Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Inspiration- Try

I haven't posted a Sunday Inspiration in a few weeks- part of it has been due to traveling, part due to not knowing which song to pick, and part of it just not blogging while I took a break from a lot of things.  It has been a frustrating summer in some aspects- trying to figure out some health stuff that there appears to be no medical reason for and yet nothing seems to be working and yet, in other aspects it's been a rewarding summer.  I found out about a week and a half ago that I am moving back to first grade from preschool which I am super excited about- I think the change is going to be a good thing.

Moving on to the Sunday Inspiration- making the rounds over the internet/facebook is this article about Colbie Caillat.  I have listened to some of her music before but after seeing this one today I decided to take a listen.  Read the interview and then listen to the song and know that no other words are needed…

Colbie Caillat

I know that I needed these words today- as I struggle with the person looking back at me in the mirror.

On another note- I have emailed the winner of the book. :)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Seeking Rest- #spiritualwhitespace

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.  All opinions are mine.

Back on June 3 I wrote this post.  I had planned to be done with Finding Spiritual Whitespace and write a review last week but- well- life happened and it didn't.  Then, the more I tried to read it the more it just didn't seem to be "working" and I seemed to be forcing it.  I finally put it down and read other books.  Then came the review week- I really needed to buckle down and get going.  I ended up having an "emergency" dr appt to go over some test results- which I was (and still am) extremely anxious about (but unable to discuss right now until I get more info).  I was sitting there reading and all of a sudden came to chapter 16 "A Love Note".  I felt as if I could have written the first part and then, I read the second part and knew that God wanted me to read it, in that moment, at that time.  The chapter talks about the one word that God placed on your heart today- as I read the word that kept coming to mind was trust. Bonnie starts the section by saying "Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to hear God say something new.  But there are seasons where one word is more than enough.  Sometimes one word trickles into a series of soul conversations and takes us on a weeklong, monthlong, or yearlong journey to savor, cry over, and explores with Jesus."  Trust- my heart whispered, simply trust.  You don't know what is going on, you don't know where this journey is taking you BUT, I do.  Lysa TerKeurst mentions in her book Made to Crave about the phrase "but God"- this is one of those times when it was a "but God" breathed into my heart, into my soul.  While I am still seeking answers and waiting on phone calls- I am choosing to listen to that voice, to rest and find that whitespace with Him.

In this book Bonnie tells her story- her journey through her struggles and her freedom found in the resting.  While I could not relate to her story, I could relate to the journey.  Because, the bottom line is, we don't all have the same story nor the same journey but the rest and freedom found at the end of our story is the same, if we allow Christ to work through it.  The book is divided into 6 parts and it's not meant to be hurried through- take your time, read each chapter, participate in the prompts at the end of the chapters and really find out what God is saying to you before moving on.  The very last chapter Bonnie provides a menu of ways to "awaken your soul to rest".  My plan is very simple- to go back through that last chapter and use her suggestions to "tell my story."

I want to leave you with two thoughts from Bonnie:

"We can move out of the gate because he goes before us.  He'll carry us back when we fall.  You and I were meant to go on new journeys, to pursue desires God plants in our hearts.  Let's unearth the dreams we've long lost, buried."

and "Sometimes you have to suffer the pain of the past to realize who you truly belong to."

While traveling this past week I was listening to my music and put together a spiritual whitespace playlist- take a look, take a listen, and rest…

Oh, and as a way to put this book in your hands- I am going to be giving away a copy of the book- if you are interested in winning this please comment below answering the following question:

How/where do you find rest?

This giveaway will go on until Wednesday, July 9 at 10:00 p.m.  At that time I'll draw a name and contact the winner and get it sent out  (I am personally sponsoring this giveaway because I believe that someone needs to read this book!)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Inspiration- Happy Father's Day!

I did a tribute to my mom on Mother's Day and it would be a travesty if I didn't do the same for my dad on Father's Day :)

But, seriously, I could go on and on about my dad but honestly, I wouldn't even know where to start.  He has always been there for me, encouraged my dreams, and went without to make sure our basic needs were met.  He modeled faith in trying times, joy in happy times, and tears in sorrowful times.  He has modeled forgiveness- by forgiving me, forgiving himself, and forgiving others.  Is he perfect?  No, but I know he seeks to serve the one who is and that makes him my "hero".

This short  (1:00) video made me smile and think of my dad and how a relationship with a father SHOULD be (and I know that not everyone has that which makes me even more thankful that I do):

and then there's this longer video (5:00)  by J & J

and I'll end with these…

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Inspiration- Come as You Are

I was looking on iTunes this week and came across this song- I went to youtube to listen to the whole thing and immediately downloaded it.  I have never been a huge Crowder fan (just not my style) but his solo album is a completely different sound.

and the lyrics- a balm for a weary heart that sometimes strives too much to be "perfect".  I know there's no such thing as perfect but too often we put up that front or wear that mask that we want other people to see.  And then, when we are alone or the mask slips, we feel shame, embarrassment, and hopeless.  Take a listen, soak in the words that you hear and then read these words again:

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

Those last two lines- Earth has no sorrow that heaven can't cure. That, is the balm for a weary soul- for the soul that seeks out that spiritual whitespace- for the soul that longs to connect with the heart of God

Found here

Saturday, June 7, 2014

#fuelyourbetter Vega Sport Campaign review

*I was given the opportunity to review this product in exchange for an honest review through fit approach/sweat pink ambassadors.  All opinions are my own.

One thing that I have struggled with in any of my training has been the fueling AFTER I am done.  About a year ago was the first experience I had with dehydration while running and then afterward I couldn't get electrolytes back in me fast enough.  That experience with dehydration left me exhausted, sore, and rundown for a few days.  This year I was determined not to fall into that so when I had the opportunity to review this product I jumped at it!  Vega Sport has a #fuelyourbetter campaign going on and I chose the Recovery accelerator because, again, the after the run seems to be my hardest time.

Vega Sport has products that are plant -based and what is important to me is that they are gluten free and soy free (this is huge because there are so many products that aren't).  You can read more about the Recover Accelerator here on their website

I used Recovery Accelerator after several shorter runs- since I am just getting back into it- both on my treadmill and outside.  With it being my first runs back after the surgery it would be expected that I would have some soreness but with using this product I didn't have the soreness I expected.  AND, I could tell a difference the day that I forgot to bring it with me to use after running outside.

The one con was the thickness of it.  A pouch is almost an ounce of powder.  You are supposed to add the powder to 12 oz. of water and mix it up.  I specifically bought some 12 oz. bottles of water to try this with and I will say I am still hunting for the perfect ratio.  For me there was almost too much powder and it became too thick (I had to keep shaking it up to keep it from clumping) with that amount of water.  However, using too much water took away some of the taste (which in my case was tropical).  I still have several packets left and will continue to play with the ratios of the mixing.  I am sure that using the whole packet leads to the right amount of recovery supplement- I just wish there was a way to have it be about the amount that's in a Crystal Light packet which seems to be the perfect size for those bottles.  

  I didn't get it to test it as much as I would have liked to but look forward to further testing and seeing how I can make it work best for me.  I also would like to try out some of the gels that they have to help with fueling.  I am always on the lookout for the best fuel.  

How do you #fuelyourbetter?

You can follow Vega Sport here:
Twitter: @VegaTeam
Instagram: @vega_team (I don't typically take pictures of my "after drink" so I don't have any there but will work on that for the future LOL)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Looking for Rest- #spiritualwhitespace

Today is the day!  It's launch day for Bonnie's book Finding Spiritual Whitespace.  I will admit that I am not finished with the book- it's not one to be "devoured".  I have been reading it in small chunks and just recently had to stop and go back to reread a part because of the impact it had on me.

Bonnie is doing a giveaway over on her blog faith barista

Bonnie's story is one that everyone can identify with- in some way.  With heartbreaking honesty she guides the reader through what it means to find that spiritual whitespace, to rest, and the realization that in the midst of stress, turmoil and pain God is there.  (and that's my review from not even finishing the book- look for the full review next week!)

In the meantime- I invite you to check out Bonnie's blog, purchase the book HERE, and join me on the journey!

*in full disclosure- I received a copy of this book for free to participate in the launch- all reviews are my own

Monday, June 2, 2014

Living Life (random thoughts and where I have been)


School is out!  And that means it's time for a fun, restful and enjoyable summer.  My first order of business was a trip to Atlanta to visit friends, do some shopping (but not a lot) and take in a Braves game.  The good part about the game- they won!  I love going to the games and if I lived there I have a feeling I would be at several- even if I had to sit WAY up in the cheap seats to go to them.  I have been told that I should move there by my friends (several times)… the bad part about that- it's the opposite direction of Ohio and Indiana.  The good part- it has the Braves (and my friends of course LOL).  

My birthday is Tuesday and I will be 39 (but who's counting LOL).  I decided on May 3 that for the next 13 months I was going to do one new thing a month.


I struggled on what to do for May but then my mom and some of her friends from Indiana made the trek down to Pigeon Forge and I was able to spend some time with them.  With that came lots of laughs, fun and my "new things" for the month.  I have lived here in Knoxville for 19 out of the last 21 years.  5 years in college (not counting breaks or summers) and then back from 2000-present.  In all of that time I have never once gone to the Titanic Museum or to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede.  I can now cross both of those off of my list :)  Yes, as crazy as it sounds those were my "new things" for May.  My thoughts- I really enjoyed them both.  In fact, I enjoyed the Titanic Museum way more than I thought I would and I learned a lot.  It was really interesting to wander through the museum and learn about various pieces of history.  Then, that night we went to the Dixie Stampede which, if you are ever in Pigeon Forge, is a lot of fun to watch.  I was thoroughly impressed with the whole show.


Now that my "adventures" are over for now (not really, I'm still planning) I am planning on settling in for the month- I have a couple of trainings to go to, a doctor appointment or two, some running to get started on and books to read.  I also have a couple of blog posts to write- including a product review, a book review and such (the first post for that will be Tuesday which is why I posted this today), and a race recap.

So- my question to you- what do you think should be on my mini bucket list?  So far I have: going to the Biltmore, going paddle boarding,  and riding The Virginia Creeper