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Suicide of a Friend

by Lisa Manning on August 12, 2014

Dove 1 Suicide of a FriendThe night the phone rang, my husband watched as I slid down the wall.  “No, No, NO!”  It was our pastor’s wife calling to tell me a beloved member of our worship team died.  She was one of the most beautiful women I knew, inside and out.  She loved Jesus with all of her heart.  Her worship was amazing!  It was as if Jesus was standing right in front of her.

Suicide.  She committed suicide.  She had an adoring husband, 3  young children, a father and sister who she was close to and many friends.  Yet, inside she was tormented.  Everyone knew she was struggling and for months, they had tried to help.  Each of us examined every conversation that happened over the past few months to see what we could have missed.  We mourned a wonderful woman of God with the biggest heart ever.

Unless you have experienced true depression, you can never understand suicide.  I know the death of Robin Williams is opening some wounds for people who have suffered a loss because of it.  I have had 2 friends commit suicide and it is still heartbreaking to me to think about the churches overflowing with people who loved them when they themselves felt unloved.  A woman from our church prayed for God to give her something, anything to help her understand.  She awoke in the night thinking she needed to read Psalm 55.  Here is what the verse says:

4 My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
    horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
    and stay in the desert;
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
    far from the tempest and storm.”

I truly believe my friend went to heaven because she had one of the most pure love for Jesus I have ever seen.  Those verses really give me a sense of what someone is thinking when they are considering suicide.  They don’t, however, give the full picture, the HOPE that we can find in Jesus.  They don’t express the LOVE & CARING that others have for you.  They don’t make you understand the unconditional ACCEPTANCE that God, our Father, has for you.

If you are struggling, please turn to someone and ask for help.  You don’t have to do this life alone. 
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Sometimes, during worship on Sunday morning, I look up and still see my friend smiling at the piano as the sun shines on her hair.  The vision makes me want to do better, to be a better woman.  Then, like a dove, the vision is gone. 

Hope.  Love.  Caring. Acceptance.  It is waiting when you ask.

1F450899A05CBB56BBB2C668B4CF67FD Suicide of a Friend

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T-Tapp 60 Day Challenge 2014

by Lisa Manning on August 8, 2014

wpid 20140807 155921 168x300 T Tapp 60 Day Challenge 2014

Teresa Tapp

Last September,  I started a weight loss journey. The first part was mostly food related.  From September 27th to January, I lost 17 pounds. Certainly,  I  was happy about that but I still had more to lose and I needed to tone my body. Enter T-Tapp.

January 24, I opened an email to learn that the T-Tapp 60 day Challenge was beginning the next day. After reading the information,  I submitted my application.  The next morning, I had to take “Before” pictures. Can you say ICK? But, I put on a swimsuit and my husband snapped away.

I was horrified to see myself from the back.  I had back fat and my “cheeks” hung below my swimsuit. This was after I had lost 17 pounds and thought I only had 11 more to lose. My body weight may have said one thing but the pictures said quite another. Those pictures certainly helped motivate me in a way nothing else could have.

60 Days later,  I had to submit the “After” pictures and an essay about my journey.  Here is the essay I submitted:

Nutrition: The past year, I have really changed my eating habits for the better. Most of the time, I eat similar to the Paleo diet (fruits, vegetables, nuts & meat) but I do add a small amount of dairy because I love milk and cheese. I don’t eat processed foods at all and very little sugar. I do, however, eat at least a few squares of 85% dark chocolate each day. icon smile T Tapp 60 Day Challenge 2014 I also add protein to my water a few times each day. During this 60 days, I continued to eat this way. I did not count calories or let my diet consume me (which has been an issue in the past). Occasionally, I do allow myself to sneak a handful of the kid’s treats or a food item not on my typical list. Moderation and education have been my keys to success in this area.

What I did not do: Exercise every day (except hoe-downs), deprive myself food/nutrition, get incredibly stressed out if I missed a workout. All of these are positive!

Final Essay:
When I was younger, I never worried about my weight. It was easy to maintain and I completely took that for granted. When I married my husband at age 30, I weighed 120 pounds and was in great shape. It was not long after that when I began (unknowingly) to have thyroid problems. My blood tests were always ‘within the normal range,” and every doctor dismissed the symptoms. It was not until I had 2 miscarriages that I decided to seek specialized help outside of my area to find out what was going on with my body. Intrinsically, I knew something was wrong. The doctor verified my thyroid was indeed close to failure and my adrenals were failing too. They did not, however, tell me much about how to fix the problems except to put me on thyroid medicine. I had 2 additional miscarriages and was told that I may never carry a child to term. I gained a little bit of weight with each of these pregnancies. I spent tons of money seeing specialists and holistic doctors trying to find a way to “cure” myself. Eventually, I did get pregnant again and had a beautiful baby girl in 2004. Along the way, I gained at least 65 pounds because of being on bed rest. I don’t know for sure because I refused to get on the scale once I knew it would be over 200 pounds. I lost most of that weight and had another daughter 3 years later, gaining 50 pounds with that pregnancy. I also had another miscarriage. This time, the weight didn’t come off so easily. I went to the gym, boot camps, tried P90X (and was injured!) and even trained for and completed a 60 mile breast cancer walk but still couldn’t get my body to cooperate with the goals I had.

During this time, I also went into complete menopause at 41 years old. Maintaining my weight became a constant struggle. I tried various shake diets, juicing, crash diets and exercise to no avail. Everyone told me to give up on ever getting the body back I once had because it just wasn’t realistic. While I understand that having children and health issues changes things, I refused to believe that it had to be the end of getting back into good shape. I watched everything I ate. It became an obsession but my body still wasn’t changing. Whatever the trick of the month was might work for a bit but then if I went back to normal eating (note…not high calorie crazy eating), my weight would start slowly creeping up again. The whole process was exhausting me mentally.

In September of 2013, I ordered several T-Tapp videos and the “Fit and Fabulous” book. I read the book and exercised to the Menopause Management workout for about a week but then just tapered off and stopped altogether. I think there was a part of me that felt it was too easy (compared to Boot Camp or P90X) to actually make a long term difference. Instead of exercising, I concentrated on continuing to modify my foods and get more protein into my diet. Indeed, that helped and although I lost 20 pounds, I was still really “fluffy.” I am only 5’2” and I had lost 17 pounds before even one person noticed. I knew exercise was going to be my best answer to get more tone but I was dreading it. While the boot camps had worked, they were ridiculously difficult, expensive, and something I wouldn’t maintain for the long term. I need an exercise program that gives me results, works with a busy mom/entrepreneur schedule and is practical.

Late on January 24th, I opened up my email to find a note from Charlotte Siems that the 2014 T-Tapp Challenge was beginning the next day. I had no idea what that was but after reading the rules, I decided to sign up. I needed motivation to get back to exercising. The next day, I took the pictures and submitted. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I actually found the success stories and realized most people didn’t take their pictures in swimsuits but in workout clothes. Now, I had even MORE motivation to work hard (insert funny grimace here!). However, if I hadn’t been in a swim suit, I am not sure I would have seen the difference in the cellulite on my legs or the huge difference in my bottom.

I dusted off the DVD’s and started reviewing them. The first few days, I just reviewed the form tips in each one and did the 15 minute video that comes with the book. Over the 60 days, I alternated with the videos I had purchased. I have had several surprises along the 60 day journey.

The first surprise actually happened on Day 3 of the challenge. I had been sick over Christmas and had a nagging cough that would not go away. I woke up several times in the night with coughing fits. On Monday, I reviewed the form tips of Step Away the Inches. I dropped my daughters off at a homeschool class and took the hour to start stepping outside, using the arm motions to move the lymph in my body as per the DVD. I did not have one single cough after that. It was completely gone. That led me to do some research into the lymph system and skin brushing you recommend, which I began to do most days.

The second surprise was seeing the effects of the skin brushing! You can CLEARLY see the difference in my cellulite in my after pictures. I have to admit that there were some days I missed but now that I have picture proof that it works, that won’t happen anymore! My dry brush is my new best friend! I really enjoy the tingle that dry brushing gives me.

My third surprise was the ease in which I could incorporate hoe-downs into my life. Instead of being idle while waiting for the dog to go potty or my tea to heat, I did hoe-downs. One time, my daughter was taking a long time to go potty in a public bathroom. We were in a huge stall and I did about 20 sets of hoe-downs while I waited. Within a few weeks, my jeans were all baggy in the bottom. WooHoo! My children tease me when I start but occasionally, they join in the fun! Hoe-downs are the one exercise I did and will continue to do every single day.

Almost immediately, I noticed a change in my posture, or perhaps more importantly, I NOTICED my posture. As a large breasted, short waisted woman, I can’t remember when I haven’t slouched. Every time I see pictures, I cringe because I look frumpy but yet, I haven’t fixed the problem With constant reminders to keep my ribs up, I now pay more attention to my posture while sitting in my office chair, the car or even pushing a grocery cart. Interestingly enough, one of the reasons I have not been more diligent about my posture is that trying to maintain good posture often made my back hurt. Since I have been doing T-Tapp, I can maintain great posture without the pain I once had. (Surprise # 4)

The biggest and best surprise came about 5 weeks into the challenge. For at least 15 years, I have had lower back issues. Several times a year, I would injure my lower back and it would be miserable to recuperate. I had finally figured out that going to see a chiropractor every three weeks was the best way to circumvent this. About a week before the Challenge began, I had cancelled my 3 week appointment, meaning to reschedule. Around the beginning of March, I had the realization that I hadn’t been to the chiropractor since the first part of January; 9 weeks earlier. I have continued the Challenge and still have not been to the chiropractor. The money I saved in doctor bills paid for my T-Tapp training/trip to Atlanta. If I hadn’t lost one single inch during this Challenge, that alone will encourage me to continue with T-Tapp. I will continue to see a chiropractor but I am grateful I no longer have to go every three weeks.

As we finish the Challenge on this beautiful March day, I am smiling a little bigger because my inch loss was a huge surprise also. Although I swore I wasn’t going to measure throughout the Challenge because I didn’t want to get discouraged, I did go ahead and measure on March 11th. At that time, my inch loss was only 7.98 inches. Having the whole family sick with the flu on the last week of the challenge meant that I hardly had a chance to work out at all during this past week. As I measured today, I was hoping that I had just broken the 8 inch mark. I am crying as I type this because, not only did I surpass that, I lost 14.48 inches total. Evidently, this “fat shift” ya’ll talk about is reality because it happened. I thought I must have messed up so I went back and measured (twice more!) because I thought I did something wrong. I am beyond surprised that in the last 14 days of the Challenge, I lost another 6.5 inches. As I look at the before and after pictures, I can see a huge difference in my upper back and bottom. icon smile T Tapp 60 Day Challenge 2014

The health improvement I wanted to work on in this 60 day Challenge was more energy. That has definitely improved! I am actually sleeping a little less because I changed my schedule to get up earlier to work before the kids wake up. While I don’t have the energy level of a 20 year old again (yet!), I am no longer struggling to make it through the day. In fact, I have not had a 5 hour energy drink since the Challenge began (typically, a once-per-week occurrence). I took the advice of someone in a T-Tapp Facebook group and did hoe-downs if I noticed my energy level was waning. That advice really worked! I have accomplished more in the last 60 Days because of the change in my schedule and the renewed energy I am getting as a result of T-Tapp.

As you may be seeing, this 60 Day Challenge has been wonderful for me. I went into it a little skeptical because I have tried many things that haven’t given me long lasting results. In addition to losing inches, less cellulite, improved energy, better posture, and freedom from lower back pain, I feel like I have finally found an exercise program that works with my schedule, is practical and gives me great results in more ways than just weight loss! I am a true T-Tapp believer and excited to continue this journey beyond 60 days! I am truly grateful for having found T-Tapp!

DVD’s I Used: Hit the Floor, Step Away the Inches, Step It to the Max, Menopause Management, Ladybug Standing & Floor

☆☆ I WON IN MY CATEGORY! WooHoo! ☆☆

Do you want to see the (ick!) “Before” and “After” pictures? Click the link below:

Lisa’s T-Tapp Before and After Pictures

My prize for winning was the annual T-Tapp Retreat in Safety Harbor, Florida . Stay tuned for my review of the T-Tapp Retreat!

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Freebie: Packing List

August 5, 2014

Once again, I am packing for a trip.  Our family travels somewhere at least once a month so I seem to always be packing or unpacking.  Many years ago, I made a packing list that has been a tremendous help to our family.  This morning, someone asked me to share it with her.  I thought […]

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Wondering why you can’t hear God?

July 31, 2014

Some of you are wondering why God doesn’t talk to you anymore. You may need to examine what you are doing with the words He has already spoken to you. Luke 8:18 Therefore, carefully consider how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will […]

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Lessons in Attitude

June 26, 2014

I inadvertently stumbled upon a You Tube soundtrack yesterday that has me captivated.  The man who wrote/reads the book Lead the Field has some amazing insight into our Attitude.  We (myself at the top of the list!) can learn a lot!  Here are some of the point: 1) It is our attitude at the beginning of […]

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The Potentially Most Tragic Day of My Life

June 22, 2014

I have wanted to write this post for a week an yet, it has taken me this long to do so. Despite the passing of time, my emotions are still swirling. Perhaps that is by design as I never want to forget the events of that Sunday afternoon. When my husband and I had children, […]

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He Didn’t Have to Be

June 15, 2014

I was in first grade when my mom got a new boyfriend.  He was tall, dark and handsome!  Curiosity abounded, especially because he made me laugh.  Their relationship was a whirlwind and it wasn’t long before we were all together in one house and a new baby was on the way.  My mother had been […]

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I Have An Ugly Couch!

June 2, 2014

In 2000, we purchased our first home.  The apartment we had been living in was fully furnished so we needed to buy furniture for the new condo.  Both my husband and I agreed that we loved the couches of friends (Mike & Becky!) because they were super comfortable.  As we searched, we looked for that style […]

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How to Love a Porcupine

March 17, 2014

Let’s Start with Transparency:  I struggle to love porcupines.  They bother me.  I do know, however, that in the past, I could quickly become a porcupine if given the right circumstances.  With that being stated, let’s begin. Each of us has a porcupine (or two…or ten!) in our lives.  You know the person.  If you […]

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The Great “I AM” – Surviving the Colorado School Shooting

March 13, 2014

A day in December 2013 was honestly was one of the scariest days of my life. Sure, there was a day in October 1976 when, as a 6th grader I was riding my bike to school and was struck by a car. Up until that point that was the worst thing imaginable. Yet, I was […]

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