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):
- 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?
- 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...
- 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."
- 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.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..."
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?"
- 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....
- 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.)
- 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!