Monday, August 7, 2017

Mountains into Roads part 2

Here's the next part- I really wanted this mountain to have a post all of its own.  This was my most recent mountain and it is part of my current journey.




Back in January I posted this- Where I am going then in February Am I crazy

but then in February this happened: Quiet


Did you catch this at the end of that last post?  "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"


2 weeks ago I made the final payment.  I timed the payments with my paycheck.  Here's how it worked.  I did one fundraiser of shirts and that money paid for a total of about 75% + of one payment.  All other money- out of my paycheck.  I did change some spending habits and I had to dip into my savings twice but never for much.  It doesn't make sense- and yet, it does because of that last sentence in bold.  

My mountain was the money (and my own head) but money- whew- that's a big one. And, I know there are some going through training who are struggling finding the money to make the payments- it doesn't mean their faith is less than mine, it doesn't mean they aren't supposed to do it- it just means their journey is different than mine- their mountain turning into the road might take a bit longer or be a bit bumpier.  The only thing left to get is the air fare and I am just keeping an eye on prices and will hopefully bit that bullet in the next few weeks.  

But, guess what- I am in the midst of another mountain.  This one is a bit different.  This is the fact that school is starting and life starts getting crazy- and in 2 1/2 weeks I add in training and the work that goes with it.  This mountain consists of my head- the games and lies I have to fight through as He works to turn that mountain into the road.  The fact that I am not enough, not capable, I am not worthy of this calling, that I have issues with food and exercise to work through, that I give too many excuses, and so on.  I have been working on turning those lies into truth statements- I am not enough by myself but with Him- He is enough to take it.  I am capable and have the strength to push through because He gives me the strength. I am called because He has placed this on my heart. I do have issues with food and exercise but I believe this training is in my life to help me work through them.  

I mentioned in my previous post Part 1 about a chapter I read in Isaiah.  It's Isaiah 49 and so often we read verse 16 

and nothing else is mentioned much but this chapter is rich with truth and imagery. 

 I have been a bit "obsessed" with arrows on things- clothing, cards, rubber stamps, etc.  Which is a bit strange- I typically have never looked at them before but this summer I have started noticing them (and feathers) a bit more then I read this verse at the beginning of Isaiah 49 and my heart lifted.  


He has fashioned me into an arrow and placed me in His quiver.  And when the time is right He will load me up in the bow and shoot me out to share His love and light with others in this way He is leading me 


(that doesn't mean I don't share now- He's preparing me...)

So as God works to make my mountain of fear into a road I wait and I pray, I seek and I go, I train and I study, and I lift my eyes to the mountains because THAT is where my help comes from- He's there and He's working.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mountains into Roads


Have you ever been hit over the head by a verse?  Then you go and read the whole chapter and know that it's the place to sit and meditate on for a while?  This happened to me this week.  I was reading in my Streams in the Desert devotional and came across this one on Wednesday- I have parked in Isaiah 49 for the current time.

Stream in the Desert- August 2

This devotion has this verse at the top and as the focus and as I really began to read through it I began to really take the words to heart and think maybe it's time to tell my story- in one place.  The thing about a story that hasn't been finished is that it's constantly evolving and being added on to.  It's been a while since I have told my story so it's time- sit back, grab a cup of coffee/water/tea/etc and take a gander at where I have been and where I am going and those mountains that have been turned into roads.




Mountain #1- We have to start the story by wandering back to November of 2008- Thanksgiving week I ended up sick and had an allergic reaction to a medication.  A week later I ended up with some horrific pain where I could barely drive.  It went away after several hours but I still pondered that pain.  It was the first time I had ever experienced that level of pain.  A week after that I had a routine dr appt for bloodwork and all that jazz.  I mentioned it to her and she ran some tests.  They concerned her enough she got me an appt for a CT scan because she thought I had had a kidney stone.  I went for the CT scan and one week before Christmas she brought me in and told me she was referring me to a urologist because in both of my kidneys were lots of stones.  She told me that she didn't know what he would want to do but there was a chance that I could lose a kidney- I was in denial pretty much all of Christmas break and then in January 2009  I went to that urologist and found out that he's a specialist for a reason 😉.  I was diagnosed with Medullary Sponge Kidney which basically means that my body makes stones in the spongey part of my kidney- sometimes they pass, sometimes they stay where they are.  And, if they pass I may not always realize it because of size.  It's fairly rare and supposedly I was born with it (there's not a LOT of research on it and there's a lot of conflicting information but what I can tell you is that I have it "easy" compared to others with this disease). So knowing that he wanted me to cut back on several foods including nuts and chocolate (boo).  I did well with this and had 2 more painful stones pass in 2010- one in June and one in December.

Road #1- I saw my body respond well to the change in diet except for the two stones and things went along well for a while.

Mountain #2- 2011-2012- in 2011 I had a bulging disc all summer and into the fall and then in 2012 Stress levels were high- so high the district I was in had the school nurse checking my blood pressure every week because it flagged at a school wellness thing they did.  My doctor kept an eye on it as well and in June 2012 I had a variety of things happen all at once.  I went hiking with a friend and saw pictures of myself.  I was so discouraged by what I saw that I knew it was time to make some changes.  At the same time my doctor finally told me it was time to go on blood pressure medicine.  I was discouraged and so frustrated by the whole thing that I began a new journey.

Road #2- this bp issue then led me to begin running, spinning, and taking my health serious (this is important to the future story). I began running 5K's and fell in love with exercising.  I made my health a priority- even after school started. This is big because in 2011 I had that bulging disc and I was told I would NEVER run.

Mountain #3- In 2013 I wanted to take my love of healthy living further and found The Institute for Integrative Nutrition but the cost was a HUGE mountain.

Road #3- BUT God- He provided through a generous gift from someone anonymously and I began studying in May 2013.


Mountain #4- it's strange to say but my mountain then sort of came about because of IIN- while I was learning and taking away so many things I also lost sight of what worked and weight started slowly coming back on- then I had some physical issues that were challenging and eventually led to sinus surgery in 2014.  That mountain is the weight that I have put on.

Road #4- While I would love to say that the mountain has completely become the road- it would be a lie- it's still an uphill battle with my weight day in and day out.  I know what worked for me before and you would think well it should be a no-brainer BUT I became a slave to calories and while physically I was healthier- it messed with my head so I have to approach it a bit different.

Mountain #5- Professional stress which took its toll physically (there's not a lot to say here so...)

Road #5- I moved- got a new job- still have some professional stress but it's different.

AND- since this has gone on long enough- I'm going to stop here and address Mountain #6 in my next post (and I'll write it right now).


Monday, July 10, 2017

Music for a Monday

Just putting this here because this song...

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

War of the Heart


I know the post has an odd title but hang in there- and this will be a LONG post so hang in there for that too.

Sunday was one of those a-ha days.  I have been reading the book You are Free by Rebekah Lyons and have found myself nodding my head, underlining and agreeing with things throughout the book such as: 

"This means that even in our feeble weakness, if we claim Christ and his resurrection, somehow we are God's agents who carry freedom to the world." (p. 21)

"Calling is where our talents and burdens collide.  Our talents are our birthright gifts, the gifts that make our hearts sing, come alive.  Our burdens are found in our stories, in what breaks our hearts.  God was inviting me to use the gifts that made me come alive, to redeem the things that broke my heart." (p. 50)

"We aren't responsible for the healing (or whatever seemingly impossible thing we are asking for); we're only responsible for the asking." (p. 93)

and finally:

"Sometimes we ask for a healing we can see, and God offers instead a heart-healing we can't see." (p.97)

Then I came to chapters 7 and 8 and I wanted to throw the book down because as I read it became very evident that God was using these 2 chapters to make something clear to me.

See- 2 years ago I moved from Knoxville, TN (my home of 15 years plus 5 years of college) to Spencer, IN.  With that move I gave up a lot.  I gained things too, but the last two years I have focused on what I gave up.  I was living and working here with one eye looking back to TN.  After my recent vacation where I traveled to TN and GA it's been forefront in my mind again as to wondering why God brought me HERE!.  Then, as I read chapters 7 and 8 (specifically the quotes in the picture below) conviction began to set in.


What did I realize? I realized that while I was living with one eye looking back to TN I wasn't truly living FULLY here.  I wasn't fully letting go and now it's time.  

It's time to realize that for this season of life I am in right now- Spencer, IN is where I live; Fairview in Bloomington is where I teach, OVCF is where I worship, and TN is in my rearview mirror.  For right now, TN is a vacation spot- it's a state full of people and places I love, and while it will always feel like home- it's not my home.  My home is where God has placed me- my home is where He is with me.  It's time to live eyes forward, always searching for where He wants me serving- even if that might mean a step out of my comfort zone.  It's time to let go of what was and embrace what is and give my full focus to the people and places in front of me until He tells me it's time to move on.



Thursday, June 8, 2017

ALL In


I have been participating in two different things this summer- the Bold in the Soul challenge through Revelation Wellness.  Here is their description of it: Rally yourself and your communities and share with us what makes YOU #boldinthesoul. This can be anything from a physical character trait about yourself, a soul trait that God has given you like integrity, generosity, optimism, OR you can simply share God’s truth. Be as creative as you like—get BOLD and let the world know what makes you, YOU!

 (Take a picture of yourself using your WARPAINT (a.k.a. sharpie marker, or whiteboard marker) to write, either on yourself or a piece of paper, your word(s) that share your #boldinthesoul statement for that day.)

and also I have just started an online study using Lysa Terkeurst's book Uninvited.  I have had the book for a while and had actually started it.  I was also reading another book so I put it down for a while and then this study came along.  

All that to say- since June 1 I have been putting on my warpaint on a daily basis- sometimes it's on my arm/hand and sometimes it's on a sheet of paper.  This morning as I was running I was thinking of words and then a song came on (at the end of post) and this phrase popped up- I'm all in.  And it hit me- that was my word for today- then I came home and started journaling and read Uninvited and also some scriptures about what that word meant to me. 


All In- Goes to the commandment to Love the Lord with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your mind, and ALL your strength.  Not a portion- but ALL!


ALL in exercise- I have always heard that you get out what you put in.  If I am putting in partial effort then I will get partial results.  If I go ALL in and put forth all of my effort then my results will show that.

ALL in relationships- If I am not fully invested in my relationships- whether family or friends- then I am not all in- and that can make or break that relationship.  It will either flourish and grow or it will die. 

ALL in Christ- To go along with my Uninvited study that talks about Living Loved- I can turn this into Always Living Loved in Christ.  This comes down to a simple truth.  Christ loves me- and I need to grasp the fullness of His love to truly grasp the fullness of God.  If am ALL in Christ then that will show in my words, my actions, my heart and my life.  


It's time to go ALL in!










Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Whispers of Rest

**I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review and as part of Bonnie's book launch team.  All opinions are mine.

Before I get started- you can find the book and all of the information HERE!  And as you are participating in the daily challenges don't forget to take pictures and #whispersofrest There will also be a book club starting in June!  This gives you time to get your book!


A few years ago I had the opportunity to preview and write about Bonnie Gray's book Finding Spiritual Whitespace.  So, when the opportunity presented itself to do the same with her newest book- Whispers of Rest- 40 Days of Love to Revitalize Your Soul- I jumped on it.  And when I said yes, I had no way of knowing how timely each chapter/day would end up being.  This book is about slowing down, rest, and finding God in those places.  This book was released yesterday and was started right in the middle of my busy season- the last month of school.  At the time I write this I have two more days- we are finished with all of the "big" stuff- it's time for the small stuff to end the year.

Not only that- the book was timely in other areas as well.  I said Yes to God about a pretty big dream which I shared here.  Every once in a while I start to doubt myself.  I start to wonder if I can do this, or what am I thinking and then once again the day of whispers is so on target I have nothing to do but throw my hands up in surrender.  


This book is a 40 Day Journey through discovering (or rediscovering) God's love in order to revitalize and refresh your soul.  This book contains 6 parts and in each one Bonnie reminds the reader that they are the Beloved.  The 6 parts are: Being the Beloved, Choosing as the Beloved, Dreaming as the Beloved (this is the part I am in now), Healing as the Beloved, Daring as the Beloved and Shining as the Beloved.  Each day is not lengthy but it takes you through a personal anecdote, Reading God's Story (what He says in the Bible about a particular subject, God's Whispers from that Bible passage and going deeper, a Prayer for the day and then a chance for some personal reflection, praying and resting and ends with a challenge and a lot of those challenges are ones that allow you to slow down and take care of your physical, emotional, OR spiritual needs.  There's journaling, drinking more water, taking a bath, and so many more. 

The pictures you have seen throughout this post are ones that I have taken and incorporated them into the challenge.  I highly recommend this book- especially, if you are like me and needing to just slow down.

I leave you with this song- it's a few years old but I heard it the other day and felt it was appropriate.






Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May's Musings

Lots of random thoughts in this post- May is always busy with the end of school and I feel like I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off (one of these days I really want to see if that really does look the way I feel) but I keep telling myself the end is in sight.  As of today (Wednesday, May 10 when I am writing this) there are 12 more school days and that number keeps dwindling.  There's SO much to do in those 12 days that I am a bit overwhelmed with trying to figure out HOW in the world I am going to get it all done.


Thankfully, in this season of busyness, God brought a book into my life that is perfect. I get to be part of a book launch for Bonnie Gray's new book that comes out at the end of May.  It's called Whispers of Rest and it's a 40 Day journey to experiencing true rest that can only come from Him.  She is highlighting the first three chapters leading up to the release and this week is chapter 2.  The pictures below are from Chapter 1 (and hopefully early next week I can share Chapter 2's photos).


 

 



In some areas I have been struggling a bit- contentment is a big thing for me right now.  I don't know if I can even really call it a lack of contentment though.  Unsettled maybe?  Usually I am typically "okay" with my singleness and childlessness.  Even now I am still "okay" with my childlessness but the single part of my life- that seems to be where I am a bit unsettled.  I tend to get this way around the end of the school year.  May and June are (and have been in the past) pretty big months with Mother's Day, Memorial Day (the weekend of my sister's wedding anniversary), my birthday, etc. so I think that's a big trigger for me.  I had my music on shuffle and have all kinds of random songs in there and there's one that I heard at a friend's wedding and really liked it so I downloaded it.  I have listened to it before but it hasn't come up in the shuffle in a LONG time but today it did- it's Martina McBride's (and the guy from Train) song called Marry Me.  So I started thinking that maybe this is part of my trigger (even though I haven't heard it in MONTHS) and it ended and the very next song was Mercy Me's new song- Even If.  At that point I took a deep breath and just praised Jesus through that song because THAT is where I need to live and that is where I typically am living EXCEPT in that area.  I know it's something I have to keep letting go of and yet I don't- I give it up- feel like I am done with that and move on but then things start being planted in my mind and my heart about not being good enough, never going to find someone, and so much more and discontentment starts to take a hold before I realize it.  So- until I have no more breaths (or until Jesus comes) I will be daily lifting this particular struggle up.  And Even If....

I know You're able
And I know You can
Save through the fire
With Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Good thing
A little faith is all I have right now

But God when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Give me the strength
To be able to sing
It is well with my soul

I know the sorrow
I know the hurt
Would all go away
If You'd just say the word
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

You've been faithful
You've been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
‘Cause I know You're able
I know You can

It is well with my soul



I think that's probably enough for tonight- I have more I want  need to say but will save that for another post.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

I Am book

**I purchased this book based on the recommendation of a friend.  I received no compensation for this review and all opinions are mine.


Recently I finished the book I Am by Michele Cushatt.  When I introduced this book here I had the intention to share my review of it.  I actually finished the book a week or so ago but I have been thinking through things I read AND things have been really busy so the review was put on the back burner.  However, it was just one of those things that would not go away.  This book was one that I looked forward to picking back up in the mornings to read what was next.  It says it's a 60 Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is.  However, I didn't read a new chapter every day- sometimes I would re-read the one from the previous day.  And, many times the words were just so timely.with my heart on that day.


So- about the book- it's divided up into 6 Parts: Creation, Exodus, Covenant, Presence, Rescue, and Revelation.  Each part contains 10 days of an I am in that section.  Some of them are- I am: created, treasured, fought for, heard, rescued, not alone, desired, forgiven, and enough.  Obviously there are so many more but I chose 1-2 from each section to highlight there.

I think the thing that really impacted me was her story- I don't want to say too much because I really encourage you to get the book (I don't even have an amazon affiliate here LOL).  She has had a crazy and hard fought bout with cancer and that journey really is what led to the writing of this book.

I am going to close with a few of my "underlinings" in the book- just because I want to give you a glimpse into the book, maybe whet your appetite to go and get the book and embark on that journey yourself

"It's 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."

"Strength isn't stamina. It's refusing to quit when you have none."

"We've been given stories- broken and beautiful stories- so a broken and beautiful world can see there is a God who's written a story for them too."

and from the back of the book: "I Am reminds us that our value isn't found in our talents, achievements, relationships, or appearance.  it is instead found in a God who chose us, sent us, and promised to be with us- forever."

See- gems!  As I said- I highly recommend this book- I usually buy books and let them stack up until summer before I read them but this one was different and I am so glad and thankful that my friend followed her heart in telling me about it.



LOVE this song!



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!