Friday, December 29, 2017

Fourth Anniversary

And so began my new journey back in 2013. And it continues today. Some might think the hard part is over since I took off 100 pounds and am now at a healthy weight, but every day is a chance to choose: do I continue on this new path, new way of living, or do I revert to old habits, long ingrained in me?
Maybe when this new me has been around as long as, or longer than, the old me the wiring will be more permanent and it will be easier.
For today, there are still struggles. I still struggle with not overeating when there are sweets around, especially at family gatherings. I forget that sugar is my Kryptonite. I can't stop at just one. I keep going until I feel awful.
I still struggle with the old mindset that I have to enjoy "it" now because "it" might not be here later (someone else will eat the last ___ that I want/is my piece).
I struggle with putting my yoga or weight lifting time as a priority in my day (taking care of me time). I know I'll feel better when I do.
I still struggle to love my body completely, imperfections and all. I've worked hard to become not just leaner, but stronger; however, there are still jiggly bits. While I may have to accept that these are repercussions of having been (almost morbidly) obese for so long that my skin over stretched and I've lost the skin elasticity of a younger person, I'm not going to stop trying to become the best version of myself that I can.
It's not just a New Year's resolution, but an every day resolution: love myself just as I am. And, do the best that I can to care for me, making myself a priority in my life.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


I'm tired. I could use a bit more sleep. But I want to go do things, fun things.

I'm hungry and should have some breakfast. But I don't want to eat.

Yoga felt so good this morning. But I'm so tight and inflexible.

I'm a mess. I'm amazing.

I know what I need. I don't know what I need.

The scale says I'm up 5 pounds more than I want. My pants (actual fitted pants, not leggings or stretchy pants) are tighter in the waist than I'd like. I don't like the way my belly look. I love my shape when I'm in my workout wear.

I just need to get thoughts out and maybe I'll figure out what's at the heart of things. 

My friend died yesterday. I was teary off and on at work yesterday. So glad I work in a Christian school where I can openly talk with my students and coworkers about the hope of the resurrection and my gratitude that my friend is with Jesus and no longer in pain.

I got teary again during yoga just now. But I think it was tears of tiredness. I'm worn out, mentally. My sweet little 10 are exhausting. My friend died. I'm working so much. I'm trying to eat healthy, homemade meals. I'm trying to get enough sleep. I'm trying to move enough. I'm trying to do yoga for better flexibility. I'm trying, I'm trying, I'm trying.... I'm exhausted.

I'm exhausted and just going through the motions sometimes. I know I'm not alone. I just talked with a friend last night who is also exhausted from everything. Sometimes I feel afraid that I've lost sight of what I love and I'm just trying to survive. I don't want to live like that. I don't want another year like that. I don't want another month like that. I don't want another day like that or even another hour. I want more.

(Cue Little Mermaid.... I want mooooore!)

I need to eat and I need a little morning nap.
Oh, and I need to make a grocery list and put in a load of towels to wash. ....ugh. I know I'll survive. I'll find the juicy life again. I'll see the light in the darkness. I'll see hope. I'll feel joy. I'm going to start with breakfast and a nap while towels are in the wash. I got this. God's got me. Lets go do this!

Monday, September 11, 2017


A few weeks ago I was getting ready to read my evening devotion at bed time to wind down my day. Sometimes it feels like just going through the motions, which feels like living the same day over and over again. Monotonous.

And the devotion spoke to just that feeling. As you may recall from other blog posts, I am reading the "Jesus Calling" devotional by Sarah Young right now. When I really focus on the words and do more than just go through the motions of "reading my devotion for the day", the words always speak to me. While I was just going through the motions at the start, the power of The Word came through and really connected my brain and my heart.

Just like the devotion said, "this monotony can dull your thinking until your mind slips into neutral." (I was so there!) But then it also went on to say "the best remedy is to refocus your mind and heart on Me, your constant Companion."

For those who don't know me in real life, let me tell you - I LOVE MUSIC! I love singing. I love playing my guitar. I love listening to the radio. I love going to Christian concerts. Music is the language of my heart. (Attn: perspective suitors, if you can sing you'll have an edge of "the other guys". Make it Christian songs, you'll be top dog!)

I digress.... Anyways, music is the language of my heart. And when I read those last two words "constant Companion" it immediately put in my mind (ear worm!) a song my Francesca Battistelli called "Constant".

I so needed those words to remind me that God is my constant Companion, always by my side, even when I feel like He's far away. He's not. He didn't go anywhere, I just stopped being focused on Him and I need to redirect my gaze.

That seems to keep happening to me a lot lately. I've been far from God; He hasn't been far from me. My devotional and prayer life has been just going through the motions. My church attendance has been... well... absent for months. I don't want to just go through the motions anymore. I want to reconnect to this vital relationship.

I have started putting boundaries around my devotional and worship time to protect it for the sacred thing that it is. At 9 pm, Sunday through Thursday I start getting ready for bed and spend time reading my devotion and praying (on Friday and Saturday I still do my devotion, but it might be a little later). At 6 am, Monday through Friday, I get up and read my morning email devotion and follow it with yoga. I'm setting aside time to be intentional about my health. And to be totally honest, some days it's really hard. Last week there were a few mornings where 30 minutes extra in bed sounded really, really good, but I've made a commitment to myself and I didn't want to let myself down. I'm working on establishing a new habit and I don't want to make excuses. I'm worth it.

He's worth it, too. He's my constant Companion.

Francesca Battistelli - Listen To "Constant" here

Friday, August 25, 2017

When Is Enough?

I decided to turn my love of Young Living essential oils into a business. When I did, I knew I needed to learn about how to start a small business. I love what the oils are doing to support my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle and I want to share that with others.

My friend who got me started in oils gave me a book for my birthday to help me get started business building. And I devoured it! And then I came across another book with business building tips specifically directed at building an online small home business. Both books have said that if you want to get your business going well and fast, you have to invest a lot of time and make sacrifices. I'm willing to sacrifice some time each night and on the weekends to pour into my company.

...But I started back to school three weeks ago. And this was the first week of school. It's Friday, and I'm exhausted. EXHAUSTED! I left my desk a mess this afternoon, and I'm feeling stressed and anxious about that. I'm not 100% ready for work next week, but after 10 hour days almost every day this past week, and the fact that I instigated drinks after work with all the other teachers, I had to leave at 4 pm. And the fact that I'm running out of steam. I left for drinks and it was lovely to hang out with the girls from work (our lone male was unable to join us and he was missed)!

Oh, but I'm still tired. So tired. Can't decide if I'm coming or going. Can't decide if I want to stay in and go to bed early, or if I want to go dancing for a bit to relieve some stress.

I'm taking two weekends off. I just can't keep going. I spent 12 days in a row at school, after a busy summer of working lots of odd hours, including weekends. I've hardly had any time to mentally escape, let alone physically escape, so this weekend I'm taking time off from work both at school work and my business. And next weekend I'm getting out of town and taking some much needed time with family, and again escaping from school and business work again.

I have goals and drive to reach my goals. But I'm out of steam and need to recharge. I want to chase my dreams and use my small business to help me get there. But I also know the value of listening to my body. I can't keep going or things won't get done well. My body says rest, so it's time to rest. I love you. I love my oils.

Time for a little Stress Away, Peace & Calming, and Release to work their "magic" on me. And then I'll come back ready to tackle it again!

...but for now, REST!

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Well, so I think I'm doing the 30 Days of Yoga.

My regular faves haven't appealed to me the last two days, so yesterday I did day one of the challenge because it's a nice gentle practice and easy to follow. Today, I got up and got on my yoga clothes, opened up my computer to YouTube, and.... nothing.

No inspiration on which favorite video to do.

I texted my trainer.

He said, "Do the 30 day challenge."

I thought about it a second and said to myself, "why not, I did day one yesterday, so YouTube is prompting me to go to the next video anyway."

So, I hopped onto the mat and began. And you guys, it felt so good! So I want to invite you to join me on this 30 day journey. Just start day one now and notice each day how you feel before and after yoga. Approach it with the intention of doing this for your body, for your health, and to see how you change. Approach it with curiosity, without judgment. With compassion for your body as you begin this new thing that may be challenging and frustrating at times. It's all ok. Just begin.

Join me! And start here by watching this 5 minute video from Adriene.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

How's Your Health?

The IRS, I bet some of you shuddered just by reading that word. Some of you loathe giving your money to the government, money that you worked so hard to earn. Some of you do it knowing that it must be done, it's just a part of life (death and taxes, right?). And some of you may even do it gladly because you know it pays for government programs that you support. (And for those of you who don't pay taxes....)

When I started working on my taxes this past spring, I found out that I owed about $3000 to the IRS, which is about a month's salary for me. (Long story short, I had received some incorrect advice on my with holdings, and not being a tax professional, I didn't know any better.) I went to a tax professional to see if this was really the case, and sadly it was. He helped me find some deductions to knock it down a bit, and then he advised me to start a small business because it would give me more tax deductions. 

I thought about possible small businesses I could have; I do pet-sitting/house-sitting, I tried being a personal chef for a friend, I thought about teaching knitting. Those all were great ideas, but pet-sitting isn't a regular gig, only when needed. The chef thing didn't work out because my friend had medication issues which affected what they could eat. And the knitting classes didn't pan out due to time constraints. So I ended up applying for and getting a job in retail this summer. With that income I've knocked out my debt to the IRS. 

Which got me thinking.... I still have a lot of other debt. I'm working on paying off my credit cards (which I haven't used for a year and a half and I've gotten one of two paid off), a car loan (making great progress!), and a student loan (they are the devil - avoid getting a student loan at all costs!). And after taking Financial Peace University, I'd really like to get all that debt eliminated, increase my savings, and start funding my retirement account (because I basically have nothing right now).  I wanted to boost my income, but not spend my all my waking hours working. I needed something. 

A business opportunity with Young Living kind of fell into my lap. God brought it around at just the right time. I shared some oils with my grandma, they helped her, and then she bought some. My best friend wanted to try it out, so she bought a kit the night I held my first class teaching on essential oils. My principal's husband happened by during the class. We put some oils on him, he fell in love, and his wife bought a kit. 
BAM! I had the beginning of my team and my first commission check. My business is growing. But I needed to learn more. I went to the oil convention, I bought some books on building my business. I started praying about my business. (More debt!)

And then BAM, another thing hit me! It's that this isn't (just) a business. It's about relationships. I have relationships with the people who are on my team. They saw what oils have done for me and experienced it for themselves, so they wanted it, too. And yes, the financial part was the start, and is an important part of it, but most important are the people. 

The oils have blessed me in so many ways. As a teacher, I need to support my immune system so that I can be at work to bless my little students. Oils do that for me! As an emotional, feel-y person, I use oils to support me as I process and work though situations.
  • I drink Ningxia Red which contains wolfberries, a powerful antioxidant. I apply Thieves to my feet and diffuse in the air; I don't quite understand all the science (yet, but I'm learning), but it supports my immune system, too. 
  • When I'm feeling stressed by a crazy parent (or coworker, or friend, or -fill in the blank for yourself-) I apply Stress Away or Peace & Calming as well as diffuse it. It helps me find mental clarity.
  • When I'm doing yoga I diffuse Frankincense to help me stay grounded and focused on my yoga practice. (Also good to diffuse during prayer times!)
  • When I'm getting ready to teach an Essential Oils class and feeling nervous or anxious, I apply Valor and Clarity.
  • If someone has wronged me and I need to let go of the hurt, I apply Release and Forgiveness, especially when praying about it, as well as diffuse while I sleep so that bad feelings don't disrupt my sleep. 
  • I take oil-infused capsules to support my physical health, like Agilease for joint health support, Immupro to support my immune system, and Allerzyme to support my digestive health. 
There's so many wonderful things that the oils have done to help improve my health. I am so in love with these products and they way they support my healthy lifestyle. I want everyone to know how oils can help them support a healthy lifestyle, too. 

I'm using the oils to support my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. And my oil business is supporting my financial health. And I want these things for you, too, my friends. Let me show you how easy (and inexpensive) it is to get started with an oily lifestyle. To start using the oils you just need a starter kit. To build a business, you need your kit and a script (which I can help you write). I'm telling you this, because I care about you, my friends, and I want you to have a healthy life, too!

P.S. Oh! And I've even been using my essential oils with the stray cat my roommate adopted. He was stressed when he first arrived, so I diffused and applied on the back of his neck Stress Away and Peace & Calming. He's a happy cat now! Snuggling up to me instead of hiding in the cupboard under the bathroom sink on top of my clean towels!

P.P.S. My IRS debt is paid and now I'm working on improving my financial health in other areas. If you want to improve your financial health, too, let me show you how a Young Living business can help. It's easy to get started; unlike other at home businesses, you don't have to carry inventory, so your only startup cost is the purchase of your kit!

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Early in my journey I lived for a sweaty, hardworking workout. If I didn't end my workout exhausted then I didn't think it was a good (enough) workout. And I had to workout at least five days a week or I didn't think I'd done enough during the week. Even when starting with my trainer in December 2015, I was working out almost every day; running or elliptical for at least 30 minutes plus weights every other day. And maybe one day of yoga each week.

Earlier this year I shifted from living in the gym five days a week to doing weights twice a week, HIIT on the elliptical a couple times a week, and yoga once a week with more regularity. And then somewhere in the last few months it's changed again. Dance has become my cardio and I don't push myself to the limits on the elliptical. I still do weights twice a week with my trainer, and yoga happens about 3-4 (or more) times each week.

And I've been telling a lot of people lately about the yoga that I'm doing and people keep asking me to share links with them, so I'm gonna share them with y'all so everybody can enjoy!

I stumbled across "Yoga with Adriene" a year and a half ago as "exercise" I could do on vacation in Denver when I wouldn't have access to the gym and it would be too cold to run outside. At first I tried a different video each day from her "30 Days of Yoga" series. I found it a little too challenging for me because I had lost a lot of flexibility, on top of my knee issues due to the osteoarthritis (I can't do lunge poses and a few others).

But I didn't give up! I kept searching until I found a video I liked and could do. At the start of this year I came across the "Foundations and Flexibility" video. Forty minutes seemed like a doable length and the poses were just challenging enough but didn't bother my knees.

I did that video for several months before I started to get bored and wanting to expand my repertoire. It was also around that time that I realized how much my flexibility improved. I also realized that I needed something extra to really work on flexibility in my hips and back because I was still tight there. (It felt very evident to me when dancing.) I found this 30 minute video targeted for back pain. I like it's slower pace, especially when my back is feeling tight and sore after a long day on my feet or a strenuous activity that has tired out my back.

 After a little over a month of doing both those videos on rotation, I decided to go back and try the "30 Days of Yoga" series. I stopped after day four because I loved that video so much. It's another good one for the back, but not as long as the previous one PLUS it has some good core work with the plank variations. A good core is key to back health.

I hope you enjoy these videos and take some time to explore others in Adriene's series. I am in the best shape of my life, yet I don't live in the gym. Stronger and healthier than I was before and getting better every day.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August Essential Oils 101 Class schedule

Learn how to kick toxic chemicals to the curb at an Essential Oils 101 class this month! Classes are held every Saturday either in person or online. Click the links for each event page to learn more!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Everything Changed

So many things have been on my mind lately, I don't quite know where this will go. But here goes...

This morning I was doing yoga and had to fold my hands together. I realized that my hands and fingers feel smaller, or thinner rather. And last couple of weeks while wearing my old dancing shoes I've noticed that they feel different on my feet. My trainer says that it's because my feet aren't as fat. That sounds about right because it feels like there's less padding, cushion under the ball of my foot.

And dating, I'm kind of at a loss. I'm tired of browsing profiles on eHarmony. And I don't really want to go back to Match. No one is contacting me. No one is responding to my contact. I'm just going to let my membership expire when the 12 months runs out soon. Maybe something will happen offline!

And oils. I've been so focused on reading my "Gameplan" book and building a business, that I forgot that it wasn't just about that. I mean, that's why I initially became a business builder - for a business that would generate income. But as I've been reading the book, Sarah Harnisch keeps mentioning that it has to be about wanting to share a healthier lifestyle, not about the money. Yes, the money is a blessing and benefit, but when I talk with people (prospects) about the oils, it has to be from a place in my heart of wanting to help them improve their health.

Today after I finished reading my chapter for the day, I was doing the assignment on prayer. I was praying for my business: for specific goals like sales, teammates, class attendance, and then I got to a point of praying for the words I speak to be effective. And something inside of me changed. The words I was speaking changed to no longer being about just increasing my income, but about really changing people's lives for the better. That the words I would speak to people as I share about the oils would reflect how they have improved my total health: physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and financially.  Because that's really what "Urban Hiker Girl" is all about.

Urban Hiker Girl is about the journey through life and improving health in all those areas: emotional, spiritual, mental, physical, and financial. And I want to show others how oils can bless them in those areas, too.

It's not just about selling starter kits, but about helping people (you!) on their own (YOUR OWN) journey, urban hiking or otherwise. Oils can support you in reaching your goals! I invite you to come to one of my free classes (in person or online) to hear about how they have helped me. And soon, I am adding testimonials of how oils have supported other Young Living Essential Oil users so you can hear about other ways that the oils are helping people and how they started their journeys.

The words of my prayer changed, without me even trying or forcing them to. As soon as I asked God to help me have a change of heart and change of my approach, the words I was speaking changed and tears of gratitude flowed freely. God is good! And He is doing good things right here, right now!

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Well.... so this just happened:

I was just reaching up to floss my teeth and my bicep accidentally flexed. (No, REALLY! It was totally accidental. I'm not in the habit of flexing my arms in the mirror at myself while going through my evening grooming rituals.)

I was so caught by surprise that I dropped the floss and texted my trainer. He "LOL'd" at me and then congratulated me.

Meanwhile, I started crying happy tears. I have had body issues for so long, y'all, that I can't remember the last time I was so amazed and proud of my body.

So, I'm just gonna savor the moment by closing my eyes and taking some deep breaths while I think about this and appreciate my body for all it's done for me. And smile.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Welcome & Rest


My mind won't stop. Even during yoga.

I've been too busy and I just need to slow down and rest. But I don't know when that will happen. I was even reading a 4-day email devotion series about slowing down to rest, just last week. It resonated with me. And yet this week I've felt non-stop. This week has rushed by, yet Monday seems so long ago.

I just want life to slow down. I want to have nothing to do today so I can rest. I need rest. Yet in an hour I'm off to my part-time summer job. Then I said I would stop by a friend's house. Then I want to go dancing tonight so I can see people I know instead of sit home alone (and learn the next part of the choreography for the flash mob). And I need to work on preparing for my in-person class I'm teaching in the morning. And I need to prepare materials for online class I'm going to teach soon. And. And... the list goes on.

But I just want to stop.

Isn't this why God created the Sabbath? He knew we needed to slow down and rest. And yet I haven't had a true Sabbath in ages.

I found myself yesterday wishing for the start of the school year to get here so life would slow down (crazy, I know)!

But this is life. It doesn't slow down, at least not permanently. It keeps going. We all have to learn how to manage our stress in healthy ways. So today I've got my "Stress Away" essential oil blend on and I'm going to give myself lots of grace and love. (And perhaps a nap after work.) And tomorrow, after class, I'm going to give myself a Sabbath. Total permission to care for myself. Some napping, some yoga, some reading, some healthy cooking, and some exercise.

This place today feels hard, but I won't be here forever. And I am loved. I am loved by my Creator; He calls me His beloved daughter. I call him Father. And Friend. Healer. He is my safe place to go when life is overwhelming. Friends, do you know that you can go to Him too? His arms are open wide waiting for you, no matter where you've been or what you've done. You are always welcome in His arms.

And this is a safe space, too. In the Urban Hiker Girl world, in my life, we are authentic, open, graceful. You are welcome here. You are loved, just as you are. May you feel the love of our Father pouring over you and filling up the empty, hurting places inside. May you feel His healing touch in your life. May you remember that you are ALWAYS His beloved child. NO MATTER WHAT.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Kick Out the Chemicals!

Ladies (& gentlemen!),  we use the most product on our skin and therefore have more junk that bioaccumulates in our bodies. Bioaccumulation can cause so many health issues, which is why it's so important to minimize your toxic exposure! Do yourself a favor. Download the Think Dirty app by the EWG and start scanning your products. You might be surprised by how toxic products are--even labeled natural or gentle! Read this article and see what a difference just a few DAYS can make without those harmful chemicals!

I love that a Young Living has created solutions for these issues--everything from household cleaners, face wash, lotions, soap, hand purifiers, laundry soap, and now make-up!

Are you ready to start making better choices for yourself and your family? We are the gatekeepers of our homes--we decide what can come in! I'd love to show you how to start swapping out these products in your home over time and save you money too!

I've got several "101" classes coming up where you can learn the basics of essential oils and why I chose Young Living. Pick a day that works best for you and invite your friends! Find class and ordering info on my website:

Original text source credit goes to Lani Palmer, Young Living Silver.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


I was in love.

But he broke my heart.


No, he didn't travel for work anymore. But maybe I can come up there where he is for a visit. ....maybe, but I have several commitments in town this summer, then school resumes so I didn't know when I can travel.

Yes, he's changed; he puts family before work. ...he has a 1 year old daughter. She needs him to be there. He adoress her.

Wait...we were dating two years ago. Long-distance, but still. Then we drifted apart because he got busy at work and stopped communicating with me. So he went from me, to another woman, and got her pregnant within a couple months. ...and then they split shortly before his daughter was born. This is not looking good for him.

But I have him another chance. He said a lot of things I wanted to hear.

And sometimes he said nothing at all, even though he said he'd call.

And when I finally said something about it, because it felt like what happened last time, all I got was excuses. He's got his daughter. He's got to catch up on work. He can't travel.


But if you want to have a relationship, you've got to put some time and energy into it. Just like you did growing your business, buddy.

So you don't really want me. At least not enough to invest your time and energy.

Not even when I had a crummy business meeting and wanted cheering up, nothing more than talking to you. And you said nothing for three days.

Because you were busy. That's fine.  That's how you are.

But I don't want that anymore.

I want. I deserve! Someone who will make time in their life for me. Someone who will invest time and energy into a relationship.

So I will keep waiting until he and I find each other. Better to be alone on my own than lonely (and lied to) in a relationship.

But it still hurts. And tonight I'm trying to feel as horrible in my body as I do in my heart. My old brain wiring is driving me to eat crap. 

I hate this.

But this too shall pass...

Monday, June 12, 2017

God Speaks

I thought that not getting the job in Denver was a great disappointment. For several days I dragged myself around feeling very sad and disappointed. I was probably not much fun to be with because on top of that, my family, who I had hoped was coming to visit my birthday week, had a change of plans so I wasn't going to get to see them, either. I was just sad and blue for several days. Even when interviewing with another school about a teaching position closer to my brother's family. I just couldn't get excited about it.

A few days have passed and I'm not so sad anymore.

There's that relationship being revived again. And I'm starting to hope again. I keep seeing reminders to hope in what could be. Today, I had a reminder that maybe my disappointment at not getting the job in Denver could be leading me to other blessings. Perhaps the blessing of a renewed relationship with someone I was deeply in love with and want to love again. (A line from "Pride and Prejudice" keeps running through my mind. Jane Bennett says something like, "I'm very much in danger of falling in love with him as much as I was before (or something like that).)

From the devotion at Proverbs 31:

Are you feeling chained back from your dreams? I encourage you to read this devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Go Ahead and Dream

Well, between last night's devotion and this morning's Facebook memories, I think there's a message that I need to just go ahead and dream.

This was in my devotion book last night:
"Rest in me, my child. Give your mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen. Pray continually, asking my spirit to take charge of the details of this day. Remember that you are on a journey with Me. When you try to peer into the future and plan for every possibility, you ignore your constant Companion, who sustains you moment by moment. As you gaze anxiously into the distance, you don't even feel the strong grip of My hand holding yours. How foolish you are, My child!" (From the book "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young)

I have often prayed, in the past, for God to give me an obvious sign (like a flaking neon billboard) about what He wants me to do. Here I didn't even ask for that, but it seems I have my answer, "go ahead and dream, hope, My child. I will see you through this, no matter what."

So I guess the next step is to boldly move forward, without doubt or hesitation, trusting that God is good and in control.

Oh, here's another I'm writing these last words, a song comes on in the background.

Saturday, June 10, 2017


I'm afraid to hope. It seems lately that when I hope for things that they don't come true.

I sometimes dream of what could be if... I'm not afraid to dream. I'm just afraid to hope that those dreams will come true.

I dreamed of what it would be like to move to my dream school/church in Denver. To be near my grandma. To be part of a ministry that actually reaches beyond it's doors to serve it's neighbors. I loved this dream so much. I hoped that this would come true. I prayed fervently; it seemed that God had put this dream in my heart so I prayed that He would fulfill it.

That dream grew and filled my heart. At times I became anxious that it might not work out; in those moments I turned that fear over to God by simply telling Him about it and asking Him to help me through those moments. And I prayed for the school, too, as the principal sorted out staff transitions that a "just right" place might work out for me.

And then I heard from them. It was not going to work out. I felt so sad. I had dared to dream and hope that this dream might come true. But it didn't. And I was extremely disappointed. Not quite crushed, but more than sad. I felt a little deflated.

And now another possible opportunity may be presenting itself, in another area of my life. And I've thought a bit about "what if...." but I'm scared to let myself dream about the possibilities of what the future could hold. This opportunity has presented itself before in the past and things didn't turn out well. I want this opportunity to be different than before. To have a better ending. But I'm a little scared to hope. I've hoped for this twice before, but both times felt hurt. Yet this opportunity has come back again, this opportunity that I wanted so much the first two times but feel so scared to admit to still wanting it. Maybe I'm not afraid to hope for it, but I'm afraid to admit I'm hoping for it. I'm afraid to let this hope get too big because I could get hurt big.

I guess they always say "go big or go home"... so maybe I will hope and dream for this to turn out differently this time.

Lord, I give this dream, this hope to You. Guide me. Help me to dream big and trust that You've got this, that You will work out what is best for me. I trust You, Lord, to do this.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

What If...

 I feel like a fool.

Two years ago I fell in love hard and fast with a guy from my home state that I had met on eHarmony. Also two years ago I had my heart broken because the timing was off. He's a business owner and due to an employee failure, he had to turn all his attention to work to save his business. He had no time for me. I tried to give him space and time to focus on his business. I tried to be supportive. But I also needed to still feel connected to him, and the distance made that hard. We fall apart.

Six months later I was still thinking of him, so I wrote him a letter to see if there was any chance of reigniting our relationship. It took him a while, but he finally called me. I thought we had a chance, but after a week he said he couldn't be with someone who doubted him. I never thought I had doubted him, but apparently he perceived some of my behavior and actions as doubt rather than just concern.

I tried to move on. This past summer I even told my best friend how I was proud of myself for having seen his name appear on a social media site and not feeling torn up about it.

But his face popped up again, on another social media site, so I sent him a follow request. He accepted, and shortly after sent me a follow request in return. I thought it would be ok, but somewhere along the way I started thinking about the "what if..."

He has a daughter now, but no mention of a wife or girl friend, so "what if..." He had mentioned that he wanted to adopt, when we had first met a few years ago, so I just assumed that's what he'd done.

And I continued to dream "what if..."

I had an image in my mind that brought to life the nicknames we had for each other. One night when I couldn't fall asleep I doodled it into my journal. Then shared it on the same social media site where we reconnected, and wondered "what if..."

What if....

But then he posted a picture of his daughter and wished happy mother's day to her mom and said I love you to the baby's mom. I guess I know now "what if...."

Saturday, May 13, 2017

My Favorite Addiction

I'm my father's daughter. Also possibly my mother's daughter. Either way - I have inherited a major sweet tooth.

Hello. My name is Becky, and I'm a sugar addict. I've been clean for 1 day.

I fell off the wagon last week when the salt water taffy appeared on the school secretary's desk. She said I could have a handful or two. So I did. (But some of it I shared with my students.)

And then every day after that I helped myself to another handful (ok, maybe two, but again sharing some of it with my students). Every day, except Friday. Friday I stared the devil in the face and won. I was back on the wagon.

Until I worked my second job. Then at 10 pm, waiting for the manager to finish up so we could all walk out, some of the others were munching on candy and shared with each other. I gave in and had a few M&Ms, a couple bits of chocolate almond bark, and .... something else I can't recall now, but it was candy.

And today I haven't had any candy. I can feel the sugar's affects on my body though, and I'm reminded why I got on the wagon in the first place.

The sugar is causing my shoulders to ache. Achy body parts make me feel grumpy.

The sugar is causing me to feel emotional and irritable. For about an hour or so this afternoon I felt like crying. For no reason, at least not a good one. That's when I checked in with myself and realized it was connected to the sugar with drawl.

For more on this, click here.
And the sugar has disrupted my sleep. I did not sleep well last night. I asked my very knowledgeable trainer if diet can affect sleep, and he said it does. I knew there had to be a connection. I was right. He has done the research, though, so he has more than just my personal observation, he's got scientific data to back him up (at least I assume, because he's a science geek).

I can't wait till this gets out of my system again. I hope that by writing it down, I'll remember why I don't like eating sugar. And I need to remember, that even on a good day when I feel like I can control it and be ok just eating a little, that little triggers a reaction to the next day and next day after that. It becomes a daily thing until I'm living in a world of hurt and regret brought on by sugar. And I'm tired of living this way.

Monday, May 8, 2017


So much about this song speaks to how I'm feeling right now.

Lately, it just seems to be one thing after another.

Let me begin with a little back story...

In November, my boyfriend and I started to plan a trip for us to visit my grandparents in Denver during my school's spring break (I'm a teacher). However, in early January this boyfriend and I decided to take a break. And at the end of January, my grandpa passed away. I still went to visit my grandma over spring break (which started Easter weekend). But this time there was no grandpa or boyfriend as planned. So that brought up a lot of feelings and emotions being at grandma's house with no grandpa and no boyfriend.

I've been meaning to officially, finally end things with him, but didn't have the right words or the right time. But Friday night, at 2 am, (which I guess is technically Saturday morning) one of many recent nights where I haven't slept well, I was able to find just the right words to express in a compassionate and kind way my need to end our relationship.

I felt lighter and freer, as if a burden had been lifted. Not that the relationship was a burden, but that the need to officially end it had been a burden.

But then this morning I got a message from my dad saying that my stepmom had suffered a stroke... and the weight was back. The weight of sin and sickness and death. I immediately took up the burden of sadness over this, as well as two great aunts - one who passed away a week ago and one who is in the hospital from an injury similar to the one my grandpa suffered before he passed away. And the weight has been dragging me down.

I tried all day to keep focused (and done very well), but after work I was in tears again. My heart just feels overwhelmed by the sadness that sickness and death has brought into my life this year. And I even noticed that in my mind I started to have the "why me, God, why them" kind of questions.

But I know why. Death and sickness were never part of His perfect design. Adam and Eve brought sin into this world. It makes our bodies decay. I had to explain this to my kids today when they asked me why I was sad, what a heart attack is, and other questions about my step mom.

Lord, I pray for peace. Peace for me and for my family. We know death and sickness were never a part of Your original plan for us. You are the Great Physician - please watch over all who are sick and suffering. Grant them healing, not just from their physical needs but from their spiritual needs as well. And Lord, You are the giver of Peace. Surround all who are suffering with Your Peace, the Peace that passes all understanding. Guide the doctors and nurses who care for the sick; grant them wisdom in their care. Give comfort and hope to those who mourn and to those who wait by the bedside of the sick. We know that You will work all these things for the good of those who love you - if not healing and restoration in this life, then in the next. Thank you, Father, for hearing this prayer. Amen.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Weighing In

Saturday morning. Time for my weekly weigh in.

And I'm not going to step foot on the scale. I'm not even getting it out.

Instead, I'm going to weigh in with my feelings, the mirror, and my clothes.

The last two days were tough for me. My emotions were out of whack. I felt out of sorts. I was mentally exhausted after work. I didn't exercise. I did chores around the house. I ate crap. My period started. And there's a full moon coming. Did I mention I was emotionally out of sorts?

For years I have been so tied to the number on the scale, measuring my progress by the number on the scale. I find and post funny memes about scales, weight, and exercise, but sometimes they really hit home with me.

Today, I'm not using that as a measure. Instead, I looked at myself in the mirror with kindness, and I was fairly pleased with what I saw. And then I got dressed and was pleased with how my clothes fit. I'm not really thrilled with how my stomach feels this morning, but that's due to the crap food I've had for lunches and dinners recently, and I have a plan for better eating and exercise and drinking lots of water which will help get that where I feel good again.

So no scale measurement today, just weighing in with how I look and feel. And I'm feeling pretty good.

Monday, February 20, 2017

No Longer a Slave to Fear

The old me lived in fear of being discovered for who I really am. Fear that I would not live up to other people's standards. Fear that the walls I built to protect myself would be broken through. I was a people-pleaser trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be.

I no longer live in that fear. I know I am a beloved child of God. He made me perfect and wonderful, in His image. I am His beloved.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Motivational Coaching

A few weeks ago, a loved one said to me, "Becky, I need you to be my long-distance motivational coach. I'm at the heaviest weight I've ever been. I need help getting it off." My response was that I was also struggling to get some weight off that I'd gained recently, I wasn't sure I could help motivate. Of course, this was while family was gathered for my grandpa's funeral weekend, and we were chatting over snack foods at my grandma's house... January was a rough month, y'all.

But it's February now, and I'm turning things around. I've refocused on my goals, gotten over the cold and sinus infection I was dealing with, said goodbye to some unhealthy relationships with people in my life, and gotten some bad dental work fixed so I feel confident in my smile and ability to eat/chew food.

For the last eight days I've had focus, persistence, dedication to my goals. I've exercised according to the plan I made with my trainer (not the one he gave me, but the one WE made together, I've got ownership in it). I've eaten healthier and bipassed sweets and snacks (even on Valentine's day!) because I was keeping my goals in sight. It's not a permanent "no" to those things, just a "not right now".

Friday morning, while thinking about my weekly weigh in coming on Saturday morning, I texted my trainer. I said that no matter what the scale says on Saturday morning, I'm going to continue eating well and exercising, because I like the way I feel physically and mentally. He cheered my positive thinking. And Saturday morning I was rewarded with a healthier feeling in my body, and also a lower number on the scale.

So here's my motivational tips:
1. Talk to your doctor and a certified personal trainer about health goals. Make a plan together.
2. Break down those goals into mileposts that you can celebrate along the way.
3. Stay focused on those goals. Put them into powerful, positive phrases that will motivate you.
4. Check in with how your body feels mentally and physically. Withdrawl from the bad habits will be hard to break, but once you start making good choices a regular habit you'll notice how good your body feels. The goals aren't just numbers, they are powerful, positive feelings about your body.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


It's my 1st WCS Dance-iversary this month! And next month will be my 3rd Dance-iversary. So much to celebrate - I've learned so much in the past three years. Let's go back to how it all began.

Three years ago I was dating a guy who was really into dancing; he'd taken ballroom dance as his PE elective in college. His current interest was learning West Coast Swing; however, he wasn't into teaching me and helping me learn, so I struck out on my own to find lessons. I bought a Groupon for a dance studio in Seattle (where I was living at the time) in hopes of learning to do West Coast Swing, but unfortunately their swing lesson session had already started.

I had my heart set on learning some kind of dance so I decided to give salsa a try. There, I met some great people, some of whom I still keep in touch with via Facebook, and started my love affair with dance. I began going to socials to practice what I'd learned at lessons. At socials I picked up some bachata, cumbia, merengue, and other Latin dance styles.... and, of course, met more of the dance community.

Moving to Salt Lake without a car plus SLCs lack of good public transportation for the non-commuter, meant that I had to forego dancing for a while. But where there's a will, there's a way. I found a couple of dance studios in Salt Lake that had Friday night socials, where I rotated through each week, growing in my salsa dance skill and meeting more people.

Then one night, by accident, I ended up at a ballroom social, where I took my Latin dance roots and tried a rumba....then a foxtrot, waltz, American tango, and East Coast Swing. I learned more and more and just couldn't get enough of dancing, enjoying taking midweek lessons and becoming part of the dance community in Salt Lake City in the ballrooms and country western bar.

Along the way, a few of these dance friends helped me return to my original desire of learning West Coast Swing, and now here I am celebrating my 1st West Coast Swing dance-iversary this month; and my 3 year dance-iversary next month. ...of course you can probably guess how I'm going to celebrate.

This post wouldn't be complete without thanking those who have been part of my dancing journey - my teachers, my classmates, my dance social friends, and my dance partners. Thank you all for being part of my journey, my life is much richer, brighter, joyful, and better because of you. So much gratitude.

To read more of my dance story, check out my blog post: West Coast Salsa.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

I Choose Me

Today, I choose me.
I choose to honor, love, and nourish my body.
I choose me over sweets that don't satisfy, but leave me feeling regret, achy, and irritated.
I choose to love myself by letting go of relationships that aren't healthy.
I choose to nourish my soul with God's Word for me, not the world's.
I choose to nourish my body with sleep and good food.
I choose to strengthen my body by engaging in physical activity.
I choose me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My Gift

Yesterday we buried my grandpa. I didn't cry much during the committal service or during the memorial service. Because I was crawling into bed last night as when the tears started to come and my mind was Restless.
I gave so much of myself yesterday caring for those around me and giving tissues to my cousins and my uncles, hugs to those who needed them, searching tea or water for grandma or anyone else who needed it.
At the end of the day I realized I hadn't given myself much time to grieve. And in my head came this voice. The voice of my former therapist Bil, saying what a gift that I have given to my family. So instead of beating myself for not feeling my feelings and having my own time to grieve, I gave of myself to serve my family because I love them and that is part of my grieving.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Unfinished Prayer

Give him a fighting spirit, Lord. A spirit of strength. The knowledge that he can get through this and that he can overcome these obstacles. Not for me but for himself. That with You he can be strong.

And let him see that he is worthy. Worthy of so much more than his present situation. That because he is Your child he is worthy of so many blessings.

And give him confidence, Lord. Confidence that in You he is enough exactly the way he is. That he is enough and he is worthy.

Lord, give me a man who believes these things about himself. But most importantly give me a man who believes in you. Whose walk with you will join with mine. So that together we can grow in You.

Monday, January 2, 2017

I'm not a perfectionist, I'm a control freak

Hi my name is Becky and I'm a control freak.

Lately, I've been reminded how easy it is to let other things control me like my emotions. Rather than my brain. Especially when it comes to my eating and exercise habits.

So, for the next several weeks, month, or two months, I'm going to be a control freak. I'm going to exhibit a tighter control over what and where I eat. I'm going to more tightly control how late I stay up in the evening and when I get to sleep. I'm going to control my social activities to allow me to have this control I need over my sleep and eating habits. And I'm going to better control my emotions rather than letting them control me.

I'm going to go back to that old calendar document that I created three Christmases ago. I'm going to open it and format it for now. But we're going to go back to the basics - have each day marked and formatted to the four different areas. I want to see it all in front of me at once not just flip through screens on my phone.

I need to stop relying on my trainer for external accountability. I think that's why things have gone awry the last few months. A year ago I started relying on him to keep me accountable and on track. I stopped relying on myself, holding myself accountable. I need to be my own motivator and accountability partner. His service is just a tool. He's helping me find tune the things I know and expanding my knowledge.

...Four days after writing the above I have had better control of my eating, exercise habits, and emotions. I'm feeling less emotional because I've better controlled my food and exercise habits. I feel like I'm back on the wagon and heading the correct direction. 


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Neglected Relationship

It just occurred to me that there's someone who I have been neglecting to life recently. The last several months there's someone that I've not made time for. I have not made them a priority in my life. And the recent strain on our relationship as evidence of this.

Or maybe I should say the strain in my waistband is evidence of this.

Neglecting to love and care for myself. I have not made time with myself a priority recently. Have not made healthy food a priority. I have not made exercise, yoga, and strength training a priority in my life.

My trainer shared something on his Facebook page the other day about how when we say we don't have time for things that's not what we really mean.

I've made several 2005 post recently but I really do need to find balance between boyfriend time caring for me time work time, and everything else that's a part of my day. The reason there's been so many blog post mentioning this is because it's a real struggle finding someone to share my life with has been a goal in my life but there has my physical health. Trying to find the balance for the year after 37 and a half years of being single is hard