Monday, January 17, 2011

Runnin' a Race

2011 will be the year of big changes...first and foremost will be the change in my physical appearance and I've decided to make this the year that I focus on what God created me to be and how He views me.  That means that I must begin to see myself as He does and to take care of my body and my health the way that God demands of me.  My body is a temple to be used to serve God and it is my responsibility to take care of that temple.  I cannot continue to eat/drink what I want, live a sedentary lifestyle and "pray" that I'll be thinner and more lean all the while wishing that I looked like that woman over there.  I must do my part! I must meet God halfway.

So, my goals will be attainable but big...starting with the successful completion of a half marathon 15 weeks from today, on May 1, 2011. In order for me to reach this goal, I must work out, hard, 6 days/week and follow the schedule I've given myself. I'm not going for speed...just to move across that finish line on  my own two feet. I'd prefer to not have to trip someone in the last 528 feet, but I'm not opposed to that, if it means that I won't be the very last one (just kidding!).  I'd like to finish it under 4 hours, so that I don't have to hold my head down for the rest of my life.  That's about an 18 minute mile pace and the plan is to do it in run/walk intervals.  I think its doable...I pray its doable.   

By October, I'd like to cut at least an hour off my time and complete another half marathon in under 3 hours, which is about a 13 minute mile pace. 

My motivational verse for this endeavor: Hebrews 12:1 "...let us run with perseverance the race set out for us."  I'll be remembering this verse whenever I want to give up.  This is the race that God has laid out for my life this year and He will give me the strength and endurance to persevere to the end, if I do my part.  By doing that and staying focused on God, I can't fail.  I must always remember to be like Peter when he climbed out of the long as he was focused fully on Christ, he walked on the water, but the moment he looked away from the Lord, he began to sink!  Christ will be my guide along this journey and I will stay focused on HIM!!!

If I start to look away and begin to sink and forget about the finish line out in front of me, I pray that my accountability partners will yell out to me to stay focused on the Lord and to PERSEVERE to the end!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year - New Outlook

2010 was an "EPIC FAIL" for me...didn't really keep any of my resolution. What really sucks is that I put all of them in writing, here, and put my commitment out there for the whole world to see.  Oh well, I guess what I learned from that is to make my goals smaller, more manageable, and easier to track.  I also learned to feel successful in the small steps toward success and that's where I'll focus my attention this year. 

As I think back on the year in my rear view mirror, I am forced to look at it with perspective and to see what we learned.  January 2010 brought to us the biggest attack Satan has ever launched on my family, and we survived. That was the month that God spoke directly to me through the book of Job and I heard Him, loud and clear. While we were forced to end our relationship with a church where we'd been active for a long time, and that was heart-breaking, we tried to see the opportunity for growth that God was presenting to us and prayed He would lead us to a new church soon. 

January also brought us a car accident that totaled our truck and a fight with insurance companies that we lost!  We were forced to "buy back" the totaled truck and fix it, because we still owe on it...still makes me wanna scream when I realize how inexpensively we were able to fix it. 

In May, I turned 32 and graduated with my Master of Social Work degree on my birthday!  That was the BIGGEST positive for the year - reaching a lifelong goal and showing all those who'd ever told me I was worthless and "wouldn't amount to anything" that I could do it.  It was also kind of an "in your face" to all those who believe that youth from foster care are all failures.  In that moment, I earned something that I could never lose.  That felt good. 

July brought me a new job and August meant that job became full-time.  A bounty of transitions ensued for me and for my family and we really struggled to get through, but we did, and I am beginning to feel like we have it all coming together.  I'm still buried under a constant pile of laundry and never seem to have enough time to get everything done, but I'm learning to rest when I can and not give every minute of my life to my "to-do" list. 

October reminded me of where my Sweetie and I have been and all the places we have left to go, as we celebrated 12 years of marriage.  Boy, no one ever tells you just how hard that really is when you're planning the trip down the aisle, or, they do and we just don't listen, believing in our dreams and that our love is stronger than all of that.  Pshaw!  Life is hard and Marriage is really a roller-coaster.  What matters is that, even in those moments of "intense fellowship" you remember that the fight is worth it and you stay on the ride! Never give up! Never get off!!!  The good times are really good and the bad times will slip away.

October also gave me some new inspiration...As I watched my friends compete a 13.1 mile, half-marathon, I was inspired to believe that I could do it, too.  So, I began thinking ahead to October 2011 and began to believe in myself.  Then, my friends convinced me May 1 is doable, too, so that's the end date in mind. I may be the last one to cross and I may be crawling over the finish line, but I will do it. 

November meant Black Friday shopping and that's always fun.  I think my yearly Christmas Carol Sing-Along tradition is now set in stone and is really what makes the morning memorable.  Next year, I'll plan to have a full set planned out and ready to go, so fellow shoppers, be ready!!

As the year rounded out, I was reminded to see Christmas through the eyes of my children.  My family and I found a new church home in Newspring Church.  That's a real blessing and its been a journey.  We've really hated not having a church home for a year!

2011 will surely bring new challenges, new life lessons, and new opportunities for growth.  I'm praying it will also bring new blessings and new moments for rejoicing.  This is the only resolution I'm making this year:

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18.