Falling for a Bird’s Call


Earlier this morning, I was going over my lesson in preparation to teach Sunday School. As I am sitting in my bed, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful, sweet sounds of birds chirping/singing outside my bedroom window. I love the sound of birds chirping in the morning, therefore I was easily distracted . . . well if I’m being honest, I’m easily distracted by lots of things lol. 

So as I’m sitting in my bed, now listening to the birds, my initial thoughts were: How awesome is it that a bird can wake up at the “butt-crack” of dawn and sing so loudly & beautifully; yet we wake up so grumpy, fighting the alarm clock for an extra 5 minutes. Don’t worry . . . I’m guilty too! It was in that thought that I began to research why birds chirp so loudly in the morning.

According to an article I read, scientists say that it is mostly the male birds that do the singing for primarily two things:

1. To proclaim their territory.

2. To attract the female birds or to warn off other male birds from their female mate.

I’m going somewhere, so stick with me lol

The female bird hear the chirping, but are very selective in which male bird they will choose as their mate. The louder, the stronger the chirp is of a male bird, is usually an indicator that his territory is large, and that he has plenty of food. The female bird don’t just answer to any male bird’s song; no matter how sweet it may be. They choose wisely for the male bird that has the large territory. Because his territory is large, he will protect it, protect her, provide for her, and lead her. The other male birds may sound sweet to her, but she wants the one with a loud, strong chirp. Also, the male bird chirps the loudest early in the morning. He starts early, before any other male bird even tries to invade his territory or come at his mate. He wakes up early to work to provide, protect, and lead!!!

Ladies, what are we looking for in a man? Do we want someone who sound and appears to be sweet or someone who is a provider, protector, and leader? IF a bird has common sense to choose their mate wisely, how much more time should we take in choosing our mates!

What bird call are you falling for?

~Hazel~

The “S” Word


submission coupleRecently, I was invited to appear as a guest on the Healing Hearts radio show. The host, Jason Miller, interviewed me to discuss the true meaning behind the term submission. Yes, I attacked the “S” word on the radio! Prior to going on air, I found myself in several conversations with women about the “S” word. What I found, from those conversations, is that most women cringe at the thought of being submissive to a man. I remember a time I too would cringe at that thought.

In these conversations, I found myself giving them a different outlook on the term. Many of these women are single and desire marriage one day. What disturbs me the most, are the women who are married, but have a problem with submitting to their husbands. So let’s dive into the issues behind the “S” word:

1. We first need to understand what submission is not. To be a submissive wife, that does not mean that you lose who you are as a woman. It is not meant for you to be treated like a doormat. Submission is not you “bowing down” to your man. You can still have a voice in your marriage, and be a submissive wife.

2. Submission is spiritual. I am a firm believer that you cannot submit to a man, if you have not submitted to God. You would run the risk of submitting to the wrong man by not being able to submit yourself to the will of God. Now I know the argument here is: What about those who are not submitted under the will of God and have beautiful healthy marriages? I’m not saying that this could not happen, but I feel that it is rare. And how do we really know that is true?  A lot of times we see things from the outside looking in. We think others marriages are healthy and perfect, but they could be miserable.

I believe that the risks are much higher when you are marrying someone, and you are not submitted under His will. If it goes against scripture, then it’s out of order.

Take a look at these two versions of scripture regarding submission”

                Ephesians 5:22-28, (New International Version): “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

submissive ephesians 5 image

Ephesians 5:22-28, (The Message): Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, go all out in love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor – since they’re already “one” in marriage.

Look at the way Christ loves the church. We are part of the body of Christ who makes up the church. If we submit to God, we will have no problem with submission to our husbands. Christ is the head of man, the head of Christ is God, and the head of woman is man (paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 11:3). There are things that the husband should do according to Ephesians, but we get stuck on the part that says “wives, submit to your husbands”, and run with that. Man has the greater action of submission than woman. He has to submit unto Christ and love his wife as Christ loved the church. Y’all Jesus died for the church. You want a man that would love you so much that he will die for you. Go back to the scriptures outlined, and look at how Christ loved the church. Those are just a few examples of his love for the church.

If a man loved you the same way Christ loved the church, you wouldn’t have no problem submitting to him. However, in order to see that quality in a man, you have to know what it’s like to submit yourself to God, and experience the way He truly loves you!

3. Submission is an understanding and it’s a mutual commitment.  You both have to understand what submission truly is. Again, there are things outlined for the husband in scripture as to how he should treat his wife. It requires for you both to be committed. It’s a choice that you both make. Husbands will choose to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Wives will choose to submit to their husbands.

We choose to submit in so many areas of our lives:

We have an understanding and make a commitment on our jobs. Therefore, we submit to our employers.

We submit to traffic laws.

We submit to our state and government laws.

We submit to the pilot and flight attendants on a plane.

We submit to our teachers and professors.

But when it comes to submitting to our husbands, we take an issue to that. It is a choice and understanding we have to make.

4. Submission is about trust. If you can submit to God, who is unseen, that shows your trust for Him. You are trusting a man, a spiritual being, that you cannot see to direct your paths, order your steps, and lead you. If you can do that to something that is unseen, again you should not have a problem doing that to a man you see every day. It’s about trust. But, if you don’t trust men, then you will not submit to one. You will then need to seek God to help you in your area of trust. I challenge you to evaluate if you fully trust God. The way you relate to people is a direct reflection on the way you relate to God. Do you trust?

 submission happy marriage

Let’s kick this ugly stereotype about submission. Society has made this term so negative that women cringe at the thought of it. They are fearful of it. Men abuse it. And God intended for it to be beautiful, to bring about oneness and order in marriage. So my question to you is this: You want to get married, but are you ready to submit?

~Hazel~

**images courtesy of Google images**

I’m Passionate About My “Me TIme”


This is so important to do! I schedule “Hazel Days” where I take time out for myself & just do all the things I want. So I agree with Keith…it’s so important to have yourself some “me” time! You have to take care of you!

Keith-Harris.com

me-myself-i2

When was the last you had a date night with the most important person in the world. I’m talking about yourself. There are times where I’m busy with work, helping others, keeping tabs on my kids and doing other BS. That I tend to  neglect myself. So, when I need a break for everything and everyone. I plan an evening with the most important person I know. Me. There are times you need to break away from people and things to keep your sanity. There is nothing wrong with seeing movie, having dinner at a new spot, or just sitting at home just chillin’. How can you help others if you are being pulled in so many directions.

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On the Couch: The “Busy Body” Workout w/Marlon Coutee Jr.


Busy-gym-womanAs we continue on this journey to loving our bodies by feeding it the proper nutrients and exercising regularly, I can’t help but to think about women who have hectic schedules like me. Lately, I am finding it extremely hard to get to the gym to put in 30 minutes of work. I know I’m not alone. So I talked to my dear friend, Fitness Trainer & Nutrition Specialist Marlon Coutee Jr., to have him share with me some exercising tips for those with a busy schedule. Marlon has been awesome in sharing his expertise thus far “On the Couch”. So if you are looking to love your body by taking better care of it, check out these tips from Marlon:

Everybody say with me “Activity”! Yes, Activity is all you need. That’s all a work out is. A work out can be something as simple as doing laundry or mopping the floors. So again, activity is all you need. There are just varying intensities of activity that may be needed to produce specific results.

So for the very beginner, try these out:

–       Walk the Mall: Have fun with it and take a friend or two. Each of you try on a 2- piece “beach” side outfit that you want to see yourself in. Set a goal for yourself or with the crew, and hold each other accountable.

–       Grocery shopping

–       Walking the dog: It will make you feel good and I’m sure the dog would appreciate the time outdoors.

–       Laundry: Requires much lifting of heavy loads of clothes, detergent, folding, walking back and forth to put things away . . . lots of activity here.

–       Park in the back of the parking lot: Quit circling around the parking lot of your favorite store looking for the closet parking space. Park in the back and get those extra steps in.

Speaking of steps . . .

–       Take the stairs: Watch what stair climbing can do for your legs and gluts.

 That’s all activity, and you can do one of those every day of the week. Switch it up or designate days. You may decide on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday’s you will take the stairs to your office floor, instead of the elevator. Or you will walk the parking lot on your lunch or break. The key is to try not to make this change over-night; take small steps to avoid being over whelmed.

Now that you’re moving, step it up a notch:

–       Try jogging with the dog:

–       Maybe you walk/jog in the next 5k event with your accountability partners from the mall!

–       Join a local Zumba or hip hop dance class

–       Use the kids Wii or Xbox connect to play the Michael Jackson experience or Dance Revolution.

You’re moving now, you’re getting comfortable with being active, and you are actually starting to love it! You are telling everyone about it. Then, you notice that people are starting to tell you that you are losing inches.

Your momentum going, let’s step it up:

–       Join the local gym

–       Find your local parks and trails and do some jogging outdoors. Maybe you can attempt some pull ups on the monkey bars to test yourself and using that to create new challenges

–       Try doing push-ups at home 

–       Introduce body weight exercises into the mix.

So, you joined the local gym because you can’t be at home to work out. At the same time you can’t miss your favorite 7pm show. If you going to jog/run on the treadmill, bring head phones, most treadmills at the gym have TV’s built in with standard cable and local channels. You can now do both!

Got a basement in your house or a ground floor and some room? Grab a jump rope or hula hoop and get active in front of the TV while your show is on!

–       Jump rope during commercials

–       Run the stairs in your house

–       Do some squats or lunges on commercial break

It all counts. Easy enough right?

working out no chore

Now that all has been mentioned, you can do this in 30 minutes to an hour because every little bit counts . . . even if you have to break your activity up. The number one thing is to make sure you understand that all movement counts. It’s better to do 10 mins, 5 x a day, than to talk about doing a 1hr 5 x a week, and never getting around to it because frankly, life can happen at any time. You’re busy so you may feel like you never get a solid hour to yourself in a day anyway. All the more reason for you to, break up your activity.

If you do these tips, you have now set the tone, and you’re learning how to fit it in your schedule!

Last thing . . . you have to make sure you are eating right. You have to start somewhere:

fitness plate

For the “I’ve been eating fried chicken and corn or green beans out the can all my life” folk:

–       Just simply bake or pan-sear the chicken in olive oil.  Or my favorite, grill it. Check Pinterest for ideas or even FB groups like Fitness Life (I try and share good ideas there from others in the clean eating communities.)

–       Start to play with your natural seasonings: Basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cumin, garlic, onions, green, red, yellow peppers, jalapeno peppers, cayenne (spice helps speed the matabolism).

–       Buy your veggies frozen or even better fresh. Stop boiling them and steam them. Keep the nutrients in the veggie.

–       Eat more fruits

–       Start to eliminate complex carbs like white potatoes, rice, pastas, (white bread is always a no no), but pick up your veggie intake. The more colorful your salad is the more nutritious by rule of thumb

–       Take a look at choosemyplate.gov for daily recommend servings for those who are not that active or just starting to get active and learn to eat better.

You decide where you want to go in terms of continuing towards your goals. Join challenge groups on social media, check out your local trainers and nutrition specialists. Some personal trainers have a nutrition background or training and some don’t so ask. Use your resources, and share recipes with your accountability partners.

You are well on your way to loving your body properly!

After getting these tips, I have no excuse to get in a good work out in the midst of my busy schedule. I guess that’s why he is called “Mr. No Mo Excuses”

Remember this is all about a healthier you. To empower you to look as good as you feel. We are all not a size zero, nor will we ever be. Women are beautiful . . . we come in all shapes and sizes. The key is to feel good, and let our bodies work for us long term.

~Hazel~

You can contact Marlon by:

trainermarlon@yahoo.com

Instagram at: @_NoMoExcusesFitness

Facebook page: facebook.com/pages/Fitness-Life

 

On the Couch: Keeping that New Year’s Resolution w/ Fitness Trainer & Nutrition Specialist Marlon Coutee Jr.


Fitness image Soon we will be ending the first quarter of 2014 and many folks have kicked their New Year’s Resolution to “get fit” to the curb. At the start of the year, gyms across the country are packed with people empowered and “determined” to commit to a new lifestyle of fitness and healthy eating. Like many, I too have struggled with being consistent in my workouts and eating healthy. Why is it that we find it so hard to keep our “get fit” New Year’s Resolution? Fitness Trainer and Nutrition Specialist, Marlon Coutee Jr. share his perspective on why it’s so hard to keep the commitment to “getting fit”, as well as tips to keep that commitment alive.

What are the goals you are setting for yourself? Often times, people tend to set unrealistic goals or fail to trust someone to put those goals into perspective. As a personal trainer, part of why you pay me is for me to be honest with you. I am also paid to get you to your goal with all of my power. In all of my time spent in the gym, I have noticed that those who had the ability to set realistic goals have been successful. That applies to life; not just in the gym.

Eating healthy and working out has an abundance of benefits. There is one benefit that I think to be the foundation of the total quality of life spectrum. That benefit is to give yourself the best chance to functionally enjoy all the days of your life. By functionally, I mean the ability to move around freely; free of Cancers, Type II Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, High Cholesterol etc.  All those ailments causes you to stress, and robs you of your chance to enjoy all the days of your life relatively speaking. However, if we eat right and workout, we lessen our chances of suffering from those ailments. Imagine how great life would be, if you are able to physically enjoy the times you had in your 20’s while you are 80 plus years of age?! How great would it be to be able to get out of bed at 82 years of age, put on a pair of Airmax 2015’s, and go for an afternoon jog on the local trail? Taking care of your body while you are young will have lasting benefits as you age.

Here are some tips to keeping that “get fit” New Year’s Resolution alive:

–          Keep it Simple: Keep your fitness goals and their outcomes simple. Don’t set unrealistic goals. Trust someone to help you keep the goals you set; like a personal trainer.

–          Be Fully Committed: Approach your health and the journey of your life as priority number ONE! Invest fully in yourself, and never let the obstacles and cloudy days deter you. This could arguably be the most important thing to understand. You have to make your health journey a priority.

–          Celebrate the “small” Progression: Celebrate every inch and pound lost like as if you have hit the lottery, but be smart about it. So that means you have to start making and practicing better choices. This doesn’t come natural to some of us, so you must practice at all times. When you have that party, have it with your fitness family members because they will give you the best chance to make those better choices. For example, have a fruit tray competition on a random weekend to celebrate with people.Fitness image 2

–          Surround Yourself with Positive Influences: It makes a significant difference if you have a circle of people who have a similar focus.  I’m not saying to replace your best friend, nor am I saying this group has to all be gym rats. However, it does help if they are gym goers or on a healthy living journey as well. Or even people who are invested in your health journey, and truly want to see you succeed.
Now remember these are just some things you can do. This list is not all inclusive, but is meant to give an idea of what it takes to build a solid foundation you can be confident in! Don’t give up! The journey to a healthy lifestyle is just that . . . a journey. It’s a process, but you must have a determined mindset to start and complete your journey.

Marlon

If you have fallen off the wagon on your health and fitness goals you have set this year, understand you can pick right back up. This is for me as well, as I too struggle with keeping my commitment to maintaining consistent workouts and healthy eating. So let’s continue to journey together as Marlon empowers us to love our bodies!

You can contact Marlon at:

trainermarlon@yahoo.com

Instagram at: @_NoMoExcusesFitness

Facebook page: Fitness Life