Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Where I Have Been...

This is not one of those posts that say all I have been up to (even though that's what the title may allude to).  It's actually a post that will take a look back at some of my journey.  Last fall I started participating in a study called Weigh Less 2 Feed More.  It's put on by RevWell (Revelation Wellness).  They are the same people who did a clean hearting challenge in August.  Anyway, I began the study but for whatever reason I didn't finish it.  I got hung up on a specific chapter with some things that I struggle with and just kind of got stuck there.  My plan is to begin again after the 30 day challenge/study that I am doing now is over.  I think I am ready.  Anyway, all that to say- in the first week of videos- Alisa (the founder of RevWell) said these words.  I wrote them down and they have stuck with me since.  So- with adding The Little Way challenge and the Y challenge that I am part of- I decided it was time to take a look back.  Look at the good and the bad, the smooth paths and the obstacles, the mountains and the valleys.

So- here goes- my trip back in time. I have seen times of joy and heartache with my job, my personal life and my spiritual life.  And guess what- to get to the mountain peak you have to start out in the valley.  You have to climb those mountains and on the way you are skirting many obstacles- rocks, boulders, holes, critters.  When you get to the mountain top you look out and it's beauty as far as the eye can see.  I think of Gatlinburg- even in the ashes you find beauty.  Even when the fire has burned a scar so deep that you think it can never be healed- you can and do find healing and beauty.  But, guess what- to get to the next mountain you have to go back down into the valley and fight your way up again and the cycle continues until you reach the destination.  

I have experienced loss- just like everyone- but a loss that I never knew I wanted until I didn't have it anymore.  And through that loss, I found joy- a joy that I thought I already had but then realized that with the heartache and the surrender of what once was- I had an even deeper joy.  

I have been sick- emotionally but even more so- physically.  My body has fought on many occasions and through it I came out weaker, yet stronger.  It gave me a renewed desire to bring my body back to health.  It gave me insights into what others felt.  It gave me a glimpse into where I was heading physically if I didn't take control- or rather give Him control- of it.

You can see I didn't have to give any specifics- because each of us walk this journey- each of us have our own path, our own trip back in time.  There's a saying that says to only look back to see how far you have come.  I totally agree with this- we can't live in the past, we can't have a "should have" life.  It's okay to look and see what you have learned but it's not okay to park there and dwell on it- it's time to take a peek in the rearview mirror and then turn our eyes to the road in front of us because it's not where have been- it's where we are going.  And that... is a subject for my next post :)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Balance- a Word, a Lifestyle

This week I sat down and was trying to pinpoint my "word"/theme/goals for the year 2017.  I was conflicted- my word in 2013 was persevere, my word in 2014 was LIVE, and my word for 2015 was Trust.  I didn't have a word for 2016- honestly, I wouldn't have lived up to it even if I did.  It's funny though because the years I had a word, I lived them out so with that in mind I am going with Balance as my "word" for the year.

I had though about "more" based on these two photos I found on Pinterest and the fact that I want to live MORE-
image found here

I want to live with more faith, more giving, more love, more trust, more kindness but then someone mentioned there word was focus and my mind immediately went to balance and I knew that had to be my word.  I have been saying over and over that my goal for this school year is balance but I never put it down in words, on paper (or in my own little permanent journal space here) but I do know that I haven't lived it.  So- I am going to come up with ways to keep my life balanced, focused, and on point so that I can do more (see I am going to try to tie them together)

So I went on another pinterest hunt and with that found this- and while reading it, I found myself saying- Yes, this- this is what I am wanting, what I am craving, what I think God is calling me to.

I also found a "balance wheel" that I think I am going to try to create one that is specific to me and when I do I will post it here.  Needless to say this will be about balance in all areas of my life.  I would.  I also found this cool New You for the New Year graphic that I am going to take and tweak and try, again, to create my own (but it may just be on paper instead of a fancy graphic).  Last night I made a few scrapbook pages to start chronicling my journey on paper to help keep me focused and motivated.

So- all that to say- Balance is my word.  My plan is to come up with a post once a week that keeps me accountable in my quest for balance.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving to all of my US readers!  I have been asked several times lately what I am thankful for and could give the standard "pat" answers but this year- I truly mean them.  I am thankful for my family- but, what I am even more thankful for this year is having my dad here.  You see, 2 1/2 weeks ago something happened that could have easily made this Thanksgiving completely different.  2 1/2 weeks ago I was preparing my Kindergarten students for dismissal when I read a text from my mom that my dad had been hit by car while he was out cycling.  It was a hit and run and she told me that he had hit his shoulder and scraped up his elbow.  I had two parent teacher conferences and as time went by my mom told me that she was taking him to the ER because his hip was hurting and he was barely able to walk.  My school is about 5 minutes from the hospital so I met them there and stayed with them for about an hour- I needed to see that he was okay.  You see, what made this so raw was that not quite a month before our community lost a family member (her mom is a doctor and pastor in town) to a cycling accident.  The reality that it could have been a similar fate gave me great pause.  As it turned out there were no breaks- but there is a healing process that is going to take some time.  As I watch my dad hobble around I can't help but give thanks that he's there to hobble because just a few more inches to the right and there could have been a different outcome.  So, yes, I am thankful for all of the amazing things that God has blessed me with- a job, friends, family, a church family here in IN and the extended church family in TN, the ability to run and exercise (which is a whole different post), etc, but this year I am going to truly appreciate them.

So- my Thanksgiving challenge to you- Tell those you love how much you love and appreciate them- I know I won't take it for granted anymore.

This image is a free printable found HERE (and it's a great blog as well)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Finding Freedom

Three years I wrote this post on sabotage and since then I have continued to watch myself fall into old habits.  I do well for a while and then life happens and I cycle back around.  I have been taking part in a 30 day challenge from Revelation Wellness- their goal is to deal with the inside out.  It's been a "clean hearting" challenge first and then supposed to trickle down to clean eating and exercise.  In the 21 days it's been there I have been dealing with the heart part and not the eating and exercise.  I watch during the week but fall short on the weekend- and then there's the days during the week that I succumb to stress and don't do well- I sabotage myself.  I want to do it but it's like I listen to the lie that says I failed earlier just let it all go when instead I should not let one bite, one wrong choice define who I am.  This is something I have been thinking about as the week has progressed- as I have had conversations with co-workers, friends online, and God.  Then today at church we sang two songs- one was one we had sung before and while each time the lyrics strike me- today I saw them in a new way.  That will be posted below.  The second was actually just a chorus that I found out one of the guys on the worship team wrote (so hopefully he won't mind me posting them here).  The line that hit me "You give me Freedom.  You give me life." (Peter Bales)

You see I have been living as a slave to food- I have let it control me.  I let myself live in the "well, I don't have anyone so I can eat and it doesn't matter what I look like". "I had a bad day so I can drown my troubles in this bowl of ice cream."  "I ran so I can eat whatever I want."  I have been feeding my body but not well and in the process I have been feeding my heart lies.  I know when I have not eaten as I should- I feel guilty, I feel blah, I feel hungry.  I know that that isn't what the song is referring to- but for where I am, for all I have been pondering and processing it was what God placed in my lap to remind me gently that He has given me freedom over that.  Food should not be a bondage in my life and He is calling for me to let go and give that to him once and for all.  I do not believe that this means I will not be able to eat "good" tasty stuff like birthday cake, ice cream, and pizza but I do believe that He is calling me to let go of the hold that food has on me and to look to him for my ultimate nourishment.  I read a saying on pinterest- It's only in surrender I am free...

There's no riches or earthly treasure
That will satisfy
Every longing is for You Jesus
Set this heart on fire
Oh, set this heart on fire

I let go of all I have just to have all of You
And no matter what the cost I will follow You
Jesus everything I've lost I have found in You
When I finally reach the end I'll say
You are worth it all
You are worth it all

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hoosiers Outrun Cancer and a serious thought

Last Saturday, September 17, was the annual Hoosiers Outrun Cancer in Bloomington.  I had the chance to participate last year and enjoyed it so came back for more fun this year.  And fun it was... and very, very, very wet.  Right before it started I thought that the rain was going to diminish until about halfway through (well, my halfway through which was some people's done) and it poured.   I was watching the water gush off of my hat and was thankful that I had one!  Before the race started they began with some survivors and had them speak.  One of the young ladies (she is only 4 years older than I am) that spoke was just a joy to listen to.  She had lost her dad (who had been an IU football coach) to brain cancer back about 10 or so years ago and then about 2 years ago was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She said that the one thing her family learned during the fight with her dad was to find the joy and laughter in every trial and and every day.  That really struck me- so often I lose that ability to find the joy and laughter because I get caught up in the mundane- the every day trials of life, the struggles that I find myself going through.  After that  the wet 3 mile journey through the hills of Bloomington began.  I have been running off and on all summer but stick to mileage around 2 miles per run- it was a feet issue (which I finally have an answer to and will talk about in another post) but basically had done very few runs that were 3 miles or more.  I didn't do as great as the one I did last spring BUT I did do better than last year's time by about 3 minutes.  Next up, a trail run tomorrow (but really it will be more of a walk), a virtual 5K the second weekend of October, and the Ohio State 4 mile run in late October.  After that- we'll see- if the feet issues get themselves straightened out I would love to train for another half (and honestly I would love that half to be the Knoxville one again).

The video I am posting today I have posted before but in light of the reason I did the run I felt it was appropriate.  Oh, and that young lady that spoke before the race last week- she passed away late yesterday/early this morning in a car accident.  Just really "smacked" me in the face.  I am processing some thoughts on it but this has become the bottom line:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Life is Not a Hallmark Movie

People who know me know that I love romantic comedies- You've Got Mail, While You Were Sleeping, Sleepless in Seattle, Hitch, My Big Fat Greek Wedding... the list could go on and on.  Honestly though, I have not watched any lately (I actually haven't watched much of anything lately- especially since we just got cable back about a month ago).  However, with the recent cable addition my mom has watched a lot of Hallmark movies.  I joke when I walk by- asking her if she wants me to tell her what is going to happen and she usually rolls her eyes at me.  I laugh and either sit down for the ending or turn around and go back to my room/office. Really there's only so much I can watch- because I know that life is not like a Hallmark movie- wrapped up in 2 hours and finding a love that lasts forever


.  I know myself, I know my heart... I know that if I watch too much of those or the movies I get caught up in the trap of "why can't I find that?" "Why don't I have that?" "Why is this not something I have experienced?"  And when those questions start coming- I know what my next question will be and what will ensue after that.  That question- "What's wrong with me? Why am I not enough?"  Then comes the funk, the unsettledness, the discontent, the heart that struggles to find delight and to trust.  And when I feel discombobulated already- well then this adds to it.  So, for me, rather than taking my heart down a path it doesn't need to travel- it's just easier to not watch them- until I know I can watch them with a clear mind and a steady and guarded heart.

Monday, September 12, 2016


If you have read my blog long enough you might remember this post that I did back in January 2014 after an event called Run 4 Their Lives.  Since then I have followed news about human trafficking as well as following the Run 4 Their Lives and Freedom 4/24 facebook pages.  Back in late June/early July I got an email about a virtual run that supported Christine's House over in Uganda which helps young ladies (many of whom are pregnant) who are trying to get out of trafficking.  I signed up and received a card of who I was running for (and her story).  The medal and t-shirt I received were just extras.  The race was scheduled for July 23rd.  I had a plan but earlier that week I got bit by a dog on the leg while I was running so I had to adjust and be happy with whatever I could get.

After I continued to keep up with the news but not sure of what my role could be in this setting- wanting to help but realizing that at this time- running, supporting, and praying may be what I do.  Then this past Thursday, September 8, the church hosted a "forum" to bring to light the plight of child exploitation and human trafficking in the area where I live- again, something was stirred in my heart but not sure what and where to go with that.  I ended up signing up for another virtual run through Run 4 Their Lives which is actually a domestic focus instead of an international focus.  It will take place the weekend of October 7-9.  I will actually be in Ohio during that time but since it can be run anywhere I am hoping to get it done either Friday, the 7th after school (if we leave Saturday) or Saturday the 8th (if we head to Ohio on Friday).  And then I found out that a movie that focuses on this horrific activity will be released mid-October from the guys of From King and Country.  I heard this song on the radio and LOVED it- I think because it resonates within my heart and then to find out that it's the basis of the movie- well, I am super excited to see how God is going to use this to show me what his plan for me in this will be!

Mirror mirror, mirror on the wall
Tellin' those lies, pointing out your flaws
That isn't who you are
That isn't who you are

It might be hard to hear, but let me tell you dear
If you could see what I can see, I know you would believe
That isn't who you are
There's more to who you are

So when it's late, you're wide awake
Too much to take
Don't you dare forget that in the pain
You can be brave, hear me say

I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you (oh so priceless)
Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable
Darling, it's beautiful
I see it all in you (oh so priceless)

No matter what you've heard, this is what your worth
More than all the money or the diamonds and pearls
Oh this is who you are
Yea this is who you are