God vs Religion

Before I begin, I want to point out that this is not a persuasion article or a piece based on truth. This is simply a topic to get you thinking outside the box.

Some may argue that these two, God and religion, go together; that you can’t have one without the other. But have we ever stopped to wonder why? Religion, in my own personal opinion, is a group of people with not only the same beliefs, but the same set of limitations and rules. I’m not saying that rules and limitations are bad per say, but I don’t believe that rules and “guidelines” must be the same for each person. So that being said, why must we all belong to a certain religion? There are many different religions that all believe in God, yet, they’re different. Why is that? It’s because they each have their own different set of rules and stipulations within their religion.

Because not all religions are the same, yet they all revolve around the same main idea (God), why then must we be part of a specific religion? Some claim to be “Non-Denominational”, yet, that group of people gather together separately from other “religions” and have gathered they’re own list of rules, thus becoming an entirely new religion! So the “Non-Denominational” group has become a denomination.

So, I suppose the real question is, why do we feel like we have to be a part of a set of rules? I know that rules aren’t a bad thing, but do we have to follow the exact same rules as our church? Why can’t we have our own personal conscience? Why can’t we simply be a group of people who come together and talk and have fun as people? No rules, no judgement, no worrying about making sure we all “follow the rules”, just a simple get together as people who all believe in God. Now, before you go thinking that I’m saying we get rid of church, back up. All I’m bringing to the table is the thought that possibly we as a people can have church without religion. Religion has brought a lot of division between believers, which, if you think about it, defeats everything that we “believers” actually believe! For example, love and forgiveness. If your religion, or even just your church, tells you that you shouldn’t associate with “sinners”, is that love? If your religion says that you have to act a certain way, and if you don’t, you’re “going to hell”, is that love? If said religion requires you to follow their rules and their guidelines, yet if you choose not to follow them they won’t let you be a part of the church, is that love? You decide, I can’t tell you the right or wrong answer, but what I can say is that I personally am not a part of any religion.

I choose God. I choose to love everyone no matter their convictions, no matter their beliefs, no matter their choices. I believe that we all have our own set of convictions, and that we should accept each other simply because we are all made and loved by the same God. I don’t go to a church simply because it’s hard for me to sit and listen to someone tell me how I have to live based on their own convictions. I have found a church whose pastor speaks on love and acceptance and family, and I enjoy listening to him because he doesn’t try to convict or instill a specific set of “God set rules”. But, just because I have a church doesn’t mean I go every Sunday. I choose to believe in God and let him tell me how to live. If a pastor can hear from God and tell us how he thinks we’re supposed to live, why can’t we, as individuals, hear from God ourselves and live the way he’s telling us to one on one?

I’m not saying you have to leave your church or stop going, I’m just getting the idea out there that maybe we can go to church simply to enjoy the friendships and not have to worry about offending our congregation or our friends. If you’re so worried that the things you feel you’re free to do are going to offend your friends, don’t find different friends, just stop caring about others opinions of yourself and if they don’t want to be your friend, I’m sorry. But you can’t decide what others do or say or even think, you can only do you.

So, which do you choose, religion, a group of people who choose to let someone else set the lifestyle and rules that govern your life? Or God, which is a one on one relationship with God wherein you talk to God and let him tell you how you should live your life, which includes you NOT judging others for living their lives apart from how you live yours.

 

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Letting go

It’s never an easy thing, the finance aspect of life, but it’s always there. Whether we like it or not, finances will always be one of the major focuses in life simply because we cannot get by without money of some sort. It doesn’t always have to be a lot, but the more your family grows, and the more our country changes, the more money we seem to need. It’s just the way it is. But, that does not mean it’s easy. Finances are difficult! You have to make sure your bills are paid on time, make sure you have food in your house, make sure you have a back up plan in case money is short, and it just goes on and on! So what happens when you get behind? What happens when you’re living paycheck to paycheck, and something gets behind? It’s not an easy thing getting back on track when you don’t have the resources to save up the resources in order to have a back up plan. So then what? You start selling things to get caught up? You work an extra shift?…. What if that’s not good enough? What then?

God has always been dealing with me on letting go of my problems and letting him be in charge. I don’t like not knowing if we’re going to have the money to pay bills one week. I like being in charge of my finances and knowing exactly how much is where. But being a paycheck to paycheck liver, I don’t get to do that! I don’t get to put extra away for emergency funds. I don’t get to have a cushion. So I have to put every ounce of faith I have in God, and trust him with everything we have. Let me tell you, that may seem easy and great and wonderful, but because I’m human, it’s most definitely not! It’s not easy at ALL to trust that, even though your bank says you’re not going to have enough to pay the bills, you’re going to be okay. It’s not wonderful seeing the negative amount in your bank more often than not. Even though you KNOW God has never let you down, and that there are people off worse than you, that fear of not having enough is always there taunting you and laughing at you. Satan loves to see fear and anger set in, and God wants to help you out of that hole! But that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Not one little bit.

So, here I am, stressing, fearful, angry once again. But where does that get me? No where except crying alone in a dark bedroom at night because I can’t see the future. All the while, God is there softly reminding me to just simply let it all go, and trust that he sees my future and that he knows exactly where I’m supposed to be. There he is, constantly reassuring me that he hasn’t let me fall yet, and that he doesn’t plan to any time soon. So why am I still afraid? Why do I still cry over numbers? Because I’m human. Because I can’t be perfect. Because the harder I try to let go and trust that God is always there for me, Satan is there also trying harder to push every little button I have that will trigger fear, anger, distrust, depression, self hate, and anything else he can find that will make me doubt my God. Letting go of something that has such a hold on your life is never going to be easy. Trust me, I’ve been struggling with it for years. I can’t tell you to “just let go” because I struggle with it myself still. But I can say to not ever stop trying. Don’t ever give up, and give it to God every time. I say that because it will continue to creep up on you and drive you insane. You will never be able to just hand it over once and have it all go away, but you can ALWAYS give it to God when it comes creeping back into your life…

The quickly passing time

Here I am once again, from what seems like a million years, bringing stories of my ever changing, yet stagnant life. Still working towards pulling our lives out of this rut, yet at the same moment, hiding any such struggle from our joyful, innocent minded children. The burden of it all continues to cloud my mind and weigh on me heavily, but my only hope is the faith that God has it all in his hands.

The summer has brought such joy and happiness to my girls. Splash pad, pools, bowling, and trips to the grandparents house have kept us busy, but the summer has only just begun. There is so much more ahead of us, but it seems as if its approaching far too quickly. The youngest of my girls, Kimberly, is turning one in a month, and I can only say to myself “but where has the time gone?”. It seems as if just yesterday, I was reminded once again just how painful, yet exhilarating, the experience of childbirth is. The time ticking away as each contraction caused me to grit my teeth and hope for the end. The reminder ever so often that I STILL was not finished. Then, the shortest moment of all, the final push, and there she was. My such surprising baby girl. She was the most perfect 9lb 5oz bundle of joy I had ever seen. Her chunky red cheeks and that firey red hair. I never knew I could love two people the exact same. But I quickly realized I could.

     Now, she’s the same wonderful, chunky, and red cheeked little hunk of joy I fell in love with almost a whole year ago. She’s army crawling around the house getting into whatever she can reach, devours more than I can eat in one sitting, and is working her hardest to catch up to her big sissy. 

     Where did the time go? Where is my baby? You never realize how quickly those late nights and still snuggles pass you by. I find myself wishing I could have that again. Thinking that maybe another would feed that hunger. But then I remember that I only have a short time with my babies, and I want to remember it and be as much as a mommy that I can be before I am again taken away by another bundle of joy. Also, they’re expensive as hell!

     As I plan her birthday, I just can’t believe that were here already, and that my oldest will be turning 3 in just a few more months…. 

Take pictures of that sweet little crawler. They’re the only thing that will keep you sane when that same “sweet” child is literally pulling the hair out of your head for you. 

Something new. Continued. GREAT RESULTS!

Ok so, I missed my blog a few days lol BUT! I have kept up with my calorie log and will update you all now! 

     So, I am VERY happy with my recent results, and I want you to know that this lifestyle change has been SO much easier than I had thought it would be, and my results are so great! I’m on day 11 of my challenge, and here are the results as of this morning!

I started out at 186. I know, shocker! I don’t like putting my weight out for everyone to know, but after starting with ItWorks, I’ve really changed my mindset on a lot, and not being ashamed of myself is part of it 🙂 Well, I weighed myself this morning, and I am now down to 176! 10 lbs in 10 days!!! Amazing! I’m really excited because I didn’t see these type of results coming out of this! And I’m not killing myself!

     So my average calories each day have been between 950-1300. Some days I go over, but it’s usually when I’ve had a cheat. So that’s not too bad! I have been choosing the better choices for meals, but I don’t eat like a rabbit. I have real people food lol so here are the highlights from this past week

Day 7

2 cheese pancakes – 319, 1/2 c yogurt – 100 =419

1 med bowl Chicken noodle soup about 230

1 bun – 100, 2 1/2 weenies – 375, total =475

Total = 1124

Day 8

1 cup yogurt 200, 2 graham crackers 130, 1 med banana 105 = 435

I slice pizza -340
1 1/2 scoops chili Mac – 445, 1 bowl cereal 110
Total= 1330
Day 9 I had about 1460 calories for the day, but the meals weren’t anything special

Day 10
Coco wheaties- 170, Coffee – 50 =220
Oven chicken on flatbread- 350, 1/2 cookie – 35 =385
1 med bowl spaghetti – 445
Total = 1050

So you notice I stayed between about 900 and 1300. I have yet to hit my 1600 calorie mark. 

It’s really amazing what a little (and I mean little) exercise and self control can do! I’ve been getting about an hour of light exercise, walking, minimal toning, every other day or so, and that paired with my calorie counting is really paying off! 

Something new – day 4/6

Sorry about the jump in days! I forgot to hit publish on day 3 until just now, so they’ll overlap but that’s ok! Day 4 was interesting. It wasn’t too bad in the beginning, but towards the evening, after dinner to be exact, it got bad. You will find out why as I go about my post.
Day 4: 

Breakfast – pancakes w peanut butter 338 peanut butter ball snack 80.                         Coffee 25.  = 433

Lunch – 1/2 pack of ramen noodles 188

Dinner – pizza (God knows how many calories….)

Total = 621 excluding dinner.       

This is where it gets interesting! As I’m finishing stuffing myself with pizza, I started to get a stomach ache, and I pinned in on the fact that I’d been eating pretty clean, then pigged out on greasy, bready food! Well, I was wrong….

Day 5:

I did NOT keep calories for this day because I got food poisoning from my pizza!! That’s what I get huh? Lol 

Day 6:

Breakfast: 

1 1/4 c rice crispy cereal – 130                          1 banana – 105.                                                    3 large strawberries – 18.                                = 253

Lunch: 

Egg salad sandwich – 350

Dinner: 

BLT- 250 (3 slices of bacon)

I was extremely surprised by the fact that my egg sandwich was higher in calories than my BACON sandwich! But I was glad to know that! 

Aside from my food, my Kimberly is cutting 3 teeth all at the same time, and has been running fever all day because of it :/ hopefully she’s her normal self in the morning!!

Something new – day #3

Today was pretty easy. I got a fair amount of sleep last night, got a decent start on the day, and because of those two things,my day ran pretty smoothly.

For breakfast: 2 eggs – 140  1 cup of coffee w/cream – 25 = 165                                                            Now, I know that doesn’t look like a lot of food to get my day started, and I probably could have added a cup of whole grain cereal like Cheerios and not make a dent, but I was okay.

For lunch: 4 animal cookies – 32  1 box pre-packaged teriyaki noodles – 500 = 532                    I know, 32 calories in 4 animal cookies? Sure, the were the chocolate ones, but still! Also, I almost didn’t eat those noodles… But they sounded SO good! and it was worth every calorie lol.

For dinner: 1 salmon croquette – 107, 1 tsp tarter sauce – 50, 1/2c. mashed potatoes – 110,    10 spears of asparagus – 30. = 247                                                                                                                Now, I’ll say that for that amount of food, I was very happy with my outcome. It was plenty of food, and I was even able to have 1c. of icecream!  – 137

So, for my daily total, I came out to 1081! that’s just under 600 less than my daily goal! Also, today I did about an hour of light workout. I walked and did some light weight training, so I burned off about 100 of those calories at least! Again, I’m only drinking water throughout the day after my cup of coffee in the morning.

 

So, as for the rest of my day? Well… We had a good day. I started as a distributor of ItWorks!! I’m excited because I haven’t even made money, and I feel like I’m contributing to my family’s income! We sell natural health products such as a cleanser, facials, energy/metabolism boosters, and skin wraps (which are the most popular products). If you’re interested, check out my website! click here!

Also, if you want to try the products before buying in bulk, I will have some samples of my wraps and a few other things in the next week, so please ask! I have a facebook page facebook.com/lindseysitworks. that you can also check out. If you just want to email me, my business email is lynyrdclrk1993@outlook.com

 

Ok back to my day! Well, it ended up with Chloe not eating dinner again, and deciding to run a 101 fever….. So, thanks. lol

Kimberly was a gem all day! She just ate and played and slept and ate and played and slept lol

Something new – Day #2

Today was a little less… tight I guess you could say lol. After seeing just how easy it was to drop calories, I allowed myself to splurge a little today. Not necessarily junk food, but portion size and certain ingredients were allowed this time. The main reason I decided to blog about my journey was so that everyone reading this can see how easy it is to cut a few calories, and know that you don’t have to stop eating your favorite foods! I was always afraid that if I was going to cut calories, I’d have to start eating like a rabbit and cut out everything I liked. Well, here I am, and it’s not like that at ALL! Now, I do eat certain things that are the healthier choice, and they may be different than what you would choose, but I’m quickly finding that I don’t have to. Also, I started this quest with the goal to not eat something different than what my family is eating. Therefore, I eat the same breakfast, not always lunch, and dinner that my family does. So, here’s day two!

Breakfast: I’m trying to stay away from carbohydrates and sugars, but my baby girl wanted pancakes this morning, so I did what I needed to lol.

2 pancakes/2 Tbsp of peanut butter – 148/190                                                                                         1 cup of coffee w/ 1Tbsp of creamer -25                                                                                                       Total = 343

Now, this total for breakfast was much higher than my breakfast yesterday, but my goal is no more than 1600 calories in a day, so that allows for just over 500 calories each meal, which, now that I’ve started counting, 500 is a LOT of food!

Lunch: for lunch, I had a choice to make. Chloe wanted boxed macaroni and cheese which, as many of you know, because it’s prepackaged, it has a higher calorie and sodium count. So, I could have had 1 cup of macaroni and cheese prepared (which would not have filled me up very much), and it would have cost me about 350 calories. Or, I could eat what I did which was a whole 6oz can of salmon mixed with 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese and a few Tbsp of dill relish. Basically, I made tuna salad with salmon, and ricotta instead of mayo.

6oz canned salmon – 210                                                                                                                                  1/4c. Ricotta cheese – 110                                                                                                                                relish – 0 calories!                                                                                                                                              Total = 320

I was very happy with my choice because I got very full off of my lunch! If I had gone Mac n cheese route, I would have been left hungry and filled with empty carbs.

Dinner: This was a tricky situation. I had made some Ice cream for chloe and splurged a little on tasting it and such, so I’m mainly averaging my calorie count on this one. Also, I made a stew so it was hard to get an exact amount of each ingredient.

1 medium bowl of lentil and sausage stew – about 230                                                                          1 scoop(ish) of icecream – roughly 200                                                                                                     3 saltine crackers – about 40                                                                                                                          Total = 470

So for my daily total, I rounded it to about 1133 calories. That’s much higher than my total yesterday, but if you look at what I was able to eat today versus yesterday, it’s pretty impressive!

My day today was pretty interesting which led to the Ice cream splurge. I started the day pretty early…well, middle of the night actually. Kimberly was up several times, followed by the notorious Chloe climbing into our bed. Once we were up (much earlier than I would have liked), I made breakfast, and it just went downhill from there. Chloe thought I would be amused by her making a mess with every single thing she touched. It seemed as if I would clean up one mess, only to turn around and see her dumping the just cleaned box of toys back onto the floor. We took a much needed outing to the library where she proceeded to cry/whine and tell me every reason why she didn’t want to stay in the stroller, and why it was a much better idea for HER to pick the books. Once we finally got out of there and made it home, I let her help me make her lunch, which I usually do anyway. Today, however, her hands were drawn to every. single. thing. on. the. friggin. counter… after she was settled at the table with her lunch, (oh, did I mention she previously ran squealing into the hallway, waking up her sleeping sister?… yeah..) she decides her pasta needed a massage, and proceeded to squish the noodles until her hands were covered with them. I took a quick recess to the restroom, and came back, literally a minute later, to find that she had dumped her entire bowl onto the table and was giving those dang little maggots a full body massage! Mac and cheese ALL over the table, floor, her, her sissy, EVERYWHERE! At this point, I’d had it up to HERE! And her only answer was “but I was done!”. Weeeelllll I’m about done with YOU little girl!. So, we took a very quick trip to the bank and Walmart, and I rushed her home for a nap. Fast forward to dinner time. We were sitting down for dinner and she wanted a drink, so I gave her a mixture (her request) of white grape and orange juice. She grabbed it, and before I had realized it, she had chugged about half of it…. I know, there goes dinner right? Well it only gets better!. So, she chugs her juice and sits down in front of her bowl of stew (which looks like slop but tastes AMAZING!). She took one look and decided she wasn’t gonna have it, and kept saying how her tummy hurt, which of course was because of the juice chug. Well, me being a gal raised where you eat what’s been made, I told her she had to eat it and that was that. So I put ONE bite of sausage on her tongue (she LOVES sausage), and she gags and spits it out. SO, she got a spanking for spitting her food out after I’d told her not to, and she way overreacted and started screaming. I could tell that she had a little of the food left on her tongue because she kept trying to get it off while screaming/gagging. I told her she was going to make herself throw up, so I gave her a Walmart bag, and not a second too soon! She spews into the bag, and starts bawling MORE because she just threw up. So I go throw the bag away and head for another one (because the first had a hole!!), and she projectiles all over herself, the floor, her chair, and luckily missed the table and sissy. Then, that girl… OOOHHH that girl!…. had the nerve to say, ever so calmly, “well, my tummy feels better now, and I’m done eating. Can I have some Ice cream?” NO!!!!! YOU MAY NOT HAVE SOME FRIGGIN ICE CREAM!….. I didn’t yell… I actually kept my cool for having been through this natural disaster. I simply told her she had to eat dinner before she could have some, and that she was getting a bath first. So, I had to leave my half-fed, crying, hungry little baby sitting in her highchair while I bathed my puke-covered 2 year old. But once that was over with, I finished feeding the baby, bathed her, and got her to bed on time. Then, I made Chloe some peppermint tea to drink with her cheese and crackers (because lord knows that damn stew was NOT important enough to go through vomit again!), and we snuggled and read our library books. The day ended really great, she didn’t put up any fight at bedtime, we all were friends at the end of the day, and I am now sitting here finally resting. So, all is well… now…

And here’s my ice cream!