Thursday, May 3, 2018

Yad Vashem

I recently went to Israel for the first time.  In a series of upcoming posts I will be sharing the story of what led me to go and stories about my trip.  In the mean time, I wanted to share about my visit to a museum while there.  When I was in Israel three holidays occurred, the first was Holocaust Memorial Day.  I had a few moments outside of the museum to write down a few words.  I wrote the following on social media:

We just visited the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust History Museum.  I process through writing, I would have loved more time to write, but only had a few minutes.  A few of my thoughts:

I wish I had time to really process the feelings and thoughts about what I just witnessed. I am so thankful there was light at the end of the tunnel. There was hope. Walking through at times, I just felt like I needed a hug because of the emotions overwhelming my heart and soul. The display of the shoes drew me in. Where had the feet that fit in those shoes walked before these evil events took place? What was the person like? I saw only saw beautiful faces. They were like you and me.
 People who did nothing wrong and yet it was their shoes staring at me. It made me so mad that people who claimed to be Christians took part in this, putting fear into the lives of these people, creating a great chasm. And yet here I stood, seeing this in Israel, where G-d invited me to be, learning about His people, His land, and bridging the gap in some small way. I am blessed to do that, because these are G-d’s chosen people. I am blessed to do that because they persevered, fought, and held on despite the copious amount of loss, despite what they went through. What strength my Jewish friends have. I saw a picture of a young man, he was skin and bones, barely clothed, but he survived. At first I didn’t think it was a full smile, but after looking again, it was, his eyes were gleaming. I wanted to know his story. I may never know that, but I know he taught me about survival, about joy even in sorrow. Never forget.

There were various parts to the museum.  At the main building, which was like a tunnel, you entered one end and went through rooms that told the horrific tribulations of the Jewish people, however towards the end it told stories of how so many survived, how so many fought.  When you exited the exhibit after a very dark story, this is a picture of what you see. This was the light a the end of the tunnel.  Hope is expectation, hope is an optimistic outlook, hope is what you saw, and hope is what you see throughout Israel and in the faces of the Jewish people. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

I Saw The Movie I Can Only Imagine

I have been wanting to see the movie "I Can Only Imagine" since before it came out, I finally took myself to see it today and it moved me.  Tears ran down my cheek.  I almost skipped going to the movie because I needed to workout and my to-do list is a mile long, but I went and I am thankful I did.

As I watched the story unfold I was reminded how powerful words and music are.  I am in a season where I could use the power of words.  Words help me process.  I have been reading many words and singing them, but I have not done much of my own writing, rather it be on my blog, my computer, or my journal. Writing is one way I hear Jesus and I find rest.  This story was used to remind me of that.

On the screen I watched as negative voices screamed into the head of the actor playing Bart Millard and I sobbed.  #metoo   I have let negative voices scream into my own head.  Sometimes they are from my own doubt and fear and sometimes from others. I see this happen to my girls.  It is hard to do the thing we are being called to do with those voices invading our thoughts. Those voices can keep us from changing the world, however the stories that come from those places can be used by Jesus to change us, to help someone else, and do what He has called us to do...what He has gifted us for.  I have also learned that those voices, they can be replaced, replaced with truth. And sometimes we have to do thing despite the negative voices. 

During the movie I thought about one of the books I am currently reading that I am on the launch team for.  I am barely in, but it is incredible. It is called Raising World Changers in a Changing World by Kristen Welch, you can read more about it and pre-order here.  I finished chapter 1 last night and read questions that I could ask my kids, their answers were exactly what this movie depicted.  One question the author poses is "What do you think being a world changer means?"- My youngest stated "make people be inspired by you", my oldest said "be yourself, do what He wants, and you can change people by the way you interact with them".  So much wisdom in those statements.  I am grateful Kristen Welch has written a book full of stories to help me raise world changers and I am grateful that Bart Millard and Mercy Me are inspiring people through the telling of this story and their music.

Go see the movie and order the book.  Lets inspire each other and be world changers.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Another year, brings another word.  In fact it will be my 5th word.  Five years of praying about and focusing on one word has been more impactful than any New Year's resolutions I have ever made.  I never seemed to keep resolutions, but walking with a word for a year, it changes you.  G-d uses it to sculpt and mold me.  He uses it to teach me and guide me.  He uses it to speak to me and love me.  Every year with every word has been so meaningful.

In 2014 I chased what matters.
In 2015 I wanted to be
In 2016 it was transform.
And in 2017 it was courage.

I knew why I needed to focus on courage when 2017 started, but I had no idea how G-d would have me work through it.  There were many circumstances that despite my fear and doubt that G-d used the word courage to see me through.  It was there in learning new things, growing my faith, in my parenting, in dealing with personal "stuff",  and of course as I conquered doing the impossible (AKA running a half marathon). In frequent moments of anxiety and fear He used the running challenge to build my courage and remind me that He is with me.  A year with this word has helped me fight for myself and at times with myself.

I think my biggest take away with this word was something I wrote in my blog post about completing the half:

"Being obedient to this doing the impossible challenge helped me embrace my one word for the year, courage.   Courage does not mean no fear or no risk.    It's realizing the presence of danger, fear, or difficulty and still taking action.  I was unsure of my ability to follow through with this training due to asthma and my knees. 

But G-d. 

I was sure of Him.

Obedience over feelings."

This foundation of courage has led me to my word for 2018....Trust.

While I am sure of Him, as I went through 2017 and the word courage, I was able to to see gaps in my trust.  I saw gaps in trust of myself, others, my journey, my ability, what G-d wants me to do, my parenting, and much more.  I see hesitation to say yes and say no, because of struggles with trust.  Doubt creeps in.  In 2018 I want to fill those places with expanding trust and see what the Lord will do in my weight loss journey, in my faith, in my home, in my new found love of Israel, the Jewish people, and the Hebrew language, and in many other areas He has laid on my heart.

I think courage and trust are intertwined and that makes trust a perfect next word. 

One Word.

One Year.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I Did The Impossible

November 12, 2017 I became a half marathon finisher.

Looking back,  I believe G-d knew I would on March 27, 2015.

It was on this date that I posted the following picture on social media:

At the time my swagger wagon only had one car magnet....a 5k one. Someone placed this 13.1 magnet on my car while my family and I were inside a movie theater. When we walked out there was some confusion about this being my van.  At the end of the post with this picture I wrote: "Cracks me up that someone put this on my swagger wagon!! Maybe they are telling me I should do 13.1???"

Running wasn't even on my radar in 2015.  My last and third 5k was in 2013.  I had meniscus surgery on my right knee in 2012, my left knee in 2013, and other health issues in 2013.  I was trying to keep fighting on my journey despite feeling defeated, but running was not apart of that fight! In September of 2015 I had to have thyroid surgery, which led to an asthma diagnosis and months of getting that managed.

I was able to do other workouts, but run no way.  I was slow when I ran in 2013....with all the stuff that hindered me, I would be even slower, so I stuck to what I could do and enjoyed
and I did not run.

But G-d. 

He asked me to do the impossible.  I said yes.

 Obedience over feelings. 

Being obedient to this doing the impossible challenge helped me embrace my one word for the year, courage.   Courage does not mean no fear or no risk.    It's realizing the presence of danger, fear, or difficulty and still taking action.  I was unsure of my ability to follow through with this training due to asthma and my knees. 

But G-d. 

I was sure of Him.

Obedience over feelings.
All of the work led to half marathon day.  On one hand it was just another run, but on the other hand it was so much more.  I had so much support and encouragement and for that I am grateful.  I had many who allowed me to ask questions and gave me their tips....including tips for running in the rain.
 During training I always skipped days that it rained and made it up later.  On race day, I could not skip.  I don't know how long it rained at the start, a few miles maybe, it wasn't a down pour, but it wasn't a sprinkle either, and boy did it spike up the humidity! I was gasping for air by mile 9 and had to have help getting my inhaler.  The air also seemed to make me loose electrolytes faster. During training my knees never hurt, but on race day, I became worried that something was wrong and I would not be able to finish.  I just kept going.  I knew G-d called me to this, and He would see me through.  Throughout my training I used an app I love that helped me know my mileage and my pace,but while participating I used a different app, and it did not match the mileage signs on the route nor inform me of my distance between miles and I felt lost many times.  I often wondered where I was and how far I had to go.  I was asked by a gentleman checking on runners in a golf cart, if I was ok several times and asked once if I wanted a ride.  I must have been a sight! (The rain that began again at the end wasn't helping matters.)  I told him no, I would finish even if they shut down the finish line.  I finally made it to the last drink station, so approximately mile 12 and was blessed by two amazing ladies who asked if they could run in with me. (During this mile, I did ask a cop driving us in to arrest me, but the ladies would not let him.) I even had another volunteer run with me for a minute at a previous station, who joined us right before crossing the finish.  I was used to running and walking alone, it is how I trained, but having support to finish that last mile was a blessing.  Crossing the finish line made me smile from ear to ear and cry. 

Obedience over feelings.

Impossible became possible.  I conquered 13.1 miles.  I completed a half marathon. Really G-d did it.  He called me to it and met me in every step of every mile.  I am so humbled by that.  I am so grateful that I obeyed and experienced this journey with Him. He knew I could do it on November 12, 2017 and knew I would on March 27, 2015.  He also knew why He was calling me to it.  He knew I needed this journey at this time.  The work that He and I did for the last 6 months has equipped and empowered me. It has helped me grasp a deeper meaning of endurance and perseverance.  This challenge has been hard! I have wanted to quit....but I kept obeying, enduring, and persevering. I have grown stronger physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Obedience over feelings. 

Half marathon finisher.


On Sunday I was given a gift for my running shoes:

Hebrews 12:1 says "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witness to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.  And let us run with endurance the race G-d has set before us."

Whatever your race is, it may seem impossible, but G-d. 

Obedience over feelings.  

You can do it my friend.  And He will meet you in every step of every mile.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Confession: I Do Not Love Running

I have been training since May for a half Marathon.  This Doing The Impossible Challenge came from my friends at  Rock This Revival and out of obedience to G-d asking, I accepted.

My brother asked me when I began this training,  if I enjoyed running, I told him I didn't.  I love kickboxing,  boot camp, crossfit (I miss it), and lifting weights.  I do not love running.

And now it's November, I still can't say I love running.  I can think of a million things I could do with the time it takes to train for a half-marathon.  It is hard on my body...oh my aching knees, feet, and hips!!

But, I deeply appreciate running and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for what it has done for me and in me over the last 6 months. 

When I was a kid one of my favorite activities was listening to my record player. I would listen for hours.  I would take in the words and feel the emotion.  I would sing, dance, and worship.  It was solitude with a sound track...and it was good for my soul.

Training to walk/run this half has given me a place of solitude with a sound track and it has been good for my soul.  I have listened to music and sermons.   I have wrestled through struggles with the Lord. I have prayed and worshiped.  Running has given me breath when I felt like life was taking my breath away. It has given me a space to clear my mind, challenge myself, and prove to myself that I can do all things through Christ.  It has taken my one word for the year, courage, to a new level.

Yesterday's long run was no exception.  My running schedule had me doing 10 miles yesterday.   I had thought about not running that distance, but I am glad I did.  I have not found myself worked up over distance before, but yesterday I was.  I was anxious.  Once I got started I got in a groove and allowed the music to speak and just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I was doing well with my 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals till around mile 9,  I am not sure exactly what I did...I just did what I could and I prayed.  As I inched closer to 10, it became physically hard....everything hurt.  The screaming of my joints and muscles made each step feel impossible, but the voice in my head and in my spirit was screaming louder. It told me I can't.  It told me there was no way.  Tears began to fall and I found myself sobbing.  I kept fighting with myself and for myself.  I reminded myself that Jesus would not bring me this far to leave me and that I have come to far. Quitting was not an option, despite my desire to do so.  The folks driving down the road gave me some looks.  I got myself together and I reached 10 miles.  A few more tears were shed and it occurred to me to get home, I could get in one more mile.  Just one more.  I kept going.  I have no idea what the interval was, but I pushed through.  I glanced at my app and realized I could get 11 miles in under 3 hours if I pushed.  

I did it!  I leaned over and sobbed again.  This time out of joy, thankfulness, and praise.  I was a sight, I am sure.  A gentleman pulled over to check on me, asked if I was alright, I said yes sir, they are happy tears.  

This training parallels our lives and our walks with Christ.   We will face hard things.  We will need endurance, perseverance. We will need to fight for ourselves and even with ourselves.  When given the choice will we do all things through Christ and give just one more mile or will we quit?   

Doing the impossible. 


All things through Christ.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Year With Precision Nutrition

 I have been on a journey to better health and weight loss before.  I have posted about previous weight loss, crossfit, and other workouts before.  I have been successful.  However, before it was just the diet of the season.  I am thankful for what I have tried however, not one of them took me on the journey that Precision Nutrition has. When I signed up last July I knew I needed more help, more accountability, and more self trust.  The Lord has used this year to transform me and I look forward to continuing the process, but wanted to share my thoughts on my year.

Courage is my one word for 2017 and it takes courage to allow yourself to transform and to grow.  Change is not easy.  New normal's are hard.  But it's worth it.  I promise it is worth it. 

I have done a million diets in the past.  This program is not a diet!!!!!!  That has been the key for me.  Precision Nutrition has helped me change my mind set, trust myself, and change my relationship with food.  I have learned to face truths, process emotions and circumstances without the crutch of food.  I have shared in my posts before, I am binge eater, that is one reason I wanted the help of PN Coaching.  Many times in my life I could not control what was happening around me or to me, but I could control food.  I had to change what I have always done,  I abused food and then found a diet to try to control food...that cycle never worked.  Precision Nutrition has helped me change what I have always done and break the cycle.  I confess, I am still under construction, but the foundation I have been given will continue to build transformation. I feel like food does not have a grasp on me, I have a grasp on it.  I no longer feel shame and guilt when eating certain foods and there is so much freedom in that. 

During my year my blood pressure was running high and I was on the verge of having to take meds. I am no longer on that verge.  My asthma and allergies are more controlled. I am consistent with workouts and even with my "bad" knees I am running. 

In the past year I read a book titled Present Over Perfect, the author Shauna Niequist spoke directly to me as I  read her words and as I was transforming with my coaching, this book helped me change as well. She writes "Addiction to motion-or faking or busyness or obsessive eating or obsessive dieting or whatever it is for you-build just a tiny, luscious buffer between you and.....everything. So words that would hurt you when you're stone-sober just don't bother you after a glass or two of wine, or after you've lost three more pounds, or as long as chocolate or pizza can keep you company, keeping you safe and distant. But you take away those things and all of a sudden, you find many of your relationships very different than you originally believed. You feel everything. Everything." And she is correct, you do feel everything and see things from a different view. Her words helped me see that I often let others write my story and I was reminded only G-d should be writing my story.  Shauna Niequist also writes "One new thing that began to emerge: as I stopped ignoring my exhaustion and burying some of the brokenness in my relationships, I started to have opinions. I mean, OPINIONS. I've always had opinions, certainly. But I've always been surrounded by people with strong opinions, too. And I 've learned a very complicated geometry about which things I'm “allowed” to feel strongly about, so much so that I often bent under the weight of so many other peoples' strongly held opinions,"  This is true of me and over the last year I am learning more to stand and not bend. I am also learning to feel feelings and not stuff them.  Learning that G-d placed inside of me some of the very things I have pushed away, in fear of others opinions. Learning that transformation is not about the latest diet, but about changing from the inside out. Learning to let Jesus heal the places I have only allowed food to touch. 

And it is all of this, that makes this time different.

This is July 2016 to June 30th, 2017.  I have lost lost 38.8 lbs since July 18, 2016 and 25.06 inches.  Sure it is slower than diets, but this time these pounds are not just lost, they are released.  I share my story not for accolades, but because this is the story G-d is writing in my life at this time.  It is by sharing our stories that we can help one another and encourage one another.

What story does G-d want to write in your life?


One Word

One Year

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Week 2 Day 2 of Doing the Impossible

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea what the day would hold, but it felt like a normal day, however when you sign up to do the impossible, who can define normal.   I got the kids to school and on the way home from taking my youngest noticed a boy running.  I have seen him on several occasions, I don't know if it is his age, his focus, his determination, but I thought he inspires me.  I thought about posting on Facebook to his parents something about this, but never did.

Anyway, I got myself to kickboxing class, all normal.  However, after my class I had to drive to get my allergy shot, despite my music blasting and my mouth singing, memories and thoughts began flooding my mind.  I was not surprised, this week two years ago was a difficult time for me....I just kept singing and let the wind from my sunroof and window rush in. 

I arrived at my appointment and found myself waiting an abnormally long time.  With time my mind continued to wander, not just on memories of two years ago, but on today, on the last few months, on the last few weeks, and on the future.  My spirit quickly became heavy, I was ready to get that shot over and envelope myself in music and wind again.  When I finally got back in my swagger wagon, I did turn up the music and open the sunroof, I did sing, but I kept fighting this heaviness.  I made up my mind to spend time in prayer when I got home.  In that time I felt a whole lot like Jacob, who wrestled with G-d. (see Genesis 32).  I cried. I questioned. I confessed.  I asked for wisdom, peace, and discernment.

I felt better after my time, but not normal.  I was looking forward to my second workout of the day and our evening routine and activities. 

Yesterday, a new friend sent me a song.  She said she was listening to it and the Lord said it was for us.  It was an amazing song, so amazing I downloaded it and the whole album, and the entire album is amazing.  It is what I have been belting out all day.  The artist is Rita Springer, the album is titled Battles.  (Get it!!  You will not be disappointed).

I decided to listen to this album while I was doing my 5 rounds of 4 minute walking/1 minute running. My husband and youngest daughter were joining me on the track, my oldest was having soccer practice and there were several other kids there as well. 

Round one wasn't bad, but each round after got hard.  My knees felt unstable, reminding me of the instability in my life.  I just kept listening to the music and during a walk brought up our group's memory verse for this week. But, I began to feel frustrated.  There was so much noise around me and in my own head.  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to be alone.  During this panic feeling state, my husband asked me a question that made me feel more anxious.  During the next walk time, I got on Facebook and posted to my new group of friends: 'Ya'll I am on a 4 minute walk part as I type and it's hard today...super hard, physically due to spiritual and emotional stuff..."

And I kept going.  I was acutely aware of every discomfort...something in my shoe, my laces not tied tight enough, nor tied the same, the thirst in my throat...and then the last song that played by Rita Springer, on the last long 1 minute run pierced my ears and my soul.  

"Our God Is With Us" (featuring Nicole Binion)

Where there is conflict, sometimes we retreat
Where there is struggle, we may fail to see
Our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us, he will never leave

When found in the ashes, we still have a chance
Where there is mourning, don't forget to dance
Cause our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us, He will never leave
Our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us, He will never leave

He does no forsake us, hate us or make us walk alone
He is always right there, stays where He can see the storm
We just have to hold on, stay strong, know He has our best in mind
Our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us

Where there are shadows, He becomes the light
If we go into battle, He will win the fight
Cause our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us, He will never leave
Our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us, He will never leave

He is for us, no one can stop what He's doing
He is with us, and we will see all the He promised
He is for us, no can stop what He's doing
He is with us, we will see all the He promised
He is for us, no one can stop what He's doing
He is with us, and we will see all the He promised

He does no forsake us, hate us or make us walk alone
He is always right there, stays where He can see the storm
We just have to hold on, stay strong, know He has our best in mind
Our G-d is with us, our G-d is with us

These words wrapped me up and held me while I ran the longest minute ever.  I still wanted to burst into tears at the end of that run, but this time it was because when I am feeling heavy, when I am feeling alone, when I am feeling hurt, when I am feeling exhausted, when I am anxious, when I am challenged, when I am in tears, when I am in conflict, when I am in struggle, and when there is too much noise.....My  G-d is with me.  

As I was leaving the track to walk home, I saw that same boy from this morning, and was able to tell him myself that seeing him run inspires me and that I was training for a half.  

Yes, my G-d is with me.  


Doing The Impossible