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While I Have Been Quiet… Joy Dare #134-146

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I am behind and need to do a marathon of Joy posting. Life has gotten more complicated around here now that SweetHeart is potty training and TenderHeart has allergy shots twice a week (a 30 minute drive away). This is combined with the usual homeschooling, tumbling lessons for TrueHeart, karate for TenderHeart, orthodontist appointments for both of them, and little BraveHeart who is awake and wanting me… all.the.time.

I shared yesterday with a friend that in a matter of just a few minutes, SweetHeart had pulled a tomato paste can out of the cabinet on her face which made me forget that I had put my sourdough starter in the oven just to warm it (and I cooked it!) and I panicked and stepped backwards in the puddle of pee in the kitchen floor (because SweetHeart was traumatized by the can in the face and wet herself) and it somehow wicked halfway up my sweatpants…. and then BraveHeart hurled a feeding’s worth of spit up aimed perfectly down my v-neck and into my underclothes. I guess he wanted it to go back where it came from.

Even when I don’t know whether to cry or laugh, I am overwhelmed with how blessed I am and how important this job is that the Lord has entrusted me with and called me to do. I am equally moved by the realization that I am HERE to do it.

I really struggled with fear the past few days. I began having the same bronchitis-like symptoms that started two years ago and resulted in the diagnosis of my rare lung disease. I didn’t tell anyone, not even Cowboy, that I called my pulmonologist and had a chest xray done, and I waited for two seemingly endless days and nights for the results. The thought of going back on 60 mg of prednisone a day made me want to weep and I knew the long-term prognosis was considerably worse if the lung disease ever flares again. I kept talking to the Lord about my fears, but it was a struggle to lay them down. I wish I could say I claimed victory in that area, but I didn’t.

And then they called me yesterday morning to say my chest x-ray was clear.

Unless you have been close to death and struggled to get oxygen, suffocating even though you were breathing, I don’t think I can fully explain what it is like to fear doing it again… or the relief of knowing I don’t have to. I am sure there are many other circumstances which could relate in your life, but these are mine.

Much of my gratitude this week centers around this grace from His hand…

134. A clear lung x-ray.

135. Every day I wake up feels like an “extra” day I didn’t think I would have two years ago.

136. Oxygen and the tiny little alveoli which do the miracle of exchanging it. Your creation is amazing.

137. BraveHeart…that You gave him to us even with all the doctors saying it probably wouldn’t happen because of my thyroid cancer and shouldn’t happen because of my lung disease. Yet, they are still clear. Your plan is best.

138. Your goodness, which would have been just as good if my lungs had been filled again with the fiber matrix that suffocates. Your goodness is not dependent on my circumstances, because again, Your plan is best.

139. The day this week when TrueHeart and TenderHeart spent two full hours after finishing their required lessons researching, rehearsing and performing all the details of the Japanese Tea Ceremony…. just because they wanted to. TrueHeart’s study this year of the Eastern Hemisphere has really been fascinating, and the blessing of being able to be with them as they learn… even when it is hard… is wonderful!

140. Cowboy’s Grandma Beulah, after a heart attack-pneumonia-kidney infection diagnosis, was alert and knew us last night… and said, “I love you, Corrie.” How she has impacted my life since I was a baby!

141. Finally perfecting the 100% whole wheat sourdough loaf of bread. You know how many times I have attempted it and how many “bricks” I had to throw out to the chickens in the process. I knew there had to be a way out there, and You listened to me pray about bread- of all things. Thank You.

142. Two more verses memorized in The Romans Project. This discipline is changing me.

143. An unexpected and unanimous response from our secret health plan group encouraging me to write a definitive guide to my plan for Kindle. There are many details I haven’t included in my blog, and I’m going to need Your help to organize it all and complete the project. Of course, I always need Your help!

144. That all my pants are suddenly loose and I can feel the changes in my body. Thank you for granting health and a way to pursue it.

145. A kindred spirit and friend who lives far away but is able to stay in almost constant contact with me through texting. I miss her so, and feel so lonely sometimes for a friend like her…here.

146. Our duck is setting! Cowboy’s Daddy and Cowboy’s brother built a beautiful duck house for her, and she has been laying eggs in it for weeks. She pulled her feathers out and surrounded her eggs with them, and is now nestled down over them to help them become. These kinds of Your miracles always amaze me.

Corrie Mims

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The Splurge Effect… and Joy Dare #127-133

 

A dear friend walked up to me last night at church and held up 3 fingers with a smile.  It took a minute for me to understand, and then I realized… She has lost 3 pounds on my health plan.  I walked away struggling with the lump in my throat.

You see, she is one of 30 members of our secret group who has already started seeing results after just one week.  The reason it is so emotional for me is because I didn’t plan this “health plan” to help anyone except me.  I had tried all the other diets and they didn’t work for me for one reason or another.  I am a researcher by nature and by nurture (thanks, Mama) and I knew there had to be answers out there that would work for MY weight problem.  After tweaking my plan over the process of a year and charting my weight to see what I could and couldn’t do and still lose weight- I finally pieced together the plan that worked for my body.

MY body.  It didn’t occur to me three years ago that this plan could or would ever help anyone else.  Even when I decided to help K. and encourage her in her journey to health, I was so nervous that it wouldn’t work for her.  When I opened it up publicly on this blog to anyone who wanted to try it, I was overwhelmed by the response… and I felt fear that hopes would be raised and then dashed and I would be the cause.

I have prayed myself to sleep at night for these members by name and asked the Lord to honor their efforts to become healthy.  And He has.

I kept telling myself that there is no charge to do this with me and if it doesn’t work for someone (and surely there will be someone it doesn’t work for), it won’t be a great loss for them.  The problem is that I know this isn’t true.

I know firsthand what it is like to want to be the skinny girl who eats whatever she wants and still looks fabulous.  And I know what it is like to get your hopes up that you might actually get to be the skinny girl again, only to find out that the plan is too complicated, too expensive, the recipes too gourmet, too strict, and not sustainable over the long term.  I have bought into more diet plans and subsequently thrown in the towel more times than I can count or would want to admit. 

I just could hardly bear the thought of causing someone else to feel discouraged…. again. This is a lot of weight to carry.

So, as the numbers of pounds lost are beginning to roll in (and off!) for the first members of my health plan, I am feeling excitement, gratitude, shock.

I am shocked because, of any area where I might have considered myself to be the most nominal expert… where I might have felt even a wee bit of pride and thought the Lord might be able to use me one day to help people in that area… yeah, this wasn’t it.

It is just like my God to use my weakness (in an area where I have failed repeatedly) to bless others, and in doing so, to show His strength and bring glory to His Name! 

Having said this, please know I am well aware that I have had nothing to do with this if it works for you.  I am as surprised as you are.  Bless His Name!

This brings me, finally, to the point of my post.  I have come up with a new name for “Corrie’s Health Plan”  because, well, that just wasn’t very creative.  I began thinking about what makes my plan different than all the other ones, and the “splurge” of Saturday night through Sunday lunch is the most defining factor.  (Every other diet plan I have tried had an “all or nothing” approach where you had to give up your favorite foods forever.)

So, we will now call it The Splurge Effect.

And speaking of, I asked a few of the members of the group who completed their first week on the plan…

“For those who started the plan last week and had your first splurge meals Saturday night and Sunday… How did it make you feel? Did you notice a difference in your body when you added back in those processed foods? Was it hard to start back on the plan on Sunday night? Tell me your experience, and then I will share mine…”

These were their answers:

1) [My husband] and I both commented Sunday afternoon that we could tell a huge difference and just felt kind of yucky. Last week when eating on the plan, after a meal we felt full and satisfied. After eating our splurge meals we felt stuffed and like we ate too much. We didn’t eat healthy but we did try to still watch our portion control. It wasn’t too hard for me to start back on the plan because I was ready for something healthy and to not feel that way. I can definitely tell a difference in our thinking about food.

2) I felt so bloated after my bad weekend, no fun!

3) I wasn’t completely on the plan but splurged while out of town. I was so sick by Sunday night. I literally had to go to bed early from the sugar racing through my body. I know it sounds weird but I’ve become so sensitive to an excess of sugar over the years. I regretted it and wondered how I will feel this weekend when splurge time comes. Will I even want to??

4) I was very happy to start back on the plan. I felt extremely tired and sluggish after my splurge.

K. has also told me how bad she feels on splurge day.  I find it interesting because, since I designed this plan for me, I had no way of knowing if everyone would react the same way to the splurge.  I have been known to say out loud after splurging…

“I can hear my cells crying.” 

When you give your body the perfect fuel of real food and do just a few minutes of strength training for several days, it starts running optimally and feeling incredible.  All of your organs start working better and the brain fog lifts.  Then, suddenly, we splurge on processed foods and refined sugars and everything comes to a screeching halt.  You WILL feel the difference in your body.

Which brings me to the big question everyone is thinking…

“So why splurge??!!”

You may think that because you are losing weight on the plan, you should skip the splurge and you will lose even more weight.  You are more than welcome to give it a try.  However, if you are like me, you are doing this plan because you are not the most disciplined person in the world who never ate processed foods anyway and only crave healthy, whole foods.  Let’s face it- you wouldn’t be interested in what I have to say if you were that way.

The Splurge Effect, in my experience, does the following:

1) Allows you to shock your body with excess food which helps keep you from a weight plateau where you seem to hit a brick wall and just can’t lose past it.

2) It allows you to eat the foods you have been craving and helps you have a short-term relief plan for those days when the emotional cravings for foods gets a little out of control.  If you know that in three or four days you can have the food that your mind is obsessing about, it is easier to get through the craving without giving in… but if you had to tell yourself that you could NEVER have that food, you might not make it.

3) It makes you feel miserable, which is great! It is great because you have such a stark contrast that shows you what the processed foods and sugars are doing to your body.  It makes you actually WANT to go back on the plan after Sunday lunch because you will be bloated, sluggish, and in a brain stupor.  (Every other diet plan I have ever done made me feel deprived and made me want to eat anything and everything that wasn’t on the plan.  And if I ever gave in and fell off the diet wagon, nothing made me want to get on it again.)

Over time, you may begin to modify what you eat on the splurge.  These are splurge-related questions I have gotten in the past couple of weeks:

1) Do I have to splurge?  I don’t want to eat sugar and processed foods! 

No, you don’t have to eat sugar and lots of processed foods, but yes, you need to splurge.  You can simply eat MORE food.  Eat double the brown rice serving you usually have, eat pasta, eat white potatoes and corn.  If you make your own yeast rolls or biscuits with white flour, eat them.  (I know white flour is processed, but these are just ideas.)  If you’re like me, though, you will have a Krispy Kreme doughnut.  Just saying.

2) I want to split my three splurge meals up because I am going out with friends in the middle of the week.  I want to eat one splurge then and save the other two meals for Sunday.  Is that okay?

Unfortunately, no.  I have tested this thoroughly and it doesn’t work.  If you must move your splurge, you have to move the full three splurge meals.  It is a 24 hour splurge of an increase in food that shocks your body into releasing more fat.  It isn’t a shock if you spread the meals out, and your body will likely just store that mid-week meal as fat.

3) Do I have to eat like this forever?  Once I reach my goal weight, I don’t have to splurge on the weekends and follow the rules during the week anymore, right?

Sorry, but you [mostly] have to eat this way forever.  But, really, is it that hard?  Yes, you will be able to have an extra splurge meal occasionally during the week as long as you watch the scale closely.  (I have found, however, that once you start taking extra splurges it is easy to keep rationalizing more and more of them until you are no longer on the plan at all.) The weight will come back if you go back to eating like you used to- which is pretty logical and goes without saying, I think.

I hope this helps deepen your understanding of The Splurge Effect and encourages you to take the challenge with us!  If you have further questions, send me a message and I will do my best to help you find the answers.

Corrie Mims

 

The Joy Dare continues…

127. 128. 129. Three Gifts White…  SweetHeart’s first-thing-in-the-morning smile when she sees me; soft clean sheets on my bed; the brightest, clearest stars that go on for miles over our farm.

130. The 11! third and fourth graders I taught last night at church.

131. Hand-me-down clothes painstakingly sorted and stored by Cowboy’s Mama which bless us over and over again as SweetHeart and BraveHeart move into the-next-bigger sizes.  I can’t remember the last time I bought clothes for either of them.

132. The new church outfits Mama surprised me with for BraveHeart and SweetHeart.  They are precious.

133. TenderHeart’s birthday plans finalized and his good friends who are coming to join him.  I cannot believe he will be ten years old tomorrow!

 

 

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12 Snack Ideas for Corrie’s Health Plan… and Joy Dare #121-126

Some of you have asked for more ideas for snacks which fit the rules of my health plan, and I realized I pretty much eat the same snacks over and over.  In general, I am not hungry at snack times and I eat just to keep my blood sugar levels from taking a dive.  The not-being-hungry makes me not-very-creative.  Thanks to members of our secret group on Facebook (Join us? Click here, “like” my page, and comment with a request to join. I will add you to the secret group which can only be seen by members!) I am stepping out of my comfortable box and sharing some great ideas for snacks which fit my plan… and which are easy and tasty so I will actually eat them.  These are my faves so far:

1) One small pear and one string cheese. Slice pear into 8 slices and cut them in half again to make 16 chunks.  Cut string cheese into 8 pieces and make skewers of pear/cheese/pear on toothpicks.

2) One Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup frozen berries, stevia to taste or very small drizzle of raw honey, and a handful of whole, raw almonds.

3) One small apple with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and small handful of whole, raw almonds.

4) 1/2 cup of cottage cheese (not reduced fat!) and half cup of berries. (Okay, so I personally hate cottage cheese.  But there are lots of people who love it and you might be one of them… and this snack would be a great choice for you.)

5) Beef or Turkey Jerky (low sodium with no sugar used in preparation) with a small navel orange or 6 green grapes.

6) 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds with 6 raw baby carrots.

7) Lettuce deli wrap:  One large piece of leaf lettuce layered with two slices of low sodium deli meat (not the honey kind!), a sprinkle of shredded cheese and slice of tomato, sea salt and pepper… roll up and enjoy.

8) Lettuce bean burrito:  1/2 cup black beans mixed with one tablespoon of no-sugar-added salsa.  Mash with fork and heat in microwave.  Roll up in piece of romaine lettuce with sprinkle of cheese.

9) Open-faced banana sandwich:  1/2 of a 100% whole wheat “bagel thin” spread with natural peanut butter (Smuckers is the only kind I use) and toasted in toaster oven.  Top with 1/2 sliced banana and 4 raw pecan halves.

10) A few celery sticks filled with almond butter and topped with whole almonds.

11) Two tablespoons of hummus with celery, carrots, and snow peas.

12) 1/4 cup of old fashioned oats cooked on stove with 1/2 cup of water, sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg, one packet of stevia, and whisk in one egg during last minute of cooking. You won’t taste it! Top with a handful of walnuts or almonds and 1/4 of a thinly sliced apple.

I will look for more gourmet ideas and do some taste testing for future posts, but the above are snacks I either have had pretty regularly on my health plan or that I know I would like (minus the cottage cheese one, but I gave that disclaimer already!) Please comment below if this helps and if you have other ideas for great snacks which follow the general rules of the plan!

Now, for more Grace Counting:

121. 122. 123. A Gift in Losing, Finding, Making Something... I lost my closest friend a long time ago.  The broken heart almost killed me and I used it as an excuse to become mean, ugly, bitter for a time.  But You found me, dug me out of the pit, and helped me find me again, too.  And then you made something beautiful out of nothing, convicted me of sin and cleansed me, healed my broken heart.  When the scar aches now, I remember Your faithfulness when I wasn’t faithful to You.  Thank You for loving me enough not to leave me in that place.

124. The sweetest date night with Cowboy Saturday, even including the scary drive home in the fiercest snow-so-thick-we-couldn’t-see-the-road-at-all. I love being anywhere with him.

125.  Clothes for church that do not have to be completely removed for me to nurse BraveHeart!  Thankful for Cowboy’s sister who kept the older Hearts, Cowboy’s mom who went with me to care for BraveHeart while I tried on clothes, thankful there were some that fit, and truthfully, thankful the shopping trip for the next few months is over.

126.  Thankful for my mom, who (though sick with a nasty cold) is picking up TrueHeart from tumbling for me tonight so I would not have to make two trips to Florence in one day.  I don’t know what I would do without her, Lord.

 Corrie Mims

 

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The Before on the Way to the After… Joy Dare #90-100

I started again today.

After every baby, and between the babies and before the babies, I have struggled with my weight. I have tried every diet out there, it seems, every crazy trick and some non-FDA-approved-mail-order stuff in my distant past that I am not proud of. I have done all the fad-like workouts (for a while) and even tried Christian hypnosis a long time ago. (Again, not proud of this fact. Just being transparent so you can feel the weight of all of this…)

I can’t blame my bad habits on any one thing. Stress, joy, sadness, unfulfilled expectations, wild success… I have had all of these. And all of these have one thing in common, one thing I did during each of these drastically different circumstances…

I ate.

I am a Southern girl with Dixie in my blood and I was raised to see food as love, comfort, celebration, fellowship, and the way to a man’s heart. No one ever told me these things because it wasn’t necessary to say them. It was a way of life. It was shown to me.

I can’t deny it. I love food. It makes me happy when I am down, and even happier when I am happy. Except…

I don’t like being overweight. I don’t like being tired and sluggish and I don’t like being controlled by my addiction to food.

The good news is that about three years ago, I found the plan that worked for me. I began eating a very simple way in an effort to regulate my body so I would be healthy enough to get pregnant. It worked so quickly (just a month of eating this way) that I was pregnant and scratching my head as to how it had influenced my body in such a dramatic way in such a short time. I hadn’t had a cycle in a year, and suddenly my ovaries were working again.

I didn’t stick with the plan for my entire pregnancy, but after SweetHeart was born, I began eating this way again in hopes to lose the baby weight (and before-baby weight). It worked so fast and was so easy it made my head spin. How could it be so simple? I lost down to my goal weight, losing 2-3 pounds a week, and without ever feeling deprived or stressed or hungry.

And to make it even better… I felt AMAZING. Energetic. Fit. Sleeping soundly. Breathing better.

Oh, yeah. That. Breathing better…. until. Until I was diagnosed with the rare lung disease that rocked my entire world and caused me to focus more on what I wanted my children to know before I died and, internally, wondering who Cowboy would marry next and would she love him and our children the way they deserve?

Just being painfully honest here. And the treatment for the disease was crazy high-dose steroids for 6 months (which made me want to eat a house and a cow) and made me swell up like a balloon… and the self-medicated treatment for my emotional pain was what it always had been…

Food.

So I ate. And ate. And gained back 15 pounds. And then was diagnosed with Cancer. (I know. Sounds like I must be making this up. But I’m not.)

What kind of cancer? Oh, just thyroid cancer. Completely treatable! We just have to take out the organ in your body that regulates your metabolism. No biggie.

Ugh. The loss of my thyroid proved to be a huge obstacle in my weight loss. Even with my numbers in the correct range (TSH, T4, T3) the weight would not let go. I tried my eating plan, and though it made me feel much better, the weight did not respond. I scoured the internet for a solution, but I could only find entry after entry of thyroid-less people saying they couldn’t stop gaining weight no matter what they ate or how much they exercised. Clearly, Google was not the encourager I was counting on.

Even so, the eating plan did one thing it had done before. My endocrinologist at The Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC told me she would wait on radiation so I could try to have one more baby, but warned it really wasn’t likely that my cycles would return after losing my thyroid… It had been months and no sign of them. She said this was sometimes a side effect and, of course, I should be thankful for life.

But, I ate on my plan for just a couple of weeks and it woke my ovaries up. Five weeks after going back on my eating plan, I found out I was expecting my fourth and final baby, BraveHeart. It can’t all be attributed to how I ate. He was a miracle sent straight from God, a miracle I had pleaded with the Lord to give us… an heir for Cowboy, a brother for TenderHeart.

I do feel certain this eating plan (designed by me by combining much research, not a plan in a book) was also His leading in my life as I had begged Him to help me find something that actually worked…and it really, really did.

Which brings me to now… the before on the way to the after. BraveHeart was born a little over two months ago and my weight loss has stalled at 141 pounds. I would love to weigh 115 pounds, but could settle joyfully for 120. At my height and build, this is a realistic and healthy BMI to shoot for.

Back on the eating plan I go! I started today. Not only that, but my amazing niece K. is taking the health challenge with me. I am super proud of her commitment as she has been following the plan since last Thursday and has already lost 6 pounds! She has been dealing with some health issues and has gained a great deal of weight. She wanted to find something that could work for her and in our talking, decided she wanted to try my special plan. I told her I would do it with her and coach her through it (while hopefully benefiting from it myself, regardless of my lack of thyroid). Her current weight is 208 lbs (which she told me “You can post my weight cause I’m gonna be proud that I weighed that much and lost it!) We decided I should blog our journey to health and include, along and along, the details of my plan in the hopes it might inspire others to take the challenge while giving us accountability and a record of our progress.

So, what do you think? If I told you an easy way to eat and move that was not crazy expensive and would help you lose weight and feel better and sleep better without feeling deprived or hungry, would you be willing to try it with us?

I know I don’t usually get many comments on my blog that YOU can see, but I have been so shocked and completely touched by the private e-mails I have been getting from so many of you. (I haven’t been able to respond to everyone yet as I read the e-mails from my phone and texting a reply with one hand while holding BraveHeart with the other has proven challenging!) I never would have thought so many of you would take the time to read my writing, and even more so, take the time to write me personally and thank me. I cannot tell you how greatly your words have blessed and encouraged me. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now, I saved this til the end and still feel sick about posting it. I am doing so, though, because of the inner strength, confidence and bravery of my sweet niece K. who said I could post hers along with mine. So, without further disclaimer and in the spirit of full disclosure… our befores on the way to our afters.. (I even took my makeup off and messed up my hair, and threw spit up all over my shirt to make this more dramatic.  Yeah, right.  This is a regular morning look for me lately. Don’t tell anyone.)

Corrie Before

Corrie Before 2

K. Before

And now for the gratitude…

90. 91. 92. Three Gifts Found On Paper... My Bible.  How I love Your Words to me, my Lord!  It is life.  And letters from friends who take the time to drop a note. And a box I hide under my bed of keepsake cards and very brief notes from my Cowboy who doesn’t like to write but, occasionally, does so just for me. The sacrifice makes it even sweeter.

93. 94. 95. Three Gifts Found When Bent Down… Looking in SweetHeart’s eyes and feeling her arms clasp around my neck; the tuck of a wet nose on my shoulder from our border collie, Rocket, when I take our leftovers outside for him; and dirt.  farm dirt.  our farm dirt. There is nothing that smells like it, nothing that makes me feel more at home and at ease, nothing that gives back as much as it does.  Thankful Cowboy’s Daddy knows how to love it properly and make it grow life over and over and over again.  It is the miracle outside my window and under my feet every single day and it grounds me.  I am a farmer’s daughter and granddaughter, after all.

96. 97. 98. A Gift Stitched, Hammered, Woven… My sewing machine which helped me mend Cowboy’s pajama pants yesterday, TrueHeart’s workshop built next to her little garden thanks to Cowboy and Cowboy’s Daddy, and the beautiful blanket lovingly crocheted by Rhoda for BraveHeart which I use almost daily.

99.  My time with K. The challenge she has taken with me and the encouragement she brings of not doing this alone!  Our long walks on the farm have been very special.

100.  Cowboy’s day job and his commitment to do it.  So thankful for how hard he works for our family.  We missed him like crazy this week while he was on call… so thankful today he should be home at a normal hour.  Home just doesn’t work right when he isn’t here!

Corrie Mims

 

 
 

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Hurt People Hurt People… Joy Dare #69-74

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.

-Psalm 147:3

No matter where you work, the likelihood is that you have to deal with people.  Just because I work from home and have my own business does not mean I am exempt from this.  I love my job because I don’t have to have parties and I don’t have to cold- call people and I make my own hours and work as little or as much as I choose each day… However, there are still difficult moments because… (sigh)… I do have to deal with people.  Most days, these people are highlights of my experience and I have happy conversations to report to Cowboy when he gets home at night.  Today was not one of those days as a very angry man decided to vent his life’s heartache in a tirade of cursing and ugliness… directly at me.

And apparently, the first time wasn’t relieving enough… since he called back and left a scathing voicemail.  It is puzzling because I only call people who have specifically expressed an interest in learning more about this business and who have given their phone number for that purpose.  I had spoken with him several times, taken him completely through the information which is very clear and not in any way secretive or misleading.  (I say this because I worked for a company initially who did not operate with such integrity, and which I subsequently left.) He continued to follow the process and take the next step, but waited until I introduced him to my director/trainer on a conference call (a very, very successful and wise man of God) to…completely… and totally… LOSE IT.

The words he used like rapid fire are still burning in my ears and I just keep thinking how sad it all is… that someone who needs a job, who has an engineering degree but hasn’t worked in 5 years, who lives off of unemployment and cannot get hired in all the places he has tried… refuses to try something different that could change his life forever… all because he is too proud, too angry, and obviously… too wounded.

My director said to me afterwards, “Corrie, hurt people hurt people.”  I cried and cried for him (because my skin is, as always, too thin) but mostly because he told me his story and the depth of his need, but wouldn’t let me help him.  In trying to find the gratitude “in all circumstances,” and in talking to the Lord about it, I came to this conclusion…

He is a lonely, hurting, wounded man.  He kept taking the next step because he needed the interaction and the encouragement and the hope- but once he reached the last step and was faced with making a decision to start his own business… He just couldn’t take the risk of failing AGAIN.  I pray for him- and hope he did find encouragement from me somehow.  Maybe something I said will drive him to look UP where the only TRUE HELP comes from.

It is hard not to take these things personally, but I talk to so many people who are a delight and bring such joy and encouragement to me.  Today I am thankful for the reminder that…

69.  There are hurting people out there who need grace, encouragement, and hope… and I have all those because of You.  Thank you for the chance I have to talk to them, and please use it for Your glory… even when it hurts my heart. 

70.  TrueHeart’s first tumbling class with a new teacher and her favorite friend, and TenderHeart’s first karate class ever, which is also with his favorite friend. Thankful for Lori Ann who took TrueHeart so I could take TenderHeart, and also for my Mama who kept SweetHeart from the long ride and all the waiting (and had her bathed and ready for bed when I came to pick her up!)  All the little acts of kindness really.do.matter.

71.  The people on my “team” at work who have spoken such blessing into my life this week.  Thank You for bringing them into my life, and for how they honor You with theirs. 

72.  For my Mama who took TrueHeart to the orthodontist to fix a sharp wire and brought (bought) pretty much everything in the “gluten-free” section at WalMart yesterday for TenderHeart.  She came in with bags and bags of encouragement for the soul who just.wants.a.sandwich.

73.  The emotional parenting crisis I had yesterday, the phone call which brought it into perspective, and the peaceful resolution which followed. 

74.  The decision last night, from total exhaustion, to just lay down (lie? I can never remember) with Cowboy, SweetHeart, and BraveHeart and let us all fall gently asleep together.  There was no wrestling, no crying… just snuggles and peaceful sleep.  SweetHeart reached over and rubbed my arm and I whispered, “I love you.”  She nodded her head, smiling sweetly around the thumb in her mouth, the perfect end.of.day.

Corrie Mims

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in 1000 Gifts Joy Dare, home business

 

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A Weary Gasping for Grace… Joy Dare #52-59

I woke up weary today. 

Yesterday was a beast and TrueHeart needs toothpaste, not the usual kind but the Optic White she says and TenderHeart hates this two-day-old gluten free diet and wants Raisin Bran and SweetHeart fell out of the kitchen chair and bumped her head and BraveHeart just won’t stop crying and sleep and Cowboy whispered an I miss you without words and I am still counting graces but need to stop bouncing baby to write them and I need more time to work my business and connect with all the Hearts and cook the meals and clean the dirty and… I am failing them all and I feel it and I can’t seem to get ahead of it to fix it and…

I am tired. 

And yet, my obstacles have different names but are the same as yours and I was reminded today that there can be no excuses for our inward rant as we are called to listen and love. 

Ann Voskamp writes to me (just to me, it always seems)…

Knowing every interruption is a call from your Master — is liberation.

When you named Him your Lord, you gave Him right to your life on His time: Every interruption is a new work order from God.

 

I pause and whisper sorry and please forgive and gasp for grace. 

This life is Yours, Holy Lord. You breathed it, blessed it, brought it to Yours and I must stop trying to wrestle it back into my simple, unskilled hands.  My time is not mine.  It is Yours. 

Today, I choose to live in obedience… each interruption, each need… a direct request from You to stop my agenda and follow Yours.  I do so in faith, believing You will bless all You have called me to do as I am faithful with the time You graciously give. 

I am frail and so very, very prone to selfishness and pride and all the other sins of my flesh.  Teach me Your way, O Lord. 

It is always, always better.

52. A trade of beds thanks to Cowboy’s parents and Julie and Frank and new room not for king but for princess and prince to slumber between.

53. Snuggling with TenderHeart yesterday to learn of Nero and Marcus Aurelius and the Lobi in Burkina Faso and his tenderness and compassion for those who don’t know You.

54.  Your patience and grace to help me teach Algebra I to TrueHeart who does not love it as I do but has submitted to the discipline of learning anyway. 

55.  The amazing blessings You gave in the short few hours I was able to work yesterday and how You prove Your faithfulness every.single.moment.

56. The energetic and real class of third and fourth graders who taught me as I taught them last night at church and reminded me how childlike faith looks and feels.

57. That these interruptions are opportunities and Your grace is enough and Your Spirit lives in me to help me obey.

58.  The e-mail from Stan and how he always knows just what to say when he doesn’t have a clue what is going on in my heart and how his love shown in words so often soothes weary rawness. 

59.  The few minutes on knees and full of weary tears and how You answered then and how You are still answering… now. 

Thank You for these, this grace.

Corrie Mims

 

 

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Joy Dare #42-47

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Congratulations to the winners of the Scripture Typer App! Your loot has been sent so check your e-mail. If you have any issues at all, please let me know… and definitely let me know what you think of the app!

Now, for the good stuff…

42. Homemade vegetable soup made by Cowboy’s Daddy, filled with the bounty from his garden You blessed.

43. A heartfelt thank you texted from TrueHeart.

44. A bounty of beautiful hand-me-down clothes for SweetHeart… Goodbye 18 month clothes!

45. The dream I had last night about a visit from Quent from heaven.

46. Date night with Cowboy and the sweetest little third wheel (aka BraveHeart), and the amazing Nanas who made it possible by keeping SweetHeart.

47. A surprise call from a friend who has traveled a road I have traveled and trusted me to share her heart today.

Thank You, Lord. Your lovingkindness is from everlasting to everlasting!

Corrie Mims

 

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