Wednesday, August 30, 2017

4 Choices That Saved My Life This Summer * A Synchroblog

Who could imagine that August is careening to an end?  Can you believe how fast your September calendar is filling up?  Could it be that the kids are back to school and that schlocky Halloween decor is filling the shelves of any and every store?

Whatever.  Summer took her sweet ol' time in arriving to New England shores this year and I'm in no hurry to see her move on.  I plan on milking every glorious second right up 'til autumn officially arrives on September 22.  

And here's the choices I've made in recent days that God has used to bring me health and sanity and peace ...




#1.  I've barely left a footprint online.
Sometimes you've gotta pull way back from the whole internet thing, especially when you're feeling a bit crispy 'round the edges, bored, or restless with the seemingly endless running hither and yon that social media can so easily suck you into.  You've gotta let go of the fear of missing out, you can't fret that you'll lose your audience.  You have to do what lets you breathe deep and be an honest to goodness multi-faceted person with a real life away from any kind of keyboard.

My visits to your blog begin again soon.




#2.  One year later, Weight Watchers still works.
13 months ago I began eating smart and healthy and I haven't looked back.  I lost the weight I wanted to lose and have pretty much stayed around goal since then.  Sure, I'm always looking for random excuses to splurge and have weeks where I graze the kitchen cabinets and fridge in a distracted, uncontrolled way.  But the bottom line is that if you do the program, the weight comes off.  And stays off.   

And Weight Watchers isn't paying a single cent for me to say that.  Check them out here.




#3.  I love what I do.
It never fails that when I walk through the door after work, I say those 5 words to my husband.  I can't help myself.  It's so very true.

I honor all my counseling clients along the way who've invited me to be present with them in the stark reality of their pain.  To leave no stone gently unturned as we've walked slowly but surely through the dark and scary places into the healing light and freedom that comes through Christ.  To banish the lies that have hindered, to discover the power of forgiveness, and embrace new ways of looking at life and relating to others well.  

Seeing God do miracles in the lives of these courageous women is one of my deepest joys.




#4.  Impromptu beats endless hours of planning and expense.
From time to time I've thought how cool it would be to have a professional family portrait done ... all 12 of us in matching denim and white, artfully draped around each other with a stunning vista behind us, everyone glowing with happiness and so very overjoyed to be a member of the graceful family poised and relaxed in front of a large, expensive camera.

Not gonna happen.

If we're really lucky, once a year we attempt to hustle everyone together.  Chances are that no one's combed their hair all day, there's not a matching outfit in sight, and the little ones are grimy and anxious to run off to play.  We grab a random guy walking by and ask him to quickly snap 4 or 5 shots.  We hold our breath, crank out some smiles, and hope that everyone will look relatively sane and pleasant.  This time it worked.

I couldn't be more thankful.




THE SYNCHROBLOG

I'm delighted that three of my longest time blogging friends are joining me for my 2nd ever synchroblog.  {Here's the first one, 2014's In the Company of Friends.}  I met Beth in 2012, and June and Lisa in 2013.  Where?  I've got no idea.  But along the way, I've become increasingly grateful that I've clicked with these creative, wise, godly women.  

This evening we're all pressing the PUBLISH button at the same moment, each of us sharing what saved our lives this summer.

I don't have the vaguest idea what they've written, but knowing each of them, I'm absolutely confident it's going to be superb.  I'm headed over right now to see what Beth, June, and Lisa have drummed up.  Please click each of their names and come along with me and say, 'hi!'

And a special welcome to each of their readers ... I'm so glad you've come to call!  

*

If you've been impacted by the dreadful hurricane that has hit the south, please know that I'm thinking of you even as I write.  I am so very saddened for the unspeakable losses you are experiencing.

May you find that God's mercies are new every morning {Lamentations 3:22-23}.  And may His peace bathe you with the deepest hope and comfort in the aftermath.

Beth Moore shares her grief over her hometown Houston's devastation in this heartwrenching post.  And then you can head here to lend a hand ...
  

i'd love if you'd subscribe here before you head on out

*  *  * 



*  * 

sharing long-time friends with
Emily  .  Leigh  .  Holley

*

42 comments:

  1. What a beautiful family you have, Linda! I love the windblown, just back from or headed to the beach look over a prim and proper portrait any day! Your family rocks it too! I also love your four choices. Well, to be truthful, three of them. Although I do diet and need to, I don't LOVE dieting. So I'm glad to hear it's inspired you this summer, girlfriend. This was so much fun! And I'm so glad I got invited to the party! It's been a great ride alongside you in the blogosphere, Linda! You are a great friend who really inspires me every time I visit your place.

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    1. Windblown.

      Yeah, that says it all!

      Weight Watchers has helped me banish the big D word from my vocabulary. I do hate feeling deprived and while I sometimes pout a bit, it's worth it in the end to know that I'm doing what I can to stay healthy.

      Sometimes ...

      ;-}

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  2. Congrats on eating healthier and maintaining the weight you want. That’s a huge accomplishment. But loving what you do? That’s the greatest! Love that family portrait. You are blessed. Thanks for asking me to participate in this synchroblog; I feel so honored to be among this company of friends.

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    1. Yes, Lisa, the longer I do the counseling work, the more I love it! Not quite sure why that is, but yes, I am blessed to spend time with courageous women who yearn to have God do His thing in their wounded hearts. Absolutely.

      He is such an incredible Healer who specializes in doing more than we could ask or imagine. What an awesome experience to sit and watch His love unfold and mend the broken places ...

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  3. GREAT family picture, Linda!

    "I plan on milking every glorious second right up 'til autumn officially arrives on September 22." Amen to that sentiment! I 'm with you 100%! Congrats on the weight loss -My Nana did Weight Watchers back when they first started. I don't know of another diet that has been around as long as they have! You know what they say, if you love your job you'll never work a day in your life! Your clients are blessed to have you! Enjoy the rest of your summer :)

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    1. And I'm blessed by your steady godly influence in my life, June ...

      Thanks for the gentle beauty and inspiration you share with us all.

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  4. Love hearing from you Linda. It is good to have you back. Fantastic picture of your family. Really appreciate your perspective on things. Sort of refreshing.

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    1. It's good to see you again, too, Bill. I hope that this last day of August is finding you mending, stronger, more resilient than ever in your body and spirit.

      Refreshing? Yeah, I like that ...

      ;-}

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  5. What a wonderful family picture, Linda, Thank you for sharing it!

    I guess what's saving my life is knowing how hard I have to fight for it. This isn't over.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/08/your-dying-spouse-356-back-in-high-life.html

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    1. What's saving your life? Andrew, you show and tell in every post you write.

      We continue to learn the lessons you're living out for us, friend.

      I hope this week finds you feeling a bit stronger ...

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  6. You guys go waaaaay beyond sane and pleasant.
    What a treat to see the gang, and I just love the tone of this post, Linda. You sound so settled and content, and yet not complacent.

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    1. I love that we both started out our monthly posts in the save vein, Michele ... and included a treasured family picture in the midst.

      Kindred spirits, we are ...

      ;-}

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  7. Best wishes to you and your family, Linda. Wonderful photo.

    Here in Old England we have not had much of a summer. It is raining right now ... again. Good for the garden, I guess. Just been out (in the rain) collecting more apples and pears.

    God bless.

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    1. Hey Ol' Fellow ... good to see you again.

      Or as The Count would say, 'greetings hahaha!'

      ;-}

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  8. Your family portraits are exactly like mine---just thankful we could all be together! We are in the rain path of Harvey--thankfully I am high on a hill!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. Hi Lulu ~ I loved your recent photo of your grandkiddos ... they looked like they were REALLY missing their granny.

      ;-{

      Be safe, friend. May God protect you in every way.

      Looking forward to hearing all your adventures back in your home town ...

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  9. When my kids were younger, I enjoyed the more unstructured, laid-back summer, but by the time school started I felt we were more than ready to get back to some structure, although I did look back at summer wistfully and did not look forward to the crazy busy pace of the school year. Now the school schedule doesn't really affect us any more (except for being careful when we head out so we don't get caught in school traffics), but I do still look back on summer with a bit of wistfulness. And I do look forward to cooler, crisp air and gorgeous fall color! But I don't want to rush to the next change, either - I want to savor the moments.

    Our family photos tend to go that way, too. :-) It's enough to get everyone in one place and hopefully with a pleasant expression on.

    I've been needing to make healthy food changes yet resisting it at the same time. But the results are not going to change if the process doesn't change. I have my annual physical next week, and I have not made consistent changes I was talked to about last year, so I feel like a negligent student waiting to face the principal. If I could just convince myself that the temporary pleasure of eating what I crave is not worth the long term results!

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    1. I hear you about the food thing, Barbara. It all can be so emotionally laden, can't it. And I hate that feeling of shame ... what will people / the doctor / my family think.

      I wish you well as you move ahead in this difficult yet important area. It's a hard journey for many of us ... yet doable.

      Thanks for sharing your heart ...

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  10. Love, love, love the gorgeous family photos, Linda! And isn't staying off the internet for a spell just the best? I think so!
    Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Hi Martha ... yes, yes, yes. I love all my online connections, but it's been so relaxing not be running all over the place like a crazy person commenting and working the room.

      I figure that if people want to come back, they will. And if not, then I'll hold them in open hands and let them go.

      Trusting God with how we use our energy. There's only so much to go around, isn't there ...

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  11. Loved this post, Linda!

    "You have to do what lets you breathe deep." Amen, I really am taking that to heart. Right now, sitting by the lake in peace and quiet is what helps me to breathe. I'm doing it every chance I get before winter comes ...

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    1. Ah ... enjoy every second near the water. It's a healing stream, isn't it.

      Best to you, Jerralea.

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  12. Your blog today is the very greatest, Linda, and those photos are the very best

    {via email}

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  13. Linda, you have a beautiful family. My husband's extended family did the denim and white shirt idea many years ago in a scenic area outside Las Vegas (yes, we lived there at one time). The pictures turned out pretty nice. My SIL used her nice camera and a handy tripod. Then, we went indoors to a studio for some photos. Even though my youngest scowled or/and closed his eyes in every picture, the outdoors ones were prettiest. Other than that, Hubs and I haven't focused on studio photos. Like you, we usually just grab someone to snap a few pics of us, and we pray our youngest (now 13) might, MAYBE give us one of his amazing smiles rather than his trademark goofy ones. ;)

    It sounds like you took some great steps to refresh over summer. I so enjoyed your post!

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    1. I think that photos will probably end up being my most treasured possessions.

      They reflect relationships, snapshots in time. What more could we ask for?

      I'm glad you're here with us, Jeanne. Thanks for sharing a bit of your story. I'm resonating ...

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  14. I believe that loving what you do is really important. It's easy to give up and find an excuse to stop when you don't enjoy what you're doing.

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  15. Even without the matching outfits I love your family photo. And I love the sense of joy and peace that comes across in your post. I'm glad you had a good summer break and found it refreshing. Also you've taught me another new word- schlocky :) Never heard of that before!

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    1. Hey Lesley ~ Maybe I'll spy a few Scottish phrases I haven't heard before over at your place! Interesting the variety of expressions we use, isn't it ...

      ;-}

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  16. Glad to hear your healthy choices are paying off! It's always interesting to hear about works for different people. Great family photo.

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    1. I love that you've dropped in, Leigh. Thanks!

      ;-}

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  17. I just always love coming here and reading your gentle, quiet wisdom, Linda. And that picture of your family is priceless! I also pulled back a bit this summer from online stuff. It made me rethink some things.

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    1. Hi Betsy ~ I appreciated the post you put up this week and will be heading over to chat with you a bit on it.

      So very very wise you are ...

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  18. Linda, what a joy to glimpse the calm, restful, joy-filled moments of your summer with your family...many blessings to you friend ❤️

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    1. Blessings right back to you, Beth. Thanks for kicking off the day with me ...

      ;-}

      I hope yours is productive and peaceful.

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  19. Linda,
    Welcome back to the blogosphere. Yes, we ALL need to take a break from it!! I love the family portraits. Whoever the stranger is that happened by has a good photographic eye! Like Betsy, I appreciate your gentle and quiet wisdom and the women you counsel are truly blessed!! Thank you for sharing your lifesavers this summer!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Good morning, Bev! I hope that these first days of September are finding you feeling stronger after a trying summer. Thanks for reaching out to others even in your own physical pain and discomfort.

      Blogging through tough times can be a lifesaver for sure ...

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  20. What a fantastic picture of a happy family! And reading this made me feel more relaxed. :)

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    1. Oh ... relaxed is SO GOOD right about now, Sarah.

      ;-}

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  21. Enjoyed your post. Sounds like a fantastic summer. And you got one great picture by random, which you just can't beat. Impromptu beats planned and organized any day.

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    1. So good to meet you today, Theresa! Thanks for taking the time to say 'hi!'

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda