Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Goals for the rest of the year (what was my word for the year anyway)?

I was at the end of a run when I thought, "Goodness, it's November and I forgot what my "word for the year" is." It wasn't my idea to have a word to begin with. I'm the person who gets made fun of because she carefully categorizes her goals. I was told choose a word anyway, so I did. And now I can't remember. 

I did remember telling myself: "choose something positive." 

My mind was in a million little places at the end of that run. Besides not remembering my word, I was certain that my goals for 2017 had to be re-done. What was I thinking? I had no idea that 2016 was going to throw 2017 in disarray. 

Then I remembered. My word was "fruitful." 

I was afraid of getting pregnant because I chose that word. Erase that thought and move on to the real intention here. I chose it because I felt like I've planted seeds. I've plowed. Hard. I was ready to see some fruit. I also feel like I've done my part to water the seeds that were planted. I was ready to see fruit in 2017. 

This "choose a word for the year" thing can actually work. Last year the word was "steadfast" and I had no choice but to be just that. I'm thankful to God for the person He encouraged me to become.

This year the word is fruitful. 

Harvests are always joyful. I'm hoping that I will produce much fruit for the kingdom of God just as I am. 

Do you remember your word? What was it?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

(Unintentional) Church Hopper

I became an unintentional Church Hopper when I moved to Texas. Unintentional because I didn't intend for things to end up this way. Church Hopper because it is what I do.
Let me start from the beginning. 
We moved to Texas because of my husband's job. While we were happily planted in our church, I realized that most of my church friends had a different schedule than mine, making it challenging to fellowship with them during the week. That's when God blessed me with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers at church number 2. That group not only changed my life but they still have a positive impact in my existence. 
My kids went to a preschool at church number 2 as well. From there, I was introduced to my dear Bible Study, which meets at church number 3. Someone in my mommy group also told me about church number 4 which is we attend Vacation Bible School, Summer Camp and day school. 
A few years ago I was blessed to work at church number 5. I also invited to a ladies' event at church number 6.  
When God called us to transition to a new church, we visited church number 7 on Sundays. We were so loved and welcomed by the body of Christ! It was truly a time of healing, encouragement and joy. When I got my job, we then went to church there on Sundays for awhile. That would bring the count to 8 churches if you're keeping up.  
I'm also that friend that if invited to your church, I will probably show up (I won't add those times to my count). I enjoy going to my friend's churches to worship and fellowship with them. I also feel that I get a different window into how different people worship God. 
Being an unintentional church hopper pays off when the church I attend doesn't offer some program or event I'd like to go. One of our neighborhood church's offers a Walk through Bethlehem event for families every Christmas season and we attend faithfully. I am thankful to them. 
If you are a person who knows every church needs volunteers, you may be concerned about my church habit. Don't be. I have volunteered in most of the places we visited. I'm not fancy about my volunteering either: I'm the person who will accept whatever position is needed. It is more blessed to give than to receive. 
My unintentional church hopping taught me that in order to be the body of Christ, it is a gift to actually see how the other parts function. It's hard to do that if I'm only inside of 4 walls continually. 
I have been in seasons where we are so busy serving our local church that we have little time to go elsewhere. Apparently, this is no longer the case. 
I'm not advocating for people to go from church to church aimlessly. I am finding joy in being planted in a local church while hanging out with brothers and sisters from other churches. 
Our county is very transitional in nature. I find it a blessing to be welcomed in so many different places. We've made a lot of friends and now that we are in our new home church, we look forward to serving God with gladness there. 

• Have you ever been an unintentional church hopper? 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Finish Line November

Mid-November is that time of year we’re all trying to make it to the “finish line.” The problem is that we’re not there yet. Today I want to encourage you to take decisive steps towards finding balance in your life.

Focus on that which can be done today - if you have a big goal ahead of you, you may be a bit overwhelmed. Try to focus on what you can do together. Whether the goal is to declutter, finish a big project at work or get a breakthrough with a particular kid, focus on what can be done today. Smalls steps will lead you to that big goal. You just have to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

If everything is in disarray, start with laundry and food - this one is for people like me who are often trying to get control of their household chores. Trust me, start with laundry and food instead of trying to paint that extra bedroom. Why laundry and food? You will need clean clothes to step outside of the house. You will need food for energy. If you can get both going at the same time, great.

Prep something for tomorrow - Having a huge prep day is not always feasible but I can always do one thing. In my dream world, I prep food and clothes for the week, each weekend. Most of the time, I can get part of my goal done. This weekend for example, I did laundry and I’m hoping to prep at least one meal for the week. One is better than nothing.

Take a deep breath, tomorrow is another day - We need to remember to be good to ourselves. Use compassion when thinking about your goals. If you just came through a difficult season in life, give yourself compassion and understanding. Whether you need to push through a difficult task or you need to take a break from it, take a deep breath. Remember that when things go wrong, as they sometimes do, you have another day tomorrow.

As you push to the finish line, wherever yours may be, remember to be compassionate with yourself and enjoy the gift of today.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Weight Loss Goal

I posted this in my refrigerator in 2010 
Some goals are challenging to accomplish. I have learned that naming what I want and going after it makes me persistent.
I joined Weight Watchers recently and I am looking forward to going after my goal of having a normal BMI.
I know my "Why." I found out I had to quickly spit it out this morning as I was speaking to my doctor about my health goals. I told her my reason to lose weight is to lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and ensure that longevity with quality of life is at play. She told me was happy about me taking care of myself.
This is my second time with Weight Watchers. I like their program and I appreciate their accountability and support. Once I stopped the program I kept losing weight. After I had my third baby, I lost around 50 lbs by myself. You can watch my journey on my YouTube Channel.
Last year, when I crossed the finish line of the Houston Marathon I crossed it at my highest weight ever so I decided to take a step back and reassess my approach to health and wellness.
Some goals are challenging to accomplish. I'm going after them any way. 
• This Sunday I will continue my Project Health series on YouTube. Subscribe to hear about my first week and to support me on my goal!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Day my Running Life got Adjusted

It was exactly a year ago when an ambulance trip adjusted my running life. I finished running an unusually warm half marathon in Houston and 25 minutes later this was my view:
you know I wasn't out of it cause I was taking pictures
Being in that ambulance was surreal but at the same time it was quite the reality check for me. I was dehydrated, I was thankful I didn't pass out and I was determined to adjust my running life. 
The view from the back of an ambulance are epic!
When I finally got to the hospital of my choice, I had to wait in the hallway for a second. That's never fun but the health professionals were super nice and gave me some extra covers. Oh, I was also stinking: I had just finished running a marathon remember? 

No one is ever chilling in an ER. Except for me. Ha ha!
You are probably wondering how I got to arrive at the ER on the first place. I simply did not hydrate well. The day was also warm yet cloudy. In my race review I give you a play by play (read it here) and today I can see how that race changed my approach to running this entire year. 
I had to do it: getting an IV and showing off my bling. 
 Here's how I adjusted my running life:
• I decided to commit to hydrating more aggressively. I thought I was doing a good job until I arrived in the ER.
• I sat in that hospital room and I decided that running is not my priority in life. Running enhances my life and I need to keep it in its place, always.
• I decided to run strictly for fun. I looked back over my life and I decided that encouraging people during a run is way more fun than being competitive. I never run with an ego and I never will. I run for joy and I carry the joy of the Lord with me.
• I haven't signed up to any major races yet. I'm not injured or discouraged (I'm actually feeling pretty amazing). I just decided to take a sabbatical and readjust my priorities. I'm also coming out of a season of job transition with my family. I can't afford any major races. I decided that if God wants me to run any major races He will make a way. And yes, I know there are different ways to get in major races. My priority right now is finishing this transition well and allowing running to be strictly for fun.
• I learned to be satisfied with my running life. The person I am even before I lace up and get out there is amazingly loved and treasured by God. He doesn't expect me to hit a negative split every time or to PR. He proved His love for me through my Savior Jesus and He bought my acceptance on the cross of calvary. All of that makes me satisfied with who I am, where I am. Is there room for improvement in my running life? Sure, yet I decided to enjoy today and let tomorrow worry about its own troubles.

I hope you got a better picture of the happy place God has led me to after that trip to the ER last year. I will continue to run for fun, encourage others and be open to what God is doing all around me.