Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Secret Life #3

Behind the mask/disguise.

I was very interested in the sermon. Pretending. I’m good at it. Or I think I am. If you can see behind my mask, let me keep the illusion that everyone doesn’t know that I’m a basket case. I’ll tell you how good I am at it. I had a total melt down a couple weeks ago. I’m talking I embraced my inner toddler and it was ugly. And when I unloaded on Steve and told him how I felt, he had no idea. I had him fooled. I wear a mask. Some areas I can be transparent. But in some areas I think people want me to wear my mask.
Example #1 – We have plans to go out to dinner with friends. I have had the roughest week at work, stressful things going on at home, and the last thing I want to do is socialize with people. (Add to that I’m retaining water from the extra sodium I consumed to prepare for a 13 mile run in 100 degree heat the next day). This is a dinner we can’t reschedule. I can’t show up wearing my miserable face from the stressful week. The one that wants to put on comfy clothes and order pizza and sit on the couch watching free on demand television all night. I have to dress up, fix my hair and maintain positive and polite conversation. (My public demands this.)
Example #2 – Church, where I get asked about 100 times how I am doing. Does anyone want to hear “not worth a crap, but thanks for asking?” Most of these people aren’t asking me because they really want to know, it’s just a salutation. Am I faking when I say okay, or good? Probably, but I think in this instance it’s okay.
Example #3 – My kids think I’m a nuisance. Their friends think I’m cool.
I think the real issue here is not faking a good attitude or a positive attitude in bad times. I think it’s pretending to be something we are not. The example was used of parents fighting all the way to church and then getting to church and being super Christians. People who live horrid sinful lives all week and on Sunday mornings clean up for the day. Our world needs to see people who live all week the way they live on Sunday. People who choose to live for God everyday, all day.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm NOT that mom

I heard a few funny comments about parenting this weekend and thought I would share...names are withheld to protect the guilty.

1. I have a strong willed child. I don't know why anyone would love her. I love her, but only because she's my daughter.
2. No, you can't have any ice cream until you eat your french fries.
3. We should go if we want to see the kids before they fall asleep. (Me: yes, and you won't get to see them much for awhile). Actually it's really not a big deal, I see them a lot.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Marathon Training

I ran 23 miles this week. That was short a run (or two.) I ran 12.5 with Steve yesterday, was supposed to be 12, thought I could do 13. Came up over the bridge at mile 12 and saw this beautiful sight. The yellow roof through those trees is my house.

Steve still needed to run a mile which meant he had to take the long way, but I had ran my 12 and decided I didn't want to run 13. So I "cut the ditch" which is our terminology for cutting .6 of a mile off and running cross country home. I wasn't too far in when I saw Steve turn the corner and realized he was going to run mile 23 faster than I could run my last half mile. So I busted it to get home the same time he did. I missed today's run because I didn't feel up to it. *I actually didn't miss it at all, I was quite happy to not run. I did learn that parking at Krispy Kreme to run home was not a good idea. When I picked up my car, I picked up a dozen donuts.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

This should be titled “conversations about Whitney”
At her volleyball game Wednesday night Nate and his girlfriend came to watch. Whitney plays with the high school team on Wednesdays and Hannah is friends with several of the girls. She had gone to breakfast with them one morning after conditioning (softball for Hannah, not volleyball). This is the conversation.

Hannah: So is Whitney Baker any good?
Volleyball player: Oh my gosh. She is sooooo funny.
Hannah: That wasn’t the question. Is she any good?
Volleyball player: She is hilarious. We laugh at her all the time.
Hannah: So she’s not any good.
Volleyball player: Oh yes, she’s good. She’s just so dang funny!

My daughter will make the team...as comic relief!

This picture really isn't of anything, but you can see the much bigger girls she's playing with. They play in black tee shirts, any that they have. Whitney pulled one from my closet I got for participating in a walk at work event put on by our "Healthy Spirit" campaign. It has a big tomato on the back and says "Eat Healthy". She loves the tee shirt, I find it hilarious, and right in character for the child who will not touch a tomato and thinks jelly bellys are a food group.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What makes him great

Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family who live far away. It’s a great way to keep in touch with people who live close that you don’t see as much as you would like to. But it allows you to see a lot of people’s lives. In some cases, more than you want to know. It is also extremely narcissistic. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t care if you are sitting on the couch watching TV with your husband. That’s a nightly occurrence at my house, not big news. I realize facebook is a time waster, but in some cases, it’s a much worse time waster than others. Mine, when I’m reading what you ate for lunch. I love the updates about kids and health concerns. I don’t want to hear how much you weigh or how many pounds you’ve lost. I also don’t want to hear that you’ve been sitting in your house crying all day because you are depressed. In the typed word, I have no idea how to take this. Are you suicidal? Holding a gun or a bottle of pills? It’s not the place for a cry for help. Call me, I’ll race over and do what I can. Post a status, and I don’t know what to do. I also hate generalizations about mean people or people who are so depressed they have to try and pull others down. Maybe someone was having a bad day. Maybe they said something flippantly they didn’t mean, shouldn’t have said, didn’t come out the way it should have, and have no way to apologize for it. Like my latest “should’ve put my muzzle on this morning” comment and the groveling and apology I had to send to one of Steve’s closest friends explaining that my comment was not directed at a flaw in Steve’s character, but actually inwardly at one of my more annoying traits and the lengths he goes to put up with me and be kind. Quite humiliating. I love the pictures and videos of activities of you and your family. The hundreds of news clips and yahoo stories, if I want to know that, I’ll read it myself on their website. Having said this, I realize my posts about my kids sports and graduation and other activities may irritate people, however, they are for family in Seattle, Manhattan, Bakersfield, Michigan, Iraq, etc. So I get that a lot of posts are not directed to me, and I’m okay with that and can move on by. But if I ever resort to posting a status “Patsy is sitting on the couch with her husband.” Take away my computer and cell phone. But this is not a rant against the idiocy that is facebook, because I enjoy facebook.
Over the last 6 months I have seen something repeatedly that nagged at me, and finally figured out what it is. Examples: “My husband is the greatest! I got a pedicure and a manicure and a massage for Mother’s Day.” “I am so spoiled, I got roses and chocolate covered strawberries and jewelry and a ton of other gifts for Valentine’s Day. It’s like Christmas.” And many others. I think that’s great that your husband gives you great gifts and remember holidays and treats you like a queen. And then I realized what bothers me. If you ask me why my husband is great, I will tell you. (You know I would tell you.) Not for presents or jewelry. Not for cooking dinner. My husband is great because he puts God first. Actively. Seeks. Him. Spends time in his Bible and prayer. Worships. Serving others is a priority. He is selfess. He is compassionate. He honors his commitments. He does buy me gifts. He does housework and laundry. He drives Whitney and her friends around. He will double his training runs and run his and then run with me, because he knows it makes my runs easier. And gives me his water when my bottle is empty. But none of that is what I would say makes him great. I have a godly man. And that is what makes him great.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Secret Life #3

What a great sermon we heard this last weekend. Double Agent. It was about our loyalty. Satan hates loyalty, and he tries to destroy it. He tries to break up marriages, families and friendships. And he does a good job. In the Garden of Eden he questioned God's loyalty to Eve. I was touched by a couple things Mark said. One was a general idea that sometimes I feel so alone in my struggles. I think I'm the only one feeling a certain way, but then Mark will talk about it from the stage and I realize that I'm not the only one feeling that way. I'm sorry anyone else is feeling the struggles of life, but I'm not alone. The other thing he talked about was when you feel out of sync with God. When your worship is dry. When you don't want to read your Bible or pray or even feel like going to church and participating in worship. When you are not on the path he has for you, the struggles and trials are harder to deal with. Life is going to be hard, there is going to be pain, and there is going to be injustice. The key is to keep our loyalties where they belong.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Marathon Training

My marathon training is actually Steve's 50 mile training plan. Right now, it's not terrible. I run 5 days a week. Three during the week and this week was two five milers and a 3 miler with 11 on Saturday and then 5 again on Sunday. Happy to say I did them all. Steve is very supportive of this. Understandably, he runs too. The night I had a three mile run (because I didn't get up in the morning) he had already ran his 8 mile during the day. But he ran my 3 mile with me too. And then today, he ran his miles this morning before church (and again, I didn't get out of bed, but Nate got home from Lincoln, Nebraska really late, I have a reason) so I had my five mile left today. Running Sunday after a long run Saturday is hard for me. Not gonna sugar coat it. And then Whitney tells me her volleyball games are at 5:00, 6:00 and 8:00. I knew about the 5:00 and 6:00, was planning to run after that. Not running ater 8:00. So being the tough girl I am, I grab my running water bottle and decide to run at 3:00. Not the worst part of the day, the sun is no longer directly overhead, and I aim for the shade as much as possible and my 24 oz bottle of water has to make 2.6 miles to the convenience store where I can drink and fill back up and run home. Steve has already run 13.25 this morning, but he gets his shoes and his water bottle and runs with me. At least we're not a mixed marriage, we're both crazy. It was hot today. Heat index was triple digits and the south wind, which was blowing 20 mph, not gusting, just straight hot head wind for the last 2.5 miles didn't make it much fun. Plus, I didn't leave myself much time to run 5 miles, shower, and get Whitney to the gym by 4:30. But MAN!!! What a feeling of accomplishment when I finished my five miles today. Being a runner in Kansas. You see it all. I have sprinted the last .75 of a mile home as I watched the electrical storm blow in. I have ran two miles in pounding rainstorms. I have worn my trail shoes to run through snow, and own running pants for below 35 degree running. The most important part is just to be smart. Know when to run, when to walk and when to cower indoors. And to properly fuel and properly hydrate. It's not for the faint of heart and for those who don't like to perspire. I had sweat dripping off my elbows after 4 minutes. Not sure if it was running down from my armpit or down from my wrist. Does it matter? Anyway, 29 miles this week, all hot, but all good! Have a great week everyone!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney: Where's Nate?
Me: At his tournament.
Whitney: Where?
Me: Lincoln, NE
Whitney: How many more tournaments does he have?
Me: five, next weekend he's in Arkansas
Whitney: COOL! His bed is so comfortable.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Secret Life #2

Cold war. That was our topic this Sunday. Being a big (big doesn't really do me justice on this front, but it's the best word I got) fan of spy novels, I have enjoyed the last two weeks likening the spy world to the Christian life. I think I would like being a spy. Maybe because I'm nosy.
The cold war is the war within ourselves between the old sin nature and the new nature we receive when we accept Christ. Mark ended the service with the verse Paul wrote about how he wanted to do good but didn't, didn't want to do evil but did. Paul struggled with this, and Paul was a great Christian man. I know I deal with this (I won't say how often, but let's just say more than I want to admit). I want to do good. I really do. And then I don't. I don't want to do bad, but then I do it. Then I beat myself up over it. These natures are very much alive inside me and at war. All the more reason to immerse myself in God's Word. Pray without ceasing. Think before acting. Think before speaking. Make every effort to do good. And when I don't, get it right and get back on with it.
I wonder if there is a James Bond marathon on television this weekend? Or maybe back to back Bourne movies?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weekend Review

So this time it's not a false alarm. Training for the marathon in Wichita 10-10-10. If I'm able to stay healthy, I intend to run my second marathon. Sheila is training to run with me, and Steve is doing most of the training runs with me as well. This is a big help for me. He is training for a 100 mile run November 6, so the timing is good. We have a few logistics to work out, like tonight he had an 8 mile run and I had a 5 mile run. I gave him a twenty minute head start and it worked out pretty well that he met up with me on his way back at my 2.5 turn around point and he ran the last with me. Last Saturday he ran the 4 to Sheila's house and then we ran ten with him from there. This training plan is a little more ambitious, I ran 28 miles last week in the first week of training. I intend to be one of Steve's pace runners at his 100 mile, during the night time hours, because I think after 50 miles or so he will be ready for company. We will see how it goes. 5:30 run in the morning, 5 miles. How sick is it that I look forward to this?
Nate's summer baseball team went 6-0 in their first tournament this weekend. It was 4 days in OKC and I couldn't go, but he plays with a friend from school, actually a close friend of his, so they go to practices and games, etc. together. He came home with the coolest thing. The tournament was sponsored by a group called "Ambassadors". All the games were played at Christian colleges. He has a journal called "A Life Worth Following" based on the journal of Justin Sullivan, a Christian boy who was named the Oklahoma high school baseball player of the year in 2002 and the next day died in a car crash. Nate told me the story and showed me the journal. It made an impact on him, but I couldn't help thinking about the boys who maybe didn't know about God but now have heard. He leaves for Lincoln, Nebraska Thursday for tournament number two. I am not going to this one either. I hate missing, but we are at the point I will be missing more of his life, and that's just the way it is.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney: How come everyone in our family has such big teeth?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Secret Life #1

Our current sermon series at Newspring is called Secret Life. First week was about being you. God created you, individually, specially, one of a kind. No one else can be you, so be real, stop faking, and be the best you you can be. Steve sang the Gavin Degraw song “I don't want to be
Anything other than what I've been trying to be lately, All I have to do, Is think of me, and I have peace of mind, I'm tired of looking 'round rooms, Wondering what I've got to do, Or who I'm supposed to be, I don't want to be anything other than me.” As he sang this song wanna know what I was thinking? Not how great the message of the song was. Not how great he sang it, I was thinking “I want to be Steve too”. Because I want to experience just how great it is to be married to me. THAT’S RIGHT! I SAID IT!
It was a great reminder that being authentic is worth it. Being authentic and transparent can be hard. You open yourself up. Sometimes people fake it, pretending to be something they aren’t to get where they want to be, maybe just get their faster, or get where they really don’t belong. If I can’t be me, then I don’t need it. So I’m looking at my “secret life” and trying to decide where I need to be more real.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Call Me Lolo

I faced a hurdle this week. I’m an endurance person, not a leaper or sprinter. But I faced a hurdle. Wednesday afternoon. I had a need for a person I love. And I prayed a very specific prayer and it had a pretty tight time line. Went to church Wednesday night and sang with the worship team. We sang “Healer” by Hillsong. One of my favorites.
You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
You heal all my disease
I trust in you
I trust in you
I believe you’re my healer
I believe you are all I need
I believe you’re my portion
I believe you’re more than enough for me
Jesus you’re all I need
Though often times I fail you
I bow my head in shame
You promised to forgive me
When I call out your name
I trust in you
I trust in you
Nothing is impossible for you
Nothing is impossible
You hold my world in your hands

I stood there with my arms raised and felt the presence of God, like He was reaching towards me. Not in the way he was going to give me everything I asked for, that was the furthest thing on my mind. Not sure if it’s because I was with our worship team and I know many of them quite well, and know that they were truly in the presence of God as well, and where two or three are gathered…but it was a moment.
I believe God, no matter what. I trust God, no matter what. But moments like this are powerful (and rare) and special. So imagine my excitement when the next afternoon everything was taken care of. At first I was thinking God just made it all go away, until I realized that while he definitely showed up and answered my prayer, he gave me Lolo Jones skills. He turned me into a hurdler. I didn’t look down the track and try to remove the hurdle. I didn’t try to run around it. I trusted God and went forward. We hurdled. I understand not everything will happen this way, but I believe when it’s something in God’s plan, even though I don’t know how it fits, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. You hold my world in your hands.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Conversations with Whitney

A picture is worth a thousand words...

At Whitney's 8th grade formal someone took this picture. I found it on facebook. Denae's face in the background is priceless. I asked who these people are, and Whitney says "I don't know, like Gretchen's aunt and uncle or something?"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I have learned

1. At home microderm abrasion feels like you are rubbing ground glass into your face.
2. There is a serious disconnect in what a woman says and what a man hears. A woman can say “will you help me with the dishes” and a man will hear “there is a baseball game on, why don’t you go watch it while I do the dishes”.
3. Digging through dumpsters looking for your drivers license is better than going to the drivers license bureau to get a new one.
4. 42 is twice as good as 21.
5. I am scared of snakes and frogs. My behavior coming upon snake and frogs pales in comparison to the behavior of Steve when we ran by a bee farm.
6. A 17 year old boy will be very upset the first time he runs over (and kills) an animal. Bunny suicide. He actually has a bunny suicides calendar.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Square Pegs

Deadlist Warrior. This is one of Nate’s favorite shows. The premise is scientifically comparing two warriors that never faced each other in battle and comparing weapons and fighting skill to see who would have won in a competition (to the death). The few I happened to be home while he was watching were Ninja vs. Spartan warrior, Maori warrior vs. Shaolin Chinese Monks and the Taliban vs. the IRA. It was very interesting. Violent, but not bloody, and as they used human skeletons on a stainless steel support wrapped in some ballistic type gel to recreate the human body, they weren’t hurting anyone. In some cases they used pig carcasses. In addition, the show explains the background of the warrior and why they began to fight. The Taliban and IRA are basically birthed from religious wars. Ninja’s were actually farmers that became warriors to protect their farms from the Samurai. And some of the means they employed were brutal. They would take eggs and hollow out the shell and then fill them with ground glass which they would crush the egg in their hand and throw it in the eyes of the Samurai. The Shaolin Monks were peace loving monks, but they were prosperous so they became targets of thieves. They were never on the offensive, but if you attacked them, they also had some brutal weapons and methods of fighting at their disposal. Watching the difference in size and agility of the warriors, strength and quickness, and the types of weapons and how they played into the strengths of the warriors fascinated me. The Maori Warriors were large tattooed men. Big clubs, long spears. They were fierce and strong. The Shaolin Monk utilized speed and quickness and kung fu type movements, small razor sharp steel weapons that also played to their strengths. Some were offensive warriors, going into battle. Some only fought in defense. I’m more like that, less likely to attack, but definitely willing to defend. I kept thinking of the square peg in a round hole theory. If the Ninja had to wear Spartan armor and fight with their shield and sword, they would not have been effective. And I’m just guessing the Spartans didn’t use too many ninja moves.
I have always known I’m a square peg. The challenge is finding a square hole. There aren’t many. I gave up forcing my way into the round hole. I can’t do it. Whether it’s because I physically can’t or someone else in authority says, no, don’t think you’re going to do that, I don’t even try anymore. I have no trouble stepping in and helping out, filling a need where I can, when I can. But I’ve quit trying to be something I’m not. I haven’t quit trying to improve what I am. But if I’m a Spartan Warrior (this is the one I think I’m most like, they wear skirts and hide behind shields. They protect others with their shields. When attacked if they lose their weapon, they will hit you with their shield). I have to be the best Spartan I can be.
I can’t be a Ninja or Shaolin Monk, but I reserve the right to employ some of their tactics.