Thursday, October 30, 2014

Prayerlessness Funk and a great Discovery

I'm a person of prayer not because of some kind of self-appointment but because I  have found it to be quite the way to grab a hold of God. I had grandmothers who lived and achieved God's best because they made sure to pray. They also gave me the greatest wealth I inherited: a Godly spiritual legacy where prayer is our foundation for living. 
I find myself in a season where prayer is not diminishing. There's no "forget God for a little while." I find myself praying more intently than before. Still, my words often fail me. Barriers are big, situations seem impossible and that's when I find my prayers to be invaluable. 
I also find myself in a season of great discovery. My dear grandmothers taught me the discipline of prayer. My parents taught me the love for prayer. My Sunday School teachers and mentors taught me the Biblical basis of prayer but life has taught me the infallible need for prayer. 
When words fail me, I hold on to God's unfailing Words. When the enemy of my soul tries to discourage me, I find in God all the strength that I need. I know His joy is my strength. 
Prayer has never been about showmanship for me. It's about making sure the spiritual (wo)man shows up before her God. Prayer has been humbling because I remember my complete dependance on Almighty God. It has also has been empowering because of my position as a daughter of the King. 
I have learned that the last thing I need to do as a person of prayer is to get "discouraged without a deadline." A few weeks ago I thought that "discouragement without a deadline" is quite counter-productive because much prayer needed to be done. I find that God and His people are very helpful when it comes to getting me out of the prayerlessness funk. God first because He is my source and people second because great spiritual mentors can help me see what I can't see and they can help me mature as we both go forward from faith to faith. 
I realize this has been quite the reflective post my friends. I hope you can be encouraged to get in God's presence and pray as a habit. It's not always easy, convenient or predictable. The results of a life in the prayer closet are seen from the light of Christ that shines from the inside out. 
Go ahead and set some time aside to pray today my friend. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ensinando os meus filhos sobre os Feriados Americanos

Outono é uma época bem legal aqui nos EUA
O dia de ações de graça está chegando em 29 dias. O interessante é que aqui nos EUA, todo mundo está celebrando o Halloween. Nós não celebramos o Halloween como a maioria das famílias. O pessoal decora as casas com umas decorações tenebrosas e muita gente dá doce pras crianças que vem de porta em porta. Estamos ensinando aos nossos filhos que a nossa família não comemora a data, mas que eles podem colocar fantasia qualquer dia do ano (o que já adoram). As igrejas tem os "festivais de outono" o que é uma ótima oportunidade de evangelizar as família da comunidade.
Aqui em casa nós estamos colocando mais ênfase no dia de ações de graça e no natal de Jesus. Todo feriado (quer dizer, os poucos que temos) é muito secularizado e é claro que o comércio quer fazer dinheiro com tudo. O nosso dever como pais é de ensinar as crianças o caminho em que devem andar. A nossa família está escolhendo andar no caminho de Deus e ensinar que tudo que temos vem dEle. Ensinamos as crianças a ser gratas a Deus e a lembrar que o natal é de Jesus. 
Ano passado. Fico com pena de estragar abóboras! Rs!
Todo ano converso com mães que estão estressadas porque as crianças são ingratas e sentem que tem o direito de ter tudo (estou falando de crianças com menos de 6 anos de idade). Oro por elas e também oro pra que meus filhos entendam a necessidade de saber que Deus é bom e nos dá o que precisamos. 

Feriado aqui é bonitinho, mas o estresse que o pessoal passa não é brincadeira. Esse ano nós vamos mante-los simples, lembrando que Deus é bom e o criador da vida. A Ele damos graça por tudo que somos e temos e a Deus dedicamos a nossa vida e família. 

Meu próximo post em português será sobre as duas maratonas que corri esse ano. Até a próxima amigos!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Houston Marathon Training Week 1

I have officially started my Houston Marathon training! Thank God I have recovered from the Chicago Marathon and with 81 days to go I must stay focused.  
This morning I had a good run and I was very happy with my splits. My focus is to be thankful for what I have and forget about what I don't have. All my mental focus will go into running a strong marathon and going for that PR I know I can get in Houston. 
This week is unique. I have a 5K on Sunday and my official schedule is calling for a 14-miler. I know that if I run anything close to 14 it will be a confidence booster. I also know that working my way back to 14 is a much better idea, so I will probably go for 8 miles this week and then I'll go back to the regular schedule from the running group. 
I miss running with my friends on Saturdays. I can be unhappy about how different this season has been or I can be grateful for what I have (plenty time to train, many safe locations to train, friends to run with during the week, health, strength, etc). The greatest struggle of my fit life has been my mindset. I get to decide what kind of attitude I'm gonna have about the process at the very beginning. I have a good, happy and expectant mental attitude this time around. 
Comparisons do not help me, even when the comparison is with myself. The key to a good mental attitude is to focus on the only thing I have: today. 
Today is going to be a good, productive day. I have a cross training session ahead of me and I am determined to enjoy it.

Other Marathon Training Series:
Chicago Marathon 2014
Houston Marathon 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Post

Hey! It's a Monday post about everything and nothing at all! I bought this dress at the Goodwill for $4.99. It worked well with the other stuff I had.
Your trash, my treasure. Totally new to me.
This week (and most of my life) I am meditating on Peace. My takeaway for today is "trust over trouble, faith over fear." 
The Bible is wonderful.
Yesterday I voted for the second time. I am praying for my country. I believe in praying for our leaders so that's exactly what I will continue to do. Prayers are very effective when words often fail us.
I pray you have an amazing week my friend! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Seven

1. Intense Workouts: I miss thee.  Today I complete my official marathon recovery. I am now ready to get back to marathon training. I miss my workout routine. It's intense and sometimes impossible to wrap my head around all the workouts but I love it and I miss it dearly. I promise not to complain about winter because fall marathon training was intense. 
2. Weight Loss. This week I started my food journal again. It hasn't been easy but I need to get back in the habit. Journaling my food always works for me. I just need to stay faithful.
3. Meditation. Biblical Meditation has been a life saver this week and every week. Meditating in the Word of God has helped me through some rough spots. I've had plenty rough spots this year (as most normal people) and the Bible has been my foundation, anchor and comfort.
4. Fall stuff. The kids and I had a lot of fun going on a hay ride and doing some Fall Fun activities. They still haven't been to a regular Pumpkin patch so I need to hurry up and make that happen. We did manage to get our Family Fall photos done. We often turn the camera on automatic and smile really hard. It's worked for the past 8 years.
5. Baking. I baked! White, gluten full bread. Some of the kids liked it. I used a Martha Stewart recipe (I trust her brand) and it worked like a charm. I still have bread flour for one more loaf, so I'll be baking again when I feel braver.
6. Holidays. My dear friends reminded me the holidays are coming. I didn't have plans but now I do. I am looking forward to all our family's traditions, cooking with the kids and making a big deal about how wonderful God has been to us. It seems that til now my focus was getting to the marathon and finishing it well. Thank God we're done with 2 marathons for 2014 so now we can celebrate the holidays (while training for the Houston Marathon).
7. Pastor Appreciation. This important date has kinda been buried under all the excitement of this month. Today we appreciated Zeke at our house today and we will continue to do so. I wrote a piece about how to celebrate pastor appreciation  and I also have a post on 3 things you may not know about people in ministry. I hope these posts help you appreciate the clergy in your life.

This week I learned that it is so important to continue to be open about living out my faith. Not so others can see it but so that I can learn who God is in this exact season of life. Without being open about my faith struggles it is nearly impossible to get help to learn the lesson and move on. I pray that you have an amazing week my friend! Thanks for reading!