And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:2

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


GETTING BACK IN SHAPE

One of the goals this year was to shed some weight and to get back (at least) to where I was when I moved to San Antonio nearly five years ago. This is a noble endeavor as are all endeavors for health, but this one has the added burden of being attempted in the enchilada center of the universe. Did I mention how much I love Mexican food? Someone needs to put together a manual for new arrivals to San Antonio with at least one caveat about the enormous calorie-intake potentials at the local Mexican eateries. No one told me eating a bowl of chips with salsa before the meal was like eating a loaf of bread. Lesson learned.

So, I'm getting back in shape. I still have a long way to go but I'm making progress. I also have the help of a wonderful trainer who I not only knows what she is doing but motivates me to think twice about everything I put in my mouth. If I don't, I will pay for it the next day. Some things you just can't hide.

The strategy boils down essentially to these three things:

1. Physical training - both cardio and weight training

2. Eating right - no more junky, fatty, empty foods. Only "clean" foods that are nutritious. I have learned to window shop at Whole Foods.

3. Breathing - believe it or not we all need to learn/relearn how to breathe.

The goal is to take off a couple of pounds per week which is happening. The amazing thing is that I have not had to go without any food. I might be onto something.

BUMPER STICKER OF THE DAY

Seen in in San Antonio:

"I do whatever the Twinkies say"


CLEANING UP THE CLUTTER

A few weeks back I came home and found the hugely anticipated yellow flyer hanging on my front door. It was the city of San Antonio communicating what day they would be in my neighborhood helping me to minimize residential clutter. And so last Saturday the family and I cut down limbs from the many trees on our property and hauled them out to the curb. It’s amazing how nice the yard looks but you’ll have to wait until the mountain of limbs and leaves are hauled away before you can see it. You know, I really like this service the city provides. I like it a lot. Once or twice a year it’s good to have an opportunity to take a look around and deal with the clutter that has, well, cluttered up the scenery. I know some people may not like the idea because they feel it creates work for them but I really like the idea. It's not that I'm much of a minimalist but I think it’s healthy to look around from time to time and decide what needs to stay and what needs to go.

And what is good for yards, garages and desks is also good for the soul. Sometimes I think are lives get so cluttered with activities and unnecessary responsibilities that the true meaning of life gets hidden away behind all the limbs and leaves where it’s hard to see it. Or, at least, the things that have meaning do not nearly get the attention they deserve.

I ran across this old Celtic (I love to say "KELTIC")prayer that speaks from the heart for a lot of us.

Lord, help me now to unclutter my life.
To organize myself in the direction of simplicity.
Lord, teach me to listen to my heart;
teach me to welcome change, instead of fearing it.
Lord, i give you these stirrings inside me,
I give you my discontent,
I give you my restlessness,
I give you my doubt,
I give you my despair,
I give you all the longings i hold inside.
Help me to listen to these signs of change, of growth;
to listen seriously and follow where they lead
through the breathtaking empty space of an open door.

That's a good prayer. Happy uncluttering!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


WORDS FOR MOM

MOTHER’S DAY IS COMING UP SOON AND I HOPE YOU ARE ALREADY THINKING OF WAYS YOU CAN HONOR HER. BELIEVE IT OR NOT I LOOK FORWARD TO MOTHER’S DAY BECAUSE AS A FATHER OF TWO CHILDREN I SEE THE IMPACT THE IRREPLACEABLE LOVE OF A MOTHER HAS ON HER CHILDREN. AND BEING A MOM IS HARD AND SEEMINGLY ENDLESS WORK AND IT’S EASY TO BECOME DISCOURAGED BY ALL THE PRESSURE YOU FEEL. FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES LET ME SHARE WITH YOU SOME THINGS WORTH REMEMBERING ABOUT BEING A MOM. FIRST, EVERY CHILD IS RAISED BY IMPERFECT PARENTS. ALL PARENTS MAKE MISTAKES. THAT’S REALITY. STOP PUTTING NEEDLESS PRESSURE ON YOURSELF TO BE PERFECT. ONLY GOD IS THE PERFECT PARENT. SO SECONDLY, NEVER STOP LEARNING TO IMPROVE YOUR PARENTING SKILLS. CHILDREN CAN PRESENT INTERESTING CHALLENGES TO SAY THE LEAST. AND AS THEY DEVELOP INTO ADULTS THROUGH THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF LIFE, SO YOU NEED TO CONTINUE DEVELOPING AS A PARENT. THIRD, REMEMBER THE MATURE LEADS THE IMMATURE. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH CHILDREN BEING IMMATURE. THEY’RE CHILDREN. THAT’S WHY THEY NEED YOU TO LEAD THEM. NUMBER FOUR, WATCH YOUR USE OF HUMOR. HUMOR THAT IS USED TO MASK CRUELTY IS CRUEL AND NOT FUNNY.FIFTH, YOUR CHILDREN NEED SPIRITUAL AND MORAL TRAINING. GOD IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOUR CHILDREN NEED TO KNOW. AND THEY ALSO NEED TO LEARN HOW TO LIVE IN LIGHT OF THAT KNOWLEDGE. NUMBER SIX, INTENTIONALLY POINT OUT THE GOOD IN YOUR CHILDREN. MANY TIMES THE WORLD IS BETTER AT POINTING OUT SHORTCOMINGS THAN STRONG POINTS. REMEMBER THAT THE POSITIVE THING YOU SAY TO YOUR CHILD MAY BE THE ONLY POSITIVE THING THEY HEAR ABOUT THEMSELVES ALL DAY. SEVENTH, DON’T FORGET TO TEACH THE REALITY OF CONSEQUENCES. A CHILD NEEDS TO KNOW THAT POOR DECISIONS CAN LEAD TO SOME TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES IN THEIR LIFE. AND FINALLY, NUMBER EIGHT, REMEMBER WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT. IT’S SO EASY TO BECOME DISTRACTED WITH RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE POINT THAT PARENTING TAKES A BACK SEAT. BUT IN THE END, PARENTING IS ABOUT BUILDING A PERSON, A HEALTHY, WHOLE HUMAN BEING. AND YOUR WORKAS A PARENT…AS A MOTHER IS IRREPLACEABLE. AND THAT IS WHY WE HONOR YOU.