Through A Valley

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IMG_StudioFelicity2014

Near to still waters

I read the words then re-read the words over and over mulling over them in my mind.

“In the valley of the sheep, David learned to depend on God. God’s presence, provision, and power accompanied David wherever he went and people could see it.” … “Maybe you’re in your own valley of sheep right now. Maybe you think you are going unnoticed and your assignment is not what you want it to be. Just remember we must go through the valley, where we humble ourselves before God, before we can go out for God…”  –  Derwin L. Gray in his book   Limitless Life: You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future 

Had David not spent time in the valley with the sheep and experiencing what God had for him in the valley would he have become the courageous person who faced the giant? I am sure that he gained wisdom in the valley that he would draw from years later when he was king.  We can all take courage that our God is infinite and awesome exceeding human expectation. Now, not all of us will be king, nor will we all take our place in history for slaying a philistine giant. However we do have dreams God has placed in our hearts and we all have/will have valleys where we can humble ourselves, drawing closer to God, gaining wisdom and experience.  We don’t know what the future holds for any of us but we can be sure of one who does. 

A few years ago, I began a weight loss journey through eating and fitness modifications.  My weight loss in less than a year was about 130+ pounds.  From that point I continued to learn from many wonderful trainers and friends more about nutrition and fitness.  I began to realize I had a passion for helping and encouraging others to pursue fitness and health.  I enrolled in a program to become a personal trainer.

Then my path was diverted. My children experienced some health issues, my finances tightened further, and I began to inexplicably gain some weight. I had not made changes in my eating nor alterations to my fitness endeavors but I was gaining weight and becoming totally frustrated.   In total I gained almost 30 pounds.  We tested for a variety of possible explainable health causes to weight gain – but Nothing.  Nothing that is except stress.  Stress, worry, and anxiety have repercussions on a body as well as mind.

As I sat in my frustration I also looked over my life – Wow I had become COMPLETELY out of Balance. My eating was very rigid (more of an extremely restrictive diet than a plan I could live with the rest of my life).  My kids were great about my gym time and encouraged me.  The gym had a daycare the kids could hang out while I worked out which is great. However I was always on-the-go hurrying here to there.  Yes they saw the value “I” placed on fitness and being healthy but for my family was I helping them to be active and healthy?  There was way too much emphasis on the “I”.  Where was our quality time?  Was my life teaching them proper perspective? Please don’t read this wrong… I believe in hitting the gym, working out and staying fit.  And I DO believe everybody, parents included (especially us single parents) need some “me” time –and gym time is a great stress reliever for me.  But I had taken it beyond “me” time to an EXTREME- and it needed to be adjusted.

I paused in my pursuit of being a personal trainer – I felt inept.

This year was the breaking year for me; with better balance I began to again pursue my fitness and health goals with my kids along side. Instead of pursuing self –glorification, I choose now to seek after honoring God more through my fitness and nutrition endeavors. In stewardship, I want to take care of the body I have been given. I still hit a gym when I can- and I work out at home. I’ve been able to shed many of the pounds I had regained.  Moreover, I am eating more balanced and living life a bit more fully.

A couple months back, someone asked me whether I ever finished the personal training certification – I dropped my head and said “no”.  In my heart I still had the calling, the passion to encourage and help others but because of the set backs I had allowed myself to be defeated.  I had just a couple weeks left to finish the course but had no intention to do so – self doubt and fear can be very crippling. A few days later, my daughter and I were discussing the personal training.  I rattled my excuses… my gaining a some of the lost pounds back and my frustration with it,  my desire to be closer to my goals, and every other reason I could think that would cause me to fail.  This child is my cheerleader in every sense of the word it is a gift God has blessed her with. In her sweet way she can speak words that hit me directly in the heart.  “Mom, I guess I don’t understand….Don’t other people have the same struggles?  Don’t they get frustrated?  But then that means you “get it” – you’ve been there and come through it… Right??  You can understand and help them…”     This mom just had to stand there with her mouth open- WOW!!!  Why did it take my daughter to speak it for me to see it?

So one week before the expiration of the personal training course I still had to pass a few more chapter tests, the finals, and work studies in hopes to get the certification.  Again, God blessed and saw me through it successfully.  The last piece, a CPR/AED certificate, has to be in place for me to be able to say that I have my completed ISSA Personal Trainer Certification and that class is scheduled for this upcoming Saturday. While I know, I am still a work in progress – (but aren’t we all?)-  I am excited to see what the future holds and very thankful that the dream he placed was not allowed to just fall to the wayside to later become a regret or “what if”. I am hopeful, maybe God can use me, to inspire and encourage others as they face similar struggles in their lives.

Then and Now

Then and Now

 

While I CANNOT say my venture through this valley the last couple of years has been pleasant or fun, I CAN say it was humbling and needed. I can look back and say that the trip through the valley made me come to the realization that I didn’t have all the answers and had absolutely no control.  It required me to put away pride,(that had seeped in and taken hold) look up, and place it all in God’s hands, seeking him for direction and answers. Today, with complete sincerity of heart, I can tell you – I am thankful for the journey through this valley. I am thankful for what I am learning everyday.

 

Check out my other blogs at :

Studio Felicity InspirationsStudio Felicity

You can also follow me on Twitter 🙂  ~Kymberlee

 

May I encourage you to also check into the Proverbs 31 Bible Study & Blog Hop

On Line Bible Study: http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies

Blog Hop: http://proverbs31.org/images/OBSBlogHop

 

 

 

 

 

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Blaring through the Silence (prose)

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A flood of memories from throughout my life

Random surges of emotion –

Joy, Courage, Awe, Fear, Strength, Frailty, …

A tidal wave of dreams and hopes

Streams of thoughts meander through

My pen dances across the page yet

My blogs lie in silence, comatose

 

Verbose cascades continue unabated,

Incomplete, raw, fresh and real

Bombarding the white abyss

Merely chronicled

My words reflect from the page

Yet my mind measures, it contemplates.

 

My heart, my expressions are sincere, genuine

My thoughts honest and candid

Words not to be released upon the world unrestricted

However in due time with reflection and kind consideration

Expounding on the thoughts that sporadically

Blare through the silence

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What was your first car crush???

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My first car crush. 🙂 that would be  ….

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The Camaro Iroc-Z  *sigh* 🙂

Oh my goodness, I could just see myself in that car!!!
Now I would have been happy with any color of the iroc-z but I definitely wanted it with chrome wheels, Ttops (or convertible) and stick shift.
 
I did eventually own a Camaro (but not the Iroc-z).  Years have passed, still I am drawn to shiny, fast, and sporty autos.

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A few more of my car crushes…
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What was your first car crush? Do you have a current dream car?

Quiet moments

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As I awakened in the pre-dawn hours my house was in a complete state of silence. A blissful resting state.  In a home filled with activity and two very verbose / vibrant kids, silence is not something we have often. Even the central heat and our pets were cooperative.  Complete stillness.
A variety of memories came to mind…. there have been times that silence was deafening, sad, and weary to endure.  There have been many mornings where being awake at this early hour was in order to comfort and care for a child sick with fever or flu. Then there have been those times where sitting by a family member or child’s bedside in a hospital filled with the busyness and variety noises like beeps, clicks, whirrs, etc. I longed for quiet or at least the sounds of my own home.   None of the previous scenarios apply to today. 🙂   Instead, this morning…..there was a beauty and peace to the silence surrounding my family.  Just quiet …. faint rhythms of my children breathing as they dream sweetly and all in my lil world seems almost surreal.  I am very thankful to enjoy these moments.

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Don’t throw the Facebook out with the bath water!!!

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K.Reed....quick sketch- hand drawn

Don’t Throw Facebook Out with the Bath Water!

Whew, finished with this hiatus …Thankfully!!!

For those of you who thought I would say Facebook and social networks are “evil” and a waste of time or you should boycott them…then you will be disappointed in this post! ….

I TRULY Miss my social networks and the interaction with all the friends that I don’t get to see very often because of our varying schedules or the miles between us. Social networks and technology have become staples in my life and both have wonderful benefits.
What was that old saying??…dont throw the baby out with the bath water– …. Don’t throw Facebook out with the bath water either…. That is the perspective I have about social networking. It can be great way to connect and interact. Yes- it has it’s dangers and it’s hazards. Yes- if you let it, your social networking can become ALL Consuming and even detrimental to your Social Skills outside of the net.

I DO NOT TRUST NOR BELIEVE EVERYTHING I read on a social network or for that matter even on websites.   Those I meet through social sites are not on the Blind Trust list because I find there is a “false sense of security” that comes along with technological network socializing.  You may “feel” like you know someone or they may manipulate their interactions so that you really have no clue as to their true intentions.

I also believe there  are a lot of good people but BEWARE there are some people who are not at all who they say they are out there too. Considering this fact, it especially concerns me that many young people today, are so revealing about information that could put them in danger. I view Facebook and other social networks as a tool to be utilized.  The networks are not  inherently good nor bad… they just “are”  and I realize just like any other utility/tool they can be wielded in the hands of a user intending it for good or one who uses it for nefarious reasons.

What did I learn from my two-week hiatus…..It was a good  learning experience.

I had become quite accustomed to daily checking in on various social networks. Not “addicted”, par se’, but it appears more because of habit and out of sincerity of heart that I utilized the  networks more frequently than I realized. Social networking is convenient and gives me a means of  keeping in touch with friends near and far regardless of our busy schedules.

I was amazed at the amount of RE-FOCUSED time I had and the productivity I was able to generate with that time while was on hiatus.

I also found during this down time that I spent quite a bit more time listening….to my kids, to music, to my family, to friends…. (which is something I want to do more often)

I need to be more mindful and intentional of the time I am spending on-line and set limits so that I can enjoy both the assets of technology and social networking as well as the day-to-day practice of Living in Each Moment. Going forward I will guard my time more wisely by setting reasonable limits and staying focused on my purpose for being on-line. Whether I am logging into a social network or checking the headlines, it is essential that I keep a clear focus and not meander or “chase rabbits” …otherwise what is intended as a quick moment on the phone/computer can all too quickly become hours taking precious time away from other areas of my life

Additionally, I need to be making sure to allocate time in my schedule to relax and enjoy my downtime a bit more. On occasion I may take a hiatus again, to make sure my perspective is still in-line. I find it very helpful and healthful (mentally and physically) to UNPLUG for incremental breaks because it seems to be during those times life becomes most clear to me.
Thanks for reading 🙂

For those of you not familiar with the idiom about the bath water, you can check this link at your leisure… http://www.wisegeek.org/what-does-throwing-the-baby-out-with-the-bath-water-mean.htm

Yepp, I admit it ….

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OK I know it won’t literally “Kill” me but this Facebook Hiatus is more difficult than I anticipated!!!

Yepp, I will admit I miss it – and I have a Facebook/social media habit!  But I am recovering… \(^_^)/   à  One day at a time!!!

credit picsmobi.net danbo with computer

credit picsmobi.net danbo with computer

A few journal notes ….

Day One— Am very thankful that I had the foresight to turn off all Facebook notifications so that I would not be pulled immediately back into using the social media.   It was a big thing for me to actually LOG OUT of Facebook on my phone (don’t know why, just something detaching and cold about it)  Many times I inadvertently still found myself thinking – I wonder what my friends are up to today (keep in mind I can call and ask but it’s easier if they are all updating Facebook right!?!?)

Day Two- Eye Opening…. One of my morning thoughts….Check Facebook- wish my friends a great day- see who’s having a birthday.  Did this friend have a great trip?  Wonder whether this person’s event went well- I sure hope so.  Even with good intentions the evidence is here.  Oh, I have a terrible habit… why is it I think I need to check Fbk/Pinterest/Twitter in the morning?  What is going on in this world that I MUST check my social network to get updated?  After making it through the morning without a social network fix… I get an email from a family member about an opportunity they think I’d like to participate in…. Guess what? You HAVE to sign up thru Facebook so it’s a no go!  Have you noticed everybody (businesses) wants you to “Like” them on Facebook or “Follow them on Twitter for special offers, discounts, etc YIKES–when did this happen???!!

Day Three- Getting easier.  Still have the thought multiple times throughout the day to check into the social media and see what’s happening in others lives, make a post or two.  Fight the urge to log in- Fight it !!!!!  Am finding that without the logging in on various social media I DO Have more time on my hands- That’s A PLUS -for a mom who doesn’t have enough hours in a day for what needs to be done!

Day Four:  Woke this morning feeling a bit more introverted /“anti-social” which is odd for me. But I fight it by deciding to get out of my little corner of the world and get some things done.  Thoroughly enjoyed the workday scheduled at the church and a few errands then back home to do my yard work. (Thankfully the grass is dry enough to mow!!! )  Not feeling anti-social anymore 😀  I think being on the social media maybe hindering me socially because it’s not Face-to-Face  social interaction. I think I need to be more Real Life social (personally) and less media social.

Day Five: I haven’t really noticed the “need” to post anything today, but it was a rather busy day.   I really enjoyed talking to friends at church, Bible Small Group Time and our Worship Service today.Spent some time thinking and putting some things in perspective.

Here is what I have noticed so far….

Turning off the social media opened up time so that I…

  • Had time to read.  I know this  may sound odd, but I actually had time to sit down prop up my feet and spend some time diving into written word this week.  (Not the rushed/ on a time limit/ can’t remember what I read) but true relaxing recreational enjoyment reading
  • Turned in my homework a day early  🙂 Yay me!!! (Instead of 1 hour before it was due)
  •  Had time to do more Bible Study and quiet time this week.
  • Got a few more things accomplished during my day than I expected. Definitely have found myself more productive in the time I am spending on projects. 
  •  Took a walk in the Rain and Loved it!   I am still wondering  where ALL that rain was coming from— because the sky looked like this!!!  
  • Beautiful sky where is the rain coming from?

    Beautiful sky where is the rain coming from?

  • Took time for my kids to read to me a little before bed time.
  • My edginess/grumpiness seems to be wearing off ( Not quite sure where it comes from– maybe time pressures/life pressures/ maybe internal pressure to get more things done OR maybe its withdrawal symptoms — I get edgy like that when I attempt to cut out my caffeine! )
  • Took time to see the sunset
  • Emotionally, I seem to be a little “happier”/ accepting with where my life is right now  =)
  • Sat down in  the hammock for the second time this summer.

The social media network hiatus continues…

Thanks for checking out my blog today.  If you are joining me on the 2 week hiatus from your most accessed social media networks then email me how it’s going for you or comment.

Have a Great week !

Are You Addicted?? Social Network Break Challenge!

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Are You Addicted to Facebook??  Am I Addicted to Facebook?

Could I be an addict?

Could I be an addict?

Could I be a…   a  Facebook Addict?  a Pinterest Fanatic?  a Social Net Site Junkie?   an Aficionada of all things social media related?  Twitterpated with Tweets?  a Smartphone Media Network Enthusiast?

How do you KNOW if you are addicted?  Do people EVER SEE their addictions for what they are?  Are social sites REALLY a “drug” of choice for a lot of people today??  Is it easier to see others addiction AND  could I be blind to my own???

Am I on-line more than I realize?  Do I lose track of time when I am on a social site? Do I hit the on-line community to avoid less liked tasks and down-time in my life? How do I interact with my Facebook friends when we meet face-to-face?  How often pick up the cell or click over to Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest?

What do I post?  How many pins a day?  How often do I post status updates?   Am I addicted to the “Likes” or Re-Tweets/Re-Pins (acceptance of others)?

Sure, there ARE good aspects and benefits to social media. But I must question… do they steal my time and attention from the life I have been given?  After all, I am only given so much time in a lifetime…how much is being thrown into the cyber world?  Could I be doing more constructive things with my time?

Photo Credit mobilephones.org.uk

 WHAT ARE SIGNS OF SOCIAL NETWORK ADDICTION???

 After scanning numerous articles here are few things that COULD mean you are addicted

  •  Do you sign in to any of the social media when you first get up and before you turn in?
  • Do you spend more than an hour each day on Social media?
  • Do you judge others by their Facebook profile/pages, Instagram Images, Pinterest Pins, Twitter Profile?
  • Do you post even once each day a status update?
  • Do you feel anxiety when someone doesn’t respond to your post, message, chat, comment, or other interaction?
  • Do you feel the need to add more and more friends/follows/etc?
  • Do you feel anxious if you have not logged in and read feeds from your friends/follows?
  • Are you concerned if you don’t log into Pinterest you might miss the best Fashion, Recipe, Quote, DIY,   Home/Garden, or Photography Pins?
  • Do you change/update your profile or pictures more than necessary?
  • Do you compare your REAL life with the “cyber-life” of others?
  • Do you check or update your Social Media (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, et al)  while you are out with friends/family?
  • When asked how many friends you have do you automatically list the number on Facebook?
  • Do you daily refer to something in conversation that you saw on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest?

Hmmmm….. Still not sure?  Here is a short survey http://theoatmeal.com/quiz/facebook_addict

I think the only way a person will truly KNOW if he/she has an addiction to social media is to take a hiatus from it.

So, Let’s see HOW addicted I really am… Here’s the experiment I’ve decided  to take a hiatus from my most accessed social media networks  ….  I will post my blog (which updates on Facebook and other social media profiles automatically) but otherwise I will cut out my use of Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/for the next couple of weeks. I will not be logging in directly to these sites at all.   I am CONVINCED that I am Not an addict!! So this should be easy-  Right?!?! —- =)

Are you addicted?  Are you Unsure if you are a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest Addict?  How about your kids?  Why not Challenge your children as well to go without using their social media for 2 full weeks!!

if anybody else wants to join in on this FACEBOOK /SOCIAL NETWORK BREAK CHALLENGE – let me know you are in… email me ,or respond on my blog page  (you can comment/like on my Facebook , ReTweet or Favorite on Twitter  but remember  I won’t be logging in to respond) But anyone is welcome to join in.  It’s a TWO-WEEK SOCIAL NETWORK BREAK and it begins when you sign on.   I am interested to hear from you – let me know how it goes with your challenge!  🙂

Taking a Break from Facebook

Taking a Break from Facebook