Sep 1, 2015

A Letter to the Man in Blue.....that lives in my home!

Dear Officer Estes,


First of all I want you to know that I love you.  I admire your want to serve the people of our county.  I am proud of you for all the hours you put in both in uniform and out of uniform!

Thank you for keeping not only us, your family safe, but the people of our community.  We are all blessed because of it.  I know that I can sleep better at night knowing that you are patrolling our streets.

I want you to know that I pray for you every day.  I pray for your safety and that God send his angels to protect you on each shift.  I pray that He keeps all evil people from you and shield you from any violence.  I pray that the Lord is your fortress, your strength and your shield!



I want you to know that I love how you always sit in a public place where you can see the door and you are always prepared to help if needed.

I want you to know that I am proud that you have served for over ten years without ever getting paid but yet have risked your life just like every other officer.

I want you to know that I am proud of the countless hours you have put in learning this profession even after the academy.   I am proud that you stay up to date on the latest training and procedures!

I want you to know that I love how you are patient with people even when they are breaking the law.  You are fair and you are kind.

I am proud that you give second chances.

I want you to know that I love how you teach any child you know about gun safety.

I want you to know that I love how 911 means so much to you and I know that if you could have I know you would have been there in a heart beat helping and saving lives.

I know through that tragedy God called you to sacrifice time and money so that you could go to school and become a peace officer.  I am proud that you worked hard and graduated top of your class receiving almost every award!

A lot of people may not understand your want to tattoo this on your body but we do and most of all God does!
THAT is all that matters!

I want you to know that me and the people of this county and beyond thank you for your dedication to serve and protect us and I pray that God always protects you and your fellow brothers in Blue!



The world needs more people like you Officer Estes!


Your proud wife and biggest prayer warrior,
Lesley


Reality Check- Fitness Competition Update.....

Today I went into Corpus to meet with a guy that specializes in training girls and guys for competitions and boy was it an eye opener.

First of all his scale was SIX pounds heavier than what mine had read first thing this morning.  Of course he said HIS was the correct one!  (I am not believing that! LOL)

Second he said my body fat was 37%....OMG!  Of course I held a little video game controller thing that supposedly is able to read your body fat!  Not buying it but that number is probably pretty close which is terrible......even after loosing almost 40 lbs!
December on left
August on right

Third.....and here it is........I need to loose 50-70 more pounds to be ready for a competition!  I would be a stick!!!!!  I do not want to be a stick!

 My dream may have just been crushed........IF.......I didn't have my husband, trainers and gym family that tell me everyday I can anything I put my mind to!!  And I am putting my mind to this.........

I can hardly stand to look at my face before BUT it reminds me of how far
I have come and how hard I have worked and for that I am
so proud of myself!

So here I am putting it all out there right now!  Come July or maybe before if I get really focused and train REALLY hard I am going to show that guy up!  I WILL walk on to that stage and do my absolute best and be so proud of what I worked hard for up to that day and I probably won't be 70 lbs lighter than today maybe not even 50 but I will be the best me I can be.  I am not doing it to win anything.....that really never entered my mind.  I will win the day I step up there!

Actually the day I walked into Clydesman Gym is the day I took my life back and WON!



Aug 31, 2015

A Letter to Emily......when she is grown!

My Sweet Precious Girl.......

I prayed for you this morning like I do most mornings.  This morning was different.  I prayed for strength and a wholeness for you that can only come through Christ.  I prayed that you know without a doubt that not only are you our daughter but that you are a daughter of The King.  I pray that as your mother and a women myself I can instill this in you all of your days as my little girl living in my home.  I pray that I can equip you with the right tools to be a strong women in Christ! 


The world is going to tell you that you need an education, work experience, and that you are wrong if you want to just be a mom and wife.  Yes, an education is an amazing thing and I hope that you decide that you want to go to college and yes women can do and be anything they want in this world and that is a great thing.  I pray that God shows you over time the unique talents and gifts that He created you with.  I pray that I instill in you a confidence that is unbreakable.  I hope that you ignore what the world offers to you and you only look to Christ and what He offers you.  
I hope that I don't teach you to "breathe fire" like the world is saying to women of faith and stay at home mom's right now but I hope that I teach you to honor God for all that he made you to be....whatever that is!  

There is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom if that is what you choose.  I have been one my whole married life.  That is all I ever wanted to be.  Have I struggled with feelings of not measuring up to "the world" because of it?  Yes, but God reminds me every day that you and your brothers are my calling and "the world" doesn't make me who I am!  Christ did and still does! There is also nothing wrong with being a mother and wife that works out of the home!  Your Meme was and she is strong and independent and beautiful! 


 
There is no higher calling than to be a loving wife and mother! (taken from the words of your mamaw!)

I hope that either one you choose you will try your best to be a Proverbs 31 wife and mother.  

A woman who was a wife and mother; smart enough to consider a piece of real estate, buy it and plant a vineyard, she also made and sold fine fabrics. A woman who rose early to take care of household's needs. Her husband admired her. She was wise and kind, she gave to the poor. This is the kind of woman we should all strive to be, the kind of example for all daughters.
~again taken from Mamaw's words to me recently but straight from the Bible!



So my sweet girl.....I leave you with this......you were created by God, a miracle baby from conception, a gift to your Dad and I for hard work and restoration, you were created for a higher calling that one day will be revealed to you.  I hope that you accept it with confidence and with strength and know that no matter what the Lord is your rock.  He is your everything.  He offers grace everyday and so should you.  He died for our sins and we should be quick to offer forgiveness and mercy.  I have no doubt that you are going to be a wonderful mother and wife one day if that is the path He has chosen for you!   

I love you my angel,
 Mom.


Aug 26, 2015

The Sin No One Talks About.......

Gluttony!

Gluttony- habitual greed or excess in eating.

Gluttony is generally defined as "excessive eating." In the Bible, the word glutton and its variants are often mentioned alongside drunkenness. Therefore, it is clear that a glutton is someone who eats more than is healthy or eats excessively and that such behavior is considered sinful. Furthermore, gluttony is presented as an ongoing practice, not typically as a one-time activity.


Wow....that is an eye opener for sure.  We talk about all of these other sins we do but we never hear this one mentioned.  But it's there in the Bible!  And a lot of us are doing it every day.   Ouch.  That can hurt to be told that.  It hurts me even now!  I am learning that food is really just to fuel your body.  I struggle with this daily......many times a day!  I have learned that eating clean makes me feel better and not eating all the yucky stuff I used to eat that always made me feel bogged down and gross.

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. ~1 Corinthians 3:16-17


I am sure that scripture can be interpreted many different ways to each of us but here is my OPINION today!  I say today because I am in a different place than I was 6 months ago.  

I believe that we should love our bodies the way God intended.  Our body is a temple that He created.  If His spirit dwells inside you and you know that then why would we feed ourselves stuff that isn't healthy or good for us.  Why would we let ourselves get over weight and be miserable?  That isn't good for our heart, or any organ for that matter!  

I am here to tell you that everything changes when you feel better physically because then you feel better mentally.  It's so hard to do over night but you can start right now with one small change. Maybe that is cutting out that coke you drink everyday or that cake you have each day.  I am in no way saying that you can't ever have cake!  I have cake every now and then! I am telling you NO COKE!  LOL!  It's gross....it's like drinking metal or something!  I am also not saying that I have mastered all of this.....I haven't!  But I want it so bad!  

I want to please God with how I feed this body that He created for me.  If you think about how he made our bodies....especially a women's body it's truly a miracle.  We can grow a sweet precious baby in our body and feed that baby after giving birth.  THAT is what our bodies can do!  THAT is what HE created!  We owe it to him to take care of it the way I know He intended!




So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  ~1 Corinthians 10:31













Taken from a website where I was ready about gluttony!











God has blessed us by filling the earth with foods that are delicious, nutritious, and pleasurable. We should honor God's creation by enjoying these foods and by eating them in appropriate quantities. God calls us to control our appetites, rather than allowing them to control us.

Check back tomorrow when I blog about all the ways this healthy life style has helped my marriage!  My mom and dad might not want to read!  KIDDING!!!!  Calm down!  


Aug 18, 2015

Fisher's of Men..........

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Matthew 4:19

I am embarrassed to say that I have never led anyone to the Lord. Not even my own children.  One was led by his grandmother, one was led by his dad and one by a sweet teacher!  What if I were to die tomorrow and have to look at Jesus in the face and say "no, I never led anyone to You."  Somehow sorry would just not be enough especially after all He has done for me in my life.   What if he asks me what I have done for His kingdom?  I don't know what I would say.  I have been nice.  I have been a giver.  I have been a good mom, a good wife, a good daughter, and friend.  Somehow that just doesn't seem like enough either!



My husband and I are doing a marriage study by Francis and Lisa Chan and something they said in chapter one hit me.......God is watching our every move!  EVERYTHING.....he knows every action we take, every thought we have, and hears every word we say.  I hope the day the Lord returns I am doing something great for His kingdom.  I hope it is pleasing to him!  I hope that by then I have led many people to Him.   

The good thing is that His mercies are new every day.  He paid for our sins long ago on the cross.  Have you ever thought about that day?  Picture those nails being driven through his hands and the pain and suffering he went through for US!  For me and for you!  (I am serious....stop right now and really think about it......it's chilling to say the least!)

I was listening to Francis Chan preach on "The Biggest Lie in Your Life" and he said if someone were to interview your friends what would they say about you?  I would assume that my friends would say pretty good things about me.  BUT....what if someone was to interview GOD about me?  What would He say?  I am afraid he would say she was a hypocrite.  WOW!  Think about that for a minute.  It's the truth.  We are all one to some degree......at least those of us who choose to give advice, share our experiences, blog.....etc!  I know that I am.   As people we are far more concerned about our reputation or what people think about us than we are our character and what Christ thinks of us!  (ugh!  those are francis's words and that hurt!)

Lots of things I have written here on this blog were for you and not something I was following or doing myself.  I am embarrassed to admit that but it's true.

I am sorry for that.  Very sorry.  I mean that with every ounce of my being.  All I can say is that I meant well and at the times even believed what I was writing. 

If I am ever going to be a fisher of men then that needs to change.  I need to change.  Every minute of my life needs to change.  My thoughts need to change.  My actions need to change.  My mouth, my life, my everything.  And my words on here need to change.  They need to be true and real and honest!

This morning I had to go back and revisit my blog post A Broken Heart and listen to my preachers sermon again on healing from a broken heart.  Some of what I wrote I had to take my own advice.  It was hard to know that I was the author of those words just a few months back.  
One day I will share with you guys about my recent broken heart.  I am just not ready right now.  He is still growing me and giving me wisdom and strength to say it the right way.  



I want to be able to one day write or speak about it with total honesty and total healing!  The above scripture scares me but it is true.  I know that once I start to REALLY follow God's calling on my life people are not going to understand.  I actually have already started in many ways.....I just haven't talked about it yet!  I will probably loose followers and maybe even friends but that is ok.....I want this blog to be about Him and my personal walk and not about how many are reading and how many followers I have!  

I pray that the day I lead that first person to the Lord that the Lord and that person know that I come with a pure heart for Him.....to share His good news and what He can do for your life.  What He has already done for you and for me!  But most of all I want the Lord to know I did it with a pure heart.....a heart of honesty and forgiveness!

Today I will go visit with a pastor at my church, who my husband and I have gotten really close to and who has touched our lives in a huge way and he will pray with me and continue to give me guidance and I hope to come back to my next blog post ready to become that fisher of men and I pray that you guys can read with complete confidence that I am who I say I am and I practice what I preach!  

I love each of you and pray for anyone that takes the time to read what I have on my heart at that time!  I mean that!  

God Bless!!!!


I love this picture of hubby's arm!  The old rugged cross and home.  Doesn't get any better than that!














Aug 16, 2015

Depression.......My Story!

I have had so many women contact me and ask me questions about my working out and my weight loss.  Each one have the same thing in common when telling me their current story or situation.  DEPRESSION.....whether it be severe or just a slump they can't get out of!

Rewind my life to around November 2014 I was well on my way to a deep depression!  I truly believe that now.  Yes, to the world I looked like I had it all.......that I had it all together after moving and being in a beautiful house, the perfect kids, the perfect marriage,  the whole Facebook lie that you see.   We are all guilty of just putting the good out there for everyone to see.  Nothing wrong with that but it can be depressing at times to see!  (I am very blessed though and I know that)

When we moved here in May of 2014 I was happy!  I was sad to leave my life back home but I knew and still do know that God brought us to Sarita for a reason.  The summer was fine but once the kids went to school and the house was quiet all day and all in order and decorated IT hit!  My anxiety went through the roof and I felt sad all the time.  I felt agitated and I felt fat and I felt ugly and I hurt all over and I was lazy and I ate anything and everything and I felt sorry for myself and many many other things!  Sounds terrible but it was the truth!

I was sitting in my hubby's office in our beautiful new home and watching about my hundredth episode of Heartland on Netflix when I felt what was probably the Lord telling me to get up and do something about my situation.  I wasn't sure what that meant but I knew I was supposed to start moving and working on my health and weight and not just for my kids and husband this time but for ME.  Not sure why the Lord continues to take care of me when I clearly at the time was not giving Him my time. I was very far from God then!

 I had a friends daughter tell me about a gym in Kingsville that she loved so I emailed the owner along with a few other gyms.  I never heard back from any of them except Michael at Clydesman, where I go now!
I made an appointment to go in and talk to him about personal training.  That was set for a Monday!  Over that weekend I feel and thought I broke my ankle again.  THAT was another thing I did quiet often.  FALL!  It hurts when you are 50 lbs over weight and you fall on a fragile ankle!  SO, that postponed my starting!  I look back now and it was probably the devil trying to stop me from finding ME and making myself better for the sake of my kids and husband!

Finally after seeing a picture of myself at a parade here in town I texted him right there at the parade and told him I was coming in that week and could he modify my workouts to protect my ankle.....he said sure and I came in on that Wednesday I think it was!

I literally walk in to two body builders looking all buff and perfect and there were no machines only free weights and some other stuff I wasn't sure what they were at the time!  I was so nervous.  Talk about anxiety!  But somehow the Lord gave me my voice that day.  The owner, Michael and I just clicked.  We talked about what I wanted from the gym, which I just wanted to loose weight at the time and feel better, and we set some small goals and I left out of there anxious to get back the next day.  FINALLY, I was anxious in a good way and not a debilitating way!

THAT moment of stepping WAY OUT of my comfort zone was the day my life changed for the better and forever.  The gym is my antidepressant and my therapy!  The Bible and the gym!

I can think of about ten friends that I would like to line up and scream this at them!  I wish they and even you if you are reading and seeing yourself in the above writing, could understand that exercise is THE best form of getting rid of depressing feelings.  It creates in us the happy endorphins!  That is the truth!

I realize that I don't work.  I know that.  I have been told a hundred times that it is easier for me because I don't work.  I understand that and I am sure it is hard but I can guarantee you that you can find ONE hour somewhere to do this for you.  Get up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later.  It is that important!
I wish I could bottle up this feeling of being 37 lbs lighter and I wish I could tell you all the things that it changes for the better.  I wish every women could know what confidence feels like.  I look to the world like I am the most confident women out there but I wasn't!  I have never thought I was good enough, pretty enough, or whatever but I do now!  I did that!  I earned that!  I validated myself and no one else did it for me.  It is something that no one can give you but you!  Do it for yourself.  You are worth it!  You deserve it!




Aug 15, 2015

Our Anniversary and a new ME!

We had a really good anniversary night out!  We went to a fancy restaurant and spent the night on the water in Corpus at the Omni!  We exchanged gifts and talked a lot about the last 21 years of our marriage.  We are blessed for sure.  We didn't get here easy but I am so proud of the hard work we have put in and of our beautiful family that God created for us!
Every prayer I had for this night was answered and then some!  God is that good when you are faithful to Him and follow His plan for your life.  
Hubby looks a little drunk but I promise he wasn't!  This was the best pic out of the two the girl took for us!
The view from our suite!  We had two balconies!!!  This was so pretty at night!


OK....so on to the new ME!  Here are some my "new" before pictures that hubby took for me a few days ago.  My hubby and I decided that I would not post some of them because I am just not comfortable showing that much skin. (But then again I am training for a bikini contest!)  My family and friends won't be at the show though (only hubby) and no one will really know me so maybe that is how I am condoning it!  Idk.........

I have one more week of the kids being home then I will start training five days with my trainer and even some days have two a days which will be mostly cardio!
I am starting back Monday on my meal plan and eating really clean!  I have about twenty or more pounds I want to loose again.  I have seemed to hit a plateau and need to kick start it again!

I am scared at the hard work I have ahead of me but so excited to achieve my goal.  I have even thought if I work hard enough I can do it sooner than next summer.  We will see!

As you can see I have love handles!  I REALLY have to work on my tummy!
I also have thick thighs so I have some work to do there too!


This picture wasn't the best quality but I am covered!  Excited to compare in a month or two!


That is the only ones I am going to share for now!  Maybe once I get to the finished product I will share a side by side!  

My waist measured 36 inches......that was putting the tape directly over my belly button!  (In March it measured 42)  WOW!  

I haven't done my other measurements yet but will do those this week.  I am also going to figure out my fat percentage so I can work on getting that down!  

Gonna be a busy year but one I can't wait to do!