Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Open Your Eyes, Girl! You don't want to miss this!

Have you ever felt like you, somehow, got on a roller coaster ride that just wouldn't end?  Like there was some malfunction in the controls that put the ride into a constant cycle of ups, downs, twists, and turns and loopy-loops and upside down craziness?  Like you were going to throw up if things just didn't settle?

Am I alone in this?


I didn't think so.  That's life.

Have you ever noticed, when you're on a ride like that, where your eyes are focused?
Right now, I want you to close your eyes (okay, wait, that won't work if you're reading this)...No, just imagine with me for a moment that you've reached the front of the line.  Finally! After 2 1/2 hours in a hot, sweaty, smoldering line with way too few stinky smelly water misters and no breeze in the air, you're there!  You're getting seated and strapped in and you've chosen the best seat on the train. 

You're in the front row!  You listen for all the clicks and you anxiously wait for the roller coaster operator to take his station at the controls.  You sit with anticipation as you listen to the warnings and rules, all the while thinking, "Yeah, yeah...we got it! Let's go!"

There it is, the first clickety-clack of the chain underfoot and the train starts to inch its way up that first big hill.  Where are your eyes focused?

That's right - on the top of the hill! 

As you finally summit the hill and begin to fall down that first decline and approach the next big twist of the track, where are you focused? 

Yep.  On that big loopy-loop ahead. 

Do you see where I'm going with this?  It seems we're always looking toward the next big event in the ride, the next thrill, the next time our stomach will turn and we'll feel the adrenaline rush that comes with not knowing what will come after that. 

Now, if you're like me, the very idea of even thinking about getting on a roller coaster scares the $!%!&@ out of you!  I do not particularly enjoy these thrill rides.  They're way too fast, way too high, and way too unpredictable for me.  I have this completely ridiculous fear that the coaster will mean my demise.

I tend to ride roller coasters in this way: eyes tightly closed - so tight that the only colors I see are those that magically appear when the sunlight hits one's eyelids, hands tightly gripped on the lap bar, lips held so tightly together that there is absolutely no way anything is either coming out or going into my mouth, and mind racing quickly with every fear, prayer, and worry about how my life would end in the 3 minutes I'm on the ride. 

It is not fun for me to ride the coaster. 

But, when I get off the ride, I'm typically always proud of myself for doing it, realizing that I was perhaps a little silly for being so terrified and realizing that I missed the real experience because my eyes were closed and I refused to fully experience the moment.  I missed whizzing through the trees, feeling the rush of adrenaline and the thrill of the scream.  I missed so much that for a moment, a very, very brief moment, I consider getting back in line!

Well, life can be a little bit like that roller coaster ride.  If we don't allow ourselves to live in the moment, to experience the ride, to see the thrill in the whizzing through the trees and the excitement in the scream, we'll miss too much.

Life will surely bring new twists, turns, ups, downs, and loopy-loops.  Of this, I am sure.  I know they will come because no one ever said life would be easy, all the time.

So, when the next moment comes when the track tosses me another way, I'll be okay with it.  I refuse to let any more moments find me caught up in fear.  I will, instead, be IN the moment, eyes wide open and ready for whatever may come. 

Be ready.
Be patient.
Be confident.
Be trusting.
Be willing.
Be obedient.
Be open.
Be unashamed.
Be still.

Just Be. 

I will be Know that He is God and that He designed the track of my life and that He is in control. He's double checked the structure for safety and, in areas where pieces may be weak or tired or old and worn out, He will be there to catch me if I fall.  He will plan new pieces of track and He will install switches right where they need to be, so that my life will take the path He has laid out for me. 

This ride will not be my demise. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

January Check-in

Here we are...already 20 days into 2014 and its beginning to feel normal. I rarely try to write 2013 anymore and I recognize all the weight loss and resolution television commercials are slowing down. I am prompted, now, to reflect on my first 20 days and to ask myself why I am struggling to make some pretty simple changes in my life. Reflection isn't only for December, right? One must really do a self-check periodically in order to stay focused. Join me as I recount my 5 top goals for the year and let me know how younate doing on your goals in the comments section.

I only made it through the first 6 days in my daily time with God. What?? Why do I never go a day without checking email or my bank account and I only go a day or two without checking in on facebook, but I can go 13 days without purposefully sitting down to read the Word? Why do I ignore that pull even when I feel a little guilty about it and am doing nothing else with my time? I do have the Bible right there on my phone! I really need to recommit to this goal and listen when God is calling me to spend time with him.

Write two blogs per month per blog. Halfway there. I have a great idea for another blog over on and will get it posted this week.

Write 12 pieces for FosterFocus Magazine.  Even though I have a couple great ideas spinning in my head, I've not put them to paper, yet. I plan to do a couple this week and send them over to the editor, though. Someone keep me accountable!

Cook more/eat at home more. We are doing well in this a, which is both good for my wallet and my families health. Why is so much of our life and how we defime fun wrapped up into food, somehow? Kinda reminds me of that scene from the movie "Over the Hedge" when the main character is explaining how the people have more than enough food to the wild forest ani,als and he suggests that we almost worship food. Man! So true! Its really pretty sad. I am, however, feeling okay with my progress on this goal, so far.

Run. That's a quick summary but the general goal is to run this year. I was selected to share my journey to become a runner in 2014 with the readers of MetroFamily Magazine in the Oklahoma City area, alongside three other women. We were blessed with new running shoes and professionally guided to just the right footwear by Red Coyote Running store. Great, great people! The photo shoot was super fun, too! I tried to really tap into my inner-Tyra and "smize" as best I could. I'll post a link to the pictures and the article as soon as I see it.  I have started working out and, today, I RAN a total of over 12 minutes. Whoop whoop!

I'll update more again soon. I plan to do an intentional check-in each month as a means to staying focused.

How are you doing, so far, in 2014?