All Posts By

Jennifer

Hang Gliding in the Alps

Single Mom
hang gliding

My kids are looking forward to this camp our church puts on for the older ones during VBS.  They mention it every once in awhile with an “I can’t wait behind it”.  We’re getting better, the dark days getting brighter.  Hope is growing, hope that things will get better.

I’m working hard on a coding class so I can get a better job and my mom is helping to watch the kids.  They miss me, I miss them.  It’s hard, they don’t understand why.  I’ve found it helps to talk with them about my hopes; about my dreams for and with them. 

I want to take them hang-gliding in the Alps, I want to drink cappuccino in Italy and laugh at their foam mustaches, I want to go to Australia, feel the ocean breeze and learn the lingo.  I’m not sure if any of this will ever happen, who knows?   But it’s so good to hope again. Maybe there are many good things in our future.

 

Jesus whispers –

Leave the safety of what you know
and let my love be your safety instead.

Be my beloved.
Say yes.

Come follow me. And I will give you rest.

This is a deeper kind of rest, that people who might want to put you in a box (or have you stay in it)  – or expect you to do something in order to gain their influence, approval, or attention – won’t understand.

~Bonnie Gray

 

Photo by Anton Repponen on Unsplash

Grace For Your Weightloss Journey

Devotional, Single Mom, Weight Loss

May you remember it’s not all on your shoulders, He will carry the too heavy

May you persevere when you feel weakest and most exhausted, keep taking one more step, one day at a time.  This is often when the most exciting changes happen.

May you do hard and holy things, this is where joy is hiding

May you forgive yourself for your failures and start each day, each hour new again

May you believe there is hope and that all things are working towards good, ALL things

May you remember He is in control and His hands are going behind and before you, He is always with you

May loving people be more important than checklists

May you be a graceful encouraging light towards health and good choices in the middle of a black murky swamp of excess

May you trust Him when you are weak and not forget Him when you are strong

May you rejoice in the little blessings of the day and set your mind on the beautiful

May you learn to be satisfied in fasting and that you’re going to be okay

May you lean on Him hard

May you remember we’re all failures daily but it doesn’t matter because He’s got this

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8

Photo by Loek Hertog on Unsplash

How To Dream Again

Dating after divorce, Divorce, infp, Single Mom
silhouette of girl with transparent scarf

I’m trying to remember when I thought I wasn’t allowed to dream anymore, that dreaming wasn’t for adults, that having hopes was childish.  It was better to play it safe and take responsibility.  When did fear become bigger than hope.  When did I decide it was selfish to think amazing and impossible things.  When did protection become more important than adventure?  Sometimes when I allow myself to open the door to belief just a tiny crack, this overwhelming feeling rumbles out of my heart and overwhelms my mind, the tears flow because I can’t hold it inside, and instead of crying and feeling stupid, I slam that door shut.

Only to wait a week and try again, open it a little more, see if I can control it, if I can handle it this time.  But dreams aren’t meant to be controlled.  The courage to open that door wide, to let go, to see where God will take you.  Our loving God with plans bigger than anything I can imagine.  Where will He take me?  What is it I want?

“My heart says of you, “Seek His face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.”  ~Psalm 27:8

“I fly to Africa with one of my boys to witness how the Father of stars ignites His daughters.” ~Ann Voskamp

Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

How Knowing Your Weaknesses Helps You Reach Your Goals

infp, Weight Loss
chamomile tea with flowers

Maybe it’s because it’s January, maybe the new year gets me, but I’ve been all about reaching my goals this month.  Through the strengthfinder quiz, I discovered one of my biggest weaknesses is focus. My mind can identify 20 different possibilities for a problem, but actually focusing on one of them for the long term is very difficult for me.  So I hired a personal trainer to help me, her job isn’t to teach me to workout or to eat well, although she is super knowledgeable in those areas.  Her job is to keep me accountable and focused, because when it comes to weightloss, steadfastness might count more than self-discipline.  Just doing the same easy but difficult things day after day.  Exercise/eat well, exercise/eat well……

She had me sign up for the myfitnesspal app and she wants me to record everything; it is helping.  It is making me more calorie conscious and it is so hard to be honest on there when I eat something I shouldn’t, but it is working and knowing someone else is seeing it and encouraging me is working for me.

My other weakness is that I’m a people pleaser, but if you know this about yourself, you can use it to your advantage.  I want to please my fitness trainer but I couldn’t care less about pleasing myself when it comes to not eating when I’m hungry.  I know; crazy, but if you’re a people pleaser too, you’ll totally understand where I’m coming from.

Some things I’m doing that are working:

-making exercise simpler, a 20-minute video is good enough, it’s below zero outside. I don’t have to be a runner in freezing cold Kansas.

-cooking big meals on the weekend and eating the same thing all week long.

-asking for help, my mom is helping me out right now with childcare and chores while I’ve taken on an intense class

-almond milk hot cocoa, every night for my after 8 snack.  (cocoa powder/protein powder/erythritol-stevia sweetener)

-spending money on health instead of new clothes.

-the kids’ yoga videos on Amazon prime are adorable and fun, the grown-up videos are pretty awesome too.

 

Photo by ORNELLA BINNI on Unsplash

What Worked and Didn’t Work For Me in 2017

Boundaries, Career, Divorce

Some things that worked for me in 2017:

Dating my kids.  I’ve started dating my kids, they are entering that older kid phase where sometimes they are too cool for mom and don’t need me as much as they used to.  Our relationship is changing.

I had some wonderful times with my friends from church, I love hanging out with them, also I have become a lot closer with my cousins this past year.

I have gone through extreme depression and a divorce and survived!  I’m now in a weird angry stage where I don’t like people in general and am grumpy with the world.  We’ll call this “grumpy stage”, I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but it’s nice not to be sad all the time and I have hope that this too shall pass.  It’s okay to be grumpy.

Exercise works for me.  When I exercise I’m more happy, when I don’t, I’m not.  Exercise doesn’t seem to help me lose any weight, but it does wonders for my mood.

Acting on my thoughts instead of relentlessly thinking about things to death works for me.  When I just try something, it doesn’t even really matter what it is, if I just do it, I usually get rewarded some how.  Yoga, art, taking a new class…

Even if I don’t always like people right now, when I reach out to them, my day usually gets better.  This gives me hope that I’m not always going to be like this.

Boundaries!

Writing.  I’m a writer, I don’t know how to explain it but must write.  It’s not even a conscious choice anymore, just must keep writing??  It has become like breathing to me.

What didn’t work for me in 2017:  

My diet didn’t work.  So I’m hiring a personal trainer to keep me motivated and accountable.  She’s not actually going to work out with me (this is helping with cost), just helping me set goals and keeping me on track.  I think this might be really good for me.

This blog.  I guess being all secretive and not really wanting to share things with the world isn’t working for the success of this blog, haha.

Cooking.  Working and trying to cook isn’t working for us.  The food situation just isn’t working in general.  Plus, we don’t actually eat at home with the whole co-parenting thing that often during the week.   The kids don’t eat when I do cook.  I don’t know what to do?

 

Grace

Devotional

I used to wear love like an army
I used to know nothing could harm me
Now fear got up all in my head
I’m all in my head, and I made a mess
I confess, I’m ashamed

And I need grace
To step inside my mind and help me be a better person
Release the better version of me
‘Cause right now, what I wanna do is scream it
I need grace ’cause I’m running low on faith
And I really wanna change my heart
‘Cause I’m falling apart these days
And what…

~Rachel Platten “Grace”

 

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash,

INFP Weightloss Advice or Weightloss for Creative Explorer Types

infp

(Fi-Ne-Si-Te)
are the different developmental characters for the INFP. Every personality has these same 4 characters, but they come in different orders and strength levels. Also, being extroverted or introverted changes the nuances of them a little.

Our te function is very weak. Te is the goal-oriented/does things without paying attention to feelings/gets things done function. We are good at thinking (fi) and exploring (ne), but our doing-hard-things-because-we-set-a-goal function is underdeveloped. This doesn’t mean we can’t help it get better, but it does mean we have to be smart about how we use it. A good place to begin is that we can only spend about 30% max of our day focusing on te (planning/goals) before we get burnt out and need to return to fi (thinking) and ne (exploring new things). So if you’re trying to lose weight, use your te wisely, figure out how to make exercise a routine, or do it first thing in the morning while you’re still feeling ambitious. Also, I highly recommend getting rid of all tempting foods in the home, because you are a FEELINGS person. Your feelings are going to take over, so get control in your moments of te (goals), and use it to help you later when you are in feelings mode. Hopefully you won’t feel like spending 3o minutes going to the store just because you want chocolate.

So the way I see it(based upon my personal observances), some challenges the INFP specifically runs into when losing weight are:

-we make decisions with our hearts, so although we know absolutely everything there is to know about losing weight, when it comes down to decision time…putting food in our mouths and exercising…our brains check-out and we are very likely to do what we FEEL like doing. It is difficult to feel like eating healthy and exercising. I also fell into the trap of thinking that because I knew everything about losing weight, that I was good at it: this simply was not true.

Some things that are going to kill you before you begin:
-writing down everything you eat (too much te all day long, this one is not going to last)
-a strict workout schedule that you don’t like (yeah, feelings..)
-anything you can think of to reduce your reliance on te (detail oriented, stuffy, boring, and hard) and direct it towards thinking and exploring functions instead.

Some things that are going to help you exercise:
-combining your workout with fi(thinking) or ne(exploring)
-fi(going on long thoughtful walks while listening to music or listening to a audio book)
-ne (trying new fitness classes at different gyms, exploring is so fun!)
-dancing (so much happy feeling going on here, I’m going to EXPLODE!!)
-dogs (I love dogs feelings!)
-group yoga (smells, music, senses..it feels so good)
-having a workout buddy to help keep you accountable (not an infp or an enfp, get some j in there)
-also, I think strength training is incredibly boring, so some quick push-ups before bed or lifting weights while watching tv work really well for me.
-connect your exercise with the outdoors. (I know you’re a nature person)
-mall walking (exploring)
-going to different trails on the weekends and spending hours outside (exploring…don’t forget your swimsuit!)

Some easy ways to maximize te:
-Keep a workout calendar on the wall and put X’s (for exercise) on them if you worked out that day
-get it done while you are strong and not tired
-get a coach to keep you accountable and help you with your weak areas
-freezer meals, you can make them in bulk or buy them from the store. They are so wonderful when you are hungry and don’t want to depend on your feelings to choose. (I find the ones I make fill me up better than the store-bought ones)

Personally, I think it is a huge step simply to realize that this is a weakness for you, and that’s okay..you have some great strengths :)…but to treat it like a weakness and get help, align it with a strength, or do it when you are strongest.

If you are an INFP (or any kind of P), what do you use to help you eat well and exercise?

Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

Becoming A Healer

infp
beautiful glass in the light

“On the girl’s brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.”
― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Over at Geek Psychology, Sherman classes INFP’s as healers.

I’ve been thinking about this role as a healer and it fascinates me. Some of the conflicts I have had in different situations are clicking into place, they are beginning to form a picture.

  • eating healthier is more important than making people happy or entertainment purposes having a peaceful
  • home is more important than having a fun home
  • it’s okay to take on the burdens of others at the cost of myself
  • pain is sometimes necessary and not something to be avoided at all costs
  • faking happiness all the time is annoying
  • my super sensitivity to put-downs and sarcasm
  • the deep pain I feel when surrounded by conflict

All of these things have healing as a priority. They don’t define me as super uptight, but are a gift to be used.

One of the most freeing phrases someone told me about when my values conflict with someone else’s was “maybe they just can’t help it”, it’s who they are. The warriors job is to battle, the geomancer to control, the entertainer to make happy. Whereas, my job would not be to shut them out, not to try to make them like me, but to open the door for them to learn, to invite them into my world of healing for a brief time, to set appropriate boundaries that keep it a safe, healing place. Boundaries are essential for safety which is essential for healing. Preparing a haven for them with my gifts, a sanctuary….not a party. not a battlefield. accepting them and allowing them the freedom to heal. It’s a different kind of hospitality.

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” A.A. Milne

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

Shadows

Divorce, Single Mom

I’ve had my eyes opened to melancholy as a personality trait of mine…it went with the artist personality type in the enneagram test. I believe I’ve been melancholic often, but I’ve always denied it..this isn’t me, how do I fix this? How do I get out of this slump, what’s wrong? I’ve lived in a world where a smile is supposed to be pasted on my face or it worries the people around me, but how freeing to just be how I am and not have to worry about the anxieties of others. It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be angry. This is the cycle, this is healthy.

“Every year about this time, I sink into a sort of quiet melancholy. It’s not the sort of melancholy that lands me in the bed for days on end or in the therapist’s office. In fact, it’s not a particularly unhealthy melancholy. It’s more of a realization that I’m little more than breathing dust, that I’m more shadow than gold (though I might like you to think otherwise), that I’m the incarnation of Solomon’s wisdom. It’s the sort of melancholy that might be concerning if it weren’t so damned cyclical, and though I’ve tried to push it down for most of my life, I don’t feel the need anymore. I’m honest with it. It’s part of the process of living.” ~ Seth Haines

The shadow’s the thing.
If I no longer see shadows as “dark marks,”
as do the newly sighted,
then I see them as making some sort of sense of the light.
They give the light distance;
they put it in its place.
They inform my eyes of my location here, here O Israel,
here in the world’s flawed sculpture,
here in the flickering shade of the nothingness
between me and the light.
~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Photo by Teddy Kelley on Unsplash