Goal Check In for the Week of June 12, 2017

Successes from Last Week

READING

I read the Bible in my downtime a lot this week. I am in 1 Chronicles, which literally put me to sleep one day, but I am getting naps! Success for naps, and for pushing through.

HOMESCHOOL

With sickness the last few weeks, it was a challenge to get back on track, but we are doing it! And the kids are so adorable. I love teaching the Bible to them, and Davy has Psalm 23 almost completely memorized. It is awesome to see their little minds and hearts growing.

EXERCISE

Fit Test this week! Even with all the sickness and delays, I lost inches and weight! I am so excited! Louis and I have been super busy preparing for America and with interns and life, so I don’t have any progress pictures to post with this check in today. But I am feeling great, and it is working!

BLOGGING

For those of you following Lisses to Lebanon or Mommy Book Blog you may have noticed a lull this week. Louis wrote a post, which ended up taking time to format and we also had some crazy prayer requests come up. We shared the prayer stories via email for people signed up to receive our Prayer Challenges and Alerts, so CLICK HERE to join that list.

Goals for this Coming Week

READING

Books

Library books checked out on the Kindle.

Finish reading 2 books.

Bible

Read 4 “days” on my Bible Reading Plan.

BLOGGING

Continue building the habit of Write Every Day.

Prepare for the Lisses to Lebanon Prayer Challenge. If you would like to join us for a week long prayer challenge, CLICK HERE.

PACKING

Get my house organized and ready for packing.

Laundry done so I can pack clothes that fit the kids.

 

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June 5 Weekly Goal Check In

Successes This Past Week

Reading

The kids’ bedtime coincided with the evening prayer time for Ramadan all week, so as I was tucking the kids in we could hear the call to prayer. So we had family prayer, songs, and Bible reading every night. It was wonderful, and the kids were even quicker to get ready for bed in anticipation by the end of the week. Yay! Successes in obedience!

I finished When Helping Hurts and a book called Terms of Use.

Book Total So Far: 19

Homeschool

Both kids love doing homeschool, and Davy had his first set of “exams” this week. We were moving the week that I was supposed to give him his writing test for capital letters, so we skipped that one. He had to trace the letters we have been working on and then write them by himself. He did very well. Two lowercase letters were backwards, but his capital letters and numbers were perfect.

We didn’t really get a week in, and routine was tough, but we got caught up by also doing homeschool on Saturday.

Blogging

Mommy Book Blog

New Total for the Year: 18 Posts

Am I Happy Yet?

Lisses to Lebanon

New Total for the Year: 9 Posts

Posts from this past week in case you missed them:

Life in Lebanon Challenge #1: Grocery Shopping in Lebanon

Building a Job Description From Scratch: The Humor of Missionary Life

How To Use Your Pen in the Battle

I am at 52% of my goal for the year! I caught up quickly to my goals by just working on it every day for awhile. Even working a lot less on the blog the past two weeks I was still able to have things scheduled to post.

Events

David performed in his school musical. It was a huge cultural experience, and completely adorable.

Goals for This Coming Week

Reading

Books

Library books checked out on the Kindle.

Finish reading 2 books.

Bible

Read 4 “days” on my Bible Reading Plan.

Exercise

With Kyrie sick, we ended up staying up with her at night, and since I hurt my head and neck I gave myself a week before I worked it. So my goal for this week is to get back in the routine of waking up early to work out.

As I rework my wake up time I will also have the goal to work out every day whether it is in the morning or at night.

Arabic

Go to class! A good goal after two weeks of being sick.

Blogging

Continue building the habit of Write Every Day.

Prepare for the Lisses to Lebanon Prayer Challenge. If you would like to join us for a week long prayer challenge, CLICK HERE.

Events

This week is Louis’ and my 9 year anniversary!

This week also marks 3 months in our new apartment.

Am I Happy Yet?

The Quest

This year my word of the year is Belong. I am seeking to belong in my own skin, to love myself, and to be happy. Now that we are in June I want to take a minute to look back on the first half of the year and see how my quest is going.

The Heroine

There is a version of myself that I truly believe I am turning into. I am deepening so many good character traits, and really working to minimize and eliminate the bad. I am so much more patient now that it is weird to think of how I used to fidget and pace and start to raise my voice if something was taking too long. Now I can sit, silently, waiting without feeling any stress. I am able to sit next to women here in Lebanon without needing to say something. This causes many women to build relationship with me because that is normal for them as well.

I have reduced the voice raising so much that when I raise my voice now it surprises me, too. Once a month this gets a little wacky (sorry if that’s TMI), but even that week is nothing compared to how bad it used to be.

I really am learning to love myself. I have a clean house most of the time, and I am able to keep up with chores and homeschool and have begun really showing consistency in the blog, exercise, and many other areas of life.

So much of who I want to be is starting to happen. As a family we are instituting strategies that set us up for success so that we can encourage each other’s strengths.

Day by day, step by step, I am becoming the woman God and I want me to be.

The Villain

Sometimes, in a movie or book, it can be hard to recognize the villain. Often the villainess is good friends with the heroine until in a sudden twist she becomes the bad guy.

I can be the villain in my own life. Just when I am starting to get to know myself, be calm and happy for an extended period of time, or do something to take care of myself, the part of me that does not believe this is possible starts to react. I start distrusting people around me, finding things to nitpick.

Back in February I posted a short letter to my Shadow Self, that villainous piece of me that tries to remove Joy and Love from my life. The battle with her goes on, but it is greatly diminished in the past few months. I have control over that aspect of myself far more than I did before.

I am afraid.

I become my own enemy out of fear. Fear of change, fear of loss, fear of failure.

Recognizing that I am afraid, I can give it back to God, seek His help, pray with my family, and get the train back on the rails.

I really love and thrive on consistency and routine. But so little of my life has been focused on those two things that it is a big change to move from chaos to routine. I have to tell myself every day, “This change is good. This change means that eventually there will not be chaos and mania. I want to be made well.”

I am excited.

I am living in paradox. Feelings that don’t go together are simultaneously in my brain. In the midst of those feelings of fear I am looking forward to the future with confidence and faith stronger than ever. I know without an inkling of doubt that I am headed where God wants me, and that right now at my computer typing this, I am in God’s hand.

God told me I can be happy. So that is true. Anything my Shadow Self, Satan, or any other enemy says that is different from that is not true.

As we plan to go to America, fundraise, people raise, train people in prayer and moral support, and spend time with family, I am thrilled to be on an adventure. I am sure that God has great things planned and can’t wait to see what they are. I know that it will all be different because I have changed inside my own skin so much.

I hope to continue to learn to express myself and share what God is putting on my heart in a way that encourages and blesses others. I have learned how to take care of myself so that I can be the best person, mom, wife, and friend I can be. In another 6 months I know I will look back and see what a special year this is.

I love you, Annie.

If you live in the Arizona or Utah areas, I would love to meet with you while I am in America! CLICK HERE to make an appointment or shoot me a comment or reply.

Weeky Goal Check-In for the Week of May 29, 2017

Sick Week

Just as I started doing these weekly goal posts again I got sick for an entire week. I think I have mentioned it before that being sick seems like the perfect time to catch up on reading and writing, but instead I just spend the days trying to get through the day, sleeping, and moving slower than a sloth. However, I am finally feeling better, and even amidst being sick I have some successes to share.

Successes from Last Week

Reading

Book Progress:

Although I didn’t finish any books I did take the time to restart two books I had gotten from my Kindle First months and had never read. With Ramadan beginning our internet has slowed dramatically and so getting my books from the library has halted for a time, and I figured I ought to read the books I own on my Kindle while I am waiting for good internet. So I made progress on 3 books this week.

Bible Progress:

I read all of Job this week.

I also added Bible reading back into the bedtime routine for the kids, so we started through the Psalms this week also.

Homeschool

I was so glad this was a review week because being sick meant we took a few days off from homeschool. We still were able to start a Father’s Day craft, review most of the material we were supposed to, and we are all set for this coming week to start off right with new material.

Exercise

Numbers:

Saturday I did my Fit Test and measurements.

 

The weigh in and measurements are done every 15 days, and I lost 3 pounds in those 2 ½ weeks. I also lost ½ inches in many of my measurements including my waist and hips. Yay!

A non-scale victory for me this week was noticing that my feet have gone back to looking like my feet. When Kyrie was born and with my weight gain after her birth I ended up with puffy feet. Now they just look like my feet.

Research

Louis and I were able to have a good meeting helping me feel comfortable explaining what he does with more detail. I even wrote up some summaries to post on our Lisses to Lebanon blog prior to my heading to America so I can refer people to the blog with confidence.

Events

Every year Lebanon has a Spring and Garden Show. This has become a family event for us because it allows us to feel rooted here. We buy a plant or two, and it gives us a day to be family and do something we enjoy. It is a street fair atmosphere, which feels like home for us. We ate ice cream, the kids got to play on a blow up bouncy house with a slide and a giant blow up slide. Kyrie played until she literally could not climb the slide, so the adult working the slide carried her up and helped her slide down the last two times. She couldn’t believe we were leaving even after she fell from half way up down the air filled “steps” onto her head. It was adorable and fun. Davy bought flowers and we ended up leaving at 10pm.

Goals for This Coming Week

Reading

Bible:

Read the Psalms to the kids each night at bed time.

Complete at least 4 more “days” on my Bible reading plan.

Books:

Finish 3 books this week of the 4 I am currently reading.

Homeschool & Exercise

After having a sick week I know it will be a challenge to get back into routine of waking up early, and doing homeschool 4 days, but I need to push through and Just Start again.

My Weight Gain & Loss Journey

Let Me Summarize My Weight Loss Journey So Far

I was reading encouraging stories from Bikini Body Mommy participants, and I realized I haven’t shared with you the full story of when my body was a wreck and how I turned it all around.

The Weight Gain

I started gaining weight as soon as high school ended. All throughout elementary, junior high, and high school I had PE to keep me active. In college I just sat around. When I became a teacher I stress ate and was still rather stationary. Then, I got pregnant.

As everyone knows, having babies has huge effects on a woman’s body. Not only is there a person growing inside, but organs literally are shoved out of the way to make room for that little person.

With my first pregnancy, I lost weight. Hard to believe, but after I had Davy I was around 15 pounds below where I started. This was exciting after the fact, but during my pregnancy it was stressful. I was overweight enough to begin with that it didn’t endanger David, but every time I went to the doctor she would tell me to eat more. But I just couldn’t keep anything down.

I continued to lose weight when we arrived in Lebanon due to lack of a vehicle which forced us to walk everywhere, no elevator in our apartment, and healthier food being far easier to get. However, it isn’t all about nutrition.

With Kyrie, I ate all the time. I gained weight, but within the levels my doctor said were okay. After she was born, nursing made me so hungry, and there was the added stress of her needing surgery and my having mommy blues. So, I gained a lot of weight.

The Breaking Point

My breaking point happened sometime during my pregnancy with Kyrie when I stepped on the scale and weighed 300 pounds! Yes, indeed. The same as a baby hippo. “It’s not going to bring me down,” I thought. “My baby is healthier with me eating and I just need to maintain.” I figured that after she was born I would weight less than 300 and had nothing to worry about.

When we found out Kyrie needed surgery because of an imperforate hymen, my world stopped. I was in a tailspin of out of control hormones on top of the aggravation of untrustworthy insurance companies. I didn’t pay attention to my weight, and it was hard to just get through the day. After nine months we returned to Lebanon and I knew I had to just start moving.

Just Start

I wanted an exercise routine I could do from home without any fancy equipment. I used jugs of water as dumbbells and began Bikini Body Mommy 1.0. I was hooked on Bikini Body Mommy immediately. Briana Christine is a mom, so she understands what parts of the body are in recovery after birth and she is able to provide insight on ways to adapt around those sensitive areas. Most of the challenges are filmed during her own baby weight loss periods after having her children.

The key to this program is that it is a part of my life constantly. There is so much content on Briana’s website that there is no reason for me to ever go stagnant again. I love working out because I love the way it makes the rest of my day feel.

I love cooking every night because I love knowing that all four of us are eating something that is nutritious and spending time together to eat it.

I also enjoy the alone time provided by both activities, which has been a major motivator for me. The second and even better motivator to keep working out is that I do not get coffee unless I do my workout first.

Have you had a low point with your health and wellness that you overcame? Let me know about your own journeys. We are here on this earth journeying together.

Behind the Scenes of My Homeschooling

What School Does Your Son Go To?

I have been answering this questions since David was 1 year old here in Lebanon. He is tall for his age even in America, so he seems like he is far older than he is in actuality. So, school has been on our minds from the beginning of our missionary work. I always thought I would have years with David before I even had to think about it.

It was far too complicated with our limited Arabic to explain that he was too young for school, so we just started saying he does school in the home. Because I also wanted to do activities with him that my own mother did with me, I searched for a homeschool curriculum for him. I found abcjesuslovesme.com and love the program. I love sharing websites I love on here because they are free. So often we just don’t know what we don’t know. We think it is going to be too hard to teach our kids. The reality is that we are the best teachers for our own kids. We know them and can provide the kind of attention and understanding that teachers cannot provide. We know when they need to be challenged, and we know where they are struggling.

I am Not a Great Teacher

I must admit to you teaching is not my skill set either. I know those of you who know me will try to argue this point. But I do not enjoy teaching, nor do I have the patience for it. This is why the curriculum on abcjesuslovesme is so amazing! It helps me to know exactly what to do. I cannot come up with these activities by myself. In fact, teachable moments are prone to fly right by me if it weren’t for having a focus for the week.

I believe teaching is something that can be learned, and over time I am improving, but there are so many people far better suited for teaching than I am. So, when we had gone through a year of the homeschool curriculum and prayer we decided to enroll David for school when he was 3.

You Enrolled David in School?

When we enrolled Davy I was praying about what to do this year, and we decided that God was supporting us continuing homeschool as well. This has many benefits. The biggest being that in our crazy chaotic transitional lives, this homeschool curriculum is a constant. We have a book of the week, several songs of the week, verses of the week, themes of the week, and that never changes. This year we began the brand new 1 year old curriculum for Kyrie, and she loves it. She loves being involved, and her favorite part is when we pray for her with her verse of the week. This week she even learned her verse “God loves a cheerful giver.”

No matter what else is happening this anchors my super emotional children, and focuses them on Christ. This is the goal of our parenting, so we will continue with the homeschooling.

Traveling Homeschool

Another benefit is that if God calls us to another country, or if for some reason there is an interruption in the school year, I still will be homeschooling, so my kids will not be dealing with gaps. Even on our visa trips I am able to continue the homeschool curriculum by adapting activities to travel based. It is easy to adapt because we have been doing it for three years now.

A huge benefit of continuing the homeschooling curriculum is that it keeps me focused and helps me take every visa trip with a mind toward learning opportunities for my children. They are getting to see parts of the world that other people only dream of. They are getting to walk where Paul and Peter and Barnabbas walked. They are touching history, and we want them to know the history they are a part of.

Please Join Me!

If you are a grandparent or parent or babysitter, Sunday School teacher, abcjesuslovesme has great resources for Biblical activities. Of course, if you are not using it for your own personal child you will need to purchase a license, but it is reasonably priced. I don’t get any money from recommending this, I just want you to be able to raise your kids in the way of Jesus Christ!

Finally, this coming Fall I am planning on stepping into an active role of working with our local church, so if you are interested in helping me to prepare to teach this curriculum to the children at our church and in our refugee outreach programs, please CLICK HERE to sign up to meet with me this summer. We can meet together to discuss ways to help me stock up on materials for the activities, and funding for the licenses I will need to purchase, and most importantly to pray over the ministry God is calling me into.

Goals for the Week of May 21, 2017

Successes from Last Week

HOMESCHOOL

We signed Davy up for a summer course of hockey while we are in the States!

The kids are loving homeschool this year, and it is great for giving them activities and focus in the afternoons.

EXERCISE

See my Post How Are You Taking Care of Your Body? This week about my continued success in working toward a healthy body.

ARABIC

In our Arabic lessons we have been doing conversation for the duration of the lesson for a few weeks now, so less than 10% of our time is English, and then only to get the word in Arabic and confirm the connotation is correct. It feels good to be almost conversational. Louis is doing so well!

BLOGGING

I have started blogging again:

Mommy Book Blog—New Total for the Year: 11 Posts

Where Am I Going?

Goals for 2017

Making My Goals A Reality

Set Yourself Up For Success

How Are You Taking Care of Your Body?

Lisses To Lebanon – New Total for the Year: 4 Posts

Dates Posted

May Financial Update

My goal with blogging is to gain consistency, so I know that this burst is not the point, but the continuation of writing, editing, and publishing. My goal is to post 52 blog posts this year, which is at least one per week. I have gotten rather behind, but weeks with multiple postings do really help with that.

I am at 29% progress with my blog post goal.

RESEARCH

Partnership Development Planning has begun. We have a few people signed up for appointments with me while I am in the States to hear about what Louis and I are doing in Lebanon and how to join in our ministry.

Goals for this Coming Week

READING

Finish Speaking the Truth in Love and When Helping Hurts

Put Desiring God, My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, and A Confident Heart back on hold from the library.

BLOGGING

Continue to Write Every Day even if not everything I write is “post-worthy”

RESEARCH

Continue to put together a Partnership Development Plan I can follow in America. Research in order to set SMART goals for my time in America. Break up the big ideas into baby steps that can be accomplished on a timeline. Meet with Louis about the Plan.