A post JB shared on Facebook ... this is my JB ... and this is definitely our not-so-little Sidge too.
Friday, January 22, 2021
This is a post for ME. If you want to read it, that's great, but I want to remember THIS. Now.
My whole life, I have been incredibly skinny. When I left for college in 1995, I was 6'3" and 155 pounds. I am still 6'3" but am now 220 pounds. (Actually 213 thank you very much!)
I always knew I was going to be tall. But I knew I did not want to big and tall. This is no offense to anyone who is. However, when you are already so tall, commanding an even larger presence was just something I didn't want to do.
I have never had to watch what I ate. In fact, until I graduated from college/basketball, I was constantly striving to eat more food. I can't be sure, but I think I probably consumed upwards of 6-7,000 calories a day in college. I ate everything in SIGHT and could barely gain a pound. When I graduated from college, I weighed 175 pounds.
I don't remember all the details, but I know that at my highest pregnancy weight I was 211. I also know that prior to Hannah's birth, when I was in the throngs of a major depression, I got as low as 164 again.
Most people don't notice this on me. When you are as tall as me, there is a lot of forgiveness that goes with this.
But it is NOT okay with me. Since we have moved to the farm, I have found that I can no longer "eat anything." This correlates pretty accurately with hitting 40 years old and changing seasons of my life. I am incredibly active, but my weight is simply too high.
A normal BMI for my heigh is 200 pounds. I am 20 pounds over that.
I have refrained from talking about it on my Blog because I don't want my daughters to read this years from now. I am very conscious to never say I am fat or to talk about body image in front of them. I am doing WeighWatchers now, and honestly, while this is somewhat about what I look like, it is more about what I feel like. It's about how easily I can get off the floor after playing with my kids. I want to feel better. And so I need to do this.
So I am posting these pictures to remember me at 220 pounds. I hope to be on here in the next six months, significantly less weight.
I am also going to be posting some recipes (below) as I come up with them, for future reference for myself! I want to be able to remember how I got to where I am going.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Not that anyone who reads my Blog is probably a ram buyer, but it's fun to remember what's "going on" on our farm at different times.
I received a message from a friend yesterday. She apologized for being a "COVID doubter" before it hit her with a death and then her own parent getting VERY ill with it. Now that she is seeing it first-hand, she realizes what John Kitsteiner and I have been saying since this all began. I told her how that helps me feel I am doing the right thing ... to keep trying to educate. I love this lady and she is very special to me! But her comment also makes me wonder: Does educating help? Will doubters only be doubters? Isn't John watching this up close and personal PROOF ENOUGH?
Sunday, January 17, 2021
If you aren't a birder, you can't understand the obsession with birding. But I will try to put you into the birding mindset through this post.
(Trust me. If Wendi-the-non-birder is writing it, you will find it enjoyable even if you barely know what a bird is.)
I am married to someone who loves birds. And I am a mother to two kids who love birds. (My other two children join me in the non-birding camp making us a 50/50 family. Although my husband is still hopeful he can sway our seven-year-old little girl over to the dark side.)
Birding is a culture. It's a wonderful community of people that meet online and in person to see birds. It's a whole underground network of flying nature.
If you are interested in learning more, I suggest the book: The Big Year or if you aren't a reader, try the movie which stars a legendary cast of Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Martin. It's a fun movie and will teach you plenty about the culture.
On Friday evening, John started talking with our two mini-birders about two interesting birds. They were the
JB and our two bird-lovers: Sidge (age 12 next week!) and Abigail (age 9) have a few birding goals.
1. See as many different birds in Greene County that they can.
2. See as many different birds within the state of TN that they can.
3. See birds anywhere in the USA that they can.
(A side note, while JB most likes to just see the birds, my kids love to photograph them.)
They aren't in a hurry to see all the normal TN birds. But all of a sudden, they got an alert (Yes! There are pages online that alert you to these things!) that there were two birds in Chattanooga, TN that are very unusual to the State.
And suddenly, both birds were just 2.5 hours away from our home in Bulls Gap/Greeneville within 9 minutes of each other. It would be one thing if they had been spotted in Western, TN. That's too far to drive (as you can see on the map below). Tennessee is a long, wide State. But Chattanooga .... that's not far at all from us!
In the end, they got to see the Bullock's Oriole but did not find the Swift. However, they managed to score another rare bird thanks to some birders who filled them in on a Pacific Loon hanging out not far away.
While I may never understand birds, I certainly can appreciate the looks on my kids' faces detailing their adventures. I especially love that JB said I must come with them sometime just to see Abigail, our shy little girl, turn into a totally different kid when surrounded by other people who get birds like she does. John said she talks unencumbered and simply is blooming in her element. (Normally, Abigail does not speak to people she does not know, like, ever ...)
And Sidge, on our way to ballet practice, could not stop GLOWING as he showed me photos and told me about each bird he saw and ignored my ignorant questions ...
I love their passion.
Even if I don't really love birds.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Monday, January 11, 2021
I hope someday, my kids will be scrolling through this post in January of 2020, right before the election of Joe Biden, and think: "Mom thought things were really, really bad in America. But in fact, Jesus was just about to get started helping things get very, very good."
I hope that.
But I am really doubting it will come to pass.
We can't know the future. We can't worry about it either. Well, we can, but the Lord encourages us not to.
Hebrews 13:14 says: "For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come."
John 16:33 says: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
I believe the Lord gives us all of us a different "mission" in our life. We have different callings. I truly believe that I was created to LOVE. I have always wanted people to be happy. Some of this, is born from selfish desires. I want people to like me. I want to please man.
But I truly have a very sympathetic heart. I think the psychiatric term is an empath. The first time I heard this word, I thought my friend was describing something mythological or ethereal. But I have since come to understand that as an empath, I am just a highly sensitive individual. I sense what people around me are thinking and feeling. I have a great deal of empathy, often to the point of taking on the pain of others at their own expense. This emotion has been with me for as long as I can remember, and it has always exhausted me. When I am with a group of people, I am thinking about what they may be thinking and feeling nearly constantly. I want them to have peace. I want them to be joyful.
But alas, I am a human. And they are humans. And I can't control what they are feeling. And they can't control what they are feeling either.
I want world peace. I've always wanted world peace. But the truth is: this is a world of sin. Truly, as a Christian, I feel that the lack of moral absolutes our world (and specifically our country) has put into place during the last two decades specifically, will be the downfall of our country. And maybe of our world. This makes me sad. And yet I know, that Revelation prophecies about the end times. It won't be easy. There will be sin running rampant.
Truly, as I see it, the Democrats are going about things all wrong. To the opposite extreme, the Republicans are going about it all wrong. I believe the intention of both sides is rooted in what they believe is truth. However, I believe TRUTH has lost its definition. We don't allow TRUTH to be black or white anymore. If you are living YOUR "truth" then that's all that matters.
But it isn't.
You truth may be sin. The Bible, if we believe it is true, is full of sin. And sinful acts. There is black. There is white. It isn't all gray. In the end, both political parties are human beings attempting to save people from their own versions of sin. But those versions are very different.
I don't believe that we are savable on this Earth. I believe we are only savable by spending eternity with Jesus Christ. My job is to tell as many people as I can about my Jesus. Not about my political affiliations or party. ABOUT MY JESUS!
JESUS IS THE ONLY "MAN" WHO CAN SAVE OUR COUNTRY OR OUR WORLD.
I understand that some people are called to enter the political realm. Others are called to be preachers. Physicians. Missionaries. John and I always thought we'd have some big calling on our lives. We thought we'd be overseas somewhere serving medically on the mission field.
But God had other ideas. He has called us, to right here, right now, on this farm, serving our local community in the midst of a pandemic. I never thought God would tell me to remain on social media and continue to speak the actual truth. Not "my" truth. But the "actual" truth as we are currently seeing it in a rural ER in East TN. John is on the front lines of a pandemic. But even more than that, we feel called to allow people to come to our farm for respite and refuge and retreat. To get rejuvenated. Reequipped. Loved. Hugged. Jesus-filled.
While the country and world has many problems, I do think that if we all focused on loving our neighbor AS OURSELVES things would be much better. I truly feel that Republicans think that they can't love Democrats. And vice versa. And this makes me sad. I don't feel it was like this twenty years ago. I truly felt like everything has gotten worse in the last twenty years. How can we be MORE racist now than we were twenty years ago? How can we love our neighbors LESS than we did twenty years ago? How have things gotten so much worse?
Lack of following the Word of God?
All of the above?
I feel that sin has created a huge divide. I pray our country doesn't break into pieces, but I fear it will.
And if does, I hope John and I will continue to be on our 96-aces ... loving people. Loving Jesus. And loving the whole wide world.
Again, I hope some day, I look back on this post and think: that was when everything turned around for good. We feared bad but good was right around the corner.
I pray that is the case. But right now, it feels like this has been a year of just plain ... bad.
And that it might only get worse.
But in the end John 12:46 says: "I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him, for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken with judge him on the last day."
Here are some videos of our puppies:
Saturday, January 9th at 9:50am (First puppy is born -- long Facebook live video)
Saturday 6:59pm (She ends with eight -- Facebook video)
Saturday evening! (Facebook video)
Saturday evening! (Right before bed)
Tomorrow morning I will take them in for their first vet appt. Our world may be in a mess right now. Our country may be in a mess. And it can be disheartening. But somehow, puppies help. Just a little bit.