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

Monday, May 1, 2017

Doing The Impossible

I have been challenged by Abby Rike Rockenbaugh with rockthis.org to do the impossible.  She first asked our Facebook group to pray that G-d would start preparing us to do the impossible on April 3 and to be open to where He leads. I was clueless as to what the challenge would be, but loved the part about doing the impossible.  It takes courage to do the impossible, with courage being my one word for the year I knew I had to be open.

On April 6, after a long work day I listened to the recording of the live announcement telling what the challenge would be. The challenge, the impossible, is to run a half marathon and if able participate in her state.

Yep, this felt impossible.  But courage is my one word.  I kept praying. 

On April 10th I commented with these words "Abby Rike Rockenbaugh I was excited to hear about your challenge and then I listened, in fact I listened to the recording Thursday night.  And I freaked a little! Okay a lot!  I thought about the 5ks I have ran and even blogged about on my blog!  I thought about I am already working out and I don't have time to walk!  I thought I can't run (two knee surgeries). I thought I don't like to fly, actually I am fearful of it..and could I get away for a weekend??  Then I think oh how fun this could be!!  You said impossible...girl you were spot on!"

When I watched the announcement video I heard several things that tugged at my heart, so I decided to watch it again and take notes.  Abby spoke of a study that she was doing and in that study it fascinated her how much Jesus walked.  This pulled at spirit.

During this same time my pastor, Trey Graham, has been doing a teaching series titled "A Walk Through The Holy Land"(you can listen here).  He has taken us to various places in Israel, making me see the bible in a whole new way.  He has made it come to life by teaching me about the geography, where stories took place, the history, and where Jesus walked. The visuals he has used have brought it to life.  G-d had already began a stirring in me regarding Israel and Jewish people after a Rabbi spoke at our church in February, but with this teaching it went deeper. (Again, I hate to fly, but would love to have the opportunity to visit the Holy Land and walk where Jesus walked.)

Abby's words about Jesus walking and Trey's teaching, showing me where He walked continued to pull at my heart.  Abby said this challenge was about finding Jesus on the journey, so much of His ministry was on the journey, and basically she reminded me that so much life happens on the journey, not just at point A and point B.
Maybe G-d wants to teach me something through this challenge. 

I was hesitant to be open to this, because my initial reaction is, but I can't run...but after prayer and conviction, I continued to think about what I can do.  I can walk...like Jesus walked. It may not be in the Holy Land, but it is where He has me.  And maybe, just maybe the running will be possible again.

Then Abby did another live video, reminding us that this impossible challenge is not about legalism,   it's about today, and it's about the journey, and how it parallels our Christian walk.   It's not a sprint.   I was reminded to take it one day at a time and that G-d provides new today's.  

Recently, I had someone pray for me and in that prayer she prayed about doing the impossible, not knowing any of the above story, but it was another push for me embrace the challenge.  Asthma, knee surgeries, doubts, struggles, and all. 

I am in!  I am doing the impossible!!!  I am training for a half marathon. 

I look forward to what G-d is going to teach me on this journey.  I already workout 5 days/week and plan on continuing with those workouts and I will add 3-4 days of training for this half.  Will I run it, I don't know...right now that seems impossible.  Will I fly to another state and participate with this group of people or find one close to me...I don't know yet. But, what I do know is that I will commit to the training, commit to the bible study, walk with Jesus, and see what happens.

The training began today.   

My journey with weight loss, my walk with Christ, and this training all take endurance, perseverance, inward reflection, changing my thoughts, changing my patterns, changing my actions, and commitment.  They take not living by my feelings, but living through the power and truth of Christ and they take courage.  Who knew when I picked that word for 2017 that I would be doing the impossible.


Doing the Impossible.

All Things Through Christ.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Time With My Daughter

I am a list maker. I am a woman of routine. I am OCD. I am passionate. I am emotional. I am a clean freak.

These are parts of me that come out in my parenting. I often react, instead of respond. I easily get overwhelmed by the to-do list.  I am constantly looking and thinking ahead.....what needs to be done and how much needs to be done.....so much so, I often find myself missing the now.

I admit that at times this makes me miss the relationships with those around me.

There have been many times that I have spent time with my girls with expectations of grandeur, for it only to end in me over reacting and us all stressed.  

I am on complete trial and error as a mom, especially with my oldest.  I have never raised an almost teenager.   I am learning.  Lately,  I am on the side of error more and more. I have given consequences and reacted in ways that may not have been the best choice. And I confess, I am much worse with my oldest daughter, than I am my younger daughter. Maybe it's because we are similar? Maybe it's because we are different? Maybe it's because I get a little more time with my youngest? Maybe it's the ages?
I recently listened to a speaker talk about discipleship and I had the thought; Do we disciple our children as much as we encourage them in sports?  This was a gut punch. Tears streamed down my face at this conviction. But how? We are so busy. My list, her list, everyone's list is mile long. How do we fit it all in? And how do we do it?

We continued to do life and we had another evening of frustration and ended up discussing at church with our pastor's wife a few instances...I can't even recall everything she said...but what I took away was the word relationship and I was convicted that maybe, just maybe I expect too much of her. 

Maybe, just maybe what I see as building responsibility, is a place where she needs me to give her guidance.  If I am overwhelmed by my list as an almost 40 year old woman, I am sure she is as an almost 13 year old girl.  Do I expect her to just take care of it or do I guide her through the multiple demands of  mundane daily living? 

We get so wrapped in the places we have to be and the things that we have to do that we are missing the relationships involved in those places and those things.  We must build and grow relationships in the mundane.  And when we can, grow those relationships outside of the mundane. We have to have relationship, to have discipleship.

How do we build relationship and disciple in the midst of the to-do's and routine of life? 

Honestly, I don't know exactly.  But, I recently had a chance to grow my relationship with my oldest.

My girls and I were planning to do something fun during spring break one day. I was thrilled to spend time them and change my expectations of grandeur, to just being present with them and trying not let a to-do list consume my thoughts.  But, during our week the Lord provided an opportunity for me to spend time with my oldest.  A chance to grow our relationship outside of the mundane. 
We spent the day together and it filled my soul.  She helped fix my hair, we had lunch, we listened to her choice of music, we drove go-karts, played laser tag, played putt-putt, and ended the day with a trip to a jewelry store.

When we arrived at our destination, I paid for 3 hours of all you can do activities, but immediately found myself saying, "Now, we will not stay the whole time.  I have to work tomorrow and have things to do to get ready for that and I have to work out early."  Uggggghhhh the to-do list is always rearing it's head!!

We ended up staying the whole time.  I didn't want it to end.  I laughed so hard as she recklessly drove me around the go-kart course.  We took a ton of selfies. We made a ton of memories, including  losing my phone on the track. We named our golf balls....Steve was hers and mine was Pete.  I found myself present in the moment; not missing the now. When we were playing putt-putt, my OCDness wanted to play by the rules, but she just wanted to play.  She reminded me that sometimes you have to forget the rules and play according to the rhythm of those around you.

It was beautiful.

How do we build relationship and disciple in the midst of the to-do's and routine of life?  

I didn't figure it out in a day, but I know spending time with my daughter was a beautiful start. 

We take a time out.  We spend time together.  We let go of control.  We talk.  We  laugh.  We sing.  We open the sunroof.  We pray.  We play.  We forget the rules sometimes.  We forget the to-do's. We listen.  We love.

We can do these things in the mundane and outside of the mundane and I think that maybe, just maybe that is where we begin building relationship and disciple in the midst of the to-do's and routine of life!

Friday, February 24, 2017

I Heard A Story

I should be working out or sleeping, but I am drinking my coffee and writing.  When my alarm rang out this morning to tell me to get out of bed and get to the gym, I reset it for another hour. My mind would not rest last night so my sleep was practically nothing and I have to work today, when you work with kids you need sleep.  I laid there attempting to get that extra hour, but my thoughts again begin to dwell on the things that kept me from going to sleep last night. I have written before words help me process, so instead of exercising or sleeping, I decided to wake up drink coffee and process my thoughts that are robbing me of sleep and a good calorie burn. I may not get to finish processing my thoughts through my words this morning, but I had to start.

I heard an incredible story last night that captivated my heart. The story teller was Rabbi .  He shared about his life as a former member of Knesset, the Israeli parliament, and how he got there.  He told us about moments of  his life that G-d connected together,  he helped me understand about the promises of G-d and the Jewish people, and how I as a Christian can support Israel.

The story was educational, funny, well spoken, and passionate, but what pulled at my spirit was the
incredible story of obedience that this man and his wife had.  The faith and obedience it took these parents to move their family outside of their comfort zone, just about took my breath away. 

 I have listened to many speakers, read many books, many blogs that left me inspired, moved, and wishing I could have coffee and conversation with the speaker or author and this speaker is now at the top of that list.  I would love to have this speaker and my pastor at a table for a few hours.

His words, his story left me in tears.  It reminded me how alive and active the Bible is.  It reminded me how we can have differing beliefs and still greatly impact each others life.  

This man shared his story, that is in fact G-d's story and it left me with a few thoughts:
What would happen if we really looked at the dots of our lives G-d is connecting?  What would we see?  How would we live differently, knowing that He is connecting those dots?

I also thought about the obedience this man demonstrated and all the thoughts and ideas G-d has given me.....what if I acted and obeyed on those?  Not that I have never obeyed, but there are things I brushed aside, thinking there is not a need or I can't.  There have been stirrings in my spirit to do something and I did not have the boldness or courage to act, to obey.

Courage is my one word this year.....I wonder what would G-d would do if I truly had the courage to allow Him to connect the dots in my life?  A dot to dot picture is beautiful when the dots are all connected! What could be if I acted in obedience and faith?  Maybe I would not be courageous doing it, but if I had the courage to act despite my fear, despite my I can't, G-d would connect another amazing story.

What would happen if we truly allowed G-d to connect those dots in our lives? What would you do if you took a step of courage?  What would you do if you got out of your comfort zone?  What would be your story?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My update for My One Word for 2016

I wanted to update you on my word for 2016; transform.

I posted an update in July of 2016 about my one word, in that post I stated; "I began the year with a desire to transform some clutter, my writing, our finances, my health, and to continue to transform to be more like Jesus.

The clutter is still there.  (So glad I still have 5 months to go!!) 
Update:  Can anyone ever live completely clutter free?  I did tackle a few spots, it's not as good as I would like, but there was a lot that I did got done. 

I have taken small steps toward working on my writing and will continue to do so.
Update: I did take more small steps.  I took a few lessons from Compel Training, I made a few tools to help me organize my thoughts and ideas, and even came up with ideas...but the actual writing did not happen as much as I would have liked.

We have made some changes in our finances and will continue.
Update:  We are continuing to make changes and will continue.

I am continuing to transform to be more like Jesus.
Update: I am continuing to transform.  I did complete a year long reading plan, it was not reading through the bible in a year, but reading certain parts that point to Jesus.  It was really neat!

As for my health, I shared back in July that I began coaching with Precision Nutrition.
Update: I am still coaching with Precision Nutrition.  My year with them ends in July.  I have transformed some physically, but the majority of this transformation at this halfway point has been trying things and learning things...figuring out what works for me.   One thing that sticks out about what I have learned is that I can eat and not log my food.  I have been logging my food in some form or fashion for, forever!! I mean like years and years.  I have taken short breaks from it, but for the most part I have logged.  I made the choice to experiment and see what would happen if I didn't.  It wasn't terrible, ya'll!!!!  Yes, it was hard to lose my logging streak, but it was worth trying.  I felt like logging food made me focus so much more on it and less on my body's cues and I was right. It has been amazing and I can't wait to see what the next 6 months with this coaching has in store.  Here is a recent picture, the first is back in 2011, the second is July of 2016, and the third is today.  I am still transforming and will continue, just with a new word and new focus for 2017.

And that is a wrap for my One Word for 2016.




My One Word for 2017

One word, one year.

I am blown away that I am picking my 4th word. Each year's word holds a special place in my heart. Spending time and focusing on a word makes the year end so very bittersweet.  Leaving one word almost feels like a breakup, but praying and picking a new word is exciting, new, and fresh. I never seem to know my word until day 1 of the New Year.   I think about it, pray about it, but it is not always confirmed until the right time. 

I played around with several words over the last weeks.  I looked back at what has been going on in my life and looked forward to what I would like to happen.  I prayed about what the Lord might have me focus on for one year, but I could not be content with the words I had been thinking.

Words such as surrender, finish, take, and complete have been rolling around in my head, but today as I stood in church, singing, a new word rolled in or more of an idea of the word. (Ya'll we haven't been to this church in months, due to visiting somewhere else.  G-d knew I needed this song and the message today!)  The worship team begin playing the music, it was a new song to them and the congregation, but  I recognized the song immediately, I had belted it out in my minivan on numerous occasions, the title "No Longer Slaves", the lyrics;
You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
'Til all my fears are gone

 I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my mother's womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I've been born again
Into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

 I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

We've been liberated
From our bondage
We're the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
And I could stand and sing
I am a child of God...

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
You drowned my fears in perfect love
You rescued me
And I will stand and sing
I am a child of God

Yes, I am
I am a child of God
I am a child of God
Yes, I am
I am a child of God
Full of faith
Yes, I am a child of God
I am a child of God

 I'm no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
(I recommend purchasing this song, all versions, as soon as your done reading this!)
I have been struggling with some fear, some anxiety.  This song wrapped my soul in comfort, I am no longer a slave to fear.  I looked up antonyms to fear and that is how I received my word. 


I need courage to write.  I need courage to parent. I need courage to be a child of God. I need courage to say no. I need courage to say yes.  I need courage to finish my year of coaching. I need courage to keep fighting for my weight loss/health journey. I need courage, because sometimes the fear gets to me.  I need courage, because anxiety is heavy.  I need courage because asthma and allergies make it hard to breath. I need courage for friendships. I need courage for family.  I need courage to tackle life ya'll!!

I am no longer a slave to fear.

I am a child of God.


One word.

One year.