Making Progress

Making progress toward goals is such a great thing!

I have started writing several blog posts that I am making progress on at this time.  I am excited to share about our recent trip to Kauai and Big Sur, and my post on Kauai is coming along pretty nicely.  Once it is completed, I will share it, then hopefully begin another post about our wonderful weekend in Big Sur for the first time.  I have also started a couple of posts on other topics that I am interested in sharing as well, including a possible new “page” on my site.  Life has been quite busy the past few weeks, and I am headed out of town (weather permitting) for the next two weekends, home two weekends, then gone again for four days over the 4th of July holiday.  While progress may be slow, progress is still progress, and that is a very good thing, at least for me with all of the frequent surprises that often seem to land on my doorstep, often with a sense of urgency attached.

I’m still making progress in other areas of priority, too, which makes me very happy right now.  There have been plenty of times in my life when I desired to make progress in some areas but failed to do so for various reasons.  Thankfully, at this time, some things are working together nicely, and I am so grateful to just make progress in these areas without too many distractions to take me away from my commitments.

My commitment to ongoing bible study is in tact, and I just started a new summer bible study this week.  Since my women’s bible study group does not meet through the summer, I have opted to participate in Beth Moore’s summer bible study that will be supported online for eight weeks, Children of the Day.  This particular study is actually very exciting for me, as I feel that I am part of a nationwide, if not worldwide, group that is studying God’s word together at the same time.  Since I am going out of town this weekend, I have already completed all five homework lessons for this week, and I am hooked, for sure.  This is going to be a great study, and there is plenty of time to join in, for anyone that is interested.  The homework sessions are not quite as intense or time-consuming in this study as compared to some previous Beth Moore studies, which quite welcome for a summer study.  I also purchased the optional audio CD’s so that I can complete all portions of the study this summer.

Children of the Day
Summer bible study – Children of the Day. There is still time to join the study online, too.

My commitment to connect with Christian friends regularly has a new and exciting twist, as I have joined an (in)courage group.  I am excited to see where this new journey takes all of us together and hope to be a faithful contributing member there.  I never cease to be amazed how God works in our lives to bring us together from all parts of the country and the world these days.

My commitment to my eating plan continues to be strong, and I am continuing to lose weight and inches.  I am now entering my sixth full month on the diet, and I feel better than I have felt in years as I slowly but surely inch on down to my first target goal of losing 35 pounds.  Having a new and smaller size wardrobe of summer clothes has been a treat, and it is wonderful to receive nice compliments that encourage my commitment to losing weight and improving my overall health.  Without a doubt, my commitment to regular bible study and prayer has been a factor in keeping the faith and hope that my new eating plan would in fact help bring about these results.  I will be honest and also say that I really have not struggled at all in making this change, which is most definitely an answer to prayer.  God has helped me to just accept this change as a part of my life, and in hindsight, I am truly amazed how simple and satisfying this has been.

My commitment to care for my elderly mother is being renewed, as is her health.  We went through a very difficult and trying time together for the first months of this year after her fall, but slowly, things are turning around for both of us.  I learned much about her present state of mind and health during that time, and I am talking more openly with her about some of this now, especially her depression and her loss of faith and hope.  Her hope in life has been slowly deteriorating over time, but it has become especially acute since her fall in January, despite the fact that she has recovered nicely from the fall.  If you would bless her today, I would appreciate prayers for her that God will help her find her way out of this darkness and back to a better place.  I am going to be talking much more openly with her about matters of faith and hopefully recruiting others to visit her from her church as well.  I pray that God will use me as he will to help her while keeping me silent when I need to do so, and I have turned her situation over to him for safekeeping and care.

My commitment to raising our new puppy well is starting to pay sweet dividends.  Red is almost seven months old, and he is the cutest thing ever!  He is a lovie dovie big ol’ puppy that enjoys sitting right on top of my bare feet while I’m at home.  He insists on being loved on several times a day, and he is my little red shadow all day long, never leaving me alone while I am home.  Red potty trained very well, and he has even learned several commands, despite the fact that I still have not enrolled him in puppy school, something that I hope to do this summer when things hopefully slow down just a bit.  No doubt, he and Girly Girl, who is still my special sweetheart, are going to be such a huge blessing to us and help to mitigate some of the sorrow that I have in not having grandchildren to love on.  God has been good to allow us to raise these two special dogs and have them as life companions, for sure.  There is just nothing like a big ol’ poodle hugs several times a day, and I’m glad that I have two hands to be able to loved on both dogs at once, as they often insist that I do.

Red
Red is such a cutie, especially after a trip to the groomer.

My newest commitment is to try my best to keep our yard, plants and trees alive this summer, as we are now in stage two water restrictions, despite all the wonderful rain that we received two weeks ago.  Our watersheds are still down, and the summer months are the worst months for water usage.  (Our backyard thermometer registered 110 yesterday afternoon!)  So, while we are in such tight restrictions, I am going to work a little harder to try to just maintain our yard as best as I can, working within the restrictions.  We cannot water as much as before, but I am just grateful that we can still water one day each week for now.  The beneficial rains of two weeks ago are certainly buying all of us time and a reprieve from watering, at least for now.  However, with the intense heat that usually hits this time of year, that won’t last long.  Yes, we are still desperately praying for rain.

I took the picture below to show what our yard can look like after a good rain.  Just two short weeks ago, our yard was only half-covered in grass, and it was definitely struggling.  Now it is thriving, thanks to five inches of rain and a timely application of turf builder just as the rains moved in, and we will definitely enjoy it while we can!

Green Backyard
For now, our yard is beautiful after five inches of rain and an application of turf builder.

Making progress is a good thing, especially when making progress has been so hard to do in the past.  God willing, progress (and rain) will continue.  😉

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Wordless Wednesday – Summer Bible Study

2014-06-03 22.18.51-1

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