Here I go again

365 Project: Day 64 I registered for my third Twin Cities Marathon last week. Yippee! I think I’m addicted. Actually, it seems that the running journey that I began last year at this time has changed me in more ways than I could have predicted or expected. I’ve learned so much about myself and how much I really am capable of doing, both physically and mentally. One year ago, when I started my training, I remember not even being able to run even half a mile without stopping to catch my breath. After a knee injury during my first marathon, I took a ten-year hiatus from any serious running. During that time, I experienced the healing power of God in my knees. I am so grateful. I knew in my heart I wanted to run again. So, in 2011, I was back! It was one of the most memorable and eye-opening journeys, and life-changing experiences of my life. My confidence was waning in some areas of my life recently, and I was having trouble getting my mind off of some of my insecurities. My husband Jon asked me, “How many people do you know who’ve run a marathon? How many people in the United States or the world have even attempted to do what you’ve done twice already?” Well, it made me think. I have a few friends who’ve run one or more marathons, but I was so curious about the stats on marathoners, so I looked it up. The general consensus is that roughly .1% of the U.S. population have run at least one marathon. Jon then asked me, “Have you EVER been in the top .1% of anything good? 🙂 That’s one in one thousand people.” I laughed a little, and then said, “Of course not.” I know it’s an accomplishment, but when he worded it that way, I immediately felt a new sense of confidence rise up. I was like, ‘Yeah! You’re right. I can do anything.’ I know that God has done amazing things in me—spirit, soul, and body—and I couldn’t have ever done it without His help. I also know that I had to give God something to work with, which meant I had to put one foot in front of the other and keep up with the training for all those months to be able to accomplish the goals set before me. God would help me, but He couldn’t do it for me. If you’ve ever challenged yourself physically in some way, you know that you’ve put yourself smack dab in a mental battle that is, more often than not, more difficult to overcome than the physical challenge itself. If you’ve never done this, you’ll find out quickly that exercising your mind in this way and pressing through the toiling makes you grow and become a stronger person. Your faith in God is strengthened because you see things happening you couldn’t have imagined yourself doing before. I am very competitive with myself, so I’m very excited for the challenges in the coming days, weeks, and months as I increase my speed and intensity this time around. I sometimes wonder why I feel such a draw to keep doing this. In part, my personal goals help keep my mind healthy, active, and focused… and out of oppression and depression (which I’m sure I’ll talk about another time). The other part is this. The Lord is the one who puts dreams, goals, and aspirations in our hearts, so when we ask Him to help us walk them out—and He does—we feel fulfilled and good about ourselves. When we feel fulfilled and good about ourselves, we contribute good things to the world we live in and make it a better place. When we contribute good things to the world we live in and make it a better place, God is glorified in and through us. There’s nothing like seeing God work in your life and being able to give Him all the glory for something–from start to finish. Psalm 108: 3-4 ~ I will thank You, Lord, among all the people. I will sing Your praises among the nations. For Your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Proverbs 16:9 ~ In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his...

Read More

Our second week!

365 Project: Day 63.2 🙂 This was part two of day 63. I had to promise everyone that I would not make them assemble for a picture every week we meet for our Bible study/ Fresh Manna group. I wanted to take a picture this time too because my father-in-law, Royce, and my brother-in-law, Jay, weren’t there the first week. I just feel like it’s a special time in our family’s history. We’ve never done anything like this before, so I want to capture the memory with all the people. Back: Nick, Royce, Jay, Donna, Jon, Me | Front: Laura, Hannah, Jessica It’s been such an awesome couple weeks of connecting and talking about God with the family–and what He’s doing in our lives. I love that we’re coming together for the purpose of keeping the Lord and His goodness at the center of it all. It’s so...

Read More

Three years at LWCC

365 Project: Day 63 Wednesday, February 1st was my 3-year anniversary of working at church. Prior to beginning this “working mom” journey, I was exclusively a stay-at-home mom for the previous 13 years. My last job before deciding to stay home with my kids was as a Nursing Assistant in a nursing home, so this has been quite a change for myself and my family. The Lord, my husband, and my kids have all been very patient with me as I try to figure out how to not only do everything I did before, plus add work on top of it. His grace is amazing, and somehow we’ve never had to wear the same underwear for two days straight. I just feel so blessed to be on staff at the church whose ministry changed the course of my life, and what makes it better is that Jon and I get to work there together. This is my cubicle. It’s always neat and orderly, but you’d think after three years, I’d have spruced the place up a little. I am not Miss Decorator USA, so it’s just one of those things, I guess. It’s my goal to, at the very least, get some pictures of Jon and I and the kids in frames, and put them on my desk before another year goes by. I don’t know why I’ve tricked myself into thinking it’s so hard. It’s not. Well, anyway… stay tuned! I’m sure it will be a picture-worthy event when it happens. I am blessed. I love my job, my co-workers, and even my undecorated cubicle. God has been so...

Read More

The headphones

365 Project: Day 62 I feel like this is kind of a weird picture to post, but it was almost 10 p.m. and I still hadn’t taken a picture for the day. So, this is it. I’ll resist the temptation to criticize my looks after a long day, because it’s just annoying when people do that. 🙂  Here I am, sitting in my living room with my headphones on, while Jon watched something on TV.  Jon bought me these Sennheiser headphones for Christmas, and I LOVE them! He knows I love to blare music, so it’s his gift to both of us, I’m pretty sure. They block out pretty much everything except the music (or whatever you’re listening to), and they have a 10-foot cord. You have to be careful to not step on the cord though… unless you have someone techy in your life who’s willing to connect the plug-in thing back to the wires for you whenever you break them. I have done this at least four times since Christmas. It even comes with a thing to wind the cord up and clip it on something, and after the fourth time of breaking them, I decided the cord-winder was a good idea. Unbeknownst to us at the time, there was a $20 price-drop during the Christmas shopping season, and these headphones were only $18! They’re $37.99 today, but if I was in the market for new ones, I’d say they’re very much worth $37.99. Jon’s used to seeing me bopping away, but occasionally he’ll look over and shake his head and smile. It was a Victory World Music kind of day that day, and I played them over and over… and over. Montell Jordan is the main guy in VWM, and he’s also the guy from the 90s who sang the song, “This is How We Do It”. He has since given his life to Christ, and now he sings for the Kingdom… and is now a worship minister/leader at his church in Georgia! Cool, right? This first song is him with Beckah Shae (another artist I...

Read More

Colleges calling

365 Project: Day 61 In two days, my 10th grade daughter Hannah got five letters from colleges, inviting her to visit them and to consider applying. These arrived last week, and she’s gotten more from all over the United States every day since. She’s obviously gotten on some mailing lists, but what I really love about this is that people have asked me so many times over the years about whether or not homeschooling hinders a student’s opportunities and options for college. My answer is always an emphatic, “No, siree!” I’ve done lots of research on this in our 12 years of homeschooling, and even while I’ve personally been told by certain colleges that many of them seek out homeschoolers because of their work ethic and academic excellence, my adage to my daughters has remained the same. Here’s part of it: If you work hard, you will always have the same advantages as anyone else in life. If you slack off, don’t blame anyone except yourself. And if you trust God on top of doing your best and working hard, He’ll always get you where you need to go. He’ll never let you down. He knows the best way to get you there, so even if you think you have it all figured out, leave room for Him to lead you into His perfect will for your life. He knows what He’s calling you to do, and He’s always on your side. The Creator of the Universe is the best advantage, so keep Him first...

Read More

Mmmm… chai tea latte

365 Project: Day 60 Besides water and coffee, my favorite drink at home is a homemade Tazo Chai Tea Latte. Homemade means different things to different people. Just roll with me here. You just fill your mug up with half the mix and the other half with milk, and then microwave it for a couple minutes until it’s hot. One box stretches pretty far. The box says there are eight servings in a box, but how far you can stretch it depends on your size mug, I suppose. They come in a 3-pack at Costco for somewhere around $8, but they’re also sold individually everywhere. If you ordered this drink at Starbucks for the amount of times you can enjoy it at home, you’d go broke. Well, that’s kind of an exaggeration, but not entirely. It’s such a huge cost-savings though, so it’s a no-brainer… I would never order this because I can make my own for so cheap. It’s the yummiest hot drink, with the right amount of sweetness, to warm you right up on a chilly Minnesota evening… or morning… or...

Read More
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterCheck Our Feed