Monday, February 26, 2018

Returning to the Basics Brought Back My Joy

I have always loved all things old fashioned. I think maybe because it reminds me of my childhood, my grandma and the wonderful memories I have growing up. I love antique dishes and furniture. I love aprons and quilts. I love gardens and homemade pies. 

To me cooking from scratch, gardening and sewing are old fashioned skills, because it doesn't seem near as many women do these things as used to. These skills used to be part of everyday life, at least in my family they were. 

My Grandma always made pies from scratch, biscuits from scratch, hung out her clothes to dry and they had the best garden ever! Grandma fed anyone that stopped by and never acted like it was a bother. She took care of Grandpa and the house, because that's just the way it was done. Her home was always in order and she was always busy doing something. I learned a lot from Grandma, just by being around her - even though I didn't appreciate it until I was older.

I remember when I was in the third grade, we lived in town for awhile with my grandparents while we looked for a house to buy. I remember being able to walk home from school for lunch and my mom would have lunch waiting for me, I loved those times. I think times like that are what made me know that I wanted to stay home with my kids. I learned to cook and clean from my mom, she makes the best chicken fried steak and gravy. 

As I have gotten back to baking and cooking from scratch for my family the last few weeks, I have realized that my joy and contentment have increased. I have always had a heart for baking, gardening, sewing and taking care of my family and our home and I hadn't realized how much I had gotten away from it and the stress it was causing me. I had been struggling in some areas for quite awhile and once I got my priorities straight again, the struggles stopped. I have a peace and joy that I hadn't even realized I had lost.

I have a renewed focus and passion for my family and home and it feels wonderful. I even have a renewed inspiration to blog, whereas before it had been a struggle to even find something to write about. My renewed focus has given me a renewed passion and purposed for this blog. WHEW Tribe is all about helping and encouraging women, and my goal is to help and encourage women to love Jesus, their families and their homes. 

I plan to share more about my life and how I do things. We live a pretty simple life and I love it that way, but I hope that by sharing even the simple things, I can encourage other women and renew their focus on their own family and home. 

I pray that you will be encouraged by my posts, but I also pray that you will share your experiences and tips. We can all learn from and encourage each other. So please leave a comment and let me know you are here. I really love hearing from my readers.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Let's Break the Mold of Sameness

We are not all the same. 

That came as a shock to you didn't it?  Just kidding, I know that you know this. 

However, I really believe that we need to be reminded of this - often. 

We are NOT all the same, so why do we feel like we have to be like everyone else. Why do we feel like we have to do things the same way others do them? 

And when we do something differently, why do we feel guilty?

UGH!! Drives me crazy!

But we do it. I know I'm not alone in this, because I've talked to too many women that struggle with this.

We get  caught up in the comparison trap in so many areas:


raising children

being the "best" wife






and the list goes on and on....

STOP!! Just STOP!!

just embrace you

God created each one of us uniquely and we need to embrace that!

It's okay to just be yourself, to just be who God made you to be and to be comfortable with that.

Some of us are sweats and t-shirt kinda girls while others are business suits and high heels.

Some of us spend hours fixing our hair and makeup while others are doing good if we put our hair in a messy bun and wash our face.

Some of us drink double fermented kefir smoothies while some of us prefer a greasy pizza.

Maybe you enjoy running marathons while some of us are doing good to walk 10,000 steps a day.

Some of us homeschool, some of us don't.

It's okay!! We need to remember to keep the main thing the main thing - loving on Jesus and others. Past that it really doesn't matter.

Really, it doesn't. If we are loving Jesus and loving on others the way He called us to, the rest will take care of itself.

Yes, we can be inspired by others and learn from others, but for goodness sake, let's not believe we need to be just like others. Let's embrace the uniqueness that God wove into our very being. Let's celebrate our differences because that means we are living the way God intended us to instead of trying to fit into the mold of sameness. Don't give into the feelings of guilt for being different and don't worry about what others will think. Just be you.

And PLEASE, for the love of all that is good, do not judge someone else just because they are doing something differently than you. Different does not equal wrong.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Why I am Walking Away From Trim Healthy Mama

I debated whether or not I should write this post, even as I'm typing, I'm not 100% sure I should write it. However, I feel like I need to explain.

I'm no longer following Trim Healthy Mama.

Please don't make any hasty judgements toward me, keep reading and hear me out.

I think Trim Healthy Mama is a great program and I truly believe it works. I know it has helped many, many people get healthy and lose weight - including me. I know I learned a lot of very useful and helpful information through Trim Healthy Mama that I will continue to use. I'm glad I found Trim Healthy Mama and followed the program for a while, it helped me realize how my body reacted to certain foods. 

However, it is time for me to walk away. 

no longer a trim healthy mama

I've really been struggling with it over the last year and I finally realized why. Before I say anymore, I want to emphasize that this is just MY story. All I can do is tell you my feelings and experience. I am NOT at all saying this is how anyone else is, it's just my story.

Following the THM plan caused me to become very selfish in the area of food. I started fixing snacks, desserts and meals according to my preferences and whether or not it followed THM instead of considering my family's desires. You see, my family did not follow THM and quite honestly, disliked most all the food. It got to the point my children would buy their own snacks and frozen foods for lunches, etc. because I was cooking for myself not my family. 

I did try to make foods that followed THM that I thought they would like, but most of the time they didn't. Even if they thought they were "okay", they never ENJOYED them. However, I wasn't willing to spend even more time in the kitchen cooking things for myself and for them, so I cooked for myself. I justified it by telling myself that they didn't care if they ate healthy or not, so it was okay for them to eat the processed, ready to eat stuff. So, while I fixed healthy freezer waffles for myself, they got the boxed freezer waffles from the store.

Ugh! I hate even admitting all this. I cannot believe it took me so long to realize it either.

Before THM, I cooked from scratch with healthy whole, real foods for my family because I knew that was a step in the right direction to help them be healthy. I know that from scratch is better than boxed, even if it has white sugar and white flour - IT'S STILL BETTER THAN PACKAGED!

I was grinding my own grain and baking our bread before I started THM, because I know it's healthier. I used honey or raw sugar instead of white sugar. I did so many things to help my family's health, but then I started THM and it became all about MY health and MY food and I let theirs slide. 

One other thing....

I never really struggled much with food before THM, but following the program made me obsessed with it. I was constantly thinking about when I could eat, what I could eat and if we went out, would I be able to stay on plan. I struggled eating in others homes, because it would be off plan and eating off plan made me feel guilty. I felt like a failure when I ate off plan, like I just didn't have enough self control or discipline. That is not okay, that is giving food a priority it never should have had. 

I'm done. I'm done being selfish and I'm done letting food influence my thoughts and feelings.

I'm going back to cooking from scratch for my family and doing what I can to keep us all healthy while cooking foods they enjoy. I'm going back to serving my family instead of myself. Will all of our foods be healthy? No. Not even close. But I'm okay with that. Right now, for me, it is about making baby steps back in the right direction. It is about making BETTER choices, not PERFECT choices.

God has really been speaking to my heart lately about loving my family and serving them, and cooking for them is a huge way for me to do that. When I'm gone, I want them to know without a doubt that I loved them with all I had. I want them to know that after God, they are the most important thing in my life. I want to live like Jesus did, by serving others in love.

I know many women who do THM well while balancing their family's preferences, or whose families do THM with them - that's awesome! I'm happy it's working for them. 

But I have to do what is right for my family. I have to follow what God is revealing to me. 

And I encourage you to do the same - do what is right for your own family. Follow God's leading. In whatever area it is, seek Him and what is best for your family. That is what matters. 

Remember, you're not alone, I'm here for you.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Who Is Your Idol?

We all have an idol. The only question is...

who is yours?

Don't be too quick to answer. Pause for a moment and think about it. Think about what an idol is and what it looks like to worship one.

According to Merriam-Webster, an idol is "an object of extreme devotion".  My Webster dictionary defines devotion as "attachment manifested by constant attention." 

So I think it is safe to say that our idol is whatever or whomever we are giving constant attention to. 
Would you agree?

So let me rephrase my question...

Who or what is getting most of your attention?

Who or what do you spend most of your time on?

Who or what do you spend most of your time thinking about?

What is the reason you do the things you do?

Be completely honest with yourself. Go back and reread those questions and be brutally honest in your answers. If you can't answer honestly, ask God to reveal the answer to you.

There are so many things that can become an idol before we even realize it and those things may not even be bad things, but when they become idols, they are.

Let's look at some examples you probably already thought of:

TV shows (do you have to set the DVR and not miss an episode?) 

Sports (that one is obviously an idol to many)

Alcohol (do you have to have it everyday?)

Your children (you might have good intentions, but they can become an idol also)

Your home (do you obsess over cleanliness?)

Health or exercise (that can get pretty extreme can't it)

Those are common things people think of when they think of idols, and I'm sure you could add to the list! However, I want to look at two things that we don't always think of:

1. Food - food most definitely can become an idol. The thing is unhealthy food OR healthy food can become an idol. We can easily become obsessed with food, thinking about what our next meal or snack will be to overindulging in whatever it is we are eating at the time. There are many ways food can become an idol. 

2. Self - we can become our own idol. We can put our desires and wants above other's and God's desires. We can spend our time on the things that are important to us, instead of God and others. To me, this idol is the hardest one to recognize, especially when the world is constantly pushing the "you deserve this", "do it for yourself" mantra. Those are so contrary to scripture. 

I'll be honest with you, I struggle with these last two often and usually, they are intertwined. I'll explain.

I love following the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle (healthy eating), but my family does not at all! I can safely say that most of the THM food I fix, my family does not like. Oh there are a few dishes that they really enjoy, there are a few they will tolerate, but most of them they do not love.
 I get so caught up in wanting to eat healthy, that I neglect the desires of my family. I can spend a large amount of time preparing my own foods, logging my own foods and keeping up with all the latest THM related things that I neglect other areas of my life. I get so focused on fixing healthy foods for myself, that I neglect to fix their favorites meals, snacks and desserts. That is selfish! It's making an idol of my food and myself. It's putting my wants above theirs and that is not what God tells me to do. In fact, it goes against God's word.

Philippians 2:4 says "Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests." (The Passion Translation)

I know there are many women that can balance fixing themselves healthy food while not neglecting the desires of their family, great for them! I'm happy for them, really I am. But I struggle with it. I'm not going to fix 2 different meals every time I cook, I'm just not. So, I must learn balance and I MUST remember that food is not to be an idol. I'm not to put anything or anyone above what God has called me to do.

I'm sure many of you have different idols and different areas you struggle in. We are all different! However, we are also similar, so I am certain that at certain times, you do struggle with idols.

So my prayer is that you would recognize your idol and do what you need to to take care of it. Ask God to reveal any idols to you and be open to what he shows you. Then ask him to help you tear it down. 

I would love to hear about any idols you struggle with. Remember, we aren't alone and sharing your struggle may just encourage someone else.