Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm not busy....just boring

Seems like after running last week, I am officially in a runners and writing block.  I cannot get motivated to run, nor can I conjure up anything remotely interesting to talk about on this blog. Frustrating!
So here is a compilation of boring snippets for lack of anything else remotely interesting...........

Tomorrow I get my hair cut.  This is a major milestone.  I always wear my hair super short, it just seems easier to deal with.  After I got a pixie cut before going to Africa last summer, I decided it was time to let it grow out.  I have not cut it since July. It is super shaggy but long! (Long meaning almost to my chin, and past my neck in the back.)  My goal is a ponytail.  Hopefully tomorrow I will have some sense of style.

I am almost half way on my nieces blanket. Did you know that my ADD makes it extremely difficult to concentrate on an afghan knitting project? I much prefer socks, but I am loving this pattern and they may share a blanket with socks for each!

After reading this blog, I decided to get ruthless and clean my closet.  I finally gave away all the pants that I cannot, or do not wear.  I told myself if I lose enough weight I'll just buy some new ones.  Not much danger of that, what with the runners block and all.......
There is an inner sense of peace to walk into my closet and see less stuff.  What I see is what I wear.  Thanks "Not Going Postal" for the kick start!

Well I know this post has had you at the edge of your seat.....but I gotta go put some clothes in the dryer. I'll leave you with some of my shutterbugs latest work...........................

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'd rather be 42 than.......

a 14 year old girl in middle school.
having to go through nurse practitioner school all over again.
waking up to nurse a baby in the middle of the night, again and again and again
a college graduate in this bad economy


Because when you're 42...............

You are much better at saying "no'
You usually can get a decent night's sleep every night( too old for babies, and too young for hotflashes)
You're husband has been around long enough to know not to say stupid things, knows what restaurants you like best and can figure out how to buy a really great birthday present.
You're kids still need you...but not to wipe their hineys.
I no longer have the urge to wear incredibly uncomfortable high heels.

I am fully embracing this season. I don't fear aging.  The forties have been my best decade so far.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Princess Warriors

 Courtney, me and Lindsey- the Princess Warriors

I'm totally hooked.  In fact I've already looked at the upcoming marathons for this fall. Without a doubt, one of the most fun and exciting things I've ever done.  We got to the ATL on Saturday afternoon and picked up our packets at the Georgia Dome. It was like The Georgia National Fair of running. Vendors of all things running were everywhere. We saw the latest and greatest shoes, clothes and food.  Publix had a mini grocery store in the middle of the complex full of organic snacks.  Mostly people were laughing and friendly everywhere you went. I think that is what I like best about the running community, a very supportive group of people.

We stayed at the Omni Hotel which was directly on the start line.  After looking at our loot we plundered from the Dome, we walked up the street in pursuit of a place to get our fill of pasta, the notorious pre-race meal.  We landed at Asio's and appparently we were not the only ones with this great idea. After an hour wait we finally ate a huge amount of pasta and bread and passed on dessert.

I decided to go with the running capris and the girls talked me into wearing my race T-shirt. Good choices.  I was so glad not to be bothered with shorts riding up.  We slept like rocks and bright and early I got up to down my yogurt. Ever since I got my GB out, I get nauseated when I run too far. I figured it was inevitable on a half marathon, but I have found that Activia yogurt helps alot. (think I could make a commercial for them?)

The start corral was the equivilant of three city blocks. By the time we found our starting corral I was nervous enough to puke.  Ever had the feeling you are in way over your head? I was desperately scanning the crowd for a chubby 40ish soccor mom type and all I was seeing were lean skinny marathoners with knee socks. Apparently that is the latest and greatest at preventing calf cramps. I fiddled with my ipod, stretched my calves and sent up some desparate prayers to God asking for His divine help and asking Him to at least let me finish.  I was terrified of the notorious street sweeper putting me in the loser wagon.

The bell sounded and I started a slow jog. "Keep it slow, slower than you need" I told myself throught the entire first mile.  The girls were gone almost immediately and I knew I was on my own.  After mile 2 I found my groove and even had some pretty interesting conversations with a couple people. I found a 50ish guy with his teenage daughter and decided to pace with them.  I stayed with them until mile 4 and decided it was time to turn on Mark Driscoll.  I knew if I listend to his entire sermon I could get through to mile 10. 

 Somehow around mile 6 I lost the man and daughter I was pacing with and so I picked up a group of two women who seemed to be going a little slower than me, but my calves were burning and I knew I needed to slow it down a little.  This is the point where I told myself,"OK, it's not important what your time is, it's important you finish and not walk." So with that I stopped checking my time every mile and decided to try and let my mind wander a bit.  I imagined the life story of some runners around me and that let me kinda chill out about my calves and just cruise in my mind.  At mile 8, the marathoners split course and the crowd thinned out a little.  I found my man and his daughter so I set my pace with them again and got my groove back.  At mile 9 I stopped for gatorade and water and could not start back up. I walked over to the right and in the middle of the hill just started walking.  My right hip was sore and I decided that walking made it hurt worse, so I started back at a  gimpy jog and turned my ipod up loud with some Toby Mac and decided to just try and tough it out.  Once I topped the hill, I found myself in a beautiful park. There were lots of runner just walking at this point, but my hip felt better and I decided to keep cruising. As we exited the park we started up a hill. I bargained with myself, if you get up this hill and you are still not in skyscraper country you can walk.  At the top I saw a high rise. I was back in the concrete jungle. By this time I had lost track of my mileage so my time meant nothing, but my hip pain was gone and I was in a good groove. I guess this is what the second wind feels like.

At the last water station I estimated I was probably at mile 10. As I sucked down the gatorade, the station girl smiled and said, "\You're almost there, only 1 more mile." I was ecstatic, mostly becasue I felt good, and I KNEW I was gonna do it!  I decided I had enough in me to flat out run, and so I did. The last mile was jam packed with cheerleaders, bands, cheering people, who did not know me, but cheered me on like family. As I turned the last corner into Centennial Park I saw the finsh.  It was surreal. I did it. I finished. 13.1 miles. Farthest I've ever run. I was moving, at that point nothing was hurting, but the best part was looking up and seeing my time. My goal was 2:30 and I finshed at 2:15 chip time. I am strong. I am a healthy 42 year old. I am a princess warrior. I'm gonna run a marathon next.....just because I can.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The ups and downs of running

I ran my slowest ever 5K.  Wayne was kind and said it was because I'm over 40. I know better....I need to lose about 30 lbs.

Sunday I run my first ever half marathon and although I know I will be fine, I'd really like to get through it without walking.  I've got my mantras ready..."What the mind can concieve, the body can achieve" (thanks Kenny for that one!) and "You can do it girl, one step at a time" I can always use this one, "Looking good girl, keep it up"

I've got my ipod loaded with Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Journey, Tony Mac and Mandisa.  I even have  a sermon by Mark Driscoll if I think I want to quit. Tonight I had no ipod and it was rough.

If I can make it though this race, maybe I'll tackle a marathon in the fall, or maybe I'll just stick with neighborhood 5K's. 

The best part of this race is running with my girlies. They have been so much fun to train with, even the days we did sprints.  I would have quit this whole thing a long time ago if it were not for them.  I would have been content to run my 3 miles a day and an occasional 5K. Never push myself, but I'm glad I'm gonna stretch my limits a little.

So here's to stepping your of your comfort zone.........

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

And this made me cry

                             *picture from KP's FB*

Is it possible to be excited, worried, elated and wistful all at one time?
Everytime I see her graduation gown....that's exactly how I feel.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Even so come quickly Lord Jesus

The earth trembles under Your power and we say, Come quickly Lord Jesus

Your children suffer much in Your name and we say, Come quickly Lord Jesus

The lust of the flesh makes me fight to focus on You. I grow tired of the struggle and I say, Come quickly Lord Jesus.

"Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven.
And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!"

Acts 1:11

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Plethora of Emotions

This sums up my weekend.  Lots of emotions...........

Saddened- Everytime I turn on the TV or pull up the internet I am so saddened by the  devastation of Japan.  My Sunday School class (all women) specifically prayed for the Japanese women who lost children, husbands, parents in a way I cannot comprehend.  We prayed that the God of all comfort would reveal Himself to them, would draw them to Himself.

Loved- Wayne took me to Carrabas then shopping for new running clothes as a early birthday celebration.  The girls went with us.  It was one of those family times that is rare and will be even more so in the next few months.

Worried- I am running my first half marathon next Sunday. I hope I can finish it. I felt very nauseous last time I ran 10 miles, and that's three less than the half.  I got nauseated when I ran today (of course I had just eaten) so I kept thinking , "there is no way I can do this next weekend" How's that for postive thinking?

Hopeful- Andy preached such an awesome message this morning. He's been going through Jude and today he encouraged us to stay in the fight.  God uses ordinary people to build His kingdom.  God really spoke to me through his message, and a conversation with a friend that when we are a "nobody" that's when He does His best work through display his glory.

Happy- I talked to Jamie, one of my sweet, sweet friends that I never seem to find time to talk with.  She is a busy working mom like me, so she gets that it may be a while in between our convesation, but we can pick right up where we left off.  I hugged her so hard this morning and heard all about what God is doing in her life and every time I thought back to that sweet conversation today it made me smile.

Peaceful- I had a picnic lunch on perhaps the most beautiful day of the entire year.  We had chicken salad sandwiches (made from the SCA grilled chicken) and sat in the sunshine.  We ate and talked with friends, enjoyed their little boys running around, and mostly just soaked up the goodness of God to bless us with a gorgeous day.

All in all, a very good weekend. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A baptist girl's take on Lent

I was raised as strict a baptist girl as you can get.  Lent was something that I vaguely knew happened in the Catholic church. It involved mysterious ashes, and I'm quite sure that there was some sort of whispered explanation about "Oh that's something for catholics, we don't do that."

So when my coworker, who is a nondenominational girl that is crazy about Jesus, asked me what I was giving up for Lent, I gave her a blank look and said, "Uh, I'm not catholic, I'm baptist." Then we both laughed and I thought, "Far be it from a baptist to give up anything, much less say no to food in any shape or form."

My inquisitive mind would not let it go, I began to research. Where did Lent come from?  Is there some doctrinal issue that would make it wrong for me to observe Lent?  Why would I want to give up something for 40 days?  Does it bring you closer to God to fast from something in your life?

I found some interesting things about Lent.  It is recognition and celebration of the crucifixtion and resurrection of Jesus.   Noel Piper, from Desiring God gives this great description of Ash Wednesday, and Lent.  Please go here to read it.

So, I decided that this baptist girl would see what happens when I purposefully lay aside something that would require a bit of a sacrifice on my part, so that I could have a daily reminder of the sacrifice that God gave me in His Son, Jesus. Oh, there's no comparison, but yet, there is a  daily reminder of the forty days Jesus spent battling Satan and sharing deep fellowship with the Father in the desert.  There is a somber reminder of the cost of disobedience as the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness.

By marking the forty days until I celebrate His life giving resurrection, I stop and think about His great sacrifice. By disciplining myself, I refocus on Christ.  By allowing myself to stop and ponder,"Why did Christ have to die?" I find the answer is worth pondering.

He became sin
Who knew no sin
That we might become
His righteousness.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm a tad excited.....

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Great American Hero

*picture from Ashley Mangus' Facebook*

Tonight we celebrate a great American hero, CPT. Geoff Mangus.  As I listened to these snippets of tonight, I realized that my friend, Geoff, is much more than a friend, a father, a husband, a cancer survivor.  He is a great American hero.  I thank you Geoff for your sacrifices, some which I will never fully know.   Here are things I heard and saw tonight as I celebrated his retirement with him, his friends and family:

"Always do right......"
"First to fight for the right"
6th fold: our hearts with which we pledge allegience
Valorous Unit Citation
Red stripes, for soldiers blood
"So thankful for my wife, Ashley"
stars: in God we trust
Colossians 3:23
"Friends...through thick and thin"
12th fold of the flag: for the Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Operation Iraqi Freedom III
A little girl, dressed in red, bows in her hair, hugs her Daddy tight
" friend I could ever have."
Duty, Honor, Country
"Thank you Capt. Mangus"

and I echo that, "Thank you Capt. Mangus."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Best reads in 2011

We are almost through the first three months of 2011, and I have read some incredible books.

Hollie introduced me to this wonderful book. I have read it once, now I am going through the second time and letting it really soak down into my bones.  This book is about a woman's journey in finding God's gifts to us in our everyday life.  She explains that the life of joy, is a life of gratitude.  This is a MUST READ!

 I put off reading this book for a while. Not sure if I wanted to join the "sell everything you've got and give to the poor" bandwagon. After all, I really like my stuff.  Much more than that, this book puts a mirror in the face of the average American believer and asks , "What does your faith look like?"  It casues the reader to question the priorities in their life, to answer the question of, "exactly how much Jesus do you want?"  Wayne is doing a small group study with some guys in our church right now through this book.

John Piper is one of my favorite authors.  My friend Andy Hall intriduced me to Piper and I have been hooked ever since. Piper is a writer who demands you to think and meditate over his writings.  While this is no easy read, it is very enriching.  "Think" shows how reading and studying God's Word is connected to the way we process and think.  In a more practical way, he teaches the reader to engage his brain and actively process the Bible. 

So, what are you reading?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

He speaks into us:

It never ceases to amaze me that God would speak into our lives.  Here is what He said, just this morning to some of my friends:

Ps. 28- do not be nice to people then talk about them behind their back.

Mercy, peace, love.....thanks Jude for the reminder.

Get up, (insert her name :))!!! ....oh and...that my prayers should always rooted in thanksgiving. Because I have him, in all things I can find rejoicing. I Thess. if I haven't heard enough (but he knows I'm hard headed) that I need to give Him out of sacrifice, not from my abundance....hence, Him 1st, other "stuff" after him. God is just amazing when He pounds in a point!

It seems that the thing God is drilling me about is the overall theme of what the devotion I'm reading said this morning, "Lovest thou me?" John 21:17 (Jesus talking to Peter) do I truly love Jesus, am I even His friend? Because if I truly loved Him I would keep His commands....I don't know and the thing is everything I'm looking at is pointing me back to this.  Ephesus, the loveless church, our SS and church services yesterday, and our next chapter in  Crazy Love is

Ps. 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide unto death. Nice to remember who I can count on.

Hey I was reading in Job and he reminded me no matter what trials come he is still there.

The path God has chosen for us is uniquely our own.  We are not to compare it to anyone else's.  The lessons of trust we learn on this path are often wrapped in difficulties...but they are opportunities to trust Him more. Oh how He is teaching me this!

Reading in Mark this morning:  My love for god should make all other relationships, husband, children look like hate when compared to my love for Him. Wow! That is alot of love...I am so far from that, but that is where I want to be! God teach me to love you more than anything.

God showed me that by knowing Him I have the greatest possession I could have. Nothing compares to the greatness of knowing Jesus. Philippians 3:8

Psalms 48

Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
In the the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness
Beautiful for situation
The joy of the whole earth,
Tis Mt. Zion on the sides of the north
The city of our great King!

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