Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Revised Cooking

So my husband was diagnosed with diabetes a couple of weeks ago. And now that we are trying to get past the fear and take care of it, I have to learn how to cook all over again. Not that I knew how to cook, but I definitely had a few PA Dutch recipes up my sleeve that were good to fall back on. Calorie counting, carbohydrate monitoring, sugar intake, blood checks, doctors, kids panicking ("Do we have to change the way we eat, I like the way we eat!"). Ha! Life style change for everyone. Who wants to cook separate meals? Not me. I have a hard time cooking one, let alone two.

I suppose this is a good thing, and will get us all to a healthier place, but this is one area that I blank out on when people talk about it. I love food, and want to enjoy it! It depresses me and my husband to have to worry about food intake. Nutrition panels are certainly not my forte and I never checked them before in my life. I did learn a very handy tidbit from the nutritionist though. Just because it says Fat Free or Sugar Free, doesn't necessarily mean it's better when it comes to carbs. It's all about the carbs! Check it out sometime. Compare regular chocolate ice cream to fat free chocolate ice cream. The carb count is lower on the regular! Woo Hoo...just don't eat the whole pint at one sitting. I'm actually starting to realize that just a few small changes can make a world of difference.

I found a great cookbook to help me in preparing meals. I pretty much made the same thing week after week, but this book helps me to add variety as well as gives me a weekly meal plan, with recipes and portion sizes for different calorie intakes. It's called The Ultimate Diabetes Meal Planner by Jaynie Higgins and David Groetzinger. It has made life much easier, at least for today.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Clear the Junk

12 years ago when I left my first husband, I never would have thought I would be at the place I am today. I'm having one of those "How did I get here moments". I went from living in a one bedroom apartment with my two kids, a job where I was surrounded by all men (which for those of you who know me, was not a very safe environment for me), barely being able to make ends meet because I was spending all my money on addictive substances, no friends I could confide in (at least that I knew of at the time), my family couldn't trust me, I was estranged from my brother, and most of all had no faith in God...what-so-ever!

So how did I get here and where is "here"? Well, I now have a modest 4 bedroom home. I am married to a giving and loving man and we share similar goals in life. I am actually able pay my bills each month, and on time with a couple of dollars to spare. I have so many friends, I can't even begin to count them all. Facebook says 127, but not all my friends are on Facebook, which blows me away! My family trusts me and I love them more every single day. My brother and I have the best relationship we have ever had in 30 plus years. And the best of all is that I have a relationship today with God that is beyond my wildest dreams.

They say you have to get out all the junk in your heart to fill it up with the good stuff. I'm here to say my heart is over flowing. Believe me, I had a lot of junk to clear. From being gang raped at the age of 6, to losing my father at 12, to again being sexually assaulted at 15 and 22, to overcoming an addiction at 28, and much..much more.

The junk is gone, and all that is left is love. Who would have thunk that?? Certainly not me. What I can offer those who read this is hope. If you are in a place of despair, keep pushing forward. I never would have thought 12 years ago that I would be working as a consultant, making my own hours and being able to spend more time with my family and friends. Keep your mind open, look for gratitude every day, trust in God that he has a master plan, and lastly don't take yourself so seriously. Humor is a tremendous healer. If you can't laugh at yourself, you have no business laughing at others.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Closing their eyes for last time

Death. Not a favorite topic and always a tough one. Who enjoys saying good-bye to loved ones? Who enjoys watching their friends and family grieve the loss of their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, friends, lovers and yes - even pets? Not I, that's for darn sure. I've lost my fair share, just in the last year alone. I'm writing this to honor those that I have lost and maybe help comfort those who are in the process of grieving today and offer guidance to those who have yet to lose someone they loved.

My first experience of losing someone was extremely traumatic and changed my life forever. Ohh, I may have lost a pet or two, and I'm sure there may have been a couple of other deaths before it, but this is the one that I remember the most and taught me the greatest lesson in life.

I was 11 years old, and was spending the weekend with my dad. My mom and dad were divorced when I was 4 or 5 and had both remarried by this point. My dad and brother went out canoeing, and my dad never came back. You see, he didn't think he needed a life preserver, he knew how to swim. When the boat capsized, it hit him on the head and the current took him away. I was so darn mad at him for even going out on that water, that I yelled at him and said "I hate you!", before he left. Well, that was the last I said to him. They found him 10 days later and buried him the day before my 12th birthday.

My story is to offer you the lesson I learned. Before the ones you love leave this world, make sure you tell them how much they mean to you. How they have made a difference in your life. How they have affected you as a human being and what you will take with you when they are gone. Make amends for your wrong doings before it's too late. We are all children of God, and unfortunately we do hurt other people. Sometimes intentionally, and sometimes unintentionally. Forgive those that have hurt you, before it's too late. We never know when God is going to need more angels, so it's important to love them while they are here and tell them you love them. Don't let things unsaid, it will cause you more pain than you will ever know. When their time comes to be with the Lord, you will be able to rejoice and lift them up to the Lord. Although there will still be pain, and sadness and a great sense of loss, you will know in your heart that you've said everything there is to say, and you will be able to let go.

It took me many, many years to learn these lessons and finally be able to let go of the guilt I held in my heart. Don't let it be too late for you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Food for Thought

Forgiveness. Has anyone ever hurt you so deeply that you feel the scars will never heal? I am here to say that I have. But I have been given the gift of forgiveness. All the pain and all the hurt from my past and present have been lifted from me and I have been set free. Who am I to judge others? Do I want them to judge me? I have made numerous mistakes in my past, and have tried to make amends for them all. If I expect forgiveness, I must first be willing to forgive. Where did this start? It started with forgiving myself for all the wrongs I had done others, and asking God to forgive me as well. I falter everyday, but I ask forgiveness at night and am given the grace each morning to make amends for my wrong doings.

My faith was tested yesterday by someone who is very ill in a disease. I felt as if I was wronged by all the lying and the manipulation. I must get to a place of forgiveness for this child of God in order to help her and show her that life can be beyond her wildest dreams, if only she can get to a place of honesty. I expected those to forgive me when I was in that place, is it not my duty and obligation to forgive her as well? Won't God forgive her? Doesn't she have her own journey and don't I believe that God is watching out for all of us? Hurt people will hurt others. I have, and so will others.

My point is this. Don't take things personally. We don't know what is going on with other people and where they are at emotionally and spiritually. When you extend your hand to help others, expect nothing in return. The gift of being able to give is the reward.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

Okay...yes, I'm a Steelers fan, but I believe I can be biased in my opinion of the game. Way to go Steelers and Cardinals for giving us one of the better Super Bowls to watch in years. It reminded me of the old Cowboys/Steelers games when I was a kid. As for the commercials, they were surely lacking. There are NONE that stick out in my mind that will be talked about at the water coolers today, except for maybe the one where the guy got thrown out the window (what was that again? Budweiser?) See what I mean.....