Friday, November 29, 2013

A grateful heart


A holiday with the meaning right in the name. A day of giving thanks. And yet I saw so much division on social media over Thanksgiving this year.

I have an opinion. On everything. From Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving to politics to gay marriage to abortion to home school to child raising methods to ways to cook a turkey. But having said that, they are my opinion. In some cases they are Biblically based. In others, they are cultural, based on my upbringing and in some, they are just how I feel.

And how I feel about Black Friday??? You do what you want. I will too. How I feel about Black Friday starting on Thursday? Again, you do what you want, and I will too. I know that people had to work so others could spend. But I saw comments on both sides of that, people happy for the opportunity to make money. Retail isn't the best pay, and for a single person, that might have been a pretty big deal. But some people don't need the hours and were forced to work. I get that that sucks.

I didn't shop at all yesterday or today. Don't usually on Black Friday. Not because I am opposed to it, (or think that "it's what's wrong with America", lol) but just because I didn't need or want anything that was a door buster or big enough savings to drive me out of the house.

I do think that saying it's what's wrong with America is stretching it just a little. Unemployment, fatherlessness, alcoholism, drugs, the knockout game, prison crowding, overall immorality? Hunger, homelessness, apathy. Maybe I think too much about things. Maybe I should stay away from social media.

This Thanksgiving I realized Wednesday as I went to the grocery store to pick up the stuff I forgot (ingredients for Whitney's macaroni and cheese) that I was also missing a grateful heart.

I could list for days the blessings I have, the things to be thankful for.

So I adjusted my attitude, I focused on the blessings I have.

And I had a wonderful holiday.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Does that make me crazy?

I bought new towels. Whitney picked them out. They are striped short ways instead of long ways.

Every time I unfold one to use it when I get out of the shower I suffer a brief moment of confusion.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Marathon training

The 6th running of the turkeys.

When we were talking at training one day Chris asked when the next race was because we hadn't trained on Saturdays because of Steve's races. We told them Turkey Trot, but since it was on a Sunday it wouldn't affect Saturday morning. There was interest in the race, and when our whole group including Marquis said they would run the 2 mile, Steve and I stepped our plans down from the 10 mile to the 2, Sheila agreed, and there we all are.

Mark is recovering from a strained muscle in his hip from cross country, the boy can bust out 5 minute miles, but he stayed with Emily and Whitney and Chris, (Chris is his principal at school).

The last 100 yards a young man began to sprint for the finish. Mark sped up next to him. Young man sped up again, Mark matched him, and then at the end finally sprinted and left this poor kid in the dust.

Here's why I shared that story. I ran the whole race chasing my group. Other than Steve, I'm probably in the best running shape of the group. Sheila could've ran off and left me, Marquis, but they stayed with me. The youngsters got ahead, but stopped 200 yards from the finish and waited so we could finish as a group.

Whitney said at the mile turn she started struggling, she was happy to have that break. Marquis was dogging it a little bit, but he finished easily.

I chased everyone. Sprinting effort wise to keep up.

While everyone thought I was struggling because I was at the back, I really wasn't. I was running in the grass to pass people, and my knee is still much better on flat surfaces, not uneven ground. That made me nervous. I'm also still not where I was speed (if you can call my pace speed) wise before knee surgery. I expect to be better than I ever was going forward, though. I could've ran another 5 miles. With the exception of Steve and Sheila, everyone in the group was done at 2 miles.

Appearances can be deceiving. Mark probably made that kid mad. And Mark could've been top 3 in his age group.

I have to be careful not to compare my self to others, but only measure my progress. It's not measured in speed or distance. It's not measured in whether I was faster than last year. Progress? This marks the 6 year I've ran this race. 4 times 10 miles, 2 times 2 miles. It's not monumental. It only matters to me. But it's a sign of progress. It's a marker on the time line of my life when I started making my health a priority. When I found something I love to do.

My mental, emotional and physical health are all so much better. That is progress.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Does that make me crazy?

Yes, these do.

I really hate seeing these posted by young(ish) women. Why are you apologizing and putting yourself down to then tell everyone how great you are??? Where is the need in that?

Placing value on someone based on their looks is so wrong. It just is. There's so many other things to dislike people for! JUST KIDDING!!!

I work with a man who is a classic case of male chauvinist pig. He is a sexual harassment case waiting to happen. He sits two desks from me. I put up with him, ignore him, tell him he's offensive, once I even told him I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. And now, none of the comments are directed at me. My poor female co-workers laugh and to some extent egg him on. So I pretend I don't hear it. But I hate that men objectify women. Judge them by their cup size or their age or how they look in a skirt.

I do appreciate being treated like a lady. That doesn't mean that when it's time to throw that box of paper on the cart I don't do it, because I'm in better shape and I'm stronger then most of the men I work with, some of them are one step away from a heart attack. Being treated a lady doesn't mean you get treated weak.

So I wrote one for me.

I am beautiful. I am loved. I am created unique and special. I am forgiven. I am a princess.
Because I am a daughter of the King.

I don't need to be sexy. I don't need to be perfect. I don't need men's approval or compliments, especially not on my appearance.
Because the Lord is my shepherd, I HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED.

Skinny is never my goal, just healthy and fit. And I work at that, I will change me.
I will not be the same "me" tomorrow (internal or external) that I am today.
Because he who started a good work in me is faithful and will complete it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Friends forever

I graduated from a Christian school in the mid 80’s. Stands to reason that Michael W. Smith’s “Friends are Friends Forever” was sung at my graduation.

I have a forever friend. (I have a couple, but for this instance, I’m going to only talk about one). I had several occasions recently to think about this friendship.

We are working out and talking about 80’s movies. When I get to pick workout music, we get 80’s music. Onto 80’s movies. Better Off Dead, Breakfast Club, and then I said one of Sheila’s in high school had been Weird Science. Marquis, shocked, says you’ve been friends since high school? I wish I had known you then. (He’s 24, kind of impossible…). Sheila says we’ve known each other since elementary school.

Then we are sitting together at Emily’s college volleyball game Saturday and I see a little old lady come in with a huge purse carrying her bottle of diet coke. I look at Sheila and say “that’s me in 30 years”. We had a good laugh. And she knows that she will be seeing me in 30 years.

Yesterday Sheila is at a funeral and I text her to see how she’s doing. I get “I like potatoes” as a response. Emily got her phone.

And I realize what a gift this friendship is. To this day we can say “you told me you were cutting your hairrrrr” and we would both laugh.

It’s not easy to maintain a friendship. It takes work. (Not that she’s hard to be friends with) Work in the sense that everyone is always so busy. Not me so much anymore, I can cancel most anything to free up time for what I want to do. I’m as busy as I choose to be. But it hasn’t always been that way. So staying friends with Sheila is important to me, and at this point in our lives is much easier. We aren't running together right now, and that's mostly a pride issue for me because I have to work so hard for every mile and don't want to affect her run or have her see me struggle that hard and witness the bad attitude that comes with it. But we work out together, and we stay in touch.

I was going to say community is important. And it is. BUT WE NEED OUR GIRLFRIENDS. So take a minute to let them know they are special to you. I’m going to.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Week 3

Red and Gold tree

Although as rough as today's 7 miles was, I had a hard time finding any beauty. But I managed.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm tired

Not physically, well not so much, anyway, but I'm just mentally exhausted.

I try to be honest. I try to tell the truth, and I try to be content. Maybe not happy, but at least content. And I know how blessed I am. I know how wrong it is that I feel sorry for myself.

I know when I think "poor me, no one cares" I'm making light of the love my family and friends have for me.

I know when I'm financially irresponsible I will have to sacrifice or rebudget or work overtime or not give like I want to to make up for it. (But it's not my fault. I couldn't help it. I've been looking for black boots that will go over my large calves. They're not fat, just muscular. So when I went to Marshall's to trade cars with Whitney so I could get her oil changed and Karissa told me it was 20% off weekend for employees and Whitney had an additional 20% off coupon for an attagirl, and they had this awesome pair of Kenneth Cole riding boots that went over my calves, it was fate).

This week I got a call from World Vision asking me to volunteer at an event for them. I'm a big believer in World Vision. So Steve and I went. And will do it again, at every event in this area we can. I held my portfolios to hand out to people and answer questions and fill out sponsorship forms, etc., and I couldn't put Hana back on the table. I brought her home with me. The world is full of so much pain, if I can alleviate just a little bit, I want too. And this made me realize how blessed I am, not just that I'm not in that position, but I'm also in position to help.

But onto my tired. I believe my relationships are worth fighting for. Friends. Family, kids, and most definitely my marriage. And my marriage has taken a few outright attacks. And I unashamedly will say I fight for my husband. I'm in his side. And if you get between us, I'm a she devil waiting to come out. If you hurt him, I will not be kind and understanding. And no matter how much I love you, if you force me to choose between him and you, I will always, unequivocally choose him.

This week I got a walk down memory lane, not a pleasant one, over an issue from a while ago. I ended a friendship, it wasn't a close one, it wasn't one I put any effort into, it isn't one I miss. I won't apologize for anything I said because I was not out of line.

This is where the tired comes in. I'm tired of dealing with this kind of crap. We're adults. Not middle school. At what point do women grow up?

Why do some of us mature faster than others? Is it because my grown (and almost grown) children are wearing me out? Sometimes I think collectively between the five of them I'd be lucky of they made one good decision. JUST ONE!

I would swear I didn't raise idiots, but...

Fortunately, I outgrew it and hopefully they will too.

So all that to say, I'm tired. Two weeks of running four days a week, haven't missed a training day or a mile yet. 4-5 days a week with Marquis. (You'd think I'd be skin and bones by now, but that pan of fudge on my kitchen counter it is harbinger of doom). But it's not the physical tired. It's the emotional and mental.

Sometimes I feel I've poured out so much and no one or no where is pouring into me. And maybe it's a desert season from God, spiritually. Or maybe it's self imposed and I need to make changes. I guess I'll make the changes and trust that God will lift me up.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Week 2

This gem of a trail is in Wichita. Between 13th and 21st, Rock and Webb. I hit it once a week or so.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Conversations with Whitney

Me: I'm going to the store, any requests?

Whitney: Dr. Pepper

Nate: Spaghetti-o's with meatballs

Whitney: never looks up from her iphone holds out her fist for a fist bump

Monday, November 4, 2013


I always say that when God wants to get me a message I'll hear it twice.

This week I read a blog post that a friend shared. It was prayers for our daughters, taken from the women in the Bible. It was really good. And after I read it, I had a moment (or half an hour).

I spent a lot of time praying for my kids when they were younger. Still do. And right now it appears it was for nothing. As I wallowed in all the time I wasted praying for my kids (I know how ridiculous and untheological and downright critical and appalling to God that is) I decided to really throw a pity party and feel sorry for myself for all my sacrifices and all I have done for those in my family to find out they didn't appreciate all I did and didn't care if they hurt me and "this is how" they paid me back. Yep, God should've taken the lightning in that thunderstorm that day and stood my hair on end. Fortunately, he's merciful.

But I didn't come out of it right away. The next day Nate had an interview. Not the job kind, the kind with detectives and attorneys and will you testify against...etc. I was so nervous and scared for him. I prayed for hours straight. I couldn't eat. And I waited for him to let me know it was over. And he didn't. So finally when I was sure he wasn't with them any more and he wouldn't get in trouble for a text I texted him. It was over, went fine, he would talk to me in person when he got home. The next day when he got home, he simply said it went well and he didn't want to think about it or talk about it.

You can imagine I didn't take it well.

Friday morning I get on facebook (a little back story, I have supplier in Malaysia through work. 11 hour time difference. One morning on a conference call my phone went nuts buzzing almost off the table. Thinking it was Whitney trying to get a hold of me, texting; mom - Mom? MOM! MOMOMOMOM!!!!! I looked at. It was 4 friend requests on facebook. When I check it out, it was my contacts in Malaysia.) I saw this poster.
most of the time I just like their pictures and ignore their posts/posters and go on. Because I don't speak Malay. But for some unexplained reason today I asked Amin what this meant. His words below "Patsy Baker - sometimes we just great because our parents prayers, without their prayers we are nobody"

So after I shed a few tears, I realized that maybe they aren't great - yet. But without a parents prayers? Would they be where they are today?

It never fails to amaze me the ways God can speak to me.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Another Marathon

I'm going to run CrossTimbers Trail Marathon in February. I had 16 weeks from the day I decided, so I found a 16 week training plan. It's aggressive, no fall back weeks, but I think I can do it.

So I just completed week 1 successfully. Slowly. Want to build up to running miles and time slow so I don't injure myself. Plus after the time off for knee surgery, I just don't go it. But instead of training updates, I'm going to post a picture or two every week from my runs to show you some of the cool beautiful things I get to enjoy in my time on my feet.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Conversations with Whitney

"On a scale of one to tired I'm sleep!"