Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Setting the Goals

Thanks friend Eric for throwing down the gauntlet today. I appreciate the offer to have some anonymous accountability, but who am I kidding! Go big, go the whole way, or go home.

So tonight, after 4 hours of Biggest Loser, I decided to set my goals up here and ask y'all to ASK ME how I'm doing. That may stink but it's what I need people.  Oh ha! And that totally makes me want to hurl thinking that anyone might actually but please, please do!  (AAAAAH!)

So I am setting some weekly goals and my long term goals.  Here they are in black and white.  Then I gotta go to bed so I can get up and work out! 

Weekly Goals:
Exercise - at least 30 minutes at least 4 days a week.
Food - High protein, high veggies - balance, balance, balance - kill the sugar (I'll be fleshing out the specs on this but I needed to get a start down)
Food - Stay within my calorie range (tracked by my handy "Lose It" app on the iPhone)
Self - TV/PC off after 11 pm with the only exception being schoolwork (also AAAAH!)
Water - drink it, lots of it and every day - at least 125 oz per day

Overall Goals:
Lose 60 lbs by 12/31/10 (HOLY CRUD DID I JUST PUT A NUMBER DOWN???!!!)
Be back to my 20,000 steps a day each and every day by 12/31/10

Ok folks - it's there in black and white.   Must find a way to put these permanently in the sidebar. But must do that later!

My shoes and socks and handy DVD are ready to roll for tomorrow.
Let's do it!
(AARRR! - power yell)

Thursday, March 25, 2010


It's funny In some ways. I remember reading in my journal in a recent re-read the following:
"I guess I shouldn't be surprised that when you change you invite more change along for the ride."

Change is just in the air.
I feel a bit melancholy tonight. I'm not upset or sad though so maybe wistful is a better word.

I have had a lot of great conversations over this last week with people who are reading here. HI PEEPS!
I've guessed 4 readers and even gone as high as 7, but this last week has broadened my vision and shocked me quite a bit.

I think part of this current phase has been kicked off by some of what God has been teaching me and some of what you've been telling me.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the "next thing" in our lives that we forget to live and be fully in the current thing. One consistent thing in my life as a single has always been to never put my life on hold waiting for something to happen.

I have traveled the world, walked on the Great Wall, swam in the Dead Sea, ridden a camel in Israel, been almost run over in Ukraine, stood at the top of Niagara Falls, seen the lost city of Atlantis (well the Bahamas resort version at least), and visited the empty tomb outside Jerusalem. I have done so many things that I never would have dreamed possible growing up.

Never let what may happen in the future stop your "now."

Always live for HERE because HERE is all we are promised.

So maybe you cannot travel the world.

What can you do?

LOVE: Love with abandon. Love with ridiculous abandon. Love until your heart may break from the joy of it. Love people who cannot or will not love you back, just because you can. Love until it hurts!

LIVE:  Live each moment. Sometimes I catch myself still wishing today away. Yes - tomorrow will be spectacular. At this current season it is tempting to count days until I see a certain person. But any day wished away in lieu of another day is a God-given day wasted.
Live fully. Leave nothing behind at the end of the day. What is it that your are passionate about? Be there - do that. No excuse is valid to yourself for wasting a day by hiding somewhere.

HOPE: Now you may think because I mentioned that I didn't want to waste time wishing days away that I intend to tell you I do not hope for or think about my future. That is so not true. I live saturated in HOPE. That is why despite any circumstance that I may be facing or may face in the future I know I can LOVE and LIVE. Life is full of hope. So where you are now isn't where you want to be - guess what? You can make changes. Life not turning out as you intended (and trust me people I have many of those moments). The future is still laid out before you.  If you are granted another breath after the one you just took, then you my friend have a reasonable expectation to HOPE. Now don't waste it!

Love. Live. Hope.


Monday, March 22, 2010

When I Figure It Out

I keep waiting for my "aha" moment. But I'm thinking that this time around I'm not going to get that.
This time around I may not have that magical moment that just gels into my brain.
I was e-mailing a friend today about Beth Moore's new book.
It's called "So Long Insecurity"
Perhaps you are in that vein of person that has no insecurities. If so - what the heck are you doing reading something written by ME the queen of insecure? Heh?  Rethink please.  :O)
I kid... I kid...

This book has been eye opening for the same reason that my Friday spill and the resulting e-mails and personal conversations (ME TOO moments) have been eye opening.

Beth Moore struggles with insecurity. Not only that people, but within the pages of her book are examples of numerous other women who struggle. Praise God - that some of them are even rowing in the same sea of insecurity as me.

Now I do not like to know that anyone is suffering. I sure wish that we lived in the World that God intended.
But we don't. We live in a fallen world and things are not going to be perfect.
Hallelujah friends - that means that I am not going to be perfect either.

So while I battle with my lifelong struggle (and the daily stuff that is thrown in for good measure) I have gained some valuable assets over the last few days.
In coming clean I have gotten several "me too" people. THANK YOU - and if you haven't let me know you're with me... please let me know so we can encourage each other.
Reading and commenting is so encouraging to me.

In coming clean I have gotten to hear some much needed encouragement.

The Goal is not perfection. The goal is progress. So mark today up as success!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The First Thing to Go

Ironically the first casualty this weekend was the bathroom scale which now resides on the laundry room shelves.
There is shall stay for a while.  Not sure how long yet.
One thing I realize about myself is that whenever I start something new the first thing I do is weigh. And then I keep weighing - often.
Soon the numbers become the gauge of how the days have gone. Frankly that is no way to gauge how the day has gone!
The new gauge is going to be what I've done as far as what's gone into my body and how much work I've put into my list (you know I love lists... you know there has to be a list coming right?!)
I'm still formulating the details of what this will look like. But have started out with just doing the same things I know to do already.
Oh and don't worry----- I still have a scale.
The Wii-otch** can weigh me when I work out!

**Wii-otch is my affectionate name for skippy the scale that comes with Wii fit. I hate her... I know you shouldn't hate anyone... but I do hate her. She says ugly things like "ooohhh" when you step on... and "that's obese" (while your Mii hangs her head in shame) after she weighs you. Sorry - oversharing again I know but who am I kidding right?!  :O)
Ok - night... I have some journaling and list making to do!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm Kinda Tired... Think I'll Go Home Now

I figure this is one of those posts that'll get me a call from my mother speaking about my Uncle Larry and implying (or just saying) that possibly I over-share.
Possibly... I do overshare.
I suppose my theory on this is that too many of us don't share enough!
I think more often than not we feel like the battles we face are just our battles.

I think it is in holding onto our struggles that they can gain their greatest power over us. More times than I can count in bible studies or over coffee (yeah I don't drink coffee really) a woman recounts a story to me while sobbing and the second that someone else (or ME) says "me too" the relief is palpable!

Well buckle in friends. Some of you are getting ready to say "ME TOO!" Maybe some of you are getting ready to say "Whatever?" And I hope the other four of you will at least say "hey I can pray for that!"

Know that for about two months I have attempted this little feat of blogging. While my struggle is obvious to the casual observer it is ironically still not easy to put in black and white. It is definitely not easy to put up on a blog even if it's for the possibility of accountability. There have been some people who have encouraged me to be transparent here (though they don't know it yet). Eric (real life friend) - Annie (person I blog-stalk :O) - and countless others.

If you clicked the links then you know where we are headed if you didn't already. If you don't have your clue yet then let me just get down to business.

My name is Gina.
And for more years that I can figure I've struggled with my weight. I'm not just an emotional over-eater. I'm a celebration-eater too. It's been with me in good times and bad; through sickness and health.
And right now - it's killing me.

I am not unaware of my weight. No chubby, fluffy, jolly, whatever person is. I am extremely conscious of it.
I always have been.
What I am aware of lately is my defensiveness of it and my acceptance of it.
That is what is unacceptable.

So here I am sitting in front of this monitor. Frankly teetering over the POST and Delete Keys.

But I'm done.

I'm done hiding and I'm ready to fight.

This is worth fighting for. I am worth fighting for.

Why the heck am I doing this here? Because I realized that I need a "me too" moment as well. I need that something that will link me to others that have done it.  And there are LOTS of you out there that have. Those are the people that will help me along this path. Maybe this blog world will help in that as well.

The temptation was there to wait until I had some type of success to just spill the beans. But no... I want you here with me from day one.  And this is seriously day one.  Ugly - gritty - tear-stained day one.

Turning around and headed home.
Join me?



Here's what I'm thinking.
I'm just refusing this crappy, weird winter blast that is threatening to hit us this weekend.
Absolutely just refusing it!
I have plans. Plans with my super boy friend and then plans to be at my wonderful church. I like adjectives have you noticed?
Plans that do not include snowfall or sleet.
They didn't really include rain either, but rain I can beat off with an umbrella.
But SNOW - seriously, it's flipping 67 degrees outside right now.

I know that this stuff coming right now cannot stick to anything because it is, let me repeat myself, 67 degrees outside right now!!!


Summer - get here already. M-k?

We'll return to your normal bloggyness (whatever that really is for all 7 of you I recounted - WOOT) later after the panic of SNOWSTORM - MARCH 10 passes.

Hugs and kisses

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Things Normal People Would Never Tell you - Vacation Disasters

In reality - I have a LOT of weird vacation stories.  A - LOT.  :O) 
It seems that when I travel - especially when I travel out of the country - that strangeness follows me.
People try to grab me (China). I run into people that I know shopping for mail order brides (Ukraine).
Just you know - random for instances.

Picture if you will the return trip from my first overseas mission trip - wow 10 years ago! Due to unforeseen travel circumstances we have a lay-over in London. FUN! We'd been planning out our time. Lots and lots of things. Being the history buff that I am, I could not believe I was going to get to spend the day in such a great city.
We get into London to begin our site-seeing time, check into the hotel and so far all is well.
Beginning of the site-seeing we start out of our hotel walking in a big pack.
And less than 50 feet outside of our hotel I step on an un-even piece of the sidewalk and severely sprain my ankle.

J_O_Y  :O)

Some fun things to know about London.

You can see a ton of things from the top of a double-decker bus.
It helps if you have friends that tolerate your little injured self and ride the bus routes with you.
You can see a TON of things from the top of a double-decker bus.
Donna - Me - Jennifer - Loretta

Some other fun things to note:
The "friendly" hotel staff had never heard of an ace bandage and looked at me like a moron while I tried to describe it. I'm going to blame my southern accent for the chuckles.  BUT, but I found out later that the hotel we stayed in had a HOSPITAL right across the ROAD FROM IT!!!!!
I'm certain puffy ankle and tears should translate to injury in any language no?  :OP
Ankles that are badly sprained swell up to almost the size of your calves when you decide to run through airports on them with no crutches and then get on a plane for multiple hours. 
You know how sometimes your feet swell on planes.....................................................

Our British Air Flight attendant deserved to be flogged for his treatment of gimpy (me) on the way home.  If I see him again... and I will remember... I'm gonna kick him in the ankle and run away laughing. (probably not but it makes me smile to think about it!)

My doctor flat out told me I was an idiot for walking on my ankle like that.  i.d.i.o.t.  Then he laughed at me for quite a while - cause he loves me like that!

All of us, including me, didn't realize how bad it was until we got off the plane in Dallas.  By then it was pretty much too late... including for the plane to take us to AR... which we then had to wait a ridiculous amount of time for. I hate late flights.  I really hate late flights when I am cranky.  :O)

Ok - thus ends the saga of the Great London Ankle Injury.
You may now resume your normal lives.

Monday, March 15, 2010

J-O-Y - Part Two

Previously on this blog…  :O)

You are pre-warned - this is insanely long!

So now I’m worried.
Well not worried - concerned? I honestly didn’t realize that so many of you would get SO caught up in waiting for news. Who knew that many (any) people would be interested? And now I’m thinking you’re totally going to be like “whatever” when you find out I’m not:
1.) Engaged (which was like 100 of your guesses - possibly an exaggerated number or possibly not - seriously people when that happens. There will not be secrecy there will be blimps, fireworks, parties and billboards. (do you know me at all?!?  :O)
2.) Moving
3.) Quitting or some other massive life change

But interested you were and engaged I’m not.

When last we left it was Friday night and I was desperately listening and waiting for God to move.

Friday-DAY I had so much work to do. I was entering checks, listening to classes, doing the normal Friday shuffle.
But God kept knocking.
And I kept having to put it off and feeling more and more desperate for the time to listen. I can’t explain this feeling.  I mean, I work at a church for heaven’s sake but I felt like I couldn’t stop long enough to process and had to just push it down over and over again.

Desperate. To. Hear.

Oh I am sorry I think this may get long because of how many things I have to explain to explain how COOL this was for me… and WHY I was so excited at the way so much unfolded. I’m tempted to break it up into another blog but I think some of you would kill me.

Years ago I started praying something very, very specific. It’s actually even pre-blog days so that’s why I have to explain and can’t just link. I started to pray for God to change my name based on Jacob wrestling with God and God changing his name. At the time I started praying it I didn’t have a complete concept of what it meant. But I knew I needed change. Over the course of that year (I think 2004) I realized that at that time my “name” was fear. I was afraid of so much in my life. I wanted my name to be (Fear Not).

Specifically I knew with no doubt that God was asking me to sing/speak in front of people something to which I had repeatedly said NO, NOPE, NO-WAY - uh-UH. You hearing me?  :O) I had tried. It had not worked. I had freaked out. I was afraid. And Praise Team? Please! all those thousand eyes staring back - ain’t no way folks.   F_E_A_R took over even thinking about it.

So 2005-ish (I need my journal here… and don’t have it) God radically changed my name via a super lady named Candi. She encouraged me to get on out there and start singing. Really this deserves its own post! This led to not only singing in a ladies group on the “big stage” on a Sunday morning in front of thousands but to leading worship at a retreat, helping to lead at other events, and in a step that is miraculous beyond the explaining if you haven’t walked the road with me, singing by myself at both a wedding and a church service).
All that led to me finally stepping up and trying out for Praise Team for church and being blessed to be able to sing actually hold a mic and sing in the place I had sworn I would never, ever stand.
That picture and thought still brings me to tears because it was so beyond me. I’m not the most talented by so far but to be able to be used was/is amazing.

See “fear” my old name had been changed to FEAR NOT. I marked that occasion (the first one) with a silver ring engraved with those words which I still wear. It was to remind me that no step onto any stage or podium will ever be my power.

Ok - enough back story - back to 2010 people.  Still here?

Friday night - desperation is setting in and I start praying for God to start to speak gently please. I can’t take radical this weekend. I have two finals and two papers. K? Thanks.

When I finally put head to pillow on Friday night it is with much prayer that God would reveal the whatever. And I’m thinking at this point that I’m getting a clue.
We’ve slipped a bit because there is a word that is back in my vocabulary in a big, big way.


Fear.  Afraid of what comes next. I’m graduating in December. What happens then? What will the next year bring? So many things seem up in the air right now and I and not in control.

Fear.  But God had already changed my name. What happens now? I’m a MESS. Is God through? What is next?

Somewhere in the middle of Friday I was sent a blog link to Travis Cottrell which I read on Saturday night

Now it’s long too - so I won’t make you read it (but you SO should)
But here is an excerpt:

“There is nothing God cannot do.

So in conclusion, please hear this: Fear not.

Fear not.

God has not left you. God has not chosen you to be the one who has circumstances or mental and emotional make-up that is beyond change. Your struggles, your mountain, your pain is not beyond Him. Who are we to ever be so presumptuous to think that we would actually be the ones who have issues beyond the reach of God's power?”

Gina Here again….
aka Fear Not.


I sat there - literally on the floor - just sobbing. Cause if you ever asked for God to just come right out and tell you something and maybe tailor it RIGHT to you. Well then there you have it.

Saturday night the burdens of numerous months lifted in moments because of one reminder.

Gina - I changed your name - Fear not. I’m not done with you.

Circumstances have not changed. Still have no answers but I am not afraid because God reminded me that he already changed my name.

Fear. Not.

Oh - and cause God’s just like that… and likes to reinforce reminders… I got to be on Praise Team THIS Sunday - i.e..THE Sunday that would be the day after He chose to rock my world.

And would anyone like to guess what Josh Stanbery’s devotional was for the morning of Sunday, March 14th for the Praise Team??
Cause you’re kinda not going to believe it people?  :O)
Really - you’re not…

Jacob - wrestling with God - and God changing his name.

Believe it or not - the 2 ½ page version that you just read/scanned IS the recap version. Because there are details that are too personal to recount for blog-land. And there are other details that I think I may share later. I can't help it. God is good and you don't want to keep that to yourself!!!!!

But let me rephrase what I said on twitter.

May I never get over: where God has taken me from, what He has brought me through and what He is doing! So good. He is SO good.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's about the J-O-Y - Part 1

As promised a little peek at the weekend though I am sure that no words do it justice.
Let's just go back to Friday. We could go back further. But Friday was the beginning of this little joy-sprout so it seems like a good place to start.
Oh, maybe Thursday night.... yeah let's go there for just a second!
Ok - so my lack of sleep might possibly interfere with this little diatribe but some of you are just chomping at the bit!

Thursday night was a marathon of class watching and in the middle of it God started knocking. Sometimes God is subtle - He whispers. Sometimes, not so much and the Thursday/Friday combo was of the not so subtle variety.

I have been so stressed out about the details of everything working out. How am I going to get all these pages read? I have no more papers in me right now. How in the world can I write 21 pages? I have no energy. I have barely slept for weeks. I am spent. <---- Gina's mindset circa Thursday/Friday morning.

Knock/knock - God on Thursday  -
Hi Gina you're really stressing out here. You do realize you don't have to go this alone right?
Me - Eh - it's just a couple of paper, pages, no sleep, life is crazy, general things I can't blog about rightnownuttynessinsomanywayshtaticantevenfindspacesforitkindalife... I'll be fine thanks.
God - Ok

Thursday night I barely slept. Frankly I cried almost the entire night because I was so tired.stressed.frantic.tired.emotional.worried.TIRED.

Friday - Work.

Knock/Knock - God on Friday
I'm not sure exactly at what point in my day on Friday this occurred but I do remember walking over to my friend Tiffany's office and confessing I was fairly certain God was speaking and I had (GET THE IRONY HERE) no TIME to listen!
Somehow the day passed on Friday (if you Facebook/twitter) you noticed that God got some shots in there during the day as well) and I made it home determined that no matter what it took and even if it meant that something didn't get done, I was listening.

And Speak. He. Did.

Now I don't want to cliffhanger you - but I'm gonna - because this girl is working on 4 hours sleep. While it's been an incredible day (Thanks to many things and people) it's been exausting.
So I wanted to set your minds at ease (since some of you had some crazy, nutty theories that I had some insanely good news up my sleeves)
-G-night from G-Joy.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Compassion: Kenya

I've been following the bloggers who've been on the Compassion trip in Kenya. So many times on these trips I read these posts and just bawl thinking about the kids who have yet to be sponsored. So many kids who just need a ray of hope in their lives. $38 a month can make a huge difference. My own Compassion child (Grace) lives in Tanzania and I hope to get to see her in person someday. But until then I see her in so many of these faces on so many of these trips.
The post today by Brad just broke me and I wanted to share it with you guys.
If you have ever considered sponsoring STOP considering and go for it!
Father to the Fatherless

Monday, March 01, 2010


I was positive that I had written about this before but I cannot find it anywhere.
So I'll mark my night/week/month/year by marking my ebenezer stone here on the blog.
Well - it's already in my journal... this is just maybe something for someone else.
You know I always say I hate to waste a lesson so that's why I share!  :O)

1 Sam 7:12
Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."

I really don't remember the first time I heard this analogy. I have a feeling it was Beth Moore, cause Beth is just like that! But it's a term I have used many times since the first time I heard it.

For me an Ebenezer is a marker in my life when God does something that is so astounding/profound that I have to put down some stones for posterity and say "Up to this moment, God has helped me."

It's a reminder of where I've been. I can pick up some of those markers (and some are actual physical rocks!) and I can know that God has been there with every step.

Ebenezer - Up to this moment, God has helped me.

I started to write a very different blog tonight but somewhere in the middle of it God just came down and I pulled away for a few hours. Because when God speaks I hope I always drop it all and listen.


It's no secret. I've blogged it. I've tweeted it. I've facebooked it. I've talked about it with the people I love.
I have just felt broken, brokenhearted. A lot goes into that personally.
I have no doubt that I am His child. But God has in many ways seemed silent for a while in some key areas.
I was a bit angry about that. I needed a word, but no word seemed to come. So I went silent too. Two can play this bit.
I wrote a few weeks ago about fearing becoming Marah (bitter) and wanting to be Hephzibah. Still there was silence and brokenness.
And instead of retreating IN... I moved a little further away.

Tonight I revisited some of the old stones - Ebenezer.
There are places I remember, ugly places where God pulled me through. Ebenezer
There are joyful places where God revealed and I joyfully danced. Ebenezer
There were painful places where God gently led me and healed me. Ebenezer
There is a place - where God showed up and no one could doubt that something miraculous had happened.
Little markers to God's faithfulness.
Am I really doubting now that He is good and He does what is good? Am I really focusing on myself when His holiness and faithfulness have been my shield for so many years? Am I really arrogant enough to think that I can pick up just fine here now thankyouverymuch and do it by myself?

So I have wrestled with the brokenhearted-ness this time and come back again to the fact that "Up to this moment, God has helped me."

Tonight I have marked another ebenezer stone because, while I still have no answer I have a promise and I will hold it in my heart.

Psalm 34:18
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
       and saves those who are crushed in spirit.


I Promise.. My Eyes are Brown

And I promise that there are pictures of me where I don't look possessed... but those pictures aren't rejects so they don't qualify.
Yes it's that time again. My friend Melissa's Photo Album Rejects day is here.

This picture comes from roughly 12 years ago. I'm sporting a dress that mortifies me to look at.  :O)
AND the expression. I'm not sure what that is. I will say that the person (and I cannot remember who he was) beside me has a similar expression! I'm on stage at the time, which makes this more mortifying - do I make faces like this often on stage?  I hope not?!?

Thanks Melissa for giving me a reason to air these.  I already have some good ones lined up for the upcoming months!
-Gina (I'm a she-devil) Bob