Honey, our soon to-be 5 year old Olde English Bulldog (her birthday is on April 11th!) is going to share inspiration with us all on Friday's. She is going to be my official Guest Blogger. Yay Honey! Besides being the sweetest girl in the whole-wide-world... she looks super cute when you dress her up. Watch out Zelda!
So, I signed up to run a half-marathon this May and I think I am having a change of heart. The question that keeps popping up in the back of my mind... What are you running from?
Now, if I was a runner, I'm pretty sure my thoughts would be What are you running towards? And in turn, I would have quick and easy answers like a goal, a finish line, a time, better health. But I am not a runner. My body was not made for running longer distances. I have to MAKE myself do every run.
What I lack in my running abilities I doubly make-up for in my competitiveness and in my drive. Ironically enough it was ME who said YES to this half-marathon. I was the one that convinced my two girlfriends we could do this. I convinced myself. Sure I could do this, I did it before in 2009. Sure I could do this, especially because I just turned 40. Sure I could do this... my friends are thinking they can, so if they can then I certainly can.
The problem is, I was a totally different person in 2009, when I ran my first 1/2. I was addicted to exercise. I was in a very unhealthy place - mentally. As a result of this addiction, I had the best physical body of my life. And I crave that body, still to this day. But I know there is a price to pay for it, that I am no longer willing to pay.
I have a strong tendency to be self-defeating. I have to fight it daily by wielding my shield of faith against the evil one. He will tempt me in the small things of life, like pride. Just think what you will look like if you run another 1/2... You need to prove you are still fit at your age.... you want others to admire your physical strength, don't you? What if you don't do this... you'll get fat. Nobody's going to like you that way...You aren't going to be good enough.
So now, I have to decide: Am I running for the good, or am I running from the taunts of the evil one whispering in my ear?
Each "race" that is presented to me in this life, I want to have the courage to run one way - and that is on the path the Lord has set for me, not my race, but His race!
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1
I recently read a line in a book that has been churning around in my brain, you know, in that spot that processes things you had no intention of ever really thinking about again...
"Sharing the struggles of life and death united even enemies, it was said."
Sharing - Struggles - Life - Death - United - Enemies... each one of those words alone can evoke a strong memory, but when you put them together to form a concise thought...powerful!
I have shared the struggles of life in one of the most intimate of ways throughout all of my tender childhood days into adulthood - with my sister. And together we shared the months of our father's failing health that led to his final days, and eventual death. We sat on opposite sides of his bed, watching him gasp for his final breaths of life.
But for us, these struggles, of life and death proved to be too much. The pain in our past cultivated separation and competition and deep feelings of misplaced hurt. Instead of uniting enemies, our life's have seemed to create them...
But the story doesn't end here. I will still hope! My God is a God whom can perform miracles! I will not let anyone tell me, even me, that my relationship with my sister is impossible. I will not let anything take away my hope. But rather, I will recognize the reality, I will remember the the pain, and I will hope for the future, as I live each day.
"Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark 9:23
On this cold, wet, gray Monday morning, as I return home from dropping off my two grade-schoolers, I contemplate crawling back into my bed and pulling the covers securely around me. I have a desperate need to shut out all that is waiting for me... no, change that, screaming for me, to take care of. My home.... the bills...my own expectations of whom I should be....
My thoughts drift to my bank account. I have the responsibility of one small account, to buy our groceries, gas for my car, the dog's food, fun for me, the kids, and our family. There are still 5 days until payday and I need gas and dog food, and a little more groceries... but my account is overdrawn.
I drift through my home on my way to the computer and notice the dirty clothes piled-up and strewn about the floors. They have been dropped, on the spot, where they were discarded for a new set of clean ones for the day. The beds are unmade, my 8 year olds lies in the corner of our front room, he has abandoned his bedroom for the last month and a half. I walk across dried mud caked and sprinkled on my hardwood floors from my daughters boots. The kitchen counter top is littered with dirty dishes and half-eaten breakfast. My dog takes the opportunity to hoist her front paws up to the counter and knocks down a chocolate chip waffle. I would not let my closest friend into my home right now. My account is overdrawn.
Does anyone else feel overdrawn? I can not seem to manage my money, my home, my life, they way I envision that I SHOULD. I think of everything that I want to be:
A wife that will make my husband proud
A mother that my children love
A homemaker, with an uber clean home; frozen meals stacked and labeled in my freezer
A fit woman, who can run a 1/2 marathon and keep up with the best of them
A writer that inspires the masses
A wise and frugal shopper that follows couponing blogs
A women's ministry leader that encourages women
I look at my list and see all of the Do, Do Do's.... and I reflect on how I feel if I DO NOT.
If I DO NOT, then I WILL NOT be loved. It is an intense state of fear. It sneaks upon me after a sunny spring day of laughter and calm. It worms it's way into my heart when I am least expecting it. Remember Carole, they left you.... when you were a baby, when you were a little girl...what are you going TO DO, to make sure they don't leave you again?
My account is overdrawn today, and I am terrified that there is nothing I can DO about it.
... More to come! Excerpts taken from book I am writing:
After They Leave, Who Will Love Me?
A Memoir of struggle to find love after
adoption, divorce and death
I got a new a
cell phone today.They were unable to
transfer my contact information.I had
to go in and manually add all of the names and numbers into my new phone.I thought this was going to be a good idea
anyway because I had a lot of numbers stored for people that I didn’t call
Then I came across
my Dad’s number.This made me stop and
think… for a moment.I remember that
before he died I updated his wife’s phone number into her own contact.I couldn’t keep the three numbers straight
between hers, his and their home.Then I
seemed to recall that they cancelled their home phone and went wireless only.I thought about calling his number.Maybe it would still be working.Maybe I would hear his voice.I hadn’t tried to call his phone since he
died.I think I remember that the
voicemail was recorded by my step-brother, and not in my dad’s voice…
I dial the number.I
feel my gut tighten.Immediately.I can feel a panic-attack swelling in my
brain; like a tiny ballon used to make water-bombs by my children in the summer
being filled by a slow flow from the hose; threatening to take control of my
hand and push the “end” button.What if
she kept his number active for sentimental reasons or because she couldn’t deal
with the pain of disconnecting it yet.What if she had it sitting by her, at all times, to monitor who was
calling him, in case they hadn’t heard the news.What if… she answered the phone. All of a sudden I feel like a pre-teen making
a crank call.I feel heat bursting to my
cheeks.The phone rings one, two times…
oh God, she did keep it connected… the third ring and then the canned-female
voice of the cellphone carrier comes on the line telling me the number has been
I am struggling with fear today as I approach my 8 year old son's first minor surgery tomorrow...
Are you struggling with a fear today too?...
I am learning in my life when I feel the tentacles of fear start to stir in my gut; when those cold fingers start to make their way up my spine and weave themselves into my heart and mind that I MUST turn to the Lord!
And so today, I choose to meditate on His words:
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7
I do not know what tomorrow holds for my life. But I do know that I will trust the Lord, my God, with all of my heart, with all my soul and with all of mind. And because of this, everything will be alright!
Well, here we go.... life on the World Wide Web begins!
Lord knows I have fought it, with all my might! (I have been on facebook AND OFF about 10 times now.) But after a great weekend at the Inland Northwest Christian WritersConference I have decided to yeild to it's sweet call and promises of creating THE WRITER'S PLATFORM!
I invite you to share in my journey of conquering the beast... one day and one post at a time! Yesterday I started my Blog, today I will swallow my fears and begin Facebook once again! Twitter... Oh-My!!!!
Today is the first day of Spring and I can't think of a better way to begin a-new.