Friday, December 12, 2014

Santa and Jesus

How does Santa fit down the chimney?  What if he can't fit down the chimney?  What if the elf loses its magic? Did the angel leave us a note?  (please click here for details on this angel)

The many questions of Christmas.

The day I found out Santa was not real broke my heart. I remember finding the teeth the tooth fairy never took...it was also the moment I found out about the Easter bunny.  I don't remember how old I was, but I recall crying on the floor in my parents room, my childhood crumbling around me.

I loved Santa.  I loved Christmas.  I loved the magic and spirit of it all.  I have so many wonderful memories surrounding this season.  Even after I got up off that floor it was my favorite time of year.  My mom said, as long you believe in Santa he will still come, thus the game continued.

Fast-forward to my adulthood and my family.  My husband and I discussed rather we wanted to play the game, it was a hard choice.  I didn't want my kids to have broken hearts.  I didn't want my kids feeling lied to. I didn't want my kids to think that Jesus was a game.  Yet,  I didn't want them to miss out on the fun of all things Santa.  I really do love the game!

So, we play. 

My oldest child always enjoyed Santa, but has never been as passionate and demonstrative in her belief as my youngest.  My oldest child now knows the truth and handled it pretty well, but I see myself in my youngest and worry about the heartbreak that could occur in just a few short years. 

And now, now we have this stinking elf to deal with too and a Christmas Angel.  While it is fun to watch as they hunt for these every morning, it is more possible heartbreak to endure. 

However, as I was having lunch with a friend and we discussed the game it dawned on me how I can relate the games of Christmas with the truth of Jesus. 

My child has so much wonder on her face as she finds the newest hiding place of our elf and our angel every morning.  She questions the mysteries of Santa.  There are many unknowns in her about how it works, so much wonder, so much mystery, and yet there is so much belief. 

On the day when she finds out the truth of Christmas that is how I will show her the truth of  Christ.  I want to her to understand that in Christ we will wonder why and how, in Christ there will be mysteries, but just like she believed in Santa, the elf, the angel despite her wonder and questions, that that is how she is to believe in Christ.

And as her heartbreaks I will trust that the greatest gift of Christmas will pick up the pieces and increase her faith in him.


In the words of Bethel Music from their song titled "Wonder":


May we never lose our wonder
May we never lose our wonder
Wide eyed and mystified
May we be just like a child
Staring at the beauty of our King

Friday, November 14, 2014

Feeling like He isn't coming through

Sometimes you hold on to something unknowingly.

I recently became pretty fed up with dealing with my teeth and my health.  I am tried of feeling like I am not moving forward on my journey to weight loss and I am tired of not feeling good.  It is an obstacle in my quest to chase what matters....and I have never been great at jumping hurdles.  I usually trip and fall on them.

This time has been no different in the fact that I have tripped and fallen numerous times, but its been distinct in that I keep getting up and it has been set apart, because of how God has used it to speak to me. 

Recently, I sat listening to Beth Moore and realized my frustration also lies in feeling like God just isn't coming through.  This isn't the first time I have felt this way, but it was the first time I became fully aware and honest of this obstacle in my relationship with God.  I have been unknowingly holding on to this for years...and this has been a break down in my belief, my faith, my journey to chase what matters.  This realization brought tears to my eyes.  There was a person in my past that often never came through for me, I thought I had dealt with my issues from this, but obliviously there was more to deal with. 

I texted a friend and asked for prayer in regards to this.  About 8 months ago we had a conversation about my belief or lack there of....I often use the verse from Mark 9:24 "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

I have continued to process this, asking God over and over, what do I do with this, how do I move forward?

I ended up sharing with my husband my struggle and he prayed for me.
 I posted on social media this week something I wrote in my bible study margin:

Conversations with God are like conversations with people, it takes time to get to the depth of a subject, but once there the words/lessons are unforgettable.

This is what I know is true:  HE SPEAKS!!! 

11-9-14  As we walked into the church sanctuary on this day, we were handed cups and bread for the Lord's Supper. We worshiped, we took the juice and the bread and the words that fell on my heart, brought tears to my eyes and joy to my soul....."I have already came through for you!"

While I have know this most of life, I haven't known it, like I did this particular morning.  He doesn't have to do anything, He already did!!!!!

Am I living like He has come through for me??

Then the message was spoken.  It was about discontentment and comparison. Yep, I often act discontent. I have grumbled about the trial of my journey.  I have complained about my teeth.  I have complained about my house.  I have griped about my spouse, my kids.

I took many notes on this day and remember the pastor saying we often say if and when...when my kids get older, if I get this job....ect.....for me I have been feeling discontent, I was saying if I felt better, if I was moving forward along the journey (aka losing weight), then I would be happier...but God, God already came through. He sent His son for us. It's not a matter of when or if, He already did...and that should make us content!!!

11-10-14  I opened my Children of the Day study by Beth Moore and dived in only to get splashed in the face with my own words.  She writes "As spiritual people, we tend to tie our hopelessness to our belief that God has somehow let us down or refused to come through."  My jaw feel open. Those were my words, my feelings.

Belief is tied to hopelessness- what are you believing? 

I love that God speaks.

I want to listen!!! 

Beth Moore goes on to say "God is your help.  He is your strength. This whole thing is not dependent on you..." She continues with "In His hands, we find solace. In His heart, we find rest.  In His time, we find meaning. In His eyes, we are blessed. In His strength, we're made mighty.  In His light, morning breaks. In His Word, He has promised. In His coming, sleepers wake.


I don't know what you are holding onto knowingly or unknowingly, but please know He has already come through!!  


This doesn't mean that my journey or yours will be easy, but it gives us freedom to

Chase What Matters!!



 



Friday, October 31, 2014

What's gonna grow??

Since I started my journey I have learned many things about myself, one being that I am stronger physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually than I give myself credit for. (and of course this comes from Christ!!)

On Wednesday I had to have yet another root canal.  I am going on almost 9 months since my dental stuff started.  The stress and impact on my journey has been huge, but I am hanging in and continuing to chase what matters. 

This root canal was fairly simple, but I did have to see a specialist for it.  I planned on going to crossfit before my appointment, but decided I needed a rest day physically, mentally, and spiritually.  I spent the morning with a few of my favorite things and posted this pic on social media.



I carry a cross that I normally hold for things like this in my purse, but on this day I added my koosh ball to hold as well.  I was a little nervous and anxious, but it felt normal...after all, after 9 months I am just over all things dental. I turned up the song "You Make Me Brave" by Bethel Music and Amanda Cook, allowing the words to wash over me.  I also posted about this on social media with this pic, and I stated "I am believing I am gonna have a dental break till I am old and need dentures."

 
I arrived at the office and still felt nervous, but it was not an abnormal nervous. After I was numb, the assistant pulled off my temporary crown, and I felt so relieved it did not hurt. (This tooth has been hypersensitive since we began the process of changing my bridge.)  Then it was time to isolate the tooth, the assistant began the process and she asked me if I was hot, I said no, but that I needed to sit up.....I was on the verge of an anxiety attack and felt like I might pass out.  I clung tighter to my cross and my koosh ball, tears welled up in my eyes, and I asked to go to the bathroom.  I prayed, I mentally refocused, and repeated the song title over and over..."You Make Me Brave".  I went back to the chair and we began again. During the time in the chair there were 2 other times I became so overwhelmed with anxiety....but I repeated praying, the song title, and refocused.

It amazed and reminded me that through prayer and refocusing God can and will help me transform my mind. What power He gives!!  So many times my mind and thoughts are negative....that can have power too. It's not that I am a negative person, but I tend to worry and think anxious thoughts.

I am currently doing a bible study by Beth Moore called The Children of the Day.  In today's study I concluded that focused emotions can grow and grow.  Beth Moore states "Perhaps you also compared 1 Samuel 18:29 and Philippians 1:14 and noted that fear has an overwhelming tendency to increase even more but, praise God, so has courage.....Ask yourself this question as I do the same: knowing the propensity of things to grow, which way do I want to go?"

In that dental chair I could have easily gave into the fear wanting to grow, but through Christ, through prayer, through transforming my mind, I didn't!!   

It's hard to trust and focus during trials, but if we don't that allows the negative space to grow and take hold.

We can't control the situation, but we can control what grows...Fear or courage.  Strength or weakness. Our waist lines or our health. Our love or hatred.  Bitterness or forgiveness.


All things through Christ!!!

Chase What Matters.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I have lost my marbles!!!

I am so sad to type these words, but I have in fact lost my marbles.  I have been floating around in the river of denial about this for a very, very long time.

If you look up the word denial I am certain you will find a picture of me.  I have refused to admit the truth.  I have not been facing reality.

Its time to quite floating down the river of denial.

Admitting the truth to yourself and others is hard, but it is in admitting it that you find freedom and the chains of bondage are unlocked

Thus, I have lost my marbles.

 
 
I had to move some of my pounds lost marbles back to the pounds to go.  I have not wanted to admit this to myself. I have played with some extra pounds since all of my physical struggles (knee surgery, oral surgery, bridge being replaced), but its time to face the reality that I have actually gained them. (it's not a large amount, but a gain is a gain)
 
I have lost some of my resolve and motivation for my journey.  I am still working out, but my nutrition has not been the best.  I have good days, good moments, bad days, bad moments.  This past week not only did I lose these marbles but, I also lost my marbles, feeling like I was going a little crazy. I had a break down.  My poor husband was not sure what to do or say. I felt like I did at the beginning of my journey.  The day I went to the casting call, while I was happy, I was miserable and I wanted to change.  When I weighed my heaviest, while my life was good, I felt sick, insecure, I hated what I looked like and how I felt. I was lost.  The last few months these feelings have come back, I have slipped back into some old habits, and the mirror of how God has been transforming me has been fogged.  Feelings of depression have invaded places of my soul, making my journey to chase what matters seem out of reach.
 
The night after my break down I was able to have a grown up conversation with my husband and we both concluded I need Jesus and crossfit on my journey.   While I have enjoyed attending chisel and zumba classes the last month, and I know I was obedient when I took the summer off of crossfit, it is time I get back to what works.
 
Jesus and Crossfit work!!!
 
Crossfit works like an antidepressant for me.  It does something for me emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually that keeps me on track.  It makes me better.  It helps keep me on track in my journey.  It helps me chase what matters.
 
The journey is not about perfection, but about moving forward.  I am stepping out of denial and losing my marbles so I can. I can not move forward till I face where I need to move from.
 
 
All things through Christ.  
Chase What Matters.  
 
 
 
 
 


 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Own It and Power Up.


I made a poster last night while watching Extreme Weight Loss. I have not been able to move a marble showing I have lost weight in a long time (many reasons for this),  but I am still pressing onward, getting strong, and getting fit...physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.  I may not always see it on the scale, but I can see it in pictures, in my behavior, in my choices, and this journey to transform is about total transformation...not just the scale.
So, I wanted to revisit my why and find inspiration to keep moving forward. Instead of specific goals, I went with words. Words that mean something on my journey.  I have lots of goals, but its some of these words and phrases that will help me get there and are my why.   The words we say, read, think, and believe are powerful. They can uplift or tear down.
 
"The tongue can bring death or life;..." Proverbs 18:21 
 
 I could have put so many more words and phrases on here, but this is what I went with:
 
 

 
 
I can't pick out any one word or phrase on here that are my favorites, but as I write there are 2 that stand out today. 
 
1. Own It.
I have to own the good, the bad, and the ugly. No one forces me to eat. No one forces me to workout.  No one forces me to spend time or not with Jesus.  I have to own my journey, my choices, my actions, my behaviors.
 
2. Power Up.
I have to power up with food choices and working out, but more importantly I have to power up with Jesus. He is the power behind my journey, my parenting, my marriage, my life.
 
 
 
 
What inspires you?  What is your why? 
Whatever you are discouraged by keep chasing.  Keep pressing onward. Own it and power up! 
 
Chase What Matters.  All things through Christ. 
 
 
 

Deep Sea Fishing

In July I wrote a post titled Fear and the outcome and I promised an update on deep sea fishing.


When we were discussing our trip I called Pelican Adventures,  the business that would take us on this deep sea fishing adventure.  I needed to ask questions and hear answers myself...What is the boat like?  Is it safe for my kids? (I really didn't want them going overboard!!)  Are there life jackets?  Will I feel the waves?  What about being sea sick?  Will I see land or only water all around me?  Will I feel the waves?  How long will we be on the boat?  Is it like riding an airplane, if you go out early you feel less turbulence, so if we go out early will we feel less waves? 

You get the idea. 

The lady who spoke with me was kind and patient, sweetly answering my questions and addressing my concerns. She gave me the name of this website so we could check the estimated height of the waves a few days in advance and suggested we book our fishing trip on a day that said 1-2ft. When we were looking at this site in Florida, I doubted I was reading it correctly, so I called them. A young man answered and I gave him an ear full of my concerns and the added concern of news reports about flesh eating bacteria. (which after much researching this is a naturally occurring bacteria in warm, salt water, if you do not eat oysters, you have  no open wounds while surfing the waters, shower, and pray for Jesus to calm your fears you will be fine!) He was very nice and patient and helped me decide what day would be a good for someone like me to go out.

The customer service at this place rocked!!!! 

I wasn't as nervous as I expected on the day we were going out to sea.   I am thankful that I didn't let fear win, nor did my daughter!!! We had a blast, and no one went overboard.  However, my oldest daughter did have a bad case of sea sickness on the way out, but with peppermint oil,  peppermints, rest, and staring at the horizon she was able to feel better and I got a little queasy on the way back....but it was worth it!! 


The water was beautiful!
Our captain.  I also learned that bananas are not allowed on boats!
Apparently in the boating world they are bad luck.  I didn't get a pic
 of our deck hand, but those boys worked so hard helping everyone fish!








I loved watching this flag!

Fishing with these rods was much harder
than I expected.  The weight on the line
made it pretty heavy!








They call this the emerald coast. It was amazing to see so much down in the water, it was so clear! It was beautiful!


 
 
Satan wants you to be paralyzed by fear, but when you move past the fear there is beauty, freedom,  memories, and fun to be had.
 
What are you letting fear keep you from? Are you going to choose to hold the hand of Jesus or drown??
Chase what matters.  All things through Christ.
 
 
"When I am afraid, I will trust in You." (Psalms 56:3 HCSB)
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 2013 - July 2014

Every Tuesday I can usually be found watching the newest episode of Extreme Weight Loss.  I did not get to watch last night's till this morning. If you have read my blog or seen my Facebook posts then you know I tried out for this show...this season that I am currently captivated by. As I watched the amazing transformation on the last 2 episodes my emotions were stirred, not because I didn't make it, like I felt on the first episode, but just the whole of it. Watching someone move from a place of defeat to a place of victory is emotional!!  Seeing glimpses of this in my life since I tried out is emotional.  I know that I will continue my chase.  I will continue to move from a place of defeat to a place of victory.  (Not, that there weren't a few moments that I wished I had Chris and Heidi Powell for 365 days.....but God has put some amazing people in my life for this journey and continues to do so!)

As I watched the amazing women and their husbands transform the last 2 weeks, I realized why I have loved Crossfit so much of the last year: 

Last July when I walked into my first Crossfit class strangers believed in me. I learned many lessons.
During a class surrounded by people you don't know or maybe you do, you are pushed, supported, and believed in....and that carries over to many aspects of life.

Crossfit has taken me from places of defeat to places of victory many times.



I began to feel confident enough to wear a tank top out in public.
This picture shows the transformation from July of 2013 to November of 2013.
(I am a few pounds more than this pic now, due from gaining some after my surgery in December and hitting a very long plateau that I am still in, but still down 51# total.








I went from being scared to do a handstand on the wall to holding myself up briefly in a free handstand. Even a few seconds are powerful!!






I had  an amazing date for my 3rd 5k.  I could not do this without the support of my husband.


I did my first box jump this year! 




















My journey is far from over...I have so far to go...but have come so far.  I will continue to chase transformation!  I planned on going back to crossfit after T25/summer, but my budget will not allow full time right now, however I am thrilled to have a found a box that will allow me to do a drop rate...check out Crossfit Reinvent.  I am also excited to be apart of Fit & Fierce  nutritional coaching and to participate in classes at Rhythms & Fitness.  (I did a high intensity and a hip hop class last night....and WOW, my lungs were on fire and I am sore today!!)



I did use a gym, friends, family, and 2 wonderful trainers early on in my journey as well, that helped me in many ways.  I am a fan of group fitness in general, rather it is crossfit, zumba, spin, running 5ks, ect....surrounding yourself with others tends to make you push harder. Find what you love, find what works for you, and just chase it!!!


All things through Christ!!
Transformation through exercise, nutrition, and the cross!