A New Year, A New Me

Beginning 2016 I will be using my blog to help document my weightloss journey. If you have read several of my entries in 2015, you see where this is a struggle I have been fighting for a while. My blog will not only cover the journeys Robert and I have but it will cover all the details in my weightloss journey. In the following days look for me to post all the nitty gritty embarrassing information.  You, my readers, friends and family will hold me accountable! I pray you will also encourage me along the way when you see me struggle —  you are on this journey with me!

The following picture is serving as motivation!  Next year I want to retake this picture and compare it to this one. (This is my first embarrassing post/fact/detail.)


This picture shows just how bad I need to lose weight!  When my family went to ICE! in Orlando before Christmas, everyone was given parkas to wear. Well, from this picture you can see that the one I was given did not fit, that is obviously me there on the middle!  The embarrassing fact which I hate to admit  is… this was one of the largest sizes they had and it did not button all the way down  and where it did button you can see it barely fit.  This picture was an eye opener for me.  I cried over it, got mad about it, was embarrassed by it and most importantly I have been motivated by it!

Welcome to my weightloss journey.  I hope along the way to find courage and strength and find an improved me! #thebestisyettocome








I remember back my freshman year of college, 20 years ago now — where has time gone, I was given a writing assignment which I had to write about my sanctuary. The professor told us our sanctuary could be a favorite spot, our safe spot or any location which brought us serenity. I can remember so vividly writing about my sanctuary, I remember identifing, describing it and longing to be back at that spot. The spot I identified 20 years ago as my sanctuary was a childhood location which was filled with memories.  It was a spot where I would spend time with my parents and grandparents, fishing and enjoying each others company.  Thinking back to this assignment I wish I would have identified another location as my sanctuary, a location which holds just as many memories (if not more), I spent most of my free time growing up there with family and friends. I guess 20 years ago I just didn’t realize how precious this location was to me and how much of a sanctuary it really was or would become to me.

The past few days I have not been able to clear my mind of this place, I have even dreamt of it. So, I figure writing and sharing about this place will help me stop thinking about it so much, even though I wonder why it is in my thoughts these days.

My sanctuary is a small white building in the country. It is not just any white building, it is a building my family (my uncle, grandpa and dad) came apon, rehabbed it back to life and spent many hours at for over thirty years.  I can still remember watching members of my family hammering away, rebuilding the wooden stage area and picture so vividly the old piano, which was falling apart due to termites and other insect infestation, being removed to make room for a new one. This building would see many people come and go thru the thirty years, it heard many heartfelt cries, shared laughter and along the way saw many lives changed. The building isn’t as small anymore, it was renovated throughout the years, it even now has indoor bathrooms (I could tell you a few stories about having to use it’s outhouse – but will save that for later) and a kitchen ready to be used. The little white building was a place I could fully be me. I felt welcome to express myself to the fullest. This white building even saw me overcome my fear of people and overcome by shyness.

I know deep down the lessons on life I learned while sitting on the wooden benches and later the soft cushioned benches came from a source much greater than this little white building.  A building is simply a building and is only as great as those who occupy it, in this case the building I am talking about is a house of God. My sanctuary in life is truly a living, breathing sanctuary. It is where I became a Christian, developed and grew as a Christian. My sanctuary is even where I met my husband!  It is this small church next to a cemetery in Sanderson, Florida. I, to this day can still smell the inside of the sanctuary, I can feel the pews, the floor and the wood of the custom made pulpit,  see the people and items which made up this church. This little church holds so many happy memories also holds bitter sweet and sad memories for me.

It has been a year and a half since I last stepped foot into my sanctuary, I have visited many other churches since my last song in that little church and yet I still struggle to find a place which allows me to feel free and welcomes me the way the little white church did.  I know our time in this building is over and God is wanting us to move on to bigger and better things (maybe this is why this place hangs so strong on my mind the past few days) to serve Him in a different capacity and find new friends along the way!

While I sit here reminiscening (and crying)  on my life and that small white church from my childhood and adulthood, I can’t help but realize how much I took this place and it’s people for granted all of my life. While it was always important to me and helped me become who I am today, I sure wish I would have not taken it for granted and would have embraced and loved it a little bit more.

My sanctuary is now occupied by new tenants. There is a new pastor and even new parishioners attending there now but I still dream of the time I was one of the members who sat on the third row on the right side of the church. I was the little girl learning the books of the Bible, memorizing Psalms 23, Psalms 100, John 3:16-17 (just for starters) and learning to sing the old hymns from the red Church Hymnal.  I was the adult who worked with the youth, helped organize Women Conferences, sang praises to God and most importantly worshiped God. Now all I have left are memories which I hang on to tightly and am saddened that I won’t be able to raise my children in the little white church.

As I think back to my assignment I was given 20 years ago, I wonder why I didn’t say my sanctuary was, Cedar Creek Church. …….

At Long Last

This post has been two years in the making.   I remember back two years ago Robert and I were, doing what friends do, helping one of my friends move into her apartment.   I remember talking with her in great detail about the struggle I was having.   I told her, the fact that we didn’t have a house of our own wasn’t the thing I seemed to be struggling with at the time.   I remembering telling her that I had began to deal with that but the thing I really struggled with was knowing that Robert and I wouldn’t be able to celebrate our first Christmas as husband and wife around our own Christmas tree and spend those special moments together preparing to spend Christmas morning together, surprising each other with the gifts we had bought for each other.   I can still vividly remember the conversation with Janet.  I remember telling her that not only would I not have those moments with Robert by myself but…..   but I knew when we did have a house of our own we couldn’t go back in time and celebrate our first Christmas together.  After quite a bit of tears I remember the words she spoke to me, like only a friend can do, “Don’t worry about not having your first Christmas by yourself, think about all the years you have to look forward to spending with your husband.  You have what you didn’t think you would ever have and when you do get a house you will make those memories then”.  Those words stuck with me and I clung to them for two Christmas’.   I kept looking for the day we would have our own house and we would be able to celebrate those special moments by ourselves.  Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed every holiday we celebrated with my parents and made special memories which cannot be replaced, for that I am truly forever grateful!

Now, at long last it is so exciting to see our dreams come true.   That Christmas tree I cried about not having with Robert, guess what….  We have it in our dining room and the day we finished putting it up with all of the decorations we had compiled and saved for this one moment – well I cried!   I never thought I would cry over having a Christmas tree but this year as I placed on the tree our Nativity ornament and “Our First Christmas” ornament, I found myself crying.  Every time Robert and/or I plug and unplug the tree we want to pinch ourselves because at long last we are able to begin making those special memories we may have missed out on, or thought we have missed out on our first two years married!   I may not know the feeling all new married couples have opening up their Christmas presents on Christmas morning around their own tree at their own house BUT if it feels better than the memories we are making on our third Christmas being married and our first Christmas in our home than it MUST be rather special.  We are, just like my friend told me several years ago, making memories today that are just as special if not more special than I could have ever imagined.

I know must of you were expecting me to make a different announcement when I titled this, “At Long Last”!  Sorry to disappoint but this is a rather special occasion if I must say so myself!

For those of you who have been wondering when  I was writing again, sorry it took so long — it just took a while to put into words what I am feeling this Christmas season!   Thank you for the nudging — I will try my best to write every week.  If you don’t see a weekly post please nudge me so I will write.