To not hide was her objective and to think of it made bile rise in the back of her throat.  She knew with this new assignment she would be required to bring into her workplace a transparency that she had hitherto avoided.  Where would the courage come from to do it, and where would her awkward attempts at change take her?

She’d masterfully hidden from the world for decades, or so she thought. Sure, there were a few people who knew the real deal, but most of them were now dead, and those left living had departed from her region of the world.  They were off making something of themselves, serving on distant mission fields, or baking gingerbread fancies with white icing ruffles trimming the edges of their poofy ginger skirts and shirts.  Gingerbread-loving grand babies would eat those confections as soon as they cooled from the oven and had dressed themselves.  She was sure that domestic duties and sticky-sugar hugs were keeping those companions busy these days. They had no time, nor the inclination, to check in on her or pick up the phone and call to make sure life was treating her fairly.  It wasn’t, she mused, but they would never know.  Her smoke and mirror act performed these past forty years had emphasized hiding the real Sally from view, while constructing a feigned and more fascinating model to hide behind.

But this job…

This job would require a new frankness.  It would require painful truth, unmasked weakness, and an authenticity Sally wasn’t entirely sure she was prepared to parse out to strangers.  How could she do it?  What would it take, and what would it cost her?

What job is Sally about to embark upon?  What could it be that she has been hiding for so long?


Original work. Copyright LJH,  July 2016


A Bad Night-A Good God!

I know not everyone believes in a creator God who watches over the inhabitants of the earth, but I do.

I’ve been frustrated lately and this morning found me ready to surrender my will, if only for the shortest period of time.  I was ready…to hear, to learn, to see, and to change today.

I woke up at 4am this morning and could not get back to sleep. I was fretting. Fretting about something I shared in a vulnerable moment yesterday.  Something that colored an others opinion of me. Something I had not shared before.  I hate that!


I hate that I fret.

I hate that I’m sometimes vulnerable.

I hate not being able to be authentic without feeling violated.

I hate being awake at 4am when I have to get up for the day at 6am!!!

This week has been stressful. I’ve been busy, and just come off a weekend with the wee ones, which is especially taxing when we are north of NEPA and sleeping on couches for two nights.  I should have taken Monday off.  I wasn’t needed up north, as expected though, so I decided to do what I could to see that everything went off smoothly for a party we had at work Monday.  It did, but it cost me.

All this to say that when I prayed and meditated this morning, God showed up in a powerful way.  It was as if He knew exactly what I needed to hear, and as if the words written by Oswald Chambers and the author of the devotional over at The Seeds 4 Life were written with me in mind.  I’m grateful.  I encourage you to check out both offerings today.  You’ll find Oswald’s words in My Utmost for His Highest on June 15th and The Seeds 4 Life devotional here.   Enjoy!

I hope you all slept soundly through the night last night.  I hope I can catch up on my sleep tonight.  I have another big family gathering on July 2nd. Between now and then I need to fortify myself so that I can be ready.

Thanks for leaving some encouragement in the comments section below.

What will you do over the 4th of July weekend?  When was the last time you woke up at night fretting over something you’d said, done, or seen?

Goals for June 5-11

000less sugar

This past week has been a wild one.  Mr and me celebrated together one birthday, one anniversary, and one prayer session at a friend’s property after his barn rebuild collapsed.  We attended one bridal shower, one feeding-of-the-geese at the lake session (goslings included), and hosted our first church-at-home service, a one-time event that fit the circumstances on Sunday.  It’s a long story, but a blessed one.  All in all, I would say it has been a banner week for us, having family in town and celebrating our youngest wee one’s birthday with family, including water balloons and catching up on all the family gossip.  Family..Family…Family!  I learn so much from my family and friends!

The mention of learning brings into focus my goals for this week.


1  Read 3 chapters of a current healthy-living publications and blog about what Ive learned.

2  Continue IF-ing this week, for at least three days. IF=Intermittent Fasting

3  Focus on bringing the balance back–with food, fun, family, and future plans.


Goal No. 1 was a fail AGAIN this week!  Ugh!  Conclusion:  My mind and my ambitions are not set on reading about what other people are doing to get healthy right now.  That being the case, I have decided to quit this goal.

Reminder to Self:  A fail doesn’t mean we quit the whole of the project.  Just that it’s time to prioritize a lil better.

I found my greatest success and focus with Goal No. 3 this week: Balance.  High motivation here!  This goal stayed with me all week and I feel like I accomplished a lot while working on it.  This goal stayed front and center in my mind.  That’s a good goal!  I will be putting this goal back on my list for another week, as I try again to bring back the balance between fun, family, fitness and future plans.

Goal No. 2 also went well!  I was able to IF 3 times, even though the week was a hectic one with a crazy schedule attached.  I have also reintroduced a vegetables-only policy at lunch, which profited me greatly a few years ago.  I feel so much better when I eat more veggies!


You can stand strong even when life has tried its best to knock you down.  Scott and Lydia, we continue to pray for you as you work on your property to restore what we taken by fire.

Hosting an event at my house makes me grouchy.  Am I alone in this?  Stressful!

Bringing back the balance to my life means I have to look more closely at three areas:  Diet, Exercise, and Relationships.

Splenda makes my kidneys restless and stressed.  Seriously, I am looking HARD at this substance when considering balance in my diet going forward.  I must have gone to the ladies room every hour the last two days, and I wondered why??  No big influx of sugar in my diet, so why was I peeing so much?  Then I remembered that I had the coffee shop put a lil cream and Splenda in my coffee on Tuesday and Wednesday morning this week (something I don’t usually do, but wanted to treat myself for all my hard work lately–when will I quit using food as a reward???).  Yikes, I was running to the bathroom all day those days.  What’s up with that?  Back-to-black  for this gal today, and I am seeing a world of difference, re: bathroom frequency!


1  Continue practicing my IF-ing plan, 2-3 days this week.

2  Bring back the balance in life by intentionally planning better with regards to fun, food, family, and future planning. We go to get our passports tomorrow. Yippeee!

3  Walk at least 3 times this week.

I have noticed that the time I have put into planning to walk and walking has been smaller and smaller lately. That needs to change!  I will be spending more time walking this week, as well as trying to exercise in other ways.

What teeny tiny thing have you learned about yourself this week by intentionally observing your routine?  Does Splenda make you run to the bathroom?

Monday Thoughts


What, what, what, project can I tackle today?  Hmmmmm…


Welcome to 5-Minute Mondays, the initiative that tackles those jobs we’ve been putting off and gets them DONE!

Here’s the rules for 5-Minute Mondays.

1  Pick a job you want to do, but still haven’t started.

2  Decide what your jumping off point will be.

3  Set a stop watch or kitchen timer for 5 Minutes.

4  Go!  Get ‘er done.

Remember: We can do anything if we know we only have to do it for five minutes!

Be creative.

Make it fun!

Most importantly…

Get ‘er done!

When you’re finished, share with us what your 5-Minute Monday project turned out to be in the comments section below.  Now, go.  Do.

I believe in you!

My five minute project today is going to be to flush out the coffee pot at work. I put off doing this because I have to stand there and monitor the process the whole time.  This is not a “walk-away and come back to it later” kinda thing, but I can do anything when I know I only have to do it for five minutes.  So can you!

What will your 5-Minute Monday look like today?  Where will you begin?


Ready, Set, Go…


I almost forgot!

Today’s the day we start and finish our 5-Minute Monday exercise/project/treat/opportunity.

5-Minute Mondays are all about blocking off FIVE MINUTES at the beginning of our week and using that time to do one of the following:

Treat Yo-self!

Finish up a belated project.

Get started on a new project.

Dream, meditate, walk, sing, write.

Do anything that your heart leads you to do, (but not evil things). 

Maybe you’ll grab a quick bit of intimacy with your love this morning.

Maybe you’ll make a call and ask a friend to meet you later for drinks.

Maybe you’d like to kick back and read something inspirational for five minutes.

Or perhaps you want to begin cleaning out that closet, going through your sock drawer, or putting the dishes away.

You might write a note you’ve been putting off.

How about scheduling that appointment?

Have you been waiting to try that easy, peasy recipe for baked oatmeal?  Now is the time!

Whatever it is you want to do, begin this morning with FIVE MINUTES of dedicated zeal.  Nasty procrastination can be pushed back.  It only takes FIVE minutes to do it.

When you’re done, share your 5-Minute Monday outcome in the comments below.  Encourage us all with your proactive determination to get ‘er done!

You can do This!  You will do THIS!  It’s only FIVE MINUTES out of your day.  Take it and be glad.  I’m rooting for you!!!

I’m going to write some poetry during my five minutes today. I’ll share what I produce later.  Love this challenge, it gets me going first thing each week.

Be Intentional!

What crazy, hazy, but fun project have you been putting off for too long now?  What will you do with your five minutes today? 

5 Minute Monday


This morning I’m rolling out my latest challenge: 5 Minute Monday.

What is 5 Minute Monday?

Just this…

5 Minute Monday is my chance and yours to do something we have been putting off, avoiding, or thinking about starting before procrastination got in the way.  It’s our chance to follow through on projects that in the past have gotten sidetracked.  It’s a chance to begin again, start over, or just plain begin.

It’s a lil five minute investment that could lead to big returns.

Don’t believe me?

Let me share with you something my friend did last week. She’s been joining me in my TGT challenges, and last week one of her teeny, tiny goals was to walk 5 minutes every day.  She’s just getting started on her renewed walking program, but she is finding that a million things happen in her day that threaten to keep her from walking for 5 minutes.

I can relate.

Our world is full of distractions that can easily pull us away from what we said we would do if we are not terribly determined.  My friend is retired, so you would think she’d have plenty of time during the day to get in her 5 minute walking goal, but she doesn’t.  Instead, she has people pulling at her from all sides, knowing she doesn’t work any more and wanting her to do something for them.  In reality, their work.  She has a hard time saying no to them, especially when the work she’s asked to do involves grandbabies.

Again, I can relate.  🙂

On this day, it was nearly the end of the day when my friend remembered she had to go grocery shopping still, and she had not yet done her 5 minutes of walking. What was she to do?  It was dark out, she was pooped, and she still had to walk the aisles at the grocery store and get all her staples for the week.

Her solution:  She asked her husband to drop her at the front door and then park the car while she walked around the perimeter of the store for 5 minutes before shopping for grocery. Score!

Here is a case of my friend wanting to be true to a promise made to herself, but having to do so in a creative way.  She was thinking on her feet, and it all worked out. Woohoo!  Best of all, it only took 5 minutes to complete my friend’s workout and stay true to herself.  Her solution to a time management problem made me think, and during meditation (one of my goals this week), I was reminded how she solved her problem. I thought, “maybe I can solve my problems the same way.”

The idea for 5 Minute Mondays was born!

I’ve been thinking all weekend about what I would choose to do today for my 5 glorious minutes, free of nasty procrastination. There are so many possibilities and because my super power is indecision you can imagine I had a tough time nailing down just one 5-minute project to address.

I decided that today I’m going to spend 5 minutes reading literature that came with my new sugar meter.  I’ve had the new meter a while, but haven’t used it yet. Why? Because of dirty rotten, nasty, and disagreeable procrastination.  Today that changes!  Today I address this new meter and the info that will help me use it with a greater sense of confidence.

It’s only 5 minutes, right?  I can do that.

I can’t wait to hear what you’ve decided to do with your 5 minutes today.  Please leave a comment below and loop me in.  I’m excited to see how 5 lil minutes can change our day or week.  Let’s give it a test run today.

What will your 5 Minute Monday challenge be? 

Three Goals Thursday-Update

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.

–Tony Robbins

If you’ve hung around here for any length of time you know that I’m big “into” habit formation.  I love forming new habits.  I love habit because it makes life much, much easier to live. Habits direct our behavior unconsciously, so its important that we build good ones into our daily routines.  I’m on a crusade to build some good habits in me, which is the point of my post today–sharing what I’m learning as I’m setting goals and building habits.

I’ve begun posting three goals each week, on Thursday, right here, and I wanted to provide an update related to those goals today.

My goals this week are:

1.  Eat oatmeal for breakfast every day, and eat a colorful veggie salad at my evening meal.

2.  Exercise for five minutes in the morning each day before doing anything else.

3.  Work at not letting the food others are eating affect the way I eat. 

The results I have to report…

I had one slip with No. 3 this week, but while in the midst of that slip I realized what I was doing and I quit the behavior. I stopped [the most important “take away” here], and threw the rest of the “treat” in the garbage.  This treat had the trifecta of food addict triggers in it: Fat, Sugar ,and Salt aplenty. This was definitely not food meant for me!

I also encountered temptation with no. 2 on my list this week, when I thought for a minute I might skip my morning exercise.  I’m glad to say I exercised anyway. Why? Because it was a goal, which meant it was a matter of integrity for me to follow through with what I’d said I would do. 

Side bar:  Can I say I am loving that these are teeny, tiny goals and only last seven days?  Makes them so much easier to complete and creates win/win scenarios for me to celebrate every day. 

Back to my morning exercise routine: I finished it, and not only that, but I did an additional five minutes before going to bed last night.

Woot, woot. I’m excited to see how these habits are fueling good behaviors.

No. 1 posed a problem for me this week, too.  I say problem, but really, I chose to not eat oatmeal for breakfast one day this week.  It was Monday, I was weak and a bagel sandwich was calling my name. 

Important to me:  The fact that I made a conscious decision to get the bagel sandwich, and that I realized what I was doing and did not feel shame or guilt in eating. That’s huge.  Plus, I only eat half of these sandwiches anyway, since I commute with someone who eats the other half when we stop for breakfast on our way into work.  This time I ate less than half, mostly because it wasn’t that good tasting and I missed my oatmeal. 

Yay!  Taste buds are a changin’.  I have noticed this before.

I also want to report that I skipped no. 1 on Tuesday, choosing consciously to fast for breakfast that day because I knew I would be going out for lunch with a friend.  Instead of loading up with oatmeal in the morning, I waited and enjoyed a greek salad and water at 11:30am.  It was very tasty, and I didn’t feel like I was putting more in my body than it needed.

It’s an amazing feeling to say NO to a meal and not feel bad about it. 

Tomorrow I set three new goals for a new week, and I’m excited to see what they will be.  Staying positive has helped me achieve my goals this week. On my mirror at home I have the three goals posted alongside a note to self that reads:  You’re gonna feel GREAT!!! 

Its kinda amusing how that lil note has helped me stay focused on positive outcomes, instead of the work I’ve put into forming new habits.  I’m seeing winning scenarios developing all over the place.

Do you ever experience a feeling of guilt when you make food substitutions?  What habit have you developed over time that works really, really well for you?