Bringing It Down – #10


Below is the post I shared on my personal Facebook page today.  There is more I’ve felt, accomplished, failed at, and shared but this is a good start.  I’m proud of where I am and can feel that I need to step up a few more things in my life.  I hope you enjoy today’s post.

DOWN with the D (2)

58 days ago I was motivated by another individual and their social media post.  He motivated me to get myself out of the 8,000 steps a day mode and kick it up a notch.  I am grateful for him and his posts on various aspects of his life.
To hold myself accountable I decided to post daily and possibly motivate others.  I post my fitness tracker progress throughout the day in comments as well.

It has helped me a great deal to stay accountable and keep moving.  I’ve also received feedback and support from people.  Thank you to all of you that have helped me.

In those 58 days….

I have missed reaching my goal 10 out of 58 days.

I have bounced back from times of depression quicker than usual.

If I do not get 5,000 steps before noon I’m probably in trouble.

I have lost less than one pound.

Taking 3 small walks a day is better than no walks.

I have clothes that fit better.

I’ve been frustrated.

I have gained support from old friends.

I’ve ate better but still need improvement.

I realized sleep is essential, power naps are okay.

Sunrises are pretty spectacular here in Kansas.

My knees and leg have hurt and I wonder why I even try.

Stretching is a must for this lady.

I am the only person that can really make myself care about me.

My hip hurts more if I don’t walk often.

My feelings still get hurt but I probably don’t blow it out of proportion as much.

It’s social media, if someone doesn’t like your post, they can unfollow you or scroll by, just do your thing.

My process  and progress is slow.

Support is really great, but you don’t always have it.

My blood sugar numbers are super good on average!

Guilt within yourself can be a tool to motivate.

Walking to the corner of my road and back can give me 1500 to 2000 steps in no time.  Quick as that!

It’s okay to still eat yummy sweet stuff or carbs… just don’t overload.

Pay attention to you. Mindless living doesn’t work in my situation.

A little girl is watching my every move.

My process is just that.  Mine.

10,000

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Writing on a Personal Level


I can only speak for myself but when I write, it’s personal.  Which means that my emotions are all wrapped up in the words I lay out on the screen.  That the time and effort I put into each post is a piece of me. Some people may not get that, but high-five to those that do!

FOLLOW

I’m not a person that needs to have 1000’s of followers or comments on my posts daily.  If that was the case, I’m 100% outta luck.  138 followers on this blog alone is all I have, in the blog world that’s probably an embarrassing number to share by the way.  Rarely does anyone actually comment on the posts, and if I don’t share on my personal Facebook or Instagram page there are times the views are a total of two.  (Thank you dear sister and husband, you rock!)

That’s how it goes.  That’s reality.

Each post is a personal journey in one individual’s life. My life.  As I’ve said before, writing helps me process.  I don’t write about every single hiccup or joy or smack in the face or delicious kiss I experience.  I write whatever flows from my fingertips and my heart.  Some posts are written in hopes to help others, process my experiences, just for fun, or to just share a song I really like! (love me a good song)

Some of my posts are more important to me than others.  They resolve conflict in my mind, comfort my heart, pull back the drama of reality, or help me say what I wish I would have when I could have to someone.

Some of my posts when I finish writing them (and reading them like 30 times before hitting publish) I truly feel “that was well written.”  A sense of pride fills my chest and  the emotions that go with accomplishing something feel awesome!  It doesn’t happen with every post.  It’s a rare gem in this blog writing woman’s life.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this.  This place, Pushing Forward with Grace and all it holds…. means a lot to me.  It has my heart.  I pour it out in hopes of feeling I’ve contributed something worthy not only my own life but others.

That my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will know me a little better than they would have otherwise.  Even if they end up saying (when I’m long gone) “that Grandma Julie was a emotional roller coaster, wasn’t she?”  

Yellow joy

I hope that others remember I am human and I have an emotional tie to this place. These words. The stories that fall from my fingertips.  That even though this place may not be important to them, it is to me.

There’s a whole lot of me wrapped up in here!

I am beyond grateful for the those of you that follow my blog, comment via social media, texts, email, or even right here on the blog.  Thank you for the days you lift me up.  Yesterday was one of them and some of you did just that.  God bless you!

Until next time,
Julie

 

 

 

P.S. It’s not always easy for me to click publish and share myself on the blog.  The reason is I see people weekly or daily that read it.  It scares the crap out of me that they will think I’m that crazy emotional roller coaster lady! 🙂

 

Quilting A Life


quilt

The quilt before you is my first attempt at something other than square blocks.  In fact, until recently, the only quilts I ever made were square blocks sewn together and my mother would finish them.  I’d help her “tie” them but I never actually quilted them or put the binding on.

I decided after getting a great deal of fabric from mother’s stash that I wanted to dive into quilting.  Knowing my personality I knew I would require assistance.  I searched online for a kit and class I could buy. Craftsy was my source and this quilt was quite the learning experience!

These are my other helpers, isn’t the little girl adorable! I’m a tad prejudice.    Yes, my husband helped because he is a contractor and cuts with precision.  (He’s a trooper for helping me, I would have given up if not for him!)

family-quilt

There were moments of feeling like a failure, frustration, and uncertainty while creating this lap quilt.  Which this reflects aspects of my own life, especially in the past few years, there is more. The bold colors make me happy when I look at them.  Their brightness and solidarity is something I hope to reflect in my own life. Something that is coming in view once more.

All the colors are so very different yet they are harmonious when placed in the same area. They become a union of sorts and create a warm reflection with the soft white bringing them completely together.  Do you long to live this way?  In a common union with harmony and wrapped in the warmth of goodness?

craftsy-quilt

This quilt not only holds beautiful colors and straight lines and areas of strong precision sewing, it holds much more.  For instances,  crooked lines, the fabric that was missed while joining two colors, and the miter corners are pretty rough. When I look at this quilt I feel it represents a few different things but mostly a reflection of life (at least for me.)

My life has so much that is good, warm, loving, and solid.  Yet at the same time it holds messy, sadness, and struggles.  While those threads are unraveling in one area, the threads that are tightly sewn tug even harder to keep the strength up.  I feel stronger with each day.  The process isn’t a quick one, just as this quilt wasn’t to make, but I’ll get there.  I’ll get to the place of balance I once knew.  I’ll be stronger for it and hope to help others from my experience.

If you find yourself in the darkness, whether it’s been for 20 minutes, 20 days, or 20 years you can still step out of it.  Just as the quilt would not be as strong if sewn with loose stitches, rally together a friend or two, a pastor, a doctor, a mentor to help you.  Just start with a baby step into the brightness.  I’m not saying it will be easy, but it will be worth it.

Until next time!

Julie

 

Could It Be a Brighter Time


I was almost too scared to write the title of this post.  As if to jinx the time of my life I am in.

waterfalls

The past 2-3 years have been rough but for a few moments each day I can see the sunshine.  I can feel the calm within and if I shut my eyes, I breathe a little easier.  I can laugh with my husband and welcome a hug from him.  I can raise my head off the pillow and although a tad groggy, I  feel better than I have in a long while.

This comes after making my declaration of spending 2017 focusing on me.  Taking a year to find a better me both mentally and physically.  Being so depleted it is hard to rise from the ashes but I vowed to go slow at it. Less than 30 days in I might still be on the “new life” high, who knows! Let’s go with it, it feels pretty good!

little-bird-says-focus

I will admit I’ve had my days where tears have won out and irritability spawned horrible tones and words from my mouth.  Then the days of wanting to quit or just give up showed their nasty faces too.

But so far the days, or at least the majority of the past days have been enjoyable.  That my friends is a good thing.  Baby steps.  Very baby steps.

I do not blame the place I ended up on any one thing really.  A collection of occurences brought me to a place that wasn’t pretty.  Apologies are owed to others while also to myself.  Appreciation for the tragic moments that build character within me is required.   Stopping the moments of this life from slipping away as they rapidly do is needed. Savoring the time I have with my family, opening my heart once again to showing kindness to others, and just letting sunshine fall across my face is in my future.  Perhaps not tomorrow, but it’s coming, I can feel it.

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So, when the sun comes up today, I will put both feet in front of me, eat a hearty breakfast to start my day and smile.  Come on, try it with me won’t you? 🙂

Baby steps my friends.  Baby steps.

Julie

 

 

My Story – Your Story


My story.  It isn’t one of much relevance except perhaps to me.  I know the very depth of it and the very simplicity of it.  The way it curves and takes off on paths in this journey. Some are  really only special to me, others are life lessons, and who knows what else.  They may affect others but truly it’s my story and only I know the feelings of joy, despair, heart-break, excitement, and thrill of it!

 

A year later in review

But due to ripple effects and connections with others in my life, my story touches others, even when they may not notice.  How I choose to greet someone, help others, cook my family a meal, answer the telephone, hand a book to another.  Each of these making a connection between me and another.

I wonder what influence I have in this world.  If when I die others will think of me as a kind and giving person.  Did I live out what God intended for me?  Did I take the steps to be at least a small reflection of His love?

My story is full of events, with each new day another added to the collection.  Those events although do include connections, the depth of the experience is mine to hold within.  To take to my grave the powerful ways others influence my life through their story.

Azalea

In looking at your story so far, what does it feel like?  What does it reflect in this world of chaos and love and hope and moments of despair?  What connection have you made today that will alter the path of another on their story?

By the grace of God I pray I am a good influence, that I take opportunities to turn my life into something to His glory.  I pray that I see what others are doing to help me to become closer to God.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

Music to my Ears & Life to my Soul!


Do I have any readers that love music?  I love music although I can’t carry a tune or play an instrument!  Hearing the beautiful sounds from the balcony of our church each Sunday now from a young girl, to an uplifting Christian song on my radio to my little girl belting a tune from the back seat of my car, it all brings life to my soul!

Today I wanted to share some of the music that has been motivating me this past week or so.  I hope you will feel free to enjoy them and also share some beautiful music with me.  Whether it’s country music (especially old-time) or christian or modern, feel  free to share. I enjoy all types of music.
This couple sings some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard.  It’s a mix of christian and country.  If you check out their website or you tube station you will find more songs that are full of inspiration and goodness.  It’s even more bittersweet since Joey is now at home  enjoying what is left of her life on earth and stopped her cancer treatments.

 

This particular artist Brandon Heath is a christian artist.  I came to know of him through a mission workshop I attended. This particular song is one that reminds me that in my daily living I am in a mission field.  A mission field that is in need of Jesus Christ.  I live in a rural community and my family farms, so the concept of the song is awesome in regards to that too!

 

And sometimes current country music surprises me.  This song doesn’t make me sad or depressed, I just really like the tune and her voice is awesome I think.

One of my youngest daughter’s favorites to listen to is Joshua Tree, sung by The McKinney Sisters!  She will sing away in the backseat on the way school.  These gals are really talented! Seeing them live is a great experience, you CAN NOT sit still!

This is a new one for me.  It came across the radio last week when I was needing to be reminded I am not alone.  When I felt I was overwhelmed and alone and not sure what to do.   Sometimes just being held and reminded is what we need.

 

Then we have good ol’ country music!  I grew up with Glen Campbell, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, and others.  So when I hear them now it makes me smile and belt out the words to any of the songs!  They don’t make music like that anymore!

Well for now I guess that is enough!  I hope you enjoy and remember to share with me some great music in  comments!

 

Grace is a gift,
Julie

 

Mission Mojo – Here We Go!


It’s 10:35 pm on a Thursday night and I just finished filling up Facebook newsfeeds!  I hit Pinterest this evening while my outreach mojo was active!  Found some really neat ideas!

Here check a few out….

Secret Service Missions for Youth!

This one just made me smile and I can’t wait to do it!

OH! And this one for little girls in Haiti!  So excited for a fun night with friends & other church ladies!

Ok, now that you have seen a few what do you think?  I KNOW RIGHT!  Super cool fun and helping others all at once!

But… yes there is always a but which is really doubt in my mind.  Sometimes I wonder if I go overboard, get too excited.  That I have big dreams then am unable to turn them into reality.  I want my excitement to be contagious but is it more “hello I’m in your face and we need to do this now!”

I love these types of projects.  The excitement of organizing them, putting stuff together for them, and then watching them unfold.  Sharing the faith that has brought me so much.

What does this mean?  Is it bad that I get excited about these types of projects?  Yes it would be nice if little girls in Haiti had more than enough dresses, and that there was no need for food banks, and that youth/adults did service work automatically.  But the world isn’t that way.

Doesn’t the world need late night idea seeking folks?  That fill up their Pinterest Board and share like crazy on Facebook to inspire others?  I sure hope so, cause I’m kinda that gal!

Wish me luck!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

A Request From Me to You


Well, we are at 341 posts written here on Pushing Forward with Grace.  Nearing the end of (mostly) daily writing, I hope you have enjoyed at least a portion of what I have written.  I decided it would be interesting to see if I could get some input from you.

I would like for you to comment, whether it be here, Google +  or Pinterest or Facebook with a subject for me to write on.  What would you like me to put into words for you?  What subjects are you interested in that I could share my thoughts about?

Perhaps being a mother of three daughters, my faith, a story in the bible, life on a Kansas farm, or is there something deeper?  I won’t write about my political views, just so you know.  Is there something, after reading my blog for almost a year that you think I could inspire someone with?

I appreciate you helping me round out this journey of mine.  I think it could be an interesting and fun challenge for me!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Practicing Missions


I’ve mentioned before that I serve on the Board of Missions at my church.  I feel honored to serve  and have a couple great people who serve with me.  When I joined this mission honestly I wasn’t sure what it entailed.  I think the three of us serving the past couple years together has helped us see what the foundation of the board is to be and what it’s goals are.

We are continually needing to reach out to others.  It’s so much easier to serve the ones closest, the members of our church.  This is needed as well but the key “mission” is to help others see what God provides for all.  I’m searching for outreach ideas, if you care to share any I’d feel quite grateful.

There are three that serve on this board of missions, but honestly we’d be no where without our supportive congregation. When asked they come to help and we are grateful each time over.

Is there a board or committee you serve on that inspires you?  That keeps you passionate and intrigued? Feel free to share about your experience! Inspire away my friends!

 

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

Making this Journey


As I took a walk in the countryside one morning this week I stopped along the way.  In the wide open spaces of Central Kansas I pondered a few things.  I looked to the sky where there were many clouds moving slowly to what seemed to be the northeast.  Some of these clouds were white and some were darker with color.  The sky was blue in the distance and the sun hidden behind them was peeking out ever so lovely.

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The thoughts in my mind touched on the clouds being symbols of all the believers of Christ, making their way to somewhere better than here.  Some had dark moments and others lighter shades of white.  Each with their own story but yet each having a connection to one another.  Traveling along as if in unison.  The bond between them being the faith they have and the belief of their Father in Heaven.

Then the thoughts in my mind were of the father I had here on earth, the one that passed away nine months ago.  I found myself visiting his grave this past weekend.  You can see where the small whole is that holds the box of his ashes.  The grass hasn’t completely grown in and the rain has pointed it out.  The headstone was lovely and the cemetary well-kept.  I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t really anything.  Just kinda indifferent. I know that one day I will see him again for he was a believer and baptized in Christ.  I don’t know how often or if I will appear at his grave again, all I know is today.

As I began to walk again, I looked into the distance.  The clouds were still making their journey and so shall I.

Grace is a gift,

Julie