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This is week 2 of the Losing It challenge.  Head over to Giving Up On Perfect to see how everyone is doing!

Goals for last week:

  • maintain my goals from last week (track, run, drink): Track – did ok; Run – not at all; Drink – yup
  • lose 3lbs (yikes!): not so much… but I did lose 1.2lbs (.82%)

This past week I had to pay for Weight Watchers.  I am a lifetime member which means that I don’t have to pay to attend meetings/weigh in unless I’m 2+pounds above my goal weight.  When I returned to Weight Watchers after Mollie, they said I could have 9 months to get back to my goal weight before I would have to start paying. Woot, woot!  Yeah, that was about 5 months ago… and I am still 12 pounds away from my goal.  But it’s ok.  I actually think this might help me be a little more motivated knowing that WW is getting my money!

My weight loss journey began in my early 2os and it was a time of spiritual, emotional, and physical growth for me.  I first joined WW(for real)  in 2001, when I was 23.  I was out of college and I was at my highest weight, ever.  I had always been heavy in high school, and then heavier in college.  Food was a comfort, and I was ignorant about how to manage my intake of food.  A close friend from college joined Weight Watchers and this motivated me to try it out.  It was right around this time of year, late Feb/early March, and I remember attending a worship service at a local church where they invited us to write down a ‘burden’ and leave it at the altar.  I wrote down, I tangibly acknowledged, my struggle with food and my weight.   I truly believe that this, along with WW, was a turning point for me and was a HUGE part of the reason I was able to be successful with my weight loss.

I had joined WW in high school but didn’t ever really do the program seriously (that was before POINTS and the whole thing confused me and seemed like too much work), and I never stayed for meetings.  But this time, when I was 23, I attended meetings (with my Mom at first because she had to lose like 2 pounds) and really committed to the program.  And I saw results.  Over the course of the next 18 months, I lost about 45 pounds.  I never quite made it to my goal for my age/height range but I was pleased with where I was at and eventually stopped attending (I’ll let you know how I got to lifetime another time).  Not only had I changed physically, but as I went through the process of losing weight, I had become a healthier person in all aspects of my life.  I was less focused on finding comfort from food, and more focused on finding comfort in God; I was able to step out and become a part of a new church and new group of friends (which included my not-so-soon-to-be husband); I moved out and began my life as a single, independent woman.

I know this sounds corny, but I am so grateful for WW.  Yeah, I know.  BUT, I feel like the program truly gave me the tools to reach the goals I needed to attain to become a healthier person.  And I don’t mind giving them my money because so far it has been worth every penny!

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Goals for this week: 

  • Track
  • Run – I NEED to do this!
  • Drink
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Growing up I didn’t really know a whole lot about Lent.  Even though my dad was a pastor, it just wasn’t something that we observed in our family’s Easter traditions.  It wasn’t until after college that I began to learn more about the tradition and participate in different aspects of observing Lent and it has become a very meaningful experience for me.

Lent is a time of preparation  for Easter.  A time of ‘getting ready’ to remember and celebrate Jesus death and resurrection.  In the early days of the Church it was a time for new believers to learn about their faith and prepare to be baptized.  Traditionally, Lent is the forty days before Easter (not counting Sundays) and begins on Ash Wednesday.  Many people use this time as a season of repentance and inward reflection.

There are 4 spiritual acts of Lent that have historically been practiced among believers during the Lenten season.

  • giving to the poor
  • prayer
  • fasting (or abstaining)
  • repentance

Recognizing Lent as a family can offer a valuable time for your family to create traditions together.  These traditions will help your children understand the celebration of Easter and will create meaningful memories for your family.  Participating in Lent can also open up a spiritual dialogue within your family to discuss why we celebrate Easter and why it is important. 

Here are some different activities to consider doing with your family:

Donate  As a family, gather items from around your house that could be donated to a local organization.  Clothing, gently used toys, and non-perishable food items could help families in need.  Discuss with your children why you are doing this and where the items are going.

Collect Save your spare change or designate a certain amount of money each week to go toward a charity or ministry that helps the poor.  Consider having your child give a portion of their own money or allowance toward this.

Volunteer  Find a local organization (soup kitchen, homeless shelter, neighbor in need) that you can volunteer some time at as a family.

Pray  Create a prayer list or prayer box where you can write down different items to pray for as a family.  Set aside a time each day to pray together and recognize how God has answered your prayers.

Memorize  Read the Lord’s Prayer together and set a goal to memorize it as a family.  (Matthew 6:9-13)

Fasting  Give up something together as a family.  It could be for the entire season of Lent or just focus on one week or even one activity.  Replace that thing with a God-focused experience if possible.  Some suggestions would be giving up a favorite family TV show or take the money you would have spent to go out to dinner together and buy food for a food pantry.

New Life  Find an activity to do with your children that can represent the ‘new life’ we have in Christ.  This could be a
special craft/activity, planting some spring flowers, or making resurrection eggs.

Family Devotions  Spend some time during the Lent season reading the Bible together and talking about repentance.  The ministry of Jesus, Jonah, and the Easter Story (Mark 14-16; Luke 22-24) are some passages you can focus on.

Download a copy of  the Family Activities for Lent to use with your family.

You can also find some additional resources on Family Activities for Lent here or here.

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I’m linking up to ohamanda for Top Ten (Tuesday)!  What is your Top Ten today?

Have you ever heard of Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Tuesday?  It is the Tuesday before Lent begins (on Ash Wednesday).  Here are 10 things to learn about the tradition of Shrove Tuesday.

1. Shrove is the past tense of shrive which means ‘to go to or make a confession’.  Historically, Christians would go to confession to prepare themselves for the season of Lent.

2. Shrove Tuesday began in the Middle Ages.  It was noted in history dating back to 1000 AD.

3. In many countries, especially the United Kingdom, Shrove Tuesday is known as Pancake Tuesday.  It became known as Pancake Tuesday because people had to use up all the food that was ‘forbidden’ during Lent which included eggs and dairy products.  Pancakes became the popular choice to use up all these ingredients.

4. The Pancake Day tradition tells the story of a housewife getting ready for Shrove Tuesday.  She was cooking up all her pancakes and lost track of time when she heard the ‘shriving bell’ ringing, calling her to church.  She raced to church in her apron with her frying pan still in her hand.

5. Pancake Races are held all over the world on Shrove Tuesday especially in England.  Women dress up in their aprons with their frying pans and a pancake and race through the town to church when the bell rings, all the while flipping their pancakes.

6. The most famous Pancake Day Race is held in Olney, England.  This is where the original housewife ran to church with her frying pan in 1445.  The race happens each year on Shrove Tuesday and begins at 11:55am and participants run 415 yards dressed in the traditional costume of a housewife with a skirt, apron, head covering, and frying pan.  Participants must have lived in Olney for at least 3 months.

Olney pancake Race 2007

7. Here are some traditional pancake recipes.

Pancakes-b

8. Shrove Tuesday has become a day of indulgence and revelry.  Although it originally began as a day of confession to prepare yourself for Lent it has become a day of overindulgence and partying … ‘getting it all in’ before you deprive yourself during Lent.

9. Other traditions for Shrove Tuesday are Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Carnival, Malasada Day,  and Fasnacht.

10.  Shrove Tuesday is 47 days before Easter.   The Lenten season is 40 days before Easter, however they don’t count Sundays because those are considered ‘mini-resurrection days’ to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.

We’re having pancakes for dinner tonight… anyone else?

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Yes, I know that in about 2 years I will be shocked that I ever uttered that statement… however when I come across a fun ‘little kid’ project I always wish I had a little one to do it with.  Soon enough that will be the case!

Here is a great Easter food craft to do with your little one!

In other news… my dear friend heard some great news this week!

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10. The Miracle Maker – great movie!

9. Cadbury eggs – yum!

8. Palm Sunday Baptisms – our church has a traditions of doing baptisms on Palm Sunday.  It is one of the most powerful services we have every year.

7. Easter Baskets – my mom always used to hide our Easter baskets in the house and we would get up and search for them before church.

6. Easter Breakfast – another tradition our church has is a free community breakfast before our combinded Easter service at our local high school (we usually have 3 services every Sunday).  It is a great time for our entire church to come together once a year.

5. New Easter Outfit – I always get a new outfit for Easter Sunday… do you?

4. Easter Bunny cake – my mom has a great (easy) recipe/instructions for making an Easter Bunny cake… it looks something like this:

Bunny Cake

3.  Decorating eggs – its been a few years since I have done this but I know it will be something that I do again once I have kids that are older.

2. Family Dinner – always a big part of our Easter Sunday…

1. Experiencing Jesus Passion – this is an event that I am involved in on Thursday at our church that is an experiential journey through Christ’s last hours including worship, drama, and the creative arts.  It is incredibly powerful and for me it is a great way to get focused on the true meaning of Easter.

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Want to see some more Top Ten Tuesday lists?  Hop over to ohamanda.com and visit the other Top Ten Tuesday links.  There are some great posts out there!

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get your kleenex

So my good friend posted this on facebook yesterday and it had me in tears immediately.  I’m sure it was in part due to hormones, however it is a powerful video.  You may have seen it on Oprah but take a few minutes to see how EVERY child is a gift from God…

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Some friends of mine recently posted their video review of The Dark Knight on the blog Question Entertainment.  Check it out!

http://questionentertainment.wordpress.com/2008/10/12/the-dark-knight-video-review/ 

Question Entertainment is a great site to get an intellectual review of current media from people who have a Christian worldview and who put a lot of thought into what our children should be watching.

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