Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just Act Natural...

I may have mentioned this yesterday, but it bears repeating, and I have been contemplating it more today...

So, when I was in the pool struggling to get my rhythm right swimming the strokes and breathing it felt so awkward and I asked the Lord why it looked so natural and normal when other people did it but not me.

Deep in my heart I heard Him say, "Act like it IS natural".

You see, I was trying to hurry. I was uncomfortable with the stroke and the breathing and so I was trying hard to get to the end of the pool. Trying to be in a hurry also increased my heart rate and my need to breathe. So, I am working hard to get to the end of the pool because I was uncomfortable and in my discomfort I was having to work harder to do what was supposed to just "flow". Sure, I need to practice. But that is not the point.

How many times have you tried to hurry through something you didn't feel comfortable with only to have it make everything worse and the experience even harder? I have done that plenty in my life.

Back to God's voice in my heart.

"Act like it IS natural"

What is natural is just relaxing and learning. Once I relaxed, I was able to even out my stroke, my breathing became easier, and my heart rate was not rushed (until I was getting just plain old tired). God designed us to go with Him wherever He asks us to go. Again, in my understanding, it is about obedience.

Obedience may make us uncomfortable at the time, but disobedience, now that really sucks! After a moment, or a year, or however long, the consequences catch up. Then, it is even worse than if you had just obeyed God in the first place. Not that He doesn't redeem all things and use them for our growth and His glory, but let's face it, disobedience doesn't make things easier in the long run.

God bless you as you learn with me how to relax, learn, and obey.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Groove...

Ok, two posts today. I just have to do it.

The earlier post was about getting back in the groove. That was before my workout.

Now, here is what I think after my workout.

The groove is this- just doing what God said to do. When we are disobedient to His voice we find ourselves stumbling, bumping into stuff, charting new territory by accident and ending up in places we never intended to be.

It was super hard for me to get in to the Kroc Center to do my workout today. REALLY HARD. But I knew it was an issue of obedience. The sky would not fall the world would not end if I didn't go, but my God told me that today was the day He wanted me to get back into training. So now let me tell you what happened...

First, as hard as it was to get out the door, I was right on time to get the kids in the play care, buy my class token, get changed and get in the pool - only God could have orchestrated that because I was running about 15min behind my planned schedule when I left the house.

Second, I got to the pool and I was the only one there for the class. I introduced myself to the teacher and he told me how to put on my cap and goggles - and didn't make me feel stupid about it. He asked what my goals were for the class. I told him about the triathlon. he said he thought I had plenty of time to learn what I needed to for the race. He then began coaching me on the biggest thing I have never done in the water - breathe! I can do almost all the strokes ok, but I never learned how to put my face in the water and come up for air while I was swimming. He gave me several different drills and told me I was doing great... that was cool...

THEN I started doing it... and I kept doing it... and he kept giving me different things to pay attention to and I could still do it! The main thing he did that was a major eye opener to me was that I was using my legs too much. That exertion alone was wearing me out too fast. So he gave me a kind of floating device to hold with my legs so I concentrated on just pulling with my strokes. He was so excited for me. He kept saying how great I was doing and I told him "I want this really bad!" He said it showed by my fearlessness when it came to trying whatever he would tell me to do.

By the end of the class he told me that if the race was tomorrow, I could do the swimming portion well. That more practice would only make me better and faster. I was very excited about that.

The BONUS was I met another stay-at-home mom who while she has swimming experience, was in the class to prepare for a triathlon in Denver in July. She has 2 sons and we really connected and encouraged each other. It was great. We exchanged emails and phone numbers.

Then after we said goodbye I went and got changed. I went to get on the scale to see what damage had been done from my flu bug and then the "bounce back" weight gain... and I had lost a couple more pounds. I then did a body mass index caliper thing - still don't know what exactly it is called. I had lost a total of 12 pounds of body fat, with only 3 pounds of muscle loss after my flu bug. I talked with the trainers that have encouraged me, and they asked me to fill out a feedback report so others could see what I was telling them.

FINALLY, a dear friend who works there was teary eyed and asked me if she could walk with me to pick up the kids. We talked. She cried. God spoke through me the comfort she needed. Definitely a Divine appointment.

There ya have it... THE GROOVE. Obedience and the blessings that come with it... AND I had a great day with my sons too, playing ball in the back yard, Peter asking me "run with me Mommy" and without hesitation I did, at peace, enjoying ALL the life God gave me to live. Praise the Lord!

Getting back in the groove...

Last week my life looked like it used to... sort of. Except in my old life I ate. Last week I didn't. What I mean is that last week when I was recovering from the flu I spent lots of time resting. My previous life I just spent a lot of time doing the usual household and child care and maintenance but there was no real exercise involved. 

Today I find myself a little resistant to jumping back into my health and fitness focus... don't worry. I will. I just am finding some old mindsets creeping back in... "what's the point?", "why try", "something else is going to happen", the list goes on...

SO - When a friend asked me to send her the link to my Triathlon Dreams entry in this blog, I sent it to her and then I read it. Again. A little bit has changed since then. But not much. The parts that have changed are small, like instead of doing the "Retro Tri", I will be doing the main Sprint Triathlon. I want to do a real race - not a "fun run" of sorts. I will pay more for my entry fee and I still won't use a wetsuit (just not ready to come up with the $ to get one or even rent one -mostly because I have never swam in one) and I have a friend that said I can use her bike. :)

The truth is - I am going to do this. I just am. I say that to remind myself as much as anything else. As I stated in a previous blog, I am reading the Prayer of Jabez (once a week) and praying his prayer every day for 30 days. 

In that book Bruce Wilkinson says something I will quote, "As God's chosen sons and daughters we are expected to attempt something large enough that failure is guaranteed ... unless God steps in." 

That is really how I feel, At this stage of my life with three busy little boys, a house that needs decluttering, starting a new MOPS ministry at church, and so many other moving pieces to my life God is going to have to step in to make it happen. 

I hear His voice on this in my spirit almost daily. Almost like He knows that if He isn't speaking to me almost every day on this I will cave completely and run screaming in the other direction... well, maybe not that bad...?

He tells me just to take one day at a time. One workout at a time. To trust Him for the money that is NOT in our budget to buy the minimal things I need to buy to complete my training and the race. 

Part of the home decluttering process is a friend coming over tomorrow to help me sort a room full of old stuff to figure out what I can yard sale to help pay for what I need for the triathlon. I am sure we will have lots of help from our collection of six kids between us. But, I need my home to be like what God is creating in my body. Clean, in order, organized, all parts working for the same goal - together. My home is not a "pit" by any means, but it is small and I am not a natural organizer. That process is as overwhelming as the process for training for the triathlon.

The essence of this blog is - 

There are many things going on in my life right now that if I step back and look at the big picture I will be overwhelmed by each one.

God is asking me to just walk out one day at a time. 

One meal, one swim, one bike ride, one run, one stack of things I am not sure what to do with, one meeting, one...  you get the picture. 

Getting back into the groove - Remembering I am depending on God for each day's events praising Him in the process, knowing the process is as important as the end result.

Many thanks to each of you who continue to encourage and pray with me through this process. I have no real way to express the gratitude I have for God's provision for me through you!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fan into flame

2 Timothy 1:6-7 
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Now that I am past the flu, and getting ready to resume my triathlon training, this verse comes to mind. 

My mom taught me 2 Timothy 1:7 this way (not sure which version it is) 
"God has not given me a spirit of fear but of love and of power and of a sound mind." I learned it as a child. She would recite it with me every time I had a bad dream or was afraid of something. I have prayed it over my children now too and had them say it with me after they have had bad dreams. 

God's Word is our "Owner's Manual" for every area of our lives. It applies to my life every day. It is not just something I "consult" when I don't know what to do, it is what I live. I want more of God's Word in me so I live what He says in my actions and attitudes because He is the author of my life. He already knows me from the inside out, the number of days I will walk on this earth, the experiences I will face and the pain I will endure. That is why I love His Words for me. He wrote them through His people knowing me long before I was ever born. If you don't see the Bible as that relevant to you, I encourage you to ask God to show you and to read it for yourself. 

This passage has specific fresh relevance to me today.
"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

God has given me many gifts. All of which are for His glory and to be used as He leads. As I pursue my relationship with Him, I am fanning into flames His gift - the Holy Spirit. I need not be afraid because God has deposited in me His power, His love, and His self-discipline. All of those things I need every day. To walk out this journey to better health, to being a better wife and mother, to take care of my home, minister to those He puts in my path, and train for this triathlon. 

SO - For today I am focusing on HIS POWER, HIS LOVE, and HIS SELF-DISCIPLINE. All of which never fail. All of which are mine. All of which can happen every day in my life. I must believe it, walk it out, breathe it, live it, think it, etc. Otherwise they are just  words on a page or in a blog that are untapped resources containing blessings I will miss out on. I certainly don't want that!! DO you?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Iron Prayers

Odd title huh? Well, it will make more sense in a minute.

I there are five people I know competing in Ironman Coeur d'Alene tomorrow. They have trained all year, stretched beyond what anyone would consider comfortable and pushed farther to tomorrow when they will swim, bike and run what is arguably one of the hardest athletic events known to man (or woman).

I have been praying for each one intensely for the past few days. As an intercessor, someone who basicly prays a lot as the Lord puts things on my heart, I began to feel a knot building in my stomach (yes, different than the flu bug I have been battling) about Wednesday afternoon. The tension in the air, the excitement of the pending challenge, the nerves of anticipation and the buzz of the community were beginning.

I have watched each of their facebook posts and felt unable to respond effectively to what my spirit is praying for them. Some would think an athletic pursuit like this one is an unreasonable waste of time and energy, and for some, it might be, I have no idea about them. I do know some things about my friends though, and I would like to share them with you. They each inspire me differently. Some I know better than others, but you will have to read further if you want a small glimpse of these incredible men and a wonderful woman and what they represent to me.

Randy - I start with him because I don't know him very well. We haven't talked much, beyond the usual "hello" and such. I haven't actually heard him talk much either, though I imagine he does talk. :) But one thing I do know from watching him on and off for years is that he listens. The word that always comes to mind when I think of him is "kind". He is a man surrounded by beautiful women. His wife and their girls are wonderful, each in their own way. He is a good man. He loves his family. He is an accomplished athlete. He has supported and encouraged his beloved wife as she has decided to compete this year as well.

My prayer for him tomorrow is that he would experience a new revelation of God's love for him and His provision for his every need - not just within his physical performance tomorrow, but within his mental, emotional and spiritual self as well.

Alicia - Randy's bride, is an amazing woman. I don't know her terribly well, but I do know this: she, despite several significant challenges is going to compete tomorrow and fulfill her dream to finish the race. She told me once she has never been an athlete. But she wanted to do this. She has been up before 5am most of this year. She has done her training six days a week with three different workouts in a day sometimes. She has diligently tended to her family and kept her training schedule in such a way as to impact her family time the least amount possible. Personally, she has advised and encouraged me in so many ways. I am excited for her tomorrow.

My prayer for Alicia tomorrow is this: Lord I ask you to be the wind beneath her wings. I ask You to provide for her knee that has been an issue, that You would lift her up. I pray she would see You around every corner, feel Your touch on her as she swims, feel Your breath refreshing her in every transition, that she could "draft" You as you go before her on the bike, and as she runs, she would know You are by her side, speaking life, encouragement, joy, peace, and perseverance into her.

David - A man after God's heart for sure. I have known David for years. We have been in small groups together with his wife and my husband. His wife is one of the strongest and most spectacular women I know. A woman like that can only have the most amazing kind of man in her life. He is. He loves his God, his bride, his kids and many others with a passion that is consistent and full of much grace. He is an accomplished athlete that also lovingly works hard to keep his training schedule from interfering with his family time.

My prayer for him is that he would tangibly experience his God at least once in each leg of this race. David knows God, he believes God, he trusts God, and Lord tomorrow, I am asking You to show yourself to him in some sort of tangible way. Personal, just between You, his Creator and him, the created. Please show him You SEE him. Thank you Father.

Tony - Tony is one who twinkles. Not many men can be acknowledged as one who twinkles without questioning their manhood, but Tony can. He has had a light in him that is divine from the beginning. He is different. He is a gift. There is a quality to Tony that is unlike anyone I have ever known. Even now as I try to describe it, words fail. There is one who knows deeply this quality and that is his delightful wife Pat. She was a gift to him from the Lord. They are a wonderful expression of God's great love placed in two hearts made one. Tony is also a daddy. He has an adorable little boy who already twinkles within his masculinity, just like his Dad.

My prayer for Tony tomorrow is that he would reach farther for more of God tomorrow. That he would trust God for more of Himself than Tony has experienced before. I pray that the expectations Tony has of his God would expand beyond comprehension as his body performs the challenge of this great race. That he would feel the touch of his Heavenly Father as he acknowledges the muscles, the bones, the ligaments that do their job effectively and with a fluidity that is unmatched in all creation. That he would know and experience the truth that Tony is fearfully and wonderfully made. Just as God said. Lord, help him to own all of what he has accomplished through You this past year and tomorrow. Set him free and release all Your greatness upon him in Jesus name.

And finally Jon - I have saved Jon for last because he is one I have the closest relationship with. He is in every way the meaning of brother-in-Christ to me. He loves me. I love him. He challenges me, I challenge him, he makes me mad, I make him mad, he prays for me, I pray for him, he laughs both at me and with me, he makes me feel special and he comes to my rescue when my Erik is out of town. See? Just like a brother! His beloved bride Peggy is truly one of my most favorite people. She is a delight in every way you can imagine. They are parents of four truly amazing and gifted children who have all the joy of their mama and all the exuberance of their father. This past year has been one of great trial and challenge, in some ways, Jon's Ironman course began before he even signed up. They have had one trial after another and have walked through them standing in the solid Truth that God loves them and He has a plan for them. Most recently, like 2 days ago, Jon was hit by a car while riding his bike. I kid you not, they have had an intense year.

My prayer for Jon is so deep in my soul I am not sure where the words will come from. Provision. Revelation. Healing. Trust. Joy. Confidence. Strength. Lord, the thing about Jon that You already know, that I know, that Peggy for sure knows, is that he is already an Ironman. There is a look he gets on his face when he is committed to something, a point he's trying to make, something he wants to do, or something he thinks someone else should or shouldn't do. Lord, I see that look as I pray and I ask that You would meet him eyeball to eyeball in that strength that You gave Jon. That You would invigorate him in a such a supernatural way so he will know he is experiencing You and You alone on that journey tomorrow. I also specifically ask for complete healing of any and all of his injuries from the accident on Thursday.

Do you see why these people inspire me? My triathlon dreams existed long before these people were in my life, but God is using them to reveal Himself to me in this unbelievably intese athletic pursuit.

I will be cheering you all on at the finish line!

Thank You Lord for hearing my prayers. Thank You Lord for loving these precious people and all the dear ones in their lives. I praise you for each one!

Friday, June 25, 2010

More His...

A dear friend reminded me that God knows the timing of my recovery from this stuff. I was annoyed she said so, but promptly hit the Throne Room (not the bathroom - God's Throne room) to ask Him if she was right and what did He want me to do with all this "down time".

The answer has come as slowly as my healing from this flu. Rest. Pray. Settle. A reminder that He is renovating more than my body in this season of transformation. He doesn't want me to become anything - not an athlete, a more fit and healthy me, a better wife and mom, a better friend - He wants me to be His. His alone. I am normally going about my day being a wife, a mom, a friend, an athlete in training, a healthy person in training and certainly leaning on what strength He gives me to do all of the above, however, in this down time He is reminding me again that none of that defines me.

When I can't perform my usual "roles" I start to feel a little lost. He is reminding me that this discomfort is not wrong or a sign that something is out of order. It is a sign that things are changing. Just exactly what I have asked for.

So, in asking Him about this season of my life and this Rest, Pray, Settle time specifically and this is what I am hearing: This transformation season of my life is about being more His and less mine. Not letting any of my "roles" which are important for sure, define me. I am already defined as His. I am walking in and fulfilling the call He has given me to be a wife, mother, friend, etc. just because that is who I am. Not because any of those roles define me.

The day I got super sick was the first day after my six week Prism class and health focus. It is also the first day I decided to take Bruce H Wilkinson up on his challenge at the end of his book called Prayer of Jabez - Breaking Through to the Blessed Life. It is very interesting to pray that prayer and within a few hours become incredibly ill and seemingly sidelined for a week. It makes me wonder what the next 25 days of this challenge will look like! The challenge: Pray the Prayer of Jabez every morning keeping a record on a calendar or on a chart specifically for that purpose, Write out the prayer and tape in in my Bible, and some other places I will be reminded of my new vision, reread the book once each week asking God for important insights I might have missed (I am sure I have missed a few!), tell someone else about my new commitment and ask them to check up on me, record the changes in my life (well, it certainly started out different than I imagined!) especially divine appointments and new opportunities I can relate to the prayer, and finally to start praying the prayer for my family, friends and my church. (Taken from the book - Chapter 7 pages 86 & 87).

I don't think that this prayer or any other prayer is some sort of "magical remedy" for capturing some blessings you are doing without. However, for 30 days I am asking God to reveal Himself to me through this specific portion of scripture. I am asking Him to use His Word in me to reveal blessing. I do not in any way feel like I am not blessed. I know I am. I am reaching out - with both hands and my whole heart to my God asking for more of Him. There is no blessing on this earth that can compare with that.

I am defined as HIS. I am blessed because He is blessing. So, as I rest, pray and settle in to this next few days or however long it takes for me to resume the roles He has blessed me with, I will be focusing on watching, waiting and enjoying being HIS.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Ok. I will blog today. I am recovering from a crazy case of the stomach flu that required 3 liters of fluids via IV and I am still not feeling well.

I look forward to having something intelligent in my head tomorrow. But I am not going to hold my breath.

Before I got sick I did weigh in and in the last 6 weeks I lost 17lbs and almost 19inches. THAT was GOOD News!!

More tomorrow hopefully.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hearing From The Lord...

Today my oldest son heard a message from God.

Yes, that's right. My God spoke to my son. Since he turned six he has been going to "big kid church". They often come downstairs and attend the worship music part of the service.Their teacher, a woman I truly love who has a passionate love for children, asked them, upon returning to their classroom, if anyone heard anything from God during the service.

My sweet John raised his hand and shared that he heard from God that his brother James was going to be just fine. That John didn't need to worry about him, God was going to heal him.

Wow! I love that. I love that John was worried about James. I love that he has a heart to hear from God, I love that he is ready to ask God for whatever is on his heart, all the time. I love that the God of the universe heard my son's concerns for his brother deep in his heart (he did not tell us he was worried), and spoke to him clearly about His intentions to heal him.

Not only is that a precious display of faith and answered prayer, but of a heavenly Father's love for one of His kids. Yes. I need a reminder, more often than once a day, that John belongs to God, not me.

Now, James did not have anything hideously wrong that I was aware of. He had a stomach ache for a few days that I was praying about (asking the Lord if it was something serious or just a tummy bug) that ended in him coming out of his room last night after about an hour of sleep crying telling Daddy that there was something yucky in his bed. He had barfed in his sleep. Erik got up to change the sheets and clean up the mess, passing a crying and coated in yuck James to me to wash up in the tub. He settled down as the warm water washed over him and once all was cleaned and ready, went back to bed without further incident. John did wake up once to see if everything was okay then went back to sleep.

James could not go to church today because I didn't want to send him off to Sunday School before the standard 24 hour waiting period was up (parenting 101 as I explained to Erik :)). So, John was apparently concerned that James, though he said he was better and he ate a good breakfast, was unable to go to church. He took his concerns to the Lord and like I said above, God spoke to him about them.

I love that. I need to remember to take ALL my concerns to God. Not just the ones that I think merit "real" concern. He cares about ALL of it. Big and small. And I heard from Him today, through my son, that I need not worry about my James. God had taken care of him. He was healed.

I don't think most mom's are terribly stressed out about their kid getting the flu. But what was happening was, I had been pretty stressed all week. I was processing some pain in our extended family, battling old mindsets about past eating behaviors, walking through some hard stuff with some friends and let's face it, all the physical training I am doing is very tiring. So I was on edge, yelling, grumpy, and not terribly pleasant several times throughout the week. The enemy of my soul was telling me that James' stomach aches were my fault. That I was stressing him out and my four year old son was developing an ulcer because of my tense week. Lovely huh?

And, with one ear, not really on purpose, I was listening. Because I felt guilty. Yes, I repented, to my kids and to God for unfortunate choices and unacceptable displays of temper. But Mommy-guilt is a whole other kind of guilt. It is like sticking your toe into a stream and ending up overtaken by the water! God always reminds me to focus on the truth in these moments - Erik says the same thing... but somehow, I easily turn one ear back to the liar.

So, I continue in transformation... listening to God, and when I am listening too much to the liar, maybe John will hear something to remind me of the truth! Thank you Lord!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

So many things to share... gotta narrow it down.

I will just share with you today my journal entry from this morning:

I am excited about getting finished with this first six weeks. Today is day 40!
40 days of No sugar, NO flour of any kind, NO chips, crackers, tortillas, etc
YOU are transforming ME! I no longer lean on food as my first option in my need for comfort, deal with stress, or tackle anxiety. You have made Yourself so available to me in so many new ways, just because I am looking for You, not because You are doing anything "new". Thanks Lord!

I am a little nervous about not having strict guidelines like I have been living with, but I KNOW You will speak to me, encouraging me to choose foods that will bless my body and You will continue to show me how to be free and full at the same time.

Please help me continue this path before me - walking, running, skipping, swimming, biking, or whatever other way You give me to joyfully express the freedom that you are teaching me is truly MINE!

I praise You Lord for Your great love for me an all you have provided for me to accomplish this adventure before me.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A day in the life...

Today was rich with emotions, not a lot of good ones (this morning) but then, after a bit and some prayer and a great time with a sweet young friend... the day improved. The little fellas in my household did a good job playing with their guest and had a nice afternoon too.

Around dinnertime we had a special meeting with a couple of friends who have been down a hard road. We shared about God's great love and the display of His power in the midst of painful trials. Another special time.

Daddy tucked the fellas into bed while I cooked a light late dinner. More special time with some more neat people.

I actually baked biscuits for strawberry shortcake I couldn't eat and didn't mind that much. It was a good breakthrough I think.

Maybe more brilliance tomorrow but don't count on it :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another day goes by... not without some excitement

I got another day done of my triathlon training courtesy of my husband tending to the kids so I could escape for a quick swim.

It ended up being a little nuts because I drove a different car so I didn't remember to turn off the headlights. Then I am changing into my swimsuit when I hear over the loudspeaker that I left them on. At which point I decide not to get redressed and go back out to the car to turn them off. As I am going to put my bag and purse in a locker I realize I don't have my key for my padlock. So, again, I decide I am going to swim, fast so my car will start hopefully, and bring my bag poolside so I can at least keep an eye on it...

So, I do my swim, change quickly and get out to the car which does not start. I am sitting in a Ford Bronco surrounded by other huge SUVs and no one else in sight. I said a quick prayer and tried to start it again. It didn't start. I stopped. I said, "Lord, I NEED this car to start. Please help me!"  I tried one last time and it fired up like it was just fine! Thank you Lord!

And I still got home in time to tuck in my sweet boys for bed!! God is so GOOD!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My first 6 weeks is almost up!

When I go to bed on Sunday the 20th of June I will have completed my first 6 weeks of this healthy eating lifestyle. I am FIGHTING with all I have some days to stick to the plan!

Tonight I made a very yummy mexican chili that looked like it would be a great  bean dip. EXCEPT tortilla chips are not on my list of things I can eat within these 6 weeks. I sat at the table thinking what difference one chip would make.

All the difference in the world, I concluded. I committed to my God I would submit to the plan He asked me to for 6 weeks. Not one bite of what looks good at the moment is worth stepping away from my commitment to Him.

These next few days will be full of temptations I am sure. I believe He will give me what I need to stay the course.
Praise the Lord for His faithfulness!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A few challenges...

So, as I am working through this transformation process I am finding that the rest of my life is going on too.

Some challenges with relationships in my family, the kids waking up in the middle of the night, and the frustration over daily eating out of my comfort zone is getting tiring.

The relationship thing - well, relationships are often challenging aren't they? It is hard to walk through but in the end, you love each other, you want the best for each other and you move on.

The kids waking up in the night. Since I have been training for the triathlon I REALLY need my sleep. Last night one of the boys woke up and couldn't find his favorite blanket. So he came in and woke me up to find it. I was mad. I always tell them to put their blankets on their bed and they were playing and I forgot to check to see if the FAVORITE blanket was in his bed. I looked, found every blanket but the ONE and said, too bad, you should have obeyed Mommy. You will have to look for it tomorrow.

As I am crossly walking out of the room I hear him crying and he tearfully asks me to get him a drink. His brother then asks for one too. As I am commenting unpleasantly under my breath on the way to the sink I hear that still small voice in my head... "Serve him." I reply in my heart, "Ok Lord" and my heart shifted to tenderness toward him. I brought them a glass of water and got my flashlight and began looking for the blanket. I looked upstairs and down and then finally located it the only place under the bed I couldn't reach. The delight in his little voice as I covered him with it was tangible. So precious. He KNEW in that moment that his mommy cared about his heart. It was a reminder of how important it is to OBEY that still small voice!

And as far as eating out of my comfort zone. I am really tired of it. I am working hard to keep a good attitude but it often feels like it takes so much extra energy I wonder if it is worth it. Then I exercise and I can't imagine staying this heavy for the rest of my life. Or I really LOOK in the mirror. Or hold up my underwear and really look at them. Ugh! Reality check!

So, it is all worth it. Every day, get up, spend some time checking in with the Lord on His plan for your day, and move ahead with ALL He has asked you to do knowing that you would not require His presence if you thought you could make it through the day without Him. I need Him. How about you?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Daily Affirmations

Part of my assignment on the Prism homework is to write a personal affirmation that I can read to myself every day to bring transformation to my mind as my body is changing. I wrote a one but it came out disjointed and seemed strange to me.

SO, here is what I decided to do. My words, even repeated every day are likely to return void. But God's Word never returns void. So for my personal affirmation is this:

Philippians 3:12-21 (New International Version)

Pressing on Toward the Goal
 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
 17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

I think that will do just fine. And, Lord willing, by the time I get to the "true me" I will have it memorized. I am planning on it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tri again...

Yes, this will be a consistent subject.

I am terrified of bike riding on the road. I like (most of the feeling) of riding at the Kroc, stationed nicely in front of a monitor where I am not likely to get bucked off or cut off or ??

One of the biggest fears I will conquer during this training is the fear of crashing on a bike.

Or being crashed.

Since I don't even have a bike yet, this is not an immediate issue but one I am dreading/anticipating. I am also a little unnerved by those driving past me and my giant caboose straddled on a small bike seat. Vanity? Well, what can I say, at the Kroc, most people I have run into (not on the bike :)) seem pretty excited about my process of slimming down and getting fit. Those strangers cruising down the road who could give a rip about my journey toward transformation make me nervous.

Just getting that one off my ample chest... yes, that is another fear, running... will I get hurt? Will someone else? Will I ever be able to jog and not feel like the front portion of my body has it's own cadence...? Yikes!

So for now, I will expose my "fitness in progress" self to those nice folks at the Kroc and shop carefully for a bike and hope there are enough bras in the universe to keep these girls from running on their own!

If any of you reading this are male, I apologize for the visuals. Really, I do!

Friday, June 11, 2010


I experienced a night last night that was pretty rough...
You would think that after such a lovely day (see previous blog) that I would have tucked in and had a nice happy cozy rest... well, that lasted about 2 hours.

Then Peter woke up. He had a napless and busy day (he did not take advantage of the nap time Mommy provided) and was just too tired to do anything but cry after his first six hours of sleep. I had flash backs of the boys (all three) infancy where I would just get them to bed, use the rest room, and finally relax back into my own bed when they would wake up crying. That happened about nine times last night - or that was when I lost count...

At two they know how to "work" mommy over. So, I am very careful about how much time and attention to give them in the wee hours because they like it and then they want to make a habit of it every night. After about an hour and a half of up and down I was ready to crack! My husband who only vaguely noticed my activity suggested I give him something for his discomfort ( I envisioned a few things) but gave him some ibuprofen (he's cutting molars but I was too sleepy to think of that) and after another cry or two, he finally passed out.

Provided you are still interested to have gotten through my tale of woe, you are wondering what sleep deprivation does to me aren't you?

It makes me want to yell, cry and then EAT! I have found that since I have increased my exercise levels I am more hungry. Not a bad thing - but when you include lack of sleep in that mix, I want to eat junk - not food that will bless and build the body I really believe God wants me to live the rest of my years in. Then you add increased feelings of guilt for yelling at my kids, then eating becomes more appealing... self-destruction is the temptation... so I am writing now instead of eating junk.

We really need to press in to God when this stuff of changing out of old habits into new habits that support and encourage a much healthier happier lifestyle gets HARD. I am saying "we" only because I can't imagine that I am the only one that cracks up when I don't get enough sleep. Or that I am the only one that wants to self destruct when I feel guilty or stressed.

Or am I? Oh no! Maybe I am...?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Amazing moments...

Today was filled with amazing moments.

Kindergarten Graduation - My little "promise" from the Lord stood with a bunch of other kindergartners singing sweet songs and receiving their diplomas in their little paper hats. SO sweet. Teary eyes upon occasion for sure.

Graduation Lunch - A sweet girl in my life - graduated from High School today. The boys and I attended a yummy lunch put on by her aunt and her mom. It was so nice to meet her family.

Day three of my Triathlon training - 200 meter swim. After a busy day I deposited my over tired boys into the child care at the Kroc center and climbed into my suit. My pretty curls doused in water, I swam all eight laps differently and realized how much I need a little coaching on cleaning up my strokes.

A restful time in the hot tub after my swim. It was raining. Cold outside but not too cold. I sat in the hot tub with the rain falling on my face and enjoying conversation with teachers about to be released from their day jobs for the summer.

A spontaneous and surprising encounter with women I love. All of us brought our kids to the playground at the Kroc center at the same time. What fun to have 20 minutes to dump as much "catch up" information as possible while kids run around!

A food craving. I have been craving one of my favorite places Qdoba for the last couple of weeks. So tonight, after I got the kids to bed late, my hubby offers to go get take out. Wherever I want. YES! It was yummy.

So, after all that, how can I not be FULL in my spirit? All of those things qualify as amazing moments because that was my perspective on the day. I expected it to be amazing and wow! It was!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

God's Provision...

There are a million ways that God provides for us. I have been reflecting on just a FEW of them:

My family. My husband and children are daily reminders of God's love for me and His provision for my heart.I can't even begin to describe what they pour into me - especially Erik every day! The way He has taught me to love my man and my boys hasn't always been easy but worth every minute! My relationship with my parents and sister has been so important to my growth as a person and my ability to press on in challenging situations. They are always faithful to speak the truth in love and encourage me without reservation. Erik's mom, brother and sister have been a blessing in so many ways. I am so thankful for the gifts they are to me.

My friends. I am so amazed at the assortment of different people in my life that I get to call my friends. They are very similar to me, extremely different and everywhere in between. They are older than me by decades or younger than me by that much or more. Each one brings some different blessing into my life. I am grateful to God for bringing each one into my life.

The Body of Christ.
My church. New Life Community Church has been my family for as long as I have lived in Idaho. They welcomed in a couple of kids who hadn't even had their first anniversary almost 18 years ago. Pastor Bruce knew our names the next week and we have been welcomed with open arms ever since. I love how God has used this precious group of believers to grow me into the woman I am today. I spent a very special season at another church who also invested lots of prayer, encouragement and support to me too. What an amazing gift a church (not the building!) can be!

There are countless people I have never met who influence me and my relationship with my God. Mike Mason, Bill Johnson, Corrie Ten Boom, Nicole Johnson, James Dobson, and so many others have invested in me their wisdom and knowledge.

Also, prayer warriors all over the place lift me up in prayer. You see, I believe based on God's Word, that there are people we have never met or heard their names (neither have they heard ours) that pray faithfully for other believers. I know I have prayed for other Christians and even those who don't have a relationship with Jesus yet. But they will. The God who sees the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end is not affected by time or space... so I am looking forward to meeting those I have prayed for and those who have prayed for me when we all get to Heaven!

That is just a brief overview of SOME of the provision God has poured out for me. I would love for you to take some time to ask Him to show you how He has provided for you. Share it with me if you like. We need to focus on how much He has provided when we are working towards trusting Him in the midst of changes He is asking us to make in our lives.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Triathlon Dreams...

I was 12 the first time I wanted to do a triathlon. My PE teacher Mr. Patrick was doing them and telling us about his big events as he was training and then when he completed them. My Dad did a design for someone for a local triathlon and I remember having the T-shirt. I kept it long past when it fit me.

Flash forward a few years... well, about 24 years...

After my miscarriage in January 2007 I began deliberately seeking God on what He wanted me to do with my time and my life. I knew I was to attend to and raise the amazing fellas He had already given me but I felt like there was more... so I asked. He reminded me of my dream to do a triathlon.

About a month later, on a walk with my friend Fay at Ross Point Camp, wandering through the spring green woods, I told her of the desire I had since I was 12 to complete a triathlon. She was quite supportive and agreed to keep my secret until I was ready to share (I didn't want to deal with people thinking I was nuts). I didn't even tell Erik until at least a few weeks after that.

I found out I was pregnant with Peter a few months later. So, dream on hold until the timing was right.

As my 40th birthday was beginning to loom in the distance I began to consider having that date be my goal to accomplish that dream. I began working out at the Kroc Center in October of 2009 after some of Erik's performance bonus at work was set aside to pay for membership and the Play Care place for the boys while I worked on my dream. Cardio has never been my favorite way to exercise so I opted for a minimal cardio (repetitious) workout in favor of a circuit training method I discovered in a book my friend Tarri sent me (she was so excited to help me drop the baby pounds and pursue fitness she hit the same day and fired off 2 great books - Mastering your Metabolism and The Female Body Breakthrough ). I dove into both of them!

Only recently have I begun sharing with those close to me about the triathlon dream. A few weeks ago my friend Leslie asked me when I was going to do one. Did I pick an event yet? Which one? When will I start my training? I was annoyed and told her (as politely as possible) I haven't even begun to think that far ahead. It's too overwhelming to think about right now. I took that attitude to the Lord. It was not in line with what He had been teaching me in His Word and certainly not in line with the challenges I had felt Him leading me to pursue regarding my physical health and fitness.

On June 1st I spent several hours looking online at the options available to me before my 40th birthday. The one closest to my birthday was in St Croix on May 1. While extremely appealing, that location did not seem terribly practical. So I kept looking. Then I found one in Lake Stevens, Washington. They bill it as a "RETRO Sprint Tri. They are actually doing a whole Tri that day too - Retro meaning no special equipment, no fancy bikes, no wetsuits, etc. Since I don't even have a bike right now, let alone a wetsuit, that really appealed to me. And it was far enough away I felt like I might just be ready by then. And hopefully I could find a great deal on a bike this summer. I talked with Erik and decided that with permission from my medical doc and chiropractor and wisdom from my friend Tarri on my training plan, that I should do it.

I found a great FREE training program online , received my Doc and Chiropractor's approval and sent my friend Tarri the training program to review. She has worked with me on my fitness from a distance for 9 months now so I was sure she would be able to evaluate if I could do it. She said yes!

So, here I am. My previous training schedule was approximately 4 hours per week. Now, it will be 6 or 7. I have been so encouraged and motivated by my friend Alicia who is training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene, who has been prompt and happy to respond to a zillion questions. My friend Leslie who lovingly pokes me (and fervently prays for me) when I am getting complacent, and many others have been so supportive in my pursuit of a more fit Jennifer, have been crucial to me getting this far.

I look forward to experiencing this dream all the way through. You see, it isn't just about race day for me. It is about the process I am in spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I don't ever want to go back to being complacent concerning my eating habits or my physical fitness. I have spent years enjoying spiritual health pursuits and seeing wonderful fruit result in my life... now for the "exterior" work to be done!

Thank You Lord!!

Camping food and another adventure...

Ok, so camping food with the only starchy carb options being rice cakes or rice definitely leave something to be desired. Again, I am grateful my first 6 weeks of Prism is almost over. I am looking forward to some potatoes, whole grain bread, and even corn tortillas. June 20 is my last day of this first phase. Almost there!

Another adventure...
I did the "Spring Dash" on April 25th. It was a 5 mile run or walk depending on how fast you wanted to go. I did it with tears in my eyes at the beginning - so aware I was paving new territory in my heart for the fitness God is asking me to focus on and then tears at the end - so thankful I was done and I had completed my personal challenge with my personal best time.

So, for the next adventure I will be completing a Sprint Triathlon. It is September 11, 2010 in Lake Stevens Washington.
Today was my first day of training... so far so good!

Monday, June 7, 2010

I have returned...

Camping on healthy food is a strange endeavor. I am going to blog on it a bit later today. But for now... I shall share that it was an interesting and not entirely pleasant experience...

Friday, June 4, 2010


I say that with true meaning and a little sarcasm!

The soup turned out amazing! It was great. The hubby didn't like it but the rest of the grown ups did!

The other awesome thing is we are going camping! Loaded with healthy food and having had all the earth surrounding us soaked in water. I will sign off for today and skip tomorrow and let you know about the amazing difference camping without crappy pre-packaged food can make!

Yes, I did pack hot chocolate and marshmallows!
Some things one should not go camping without!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I did something wild today!

Okay, I did something today I NEVER in a million years thought I would do. I bought zucchini. Seriously! Can you believe it? I barely can!

Those of you who have known me for a while know I loathe zucchini. I had a terrible and lengthy experience with it in my childhood which I will explain if you ask... but I swore I would never eat the stuff. Ever.

And then a trusted friend gives me a recipe. A yummy looking recipe that requires zucchini. My dilemma... do I really want to do what I have been working on --- BREAK OLD HABITS OF EATING --- or not?

So, I decided I'd try. Just once. And see how it goes. I am not sure I will make a habit of consuming this particular vegetable, but I did kill my "I hate Peppers" issue a few months ago... anything is possible I guess!

I will let you know... :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Another poem in response to scripture...

"Give ear to my words, O Lord,  consider my meditation." Psalm 5:1

My response:
My voice cries out for transformation,
My heart begs for freedom from it's load,
My muscles press forward into their squishy adversary
My mind KNOWS You are doing a work.

My meditation remains on You,
My gaze will not leave Yours (or I will lose hope),
My focus follows Your direction
My passion is for You alone.

I am being changed... Forever.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Whole New Month!

I LOVE the first day of a new month! I think there is such an amazing amount of possibilities at the beginning of every month.

Today I spent a crazy amount of time online. Today was my changing day! I decided to train for a Sprint Triathlon. September 11 I will be in Lake Stevens Washington to run my first triathlon.

It is a dream I have had since I was 12. My PE teacher did triathlons and used to talk about it all the time. I loved swimming and riding my bike so I was sure I could do it... then puberty, hormones, horses, life all entered the picture. Here I am almost three decades later - going to do it!

Yeah, I can't believe it either! I am excited. I am nervous. I am wondering if my overweight body can really conform to the rigorous training schedule. I wonder if our finances will be able to withstand the needs I have for training equipment - like I don't own a bike! I need a heart rate monitor with a stopwatch, I need to be even more diligent about how I spend my time... lots of changes to happen in these next few months!