Monday, November 22, 2010
Bullet thoughts from our trip:
- Tennessee is absolutely GORGEOUS this time of year. The mountains looked like Fruity Pebbles
-We went to the top of one of the mountains and just stopped the cars to look into the valley...the car was silent.
-There's something extremely easy and relaxing about being with boys. They're so flexible, low maintenance and always up for anything. I appreciate that about that gender!
-Never have I ever smelled something more rank than climbing shoes. The combo of foot sweat and the material makes for the most potent smell...similar to old cheese. I gagged and lost years from my life after smelling Harrison's.
-The beauty of camping is that you can feel gross and dirty but it's OK..because you're in the woods...and so is everybody else.
-I noticed there's a great camaraderie amongst other climbers. Everyone is extremely helpful and offers advice and encouragement on how to solve problems when climbing. I love when strangers are helpful and friendly...
-I love laughing till my side hurts...I really love laughing and watching other people lose it and tears stream down their face.
-Turkey bacon, although healthy, does NOT cook well in a pan while camping...Mike almost died of smoke inhalation and then almost killed those who bought the turkey bacon.
-Don't ever be the one who suggests turkey bacon.
-Pomegranates are not camping fruit. Delicious...but it will take you 20 minutes to eat. You will also end up with juice all over your face and hair.
-There are so many spiritual analogies in climbing:
Everyone climbs the same routes.
People use chalk so they don't lose their grip when climbing the boulders....this chalk leaves marks of how people have climbed before.
Routes you climb are called "problems" and you "solve" it when you reach the top of the climb.
You look at the "problem" and observe where the chalk is to best decide how to "solve" it based on what you know...and how you can see others have climbed.
You cannot climb alone.
Friends must spot you in case you fall and crash mats soften the blow to the ground.
Others encourage you as you climb. Reminding you of how strong you are....how you will complete the climb.
People help point out significant grabs and foot holds that they can see because they can see the whole rock....and you're sometimes too close to see.
When someone solves a problem, after hours of trying, everyone cheers and congratulates you!
Nothing feels better than finishing!
-Bouldering and life....very similar.
-It's great when you can have multiple ages spanning up to 8 years, but everyone can relate and enjoy each other.
-It was great to watch the older, experienced guys in the group lead everyone by example...and lead well.
-I wish I could bottle the smell of a campfire.
-Wal-mart makes the worlds largest marshmallows!! I couldn't play "Chubby Bunny" with even one in my mouth! Hank and Harrison managed 2....
-Cheeburger Cheeburger is the ONLY way to finish off a great weekend.
-It's amazing how sore your forearms can be....and your back, and abs, and triceps, and fingers! (list goes on ...)
-Nothing rejuvenates me more than spending a beautiful day outside enjoying creation....this weekend, we could not have asked for more! We came....we played....we laughed....we were exhausted.
Thank you Lord for blessings like this weekend.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
1. What actress would you want to play you in a movie?
I would LOVE for Rachel McAdams to play me in a movie. She can play quirky characters and I think could handle my personality. However, looks wise, this would end up being similar to a PC Windows7 commercial, where the actors playing the flash backs look RIDICULOUS and nothing like the actual person.
2. Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book by them?
Tricky question. Based on my childhood obsession with Anne of Green Gables, I would say L. M. Montgomery. I read all of those books! And yes, she wrote more than just Anne of Green Gables. I read them multiple times; dreamed about them; wanted to BE the character Anne. I even signed notes to my best friend growing up "Anne". Looking back, I'm going to agree that was very creepy, but the books obviously had a big impact on me.
3. Where would you go on a dream vacation?
Anywhere warm and tropical or that would involve an umbrella in my drink.
Definitely Saint Lucia....or any island with the name starting in "Saint"
4. What are you most afraid of?
On a non-realistic, nightmarish way...I'm terrified of being chased and not being able to get away. I have escape routes planned out in my head if I ever find myself feeling slightly threatened.
On a day to day basis, I'm afraid of wasting time and experiences. Going through something and missing the lesson, or the take away. Possibly missing what the Lord had for me in a certain experience.
5. If you could have all your friends on a deserted island, what are three things you would all do together?
Probably play a wicked game of hide and go seek
Pretend we were on Survivor
6. What's something people don't know about you?
When I was in middle school, I loved to write. I wrote all the time.
I started to write a book (that I swore would be published) and with any spare time, I would lose myself in writing it. I have 3-4 journals FULL of those writings and carried them everywhere with me.
It's the perfect example of a middle school girl in written form. They also have so many spelling and grammatical errors it would make any English teacher CRY.
I never let anyone read it except for one of my friends, and occasionally my mother.
They are hidden at my parents house.
My mother threatens to read it at my wedding.
It may even sound very similar to Anne of Green Gables. (told you I loved that book)
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
In college I watched Stargate Atlantis (sci-fi TV show).
Maybe even all of the seasons on DVD.
My roommates found out and still mercilessly tease me.
Also, if given the opportunity, I would sit in a hot bath until my skin looked like a raisin; or shower till all the hot water is gone.
I love being in hot water. It's SO wasteful....but my favorite way to decompress and think.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Are you ready ........
to be married?
to have the baby?
My answer is usually "umm, no", especially in reference to the race I have on Sunday with several friends. The running theme in our emails tends to be "By the way, I'm not ready!"
The thing about life, events, changes, etc is that they are all unpredictable. We live in an ever changing, surprising world. We never know what will happen. Thankfully God is sovereign and with us. "So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" Isaiah 41:10
But, that question still really made me think:
Are you ever ready for a race?
What does ready look like?
Am I ever really ready for anything?
I was READY for college. I was ready for the freedom, for the independence, for the memories, for growing up, for friends I would keep for a lifetime, for laughter that makes the tears come.
But I really wasn't ready.
I was not ready for:
studying for hours on end and not being able to "wing" a test.
the Freshman 15.
depression my Sophomore year.
having friends die.
hard lessons that changed me forever.
such a sweet time of personal growth.
experiences that I will remember and cherish forever.
traveling to five different countries and "living" for a time in Costa Rica.
getting to know the Lord in the most real way I'd ever experienced.
laughing for two years straight with my roommates.
That's the interesting thing about changes and new seasons....you can never truely be ready. The more I've thought about it, I feel like the question "Are you ready" pertains to entering a state of mind where maybe you're not "ready" for the next step, but you're ready to move from where you are at present.
You may not be ready for marriage, but you're ready to be done with the restrictions and stress of engagement and the single life.
You're not ready for college, but you're ready to move past high school and it's limitations.
You're not ready to raise a child, but you're ready to be through with the discomfort of carrying a life inside of you for 9 months.
You're not ready for a race, but you're ready to be done with the pressure, time and energy it takes to train.
We're never ready for what's ahead because the possibilities are too endless! However, the unpredictability is what makes this life such a beautiful adventure! Life happens when you have pushed through the growing pains of one season, and although the future is unclear, you are intrigued and excited enough to take those steps and see what happens....come what may.
So, on a minor scale (my race) and major scale (life decisions) "Am I ready?"
No. But I'm excited to see what happens....
Thursday, September 23, 2010
OK, maybe not on accident. But I will verbalize them before giving my brain a moment to proof read the words that are about to fly out of my mouth.
This lovely habit has been the root of many embarrassing stories. Stories my longest and dearest friends will be the first to make sure you've heard.
However, this weekend, I allowed my word vomit to happen in the hopes of rescuing me. For the first time ever, it didn't work!
I'll set the scene:
Athens on Game Day.
A man that is closer in age to my mother had been talking to my roommate and myself throughout the tailgate and afterwards while we were waiting to meet up with some other friends.
We had mutual friends so there was no ending these conversations.
After attempting to "hit on" my roommate, who has boyfriend, he then moved on to me.
I had just spent the better part of 5 minutes letting this man know that I was not his type, and would BORE him to tears if he were to take me out. Never have I ever tried to make myself sound boring to someone before! But when you're not interested, suddenly you will tell someone ANYTHING to get them to leave you alone.
Sir, I have 10 cats.
Will it make you leave me alone?
Then yes. I have 10 cats. They all sleep with me, and I call them all Kitty.
(Next time I'll try this approach.)
But I digress....
He was 40 going on 23. Also, not in the least bit close to having qualities of a guy I would go to dinner with.
At this point I'm getting desperate.
He is not getting the idea. He's draping his arm around my shoulder. I send "Help ME!" eyes to my friends, but alas, they are watching the TN v. FL game.
The music is loud. No one could even probably hear my cries for "Help" if I wanted to send out a verbal signal!
And that's when it happens. Life throws me a bone. The word vomit and habit of RIDICULOUS things happening to me provides an out!
This is how the last conversation transpires: (Remember, music is LOUD)
"You really need to get over this whole 'age' thing" - guy
" AIDS??? What AIDS thing??"- me
"When did we start talking about AIDS?" -me
"Do YOU have AIDS!!??" -me
(At this point it hits me. I just asked almost a complete stranger probably the most personal question there is. Likelihood of offending him: High. My next thought....GOOD!)
"NO! Not AIDS.....AGE!" - guy
I'm sure that he will leave me alone now. I just asked this guy if he had AIDS. I'm saved! No one recovers from that kind of question.
"You're not leaving here without giving me your number."- guy
Sigh. Word Vomit FAIL. Seriously sir?? I just asked you if you have AIDS.
5 minutes later I left.
I gave no one my number.
One day I will write a book. This story will be in it. Along with so many others that I only wish I could blog about.
But why ruin the surprise?
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Down every road you roam.
And may sunshine and happiness
Surround you when you're far from home.
May you grow to be proud
Dignified and true
And do unto others
As you'd have done to you.
Be courageous and be brave
Friday, September 10, 2010
Oldest of my brothers and someone I could spend hours upon days at a time with and never grow tired of. He loves adventure and the outdoors just as much as I do and does a great job of calling me into it more. He'll be competing in his first Triathlon with me in October!
Climbed on the roof during a lightning storm to watch the splendor race across the sky.
Rolled kayaks in the pool. (also during a thunderstorm. Mom really hates when we do this)
Almost wrecked snowmobiles in Jackson Hole....
Mastered the art of racing sleeping bags down the basement stairs.
Ridden big wheels down a side walk and off the dock into the lake.
and countless other crazy memories...
As I've gotten older I've realized just how much I appreciate the crazy, boy dominated, adventuresome family I grew up in. It played such a huge part in who I am, and also the things I enjoy now. So, thank you brothers. Thank you for playing a huge part in who I am today by being who you are! Life wouldn't be as fun or as wonderful without you!
L to R: Parker (aka P-Rimz), Mitchell (Mitchy Man), Harrison (Brother Bear)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I respect your self expression via your work-out out fit. However, it makes me uncomfortable that your shorts are so vibrant, and also shorter than my own. When paired with your black tank top, I will agree you would make most Tech fans very happy and you slightly remind me of a chubby bumble bee. However, us being in a class like Body Pump where there is movement and stretching involved, your outfit tends to make me slightly nervous. Also, yellow shows sweat stains debatably worse than grey....
I fear that if there was an "incident" it would be something I would possibly need therapy for later; therapy I can't afford at the moment.
I also fear, that your shorts will be something I would have to tell my future husband about as a part of my "past".
I fear that you would show up to Yoga in this outfit, and in that case, I could run crying from the room.
I fear that the other men in our class will think "What a great idea! Sophie Shorts!" and that trend will catch on and then I will have to Body Pump with a blind fold on. Perhaps it would be yellow so that I would match everyone else.
These are my thoughts. Know that I write this letter in utter and complete respect....and also fear, as stated above. Please take my concerns into consideration the next time you select your Body Pump shorts.
Monday Night Body Pump Class Attendee
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
You'd walk with confidence. You'd live freely knowing that there was someone who intimately knew you and all your hang ups and loved you in spite of them.
There was nothing you could do to change that love. Nothing you could do or say to make them love you more or less.
It was an unselfish love. Love expecting nothing in return. Love with no conditions. That kind of love is powerful. That love protects. That kind of love would want only good things for you.
I have never loved like this. I will try over and over, but my imperfect human nature will foul me up every time.
We've all heard this before. That's only a love the Lord can have for us. If I had a quarter for every time I heard "God loves you" growing up....well, I would never work again. We even had a catchy song to help us remember:
Jesus loves me this I know.
But yesterday I realized...I know, but does that mean I believe it? Truly believe? Truly trust that?
My hairstylist said something super profound this week to me, I don't think he realized how hard it really hit me. We were talking about listening to the Lord and he said, "You can listen to someone but not really hear them. Listening and hearing are two different things."
So is knowing and believing.
I KNOW 6 cups of coffee isn't good for me...but I obviously don't believe it because I still drink close to 5 daily.
I KNOW too much sun can give you cancer...but I don't truly believe that or I'd wear higher SPF than 15.
I BELIEVE drugs are bad....I don't do them.
I BELIEVE exercise is necessary to stay healthy.....so I run.
I KNOW God loves me.....but I must not believe it fully or the way I live my life would reflect that totally different.
On the drive home yesterday, Lord was just revealing to me why I struggle in that area. It's a holy love...and unfailing love...and my simple human mind cannot grasp a love without mess ups or I'm sorry...or pain. We've all been hurt by people who love us. We're human.
Read in Psalms, and almost every time it talks about God's love for us the word "unfailing" comes before it. Unfailing by definition means: everlasting, inexhaustible, infallible. not liable to fail.
I realize I live my life thinking God's love will fail for me. Eventually I'll exhaust Him enough...screw up too much....etc etc and it will change how He loves me.
Heard Him say "If you simply understood the depth of my love for you, you would live so much more free"
There's so much rest in that kind of love. No need to worry, someone who loves me more than anything is sovereign and in control. He wants good things for me. He has good works planned for those that love him. Because of His love for me, I can love others without expecting or needing anything from them. Believing and accepting that kind of love and really walking in that would result in a life so poured out. How much more could he do through me if I truly understood His heart and desire for me?
My job: Receive this love. believe this love. return His love...and my favorite part: rest in this love which results in living/sharing/pouring out freely into others...
Benediction by Jimmy Needham always reminds me of this, the ultimate act of love:
"Hanging out for 6 hours. Marred beyond recognition
In complete submission to his fathers will still
A proclamation was made,
Louder than the loudest temptation
with more beauty than all his creation
more eternal than eternity
more angelic than the heavenlies.
It. is. Done.
You were bought with blood.
Accept and rejoice for freedom has come."
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I had so many nights of awesome alone time with the Lord...praying...blasting Sean McDonald from inside the car and singing at the top of my lungs. Beauty of the country, you can't bug anyone out there with the music...or with my singing! Spending time in nature is just one of those things for me that just rejuvenates my soul...I feel closer to the Lord. Not sure if it's because all of life's biggest distractions are far from my access, or because nature is just so beautiful...or because of the quiet that comes.
Honestly, I think college was the last time I was able to do that. However, a few weeks ago I went up to the mountains with some friends to spend some time hanging out. A random drive in the truck to see a reservoir turned into an awesome adventure as the night crept in. Everyone seemed in need of just being outside and driving in the country. The drive in the back of the truck bed alone was amazing...wind blowing....too fast to really talk....and the scenery was too pretty to miss anyway!
We randomly stopped at a big open field on our way back to the house. At first I didn't know what we were doing, and then I noticed the sun was starting to set and where we had parked provided a beautiful view.
Hillsong was turned up and the windows of the truck came down.
We all sat on the truck bed ...silent; just watching. I moved to a giant fence at the edge of the field for a better view...and to just take in more of being outside. A couple people joined me. And we sat. Quiet. Listening. Just being.
I think that is what I miss most.
Nothing else going on.
No noise besides night bugs and worship music in the distance.
Then, in the peaceful serenity...one of the guys turned and looked at us with an awesome smile and took off through the field! The grass was up past his knees and there was a huge hill in the distance where the sun was setting.
A couple of us watched for a minute....he sped through the grass....on a mission....bounding if you will because the grass was so tall. We only watched for a moment...and then without a word being said, I looked at the guy next to me, and we both darted off the fence following the path up the hill! So much joy and laughter is involved when running through a tall grass field. I of course tripped and fell...but pulled myself together to continue the run. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. It had probably been years since any of us had run through a field like that....
Once we reached the top of the hill, the scenery before us was even more beautiful than at the bottom of the field. We turned and saw behind us the rest of the group bounding through the grass to join us! Then we watched the sun slip away behind the horizon.
I'm use to experiencing all of that alone, however, even with everyone there, the presence and serenity of the Lord was felt.
It wasn't Athens, and there were no stars, but it was just what I needed: Gainesville and a field. Thankful for blessings that sneak up on you.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
24 in a matter of weeks…days….I guess you could even say hours. (it would be a large number though).
I told my roommate there was a good chance of a meltdown when I turned 24. She said that wasn’t allowed till 25…so I guess I have a year to wait for that one. In lue of not being allowed an age meltdown I’ve still been processing and ping-ponging the whole “so I’m almost 24..what am I doing with my life!?” phrase that tends to creep up when milestones like New Years and birthdays happen.
Some remind me that I’m still a “baby” and I have plenty of time to figure it out…other people *cough* dad *cough* encourage me that I’m not a baby and I do need to start planning/figuring out where I’m going and what I want to do.
And here in that lies my dilemma.
If you don’t know where you’re going…how do you figure out the best way to get there?
There’s the phrase, “Not all who wander are lost” however, I will be the first to admit that I am wandering….and it’s not because I want to be.
In general where do I want to end up: closer to the Lord and growing spiritually…doing whatever it is He has planned for me….marriage…a family. But all of those (besides spiritual growth) are kind of tricky to plan for. And the main concern right now, as I’ve talked about before, is more so where/what the Lord wants me to be doing. It’s definitely one of those things I feel like I’ve been struggling through the past year and half. Feeling like I’m not doing anything…or wasting time. And, as the Lord loves to do…when I need it most He sheds some light on the subject in some shape or form:
“When you’re waiting, you’re not doing nothing. You’re doing the most important something there is. You’re allowing your soul to grow up. If you can’t be still and wait, you can’t become what God has created you to be.” –Sue Monk Kidd
Through this past year I’ve realized I’m not patient. I want to know the answer and then get to work on whatever it is. I remember as a kid, Harrison and I would ask Dad things and instead of giving us the answer he would let us “sit there and think about it”. Nothing would drive me crazier!! He wanted us to figure some things out for ourselves instead of giving us the easy answer. Amazing how wisdom and extreme annoyance can often pair together.
Continued reading last night and was hit with this:
“What has happened to our ability to dwell in the unknowing’ to live inside a question and coexist with the tensions of uncertainty? Where is our willingness to incubate pain and let it birth something new? What has happened to patient unfolding, to endurance? These things are what form the ground of waiting .And if you look carefully, you’ll see that they’re also the seedbed of creativity and growth- what allows us to do the daring and to break through to newness.” –Sue Monk Kidd
After reading that I was left more encouraged. It’s ok I’m not 100% sure where I’m going. God has me here for a reason…to learn and trust Him through the struggle…it will grow and produce in me the characteristics He is trying to harvest. He will continue to reveal more as we go…but for now, the struggle is good. It’s hard…but it causes a necessary faith and dependence on Him to guide me. If God just revealed to me every detail of his plan, faith/trust in Him would be non-essential. Intimacy develops during those times when you have to press in deeper to follow. So hear we go…
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Between finishing the book last night and a “spirit led” encouragement email from a dear friend this morning I just love seeing how God uses so many different areas of your life to get a major point across.
The overall theme of Forgotten God was living a spirit filled life and living, working, being aware of how important the Holy Spirit is in our life…and how necessary for the work He has called us to! The part that really struck me was how important it is to pray and relinquish control to the spirit and let him literally work through you. I will go days on end without even thinking to ask the Lord why he woke me up that morning. Did the Lord want me to go to work , run, spend time with my roommates….sure. However, what other deeper more eternal work was there that I missed because I got caught up in my own life. I so quickly forget that He wakes me up everyday to complete HIS work….to fulfill His will…whether it’s to grow deeper in my relationship with Him, or love on His children or bring glory to Him in countless other ways. I forget. I don’t ask, and I live as if my purpose for my time here is to work 9-5 and live for the weekends. How mundane. How boring! No wonder so many of us are discontent and unsatisfied! We’re not living our life to the fullest and to what He intended for us!
"Pick at random a score of great saints whose lives and testimonies are widely known. Let them be Bible characters or well known Christians of post-Biblical times. You will be struck instantly with the fact that the saints were not alike.... I venture to suggest that the one vital quality which they had in common was spiritual receptivity. Something in them was open to heaven, something which urged them Godward. Without attempting anything like a profound analysis I shall say simply that they had spiritual awareness and that they went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives. They differed from the average person in that when they felt the inward longing they did something about it. They acquired the lifelong habit of spiritual response. " –Tozer
I realize I don’t live my life thinking that I can have the same impact that James, or Paul, or Martin Luther had…but they are no different than you and I except for they responded to the call the Spirit had on their lives! Each of us have a different calling by the spirit….and it will look different in each of our lives….but as for me, I know I very rarely ask for the Spirit to do his work in me. Or invite opportunities to be used! That’s all the Lord is waiting for….people to be willing to be used!
And when you’re used by the Spirit….ridiculous things happen! People that I know that regularly die to themselves and are open to the spirit’s moving have some of the most crazy, God glorifying stories I’ve ever heard.
What would it look like to live a life so moved and directed by the spirit that someone couldn’t look at your life without giving praise to God because they know the things that are happening are only because of His power!
After Peter and John performed miracles, the people watching them , “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13.
Their works did not bring them praise...but instead immediately brought recognition to Christ.
Last summer I experimented with this and tried praying for opportunities to be used by the Lord in whatever manner he wished. Not gonna lie I was kind of afraid to pray that (maybe because I knew God would take me up on the offer!). At the time I worked at CFA as a marketing director and the prayer had literally left my lips as I was walking out into the restaurant from the back of the store. As soon as I opened the door I saw the line was packed with 20 people! I hurried to help. After about a minute I started to realize that everyone in line was an adult…and that they had a mental or physical handicap. The special needs home near us had brought them all to CFA for a lunch field trip! Immediately I heard the Lord chuckle and say “you asked for an opportunity…how bout a bus full!” I got super excited and just spent the next hour visiting and loving on them realizing that the Lord had brought them here today to be served and loved on. I cannot express how joyful it was to spend time with them! In that moment I just realized how much more of a blessing it was to know that the Lord had wanted me to serve them. Did the Lord bring the bus because I prayed? No. I believe I was blessed and was able to pour more into them because by praying the Lord made me more aware of how I was serving Him that day. Sadly, I forget so often to do this! But between the book, and the email today it just made me realize how often I live my life short of what He’s called me to…and in that I miss out on so many blessings and opportunities to glorify Him. I’m going to try to live more aware of the spirit’s moving….and not be surprised when a bus shows up!
Monday, April 19, 2010
These pictures are a perfect examples of all our personalities....
Roommates! Love it. Please make note of Katie's "barbie" arms and apparent peg leg. Jamie is fully committed. I've had better.
Jamie and I have been jumping for years....it's a skill. This one we gave it all we had!
This one was in honor of the '09 Jumps. Year so good I doubt we will ever be able to repeat the hilarity of those jumps. The faces and arm positions of this jump however are pretty impressive!
Last but not least, picture of all the girls. Of all the places to eat in Destin we would find the Mexican Restaurant. Ladies- what a good trip! Counting down the days till next year!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Finding joy in the simple things:
Coming downstairs weekend mornings and just sitting and drinking coffee with my roommates.
Days when the sun shines so bright you seriously have to believe that everything is right in the world
Rainy days that give me the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book and listen to the storm role in
Watching someone bow their head in prayer before eating a meal
Going for a run and enjoying the feeling of my legs pounding the pavement
Having friends in my life that I have over 15 years of memories with
Designs in my latte foam
Going to a rodeo and wearing cowboy boots and being thankful for being from the South
Living in the city
Being only hours from the country
Laughter that makes your stomach hurt and tears stream down your face
Being able to look at an old friend and one glance meaning a thousand words
Really good ice cream
Despite age, being united with others over one simple thing: Georgia Football
Pottery Barn & Anthropology magazines just because of their creative layout
Random moments in the day when for no particular reason you just feel the Lord near
Days where the whole family is back under one roof
Driving in the country and catching a glimpse of the stars
Getting lost in a good book
Songs that bring back floods of memories
Driving with the windows down
Sitting on the deck with friends on summer evenings
and.....American Flag Running shorts.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
That being said, here’s the latest analogy I’m learning. Again, learning is key word here. Not past tense. Present.
I view my walk with the Lord very much so like ongoing training for the ultimate race….not an original thought. Pretty sure Paul came up with it….may be why he is one of my faves.
Spirituality is a lot like being physically fit. It takes training, time, discipline, endurance, and an obvious love of what you’re doing. You notice athletes. You can look at someone and usually tell they are a runner; not a “I run 3 miles a week” but a “yeah I’ve ran 25 half marathons” (met one of those people before! Respect)
They’re fit looking. Their muscles are lean and toned. If you’re close with them, you notice they take care of their bodies by feeding it things that will build their strength and help them perform to the best of their ability. They make time to train and are disciplined with their training. I’ve never met an athletic person who only ran when they felt like it. They tend to have goals set…and a plan to make sure they are getting the practice they need. And again, anyone who spends THAT much time doing something, love what they’re doing.
Here’s the key….you don’t have to see all the time and effort they put into it, you can tell by looking at them. They don’t have to tell you, “I’ve done an Iron Man” or “I really like to run…a lot”. You know. And the good athletes don’t feel the need to tell you. They train because they love what they do….not for others praise.
Feel like the same goes with our spirituality. Obviously, people can’t look at me and know I love Jesus. However, if I’m putting in the time to spend time in the Word and with Jesus….there is a positive benefit. The whole “Christian” lifestyle is to go through life becoming more like Christ. Therefore the more time we spend with Him, obviously the more we become like Him. The way we treat people changes….the things we say change…we love different…we encourage instead of tear down…and the list goes on and on. It’s a lifestyle. It takes discipline and a lot of time. For me personally, I can tell when I haven’t been “training”. My personality goes down the tubes, it’s more of a struggle to love and I tend to worry a lot. Physically same thing happens. Haven’t run in a while…3 miles is DEATH! I’m sucking wind…cramping in places I didn’t know I could cramp…and all I can think about is STOPPING. However, when I’ve been training in both areas of my life loving people comes easier, joy flows, and doing life right just comes so much more naturally- less of a struggle. Running is fun; the further I go the more I enjoy it and instead of pain, my body thrives off the physical push and I want to run longer.
If I’m really seeking after the Lord and putting in the time and effort…I shouldn’t have to tell you all the time how much I love the Lord. If you do life with me, you should see it in how I live…in what I say to others. I’ve met people like that….their relationship with the Lord just oozes out of them. Again, not in a way that every other minute they’re telling you “what the Lord is doing in my life right now”….when it’s real, it just comes naturally. It’s evident.
And maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like if I have to always be telling someone then there probably is a disconnect. There’s a difference in talking about what you love because you love it…..and talking about what you love because people will look at you different because of it.
This was a good slap in the face analogy for me. Spiritually speaking….I’m a little “overweight” and the thought of running for more than a mile or two makes me sweat. Out of shape...not gonna lie.
Probably one of the reasons I started trying to do races was I needed discipline/goals in my life…and I need the same approach I have to my physical training to spill over into my spiritual life.
That being said…I’m dusting the cheesy poofs from my face and putting on my sweat bands….round is not a shape.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Never stopping for fear of stillness.
Winds blowing; always rushing,
Always turning for fear of settling.
Oceans crashing; always roaring,
Never ceasing for fear of silence.
When all is still and everything has settled,
it’s in the silence that we become aware of reality.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
"Oh, sorry didn't realize this was yours." Smile. Play dumb and give it back.
Key word their is play. I'm always aware that if it's not mine....that means it's probably someone else's. This is where I have a HUGE character flaw: I just don't care. I'll take it anyway.
Recently with moving I've borrowed several things. Lamps that don't appear to be in use, anything in my brothers room who is away in college was fair game. College kids are never home...and they never use their stuff. I know this because several times upon my return from Athens I noticed several things had been "borrowed" from my room, including an old pair of jeans. (note: remember I have 3 brothers. interesting? indeed. but that's a story for a different day) Anyway, I've found this borrowing works great. Why buy something new when you can see if there's already one at your parent's house. In all seriousness I do take things that people aren't using. My parents don't come home to find that I've taken their sheets or anything. I'd never get away with anything that obvious.
The main thing I will "borrow" is food. Little something here...little something there...and no one ever notices. Sometimes I will take the one thing that my mother has bought for a specific purpose...then all hell breaks loose. She has discovered my habit of lifting food items and therefore instead of stopping me, she just mentions what things I'm not allowed to take. "Cameron, I bought 5 tubs of strawberries for Bible Study...DON'T EAT THEM."
The last two times I went home I did borrow food (as always) but looking back I question my selection.
Yesterday I stole a can of beans. Beans? Really? I actually laughed to myself because I didn't know whether that was gross or just sad.
Today I had snuck a grape fruit out of the fridge to take home. Knew mom had just bought those...so figured I had to be super sneaky.However, left it out and she noticed. Thought she was going to put it away but instead she picked up and said:
"You taking this with you right?" smiled and handed it to me.
I grinned awkwardly. She knows me so well.
Monday, February 15, 2010
So often we settle for what we think is best, or what looks good at the time instead of what the Lord has set aside for us. Was the land east of the Jordan fertile? Yes. Was it beautiful? Yes. But, was it the Lord’s best? No. Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh had instead decided that the other land would be better than what the Lord had to offer. Sadly, their descendants suffered the most due to their settlement.
In life my biggest fear is that I’ll settle. Settle for a decent job…settle for husband….settle for what I consider is my “life’s purpose”. Nothing scares me more than the thought of one day hearing Jesus say: “You lived a good life, but you could’ve lived so much more. There was so much more that I had for you if you had only trusted and followed my leading instead of what you thought seemed good at the time.”
God has what is best for us. Sunday made me wonder if I really am trusting and willing to follow the Lord, believing His way is best; or if in some areas of my life, I’m still setting up a tent just East of the Jordan river
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Instead of putting them down, I just tell people I carry bricks and cement in case they happen to run into a wall I’ve quickly thrown up.
Probably would be easier to just put the bricks down. This means digging up the lies, figuring out the truth in the situation, and choosing to believe the Lord instead. Sounds so simple, and yet it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
Why is it so hard to accept the truth?
Friday, January 22, 2010
However, much to my chagrin I have to enter into the disciplined life of a budget. Granted, I’ve been paying my own bills and living on a budget for a couple of years now, however, living at home frees up a lot of income that sadly, now I will have to seal in an envelope and kiss good-bye every month. That’s going to hurt. However, I am decided and dedicated to sticking to this budget (not that I have a choice). I am taking this thing by the horns and will be disciplined and pull it off with flying colors. Sadly this means that the luxuries I use to experience, like eating, will be tight. Eating out will be a rarity, and planning all my meals at home will be necessity. I refuse to view this as a bad thing, I enjoy looking at issues in life and still seeing the glass as half full.
So here is my game plan:
Plan out all the meals and necessary ingredients and ONLY buy those. Last result will be grilled cheese, rice and beans, Easy Mac, and every one’s personal favorite Ramen Noodles (thought I said goodbye to that in college. Round 2). Here’s the “half full” part. Carbs are cheap. That is a great blessing! Thankfully I’ve recently developed a love for running and am training for 2 big races this year. The majority of this year I will be in some form of training, so I will be in desperate need of the before mentioned cheap carbs. This will prevent the typical response to large amounts of pasta and cheese …unpleasant weight gain. However, Jamie and I still fully anticipate losing weight due to the fact we just won’t be buying a lot of food. So, that works out great, losing weight and staying on budget…what’s bad about that!?
Then I realized…losing weight means our clothes won’t fit. And there is no money to fix that problem. Sigh. So you can’t win for losing…
But, we are moving on and growing up and I am excited about that, even if it means eating a lot of macaroni and cheese. It won’t be forever…and until then, Jamie’s boyfriend said he’d buy me a belt.
Stay posted for the adventures of living in Atlanta. I can almost guarantee they will be ridiculous.
P.S. we move in less than 2 weeks and I’ve ONLY packed my towels. Baby steps people…baby steps.