Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Giving Up & Taking Up . . .

Yesterday was Fat Tuesday (how many of you gluttoned out on chocolate or sports or margaritas or big bags of cheese puffs? cmon now, fess up!! lol I actually ate about 6 mini Snickers bars, so I guess that counts as kinda "fat"! And I sure would have enjoyed a margarita) and today is Ash Wednesday (when we have to come down off the "fat" habits that we all have in life and get a little more "serious"), starting off the Lenten season. In our church, we celebrate Lent--the 40 days before Easter Sunday--by coming up with some personal resolutions. These should be things that will make us healthier in physical, mental, and/or spiritual ways, and will improve our relationships with God and others around us. We like to either "Give Up" something that's holding us back or "Take Up" something to improve ourselves! It's a real challenge sometimes and, let me tell you, I have really fallen flat a lot of times! But, like every year, I do start out with good intentions!

A little more thought on my plans for this year further down in the post, but first I thought I'd share some pictures from last night's calendar class that I taught.

We had SO much fun and I think that all the gals really enjoyed the page we did (I hope they did!). I'm teaching this class once a month for a year, so that by the end of the year we will have completed an entire calendar. Each month has a scrapbook page that goes along with it, and I'm teaching a different technique for the different pages. Last night I taught a basic design technique--using mats and frames to focus on your photos--and next month I will teach painting on scrapbook pages.

This was the page I designed for the class, focusing on the 40th anniversary celebration we had for my parents in January. The gals used this basic design (incorporating mats and different embellishments to frame the photo) to create their own pages . . .

Some pics of some of the creations (and a look at the store. Fun!) . . .

We have a spot for a few more students to be added to the class, so if you're interested for next month let me know!

Now, back to this whole Giving Up and Taking Up . . .

I really know that there are probably some things in my life that are semi-"vices" to me right now, but I also find a lot of comfort and stress relief in these things. No, these aren't the BIG vices, but the little ones--like my tv shows "Heroes," "Lost," and "American Idol,"; my sports radio and college basketball; my scrapbooking!; and my blogging! I do spend a lot of time on them, but they really serve a purpose. The tv shows and the sports are my way of "getting away" for a few hours a week; my scrapbooking is, yes, an obsession (lol!) but one that helps me get "in touch" with what's important in my life; and the blogging, well it's become such an important part of my way to document what's going on in my life that I just can't see myself giving it up. Besides, during Lent we are supposed to give up something that is holding us back spiritually or keeping us from spending time that we would otherwise spend on spiritual matters. And, honestly, I don't think that those things are doing that to me!

So... I have decided this year that I am instead going to focus on Taking Up some practices instead. I want to do some things that will make me healthier in different ways, that will make me a better person in all aspects of my life.

So, my Lenten Take-Ups will be:

(1) To walk at least three times a week. (I would like to do it everyday, but I'm going to make myself do it three times a week and perhaps I will be able to increase it. I have both an indoor and an outdoor facility that I can use, depending on the weather. Now, if Sydney goes along with it--that's another question! lol)

(2) To find a Lenten Bible study that I can focus on during these 40 days--and do it daily!!

(3) To be more intentional in praying for the needs around me. Not so much MY needs, but the needs of others!

(4) To drink more water--and not so many sodas!

So, Thank You for letting me share those with you! By writing them down, I feel like I'm really committing myself to working on them. In a way, you all can be my accountability group!

Do any of you celebrate Lent? If so, what will your plans be? If you don't celebrate, or are not a Christian, you can still use this time as a chance to improve yourself in some personal ways. I challenge you to do that!

Now... for some completely Frivolous TV Talk!

"Heroes" was AWESOME on Monday night!! There was Major Butt-Kicking Superpowers revealed, and it made me very happy!!! (Yep, I'm a superhero geek! Sue me!)

Then, last night was "American Idol." I missed it because of my calendar class, but the girls all watched it and took notes. They seemed to think that the best guys were Phil Stacey, Blake (forget last name), and Chris Sligh (my personal fave, from what I've seen in weeks past), although they are holding out personal hope and bias toward Paul Kim and Sunjaya (hey, they're 10 and 14 years old; they go for the pretty hair!). Who did you guys like?

And then, tonight, is "Lost" and I'm SO pumped up for it. Last week's episode was great and tonight's teaser looked like the episode was gonna be pretty "meaty" with some good things revealed (one can always hope!). PLUS... lol . . . Alabama basketball is on tonight. We play a tough Tennessee time at Tennessee, but there's hope I think!

So . . . a lot going on! But isn't that what makes life INTERESTING??

(oh, totally off-topic but well . . . lol . . . don't you love the song I have playing right now? I just discovered Ben Folds and I just love his sound!)

Hope everyone's Hump Day is good and that you're making it through the week all right!! Talk to you again soon!!


angel said...

i have SO much to catch up on- oh how i miss my laptop...
as soon as i can i'm going to be back and read everything properly and ogle all the pictures!

Anonymous said...

The class looks like it wsa a blast! love the pics of everyone having a good time!
We don't do Lent, but I will definitely have to think about that challenge.

Lynilu said...

Cheryl, just a quick response ... I have never been a fan of sci-fi, but I am SO HOOKED on Heroes!! I agree with you, Monday's segment was so full of surprises and new characters! I don't know if someone who hasn't watched the show all along could get into it, because there has been so much already occurred that paves the way for the current episodes. I've never felt that I MUST see any TV show, but if I think I might miss Heroes, I panic! Yeah, good show!

maria said...

Your class looked so fun! I so wish I could join you! I always do lent...and it usually entails giving up chocolate and sugar. This year, however, I've already given them up for health reasons so I've had to re-assess what I should be lenting. I loved reading your list! I think you just gave me some awesome ideas! Specially the walking and drinking water! I so need to add those two things in my life. But also, bible reading and intentional prayer...I think I can pretty much join you on all four efforts! :) Thanks for the ideas!

Phats said...

I love american idol so of course I watched. I liked Blake, and the Other Chris(the one that resembles Justin Timberlake) I was disappointed in Jack Osbourne when he took a cheap shot at Simon. I think that sunjata or whatever his name is will be one of the first to go he was awful. I was disappointed in the guys none really stood out. I was surprised by Blake though because we have never really seen him sing, just beatbox. Wow sorry for such a long comment haha :)

BIG BIG BIG game for us tonight remember to BOILER UP!

Silent One ~D~ said...

Hi Hi!
I just have to say... thank you so much for your wonderful comments you always leave for me.!
I always look forward to seeing what you have to say.

I celebrate Lent.
My daughter has given up pop (soda) which is a big thing for her. I will join her in giving up pop (but I never have more then a sip a month) but in turn I will also give up snacking on unhealthy things. I also am going to take up walking. Starting small and working my way up. I will use this time to focus my thoughts to my spiritual side... that I have been neglecting. Awesome post as always!

Silent One ~D~ said...

oh and I just LOVE this music playing....

gotta go look him up and sample more of it!

Cheryl Wray said...

Angel--Come on back soon!!
Anon--The class WAS a blast!
Lynilu--Oh my goodness, Heroes is SO good isn't it? I loved all the powers being shown and the new characters. I don't miss it!!
Maria--Oh, I wish you were here instead of way off in California! We'd have so much fun in classes together!Hope your Lent goes well and that you are able to meet your goals! I'm excited about mine!
Phats--You must realize, of course, that those assessments came from my daughters who don't always notice the ones with the most talent!! LOL I did read today online, though, that Blake did great--and that Chris was rude! Sounds like your review is on the money!
D--Thanks for the sweet comments!! Good luck with your Lent "resolutions" too. I really want to be good at the walking! (my oldest daughter is giving up MySpace!)

Cheryl Wray said...

Oh yeah Phats--Boiler Up!! I'll be cheering for you guys tonight! Just remember to do a Roll Tide for us too!!

Phats said...

You got it! we got school cancelled today for FOG! we lost our last built in snow day :( FOR FOG!


NMOTB said...

ok you said - "a whole lot going on"! Wow, you are very busy - I will never complain bout me being busy again - lol

Don't feel bad about the snickers, I ate about 20 marshmellow easter eggs - they are so yummy and I cant seem to leave them alone!!!!!!

Good luck with yr take ups - You can and will do it!!!!!

The song is great!

Take care and love to all!

Gareth said...

I missed Fat Tuesday. I mean I didn't miss an entire day out of my life I mean that I didn't know of it's existence ..... the name not the day. I'm beginning to sound like a dumb dumb now :P

Perhaps you answered this on a previous post but how did you become interested in scrapbooking?

Kelly said...

I watched American Idol last night and thought Blake was the best. The Justin Timberlake look alike was good too. And I totally agree with Simon most of the time. He seems "spot on" when it comes to judging people.

I've never really made a big change in my daily habits during lent but I want to start excercising regularly! The recommendations are now 30 min per day for 5 days!

Ok back to TV. I am looking forward to seeing the girls tonight on American Idol. I love to sing so I am very critical.

Have a good night!

Mississippi Songbird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mississippi Songbird said...

Great pictures. I'd join if I lived near...
I'm going to start walking more, and drink more water and eat less chocolate(That's a tough one for me)...

and I love my cable internet..***hugs****

Leah said...

Looks like your calendar class was a lot of fun. Us gals from N. Alabama are bound and determined to make it down there for one of your classes before too long.

Marg said...

Yes, we're having a good Wednesday here! Love the pics--look so fun--and Good luck with your Lent resolutions. You can do it.

Heather said...

Your project looks great and it looks like you all had a lot of fun! Someday maybe I can make it down there for a class...don't give up on us up here in the north! LOL
Hope you all are doing well. Glad you had a good time on your weekend trip. Hope that Gary is continuing to feel better.
Take care!