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Human After All

Human After All
Posted on October 9, 2014
Why as mothers do we feel like we have to apologize for the way we raise our children? Just yesterday I was in the grocery store waiting for my friend by the shopping carts when a mommy comes in with her little girl. She proceeds to put her 1 1/2 year old into the seat. She asks her lovely lady if she wants to finish watching Finding Nemo.

Then she looks over at me and apologizes for letting her little girl watch Finding Nemo while she shops. She says to me, “I never thought I’d be one of those moms who would do something like this, but it is the only way I can keep her in the seat.” She then goes on to explain her decision to me like her first explanation wasn’t enough. She points to her pregnant belly and sighs and says, “Especially since I am dealing with this, I just can’t chase her around. She is not even two yet.”

I then say to her, “Listen. Do whatever you need to do. I totally understand. There is no judgement coming from me. I get it. I have 3 children and I understand that sometimes we just have to do what we have to do.” I felt bad. I was sad that she felt like she needed to justify her behavior to me like I was Jesus Christ on judgement day.

But as mothers, haven’t we all felt this way? I sure have. Just Tuesday night I was so frazzled and tired that I did not want to make dinner for the kiddos. We had to run an errand in the evening, leaving us no time to eat. So I took the kids to McDonalds. Gasp! I can’t tell you the mental gymnastics that I went through in order to do this. I thought we better eat there so no one sees us with McDonalds bags when we get out of the car where we live. Since my daughter hates eating in restaurants and she hates eating in the car, she convinced me to get it to go. She said it didn’t matter if someone saw us with McDonald’s bags. She is right of course, but I was too concerned about my own reputation and the judgements and the opinions of other moms who might see me. I actually pulled around the back of my building so no one would catch a glimpse of me with my unhealthy contraband.

For one, I am a group fitness instructor and two, I am a mom. Moms and fitness instructors should never be caught dead eating at McDonald’s. But where is my personal freedom to not always make the best choice for my kids every single time in every single situation? I should have the freedom to make less than perfect choices. I am human after all. And I need to shake off the opinions and the judgements of others. Maybe no one is judging me. Maybe it is all in my head.

But I don’t think so. I think as moms we do judge one another. I know, because I have done it on more than one occasion. I publicly confess to it now before all of you. I am sorry. I will try not to judge you for eating McDonalds, letting your kids watch movies while you shop, or for eating white bread and ketchup with high fructose corn syrup. Today I will claim my freedom to make crappy choices on occasion and to let you do the same. Please live in freedom and do not apologize and do not be ashamed. I know you are doing your very best.

With all my heart,

Bridgette

There Is No Secret

There Is No Secret
Posted on October 6, 2014
Before Hard WorkAfter Hard Work

There have been times in my past when I have gazed upon a fit woman and asked myself the question: ”What is her secret?” For some reason, we think that there is a simple secret/answer out there in the universe, and that once we find it, we can all become magically fit.

We’ve heard these guarantees before and thought that we had come across the secret. The book on the shelf promising 30 Days Until You Look Like a Super Model. The incredibly slim and toned woman on the cover is subliminally sending you the message that you will look like her when the 30 days are over. Sure, after doing 30 days of any type of workout you will most likely have some results, but you most likely won’t look like her. And if you don’t keep going after the 30 days, then you will be right back where you started.

Do not be astonished. The only way to be fit and healthy is to never quit. You have to wake up and be prepared to workout or be active at least 4 to 5 times a week. You also need to push yourself. You have to change your habits. The secret is hard work. And that’s no secret.

With all my heart,

Bridgette

The two pictures at the top of the post are my before hard work and my after hard work. I was at a wedding in the first photo wearing a silly hat and my hubby has on a silly wig. I weighed about 160 in the before hard work photo. After a lot of hard work, I now weigh around 130. I was incredibly weak too in the before photo and now I am strong. It’s not just about numbers, but about how you feel.

On Looking at the Answers

On Looking at the Answers
Posted on October 1, 2014
Jesus Crown of Thorns

This morning my son was upset that he needed to look at the answers to the problems while he was doing math. In the book he has, the solutions are right under the problems. I tell him just to cover them up with a piece of paper until he is ready to check them. I also told him it’s okay if he looks at them.

I told him, “Son, we home school for a reason. We home school so that you can look at the answers. All I want you to worry about is learning how to do the problem. If you need to look at the answers, that is okay.”

In public school one is rarely allowed to look at the answers. You just have to trust that you are correct until your teacher grades your work and gives it back to you. Most text books do not contain the solutions.

So while I am loading the dishwasher, and he is on the couch doing math, I had a light bulb moment. I said, “You know what son? Who are we told to look at as Christians on a daily basis?” He answered, “God.” I said, “Correct. We are told to keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the answer. We constantly look at the answer and that is how we learn.”

With all my heart,

Bridgette

Satan’s Tatoo

Satan’s Tatoo
Posted on September 29, 2014
Before I begin, let me just say that this is not a research paper on Harry Potter or on Lord of the Rings. This post is a rant. This post is me letting of steam. This post is my response to my children being told hateful things by other Christian children. I know these children really aren’t the ones to blame. They are just spouting off what they hear mom and dad say over the dinner table.

For example, one day my daughter enters the house and tells me that her playmate said that because she had a peace sign on her shirt it meant that she worshipped Satan. Excuse me. What kind of things are parents telling their children? I don’t think we need to worry about anyone worshipping Satan, but we do need to worry about people passing judgement on one another.

As we know, our culture is permeated with signs and symbols from all sources and cultures and religions from all over the world. I do not have the time to study every symbol that I see and wonder where it came from. I have bigger fish to fry.

It seems however that many Christians are consumed with this type of information and fancy themselves as the watchdog for everyone else. Well, no thank you. I don’t need or want any unsolicited opinions, and I don’t need or want anyone watching out for me and my family. If I am in a relationship with someone and they want to speak truth into my life, then I welcome it. But if not, please keep it buttoned down. And tell your kids to do the same. These types of comments and judgements are hurtful not only to my children, but to me as well. They come across as Pharisaical. These remarks also separate our children and can make one child feel like they are better than the other. I always tell my kids that all families are different and that it is okay. We shouldn’t pass judgement on another family because of how they decide to structure their lives or if they do or do not read Harry Potter or have peace signs on their T-shirts.

And now recently, my youngest son was sporting a lightening bolt on his head because he was dressed up like Harry Potter. A kid informed him that he was wearing Satan’s tatoo. Truly, this kind of thing really ticks me off. Where in the world did that parent see Satan and his tatoo?

I am aware of the controversy surrounding Harry Potter books and movies. I am aware that the author has a different worldview than my own. I am aware that some parents allow their kids to read the books and some do not. I am okay with this. I understand both positions. But if we as parents are going to insinuate to our children that their friends who read Harry Potter have anything to do with Satan or the worshipping of him, then we are sadly way off the mark. If my family ever decides to worship Satan, I will blog about it or put it on facebook so everyone will know. But until then, rest assured that we still worship Jesus, peace sign or not, lightening bolt or not. Believe me, I am guilty of way more heinous sins and I can cast no stones.

And one more thing. Why in the world do the books Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, Narnia, The Hobbit and books such as these get a free pass when it comes to magic? They are loaded to the gills with magic. I have never read Harry Potter, but my son is reading the books now and he tells me that Harry Potter never practices evil just like Gandalf doesn’t practice evil. The evil characters in those books do the evil stuff. Harry Potter and Gandalf work to do good. According to scripture I wasn’t aware that there were acceptable vs. unacceptable forms of witchcraft. I thought it was all supposed to be wrong.

With all that said, I hope I didn’t offend any of you with my rant. If you are a mother reading this, you know how hurtful it can be to have your child come into the house crushed by a child’s foolish and cruel remarks. Our words truly do wound. My son’s Satan tatoo was only a lightening bolt drawn on his forehead with a red washable Crayola marker. There was nothing magical or Satanic about it. So there.

With all my heart,

Bridgette

(Source: tumblr.com)

Occasional Detours

Occasional Detours
Posted on September 25, 2014
Homeschooling

I am happy to announce that I am a homeschooler once again. Last year I wanted to get my certification in group fitness so I placed my kiddos in public school. I told them they had to attend the one year and then we would homeschool again. If that is what they wanted. It is what they wanted.

I have managed to persuade two of them to stay in public school for a little bit longer. I have taken on another project. I won’t be finished with it until a couple of months from now. My oldest son, who requires very little instruction from me, is home again. He basically home schools himself. It is a real blessing. He also cleans house. Bonus!!

Come Christmas, I will have all three back home. I am kind of looking forward to it, believe it or not. Now after experiencing both worlds, I know the strengths and weaknesses of both systems. I have to say I prefer homeschooling. My kids do too.

As a woman and a mother, I feel like my life is all over the place. One day I’m homeschooling, one day my kids are in public school, one day I’m looking for work, and the next day I don’t need a job at all. I wonder if people think I am clueless half the time.

Truth is, I am clueless most of the time. I try and discern how to navigate life with all of its twists and turns, but I never seem to get any clear direction. It’s only when I look back over the path that I have tentatively chosen, that it all begins to make some sense. Maybe someone is guiding me after all.

For instance, I was turned down for several jobs. Even though I was not the right person for these jobs, I still felt like a colossal loser. I still feel pangs of defeat in my chest when I think about it. However, I am so grateful that I did not get hired. If I had been hired, then I wouldn’t have been able to work on my secret project and also homeschool my kids again. At the time only God knew that my husband would land a sweet job.

So I guess what I am trying to say is this. I must be meant to be a homeschooler and my kids must be meant to be homeschooled. Why this is, I still don’t know. I guess when God called me to it the first time, he meant for me to stay with it. And since He’s not a control freak, He allows me to take the occasional detour.

With all my heart,

Bridgette

The Benefits of Starting Your Own Workout Group

The Benefits of Starting Your Own Workout Group
Posted on September 24, 2014
Chloe and Jana

Me and JulieMe and TamiMe, Tami,and Jocelyn

This post is dedicated to all my workout homies past and present. xoxoxoxoxoxo

These are my favorite benefits of having my own workout group:

1) Accountability (If you are the leader and organizer of a workout group, you can’t just up and bail on the workout. People are depending on you to show up and get everything prepared. This is a sure fire way to make sure you get off your hind end.)

2) Encouragement (Your workout buddies will inevitably say things during the workout like, “You can do it!” or “Don’t stop!” or “Way to go!” These words of encouragement really can help you through a tough workout. Plus they will be at your side to encourage you with other trials you are facing in your life.)

3) Relationships (You become really close when you get all sweaty together. Working out together will inevitably lead to going out for coffee, going out for dinner, or taking in a movie together. I see no downside here.)

4) Reliable Shoulders (Since I have been known to cry after my workouts, it is great to have so many shoulders in one room in which to place my weepy head. My shoulders have been cried on as well, and it is a great bonding and healing time.)

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Since I have been part of a workout group, I have been blessed in so many ways by so many amazing people. I have formed friendships that will last a lifetime. I wouldn’t give up my workout group for the world. They are priceless. They are beautiful. I love them. And I love getting sweaty with them.

So if you are struggling to get your workouts in, may I suggest starting your own workout group? You will not be disappointed. The rewards are endless. You don’t have to walk this road alone.

With all my heart,

Bridgette

Pleasant Distractions

Pleasant Distractions
Posted on September 22, 2014
It may come as a shock to you, but I have a naked workout partner. He often workouts naked, and it is not as distracting as you would think. In fact, he is quite cute. You see, he’s a wee guy, and he is currently undergoing potty training. His mommy and daddy are my actual clients, but he sure likes to get involved in the workout.

His mom is a real inspiration. Instead of waiting for the exact perfect conditions to begin working out again, she has chosen to just begin. Because of her naked workout buddy, she often has stop in the middle of the workout to either give him another rice cake, or take him to the potty. This could be frustrating for some people, but she just takes it in stride. Getting in only part of a workout is better than getting in no workout at all she often says.

Sometimes, when we are swinging deadly kettlebells, I will take my naked workout buddy and use him as a human kettlebell. That way I keep him occupied and safe, while mommy daddy get their workout completed. He thinks this is awesome and I always acknowledge that he is way heavier than he looks.

He is also my mini assistant. He brings me my water, and will often fiddle with my iphone. He is either trying to set the timer, or change the song selection. One can only guess his real motives, since he doesn’t really speak that much. He just wants to be a part of the action.

My naked workout buddy’s favorite part of the whole workout is the very end. When we cool down, I turn off the upbeat music, and choose a selection that is reflective, turning our attention to ourselves, others, and to God. After some slow stretching, we then take a prostrate posture on the floor, and commence to relax, to reflect, and to pray. My naked workout buddy always anticipates this moment with many shouts of “Pray! Pray!” all during the workout. He can’t wait for this exact moment. I can’t either.

When I look up during our prayers, I see him lying naked, flat on his face, next to his mommy. He is completely embracing this moment. We all are. We thank God for our amazing bodies. We thank Him for what they can do. We also ask Him for healing for our bodies and for the bodies of others. Malfunctions of the human body are prevalent and painful, and we should always be grateful for our health, if we are blessed enough to have it.

And then I thank God for my naked workout buddy. He is a source of joy not only to his mommy and daddy, and brother and sister, but to me as well. He is a symbol of joy and of life. I also thank God for his mommy, who knows how to get it done, with or without pleasant distractions.

With all my heart,

Bridgette

(Source: tumblr.com)

If I Do One Thing Right

If I Do One Thing Right
Posted on September 19, 2014
Me and My Man.
Me and My Man.

Over the span of my life I have seen so many marriages fall apart. Mental illness, death, disease, finances, abuse, and unfaithfulness are just some of the causes for the demise of marriages. Let’s face it. Marriage is tough, and when hard times come, marriage gets even tougher.

Being unfaithful to my spouse has always been one of my biggest fears. I told God after I got married that if He knew I was going to be unfaithful to my husband then I would rather be run over by a train and killed first. I meant this statement. How horrible it would be to hurt someone you love in this way. You hurt them, you hurt yourself, your friends, their friends, and both of your families.

I remember right after I got married I was listening to a sermon in which the speaker said, “Don’t ever think that you aren’t capable of committing adultery.” He went on to say that everyone is capable of falling into this particular trap. This was scary to hear.

In our pre marital counseling the preacher told us about something that he called the warm fuzzies. He said that sometimes he would get the warm fuzzies for women other than his wife. He said that this was normal. He told us that he always told his wife and that he would then keep his distance from that other person as much as possible. There is great wisdom in his advice.

The fact is, we are human beings and we live in a world with very attractive, kind, caring, and extremely smart individuals. If you get out enough, chances are you will eventually run into some who gives you the warm fuzzies. This does not mean however that you should do anything about it. Just stay away from that person and remind yourself of all the wonderful qualities that your spouse has and how much they too give you the warm fuzzies.

I’m sure you want to know if I have ever had the warm fuzzies for someone since I’ve been married. The answer to that question is yes I have. It is scary. I always tell my husband when this happens and we talk about it. I apologize, and then I try to maintain my distance from temptation. I intentionally try not to dwell on the warm fuzzies. The imagining can become damaging to your marriage. It can be the beginning of a slippery slope. One slope that you do not want to slide down I assure you.

I have never spoken to a single person who has cheated on their spouse who feels good about it, or who doesn’t regret it. You will always regret it and it will always destroy your life. So keep your heart guarded and keep honest lines of communication open with your spouse at all times.

And if you have cheated on your spouse just remember that there is grace and forgiveness for you. Hopefully you and your spouse can be reconciled and your marriage can be restored. Remember we all fail and make mistakes. Get back up and try again. Forgive yourself.

So if I do one thing right in this life, I want it to be that I remained faithful to my husband until death do us part. I want to grow old with him and I always want to be faithful to him. I don’t want to take him for granted or compare him to someone else. He is special and he is the one I chose.

With all my heart,

Bridgette

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