Wednesday, July 2, 2014

unconditional acceptance

There are people in all our lives who are supposed to love us regardless of how annoying we can be. It's part of the job description that comes with being in a family, or joining one. I'm not the easiest person to love, obviously or I probably wouldn't still be single, but somehow most of my family figures out a way to love me despite myself. Some can't stop looking towards my past, but try their best to love me despite, and honestly probably would never tell me they love me. They know I assume they do and we keep our relationship there.  But sometimes, family doesn't hold up the job description. So what do you do? It hurts...to realize that they don't. To see them loving so many others in your family, to have such wonderful things to say about everyone else and yet for me, I cannot always feel the same.



This all kinda brought me down yesterday, I had a great time at the movies after work, skipping my workout to eat too much popcorn and then head home to lasagna a dairy-free gal shouldn't eat...which means I ate too much. This made me feel bad, which means once my family found out I get fussed at, lectured and all my actions are looked at as if I still have an eating disorder. While I will admit I struggle with a mental battle that I will probably always have to fight, I am no where close to where I was and I hate when they act like I am.
Anyways the whole thing is all as much my fault for being silly and overemotional as everyone's, so I retreated to take a bath when I realized that I couldn't recall any positive statement made regarding me by one family member in particular. Feeling awkward after that, I kinda hung out in my room, figuring it would be best in my current emotional state anyways.

This morning looking back to the whole evening, my mistakes and what I could change, and what I can't (I do need to work on not letting one night of horrible eating ruin my evening, but I cannot change that my family can't seem to let go of my past) I realized something...


They didn't love Christ either. Christ loved us so much He came down to save all our lives, and while He did have many who loved Him, who spoke kindly of Him, there were more that didn't.  One of His closest, His family of disciples didn't even love Him, and betrayed Him. If the world treats Him that way, someone deserving of so much more love and respect then why would they me?



So WWJD?  What would Jesus do? What did Jesus do...He loved them regardless, He gave His life for them regardless.  And that is what I need to learn, to lay down my life, my needs, my wants for love and acceptance and love them anyways.



Mark 12:30-31King James Version (KJV)

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

But first I also need to learn to love myself more, I tend to be so hard on myself, always disappointed especially after a night like last night when I behaved so poorly and let my emotions get the best of me. But I cannot change the past I can only give it to God, ask for forgiveness and work towards a better today, a better tomorrow.  If my family can love me despite myself, and if God can love me despite myself, then I should be able to.



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Planting Seeds



So I'm supposed to be teaching classes with the Georgia Team Strong, so when I get the chance to take a class at my gym, with an instructor I really enjoy that pushes me, I've been watching them, observing to hopefully figure out what about them draws me to work harder, how they make me so much more driven then I am alone.



First was an instructor in Gold's gym's ride class every Saturday morning, 8:15 am.  I'm not one that can ride a bike indoors without being in a decent class. While she's not quite as exuberant as some, as the class goes on she opens up more. Somewhere within the ride get so motivated to keep going, to push myself and I realize its cause as she teaches she is pushing herself as well as everyone else. When she yells at you to keep going, she's really yelling at herself and there is something so motivating about that!  Her drive to give it all she has moves me to do likewise!

The Second Instructor teaches not only ride, but also core and power at least. His sense of  humor as well as attitude and awareness of the class. He uses humor to lighten your mood, and pays attention to all the class, not only to make sure they are doing it correctly, but just so they know they were noticed. No one wants to be in a class where their presence is not acknowledged.  He also does a great job of pushing everyone as he pushes himself.

Passion is an amazing thing, people can see it, can feel it. They know if it's real or if you are just putting on a show. You have to care about what you are doing or people wont care. Every class you teach, you are planting seeds in everyone's life and tending to those seeds.




I have an interesting history with not only food, but fitness and the gym.  At one point I became obsessed with running, and once I ran 10.5 miles, I then had to every time I ran or I would be a failure to myself. This of course is not healthy seeing as I ended up running 10.5 miles 5 days a week. You can only keep that up for so long until it does something to your body, and mind. Especially when your dietary intake is not sufficient enough for that level of exercise. Shortly afterwards I met with someone (now a close friend) and had to basically stop all cardio until I got my weight up...I over ran myself yet again. Then, when able, could only do 10 minutes of cardio a day.

Taking a break ended up being the best thing, not only for me physically and mentally, but for my relationship with running, I had made it a chore, something I was obligated to do and it lost its joy.



I've not regained my love for running along with a better awareness for how far to push myself.  While I am planning on running a marathon this year, I space out my runs and do them at paces and distances that fit. Yesterday for instance, after much fighting with myself I cut my run short since I was not feeling the best that morning and didn't want the 95° temperature to make me worse.  Doing that although reluctantly, made my run so much more enjoyable then if I had tortured myself for the full run I had intended.

Must remember:
I can always run a long run another day...and I am not a horrible person for only running a 5k instead.



(plus Oreo would've not made it for a longer run lol) 

I bring this all up because unknowingly I may have planted seeds in a friends life, I now watch doing the same I did.  Over exercising, under-eating...getting injured from the abuse they're trying to push though and call it 'healthy'. How do you help someone who is doing what you yourself did just a few years ago, heck maybe sooner...I've given advice when they started having a few pains and inquired of me, but I don't feel I'm in a position to just tell them what they are doing to themselves...they wouldn't listen. I never did.

So I stand back, watch and pray...I hope they learn the lesson I did...and hopefully not too late.  I don't know if I am partly to blame or not but it just goes to show you, you never know who might be watching, absorbing your actions, unconsciously or consciously.

Make sure the seeds you plant are fruitful and not weeds


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Psalm 139 eyes.

It's funny how some of the smallest things stick with you. A small favor or act, gesture, comments, or questions.

The first thing that Team Strong Georgia decided to hold was a Stone Mountain Laser Show


It was such an amazing time!  During our time together at the top, I was asked a question that has stuck with me. 

We were discussing my raynaud's phenomenon when David (mentioned in my last post) thinks this has something to do with my low blood pressure. It tends to be about 96 and when it gets in the 100's I kinda get freaked a bit. I like my blood pressure low, like everything.  I like a low weight, body fat %...and in the midst of all this another friend, who really understands me when it comes to my issues, asked me, 

Why was a low weight, low numbers, so important to me.

Honestly I had to think cause I'm still not really sure, but here's my best attempt for an answer.



I've always liked numbers, I was good at math as a child it came naturally to me really.Addition and subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, less than, more than, or equal to. They know there place, and they are unchanging, unwavering.  I however haven't always liked myself, I have rarely liked myself really. I'm a perfectionist who feels she's never as good as she wants herself to be. I do the one major no-no and compare myself to people with this killer workout and diet and me, struggling. Mind you we are in two very different places, they oftentimes have lives where it's not as much of a problem, living alone and financially able while I try to balance my healthy lifestyle at home while living with all my family and keep them from getting offended while being totally broke. Do I factor that in when I feel like I've failed, do I count my attempts? No, I failed and in the end, excuses and reasoning doesn't matter I didn't do what I should. This feeling of not meeting my own standards turns into standards I feel everyone else holds to me also, whether they do or not. Mix that with all the years I've been made fun of as a child, and I guess I've learned to not appreciate myself as much as I should. 

That turns into the basic factor that less of me must be a good thing.


Being that I've not dated much, and I've not been in any real long term relationships, subconsciously I've gotten to where I figure it must be me, so then again, less of me may be more appealing then more of me.  




I've always wanted to be this little, petite, girly girl. The one you see looking up at the guy, kissing him on, her toes.  I want to be little enough that I can run and leap randomly on a guy and he'll be able to hold me up. I want to be enveloped by him, covered. Why? Not sure, I guess I feel safer and protected that way. Here again, I'm really into the small thing, my favorite actress for instance is Audrey Hepburn, not that I will ever be as small as her, I find her beautiful on the inside and out. Maybe that's partly why I feel the way I do.



What's amazing about her is that it's not that she loved being small, but she embracd herself in a time when being small wasn't popular. She took what society said wasn't beautiful and dressed it up and believed it was anyways.



 It's something I'm working on.  While I've improved on my number obsession, and I've learned to love me (I like me more currently then I have previously in all of my life) but it is still a process, I've spent many years putting too much importance on the "less is more" concept and it's not something I can mentally just turn off. But we are all a work in progress, and this is just my own and with Christ's help I'll begin to see myself through Psalm 139 eyes.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Strength becomes me

How Strong are you? 



I don't necessarily mean just physically, but strength in its entirety. 

strong

 adjective \ˈstrŋ\
: having great physical power and ability : having a lot of strength
: not easy to break or damage
: not sick or injured
stron·ger  stron·gest 

Full Definition of STRONG

1
:  having or marked by great physical power
2
:  having moral or intellectual power
3
:  having great resources (as of wealth or talent)
4
:  of a specified number <an army ten thousand strong>
5
a :  striking or superior of its kind <a strong resemblance>
b :  effective or efficient especially in a specified direction<strong on watching other people work — A. Alvarez>
6
:  forcefulcogent <strong evidence> <strong talk>
7
:  not mild or weak :  extremeintense: as
a :  rich in some active agent <strong beer>
b of a color :  high in chroma
c :  ionizing freely in solution <strong acids and bases>
d :  magnifying by refracting greatly <a strong lens>
8
obsolete :  flagrant
9
:  moving with rapidity or force <a strong wind>
10
:  ardentzealous <a strong supporter>
11
a :  not easily injured or disturbed :  solid
b :  not easily subdued or taken <a strong fort>
12
:  well established :  firm <strong beliefs>
13
:  not easily upset or nauseated <a strong stomach>
14
:  having an offensive or intense odor or flavor :  rank<strong breath>
15
:  tending to steady or higher prices <a strong market>
16
:  of, relating to, or being a verb that is inflected by a change in the root vowel (as strive, strove, striven) rather than by regular affixation
— strong adverb
— strong·ish  adjective
— strong·ly  adverb

That is a lot for just one word.

It has such a deeper meaning then most of us really consider. This is what I want to be. Strong. Not just physically powerful, but morally and intellectually, rich in some active agent (that agent for me being Christ and God the Father) and magnifying and refracting greatly His eternal light. To be well established, not easily injured or disturbed, moving with force, not easily upset.


Striking and superior of my kind.

And yes, there are a few that aren't so attractive, 14, 15, & 16 I'd rather not be really. But for the most part, strength is such a complex and beautiful thing



Those aside, this is what my nonprofit group is all about, making people strong. They couldn't have picked a better name. Stronger then they were and stronger then they ever thought they could be. People who never imagined they could.


My friend Shannon Powell who first introduced me to Team Strong. His passion for God, health, and helping others really drew me. The problem was he was in South Carolina and I am not. Ohio also had one hosted by Karen Brennan which also wasn't going to work. But now I'm proud to say after finding someone else as inspired, David McAleer and myself are starting a Team Strong of our own, here in Georgia. Our first event being a Stone Mountain climb and laser show.




STRONGLife is a non-profit gym where everyone is welcome. Join us for free classes, or a specialized, paid class.

Description
“You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:20


STRONG is a Kingdom-building Group, that meets every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights. We focus on strength-training and endurance with WODs designed and coached by experienced trainers. We share in community about our struggles, praises, and how we can be serving others, all while training our bodies to be the best we can be for God’s glory. 


We are Strong Souls with Strong Bodies.


Team Strong is supported by Active8 whose values I stand alongside also. I'm not sure where God has this group is headed but I'm proud to say I will be a part of it. If you have any questions, or would like to be a part please check out any of the links and feel free to contact any one of us.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blessings

The blessings of others should be a blessing to us.



Have you every had a hard time with that before? Sometimes, while I really truly am excited for the individual, I start to feel a little neglected myself.  You wonder where God is in your life?




My sister just got a second great paying amazing job, only this time it really will be an amazing job! She has been through so much recently that I am really excited for her, and she's a great worker so she deserves it. With all that her and her husband have been through recently it has been a long time coming. 

And while I'm glad things are looking up for her, part of me wonders where God is for me. 



Once years back, one of the few times I attended youth church (although ironically I was no longer youth-they were trying to get me to become a youth leader which didn't happen) the youth pastor's dad was preaching and had a word for someone. I knew it wouldn't be me cause it never is...which is was.

He said that it was like I had a "to do" list for God and he wanted me to know he knew about it and was working on it. That was so true, and still is. 



While driving to work today I was thinking on this, all my desires: to have a soul mate, a better job, get out of debt, tone up, move out,...praying to God again for these things. Especially the soul mate, since I NEVER wanted to be single at the age of 28 and here I am and only have a little over 3 months left before I become 29. Why God is making me wait for so long only He knows, and I have learned to be happy being single, I can't say I still don't want my other half.  



I want a job where people like me there, where my boss likes me there, and where I actually earn enough to live off of instead of just barely scraping by.  Where there is a chance of promotion and I won't be stagnant. 



I'm tired of debt, which is self explanatory...I never imagined I would have so much debt at this age, but tis the american way I guess. My sister always says I shouldn't stress cause I can't take it with me and while that's true, to me it doesn't mean I need to keep letting it build up and not do anything about it.



Build muscle and lose fat. To a point this will always be a goal for me. Health and fitness is something I'm into and while I do like my body and myself currently, I would like to tone up. I want to be able to do a pull-up finally!  I want to climb a rope and be strong enough to do all the obstacles in obstacle course races!



I want my own place, my own area, strangely enough the main thing I think I want is alone time. Living in a house with 6 other adults and 8 dogs, you are never really alone.  Whereas before I worked with people and then had my "me" time at the gym before I came home to my mother, now I work with people and then see family before working out with family, coming home again to family and restarting the whole thing the next day. I love family don't get me wrong, but I never get any time to myself, a time to just enjoy the quietness with my Lord, gather my thoughts. 






Anyways, praying to Him this morning...contemplating all this and laying it all finally down at His feet for the upteenth time, wondering if I'd hear anything from Him or just feel like I was talking out to dead air...I heard this: 

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us

in context it is: 

11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Ephesians 3:11-21 KJV

How awesome is that? Gotta love when He answers so quickly. I had totally forgot I was listening to my bible CD on the way to work (which I do every morning generally).  I really needed this today, I needed this this year.  I am not sure what His plans are for me, or when any of them will take place, but I do know that He will come through. 

"The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted ." Proverbs 10:24 KJV.  

I will not let fear work through me. I will not give in to depression or any negativity.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him." Psalm 28:7 KJV







Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Comfort for my Soul

I look to you my God, for all that I am. For my worth, you take my shame, for my hope, you take my fears. You hold my heart and guide my soul.

Oh how I long for your embrace, your touch each day. Seeking your face each moment with each breath I take. Hold me oh my Father, place your cheek against mine, rest your heavenly face atop mine as I hide myself in all of you.  Your warmth resonating within me and dripping out between each finger and toe.  As I type I know you are looking upon me smiling.

Thank you for all that you are, thank you for all that you put into making me, and thank you for who you will help me to become.  May I bring honor and glory to your name.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

ablaze

Looking over some of my old blog posts, trying to find one for a friend got me rereading a few, these in particular



It's amazing how although written so long ago, it can really speak to me even now.  I realize despite all my efforts I'm still battling the same self disapproval...but I still hold the same hope :) I can see how I've grown from then till now and look over some of my walk with the Lord.

I've really recently been wanting to start back on my morning studies with the Lord, and now after meeting some wonderful fitness-minded Christians I really want to work again on improving my health. While my trip to Florida was amazing and blessed, I ate so much crap I've really and how that effects my body.  While I do believe in balance and moderation, I think I need to gain some moderation again.  So I will be trying to eat healthy again, getting back into shape and treating my temple with the respect it deserves.  Cause it's more then a bunch of crap I plop on the scale and get annoyed at once in awhile, it's me.  It's His temple and artwork...while I won't go into writing all that again, It's amazing how the passions of others can ignite you the embers of a fire that once burned so much more fierce!



Just wait, one day maybe I will be a fitness model, or at least one day I'll be able to achieve every obstacle during a race. 

Maybe one day I will look in the mirror and not find one single thing wrong with myself.