Bad habits can last til the day we die….

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Granny @ 90!

Hank’s mom has been staying with us for the last few weeks. She’s a Southern Baptist 90 year old who takes very little medication, walks on her own, reads her Bible out loud everyday, takes her exercises, and works puzzles like it’s her job.

She is aware of what’s going on politically and during the republican debates told us that “they shouldn’t talk that way” because I’m an old lady.

Of course, at 90, she loves to tell us stories about early life and, usually, we are more than happy to listen.

She is very serious about how she looks. She’ll get up at five o’clock in the morning to get ready for the ten a.m. service at church. She’s not going to leave the house without her makeup and hair done.

And I admire that. But there is one thing that I don’t admire about my mother-in-law and that’s how poorly she views her body. She’ll say things about her “big ole’ stomach” or how her ears are “getting huge!” The other day it was a hot and humid Florida day and she complained about wearing short sleeves because of her “ugly old lady arms.” And she wears knee-highs even when it’s a 100 degrees outside so that no one sees her “terrible feet.”

Rather than celebrating her strength and how mentally alert she is, she’s complaining about her looks!

What I’ve learned from listening to her is that we don’t automatically outgrow our negative self-talk. In fact, it can become such a habit that we continue it until the day we day.

Personally, I’m doing everything I know to break that nasty habit. For me, it begins with reminding myself of these truths:

I am created in the image of God!

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….. 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

I am wonderfully made!

Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

That’s the spiritual side of kicking the enemy’s butt in this area.

Hank helps me with this because he told me that I should never, ever point out flaws that he doesn’t see. And seeing as his eyesight is growing older along with the rest of him, he doesn’t see as much as he used to. At least not up close!

The last part of this breaking this habit is to go back to obeying one of my mom’s first rules. You remember this because you learned it too!

When you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say anything at all!

Yeap! Sometimes I just need to shut my mouth and move on!

alive and well

Have you wondered what happened to me? Well, I’m here to let you know that I am alive and well in Panama City Beach.

The last few months have been incredibly busy for me. I spent almost two full months in Ohio this spring.  I was there for almost a month as we waited for Raelynn’s arrival. Then I drove back to PCB while Austin was on paternity leave. I drove  back to Ohio and stayed for almost three weeks after he went back to work to help Hannah out. And then I drove back home.

Since I’ve been home, we’ve gone through a few changes. Hank passed his Home Inspections Course and the licensing test that Florida requires. As we are acquiring E&O insurance and waiting for the state to complete the paperwork, he is working a full time doing finishing work for a lady who is building a new home just around the corner. He’s also done some work for several other families in the area and, so far, everyone absolutely loves him! They like the fact that he does what he says he’ll do when he says he’ll do it!

Hank’s mom has been with us for about two weeks. Right now she’s on the sun porch “working” a puzzle and singing old fashioned hymns.

I was awfully sick for about six months and have only recently fully recovered. I was honestly afraid for a while.  And to be honest, between the injuries and the illness I developed a “what’s the use attitude.”

Now you may be wondering just what in the world a “what’s the use attitude” is. Well, let me tell you about it…..

Why write? No one reads it anyway.

Why exercise? I just get injured and have to stop? I can’t even lift the weight that I used to so what’s the use of continuing?

Why do I deny myself the foods that everyone else enjoys? I’m sick anyway. It doesn’t matter what I eat because I can’t seem to get well no matter what I do.

A “what’s the use attitude” is a feeling of hopelessness.  I became convinced that no matter what I did it didn’t matter anyway.

I wouldn’t describe it as depressed because that’s not what I was feeling. It was more of a lack of motivation to do anything at all.When I wasn’t in Ohio with the babies, I spent my days in a book, at the beach, or taking a nap. I wasn’t unhappy. Again, I was just not motivated to do much of anything at all.  And, truth be told, I was much too sick to really accomplish anything anyway.

Finally, thanks to good doctors and super strong antibiotics, I got well. Now, I want to write, sew, and work in my yard. I’m back at the gym trying to regain all the strength that I lost and I’m back to eating clean.

And something else changed while I was in the midst of my “what’s the use attitude.” I discovered that I should do things like write, eat clean, and exercise for no other reason than  it brings me joy.

For example, I don’t have to look at the big picture such as publishing a book or creating a huge blog following  if I simply enjoy sitting down and writing.

Which brings me to the blog. I’m going back to using this as a diary that others can read. For awhile I thought that each post had to encourage you to be strong to the finish or give you insight into aligning spirit, soul and body with God’s plan and purpose for your life. I felt like I was supposed to still be a minister even when I’d obviously been demoted down to being just a 52 year old grandmother.

You know what, I just didn’t have it in me to try to live up to my own expectations any longer!

Now, I gratefully accept that all I am is a 52 year old grandmother who is making my way through life just like everyone else. So if I want to post a recipe that was really good, brag about a workout, complain about an injury, share a scripture, or tell a story then I’m going to do it here so that when I’m a 72 year old grandmother or,   a 90 year old great-grandmother like Hank’s mom, I can read about just how good God has been to me all of my life and the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

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One last thought for the day…..

I made sandwiches the other day using Duke’s Mayonnaise (which is absolutely the best mayo in the entire world). As it was sitting on table I noticed this little statement…. Considering that one tablespoon has 100 calories  and absolutely everyone of those calories comes from fat, it is definitely not a reduced calorie food and that may be the understatement of the century.

Even Duke’s mayo should be used in moderation so today I used mustard with my turkey and gluten free bread!