Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Heeeeeee's Baaaaack...and He Got a Doe.

Jeff is back home and he got a doe. Clean shot, low light, beside two other hunters...the pressure was on. From a standing position, Jeff drew a bead on her and fired. She dropped right where she was standing, no running, just boom, dead. That's the way to do it ladies and gentlemen. He kindly informed me when he got home last night that he had parked my car in the parking lot and that his deer was in our garage. Oh Dear! Or should I say, Oh deer! I'm proud of you Hon!

With Love,
Your Adoring Wife Rigel

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hunting Widow

It's that time of year again...when Jeffrey heads to the mountains with his gear and his gun and sits in the woods waiting for a deer to walk by...then "BANG!" ...venison for the year. Yeehah! I'm such a hick.

There are people who cringe to think of killing a deer (I wouldn't do it personally, unless it came down to me or the deer). I'm a bleeding heart when it comes to the welfare of animals. Fortunately, I have made peace with that aspect of my personality when it comes into conflict with that of my husband's desire to thin the herd and bring home a buck, or a doe for that matter.

As we encroach upon their territory, the deer have nowhere to go. We are pushing them out of their homes and then we complain when our shrubs, flowers and trees are being eaten. The deer have run out of places to Just this season, I have been witness to the aftermath of two deer/car accidents which ended very badly for the deer. It was horrible.

It's common place now to see small herds of deer running through busy, suburban and even urban settings! Their food supply is down and many of them are starving over the winter. That's why it's so important to cull the herd so that some of them can survive, without fear of starvation.

While there will always be deer/car collisions as long as there are cars and deer and mating season, we can still do our part to make life as peaceable as possible for people and our white tailed friends with hooves.

Don't drive like a maniac especially during rut when the deer are literally chasing tail to pursue or evade other deer. Drive within the speed limit or at least more slowly in wooded areas or near fields where deer are most likely to appear by the road.

Support your local hunters if they are friends, allow them to hunt in your fields if you own some acreage. Help them to control the deer population so that fewer of our furry friends starve this winter.

And above all, learn to enjoy venison. It IS a tastey dish if prepared properly, despite contrary criticism. Lean meat is your friend, and deer are plenty lean. You would be too if you had to run around all over God's creation to forage for food, search out a warm bed for the night and in order to find a good female you spent your evenings dodging cars on Route 309. Be glad you're you.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Perspective: Persecution Produces Strength

During our small group last night we were discussing a passage in the text we are studying. Our group facilitator of the evening (Herman) challenged us to think of a time when we experienced joy in the midst of suffering or persecution. None of us could really think of a time we were HAPPY about being tested and we couldn't really think of a reason to be happy WHILE being tested. Next, Herman launched into a lesson about how the persecutions and trials we suffer are acutally evidence of God's love for us and of our relationship with him.

The author of our text talked about persecution being a cause for joy in the life of Christians in two ways. First, the persecution we suffer for the sake of Christ is evidence that we belong to Jesus and are identified with Christ. For this reason we may rejoice when we are persecuted, because it is evidence that we belong to God and that we are his!

Secondly the persecution we suffer for the sake of righteousness is evidence that we are being refined by Christ. When we are persecuted for a righteous act it means we were caught in the act of being righteous, and that we are being tested and tried by the world! God cares about us enough to refine our sinful nature, removing the sinful impurities so that we can shine like gold reflecting the image of Christ! Each time we are we are tested, we have an opportunity to glorify God and to respond with love and forgiveness (an act of righteousness). This too is an opportunity for is through these trials that God demonstrates his love for us, to shape us into the likeness of his son Jesus.

So the next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, recognize it as an opportunity to shine righteously for Christ. Righteousness through adversity is a beautiful thing. How will you respond when you are tried? I'm asking myself that same question this morning.

The Next Challenge

I ran the Turkey Trot in 30:24 and was 175 out of 237 participants who finished the race. My Uncle Dennis (an avid runner) is encouraging my running and he challenged me to train to run a half-marathon in Allentown. He says he's going to get me a subscription to Runner's World magazine. Wow! That would really be a great goal. That would be 4x as long as my 5K but it's doable. I just have to train for it! Woohoo!

The Dr. Drill Instructor Program has really made a difference in my fitness goals and my desire to really trim down and lose weight. For the first time, it's really looking like I could reach my goals. It's very exciting. Boot camp starts up again in January and between now and then I plan on doing a bit of running and weight training to build my endurance. I'll keep you posted in that area of my life.

Thank you to all of you who have been encouraging me in my weight loss endeavor.



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Results and Future Goals

The results are in:

Turkey Trot 5K: I met my goal of jogging the entire race! I finished in around 32 minutes. I say 32 because I didn't see the clock when I finished but I was able to estimate based on the times of friends that finished around I was running about a 10 minute mile, which is good for me!!!! I have to say, I'm really glad that I did this. This was my first registered race. It felt good to participate and great to finish.

Boot camp: I also finished my first 10 weeks of boot camp. I plan on signing up again in January. I have lost 10 pounds and 8 inches in 10 weeks. I started in a size 14 and in a size 12 now. I have about 30 more pounds to lose until I am down to my goal weight of 160 lbs. I may only get down to 165, but even that would be OK as long as it's muscle weight.

In order to make my boot camp experience successful for next session, I need to:

1. Watch what I eat over the holidays and get regular exercise
2. Maintain a more disciplined diet during next session
3. Make sure I push myself hard each class I attend

It's great to see progress!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Prayer Request

Every once in awhile, I'm caught "off-guard" by some sudden news that really takes the wind out of my sails and stalls me in a sea of calm. Jeffrey just found out that in a week's time, he won't have a job. So the search for a new job begins, along with the search for a new direction in his life. If you think of him, please pray that he will be listening for God's voice, that God will provide a clear path for him to take, and one that will bring him peace.

Jeff's undergrad degree is in art and he's wondering about pursuing a Masters in Fine Art with an education certification so he can teach, but he's not sure that's what he wants to do. He is trying to absorb the job loss and search for a new opportunity at the same time. At the forefront of our minds is needing to replace his income and to find a career (not just another job) that would bring fulfillment to Jeff.

God is at work!

Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Advice to a Bride to Be from Her Married Cousin (Me)

My cousin (who was an MK (missionary kid)) is getting married soon. Her older sister asked us to send her advice/scriptures etc. that she plans to compile into a book to give to her before she marries. These are things she can draw strength from when things inevitabley get tough. Here is what I wrote to her.

"There are so many things to share, it's difficult to know where to I'll begin on familiar ground.

As a missionary...

You learn new languages.
Find out what your husband's love language is and learn to speak it. Discover your own and teach it to him, so he knows how to reciprocate. It's easier to speak and hear your own language than to learn and use a new one. Learning a new language takes time. Don't get discouraged if you can't speak it fluently at first. Native speakers appreciate it when you make the repeated effort to communicate using their language.

You adapt to the native culture.
Your family backgrounds will be different and so will your views on mens and womens roles in the home. Study his "home culture" to learn his frame of reference and to begin to learn about his expectations for your marriage. Think about your own and how they will be integrated and how you will learn to compromise.

The missionary position...
It's not the only one available. Dont' be afraid to try new ones. They can be fun. Remember that what goes in, must come out eventually. Peeing after sex is normal, and good. Never try and manipulate him with sex. It can only end badly.

Try new foods.
There will be dishes you are comfortable cooking and then there are the ones your husband has grown up with and would like you to try. Be flexible to incorporate his diet choices into your meal plans, not assuming that he likes to eat everything that you like, or that you can change his diet. This will save you time when you get to the part about fighting over what you will bring home from the grocery store. Compromise! Get to know what he enjoys eating and snacking on! He'll like it when you buy the foods he likes.

Forgetting what lies behind...
When you two become one, you will leave your families and cleave to one another. Do not make the mistake of calling or running home when you have fights. Don't talk badly about your husband to your parents. You do not want to build up a one-sided view of your husband in your parents' minds when you are angry. Work things out with your husband on your own. If you need to, call a friend, but don't forget to keep things in perspective when you fight.

Keep a journal of your journey.
Keep a journal to remember the good times and the bad. If you have to write a letter home and you're having negative feelings towards your husband, write it down, but don't send it, and if you can, rip it out and burn it. Don't let your husband find it. Purge the bad thoughts. Remember the good ones. Remember that your husband loves you and has your interests at heart. Start from there and move forward. It is here you will see the evidence of God's faithfulness in your marriage.

Take pictures.
Take pictures every year of your marriage so you can remember your life together and where the journey takes you. Find something to write home aboutKeep it positive, and offer praises of your husband to your family and friends. Don't miss an opportunity to sing his praises to your family so they can share in your happiness and remember how happy a day it was when they entrusted you to him.

Give every day to God.
Give every day to God. There will be good ones and bad ones in your marriage. Marriage is tough. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. The one thing they don't tell you before you get married is how hard it is. You will be embarking in a journey that many people never finish. There may be times when if feels like the only thing holding the two of you together is a promise you made to each other on December 29, 2007. Don't forget that love is more than a feeling, it's a promise of forever love. Like God's love for us.

I love you. I'm here for you anytime. And I welcome your husband into the clan.
Much love,Your cousin"

Graduation and the Turkey Trot

This weekend is boot camp graduation and the Turkey Trot 5 K at Fisher's Park in Towamencin. You can still register online until Nov. 15th.

The race starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday the 17th and it's only a 3.1 mile race so it should be over in under 40 minutes or less. Some people are walking it. My goal is to jog the entire thing without stopping. We'll see how I do on the hilly parts.

I'm going jogging with my friend Dorothy tomorrow. We're doing 2 miles before it gets dark. Does anyone know any good places to buy cold or night running gear?

Graduation is Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. after the Turkey Trot. I can hardly believe it's been 10 weeks. I feel better and I look a little better, but I haven't lost a ton of weight. I haven't been that faithful to my diet though, so I don't know what I should be expecting.

I'm not looking forward to the winter boot camp session (cold) but I know it will be good for me, and less expensive. How much less expensive has yet to be seen...I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 9, 2007

That Freakin' Scale!

I have a scale that's...a little off. When I say "off" I mean, it's not accurate. How "off?" About 3 to 6 pounds. I had two doctors appts. yesterday and weighed in on both their scales, in addition to my morning weigh-in on my own scale at home.

7:30 a.m. Weight: 183 lbs. (underwear only)
12:15 p.m. Weight: 189 lbs. (fully clothed with shoes)
2:30 p.m. Weight: 191 lbs. (after lunch, of course, with clothes and shoes)

I think my scale is off by 3 pounds. That 183 weigh-in is with the three pounds already added to it. Is it possible to gain 6 pounds by noon?

Jeff tells me it doesn't matter if the scale is off, it only matters that I have consistently weighed myself on the same scale.

I pointed out, that's long as the scale hasn't started getting worse (being further off the mark). Either way, I'm fatter than I orginally thought I was when I started my weight loss journey back in Sept. Have I lost 10 lbs.? Probably. But I'm still "back at square one" mentally because I am back to having to lose 30 lbs all over again!

Granted, I am pre-menstrual...but a six-pound diff? What the frick?

Darn that Halloween Candy

It was me vs. the Halloween Candy. I fought the candy... and the candy won. I've gained a couple pounds back. Time to start eating cleanly again.

Snickers Bars, Milk Duds, Crunch Bars and the like come in "fun size." It's fun when you're eating them, but then you're left looking at the empty wrappers and you feel like you've just committed a sin...almost like "pre-marital doodly". (See Ned Flanders) It's awful.

Don't be offended by my joke. It's but a metaphor for the depth of depravity I feel I have reached in my temptation by chocolate. Get thee behind me Halloween Candy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

OK, so I didn't go on the run...but....

Yes! I'm afraid it's true. I got home from school last night at 10:30 p.m. and my body was sore and I said, I am NOT getting up at 4:30 to run in the cold tomorrow. I'm glad that I didn't. I had a night of tossing and turning and didn't fall asleep until after midnight. I'm still sore this morning, but I got on the scale this morning and I've lost another 2 lbs.

The real test will be when I go to two doctors' appointments today and get on their scales. I have weighed myself consistently on my scale and according to MY scale, I've now lost 10 lbs. I have officially lost 10 lbs doing boot camp and being more careful about what I eat!

I'm sad that I didn't go running, but not really that sad. I'm one of those people that needs restful sleep, and I didn't get it. Plus, I hate being cold... I don't know what I'm going to do for next session of boot camp. It runs through the cold winter months, and they DO go outsides sometimes. Did I say I HATE being cold?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Platoon Run

I'm going on a Platoon Run tomorrow and I'm a bit nervous. I'm worried about getting left behind, but a fellow recruit has offered support and encouragement that I can do it and that I won't get left behind. That's good news!

I'm also anticipating with trepidation that it's going to be cold and that it might be raining when I'm running through the muck. I HATE being cold, just like I HATE being too hot. Cold makes seemingly every muscle in me contract and cringe. I just KNOW I'll get a cold too, and I double HATE being sick. Ugh.

It's also going to be a longer distance than I've run before (probably 4 miles). I'll almost certainly be walking part of that trek. Between now and then I need to find some warmer snivel gear to run in.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Giving Thanks

I am thankful for:

A husband that loves me
A home to tend
A job
Clothing and shoes
The opportunity to go to school and
to worship freely
Salvation in Jesus Christ
A working car
Grocery stores
Medicine and the ability to go to a doctor
Air conditioning
Appliances that make my life easier (washing machine/dryer, dishwasher etc.)
Indoor plumbing
The ability to read and write
Good food
Hikes in the woods
Taking pictures
Having all five senses
Being able to smell, taste, touch, hear and see the world around me

What are some things you are thankful for?

Monday, November 5, 2007

3 Miles and a 5 K Registration

Today I accomplished two amazing things in my weight loss battle. #1 is that I jogged three miles without stopping! I was unable to complete it in 30 minutes, but I finished the 12 laps around the track at Penndale without stopping and THAT was my goal for today.

#2. I registered online for my first 5K race. On November 17th at 10 a.m. I will be running the Turkey Trot at Fischer's Park in Towamencin. I will also be graduating from my first 10 weeks of Boot Camp in the Dr. Drill Instructor Program. I am super excited!

I'm going shopping on Black Friday with my Aunt Jenny and my Mom. I'm very excited. It's time for some new clothes baby!


Friday, November 2, 2007

"Resolved" by Jonathan Edwards

Today I give you an excerpt from a devotional called "Together for Good" by H. Norman Wright. It's a daily devotional for married couples. I think it might have been a wedding present. I pulled it off the shelf in the bathroom and took it in the tub with me this morning to read it. I'm glad I did. Here's an excerpt. It starts with a Bible verse:

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

"You've probably heard of Jonathan Edwards. But have you ever read anything he wrote? Consider his words:
Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and for my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration.

Resolved, To do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.

Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

Resolved, Never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.

Resolved, Never to do anything out of revenge.

Resolved, To maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.

Resolved, Never to do anything which, if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.

Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

Resolved, To ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possbily in any respect have done better.

Resolved, Never hence-forward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's.

Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best and most prudent when I come into the future world.

Resolved, Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

Resolved, After afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them."

I was challenged to apply these words to my marriage, and to bootcamp. How do they apply in your life? Are you challenged by any of these resolutions? I was.