Free workout videos on youtube that are 25 minutes and under


I am so excited that a few of my readers decided to begin working out after reading this post. Way to go Koya and Lashanda.  By the way Lashanda has a new single on amazon that would be great to play as you are working out.  If you choose to purchase her single,  please consider doing it through amazon smile and  choose my church Faith Covenant Fellowship (Hoffman Estates is our given location) as your charity to support and the church will receive a donation from your purchase.

For those who would like to begin working out and need some suggestions you can visit my youtube channel. There is  a  playlist of exercises I do in the comfort of my own home.  Some of the workouts require dumbbells.  I have  sets of 5 lb., 8lb., and 15 lb. weights that I purchased at walmart. Some of the workouts do not require any equipment.  Happy working out!

 

 

 

Does Jesus really care about that? Thoughts on what drives me to be healthy post pregnancy

I gave birth in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013.  In between all of that I had two miscarriages, one in 2006 and another in 2008.  I think it’s fair to say that my body has been through quite an adventure.  After each birth, I was left with a sweet baby and some extra pounds as a souvenir of the journey.  I was not one of those moms who lost all the baby weight while nursing.  I would have loved for that to have been my testimony but it was not.  I have found what works for MY BODY to be healthy without counting calories and spending hours working out.  I follow the Paleo diet 90% of the time.   I also work out five days a week in the comfort of my home for 10-20 minutes in the morning.  My short workouts are better than doing nothing at all.

My body certainly doesn’t look like the girl I knew before child birth and I am learning to be ok with that.   I can’t obsess about returning to what was, just work on keeping healthy what now is (not sure if that’s grammatically correct but you get the point…right?)   I have tried to return to old eating habits (mainly consuming way too much sugar) and not only does it pack on the pounds but it also brings some not so pleasant side effects.   After a really long morning a few weeks ago, I found myself hiding out in the pantry with my twenty month old eating just about all the caramel flavored popcorn from Costco.  I was so convicted at the end of the day, not because eating caramel popcorn is a sin but because at that moment I was being gluttonous and using the sugar as my god and comforter.  I was certainly not hungry at the time, just extremely irritated.  Prayer should have been my recourse not sugar!  I have to continue to ask God for the grace to exercise self-control to do what I know is right for my body to be healthy.

My choice to eat healthy and exercise has a trickle-down effect with both natural and spiritual implications.  When I eat and exercise like I should, I have more energy to effectively fulfill my call to be the keeper of my home. My sleep is better which in turn helps me to get up feeling well rested giving me quality time in prayer and bible study.   I am not as emotional and snappy. Ok…I still have my moments but they are not as frequent.  I am not constantly in a brain fog because I have consumed all the wrong things.

So to answer the question, does Jesus really care about my eating habits and my overall health…yes, He absolutely does!  I know from personal experiences that He directs His children in EVERY AREA.  If you have not done so already ask Him what the best health plan is for you.  If He has already told you what to do…OBEY!  My goal to be the healthiest me for this season of life now goes beyond vanity.  However I must confess that this was the initial  motivation.  I recognize that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and also its God’s desire for me to be healthy in body as I am strong in spirit (3 John 1:2).  Hear me when I say that the goal for every woman should not be to look like the model on the magazine.  We are all built differently and not everyone was intended to look the same.  Instead, be driven by the desire to please God by taking care of the temple He has given you.

I don’t want you to walk away from this post feeling condemned because you struggle in maintaining healthy eating habits and are challenged with the idea of consistently working out.  Instead I pray that you walk away feeling encouraged to do what you know is needed believing the Lord to extend His grace as you make up your mind to walk in obedience.  Let us take this journey together, striving to be healthy so that we can be used even the more for God’s glory!  Are you on board?  Leave a comment below to let me know.

 

How I prepare for church with a large family

At the beginning of the year my husband told me that one of our family goals was to get to church before it starts. Yeah we were pretty much that family that showed up in the middle of praise and worship and sometimes later. He is not late for his job and the children are not late for school he reasoned.  The Lord wanted us to have a renewed perspective on going to worship as it is more important than a job or school.  Point well taken Pastor Tyrone. I will say it is a lot of work but with more deliberate planning on my part it can be done. Hear me when I say that I write this post not as an expert or as someone who has mastered all of this.  I am in the thick of things here folks but I have found that consistently implementing the following steps has helped us to be punctual.

1. Washing and combing the girls hair can be very time consuming.  With that in mind I now try to wash and comb the two older girls hair on Saturday.  This way I just have to focus on Faith’s hair on Sunday morning. No more playing beauty shop on Sunday mornings.

2. Select and iron clothing for children and adults midweek.  This is a huge time saver.  When I say select clothing I mean everything, including accessories (tights, socks, belts, etc.).  Make sure the tights you thought would work don’t have holes in them, not fun to find this out on Sunday morning.   Even with a designated spot to put them, shoes can quickly go missing from our shoe closet downstairs.  Tyrone has made it a point to get the younger two boys church shoes and put it in their rooms as opposed to the regular shoe closet. This way we don’t run the risk of searching for missing shoes as we are heading out the door.

3.  Fill your vehicle with gas during the week, don’t wait until Sunday morning.

4.  We also try to make sure everyone completes their homework either on Friday or Saturday.  This way we don’t have to stress about signing papers or completing homework before or after church. I realize that this may change as the kids get older and their homework becomes more difficult.  However at this point in the game we are trying to teach them to prioritize and prayerfully these lessons will stick.

5.  Restock the diaper bag with pampers, change of clothes and wipes the night before. In the morning, I have a designated child pack snacks for the younger ones and fill the sippy cup.  He is also instructed to take the bag immediately to the van once the task is completed, ensuring that we do not leave the diaper bag behind.

6.  Get to bed at a reasonable hour.  We try not to entertain the mindset of  ” oh it’s the weekend so we can stay up as late as we want.”  We don’t allow the children to stay up late on school nights so the same holds true for the night before we go to worship.   Our service starts a little later but we try to have breakfast together on Sunday mornings and we also have to travel a distance for church.  We are not mommy and daddy kill joy so the kids may stay up one or two extra hours later but we encourage them to get a good night sleep.

7.   I aim to get up at least a hour before the entire family on Sunday morning.   This means I have to be wise about what time I go to bed on Saturday night.   During this hour I cook dinner.  Don’t be too impressed, I try to make my Sunday dinner as simple as possible and make the oven do most of the cooking.  I do not try new recipes on Sundays.  I stick to what I know and what I do well.  Sunday is the day for whole roasted chicken, ribs, roast, etc.  I like to slow cook my meats so I put it in  first thing in the morning and by the time we are ready to leave for church 4 hours later, I can take dinner out the oven and put it in the fridge.  I also aim to prepare sides that require minimum work like oven roasted sweet potatoes or steamed vegetables.  It takes me approximately 30 minutes most mornings to prepare a nutritious Sunday dinner.  We sometimes choose to eat out on Sundays as a special treat but this is an exception not the rule.

8.  We have a departure time in mind.  This sounds simple but it really is needed.  If you have the mindset that we will leave when we can, it doesn’t give you a goal to work toward.  Announcing to the older children what time we want to leave  helps to keep them on track and keep us all on the same page.

With six children 11 and under things  won’t always go as planned but the above steps have helped to minimize a lot of frustrations on Sunday mornings.

What are some things your family does to prepare for Sunday Worship?

 

4 simple and Inexpensive Ways to Spend Time With your child every week

We live in a society that often complicate simple matters. Money is great and I could always use more.  However, the lack thereof should not be used as an excuse for not spending quality time with your children.  No, we have never taken our children to Disney, and we don’t go on too many vacations but this doesn’t mean that we don’t spend quality time with them.  Below are some things we do on a weekly basis to spend time with our children, providing a sense of security. IMG_2261

 

1.  Pray with your children.  Yes that counts as spending time with them.  Prayer breaks down walls you didn’t know existed between you and your child.  We have been making more of an effort to have corporate prayer times as a family.  Tyrone and I are not the only ones that pray, we give each of the children a chance to participate.  You hear what’s on their heart during this time.  Some of that prayer time is spent disciplining and training the younger ones to be still, this can sometimes be frustrating but necessary so we keep at it.  My goal this year is to also have individual prayer time with each child.  It may only last a few minutes and that’s ok.  I often ask them what they need prayer for, there is a short dialog, we pray and carry on.  Each week the prayer time looks different. I am learning to not always wait for the perfect moment but to incorporate prayer with the flow of life. IMG_2371

2.  Attend church together each week as a family.    I have a husband, six children and we are all very different.  Attending church together to worship God is our common ground.  The sermon that was shared, the songs that were sung, the people we spoke to at church, the prayers that were prayed, the convictions that were felt, the aha moments that came as the preacher preached…these all give us some point of connection to dialogue on throughout the week. I know of parents who go to church without their children because they view them as a distraction from service.  They may also feel that church is too long for the children especially if there is no nursery or children’s church.  Believe me when I say I get this.  I have had my fair share of  being in the hallway with a misbehaving or loud child during service.  But this is  a part of the training.  They eventually get it, some sooner than others. More seeds are sown than you may realize even if they don’t understand all that is being said.  God knows how to reveal His truths to the youngest of soul. Whatever you do, choose a church based on God’s leading and not your child.   It’s not always about the abundance of flashy and exciting programs for your child. God knows exactly where you and your family need to be for your spiritual growth.  Trust his leading, it has eternal implications. IMG_2313 20141228_113726

3.  My husband has a weekly library date with the children.   Each week the children are allowed to check out three fiction and three non fiction books along with some videos.  While picking out the non fiction books, Tyrone gets insight into their world and interest.  Conversations naturally flow and it is an outing that they look forward to every week.  The kids absolutely enjoy this time with their father.   Library cards are free and there are always new resources at the library, not a bad deal.

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4.  Eat dinner together as a family.  I get it, we are all busy and I know that this is not always possible to do every night.  Perhaps you can start off with picking just one day of the week and build from there.  When we eat together, we each go around sharing the high (good) and low (bad) parts of our day.  This gives us a lot of insight into each other’s day and provides a lot of teachable opportunities  for Tyrone and I.   IMG_2224 IMG_2422

What do you do to spend quality time with your child?  Leave a comment below.

Stop pouting and pray

I have a confession to make.  I have had more opportunities than I wanted to practice what I was preaching this week. My last post was about dropping to my knees in prayer, and boy was I fired up when I wrote it.  I was one determined praying somebody.

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Yes ma’am I was on a roll BUT THEN  LIFE HAPPENED!  Many things caught me off guard, just like life to do that.  Each day this week  I was challenged and by midweek I found myself pouting…more than once.  I woke up this morning determined to get back in the game.

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During devotion I  read the story of Hannah from 1 Samuel 1 to the children. I told the kids that Hannah stopped pouting and decided to pray.  She was in distress, life was not turning out the way she expected. Yes her husband loved her BUT she was barren.  And to add insult to injury her husband’s other wife who had children taunted and constantly reminded her of her barrenness. Hannah was overwhelmed with pain. But she did something interesting with her pain and disappointment. She brought it to The Lord…in prayer.  As she was pouring out her heart only her lips moved and Eli the priest saw and assumed she was drunk.  That must have been a for real no holds bar, I ain’t even gonna pretend no more, this thing really hurts, I am desperate and broken Lord  kind of prayer.  Real pain birth real prayer.  And there is something about real prayer that moves my daddy to action.  He delights in a humble heart.  Hannah received an answer of peace and she went away believing.

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So here I am AGAIN this morning, embracing His new mercies, making a decision to earnestly pray and not pout. Resting in His answer of peace.  And you?

Hitting the floor and dropping the weight in 2015

It is the start of a new year and many including myself have health goals. Most have a few extra pounds to loose and a desire to be more toned.  While I have put together an action plan to meet my goals, I have another method to drop a different kind of weight.  This year I am gonna hit the floor more… on my knees in prayer to drop all the weight that is not mine to carry.

Before I go pulling out my violin and telling you all that’s wrong

Before I run to the pantry for a treat to calm my nerve and give me temporary relief

Before I get all worked up trying to explain and convince my husband of my point of view

Before I say yes when the answer should be no but I am looking for your approval

Before I start feeling discouraged that I have entered another year and I still have not seen the manifestation of hair growth that I desparately desire

Before I get burderened down with your situation and feel bad that I cant fix it and make it all better

BEFORE I DO ANY OF THAT…I am gonna drop to the floor and unload that weight in prayer.

Prayer is so POWERFUL when coupled with Faith.

It moves mountains.

It heals the sick.

It changes my perspective causing me to praise instead of complain, bringing peace to the storm.

It helps me to rejoice in ALL Things, even the bad.

It fuels my faith to speak those things that are not as though they were and then I stand back and watch GOD WORK IT OUT!

It gives me the inside scoop on God’s will for my life, and I come off my knees with such confidence and fierce faith!

Prayer is free therapy and you can rest assure that the therapist understand what you are going through, He’s been there and came out victorious. It is always convenient to pray, as a matter of fact we are told to pray at all times. God’s ears are always open to our cry.    And when you earnestly pray, it produces great results.  So… are you ready to hit the floor in prayer with me this year?  Leave a comment below to let me know.