Friday, August 14, 2020

I Am A Writer (& A Runner)!

Today I ran. I got up when my alarm went off at 7 AM...Okay-full disclosure-I reset it to 7:30...but I popped up at 7:30 much like a pop tart out of a toaster. We are camping in our new-not-yet-a-year-old-camper. I took Roxy for a walk before doing anything else. The campground was quiet, only a few other humans and their canine charges were moving. I returned her to the camper and took off alone. Today was a run day, and I was determined to get at it and get it done. 

The Kentucky air was thick, heavy, and sultry. The sky is hazy with the promise of storms later in the day. I walked my 5-minute warm-up. I had chosen to skip ahead and moved on to week 3 of C25K. Week 1 and week 2 were too easy, so skipping  ahead made perfect sense. Also running fewer, but longer intervals appealed to me today. I ran a loop around the campground choosing my path on how much uphill running I would have to do.  I noted that at some point soon I would have to stop avoiding hills. In all honesty, hills aren't that big of a deal for me, but much like everything in my life, I have avoided everything that causes me pain, and take the easier way out. That's how I ended up this way. 

I ran and then walked, ran, and then walked.  It wasn't a serious effort, just a ticking off on a to-do list.  As usual, I was as slow as a turtle.  None of that mattered though. I ran, passing a few people: Most walking dogs, a few more just sitting outside in front of their camper, enjoying the quiet of the morning. Sweat beaded and ran down my face, more from the weight of the humidity than my efforts, and when I stopped to stretch it ran into my eyes.  I wiped my face dry with my t-shirt and continued on just enjoying what my body can do and the peacefulness of being alone, in nature, and on the pavement. 

I finished and had a low carb breakfast with Josh and Gavyn. Roxy got the leftovers.   Currently, I am sitting beside a large pond while my husband and son fish. It is peaceful here too. Even with the whine of a weed eater going behind me, I am enveloped in cool, breezy peace.  A few raindrops spill onto my keyboard and I hide in the shelter of some pine trees. (Pines give the best shelter from the rain) and work to finish my writing. 

Last night I spent a bit of time with God, praying and attempting to listen to what God had to say to me.  Then I read The Circle Maker, a book about the power of prayer by Mark Batterson.  There was a section about praising God for what you have been praying for before you even receive it.  As a Christian, I had heard people do this often. I had even done it when praying for my Mother and sister's breast cancer diagnoses. I knew it was a way to show faith, but I will admit I never felt comfortable doing it.  It always felt forced and inauthentic. For all this time, I had been praying for my life's purpose.  Since 2014 when I did not receive the teaching job I thought I had been called to, ever since I had given up my certification and let my dream of teaching go, I had been asking God what my purpose was. Evidently, I am not one of these people who can float through life without a purpose, because my apparent lack of one weighed heavily on me, causing an apathetic attitude toward life and sometimes even depression. God had told me years ago, I was supposed to write. In my disbelief He had even given my sister the same message, and yet- I didn't believe it.  Even in my past blogs and social media posts, I expressed my blatant disbelief that God would want me to write for him.  I knew God could choose anyone for his purpose-even an old, dirty sinner like me- but I was no Moses. Who am I to write words for God? I felt unworthy and still do.  I worried what others would think of me.  I kept questioning him as if I had not heard his voice loud and clear. However, something happened last night.  I read this passage; "True Faith doesn't celebrate ex post facto, after the miracle has already happened; true faith celebrates before the miracle happens, as if the miracle has already happened because you know that God is going to deliver on his promise."  

I finally got it last night. I am a writer.  I have been a writer since I could pick up a pencil. Every time I write a piece of poetry, a story, or a blog post that glorifies HIM, I am fulfilling my purpose! I am already writing for God.  My purpose is being fulfilled and I didn't even see it happening in front of me. I thought because my audience was non-existent, and my books unfinished, that I couldn't be fulfilling my purpose. I had been living my life as if the good stuff was still to come, instead of enjoying the good stuff that is happening now.  I may not ever have a huge audience, I may not ever get a book published, or be a best-selling author, but I know that as long as my pen scratches across the page, and keyboard clicks that I am fulfilling the purpose God has laid out for me.    

 So tonight, I will circle my Jericho, and ask God to make sure that every word I write is pleasing to him. That every word I write helps bring someone else closer to HIM.  That is all I want. Anything else God allows me to have will be the icing on the cake of life. 

The only cake I am allowed to have right now. 😆

Sunday, August 9, 2020

...And So It Begins...

So I have started a "biggest loser" Challenge with my sisters. We are going to see who can lose the most weight before my niece's wedding.  It is also going to coincide with my 90 Day V-Shred Challenge. 

I bought a V-Shred package back in May. It comes with food plans and workouts. All I had to do was follow them. I didn't follow them. Like many other Americans during this stressful time, I can not bring myself to get my butt moving. I can't get motivated. What is the point of trying when the world may end tomorrow?

However, that is just another excuse. I know the world probably won't end tomorrow. I also know that even if it does Jesus still wants me to do my best today.  So that is what I have done this week, a soft version of my best.

I have started C25K over for the five-millionth-bejillionth time.  It is too easy in the cardio aspect- which is good, considering I have heart issues- but is just slightly easy on the physical side.  I have run twice this week on Monday and Wednesday. My body was really tired on Wednesday.  So my next run will be scheduled for Saturday.  I have not yet started the V-Shred workouts.  I am not going to start them until I am comfortably able to run 3 times a week with minimal soreness and fatigue.  I want to avoid extreme soreness and injury.  

Here are my stats for Monday and Wednesday.  I am slow as a turtle, but that's okay because I love Sea turtles. 

As you can see, the last screenshot is a lot slower than the first day.  I just have to remember that every run is progress, and a step toward obtaining my goals and living the life I want for myself.

I signed up for a bunch of virtual races between now and the end of the year.  I know I am being ambitious. A few of them are only one-mile races that I will do just for time- to check my speed 😆, and the rest progress upward in distance until the end of the year with a 10K race.  I will be working hard to accomplish this goal.  The website I signed up with has free races, so that helped me keep my cost down.  They still provide you with a printable bib for completing the free race, which I thought was pretty cool and a nice gesture.  So I only paid for a few of the races because I wanted the really cool bling. The bling is some very cool, unique medals and official racing bibs. The website I used is  They are famous for their "Bible Race Series," which I plan to start doing in 2021- God willing! 

Here is one of the medals I will be receiving when I complete the race.  (I told you I love sea turtles!)

Weekend Update

I didn't run on Saturday, I overslept and it was just too hot to hit the Kentucky pavement by 10 AM.  So I am going to run tonight-Sunday- after dark. 

I received my first medal in the mail. It-remarkably- is the race I am going to run in December, the 10K. The last race of the year; My big race; My goal for 2020.  Here it is: 
Pretty snazzy, huh.  I picked this race for my longest distance ever because of the bible verse. Isaiah 40:31 may be one of the most beautiful, most promising, verses in the Bible.  It says:

This has been an inspiring verse when I run. It has reminded me that God will hold me up when I am weak and get me to the end of whatever race I am running. 

The prior few verses are a powerful promise from God to his followers. It says:

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. 
-Isaiah 40:28-31

So despite being 50 pounds obese, and another 31 pounds to normalcy, I take God's promise and claim it as my own, and I RUN. I run till the sweat run down my face and into my eyes, I run until my asthma kicks in and I use my inhaler and never break stride, I run til my calf muscles lock up and I am carried across the finish line, not by my own power but by God's.  

 I claim these promises for myself. I will not be shaken from my goal this time. I have the LORD on my side. 

Have a Blessed Sunday!

My Before Pictures