I work in. At the dental office I had pictures of my smiling kids in their sports, dances and other activities hanging where I could see them. They pulled and pushed me through many stressful and difficult moments over the last 12 years. I have had some signs on my desk that were humorous and yet expressed a small piece of who I am. One sign I had on the desk of my office in the advertising department of the newspaper read, “A lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” I try to remember that in my life as well and plan accordingly so as not to inconvenience someone else. One of the things I brought home from the wall of my dental office space is a piece of paper I typed up that came from a handwritten note from a former hygienist, Heather, whom I got to work with for a while. She knew I liked inspiring others and trying to encourage them in all things and help them to be the best version of themselves they could be. The note she left me had four things written on it:

Be impeccable with your word. 

Don’t take anything personally.

Don’t make assumptions.

Always do your best. 

I used this advice the very next staff meeting. And I had looked at those four things every day when I got to the office and they reminded me of the importance in maintaining my character and integrity as best I could. I have been thinking about them even more after rehoming them on my desk in my new home office space. Today, I want to share a little about what they mean to me. 

Be impeccable with your word. I think this means more than just one thing. The very first thing I thought of when I read it those years ago was making sure that I was not being deceitful or dishonest in anything I was saying to others. My dad used to tell us that you should always tell the truth because it was easier in the long run as you didn’t need to remember anything. I didn’t fully understand what that meant the first times I heard him say it. But the older I get I appreciate it all the more. He simply meant that when we are not being honest, we have to remember exactly what we told to which people and I can imagine that could become quite difficult. The truth, whether we want it to be or not, is forever etched in our minds and can be recalled with little effort. And it never changes. The other part of this is exactly what my mom used to convey when she said, “Do what you say and say what you do.” In other words, keep your promises. If you tell someone, ANYone, you are going to do something, there better be a darn good reason you don’t follow through with it. Unfortunately, we live in a world with other flawed and imperfect humans and we often hear people tell us they are going to do something and then not follow through. And it hurts. But our job is to make sure when we say we are going to do something we do it. Or just the opposite . . . don’t do something we say we won’t do. Life is hard and decisions aren’t always easy and apparent. But we can make it a lot easier on ourselves if we just treat our word as our bond. Because it really is anyway. 

Don’t take anything personally. This one is so much easier said than done. When I was working at the dental office I had to remind myself often that patients very RARELY meant any ill will towards us when they were speaking to us unkindly. More often than not it was that they were in pain and pain has a way of changing our delivery system for a minute. It wasn’t personal. In my current business, I remind myself that a “no” from a potential customer or partner isn’t a personal rejection of me. It simply means, for a VARIETY of reasons, they aren’t interested in the business or products. And that is OK! People have bad days and are not always going to operate in kindness. That doesn’t mean it’s our fault or that they are upset with us for any reason. This one is particularly hard for me. I am a person who always tries to treat others with kindness and respect. And I also want very much to make everyone happy. I want people to get along and be kind and respectful as I try to be. Now, I don’t always accomplish kindness and respect. But again, even coming from me, if I am not kind or respectful it usually isn’t anything personal or related to the person I am dealing with. I try and remember that all the “things” aren’t always about me. Very rarely, in fact. 

Don’t make assumptions. This one ties into the previous one about not taking things personally. It has been said that, “To assume is to make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’ . . . ” I happen to agree with that. There is no way we can know everything about everything and everyone. Life is much easier and happier when we stick to what we DO know about things and people and leave the assumptions out of it. Only God has the ability to judge the intentions and hearts of others. A job best left to Him, I think. One thing that goes hand in hand with this one is not jumping to conclusions. We have a tendency to make judgments about things without first having all facts in evidence. It is just not good practice and can truly make for some really hard feelings. When dealing with others, it is super helpful if you take what you THINK you know about them or what you may have heard about them and put it next to their character . . . the things you DO know to be true about that individual. If it doesn’t line up with the past experiences you’ve had with them and who you believe them to be, it’s best to leave all assumptions and conclusions about the new information you may have received until you can talk with them about it. This point can have other meanings also. One of the biggest ones for me isn’t even when dealing with others. It is when I am thinking about what others think about me. The best piece of advice I have ever been offered was that we wouldn’t worry about WHAT people think about us if we knew how LITTLE they did. That doesn’t always stop my mind from assuming that people won’t want to be friends with me once they get to know me, or that they will judge me based on my looks, appearance, or other physical feature. Don’t assume. 

Always do your best. I would suppose that this one really needs no further explanation. I have always told my kids that if it is worth doing, it is worth doing to the best of their ability. The things we set our hands to are worth our best efforts. This is true for a large range of things. I fold my laundry with the idea that at any point in time, Jesus Himself may ask to use a towel, or walk into my room and catch a quick glance of my underwear and sock drawer. I mean, I guess He sees that anyway, but you hopefully get my point. I painted our back deck and stained our fence recently. And I did it with the thought that the smallest thing could get noticed and if it wasn’t right, what would that say about my effort? And what would THAT effort say about my effort in ALL of the other things I do in my life? So, as I said, it applies to a range of things . . . from laundry and painting to our most valuable relationships. There is an old hymn that I absolutely love to sing. It is called, “Our Best.” It could also be considered another motto of mine. The first verse and chorus are something I have typed and put in my journal. I use my journal daily, writing out events as they happened and then, on a separate pad of paper I keep with my journal, I write down a couple things I want to work on myself personally the next day. Maybe it’s patience; maybe it’s attitude. But this song is tucked into that pad of paper and then transferred to the next pad when the one it’s in runs out of paper. It is one of the last things I see at night and one of the first things I see in the morning when I glance at the things I am going to be working on. The whole idea is that Jesus doesn’t ask for perfection from us. He asks for perfect effort from us. I am so grateful for that truth! 

I wanted to share these things with you because I believe our efforts to do them help to build and guard our character. Not our reputation . . . our character. Our reputation is who others think we are. Our character is who we are when no one’s looking . . . who God KNOWS us to be. Who are we when no one sees us? I hope that it’s someone we would be proud to show to the rest of the world. I hope it’s someone we would want our children to become. I hope it’s someone we work on every single day.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Four Feet Five Inches Tall and Bulletproof

Our boys spent this last week at a cabin with their grandparents (Wade’s parents) and aunts and cousins. They fished and hiked and had a great time riding go-karts, playing putt-putt golf and phase 10, and making s’mores after building a campfire . . . I am doing their laundry right now and my laundry room smells like a fire pit exploded in it. Franklin caught the first fish, the largest fish and the most fish. Quite the little (big) angler. Wade’s sister, April, was telling us about how one of her sons, Hunter, wasn’t quite tall enough, at 4 feet and 5 inches, to drive his own go-kart so he had to ride with one of the other kids. Of course, he was very disappointed. I remembered that my parents would take me and Carly, my sister, to Elitch Gardens (Six Flags) in Denver every summer after our two week vacation in June. We always had so much fun. But I do remember being too short for some of the rides. My dad would always tell me, “Next year, sister,” as he put his arm around my shoulders to guide me to the next attraction. And year after year, I was too short for some. I always swore in my mind that they were moving the height requirements up. When I heard about Wade’s nephew not getting to drive the go-kart himself, I had a few thoughts come to mind. When we are young, we dream BIG. We play all out. We aren’t afraid of much of anything. We are bulletproof.  And we are truly disappointed when things don’t turn out the way we would like them to. What happens? When do we change? Why do we start to shrink ourselves and our dreams and ambitions? 

I don’t know that I have a “big” personality, but I wouldn’t say it’s small. I guess that makes me average, huh? I know I have been in situations where I felt I have had to be “less me” because I don’t want to stand out or intimidate anyone. I also know that along those same lines I spend a great deal of time talking myself out of things. And why? Sometimes it’s because it’s scary. Sometimes I know it’s going to be difficult. Sometimes I know it’s going to require much more sacrifice and discipline than I want to employ. Sometimes it’s going to cost something . . . often money. Other times, I have been finding out recently, I am afraid of just the opposite of those things. I haven’t been asking, “What if it goes wrong?” or, “What if it doesn’t work?” No. I have been afraid of what might happen if it DOES go right or what might happen if it DOES work. What if it turns into greatness? Now, I am not claiming that I am great at anything by any means. But, what happens if I do something, like actually put my hand to it and invest my heart and time into it, and it goes remarkably well? Great, even? What if success follows the initial fear, discipline, difficulty or cost. Attention. That’s what! As much as I may talk (FYI: it’s a LOT) I don’t really like too much attention. I love being in small groups of friends or family. I dislike being in large rooms full of people. I think that I have grown very used to shrinking myself to fit into whatever box I am expected to be in. I think a lot of us do the same thing. And what’s more than that, I feel like we can and will use any excuse to justify talking ourselves out of whatever it is we are considering doing and just maintain the status quo.

I think that greatness and success live outside the box, outside ourselves, outside the norm. Like I shared a few weeks back, it’s really ok to chase your dreams. It’s completely ok to want better and more for yourself. I know when I started my journey to better health, I knew that I wanted better, but it WAS going to cost me money, and it WAS going to require sacrifice and discipline and it WAS going to be difficult. I almost had myself convinced that I didn’t want to do it because I might fail. I might not be able to lose any amount of weight, let alone make it to huge success or greatness with it. But I also knew I have been afraid of failure more often than not in my life and consequently I have left a lot of opportunity and a lot of chances on the table. I have walked away from whatever blessings those things may have brought to me and whatever blessings I may have been able to bring to others. So, I made the conscious decision to do it anyway; to start down a new path to health for myself. And I am so glad that I did. I have had success with it. And I have had plenty of attention from it. And while that attention has been uncomfortable for me, it is getting a lot easier. Out of that attention and success have come more blessings than I can ever put down on paper. I have had the opportunity to see many, many people start on their own journey of weight loss and better health and be a part of that with them; as much as you CAN be a part of something that someone has to walk alone. I have been blessed by each of them in so many ways. I am glad I said, “Yes,” to myself and my health. I put those things above the monetary cost, physical sacrifice and mental difficulty that I knew was ahead for me. But it has been so worth all of it!

I know you have dreams and goals and you probably want better for yourself. My advice? Go for it. When you arrive at the entrance of the ride you are trying to get on, if you find out you are still too small, just know that it’s all right. Give it time. You’ll grow. You will eventually be big enough to do what the other kids, the “bigger” kids, have been doing for a while. In the meantime, eat your veggies, create a game plan with the appropriate steps and goals, and set the groundwork for the growth that is about to happen. You have to make sure that your foundation is strong enough, wide enough and deep enough to take you to the heights at which you want to arrive. And don’t forget to have fun along the way. Be intentional about having the memory of the kid who couldn’t get onto the ride last fall because he was too small. Forget it, move on and let nature take its course. Have fun. Make sure you don’t stop living because you didn’t get to do one of the things you wanted to. Don’t shrink your dreams or your life to fit into anyone’s idea of what or who you are. Dare to live intentionally. Dare to be who you want to be. Dare to take a chance. You’ll grow and time will pass anyway. You might as well live on purpose.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

Love Is . . . 

Today, Wade and I are celebrating 24 years of marriage. He is such a huge part of my success in my weight loss . . . and in my life, period. I don’t honestly know where I would be without him. And so, because I can, I want to take a minute of your time with this week’s blog and tell you a little about this man I am married to. 

He loves me. I know most married couples can say this about their spouse. But I mean that this man loves me more than I love him. And I LOVE him. SO much. But he always has. He said “I love you” first. He spends more time telling me he loves me than I do telling him. And he never fails to show me that he means it. If I ever doubt his love (it is my own mind doubting my own worth and thinking that I don’t even deserve his love) he will list off the ways and reasons he loves me.  

He is patient. Oh. My. Gosh. This man is patient. I can’t be the easiest woman to be married to. Not even close. But this man has the patience of a saint. He has walked with me through some really, really tough times and never once did he think of stopping. He never criticizes my OCD, or my incessant singing, humming and whistling (well, maybe my whistling), or my pre-“in-trouble”-lectures I give to our boys, or my constant need for reassurance, or my insecurities (there are SO MANY), or my insistence that things get done MY way more often than not. He is patient. And that word doesn’t really do what he is any justice. He has walked with me through some really difficult-to-heal-from physical issues as well as really difficult-to-navigate emotional issues. He stood by me and helped me care for our boys when my depression was so bad I wasn’t always able to do the things I wanted and needed to do. He is a great dad to our children. That is a whole other topic, though!

He is kind. Most of the time. He is also honest . . . I will get to that in a second. What I mean is that he has never said something to intentionally hurt me. He doesn’t come at me with meanness and spite when we are in the middle of a disagreement. When he asked me to marry him, I made him make a couple promises to me before I said yes. The first one was that he would never hurt me intentionally. The second was that he would make me laugh WAY more than he would make me cry. He has held up his end of the deal. On both counts. He has never, and I mean NEVER criticized me for my weight. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t tell me I am beautiful. He says, “Hello there, gorgeous . . . ” when he answers the phone when I call him.

He is honest. Brutally honest. Like if you really don’t want to know the truth about something, then do NOT ask Wade. He has no brain to mouth filter. If he thinks it, he says it. But that is one of his best characteristics, I think. No one on the planet ever had to question where they stand with the man. Ever. But he will also take responsibility when he messes up. For example, we were in our backyard yesterday and my parents came over to look at the progress we’ve made in the last week. We have an old white metal table and two chairs in a set. The chairs are on the deck already and my mom asked about the table. Well, last week, Wade hit it with a ladder he was moving and shattered the glass top. I answered her and just said, “The glass broke last week!” I didn’t say any more and she didn’t question. But Wade piped up and said, “I did a bad thing, Ma,” and went on to explain what happened. And, yes, he calls my parents “Ma” and “Pa” and always has. You know, I’m not sure he even knows their first names. Haha!

He is SUPER supportive of me in ALL things. I am a pretty calm kinda gal. Really, I am. But I am also always looking for ways to improve myself and challenge myself and grow myself! Sometimes, that means I make decisions that put me “out there” a little. I am entrepreneurially minded. I have always wanted to do MY own thing in my OWN business that would both help others and help our family grow and benefit from it. Consequently, I have taken a lot of chances in my life. Some have paid off. Some have not. I just quit my 8-5 job (although it was never just 8-5!) to work for myself from home. He didn’t blink. Not too long, anyway. He always shakes his head, purses his lips, and says, “I want you to be happy, baby . . . ” and then we pray about it and make a decision. Beyond that though, he has been so supportive of my lifestyle changes that have allowed me to get healthier and lose weight. He cooked for himself and the boys when I first started so I didn’t have to be tempted late into the evening or be tempted with foods I shouldn’t have. 

He is a God-first kind of man. He takes us to church. This hasn’t always been the case. Before our oldest child was born, we walked away from the church; from our faith; from God. For about three years we didn’t darken the doorway of a church. But when you truly belong to God, He doesn’t let you stay too comfortable for too long living a life that is not honoring Him and church-going is a part of that. Shortly after Ben was born, I started back. I knew we had a tiny soul we had been entrusted to raise to know who Jesus is and I took that very seriously. I took myself and our boys to church for a lot of years without Wade. But, about 7 years ago, he started going with us. And he hasn’t looked back since. I prayed every day for 11 years that he would return to his relationship with God and show our boys he believed that your salvation, your relationship and faith in God, and your church attendance to learn and grow are THE most important things in life. If our perpendicular relationship with God isn’t on the right track our vertical relationships with people have NO CHANCE of being on the right track either. This doesn’t mean we are better than anyone or do everything right. We both struggle with things just like anyone else. But we are saved sinners trying our best to serve and please a living God. And that is all that matters. 

Is my husband perfect? No. Not even close. What he is, though, is perfect for ME. Perfect for our family. God-ordained just for us. I value HIM so much! I want to work hard to make him happy because that makes me happy. I am so thankful for our life together and can’t imagine life without him in it. Thanks for letting me veer off the normal path today to tell you a little about the man that I still get butterflies for when I see him walk into a room. I love his gentle touch and his connection to my soul. I am sharing my heart with you. My Wade. He has been such a huge part of my finding the pieces of myself that I lost through the years of gaining weight. He has helped me find those pieces, clean them off and then arrange them where they fit. If you see him out and about delivering mail, or watching our kids participate in their sport of the month, please wave and smile at him. He will wave and smile back. Unless he doesn’t. But you will at least know where you stand with him. Just kidding. He is a nice guy. Truly one of the best. And I love him even more today than I did on this day 24 years ago. 

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou