Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jealousy is Alluring, but Altogether Misinformed

I've struggle less with jealousy in the last year.  It's not because I'm less envious of other people's situations or even because I don't want the things I used to want.  These days I just think I'm more appreciative of the sacrifice.

I forget that a lot--that sacrifice is a huge part of any equation that ends in something fantastic.  Truthfully, don't we all?  I saw a pin on pinterest about how we should avoid comparing our entire lives with someone else's highlight reel.  But I know a lot of us--women in particular--have difficulty remembering that most things come at a cost.

Like marriage, for example.  When I write about Favorite, or when people see me with him, they may erroneously believe the sun shines out of his every orifice.  There are a lot of missing pieces of that puzzle, though.  Like the years of learning to be together.  The sacrifices of friendships to spend time together.  The struggles and deep hurts that were really only ours.  The promises to avoid airing our issues with anyone but each other.

We haven't always been good at those things, and a lot of times, commitment to those issues led to a lot of frustration.  But soldiering through has been rewarding.  And if people are jealous of that, then they are also jealous of the sleepless nights, the endless amounts of crying and the unseen frustration that has made us what we are.  To disregard those things is to completely ignore anything we have together.

I can promise you that I don't find myself envious of the people eating the cupcake anymore, either.  Want to know why?

Because I can have the cupcake.

I can have four of them if I want.  But I know that some things are permissible and not beneficial.  And I also know my commitment to running will suffer tangible damage from a session with four pastries.

This mentality, and I promise it is a mindset, applies to a hundred different scenarios:

  • Sure, I have a nice house.  But I also lived in a slowly decomposing trailer for 7 years before I moved into that nice house.  And we sacrificed a lot of personal purchases to save money to build that nice house.

  • We have very little debt; however, we have committed to working on a cash budget.  We are also avoiding buying things that require loans or credit.  Are we perfect?  No.  But our dedication to the Dave Ramsey mentality has really changed the way we feel about spending.  It doesn't mean I never buy things I want.  I do.  Frequently, actually.  But it does mean working within the cash restraints I have for that pay period.

  • I'm starting to lose weight and see a difference in my body.  But I am running four to six days a week and staying within a particular calorie count every.single.day.  And I've been doing it for 8 weeks now.  Does it mean I never screw up or that I haven't gained a pound since I've started?  Hardly.  But I'm staying the course for an overall change.
 So I'm a less jealous person and a few pounds lighter.  God's request for obedience may be the thing that undoes me and finally changes the things I really couldn't overcome.

Grace really is greater.

Friday, July 27, 2012

7 Quick Takes: Viagra Edition

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 182)

-1-

In an attempt to get more benefit from my calories, I've been trying to add protein to my breakfast.  Generally, I made a toad in the hole with low cal/low carb bread.  It's tasty.

Unfortunately, I've experienced something I directly related to low carb eating, but may have been the effect of eggs in my diet:  the great stomach revolt of 2012. 

Now I'm wondering:  Do I keep eating them?  (Because this route is clearly working and I like my tasty combination.)  Or do I realize I probably have some sort of allergy and eliminate the partial source of my success?

Decisions, decisions.

-2-

I have all this available time during the summer, but I accomplish a whole lot more during the school year when I'm really busy.  I don't understand this phenomenon.  Earlier this week, though, I was thrilled to death to know Favorite went to work wearing clean underwear.

I am Wife of the Year material, for sure.

-3-

On Monday, my hair shall be cut and colored which may be the ordinary woman's equivalent of being chosen as a finalist in American Idol.  The appointment will culminate with an obscene amount of hair flipping and head shaking.

My goal is to pretend that I've been cast in a Suave commercial.  I will look out of the corner of my eye at people and then flip my hair around pretending the director needed another shot of my perfectly shiny color.

-4-

Not to be one left out of an awesome debate on the internet, I'd like to share my opinion of Chick-Fil-A:

I love waffle fries with Polynesian sauce.

Tasty.

But you're welcome to your own opinion.

-5-

I just finished reading The Harry Potter series.  Again.  And even though it will make me a huge nerd to admit this, I feel like I should tell you so many parts of that book make me cry.  But more than anything, I find myself strangely overwhelmed by Neville Longbottom who finally realizes how much it inspires people to stand up to what is wrong.

You go, Neville.  You go.

-6-

You know what makes you cool?  A movie with perfectly choreographed dance scenes and a mirror.

It's not watching the movie that gives the coolness factor; it's participating in the scene.  I'm actually a double threat because my singing/dancing abilities multiply one hundred fold with surround sound.

-7-

Jeremy Renner,

I've made some mistakes in my life.  There was the time I took a laxative instead of an Immodium.  Epic moment.

But your story?  Infinitely better.

Thank you for sharing so the rest of us can feel just a little bit normal.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guest Post: A Moment of Bravery

I'm tickled.  It's rare I get the opportunity to write for anything more than this little blog for any other reason than my selfish ambition of honing what I hope will be considered a "gift."  But today, I'm guest posting for Elora here.

And it would be awesome to know someone read what I had to say.

And even more awesome to gain new friends through the experience.  Feel free to follow through email (You all are awesome.  I didn't realize how many of you there were!) or blogger.  Or it would be awesome if you just email me to start a conversation.

That's what I feel writing is anyway--the beginning of a conversation.  I've said my piece.  Now it's your turn.

I am reposting that guest post here since Elora has revamped her blog and I don't want to lose these thoughts.  When they were written, I had no idea what the very close future would hold, and by the time they were published, I was expecting Ryno and had no idea.  Isn't God so very funny? (5/26/2015)

I have this whole vision of the Proverbs 31 woman—how she sews and knits and probably doesn’t believe in spanx because all of her industriousness has led to a beautiful physique only branded by the stretch marks that came when she incubated her now-larger-than-the-Duggars family.  She makes her own laundry soap, face wash and deodorant and doesn’t have a dishwasher because it is a waste of money to own something she can do with her own hands.  My close reading of scripture also indicates that she accomplishes these tasks in high heels, perfectly coordinated outfits and a coif only Texas girls can actually recreate.

I had hoped I would be her by the time I was thirty. 

Well, I’d hoped to be her minus the sewing nonsense because I’ve never really had the patience to learn when I had a perfectly good stapler that could basically accomplish the same job with a little bling.  But that’s beside the point.  The point is I took a wrong turn somewhere—a drastically wrong turn that led to severely different life circumstances.

That’s what I tell myself anyway—that my road had a pretty significant Y instead of following the straight and narrow to an absolutely industrious household.  And, truthfully, I project the Proverbs 31 Woman in all her June Cleaver glory so I can sarcastically declare my status as a female who wasn’t built with these features. 

As soon as I get comfortable in that declaration, these lyrics flutter to the top of my consciousness:  “We were meant to live for so much more.  Have we lost ourselves?” (“Meant to Live” Switchfoot).  For the second my vision clears, I can see this scripture a little differently—not as a woman embodied, but as attributes that come through someone who knows her place and value.
But I have forgotten myself. 

Instead of seeing my life as a valuable acquisition in the hands of the Almighty, I pretend I’m a victim of my circumstances.  A disease I didn’t want to have.  A baby I didn’t want to lose.  A body I just can’t stand.  I wallow in things beyond my control and forget who I was meant to be

Apparently, I’d rather continue to point out others’ blessings and ask God why He hasn’t seen fit to seat me at his right hand.  Then, I turn my back and find a way to accomplish those things in my own strength while He keeps prodding me to follow Him despite the roads others are traveling (John 21:20-23). 

Frustration meets me when I plant myself and demand answers.  Sometimes I find myself suffocated by emptiness.  I’m terrified God has forgotten me because it doesn’t look the way I thought it would.  I don’t look the way I thought I would. 

And again, He gently calls my heart and asks me to follow Him.

I can’t get away from His gentle leading: “Remember who you are and your purpose as beloved servant, Crys.”

Daily, I’m asked to put one foot in front of the other when I can’t see the fix.  But I guess Proverbs 31 doesn’t describe a woman who knows the outcome—just a woman who knows who she is in relation to Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.


So my action, often taken for inaction, is giving my servant’s heart room to grow.  In the waiting, I’m asking for God to move His hand—slowly, steadily and in the direction of his choosing.  And without any burning bushes or pillars of clouds in my living room, I realize:  Maybe the bravest thing we ever do is let God’s hand work when the only movement we can see comes from putting one foot in front of the other in service to Him.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Short Thought on Obedience (Devoid of Profound Revelation)

The hardest part of obedience is actually obeying.

Rocket science, right?  There's something about stating the obvious that really makes me feel like I'm doing the world a favor.  Some day I hope to win the world's most obvious writing award (if there is such a thing) for declarations that surprise no one.

But yeah, obedience is difficult.  I think everything in society tells us that we shouldn't obey until something proves itself worthy of obedience.  Basically, God should show His faithfulness to me by giving me the "end" I desire and then I might have enough justification to obey His commands.

The problem there is really in the premise.  Based on the above argument, it's logical to assume that obedience should result in a destination.  If A, then B, right?  Maybe a few examples would help:

If I am good, I will receive a reward.
If I encourage others, I will receive encouragement in return.
If I take joy in someone else's accomplishments, they will also take joy in mine.

But logic doesn't always work in this scenario.  Obedience may clearly demand when the benefits remain a little cloudy, or are not immediately visible.  (Obviously, there are eternal benefits.  But don't tell me most people don't expect some sort of incentive for staying the course.  I know better.)

Or maybe, like I said earlier, it's time to reform the premise.  I keep believing there's a specific end to this journey.  That obedience ultimately begets a reward greater than or equal to the successes/gifts others may receive.  The real lesson, though, is that maybe, just maybe, obedience and total devotion are the destinations in this journey.  They are the outcome instead of the means.

Or, if it's possible, they could be the means and the end. 

What do you think?

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Little Peace

When the CCL and I jumped on this crazy Made to Crave ride, we were told there was no set diet plan to support the study.  Instead, participants are encouraged to look at food in relationship to scripture, identify addictions and find something that works for her as an individual.

Because this has been such an individualized activity, there is little judgment to whatever approach each person is taking to food and exercise.  In our supportive little group, most people are using a program called Lose It to track calories and we are all encouraging each other to move at least four nights a week.

Movement has always been my biggest issue.  I am tired 90% of the time.  Some days, getting out of bed is such a chore that I can't imagine adding any sort of exercise routine to my day.  And, not surprisingly, movement is the first place I felt Christ addressed in this journey.

When the CCL sent a text to ask me to run in a 5K, my mind didn't just revolt against the idea, it actually started to formulate plans to eliminate her presence in my life.  I didn't need one more person telling me to move.  I didn't want to move.  I couldn't move.  It isn't my gift.  In fact, my inability to move is a joke among the faculty at my school and my family.  (Even my principal has quipped that I am the least athletic person on staff.)  Everyone knows the "we were forced to run track" story and every person thinks it's hilarious.  Because I?  Don't. Run. Ever.

So when Christ spoke to my heart about running, I almost had a nervous breakdown.  And when He continued to speak to my heart about more movement, I considered visiting a doctor for anxiety medication.  And some days, when I get up and I know I've got 6-9 miles to address in the day (whether through Leslie Sansone or on-the-track running), I have a physical reaction--and it's not a fit of the giggles.

But truthfully, the benefits of aerobic activity on insulin resistence (one of the side effects/major causes of PCOS) have been well documented.  For some reason, aerobic activity (like walking and running) causes blood cells to use glucose more efficiently even if weight loss isn't a part of the equation.

So I'm stuck moving and finding a sense of peace in this whole journey.  And I assure you:  peace with my scales has been a daily struggle.  Daily.

I don't post number of pounds lost.  I haven't shared the inches I am tracking.  Why?  Because I'm trying to find a sense of peace with the journey itself.  If there's anything wrong with the previous WW meetings I attended it was this saying:  "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels."  What a lie.  Because I can assure you that if this entire journey is about a smaller pant size or a number on the scale, peace will never be a part of the equation.  Dissatisfied people at a size 24 are dissatisfied people at a size 8 if there isn't some resolution during the journey.

Earlier this week, I twittered "I don't want to compete with anyone.  If this is a the practical way God teaches me about needing, then it's about walking--not winning."  And each step in my living room or on the track has been another reminder that I have been asked to commit so He receives glory.  Not so I can lose the most, make the biggest change, make others feel inadequate, etc.

I'm here to find peace and satisfaction in Him, and each mile is a marker of obedience. 

Truthfully, I'm starting to wonder if I'll hit the same markers some of the other people in my group have achieved regarding weight loss.  I get tired of seeing the same 3 lb range on my scale.  And even though I worked out yesterday and counted my calories, I get frustrated to see a bit of a gain even when I know this isn't about the scale.

So today?  I'm getting off my couch and committing to another three miles before I run errands and come home to log another two.

And I'm praying all the while to find "content[ment] whatever the circumstances" (Phil 4:11).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reinterpretation

Reinterpretation is a skill I've developed because, turns out, Julius Caesar isn't the most accessible text for high school sophomores.  Truly, August through May I spent most of my time pushing and pulling information in various directions hoping that parts of it will make sense before my students step out of my classroom into the great unknown otherwise known as their junior year.

It's a rough job.  And by rough, I mean amusing.  Particularly since I recently realized that reinterpretation has become a completely internal response to outside stimuli.

Take, for example, Nike's catchphrase, "Just Do It."  My reinterpretation went something like this:

Just Do It...if you have enough energy.
Just Do It...if you're capable.
Just Do It...if you don't have anything else better to do.
Just Do It...when it's most convenient.

Thankfully, I didn't have to "do it"--whatever "it" might have been--because I was tired, overtaxed, overwhelmed, exhausted and extremely busy.  And all that reinterpretation meant I could completely disregard the orders of my least favorite shoe company.

But that whole "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" thing was a little harder.  So I largely ignored that verse until I came face to face with an unavoidable blockade.

Diet and exercise were not unavoidable.  They were for people who had more time and talent than I actually possessed.  So eventually, I reinterpreted that verse to "I can do all things at which I am gifted and talented through Christ who strengthens me."

That Jesus.  He's a great and talented Saviour who is willing to work through the gifts He gives us.  A lack of talent just means we're off the proverbial hook.  So even though I watched what I was eating, I didn't need to exercise because, well, running?  Not my forte.

But trust in all circumstances?  That's a whole different pizza.  (I think food analogies work best for posts about diet and exercise.  Don't you?)  If I professed Jesus capable of doing things in my life through His strength, then He would be most glorified through that which I was completely incapable of doing on my own.  Right?

So, like Paul, I'm learning to glory in my weakness--which is counterintuitive.  (Reinterpretation often means I'm not just capable, I'm a talented genius.)  But I keep thinking that the renewing of my mind doesn't just mean that I believe God can (Romans 12:2).  I now believe God can through me.  That, ladies and gentlemen (namely my dad and my brother--the only men who read my blog), is reinterpretation at its best.

And he "who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" is going to be most glorified through things I never could have accomplished on my own (Ephesians 3:20).

To Him be the glory.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Dose of Reality

Just last week, I talked about the good place I've been inhabiting.  There's been a lot of "new" here.  A lot of blessing.  A new realization of who I am in Christ and my calling to depend on Him for every breath.  There are encouraging people.  And a whole new list of people who are dedicating themselves to healthier lifestyles.

It's been six weeks of adequate progress.  We're running more on each outing.  We're exercising 5-6 days a week (usually).  I'm learning to make better food choices, I stay within a calorie budget and I log food and exercise on a daily basis.

But when people come here, I don't want them to get the idea that we started this journey and it's been nothing but sunshine and roses ever since.  There are setbacks.  PCOS is still a factor that means I gain and lose the same two lbs for a few days.  Two steps forward, one step back.  Some weeks don't allow for six days of running.  This week I even took two days off in a row--something I haven't done since we started running a few weeks ago.

It means that the next run is harder.  Breath doesn't come as easily.  Legs are sore.  We did two miles yesterday, and I couldn't run half as much in the last half mile as I did for the first six laps.  I'd like to tell you I was proud of the progress I had made, but I was mostly disappointed at how far I have to go.

The day of the disappointing weigh-in is frustrating.  Sometimes there's a reason I'm two pounds up.  Sometimes that's just the step back for the week.  Most days I can keep that weight in perspective.  This isn't, after all, a journey simply about weight loss.  It's about sacrificing my wants and desires to the heart of Christ alone.  Some days all I can think about is the weight I have to lose and the sacrifice seems too steep.

There are outings when that sacrifice doesn't happen.  Bachelor parties and birthdays.  Family meals and dinners out.  My choices are a hundred times better than they have been, but sometimes even the best choices in a given sitting are not the best choices overall.

I'm learning these things.  I'm struggling with these things.  This sense of dedication hasn't been without its frustrations.  On those days, I pray through gritted teeth and ask for progress so I don't lose my resolve.

Right now, I'm just grateful to say there are fewer gritted teeth days than there have been in the past.  Though today might be one of them.

Friday, July 13, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (7/13/12)

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 180)


-1-

I have such a large pile of laundry on my living room couch, it looks as though my clothing has procreated.  But the real marvel is I'm not ashamed.  I figure I'll get around to it when I get around to it.

Tomorrow.  Definitely tomorrow.

-2-

Every time we go running, I feel like I run a little faster or farther than the time before.  Last night, I was running 200 meters at a time.  I realize that doesn't sound like much, but in comparison to where I was when I started, it's huge. 

SILSheena asked if I still wanted to die during/after every run.  I told her it depended on the day, but the truth is that's happening less and less.  I still feel like I can't breathe toward the end of the running; however, I also believe every step is another step toward obedience to Christ.  And He has been faithful to push me and allow me endurance to stay the course.

-3-

Calorie watching always creates it's own set of challenges.  As a piece of advice, I'd just like to say that if you're going to eat really well and then you have enough calories to spend on a cheeseburger and fries, you might also want to make sure you'll also be near a restroom.  For most of the evening, preferably.

I'm not saying this happened to me, you understand.  I'm just pointing out that it's a possibility.

-4-

Our current governor in my great state is attempting to require high school students to earn four years of math credit in order to graduate.  I have a lot of thoughts about this particular subject.  If I were a perfect world educator, I would think this was the best idea since block scheduling.  We would give the students the opportunity to be exposed to more material!  The success rate would be phenomenal!  Colleges would no longer worry about preparedness!  Ad nauseum!

Realistically, though, I don't think it's going to be the answer to all of our educational woes.  Sadly, I think education reform is a near sighted attempt to fix something that has been perpetuated by societal expectations.  Entitlement, apathy and familial support seem to be largely discounted by a movement that is deeply affected by all these mentalities.

And there, I will get off my soapbox.

-5-

I've spent a lot of time on Pinterest pinning things to my "Things I Want to Wear When I'm No Longer Fat" board.  In the past, I pinned things there believing I would never really wear some of those offerings.

Now, I pin with hopeful expectation that someday is a lot closer than it was five weeks ago.

-6-

This week I discovered that my good friend, DM resembles Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter movies.  Personally, I'd like to use this as a selling point on the "About Me" section I'm writing for his photography website.

But as a magnanimous blogger, I've decided to let you decide is the resemblance actually exists:

This is DM.  He's darling.
This is Neville Longbottom.
Truly, I wish I had a picture of DM smiling with his teeth so you could see the magnitude of their twinhood.  But this is as close as I can get.  Weird, right?

The weird part was when I texted DM to share my discovery, he commented, "That's insane...I look just like that dork."

You're welcome, DM.  You're welcome.

-7-

My dogs are no longer allowed on my furniture.

I made this decision after the little one (Corky) decided that everytime he pooped, he had made himself a snack.  The grossness of this particular discovery reached maximum potential when he decided to eat said snack in front of my niece and cousin (6 and 4 respectively).

Stealing "snacks" from a dog and trying to keep two kids under the age of 8 from vomiting on my floor was more than I could handle.


(I think something about my writing makes people feel like comments are unnecessary, but I truly do look foward to them.  Please make sure your email address is connected to your profile so I can respond.  And to my email subscribers, I always enjoy reading your emails regarding the topic at hand.  Thanks for reading.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

This Is A Good Place

Apparently overwhelming piles of housework mean I'm going to see things in a more positive light.  So it's an understatement to say I'm feeling positive today because I have more than six piles of laundry awaiting my attention and a cast iron skillet that has developed some sort of weird funk even though I just put it in the sink yesterday. 

(Seriously.  I hate washing that thing.  Which is sad because I love cooking in it.  Nothing tastes better than food from a perfectly cured cast iron skillet.)

Mostly, though, I feel like things are as they should be.  Dependence has a way of putting things in perspective without allowing any delusions of grandeur to creep in unwelcome.  And if there's anything I've learned from Star Wars, it's that no one appreciates a Jedi with delusions of grandeur.

This is a good place.

Source
Hopefully a place that includes awesomely effortless
patchwork skirts like this one.
PastorJosh has been preaching with deep conviction regarding God's presence and capability in our lives.  Dry bones can live again (Ezekiel).  His Presence will manifest itself gloriously in the stories we tell in recognition of Him.


And there is enjoyment and a sense of belonging in community.  Which, oddly enough, may be affecting my reculsive tendencies.

Source
Of course, the real test will be what happens when I get
back to the classroom and try to juggle those demands.

I'm finding my heart changing toward running.

Source
I see it as obedience and a regular reminder of my need. 

Source
And God is regularly helping me to be "transformed by the renewing of [my] mind" (Romans 12:2).  Which means sometimes I have to remember:

Source

But, yeah.  Overall, this is a good place.  It's thick with the reassurance that "he who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil 1:6).

And now I have to de-funk that skillet.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

On Running

According to the program on my phone, I've spent 4 hours and 30 minutes of the last week walking/running.  That's 270 minutes dedicated to an activity I despised and swore I would never do.  Not even to save myself from a violent crime.

Somewhere, I hear the cackle of my former PE teacher turned coworker.

I was initiated into this running club by a 7 inch blister on the back of my foot that I swore would callous if I could just keep walking.  So I bought NuSkin, bandaids and wrapped my foot to keep the rubbing to a minimum.  That particular jaunt ended with me walking barefoot on one foot with a bleeding heel until I could make it to the car.  The CCL offered to piggy back me--that's how nasty it looked.  And believe me.  It didn't feel any better than it looked.  I limped for days.

But all of that is beside the point.  The point is that God is using running to teach me about The Needing.  Well, actually, God has used everything in my current path to converge on me with a lesson about needing so powerfully that I found myself face down on my floor crying out to Him this afternoon.

When I look at my surroundings, I'm struck by how little we really need God to move.  Few of us really depend on Him for our daily bread and become the ultimate problem solvers when it comes to encountering temptation.  We pray for His kingdom to come on Sunday but seem to lose all real conviction the power and the glory that could work in our lives to bring Him praise any other day of the week.

We circle mountains and circle mountains and circle mountains living our lives of "quiet desperation" as Thoreau once said.  But never once do we...er, I...entertain the idea that my quiet desperation is a crying out for His presence.

Well, I didn't.  Until I started running.

The experience of running has been a nutty thing for me.  My legs may hurt, but I could honestly run a couple of miles except for the hinderance of my lungs.  In protest of this activity, my lungs refuse to process air.  Instead, my mouth takes it in and my lungs politely declare an unwillingness to expand for said air.  It's awesome.  And by awesome, I mean ridiculously panic inducing.  There's nothing worse than feeling suffocated--real, lack-of-oxygen suffocation.

My running partners (and my own sense of determination) have worked hard at pushing my boundaries.  More often than not, my brain hits panic mode and demands that I quit in order to breathe.  God used that opportunity to speak to me.

(I never want to speak *for* God, but the following is what took place in my heart during a particularly grueling session.  It wasn't out loud; however, it was very, very real.)

God:  Don't quit.

Me:  I can't keep going.  I need to breathe.  My lungs can't get enough air.  I can't keep going like this; I'll pass out.

God:  Ask Me.  Ask for My Strength.  You need Me for your next breath.

In my life of self-help-quiet-desperation, I never considered how deeply I have needed Him.  I've circled mountains with no hope of finding an end.

Then I heard Him say, "You've circled this mountain long enough; turn north" (Deuteronomy 2:3).

North didn't mean those things dropped out of sight or magically disappeared.  North has been a place of complete and total dependence on His capability alone. 

It's running and depending on Him for my next breath.

So in the near future, I'm praying for a Needing that will grip my heart and not let go.  If running is the only thing that reminds me to Need, it will become a daily part of my routine.

Feel free to hold my hand on this trip.

We're heading north to find streams in the wasteland (Isaiah 43).

(Thoughts?  Comments?  Every blogger appreciates feedback.)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

He Is My Light, My Strength, My Song

Christ began to speak to my heart about community more than five years ago, but it's been recently that He's chosen to smother my physical and mental being with the same.message.from.twenty.different.mouths.

Community.

It means I don't have any excuse to be a curmugeonly recluse--which is my heart's tendency.

But it also means I've been neglecting things here a bit because community is chasing my heart into submission.  (And I've become a sorta runner.  I promise there are hilarious stories and gross pictures of the back of my foot in your future.)

I promise I have a lot of things to say.  I promise Jesus has been speaking to my heart and doing works in my life that are nothing short of miraculous.

And I'll be sharing those things all through the month of July.

So stay tuned.

I'll be back after the birthday festivities (which are in full swing tomorrow).

Until then, pray for my church, my community and my family.  My heart is full of the understanding that our answers are in Christ Alone.