Satan’s Tatoo

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,




Occasional Detours


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,




The Benefits of Starting Your Own Workout Group

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,



Pleasant Distractions

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,



If I Do One Thing Right

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,





Caught in a Trap

Bridgette PlankingRecently I spent an amazing week in San Antonio with my sister and her husband. My husband and I stayed in one of her guest bedrooms. It was quaint and beautiful and was reminiscent of many B&B’s that we have stayed in over the years.

In our room, we were surrounded by many unique antiques. One was a mirror that stood tauntingly in the corner. When I would disrobe in the evenings to put on my pajamas, I would observe my thighs and butt in the old looking glass.

I don’t know about you guys, but have you noticed that in certain mirrors you look either fatter or slimmer in them than you do in your own mirror at home? Or have you noticed that your cellulite appears to be less visible or more visible? In fact, there are mirrors on this here planet that show that I have no cellulite at all. Dressing room mirrors are the worst since they are usually lit with the harshest of lightening. Getting naked in a department store dressing room is a florescent nightmare.

I like my mirror at home. I think it is honest. It doesn’t show me a flawless picture of myself, but a realistic one. However, the mocking mirror at my sister’s house was showing me a picture of myself that I did not appreciate. It was at this moment that I realized that I am caught in a trap.

I think about my body and how to improve it on a daily basis. I am sure I think about it way too much. I desperately want to be balanced and not even care about what the mirror shows me. But alas I do. I struggle to find the balance between being healthy and looking good. This war in my mind feels like bondage to me. Why do I find myself constantly focused on my appearance? Dear Reader, It’s not like you are ever going to see me naked!

You know who I secretly envy? The woman at the pool or the beach who does not have a beautiful body at all, but she doesn’t care. You can tell by the way she walks and the way she just lets it all hang out. I wish I could be like that. Instead, I am caught in a trap. Maybe over time, I will be able to get out. I want to be free.

With all my heart,



Monday Challenge

Bridgette with hands in hairHappy Monday everyone. I hope you are all well and encouraged for what the day will bring. Today, I am going to workout with my girlfriends, then I am going to take my boys to the Denver Botanic Gardens. There is an exhibit there by Dave Chihuly that is supposed to be beautiful. It’s going to be hot, but I don’t mind. My daughter is away at summer camp, so I thought I’d have a special week with my guys.

My workout will about 24 minutes long this morning, very high intensity. It will be short, sweaty, and sweet. I love sweating. My personal fitness goal for this week is to cut back on my sugar consumption. This means that I will cut back on breads, grains, processed foods of any kind, potatoes, beer and wine, and of course goodies. I will focus on eating healthy proteins, fruits and veggies.

Remember fruit and vegetables give us all the glucose we need for energy. Protein is also an energy source and many people don’t realize that. We have been trained to think of carbs as our primary energy source. Our bodies burn glucose first, fat second, and protein third.

Here is the Monday challenge for you: Pick one or two items in your daily intake and replace them with something healthier like a piece of fruit or just take them out all together. I’m not asking you to take out all carbs, just one or two. Slow change is easier to do than drastic change.

This will not only help you lose weight, but it will also help your body function in a healthier way. Remember excess sugar is not helpful to our bodies at all. I don’t care if it’s agave, honey, maple syrup, white sugar, organic sugar, molasses or whatever. All sugar is bad for you. Maple syrup, honey, and molasses are the only sugars that have minimal health benefits. Sugar is sugar period. Don’t be fooled.

It also doesn’t matter if your bread is white, whole wheat, or gluten free, it all converts to sugar once it enters the body. Bread is simply sugar in a different form. So as you can see, sugar overload can happen quickly. This is something we all need to be aware of and then make our food choices wisely. Sugar reduction is not a bad thing, it just feels hard to do.

If you decide to take the challenge, you won’t be alone, as I will be taking the challenge myself. Here is my plan: Smoothie for breakfast-vega one protein powder,  1/2 banana, unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, coconut oil, and flax seed. Lunch-salad with protein (I am ordering this at the Botanic Gardens) and Dinner-baked turkey with guacamole and kale salad. You have my word, I will not cheat today. Good luck on your own personal journey.

With all my heart,



Is Sugar Your Master?

We may frequently look down on the alcohoIic, the smoker, or the drug addict, but the rest of us have a much more acceptable addiction. In fact, it is one that is widely accepted. We worship and admire and dream of food. I do it all the time. I consume food in my thoughts, with my eyes, and eventually with my mouth. Since there are literally thousands of pictures of food posted on websites like pinterest and on personal blogs, there is never a shortage of new material for me to consume. There is even a new term for this purveyance of food. It is called food porn.

Food addiction and more specifically sugar addiction is running rampant not only in our society, but also in myself and in my children. I may not be the first one to go for the cookie jar, but I am the first one to go for the potato chip bag.

So even though I don’t need to lose weight, I do need to lose my addiction to sugar. But why does it feel so impossible not to eat sweets and carbs? It feels this way because our bodies literally become addicted to the sugar. The sugar changes our brain chemistry and therefore we are compelled to eat more and more. Sadly, we remain hungry. And to make it even worse, the more sugar you ingest in all of its various forms, the more unhealthy your body becomes. Enter disease.

This may seem a little melodramatic I admit. But watching a loved one die from obesity or from obesity related diseases is no picnic. My father died recently from all food related illnesses. He wasn’t obese, but his body had become a toxic playground. He would’ve lived much longer if he would’ve just changed his diet. But he simply didn’t want to, desire to, or believe he needed to. Such is life. What good are his Hostess Ding Dongs and his Coca-Cola to him now? They were simply his escorts to the grave.

Therefore, take a look at your sugar consumption. Reduce your intake of the white and deadly. I am limiting my intake of sugar because I no longer want it to be my master. Is sugar your master? Think about it.

With all my heart,




Do you Love your Body?

Loving My BodyMany times when I am on, I see postings of women with very little clothing on with a caption saying something like “Love Your Body” or “Your Body is Beautiful”. I do believe that each one of our bodies has been beautifully crafted, designed and created. However, I do not think our bodies are necessarily beautiful because of how they look, but I think they are beautiful because of what they can do. This is why it is important to love your body.

Over time, age, bearing children, stress, overeating, circumstances, disease and many other factors begin to take a toll on our bodies. They begin to slowly lose some of their youthful luster that they once had. And this is okay. Life happens to all of us and to our bodies. Our bodies do not have a choice but to reap both the good and bad consequences of every choice that we make that directly affects our bodies. Your choices matter to your body. So do you love your body? Do you treat it like a beautifully crafted machine?

I don’t mean do you love how it looks? I mean do you love it? Do you show it love or do you show it neglect and indifference? Do you nourish it properly? Do you keep it clean and well groomed? Do you take it out for a brisk walk or for a jog in the morning? Do you give it enough sleep? This is what it means to really love your body. This is not what the woman in the picture means. She wants you to love what you see when you look in the mirror.

But let’s be blatantly honest. Some of our body parts really aren’t that pretty to look at anymore. Take my boobs for instance. They look okay but they are completely different from when I was 20. Now they are like little raisins. They even float when I sink down into the bathtub. Are they technically beautiful? No they are not and that’s okay with me. I can say it and I know it’s true. I’m not trying to put myself down, I’m just stating a fact. They performed their duty of nourishing three children and now their job is done. Nursing took away some of their aesthetic beauty.

Now if I let the fact that they weren’t perky and full anymore get me down and depressed all the time, then we have a problem. Our focus shouldn’t constantly be on our appearance anyway. It should be more on our functionality. Women have a hard time with this. Many of us have our priorities shifted thinking it is better to look a certain way than to be a certain way. We should think of how we want our bodies to operate smoothly and less about how they look aesthetically.

So can I please challenge you to love your body in this way? Love your body not because of how it looks but because of what it can do. If you don’t love it through your actions then it will cease to perform optimally. It will be tired if you don’t give it sleep and proper nutrition. It will become flabby and weak if you don’t give it exercise. It will eventually become more of a burden to you than a blessing.

And in the meantime, If you want to work on how it looks aesthetically, then go for it. There is nothing wrong with doing that, it’s just that how it looks shouldn’t be your first priority. Your first priority is to love your body and to keep it strong and healthy.

Do you love your body? Think about it.



Burn Your Labels


label burningLast night we watched a message by Andy Stanley. He was speaking to a group of middle schoolers about labels. First, he asked a profound question. Who has the right to label you? He said the only people who have a right to label something are the manufacturer, the owner and the purchaser.

Then he shared his personal experience and the different labels that he had been given in his life. One was Not Smart, another one was Not Athletic, and the other was Not Attractive. Some of these labels he gave himself and some were bestowed upon him by teachers and coaches. These labels had a negative influence on his life.

So tonight in my family we are writing down our own labels that we have been given over the years, and we are going to burn them in our little smokey joe. Most of my labels I gave myself over the years, but I do have some labels that were given to me by family or friends. My labels are Not Good Enough, Selfish, Lost, Mean, Different, Average, Mediocre, and Unsuccessful. I was happy to put those labels in the smokey joe and watch them go up in flames.

So when someone labels you, ask yourself this question. Do they have the right to label you? Did they make you? Do they own you? And did they purchase you? There is only one person who made you. There is only one person who owns you. And there is only one person who purchased you. His name is Jesus. He is the only one who has the right to label you.

With all my heart,