Friday, July 29, 2011

Destiny or just a dream?

I'm a dreamer ... in more ways than one. But what I mean specifically for the sake of this blog is the ability God has given me to see prophetically through my dreams. I guess in that since of the word, I like to think of myself as a "Seer."


I inherited this peculiar sensitivity from my mother. Over the years, the two of us have experienced direct communication from the Lord and from "others" — be it warnings or encouragement — through our dreams. We have seen some dreams come to pass, some that repeat and we even experience deja vu on a regular basis. For years I have journaled the ones that stood out the most; I guess not to forget them. Though the funny thing is, I couldn't forget them if I tried!


Sometimes I dream about things and the very next day something similar will be shown on television. Not joking! Once, I dreamed that 13 tornadoes hit Water Valley, Tenn. One week later Hurricane Katrina tried to wipe New Orleans off the map! Some believe God speaks through numbers — especially in dreams. The number 13, if we go along with that belief, is God's number for sin, rebellion and depravity. The same week I had that dream is the same week George W. Bush agreed with Israeli Prime minister Sharon to halt the "road map to peace" efforts, which forced thousands of Jews out of Gaza leaving them utterly homeless. Over 50% of New Orleans sits below sea level, and when Katrina hit, it turned the city into a literal "water valley," which also forced thousands of Americans from their homes. Looking a little less coincidental now, huh?


And I kid you not, as I am writing this blog, I was paged to the front desk here at the Herald offices to take a payment for an engagement announcement. During this interruption, the customer made a joke about my "ability to predict the future." She didn't know me before today.


My most recent dream was actually back in April ... I think. I didn't write that one down, so I guess it's good that I am finally making note of it now. Though, again, I cannot forget the things shown to me in these special night visions.


Now before I tell you the dream, let me first set the stage:
I have been out of church for some time. Don't get me wrong; church is still in me, but I have struggled for a place to belong for nearly a year now. The last church I attended regularly was LifeSong Lewisburg — wonderful church; I would recommend anyone seeking answers and a true experience of the spirit of God go there.


That aside, I have been in a "season of searching" in my life. I want more of God, but I find it hard to search him out in and of my own strength simply because of my present condition. I am a full-time-plus employee at The Daily Herald, full-time mother of a 2-year-old and full-time wife. I have to stop from time to time to remind myself to breathe or to at least make sure I still am! As hungry as I am for the Lord and his righteousness, I put that last on my to-do list. So sad!


Now, most Christian women in my predicament would perhaps look to their Godly husband for leadership and spiritual guidance during these dry times in life, but my husband, though Godly in his own way, is not spiritually mature to be the leader right now. And I stress right now! I'm not doggin' him; please don't think that. His time is coming. He is a man of God! It's coming! But as for right now, I'm starving spiritually.


Now I'm spiritually mature enough to know that my spiritual condition and practice is all up to me. So I have been visiting other churches as of late. But before I began visiting I would ponder in my mind where to start. These were secret thoughts and wonders known only between me and God of course. I just knew I needed somewhere new to belong, but I didn't know where that was.


Now I will present to you this dream:
It's winter, or so I think because I am wearing a coat and gloves and I feel chilly. I can see my breath. I am walking along a road — at night I presume because it's dark. I am nowhere populated. All I can see is the road a few feet in front of me at a time and the tops of trees — tall, tall trees have been buried by what looks like hundreds of feet of snow. It stands like walls along the road. At least I assume it's snow because again, I think it's winter. (When telling Robert about this dream he suggested that it could actually be ash. And that the cold and darkness could be from the sun being blocked out for some catastrophic reason. I pray not). Up ahead is a light. As I get closer I can see it's a small tent, but really a church. Suddenly I'm inside that church, only it's huge! I mean enormous! I'm sitting on the very back row with my back to the wall watching a play being performed by the church's youth group. As I watch it becomes clear that they are acting out church. Then I notice that the entire church is empty except for me and the youth pastor who is setting next to me. As big as this church was and as much as I loved the warmth, I felt the Spirit of the Lord say, "I am not here." So I immediately got up and continued on my journey. I rounded a bend in the road, and waiting on the other side was this tiny little church on a small hill. I read the sign, but cannot tell you what it said. I remember seeing the word "United." The lights are on so I go inside. It's an all black church. And it's size indoors is as adequate as it's outside appearance portrays. A friendly face greets me, a woman in her 30s-40s, and tours me around the classrooms and building. Then we passed the youth room where an explosion of the presence of God was going on. I felt the Lord there; he didn't need to tell me he was there. In that moment the lady was gone, and I was just standing there watching as this group of young kids, mostly black, were on their face before the Lord. Like gold being poured from a refiner's crucible, the Spirit of God just kept melting over them! It was like their spirits were continually revived — a constant state of revival. And then I woke up, or at least I assume I did because that's all I can remember.


Now ... I have drawn from this dream some metaphoric encouragement over the last few months. Many of you may know what me and my family are going through spiritually, financially, physically, emotionally, etc. I have used this dream to remind myself that I am not alone, that I am being guided along the path of God's destiny for me. I tell myself that I will rise from the ashes, that I will survive this storm and that there is a light around the bend in my road. But as many times as this dream has come to mind in recent weeks, I can't help but think that there is more to it.


I recently started visiting a church simply called "Destiny Church" here in Columbia. On my first visit the lead pastor and his wife were out of town so there was a guest speaker. I don't remember his name, but he spoke of the importance of being culturally diverse and being approachable by the people in our community. He spoke of being real and what it really means to minister to the lost.


Since my first day there I have learned that Destiny Church teams with other local churches in the Columbia community to feed the hungry, minister to the elderly or even ban together to repair and restore homes in the community that were otherwise desolate. 


But worst of all, their youth have experienced two deep tragedies since my first visit; they have lost two young girls in motor vehicle accidents — one 14 and one 17 — both within a month of each other. This church is being attacked for a reason — especially the youth! My guess is that they are doing something very right!


Now whether or not this is the church in my dreams I don't know, but I'm thinking I might keep visiting there for a little while. I mean, if all of hell is fighting so hard against them there must be something there, and I wanna be there to see this church and their youth continually vanquish the enemy!


I've posted this blog to mainly put my dream out there; to see if there are any other "seers" out there who may have an interpretation for me. Usually, I know what the dream means when it's given to me, but this time I just don't know. Perhaps that's because I'm depleted in so many areas right now.


So ... is there anyone out there who wants to try? Anyone wanna tell me what they "see?"

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Friday, but will it turn into a Saturday splurge?

Everydayhealth.com teaches us the tools to ...

Weekend Splurging Done Right

Maintain your weight — and healthy eating habits — seven days a week with some smart strategies.

Researchers tracking 48 adults in a weight program for a year found that they ate, on average, 200 calories more on Saturdays, the most dangerous day for weight management. Over time, those 200 extra calories add up to a few pounds gained over the course of a year — not the goal of a maintenance program!
While everyone deserves a day off, you need to be careful not to overdo it. You don't want to consume too many calories and slip back into the patterns that caused your weight gain in the first place. ...

Weekend Calories: Indulge in Moderation

So how do you splurge without destroying your healthy habits? Donna L. Weihofen, RD, MS, health nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisc., advises not let your weekend turn into a food wasteland. A few smart steps can help you indulge without the calories or guilt:
  • Share that fudge sundae with your spouse or kids.
  • Go for tiny tastes, like a mini-cheesecake instead of an entire slice, or a single square of chocolate instead of a whole bar.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast to control your appetite.
  • Eat more whole grains, fruit, and veggies as your day gets started so that you'll feel full longer and feel satisfied with small splurges.
  • Split an entrĂ©e or skip the bread basket when eating out, especially if you want a taste of dessert.
  • Limit your alcohol — drink water or another calorie-free beverage between drinks — or apply those calories to a food you'd enjoy more.
Weihofen adds that it is important not to allow yourself to feel so deprived of the foods you love that you throw calorie caution to the wind come Saturday.

Visit http://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/weekend-splurging.aspx to read this entire article.

And A.C.E. is one tool to add to your appetite control regimen. If you want to make sure that your weekends don't blow your weight loss success so far, give me a call to get started on A.C.E. today!
931.286.1326 or e-mail me at carlahailey@gmail.com.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tips on becoming the "New You."

From BiggestLoser.com:

Eat Enough Food. If you eat too little, you can slow down your metabolism. It's important to find the calorie zone to support your resting metabolism given your age, height, weight and exercise program.

Distribute Your Food. If you follow the Biggest Loser Club diet, you will eat 5-6 small meals/snacks. Doing this helps keep your blood sugar and appetite levels balanced as well as keeps your metabolism humming along.

Strength Train Regularly. Muscle mass is what drives up your metabolism. As you lose weight, you can preserve your muscle mass by doing strength training exercises at least 3 times per week.

Get Your Sleep. To lose weight and keep your metabolism in a weight-loss mode, make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. If you don't sleep this long, consider adding a nap to help your body get the rest it needs.

This from Weight Watchers scientists:

“With the old (Weight Watchers) points system, you could use your points anyway you like. But we now know if you use your points wisely by eating foods rich in protein and fiber — these foods fill you up, keep hunger at bay and help you lose weight in a healthier and more nutritious way. Calories still count in the Points Plus program because the bottom line in weight loss is creating a calorie deficit — burning more calories than you eat."

I couldn't agree more!

My intention has not been to market A.C.E. as a "diet pill." Never at any time have I said that  A.C.E. alone will help you lose weight. I mean ... it could I guess for a time, but your body will eventually go into "starvation mode" if you do not eat. All of the above advise is good advise.

Proteins are essential in your work out to help build strong muscles that will aid you in burning fat! After you start taking A.C.E. and you notice that you're not as tired as you once were, that you may in fact have the energy to get up off the couch, create a work out routine that you know you can stick to. If you are like me you may need to start small. For instance, I want to get up every morning and run like I know a lot of folks do, but I also know myself well enough to say that I more than likely, even with the help of A.C.E. won't commit to that. But I will go for a walk. And if I can't make myself get up early in the morning to do it, I can always take a mile-long walk after a sensible dinner.

After a week or so on A.C.E. you should also notice that you aren't having the craving you used to. I no longer crave sweets. Perhaps there is something you have noticed you are eating less of. Now that your brain isn't clouded by hunger cravings, you can actually take the time to make a conscious and healthy food choice. Introduce yourself to new fruits and vegetables. And I can't say this enough: Start a food journal. Log everything you eat — specifically your calorie intake. Use an online fat burning tool or a calorie counting app on your phone. I use one called Noom on my Android phone. It's completely free and it tells me how many calories I should burn every day and how many calories I should ingest.

Make sure you are eating at least 2 healthy snacks, and try your hardest not to skip meals. Even if you push food away or don't finish food because your appetite is curbed by the A.C.E. your body still counts any portion you eat towards calories burned. And that's your goal. You want to keep burning calories.

Here are some other products offered by the AMS/Saba company that may help in getting the toxins out of your system as well as help build protein:

Saba Pomegranate antioxidant juice. It has B6 & B12 that contribute to energy (like ACE), but also vitamin C, Niacin (B3) and concentrated juices from other fruits. It is a non-specific product. That means there's no one set organ, tissue, system or area of the body that it is recommended for. Because of this, it finds the sickest part of your body and begins to heal those cells. Even if you are a fairly healthy person, this product will rid your blood of free radicals or toxins. As your cells become healthy they are restored to the original purpose God gave them. Healthy cells cause anything you take to work to it's fullest potential: aspirin, blood pressure meds, diabetes meds — even ACE! I take both the A.C.E. as well as the Saba Pomegranate and the Borojo amino acid juice. Amino acids are essential for building protein fibers in your muscles. With proper protein, your muscles burn fat all by themselves! They call the A.C.E. plus the Pomegranate juice the "1-2 Punch" because they just work all the better together. And if you're doing muscle or strength training you need the Borojo juice!

I for one can tell you it's true. When I started ACE I was on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, high blood pressure meds and stomach meds for reflux. Now the only thing I take is the OTC stomach med and I don't even take that everyday anymore.


Anyone who is interested in trying any of these products should please contact me. I would love to help you get started on becoming the new, healthier you TODAY!

Carla Hailey
Saba/ACE Senior Associate
931.286.1326
carlahailey@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Don't ask me "How are ya?" today because you just might get the truth





K. So ... today could be the day I flip my lid.


I have been borrowing my mom's car because mine died. My car is not repairable. I will need to buy another one, which there is no way we can afford another car note right now, but ... none the less ... we will do what we have to do. In the meantime, my mom has been gracious enough to let me use hers. Well ... hers broke down on me this morning.

I'm still worried about my dad who I can't get to because of so many broken cars. Today is his birthday by the way. Happy Birthday Daddy! Hope you feel better! Robert and I are talking about moving him in with us just so he wouldn't be alone any more and so I would have constant access to him.

On top of this, any money we have I can't get to because of all the car trouble and spending money here and there on car parts that have ultimately turned out not to work, then rent, our loans with the bank have fallen behind and they won't let me touch any money in our accounts.

Oh yeah ... if you try to call my phone today forget it. Because I can't get to my money so I can't top up my cheap paygo Cricket phone! So don't even bother with calling. You can send a text, though I can't text you back. But if you've ever just wanted to have a one-way conversation with me where you did all the talking and I didn't interrupt, well then, today's YOUR lucky day!

After waiting on my brother to finish his breakfast so that I could catch a ride to work, I get here and before I could even clock in I have people in my face telling me all about the phone calls they've had to deal with in my absence. I got people threatening to cancel their advertising accounts with us just because we didn't receive their stupid e-mails! So I immediately start putting out fires here at work!

Yep ... today just could be the day I throw in that towel and walk away from this job that works me 40-plus hours and pays me less than a part-time wage which is what is leading to all of our woes to begin with! Money! We don't have enough of it!

I always have my A.C.E. biz to fall back on! So far it's done me more good than my real job! It has made me money and helped me lose weight. I could make more money at it if I just had the time to work it. Hmm ... anybody else see what I see?

I bring home somewhere around $400 every 2 weeks. We pay $400 a month in child care. My gas cost about $80 a month and if we could manage another tote-the-note car we are looking at adding $260-$300 a month in an additional car note. If I do the math, then it seems we would save money if I just stayed at home!

The only problem is health insurance. That's all I'm working for! I pay $200 out of my paycheck every 2 weeks to pay for a family plan, but I'm about to say "To heck with it" and put Ellie on Tenncare! I cannot take this anymore.

And this is just the stuff I care about bringing up guys! There is a bunch of other little things that are adding to my list of stressers right now that wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for everything else.

Here's what I wanna know though: At what point should I just take all of this as a sign that it's time to move on? How do you take that first scary step. Can someone please tell me how to jump off a cliff. (I'm not suicidal; I mean that metaphorically.) It's a scary to just leap into the unknown! I feel like I'm walking blind-folded off a cliff! How do we survive if I quit my job?! What else will go wrong if I make the wrong decision?!

Robert and I are doing a lot of contemplating right now and we need direction from God to direct our path and our decisions. Anyone reading, please pray for our mental clarity. I don't think I could bare thinking I made the wrong decision if I should quit my job and then something else go wrong! I don't cope with doubt very well at all!

And please don't misinterpret my frustration at my present circumstances as a lack of faith. My faith that somehow or another God will turn this all around for my good (Rom. 8:28) is the only thing getting me through! I can't help it though if in my "go-through" I get frustrated that I don't have all the answers. I can't help it if I want to know just exactly how God is going to work all this out! It doesn't mean I'm faithless; it just means I'm overly curious ... ya know? I mean, think of our own children. Just because they ask us "why" or "how" doesn't mean they trust us any less.

All that said, if there is anyone else out there who has been thinking of buying A.C.E. or any other Saba products from me, then please know that this week's good for me! I could really use your help! I have 10-packs, 20-packs and preferred customer deals, and all proceeds would go toward a very worthy cause!

K. I'm done! Venting complete ... for now.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Maintaining a steady 194!

So ... I am now at a point where I can see that I am going to have to step up my activity. I have been maintaining at 193-195 for the past three weeks. Perhaps I will go ahead and up my dose of A.C.E. Appetite Control & Energy from 2 per day to 3, but before I do that I will try to make an extra effort to get more physical activity in.

My diet may need some changes at this point as well. Like maybe my system is going into "starvation mode." I've been able to make healthier choices when I eat because thanks to A.C.E. my mind isn't clouded by cravings; in fact I haven't really thought about food in nearly 4 months. I have been eating a small breakfast like a piece of fruit or light/low fat yogurt. I will force myself to eat a small salad of Romaine or Iceberg lettuce, 2 % cheese, real bacon bits, sometimes croutons and 2 tablespoons of Italian, lite Ranch or lite Caesar dressing. Sometimes I add Tyson or Kroger brand precooked chicken strips. I realize that not everything I put on my salad is fat-free or necessarily healthy, but again, our bodies must ingest calories in order to burn calories. I think my biggest problem right now is that I don't eat dinner most nights or get those 2 snacks a day in. This is so important to caloric burn, but it's just really hard to make yourself eat when you're not hungry. I think I would rather try to go for the extra snacks (healthy choices of course).

I know ... There's a fruit and vegetable stand 2-3 blocks from my work. I can walk there each day. I'll just take from my change jar each time to cover one piece of fruit or a veggie. I think this sounds like a good idea. I'd be killing two birds with one stone.

I also think that I am going to try another product offered by AMS/Saba: Toppfast. It's a weight loss/protein shake that comes in chocolate or vanilla.

The good news is that even though I may not see the numbers on the scales changing too much, I am still finding that my clothes are looser. I keep having to drill new holes in my belt, so I know that A.C.E. is still working.

All in all, I am just glad I am not falling backward; I am still progressing -- moving forward in this journey to a new me!

And bottom line: I am still loving my A.C.E.!