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Showing posts from January, 2017

Delayed Investments

WLC Day #10

My truck needs the front windshield wiper replaced. It isn't awful yet, I just am aware that it needs to be done sooner than later. But I'm also aware that the sooner I replace it, the sooner it will wear out; and the sooner the new one wears out, the sooner I will need to buy yet another wiper blade. So, if I wait to buy a new one until it is absolutely necessary, I actually will end up saving myself a little bit of money.

For that matter, if I choose to delay buying everything that isn't a need by one day, I will have one extra day's worth of money in my bank account at all times. If I delay buying something for 2 full weeks, then that gives me an extra 2 weeks to save money before my buying frenzy begins. And chances are, if I develop the habit of waiting 2 weeks, I can also manage to wait 4 weeks, or 4 months, or not have to buy that thing at all. Buy practicing not spending my money in small steps, I can practice saving my money in small steps.

What if…

Indulgence Tokens

WLC Day #9

Yesterday our family celebrated a Sabbath rest. We do this every Saturday: we play, rest, and wrestle (and indulge in sweet foods). We know that we aren't commanded to keep the Sabbath in the same way that Jews are--we Gentiles aren't under the same Levitical laws that Jews must keep. But we also know that God's yoke is easy and His burden is light, and that keeping His commands is for our own good. So though we don't have to keep the law of Sabbath, we still keep it because we know it is for our own benefit.

There are many laws that God gives us throughout the Old and New Testaments. Living on this side of the cross we know that Jesus has forgiven our lawlessness and that grace abounds; we don't have to keep the law anymore because every time we break God's law, grace covers our brokenness.

Romans 6:1-2, 15; 7:12
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live…

When Life Gives You Lemons....

WLC Day 8

Today begins our 2nd week of the Whole Life Challenge. I'm surprised at the difference in taste after just a week of this new diet. Namely, in how I think about sugar.

Sugar is in at least 70% of the foods that I was eating on a regular basis. At least. I would be curious to know what the percentage actually is, but it was up there.

We've all heard the phrase: "If life gives you lemons--make lemonade."
Not true!
Lemonade has sugar in it and that isn't good for you in the long run.
If life gives you lemons--make lemon water. 
That's how the phrase should go.

If you think about it, lemon water really isn't all that bad either. Whenever I dine at one of them fancy restaurants the waiter always asks me if I would like lemon water. If you have curbed your appetite for sweet, than even lemon water sounds exotic.

But if you are only used to having lemons with sugar, than the thought of lemon water will sound pretty sour to you. Sour water does not sound p…

Take Your Finger Off the Trigger

WLC Day 6

Triggers. They're everywhere.

Specifically I have noticed how many triggers there are in our sugar-addicted world. A children's book talks about ice cream, a Bible story video has a cupcake truck, vending machines contain nothing sugar-less, etc., etc. It seems that everywhere I turn I see sugar, which makes me want to eat sugar.

For the first week of the WLC, Katie and I have been finding success through a couple determined steps:
1) Make a plan, and
2) Stick to it.

It is easier to avoid addictions when I put together a plan preemptively. I go through tomorrow's plan in my head in detail and think of all the places I might encounter a trigger. Then I think of when the scheduled meal times are, what we will eat at those meal times, and I remind myself that I don't need to act on any of those temptations. Empty calories won't make me happier in the long run.

And yet the smell of bread baking in the oven, or the smell of a BBQ rib on the grill can be such a…

Budget Everything

WLC Day 5

There are 7 daily habits to work on in the Whole Life Challenge: nutrition, exercise, mobility, sleep, hydration, lifestyle, and reflection. Each thing only takes about 10 minutes a day to accomplish, but spread out over several things, that time adds up pretty quickly. I am discovering that if I don't determine when I am going to do each thing beforehand, I quickly run out of time to do them at all. I have to budget my time and stick to it. 

Everyone has heard of keeping a "balanced budget" for finances. I used to think this just meant "don't overspend what you take in," but recently I have learned what it actually means. It means that I tell my money--every dollar--where and how it is going to be spent or saved or given. If I don't specify where I want a dollar to go it quickly gets spent on the next food item or flashy gadget that I wanted to buy. I have to make up my mind what I plan to do with my money before the chance to spend it occurs…

Live to Work, or Work to Live

WLC Day 4

Over the summer I asked my uncle whether he liked his job. He responded by saying, "Some people live to work. I work to live."
It wasn't that he liked his job, nor did he dislike his job--he just tolerated it enough to do it well and make money so that he could live the rest of his life. And I really respect that.
But I wonder, is that the best case scenario?

We all know someone who is a workaholic--they enjoy the accomplishments of putting in a long hard day and doing quality work; they get their sense of purpose through their paycheck and the accolades associated with the job. This is someone who lives to work, and I would argue in an unhealthy way.

On the flip side is our friend who puts in just the minimum amount of effort at work--they arrive just in time and leave as soon as possible; they collect their paycheck and have thought of a hundred ways they would like to spend it once they get home. This is someone who works to live.

And naturally there are peo…

Less

WLC Day 3

Before you can add anything to your life you first need to subtract.

In this particular case, if I want to add something like a workout to my day, I have to subtract a) play time/free time or, b) sleep.
Before I can add any additional activity, group, or discipline to my life, I first need to take away an existing one.

This is gonna stink. I know I need to identify what those things are that need pruning, but I just don't want to do it.

You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone

WLC Day 2

We are officially in the crave stage.
And we're only 36 hours in...

Hopefully this stage will subside soon and be replaced by some kind of a longing stage, which somehow feels less intense.

Here's the thing folks: I really, really want to eat a chocolate chip cookie.
But I can't.

The Whole Life Challenge involves an 8 week sugar detox, as well as refraining from these non-compliant foods. The first 24 hours is fun, because it's new and different and I feel really good about what I'm doing. But my body hadn't caught on yet.
Now it seems to be upset at the lack of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other artificial sweetners that I have been refusing to feed it.
And it has every right to feel that way.
I have regularly fed my body a big healthy dose of sugar during and after every meal: breakfast, lunch and especially dinner. My body has learned to expect subsequent helpings of the sweet stuff as I have given it no hesitations about anticipating when…

Why You Should Camp More Often

WLC: Day 1

Katie and I are participating in the Whole Life Challenge for the next 8 weeks. One of the 7 areas to be challenged is Reflection. This blog will serve to record and relive some of the reflections I have throughout the next 56 days. Today's thought:
Why you should camp more often. 

I had some friends describe a couple extravagant vacations they were planning to take this year. I must say, they sounded pretty ideal: a winter trip to Florida, a cruise sometime over the summer, and a trip to NY city in the fall. It sounds like a lot of memories to be made, a lot of fun to be had...and a lot of money to spend.

Now don't get me wrong, this is not a blog entry bashing spending money, nor is it a time to knock taking extravagant trips. I plan on taking some of these myself at some point. These friends have put in the time and can now afford to do such things so power to them!

However, I can't help but wonder how they will feel when they come home from each of those trip…

Imitation: Diets, Houses, and Faith

There were 3 options for my preschoolers to choose from: Honey Bunches of Oats, Cocoa Pebbles, or Raisin Bran. I set all 3 on the table and asked each child which cereal they would like to eat for breakfast; all three chose 'Honey Boats.' After pouring their cereal and getting each kid situated, I poured myself a bowl of Raisin Bran and we all got to munching.

When Isaiah (my oldest) finished his cereal first he asked if he could have more. Sure thing, which one do you want? 
"That one" *pointing to the Raisin Bran*
Surprised I pour him a bowl of Raisin Bran, surprised that he ate the entire bowl.

As we were cleaning up our bowls from the table after breakfast I realized that the Cocoa Pebbles were not touched this morning, not even mentioned. Odd, I thought, typically the chocolately-sugary cereals don't last a week at our house. And yet this is the same [big] bag of Cocoa Pebbles that we opened over a month ago. Why the sudden lack of interest?

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