Why Do I Struggle so Much When I Know What to Do?

Why do I struggle so much when I know what to do?
That is the question I have been asking myself a lot over the past few months.
And this morning God reminded me, 
I can’t do this alone ~ He is here to help me each and every day.
Duh.  Now to pay attention.
To put action to what I know in my mind/heart.
This is not a “Start Over” for me.  It is another Ah ha moment.
You know, the first big AH HA was the mild heart attack on August 27th.
Oh I have been doing my exercising every day since Sept. 11th 
except for one day.
And YES I am proud of myself for exercising every day.  
As they say, no turning back.
Since 8/27 to 9/30 I have lost 8.6 lbs.
I have 16.6 more pounds to lose to reach my first goal.
And I will do it.
One step at a time, one day at a time.
In my time with the Lord I use a few tools.
They change over time..
Right now I am using the Open Windows, that I get at our church,
The Sanctuary by David Jeremiah,
and the Women of Faith Bible, which has a daily devotion for every day of the year,
and currently am doing a prayer/study with our friends David & Janet.
And as usual I am amazed how God brings each of the tools I use in my quiet time together.
This morning it began with the Open Windows devotion where I was reminded that 
…I have been Picked by God.  Chosen by God, Adopted by God.  
That’s pretty darn special!  And we all want to feel special.
…I have a Purpose.  It is to LOVE one another.
He tells us that in John 15:17
We are not to choose who we want to love…we are to love one another!
All the time!!
…And God Promises to help me; I just have to ask.
Matthew 6:33
And that as I focus on changing my health to the better
I need to focus on
the inside as much as what I look on the outside.
I need to change how I look at food,
the food choices I make,
making good choices which begins with thinking 
good thoughts.
I remember one time in a counseling session with Tom how Ron said I was constantly rearranging our furniture, sometimes 4 or 5 times a week and how he just wanted to come home and find the couch in the same spot two days in a row.  I laughed because I loved to rearrange the furniture plus I knew the house was really clean when I did that.  Tom replied, Alice rearranges the furniture so often because I can’t change the inside of my heart/my feelings/my thoughts in a split second and changing the outside made me feel good on the inside.  We have laughed many times over this because when we moved into the motor home there is no rearranging of the furniture.
Finding peace in my heart allows me to be peaceful on the outside.
What gives me Peace?
My time with the Lord, studying His Word
Being in quiet/serene surroundings ~ like yesterday on our hike to Waterfalls Trail 
(blog post on that to follow later this week),
sitting on the deck in the early morning hours, seeing God’s beautiful creation
But most of all Peace for me comes from 
Being right with God, right in my relationships
Erasing the clutter/noise from my life.
Having Peace in my life helps me to accomplish the Purpose God has for my life.
And He Promises me that over and over in His Word
Sending the Holy Spirit to guide me and give me wisdom
Blessing me with friends and family who love me and encourage me.
And He helps me in so many ways
And for that I am Thankful!!
Thankful for a God who loves me, chose me and will never leave me to face this life alone.
Today my prayer is that as I take each step, do each thing I need to do, plan our meals and go through my day to make the choices God would have me to choose.
And I pray for
…our nation
…God to become real and important to those leading our country,
…my family and friends as they face different struggles in their own lives
and most of all for me to give Him the glory for all
He has done in my life.
Have a Blessed Day!!

Grand Jubilee at Grand Country Music Hall

One evening we decided it had been way too long since we had seen
Grand Jubilee so off we went.  What a fun show.

Jim Dandy and Mike Patrick

New South…what a great gospel quartet.

Matt, who is married to Jackie Brown, also a performer at the Grand Jubilee

Mike Patrick in a different outfit…not sure how many times he makes a costume change, but it is a lot!!!

Mike Patrick and Jim Dandy’s Grandpa..he was a hoot.

Sorry it’s blurry, but Grandpa making a funny!
Gene M. playing the steel guitar

Wayne Massingale on the fiddle.

Jim Dandy and Mike Patrick…lovin’ that purple Mike.

Jim Dandy & Mike Patrick

Cher & Sonny??? or Jim & Mike???

And the show would not be complete without Miss Dolly (aka Jim Dandy) in attendance

Michael W. Davis on the piano, Wayne in the background and Larry Alred

And this time in orange!!1

Jamie Haage…what a blessed performer…here on the banjo

Jamie on the steel guitar

And on the drums
On the piano
And the fiddle.
 The amazing thing about Jamie Haage is that he plays all the instruments by ear
and does a great job on each of these instruments!!!
Jamie on the fiddle 🙂

Mike Patrick in red.

New South
And the finale!!!  
What a fun evening!!!
We look forward to going back many many times.

Silver Dollar City ~ Sept. 18, 2013

On one of our recent days off we decided to head out to Silver Dollar City for the Harvest Festival.
Lots of things to do.  
First up was watching the this kind ole’ gentleman 
as he worked on readying logs for a new home on site.
Ron was overheard saying to no one in particular
 “I wish my beard would grow like that.”  Hmmm, this wife says “No.”
As we were walking around we saw this dapper gentleman wandering the grounds.
One of the shows we have wanted to see but hadn’t had the chance was
Silver Dollar Saloon Musical
 I wish I had my camera out, because Miss Tilly (in the red dress) sat on Ron’s lap.
You should have seen the smile on his face.
After the show as he walked up to her, Miss Tilly said, “Santa.  I want a horse for Christmas.”  Santa, aka Ron, asked if she had been good.  “Hmmm.  No.” She replied.
Here are the girls in action.
Afterwards we decided to check out the Trick Riders.
We were a bit disappointed that 
most of the acts were done on the ground with just a few horse/rider exhibits.  
Here is one of them in action.
Ron was drooling over the pork rinds so I stopped and bought him a bag.
This was not taken at SDC but that is how they came…in a big bag.
Here we are at different times playing with the camera.
Ron’s favorite picture is the one with me laying my head on his shoulder.
I like the one of the two of us, second row, far right.
We had a lot of fun that day and plan to go back again soon.

Max Turns 15!!! Sight N Sound – Joseph

We love new milestones.  
On September 17th, our grandson
Mathew Daniel Marcus Dolata Workentin, 
AKA Max turned 15!!!
We wish we could have been with him to celebrate but it was not to be 😦
We heard he had a great birthday.
So we had to celebrate his birthday without him.  We thought and thought and then remembered we had been offered tickets to see Joseph at Sight N Sound and that’s just what we did.
Sight N Sound Theater.  Looks like a palace.
 We could not take pictures of the actual show.
The pictures below are of the lobby and different scenes of other shows.

This reminded us of Silver Legacy in Reno, NV where there were light shows in the ceiling.

Ron standing in front of Goliath.

The Lion and Lamb as we were leaving…the picture doesn’t do it justice.  It was beautiful and peaceful.

We had a great time.  
We sat down on the main floor, 
next time we would like to sit in the upper section
to see all the action going on around the theater and not just what was on the stage. 

Facebook

Been doing a lot of thinking about Facebook and what a time sucker it is.
I took a break from Facebook for the month of August 
and have been limiting my time during the month of September
…it is such a time sucker.
I feel it is time for me to make some changes to my Facebook account.
I belong to quite a few groups
and I will stay a part of many of them
…networking for the campground is a big thing for me
but sharing me with so many people that I don’t 
really know, maybe not a good thing.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be
So if you notice I am not a friend of yours on Facebook
and you really think I should be
then you will have to send me a message
and tell me why.
I believe God has been challenging me
…in what I say
…with whom I spend my time
and so 
I am following where He is leading me.

Words ~ Good or Bad?

Woke up before 7 this morning and like I have been trying to do every morning I got on the scale…total frustration!!!  How can it be that I am up 3 lbs!!!!!  But I trudged on…I don’t want to break my streak…I am on day 6: Wed., Thurs, Fri, Sat ~ 30 minutes each day on the stationary bike, Sun, was 20 minutes of water aerobics and this morning 30 minutes on the bike and yet I still have gained…FRUSTRATING to say the least.

Words such as 
Failure! I am hopeless, I will never lose weight! I just want to Give Up!! rambling through my mind

I finished up on the bike and gathered my Bible, my  notebook, my devotional and our new Sunday School lesson book to spend time studying God’s word. 

I open up the lesson and the title is “The Pressure of Words” ~ once again God meets me right where I am.  The words running through my head are negative, destructive, hurtful ~ not towards anyone else but to me.  The scripture is James 3:1-8 and the theme is

James 3:2 tells us that we all stumble and fall
James 3:8 says that it is hard to tame our tongue

Once words are spoken we can’t take them back.

and then Jeremiah 29:10-14
God knows my thoughts (words) ~ all of them.  
And even though the words I was calling myself this morning 
were not addressed to anyone but myself…
God hears me speaking negatively to myself.  
But God is not saying those things to me…
Satan is fueling those negative words at me…
God wants to speak lovingly to me, encourage me, uplift me.
I am reminded that God doesn’t ridicule or condemn me, 
He welcomes me with sweet love (his words) 
just as I should speak to myself.  
I am reminded of a poster I saw recently
Were the words I was saying to myself true? 
 No, I am not a failure…I am on a journey, 
one step at a time and as James 3:2 states “We all stumble and fall.”
Were the words helpful? no, they were making me feel worse.
Were they inspiring me to keep going, not really,
 it would be easier to just give up
Are they necessary words?  
No, I need to speak, think, believe positive words:
“I can do it!  I can make good choices!”
Are they kind words?  Nope, not at all.
Not only are the words we speak about and to others important, 
what we say and think about ourselves is just as important.
And then I moved on to
Galatians 6:9-10
God reminds me not to give up!!!
And then something that Pastor John shared in the worship service 
yesterday at Friendly Baptist Church came to mind.  
“God will not nor does He ask us to do anything that He does not provide 
the means & tools for us to accomplish what He calls us to do.”
God has provided lots of tools for me to get healthy: 
a stationary bike, recipes from friends, family and the internet of delicious AND 
healthy meals to prepare.  Friends and family to encourage me.  
A husband who is getting up every morning with me to exercise and encourage me.  
And his word this morning: Don’t Give Up!!!
Pastor John shared about “our” mission fields. 
 I am sure he was not thinking my exercising and eating healthy 
as a mission field
 but for right now it is my mission field 
– to get healthy, to become physically stronger.
Because then I can serve God’s community 
which includes being there for my hubby,
my kids, their spouses, 
and those five wonderful grandchildren.  
And being a blessing to others…
being the mom to those who have lost a mom,
 being a sister to those whose earthly sisters ignore,
 being the best spouse I could be 
and serving others with a smile and a kind word.  
Funny how God brings things full circle to me in my time with him.  
Words – do I use them to Honor God 
or hurt others including myself?

And then I think about something I read that
one of my Christian friends post on Facebook 
that was hurtful and negative about someone 
and I am reminded that I too need to think before
 I post something on Facebook or say to someone 
because once those words are spoken and/or written down,
 they can’t be taken back.

Do you remember 
I believe whoever wrote that saying was very wrong.
Instead this is more truthful
and
and
so as you and I go through today
let’s think about what words we choose to speak.
And remember God Loves You and Me!!
And through Him all things are Possible!!!

Asking the Question Why?

Today is September 12, 2013, 5 years ago this morning as I was working at Northwood Alliance Church my cellphone rang…I didn’t recognize the number so I didn’t answer, about 2 minutes later it rang again from that same number…hmmm I wondered who would be calling me?  I googled the number and it said it was from Sacramento, CA…hmmm my sister and my niece lived in the Sacramento area.  The phone rang a third time and I answered.  It was my niece asked me where I was, I told her at the church working, she asked if the Pastor was there, I replied yes and she asked to speak to him.  If you know my family, that was my first clue that something was wrong.  I took the phone into Pastor Charles, told him my niece wanted to talk to him and I left the office, went to my desk and prayed…”Lord I don’t know what’s going on, you do, help me to deal with whatever it is with grace and mercy.”  I knew it had nothing to do with my mom or dad as they were both gone.  I thought something had happened to my younger sister, Joanie.  About three minutes later Charles came out to my desk, handed my phone to me and sat down in the chair next to my desk (second clue).  I took the phone and my niece said in a choked up voice that her momma, my sister Kathy, had died in her sleep in the early morning hours.  I remember crying and saying over and over, “Oh, sweetie I am so sorry, I am so sorry.”  She didn’t know many details.  I asked her if she wanted me and Uncle Ron to come to California?  Yes, please.  I told her okay.  To call me with details when she knew, that I would call Uncle Ron and as soon as he was done with the job he was doing we would head down.  We cried some more, I told her to call me anytime and we would be in contact.  I said I love you Christi and I am so sorry and then we hung up the phone.  I sat and looked at Charles in disbelief.  And cried.  He told me to go home, no I needed to get the stuff done in the office especially if I was going to go to California.  I called Ron, he said he would finish up his job and I would do the stuff at the church and we would regroup at Pat & Pat’s where we had our rig parked.

And today my mind is replaying the whole scenario, the phone calls, the packing, the blessings of friends during a hard situation and as I opened my Bible I was thinking of that difficult day, praying for niece and younger sister today as I know too that their hearts are heavy today.  I pray the Lord would remind them of happy times with our sister/her mother.  

And as God is always…he met me right where I am today.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,

    And a time to die;

A time to plant,

    And a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill,

    And a time to heal;

A time to break down,

    And a time to build up;

A time to weep,

    And a time to laugh;

A time to mourn,

    And a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones,

    And a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace,

    And a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to gain,

    And a time to lose;

A time to keep,

    And a time to throw away;

A time to tear,

    And a time to sew;

A time to keep silence,

    And a time to speak;

A time to love,

    And a time to hate;

A time of war,

    And a time of peace.

God has a purpose for everything.  I don’t think God causes people to die or bad things to happen to us…I believe he can take any situation and make it for the good and that He never leaves us alone.

I am who I am today because of the challenges of my life.

I am the daughter of 3x married/divorced parents ~ I knew from when I was a little girl that I would only marry once and that divorce was never an option for me.  I have been married 37+ years…yes we have struggled, had a fight or two, we have celebrated the joy of the birth of 3 sons, we have mourned together over the loss of a precious son.  We have done some crazy things, like traveling/working/living with a carnival for six months.  We have done amazing things, served others together, side-by-side.  Has it always been easy, absolutely not but through it all God has been the solid rock that keeps us together.

The good ~ I can empathize with those who lose a child, I can encourage young marrieds who struggle in their relationships to keep at it…it will be worth it in the end.

I was abused physically, emotionally and sexually many times over during my young life.  Was it hard to deal with, you bet but through the love, support, care and encouragement of a husband, pastor, family and friends and a wonderful counselor I can see where God was with me through it all…during the six months of rape/incest I never got pregnant…truly a gift from God because every time Ron or I even mentioned getting pregnant I did.  I never had to deal with the question ~ do I abort a baby conceived in hatred ~ thank you Jesus for that protection.

The good ~ I am a strong woman, not afraid to confront the truth and not let the circumstances of a situation direct who/what I do today.  I do not let abuse define who I am.

In 1968 at the age of 10, I hurt my eye in a serious accident.  In 1970 I was totally blind in my left eye, in 1974 I had to have that eye removed.  I have not allowed the pain of 110 shots in 23 days or the fear of them cutting my eye out ever stop me from doing anything I wanted to do.

I do counted cross-stitch and other needlework and even thought about the time I had eye surgery in the morning and that evening in the hospital I was cross-stitching something and the doctor came in and said “you can’t do that, you just had eye surgery.”  I looked at Toby and said “why not, I always only cross-stitch with one eye.”  He laughed and said keep on cross-stitching little lady!

I am who I am today because of the things I have had to deal with over the years.  And I am who I am because God has been right there with me every step of the way.  I may have wondered and questioned God WHY so many times BUT through it all HE has shown me he is with me every step of the way.  I may not understand the “why” of something at the time BUT I do know that as long as I keep trusting God, seeking him, reading his word that no matter what happens it will work out.

I am reminded this morning of a question that Pastor Charles asked me many times during many, many counseling sessions “What if XYZ (whatever my fear/concern was at that moment) happens, what is the worst thing that would happen?  And the answer always comes back to God will be with me no matter what!  No matter what!!!

Today I can choose to wallow in heartache of missing my sister Kathy or I can choose to focus on the good things we shared.  Kathy was always doing things that I would use as a lesson to know what NOT to do…thanks Kathy for being that example.  I can focus on my beautiful niece, Christi, who is married to a wonderful man, who loves life and who her momma would be so proud of today.  Kathy taught me that sometimes our kids do things we could not imagine doing but we still love our kids…thank you Kathy for being an example of a good momma, not a perfect one but a good one.

Oh I miss my sister Kathy (some of you know her as Mary (none of us girls have ever gone by just one name) but she will always be Kathy to me).  And there are some times I wish I could pick up the phone and call her and share some good news or even some struggles with her.  Not because she had all the right answers but because she would listen, I am sure shaking her head, sometimes laughing at or with me, sometimes crying right alongside of me.  Thank you for being my big sister.  I love you!!!

Are you asking now, what does that have to do with Ecc. 3:1-8…there is a time for everything and even though we may not understand the why of a certain situation we can always trust God that his timing is perfect and He has a purpose for everything.

I don’t know why Kathy died at age 54 though I do know the reason for her death: obesity and an unhealthy heart and that is part of my motivation to get healthy, to lose weight, to become more active, to live life each day to the fullest, to let those I love know that I love them because we never know when our last breath will come…only God knows.

Accountability:  I started exercising yesterday as directed by the cardio doc…did 30 minutes on the stationary bike, 5.65 miles.
Day 2 is done…30 minutes on the stationary bike, 5.97 miles.  Go Me!!!

Finding a Purpose

Wow almost another week has gone by…I have been resting quite a bit, working on a couple of projects for the campground and spending time with the Lord…one of my favorite things to do.  I love spending the first few minutes of each morning in the Word and learning what God would have for me that day.

Today was no different.  
woke early and jumped into God’s Word…
…and what an eye opener.

The word for the month is Purpose and that is something I have been asking the Lord lately…why did He allow me to have a mild heart attack?
and this verse started off my day.
I should not be asking “Why Lord?” but asking instead
“What do you want to teach me Lord?  What should I learn from this situation?”
Not why did I have a heart attack, but what can I learn from this.

I can begin with 
taking my health seriously…which means eating right, no more excuses – get those 30 minutes of exercise in every day, get appropriate rest.  Yes I need to work but I also need to have fun, as they say stop and smell the roses, enjoy time with my sweet hubby every day, focus on what is important and to seek God’s will in my life.

And then I turned to 
I believe God has used my heart attack to remind me that though Satan means to harm and hurt us God means for good to come from it.  I could be feeling discouraged and frustrated, useless and afraid BUT GOD wants me to use this situation as a wake-up call.  To take this opportunity to get my physical health in right order.

And then 
And the good in all this is that I will be able to enjoy doing things with those who love and care about me.  And to be able to serve God each day of my life.

Right now my purpose in life is Get Healthy and I Know I Can do it, seeking God’s guidance, asking others to pray for me, praying for myself to make good choices not just in eating but in all things.

And already I am seeing great results…from 8/27 to 9/9 I have lost 6.4 lbs.  My first goal is to lose 18.2 lbs by 1/1/14.  That is a very possible and attainable goal.

Would you help me reach my goal – you are probably asking How?
By asking me how I am doing?
By asking me if I have exercised today?
By sharing low calorie meal ideas – though not with “out of the world ingredients.”

One of the devotions I do each morning is the Women of Faith devotions from my WoF Bible…this morning the scripture was

This is what I realized:
It is not the circumstances of life that cause the problems as sometimes we want to run and hid from them.  God doesn’t want us to do that.  He wants us to trust Him.  It’s how we handle those “circumstances/situations” – do we seek God, trust God, listen to God, follow God’s will.  That is what we need to do..read His word, seek His will, trust Him in all things and to remember that God is bigger than any situation we find ourselves in.

And so today as I head to work and then a follow up appointment with the cardiologist I put my trust in God, listening to those He brings in my life (the doctors), seeking God’s plan and doing my part…making the choice to eat healthy today and to get some exercise…if the doctor releases me to 20 minutes a day to spend that 20 minutes on the stationary bike remembering I am running a marathon not a sprint, and if I can’ only do the 10 minutes I will spend that time in the pool doing light water aerobics…isn’t it awesome of God to give me my own swimming pool to use anytime I want!!

Blessing to each of you.

If you have a prayer request, please share with me.

PE – I am remembering your family and the relationships there in.








What Happened to the Past Week?

Well let me tell you…
We have been busy working on the apartment…here is a snippet
of some before and after shots.
We are enjoying being in the apartment…
…but the issue is that one of us is always getting lost.
Then early Tuesday morning (8/27) I, Ali, woke up with horrific chest pains…remember the GERD attacks I thought I was having…well it turns out I was in the middle of having a mild heart attack.  
Ron rushed me to the ER and a dose of nitro under the tongue, a nitro patch and something in the IV and almost immediately the pain was gone…which led to two nights at Cox-Branson.  Lots of blood tests, a chest x-ray, a stress test that I thought I passed ~ I did walk the required amount of time and only felt like I was close to dying ~ but NO, I flunked it…royally!  So that meant discussions with the cardiologist and primary doctor, prayers of many and the decision was made to have an angiogram early Wednesday morning…all the main arteries/veins that could be scoped were scoped and all are clean, clear and healthy BUT there was one little one that could not be scoped that was blocked…explains all the pain.  
I told the doctor if that was a mild heart attack I do not want to know what a major one is like.
I came home from the hospital late Wednesday afternoon with directive to stay pretty quiet and get lots of rest for 4 to 5 days…well I made it to three and then promptly over did it on Saturday and Sunday…we did have a potluck going on here you know AND it was Labor Day Weekend and we had 24 sites filled which meant come Monday morning I found myself in bed, not going anywhere…I finally woke up around 4 p.m. and got up for a couple of hours.  Enjoyed a delightful dinner of brats, applesauce and macaroni salad that my sweet hubby, Ron made.  He does take good care of me.
Today has been mostly a day of rest…under orders from the boss man to “take it easy”…I worked maybe a total of 4 hours over a 8 hour period and took a two hour nap.  We were then blessed with a delicious steak, baked potato, salad and corn on the cob dinner by one of the guests here in the campground.  And another guest is cleaning the bathrooms for us tonight…as I have been reminded over and over in the past week we are truly loved and blessed.
Oh, and thru it all my phone decided to go swimming in a yellow lake, rested in a bed of rice for 3 days but still decided to go to a perpetual resting place…yes, I had to get a new phone…so IF you are reading this and I have not called you on the phone, it means I probably don’t have your phone number anymore 😦  so if you would be so kind to call my cell (same 360 #) or send me a text and tell me who you are I will have your numbers again.  Thanks a bunch.
 
I hope to get another blog post written tomorrow or Thursday 
but first it is time for me to go to bed and rest some more.  
Check back soon to see what is going on.