Friday, November 14, 2014

God's Protection

I have wandered recently if I've missed God in my life. Let me rephrase. I know I have missed God in my life. There have been blessings I didn't recognize as blessings. There have been struggles meant to refine. Their have been trials (oooooh boy have their been trials) that I have no answer for.

And what if. WHAT IF those trials protected me?

It's hard to explain what I mean, but I'm going to try.

A job loss that seemed devastating. Unable to find something after the unemployment ran out. Commission sale job that no one would buy a really excellent product. But then, the right job that fit with schedules and allowed flexibility for going back to school and volunteering at church and meeting commitments with family. The timing had to be right. The trial of the lost job forced you to find something else better, and to look hard at your life and what you should be doing.

How many times have I only see the trial and the struggle and the blessing, but not connected the two together? I'm going to keep my eyes open and try to be a little more perceptive from here on.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Refined


I like to watch the show Gold Rush on the Discovery Network. It is a reality show that chronicles 3 or 4 different gold mining operations. On the episode we watched today they showed one of the crews taking their 34 ounces of gold to be smelted. The 34 ounces of gold was melted in a furnace of 2000 degrees to smelt out the impurities. After this, it was 27 ounces of pure gold, they poured it in a mold and a had bar of gold.

Proverbs 25:4 says "Remove the impurities from silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith."

Zechariah 13:9 "I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'These are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.'"

Earlier this week my morning devotion talked about how we can't control what happens to us, but we are responsible for our response. It can take a while to work through painful experiences in our lives. But God knows how to turn these painful experiences and bring from them blessings. While it's necessary to get through the process of grieving, loss, process the pain, but all the while we can hang on to God and allow him to bring the blessing from it.

We may not always like our circumstances. We may not be able to ever believe it was a good experience. We may never say "it made me a better person". Reality is, some trials leave you shaken to the core. Some leave you broken in a way that only the miraculous healing hand of God can hold you together.

I have some experiences I'm not thankful for. I still feel pain, and I wonder what blessing, what work God was able to do in me, or if it's complete yet. But if through these trials he was able to purify my heart, even a little, then there was a benefit. I won't say I want it to happen, I won't say I'm thankful for it. I'll simply just allow my Savior to use it in my life for his purpose, and trust that he knows best.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Acts 1:11 "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

I've been reading the newest book of David Jeremiah's, "Agents of the Apocalypse". I love end times fiction. (I love disaster movies, too). There is a lot of theological disagreement surrounding the end times. I am not educated enough in this area to talk knowledgeably about it. I know what I believe, and I know why, but some things are not worth arguing about, and I rank this one up their with gay marriage, abortion, and church worship styles. I know what I believe. I know what I read in the Bible. But there is so much division in the world (and in the church) and I would really like to see the church come together and love each other and put in practice the "iron sharpens iron" and discuss why we believe what we do and give thought to opposing ideas. This would tend to make us do one of two things. 1. Defend, at least, to ourselves, why we believe what we believe, or 2. realize we are wrong and change.

Tomorrow is election day. Our chance to make our voices heard. To take a stand for what we believe in. And this year, as most, I'm confused. All the candidates are telling us all the things wrong with the other candidates, don't know who stands for what. The chance to change the country's leaders. Maybe the direction our country is going. And I don't know many people who are okay with the status quo.

I find comfort that "this same Jesus" is alive and well and living here in the hearts of Christians. No matter the outcome, I know we're in his hands, and because of that, everything will be all right. Until he comes back in the same way he left for Heaven. Then, we are really going to see change.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I've missed this...

I've missed writing. I've missed my blog. It seems like the perfect time to pick it back up because, well, I want to.

Steve and I just got back from vacation. I thought about all the adjectives I could use to describe our vacation, but they all seemed trite. They might fit, but trite, nonetheless. I told my boss before we left, when he asked what we were going to do, that we were going to eat good food, see interesting places and do cool stuff. And we did. How could you not have a great time with 3.5 days in Niagara Falls? We could see the Falls from the corner of our hotel. And then 3 days in Hull, Massachusetts, a peninsula that connects to Boston. We stayed right on the North Atlantic Ocean, 50 yards away.

Ran the Niagara Falls International Marathon. Took a ferry ride into the Falls. Went to Niagara on the Lake and toured the historic district and wineries. Walked the Freedom Trail. Saw the USS Constitution, Old North Church, Paul Revere's House. Went to Plymouth and saw Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower (2) and a got a guided tour of the area by a tour guide. Ate at Cheer's, Wahlburgers, Planet Hollywood, Barefoot Bob's, Mikes Sandwich shop, and IHOP (lol). Saw friends.

Redeemed one more of my "tainted memories". I've been on a 3.5 year mission to replace hurtful memories of places with new good memories. I have one place left, and I'm excited to head there in the spring. It's surprising how much this process has worked. Everything from restaurants, churches, vacation spots, and local Wichita locations, I've been able to take the bad moments and memories and make new. So when the trigger comes, I have a replacement.

Vacation was exhausting. And fun. And interesting. And informative. I learned about our history. I saw beauty. And I'm glad to be home.

I finished my 5th marathon. Got a medal and a shirt. Suffered. Chafing that still hurts a week later. Two black toenails. Seriously fatigued legs. I'm so glad I went. So glad I did all the stuff.

Tomorrow I start a new healthy eating plan with Steve (his request, I figure if I'm doing it for him, I'm going to benefit too), another week and I start my next marathon training. I go back to work tomorrow after 11 days off. I'm already looking forward to Thanksgiving break.

So if anybody is out there after my 3 month break, glad you are here!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Running with friends

Saturday was 6 miles. Sheila came over and we drove 7 miles out to meet Steve and run home with him. He ran twice as far as we did. I haven't felt that good running in a long time. It felt good, it was easy and it was fun.

I'm sure I will make up for that in the weeks to come.

I have a young friend who is wanting to run a 5K so I've been searching for them, there are 3 in August for her to pick a weekend she can run her first, I'm kind of excited for her to get to try it out.

It's 14 weeks till Marathon Sunday, so mileage will start increasing dramatically on the weekends. Call me a masochist, but I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Conversations with Whitney

I haven't shared pictures in a while, here's my beautiful girl

Thursday, July 17, 2014

When I disappoint me

I stood in the corner, sunglasses on, head down, face hidden behind my bangs, trying to hide behind the men sitting and standing around the bench close to me.

So unhappy that Whitney was gone that night and I had taken it upon myself to take Belle to the dog park. Upset that once Belle is inside playing with her puppy friends there is no stopping her. She is so energetic and full of life and loves being with the other dogs, she can't stand to leave. Getting her to leave after 3 minutes was going to make a spectacle of me. And I so badly didn't want to be noticed.

By her.

I wasn't worried I'd have to talk. I wasn't afraid of that. I just didn't want to be near her. I didn't want to be seen by her.

Finally play time was over and Belle and I went to the car. Since she was so good about leaving I treated her to her own cup of ice cream from Braums.

I barely made it in the door before I was disappointed in myself.

Disappointed for cowering in the corner. Disappointed for reliving all the hurt that had been inflicted on me. Disappointed at the insecurity that no matter how many times I think I've overcome can still reduce me to a 13 year old with glasses, a bad haircut, no friends and out of style clothes (I was always out of style, Christian school in the 80's did that to you).
Pick an awkward picture...

So I went and read this passage.

Revelation 21:3-7 English Standard Version (ESV)
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place[a] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,[b] and God himself will be with them as their God.[c] 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

God dwells with me. Lives with me. He is my God. I am his. He will wipe away every tear (even the ones shed over and over for the same thing). There won't be any mourning, crying, or pain. All will pass away.

He will make ALL THINGS NEW. He is the beginning and end. To the thirsty (my soul was pretty dry and thirsty) he will give from the spring of the water of life. FREE. No payment. The one who conquers has this heritage. I can be am one who conquers.

I am not beat. I am not less. I am me. Fearfully and wonderfully made. Striving to be the best child of God I can be.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When time flies

I have started training for my October marathon. It's been some rough runs. I expected as much. I ran 10K's five weeks apart with the idea it would jump start my training.

This weekends 10K I was under trained for a July 6.2 mile race in the heat. I've gone that distance, but I've not been doing it well.

My forever faithful sidekick signed up with me (I do the same for her) and signed Marquis up with us. Marquis is the perfect trainer. He's motivational. He's positive and encouraging and outgoing. We had a great time. It went by faster than I'm used to, he never quit talking he cheered on everyone who passed us and encouraged everyone we passed. We got to the last aid station and he said let's run it all the way in. (We had not walked much at that point, but we were running conservatively). So we did. We finished, and this is my favorite picture from the race.


I need him to run every race with time. Time flies!

And so does Mark. This boy got 9th place. He ran the best race of his 18 years, (and the longest). He's been working out with Steve and I for over a year. He's the sweetest.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sin had left a crimson stain

Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let's settle this," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool."

Do you ever have a stain on your clothes you can't remove? I did this morning. Last week I put on a pink tee shirt with my white skirt and then went in the kitchen to start lunch before we left the house. I didn't realize I splashed a little cooking oil on my pink tee shirt till I got home. A week later I grab the pink tee shirt and the oil of course, did not wash out. It was a fairly old tee shirt (which makes it better, more comfortable) and an inexpensive one on top of that, so I tossed it.

At church today the closing song was Jesus Paid it All. Based on the above scripture, the line says "sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow".

I couldn't help but think about my pink oil stained shirt and that I washed it, but it didn't come clean.

I thought about my sin stains. I don't try to pretend that I wasn't a bad girl. I did a lot of bad things. Sin and I are no stranger to each other. I've always been convicted of it, very aware of it, that's part of my personality and my upbringing. I'm so thankful for the Jesus that washes my stains white as snow.

Friday, July 4, 2014

conversations with Whitney

I ate mustard for the first time ever yesterday.

I wasn't wrong all those years.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

In my corner

Five miles tonight liked to have killed me. It was hot and humid and I'm struggling with getting back in shape. I had 4 tough workouts with Marquis this week. Another 5 tough weight workouts with Steve. Trying to get back everything I lost through a year of plantar fasciitis, knee surgery, and too much work.

I took Belle to the dog park. Cutest boy ever talked to Belle by name and asked me if I was Whitney's mom. Belle and his dog Dixie, his hunting dog, and she is beautiful apparently are best friends. (If I was a 17 year old girl, I'd be at the dog park every night - wait, Whitney is at the dog park every night she's not working...)

Went back to church at Riverlawn. Have been going back to Newspring. Just never feel settled in anywhere right now. Quite possibly the best sermon I've ever heard about God being good all the time, even in the midst of our worst trials, struggles and our sin. He's always there, he never leaves, and yes, he does work it for our God. Nothing happens outside the filter of his love for us. Much more in depth than this, it was the youth pastor, and it was awesome.

Sounds like I had a pretty laid back week, but that's not true. It was busy and fun, just normal life.

I can't believe the year is half over. It's the end of June. I am just amazed at how quickly time passes.





Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My inner 12 year old

We had a going away dinner at work not to long ago. We are sitting at Scotch and Sirloin next to my boss and and co-workers and they were talking about a television show from the 80's. They said, "Patsy, that was your generation, I bet you watched it", to which I replied my father was a Baptist minister and he believed all the evils of the world entered the house through the television so we hadn't had one growing up.

I got the usual "That explains a lot", laughter, and then a "your dad was right".

Because we didn't have a television, I read a lot. I loved to read, but because we didn't have television, that was elevated to an almost ridiculous level. Add to the fact that it's one of the two things I'm good at, I read faster than average, I went through books. Weekly trips to the library just for me. I read every book in my Christian school library. Twice.

And these were some of my best friends through my late childhood and early teen age years.



I found this tonight at Barnes & Noble. There are 6 volumes. I bought volume 1, only because they only had 1 and 6. 2-5 will be pool reading this summer.

I was giddy on the inside. Calm and collected like a grown up woman on the outside.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Deactivate

I've been in a love hate relationship with face book since - well, since I set up a face book page.

I've recently decided to decrease my virtual footprint and I deactivated my face book page. It's something I've been thinking about but did impulsively. Funny enough?? I haven't missed it. I thought I might. But I was wrong.

I had a friend who closed hers because she said "it wasn't a good fit". And I totally understand that. She's always more polite than me.

I was pretty fed up with certain things.

Pictures of women, taken by themself, of their boobs. Seriously? Pictures of men (my family members no less) in their underwear. Women wearing the skimpiest swim suits imaginable in multiple pictures complaining that men only wanted to be their friend on face book cause they wanted to hook up with them. Look at what you are advertising.

Political rants. Your opinion is worth sharing. Your beating down everyone who doesn't agree with you? Get over yourself. Pro-choice, pro-life, women's rights, veganism, the right to love who you love (everything from same sex to grandma and grandson).

There is also the purse I wanted to buy on line. After I looked at one the very next time I logged on to face book it showed me the ad and asked if I was still interested. THE EXACT PURSE.

And of course, I've always been able to admit that I follow stalk people I'm not even friends with. I look at their pictures, I check semi - regularly to see if they've changed their pics and see if I can gain any insight into their lives. I realize how pitiful this is, but I'm interested, I want to know, but I don't want to be their friend. In fact, they would decline my request anyway. And I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of knowing I'm interested. (I KNOW HOW SAD THIS MAKES ME SOUND).

I realized I had 75 hidden friends. Ridiculous.

The final straw was this last week and I had the most awful two days over something that stemmed from face book. And I thought why the heck am I allowing this much turmoil over something I can choose not to have. And at that moment I deactivated it.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

After my Customer rant...

At work this week we found out about a restructuring of our department and some organization changes.

The complaining began.

So after my rant about Starbucks employees I was hit square in the face with the fact that my co-workers, to some extent, are just as bad.

Am I the only person who believes my employer can replace me much quicker and easier than I can replace them?

I need my job, I need my pay check, and it makes me work hard and be good to my bosses and do the best I can.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The customer

The customer is always sometimes rarely never right.

Over the weekend I saw links to two different articles about Starbucks. One was 5 ways not to order your drink and the other was things the barista doesn't think you should do. I believe the people that make your coffee should be treated with dignity and respect. I believe that good manners are always proper and necessary. Based on these two articles, however, the barista is right, and the customer is not. Apparently, the customer doesn't really even know what they want in their coffee cup, because these point out the error of our ways.

I think that if I want to order a coffee that takes 3 minutes to order because it's so specific (I don't, but if I did), if I want to pay $5.00 for a cup of coffee, you can make it the way I order it. If you want to only make them certain ways, don't offer it as a coffee house to get your coffee exactly the way you like it. If I want a cup of coffee that I pour my own cream and sugar in, I'll pay .99 cents at QT or .25 at work. If I have to lean over and yell across the lap of the person driving because they can't get my order right, just listen and take my order. I do that at Mcdonalds, Wendy's and Taco Bell. If you don't like it, find another job. People have been doing that at drive through windows since the invention of the drive through window.

If I want a grande latte in a venti cup with soy milk, no sugar and whip cream, don't judge me, just make my frickin' $5.00 cup of coffee. It pays your wage. And you don't know me. It may not be about calories at all. I may not like the taste of milk. I may like skim milk, because it's not as rich. I may like the way whip cream flavors my coffee better than sugar or syrup. And I may want to add water or ice to cool it down, or need to carry it and want an inch at the top where it won't burn my fingers and I don't need the sleeve.

I realize you make coffee at Starbucks which means you have the right to tell me how to order my drink, judge me for my drink, laugh at me after I order it, demand that I treat you with respect (it's a two way street) but whatever happened to treating the customer with dignity and respect? Whatever happened to the customer getting what they order, what they pay for? Especially at a coffee chain that is not a assembly line type store.

If you don't want to make a iced grande skinny soy no whip triple pump double espresso, go work somewhere else.

If I made a list and posted it on the web of the things my customers and suppliers did that I didn't like and judged them for how they manage their business, I most likely would get fired.

I'm guessing there are other professions that would be this way too.

Whatever happened to working hard at the job you have because that's what you are getting paid to do? Whatever happened to the food service industry? We've completely lost the "service" part of it.

Unfortunately this will not keep me away from Starbucks the once or twice a month I go. They make a delicious passion fruit iced tea that I like for about $2.50. But I order it half black half passion no water extra ice. Because if I want a glass of plain ordinary iced tea, I'll make it at home or buy it at McDonald's for $1.00.

And I will smile and order my venti skinny vanilla latte extra foam and expect to get it the way I order it. With my name spelled incorrectly on the cup. And I won't correct them because it doesn't matter. The coffee tastes the same whether the cup says "Patsy, Patsie, Patsi, or my favorite Pasty".

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ups & Downs

What an emotional roller coaster of a week.

Monday found out they are "restructuring" our jobs. It will be the same stuff we're already doing, but redesigning how everything works. And I don't know more than that, just that it's going to change. Which means I have a lot of clean up stuff to get done in the next month cause I don't know which side of the restructuring I'll land on.

Then rumors about other changes coming. My job is safe, I like my job, I'm not concerned about that, but just the unknown.

But the real emotions came from my dad. He had knee surgery two weeks ago. And he has not bounced back. Ended up this week in the ICU with dangerously low blood pressure, slow heart rate (actually, an arrhythmia) and it stopped for 6 seconds. Friday night they put a pace maker in.

He's doing much better. Much better.

For Father's Day I'll get to visit him in the hospital.

Life with all its ups and downs. So thankful for all God has given me. For all he has blessed me with.

The ups and downs.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Who do you listen to?

What voices do you listen to?

Who do you allow to speak into your life?

I have a lot to say. I'm not always right. I'm not always the popular opinion. I'm aware of this.

There are people that I let speak into my life. Wisdom. Love. Instruction.

There are people that nothing they say should have any weight in my life. But I notice that I have heard some voices that said negative, hurtful things, some voices that don't love me, that only brought pain, in fact, their presence in my life was strictly to hurt me, and yet I've allowed their words to take up more of my time than I should. Why would I listen to that?

I wonder if we knew, really knew, how harsh we were, how judgmental we were, how hurtful we were, if we would be different? I'm pretty sure I would be. I try to be kind to everyone, a friend at work is really big on the saying "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle". This strikes a chord with me. And I try.

But then, I revert back to evil Patsy ***insert demonic hysterical laugh here***

It may not actually make it out of my head into words, because I have a better filter than that, but just a "for instance",

(disclaimer - I am ashamed of myself for this, but I feel I need to share to make my point)

I saw someone walking the other day that I haven't seen in a while. And she's gotten fat. And I had gleeful, happy, unkind thoughts about that. And then was ashamed of myself. I struggle with gaining weight easily. I watch what I eat, I exercise like crazy, and I still have to be careful. DNA and genetics and a sweet tooth (and I feed my feelings) all being what they are.

But to get a kick out of someone else's struggle, well that's wrong. I don't want to be like that. I want to be kind and loving. I want my insides to match my outsides and and I want to be better. Just better.

Why is that so hard? In Romans 7:15 Paul says

"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."

I know Paul lived thousands of years before me, but I swear he wrote this about me.

I don't have it all figured out. I'm not what I want to be or who I want to be. I don't do what I want and still do the things I hate. But God willing I'm better today than I was yesterday.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Milestones

I missed one. Milestones are important to me. AND I MISSED ONE!

Sunday, with my post about NFIM was my 1000th post. And I didn't even know it. I wasn't saving it for something special, and I don't intend to have a party, but I really wish I would've realized that.

I'm full of words. Lots of things to say. I live in a house of quiet people. God's sense of humor, I guess.

Or maybe it's just a wife/mother's life. I love my family. They are the most important people in my world. I want to know what they are doing, how their day went, all about their friends, their jobs, their dreams, their classes, etc.

My family comes home and shuts down. Zones out. Especially my offspring. College age, they are consumed with their lives, school, friends, jobs. And all their talking is with friends. I'm here to bail them out of trouble, loan give them money, cook food, see the movie when everyone is out of town, get pedicures with (cause I pay for them), etc.

But I'm not the laugh and visit and hang out with. And I realize that would be odd.

I love the stage of life Steve and I are in. We are closer than we have ever been (funny how that happened when the kids grew up), we have more money, more freedom, and lots of fun. But ever once in a while, I miss the days of little kids. I miss being the center of their world. I miss being able to fix owwies with a kiss and hug. But I get over it really quick.

Milestones.

So many passed, so many yet to come.

1000 posts. Some I'm proud of, some I can't believe came out of my head/heart, and some I can't believe I subjected you all too.

But my memories of races, and training, and life events? I get to read over them. And I really like that.

I think it's important to measure them. Celebrate life, the big things, of course, but also the small things.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mind dump

How many pairs of sunglasses does a teenage girl need?

I really believe this.

Can you really put your husband in timeout?



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Week one NFIM

I did it. I registered for another marathon. 20 weeks from today. It will get me back running and blogging, I miss both.

October 26, Niagara Falls International Marathon. I saw it on television, one of the weight loss shows the girl ran it late in her year of weight loss. I immediately put it on my list of races/places I wanted to visit. And we are registered. Hotels booked. Passport appointments made. New marathon training plan printed and stuck on the fridge.

To help get me motivated, I signed up for a 10K. It was yesterday. It was a trail. The day after flash flooding in Wichita. What an adventure. But let me back up a little bit...

I haven't ran much since I had knee surgery. Two mile turkey trot last year, on no training. But heck, it's only two miles. Followed up by the Frosty 5K New Year's Day. Again, with no training, but heck, only 3.2 miles, right? Then in April I did the Hard Charge. 4 mile mud run/obstacle course. Because I can, even without preparing. (Boy did I pay for that one).

And then yesterday. I signed up two weeks ago, Steve signed up for the marathon. I ran 3 miles 3 times and 5 miles once (walked more than I ran, but I went 5 miles). And was very nervous.

It turned out to be a very successful run for me. If you go on line and look at my time, it won't reflect that. But, here's how it went.

A portion of the bridge was washed out, so they did an out and back for the marathon and half marathon. When the 10K started 15 minutes after the half marathon, we were right behind them all on their second mile. No worries. Within half a mile I'd sloshed through ankle deep water. All the wussy non-trail runners tried to avoid it, but I've run these trails before, I knew my feet were gonna be wet and muddy the whole day. It was uneventful for the first 3 miles. And then...I hit a line of people on single trail. It was a 40 foot drop on the left, a 6 foot climb and trees and barbed wire on the right. I waited, and waited, and waited, about 35 minutes, for my turn at the part of the trail that had been washed out by the rain. They had tied a rope through the trees. I saw a few people in front of me sliding and slipping and one dropped her ear phones and we waited a little bit longer for them to be retrieved. I kept a positive attitude, which wasn't easy because people are annoying. When it was my turn, I traversed it easily. Not because I have awesome trail skills, but I have experience. Know where to put my feet, how to run in mud, etc. I used the rope for balance though, because I'm aware I can slip and I don't have a death wish.

As I hopped across, ready to let go of the rope I hear a scream, cussing and the rope jerks in my hands. I grab on and pull tight as hard as I can, out of instinct. The very large young girl behind me is dangling over the edge of the trail. We can't pull her up, but we (nice young man and I) hold the rope tight till she gets her feet under her. Then I take off running down the messy muddy trail.

I finished in 80 minutes (minus the standing around time). My slowest ever 10K was 73 minutes, last summer 5 weeks before my knee surgery. But with the added muddy trails, I am quite pleased with this. I ran every step that was runnable. I'm excited to get into real training.

All that work for this.

I've found a 10K in July I'm going to run, a women only mud run in August, and a half marathon in September.

So here's to journaling all my training adventures here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An unpopular opinion

I know this isn't the popular opinion.

I just watched a new story about a high school girl who felt something pop in her thigh and her twin sister carried her piggy back style 370 meters of an 800 meter race.

Add to that the story of the Boston Marathon runner that fell down just short of the finish line and other runners carried them across the finish line.

I run races. I have DNF'd a race (did not finish). I have been dead last.

This is my unpopular opinion. If you don't cross the finish line in your own power, you didn't finish the race.

I understand how moving it is to see someone help someone across the finish line. How selfless, how sacrificial.

But...

YOU DIDN'T FINISH.

I think it's great you gave it all you had, and all you had wasn't enough, but there will be another race.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Who Am I?

It's Mother's Day in an hour. I've been mama (or mom) for almost 22 years. It is the single most important title I've held. And while I will always be mom, I hit a milestone tonight. Whitney graduated from high school. I watched for her on the big screen and when the camera picked up her and Madeline walking in to the arena, my heart stopped. My baby girl, all grown up.

Reality check for me, she is grown up. She has her first semester of college finals next week. She is enrolled in her second semester of college in the fall. She has her first unsupervised trip with a friend next week, to see her favorite singer in Colorado.

Life moves along whether we are ready or not. I am but I'm not. I love the freedom that comes with older kids. I love that my money is able to be spent more how I want to and not how it's dictated to me. But I miss being able to make decisions for my kids. Because I'm much better at it than they are.

I'm surprised to realize that I'm trying to figure out who I am at my age. Everything is changing - again - and while I understand that change is inevitable and it is mostly good, I find myself struggling. I thought I had everything figured out, but apparently I was wrong.

I know you can't stop the growing up process. You can't hold them back, you can't hold on to them. You have to let go and trust that everything you've invested in them, everything they've learned from everyone that has had impact on their lives, and that God will take care of them.

I just don't know how mommy birds can push their babies out of the nest.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Hard Charge

Today I ran the Hard Charge at Park City. It was a 4.2 mile run with 20 obstacles. You can see pictures of them here.

It was crazy and intense and FUN! There were 5 of us from my workout group, Marquis, Chris, Steve, Leesa, Sheila and I. I was severely under trained. The first four months of this year have been brutal. I've had plantar fasciitis (again), worked 60+ hours per week and been severely stressed. The not working out but continuing to eat like I am has not been good to me. I'm working to correct that.

But about the race...

There was crawling through mud pits a good 20 yards long under barbed wire fence without the barbed wire. This was a foot of water on top of mud. It was grueling. Mud up to your elbows, people in front of you kicking it up in your face, yep, it was awesome. It is called a mud run for a reason.

I'm going to just share a few of the obstacles and how I did, because it was pretty comical. There is one that is 5 hills of dirt that you climb over to climb down the other side into waist deep water with calf deep mud under it. I got to the top of the second hill and slipped. Hoping to land on my butt and slide down the other side. Unfortunately the way things work for me, I slide back down the side I just climbed up, taking Marquis back down with me. And go completely under water. I did that twice. From that point on I climbed up, slid down on my butt and dog paddled across the water so I didn't have to worry about losing my shoes in the mud.

There was a water crossing that I swam across. There were cars to climb over. There were 25 pound gas cans to carry. There were sand bags to carry. There were culverts to crawl through, sewer tunnels to crawl through, muddy creek beds to run through. Sand pits to army crawl across with fencing over your back. Muddy tunnels to crawl through.

There were wooden barricades to jump over. Over waist high on me. I was running with Steve and he puts his hand on the top and hurdles over. I put my hand on the top, hoist myself up to my waist on it, slide my legs over and then drop on the other side. I lost my bib doing this. Completely ripped off my shirt. But I did it. The next time we hit barricades, they were taller than my head. Chris and Marquis and Steve put their hands together to make steps for us to get high enough to get over. I have bruises on my palms and my abdomen. But I did it, and felt extremely proud of myself.

Then there was the wooden ladders to climb up to get to the top of a I don't know what to call it, so you could rappel down the other side. This was my other "mishap". I climbed to the top no problem. Grabbed the rope swung down and the my hand slid all the way down the rope, I dropped into about 3.5 feet of muddy water and went completely under AGAIN. Also felt like I might have ripped two finger nails off my left hand.

Other than this, I was okay. I couldn't get over the last wall, I couldn't even jump high enough to grab the top, so I went around. There was also one that you swung across like monkey bars, but the pipes were too big for my hands to grip and the fall was too far to take the chance on. I'm kind of klutz. I also couldn't complete the last one, it was a rock wall, but you had to get up the first 8 feet or so with very few footholds. I didn't have the strength in my hands to pull myself up, and didn't have the patience to wait for help.

I am bruised from palm to armpit on my right arm, and my knees from crawling are beat up, scratched and bruised. My whole left leg from the knee down is turning purple.

And I have to say I loved every hard, exhausting, painful moment of this race. I will be doing more mud runs, and I will be back next year to do this one again. I had mud in my hair, in my bra, and caked to my face. I had muddy grass in my pants and stuck to my hair, I had to brush my teeth three times to get the grit out. My toe nails still have some dirt caked in I couldn't get out with a brush. I'm hoping the second (third, if you count the one with the hose outside before I came in the house) shower of the day will get that completely off before I get a pedicure tomorrow.

Here we are, the friend I can always count on to support me in my crazy adventures and include me in hers. Nothing is too ridiculous to try, if we go together. And usually bring Steve. We'll have years of fun reliving this. Here's our "selfie" in the bathroom at McDonald's where we stopped for lunch (and diet coke) after. We were so hungry. We got a lot of attention inside the restaurant, and then we sat outside on the pavement to eat.



Here is the whole groups, Sheila, me, Steve, Marquis, Leesa and Chris post race, with the "earned" sign. And we did earn this.


Did I mention that I'm going to do this again? Because I am!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Radical Christianity

Nate was telling me that during the Olympics that one of the guys he's works with (from Pakistan) tells him this story:

A group of radical Christians hi-jacked an airplane of Muslims in Sochi. Because it was Christians kidnapping Muslims, it wasn't getting any press. He only knew cause his relatives in Bangladesh told him.

He asked Nate what he thought of that. I don't know how Nate answered with a straight face.

But I did think about radical Christianity.

Today,
Radical Christians picket soldiers funerals.
Radical Christians sit down in the drive way at abortion clinics.
Radical Christians shoot abortion doctors while they worship in their church on Sunday morning.
Radical Christians refuse to eat at restaurants that support gay marriage.

The first radical Christian was nailed to a cross for loving radically, forgiving radically, healing radically.

His followers were the next radical Christians, sharing this Jesus they knew and loved and they were all martyred for their beliefs.

Then we have the martyrs that were thrown to the lions, and even modern day martyrs around the world that are killed for their radical love for Christ.

Someone this week called Mother Theresa "a great human being". And she was. I would say however, that she was a radical Christian.

I had a friend this week tell me she wished she had more so she could give more. She is a radical Christian.

The world needs more radical Christians. But not the ones hi-jacking airplanes, lol.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Holy Easter

I'm feeling pretty lazy as I'm sitting on the couch watching TV and typing this. Even more so because Steve is outside doing yard work. And he just killed a 2 foot long garter snake. Manly man.

I'm pretty tired. I got up this morning to go workout, laid back down, got up, laid back down and told Steve I wasn't going, got back up and got dressed and went. It was a tough work out. Pushing sleds, hang cleans, pulling sleds with bands, 15 minutes of hard core abs.

I love the Easter holiday. Obviously, as a Christian, loving holy week and Easter weekend makes since. It's also the weekend I experienced an answer to prayer, and the coinciding with Easter weekend makes it special.

I read a comment by a preacher earlier today, Sammy Rhodes "Holy Saturday the best reminders that the quietness of God does not equal the absence of God".

Following on the comment that Easter is a reminder of a huge answered prayer, this is a reminder that just because he doesn't answer, just because he's quiet, doesn't mean he's not there.

Opposites, but yet both need to be accepted and believed

Friday, April 18, 2014

Are we really blessed?

How often I see someone post on facebook and say "feeling blessed". Most recently, it was over a woman who was ill and her family took care of her, and a young woman who got to spend a couple hours with her children that she gave up.

Bless·ed adjective \ˈble-səd\
having a sacred nature : connected with God:
very welcome, pleasant, or appreciated
from Meriam Webster

Both of these situations gave me pause. They do fit the definition. But I feel the word blessed is over used, much like amazing, epic, officially, and many others.

Today I can say I'm blessed. It's Good Friday. The day Jesus died for my sins. The day he suffered and paid the penalty for me, I don't have to pay for my own. The day my eternity was settled, as long as I accept it. Because of this, I am connected with God. His Holy Spirit lives in me, and because of that, and only because of that, I have a sacred nature.

Jesus only crime, loving people? His guilt, none! But he carried mine. His pain? IMMENSE, INTENSE and it was for me.

Do I deserve this love? Absolutely not. But it's mine, and I'm so grateful and yes, today, I am blessed.

Isaiah 53:5 "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed."

I hope this season of holy days that you know him That this peace is yours. That this healing is yours.

I have both, peace and healing. Not easy to come by. Not easy to live in and hold on to in this crazy life we have. All it's ups and downs. All the sin, mine and others around me that has an impact. But this Jesus? He paid for your sins and "their" sins as well, so forgiveness this time of year is easy to offer.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Believing God

Is there something in your life you need to believe God for?

A miracle in some area?

Or maybe not a miracle, but a change?

Do you ever feel like your prayers are selfish?

You are praying for good things, but your prayers only affect you. You don't even ask for anyone to pray for you because you don't want to waste their time?

I'm so thankful that we have a God that we matter too. From the smallest things to the largest, he cares.

He listens. He hears.

He may not answer every time with what you want, but just knowing he listened and he loves me is the biggest comfort.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Angels Unaware

Hebrews 13:2 "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

I've always loved this verse, it's one I love best in the KJV.

I had this experience Friday night. Steve had a race this weekend in Ottawa, Kansas. We went up Friday night for the pre-race briefing and dinner and to pick up his race packet. With a 6:00 a.m. start time and 30 degree temps in the morning, we didn't want to go early Saturday. 6:00 a.m. is early enough. We had said we weren't going to stay for the guest speaker, but dinner was before him and the packet pick up after so...

We went in to the room and picked the table behind Steve's running pal Elden. There were 3 gentlemen at the table, obviously not together. The conversation wasn't moving really well, but I love people and I love to hear about their lives so we exchanged first names and dove into dinner and conversation.

Quickly became between Steve and one of the men, the other two were so willing to bow out of talking. Obviously so. As David talked about teaching and running and running and teaching I asked where he taught. He says " in a classroom, with students". My smart alec self had all kinds of responses, but the grown up in me held my tongue. I didn't answer. Eventually he challenged me on letting it go and I simply said "I'll google you", as I was holding my phone and already put his name in the search engine.

Found out he teaches exercise physiology and running groups at Liberty University. Christian University. A couple of friends have kids who've just graduated from there. I love when I meet believers, anyway.

We talked and laughed and had a wonderful time. He was truly a remarkable man, christian man, investing in the youth of today, and a phenomenal ultra-running legend. In the world of ultra-running, pick a bad a$$ race and he has completed it.

When he stood up from the table he looked at Steve and I and told us it had truly been a special evening. He couldn't remember the last time he had that much fun. He went up to speak and actually shared some of our conversation. I will remember David Hornton and this pre-race dinner as a very special night.

It made me remember something my mom always told me whenever I talked about someone who was an instant friend or whom I had extreme conflict with. "The spirits inside you recognize each other".

I do need to extend this kindness to strangers further in my life. Because they may be angels, but if they aren't, they may really need some kindness.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jesus doesn't want to change you

I read this the other day. A person who was living a life style that evangelical Christians don't agree with. In support of his lifestyle, putting down the evangelicals. I'm not taking sides or speaking out on this issue.

What I found interesting was his comment at the end of his rant, "Jesus doesn't want to change you."

Really? REALLY?

Woman at the well "go and sin no more" CHANGED

Saul killing Christians - met Jesus on the road became Paul, CHANGED

Abram met God, entered a covenant with him, became the Father of many nations, a father so late in life it was deemed impossible, and given a new name - CHANGE

The Scriptures are full of people that when they met Jesus had a radical life change.

The world today is full of people who met Jesus and had a radical life change.

To use the statement "Jesus doesn't want to change you" is totally opposed to the Scripture Philippians 1:6 "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

I believe that if you truly meet Jesus, if you truly know Jesus, that your life should be one of continual change. Continuing to seek him. No one ever meets Jesus without change. He died on a cross so he could orchestrate change in our lives.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Anti - aging

I have decided I'm ready to age gracefully.

I will still dye my hair.

I will still use moisturizer and wrinkle cream.

I will not wear polyester.

I will not wear my hair old woman style.

But I don't believe now (or ever) that youth is better.

I like where I am in life.

I like the freedom of my children being grown.

I like the confidence I have in myself.

I like where I am in my career.

I have enjoyed every stage of life. There were times I didn't exactly like life, but it's been good.

I would not go back to 18, been there.

I would not go back to 21, done that.

I would not go back to 30, I was so busy with work and kids and family that I don't remember that.

I got to be young.

I got married.
I had my babies.
I've had great times (and some struggles).

I'm happy with where I am, and where I'm heading.

Who decided youth was better?

Who decided aging was a bad thing?

I'm pretty dang happy with my life.

I'm going to enjoy every minute of where I am, and no apologies for getting older.

This whole "anti-aging" industry? I'll use what I want of it, but I even like my laugh lines.

Yep, I'll use their wrinkle cream, but I'll enjoy my wrinkles while I rub it in!

Friday, March 21, 2014

I didn't want to get hurt

I was talking to my nephew the other day about registering for the Hard Charge obstacle race coming up the end of April. He said he decided not to do it because he "didn't want to get hurt".

I thought this was kind of funny, being the non-competitor I am. I do my best, push myself, but always stop well ahead of hurting myself. I figure I can control that to a large extent by not pushing too hard. I could still get hurt, but I can slip in the bathtub too.

Then I realized that I do this with my emotional and mental life. I don't put myself out there because "I don't want to get hurt". I don't look at things cause I might see things that will hurt me.

I know all of Steve's passwords, but I rarely look at his email or facebook or cell phone. Because I might see something that will hurt. I don't think there is anything, in fact, I'm sure there is nothing to take exception too. But you know how it is, when you go looking for something, you can find it. One dumb example, he was emailing someone a lot and it was a woman. I didn't ask who it was, but it wasn't a secret, he wasn't hiding it, I could read it if I wanted too. It nagged at me. And when I finally asked, it was his cousin. She had the same back surgery he had and was giving him advice and things to check on.

So I don't go looking for things that will hurt. I don't do things that will hurt I'm basically the same as my nephew, and I snickered at him.

I don't think there is anything wrong with protecting ourselves from pain. Not at all. But if we don't put ourselves out there, we won't grow and learn. A pain free life would not be near as rewarding as learning to deal with the pain, grow from the pain, overcome, deal with issues, make relationships better and stronger. Push us out of what is comfortable. Push us into healing.

And we all need our healer.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Carry your cross

Matthew 16:24 "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."

This verse sounds like you are in for a rough time if you want to be a disciple of Jesus.
SonCrossFalls.jpg (1276×716)
from the "Son of God" movie

This doesn't look like something I want to do.

Steve and I went and saw this movie. We had watched "The Bible" series on the History channel when showed it as a mini-series and I loved it. Forget tearing it apart for "scripturally accurate", or dissecting it for theological accuracy. It's like throwing the baby out with the bath water. It was a wonderful experience to watch as a movie.

When I watched the movie one of the things that struck me that I hadn't noticed before is the verse above says take up your cross.

When Jesus couldn't carry his cross anymore, even the callous roman soldiers had someone help him. If they could make sure Jesus was helped when he need it, I want to believe that when my cross gets to heavy to carry that Jesus is right there to help me.

Makes the idea of taking up my cross and carrying and following a little easier in the rough times.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Honestly...

This is a hard time of year for me. The month of March. Specifically this week.

I try not "celebrate" or honor bad memories and times of my life.

I've spent the last year or so redeeming - this is the word I choose to use - my bad memories, going to the places that were triggers of harder times and making new good memories. (I can't fix Applebee's though. Bad night there, but the food is so awful I just can't make a good memory,lol).

This fall I'm redeeming one that really isn't bad, per se, but is not as great as it should have been. Steve is going to run the Niagara Falls International Marathon with me the end of October. I'm very excited, runs from the Canadian side of the Falls to the New York side. I guess I should get us registered here pretty quick. We are going to be in Buffalo, New York for 5 days and then go to Boston for 4 days. We get to see some dear friends while we're there, I want another trip to the museum, the harbor and the shopping district we went to. (I'm a touch disappointed that my friends Phil and Wendi just moved back to Texas because I was going to meet them for dinner one night as well).

Having said all that, it's still hard sometimes. It's better the longer time goes on, and the more triggers I take care of, the more bad memories I wipe out with good memories, the better it is.

I'm not comparing my difficulty to this, but the other day I saw a facebook post of a woman who said that ten years ago today she had miscarried and her baby was in Heaven and they still missed her. It just reinforced that some things leave a mark deep enough that you don't forget. You remember. But how you remember, how you choose to deal with the memories, how you choose to move forward, while not technically "moving on" is up to you.

I find myself praying in more situations that God doesn't fix the problem, that he gives me the strength to do what I should. To make the right decision. To do to the best of my ability what I can and then ask God to help me to leave the rest in God's hand, secure in the knowledge that he does have my best interest at heart. That might be pain, but if I allow him to use it for good, he will be.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

More

The older I get, the less I know

The more I follow Jesus, the more I realize I miss the mark

The more I love, the more I see where my heart is hard

The more I give, the more I see need

I feel my eyes are opened so much more now than they ever have been. I never thought I was selfish or self absorbed, but I made increasingly aware that I have missed so much around me.

It's time to approach life with eyes wide open and look for opportunities to follow Jesus more, love more, give more.

Monday, March 3, 2014

All things considered...

You know how when you have a bad day you should stop and count your blessings? I've not been able to do that.

I counted the people that their driving ticked me off on the way home (really, who cuts in line at the drive thru? and major pet peeve, speed up to get in front of me to slow down and turn).

Today I swiped my debit card in the cafeteria and it was declined. Forget the embarrassment that comes with that, I was ticked. I went to the ATM and it also declined me. I checked my balance just to see what was going on, but as I thought, I had plenty of money. Figuring it was the computer on my way to work out I swiped it for gas. DECLINED! Now I'm really upset, call the bank, that whole Target thing? I had used my debit card there. I had either not seen, not received, or ignored the letter from the bank that said my card would be canceled (they don't email or text from my bank, what century is this???). I walk into work out, look at Marquis and say "I hate people". To be clear, the people who stole the numbers from Target and made my life difficult.

PEOPLE!!! If it ain't yours, don't take it! Money, identity, debit card numbers, husbands, ice cream sandwiches (yep, leave my skinny cows alone).

I have a bad supplier that is blaming all their shortages and missed shipments on me. Seriously? With this computer age, you think I can't pull the data that shows I'm right? But I'm getting tired of defending myself to my new boss.

I have a meeting every day that's a quarter mile walk. It's a further walk than that to my car. The scooter was gone, I ended up in knee deep snow to avoid a truck and forklift that were passing each other. I was wearing my boots, but was wearing them with a skirt.

One of my kids cost me $498.17 this weekend.

This weather makes my skin dry and itchy.

Maybe tomorrow I'll count my blessings. I can at least count to one, right?

All things considered...today was not the best day. But as I sit here at home with Steve in the recliner next to me and the dog under my feet and chili burritos in my belly, I guess I did find something good.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Conversations with Whitney

She's doing really well at school. And look how pretty she is (mom brag moment)

and this one...such a well behaved smart dog. This is her chair. The only piece of furniture besides Nate's bed she actually gets on.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Forgiveness

Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

I see countless posters about forgiveness. Quotes about forgiveness. None are as good as what the Scriptures teach us about forgiveness.

I struggle with a few things where forgiveness is concerned. If you've apologized but someone doesn't believe you've forgiven them, it's on them, right? I don't need to contact them and make sure they know they are forgiven? I have one or two people like this in my life. They always say that forgiveness is for the one doing the forgiving.

As I thought about the concept of forgiveness and the verse Matthew 18:21-22 "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" "Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." I always thought this meant you forgave everything, forever. Infinity, right? I didn't understand at the time forgiving the same person for the same offense almost everyday for going on 3 years now.

It's not 3 years of offenses, it was a single point in time. But some offenses hurt so deep that the challenge to forgive is taking a lot of time and work. And while God forgives and forgets, that is not a human concept, but God one, a super natural one.

When I remember to put these verses together; forgive infinity, because I want my heavenly Father to forgive me, I get it right.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ohhh yay. (said sarcastically)

Steve had saved a link to buy running shoes to his facebook page.

He picked up my laptop to order them and when he handed it to me it was on his facebook page. I say, "oooo I can snoop".

He says, "no, this is your facebook account". (I stay logged in).

I say, "oh, you can snoop on mine".

He says "oh, yay." No enthusiasm at all.



We share the same password, not the same account, so this isn't surprising, just funny.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

18 years

When Steve was running his 50 mile race last weekend I was thinking about the mental toughness it takes to do that. It definitely takes physical strength and training, but without the mental game, you will never be able to finish.

This has served him well in other areas of our life.

There was a time where this mental strength was needed to save our marriage. I hated to think about how hard it was to work on our marriage. To save it. To make it worthwhile. But while that hurt, he chose to do it. He chose me, he chose our marriage, he chose our life together. Truth be told, I had to choose him too.

And here we are, 3 years from that rough time, 18 years into marriage and we are good. That's my word for us. Good. A dear close friend asked me a month ago how Steve and I were doing and I had to think about it, and this is the word I used.

Sometimes I feel like I've been through the war, and maybe, just maybe, I have. But I also feel like I may have won this one.

I went through a time when I wanted a new wedding ring. I didn't talk to Steve about it, or I would have a new wedding ring.

I did say something this week, but now, here is the way I feel about it. In some respects, I have a new, different marriage. But the vows we said, the things we promised, we still hold to them. Were they broken? Yes. But God has fixed us. And a new ring would be a constant reminder of what happened. Every time I saw it, I would know why I have a new one. By keeping my original one, there is the reminder of the original vows and that included "For better or worse".

This ring came with speaking these words, and we have seen worse, definitely. But we've seen better too.

I wouldn't trade my 18 years.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Race weekend

Steve ran a 50 mile race this weekend, Cross Timbers Trail Run at Lake Texoma on the Texas/Oklahoma border.

He did great. A friend that was with us said, "Steve looks like he could run this again". And he could've. That's the nice thing about running a race half the distance you are used to running. It was easier on me, and we got home late Saturday night which was really nice to wake up in my bed and go to church.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

So you will know there is a God

There is a verse in 1 Samuel, 17:46, that has one phrase that I love and take out of context, but I think when I explain this, you'll think I'm okay. "So they will know that there is a God in Israel". I like to pray this. Sure, it's for stuff that helps me out, usually, but I'm always careful to tell people that there is a God who answers my prayers when I pray this.

I had 4 very large airplane parts get delivered to our warehouse, had the paperwork, proof of delivery, but they were never received in. I had everyone looking for them. They've been missing since January 30. I was told yesterday to just issue them out as lost and pay for them. That's not my biggest issue, then I'm shorting the shop for the next 3 months till we can catch back up. This will not be pleasant for me.

I head over to the shop today for a meeting, (for a frame of reference, it's a half mile walk to the shop) listening to my new favorite song, "You Won't Let Go" Michael W. Smith and these lyrics "no raging storm can ever defy one word of faith". And like God always has done to me, I know when I pray with faith he hears. And I did. I prayed that God would let me find my parts.

I walk the building. Up and down, nooks and crannies. Lots of help from guys on the shop floor. I look for half an hour, no luck. So I head back to my desk and on the way I sing those words to myself again and I pray that I don't have to be the one to find them, but would God make them show up?

I sit down at my desk to the 40 new e-mails (which is about right for 45 minutes) and I get through about 5 of them and one tells me I need to get them new paperwork for my four parts. They found them. After I prayed.

I told everyone who would listen. Even the supplier.

So they will know their is a God, and he is at work, and he cares about whatever his children care about.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Grasshoppers

It doesn't matter how many times I fly. I also want a window seat (two reasons, I like to look out the window, and I don't like letting people climb over me to go to the bathroom). I neglected to pick my seats out at a reasonably ahead of flight time, so while I got a window seat, I sat under the wing and behind the prop of a dash 8, the second to back row of a Canadair 700 and the very back row of a 737.

I sit with my face smashed against the window, embracing my inner 8 year old, and I love it.

On the way home we flew out of LAX over the ocean. Then we flew over mountains. The mountains in California looked black until we got right over top and then I could see snow, but there were a lot of trees. Then over the desert, I could see the sand swirling, and the patterns in it on the ground.

As we broke through the clouds on the descent into Denver I looked down at the mountains. They are beautiful. I always thought I was a beach girl (as much as a Kansas girl can be a beach girl) but when we went to Denver May of 2012 I discovered I love the mountains too. I could see the evergreens on the mountains, see the ski slopes. I didn't see any skiers, but I was enthralled with the beauty of the mountains and the miniature trees.

When I did my Bible study over the weekend I read this verse "He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in". Isaiah 40:22

I was struck by the fact again that Heaven is a literal place. God sits on his throne above the circle of the earth (why was everyone so surprised when Columbus discovered the earth was round? Apparently God told us all those years ago that the earth was a circle) and we are like grasshoppers. Just like I looked down at the mini evergreen trees, God looks downs on us. And he sees us.

I read about Hagar as well over the week I was i California and I always feel touched by her calling God "El Roi, the God who sees me". I've actually talked about this before. Sometimes I feel like I'm the invisible girl. Which would be a pretty cool super power, but I not one I want. I have no problem admitting that I need human love and I need friendship and I need my people.

As I put these two thoughts together it reinforced that God does see me. And he loves me. He speaks to me in ways only I hear, through the view of trees from an airplane. Through the words of a book. Through a Scripture from a Bible study. To give me a message that my sometimes dry thirsty soul needs to receive.

Monday, February 3, 2014

My value of marriage

My marriage has been the single most important relationship to me since the day I got married.

I have fought with Steve, I have fought against Steve, I have fought for Steve.

I have disliked him, distrusted him, and a couple of times not wanted to go home. But even at these times, I loved him intensely. The idea of life without him has never appealed to me. Not once have I not wanted him. Not loved him.

I value my marriage.

I value the institution of marriage.

I value your marriage.

And if I could challenge every young single woman out there (even though I'm fairly sure there aren't many reading) that the importance they put on other women's marriages is important. Flirting with a married man will only make you feel powerful and pretty - until you are married and you think about all the younger, prettier, funner girls than you that might be flirting with your husband.

You see, marriage takes work. Sometimes the excitement, well frankly, just isn't there. When the money is tight, the kids are sick, jobs aren't going well, it can be tough.

I believe every man is responsible for his behavior, please don't misunderstand. But I think every woman who even "innocently" flirts with a married man is opening a door that she shouldn't. She is not only damaging that man, but she is damaging herself. Because you will have to deal with the realization that the Scriptures say in Luke 6:31 "Do to others as you would have them do to you."

I think we quote this verse as a treat people good because you want to be treated that way. And I 100% agree with that interpretation.

I have always felt that this also means that you treat people how you want to be treated, that includes the bad and ugly. When you don't value someone else's marriage, you are saying it's okay that someone out there isn't going to value mine.

I wish I was this wise 20 years ago.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Wichita vs. LA

Wichita > Steve (my heart) is here
Wichita > I know where every Starbucks is
Wichita > I don't have to look for safe areas of town by Googling "Barnes & Noble" (this works every time).
Wichita > 20 minute commute ANYWHERE
Wichita > it's legal to talk on your cell phone and drive

LA > 70 degree weather every day
LA > Nordstrom's, Macy's, Daisy Shoppe
LA > Beach (even on a drizzly 61 degree afternoon I loved Venice Beach)
LA > Mountains (didn't get to go, but could see them on my many drives around the LA area)
LA > it's illegal to talk on your cell phone and drive

Like Boston, people in LA were fascinated to find out I was from Kansas. It was kind of an oddity. I was also "more fashionable" then they thought I would be. I guess they expected gingham and a bonnet.

I had an exhausting week, visited 4 suppliers multiple times, logged onto my computer at every meal and for a couple hours at the hotel every night. I really should be at work today, but I decided I wouldn't really be productive, I'm so tired. So I went to work out, and I was so tired everything was difficult, but well worth it and then Steve took me to breakfast at IHOP.

YAY FOR BEING HOME

The biggest negative? Not enough time to shop or money to buy everything I wanted. Daisy Shoppe - would've bought one of everything and totally revamped my wardrobe.

Macy's, not one of everything, but...

Love Love Love DSW store.

But mostly? Would've loved to run that path by Venice Beach. Every day.

From 71 degrees to 22 and freezing ice. I love Kansas too.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Injuries

I have had a flare up of plantar fasciitis. One of these days I'll realize I have to stop running for good. I haven't yet.

But I am not running for a couple of weeks minimum while I try to let it heal. I'll be back to elliptical and aqua jogging until then.

I'm dropping my April marathon. I have to get well, cause I have plans to run the Niagara Falls International Marathon in October. That really gives me until June when I'd have to start a training plan, so we'll see how it goes. Staying off of it. On the plus side, my knee is completely pain free. Six months from surgery and it's so cool to have it not hurt.

Work has been nuts since January 2 when I went back after the Christmas break. I'm on an airplane to LA tomorrow morning to sit on site at a supplier and make sure my parts are their top priority for a week. This is not a vacation, it will be 10 hours a day in an unfamiliar office without my work friends (will miss you Stella, Misty, Aimee, Erin).

But I get to travel in style, direct flight to LA, (I have a layover on the way home, though), nice hotel in nice area because I'm traveling alone, big rental car because it's LA traffic, mobile hotspot so I'm my own internet, and they moved me to an airport hotel Thursday night so I don't have to drive through traffic to catch my 8:00 a.m. flight. We have an awesome department secretary.

I'll be back "Dropping Gems" as Whitney would say or "spitting mad truth" as Nate would say, soon.



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

According to your faith

Matthew 9:29 says according to your faith let it be done to you.

Hebrews 11:6 says without faith it is impossible to please God.

These two verses are sticking with me today.

I really need to believe God for some things in my life right now.

From the external view, things look pretty good.

Marriage and family are good.

Job is good - stressful, but good.

I'm healthy, except for that nagging plantar fasciitis

And yet I find my faith level kind of low. Which means I'm not pleasing God.

You could say I'm a tad backslidden and you would be correct.

I started working on that and I realized how dry and thirsty my soul is.

I know God doesn't want me to live this way.

According to my faith - well, I'm going to live what I believe which is the power of God is incomparably great. And let it be done to me.

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Reality

I'm doing a Bible study with my friend Rebecca. She lives in Cali. We are watching the video on line, doing the work book and then we have a skype date to talk about it. I watched the first video, and I really have a lot to think about.

Making your theology (what you believe about the Bible) your reality.

It took a minute to catch up to me, but I started making a list of things I believe in the Bible. My theology. I can back them up with Scripture. And then I crossed checked that to my reality. They don't match. So I'm going to work on making my walk match my talk match what I believe. What I BELIEVE. Not what someone else says, blogs, or thinks. I'm going to be honest, please don't think I'm wallowing in self pity or worse yet, suicidal, these are just thoughts I've had that I need to not have ever again.

A few examples from my long list:

Theology Reality

I am loved. I'm not. I'm easy to live without. I'm easy to leave. When you hear you aren't
loved those words stick. Hurt more than any others.

I can do all things through Christ I'm not capable of much. I'm mediocre, average.

I am his handiwork I may be the only person on the planet God didn't get right (this one is extreme,
doesn't happen often but it has crossed my mind.)

I am a conqueror I am a victim. I have no control, life just happens to me. (Another one I don't
live with all the time, but I have my moments).

These four, just four, are more honest then I want to be. I'm going to add to the list of my theology and work at making it my reality.




Wednesday, January 8, 2014

One little shift


Tonight, I'm sitting on the couch watching the shockers basketball game and it's pretty enjoyable. I was doing laundry, but Belle got in the way so I put that up.

It's been a brutal week. I went back to work after two weeks off and all my suppliers lost their minds and just quit building parts. Or so it seems. Which is odd considering they don't send me parts they don't get paid. And if they don't send them on time, I charge them. So I know they don't want to make my life difficult. But they are.

I've been working 50 - 55 hours a week since June and I get tired. I still make it to my workouts, but it's killing my running schedule.

I come home and don't get a lot done. I work Saturdays and that impacts my getting chores done also.

I reminded myself today of how grateful I am to have this job. The income, the insurance, the benefits. I have to remember the good when it gets rough.

Sheila sent me an excerpt from her devotional today, on a totally different subject, but this phrase stuck out to me "I believe this one little shift in our thinking can make us feel empowered, instead of feeling denied."

One little shift. Gratitude for the job, and even the extra hours, because with that comes extra money and my boss knows how hard I'm working to get everything done, with our work force cut by 33%. One little shift, I have a home and food and clothes to have chores to do.

These are not revolutionary thoughts. People have been saying this for years. Sometimes it's nice to have a reminder.

Shift your thinking to one of gratitude. Of what I'm getting, not what I'm giving up. Of blessing from the sacrifice, and the remembering that sacrifice is not always bad.

And the thankfulness that my job has never been this crazy when my kids were little.



Sunday, January 5, 2014

training update

Frosty 5K January 1, 2014

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Your Voice

How important is your voice? Your story? We all have one. We all have something worth saying. We all have beliefs and passions. We all have importance.

I silenced a “voice” a while back. I know I did. She emailed me and told me she wouldn’t be blogging anymore because of me.

I would read her blog and disagree with her or tell her why she was wrong. She’s not the only one. I have used my forum to share my beliefs and talk about things I disagree with. I have done that with family members and I’ve disagreed and taken the opposite side of issues from friends.

I believe we need to interact with people we disagree with. I believe we need to respect them and listen to their opinions and their beliefs. I believe if we hear or read something we take a different stand on it may challenge us to rethink our stance. It will do one of two things. Strengthen what you believe or change your mind.

Proverbs 27:17
"As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another."

Iron sharpens iron. When you sharpen a knife there is definite friction.

Do I feel guilty or bad about “silencing” her voice on the internet? Not at all. She has every right to speak. But you have to believe in what you are saying enough to be challenged on it. Agree with me or disagree with me, I’ll think about what you say and either strengthen my stand or change it.

I may not be the popular voice or the most widely read blog. I have never gone viral. It doesn’t matter. I will be silent when I have nothing left to say.