Saturday, January 30, 2010

Couch to 5K Plan - Week 3 Done!

I just finished Week 3 of the Couch to 5K plan, and I feel great! So far I really like the plan. It's challenging enough to keep me interested, yet it's convenient enough to keep committed. The plan is very doable (wow, that word looks weird) with only 30 minute workouts. This week I even had the treadmill set on a slight incline for the last workout of the week. I might even get on the treadmill today for an extra workout this week. I'm starting to really like this whole running thing. In fact, instead of dreading the part of my day when I exercise, I am actually looking forward to it! I thought Week 3 was fairly easy, but Week 4 will be more challenging with substantially more running time and a lot less walking time. I am getting really nervous for Week 5, however, which will have one workout of running 2 miles in 20 minutes non-stop. Oh well, I guess I'll take it one workout at a time.
(P.S. My clothes are fitting better, too, which is a really good motivator as well :D)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Testimony

*Updated February 2013*

Praise the Lord! I am a sinner saved by grace through faith!

My desire in writing this is to boast only in the LORD and not in myself.

I am so thankful to have been raised in a Christian home. My parents were NOT the type to just simply take us to church on Sunday but live our life how we please the rest of the week. My parents spoke about Christ often and lived out their Christian faith daily in my life. I placed my faith in Jesus at a very young age - I think I was about 5 years old. I don't remember exactly how old I was, but I distinctly remember the event. My Mom had shared with me the gospel, and I remember that I understood that I was a sinner, Jesus died for me, and that I needed Jesus to forgive me and place my faith in Him so that I could be saved. I remember kneeling beside my parents' bed in their room with my Mom and praying to receive Jesus into my life. Even though I was quite young, I am confident that I was saved at that moment because after that, I had a real passion to tell my unsaved friends about Christ. Even when I was 6 or 7 years old, I remember sharing the gospel with our unsaved neighbour friends and telling them that they needed to be saved.

I went to public school, and although it was not always easy, I tried my best to be a light shining in what was often a dark place. I was very blessed to have some Christian teachers and also some Christians friends in my class.  I remember, however, my grade 7 teacher in particular was very antagonistic toward Christianity. One time he told the class how the Bible didn't make sense and then went to misquote a scripture. I remember trying to correct him about the scripture and telling him what the Bible really said. There were many times where I would leave the class or stay home from school while the class watched certain movies or had Halloween parties, etc. There were some other Christian classmates who would also skip these types of things.

I have definitely had seasons of my life  growing up (and now as an adult) when I have wrestled with wholly trusting the Lord in all things.

I struggled a lot with depression and anger in grade 7, but one night when I was at a breaking point, I called out to God, and the Holy Spirit led me to turn to a certain page in my Bible. I had 2 Bibles in my room, but the Holy Spirit led me to turn to a certain page in my kids' Bible. On that page was a little bubble that read, "Down in the dumps?" and then explained how when we are feeling low, we need to remember the good things God has done for us in the past and the good things He will do in the future. There I read Psalm 40 and was greatly comforted. That was a HUGE moment in my Christian walk.

Grade 7 - 9 were fairly difficult years, struggling to live out my Christian faith in the midst of going to a public school and having a few Christian friends but often feeling very alone. I never got into the partying scene, and I did not question my faith in the Lord, but I really struggled with desiring worldly acceptance and becoming prideful about worldly accomplishments instead of only concerning myself about what is pleasing to the Lord.  The summer after grade 9 at Bible Camp, however, the Lord really taught me how to fully depend on Him and trust Him. I no longer needed boys to like me, I didn't need to be the prettiest girl in the class, the best athlete, or have the best marks. Those things were all fleeting and vain. They built up pride in my heart, which was sinful. The Lord showed me that all I need to do is follow Him no matter what the cost. That was a season of enormous growth for in my Christian faith. I was baptized that summer and also met my husband that summer.

In High School, I had some very good Christian friends, who were strong in their faith. I spent 3 summers working at a Bible camp and also took a short term missions trip to work with the homeless. I am very thankful for those Christian friends I had in high school and for the Lord stretching me while working at camp in the summer.

I met my husband when I was only 16 years old working at Bible Camp. I basically knew right away he was the one I would marry. I got engaged while still in grade 12 and was married the summer I graduated from high school. Then I moved away from home to live with my husband while he attended university. I also attended university for 2 years in hopes of becoming a school teacher (more about that journey some other time :-) ).

About 3 years after we were married (and I was in my 2nd year of university), the Lord really starting working in our hearts to open our eyes to more things that we needed to repent from. I was shocked and appalled by the things I was seeing and being taught at university. Sin was so rampant there and paraded around. Christianity was mocked. Yet in our own life, we had many things we ourselves needed to repent of. One Fall Sunday after church, we both looked at each other and realized there was much worldliness that had crept into our own lives. God showed us that we should not compare ourselves to others, but that the Word of God is to be our standard in all things...including music, tv, and entertainment choices. We started trying to make every single decision based on what would be glorifying to God. Through some amazing circumstances, the LORD led us to a wonderful group of believers who were really committed to the Word of God. We both grew a lot in our faith through the guidance of the people attending there, but due to my husband's work, we had to move away. That spring, we also made the decision that I was not going to continue my university education.

There are many more things I could share about how God has worked in my life, but it would be pages and pages and pages to tell it all. I do not mean that I am perfect or that there is any good in me.  I only mean that the Lord is faithful and HE is good! He will accomplish His purposes. When I start to stray from His ways, the Lord disciplines me and helps me get back on track. God is so faithful and good! I pray that you know Him, too. If not, please click here to read how you can be saved. The Holy Spirit continues to work in my life, convicting me of sin, molding me, and shaping me into the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am constantly reminded that I am only a "sinner saved by grace through faith." Even though I still sin, the power of sin has been broken in my life. And when I do sin, how thankful I am that I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1), in Whom I have placed my trust. Through His atoning work on the cross and His shed blood, He paid the penalty for my sin. By placing my faith in Christ alone, my sins are forgiven, I am saved from God's wrath, and I will live with Him eternally.

To God be the Glory - Words by Fanny Crosby
To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.
O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

From the Couch to 5 Km (I Hope!)

There is something about having kids that just makes a person think about life differently.
After having our daughter, I've suddenly found myself becoming much more concerned about things like healthy eating, preventing heart disease, preventing diabetes, preventing osteoporosis, (oh, and losing that baby weight).

But really, all kidding aside, I am making an honest attempt to start exercising regularly again. Preventing heart disease, diabetes, etc. is definitely part of the why I need to get moving, but I could *ahem* stand to lose a few pounds, too.

Back in high school, I was fairly fit and trim. Basketball, volleyball, and track and field kept me moving, and playing sports was actually fun. But after I finished high school, got married, and moved, I just couldn't seem to get myself to go to the gym or join a rec sports team. I tried to go to the gym here and there, but I just couldn't seem to get motivated. I got bored with it so easily. I absolutely hated the elliptical and didn't care much for the stationary bike either. The only thing that could keep half my attention was the treadmill. So, now I have a treadmill at home, and after using it fairly regularly for the past month, I am starting to actually like exercising (Did I just say that out loud?). Well, maybe I don't like it when I'm huffing and puffing and my legs and lungs are burning, but I love the feeling I get after I've done the time and I take my stinky shoes off and sit down to a huge glass of icy cold water.

Anyway, I recently found this plan called the Couch to 5 K plan, which aims to get a couch potato running 5 km in about 2 months time.(And, get this, it only takes about 30 minutes a day 3-4 times a week!) So, I printed it off, and started at Week 2, which I completed last week. This week I'm on Week 3. I really, really hope I will stick with it this time. I would love to be able to run 5 km regularly. So, anyway, I am hoping blogging about this will help me be somewhat "accountable" and I plan on giving weekly updates. I am a bit nervous and not all that confident that I'll actually be able to do it, but I'm going to give it an honest try!

I was not home much Monday or Tuesday, so unfortunately I did not get much exercise time in those days, but today I will be starting Week 3 of the Couch to 5 Km plan.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Heart Menu Planning

Have I ever told you just how much I love menu planning!? Probably not - so I'm going to just go ahead and tell you right now... I LOVE MENU PLANNING! There. Now you know.

If you have never tried menu planning before, you MUST try it. Menu planning has made my life so much easier. Before I met menu planning, one of my least favourite parts of the day was when it was time to ponder the dreaded question, “What should I make for supper?” My thought process would then go something like this. Hmm...Sausage and Perogies. Now that would be tasty. Oops, can’t make that. We’re out of perogies. How about roast beef with all the fixin’s. Nope. Can’t make that today either. It’s already 4 :30 p.m. ALREADY 4:30 PM???? WHAT?? Well I guess it’s gonna be hot dogs and carrot sticks again. Oh, we’re out of carrots, too? Never mind then. Just hot dogs. Hey, they are made with real beef! That’s good, right?

Well with menu planning, you won’t ever have to face that dreaded question again. (Unless, of course, you forget to menu plan. If that happens, take it from me, the dreaded question WILL rear its ugly face again.) But if you are prepared, all you have to do is look at your menu plan and start cooking because you know you have all the groceries on hand already since you planned ahead.

Menu Planning Means NO MORE

  • Frustration about what to cook for supper tonight
  • Wasted food in the fridge
  • Running to the store to buy just one can of tomatoes
  • Hot dogs 3 x a week for supper

Menu Planning Means MORE

  • Money saved on groceries (you can plan according to what's on sale for the week)
  • Variety in the meals you make (more ambition to try new things if you plan ahead)
  • Healthy meals for your family (You will eat out less and have time to plan out well-balance meals)

I have been menu planning for about a year now. I don’t have a set way of doing it really. Sometimes I look at what’s on sale. Sometimes I look at what I already have on hand and need to use up. Sometimes I look through cookbooks. Sometimes I just think of things off the top of my head. Sometimes I don’t follow my menu plan exactly, and most importantly, I don’t worry about it when that happens! I have found, however, that I spend less money on groceries and eating out and that we eat a lot healthier when I more or less stick to my menu plan.

So, I hope you’ll try it! You can use a menu plan template like one of these ones, or just scribble your plan on a piece of paper and stick it on your fridge or in your Home Management Binder (More on that, later). I also plan on participating in Menu Plan Monday hosted by Should be fun!

Menu Plan Monday

Yippee! My first official Menu Plan Monday!

Here's my plan for the week. Our breakfasts usually consist of toast, coffee, orange juice, yogurt, and an occasional scrambled egg or two. (We aren't big breakfast people). I don't typically plan lunches as I'm on my own with the baby for lunch since hubby is at work. I usually just have leftovers, a sandwich, or salad for lunch. I usually plan pretty simple meals for the weekend since we often go visit family on the weekend. Here are my supper plans for the week.

Monday - Salmon fillets seasoned with lemon and dill, homemade potato wedges, carrot sticks

Tuesday - Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, slow cooker stuffing (new recipe), corn, gravy, tossed salad (we have company coming over)

Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Crockpot Teriyaki Steak, Rice, tossed salad

Friday - Hamburger Casserole (new recipe), mixed veggies

Saturday - Leftover Hamburger Casserole and veggies

Sunday - Whole Wheat Penne, tomato pasta sauce, caesar salad

*For more meal ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura at*

Bible Verses For The Pilgrim

Here are a few Bible verses I'd like to share that relate to Christians having a "pilgrim" mindset on this earth.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1-3 (emphasis mine)
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 (emphasis mine)

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:13-16 (emphasis mine)

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:9-12 (emphasis mine)

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. Psalm 84:5

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