Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from the Montgomery family!

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Luke 2:9-11

9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

May the love of Christ be in your heart today and all year through. I love yall!

Refresh Summit

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some pictures from this past weekend when I went to Refresh Summit South in Tennessee. Last year I had the privilege of being a speaker, and this year I was a last minute attendee!

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Refresh Summit is a Christ centered fitness retreat. A great time of learning, sharing, and sweating with other ladies! After the crazy summer I have had and with preparing to move, it was great to get away and be still as I get ready for a huge life change. We filled the weekend with worship,

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food,

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conversation,

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workouts,

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group fitness,

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country glow zumba,

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and a bonfire with s’mores

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It went by super fast, but was just what my soul needed in this season. I took a long hike by myself on Saturday afternoon, and it was great to just drown out the noise, no social media, no texts, etc. and just walk, pray, and listen. Sometimes I think we are so busy doing all the talking and praying that we forget to just BE STILL and listen. (At least I do!)

I am so glad I got to go back to Refresh and see old friends, and also make new ones!

QOTD: Have you ever been to a retreat or conference? What is your favorite part?

Montgomerys on the Move

Well, the time has finally come to share some BIG news with you. I shared it first with my email subscribers yesterday, because I always tell them news first (sign up here), and I already felt so much better last night after getting it off my chest.

I explained to my subscribers that lately I have felt like I was doing something wrong by keeping a secret from you all. It has become difficult to share personal stories of things going on in our lives simply because if I did, it would give my secret away. I know my blogging lately has been sporadic, and unfortunately it will continue to be that way for a little while longer, because my friends…the Montgomery family is packing up and moving to FLORIDA!

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I cheated. This picture is from last summer.

Whew. Ok, now I really feel better for letting the cat out of the bag to everyone. Funny how when you withhold information, even if you have a good reason, it can feel like a lie/wrong doing. There was still a lot up in the air until recently (and frankly, there still is,) but I decided now felt like the right time to share, just…because.

Ok, so here are some of the details. I am not ready to share everything 100% yet for various reasons, but here is what I can tell you:

WHO: Me, Bobby, and Emma Kate, of course. We have been within 3 hours of our families for years, so this will be WAY out of my comfort zone.

WHAT: Moving. We already established this right? Smile with tongue out

WHEN: Sometime in mid to late November. So, soon. This is scary because our house is still on the market. We had an offer a couple weeks ago that unfortunately fell through. We can’t buy another house until this one sells…so you get the picture.

WHERE: All I am willing to say right now is “central Florida”. More to come. Stay tuned.

WHY: Bobby has gotten an awesome new job, something he has worked really hard for, for a long time now. Thankfully both of my jobs are work from home, so I will still be doing what I love!

HOW: That’s a really good question. There is a lot to get settled, so we would so appreciate prayers right now for a few key things to fall into place. I know God’s timing is perfect, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about all of the things working out in time for us to move. It gives me a headache just to think about it. I would also be lying if I said I wasn’t sad about leaving our current town. This is where Bobby grew up, and we truly do love it here. In particular, our church and gym, and the friends that come along with both are going to be very very hard to replace, and I’m frankly not sure it’s possible. I have gotten to know so many great people who have helped me a ton, especially in the past year, and if I think about leaving them it really upsets me.

Change has always been hard for me, and I’m incredibly sentimental so this whole process has been overwhelming. Please know if I take a little longer to answer emails or seem out of sorts for the next couple of months, that I’m just super busy doing all of the things for all of the people, and I will hopefully get back into a new routine once we get settled. I have had a couple of people ask me why I haven’t been marketing my new book much anymore, and now you know why. I have been packing boxes, doing research, and so many other things as we prepare to move. I can’t wait to share a new area, new adventures, and a new life with all of you here in my little corner of the world! Thanks for hanging in there with me.

QOTD: How do you handle change? Are you sentimental? Thoughts on Florida?

Difference Makers

Everyone wants their life to matter. We all want to think that we are doing some sort of good in the world, and the one day when we are long gone, someone will remember us and think fondly for our achievements.

This summer at church, we have been going through a series called Difference Makers. We have had pastors from all over the world come and speak, and it has been an amazing learning experience. Yesterday was the final day, and the speaker did an amazing job of wrapping up the series and bringing the main points home.

He talked about the mustard seed, and how small but mighty it is. I had never seen a full grown mustard plant/tree, but wow they can be HUGE! When you think about how small a tiny mustard seed is, it is quite a feat that it can grow to be so large. Just like that little seed, if we can make one tiny difference in someone’s life, we may never know the huge impact it can have on others.

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Over the years I have said time and time again that with this blog, I am to inspire, encourage, and motivate. It may seem so small and insignificant, but if it helps someone become a better version of themselves, then it has all been worth it to me. That is also what prompted me to write my book, in hopes that I could spread my message even further.

Don’t ever think that you are too small, too average, to insignificant to matter in someone else’s life. You may never see tangible evidence of your work in this life, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying or that what you are doing doesn’t matter. Some days are harder than others, but what I have is hope. Hope that we can together make the world a better place. Hope that I can somehow make someone’s life easier, more full, or a better place. Hope that leads others to smile, and that it will become contagious. Some days life is just plain hard, but you, me, all of us, we CAN make a difference, but we have to actually START.

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So, how can you make a difference, today, with something as tiny as a mustard seed. Can you speak a kind word to a bully at your workplace? Can you pray for someone who has wronged you, bring a meal to a single mom and her family, or pay for someone’s lunch? It may seem simple to you, but it could truly mean the world. All you have to do is take a step of faith and get a little uncomfortable, then take the next step and the next. I encourage you today to think of a way you can make a small difference in someone’s life, and then DO IT! I truly believe if it is something you are supposed to do, that God will give you the strength, courage, and words.

The world could use more difference makers, so let’s all join ranks and do it together. Who knows who you will end up helping, touching, or saving.

QOTD: When is the last time you felt called to do something nice for someone? A simple act? What happened after that?

July 2016 Goals

Happy 4th of July! What a special day to celebrate our beautiful country and the freedoms it provides. Be safe with your fireworks!

Half of 2016 has officially come and gone, which means it is time to take a look back at any resolutions or goals you made back in January. How are you doing? In my experience if these are not in your face daily or at least weekly, they will be forgotten about. I hope the second half of 2016 is successful for you!

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Speaking of success, let’s see how successful I was with my goals from June:

1.) Clean up my work closet: D: I started on this one, but because it is tucked away upstairs where no one can see, it easily gets neglected. It’s going back on my list for July though!

2,) Cook one new recipe: A++: Why did I give myself 2 plusses? Because I cooked TWO new recipes! I tried out a box from Blue Apron, and cooked two of the recipes myself. I truly love the idea of food being delivered to your door that you just have to cook without buying all the ingredients yourself. However, I don’t truly love the price. Yikes.

3,) Workout 5 times a week: B+: Giving myself a B here because I had one week where I only worked out four times, but otherwise I have been sticking with boot camp very well.

4,) Run at least once a week: A+: Not only have I run once every week, but there were two weeks where I ran twice. Even in this heat and humidity! Super proud of myself.

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July Goals:

1.) Clean out my work closet: Carry over from last month.

2.) Finish boot camp strong with more muscle mass: At the beginning and end of each boot camp cycle, we do a body fat test. Last month my muscle mass % had gone down a tiny bit and my body fat had gone up so I want to correct that!

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3.) Get my eBook launched on time: In case you missed my post on Friday, I will be doing a pre sale for my eBook on my birthday, July 13, for one week before launching officially on the 20th. Hoping nothing gets pushed back and I get all the moving parts in place before launch!

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4.) Read my Bible every day: I was doing well with this at the beginning of the year, but last month things were really nuts around my house with lots of shifting schedules and it threw me out of whack. I need to find a new normal so I can get this important thing into the beginning of my day.

The only reason I have been having pretty good success with my monthly goals is because I put them in front of my face all month so I don’t forget about them. Having a print out each month of my overall goals with action steps as well as my fitness goals to post up on my mirror or refrigerator really helps keep me in check. If you would like a copy of the goal and fitness tracking printables that I created and use, you can sign up for them here. I hope you have lots of success!

QOTD: What is a goal you have for July?

Getting Uncomfortable and eBook Launch

There are times in life when we are thrust into situations that we don’t like. Whether they make us feel out of control or uncomfortable, no one likes being put in a position they don’t want to be in. We don’t’ like when  there is an unknown, or uncertainty about an outcome. That is how I feel about my eBook launch.

Control is something I have always struggled with. Really for me it comes down to a trust issue. Do I trust that everything is going to be ok? Do I have faith I can make it to the other side? Well, it depends. I’m still learning too, ok? I like safety. I don’t just mean living in a safe area of town (although that is always nice!) but what I am talking about is safety and comfort in my day to day life.

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Just like most people, I have dreams and goals. Big ones. However, sometimes there is something standing in the way that to me looms even bigger than what I want to accomplish, and that is fear of being uncomfortable and out of control. I have never been a risk taker. I have zero desire to jump out of a plane, or swim with sharks (that’s just cra cra y’all!) I like my comfortable life in my comfortable town with my predictable day. That is until I get that quiet little nudge that I could do, that I could be, and achieve some of those lofty goals of mine.

Oh but there is a cost.  In order to reach some of those goals, it would require me to be vulnerable. Out of the safety of my routine day and life. Some people feel a nudge for months, years even, and ignore it. What if I fail? Everyone will know and they will all laugh. Let’s just forget about it and keep on chugging along with my predictable day.

Goals get cast aside, forgotten, and sometimes never are thought about again. But let me tell you something my friend: The best things in life often come from the uncomfortable, scary stuff. It makes my skin crawl to even type it out because I know. I know. If the rewarding things in life were super easy, would you get as much satisfaction out of it? If you could go run a marathon without even training and set a new PR, would it mean as much to you without all the sweat, sacrifice, and early mornings? No, it wouldn’t, because you wouldn’t be as proud of your dedication and effort.

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So, let me ask you. What is something in your life that you really want to accomplish, but it seems SO scary, crazy, and hard? Think about how you would feel after reaching your goal. Pretty amazing right? Let me remind you that you are stronger than you think, and that you can do hard things. Stop self-sabotaging and believe in yourself.

Your goals are attainable

Your dreams can come true

You can get out of that comfortable safe zone and do hard things.

How do I know all of this? Because I did it. To me writing an eBook seemed terrifying. Planning an eBook launch still is terrifying. I put it off for about five years. Too time consuming, too hard, too technical, and too crazy. But guess what? I finally realized my strength and believed that I could do the hard things, and I did it. It wasn’t easy by any means, but that is exactly why I am so proud of it.

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My eBook will be launching in less than a month. I did something else scary and decided to shoot for a presale date of July 13th, which is my birthday. That means you can begin to pre order my eBook on that day (for a cheaper price), and then one week later, it will officially launch and you will gain access to your reserved copy.

To kick things off, I wanted to share with you my official landing page where you will be able to go purchase my book during the presale starting July 13. I am excited, nervous, terrified, and ready all at the same time. I can’t wait to share my labor of love with you, and I hope you will be encouraged by it. Feel free to bookmark the landing page, but don’t worry I will remind you where it is as we get closer to launch. Smile On the landing page you can read a little bit more about what will be in the book. Go take a peek, I would love to hear your thoughts. Get ready for my eBook launch!

QOTD: What is something hard that you accomplished lately? Did you think you would be able to do it? Anything you are wanting to do but it seems too scary?

PS: Don’t forget if you aren’t signed up for my Newsletter, you can do that today. You will get my free goal tracking printable and fitness tracking printable as well as be the first to hear news like what I shared above!

PS X’s 2: If you are a blogger and would be willing to read my eBook (for free) and write a review on your blog + do some social sharing, please email me at heather@heatherslookingglass.com with your blog URL. I would need people available to have the book read by the second week of July. I only have a few spots available for this opportunity, so please understand not everyone will be chosen. I will be sending out emails to those chosen on Tuesday, July 5th.

PS X’s 3: The lovely and very talented Katy Widrick designed my landing page for me. If you have any blog related needs, be sure to check out her services. She was so great to work with, and did a beautiful job on my landing page! Highly recommended!

Time Marches On

On Sunday, our church had it’s senior recognition during the service Bobby and I attend. They did a great job (they had a video play while each student brought a rose to their parents), and our pastor preached a great sermon geared towards the high school seniors. I was admittedly a little distracted by a couple of things that I kept thinking about during the service that I thought would be appropriate to share here.

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The first thing I kept feeling was a little bit of regret. I remember the spring of my graduation from high school clear as if it were yesterday. It was such an exciting season for me. We had the senior trip, graduation, I had a graduation party, then a fun summer working and hanging out with friends. This was to be fllowed by shopping for my dorm room, college orientation, and then finally moving away to college. So much going on, so much to look forward to, with my whole life ahead of me.

But, there is something else that I remember during that time as well, and it was that all I wanted was for time to speed up. Hurry up, let’s go, I have things to do! I wanted to hurry through graduation to get to summer, then hurry through summer to get to college. Once I was in college, I wanted to hurry through that to be a “grown up” and be “on my own”, you know, adulting and all that.

Oh, how I wish I could go back to 17 year old me and tell myself to SLOW DOWN. That this was such a fun time of life that I would never be able to get back, and that I would wish so hard that I could get back to it when I was older. Not that I dislike my life now, but let’s be real, the end of high school/going to college is a fun, carefree time for most. I watched as each of those seniors brought a rose to their families, most of the moms were crying, and the students were grinning from ear to ear. I knew EXACTLY the excitement they were feeling in that moment, and I felt the urge to reach out, grab their shoulders, and tell them to slow down.

College will come and go so quickly, and then you are left adulting for the rest of your life, and yall, it’s hard. The decisions, the responsibilities, I  know we all feel the pressure. Some days I wish I could get a college “redo” and really soak it in instead of hurry through it. I want them to all savor the moment and really make the most of it. I envy them all, having a chance to start from the beginning.

The second thing I kept thinking about that was bringing me to tears over and over again was the thought that this will be me in 17 short years. I will be the mom, crying uncontrollably, accepting a rose from my grown up daughter as she smiles excitedly, ready for her future.

Yall, I am so, so guilty of wishing time away. On rainy days when I am stuck inside with a hyper toddler, on days when I have a ton of work to do, and on days when my house is a mess, I just want to get through it and on to the next day. But I know if I keep wishing these days away, then I will blink, and Emma Kate will be on the senior video in front of the church. Baby dedication is in two weeks, and it was exactly this time last year we dedicated our little girl. A year. A whole year has passed. I only have 17 more and she will be gone.

It really is true that the days are long, but the years are short. I pray that in these hard seasons of being a mom, that I will not forget to embrace each moment, and that I will not wish them away for something easier. Time marches on, whether we are ready for it or not. We have a choice, if we will make each day count, or long for something else, something different, something further down the road.

I pray for those high school seniors, for my baby girl, and for myself, that we would hold on for just a moment longer, stop and take it all in for another second, and be content in the place we are, for this season. For it will be gone all too soon, and we can’t get it back.

5 Things Friday XII

Happy Friday! Not only that, happy GOOD FRIDAY. This is such an important weekend to me, yall. So much to be thankful for! Let’s jump right in to 5 things Friday

1.) Easter Fun: Ok, who dyes Easter eggs this weekend? Bobby and I have always done it together, and Emma Kate is now 18 months so I think she would enjoy it, so I think we may go for it? Thoughts? Any other fun things we can do besides an egg hunt?

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2.) The Crescent City Classic 10k is Saturday! We will be staying the night in New Orleans tonight and racing tomorrow. I was pretty confident in a PR, but now the weather is going to be hot and rainy so I’m really nervous and wish I never would have voiced my PR intentions! Yikes! I promise to post updates from NOLA over the weekend so be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter (or all 3!)

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3.) Bible Study: I mentioned last week (or maybe the week before, it all runs together now), that I had started a small group Bible study with some friends from church, and now that I am on the third week I can vouch for the book and say it is wonderful! Definitely steps on your toes a bit which I love, so if you are looking for a good devotional, I highly recommend this one!

 

4.) Iced or Regular? Ok, so now that it’s getting warmer, I have started craving iced coffee. Anyone else? Let’s vote. Do you drink hot coffee year round no matter the temperature, or do you switch to iced in the spring/summer?

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5.) Easter Sunday Meanings: This is such an important weekend. Today, on good Friday many years ago, Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, then rose again on Easter Sunday. what a huge blessing it is, as I did nothing to deserve His love and sacrifice. If you have any questions about Easter and the Bible, I would be happy to answer/help!

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I hope everyone has a great weekend, I will see you all on Monday. Happy Easter!

QOTD: Iced or hot coffee (from #4 above), and what are your Easter plans?

February 2016 Goals

Hi friends! Happy Monday! I trust everyone had a good weekend. The weather was beautiful here, sunny with highs up to the low 70’s. I haven’t seen the sun in what seems like forever, so I am getting some serious spring fever now.

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I am so glad I decided to go back to monthly goals this year. I think it’s helping keep me on track, so let’s see how I did last month before diving into February.

1.) Read a book: A+! I read not one, not two, but THREE books this month, and it was wonderful! I forgot how much I love getting lost in a good plot line. Must do this more and turn OFF the TV.

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2.) List baby items for sale: B+: I listed SOME baby items for sale but not all. I was able to sell a whole bunch at once to a sweet neighbor having a baby girl soon, and I have listed some more expensive pieces on Facebook. I still have a few things in the garage but not near as many.

3.) Go to boot camp 3-4 x’s a week: A+ I have been to boot camp four days a week every week, except for the week we were on the cruise, obviously. I’m really proud of myself, because Fridays in particular are hard to make myself want to go, but I have been sticking with it and seeing results in the form of gaining muscle. I have gained a POUND of muscle in a month, yall. I’m super proud.

4.) Run twice a week: B- I did this every week except for one week I only ran one time, so I am giving myself a B. This of course doesn’t count the running we do at boot camp. I typically do one short 3 mile run then a longer run of 5+ miles. Taking advantage of this nice weather is a must.

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From a NOT warm run in January

5.) Foam roll after long runs: F: No two ways about this one, I just failed. Really, I just forgot. I’m so out of the habit that I just never remembered. I foam roll after boot camp but REALLY need to make an effort to do so after long runs. My right hip has been tight so I definitely need it.

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So, what are my goals for February? As a person who doesn’t like to leave things undone, I am going to take my big fat F from January and put it at the top of my February list.

1.) FOAM ROLL AFTER LONG RUNS: Do ya hear that, self? Just do it. Must do it.

2.) Daily devotions: I have been doing well with this on daycare days, but the days I am home all day with Emma Kate are just harder in the morning, which is a terrible excuse. I need to start doing them at night on those days.

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3.) Walk the dog more: Yall, it’s been cold. I haven’t been walking the pup like I did in the fall. She weighs nine pounds so she gets exercise running around the house, but she loves being outside. I just need to do it.

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4.) Limit night time snacking: We eat dinner early because of the little one, so this leaves me wanting a snack around 7:30 or 8:00, which is fine, but I eat too much and all the wrong things. I want to limit myself to one fun sized piece of chocolate, and if I want anything else it needs to be more healthy.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Here’s to a great February!

QOTD: What is one thing you want to do in February?

Merry Christmas 2015

I know I usually share my card on the 24th or 25th, but we are heading down to Louisiana today, and I will be MIA from blogging until Monday. Bobby’s mom is coming to stay at our house while we are gone, and I’m not even brining my laptop!

Per usual, I am post my Christmas card we sent out to our family and friends. I consider you my friends, and even though I can’t send you all physical cards, I love showing you ours virtually! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and make great memories with the ones you love most.

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What a special time to celebrate, the day that Jesus Christ came into the world as a baby! In my family, we honor this important day as the beginning of the most wonderful gift anyone could ever receive.

Isaiah 9:6: 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Merry Christmas from the Montgomery family!