Jumbled Letters


“After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.” (1 Kings 19:12)

One of the coolest things happened to me at work this week.

 I was getting ready to send a child home with their mother, and stood there going over some last minute discharge instructions with her prior to sending them on their way.

Pretty simple stuff.

Nothing really that complex.

Boring, really.

As I was getting to the bottom of the sheet, I came to the part about pain medicine.

Pointing to the section, I happened to glance over at her while talking….

That’s when it hit me.

All of the sudden, and oh-so-clearly, I heard the Lord speak to me, interrupting my thoughts with a clarity that left me sure it was from Him:

She’s illiterate.

Two words.

Very clear and without animation.

Embedded so distinctly within myself.

She was illiterate.

I pondered it for about 2 seconds and decided that He was obviously telling me to slow down and really make sure to explain as clearly as possible all of the details about what this section was really saying.

And then, just like that, they left and went on with their day.

I, however, have thought about it every single day since.

It takes me breath away, actually.

He was not whispering that to me to embarrass her or to make a joke at her expense.

He was whispering it to me because He took extreme notice of her, and was instructing me to take heed and see to it that she was well prepared to go on her way.

{Makes me cry!}

My Joyful Something for this morning?

God could be anything He wanted.

He could require us to sacrifice our children, kill ones we loved to prove allegiance to Him, or hold back His presence and leave us down here struggling to survive all by ourselves.

{But He doesn’t.}

He is not too busy and His arm is not too short.

He notices every single detail.

Every one.

And it has left me speechless!

He took notice of her and whispered in my ear a statement very distinct and without warning.

So simple and yet profound and full of instruction at the same time.


It doesn’t get any better than that.

Relationships with humans come and go.

Walking with God, however, has promise both for now and eternity.

No secret clubs.

Everyone is invited.

The catch?

He gets to tell us how to live….not the other way around.

His ways, not ours.

My prayer?

Father!  Interrupt my thoughts continually!  Fine-tune my ears to hear what You are saying.

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.”  (Psalm 105: 4)

May we not ever be too busy to hear His low whispers.

From Death to Life.



Sometimes, as a nurse I look longingly at people working in other fields and I find myself wondering about their lives.

I wonder what it would be like to go in to work at 9 and leave at 5.

I read articles in magazines about people who are able to work-out during their lunch breaks, shower, and then return to their day, and I think,

Where in the world do these people work?!

I wonder how it would feel to wear actual dress-type of clothing to work, or to care about how my hair looked before starting my day.

I think about money and how little I know about things like commerce and business and ponder what it would be like to work in fields like those.

Today, however…..

Today was not one of those days.

Today was a day that took my breath away and reminded me of how privileged I am to do what I do.

In short, I work with children before, during, and after they have procedures requiring general anesthesia.

I was chatting with a mother.

Her voice was stammering and wavering a bit, and she began to apologize with me for getting emotional.  She was holding her little one, waiting for them to wake up after a procedure.

This happens all the time, so I did what I do everyday, and waved an arm across my face–trying to light-heartedly dismiss her apology–and said something like “ohmygosh don’t worry about it!  You are totally normal!”

A few minutes passed without either of us speaking, her holding her little one while I stood beside her finishing up some paperwork.

She sat, fingering his hair, not saying anything at all.

Suddenly, out of nowhere and spoken so quietly that I had to lean in a bit to hear what she was whispering….she said, “I’m so sorry.  I’m just sitting here thinking of my other son and all that we went through with him when he was born….sitting here like this is reminding me of it so much”.

I looked into her eyes and knew before she even added the words….

“he ended up passing away”.

She then shared with me the most intimate story of a baby born with multiple health conditions, and how her and her husband had been faced with the terrible decision to have to withdraw care entirely and kiss their sweet little love good-bye.

I sat down and listened as she reminisced about how she was able to hold him long after his heart had stopped beating.  About how nice the healthcare people were and how she didn’t feel rushed in saying goodbye to a baby that she had grown over the span of 9 months, given birth to, and spent every waking moment by until he took his very last breath.

I sat there watching her relive intimate details of that tragedy, and wondered what her mind was seeing that her mouth was not saying.

I couldn’t believe how strong she was and how not bitter she seemed to be.


I had such a love for her instantly and my heart melted into a heap of emotion right alongside of her.

There have been times in my nursing career, where I have been fortunate to walk into nothing short of actual, hallowed moments with families.

Moments that have left me feeling the risk of even exhaling, out of fear that I might disrupt such a delicate, fragile, and private moment.

Today was one of those times.

I was reminded yet again of the breathtaking tragedy’s that we are often faced with, and how easy it would be to be overcome with bitter sadness at the reality of how hard life really is.

I then looked at her holding her little one and listened to her tell a tale of how God had brought life out of such a dark place and led them to adopt this precious, sweet baby, changing the course of his and their lives forever.


There is only One Creative Genius.

Only One who can bring life out of something that was marked totally for death.

Only One who can bring us through a living hell and whisper of hope and life and days yet to come.

Truly–He is an awesome Redeemer.

He restores, establishes, strengthens and supports.

If we seek Him.

So often we hold out for answers that do not come, and if we aren’t careful a heart that was once soft and moldable before the Lord can become hard and bitter, bearing little resemblance of its former state.

…But Him.

…But God.

How amazing when He comes in and transforms something that we thought was dead and gone and somehow plants life to spring forth from an area that was doomed for nothing but death.

How incredible that out of such tragedy, He was able to bring such life.

 It was out of that trial that they decided to adopt, and halfway around the world their son was born in need of a family to call his own.

Only God.

And I got to meet this amazing woman of faith and become fast friends in a way that I am convinced only happens with Believers, and hear a story of tradgedy that took my breath away but ended in praise.

Truly…Solomon was right: A longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

The best is yet to come.



THM Meets Life Upheaval…and all of the lessons in between.



Happy New Year!


I do realize it has been awhile since I have actually blogged about THM and my weight-loss happenings.

Honestly?  I just really haven’t had a whole lot to say.

No new fun recipes.

No new anything, really.

Well maybe that is not entirely true.

Every year I see hundreds of New Year, New You posts and have decided to throw in one of my own, if for no other reason than to simply add another installment  to my own personal log of  how-to’s  and don’t bothers in terms of weight loss and personal transformation.

I started Trim Health Mama almost two years ago (wow!).  March, 2014.

I have loved it.


Every once in awhile I take a mental stroll down memory lane and am quickly reminded of all of the things that I don’t miss about my pre-THM life.

I don’t miss that gnawing, sinking, hopeless feeling in terms of my weight.  Thoughts like:

“what in the world happened to me, and will I ever be able to turn this monsoon-type of tide in the other direction?”

Don’t miss that.

{Or the 85 extra pounds that went along with it}.

I don’t miss the pre-THM shopping experience and all that didn’t go with that.

I don’t miss my pre-THM skin, and am quickly reminded of the effects of sugar when my forehead breaks out after venturing into “old-way-of-living-land” for any length of time.

There’s just so many things I don’t miss.

With that said, this past year brought about some of the most dramatic life-changes that I have recent memory of ever experiencing at one time.

Changes that have taken my breath away over and over and over again.

Let’s see….

My job.

Almost overnight something that I cherished and held dear as a career became something of a distant memory, bringing with it feelings too deep and too personal that I have struggled to find words in hopes of actually processing all that occurred and happened.  It was just….done.  I spent so much time, energy and just basic giving of myself to that job entirely, that when it was all said and done, I found myself looking around, mostly unable to process what it meant to me, myself, and I.

In short?

It meant a lot.

I loved it a lot.

One day, however, it was as if I woke up and realized that it was simply time to exit stage left.

And I did.

Enter: Eating dilemma.

Previous to THM, I would have drowned all of the emotions that came with this out with whatever food I felt sounded good at the time.

I remember the night it was all over, I was just so completely sad and heart-broken.  As it turned out, nobody was available for dinner, so I went somewhere all by myself and bawled my eyes out in the parking lot for a good, long time.  I sat there for what seemed like forever, grateful that nobody was with me.  I wasn’t hungry, but told myself that I could go in and order whatever it was that I wanted, hoping to–in some way–toast the events that had just unfolded.

They deserved a toast.

In the end I splurged on comfort food.

Oddly, I didn’t get dessert.

I just didn’t want it.

Then, something remarkable happened…..I paid, left, and went back to my new way of eating.

Just like that…the splurge was over.

Total and complete Win.

It was around this time that I came across one of my [now] favorite quotes,

“If you find that your life is upside-down, it is probably because it wasn’t right-side up to begin with.” (-John Paul Jackson)

I think about it more times than I care to mention, and feel that the Lord brought it across my path just to encourage me that, indeed, “He who began a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it”.

Good stuff.

I can soundly say that I now know this to be one of the truest statements I have ever read.

So often, our priorities fall naturally out of line.  I find it isn’t glaringly obvious that something is not right.  It is usually subtle, and masked behind good intentions and goals that we felt were dreams.

It took me awhile to realize that my job was one of those.

Towards the end, my sleep suffered, I struggled with reflux (a virtual unknown to me previously), and I was exhibiting things that I now know was a result of extreme anxiety.  Panic.

My two-cents of advise?  If you find yourself in a situation where something seems out of place, where things just don’t add up, where details seem to get fuzzy……run.

Run as far away as you can in the opposite direction.

Truth?  I would much rather watch footage of a tornado than live thru it.

This I now know very well.

That single, life-changing job decision brought with it a flurry of other changes.

One tiny one: I sold my home.

The place I had enjoyed living in for over 7 years.

My first land purchase.

My crib.

My “mark” of ownership in the world…..


Somehow, in an odd twist of events, I then decided to get realllly crazy, (or as good ‘ol Ramsey would call it, “Gazelle intensity living”) and I handed almost all of my personal furniture and decor over to my favorite sister, which in turn allowed me to condense my entire life down into the space of a single room.



Alright, I guess….


{emphasis on the word however}

Because of some rather extreme decisions I have made, I have now been able to pay off almost $24,000 dollars of debt in the last 6 months.

Nope.  Not a typo.

$24000 smackers.

Total Win!!

In what feels like the blink of an eye, I am on the verge of literally owing not a single dollar to a single person.

{and it feels……amazing.}

With all of this said, I can safely say the last six months have actually changed my life


 What does all of this have to do with THM?

 A lot.

After that initial my-job-that-was-my-life-has-ended-and-I-need-to-toast-it-with-a-food-splurge happened….a few other things happened as well.

In the midst of all of that change, I would find myself getting a little…..shall we say….restless with my eating.

I didn’t want flavored greek yogurt.

I wanted a peanut butter cup concrete.

I didn’t want to snack on peanuts….I wanted actual popcorn.

With butter.

You get what I am saying.

I found myself a bit edgy and would start to splurge here and there.

Don’t worry….even as I type I can say that I am still wearing the same clothes.

But, I have begun to notice they zip a little snugger and pull in the wrong places, etc.

This has caused me to take a hard look and draw some very simple conclusions.

I have realized that there are some things that THM has NOT done for me.

One huge one: It has NOT taught me magically how to refrain from over-eating.  That is a monster that I have to tackle all on my own.  With THM, I have enjoyed endless foods that are “on plan”.  Honestly?  I have pretty much let myself have whatever I wanted, portion-wise, as long as it fell into whatever category I happened to be eating.  This is all fine and good and usually the most that would happen was a weight-loss stall.  (Which, in terms of catastrophic-type weight categories is definitely not the worst thing!)

However…..and again, it is a huge however!!  If and when, you find that life happens, and you are in limbo and you use whatever excuse you have been looking for to allow yourself more splurges than normal in the “off plan” corner of life…..you will find that the over-eating tendencies mean a lot more and come into play in a whole different way.  Weight-loss stall will be a dream of the past and weight-loss gain will be a new thing you are left having to remedy.

 THM allows us to hide our over-eating, but the reality is that it needs to be nipped in the rear, once and for all.  In the end, it is a game of tortoise and hare, and we will find ourselves on the losing side if it is not taken care of.

My goal?

Cut down on portions.

For real.

Just because I am at a party and trying to stay on plan amidst a sea of awesome food, does not mean I need to single-handedly down the entire dessert that I brought myself!  (even if I am the only one eating it!  haha!).

Over-eating breeds more over-eating….and adds to a tendency to lose control altogether.


Another thing THM has not taught me:  How to not turn to food for satisfaction and comfort in real life.  Yet another animal I have to conquer in hopes of solving this weight issue once and for all.

Life change will always happen.  Jobs will always change, homes will always need to be sold, and moves will always leave us in a state of upheaval.

How I deal with that is up to me.

Goal?  Only eat when I actually, physically need food.

My last thing that I have realized when reviewing my eating year of 2015…in terms of THM:

It was the year of the “heavy S”.


I ate s, S, and more S!!!


That, my fellow friends, is not what THM is really all about at all.

Hard truth?

I often find that I binge on S, because I am trying to major on all the things that are awesome about THM, while simultaneously minoring on the not-so-exciting sides of FP, or E.


This has led me to a tiny little thought: I am super glad this this blog is small and I am not actually aiming to make money off of it.

Those poor bloggers (many whom I enjoy following, by the way), tend to FILL up my news-feed with nothing more than heavy S, upon heavy S.


{I am going to take a break from following them altogether}.

Sorry.  Has to happen.

Reality check??

My breakfast this morning consisted of coffee (with cashew milk instead of cream), scrambled egg whites, some nonfat greek yogurt, and an orange…..folks:

*meals like that just don’t make for tempting food pictures.  And in the world of blogging?  Tempting food pictures are their life line!!*

I don’t blame them and feel no malice towards them……but I am going to be staying away from them for quite some time.

I just don’t need another cookie recipe, cheese-laden dish recipe, or heavy cream and bacon recipe.

I pretty much have my fill of them already.

With that, I come to my biggest goal:

I plan to spend 2016 reading thru and enjoying a large amount of the recipes from the new THM Cookbook.

Keep it simple-silly.  (sounds better than “stupid”, right?!)

**Block out the noise, and actually get back to the basics of the plan.**

Enjoy it for what it is, while making sure you don’t make it into something it isn’t.

Which leads me to one final point:  Please, please, PLEASE—do not jump on the “week of FP bandwagon” as a way to “get back in the saddle of the THM horse”.

Food Sanity.

That is what this has been about since its inception.

Not FP weeks, hoping to forgive us for entire calendar years filled with nothing more than cheese and butter.

But…..a balance between light, fruit-filled, butter-LESS foods and slightly heavier ones with hearty enjoyments.

{{some butter…not a whole stick.}}

You know what I mean?

Save the Heavy-S’s for a few times a year….not a few times a week.

I am excited to see where I end up!

{and you should be too!}

Reservations For One.



I just logged on here and when I saw that my last post was written in July, I actually thought there was something wrong with my blog and I had lost recent content or something…..!!!

oops. :)

I have been mulling the idea of this post over and over in my mind, trying to weigh out how much I really wanted to share this story because I truly cherish it so very much…

In the end, though, I just really have it on my heart, and believe it is really something that God allowed for me to experience and to be so completely blown away by that I hope to never forget it.

(How’s that for a lead-in?!  haha!)


This post is all about fruit and my almost total life preoccupation with it.

I’m not talking about grapes, cherries, or apples.

I’m talking about my life.

Lately….(okay for the past few years), I have really begun to give some serious thought to my death and my upcoming little “meet-n-greet” that I will have with my Maker.

{really, if thinking about it for about 2 nano-seconds doesn’t just cause your hair to stand-up on end, I don’t honestly know what could!!}


Once upon a time I read a saying about the Fear of the Lord being the “beginning of wisdom….”

Sometimes I think we have been fed this idea that God is all rainbows and butterflies….and we will die and “saint peter will meet us at the big pearly gates (where does that one come from, anyway?!), etc…..but Jesus said to

“Fear Him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.”  (Luke 12:5)

{Truth?  There are a few things that I never joke about in life and going to Hell is one of them.  I just don’t think it’s funny at all.  If we spend our whole lives laughing about “who’s driving the bus to hell”, why would we be surprised if God actually lets us go?  Just a thought.}

I’m not sure why this is, and can only conclude that God–in his infinite love and grace–has decided to really open my eyes about this topic and impress a few things on my heart about the fruit of my life.

{Or, just maybe, the *almost* entire lack thereof.}

{and my desire to change this!}

But one question has settled itself deep within my insides and has refused to leave:

{Will I have any lasting, real fruit to show for my life when I meet God face to face?}

I mean, really.

When I stand before Him, and give an account for my life…will any of my accomplishments/good works/life work last and hold up?

One thing about the Lord is that He does not get fooled by facade.

He sees through everything.


He is so consumed with the actual state of our hearts….so consumed with our very real motives….about the why behind whatever good thing that we are doing…that He and only He will be able to truly filter and see all of the reality of my life for what it is and/or was.

Out of this is stemming a very real desire to have some very real fruit come out of my life.

The deal is….we aren’t really supposed to talk about this, right?  I mean, we aren’t really supposed to tell others what acts we are doing, because then the Bible says we have earned the reward in full down here….basically….once again He is all about us pleasing Him for Him and Him alone.

His eyes only.

However….(a small glimpse into my odd little mind!!)

I have already shared this story a few times, because I found the way the events unfolded to be somewhat astounding to me, and have therefore decided that if “the cat is already out”…and if it is looming in the back of my mind….for goodness sakes I’m just gonna share it! :)

This is all about a certain Homeless man that I used to pass by several days a week on my way in to work.

I would see him, day-after-day, all propped up on whatever bucket that was around, holding his sign asking for money….and I would do one of two things:

1) Barely notice him while hurrying to get to work, (so I could keep on hurrying through the rest of my day).

Or, most often:

2) Notice him….(light turns red)….proceed to study him while waiting for said light to turn green…take time to ponder if he was “truly” homeless…..mostly conclude that he very likely was not (just keepin’ it real, folks!)….be grateful when the light finally turned green (as I had the feeling that he was staring at me as well)….proceed on with my day, giving him no food or money, etc.

And so this went on for (honestly?) a very long time.

And then one day….around Christmastime…

It really began to bother me.

I had, that previous summer, gone on a short-term missions trip to India, were we did many things, one of which involved working in a community that was built solely for the purpose of giving homeless, destitute people a place to live.

I loved almost everything about that trip, minus the (SEVERE!!) bug-bites that I suffered from while there.

Anyhow, it just started to feel like God turned a light on and it dawned on me how different I easily am in my outlook toward homeless people in situations like that, and it really bothered me how easily I could dismiss them altogether once back on my native soil.

I mean, really bothered me.

Over there I never stopped to ask if those people were “truly” needy.

I never wondered what they had done to cause their own demise.

I never questioned what kind of drugs they were in to, or if they really had a home and family and just found this as a fake front and easy way to make a buck.

I never wondered about any of those things.

Over there…I honestly was just filled with compassion for them.


Not really the case.

One day, I left work and found that as I came to the same intersection, these flood of thoughts just kept coming back to me continually, over and over again.

Truth?  I was sick of thinking about it, and decided I simply had to do something.


The oddest thing, and yes I promise you it is true…

For some reason, I drove immediately to Target, sat in my car , and prayed something like: “Lord I know that You know that guy very well..you know what he likes and does not like…you know what he needs…give me ideas of things that I should buy for him”.

And then I went in and did a little Christmas shopping for this homeless man that I had spent so many months paying so little attention too.

{And, yes, I wondered if maybe I was nuts the entire time.}

I basically played a little game called “anything-that-seems-to-stick-out-to-me-I-will-buy”.

I started putting random things in my cart, wondering the entire time if I was just adding things that I liked, or if I was truly drawn to them, etc.

Random stuff….fun stuff….warm stuff…..goody stuff like Little Debbie Christmas cakes (which I disdain, by the way, so I thought that was a good sign!  haha!)…

Really and truly, when I finally felt like I was done, I found myself looking at a pretty large amount of items and a cart that was almost half full.

Oh dear.

How was I going to get all of these things into a gift bag?

What in the world was I thinking?

I went into the gift bag isle and the only one that I could find that would fit all of the items was this really huge wedding bag.


Just great.

I bought everything, went home, took all of the stuff out….and proceeded to question every. single. thing. that I had just purchased.

Every last bit of it.

I mean…so many thoughts…!!

Thoughts like:

{What in the world am I doing?}

{Maybe I should just give him a couple bucks next time I see him…}

{What am I doing spending this money on a total stranger at Christmas time anyway?}

{Hey…is this guy even really homeless?}

The list goes on.

It was late and I decided to sleep on it…{thinking that honestly I would probably end up returning everything the next day anyway, and opt for something more sensible and less…..weird}.

Then, for some odd reason, I decided to just go ahead the very next morning, and refused to let myself talk myself out of a thing.

I packed everything up and decided to just drive in to the City and see if I could find him at my usual exit.

There were a few catches:

One, it was my day off of work.  This resulted in my of course sleeping in a little and not going in at my usual time.  Two, I knew that I didn’t always see him there…sometimes he was a regular and then there would be long periods without him being there, so I had this lingering thought that I might very well go through all of this effort for nothing, but decided I had to at least try.  Three, I had a scheduled visit with a maintenance man that left me pressed for time to even make the trip downtown, but decided to just do it and “go for broke”, to at least “see” if this whole weird thing might actually come together.

I remember stopping just very briefly and asking God to somehow bless my efforts, to help me find the man if it was to be, and to cause the repair man to be a little late to give me enough time to get back home…(couldn’t hurt, right?!)

But I was also just pretty annoyed.


Annoyed because I was about to drive 30 minutes to meet a man that I wasn’t even sure would be there, to give him gifts that I felt I couldn’t afford to have just purchased, containing items that I didn’t even know if he liked or even wanted.

The whole thing just screamed “Odd!!” to me and I found myself actually trembling a little at even the thought of going downtown.

Odd, odd, odd.

But….I just had too.

So…I basically found a card, and started writing him a little note….and I really started to have quite a bit to say to him (shocker, I know! ha!).  I felt very much that he was actually super smart, specifically gifted in math, and I just really prayed over him and encouraged him in the note that the next year would bring about a breakthrough in his life, and that God had bigger plans for him and I believed a new day was coming his way….

I didn’t let myself ponder the note too much for fear that I would lose my nerve and forgo it altogether, grabbed up my “Christmas-filled Wedding bag” (!!), and headed for my car.

It was about 7:30 in the morning.

Then, something interesting happened.

Just as I was closing the door, I heard my phone ding with a new text message.

I took out my phone, and—no kidding—it was the most random text from a person that I did not know very well.  In fact, it was someone that I had barely hung out with, or spent any time with at all….and do you know what it said?

“Hey Beth!  You came to my mind this morning, and I just wanted to encourage you to follow the small nudges that the Lord places on your heart.


True story.

I was totally and completely blown away.

The timing of their text was literally staggering to me, and they could not have had ANY idea what I was embarking to do at that very moment.

It goes without saying that my attitude seemed to be instantly re-adjusted, and I had a renewed energy to see if this little thing might actually come to fruition!

I drove downtown wondering the entire time how I would even give it to him.  I mean…..okay first he had to actually be at that corner.  I then had to figure out how to get the ginormous bag out of my car window, not hold up traffic, somehow call him over to the car, give the odd gift, and then be on my way.

Oh dear.

So….I drove, and as I reached to my usual exit, I suddenly got so nervous!!

Who cares about my encouraging text, I was going to be devastated if I came this far only to find that he wasn’t even there!!

If he wasn’t there….what was I going to do??

I turn onto the off-ramp, round a little corner….and there….seated at the very end of the road….

Was my homeless man!!!


In yet another tiny detail of perfect timing, as I drove up, the light just so happened to turn red right as my very car came up to it, giving me the perfect amount of time to wave him over.

I was literally shaking.

I waved him over and he came up as I was trying (yes, awkwardly!), to get this huge bag out of my front window.

I found myself stammering as I was trying to hand it to him, and didn’t really know what to say, so I did what every girl would do and I immediately started crying!  I just cried and said something like, “God brought you to my mind and I went Christmas shopping just for you.  Merry Christmas!”

He came closer, in a state of total shock, and that is when I saw him.

I mean….I really saw him.

And do you know what I saw?

Total need.

Rotting teeth.



And in that moment, honestly nothing else in life seemed to matter.  I just really wanted to bless him.

No questions asked.

Totally give him some sort of gift out of real love.

Not a buck in passing, or a leftover bag of half-eaten food that I have watched people do….but this odd little treasure that I had somehow randomly gathered at Target and packaged up just. for. him.

{And you know what?}

If felt amazing.


Even now, I had to stop and relive it all over again.

I was on cloud nine.

Then….the light turned green….and I went on my way.


I drove home feeling literally like all of heaven was giving me a high-5!  I did it!  I followed thru with it!  I didn’t talk myself out of it, and he was just sitting there, just as I was holding my breath and praying that he would be…about 2-hours later than I would have normally found him there.

I drove home, got back into town, decided to randomly drive thru Chic-Filet for a celebratory breakfast, and then headed home.

No kidding, just as I got done paying for my meal, my phone rang and it was the repair man calling to say he was on his way.

Another piece of perfect timing.

{He was about 20 minutes late…… :)}

Later that day, I just sat replaying it all over and over…I just loved how it had unfolded.  I was thinking about my timely little text of encouragement and pulled out my phone to reread it.

The oddest thing:

I unlocked my screen and to go to my text messages and realized that when I had read it, I had simply read what had come across my home screen, not knowing that there was another part entirely to the text.  As the message popped up in its fullness, I realized what her last part said, “I hope you have a great day and I think you should treat yourself to Chic-Filet for breakfast!”

Nope.  Not even kidding.

{What in the world???}

I read that and literally laughed out loud.

How totally weird.

Not only had they texted just the encouragement that I needed, when I needed it, but somehow…that last little part…somehow the fact that I had decided to go there…was the cherry on top of that whole entire thing.

If anyone ever tells me that God is not into details….?

I just don’t agree.

He is allll about the details.

Every last one of them.

Somehow, someway…He chose to encourage my waivering little heart about the events about that entire morning before they even unfolded.

He wanted me to take a step.

I have always thought that He cares intimately about each one of us, but truly believe that I have a new life goal.

Just stop for one person.

Find one person.

So often, I feel like I am surrounded by a sea of need.

Oceans of need.

Oceans of need matched with very little financial resources.

God knows this.

He knows that we don’t have endless money….

He knows all the needs and sees all the people..

My conclusion?

His eye is sharper than the most accurate of snipers.

He can sort through the millions to match us with our “one”.

My joyful something?

Living life with a new goal of trying to accumulate as much fruit as possible to show for it along the way….

real fruit.

real ministry.

Not to millions….just one at a time.

Just one!!

Wouldn’t it be an incredible holiday season around here if we all did just that??

My challenge?  May we step out and do something different!!!  Go shopping for a homeless man we have never met, do random things that we have never done before, all under the prayer of asking God to help us to actually tangibly bless others.

Father!  Show us your heart for those that surround us, and break our hearts for what breaks Yours….make reservations for us in advance, finding our “one” in a sea of many.

Sod Stories

Lately I have been thinking lot about sod.
dead sod


Fascinating, huh?

(okay maybe not.)

This spring I decided (pretty spur-of-the-moment, by the way) that it was time to sell my home.

Before putting it on the market, I did what any good little HGTV watcher would do:  I set out to increase my curb appeal!

My front yard needed…..*a bit* of TLC.

The 100+ yr old tree that I love dearly, had reeked havoc on my grass, causing it to be patchy at best.

There was also an unfortunate slope in my yard, causing a fair amount of weathered erosion to affect the little sidewalk leading up to the house.


{little tidbit….I disdain yard work.}

{as in….disdain!}.

But…motivation works wonders, and I soon found myself out in front, working hard to repair the damage that years and weather had caused (Thank you Aunt Becky and Uncle Leland for coming to my aid and helping me!!!).

The sod looked beautiful!

It was lush, and green, and altogether lovely.

I watered it regularly and thought I was caring for it exactly as ordered by the grass people.

It yielded wonderful results!!!

And then it didn’t.

Suddenly, almost overnight….the bulk of my beautiful new sod became….um….not beautiful.

It….(dare I say?)….Died.


I literally stare at it every. single. day.

I feel as though it smiles at me, mocking me as I come and go from my house…knowing that there is little I can do about it in this 90+ degree heat.


As if that weren’t enough, after much deliberating, the buyer of my beautiful little home ultimately backed out…forcing me to have to stare even longer at this now dead, lifeless sod.

{So sad!}

So much work for almost nothing.


Lately, I have begun to stare at that sod and think about how much it reflects the state of our hearts and lives.

Jesus talked a lot about soil:


“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13: 3-9)



He said we could be seeds that were either planted in shallow soil, rocky soil, thorny soil or lush soil.

Only time, weather, and the elements would determine which ones we were….just like my sod.

No matter how beautiful that sod was, no matter how hard or long I watered it…..

The soil beneath it was not conducive to life and it was only a matter of time before the surface went from green to brown.

God cannot be mocked.

We cannot fake Him out.

He cares very little about all that we may seem to be on the outside, and very much about all that we actually are on the inside.

Under it all.

Away from watchful eyes.

Beneath the layers that are easily watered and cared for.

Beneath the things that make us picture-worthy.

The question on my mind tonight?

What type of soil am I made up of??

Good soil takes work.

A quick, clean-up job of rocks and weeds cannot make up for a total soil overhaul.

How many times in life have I met someone with strong faith, been motivated and encouraged by them, challenged and even felt embarrassed at my own little faith…..only to later meet up with them….(sometimes years later), and find that they weren’t serving the Lord any longer at all??

Many times, friends.


I have watched it happen….followed it while it was happening….and marveled at how a mouth that once praised the Lord could now be cursing His name.

It baffles me every. single. time.

Terrifies me.

Makes my stomach hurt.

Leaves me awake at night wondering how such a change could come about.


I do not want this to be the end result of my life.

I want to be soft, plant able, mold able, work able, rock-less soil.

Fertile soil….yielding fruit in its season.

I want His roots to go down deep, where weather and erosion and all of the elements of this decaying, external world will not lend to my downfall.


Cling to Him and Him alone.

Him who alone is the Tiller of my soil.

Who alone knows the ins and outs of how I work, why I think like I do, and what work needs to be done.

Tonight I say, “Do the hard work, Lord!!!”

Revamp my soil.

Soften my hard heart.

Give me eyes to see….ears to hear….and a heart that beats for You and You alone.

Because storms??….He promised that they would come.

How we prepare for them, though, is the difference between life and death.


I am consumed with this one question:

What will He say to me on the day that I meet Him face to face??

So many of us talk so much smack about all that WE will say to Him…….

{Him….the Maker of those tiny little F5 tornadoes…}

{Him….The Creator of Monsoons, Tsunamis, Hurricanes, and Earthquakes…}


We sometimes think soooo much about what we will say to Him…..but all that really matters is

{{{{What will He say to us.}}}}

One thing I believe for sure….nobody else but me will stand before Him on that day.

No friends will be there with me.

No crowds will be there influencing His opinion of me or cheering me along as I stand up to my Maker….nope.

That day?

That day will be about me and me alone.

How is my relationship with the Maker of this world?

Who is Jesus and what did His blood really do for ME.

{Questions that we all deserve to get to the bottom of before we breath our last breath this side of eternity}.

I could be wrong…..and of course many will disagree with me.

Of course.

Maybe, though….just maybe the cross is about more than being a piece of jewelry….

Maybe church is about more than just a first communion, a baby’s christening, or a place to wear a nice outfit to on Easter or Christmas.

Maybe we were actually created to worship….to actually know our Maker (Jeremiah 9:24).

Maybe…there was no hope for any of us….no chance of standing blameless before Him on our own at all….so He sent the perfect offering to die for us on our behalf.

Maybe Jesus really is what this is all about….

Maybe….if I get all that I want in this world….but fail to get this little tiny, humongous detail right….maybe it really will impact my entire eternity.



{Suddenly the dead soil doesn’t seem like it was such a waste of time after-all…..that is my Joyful Something that I am chewing on tonight.}

Celebration of All Things Slow



I’ve been waiting all day for the chance to write, but have been too busy to do so until now.

For starters, I weighed myself randomly today, and realized that I am now officially just over 80 pounds lost!!!


Not gonna lie….just a wee bit excited about that.

I then proceeded to celebrate by enjoying two of my very favorite things in life:

1) Good coffee (paired with my very favorite Strawberry Cheesecake Quest Bar!).

2) A walk with my favorite little man, Henry.

And then?

My Gosh I thought you would never ask!!!

Well….I then ran for an hour, mowed my entire lawn, trimmed said lawn, and rounded out the rest of the day by spending five hours cleaning and power-washing my deck.

Which leads me to my recent life revelation:

I seem to have quite a bit of energy these days!


It completely snuck up on me.

I have heard many people say that exercise energizes you, but honestly?

Never really felt that way.

I have always felt very much that exercise exhausted me.

As in….completely.

As in…I could think of no better way to celebrate a finished workout than by settling in for a long winter’s nap.


{{Oh how I love thee!}}


Lately I can b-a-r-e-l-y get myself to take one.

As in….almost never.

As in….it ticks me off, actually.


The truth is, I honestly just have quite a bit of energy.

I’m not sure how it started, or when this change came about, but all I can say is that it did.

There’s something interesting about the concept of expending energy only to find that you then gain more energy.

For me it’s become a whole new take on the reap/sow mentality.

I sow my time and energy into activities like running (or my new biking thing that’s becoming an actual, real thing…but more on that later.)

In return I somehow become more energy-filled, more productive, and just overall more in control of my time.

Go figure.

I don’t want to embellish this or make it more than it is….After-all, I did watch a 5-hour Chopped Marathon on Food Network last weekend (I’m sorry but it was the All-Stars and I simply HAD to know who won–thank you Scott Conant for taking the whole thing, I would still be in mourning if it was the other guy).

I mean, I can dooo lazy.

And “chilling” is still one of my favorite states of being.

But these days?

These days sweating is–dare I say?–actually fun.


Random stuff too….like….

For whatever reason, I rather enjoyed the challenge of strapping on my bike helmet and making my first pilgrimage out on an actual, real-life highway last week.

{Still can’t get over that one.}

Also, I am really enjoying my new-found freedom and desire to run outside.

{Yes you read that right….talk about a change, huh??!!}

My biggest revelation lately?

Health….breeds more health.

Plain and simple.

Looking back, I started to tackle my personal m-o-u-n-t-a-i-n of weight last March (the 11th, but hey who’s keep’n’ track?! ;))

I didn’t even think it would really work.

I could’t bare the thought of adding in exercise as well.

So you know what?

I didn’t.

I basically, really and truly, did absolutely no exercise for almost the first 10 months of adapting to the THM way of eating.

And you know what?

I wouldn’t change a thing about that.

As in…not one thing.

Looking back, I can honestly say that this has all been unfolding in the most calm and peaceful way that I could have ever imagined.

I am so beyond thankful.

I remember when I had tried to go to a trainer, previously.

It was all just too much.


You go from eating whatever, drinking whatever, and doing basically nothing in terms of activity….to trying to change everything all at once, and you just get too overwhelmed.

Tonight I am pausing to say that there is much to be celebrated in s-l-o-w change.

Looking back, this is how things have gone:

I am losing weight slowly.

My taste-buds are changing slowly.

I am dropping clothing sizes slowly.

And then, after months of  all of this slowness, one day for whatever reason it seemed like it was time to add a little exercise….slowly.

Nothing crazy.

Just a tiny little commitment to do at least 10 minutes on my days off from work (3days/week).

Seriously?  Yes.

10 minutes.

It turns out….10 minutes really can be a game-changer…..slowly.

{See where I am going??}

I ran….slowly.

Inside, by the way!!

{{My gosh…only inside.}}

NEVER outside!

Don’t you dare mention the daunting thing that is outside running to this girl!

Huh-Uh, No way!

And so hide I did….for four months.

I did nothing but enjoy the beauty of retreating away for a little workout in my hidden little world….where I was allowed to change slowly.

Away from watchful eyes.

No one for me to have to pull at my shirt for to make sure that I was always covered.

No one for me  to have to watch walk at a faster pace than I was running…

Nobody around but me, myself, and I.

Until one day, I woke up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning (don’t get me started…bugs me to no end when I can’t sleep in!!!), and it looked so beautiful outside that the only thing I could think about doing at that very moment was hopping out of bed and going for a run to enjoy it.

{{Where in the WORLD did that come from??!}}

*****Que “A Whole New World” from Aladdin…”*****

Suddenly I got to enjoy things like birds chirping, the smell of fresh cut grass, and some plant or flower that smells like fresh watermelon (my favorite, btw!  Two different spots on my path present me with the sweet aroma of watermelon!  Makes me think of summer…).

Then came the desire to get a bike…..{say whaa??}

I know, right?

{Definitely NOT a biker, mmkay?!}

Well, until now, I guess.

I mean, I don’t even really get it!  haha!!


I get such a kick out of how little I know about biking.  For instance, there seems to be an actual thought process behind attacking hills, switching smoothly between gears, gadgets to track your mileage…etc.  Some might even say it is wise to take a bit of water out on these strange things called bike rides (won’t forget that one again).

All of this is over my head, by the way…

I even encountered a real life, full-blown, “dress-the-part” biker on the highway and all I could do was start laughing to myself.

What must he have thought to come upon little ‘ol me out there in the middle of nowhere??

{{I imagined our conversation going something like this:  “Oh Hey there!  Yes….yes, I know….I get a kick out of myself as well…maybe next week I will find a pair of those awesome shorts with pillows stuffed into the seat of them in order to help me really look the part….but no need to get crazy just yet, right?”}}


Sorry….I divert.

Hear me though when I say this:


And I mean NONE of this would be happening in my life if I had started out being anything other than S-L-O-W.

We are delicate human beings.

Fearfully, wonderfully, and intricately made.

Change is more than possible but it takes time.

Detox takes time.

Overcoming self-consciousness and stage-fright and (fill-in-the-blank because there are many to choose from!)?….those take time.

And then one day you wake up and you get to celebrate an 80 pound weight-loss.

Suddenly it seems that all of this slowness is really happening quite quickly.

Truly.  There is joy in the journey of slow.

Happy Monday :)

Friend or Foe?



Have you ever found yourself in the midst of  a certain situation and been forced to look at someone whom you had previously enjoyed hours of conversation with, only to–in the snap of a finger–find yourself asking: “Who is this person because all-of-the-sudden they are acting completely different than they have before?

Me too…

Have you ever had someone chat with you about something, share a thought or two about said something…and then go into a gathering of other people and say exactly the opposite as they had previously said to you in private about that very same thing?

Me too…

I recently experienced just such an event that left me shaken to my core.


Not a day has gone by that hasn’t found me chewing this over in some way, shape, or form.

I simply cannot stop thinking about it.

To the point that I’ve been wondering if I should seek out some counseling in order to help myself move on…

And then an interesting thought occurred to me just tonight.

{Hot off the press, friends! haha!}


The day that this event occurred, I found myself mulling it over and over (and over some more–my forte!).

That night at home I muttered a very brief, almost-not-there type of prayer about it to the Lord.

I remember just saying, “What in the WORLD was that, Lord?!”

At that moment, very vividly and oh-so-easily, a verse popped into my insides and I haven’t stopped chewing over it since:

Better are wounds from a friend than kisses from an enemy.

(Proverbs 27:6)

It sank down deep within.

Now, I have read that verse who knows how many times before.

{Have I mentioned my love for Solomon?!}

But, somehow, on that night those words held a heavier meaning than any of the previous times I had heard them.

Better are wounds from a friend than kisses from an enemy.

It’s really true, huh?!

I have been pondering the life out of this verse (literally-ha!) because I keep asking this one question of that experience:

Soo……which is it?

Are they a friend that is wounding me now, or were they an enemy that was kissing me then?

Hard question.

And so my mind has been churning and churning this over…

What does this mean for me?

How should I react?

What should I do?

How do I respond?

{you get my point.}

Tonight, as I was mowing my grass for the very first time this season (btw, my home could have been on an episode of Swamp People, it was that bad!), I realized:

It honestly doesn’t matter.

The truth?

Any way I look at it, whether or not that person is stabbing me in the back, or simply caught in a moment of odd behavior….my response to them should really be the same.

Bottom line?

If there were no such thing as enemies, God wouldn’t have wasted any space in the Bible speaking about them.

That is just reality!!

What He does, though, is make it explicitly clear as to how we are to respond to them in return.

Enemy or friend?

We are to humble ourselves unto them either way.

Serve them.

Bless them.

Be kind to them.

Pray for them.


I think we can all agree that this is easier said than done!!

But that’s life in the Lord, friend!!

He loves us…

He gave Grace beyond anything that would have remotely resembled reasonable

for ME!!

{And you :)}

….and the name of the game is that I am expected to turn around and do it for others….again, and again, and again some more.

I mean, Jesus “did life” with Judas right up until the very moment he betrayed him, right?


Sometimes, honestly things may go the same way for us.

The key?

The test may not have anything to do with the circumstances as much as how it finds us responding and carrying ourselves in the midst of them happening.

Tonight’s Joyful Something?

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

Testing is real.

Trials are hard.

Endurance produces very real fruit.

May we hold ourselves the same, regardless of the answer to the friend or foe questions of life.

Happy Monday :)

Run of Thoughts…

You know you are becoming a bit obsessive about your running pastime when you find yourself unconsciously categorizing your running socks.  These few pairs?  These are reserved for the *very special*, long runs….while those?  Hmmm…those will do for 30 minutes or less, but not a STEP more!…

Those pants?


Those are absolutely reserved for my Saturday morning, long-awaited, much-adored, highly anticipated, run-like-the-wind type of runs….they are just too awesome to be worn for anything less.

{Saturday runs deserve the best.}

And so it goes for shoes, running bras, special running playlists….etc.

{I am l-o-v-i-n-g all of this, by the way.}

I have really begun to crave running.

No, seriously.

I knew I had turned a corner about a month ago when, after a particularly awful day at work, I found myself driving home tired, hungry, and emotional….and the moment I turned the corner for my street all I could think about was how badly I just wanted to jump on my treadmill and go.

And go I did.

The past two weekends I have found myself traveling out of town.

Both times my running attire hit the “must have” section of my suitcase.

I may forget toothpaste, but gosh darn-it…I WILL remember to pack my newest favorite pair of Brooks!

{Calm down, I found some toothpaste…eventually. :}}

Speaking of Brooks, there comes a time when one must be willing to ask themselves the daring question:

Just how many pairs of running shoes does one need??

{Short Answer? Many!!}

I am rotating through four, and find myself holding back from buying more.

In short?

A Whole. New. World, my friends!!

Suddenly I don’t mind going without makeup to wherever it is that I am rushing to go, if it means that I was first able to fit my workout in just prior to leaving.

This morning, for example, I chose a good sweat first thing instead of a shower, hair, and makeup.

{Wouldn’t change a thing, by the way.}

I love waking up early, hopping on the treadmill, sweating through however far I wanted to run….only to then run back upstairs, clean up as quickly as possible, sneak my way back into my pajamas, and resume my morning routine of  more coffee and a delicious breakfast….(somehow pretending that the grueling events of the previous moments didn’t even happen).

It’s awesome, freeing, empowering, and I absolutely LOVE it.

I love watching as my body improves its fitness.

I love watching as my running capri’s seem to get loser {sometimes every week!}.

I love how mentally steady I feel after running, how clear my thinking is while doing it, and how much I look forward to waking up the next day to do it all over again.


Running is the only exercise I have found that makes me feel that I am suffering while doing it, but leaves me literally salivating for more and daydreaming about it for the rest of the day.

Oddest thing.

It’s amazing how quickly life can change, and every time I run I am reminded that–literally!!—anything is possible.

I was recently buying a book (yes, on running!), at Barnes and Noble, and the girl that was checking me out stopped what she was doing, put her hands on the book, looked up at me and said, “Can I ask you a question?”

“Do you honestly enjoy running and, if so….how?”

I cannot explain how awesome it was to look her in the eye, and respond with a resounding, “YES!  Yes!!….wonder against all wonders…shock of all shocks….I really enjoy running.”

Without even thinking, I blurted out what I have come to believe to be the biggest nugget of wisdom for any one of us just beginning this road to fitness:

I told her to start slow….and then s-l-o-w it down even more.

To me that really is the key.

No need for speed….slow and steady.

So often we are embarrassed of our lack of fitness.

Embarrassed to go at a level that really is appropriate for us to be starting out at.

If you find yourself growing anxious before a run, I have a theory it is because you are not going slow enough for your body to settle into it and enjoy the ride.

I used to struggle with this several years ago in my previous running life.

I would begin to have this build-up of anticipation before every run.  Random things that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  Like, I would begin to yawn a lot.  It took me quite awhile to figure out that it was actually a form of anxiety I was dealing with.

I was actually nervous and anxious about what was about to take place.

{I respond the same way to group exercise classes of any kind, by the way!!}

Not fun.

Trust me.

Go slower than you think you need to and before long you will go to sleep with butterflies just craving the next time you can lace up your shoes and go…

Truly, the sky is the limit.

At the end of the day?



…My Joyful Something for this dreary Monday.


Civilian Affairs.

Lately, I have been pondering all of the moments that life is made up of.

Sooo much to wade through and sort out.


Timothy told us, “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer”  (2 Timothy 2:4).


Recently, I have come to realize how important this verse really is.

There’s a lot of wisdom in that mindset.

When it comes to everyday life….so. many. things. honestly seem to fall into the category of “civilian affairs”.

Simply put?

In light of all of eternity, much of what I tend to preoccupy myself with just does not seem to matter very much.

I’ve started to see this as a cycle and realize that this is something that I will face again and again, no matter where life takes me.

To get caught up in, or to walk away?

That is the question.

The truth is….so much of life is played out in an arena that often leaves us to decide whether or not we will take the bait and participate in various games that simply do not deserve our time or our energy.

Games that distract us from what God is really doing…

Games that distract us from what God created us to be doing…

That’s one of my favorite things, by the way, about being a child of God….the realization that He formed me for a specific purpose and reason.

Honestly? It never gets old.

Sometimes I question and am tempted to not believe it, but at the end of the day this knowledge forms the very core of who I am:

I was actually designed, and He calls me His “Masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10).

He delights in me, and rejoices over me with singing (Zeph 3:17).

He is a husband for me when others have said “no thanks” (Isaiah 54:5).

A dinner companion that is always ready and available (Rev 3:20).

The Ultimate Protector who does not sleep or slumber (Psalm 121).

He has plans for me that far extend what I could think, dream, or imagine (1 Cor 2:9).

In Him, and only Him, am I complete and wholly satisfied.

Sometimes…I think He allows events to happen to us to remind us just how much the above is true.

I understand why David, when given the choice of falling into the hands of man or the hands of God….why he unreservedly, wholeheartedly, and overwhelmingly chose…GOD!


Man will fail us every. single. time.


God sees us, knows our story, or reasoning, our background, our thought processes, and our invaluable potential.

It’s hard to not get caught up in civilian affairs.

Really hard.

So many, many times…the true test of my faith has almost nothing to do with the bigger, mountain-like “sin categories” that we love to point too.

So often, my true faith…my true self…are found in and exposed through the smallest and most minute experiences.

How I react in random moments to seemingly meaningless situations.

But when you compare it to all of the things that God is doing, whispers that He will do, and shows us that He wants to do?

My friends….The rest truly is just details.

Nothing more than Civilian Affairs.

And my goal is to pay as little attention to them as possible….

“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:2)

{{{Sounds like the whole point of Easter to me…}}}

Trim Healthy Beth–Year ONE!




Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words.

I have taken a lovely stroll down memory lane this week, and have been enjoying a texting frenzy of old picture sharing with close friends and family.

What a difference a year can make!!


I have been pondering the first few weeks and months of THM

There are so, soosooo many things to say.

Suddenly, however, I am truly, honestly, and oh-so-completely….


Seriously?  Total loss for words.

As of today I am just shy of:

Seventy-Six Pounds Lost!!!!


Or roughly three-hundred-and-four sticks of butta!!


OR…..*pausing to remember the olden days of Bethonadiet when I would compare everything to kale*…..38,000 cups o’ Kale!!  (hahaha!)


That is a lot of kale :)

I would like to lose about another 60 pounds, so I am looking forward with great anticipation to this upcoming year.

The most amazing thing, however, has been the contentment that I have found from eating according to the Trim Healthy Mama plan.

Truly liberating.

I simply love it and, for the first time in my life, I can say that I have found something that is darn-near second nature for me.

When I first started reading the THM book, I read one phrase that stuck out to me:

“We are here to offer you food sanity.”

I remember reading that line so vividly.

I underlined, starred, and highlighted it.

It just sounded so…..wonderful.


I was sooo tired of the rat race of dieting.

Tired of having to stir up excitement within myself for counting points, calories, endless training sessions, (and weird juice fasts….which reminds me):


This is a picture of the “new lifestyle” that I embraced shortly after watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead a few months before starting THM.


{ask my coworkers how they enjoyed having me spill an ENTIRE jar of green, slimy goodness all over my desk, phone, and wall at work!}

It was expensive.

And exhausting.

{Don’t get me wrong.  I am not bashing Joe Cross the Juicing man.  I’m a fan.  (For goodness sake, my home stomping grounds were profiled in the movie–what was there not to like about that?!)}

But…..for life?

Doing endless juice cycles for life?

Nice thought but no.

{I made it four days and had already reached my quota of juice for the next several years of living}.

The point is…we have to find something that we are okay with doing f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

As in….forever, forever.

What it is for you, I honestly do not know….

But I count myself blessed that THM literally fell into my lap.

It has changed my life….(and I never even read the book the whole way through—sshhh!  don’t tell!)


Life is good.

The deserts are great, and the dinners are satisfying.

{What more could you want?}

I have managed to go on vacations, out to eat oodles of times, over to dinner parties, and through the lines of fast-food restaurants….all the while staying “on plan”.

Simply put: I have a very hard time justifying not eating this way.

I just can’t seem to think of a good enough reason to not…..

Oh wait I lied.

Puppy chow.

I had some puppy chow at Christmastime…..(somebody please invent a THM puppy chow will you?!!?!?)


Anyhow, you get my point.

76 pounds is a lot of weight.

I have relished the moments of buying smaller clothes (the jeans in the after pic above are FOUR sizes smaller than the pic to the left—woohoo!!!).

Allow me to divert for one second to share a few things that I now cherish in life:

  • The ability to wrap my bath towel all the way around my body.
  • My newly emerged dimples that I had almost forgotten God had given me
  • Shrinking feet
  • Smaller boobs (oops did I just write that out loud?!!)
  • Running (perhaps my biggest treat of all!).

I don’t take any of these things for granted.

I love fitting comfortably in our auditorium seats at work, and easily rolling up my pant-legs for a fun pedicure.

I love belts.  Again.

I enjoy feeling alive and full of energy.

I love crossing my legs like a normal person.

Mostly: I love the feeling of NOT feeling out-of-control with my weight and eating.

Words cannot articulate it, because it simply strikes thee nerve of my life.

All of these things I will never take for granted in life again.

I have thought….and thought…and thought some more about “when it was that my weight got out of control”.

My conclusion?

There is no one single answer.

No single event.

It was the broken heart that devastated me when I was 16, the endless bottles of cherry coke that got me through nursing school, and the hundreds of nights spent eating out when I was lonely after living alone for the first time in my life.

It was extreme disappointment in the field of healthcare, and all that I had given up in my life in order to get there.

It was night-shifts, and deserts, and just plain depression.

It was broken dreams, unfulfilled desires.

Mostly?  It was a LOT of sugar.

What I am saying is this: It was so many, many things.

With all of that said, tonight’s joyful something is exactly what I said it was 6 months ago:

God does not leave us alone in our misery.

Breakthrough can come at the oddest times and from the most random places…for this I am grateful!

MAJOR turning points in life can stem from seemingly random things like an injured hand with a slow recovery.

A year really CAN change everything.



When I started this blog, I had one single phrase that would run through my mind:

In order to change….I must actually be willing to change.

The {completely!!} unexpected bonus has been to actually enjoy it while it is happening.

And I certainly AM!!!

Life is….very good.

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters” (Psalm 18:16).

For years and years and years I understood the “deep waters” in terms of my weight struggle….and now I understand the feeling that God is literally pulling me out of it.

Truly…He has and is doing just that.

{And if He is doing it for me…He will do it for you as well.}

Cheers to Hope!!


  • Meet Beth

    Originally from Northern Iowa, I now work and reside in the Greater Kansas City area. Having struggled with my weight for over 16 years, I am finally “sick and tired of being sick and tired”. (read more)
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