Friday, March 27, 2015

The Best of Facebook

I think the blue in the south Texas sky is specially beautiful

I had a good response on the following posts this week on Facebook

"The internet makes everything look better, prettier and easier than it really is (except if you are searching for symptoms on WebMD). Trust God and dwell in what's real. The digital is fleeting."
• Don't believe all you see, hear or read on the internet. The medium makes everything look better, easier and prettier than it really is. Of course there is an exception to this and it is called WebMD. Have you tried to look for symptoms there? Scary! Back to the illusion of perfection: I can tell you that there are many trying to make a positive impact online. I can also tell you that there are many affected negatively by images of perfection which cause a feeling of lack and dissatisfaction. I believe that being focused on God and dwelling on what's real helps. For example, I try to turn off everything and get in my own head often. I love, Love, LOVE listening to Podcasts while I run but I can't let my favorite podcasters monopolize my thoughts for hours. It's wise to be in my own head and turn my every thought towards God or just simply take a mental break. A few weeks ago my youngest and I took a walk around the neighborhood. I was amazed at the richness in sight (new flowers), smells (ethnic food) and sounds (an African language). I can perceive what God is doing way better when I am not tied to the digital. I do enjoy the digital but its lure is fleeting. Let's dwell in what's real. 

"Sometimes, the biggest fight, is not to let frustration win. Marathon running teaches me persistence in all areas of life."
• When I get frustrated about something, the fight is not to let frustration win. I'm often fighting frustration but this week, I thought about how marathon running helps me with that. Even before embarking in the marathon journey, I was fighting frustration by running day after day. It teaches me persistence. It teaches me that no matter how large the barrier, if you keep putting one foot after the other, you will get to the finish line. I believe I still have many lessons to learn that will come to me through marathon training. I'm thankful to be attentive to these life lessons. 

Have an amazing weekend my friend!





Thursday, March 26, 2015

85

Today was day 85 in the daily Bible reading. I started late but I'm all caught up. I can tell you honestly that reading the Bible has not made me fly out of my couch in the morning and sing the Hallelujah Chorus all day. Life has actually been pretty much giving me the same challenges. The difference is that God is working from the inside out. The Word of God really does changes who it touches. I can say I know God better and I am surprised at how much I'm enjoying reading those early books Moses wrote. I was scared of them for many years but now, I'm actually enjoying all the content. 
When I was looking for art for this post, I realized that if I was reading the Bible in 90 days I'd be 5 days away from being done. Ha! I'm glad it's not a speed competition but for me, it's about loving God with all my heart, soul and mind. I want to encourage you to read the Bible daily. Even if all you can do is read one verse, it will make a difference in your inner life. 

10 Benefits of Daily Bible reading.
Merry Ministries Archives 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How Long do I run?

If you haven't heard, here are the great news from the great folks from the Green 6.2 race:


I know not everyone is up for the 10K so the 5K distance should be very lovely! They also have a KidsK race. Something for everyone in the family! 
My training for the race is going well. I have been covering the distance and I added regular strength training to my cross training schedule. It's really making a difference! 
The other day, one of my friends asked me how much/long do I run. I like to run no more than 4 times a week. The rest of the time I do cross training. Lately, cross training consists of a strength training group class in the gym. I'm selfishly there for the lunges and squats. It seriously helps my muscles to get stronger so I can run more efficiently. As far as how far I run, I fit whatever I can in 1 hour during the week and during my Saturday runs I go a greater distance, typically from 8-12 miles. My goal off season is to always be ready to run a half marathon. It worked last year so I'm going to stick with this goal this year as well. 
I beat the rain! Last Saturday's training run

There is still time for you to join us at CityCentre Houston on April 11 for the Green 6.2 races. If you use my discount code you get $10 off. I hope to see you there!

I hope you can join me and run the Green 6.2. They also have a 5K option this year! There’s plenty time to train (check out their Training Plan). Also, if you add the code SIMPLYCINTIA on your registration, you’ll get $10 off. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Narrative of Marriage: Numbers

The day the numbers started rolling. Rev. Nick Nicholson
is the amazing minister who married us in his home.
Zeke and I were newly married and we were living in a brand new city and state. We decided to take a Saturday afternoon stroll downtown and check out the music scene. We stopped at a coffee shop for dessert where we listened to a singer/songwriter perform. I saw a young couple from our church sitting a few tables over and I whispered to my brand new husband "there goes the So and Sos, they've been married for 8 years!" I can't remember the song that was being played or who was the artist. I got stuck with the number 8. For a couple who had a few months under their belt, 8 seemed like a huge number.

Numbers are a big part of married life. Numbers tell a story tough the true narrative is only known to the two who became one. I want my narrative to be stronger than numbers. We can do it with God as our foundation.

I admire the number of years my parents have been married. This January as they celebrated they 37th year as a married couple, I noticed that my parents posted a photo of our entire family on their Facebook. The caption said "this is the witness to 37 years." More than numbers, the faces of children, in-laws and grandchildren tell the true narrative that numbers can't tell. I pray that I too will reach my 37th year anniversary with joy and thankfulness. 

When we take our eyes off our spouse's and look elsewhere, it's easy to get discouraged. Numbers are saying that not every marriage makes it. My assurance is that with God as my anchor, we will continue to grow stronger. I try not to let research discourage me. I try not to be depressed by what I see in the world. I know that the narrative of my marriage can be a strong witness to my children first and to others in this generation. 

The thing is, we are not perfect but we know a God who is. We don't always get it right but we are encouraged to seek Godly wisdom in our relationship. We also choose to believe that enjoyment has been a big part of the narrative of our marriage. No matter how much the number grows, so will our enjoyment increase. We can make it through Christ who strengthens us and because the God of love, who is love came up with the idea of marriage on the first place. To Him be the honor, the glory and our devotion as we continue to write our story.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

7 easy Ways to teach Preschoolers about Easter


1 • Read them the Easter Story - I simply grabbed one of those Bible story books we have at the house and started reading from Palm Sunday to the Resurrection story. I believe that children feel empowered to know the story of Jesus for themselves and I get to introduce them to Him as a mother.
2 • Sing Easter Songs - I believe that other than making life fun, music can really help kids to know and enjoy the story of Easter. Even if you teach them "Lord I lift your name on High," be sure to choose a special song you sing after reading the Easter Story with the kids. I chose a special song for our family and the kids really have fun singing it every year around this time. They also enjoy the moves and dancing that goes along with the song.
3 • Make Easter Crafts - I noticed this year that after hearing the stories and singing the songs, making a craft really helped me solidify the real meaning of Easter. Please know I'm not a craft queen but we did get some construction paper and made our own palms as well as our own donkeys. We used it as props for a play about the Triumphal Entry.
4 • Do an Easter Play - The kids had the best time doing their Easter Play. They basically took turns waking the palms they made and saying "Hosanna" and being Jesus in the Donkey. It was simple, short, sweet, fun and I believe they learned that story in a new level.
5 • Have Holy Communion as a family - Whether you do it at church or at home, I think the Easter season is the perfect time to teach the children about Holy Communion. My kids are quite young to learn the Hebrew and Greek meaning of every word in the Bible, so we keep it simple by telling them that this is the way we remember Jesus.
6 • Ask them Questions - I'm just arrived at the point where we can ask the kids questions. I love the way they think. I also try to pay attention to see if they have any questions for us. They always do.
7 • Have a HUGE Easter celebration - I'm a believer that Easter is the super bowl of the Christian holidays. I think that my kids will get it when we celebrate it big. I'm not talking about big spending or a big dinner but the gratefulness and joy that comes from the inside out. I pray that my joy and thankfulness for Jesus sacrifice will show. I also hope to adopt more creative ways to teach my children that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. One thing is for sure, more will be caught than taught.