"My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours. Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I,of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories, in all their particularity,as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally." -Frederick Buechner

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Welllness Wednesday - Relationships and Wellness

It's Wellness Wednesday AND it's our 31st wedding anniversary. When I speak of wellness these days I'm thinking of what I call wholeness. It encompasses all of life. Life is about living. That sounds so silly, so obvious. Our family would call that a "dah" statement. However what I mean is life is about every aspect of who you are and what you do. You cannot ignore any piece of yourself. You are physical, emotional and spiritual. You have intelligence and feelings and they are both a valid part of your life.  And all of the parts of your life are connected.  So, as we celebrate 31 years of marriage I recognize that a large part of my health is due to the love that we have nurtured and grown over the years. Like tending a garden, the yields are directly related to the effort involved. When we had seasons of not paying too close attention to our relationship we had more weeds and less crop. When we consistently tend to it we have high yields and MUCH satisfaction.

I've been married quite a bit longer than I was single and it is totally worth the work involved. My best advice? Decide, yes make a decision, to invest in your marriage. What do I mean by "invest"? I mean purposefully decide to study your mate. Learn who they really are. Ask questions and really listen to the answers don't immediately turn the conversation back to yourself. Encourage them verbally and publicly. Give them the time and/or tools they need to do what they need to do.

I am a stronger, deeper, more honest and healthy person because I'm married to someone who invests in  me but loves me. (period) So as I sit here in my workout clothes because he challenges me to be healthy physically I want to say thank you to my husband. YOU are the BEST for me!

Are you investing in the relationships in your life? How do you do that?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It Pays to Persevere

At first I was taking some time to "put my thoughts together"...then I thought we would be announcing our newly remodeled web site/blog soon so I could just wait...but I don't want you to forget that life is worth Treasuring. So for this Wellness Wednesday I'm going to do just that.

1.  Perseverance does pay off. Since our daughter asked us sometime before Christmas to join her as a relay team for a Duathalon the first weekend in May I have exercised with that in mind. It did keep me going better than normal for the winter season. 10 days ago WE DID IT! I ran a 5k. Mark biked 20 miles and Amber ran the last 5k. Did we win? Nope, but that was not our goal. Our goal was to do it and do it together. That we did. Outcome - satisfaction and some great memories. (More lessons from this experience later)
2. Perseverance does pay off. Not only have we exercised this winter but Mark and I have changed quite a few of our eating habits. We are both trying to consistently eat smaller portions and have healthy snacks. I have seriously cut down on the sweet treats. Did I lose weight? Well at the start, like with most of us, I lost the water weight and got myself back to what I call my "stuck" weight which is about 12 pounds from my ultimate goal but losing even 7 pounds would make be very happy. I didn't give up even when I was "stuck" again. Perseverance. For the past 10 days I've been 2 pounds less than my "stuck" weight.  Yeah! Another break through.
3. Things have been in a constant state of change at my workplace for one entire year now. One of the doctors I work for had not one but two immediate family life and death health crisis. Of course that took him out of the office which causes chaos. More than one person has quit and it has taken longer than expected to fill each of those positions AND we started electronic medical records last October.  Everyone has worked overtime and gotten tired. However, some of us have chosen to "hang in there" and really fought to keep a good attitude. The outcome? We have actually developed much more of a team approach. We are all learning and there is far less complaining and negative attitudes overall.
4.  Actually my list could go on and on. Most of my life has been an example of "hanging in there." I'm not one of those people who start something and it quickly becomes a big deal. I have big visions but they start very small and come to reality over time - most often a very long time. So this is my encouragement to you today. Hang in there! Whatever you are trying to learn or do, don't stop. Even when you can't seem to "see" the progress, don't stop. Often there are things happening "behind the scenes" that we can't see.  As Joshua said, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9 NIV)

What are you persevering in right now?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wellness Wednesday - The Gift of a Mental Health Day

Yesterday was my birthday (the start of many in our family). Just to prove it in case you are doubting...

I got this beautiful Hydrangea and card from our son and daughter-in-law. She made the card and the flames glitter! It makes me smile just looking at the photo!

My husband gave me the gift of the day. We are just like all the rest of you. There is always plenty to do in a day but this day he encouraged me to do what I wanted to do and he said he, personally, had no expectations of me. What a gift!  Probably the biggest thing was that he acknowledged out loud, to me that he was not expecting anything out of me for the entire day. Why? Because he and I are quite a bit alike. When there is work to be done, there is work to be done and it's hard to not do it. However, we all need breaks, personal brain breaks. I needed one and I took it. What did I do? Nothing remarkable to anyone but me. I loved my day! I didn't rush through anything. I lingered in my quiet time and read a few blogs written by friends. I did an odd job from my list that had been bugging me for almost 9 months...yep, 9 months, but it's DONE now! (smile) I took a walk with a friend I haven't seen in awhile over the lunch hour. I scouted for jeans but also looked through the store a bit seeing what else they had around for summer. I purchased a replacement plant for our patio area with my birthday money from Dad and then I came home and worked on my patio area! It was great! While I was out there working I received the plant and card from the kids and they stayed and visited a bit. It's too early in the season to see all that is going on in my area but here is it's start.
A place to relax
I took out a couple of too big Hostas (and transplanted them elsewhere), added my new Clematis in front of the iron in the corner and put some training nails in for the vine on the wall. The little fire pit is cleaned out and ready for use. It was a great day. I feel calmer today. My brain had a chance to rest - not make any big decisions. Do you take time to rest?

"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength"  Isaiah 30:15