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...