Thursday, July 25, 2013

Party Like it's 1993!

Well, not really- LOL!  I was never (and still am not) much of a party person.  I like socializing but am content to just hang out in someone's home.  This weekend I am journeying back to where I grew up (or my formative years of junior and senior high) and will be getting to visit with friends I haven't seen in 20 years!  My parents live about 45 minutes away from that town so I get to see them, spend time with them and their church family, visit with friend that I definitely don't get to see often enough (I have been up in December and March.  Both visits I planned to travel over to visit with him and both visits we had snowstorms and I couldn't- thinking this time we could be safe), and see those that the wonderful world of Facebook has put me back in contact with.  Part of me is apprehensive- just because it has been 20 years- and the other part of me (and more this part) is super excited!  I am REALLY looking forward to this trip down memory lane and seeing where life has taken us all! 

It's been kind of fun watching friends and classmates post pictures from that senior year and see how we have changed since then, clothing styles, big hair, etc. 

I was going to link up some of the #1 songs but there are just too many so if you go here you can see them from 1992 (Aug-December) and here is 1993 (January-June).

Sometimes it doesn't seem like it's been 20 years and then some days I feel every bit of those 20 years (and then some- LOL)


If I could go back and tell 18 year old Tami a few things I would say: don't take life so serious; have fun; DREAM BIG DREAMS;  celebrate the small stuff along with the big stuff; realize that things happen for a reason- if nothing else that you grow closer to God;  people are sinful (myself included) and that means they will hurt you, break your heart, and try to steal your dreams- listen to them, take and apply what you need and move on; those guys in high school- yeah, they're not the one(s) for you ;) (not saying that's for everyone just my 18 year old self) ; keep in touch with those you are closest to; realize that people will change, grow up, and become a completely different person (and so will you) AND, don't be fearful to go back (alone) 20 years later and see those you have reconnected with and make new memories!

Question- if you could go back and tell your 18 year old self (or just 20 years ago for those who 18 is far far away) what would you say?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Letting Go (Part 2)

You can see part 1 Here

**Part of becoming an overall healthy individual is addressing our "issues" in all areas- physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  As I work on letting go I will be addressing these- which is why I feel these things belong on my blog.**

With that said...
It's summer and summer means wedding season.  As the years have gone by I have been invited to and attended many weddings.  I am ashamed to admit that there have been weddings that I have been invited to that I decided at the last minute to not attend (and have regretted it) because my heart was not in a good place.  I was struggling with my singleness and questioning, "why not me?"  This summer I have been invited to and attended 2 weddings.  What makes this summer different?  Why is it easier for me to go to these weddings with joy?  There are a couple of reasons- one is that both of these weddings involved a bride that I knew well- one has been a co-worker for 9 years and one has been a friend for 10 years and was even my roommate for a year.  But, what I think is the biggest reason, my heart is in a better place.  Is it where I want it?  No, but it's getting there.

Where is "there"? It's resting in Him- again- trusting that His plan is bigger than mine.  It's holding on to Psalm 37- that when I delight myself in Him, when I find joy in Him, when I cling to His truths, then He will give me the desires of my heart (which in reality should be his heart)

Interestingly enough, in my ABF (Adult Bible Fellowship= Sunday School) we have been reading and studying the book Trusting God by Jerry Bridges.  The chapter this week was about Experiencing God's Love and there was a part in the chapter that I am going to type out- it's a bit long but I don't want to paraphrase and lose it.  Bridges started with Isaiah 54:10 which talks about God's unfailing love not being shaken (here's where I'll let him speak) "And because His love cannot fail.  He will allow into our lives only the pain and heartache that is for our ultimate good.  Even the grief that He Himself brings into our lives is tempered with His compassion (Lamentations 3:32).  The assurance here is that God will show compassion.  It is not enough to say He is compassionate, but He will show compassion.  That is, even the fires of affliction will be tempered by His compassion, which arises out of His unfailing love.  Our afflictions are always accompanied with the compassion and consolation of God."  Then later in the chapter Bridges brings up Isaiah 43:2

"God promises specifically to be with us in our sorrows and afflictions.  he will not spare us from the waters of sorrow and the fires of adversity, but He will go through them with us."

So, what does that mean- to me it means simply this- He knows what my heart is going through.  He knows what I can't often express. He allows pain and heartache into my life BUT, (sometimes I love that word) He is there to walk through that water, that fire, the pain that threatens to overwhelm my soul, the loneliness that aches when I go home to an empty house, the longing that worms its way in when I see a family together when I am out and about. He promises that He will be there.  If I am choosing to let go and trust then that means I have to let go and trust completely.  For the last 10-11 years "my verse" has been Zephaniah 3:17 and it will continue to be so but I think it's time for a new verse as well.  This verse is part of Psalm 37 and when I saw it- I knew- this is what God is calling me to pray, what He is calling me to do, who He is calling me to be. So it's time.  It's time to let go of my singleness, to surrender- once and for all- that part of my life to God.  It's time to be still and wait patiently for Him.  If that takes one day, one month, one year, or one lifetime then I know that He will walk this journey with me.

And to close out this long post I want to share this video that came to mind today during the message- as it was being said that we live out the fruit of the spirit from the inside out and the following lyrics fit perfectly: "Your will above all else, my purpose remains. The art of losing myself in bringing you praise... my heart and my soul, I give you control. Consume me from the inside out, Lord..."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Moving Tunes

Decided to make this a much lighter post today since my last two have been a bit "heavier" and I have added some new tunes to my playlist and decided it was time for an end of the summer playlist update! I should add that I have changed some things- I am no longer running with my headphones- I still play the music but I just listen to it out loud.  I am trying to be more aware of my surroundings (hence the reason for no headphones).  I also have a wide variety- from Christian music to "secular" music and newer music  to old school music. 

Today's Top Ten (in no particular order and the links go to the youtube video)

1. Natalie Grant- Hurricane
2. Mandisa- Overcomer (this just came out to buy on iTunes within the last couple of weeks)
3. New Kids on the Block- Hangin' Tough (someone told me to hang tough with something and then this song got stuck in my head- sorry dad!)
4. NKOTB- Remix (I Like The)- not a fan of the video but I like the song and it's a good one to run to.  Funny story- a friend from church watches Blue Blood and said her teenage daughter wanted to know why the guy from BB was on this video(that would be Donnie Wahlberg) (again, sorry dad)
5. Disciple- Draw the Line (did I redeem myself dad?)
6. Colton Dixon- This is Who I Am (I really do like his songs! I think I mentioned in the last post that I am a big fan)
7. Mandisa- Stronger (always have liked this song)
8. Anthem Lights- Outta My Mind
9. Newsboys- I Am Second
10. Backstreet Boys- In a World Like This (yeah, I know but I heard it when roaming through iTunes one day and liked it- LOL- I like boy bands when can I say?)

So- any new songs on your playlist?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Letting Go (part 1)

**I say Part 1 because I have a feeling that for the next several months I will be discovering many things that I am letting go of in my life.  (and warning- there's some "girl" discussion- nothing descriptive just mentions)

Colton Dixon has this song out (which I cannot stop listening to his music- this gal right here- BIG fan!)

As I was pondering this post, what to share, how much to share, and why I felt like I should share it I ran across something in my search on pinterest (for something else) this and I KNEW that this song had to be part of this post.

As I alluded to in my last post I was pondering things that came up in conversation with someone that I KNEW in my heart but hadn't vocalized because that's what makes them real.  On Sunday and Tuesday both, I vocalized the thoughts and realized that I had a complete peace about them.  Part of my studies at IIN have shown me that sometimes medicine is overused- as I told someone- way back when before doctors and pharmacies our ancestors didn't use medicine so why is it so prevalent in our society today?  Now, I don't think ALL medicine is bad- but, for me, I had finally made it down to one medication and I really wanted to come off of it and see what would happen if I treated my body with the correct food, exercise, and some herbs and supplements that are known for the issues leading to the taking of the med (birth control pills).  I did my research and hunted, googled, and consulted with different people about the herbs and made a list.  Now, here's the tricky part- I had THAT dr appt this week and quite honestly the meds weren't helping so that's the reason behind wanting to get them out of my body.  Anyone who knows me knows I HATE that dr appt almost as much as I like the actual doctor.  I thought he would be okay with me trying it but I had to run it by him first (and I was right- he was okay with it).  Anyway, that visit is what led to the discussion I had- because honestly I get tired of dealing with it all.  I'm 38 and there are no prospects on the horizon (at least not to my eye- who knows what God has in store).  I am not anticipating having any children at my age (although I don't begrudge those who do) but I am 38, and I teach 15 4 and 5 year olds ALL DAY LONG- to come home to a young one at this stage in my life after being with them all day, I just don't know that I have it in me.  I am exhausted when I come home and it's just me...  

And you know what- this is what I am okay with.  This is what took me years of dealing with my heart, fighting God, and finally letting go.  When I let go, I could vocalize it, I could put words to my thoughts, and an overwhelming peace came over my heart.  Do I understand it?  No.  Do I like it?  Not particularly because that's the letting go of a dream.  Will I trust Him?  Yes, without any shadow of a doubt I will.  It's why the verse from my last post Isaiah 46:4 resonated in my heart:  
"Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you."

It's why I can look at this and say yes (even though I think they all could say seek, worship, trust, and thank)

It's why I can read this and know that MY God has a plan for my future- I am not giving up the hope of having children but I am okay with not having them biologically (that leaves a couple of doors wide open).

and it's why these words were the reminder of a heart at peace

"When I can't find the words to say how much it hurts
You are the healing in my heart
When all that I can see are broken memories
You are the light that's in the dark...

And when my circumstance leaves me with empty hands.
You are the provider of my needs.
When all my dirtiness has left me helpless.
You are the rain that washes me."  (Colton Dixon- You Are)

*and for those who stuck with me through this LONG LONG post- thank you.  It's just a peek into my world lately (hope I haven't scared too many off LOL) 

Question for today: What are you letting go of?  Or, what do you need to let go of?  (no need to share if it's too private- just some thinking for you!)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Reality Is...

This will be my life in a few short weeks- LOL (and it is SO very true)

This is a question I need to ask myself on a regular basis (and not just me but am I doing something that is pleasing to God)

20 years has passed way too fast

That sometimes a laugh is just what is needed (think about it) LOL

sometimes a word from THE WORD is just what is needed

sometimes it hurts (and I know I have shared this before)

and sometimes it's that simple reminder of where my heart needs to truly be

Not a lot of words today- I honestly, just don't have them- between working on health coaching studies and pondering through some things (read: realizing through conversations that I had let go of things that I didn't realize I had let go of and figuring out exactly what that means...) my words are elsewhere right now- and that's okay.  I'm thinking through some goals and how much to share and maybe, just maybe, you'll get a peek at what God is doing in my life (referencing the letting go)

Question for you- what is your reality?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Peaks, Valleys, and Plateaus

I live in the midst of the Great Smoky Mountains and am always in awe whenever I drive around at sunrise and sunset. I don't know of too many places as beautiful as where I live (with the exception of the following which is quite possibly one of my favorite places on this Earth):
(psst... this is a view from Poseidon's Temple near Athens, Greece- this was WAY back in 2003 with an old point and shoot camera- unfortunately I don't have a newer picture)

Anyway, back to the point, this summer has been full of those peaks, valleys, and plateaus.  I have experienced those highs: finishing a second half marathon, completing races, going back to spin classes.  I have experienced those valleys: slicing my thumb this past week (I sliced a piece off) put a damper on some things since I didn't have a good grip, having a conference to attend all week (which, while it was a great conference- I didn't get any exercise and had NO control over the food that was being served which was not good) and I have had those plateaus- this is where I am now.  Losing weight has plateaued and unfortunately, I have quite a bit still to go.  Now, I know it's a journey and not a race and part of that journey are going to be those "flat times" but this one has dragged on.  Ever since late last November when I came within a few lbs of what was my then goal weight I have put on 10-12 lbs back and cannot get them off.  So, once again I am adjusting my eating and hoping that with being back and getting back into the routine and picking up my running again that I will start to see a difference.  

Because to be honest- right now I am struggling.  I am struggling to see beyond the number. I am struggling to believe in myself that I can do this. I am struggling to figure out how to work on healing some things naturally instead of dealing with medicine. I am struggling with letting go of things that I have no control over and instead using them as stepping stones.  I am struggling with trusting the process.  I am struggling- period.  Why do I put this out there?  So you know that you aren't alone. So that I can be held accountable by those who read this blog (hi dad)! So that I acknowledge that it's there- hiding behind it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. 

Now, on another note- those who know me that I get stuck in my certain veggies and not only that, I am not a pepper fan but my blogging buddy Abby over at Back to Square Zero posted a recipe a while ago that are, what I call, Cheesy Sweet Peppers.  I made them both yesterday and today (Saturday and Sunday) and oh my... I did find that I like using laughing cow/weight watchers spreadable cheese over the cheese stick (a little creamier) so will probably go that route when I can.  However, these will become an evening snack staple. Now, if I can just find something to take care of the salty craving (I tried zucchini chips but that's how I chopped off part of the thumb LOL)

And my current shoe "obsession" (meaning- I am wondering if they would work for me) are these gorgeous (and fun) Mizuno Wave Sayonaras- Oh, I would really like these- guess I'll be saving those pennies (and quarters, dimes, and nickels).

Questions: How do you break through a plateau?  What are you saving for?  And what's your favorite go-to HEALTHY salty snack?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What would You Do?

This post is going to be short and sweet (and honestly I am "stealing" from my dad with this post).  I am heading out early Tuesday morning for a 4 day conference.  I always enjoy this conference- I would just rather be at home LOL.  Especially since weather wise it is so much better than last week (seriously- TONS of rain) but no- this is how I feel:

or maybe this one:

Anyway, my dad had this post tonight and it really struck a chord with me.  You see- in less than 3 weeks is my 20 year high school reunion (eek) and as I take a trip down memory lane this just really resonated with me.  So, take a gander at the following and then comment with an answer to the question!  Share this post if you can- would love to hear what others would say!

If I had my life to live over again, I’d try to make more mistakes next time.

I would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I know of very few things I would take seriously.
I would take more trips.  I would be crazier.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets.
I would do more walking and looking.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would have more actual troubles, and fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I’m one of those people who lives life prophylactically and sensibly hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else, just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead each day.  I’ve been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat, aspirin, and a parachute.
If I had to do it over again I would go places, do things, and travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over I would start  barefooted earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would play hookey more.
I wouldn’t make such good grades, except by accident.
I would ride on more merry-go-rounds.
I’d pick more daisies.

So, your question for the day- What would do if you had it to do all over again?  Here's my answer that I wrote on my dad's comments: 
I would let go of things that aren’t really that big. I would guard my heart more in some cases but open it in others. I would make sure to say the words “thank you”, “I love you” and even “I miss you” when given the opportunity. I would realize that it really is okay to say no- but sometimes, even in the times you WANT to say “no”- a “yes” is what is needed more. I would learn to listen more and talk less.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fireball Classic

No, not these :)  more of the 5K kind...

Although, when I hear fireballs these are what come to mind- LOL.  Anyway, our local track club sponsors an annual race every July 3.  What makes this race unique is that it is on July 3 (which I liked) and at 9:00 pm (which I'm still not sure I was crazy about).  BTW- putting in a plug- if you have access to a track club- check it out!  Ours is amazing!  They hold multiple races, each has a little bag with good coupons, you get a 10% discount at a local running store plus other discounts at other local retailers AND, you get a $20 voucher coupon to use on any race (except the local half marathon) plus $5 off any KTC sponsored race (that DOES include the half marathon).  Then, on top of that- when you volunteer to help with any of the races you get a volunteer voucher.  How much did I pay to join Knoxville Track Club?  $20- yep- I got my money back already!

Okay- back to the details.  It's been pretty rainy here the last week or so- pretty much every afternoon it has rained a solid rain and unfortunately the weather forecast was calling for pretty much solid rain from Wednesday morning through Friday and not just rain- but thunderstorms.  It rained off and on throughout the day on Wednesday but it kind of eased off around around 7ish.  There were a few little drizzles here and there until the race start time at 9:00 and then it picked up a little more the closer to the finish I got.  Temp was about 70 at start time- yes, you read that right- 70 on July 3!  Unheard of in TN!  The weather was perfect!  I did this with two friends of mine (and ran into a couple of other long time friends there too) and we had such a good time!  Lots of laughs which is always good.  Race time came and we all started out (over 1,000 people).  This was a fairly flat course with one incline each way (it was an out and back).  My time wasn't great (36:09) BUT, I will say this- I did spin class yesterday morning, it was wet, and it was at night and I'm used to running in the morning.  I know that technically I could call those excuses but, as my dad reminded me- I got out there and got it done!  My goal was to finish and finish strong- which I did.  In fact, even though my time wasn't great, I kept a pretty steady pace through the whole thing and really only walked through the water stops.  So, my plan for the future, work on speed- I know the only way to get faster is to practice faster.  

Question for today: What kind of speed work plan do you use?