Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Finding Community

Today I am feeling especially warm... admittedly partially due to the warm wool sweater I am wearing... but more-so because I am really thinking about the blessing of  being involved in Community (not the sit-com, either).

There is a longing in my heart for it.  First and foremost, communion with God is what my soul hungers and thirsts for.  This I know in my very core.  This I still neglect far too often.

Today, though, I am talking about the horizontal kind... from person to person.   Oh how we want it.  To be connected.  To be united.  To belong.  Really, to have family beyond the  biological.  It doesn't just happen, though. 

This morning I was thinking about how we find ourselves in that place of community and how there is an investment required.  What a worthwhile investment, though.  Last night after our “watch” at Gateway House of Prayer, I was sitting around with our team talking through the details of our music and prayer time.  We discussed technical/sound things,  the music,  songs,  etc.  and also shared what we sensed overall as we prayed and worshiped.   As we were talking we unanimously agreed how much we enjoy the opportunity we have to do this weekly as a consistent team.  Now ... there are weeks that even though I know God is worthy and even though I enjoy the time spent with the team and LOVE singing ... some nights I miss having the evening at home, or maybe I get frustrated with certain aspects of the give and take of working with a team, etc etc etc.  But the investment and time “sacrifice” is so worth it.   I have seen the benefits of consistently coming together with one purpose... we are building community with each other as we invest our time and our hearts.  We are also able to be more creative as we trust each other to corporately “go for it” in seeking Gods heart together.

This same sort of thing applies in all spheres of life... my job, my dancing buddies, church, family, school, neighborhood, etc. 

Day one of spending time with someone; you rarely,  if ever,  feel that depth of relationship... it involves vulnerability, giving of self, giving of time, and more.   If there is an expectation of feeling included, loved and valued and a part of something, the reality is I must give ... and maybe for a period of time before the pay off of belonging is felt.   We also have to realize that along the way we will be bruised, we will say things that bruise others and we will need to be willing to forgive and accept forgiveness.   Messy, lovely, exhausting, rewarding ... but to me, community is worth it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Art of Saying No

Who knows how many times I've blogged on this subject, but here I go again.

I'm constantly learning the art of "No".  It's a work in progress.

I had someone ask me to bake something for a church event last week, and was so pleasantly surprised when she THANKED me for saying no.   That really was helpful to hear.   I really didn't have time and am not even living at home right now, so it would have been really tough to pull off.

This weekend was scheduled full with so many fun things from concerts to day trips to parties.   But with dog sitting and feeling a little under the weather;  I actually chose to guard my time.   For me this is growth... because in the past I would have just gone to as many things as I could until I crashed.

My choices allowed me to spend a little extra time here at the house dog sitting and giving ole Mr. Tumnus the attention he deserves.   I was able to get my long run in this morning (8.5 miles... woot, woot).  I got to go on a day trip with friends yesterday... but passed on the concert I was REALLY excited  about going to in favor of some ice cream and conversation and an early night in watching The Voice on Hulu.  (I wept openly while watching it).

So, I missed/am missing some dancing,  a game night, a concert, church services, a picnic and a birthday party... but I gained some sanity, some rest and hopefully some health as I keep trying to kick this cold.    Now, I'm going to do a little cleaning for the bro and sister in law so they don't come home to a house infested with hair balls... and try to make it an early night, with maybe a walk so that Mr. Tumnus can continue his quest to sniff or pee on every blade of grass and/or tree trunk in Lancaster City.

Welcome new week full of choices, God give me the grace to choose wisely. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Crank It Up

I turn up the volume to drown out the noise
 turn up the volume for inspiration
I turn up the volume so I feel the beat
turn up the volume for motivation

Lets turn up the volume on giving out praise
Turn up the volume on jubilation
I'll turn up the volume on telling you thanks
So you can turn up the volume and enjoy the sensation

So shut out the darkness
Can we chill on the snark?
Delete the repetitious negative remarks
Silence the lies we were telling ourselves
and crank up the things that bring life and bring health.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friday, June 08, 2012

How to Not Miss Out

Ever since I was little I have had the tendancy to worry about missing something.  If I was outside playing i wondered what conversation, snack or tv show were they enjoying inside?   Go to bed?  NO WAY!  Not if there is a cool babysitter over doing all the cool things that babysitters SURELY do when the kids go to bed.  Etc, etc.

I still struggle with this.  Since I am involved with a lot of different streams of people, there are often times when there are 3 or 4 events going on at a time that I would like to be a part of.  A party, dance, special service, outting, etc, etc.  Many times I will try to figure out how to map my routes, schedule my time and coordinate my wardrobe so that I can make as many things as possible in an effort not to miss anything.  The thing that I've found, though, is that by doing so... I often find myself having to leave mid conversation, just as the fun is started, and then arrive at the next place just as things are winding down, etc in essence... I make it everywhere, but miss out everywhere, too.

I'm trying to learn to be content and be present where I am.  Do I still have evenings that I go to more than one place?  Sure... but at some point tonight,  though I knew I could still make it out to a certain dance after the picnic I was at;  I decided not to watch the clock but to fully engage in the conversations and to finish the evening with the people I started it with.  I had a great time, got to know some friends better and was able to relax and enjoy the evening just being present.

I want to enjoy every moment, especially the one I'm already in.  By doing that, I won't miss anything, really...or if I do, it won't really matter will it?!

Friday, June 01, 2012

This morning when I went to pick up my packet for the Red Rose Run tomorrow ( a 5 mile race in my city) I ran into a man that I hadn't seen in a while.   We were making small talk and talking about running, etc. when he said, "Yeah, you used to be heavy, didn't you".  For some people that would not go over well, but it was encouraging to me.  :)   It's great to know that the change is noticeable.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Little Things

Two seemingly little things just happened as I was just leaving the gym:

  1. a little girl and her mom were walking up the steps in front of me and the little girl was singing a song about how much she loves her mommy and loves to love her mommy.  The mom said, that's the best song I have ever heard.  I agreed.
  2. as I was filling my water bottle one of my Jam instructors came up to me and enthusiastically complimented me.  I left there feeling so accomplished and proud.  
The little things matter.  Kids, tell your parents you love them.  Parents tell your kids how much that means.  Teachers, encourage your students.  Students, keep pressing on. 


Friday, May 25, 2012


As I was leaving the gym this morning I thought to myself, "if you would have told me a couple of years ago that one of the best things about taking Fridays as my vacation days was going to be getting to take my favorite class (Les Mills Body Jam) at the gym an extra time each week... well that wouldn't have even been in my realm of thinking.  If you would have even suggested that running in local 5K races would have become a hobby for me ...  I don't think I even would have known what the length of a 5K was, to be honest.  (math...or gym were never my strong subjects)

What has happened?  I have changed.  This is not something that I could have done myself.  To me, it's nothing short of a miracle.  You have to understand (and many readers here know)... I have been out of shape my entire life.  Between genetics, loving to eat, being waaaay laid back, and my struggles with Ulcerative Colitis and Thyroid Disease... it was so hard, maybe more emotionally than physically.

I have changed.  God has changed me.  I can say that with my whole heart.  Thank you God for changing my mind... from one who says I can't to one who says I am going to challenge myself to do that.   You know what,  this is yet another proof to me that my God answers prayer.  If I looked back through my journals, I know that there were time after time that I prayed and asked God for help with my health, with my weight, with my motivation, with my confidence.   He does answer, and I'm so thankful.

I am registered to run the OBX Half Marathon with my good friend Melody Strayer this November.  I have my training calendar all ready to go (it kicks in in August) and until then I'll be trying to add miles to my typical 3-4 mile runs each week layered in with the classes that I take at the gym and of course dancing as much as I can.  I know that I will be counting on God to help me stretch my endurance, increase my motivation and literally change my body as I go through this process. 

I appreciate your prayers and encouragement along the way, too.  

(I post all of my runs on RunKeeper and and share them on Facebook, ad nauseum, perhaps to some... but it's my way of keeping myself honest with how much/how far/how fast I'm running.)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Love Don't Come Easy?

I was listening to Adele yesterday and in one of her songs she says "I know it ain't easy, giving up your heart". I paused. Hm. For me, it is the opposite.