Saturday, April 8, 2017

Ill-equipped or Equipped Well and just Unfinished?

Long title but it's been brewing in my mind this past week.  Actually- my original thought was just the Ill-equipped or Equipped Well but then I heard a song (which will be at the end of the post) and it needed added on (it was either that or a post all on it's own and with time I figured I better do it when I could- and all of my thoughts should go together).


As I said, I have been thinking about how I feel ill-equipped.  I have felt that way in the past- in my professional life (teaching) and my personal life but right now I feel even more so with this group fitness certification I am pursuing.  I look at myself and I hear all of the lies- and while they may have truth in them it has become the source of the words that I have to overcome. I know that I am not what you would consider the typical fitness person.  I know that I have a LONG way to go.  I know that I think part of this stems from the fact that just 4 years ago this past week I ran my first half and then things started unraveling in my life.  We are coming up on 3 years post sinus surgery and 2 years ago right around this time I came down with an unknown virus that knocked me out of commission for 2 1/2 weeks of school.  We are also coming up on the 2 year anniversary of my move.  So, in the last 4 years my life has been topsy turvy.

Anyway- ill equipped.  As I think about what that means- not having the necessary skills, tools, or means to do a job- it causes me to pause and question- WHAT in the world am I doing?  And you know what- as I look and search and seek after Him to find out the answer to that question, I realize that I am not ill-equipped.  By the world's standards?  Yes, but I don't hold to the world's standards.  By God's standards?  If I am seeking Him, if I am truly wanting to do this to be that #fitnessteachergospelpreacher (it rhymes 😀) then great.  But you know what-if nothing comes of this except for MY relationship with Him deepening or MY perspective toward food and exercise changing then it's worth every penny that I am paying.  Do I think that's where it will stop?  I actually don't- I see a HUGE need in our little community where I hope that some day I can make a difference in this way.  But, if that's in the year or two down the road future then I am good with that.

When I started thinking that way I realized I was not ill-equipped but instead I was working on equipping myself well with the those skills, tools, and the means to do a ministry.


As I continued to flesh out the question- What in the world am I doing? I realized my question was changing to- What in the world is God doing?  As I set goals, as I prepare my heart and mind for instructor training- and as I looked at those areas I felt an unsettledness- a realization that God isn't finished- that as I walk through these next several months- I feel like - no, I KNOW- God is going to continue to do some work on me.  Part of that realization came in the Week 5 of the Weigh Less 2 Feed More study I am doing (teaching this is actually part of my certification and part of where I think the starting point will be for me).  Then I heard this new song by Mandisa and felt like she was telling the story of my last 4 years.  So this- all of this...







Monday, April 3, 2017

Addition and Subtraction

It kind of consumes my life these days- teaching kindergartners how to add and subtract and make sure they understand what it all means is sometimes a daunting task BUT that is not what this post is about- this is kind of a honest look at how things have been going...


So, my word for the year has been Balance and I truly have been working to get there and stay there.  It's the staying that's the hardest and I wasn't quite sure why or how to fix it until this past week.  I was working my way through a Bible Study (Weigh Less 2 Feed More) and came across the question about Jesus being the key element to a balanced life.  And then it asked what do I think Jesus wants to take away and add for balance.  One word- OUCH...  That stepped on the toes a bit- gets a little personal (I actually wanted to skip that question) 😉.  I actually was able to write down my add right away- more consistent time with Him and more consistent exercise (and understanding that by doing that I am honoring Him).  The take away was harder and actually took me a couple of extra days.  Then came the day I came home and did my RevWellTV workout and after it was over-  I knew.



You see, one of my "whines" (aka excuses) has been time- that I get up too early as it is and come and work later. But when I really looked at it- I was not working.  I would sit down with the intention of working but then I would get sucked into my email, Facebook, poking around the internet, etc.  When- in reality- if I came home and worked out first- I would still have time to "work".


So, with that in mind I knew it was time to answer the question- the thing that needs to be taken away is my time on electronic devices- mainly my computer.  I need to read more (I have a stack of books that I keep adding to); I need to exercise more; etc. With that in mind I had to make an evening schedule so I can be intentional.

My workout schedule will follow RevWellTV's calendar as closely as possible (my rest days and some of the workouts may need adjusted) and I may switch some things around but it's what I need to do.  Work nights will tentatively (based on the week's schedule) be Tuesday and Thursday.  Other than that I will be setting a timer to better control the amount of time spent on the computer.


There are more takeaways to address but this was the biggest- the others have to do with setting goals which is a post in progress...





Thursday, March 16, 2017

Saying Yes


This is a hard post to write- I have written and deleted several times.  I even had a whole paragraph written but didn't like how it was worded and deleted the whole thing.  There's nothing wrong with the post itself.  I have nothing bad or earth shattering to share- just a vulnerability that is hard for me.  So- here goes...

I have a fear- that fear is failure.  It's mainly in my job but sometimes trickles into other areas as well.  It stems from some less than stellar years of teaching and expectations placed on me (and co-workers) that were unreasonable, weight bearing, and would be hard for even that level 5 teacher to achieve on a day in and day out/year in and year out basis.  When I felt like I was making gains or progress something would happen or would be said that would knock the wind out of my sails.  I have been teaching since 1998- there were very few years that I felt like I was making a difference (I look back and know now there was a difference in how I felt and what actually happened but I didn't feel it at the time).  Because of that, because of my singleness and no family, because of my fear of failure- I buried myself in my work- I put it above God A LOT- more than I care to admit.  I made my job my idol- an idol is anything that takes away from my relationship with God- that's where I was.

Fast forward to today- I had to answer a question today in my bible study about my fear and when I put it on my paper it was as if I was smacked in the face.  It's been on my mind all day.  I think that's why Revelation Wellness calls to me- it's a way to tune my heart back to Him as I exercise- as I seek Him- as I worship the Creator instead of creation.  It's no accident that today's workout was with my friend Heather (who I will meet in November!) and was called Your Yes! Because part of my fear of failure is also the failing in this.  Not being strong enough, not being able to lead it efficiently, etc.  Then Heather reminded me of several things- that I am My Yes and that I am living out God's dream for me!  That saying Yes to God means that I am giving up something of myself- I am surrendering- for something so much bigger than me.

My Post it notes say: I am... living out God's Dream for me.
and I am My Yes! 

The next two pictures are the two shirts I have designed for fundraising.  I will be buying one of each myself soon and even if it says that it's almost over it resets every 3 days.




Sunday, February 26, 2017

Quiet

I have been quiet lately- for good reason.  I was waiting on my dad to post a few things so that he was the first to say it and so some of his readers who also read my blog heard it from him first (unless you are my friend on FB- then you knew about it). Some of you may remember this post from back in November.  Well, turns out life wasn't done throwing curveballs.  On Friday, February 17- about 3:10 or so I get a text from my mom to call her asap- after finding someone to cover my class I did and she told me that my dad had been in another bicycle accident and that she was on her way to the hospital from out of town.  I teach 5 minutes from the hospital so after I went crying to my principal (and yes, she made me calm down before I got in the car) I left.  I got there by 3:40 and paced, sat, paced, sat, and so on until my mom came in.  Then I cried.  After I finally stopped crying I was able to go back where I could see for myself- it was going to be a long road BUT he was alive.  There were several visitors to the hospital after that but when I finally got to go back after a lot of waiting we waited even more- from about 3:20-1:00 (when he got admitted to a room- but I left at 11).  We found out he had no injury to his brain, a broken collarbone and three broken ribs and lots and lots of pain.


The next day (Saturday)   I spent the afternoon at the hospital with he and my mom.  I would do okay in the hospital and then when I got home I would cry- buckets of tears it felt like- tears at what could have been, tears about how life doesn't always make sense, tears of thanksgiving, and tears of sadness too.  He finally came home on Sunday.

However, Saturday night, I did this- because that man lying in that hospital bed- believes in me and supports me 100%- no 200%- even when I don't believe in myself.  Even when I question and doubt and try to walk away from the fear- he prays for me and encourages me.  So it was time to put aside my fear and register.



Fast forward to Wednesday (Monday was a holiday and Tuesday was a normal school day).  Wednesday was surgery day- he got there early and when the dr came and got us after surgery- he had 4 broken bones in his collarbone!  I will say this- if I ever have need for an orthopedic surgeon I want him to be mine- he was nice, personable, and efficient.  And since then I have heard other good reports about him from a variety of people.

(after surgery picture) 


I had taken Wednesday off work so prepped that afternoon to be ready for the rest of the week.  Little did I  know that God was going to take those plans and pull THAT rug from under me too.  What I didn't mention was the week leading up to my dad's accident was a busy and rough one- I was exhausted and running on about 1% battery life when I got that text.  And my relaxing, three day weekend- that didn't happen.  Then Thursday morning I woke in the middle of the night with that stomach bug and then ran a 102.3 fever for a while.  Due to the surgery and broken ribs I quarantined myself and for two days I slept.  I probably got about 30 hours of sleep in the 48 hour period before I started feeling human again.

Friday- I made the first payment for my training.  I have the extra money for the first few payments but from there- God is going to have to show up BIG time with that, the plane fare money in November, the purchase of the required reading and manuals, as well as the odds and ends that are part of the training.  And you know what- I have every faith in Him because I truly believe that this is of Him.  So- that's where I am- I am working on the t-shirts for the fundraiser part of things.  I want to use someone local but am considering still going ahead and going with teespring or something of that nature.  I don't want to collect the money ahead of time.  I also have a local Lularoe consultant who has a generous fundraiser plan and am looking at that as well for late April or early May.

So- this long post is just a catch up- no song today (although I have one that I really want to post this week) and if you have read this far- thank you.  Oh, and ALWAYS make sure those you care about know that you love them!  You just never know.

Don't know what I would ever do without him. First and foremost he is my spiritual advisor, my teacher in so many things.....drawing, painting, tennis, baseball, fishing, hunting, aiming small and missing small (archery, pistol & rifle). He taught me everything I know about the outdoors. He accompanied me to buy my prom dresses, homecoming court and my wedding dress. I'm so lucky to have my Dad in my life, especially the relationship we have. Others are not as fortunate, so with Father's Day approaching I am reminded to let him know how truly blessed I am.:
(and no I have no clue who these people are-just liked the quote)


Monday, February 13, 2017

Am I Crazy?

Probably so (no comments about that question LOL) but sometimes life takes you down a road you didn't foresee.  A few weeks ago I posted this and it's time to share what that is.  I have mentioned Revelation Wellness several times in the past and I believe this is where this journey is taking me.  They have instructor training in both a study based on biblical principles and in physical fitness/group exercises.  There is a training that starts in August and includes a week long retreat in November.  There are a few things that I have to decide- when to sign up- if I sign up before March 15 I can save $250.  Do I go with a bi-monthly or a monthly payment (honestly- this one is not as hard to decide based on my pay schedule)?  Do I do fundraisers and if so what kind?  Do I find a second job to work at during the summer and save that money for this?  See- all kinds of questions-LOL.  Then there's the questions of doubt- who am I to think that I can do this?  Am I too overweight to attempt this?  Is there a "market" for faith-based trainings (both the Bible study and the exercise classes) in my area?  How in the world am I going to come up with the money each month?


And then every time I start to ask more and more questions I come back to the fact that all He is asking me to do is step out in faith and this picture comes to mind.


The one thing I haven't doubted?  That this is where God is leading me.  As I mentioned in the post linked above- this was where my heart was when I was doing the IIN training and in the midst of my journey several years ago.  I took a detour but I truly believe that I am back on the right road.


One of the fundraisers I was looking at was a t-shirt fundraiser- I have a local connection who can make them so I can deliver them myself rather than going through something like teespring.  I was playing around trying to come up with a design because since last night I have had this verse in my head.


This is what I came up with.  Thoughts? I really wanted a different font/font color where the DO and the IT were a different color and the globe a little lighter or even monochromatic. Would you be interested in one?  If I sold them for $18-20 then if I have done my numbers right I would be making about $10 profit.  And if I sold more than 50 I would make a little more.  I would have to do preorders but then I would go from there.

This song is my "anthem"

"Bring on the unknown
Lead me and I'll go"


So- if you have read this far- how can you help?  Pray- pray for clarity, pray for wisdom, pray for peace, pray for finances- just pray...

*and if you feel so inclined the other way I thought I would help raise money was to make and sell cards so... 😃



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

#abeautifullifechallenge- A Beautiful Life Part 2

I posted this post the other day A Beautiful Life and mentioned at the end of the post that it got my thinking about a project.  Here it is!  I am so excited about this because I am trying to find the joy and beauty in everyday life.  This is my beautiful life for today!


Share the challenge, participate and use the hashtag #abeautifullifechallenge in your labels so I can find it when I search.  This is the first time I have done anything like this so I am really hoping it takes off!




Monday, January 30, 2017

A Beautiful Life

I really do have a good life- I have a job (that I enjoy), I have family and friends spread around the globe, I have a "home", I have a great church family here in Indiana (and one in TN that I miss like crazy) but until today (Monday) I don't know that I would have called it a beautiful life- because that's not what I saw.  However, in the reading of the book I Am by Michele Cushatt I ran across this chapter called "I Am Beautiful" and it really made me stop and pause- especially when I read these words:

"It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  But too often, we choose the wrong beholder- ourselves and others, flawed beings who can't see clearly.  Only God has perfect vision, seeing beyond the false exterior to the authentic heart.  And when He looks at you, He sees an unmatched creation, someone He loves enough to die for."

Ouch- right?  Michele goes on to list things that God sees as beautiful and not a single one of them focus on the exterior.


See part of this balance thing for me- part of this working out and exercising isn't just for the external- and while that's part of it- what it's really all about is getting to the heart of the matter.  MY heart.  The heart that's laid dormant, the heart that's been through a winter, the heart that two years ago this week made a decision that would take a broken, bitter (not by a relationship) heart to a place where healing has finally started.  The heart that almost gave up if it were not for the love of friends and family- and a God that never gave up on me.  This balance thing- it's done a number on my heart- it's shown me that I can be a good teacher while still taking care of myself.  It's shown me that I may have to work a little harder but a small treat every once in a while doesn't have to derail me.  It's shown me that if I take the step down the wrong path I have the light that will get me back in the right direction.

So- what does Michele say are things that God sees as beautiful? (just a few because I highly recommend you get this book yourself) Giving your life for another, comforting those who hurt, finding joy in the ordinary of each day, believing God is with us, even when we feel alone and my favorite- "Beautiful is knowing you're beautiful, believing your beautiful, because the one who sees the real you better than anyone else says so."

When reading this chapter and journaling after- I hit on something I want to try for the month of February- I am working on putting it all together in my head and on paper but it's coming.  So- hopefully I can get that post together and flesh it all out by Wednesday!


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Just Breathe

This past week I have been running 100 miles per hour- with zumba at the gym, hundredth day of school activities, running club, chiropractor, going to watch a basketball game for a young man from church, working out at the gym, hosting a LuLaRoe pop up and various other odds and ends (like weird weather) I was running on empty by the end of the week.  I heard this song on the radio a few weeks ago and forgot about it until today when I was browsing on youtube and it showed up on one of the sidebars.

found here

I took another listen and keep going back to Matthew 11:28-30 and how in the midst of chaos, in the midst of "busyness" I am called to just breathe- breathe in Him- day in and day out.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Where I am Going...

Honestly, I have NO idea LOL but I have decided that it's time to hop on for the ride.  Several years ago when I was going through my studies at IIN I had a dream that I would then go on to get my personal training and group training certifications and then tie them all together- especially in a faith-based setting (and to be honest- that's the first time I have put this out there).  Well, after IIN and gaining weight and feeling like I had no business doing any of that I put that dream to the side.  With the most recent involvements- my participation in a couple of online studies through Revelation Wellness and the challenge at the Y and getting back into exercising on a more regular basis- the dream has started to be stirred again but I still go through the doubts- the questioning if this is really where God is leading me, that this is crazy and I am not qualified.

**ETA- I started this post on Sunday night and then on Monday one of my friends posted this:

found here

Wednesday I worked on this assignment for The Little Way 30 Day Challenge and wrote this- the top part of this was to be written in our non-dominant hand as a way of taking us out of our comfort zone but then I added the bottom part on my own.


One of my friends saw my post and sent me a link to a pre-order book by Michele Cushatt.
I ordered and got some bonus gifts for preordering.  One of those were lock screens for the phone- I looked and chose this one.



Then Sunday comes along and my dad starts to preach (more on that in a bit) and then he brings up Jeremiah 1:18-19 which caused me to do a double-take because of how in line it was with the above.

"And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”

  Hmmm... this was about the point where the 2x4 hit me over the head!


Back to the sermon- My dad was talking about what it means to be a fool and followed it up with these people (I am not going to name all of them- just the ones that were specific in my thought process):
Abraham- "Obedience is easy when it fits into our plan or scheme.  Abraham was willing to obey even though it was crazy."

Naaman- "Sometimes we are asked to take steps of wild obedience where we have no clue where it will end.  Stop too soon and we miss out on God's phenomenal blessings."

Gideon- "It doesn't matter the size of the army or the enemy coming against you when God is fighting the battle for you."

Hosea- "Though we fail; we are not failures.  Though we are unfaithful; God is faithful."

So- in the midst of this crazy (some would say foolish) dream that I am dreaming is it possible that dream  could come true?  I don't know yet if this is where it is going to unfold.  What I do know is that I am going to live my life to the fullest, trusting that with each step I am being led by God.

To end this post- this song- it was played in the video for the torchbearers for our county.  It's not a "Christian" song or even by a Christian group but I LOVED the song and think it fits (although there are several others that fit also)



(and after watching this official version- how can I NOT go for my dreams- I have been given this one wild and crazy life for a reason- to share Jesus with others-the question is how?

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 :)