Brave Warrior

Do you have a nickname?

Throughout my life I have had several. One of the first I can remember is Pookie. I have no idea why, but a friend of my parents gave me this nickname and it stuck for much of my childhood.

My birth name is Jennifer. I only know a handful of people that have ever called me that, some still do. For a majority of my life up until I got married I was called Jenny. For some reason after I got married I simply dropped then “ny” and started to sign my name as Jen and that’s who I am today. Although, again there are a few people who know me only as Jenny, and that’s okay.

My husband has lots of ┬ánicknames for me. He affectionately calls me “dear” most of the time. Or for fun he likes to call me J-dawg. To our children I am mom, mommy, or mother. My mom has called me sweetie for as long as I can remember…but I am pretty sure she calls everyone that.

In my Bible reading today I came across a question that has sort of stopped me in my tracks. If Jesus were to give you a nickname, what would it be? Has your personality undergone major changes? What still needs work?

I can tell straight up what still needs work, that’s easy. I know he would call me stubborn, argumentative, even too negative at times, impatient, and easily angered. These are areas that I pray almost daily for him to help me overcome. I am indeed a work in progress.

I can without a doubt say that yes, my personality has undergone major changes over the years. Life experiences, marriage, parenting, and spiritual growth have all been opportunities for me to learn new things about myself. I’ve learned that I love to give to others. I don’t like to be in the spotlight, I am more of a behind the scenes kind of person. I am stronger than I ever realized. I suppose this is a positive effect of my stubborn nature. I love to try new things and see new places. I am a passionate planner and organizer. I have become an avid reader and I enjoy journaling and blogging as time allows. Many of these personality traits have been seasoned over time. I’ve learned to be humble and more forgiving as I have experienced these things gifts in my own life.

But could I channel all of these good and not so good personality characteristics into one word, one nickname that Jesus would call me? As I sit and think about this the word that comes to my mind is Brave Warrior.

The dictionary defines Warrior as: a person engaged in some struggle or conflict. This might seem depressing. But the more I think about it, the more it fits. I think many of us are always in some sort of conflict between the good and bad characteristics of our own unique personalities. But because we belong to Jesus we are His warriors. We are created uniquely by Him for a purpose. We can bravely overcome the qualities we wish we didn’t have and fight everyday to be the people he longs for us to be.

I may not always feel brave. But when I allow the Spirit to work within me I become more courageous and that nickname feels more and more like something I can be proud to be.

So what would your nickname be?


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Check-In with Courage

Half way through Whole30 time for a check-in.

I successfully survived the first 1o days combining my Whole30 plan and the Advocare 10-day cleanse. As I anticipated the sugar cravings have pretty much ceased. My energy level did get better and I felt GREAT. Bonus I dropped 6 pounds.

Then a date night and the weekend put a little kink in the Whole30 routine. The last 4 days haven’t been great in terms of sticking 100% to the plan…but they haven’t been totally off the wagon either. I’ve managed to cut out all grains, bread, pasta, peanut butter, alcohol, soda, and mostly sugar free for the last 15 days so for that I am happy. I still feel pretty good although I’ve been struck with a head cold and feel a little frumpy from my few cheat meals the last couple days. But nevertheless, today is a new day, the start of a new week, and time to get back at it for the last 15 days! I got this!

As I eluded to in the previous post I’ve chosen the word COURAGE as my word for 2017. I am still wrapping my mind around what this means for me. In terms of living a healthy lifestyle courage will mean continuing the momentum after the 30 days is up. In my personal life I hope to have more courage in the every day. Trying new things, pushing myself further outside my comfort zone, taking steps in new directions, digging deeper into God’s word, praying harder and loving stronger.

The dictionary defines courage as “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.” I love that. The SPIRIT that makes us ABLE to face whatever may come our way…BRAVELY. So, this is my prayer today. To be filled with the Holy Spirit so that I am able to bravely continue on each day, striving for more, getting stronger with each step forward.

Decide today to be courageous!




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Happy Snow Day!

In general, I dislike winter. The cold, the snow, the sleet…all of it. NOT.A.FAN. The one caveat of winter is the snow day. I actually really love snow days. The kids are stuck at home and consequently I get to stay home to. I have a job that allows me to work from home from time to time, perfect for days like this. Although I won’t lie, not much work is getting done today, so this one will be noted as a vacation day. I am willing to sacrifice a vacay day for a day at home, inside, with my babes.

I am also delighted to have the opportunity to blog again. Two days in a row…WHAT?!? You have no idea how therapeutic this is for me.

As promised I am giving a update on how the first couple days of Whole30 are going.

Let’s start with the good stuff:

  • I feel good for the most part
  • I have had zero cravings for carbs
  • I have┬áhad limited coffee and here I am living to tell about it
  • I have consumed a TON of water and “cleaned out” in the process
  • I stayed within my daily calorie limit and got 60 minutes of exercise in both days.

Yesterday I had the Advocare Fiber drink for breakfast and an apple for my morning snack. At lunch I had a lettuce salad with tomatoes, cucumber, and Walden Farms zero calorie, zero sugar Raspberry Vinaigrette. For supper I made a delicious ground turkey and veggie soup and had a hard boiled egg, a cup of grapes, and a cup of baby carrots for afternoon/evening snacks.

Looking back on this I did eat a lot. However I did experience some negatives.

  • Headache…I’ve pretty much had a headache for two days straight. I believe this is due to lack of caffeine (I am addicted)…so I know it will subside, I just need to power through for a couple more days.
  • Tired/weakness. This I am not sure about. My guess is I didn’t eat enough calories, not sure, but I felt tired and weak most of the day.
  • Craving sugar. This too shall pass.

Today I feel less weak so that’s good. But it’s a snow day so I am quite lazy to be truthful. After my workout I’ve pretty much parked it the whole day.

Today I am eating more than yesterday to see if that’s the culprit for the weakness. I had my fiber drink and a grapefruit for breakfast. A hard boiled egg for morning snack. At lunch I had left over soup. This afternoon I’ve had some strawberries and an apple. For supper I am making baked chicken breast and steamed vegetables.

I have to be careful how much fruit I eat for the cleanse and sugar intake…but since I am craving sugar I am allowing some fruit to meet that need.

So there you have it. Day 1 done, day 2 almost there…so far so good!

Oh, and I decided on a word of the year: Courage. But I’ll save the details for why I chose this word for another post.

Happy Snow Day!


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