Category Archive Starting The Year Off Right


Emily’s Update For Week 7 (Recapturing Your Beautiful Fitness Challenge With Walking

Want to see Emily’s Outline for Recapturing Your Beautiful? Click Here!

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Also, you can click here to see more about how we are Starting The Year Off Right.

Starting The Year Off Right


Fitness Update Week 7


During week 7, I didn’t do too many normal work outs, but I made up for it by working out in other ways. “Like how?” you may ask. Well, like moving furniture (heavy stuff: couches), for instance. It wasn’t normal, but I felt it!

Being that I’m coming up on the last week of the challenge, I’m determined to give it my all. I’ve slacked off in week 7 and that made me sad at myself. My plan is to finish out the challenge with a bang, and as previously stated, to keep going even when it’s over.


Recapturing Your Beautiful


Would you pray for me this week? I would love to be able to give you a week 8 update that tells how awesome I did. Lol! However, I know that to be able to do so will require much discipline and self-control on my part. Will you please pray that I have strength to persevere? I certainly appreciate it!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

-Philippians 4:13-


Emily’s Update For Week 6 (Recapturing Your Beautiful Fitness Challenge With Walking

Want to see Emily’s Outline for Recapturing Your Beautiful? Click Here!

Interested in Recapturing Your Beautiful from Click here!

Also, you can click here to see more about how we are Starting The Year Off Right.

Fitness Update Week 6

I didn’t do very well during week 6 at all. This week, however, it wasn’t due to lack of motivation or anything like that. It was due to such a busy week that there really wasn’t time to squeeze in any workouts. Early mornings, late nights, hectic schedule. Most nights, by the time I got home, I was completely exhausted. One day I went to take a shower and realized that I never took one the day before and I had no idea! Yes, it was that crazy!

Starting The Year Off Right

It’s not an excuse. It is truly true. And I must say, I actually missed my work outs. Week 7 should be a much slower and calmer week, so I hope to play catch up. Especially with just two weeks left of the challenge.

Recapturing Your Beautiful

As stated before, I plan on keeping it up even when the eight weeks are over. I never thought I’d enjoy exercising, but I do. I think it’s because I’m not a bossy monster about it. I’m not holding myself to such high standards that I’m not meeting my expectations and as I’ve mentioned several times already, I understand that life happens. Sticking to a routine is not easy. It’s not like television shows. Actual reality is involved. But, I’m gonna keep going, even when I have terrible (or almost nonexistent) workout weeks like Week 6. 🙂

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

-Philippians 4:13-


Judye’s One Word For 2014: Anticipation

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Starting The Year Off Right


When I was a kid, I would take a salt shaker to the garden and pick the reddest tomato I could find, stand in the tomato patch and eat the first fruit of the season. Helping Daddy plant, weed, and water the garden every summer was not work to us. To me, the work came after the harvest with all the cutting, chopping, boiling jars & lids, and being confined to the kitchen. Listening for all those lids to pop as the jars cooled meant good eating when winter came. Planting meant getting our hands dirty, but anticipating the harvest kept us working!


Anticipation - Judye's One Word for 2014 - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven


As we continue to plant the Word of God, till the ground where it was planted, and weed out things that choke spiritual growth, we anticipate the greatest Harvest of all ! I can hear those lids popping now.


He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! – Revelation 22:20 NKJV

Emily’s Update For Week 5 (Recapturing Your Beautiful Fitness Challenge With Walking

Want to see Emily’s Outline for Recapturing Your Beautiful? Click Here!

Interested in Recapturing Your Beautiful from Click here!

Also, you can click here to see more about how we are Starting The Year Off Right.

Fitness Update Week 5

Okay, I’m not gonna lie. I’m pretty sure that instead of doing more each week, I’ve been doing less. And I’ve definitely come no where near to meeting the goals I had laid out for me each week.


Again, I’m not gonna lie…I’m only a little disappointed at this. I’m not as disappointed as I think I should be. Why?


Starting The Year Off Right


Because although I’m not doing as well as I thought I should be, I’m still doing something. Before this challenge, I wasn’t doing anything! I may not be doing as many workouts/sit ups/push ups/et c as I had planned for myself, and I may not be doing as many as I could be, but I’m doing something. I am much more active than before and I have started drinking a lot more water than before.


So I’m not as fit as an aerobics instructor. So I’m not as fit as an athlete. So I still have a long way to go. So what! I’m a busy mom who hasn’t given up and don’t plan to. Not even when this 8 week challenge is over.


Recapturing Your Beautiful



It’s week 5. Don’t worry if you aren’t where you think should be. Just be glad you aren’t where you were. 😉


“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

-Philippians 4:13-


Emily’s Update For Week 4 (Recapturing Your Beautiful Fitness Challenge With Walking

Want to see Emily’s Outline for Recapturing Your Beautiful? Click Here!

Interested in Recapturing Your Beautiful from Click here!

Also, you can click here to see more about how we are Starting The Year Off Right.

Starting The Year Off Right


I have made it halfway!!!!!!! Yes, that deserves an overabundance of exclamation points! If you’re participating in this fitness challenge with me, then I’m sure you understand.

Week 4 has been my worst week. Not hardest, worst. I was busy, not feeling well, tired, no energy, etc… was just glad to get in what I could.

To be honest, it hasn’t been extremely hard or anything. The outline I chose is not hard for me at all. In fact, I’m actually enjoying it and hoping that I stick to it for more than the 8 weeks of the challenge. Not hard, but challenging (I guess that’s why it’s called a fitness challenge, huh?). It’s a challenge to find the time to stick to it. It’s a challenge to decide I’m going to throw this work out in even though I have a headache or even though I just want to fall onto my bed and crash into sleep.


Recapturing Your Beautiful


Yes, it’s a challenge. And yes, this challenge is halfway over. But I am not giving up! I’ve finally realized that it’s not about doing more or meeting the goals I’ve set, or topping last week, but it’s about actually doing something. I am actually putting forth an effort verses never even trying. I may not be where I thought I’d be or doing all I thought I’d be during this challenge, but at least I’m doing it and I’m still in it.

What about you? Are you struggling to stick with the challenge? Let us know how it’s going. And please make sure you are checking in every Monday at The spiritual is even more important than the physical, and it will definitely help you make it through!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

-Philippians 4:13-


Danielle’s One Word For 2014 – Joy

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I’ve got the joy joy joy down in my heart! Down in my heart!!

Joy to the world!! The Lord has come!

Joy is a gift from God when we ask Jesus to be our Lord & Savior.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit! Did you know we all have every fruit of the Spirit in us? These gifts are in us! All of them, find them & use them!!

Joy is, as defined by the dictionary as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation! (Noun)


Starting The Year Off Right


This year my plan is to find the joy in everything. To Gloify God & enJOY him forever. I never knew what joy was until I asked Jesus into my heart. My life has not been the same since I became a Christ follower about 8 years ago. 9 years ago I had severe depression. One morning I woke up & brought my daughters to school. When I got home from bringing them, I drove into our garage, I shut the door to the garage & thought about how bad my life was. As I was thinking this I was breathing deeply to make sure I was breathing in enough exhaust. Just as I was starting to loose consciousness I clearly heard God say to me “this is not the plan I have you for you my child”, I opened the garage door ran out of my van & called my husband to ask him for help. I was in the hospital for 8 weeks. God led us to wonderful doctors who helped me. I told you that to tell you this, I found the joy! I found the joy! I found the joy in that God spoke to me. My weak belief that God actually exists & that He loves me! I was healed. He healed me!! God never leaves us! Even when we fall flat on our faces we can take comfort that we have fallen into His lap. How great is that?! I find joy everywhere now.

When I am having a horrible, awful day, I stop & think “find your joy”. Find your joy today. Back in March my Nana went to Heaven. As sad & broken hearted as I was there was joy knowing she was with God. I found the joy in how much she loved us! Yesterday I was overworked, stressed out & needed a break from everything. This morning I was reminded of my joy. I watched my daughters sleep.

I think we confuse joy & happiness. When I was much younger I was happy to drink & do drugs & not care about anyone but myself, my children & my husband, in that order. No one else mattered. That’s what made me happy, only doing for me & my family. I was all about number one. The website I am second uses the phrase I am second, I say that all the time. I’ll say to my husband, kids, friends, my youth group youth-thanks you’re 2nd best! Or we’re #2. Someone was mortified I said that, she asked me why wouldn’t I tell the person they are #1? I then have the opportunity to tell them about Jesus! He is #1 we are #2

Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Mark 12:30&31- 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

That’s where our joy is! Loving God with everything we have. In doing that we can love our neighbors. By reading God’s word we know we can trust Him. His deeds reveal His character. We love because He first loved us!

There is joy in everything. Watching your children sleep, seeing the sunset over the ocean, watching the snow fall, watching the birds fly & hearing them sing! Watching a baby & I’m just astounded by His creation!! As hard as it is when things are bad for us there is joy hiding there we just have to find it, sometimes it takes such a long time to do so.


Joy - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven


My goal for #2014 is to seek out the joy. Look for it & if I can’t find the joy I remind myself- for God so loved Danielle He gave up His only Beloved Son! I frequently post on Facebook this simple reminder- you are Loved!!! you are Loved!!! Once for you & once for me. The excessive exclamation points? One for the Father, one for the Son & one for the Holy Spirit. Today my joy was watching my girls asleep. I am constantly amazed by my children & the gift that they are. Where is your joy!!!

James 1:2-4
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Have a wonderful day dear ones!


Emily’s Update For Week 3 (Recapturing Your Beautiful Fitness Challenge With Walking

Want to see Emily’s Outline for Recapturing Your Beautiful? Click Here!

Interested in Recapturing Your Beautiful from Click here!

Also, you can click here to see more about how we are Starting The Year Off Right. Starting The Year Off Right

I wrote a sweet little limerick…it’s called “Ode to Week 3.” It goes like this,

Week three

Week three

Oh, how I hateth thee

  Isn’t it lovely? Okay, now for the truth. It’s not so much that I hated the week, but more that I’m very unhappy with how poorly I did. I allow myself a little grace, but I know that I honestly could’ve done much better.   Recapturing Your Beautiful     That being said, I finally got my rear end in gear on Friday. Pretty late in the game? Tell me about it! However, I was determined to step it up a notch to try to make up for the beginning of the week. By the end of my Friday work outs, I was feeling a mixture of guilt and pride. Proud of myself for all that I was able to accomplish, and guilty for not working that hard before.   My goal for next week is definitely to be more consistent.   How about you? If you’re participating in the “Recapturing Your Beautiful” 8 week fitness challenge, let us know how it’s going. We’d love to hear from you!  

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

-Philippians 4:13-

ByJennifer A. Janes

You’ve Got To Slow Down! 6 Tips For The Busy Mom To Find Rest…

After going at breakneck speed since having my first child 10 ½ years ago, I’m finally slowing down. The trouble is, my body has been giving me warning signs for several years, and God has been leading me to take it easy (Psalm 127:2), but I have failed to heed the warnings… until now.

Starting The Year Off Right

Now I’m taking the warning signs seriously, and I’m praying it’s not too late. My body is showing signs that something autoimmune is cranking up. It’s not so bad that it can’t be reversed at this point, so I’m making every effort to do exactly what I need to do to make that happen—with God’s help.

I think I am in this situation is because I failed to heed my body’s warning signs: having mono three years in a row (and exhibiting symptoms when I get run down and exhausted), Raynaud’s phenomenon, weight loss despite eating plenty of calories, unrelenting fatigue, joint pain, and a nasty episode of swollen, feverish, painful joints last summer. The root cause? Pushing myself beyond reasonable limits day after day, year after year, and not listening to my body.

Just say NO to being BUSY! Say YES to REST! - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m the only mom facing this. We’re exhausted, burned out, and sick. It shouldn’t be this way, and God doesn’t intend for us to live like this. We’re trying to do too much, and we’re not doing anything well.

So what do we do? We have responsibilities, husbands and children who are counting on us, laundry and dishes to keep up with, homeschooling (or homework) to help with. Jesus said to come away and rest. (Mark 6:31) Just thinking “rest” to myself causes something strange to happen in my body. The muscles in my forehead relax. My shoulders release from the hunched position. My jaw unclenches. And I wasn’t aware that any of those things were happening until they were gone.


You've Got To Slow Down - Jennifer Janes - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven


Jesus said to rest, and it’s obvious we have a physical response to the word, but how do we do that?


  • Cut back. Look at your calendar and schedule. Prioritize everything on it. Anything you’re doing because you feel like you should or think you need to do so people will like you or because if you don’t no one else will needs to be eliminated from your list. (Thanks for that tip, Tricia Goyer!) Only do things that are necessary to care for your family and that fulfill God’s call on your life—your true passions.

  • Ask for help. Assign chores to your children. Even the youngest ones can be taught to do chores that will lighten your load. Let go of the idea that everything must be done perfectly, and resist the urge to go behind them and redo the tasks you assigned them. They will learn to do those tasks better with practice. When a friend asks if she can stop by and help, say yes!

  • Say no. Don’t say yes to everything people ask you to do. Remember those priorities and your calling and purpose? If it doesn’t fit in one of those categories, say no. (This is much harder than you think it’s going to be, especially if you’re a people pleaser by nature. It takes practice, and you will slip up at first. Give yourself grace and don’t beat yourself up too much.)

  • Make time for yourself. What do you really enjoy doing? What energizes you like no other activity or brings you pleasure that allows you to go back to the mundane tasks of your day with joy? Is it reading a great Christian fiction book? Knitting, crocheting, sewing, painting, writing, or some other creative endeavor? Spending a couple of hours at a coffee shop with a friend? Whatever your “me-time” is, schedule it into your week. There’s nothing wrong with making some time for yourself after you’ve gotten your quiet time and exercise in.

  • Exercise. Yes, I went there. As hard as it is to get started, you’re going to thank me later. Exercise will give you energy, help you sleep better, and help you feel better about yourself.

  • Time with God.  This is last on the list, but it should be first in planning your days. Get up a little early to spend precious time in the Word and prayer. You will feel rest in your spirit far into your day and will be better prepared to face whatever your day brings.


What are your favorite tips for slowing down and making sure you’re taking care of yourself —body, mind, and spirit?

Emily’s Updates For Weeks 1 & 2 (Recapturing Your Beautiful Fitness Challenge With

Want to see Emily’s Outline for Recapturing Your Beautiful? Click Here!

Interested in Recapturing Your Beautiful from Click here!

Also, you can click here to see more about how we are Starting The Year Off Right.

Starting The Year Off Right


Week 1

To be honest, I had some great days and some blah days.

I started Monday and did everything my outline required except the sit ups and push ups. And considering I woke up not feeling great Monday, I was glad I got through what I did. Then Tuesday morning rolled around and I did good to get through one work-out. I started to feel worse than on Monday, not to mention my extremely sore muscles from my Monday work outs. Yep, I told you I was out of shape!


Recapturing Your Beautiful



Wednesday was a complete bust and I didn’t even care cause I still wasn’t feeling too well, so thank God for today—Terrific Thursday! Thursday has been my best day yet and while I’m thrilled that I did a tad above and beyond to make up for the blah days, I know I’m going to pay for it tomorrow!


Thursday was the first day I incorporated my sit ups and push ups, but I did even more than double my week 1 daily requirement AND I drank double for my water intake. Like I mentioned in the beginning, my customized outline is probably considered pretty easy peasy. Yet for me, it’s great and challenging. It’s great because I can do a little here and there throughout the day (I never try to cram it all in at once). It’s challenging because although it seems like super simple stuff, I had no fitness routine/regiment prior to joining ‘Recapturing Your Beautiful.’ I’m starting from scratch and making it work. These are giant steps for me!


I’m enjoying the progress I’ve made so far and not beating myself up for doing less than 100%. It’s only Week 1 and I’m definitely a beginner. Overall, I give myself a B-, BUT…the week isn’t over! 😉


Wanna know what keeps me motivated?

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

-Philippians 4:13-


Week 2

I have once again surprised myself.


I think having an accountability partner, weekly check-ins, and promised weekly updates for you all really pays off. And I am very okay with that. :o)


As for Sundays, I plan to keep it simple and take a small break, as I did this week. I start my workouts back up on Monday and after getting through weeks 1 and 2, I’ve noticed three things.


 1. It’s okay to have a day that doesn’t work out (and I’m not counting my Sunday breaks). Sometimes there’s a day where I can’t seem to muster any extra strength, I have run and run and there’s no extra time, or I’ve had a major headache and exercise is out of the question, etc. Don’t stress! Life happens. You don’t quit because of one day. You just start again the next day.

2. Thursday is my power day! Well, at least this has proved to be true so far. I’m not sure why, but this is something else I’m very okay with. Maybe it’s because it took me all week to get motivated! 😉 Who knows? I just hope this pattern continues.

3. If children are anywhere around, then you can forget the possibility of doing  any kind of exercising alone (at least this is true for me and my two daughters).  And let me tell you, they will for sure motivate if not irritate you into getting in your workout for the day. “Aren’t you gonna do your exercising, Mom? Aren’t you gonna do it?” They see you reaching for the remote or walking towards the tv,  “Are you getting ready to do your exercise dance, Mom? Let’s do it! Oh you’re not doing it right now? Can I do it then????” or “Hey, Mom, is it time to do our dancing? Can I turn our music on now so we can dance? We can play freeze dance, too! Let’s do it!”  (There is only about 2% of exaggeration here.)


Other observations? I have done above and beyond my requirements of drinking one cup of water a day. It’s amazing what you can do if you just. do. it. Remember,


“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

-Philippians 4:13-


Are you participating in the “Recapturing Your Beautiful” 8 week fitness challenge? If so, please chime in and let us know how it’s going so far. I’d love to hear from you! 


Emily’s Goals For 2014

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Now that the new year has begun, I wanted to share my list of goals with you. These are goals, NOT resolutions.


Starting The Year Off Right 


In no particular order:


My Goals For 2014

Stress less

Read more (myself)

Read more with my girls

Write in my prayer journal more often

Be more consistent with blogging

Visit my local library more often

Learn to sew (at least to some extent)

Do less complaining!

Yell less- be a gentle wife and mommy

Write more snail mail

Help Adah write to her pen pal, Tommy, more often

Watch less tv

Play piano more often

Memorize more scriptures

Exercise more often

Be better about saving money

Do more crafts/activities with my girls

Do more crafts for myself (put my Pinterest to good use!)

Be a bigger blessing to others

Spend more time in prayer daily

Do not be guilted into ‘yes’s. (saying no is okay!)

Laugh as much as possible

Rest without feeling guilty


My list is allowed to grow. And it’s totally acceptable to ask me how it’s going from time to time! In fact, I encourage it. Motivation is always ALWAYS welcome.


Do you have goals for the new year? Feel free to share them with us! We can hold each other accountable. 🙂