Wednesday, December 7, 2011

God is SO good!

"Days they force you back under those covers. Lazy mornings they multiply, but glory's waiting outside your window so wake on up from your slumber. Baby, open up your eyes"  --NeedtoBreathe

Well, here we are. It has been one month. I knew going into this lifestyle change that it was going to be hard but at the same time, at first it seemed so easy. As I rounded the corner of the second week, Thanksgiving stared me in the face. I was not prepared. I did not go crazy, but I lost focus. I visited home for the holiday and there my eating patterns are completely eratic, to say the least. I never eat three meals a day, shoot I sleep till 10 and stay up until 1 when I'm at my parents'... too much good company! I still kept track of all of the food that I was eating, but I was lucky to eat two actual meals a day, all three days I was there. Now, do not think that I didn't eat...I did. I snacked. Granted I was eating all the time, but when I'm at my place, I had rarely been snacking. Then, I go to a wonderful place where chips, goodies, and chocolate abound... yes please. (minus the chocolate, mostly) On Thanksgiving I ate ham, I love ham. I ate potatoes. I love potatoes. I LOVED being at home and I can't wait to be there again for Christmas. Can not wait.  

I'm excited to be moving back there in May. I will have my OWN place at that point in NWA, no more bunking at the parentals for holidays. 

So, Thanksgiving wasn't a food travisty but I fell out habits. Came home and what I saw discouraged me. I had gained back a few of the pounds that I had lost. That Saturday, I was so frustrated and I felt like such a failure. So, I turned to the people who I knew would kick my butt, tell me to move on and not give up. So, thats what I did. I moved on. Still haven't given up.

To date, I have lost 8 pounds! I'll attatch a picture from earlier this fall and one from today. My face looks thinner. Looking in the mirror every day, I haven't seen it. Then I looked at the picture. It isn't DRAMTIC, but its there. Jenn pointed it out the other day at the gym and I thought she was being nice. Trying to lift me up, which it DEFINITELY did but I couldn't see the change . Now, I see some change. :) Makes me want to go to the gym right now. haha! Too bad I'm at work!

The weight watchers points plus system has been awesome. I can't wait to go to an actual meeting in January and see what that holds. I'm excited!

I am continuing to struggle with this being such a BIG goal to accomplish, but I know that you are all praying for me. It keeps me going. I pray that by Jan. of 2014 I will be the healthiest I have ever been. So much so, you might not recognize me! The end goal keeps me go. The small victories keep me going. The way I feel after a workout keeps me going. The encouragement that I get from all of you keeps me going. God keeps me going.

Thank you! From the bottom of my heart.

Here is a picture from earlier on the semester! I think I can see a difference. Go look at the peppermint picture, is it just me or is my face thinner in that one!?

I think my face has slimmed down!
Another angle

"Wake on up from your slumber Baby, open up your eyes. Come on Sing like we used to, Dance when you want to"

Friday, November 18, 2011

One Week Later

Well, so far I'm still alive. Trying to change the way I eat and exercise hasn't killed me yet! I figure it won't. :)

The week has been full of challenges and disappointments but it has also come with some accomplishments! So let's kick this post off with the positive.

I started working out last Thursday evening. Today is Friday, so I have been working on this lifestyle change for only 9 days now. I have worked out 5 of those 9 days. I am thinking for someone like me that is pretty dern tootin' good! Since I got my scale on Monday I have lost 1.6 lbs, so I'm almost to my 2lb goal for the week! Hoping by Sunday it has melted away along with a few more pounds maybe! :D Wishful thinking! I also started the PointsPlus System with Weight Watchers and plan to go to meetings once a week. I'm doing this with a lady from church that I look up to and adore so much, Pam Stephenson. She talked me into it! I just started my daily points yesterday. So today, Friday, is only day two counting "points" and not "calories."
So to highlight the positive I have:

1. Worked out 5 of 9 days and plan to work out tonight making it 6 of 9!
2. Have lost 1.6 lbs so far. Baby steps, but they are steps.
3.Started Weight Watchers

All within the first week! YAY!!

Now onto some of the tough times this week. Did ok the first few days. Went out and bought a lot of fruits and veggies and I've actually been enjoying eating those as opposed to junky junk! But on Sunday I had a little trip up and ordered pizza. I felt so bad after but I decided, with the help of some friends, that I had to let that failure go and keep on truckin'. Can't let it get me down. On Monday my scale came in! I was so excited until I stepped onto it. I basically burst into tears cause I weighed more than I thought. My long term goals seemed to fall apart before my eyes. I couldn't see how this was all possible but I decided then, those numbers would not go ANY higher. This will be my last "fat" November of my life and THAT thought excited me. With the help of a friend's phone call Monday night after the weighing I kicked my butt out the door and on to the gym. I have done my best to leave that number I saw Monday out of my head except when I'm weighing. If I go down even just a .1lb, I have succeeded that day. And if I haven't... it's one day. Tomorrow, I try again.

Thank you for all of the support and prayers. I don't know how often I'll give an update. It'll depend on the mood. I'm excited about weight watchers and I know that it is going to help me with the lifestyle change that I am looking to be a forever change.

You guys are awesome! Whether you are praying, calling, sending me texts, writing on my FB wall, a workout buddy, or whatever... I am SOOOOO incredibly thankful for you!

-in Christ,
 ~Marisa Lynn

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Time Is Now: Improving life- one step, one breath, one second at a time

Most of you who will look through this blog, already know that yesterday I made a big decision.

I'm getting serious about my health. I've got a lot of goals that I would like to meet, and I have outlined those goals in smaller steps. I can't take everything on at once. I know that. So, I'm starting small. But first, take a look at the list:

-1.healthier eating (mostly cut out red meat, sugars, and bad carbs)--I do not want to deprive myself of these great things, but they need to be regulated
--I plan to keep a food journal of EVERY thing that goes into my mouth

2.Keep track of the weight loss and measurement loss

3.Workout Six days a week
--Build up to this, I want to start out with three and one day of swimming.
---no pain, no gain (or loss in this case.)

4.Establish a routine sleeping habit
--of course their will be exceptions, but generally speaking, waking up and going to bed at the same time every night.

Healthier Eating
-I'm starting with breakfast. This inspiration all started with this blogger girl. ( You should go over to her website. It's an amazing testament to what we can do if we decide to do it. So, I'm deciding. I got all of my breakfast ideas from Taralynn (blogger girl) The following is my breakfast schedule for next week and depending on how much I like each day, maybe a good habitual breakfast schedule, but one thing at a time.

Keeping Track
I bought a scale and body measuring tape yesterday. Hoping that by the middle of next week, I will know my measurements and weight.

Working Out

Everything that I am doing is going to be challenge. This might be the biggest one (though, I do love food). The problem here is going to be the pain. I am a big girl, so unfortunately the smallest exercise tasks hurt sometimes. I don't want to hurt myself but I am going to push myself. I have to learn the difference in those two kinds of pain. The following is a workout schedule (to start next week, Nov.14-Nov.20)

I'm done saying that I will start tomorrow. Because tomorrow continues to be tomorrow. It never becomes today. So, I started yesterday. I went to bed last night at eleven. Now, my target time is going to be 10:30. So, I've started. I think that this will be the easiest of my goals to reach.

I need/want/have to lose weight. I've always known I (needed) to but over the last month and a half I'm realizing that I have to, if I want to live past my 50s and not get diabetes and have some kind of heart condition. And the time is now.

My goal is to lose 3.5 lbs a week. I know that initially it will come off more quickly then tapper off. I know that this is a healthy goal and that over time, I will see results.

Jesus.Patience. Strength. Endurance. Faith. Hope. Wisdom. Love. Want.

These are all things I must posses in order to succeed.

Love you all,
--Marisa Lynn

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Pensieve Memory

I had to do a creative writing piece for one of my grad classes. This piece started out as me just writing about my longing that pensieves actually existed. If morphed into this and I kind of like it. My love for Harry Potter definitely shines through and I thought that I would share it with you, even if you think its silly. :) 

A Pensieve Memory

Memories we cling to
We long to remember
Some are ever fleeing
Some are forever beating

What we have, we do not want
What we want, we can not have
Gone like the wind
Here to stay always

What if there was another way
A way to see that special day
Remember what was once forgot
Somewhere in that magic pot

A Pensieve would do the trick
Too bad that takes magic
A place where memories float
Waiting to surface hope

But alas magic we have not
And without it no memory pot
A Pensieve remains a dream
And in time, a memory

Saturday, August 13, 2011

When Things Don't Go As Planned...

That was the plan, and for all intents and purposes that still IS the plan. God seems to have a very different idea about how I am to get to that point, then I do. Fastest way to get to your goal is the most direct path... a straight line.

 From the moment I walked across that stage and received my "diploma" (to come in the mail a month later), my life has been FAR from the prescribed "most direct path" to reaching my goals, my hopes, and my dreams.  Instead, it has been a series of lessons learned, failures doled out, and disappointments. Now, if I let it stop there, then this not so direct path would be wasted on me. I will have learned nothing if I look back at this summer and all I can remember is how bad it royally stunk, because for the most part it has. 


I hate how easy it is to forget that, how easy it is to forget that God knows whats best for us, how easy it is to "take over" and make our own decisions without so much as asking if we are doing what God intends for us to do. The great thing is, God will use WHATEVER path we have chosen to take. I heard a song the other day and I have no idea who sings it but it had a great line in it and it was something like this...

"You don't have to take the broken road, You can turn around and come back home."

What a great gift and promise that is. Sure, the road I'm on may be broken, but I can turn around. I can go back home. So often I find myself on this broken road, and God uses that  when I am too stinkin' stubborn to ask for help off of it or to see the light guiding me back home. 

Here are a few of the things that God is teaching me this summer...

Misconception #294: Just because I am a teacher, does not mean that it will be EASY to find a job. I literally filled out 30 applications this summer to various different school districts throughout the state and NOTHING came back. I pray that once I take these two reading classes and get both of my licenses finalized, that God will show me the job that I have been dreaming about. I know he has a plan, I just hate not being able to see it through the fog!

Doled out Failure #1: I did NOT pass the Praxis II Mid-level Content by TWO points!! TWO POINTS. I sat in my room crying for about two hours when I found this out in April. I know that it has contributed to the fact that I am not teaching this year, but I also know that God is using this to make me a better teacher for my first class of kids. They are going to be in for something special when I get into the class.

Lesson Learned #56: Switching your teaching license to another state is a PAIN in the tail. I had almost given up on the idea of moving out of the state for a little bit. But, God showed me a way to prepare for the reading praxis and become a better teacher. So, I'm taking two reading classes this semester and will be registering to take the praxis II in December. I just keep learning...

Those are just a few of things that have put a wrench in my "plans." I thought I had it all figured out but God is reminding me that HE has it all figured out and I am doing his work. 

If you find yourself facing this...

"It’s not that I don’t think that God can. I know he can. I am worried that he won’t."

Remember that God has your back. If you are where HE wants you, he will. Your faith will grow with each step.

Be happy. Love others. Listen. Live life. Set an example. Shine your light. Believe. Dream Big. Trust God. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

To Sir, With Love

I have recently graduated from college... COLLEGE. *breaker breaker 1,2 am I coming in clear?* I am a COLLEGE GRADUATE!!! I am just about as shocked as anyone, believe me. I can NOT believe that this moment really has arrived. It is almost, but not quite, too good to be true! One of the biggest down sides to graduating from one of the most wonderful colleges in the United States... having to say goodbye for now, to some of the most AMAZING women of God that I have EVER had the pleasure of calling MY friends. 

This picture keeps finding it's way just about EVERYWHERE. This probably best describes the relationship that I have with some of the most amazing women on this planet. My heart misses them so much. But this quote is a comfort to me...

"A farewell is neccesary before we can meet again, and meeting again, after moments or a lifetime is certain for those who are friends."

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. " 
-Deuteronomy 31:8 

"I thank my God every time I remember you. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God."
--Philippians 1:3;9-11.

I love my girls. I am so THANKFUL that Rachel and I do not have to part just yet and I am hopeful  that Brittany will come back and live in Searcy for a little while! :D That would just be grand!

As for the Harding chapter of my life, we must say farewell. I know you will cross my path MANY times throughout this wonderful gift of life and frankly, I can't wait!

--in Christ,
 ~Marisa Lynn 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Just a Dream

"I wanna celebrate and live my life."

Here I am... standing on the edge of my last week in my first placement for student teaching. I can't believe that I am saying this but in just TWO months, TWO weeks and four days, I will be able to say that I am a COLLEGE GRAD! At that time, the outfits will be switched in the picture below... I will be WEARING a cap and gown and smiling like a fool because I will be OFFICIALLY a TEACHER!!!!

This semester has been full of interesting surprises, a few new unexpected friendships, and blessing up blessing. I have been observed in my classroom by my Harding University Supervisor and her opinion about my teaching means so much to me. She has helped me grow so much in my methods of teaching just in eight short weeks. Its been an AMAZING experience. I'm praying that once I get into my second placement, fifth grade, that I can take all that I have learned from my Supervising Teacher, Mrs. Wynne, and help my new kids get excited about education! 

I love the surprises that God brings into my life. They usually catch me off guard but they are always exciting. 

Eighties Nights are the best. I think in the future that all Girl's Nights out should be spent in this way. It made my week, easy.

I really am just incredibly blessed. Thanks, God. You're amazing. Words don't even begin to describe, but thanks.

-in Christ,
 ~Marisa Lynn

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wait... I'm an adult now? You're kidding right?!

This semester so far has been totally insane. I feel like I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I have REALLY enjoyed every minute of it but sometimes I just wish I could stop and breath for a second or two!

Last week I had my first observation for my supervised teaching and it went pretty well, I feel like. My supervisor didn't really say one way or another that I was awesome or terrible, but at the end she told me she could tell that I was going to be a good teacher because it is clear that I care for my kids. That meant a lot and was definitely a good thing to hear. And it helped me to not be as nervous about teaching and to be confident in what I do because I do care about what my kids learn. I can't wait to be a teacher! Last week was also "Snow Week". We only went to school one day last week and that was the day that I was observed. But it was good to get that out of the way and not have to reschedule it. 

So, I got a good little break. I spent Thursday and Friday doing absolutely nothing and playing in the snow and hanging out with my girls. I think that it is fair to say that we had ourselves a good little time. 

This week has just been a whirlwind but at the same time it has seemed to take FOREVER for it to be over. On Monday and Tuesday I attended a Job Fair where there were MANY great prospects for a job once I graduate. I am praying that something will work out and that I will know sooner rather than later. I like security but in the end I know that God is going to take care of me... I worry too much. Thankfully, He is in control! Friday was a messed up day because I had my times for seminar messed up. I somehow thought I needed to be at seminar at 9:30 because thats what I had in my planned... turns out, seminar was at 1 and had a paid any attention to e-mails or any other calendar or schedule I have, I would have realized that. So, I missed half a day of teaching because of a stupid mistake. It was frustrating! Now I will have to make that half day up, because I don't want to miss out on valuable experience! But I got it all worked out and I think I'm good. Just frustrated by yesterday in general. 

The evening did end on a high note. I went to work after seminar and then went to dinner with some friends. We hung out and caught up because we never really see each other except on the weekends. Closed the evening enjoying watching Spring Sing Practice and it was just a hoot. We heckled and laughed the entire time. It was great!

Now, I'm sitting at work trying to find the motivation that I need to get going on my lesson planning for this next week. This is my last week to teach in my 6th grade classroom. Then I have a week of observation. After that I will be moving onto my fifth grade class, which will be a whole new experience! I'm excited!!

-in Christ,
 ~Marisa Lynn

Friday, January 7, 2011

Oh My Whoa... Children Everywhere: A Middle School Teacher's Adventure

If the school sends out children with a desire for knowledge and some idea of how to acquire and use it, it will have done its work
--Richard Livingstone 

This past week I started my first week of student teaching

I turned 24 (ahhh!)

 I witnessed the Razorbacks loose to a team they should have beat,
 I recommitted my life

and I taught my first official class all on my own, no teacher, just me against the world.

That sure is a lot for one person to absorb in just one week, wouldn't you agree?

 I have heard

 "Excuse  me, Miss... uh... Teacher lady..." so many times this week, that I am seriously considering changing my first name to Miss, my middle name to Teacher and my last name to Lady. That way, there won't be any confusion! ;o)

It has truly been nothing but a blessing to be in the classroom this week, I'm looking forward to what the rest of the semester could possible have in store, I just can't imagine all of the great things the future coming my way!

Tomorrow I get scootin on my resume
 which I MUST finish this weekend.

 Soon this will all be over and I will wonder where all the time went, although I must admit, I can't wait to have my own classroom, just can NOT wait! It's all just around the corner!!

-in Christ,
 ~Marisa Lynn

Sunday, January 2, 2011

~It's a New Year, right?~

"We young people are constantly under the pressure of planning, of choosing the right college and finishing college in exactly 4 years. Of choosing the right spouse and just in the right amount of time. Of choosing the right career and finding the perfect big city in which to live. We're asked to be certain in a world full of uncertainty. To feel secure when only one wrong step breeds insecurity and to simply answer the questions in front of us instead of questioning the answers."
--Charissa Collins
Part of me just wants to leave my post with that statement. It is everything that I am feeling at this very moment. Some days, I don't know how to even face all of these pressures, but then I remember this...

"But your love, your love the only thing that matters is, your love. Your love, it's all I have to give. Your love is enough to light up the darkness, it's your love, your love all I ever needed is your love."
--Brandon Heath 
I plan to make no resolutions this year, at least not in the sense that resolutions are typically made. I'm praying for the strength to keep this in mind...

"If only you could see me yesterday, who I used to be before the change, you'd see a broken heart, you'd see the battle scars. Funny how words can't explain, how good it feels to finally break the chains. I'm not what I have done, I'm what I've overcome"
 This year I'm not hoping for the strength to keep my resolutions, no this year I'm praying for the strength and the bravery to remember that I am NOT what I have done, I AM what I've overcome! And the greatest thing about that realization is that, I didn't overcome ANYTHING, not on my own accord anyway! I AM overcome everything! It's such a great thing to realize! This year I pray that it is not something that gets pushed in a corner, convinced that I can handle everything on my own. Who am I to think that I can handle this life on my own. God has blessed me immensely and how do I thank him? I most often do not. It's time for this to change, 2011 is the year in which I really care enough to change. Cause thats the problem, isn't it? I haven't cared enough. 

"They say it sounds insane, we say that we've been changed by the power of crazy love. This world looks at us like we're ridiculous Baby it's all because of crazy love."
--Hawk Nelson

This band  got this song idea from a book by Francis Chan called Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a relentless God. My prayer is that I can become so wrapped up in God's love that I can overwhelm him with my love and devotion for him. Sure, in this life I will never be perfect but the promise of perfection is enough to make this life worth living. Why I've been waiting 24 years to figure this out is beyond me. But, I'm done waiting. 

If you're reading this I'm hoping that you can help me. Prayer, asking how I am, Caring, Loving, simply being there... all ways that will be encouraging and uplifting. 

I'm tired of living a life in which I feel guilty for not reading my bible every day or praying often enough. I do not want to live a life like that any longer. Who wants a relationship like that? Certainly not God and certainly not I. I want to DESIRE to talk with my God, my SAVIOR, my REDEEMER, my LIGHT, my LIFE, my LOVE, my FATHER, my best friend. Only he knows the desires of my heart, only he can fix what I have broken. 

So, 2011 let's do this. I have set out the past 24 years with my plans, never truly considering what God may have in store for me. In May, I will graduate *finally* with my bachelor's degree in Middle-Level Education with an emphasis in Social Studies and Language Arts. I am being blessed with an opportunity at Pangburn Middle School for my Student Teaching semester which starts in just one day! I'm excited to start this adventure. It's already begun, this is exciting!!

"Redeem the years I've thrown away I'm ready to make good on what I've wasted. I'm asking you to shape my heart, I want to be Your work of art. Cause when You change me and make me more like You, It's Beautiful, you can turn mistakes to miracles. The way that you still love me after all, it's BEAUTIFUL! So, help me God forbid I never take for granted this endless gift you give." 
 Thanks for reading till the end, if you made it. ;)

-Marisa Lynn