by J. Blair Lane

Membership @ GAINchange

clock May 21, 2009 09:57 by author J. Blair Lane

Are you a woman struggling with your weight?  Would you like to band together with a group of ladies who are seeking true, positive, lasting change in this area?  If so, you may want to check out our online community at GAINchange!  We are a small group of friends who hold each other accountable and enourage one another on the journey.  I wish I could give everyone viewable access to all our forums so you could see firsthand what we're really like.  However, we take the privacy of our members seriously so they may share the ups and downs of the weightloss journey without the threat of "lurkers".  If you would like to know more or are interested in joining us, check out our site and/or email me at

White As Snow

clock April 12, 2009 08:19 by author J. Blair Lane

Yesterday I overheard a myriad of complaints about the forecast of snow.  So many commenting that it might ruin their Easter plans...  Egg hunts, potlucks, church services and the like.  After a long night of dealing with sick children, you can imagine what my reaction might have been when I looked out the window to find my yard completely covered in snow this morning.  We had plans today too but when I opened the blinds in my sick daughter's room I just stared at everything covered in a blanket of white.  Instead of dismay or disappointment I smiled, God was sending me a reminder.

Thoughts of Christ's mourners and the long night they had before that dawn came to me.  Then God reminded me of the joy in their hearts as His followers realized what that empty tomb meant.  Gazing upon the beautiful snow God provided in the wee hours of the morning, my smile broadened even more.  In that moment He spoke powerful words to my spirit, "Today, My child, I washed you white as snow."    All I could whisper back was a pitiful, voice-cracking, “thank you.”

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”  Psalm 51:7

"Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;” Isaiah 1:18b

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5

Women’s Online Bible Study: “Believing God”

clock January 9, 2009 14:26 by author J. Blair Lane

Ok, we’re coming down to the wire but there is still time to sign up to join us in “Believing God” by Beth Moore.  We are moving forward with our plans to begin the study on January 14th.  At a minimum, all participants need the member workbook which can be picked up at any Bible bookstore.

If you would like to also view the video segments (highly recommend this) or listen to the audio version, you will need to purchase that access at - the cost is about $24 and includes all the video segments and the member workbook in pdf format.  You will also gain access to other study materials used during the study.

We will be completing each week in 10 days rather than 7 to give everyone ample time to complete the homework, watch the video and then post in our discussion forum.  The discussion forum will be located at GAINchange, which is totally separate from Lifeway.  There are no fees to join our forum.  All we ask is a commitment to the study and the ladies moving through it with you.

In order to join the study, please email me at .  Include your name and the username you would like to use on our forum.  I will need confirmation from you no later than Tuesday, January 13th so that I may build your login and get it back to you before Wednesday.

Habit Transformations

clock January 5, 2009 11:57 by author J. Blair Lane

They say insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results.  I suppose that makes me crazy then because I am guilty of this very thing.  Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not sure I expected different results so much as I hoped I wouldn’t have to work that hard to change the behaviors giving me poor results.  Thinking “I need to change” doesn’t get me very far – at least not as far as it used to.  Long ago I would think about changing something and just do it.  Now, I’m ensconced in pitiful habits that leave me feeling icky on so many levels.  Things that started out harmlessly and morphed into auto responses that will take much work to undo.

Today I read an article in Today’s Christian Woman magazine (Jan/Feb 2009) about stopping naughty habits.  Obviously common sense tells us that you must practice the opposite of what you are wanting to eliminate.  I didn’t need anyone to tell me that.  The author says, “Breaking old habits and embracing new ones isn’t easy.  But it is learnable.”  Hmmm, learnable.  I had to agree that God gave me a brain capable of learning new things.  So this forced me to ask myself, “am I teachable?”  I looked up Webster’s definition of the word and part of it struck me with deep conviction.  In order to be “teachable” I must be “willing to learn”.

If my brain and body can learn poor habits then it stands to reason that I can learn to replace them with good habits.  I don’t have to think about driving anymore, I just drive.  I don’t have to think about washing my hair or where it comes in my shower routine, I just do it like my body is on autopilot.  The more we practice something the easier and more automatic it becomes… like typing.  Which I’ve been doing during this entire post thus far without even thinking about it.

I like how the author states that habits “aren’t just about willpower.”  I needed to read that today.  When I pried myself out of bed at 5 o’clock this morning I kept telling myself, “this will get easier.”  The truth is though, it won’t get easier unless I make waking at five a true habit which means I have to practice waking at that time every morning.  I must be “willing” to practice it too.  Currently my brain is programmed to be a night owl and if left alone I can autopilot that behavior quite well.

There are several bad habits I am hoping to break this year.  Right now it is helping me to see it as  “learnable” rather than browbeating myself into submission.   I’m not sure it will make the process easier but hopefully it will improve my attitude about it and thus make me more “willing to learn” new responses.

Thirteen Hundred Bucks

clock December 23, 2008 10:31 by author J. Blair Lane

Well, it seems Wal-mart hasn't had enough negative publicity lately.  Now they are booting customers from their store for, get this, giving out Wal-mart gift cards to Wal-mart customers on Wal-mart property.  Yep, you read that right.

Barry Goldberg, an out-of-work mortgage executive, decided to purchase $1300 worth of Wal-mart gift cards and stand at the door handing them to people as they entered.  He was asked to leave because his act of goodwill was "interrupting the flow of foot traffic in the store’s vestibule".  You can read about this riduculous eviction here.  I find it incredible that the man spent thirteen hundred bucks at their store and then they turned around and kicked him out.  I wonder if the flow of foot traffic being relieved granted enough sales to off-set the sales they will lose over this story?  Doubtful.  This man should have been commended for his act of good-will, I know I would have been grateful to get one of his gift cards... if I still shopped at Wal-mart that is.

Of course, Target saw an opportunity to gain some of Wal-mart's ever growing dissatisfied customer base.  The article states that, "Target swapped his Walmart gift cards for Target ones and let him hand them out in front of their store."  Way to go, Target!

Skater Gear: Staying Warm

clock December 23, 2008 07:12 by author J. Blair Lane

Since ditching the title "soccer mom" for "skater mom" I've discovered that what you wear really does matter.  Not just for the skater but for the mother freezing to death in the stands.  My girls, especially Kate, tend to get really cold on the ice.  We were piling on the thick layers only to find out that she couldn't move as well.  I refuse to buy the pant suits designed for figure skaters as they are very expensive (and she's getting a team warm up anyway).  I'm still in the stage where I want to make sure she is going to stick with this before we sink too much cash in.  Still, she needs to be warm so we made our way to REI (we're members) and found her some cute polar fleece items to create lighter, warmer layers.  We found some great warm but thin gloves also so she can move her hands.  She also wears long underwear that we picked up at Target.  Having full range of motion is important.  Her toes still get cold but she's getting some "official skating tights" for Christmas that I hope will help with that.  We got both the under and over the boot kind so she'll be wearing double layers.

As for my freezing buns, well, I finally caved and purchaced some Under Armour.  Pricey but quite effective.  I can wear it under my regular winter clothes and stay much warmer than I had been.  I'm convinced that rink maybe the reason I've been so ill.  I also take a thick blanket to sit on as the bleachers are metal (brrrr).  I wear wool socks and my snow boots too.

The Dream of a Three Year Old

clock December 19, 2008 16:04 by author J. Blair Lane

When my oldest daughter, Kate(9), was three years old she told me she wanted to learn how to ice skate.  Her brother took a class at the local mall when he was about four and she wanted to be out on that ice so badly.  I figured I would have to be out there with her and well, being very pregnant, that wasn't going to happen.  After the baby arrived money, time and sanity all took a hit.  The last thing I wanted to think about was ice skating.  It was expensive anyway.  We pushed the poor dear into sports we knew and understood like soccer and softball.  Neither of which put a smile on her face for very long.  Her heart just wasn't in them.  I wondered if we would ever find "her thing".

While we traveled with Erik during the two years he spent as a contractor, we suspended all organized sports but promised to resume them when we settled down again.  Any time we had the discussion of "what would you like to try" my darling daughter's first response was always, "Ice skating".  As the Lord would have it, the house we ended up buying here in Colorado is only about a mile from an ice rink that has, you guessed it, a "Learn to Skate" program.  Erik checked into it and discovered that it wasn't as pricey as we remembered so we enrolled her in the Basic one class.  I have never see this child this excited over anything - ever.  Erik phoned from her first lesson to tell me that the girl couldn't sit still while she waited for class to start.  If you know Kate, you know this is totally out of character for her.  I think that first class began in September and she's be going ever since.  She loves it.  I now take her to all classes, lessons and practices.  I feel like it is something that we are sharing even though I'm not out on the ice with her.

In the last couple of months an opportunity has come up for her to join a local skate team.  I have felt so overwhelmed at times just trying to learn about all the gear and terms and competitions.  I guess it's good that I can take on some of that for her and she can just enjoy her time on the ice.  Of course, the expenses do begin to add up quickly.  She has a private coach now and skates and her team warm up should arrive at our house on Sunday.  Then there are the entry fees, ice fees, music prep fees...etc.  People have asked me if we're moving in this direction because we've seen natural talent - well, as I don't know squat about figure skating I can't judge whether she has talent or not.  What I do know is that her face lights up when we talk about it.  She loves going to class or just skating in general. 

Right now, the only draw back (other than cost) is how cold it is in the stands at our little rink.  I am going to have to acclimate or I'll be sick all the time.  This session we've added the younger two girls also (6 & 4).  They are in the classes but not on the team as of yet.  I can't tell if they love it because they love it or they love it because their big sister loves it.  Sometimes I wish I had listened when she said she wanted to skate all those years ago.  I feel so silly now for taking this long to let her give it a try.  Maybe I was afraid she would actually like it?  Talk about taking me out of my comfort zone.  This former Florida girl doesn't have much experience with winter sports.

NaNoWriMo 2008: Finish Line Details

clock December 1, 2008 13:45 by author J. Blair Lane
(((Deep Breath))) The challenge has ended and what a wild ride it was. I'm excited to announce that I actually met the challenge this year with a whopping 50,006 words - woohoo! I feel like my brain needs a rest but words cannot express how good it felt to cross the finish line on Sunday. It's a good thing words are inadequate because I'm not sure I have many words left. I learned several things about myself during the last month, the least important of which is that I get car sick if trying to type in a moving vehicle at 4:30 a.m. on an empty stomach.

NaNoWriMo 2008: Rounding Third

clock November 18, 2008 07:14 by author J. Blair Lane

Last night I passed the 32K mark.  I've never made it to 30K in one of these challenges so this is a huge milestone for me.  I've had to cut out most of my online activities to get to this point as otherwise the time would not have materialized.  I still have 18K words to go but I am encouraged that if I continue to forge ahead and the Lord blesses my efforts, I will make it to that coveted goal of 50K words in 30 days. 

This has been an extremely emotional journey so far.  You absolutely know this to be true when you read the week three "pep talk" email from Chris Baty and you start crying at the end of it.  At the same time I'm actually excited about diving into the editing stage of this manuscript next month.  Until then, I've got 18K words to bring this story to a close.

I would love to write more about the last few weeks but I feel I've used up every word available to me in this challenge.  Any creative flare has been pored into it and so I am left with choppy thoughts and ill-thought out sentences for this blog post.

"Beautiful Letdown" by Switchfoot

clock November 5, 2008 06:01 by author J. Blair Lane

This is a really beautiful song with a wonderful message.  It seems appropriate after last night's election.  A sweet sister in Christ sent out a message this morning calling us to turn to God.  I got the same exact message from Him last night while I watched the events unfold.  A peace washed over me that defies any human understanding. My hope is not in the next President of this country, it is in the Christ who has already saved us.

"Beautiful Letdown"

It was a beautiful let down
When I crashed and burned
When I found myself alone unknown and hurt
It was a beautiful let down
The day I knew
That all the riches this world had to offer me
Would never do

In a world full of bitter pain and bitter doubt
I was trying so hard to fit in, fit in,
Until I found out
I don't belong here
I don't belong here
I will carry a cross and a song where I don't belong
But I don't belong

It was a beautiful let down
When you found me here
Yeah for once in a rare blue moon I see everything clear
I'll be a beautiful let down
That's what I'll forever be
And though it may cost my soul
I'll sing for free
We're still chasin our tails and the rising sun
And our dark water planet's
Still spinning in a race
Where no one wins and no one's one

I don't belong here
I don't belong here
I'm gonna set sight and set sail for the kingdom come
I will carry a cross and a song where I don't belong
But i don't belong
I don't belong here
I don't belong here
Kingdom come
Your kingdom come

Won't you let me down yeah
Let my foolish pride
Forever let me down

Easy living, not much like your name
Easy dying, you look just about the same
Won't you please take me off your list
Easy living please come on and let me down

We are a beautiful let down,
Painfully uncool,
The church of the dropouts
The losers, the sinners, the failures and the fools
Oh what a beautiful let down
Are we salt in the wound
Let us sing one true tune

I don't belong here
I don't belong here
I don't belong here
Feels like I don't belong here
Let me down
Let me down
Feels like I'm let down
Let me down.
Cuz I don't belong here
Won't you let me down?