Tuesday, April 29, 2014

clothing yourself for worship.....

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.- Colossians 3:12




note- all images taken from Google Images- via the web






have you seen one of the latest articles floating around social media on "stop dressing tacky for church".... you can check it out by clicking here. 







I'm not here to jump on my soapbox about that article and say right or wrong on the matter. Only that since attending Wiregrass Church, a branch of a "mega come as you are church", I will share what God has taught me about clothing myself before Him in Worship. 





Over 2 years ago, Tim and I joined the Guest Services Team at Wiregrass Church. That is a team designed to serve in our church any way that would be fitting for Guests. Whether it's preparing coffee, greeting incomers with a hello, showing visitors around and the like. 

Tim and I received "front door duty" a lot and it allowed us every Sunday to see the familiar, and the not so familiar faces grace the church doors. 




When we first started attending Wiregrass, we had heard the rumors and read the bumper sticker alluding to the casual dress attire. 





I won't lie, the first Sunday, we dressed casual. I hadn't yet broken out the jeans, but at first it was nice to not have to iron down the lace just so on the girl's dresses, find matching socks and heaven forbid a matching ribbon tied for the hair, after all....Satan tries to keep us from worship every Sunday, why let him use that pink satin strand to do it.....We simply walked through the doors, were warmly greeted and simply worshiped our Maker....simply.




Since that day, the Sunday attire was never an issue for our family. Before that, meeting everyone's standards was tough.....it's dang near impossible.


In my 100+ days of hello's to incomers, I've never seen pajamas and slippers (unless it's pajama day...yes, yes, we have one of those..), like this CNN article even suggests. What I have seen are people. Hearts and Souls there to meet this person called Jesus. 


Some may not even know that yet, but as believers; we do.

What I have seen are women finding their way to worship from the House of Ruth, or the crippled man from the Rescue Mission, the Teen that hitched a ride because their parents were still wasted from the night before, and the child whose baby sitter brought her along because the sitter raved about how fun it was; all dressed in what I can't even remember, because it didn't matter....they were there. 



I've met smiling faces and faces so cold you wonder what could have happened for someone to carry that much of a hurt and burden on themselves....Faces that yet have found freedom in Christ. Have yet to feel the love poured out on them from their Heavenly Father...



And my sweet Ann Taylor, panty hose previous self, missed the boat on seeing the heart and fragile souls of God's people over the good ol' hurdle of southern etiquette' and pride.



When the words.."did you see what so and so was wearing?!?!" roll off your own or loved ones tongue or resonate in your heart...That was me.  My heart aches that I was so judgmental and over all unloving on this matter, and my children saw it....and I'm sure they weren't the only ones...because I had placed myself in a place of blindness, there is no such thing as being a "little" judgmental or a "little" unloving . After all, everyone looked like me before, and if they didn't, they weren't in my presence very long...how could they, why would they want too....I'm sure they didn't see Jesus in me.. and I'm sure they didn't feel unconditional love flowing from me....


I don't dress every Sunday as an excuse to to do less "work" in preparing myself and family to worship Jesus.... I dress every Sunday as an excuse for others to see Jesus in me. Because if we're being completely honest, I meet my creator in my nakedness. Scary huh- the outward clothes are for the man, Jesus sees us fully; and I'm pretty sure He's only concerned when we are not clothed in Colossians 3:12.


So whether you dress to the Nine's in flip flops or heels, does it really even matter as long as you don't forget to add the accessories of compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience to the attire; because regardless of what you think, that is what people really see you wearing. 












Thursday, April 24, 2014

more food....

I've mentioned briefly before, that I was on an "eat clean challenge", that started Feb 1st. I went off the challenge about 8 weeks in and decided it had already kind of taken over my eating habits anyway....


I started reading food labels more and realizing just how much "junk" gets added to our food....Like even a jar of Banana Peppers at the grocery store has yellow FOOD COLORING to make them....well, YELLOW...ugh.

I've had some peeps ask me what I eat so here's a VERY quick and easy, everybody will love, recipe!




You will need- 2lbs of stir fry meat  (or you can slice your own)

Let it hang out for a few in about-

1/2tsp salt
2 green onions chopped
1 jalapeno pepper (we like it hot, so I normally keep half the seeds
about 2 tbls of fresh Ginger chopped
2 Tbls of Dijon Mustard
1/3 cup of Organic Soy sauce




Start your boiling water for your Organic Whole Wheat Couscous (found at Publix..about $10 for a tub of it)...and boil as directed. I use 4 cups water and 2 cups Couscous and about 1 tsp salt. (I let the water get to a raging boil, whisk in Couscous, put a lid on it and turn off heat. Don't open lid or stir again until serving.) Takes about 5mins to cook

While the meat is "seasoning", get your peppers (I use about 4 sweet minis) chopped and in a hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil and let them hang out for a couple minutes before the snow peas join them...


add your snow peas (a little less then a pound was used for this) and sautee' for about 3mins...



crank up the heat to the highest setting and add your meat mixture and ALL the liquid...It should sizzle when it hits the pan...


Toss for about 3-5 mins. Don't over cook. I like mine Medium Rare so meat isn't tough....



I've been trying to add extra protein where I can, so I add a can of (rinsed and drained) black beans at the very end and let them cook just a minute on high heat...



 Serve it up on top of your Couscous and Enjoy!




Serves 5-6

Happy Thursday, Peeps! Hope to see you around here again soon!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

and the WINNER is......








CONGRATS Angela!! You can make your way to Circle City CrossFit to claim your FREE 101 Classes to Circle City CrossFit PRIZE! Offer valid for submission until Wednesday, May 28th! Start your CrossFit Journey asap! See you soon!!

If you you are still interested in checking out this "CrossFit Thing", but bummed you didn't win the Give-Away, feel free to stop by and check out our facility and meet our Coaches and Athletes. Just click the link above for address to the Box and times of operation . Stop on by, see what it's all about and give it a try!

Monday, April 14, 2014

why moms should CrossFit.....and a Give-Away!

yes, this is a post about CrossFit......


but not just CrossFit; but just a few reasons why I CrossFit and why I think Moms should CrossFit too.


I grew up with four brothers, so you could say I stayed pretty active in my younger years as far as any sports goes. I would throw a football, catch a baseball, shoot 3 pointers and the like. My passion sport was gymnastics and thoroughly enjoyed that in my younger years.



I've pretty much stayed active as an adult as well, as I coached gymnastics, played church and coed league softball, and kept my gym membership going....


until about 2 1/2 years ago...

7mos in Crossfit, shorts that were snug from the previous summer...down 15lbs and two clothing sizes.

When I closed Bellamia my whole life schedule that had been the same for almost 8 years had changed. I was a 5am'er (peeps that attend a 5am gym class) at a local gym during my work career and even when Elizabeth was a baby, I'd schedule her nursing time for 4:00am and head over to the gym. It was my "me time" , but shortly after closing the store had let the gym membership expire. Worst and best decision ever.


Laura-Jean Mom of Two; works full time. Started CrossFit Oct. 2013. Down from size 16 to a 10. Stronger every day!


For one year I did pretty much nothing except run around the neighborhood a couple miles every now and then. My petite size 4 frame started to grow. I was having ovarian cysts show up that needed attention every month. I was in pain, I was tired ALL.THE.TIME, and my soft places on my body only got softer....and larger....

Sabrina- Mom of three(8,6,4) works full time..one lung..NO excuses people! Cancer survivor. Started CrossFit at size 18 and now size 8 is loose on her.


I gained 16 pounds that year, for someone that normally didn't do anything but fluctuate 2-4 lbs every couple years. I was getting extremely discouraged as I felt terrible and was starting to out grow all my clothes...you know, the ones you even hang onto after you'd had a baby...the "fat" jeans.....


one of our awesome coaches Stephanie. Mom of two fun loving boys. 


well, it had been almost 9 years since we'd had a baby and the "fat" jeans were getting tight. Not to mention, my OBGYN kept pressing to put me on "the" pill to give my ovaries some time to breathe from all the cysts that had been making them crazy....

Tori- Mom of Four, works full time. Started CrossFit January 2013. Down about 15lbs, then up 7lbs  from muscle gain, and back in a size 4 from 8.



Well, this chicka had a partial hysterectomy 6 years prior....I hated birth control pills and how they made me feel. Not to mention that discouraged me completely because I knew I would feel bloated, have mood swings and gain more weight... and I didn't want to go back there. Who wants to be on birth control pills when you don't even have a uterus!




That was it. I was fed up and started contemplating where to go start working out again. I knew my fitness level was driving my physical health on a spiraling down fall, and I had family history that showed me where is was going if I didn't make some changes.....





I had heard about this CrossFit Cult   thing and was completely against it.....




I was NOT going to look like "her". There is no WAY I could do what they do anyway (whatever that is!). These CrossFit people are freaks.....insane....they must LIVE at the gym....


Yes, yes, I was one of those critics....


sigh....


now, I'm one of those freaks.....

So what happened???

Well, some precious friends in their sixties....what what!...yes, I said sixties, talked to me one day about it and how much they thought I would love it. After hearing them talk of it, the real stories...not the ones I imagined in my head...I decided I'd contact an acquaintance (via Facebook and precious customer to Bellamia) and co-owner of Circle City CrossFit here in Dothan.


After her sharing with me to come to the 101 class, a four session class that teaches you the basic movements of CrossFit and will gauge where you are physically; I joined the 101 class two days later...


I was TERRIFIED walking into the Box (the name of a CrossFit gym).....I went a little early and saw everyone working out with these intimidating large bars and weights as big as my head or bigger, and I could feel my blood pressure rising....but it was too late....I had already done the hardest part...


Walking through the doors....




That was mid September 2012....

hate selfies.. but it is what it is... Started CrossFit in Oct. 2012 on left. Down from a size 8 to 4 on right. Scale difference is now only 8 pounds because of muscle gained. Total loss in the first 9mos- 15lbs. And cysts FREE since two mos after starting CrossFit..Whoop Whoop!



because I avoided sleeveless attire the year prior, I don't have fabulous before and afters. So I grabbed a few other before and afters from mom's that I work out with that are all pictured throughout this post. So proud of them!


So here are my top 14 reasons why Moms should CrossFit, in no particular order...

1. You will look the best you've EVER looked...post children...and maybe even pre :)
2. If you're married, your husband will tell you that all the time.
3. You will not only feel like you can, but WILL accomplish any task, because let's face it, you already do, but I bet you are tired, ALL.THE.TIME.
4.You will look the best you've EVER looked....oh wait....I've already said that....well, it's true...
5. You will feel ab pain that you hadn't felt since your contractions from birthing...except these contractions will be your abs building and tummy flattening....whoop whoop! YES, it IS possible to have abs again, and not the ones hiding under the..(cough cough).... "skin"...
6. You will make the BEST of friends, that will become family to you. TRUTH.
7. You will look the...oh yeah...
8. You may or may not get a tattoo or nose ring because you will feel like a bad a$$
9. Speaking of a$$....... yep. It will SHRINK! Whoop Whoop!
10. You will have energy again.....your husband will be glad....wink wink
11. Your kids will think you are a rock star because you will either be keeping up with them on the run, doing cartwheels in the back yard with them (without seeing stars!), and you will inspire them to stay fit and healthy when they are your age. JUST because you are doing it.
12. If you WOD (Work Out of the Day) at 5am, you will either WOD as the sun rises or drive home to it and feel like you have already conquered the world...you will be ready to tackle the day, and you will have been filled with encouragement from your group of peeps that are not only there to get better; but to see and push YOU to get better!
13. You will look the.....ok, I'm done now


So, whether or not this CrossFit thing is a "fad"....I.don't.care.

It's a "fad" that brought awesome friendships, took me to accomplishments I never thought possible, took me (in my opinion) to my fitness goals the fastest then any other program I've ever done.

and, you don't have to "live" at the gym.....4-5 times a week will get you there. You will work the hardest you ever had, but you will be a new person for it.


For my one year anniversary, I celebrated with something I hadn't done in 15+ years and no way I would have tried before CrossFit.....


video


Sooooooo, let's do a Give-Away shall we!!


Now is the time to enter in a drawing for a free 101 Class (4 sessions=$75 value) at Circle City CrossFit!!

No strings attached! Try it...leave it, or love it! I guarantee you will LOVE it!

Here's what you will need to do to be entered for the drawing. Simply "share" this original blog post from my Facebook page. If you share from a friends page or from this blog and not via Facebook, you MUST comment below with your name and email address so we can enter you and contact you if you win.

Would you like to have a chance to be entered TWICE??? You must "like" their FB page and comment "liked and shared" to be entered twice.

Please share all you want, but only one entry per like and share per person.


Now remember, it was Sixty Year Olds that inspired me to join a CrossFit Box, so all you peeps out there that think just because you have a grandchild or two can't do this, you are wrong. CrossFit is for everyone. You do what you can and you will be amazed that it was more then you think!

So Thankful for the people and coaches at Circle City CrossFit and the CrossFit community in general. It has blessed my life.

14. I am a better mom because of CrossFit.


Drawing to be held Tuesday, April 22 @ noon!

3-2-1-GO!




Monday, April 7, 2014

Adoption Ramblings of a Mama.....

Last Thursday, stirred emotions....





We headed to court to make Hope an "official" Pilcher......








I can't explain the emotions....




I just remember a friend of mine trying to explain to me the "adoption high" and what it feels like coming down from it....











I totally get what she's talking about.


When we got the call about Hope, our life didn't change drastically until the reality that she wasn't leaving occurred....





which wasn't long after, but it was such a whirlwind. We weren't prepared, like you usually are when you have 9 mos ahead of you.



The newness of a baby was awesome. The severity of the sleepless nights sunk in, and the emotions that took place at the hospital lingered, as my little family of 5 became 6 overnight....JUST.LIKE.THAT.




In other words, it took a lot longer then a couple months for it to sink in. In fact, as the Judge was asking us our vows and charging us with this life that had been given to us, I couldn't even imagine going through that event early then that date....




I kept wondering why the court date was set over 4 mos from the date we received Hope, but I am just so thankful for this date....







That date came just a few days shy of the turn of events just last year, where we were in another courtroom pursuing another little life in North Georgia. One that was the same age as our Hope.



The severity of the emotions and the commitment we were making to Hope was making my heart pound....



It was just SO.REAL.




We opened our hearts to a child in need, and GOD provided her to us.



But really, us to her....






I just can't explain the joy that she is. The honor it is to look at her every day, and know that we've been given this life to raise, and love, and cherish. Her smile lights up a room, just like her sister's, and melts my heart, every.single.time.





To know that she will be raised in the Lord. She will be introduced to the gospel, and she will know that Jesus died for her, because He wants her to share her story and the great work that He has done; and He wants to spend eternity with her...wow, y'all, just wow..... That hopefully her birth parents and others through this will have also felt and seen the love of Christ and the grace poured out. There is no way I can explain how that feels. Just no way.





It brings such tears to my eyes. When we were discussing some things with our Attorney after our court meeting, and we mentioned Foster Care, he said "you know that's where she was heading.....Hope, that is..."


I am not at all saying Foster Care is wrong, and I am very much thankful for the homes provided for children in direct need, love and care. But y'all, this precious life that you have seen through pictures, our testimony, and some of you have held in your own arms; was to be sent temporarily or possibly permanently to a home where she may or may not have called home forever, or call a mama and daddy permanently by name. And  the fact the birth parents gave her to us, is what I hope, (if they haven't already) be used to see that God's amazing love is big, that they got to choose a better life for her. That there will be healing, because they will know His great love for their child and for them, because of the sacrifice. Because of the mercy poured out. I pray they see, and that they will know Jesus and His great generosity because of this.






I do not dwell on "what if's", for I know my God has a plan for all.


But I do love to see His mighty hand work. And I am so thankful we are being used in her life, as she is in ours.




I have never before experienced  in my heart the depth of the out pouring of grace from our Heavenly Father like I continue to see during this process.  I have never felt a stronger urge for rescuing orphans then I have during this. If you have ever considered adopting, I encourage you strongly to pray about it. The Lord presses on the hearts what He wants you to know, for some.....that is actually adopting....for others, it's supporting the families that do so. Don't think He'll leave you alone on this. He worked on us for 14 years; I believe, preparing our hearts, our marriage, and our family for Hope. He didn't leave our hearts alone. Even when I tried to deny His plan for us.




We are not perfect. I'll admit that there were MANY times I thought "oh crap, did I just really say "yes Lord" to this?? We were in "freedom" zone...no more baby sitters, diapers, sleepless nights. We've got this family of 5 down and well into practice....I mean, it's been 10 YEARS since we had a baby and not to mention we will go through another TEENAGE years. Don't think the what if, what if, what if's didn't try to stop me..... they would start to creep in and I would have to verbally rebuke those thoughts aloud. I had to verbally claim that I will follow Jesus where ever He leads on this....

Our attorney asked us if we would still be interested in adoption again. Tim and I can agree, we always strive to be open  and follow where the Lord is leading and His plans for us. I have learned never to say never.....



Thursday night we had a little celebration for Hope's life. Elizabeth kept wanting to call it her "birthday" party :) I guess in a way, it was her official "birth" by law into our family.....




Our Jillian did the artwork for the cake with our theme "Family Tree", and we just had the best time celebrating and reflecting God's goodness.







 For those of you that have emailed, Facebook messaged me and the like, asking about who we used or went through for the adoption; I apologize for not yet responding to all of you yet....I'm getting there. Along with my 500 thank you cards. They're coming.....sincere apologies on my delay. Each one of y'all that has invested in giving of your time, talents, love, prayers and financial support for our family and for Hope is so appreciated by our entire family; that my heart bursts and tears fill my eyes when I think about it every day.




The details of our adoption story is so cool, but too much detail to write right now. But I love to see how Bellamia played a part in it and with readers like you.




Our home study was done privately by a customer to Bellamia and blog follower. She was just so precious and we are SO thankful for her and the timing God provided for that. If you are interested in going that route or have questions you can contact Leslie @ lesliehcude{at}gmail{dot}com.



We used  Sam McClure with The Adoption Law Firm out of Montgomery, Al. One of Sam's first words to me was "I'm your OBGYN in adoption, you can call me anytime...." He was amazing to work with and has such a heart for the lost and the orphans.


If you are still reading, wow, bless you! Haven't sat down this long to write a post in a while!


Happy Rainy Monday, y'all! Hope to be back real soon!















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