Friday, July 29, 2016

My Little Monograms - be still my southern heart!!!

Oh!!! Ladies!!! If there is anything I love it's a monogram...especially if it's affordable!!! I have discovered this little gem of a store so you know I must share it. This girl has EVERYTHING and her prices are UNREAL!!! I mean come on...a stainless steel tumbler ( Yeti, RTIC, Ozark...etc) decal for $5?!?!?!? SOLD!!! Why yes...I am in love with this chevron Power T with monogram pictured here and yes I will have one.

If you've been wanting one of these stainless steel tumblers but haven't gotten one yet, you can also buy the cup and decal here for a mere $20. You can't beat that with a stick!!!

 Y'all this girl can monogram just about anything!!!

Do yourself a favor and check this site out. You can thank me later.

Free desktop background

Here's a free desktop background just because I love y'all. I think I'm going to start doing more stuff like this. Enjoy!!!





Jesus Loves You!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The night I trusted Jesus


I've thought about sharing this different times. The world needs to know about the Gospel. It is because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I became a child of the most high God. See, the world hates the Gospel. These days, people don't want to hear that they are sinners but the truth is we all are and because of that, we all need a savior. Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the father except by him.

 Every single person owes a sin debt to God that they can't pay. That's the first part of the Gospel. The Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ, Son of God, born of a virgin, came to Earth to be the perfect, spotless sacrifice for our sin. He paid that debt for us. Because of His death on the cross, God's wrath is satisfied...toward those who accept his son. See, if you never come under the blood, God doesn't see the perfection of Christ when He looks at you, He sees your sin and that means you're seen as an enemy. On the flip side of that is grace. See when you accept Jesus as your lord and savior, ask for forgiveness and surrender your life to him, you come under the blood of Jesus. When you accept Christ as your savior, God sees the blood of his Son and recognizes you as his child. The perfect blood of Jesus seals you for the kingdom of Heaven. Once that happens, you are redeemed, bought, signed and sealed forever. Nothing can pluck you from the hand of God after that. On November 10, 1988, I cried out to God for salvation. I admitted to God that I was a sinner in need of salvation...because I had heard the Gospel. The story of my salvation is like this....

My dad was the pastor of a little church close to my hometown and we were in revival at the time. I was sitting on the end of the pew next to my mom when the congregation sang an old hymn called The Life Boat. I was brought up in church so I knew that if a person dies without having accepting Jesus, they will spend eternity in hell. That's a scary truth and it was one I came face-to-face with that night. Anyway, the congregation was singing The Life Boat and there is a part of that song that says "now's the time to get on board while she's still passing by, for if you stand and wait too long, you shall forever die." I will never forget the fear I felt in that moment. Now, I am not saying everyone has to feel fear to be saved but it was the fear of dying in my sin that came upon me that night. When that part of that song was sang, God spoke to my heart and revealed to me that I was in fact a sinner and I knew what I had to do, I knew that I could die that night and I knew what would happen to me if I did without being saved. My heart nearly hammered out of my little chest as I made my way to the altar of that tiny church. I reached the altar, fell to my knees and I cried out. I cried out to God to please save me!!! I remember crying out, saying "God I'm a sinner and I need you to save me!!!" and I remember wanting to know for sure that He had saved me so I asked Him to let my feet tingle. God knew my little heart needed that reassurance and don't you know that my feet started to tingle? I fell to that altar a sinner at 8 years old and rose from that altar a daughter of  the King of Kings!!!

I am so thankful that I am able to share this with you all. It is my honest hope that this touched at least one heart and that if you are reading this and haven't accepted Jesus as your lord and savior, just follow my example, fall to your knees and cry out!!! The joy of know Jesus is indescribable. Don't let the life boat pass you by. We are only guaranteed one opportunity to accept Jesus.

I sure do love you all but Jesus loves you so much more.

Monday, July 18, 2016

In Christ Alone free printable

Hey guys!! I made this really neat picture a few days ago to put in a frame so I thought I'd share it with you. My first free printable..I'm so excited!!!




Avocado Chicken Salad

Oh my goodness y'all, this is sooooooo delicious!!! A friend of mine made it and brought it to work and I've been hooked ever since. If you like guacamole, this will rock your world. I like to eat it alone or on a bed of lettuce but it is also delicious in a tortilla or on some flat bread. Surprisingly, a delicious garnish for this is dried cranberries.


Ingredients:
16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast 
1 ripe Hass avocado
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
1 tbsp jalapenos, finely chopped (optional)

Directions:
Bake, boil, or grill 16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast until cooked through (about 15-20 mins). Once chicken is done, shred in a bowl. 

In a separate bowl or in a food processor, combine the avocado, onion, lime, cilantro and jalapeno until creamy.

Stir chicken into guacamole and enjoy!!!!

If you try this recipe, please let me know how you like it. I hope you enjoy this super delicious chicken salad :) 



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Socialism vs. Freedom




I swore I would never do a political post but here I am. I have been sitting here thinking about socialism today. Y'all socialism may sound good on the surface but I can promise you, in the end, no one wins.

Now, I am very well aware that this is probably going to make someone mad and that's ok but here the truth about socialism: nothing is free. Someone is paying for what you have. A person may think the government should fund things like utilities and healthcare but once we start having the government pay for these things, our freedom ultimately goes with it. See, as long everything is privatized and not socialized, us, Americans have a say in the matter. If we end up a socialized nation, we are under the government's thumb. We will be told when we can use our electricity, how much we can use, what doctor we have to see, what treatments we are allowed to receive ( welcome to Obamacare), we will be told what we can eat and how much we are allowed to have...you name it. The government will be in charge...and that is what they want.

The next issue is equal distribution of wealth. This is a VERY short sighted solution to a very long term problem. Margaret Thatcher said it best when she said "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." Y'all that is a hard truth but it is a truth none-the-less. The top 5% is under no obligation to keep busting their butts to prop everyone else up!!! I sometimes wonder where those that are a fan of socialism think the money to run this nation is going to come from once tax payers get fed up and stop working? Seriously. Socialism ultimately lead to the poverty of everyone except for the government.



I do want to go on record by saying that there is a HUGE difference between needing temporary assistance for a period of time or being genuinely disabled and expecting the government to bank roll your life. It honestly makes me sick at how some people will do anything to keep from EARNING a living!!! Y'all that is out and out wrong. We are supposed to take care of people who really can't take care of themselves but not the pure out-and-out LAZY.  Don't believe me? Here's what the bible says about it:

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and earn their own living.

Proverbs 10:4 A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

Proverbs 12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but whoever follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.

Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule while the slothful will be put to forced labor.

Proverbs 14:23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.

Those are just a few. Please understand the difference between people who WON'T work and people who CAN'T work. These scriptures apply to those who won't bother to earn a living and MOST people in favor of socialism are those WHO DON'T WANT TO WORK!!!

So with that said, keep America a free nation and stop seeking after a free ride.

.

If God has provided you with the intelligence to do a job, the skill and ability to do a job, the health to do a job, seek a job and do it. And for those that are waiting or TRULY aren't able to work, there is no shame in asking for help, just pay it forward when you can, but to those of you who think the rest of the world should keep you up? Get a haircut and get a real job. 

Love Always (yes I really do love everyone, even the lazy)
Heather



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How I quit smoking for good!!!

I'm sure someone reading is expecting medication, hypnosis, meditation, nicotine replacement, etc. but that isn't how it happened. I love having the opportunity to testify to the goodness and greatness of God!!! 

I have been waiting for a while to do this post but I wanted it to be today, July 13th 2016, because today makes one year since I quit smoking and became FREE from nicotine. I stress the word free because that is exactly what happened in a moment. I was set free from the bondage of smoking. 

Here is how it went down:

I had been trying to quit smoking for a solid year...and failing for a solid year...in my own strength. No matter how determined I was to quit, I just couldn't seem to stop!!! I would feel panicky and irritable at the thoughts of quitting but I knew it was wrong so it had to happen. I knew that I was killing myself, I knew that God wouldn't let me be tempted beyond what I could stand, I knew that I wasn't supposed to make provision for my flesh but it seemed like my craving for a cigarette would override any good sense, then I would smoke one, then I would feel like a complete and total guilty failure. It was never ending and totally miserable...until July 13th 2015.


 I got up that morning and smoked my last cigarette in that pack. I didn't stop on the way to work to get any. I don't remember why I didn't. We were really broke then so maybe I didn't have any money, maybe I was running late, I just remember that I didn't stop. I remember thinking about it at work that morning. I remember thinking about how I was sick and tired of being controlled by my flesh. I was so tired of knowing that I needed to have my flesh in subjection to my spirit but constantly giving into my flesh. I was not very happy with myself. I remember, going out to the warehouse for something and as I came back in the office, I remember stopping in front of a thermostat in the hall and being overwhelmed by the presence of God. He seemed so BIG!!!! It was like He was standing right in front with his arms spread and leaned forward a little. He said to me in that moment "Heather!!! Who's bigger? Me or that cigarette?" and when the Lord asks you that question, you say "well since you put it that way", and I went and sat down at my desk and realized in that moment that I would never smoke another cigarette again as long as I live. When God cuts a yoke, when God tears down a stronghold in your life, it's a done deal I couldn't smoke a cigarette now even if I wanted to, 

That's it. 

It was finished.

In a moment, it was done.

After a solid year of trying to quit on my own, God took it from me in a moment.

I had to share this story. It is my hope that if there is someone reading this and you are struggling to do something in your own strength, let God get in the boat because when he does it, that's it, it is finished.


No matter what, please remember that God's grace is sufficient and Jesus loves you so very much!!! Oh and as always, you're beautiful :)

Love Always,
Heather

Monday, July 4, 2016

Understanding nutrition - Where do I even start?


As many of you know I have battled with my weight my whole life. I have yo-yoed since I've been big enough to play with a yo-yo!!! It's exhausting. I know I can't be the only person that feels that way just like I know I can't be the only person that has been overwhelmed by the concept of nutrition or eating clean. It can be so confusing!!!

When it comes to dieting you've got one person saying to cut fat, another saying to cut carbs, one saying to cut meat, another saying eat only vegetation...it's maddening. You've got Weight Watchers, Atkins, Paleo, Ketogenic, South Beach...my goodness I could keep on and on and while every one of these programs work, there's one thing I have found that they all have in common - people rarely keep the weight off. 

Changing my eating habits is the hardest thing I have ever done. EVER. Harder even than quitting smoking. I honestly think that a food addiction is the worst because you need food to live. You can't ever stop using your DOC. But I have found that if I have grace and patience with myself, my thought patterns and habits about food have begun to change over time and even though I'm losing weight slowly now, I'm keeping it off.

I had a bit of a breakdown in Aldi one night while on the phone with one of my dearest friends (you know who you are) and I determined that night that I was sick and tired of being controlled food. I was sick and tired of submitting to my fleshly desires. For some people, their addiction may be narcotics, for some alcohol, for some methamphetamines, but for me it's food. 

Romans 13:14 says "But put on the Lord Jesus, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify it's desires." I knew I had a food addiction. I know compulsive eating is a sin. I also know that Jesus nailed gluttony to the Cross just like he did every other sin but I also know that once we are made aware that we are committing a sin, we are to seek forgiveness and turn from it. Except like any other addict, I struggled (and still do some days...most days) but I also remember Paul having a thorn in his flesh and God telling him that his grace is sufficient. God's grace has proved more than sufficient for me while I'm on this weight loss journey and it's because of that grace that I haven't given up. 

As I said earlier, I had a bit of a breakdown in Aldi and determined that night that I was done with "diets". I have liberty in Christ to ENJOY food. Once that finally sunk in, I have felt freedom to make changes in the way I eat. Here are some examples:

1. I have opted for a 1200 calorie a day diet -  The reason for this amount is because I have a sedentary job. Yes, I work out and clean house and such but for the most part of the day I am sitting behind a computer so I don't need the calories that an active person would.

2. The My Fitness Pal app - Y'all this app has been extremely valuable to me. I strongly encourage you to download this app and use it daily. Be honest when you are entering your food totals every day. Don't enter 1 serving of salad dressing if you really had 3 lol. This app is an amazing tool for allowing us to see where we can make adjustments in the way we eat in order to put better fuel in our bodies. For example, it lets me know that Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and that lettuce and tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C.

3. Eat Clean - Eat 4 to 6 small meals a day to keep your metabolic fire burning. Think of your metabolism like a fire. Fires need fuel, like a log for example. If we want a fire to keep burning and not die out, we have to keep putting logs on the fire. Our bodies are the same way so don't let your fire burn out - keep a log on it.

4. Make lifestyle changes. I know you've heard this before but it's true. That is why "diets" don't work. Make little changes that you can stick with. Just a few at a time. Don't go all out in one day. You will get discouraged when you don't see immediate results, you will get frustrated, and you will say "to Hades with this" and grab a bag of Cheetos, a Mountain Dew and a king-sized Snickers bar. Ask me how I know this lol. Make little changes that you can be consistent with. Consistency is key. It's the little changes that you make over time that allows you to adopt and MAINTAIN a fit lifestyle.

5. Eat flavor, not calories. Herbs are a great way to do this and many, many herbs have additional health benefits. Cayenne pepper is a great example because it contains capsaicin. Capsaicin helps kill prostate cancer cells, it helps relieve chronic pain and suppresses appetite. I like Louisiana hot sauce on tons of things and I put crushed red pepper in frittatas, salads and just about anything else that has meat and vegetables. I know some people may not be as crazy about the heat as I am (however, I am not a five alarm person), there are tons of other herbs and spices that pack huge flavor punches. My favorite ways to add flavor without calories are the hot sauce and crushed red peppers I mentioned but also cilantro, vinegar, lemon pepper, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon and lime juice, and just plain old salt.

6. Take care not to overwhelm yourself. I can't stress this enough. Make a point to learn something new and implement it. Just 1 or 2 new things at a time. Do this every time you go to the grocery store or as you run out of something. For example, I love, love, love Aldi's Greek Olive salad dressing but it packs a huge calorie punch. 2 tbsp. = 140 calories. I was using up 20% or more of my daily calorie allowance on salad dressing and I knew that had to change. I now enjoy Aldi's raspberry vinaigrette which is only 60 calories. Take your time making these changes. Seriously, do a little at a time. Little changes add up to big results.

7.  Invest in a good supplement. Now matter how good we eat, we can't eat enough to provide our bodies with all the nutrients we need. Even good calories will pack on pounds if they're not burned off. Advocare offers top of the line supplements that are tested for quality and purity by a third party lab called Informed Choice. You can learn more about Informed Choice here. Feel free to email me for more no-pressure information at championonajourney@gmail.com and I will answer any questions you may have regarding Advocare products or business. I really mean no pressure too. I hate to feel backed into a corner so I don't do that to others. If you want to go ahead and place an order, you can do that here.

8. Meal prep is a must!!!! This is the most important part of nutrition. When you create a menu for the week, shop accordingly and prepare your food ahead of time, you are planning for success. Think about this for a minute. If you have lettuce, carrots, cabbage and cucumbers already chopped and sliced and chicken breast either grilled or baked you are less likely to stop at Hardees and grab a Midnight Moonshine burger...once again, ask me how I know this. Keep a carton of boiled eggs on hand for a high protein, ready to eat snack. Make nutrition easy on yourself. Keep it as simple as possible.

9. Watch your ingredients. Fancy food is fun but keep your ingredients in check. Everything you add to your meal adds calories. A healthy chicken salad at lunch can quickly become unhealthy with the addition of cheese, bacon and nuts. I hated it when I found out that my seemingly healthy lunch salad was 800 calories or more.

10. Commit to learning. Knowledge can't be absorbed by osmosis and it doesn't come from good ideas and wishful thinking. You have to put in the work. Do your homework. Think about it, we learn a craft to earn a living so why not learn nutrition to earn our health? Knowledge is power folks. A good place to start is Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet. You can find it here. That book is a fantastic resource for anyone that is interested in eating clean or even someone who has been eating clean for years. That book is like the clean eating bible.

Guys, it is my hope that if you have been contemplating changing your lifestyle but feel overwhelmed, this post will ease some of that. Once again, I am going to tell you to take it a little at a time and make lasting changes. If you do this, you will realize one day that you ARE living a healthy lifestyle!! Regardless of your lifestyle though, you are fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving God and you're Be-yooo-te-ful!!!

Love always,
Heather