Goodbye 2018 Hello 2019

I know I’ve talked about this before but I think it bears repeating. Each year brings on new opportunities and will bring on some level of heartache. It is what you decide to do with each is what matters the most. I do believe in goal-setting, not so much resolutions. You should be constantly reviewing and setting your goals throughout the year and not just because a new year has started. Do you look at the end of year year with contentment because it did not go the way you imagined when it started out?

It is so easy to focus on all the negative. I see so many people that are ready to smash 2018 out of their history. There are moments from this year that I would love to say the same and over the last 2 weeks may have felt a certain level of disdain for it. I’ve had a lot of things go wrong that I could really be focused on especially with this unexplained neck pain for 2, almost 3 weeks now.

I could be focused on the fact that I set out to do a marathon and had to stop after 12 miles. I could be focused on the fact that someone close to me attempted suicide a few weeks ago. I could be focused on all my health issues or the fact that I’ve been living in the complacency to avoid all tough matters in the family. Which I believe is what caused all the stress that lead to that neck injury- although there is not a definite answer on this.

I choose, however, to focus on the positives on 2019. No, I am not living in denial. I am living in the light that the Lord, my savoir, asks me to live in. So let’s look back. I spent the year training for a marathon. I ran further than I ever thought possible. I met new friends a long this journey and have learned new things. I am passionate about helping others for a cause that I didn’t even know about prior to signing up. And I made it 12 miles in a race that I wasn’t quite ready for due to some health issues. That freaking rocks!

I have discovered some things health wise that I need to keep a eye on and have a new perspective on what I’m putting into my body. The person who I am close with is now getting the help they need which will bring them closer to having a better year too.

I do have some definite goals looking ahead and will be flexible with these goals as I grow and adapt over the next year.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
—John 16:33
I have decided to be team captain in my journey to the marathon this year and will be working on my health. This is a continuation year but with new knowledge, I know my goals will be stronger. My focus word for the year is Change, as I know that I cannot expect great things without change and will be striving to a new me, made anew with Christ.

Where is your focus for 2019? And could 2018 have been better than you thought?

Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Becoming Grandma

I have had so many people tell me over the last 9 months how becoming a grandparent is so different from anything you have ever experienced. They said the love that fills you is just amazing. I tell you, I can’t even begin to explain this as it is so incredible and I never knew I could feel this way. Sure, every one of my kids, my heart was full and I loved so much but this is different. I really do think it is because the love you feel for your child, the proud-ness you are feeling of them becoming a parent and doing it all combines with this beautiful little human that is now your grandchild that it is just an explosion of emotions.My story start on Monday, November 26th with a phone call from my daughter on who she should call because her water broke. I sat at work very impatiently waiting for part 2, when do I go to the hospital to join her. Does she even want me there still and how is she doing, baby doing? I had my phone close by waiting. 1230 came and that means lunch time for me. I texted her shortly before to see if she is dilated any or if they had even checked her yet. She said 4 and I thought, oh my wow that was fast.

I responded with a do you still want me there, it’s okay if you don’t. I really needed to get to lunch so I called to see if I should come or go to lunch. I was told to come. I stopped at Holiday on my way over to grab a quick bite and a drink.  I ate that pretzel as fast as I could and got up to the room. They had people in there trying to fix the tv.  She already looked tired.

I spent some time there watching her contractions on the screen. Her fiance was hungry so I ran to Subway to get him food.  I brought that back. About an hour or so later, the nurse gave her pain meds as it was getting harder for her to go without. The nurse said that if these slowed the contractions that she would need to start a drip to keep them going. Well that happened so I decided that I would run to the Church for a meeting I had booked already.

In the meantime, the second dose of pain meds made her sick so they were trying the mask. That worked for a bit but they still got pretty intense on her so finally she asked for the epidural. 11 hours and almost an hour of pushing. I got to see this baby boy enter the world. Watching my daughter go through that, understanding her struggles, as I have been there a few times. It just made me love this boy all the more. Her fiance was crying and just overfilled with joy that he couldn’t cut the umbilical cord so I got to do this.

I have never looked at a baby with so much love and awe as I did in that moment. It was truly amazing and I love him so incredibly much that I can’t even explain it.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

The Christian Democrat

So I do not talk politics very often and I strongly believe this is a personal thing so I will not be talking about what I believe in as far as that goes. But I wanted to talk about this post on facebook that I couldn’t figure out why it bothered me so much until now. See I have seen so many posts that are hateful and I end up rolling my eyes or thinking seriously people this isn’t worth breaking friendships over. But I never dwelled on those posts. They make me sad over all and I pray for the people involved but I really do not think twice about them. So why was this one post on election night still bothering me today.

Okay so what was the post? Well it started with someone ranting over the fact that our voting poll is in a Church. Eyeroll here- I mean I know the Church isn’t trying to convert that person and they are just being petty. But then I read the arguments going back and forth. The last one I read really bothered me. It had said that if you step into a school that you vote for the referendum and if you step into a Church, you will vote conservative. All I could think is what?

So I’ve been thinking on this, obviously for 2 days now… And my gut reaction was I know very strong democrats that would never change their mins on something and same with my republican friends/family. But then I started thinking about it all. These people are strong in their beliefs no matter what. They know God and they know what they stand for in politics and they do not mix the two (oh and the misuse of separation of state and religion on that post…)

Anyway, the people I thought about are the ones that don’t know anything about certain policies or maybe the part of government that is being elected. So they are sitting in the school voting and they have no idea what this referendum means so they are like, I like the school, I’ll vote yes to help them out. Okay, so now I get that but still this isn’t about location still. It is truly about making sure that the person voting knows what they are voting for. But I would to believe that even if that person wasn’t sitting in the school, they would have the same thought if they didn’t know much on the subject. I do know its more likely they would in the school than not.

So now the reason that I think this bothered me so much. I think that it bothered me to think that people out there believed you couldn’t be Christian and Democrat at the same time. And how much this could influence others to believe the same. Just because it seems that Republicans are not afraid of the Religion does not automatically make them the only believers. I very much know Democrats that are very strong in the political views, as well as their faith in God. I believe that they would vote Democratic even if they didn’t like the person they were voting for because they are that strong opinionated on the subject. So don’t think that you can’t be Christian if you have a liberal viewpoint. Don’t let the world control you. Put your trust in the Lord and let whatever follows happen. Stepping foot into a Church (you actually only go into the school part, it’s done in the gym and there is an entrance directly into that gym from both side straight to the outside) does not mean you will instantly change into something that you are not.

Be educated on what you are voting for and don’t be afraid of what you believe in no matter what anyone else thinks. And trust me I get the fear of not pleasing others. I wrote this post and fear definitely is there over the backlash that could come from it. I have a lot of posts that I feel that way on but I trust God will get me through no matter what so I continue to post.

Matthew 6:33-34

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Starting Over

This should be such a familiar concept by now. Get off track, gain weight, get out of habits, and then start over again. The will power it takes to start over each time is the hard time. You feel like why bother I’m just going to fail. I’ve always tried to keep my focus on health. At least that was what I told myself for the last 10 years. The 10 before that, I probably would have said it was for vanity reasons. The truth is, at least 1/2 the reason I wanted to work hard was for vanity reasons and honestly those don’t work for me anymore.

I had a recent scare in health, which there is no explanation for and I wouldn’t have thought it to be so major if I wouldn’t have gone into the ER. If I would have waited another day or 2, I probably would have gone through the same motions. Eat clean and I won’t have this episode again but then it would have been forgotten because I wouldn’t have had the unknown pancreatitis that appeared. My doctor believes that it truly was a gallstone that figured it’s way out without needing surgery. Fact is those come back especially if you don’t watch your diet and exercise. And I found out it is a balance between too much and too little.

Of course clean eating is a must. So here I am starting over again but with definitely a new goal in mind. And this time I can tell you, it is truly for my health. Where do I go from here? All I know is it will take one step at a time. Will be working on my Beach Body (stayed tuned- thinking about becoming a coach), starting over in my training for running (again more to come), and eating clean.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Hate for hate

Why does bullying get met with bullying and hate for hate? It is easier, I guess, but it also fuels you and takes up so much room to be angry. How long do you carry it around for? How much does it affect you?

I admit that I meet anger with anger at times. I try to remain positive and “kill them with kindness”. I’ve just seen so many memes and such that is like you mess with me and you will pay type attitudes. Jesus saw some of the worst bullying ever. I can’t even begin to imagine what he felt but He let go of it and overcame it all.

One of my favorite unknown author quotes is:

“You don’t have to be like the world to have an impact on the world. You don’t have to be like the crowd to change the crowd. You don’t have to lower yourself down to their level to lift them up to your level. Holiness doesn’t seek to be odd. Holiness seeks to be like God”Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Perfectionism is killing me

Okay, so not literally but I realized this morning how much it is hurting me. I’m reading this book about shame and perfectionism. You don’t really think about how much this all hurts you, you just do. I am a perfectionist and today I realized all the things that I limit myself on because I know it won’t be perfect. See, I used to clean my house everyday, so great but was criticized for missing an area or not doing something to another’s standards. I was picked on as a kid for running slow (this one, I haven’t overcame as much as I thought). I haven’t tried so many things for fear of failure.

My house, I honestly don’t clean like I used to and many times, I am doing the scramble clean that many of us do. I realized recently that I have been beating myself up for not running and now realize that I am probably running even less because I feel I can’t run. Like my running is all the way back to square run and I failed. I know that this last year has taught me a lot and I have faced fears and went forward to try but part of that was the perfectionism taking over, as well. See I had not missed a run until the taper and that was only because I had to go to another event. I did not plan anything for those Saturdays because I was afraid to run that far on my own. I would have given up much sooner, if I did.

Sunday morning, I knew there was a great chance that I would finish with the injury I had and the pace that it created after. But I could not, not start. I had told everyone that I was running that marathon. I couldn’t let people down but not even starting. After the race, I even thought maybe I shouldn’t say anything about the 1/2 that I have planned in a few weeks, as then I don’t have to do it if I don’t want to. I feel like I’m starting over with everything again and really I should stay focused on the plan (perfectionism- plan it out, if you are going to fail, quit so there is no shame). I hold myself to this standard that is impossible to reach and then give up before failure. I don’t want to be made fun of or even hurt myself by being so disappointed. The thing is, I am so glad that I only did 12 miles on that run. It did teach me a lot. And oh my gosh the support that I’ve had since. It was not a failure, it was just imperfect and that is okay.

Yes, I’m learning this and have a long, long way to go to perfect the imperfect. Sorry bad joke.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience- Colossians 3:12Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

I was in a marathon

Notice how I say in and not finished. That is right, I didn’t finish. I ran 12 miles before getting on the bus. I am disappointed but yet proud. Three, four years ago, I would have said you are very crazy to even think that I would run a 1/2 marathon, let alone a full one. A little over a year ago, I was in awe of a friend of mine and at the same time thought she was crazy. The same day that she was running the marathon so was another person in my Church. And she had a message that came on the big screen at Church. She was bringing this cause to our Church. I discovered that day how there were children around the world who had to walk an average of 2 miles each way to get water. The water was not usually clean and makes the them and their families sick. They, many times, cannot go to school because they are either walking to get the water or paying for drinking it with illness. But they don’t have a choice. This is their life… except… that World Vision exists. Their goal is to help a village to get wells that provide clean water to all the children there and their families.

So how can I help? – run a marathon like this leader was doing. 12 of us signed up from the Church and started this journey. I ran every week 4 days a week. The training got longer and harder. I was in last place the further we ran. I did my first half marathon and that was a struggle but that had a lot more to do with the day than anything. After that was a 14 mile run that I rocked at. Then it seemed to get slower again. I got hurt on the 18 mile run- my own doing. Then the allergies kicked in and I couldn’t seem to get a good run in until the taper. Back to normal. I was feeling pretty good but still nervous about finishing in the 6 hours allowed for the race.

As the days got closer, all I knew was I was going to do what I could. Driving there and the crowds definitely had me nervous but we figured that all out. I got to the Church yesterday morning just fine. It was beautiful and the energy was electric. We sang, prayed, and then gathered for the most amazing clapping to cheer on our team. Amazing. Then our fearless leader said on to Saint Paul and it just got real- 26.2 miles ahead of us. We walked over to the start. I got into the corral and paced a bit while doing some warm up stretches. The first corral was released and then the second one. We were up next and there were a lot of people around me. My plan originally to stick with my 4 min run, 1 min walk. There were so many people around me and I really didn’t want to start walking with them all there.

I ran probably 2 miles before I saw 2 ladies who were doing the same intervals on my training. So when I saw them walking, I gave myself a break finally. Then I did that a bit, not my perfect 4-1 but walked when I felt like I needed a min. I believe this is what hurt me. I ran too much in the beginning and didn’t give myself the breaks that I needed. But the race I did run was exhilarating. There were kids all along the path that were counting how many high fives they could get. Adorable. There were bands playing and people cheering me for the whole 12 miles that I made it. It was truly an amazing experience. So, yes, I am a little sad, especially when I see my team members telling each other that they are a marathoner. I mean I am so incredibly happy for them for that accomplishment- just sad that I’m not a part of that team. I will be one day, just not now. I am so proud of myself for my 12 miles and bringing 43+ kids clean water. This is what I am passionate about and the whole reason I was even running to begin with. I would have said no to anyone else. I accomplished something so much bigger than I ever thought possible. I will continue training as I have been only starting from the beginning and working on my speed as well as diet to accomplish a better well being. I know that when I work on less sugar, I have less pain which will be what I need to keep going.

Next year- I have a big surprise to my running journey and I’m excited about teaming up again. Not guaranteeing another marathon but will be accomplishing so much more.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Faith not fear

This is such a hard lesson. The “norm” has us wanting to be like everyone else. We want to fit in and fear that we don’t. This leads to other fear and as the punches keep coming, it is hard to stand in faith alone.

I have thought a lot about this on some level over the last 5 years. I talk often about the black cloud that followed me for years. It had consumed me in all that was going wrong and I had no focus on anything going right. It was a really hard life to live in.

I found the light and slowly over a 6 week Bible study found myself coming out of the darkness and sharing that light with everyone. Bad stuff continued over that time of living in the light and eventually, I lost time. I started putting other priorities first. I started saying that my lessons for Sunday School & Youth Group were enough. I had to prepare myself and learn it so that was good enough.

I stopped talking to God as much and eventually that black cloud caught up with me this last year again. It did not consume me but oh how it tried. Fear is there all around us every day. Fear of finishing a marathon has definitely has rode beside me this last year. Fear that my daughter will not find Godly friends and will not find that path that will lead her to a much better place.

Fear that I’m not good enough in anything!- marriage, work, mom…

I’ve returned recently to spending more time in God’s presence. Not that I didn’t talk to him or read my Bible, it was just sparse recently. You start to think you have it all under control (we are not in control) so you just talk and study less- I mean things are going good right?

This study that I’ve been doing has really spoken to me about the broken path and how to get back on the God- given path. About living in faith not fear. Something that really stuck out to me today that brought me to this post is “God does not tells that fear goes away- he tells us to be courageous, live without fear but does not say it won’t be there.” We need to stand up in our faith, live with God (He IS with us All the time), and know fear may be there but through faith (trust), know that God is taking care of it so we do not need to live in that fear.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

Only 14 miles

It is always weird to say that. Two weeks ago, I said only 12 miles. But then those 12 miles were hard. I ran/walked the 18 this last week. My feet hurt so bad and my mind was so done before my body. Getting this high in numbers is definitely a mind game. I do look forward to the 14 that I once dreaded this weekend but I do worry about the week/s that I have had recently. I can’t seem to get above 7 miles on my Tuesday runs and this week because of my feet hurting, I only ran 2.

I’ve been sick with my allergies so that is another hurdle that I have faced. I will run 5 tonight as I’m feeling that I can. It’s fitting through that my reading today brought me to not worrying about the future and focusing only on today. I’ve said that since the beginning of this journey but have found myself so focused on the upcoming weeks. Scared of these bigger miles, scared of my recent weeks and how they will affect me.

I do know I need to take a step back and focus today on the only 5 miles that I will be running and know that is all I need for today. Tomorrow is a different day full of all it’s own trouble as Jesus warned us about each day in Matthew 6:34. So now is the how…

I will bring my focus on what I am thankful for today. What I need to accomplish only for today and my Bible/ conversations with the Lord for today. I will still plan for the things that I need to (hotel stay, paying for the dinner, and things that are a necessity to get there) but only focus on what today’s tasks are.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-

I Wish (a note to my daughter)

Some days, I sit here and think about the choices you are making. Yes, all of them but the small ones really. Like when you decide to dress a certain way to impress or feel you can’t leave the house without make up. I want to scream at you (in the most loving way) that you are beautiful the way you are. I want to tell you that you don’t need to wear that to impress some boy.

I wish that I could say, I walked down the path that you have and trust me when I say you don’t need to. I have done things that I am definitely not proud of to impress “the right” people. I’ve only got hurt sweetie. The people who truly love you, love you in what ever you are wearing. They love you with no make up or not having to be someone that you think you should be for them.

People are hard my dear girl and if you spend your life trying to please them, you will feel empty and alone, even if you are with a lot of “friends”. I’d love to tell you that God is the only one who can make you feel not alone and give you the security that you are looking for and that if you could only put your full trust in Him, you would truly understand what that means.

I get how hard that is because I’m still learning how to do that. I have spent so many more years trying to please others and not myself or the Lord that I try to serve. When you find the right person or even friends, they will make you feel like you accomplished something great together, not something dark. They will help you to shine light one to others. They will help you to look at this hurting world and go I need to show others that God does still exist.

They will light up the room when they see you and you will do the same for them because you are full of happiness and not full of trying to please.  When you are so focused on pleasing others, you forget yourself and feel rejected when they don’t do what is expected them to do. It hurts so bad and you don’t see His light shining through, you see hurt and heartache. Again, I wish I could tell you I’ve been there and you understand that it is true. That you could know that just because I am 23 year older than you does not mean that I don’t understand or that today’s world is different.

Yes, hunny, it is. I know it is and it scares me too but it does not mean I haven’t been there. It just means that we each had different struggles to carry. Each may be different but all relative.

I love you my dear daughter. You are very special and you will be a star shining bright for the world. Just know if you are happy with yourself because God made you who you are- very unique, just like me. People may not like you but who cares, God loves you. I love you. That is all that really matters and you let your light shine through who you are sweet child.Sending All My Love!
Now tell me your story-