Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Run the 12K of Christmas Virtually or in Person!

Friends, you know I'm a fan of the 12K of Christmas. This year, they are benefiting the YMCA! I've been a member of the Y for 5 years. I love a run with a cause! 
This year, the 12K has a virtual option. I've ran virtual races before and I think they are awesome! 
This will be my second time running Houston's 12K of Christmas and I know I'm gonna have a great time. It'll be my husband's third time running the race. My favorite part of running the 12K is the fact that I get to see Zeke on the course. We often start together and see each other at the finish so seeing him along the course is super fun.
I also love the route. If you don't run downtown often, the course is super nice. I have to say is pretty flat too. I hope you join me as we end 2016 on a super healthy and fun note!
For details and to register, visit their website 
I will have a race recap for you when I finish the race in person! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Journaling through 2 (plus) decades

My daughter asked us for a journal for Christmas and that small request unrevealed a world of memories for me. Growing up in Brazil in the 80s and 90s we had "diaries." It was that schedule book with 356 days where we wrote everything that happened during that day. Saturday and Sunday had the smallest slots, which was so unfair because so much life happened during those few days. 

One journaling habit I regret was subscribing to the trend of writing in code. You basically created a code so no one would understand what you wrote. Of course I always lost the code so those words are forever lost to my understanding. I bet it was something silly but anything coming from my teenager heart is fascinating. 

I tried to keep my journaling habit going during my college years but after my first year, I couldn't keep up. I had so many other writing assignments, I was working for the first time so there was no time for it. When I went to graduate school I regained that habit. 

Journaling went from reporting about my life to processing feelings. I enjoyed this transition, it really served me well. It was during that time also that I burned one of my journals. I just wanted to forget about a relationship in my life. I also took a photo of the journal burning, which was really cool. 

Falling in love and being found by Zeke also influenced my journaling. I processed my feelings through journaling during that season as well. Those journals are not fun to read, believe it or not. I often felt bad about whoever was going to read those words. I haven't read them in years, I might revisit them and see what I think. Just so you know, Zeke didn't do anything awful. I just didn't have a human being to share all those thoughts and emotions. The paper just happened to be the only sound board. That's never good. 

A few years ago I heard about scripture journals. I don't journal exclusively about scriptures but I incorporate them there. I often write the scriptures, write prayers of thanksgiving and go back and write how God answered those prayers. I also write down whatever I feel that God is teaching me through Scriptures. 

I want to journal more often in 2017. I want to write the things I can't and won't write here. I want to write from the heart with a future, blood related audience in mind. I want to be candid and I want it to feel like a letter to a future person looking to know me for who God created me to be. I want to write about how God lessons and real life collide. I want them to feel hopeful about whatever they go through. 

I don't know how you use journaling but mine has evolved over the years. I love journaling and I look forward to seeing how my daughter will use her own journaling. Yay for writing! 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

6 Symptoms of Hopelessness

I like to define Hope as the "Joyful and confident expectation of good, anticipation of good." When studying the subject of Hope, I find that it is important to know what it is and what it isn’t. Today I want to share 6 symptoms of hopelessness. If like me, you Hope for something, sometimes your heart may be filled with hopelessness. If you suffer from any of these or any combination, the antidote is Hope! Here are the symptoms:

6 symptoms of hopelessness:
  1. Doubt - you are hesitant about something, you consider it questionable or unlikely. You hesitate to believe that something will really happen.
  2. Disbelief - the inability or refusal to believe or accept what you hope for as true.
  3. Fear - a distressing emotion  aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. My favorite definition of fear is “False Evidence Appearing Real.”
  4. Fact or sharp focus on reality - the inability to see the big picture. The paralyzing fear of being stuck in a moment, unable to see beyond what’s in front of you.
  5. Discouragement - you are deprived of courage, hope, or confidence. You find yourself disheartened and dispirited.
  6. Pessimism - the tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, problems, etc. It’s worse when you talk others to join you in your pessimism.

The same way we can get people to “join us” in our Hopelessness, we can invite them to Hope. We can’t give what we don’t have, so we need to tap into the true source of Hope first (Almighty God). God always invites us to change our perspective, to look up and see things from His eternal perspective. It’s wise to grab a hold of His promises and focus on them instead of focusing on the symptoms of hopelessness.

I bless you with these words of life:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭(ESV‬‬)

  • Can you identify any symptoms of hopelessness in action in your life right now?
  • Which area of your life can benefit from Hope?
  • How can you change your perspective so you can grab hold of Hope?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Chevron Houston Marathon Training Week 24

We are so incredibly close to the marathon! 42 short days. In training terms, we have 3 super long runs and then we taper. Marathon day is right around the corner and I thank God for the training season thus far!
Today it rained and there was thunder and lightning going on. I often got dressed and showed up for training days like today but I was so incredibly tired, I decided to look at the weather and go back to bed. I'm glad I did because the run was cancelled and I was able to get more rest and do a long run in the treadmill. When the going gets tough, (this) one can do whatever is needed to get the training in place. 
As I was training I was going between watching Undercover Boss and the Marathon Training Academy Podcast. They said something that made a lot of sense to me. The comment was, "you can't cram training for a marathon. You can't decide that because you have a marathon on Sunday you will run 26 miles for five days the week before the event." They were encouraging people to take the time to properly train for a marathon and to be realistic about finish times. 
I connected with this comment because I have been training for 24 weeks. Most plans out there give you 18 weeks or so but I'm glad that I took the time to follow the plan, train and rest. I find that there's a lot of wisdom in training the correct amount of time and following a good training plan. 
I was also like this in school, I never crammed for exams. I'm not a night person so staying up late to study would be a disservice, but I never believed that exposing myself to a huge amount of information at the last minute would make a difference. 
Somehow, some processes are meant to be taken slow, one step at a time. Marathon training reminds me of that and I'm better for it. 
Next week we run the 30K so I am counting on your prayers. I will arrive at the start line knowing that everything that could go wrong already did (hydration and nutrition wise) so the runs after that have been pretty awesome. 
Thanks for reading and I will write again next week after I get my bling, ok? 

Previously in this Series:
• Week 1
• Week 2

• Week 3
• Week 4 - Barry Walter
• Week 5 - Christine Soliman
• Week 6 - Ron Booth
• Week 7
• Week 8
• Week 9
• Week 13
• Week 14
• Week 15
• Week 16
• Week 17
• Week 18
• Week 19
• Weeks 20 and 21
• Week 22
Week 23

Read the stories of my previous Marathons in Houston:
• Chevron Houston Marathon 2014
• Chevron Houston Marathon 2015
• Chevron Houston Marathon 2016 

Friday, December 2, 2016

I Champion You

I didn't write a post about Zeke's birthday last year (ops!) but here is a photo. This man looks fantastic year after year!
birthday 2015
Last year Zeke had a big surprise party at church and we went out the night of his birthday for seafood. It was also during that time that I had to stop eating my fish cause it was sooo greasy, my stomach couldn't take it. Good times!

birthday 2016
This year we started the celebration early. We went out for dinner Sunday night then we celebrated big time on Tuesday. Zeke had a rehearsal on his birthday so we waited until he came back to continue to celebration with a dinner at home. The kids and I look forward to his birthday each and every year! This year we prayed that God would give Zeke a long life so we can celebrate many more years.

I listen to a Podcast where several speakers use the phrase "I champion you." This phrase has intrigued so much, I have successfully internalized it and I want to make it a practice in my relationship with Zeke.

In my opinion, when you "champion" a person, you make sure they win.
Championing someone means that you support them with everything that's within you, no matter the cost.
"I champion you" means that you have my undying loyalty. I wear your t-shirt with pride and I cheer you every time you are out there playing the game of life.
I champion you. I like this phrase.

Let's be honest and say that championing someone is challenging but a worthy goal. I don't do it correctly all the time. I recently found out that I can champion Zeke way better than I have in the past 13 years. I have made it my personal goal to champion him well. I was born for such task.

I know this is supposed to be a happy birthday post and it turned out to be one about how I need to do better, love better and champion better. The truth is that relationships are never stale, either you are moving closer to each other or apart. Because I champion Zeke as a habit, I believe we are growing closer together in true Agape love. 

Thank God for Zeke. Long live the king of my heart.

Birthday Archives:

• 2012 and 2012 recap
• 2011 surprise party
• 2010 immediately loved
• 2009 Turning 30 (português)
• 2008 (português)
• 2007 (português)