A Fairytale

I was once asked, a long time ago, how could I believe as it sounds like a great story similar to Santa Claus. At that time, I was a bit thrown back and really wasn’t sure how to answer other than saying faith. Sure I’ve seen several things going around since then about how I would rather believe and be wrong and nothing happen than to not believe and be wrong and sentenced to a miserable afterlife. Sure that is great and all but here’s the thing, this friend is a great atheist friend of mind who needs facts.

She is an excellent person just never knew God. This question has haunted me for years. Anyone who knows a Christian well, knows that they love the opportunity to share and have been called to do so. So, when they haven’t been able to answer a question the way that they felt they should, it tends to bother them.

I have been reading Ezekiel off and on recently. The first chapter, you try to figure out what exactly he saw. It sounds like straight out of a movie with the 4 heads part man and part beast. But, it also leads to the thrown and the Lord. I would love to sit and analyze this out with a drawing one day. But when you read what he is called to do, it is not fairy tale story.   In fact, many would think he was crazy for listening to God in such a way.

This got me to thinking about the Bible as a whole and there is a lot of torture, war, anger, and no where near the loving story of Santa Claus. So, then there is Jesus, which I do think can sound very similar to those who don’t know Him. Sure, he saved us from out own sin. And he was a Saint but the torture that He endured is so much more or different than any story that I’ve read.

When I think of Saint Nick, sure there is the story of how he had to sneak around as to not get caught breaking the law but so he could spread the gifts of love and allow for children to have happiness. It is funny how this turned into a tradition of selfishness in many ways when it started so innocent. Jesus never snuck around even though many did not want to hear or believe who He was. He was ridiculed and punished even though He proved himself to be great time and time again.

Maybe this is why I froze on that day, there is so much to think about and how do you explain all of this in a short conversation. And with me, I definitely could make this so much longer with all the account of things not being easy at all but how in their beliefs, the conquered over evil. Okay so maybe that does sound a little fairy-talish but again, what does it really hurt to believe? And what happens if I’m right? I would much rather be here living my life in the name of the Father than questioning anything else.

Proverbs 15: 1- A gentle answer turns away wrath but harsh words stir up anger. 24- The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave.

Proverbs 16: 19-20- Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Some questions that I get

I always think its funny the questions that I get asked when people hear about my workouts. I’m not super skinny, I’m a mom and well, I have a chest. I worked out with a trainer at my previous work and he would put us through a series of different workouts. One of his favorite exercises is jumping jacks.

Oh how so many of us hate this exercise and I think for a variety of reasons. Gym class as a kid, trying to figure out the coordination of this exercise to start. Well as you get older or if you had kids, you have a new reason to hate this exercise. It is hard to hold your bladder! So a question that I’ve been asked is how to I handle that. For me personally, just making sure that I’ve gone before a workout has been good enough. But I am a firm believer that the more strength that you build, the less likely that you have to worry about this.

My daughters and I teach Sunday School. Yesterday, at Church, we were in the family gathering portion of the Sunday School hour. The director or missions had told one of my daughter’s co-teacher that I was doing the marathon with her. This lady, then asked my daughter how I run. And said that I was like her and she really wants to run. So E being very embarrassed called me over. It was funny. I told her that I get the double duty bras at VS. They clasp first than zip and I feel that they have made all the difference. I tell people about these kind of bras all the time. You can now buy them anywhere but I have yet to try other brands. Maybe, now that I’m starting this new journey, I’ll have to review some products and see what works and what doesn’t.

Isn’t life fun? Enjoy your Monday run or whatever exercise you are doing today. Just remember to get out there and do something- anything to move.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Running update- week 8

I’ve been in a lovely roller coaster pattern of emotions and just plain and simple doing. Running is so fascinating. As you know, I started this journey with running about 2 years ago working out with a trainer. Sure I was doing great things with him but I was not losing much weight. My back was still bothering me regularly and well, I was always scared to try anything because of my hip. I still have these mental road blocks but today, I push right through them, which is probably something running has taught me.

So as far as the roller coaster goes. My first one is really my patterns. I was doing either yoga or running every day for a little over a month when a week where my schedule was getting the best of me and well, I could’t make it to the gym- yes an excuse. I have not done much of the cold outdoor running because well, it’s cold. I hate the way it feels on my lungs and it just seems so much harder but easier at the same time. Okay, yes- I need to do better with this, we will get there- goal for next year… 😉

With this one week of throwing me off, I did get lazy. I made more excuses the following week on getting to the gym and finally got myself there. I’ve been reading the book Running for Women by Danica Newon and in this, it suggested a different running pattern than I’ve been using (still sticking to the 80/20 but thought I’d give it a try this week). Much more math involved and well I definitely was not perfect but who is?

I did enjoy the difference but I do think it’s because I was changing it up- keeping in my for further reference. I also, took the tip of listening to a good book while running the long runs. I have been doing this my last couple of runs and I really don’t want to get off the treadmill because I want to keep listening. The fun part is I really don’t have time to do it any other time so it does help me to stay focused if I want to know what’s going to happen in this book.

Emotions- I hate missing a day. I beat myself up mentally on it. If I get a good yoga session in, I’m less likely to do that but it is hard. This leads to me questioning, can I do this? Will I be able to run 26.2 miles in a year??? Which brings on this whole new set of anxiety. Then I remember to take it one day at a time. I think of all I have accomplished. I remember my first mile run test with the trainer. OH man, was I going to die and what was it? 13. something mins for that run- not horrible but he had told me goal to be in decent shape is 12 mins. Then my beautiful daughters are doing it in like 8-9 mins. My son could in like 7 mins.

I thought man, I’m never going to hit 12 mins and at that time, I said I would never be a runner. Then a friend of mine posted to facebook her list of runs for that year. I’m like okay, everyone I know that runs is in good shape. They look great, feel great- lets give it a try. This friend was running in my town and why not sign up for that one. At the time, it gave me 3 months to learn to run 3.1 miles- simple enough. I knew I could do a walk/ run of 2 miles and adding a 3rd shouldn’t be terrible. I finished that race in I think 48 mins. First mile was 13 something, second 14 something and third 15 something.

I now can do a 5k in under 40 mins and run a 12 min mile. It isn’t easy doing this on the treadmill because on the treadmill, my mind gets the better of me and I really do have to push through mental road blocks. But when I’m outside and don’t know how far I’m running or how fast that I’m going, I’m free and run so much better. Knowing how far that I’ve come, helps me to focus on how far I can go. Now, to get myself feeling better so I can get back to my long run today would be great but probably tomorrow- now this is going to be hard…

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Give your praise

before you hit your knee- what a great phrase, have you ever thought about what it means?

It is so easy for us to fall into the victim role- it made not be our mentality per say but we fall into this role without thinking about it. We will think why is this happening to me and then we go straight to prayer griping about our woes. We ask, ask, ask, and repeat.

Now let’s stop and think about the saying. Giving praise does so much for us than we realize. Not only are we recognizing God for all that He does, we are seeing the great things in our life. Our focus begins to shift. We realize that it is not all bad.

A big question is where to get started. Praise doesn’t always come easy, especially when facing something big in our life. We tend to lose focus of the good and only see bad. I like to call this walking around in the dark and only seeing the dark. We forget to search for the light even though it is beckoning just beyond the tree line.

My advise- start with a list (if you know me, you know I LoVe my lists). I would say start really small. We tend to lean towards the big stuff first because we want to just jump. This is overwhelming and yes easy to give up. So write 1 thing down a day, if that is all you can do. Since it is common to start my goals in 3-5s, I would say start there. But do what you can, just remember not to over do it.

You can start at the simplest. I’m thankful for the roof over my head, food on my table, my family and pets. I’m thank to have a job, a car, place to live, and that list can go on and on. Easy enough, write down 3-5 similar each day. As you are going, start looking at more of your day. I’m thankful I made it to work on time and safe. I’m thankful that all my family made it home tonight to eat dinner around the table. I’m thankful for the time I spent with my friend or family member that is hard to see. The more you start to see these things daily, the more light you start to let in and the less dark your world will become.

Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

A book that I was recommended to read and is in my amazon cart for my next order is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. My understanding it is about a woman who is finding her way to thankfulness and her recommendations on how to do this & what she experienced doing so. If you get this book, let me know what you think and I’ll do the same as soon as I read it.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

It is all in how you look at it

Life is so full of ups and downs. There are so many punches thrown our way and it is how we deal with each punch that defines us. Sometimes, it is a simple word. Other times, it may be a physical punch. But most of the time, its the trials that we are facing in life.

A lot starts with our thoughts, which we can control even though it seems so hard to do at times. Do we think the worst possible things? Are we trapped in thinking only bad will come? Or are we trying to look to the future and what that has in store for us. Are we taking each day as it comes?

I was reading in the Pslams today. David struggled so badly with this. He felt God was punishing him for his transgressions. He felt all alone and that so many were out to get him. Through it all he trusted in God, though. He knew that he needed to stay in prayer, praising the Lord, asking for forgiveness and then waiting for the storm to pass.

While David knew so much was going wrong in his life, he never thought this was the end all. He talked to God about all the things that was going on and then asked the Lord to walk with him, to forgive him. It is so powerful to know that someone has your back even if they are not of this world. Having that Holy Spirit living deep inside you is something to give praise to. This was a gift to us when Jesus left this world and I truly treasure it daily. Knowing this, I know I can conquer all the crap that is thrown at me, which lately has been a bit more.

Psalm 145- A psalm of praise of David.

I will exalt you, my God and King,
    and praise your name forever and ever.
I will praise you every day;
    yes, I will praise you forever.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
    No one can measure his greatness.

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;
    let them proclaim your power.
I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor
    and your wonderful miracles.
Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;
    I will proclaim your greatness.
Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;
    they will sing with joy about your righteousness.

The Lord is merciful and compassionate,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
The Lord is good to everyone.
    He showers compassion on all his creation.
10 All of your works will thank you, Lord,
    and your faithful followers will praise you.
11 They will speak of the glory of your kingdom;
    they will give examples of your power.
12 They will tell about your mighty deeds
    and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
13 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
    You rule throughout all generations.

The Lord always keeps his promises;
    he is gracious in all he does.
14 The Lord helps the fallen
    and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
15 The eyes of all look to you in hope;
    you give them their food as they need it.
16 When you open your hand,
    you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in everything he does;
    he is filled with kindness.
18 The Lord is close to all who call on him,
    yes, to all who call on him in truth.
19 He grants the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
20 The Lord protects all those who love him,
    but he destroys the wicked.

21 I will praise the Lord,
    and may everyone on earth bless his holy name
    forever and ever.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

The unknown

There are so many topics that I want to talk about. My head keeps going through them over and over. My running progress, my day yesterday, the state of the world (okay maybe more of a society thing), and the list goes on. It all boils down to time- who has it?

I feel like I’m struggling lately with who I am. Okay not so much that as to who I am supposed to be. The Lord pretty much shouted at me to slow down yesterday. I had an over all bad day. I should have started my day in prayer or at least the small prayer that I do right before teaching. The kids were full of energy and I felt alone with the 12 kids. I even called out my assistant as he was just as loud yesterday. I lost my patience for a moment and I ended up feeling guilty. (I didn’t do anything major but it felt so big as this girl is a sweetheart and I know she didn’t mean to do anything and I made her cry- ugh)

So I finally got over it and moved on with my day. Come to last night, I have no idea how it happened as it doesn’t make sense. Our garage door is slow, yes, but it usually is well up before I get seated in my car. So what did I do to run into it? It was just the bottom panel and it took my antenna off, as well as scraped the top a bit- nothing major but still how? Nothing makes sense other than God saying that I need to stop.

Which leads me to my running progress as guess where I was heading when I hit the garage, the gym to run. I’m on day 42 of my move goals but have missed 3-4 days of doing any exercise and have done some quick yoga sessions at night just to get whatever I need for mins in. I’ve had so much on my plate that I’ve had no time to get in much running. Although my timing was not bad the last 2 times that I went.

The last topic on my mind that I’ve been wanting to blog on is swearing and how it is so widely accepted now. When I was a kid, you would have gotten smacked or mouth washed out for saying these things. And taking the Lord’s name in vain was so not accepted. Now we have cute emojis or sayings to cover it up but we use it in vain all the time. It was brought up in my Bible Study recently and it really got me thinking. Why have we wandered so far from the rules of the Bible or even common decency?

Now back to the topic of the unknown. This does all relate on some level. I’ve been struggling a lot of what are my next steps and am I doing enough. I know I’m not doing a job that is my calling and I know it is hard to start in that field. Plus until last night I really didn’t know what that was. Sure I assumed based on the things that I love to do but didn’t know for sure.

In my questions about doing enough, I decided to take this Poverty Cure class. Best thing that I have done for myself in a while (besides running). There is a lot of discussion about what is those living in poverty’s God given talent and how can they use it. Well this brings us to the point of how can we help. But in that if you don’t know yours, how can you help? So many questions. Well I took 3 tests last night to get answers on this. Every one of them points to teaching. 1 pointed to prophesy and another to Evangelism. 2 said writing was high for me, along with knowledge. Faith was definitely strong, as well.

So where does that bring me? Teaching is something I love and wanted to do for a while. Writing, well you know that I love that or you wouldn’t be reading this. I think it is a combination of both with Christ at the center. Now, how to get into this, is the question. Oh and how do I do this all in a way that I listen to the message to slow down (which was one that was given to me also when Hermione was missing)?

So I will be finishing out some real estate transaction and closing that door finally, which is amazing to me as I knew God wanted me to open it. But there is a big part of me that believes that it was to do the transactions that I have up to now and the one I’m working on.

I’ve had this dream of opening a youth center of sorts. I would have my bakery out of it (something that I’ve wanted for years is to bake). But it would be, I don’t know an arcade style, maybe roller skating, yoga studio, bible study type of thing. No clue. I don’t know honestly. A safe place is all I know that I could teach out of and write in my spare time. I thought about the bowling ally that has now been for sale for a couple of years but I still don’t know what that looks like.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

What is enough?

This is a question that I often times find myself struggling with. Am I doing enough, should I help more, can I help more, where do I go to help more or am I doing enough?  The funny thing is I often feel conflicted in answering this question. This question was a part of the Church sermon this morning. The answer is whatever God places on your heart is enough.  Okay, so that I get and many times I think that I am doing enough.

So I leave Church and this question feels answered but at the same time I start to question the things that I want/ am doing. Is it too much, am I going too far. Then my heart again goes to wanting to do more. So back to Church I go. But seriously, I am studying the poverty cure and I did go back to Church. Tonight we looked at Rwanda and wow, I mean I remember Hotel Rwanda was hard to watch but that’s a movie. So seeing this and thinking, this was just a few years ago (yes a bit more than that but in relevance to when we look at history) and where was I? Young, yes and definitely focused on myself. I didn’t even have the thought of kids or my future (well my dreamed future) in mind much.

I was trying to survive the high school jungle. Nothing in comparison so probably wasn’t real to me.  So, I sat there tonight, watching this lady talk about her hiding and survival. She kept saying the Lord’s prayer and stopping on the forgiveness part. I’ve stopped there before myself too. Can you imagine forgiving the person who killed your family, your friends, and then boasted about how many they killed? For me, it has gone to the abuse that I endured. I have forgiven but this never met as much to me as I heard her talk about her hate but knowing that she wanted to be close to the Lord.

She asked him to show her His sight in this because she cannot do it. He revealed to her the story of Jesus saying, “Please forgive them for they do not know what they do”. She realized they were blinded by hate and did not know what they were doing and it opened her eyes to pray for them. They were coming after her still and she was praying for them. We can’t even begin to imagine this. But it was so powerful.

This topic opened up so many more topics about what are we doing here? I know my work is not done. There is so much left in me. Maybe I don’t need to volunteer for everything but I have so much more left to be done. His word is so important and I know I need to share it. We started out in Mark 2 this evening. A story I know well. I remember reading and being told it so many times as a kid. I also remember thinking that I don’t know how this relates to me.

The part I want to share with you comes from the study piece of my Bible.

“The friends of the paralytic show a great love for him and a great faith in Jesus. If T-shirts could be printed for these men, a perfect slogan would be, ‘Actions speak louder than words.’ No obstacle- even a roof- can slow them down. But even greater than their love is their faith. Just as we wouldn’t waste time cracking open a nut if we didn’t have hop of finding “treasure” inside, these men wouldn’t have ripped open a ceiling unless they had believed the treasure of healing for their friend could be found inside. In the end, Jesus provides a healing because he “saw their faith” (Mark 2: 5)- the faith of the friends! The beauty of their role doesn’t start with their muscles; it starts with their hearts. – Women of Faith Study Bible

I think trust and faith can be a hard thing. Can you imagine going through the crowds and seeing them getting worse to get to the Almighty? Then, to make the decision to climb up to the roof with a paralyzed man and cut it open? Most of of probably would have said, “we will try tomorrow, hopefully there will be a lesser crowd”. But they knew He was healer and now was the time to do it. How many opportunities do you think we’ve missed to seize the time? God is all around us giving us strength and faith in what to do but I believe we have our blinders on. Can you imagine what would have happened if Moses walked passed the burning bush? God probably would have given him another opportunity but would this be at a time that the story would have went different? I don’t know.

So I leave you with, keep your eyes open wide, keep your hearts open wider, and let the Holy Spirit take over with discernment so you don’t miss your opportunity.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Biblical Inspiration this morning

I am on a 24 day streak and before you freak out- It is a movement streak so I am doing yoga or a light activity 2-3 days a week to give my body a break from the grind. It is amazing though- my longest streak ever but I was burnt out a bit this week from working way too hard the week before. I was need inspiration for sure the last couple of days. In fact, Tuesday and Wednesday became more about stretching and yoga than anything.

I listened to my body but was frustrated since I’ve had a hard time wanting to run. This morning I opened my missions book- Poverty Cure- as I have missed a week and had to leave early this week. And this bible verse was blaring at me. (I will put it below)

I felt this inspiration that okay, I am going to do this marathon and prepare for it. So now, is there a book that will help me feel the inspiration and train me at the same time. I found 2 on audible. The second one was the 80/20 run. And wow was this just what I needed. So I found out that I need to really, really pace myself more than I am. Right now I am sooooo scared that in a year, I will be the slowest runner and it will take me so long to finish that I will quit just because I’m bored. So I’ve been pushing my slow runs.

You are suppose to have 2 slower, well paced runs that are more about distance than anything, 1 moderate run and then 1 all out run a week. My 2 slow runs have been moderate so no wonder I was burnt out. I use my 5 day for an alternate intensity activity. Mostly HIIT workouts so far but also will get on the elliptical or bike on these days.

So today, I forced a 5.0 speed on the treadmill- omgosh was that ever so slow. lol But I feel good. It was what it was supposed to be. I will continue to read this book to train myself more but I am always amazed by where reading the Bible takes me on my path- Journey with me!

Hebrews 12:1-2New International Version (NIV)

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Amazing the kindness of strangers

I am in constant awe of the kindness of strangers. Hermione was so skinny and low on protein for being gone so long without food. The vet told us to add eggs and chicken to her diet. One neighbor that I still haven’t met in person dropped off all natural treats that she had for her dog of 11 years that passed away recently.

One of my husband’s co-workers, who had their own dog treat business, drove into work on one of his days that he didn’t have to, just to make sure to bring us 3 bags of his and his wife’s specialty treats. I have to tell you- my dogs would do flips for these treats. They have this all down to a science and the ingredients are amazing. But my dogs act like I am giving them food from the table (which we never do). These treats are packed with vitamins that help with recovery, which we all know that Hermione was/is needing this. So it’s been great seeing her grow. Click here if you want to get your own awesome treats!

I still have people reaching out to see how she is doing and that is truly amazing. So even though we tend to see all the bad in this world, there are so many good kind hearts that are truly amazing. Keep blessing others as you can. We can make a difference in this world.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

I am not ashamed

I remember the news of the Columbine Shooting well. I sat there and watched the unfolding of the event and just couldn’t believe it. As I watched this movie, I remembered how much I forgot about the events of that day.

I remember being:

  • 20 years old- not that much older than those high schoolers.
  • Pregnant with my second child
  • Very Naive
  • And the 13 tears- Oh how I forgot this but now I remember

I remember how I thought, what is this world I am bring children into. I have thought that I couple other times in life- when the towers went down and not the exact question now but now is what kind of world will my children bring kids into.

What was ironic is today a Church in TX was under fire. Someone went into the Church and started shooting. It was not that long ago that the Vegas Strip Shooting occurred. I don’t think the shock of it ever goes away but it is becoming way to common to see these shootings and that is just sad.

It makes you question so much but also it brings on fear to many. In the movie, we see this young lady who was the first to be shot, she was in a constant battle with today’s world and following her beliefs. I feel so many of us feel this battle. I know I do. Here is the thing- NOW is NOT the time to be afraid- it is the time to be strong in faith.

Now is the time to be like Rachel and not be afraid to stand your ground and walk your faith. It is amazing how people will see that light in you and will follow. They may be resistant but who are you kidding, you know you have been too- maybe in a different way but we all are scared on some level. BUT it is amazing what a difference you will see when you let that light shine bright. And the thing is, when someone tells you how bright you shine, you won’t even think you are at that time. You are just doing what comes natural and it will throw you off- possibly even make you blush. But it is an amazing feel to know that God lives in you through the Holy Spirit and that light shines bright when you let it out.

 

Galatians 2: 20- My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-