7 Quick Takes Friday - #7

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving; we sure did! Here are my "7 Quick Takes" for this week (click here to go to Jenn's original 7QT):
  1. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Prayer. Good food. Family. The intentional absence of materialism. Just good old heartfelt thanks offered up to God, Who is so very generous to us. We normally go around the table and list one thing we're thankful for. This year, we decided to try to spend the whole meal expressing gratitude for things in our lives (it helps that we now have 6 talking people in our family, ha!). Moses joining our family this year, Disney on Ice, Nana's recent visit, the park in our apartment complex, our children... we gave thanks for so very many things. All said, it was a special, quiet day for us. How was your Thanksgiving?

  2. By the way, before I forget, if you don't have a killer dinner roll recipe yet, you ought to try this one. It was my first time to make it and they turned out delightful. They're called "Pumpkin Dinner Rolls", but you can't really taste the pumpkin- it just makes them a nice yellow color and makes them the perfect texture. Seriously, they were incredible... they're definitely now on my "make every year for Thanksgiving" list. :) Have a recipe you love and want to link to? Please share in the comments...

  3. I'm reading through "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow and wanted to share a few nuggets with you all:
    "When does a woman become an adult? Perhaps it's when she stops comparing her life to other women's. ...We grow up when we see our life and our role from God's perspective; when we thank God for the role He has assigned us and begin to see our cup as a gift instead of a cross... If we're trusting God that His portion for us is best, we can make the secret choices that will bring us a heart of contentment. If we don't accept God's portion for us, we will become women with spirits of discontentment."
  4. The other wonderful thing I picked up from this book was in the first few dozen pages. Mrs. Dillow spends a couple pages talking about all the exciting, wonderful things about her life in Hong Kong (travel, bargains she regularly found, cultural experiences, living near the bay, etc.). It sounds like a dream life. THEN she tells the "flip side"... all the negatives about life in Hong Kong (busy public transportation, a city crammed full of people, traveling so much she felt like she missed out on going deeper in relationships with neighbors, the heat/humidity, bugs, etc.). She was describing her same exact life, but with a decidedly different perspective.

    Then she said it, the thing that has really done a 180 on my attitude this last week or so:

    "Most of us can categorize our lives in both positive and negative ways. You could write a glowing list of the positives in your life, and you could then write a list of sobering negatives God has allowed in your life. Both lists are true, but the focus of each list is different.

    How do you categorize your life? Take a moment right now and list the positives and negatives in your life. [I did.]

    Now I have a question for you, one I often ask myself: Which list do you spend the majority of your time dwelling on?"
    Gulp. This really challenged me. I have so very much to be thankful for, and so do you. We are so incredibly blessed, you and I. I'm praying that God will remind me to spend my time being thankful, rather than dwelling on the things that have gone wrong, or on the things I could be discouraged about. Because EVERYONE has negatives in their life... but we all also have so many things to be thankful for. It's that old advice: "count your many blessings, name them one by one..."

  5. A certain blogging friend and I are both in similar stages of life: post-baby, nursing, and holding onto extra weight. As I've mentioned before (when I talked about doing the 30-Day Shred), I don't want or need to be ultra-thin. (By the way, that totally bombed. My milk supply dropped almost immediately after starting to do those videos, and so I stopped them.) Anyway, I'm not aiming for rock-hard abs or something. I just want to feel, and be, healthy. It seems like my body wants to store fat like mad whenever I'm nursing (I know many women who lose weight easily while nursing; I'm not one of them). And so I'm OK with not being skinny, but I don't want to just go nuts with eating and throw self-control out the window.... and so....

  6. This friend and I are committing to weekly check-ins and following "the No S Diet". Basically, it's just living a more balanced, self-controlled, sensible life in relation to food. It's simple, which I like, and it makes sense to me. Here are the rules: no snacking, sweets, or seconds (as in, going back for seconds) except on days that begin with an S (Saturday, Sunday, and "Special" days-- Christmas, birthdays, etc.). Like I said, I think this is livable, as in, I should do this for the rest of my life livable... not like, "I think I can gulp down this canned milkshake and call it lunch" livable.

    Today was day 1. I feel better already. I focused on eating three square meals, and didn't snack. (I did have half a slice of cheesecake because I'd prepared servings for my family-- leaving myself out intentionally; I was trying to be SO good-- and THEN my 6-year-old decided he didn't want any. What's wrong with someone who doesn't want cheesecake, anyway? So I ate that half a slice, and while I still ingested all the calories, I also accrued "brownie points" from my husband for intentionally NOT giving myself a plate. That oughtta count for something.)

  7. My mom was here for a visit last week. It was so special, as the kids love her so much. She's been abroad to see us many times in the last five years that we've lived overseas, and I'm very thankful for her. It's a really hard thing to be away from family when you have little ones (as many of you undoubtedly know), but I'm thankful for the times we DO get to spend together.
Thoughts? Comments? Don't forget to dig up a link to a tasty recipe if you're going to share it! Blessings to you!


Erin said...

What great insights on comparison and perspective! I appreciate them very much, they definitely got me thinking. I actually just posted our favorite "get-together" recipe before hopping over here, so I'll share it - its for Roasted Garlic Potatoes (http://afullheart.blogspot.com/2010/11/recipe-roasted-garlic-potatoes.html)

Jessica said...

It's funny because I am doing many of the same things right now....the shred, and reading Calm my anxious heart! We pray that the Lord encourages you while you are away from "home" during the holidays.

Liz said...

Coincidence... I'm re-reading Calm My Anxious Heart for the many-eth time. LOVE that book!

And the eating plan! What a great idea! Just kicking up the exercise factor this week and asking for God's help.


Jessica said...

I am another of the mothers that "can't lose weight while nursing". Oh it is so frustrating! I lose more easily when pregnant than when nursing!

Just had to say there are plenty of us out there. Don't be discouraged. Like you said it's a struggle to keep my perspective right and keep self control at the fore front and weight at the back burner. If I focused on a number on the scale it would make me miserable. If I focus on self control and my own hunger cues everyone's happier and healthier. :)

Love your posts!

Catherine R. said...

Hi, my name is Catherine and I need to lose a few pounds : ) I ended up doing a "7 quick takes" too on my blog : )

BTW, that quote from Calm My Anxious Heart is fantastic. I have that book and now I want to read it again.

The Aday Family said...

Thank you for #3 and #4. They are the exact reminders I needed currently in my life.

Re: #5... I had the exact same problem. I finally realized that I was not eating enough calories in a day. I had to start counting calories and leave only a 300 calorie deficit. Once I did that I finally began to lose weight. Before that I was actually gaining weight though I was eating healthy and exercising. That might work.

RE: #6... I like the S diet idea. That's really simple and easy :)

As always, Thanks for sharing.

Sanders said...

Thanks for sharing those quotes - I definitely needed to read that this morning! Had a wonderful food filled Thanksgiving. I've always said it's my favorite holiday too; although I'm getting excited about making an advent calendar for the kiddos (similar to Jesse Tree - but different).
I used the Pioneer Woman's recipes this year for
Turkey Brine: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/10/my-favorite-turkey-brine/
Turkey Gravy: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/10/turkey_gravy_baby/
Stuffing: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/11/stuffing_dressing_my_favorite_thanksgiving_food/
& Ranch Dressing:
(at the bottom of this recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/09/wings/)
YUMMY! I might make that stuffing every month for the rest of my life it was soooooo good!
Those dinner rolls sound DELICIOUS!!

Polly said...

I have heard about these pumpkin dinner rolls & might just have to put them to the test. My parker house rolls are so good--maybe I'll have a blind roll-tasting extravaganza!

Agree 200% on perspective. I think it's one reason I'm so optimistic--just focusing on what's good. Especially when the What's Bad are things I can't change!

I really, really like your shoes in the bowling picture. Pink converse?? Love!

on the eastern journey said...

LOVE your lists. Such a neat way to keep up with your adventures. It took me a year to loose the weight with Schäfer. I didn't feel good at the time - especially 9 months after giving birth and my real clothing didn't fit, but it did eventually go away. Hang in there friend!

Charisa said...

Thank you so much for writing! I am always encouraged to read your posts! My husband and I are currently living in West Africa, and it is definitely easier to dwell on all the hard things about life here. Really, we are so blessed and have much to be thankful for, but it's still somehow easier to dwell on the hard things. I think I am going to go count my blessings...

Jacquelyn said...

Throwing away half a slice of cheese cake would be very wasteful... and because it was only half a slice you only had half the calories! Winner!

I gain weight way too easily when I'm pregnant but lose it easily while nursing. Especially this time, our #5 who is 15 months has an allergy to dairy food so I have had to avoid all dairy. I have never lost weight so easily before. I do miss dairy though.... mmm cheese cake!

QuicklyHome said...

Looking for that book...

Miranda said...

Hey, this was great and I love these normal life slices! I was wondering if you'd be willing to do some links or help from your last post that included your a few of your sewing/home projects. It would be great to get some ideas from what you've made for your house and little ones. I am looking for ideas, christmas gifts or simple ways to start sewing/crafting....thanks for keeping up your blog :) I enjoy it!

Jess said...

Hi Miranda,
Someone else asked for the project links on the last post, so I shared them in the comments section. You can also click on the category "Creative Pursuits" if you need crafty ideas for now. I'll try to share other ideas I've come across soon, but don't wait for me. :)


Miranda said...

Thanks, I didn't see those! I'd love to know about your banner saying "love one another" - that looks great! :) That little Moses is so edible by the way!

Susan in the Boonies said...

I think growing in the ability to NOT compare my life to others has given me much greater contentment in my life. I also think it's gotten easier as I've gotten older. Liking me more has come with that as well.

Nice to read your blog, Jess!

Jess said...

On the banners, I just (always) wing it. No pattern, honest. I just give myself enough room on the main fabric to leave room for hems, then I start cutting and pinning letters on. Then I hand-sewed the letters on, folding them into a nice looking shape word by word (to be sure it looked right/was even before I stitched them on). If you're going to do it, you'll want to cut the letters a bit fatter and longer than you intend for them to be (allow for the hem/fold), and cut the inside holes much smaller than you intend for them to be, then work outwards. I wish I could give you more tips, but I really just do it as I go.

Hope this helps.

Tammy L said...

Hi Jess! :) I was just catching up on your blog through my feed reader and was pleasantly surprised to see your mention of the pumpkin dinner rolls! I'm glad they were a hit! :)

I am not one who easily loses weight while breastfeeding either, but I think it is mostly because I am a lot hungrier and want to eat enough to satisfy my hunger -- and then some ;). If I actually count calories and don't consume too much food, the weight does come off... I have trouble staying motivated when I get within about 10 pounds of my goal though!! :P :)